5 Sep

US war on Huawei How careers of regular employees are hit

first_imgHuawei has released a new video showing its new fast charging technology, is the company prepping up something new for MWC 2018?ReutersWho are the victims of the blistering trade war between the US and China? Of course US importers, hordes of Chinese firms and market participants across the world. But the blacklisting of Huawei by President Donald Trump showed the entente has many more levels.Even as Huawei is reeling from the impact, the latest reports also show that regular workers are also caught in the crossfire. A move by the world’s biggest technical professional organisation shows that even high profile employees from the banned or blacklisted companies can become pariahs overnight.New York-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has decided to ban employees of Huawei from participating in the peer review of research papers.Chinese social media platforms are seething in anger over the move, which singles out employees of a company. The Chinese are accusing the US and organisations in its influence of “violating academic freedom’ and being anti-science”, the South China Morning Post reported. Huawei Technologies’ founder and Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei.ReutersThe IEEE move goes far beyond the basic line of science and technology and challenges the professional integrity of the employees, said Zhang Haixia, a professor with the Institute of Microelectronics at Peking University.IEEE defends it s decision saying it needs to comply with legal obligations under the laws of the US. Huawei, the Chinese telecommunication giant at the centre of the controversy, said it did not have any comment on the development.Sanctions and threat of blacklisting have been par for the course in the China-US trade stalemate over the years but Donald Trump took a leap into unfamiliar terrain by giving teeth to the existing US provisions when he announced the blacklisting of Huawei.National security threatThe Chinese company, even as it smarted under the whipping from the US, suddenly realised that global behemoths like Google, Microsoft, Intel and Qualcomm followed through, enforcing a suspension of business dealings with the Chinese company.With the latest reports it’s clear that professionals are also becoming the collateral damage. Trump signed an executive order two weeks ago to bar US firms from installing the foreign-made telecom equipment which poses a national security threat. China threatened retaliation, saying it will defend rights and interests of its companies. The clampdown on Huawei came at a time when the trade war between two of the world’s largest economies had reached a high point. Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:57Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:56?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Huawei caught between US-China conflictlast_img read more

1 Sep

Baltimores Nancy D Has Trumps Number

first_imgBy Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, syoes@afro.com“I’ve watched every State of the Union Address since I graduated high school in 1983. But, not this year,” is what I wrote in this column Feb. 3, 2018. And like Donald Trump’s first State of the Union, I did not watch his pernicious prime time broadcast from the Oval Office on Jan. 8, regarding ostensibly immigration.Trump has been backed into a corner like an obtuse rat; he shot off his mouth during his meeting on Dec. 11, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi, who is once again the Speaker of the House of Representatives.“I will take the mantle,” spewed Trump in the Oval Office as members of the media recorded every word, hand gesture and facial contortion of the 45th president and the two Democratic leaders. “The last time you shut it down, it didn’t work. I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security.”After nearly three weeks (and counting) of the Trump government shutdown, which adversely affects more than 800,000 federal workers (who won’t get paid on Jan. 11), Trump is beginning to squirm on the hot seat. And true to form, the 45th president  has shape-shifted from rat to weasel in an attempt to shift blame for the Trump shut down to the Democrats. So, hundreds of thousands of federal workers who haven’t been paid since before Christmas, who like many other Americans are struggling to make ends meet, won’t get paid until at the earliest Jan. 25.Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)Chaos and acrimony have been mainstays of this White House, but now millions will be directly and indirectly impacted by the Trump shutdown, all because of a fake border crisis, hitched to an imbecile’s campaign promise.All of the networks opted to carry what turned out to be Trump’s wall of lies and for what purpose exactly?Trump has told about 7,000 lies in two years according to the Washington Post and the consensus of most following his nine-minute speech was that nothing new was revealed, just more half-truths and whole lies. He has delivered more expansive versions of his xenophobic vitriol hundreds of times since he first descended the escalator in Trump Tower June 16, 2015.Maybe the networks should have called B.S. on Trump, just as Nancy D of Baltimore has done.Early in December as it seemed clear a second speakership was imminent for Pelosi, the Baltimore native began her methodical evisceration of the besieged 45th president.“It’s like a manhood thing with him,” Pelosi said matter-of-factly, following the meeting on Dec. 11 when she and Schumer clowned Trump and he `took the mantle’ of the shutdown. “As if manhood can be associated with him.”Trump has attacked thousands (literally) of people via Twitter for the slightest perceived disparagement, but when Pelosi attacked his manhood Trump didn’t tweet a mumbling word. The bumbling president has good reason to be reticent.There is no American politician who possesses more guile than Pelosi; the daughter of Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., (the 39th Mayor of Baltimore, 1947-1959) and the sister of Thomas D’Alesandro III, (the 43rd Mayor of Baltimore, 1967-1971). American big city machine politics is literally in her blood and she took her Mobtown skill set and blazed a pioneering pathway of her own. She moved to San Francisco in the 1970’s and worked her way through the California political menagerie; she is currently the 17 term congresswoman representing California’s 12th congressional district, which consists mostly of the city and county of San Francisco.On Jan. 3, Pelosi, the first and only woman to be elected to Speaker of the House in history, seized the House gavel for the second time. It is the first time that feat has been accomplished since the legendary Sam Rayburn of Texas did it in 1955. She has pledged Trump won’t get “one dollar” for his fanciful wall.So, it is Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi of Baltimore and her unparalleled political pedigree and grit, versus Donald John Trump; the intellectually incurious (a “f—ing moron” in the words of Trump’s former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson), lazy, unfocused, flim-flam real estate developer and brand huckster from Queens.My money and the hopes of millions are riding on Nancy D.Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Baltimore editor and the author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities.last_img
31 Aug

Big snub Only two Minister of State slots for Bengal BJP

first_imgNEW DELHI: With BJP’s sterling show in Bengal, it was widely speculated that it would get at least a cabinet berth in Modi’s new cabinet. However, it ended up with two ministers of state. Babul Supriyo, the singer- turned politician who fended off actress Moon Moon Sen in Asansol returns as a minister of state. Debasree Chaudhuri the BJP MP from Raiganj was also inducted as an MoS in the Modi cabinet. This is being viewed by political analysts as a royal snub to the BJP party cadre in Bengal. The BJP increased its tally in Bengal from two in 2014 to an impressive 18 seats this time around.last_img read more

30 Aug

IBM Looking at Adopting Bitcoin Technology for Major Currencies

first_img 4 min read This story originally appeared on Reuters International Business Machines Corp is considering adopting the underlying technology behind bitcoin, known as the “blockchain,” to create a digital cash and payment system for major currencies, according to a person familiar with the matter.The objective is to allow people to transfer cash or make payments instantaneously using this technology without a bank or clearing party involved, saving on transaction costs, the person said. The transactions would be in an open ledger of a specific country’s currency such as the dollar or euro, said the source, who declined to be identified because of a lack of authorization to discuss the project in public.The blockchain – a ledger, or list, of all of a digital currency’s transactions – is viewed as bitcoin’s main technological innovation, allowing users to make payments anonymously, instantly, and without government regulation.Rather than stored on a separate server and controlled by an individual, company, or bank, the ledger is open and accessible to all participants in the bitcoin network.The proposed digital currency system would work in a similar way.”When somebody wants to transact in the system, instead of you trying to acquire a bitcoin, you simply say, here are some U.S. dollars,” the source said. “It’s sort of a bitcoin but without the bitcoin.”IBM is one of a number of tech companies looking to expand the use of the blockchain technology beyond bitcoin, the digital currency launched six years ago that has spurred a following among investors and tech enthusiasts.The company has been in informal discussions about a blockchain-tied cash system with a number of central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, the source said. If central banks approve the concept, IBM will build the secure and scalable infrastructure for the project.IBM media relations office did not respond to Reuters emails about this story and the Fed declined to comment.However, there are signs that central banks are already thinking about the innovations that could arise through digital currency systems. The Bank of England, in a report in September 2014, described the blockchain’s open ledger as a “significant innovation” that could transform the financial system more generally.Instead of having ledgers maintained by banks that act as a record of an individual’s transactions, this kind of open ledger would be viewable by everyone using the system, and would use an agreed-upon process for entering transactions into the system.The project is still in the early stages and constantly evolving, the source said. It is also unclear how concerns about money-laundering and criminal activities that have hamstrung bitcoin.Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said.”These coins will be part of the money supply,” the source said. “It’s the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain.”According to the plans, the digital currency could be linked to a person’s bank account, possibly using a wallet software that would integrate that account with the proposed digital currency ledger.”We are at a tipping point right now. It’s making a lot more sense for some type of digital cash in the system, that not only saves our government money, but also is a lot more convenient and secure for individuals to use,” the source said.(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by David Gaffen and Tomasz Janowski) March 13, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

