Bill Gates puts robots cowfree burgers on list of breakthrough tech for

first_img Tags Share your voice Bill Gates Post a comment Bill Gates curated the MIT Technology Review’s 2019 10 Breakthrough Technologies list.  Getty Images Cancer vaccines and smooth-talking AI assistants are all on Bill Gates’ list of technologies to watch for. The MIT Technology Review on Wednesday released its 2019 10 Breakthrough Technologies list, which was curated by Gates. It was the publication’s first time having a guest editor choose what would land on list. “Bill’s list reflects his belief that we’re approaching a tipping point in humanity’s technological development — from technologies that mostly make life longer to those that mostly make it better,” said Gideon Lichfield, editor-in-chief of the Review, in a release. “His choices highlight some of what he considers the most important challenges and opportunities of our time.” Here are the 10 technologies, ranging from climate change to health care to artificial intelligence:Robot dexterity: robot hands that can manipulate unfamiliar objects on their own.New-wave nuclear power: both fission and fusion reactor designs that can bring down carbon emissions.Predicting preemies: a blood test that can warn of a preterm birth.Gut probe in a pill: a swallowable device that can show the digestive tract and perform biopsies.Custom cancer vaccines: a treatment that helps the body’s own immune system to target only tumor cells.The cow-free burger: plant-based and lab-grown meat alternatives that could cut emissions from the food industry.Carbon dioxide catcher: techniques for absorbing CO2 from the air and locking it away.An ECG on your wrist: smartwatch’s ability to monitor someone’s heart health and get early warnings of problems.Sanitation without sewers: a self-contained toilet that can tackle disease and unpleasant living conditions.Smooth-talking AI assistants: advances in natural language processing that make digital assistants capable of more natural conversations.You can read more about the technologies in the MIT Technology Review.  Gates earlier this week answered questions from Redditors during his Ask Me Anything session, including his thoughts on taxes, climate change, terrorism and other lighter topics.  Tech Industry Sci-Tech 0last_img read more

Skoda Octavia Returns to India in New Avatar To Hit Market During

first_imgCzech car maker Skoda will start rolling out its all new 2013 Octavia in India during the festive season, said the company on Friday.Skoda Octavia, which made its Indian debut in 2001, stopped the sales of Octavia in the country in 2010. The first generation Octavia had sold 44,900 units in the country between November 2001 and October 2010.The company is now gearing up to introduce the same car with more elegant designs and luxurious features. It has started the production of its new car at the company’s Aurangabad plant where the Superb, Yeti and Laura are being manufactured.The all new sedan will hit the sub-continent auto market around Diwali and it will come in both petrol and engine versions.”The new Skoda Octavia is now being produced at purpose-built facilities in one of the international growth markets. By far our most important model in the Indian market is also an engine of growth for Skoda,” Skoda CEO Winfried Vahland said in a statement.The company said that the new Octavia will have high functionality, innovative safety and comfort systems, economical consumption and typical Skoda value for money to offer its loyal consumers in the country. However, the price of the car hasn’t been revealed yet.Excited about the return of Skoda’s bestseller Octavia in India, Sudhir Rao, Managing Director, Skoda Auto India, said,  “The Octavia model line launched Skoda in the country 12 years ago has enjoyed cult status in India ever since. The Octavia has always been the heart of the Skoda brand. The new-generation Skoda Octavia, which will be introduced here in the festive season, will be a game-changer as it is the largest, most comfortable and lightest Skoda Octavia ever made.”last_img read more

This video of Rohit Sharma doting on his daughter before IPL Final

first_imgRohit Sharma became a father to Samaira last yearRohit Sharma TwitterRohit Sharma is one of the best batsmen in limited-overs cricket and the captain of Mumbai Indians. But apart from this, the Mumbai cricketer also happens to be a doting father who is not hesitant to show his love for his newly-born daughter Samaira.With a day to go for the IPL Final, Rohit Sharma again took time off to play with his daughter. The official Twitter handle of his team Mumbai Indians, put out a video where the young father is showering his affection on Samaira. Daddy Ro reporting on duty ✅?#OneFamily #CricketMeriJaan #MumbaiIndians #MIvCSK @ImRo45 @ritssajdeh pic.twitter.com/0NWvqLtAha— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) May 11, 2019Rohit Sharma playing with his daughterTwitter/Mumbai IndiansThis is not the first time that the India opener has been seen on Twitter in this role. Earlier in the season also, he posted a video of himself giving Spanish lessons to his daughter. After his team had won the first qualifier of the ongoing season of IPL, he had posted a picture of himself and his wife sitting on the Wankhede outfield with their daughter. The text accompanying the photograph said: “At the end, this is what matters the most.”Rohit, who is 32 years old, got married in December 2015 to Ritika Sajdeh and the couple became parents in December last year. His wife has been seen often at stadiums supporting her husband while the whole family has been together during most of the season.It has become common among Indian cricketers of current generation to have their families with them and their spouses and partners present at the stadium. It is a sea change from earlier generations of cricketers who were rather discreet about showing their emotions in public.Both Sharma and India captain Virat Kohli have acknowledged their wives on field as well after getting to landmarks. While that may draw a mixed response from people used to watching the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid maintain stoicism about their personal feelings, the pictures and videos of Rohit Sharma with his cute daughter are bound to melt the heart of most sensitive people.last_img read more

Sebi pushes reforms for unicorns direct listing in overseas markets

first_imgIndian securities market regulator has proposed wide-ranging rule changes to allow domestic unicorns to directly list in overseas markets. The proposal released by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for feedback from stakeholders also proposes allowing foreign start-ups to tap into the Indian capital market directly by listing with stock exchanges here.A panel that Sebi appointed to look into this issue notes that such a step is necessary, in light of the ongoing internationalization of capital markets, according to a report in the Business Standard.Under existing rules, a company incorporated in India cannot directly list on a foreign bourse. Similarly, firms incorporated abroad cannot directly list their shares in Indian stock exchanges.India has currently about a dozen unicorns and some 100 companies with more than $100 million valuations. These companies could benefit if the government accepts the panel’s recommendations and frames necessary rules, the report says.Sebi set up the committee in June to examine the benefits of direct listing and recommend regulatory framework necessary for facilitating the reform.Sources point out that a major hurdle for successfully implementing the panel’s recommendations is taxation provisions. Currently, income earned from a transfer of equity shares of an unlisted Indian company listed on a foreign stock exchange is subject to capital gains tax in India.Similarly, if shares of a company incorporated in India is acquired at less than the fair market value (FMV), the difference is subjected to tax.”The current framework comes in their way of global expansion. Given the change in the complexion of Indian companies and global markets, the direct overseas listing will incur huge benefits,” the report quoted Ranu Vohra, managing director, and CEO, Avendus Capital, a member of the panel, as saying.Among the benefits of this reform, as listed by the panel includes increased competitiveness for Indian companies, a global boost to brand India, and better economic relations with other countries. The direct listing would also broaden investor base, ensure better valuations, and open an alternative capital source for Indian companies.”Equity listings by companies incorporated in India on foreign stock exchanges would allow them to access foreign capital at a lower cost. The Indian economy, in turn, will experience added growth and economic development. Similarly, equity listings of companies incorporated outside India on the Indian stock exchanges would improve the efficient allocation of capital and diversification for investors across the Indian economy,” the committee says.last_img read more

Khaleda bail extended until 31 July

first_imgThe High Court on Wednesday extended until 31 July the bail of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, reports UNB.An HC bench of justice M Enayetur Rahim and justice Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order following a petition filed by Khaleda’s lawyers.Earlier on 18 July, the High Court extended the bail of the BNP chief until 26 July in the case.On 5 July, a petition was filed with the High Court seeking extension of its earlier order granting a four-month interim bail to Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.On 12 March, the HC granted a four-month bail to her in the case which expired on 12 July.Meanwhile, the hearing in the Niko graft case filed against 11 people, including Khaleda, was deferred to 3 September by Special Judge Court- 9, a makeshift court of Bakshibazar, on Wednesday.Judge Mahmudul Kabir passed the order.On 8 February, the Dhaka Special Court-5 convicted the former prime minister, and sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.She was then sent to abandoned central jail at Nazimuddin Road in the city.last_img read more

