Assessing the Newsstand

first_imgThe consumer magazine industry, as expected, took some huge hits at the newsstand and in overall circulation during the first half of the year, according the much-anticipated Fas-Fax report, released last month by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.Among the biggest drops in paid and verified circulation: Bauer’s Life & Style and In Touch, down 30 percent and 27.7 percent in overall paid circulation and 30.2 percent and 28.7 percent in single copy sales, respectively.Newsweek, which will see president and publisher Greg Osberg resign this fall, posted a 17.3 percent drop in single copy sales and a 12.6 percent fall-off in subscriptions. The magazine’s overall paid and verified circulation slid 12.8 percent to 2.7 million. U.S. News & World Report’s paid and verified circulation fell 10 percent.American Media Inc.’s National Enquirer saw subscription (-13.7 percent), single copy sales (-8.4 percent) and total paid and verified circ (-10.1) losses, while AMI’s Star didn’t fare much better (down 15.4 percent in subscriptions and 3.4 percent in single copy sales). Vogue’s single copy sales fell 14.8 percent and 6 percent overall during the first half, while Playboy’s single copy sales (-23.5 percent) and total paid (-6.2) saw equally pronounced declines.Holding SteadyA slew of titles managed to hold or even gain circulation while enduring the hit at the racks. TV Guide, for instance, saw its single copy sales plummet some 29 percent through June, but increased subscriptions by 2.4 percent and overall circulation by 0.3 percent.Men’s Vogue’s single copy sales dropped nearly 40 percent, but the magazine increased overall circulation by 20 percent thanks to a 43.6 percent uptick in subscriptions.Time’s single copy sales fell 7 percent, but its overall paid circulation (-0.3 percent) was left virtually untouched. Us Weekly’s single copy sales fell 10.4 percent, but its total paid circulation (0.2 percent) was flat.Martha Stewart Living fell 11.6 percent in single copy sales, but managed to increase overall circ by 1.6 percent, according to ABC. (Martha Stewart Weddings, though, slipped 7.5 percent in single copy sales and 7.5 percent overall.) The Advocate’s single copy sales fell 22 percent but the title’s total paid and verified circ increased 4.7 percent. Cookie’s single copy sales fell 19 percent, but a huge boost in subscriptions (43.1 percent) led to an overall circ gain. Entrepreneur, recently pulled off the sales block, saw single copy sales fall 11 percent, but its overall circulation decreased just over half a percent.Maxim’s single copy sales fell 11.7 percent, but its overall paid and verified circulation slid just 1.3 percent. Likewise, single copy sales for Rolling Stone slipped 6.6 percent during the first half, but overall paid circ (0.6 percent) actually increased.But the hedging works both ways. Vanity Fair increased its single copy sales 6 percent but saw paid and verified circulation drop a percentage point, thanks to a 4 percent dip in subscriptions. Sports Illustrated saw a 19.1 percent spike in single copy sales, but its overall paid circ (0.3 percent) remained essentially flat. Texas Monthly did well at the newsstand (up 16 percent) but increased its overall paid circ by just 1.3 percent. And Dennis Publishing’s The Week increased single copy sales by a whopping 62 percent—with an average of 1,820 copies per issue—but just 1.7 percent overall.Despite a fascinating Democratic primary season, The Nation’s subscriptions (down 2.6 percent), single copy sales (down 15.4 percent) and total paid and verified circ (down 2.8) all fell during the first half of the year.It wasn’t bad news for all publishers, however. OK! magazine’s single copy sales increased 19.4 percent during the first half—far and away the best performing celebrity title at the newsstand—and its total paid and verified circ 11.8 percent.The Atlantic continued its pursuit of profitability by increasing subscriptions 12.9 percent and total paid circ some 11.6 percent. And Wired increased its single copy sales (13.1 percent) and subscriptions (5.1 percent) for a 6.1 percent increase in total paid and verified circulation. Top 12 Titles Bear the BruntNearly two-thirds of consumer magazines that reported first half 2008 circulation figures with BPA Worldwide posted flat or lower circulation during the period, according to the audit group’s bi-annual report.Mature Living Choices (-29.5 percent), Cell (-18.5), California Lawyer (-15.6), American Snowmobiler (-14.9) and Sacramento (-14.7) were the largest decliners.Several titles also posted double-digit losses on the newsstand over the first half, including Florida Trend (-56.6 percent), National Fisherman (-51.1) and Restaurant Startup and Growth (-50.2). The positive standouts are Hispanic Business and Relish, which posted gains of 160.8 percent and 31.9 percent, respectively.During the first half, Meredith’s Ser Padres magazine saw overall circulation rise 41.2 percent—the largest increase of any of the 101 consumer magazines tracked by BPA.The American Journalism Review (+39.8 percent), newspaper magazine Relish (+31.9), WWE (+26.9) and the Weekly Standard (+18.1) were some of the other biggest overall BPA-audited circ gainers during the period.last_img read more

People on the Move 41411

first_imgJennifer Merrit, who most recently acted as deputy personal finance editor with WSJ.com/SmartMoney.com, has joined The Associated Press as financial markets team leader. Amanda Barrett, who was acting east editor with AP, has been named New York City editor for AP.Kevin Noblet, previously deputy managing editor for wealth management at Dow Jones Newswires, has been promoted to managing editor of the department. Before working with Dow Jones Newswires, Noblet was business editor with AP.Chrystia Freeland, previously global editor-at-large, has been assigned to the newly created role of Thomson Reuters digital editor. Freeland acted as the U.S. managing editor with the Financial Times before joining Thomson Reuters. Rachel Smolkin is now White House bureau chief with Politico. Before joining Politico, Smolkin was managing editor with American Journalism Review.Dana Wollman, a former technology reporter with The Associated Press, is now the reviews editor with Engadget. Allen Bernard has been named managing editor with eSecurity Planet. Tim Stevens is now the editor-in-chief with Engadget. Jamie Tarabay, who previously acted as the foreign and domestic correspondent at NPR, is now the managing editor for national security with the National Journal.Shira Toeplitz is back with Roll Call, where she will write a column and cover Iowa caucuses and congressional race. Before this, Toeplitz was a staff writer with Politico.Carol Clark is now publisher of the Dayton Business Journal. Before becoming publisher, Clark acted as advertising director.James Cury, who was web director with Hearst Digital Media Group, is now the online editorial director with Maxin Magazine.Alex Baxter has been named chief digital officer with Competitor Group, Inc. Previously, Baxter was the general manager of digital media with Conde Nast’s PARADE group.Patrick Scott, who currently acts as business and investigative editor for The Charlotte Observer, will join The New York Times as finance editor in the first week of May.More hires for HuffPo: Jaweed Kaleem will act as a religion reporter, and Rebecca Carroll, previously editor of Uptown and Paper magazines, will act as culture editor. Amanda M. Fairbanks, former education editor for GOOD magazine, will act as education reporter.After discontinuing Private Equity Insider, Harrison Scott Publications assigned Mairin Burns and James Prado Roberts to Hedge Fund Alert. Chad Weihrauch now reports for Commercial Mortgage Alert.Cyra Master, former writer for Hotline and CongressDaily, has joined Roll Call as copy editor.Libby A. Nelson is now a reporter with Higher Ed. Previously, Nelson was a reporter for The Times-Tribune out of Scranton, PA. Chad Millman will become editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine on June 13th, when the publication’s headquarters move from New York City to Bristol, CT. Millman currently serves as senior deputy editor, and is the co-author of They Call Me Baba Booey.Mandi Norwood has been named consulting editorial director with Niche Media LLC. Norwood has acted in editorial roles with Mademoiselle, Cosmopolitan UK, Company and Looks Magazines.Kevin Shinkle is now deputy business editor with The Associated Press. Shinkle most recently acted as assistant business editor, money with AP.center_img Kathleen Hunter will join the capitol intelligence team for Bloomberg Government. Hunter will leave her current position of staff writer for Roll Call. Erin Griffith will cover digital media and venture capital with Adweek. Griffith is a former senior editor for peHUB.com. Matthew Gryczan has been chosen as editor for Crain’s Michigan Business. Before this, he acted as managing editor for Crain’s Detroit Business.Scott Wenger, formerly managing editor/money and business with The New York Daily News, is now editorial director with SourceMedia.Marie C. Baca has joined VentureBeat as managing editor.Christina Rexrode, formerly a banking reporter for The Charlotte Observer, is now a retail reporter with The Associated Press.John E. Morris is now deputy managing editor of Dow Jones Newswire’s Investment Banker. Morris previously acted as news editor in this sector. Mary Duenwald has left her role as op-ed page deputy editor for The New York Times to join the Bloomberg View. Sewell Chan will now act in that role with NYT.last_img read more

Hearst to Launch Free Weekly Magazine

first_imgThis week, Hearst revealed that it’s launching a free weekly magazine within the New York metro area. TrendingNY will begin distribution on Sept. 8, with 50,000 print issues. The initial plan is to run four test issues through Sept. 30. According to WWD, Hearst says that it may continue to publish the magazine if it performs well during its test run, but is not ready to commit to any kind of frequency expectation.The magazine will target millennial women with interests in fashion and beauty. The content within the book will be quick, easily consumable content. The debut issue will be 48 pages and will carry around 18 to 20 ad pages. Hearst worked with Priest + Grace to develop the design. And former Harper’s BAZAAR features editor Emily Cronin will edit the pilot issues.last_img read more