26 Aug

Google Cloud releases a beta version of SparkR job types in Cloud

first_imgGoogle released a beta version of SparkR jobs on Cloud Dataproc, a cloud service that lets you run Apache Spark and Apache Hadoop in a cost-effective manner, earlier this week. SparkR Jobs will build R support on GCP. It is a package that delivers a lightweight front-end to use Apache Spark from R. This new package supports distributed machine learning using MLlib. It can be used to process against large cloud storage datasets and for performing work that is computationally intensive. Moreover, this new package also allows the developers to use “dplyr-like operations” i.e. a powerful R-package, which transforms and summarizes tabular data with rows and columns on datasets stored in Cloud Storage. The R programming language is very efficient when it comes to building data analysis tools and statistical apps. With cloud computing all the rage, even newer opportunities have opened up for developers working with R. Using GCP’s Cloud Dataproc Jobs API, it gets easier to submit SparkR jobs to a cluster without any need to open firewalls for accessing web-based IDEs or SSH onto the master node. With the API, it is easy to automate the repeatable R statistics that users want to be running on their datasets. Additionally, GCP for R also helps avoid the infrastructure barriers that put a limit on understanding data. This includes selecting datasets that need to be sampled due to compute or data size limits. GCP also allows you to build large-scale models that help analyze the datasets of sizes that would previously require big investments in high-performance computing infrastructures. For more information, check out the official Google Cloud blog post. Read Next Google expands its machine learning hardware portfolio with Cloud TPU Pods (alpha) to effectively train and deploy TensorFlow machine learning models on GCP Google Cloud Storage Security gets an upgrade with Bucket Lock, Cloud KMS keys and more Google Cloud’s Titan and Android Pie come together to secure users’ data on mobile deviceslast_img read more

10 Aug

Antonini has announced the release of Anniversary

first_imgAntonini has announced the release of Anniversary Dark, a new limited-edition take on their spectacular Anniversary collection.The two colors of the original collection, which was created to mark Antonini’s 90 years crafting fine jewelry, have been enhanced with dark rhodium-plated 18K gold, an all-new, unique hue created especially for the company.The same rounded and polished shapes of the white gold pendants take on an intriguing nocturnal nuance that brings out the diamonds’ glittering shade of white. The vintage finish—done by hand on each jewel—heightens the sense of mystery by making the metal impossibly smooth.This Anniversary Dark edition, limited to just 150 pieces, will be available only at select prestigious boutiques around the world.Visit www.antonini.it.last_img read more

7 Aug

Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch A stronge

first_imgAnke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de PoschA stronger advertising market in Germany and digital growth helped keep RTL Group’s top line more or less stable for the first quarter. Revenues were down slightly from €1.313 billion to €1.308 billion, with a higher sales at RTL Deutschland being offset by lower revenue at France’s M6 Group and production outfit FremantleMedia.Digital revenues were up 66% to €88 million from a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.RTL’s EBITDA for the period was stable at €247 million, while net profit was up 16.5% to €106 million.In digital RTL Group’s catch-up TV services, websites and MCNs attracted a total 18.7 billion online video views, up 160% year-on-year. FremantleMedia’s more than 220 YouTube channels attracted 2.7 billion views, up 69% year-on-year.Other highlights of the quarter included the launch of three new pay channels by RTL Hrvatska in Croatia.On the production front, FremantleMedia’s  EBITA decreased to €3 million from €9 million, mainly due to lower revenue caused by phasing effects on the delivery of programmes at FremantleMedia North America and in Europe.The company noted that FremantleMedia’s 25% stake in startup Corona TV would help the group build its scripted content activity. Other highlights included its joint North American licensing deal for French drama The Returned with A+E and its April agreement to create formats for the Chinese market with Shanghai Media Group’s BesTV and China Media Capital.Also in production, RTL noted that in April, NBC Universal International Television Production, RTL Deutschland and TF1 entered into an international coproduction agreement to produce original US-style TV procedural dramas, which it said is the first time that European broadcasters have partnered with a major US media company in a deal of this type.“Overall, we had a successful start into the year and slightly increased our operating profit EBITA, mainly driven by another strong performance from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland,” said co-CEOs Anke Schäferkordt and Guillaume de Posch.“During the first months of the year we have been further reinforcing our three strategic pillars: broadcast, content and digital.”The pair noted that RTL had boosted M6’s digital development with the acquisition of Oxygem in France, and that the group had invested in digital capability with  a minority investment in the start-up Clypd in the US, complementing the growing business of SpotXchange by adding capabilities to place spots into linear TV programmatically. “Additionally, FremantleMedia invested in the newly launched Corona TV to strengthen its scripted pipeline with projects that will have cinematic feel. BroadbandTV used funding provided by RTL Group to acquire the leading kids content producer and publisher on Youtube, YoBoHo. We still have the capacity to explore more investment opportunities in the rest of the year based on our very healthy financial position. We will continue to do so throughout 2015, applying our strict investment criteria to generate profitable growth,” the pair said.De Posch and Schäferkordt confirmed the group’s outlook for the full year 2015 with the expectation that total revenue and EBITA will be broadly stable.last_img read more

