First Look: Facebook’s New Timeline Design

first_imgScrolling Through Your PastWhen you start to navigate your profile in Timeline, you begin to see the power this has to bring back memories of past times. I only joined Facebook in 2007, as I wasn’t a U.S. college student. But even scrolling back just 4 years to 2007, I found myself reminiscing about the friends I added back then, photos of me (beardless!), the groups I joined, events I went to, and more. It’s worth noting that this will become even more powerful the more information about your life that you put on Facebook. As Marshall opined earlier today, over time your Facebook Timeline will become a digital equivalent of you. Conclusion: Big Vision From Facebook!In this post I’ve just covered the new Timeline profile. There is a lot more to explore in the upcoming new Facebook, including “social apps” that allow you to post about what music you’re listening to among other things (this appears to be invite only at this stage). The Timeline profile alone though is seriously impressive. It’s colorful, easily navigable and has the potential to become a wonderful memory bank for you – plus of course your family and friends. There are implications to that, including that you’re going to have to assess for yourself just how much information about your life you want to show in Facebook. Also you’ll need to decide how much effort you want to put in to update your Facebook with “life events” – for past events and as you start to add new ones.Overall, I think this is a big play by Facebook for future generations of Facebook users. Imagine starting from scratch with this Timeline design when you’re a teenager and over the years building up a life story about yourself within Facebook. That’s the big picture to this new Facebook Timeline. It’s a wide-reaching and strong vision.While I anticipate that a lot of current Facebook users won’t want to go through the hassle of updating their past activity, people will adjust over time and begin to add life events, share media and so on. Future Facebook users will just dive in head first.The Facebook Timeline will go live for all in the coming weeks. In the meantime, let us know what you think of the new design in the comments! Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification When you add a life event, it’s as simple as filling in a few fields. Related Posts A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit richard macmanus Life Events: New Forms of Status UpdatesA key feature in the new Timeline profile is the ability to define different types of “life events.” The status update field now has 5 different icons: Work and Education, Family and Relationships, Living, Health and Wellness, Milestones and Experiences. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#Facebook#social networks#web One thing I’m really liking about this new design is how it encourages you to add photos, which makes your Facebook profile much more colorful. If you click one, for example ‘Living’, you are given a list of further options. The biggest announcement at Facebook’s f8 event in San Francisco today was a radical new profile design. Called Timeline, the new design turns your profile into a colorful, easily searchable timeline of your entire life – at least the parts of it on Facebook. The Timeline won’t go live until a few weeks, but you can set it up as a developer preview by following these instructions. This is a “Developer Release” version of Timeline, so it may be a little buggy.Here is a first look at Facebook’s Timeline, using my own Facebook account.Initial Set-upThe first thing you’re prompted to do is add a cover photo to your Timeline profile. I chose a photo from a past ReadWriteWeb Summit (see above). Also note the timeline navigation bar to the right of the cover photo. As you scroll down your profile page, you will see little dots in a central vertical timeline. Click the dots and it pops up with the update from that particular time (see below). Another key difference with this profile design is that your updates are segmented into boxes.You can control which things are emphasized in your profile by starring them. In the following example, I starred a photo I took at a local festival. This changed it from a half-page status update into a widescreen one. View ActivityFinally, it’s worth highlighting the ‘View Activity’ link, which is prominently displayed on your new profile. This is private to you. It lists all of your recent activity, allowing you to update privacy settings and more.last_img read more

Robert Downey Jr debuts first image of daughter Avri

first_imgAvengers star Robert Downey Jr shared the first ever image of her baby daughter Avri.During his appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman”, the proud father was all smiles as the photo of his cute little girl was projected on the show’s giant screen, reported Ace Showbiz.Five-month-old Avri could be seen on the snapshot having wide blue eyes. She was spotted sporting yellow hoodie as she stared into the camera.Daughter of Robert Downey Jr Avri. (Pics: CBS)During the interview, the 50-year-old actor also told host David Letterman about his recent birthday celebration that took place in an airplane hangar.The actor has two-year-old son Exton with his producer wife of nine years. He also has a 21-year-old son, Indio, from a previous marriage.The actor had earlier admitted he can’t stop taking pictures of Avri.He had written: “After 9 months of intensive development, Team Downey is pleased to announce our 2014 fall/winter project.””Principal photography commenced 11-14 and will continue until she says, ‘Dad! You are embarrassing me…I’m 30, this has gotta stop.'”Robert Downey JrRobert previously confessed he was nervous about raising a daughter.He said: “I’ve never had a daughter before, so I don’t know what really prepares a dad. I’m asking around. But I did my part and now I’m just going to show up and do what I’m told.”(With input from agencies)last_img read more

Caslick Keen To Learn From The Best

first_imgAnd later this week she will run out in the green and gold uniform of the Australian Women’s Open team when they battle it out against New Zealand in the 2012 Trans Tasman Test Series in Mudgee, New South Wales. The Brisbane school student, who turned 17 last month, becomes one of the youngest players to ever represent Australia at an Open’s level, while teammate Ashleigh Quinlan, who turned 17 late last year, also joins her in the team. While Caslick didn’t expect to be making the team so early in her career, she is looking forward to making her mark on the series when it starts on Thursday. “I was sort of a bit shocked but yeah I’m really excited, I can’t wait,” Caslick said. Caslick started playing Touch Football as an 11-year-old, and it didn’t take long for her to impress on the field, making her first Queensland team that year. While it’s been a big 12 months for the 17-year-old, which included helping her side, the Brisbane City Cobras win the 2012 National Touch League Women’s Open title, she is keen to use this week’s experience to learn as much as she can from some of her Touch Football idols, and she says she has already learnt plenty along the way.   “I’d already played with Woodsy (Kelly Woods) and Chez (Emilee Cherry) before but playing with Peta (Rogerson) and Louise Winchester and KJ (Kristy Judd), they just taught me so much and they were so encouraging, just learning from all of them, they all have little things that help so much.”“I think I’m just going to learn so much from the older girls and that’s what I’m looking forward to the most, I think it will be fun in general,” she said. Caslick credits Australian Women’s Open coach, Peter Bell as one of the biggest influences on her Touch Football career to date and says that having him as her coach at the highest level is making her feel more comfortable in the lead up to the series. Representing Australia at the Open’s level at such a young age doesn’t seem to faze Caslick, who after representing the Australian 18’s Girls team last year made it her next goal to make the Women’s Open team. “I haven’t really thought about how young I actually am, I’m honoured to have had so much help… everyone has helped me so much.”Stay tuned to the website to meet the team’s other 17-year-old, Ashleigh Quinlan, in the coming days. There are plenty of ways to keep in touch with the 2012 Trans Tasman Series, which will be held at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex from Thursday, 26 April to Saturday, 28 April 2012, including in the following ways:Websites:www.austouch.com.auwww.transtasman.mytouchfooty.com Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #transtasman2012 in your tweets)YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballauslast_img read more

a month agoLiverpool fullback Robertson to miss Napoli clash

first_imgLiverpool fullback Robertson to miss Napoli clashby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAndrew Robertson is set to miss Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Napoli.Robertson is a doubt for Liverpool’s Champions League clash against Napoli on Tuesday night.Jurgen Klopp told Liverpool’s official website: “Robbo didn’t train today and we have to see. “It is not a major thing, it was more precautionary today, but it is not 100 per cent sure [he will be available].”We will have to test it tomorrow and then we will see.”Initially it was reported that Robertson had been cleared as he had travelled with the squad but he missed training on Monday morning with a slight knock. The Reds sold Alberto Moreno in the summer and did not sign a back-up left-back. This means James Milner or Joe Gomez is likely to play in defence if Robertson can not overcome his knock in time. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Port of Long Beach to Continue Modernization Works

first_imgzoom The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a USD 748 million budget for the Port of Long Beach in the next fiscal year, with more than 60 percent set aside to continue its modernization program.The budget will be presented to the Long Beach City Council for approval. For the fiscal year starting October 1, 2017, the port plans to spend USD 457 million on capital projects, a part of this decade’s USD 4 billion program to increase efficiency by upgrading terminals, waterways, bridges, rail lines, marine safety and other vital infrastructure.“This spending blueprint advances the nation’s largest seaport modernization program and our practice of investing revenue back into our harbor, a leading economic engine for this region, the state and the nation,” Lori Ann Guzmán, Harbor Commission President, said.“The budget reflects this Port’s fiscally prudent, results-driven approach to budgeting and capital improvements,” Guzmán added.The fiscal year 2018 budget projects a 1.8 percent increase in operating revenue over the current year.The budget puts USD 16.4 million into “net position,” designating it for spending in the future, beyond fiscal year 2018.Meanwhile, as part of the approved budget, the port is expected to transfer USD 18.7 million to the city’s Tidelands Operating Fund, which is used for beachfront improvements in Long Beach.Ongoing major capital improvement projects include the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement and the Middle Harbor redevelopment, a model for green cargo operations and the most advanced facility of its kind in the world, the Port of Long Beach said.Another highlight in the budget includes USD 404,000 in funding for the Port Community Grants Program, approved by the Harbor Commission this year. Over the next 12 to 15 years, funding from the environmental grants program will help offset the impacts of port operations on the surrounding community.last_img read more

Encana to buy Newfield Exploration in allstock deal plans to raise dividend

first_imgCALGARY – Encana Corp. has signed a deal to acquire Newfield Exploration Co. in an all-stock offer it said was worth about US$5.5 billion.Under the deal announced Thursday, Newfield shareholders will receive 2.6719 Encana shares for each share of Newfield common stock.Encana will also assume US$2.2 billion of Newfield debt.“This strategic combination advances our strategy and is immediately accretive to our five-year plan,” Encana chief executive Doug Suttles said in a statement.Newfield shares closed at US$20.20 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, while Encana shares closed at C$13.44 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.The deal requires the support of a two-thirds majority vote of Newfield shareholders and a majority vote by Encana shareholders.Lee Boothby, Newfield’s chairman, president and CEO, said it is the best path forward for the company.“The combination of the two companies provides our investors with the very attributes that should be differentiated in today’s energy sector—operational scale, proven execution in development of large, liquids-rich onshore resource plays, a peer-leading cost structure and an exceptionally strong balance sheet,” Boothby said in a statement.Once the deal is completed, Encana shareholders will own approximately 63.5 per cent of the combined company and Newfield shareholders will own about 36.5 per cent.Two directors from the Newfield board will join the Encana board upon closing.Encana also said it plans to raise its dividend by 25 per cent and increase its share buyback program to US$1.5 billion once the deal closes.News of the acquisition came as Encana, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, reported a profit of US$39 million or four cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30.The result compared with a profit of US$294 million or 30 cents per share in the same quarter last year.Revenue totalled US$1.26 billion, up from US$861 million.Production in the quarter totalled 378,200 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 284,000 in the third quarter of 2017.Companies in this story: (TSX:ECA)last_img read more