Facebooks 50person cryptocurrency team working on payments report says

first_img Share your voice Tags 0 Tech Industry Internet Services Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Stephen Shankland/CNET Ready to send some virtual money to your Facebook friends or WhatsApp contacts so you can split the restaurant bill? Maybe someday you’ll be using a cryptocurrency to do so.Many people in the tech world have soured on cryptocurrencies and their accounting underpinnings, called blockchain. But Facebook remains interested, with a 50-person project underway to build a technology that’ll let members send each other digital money, the New York Times reported Thursday.Cryptocurrencies initially excited fans who wanted a new digital-era payment mechanism, but as the hype increased, investors hoping to see their value rise dominated the cryptocurrency domain. The resulting bubble has mostly burst, but it appears Facebook is trying to sidestep such frenzies and build something more useful for day-to-day money transfers among its more than 2 billion members, the Times said.Facebook’s cryptocurrency project would likely involve a cryptocurrency whose price remains stable, the Times said, corroborating an earlier Bloomberg report. That design would be geared toward avoiding a speculative frenzy like the one that caused the value of the seminal cryptocurrency, bitcoin, to soar and then crash. Cryptocurrencies that are desirable for investment can be poorly suited for ordinary payment transactions since the value in ordinary money can fluctuate wildly.Facebook didn’t comment on the story details, but it did confirm its blockchain work.”Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology,” the company said in a statement. “This new small team is exploring many different applications.”The Times report cited five people familiar with the project and said Facebook is in discussions with cryptocurrency exchanges, the online marketplaces where you can convert ordinary money into cryptocurrencies and vice versa.Using cryptocurrencies to transfer money has long been one of the technology’s supposed virtues. In principle, it could be used to lower transaction fees that are common with other payment services. Those fees are especially heavy when converting from one country’s currency to another.In practice, though, cryptocurrencies haven’t enabled such a frictionless money-transfer world. For one thing, their own transaction fees have increased. For another, the process commonly used to lock in a cryptocurrency transaction, called proof of work, is typically slow and requires enormous amounts of electrical power. And cryptocurrencies have reputation problems linked to their use by scammers and criminals.The leader of the Facebook project is David Marcus, formerly president of online payment company PayPal, the Times said. The Block, a cryptocurrency tracking site, has been flagging Facebook’s blockchain-related job openings. Post a comment Blockchain Facebook PayPal Cryptocurrencylast_img read more

4 killed as roof collapses in Bbaria

first_imgAt least four workers were killed and 10 others injured as the roof of an under-construction refueling station collapsed on them at Bahadurpur in Ashuganj upazila in Brahmanbaria on Monday.The deceased are Dulal Miah, 50, Sayeed, 40, Najmul and Sayeed.Witnesses said the roof of the petrol pump caved in when the workers were working there around 2:00pm.Later, local people and a team of fire service retrieved the four bodies from the rubble of the collapsed roof, said Ashuganj fire service station officer Alauddin Monir.The bodies were sent to sadar hospital morgue while the injured were admitted to a local hospital.last_img read more

So far 25 student protesters granted bail

first_imgFather is conveying news of son Zahidul Haque`s bail to relatives over phone and his (Zahidul) sister in smiling face beside her father at the CMM court on 19 August (Sunday). Photo: Dipu MalakarFollowing criticism and demand from various civil rights groups, some 25 students were granted bail in cases filed for obstructing duties of police and vandalism during the recent demonstrations for safe road in the capital and elsewhere in the country.Separate courts in Dhaka on Sunday granted the bail upon hearing petitions.Dhaka metropolitan magistrate AKM Moinuddin Siddiqi granted bail to 15 students while chief metropolitan magistrate Saifuzzaman Hero granted bail to ten students after hearing their separate bail petitions.The bail petitions were filed with the court today, Sunday. The hearing was held between around 11:00am and 12:00pm.The lawyers in favour of the bail petitions said there were no specific charges against the arrested students. Their names are not mentioned in the case statement.The lawyers also argued that the students were detained on suspicion.According to the court officials and police, a total of 99 people have so far been arrested in 51 cases filed for obstructing duties of police and vandalism during the demonstrations demanding safe roads. Among the detainees, 52 are students.Of 14 detainees, 10 students were granted bail in the case filed with Badda police station.They are: Noor Mohammad, Zahidul Haque, Iftekhar Ahmed, Mohammad Hasan, Redwan Ahmed, Tariqul Islam, AHM Khalid Reza, Reza Rifat Akhlaq, Rashedul Islam and Mushfiqur Rahman.Nine students got bail in the case filed with Dhanmondi police station.The students are Sohad Khan, Masriqul Alam, Tamal Samad, Omar Siam, Mahmudur Rahman, Mahbubur Rahman, Iqbal Hasan, Minhaj Rahman and Naimur Rahman.Those, who got bail in the case filed with Bhatara police station, are Mashad Mortuza Bin Ahad, Sakhawat Hossain, Shihab Shahriar, Azizul Karim Antor, Mahedi Hasan and Foyez Ahmed Adnan.Some 14 students were detained for vandalism in Aftabnagar, and 8 others for vandalism at Basundhara.On 7 August, the court put 22 students on a two-day remand for each.Akhtar Hossain, the lawyer for Zahidul Haque and Nur Mohammad, said he was very happy securing the bail of his clients.Family of the detained students expressed their satisfactions over the bail. Many of them crowded the court area since morning.“It’s a happy day for me. None will understand the pains I’ve undergone since my son was arrested,” Mehedi Hasan’s father MA Masud Khan said.“I’m very happy as we would observe the Eid festival together,” said Mabia, Nur Mohammad’s sister.Several court officials said the court may hold hearing on bail petitions for others on Monday.The students of different schools, colleges and universities took to the street across the country demanding safe roads after two of their fellows were killed in a road crash on Airport Road on 29 July.last_img

After harassment of Sikh bus driver Maryland school district agrees to awareness

first_img Aysha Khan Aysha Khan is a Boston-based journalist reporting on American Muslims and millennial faith for RNS. Her newsletter, Creeping Sharia, curates news coverage of Muslim communities in the U.S. Previously, she was the social media editor at RNS.,Load Comments,Immigrant-run manufacturing co-op aims to change culture of fast fashion, starting wit … Tagsbus driver harassment homepage featured Maryland school district Sikh Top Story,You may also like News • Photos of the Week Aysha Khan ayshabkhan By: Aysha Khan ayshabkhan Share This! As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Evangelical financial watchdog faces scrutiny over backing of errant megachurch Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,(RNS) — For more than a decade, Sawinder Singh took the harassment.Singh, a school bus driver in Rockville, Md., says colleagues, supervisors and students taunted him for 13 years because of his turban and long beard.Children and co-workers alike threw words like “terrorist,” “al-Qaida” and “Taliban” at the 45-year-old Sikh man, according to a complaint filed by Singh.One former colleague asked him, “How did they let you back in the country? Osama bin Laden was killed,” after the U.S. announced the terrorist’s death. The students he picked up often joked about him kidnapping them, killing them and blowing the bus up, according to a complaint he filed three years ago.Sawinder Singh. Photo courtesy of the Sikh CoalitionNow, the Montgomery County Public Schools district has agreed to work with Singh and the Sikh Coalition to create training programs fostering safer and more inclusive workplace environments for Sikhs and other minorities.“He was targeted for being brown, for having a turban and beard and identifiable articles of faith,” said Amrith Kaur, legal director for the Sikh Coalition, a New York City-based civil rights advocacy organization that represented Singh. “The work environment was so hostile for him that even when he complained, formally and informally, and notified the school, they only addressed the individual act. So (Singh) kept dealing with daily harassment, even as the perpetrator would change.”In 2016, Singh filed a claim of religious and racial discrimination against the school district with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, noting 21 separate incidents he says he formally reported to school officials in a five-year period.On Tuesday (May 28), attorneys for the district and officials from the Sikh Coalition and Public Justice, who worked together to represent Singh, announced a settlement agreement.Singh said he hopes the settlement will make the school district more welcoming to religious minorities.“After years of harassment in the workplace, I am grateful that MCPS has worked with me to resolve these issues and prioritize making the work environment safer and more inclusive for all,” Singh said in a statement. “My hope is that through this process, every MCPS employee can gain a deeper respect for Sikhs and other religious minorities.”The school district will establish a commission — including MCPS administrators, Sikh Coalition and Public Justice advocates and Singh himself — to recommend training initiatives to create a more interactive cultural education program. Their proposals will include trainings on diversity, unconscious bias and Sikh awareness, beginning with a climate assessment survey for students and staff.Amrith Kaur. Photo courtesy of the Sikh Coalition“We wanted to create a systemic approach to holistic change within the district,” Kaur said. “MCPS is one of the top school districts in the country, both in caliber and size, and if they are open to creating and advancing these kind of cultural competency and Sikh awareness training programs, that can impact a lot of other districts and employers across the country.”An estimated 500,000 Sikhs, who mostly originate from South Asia, live in the U.S. Particularly in the aftermath of 9/11, Sikh Americans have long faced discrimination in and out of the workplace. Sikh Americans are regularly targeted by racist, anti-immigrant and, because they are often mistakenly thought to be Muslims, anti-Muslim violence and harassment.MCPS said it has investigated Singh’s allegations and taken “swift corrective action” with staff and students involved.“We do not and will not tolerate behavior that is hateful, bigoted, racist or discriminatory,” said Gboyinde Onijala, a communications officer for MCPS. “MCPS has worked collaboratively with the Sikh Coalition and Public Justice to continue its support of Mr. Singh and to strengthen our efforts to increase equity and respect in the workplace and schools.”This year, MCPS established new staff trainings on cultural proficiency and examining implicit bias. The district also listed Singh — who has a background as a professional musician and has performed on Capitol Hill and at the National Cathedral — as a resource for teachers seeking speakers or performers for cultural programs focused on Sikh and South Asian communities.In 2016, MCPS led face-to-face training on workplace bullying with the department of transportation employees and documented Singh’s experiences in an article for the district’s online news bulletin, Onijala said.“I like to drive a bus, but the biggest challenge has been because of my long beard and turban,” Singh said in that article. “When I face negative comments, my heart falls. I have respect for all mankind, for all religions. I’m here to serve. … My faith and my culture only teach love.” Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Catholicism Share This! Share This! By: Aysha Khan ayshabkhan Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By: Aysha Khan ayshabkhan Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Share This! Newslast_img read more