4 Aug

The wide array of optimistic extremes in sentiment

first_img The wide array of optimistic extremes in sentiment measures includes several readings that exceed the extremes of 2007, when the Dow made its previous high. With a finishing structure that Elliott Wave Principle describes as occurring at “the termination points of larger patterns,” the market is ripe for a decline of historic magnitude. The sudden, loud chorus of market bulls, which has grown to a full-blown crescendo, fits perfectly with the terminal stages of a major advance. This chart shows the stunning breadth of optimism extending to every class of investor. The first indicator (second graph) on the chart shows the percentage commitment to equities in the portfolios of members in the National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM). The latest reading reveals an all-time high equity exposure of 104%, which means managers are in a leveraged long position for the first time in the seven-year history of the survey. The reading far surpasses the 83% level, which occurred at the October 2007 all-time high in the Dow. A separate BofA Merrill Lynch survey of 254 fund managers confirms that money managers’ “appetite for risk in their portfolio” is at its highest in nine years. “An increasing number judge equities as undervalued – particularly in Europe.” They soon will become even more “undervalued,” as the Euro STOXX 50 Index has traced out five waves down from its January 30 countertrend rally high, indicating that Europe’s bear trend has returned. There’s more: Even though Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Italy are de facto bankrupt, confidence is suddenly so high in that region that Europe’s junk-bond yields relative to investment-grade debt have collapsed to the lowest premium since the start of the global credit crisis. It is an astonishing and historic display of optimism relative to a collapsing economic reality. The second indicator shows a major upswing in bullishness among options traders via the Credit Suisse Fear Barometer Index (the name is misleading since a rising index means less fear). This index measures trader sentiment by comparing the cost of three-month out-of-the-money calls on the S&P 500 relative to puts of the same duration. The recent extreme of 33.32 on January 25 is the highest in the history of the indicator, which goes all the way back to November 1994. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), which tracks the level of fear and complacency using the premium paid for at-the-money S&P options, declined to a low of 12.29 on January 18, its lowest reading – indicating the most complacency – since April 2007, just prior to the major top in the financials. The third indicator shows a new optimistic extreme among investment advisors. The 15-day average of Market Vane’s Bullish Consensus rose to 68.2% in February, its highest reading since June 2007. The bottom graph plots the total assets in the government money-market funds at Guggenheim (formerly Rydex), showing that the public is likewise complacent about the potential for a market decline. We’ve inverted the totals to align them with the trend in stocks. When people are highly confident that stock and bond prices will continue to rise, they see little need to hold money aside in money-market funds and instead load up on financial assets. The total holdings in Guggenheim’s money-market funds just dropped to their lowest level ever, reflecting a supreme confidence by investors and a full embrace of stocks and bonds. At the opposite extreme, corporate insiders – investors who are presumably privy to the future potential of their companies – are dumping shares into the market at a furious pace. According to Vickers Weekly Insider Report, among NYSE stocks there were 9.2 insider shares sold for every share bought over the previous week. The last time the ratio of sales-to-buys was higher was in July 2011, just before the Dow declined 18% over the following four months. As we’ve said previously, there may be many reasons why an insider sells shares, but one of them is not because they think their price is going higher. Taken together, the breadth of extremes shown on the chart indicates that stocks are not making a short-term top: these measures are all greater than at any time since at least 2007. This is a rare alignment that confirms this is an even more important, and more bearish, juncture than 2007. You have just read an excerpt from State of the Global Markets – 2013 Edition, a report from Robert Prechter’s Elliott Wave International. The full report, including big-picture analysis on US, Asian, and European stocks as well as gold, silver, oil, and more, is available for free for the next week. Follow this link to download the full 39-page report now – it’s free. Dan Steinhart Managing Editor, The Casey Report Excerpt from The State of the Global Markets, Elliott Wave International’s 2013 Global Forecast Part I: The Global-Warming Panic Is a Distant Memory By Robert Prechter, editor of The Elliott Wave Theorist A non-event that recently had the media buzzing was the dearth of discussion of the global-warming issue during the presidential debates, not to mention nearly everywhere else on earth over the past year. This is another social change predicted in The Elliott Wave Theorist in the face of vicious opposition. This excerpt highlights the key points: Sometimes scientists herd as much as investors do, and this study [by NASA] appears to be a case of extreme expression following a long-established trend. I am not a climatologist, but I am a student of manias and herding, and that is what the global-warming craze appears to be about. My purpose here is not primarily to make a case against man-made global warming. My primary intent is to take a look at the question from the point of view of a social psychologist to decide whether it appears to be the result of hysteria. The points above establish that there are two sides to the global-warming question. Yet only one has captured the public’s imagination (and I choose that word consciously). The global-warming scare is highly reminiscent of the Alar scare, in which Congress called upon the expertise of movie stars; the ozone-depletion scare and the acid-rain scare, which have all but vanished; the claim that pesticides were making frogs lame (it turned out to be a virus); the rash of reports of devil worshippers, who were never found; the national child-care molestation hysteria, which turned out to be almost entirely contrived; the panic in Europe over poison in Coca-Cola; and any number of like manias. Hysteria often signals the end of a trend. There is powerful evidence of herding at the social level on the global-warming issue. Commentary on the subject is even selling theater tickets. And like all past social trends that were ending, there is a rush to extrapolate. The temperature data from which modelers at NASA derive their extrapolations are scant, the projection is extreme, and their tone is strident. When any writers, including scientists, extrapolate 29 years’ worth of temperature data to predict an imminent apocalypse of biblical proportions in an environment of waxing social focus, rising panic, and calls for government obstruction, one must acknowledge the likelihood of social-psychological forces behind such a report and investigate whether the data support the prediction. The crowd fearing global warming rejects as heretics professors and scientists who challenge all these methods and conclusions, whether they be at MIT or Stanford. Such rejection is akin to what happens near the end of a financial mania, such as the peak of the real estate mania [in 2005], when bears were dismissed as delusional. GW advocates told me that doubting man-made global warming is akin to denying evolution, but the GW movement has not a little taste of old-time religion in its accompanying admonition of humanity: Man is evil; he is destroying the earth; he is “fouling his own nest,” as one scientist on the Web says. Scientists are usually good at their fields but not necessarily at recognizing their own political, moral, and philosophical biases. One thoughtful scientist took issue with the term “hysteria.” But the term applies here to social activity, not the overt behavior of any particular individual. In 2005, when I was speaking about real estate hysteria and warning people against investing in property, people sporting a rather bemused expression would coolly respond, as if instructing an alien who lacked understanding of the way things worked on Earth, “They are not making any more land” and “It’s all about location.” They would say this with utmost calm. They had thought about it and sifted through the evidence. They were not hysterical but rational and thoughtful. At least, this was the appearance of behavior at the individual level. At the collective level, something else was going on. The number of people participating in the real estate market was unprecedented, and their borrowing, building, and bidding activities, collectively, were extreme. Advocates of man-made global warming may appear sober as judges individually, but they are participating in a mass movement, complete with press releases, student rallies, pop concerts, movie documentaries, and an underlying tone of moral crusade. I think the current frenzy over the subject is probably a symptom of peaking cycles in both climatic temperature and social psychology. But unfortunately 70 years from now most of us won’t be around to know the answer. What I expect, based upon observing mass movements, is that this fear, too, will go away. –The Elliott Wave Theorist, June and July 2007 That was six years ago. Recently it has come to light – from globally collected data reported by some of the very institutions that had passionately promoted the case for man-made global warming in 2007 – that the earth in fact hasn’t warmed at all since 1997. One would think the case for man-made global warming would be virtually closed from such contrary evidence and that those who feared global warming would breathe a happy sigh of relief and go home. Some of them have done just that. But proponents remain vocal. [In November] a professor in a syndicated editorial blamed the recent relative silence on the issue on “a profit-driven economic system that demands and necessitates endless growth, a global US military presence that helps facilitate it, and the ecologically rapacious consumption it entails.” Whatever your opinion of these matters, all three of them were in place during the entire period of waxing panic over the global-warming issue, negating the claim to their causing its opposite. He further charged, “In the wake of extreme drought in much of the United States, widespread wildfires in the western US, and now Hurricane Sandy, Barack Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s refusal to discuss human-induced climate change will undoubtedly go down as political recklessness of historic proportions.” If hurricanes, wildfires, and droughts were evidence of man-made climate change, man must have secretly industrialized the world millions of years ago. Archaeologists are pretty sure that didn’t happen. The main thing likely to go down as being of historic proportion is the extent of fear about global warming that held sway in 2007. I doubt it will return in our lifetimes. Further suggesting that the old trend is dead is that government, always the last institution to join a herd, is taking action. California passed a “cap and trade” law at the height of the panic in 2006 and is now implementing it. Naturally, it involves taxing people: Under the plan, the California Air Resources Board will auction off pollution permits on Wednesday called “allowances” to more than 350 businesses, including electric companies, food processors, and refineries. The board has estimated that businesses will pay a total of $964 million for allowances in fiscal year 2012-2013. (AP, 11/15) Extorting a billion dollars annually from industry will ultimately cause more pollution, as it did in communist East Germany, where air became toxic and rivers caught on fire. But California doesn’t yet shoot people trying to leave, so the first likely trend here is that businesses will accelerate their exodus out of the state. Unfortunately, there may be more action at the federal level as well. At a press conference on November 14, President Obama declared, “I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions. And as a consequence, I think we’ve got an obligation to future generations to do something about it.” (Reuters) Republican Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg likes Obama’s position on this issue so much that he endorsed the president for reelection. But Obama’s waste of billions of taxpayer dollars propping up so-called “clean energy” companies, along with whatever new taxes and regulations the feds dream up, will ultimately contribute to the trend toward national poverty, which will increase pollution, not reduce it. With any luck, the depression will distract various governments from this destructive path. But, then again, destruction is what depressions are about. Part II: The Stock Market Is Ripe for a Decline of Historic Magnitude By Steve Hochberg and Pete Kendall, editors of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast Incredibly, the DJIA rallied back to a new all-time high, a move that generated a cornucopia of ever-higher projections. “You’ll know gold sentiment is at a high when “Slime” (Time) magazine has a cover showing a golden bull tearing apart the New York Stock Exchange.” –Doug Casey The Economist, whose editors apparently don’t read Doug’s work, ran the cover below on May 11. In this case, the bull, whose smug facial expression appears to be taunting us for ever doubting that Wall Street is the most awesomest place on earth, isn’t golden. Rather, his smashing through the wall is a metaphor for stocks smashing through their nominal all-time highs, and an implicit projection that there are more gains to come. Different magazine, different asset, same idea: by the time the mainstream media adopts a narrative, it’s a good bet that whatever trend they’re celebrating has just about run its course.center_img The crowd will likely hail this cover – and those sure to follow soon in more widely distributed publications – as an “all clear” sign to jump back in to stocks if they haven’t already. But you’re probably better off doing the exact opposite: prepare for tough times by reviewing your stock portfolio and cutting loose all but the best companies. At the most basic level, Doug’s observation is a comment on human psychology. I can think of endless knocks on the mainstream media, but one role it competently fills is to reflect the prevailing psychology of the people. The bull on the cover is no exception. When making decisions, humans tend to rely on their experiences in the immediate past. Thus, while trying to decide where to invest money today, the majority peer into the rearview mirror and see nothing but gains in stocks for the four preceding years. Our brains are wired to tell us this is a good thing – that stocks are safe once again and represent an exciting opportunity to jump on a rising wave and make some money. But remember: the bull gracing the cover of The Economist is a reaction to the crowd’s bullish attitude, not a precursor to it. The crowd is mostly bullish already. Such a bullish signal will only serve to draw in the most sluggish and unaware of investors. They’re very last to get in. After their money is drawn in from the sidelines, there’s no one left to buy. Ignore crowd psychology at your own peril. Which brings me to this week’s feature, courtesy of an organization dedicated to studying the effects of crowd psychology on world events. If you’re not familiar with the Elliott Wave Theory (EWT), it’s based upon the idea that changes in crowd psychology are the dominant driver of changes in markets – more so than earnings, margins, or other fundamentals. Further, these psychological swings usually occur in measurable patterns. Thus, by studying crowd psychology, one can predict where markets may go next. There’s a strong contrarian element to EWT’s methods, such as the position that extremes in investor sentiment usually mark stock market inflection points. EWT’s sober take is that when euphoria is running high and everyone is bullish, what’s really happening is that anyone who could potentially invest has already invested, meaning there are no buyers left – only sellers, which marks a true market top. I suspect EWT proponents would judge the above bull cover in much the same way Doug Casey does – as a warning, rather than a celebration. You’ll find that the excerpt begins with a story of how the author, Robert Prechter, used his study of crowd psychology to predict that the global-warming hysteria of a few years ago was way overblown and that it would die down, just as all of the contrived emergencies before it did. I asked to include this section for readers who are unfamiliar with Elliott Wave Theory, as an example that it can apply across all realms of human action, not just financial markets. Following that section, you’ll find a small taste of Elliott Wave International’s forecast for US stocks. If you like what you see, you can download the entire global forecast – which includes big-picture analysis on US, Asian, and European stocks as well as commodities like gold and oil – for free. Enjoy, and see you next week!last_img read more