USA Cycling hires New Balance boss DeMartini as its CEO

first_imgCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Cycling has hired Rob DeMartini as its president and CEO, giving the longtime New Balance boss the job of not only growing the sport at the grassroots level but preparing the nation’s elite athletes for success at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.The governing body announced DeMartini’s hiring in a statement Monday. He takes over for Derek Bouchard-Hall, who undertook a massive restructuring of USA Cycling before leaving the organization at year’s end to become CEO of Swiss cycling apparel company ASSOS.DeMartini, an avid cyclist, was hired primarily for his business acumen. He spent 20 years with Proctor & Gamble, then spent time with Tyson Foods, before taking over New Balance.He took the shoe and apparel company from annual revenues of $1.5 billion in 2007 to $4.4 billion last year, helping New Balance to regain its position as a leader in the running industry.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Trans Mountain pipeline wont cause tension with Notley at meeting Horgan

first_imgFinance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday the federal government is prepared to offer an “indemnity” to help ease the political risks for any investors to ensure the pipeline expansion can proceed.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) Plans to triple capacity along Kinder Morgan’s existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby have pitted Alberta and the federal government against B.C.’s government, which says it fears the impact a spill would have on the province’s environment and economy.“I believe, largely, the issue is around transporting diluted bitumen, whether it is by rail or by pipeline,” said Horgan. “I believe the risk of a diluted bitumen spill to our environment, to our economy, is too great. I’ve made that abundantly clear. I don’t think there’ll be any surprises next week.”B.C. filed a reference case in the province’s Court of Appeal last month to determine if it has jurisdiction to regulate heavy oil shipments. It also joined two other lawsuits launched by Indigenous groups opposed to the $7.4-billion project.Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the project until it receives assurances it can proceed without delays, setting a May 31 deadline on getting those guarantees. “The federal government now wants to talk about a national program,” Horgan said. “We’re excited about that, but we don’t want to be pushed aside after all the work we’ve done here in B.C. at the provincial level and to have the federal government come in and tell us where and how and what we should be doing.”He said B.C. wants to ensure the provinces continue to play a leading role in the development of pharmacare.Horgan said he and Notley only disagree on the Trans Mountain project, otherwise, their views “are lockstep.”On Thursday, B.C. announced plans to launch a lawsuit over new Alberta legislation that could restrict fuel exports to the West Coast.B.C. Attorney General David Eby said his province will ask the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta to declare the legislation unconstitutional on the grounds that one province cannot punish another.Notley said Thursday that Alberta is confident it has the authority to control the export of its own resources and she believes the new law will withstand a legal challenge, adding her province must safeguard its interests.center_img LANGFORD, B.C. – The premiers of British Columbia and Alberta will join their counterparts from Western Canada and the North at meetings next week in Yellowknife, but John Horgan doesn’t expect any drama over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.Horgan acknowledges he and Alberta’s Rachel Notley have differences on the pipeline, but he said Friday they are in agreement on a number of other matters and have been friends for 20 years.The ongoing tensions over the Trans Mountain project should not spill over into the expected major focus of the gathering, which is the development of a national pharmacare program, Horgan said. The provinces have always led the way on cost savings for prescription drugs and B.C. wants to be at the forefront of the issue, he added.last_img read more

Peru and Chile lock horns in India over GI tag on Pisco

first_imgNew Delhi: South American countries Peru and Chile may end up in Indian courts as both have locked horns in the country over GI (Geographical Indications) tag on ‘Pisco’ brandy. A GI tag is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory. Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepWhile Peru has sought GI tag in India for ‘Pisco’ brandy, Chile opposed the move saying they also sell the same product with same name. The GI Registry office in India passed an order renaming the GI as “Peruvian Pisco” and issued a certificate of registration. Against this order, Peru filed an appeal before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board as they want the tag as “Pisco” only. The Intellectual property appellate board (IPAB) after hearing the case accepted the appeal of Peru and accordingly stated that the mark of the appellant “Pisco” eligible for registration. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsAccording to an official, Chile has raised opposition on this again. The official said that now Chile has to approach High Court as IPAB’s order can only be challenged in a High Court. Award of GI tag gives protection to a producer of those genuine products, which commands premium pricing in the domestic and international markets. Once GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product. The tag is initially granted for a period of ten years but can be renewed indefinitely.last_img read more

Imran Khans income drops sharply in 3 years

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s net income has dropped sharply in the last three years from 35.6 million Pakistani rupees in 2015 to only 4.7 million Pakistani rupees in 2017, the media reported on Monday. In 2015, a major chunk of Khan’s income comprised the gain of a little over 20 million Pakistani rupees from the sale of an apartment in Islamabad, followed by 9.8 million Pakistani rupees of foreign remittances, Dawn news reported citing official documents. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping In 2016, his total income dropped to 12.9 million Pakistani rupees of which he earned 7.4 million Pakistani rupees from “foreign services” alone. In contrast, the income of opposition leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif continued to see an upward trend as his net income rose from 7.6 million Pakistani rupees in 2015 and crossed 10 million Pakistani rupees in 2017. Former President Asif Ali Zardari’s agricultural income that comprises most part of his net income stood at 105 million Pakistani rupees in 2015. It rose to 114 million Pakistani rupees in 2016 and surged to 134 million Pakistani rupees in 2017. He holds 7,748 acres of land. His income from other sources also increased While his son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari appears richer than him in terms of assets he holds in Pakistan and elsewhere, he lags behind the father in terms of income, according to the documents.last_img read more

South Korea launches 5G networks early to bag world 1st

first_imgSeoul: South Korea launched the world’s first nationwide 5G mobile networks two days early, its top mobile carriers said Thursday, giving a handful of users access in a late-night scramble to be the first providers of the super-fast wireless technology. Three top telecom providers – SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus – began their 5G services at 11 pm local time Wednesday, despite previously announcing the launch date would be April 5. Hyper-wired South Korea has long had a reputation for technical prowess, and Seoul had made the 5G rollout a priority as it seeks to stimulate stuttering economic growth. Along with the US, China and Japan, South Korea had been racing to claim the title as the world’s first provider of the ultra-fast network. But speculation that US mobile carrier Verizon might start its 5G services early forced South Korean providers to hastily organise a late-night launch, Yonhap news agency reported. In the event, Verizon began rolling out its 5G services in Chicago and Minneapolis on Wednesday in the US, a week ahead of schedule. But according to Yonhap, the South Korean launches came two hours earlier. “SK Telecom today announced that it has activated 5G services for six celebrities representing Korea as of 11 pm April 3, 2019,” the country’s biggest mobile operator said in a news release Thursday. The celebrities – including two members of K-pop band EXO and Olympic ice-skating heroine Kim Yu-na – were “the world’s first 5G smartphone subscribers”, it said. Both KT and LG Uplus said they also went live at the same time, with a total of three specially-selected users: KT offered it to the wife of a technician setting up its network on the disputed island of Dokdo, while LG Uplus provided it to a television personality and her racing-driver husband. For general customers, the services will be available from Friday – the original launch date – when Samsung Electronics rolls out the Galaxy S10 5G, the world’s first available smartphone with the technology built in. Verizon’s network will work with Lenovo’s Moto Z3 smartphone fitted with a special accessory, while rival US carrier AT&T launched a 5G-based system in parts of 12 cities in December – although it is only accessible to invited users through a free hotspot device, rather than paying customers with mobiles. Qatari firm Ooredoo said it offers 5G services in and around Doha – but does not have devices available to use them – while Japan is also expected to roll out a limited deployment in 2019 before full services start in time for next year’s Tokyo Olympics. Experts say 5G will bring smartphones near-instantaneous connectivity – 20 times faster than 4G – allowing users to download entire movies in less than a second. The technology is crucial for the future development of devices such as self-driving vehicles and is expected to bring about 565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034, according to the London-based Global System for Mobile Communications, an industry alliance. The implications of the new network have pitted Washington against Beijing – whose firms dominate 5G technology — in an increasingly bitter standoff. The US has pressed its allies and major economies to avoid 5G solutions from Chinese-owned telecom giant Huawei, citing security risks that technological backdoors could give Beijing access to 5G-connected utilities and other components. Chinese entities, including 1,529 5G patents registered by Huawei, own a total of 3,400 patents – more than a third of the total, according to data analysis firm IPlytics. South Korea comes next, with its companies holding 2,051 patents, while US firms have 1,368 together. Neither KT nor SK Telecom use Huawei technology in their 5G networks, but it is a supplier to LG UPlus, the companies said.last_img read more

Celebrate Bengali New Year with Spencers

first_imgTo welcome Bengali 1426 and celebrate Poila Baisakh, Spencer’s announced its nine-day Matsyo Mahotsov at 15 Kolkata outlets on April 12, at the Quest Mall. Major attractions at the event were 27 kg Bhetki from Digha (West Bengal) and Katla (20 kg) from Nagarjun Sagar Reservoir (Telengana). Special arrangements were made to transport the big fish by refrigerated vans. The Bhetki (27 kg) arrived on the day after covering a 250 km journey in six hours. The Katla (20 kg) from Nagarjun Sagar covered 1500 kms distance in 30 hours. More than a hundred varieties of fish, the largest-ever in recent memory, will be available for Kolkata citizens from April 13-21 at 15 Spencer’s outlets everyday, between 9:30 am and 10 pm. The price begins at Rs 49 per kg (Mourala).last_img read more

