WASHINGTON – The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday approved President Donald Trump’s selection of Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.The committee vote was 22-1 with all Republicans and every Democrat except Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., supporting the nomination.The strong committee vote indicated Powell will have no trouble winning approval from the full Senate. That vote has not yet been scheduled.Warren said she could not support Powell because of her concerns that he would join in efforts by the Trump administration to unravel the Dodd-Frank Act passed in 2010 to strengthen regulation of the nation’s banking sector.“Governor Powell has made clear repeatedly that he believes the biggest problem in our financial rules is that they are too demanding,” Warren said before Tuesday’s vote. “An army of bank lobbyists and executives have managed to convince Governor Powell that financial rules are strangling the banks and need to be rolled back. There is no evidence to support this claim.”Powell, who has been a member of the Fed’s board of governors since 2012, was tapped for the chairman’s job after Trump decided against nominating Fed Chair Janet Yellen for a second term. Trump said he wanted to put his own stamp on the central bank.The White House announced last week that Trump would nominate Marvin Goodfriend, an economics professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, to one of three vacant seats on the central bank.With the nomination of Goodfriend, Trump will have nominated three people to positions on the seven-member Fed board. In addition to selecting Powell as chairman, Trump earlier this year tapped Utah financier Randal Quarles for the position of vice chairman for supervision, a spot where he is expected to play a key role in Trump’s efforts to loosen regulations on the financial sector.There are two more vacancies for Trump to fill currently and when Yellen’s term ends on Feb. 3, Trump will have three spots to fill.There have been reports that Trump is considering nominating Mohamed El-Erian, an economist who has served as chief executive of Pacific Investment Management Co., or PIMCO, to serve as vice chairman, replacing Stanley Fischer, who left the board in October.Another name that has been mentioned is Michelle Bowman, the top banking regulator in Kansas, who could fill the spot on the Fed board reserved for a community banker.
A sleepy snake came to a rather untimely end after having its head half chewed off by a fearless toddler in an Arab town in northern Israel, the child’s family said, according to the Deccan Chronicle.Thirteen-month-old Imad Aleeyan, who has six teeth, was found chewing on the head of the 30-centimetre snake by his mother, who alerted the neighbourhood with her screams. A neighbour who had rushed to see what was going on yanked the half-dead reptile out of the boys mouth and killed it, she said.“When he pulled it out, Imad started crying,” she said, describing the snake’s head as ‘very badly chewed’ when it emerged from the boys mouth.They immediately checked the child for any bite marks but found none, with doctors at Rambam hospital in Haifa confirming he was unharmed. “Doctors at the hospital told us the snake was really poisonous but that we were very lucky because they release less venom in the winter,” she said. Her screams brought the rest of the family — and the neighbourhood — running.“We rushed in and found the baby with a snake in his mouth, chewing it. It was really scary, just horrible,” the boy’s aunt, Yasmin Shahin, said. “I was making his milk and I looked over and saw he had a snake in his mouth,” said his mother, Ghadir Aleeyan who lives in the town of Shefa’Amr, 15 kilometres (9 miles) east of the port city of Haifa. “I started to scream. I couldn’t believe my eyes,” she said. “I nearly died of fright.” But Dr Boaz Shacham, an expert on amphibians and reptiles, told AFP that from looking at images of the smashed-up serpent online, it appeared to be a coin-marked snake (hemorrhois nummifer), a non-venomous species which resembles a viper.Such snakes grow up to 1.3 metres in length, he said suggesting it was a ‘very young’ specimen.“It probably didn’t bite the child because of the cold,” said Shacham who is the head of the herpetology collection at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “They are not really active in winter.”
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Music subscription service Rhapsody International says its paying subscribers have grown 63 per cent to 1.7 million over the past year.The gains came primarily from partnerships with mobile phone carriers abroad, according to Chief Financial Officer Ethan Rudin.Rhapsody got a boost from an October deal with the Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica that transferred hundreds of thousands of Latin American subscribers from another service. In exchange for Rhapsody running the service under its Napster brand, Telefonica took an undisclosed stake in Rhapsody that could grow if performance targets are met.Such partnerships are the preferred way for Rhapsody to enter new markets, said Rudin. Typically, such partnerships last for two to three years and can be renewed with Rhapsody getting a better share of revenue on subsequent deals, he said. The company now operates in 32 countries.Rhapsody remains far behind Spotify, the world leader with more than 6 million paying subscribers. Rhapsody grows to 1.7 million paying subscribers, boosted by Telefonica deal by The Associated Press Posted Apr 7, 2014 5:04 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Dwyane Wade Sr., father of Miami Heat star and two-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wade Jr., is being sued by the U.S. government for defaulting on a $4,630.46 loan used to pursue a degree from the Environmental Technical Institute, which specializes in the heating, air conditioning and refrigeration industry.According to TMZ, the loan was approved the same year D. Wade Jr. began his first year at Marquette University. The government is seeking full repayment of the loan with interest, bringing the total to $6,221.44.We’re pretty sure Junior can spot his dad the cash.
Wayne Rooney believes the next four to six weeks could prove decisive in Manchester United’s 2018/19 campaignThe Red Devils are only eighth in the Premier League table and already 12 points behind leaders Manchester City.But club legend Rooney feels there is still plenty to play for with fourth-place Tottenham seven points off in the final Champions League spot heading into the Christmas period.United will face Crystal Palace, Southampton, Arsenal, Fulham, Liverpool, Cardiff, Huddersfield and Bournemouth over the next month.“The Christmas period in the Premier League always determines how well you’re going to do for the rest of the season,” Rooney told the club website.Daniel Farke, From mid-table in the Championship to the Premier League Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Norwich City manager, Daniel Farke, has taken his team from the middle of the table in the English Championship to play with the big boys in the Premier League.“I think it’s an important four to six weeks coming up for United. You have these games and it’s important to take advantage of them.“You can either fall away, which would make it almost impossible to get to where you want to be, or you can build momentum and keep closing that gap.“If you close it to a point where you are putting pressure on the leaders, it can make them look back and think ‘oh, they are on a great run’.“Hopefully United can do that and then we’ll see where they go from there.”United will host Palace at Old Trafford this Saturday before taking on BSC Young Boys in a Group H Champions League clash.
