Masstech Group has acquired the products and technology assets of channel-in-a-box playout specialist PlayBox Technology.The shareholders of PlayBox Technology will continue to own and operate Playbox’ system integration, support centre and worldwide distribution through its eight offices in Europe, Asia and the US, and their associated reseller networks.Solutions from the two companies will be on display side-by-side at the NAB Show in Las Vegas next week.Masstechsaid that its expanded solution will be the first in which assets will be managed by an open platform across the entire broadcast chain, including ingest, production, and transmission, and embracing legacy infrastructure across all popular editing, automation and playout systems.“The success of Masstech’s solutions and the dynamic changes being driven by consolidation in the broadcast market signaled to our shareholders, who represent some of the largest Venture Capital and Private Equity firms in Canada, that now is the right time to make strategic additions to the Masstech product portfolio,” said Masstech CEO Joe French.“Adding PlayBox enables us to extend the Masstech platform to create the first fully integrated broadcast environment that includes playout and graphics within the asset management system. Our partnership with PlayBox will also significantly expand the worldwide distribution of Masstech’s products and solutions through the PlayBox network.”
Omnifone founder Rob Lewis is targeting the music streaming market with a new HDMI dongle, Electric Jukebox, that streams music over Wifi via the TV.The device is being marketed at £179 (€240) in the UK including a year’s access to its music catalogue. Thereafter, users will pay £60 a year for the service, while those who unsubscribe will continue to enjoy access to advertising-supported internet radio stations via the device.Electric Jukebox will also be available in the US, priced at US$229 for the device and first year, and US$60 for the ongoing subscription.Lewis has secured the support of former U2 manager Rob Dickins and former EMI Music CEO Alain Levy, who sit on the company’s board.Artists who have signed up to provide playlists for the service include Sheryl Crow, Robbie Williams and Alesha Dixon.
Google is due to launch a dedicated YouTube VR app later this year for its forthcoming mobile virtual reality platform, Daydream.Announcing the launch at its I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California, Google said it is creating the YouTube VR app to provide an “easier, more immersive way to find and experience virtual reality content on YouTube”.The new app will give users access to all of YouTube content – including 16×9 videos, 360-degree footage and VR experiences in “full 3D”.YouTube is collaborating with partners like the NBA, BuzzFeed and Tastemade to “explore new ways of storytelling in virtual environments”, according to Kurt Wilms, senior product manager, YouTube Virtual Reality.It is also working with camera partners such as GoPro to help make the production of VR video more accessible to content creators.GoPro Odyssey cameras are compatible with Google’s VR Jump camera rig – which consists of 16 camera modules in a circular array – and YouTube plans to roll out its Jump programme to all its YouTube Space creator studios around the world, starting this week in LA and New York.Speaking at Google I/O this week, Google’s vice-president of virtual reality, Clay Bavor, said: “We’ve rebuilt YouTube from the ground up for VR. In it is voice search, discovery, your favourite playlists – all in VR.“We’ve added spatial audio, improved VR video streaming so you’ll be able to step inside the world’s largest collection of VR videos and experience places and concerts and events like you’re actually there. And by the way, you’ll also be able to watch every single standard video currently on YouTube, but in a very different way.”Discussing Google’s other VR app developments, Bavor said that Google Play Movies is coming to Daydream, with high definition DRM video support. “That means you’ll be able to watch movies and TV shows from Play, but in a virtual movie theatre.”He said that Google Street View is coming to Daydream, “so you’ll be able to walk the streets of the world without having to fly around the world.”Bavor also revealed that Google Photos will support VR, “so you can step inside and re-live favourite moments.”The launch of the YouTube VR app follows a number of developments in this area in the last year, with the rollout of new video and audio formats on YouTube like 360-degree video, VR video and Spatial Audio.
UK transmission services outfit Arqiva has confirmed that its shareholders are undertaking a strategic review that could lead to a sale of the company.Reporting solid nine months results to the end of March, Arqiva said that there was no certainty the review would result in a transaction, but that a further announcement would be made as and when appropriate.Arqiva posted revenues growth of 11%, driven by 8% growth in terrestrial broadcast revenue and strong growth in telecoms and machine-to-machine communication.EBITDA was up 12% to £351 million. Operating cash-flow after investment grew by £155 million year-on-year to £326 million.Arqiva said its terrestrial broadcast performance had been boosted by new video streams on its main multiplexes, recurring revenues from new DTT channels, radio contracts and revenue from the continuing clearance of 700MHz spectrum. As of March 31, Arqiva’s two main DVB-T multiplexes had 31 video streams, all of which were utilised.“Arqiva’s strong financial results are driven by excellent operating performances in terrestrial broadcast, telecoms and M2M.The visibility of revenues with a contracted order book of close to £6 billion, inflation-linked pricing, and the opportunity to increase utilisation of our infrastructure, places Arqiva in a very strong position to continue to deliver stable profitable growth,” said CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie. “Our ongoing and significant investment in digital broadcast infrastructure; 4G, 5G, in-building solutions and small cells underlines Arqiva’s commitment to ensuring that the UK truly has a vibrant and globally competitive economy. Alongside our growth strategy, our transformation programme, ‘FutureFit‘, is lowering our cost base; aligning the way we work to better reflect market developments and the needs of our customers; and strengthening our ability to deliver complex projects.”