Despite TikTok ban parent plans 1 bn India investment

first_imgNew Delhi: Unfazed by the ban on TikTok in India, the popular Chinese short video app’s parent ByteDance remains “very optimistic” and plans to invest $1 billion in the country over the next three years. ByteDance — touted to be among the world’s most valuable startups with investors like SoftBank, General Atlantic, KKR and Sequoia on board — also offers platforms like Helo and Vigo Video in India. Speaking to PTI, ByteDance Director (International Public Policy) Helena Lersch said the company has been strengthening its content moderation policies over the last many months. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”We are obviously disappointed by the current developments, but we are also very optimistic that we will resolve this issue. We remain committed to our Indian users. As a company, we are looking to invest $1 billion over the next three years in India, that is how bullish we will remain to be here,” she said. The company would also be increasing the number of employees in India to 1,000 people by the end of this year. TikTok, which allows users to create short videos and share them, has more than 120 million users in India and is popular among youngsters. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe Madras High Court on April 3 had directed the Centre to ban TikTok app, saying it was evident from media reports that pornography and inappropriate content were made available through such mobile apps. Following the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the Madras High Court order, tech giants Google and Apple removed TikTok from their app stores in India to prohibit further downloads of the app. Those who have already downloaded the app would be able to continue using it on their phones. Lersch declined to comment on court proceedings as the matter is subjudice. The hearing of the matter is scheduled for April 22 in the Supreme Court and for April 24 in the Madras High Court. India is a critical market for social media platforms given the large population of 1.3 billion people. With increasing availability of affordable smartphones and cheap data plans, the country is also the largest mobile data consumer market globally — an opportunity that global tech companies are vying to tap into. “We, as a company, abide by local laws, but we also want to be culturally appropriate. We have a content moderation team in India. We increased the capacity of our content moderation team globally by 400 per cent last year because we were prepared for the growth,” she added. According to her, the company has a a two-step approach for content moderation. “First is a tech approach — a machine learning tool that filters content and then it goes to a content moderation team. In India, the team speaks 14 languages. I think, it is fundamentally important that the team is based in the country and speaks local languages to make culturally relevant decisions,” she said. Around six million videos have been taken off the platform for violating its community guidelines, she added. Besides planned $1 billion investment, Lersche said the company would be ramping up headcount to 1,000 people by December 2019. “(About) 25 per cent of that will be just content moderation, which means there is full-time moderation staff based in India…We have around 250 full-time staff (right now) but we are very growing that rapidly,” she added.last_img read more

Libya military police chief killed in Benghazi security

first_imgBENGHAZI – Libya’s military police chief, Colonel Mustapha al-Barghathi, was shot dead Friday in the restive eastern city of Benghazi, the security services said.Unknown assailants gunned down Barghathi outside his home, Colonel Abdullah al-Zaidi, spokesman for the security services, told AFP.He said Barghathi — a former rebel leader in the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi — died of head and chest wounds at the Mediterranean city’s Al-Jala hospital. Barghathi was the first officer in Kadhafi’s army to defect and form a rebel force in the revolt, Zaidi said.Benghazi was the cradle of the uprising that toppled Kadhafi’s regime, but has since seen a series of assassinations targeting officers in the security services.Other attacks have targeted Western interests and diplomats, and much of the violence, including the killing of US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in an attack on the US mission last year, has been attributed to radical Islamists.The attacks have not been claimed and no arrests have apparently been made.Two years after the revolution, Libya’s new authorities have failed to establish a new army and police force, and are still struggling to rein intribal militias and groups of former rebels.last_img read more

Decades Before Moneyball The Dallas Cowboys Used Advanced Stats To Win Super

A. Salam Qureishi grew up in India and knew nothing about football — or America. And yet in the early 1960s, Qureishi, a computer programmer and statistician, helped the Dallas Cowboys overhaul their scouting system, replacing hunches with hard numbers.The result: five Super Bowl appearances and two titles. FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films present “The Cowboys and the Indian,” directed by Mark Polish. It’s the second film in our short series “Signals.” (Watch our first “Signals” film, “The Man vs. the Machine,” here.) read more

The Islanders Shouldnt Be This Good

New York/New Jersey preeminence notwithstanding, the Islanders still have major problems on the business end of their operation. The team has the worst attendance in the NHL. The Devils and the Rangers might both be bad (and they are), but at least their fans are still showing up to watch hockey games (attrition can be fascinating, after all). Islanders fans have been notoriously absent for the last 20 seasons, but that’s because they were constantly given a reason to be absent. The team is good now, yet still the Barclays Center in Brooklyn had thousands of empty seats whenever they played there. (Attendance at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale has been far better, suggesting the Isles should probably play every game at that arena — and they will the rest of the regular season.)It’s hard to predict what the Islanders are capable of in the playoffs. They’re currently ranked 3rd in PDO, which is the sum of shooting percentage and save percentage, which might suggest they’re in the position they’re in because they’ve been more lucky than good. Puck luck is real, and it might be favoring the Islanders so far this season. But that doesn’t mean it’ll hold for the playoffs.Lucky or otherwise, if they continue winning at their current rate they’ll amass 102 points. That would be the franchise’s best total since the 1983-84 season, which is also the last time the Isles reached the Stanley Cup final. That team lost to some 23 year-old kid named Gretzky.Neil Paine contributed research to this article. It’s been a long time since the New York Islanders were any good. Despite a few playoff berths here and there, the Islanders’ past decade has been defined more by venue changes, managerial shakeups, another venue change, and losing John Tavares, its franchise player and captain to free agency. From the middle of the 1970s through the middle of the 1980s, the Islanders were among the NHL’s elite franchises, but they’ve mostly been a punchline since. But that narrative could be shifting this season.The Islanders currently sit in second place in the Metropolitan division, two points behind the Washington Capitals with a game in hand and a superior goal differential. In fact, they’ve already gained more points in 65 games this season than they did during all of last season. Any team would be expected to struggle immediately after failing to re-sign a player of Tavares’s caliber — only five players have scored more points than Tavares since his rookie season in 2009-10 — but the Islanders have somehow flourished.Goaltending has been key to that success: Isles netminders Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss have split time almost equally and boast the NHL’s third and fourth best save percentages, respectively, while their combined save percentage paces the league. Goaltending is as bad as it’s been in a decade across the NHL, but apparently no one sent the memo to Lehner or Greiss.The exceptional play between the pipes has been bolstered by an emphasis on improving the defense by new coach Barry Trotz — who was hired fresh off a Stanley Cup win with the Capitals — and new president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello, who won three Stanley Cups in New Jersey with a similar, defense-first philosophy. In 2017-18, the Isles gave up a league-high 296 goals. So far in 2018-19, they’ve given up a league-low 157. At their current rate, the Isles will surrender nearly 100 fewer goals in 2018-19 than they did just a season ago.But Tavares is missed on offense: The Islanders rank in the bottom third of the league for goals scored, and none of their players rank among the top 65 point getters. Last season’s rookie of the year Mathew Barzal is having a solid second season, leading the Islanders with 52 points.This doesn’t necessarily rule out the Islanders from winning the biggest prize: Defense can still be enough to prevail in this sport. The 2014-15 Chicago Blackhawks ranked 17th in goals scored and second in goals allowed during the regular season, and things ended up working out pretty well for them.Whether the Islanders finish the season as Stanley Cup champions remains to be seen, but what is clear is that for the first time in a very long time, they’re at the very least the kings of the New York metro area (yes, New Jersey Devils, we’re counting you). This isn’t exactly unfamiliar territory — the Islanders won four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1979-80 to 1982-83 — but it’s territory they haven’t set foot in for a while. According to Hockey-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System (SRS), which estimates the strength of every team in the NHL,1Technically speaking, SRS measures a team’s average goal differential after adjusting for strength of schedule. the Islanders haven’t been the outright best team in New York/New Jersey since 1992-93. read more

Baseball team falls in 10th to Spartans

The Ohio State baseball team (13-15, 3-4 Big Ten) took conference-leading Michigan State (22-8, 6-1 Big Ten) all nine innings and then some, but a lead-off home run in the top of the 10th was the decider as the Spartans beat OSU, 5-4. Even after the home run, OSU did not go down without a fight, as it had a chance to tie or win the game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th. After singles by senior and freshman outfielders Brian DeLucia and Tim Wetzel, freshman first baseman Josh Dezse was intentionally walked. Two consecutive strikeouts by sophomore catcher Greg Solomon and junior DH Brad Hutton ended the game. Coach Greg Beals said OSU left too many opportunities on base. “The story was our inability to execute when we had guys in scoring position,” he said. “Our hitters could have done a better job, obviously, but you have to give their pitchers credit.” OSU looked in trouble after a three-run seventh put the Spartans up, 4-2, but Dezse responded in the eighth with a two-run home run. Dezse said he thought the home run was a turning point in the game but that his team came up just a little bit short. “We fought as a team, we lost as a team and we are going to come back tomorrow and fight back,” Dezse said. Relief pitcher Tony Wieber (4-0) picked up the win for MSU, and senior pitcher Jared Strayer (1-2) picked up his second loss on the season. Rucinski versus Wunderlich The game featured top starting pitchers for each team, and both went deep into the game. Michigan State’s Kurt Wunderlich went eight innings and gave up four runs while OSU senior pitcher Drew Rucinski went seven and a third, and also gave up four runs. It was a pitcher’s duel early before Rucinski gave up three in the seventh followed up by Wunderlich giving up a two-run home run to Dezse in the eighth. Both pitchers earned a no decision. A 1-2 punch OSU’s one and two hitters, DeLucia and Wetzel, had a combined six hits and three runs. Wetzel now has a nine-game hitting streak and has been hitting .395 since the Big Ten season started. “We got a lot of young guys that can come through,” DeLucia said. “Wetzel and Dezse are both just incredible.” Game 2 The second of the three-game series will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday. OSU will be looking to rebound from the loss and come back strong. “We are obviously going to take our emotion out on the field tomorrow,” Dezse said. “We still have two more games this weekend and we still have a chance to get that two out of three like we want.” read more

Francesco Totti was Salahs boyhood idol

first_imgAS Roma legend Francesco Totti was Mohamed Salah’s boyhood idol with the star forward having also admired Brazil icon Ronaldo during his youth daysRoma’s “Golden Boy” spent his entire 25-year playing at the Italian capital and scored 307 goals in his 786 appearances in all competitions and was named as the Serie A Footballer of the Year in both 2000 and 2003.Salah, who managed to have the rare opportunity to play alongside the former forward at Roma, revealed that he had been a big fan of Totti’s ever since his formative years in Eygpt.“I’ve said it before many times. The Brazilian Ronaldo and [Francesco] Totti,” revealed Salah, according to Liverpool Echo.“He’s unbelievable. He’s quality – both as a person and a player. He’s calm, which is great but has a very quiet confidence. I learnt a lot from him.”Since joining Liverpool last summer, Salah has netted an outstanding 43 goals across all competitions this season and has been touted as a potential candidate to end both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s decade-long dominance of the Ballon d’Or award.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…The Egyptian forward will face Ronaldo in this month’s Champions League final with Liverpool hoping to upset the odds and defeat Real Madrid at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium.But a modest Salah has dismissed the recent comparisons that have been made between himself and the Portuguese star.“No, not for me,” said the 25-year-old.“I knew from the beginning of the season that I had a target [for goals] in my mind.“I will keep it until the end of the season and then I will say what it is. I’m happy about what I did until now, and I want to keep doing that until the last game, so yeah, we’re going to see. We will do another interview at the end of the season! It’s fine.”last_img read more

