In an ominous sign for rival NTL teams, the Southern NSW Suns Mens and Womens team took centre stage at the Yass Touch Knockout, winning both the Mens and Womens A Grade divisions last weekend.The Suns Mens Open side defeated the Dusty Camels from Sydney’s Western Suburbs 11-10 in the final.Led by quality players including Matt Curran, Joel Willoughby, Brad Holden and Andrew Baggio, the Suns held off strong opposition to take the title.Young guns Jaden Kelly, Scott Naughton and Christian Lotter all debuted for the Suns at Open level, impressing coach Ian Stanley.For the Dusty Camels experienced Australian representative Tony Eltakchi, along with Nathan Jones and Daniel Rushworth, challenged the Suns into the dying seconds, thrilling the crowd.The Suns Womens Open team, coached by Tracey Bills, defeated the Subs from Castle Hill 10-7 in their final. Stacey Lapham, Nola Campbell, Debbie Steinhardt and Kerry Wardle led the way for the Subs.Australian Junior representatives Nicole Beck, Amanda Skwarko and Ashleigh Dobbins all made their debuts at Open level and played extremely well.In other NTL preview action, the Suns Womens 30’s and ACT Womens 20’s were both knocked out in the semi finals of the Womens Open, perhaps indicating their preparations for NTL are well on track. In the Mixed division final the Guns, who had traveled from Bondi for the knockout, proved too strong for Off The Hook from Gosford.With South Queensland Sharks representatives Amy Fong, Tara Mako and Riki Best in the Guns lineup, as well as Tony Eltakchi and Brad Davids, they took the final 16-7.Despite the large scoreline, the final was action packed with Off the Hook’s quick stepping players such as Dylan Hennessey and twins John and Maurice Kennedy dazzling the crowd, as well as their opposition on several occasions.In the Mens B Grade final the Hookies Heroes from Temora defeated the Bowral Boys 11-6 for back-to-back titles in the division.In the Mixed B Grade final Rip It from Penrith defeated the Incredibles 8-5 in the final.Reperchage Finals results:Womens division: Suns Womens 40’s team def the Chosen Few from Greenfield Park 11-2Mens B division: Mush Nush from Yass defeated the DHL Redbacks from Yass 8-7 Mixed A division: UNSW Bullets defeated the Misfits from Dapto 12-5Mixed B divisions: Bowral Brumbies defeated the Chosen Few 9-6Tournament organisers would like to thank the referees who all did a fantastic job over the weekend and helped the event continue it’s success. The Knockout was a great benefit for the Yass community bringing an estimated $250,000 in business to the area.
The field for the inaugural College Football Playoff (CFP) was finally set Sunday, but — in true college football style — it wasn’t without controversy. The 12-person CFP selection committee chose Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State, arguably snubbing Big 12 co-champions Baylor and (especially) TCU.The last four teams standing are exceptional. The Ducks, Crimson Tide and Buckeyes rank Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, in ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). And although the Seminoles have been unconvincing throughout the season, it would have been difficult to justify leaving the undefeated, defending national champion out of the playoff — No. 10 FPI ranking be damned. So, the committee may well have made the best decision it could have, according to its mandate to select the nation’s four best teams.But by ranking TCU third (ahead of both Florida State and Ohio State) the week before the conference championships, the committee also set itself up to violate the precedent of how college football rankings have always worked. That’s why, even after previous No. 5 Ohio State rolled over No. 13 Wisconsin 59-0, the FiveThirtyEight College Football Playoff model — which is based on a historical analysis of Coaches Poll voters’ tendencies — saw little chance that TCU would drop from third place to fifth or lower in the committee’s final rankings.Using the traditional media polls as a guide, that was a reasonable assumption. Since the advent of the Bowl Coalition in 1992, only four times (in 214 opportunities) did the third-ranked team in the AP poll drop below fourth place the week after it won a game over an FBS opponent. All four of those teams (Florida State in Week 1 of the 2002 season, Ohio State in Week 3 of 2003, Tennessee in Week 1 of 2005 and Ohio State in Week 2 of 2008) posted victory margins that underwhelmed their pregame FPI expectations. By contrast, TCU beat its pregame expectations