Vincent BolloréVivendi has acquired Bolloré Group’s majority stake in advertising outfit Havas, following a deal struck between the French media group and the investment vehicle of its chairman, Vincent Bolloré, at the beginning of June.Vivendi paid €9.25 a share for Bolloré’s 59.2% stake in Havas, giving a total of €2.3 billion for the stake. The media group has also make a public offer for the remainder of Havas’s shares.Bolloré, who holds a 20% stake in Vivendi, has long had an ambition to bring the two groups together.The sale of Havas will enable Bolloré to repatriate some of the cash he has invested in Vivendi, leading to speculation that he could use the sale of Havas to further increase his stake in the media group in the future.Vivendi said in June that the combination would improve its share performance thanks to Havas’s high operating margins. Overall, Vivendi produces revenues of around €10 billion against €2 billion for Havas.Some analysts have expressed scepticism about the potential of the combination of advertising with distribution – see as unusual – to deliver meaningful synergies.Separately, Vivendi reportedly seems to have ruled out focusing exclusively on a hostile takeover of games company Ubisoft and could look elsewhere to fulfill its ambition to re-establish itself as a major player in gaming.Vivendi has been involved in a struggle with the Guillemot family for control of the company, in which it holds a 27% stake but only a 24.54% share of voting rights.The Guillemots recently increased their stake in Ubisoft. The family previously lost control of its other games company, Gameloft to Vivendi in a hostile takeover.In an interview with Le Figaro, Gameloft CEO Stéphane Roussel said that Vivendi had not ruled out any scenario with regard to Ubisoft. He said that the company could pull out and seek to acquire another major player in the sector if it is unable to strike a deal with Ubisoft.
NCBUniversal International is set to expand its reality TV SVOD service, Hayu, into the Nordics, in what it described as a “key milestone” for the service.The on-demand offering will launch first in Norway – in partnership with TV 2 – during the fourth quarter of this year, before going live in Finland, Sweden and Denmark.NBCU said the rollouts will expand the number of Hayu markets to seven by the end of 2017 – building on its existing footprint of the UK, Ireland and Australia.It also marks the first time the service will be available in territories where English is not spoken as the first language.“Launching in Norway is a key milestone for Hayu and the beginning of our international expansion plans,” said Hendrik McDermott, senior vice-president, branded on-demand, NBCUniversal.“We have a dual goal of growing reach and distribution via both territory expansion and increasing our presence in existing markets via innovative partnerships.”Commercial broadcaster TV 2 will make Hayu available to subscribers of its on-demand offering, TV 2 Sumo, as part of its entertainment package.Kine Tveito Lundefaret, head of content at TV 2 Sumo, said: “We already have great experience at TV 2 Sumo with popular reality content and are confident this will be a great progression for us.”Hayu launched in the UK, Ireland and Australia in March 2016 and recently agreed distribution deals in Ireland with Eir mobile, in Australia with Fetch TV, and is also due to launch on Sky’s Now TV service in 2018.The service is focused on reality TV programming and offers shows like Keeping Up with The Kardashians, Made in Chelsea and The Real Housewives. It also recently agreed a deal with Viacom International Media Networks for series like The Hills and Jersey Shore – although these shows won’t be available at launch in the the Nordics.Hayu is available to watch on mobile, tablet, laptop, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Channels or to cast to connected smart TVs. It will be priced at NOK49 in Norway, SEK49 in Sweden, DKK49 in Denmark, and €4.99 in Finland.
YouTube has introduced a host of new features, including channel memberships and merchandise options, as it aims to “think beyond ads”.Announcing the new tools at Vidcon, YouTube’s chief product officer, Neal Mohan, said that the video service has been working on new tools to help creators better engage with their fans and “make money while doing it”.Channel memberships will allow viewers to pay a monthly recurring fee of US$4.99 in order to get badges, emoji, members-only posts in the community tab, and access to ‘custom perks’ offered by creators – such as exclusive livestreams, extra videos, or shout-outs.While YouTube sponsorships have already been available to a select group of creators on the service, YouTube said it is now expanding this to eligible channels with more than 100,000 subscribers under the new name channel memberships.Next, new merchandise tools are being introduced that are designed to make it easier for content creators to sell merch direct from their YouTube channel.YouTube has partnered with Teespring to let creators offer customised merchandise items that they can sell via a ‘shelf’ on their channel. This will initially be available to US-based channels with more than 10,000 subscribers.Finally, YouTube has introduced ‘premieres’ – a new way for YouTube creators to debut pre-recorded videos as a “live moment”. Creators will be able to monetise these by using ‘super chat’, a tool that is also available via channel memberships.“When creators choose to release a premiere, we’ll automatically create a public landing page to build anticipation and hype up new content,” said Mohan.“When all fans show up to watch the premiere, they’ll be able to chat with each other (and with the creator) in real time via live chat. It’s as if a creator’s entire community is in one theatre together watching their latest upload.”