Valverde praises Barcelonas youngsters despite teams performance

first_imgBarcelona only won one of three matches at the International Champions Cup, but Coach Ernesto Valverde was happy with the performance of his young playersDespite leaving fans with many doubts after their United States tour, Barcelona Coach Ernesto Valverde reported happy with the performance of the teams’ young players.“Today against Milan we dominated the game but they scored the only goal, but I liked what I saw from a number of the young players,” he reportedly said to the Football España and the media after their last match in U.S. soil.“Ricard Puig, Juan Miranda and other players from the B-team all impressed me against very strong opposition,” he added.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“I trust that not only will they form part of the future for Barcelona, but also part of the present,” Valverde concluded.But the Barça boss is not letting the performance of his team in the International Champions Cup interfere with his work, as the team has “a lot of positives to take from the three matches themselves.”Barcelona will play against Sevilla on Sunday, for a chance to win the Spanish Super Cup trophy.last_img read more

GOSPEL MISSIONARY TOURISM BOOM

first_img North Carolina Preacher holds services in Turks & Caicos Healing Services begin tonight in Provo Related Items:Community fellowship center, kansas, maps Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Youth in focus for Natl Leadership conference Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 05 Oct 2014 – Comnunity Fellowship Center Assemblies of God has drawn nearly 200 guests to the TCI from across the US over the past year.The MAPS programme of The Assemblies of God sends helpers all over the world for projects. CFC and its Community Christian Academy school has benefitted from no less than four visits to assist completion of the school building. Last October there was a free clinic where thousands got medical care and glasses from our visitors.A group of 18 from Kansas is here now. Another group is coming later in the month, October 21 to further construction at the school on Leeward Highway, Providenciales.last_img read more

Budget Talks Continue For Borough Mayor

first_imgKPB Mayor Pierce: “There won’t be a lot of frills in the budget, there won’t be a lot of money to go around, but we’ll do what we can with the money we collect. It will in the future require new taxation from folks, and the question is what form of taxation will the voters agree to.”  KPB Mayor Pierce: “2019 is a budget plan, that I believe helps gets us to the 2020 year. It’s no new taxation, it balances the General Fund, and utilizes some of the money we have retained in the Land Trust Fund.”  Pierce continues to push for a balanced budget with no new taxes for the current fiscal year, but in order to accomplish that the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will need to approve his proposal to draw $4.5 million from the borough’s Land Trust Fund. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce presented his upcoming budget proposal to a joint Chamber of Commerce, on April 18. Pierce will present his proposed budget on April 24th, to the assembly. The first public hearing on the budget is set for May 1st.last_img read more

Lawsuit Filed Against Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor

first_imgRequest for comment from the Kenai Peninsula Borough were not returned in time for publication. A former human resources director, Sandra Brown, filed the lawsuit alleging she experienced disability discrimination following her diagnosis with terminal breast cancer. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A discrimination lawsuit was filed against the Kenai Peninsula Borough and Mayor Charlie Pierce on Monday in Kenai superior court. On Sept. 28, 2018 Brown was called in for a meeting with the Borough Attorney and the Borough Chief of Staff. According to Brown she was notified in the meeting that she was ‘terminated effective immediatly’. Brown received her diagnosis on May 24, 2018 and notified Mayor Pierce on June 13, 2018, after being approved for intermittent medical leave from the borough. According to court documents, Pierce’s response to the news about her diagnosis included inappropriate comments that implied her diagnosis was “not a big deal.” Brown claims that in the months after notifying Pierce and the borough about her diagnosis, Pierce excluded her from meetings pertaining to her job, publicly humiliated her, and rescheduled her performance evaluation on dates when Brown had approved medical leave, according to charging documents.last_img read more

Guru Nanak palace partially demolished by locals in Pakistans Punjab before and

first_imgGuru Nanak Palace in Bathanwala village of Pakistan’s Punjab provincetwitterThe 400-year-old Guru Nanak Palace in Bathanwala village of Pakistan’s Punjab province was partially demolished by some locals in Narowal. It is alleged that the demolition of the heritage site was conducted with the complicity of Auqaf boards.The four-storied building was constructed nearly four centuries ago, with its construction mostly comprising of bricks, limestone clay and sand. The building complex used to have 16 large rooms with thorough ventilation. All the rooms had precious doors, windows and ventilators with wooden carvings on them, which were sold by the vandals.The rooms were constructed with large broad walls with enclosed cupboards in them and the room walls had small lamp enclosures. The roofs were made of expensive Deodar wood beams, which costs thousands of rupees per foot.The palace walls made of old brick aligned in beautiful designs had several paintings of Baba Guru Nanak (founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus) and of several Hindu rulers on them.A local resident, Muhammad Aslam, said: “This old building is called the Palace of Baba Guru Nanak and we have named it Mahalan. A number of Sikhs from across the world, including India, used to visit this building,” reports Dawn. Guru Nanak Palace in Bathanwala village of Pakistan’s Punjab provinceTwitterAslam also claimed that once a six-member delegation from Canada had visited the building. Among them, a woman was carrying a large book with valuable information about the historical building. He said that the delegation was overjoyed at visiting the site as if they had found a treasure, adds the report.Another local from the area claimed that the Auqaf department was informed about the demolition of the Guru Nanak Mahal by some influential persons, but no actions were taken by the authorities over the matter. He said that already three storeys of the building have been destroyed and new houses have been constructed. “The influentials have demolished the building with the connivance of the Auqaf department and sold its costly windows, doors, ventilators and wood,” said another local Muhammad Ashraf.The Dawn news reached out to several authorities in order to find out the legal owners of the building or the government agency that holds a record of the property. From the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) authorities to the family that lived in the building was contacted by the correspondent of Dawn, but all in vain.”There is no mention of this building in the revenue record. As it seemed to be historical, we are checking the municipal committee’s record,” said Waheed Asghar, Narowal Deputy Commissioner in-charge of the record of all properties in the region. He also said that the demolition of the building has been stopped now.The ETPB Sialkot zone Rent Collector Rana Waheed said that an investigation has been initiated over the Guru Nanak Mahal Bathanwala demolition. “If this palace was the property of Evacuee Trust Property Board, legal action will be taken against those responsible,” he said.The people have also demanded Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s interfere in the matter and take legal action against the vandals for the destruction of the heritage property.last_img read more

PhonePe acquires Zopper Retail to fight competition

first_imgRepresentational image for appsPixabayFlipkart’s digital payment subsidiary PhonePe announced the acquisition of Zopper Retail – a hyperlocal Point of Sale (POS) platform for small and medium businesses. This comes with the company’s strategy to aggressively ramp up its offline business and for making it a ubiquitous payment method for smartphone users. PhonePe, last year developed its own PoS device based on Bluetooth technology to process and boost its offline transactions.Zopper’s CEO Neeraj Jain has joined the team of PhonePe after the acquisition. 32 other employees of Zopper will also be joining the PhonePe team.To take on the rivals and grow in the market, Flipkart is providing PhonePe with the obligatory financial lift. In the month of March, 18′ PhonePe had received Rs 518.22 Crore ($80 million) in a fresh funding round from Singapore-based Flipkart Payments Pvt. Ltd.Sameer Nigam, CEO, PhonePe, said, “Zopper has a very strong technology and innovation DNA, and Neeraj and team are also a great culture fit for PhonePe. Zopper Retail is specifically designed to meet the needs of millions of small retailers in India, and their strategy ties in very well with our overall vision of making digital payments universally accepted across the country.”Earlier, Zopper Retail raised $20 million from investors like Blume Ventures, Tiger Global and Nirvana Ventures Advisors. Founded by Neeraj Jain and Surjendu Kuila in the year 2010, Zopper has hinged twice in the last eight years. In the year 2015, Zopper pivoted and split its business into two distinct divisions – Zopper Retail (a PoS platform for offline merchants) and (Zopper Assure) an extended warranty solutions unit for electronics purchased at offline outlets. However, after the acquisition of Zopper Retail, Zopper Assure will continue being led by Kuila.At present, Zopper claims to have a network of three lakh offline and online merchant outlets covering food, travel, groceries, movie tickets, etc.With this new acquisition, PhonePe will hope that it will help the firm in the intensely competitive payments platform segment. Paytm and Google’s Tez are amongst its biggest competitors in this segment. Last year, Flipkart committed to invest $500 Million in PhonePe to fight off the competition.last_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Monday May 15 from 5

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uA major victory for voting rights and civil rights advocates was delivered today, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a federal Appeals Court ruling, which struck down and restrictive NC voting law. Supreme Court scholar Ken Jost, of the, “Jost On Justice,” blog dissects the Court’s decision on the NC law and the broader implications.These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.last_img read more

Cong NCP boycott CMs tea party on eve of Maha winter session

first_imgThe Congress and NCP on Sunday boycotted a customary tea party hosted by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here on the eve of winter session of the state Legislature and accused the BJP-Shiv Sena government of failing on all fronts.The opposition leaders also reiterated that a scam of Rs 4000 crore has taken place in distribution of pulses in the state.In a joint press conference, leaders of the NCP and the Congress accused the BJP-led NDA government of failing to rein in suicides by farmers. Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra dam“…There is a shortfall in revenue collection; malnutrition deaths are on rise, the crime rate is also on rise in state, particularly in Nagpur,” said the Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil of Congress.He was echoed by other leaders including the Leader of Opposition in Council, Dhananjay Munde and former deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar (both NCP).“The combined opposition has boycotted the customary tea party with Chief Minister (in protest against) the BJP-Shiv Sena government’s failure on every front,” said Vikhe Patil. Also Read – Union Min doubts ‘vote count’ in Bareilly, seeks probeHe said the saffron alliance of BJP and Sena had accused the Congress-NCP combine of “misrule” of 15 years when they came to power last year.“However, within a span of one year this government has undermined 15 years of our work,” the Congress leader told reporters after emerging from a combined meeting of the opposition parties.Vikhe Patil said the government stood “fully exposed” in the pulses scam and “we have already demanded resignation of Food and Civil Supplies Minister (Girish Bapat)”.last_img read more

