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2019 tech events calendar Everything on deck from Apple Google Amazon and

first_img Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Toy Fair 2019: Nerf Fortnite, Barbie turns 60 and more See It Toys and tech go hand in hand these days, and the Toy Fair gives us our first glimpses of how the pairing will take shape in the coming year. Last year we got a party game with its own heart-rate monitor. This year, it’s everything from a home lie detector game to Fortnite and Overwatch Nerf guns. There’s even a new Pictionary that adds augmented reality to the classic drawing game.See all of CNET’s toy coverage Here’s everything we saw at Toy Fair 2019 Samsung Unpacked Galaxy S10 event: San Francisco, Feb. 20 Samsung How to watch the Galaxy S10 launch event livestreamGalaxy S10 rumor roundup: Feb. 20 launch, Galaxy Buds, hole-punch camera, specs, features and priceThe Galaxy S9 Plus is terrific, but wait a month until after the Galaxy S10 arrivesSamsung unveiled a prototype of its forthcoming 5G phone in its booth at CES 2019. It also announced its Unpacked event in San Francisco on Feb. 20 and sent out the invite pictured above. While we don’t know the full details yet, it’s safe to say Samsung is planning to officially debut the Galaxy S10 (or three of them). Mobile World Congress 2019: Barcelona, Feb. 25-28 nokia-new-8110-matrix-banana-2018-mwc-2Nokia’s Nokia 8110 4G was the talk of 2018’s MWC. Andrew Hoyle/CNET If you’ve ever wondered why there are no major mobile announcements at CES every year, it’s because of MWC. However, like CES this year, there is sure to be a lot of discussion about 5G. See all the preview coverage from MWC 2019 in Barcelona Galaxy S9, 5G and more: Everything we learned at MWC 2018 CP+ 2019: Yokohama, Feb. 28 to March 3 CP+ is the most important show for camera and photo imaging for consumers and professionals — at least aside from Photokina, which won’t happen again until May 2020. Cameras including Sony’s A7 III, Fujifilm’s X-H1 and Panasonic’s GX9 were all launched around CP+, for example. If you’ve been waiting for a major camera or lens announcement or you simply love photo gear, you’ll want to look for news just before and during this show. Intl. Home + Housewares Show 2019: Chicago, March 2-5 ihhswide-1.jpg Chris Monroe/CNET There was no shortage of smart home news to come out of CES. But if you can’t get enough of the latest in kitchen appliances, cooking gadgets, home design and other accessories, this Chicago show in March is one to watch. CNET will be there to bring you the latest in connected coffee makers and Instant Pot rivals.  Read the details on this year’s show Geneva Motor Show, March 5-6   The appearance of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Concept at the 2018 Geneva show got us amped for a production Supra, which appeared at the Detroit Auto Show this year ready to end its two-decade hiatus. Can’t wait to see what comes this year.  • Comment 88 Photos Apple 60 Photos 2019 Chicago Auto Show recap: Big debuts from Mazda, Toyota, Subaru and moreChicago Auto Show 2019: Complete coverage Now playing: Watch this: If you think Microsoft’s developer conference is all about Windows, you haven’t been paying attention. Much of the 2018’s focus was on Microsoft’s work on artificial intelligence (AI) systems, machine learning, edge-computing tools and the company’s moves to integrate with other platforms including iOS, Android and Amazon Alexa. Dates haven’t been announced, but expect it to be in early May.  Read all the news to come out of Build 2018, day one    Computex 2019: Taipei, May 28-June 1 Computex 2018: The weirdest gadgets at Asia’s biggest tech show $899 Amazon Facebook Fujifilm Google Kia Microsoft Nokia Panasonic Porsche Samsung Sony Toyota Nintendo Apple Here are the biggest iOS 12 features Apple announced at WWDC 2018 For the past couple of years, Amazon has overhauled its Alexa-powered product line in late September. We saw more than a dozen new and refreshed products in 2018. Will that happen again this year? We’ll just have to wait and see.  From Echo speakers to a Basics microwave: Amazon’s September 2018 Event Microsoft October Surface event?   29-microsoft-surface-pro-6The Surface Pro 6  was announced at Microsoft’s 2018 October event Sarah Tew/CNET This is the one day of the year when Microsoft’s PC hardware takes a backseat to its software. There’s usually a new product announcement or an update to existing hardware in the summer, like 2018’s Surface Go, but Microsoft often uses an October event to highlight more important devices. Will it do so again in 2019? Time will tell.Here’s everything that was announced at its 2018 Surface event Google Pixel October event?      CNET Again, this one isn’t guaranteed, but expected: Google’s annual fall hardware event normally drops in between Apple’s two second-half events. Though leaks and rumors tend take the wind out of the announcements, Google always seems to have some surprises when it comes to its Android, Chrome and Google Assistant devices.  Read all the news from Google’s October 2018 Pixel eventPixel 3 review: The best Android phone of 2018 PDN Photo Plus Expo: New York, Oct. 24-26 Photo Plus is the largest photography and imaging show in North America with “20,000 professional photographers, photography enthusiasts, videographers, students and educators” in attendance. If you’re into cameras, the accessories for them and how to use them better, put it on your calendar.  Apple October event?apple-october-event Apple Apple often — but not always — wraps up its event year with announcements of consumer-focused products such as iPads and non-Pro laptops and desktops. In 2018, however, Apple leaned more toward creatives with the all-new MacBook Air, Mac Mini desktop and iPad Pro. The event typically hits at the end of October, giving us plenty of time for leaks and think pieces on where the company needs to go next.  Read all of CNET’s Apple event coverageMacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro 2018: Everything Apple announced at its October 2018 event in Brooklyn Samsung Developers Conference (expected) News • Samsung Galaxy S10, S10E and S10 Plus updates are already waiting for you $899 85 Photos Frankfurt Motor Show 2017: Roadshow editors choose their… Sprint 42 Photos Gadgets Culture Laptops Mobile Mentioned Above Samsung Galaxy S10 (128GB, prism black) Read our ultimate gearhead bucket-list car show and event guide for 20192018 Geneva Motor Show: What did we see, what did we love? SXSW 2019: Austin, March 8-17 Elon Musk Answers Your Questions! - 2018 SXSW Conference and FestivalsElon Musk dropped by SXSW 2018 Chris Saucedo/Getty Saying this conference down in Austin, Texas has become huge feels like a understatement with events dedicated to music, film, comedy, gaming and tech. Read CNET’s coverage of SXSW 2019Star Wars, Elon Musk and cheese: What I learned at SXSW 2018 Apple spring event?057-apple-chicago-education-eventYou didn’t miss anything: Apple hasn’t made any official announcements for its 2019 events. However, it does typically hold three to four major ones throughout the year with the first falling sometimes — but not always! — in the March-to-April timeframe. Last year’s was all about education and featured the launch of the 2018 9.7-inch iPad. For 2019, Apple may shift to entertainment and announce its long-rumored video streaming service.  Read all the latest Apple event news and rumorsNew iPad with optional Pencil: Everything Apple announced at its March 2018 eventNew York Auto Show: April 17-18 2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid Toyota The best part of the 2018 NY Auto Show? Most of the cars that debuted were actually headed to showroom floors including the overhauled 2019 Toyota RAV4 that stole the show. We’re hoping for more of the same in 2019.  Read CNET’s coverage of the New York Auto Show2018 New York Auto Show wrap-up: Lots of cars you can actually buy, and soon Facebook F8 2019: April 30 to May 1 facebook-f8-2018-0282Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at F8 2018.  James Martin/CNET Spring is developer conference season and the social network gets things started. It promises to be filled with “networking opportunities, deep-dive sessions and product demos, all showcasing how technology can enable the best of what people can do together,” wrote Ime Archibong, vice president of product partnerships, in a blog post (full story here). Of course, Facebook still needs to figure out how to deal with the ongoing fake news problem and the heavy-handed tactics that have damaged its reputation in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the 2016 election. Oh, and there’s the next Oculus VR headset, too.   Everything Facebook announced on day one of F8 2018    Google I/O 2019: May 7-9 google-io-2019-1Google CEO Sundar Pichai at Google I/O 2018. James Martin/CNET The search giant announced the dates for its 2019 developers conference in a suitably Google way by posting a puzzle for developers on Twitter. To jog your memory, at last year’s conference Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled Duplex, its uncanny artificial intelligence for Google Assistant users that could make appointments and reservations using a human voice complete with pauses, umms and ahhs. The five best things from Google I/O 2018 Microsoft Build 2019 2:23 With CES 2019, the Detroit Auto Show, the Chicago Auto Show and the Sundance Film Festival all in the rearview mirror, this year’s calendar of tech, automotive and cultural events are already well underway. Just like last year (you remember last year, right? The good and the bad), CNET will be covering news and announcements from every major show and event that happens from now until 2020, when it starts all over again with CES 2020.   Toy Fair 2019: New York, Feb. 16-19 $899 32 Photos See All 2020 Toyota Tacoma takes a bow at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show Away from the developer conference onslaught in spring, Samsung’s November conference guarantees itself some time in the spotlight for its projects. In 2018, it was our first glimpse of its folding phone, a list of enhancements coming to its Bixby digital assistant and the announcement of One UI, a simplified interface for its mobile devices.  See all the news from Samsung Developer Conference 2018 Microsoft Ignite: Orlando, Nov. 4-8 Ignite covers what’s coming next from the software giant for IT professionals and enterprise customers who want to know the “future of cloud, data, business intelligence, teamwork and productivity.” It’s heavy on the workshops and breakout sessions, but quite a bit of news comes out of the conference as well. Pre-register for Ignite 2019 now Los Angeles Auto Show: Nov. 18-21   Los Angeles Auto Show Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow Although it tends to lack a central focus, LA is one of the most important shows of the year. For example, in 2018, there were several big debuts across categories debuts like the Wrangler-based Jeep Gladiator pickup, the next Kia Soul, Mazda3, Porsche 911 and all-new Hyundai Palisade SUV.  Read all of our coverage from the LA Auto Show2018 LA Auto Show wrap-up: Audi, Jeep Gladiator, Kia, Porsche and Rivian brought the heatEarlier 2019 events We’re already past these big 2019 milestones.  CES 2019 (January) How To • How to take badass car photos with your Galaxy S10 Plus All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 Now playing: Watch this:center_img Tags Lots of sports cars, lots of hybrids and EVs and a healthy portion of concept cars make up most of what debuts in Frankfort. Unfortunately, there are several that will never be available in the States.  Read all the news from the Frankfurt Motor Show Apple September event (expected) apple-parkApple’s invite for its 2018 iPhone event.  Apple Apple’s September event is the reason you should never buy a new iPhone in August. The culmination of months of iPhone rumors, speculation and leaks lead to the official unveiling of the company’s top product in mid-September. A new Apple Watch is usually along for the ride as well.Keep up with all the latest Apple event newsiPhone 11 rumors: Price, specs, features and everything else we know Amazon September event? Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana can talk to each… Breaking: Samsung reveals its first foldable phone, with “Infinity Flex Display.” #SDC18 pic.twitter.com/OOGkjSBUkE— CNET (@CNET) November 7, 2018 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Best Buy See it Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it 11 Photos There are comic-cons all year long around the world, but the San Diego show is the largest in North America attracting more than 130,000 attendees. While 2018 was sort of a laid-back show with no huge announcements, SDCC is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, which could make for a news-packed show. By the way, Comic-Con 2019 attendee badges are sold out. How Marvel and Game of Thrones will make Comic-Con 2019 truly epicRead the latest news for the San Diego Comic-Con Samsung Galaxy Note Unpacked event (rumored) August is a generally a slow month for big tech news with one exception: Samsung’s Galaxy Note announcement. Last year’s Note 9 was a modest update, all things considered, which means the Note 10 could be a complete overhaul. We probably won’t hear any significant rumors about it until we get past the Galaxy S10 announcements, though.   Here’s everything Samsung announced at its Galaxy Note 2018 eventGalaxy Note 9 review: Samsung’s best ‘everything’ phone. But… IFA 2019: Berlin, Sept. 6-11 Abt Electronics reading • 2019 tech events calendar: Everything on deck from Apple, Google, Amazon and more CES 2019: Everything we saw, from 8K TVs to amazing fake burgersCES 2019: The four biggest trends, demystifiedCES 2019: Our 10 favorite products of the showCES 2019: Every CNET storySundance 2019 (January-February)At Sundance’s New Frontier, VR and AR go epic, weird and theatricalSundance Film Festival 2019: Complete coverageSuper Bowl 53 (February)Best Super Bowl 2019 commercials ranked: Xbox, Avengers, Game of Thrones and moreAvengers, Captain Marvel, Toy Story 4: All the must-see Super Bowl 2019 trailersCNET’s complete Super Bowl coverageChicago Auto Show (February) Review • Galaxy S10 review: As good as the S10 Plus, in a smaller package See It Held in Berlin every September, IFA is Europe’s largest consumer-electronics trade show. Although many of the products announced never reach the US, there’s still a lot that does come to market globally. And it kicks off a never-ending parade of consumer tech announcements for the fall (and holiday shopping season).  Read all the latest news from IFABest of IFA 2018: 8K TV, an epic gaming throne, Google’s new wearable OS and more Frankfurt Motor Show, Sept. 10-11 39 Photos Toyota Supra ends a two-decade hiatus at the 2019 Detroit… 48 Photos Like the others, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference has a heavy focus on its software and operating systems — MacOS, iOS, WatchOS, tvOS — as well as its HealthKit, ARKit and HomeKit platforms. But sometimes we also see new iPads or Macs at this event. There’s no announced date yet, but WWDC 2018 was June 4-8. Read our full coverage of WWDCApple’s WWDC 2018 highlights little things adding up, especially in iOS 12HomePod, iOS 11, iMac Pro: All the news from Apple WWDC 2017 E3 2019: Los Angeles, June 11-13 e3-ea-2018-4727 Josh Miller/CNET Three days of games, games, games and the hardware and accessories you use to play them. But with Sony sitting out 2019’s show, it will be interesting to see what Bethesda, Ubisoft and console makers Microsoft and Nintendo have on deck — not to mention offshoots like the PC gaming show. See all E3 coverage on CNETSee all E3 coverage of GameSpotThe best and worst of E3 2018 Amazon Prime Day (expected)primestormtrooperYou should never pay full price for stormtrooper bookends.  Star Wars via Amazon Amazon hasn’t confirmed that its big summer sale is returning for 2019, but we’d be shocked if it doesn’t. The big mid-July sale typically features eye-popping discounts on the site’s own Fire, Echo and Kindle products in addition to anything and everything Alexa-enabled. Amazon also slashes prices on all kinds of other things for the day (well, technically two days), basically giving you permission to buy things you didn’t know you needed until they were $10 cheaper. It’s like The Purge, but for online shopping.   Here’s where you’ll find all the best Prime Day deals from CNET’s editors.  2019 Comic-Con: San Diego, July 18-21 Comic-Con 2018: Check out the booths on the show floor IFA 2018: All the coolest tech we’ve seen so far Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 See It Samsung Galaxy S10 Share your voice The largest IT tradeshow in Asia, Computex is usually good for some interesting PC announcements the latest chip news and an abundance of crazy gadgets and accessories.  Read all the news from ComputexAll the best stuff we saw at Computex 2018 Apple WWDC 2019 (expected) 2:56 $899 2:31 Now playing: Watch this: Amazon Echo event: Pictures from Seattle 1last_img read more