by 19 points in thrashing Iowa State. (And it bears repeating that none of those cases took place any later than the third week of a season, when you would expect voters to still be sorting out the order of teams.)And yet TCU did drop in the committee’s rankings — from third place to sixth, below Florida State, Ohio State and even Baylor (whom the committee had controversially slotted beneath TCU in every previous edition of its rankings, seemingly ignoring the Bears’ head-to-head victory over the Horned Frogs on Oct. 11). It was a stunning fall that, for better or worse, seemed to contradict the way college football teams traditionally move in the rankings.TCU’s exclusion also broke with tradition from another standpoint. Using poll data since 1992, I ran a logistic regression attempting to predict whether a team would finish the regular season in the AP’s top four based on various “résumé” statistics provided by ESPN’s Stats and Info Group. The factors that emerged as significant were a team’s winning percentage (modified slightly by Laplace’s Rule of Succession), its average points-per-game margin, its strength of schedule (according to the average FBS team’s expected winning percentage against its schedule using FPI), and whether it won its conference or not.This year, those criteria would have yielded the following probabilities of making the top four (assuming the committee would follow the pollsters’ traditional logic):(Note: Baylor and TCU were co-champions of the Big 12; for the purposes of the regression, they were each treated the same as a team that was sole champion of its conference.)It’s not outside the realm of plausibility that historical voters would exclude TCU and include Ohio State on the basis of their résumés alone (this method shows there was a 16 percent chance that would happen). In fact, the real AP poll dropped TCU from fourth to sixth, with two teams (Baylor and Ohio State) hurdling the Horned Frogs.It is, however, another way to underscore that the playoff committee may be rethinking the way college football teams have been ranked at the end of the season. As FiveThirtyEight’s editor in chief, Nate Silver, wrote in his final assessment of the committee’s selection, the sport’s old algorithm rarely entailed a top-to-bottom reassessment of the field this late in the year (voters usually just made slight adjustments to teams’ rankings after losses or big wins; otherwise the current rankings were basically enslaved to the previous rankings). The committee’s final rankings, on the other hand, suggest it sorted the teams from scratch after the conference championships, with no allegiance to its previous choices.That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But, like the existence of a playoff in the first place, it’s a new thing.
The Warriors were 17-4 during the regular season with average shooting. That equals a .810 winning percentage — tops in the the NBA — or the equivalent of a 66-16 record over an 82-game schedule.The reason for the Warriors’ strong record with average shooting is simple: They also play great defense. It gets overlooked because they play at a frenetic pace, but the Dubs held opponents to a .514 TS% during the regular season, the third-best figure in the league after Chicago and Portland.It can get even worse for opponents, and it often does: The Warriors went 46-3 with good shooting during the regular season. But “pretty good” shooting — average shooting, even — is usually plenty good enough for the Warriors. They’ll need to throw up a lot of bricks the rest of the way. Otherwise, James — as brilliant as he’s been — may become the first finals MVP in a losing cause since Jerry West in 1969. Through the first three games of the NBA Finals, the storylines were intricate and rich:Could LeBron James carry one of the worst supporting casts in recent finals history to an NBA title?Was James’s experience — and sheer force of will — trumping the Golden State Warriors’ youth?Was Steph Curry just in a shooting slump, or was he rattled by his scary injury against the Houston Rockets?Could the Cleveland Cavaliers keep playing stifling defense, or might Golden State’s smallball lineup be its ace in the hole?Were Cleveland’s poor finishes — it was outscored by a combined margin of 105-84 in the fourth quarter and overtime of the first three games1And if you include Game 4, it’s now been outscored 132-96 from the fourth quarter onward. — the sign of a spent team?Was Kevin Love’s injury (suffered in the opening round against the Boston Celtics) the