ShareTweet

first_imgShareTweet Therese Mallon (Slaughtneil)Hannah Taylor (Lavey)Ursula Quinn (Bellaghy)Brooke Scullion (Bellaghy)RecitationAnna Rafferty (Lavey Hurling)Bronagh McGill (Lavey Camogie)Ultan Rua Ó Ceallaigh (Na Magha)Aoibhin Deeney (Na Magha)Instrumental MusicGlenullinLavey FootballLoupSwatraghHistoric PresentationSlaughtneilSwatraghBallad Group:Lavey CamogieCastledawsonGlenBellaghySet Dancing:GlenullinBallerinGlenQuiz:GlenullinLavey FootballLavey HurlingGlen FootballSwatraghCOUNTY SCOR FINAL DATE FOR NA MAGHA was last modified: November 19th, 2014 by stephenstephen Tags: Na Magha will have two representatives in the Derry county final of  Scór na nÓg taking place at Glenullin GAA Club a 3.00pm this Sunday – the first time the city club has entered the competition.The line-up for Sunday’s final was confirmed following last weekend’s semi-finals.Ultan Rua Ó Ceallaigh and Aoibhin Deeney will represent Na Magha in the recitation category. The full line-up for Sunday’s final is:Ceili Dancing:SlaughtneilGlenullinGlen FootballGlen CamogieSolo Singing: countyDerryfinalmaghanascorlast_img read more

ShareTweet

first_imgShareTweet Nadine said that she felt she would be well-placed to portray a nun alongside headmistress Sister Michael in the comedy series and would find it “hilarious”.She said: “I could play a nun. That would be different. I could totally see myself doing that.“It would be hilarious to play a nun. It’ll be so interesting to see what Lisa comes up with for me. I’m looking forward to that. Lisa has done a great job with the characters so far and the show is so true to life.“Obviously when I went to school and was taught by nuns, the religious side of it was very important and Lisa has captured that well. Nadine Coyle pitching for a role in hit Channel TV comedy series Derry GirlsFORMER Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle has revealed she would love to swap the glamour of pop stardom for the modest habit of a nun – in Derry Girls.The Derry singer has had talks with the hit Channel 4 sitcom’s creator Lisa McGee about appearing in series two.Both Nadine (32) and Lisa attended Thornhill College in Derry, the inspiration for Our Lady Immaculate College in the TV series. CHANNEL 4DerryDERRY GIRLSGIRLS ALOUDNadine CoyleNadine Coyle: I’d like to play a nun in Derry GirlsOur Lady Immaculate CollegeTHORNHILL COLLEGE “I have to say, I loved the show. It was hilarious and you know, I’ve always been very proud of Derry, but I was so proud to see how well everyone else took to it and enjoyed it for what it was.“When Derry was portrayed on television before, it was always as a war zone but for us growing up there, it didn’t feel like that.It’s great to see something funny and positive about Derry on TV now.”Channel 4 has already commissioned a second series which is due out in 2019.Mother-of-one Nadine recently cancelled her UK and Ireland tour and apologised to any fans who had been looking forward to her concerts.Nadine Coyle: I’d like to play a nun in Derry Girls was last modified: May 2nd, 2018 by John2John2 Tags:last_img read more