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US court asks to release surveillance video in Florida school shooting

first_imgIn this Wednesday, 24 February 2018, file photo, a law enforcement officer talks with students after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla. An appeals court said news organizations are entitled to obtain surveillance video showing the law enforcement response to the Valentine’s Day mass shooting at the Florida high school. The 4th District Court of Appeal on Wednesday, 25 July upheld a lower court’s ruling that the video is public record that must be disclosed. Photo : APNews organizations are entitled to obtain surveillance video showing the law enforcement response to the Valentine’s Day mass shooting that killed 17 people at a Florida high school, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.The 4th District Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s ruling that the video is public record that must be disclosed, despite objections from prosecutors and Broward County school officials. News organizations including The Associated Press are seeking the video to better understand the actions of law enforcement and first responders during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.Authorities say the school had 70 operating video cameras that day. The media organizations are not seeking any footage depicting the massacre or any victims, but rather the video from outside the shooting scene at the school’s Building 12 that depicts law enforcement actions.The Broward County State Attorney’s Office contended the video should not be released because it’s part of an ongoing criminal investigation. The school board argued that disclosing the footage might pose a security risk by showing blind spots in camera coverage at the school.The appeals judges were unpersuaded.”The media showed the need for the public to actually witness the events as they unfolded because the narrative provided by ‘the authorities’ is confusing and has shifted and changed over time,” the three judges wrote. “The footage itself would reveal if the first responders rushed into Building 12 to confront the active shooter, formed a perimeter, or hid in stairwells and behind their vehicles for an unreasonable length of time.”The school’s resource officer, former Broward Deputy Scot Peterson, retired amid accusations that he failed to follow sheriff’s office policy when he remained outside the building instead of going inside to confront the shooter. Victims’ parents and others have also charged that first responders hesitated in a way that might have cost lives. Video of Peterson’s actions has been released.The judges called it a “sad commentary on our times” that such a full public debate about school security and law enforcement response to a mass shooting is required. But they said parents and the rest of the community needed to see the video for themselves.”Parents have such a high stake in the ultimate decisions that they must have access to camera video footage here at issue and not blindly rely on school board experts to make decisions for them,” they ruled.Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said district employees have never seen the footage because it was confiscated by sheriff’s and FBI investigators shortly after the shooting. Even though his agency had opposed public release of the video for security reasons, he said its release would help the district’s investigation by a retired Secret Service agent into the shooting, including how Stoneman Douglas teachers and staff responded.”That is critical,” he said. “We are now going to try to do as much as we can.”Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said her agency did not oppose release of the exterior surveillance video “and we’re pleased to see the matter has been resolved.”The state attorney’s office declined to say whether it would appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. The appeals court said the video must be released by the Broward Sheriff’s Office within 48 hours of Wednesday’s ruling.Nikolas Cruz, 19, is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the shooting. His lawyers have said he would plead guilty if prosecutors would waive the death penalty, but that offer has been rejected.last_img read more

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Disability Advocates Ask Feds To Continue To Investigate Monitor Special Ed In

first_img Listen 00:00 /01:29 When the Texas Education Agency tried to calm concerns with federal authorities over the state’s special education program, they promised they would make changes. But some advocates want the feds to continue to investigate.Those advocates worry that children with disabilities will continue to have limited access to services until Texas completely removes its benchmark for special education. State officials said they would provide updates to districts to clarify “recent confusion.”“I was disappointed because I didn’t see a clear confirmation of when and how TEA is going to eliminate this indicator that has kept special education in our state at 8.5 percent,” said Dustin Rynders, an attorney with Disability Rights Texas.That indicator started in 2004. Since then, data shows enrollment in special education in Texas has dropped steeply to the lowest rate in the country.In a recent letter to the U.S. Department of Education, Disability Rights Texas asked the feds to get details about how Texas will phase out that benchmark.What’s more, the agency detailed what they call inaccuracies in the state’s official explanation to the feds. For example, TEA reported that children with disabilities haven’t been denied services guaranteed by federal law. Rynders disputed that.“Additionally, they claim they never got a complaint because of the cap. And to me that was remarkable because it’s such a clear cut inaccuracy,” he added.Disability Rights Texas has complained formally and informally in different ways about the cap on special ed, starting more than two years ago. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: center_img X PexelsTexas officials denied they imposed any cap on special education in a letter to the U.S. Department of Education. Sharelast_img read more

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PGDBA prog of 3 Bengal institutes best in India QS rankings

first_imgKolkata: The Postgraduate Diploma in Business Analytics (PGDBA) programme offered jointly by three premier institutions in West Bengal, including IIT Kharagpur, has been ranked first in the country and the second place in Asia in the business analytics category by a university rating organisation. The two other institutions are IIM Calcutta and Indian Statistical Institute(ISI). The course has also been ranked 14th globally in the business analytics category by QS World University Rankings, an IIT Kharagpur statement said Monday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life The QS World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). The QS system names the world’s top universities for the study of 48 subjects and five composite faculty areas, alongside five independent regional tables, including Asia. The ranking shows how collaboration among the best institutions can really make a top-notch programme, Prof. P P Chakrabarti, Director IIT Kharagpur, was quoted having said in the statement. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed PGDBA is a two-year full-time residential diploma programme aimed at creating business analytics professionals, employable by leading Indian and foreign firms. Dean, Postgraduate Studies and Research at IIT KGP Prof. P K Das, said the programme is designed for those who have an analytical mindset, are interested in tackling challenging business problems and possess an inclination towards mathematics. “While coursework at IIM Calcutta focuses on the application of analytics in functional areas, ISI brings to the table its expertise in statistical and machine learning theories for analytics “The faculty at IIT Kharagpur engages with the technology aspects of analytics in addition to offering electives in management domain with focus on application of analytics in functional areas,” Dean, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT KGP, Prof. Prabina Rajib said.last_img read more

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8 Strategy Secrets For Midlevel Managers

first_imgOctober 7, 2008 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Nilofer MerchantThese eight secrets will help any midlevel manager in this tough job move ahead and formulate the best possible strategy:1. Use A ProcessEvery strategy must follow a repeatable pattern — a process. These steps are the building blocks of strategy creation. They’re linked, but not rigidly sequential. When you use a process, it means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Take advantage of past learning and the experience your team has gained in the market — start your strategy off on the right foot by creating a process that you can use over and over again.2. Be Prepared To Get MessyStrategy isn’t neat and tidy — there is no bow wrapping it all up at the end and much that is unknown. Conversations will lead you into places you never thought you’d go. There are lots of ideas, and many of those will have to be killed off. And sometimes strategy creation is mind-boggling and disorienting. Take a compass with you — a North Star so you know where you are. But know it’s a journey that often involves the new. It’s a little like making sausage — the middle steps are often glossed over so no one knows the actual recipe.3. Follow The Leader(s)In any group, there’s a leader. In strategy formation, the operational leader makes sure the right conversation takes place. He or she determines which key conversations must occur, in what sequence, and with whom. This all moves the team toward development of the best ideas, the best single solution. The leader shepherds the process and insists that ideas are well vetted and considered. The leader also makes sure everyone in the group is participating. The operational leader makes the call. That’s the decision-maker. Without that sage wisdom, strategy development can stall. Keep in mind that members of a group may share leadership at various points in the strategy development.4. QuestionsStrategy without questions is like a car without gas. Questions that work for strategy development focus on the overall marketplace topography, capabilities, and weak points of the company, and the impact on current and new customers. If a team were strategizing ways to defend against a competitor, typical questions would include:What have we tried already?What happened when we did it?How did the market get to where it is today?What is our competitor good at?What are we good at?Where are our weaknesses?5. InterviewingIf you approach them right, interviews will glean important quantitative and qualitative information used in strategy formation. Great fact-gathering tools for data, interviews can also provide knowledge and insight. Perform interviews in person wherever possible. Read the look on the interviewee’s face. Notice which topics cause a flinch or a frown — dig deeper. You’ll find questions popping up in the middle of the session that you had no idea you’d be asking. Go with the impulse to ask “off the wall” questions — they can be the pathway that takes the interview to a new place or reveals something new and useful.6. Selecting IntervieweesOrganizations that hire my company typically will hand me a list of people they want us to speak with. Typically, the lists are limited in scope. We ask who else could be included because we want an extended range of data and issues. Hearing dissenting voices is important. We find people who may object, people who may be contrarian. Who you ask shapes what you learn. As information moves farther from its source, it is distilled, distorted, and the nuances are removed. Talk to people who are familiar with the basics of day-to-day operations. Go into the mailroom or the security back office for a viewpoint entirely different from that of the executive VP.7. Organize Facts In A FrameworkInterviews give you facts, but to get the meaning you’ve got to organize the facts in a framework. Use four categories: What you regard as confirmed, what you believe but don’t have enough facts to confirm, what you doubt, and what the relevant outliers are. Items that are confirmed may include hard numbers from validated sources. If you don’t have enough facts for a confirmation, you may be looking at something you know or sense from your experience — it could also be something you’ve heard several others say they believe. Things you doubt might include research that originates from an unreliable source. Outliers would be defined as information only a few people hold or a topic with a surface that’s barely been researched.8. Developing CriteriaNow generate and sort ideas. In this phase, it’s important to know what matters most to the organization — and this is a huge strength for most middle managers. Choose the best idea from among the many. Ask yourself the following questions:Where do we want to be?How will we know when we’re winning?What does success look like?Imagine what the change will look like when it’s successfully implemented. Use concrete language to describe it. “We will be aligned and operating to hit our stretch goal of $132M for fiscal 2010.” Create a detailed picture of exactly what type of success is most desired and what, specifically, it will look like.Middle managers are the hub of any business. They hold the power to make or break the success of the organization. Add these strategy development skills to their already-tremendous knowledge and you’ll reap the benefits.Nilofer Merchant, CEO of Rubicon Consulting, is a global high-tech industry thought leader and trusted strategic adviser for companies such as Adobe, Symantec, and VMware. She publishes and speaks frequently on strategy, innovation, and leadership. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »last_img read more

