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    • #FredinChina: Alibaba wants to go for youth and technological revolution in commerce
      I'm Fred Raillard, Creative CEO, Co-founder and Creative Chief Officer with Farid Mokart of FRED & FARID, a social, content, tech solutions for brands company based in New York, Paris and Shanghai. #FredinChina is an essential social media podcast to know and understand the world's largest economy.I fell in love with China, and live in Shanghai with my wife and three sons since September 2012. With my teams at the FRED & FARID Shanghai agency we monitor, analyze and decrypt this ultra-connected China with nearly 800 million netizens by sharing what we see, hear and read on Weibo, WeChat, Huaban, Youku. I prepare this column with Zhuomin Qin from FRED & FARID Shanghai.Thanks to Zhuomin Qin, Feng Huang, Jalila Levesque, Jules Chaffiotte, Radouane Guissi, Yi Zhang, Ying Zhang, Aliou Maro, Tina Liu, Louis Caudevilla, Dushan Karageorgevitch, Jing Qian, Jonathan Roy, Maxime Aubanel and Antoine Robin for their participation to this chronic.Click here to listen to all the podcasts.Alibaba wants to go for youth and technological revolution in commerceThe HotBrand this week is 'Alibaba'. There was a very important speech made by founder Jack Ma on October 13th, about the technological revolution in commerce. The first thing he said was that e-commerce was not killing traditional commerce, and that they are both complimentary. He went on to insist that in the future, all innovation would come from young people under the age of 30. So every Government should do everything possible to support and promote companies with young people. He then said that this notion of e-commerce was dead, which is just amazing as he is the leader of e-commerce!He went on to say that Alibaba would not use this notion anymore, and that people need to understand 5 things: 1. New retail: all offline companies have to go online, and all online companies should go offline and use big data.2. New production: for years people were manufacturing and standardizing products. This is dead now, as we are entering an era of ultra-personalization and customization of products. We are moving from 'B to C', to 'C to B'. He pushed this very far by saying that consumers today are like Gods, and everything should be about those new consumers.3. New finance: the old system is dying, and new finance will bring a fairer system to young people. By leveraging big data and the Internet, people will find new ways to finance their projects. A new credit system will be born on a globa…
      - 2 hours ago, 25 Oct 16, 8:24am -
    • This Group Wants To Help Middle-Class Workers As Robots Take Their Jobs
      As workers across the country increasingly worry about robots taking their jobs, one group is helping to educate the workforce and serve as a fulcrum for solutions around the issue. WorkingNation, a nonprofit project that launched in September, aims to inform people about the changing landscape of employment due to the rise in automation. It’s also giving a platform to and connecting groups that have proposed solutions to help workers facing a shifting job market, Art Bilger, the venture capitalist behind the organization, told The Huffington Post. “We’ve watched the Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders movements build: There are millions of people in pain, and it’s about jobs and the economy. It’s fear looking down the road,” Bilger said. “I decided that we should create awareness of these issues, and highlight the solutions being worked on today ― including where the jobs of the future will be.”Last week, WorkingNation debuted a new docu-series that explores these topics, which streamed on TIME Inc. websites. In the first episode, the series highlights families in Rochester, New York, affected by massive layoffs at Kodak’s headquarters. Another episode will focus on Year Up, a nonprofit that connects low-income young adults to job training.WorkingNation also uses its website to share blogs and videos about what the future of jobs will look like in a world increasingly dependent on robots.“The reason I’m doing this is because this is going to hit across the middle class: It clearly impacts the bottom 20 percent, but it also will impact middle- and upper-middle class,” Bilger said. “The key message here is: We’re all in this together.”Automation is already transforming many industries: Driverless trucks threaten to replace 1.7 million American truck drivers over the next decade. Major news outlets are also using artificial intelligence to cover sports and even the elections. But whether robots replacing jobs is truly cause for alarm is a matter of debate. The question is not whether automation will replace some jobs ― that is widely accepted already ― but rather who and how many will be affected. Earlier this year, White House economists predicted low-income workers will be the worst-hit, with workers earning less than $20 per hour facing a high probability of losing their jobs to robots. The University of Oxford predicts the entire middle class may lose out as 47 percent of the U.S. workforce risks losing…
      - 13 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 9:41pm -
    • This Faux Fur Collar Fits Onto Any Jacket, Making Winter Dreams Come True
      Ready or not, here winter comes!Prioritizing warmth over the desire to look cool in cold temperatures comes with age, yet in spite of that, we still yearn for a more stylish way to shield the cold each year. That’s where Namakan Furs, a new line of universal faux fur collars or “ruffs,” comes in. Started by three Minnesota natives, they told The Huffington Post they believe that “with the right gear, there’s no such thing as too cold.”These magnetic, faux fur ruffs universally fit onto the necks of jackets, sweaters, vests ― basically anything you might wear during those cold winter months. The product was created when CEO and co-founder Maggie Davis found herself choosing between two coats, one with a ruff and one without. “The difference in warmth was notable!” Davis told The Huffington Post. “If only you could take the ruff out from one hood to another...”According to the brand’s website, extensive testing concluded that “most hoods are about the same length,” making it easy to use on most any hood in your closet. Video from the brand’s Kickstarter, which has raised an impressive $16,365 of its $30,000 goal, explains how it works, why the product is revolutionary and how you can help turn this furry dream into a warm winter reality.Learn more about Namakan in the video below, and hopefully you can eventually purchase one for $68 if the Kickstarter is fully funded.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 13 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 9:13pm -
    • Never Doubt We're Living in the Best Moment in History
      Have you become more or less optimistic about the value of innovation and new technology? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Answer by Kevin Kelly, senior maverick and co-founder at Wired, on Quora.My optimism for the value of technology keeps increasing. We have never lived in a better time, yet tomorrow will be better still. This progress is hidden by our reliance on news. News, by its nature of reporting on what is unusual, hides the slow, almost invisible evidence of betterment. That's because while next year will be better than this year, it won't be better by much. Maybe only one percent, or maybe less than one percent. That fractional percent improvement is not visible in a year. We can't see it. Yet one percent compounded annually becomes huge in time. So we can only detect progress in the long term retrospectively. When we examine the scientific evidence for any metric humans care about, we see steady progress over the past many decades. This progress has been real for at least two centuries. So my optimism about the future is based on history. For at least 200 years, things have gotten a tiny bit better each year. Now, it is possible that next year this trend will collapse. It could happen. But statistically, it is much more likely that it will continue at least one more year. And if it gets a tiny bit better this year, in all probability it will continue another year.Here is a thought experiment: I give you a time machine. It has only one lever. You can choose to go forward in time, or backwards. All trips are one-way, and you are reborn in the new time. How far you go, and where you land is random. So you can either be thrust forward in time, spending your new life in some random future in some random place, or in the past, in some random time and random place. You might be born rich or poor, male or female, healthy or sick. I have not met anyone who would point the lever to the past, even if we constrained the time machine to move only decades. Although most people are reluctant to admit it, we intuitively know that today is much better than the past, and that is also true of a future date; no one born in 2050 would want to be born in 2016. Because progress driven by technology is real.This question originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can f…
