All stories and results from the 2004 National 18’s Championships held recently in Coffs Harbour, have now been archived. These stories can now be viewed using the following link: NATIONAL 18’S STORIES AND RESULTS and click on 2004 They can also be viewed using the ‘News Archive’ link on the ATA homepage: NATIONAL 18’S STORIES AND RESULTS NEWS ARCHIVE (all stories will be found under September 2004)
State Rep. Brad Jacobsen this week voted in favor of a compromise plan that will fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges.“We have a responsibility to Michigan residents to fix our roads and bridges, that means putting politics aside and doing what is right for our state,” said Rep. Jacobsen, R-Oxford. “After years of rigorous back and forth discussion, the legislature came together this week to send to the Governor a plan that represents all sides of the debate making sure that we have the highest quality roads at the lowest possible cost.”The finalized plan utilizes allocations from Michigan’s General Fund and creates modest changes in the gas tax and vehicle registration fees to increase revenue. In addition to providing funds solely for road repair and construction, the plan provides $200 million in tax relief by expanding the Homestead Property Tax Credit, aiding middle and low-income families across the state. In order to minimize the burden on Michigan taxpayers, the plan also includes a mechanism that triggers a decrease in the state income tax rate as inflation increases occur over time.“This plan is not perfect, but our situation is not perfect. Neither side of the debate got everything they wanted, but we were able to compromise, putting together a plan that splits funding halfway between re-prioritized spending and new revenue in order to give Michigan residents the reliable roads that they deserve.”The plan now goes to Gov. Snyder for his signature. Categories: News 05Nov Road-funding package heads to Gov. Snyder
The majority of ad markets will see revenues rise this year, according to market research company Warc’s latest International Advertising Forecast, with TV expected to drive much of the growth.Warc said ad spend rose by an estimated 3.6% in 2011, and should grow by a further 4.5% this year. The BRIC markets are expected to grow most rapidly, with ad revenues in Russia up 16.5%, India up by 14%, China rising by 11.5% and Brazil up 8.5%.The news is less positive for Europe, where Italy’s ad market is expected to contract by 0.8%, while France and Germany are likely to see just 1% growth.The UK, buoyed by the Olympic Games in London, should see ad spend up 4.2%.“Without the support from the presidential election and major sports tournaments, the outlook would have been even worse. But there are some bright spots with the data, with TV’s performance looking particularly encouraging,” said Suzy Young, Warc’s data editor.
Discovery-owned sports network Eurosport has launched an Apple Watch app, which will give live scores, updates and player data from the French Open. The app went live at the weekend and will be available until the close of the tennis tournament on June 7.“Eurosport prides itself on being at the forefront of cutting edge technology, providing the best entertainment solutions to sport fans. We are excited to launch this app for the Apple Watch, which supports our digital strategy, spearheaded by Eurosport.com, which hosts over 20 million unique users per month,” said Arnaud Maillard, vice-president of digital media, Discovery Networks International and Eurosport.Tennis fans are able to set up tailored push notifications on the app to get a personalised experience, and can follow the action in nine languages, according to Eurosport.
Tony EmersonReaching “totally new audiences” was one of the top five media and OTT strategies and business models outlined by Microsoft executive Tony Emerson at the OTT TV World Summit in London this morning.Offering a number of case studies for successful OTT deployments, Emerson, who is managing director, worldwide media and cable for Microsoft, said Fuji TV was an example of a non-European company that had reached new, younger audiences by harnessing the power of the cloud.Unlocking new niche markets was Emerson’s second cores strategy, which he said has been exemplified by NGSN, which has bought the US streaming rights to non-top tier international soccer leagues and is offering it to viewers on an over-the top basis.Number three, according to Emerson, was enhancing and growing existing broadcast or linear revenues, as NBCU did by offering streamed coverage of the Sochi Olympics.“Create a better viewing experience” was the fourth strategy, while number five was “create a closer connection to your audience / fans.”Emerson said Real Madrid was a good example of the latter. Microsoft partnered with Real Madrid earlier this year to launch an app for the football club, to help it reach and get more information about the football club’s global fanbase.He said that 95% of Spanish team’s total fanbase turned out to be outside Spain, with Indonesia a particularly large fan market.
In This Issue. * New Home Sales Slumped… * Today’s data… * Brazil and India slide. * Canada to balance budget… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Markets continue to stabilize… Good day.Uh oh, guess what day it is. What day is it Mike? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not hump day. It’s actually Chris Gaffney’s birthday, so all the best to him today. Well, it was another cold start for us in the Midwest but I’m more than willing to deal with that if the weekends turn out nice like we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks. We eased back into the swing of it yesterday, but things really start heating up from here. It looks like the snow and cold weather is being blamed for the most recent housing data as the December new home sales were a big disappointment. Sales fell 7% to a 414k annualized pace while the November figure was revised down to 445k from the original reading of 464k. For all of 2013, there was a total of 428k new homes sold, which was an increase of 16.4% from 2012 and the most since 2008. Just to give some perspective, we saw a record low of 306k in 2011 and then the peak in 2005 at 1.28 million. The report, however, was primarily brushed aside and hasn’t tarnished the brighter outlook that many see going forward. When you boil it all down, new home sales only account for roughly 7% of the residential market, so it didn’t hold as much weight as sales of previously owned homes. As we’ve explained before, new home sales are counted when the contract is signed instead of closed so this data is much more current and often used as a current indicator by economists. As far as the markets are concerned, housing is still on the right path and looking ahead toward a thaw in both capacities. The rest of the data yesterday was all good news as the Dallas Fed manufacturing activity report beat expectations by climbing for a ninth month in a row to 3.8 in January. Nearly every individual component of the report increased as the production index, which is a key measure of the manufacturing conditions, increased to 7.1 from 6 and the new orders component rose to a seven month high of 14.4. I remember watching the news last week and saw where it was snowing in Houston, so the cold weather wasn’t enough to derail activity in Texas. The last bit of data yesterday came in the way of a better January Markit flash report. The data is a preliminary service sector reading that follows the same logic of many others in that a reading of 50 is the dividing line between growth and contraction. The index came in at a four month high of 56.6, which is up from the previous 55.7, and is adding to the optimism for 2014. We have several reports due today, but the markets are already looking ahead to tomorrow with the FOMC meeting. As I mentioned yesterday, December durable/capital goods orders will be the first data out of the gates and both reports are expected to stay on the positive side but show a slowdown as we headed into year end. Actually, the same can be said about the S&P/Case Shiller home price index and consumer confidence, so nothing extreme is being called for at this point. The bottom line is the Fed meeting holds all of the marbles at this point, or should I say the statements and comments following the meeting, so I would expect to see things just wobble along today. For most of the currencies yesterday, it actually wasn’t too bad. The flight to safety eased and the emerging market rout that held control was really confined to two currencies yesterday, which was the Brazilian real and Indian rupee. Government officials in Brazil are stuck between a rock and a rock at this point. The currency lost about 1% yesterday as the central bank president advised they will fight inflation as the currency