up to 512GB SSD Weight 4, 8 or 16GB DDR4 AMD Radeon 540X CPU ThinkBook 14s Laptops 12.1×8.5×0.6 in. (308x216x16mm) AMD Radeon 540X or Intel UHD 620 integrated They’re the same except in a few key ways: The 14s’ base configuration has more memory and comes with the AMD discrete graphics. But it also has a lesser screen — it’s bigger but dimmer and with a smaller color gamut — and the battery life is slightly lower, likely because of the discrete graphics. On the other end of the spectrum, Lenovo also refreshed its ThinkPad X1 Extreme, its business laptop for people who need a little more power under the hood. The X1 Extreme Gen 2 will be getting an option for a 4K OLED touch display and processor choices up to a ninth-gen Core i9 (8 cores). Lenovo’s also upgrading the discrete graphics from the current Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti to the newer GTX 1650 Max-Q, which should offer a small bump in performance, though it still feels underpowered for a system that starts at $1,500 (directly converted, £1,150 and AU$2,150). And it will seem especially low-rent if you configure the system with the pricier i9 and OLED panel. But Lenovo’s ‘real’ prices tend to be 10% lower than its nominal prices, so do the math. The updated model is slated to ship in July, though the OLED option won’t appear until closer to the end of August. 1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2, 2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x HDMI 1.4b, 1 x combo audio up to 512GB SSD 8, 16GB DDR4 13.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080 300 nits 72% NTSC gamut 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 250 nits Storage Up to 8th-gen Core i7 Starting price Up to 10 hours Connections $749 1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2, 2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x HDMI 1.4b, 1 x combo audio Up to 11 hours 3.3 lbs. (1.5kg) 12.7×8.8×0.7 in. (323x223x17mm) Size Memory Up to 8th-gen Core i7 The sleek and silvery ThinkBook. Sarah Tew/CNET For its new small-business-focused ThinkBook S line, Lenovo has jettisoned much of the traditional ThinkPad baggage in favor of a consumer-friendly but relatively durable clamshell laptop design. The ThinkBook S comes with a subset of the security and support options that differentiate Lenovo’s enterprise from its mainstream hardware. There’s an extended warranty, better service and some of the company’s ThinkShield features, plus a physical shutter over the camera. Its prices are now more approachable: The ThinkBook 13s starts at $729, while the ThinkBook 14s starts at $749, and both will ship this month. We don’t know pricing or availability for other regions, but those directly convert to approx £559 and AU$1,045 for the 13s and £575 and AU$1,075 for the 14s.The ThinkBook doesn’t have a typical ThinkPad keyboard. Sarah Tew/CNET The ThinkPad’s carbon black exterior gives way to silvery aluminum for the ThinkBooks. And the ThinkBook breaks with the past in a way the ThinkPad can’t without causing a riot: The keyboard has the same sculpted keys, but it puts the ctrl and fn keys in more familiar locations (they’re swapped on the ThinkPad keyboard). It also has a mainstream touchpad instead of the TrackPad, and there’s no Trackpoint stick.Why two models in such similar sizes and prices? Variations in regional demands. $729 Lenovo Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 4 3.1 lbs. (1.4kg) Comments Display Preview • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme adds graphics chops to its top biz laptop Comparative specifications Graphics Share your voice Battery ThinkBook 13s Tags
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download Audio Three pitches for closing state budget deficit with the Permanent FundAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO/APRN-JuneauGovernor Bill Walker has proposed using the Permanent Fund earnings to pay for much of the state’s annual budget. But Walker isn’t alone in eyeing the 50 billion dollar account. Lawmakers have introduced two other bills to pay for part of the budget using the Fund.AK House passes military code of justice reformsThe Associated PressThe state House today passed a bill designed to strengthen the state’s Military Code of Justice. It passed on a 39-0 vote with one member absent, and now goes to the state Senate. Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, a Republican from Anchorage, says the revisions create a state code which is similar to the federal code.Court will hear oral arguments on Medicaid expansionAnnie Feidt, APRN-Washington, DCThe issue of Medicaid expansion will be back before a Superior Court in Anchorage Thursday morning. The Republican led Legislative Council sued last summer to stop Governor Bill Walker from unilaterally expanding Medicaid.ANSEP proposes to run Mt. Edgecumbe as 3-year STEM schoolHannah Colton, KDLG-DillinghamA state legislative committee last week heard a proposal from the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program to turn Mt. Edgecumbe High School into a three-year accelerated program.Summit explores achieving racial equity in AlaskaAnne Hillman, KSKA- AnchorageThe First Alaskans Institute hosted a Racial Equity Summit in Anchorage this week. But what exactly is racial equity and how do we start to achieve it?Low risk of Zika virus in AlaskaPhillip Manning, KTNA-TalkeetnaThe World Health Organization declared Zika virus a global health emergency this week. Experts believe there is a strong link between the virus and a serious birth defect, but that the risk to most Alaskans is low.Anchorage paramedic travels to Greece to help with rescuesLori Townsend, APRN – AnchorageAnchorage resident Teresa Gray just returned from volunteering in a refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece. Gray is a retired paramedic who was moved to volunteer after she saw the tragic and widely circulated photograph of asmall refugee boy, deceased and washed up on a beach.