Android TV STB software solutions provider 3 Screen Solutions (3SS), and AI specialist Media Distillery, have announced a partnership to launch and co-commercialise a new pre-integrated AI-based end-to-end platform.The AI-based solution comprises a combination of machine learning methodologies to recognise every visual and audial aspect inside video, including faces, speech, topics, logos and text. This deep content understanding and indexing of what actually makes up an item of video content enables user searches that yield highly diverse and accurate results.3SS says that Media Distillery’s technology is an “ideal complement” to its 3READY front end and UI/UX solution. “While it may be easy to search for content, we all know it is not always easy to find it,” said Roland Sars, CEO of Media Distillery. “With our new joint solution with 3SS, viewers will get much more personal TV experiences, and finding their desired content will be quicker, easier, and more intuitive.”Kai-Christian Borchers, managing director of 3SS added: “With its AI expertise and innovation, Media Distillery is redefining the potential of content aggregation; it transforms an operator’s ability to really harvest content to get maximum yield, benefitting revenues while enabling great, personalized experiences for subscribers. “The TV of the future will be both simple and personal, and the combination of Media Distillery and 3READY is making that future possible today.”
IMDb Freedive, the AVOD owned by Amazon, has rebranded as IMDb TV and is planning on expanding into Europe.The company also said that it plans on tripling its selection of content over the coming months. “With IMDb TV, viewers have discovered TV the way it ought to be – a free collection of premium TV shows and movies available anytime,” said Mark Eamer, vice president of IMDb TV. “We deliver a top quality discovery experience that makes it easy to be entertained. With more titles than ever before coming to IMDb TV and our upcoming Europeanexpansion later this year, we’re excited for customers to tune in and enjoy all that IMDb TV has to offer, all at no cost.”IMDb is currently available in the US online and as a free channel within the Prime Video app. Marc Whitten, vice president of Fire TV said: “Our Fire TV customers are always looking for compelling content at a great value. In fact, usage of free, ad-supported apps has increased by over 300 percent in the last year. “IMDb TV brings some of the best free content into the living room and we’re excited that our U.S. customers now have access to even more free TV shows and movies through the app and that customers in Europe can soon enjoy this great service on the biggest screen in their home.”
ShareTweet Businesses urged to tap into Halloween festival opportunitiesDerry and Strabane CouncilMayor John Boyle Scaring up a storm at the launch of the Haolloween Festival in Derry are Claire and Tara Harkin. (North West Newspix)LOCAL businesses are being invited to find out more about how they could benefit from Derry’s internationally renowned Halloween Festival at a special Business Engagement Event taking place on September 5th.Derry City and Strabane District Council will be hosting the information event to highlight the many opportunities open to local companies during what is the biggest celebration of Halloween in the UK and Ireland. “Local businesses should really be looking at the festival as a major chance to reach new audiences, with thousands of visitors and local people out and about enjoying events.“As a Council we’re actively working to develop the local tourism market having just launched our new Tourism Strategy, and we really want to see our local businesses and crafts people enjoying the benefits of the fantastic cultural experiences that Derry and Strabane have to offer. “By getting more businesses involved it also enhances the overall offering for our visitors, so it makes sense that we work together to ensure that Derry keeps its title of the Best Halloween Destination in the World.”More than 94,000 people attended the Halloween festivities in 2017, and with an extended festival programme this year and a growing international profile, it’s hoped that even more visitors will enjoy the spooktacular celebrations this year.Business Development Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council Danielle McNally said: “Businesses are definitely beginning to see the potential benefits of the Derry Halloween brand. “For example, we’ve seen the Walled City Brewery develop a special toffee apple beer which they showcased on a recent trade mission to the US, and this has been a great success for them. And we want to see more ideas coming through this year.“Whether it’s getting staff to dress up over the festival, dressing shop windows, adding some spooky themed dishes to restaurant menus, there are lots of simple ways to maximise business potential throughout Halloween. “Why not come along to the engagement event and hear from local businesses who have been enjoying the benefits of tapping into the market, hear more about the programme and perhaps get a bit of inspiration.”The Halloween Business Engagement event takes place at 11am in the Guildhall, you can register your attendance today at www.derryhalloween.com/engageBusinesses urged to tap into Halloween festival opportunities was last modified: August 23rd, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: This year’s festival has been extended to feature nine days of jam-packed family entertainment and events attracting tens of thousands of visitors to the city and district. This provides the ideal platform for local businesses to showcase their products and services, by using a bit of imagination and identifying some creative new ways of tapping into the Halloween market.Speaking ahead of the event, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor John Boyle, said the festival offered a wealth of retail and hospitality opportunities. “Halloween has become synonymous with the city and we want as many people to get involved with the celebrations as possible,” he declared.