4 Aug

first_img — Recommended Links Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida June 3, 2016 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to feedback@caseyresearch.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. – • Nick thinks Brazil’s currency could collapse… That might sound like a bold prediction. But keep in mind, Brazil’s had five currency crises in the past 75 years. That’s one every 15 years. The last one was in 1994. According to Nick, Brazil is long overdue for a currency crisis. • Nick is waiting until there’s “blood in the streets” before he buys Brazilian stocks… That’s when he’ll pick up shares of the world-class Brazilian company on his watch list. The company dominates its industry and is ultra-efficient. It’s also grown its profits by an average of 13% every year since 2010 despite Brazil’s economic downturn. He will let his Crisis Investing readers know when it’s time to buy. • In the meantime, you can make money betting against Brazilian stocks… Nick told readers how to bet against Brazilian stocks in April. His timing was spot on. Last month, the Bovespa plunged 10%. According to the Financial Times, it was the world’s worst-performing stock market during the month of May. Nick’s bet against Brazilian stocks paid off big. It returned 25% in just over a month. If you didn’t get in on this trade, don’t worry. As we said, Nick thinks Brazilian stocks are headed much lower. In April, Nick said “a 300% gain is a reasonable target” for this trade. You can invest alongside Nick—and learn exactly how to profit from Brazil in the coming months—with a subscription to Crisis Investing. By clicking this link, you can sign up for a risk-free trial. You’ll also get a chance to watch a short video about a much bigger crisis on Nick’s radar…and how to profit from it. Click here to view this free video. Chart of the Day Brazilian stocks could deliver huge gains after they “bottom out.” Today’s chart shows the performance of the Bovespa, Brazil’s version of the S&P 500, since 2000. You can see Brazilian stocks began a huge bull market about fourteen years ago. The Bovespa gained 778% from 2002 to 2008. For comparison, the S&P 500 has gained 211% since its historic bull market began in 2009. In 2008, Brazilian stocks plunged when the global financial crisis hit. They never fully recovered. Nick thinks Brazil’s current economic crisis will send stocks even lower. This could set up a buying opportunity like we saw in 2002.center_img “The backdoor that makes me $1 million a year” There’s a little-known way to legally bypass U.S. Government Rule 501 right now that could make you $10,000 a year… through a “backdoor” in the venture capital world. Click here for the full details. [Urgent] Read NOW if You’re on Social Security… or Soon Will Be Anyone who is dependent on a fixed income—like Social Security or a pension—is considered “high risk” for losing everything when the next currency crisis hits. That’s why Jim Rickards just released a new, never-before-seen book installment—and it might be the most important one yet. In fact, he personally has over $1 million invested in this new technique, in order to protect himself and his family. He strongly suggests that every American over the age of 55 do the same immediately. Even if it’s just a small amount to start. Click here now to claim your copy today before they’re gone. It’s in its worst economic downturn in nearly a century… Its stock market has plunged 70% since 2010… And its currency has lost 35% of its value over the past two years. For most folks, this sounds like a market to avoid. But for Casey Research founder Doug Casey, it sounds like a promising money-making opportunity. Longtime readers know Doug made millions buying assets most investors wouldn’t go near. He literally wrote the book on how to make money investing in hated markets. That book, Crisis Investing, spent 34 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list. In it, Doug explained how to make huge gains while risking little by investing in beaten-up markets. This strategy is so successful for those who know how to use it, we’ve called it “the world’s most powerful wealth-building secret.” • Regular readers know we’re talking about Brazil… Brazil is the world’s fifth most populous country. It has the world’s eighth biggest economy. Not long ago, it was a rising star of the global economy. Its economy more than quadrupled in size from 2000 to 2011. Brazil was even the “B” in “BRICS,” a Wall Street acronym for five emerging markets with big growth potential. But it didn’t live up to the hype. • Today, Brazil’s economy is a disaster… Its economy hasn’t grown since 2010. To put that in perspective, the U.S. economy has only had two down years since 1992, when it shrunk during the 2008–2009 financial crisis. Brazil’s stock market and currency have also tanked. Inflation in Brazil is above 10% for the first time in 12 years. Unemployment is at a six-year high and rising. Brazil’s socialist president, Dilma Rousseff, is a big reason the country’s economy imploded. Five years into her presidency, Brazil’s finances were in shambles. The country went from a 2.3% government surplus in 2011 to a 10.3% deficit last year. Rousseff is still in office right now. But she may not be for long. She’s currently standing trial for impeachment. Many folks are hopeful a new government can turn things around in Brazil. • Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Investing, has been following Brazil closely for months…. As you may know, Nick is Doug’s globetrotting companion. His investing style is similar to Doug’s—he buys cheap markets and industries other investors run away from. In 2013, Nick used this strategy to make huge gains investing in the tiny European island of Cyprus. The country just had a horrible banking crisis. Its stock market was down 98%. It was one of the world’s most hated markets. Nick recommended eight dirt-cheap Cyprus stocks to his readers. One of those stocks tripled in less than two years. Two doubled over the same period. Another gained 97%. • Now, Nick is stalking Brazilian stocks… He’s not a buyer yet. As bad as things are in Brazil right now, Nick says things will get worse. • And with Brazilian stocks staging a big rally recently, there’s no reason to buy Brazilian stocks today… Brazil’s main stock index, the Bovespa, jumped 45% from the end of January to the end of April. Some investors wondered if Brazilian stocks had bottomed. Nick says they haven’t. In the April issue of Crisis Investing, he said fundamentals weren’t fueling the rally: [T]he only buyers of Brazilian equities the last few months were foreigners. Local investors have been selling. As far as I can tell, foreign investors are buying in hopes the new government magically makes things better. I don’t see this happening… Nick knows that it pays to watch who’s buying and who’s selling. In this case, the locals are selling. Locals have a front-row seat to the action. If they’re selling, that probably means things are getting worse. • Back in April, Nick warned his readers to stay away from high-flying Brazil stocks… He reminded them that Brazil still has big problems: Replacing one corrupt government with another is not going to fix these problems. The worst is yet to come in Brazil. It’s shaping up to be a lovely train wreck. I believe soon, one (or a combination) of these things will trigger a full-blown crisis in Brazil. It will thrust Brazil onto the front pages of First World newspapers…and get Wall Street to say, “Sell anything Brazilian.”last_img read more

