Tags Facebook reached a record $5 billion settlement with the FTC this week. Graphic by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET After more than a year of wrangling, Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission finally agreed to settle an investigation into the social network’s privacy mishaps. The result: Facebook will create a new privacy council, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be required to certify the company’s behavior, and the social network will have to — we sort of can’t believe we have to write this but we do — encrypt your password.Oh, yeah. There was also a $5 billion fine, a penalty the FTC called “unprecedented.”The settlement comes after the FTC looked into whether Facebook should have done more to prevent Cambridge Analytica, a now-defunct consultancy that worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign, from siphoning off the data of up to 87 million users. Specifically, the FTC was concerned that Facebook’s failure to safeguard that data violated an earlier agreement Facebook made to protect user privacy. Here’s all you need to know about the settlement and how it impacts you.I’m a Facebook user. How do I get some of that $5 billion?Short answer: You don’t. Longer answer: Facebook users weren’t financially harmed, though being hammered with political ads might seem like it deserves compensation. So no fund is being set up to pay victims. Instead the money will go straight to the US Treasury.We know that’s disappointing, particularly if you’ve been following the $700 million settlement that Equifax struck after it was hacked. On Monday, the FTC said the 147 million Equifax customers whose data was swiped could claim compensation for costs caused by the security breach, including unauthorized charges to your account and money spent to protect yourself from the threat of identity theft. About $300 million from the settlement will be set aside to pay consumers affected by the hack.Well, that’s disappointing. What’s this about a new privacy committee?The agreement requires Facebook to form a privacy committee at the board-of-directors level. The committee will do one thing: oversee privacy at Facebook. And all the members will be independent, meaning their day jobs can’t be at Facebook. 18 Photos 0 3:28 Post a comment Politics Tech Industry Now playing: Watch this: The committee, when it is created, will have a lot of power. It will be able to remove privacy compliance officers, who will be responsible for executing the company’s policies. It will also be able to fire the company’s privacy assessor, a newly created position that will evaluate Facebook’s policies and produce a report every two years. (The committee will need the FTC’s approval to remove the assessor.) The committee members are also well protected. A member can only be fired without cause by a supermajority of voting shares.I heard something about a new privacy program at Facebook. What’s that about?In broad brush, Facebook has to conduct privacy reviews of all new or modified products and services. That could be apps it designs or physical products, like its Portal video chat device. The company has to share written privacy reviews with Zuck (which seems like common sense), as well as the assessor and the FTC, if it wants to have a peek. The privacy program has to include other Facebook services, such as WhatsApp and Instagram.So Zuck is on the hook?Yes, for anything that happens in the future. The settlement requires him to certify that Facebook is in compliance with its privacy program every quarter. He could face “civil and criminal penalties” if he doesn’t or gets it wrong. He also isn’t the boss of the independent privacy committee or assessor.Anything else I need to know about the settlement?There are some interesting — and scary — loose ends. The social network has to encrypt user passwords, can’t use phone numbers given as part of two-factor authentication for advertising, can’t retain personal information that users deleted on its servers and can’t let employees have free access to user information.That’s it, right?As long as you don’t count the controls that are being put in place for facial recognition. Basically it boils down to this: Facebook has to get your permission on facial recognition matters before it does anything. What comes next?Facebook is still facing regulatory scrutiny from the FTC and other government agencies. The FTC told the company in June it was investigating the social media giant for antitrust concerns. The Department of Justice also said this week that it’s kicking off an antitrust review into internet giants and how they achieved market power, signaling it would target social media companies like Facebook. Facebook FTC settlement puts Zuck personally on the hook Share your voice Facebook’s video calling smart display connects you with friends and family Privacy Facebook FTC
This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. The San Francisco Bay area is a popular place to call home, with its thriving industry and reputation as one of the happiest and healthiest places to live in the country. Yet a new report reveals that residents are leaving the Silicon Valley for more affordable places. Many of these departing residents are American-born technology professionals, who take their knowledge and expertise to other markets. While San Francisco and the Valley have no shortage of talented newcomers, the increase in workers looking for jobs in other areas has left many wondering what the region needs to change to keep them.The fact is it’s just too hard to live in the world’s center of technological innovation, so thousands of professionals are getting out. Here are a few of the biggest reasons why.Not enough affordable housing.Much has been written about housing shortages in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, and it doesn’t look like the situation will greatly improve soon. Despite a bit of a tech contraction, unemployment is miniscule and hundreds of jobs are added each month to a region with an already severely limited housing supply. As a result, home prices are at all-time highs and furnished apartment rentals average nearly $3,500 a month for a unit in a moderately-priced part of San Francisco.For a young professional trying to start a family while launching a career, the high cost of living can make Silicon Valley an impossibility. There are some signs that this is getting slightly better. Facebook recently offered employees $10,000 to live closer to its Menlo Park headquarters. Mountain View recently voted in several pro-growth candidates and