      - 13 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 8:53pm -
    • Inside The Cyberattack That Shocked The U.S. Government
      By Brendan I. Koerner for WIRED. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management doesn’t radiate much glamour. As the human resources department for the federal government, the agency oversees the legal minutiae of how federal employees are hired and promoted and manages benefits and pensions for millions of current and retired civil servants. The core of its own workforce, numbering well over 5,000, is headquartered in a hulking Washington, D.C., building, the interior of which has all the charm of an East German hospital circa 1963. It’s the sort of place where paper forms still get filled out in triplicate.The routine nature of OPM’s business made the revelations of April 15, 2015, as perplexing as they were disturbing. On that morning, a security engineer named Brendan Saulsbury set out to decrypt a portion of the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) traffic that flows across the agency’s digital network. Hackers have become adept at using SSL encryption to cloak their exploits, much as online vendors use it to shield credit card numbers in transit. Since the previous December, OPM’s cybersecurity staff had been peeling back SSL’s camouflage to get a clearer view of the data sloshing in and out of the agency’s systems.Soon after his shift started, Saulsbury noticed that his decryption efforts had exposed an odd bit of outbound traffic: a beacon-like signal pinging to a site called ­opm­ But the agency owned no such domain. The OPM-related name suggested it had been created to deceive. When Saulsbury and his colleagues used a security program called Cylance V to dig a little deeper, they located the signal’s source: a file called mcutil.dll, a standard component of software sold by security giant McAfee. But that didn’t make sense; OPM doesn’t use McAfee products. Saulsbury and the other engineers soon realized that mcutil.dll was hiding a piece of malware designed to give a hacker access to the agency’s servers.RELATED: Why ISIS Is Winning the Social Media WarThe Office of Personnel Management repels 10 million attempted digital intrusions per month — mostly the kinds of port scans and phishing attacks that plague every large-scale Internet presence — so it wasn’t too abnormal to discover that something had gotten lucky and slipped through the agency’s defenses. In March 2014, for example, OPM had detected a breach in which blueprints for its network’s architecture were siphoned away. But in this case, the engineers n…
      - 14 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 8:31pm -
    • The Silicon Valley Addition: Is Sitting The New Smoking?
      Looking for a new job? There's a new position in the tech world, in Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach or anywhere else in the world. It's called the "flexion position." What's required to qualify? You have to be addicted to work. You must love a sedentary job that keeps you glued to your computer. You must be willing to have your hip muscles shorten and tighten as gravity pulls your body into a "C" like position. You must be willing to become at risk for developing neck, low back and hip pain, as well as, injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive tasks.Do You Look Like a "C"?Does this look like you? Then you qualify. But do you want to? Our bodies live to be moving. So it's critical that we pay attention to our posture in and out of the chair (or bed, couch...) and our workplace ergonomics. Unfortunately, our brains re-learn this flexion, distorted, "C" posture as normal and we become unconscious to repeating it day, after day. And before you know it... you become a Flexion. Of Course This Is Not Really a Job Description But it is a description of a new addiction to work and our computers. And it isn't just the tech world. Many of my friends in other careers are experiencing the "flexion" addiction. I learned about this while sitting in my Chiropractor's office (Dr. Mary Trumpi) where I saw this poster by Freedom Pain institute and Erik Dalton (all the photos in this blog post are credited to him.) I was there to figure out why my back hurt and what I learned shocked me to the point I was impelled to share it with you so you can catch your own Flexion Addiction before it gets out of wack, and so do you. Believe me, the road to recovery is bumpy! It is doable and I'm proud to say I'm all better.... but know that I know... So What Are the Health Related Issues With Flexioning?According to the book written by Dr. Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol 3, when we are sitting straight up, our head weighs 13 lbs. If we lean forward 2", it weights 32 lbs. and when we lean 3" forward our head weighs 42 lbs. This type of abnormal leverage from a forward-leaning head can pull the entire spinal column out of wack, decrease lung capacity by 30%, decrease inhalation and neurologically inhibit peristaltic action (resulting in having a difficult time going to the bathroom.) But Wait, There's More...It's no wonder the number of bulging, herniated and thinning disks is rising. And if that is not enough to scare you into walking straight, just like quitt…
      - 14 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 8:05pm -
    • These Craigslist Ads Looking For Odd Services Are Hilarious, Good Fun
      Using Craigslist is a little bit like online dating. It would be so much easier if you didn’t have to meet these people in real life.For Kelly Mahon, a New York advertising copywriter, she’s not worried about meeting weirdo Craiglist people in real life, because she loves pretending to be one of the weirdos.Mahon began writing odd but hilarious Craigslist ads as a side project ― an outlet for her creativity and weirdness. She soon found that Craigslist was its own bizarre world, where people are willing to do anything if there’s something in it for them.We’ve listed some of the best below. And to see the awkward interactions it leads to, check out her site “Seeking ... ”Assistance eating burritosI recently broke most of the bones in my body and am in a full body cast. I’m not looking for sympathy people, it’s all good―I moved back in with my mom and she’s taking great care of me. But there’s one thing she won’t do. She thinks I eat too many burritos. . . I don’t care, I love burritos and I’m gonna eat them, damnit. I can have the burrito delivered, but I have no way of eating it by myself. I need someone to come feed it to me through the mouth hole of my cast every day for the next few months. Email me if you’re interested, it’s been four days since my last burrito and I’m dying here.Lobster RacingLooking for individual to participate in biweekly lobster race. The way it works is, we set up an obstacle course around my apartment. The first lobster to cross the finish line wins. No worries if you don’t have your own lobster costume, I have a spare (size M-L). Beginners are welcome this month since I twisted my ankle, which has greatly impacted my agility.Caravan driver neededI’m looking for someone to drive my mobile strip club, Cha Cha Bingos, around the city on week nights, while dancing. All you have to do is strip down to your drawers while safely moving our dancers and lovely patrons around the city. Must have a fun personality. Must obey traffic laws. Must have rhythm. Must be a male.Help finding antsI knocked over my son’s ant farm. He’s very attached to these ants so I need someone to come help me find them all and put them back into the farm. They’re running around everywhere. I wouldn’t let me son take the farm with him to his dad’s this weekend and now I’ve spilled them all over. He is going to kill me. I need to do this before he gets home tonight.Help me reunite with my…
      - 15 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 7:24pm -
    • This Is How Colorblind People See The World
      Ever considered the idea that your version of the color red isn’t someone else’s red?As many as eight percent of men and .5 percent of women of Northern European descent have the common red-green form of colorblindness, according to the National Eye Institute. Many of them, however, don’t even know it. The video above from Mind Warehouse walks viewers through testing, diagnosing and experiencing color blindness, which is actually an entire set of color vision anomolies that range from difficulty seeing red and green to seeing the world in nothing but black and white. Clearly, people are curious about the way colorblind friends see the planet: The video has been viewed more than eight million times since it was published just two days ago, with upwards of 13,000 comments from viewers with both vision issues and average eyes alike.Best of all, the video highlights a website where you can upload photos to test for yourself what colorblindness looks like. Watch above, and check it out! -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 15 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 7:17pm -