Greater Houston Job Growth Will Keep Improving in 2017 Greater Houston Partnership

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:14 Listen X Florian MartinPatrick Jankowski reveals the Greater Houston Partnership’s 2017 employment forecast during a luncheon at the Royal Sonesta hotel in the Galleria area.Greater Houston will create 29,700 net jobs next year, according to the Greater Houston Partnership’s employment forecast.Compare that to 104,700 jobs in 2014 and 15,200 last year.The organization’s regional economist, Patrick Jankowski, who prepared the forecast, said most new jobs will come in the healthcare sector.“As healthcare becomes more important just in society and the economy, we’ll continue to see growth in healthcare,” he said. “We’ll see 9,800 jobs added at least in healthcare next year.”Other sectors that he expects to add many jobs include accommodation and food services, government and retail.Only three sectors are forecast to lose jobs – one of them is energy.Jankowski said the industry needs oil to reach $60 a barrel to do well, and he doesn’t see that coming in 2017.“If the oil and gas industry is still losing money, they’re not going to be hiring,” he said. “They’re going to need to do something to try to continue to cut costs, so still restructuring. They’re not going to hire when they’re losing money. We’ll probably see about a 3,500 job loss next year in energy.”The biggest job loss – 16,000 – will occur in construction, according to the forecast, because activity in that sector is expected to go down significantly next year. Sharelast_img read more

Anadarko Now Favors Occidental Offer Over Chevron Deal

first_img Share Richard Drew/APThe logo for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, April 12, 2019.Anadarko says it plans to end its $33 billion takeover deal with Chevron in favor of a revised bid by Occidental Petroleum.Occidental’s offer is worth about $57 billion in cash and stock, including debt and book value of non-controlling interest. Chevron’s offer would be worth about $50 billion by the same metric.Last month Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said it would put up $10 billion in financing for Occidental.Anadarko, which is based in The Woodlands, said its board determined Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s offer was superior. Under its deal, Chevron has until Friday to make a revised proposal or a new offer.Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will have to pay a $1 billion fee if it ends the deal with Chevron Corp.Shares of Anadarko edged higher before the market open on Tuesday. Chevron’s stock declined slightly.last_img read more

Daedalus catches cyberattacks realtime

first_img NASA computer servers vulnerable to attack: audit According to a NICT video on DigInfo TV, “the sphere in the center represents the Internet, and the circles moving around it represent networks under observation. The state of an attack is shown using 3-D graphics, and can be viewed from any perspective.”Today’s cyber-attacks represent an assortment of malware via USB memory stick, mail attachments, and zero-day exploits. Daedalus can act as an alert system for the cyber-attacks; it can see if a USB flash drive with a virus infects a machine, for example. Daedalus can identify and isolate the malignant traffic on-screen, sending an email to support staff and displaying a red alert through its user interface.Further descriptions of an attack showing up realtime are provided in the video demo:”The blue part in this organization shows IP addresses that are used, and the black part shows addresses that are not used. This character indicates an alert. When you click on the alert, a message showing the cause appears. In this case, only two packets have been sent. But because the packets go from an address that’s used to an address that’s not used, this indicates that a virus is starting to spread within the organization.” The system sends out an alert, saying, ‘This IP address of yours is spreading a virus using this protocol at this time’.”Daedalus is designed to be used together with conventional systems, to improve network security within organizations. “We previously created a system called nicter for observing cyber-attacks. We also built an observation network in Japan, called the Darknet Observation Network, to cover IP addresses not used in nicter,” said a NICT source in the video. The nicter is a system for early detection and in-depth analysis of cyber-attacks. That word stands for Network Incident Analysis Center for Tactical Emergency Response. NICT is to provide Daedalus free of charge to educational institutions where nicter sensors can be installed. NICT will also transfer access to the system to Clwit, a company described as a Tokyo-based business providing Internet security countermeasures. According to reports, Clwit will develop it into the product, SiteVisor. Where administrators may have to comb through hundreds of lines of server logs to isolate a problem, the Daedalus system can reveal where attackers are focusing their flood of packets, as a stream of arrows moving along iridescent lines. Explore further More information: (Phys.org) — Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) has developed a national cyber-attack alert system that can render network attacks as visible in realtime. The system, announced earlier this month and showcased at Interop Tokyo 2012, is called Daedalus, standing for Direct Alert Environment for Darknet and Livenet Unified Security. The system views computers for any suspicious activity and if it spots an attack it can visualize its progression as it moves through the network. It sees how data flows through the network and looks for inconsistencies. center_img © 2012 Phys.Org via Diginfo Citation: Daedalus catches cyber-attacks realtime (2012, June 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-daedalus-cyber-attacks-realtime.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.last_img read more

Best of Last Week Map of universe questioned violent history of our

first_img(Phys.org) —It’s been a quirky week for physics as a study finds weird magic ingredient for quantum computing—a team of researchers with the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing found that an odd aspect of quantum theory called contextuality is a necessary resource to achieve what’s been described as the bit of magic needed for universal quantum computation. Also, map of the universe questioned: Dwarf galaxies don’t fit standard model—the mismatch is calling into question the standard model of cosmology, which no doubt has a lot of space scientists nervous. And who’d of thought that after years of geological study, that researchers would find new evidence for oceans of water deep in the Earth—beneath the United States, no less. In another bit of quirkiness, 55-year-old dark side of the Moon mystery is solved—turns out the lack of maria was due to a temperature gradient that came about as a result of the way our celestial partner was formed. © 2014 Phys.org Study finds weird magic ingredient for quantum computing Citation: Best of Last Week – Map of universe questioned, violent history of our faces and resistant bacteria found in food (2014, June 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-06-week-universe-violent-history.html In completely unrelated news, a breakthrough of sorts has been achieved by a team of researchers at Penn State as they announce rescue of Alzheimer’s memory deficit achieved by reducing ‘excessive inhibition’—it’s not a cure, of course, but a promising new way of treating the disease. And a team at the University of Utah is wondering if our countenance evolved into the shapes we see today as a means of minimizing damage due to people punching each other in the face; they wonder did violence shape our faces? That might explain a lot.More practically, a team at Rice University has found a way to mimic the impressive skills of the Stenocara beetle—it pulls water out of morning fog and holds onto it for a long time—they’ve announced: nanotube forests drink water from arid air—modified carbon nanotubes that allow for harvesting water from the air for long-term storage.And finally, news that should have us all worried as antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in food products for the first time—a squid at a fish market in Canada was found to have Pseudomonas in it, not a particularly bad bug, but one that could get into the human gut and help much deadlier bacteria such as E. coli become resistant. Is the day coming sooner than we thought when we won’t have any useful antibiotics? Let’s hope not.center_img Explore further An EarthScope map illustrates the location of seismometers throughout North America. The EarthScope scientific community conducts multidisciplinary research across the Earth sciences utilizing freely available data from instruments that measure motions of the Earth’s surface, record seismic waves, and recover rock samples from depths at which earthquakes originate. 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.last_img read more

Costa Rica is giving away its fishing resources says opposition candidate José

first_imgNo related posts. Concerns over the future of Costa Rica’s aggressive fishing practices were at the center of a discussion with Broad Front Party presidential candidate and lawmaker José María Villalta Wednesday afternoon on LA Talk Radio in the United States and locally on Rainforest Radio.Villalta, who was one of the top three leading candidates in a recent poll, said that water was “Costa Rica’s principle resource,” and accused the government of “giving away” the country’s natural resources to large industrial fishing companies.  Tico Times Editor-in-Chief David Boddiger and Rainforest Radio’s Jani Schulz interviewed the presidential aspirant Wednesday afternoon on Schulz’s LA Talk Radio Show, “Jana of the Jungle.” The lawmaker said that reforming the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (INCOPESCA) was needed to protect the country’s marine resources and fight poverty in coastal regions. “INCOPESCA is a mess,” Villalta observed.The 36-year-old Broad Front Party lawmaker and popular opposition candidate said that there was no way for the institute to achieve its stated goals of protecting Costa Rica’s marine resources while also incentivizing the fishing industry. The conflict of interest at the heart of INCOPESCA is further exacerbated by the majority presence of fishing industry leaders on the institute’s board of directors. “They oversee themselves so there’s no oversight. It’s like having thieves run the police,” Villalta said. “The Board of Directors is made up of the biggest industrial fishing operations and they have no incentive to change [the way they do business].”The lawmaker said that reform of the institute and other marine issues would be priorities for his administration.“If there were reform, we could better protect our resources, and make sure the national fishing fleet would benefit, generating more jobs, reducing poverty. It would be a situation where everyone wins: the public, the workers. It’s not just an environmental problem, it’s a social problem.” He recommended the environmental oversight duties tasked to INCOPESCA be passed on to the Environment and Energy Ministry or another government body to avoid the conflict of interest. Villalta also said he hopes to see small-scale fishermen represented on the board.Villalta added that the lack of job opportunities, some displaced by overfishing, in many communities along Costa Rica’s coasts have made fishermen vulnerable to drug traffickers, who have been known to co-opt their vessels to run cocaine and other illegal substances.The candidate said that if the government would charge the actual value of the fishing licenses — especially for tuna — the country would have the financial resources to invest in its Coast Guard to fight illegal fishing and provide extension services to help small-scale fishermen improve their catch and fish sustainably. “This is our fight: a development model that generates well-being for the people but at the same time allows us to protect the beauties of Costa Rica for future generations,” Villalta told the hosts. Listen to the entire interview here and read more about Villalta’s campaign (in Spanish) here. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