gave its thumbs up to building more than 10,000 new units of high density housing. San Francisco now has a record 62,000 housing units in its pipeline (although many are luxury units). All of this sounds good but probably won’t change the housing ecosystem all that much for several more years. It’s a rough environment for young entrepreneurs who are often told they must be in the Valley to be near the money and talent needed to launch and scale companies.Professionals can instead choose to relocate to Austin, Seattle and similar cities that have thriving tech industries. A similarly-sized furnished apartment in Austin costs only $1,300 a month, rising to just over $1,900 a month if professionals want to live in more expensive parts of town. This is in addition to less expensive utilities, groceries, restaurant prices and transportation.Related: 6 Global Alternative Cities to Silicon Valley to Start Your CompanyFamily life.San Francisco has an exciting nightlife, shopping and culture. All of these are things that appeal to young, single professionals as they begin their careers, as well as older single people who don’t plan on having children. However, families more often choose to live outside of the city, as proven by a 2012 report that San Francisco had the lowest percentage of children of any major metropolitan area. Finding a home suitable to raising children is one challenge, as is the cost of those homes. According to the Mayor’s Office of Housing, the percentage of children in the highest and lowest income brackets has grown, while middle-class families appear to to be raising their families elsewhere. Oakland and other East Bay locations have often been the immediate recipient of this migration.Tech hubs further afield are reaping the benefit of this migration as well. When it’s time to raise a family, Durham, North Carolina, and Huntsville, Alabama are both considered among the top cities for technology jobs and both have significantly lower costs of living than Silicon Valley. As professionals research opportunities in other areas of the U.S., they factor in the quality of schools, cost of homes and proximity of those homes to the areas where they’ll be working.Related: How to Launch a Thriving Startup Without the Silicon Valley HassleLess competition for jobs.All of the cost-of-living and lifestyle factors aside, one of the biggest benefits of leaving Silicon Valley for other tech hubs relates to the big fish, small pond theory. So much competition exists in Silicon Valley, it is difficult to stand out. In a smaller city with newer businesses, however, a Silicon Valley native may rise to the top of a pile of resumes, especially for those who choose cities that are considered emerging tech hubs, such as Denver or Miami.Related: 7 Surprising Ways Atlanta Competes With Silicon ValleyFor professionals interested in launching a new startup, these markets are especially attractive. Instead of toiling alongside the hundreds of other innovative new businesses scattered around Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs can launch their ideas in an area where there are fewer startups. Resources may not be stretched as thin in these areas, making it potentially easier for them to quickly scale their new businesses.Silicon Valley is an exceptional place to build a career, but it presents difficult challenges for even the toughest worker. However, with so many up-and-coming tech hubs in the U.S. and across the globe, professionals are realizing they are not limited to one region to be successful. As American-born tech workers leave the Valley faster than they arrive, this net loss is turning into gain for dozens of other regions. Ultimately, this is a good sign for the health of technology in the U.S. as a whole. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. March 22, 2016 5 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free
Categories: LaFave News,News 07Nov House approves Rep. LaFave’s bill to increase retirement funding for thousands of teachers The Michigan House today approved state Rep. Beau LaFave’s bill that will help more than 4,000 teachers and other school employees with their retirement savings.The bill would ensure that all Michigan public school employees who switched from a pension to a 401(k)-style plan are eligible for an improved savings option approved by the Legislature earlier this year. LaFave’s bill would open up the enhanced option to school employees who originally chose to switch to a 401(k) plan in 2012, freezing their pension benefits.“I’m honored to fight for boosting the retirement savings of thousands of hard-working Michigan teachers,” LaFave, of Iron Mountain, said after his bill was approved by the House. “What we’re doing here is simply an issue of fairness. If public school employees are in the 401(k) plan, they should have the same savings options available to their state senators and representatives.”The switch allows the affected employees to receive an additional employer match of up to 3 percent of their compensation for their 401(k) savings plans. The extra match comes on top of an automatic employer contribution equal to 4 percent of compensation.It’s the same 401(k) plan available to state employees.The 4,000-plus school employees affected by this change were not included in employee retirement reforms signed into law in September.The bill advances to the Senate for consideration.#####The legislation is House Bill 5093.
Middle East and North African streaming service, Icflix, has partnered with Humax to integrate the Icflix app directly into Humax Android set-top boxes for the Gulf region.Humax’s new H1 Android set-top box will be the first OTT set-top box in the MENA region to bring together customised local content such as Icflix, according to KW Shin, general manager of Humax Gulf FZE.Shin said the new pocket-sized box would overcome the need of multi decoders for different operators, “as we [are] working closely with all OTT operators and pay TV operators to integrate their VOD services on Humax Set Top Boxes.”Customers will also get a free one-month Icflix trial with the new set-top box.“The integration of the ICFLIX app on Humax’s Android set-top boxes will make it easier for customers to watch premium content on their television sets, giving them access to award-winning Hollywood movies alongside Jazwood and Bollywood content,” said Icflix’s head of business development, Mohammed Amine Lalami.The Humax H1 Set Top Box will become available to customers the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Oman, Lebanon, Palestine and Algeria, with other countries to follow.