The Bombay Stock Exchange.IANS5.05 PM IST: Benchmark indices closed with gains on Wednesday driven by robust car sales for February 2017 and better-than-expected third quarter GDP data on Tuesday. Top Sensex gainers were HDFC, Tata Steel, Mahindra and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. The Sensex closed 241 points higher at 28,984 and the NSE Nifty gained 66 points to end at 8,945.Read: Domestic car sales February 2017: Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Renault, Ford, Honda, Nissan, TKM report growth; Mahindra sees declineHowever, concerns have been raised on the GDP numbers released by the government on Tuesday evening.”Private consumption, fixed investment and industrial output growth all accelerated in Q4 (December 2016 quarter), with only the services sector witnessing a slowdown. This does not add up. High frequency real activity data released since demonetisation suggest that consumption and services were hit after demonetisation because they are more cash-intensive,” Sonal Varma, analyst at Nomura, said in a note.9.41 AM IST: Markets opened on a positive note on Wednesday tracking Asian equities and a slew of stock-specific news, in addition to better-than-expected December quarter (Q3) data. The BSE Sensex was up 217 points at 28,960 at around 9.46 am while the NSE Nifty was trading with gains of 60 points at 8,939.Axis Bank, Hero Motocorp, Power Grid Corporation were leading the Sensex rally.HDFC was up on news that the mortgage lender’s board will meet to Friday to consider interim dividend for which the company has fixed March 11 as the record date.HPCL went ex-dividend on Wednesday; the state-run oil marketing company had declared Rs 22.50 per share as interim dividend for FY2017.Hero Motocorp’s board will be meeting on March 11 to consider interim dividend for the current fiscal.Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty could open on a positive note on Wednesday (March 1) on the back of third quarter GDP growth rate that came in at seven per cent, higher than analysts’s expectations. Market sentiments would also be guided by February’s volume sale data to be reported by auto firms. Read: PM Modi’s note ban pulls down India’s GDP growth rate to 7% in December quarterThe seven per cent growth rate in December 2016 quarter and the projection of 7.1 per cent for FY2017 means India will retain its position as the fastest-growing economy in the world and remain ahead of China.Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL), Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor, Eicher Motors and Hero Motocorp are expected to report their February volume sale. Car sale had grown by 10.83 per cent in January 2017 but two-wheeler sales plunged 7.39 per cent. Commercial vehicle sale remained almost flat.For February 2017, MSIL is expected to post 20 per cent growth in domestic sale while M&M is projected to report 14 per cent decline, according to an update by Nomura Research.Hero Motocorp (HMCL), Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor could see yet another disappointing month while Royal Enfield sale is likely to maintain the momentum of high growth.”We expect HMCL to be impacted worst, with a ~14 percent decline. For Bajaj Auto (BJAUT IN, Neutral), we expect 11 per cent yoy decline in domestic motorcycles. Exports (+15 per cent yoy) should be better – on a low base leading to a ~3 per cent decline in overall volumes. Royal Enfield should see healthy ~24 per cent yoy growth. TVS’ overall volumes are also likely to decline ~1 per cent yoy,” the Nomura update said.Commercial vehicle sale is likely to have grown at six per cent “supported by moderate pre-buying as prices are likely to rise (~5-6 percent) from April 2017 onwards as BS-4 emission norms become mandatory,” the Japanese brokerage said.On Tuesday (February 28), the BSE Sensex closed 70 points lower at 28,743 while the NSE Nifty ended 17 points down at 8,879. Top Sensex losers were Coal India, Bajaj Auto and NTPC while index stocks that gained include Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints and Adani Ports.Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were net buyers of Indian equities at Rs 1,146 crore and domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 268 crore, according to provisional data released by the National Stock Exchange.The Indian rupee closed 2 paise higher at 66.69 to the US dollar on Tuesday.
The committee also asked to provide further information and data on the monitoring of long-term impacts from recent shipping incidents involving spills of hazardous materials in proximity to the property and requests furthermore to put in place a management system for shipping to minimize negative impacts on the Sundarbans, including from associated activities such as dredging.Decision no 9 requests to Bangladesh to undertake the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for any future dredging of the Passur River to include an assessment of impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Sundarbans.Decision no 10 expressed concerns about the likely environmental impacts of the Rampal coal-fired power plant on the Sundarbans arising from air and water pollution, a substantial increase in shipping and dredging, and additional removal of freshwater from an already increasingly saline environment.It requested furthermore to ensure that these impacts are comprehensively assessed as part of the SEA and adequate technological measures are put in place to mitigate these impacts and to put in place adequate measures to mitigate these impacts, in order to avoid damage to the Sundarbans.The last decision stated that an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the conditions was to be submitted by 1 December 2018 for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 43rd session in 2019.* The piece, originally published in the print edition of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Shameem Reza. .The leaders of the National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas-Natural Resources and Power and Port on Monday alleged the ruling Awami League government tried to influence the decision of the UNESCO over the construction of Rampal coal-fired power plant in the vicinity of the Sundarbans.“The government has tried to influence the UNESCO, spending people’s money,” says a statement issued jointly by the National Committee’s convener Engineer Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah and member secretary Anu Muhammad. The statement comes following the prime minister’s energy affairs adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury’s words regarding the Rampal project.The statement also alleged that the government is showing stubbornness, telling lies and taking resort to fraudulence about the project – a joint initiative of Bangladesh and India.Tawfiq on Monday said the government will continue the construction work of the Rampal coal-fired power plant.Addressing a press conference at Bidyut Bhaban in the capital, Tawfiq claimed that the UNESCO decision puts no bar on continuation of the construction work.He, however, said if the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) reveals any negative impact of Rampal project on the Sundarbans, the government would take measures to mitigate it.According to his claim, the UNESCO in its draft decision had said no big industrial unit including Rampal coal-fired power plant should be set up around the Sundarbans, but it later dropped the name of Rampal power plant in its final report.The energy adviser of the prime minister further claimed that the final UNESCO report did not mention anything about the fear it had voiced earlier that the coal-fired power plant will cause harm to the world’s largest mangrove forest.