In an excellent interview for Cliff Küles Notes

first_imgIn an excellent interview for Cliff Küle’s Notes, legendary speculator Doug Casey reveals the process he used in creating his latest book, Totally Incorrect, why he speaks out with his contrarian, libertarian perspective that often goes against mainstream American currents, and goes into detail on why he’s bearish short term but a long-term optimist for humanity. Learn more about Totally Correct and order your copy today.last_img

Interviewed by Louis James Editor International

first_img(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator) Ed. Note: In the economic turmoil of the last five years, a lot has transpired. World markets lost nearly half their value in the panic, but have since recovered – albeit only in nominal value, with a massive lost opportunity cost over that time, and inflation taxing the real worth of those gains. Yet, throughout that time, one market sector has done surprisingly well – rebounding quickly and decisively from market lows, and growing precipitously during the climb out of the hole. That industry? Technology. From market bottom to today’s record-breaking Dow Jones Industrial Average levels, Alex Daley has been seeing us through the maze of high-technology investments – and doing so quite profitably, we might add. Today, we talk with Alex about what’s happening in technology and whether that bull run has the steam to continue. But before we begin, a brief announcement: For liquidity reasons, one of our analysts needs to sell some small positions in Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ISIS) and Curis Inc. (CRIS), but will wait until subscribers first have an option to do the same if they wish. This announcement is to comply with Casey Research ethics and trading policies and does not constitute a change in our recommendation for these companies. L: Alex, it’s been more than two years since we last sat down for one of these conversations, and the world has changed considerably since then. Can you update us on how tech investments look in the current context? Alex: Sure. I agree with the Casey consensus on the macroeconomic picture – that is, the direction the US dollar is headed, the US economy, and that of the Eurozone. Long term, government overspending is a limiting factor on economic growth. It will ultimately reduce savings, increase taxes, and generally continue to be a liability thrust upon society. We can already see the beginnings of that today. However, other than the momentary market panics that will ensue as a result of this, the trend for technology investments is very strong, and for the long term. L: What makes you so sure? Alex: Three reasons. The first is that at a time when companies are afraid to hire – as we’ve had for the last five years – technology tends to advance very quickly. Managers deploy the cash they have on hand in new technologies that reduce their need for human labor, streamline operations, and reduce costs. This has led to several of the explosive growth stories we’ve seen in technology over the last two years, such as Big Data. L: As it happens, I was recently visiting a mine where I saw an elaborate and extensive use of robots and automation in the processing mill. It looked very expensive to me, but the mine manager told me the robots saved them tons of money; they never get tired, take no coffee breaks, and are immune to repetitive motion injuries – the one we were looking at moved 50-pound rock samples 24/7/365. I found it striking to see this use of technology in such a basic industry. I mean, lifting rocks is not something I associate with NASA – unless they’re on another planet. Alex: Absolutely. Robotics is an extremely high-growth field these days. This brings me to the second reason technology is such a robust, long-term trend, and that’s the major investment that has gone on for decades in R&D. One set of companies in today’s economy is hunkering down in the face of economic turmoil, cuts in government spending, and so on. That has investors in another set of companies – those that have been pouring money into R&D – stepping in with innovations that solve problems and cut costs. New approaches to old markets, from the mining robotics you mentioned to advances like software-defined networking and in-memory databases are finding not just acceptance, but rapid adoption, as larger and more established companies in all sectors seek ways to streamline operations. If anything, this has actually accelerated since 2008; you can find dozens and dozens of new startups every day. Many of these are now in intelligent systems, data mining, robotics, and biological technologies like genomics research. All of these areas were previously hard problems to tackle, because of the sheer computational power needed. That has gotten so cheap today, even compared to just ten years ago, we can now do things on a practical – commercial – scale that weren’t even imaginable a decade earlier. That’s driving the best investments today, which lie in intelligent systems and deep analysis (and the discoveries they enable), increasing productivity while reducing labor. L: What about fundamental research? Does basic science suffer at a time like this? Alex: To some degree, of course. Whether it should be or not, the fact is government is one of the major funders of basic scientific research in the modern world, so there have been cuts. However, there are multiple factors still driving significant fundamental R&D spending at the corporate level. For instance, in pharmaceuticals – an industry with approximately $750 billion in annual revenue, the second- or third-largest industry in the world – there is a massive patent cliff now arriving and slated to continue for the next three to five years. Over these coming few years, the big players are set to lose hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues, as the patents on their old chemical drugs expire. That is driving many companies to invest in new technologies. Both the established companies and hungry entrepreneurs have seen this coming, sometimes starting decades ago, and we’ve seen a massive investment in new biotech treatments that has accelerated in recent years. This has spread into genomics, lipidomics, proteomics, and really, a deep study into all the things people are made of in order to find new therapies. I can’t overstate how huge this research effort has been. L: That’s interesting – not just because of the investment opportunities this implies, but because there’s a silver lining: a lot of conventional medicines are about to become much cheaper… a flood of newly available generic drugs from India? Alex: Yes, but it’s not so simple. Not everyone has the knowledge or technical ability to produce these chemicals, especially to the high quality standards required for human use. Japan is a more likely source than China or India, at least in the near term – cheap labor is not the same advantage it would be in other areas. But yes, there will be a shift. However, most of these drugs are not really cures for most diseases, but “maintenance” treatments that address some of their symptoms, such as pain. This is the so-called “small molecule” chemical approach of the 20th century. The 21st century approach is to understand how a disease works and work on its underlying causes. The diseases that cost us the most money are long-term things like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Those three alone account for more than 50% of medical spending today, by some estimates. Thus, this is where the most biotechnology research is focused. L: I understand they are making major advances – not just finding ways to treat cancer symptoms, but to cure the disease? Alex: Well, yes, but bear in mind that cancer is not one disease. There are about 145 ailments that we collectively refer to as cancer or oncological diseases. There are tons of companies working on this. There’s Seattle Genetics, which is working to make chemotherapy more targeted and effective; Curis, which is working on blocking biological pathways for cancer; and countless others. We’ve talked about both of these before, and both have proven not only to be advancing excellent technologies, but have been excellent investments as well. The brute computational force and unique biological techniques needed to crack the genetic codes relevant to cancer has resulted in major advances in other fields of medical research as well. Cancer treatment is a multibillion-dollar–a-year industry. It’s such a big target that the amount of research going on in the field is almost unfathomable. This has produced many breakthroughs, such as reducing the cost of sequencing the genome of a human being from about a billion dollars to about a thousand – while reducing the time needed for the process from ten years to about one day. This is a major improvement in the ability of scientists to study the mechanisms that drive life itself – and what can go wrong – at a core, chemical level. L: Such as? In our most recent issue of Casey Extraordinary Technology, we covered a company that’s working on a disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is the number-one cause of blindness in seniors in the US, and millions of people around the world have it. Its pervasiveness is increasing as our population ages, and really, we have no effective treatment for it. We can slow it, but we can’t stop it, and we certainly can’t reverse it. We’ve picked one company out of dozens in the field that we think has a very good chance of really making a dent, particularly against wet AMD, which is the most common kind, by focusing on the lipids – the fat molecules – that are involved in the onset of AMD. Without the R&D investment into cancer and biologics in general, its work would not have even been possible. But with rapidly improving tools giving birth to new insights by the day, the pipeline of biological treatments like this one is growing dramatically. L: So, despite the economic turmoil of the last few years, the money is still there for research, and progress is still being made – and investments in commercial application of these new technologies are working out? Alex: Yes. What’s interesting about this market, though, is that it’s your big, established players that struggle the most. This is not an environment in which to be jumping into the big companies that have always been there in the past – this is to say you should not be index investing right now. Instead, you have to focus on companies that have demonstrable revenue growth locked in. For example, while Microsoft and Intel have been struggling, Apple, over the past five years, has been a stark contrast. However, as a rule of thumb, the biggest companies suffer the most during hard economic times, as they have the most to lose. And when the markets are at all-time highs, like right now, that poor performance will be reflected more in share prices than when all boats are rising, like in the period following a secular low. So, when investing in the large caps, now is the time to be choosy. Those same hard times, however, are nothing less than great opportunities for the startups that have new, better, faster, cheaper ideas. L: For example? Alex: Oracle is really struggling right now. A slew of new Big Data companies have been very successful selling more economic solutions to the data problems Oracle was handling for decades. These little companies are doing it cheaper, faster, and with a better interface that’s accessible to business people. These products take analytics out of the province of nerds, if you will, and put it into the hands of executives, marketers, and everyone else. Microsoft is struggling with the smartphone revolution, and Dell and Hewlett-Packard are suffering from the shift to tablets and more mobile computing. The personal-computer industry has, for the first time ever, shrunk, as governments, businesses, and individuals have held off on repurchases. Again, we see the big players affected the most; the majority are worse off than they were five years ago. However, at the lower end of the technology food chain, at the startup or junior technology