“This is a massive boost to Donegal and to Donegal tourism. This isn’t just about the film crew bed nights this summer, it’s also about the massive following of the Star Wars franchise and getting them to come to Donegal to see where it was filmed.“I am so pleased or everyone involved in tourism in Inishowen and the county generally. It’s a boost to the Wild Atlantic Way in a week when a new hotel has opened in Dunfanaghy and another will open outside Dungloe.”Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys said: “We have already seen how the most recent Star Wars film has brought Sceilg Mhichíl and southwest Kerry to a global audience. Now, further locations around the Irish coast will experience similar exposure, providing untold benefits to the tourism and film sectors.”Star Wars: Episode VIII is set for worldwide release on December 15, 2017.STARS WARS VIII TO BE FILMED IN DONEGAL, DIRECTORS CONFIRM was last modified: March 20th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: DIRECTORS CONFIRMMalin headSTARS WARS VIII TO BE FILMED IN DONEGAL The chief executive of the Irish Film Board, James Hickey, said it was “delighted to welcome the production of Star Wars: Episode VIII to some of our most spectacular locations along the Wild Atlantic Way”.Candice Campos, vice-president of physical production at Lucasfilm, said the company was “thrilled” to return to Ireland to film several sequences for the next chapter in the Star Wars saga.“We want to thank the people of Ireland for their warm welcome and continued support. Ireland has become an important part of Star Wars history,” she said tonight.Joe McHugh, junior minister who has been kept abreast of developments, told us: “I knew when Donegal Daily reported this last autumn but I was sworn to secrecy and wanted to make sure everything was sorted out. Stunning Malin Head as captured by Ronan McLaughlinTHE producers of Star Wars have finally confirmed they are returning to Ireland this year to shoot scenes for the next film in the blockbuster series – at Malin Head.Lucasfilm is preparing to film sequences for Star Wars: Episode VIII in May at the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula, where contractors are installing a 1.5km metal roadway to facilitate the transport of gear and crew.Plans are also underway to film at Malin Head in Donegal, where a number of B&Bs and rental homes have already been booked out for the production for May. ShareTweet
Sponsor Advertisement We’re still sitting here with nothing resolved…especially with the hideous and grotesque short positions in both gold and silver still in place.It was pretty quiet during Far East trading on their Monday. The high of the day was in shortly after 2:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…about fifty minutes before the London open…and it was all down hill until fifteen minutes after the Comex open in New York.The subsequent rally got capped…and then got sold off once the London p.m. gold fix was in at 3:00 p.m. BST…10:00 a.m. in New York..Gold closed at $1,709.80 spot…down $1.30 from Friday…and volume was anemic at 60,000 contracts, as most traders stayed home in advance of mega-hurricane Sandy.The silver chart looked identical to the gold chart. Silver’s high tick came minutes after 10:00 a.m. Hong Kong time…but after that, silver’s price path was a carbon copy of gold’s.Silver finished the Monday trading session at $31.76 spot…down 33 cents on the day. Volume was also very light…around 17,500 contracts.The other two precious metals got sold off as well. It’s worth noting that even though the equity markets were closed…the precious metal and currency markets remained open.The dollar index closed at 79.997 on Friday…and worked its was slowly higher in fits and starts on Monday…closing at 80.23. The high tick…30.31…came during the New York lunch hour.With the New York markets closed, there was no HUI…but the TSX Gold index here in Canada closed up just under a percent.Of course there was no Silver Sentiment Index either…but just eye-balling the silver stocks that I follow here in Canada on the Toronto Stock Exchange, I’m guessing that the silver stocks were down about a percent on average.The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 8 gold and 24 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved warehouse system on Wednesday. In silver, it was all the “usual suspects”…and that should just about be it for the October delivery month. Tomorrow evening the CME should post the numbers for the November delivery month…and I’ll have that data for you on Wednesday. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.Not surprisingly, there were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV…and the U.S. Mint had no sales report, either.The updated short positions for GLD and SLV were posted on the shortsqueeze.com Internet site late last week. In silver, it showed that the short position jumped by 25.45%…from 11.65 million shares/ounces, all the way out to 14.62 million shares/ounces…454.7 tonnes. It’s a good bet that an authorized participant shorted the shares rather than deposit real metal…which they didn’t have. They could have found it somewhere, I’m sure…but how high would they have had to bid the silver price to get it all?The short position in GLD actually declined by 6.54%…from 18.18 million shares, down to 16.99 million shares…or 1.70 million ounces…52.9 tonnes.The Comex-approved depositories reported receiving 596,425 troy ounces of silver on Friday…and didn’t ship any out. The link to that activity is here.Being Tuesday, I have more than the usual compliment of stories…and I hope you can find the time to go through them all. As usual, the final edit is up to you.Nor is the pressure to hold PHYSICAL Gold confined to the central banks. A trader in the city of London has an explanation of why Gold holdings in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) have not kept up their previous momentum in the period since 2004-2009. He says that “some investors” have moved from being comfortable with paper claims to Gold to a position where they are not confident unless they hold the physical metal itself. Nothing could be more probable. – Bill Buckler…Gold This Week…27 October 2012Well, I wouldn’t read a whole heck of a lot into yesterday’s trading action in all four precious metals. But it was interesting to note that they followed their usual price paths…and they were all down on the day as well…plus the fact that they were trading at all, when the rest of the markets in New York were closed. I guess JPMorgan et al never sleep when it comes to the price management scheme.Of course we’re still sitting here with nothing resolved…especially with the hideous and grotesque short positions in both gold and silver still in place.Today, at the close of Comex trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report…and unless there are some big changes in price tomorrow I’m not expecting big changes in the COT Report either…as it has been a reasonably quiet week from a price point of view.By the way, I didn’t hear from anyone at Scotiabank or Scotia Mocatta yesterday, so they’ll be getting another request for an answer when I get out of bed later this morning.Not much happened in Far East trading on their Tuesday…but now that London has been open for a couple of hours, both metals are trading up from Monday’s close…a lot of which would have to do with the dollar index slide back to the 80.00 level. Volumes, which had been pretty light at the London open, are now a bit more chunky, but nothing out of the ordinary…and it does appear from the price action that these rallies [as tiny as they are] are being met by the usual not-for-profit sellers.Before heading off to bed, I thought that some of you might be interested in this special sale [50% off the regular retail price] that Casey Research is having on the Casey Extraordinary Technology monthly report.Casey analyst Alex Daley has made a career of finding and monetizing big ideas….In fact, this was his main job when he worked for an elite team of technologists that reported to the CEO of one of America’s largest corporations. His group released some of the first smartphone apps, social networking sites and even did projects for large oil companies.But today Alex says he’s putting his money into a radical new technology that will soon make its way into millions of homes and offices across America and is expected to generate $3.7 billion in sales by 2015.Casey Research has recently made a video detailing his latest insights, including how you can take a position in this technological breakthrough right now. If you’re at all interested, click here to learn more. This offer is only open until the end of tomorrow…Hallowe’en…and there are no tricks involved. As a matter of fact, it’s my belief that Casey Research‘s standard 90-day guarantee of satisfaction applies. How can you lose?That’s more than enough for one day…and it’s actually too much for one day, so I hope you were able to edit it to your satisfaction.See you tomorrow. Former Microsoft Inventor Reveals Big Tech WinnersFrom smartphone apps… to self-driving cars… to facial recognition software… Alex Daley and his team at Microsoft helped bring to market some of the most popular technologies of the past decade.In the process, Alex developed an uncanny knack for picking winning disruptive technologies, helping venture capitalists realize extraordinary gains. Now he’s identified a radical new technology that he expects to generate $3.7 billion in sales by 2015.All the details are in his new video – click here to see it now (it may not be up long, so please view it today).