Facebook Mail Google+ Home NewsWatch Local News Fayette County Announces Trick or Treat Dates and Times Previous PostHigh School Soccer Scoreboard – October 16 FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Fayette County has announced a list of towns and times that trick or treat will take place.Ansted – October 30th, 6-8pmFayetteville – October 31st, 6-8pmGauley Bridge – October, 27, (trunk or treat 5-7pm; trick or treat 6-8pm)Meadow Bridge – October 31st, 6-8pmMontgomery – October 25 trunk or treat, 5 – 6:30pm (sponsored by Bridge Valley); October 31 trick or treat, 6 – 8pm (12 & under)Mount Hope – October 31st, 5-7pmOak Hill – October 31st, 6-8pmPax – October 31st, 6-8pmSmithers – October 31st, 6-8pm Linkedin Tyler Barker Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter Next PostBeckley Police And Beckley Fire Departments Competed On Who Could Eat The Most Nuggets Pinterest Local NewsNewsWatchTop Stories Fayette County Announces Trick or Treat Dates and Times By Tyler BarkerOct 16, 2018, 22:06 pm 1056 0 Tumblr
Home NewsWatch Consumer Instagram co-founders resign from social media company Mail (AP)- The co-founders of Instagram are resigning their positions with the social media company without explanation.Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said in a statement late Monday that he and Mike Krieger, Instagram’s chief technical officer, plan to leave the company in the next few weeks and take time off “to explore our curiosity and creativity again.”“Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team,” Systrom said. “We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter.”“Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do,” Systrom said. “We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion.”No explanation was given for their sudden departure from the photo-sharing network they founded in 2010.Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, just before going public, at a price that seemed inconceivable at the time — $1 billion — especially for a little-known startup with no profit. At the time Instagram was ad-free, with a loyal following of 31 million users who were all on mobile devices — still a somewhat elusive bunch for the web-born Facebook back then. Since then, the service has grown to more than 1 billion users and has of course added plenty of advertisements.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Systrom and Krieger “extraordinary product leaders” and said he was looking forward “to seeing what they build next.”The departures are a challenge for Facebook. Instagram has been a bright spot for company not just because it’s seen as a more uplifting place than Facebook itself, but because it is popular with teens and young people — a group Facebook has had trouble keeping around.Instagram has largely escaped Facebook’s high-profile problems over user privacy, foreign elections interference and fake news, even though it is not immune to any of these things (Facebook recently disclosed it has deleted hundreds of pages on its namesake site as well as Instagram that were linked to global misinformation campaigns intended to disrupt elections).Though Systrom, in the early days of Instagram ads, famously checked each one personally to ensure it aligned with the app’s aesthetics, he was not as loudly anti-ads as the founder of another popular Facebook-acquired mobile app, WhatsApp.WhatsApp’s CEO Jan Koum resigned in April.Koum had signaled years earlier that he would take a stand against Facebook if the company’s push to increase profits demanded radical changes in the way WhatsApp operates. In a blog post written when Facebook announced the biggest acquisition in its history, Koum wrote that the deal wouldn’t have happened if WhatsApp “had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.” Twitter Daniella Hankey Next PostYMCA youth basketball registration is now open Google+ Linkedin Pinterest Tumblr Previous PostFirefighters surprise 3-year-old with birthday party after several guests cancel last minute ConsumerNational NewsNewsWatch Instagram co-founders resign from social media company By Daniella HankeySep 25, 2018, 04:50 am 288 0 Facebook
You may have heard the popular legend about Eskimo tribes sending the elderly off to die at sea. As the stories go, when grandpa and grandma could no longer hunt or earn their keep, the younger folks would put them on an iceberg and ship them off. Fewer mouths to feed gave the younger generations a better chance at survival. I shudder at the thought. In the farming communities where my grandparents lived, the older folks contributed whatever they could. As a boy, I spent many an afternoon shucking lima beans and husking corn with my 90-year-old great-grandmother. The garden and livestock provided enough for her children and grandchildren to support her in her old age. Fortunately for her, the Midwestern mentality was a little less harsh than that of the Eskimos. Retirement is not a foregone conclusion for everyone, which begs the question: What is retirement?A Working Retirement Is the New Status Quo Does retirement mean you don’t work? Not necessarily. One of my high school friends joined the navy at age 18 and retired with a nice benefits package at age 38. After that, he worked as a county sheriff for a couple of decades and received full retirement pay from that job as well. Many of my retired peers are still working; they just do something different than they did during their first careers. That includes your humble scribe. When I retired, I had no idea that, less than a decade later, I would spend the bulk of my free time typing away in front of a computer, sharing my experiences with people around the world. The happiest retirees I know retired to do something they looked forward to and wanted more time for. I was not one of them. I loved what I did during my old career, but the hassles of international travel like racing to catch planes and living in hotel rooms were wearing me out. When I finally threw in the towel, I didn’t care if I ever got on another plane again. My wife Jo and I spent a few years driving around the country in a motorhome, and then eventually we bought another home (not on wheels) and settled down. At that point, I had retired from something I was beginning to hate, but I still needed to find something I enjoyed doing every day. Those folks who have a second career lined up when they retire seem to make the transition more easily. A second career may or may not bring in much income, but that is often secondary to enjoying the job. Jo and I have a friend who retired and became an artist. She is thrilled when one of her paintings sells, but even more thrilled that someone enjoyed her art enough to hang it in their home. I feel the same way about Money Forever. It comes with financial rewards, but the real thrill comes from the nice emails I receive from readers around the globe. Knowing that I’ve helped folks who are in the same boat I am in makes my day. If you can do work you enjoy, something that’s both emotionally and financially rewarding, why would you ever quit?Some People Will Never Retire I do realize that many older folks work for different reasons. Unfortunately, many have to work to put food on the table. In my first career, I often used Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a teaching tool. Maslow categorized humans’ physiological needs – food, clothing, shelter, etc.