    • Self-Driving Cars: Transforming Mobility For The Elderly And People With Disabilities
      By Jules Polonetsky and Henry ClaypoolThe federal government recently released guidance that will hasten the roll out of self-driving cars on American roads. The roads will not be filled with driverless cars tomorrow, but these smart, efficient vehicles are already operating in some cities and they will become widespread more quickly than most drivers think. Automakers and technology companies are making significant strides towards the connected car future. New sensor and autonomous technologies are being announced weekly, and the Administration has made commitments to support these developments and accelerate their roll out. Sensor and autonomous technologies can transform automotive safety and convenience for preexisting American drivers, but they can do more; they can increase mobility for the elderly and Americans with disabilities who may be constrained from driving altogether. As most people take having transportation options as a given, people with disabilities and the elderly may benefit most from these new developments. Autonomous driving technology has the potential to transform life for populations that are not able to get a driver's license today. People with epilepsy and blind people are constantly managing the logistical challenges associated with getting groceries, taking the kids to school or going out for the evening - or just not going out at all. The employment rate for people with disabilities continues to decline even after the modest recovery from the great recession. Game changing technology has the potential to halt this decline and hopefully allow more people with disabilities to go to work each day as these barriers to transportation are taken down by technology. Of course, new technology needs to be safe before it can be rolled out to a broad set of users. And privacy commitments will be necessary to ensure that the data used to power the sophisticated algorithms that enable autonomous vehicle navigation will be protected. But the measures used to manage safety and data must be informed by the needs of both the general consumers who are going to benefit from the safety, and the benefits to people with disabilities who will gain from the mobility enabled by truly driverless cars. To address some of the concerns about data management in connected vehicles, the Auto Alliance and Global Automakers last year released "Privacy Principles For Vehicle Technologies And Services," to establish baseline principles for privacy i…
      - 15 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 7:15pm -
    • (VIDEO) Advanced TV Offers Better Targeting, More Consumer Choices: IBM iX's Rangaiah
      How does "advanced" television in all of its forms--OTT, VOD, online--come to resemble good old-fashioned network TV? When its ad inventory and viewers are concentrated among a few big players.To be sure, the advantages of advanced TV include the ability to use data for better audience targeting and results measurement, Babs Rangaiah, Partner for Global Marketing Solutions at marketing services provider IBM iX, says in an interview with Beet.TV on the eve of the Masters of Marketing Conference of the Association of National Advertisers.Rangaiah, who spent 14 years on the advertiser side at Unilever, is no stranger to the world of traditional network TV. "While there were great benefits, we didn't really know which ads were working and how much of it was working," he says. "You spent a billion dollars but you didn't' know how much of that actually impacted your sales."With advanced TV, "I think over time we'll have a much better sense of that," says Rangaiah.Alongside technological progress have come greater consumer power of choice and a flip of the business model that once relegated viewers to commercial exposure that interrupted programming. These days, consumers can go over the top or around with ease."As TV gets more and more advanced, it will be that much harder to break through that environment when consumers have the option of skipping almost any ad possible," says Rangaiah.While the ad industry has "come a long way on the viewability issue" of things like online video, the concentration of power harkens to earlier TV days."The digital ecosystem is becoming almost the way the networks were many years ago where you only had a few players that controlled kind of all the inventory and all the viewership," says Rangaiah. "I think with Google and Facebook especially you're going to have enormous opportunity, but we'd like to broaden that to more than just those two players obviously."Then he shares a personal anecdote that attests to the power of digital targeting. At Christmas, Rangaiah went shopping online for a refrigerator but at a certain point stopped the process and went to a store instead. A few hours later, he went on Facebook and the exact refrigerator he wanted was staring him in the face."It was about the data and laser targeting that was contextually relevant to me, for exactly what I was looking for, at the exact time I was looking, and I bought it," he says.This video is part of a series produced at the NYC TV and Video…
      - 16 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 6:32pm -

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    • Grindr Finally Takes Steps To Inhibit Illegal Drug Sales
      Grindr has taken steps to inhibit the marketing of illegal drugs by users of its app, which is said to be the most widely used mobile phone hookup app for gay men in the world.Last month WEHOville called out the West Hollywood-based company for facilitating the sale of drugs such as methamphetamine. That drug, also known as meth, Tina and T, among other terms, is considered the most addictive of all drugs. Meth addiction rates are particularly high among gay men, who make up 40% of West Hollywood’s population, and studies have shown a strong connection between use of meth and infection with HIV. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 16 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 6:32pm -
    • (VIDEO) Addressable Inertia Not Stopping Advertisers: 4C's Neuhauser
      By many accounts, there are now around 45mn US households which can receive so-called addressable TV ads, those targeted at the individual household level.But that's fewer than half the total number of TV households, and getting here has been a slow slog.Yet the inertia is not stopping advertisers from embracing opportunities around TV targeting nevertheless."TV ... has been, and still is, able to reach large audiences with multiple senses and can deliver a powerful message in the right context to great audiences at the right time," according to Lance Neuhauser, CEO of 4C Insights, a technology company helping marketers."However, then digital came up - one person who has one interest shouldn't necessarily see the same ad as another person. The infrastructure necessary to deliver those separate messages to separate household has taken time in television to build.""In the meantime, marketers don't want to to stop making progress. They are looking at more than just viewing data. They are looking at viewing data in combination with social response information, in combination with CRM data, to have a better picture of the impact of each dollar that's put in to market and how that ultimately brings back bottom-line results."Neuhauser is fresh from raising a $26mn Series C investment to boost geographical expansion, products and technology and sales teams.The outfit has an integrated platform for multi-screen analytics and activation, with services including online ads synchronized to TV spots, analytics and social media ad buying.This video is part of a series produced at the NYC TV and Video Week's Advance Advertising summit.  The series is sponsored by 4C Insights.  For additional videos from the series, visit this page. You can find this post on Beet.TV. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 16 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 6:31pm -
    • St. Jude Heart Devices Can Be Hacked, Experts Say