Several states are questioning the cost of using pharmacy middlemen to manage their prescription drug programs in a movement that could shake up the complex system that manages how pharmaceuticals are priced and paid for.The debate is playing out this week in an Ohio courtroom, as the state fights to release a report detailing what it paid two middlemen, CVS Health and Optum, to manage its Medicaid program’s prescription drug plans.The report shows that the companies charged the state 8.8 percent more than they paid to pharmacies to fill prescriptions. The companies kept the more than $224 million difference between what they charged the state and paid for the drugs.”I would love to tell you that 8.8 percent is too high, too low, or normal, but I’m really unqualified to say that because our state Medicaid program is the first state in the country to really get this level of transparency into how this works,” says Antonio Ciaccia, the director of government affairs for the Ohio Pharmacists Association.But he added, “I think 8.8 percent is insane.”Ohio’s Medicaid program is run almost completely through private managed care insurance companies. Those companies in turn contract with CVS Health and Optum to manage the prescription drug portion of recipients’ coverage. The companies — known as pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs — negotiate discounts from drugmakers and work hard to keep the prices they actually pay secret.Ciaccia says that independent pharmacists became alarmed because their reimbursements from the two companies plummeted in recent years. He and a partner started a company, 46 Brooklyn, specifically to analyze drug prices and found that pharmacists were being paid sometimes only a fraction of what the middlemen were charging states.For example, Ohio paid the PBM $273.50 per unit for the generic version of Gleevec, a drug that treats leukemia and other cancers, while pharmacies reported the wholesale price of the drug was $83.69. In other words, the PBM charged the state more than the three times the price of the drug.Ohio’s Department of Medicaid commissioned its own analysis of its prescription drug program costs after the Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported the program was spending far more for prescription drugs than the pharmacies that filled those prescriptions were receiving.Last month the state released a summary that revealed the two companies were keeping 8.8 percent of the pharmacy budget. But when the state said it planned to release the entire report, CVS sued to stop it. Optum joined the suit this week and at a hearing Tuesday a judge told the companies to identify any trade secrets they want redacted by next month.Ohio Medicaid spokesman Tom Betti said in a statement that the state is committed to releasing the findings.”Transparency is not only the duty of government to its owners—the people of Ohio—but it’s also essential for the market to function properly. We believe this deeply and will continue to pursue it,” the statement said.If the analysis is released, it will offer an unprecedented look into the opaque world of pharmacy benefit managers and the mechanics of drug pricing.The findings in the analysis have angered state officials and Attorney General Mike DeWine has threatened to sue.”It is clear that the conduct by PBMs in these areas remains a major concern, and we anticipate that our investigation will result in major litigation against PBMs,” he said in a statement.CVS Health spokeswoman Christine Cramer pointed out that Ohio’s report concluded that the company saved the state about $145 million compared to an alternative system where the state pays a fee for each prescription filled.And she said releasing the report would hurt the company’s ability to negotiate low prices.”When it comes to the proprietary rates and formulas we use to negotiate for lower drug prices or cost-effective dispensing within our pharmacy network, making those figures public only hurts our ability to negotiate the lowest rates and fees in a highly competitive market, which would ultimately cost the state and the taxpayers more,” she said in a written statement.Optum did not respond to calls and emails for comment.”I think that Ohio is going to have an uphill battle when it comes to releasing this information,” says Stacie Dusetzina, a professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “It’s going to be fought very hard by CVS because they think it would set a standard for transparency and providing the public with this information.” She adds that efforts in other states to reveal drug pricing secrets have failed.Ohio isn’t alone in questioning the value of using middlemen to manage their prescription drug plans.States spend more than $33 billion a year on prescription drugs through their Medicaid programs and for many, that’s the fastest growing part of the Medicaid budget. So efforts to control those costs are front and center in many state budget debates.West Virginia last year stopped using pharmacy benefit managers altogether. And Kentucky is also doing an analysis of its costs while lawmakers consider legislation that would require pharmacy benefit managers that contract with Medicaid to report details of their costs to the state and ensure they pay independent pharmacies a fair price.And In Iowa, State Representative John Forbes — who’s also a pharmacist — launched his own investigation into a county government health plan a few months ago after hearing complaints from pharmacists.”We went through the records for this county over about a three-month period and found that, in many cases, the pharmacies were being paid $5 to $10 for prescriptions, but the county entity was being billed over $100 for those same prescription medications,” Forbes said in an interview.He says the oversight committee in Iowa’s legislature now plans to investigate the PBM’s practices. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Entrepreneur Store Add to Queue –shares April 1, 2019 Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Contributor The ‘Master Microsoft Excel Macros and Excel VBA’ class shows you how to automate and customize tasks for faster reports and more intuitive spreadsheets. Next Article This Excel Course Can Help You Climb the Career Ladder Enroll Now for $5 Image credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator Data Management Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Time management is a popular topic for entrepreneurs. Everyone wants to know how to crack the code that will help them work more efficiently without sacrificing quality, and how to finish their workday with enough time left to kick back and relax with friends or family.Managing your time well is especially difficult when you’re starting out in a new job. Juggling meetings, keeping track of your team members, and learning entirely new systems and processes are all stress-inducing.However, if you’re smart and selective about