ultimate example of Bill Simmons’s Ewing Theory? And maybe Kyrie Irving’s injury too?Is Matthew Dellavedova the Australian Tim Tebow?Does God hate Cleveland?But after a 103-82 Golden State win in Game 4, it all seems so simple.The Warriors are really, really good. You have a shot at beating them if their shooting goes ice-cold. Otherwise, it’s next to impossible.Let’s review the series from the standpoint of true shooting percentage (TS%), a relatively simple stat that gives appropriate credit for 3-pointers and free throws along with 2-point shooting attempts. Golden State led the NBA with a .571 TS% during the regular season, while Cleveland (.557) ranked fourth. The adjacent table lists each team’s TS% in each finals game so far, along with its percentile rank as compared to all NBA games during the 2014-15 regular season.Game 4 was the first time we’ve seen the Warriors shoot like they typically did during the regular season. Their .579 TS% was close to their regular-season average, and — since an average Golden State performance is so good — ranks in the 77th percentile as compared to all NBA games.But the Warriors’ defense has also been very good. It held Cleveland to a .409 TS% in Game 4, which ranks in just the 1st percentile. And it kept the Cavaliers to a .441 TS%, in the 6th percentile, in Game 2 on Sunday night.Wait — didn’t the Cavs win Game 2? They did (in overtime). The team with the higher TS% wins about 85 percent of the time2Based on the 2014-15 regular season. — this was one of the exceptions. Cleveland was able to take seven more field-goal attempts and 15 more free-throw attempts than the Warriors as a result of rebounding, turnovers and fouls. You can win as the slightly less efficient team when there’s a big differential in those categories.Still, Cleveland wouldn’t have won Game 2 had Golden State shot a little better. If the Warriors had hit shots at the NBA average TS% of .535 (never mind that the team’s TS% is typically way better than that), they’d have scored an additional eight points and won 101-95.And that’s the thing: The Warriors don’t have to shoot the lights out to win. If they shoot as well as the average NBA team, they’re very likely to win also.In the next chart, I’ve tracked each team’s record based on its TS% during the regular season. I divide games into three categories, which include about a third of regular-season games each:Good shooting — a TS% of .560 or higher.Poor shooting — a TS% of .510 or lower.Average shooting — anything in between.
In 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.
Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government on Tuesday appointed an IAS officer to take charge of the recently constituted monitoring cell for proper implementation of government schemes and to probe allegations of taking money (referred to as cut money) against giving benefits under the schemes.IAS Barun Ray, the 1992 batch officer who has been given the charge of the cell, was posted as commissioner, Malda division. Ray has also been transferred to the post of commissioner, Burdwan division. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHe will hold the charge of OSD at the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in the rank of principal secretary in charge of Monitoring of Programme Implementation and Grievance Cell. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had opened the cell for “Programme Implementation of Government Schemes and Redressal of Grievances/Complaints” and announced a toll-free number for lodging complaints. The cell has received 1,500 complaints so far. Once a beneficiary from the districts raises his/her issue with the CMO through email at email@example.com, it will be thoroughly examined and replied to within 10 days. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe new and unprecedented approach is aimed at refining the whole delivery mechanism system of the schemes in the state. The fundamental objective of the move is to reach out to the marginalised benefici- aries. Colonel (retired) Diptangshu Chowdhury, who heads the cell, has visited the districts and interacted with the beneficiaries who have been denied government welfare scheme benefits or harassed while receiving such benefits. The state government has asked police superintendents to initiate cases on complaints of accepting cut money under Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code, which calls for a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
Davor 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.