weakens and basically reiterated what Rousseff said in Davos. The currency markets are interpreting this as interest rates will be on the rise. Normally, prospects of rate hikes are great news for currencies, just look at the pound sterling and the New Zealand dollar recently, but when its seen as desperation and being forced when it’s not warranted by a growing economy, the market can view it as a negative. Growth forecasts for this year have been recently cut to under 2%, so many worry about the implications of higher rates. India is in a similar situation in that economic growth has been running on the low side while inflation has been well above target. Policy makers are considering a change to the inflation targeting framework by using CPI rather than wholesale prices as the benchmark gauge of inflation. There is thought they would shoot for a CPI target of 4% by 2016, but the problem is that CPI averaged about 10% last year compared to wholesale prices at 6.3%. The overall thought is that interest rates will need to remain higher for longer in order to achieve this goal, which in turn, would hinder growth. Not only that, but the general thought in the market is continued tapering by the Fed will equate to less funds available for investment in emerging markets, so that has also contributed to the currency moves. Except for those two currencies, the others either finished the day on positive ground or just barely in the red. Surprisingly enough, the Mexican peso turned in the best scorecard by rising just under 0.75%. There wasn’t much to support its rise, but we did see the December trade surplus increase more than expected, but I think it got a boost by the brighter US outlook floating around yesterday and the fact that its economy is in better shape than many of the other Latin American economies. The Aussie was right behind in second place, but there weren’t any reports to push it upward so it looked to be a case of an oversold currency. The pound sterling rounded out the top three as investors were betting 4th quarter GDP will come in better and put the central bank in a position to raise interest rates sooner than later. This baffles me since Carney just got done saying interest rates aren’t going anywhere, so I’m not sure where or why they are leaning on this. I guess it’s a case of so you’re saying there’s still a chance. Speaking of that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see both the BOE and the Fed move the goalposts as it pertains to their unemployment rate thresholds and future policy. Neither economy is ready for rate hikes, so I can see them both saying something about how unemployment moved faster than expected, but nothing will change until we hit 6% or whatever number they would come up with. The Canadian dollar finished the day down a bit, but Finance Minister Flaherty said there is no doubt they will have a balanced federal budget in 2015. He left some wiggle room if things drastically change, but we’ve heard this all before. If economic growth is healthy and self sustaining, I would see this as a reasonable scenario. In other news, Canadian consumer confidence dropped to a four year low last week but most are looking ahead to Friday when we see November economic growth figures. As I came in this morning, we’re seeing more currencies in positive territory than not with the Indian rupee in the top spot as the central bank did pull the trigger and raise interest rates. The news that got the markets excited was the fact policy makers said they don’t anticipate more rate hikes if inflation stays grounded. We also had an Australian business conditions report rise to a 2 ½ year high in December so the Aussie got a nice boost overnight while the pound lost some steam as 4th quarter growth failed to rise. Economic growth slowed from the third quarter by only increasing .7% but full year growth for 2013 came in at 1.9%, which was the highest since 2007. Then there was this.I was greeted with an email from the Big Boss, Frank Trotter, this morning that I wanted to share, so here you go. “Chris asked me yesterday if I was headed down to Cafayate, Argentina in March. Seems that the Casey Report and letters from John Mauldin have mentioned that I am speaking at Harvest Conference. Well the rumors are true and if you are even slightly inclined to visit then head straight to http://www.lec.com.ar/visit/events/ and check out the proceedings and book your flights now. This will be my fifth or sixth time down and I have to say it gets better every time. If you are inclined towards golf, or equestrian pursuits, or hiking, or wine you’ll find a calling there. And for me the best element is the level of conversation with a raft full of intellectual and engaging people in the charming city square, the clubhouse of the estancia, or out in the countryside. Like the different impacts of economic downturns here in the US, while life is great up in Salta province it’s another world entirely in Buenos Aires. Argentina has been in the news of late as an example of an emerging market gone bad. Never mind the decline from one of the wealthiest countries after World War I to the volatile situation we have seen now for many years. In the past week Argentina has been named as the source of extreme concern as their currency was (finally) devalued. I have personally witnessed the exceptional spread between the official rate and the street rate for exchanging US dollar widen progressively for several years; and even after the devaluation the figures aren’t that close together but the official drop moves in the right direction. Add to that the global number one 2013 performance of the Merval stock index; according to Bloomberg the measure was up nearly 90% last year – perhaps this requires a moment of reflection for those who think that stock market performance is a clear indicator of national economic health.” Thanks again Frank. Recap.Cold weather is once again being used to justify a disappointing data report as this time its December new home sales, which fell 7%. The bright spot is that new home sales in 2013 was the highest since 2008. Both the Dallas Fed manufacturing report and the Market Flash services report showed improvement, but the Fed meeting tomorrow now has all of the attention. Except for the Brazilian real and Indian rupee, it wasn’t too bad in the currency market. The peso, Aussie, and pound rounded out the top three performers yesterday while the others all finished close to breakeven. Currencies today 1/28/14… American Style: A$ .8803, kiwi .8278, C$ .9003, euro 1.3640, sterling 1.6559, Swiss $1.1122. European Style: rand 11.00, krone 6.1572, SEK 6.4562, forint 223.17, zloty 3.0695, koruna 20.124, RUB 34.63, yen 103.15, sing 1.2744, HKD 7.7633, INR 62.51, China 6.1053, pesos 13.2728, BRL 2.4083, Dollar Index 80.66, Oil $96.22, 10-year 2.78%, Silver $19.71, Platinum $1,414.75, Palladium $716.10, and Gold. $1,254.70 That’s it for today…I just wanted to once again say Happy Birthday to my colleague and good friend Chris Gaffney. It was a busy day yesterday as the tax calls are starting to roll in. It’s that time of the year where all of the tax documents are being sent, so I would expect the call volume to really pick up. Anyway, I’m running a little behind this morning, so I’ll go ahead and wrap it up. Chris will take you through the rest of the week, so until next time, Have a Great Day! Mike Meyer Assistant Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837
In This Issue. * Currencies are mixed today. * Euro goes back and forth around 1.27. * Kuroda wants more yen weakness. * Gold is Money. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. The Riksbank Joins The ZIRP Group! . Good Day!… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! What a wonderful lunch date I had yesterday with old classmates and friends. Last year, 4 of us decided to have lunch and catch up, it was decided then that we would try to duplicate that fun, every quarter. Well, a year later, we finally got around to doing so! But this time, it was like a surprise party, for our small group had grown! The original group was me, my friend from kindergarten, Robin Sullivan, Stanley Johnson, and Linda Moore (Bilger). We then added, Ray Holthausen, Mark (Jr.) Walker, Jim Cooper, Kathy Ries, and Pam Scholtes. (the last two are married but I didn’t really catch their married names!) We laughed and laughed at the goings on in our lives, got somber about bad things, and then laughed again. It was simply wonderful! I told them all I would mention them in the letter today, so if the group grows any more, I might have to use initials! HAHAHAHAHA! Well, The currencies are mixed this morning, with the dollar holding on to some semblance of dignity with the euro, and the euro-alternatives, like Norwegian krone, and Swedish krona, but not with the renminbi, Aussie dollar (A$), and Gold. The Big Event this morning is Sweden’s Central Bank, The Riksbank’s meeting. Recall, yesterday, I told you about the upcoming rate cut discussion by the Riksbank, and thought that the Riksbank would do the dolt thing and cut rates even lower than they previously were, which. were so low you wouldn’t be able to limbo under them. Well, guess what the Riksbank did? That’s right, the dolt-thing. The cut their internal rate from 25 Basis Points (1/4%) to zero. The Riksbank has now joined the ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) group, that includes the U.S., Japan, Switzerland, Eurozone, U.K. and a few others. For those of you keeping score at home, Sweden’s internal rate was .25%…. Yes, that’s right, so to cut them from there is pointless isn’t it? Well, not according to Lars E.O. Svensson, a man who last year, left the Riksbank’s board in protest, because he didn’t think the Riksbank was doing everything they could to prevent deflation. He believes that the Riksbank should cut rates to zero, or even minus -.25%, and “even that will probably not be enough, so they will also have to think about implementing more unconventional measures, like asset purchases (QE) and maybe even a currency floor.” OK, given what this guy said, I’ll play a little game here. Svensson is a Princeton graduate, guess who his former colleagues at Princeton were? .. Jeopardy music plays. give up? Well it’s none other than Ben Bernanke and Paul Krugman! What in the heck is in the water there at Princeton? Or, better yet, who’s teaching these guys this stuff? Oh well, the good news is Svensson quit the Riksbank last year, so, he might be spouting off now about cutting rates to below zero, but he has no vote in the matter. Thank goodness! Alrighty then, that’s more time than I’ve spent on Sweden in a couple years’ worth of Sundays! The Aussie dollar is stronger this morning, so let’s go “down under” and see what’s up in the S. Pacific. After enduring the dreadful month of September for the A$, the currency has found a base around 88-cents, give or take a cent either way. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) really was the driving force that pushed the A$ down from 94-cents at the beginning of September to a recent low of 86-cents. The RBA has been quiet lately, and that scares the bejeebers out of me. I don’t like when a Central Bank that has been so vocal about their currency suddenly goes silent. What are they up to? That’s what I would be asking if I ever got the opportunity to talk to the RBA. You may laugh about that idea, but have I ever told you about how I used to call the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and talk directly to the Gov. Don Brash? Yes, back “in the day” I had met Don Brash in L.A. and after talking to him about monetary policy, and the bond market in N.Z. he gave me his card and told me to call him when I had questions about what they were doing. OK, you don’t have to invite me to a party two times, and so I exercised that offer to call. And to Don Brash’s credit, he picked up the phone each time, and would take time to discuss what was on Chuck’s mind regarding the N.Z. economy, etc. They don’t make Central Bankers like Don Brash any longer. Sorry for the trip down memory lane, there, but sometimes I think it’s important that dear readers like you understand my background and how I come to some of these idea as to when a Central Bank is either prudent or doltish! Alrighty then. The Japanese yen continues to teeter back and forth from falling into the deep, dark abyss or holding on to some semblance of dignity. (Ahem, Chuck, did you realize that’s the second time you’ve used that phrase this morning? Well, I hadn’t when I typed it, but now that you’ve brought it to my attention, shame on me! ) The Bank of Japan (BOJ) Gov. Kuroda, told everyone that would listen to him last night that the BOJ would do more in terms of monetary measures, if inflation fails to materialize and hold steady in Japan. Another dolt comment, for sure, because this is simply Kuroda saying that the yen is not weak enough to bring about inflation in our country. Japan, is a basket case. I’ve told you that for a long time now, and it all begins with their Gov’t debt. So, look for the Japanese yen to get back to the task at hand, which is to become weaker and return to 110. This morning yen is 108, so 110 might not even be weak enough. In China overnight, the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) allowed another appreciation of the renminbi / yuan. Again, don’t forget that the only piece of Chinese data this week will print on Thursday, when their National report on manufacturing (PMI) will show its true colors. I think that the PMI will be surprisingly good, and that’s why the PBOC has allowed the renminbi / yuan to appreciate two days in a row. It’s been pretty quiet in China lately, with little news regarding new steps being taken to remove the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. You know that I’ve kept you on top of the news regarding China’s Gold reserves. And how they back up the truck when the price manipulators drive the price of Gold down. Well, now China is docking the cargo ships and filling them with cheap Oil. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), The trading unit of state-run China National Petroleum Corp has bought 36 cargos of crude Oil in the open market so far in October, the largest purchase EVER in a single month! WOW! Who says the demand for Oil is shrinking due to the slowdown in economies all over the world? Not in China! And the euro is really spinning its wheels this morning, trading back and forth around the 1.27 handle. The euro rallied to as high as 1.2765 yesterday, but then someone said, Hey! What the heck is going on here? We’re not supposed to like the euro right now! And the single unit abruptly fell back to 1.27. But overnight and through the morning session, it’s been a 10-pip move around 1.27. So for those of you new to class, that’s 1.2690 to 1.2710. I find that the euro holding on to this level with the Fed’s FOMC meeting tomorrow hanging over it like the Sword of Damocles, very interesting. There’s very little to talk about with regards to domestic news from the Eurozone, so it’s all about how it trades in relation to the dollar. Well, here in the U.S. today, we’ll get to see the color of the September Durable Goods Orders, which the last two months had seen the gyrations of large airplane orders, and then the adjustment downward. But we should be getting back to normal stuff with the September report. The “experts” believe that Durable Goods Orders for Sept. will have grown .5%… Nothing to get all lathered up about, but in this day and age of economic reports before the election, you have to wonder why so muted? The U.S. Data Cupboard also has the S&P/ CaseShiller Home Price Index from August to print today. Here’s my thought on this data. August was a slow month, and the U.S. Treasury yields hadn’t fallen back as they did in Sept and Rocktober. For those of you new to class, the 10-year Treasury is the benchmark for setting mortgage rates. So, if mortgage rates were still higher, relatively speaking, Houses weren’t selling like funnel cakes at a State Fair, and if that wasn’t happening, the price of homes weren’t rising. Now, when we get around to see this data for Sept. and Rocktober, the 10-year’s yield had fallen, thus lowering mortgage rates again, and thus producing buyers, which drives up the prices. You know, the thigh bone is connected to the knee bone, the knee bone is connected to the shin bone, and so on. Oh, and Consumer Confidence will print today for Rocktober. Let’s just say, for grins and giggles that the survey people asked me if I was confident in this economy. What would I say? What would I say? Oh, we don’t have time to go through that here, but on the Butler Patio, this discussion could become quite lively! But, with the stock market not exactly looking as if its next stop is the moon, Consumer Confidence should drop a bit. But who knows, we’re only a week away from mid-term elections! I mentioned Gold was up a bit above. It’s not much of a move, but it’s positive, and that’s a move in the right direction, eh? And I have something of interest for you from my fave Gold researcher and analyst, Koos Jansen in the FWIW section today. One of my fave reads every morning that always has something to say about Gold & Silver, Ed Steer’s letter, has been AWOL this past week. I sure hope Ed’s OK. Before we head to the Big Finish today, I wanted to talk about this. It came to my attention yesterday that we had an additional death over the weekend, this time in the music world. Long time bassist Jack Bruce, who was 71, died. Jack Bruce was THE bass player of rock bands in the 70’s, folks. For those of you old enough, (like me) You’ve heard Jack Bruce’s playing and singing over the years. I guess the