which tools you choose to invest your time in, you can save yourself a lot of time on your other tasks. Ninja-level knowledge of essential programs like Excel can help you automate tasks and take a load off of your plate. The Master Microsoft Excel Macros and Excel VBA Course teaches you how to master Excel’s automation and programming functions for smarter spreadsheets and individualized tasks.Excel Macros are actions or sets of actions that you can run repeatedly. They’re great for automating tasks that you perform on a regular basis, like monthly accounting reports or weekly inventory counts. Excel Visual Basic for Applications, or VBA, lets you create and define functions within Excel. It’s an extension on Macro programming that allows for greater automation and customization.Both of these tools can save you tons of time and headaches, and you can learn how to master them with this three and a half hour class. Hands-on projects take you through Excel basics, like formatting and title placement, then you’ll learn how to interact with other users of your Macros through input and message boxes.You’ll clean up multiple Excel worksheets and prep the data that you need to report, then use Macros and VBA to create that report based on data sets that are spread across multiple sheets. When you’re all done, you’ll know how to save time with Excel and you’ll have a Certificate of Completion to back it up.The Master Microsoft Excel Macros and Excel VBA course usually costs $50, but right now you can boost your time management through automated tasks for just $15 (70 percent off). 2 min read
Regulators Keep Punishing Square for Doing Nothing Wrong Technology 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List –shares Do U.S. citizens really need to be protected from Square?The mobile-payment processor has lost another regulatory fight, this time in Florida, where it agreed to pay a $507,000 fine to settle charges it operated in that state without a money-transmission license.Square has been the subject of such spats before, in its home state of California and Illinois, where it actually faced a high-profile cease-and-desist order before getting a license.There remains a valid legal question to these licensure fights: Since Square simply processes payment information, and doesn’t actually transmit money itself, why should it have to fall under the transmission regulations of all 50 states?Related: U.S. Regulators Aim to Close ‘Wild West’ Frontier of BitcoinPresumably, Square has made a decision that, rather than fight each jurisdiction, it will just bend a knee before the regulators, pay whatever fees it needs to in order to fall under their framework, and happily go about its business. Indeed, it has big plans, and there is a good business reason for the company to not stand its ground and fight back.Still, the controversy over Square regulation remains troubling for those outside the company, particularly those entrepreneurs with financial businesses who want to operate across the nation.For one thing, Square’s acquiescence leaves the legal issues unresolved. Square was not a money transmitter by any definition. True, its business changed somewhat when it unveiled plans to get into the gift-card business, but the Florida action doesn’t address that move. The fine Square is paying covers a period of time from February 2010 to November 2012 when it was simply processing transactions.Square could have avoided the fine by fighting its case. That could have led to a precedent that it could use in navigating the Byzantine regulatory frameworks financial-services companies face wherever they do business. Instead, it coughed up $507,000 – small beer to a company that has raised well north of $300 million – and left the fight to others. (To be fair, Square isn’t alone. In its infancy, PayPal decided such a battle wasn’t worth its trouble either.)In addition to not settling the law, Square’s surrender doesn’t allow us to address a key point of the regulations themselves: What ill befell the citizens of Florida from 2010 to 2012 because Square operated without a license? Proponents of regulations like to point out that government’s role is to protect citizens from harm, particularly from greedy businessmen who pick pockets and poison kittens on their way to the top. Government’s noble role is necessary to keep free enterprise from giving in to its baser nature when the sun goes down.Related: Why the EPA and FAA Are Killing Elon Musk’s Better IdeaBut no one can say that Square did anything wrong – or was even in a position to – in Florida or any other state. It processed transactions for merchants and took a cut off the top. It didn’t hold a single dollar, ruble, Deutsche mark or Bitcoin along the way. Merchants could have screwed their customers, and banks could have screwed their merchants, but Square was chaste.Still, asking if someone is actually harmed is no longer a litmus test for the promulgation of regulations. In this case, existing laws never anticipated a company like Square in the first place – a testament to Jack Dorsey’s innovation. Faced with something they had never seen before, regulators decided to pound this Square peg into Florida’s round holes and declare victory.It could have been worse – and may still be. One could argue this is the best-case scenario, since lawmakers always have the option of creating new laws which lead to the promulgation of new regulations that are often worse than the ones before. Rarely is there true reform when it comes to laws and regulations. Rather, there is addition. Only in the legislative world does one ease a burden by adding more weight.Square, for its part, no doubt made the right move for business reasons. But one can’t help but despair of the missed opportunity to make regulators stop bullying entrepreneurs whose innovations are light-years ahead of our regulatory framework. Until some company or business owner draws a line in that sand, businesses will be at more risk of harm than the consumers our lawmakers and bureaucrats seem so eager to protect.Related: Why California Can’t Be Home to the Hyperloop Editor-at-Large Ray Hennessey August 16, 2013 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Image credit: Digital Trends Add to Queue Guest Writer The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Next Article 4 min read Apply Now »