“So, the construction will continue,” Tawfiq told the media briefing.The government’s claim that UNESCO has given clearance to go ahead with the Rampal coal-fired power plant project, is however not evident in the decisions made public by the global body.The final report on the decisions adopted during the 41st session of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee held in Poland was published on Sunday.It stated that the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has requested that a ‘Strategic Environmental Assessment’ (SEA) be carried out regarding the impact of the Rampal power project on the Sundarbans, a world heritage site, and the southwest region of the country.The organisation has emphasised that no large industrial infrastructure should be constructed in this region until this assessment is completed.So, the latest report suggests, almost all the conditions laid down by the organisation regarding work on the Rampal power plant, remain intact.Experts say the government’s statement to the effect that clearance has been granted to go ahead with the Rampal project is not correct.The heritage committee’s meeting ended on 12 July, but the full text of the decision taken at the meeting was published 18 days later.Member secretary of National Committee for Protection of Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources and Power and Ports, Anu Muhammad, told Prothom Alo, the government made a commitment at the UNESCO meeting to accept their decision.”Now if the government accepts the UNESCO’s final decision, then work on Rampal must definitely be halted. And it has been proved once again that the statements made by various quarters in the government that UNESCO has withdrawn its objection to the Rampal project, are false,” he said.11 decisions taken at 41st session of the UNESCO’s World Heritage CommitteeThe 41st session of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee was held in Poland from 2-12 July. The committee took 11 decisions about the Sundarbans like other world heritages. Important decisions are as follows:Decision no 3 welcomes Bangladesh’s decision not to approve the Orion power plant and Phase II of the Rampal power plant.Decision no 4 also welcomes Bangladesh’s decision to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the South-West region of the country, including the property.It also requests Bangladesh to ensure that any large-scale industrial and/or infrastructure developments will not be allowed to proceed before the SEA has been completed, and to submit a copy of the SEA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, as soon as it is available.Decision no 5 also welcomes the information provided on ecological monitoring. It also noted with concern that sea level rise, salt intrusion and reductions in fresh water flows are posing a threat to the Sundarbans’ ecosystem.Decision no 6 took note of the critical importance of transboundary cooperation between the Bangladesh and India on “The Sundarbans” (Bangladesh) and “Sundarbans National Park” (India). It further welcomes the efforts made by both countries to enhance collaboration, and urges Bangladesh to fully implement the recommendations made by the 2016 mission to ensure adequate freshwater inflows to the Sundarbans.Decision no 8 welcomes the development of a draft “National Oil Spill and Chemical Contingency Plan” (NOSCOP) of Bangladesh, and requests it to ensure adequate provision of funding and human resources for the implementation of the plan once it is adopted.
November 7, 2017 Enroll Now for Free Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Do you remember the days when you used to have to call a travel agent to make travel accommodations for you? There was no digital interface, no travel package option on your smartphone, no live chat to answer questions. Today, we have access to technology that has made booking travel an almost entirely self-service experience. This has created an ecosystem of tech solutions for those in the travel space to provide efficient and productive service to their clients and a plethora of options for travelers.Now, with so many websites, apps and other technology solutions in the travel space, the game is on to provide the best digital travel experience to customers. Travel agencies today are looking to streamline every facet of the travel experience. That’s everything from customer acquisition and retention to premier customer service at an economic price. Related: How This Social Network Helps You Capture The Best Travel StoriesSo how can travel agencies use tech to set themselves apart in a saturated market? And how can you apply these lessons from the travel industry in your own crowded digital marketplace? I spoke with Daniel Nelson, executive chairman of Travel Pass Group, which books 10,000 room nights per day and has surpassed $2 billion in gross hotel booking revenue across its travel-related websites. Nelson credits this rapid growth in large part to the tech TravelPass uses. Here’s his advice to set yourself ahead of your competition. 1. Focus on milliseconds. Most of the challenges faced by travel agencies today concern making information accessible. Every day, they work with a rushed customer base that demands results in milliseconds. “Speed wins! Plain and simple,” says Nelson. “Our goal is to deliver an experience at the speed of thought. That’s how we define a win.” (It is Amazon-like, where the customer never has to wait but is given the desired options and experiences.)Key to remember is that technology does not replace human interaction — it enhances it. As Zach Smith, cofounder of Anywhere, states, technology equips teams to “focus on empathetic communication and solutions… to create an authentic, human travel experience. The value is the difference between interacting with robots versus human intelligence.” When you can give your client an immediate search result and enhance the communication experience, you’ve got a recipe for success.Related: Corporate Travel Segment in India Has Incredible Potential. Here’s Why.2. Shoulder the tech burden for your clients. In the travel industry, hotels and suppliers often have slower legacy systems that cannot perform with the speed that consumers have come to expect. In addition, they are unable to make that digital transformation in-house to sync properly with state-of-the-art travel sites. So Nelson’s team enhances the systems. “We’ve developed capability in taking inferior technologies, putting them into our platform and large data sets and allowing them to maximize traffic and exposure to the right types of customers. It’s a harmonious win/win relationship.” In order to get the product to market, suppliers need to leverage the speed, performance, tech and reach of a distribution partner. No matter the industry, enhancing the tech of a partner (for free) will be a welcome opportunity.3. Pay attention to the dynamic aspects of your customer personas.Buyer personas are critical to understanding demand, and the science of personas is at the heart of creating successful customer experiences. “Savvy marketers recognize that one size does not fit all,” says Nelson. “Personas are fluid measurements of what a customer is thinking and doing as they try to solve a unique problem using your product. We attempt to time and stage every step of interaction — from inform and discover to shop and compare to buy and book. An individual customer may behave very differently when searching for business or leisure travel or several other reasons for travel. Good marketers understand this and create experiences accordingly.”By paying attention to your target audience’s shifts and trends, you can better adapt your technology and marketing plan to turn a searcher into a customer. Related: How AI Will Define The Future For The Hotel Industry4. Embrace machine learning. Machine learning has accelerated the speed of knowledge and market penetration. “The machine learning aspect has only made us smarter and faster in deciding where to place our bets and how to make best decisions with limited resources to make high-gains capital. It allows us to provide an efficient, targeted customer experience online or over the phone,” Nelson says. AI is here to stay, and it can help you make smart decisions when it comes to whether to invest in a technology.The travel industry is far from being down and out, but it is a poster child for early tech adoption. It is a trillion-dollar, global marketplace defined by agility, productivity and technology. Whatever your industry, your business can profit from the same methods to stay relevant, busy and ahead of your competition. 5 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.
Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 9 min read October 22, 2018 Register Now » This story was originally published on Sept. 27, 2018, and has been updated. The past eight months have been some of the most tumultuous in Facebook’s 14-year history.In March, the public learned of Facebook’s user data scandal and the now infamous Cambridge Analytica. The following month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in a series of Congressional hearings. May marked reports that the FBI and Justice Department were investigating the social media giant, and weeks later, more alleged data-sharing partnerships came to light. In July, the company’s stock plummeted almost 20 percent after its quarterly earnings report, and an interview misstep by Zuckerberg — when he mentioned that Facebook wouldn’t necessarily remove content from Holocaust deniers — led to public outcry. By August, a score of prominent executives had left the company.But September marked one of the biggest blows to the social media giant: The co-founders of Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app said to be driving a significant portion of Facebook’s growth, announced their resignation. And today, less than a month later, Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe announced he was leaving Facebook — reportedly due to differences in opinion over the future of Oculus. Here are the stories of six founders who sold their companies to Zuckerberg.Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger (Instagram)The backstory: When Kevin Systrom created one of the earliest iterations of Instagram, he had a wealth of experience — at a company that would later become Twitter, at a travel startup that sold to Facebook and at Google working in corporate development. It was early 2010, and the app — called Burbn — allowed users to check in to certain locations or post their plans. Instead, however, Systrom noticed they were sharing photos more than anything else. His co-founder Mike Krieger came aboard, and the two worked to create a social photo-sharing app. Instagram launched in October 2010, and less than two years later, Facebook shelled out $1 billion to call Instagram its own.The split: On Monday, Systrom and Krieger announced their resignation from Instagram and its parent company with a diplomatic statement. But reports point to rising tensions between the co-founders and Zuckerberg himself as key to their decision. Recently, Zuckerberg increased his involvement in Instagram’s day-to-day operations. What’s more, Systrom and Krieger reportedly clashed with Facebook over a range of decisions, including the latter’s pushback over the creation of IGTV for fear it would compete with Facebook Watch.The status: In their statement, Systrom and Kriger said they wanted to “explore [their] curiosity and creativity again.” As for what else is on their horizon? “Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do,” they wrote.Palmer Luckey (Oculus)The backstory: Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey had a heavy hand in the rocket-like rise of virtual reality, thanks to a VR headset he built in his parents’ garage. The prototype’s Kickstarter campaign made waves with investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund, even attracting Facebook, which paid $2 billion for Oculus in 2014.The split: Luckey stayed on as a Facebook employee until last year, when he and the company parted ways after reports said Luckey allegedly funded a pro-Trump troll group leading up to the 2016 presidential election. Zuckerberg maintains that politics did not factor into Facebook’s decision to end its relationship with Luckey.The status: At his new company, Anduril Industries, Luckey is working on a new system to detect unauthorized border crossings at the U.S. border. He aims to replace Trump’s idea for a physical wall with a digital one — an intelligent surveillance tool with virtual reality wrapped in — that’s always watching the country’s border. Luckey hopes to work with the Department of Homeland Security to implement the technology. Brendan Iribe (Oculus)The backstory: Brendan Iribe partnered with Palmer Luckey in 2012 to launch Oculus’s first Kickstarter campaign, which brought in about $2.4 million. He then took up the mantle as CEO after Facebook purchased the company and, in December 2016, stepped down to lead another arm of Oculus.The split: Iribe announced his impending departure from Facebook today. Although in a Facebook post Iribe mentioned he wanted to thank everyone who’s been a part of his journey, “especially Mark [Zuckerberg] for believing in this team and the future of VR and AR,” TechCrunch reports that Iribe and the Facebook executive team had “fundamentally different views on the future of Oculus that grew deeper over time.” The status: In his announcement, Iribe mentioned that this will be the first real break he’s taken in 20 years — and that he’s looking forward to recharging, reflecting and embarking on his next chapter. As for his thoughts on the future of Oculus? “This is our time to be pushing the state-of-the-art onward and upward,” Iribe wrote. “Every part of VR and AR needs to improve, especially the hardware and core technology, and Oculus has the best team in the world to do that. Although we’re still far from delivering the magical smart glasses we all dream about, now they are nearly within our reach.”Brian Acton (WhatsApp)The backstory: Brian Acton, the 44th employee at Yahoo, met Jan Koum in 1997, when Koum came to inspect the company’s advertising system. The two went on to become fast friends — and after they both left Yahoo 10 years later, Facebook rejected their job applications. When Apple launched the App Store, Koum went through a few iterations of the secure international texting app before almost throwing in the towel in 2009. Acton convinced him to stick with WhatsApp, and a few months later, he raised $250,000 in seed funding — earning him the title of co-founder, granted by Koum. Five years later, Facebook bought WhatsApp for close to $22 billion in a bombshell acquisition, paying about $55 per user.The split: When Acton left Facebook last year, he attributed the decision to his desire to focus on a nonprofit. But in March, the Cambridge Analytica scandal sparked Acton to write a bold message on Twitter: “It is time. #deletefacebook.” It remains the most recent post on his Twitter page. (Koum, for his part, left Facebook in April.) Acton spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday, telling Forbes that he and executives disagreed about the level of encryption necessary for WhatsApp — as well as Facebook’s desire to incorporate targeted ads and commercial messaging. He walked away from the social media giant in September 2017, deciding to leave as much as $850 million on the table in not-yet-vested stock.The status: Acton has invested $50 million in Signal, a messaging app he’s working with in order to essentially realize his original dream for WhatsApp: free, end-to-end encrypted calls and messages without ad partnerships. He’s also siphoned $1 billion from his Facebook