most famous band he was in was the band, Cream, along with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. My good friend, Preston, who played drums in the traveling band I played in, and I were huge fans of both Bruce and Baker. A rock legend gone. For What Its’ Worth. OK. I really built this up above, and it’s just an off the wall story about Gold & Silver, but I thought it to be interesting, and since it’s my letter. here it is! Oh, by the way, Koos Jansen can be found on the website: www.bullionstar.com And with no further ado. here’s Mr. Koos Jansen, with his article about how Gold is Money. “Would you like to receive a percentage of your salary in gold? Yes I do! I’m working for the first company in Singapore, BullionStar.com, that offers its employees to be paid in gold or silver. Any BullionStar employee – an economic agent that is free to choose to whatever he or she wishes to allot value – can choose what percentage of its remuneration will be settled in bullion. Of course, everyone working for any company can choose, once it has received its fiat salary, to exchange a percentage of the salary for gold. However, my employer facilitates the automation of this process; effortless and effectively. By this arrangement both me and my employer are acknowledging gold as money. Just as the Chinese Gov’t has done.” Chuck again. Pretty cool, eh? I remember the first time my employer offered direct deposit of my check.. How cool that was! (Hey back in 1979, that was cutting edge technology!) But here’s why this is important. I truly believe that Gold will be a part of the future monetary system on planet earth. Why? Because a debt based monetary system is not sustainable. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! So. having someone’s wages, well, a percentage of the wages, paid in Gold or Silver is saying that Gold or Silver is money. It’s that simple folks. And over in the East, Asia and the Middle East, Gold is important to their lives. They believe that it’s a store of wealth. Shoot in India, if you don’t have Gold to offer, your daughter is not getting married! (or I think that’s how it works) Here in the U.S. most investors view Gold as a commodity that’s traded on whims. So, all in all, I wish EverBank had a program like BullionStar! To recap. The Big Event this morning has been the Riksbank meeting where they cut rates to zero from 25 Basis Points. The krona is getting whacked, because the forward guidance from the Riksbank was muted. The currencies are mixed this morning, with the krona and krone losing ground to the dollar, the euro flat, and the Aussie and renminbi currencies gaining VS the dollar. We’ll see some data here in the U.S. this morning, but none of it will light a fire under the markets, as everyone wants to see what the FOMC says tomorrow. Currencies today 10/28/14. American Style: A$ .8840, kiwi .7895, C$ .8915, euro 1.2705, sterling 1.6125, Swiss $1.0530, . European Style: rand 10.9215, krone 6.6235, SEK 7.3740, forint 243.30, zloty 3.3275, koruna 21.8345, RUB 42.48, yen 108.10, sing 1.2730, HKD 7.7575, INR 61.33, China 6.1421, pesos 13.52, BRL 2.4941, Dollar Index 85.59, Oil $81.15, 10-year 2.27%, Silver $17.28, Platinum $1,260.70, Palladium $780.09, and Gold. $1,228.20 That’s it for today. Well, the College Football Playoff Committee (CFPC) will publish their first ranking for the playoffs this evening. Should be interesting, but before everyone has a heart attack about the rankings, remember, there are 6 weeks of games still to be played, there will be changes! The World Series resumes this evening, with the Giants holding a 3-2 games edge. I can’t get over how great everyone looked yesterday! When we were young men, all those at the table played football together. There’s always a special bond among teammates, and we don’t have to see each other every day, or talk once a week for that to continue to bring us together. Good luck to Stanley Johnson who is rehabbing from an awful stroke he had late last year. I’m going on 5 days of feeling half-way decent, waiting for the shoe to drop. But hey! Maybe it won’t! I can always be optimistic, eh? And with that. I’ll get out of your hair today, and send you on your way to making this a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets
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A disabled solicitor has accused his governing body of forcing him to abandon disabled clients without legal representation, after it withdrew permission for his new law centre to take on legal aid cases.The Law Society of Scotland (LSS), the professional body for Scottish solicitors, had granted permission to Legal Spark law centre to take on legal aid cases in November.Following that decision, Legal Spark took on cases from disabled people who had been unable to secure legal representation for their discrimination cases.Among them was a disabled student who had to quit their university course because they were not given adequate support, and another disabled client who had previously been unable to secure legal representation because they lived in an isolated part of the Highlands.But LSS has now decided that it made a mistake and has withdrawn permission for Legal Spark to carry out legal aid work.The founder of Legal Spark, disabled solicitor Daniel Donaldson (pictured) – who set up the law centre to help disabled people and other clients excluded from the legal system – said the LSS decision would deprive disabled people of access to justice.He had been hoping to take legal aid cases for disabled people who have experienced discrimination, cuts to their social care provision and other issues.He said: “My clients will just be dropped. The Law Society of Scotland have left me no alternative.“The situation as it has turned out is stopping disabled people availing themselves of their legal rights.”Legal Spark has contacted 134 lawyers, a list provided by LSS, who take on civil legal aid cases and specialise in discrimination law, and none of them have been able to take on Legal Spark’s clients.Donaldson – who qualified as a solicitor six years ago – spent a year discussing Legal Spark with LSS, which originally branded his plans “refreshing” and “innovative”.Now he says the organisation is discriminating against his disabled clients.He said: “It’s deeply disappointing. Instead of working with Legal Spark to find constructive solutions, they have discriminated against and ignored our clients by refusing to listen to them.“They have cancelled meetings, refused to go to mediation and each time a politician contacts them on our behalf, the Law Society avoid the issue.”He said LSS told him it made the decision because Legal Spark didn’t meet its precise interpretation of regulations, “despite us spending over a year in conversation and being actively encouraged by Law Society staff”.He added: “The Law Society gave us their blessing, then took it away.“The timing could not be worse, as our clients were achieving success in pursuing their claims of discrimination.“This is direct disability discrimination – there is nowhere else for our disabled clients to go.”He is encouraging people to sign an online petition and write letters of complaint to LSS.A Law Society Scotland spokeswoman said her organisation had made “a mistake” in originally granting Legal Spark permission to carry out civil legal aid work, before realising that it was “not entitled to provide this type of advice under the society’s civil legal assistance quality assurance scheme”.She said: “The committee made a final decision on 16 June that a waiver could not be granted for public protection reasons and as the compliance certificate for Legal Spark had been issued in error, it could no longer provide advice funded by legal aid. “The committee agreed that given the circumstances, Legal Spark could continue working with its legal aid clients until 30 June, to allow sufficient time to make alternative arrangements for clients.”She said law centres have to be “underpinned by a solicitor practice unit [which she said Legal Spark was not] in order to be able to be on the civil legal aid quality assurance scheme register and provide legal aid funded advice”.She added: “While it is rare for something to go wrong, clients have to be able to seek redress and as it currently stands, Legal Spark is not in a position to meet those requirements.”By noon today (28 July), the Law Society Scotland had failed to explain why it has refused to enter into mediation, although it claims that it was “still in communication with Legal Spark”.Donaldson continues to dispute LSS’s position and claims that under the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980, Legal Spark should be allowed to take on civil legal aid cases.He said: “The LSS have a legal requirement to promote access to justice. They have ignored this entirely. Where’s the justice for our disabled clients?”