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Four Tools for Improving Office Collaboration

first_img Laptops, smartphones, tablets and web-based apps let groups collaborate from virtually anywhere around the globe. But in-person collaboration has largely remained tech-resistant. Until now, that is.Say goodbye to disengaged team members who zone out when asked to stare at non-interactive presentation tools. A growing number of collaborative display devices are being designed to help promote teamwork and more productive meetings.Here are four tools to help you transform your conference room into a true collaborative space:The Steelcase media:scape table and teleconferencing tool1. Build an interactive environment.For some entrepreneurs, the traditional conference room setup of a big table and projector is no longer the best way to manage a team of employees and their mobile devices. Another option is to create a collaborative environment that lets you work more comfortably and conveniently from a variety of locations.For screen sharing, consider using a large display that everyone can see clearly and that can be easily connected to a variety of devices. Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Steelcase specializes in tech and team-friendly office arrangements. The company’s collaborative table and teleconferencing tool called media:scape lets up to four users plug in and share their own device screens — and audio — on a central display simply by pushing a button.Related: Five Ways to Boost Productivity with New Tech ToolsIn addition to the full-size conference style version, Steelcase comes in mini and mobile versions. Prices vary by configuration. How Success Happens The 3M Multi-Touch Display2. Get more hands-on.Large format touchscreens can be useful collaboration tools for side-by-side computer work. Touch displays, including the Multi-Touch Display from St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M, can turn any computer session into a shareable iPad-like experience. Touch-enabled monitors such as the 18.5-inch 3M Multi-Touch Display (about $1,175) allow multiple users to manipulate content on the screen without surrendering the mouse or keyboard.While it’s probably not practical for two or more people to work on one screen all the time, touch functions can be useful for graphic designers and other creative workers when they’re brainstorming on the same document.Related: Why Next-Gen Displays Might Be Your Next Point-of-Sale Marketing ToolA SMART interactive whiteboard system3. Try an interactive white board.Interactive whiteboards from companies such as Calgary, Canada-based SMART are similar to touch-based monitors, but large enough to allow groups to collaborate on digital content, including web pages and PDF files.These tools take the traditional white board up several notches. Groups can write directly on the display — mark up documents, make highlights or take notes — and the smart board will capture the changes.Basic interactive whiteboards from SMART start at about $1,000.The Samsung SUR40 ‘smart’ table4. Turn your conference table into a computer.Technology companies have transformed staid conference room tables into “smart” tables that can act as giant tablet computers. Simply pull up documents, images and other content directly to the table’s screen, and people can manipulate the items with their hands.Take for instance the Samsung SUR40, developed in collaboration with Microsoft. This device was designed as a customer engagement and marketing tool, but it also has potential as a next-generation collaboration platform.Related: Three Wild Tools from Tech EntrepreneursWhile smart conference tables can be useful for group review of content or face-to-face presentations in small groups, they aren’t inexpensive. The Samsung SUR40 retails for about $9,000.Bottom line: For businesses looking to fundamentally change the way they collaborate, these tools now make that possible. If any of them can turn just one good idea into a great one, the benefits can more than offset the initial cost. Listen Now 4 min readcenter_img February 29, 2012 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible.last_img read more

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Live News traffic and weather updates for North Staffordshire South Cheshire on

first_img Video Loading Video Unavailable Watch Next StokeonTrentLive – we’re #localandproud Share this video Click to playTap to play StokeonTrent Live – we’re #localandproudStokeonTrent Live – we’re #localandproudVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmute0:00/1:20Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:20 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.  Click for Soundcenter_img Watch again Video will play in  We pay for stories! Send your videos to video@trinitymirror.comHello and welcome to Stoke-on-TrentLive’s breaking news service bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Monday, November 12. Our team of reporters will be updating this live service with all the latest on the traffic and travel and weather updates – as well as news and entertainment through the day. We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates in our live news feed below. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Follow us on Twitter @SOTLive – the official Sentinel account – real news in real time. We’re also on Facebook – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire. Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . 17:59All lanes reopenedAll lanes have now reopened.17:56Traffic held due to accident on M6A Highways England spokesman said:M6 northbound between J21 and J21A we have all traffic stopped due to a collision between a car and HGV. Delays building quickly on the approach. Please allow plenty of extra journey time. will keep you updated. “17:20Broken down vehicle causing delays on M6One lane blocked and slow traffic due to broken down vehicle on M6 Southbound between J18 A54 Middlewich Road (Middlewich / Holmes Chapel) and J17 A534 Old Mill Road (Sandbach / Crewe). In the roadworks area.Lane one (of three) is blocked.17:09Three remain in hospital two days after A53 horror crash killed 64-year-old womanPolice are appealing for witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage to come forward. More here.16:13Incident in Wolstanton involves minor injuries onlyWest Midlands Ambulance Service have confirmed they are treating two patients after an accident on High Street in Wolstanto – although neither are believed to have been seriously injured.A spokeswoman said:We were called just after 3.30pm. We had two ambulances and a paramedic officer on scene. Now there is just one ambulance and we are treating two patients.” 16:09Accident in Wolstanton involves car and pedestrianSlow traffic due to accident, pedestrian and vehicle involved on A527 High Street at B5368 Silverdale Road.Sources confirm there is no blockage on the road however delays remain in both directions. 15:56Accident in WolstantonA527 High Street partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident at B5368 Silverdale Road. (Image: Inrix)15:26Haslington councillor John Hammond diesHe had served on the council since 2008. More here.Councillor John Hammond represented Haslington at Cheshire East Council (Image: Cheshire East Council)12:46One lane closed due to broken down vehicle on M6 Southbound between J15 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent) and J14 A5013 (Stafford North). In the roadworks area. Lane two (of three) is closed. 12:44 (Image: Staffordshire Police)Detectives are hunting for the owner of a rare antique knife after it was stolen from a Staffordshire town over the weekend.The antique carving knife was found in the North Walls area of Stafford at around 2pm on Saturday afternoon (November 10) and officers are keen to reunite it with its owners.Staffordshire Police believe the knife could have been taken from its original owner due to its rarity.Read more.12:07 One lane blocked and heavy traffic due to broken down car on M6 Northbound from J18 A54 Middlewich Road (Middlewich / Holmes Chapel) to J19 A556 Chester Road (Knutsford). In the roadworks area. Lane one (of three) is blocked.11:24Heavy traffic on Brownhills Road / Davenport Street / Newcastle Street between A500 (Porthill Bank) and Tunstall. 11:11Queuing traffic due to the problems on the M6 on A534 Old Mill Road Northbound from B5079 / Crewe Road (Wheelock Roundabout) to M6 J17 (Sandbach / Crewe).10:57Slow traffic on A52 Werrington Road Westbound before A52 Leek Road (Lime Kiln Traffic Lights). 10:5410:54One lane closed and queueing traffic due to broken down car on M6 Northbound from J16 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent / Crewe) to J17 A534 Old Mill Road (Sandbach / Crewe). In the roadworks area. Lane two (of three) is closed. Breakdown has occurred within the residual delays on an earlier accident.10:37 A500 Northbound exit slip road partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident at M6 J16 (Stoke-On-Trent / Crewe). Lane one (of two) closed. Around Stoke-on-Trent.10:28A motorcyclist suffered suspected life changing injuries following a collision involving a car this morning.Police officers reported a collision between a bike and a car on Within Lane, Stafford , at around 9am today (November 12).The Staffordshire and West Midlands Serious Collision Investigation Unit had asked people to avoid the area as the road had to be closed off.Read more.10:22A34 Newcastle Road busy but moving between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange). 10:08All M6 lanes are now reopen.The vehicles have now been moved into the Smart Motorway roadworks and all lanes reopened. There are delays of around 4.5 milies.09:53M6 lane reopenOne lane is now reopen following a collision on the M6.09:42Updates: Traffic held on M6 due to two-vehicle collision (Image: Highways England)Traffic has been held on the M6 in Cheshire because of a collision between a HGV and a car.The nortbound carriageway between junction 16, Crewe, and junction 17, Sandbach, was closed off shortly after 9.30am today (November 12).North West Motorway Police and Highways England are currently on the scene.Read more09:2909:24 A527 Porthill Road busy but moving at A500 D Road / Longbridge Hayes Road / Longbridge Hayes Road (Porthill Bank). 09:23Delays likely as THIS wide-load travels through the region today (Image: Staffs Police TST)Motorists have been told they face delays this morning as a 405ton, 69m long electrical transformer travels through Staffordshire and Cheshire.The transformer will be leaving GE, Lichfield Road, Stafford, at 9.30am today and will travel along Weston Road towards Beaconside, Redhill, and the A34 towards Stone and then Newcastle.It will then travel towards Talke where Staffordshire Police will hand over to colleagues in Cheshire at around midday today.The slow moving transformer will stop at Browns Bank, Congleton, around 90 minutes later.Read more.09:00Weather updates08:50 Traffic returned to normal on M6 Northbound from J18 A54 Middlewich Road (Middlewich / Holmes Chapel) to J19 A556 Chester Road (Knutsford). 08:19 Advance Warning – Abnormal load travelling from A34 Red Bull traffic lights. The load will continue through Congleton until it reaches Browns Bank on the A54. From 9:30 until 11:00 on 12th November. 08:12 Queuing traffic on A527 Biddulph Road coming from Brindley Ford Southbound at A5272 High Lane roundabout. Travel time is five minutes. 08:11 Slow traffic on A34 Newcastle Road between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange). Travel time is four minutes. The video will start in 1Cancel Play nowlast_img read more

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October 19 2015On Friday October 9th four Arcosan

first_imgOctober 19, 2015On Friday October 9th four Arcosanti residents; Alix Dewald, Hildemar Cruz, Jonas Fister and Lorenzo Mastino, set out to the West Coast Communities Conference held at the ecovillage Groundswell located in Yorkville, CA. The conference gathered over 120 people from all over the nation that live in ecovillages, sustainable communities, artist collectives and other alternative living styles.[photos and text by Soleri Archives volunteer Hildemar Cruz]On Saturday the 10th representatives from the different communities had an opportunity to present information about their respective sites at the communities salon. Arcosanti had the chance to share information about Arcology with budding groups. In a time when collective society is eager to find efficient, intelligent and fulfilling modes of living, representing an alternative model for the city really broaden the perspectives of many participants of the conference. Some of the workshops offered during the conference include; Creative and Constructive Conflict resolution in community, Reaching Across the Generations in Community, and Community in Crisis Interactive Theatre Workshop.last_img read more

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Freesat a new lowcost digital platform for Roman

first_imgFreesat, a new low-cost digital platform for Romania, has launched on the Eutelsat 16A satellite.Freesat joins the already crowded Romanian DTH market with a very low-cost offering, providing a range of standard and HD channels for an annual subscription of RON99 (€23) and the purchase of a conditional access smartcard.The platform includes popular Romanian commercial and public channels such as TVR 1, TVR 2, Pro TV, AcasaTv, ProCinema, Sport.ro, KanalD, Prima, NationalTV, FavoritTV, TVR HD TVR 3, TVR News, TVR International, Etno TV, Taraf TV and West TV.“Our objective is to give Romanians access to digital television choice at a great price with the highest quality and to reach the maximum number of homes using Eutelsat’s established neighbourhood at 16° East,” said Serban Belenes, general manager of Freesat. “We believe that Freesat’s proposal of no monthly bill and no commitment is a key asset. With 99 lei, you have your favourite channels for a full year – no worries, no subscription.”last_img read more