level, there’s much more market opportunity. The amount of venture capital such companies have been able to raise and the amount of research they’ve been able to conduct has been virtually unaffected by the economic downturn. If anything, it has allowed them to grow faster – and given them more reason to. L: I am again struck by the parallels between what you’re describing and the junior resource sector I focus on. Rising costs hurt the big producing companies, but don’t change the enormous addition of value shareholders see when an exploration company goes from having nothing to making a huge, rich mineral discovery. A tech startup also goes from having nothing to having a solution or improvement people need and will pay for – all the more so in hard times. Alex: Yes, precisely. And unlike, say, a company searching for oil or copper, there is no commodity price fluctuation that’s going to drive the stock one way or another. And if a company does “discover” a new technology, it doesn’t run out when they mine or pump it all out; it can continue paying dividends for years and years. At the end of the day, they are turning intellectual capital into a product or service, which, if successful in the market place, returns financial capital on their investment. They are literally inventing value, and that’s largely independent of the vicissitudes of broader markets. That’s how some of the more successful technology companies – Apple, Microsoft, and so on – have returned tens of thousands of percent gains for their early shareholders. L: I hate to admit it, but most tech also has the advantage of being perceived as cool – if not actually necessary and beneficial for society – whereas mining is a dirty business increasingly unwelcome just about everywhere. With the possible exception of military research, tech companies are in greater harmony with the modern ethos pervading society. Alex: Even military research into new technologies can have that same kind of social approval and acceptance. Outside of the big defense contractors like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, the companies that are doing the best in military tech are the ones focused on getting human beings off the battlefields and out of harm’s way. Things like using robots to disarm explosives, survey the sea for submarines, or fly over hostile territory are seeing massive investment from the military these days. But it doesn’t stop there. The military pays for research and may or may not use the results, but there are often commercial applications of the same technology that make our lives better and safer – like the mine robots you saw. The software for self-driving cars is another good example – those self-piloted Google cars use software developed by the military. There is certainly something to be said for the overall positive impact of technological development on society, though, of course, there are always prices to be paid. For example, as we move to more and more automated and robotic systems, there will be less and less need for manual labor. For example, Amazon recently purchased a company that makes robot-operated distribution warehouses – Amazon currently operates dozens of huge warehouses employing many people. For Amazon, it’s the same as with your mining company; robots don’t twist the wrong way and hurt their backs – and if they do, it’s a two-hour service call, not a six-week workman’s comp lost time incident. A social shift is coming, ready or not, when there is no longer a need for blue-collar work. L: The world is changing, that’s for sure. What was the third reason you mentioned when we started, the third factor that’s going to keep the technology sector growing? Alex: The third reason is precisely that change. New mechanisms for productivity help drive existing businesses to be more efficient, and that is always in demand – especially during tough economic times. And, yes, the last 20 or 30 years of R&D is really just starting to peek its head into the markets. Everything from robotics to genetics to artificial intelligence are just now making their way to true commercial viability. The last five years of economic fear have created an innovation vacuum at the top of the tech stratosphere. This has opened opportunities for startup companies to seize upon the reticence of their much larger competitors – a gap early-stage venture investors pounced on aggressively. That is just now starting to show in public markets. These three forces together have conspired to make an excellent environment for the more aggressive technology investor. Large corporations are either scrambling to find their footing or scrambling to buy companies that already have. Gone are the days, for the moment, of mega-mergers and goliaths stomping out the little guys. For the time being, nimble little mice are running circles around the scared majority of elephants. You can see it with the emergence of software-defined networking, which is threatening the Internet’s big plumbing providers. You can see it with tablets wreaking havoc on the PC makers. And with Big Data. L: You keep mentioning this “Big Data” phrase – which I hear a lot in the news lately too. Can you elaborate? Alex: It’s about mining the enormous quantities of information companies and organizations collect all the time. Traditional “row-based” databases have been the standard since E.F. Codd invented the relational database in the 1970s. That technology hasn’t changed in a major way since that time – until recently. The explosion in processing speeds and implosion of data storage and retrieval costs have completely changed the way we can do data calculations now. It’s not actually one technology, but several that have come together, driven by companies like Google with mind-bogglingly huge datasets. Formerly proprietary stuff that Google used to keep behind closed doors has turned into open-source code that enables many businesses to harness the richness of the data they have accumulated, for the first time, really. We’re talking truly in-depth analytics that enables companies to more fully understand just about any trend or problem facing their business. This is, again, bad for the likes of Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft, but it’s been a boon for startups. Technologies like Hadoom, column-oriented databases, and in-memory databases, among many others, are all shrinking the time and skill required to garner insights from massively large databases. L: Example? Alex: The most important applications are on the fundamental level of analyzing and understanding a business. For example, if you’re an accountant trying to go through millions and millions of reimbursement receipts looking for fraud – or suppose you’re a research scientist trying to go through the gigabytes and gigabytes of data generated by taking even a handful of human genomes, looking for similarities among people in order to pinpoint the causes of certain diseases. Either of these tasks is incredibly data-intensive – the sort of thing that used to require a supercomputer to be able to tackle. Today, those searches are much, much faster, and can be done with relatively cheap, off-the shelf hardware bolted to a rack. We can now take on almost any kind of question. Retailers are looking for patterns in what kind of products to put next to each other on the shelves of their stores to increase sales. Zara, for example, has been a smashing international success in the clothing retail business, based partly on its sense of fashion, but also on the use of a fantastic inventory-management system. This has made Zara’s founder one of the richest men in the world, rivaling even Carlos Slim. This is what Big Data can do for you, and as data analytics get faster and cheaper, we’re going to see more and more mining of this data to drive productivity, marketing, etc. L: This may be an aside, but isn’t there a Big Brotherish side to this? You couple Big Data with the proliferation of cameras throughout the world, and it’s a bit frightening. Alex: You know, people said the same thing about the advent of the automobile, which was very bad for the horse industry… and airplanes – people were never meant to fly! L: [Laughs] I’ve been called many things, but never a Luddite! Alex: [Chuckles] We all become Luddites in our own time. That may be the one lesson the steady march of technological progress has for us, despite all objections. But yes, you’re right; as the ability to process massive quantities of data in real time increases, the ability of people to apply that to spy on others increases dramatically. In the last election, both the Obama and Romney camps were talking up their use of Big Data approaches to analyzing and managing their campaigns. We’re just going to have to get used to the fact that modern life produces reams of data about us each, individually, and that is going to be analyzed and made use of. On the plus side, it also means we’ll have smarter systems – better traffic management, for instance – and more individualized products and services. Imagine if TV became as relevant to us as Google search results. There is nothing technological stopping cable companies from delivering targeted ads via all those millions of set-top boxes. If they can use your data to show ads you’re more likely to respond to, then they can show fewer ads and charge more for them. In that scenario, the cable company can make four times as much money with half the ads, which improves its bottom line, produces better results for advertisers, and results in a better viewing experience for the viewer. Win–win-win. Retailers, restaurants, car companies, doctors, and so on will know our individual needs and be able to serve us better. Good with the bad. L: I just hope I won’t have to have my eyes surgically replaced to avoid unwanted advertisements or invasive government interference, like in the movie Minority Report. But okay, I get it. So, with all of this going on, what are your favorite tech investments today? Alex: With the S&P 500 having reached the level it has today, the most important thing to remember is to cherry-pick the best companies. Contrarian investments work very well these days, such as companies with strong fundamentals that are out of favor with the market. For instance, we recently opened and closed a position in Hewlett-Packard in six months, a very successful investment in our new BIG TECH newsletter. With so many stock prices at multiyear highs and breaking through to higher levels, you have to be very careful. You can’t just buy the index and hope to come out well. By being a contrarian in a market this frothy – which tends to overreact to both positive and negative news – you can make a lot of money. L: With so many stocks riding high and so many business models becoming obsolete, do you ever recommend taking short positions? Alex: We don’t have any short positions in our letters today, but I think we’re on the cusp of doing so again. We’ve had success with such plays in the past when we’ve seen bubbles form. But back to my point: you have to be a contrarian regarding the big companies, thanks to the bubble forming in large-cap investments, but not so much for the smaller ones. There are so many, no Wall Street analyst can follow them all, so there are many that have escaped the hype. By being intrepid detectives, we can find great companies before the big guys have caught on. You want to be there before their revenues start to rise. That’s where we make our biggest wins, the 100%, 200%, or 300% gains. L: Sounds like what I do, applied in a different world. Alex: It really is quite similar, in many ways. Any investor who finds himself or herself at home with the junior resource sector should do well in the tech sector. In any speculative market like that, it’s all about separating signal from noise. That’s what we do here at Casey Research, in all our different divisions. L: Very well, then. Makes sense to me – thanks for the update. As I mentioned in Monday’s Daily Dispatch, investing in more of your picks is definitely on my to-do list this year. Alex: You’re welcome. I’ll do my best for you. L: I’m sure you will.last_img read more