Egypt church bombing kills 15

first_imgMap locating an attack on a church in the Egyptian city of Tanta, north of Cairo. Photo: AFPA bomb blast at a church north of Cairo killed at least 15 people and wounded dozens who had gathered for Palm Sunday mass, state media reported, in the latest apparent attack on Egypt’s Coptic Christians.Some 40 people were wounded in the blast, which struck at a Coptic Church in the Nile Delta City of Tanta, 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Cairo, the reports said.A medical official at a hospital in Tanta confirmed to AFP that at least 13 people had been killed.Palm Sunday is one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar, marking the triumphant entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem.The state-run Nile television channel said the blast struck the Mar Girgis Coptic Church in Tanta just before 10:00 am (0800 GMT).Provincial governor Ahmad Deif told the channel that at least 42 people were wounded and that the explosion occurred inside the church.”Either a bomb was planted or someone blew himself up,” Deif said, adding that security forces had searched the church and surrounding areas for additional explosive devices.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s blast.Copts, who make up about one tenth of Egypt’s population of more than 92 million and who celebrate Easter next weekend, have been targeted by several attacks in recent months.Jihadists and Islamists accuse them of supporting the military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, which ushered in a deadly crackdown on his supporters.In December, a suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group killed 29 worshippers during Sunday mass in Cairo.The bombing of the church within a compound that also holds the seat of the Coptic papacy was the deadliest attack against the minority in recent memory.A spate of jihadist-linked attacks in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, including the murder of a Copt in the city of El Arish whose house was also burned, have led some Coptic families to flee their homes.About 250 Christians took refuge in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya after IS released a video in February calling for attacks on the religious minority.Egypt’s army is waging a counter-insurgency against an IS affiliate in Sinai, which has claimed scores of attacks against police and army positions.President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who as army chief helped the military to remove Morsi, defended his security forces in a televised address soon afterwards.”(The attacks aim to) destabilise the fabric of Egypt… to give the impression that one group isn’t protected as it should be,” Sisi said at the time.Following Morsi’s ouster, mobs attacked dozens of churches and Christian properties.Pope Francis is due to visit Cairo on April 28-29 to show solidarity with Egypt’s Christian community.The pontiff will visit the site of the December church attack next to Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral — the seat of Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II.last_img read more

Smallmolecule solar cells get 50 increase in efficiency with optical spacer

first_img © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. Explore further 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. The fluorescent future of solar cells (Phys.org) —In the world of organic solar cells, polymer-based devices may currently be at the top, but other organic materials such as “small molecules” also prove to be promising. Although small-molecule organic solar cells currently have lower efficiencies than polymer solar cells, they are generally easier to fabricate and their efficiencies are improving. More information: Aung Ko Ko Kyaw, et al. “Improved Light Harvesting and Improved Efficiency by Insertion of an Optical Spacer (ZnO) in Solution-Processed Small-Molecule Solar Cells.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/nl401758gcenter_img In a new study, researchers have shown that they can increase the efficiency of one type of small-molecule organic solar cell from 6.02% to 8.94% simply by tuning the thickness of the active layer and inserting an optical spacer between the active layer and an electrode. The efficiency improvement demonstrates that small-molecule solar cells have the potential to compete with their polymer counterparts, which have efficiencies approaching 10%.The researchers, led by Alan J. Heeger at the University of California at Santa Barbara, have published their paper on the efficiency improvement in small-molecule solar cells in a recent issue of Nano Letters.As the scientists explain in their paper, small-molecule organic solar cells have several advantages over organic polymer solar cells: relatively simple synthesis, high charge carrier mobility, similarly sized particles (monodispersity), and better reproducibility, among others. However, small-molecule solar cells have so far achieved top efficiencies of about 8%, lagging somewhat behind the best polymer devices.By demonstrating how a few simple changes can increase the efficiency of one type of small-molecule organic solar cell by nearly 50%, the scientists here have shown that these devices still have the potential for vast improvements. Tuning the thickness of the active layer and inserting a zinc oxide optical spacer between the active layer and metal electrode enable the active layer to harvest more light, increasing optical absorption. The insertion of the optical spacer places the active layer in a more favorable position within the optical electric field within the cell. As the scientists explained, the optical spacer contributes to increased light absorption in three ways: increasing the charge collection efficiency, serving as a blocking layer for holes, and reducing the recombination rate. Journal information: Nano Letters Citation: Small-molecule solar cells get 50% increase in efficiency with optical spacer (2013, August 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-small-molecule-solar-cells-efficiency-optical.html (Left) A ZnO optical spacer viewed under an atomic force microscope. (Center) The device structure of the small-molecule solar cell. (Right) Solar cell performance with and without an optical spacer. Credit: Aung Ko Ko Kyaw, et al. ©2013 American Chemical Societylast_img read more

Ways to use essential oils

first_imgAll essential oils are highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic liquids that are purely extracted from the fruits, seeds, flowers, barks, stems, roots, leaves or other parts of a plant. However, there are specific ways to use them, say experts. Here are some popular essential oils and the ways to use them:Lavender essential oil: Well-known for its soothing, calming properties, lavender is wonderful for accelerating healing time for burns, cuts, stings, and other wounds. Its specific properties include being an analgesic, antifungal, antiseptic, sleep inducing and disinfectant. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfPut a few drops on your pillow just before going to bed for a clam and sound sleep.Mix 1 or 2 drops with coconut oil to soothe occasional skin irritations. Add 2-3 drops with olive oil for nail care.Rosemary essential oil: This oil is colourless to pale yellow oil with a herby aroma. Astringent properties of this oil cleanse, hydrate and rejuvenate skin, making it firm and gorgeous. It helps with wrinkles and under-eye bags as well as conditions damaged skin and lighten scars. Its anti-inflammatory properties are useful in reducing swelling and puffiness of skin as well as in healing burns. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMix rosemary essential oil with any carrier oil before applying on hair and skin and massage gently.For hair growth, add 4-5 drops of the oil in 1 tsp of coconut oil. Mix this until it reaches a smooth consistency and evenly apply onto your hair and scalp. Leave it overnight. Wash off with lukewarm water and pat dry your hair.Ylang Ylang: Known for its unique floral aroma, ylang ylang essential oil was used as a natural hair growth remedy in Victorian England and has continued to be used to treat fine and limp hair. Add 2-3 drops of the oil to coconut oil for a deep hair conditioner.Put it into an Epsom Salts bath for relaxation.Tea tree: Antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiseptic, expectorant and antiviral, its often used to inhibit viral and bacterial infections. It can even be used to kill insects, protect a wound and expedite the healing of a scar.Mix it with any carrier oil before applying on hair and skin. Massage gently. Do not apply directly on hair or skin.Add 2-3 drops to olive oil for lip care or diffuse to get clean and refreshed surrounding aromatically.For acne, mix a few drops of the essential oil and 2 teaspoons of aloe vera gel. Apply to the affected area. Leave for 3 to 4 hours or overnight for better result. Rinse with water and pat dry. Repeat regularly for effective results.Eucalyptus: This oil helps to improve respiratory issues such as sinusitis, bronchitis and allergies. It has the ability to reduce congestion and improve mental clarity as well. Eucalyptus contains a number of important properties and serves as a decongestant.Mix it with any carrier oil before applying on hair and skin. Massage gently. Do not apply directly on hair or skin. You can add a few drops to a hot bath. The steam and the aroma will relax the mind and body. As eucalyptus oil isn’t water soluble, mix it with half teaspoon bath salt of choice before adding it to water.Peppermint: The invigorating and fresh mint aroma of the peppermint essential oil works to stimulates the mind and clear the sinuses.Use a drop of it with lemon in water for a healthy, refreshing mouth rinse.Rub one drop of the oil on the temples, forehead, over the sinuses and on the back of the neck to relieve head pressure.Mix it with any carrier oil before applying on hair and skin. Massage gently. Diffuse to get energised and increase alertness.For clear skin add 4-5 drops of peppermint oil in two tablespoons of grated cucumber and two tablespoons of green clay. Whisk the ingredients and apply the paste as a face mask. Let it dry and wash with lukewarm water. Rose: This oil can be used to achieve young, healthy and moisturised skin. The delicate aroma of the oil is useful for relieving anxiety and stress.For glowing skin, add to any skin cream/lotion to enhance its effect by increasing its absorption by the skin.To treat acne, add 4-5 drops in 1 tsp coconut oil and apply thrice a day.last_img read more