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Davor Tomašković and Claudia Nemat Deutsche Teleko

first_imgDavor Tomašković and Claudia NematDeutsche Telekom-owned Croatian telco T-Hrvatski Telekom has staked its claim to be the third operator in the EU to complete its migration to an all-IP infrastructure.According to the telco, all customers and services are now plugged in to an all-IP network, enabling it to offer higher quality services and develop advanced offerings as well as the convergence of fixed and mobile telephony and data services.T-Hrvatski Telekom has over the last five years replaced 72 local exchanges with two facilities located in Rijeka and Zagreb.CEO Davor Tomašković said that T-Hrvatski Telekom had invested more than HRK500 million (€65.5 million) in transitioning to an all-IP architecture since 2010 and that the company would invest over HRK1.3 billion this year in networks and services, 25% more than in 2014.Claudia Nemat, member of the board of T-Mobile Europe responsible for technology, said that the achievement was a trunign point for the entire Deutsche Telekom group.last_img read more

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Several readers have asked why I use CDs in so man

first_imgSeveral readers have asked why I use CDs in so many examples. With good reason, they wondered if I was suggesting buying CDs, which made them question my wisdom and sanity. If anyone thinks that’s what I’m recommending, I must have been remiss in conveying my message. On that note, I’d like to make one thing clear: I am absolutely opposed to buying any CD denominated in US dollars. (And since we’re clearing things up, I should also mention again that I am wholly opposed to TIPS.) When I use CDs in examples, I am usually referring to a lost time when they paid around 6% – a time when retirees could sail along on CDs and top-rated bonds without much worry. Since the first TARP bill passed in 2008, we’re hard pressed to find a CD paying more than about 1.2%, which is 0.5% below the government-reported inflation rate. It’s also 6.8% below the Money Forever Reader Poll Inflation Rate. Declining interest rates have hit retirees’ investment income hard; for many folks it’s dropped 50-80% from just a few years ago. So why would anyone want to make a long-term investment that is not keeping up with inflation and likely won’t catch up anytime soon? I certainly wouldn’t, and I strongly urge all readers to find other places to put their hard-earned money. Here is the bottom line: Before the 2008 crash, retirees could earn a decent yield on relatively safe investments. For many, this investment income was three to five times more than their Social Security checks, which allowed for a comfortable retirement low on financial stress. Now those same secure investments might bring in income equal to about half of your Social Security check. Before my wife Jo and I were married, we made one of our wisest investments: pre-marriage counseling. We had both been married before, and we wanted to make sure this marriage would be our last. One of our counseling assignments was to write down what we each wanted to be doing in 10 and 20 years. Our counselor also asked us to describe what “enjoying our golden years” meant to us. We took our assignments seriously, and as luck would have it, our dreams meshed quite well. We still consider ourselves truly blessed 25 years later. Some of the things we wanted were no-brainers. We wanted good health and enough money to not have to worry about it. While jetting around the world would be nice, our needs for happiness were much simpler. She grew up on a farm and my dad delivered mail; cool stuff is a bonus but not mandatory. We also wanted companionship to enjoy many things together and freedom to enjoy a few things apart. You get the point; we wanted the same things most ordinary people want. Nevertheless, having enough money to not have to worry about it turned into a trickier challenge than we’d expected. I retired at age 62. For the first six years, it was a dream. We lived in a motor home for a year and traveled extensively, nary a care in the world. Quite frankly, Jo and I were having a blast! That changed overnight, when the banks called in our high-yield, secure CDs. As I received more and more questions from readers about why I write about CDs so often, the more I realized what they had represented to us: freedom. Today we have enough money, but most of our capital is in riskier investments than FDIC-insured CDs. What investment could be more worry-free than a government-insured CD paying three times the rate of inflation? Moreover, it wasn’t just the yield that made us comfortable; safety was also key. If our government collapsed it was all over anyway, at least that was our thinking. The only folks I know who still have that same level of emotional comfort are retired federal employees. I can report that I now sleep much better than I did in 2008. However, it is still a far cry from our carefree joyride when I first retired. I know Jo and I are not alone. The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) does an annual survey on retirement confidence. Its 2012 survey reports that in 2005, 40% of retirees felt “very comfortable” that they had enough money to live on throughout their retirement years. Forty percent reported they were “somewhat comfortable.” In 2012 those numbers changed to 21% and 42% respectively. Also, in 2005, 7% reported they were “not at all” comfortable; that figure jumped to 19% in 2012. Here are some other interesting tidbits from that report: Americans’ retirement confidence has plateaued at the lowest levels seen over the last two decades. With her marriage, she got a new name … and a dress.  A will is a … dead giveaway. And my favorite: Police were called to a daycare where a three-year-old was … resisting a rest. Until next week… Twenty-five percent of those currently working say the age at which they expected to retire changed in the last year. In 1991, 11% of workers said they expected to retire after age 65, and by 2012 that grew to 37%. Baby boomers are now retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day and will continue to do so for the next 19 years. For decades, through economic ups and downs, they formed their retirement expectations. Now, in a few short years those expectations have been drastically altered.Back to the Future Thanks to the reader feedback I mentioned earlier, I have come to another conclusion: baby boomers on either side of the retirement cusp understand the problem, but they don’t all know what to do about it. Retirees have to make a detour; a bridge is out, and it won’t be repaired anytime soon. I can talk about 6% CDs all day long, but the truth is, they no longer exist. How can we achieve our retirement dreams in the current environment? Our retirement goals have not changed. We still want enough money to not have to worry about it. How we go about getting there, however, has been changed dramatically. So let’s focus on the task at hand. Personally, I advocate a three-pronged approach. First, we have little choice but to put a whole lot more of our nest egg at risk. We need to beat our current, high rate of inflation and earn enough to adequately supplement our Social Security checks. This means continuing to learn about and monitor our investments much more than we had to in the past. We have to diversify our investments to minimize the overall risk to our portfolios, and look into alternative investments and strategies. An uneducated or passive investor is setting himself and his family up for disaster. Second – and this is the part no one likes – we have to modify our lifestyles. That means different things for different people, but no matter how much money you have, we all have to live within our means. That’s just good, old-fashioned common sense. I’ve noticed that folks who accept the reality of our economic problems have an easier time making adjustments. They made sensible cutbacks early on and are damn happy they did. On the other hand, our friends who thought we were in an 18-month recession are hitting some real rough patches. Third and finally, we need to redefine “don’t have to worry about it” to fit today. When Jo and I were traveling the country in our motorhome, Internet connections were spottier than they are today. We would check into a campground and ask if they had an Internet hookup. If they did, we would check our email and update our brokerage account. If not, no big deal; hopefully we would find one at the next campground. That was the epitome of not worrying about it. Not worrying looks a lot different today. We know and understand where our money is invested, and we continue to learn every day. While I would use the word “comfortable” to describe our situation, it’s still a far cry from our carefree, passive attitude of yesteryear. That was a dream… and a whole lot of fun while it lasted. Nevertheless, an educated, confident investor can still sleep very well. If you’re up counting sheep and worrying about your portfolio, skip the Ambien. Instead, I invite you to learn about Miller’s Money Forever and take advantage of our no-risk, premium subscription. If you decide it’s not for you, just call or email within the first 90-days and receive a 100% refund. And if you do decide to stick with Miller’s Money Forever, it’s still less expensive than a lifelong Ambien prescription. As the EBRI survey pointed out, in 2005 40% of those surveyed said they were “very comfortable.” By 2012 the number had dropped to 21%. Our goal at Miller’s Money Forever is to make sure our subscribers all fall into the 21% who are “very comfortable.”On the Lighter Side I saw that Danica Patrick won the pole position for the Daytona 500. I suspect that will add a few million viewers to the race next week. While she was born in Beloit, Wisconsin, she grew up in Roscoe, Illinois, right across the state line. We have friends who lived there, and she is certainly a hometown hero. Our Florida weather has been a bit cool over the last few days; the forecast for the race day is in the low 70s. Let’s hope it’s a good and safe race. —- My friend Rob – of We Buy Gold fame – and I went to a coin show over the weekend. There was no junk silver to be found, and Silver Eagles were also in short supply. After speaking with several dealers, they felt the current downturn in the price of metals will be short lived. And finally… Our friends Ed and Sarah sent us some clever puns. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles … U.C.L.A.  The batteries were given out … free of charge.  A dentist and a manicurist married … They fought tooth and nail. The percentage of workers expecting to retire before age 65 has decreased from 50% in 1991 to 24% in 2012.last_img read more