Pus from a cowpox sore Gross Yes But it also pl

first_imgPus from a cowpox sore. Gross? Yes. But it also played the starring role in a brilliant science experiment more than 200 years ago, the results of which would ultimately save millions of lives. Scholars believe the disease called smallpox first appeared around 10,000 BCE, in the early agricultural settlements of northeastern Africa. It then spread throughout the developing world via merchants and trade routes and military conquests, devastating our species for many centuries thereafter. In 18th century Europe, smallpox killed approximately 400,000 people annually. That’s equivalent to wiping out the entire population of Atlanta every year. Those who did survive the scourge were left with disfiguring scars and often without sight. It was common knowledge for hundreds of years that survivors of smallpox were subsequently immune to the disease. And the process of inoculation (also known as “variolation”)—which involved the risky subcutaneous delivery of the smallpox virus into an arm or leg of a nonimmune individual—was well known in Europe by the 1720s. But it was not until a man named Edward Jenner came along in 1796 that the fight against smallpox would take a giant leap forward. Jenner hypothesized that cowpox—a much less dangerous disease than smallpox—could induce immunity to smallpox. To test his idea, Jenner scraped pus from a milkmaid’s cowpox blisters and used it to inoculate an eight-year-old boy named James Phipps (after obtaining his parents’ permission, of course). A far cry from the elaborate clinical trials of today, isn’t it? But it worked. Phipps developed a mild fever and some discomfort from the injection but recovered quickly and was subsequently shown to be immune to smallpox. Jenner’s work marked the beginning of the modern practice of vaccination. And vaccines have saved millions of lives since. Normally, when we refer to these types of traditional vaccines, we’re talking about killed or weakened microbes (or parts of microbes), i.e., pathogens that stimulate an immune response without causing the disease (hopefully). According to the National Cancer Institute: When the immune system encounters these substances through vaccination, it responds to them, eliminates them from the body, and develops a memory of them. This vaccine-induced memory enables the immune system to act quickly to protect the body if it becomes infected by the same microbes in the future. In other words, the vaccines that we know today are preventative. They are meant to keep you from getting a disease. But scientists are developing new types of vaccines called therapeutic vaccines; and as the name implies, these vaccines are intended to actually cure diseases. One of the diseases scientists hope to treat with these new types of vaccines is cancer. Cancer drug development today is focused on targeted therapies that go beyond the traditional crude mix of “slash, burn, and poison” (surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy) to deliver therapeutic effects with reduced toxicity. On paper, cancer vaccines are the perfect addition to the more targeted, less toxic drug arsenal. Simply “train” a patient’s immune system to recognize and destroy tumor cells, and let nature do the rest. The notion of using the immune system to launch an attack on cancer has actually been around for some time. The basic idea is to rouse the immune system by presenting it with antigens associated with tumor cells. Ideally, the immune system would not only seek out and destroy the tumor cells, but it would remember the abnormal antigens and be ready to mount a new attack if the tumor were to recur. It’d be great if it were just that simple. In practice, however, it’s been far more complicated. The most difficult challenge is the fact that a tumor is not really a pathogen; at its core, it’s a collection of aggressively growing cells that can’t stop dividing. It’s not a foreign invader, nor does it “infect” healthy cells, as do bacteria and viruses. So launching the immune system against cancer cells essentially involves turning the body’s defense mechanisms against a part of itself. And that’s not the only practical problem with cancer vaccines. For instance, there’s also the relatively recent discovery that tumors can somehow actively induce local immunosuppression. Thus, the annals of biotech R&D are littered with more than a decade’s worth of promising therapeutic cancer vaccines that failed to show clinical efficacy. To date, in fact, only one such vaccine has come to market to help treat cancer in humans, Dendreon’s Provenge. Provenge became the first FDA-approved therapeutic cancer vaccine in April of 2010. While the drug represents a breakthrough technology (and remains the only such drug in use today), it’s a completely uneconomic solution to the problem. Here’s why: The vaccine is created by isolating white blood cells from a patient’s blood through a procedure called “leukapheresis.” These cells are shipped off to the company’s lab, where they are exposed to chemicals that turn them into special cells called dendritic cells, then cultured with certain proteins designed to trigger an immune response against prostate cancer. Finally, the dendritic cells are shipped back to the physician and intravenously administered to the patient. In other words, the drug is customized to each patient. Not only that, Dendreon can only produce a single patient-specific dose at a time. Needless to say, manufacturing costs of Provenge—and thus the cost to the end user—are extremely high. Improvements are on the horizon, however. A company called ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (IMUC) is also developing a patient-specific therapeutic cancer vaccine that has shown great promise in clinical trials. The difference is that it can manufacture approximately 20 doses at once for the patient, compared to Dendreon’s one. It doesn’t stop there. Most of the therapeutic cancer vaccines now in development are designed to be off the shelf rather than produced for each patient, and are tailored to groups with perhaps multiple tumor types rather than individuals. Canada-based Immunovaccine, for example, has a drug in development that combines seven antigens found in breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers in a sustained-release formulation. Meanwhile, over at Harvard, researchers are attempting to overcome the logistical challenges of therapeutic cancer vaccines in a whole different way—by creating an implantable device designed to recruit and reprogram immune cells to attack tumors. If this is successful, there would be no need to extract cells from the patient and ship them off to a lab to be primed for tumor targeting, as is the case with Provenge. Phase I safety data for this approach are not due for a couple of years, but it’s another exciting avenue being explored. Of course, we can still expect to see big failures on the road to a robust pipeline of safe and effective therapeutic cancer vaccines (the widely hyped GlaxoSmithKline melanoma vaccine candidate MAGE-A3 just went bust in late-stage trials), but the future is still bright. Citigroup analyst Andrew Baum reckons that oncology immunotherapies, which include vaccines and therapeutic antibodies, will generate sales of up to $35 billion a year within the next decade and in the process will create the biggest drug class in history, according to Reuters. If you are wondering which company in this space we at Casey Extraordinary Technology have hitched our wagon to, sign up for a risk-free test drive of CET, and you’ll have access to our entire current portfolio and archives.last_img read more

Ramsey Orta was indicted in the choking death of E

first_imgRamsey Orta was indicted in the choking death of Eric Garner. Mr. Orta was not the one who did the choking… that was Officer Daniel Pantaleo. No, Mr. Orta was not one of the handful of cops who subdued the untaxed-cigarette-selling Garner. Ramsey Orta shot the video that we have all been watching… the video that a Staten Island grand jury evidently didn’t watch very closely or simply ignored. A different grand jury in Staten Island indicted Orta in August, a month after he shot the Garner video, on a weapons charge. Orta, police allege, slipped a .25-caliber handgun into a teenage accomplice’s waistband outside a New York hotel. Mr. Orta testified before the grand jury that the police falsely brought the charges in retaliation for documenting Garner’s death. The grand jury rejected his testimony and charged him with single felony counts of third-degree criminal weapon possession and criminal firearm possession. “They got the shooter … of the video,” Jon Stewart quipped on The Daily Show. “Let that be a lesson to you kids out there. Photographing crime does not pay.” The protection of government agents and buildings of the criminal justice industrial state is nothing new. Among the crimes perpetrated by the British Crown listed by Thomas Jefferson and the other founders in the Declaration of Independence was: For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States What’s old is new again. Create something grand-sounding like “grand jury” to allow government to protect its own from punishment. For citizens the state doesn’t like, there’s always some opaque law to ensnare the poor rubes government wants punished. Meanwhile government can always pin something on anyone. Everyone’s breaking the law, as Harvey Silverglate writes in Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent. Silverglate tells of Justice Robert Jackson who, in 1940, told a gathering, “If the prosecutor is obliged to choose his cases, it follows that he can choose his defendants.” This is the dark heart of government: “[T]he most dangerous power of the prosecutor: that he will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted.” Prosecutors can succumb to “picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him.” Silverglate explains that the average busy professional goes to sleep “unaware that he or she likely committed several federal crimes that day.” Prosecutors pursue with impunity, as Radley Balko writes in the Huffington Post: Prosecutors and their advocates say complete and absolute immunity from civil liability is critical to the performance of their jobs. They argue that self-regulation and professional sanctions from state bar associations are sufficient to deter misconduct. Yet there’s little evidence that state bar associations are doing anything to police prosecutors, and numerous studies have shown that those who misbehave are rarely if ever professionally disciplined. … In the end, one of the most powerful positions in public service—a position that carries with it the authority not only to ruin lives, but in many cases the power to end them—is one of the positions most shielded from liability and accountability. And the freedom to push ahead free of consequences has created a zealous conviction culture. While prosecutors prosecute arbitrarily, at least 1,034 people have been killed by US police since January 1, 2014, according to the Killed By Police Facebook page. Meanwhile, 108 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty during that same period, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. So the odds against the public are 10 to 1. How many of the police shootings were justified? It’s hard to know. Because as obsessed as the government is with statistics, the state doesn’t see the need to keep track of justified vs. unjustified shootings. “We don’t have a mandate to do that,” William Carr, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which collects crime data from every corner of the country, told the Las Vegas Review Journal. The paper did a five-part exposé on police shootings in Las Vegas and found that all were deemed justified, even in cases where cops were clearly in the wrong. Clarence Darrow anticipated America’s prison nation of today in his 1902 book, Resist Not Evil. He explained that all areas of life become part of the penal code, with armies of people operating as police, legislators, and the court system, to enforce these laws through force and violence. The state is set up not to administer justice, but to punish. No victims are compensated, while the state gets its pound of flesh and spends billions of dollars doing it. America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. One in 100 of its citizens is behind bars, judged by a monstrosity created only to mete out vengeance. Unfortunately, the citizenry is all too happy to cheer while people they don’t know are sent away for years and decades for what may have been one mistake or violation of a government made-up crime. The fact is, violent crime is decreasing rapidly. The FBI recorded 1.16 million violent crimes in the US in 2013, a 4.4% decline from 2012 and a 37.4% decline from 1994. Adjusting for population growth, the numbers look even better; per-capita violent crime was down 5.1% from 2012, and 48.4% from 1994. Despite the decrease in violent crime, there are 4,575 prisons in operation in the US, more than four times the number of second-place Russia at 1,029. And states must keep their prisons full. “The profit driven prisons put pressure on law enforcement and prosecutors to try to charge and convict individuals of more serious crimes, just to fill prison beds,” reports StoryLeak. A report by In The Public Interest found that two-thirds of states guarantee prison operators high occupancy rates. Three Arizona contracts require 100% occupancy, and three contracts in Oklahoma guarantee 98% occupancy. Two Louisiana contracts guarantee 96% of prison beds will be filled. Meanwhile, the state of Colorado paid $2 million more to prison operators than it would have cost the state to house them in state-run facilities, despite the fact that the rate of crime and the number of convicts in the state fell by a third over the last decade (likely due to medical marijuana being legalized in 2000). What Eric Garner was doing to attract the force of six policemen was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. It’s hard to imagine making any money that way, but as A. Barton Hinkle writes in Reason, Thanks to New York’s laughably high cigarette taxes ($4.35 state plus another $1.60 in the city) and higher prices generally, a pack of smokes in New York City costs $14 or more. That creates a powerful incentive to smuggle smokes in from states such as Virginia, where you can buy a pack for a third of that price. Fill a Ford Econoline van with a few hundred cartons and you can make a nice five-figure profit in a weekend. Some people do. The prison state is fully supported by a self-righteous public who want to feel safe and believe it’s always somebody else doing something wrong. We don’t get to know the perpetrators, and once locked away, these men and women (many of whom are moms and dads) become less like people we might like or identify with. This makes it easy for the public to allow the state to judge, convict, and punish for the most trifling offense. “Garner died because he dared interfere with government reach and government muscle that didn’t want to lose tax revenue to independent operators,” Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass writes. “It’s unlikely that the New York legislature, in creating the crime of selling untaxed cigarettes, imagined that anyone would die for violating it,” Stephen Carter, a Yale University law professor, wrote in the Chicago Tribune. It’s even less likely the legislature would rescind its law. Taxing, convicting, and punishing is the state’s business, and this time it was caught on video.last_img read more