      (Reuters) - Short-selling firm Muddy Waters said in a legal brief filed on Monday that outside cyber security experts it hired have validated its claim that St. Jude Medical Inc cardiac implants are vulnerable to potentially life-threatening cyber attacks.Boutique cyber security firm Bishop Fox disclosed its findings in a 53-page report that was attached to a legal brief filed on Monday in U.S. district court in Minnesota on behalf of the short-sellers, who hired the firm to perform the work as they defend themselves in a lawsuit filed by St.Jude.A representative for St. Jude was not immediately available for comment.St. Jude filed the suit on Sept. 7 against Muddy Waters, cyber research firm MedSec Holdings and individuals affiliated with those companies. The suit accused the group of intentionally disseminating false information about St. Jude heart devices to manipulate its stock price, which fell 5 percent on the day they revealed their claims.The defendants said in a filing released on Monday that the lawsuit is without merit, reiterating their claim that St. Jude Medical’s heart devices have “significant security vulnerabilities.”The report from Bishop Fox said the firm was able to validate those claims.“I found that Muddy Waters’ and MedSec’s statements regarding security issues in the St. JudeMedical implant ecosystem were, by and large, accurate,” Bishop Fox Partner Carl Livitt said in an introduction to the report.The report said that the wireless communications protocol used in St. Jude cardiac devices is vulnerable to hacking, making it possible for hackers to convert the company’s Merlin@home patient monitoring devices into “weapons” that can cause cardiac implants to stop providing care and deliver shocks to patients.Bishop Fox tested the attacks from 10 feet (3 meters) away, but said that might be extended to 45 feet (13.7 meters) with an antenna, or 100 feet (30.5 meters) with a transmitting device known as a software defined radio. (Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Will Dunham) -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 17 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 5:38pm -
    • 5 Reasons Why Caregivers Aren't More Engaged With Technology
      AARP puts the number of unpaid family caregivers who care for an older and sicker person at 40 million. And not surprisingly, 71 percent of those caregivers said in an AARP survey that they would love to have some technology to help them provide care.What is surprising is that only 7 percent of those caregivers are actually using tech tools to help out, attendees of MedCity News ENGAGE in San Diego heard recently. The conference-goers also heard various theories about why this is ― things like caregivers “just don’t have the time to try new technology.” While lack of time certainly may be part of it, we’d like to offer our own theories on the disconnect. Here are five reasons why technology fails caregivers.1. Tech entrepreneurs don’t understand what caregivers really need.It’s great that you want to send us a text alert when mom doesn’t take her pills. But how about somebody designing a simple, easy-to-open pill box? Many older people take multiple medications. Pill boxes are too small. Make them big and make them easy to read and handle. And by the way, pill boxes need more than two slots. Lots of people take medications three or even four times a day.One of the most useful things we’ve seen are pharmacies that bundle all of a patient’s medications in a single daily pack with the times of day and the dates clearly marked.2. Tech concepts often invade privacy.No, mom doesn’t want to live under a webcam. Nor do her adult children especially want to watch her in the bathroom. There are systems that will send caregivers an alert if there is a break in her TV-watching patterns ― meaning if she decided to skip her favorite show because it was a rerun, you get a text. Caregivers also can get alerted if she leaves the oven on or forgets to lock the door. Honestly? If you are worrying about stuff at this level, it’s probably time for mom to no longer live alone. And if the stove is left on, better hope the fire department gets a text too.Let’s keep it simple: Using Skype for doctors’ appointments isn’t a bad idea, but truthfully, it’s not going to be the same as driving mom down for an in-person office visit, is it? How about more doctors who make house calls? You know what else is really useful? When the local pharmacy or seniors center offers free flu shots and blood pressure checks. Extra bonus points for providing transportation there and back too.Technology’s offerings to caregivers seem to follow two tracks: sy…
      - 17 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 5:24pm -
    • Invest in America's Innovation Economy
      As the Great Recession recedes in our rearview mirrors, it is becoming ever more apparent that innovative activities are determining an increasing proportion of the long-term economic growth of cities, metropolitan areas, regions, states, and even nations. The State Technology and Science Index (STSI) was created nearly two decades ago in order to track and evaluate every state's tech and science capabilities, and their success at converting these assets into companies and high-paying jobs. How a state fares in the index does not directly correlate to current economic performance and overall job creation, but it does clearly indicate whether a state is likely to create high-paying and future-proof positions. For the U.S. economy to thrive in over the long haul, it must out-innovate and out-commercialize its competitors. That process is executed at the state or regional level. The index computes and measures 107 individual indicators relative to population, gross state product (GSP), number of establishments, percent change, and other factors. Data sources include government agencies, foundations, and private sources. They are then sorted into five composites:Research and Development Inputs: A state's R&D capacity is examined to see if it has facilities that can attract funding and create innovations that can be commercialized. The category includes measures such as industrial, academic, and federal R&D; Small Business Innovation Research awards; and the Small Business Technology Transfer program, among others. Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure: The entrepreneurial capacity and risk capital infrastructure of states are the ingredients that determine the success rate of converting research into commercially viable technology services and products. Several measures of venture capital activity as well as entrepreneurial pursuits, including patenting activity, business formations, and initial public offerings are included.Human Capital Investment: Human capital is the most important intangible asset of a regional or state economy. Indicators that suggest the skill levels of the current and future workforce are analyzed. Examples include the number of bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees relative to a state's population, and measures specific to science, engineering, and technology degrees.…
      - 17 hours ago, 24 Oct 16, 5:23pm -

    Small Business

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    • 6 Key Business Benefits Of UCaaS Show Why Businesses Need It Now
      Communicating at work should be as simple as pulling up a chair, anywhere. Knowledge workers carry the essential communication tools with them: cellphones, laptops and their inquisitive minds. In their daily lives outside of work, video, instant messaging and consumer cloud apps help today's people share information with friends and family. Teams now want to apply similar tools to be more productive at work. Knowledge workers who bring their own mobile devices to work can be more effective and save the company hardware expenses--but only if their office messages, files and contacts stay in sync, and their valuable data is safe within the network.While small- and medium-sized businesses' (SMB's) telecommunications networks have become more proficient at serving more devices and connecting them to the cloud, they may not be able to offer the effective bandwidth increase, speed and security required. For next-generation telecommunications providers, the new Unified Communications (UC) solutions will be as transformative as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) was a decade ago. Now, Unified Communications as a Service, or UCaaS, makes telecom the backbone for real-time video conferencing, screen sharing presence and instant messaging.SMB's use online collaboration services to relay messages clearly and move discussion along without buffering or other video streaming quality issues. A capable network brings a far-flung team together regardless of geographical boundaries and keeps them engaged in solving business problems instead of fixing conference-line glitches. They can contribute to a meeting on the way to the office, and enter a virtual conference room ready to share slides, various document types, graphics, charts and much more.Making the case: Lower costs with UCaaSThe current business climate makes upgrading a communications network particularly challenging. Gartner this year forecasts flat IT spending worldwide--and that's actually an improvement on early estimates. For that reason, IT managers turn to economical UCaaS solutions. These hosted UC services make full use of cloud capabilities to extend communication resources. They share six major advantages: 1. No upfront expenses. UCaaS shifts a business's cost of designing solutions in an increasing complex space to an experienced service provider. Leased phones and equipment allow companies to adopt new technologies and set up shop in new locations without worrying about features bec…