China has earned a reputation as the hacker capital of the world, but a new report shows the bulk of global cyber-attack activity has recently come from its smaller neighbor Indonesia.Thirty-eight percent of cyber attacks originated in Indonesia during the second quarter of 2013, up from 21 percent in the first quarter, according to a report by security cloud platform Akamai. This spike helped push China off the hacking pedestal, with the world’s most populous country accounting for 33 percent of attacks, down from 34 percent in the previous quarter. The U.S. rounded out the top three, generating 6.9 percent of cyber-attack traffic, a decrease from 8.3 percent.Indonesia and China alone accounted for more than half of all cyber-attack activity during the quarter.Related: Don’t Get Hacked — Tools to Fight Cyber AttacksWhile it may seem like Indonesia came out of nowhere to take the lead (last year the country accounted for on average less than one percent of cyber crimes), hackers may be taking advantage of its increase in connection and weakening IT structure. The country’s average internet connection speed increased 125 percent in the second quarter from the same time last year. That, coupled with the fact the country isn’t spending a whole lot of cash on its infrastructure, may make the country a haven for cybercriminals.Related: Cyber Security a Growing Issue for Small Business In January, hacker group Anonymous Indonesia claimed responsibility for defacing 12 government websites with the tagline “No Army Can Stop an Idea” shown on the sites. In April, the country’s defense minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro announced they were building a Cyber Defense Center to take on hackers. Microsoft also felt the supposed wrath of Indonesia criminals (among others) when it put the kibosh on a cybercrime operation in June. Akamai’s findings are based on agents reporting log connection attempts, which the company defines as attack traffic. The company then can determine the top countries the hack attacks occur. One caveat to keep in mind: the IP address assigned to a particular country may not be the nation the attacker resides. So someone from China with an IP address associated with them, may be committing cyber attacks in France.To check out more of Akamai’s findings, check out the below highlights:Click to Enlarge+ October 16, 2013 Special Projects Director and Founder of This Dog’s Life Think China is the No. 1 Country for Hacking? Think Again. Next Article Andrea Huspeni Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now » Technology Entrepreneur Staff 2 min read Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares Add to Queue
Hewlett-Packard Hewlett-Packard Enterprise agreed to sell its software business to Micro Focus in a $8.8 billion deal that shrinks the Silicon Valley pioneer again while catapulting the little-known British firm into the top tier of European tech companies.Autonomy, the British firm bought by HP in an ill-fated $11 billion push into software just five years ago, will return to British control after the deal for far below its original price.HPE Chief Executive Meg Whitman is focusing the group on a few areas such as networking, storage and technology services since it separated last year from computer and printer maker HP Inc.”Micro Focus’s approach to managing both growing and mature software assets will ensure higher levels of investment in growth areas, like big data analytics and security, while maintaining a stable platform for … software products that customers rely on,” she said.Micro Focus approached HPE in February, four months before Britain voted to leave the European Union in a shock referendum that initially spooked global financial markets, the British firm’s executive chairman, Kevin Loosemore, said.It is the second big deal involving a British company since the June 23 Brexit vote that many feared would put the brakes on mergers. It is also a relatively rare example of a British company buying U.S. technology assets.Loosemore spotted another opportunity to profit from managing old software. Companies including banks and airlines pay Micro Focus to extend the life of the computers they use to run their businesses, for example to manage data. This allows the companies to avoid spending on newer computer systems.”(It) is entirely consistent with our established acquisition strategy and our focus on efficient management of mature infrastructure products,” he told reporters on a conference call from New York.Boring but profitableShares in Micro Focus, based in Newbury, southern England, jumped by a fifth to an all-time high of 2,400 pence, topping the FTSE 100 index of leading shares that it joined days ago, after chip designer ARM Holdings was bought by Japan’s Softbank Corp.Micro Focus, with a market capitalization of 4.45 billion pounds ($6 billion) before the deal, has been snapping up software companies. This would be its largest deal to date. Earlier this year, it acquired U.S. firm Serena Software for $540 million.Loosemore said he would bring the core earnings margin for the mature assets in the deal — about 80 percent of the total — from 21 percent today to Micro Focus’s existing 46 percent level within three years.”The way we do it is really just lots of 101, boring management,” he said. “Too often people chase unattainable growth rates and in doing so they waste a lot of money.”A serial acquirer of software platforms, Micro Focus has also shifted strategy to buying higher growth software such as SUSE, the world’s No.2 maker of Linux software while wringing the most out of aging software.”This strategy works well for current shareholders, who gain significant ownership in better-run businesses,” said UBS analyst Steve Milunovich, who tracks HP Enterprise.The deal, announced along with HPE’s latest quarterly earnings, came on the same day that Dell and EMC Corp completed their merger in a deal that unites two of HPE’s biggest rivals.In the third quarter, HPE reported net revenue of $12.2 billion, down 6 percent from $13.1 billion a year earlier. The transaction is expected to be tax free to HP.The deal is the latest in a series of asset disposals by HPE, which agreed in May to spin off and merge its struggling technology services business to Computer Sciences Corp., in a transaction valued around $8.5 billion.The sale will mean two-thirds of HPE’s remaining business will be hardware, which is fast becoming a commodity, UBS’s Milunovich said. It could make the company a more agile competitor but also could make it harder to compete with far larger companies such as Cisco and Dell.Micro Focus will pay $2.5 billion in cash to HPE, while HPE shareholders will own 50.1 percent of the combined company that will operate under the name Micro Focus and be run by its executives. HPE said it would pay $700 million in one-time costs related to the separation of the assets.Autonomy back in BritainIn the deal, HPE is sending one of the British firms it acquired back to where it started.HPE acquired part of its software portfolio through HP’s $11 billion purchase of Autonomy in 2011, a deal that was supposed to form the central part of the U.S. group’s move into software. HP later wrote off three-quarters of the company’s value.”Some of those [Autonomy] products are very exciting, some of them are more mature,” Loosemore said.Other HPE assets that will be merged include software for application delivery management, big data, enterprise security, information management & governance and IT Operations management businesses.By acquiring the HP Enterprise software assets, the deal thrusts Micro Focus into the top ranks of European software makers. It would rank around sixth in market capitalization terms among regional software names.Since sterling tumbled on the Brexit result, many British companies have become more attractive for international suitors.Loosemore said, however, the Brexit vote didn’t change the dynamic. “If you map our share price in dollars rather than pounds it’s pretty consistent,” he said. “So no real effect.”