first_img— — Justin’s note: Yesterday, Doug Casey, Rick Rule, and Nick Giambruno showed us the massive potential of gold-backed cryptos. If you missed it, catch up here.Today, in part two of their discussion, the guys take a closer look at this new digital asset…Nick Giambruno: Doug, I personally believe there will never be a gold-backed crypto that can completely stand in for gold. There is simply no substitute for owning physical gold that you can readily hold in your hand.However, owning large amounts of physical gold presents its own challenges. It’s hard to store securely, move long distances, and break down into smaller amounts. A gold-backed crypto can help address these drawbacks.That said, any gold-backed crypto will inevitably have some counterparty risk. Physical gold in your direct possession does not.Instead of being a substitute for owning physical gold in your own possession, I believe gold-backed cryptos are a complementary tool for individuals all around the world to access sound money.What’s your take?Doug Casey: I agree, Nick. You want both. The reasons why cryptos are catching on in the developed world are pretty obvious. We don’t need to go on about that here. I think the real future for cryptos, and this is especially true of gold-backed cryptos, is going to be in the Third World, because 75% of the people on the planet have to use toilet paper currencies – like the Zambian kwacha, the Argentine peso, or the Venezuelan bolívar – that have little value within their countries of issuance and no value at all outside of the borders.Third World people tend to understand gold. It’s tangible, it’s more understandable than just the idea of a cryptocurrency. If they see a crypto that represents gold, in addition to its other advantages, it’s likely to catch fire. People in Third World countries desperately need a currency that allows them to save and transfer wealth reliably. Something of real value, as opposed to just some locally issued government toilet paper. Cryptos in general, and gold-backed cryptos in particular, are a wonderful innovation not just for us but for the impoverished 75% of the world’s people who live in blocked currency countries. Recommended Link Grocery Stores to Start Selling “America’s Oil?”America’s awash in a new oil, and it’s not the shale revolution of the last decade. It’s not natural gas either. This new oil flows from a plant. And in five years, it’s expected to boom into a $100 billion industry. Making it bigger than the snack food, video gaming, and online gambling industries combined. This will be the next mega industry of the decade. Whole Foods declares it’ll be a top seller. Inc. magazine says, “This is the #1 Industry You Need to Be Paying Attention to.” And MSN Money calls this, “The Fastest Growing Industry.” Soon, almost every home in America will have this oil. You get to be one of the first in America to see what this oil is and why it’s going to make lots of investors rich. Our chief analyst Nick Giambruno is going to demonstrate it LIVE on camera. Plus, he’ll give you the chance to see two ways it could hand you the biggest payday of your life. Nick Giambruno: Exactly… why would anyone abandon their wealth to a constantly depreciating government fiat currency, sitting in an insolvent fractional reserve bank when they can easily save a gold-backed crypto?On that note, how does a gold-backed crypto help one with political diversification? Is it a new tool in the toolkit?Doug Casey: I want to emphasize, especially for Americans, that it’s not just a question of what you have and what you’re doing in the market, but where you’re keeping these things. Everyone, not just Americans, should try to have half of their gold, cash, and investments outside of their countries of citizenship and/or residence. You don’t want all of your assets within easy reach of whatever government considers you its milk cow.Nick Giambruno: Rick, what features does a gold-backed crypto need to be credible… redemption, reputable partners, auditability?Rick Rule: The answer to your question is, “yes, all of that is important.”The first thing is that there will be and there have been numerous crypto scams where the promoters of the crypto either caused or paid to cause rapid price escalation in a token that had no intrinsic value, and whose price ultimately fell to its intrinsic value, which is zero.It’s important that investments are made in the architecture of the distributed ledger product, and in the maintenance of the distributed ledger product.The distributed ledger does not – contrary to popular opinion – maintain itself.Bitcoin is an example. That whole process is sustained by miners who are rewarded with Bitcoin. In the absence of something like that, a system crashes.I think it’s important that crypto gold be redeemable and be audited.In the case of Sprott, I think one of the reasons why we were chosen as a partner is because we already manage well over $4 billion in exchange-traded gold products, and we have 20 years of experience with people who want to trade their certificates for physical precious metals and get delivery. We do it every day.Doug will hate me for this, but our gold is stored at the Royal Canadian Mint. We joke that our security is provided by NATO.So I would suggest you examine the architecture of the system, the reliability of the sponsors, and the redeemability and security of the gold behind gold-backed cryptos very carefully.One of the things that’s given me personally great comfort is that of the three-dozen some odd entrants to the market that we’re aware of, we are the ones that have had the broadest adoption from the gold mining community.So if you look at our shareholders registered – Goldcorp, Wheaton Precious Metals, Iamgold, Agnico Eagle – we’ve already done transactions where Goldcorp transferred 3,000 ounces of gold to us in return for ledgers because it saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars in transaction fees. Click here to cash in on America’s new oil boom 3X LARGER than Social Security, it’s YOUR American Right to Collect This CashThanks to Trump’s New “Payout Plan,” you can collect up to $7,980 more this year. The New York Times is saying you can “enjoy a windfall under the plan,” but you must act quickly in order to get your hands on the next check. Click here and see why you could be entitled to this money Recommended Link Nick Giambruno: A gold-backed crypto needs one foot in the real world and one foot in the digital world. Unfortunately, that real world foot is susceptible to government coercion.There are plenty of examples of crypto projects and precious metals initiatives thinking they could flout regulations, no matter how ridiculous they may be. What inevitably happens is they end up painting a big, red target on their backs. The government eventually shuts them down.How could a gold-backed crypto avoid a similar fate today?Rick Rule: Well, when we began in conjunction with our partners developing our own product, we were very aggressive in communicating what we were doing and soliciting feedback from various regulators in both the United States and Canada.While in an ideal world that wouldn’t be a requirement, that’s not the world that Sprott, as a regulated entity, inhabits. The consequence is that we didn’t surprise the regulatory authorities with anything, and we didn’t make any claims whatsoever that we were exempt from regulations that would become proposed.With our product – because it isn’t a token, it’s really a deposit receipt or commodity receipt on the distributed ledger rather than a token – and because we were unsure of the way that the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] would regulate the product, we decided to comply with Know Your Customer regulations.I won’t bore your readers with the arcane details, but it’s important that people understand that this distributed ledger receipt represents actual gold stored by us at the Royal Canadian Mint. It’s redeemable for gold and it’s exchangeable.We have chosen internally to believe that gold-backed cryptos will ultimately attempt to be regulated by the CFTC or by the SEC or one of the banking regulators, and the consequence is that to participate in our offering, you do need to open an account with a participating financial services firm.The lesson that we’ve learned managing institutional money, managing ETFs, is that if you are going to play in investment markets and financial services markets, and think you’re going to circumvent regulation, you’re mistaken. That may or may not sit well with all your readers, but it’s the truth, nonetheless.Nick Giambruno: The value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be wildly volatile. This is a problem for anyone looking to use cryptos in the regular course of business.Gold-backed cryptos, on other hand, should have relatively stable prices. They also allow people to send and receive gold as easily as they send an email.This should make them appealing to merchants, lenders, businesses, investors, escrow services and the like… anyone who wants to conduct business in gold – but also wants the convenience of cryptocurrencies.Businesses could use gold-backed cryptos to pay rent, salaries, or other ordinary expenses. The possibilities are enormous. I think that could open a huge new ecosystem.That’s why I think gold-backed cryptos could create a genuine revolution in finance and why I’m so excited about them in general.The demand for gold-backed cryptos – which is really the demand for sound and convenient money – is potentially enormous. It can be useful to anyone.Do you see this evolution in the gold-backed crypto space playing out?Rick Rule: I absolutely do. If you look at the trading volume and liquidity that gold enjoys today and you add that to that the incredible economic efficiency of the distributed ledger, the ultimate applications that you’re talking about as a transfer mechanism, as a store of wealth, as collateral, an entirely new ecosystem, really are limitless.Nick Giambruno: Doug and Rick, thank you for your time. If readers would like more information about VaultChain they can send an email to TradeWind@sprottglobal.comJustin’s note: As the guys discussed, this is a revolutionary way to make money. To see just how much upside gold-backed cryptos have… and how you can start profiting from specific names today… click here.last_img read more