earnings into philanthropy efforts serving healthcare in low-income areas and early childhood development.Jonathan Perlow (Beluga)The backstory: In 2011, three former Google employees launched Beluga, a group messaging service for Android and iOS that was designed for easy use with Facebook. One of them, Jonathan Perlow, made use of his past experience developing Gmail’s user interface. After Beluga went viral — and less than a year after its launch — Facebook acquired the company, hiring Perlow and his co-founders. The social media giant aimed to create a standalone messaging client, and Beluga would become the foundation for today’s Facebook Messenger.The split: Perlow left Facebook in June 2016 to start Trove Technologies, a full-service storage service that picks up, stores and returns items to customers. He co-founded the company with Michael Pao, Uber’s former head of product, and the two designed Trove’s online view of your own storage space, with items photographed, catalogued and available for delivery request.The status: Perlow’s roles at Trove mirrors the ones he held at Beluga: co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO). In 2017, Trove secured $8 million in funding.Nikita Bier (TBH)The backstory: Nikita Bier launched TBH, an app allowing users to send anonymous compliments to their friends, with three co-founders in the summer of 2017. He didn’t have high hopes — he had tried to launch as many as 14 apps in the past, and he knew the team would soon run out of funding. But within two days of TBH’s soft launch in a Georgia high school, about 40 percent of the original high school had downloaded the app — and it had spread to three other schools. In order to combat trolling, Bier made sure the app’s questions were structured in poll format — for example, “Who has the best laugh?” followed by the option to select one of four friends. By October 2017, Facebook had acquired TBH, reportedly for less than $100 million.The split: In July, Facebook announced it would shut down TBH due to “low usage.” The app reportedly had 5 million downloads at the time it was acquired, and the day after the deal went through, it ranked number one on the App Store’s daily download charts. But a little over a month later, TBH had fallen off the list of the top 500 daily downloads, which didn’t bode well for its future.The status: Bier told Business Insider that despite Facebook’s decision to discontinue the app, he would stay with the company and, as a product manager on the Youth team, continue to build new products alongside the former TBH team. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals
From the print editionWhen you live in a country where more than a million people vacation every year, sometimes you have to get a little creative when it’s time for some R and R. I like to head north and explore Nicaragua, where the dollar goes a little further and the tourist industry is sufficiently developed, yet still up-and-coming. So when Matt Prezzano, who manages property and vacation rentals at Rancho Santana, in the department of Rivas on Nicaragua’s southern Pacific coast, invited me to check out the ranch, it was an appreciated excuse for a weekend getaway.Just 80 kilometers north of the Costa Rican city of Liberia, Rancho Santana has been around for 15 years. But as Prezzano describes it (in baseball terms fitting for Nicaragua), development at the ranch is in the “third inning of a nine-inning game.” I grabbed a ₡5,000 ($10) bus ticket at Transportes Deldú in San José and headed for the border. Crossing Nicaragua’s border on foot usually takes about 20 minutes, much faster than waiting on the international bus lines to Managua or Granada. On the Nicaraguan side, a driver from the ranch was waiting in an air-conditioned SUV to shuttle me the rest of the hour-and-a-half drive. One of the white-sand beaches near Rancho Santana. Courtesy of Rancho Santana Traveling in Nicaragua is what I imagine much of Costa Rica looked like decades ago. Farm animals dash across dirt roads that wind through small towns, where most people commute on bikes or horse-drawn carts. Entering Rancho Santana, we pass through several kilometers of farmland, winding up and down an unpaved road into dry tropical forest stretching to the ocean. As we pull in front of the ranch’s hacienda-style clubhouse and elegant open-air restaurant, a couple things become apparent: At 1,100 hectares (2,700 acres), calling this a “ranch” seems like an understatement, and with lush central gardens, a swimming pool and five pristine beaches with perfectly breaking waves, Prezzano may have downplayed the magnificence of the place. We drive up a steep road near the clubhouse and stop at a luxurious white stucco house perched on a cliff, with a panoramic view of the Pacific. Prezzano, a former Peace Corps volunteer from the U.S. state of California, is outside waiting for me. Lounging in a line of hammocks near a horizon pool are Tim Rogers, editor of the Nicaragua Dispatch, Damien Hopkins and Xiomara Díaz Hopkins, co-owners of Granada’s popular Garden Café restaurant and other friends. As the sun begins to set, turning the sky a magnificent pink over a blanket of steely blue ocean, the value behind vacation rentals like Rancho Santana becomes apparent – it allows friends and family to gather in a more intimate setting than all-inclusive hotels or other mass-packaged vacation destinations. Plus, vacation rentals provide a sense of community, which is enhanced by Rancho Santana’s obsessive focus on guest services, which recently helped them win a TripAdvisor Award of Excellence. Not to mention you get to live in a private paradise that someone else has paid to build.The ranch doesn’t yet have a hotel, although one is scheduled to go up by 2014. In the meantime, guests can choose from three levels of rental accommodations: Garden-View Casitas (two-bedroom bungalows that sleep up to four), Puerta del Mar Villas (two- or three-bedroom condos built two years ago on Santana Beach) and private houses with up to six bedrooms and ocean views. Each of them are unique, some are beachfront.The first night we stayed in a private home. On the second night, we switched to a three-bedroom condo (again, a slightly understated description) just 20 steps from the beach. Both options were spectacular. “The way I see it, people who come to Rancho Santana start to have an emotional attachment to the place,” Prezzano explained. “You go to a lot of spots in Central America or Europe, and they all feel the same after a while. I want people to know they’re on a really special piece of earth. It’s not a snobby experience. The roads are all dirt roads, and that’s not going to change. It’s a unique destination that you’d want to go to with your friends or family again and again.”It was hard to beat that first night’s sunset. But the next day, we loaded surfboards into Hopkins’ pickup truck (getting around the ranch requires a four-wheel drive vehicle, which can be rented with the help of guest services prior to traveling) and toured the property, which includes five kilometers of coastline. We drove to the highest