ShareTweet “Thankfully, the occupier had a working smoke alarm fitted which alerted him to the fire. “This incident demonstrates the importance of having a smoke alarm fitted on every floor of your home and the need to test it once a week to ensure its working.”Anyone with information about those behind the arson attack is asked to ring detectives at Strand Road on the 101 number.Alternatively information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111.Arson probe after man cheats serious injury in Derry flat fire was last modified: February 20th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: “A man in his 40’s was rescued by firefighters and treated by ambulance personnel at the scene. All other people in the flats were accounted for.“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire. “The incident was dealt with at 10.38 am. “The cause of the fire has been determined as deliberate. DETECTIVES in Derry have launched an arson inquiry following a fire at a block of flats.The Fire and Rescue Service say it received a 999 call to a fire in the hallway of ground floor flats on Glenabbey Crescent in Galliagh around 10 yesterday, Tuesday, February 19.A spokesperson said: “Three appliances attended the scene – two from Northland and one from Crescent Link Fire Station. Arson probe after man cheats serious injury in Derry flat firecrescent linkdetectivesFIRE AND RESCUE SERVICEgalliaghGlenabbey CrescentnorthlandPSNISTRAND ROAD
In 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 Markets
2 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Tom Brant This story originally appeared on PCMag Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. An academic study suggests people are willing to pay just around $5,000 more for fully autonomous cars than typical vehicles. Add to Queue Study: $5,000 Is the Self-Driving Car Sweet Spot Sometimes it’s tough to make sense of the hodgepodge of technologies that currently describe the “self-driving car” buzzword, from lane departure warning systems all the way up to Tesla Autopilot, not to mention industry jargon like “Level 5 automation.”So why not organize autonomous driving technologies by how much people think they’re worth? That’s what a group of economists and engineers tried to do in a paper published in March, CNET reports. The model suggests that on average, Americans are willing to pay a $3,500 premium for a partially automated car and a $4,900 premium for a fully automated one. For comparison, $4,900 for full automation is very similar to what Tesla charges for its most advanced Autopilot, which costs a little over $5,000.The researchers’ model is based on interviews with 27 potential car buyers in New York City and upstate New York. As you might expect, just four of the New York City residents drove a car every day, while all of the 15 upstate New Yorkers commuted via car daily. The two groups perceived similar benefits from self-driving cars, from increased productivity and safety to easier and quicker parking.After crunching the numbers, the researchers found a fairly even segmentation of the demand for automation: about one-third of people are keenly interested and willing to pay $10,000 or more for self-driving features, one-third are ambivalent and the remainder isn’t willing to pay for automation at any price.As the researchers note, however, one of the key problems with such a study is that it’s based on a hypothetical purchase scenario: their study participants weren’t actually buying a car, and even if they were, there are very few models on the market that come with full automation on the level of the Tesla Autopilot.Still, it’s good to establish a peer-reviewed benchmark for how much self-driving tech should cost at this early stage in its development. If it follows the cheapening pattern of most other technology (and the government continues to urge its inclusion in new cars), you might one day be able to do yoga in your Toyota Corolla on the highway for far less than $5,000. May 10, 2017 –shares Self-Driving Cars Image credit: Tesla via PC Mag Next Article News reporter Register Now »
Apple 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 Buzzi 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 –shares
Facebook is “exploring additional measures” to fight anti-vaccine disinformation, according to Bloomberg. Content discouraging parents from vaccinating their children has been rampant on the site, particularly in Facebook Groups, and may have contributed to a measles outbreak in Washington State. That caught the attention of U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, who wrote a letter to Facebook and Google asking them to address the problem.Schiff noted that Facebook is surfacing and recommending messages that may pose a threat to public health. For instance, the Guardian recently reported that Facebook was accepting and promoting ads from anti-vax groups. “Repetition of information, even if false, can often be mistaken for accuracy,” he wrote. “The algorithms which power these services are not designed to distinguish quality information from misinformation.”Facebook said that it’s “exploring additional measures to best combat the problem,” including “reducing or removing this type of content from recommendations, including ‘Groups You Should Join,’ and demoting it in search results, while also ensuring that higher quality and more authoritative information is available.”The resurgence of measles is of serious concern, with extended outbreaks occurring across regions, and particularly in countries that had achieved, or were close to achieving measles elimination.Google recently said YouTube would restrict video recommendations that “could misinform users in harmful ways,” including anti-vaccine videos. It also said recently that would provide links alongside videos on “historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation.” Until