Grains are the bedrock of civilization They led h

first_imgGrains are the bedrock of civilization. They led humans from hunting and gathering to city-building. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the fruits of three grasses provide the world with 60 percent of its total food: corn, wheat and rice. Aside from energy-rich carbohydrates, grains feed us protein, zinc, iron and essential B vitamins.But rice as we know it is at risk.As humans expel billions of metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere and raze vast swaths of forests, the concentration of carbon dioxide in our air hurries ever higher. That has the potential to severely diminish the nutritional value of rice, according to a new study published on Wednesday in Science Advances. For people who depend heavily on rice as a staple in their diets, such a nutritional loss would be devastating, says Kristie Ebi, a professor at the University of Washington and an author on the study. “When you look at a country like Bangladesh, three out of every four calories comes from rice. Obviously, that means any decline in nutritional value is very significant.”To study how rice responds to different concentrations of carbon dioxide, the researchers grew several varieties of rice in experimental fields in Japan and China. For each variety, they set aside one rice paddy as a control, and one neighboring enclosed rice paddy with tubing running through the field. They blew carbon dioxide out of the tubing, raising the ambient carbon dioxide inside the enclosure to some 580 parts per million, the expected carbon dioxide concentration in the next half century if there are no further attempt to curb emissions or deforestation. “The fields have the same sunshine, same water, same characteristics,” Ebi says. “So the experiment sees what happens to the same rice under different carbon dioxide concentrations.”Ebi says that the rice grown under the elevated carbon scenario lost substantial amounts of protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins per grain. Iron, zinc and protein losses ranged from 5 percent to 20 percent. Vitamins B1 and B5 dropped up to 30 percent, depending on the variety. “Folate [vitamin B9] declines across the nine rice varieties ranged from 10 percent to 45 percent. So, it’s a lot,” she says.Of course, many foods can be a rich source of these essential nutrients, but Ebi says food other than rice is not always available to people. Among the poorest in the world, the grain can make up an overwhelming portion of their diet, Ebi says. “In the paper, we looked at the most rice-dependent countries in Asia. Using a weighting scheme focusing on those with the fewest resources, we estimate this decline in nutrient quality will affect about 600 million people.”A mass deficiency in vitamin B9, also known as folate or folic acid, would have particularly severe public health consequences. The nutrient is critical to fetus development, and a lack of vitamin B9 can result in defects of the brain, spine or spinal cord at birth. “It can be a catastrophic birth anomaly,” Ebi says.The study’s finding is disheartening, if not surprising, to researchers in the field. Scientists already knew that higher carbon dioxide concentrations can decrease protein, zinc and iron levels in important crops, and this study shows a similar effect for B vitamins, says Camilo Mora, a climate change scientist at the University of Hawaii Manoa who was not involved with the new work. “It’s just another piece of evidence to show how bad climate change is,” he says.For non-experts, the phenomenon may seem a little odd, considering carbon dioxide is food for plants. Plants that share the same photosynthesis pathway as rice and wheat do indeed grow larger and produce greater yields in higher carbon dioxide concentrations by creating more carbohydrates, says Lisa Ainsworth, a biologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the U.S. Department of. Agriculture who did not work on the study. But they don’t increase the amount of other nutrients in their grains relative to that yield gain. “They’re basically getting a dilution effect of the nutrients in the grains,” she says.Some varieties of rice may not experience as severe of a nutrient loss as carbon dioxide levels go up. For instance, the rice variety Liang You 84 (a hybrid style grown in China) lost around 45 percent of its vitamin B9 content whereas the Koshihikari rice (a short-grained sushi rice from Japan) lost roughly 30 percent of its B9 content in the elevated carbon scenarios. That knowledge gives researchers an opportunity, given enough funding, to breed climate change-resistant strains of rice.But getting people to switch to new grains is not always easy, Ainsworth says. “I think culturally it is difficult. People eat different rice for different meals and events.”Other strategies are available, too. Investing in ways to increase access to different kinds of food beyond rice would help, for instance, she points out.Or, Mora says, humanity could always work together to mitigate climate change and carbon emissions so the problem doesn’t arise in the first place.Angus Chen is a journalist in New York. He’s on Twitter @angrchen. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Marketing Best Practices to Create Quick Results

first_imgMarketing moves fast, and the fastest way to reach consumers today is through their smartphones. Text marketing allows your message to immediately appear on a consumer’s screen — not buried in their email inbox or on a search results page. In fact, texts have an open rate five times greater than email (98% compared to 20%), according to an Acxiom-supported research study, and SMS is more cost-effective than other forms of marketing such as paid social or direct mail.Most marketing pros have heard about text messaging’s impressive response rates, and many employ this strategy in some form. But for those who have not yet jumped on board, it’s not too late. These best practices will ensure your first text marketing campaign is a success.Read More: Eye Rolls at Pre-Rolls: How to Escape the Trap of Annoying Ads1. Make messages personal and relevantAutomatically insert specific contact data such as a first name or appointment date to personalize messages using tokens. Carefully consider and craft your content — messages should make your customers’ lives better in some way and clearly demonstrate your offering’s relevance to them as a consumer.2. Reserve a great keywordSecure a unique keyword that leads can use to opt-in to receive text messages. Pro tip: Before selecting a keyword, type the word on a mobile device to ensure it won’t be changed by autocorrect when typed. Choose a keyword your customers can easily remember and avoid any special characters. For example, a footwear retail chain might use the keyword SHOES — something simple and contextual. If you’re using a keyword for a short-term campaign, keep the keyword active for a few weeks after the promo has ended to allow for signups by users who may have missed the promotion but are still interested in joining your list.3. Make your message popImages and videos can be powerful in a text message, and a good text marketing platform should allow you to send MMS messages aka picture messaging. Providing visual content beyond the written message will improve text open rates and increase customer engagement. Highlight your product, staff or store using visuals within your text marketing.4. Shorten URLsUse a URL shortener to free up more characters in your messages. With the right link-shortening tool, your team will be able to track and analyze clicks, allowing you to understand how customers engage with your messages. With this information, you can tailor messages to your customers’ needs based on interactions with your message.5. Create urgencyResearch shows that 90 percent of all text messages are read within three minutes of receipt. Leverage the immediacy of text marketing to create a sense of urgency. When your contacts know time or supplies are running out, they will be more likely to act on your offers. Calls to action (CTAs) are also valuable in a marketing text message. Tell your contacts exactly what to do with the information in your texts by prompting them to reply, call or click on a link.6. Make your text offers exclusiveConsumers respond more positively to texts including exclusive offers not found in email or social media. Offer text-only coupons or deals, encouraging customers to share opt-in information with friends and family so more subscribers can benefit from the offer.Read More: 3 Ways Mobile Technology is Changing the Brick-and-Mortar Experience7. Choose a consistent cadenceBoost sign-ups by letting customers know how often they can expect to receive marketing texts before or when they opt-in. Your confirmation text to a new opt-in can include this information along with instructions for how to opt out. Conduct research on how frequently you want to send messages and stick to your rhythm. For consistency and convenience, send your texts through a text-marketing platform with functionality for scheduling messages to be sent at a specific time and responding automatically with a preset message.8. Test campaign typesMany marketers approach text messaging with one use case in mind and are surprised by how many ways there are to use text messages. Take the time to examine which campaign type is best for your audience and marketing goals. Campaigns can include birthday messages, billing reminders and appointment scheduling, just to name a few.9. Respond to repliesText messaging makes it easy to have conversations, and your contacts are already used to conversing over text. If a contact makes the effort to reply to a marketing text, take a few moments to respond. Consumers will appreciate the time you take to answer questions and make a personal connection.Don’t wait to take advantage of this high customer engagement marketing tactic. Try these tips to develop an effective text marketing strategy. Your customers will appreciate interacting with your business in a personal, familiar and accessible medium.Read More: How AI will Change the Game for Influencer Marketing Marketing Best Practices to Create Quick Results Matt ReidApril 25, 2019, 4:00 pmApril 25, 2019 customer engagementEZ TextingMarketing TechnologyQuick ResultsText Marketingtext marketing strategy Previous ArticleData-Driven Marketers Head to the CloudNext ArticlePipeliner Partners with Colleges to Launch Technology in Sales Higher Education Councillast_img read more