– as the first level of his hierarchy. Our caveman ancestors woke up hungry every morning and had to go hunt and gather food. When you are worried about feeding your family and your own stomach is growling, you can’t spend a lot of time sharing your artwork on the walls of your cave. Squirrels store nuts to survive through the winter, but over time man has become the best animal at storing nuts, so to speak. We went from hunting and gathering food as we traveled from place to place, to clearing and irrigating land for agriculture, to curing food with salt to preserve it, and then on to canning and now freezing foods. No matter the method, man’s first goal has always been to survive today, tomorrow, and hopefully many tomorrows after that. Most folks no longer store food in their farm cellars like my grandparents did. Instead, they save money and store it in banks and brokerage accounts. The beauty of money is that, unlike a can of peaches, it can grow while in storage. If we store enough money, it can provide adequate income to free up our time for other pursuits. What about folks who can’t retire, people who have to work until the grim reaper comes knocking? Maybe they worked low-paying jobs, were poor savers or investors, or more likely, were big-time spenders. Regardless of how it happened, these folks arrived at their autumn years and their storage bins were empty. No one wants to end up in that boat. Everyone wants enough money saved to retire at some point. Even people who want to keep working want work to be a choice, not a prerequisite for survival.Are We in a Retirement Crisis? The phrase “retirement crisis” is certainly tossed around in the news quite a bit, but what is the crisis? To begin with, many seniors have not saved enough money to support themselves in their old age. These folks will either continue to work or end up depending on their children and/or public assistance. And old age is lasting a lot longer than it used to as medical advances continue to increase life expectancy. That means folks who saved enough for just twenty years or so of retirement are finding themselves in a pickle; a long life is a blessing, but what happens when 95-year-olds can’t pay their bills? For those of us with a decent nest egg, our retirement crisis is a bit different. It involves growing our savings in a low-yield environment while protecting it from risky investments, predatory fees, and confiscatory taxes. These steps can keep us from becoming a burden on our families or anyone else, but they take work and a commitment to learning. The truth is, our government has targeted seniors and savers. Congress wants to redistribute our nest eggs to appease their constituents (and donors). It’s a fact of life that’s not likely to change, and we need to work around it.My Kind of Retirement For me, retirement means having enough money to choose how I spend my time. Just like our readers, Jo and I worked hard, saved, and made smart investments to get here. I’m sure most of you feel the same way. Retirement means having enough money to really enjoy the things we want to do right up until the end. The retirement we envision involves being totally independent, not depending on the government or our family. In order to accomplish that goal, we must tend our garden and manage our nest egg wisely. —- Depending on your own circumstances, retirement may or may not mean you stop working entirely. That’s your decision. But it should not mean having to work a job you no longer like, or taking on a minimum-wage job after retiring from your career just to make ends meet. It should mean living life on your terms, and that requires financial independence. Our mission is to help you with that. If you’re interested in learning how to become financially independent, whether you’re currently retired or a few years away, I’d like to invite you to try Money Forever with a 90-day risk-free trial subscription. In each issue of Money Forever, we share actionable, conservative investment ideas to help you create your own path to financial independence – ones you can put in your portfolio today. Plus, you’ll get detailed research on subjects important to our age group: annuities, reverse mortgages, financial advisors, etc. To give Money Forever a 90-day, risk-free try, just click here to get started.On the Lighter Side Our homes in Illinois and Florida are both for sale right now, and we hope to move to Arizona full-time soon. It’s been a bit stressful, as our entire family is east of the Mississippi, but we have good reasons for moving. Jo has fibromyalgia, which can be quite painful, and I don’t need a doctor to diagnose the aches in my knees and hands when the weather turns cold. When we visit Arizona, we hit the Tylenol bottle a little less often than we do back home… Maybe we won’t have to buy it in bulk at Costco anymore after the move. One of my children said, “Dad, it looks like you are going to Arizona to die.” Oh really? Once we get there, our to-do list is going to explode. We can’t wait for our grandkids to visit so we can take them to the Grand Canyon, Tombstone, and over to San Diego to visit the aircraft carrier. I have never been to Dodger Stadium; we would love to see the Cubs play there. On Sunday I cut out a list of the top five American road trips, and two were up the Pacific Coast. I prefer to look at our Arizona dream as moving to keep on living. Someone recently remarked about our bucket list. Nope, we’re too busy for that! Retirement is supposed to be fun, doing cool things, and that is what we plan to continue. And finally… Subscriber Ed S. shared some interesting paraprosdokians with me that I’d like to pass on. Winston Churchill loved this kind of play on words, where the end of a sentence delivers a surprise. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. I can vouch for the truth of that last one. Until next week…