      - 8 days ago, 17 Oct 16, 1:53pm -
    • Evaluating Trump's Immigration Plan: Facts To Bring Down A Wall Of Fiction
      In the past few weeks, Donald Trump's zig-zags on his immigration positions have been dizzying for the public. Because of his unconventional presidential campaign style, he has managed, thus far, to avoid the usual scrutiny and analysis that all candidates normally face. For us in the Latino and immigrant community, his speech in Arizona represents more of the same as we have directly felt the impact of his words for over a year.With the election nearing, it is about time to look beyond the rhetoric and unravel the truth behind his declarations. In particular, now that Trump has reaffirmed his extreme nativist position on immigration, we have to examine seriously and thoroughly his "10-point plan." Correlating his statements with reality takes a concerted effort, so let us tackle his points one-by-one. Before delving into each point, it is important to highlight the overall contribution of immigrants to this country. In fact, studies have shown that immigrants contribute over $700 billion to the U.S. economy each year. In 2011, it amounted to $743 billion in total wage, salary, and business proprietor income. In addition, according to the Brookings Institute, immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a small business and three times more likely to file a patent. Furthermore, contrary to Trump's assertions and portrayals of immigrants, both documented and undocumented as criminals, there is ample evidence that demonstrates otherwise. In fact, according to the New Yorker's Eyal Press in his recent article, studies by Harvard sociologist, Robert Sampson, have shown that incidences of crime decrease in neighborhoods with an influx of immigrants. These studies have reported that immigrants contribute to the revitalization of neighborhoods, thereby advancing economic growth and development. Also, immigrant communities are marked by their drive to improve the wellbeing of their families with immigrants focused on economic advancement and educational achievements for their children.With this context in mind, let us explore the Trump plan.1. Complete the border wall.Building a wall in the fashion that Donald Trump envisions along the entire 1,989 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border is not only costly but also highly unrealistic. The Washington Post estimated the cost of an actual physical barrier across the border at more than $25 billion. And, as the BBC reported in its recent story, the plan will mean extension into remote areas, as well as incursi…
      - 46 days ago, 9 Sep 16, 4:58pm -
    • The Entrepreneur's Guide To Freaking Out
      By Liz GutmanAnxiety is a totally normal and even expected part of running your own business. Here's how to keep from being crippled by it. As the public face of my company, I encounter a lot of pressure to appear as though I'm 100% together at all times.But, in truth, as an entrepreneur, there is no way to completely avoid freaking out. So many things constantly come at you - staffing issues, tax worries, equipment malfunctions - it would take a miracle to achieve a state of never-ever-freak-outedness. But when it all seems overwhelming and impossible, know that you can (and will!) get through it. Here's how:1. BREATHEI know - it's a total cliché. But it's everyone's number one piece of advice for a reason: it works, as long as you really commit. No, taking one big deep breath usually isn't enough. If you find yourself starting to clench up or getting that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, take a moment. Sit (or stand) with both feet planted flat on the floor. Close your eyes. Breathe in for a slow three-count - one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand - hold for another slow three-count and breathe out for a slow five-count. Do this at least ten times.Now open your eyes. Better?2. MOVEI battled severe anxiety long before becoming an entrepreneur, and it was a revelation to discover how much regular exercise helps calm my mind.It doesn't have to be hardcore. I used to run, but now I go for brisk walks of about 30 minutes in the morning instead. Walking isn't quite as exciting as running, but can be even more beneficial (see links here, here and here) than more strenuous activity. Take a stroll on your lunch break, stretch or do gentle yoga before bedtime, knock out some jumping jacks while you're watching Netflix. Any of these things will help as long as you stay consistent (I shoot for three times a week). It's an investment that pays off if you keep doing it! You'll be amazed at how much it improves your outlook.3. ASK FOR HELPThis may be the easiest-said and hardest-done piece of advice out there. I have massive issues with asking for help; it's especially hard for entrepreneurs and even more so for women. We spend our entire lives internalizing messages to be quiet, be nice, don't make a fuss, figure it out. "Quiet strength" seems like an admirable quality until you think about the nuances of that subtly oppressive first word: quiet. Don't be quiet. Reach out. Ask a friend to spend some time with you. F…
      - 46 days ago, 9 Sep 16, 2:29am -
    • Airbnb's Work To Fight Bias And Discrimination
      Over the course of my career, I've learned that lasting change often begins with tough, honest conversations, genuine self-reflection, followed by bold action. In the last half century, we've made tremendous progress toward realizing our civil rights and equal opportunity goals. But we still have a long way to go. We need to talk about, and then take action to end, the discrimination, prejudice, and inequality that still exists -- not only in our laws, but in our schools, our neighborhoods, and our businesses. That's in part because the way in which bias manifests itself keeps evolving. At the beginning of this century, few predicted that the internet would become such a pervasive tool for cyber bullying or religious extremism, or would so often be used to communicate and enable discrimination and division. Airbnb is no exception. Their mission is to connect people from around the globe and foster a sense of belonging. But despite those good intentions, some Airbnb users have been turned away from booking accommodations because of their name, background or skin color. Understanding that one case is one too many, the company reached out to me and to Laura Murphy, the former chief of the ACLU's Washington legislative office, to work with them to determine how to greatly diminish -- with the goal of eliminating -- discrimination on its platform. I agreed to help because from the first time we spoke, Airbnb's leadership team was willing to have that tough, uncomfortable conversation, and because they had the humility and courage to ask for help in the first place. That told me that their goal was to fix the problem, not simply to respond to public criticism. Airbnb's leadership team was willing to have that tough, uncomfortable conversation. Throughout the last three months, under Laura's leadership, Airbnb has conducted a rigorous, thorough and inclusive review of its technology and its policies. The review included conversations with employees at every level of the company, Airbnb hosts and victims of discrimination, and outside experts. It also included outreach to civil rights organizations, regulators and federal and state lawmakers. The result is one of the most detailed and honest reviews of a company's role in fighting discrimination, including where efforts fell short, that I've ever witnessed. That review -- which I believe provides a model for our growing "sharing economy" and the role internet companies play in unintentionally…
      - 47 days ago, 8 Sep 16, 3:05pm -
    • Computers Are For Girls, Too