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Saudi Arabia

first_img Saudi Arabia The United States has the largest refining capacity in the world and is still by far the largest consumer of oil in the world (though China is beginning to catch up), and its refineries require 15 million barrels of oil a day. That means even though, due to the shale revolution, domestic production has dramatically increased to about 8 million barrels, the US still has to import between 7 and 8 million barrels of expensive foreign oil a day. Let’s take a look at who the US buys the imported oil from. (Now that I finally figured out my way around the new Windows 8—which, by the way, really sucks—I can even add some color to my tables.) Canada 2.5–3 Millions of barrels exported to US per day Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know Use Compounds Made from Crude Oil Golf balls Toothpaste Soap Aspirin Life jackets Louis Vuitton knock-offs Guitar strings Shoes Soccer balls Pantyhose 0.8 0.8–1.0 Venezuela Mexico But really, I’ve had a pretty good run. Here is my audited return since January 1, 2012 (green column on the left). 1.2–1.5 While the White House spied on Frau Merkel and Obamacare developed into a slow-moving train wreck, while Syria was saved from all-out war by the Russian bell and the Republicrats fought bitterly about the debt ceiling… something monumental happened that went unnoticed by most of the globe. The US quietly surpassed Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer in the world. You read that correctly: “The jump in output from shale plays has led to the second biggest oil boom in history,” stated Reuters on October 15. “U.S. output, which includes natural gas liquids and biofuels, has swelled 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2009, the fastest expansion in production over a four-year period since a surge in Saudi Arabia’s output from 1970-1974.” After the initial moment of awe, pragmatic readers will surely wonder: Then why isn’t gasoline dirt-cheap in the US? There’s indeed a good explanation why most Americans don’t drive up to the gas pump whistling a happy tune (and it has nothing to do with evil speculators). Let’s start with the demand side of this equation. Crude oil consists of very long chains of carbon atoms. The refineries take the crude and essentially “crack” those long chains of carbon atoms into shorter chains of carbon atoms to make various petroleum products. Some of the products that are made from petroleum may surprise you. Good day in the markets Bad day in the markets 0.3–0.5 Country Kuwait Canada is blue because it is not only friendly with the US, but also has the ability to increase oil production. The other countries are red because they either have decreasing oil production, or the country is not on good terms with the US government, or the production may be at risk for various reasons. The “red countries” all sell oil to the US at higher prices than does Canada. As I said, the US imports about 7 million barrels of oil a day, and our top 5 exporters make up between 5.6 and 6.8 million barrels while the rest is split among other countries. This means that even though the US has significantly increased its oil production in the past five years, a good chunk of oil has to be imported at much higher prices. And higher crude oil prices for refineries means higher prices at the gas pump. But that’s not the only issue: The “new oil” produced from the shale oil fields in the Bakken and Eagle Ford formations isn’t cheap. Both the Bakken and Eagle Ford have been hugely successful, and an average well in either region can produce over 400 barrels of oil per day. That may sound like a lot, but drilling thousands of meters into the ground (both vertically and horizontally), then casing and fracking the well, costs millions of dollars. And the trouble doesn’t end once the well has been drilled: oil and gas production can drop as much as 50% in the first year. Think of it as running on a treadmill—but the incline gets steeper and steeper the longer you run. That’s the current reality of America’s oil production. Now, these areas also have to deal with declining legacy oil production (“legacy” meaning older oil wells that produced before fracking became popular) due to depletion rates. Freeze-offs, and even hurricane season can affect the legacy oil wells’ production decline. As the old wells begin to deplete, they need to be replaced by unconventional wells with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Even though these new wells provide an initial burst of production, they decline very quickly. That means you need to drill even more wells just to keep up—and the vicious cycle continues. The costs, as you can imagine, are forbiddingly high. Even in known oil-rich regions like the Bakken and Eagle Ford, the all-in cost of extracting a barrel of oil from the ground can cost as much as US$75 per barrel (for comparison, Saudi Arabia can produce oil for as low as US$1 per barrel). To put it in simple terms: cheap oil in North America is a thing of the past. So, the US produces expensive oil and relies on imports of even more expensive oil. And since the refiners need to make money as well, this means higher prices at the pumps. Who loses? The US consumer, of course. What would help lower gas prices? Building more pipelines to deliver cheaper Canadian oil to refineries in the US and decreasing the refineries’ dependence on expensive foreign oil. Until these new and much safer pipelines are built, rail has to pick up the slack. Almost 400,000 railcars full of oil are expected to be shipped in 2013, compared with just 9,500 railcars in 2008, a whopping 41-fold increase. But rail is not the answer. In fact, transporting oil by rail is much more dangerous than transporting it by pipeline. Just last week, we wrote about two recent accidents, one of which claimed 47 lives. Federal and state taxes at every step of the gasoline-making progress make the pain at the pump even worse. The US government already takes more than 60% of the divisible income from every barrel of oil produced… and another 50 cents per gallon at the pump. Then there’s the matter of Obama’s supposed “Green Revolution” and how America would be saved through the use of alternative energies. Obama wrote massive checks to different renewable energy firms that went belly-up, the most famous of them all being solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, whose bankruptcy cost American taxpayers more than $500 million. Obama is also a heavy supporter of ethanol (his home state of Illinois, after all, is the third-largest ethanol-producing state) and has increased the targets for the use of ethanol in transportation. Someone has to pay for all of these subsidies, so why not get the dirty, evil oil companies to pay for them? Keep in mind, though, that the oil companies have enough lobbyists and lawyers to keep the government at bay—so the higher prices will be passed on to the consumers. To sum up why the price of gasoline is so high even though the US is producing so much more oil than before: The high cost of American oil production Even higher costs due to imported (non-Canadian) oil Obama not allowing cheaper Canadian oil to flow to the refineries via pipelines such as the Keystone XL The taxes on crude are used to fund Obama’s green dream—his green-energy “legacy”—and his love for ethanol and the taxes at the pump will not decrease So what does this mean for you, the consumer? You have two options: You can gripe about high gas prices… or you can choose to profit from the situation, no matter how dire. If you’re the former type, so long, and I hope you enjoyed my missive today. If you’re the latter, let’s talk money. Who am I? Well, I kinda look like this guy… I stand by my performance and offer anyone reading this article a guarantee: if you try the Casey Energy Report today and do not think that it’s the absolute best energy newsletter in the business, you get all your money back, no questions asked. I’m not saying I’m perfect (my wife reminds me daily that I’m not ), but I’m willing to put myself out there and offer you a challenge to expand your knowledge and become a better investor. All of my past newsletters, going back to 2006, are up on the Casey website, and I want you to check them out. I have lost money on investments (anyone who says they haven’t is a liar), but I made sure I learned something from every harsh experience. And overall, I’ve made much more than I’ve lost. Our energy portfolio has been delivering +50% gains since January 1, 2012. Right now, I’m the first to publish on what I think is going to send my track record to the moon. I’m on to an investment theme that I believe has the potential to make 10-fold returns for investors who play it right. That theme is the European Energy Renaissance. Doug Casey and I are convinced that new technologies applied in the Old World will bring huge New World profits. But don’t take my word for it—I challenge you to try out my research. Click here to take me up on my 100% money-back guarantee. Additional Links and Reads OPEC Warning of $150 Oil Price If Member Countries Cut Investment (The National) What people often forget about the oil and gas sector is that it is a very capital-intensive business. If companies (or countries) do not consistently re-invest in their production, the amount that comes out of the fields inevitably drops lower and lower. To make matters worse, the demand for oil within petroleum-exporting countries is increasing due to population growth. This means much less will be available for exports, leading to higher oil prices worldwide. Pirates Abduct Two Americans on Oil Ship Off Nigeria Coast (New York Times) Piracy is still a very real concern worldwide when it comes to shipping, adding yet another layer of risk in the global oil and gas trade. Though the phenomenon has died down somewhat in Somalia, we see that piracy is still alive and well in other parts of the world. In the latest event, two American citizens have been abducted in Nigeria. This could be the beginning of a worrying trend of increased piracy around parts of Africa. Final Keystone Review Assesses Potential of Oil-by-Rail Transport (Globe and Mail) US officials are currently considering whether transporting oil by rail is a viable alternative to the pipeline. However, as we have mentioned in previous issues of the CDD, they will soon find that despite the fact that it’s theoretically possible to ship the oil by rail, it will be much more expensive and much less safe. If it comes down to a clash of the lobbyists, however, who knows what could happen?last_img read more

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In This Issue   Markets think the elections ar

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Markets think the elections are good for the U.S. *  Gold loses $28 and probably more as the day goes on! *  Canada gets a renminbi hub! *  U.S. Trade Deficit soars to $43 Billion! And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Currencies & Metals Get Ambushed! Good Day!…  And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Right from the top this morning (and before I have a senior moment) I want to say a GREAT BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the lovely Rachel Butler. Oldest son, Andrew’s lovely bride, Rachel. I always think of the first time I met Rachel, it was at the Annual Butler Christmas Party, and I thought, she’s perfect for Andrew! And so it was, a few years later, they were married! Now, she’s a Butler, and a big part of our family. Happy Birthday, sunshine. Well, there’s no sunshine for the currencies and metals this morning, and guess what’s getting blamed for this ambush this morning. The results of the mid-term elections in the U.S. last night, which saw the Republicans gain the Senate for the first time in long time, and the markets are all giddy about this prospect.  It seems they think that this will grease the tracks for clearer decision-making to take place. Hey! I didn’t say that, the pundits out there in writer-land did! I’m just reporting what they are associating the ambush on the currencies and metals this morning with. Of course, I could very easily say to them, if they would hear me now and listen to me later, that this is no panacea for debt cutting, and budget balancing. For, when this dollar weak trend began we had the same scenario, expect the President was from the other party. Remember that? So, I guess what I’m saying is that there’s no guarantee that business will recover because of the party in charge. And that’s all I’m saying about this political stuff, because it gets me nowhere, I’ll tick off half the readers, and make the other half not so happy because I didn’t jump up and down in an euphoric dance!  But, the damage to the currencies and metals this morning is UGLY. They aren’t just getting hit with the UGLY stick, they are having the whole forest hit them! Gold is down $26 this morning, and looking like it could go even lower. Last night I was reading a report from Casey Research, and the headline of the story read: Sellers Waterboard Gold – Is The Price Torture Over?  Well, the markets are answering them this morning, and saying not no, but Hell No! I saw another conspiracy thought yesterday regarding who’s behind this latest drive to get Gold cheaper. The thought centered around the Swiss Gold Referendum. Saying that the Swiss are behind this move to get Gold cheaper, for they believe they will lose the resistance to the Referendum, thus requiring them to buy 1,700 tonnes of Gold, as I explained last week. Well, if they have to start buying, wouldn’t it be better to start at a cheaper price? Of course it would be. But let me ask this question, and don’t get me wrong, the idea is solid, just not the player. Do they really think the Swiss National Bank (SNB)  have enough intestinal fortitude to do this? I don’t.  But then they did pull of that devaluation of the franc two years ago, and the markets barely batted an eye. Well, this is no fun. watching Gold get ambushed day after day by the paper trades. As I told you yesterday, Koos Jansen reported that China has an insatiable demand for physical Gold, and Russia, and Turkey, and Brazil, I could go on, but just about every county in the East and Middle East are adding to their Gold reserves. Are they doing this for the hell-of-it? Or, are they doing so, because they see something coming down the pike that’s going to be UGLY. Even uglier than this ambush of the currencies and metals this morning by the dollar bugs. But you know. I told you months ago that I thought the dollar was ready to have a short period of strength, and could drive the euro down to below 1.20. I just didn’t think it would come this quickly, which leads me to believe that we could very well see a bounce that’s based on the drop in the currencies was too far, too fast. We usually see that. I’m just saying. OK. on Monday I told you the Big News regarding the direct convertibility of the Chinese renminbi, with Singapore dollars. Well, it was Big News as far as I’m concerned, and let me remind you that in 2008, I began writing about the currency swap agreements that China was signing with one country at a time, and thought that too was Big News, even if most news outlets didn’t see it that way.   And then yesterday, in the Canadian National Post, was more Big News. Apparently, this coming weekend, when Canadian PM Stephen Harper visits China, both he and the Chinese will use the visit as an opportunity to announce that Canada (Toronto) will become a trading hub for the renminbi, thus allowing Canadian firms to trade directly in the local Chinese currency, rather than converting loonies in U.S. dollars to do business in China.   This is the culmination of the currency swap agreement that was signed last year between the two countries, where they agreed to swap each country’s currency, thus leaving out the U.S. dollar, in the terms of trade between the two countries.  Now there is a Hub in Canada, for depositing renminbi, by Canadian firms doing business in China. It just keeps growing bigger and bigger all the time folks. The Chinese drive to gain a wider distribution of the renminbi, which is the number one requirement of a reserve currency! I don’t know of any other way I can emphasize the importance of the news regarding the renminbi this week. I can no longer do handstands or cartwheels (I was a on the “tumbling team” as a young man in elementary school, yes, I know, look at me now, go ahead and laugh, that’s OK, I know that somewhere in this extra-large body is the Chuck that was quite, what my dad used to call, a country athlete)  But I digress.   What I’m saying is this is absolutely crazy that no news outlets are of the same mind as me and believe this news is important. UGH! I told you yesterday that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left rates unchanged, and didn’t take their meeting as an opportunity to deep six the Aussie $ (A$). But today, the A$ has lost over 1-full cent. Why? Wasn’t the fall from $1.04 to the low 90-cent range, tied to the weak prices in commodities, namely iron ore? And then the fall from the low 90-cent range to 88-cents due to RBA jawboning the currency lower? And then what’s to blame for this next downward move?  I really think the interest rate differential narrowing talk in favor of the U.S. dollar is getting overblown. But it is what it is, right? We have to deal with it. until someone has a V-8 head slap moment, and realize they have been premature with their thoughts about rates in the U.S.. That could take some time, folks, for these knuckleheads have very thick skulls! Or, it could last until the next round of QE is announced. Yes, I know that’s not carved in stone, and it might never happen, but as I said the other day, if it doesn’t ever happen, then I’ll believe that pigs can fly.  So, I guess it would be good to talk about when I suspect the next round will come. They were discussing the timing of the next round of QE (QE4) in the 5 Minute Forecast / The “5” last Thursday, and they said that James Rickards pointed out that” the time between the end of QE1 and the start of QE2 was 17 months. The time between the end of QE2 and the start of QE3 was 15 months. So, expect QE4 in late 2015″.  And I thought, no, no, no, that can’t be, I see the lack of liquidity and the drop in inflation happening far before that. And then The “5” went on to say that they have this “Oh Sh*t” Graph, that tracks inflation. And funny thing, every time, since 2009, that inflation dropped below 2.2%, the Fed has embarked on another round of QE, and guess what the graph is telling us now?  “Uh-Oh, the line has been breached!  Inflation has dropped below 2.2% again. Come again, I hear you saying. Are you telling me that we could expect QE4 at any time now? Ahhh, grasshopper, not quite yet. the Fed will have to see that all their hard word of the past 6 years is being undone for sure first.   Because consumer inflation can be volatile, but we should continue to look for this to happen. And when it does, all this talk of dollar strength will be reversed, or at least that’s how I see it, it’s my opinion and I could be wrong! Well, the U.S. Trade Deficit widened by an amount that was not seen or forecast by the experts in September, and guess what the culprit was? Well, first let’s talk about the size of the Trade Deficit, which printed at $43 Billion in September, up from $40 Billion in August.  The deterioration came from exports falling 1.5% and imports remaining unchanged.  So, guess what the culprit was?  The relatively stronger dollar.  Just another unintended consequence of a strengthening currency on a country that depends so much on exports to offset the imports that are usually quite high.  Of course, exports could have been held down too, by the slowing economies of the world. But, these countries still need capital goods, no matter how slow their economies are, just like here in the U.S. we import things like Oil no matter how slow the economy is. The U.S. Data Cupboard was busy yesterday with the Trade Deficit print, and the ugly -.6% negative print of Factory Orders, which wasn’t as bad as August’s -10% print, but ugly nonetheless.  The NY regional ISM (manufacturing index) fell from 63.7 to 54.8. That’s a HUGE drop, but these regional reports can be volatile, and I grew tired of reporting on them because they never seemed to have any bearing whatsoever on the National ISM, but this one stuck out like a man with a hatchet in his forehead! Today’s Data Cupboard will begin to get us ready for the Jobs Jamboree on Friday, when the ADP Employment Change report for Rocktober. This report is expected to show that 220,000 jobs were added in Rocktober.  The song: The Walker, by Fitz and the Tantrums is playing, and I have the speakers turned up so loud, it’s a good thing I’m here by myself! This is a real  wiggle and bounce in your chair song!  I had a laugh the other day, when the National ISM report and the Markit version of ISM printed for Rocktober.  One showed a HUGE gain in the index up to 59, and the other showed a lower number of 55. Now remember this printed on Monday before the elections yesterday, so guess which one the Gov’t is responsible for printing and which one is a public company. Are you laughing out loud with me on this? That gain to 59 was so trumped up that it made it look ridiculous! The size of the, no wait I can’t say that. I’ll just say that the boys and girls printing that number were brave, eh? I read a story on the Bloomberg this morning that pretty much sums up the data prints in the U.S..  Let’s see what the Bloomie has to say.. “Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. said optimism on U.S. growth is misguided as economic data understate inflation and overstate growth, and central bank policies of the past six years aren’t sustainable. Nobody can predict how long governments can get away with fake growth, fake money, fake jobs, fake financial stability, fake inflation numbers and fake income growth,” New York-based Elliott wrote. “When confidence is lost, that loss can be severe, sudden and simultaneous across a number of markets and sectors.” Amen brother! I think this is bang on, folks. and I’m glad I happened to see it, as I was looking through stuff on the Bloomie this morning. My email box was loaded with emails from the WSJ and Washington Post this morning, giving me the results of the all the races, as if I really wanted to see all those! UGH!, so I spent part of the morning, deleting over 100 emails!  Gold isn’t the only metal getting ambushed this morning by the dollar. Silver has a $15 handle, Platinum has lost $25, and Palladium has lost $42 since yesterday morning. OMG! (oh my goodness!) This is crazy folks, just downright crazy! For What It’s Worth. There’s something happening here, what it is, ain’t exactly clear.  Yes, I’ve waited a long time to use that line after the FWIW beginning. and today’s piece works out perfectly, for we have some numbers, but it’s just not clear what to make of them yet.  I saw the headline on Ed Steer’s letter, and so I went to the site at Newsmax.com to find the story. Are you ready? Yes, I’m ready. “The portion of home purchasers who are first time buyers dropped to 33 percent for the 12 months through June, the lowest since 1987, and down from 38 percent a year earlier, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors. The average since 1981 is 40 percent. “Rising rents and repaying student loan debt makes saving for a down payment more difficult, especially for young adults who’ve experienced limited job prospects and flat wage growth since entering the workforce,” Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement. Average hourly wages for all workers rose only 2 percent in the 12 months through September. “Adding more bumps in the road is that those finally in a position to buy have had to overcome low inventory levels in their price range, competition from investors, tight credit conditions and high mortgage insurance premiums,” Yun said.” Chuck again. Chris and I were talking about housing and housing loans yesterday, and in the previous day, we discussed with one of our mortgage guys in Jacksonville, who told us that there is more pressure on banks to give loans to low credit rating borrowers. Chris and I said, isn’t that what got us in this crazy financial meltdown to begin with?  And then Mike Meyer chimed in and said, ” Yes, and when it all crashes like it did before, who are they going to blame? The Banks for giving the low credit borrowers loans!”  I shake my head in disgust that this is happening again. To recap. The currencies and metals are getting ambushed by the dollar this morning, and it’s all due, according to the stories on the wires, to the Republicans winning the Senate which gives them the ability to set the course for the President’s last two years, and the markets believe this will be clear decision-making. Of course Chuck pointed out that we’ve seen this before, about 12 years ago at the beginning of the weak dollar trend. so, he’s questioning their thought process. (but isn’t Chuck always questioning the markets’ thought processes? HA!) Gold is down $28 as I write, and looks like it could be one of those really ugly days for the shiny metal. Canada will have a hub for renminbi to facilitate trade and allow the direct exchange of loonies and renminbi in the terms of trade. This is HUGE news folks, but don’t tell the news agencies, or the markets, they can’t seem to find their rear end with both hands. Currencies today 11/5/14. American Style: A$.8620, kiwi .7735, C$ .8740, euro 1.2480, sterling 1.5905, Swiss $1.0365,  . European Style: rand 11.1495, krone 6.8845, SEK 7.3840, forint 247.45, zloty 3.3940, koruna 22.2830, RUB 44.18, yen 114.70, sing 1.2955, HKD 7.7525, INR 61.41, China 6.1503, pesos 13.63, BRL 2.5200, Dollar Index 87.53, Oil $76.96, 10-year 2.35%, Silver $15.24, Platinum $1,200, Palladium $757.80, and Gold. $1,141.35 That’s it for today. Well, did you get out and vote? It was an ugly rainy day here, so getting out to vote took effort, but I did my part despite the weather. It’s difficult for me on days like this when everything that I believe about economics, markets, and trading is shattered, shaken, and left for dead. But about 7 years ago, after being told I had Stage 4 cancer, I began to have a different outlook about those things I couldn’t control. I have no control over the markets, or the people that make up numbers for economic reports, or created Trillions of dollars with one stroke on a keyboard, so I work diligently to not let these things get to me. Instead I attempt to focus on what’s important. like Rachel Butler’s birthday today! I understand that we’re going to dinner tonight to celebrate Rachel’s birthday, so that should be fun!  Shooting Star is playing their hit song: Last Chance, on the IPod, man that was a big song in the 80’s. They were a Kansas City, Mo band, so they got a lot of air time here in St. Louis.  See, there, a little rock history on top of all the other things we talked about today, where else can you get such a wide array of information in one place. Like the Wide World of Sports. Spanning the Globe. And then the sky jumper falls off the ramp.   Good and bad. just like the everything else. But the good today is that it is Rachel’s Birthday! YAHOO!  And. our catcher, Yadier Molina won his seventh consecutive Gold Glove! WOW!  Ok. time to get out of your hair today. that is if you have any left after seeing the ambush. I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