The mother of a woman who killed herself after being wrongly found “fit for work” has pledged to continue her campaign for justice, and for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to admit it was to blame for her daughter’s death.The case of mother-of-nine Jodey Whiting, from Stockton, was highlighted this week after a disabled activist mentioned her name as he heckled work and pensions Esther McVey while she gave evidence (listen from 52 minutes) to the Scottish parliament’s social security committee (see separate story).The activist, David*, told McVey: “What about Jodey Whiting, mother of nine, who committed suicide after her ESA was stopped?“It was stopped because she missed an appointment.”It is the latest in a string of distressing and tragic deaths that have been linked over the last eight years to the government’s social security reforms, and particularly to employment and support allowance, the out-of-work disability benefit, and its eligibility test, the work capability assessment (WCA).Jodey Whiting’s mother, Joy Dove, who herself receives ESA as a result of a number of health conditions, has been campaigning for justice for her daughter – including through a petition on the 38 Degrees website – and for an admission of blame from DWP.Her daughter (pictured with her children) took her own life last year after being told she had been found fit for work.She had missed a WCA appointment on 16 January 2017 because she was in hospital being treated for a brain cyst. It later emerged that the letter telling her about the appointment had been waiting for her at home, unopened.DWP refused to back down, even after she wrote back explaining that she had been in hospital and had had pneumonia and had been receiving treatment for the cyst. She also had a number of other health conditions.But despite the evidence she provided, DWP refused to give her another appointment to attend a WCA and confirmed that she had been found fit for work and would lose her ESA.She was told she would receive her last fortnight’s ESA payment on 17 February.She visited Citizens Advice, and an advisor wrote to DWP on 15 February 2017 to ask for another WCA appointment, but she took her own life six days later, just four days after her final ESA payment.Her mother is also angry with DWP because the department sent a letter to her daughter about her claim after it had been told she had taken her own life, and continued to call Jodey’s phone and leave voicemail messages for her for more than two months.Her complaints will be investigated by the Independent Case Examiner.Her mother told Disability News Service (DNS) last night (Wednesday) that she was determined to secure justice for her daughter.She said she remembered her crying as she told her she had lost her ESA, and asking her: “What am I going to do, mum?”“I said, ‘Don’t worry, we will sort it out,’ but she never replied. I think it just wore her down.”She said she was delighted that David had raised her daughter’s case so publicly during McVey’s evidence session on Monday.He had told her in advance of his plan to confront McVey, and when she later heard the recording of him mentioning her daughter’s name in the committee hearing, she said: “I just felt great.”It is moments like that that motivated her to continue with her campaign, she said.“I am so grateful to him. I am really pleased he did it.”She told DNS she would continue with her campaign for justice.She said: “I have kept strong for my daughter, but I am heartbroken, I always will be.”If she had had the chance to confront McVey, she said, “I would have broken down and said, ‘Look, you had no right [to treat my daughter like this].’“It’s all wrong. It has got to stop. They can’t keep doing this to people.”A DWP spokeswoman said: “We have apologised to the family for attempting to contact Ms Whiting after her death.“The Independent Case Examiner (ICE) is an independent office holder.“As such, the DWP cannot comment on the work or decisions taken by the ICE.“We will carefully consider the findings of the ICE.“Suicide is a very complex issue, so it would be wrong to link it solely to anyone’s benefit claim.”*He has asked for his full name not to be used
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Subscribe Now Green Entrepreneur provides how-to guides, ideas and expert insights for entrepreneurs looking to start and grow a cannabis business. Add to Queue Founder of crypto site Blocklr & Growth Nuts, an organic growth co. Blockchain –shares Scott McGovern October 10, 2018 Barriers to banking and increasingly complex regulations make running a cannabis business costly and complicated, hampering what could be astronomical growth for the industry. Cannabis cryptocurrencies can solve both problems but, like all cryptocurrency, cannabis cryptocurrencies weren’t created equal. Some cannabis cryptocurrencies exist as a means to invest. Others were designed to address cannabis business’ inability to process credit cards, and little else.Out of the thriving cryptocurrency market, these cannabis cryptocurrencies stand apart.Obstacles facing the cannabis industry.Legal U.S. marijuana sales will reach between $8 billion and $10 billion in 2018. However, Americans spent a total of $56 billion on marijuana in 2017. In other words, there is a lot of room for growth in the legal cannabis industry, if not for two problems resulting from cannabis’ legal status.BankingThe biggest issue for the cannabis industry is that marijuana is still illegal federally, which means cannabis businesses do not have the same access to banking or credit card processing as other industries. Operating a cash-only marijuana business is dangerous, complex and expensive. Not only do these businesses have to transport cash in armored cars, but they often cannot open a bank account or qualify for a loan.To make matters worse, a survey found that only nine percent of Americans prefer paying in cash. Not only is having a cash-only business expensive, but it’s increasingly unprofitable in the digital age.Related: Cryptocurrency and the Allure of a Cashless Cannabis IndustryA complicated supply chain.The difficulties of managing a cash-only business extend to employee payroll and the entire supply chain. There are a lot of supplies that “plant touching” cannabis businesses — growers, retailers and transporters –have to purchase entirely in cash.On top of buying everything in cash, they also have to license, lab test and track goods. This requires adhering to contracts and complex city and state-specific regulations, like those facing marijuana growers in California. The “green rush” is more complex and expensive than it appears. Luckily, the cannabis industry can overcome these obstacles with cannabis cryptocurrency.Related: Many Licensed California Marijuana Growers Face Regulatory Roadblocks Getting Their Harvest to MarketCannabis cryptocurrencies offer a solution.Cryptocurrency is decentralized digital currency. Cryptocurrency mining, the process of solving algorithms to validate transactions within the network and ‘mint’ new coins, replaces governments, banks and credit card companies.In other words, cryptocurrency doesn’t go through a bank, but through a blockchain. Blockchain is the decentralized, unalterable ledger that records transactions. Since blockchain is not ‘owned’ by a bank that could be accused of money laundering for accepting cannabis money, it can process cannabis transactions