Embrace winters with Keventers sundaes

first_imgIndia’s iconic dairy brand, Keventers, is all set to expand its product portfolio with the introduction of Sundaes to beat the winter blues. With this expansion, the parent company aims to diversify its business into complimentary verticals that are in line with its identity.Speaking about the expansion, Tarun Bhasin, Chief Executive Officer said, “Guest experience is our obsession and we pledge to delight the guest at every moment of truth. We are constantly trying to innovate and create new products and flavours for our guest’s palate. Keventers is thrilled to add this new range of Sundaes to our product portfolio and are confident that our loyalists will love these as much as our shakes”. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThis newly added range of deliciously sinful sundaes are available in all outlets across India adding four distinct combinations that Keventers loyalists can choose from including: Yin and Yang: Find your inner zen with this simple yet timeless combination that brings together the goodness of chocolate cake, a scoop of meticulously churned vanilla ice cream topped with some chocolate sauce and chips to tingle your taste buds. Guilty Pleasure: Indulge your senses in this sinful treat and dig into this treat that combines chocolate crumble and chocolate ice cream with mocha syrup a dollop of chocolate sauce. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveForbidden Forest: Prepare to be tempted with this luxurious treat with delectable chocolate cake and vanilla ice-cream bathed in the chocolate sauce along with a swirl of whipped cream and some fresh cherries on top to seal the deal. The Dark Conspiracy: A chocolate lover’s dream come true – this indulgent combination brings together chocolate cookies and chocolate wafers, in cahoots with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Priced between Rs. 199 – 249 (exclusive of taxes), this specially curated range of Sundaes flavors will be served in reusable glass bowls which one can easily take home. Make every day a Sundae, and devour into the wholesome goodness of Keventers Sundaes to embrace winters differently.last_img read more

AWS reInvent 2018 Amazon announces a variety of AWS IoT releases

first_imgAt the AWS re:Invent 2018 event yesterday, Amazon announced a variety of IoT related AWS releases. Three new AWS IoT Service Delivery Designations at AWS re:Invent 2018 The AWS Service Delivery Program helps customers find and select top APN Partners who have a track record of delivering specific AWS services. The APN partners undergo a service delivery expertise related technical validation in order to get an AWS Service Delivery designation. Three new AWS IoT Service Delivery Designations are now added—AWS IoT Core, AWS IoT Greengrass, and AWS IoT Analytics. AWS IoT Things Graph AWS IoT Things Graph provides an easy way for developers to connect different devices and web services in order to build IoT applications. Devices and web services are represented as reusable components called models. These models hide the low-level details and expose states, actions, and events of underlying devices and services as APIs. A drag-and-drop interface is available to connect the models visually and define interactions between them. This can build multi-step automation applications. When built, the application to your AWS IoT Greengrass-enabled device can be deployed with a few clicks. Areas which it can be used are home automation, industrial automation, and energy management. AWS IoT Greengrass has extended functionality AWS IoT Greengrass allows bringing abilities like local compute, messaging, data caching, sync, and ML inference to edge devices. New features that extend the capabilities of AWS IoT Greengrass including can be used now: Connectors to third-party applications and AWS services. Hardware root of trust private key storage. Isolation and permission configurations that increase the AWS IoT Greengrass Core configuration options. The connectors allow you to easily build complex workflows on AWS IoT Greengrass even if you have no understanding of device protocols, managing credentials, or interacting with external APIs. Connections can be made without writing code. The security is increased due to hardware root of trust private key storage on hardware secure elements. This includes Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) and Hardware Security Modules (HSMs). By storing your private key on a hardware secure element, a hardware root of trust level security is added to existing AWS IoT Greengrass security features that include X.509 certificates. This enables mutual TLS authentication and encryption of data regardless if they are transit or at rest. The hardware secure element can be used to protect secrets that were deployed to AWS IoT Greengrass device. New configuration options allow deploying AWS IoT Greengrass to another container environment and directly access low-power devices like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices. AWS IoT SiteWise, available in limited preview AWS IoT SiteWise is a new service that simplifies collecting and organizing data from industrial equipment at scale. With this service, you can easily monitor equipment across industrial facilities to identify waste, production inefficiencies, and defects in products. With IoT SiteWise, industrial data is stored securely, is available, and searchable in the cloud. IoT SiteWise can be integrated with industrial equipment via a gateway. The gateway then securely connects on-premises data servers to collect data and send it to the AWS Cloud. AWS IoT SiteWise can be used in areas of manufacturing, food and beverage, energy, and utilities. AWS IoT Events, available in preview AWS IoT Events is a new IoT service that makes it easy to catch and respond to events from IoT sensors and applications. This service recognizes events across multiple sensors in order to identify operational issues like equipment slowdowns. It triggers alerts to notify support teams of an issue. This service offers a managed complex event detection service on the AWS cloud. Detecting events across thousands of IoT sensors, like temperature, humidity is simple. System-wide event detection and responding with appropriate actions is easy and cost-effective with AWS IoT Events. Potential areas of use include manufacturing, oil, and gas, commercial and consumer products. Read next Amazon re:Invent 2018: AWS Key Management Service (KMS) Custom Key Store Amazon rolls out AWS Amplify Console, a deployment and hosting service for mobile web apps, at re:Invent 2018 Data science announcements at Amazon re:invent 2017last_img read more

After Los Cabos Newton on path for MexicoArizona border

first_img Posted by Share Wednesday, September 7, 2016 CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico — Newton swept onto the Gulf of California after slamming the resorts of southern Baja as a hurricane before making landfall Mexico’s mainland and weakening to a tropical storm.And the storm remained on a path Wednesday morning that was expected to take it to the U.S. border with potentially dangerous rains for Arizona and New Mexico.Newton first came ashore near the Los Cabos resorts Tuesday morning as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 90 mph (150 kph), pelting the area with torrential rain as residents sheltered at home and tourists huddled in hotels. The storm broke windows, downed trees and knocked out power, but the area was spared the kind of extensive damage seen two years ago when they were walloped by a stronger storm.A shrimp boat capsized in rough seas in the Gulf of California, killing two people and leaving three others missing, authorities said. The boat had set out from the port of Ensenada and was bound for Mazatlan.More news:  Universal enhances popular Harry Potter vacation package with new perksAfter passing over the resort area, Newton headed northward up the sparsely populated interior of the peninsula and then sput out over the gulf during the night. Early Wednesday, its centre was about 10 miles (15 kilometres) southeast of Bahia Kino and was moving north at around 17 mph (28 kph) with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph).After passing over relatively little populated areas in Sonora, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Newton could push into southeastern Arizona in the afternoon and drop 1 to 3 inches of rain there and over parts of New Mexico through Thursday.“Heavy rain could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, especially in mountainous terrain,” the centre said.About 14,000 tourists were in Los Cabos during the storm, tourism officials said, and visitors began venturing out after Newton passed.“Just trying to make it through the day, with a little help,” Mark Hernandez, a visitor from California, said as he raised a can of beer at one of the few bars open in Cabo San Lucas. “We pray for the city of Cabo San Lucas. It was a rough one as you can see.”More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthPalm trees were toppled along the town’s coastal boulevard and some windows were broken. But there was calm in the city as firefighters cleaned refuse from the streets during the day.In 2014, Los Cabos suffered heavy damage to homes, shops and hotels when it was hammered by Hurricane Odile, which hit land as a Category 3 storm.“You know, it could have been a lot worse and I think we are very fortunate that it wasn’t as bad as Odile,” said Darlene Savord, another tourist from California. “I think that we are very fortunate and blessed.” The Canadian Press center_img Tags: Arizona, Mexico After Los Cabos, Newton on path for Mexico-Arizona border << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