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Database clarifies bottomup design of cement

first_img A simulated construct of cement produced by a model in the cemff database. The model contains hydrogen (white), oxygen (red), silicate (yellow) and calcium (green). The database gathers methods that simulate force-field parameters for the various types of inorganic minerals present in cement. A database tool created by researchers in the United States and Europe will aid in the design of cement, a component of concrete, the most-used construction material in the world and a significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The database contains validated atomistic models for molecular modeling that could help fine-tune cement and curtail emissions. http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/10/1008_CEMENT-1b-WEB-tpk0ml.jpegA database tool created by researchers in the United States and Europe will aid in the design of cement, a component of concrete, the most-used construction material in the world and a significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The database contains validated atomistic models for molecular modeling that could help fine-tune cement and curtail emissions. (Credit: ETH/EPFL/Rice University) ShareEditor’s note: Links to high-resolution images for download appear at the end of this release.AT RICE:David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduAT ETH ZURICH:Claudia Nägeli+41 44 632 89 61claudia.naegeli@hk.ethz.chAT EPFL:Clara Marc+41 21 69 30462clara.marc@epfl.chDatabase clarifies bottom-up design of cementEPFL, ETH and Rice researchers lead international team to make cement manufacture greener and more efficientHOUSTON – (Oct. 9, 2017) – An international team of scientists led by EPFL Lausanne, ETH Zurich and Rice University has created a database of molecular dynamics models that simulate the properties of cement in all its varieties.The database is called cemff, for cement force fields. It gathers methods for simulating force-field parameters for the various types of inorganic minerals present in cement, which is used to bind concrete, the most-used construction material in the world. Cemff allows academic and industrial researchers to draw upon many types of force fields to make accurate simulations and predictions of purpose-built cement formulations. http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/10/1008_CEMENT-4-WEB-15e35vt.jpgA simulated construct of cement produced by a model in the cemff database. The model contains hydrogen (white), oxygen (red), silicate (yellow) and calcium (green). The database gathers methods that simulate force-field parameters for the various types of inorganic minerals present in cement. (Credit: ETH) Return to article. Long Description A simulated construct of cement produced by a model in the cemff database. The model contains hydrogen (white), oxygen (red), silicate (yellow) and calcium (green). The database gathers methods that simulate force-field parameters for the various types of inorganic minerals present in cement. Courtesy of ETH A database tool created by researchers in the United States and Europe will aid in the design of cement, a component of concrete, the most-used construction material in the world and a significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The database contains validated atomistic models for molecular modeling that could help fine-tune cement and curtail emissions. A database tool created by researchers in the United States and Europe will aid in the design of cement, a component of concrete, the most-used construction material in the world and a significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The database contains validated atomistic models for molecular modeling that could help fine-tune cement and curtail emissions. center_img Return to article. Long DescriptionA database tool created by researchers in the United States and Europe will aid in the design of cement, a component of concrete, the most-used construction material in the world and a significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The database contains validated atomistic models for molecular modeling that could help fine-tune cement and curtail emissions. Courtesy of ETH/EPFL/Shahsavari Lab at RiceCemff could help industry design stronger, more durable construction materials that also curtail carbon dioxide emissions from the manufacture of more than 3 billion tons of cement and concrete a year. Concrete manufacturing contributes as much as 8 percent of the greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.Fifteen scientists at 11 institutions worked on the project led by Ratan Mishra of ETH Zurich, Rouzbeh Shahsavari of Rice and Paul Bowen of EPFL Lausanne. Details appear in the Elsevier journal Cement and Concrete Research.In this research, the force field isn’t an invisible barrier from a science-fiction story. It’s the collection of parameters scientists use to build computer models of atomic interactions. These parameters include the intrinsic energy of the atoms in a simulation system. They are used to calculate how atoms interact individually and collectively with their neighbors to give the material its properties.Long DescriptionAn atomistic image produced through the cemff database shows the possible structure of calcium silicate hydrate, the main product of Portland Cement, in reaction with water. The image shows calcium (turquoise), silicon (dark blue), silicate tetrahedra (blue pyramids), oxygen (red), water (the red and white boomerang-shaped sticks) and hydroxyl molecules (purple and white sticks). Cemff is intended to help researchers and manufacturers fine-tune custom cement for concrete, the most-used construction material in the world and a significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Courtesy of EPFL“This unified database is in line with the current trend toward big data and predictive computational materials science,” said Shahsavari, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice.The models show how the component molecules in cement interact with each other. These microscopic interactions determine how well concrete performs in real-world applications and allow for fine-tuning the material to perform at its best for decades and in the most environmentally conscious way.“Molecular modeling still requires multiple trade-offs,” said Mishra, lead author of the paper and a materials scientist at ETH Zurich. “The typical example is time versus accuracy, but more importantly, it is essential to recognize what specific models are good at and what they may be challenged with. Cemff will allow researchers to have a more comprehensive view on this question and to select the best approach for the problem they are tackling.”Cement consists primarily of calcium silicates that react with water to produce the hardened material that confers mechanical properties and durability to concrete. Nearly 60 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from cement production come from the decomposition of limestone, the source of calcium in cement. To reduce the carbon footprint, manufacturers often supplement the mix with clays, waste materials like fly ash and recycled materials.These all influence the mechanical characteristics and resilience of the product; that is why there is a need for simulations at nanoscale that let manufacturers test mixes for strength and durability even before making real cement.“I hope the open format and international base of the cemff database will encourage both the modeling and experimental community to create solid benchmarks to help understand and predict more accurately the properties of the most-used material on Earth and help us build a more sustainable future,” Bowen said. Return to article. Long Description http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/10/1008_CEMENT-2-WEB-18zfe0h.jpgA database tool created by researchers in the United States and Europe will aid in the design of cement, a component of concrete, the most-used construction material in the world and a significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The database contains validated atomistic models for molecular modeling that could help fine-tune cement and curtail emissions. (Credit: ETH/EPFL)Long Description Return to article. Long DescriptionA simulated construct of cement produced by a model in the cemff database. The model contains hydrogen (white), oxygen (red), silicate (yellow) and calcium (green). The database gathers methods that simulate force-field parameters for the various types of inorganic minerals present in cement. Courtesy of ETHAuthors of the paper include Aslam Kunhi Mohamed and David Geissbühler of EPFL Lausanne; Hegoi Manzano of the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Bilbao, Spain; Tariq Jamil and Hendrik Heinz of the University of Colorado-Boulder; Sandra Galmarini of the Swiss Federal Laboratories of Materials Science and Technology, Dübendorf; Lei Tao of Rice; Roland Pellenq of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Adri van Duin of Pennsylvania State University; Andrey Kalinichev, a professor at the Mines-Télécom Atlantic Institute, Nantes, France, and a fellow the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow; Stephen Parker of the University of Bath, United Kingdom; and Robert Flatt, a professor of civil, environmental and geomatic engineering at ETH Zurich.The research was supported by the Commission for Technology Innovation; the National Science Foundation; the Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research-Supply of Electricity; the Department of Education, Linguistic Policy and Culture of the Basque Government; the ELKARTEK program; the Swiss National Foundation; the Nanocem research network; the ACS Petroleum research fund; and the Mines-Télécom Atlantic Institute.-30-Read the paper at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cemconres.2017.09.003.Access cemff at https://cemff.epfl.ch/.This news release can be found online at news.rice.edu.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Images for download: http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/10/1008_CEMENT-3-WEB-1fceqsx.jpgAn atomistic image produced through the cemff database shows the possible structure of calcium silicate hydrate, the main product of Portland Cement, in reaction with water. The image shows calcium (turquoise), silicon (dark blue), silicate tetrahedra (blue pyramids), oxygen (red), water (the red and white boomerang-shaped sticks) and hydroxyl molecules (purple and white sticks). Cemff is intended to help researchers and manufacturers fine-tune custom cement for concrete, the most-used construction material in the world and a significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. (Credit: EPFL) Return to article. Long Description AddThislast_img read more