I was in Washington, D.C., earlier this month for Congressional Blockchain Education Day. This was an initiative supported by the Congressional Blockchain Caucus… and driven by the Chamber of Digital Commerce, of which I’m a member.The purpose of my trip was to meet with individual offices of the House and Senate. I wanted to talk about the merits of blockchain technology and the policy initiatives of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. I hopefully removed some of the common areas of fear, uncertainty, and doubt on Capitol Hill.Ultimately, we want a light regulatory touch on the industry and clarity on regulations concerning digital assets, token offerings, and taxation.Overregulation won’t stop innovation with blockchain technology… It will just push it offshore. We would like to encourage innovation and leadership here in the U.S.I think we made some progress last week… But we still have a ways to go. It’s still early days for blockchain. Advocacy efforts like this are hard work. They require playing the long game and take years of effort.The industry – and consumers – is lucky to have a group like the Chamber of Digital Commerce. The Chamber works in D.C. day-in and day-out, advocating for a fair and reasonable environment that will allow the blockchain industry to flourish.And those efforts will impact literally all consumers… After all, cryptocurrencies are money, and eventually, we’ll all be transacting with digital assets.And I have to tell you, I think D.C. is the only place where people talk faster than they do in New York.On Capitol Hill, you have short time slots to get your points across… So people talk fast to get everything in. There’s definitely no sitting down over coffee to have a lengthy discussion in Washington.And like the numerous conferences I attend, this event in D.C. was invite-only. You won’t find these details on Bloomberg or in The Wall Street Journal.The Knowledge Gap on Capitol HillOur Congressional Blockchain Education Day started in the Congressional Auditorium. The auditorium sits beneath Capitol Hill. It is a highly secured meeting space often used for national security briefings. Jeff (center of photo) listens to a presentation from Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ)We heard from three of the four cochairs of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. These are strong advocates for blockchain technology. And they focused on how it can be used to solve real-world problems… and drive efficiencies through outdated legacy processes.Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) demonstrated the most in-depth understanding of blockchain. Foster is a physicist, and therefore an outlier as a congressman. He claims to be the most technical person on Capitol Hill. He’s certainly an asset for our cause.We also heard from Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL). Schweikert started his career in tech. And Soto happens to be one of the youngest members of Congress. He’s certainly from the digital-first generation. Both of these gentlemen have been great for our advocacy.These three cochairs basically briefed us before our meetings with the offices of the House and Senate. They told us that they’ve seen a rising level of awareness of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.But at the same time, there is still a large gap in understanding. Some elected officials are coming around… But others just don’t get it.With that, we adjourned, and I made my way to the tunnels that connect Capitol Hill to the Senate and House buildings. It was quite a unique experience.The tunnels are like a miniature subway system underground. There are cars shuttling policy makers about. And you see well-known politicians walking through the tunnels left and right.And, of course, they are highly secure. You need a special ID to travel freely. And you must walk through security scanners, just like you do at the airport.After navigating the tunnels, I emerged inside the House and Senate buildings, where my individual meetings were scheduled.Solving Problems Beyond FinanceMy first meeting was with the office of a senator on the Financial Services Committee. Concerned with monetary policy, that office was quite aware of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.The office was also interested in the Facebook hearings… especially as they pertain to the company’s digital currency Libra.Libra is a potential threat. It’s a global reserve currency controlled by a “cabal” (my word) of corporations friendly with Facebook. It’s easy to understand why Washington is tracking Libra and Facebook with such interest.In that meeting, my task was to separate Libra from the industry. And my emphasis was on blockchain applications unrelated to money. I talked about how digital wallets could deliver financial services… And I homed in on identity.I explained that digital wallets could be used to verify identities… and how we can eliminate identity fraud by putting our identities on the blockchain.Everybody knows identity theft is a huge problem right now. And frankly, it’s easy to forge ID documents. But blockchain can solve those problems instantly.The members of the committee that I spoke to had never considered this possibility. I’m optimistic that it better informed their view on this technology.My second meeting was with a congressional office that was not terribly interested in blockchain. The members had only a basic understanding. It just wasn’t considered a priority, so awareness levels were very low.That’s understandable. After all, the U.S. dollar works pretty well, and it is easy to imagine that there are bigger, short-term issues to prioritize for most members of Congress.My goal was to show them that blockchain is about much more than just cryptocurrency. By demonstrating some of the applications of blockchain, my hope was to demonstrate the technology’s usefulness to their constituents.So to that office, I talked about smart contracts. I explained that smart contracts are digital contracts that automatically execute whenever certain conditions are met. Then I gave them an easy example.Buying a home today is a tedious process. It takes months to close and costs thousands of dollars in fees. That’s because you have several third parties involved to deal with things like escrow, title insurance, and title transfer.Well, smart contracts can automate those processes and get rid of the third parties. That would speed up the process and drive down those fees.With a smart contract, the buyer’s funds would be held in escrow. Once the title search was complete and the two parties signed the final paperwork, the smart contract would initiate the transfer of those funds to the seller’s bank account. This would be seamless. Then, the smart contract would automatically transfer the title from the seller to the buyer.One day, smart contracts will enable us to buy a home in 24 hours… and pay at least 80% less in transaction fees.Specifically, I wanted to demonstrate why a state-by-state regulatory framework for smart contracts would be counterproductive and