WestJet updates travel agent and companion discount program

first_imgWestJet updates travel agent and companion discount program Share Travelweek Group Posted by Tags: Agent Rates, WestJet, WestJet Vacationscenter_img CALGARY — WestJet is offering travel agents and one companion 50% to 75% off regular published Y fares, based on availability, for bookings made by Dec. 15 with no blackout dates.To take advantage of the special rates agents are asked to call WestJet’s Travel Support team at 1-877-664-3205, Monday to Sunday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. MT. Taxes and fees are extra.Fares and space are limited and subject to availability. The 75% discount on Y fares applies when G inventory is available. The 50% discount on Y fares applies when M inventory is available.Agents are asked to provide the following details at time of booking:Flight information (dates of travel and preferred/alternate flight numbers)Names and contact information of travellersAgency information (personal IATA/UFTAA code [VER# or ACTA#] and IATA/TIDS)A valid credit cardReservations are permitted any time prior to departure (based on availability) for domestic, transborder and international flights.A valid IATA/UFTAA and a valid 10 digit ACTA/verification number are required. The IATA/UFTAA ID card number is a mandatory field. “We will electronically verify your ACTA/verification number for validation. Please be prepared to show your IATA or UFTAA at the airport,” says WestJet.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upSome restrictions apply, including: travel agent bookings are non-commissionable and non-refundable; Plus fare seats may not be booked through the travel agent discount program; codeshare and interline bookings may not be booked through the travel agent discount program; and free seat selection is not included (but may still be purchased at the regular pre-reserved seat prices).WestJet Vacations has also sent out a reminder about its travel agent and companion (positive space) discount program, offering travel agents and up to three additional companions 20% off positive space air and hotel packages on one file (in one hotel room). Individual deviations are not permitted. The booking deadline for these special rates is also Dec. 15, with several blackout dates for the remainder of 2017, including: Sept. 4 – 5, 2017; Oct. 5 – 6, 2017; Oct. 9 – 10, 2017; Nov. 9 – 14, 2017; Dec.14 – 24, 2017; Dec. 26 – 31, 2017. Monday, August 28, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Hats entertainment for MTA trio on Rocky Mountaineer Study Tour

first_img‘Hats entertainment’ for MTA trio on Rocky Mountaineer Study Tour‘Hats entertainment’ for MTA trio on Rocky Mountaineer Study TourPictured from left to right, MTA –Mobile Travel Agents’ Tim Rankin, Carla Marno and Sarah Day getting into the mood while visiting Calgary as part of a recent Rocky Mountaineer ‘Learning Journey’ program.The Rocky Mountaineer ‘Learning Journey’ program has been designed to help agents identify which level of service and tour partner experiences best match the needs of their clients via experiential study tours combining trains, hotel accommodation and partner tour operators.Travelling aboard the world-famous train from Vancouver to Calgary, the three MTA Members also experienced a Brewster motorhome tour between Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff.Tour highlights included Rocky Mountaineer ‘Gold Leaf’ and ‘Silver Leaf’ train travel, a ‘Summit Helicopter’ experience and a spectacular scenic ride aboard the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulfur Mountain.Source = Mike Parker-Brown, PR – MTA Mobile Travel Agentslast_img read more

The inspiration arrived in a haze at a Paul McCart

first_imgThe inspiration arrived in a haze at a Paul McCartney concert a few years ago in San Francisco.”People in front of me started lighting up and then other people started lighting up,” says Matthew Springer, a biologist and professor in the division of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco. “And for a few naive split seconds I was thinking to myself, ‘Hey, they can’t smoke in AT&T Park! I’m sure that’s not allowed.’ And then I realized that it was all marijuana.”Recreational pot was not legal yet in the state, but that stopped no one. “Paul McCartney actually stopped between numbers and sniffed the air and said, ‘There’s something in the air — must be San Francisco!’ ” Springer recalls.As the visible cloud of pot smoke took shape, so did Springer’s idea to study the effects of secondhand marijuana smoke.He started thinking: San Franciscans would never tolerate those levels of cigarette smoke in a public place anymore. So why were they OK with smoke from burning pot? Did people just assume that cannabis smoke isn’t harmful the way tobacco smoke is?Springer was already researching the health effects of secondhand tobacco smoke on rats at his lab at UCSF. He decided to run the same tests using joints.”By the time I left the concert, I was resolved to at least try to make this happen,” he says.He knew it would be difficult. Marijuana is still an illegal drug under federal law, and Springer’s research uses federal funds; so he has to purchase specially approved government cannabis for study. He also can’t test it on humans; hence, the rats.In the lab, Springer puts a cigarette or a joint in a plexiglass box. Then he lights it, and lets the chamber fill with smoke, where an anesthetized rat is exposed to the smoke.So far, Springer and his colleagues have published research demonstrating that secondhand smoke makes it harder for the rats’ arteries to expand and allow a healthy flow of blood.With tobacco products, this effect lasts about 30 minutes, and then the arteries recover their normal function. But if it happens over and over — as when a person is smoking cigarette after cigarette, for example — the arterial walls can become permanently damaged, and that damage can cause blood clots, heart attack or stroke.Springer demonstrated that, at least in rats, the same physiological effect occurs after inhaling secondhand smoke from marijuana. And, the arteries take 90 minutes to recover compared to the 30 minutes with cigarette smoke.Springer’s discovery about the effect on blood vessels describes just one harmful impact for nonsmokers who are exposed to marijuana. Statewide sampling surveys of cannabis products sold in marijuana dispensaries have shown that cannabis products may contain dangerous bacteria or mold, or residues from pesticides and solvents.California law requires testing for these contaminants, and those regulations are being initiated in three phases over the course of 2018. Because much of the marijuana being sold now was harvested in 2017, consumers will have to wait until early 2019 before they can purchase products that have been fully tested according to state standards.”People think cannabis is fine because it’s ‘natural,’ ” Springer says. “I hear this a lot. I don’t know what it means.” He concedes that tightly regulated marijuana, which has been fully tested, doesn’t have as many chemical additives as cigarettes.But even if the cannabis tests clean, Springer says, smoke itself is bad for the lungs, heart and blood vessels. Other researchers are exploring the possible relationship between marijuana smoke and long-term cancer risk.Certainly, living with a smoker is worse for your health than just going to a smoky concert hall. But, Springer says, the less you inhale any kind of smoke, the better.”People should think of this not as an anti-THC conclusion,” he says, referencing the active ingredient in marijuana, “but an anti-smoke conclusion.”So is the solution simply to avoid smoke from combustion? In other words, is it safer to eat cannabis-infused products, or use “smokeless” e-cigarettes or vaping devices?Springer still urges caution on that score because vaping, for example, can have its own health effects. Vaping devices don’t produce smoke from combustion, but they do release a cloud of aerosolized chemicals. Springer is studying the health effects of those chemicals, too.All this research takes time. Meanwhile, Springer worries that people might come to the wrong conclusion — that the absence of research means the secondhand smoke is OK.”We in the public health community have been telling them for decades to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke from tobacco,” Springer says. “We have not been telling them to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke from marijuana, and that’s not because it’s not bad for you — it’s because we just haven’t known. The experiments haven’t been done.”Antismoking campaigners say we can’t afford to wait until the research is complete. Recreational pot is already a reality.Cynthia Hallett is the president of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, based in Berkeley, Calif. The organization was established in 1976, before there was a lot known about the health effects of secondhand smoke from tobacco.Now that cannabis is becoming more common across the country — more than 20 cities or states have legalized it in some form — her organization is taking on the issue of secondhand marijuana smoke, too.Hallett says some of the arguments being made in support of cannabis remind her of the arguments made on behalf of tobacco decades ago.”I’m seeing a parallel between this argument that, ‘Gee, we just don’t have a lot of science and so, therefore, let’s wait and see,’ ” Hallett says. “The tobacco companies used to say the same thing about tobacco cigarettes.”In California, smoking cannabis is prohibited anywhere tobacco smoking is prohibited — including schools, airplanes and most workplaces. Hallett is worried that the legalization of pot could be used to erode those rules.It starts with the premise of decriminalization, she says, and then, over time, there’s “a chipping away at strong policies.”Some cannabis advocates want to see pot regulated like alcohol — cities would issue permits for specialized smoking lounges, similar to wine bars.But Hallett points out that smoke drifts, and it affects workers in a way that alcohol doesn’t.”The difference is, if I were to spill my beer on you in a bar, it wouldn’t affect your long-term health,” she says. “If I choose to smoke, it can affect the health of the person near me.”Pot is more like tobacco in that respect, and Hallett believes it should be regulated that way.She says this era of California culture brings to mind a similar period in the 1970s and ’80s, when Americans started demanding more regulations for secondhand smoke, and a new etiquette around smoking took form.When it comes to marijuana, Hallett says, “it is still polite for you to say: ‘Would you mind not smoking around me?’ “At Magnolia, a cannabis dispensary in Oakland, Calif., pot smokers talk about what responsibilities — if any — they should have when it comes to nearby nonsmokers.”This is the first time that I have heard secondhand smoke in reference to cannabis,” admits Lee Crow, a patient-services clerk at Magnolia. “I’ve tried to be courteous — just common courtesy, like with anything.”The dispensary’s director of clinical services, Barbara Blaser, admits she thinks a lot about secondhand smoke from cigarettes, but not pot.”Both of my parents died of lung cancer!” she says. “I will stop a stranger and say, ‘You shouldn’t be smoking. My dad died of that!’ “California’s Proposition 64, approved by state voters in 2016, requires that some of the state tax revenue from the sale of marijuana to be distributed to cannabis researchers. In addition, the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is examining workplace hazards that are specific to the cannabis industry.This story is part of NPR’s reporting partnership, local member stations and Kaiser Health News. Copyright 2018 KALW. To see more, visit KALW.last_img read more