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Download Entrepreneur Magazines App for Apple and Android

first_imgEntrepreneur Corporate Communications Download Entrepreneur Magazine’s App for Apple and Android 3 min read Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares Image credit: Entrepreneur Access the latest issues of Entrepreneur and enjoy the latest news, videos and how-to articles-in one place, on any of your Apple or Android devices, and on your own terms. Entrepreneur Media Corporate Communications Here at Entrepreneur, we are always seeking ways to make it easier for you to get the information you need to boost your business productivity. We know you’re busy—and reading and viewing the latest business advice, trends and tips should be a bright spot in your day.To improve your Entrepreneur experience, we are excited to announce the latest evolution of our mobile app. In one seamless experience, you’ll find an ongoing stream of the latest news, how-to articles, exclusive interviews and videos from Entrepreneur.com. If you’re a magazine subscriber, you can access the newest issue of Entrepreneur magazine, plus your favorite archived issues, in a new mobile-optimized display that auto adjusts across your devices.Download the Entrepreneur magazine app on your iOS or Android device and enjoy:More Content: View the latest news and videos including trending articles, exclusive interviews, infographics, and more from Entrepreneur.com. Plus, access the latest issues of Entrepreneur magazine.Interactive Features: Now use 3D Touch, Interactive Push Notifications and Save for Later, which allows you to save content and read it later offline on your preferred device (syncs user content across multiple devices) for efficient, practical reading.Easy Read, Optimized Display : Enjoy the same fluid reading experience found right here on our website, no matter what you’re reading (our magazine articles are no longer bound to a fixed PDF layout) or what you’re reading on (the presentation will auto adjust to the device and screen orientation).In short, you can now effortlessly enjoy our magazine and digital content—in one place, on any of your Apple or Android devices, and on your own terms.How Does This Work?Our improved app will retain the Entrepreneur magazine name and we will be phasing out the Entrepreneur Daily app. Here’s how you get it:If you use the Entrepreneur Magazine app on iOS or Android: You don’t need to do anything. Depending on your settings, the app update will automatically update on your device or you may be required to activate the update. That’s it!If you use the Entrepreneur Daily app on IOS: You will need to download the new Entrepreneur magazine app. If you use the Entrepreneur Daily app on Android: You will need to download the new Entrepreneur magazine app. Note: While you will have still access to all our great digital-only content, the full digital magazine articles is only available to subscribers. You can easily upgrade within the app.Thank you for your past and continued readership. We look forward to bringing you the business productivity content you need in an easy-to-read format you’ll enjoy.Download the Entrepreneur magazine app on your iOS or Android device now. Add to Queue Register Now » May 26, 2017 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

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What to Expect at Apple WWDC 2017

first_imgApple This story originally appeared on PCMag 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List June 5, 2017 The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Add to Queue Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicks off Monday in San Jose, where we expect to hear about the new versions of iOS and MacOS, and perhaps One More Thing.We’ll have hands-on coverage from the event floor that day, but for now, here are some of the most prominent rumors and likely announcements making the rounds in the lead up to the keynote.iOS 11 and MacOS 10.13The only true surefire bets for WWDC are new versions of Apple’s mobile and computer software platforms. Most Apple consumers will end up with some or all of the announced features depending on which products they use, and developers are eager to hear what they’ll have to work with, so these will be the stars of the show.Expect the usual updates to core apps like Safari and Mail, with productivity enhancements across the board. Exact feature additions will read more like a wish list since little is known or confirmed currently, but maybe we’ll see announcements like conference calls in FaceTime.Improvements for watchOS and tvOS should also be on display, mainly in the form of more integration into the two main platforms. Increased Siri functionality and unification across the platform might play a big part in the conference, too, especially if the next rumor turns out to be true.Siri speakerApple’s answer to Alexa (and more recently, Google Home) has been long expected, and it seems like this could be the year we finally see one.Whether this is something consumers are itching for remains to be seen — no doubt many interested in a voice assistant have given in and purchased an Amazon Echo or Google Home by now, but the Apple ecosystem could be enough of an incentive to buy. Either way, Bloomberg reports that a Siri speaker has already entered production, so there’s a good chance we see it on Monday.That said, Apple could wait to debut the speaker later in the year, which would be closer to its expected shipping date. If reports are true, it will differentiate itself from the Echo and Google Home with features like virtual surround and, as mentioned, integration with the already ubiquitous lineup of Apple products in millions of homes.MacBook and MacBook Pro refreshesThe standard MacBook and MacBook Pro lines were given some love in 2016 with modest redesigns and, in the case of the Pro, the introduction of the Touch Bar. As such, any announcements about these two lines at WWDC will likely include minor component updates, such as the latest generation Intel processors, rather than major physical or feature changes.There have been some industry rumblings to support this speculation, but it may turn out this traditionally software-focused event saves its MacBook overhaul for a product that might need it a little more attention.New MacBook Air?The Air remains an all-time favorite laptop for many, despite Apple’s relatively infrequent updates to the line. It’s appealing as the cheapest (comparatively) entry in Apple’s laptop line, and did not receive the 2016 refresh its counterparts did. An “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach makes some sense here, but the most recent MacBook Air was released in 2015, and if Apple skips another upgrade, 2018 is an awfully long wait in computer time.If it does arrive, expect a USB-C only approach, since even the “thicker” 2016 MacBook dropped the larger standard USB ports. The 1,440-by-900-display resolution would almost definitely receive a boost, since it was already on the low side in 2015, and its great battery life may very well creep even closer to 20 hours.Refined iPad ProIf the existing 9.7- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models don’t do it for you, how does something in the middle sound? Thanks in part to analyst expectations (as reported by Mac Rumors), there’s plenty of buzz suggesting a 10.5-inch iPad Pro will be revealed at WWDC that similar in size to the 9.7-inch model.The extra screen space will be made possible by much thinner bezels — nearly edge-to-edge — so that Apple can fit a larger screen in a smaller body. In fact, it may replace the 9.7-inch version altogether, since it’s essentially the same size with a bigger display. Odds are this won’t be the only upgrade: The usual component updates like better cameras, a new processor, and maybe a new Apple Pencil would fill out the rest of this announcement. Apply Now » Matthew Buzzicenter_img Next Article Check out the most prominent rumors and speculation about WWDC ahead of Monday’s keynote. Writer Image credit: via PC Mag 4 min read What to Expect at Apple WWDC 2017 –shareslast_img read more

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Consumer Reports Drops Its Tesla Recommendation

first_img Consumer Reports said it would no longer recommend Tesla’s Model S sedan due to reliability concerns, in a blow to the luxury electric-powered car initially awarded the highest-ever score in the U.S. magazine’s performance ratings.The decision, based on the influential publication’s annual survey of vehicle reliability, sent shares of Tesla Motors Inc reeling and underscored the risk of introducing cutting-edge fuel-saving technology and digital multimedia systems in vehicles.Consumer Reports found “an emerging trend of increased troubles” with a broad range of vehicles that use new transmission technology to boost mileage. The survey was presented by the magazine’s editors at a meeting of Detroit’s Automotive Press Association on Tuesday.The findings illustrate automakers’ challenges as consumers and regulators demand more innovation. Groundbreaking technology comes with a heightened risk of malfunctions over the life of a vehicle, compromising the reliability car owners enjoy from more mature technology.Tesla’s stock fell as much as 11.4 percent before closing down 6.6 percent to $213.03 after the magazine said Tesla owners reported “an array of detailed and complicated maladies” in their Model S sedans.Still, 97 percent of Tesla owners would buy another Model S, the magazine found, citing quick responsiveness on repairs from the Palo Alto-based company “with a minimum of fuss to owners.”One of the most technologically adventurous cars on the market, the Model S registered a worse than average reliability score based on survey responses from 1,400 owners.The battery-powered Model S P85D was lauded in August for racking up the best scores ever in the magazine’s performance tests. But owners complained of rattles, leaks, and problems with the charging equipment, drivetrain and center console displays, Consumer Reports said.”Close communication with our customers enables Tesla to receive input, proactively address issues, and quickly fix problems,” a Tesla spokesperson said. “Over-the-air software updates allow Tesla to diagnose and fix most bugs without the need to come in for service. In instances when hardware needs to be fixed, we strive to make it painless.”Complaints about balky multimedia infotainment systems continue to plague several major automakers, including Ford Motor Co, Nissan Motor Co, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and General Motors Co, the magazine found.Honda Motor Co’s Acura luxury brand fell seven places to No. 18 in the magazine’s ranking of 28 brands because of problems with transmissions and in-car entertainment systems.Overall, Toyota Motor Corp’s Lexus brand was the top-ranked brand in the magazine’s reliability survey. The highest-ranked Detroit brand was GM’s Buick, at No. 7.Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Fiat brand came in last.(Additional reporting and writing by Alexandria Sage; editing by Bernard Orr, Christian Plumb and Phil Berlowitz) October 21, 2015 Reuters Tesla Next Article Image credit: Olivier Le Queinec / Shutterstock.com Add to Queue The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue.center_img Consumer Reports Drops Its Tesla Recommendation This story originally appeared on Reuters Apply Now » 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List –shares 3 min readlast_img read more