in cryptocurrency.And because cryptocurrency is digital currency, the most common way to spend it is through mobile payment. Since digital sales will reach between $1.9 and 4 trillion by 2020, adopting cryptocurrency as a digital payment could boost business.Cannabis cryptocurrencies make sense for business-to-business transactions, too. Instead of buying fertilizer with an armored truck full of cash, a marijuana grower could pay with a click, all within the cryptocurrency market.The supply chain on blockchain.Blockchain can function as a record for virtually anything. Though blockchain started off as the digital record for Bitcoin transactions, it has rapidly expanded into the private sector.Companies including Maersk, De Beers and Walmart use blockchain to record supply chain transactions. Smart contracts—agreements with preset constraints that automatically fulfill themselves once terms are met—help move goods between vendors. And blockchain’s ledger can store information about a product, thereby guaranteeing regulatory compliance and quality.By adopting blockchain, cannabis companies could cut costs, increase efficiency and ensure product value.Related: Smart Contracts: Here Are the Practical Applications of This Exciting Blockchain Technology.Cannabis cryptocurrency marketToday, there are at least 17 cannabis cryptocurrencies. Paragon (PRG) functions as payment for a Los Angeles cannabis co-working space. PotCoin (POT), which has a high cannabis cryptocurrency market cap, has its own ATMs in Colorado.But like all cryptocurrency news, every coin and token in the cannabis cryptocurrency market has different attributes. Do your own research before you buy cryptocurrency.HempCoin (THC)Launched in 2014, HempCoin (THC) was the first cryptocurrency for agriculture. Specifically, HempCoin originated as a tobacco, hemp and cannabis cryptocurrency on Bitcoin’s blockchain.In 2018, HempCoin pivoted to create a more anonymous blockchain. Now, this cannabis cryptocurrency has masternodes, meaning computers that hold a complete copy of a cryptocurrency ledger. The more masternodes, the more decentralized a blockchain.According to their whitepaper, HempCoin has two new features. PrivateSend conceals funds’ origins and InstantSend allows for instantaneous transactions. HempCoin is integrating these features into HempPAY, their mobile and online platform, which can also function as a debit card.HempCoin is also developing a peer-to-peer payment solution. Though it, the customer first specifies how much THC they’re willing to pay. Next, the merchant scans their HempCoin wallet cryptocurrency address to receive the funds.Growers International (GRWI)Growers International (GRWI) is a cannabis cryptocurrency and blockchain for investors and growers. Investors can finance cannabis businesses through the Growers International token (GRWI), which the network will pool to make large-scale investments. The platform will eventually accept Bitcoin, Steem and DopeCoin.For growers, this cannabis cryptocurrency platform will have a cryptocurrency wallet, cannabis and cryptocurrency news, information about nutrients, grow room designs, social media and cryptocurrency price analytics. Furthermore, growers can track plant cycles, initiate smart contracts and buy supplies.According to their whitepaper, Growers International will build a grow facility in California.Tokes (TKS)Tokes (TKS) is a Waves blockchain-based cannabis cryptocurrency for buying marijuana online and in stores. In their whitepaper, Tokes explains that customers first buy Tokes (TKS) on a cryptocurrency exchange, then add it to their wallet, which will also contain product information. Next, they can spend Tokes at approved merchants. All transactions will cost one cent and take less than a minute.Additionally, Tokes offers a point of sale system. Once the merchant accepts Tokes cryptocurrency, the system automatically converts it to USD, Bitcoin or a currency of the merchant’s choosing.Cannabis businesses can also pay one another in Tokes through their platform. This is all possible through Tokes’ partnership with TheraCann, software for marijuana producers, processors and distributors. Tokes also gives merchants access to sales analytics and regulatory information.GreenMed (GRMD)GreenMed (GRMD) has an app that functions as a credit card for marijuana purchases. The app converts a user’s USD into GRMD tokens. Once the dispensary receives the tokens, GreenMed converts them back into USD. These funds can be transferred to a bank account or withdrawn via the GreenMed debit card.Though the app, the customer can choose between dispensaries, strains, pick up and delivery and packaging options. Additionally, GreenMed will have its own delivery service, though the app can function as in-store payment.Overall, the purpose GreenMed token is to facilitate in-app transactions with USD, according to GreenMed’s whitepaper.Cryptocurrency is an affordable and convenient method of digital payment. The ability to bypass financial institutions makes cryptocurrency adoption especially beneficial for the cannabis industry.Furthermore, cannabis could benefit from blockchain adoption. The distributed ledger can securely store data and ensure strain quality and regulatory compliance, all while facilitating business-to-business payments.For investors, marijuana consumers and cannabis farmers alike, cannabis cryptocurrency is the way of the future. And Growers International, GreenMed, HempCoin and Tokes are four cannabis cryptocurrencies poised to redefine the cannabis market. Next Article Cryptocurrencies Could Solve 2 Big Problems for the Cannabis Industry Contributor Marijuana businesses are mostly blocked from banks and have onerous compliance obligations. Blockchain is a promising solution to both problems. Get 1 Year of Green Entrepreneur for $19.99 Image credit: GeorgePeters | Getty Images 7 min read
Start Up Your Day Add to Queue Looking for the latest headlines in small business, innovation and tech? Our Start Up Your Day recaps are posted every morning to keep you current.Tick-tock. Uber will allow more of its drivers to fine passengers who show up more than two minutes late to their pickup location.Streaming up. Blizzard Entertainment and Facebook are teaming up to blend Facebook Live and logins into Overwatch PC and other popular video games.Priorities. Microsoft has released new planner software, giving Trello some competition.High end. Coach Apple Watch bands are expected to come out on June 12.Balanced breakfast. General Mills has released Tiny Toast, its first new cereal since 2001.A new combination. Burger King has merged a Whopper with a burrito, creating the Whopperrito.Jumpstart. When graduating or setting out on a new path, many people receive the same tidbit of advice — “follow your passion.” But this psychologist says not everyone may know what their passion is just yet.Last man standing. In an effort to revitalize its business, GoPro is investing in making its own video-editing software. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Lindsay Friedman Image credit: Joe Raedle | Getty Images Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. June 7, 2016 Enroll Now for $5 General Mills Has Released Its First New Cereal in 15 Years — Start Up Your Day Roundup Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Next Article –shares 1 min read Staff writer. Frequently covers franchise news and food trends.