Papa Johns Files Trademark to Lose Its Apostrophe and Spotlights New Papas

first_img Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Image credit: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Grammar is only one tactic the pizza chain is using to distance itself from John Schnatter. Register Now » It’s not Papa John’s pizza, it’s everyone’s pizza. Every franchisee and employee’s pizza. Or it will be, officially, if Papa John’s decides to lose its apostrophe and become Papa Johns.Why drop the possessive? The company has cut ties with founder John Schnatter this year after he made a series of racially divisive comments. Those comments inspired white supremacists to declare Papa John’s “the pizza of the alt-right” and send the company into full-on damage control rebrand mode. One of the measures the company has taken is filing a new logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The new logo, which the company has not implemented, does not contain an apostrophe, a seemingly symbolic acknowledgment of Schnatter’s departure. However, the company has not yet implemented a name or logo change, and Schnatter is still it’s largest shareholder, so at least for now, it’s still Papa John’s. The company “has no imminent plans to use the new logo,” a spokesperson told AdAge. Meanwhile, it’s removed Schnatter’s image from its pizza boxes.Wait, what’d he do again?On an earnings call in November 2017, Schnatter criticized the NFL for its handling of the #TakeAKnee protests. By New Year’s, he’d stepped down as CEO. Then this summer, it came to light that he’d used the “n-word” on a company conference call which Papa John’s held for the express purpose of executive media training. He lost his board chair position on July 11 as a result. Schnatter has also been accused of sexual misconduct, and he’s filed at least two lawsuits against Papa John’s, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.Related: Papa John’s Has Created a Social Media Ad Featuring Negative Customer Tweets That’s Been Watched 1.7 Million TimesIn the wake of his resignations from company leadership, he’s publicly declared his commitment to Papa John’s employees and launched SavePapaJohns.com in an attempt to clarify “the truth” about what happened between him and the company. He’s also made several critical comments regarding the executives that have succeeded him.Papa John’s has launched a couple of bold marketing campaigns over the past month. In one, the company displayed screenshots of numerous tweets from disappointed customers who thought the company sympathized with racists and white supremacists, given Schnatter’s remarks. It denounced this reputation and assured customers it was listening to their concerns. Internally, the pizza chain has spearheaded diversity training campaigns and other initiatives. It’s also published a new values statement. Last week, Papa John’s rolled out a new ad campaign featuring franchisees and employees rather than Schnatter. On Twitter, the company has been changing its account photo, bio and name daily. Yesterday it was Papa Brant Barnes. Today it’s Papa Kiersten Bates. Wait, who? Exactly. The company wants to tell the stories of other people behind the brand. Under Kiersten Bates’s photo and name, the Twitter bio reads, “‘I’m a Papa John’s GM in MI. I love spending time w/my son & my favorite topping is bacon. I am one of 120,000 voices of Papa John’s.’ -Kiersten Bates” “You’ve heard one voice of Papa John’s for a long time,” a franchisee in a video says. “It’s time you heard from all of us,” a marketing manager follows.In our communities. On the phone. Behind the counter. At your door. These are the real voices of Papa John’s. pic.twitter.com/Lz1Lga8uSP— Papa Kiersten Bates (@PapaJohns) September 18, 2018To that end, Papa John’s also has launched Stories.PapaJohns.com, where it spotlights various franchisees and employees. The site also addresses the controversy that has surrounded the company over the past several months.But back to the apostrophe.Will they change it? Time will tell. IHOP didn’t actually change its name to IHOB. It was just a temporary marketing campaign to make people think of the restaurant chain for burgers in addition to pancakes.Related: Ousted Papa John’s Founder Creates Website to ‘Save’ His Company and Get the ‘Truth Out There’Besides, the Papa John’s apostrophe is kind of like peperoncino in the corner of every one of its pizza boxes. It’s a small thing, but you’d notice if Papa John’s got rid of it. Plus, Papa Johns implies a bunch of people named John. But they’re not all named John, as the chain has shown us. (Brant? Kiersten? Bueller?) Speaking of johns, this kind of reminds me of that Saturday Night Live sketch, “Jon Hamm’s John Ham.”I also will note that this is a tremendous opportunity for a collaboration between indie folk-rock meta master Father John Misty on a campaign. But he’s not much of a marketing campaign collaborator kinda guy.I also will note that the logo in the upper left corner of Schnatter’s rebuttal website, SavePapaJohns.com, lacks an apostrophe. So maybe it’s not that crucial, if the man himself isn’t taking every opportunity to declare ownership.Further, all of this begs the question, wouldn’t the singular be Papa John and the plural be Papas John? (Hat tip to Entrepreneur Insights Editor Liz Webber for that one.) Add to Queue Lydia Belanger –sharescenter_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article Papa John’s Files Trademark to Lose Its Apostrophe and Spotlights New ‘Papas’ Who Aren’t Its Founder September 25, 2018 Rebranding 5 min readlast_img read more