      I remember three things about my first computer science class in college. First, improbably, the professor was named Ramm, as in "random access memory." Second, the class was about processors, and I only had a vague idea what a processor was. Third, it was the last computer science class for most of my female classmates, who quickly decided they'd rather major in something else.I never would have guessed that my time as a computer science student would turn out to be pretty much the high water mark for women in the field. The percentage of computer science majors who are women has gone down from 37 percent in 1984 to just 18 percent today. In other words, on average my daughters are half as likely to major in computer science as I was 30 years ago. My daughters are half as likely to major in computer science as I was 30 years ago.But the young women in this video are defying these odds -- they're pursuing careers in computer science and dismantling stereotypes about the field. I love hearing them talk about the sense of empowerment and joy that coding brings them. Kimberly got a standing ovation from her high school English classmates when she demonstrated a book review app she made. Kayla is preserving and sharing the rich history of her community with an app that customizes multimedia walking tours. Courtney helped design the landing legs on a rocket when she interned at SpaceX!The gross underrepresentation of women in computer science is not just a problem for the girls who are left out. It's a problem for all of us, because we're not benefitting from the creativity girls have to offer. There's a mountain of research showing that diversity makes for better companies and better products -- that we're more innovative when we work in teams with different kinds of people -- yet the gender diversity in tech has been getting worse for decades.One reason why is that somewhere along the way, society decided that computers are for boys. Or, as Aishwarya says, "guys in hoodies." And this toxic stereotype becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, virtually guaranteeing that computer science is indeed a male-dominated field.First, since girls aren't supposed to be into computers, they aren't exposed to computer science when they're young, and even if they are, they often aren't encouraged to pursue their interests in the field. That helps explain why only 22 percent of the high school students who take the AP computer science exam today are girls. Kayla…
      - 63 days ago, 23 Aug 16, 8:42pm -
    • 37 Times Donald Trump Should Have Apologized
      Yesterday, Donald Trump read the following off a teleprompter in Charlotte, North Carolina:Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.It's a clever line. Hats off to Donald's speechwriter. But that's all it is: a line from a teleprompter.For most of us, an apology involves looking someone in the eye and taking responsibility for what you did. But Trump didn't even bother to tell us what he regrets saying or who he regrets hurting over the past year.Here's the truth: over the past year, Donald Trump has tried to insult and bully his way to the White House. He has fabricated lies and invented bizarre conspiracy theories to stoke racial animus and divide the American people. He repeatedly made racist remarks about a federal judge's heritage and attacked a Gold Star family because of their faith. He has preyed upon the most vulnerable and disparaged our men and women in uniform in his power-hungry quest for the presidency.Even after winning his party's nomination, he has acted more like a Bully-in-Chief than a future leader of our country.In Trump's warped world, it might be enough to vaguely say that you have regrets. But Trump owes the people he has attacked and bullied so much more than that. He needs to explain exactly what he regrets--and then sincerely apologize to the individuals, families and communities to whom he has caused personal pain.Here's where he could start:1.Slandering Mexican immigrants: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." [Campaign kickoff speech, 6/16/15]2.Criticizing former POW Sen. John McCain: "He's not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." [Politico, 7/18/15]3.Criticizing Fox News host Megyn Kelly: "I have no respect for her...You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever." [CNN, 8/7/15]4.Calling children of immigrants "anchor babies" [Fox News (reported by CBS), 8/19/15]5.Questioning then-opponent Ben Carson's religion: "I just don't know about" the Seventh-Day Adventist church [Washington Post, 10/25/15]6.Mocking a disabled reporter: "'I don't know what I said. I don't remember!' He's going, 'I don't remember!'" [South Carolina rally, 11/22/15]7.Claiming…
      - 67 days ago, 19 Aug 16, 9:24pm -
    • 5 Ways To Increase Your Chances Of Surviving A Plane Crash
      The odds of getting into a plane crash are low. Very low. In fact, your odds are only 1 in 8,357 of dying in an "air and space transport incident," as the National Safety Council calls it. In fact, you are more likely to die from a lightning strike than to face an aircraft evacuation. But, the reality is, every time you strap yourself to the seat in a metal tube as it hurls itself through the air, you are facing the possibility of an emergency evacuation.Recent events such as the crash of Emirates flight 521 are a reminder that as safe as air travel is, quick thinking flight attendants and a competent flight crew can mean the difference life and death. Long lines, tight spaces, and elbow rubbing with strangers is now the norm when it comes to air travel. Although packed planes only add to the chaos during an evacuation, with a little foresight and these tips, you will find yourself better prepared in the unlikely event of an emergency.1. Keep your shoes on during take-off and landing.Taxi, take-off, and landing are the most critical phases of flight. They are so crucial that flight attendants and pilots are prohibited from communicating with each other unless they are discussing an issue related to the safety of the flight. It is okay to slip your shoes off during flight, but putting your shoes back on prior to landing will prevent you from having to run barefoot across a jet-fuel soaked tarmac. 2. Do not drink or take medication to help you relax.Sometimes nerves, the desire to start vacation early, or down right fear of flying will cause a passenger to drink alcoholic beverages or take a prescription medication to ease the stress of air travel. And while a cocktail is alright, keep in mind that your blood will be thinner at the high altitude even after cabin pressurization, and this can make the effects of alcohol feel more pronounced. When it comes to prescription medications, make sure you discuss your travel plans and anxieties with your doctor. The chances of surviving a plane crash hinge on two things: the ability of the flight attendants to get the exits open and your ability to get yourself to the exit. Make sure you are sober-minded enough to think clearly and move quickly.3. Consider the type of aircraft.Every type of aircraft is different. Even if you fly all the time, you are more than likely flying on different types of airplanes and sitting in different seats each time you take to the sky. Every time you get on a plane, take a…
      - 75 days ago, 11 Aug 16, 9:11pm -
    • Driving Growth Through Inclusive Entrepreneurship
      This week we recognize August 4th as Startup Day Across America, a time to celebrate entrepreneurs and the jobs they create. It's also an opportunity to reflect on the challenges that our entrepreneurs face and explore solutions to allow the best and brightest minds to succeed. Our country's entrepreneurial spirit and innovative minds are the lifeblood of the American economy.Our country's entrepreneurial spirit and innovative minds are the lifeblood of the American economy. America's startups are the driving force behind new job creation in the United States. In fact, companies less than one year old have created an average of 1.5 million jobs per year over the past three decades, fueling both local and national economic growth. From Uber to ZocDoc, startups are behind the technologies and services now a part of the daily lives of many Americans. And these companies no longer exist solely within Silicon Valley -- in fact, Texas ranks fifth highest on the Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship.While the United States continues to provide exceptional opportunities for private organizations to innovate, more can be done to ensure all entrepreneurs, especially immigrant founders, are set up to succeed in America. Representing the public and private sectors, we see this need firsthand. Congressman Castro's San Antonio is one of the top 10 U.S. cities in overall startup activity, and Unshackled Ventures works within our current system, investing in 16 teams with founders born in six different continents. More can be done to ensure all entrepreneurs, especially immigrant founders, are set up to succeed in America.Without the necessary support, too many innovators will give up, and too many brilliant ideas will remain unexplored.As a starting point, we must encourage an inclusive, collaborative entrepreneurship pipeline, so that all aspiring innovators across the country have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and compete with larger corporations. When the playing field is level, the best ideas will win.We must also connect aspiring innovators with the tools and resources they need to build a startup. In some cases, the resources are already there, and it is simply a matter of linking entrepreneurs to the right network.Unfortunately, some of the country's most promising entrepreneurs are still struggling to break through. This is particularly true for the U.S. immigrant population. In addition to the challenges of the entrepreneurial j…
      - 82 days ago, 4 Aug 16, 12:34pm -
    • 7 Principles Of Life That Everyone Knows, But Only A Few Follow