cloud data managementEnterprise Integration PlatformGartnerGartner Magic QuadrantIICSInformaticaMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleCommodities Industry First: New Intelligent Contract Platform Launched by ChinsayNext ArticleBest Practice AI Is First UK AI Firm to Join the World Economic Forum’s Global AI Council and Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Informatica Positioned as a Leader in 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service PRNewswireMay 9, 2019, 1:53 pmMay 9, 2019 Informatica Positioned Highest and Farthest to the Right on Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision Axes, RespectivelyInformatica, the enterprise cloud data management leader, announced that Gartner, Inc., a leading IT research and advisory firm, has, for the sixth consecutive year, positioned Informatica as a Leader in its Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service. In the 2019 report, Informatica is positioned the highest on the ability to execute axis and farthest to the right on the completeness of vision axis.According to the Gartner report: “Adoption of EiPaaS offerings is continuing as organizations recognize that traditional integration approaches and on-premises integration technologies cannot fully support the complexity and pervasiveness of integration, or the agility and time to value, required to overcome the digital era’s challenges. Many organizations are accelerating their EiPaaS purchases, attracted by the rapid time to integration, ease of use and ready support for cloud-centric use cases. Another factor that makes EiPaaS attractive for user organizations is the consolidation into one platform of a range of capabilities that could previously be found only in multiple, discrete on-premises integration products. Financial benefits, including a lower cost of entry due to subscription-based pricing and lower IT operation costs, also contribute to the growing success of EiPaaS offerings.”Marketing Technology News: Airtame Adds Power over Ethernet Product to Their ServicesIn the report, “Gartner estimates that the iPaaS market continued to expand notably during 2018. It approached $1.7 billion in revenue and grew by approximately 56% in terms of providers’ subscription revenue, compared with 2017.”Gartner concludes that “Although the primary use case for EiPaaS offerings remains cloud service integration, their usage has broadened to include on-premises application and data integration, API publishing, ecosystem integration, IoT and other scenarios. This suggests not only that EiPaaS adoption is growing fast, but that these offerings also play an increasingly strategic role for midsize and large organizations. In this context, an EiPaaS frequently becomes part of an organization’s strategic HIP (see “Innovation Insight for Hybrid Integration Platforms” and “How to Implement a Truly Hybrid Integration Platform”). Gartner expects that HIPs will become the norm for most midsize and large organizations. This will put additional strain in terms of management, monitoring and governance on IT leaders involved in integration strategies and implementation. In this context, iPaaS adoption will continue to grow quickly in both SMBs and large organizations. It will be driven by escalating demand for integration stemming from cloud, mobile, API, IoT, ecosystem, RPA, analytics and other emerging use cases.”In addition to being positioned highest on the ability to execute axis and farthest to the right on the completeness of vision axis in the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service, Gartner has named Informatica a Leader in four other markets – in four Gartner Magic Quadrants.Marketing Technology News: itelligence Receives 2019 SAP Pinnacle Award: SAP Global Platinum Reseller of the YearInformatica Intelligent Cloud Services (IICS) is a next-generation iPaaS solution addressing the increasingly complex data management challenges today’s enterprises face. IICS is built on a modern microservices-based architecture that allows companies to integrate, synchronize, and relate all of their data, applications, and processes – both on premises and in any part of a multi-cloud or hybrid-cloud environment. A single user experience across various integration and data management patterns facilitates user productivity across the platform, and the AI and machine learning capabilities of Informatica’s CLAIRE engine enable companies to automate and accelerate data management and governance processes for digital transformation.Marketing Technology News: Qlik Completes Acquisition of Attunity
Citation: What’s Facebook Watch and will you like it? (2018, August 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-facebook.html ©2018 Newsday Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. “Strangers” got nearly 8 million streams for the opening episode and a small fraction of that thereafter. This seems to be a pattern with most Facebook Watch shows. Lots of people sample, few return.’SKAM AUSTIN’Based on a Norwegian web series, each episode unfolds in real time, and characters post to Instagram while it’s in progress. “SKAM” (the word means “shame”) is also a hit, or appears to be one. About 10 million views were counted for the launch back in April, but fewer than 2 million for week 8. The show was recently renewed.Any adult, say, over the age of 30 coming to “SKAM” enters terra infirma, brimming with cognitive cues and sub-verbal expressions, all immersed in the lingua franca of social media. Hey, it’s about teens. With a handheld camera and extreme tight focus, “SKAM” explores the fictional world of Bouldin High School in Austin, specifically the world of one Megan Flores (Julia Rocha), a lonely, awkward kid who has a boyfriend, Marlon (Till Simon).It’s a sharply drawn portrait of the jungle—that high school one—with some good performances. But “SKAM” can also be a formless dreamscape, adrift in emotions and inner lives. Of course, it’s possible that’s its chief appeal, too.’SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS’Finally, there’s “Sorry for Your Loss,” which launches Sept. 18. There’s an embargo on reviews until early next month, but it’s hardly giving too much away to observe that this, too, is good. Big Beach TV is the production company.The cast is especially notable for a Facebook Watch scripted show—indie star Elizabeth Olsen in her first series; Tony and Olivier Award winner Janet McTeer; and “The Last Jedi” breakout Kelly Marie Tran.”Sorry” is about Leigh Shaw (Olsen), who’s immersed in grief following the death of her husband, Matt (Mamoudou Athie). Her sister, Jules (Tran), and mother, Amy (McTeer), try to help, and so does her brother-in-law, Danny (Jovan Adepo), who’s adrift in his own grief.A tragedy? Yes, but also a comedy. Above all: Facebook Watch’s most important launch to date. What is “Facebook Watch?” If you said, “another ingenious/devious way for Facebook to consume every last second of my life,” you wouldn’t be wrong. If you said, “haven’t a clue,” you wouldn’t be alone. 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. And if you said one of the more important initiatives by the world’s largest social-media company, you’d be spot on. Launched last August, Facebook Watch is Facebook’s answer to YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and every other streaming service, including, soon, Apple and Disney. On this, the first anniversary, it’s now packed with reality shows, docuseries, sports (including Major League Baseball) and news (ABC’s “On Location” launched recently), as well as a handful of scripted series.Nevertheless, lightly promoted and sporadically viewed, Facebook Watch remains something of an enigma—a stealth enterprise that can be hard to define if not exactly hard to find. The tab is right there on your homepage, right below “Messenger.”Why the vaunted importance? One reason: Millions of teens have abandoned Facebook, and most of the scripted series—overwhelmingly teen and young-adult-oriented—are tasked with bringing them back.So, what’s worth watching on Facebook Watch? Here’s a quick glance at three key—and definitely watchable—scripted series.’STRANGERS’This comedy is about Isobel (Zoe Chao) and Cam (Meredith Hagner), best friends in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles the first season, who then relocated to New York for the second, which wrapped Sunday. Introduced at Sundance, and later Outfest, in 2017, Isobel was described by producers as “a woman living fully in the bi-sphere—bisexual, biracial and now bicoastal.” Indeed, her sexuality is fluid or, better word, evolving, while season 2 ends with what appears to be an orientation commitment.With “Strangers,” think “Girls” along with a splash of “Broad City.” The “Girls” comparison is intentional or unavoidable, in part because creator Mia Lidofsky was at one time assistant to “Girls” director Jesse Peretz. Like most of Facebook Watch’s scripted content, there’s an indie vibe here. Like all Facebook Watch content, the production values are decent, far from profligate. What’s best about “Strangers” are the performances (full of vitality) and the writing (amusing and self-assured).”Strangers” appears to be a success, in part because viewers have told it so. “With the Watch platform, you get the opportunity to see in real time the audience response and engagement,” executive producer Michael Clark, said in an email. Explore further Is Facebook going to reinvent TV with Facebook Watch? Well, it’s trying