MarTech Interview with Inbal Lavi CEO at Webpals Group

first_imgMarTech Interview with Inbal Lavi, CEO at Webpals Group Sudipto GhoshJune 11, 2019, 2:30 pmJune 11, 2019 About InbalAbout Webpals GroupAbout Inbal The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick. “Marketing technology can enable financial app developers to enrich users’ experience, providing quick and simple management solutions for customer’s financial needs.” Webpals Group is a leader in performance Marketing with offices in New York, Tel Aviv, and Seoul. Our sub-brands, Webpals Finance, Webpals Tech & Webpals Mobile, have been maintaining their strong position in a wide variety of verticals for over a decade. With a complete understanding that data is the force driving the industry, we exclusively own and operate over 2,000 content-rich websites while leveraging our own, cutting-edge technologies, SEO, Media, and Mobile Advertising solutions to drive high-value users to global online businesses and mobile apps. Inbal Lavi has led Webpals Group since 2014. Inbal was responsible for leading all three of the company’s major acquisitions; Dau-Up, MarMar Media and ClicksMob. Her career spans over a decade in the Online Marketing industry, with expertise in Marketing Strategy, Operations, and P&L management. She holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. with honors in Industrial Engineering from Tel Aviv University.center_img About Webpals Group MarTech Interview Series Tell us about your role and journey into technology. What inspired you to be part of the Webpals Group? My journey started during my Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Tel Aviv University, where I wrote my thesis about Machine learning and Data Mining. There weren’t many companies that offered jobs relevant to my academic background, but I always knew the right job opportunity would present itself.Before joining Webpals Group, I held several executive positions at 888 Holdings, leading 888’s business unit to ultimately become the second largest poker brand in the world. My first commercial position in the online world was in Data Mining at 888. With time, I moved into a Business Management position at the company and realized that it is the direction I wanted to follow.Later, when the opportunity arose to become the CEO of Webpals Group, I jumped at the chance. My vision was to build a company with a solid infrastructure, enabling scalable growth, both organically and through acquisitions, in various verticals. From a niche company operating in the Scandinavian market, I have led Webpals’ drastic expansion by branching out into new markets and verticals while successfully leading dozens of multi-million-dollar M and As.Equipped with 15 years of experience in the Online Marketing industry, I have been the CEO of Webpals Group, a world-leading performance Marketing company, since January 2014. Since taking the helm, I have transformed the company from a small startup into a mature organization. During my five years as CEO, the company has grown exponentially and multiplied its revenues.What is Webpals Group and how does it fit into a modern CMO’s Marketing Technology stack?Webpals Group is a Performance Marketing company, specializing in driving high-value users to online and mobile businesses. Utilizing proprietary technology, thousands of exclusively managed web assets in over 18 languages, and with over 400 employees hailing from around the world, Webpals works with partners on a performance basis which means the company only succeeds when our partners succeed. Webpals Group is wholly owned by XLMedia (AIM: XLM).Webpals’ technology enables the company to give its users the most practical advice and suggestions, guiding them towards the products and services they want to see – ultimately saving customers precious time and money in the search for the perfect product.It integrates into a modern CMO’s marketing tech stack by acting as the technology supporting Content Management, helping companies scale and shorten time-to-market. With an abundance of information available, the challenge is to provide the most accurate and relevant information in the friendliest way (e.g. video, tools, etc.). Advanced technology together with creativity enables us to drive a higher audience and more importantly, increase the engagement of returning visitors. As a woman in tech, what are the biggest growth factors in your business that you have managed to scale successfully? Under my guidance, Webpals has been able to set a strong foundation for our expansion activities, from both the organizational and business perspective. We have leveraged the company’s central technology and Online Marketing know-how to build successful business units that integrated their acquisitions and managed to grow them significantly.Webpals’ acquisition methodology has proven successful in the North American personal finance sector, with our portfolio including leading financial websites such as Moneyunder30, Greedyrates.ca, DoughRoller, and more.According to you, which businesses are fastest in adopting Marketing Technology platforms for personalized Customer Experience? Beyond the obvious fit of retail and e-commerce, we are seeing other industries integrating MarTech platforms to improve Customer Experience with great success. A few of the industries that have seen rapid adoption and great ROI are Gaming, Food Delivery, Travel, and Finance. Despite being vastly different from one another, each of these industries is customer-centric and sees the great potential for Personalization.While most of the banks are committed to providing Digital Solutions to meet their customers’ financial needs, there is considerable room for growth. Marketing technology can enable financial app developers to enrich users’ experience, providing quick and simple management solutions for customer’s financial needs.Which data points do you focus on to uncover true intent and preferences behind Consumer Search behavior? To what extent this Customer Behavior can be personalized? We focus on Consumer Behavior by monitoring indicators such as time on site, interaction within the site (using the tools, answering surveys, etc.), heatmap, conversion rates along the funnel, and a number of times consumers return to the site.Using these data points, we analyze user behavior and intentions, providing customers with unique and creative personalized offers and experiences.We also create unique content, manufactured to meet users’ needs, wherever and whenever possible. For example, on greedyrates.ca, we developed calculators and tools that enable users to find the perfect product – enabling us to segment audiences by profile. Our proprietary technology allows us to target users on various occasions or on different sites, offering complementary information to their previous searches. The results show an increase in engagement and returning visitors, as well as a 30% increase in revenue. We leverage mobile vs desktop to get the right content into the right hands. For example, blogs are easier to read on the go (mobile), whereas credit applications need attention and focus (desktop). And lastly, in order to personalize consumer’s online experiences, we build videos that resonate with the target audience, taking advantage of special events and utilizing relatable figures to present their own experiences with the product.How much has the Search Intelligence commerce changed since the time you first started in the tech industry? Search Intelligence commerce has changed drastically since I first began in the tech industry. In the early 90s, Internet-wide search was still in its infancy. Today, retailers understand they must innovate to survive, but rapidly changing technologies and tastes make it hard to decide which innovations are worth pursuing. For marketers seeking to navigate this ever-evolving space, always staying one step ahead can prove a challenge.Amidst the ever-changing Digital Search landscape, two unassuming technologies have quietly proven themselves useful for retailers and marketers alike: Voice and Visual search. The Visual search began as a novel Computer Science demo, but as mobile cameras improve and AI gets smarter, tech giants are increasingly throwing their weight behind this unique approach to search. Forward-thinking retailers are already implementing visual search to invigorate their online presence and deepen their connection with tech-savvy shoppers.Voice search, on the other hand, is more complex as some opt for their mobile devices over smart speakers; however, optimizing Voice search will be vital for businesses in the near future as more and more searches on mobile are being conducted orally.Understanding the nuances of Voice search is essential to help searchers find exactly what they’re looking for when searching by Voice – and, correspondingly, it’s also how marketers can direct audiences to relevant content and identify appropriate targets for outreach. Both Voice and Visual search will be an interesting space to watch as retailers and marketers turn to new venues for e-commerce and advertising. What are the major challenges/pain points for businesses that fail to leverage Mobile Marketing/Automation technologies? How does Webpals Group solve these?Developing the tools that will enable scalable growth in all verticals is one of the biggest challenges businesses face today. Webpals is a leader and innovator in the Online Marketing sector, which is a crowded and constantly evolving market. Today’s consumers are inundated with information and want access to highly-tailored content across all media channels- to stand out, companies must have a unique value. Therefore, we must always remain ahead of the curve to engage users through a wide variety of platforms and niche sites. In order to do so, we have utilized our know-how to expand into new territories and new verticals, like Personal Finance.Webpals’ advanced technology provides accurate targeting and segmentation of audiences, helping businesses tap into the most relevant users, ultimately enabling scalable growth. Lastly, as businesses often face a highly competitive environment, automation of campaign management is critical to gaining profits.Which markets and geographies are you currently catering to? We operate worldwide in the mobile, tech, finance, and gaming sectors, from the United States to Europe, MENA, and Asia.Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use in your current roles? We use in-house tools for Content Management and Data Extraction, Data Analysis and Conversion Optimization. Additionally, I use several tools to keep track of the internal and external affairs at Webpals. I start each morning looking at managerial dashboards and BI to keep up to speed with the performance of the various sectors of our business and to track our targets. Rank ranger is another useful tool for me to see what’s going on outside of the business, tracking changes and trends in the Google rankings of the sites we operate (over 2,000). What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in AI and Data Management technology on Marketing and Sales for 2019-2020? I believe the most impactful disruptions on AI and Data management technology will come from Blockchain Technology and Augmented Data Management. What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now? I’m currently keeping an eye on Gong.io and GivingWay; I think both start-ups will make a large impact in the technology industry in the near future.How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a MarTech Business leader?Events should be trackable, with user behavior being mapped and tracked, enabling us to granularly collect the data and analyze a customer’s journey, from beginning to end.Moreover, Statistics and Data Modeling experts should turn data into algorithms. Marketers and Content teams have the tools to understand user intent. Now, they must come up with content plans to fulfill those users’ needs.  How do you inspire your people to work with technology? While I try to lead by example, my team at Webpals is truly remarkable. When I began my role at the company, it was important to me that we put together a group of people that are inclusive and gender-balanced, exemplifying the essence of our mission. Creating a team of diverse and talented experts pushes each member to show what they can bring to the table, constantly striving to improve our technology and customer services.One word that best describes how you work. Multitasking.What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Mobile apps: Facebook ads, Google ads, rank tracker (rank ranger) and email application of courseDesktop tools: Internal reporting tools with different management dashboards to present daily status and trendsWhat’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack? Looking ahead is always important to me, so one of the most helpful tools or ‘hacks’ is our bi-monthly roadmap reviews. These assessments allow me to understand what progress has been made so far, and plan for future technological developments, reprioritizing our projects when necessary. Internally, my business and corporate teams submit weekly and monthly reports regarding the progress of major tech projects, initiatives, and various business affairs. Each month my financial team submits a performance review, allowing me to understand where we are in relation to our budget; this enables our team to adjust our operations and targets accordingly. What are you currently reading? A book I highly recommend (from past reading) is ‘Predictably Irrational’ by Dan Ariely. This book forced me to look at my decision-making process and re-evaluate how and why we all make the decisions we do – a critical element to running a healthy organization. A Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Dan Ariely’s book changed the way I thought about thinking. By dissecting the science behind our decisions, Ariely exposes the emotions, expectations, and ethics we subconsciously refer to when making choices, in daily life and in business. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?You don’t get ahead without making mistakes. Something you do better than others – the secret of your success? Looking ahead.Every few months the heads of our business units present me with a quarterly business review to examine the previous quarter, highlighting key successes and challenges. This allows us to learn and grow from the past, taking those lessons into account when reviewing business plans for the next quarter.Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:I would love to read answers from Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle, who led 100+ acquisitions when she took over as CEO. Or, from Mary T Barra, CEO of General Motors, who worked in every position possible at her company in order to relate to each employee and learn the ins and outs of her business.Thank you, Inbal! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon. AIaugmented dataBlockchain technologycontent managementInbal LaviinterviewsMarTech InterviewROIWebpals Group Previous ArticleMobiquity Technologies Releases AdTribute™ Real-Time Ad Effectiveness AttributionNext ArticleSalce-Garcia Brings 15 Years of Industry Experience in Customer Advocacy as Operative Extends Global Client Portfoliolast_img read more