(By Paul Sandle and Liana B. Baker; Additional reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Kate Holton, Guy Faulconbridge, Anna Willard) Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Add to Queue –shares Image credit: Eugene Berman | Shutterstock.com 5 min read Reuters HP Enterprise Strikes $8.8 Billion Deal With Micro Focus for Software Assets September 8, 2016 Chief Executive Meg Whitman is focusing the group on a few areas such as networking, storage and technology services since it separated last year from computer and printer maker HP Inc. 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FacebookMarketing Technology NewsNewsNick ShackelfordStructured Social Previous ArticleNimble Now Selling Its Simple CRM for Office 365 Globally Through Microsoft’s New Commercial MarketplaceNext ArticleRetail App Use Surges 50% As Consumers Shop Year-Round, Taking Pressure Off the “Make or Break’ Holiday Season Structured Social is proud to announce it has been named one of the first recipients of the Preferred Agency Partners Badge under social media giant Facebook’s newly revamped partner program.The Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer program, or PMD, was created to help a business scale its marketing efforts on the Facebook platform. It involves a community of more than 45 countries designed to help marketers and advertisers establish and grow lasting connections with customers. The partnership affords Structured Social access to one-on-one support, advanced tools, training and support, and exclusive opportunities.Marketing Technology News: Introducing Shutterstock Elements, Thousands of Cinema-Grade Video Effects for Filmmakers“Clients know the e-commerce world is more competitive than it has ever been, and they are looking to work with companies that have a real edge,” said Structured Social Co-Founder Nick Shackelford. “This new partnership gives us the type of advantage that will allow us to develop new opportunities for our partners and increase revenue in a substantial way.”Marketing Technology News: GCOM Software Announces Ernie Connon as New Chief Growth OfficerStructured Social has been one of the leading e-commerce companies helping consumer-focused companies drive revenue growth by providing expert consulting on offer structure, page design, paid social campaigns and partnerships with brands. The recognition from Facebook serves as recognition for the company’s efforts, proof that Structured Social is on the right path and clearly demonstrates the company’s position in the marketplace.Marketing Technology News: Blackstone Announces Agreement to Acquire Vungle, a Leading Mobile Performance Marketing Platform Structured Social Named Facebook Preferred Agency Partner MTS Staff Writer6 days agoJuly 17, 2019
Friend and colleagues are using devices found in cell phones to atomize very thick liquids. Credit: University of California – San Diego Provided by University of California – San Diego This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researchers use acoustic waves to move fluids at the nanoscale Imagine if all childhood vaccines could get delivered with an inhaler rather than shots; or wiping away tuberculosis bacteria in a patient’s lungs with an inhaler; or disinfecting a hospital room thoroughly with a diffuser. Explore further Citation: Turning injectable medicines into inhalable treatments with the help of smart phone components (2018, April 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-medicines-inhalable-treatments-smart-components.html These are the goals of a research team led by Professor James Friend in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California San Diego. Their efforts were recently boosted when Friend received a prestigious $900,000 research grant from the Keck Foundation, whose mission is to support pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research.”Our goal is to make injectable treatments inhalable,” Friend said. “This would unlock a whole class of new treatments.”For example, in a clinical setting, powerful disinfectants could be delivered via diffusers in hospital rooms to eliminate harmful bacteria. A whole new class of medicines could be delivered to patients via inhalers. Finally, a whole range of new materials could be used for 3-D printing.Currently, fluids can be nebulized in many different ways, for example by mechanical means like in perfume and cologne sprayers, or by using ultrasound. But all of these methods either don’t work well with very viscous fluids like oil or honey, or they require too much power, or break down some of the fluids’ active ingredients. They also require expensive equipment.The method developed by Friend and colleagues uses devices found in smart phones that produce acoustic waves. In the phones, these devices are used mainly to filter the wireless cellular signal and identify and filter voice and data information.In the lab, Friend and his team used the devices to generate sound waves at extremely high frequencies—ranging from 100 million to 10 billion Hertz—in order to create fluid capillary waves, which in turn emit droplets, generating mist. This process is called atomization. The researchers’ breakthroughs are based on the ability to atomize liquids that have been considered too viscous for the process before.The new method holds the promise of dramatically lowering costs for developing inhaled drugs by using smart phone components that are inexpensive. Currently, the cost for developing inhaled medicines is $300 million over a period of three years.Researchers successfully tested the atomization method on a powerful disinfectant, Triethylene glycol, or TEG, which had never been atomized before on its own (it is usually dissolved in water).No one before had observed how fluids behaved when subjected to such high sound frequencies. Scientists led by Friend discovered that the equations used to predict wave generation in fluids did not work for their experiments—in fact, they are off by several orders of magnitude. Some of that math dates back more than 150 years, to experiments by British physicist and chemist Michael Faraday.The Keck grant will allow researchers to acquire the cutting-edge technologies as well as the workforce they need to figure out the right math to describe and predict atomization at such high frequencies. This in turn will allow researchers to apply their new method to a broader range of materials, unlocking new applications.