      Early 2015 I was pretty frustrated with my career. Just a year earlier I said goodbye to my entrepreneurial aspirations and took a job at an IT-research firm in London.Normally, that's a good thing. The pay was good, so were the benefits, and I had great colleagues. But it wasn't for me  --  I felt like I gave up entrepreneurship.And on top of that, my personal life wasn't great either. My girlfriend and I decided to end our relationship. And in that same week, my grandmother, who I loved dearly, passed away suddenly.I felt a lot of things. But mostly, I was felt like I didn't understand life. Have you ever thought about it? What is life? What are you supposed to do? It's not like babies are shipped with manuals that teaches them to be awesome human beings.For the first time in my life, I started looking for answers because I was tired of just living/existing without purpose. When I went back to Holland for the funeral, I also caught up with one of my mentors. The last time we spoke was over a year ago  --  before I moved to London.I told him the whole story, and he said: "Even though there's no right or wrong way to live your life, there are certain universal principles that lead to a happy, wealthy, and healthy life."Naturally, I asked him, "What principles?"In a Mr. Miyagi way he said: "I think you know the principles. Everyone does. But 99% of all people don't do what they know."That's about the best, and most bad-ass pieces of wisdom I've ever heard in my life.People hardly do what they say. That was also the story of my life. So for the next year or so I spent thinking, reading and researching to find the principles my mentor was talking about.I asked myself: What are things that people talk about, but they never do? Here's what I came up with until now.1. No Strain, No GainWe often talk about doing all kinds of crazy shit -- climb mountains, run marathons, skydive, start businesses, travel the world, write books, record albums, make movies, the list is endless. Just think about what's on your bucket list for a second. Now, can I ask you one thing? Why haven't you done those things? Don't shy away from hard things. Instead, train yourself to become a person that can endure difficulties.The answer almost always comes down to this: It's hard.Well, I hate to break it to you, but life is SUPPOSED to be hard!That's probably the most valuable lesson I've learned. Don't shy away from hard things. Instead, train your…
      - 83 days ago, 3 Aug 16, 5:31pm -
    • Understanding Trump
      There is a lot being written and spoken about Trump by intelligent and articulate commentators whose insights I respect. But as a longtime researcher in cognitive science and linguistics, I bring a perspective from these sciences to an understanding of the Trump phenomenon. This perspective is hardly unknown. More that half a million people have read my books, and Google Scholar reports that scholars writing in scholarly journals have cited my works well over 100,000 times. As a longtime researcher in cognitive science and linguistics, I bring a perspective from these sciences to an understanding of the Trump phenomenon.Yet you will probably not read what I have to say in the New York Times, nor hear it from your favorite political commentators. You will also not hear it from Democratic candidates or party strategists. There are reasons, and we will discuss them later this piece. I am writing it because I think it is right and it is needed, even though it comes from the cognitive and brain sciences, not from the normal political sources. I think it is imperative to bring these considerations into public political discourse. But it cannot be done in a 650-word op-ed. My apologies. It is untweetable.I will begin with an updated version of an earlier piece on who is supporting Trump and why -- and why policy details are irrelevant to them. I then move to a section on how Trump uses your brain against you. I finish up discussing how Democratic campaigns could do better, and why they need to do better if we are to avert a Trump presidency.Who Supports Trump and Why Donald J. Trump has managed to become the Republican nominee for president, Why? How? There are various theories: People are angry and he speaks to their anger. People don't think much of Congress and want a non-politician. Both may be true. But why? What are the details? And why Trump?He seems to have come out of nowhere. His positions on issues don't fit a common mold. He has said nice things about LGBTQ folks, which is not standard Republican talk. Republicans hate eminent domain (the taking of private property by the government) and support corporate outsourcing for the sake of profit, but he has the opposite views on both. He is not religious and scorns religious practices, yet the Evangelicals (that is, the white Evangelicals) love him. He thinks health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, as well as military contractors, are making too much profit and wants to change that.…
      - 95 days ago, 22 Jul 16, 7:45pm -

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    • Between The Parades
      On public holidays, Americans salute their military. This Fourth of July will be no exception. In big cities and small towns across America, families will line the streets to watch Fourth of July parades, and sports stadiums around the country will bring veterans of all ages to center field, lighting up the skies with fireworks and paying homage to our military heroes. Then the fireworks will be over, the parades will have passed by, and most Americans will return to their daily activities, with little attention paid to veterans and families until the next parade.With less than one percent of American having served on the battlefield, most don't have personal connections to those who have served. And hundreds of thousands of those who have served are coming home: some 250,000 men and women in uniform are now transitioning each year to civilian life. Veterans and their families want a return to normalcy when they return home. But the military culture that serves to protect men and women while in service does not mesh with nor well- prepare them for civilian life. For far too many, their new neighborhoods are foreign, their families are estranged, and they are out of sync with what used to be home. Ask veterans what they want and most will say that a return to normalcy starts with meaningful employment. American corporations and small businesses have admirably set significant targets for hiring our returning veterans and veteran unemployment continues to fall. Yet 50 percent of veterans leave their jobs within a year and 65 percent do so within the first two years. Forty seven percent of post 9/11 veterans report they are not working in their preferred career field. San Diego's Operation REBOOT started by the National Veterans Transition Services, has become a model for how to help veterans achieve what they are looking for. The focus is not just on hiring but on finding the right fit. REBOOT personnel understand both the military culture from which veterans are emerging and the civilian culture that they are about to enter. At the heart of REBOOT's Centers for Military and Veteran Reintegration is a free, three-week workshop, designed to holistically address transition from military to civilian life. Going far beyond typical career transition programs, participants are given in-depth re-socialization training that culturally prepares them for civilian life after the military. They also undergo career assessments to help determine what…
      - 4 Jul 16, 4:05am -
    • Stop Playing Games With The Pentagon Budget
      Defending the United States and its allies is serious business. That's all the more reason Congress should stop playing games with Pentagon spending. A good place to start would be to put aside proposals to add billions to the department's already ample budget. The Senate took a step in the right direction earlier this month when it beat back an amendment by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that would have added $18 billion in Pentagon spending beyond the amount agreed to in last year's bipartisan budget deal. A good place to start would be to put aside proposals to add billions to the department's already ample budget. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has shown no such restraint. During the consideration of the defense authorization act, House Armed Services Committee chair Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) pushed through a proposal to steal $18 billion from the war budget and use it to pay for pet projects that the Pentagon hasn't even asked for, like 11 additional F-35s and 14 more F/A-18s. This raid on the war budget is fine for Lockheed Martin and Boeing, the builders of the F-35 and the F-18. But what happens when the war budget runs out of funds to support the troops in the field? Thornberry's answer is to let the next administration worry about it. The House inserted a $16 billion raid on the war budget in its appropriations bill, setting up a fight over the issue in the House/Senate conference committee on Pentagon spending that will convene later this year. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has denounced Thornberry's maneuver in no uncertain terms, calling it a "terrible distraction" that "undercuts stable planning and efficient use of taxpayer dollars, dispirits troops and their families, baffles friends, and emboldens foes." To add insult to injury, Thornberry and his colleagues claim that they are robbing the war budget because there are insufficient funds for readiness -- the training and maintenance activities needed to sustain our armed forces. Yet an analysis by the Project on Government Oversight has found that the net result of Thornberry's proposal would be to cut operations and maintenance - the funding source for readiness activities -- by over $11 billion. Advocates of higher Pentagon outlays claim that the rapid pace of change in the world -- from the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino to the continuing threats posed by ISIS and Russian aggression in Ukraine -- has rendered last year's budget deal obsolete. T…