Doctors urged to prescribe woodland walks for mental health problems

first_imgHe adds that forest bathing should also be encouraged for children to help fight the “always on” culture prompted by social media.BBC presenter Kate Humble is calling for schools to conduct lessons outside, referring to how difficult she found education whilst surrounded by four walls: We do know that patients often benefit from non-medical interventions such as an exercise class, learning a skill or joining a community group. This is now referred to as ‘social prescribing,’ and ‘forest bathing’ is one of many activities that people might find beneficial for their overall wellbeing.”Helen Stokes-Lampard It’s about invigorating the senses by walking in the woods, smelling, listening to the sounds of the woods, touching the ground. We’re almost losing that as a society.”Stuart Dainton By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Jun 10 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)The Woodland Trust says the Japanese practice of “forest bathing” should be prescribed on the NHS to tackle stress and other mental health problems. According to the charity, hugging trees, listening to bird song and kicking through leaves are all activities that can boost mental health.Denis Costille | ShutterstockThe Trust is urging GPs to prescribe forest bathing for mental health conditions and direct patients to their nearest woodland.Head of innovation at the Woodland Trust, Stuart Dainton, say all family doctors should have the knowledge to point patients towards the nearest suitable woodland where they can absorb nature, informally or as part of a structured program. He is appealing to GPs to make use of the more than 1,000 sites covered by the Trust in the UK.Stemming from the Japanese art Shinrin-yoku, the practice was devised 40 years ago by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries as part of an initiative to tackle stress among men. The activity involves breathing deeply and absorbing the atmosphere of the forest as a way of yielding calming, rejuvenating and restorative effects.Participants are encouraged to immerse themselves in the environment and take in the sights, sounds, touch and smells of the forest. I find it stultifying and boring and I spent probably more of my school career going ‘How can five minutes feel like five hours?’ There is no reason why maths, English literature or any subject cannot be taught outside.”Kate Humble Dainton says that social prescribing through aspects of Shinrin-yoku, forest bathing, is a route to helping the nation destress: “One in four of us are potentially going to suffer from mental health problems. Part of the solution is just getting outside and enjoying nature.”Forest bathing “practitioner” Faith Douglas points out that forest bathing has been out there for years: “ This is something our ancestors did, this is something that cultures do all over the planet — it’s simply being mindful in a natural environment.”How many people could benefit from forest bathing?Millions of people are affected by mental health problems every year in the U.S. Statistics on the prevalence and impact of these conditions in the U.S. include the following: Forest bathing is now practiced by more than five million Japanese people and has quietly been gaining popularity in the UK. The therapy, which has become a cornerstone of preventative health care in Japanese medicine, has prompted a number of scientific studies that seem to prove its beneficial effects.Research mainly conducted in Japan and South Korea, has shown that two hours of time spent mindfully exploring a forest can lower blood pressure, reduce the stress hormone cortisol and improve memory and concentration. Studies have also found that trees release substances called phytoncides, which have anti-microbial properties and can boost the immune system.As a result of these findings, the Japanese government decided to introduce shinrin-yoku as a national health program and now forest therapy is an established practice throughout the world.An increasing number of companies are now offering structured forest bathing programs that last anything from between a couple of days through to week-long residential stays.The Forestry Commission, which is the largest proprietor of wooded land, has also announced that it plans to launch nationwide programs. In addition, it provides printable recommendations on how to practice the activity, including tips on how to breathe correctly.Health benefits of forest bathingBeneficial effects of forest bathing (that have been scientifically proven) include: Around one-fifth (46.6 million) of adults experience a mental health condition every year Each year, an estimated one in 25 (11.2 million) adults develop a serious mental health problem that significantly limits or disrupts day-today activities Around one in five (21.4%) individuals aged 13 to 18 years develop a severe mental health condition Around 13% of those aged 8 to 15 years develop a severe mental health condition The percentage of adults living with schizophrenia is 1.1% For bipolar disorder, the figure is 2.6% Almost 7% (16 million) adults experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year About 18% of adults developed an anxiety disorder such as phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Of 20.2 million adults who had a substance abuse problem, 10.2 million also had a mental health illness Helen Stokes-Lampard from the Royal College of GPs advises that getting outside can have a “really positive impact” on health: Increased natural killer cell count and improved immune system function Reduced blood pressure Improved sleep Higher energy levels Improved mood Increased concentration, particularly among children with ADHD Faster recovery from illness or surgery Decreased stress Want to give it a go? The National Trust has put together a beginner’s guide to forest bathing.last_img read more

Workshops and online interventions provide support for parents of anorexia patients