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Demystifying Predictive Analytics

first_imgDemystifying Predictive Analytics Jamie SchisslerApril 26, 2019, 4:00 pmJuly 22, 2019 What if you had a crystal ball that could tell you which leads are sales-ready and which need some nurturing? Or what type of content will most engage a specific visitor; which customers are most likely to purchase which products and through which channel; or how much demand will increase during peak holiday time?This is predictive analytics: The statistical analysis and identification of attributes that have a direct correlation to a future event or condition. There’s been so much hype about predictive analytics recently that it’s easy to forget it’s been around for over 50 years — from weather forecasting and flight planning to consumer credit scoring and fraud detection. From a marketing perspective, the accuracy it provides and the predictive opportunities it creates can substantially minimize risk while driving tremendous efficiency and performance gains.  What is new is the availability of predictive analytics. Once the luxury and secret sauce for only the largest brands staffed with deep data and analytics teams, expertise, and infrastructure, PA is available to organizations and business of all sizes.So, how can marketers drive adoption, establish predictive analytics competency, and use it to create better outcomes for businesses and experiences for customers? Let’s break down some of the basics. Recognize the power of segmentationTraditional marketing segmentation is about grouping audiences by historical attributes like age, gender, geography, etc. The emphasis of this approach is on understanding what individual consumers have done in the past and/or who they are at this moment in order to better focus and calibrate the brand’s sales and marketing efforts.Predictive analytics can also be thought of as a segmentation strategy. The difference is it employs algorithmic models against much of the same underlying data in order to identify and group customers by what they are likely to do or prefer. As such, it’s useful to think of and approach predictive analytics as a segmentation strategy to identify customers by future behavior, such as those who are likely to travel soon, renew a lease, upgrade, or refer a friend.Read More: How AI will Change the Game for Influencer MarketingDefine specific business cases and develop effective strategiesThinking of it as a segmentation strategy, it’s helpful to begin by defining those groups that represent the greatest opportunities or needs for your business. Perhaps your primary goal is lead velocity. Or maybe it’s churn reduction or lifetime value. Focus on one or two to start, otherwise, you’ll get overwhelmed quickly.After you’ve defined your business and use cases, you’ll need to develop a strategy for how you are going to engage that audience. It’s one thing to be able to identify customers who are likely to do something. It’s another to figure out what that means for your business and how you are going to act on it. Both elements – identification and treatment strategy — are essential.Identify the right data Before rolling up your sleeves and diving into the data science and algorithms, identify the data required for your model. In some cases, you may find you simply don’t have the attributes or volume to create the segment with the degree of probability required. Focus on what you can do with the data you currently have, while simultaneously working on a longer-term roadmap and action plan, complete with business cases.Read More: 3 Ways Mobile Technology is Changing the Brick-and-Mortar ExperiencePrioritize consumer trust and respectA few years ago a Target employee infamously used individual purchase data to build a model that would predict, with tremendous accuracy, which of its customers was likely pregnant. The audience was then subtly targeted with specific relevant products via direct mail. This example provides several important lessons when embarking upon predictive analytics. It underscores the potency and accuracy of predictive analytics while demonstrating that it doesn’t take a huge staff to develop and implement (though it does require a lot of data). More importantly, it demonstrates that in all things, trust and respect matter. The creep factor, invasiveness, and breach of privacy and trust in this application was a bridge too far.To avoid such pitfalls, marketers should ensure there is governance and oversight in how predictive segments are defined and utilized. Socialize internally the segments the organization seeks to create and why, balancing out the needs of the business with customer preference, perception, privacy, and experience.The power of predictive analyticsThe predictive analytics landscape is an incredible opportunity to streamline the customer journey, deliver better experiences and value to your audiences, and boost overall business performance. Brands such as Netflix, through its recommendation engine, and Marriott are using PA to deliver messages at key decision points. Marriott uses it for better insight on the types of travelers likely to stay at their properties; for insight on and understanding of what attracts travelers to it over other brands; and to better understand the unique travel patterns and needs of those who travel for business versus those who travel for pleasure.What’s really exciting is not just what brands can do with PA, but that the variety of PA technologies and solutions available today make it accessible to every organization. Plan carefully and deliberately, advance incrementally, and implement governance that reflects your organizational values and goals and you’ll be on your way to delivering exceptional customer experiences and accelerating growth.Read More: Eye Rolls at Pre-Rolls: How to Escape the Trap of Annoying Ads customer experienceMarketing TechnologyMarriottNetflixpredictive analytics Previous ArticleWhy Senior Business Leaders Should Care About CX DataNext ArticleWhy Measurement is the Secret to Agency Successlast_img read more

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Largest study finds CTE in 6 of athletes and nonathletes

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 23 2019Nearly 6% of athletes and non-athletes were found to have the neurodegenerative disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the largest, and broadest, study conducted of the disease to date. The findings were published June 14 in the international journal Brain Pathology. Generally our findings point to CTE being more common in athletes and more common in football players, but this study is a bit more balanced and accurately reflects the general population compared to previous studies.”Lead author Kevin Bieniek, Ph.D., of UT Health San Antonio Dr. Bieniek led the research while at the Mayo Clinic before moving to Texas. He now directs the brain bank at the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, which is part of UT Health San Antonio.Unbiased screenCTE, linked with repetitive blows to the head, has been found in 80-99% of autopsied brains of pro football players. “Nobody has really looked at it from kind of an epidemiological perspective,” Dr. Bieniek said. “We compared people who played a sport with those who didn’t play. We studied both young and old people, and amateur players versus college and professional players. And we studied both men and women, which had not been done previously. What we aimed to do was an unbiased screen for CTE from all sorts of different cases.”Biographical information utilizedThe team scanned obituaries and high school yearbooks of 2,566 individuals whose brain autopsies are a part of the Mayo Clinic Tissue Registry. The study focused on a variety of contact sports: baseball, basketball, boxing, football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and wrestling. Non-contact sports, such as golf and tennis, were excluded.This analysis identified 300 former athletes and 450 non-athletes. “We screened the brains of all of these cases for evidence of CTE in a blinded fashion, intentionally not knowing which brain tissue was related to which case,” Dr. Bieniek said.FindingsA small number of cases, 42, had CTE pathology (5.6% of the total). CTE was found in 27 athletes and 15 non-athletes, and in 41 men and one woman. American football had the highest frequency of CTE (15%) of the contact sports studied, with participation beyond high school resulting in the highest risk of developing CTE.Related StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sIT Faces the Digital Pathology Data Tsunami”The 42 cases, or 6%, is more of a grounded, realistic number,” Dr. Bieniek said. “That might not seem like a lot, but when you consider there are millions of youth, high school and collegiate athletes in the United States alone who play organized sports, it has the potential of being a significant public health issue. There are many ongoing questions regarding CTE pathology, however, and we don’t want to discourage sources of healthy physical and cardiovascular activity like these sports. Rather, we emphasize safe strategies to reduce the possibility of head injuries and properly treat them when they are sustained.”Non-athletes’ casesThe identification of 15 CTE cases in non-athletes raises interesting questions, Dr. Bieniek said. “Did these people have trauma from another source?” he asked. “Were they actually athletes and we were unable to detect it from biographical information? Is there another disease with similar features?”Cases with CTE tended to be a bit older than the cases without it, and many CTE cases also showed evidence of Alzheimer’s disease. “At the Glenn Biggs Institute, we study the concept of multiple neurodegenerative disorders happening within the brain of a person who has dementia,” Dr. Bieniek said.The crucial role of donors”This is an important national study led by our brain bank director, Dr. Bieniek,” said Sudha Seshadri, M.D., professor of neurology at UT Health San Antonio and director of the Glenn Biggs Institute. “We have a great team of scientists at the Biggs Institute, and the brain bank is key to the research aims of these investigators. We are so grateful for the many patients and normal older persons who have signed on to be brain donors after their death. The program runs 24/7/365, is free to the family, and gives the family the peace and knowledge of a definitive diagnosis for their loved one’s condition.”Several studies related to traumatic brain injuries and CTE by Dr. Bieniek and his colleagues are currently ongoing at UT Health San Antonio, including how certain genetic variants might protect or put a person at higher risk for developing CTE. Source:University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioJournal reference:Bieniek, K.F. et al. (2019) Association between contact sports participation and chronic traumatic encephalopathy: a retrospective cohort study. Brain Pathology. doi.org/10.1111/bpa.12757.last_img read more

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A brief history of immersion centuries before VR

first_img Engraving depicting one of Robertson’s phantasmagorical shows and the effects they had on audiences. Credit: Memories by Etienne Gaspard Robertson Immersive experiences are fashionable at the moment, as virtual reality finally emerges into the mainstream with headsets now commercially available. But immersion is a technique much older than technology. It is the key to storytelling, in literature, film, videogames, even in the spoken stories told by our ancestors around the campfire. We are taken in by the experience: we become so involved with a character that we share their emotions, or build expectations about their progress in the story – and react when these expectations are either fulfilled or thwarted. Provided by The Conversation Credit: milliganpuss, CC BY You can imagine the multi-sensory aspects of this experience: the design and shape of the space would have been critical to its impact on the audience, with light flooding in from the east. With dust and smoke in the interior, and the sound of a priest’s sermon and choir reverberating around the vaulted ceilings, even by today’s standards it would be pretty immersive.Smoke and mirrorsIn the late 18th century, the quirkily named phantasmagoria used – quite literally – smoke and mirrors along with magic lanterns, a form of early image projector, invisible screens and sound effects to create a theatrical performance. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Citation: A brief history of immersion, centuries before VR (2018, May 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-history-immersion-centuries-vr.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.center_img Recovered written accounts of the phantasmagoria are very interesting, as they link the rise in the use of magic lantern projections with the history of cinema. Via these immersive experiences, we get to the development of contemporary virtual reality devices.The origins of phantasmagoria are associated with the work of German Johann Georg Schropfer who used magic lantern projections as part of monastic rituals – another form of immersive religious experience.Participants would often fast for 24 hours prior to a performance and were greeted ceremoniously with drugged punch or salad. Skulls, candles and other monastic paraphernalia were used to set the scene. Accounts indicate that in these original performances three ghosts would be summoned, serving the monastic search for a deeper truth through contact with the spirit world. To be fully immersive, sources of haptic stimulation in VR apps need to be shown, researchers find Look at immersion from a historical perspective and we see the rituals and social practices that gave rise to immersive experiences, and the relevance of the past to the hyped products of today.In the middle ages, the use of stained glass in churches was designed to create an immersive sense of otherworldliness by bathing the church’s interior with coloured light. It was designed to provide churchgoers with a sense of direct contact with the divine, through visual stories aimed at a largely illiterate population.Stained glass was an important form of visual storytelling. It was one of the ways that religious institutions could exert their hold on believers through the sanctity of messages delivered through colour and light, for which believers had to crane their necks up towards the sky to face the high windows.A great example of this is the recently restored Great East Window at York Minster, a very large expanse of painted glass created in the early 1400s. The sheer scale of this window is extraordinary. It is the largest expanse of glass in the minster and one of the biggest in Europe. All designed and created by one artist, John Thornton. Its subject is no less than the beginning and the end of the world representing in its huge number of panes scenes from Genesis and from the Day of Judgement. As such, it can be easily interpreted as a form of immersive storytelling for audiences of the late middle ages. Inflicting terrorThis soon became popular entertainment, and the showman Paul Philidor produced elaborate shows for audiences in Vienna. Another was the Belgian Etienne-Gaspard Robertson in the first few years of the 19th century in Paris. He would use three moving magic lanterns behind a transparent screen, accompanied by elaborate costumes and decorations and augmented with horrifying sounds, to inflict terror upon his audience. With the growing Victorian interest in all things gothic, phantasmagoria performances spread to England where they were delivered alongside seances to deceive, terrify and manipulate their audiences. Some of the mechanics of today’s immersive experiences can be found in these early examples. The use of a projection system is common to phantasmagoria and to contemporary cinema. Head-mounted displays seen in modern VR systems can be first seen in the stereoscopic imagery of the View Master, which dates back to the 1930s and is still available in children’s toy shops today. From the 1950s, different cinematic techniques were introduced, including 3-D cinema using stereoscopic glasses, an approach that still captivates audiences to this day – the 3-D film Avatar is among the most financially successful movies of all time. I remember one of my first immersive experiences was watching How the West Was Won in the 1960s on a Cinerama screen – where a film is projected onto a giant, curved screen that provides an immersive experience via the wrap-around effect of the huge screen on the viewers’ field of view.So the current obsession with immersive virtual and augmented reality experiences will continue – we love our illusions and the stories that go with them. But we should not forget that to be swept away and out of the present by an immersive story is a timeless human desire, that’s origins go back as far as we do. Great East Window, York Minster, which depicts scenes from the beginning and the end of the world. 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