4 Aug

first_img — If Doug had bought the hotel in 1979 and sold it six years later, he could have made 150 times his original investment. These are the kinds of returns you can make by investing in crisis markets and only by investing in crisis markets. You don’t have to trek through a civil war battle zone or dodge bullets to find these kinds of colossal returns. I was just recently in Zimbabwe with Doug. And like in 1979, it has huge potential for profit. If you’ve ever seen Zimbabwe in the news, I’m certain it wasn’t positive. If you’ve ever seen Zimbabwe in some sort of international competitiveness rankings, I’m sure it ranked at or near the bottom. There’s good reason for that. The country is in an economic and political crisis. Hyperinflation has totally destroyed the local currency. There’s been some bad press, and rightly so. But there’s a lot more to the story… Zimbabwe is rich in natural resources… gold, platinum, diamonds, and fertile farmland. The geological potential of the country is huge. Zimbabwe has production upside in platinum and other minerals that few can match. The bad press has conveniently (for us) camouflaged the opportunities in Zimbabwe. And that’s part of what makes it so appealing for us as contrarians. Zimbabwe currently has a severe cash shortage. ATMs are running out of money, liquidity has dried up, and there’s panic selling. Plus, Zimbabwe has absolutely dismal public relations. You’ve probably heard only bad things about Zimbabwe, if you’ve heard about it at all. Some of those negative opinions are valid. But having just spent 10 days in the capital city of Harare, I think they’re mostly overblown. Zimbabwe isn’t that different from other places I’ve visited with very poor external images, like Lebanon and Colombia. None of these places is even a fraction as bad as the press would suggest. Another misconception about Zimbabwe is that it’s dangerous and full of crime. While there is a crime problem in neighboring South Africa, Zimbabwe is pretty safe. I never once felt uncomfortable and neither did any of the locals we spoke with. In South Africa, it wouldn’t be uncommon for someone to kill for a cell phone. But not in Zimbabwe. For whatever reason, that’s just not their culture. Zimbabwe has enormous wealth. It has some of the largest platinum, diamond, and gold reserves in the world. It has an educated population, relatively decent roads and other infrastructure, and an abundance of productive farmland. The country should be one of the richest in Africa… not one of the poorest. For Zimbabwe to improve, the government must be less hostile to the country’s crucial industries. That could happen soon. President Robert Mugabe has basically run the show since the country’s independence. But he is 92 years old, and it’s only a matter of time before the country moves on. There’s a real chance for things to get “less bad.” And because things are so dirt-cheap, that could mean huge profits. Doug and I met with the top dogs in the government on our recent trip. It appears that, after hitting rock bottom, they understand they have to make some radical changes. Surprisingly, in our meetings, nearly all of the top officials in the government understood the perils of Keynesian economics. Some even quoted Ludwig von Mises, the godfather of free-market Austrian economics, in their internal memos. Seeing this in a country known for its destructive economic policies felt like stepping into the twilight zone. Nobody knows if the government will actually make the needed changes. But I think there is a plausible chance the country will turn around. And given how cheap some asset prices are right now, the risk-reward ratio is in our favor. This is exactly the kind of contrarian situation I look for in Crisis Investing. It’s an environment where we can find huge bargains. It’s a risky bet. But because the upside is so large, it’s one worth taking. Regards, Nick Giambruno Editor’s note: In April, Nick revealed to his readers two ways to profit from Zimbabwe’s crisis. One of those picks is up 9%. The other has surged 31%. Those are big moves for such a short period. But Nick thinks both could deliver 100%+ gains. You can get in on these investments by signing up for Crisis Investing. But before you do, we want you to try our newest training series. This FREE, four-part workshop tells you everything you need to know about crisis investing. As you’ll see, many of the world’s legendary investors used this same simple approach to make billions. Just remember, both of Nick’s Zimbabwe picks are on the run already. If you want to make money in this crisis market, now is the time to strike. Click here to get started today. Leopard Rock Hotel It was the crisis and fear that generated such a dirt-cheap price. Investor sentiment couldn’t have been worse. In 1979, Zimbabwe was the last place most people wanted to put money into… which made it the best place in the world to go looking for bargains. Happening Now! Historic Free Training Event with Doug Casey… Doug Casey’s forecasts helped investors prepare and profit from: 1) the S&L blowup in the ’80s and ’90s, 2) the 2001 tech stock collapse, 3) the 2008 financial crisis, 4) and now… Doug’s sounding the alarms about a catastrophic event. One he believes could strike America, just months from now. To help you prepare and profit, this week, we’re hosting a free online training event. Click here now to accept your invitation. Editor’s note: This week, we’re focusing on “crisis investing,” a little-known investing strategy that involves buying hated markets for cheap. Casey Research founder Doug Casey used this simple method to make millions. In the following essay, Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Investing, talks about the time Doug went to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1979 looking for opportunity. At the time, Rhodesia was in the middle of a civil war. Most investors wanted nothing to do with the country, which is exactly why Doug went there. According to Nick, there’s a similar investing opportunity in Zimbabwe right now. Investors who take advantage of this could quickly double their money. We’ll show you how at the end of this essay. If you were in a window seat, you’d pull down the shade to reduce the risk of anti-aircraft fire hitting the plane. At least that’s what flight crews used to tell tourists to do when landing in the African country of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The year was 1979. Rhodesia was in the midst of a civil war. On the ground, it was like a scene out of the movie Mad Max… soldiers, armored vehicles, danger and confusion everywhere. Doug Casey was perhaps the only foreign investor still there. Doug took a bus across the country, trying to avoid the Rhodesian Army and the rebels they were fighting. He kept asking what he should see while he was in the country, and he kept hearing about the Leopard Rock Hotel. So there he went. What he found was a grand castle complex that Italian prisoners (captured by British forces) had helped build during World War II. By 1979, the owners had converted it into a fantastical luxury hotel. It had 12 enormous suites, oversized fireplaces, crystal chandeliers, broad terraces, miles of horseback trails, a nine-hole golf course, 200 acres of garden with vast mountain views, and 50 acres of coffee trees. It was beautiful and huge. It had everything you would want in a luxury resort hotel.center_img Federal Reserve Member Gives Urgent Warning to Americans The nation’s top bankers are warning of a “doomsday scenario” that threatens every American with a checking account. As the president of the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis puts it: “You type in your code, no money comes out.” And Janet Yellen – the most powerful banker on Earth – says “We could find ourselves in a devastating spiral.” Click here to see how insiders (including a high-ranking member of Congress) are protecting themselves… – Recommended Linkslast_img read more