Dear Reader Vedran Vuk here filling in for Da

first_imgDear Reader, Vedran Vuk here, filling in for David Galland. In today’s issue, I’ll start by discussing a risk many don’t consider very deeply – the trustworthiness of our personal money managers. While most of us are peeled to the screen watching the S&P 500 and gold prices, our greatest vulnerability might be those closest to us. Then, we’ll have an article from Dennis Miller of Money Forever which warns of the vultures of inflation and taxes circling above. Finally, I have an interesting graph on gold miners and their short sellers. Don’t Be Like Leonard Cohen By Vedran Vuk, Senior Analyst I must apologize ahead of time for next week’s issue. While it should be a good issue, it might not cover the latest financial news since I’ll be making a trip to Austin, TX to see Leonard Cohen in concert on Thursday. If a financial apocalypse happens between Thursday night and Friday, I apologize now for not covering it. In case some of our readers are too young to know of Leonard Cohen or perhaps missed out on some of his hits during the late ’60s and ’70s, here are a few videos of them: Suzanne; Famous Blue Raincoat; and here’s a cover of his song made famous by the movie Shrek, Hallelujah. With Leonard Cohen, the appeal is mostly his lyrics. It’s certainly not his voice, which Cohen himself admits is a failure. However, if you can still make it in the music world while having a bad voice, then that really says something about your quality of songwriting. For example, here are some lines from his song Everybody Knows. Given our political and economic situation, they ring a bell today: Everybody knows that the dice are loaded Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed Everybody knows that the war is over Everybody knows the good guys lost Everybody knows the fight was fixed The poor stay poor, the rich get rich That’s how it goes Everybody knows Everybody knows that the boat is leaking Everybody knows the captain lied Everybody got this broken feeling Like their father or their dog just died Everybody talking to their pockets Everybody wants a box of chocolates And a long-stem rose Everybody knows Now you know why I’m going to the concert, but what’s really important is why Leonard Cohen is giving the concert. You see, Cohen is getting on in years… he just turned 78 years old. Another world tour was likely not what he had envisioned for his golden years. In fact, until 2008, Cohen had taken a 15-year hiatus from performing. So what brought him out of his retirement? Poor financial decisions. Leonard Cohen didn’t make leveraged bets on mortgage-backed securities. He didn’t spend freely, as many music stars do. In fact, he retreated to a Buddhist monastery for five years – talk about a way to save money for retirement. His big mistake was one people that tend to overlook even when they think their savings and investments are in order. He trusted his ex-manager and advisors a little too much by mixing friendship with business. Here’s an excerpt from Cohen Stays Calm as $5m Pension Disappears, summing up his financial troubles: “The alleged theft came to light a year ago, when a friend of the family alerted Cohen’s daughter to his perilous financial situation. The alleged theft centres on two transactions engineered by [ex-manager] Lynch and approved by Cohen. The first, in 1997, was the $5m sale of Cohen’s publishing company, Stranger Music, to Sony. The second, in 2001, concerned the sale of Cohen’s future royalties for $8m, also to Sony. Lynch set up a company to minimise taxes on the transaction, giving herself 99.5% ownership of the company, and Cohen the remaining 0.5%. Cohen says he was unaware of the agreement. ‘Since my own work requires a fair degree of solitary attention, I was grateful to Ms. Lynch for looking after the business details,’ he told the New York Times. ‘In this spirit she acquired considerable command over my finances.’” “That command apparently extended to a link being set up allowing Lynch’s American Express credit card to be paid directly from Cohen’s bank account. When Cohen learned of the allegations and visited his bank, he was surprised to find that he had paid a $75,000 credit card bill for his manager. The same day, he says, Lynch tried to withdraw $40,000 in cash from another of his accounts.” Leonard Cohen’s mistakes were sheer negligence of his financial situation and wrongly thinking that someone can just take care of your finances for you with no oversight. As Cohen said of the situation, “It was a long, ongoing problem of a disastrous and relentless indifference to my financial situation. I didn’t even know where the bank was.” Ultimately, Cohen had $9.5 million stolen from him and was left with just $150,000 at the age of 70. He mortgaged his home to pay for his legal fees. Though he eventually won his legal battle against his ex-manager, most of the missing money had already evaporated. While allocating your investments, where to put your friends is sometimes the toughest decision of all. Often, our friends are our most likely business partners. When things are going great, there’s nothing better than doing business with a friend. However, every investor should know that a friend can drive the dagger deeper than a stranger ever could. This obviously isn’t something that everybody knows; clearly Cohen didn’t know – otherwise he might have included a line in his song linked above. I hate to give the financial advice that one should be more distrustful of their best friends and even family, but honestly, they are a special risk one must consider. I’d like to think that what happened to Cohen only happens once in a million cases. However, though I’m young enough to be Leonard Cohen’s grandson, I have personally already seen similar things happen to people one too many times. The main problem is that we let our guard down with friends. We let them get away with things that would never fly in a strictly professional relationship. Sure, you don’t need to see the financial statements every month. Don’t worry about that large withdrawal from the account. It’s your buddy, right? You don’t even have to be in business with someone to understand how this happens. Have you ever had a close friend at work? When they’re late on an assignment, you let it slide and tell them, “Well, all right, man. It’s OK.” If it were anyone else, you’d be fuming with anger and ready to complain to the boss. I know what you’re thinking: But my money manager has been my best friend for a zillion years. He wouldn’t cheat me! Let me share another quote from Leonard Cohen on his ex-manager who was at his side for seventeen years: “She was a friend of many years, and she was accomplished at presenting herself as a trusted friend… Her mother worked in the office, and her father did my bookkeeping. Our families were close.” Want to throw another twist into the story? They were also at times lovers. I’m not telling you to fire your best friend who is managing your money. I’m simply saying don’t overlook any risks. When friends manage our money, we have a great benefit in a trusted advisor – however, that trust also opens us to an additional, different risk and can hurt us far greater than any recession. When mixing business and friendship, don’t let the friendship allow things that your professional judgment never would. We Are Under Attack By Dennis Miller, Editor of Miller’s Money Forever Like many seniors, I’m overweight. My doctor told me that a “man of my age” should not be running, but simply watching his diet and walking regularly. I have dutifully begun doing so. When I was young, I would have carried a radio; I now prefer the quiet solitude along the way. I live in a typical Florida subdivision where the developer buys a huge tract of land, develops some acreage, sells off lots to other builders, and then develops another “phase.” In the 2008 real-estate crunch, our developer got caught up in the mess and now has a phase of perfectly developed land with numbered lots staked out, roads, water, and sewer. They’re just waiting for folks to snatch them up and build a house. Over the last few years, only two homes were built in the area. There’s a huge fence at the back. On the other side is more undeveloped land, probably functioning in the same manner it has for close to a century. From the developer’s perspective, it’s a very expensive area for the residents to walk, run, and bike, or walk their dogs. From our perspective, it is like a giant running track at a local school and gets lots of adult use. Normally I take my walk after reading the morning paper, when the sun is well into the sky and the day is getting quite warm. As a result, I may find myself saying hello to one or two people, but the morning joggers are long gone. On several occasions, I’ve noticed when I get near the back fence that I’m greeted by two or three very large birds flying in circles well overhead. In our part of the world they’re called turkey vultures, and they are doggone near the size of a turkey. This morning they once again greeted me. I looked around to make sure I was alone, I then looked up into the air and shouted, “Hey guys, be patient – wait your turn, will ya!” They just kept circling, probably thinking that sooner as opposed to later, they were going to get me. As I continued my walk, I was reminded of the old cartoon in an investment article with two vultures on the top of a tree. One said to the other something like: “I’m tired of being patient. I want to go down there and make a killing!” The author went on to point out that, unless you have billions and can move a market, you have to patiently wait for Mr. Market to set the conditions where you can take advantage of a huge investment opportunity. After a few more steps, I realized that one could easily make that same cartoon with the two vultures representing governments. No longer are they satisfied to wait their turn and be patient. They want to make a killing, and they want it now. Baby boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964; there’s a population bubble moving along as the early boomers move into their retirement years. For the sake of easy math, assume they have an average life expectancy of 80 years. The government should begin to see some significant effects of them dying off during the years 2026-2044. The result will likely be some large estate taxes and reductions in Social Security and healthcare costs as the generation continues to move along the graph of life. Much like the impatient vulture, there are several actions our government is taking to snatch up a larger portion of baby boomers’ nest eggs in taxes before we all kick the bucket – some taxes are hidden, some more aggressive. Pure magic I first observed this during the Carter administration. Our country experienced horribly high inflation. In an effort to soothe seniors, it passed a law indexing future Social Security payments to inflation. At the time, Social Security benefits were not subject to federal income tax. Much like watching a magician, you always need to be watching the other hand. It was not long after that another law was passed taxing a portion of your Social Security benefits under certain conditions. Moving forward about three decades, the government still honors its obligation to raise Social Security benefits yearly in line with its published increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). In 2013 Social security recipients are scheduled to receive a cost-of-living adjustment of 1.7%. Several articles also mention it is the lowest increase since 1975. Most every article I have read on the subject have followed that announcement with a warning that most, if not all, of that increase will be taken back out of your Social Security check by an increase in Medicare Part B premiums. While it has not been officially announced, most articles have estimated a 7% rise in Medicare Part B premiums, three times the rate of the Social Security increase. Government magic once again; watch the other hand. With his own data on inflation, noted economist John Williams sorts though this government shell game and provides us with some interesting data at Shadow Government Statistics. On the front page of his website is a graph showing the “official,” government-reported CPI as just under 2%. Then he also provides a graph showing the inflation rate using the same calculation method that was used in 1990 – using it, the inflation rate is almost 6%. So we now have a dilemma. Do we believe the “official” government statistics or what we experience every time we go to the grocery store or the gas station to fill up the car? Like most empty-nesters, my wife and I like to go out and eat an inexpensive dinner. “Inexpensive” today would have been called “expensive” a couple of years ago – prices are going up everywhere. It doesn’t take an economist to figure that out. We side with John. So what difference does it make? How does this affect baby boomers? The “official” rate does not just affect what the government has to pay in Social Security benefits – the CPI is an important metric in many other places. If it’s lagging behind the real rate of inflation, then many more people are losing out. For example, it also is factored into the retirement benefits of federal employees. In addition, there are several other government debt obligations also tied to this Index, such as Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS). In effect, the government borrows money, and the amount of interest it has to pay is based on the CPI – and the government gets to keep score. Now, how cool is that… for them, at least? Many baby boomers have purchased TIPS with the idea that they will be protected from the worst tax of all: inflation. But if the CPI isn’t tracking inflation well, then you are slowly but surely losing ground to inflation. And the other traditional options outside TIPS aren’t a much better solution to the problem. The best rate I can find for a five-year CD is 1.5%. Unless an investor would hold that CD inside an IRA or tax-sheltered account, it would be included in your taxable income, so your net yield would be even less. Let’s get out our score card and see how that adds up for the investor. To simplify the example, let’s suppose the investor has a $100,000 CD inside a Roth IRA, so the interest is not taxed. At the end of the year, he would collect $1,500 in interest. Now if one prefers to believe the official rate of inflation of 2%, the principal would lose $2,000 in buying power minus the $1,500 interest he received, for a net loss of $500. If, however, one is more inclined to believe that the true inflation rate is 6%, he would lose $6,000 in buying power, minus the $1,500 in interest received, for a net loss of $4,500. Assuming things move at the 6% rate, at the end of the five-year period our investor would receive his $100,000 back… only it would have lost $25,700 net buying power along the way. Just for fun I went to Kelly Blue Book and priced a 2013 Ford Fusion with standard options: $22,495. So the amount of buying power lost to inflation would equal that of a pretty decent vehicle and a few months of gas. Even at a modest 2% inflation rate, our investor’s deposit would be worth $9,400 less after five years. That is why many economists call inflation the worst tax of all. But inflation index problems don’t stop with TIPS and Social Security. We are currently working on a November issue on annuities for Miller’s Money Forever. One of the first things that jumped out to me was the fact there are nearly $2 trillion in annuities currently in force, many with variable components tied to the official, government-reported CPI. The main purpose in buying an annuity is to provide money for the rest of your life. If inflation is eating up the purchasing power of the dollar, once again many baby boomers are losing ground. What about taxes? In January 2012, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report. Here is part of what it stated (emphasis mine): “Much of the projected decline in the deficit occurs because, under current law, revenues are projected to shoot up by almost $800 billion, or more than 30 percent, between 2012 and 2014 – from 16.3 percent of GDP in 2012 to 20.0 percent in 2014. That increase is mostly the result of the recent or scheduled expirations of tax provisions, such as those initially enacted in 2001, 2003, and 2009 that lower income tax rates and those that limit the number of people subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT).” We are hearing a lot in the political debates about extending the Bush tax cuts. It looks to me like both political parties are playing a political game of chicken to enhance their election chances. Both parties carry on about how important it is that they are extended. Really! Then why have they not done that or even brought it out of committee for a vote? Summary We have a government that cannot pay the bills and is in desperate need of finding tax dollars wherever it can. In addition, it owes trillions in debt that cannot be repaid. By keeping interest rates down and fiddling with the inflation statistics, it can save billions of dollars, at the expense of baby boomers, retirees, and every consumer in the United States. The government has committed to a policy of keeping interest rates down through the next few years. While that may save the government money, it has devastated seniors and savers. No longer can we count on 6% CDs. People are being forced to put their money at risk – money that has to last them for the rest of their lives. Baby boomers in their peak earning years are desperately trying to put money away for their retirement. Seniors and savers are trying to invest wisely so they can provide for themselves. Almost half of the population currently does not pay federal income tax. If a government needs money to pay for their irresponsible political promises, where do they go to get it? Where the money is – or it simply prints it on a printing press or electronically. The US government is doing all these things. My point is simple. The government is acting like a vulture – and we are its prey. It’s targeting an entire generation, licking its chops, and it can’t wait to get its claws into our wealth – it wants it now! It’s finding creative ways to extract as much wealth as it possibly can from those who have worked hard, played by the rules, lived within their means, and tried to save for their retirement years. It’s time to call it what it is: a generational war. The vultures are circling overhead. We have only two options: let them pick at us and dwindle our hard-earned savings; or we can take steps to stay one step ahead of the vultures. While maybe one day people will wake up with an outright tax revolt and send the country back on its track, in the mean time, you have to find ways to keep your standard of living from declining. When David Galland asked me to tailor a newsletter to help folks in my generation accomplish this, I jumped at the chance. While we may be getting older, we still have the ability to think rationally; plus the benefit of experience gives us even better judgment than when we were younger. For close to 40 years, I taught adults throughout the world. The phrase “continuous education” is not an option any more. For those who are successful and want to stay that way, it is just a way of life. I know that I am preaching to the choir… most everyone reading this article is likely cut from that same cloth. And finally, I want to make sure I am not misunderstood. The events I have covered are the result of both political parties’ actions over many generations. Politicians are not going to hunker down and really solve the problems our society faces until they are absolutely forced to do so by an angry population. They much prefer to kick the can down the road. Eventually our society will say, “Enough already!,” and it might not be pretty when it happens. But until then, you need to find ways to grow your assets beyond the rate of inflation – those TIPS, CDs, and inflation-indexed annuities aren’t going to do it for you. Here Come the Gold Naysayers Again By Vedran Vuk With gold prices down a little again, the same old parade of naysayers will make one more round of financial news appearances and articles. Instead of having a war of words, perhaps the best way to measure who has been right is the record of the short sellers so far over the past few years. As a result, we updated one of our charts that recently appeared in The Casey Report. It shows two things: the price of the GDX (the gold miners ETF); and the short interest on GDX as a percentage of shares outstanding. Vedran Vuk Casey Senior Analyst (Click on image to enlarge) As the chart shows, every time the short interest rises, the gold miners keep rising. In fact, the short interest has only been right once in the last five years in predicting the market’s next direction. Right before the fall 2008 crash, the short sellers got it right. But besides that, they’ve been dead wrong. What’s ironic is that even when they give up on their positions, they still get it wrong. For example, look at 2011 on the chart. As the short interest makes an enormous drop, the gold miners start to fall. In fact, the low point for GDX was just about the low point for the short interest. It’s really amazing. Regardless of the direction, the short sellers just can’t get it right. Recently, they’ve been striking out again. The short interest has finally started to climb, only to see the gold miners climbing higher with it. If you want to side with the gold naysayers, go ahead. Just be aware of their record thus far – it isn’t pretty. Friday Funnies Sending to the Wrong Email Address A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day. The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, sent the email. Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her email, expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow’s son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read: To: My Loving Wife Subject: I’ve Arrived Date: July 19, 2010 I know you’re surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I’ve just arrived and have been checked in. I’ve seen that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was. P. S. Sure is freaking hot down here!!!! A Few Pictures Lost in Translation That’s it for today. Thank you for reading and subscribing to Casey Daily Dispatch. See you next week.last_img read more