The engineers will be showcasing their heat-resistant sensor system from the 1st to the 5th of April at this year’s Hannover Messe (Hall 2, Stand B46).When food is being baked or steamed as part of an industrial production process, it is important to keep a close eye on humidity levels. If bread or baked goods lose too much moisture or lose it too quickly, the final products will not have the required properties. If, on the other hand, you can control the humidity in the oven precisely, the croissants will come out perfectly fluffy and the bread will have a deliciously crisp crust. “Precision monitoring of humidity can have a crucial effect on the quality of the products. Knowing the humidity levels allows us to carefully control the temperature and air volumes during the production process, and thus also save on energy,” says Professor Andreas Schütze of Saarland University – an expert in the field of sensor and measuring technology. Precise measurements of moisture content is also critical when drying wood, textiles and coatings in industrial dryers – particularly to prevent heat damage to the materials.When making humidity measurements it is essential that temperature fluctuations are recorded precisely, as incorrect temperature readings can falsify the humidity data. Another problem that has to be addressed is the fact that other gases are also released at the high drying temperatures used in industrial ovens and dryers. For example, alcohol is emitted during the baking process and numerous volatile compounds are released when paints or coatings are dried or cured. Up until now, conventional humidity sensors have struggled to monitor relative water vapour levels due to the presence of these other substances in the hot air. And these airborne compounds can significantly shorten the lifetime of the sensors or even damage them. “In such cases, we talk about the sensor becoming poisoned,” explains Tilman Sauerwald, senior scientist in Schütze’s team. When all these factors are taken together, it explains why the humidity measuring systems available up to now have had short service lives and have been either not particularly precise or very expensive.Measurement technology experts at Saarland University have developed a sensor system that can determine the humidity in industrial ovens and dryers with very high accuracy even at extreme temperatures and in the presence of background interference from other gases. The measurement technology used is complex, but it does far more than simply recording data on individual quantities. “We use a special ceramic sensor in combination with a Fourier transform impedance spectrometer. This allows us to make measurements across a large dynamic range and gives us excellent resolution over a wide range of temperatures,” explains Henrik Lensch, a Ph.D. student in Professor Schütze’s team.The researchers measure the electrical impedance (i.e. the frequency-dependent resistance to current flow) at different frequencies and compute from this the equivalent resistance and equivalent capacitance values as well as a broad spectrum of other quantities. “The resulting spectral data then undergoes model-based analysis,” explains Tilman Sauerwald. The analyser unit uses mathematical models to extract those parameters that are relevant to the humidity measurements. The analyser is capable of identifying and filtering out those interference signals that have nothing to do with the humidity. Using this approach, the sensor system can also identify when an error condition or fault occurs. A sensor system that precisely measures air humidity even in hot industrial ovens: Project manager Tilman Sauerwald (left) and PhD student Henrik Lensch from the research team led by Professor Andreas Schütze. (Photo credit: Oliver Dietze A new sensor system developed in Saarbrücken, Germany can not only carefully control drying processes in industrial ovens, but can deliver reliable air humidity measurements even at high temperatures and in the presence of other background vapours. Professor Andreas Schütze, project manager Tilman Sauerwald and their research team at Saarland University have developed with partner companies a sensor system that precisely monitors industrial drying, baking and cooking processes. The new system improves product quality, optimizes the production process and lowers process energy demands. The project has received funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s priority funding programme “KMU-Innovativ’ that promotes innovative technology in small and medium-sized enterprises. Citation: Novel sensor system improves reliability of high-temperature humidity measurements (2019, March 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-sensor-reliability-high-temperature-humidity.html Explore further 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. Provided by Saarland University New sensor system safeguards fuel quality at hydrogen filling stations
Uber wants to be at the forefront of the driverless car revolution Explore further © 2019 AFP The latest cash injection, expected to close in the third quarter this year, came amid fevered anticipation of Uber’s public share offering which is expected to be the largest in the tech sector for years.Toyota has already invested $500 million in Uber as the firm races Google-owned Waymo and a host of other companies, including major automakers, to develop self-driving vehicles.The latest investment, which also involves Japanese parts maker DENSO, will go to Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group in a bid to “accelerate the development and commercialisation of automated ridesharing,” the firms said in a statement.Toyota and DENSO are stumping up $667 million and SoftBank Vision Fund, the investment arm of Japanese tycoon Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank, will pour $333 million into the venture. It is already the top shareholder in Uber, holding 16 percent.The Japanese car firm said it would also contribute “an additional $300 million over the next three years to help cover the costs related to these activities.” Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said driverless cars would “transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more liveable.”His firm is aiming to go beyond car rides to becoming the “Amazon of transportation” in a future where people share, instead of own, vehicles.If all goes to plan, commuters could ride an e-scooter to a transit station, take a train, then grab an e-bike, share a ride or take an e-scooter at the arriving station to complete a journey—all using an Uber app on a smartphone.Uber is also seeing growing success with an “Eats” service that lets drivers make money delivering meals ordered from restaurants.’Sharing economy’Last week, Uber filed official documents for its much-anticipated public share offering.The filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said it operates on six continents with some 14 million trips per day and has totalled more than 10 billion rides since it was founded in 2010.The filing contained a “placeholder” amount of $1 billion to be raised but that figure is expected to increase ahead of the initial public offering (IPO) expected in May.The Wall Street Journal said earlier this month that Uber was seeking to raise $10 billion in what would be the largest stock offering of the year.Media reports said the ride-hailing giant was likely to seek a market value of close to $100 billion.Uber is the largest of the “unicorns” or venture-backed firms worth at least $1 billion to list on Wall Street, and is one of the key companies in the “sharing economy” based on offering services to replace ownership of cars, homes and other commodities.Its revenue grew 42 percent last year to $11.2 billion but it continued to lose money from its operations. A net profit was reported for the year from a large asset sale, but operational losses were more than $3 billion.And some analysts have voiced caution over the forthcoming IPO given a relative lacklustre debut for Lyft, the main US rival.Khosrowshahi has promised greater transparency as he seeks to restore confidence in the global ridesharing leader hit by a wave of misconduct scandals.In October, Toyota and SoftBank announced the creation of a joint venture to create “new mobility service” including driverless vehicles for services such as meal deliveries.The new company—called “Monet”, short for “mobility network”—is majority owned by SoftBank.SoftBank started as a software firm but has increasingly been pushing into investments under tycoon Son, one of Japan’s richest men. Japanese car giant Toyota and investment fund SoftBank Vision Fund on Friday unveiled an investment of $1 billion in US company Uber to drive forward the development of driverless ridesharing services. 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. Citation: Uber wins $1bn investment from Toyota, SoftBank fund (2019, April 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-toyota-softbank-fund-denso-invest.html Japan’s Honda, Hino join SoftBank-Toyota mobility venture