3 Aug

Everybody loves a winner — even toddlers accordin

first_imgEverybody loves a winner — even toddlers, according to a study published Monday. But even though kiddos tend to like high-status individuals, they don’t like those who win conflicts by using force.”It seems like toddlers care about who wins, but they also care about how they win,” says Ashley Thomas, now a researcher in cognitive development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.In recent years, scientists have devised experiments to show that babies and young toddlers not only notice the social interactions happening around them, but also actively evaluate them.Thomas, who was then a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine, wondered if toddlers understood the concept of social status. After all, adults constantly have to navigate situations that involve people of different rank and prestige, and it can be helpful to have friends in high places.To try to find out what toddlers think of this, Thomas and some colleagues had children ages 21 months to 31 months watch a series of puppet shows. First, one googly-eyed puppet crossed the stage repeatedly, from right to left. Then, another puppet crossed the stage from left to right. After that came a conflict: The two puppets bumped in the middle, blocking each other’s way.”One of two things happened,” Thomas explains. “Either one of the puppets kind of bows down and moves out of the way, allowing the puppet to pass, or one of the puppets pushes the other away and passes in front of him.”After the show, she offered the two puppets to the toddlers and asked which one they liked.Toddlers vastly preferred the puppet that “won” because the other yielded the way and bowed down. “The toddlers liked the winner. They liked the guy who reaches his goal,” says Thomas, who did this work as part of her Ph.D. research at UCI.But they didn’t like it if the “winner” had pushed the other puppet out of the way. In that case, the toddlers switched their preference and reached for the loser, according to a report in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.That’s an intriguing finding, because a recent study in one of our close primate relatives, the bonobo, showed that bonobos always prefer a winner — even when that dominance comes from beating others up.”They prefer dominant individuals, no matter how they achieve their dominance,” notes Kiley Hamlin, an associate professor studying developmental psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. “Whereas human babies, in this case, are preferring only those who are dominant and not mean.”Previous work has shown that babies in the first year of life understand that certain individuals tend to win in social conflicts — such as individuals that are physically larger, or that come from larger social groups, Hamlin says. And some research done in day care centers in the 1970s showed that social hierarchies form among toddlers as young as 18 months old.This new study offers convincing evidence that babies prefer those of high social rank.”That’s a totally unique finding in the literature and, I think, is really compelling to how similar it is to what adults do — how much we tend to like celebrities and rich people and those who are granted status for various reasons,” says Hamlin. “It suggests that that kind of process is already starting by the end of the second year of life.”This study fits into a large body of work by her lab and others, Hamlin says, showing that human babies prefer helpers and distain bullies of all kinds.”It’s not enough to just have high status,” she notes. “It seems like you have to have not gotten there for the wrong reasons.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

3 Aug

The Food and Drug Administration has failed to ens

first_imgThe Food and Drug Administration has failed to ensure that drugs given prized rare-disease status meet the intent of a 35-year-old law, federal officials said in a report Friday.The Government Accountability Office, which spent more than a year investigating the FDA’s orphan drug program, said “challenges continue” in the program that was created to spur development of drugs for diseases afflicting fewer than 200,000 people. The investigation began at the request of three high-profile Republican senators last year after a Kaiser Health News investigation. The reporting found that the program was being manipulated by drugmakers to maximize profits and to protect niche markets for medicines being taken by millions. The GAO uncovered inconsistent and often incomplete reviews early in the process of designating medicines as orphan drugs and recommended “executive action” to fix the system. In some cases, FDA reviewers failed to show they had checked how many patients could be treated by a drug being considered for orphan drug status; instead, they appeared to trust what drugmakers told them.In response to GAO’s probe, the FDA issued a statement saying it agreed with the report recommendations regarding documentation and that the agency is “streamlining our processes.” The agency declined requests for interviews. In a comment included with the report, Matthew D. Bassett, assistant secretary for legislation at the Department of Health and Human Services, said HHS agreed with GAO’s recommendations. John Dicken, director of the GAO’s health care team, said the focus of the report is “ensuring that the intent of the law is being met.”The FDA’s rare-disease program began after Congress overwhelmingly passed the 1983 Orphan Drug Act to motivate pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for people who lacked treatments for their conditions. Rare diseases had been ignored by drugmakers because treatments for them weren’t expected to be profitable. The law provides waivers from FDA fees, tax incentives for research and seven years of marketing exclusivity for any drug the agency approves as an “orphan.” The incentives, though, have proven to be more powerful and highly coveted than expected, said Avik Roy, president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, a conservative think tank. Many people are “starting to wonder whether or not the Orphan Drug Act over-corrected for the problem,” Roy said, noting that a third of all pharmaceutical spending in the U.S. will be on so-called rare-disease medicines in 2020. GAO analysts examined FDA records for 148 applications submitted by drugmakers for orphan drug approval in late 2017. FDA’s reviewers are supposed to apply two specific criteria — how many patients would be served and whether there is scientific evidence the drug will treat their disease. In nearly 60 percent of the cases, the FDA reviewers didn’t capture regulatory history information, including “adverse actions” from other regulatory agencies. The FDA uses experienced reviewers, Dicken noted, who may already know the history of certain submitted drugs and not see the need to document it. And 15 percent of the time FDA reviewers failed to independently verify patient estimates provided by the drugmaker. Of the 148 records the GAO reviewed, 26 applications from manufacturers were granted orphan status even though the initial FDA staff review was missing information. “It is tempting to think that perhaps those approvals were sort of granted routinely without sufficient scrutiny,” said Bernard Munos, senior fellow at FasterCures and the Milken Institute. By contrast, early Orphan Drug Act advocate Abbey Meyers said she was not concerned about the lack of population estimates because many rare diseases lack population studies that show how common a disease is. Rather, Meyers said, she’s “disappointed that there is no government-funded agency that is willing to finance” such research. The GAO investigation began after Scott Gottlieb, who took over as FDA commissioner in May 2017, announced a “modernization” of the rare-disease program. Critics have long complained that drugmakers game the FDA’s approval process for orphan drugs. In January 2017, the KHN investigation, which was co-published and aired by NPR, revealed that many orphan drugs aren’t entirely new and don’t always start as treatments for rare diseases. The GAO report, while not analyzing the same years, found that 38.5 percent of orphan drug approvals from 2008 to 2017 were for drugs that had been previously approved either for mass-market or rare-disease use. About 71 percent of the drugs given orphan status were intended to treat diseases affecting fewer than 100,000 people. KHN’s investigation found that popular mass-market drugs such as cholesterol blockbuster Crestor, Abilify for psychiatric conditions, cancer drug Herceptin and rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira, the best-selling medicine in the world, all won orphan approval yet were already on the market to treat common conditions. In addition, more than 80 orphan drugs won FDA approval for more than one rare disease — or several — each one with its own bundle of rich incentives. Genentech’s Avastin, a cancer treatment approved for mass-market use in 2004, won three more orphan-designated approvals in 2018 for the treatment of three rare forms of cancer. Avastin now has 11 approved orphan uses in all, and exclusive protections that keep generics at bay won’t run out until 2025.Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Tom Cotton of Arkansas sent a letter in March 2017 asking the GAO to investigate the program and find out if Congress’ original intent for it was still being followed.”Despite the success of the Orphan Drug Act, 95 percent of rare diseases still have no treatment options,” Hatch said in a statement Friday. “I hope that my colleagues will utilize this [GAO] report as they work to strengthen the accomplishments of the Orphan Drug Act and encourage developers to continue their investment in this patient population.” The GAO report also mentioned concerns about prices, noting that “the ability to command high prices” was one reason the rare-disease market was growing so rapidly. The average cost per patient for an orphan drug was $147,308 in 2017 compared with $30,708 for a mass-market drug, according to a 2018 EvaluatePharma report on the 100 top-selling drugs in the U.S. Celgene’s chemotherapy drug Revlimid was the top-selling orphan with $5.4 billion in sales and $184,011 in revenue per patient. “We have accepted culturally that it’s OK for a company to charge high prices for [orphan] drugs,” said the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity’s Roy. “The end result is that a lot of these orphan drugs are $10 billion drugs, even though they are for rare diseases.” From 2008 to 2017, more than half of the drugs granted orphan status were for cancer or blood disorders, according to the GAO report. And nearly two-thirds of drugs approved in the program were given expedited review processes, such as accelerated approval or fast-track designation. Prior to the announcement of FDA Commissioner Gottlieb’s modernization plan, the agency had a backlog of 138 drug applications for orphan status that had been waiting more than 120 days. The backlog was cleared in August 2017 after staff from across the agency stepped in to help.Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.KHN’s coverage of prescription drug development, costs and pricing is supported in part by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