Explore further Amazon’s U.S. digital advertising business is likely to bring in $4.6 billion in 2018, from an estimated $1.8 billion a year ago, eMarketer said.Amazon doesn’t break out sales from advertising, which it reports alongside other lines of business in an “other” category on its financial reports. That segment recorded $2.1 billion in sales during Amazon’s most recent quarter, more than double the year-earlier figure.Amazon has sold ads on its retail websites and on specific product search results for years. But that business began to take off recently with a perception among some ad buyers that Amazon, with its data on what people buy, can help them more precisely determine whether people bought something after seeing advertisements.”People are switching much of their purchasing to online channels, which Amazon is of course driving and benefiting quite heavily from,” said Monica Peart, senior forecasting director of eMarketer. Amazon is also reaping the rewards of an increase in product searches started on the retailer’s website, instead of on Google or another search engine, she said.Google will take in $41 billion in digital ad revenue in the U.S. in 2018, eMarketer estimates, and Facebook $22.8 billion.Amazon was just ahead of rival Microsoft, which, including its LinkedIn professional social networking arm, will post digital ad revenue of $4.5 billion this year, eMarketer estimated. In fifth place is Oath the Verizon-owned grouping of AOL, Yahoo, and other early web stalwarts which will take in $3.6 billion. Amazon.com’s advertising business is likely to more than double its sales in the U.S. this year, a market researcher said Wednesday, which would place the company behind only Google and Facebook. Amazon muscles in on Google’s and Facebook’s advertising turf ©2018 The Seattle Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Citation: Amazon’s digital ad business surpasses Microsoft, Yahoo, report says (2018, September 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-amazon-digital-ad-business-surpasses.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Rising revenue and profits despite continuing headwinds from the fallout of the “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal helped make for smiles at Volkswagen Mammoth German carmaker Volkswagen reported Thursday growing profits and revenues in 2018, beating analysts’ forecasts despite enormous charges linked to its “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal and headwinds from tough new pollution tests. Citation: VW beats forecasts in 2018 still marked by diesel fallout (2019, March 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-vw-diesel-fallout.html VW sees steady profits in 2018 results Explore further © 2019 AFP The Wolfsburg-based group said it boosted its bottom line 6.0 percent year-on-year to 12.15 billion euros ($13.7 billion), higher than expectations from analysts surveyed by Factset.Selling 10.8 million vehicles around the world from its 12 brands brought in 235.8 billion euros, with revenues posting slower growth than profits at 2.7 percent.And operating, or underlying profit added just 1.0 percent, to 13.9 billion.”We performed very well in spite of strong headwinds,” chief executive Herbert Diess said in a statement.One major burden was the WLTP emissions tests, introduced since VW’s 2015 admission that it manipulated millions of cars worldwide to appear less polluting, .The new process’ introduction in September cost VW almost one billion euros by slowing production, a spokesman told AFP, with the effect visible in a fourth-quarter operating result 4.2 percent lower year-on-year, at 3.0 billion euros.Meanwhile the group notched up 3.2 billion euros in special items to cover costs relating to “dieselgate”, the same as the previous year.A sizeable chunk of the costs came in Germany as VW paid a group-wide fine of 1.0 billion euros, while high-end subsidiary Audi had to forfeit 800 million euros.Since 2015, legal costs, fines, buybacks, and refits to affected cars have cost VW 29 billion euros, the group said.Looking ahead, VW said it had expanded its plans for a vast array of electric models over the coming decade to 70 rather than 50, aiming to sell 22 million battery-powered cars by 2028.It hopes the offensive will help it meet strict new carbon dioxide emissions requirements in the European Union.”The share of electric vehicles in the group fleet is to rise to at least 40 percent by 2030″ with Korea’s LG, Samsung and SK Innovation and China’s CATL providing the vital battery cells to power the drive.”Volkswagen is also taking a close look at possible participation in battery cell manufacturing facilities in Europe,” it added.On a closer time horizon, VW aims for “slightly” higher unit sales this year than in 2018, with revenues “as much as 5.0 percent” higher and an operating profit margin of between 6.5 and 7.5 percent—up from 5.9 percent last year. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
NITI Aayog COMMENTS The development strategy includes doubling of farmers’ income and promoting sunrise sectors like fintech and tourism. NITI Aayog unveiled its much awaited ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’ document with an aim to accelerate growth to 8-9 per cent and make the country a $5-trillion economy by 2030.Laying down a multi-pronged strategy to promote the country’s overall development, the document said the annual growth rate of 9 per cent by 2022-23 would be essential for generating sufficient growth and achieving prosperity for all.Independent India will turn 75 on August 15, 2022.Unveiling the much-awaited document, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “Sound policy will always put economy on track in which it will get perpetually people out of poverty and give them better quality of life.” The development strategy includes doubling of farmers’ income, boosting ‘Make in India’, upgrading the science, technology and innovation ecosystem, and promoting sunrise sectors like fintech and tourism.“Steadily accelerate the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate to achieve a target of about 8 per cent during 2018-23. This will raise the economy’s size in real terms from $2.7 trillion in 2017-18 to nearly USD 4 trillion by 2022-23. “Besides having rapid growth, which reaches 9-10 per cent by 2022-23, it is also necessary to ensure that growth is inclusive, sustained, clean and formalised,” the document said.The Indian economy grew at 6.7 per cent in 2017-18.It also called for increasing the investment rate as measured by gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) from present 29 per cent to 36 per cent of GDP by 2022.Noting that the country is now within sight of completing its economic transition as well, the document said, “India will see per capita incomes rising from about USD 1,900 in 2017-18 to around USD 3,000 in 2022-23.According to the document, in agriculture, emphasis must shift to converting farmers to ‘agripreneurs’ by further expanding e-National Agriculture Markets (e-NAMs) and replacing the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act with the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (APLM) Act. “The creation of a unified national market, a freer export regime and abolition of the Essential Commodities Act are essential for boosting agricultural growth,” it noted.The document also suggested that to ensure maximum employment creation, codification of labour laws must be completed and a massive effort must be made to upscale apprenticeships. It also made a case for successfully implementing the Ayushman Bharat programme including the establishment of 150,000 health and wellness centres across the country, and rolling out the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan.The document pitched for implementing the recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission as a prelude to appointing a successor for designing reforms in the changing context of emerging technologies and growing complexity of the economy.It also called for expanding the scope of Swachh Bharat Mission to cover initiatives for landfills, plastic waste and municipal waste and generating wealth from waste.According to the document, a new autonomous body, namely, the Arbitration Council of India, may be set up to grade arbitral institutions and accredit arbitrators to make the arbitration process cost effective and speedy, and to preempt the need for court intervention.The Strategy for New India @ 75 document, prepared after extensive consultations with over 800 stakeholders from within the government — central, State and district levels.The Aayog had earlier planned to come out with three documents — 3-year action agenda, seven-year medium-term strategy paper and 15-year vision document..The forty-one chapters in the document have been disaggregated under four sections: Drivers, Infrastructure, Inclusion and Governance.The document was prepared after extensive consultation with over 800 stakeholders from within the government — central, state and district levels. Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE COMMENT December 19, 2018