Dear Subscribers Doug and I attended the 2013 V

first_imgDear Subscribers, Doug and I attended the 2013 Vancouver Resource Investment Conference this last weekend, and had expected to have some time to sit down and record some conversations, as we often do when our paths cross. Unfortunately, we ended up spending a lot more time being interviewed on camera than we expected (and Doug got a very bad flu), so we never got a chance to sit down together for a real conversation. On the bright side – Doug always likes to look at the bright side – one of the interviews Doug gave makes for an excellent update on his thinking today. Someone had a conversation with Casey – it just wasn’t me. So we offer you Doug’s latest interview as our conversation this week. I plan to interview our energy guru for next week, to give Doug time to recover, but fear not; Doug and I will be back soon with his take on the next notable events in the passing parade. Enjoy, Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research The hottest book selling at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference was Doug Casey’s Totally Incorrect. Click here to find out why…last_img read more

When I started working for Doug Casey almost 10 ye

first_imgWhen I started working for Doug Casey almost 10 years ago, I probably knew as much about investing as the average Joe, but I now know that I knew absolutely nothing then about successful speculation. Learning from the international speculator himself—and from his business partner, David Galland, to give credit where due—was like taking the proverbial drink from a fire hose. Fortunately, I was quite thirsty. You see, just before Doug and David hired me in 2004, I’d had something of an epiphany. As a writer, most of what I was doing at the time was grant-proposal writing, asking wealthy philanthropists to support causes I believed in. After some years of meeting wealthy people and asking them for money, it suddenly dawned on me that they were nothing like the mean, greedy stereotypes the average American envisions. It’s quite embarrassing, but I have to admit that I was surprised how much I liked these “rich” people—not for what they could do for me, but for what they had done with their own lives. Most of them started with nothing and created financial empires. Even the ones who were born into wealthy families took what fortune gave them and turned it into much more. And though I’m sure the sample was biased, since I was meeting libertarian millionaires, these people accumulated wealth by creating real value that benefited those they did business with. My key observation was they were all very serious about money—not obsessed with it, but conscious of using it wisely and putting it to most efficient use. I greatly admired this; it’s what I strive for myself now. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The reason for my embarrassment is that my surprise told me something about myself; I discovered that I’d had a bad attitude about money. This may seem like a philosophical digression, but it’s an absolutely critical point. Without realizing that I’d adopted a cultural norm without conscious choice, I was like many others who believe that it is unseemly to care too much about money. I was working on saving the world, which was reward enough for me, and wanted only enough money to provide for my family. And at the same instant my surprise at liking my rich donors made me realize that—despite my decades of pro-market activism—I had been prejudiced against successful capitalists, I realized that people who thought the way I did never had very much money. It seems painfully obvious in hindsight. If thinking about money and exerting yourself to earn more of it makes you pinch your nose in disgust, how can you possibly be effective at doing so? Well, you can’t. I’m convinced that while almost nobody intends to be poor, this is why so many people are. They may want the benefits of being rich, but they actually don’t want to be rich and have a great mental aversion to thinking about money and acting in ways that will bring more of it into their lives. So, in May of 2004, I decided to get serious about money. I liked my rich friends and admired them all greatly, but I didn’t see any of them as superhuman. There was no reason I could not have done what any of them had done, if I’d had the same willingness to do the work they did to achieve success. Lo and behold, it was two months later that Doug and David offered me a job at Casey Research. That’s not magic, nor coincidence; if it hadn’t been Casey, I would have found someone else to learn from. The important thing is that had the offer come two months sooner, being a champion of noble causes and not a money-grubbing financier, I would have turned it down. I’m still a champion of noble causes, but how things have changed since I enrolled in “Casey U” and got serious about learning how to put my money to work for me, instead of me having to always work for money! Instead of asking people for donations, I’m now the one writing checks (which I believe will get much larger in the not-too-distant future). I can tell you this is much more fun. How did I do it? I followed Doug’s advice, speculated alongside him—and took profits with him. Without getting into the details, I can say I had some winning investments early on. I went long during the crash of 2008 and used the proceeds to buy property in 2010. I took profits on the property last year and bought the same stocks I was recommending in the International Speculator last fall, close to what now appears to have been another bottom. In the interim, I’ve gone from renting to being a homeowner. I’ve gone from being an investment virgin to being one of those expert investors you occasionally see on TV. I’ve gone from a significant negative net worth to a significant nest egg… which I am happily working on increasing. And I want to help all our readers do the same. Not because all we here at Casey Research care about is money, but because accumulating wealth creates value, as Doug teaches us. It’s impossible, of course, to communicate all I’ve learned over my years with Doug in a simple article like this. I’m sure I’ll write a book on it someday—perhaps after the current gold cycle passes its coming manic peak. Still, I can boil what I’ve learned from Doug down to a few “secrets” that can help you as they have me. I urge you to think of these as a study guide, if you will, not a complete set of instructions. As you read the list below, think about how you can learn more about each secret and adapt it to your own most effective use. Secret #1: Contrarianism takes courage. Everyone knows the essential investment formula: “Buy low, sell high,” but it is so much easier said than done, it might as well be a secret formula. The way to really make it work is to invest in an asset or commodity that people want and need but that for reasons of market cyclicality or other temporary factors, no one else is buying. When the vast majority thinks something necessary is a bad investment, you want to be a buyer—that’s what it means to be a contrarian. Obviously, if this were easy, everyone would do it, and there would be no such thing as a contrarian opportunity. But it is very hard for most people to think independently enough to risk hard-won cash in ways others think is mistaken or too dangerous. Hence, fortune favors the bold. Secret #2: Success takes discipline. It’s not just a matter of courage, of course; you can bravely follow a path right off a cliff if you’re not careful. So you have to have a game plan for risk mitigation. You have to expect market volatility and turn it to your advantage. And you’ll need an exit strategy. The ways a successful speculator needs discipline are endless, but the most critical of all is to employ smart buying and selling tactics, so you don’t get goaded into paying too much or spooked into selling for too little. Secret #3: Analysis over emotion. This may seem like an obvious corollary to the above, but it’s a point well worth stressing on its own. To be a successful speculator does not require being an emotionless robot, but it does require abiding by reason at times when either fear or euphoria tempt us to veer from our game plans. When a substantial investment in a speculative pick tanks—for no company-specific reason—the sense of gut-wrenching fear is very real. Panic often causes investors to sell at the very time they should be backing up the truck for more. Similarly, when a stock is on a tear and friends are congratulating you on what a genius you are, the temptation to remain fully exposed—or even take on more risk in a play that is no longer undervalued—can be irresistible. But to ignore the numbers because of how you feel is extremely risky and leads to realizing unnecessary losses and letting terrific gains slip through your fingers. Secret #4: Trust your gut. Trusting a gut feeling sounds contradictory to the above, but it’s really not. The point is not to put feelings over logic, but to listen to what your feelings tell you—particularly about company people you meet and their words in press releases. “People” is the first of Doug Casey’s famous Eight Ps of Resource Stock Evaluation, and if a CEO comes across like a used-car salesman, that is telling you something. If a press release omits critical numbers or seems to be gilding the lily, that, too, tells you something. The more experience you accumulate in whatever sector you focus on, the more acute your intuitive “radar” becomes: listen to it. There’s nothing more frustrating than to take a chance on a story that looked good on paper but that your gut was warning you about, and then the investment disappoints. Kicking yourself is bad for your knees. Secret #5: Assume Bulshytt. As a speculator, investor, or really anyone who buys anything, you have to assume that everyone in business has an angle. Their interests may coincide with your own, but you can’t assume that. It’s vital to keep in mind whom you are speaking with and what their interest might be. This applies to even the most honest people in mining, which is such a difficult business, no mine would ever get built if company CEOs put out a press release every time they ran into a problem. A mine, from exploration to production to reclamation, is a nonstop flow of problems that need solving. But your brokers want to make commissions, your conference organizers want excitement, your bullion dealers want volume, etc. And, yes, your newsletter writers want to eat as well; ask yourself who pays them and whether their interests are aligned with yours or the companies they cover. (Bulshytt is not a typo, but a reference to Neal Stephenson’s brilliant novel, Anathem, which defines the term, briefly, as words, phrases, or even entire books or speeches that are misleading or empty of meaning.) Secret #6: The trend is your friend. No one can predict the future, but anyone who applies him- or herself diligently enough can identify trends in the world that will have predictable consequences and outcomes. If you identify a trend that is real—or that at least has an overwhelming amount of evidence in its favor—it can serve as both compass and chart, keeping you on course regardless of market chaos, irrational investors, and the ever-present flood of bulshytt. Knowing that you are betting on a trend that makes great sense and is backed by hard data also helps maintain your courage. Remember; prices may fluctuate, but price and value are not the same thing. If you are right about the trend, it will be your friend. Also, remember that it’s easier to be right about the direction of a trend than its timing. Secret #7: Only speculate with money you can afford to lose. This is a logical corollary to the above. If you bet the farm or gamble away your children’s college tuition on risky speculations—and only relatively risky investments have the potential to generate the extraordinary returns that justify speculating in the first place—it will be almost impossible to maintain your cool and discipline when you need it. As Doug likes to say; it’s better to risk 10% of your capital shooting for 100% gains than to risk 100% of your capital shooting for 10% gains. Secret #8: Stack the odds in your favor. Given the risks inherent in speculating for extraordinary gains, you have to stack the odds in your favor. If you can’t, don’t play. There are several ways to do this, including betting on People with proven track records, buying when market corrections put companies on sale way below any objective valuation, and participating in private placements. The most critical may be to either conduct the due diligence most investors are too busy to be bothered with, or find someone you can trust to do it for you. Secret #9: You can’t kiss all the girls. This is one of Doug’s favorite sayings, and though seemingly obvious, it’s one of the main pitfalls for unwary speculators. When you encounter a fantastic story or a stock going vertical and it feels like it’s getting away from you, it can be very, very difficult to do all the things I mention above. I can tell you from firsthand experience, it’s agonizing to identify a good bet, arrive too late, and see the ship sail off to great fortune—without you. But if you let that push you into paying too much for your speculative picks, you can wipe out your own gains, even if you’re betting on the right trends. You can’t kiss all the girls, and it only leads to trouble if you try. Fortunately, the universe of possible speculations is so vast, it simply doesn’t matter if someone else beats you to any particular one; there will always be another to ask for the next dance. Bide your time, and make your move only when all of the above is on your side. Final Point These are the principles I live and breathe every day as a speculator. The devil, of course, is in the details, which is why I’m happy to be the editor of the Casey International Speculator, where I can cover the ins and outs of all of the above in depth. Right now, we’re looking at an opportunity the likes of which we haven’t seen in years: thanks to the downturn in gold—which now appears to have subsided—junior gold stocks are still drastically undervalued. My team and I recently identified a set of junior mining companies that we believe have what it takes to potentially become 10-baggers, generating 1,000%+ gains. If you don’t yet subscribe, I encourage you to try the International Speculator risk-free today and get our detailed 10-Bagger List for 2014 that tells you exactly why we think these companies will be winners. Click here to learn more about the 10-Bagger List for 2014. Whatever you do, the above distillation of Doug’s experience and wisdom should help you in your own quest.last_img read more