unnecessary.The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) of 2000 already provides a comprehensive nationwide regulatory structure for smart contracts. By recognizing smart contracts under the ESIGN legislation, Americans would experience a smart contract renaissance practically overnight.One of the Chamber of Digital Commerce’s important initiatives has been to push back against new state-led legislation for smart contracts.In fact, subscribers of The Near Future Report and Exponential Tech Investor, two of my tech investing newsletters, already made very meaningful contributions to this initiative by signing an electronic petition led by the Chamber.In my third meeting, the congressperson’s office was not interested in blockchain at all. The opioid crisis was its top priority. It didn’t think blockchain was very relevant.I talked to that office about how blockchain can aid supply chain management in the pharmaceutical industry. With blockchain, you could track opioids from manufacturing… to containerization… to the distribution center… to the pharmacy… and ultimately to the patient with a doctor’s prescription.This kind of tracking from the point of manufacture to a patient can ensure that the supply chain is secure. It also allows any permissioned parties to have access to one single source of truth.And this happens through blockchain technology. Pharmaceutical companies can then demonstrate compliance with a regulated substance like opioid-based painkillers.That’s only possible with blockchain. I pointed that out, and I believe it sparked some interest.After my meetings were complete, I made my way back to the tunnels… and the auditorium.The End of Paper IDs?A nice reception in the Congressional Auditorium ended the day. That gave us a chance to talk about our progress… as well as our next big initiative. Jeff during the reception in the Congressional AuditoriumAnd the fourth cochair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), met us at the reception.Emmer is a real champion for using blockchain to disrupt incumbent bureaucracies and modernize the way we do things. I had the pleasure of spending some time with the congressman in D.C. earlier this year.He talked about how we should register our IDs on the blockchain and attach everything to them. Driver’s licenses… passports… voter registrations… hunting and fishing licenses… They all could be attached to a digital ID on the blockchain. It’s silly we are still issuing pieces of paper for these things.What’s more, you could link registration for various government services to the digital ID. Think Social Security… Medicare… Medicaid… whatever the program happened to be.In this way, we could eliminate all the fraud and corruption that encircles government services today.So Emmer is a practical policy maker who sees the real value of blockchain. His work on the caucus has been invaluable to our cause.Regards,Jeff Brown Editor, Exponential Tech InvestorP.S. And one last thing…Last week, I hosted the Accelerated Profits Summit. It was a great event, and I’m grateful to all the readers who attended.During the event, I revealed a proprietary trading system that can deliver venture capital-like returns to everyday investors. I’m so thrilled that my readers have a chance to take advantage of the type of investment opportunities that are usually reserved for Silicon Valley venture capitalists.If you missed the event, don’t worry. You can watch the replay here. Chris’ note: Chris Reilly here, managing editor for Casey Daily Dispatch. If you’ve been following along over the past couple weeks, you know our good friend Jeff Brown – a 30-year tech veteran and Silicon Valley insider – just shared one of the biggest discoveries of his career.Today, we have another important update from him. Jeff recently got back from an invite-only blockchain conference in Washington, D.C.Keep in mind… what he discovered isn’t something you’ll find in the mainstream media. It’s the type of information that’s typically reserved for only his readers. But we believe that his insight is so important, we got special permission to share it with you…By Jeff Brown, editor, Exponential Tech Investor
By WVUA 23 Web Coordinator Sarah FowerbaughRain totals for West Alabama are lower than they have been in recent years. The year started off with a dry spell, and meteorologists aren’t expecting anything to change in the forecast.Drought conditions across West Alabama are at an all time high, and this weekend’s showers didn’t do much to help. WVUA 23’s Weather Specialist Reggie Roakes said he’s concerned about what the effects will be on the growing season for Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.“We could likely start seeing impacts a few months down the road as we start seeing agriculture pick up,” said Roakes.Typically, the state has been able to bounce back during the winter season, but Roakes said the dry winter could have effects past February.“When it gets colder, you think it’s going to rain a day or two,” said Roakes. “But unfortunately, this hasn’t been happening.”The drought will likely affect the farming community first, according to Roakes, with farmers having to rely on existing groundwater resources to care for their crops in the coming season.The National Weather Service‘s Climate Prediction Center has predicted that warmer and drier conditions will continue through late February.
TweetPinShare0 Shares Greece’s men’s water polo team rebounded from a semi-final loss to Croatia to beat Italy on penalties and win bronze in the world water polo championship in Russia.The result means the team has advanced to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It’s been 10 years since a Greek men’s team did so well in water polo on the world level.Greece led for most of the match, but Italy turned the 7-5 score to a 7-7 draw at the end of regulation time to take the game to the penalties where the Greeks outscored their rivals, 4-2. Water polo doesn’t play to win if the game ends in a tie and resorts to penalty shots.
Piedmont residents are waking to ice-covered trees and power outages after a winter storm moved through the region.As of 8:30 a.m. the North Carolina Department of Public Safety is reporting the most power outages in Forsyth County with 42,675 customers affected. In Guilford County, 21,814 are without power and over 14,000 in Henderson County.There is currently a Winter Storm Warning in effect in Forsyth and Guiford Counties through Sunday evening. The forecast calls for cloudy skies. There’s also a Winter Storm Warning in Watauga County with a mix of light rain and snow this afternoon. Here’s freezing rain in Long Creek Village. pic.twitter.com/43x9iBsk7K— City of Winston-Salem (@CityofWS) January 13, 2019A full list of weather-related closings can be found here.