      - 17 Jun 16, 12:23pm -
    • Finding A Business Idea You Love By Trial and Error
      by Eleni Gianopulos"I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun."Thomas A. Edison's quote reminds me of my father. Sitting around the dinner table with my family when I was growing up, my dad always admonished us to "Find something you love to do!"I eventually found what I love, though the route to starting my business was not exactly straightforward. Along each step of the way, I learned something that could benefit any entrepreneur, and maybe help you reach your goals a little quicker. Here's a quick tour of my journey and highlights of the lessons I learned from each experience. College degree, what's next? I graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in psychology only because I held the most credits in that department. While I loved the psychology classes, I didn't want to work in that field. I didn't do well in school, nor did I really apply myself. Unfortunately, the gap year wasn't in vogue then, because I definitely would have benefited from one. I was jealous of friends and family members who had clear career visions. They knew exactly what they wanted to be or do from day one and plowed straight ahead toward their goals. (Though I have since learned that didn't mean their journeys were any easier than mine.)Takeaway: Don't be too hard on yourself. The stress and worry will cloud your judgment and get in the way of listening to your inner self about what is best for you.New York City callsI didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew exactly where I wanted to live! I moved to New York and got a job at in the jewelry department at Bloomingdale's. This felt comfortable because I'd held odd jobs since high school. The jobs I had growing up, while completely unrelated to the business I would eventually start, helped me understand hard work. I baby sat often, worked as a PeeWee golf attendant, was hired as a seasonal employee to wrap presents during the holidays (in a liquor store, of all places), and took part-time jobs in college at both a gourmet kitchen shop in Dallas and as a sales associate at a specialty stuffed animal store. I enjoyed working while in college in Dallas - certainly more than studying! And I was introduced early on to some very basic business practices: sales, month-end inventory, employee shift schedules and the absolute importance of reporting to any job on time. Takeaway: No job is too big or too small. Learn as much as you can, whatever you are doing. One day you wil…
      - 15 Jun 16, 7:05pm -
    • 4 Ways You Didn't Know Your Small Business Can Benefit From Online Auctions
      If there's one thing that most consumers who are online are busy with aside from work-related matters, it's browsing and shopping at online auctions. And why not? The feeling and satisfaction you get when you find great deals and awesome bargains is just simply unbeatable. For this reason, it will be wise for small business owners to take advantage of this opportunity and to utilize online auction sites to the benefit of their small business.1. Reduce your costsJust because you have the funds for buying equipment, tools, and business supplies does it mean that you'll automatically go to retail stores and get what you need from them. Before you make a purchase, why not search the web first to see if there's anything available at online auctions? You'll never know if there's another business or company who have posted their equipment and/or supplies online for a lesser price. If there is, it's always worth putting a bid because if you get it, it will mean lower costs for your small business. It's one of the best ways to save!2. Sell excess productsIf you have excess products sitting around your store, office, or home unsold, you can sell them through online auction sites so you can still earn some money from them. The profit you'll get may be a little lesser but that's better than earning zero, right? On the other hand, if people bid for your products for a higher amount, then that would mean huge and extra income for your business. Either way, it would be a win for you. 3. Test price range for newly launched products You may be working on a new product and you're not sure yet about the price you'd sell it for. What you can do is to try selling it first in a number of online auctions. Let's say that you've put it up for bidding in five sites. Check how much people bid for your product then compute for the average. The answer is the most reasonable price you can sell it to the rest of your customers. 4. Sell your productsSo you have a website for your business and that's mainly where your customers purchase the product that you sell. However, if you don't get that high number of visitors to your site, it could mean lesser profit for you - something which online auction sites can help you with. Because most of them receive more visitors and hits, you can benefit from their audience reach when you sell your product through them. Imagine if you sell your product in more than 20 sites aside from your small business website (and your physical store…
      - 15 Jun 16, 5:47pm -
    • Why Entrepreneurs Make the Worst Significant Others
      1) You will need to adopt a new languageEntrepreneurs all use a mystical tongue of venture capital and startup lingo. This means you will be need to be able to decipher statements such as: "I just 5 at a 40 pre from a16z and Sequoia."Translation: I raised a bunch of money at a good valuation from cool people."We're doing a bridge note to get from our A to our B."Translation: We raised money, now we are raising more money before we raise even more money."What CSR model works best for a SaaS company?"Translation: How can a company that sells software subscriptions to companies seem like it cares about people?2) Chances are they will not make time for youLori Greiner from Shark Tank once said that entrepreneurs work 90 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week. When you launch a company it becomes your life because until you get big you obsess over making it big. Once you are big you obsess over staying big. There is never an end point. If you complain, you will likely get an answer that resembles Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network telling off his ex-girlfriend.3) You will need a higher alcohol toleranceEntrepreneurs are notorious alcoholics for throwing elaborate launch parties, drunk coding, and overall attempting to live obnoxiously. Most hangout sessions will be equipped with craft beer, meet-and-greets with wine, and parties with handles of Grey Goose. Overall, you get it that entrepreneurs don't have the best livers.4) Random people will become celebritiesIf you are lucky enough to bump elbows with the founders of Atlassian, Docker, Oculus, etc. you have just met the second-coming of Jesus in your S.O.'s eyes. People with 400 Instagram followers will be treated with the social influence level of Kendall Jenner. Metrics of coolness will root back to valuations, user metrics, press, and other factors that land on the list of least sexy cool things ever.5) Egos will be the normEveryone in entrepreneurship thinks they are either Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or Steve Jobs or some mutant of the three. It is the sad truth. 1,000 downloads on the app store and a small check from a name brand dude automatically makes people think they are killing the game and living the first 30 minutes of their soon to be released blockbuster entrepreneurial movie plot.6) Networking events will become date nightSTAY AWAY FROM EVENTBRITE! Eventbrite is the cemetery filled with the corpses of networking events whose notifications will con…
      - 8 Jun 16, 11:01pm -
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