26 Jul

Apple TV Subscribers Can Expect Adfree Original Shows and Movies This Fall

first_img 3 min read Apple TV+ Subscribers Can Expect Ad-free Original Shows and Movies This Fall On stage at today’s “show time” event, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Apple TV+, an ad-free subscription home for the company’s new push into original content. With the Apple TV app now extending onto other smart TV platforms while collecting shows and movies from other outlets into Channels, it’s giving people even more of a reason to stick with Apple by adding exclusives you can’t get anywhere else. According to senior VP Eddy Cue, “Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”We’ve heard a lot about its content buying spree over the last year or so, but on stage, execs kicked things off with a video featuring big names like Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Octavia Spencer. Spielberg himself appeared on stage first to talk about Apple TV+ and the stories he wants to tell.Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston showed up to talk about their new project The Morning Show, along with co-star Steve Carell, before Alfre Woodard and Jason Momoa hit the stage to talk about See, a new sci-fi series coming to the service. Kumail Nanjiani was up next, discussing his experiences as an immigrant that will be a part of the series he’s writing with his wife for Apple, Little America.Still, the biggest star in the run is Big Bird, with Sesame Workshop programming coming to Apple TV+ as well. The show is called Helpsters, featuring another Muppet who popped up on stage. Sara Bareilles and JJ Abrams were the last to appear, with Sara dropping in a musical number to mark the end of the celebrity parade before we finally saw a trailer featuring clips from all of Apple’s new shows.At the (not quite) absolute end, we finally got a few bullet points: Apple TV+ is a subscription service with no commercials that will launch in over 100 countries this fall, full of original content from many big names in entertainment. Whenever it launches, all of the new TVs with support for AirPlay will be able to stream its videos, and once they have the Apple TV app it will be home to this service, the new Channels and all of your purchased videos from iTunes. What we don’t know yet is how much it will cost, and in a press release, Apple said that info will come in the fall.Oh wait — one more thing: Oprah. As expected, she will “join forces” with Apple to “serve this moment.”Follow all of the news news from Apple’s March event here! Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. March 25, 2019 Add to Queue Image credit: via Engadget This story originally appeared on Engadget Apple Next Article Register Now » What we don’t know is how much it will all cost. Richard Lawler –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Businesslast_img read more

26 Jul

NextGen WiFi Is Here

first_img Register Now » Next-Gen Wi-Fi Is Here Next Article Add to Queue –shares Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals As if it isn’t hard enough keeping track of all the next-gen Wi-Fi terms (802.11n, draft-n, and so on), you then have to figure out what the heck they mean. In the Wi-Fi space, draft-n is the new, faster, stronger, more reliable form of Wi-Fi. More than 25 percent of the Wi-Fi devices shipped in 2008 supported draft-n, says Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. He points to ABI research that estimates by 2012, 90 percent of all devices will support it.Fortunately, old and new versions can work and play in harmony. So while “there probably won’t be a time when it’ll be absolutely necessary to upgrade,” says Figueroa, “the market is naturally moving toward the best technology.” And next-gen is where it’s at.Draft-n gear can provide significant improvements to your network, including five times the throughput (up to 250 Mbps) and twice the range (up to 200 meters). So if you’re trying to decide if it’s time to upgrade your office to draft-n Wi-Fi, consider these questions:Do you have 15 or more employees using entry-level gear or 40 or more employees using enterprise-level gear?Are you expanding your office size?Does your office setup have hard-to-reach coverage areas–for example, numerous floors or rooms within a building?Do you frequently use real-time or high-bandwidth applications, such as web conferencing, VoIP or streaming HD video?If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it might be time to upgrade. The good thing about draft-n is that it’s backward compatible, meaning it works with previous versions (and vice versa). This allows for an easier, gradual transition. So if you’re not in the financial position to upgrade all your Wi-Fi devices at once–who is really?–you can switch out a few, or even just one, at a time, Figueroa explains. “Yet that device offers benefits to all the old devices already using the network.” Magazine Contributor March 16, 2009 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. It might be time to upgrade, if you answer yes to any of these questions. This story appears in the April 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Lindsay Holloway 2 min read Technologylast_img read more

24 Jul

Broadvoice Receives 2019 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year Award

first_img“b-hive is constantly evolving with the latest communication innovations to increase productivity and ease workflow for today’s small and midsize businesses (SMBs),” said George Mitsopoulos, chief operating officer at Broadvoice. “We’re thrilled to be a part of a prestigious group of companies recognized for their exceptional products and services.”b-hive is a cloud PBX platform that combines telephony and UC services into a comprehensive UCaaS bundle with voice, messaging and virtual call center solutions with SD-WAN. The platform is connected to a secure and redundant network infrastructure and provides communications capabilities that are rarely found together in enterprise cloud solutions, let alone one that is designed for SMBs with as few as 10 employees.Marketing Technology News: Fishbowl, Inc. Names New Chief Revenue Officer“I am honored to recognize Broadvoice with a 2019 Product of the Year Award for its commitment to excellence and innovation,” said Rich Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “In the opinion of our judges and editorial team, b-hive has proven to be among the best communications and technology solutions available on the market. I look forward to continued leadership from Broadvoice.”The winners of the 2019 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year will be featured in INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine online and on TMCnet.b-hive was recognized with a 2018 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year Award last April, and most recently a 2018 Unified Communications Excellence Award and a 2018 Customer Experience Innovation Award.Marketing Technology News: BSI Reports Top Supply Chain Themes for 2019Broadvoice offers a flexible, smart portfolio of IP-based voice and data offerings, backed by its enterprise-class, geo-redundant IP telephony platform. This includes its flagship cloud UC and PBX services, which features unlimited voice calling plans throughout the continental United States and Canada.Marketing Technology News: First-of-its-Kind Consumer Benefits Coverage Index Illustrates Benefits Spending Patterns Across US Broadvoice Receives 2019 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year Award PRNewswireApril 26, 2019, 6:32 pmApril 26, 2019 BroadvoiceCustomer Experience Innovation AwardINTERNET TELEPHONYIP telephony platformMarketing TechnologyNewsTMC Previous ArticleNew Platform from Parabolt Helps Retailers Capture The “Magic Moment” of SalesNext ArticleConduent Launches Innovation Center to Drive Customers’ Digital Transformationscenter_img b-hive Recognized for Industry InnovationBroadvoice, an award-winning provider of hosted voice, unified communications (UC), and SIP Trunking services for businesses, announced that TMC, a global integrated media company, has named b-hive as a recipient of a 2019 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year Award.last_img read more

19 Jul

Vulnerable young teenagers urgently need better sex education say researchers

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 9 2018Sexually active teenagers who were offered rapid, confidential chlamydia testing and same-day treatment at college mostly did not take up the offer, largely due to ignorance about the risks.Only 10-13% of students in three London-based further education colleges responded to messages inviting them for on-site testing.But in those who were tested, high rates of chlamydia were discovered, with one in twenty testing positive.Interviews conducted by the researchers suggested the very low uptake was associated with a lack of knowledge about sexually transmitted infections, as well as students not feeling they were at risk, or being embarrassed about testing. Students commented: “I don’t know anything, to be honest” or “I haven’t been taught anything.”Related StoriesMaking Bacterial Infections a Thing of the Past for Chronic Respiratory ConditionsPittcon is looking for short course instructors for 2020International Menstrual hygiene day observed on 28th May 2019Researchers at St George’s, University of London and at King’s College, London conducted a feasibility sexual health trial over one academic year in 500 students attending six London-based further education colleges. They were using ‘test and treat’ technology, offering 90-minute chlamydia tests and same day on-site treatment.Professor Pippa Oakeshott, who led the trial, said: “We were surprised and disappointed by the levels of uptake in teenagers. Sexually active teenagers are at much higher risk of infections than older adults but often know very little about STIs. They urgently need better sex education. In addition the closure of sexual health clinics, coupled with the new policy of relying on postal testing, is creating a perfect storm for vulnerable young teenagers. It’s now even harder for young people to access testing, treatment and contraception. Teenagers must be helped to realize that they are at risk.”Source: https://www.sgul.ac.uk/news/news-archive/better-sex-education-urgently-needed-for-at-risk-teenagers-researchers-saylast_img read more