recently, anti-vax videos topped results for “vaccine” searches, but the top results now appear to be from sites like Last Week Tonight attempting to dispel vaccination myths. However, Robert F. Kennedy’s widely debunked anti-vax documentary is still in the top 10.The CDC notes that vaccines have been proven safe and effective and only result in minor side effects. However, avoiding them can put not just your own children but others at risk, particularly small babies who have yet to be inoculated. “Without urgent efforts to increase vaccination coverage … we risk losing decades of progress in protecting children and communities,” said Unicef’s Dr. Soumya Swaminathan. Add to Queue 2 min read Next Article Register Now » –shares Image credit: Fred Tanneau | Getty Images via engadget Facebook Steve Dent February 15, 2019 Facebook May Take Extra Steps to Remove Anti-Vaccine Misinformation Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. This story originally appeared on Engadget Conspiracy theories on the site may have contributed to a measles outbreak. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 29 2018Blood pressure readings of 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher taken at home can be used to diagnose hypertension in white, black and Hispanic U.S. adults, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.”Until now, recommendations for diagnosing high blood pressure with measurements done at home were primarily from Japanese and European studies,” said Wanpen Vongpatanasin, M.D., study author, professor of medicine and hypertension director at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “We didn’t know if these recommendations actually applied to U.S. adults.”Researchers analyzed large multi-ethnic studies that compared home blood pressure to clinic measurements of primarily young and middle-aged adults in Dallas, Texas and Durham, North Carolina. In 420 participants in the North Carolina clinic, high blood pressure readings (130/80) were confirmed with similar readings at home. In 3,132 participants in the Dallas study, researchers determined risks of stroke, heart attack and death associated with a clinic systolic blood pressure reading of 130 mm Hg. During the 11-year follow up, researchers also determined that people with high blood pressure levels measured at home had the same heart disease risk as people with similar levels measured by medical professionals.Related StoriesBlood pressure self-monitoring can help patients with hypertension to stick with exercise programMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersVongpatanasin added that the findings correlate with the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology 2017 blood pressure guideline.”It’s important to measure blood pressure at home because clinic readings might not reflect a person’s true blood pressure. Some people have higher readings in the clinic because of the ‘white coat’ phenomenon, while studies have shown that others – especially, blacks – have lower blood pressure readings in the clinic than at home,” she said.This study included adults aged 30 to 65 years old from two U.S. cities, so the findings might not apply to younger or older people or adults in different geographical areas, she said.With the definition of high blood pressure set at 130/80 mm Hg, nearly half (46 percent) of U.S. adults have high blood pressure. Researchers have found that at least 30 percent to 45 percent of U.S. adults with hypertension monitor their blood pressure at home.The American Heart Association recommends consumers follow the proper technique when measuring blood pressure: be still and rest quietly for at least 5 minutes before measurements; avoid caffeine or cigarettes in the half hour before your reading; keep both feet flat on the floor; and avoid talking during the test. At least two readings should be taken one minute apart in the morning before taking medications and in the evening before eating. Ideally, blood pressure readings should be taken during one week beginning a few weeks after a change in the treatment regimen and during the week before a doctor’s visit. Source:https://newsroom.heart.org/news/home-monitoring-confirms-clinic-diagnosis-of-high-blood-pressure?preview=3656
The research team plans to further focus on the molecular mechanisms that stimulate complex rearrangements in the body, through screening the genomic structures of fusion genes in other cancer types.Source:The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)Journal reference:Kim, Y.T. et al. (2019) Tracing Oncogene Rearrangements in the Mutational History of Lung Adenocarcinoma. Cell. doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.05.013. We hope this work will help us get one step closer to precision medicine for lung cancer patients.” Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 31 2019Catastrophic rearrangements in the genome occurring as early as childhood and adolescence can lead to the development of lung cancer in later years in non-smokers. This finding, published in Cell, helps explain how some non-smoking-related lung cancers develop.Researchers at KAIST, Seoul National University and their collaborators confirmed that gene fusions in non-smokers mostly occur early on, sometimes as early as childhood or adolescence, and on average about three decades before cancer is diagnosed. The study showed that these mutant lung cells, harboring oncogenic seeds, remain dormant for several decades until a number of further mutations accumulate sufficiently for progression into cancer. This is the first study to reveal the landscape of genome structural variations in lung adenocarcinoma.Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and lung adenocarcinoma is its most common type. Most lung adenocarcinomas are associated with chronic smoking, but about a fourth develop in non-smokers. Precisely what happens in non-smokers for this cancer to develop is not clearly understood.Researchers analyzed the genomes of 138 lung adenocarcinoma patients, including smokers and non-smokers, with whole-genome sequencing technologies. They explored DNA damage that induced neoplastic transformation.Lung adenocarcinomas that originated from chronic smoking, referred to as signature 4-high (S4-high) cancers in the study, showed several distinguishing features compared to smoking-unrelated cancers (S4-low).People in the S4-high group were largely older, men and had more frequent mutations in a cancer-related gene called KRAS. Cancer genomes in the S4-high group were hypermutated with simple mutational classes, such as the substitution, insertion, or deletion of a single base, the building block of DNA.But the story was very different in the S4-low group. Generally, mutational profiles in this group were much more silent than the S4-high group. However, all cancer-related gene fusions, which are abnormally activated from the merging of two originally separate genes, were exclusively observed in the S4-low group.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patientsStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryThe patterns of genomic structural changes underlying gene fusions suggest that about three in four cases of gene fusions emerged from a single cellular crisis causing massive genomic fragmentation and subsequent imprecise repair in normal lung epithelium.Most strikingly, these major genomic rearrangements, which led to the development of lung adenocarcinoma, are very likely to be acquired decades before cancer diagnosis. The researchers used genomic archaeology techniques to trace the timing of when the catastrophes took place.Researchers started this study seven years ago when they discovered the expression of the KIF5B-RET gene fusion in lung adenocarcinoma for the first time. Professor Young-Seok Ju, co-lead author from the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering at KAIST says, “It is remarkable that oncogenesis can begin by a massive shattering of chromosomes early in life. Our study immediately raises a new question: What induces the mutational catastrophe in our normal lung epithelium.”Professor Young Tae Kim, co-lead author from Seoul National University says:
Reports show that in Germany in 2013, although CT scans only represented 7 % of all X-rays performed, they conveyed 60 % of the radiation that patients received. We built several prototype cameras. As an alternative to CT, they enable 3D X-ray imagines in very few exposures, meaning less radiation for the patient.”Marta Fajardo, project coordinator and assistant professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, Portugal New perspective on 3D imagingCT scans make images by taking thousands of flat, two-dimensional photos in order to reconstruct a 3D image. The problem is that each photo injects ionizing radiation into the patient. As photos multiply, radiation levels rise.To counter this, VOXEL’s breakthrough idea was to adapt a technique called plenoptic imaging to X-ray radiation. Plenoptic cameras capture information about the direction that light rays, including X-rays, are traveling in space, as opposed to a normal camera that captures only light intensity.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskSubclinical cardiovascular disease linked to higher risk of falling in older adultsNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerBecause researchers can use the information about light direction captured by plenoptic cameras to reconstruct 3D images, there is no need to take thousands of 2D photos. Images of important structures like blood vessels can be made from a single exposure, lowering the average radiation dose significantly.A major part of the work was using the right algorithms to manipulate the captured information. ‘First, we demonstrated that plenoptic imagining is mathematically equivalent to a limited-angle tomography problem,’ Fajardo says. ‘Then we could simply reformat plenoptic imaging as tomography data and apply image reconstruction algorithms to obtain much better images.’But the biggest challenge remained engineering the cameras. ‘The higher the photon energy, the harder it is to manufacture the optics for a plenoptic camera,’ she says. ‘You need X-rays of different energies for different tasks.’ The solution was to develop one camera prototype that used lower-energy X-rays for tiny structures like cells and another that used higher-energy X-rays for larger objects, such as small animals or human organs.Less radiation, healthier patientsWhile Fajardo is encouraged by the project’s results, work remains to be done. ‘The low-energy X-ray camera belongs to a niche market,’ she explains. ‘But the high-energy X-ray prototype has huge medical potential, although it still requires some development.’Results from the project, which was awarded a Future Emerging Technologies grant, will soon be submitted for publication in the international science journal Nature Photonics. Source:European Commission Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 15 2019CT scans have revolutionized the fight against human illness by creating three-dimensional images of the body’s inner workings. Such scans, however, can deliver high doses of radiation. Now EU-funded researchers have built special cameras that limit radiation while delivering images vital for patient health.Doctors have used computed tomography scans, or CT scans, to greatly improve the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. But a major problem limits their use: they deliver high doses of radiation that can harm patients nearly as much as their ailment.Enter the EU-funded VOXEL project which set out to develop an innovative way to create three-dimensional imaging. The result is special cameras that can deliver 3D images but without the high doses of radiation.