point on the ranch, a lookout that provides a bird’s-eye view of the secluded Playa Duna in one direction and Playa Los Perros, a surfer’s dream, in the other. “The image of the ranch I give to people who have never been here is Santa Barbara, California, in the 1940s,” Prezzano told me as I tried to balance my awe of the dramatic landscape with my nagging fear of heights. “It is rugged, with three miles of coastline, dirt roads and incredible topography. It’s what the Pacific frontier was 70 years ago.”We descended to the beach, where Prezzano and Hopkins grabbed a few waves while I boogie-boarded and took in the hot Nicaraguan sun. I saw only a handful of people on the beach the entire morning. Next, we headed back to the clubhouse and La Finca y El Mar Restaurant. For being in such a remote, rural area, the restaurant is surprisingly top-notch. Run by Prezzano’s sister, chef Calley Prezzano, who studied at California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and worked at One Market Restaurant in San Francisco (which won a Michelin Star four years in a row), along with other stints in Nicaragua, La Finca y El Mar focuses on letting fresh ingredients speak for themselves, similar to the northern California style of dining inspired by Alice Waters and the slow-food movement. Herbs, vegetables and fruits come from an on-site organic garden, which guests can also use for cooking in their own kitchens. (Among several guest services is the option to have kitchens pre-stocked upon arrival.) Seafood is locally caught and fresh from the ocean, and daily lunch and dinner specials make the restaurant more than a cut above what one would expect in such an out-of-the-way location.Among the dishes I sampled were coffee-rubbed pork loin and shellfish penne pesto, which had one of the freshest pesto sauces I’ve ever tasted. I usually skip dessert, but after tasting Calley’s double chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, I ended up ordering it after every meal for the rest of the weekend. Later that afternoon, I did some horseback riding at the ranch’s stable and checked out Playa Escondida, appropriately named as I didn’t see a single soul on the tiny, secluded beach. Other activities for guests include mountain biking, hikes through the forest and one- or two-day trips to Ometepe Island and the colonial city of Granada – both reasonably short drives.That night we moved into a beachfront condo and continued our conversation about Prezzano’s vision for Rancho Santana. Our modern condo had all the amenities, including a large, modern kitchen, a dining room table that seats eight, air conditioning and flat-screen TVs in all of the rooms. But we chose the back patio for our evening entertainment, where we downed cold Victorias and watched a sunset even better than the previous night’s, a few short meters from perfect waves rolling in over white sand. A handful of surfers rushed to catch the day’s last breaks before night set in. If Rancho Santana’s goal, as Prezzano repeated throughout the weekend, is to provide a personal, unique and emotional experience that guarantees return visits, they’re pretty well on track. I was hooked.n Going thereRates range from $150-500 a night, minimum three-night stay. Costa Rica’s Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, capital of the northwestern province of Guanacaste, provides easy access to Rancho Santana, located an hour and a half north of the Nicaragua border. Staff can arrange transportation from the airport or the border. For more, call +(310) 929-5211 in the U.S., or visit www.ranchosantana.com.From San José, Transportes Deldú (2256-9072, Ca. 20, Av. 1) offers bus service to the border from 5 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, ₡5,000 ($10) one-way. Facebook Comments No related posts.
2018 Helloworld Travel OMCAdelaideHelloworld Travel Adelaide is prepped and ready to entertain over 600 attendees at the 2018 Helloworld Travel OMC! The Adelaide Convention Centre will play host to the 2018 conference, with the exciting schedule due to kick off this Thursday, running from 10-12 May.The theme for this year’s annual conference is ‘Transforming our futures’, featuring keynote addresses from leaders in the industry, including; Bob Spellman, President of Spellman Travel Partners, Author, Writer and Sports Commentator Mick Colliss, and Igor Kwiatkowski, Executive Manager Sales and Distribution for Qantas Airways.Opening the conference on Friday will be the Premier of South Australia, the Hon. Steven Marshall. The agenda will also see presentations from Helloworld Travel CEO and Managing Director – Andrew Burns, Kirk Peterson – High Performance Coach, Mark Jenkins from Resurg, Jason Westbury from AFTA, Greg Nathan from Franchise Relationships Institute and Rodney Harrex of the SATC. Emceed by the ever entertaining Steve Jacobs, attendees are in for a jam-packed conference.The evening social activities are also sure to impress with a welcome function at the National Wine Centre of Australia, dinner at Adelaide Oval including exclusive access to the Bradman Collection, and it will all be topped off by awarding the best of the best on the Saturday night at the Gala Awards black tie event.2018 Helloworld Travel OMC top tier sponsors are South Australia Tourism commission, Qantas, Intrepid Group, The Travel Corporation, Worlds Leading Cruise Lines, Air Canada, APT Travel Group, Qantas Holidays, Viva! Holidays, Insider Journeys, Sunlover Holidays, Territory Discoveries, Ready Rooms, and The Cruise Team,IMAGE:Adelaide Exhibition Centre
Gardening with Patricia JordanMay is such a lovely month in the garden. Everything is bright and fresh while temperatures are still bearable and heady perfume is everywhere emanating from the early flowerers such as wisteria, roses and sweet peas.The Chelsea Flower Show is held this month in London, showcasing all that is new and wonderful in the early British summer garden. I well remember the ‘showing season’ and the heartaches when flowers had gone over too soon or were not mature enough to display!Gardens here have recovered from the abundant winter rains, which were so beneficial and brought some wonderful displays of flowers everywhere. My mature clumps of Calla lilies have been sensational this year, well over 1.5m in height and much admired. I had to keep a watchful eye on them though, as the snails tried to spoil the virginal white flowers. Next to them were some hollyhocks plants that were chewed nearly to death by the snails. I hear that plans are afoot in the UK to ban slug pellets containing Metaldehyde from spring 2020. We will have to come up with something else to deter those blighters!Citrus leaves in need of ironHaving been a gardener and flower arranger for most of my adult life, my gardens are always full of plants for bees and butterflies to feed on and I was well rewarded recently when hordes of ‘Painted Lady’ butterflies swarmed in on my huge Echium webbii which attracted them to feed on the blue flower spires. It was a wondrous sight!Not only do certain flowers attract bees but also humming bird moths, which are driven