18 Jul

New molecular scaffolding could help restore sight loss caused by glaucoma

first_imgAndy Osborne and Professor Keith Martin It is thought that this work could not only be effective in halting or reversing the damage caused by glaucoma, but also in improving success rates of eye transplants – helping a transplanted eye to connect to the brain by growing axons through the optic nerve.Dr Neil Ebenezer, Director of Research, Policy and Innovation at Fight for Sight said: Jul 16 2019Fight for Sight is funding scientists at the University of Cambridge to research how a new ‘molecular scaffolding’ could help restore vital nerve connections between the eye and the brain, potentially recovering the sight loss caused by glaucoma and other conditions, and even paving the way for future eye transplants. Professor Keith Martin, Professor James Fawcett and team will be working with colleagues at the Centre for Eye Research Australia and the University of Melbourne to investigate the role of a ‘scaffolding molecule’ called protrudin in helping to heal and regrow damaged eye nerve cells, and they believe this molecule could ultimately help lead to successful eye transplants by leading to a strong connection between the eye and brain, as well as helping repair damage from eye disease.Glaucoma causes harm to retinal ganglion cells – the cells at the back of the eye which relay visual information to the brain. Their long, tail-like axons pass along the optic nerve, which functions rather like the cable connecting a camera to a computer.The researchers have identified protrudin as “the strongest promoter of optic nerve regeneration we have yet encountered”.Leader of the study, Professor Keith Martin, said: We’re delighted to fund researchers at the University of Cambridge to look into this innovative way of protecting and regenerating retinal ganglion cells. To people affected by sight loss due to glaucoma or other forms of damage to the optic nerve, this Cambridge study may lead to new treatments that restore lost sight by strengthening the connection between the eye and the brain. This donor-funded work could be a game-changer, in terms of helping people make a fuller recovery after glaucoma treatment or following eye transplants.” Despite all currently available treatments, around 10-15% of patients with glaucoma go blind in at least one eye during their lifetime. Our work aims to develop new strategies to repair the optic nerve and, ultimately, to restore vision in people who are blind due to optic nerve diseases like glaucoma.” Glaucoma is the world’s second leading cause of blindness. It affects 60 million people worldwide – nearly half a million in the UK alone. The optic nerve is crucial to clear sight, and this work could lead to a breakthrough that enables doctors to repair it. Source:Fight for Sightlast_img read more

18 Jul

Copyright board boosts songwriters music streaming fees

Citation: Copyright board boosts songwriters’ music streaming fees (2018, January 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-copyright-board-boosts-songwriters-music.html A federal copyright board has raised the music streaming royalties for songwriters and music publishers by more than 40 percent to narrow the financial divide separating them from recording labels. The decision announced earlier this weekend by the National Music Publishers Association stems from a dispute pitting songwriters against steadily growing music streaming services sold by Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora.The Copyright Royalty Board’s decision will require those services to pay 15.1 percent of their revenue to the songwriters and publishers, up from 10.5 percent.The music publishers association hailed the ruling, even though the trade group estimates recording labels will still be receiving $3.82 for every $1 paid to songwriters and publishers. Even so, that still represents “the most favorable balance in the history of the industry,” said David Israelite, president of the music publishers association.None of the major companies affected by the new music streaming royalties responded to requests by The Associated Press for comment, leaving it unclear whether the shift will prod any of them to raise the prices paid by consumers.The popularity of music streaming services has soared in the past few years as more consumers have embraced paying a monthly or annual subscription fee for unlimited access to tens of millions of songs instead of incrementally buying a more limited amount of music on CDs or in a digital download.Those changing habits have pushed artists, songwriters and publishers to step up their efforts to get a larger cut of the royalties generated from music streaming—a format that didn’t even exist when some performers signed their last record deals years ago.The Copyright Royalty Board drew up the new rates for songwriters and publishers after hearing evidence during a trial last year.”Songwriters desperately need and deserve the rate increases,” said Bart Herbison, executive director for the Nashville Songwriters Association International, another trade group.The new royalties seem unlikely to faze Apple, Google and Amazon—all of whom rank among the world’s richest companies and operate their music streaming services as complements to other products that generate most of their revenue.The new royalty systems could leave a bigger financial dent in smaller and less diversified companies such as Spotify and Pandora, even though both are music streaming pioneers. Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Spotify reaches royalty deal with music publishers This Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, photo shows music streaming apps clockwise from top left, Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora and Google on an iPhone in New York. A federal copyright board has raised the music streaming royalties for songwriters and music publishers by more than 40 percent. The decision announced earlier this weekend stems from a dispute pitting songwriters against steadily growing music streaming services sold by Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane) 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. read more

18 Jul

Italy fines Facebook for selling users data

first_img © 2018 AFP Facebook “misleadingly gets people to sign up… without informing them in an immediate and adequate way of how the data they will provide will be harvested for commercial purposes,” a statement from Italy’s AGCM consumer and market watchdog said on Friday.The company also does not clearly tell people about “the remunerative purpose that underlies the provision of the social network’s services, simply stressing the fact that it’s free.”Facebook “aggressively” discourages users from trying to limit how the company shares their data by telling them that by doing so they risk “significant limitations”.Facebook has repeatedly said it does not sell users’ data.The company has faced a barrage of criticism recently for the misuse of users’ data to influence elections amid increasing calls for the company run by Mark Zuckerberg to be regulated. Facebook has repeatedly said it does not sell users’ data Explore further Citation: Italy fines Facebook for selling users’ data (2018, December 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-italy-fines-facebook-users.htmlcenter_img Facebook fined 1.2 mln euros by Spanish data watchdog Italy’s competition authority has fined Facebook 10 million euros ($11.3 million) for selling users’ data without informing them and “aggressively” discouraging users from trying to limit how the company shares their data. 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.last_img read more

18 Jul

Amazon workers from around world join forces in Berlin

first_img Explore further Amazon employees strike in Spain and Germany (Update) 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. Amazon worker representatives from 15 countries met in Berlin on Monday to coordinate their strategy against one of the world’s most powerful companies, after years of individually battling against its often-criticised employment practices. © 2019 AFPcenter_img Citation: Amazon workers from around world join forces in Berlin (2019, April 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-amazon-workers-world-berlin.html More than 50 Amazon employees from as far afield as Egypt, Brazil and Pakistan gathered in Berlin on Monday Alfred Bujara of Amazon Poland proudly showed off images from his latest campaign to a German colleague, urging their employer to “stop the rat race”.”Conditions are bad around the world, but in Poland they’re worse,” said Bujara, a member of the Solidarnosc union.Workers’ movements are tracked “down to the second” and “if they can’t cope, then they’re fired,” he complained.More than 50 representatives from as far afield as Egypt, Brazil and Pakistan, as well as neighbouring Italy, Poland and France, gathered in the German capital in a closed-door summit set to last into Tuesday.The aim: to compare notes on working conditions in Amazon’s logistics centres around the world, the engine rooms that speed wares from the so-called “everything store” to customers’ homes.Seattle-based Amazon boasts around 800 such depots worldwide and regularly opens new ones.Sharing information”We’re sharing information about the different rules and regulations, then we can use those in the negotiations,” Bujara said ahead of a “family photo” in the Berlin rain, fist raised alongside his colleagues from abroad.”We learn that we’re not alone, that we’re facing some of the same challenges everywhere in the world,” said Christy Hoffman, secretary-general of the international UNI Global Union.As well as Amazon Logistics’ machine-like demands and fine-grained surveillance of employees, workers complain of low salaries and are demanding collective bargaining agreements, or at least a more orderly form of dialogue with management.”We reject the allegations raised by the trade union (UNI),” Amazon Germany responded in a statement.”Amazon proves every day that you can be a fair and responsible employer without a collective bargaining agreement.”European unions have struggled since 2013 to secure recognition from Amazon bosses, picking key days for online shopping like “Prime Day” or “Black Friday” to throttle package deliveries and draw public attention to their working conditions.In 2018, industrial action reached a new height as around 50 strikes were organised around Europe and, in a rare show of cross-border solidarity, some were coordinated to hit simultaneously in several countries.”If we coordinate amongst ourselves, France, Italy, Spain, then Amazon reacts. If there’s a struggle, Amazon agrees to talks,” said Stefanie Nutzenberger of German service workers’ union Verdi.First stepsBut the cross-border movement is still in its infancy outside of Europe.”In South America, we’re in totally unknown territory. They’ve just opened an operations centre in Brazil and the employees there are not at all prepared,” said Henry Oliveira, a union representative from Uruguay.Many Amazon workers used the social media hashtag #wearenotrobots in November as a rallying cry for their campaign against the giant.More in-depth exchanges are going on informally and under the company’s radar in private messages, British UNI member Matthew Painter told AFP.It could be some time before a global strike along the same lines as the Europe-wide actions seen last year.”That would be hard given how different legislation is across countries,” Painter acknowledged.Nevertheless, “we’re preparing for other conflicts and they will extend beyond our borders,” German rep Nutzenberger said.last_img read more