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 24 2019In a pilot projected at the University Clinic for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of MedUni Wien and AKH Wien, parents of anorexia patients were familiarized with the illness in the form of workshops and an online intervention and introduced to skills for the interaction with their children in order to promote healing. The scientific evaluation showed the clear and lasting reduction of the psychological stress within the family affected by the eating disorder. The results are now presented during the largest European Child Psychiatry Congress (30 June to 2 July) in Vienna.Anorexia nervosa is one of the most severe psychiatric diseases in female adolescents. Its origin is co-conditional on a series of biological and genetic factors and must be treated in its early stages. In the process, not only the patients themselves, but also the personal environment experiences psychological stress, which can influence the healing process.A dysfunctional communication and interaction style within the family and/or “high expressed emotions” from the relatives are part of the numerous factors which maintain the eating disorder symptoms. The program SUCCEAT (Supporting Carers of Children and Adolescents with Eating Disorders in Austria) shows how these can be addressed and how they can improve the interaction between parents and children with the eating disorder. In a project over several years, chaired by Andreas Karwautz and Gudrun Wagner (University Clinic for Children and Adolescent Psychiatry of MedUni Wien / AKH Wien), the program was evaluated in a randomized controlled study. Parents of more than 100 patients were allocated to the intervention in the form of 8-week workshops or an online intervention with 8 modules. In weekly meetings, information regarding eating disorders and skills in the handling of critical situations were mediated.Under the guidance of child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists, parents were able to learn the best possible behavior in difficult situations (e.g. during shared meals, shopping or excessive sports activities). While this could be realized in workshop groups with role play, the participants in the online intervention were able to exchange experiences in an online forum. The most important point at the start of the workshops was to convey that the illness of their child is not the fault of the parents. Nobody is accused of having done something wrong. The successful treatment of this highly complex disease requires the assistance of the parents. The purpose of the workshops is to boost this assistance and to become a part of the solution.”Andreas Karwautz, University Clinic for Children and Adolescent Psychiatry of MedUni Wien / AKH Wien Related StoriesRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeResearchers study cannabis dosage to reduce seizures in children with severe epilepsyThus, parents also learn to implement coping mechanisms for moments of own frustration and thus become a role model for their children.Reduction of stress due to the illnessThe effect of the intervention was evaluated with the aid of a questionnaire. General and eating-disorder-specific stress, psychiatric symptoms and “high expressed emotions” of the parents were reduced significantly in the SUCCEAT workshop as well as the online group; this reduction was stable in the long term course. The skills of the parents in dealing with their children with eating disorders improved significantly in both groups. This provides a highly effective disorder-specific treatment for parents of adolescents with anorexia nervosa.This model has already been implemented in the clinical routine at the University Clinic for Children and Adolescent Psychiatry of MedUni Wien/AKH Wien. “As also the online group clearly showed a positive response, this model can also be absolved and sensibly implemented at home”, explains Gudrun Wagner. “As to how the support of the parents impacts the healing process of the young patients is the subject of further evaluations.” Source:Medical University of Viennalast_img read more

London hopes for bright tech future despite Brexit

first_imgThe mayor says London’s tech future is bright so long as it works with others As part of London Tech Week, the government on Wednesday announced the creation of 1,600 new jobs and £2.3 billion ($3.1 billion, 2.6 billion euros) of investment into the UK technological economy from the private sector.”The measures we are announcing… will allow innovative British start-ups to invest in their future, and in the UK, by hiring more skilled people, expanding their business and exporting their expertise across the world,” Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement. Citation: London hopes for bright tech future despite Brexit (2018, June 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-london-bright-tech-future-brexit.html © 2018 AFP 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. Brexit could cost nearly 500,000 UK jobs: study Launching London Tech Week, dubbed Europe’s largest festival of technology and innovation by its organisers, Khan said in an interview that London must “collaborate” with other European hubs regardless of Britain’s future exit from the European Union.Almost three weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron hosted talks with 60 tech leaders during a Paris sector fair, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, London Tech Week is delivering more than 200 demonstrations spread out across the capital and bringing together 50,000 participants.”One of the things about London’s future is that we have to work closely with our partners across Europe,” Khan told AFP on the sidelines of this week’s event. “I love Paris, I love Berlin, love Barcelona, love Frankfurt, other cities across Europe… We shouldn’t see each other as competitors, always competing. Of course sometimes we do compete but also we should be collaborating, working closer together,” the mayor added.London ‘open to talent’He said London would remain a welcoming destination despite Brexit, in order to continue a long tradition of attracting talent.”London’s openness will always be one of our strengths, our diversity and so if you live in France or live in Germany or live in Poland or live in Italy or live in Spain, or around the world, and you want to fulfill your potential we’ll still going to be a welcoming place,” he said.In a note of caution, however, Khan called for changes to Britain’s visa rules.”The visa route for non-EU is very clunky…. But also we’ve got to make it easier for talented people from the EU to come to London.” London has a bright tech future post-Brexit working closely with other European capitals but the government should open up more to immigration, London Mayor Sadiq Khan told AFP. Making it easier for talented people to come to London Explore further The government also plans to create a so-called Start-Up Visa for entrepreneurs.”This will replace a visa route which was exclusively for graduates, opening it up to talented business founders,” the statement added.According to May’s Conservative government, British tech businesses last year attracted $7.8 billion compared with France and Germany’s combined total of $6.0 billion and almost double the UK amount in 2016.”London has always been a place open to talent. For one thousand years, even before the European Union,” Khan said.”That’s not going to change. You can come here to study, to be a tourist, to work, to invest.” Khan, who backed Britain remaining in the EU in the 2016 referendum, is hopeful that the country can ride potential Brexit storms.A post-Brexit transition period to allow companies and people to adapt has been agreed with the EU in principle until 2020 and Khan said it could extend even further.”The good news is that the transition period is quite a long way off… We’re not going to fall off a cliff edge in March 2019, it will go on to at least December 2020 and maybe longer,” he said.last_img read more

TMobile gets rid of robot system for customer service calls

first_imgT-Mobile is getting rid of that robotic voice on its customer service lines, the company announced Wednesday. Explore further ©2018 The Seattle Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. The telecom said it would connect users straight to a team of customer representatives, unique to their own city, when they call customer service.” ‘Your call is important to us’ are the six emptiest words ever robo-spoken,” said CEO John Legere at a media event in Charleston, South Carolina, that was full of the company’s signature lobbing of insults about its competitors (Verizon and AT&T, not its potential merger partner Sprint).The announcement was the next chapter of T-Mobile’s Un-carrier campaign, which has also encouraged customers to “break up” with their own carriers and switch to T-Mobile, and has offered unlimited video streaming.This time, its plan is to lure customers by offering less rage-invoking service calls and messages.T-Mobile’s new customer service system has been in the works for years, Legere said. It will eliminate the robotic systems that generally start customer service calls, such as “press one for billing.” It will also stop customers from being endlessly transferred among agents, the company said. Instead, customers will work with a specific “team of experts.”The teams consist of about 40 people all working near each other. If one employee gets a question they need help with, they will call over a coworker rather than continually transferring the call.Teams are live in 17 markets currently, and will expand to all U.S. areas and add overnight hours by the end of the year, said T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Nick Drake.Currently, many customer service agents are graded based on how fast they can get people off the phone.”The system is rigged against them,” said T-Mobile chief operating officer Mike Sievert, and T-Mobile will get rid of it. Since 2015, the company said there has been a 48 percent reduction in call center employees quitting.T-Mobile also expects it will keep costs down because people will get their questions answered the first time, and not have to call back.T-Mobile enlisted actor Rainn Wilson—best known as Dwight from “The Office”—to demonstrate the frustration of working through a robocall, being transferred among departments and ultimately not getting a problem solved while on a generic customer service call. 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: T-Mobile gets rid of robot system for customer service calls (2018, August 17) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-t-mobile-robot-customer.html Nokia to help with T-Mobile superfast telecom networklast_img read more