Walmart Is Using AI to Prevent Checkout Theft

first_imgArtificial Intelligence Walmart Is Using AI to Prevent Checkout Theft Over 1,000 stores are using computer vision tech to watch checkouts and ensure no item ever goes unscanned. Next Article Add to Queue Senior Editor In a bid to cut down on theft and mistakes, Walmart is using artificial intelligence hooked up to cameras monitoring checkouts to ensure every item in your cart is scanned and paid for. This is already happening at over 1,000 Walmart stores.As Business Insider reports, the system is known internally as Missed Scan Detection and uses computer vision to monitor both manned and self-checkout areas at each store. The system is able to detect when an item goes unscanned, or is mis-scanned, and reports the fault to a checkout attendant who can then approach and rectify the problem.According to Walmart spokeswoman LeMia Jenkins, “Walmart is making a true investment to ensure the safety of our customers and associates … Over the last three years, the company has invested over half a billion dollars in an effort to prevent, reduce and deter crime in our stores and parking lots. We are continuously investing in people, programs and technology to keep our stores and communities safe.”When store inventory disappears without being paid for it’s known as “shrink.” This can happen through theft or mistakes and retailers are obviously very keen to reduce it as much as possible. If Walmart experiences the average for US retailer shrink rates, then it’s losing roughly $4 billion a year. With that in mind, you can see why heavy investment and embracing AI to reduce shrink is worthwhile for the company.One of the companies supplying Walmart with the computer vision tech required to make checkout monitoring possible is Everseen. According to Everseen CEO Alan O’Herlihy, “People make mistakes … In terms of shrinkage, or loss, that’s the main source.” And if you’re wondering which item causes the most problems, it’s milk. O’Herlihy explains, “People find it hard to scan milk … Sometimes they get frustrated and they just don’t scan it.” Image credit: via PC Mag Matthew Humphriescenter_img June 24, 2019 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business This story originally appeared on PCMag 2 min read Register Now »last_img read more

Opioid overdose epidemic likely to increase in the US in coming years

first_img Source:https://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=2351 Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 3 2019A study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute for Technology Assessment projects that the opioid overdose epidemic in the U.S. is likely to increase in coming years, and that measures based on restricting access to prescription opioids will have a minimal impact in reducing overdose deaths. In their report published in JAMA Network Open, the team notes that the changing nature of the epidemic – which is now driven by the use of illicit opioids like heroin and fentanyl – has reduced the potential impact of programs targeting prescription opioids.”The opioid epidemic started with a sharp increase in opioid prescriptions for pain in the 1990s; but since 2010 the crisis has shifted, with a leveling off of deaths due to prescription opioid overdoses and an increase in overdose deaths due to heroin,” says Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD, of the MGH Institute for Technology Assessment (MGH-ITA), corresponding author of the report. “In the past five years, deaths have accelerated with the introduction of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl into the opioid supply, leading to a continuing increase in overdose deaths at time when the supply of prescription opioids is decreasing.”Chhatwal’s team used data from sources such as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop the Opioid Policy Model, reflecting the trajectory of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. from 2002 to 2015. They then used that model to make projections for probable outcomes from 2016 to 2025.Under a status quo scenario, in which no further reduction in the misuse of prescription opioids occurs in coming years, the model projects that the annual number of opioid overdose deaths will increase from 33,100 in 2015 to 81,700 in 2025, a 147 percent increase. The model also predicts that, during those years, a total of around 700,000 people will die from an opioid overdose, 80 percent from illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl. The researchers also estimate that, by 2025, half of all new opioid users will begin with illicit rather than prescription drugs. In all scenarios tested, interventions directed towards reducing misuse of prescription opioids were projected to decrease overdose deaths by only 3 to 5 percent.Related StoriesBirth, child outcomes linked with maternal opioid use during pregnancyResearchers survey orthopedic providers to understand factors that drive opioid prescribing practicesPatients taking opioids for chronic pain could face health care access problems”The ongoing opioid epidemic involves several interrelated forces. Systems modeling, the mathematical approach used in our analysis, allows us to better understand the underlying dynamics and to quantify the impact of different interventions,” says Qiushi Chen, PhD, lead author, an assistant professor in the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (https://www.ime.psu.edu/) at The Pennsylvania State University, and an affiliated researcher at the MGH ITA.Co-author Marc Larochelle, MD, MPH, of the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center, an assistant professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, says, “This study demonstrates that initiatives focused on the prescription opioid supply are insufficient to bend the curve of opioid overdose deaths in the short and medium term. We need policy, public health and health care delivery efforts to amplify harm reduction efforts and access to evidence-based treatment.”Chhatwal adds, “If we rely solely on controlling the supply of prescription opioids, we will fail miserably at stemming the opioid overdose crisis. Illicit opioids now cause the majority of overdose deaths, and such deaths are predicted to increase by 260 percent – from 19,000 to 68,000 – between 2015 and 2025. A multipronged approach – including strategies to identify those with opioid use disorder, improved access to medications like methadone and buprenorphine, and expansion of harm reduction services such as the overdose-reversal drug naloxone – will be required to reduce the rate of opioid overdose deaths.” Chhatwal is an assistant professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.​last_img read more

Sites want your anonymized social media data

first_imgSocial media sites’ responses to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and new European privacy regulations have given users much more control over who can access their data, and for what purposes. To me, as a social media user, these are positive developments: It’s scary to think what these platforms could do with the troves of data available about me. But as a researcher, increased restrictions on data sharing worry me. Explore further Balancing personal privacy with detailed insights. Credit: Dawn Hudson/Shutterstock.com This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. 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. Citation: Sites want your (anonymized) social media data (2018, June 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-sites-anonymized-social-media.htmlcenter_img Provided by The Conversation That’s the point of marketing, of course – but social media is different because the information is about me specifically. And using that information can affect much more than what food I buy, such as whom I vote for. However, as a researcher in finance, I also recognize that the same data can be used to help us understand collective behaviors that are otherwise impossible to explain.Some of my research, for example, explores short-term trends in stock prices. Financial experts have found that over the long term, a company’s stock prices are driven by the firm’s future value. Yet over the course of any single day, stock prices can vary widely. Many finance researchers and financial analysts will tell you that these movements are meaningless noise, seemingly random pieces of information about companies influencing investors’ perceptions and causing stock prices to vary constantly.But by analyzing social media data, I can actually understand what that noise is, where it comes from and what it means. For instance, what people write on Twitter about the new iPhone will affect Apple’s stock price, sometimes within minutes – but even over the course of days. The speed of the effect depends on the importance or prominence of the person sending the tweet, as well as how quickly others – including the media – pick up the message. Results from my research can help investors fine-tune when and how they enter the market. If, for example, social media users believe that the newest iPhone will not be as good as expected, investors might hold off on their investment in Apple stock. That could free them up to invest in something else with better buzz, in hopes of higher returns.Anonymizing dataIt’s true – and concerning – that some presumably unethical people have tried to use social media data for their own benefit. But the data are not the actual problem, and cutting researchers’ access to data is not the solution. Doing so would also deprive society of the benefits of social media analysis.Fortunately, there is a way to resolve this dilemma. Anonymization of data can keep people’s individual privacy intact, while giving researchers access to collective data that can yield important insights.There’s even a strong model for how to strike that balance efficiently: the U.S. Census Bureau. For decades, that government agency has collected extremely personal data from households all across the country: ages, employment status, income levels, Social Security numbers and political affiliations. The results it publishes are very rich, but also not traceable to any individual.It often is technically possible to reverse anonymity protections on data, using multiple pieces of anonymized information to identify the person they all relate to. The Census Bureau takes steps to prevent this.For instance, when members of the public access census data, the Census Bureau restricts information that is likely to identify specific individuals, such as reporting there is just one person in a community with a particularly high- or low-income level.For researchers the process is somewhat different, but provides significant protections both in law and in practice. Scholars have to pass the Census Bureau’s vetting process to make sure they are legitimate, and must undergo training about what they can and cannot do with the data. The penalties for violating the rules include not only being barred from using census data in the future, but also civil fines and even criminal prosecution.Even then, what researchers get comes without a name or Social Security number. Instead, the Census Bureau uses what it calls “protected identification keys,” a random number that replaces data that would allow researchers to identify individuals. Each person’s data is labeled with his or her own identification key, allowing researchers to link information of different types. For instance, a researcher wanting to track how long it takes people to complete a college degree could follow individuals’ education levels over time, thanks to the identification keys.Social media platforms could implement a similar anonymization process instead of increasing hurdles – and cost – to access their data. They could assign users identification numbers instead of sharing their real identities, and could agree to government regulations defining who could get access to what data, including real penalties for violating the rules. Then researchers could discover the insights offered by social media use, just like they do with census data, without threatening people’s privacy. I am among the many scholars who depend on data from social media to gain insights into people’s actions. In a rush to protect individuals’ privacy, I worry that an unintended casualty could be knowledge about human nature. My most recent work, for example, analyzes feelings people express on Twitter to explain why the stock market fluctuates so much over the course of a single day. There are applications well beyond finance. Other scholars have studied mass transit rider satisfaction, emergency alert systems’ function during natural disasters and how online interactions influence people’s desire to lead healthy lifestyles.This poses a dilemma – not just for me personally, but for society as a whole. Most people don’t want social media platforms to share or sell their personal information, unless specifically authorized by the individual user. But as members of a collective society, it’s useful to understand the social forces at work influencing everyday life and long-term trends. Before the recent crises, Facebook and other companies had already been making it hard for legitimate researchers to use their data, including by making it more difficult and more expensive to download and access data for analysis. The renewed public pressure for privacy means it’s likely to get even tougher.Using social media data in researchIt’s definitely alarming to consider the prospect that people or companies might analyze my data and find ways to influence me to make decisions I might not otherwise – or that are even counter to my own best interests. I need think only of the number of times I’ve seen a TV ad for pizza during a sporting event and ordered a pizza. Facebook ‘not aware of any abuse’ of data by phone makerslast_img read more