to a frenzy by the flowers of polygala! Verbena bonariensis is much loved by ‘Swallow-tailed butterflies’, whilst buddleja, which I have grown from seed on several occasions, is a well known shrub for attracting both bees and butterflies to its fragrant flowers.Most people grow herbs and they are amongst the most popular plants to attract wildlife. Salvias (sages), fennel, thymes, borage, oregano as well as lavender and rosemary are the favourite hunting grounds of bees.I expect that you are thinking that I am always writing about growing more flowering plants as well as trees and shrubs, to attract the butterflies and bees, but it is a serious concern which we must all try to address, even if you only garden on a veranda!WHAT TO DO IN THE GARDEN THIS MONTHYou may find that certain trees such as Tecoma stans, duranta and jacaranda are very slow to lose their leaves and sometimes need help by taking off those within reach. It could be that the night temperatures were not cold enough in the late winter to encourage the leaf drop. I love Jacarandas for their very frothy flowers, which come into bloom first if they haven’t been watered regularly. The leaves will appear before the flowers if they have been watered during the winter.There are lots of bugs about now, some good and most not! Locusts are not good to have and there is nothing better than a dead one! I find that knocking them off a plant with a broom is the best way to deal with them or the leaves will be full of holes. They surprisingly like the very tough strelitzia leaves! When the British came here in the late 1870s the place was riddled with them and very serious steps were taken to get rid of them by burning them in huge pits. They are still around, though in smaller numbers thankfully! They devour soft green foliage, spoiling the unfurled canna lily leaves. For most other bugs you can spray with soapy water, or hang out those yellow sticky cards among your fruit trees, now that the flowers have all been pollinated. Greenfly can also make a real mess of plants. Sometimes they cause citrus leaves to curl up as they move around them. They also gather on rose stems, although Banksia roses do not seem to suffer that fate, perhaps because they are such early flowerers.Although most of the big jobs have been completed, May is the last time to feed any fruit and nut trees that you have, until the winter. At this time of year as the new leaf growth comes in, it’s so important to feed the trees. Mature trees need a dose of 20.10.10 fertiliser, 900g for large trees and smaller trees need 300g. You may have to water the fertiliser in this month unless there is some rain. Remember when feeding that the fibrous roots are not near the trunk, so make sure that you spread it between the trunk and the edge of the tree canopy.This is also the time to look for any mineral shortages which show in the colour of citrus leaves. If they are short of iron they will be a very light green colour, sometimes even yellow, with the veins showing up very clearly. Two dessertspoons of iron chelate mixed in ten litres of water should be applied to the watering area around the base to sort out this problem. An old Cypriot remedy is to put some iron nails in the soil around the base of the tree if you want to give that a try.Zinc shortage is another problem that occurs in citrus trees and you will see this in a mottling on the leaves. For this problem, you will get better results by spraying the leaves with a mixture of a level dessertspoon of zinc chelate in five litres of water, which the tree can absorb more easily. Spray it onto the leaves until the mixture runs off. Then check all the fresh new leaves for signs of greenfly and black fly, for when they hatch and start to feed, they will spoil the leaves for the whole season. Use a soapy water spray for them or rub them off with gloved fingers.Other trees which suffer from a shortage of zinc are pecans and at the beginning of the year, it is advisable to water 2 dessertspoons of zinc chelate mixed in 10 litres of water into the ground around the tree. Later in the year, the leaves may have dark blotches on them, so spray them this time with a level dessertspoon of zinc chelate in five litres of water until the solution runs off.After the wonderful early flower show that wisteria puts on, the new leaves and tendrils start to appear in earnest and will need some help to wind themselves around trellises or supports. Care should be taken while performing this job as the stems are very brittle and can break easily if mishandled. Bougainvillea is also pushing out new growths which may need tying in or helping over supports, but watch out for the thorns underneath the stems that are there to assist the plant to cling on trees in its natural habitat.The wonderful flowering plants that you see in the garden centres at the moment are difficult to resist. Many people won’t buy plants unless they can see what the flowers are like, which is probably when the plant has reached its maximum growth. I try to buy plants that aren’t at full growth that have lots of new stems and buds appearing at the base and get them home as quickly as possible. I plant them in the evening when it is cooler so that they have the night to settle in. Some don’t like to be moved at all once they are planted, so make sure that the spot you have chosen is the right one! Don’t sow any more seeds or take any more cuttings. You will probably get the seeds to germinate, but temperatures are rising steadily which may prove to be too much for little plantlets to survive now. Plant of the Month May Plectranthus neochilus Plectranthus neochilus are attractive ground-cover herbaceous plants that grow well in hot gardens. However they may die during very cold nights. These southern hemisphere plants can adapt well to high temperatures with the minimum of water and they are also salt and wind tolerant. Growing best in a shaded position in part sun in loamy to sandy soil, ensure there is good drainage, as root rot can occur if over-watered.The succulent, highly-fragrant grey-green leaves are toothed or wavy-edged and the flowers appear on very short stems among them. These prolific light blue, two-lipped flowers are small and are attractive to bees and butterflies. They can be used in planters or hanging baskets but beware as these plants put on a lot of growth and in the garden can become somewhat invasive.Stems root easily in water at any time or from soft-wood cuttings. Mealy bugs or spider mites can sometimes be problematic. Members of the Laminaceae family, they have various common names such as Smelly Spur Flower, Lobster Flower or Mosquito Bush, as well as being a deterrent to snakes and therefore known in some places like Cyprus, as the Snake Plant.You May LikeDirectExposeWorld’s First Surviving Octuplets Are All Grown Up. Look At Them 9 Years LaterDirectExposeUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoA new way of doing businessUndoVarosha move merely a ‘PR stunt’ by Ozersay, expert saysUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
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