A federal judge has declared unconstitutional a North Carolina law banning women from having abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy except in an urgent medical emergency.The decision Monday by U.S. District Judge William Osteen in Greensboro gave state legislators 60 days before his ruling takes effect to allow them to amend abortion restrictions or appeal his ruling to a higher court.The U.S. Supreme Court has protected abortion as a constitutional right until a fetus has developed enough to live outside the mother’s womb. The judge noted that North Carolina’s own medical expert conceded that’s almost never possible until the 22nd week of gestation.The law was challenged in 2016 shortly after lawmakers narrowed abortions after the 20th week of gestation so that they were only allowable if the mother faces a risk of death or serious and irreversible harm from some urgent medical emergency.The 2016 changes also “imposed substantial reporting obligations on abortion providers for any abortion performed after sixteen weeks, expanded the universe of medical facilities from which information is collected, restricted the type of doctor who may perform an abortion in the state, and lengthened the informed consent waiting period from 24 to 72 hours,” Osteen wrote in his ruling.The revised law also meant that abortions were no longer allowed for medical conditions that cause gradual health damage but never reached a specific point to make them immediately necessary, Osteen said.While North Carolina has not prosecuted anyone for an illegal abortion for more than 40 years, that could change in the future, Osteen said. He wrote that the state’s “strident defense” of the lawsuit as well as a wave of similarly worded laws in Wisconsin, Iowa, Arkansas and other states suggests officials haven’t disavowed future prosecutions under the 20-week ban.Some states have gone further this month. Mississippi and Kentucky outlawed most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy. A similar bill passed the Georgia Senate last week and now goes back to the House to approve changes. It is backed by Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.The North Carolina lawsuit was one of three filed weeks after President Donald Trump’s election challenging laws abortion-supporters viewed as unconstitutional restrictions. Laws in Missouri and Alaska were also challenged at the same time by the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive RightsNorth Carolina’s top Republican legislative leaders had no immediate reaction to the decision. Spokesmen for Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore said they needed more time to review the ruling.An attorney for the ACLU’s North Carolina chapter said Osteen’s decision affirmed that people have a constitutional right to make their own decisions about their pregnancy.”North Carolina’s ban was written by politicians to intimidate doctors and interfere in a woman’s personal medical decisions.” attorney Irena Como said. “Important medical decisions throughout different points of a woman’s pregnancy, including whether to have an abortion, must be left to the woman and her doctor – not politicians.”
For small businesses trying to fill open positions, finding qualified applicants can pose a major challenge. Sure, your company might not have the large contracts that a large corporation can offer, but as a business leader, you know how important people are to accomplish the mission of the organization. In an article published by SCORE, Sara Pollock, head of marketing at ClearCompany, suggests six ways small businesses can get a leg up when recruiting talent. 1. Increase compensationIf your budget allows, put more money toward higher salaries. The truth is, more money attracts more high-quality talent. 2. Bolster insurance and health benefitsPollock says many employees will accept a lower salary if they can receive a robust insurance or benefits package instead. Health insurance, she says, is often viewed “in terms of its potential value versus its expected value.” 3. Offer perksPerks such as a company car, reimbursement for gas or travel time, and catered lunches make work life more enjoyable and provide employees with incentives to work harder. 4. Promote work-life balanceRecent studies have found that people enjoy working from home, close to home or from a remote location. Make the option of flexible work locations available to employees and emphasize that opportunity to applicants. 5. Create meaningAs a small business owner, you can sell applicants on the great impact they will have on the company and its greater goals. Many professionals, Pollock says, desire the opportunity to work at a small company where “they can more readily see the immediate benefits of their work.” Emphasize the impact of the applicant’s work, specifically within the role you are hoping to fill. 6. Provide equityEarly employees at a new small business may have the opportunity to receive a profit-share or equity in the company in exchange for accepting a reduced salary. If this opportunity applies to your company, you can attract employees who believe in your business model and are able to accept a reduced salary now, knowing they can own a portion of the company later. Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribe
A procession honoring St. Padre Pio in recognition of the Feast Day which celebrates the 50th Anniversary of his passing was held on Sunday, September 23rd. Held in Boston’s North End, the U.S. Coast Guard color guard led the procession with family and friends of organizers Anna D’Amore Sirignano and Natalina Tizzano D’Amore. A blood stained relic (first class) of St. Pio’s glove was carried through the streets. Following the procession, a Solemn Mass was held at St. Leonard Church on Hanover Street. Photos by Matt Conti.While you’re here …we have a small favor to ask. More people than ever are reading NorthEndWaterfront.com but we need your help making ends meet. Advertising doesn’t bring in enough to pay for reporting or editorial work. Keeping this website going takes a lot of time, money and hard work. But we do it because we believe community news is important – and we think you do too. If everyone who reads this site, who likes it, puts in a bit to pay for it, then our future would be much more secure. Checks can be made out to North End Boston LLC, 343 Commercial St. #508, Boston 02109 or contribute online using the following links:*Make a One-Time Contribution* or *Become a Patron**Advertisement*