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Why Home Sales Are Surging in Opportunity Zones

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Why Home Sales Are Surging in Opportunity Zones April 2, 2019 917 Views Sharecenter_img Appreciation Capital Gains Tax Home Values HOUSING Investment Opportunity Zones Zillow 2019-04-02 Radhika Ojha There’s good news for some of the low-income and high-poverty areas that were designated as opportunity zones last spring. According to an analysis by Zillow, these areas have seen a surge in sale prices since they received the designation as investors, keen to receive a discount on capital gains taxes for investing within these areas, flock to these opportunity zones.According to Zillow, sale prices in all eligible areas “grew faster than prices in places that weren’t, but after opportunity zones were selected, price-growth trends diverged among eligible tracts.”The report revealed that areas that were eligible but had not been chosen as opportunity zones saw a slowdown in sale price appreciation, while prices in designated opportunity zones grew by more than 20 percent annually.The government’s opportunity zones program is intended to revitalize low-income or high-poverty areas by spurring investments in them. The report indicated that of the tens of thousands of eligible census tracts, 8,700 areas across the country were selected by state governors and certified by the Treasury Department as opportunity zones.Since there are no rules that investments must be spread equally across the zones, the report indicated that some opportunity zones could see more residential real estate development activity than others.”Proponents argue that a lot of the money generated as capital gains could be used as seed money [to revitalize] traditionally neglected communities. But whether this tax break will direct funds to the communities that need them the most–or what happens when the money arrives–remain open questions,” said Alexander Casey, Policy Advisor for Zillow. “But what’s clear in the meantime is that among the vast array of neighborhoods selected as opportunity zones we’ve witnessed wildly different housing market trends up to this point, which might hint at the future of these communities.”The analysis also looked at the top 10 Zones that were hot for investments. According to Zillow’s research, five of the 10 opportunity zones “primed for investment” are in New York. Of these, four are in Brooklyn and one is in Queens.It noted that Boston metro opportunity zones had the “highest average rank among all zones included in the analysis.” With two other metros among the 10 highest averages, Massachusetts had the highest statewide average rank.Click here to see the full rankings of opportunity zones. To read more about opportunity zone investment, click here.last_img read more

Which one is the real Kolb Is he a combination of

first_imgWhich one is the real Kolb? Is he a combination of the three?While Snyder clearly disagrees with fans who take shots at Kolb, chances are good they agree in one key area: Everyone wants to see the QB have a chance to prove himself, for better or worse. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling If only Adam Snyder had protected Kevin Kolb half as well on the field as he does on Twitter then perhaps none of this would be necessary.Snyder, who took to social media to defend the quarterback, is proving to us what I think we already knew: Kevin Kolb is a good guy who works his ass off and has his teammates’ respect. He’s incredibly tough and wants to be out on the field.The problem is Kevin Kolb is also fragile, and has not played more than nine games in any of his six NFL seasons. You can’t be a franchise QB if you can’t stay on the field, no matter how talented you are. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Which, even now, we don’t really know how talented Kolb is.At 28 and having been given a nice big contract, the time for Kolb to prove himself on the field has come and gone. The coach who brought him to the team is no longer around, and the general manager who signed him to that big contract is also unemployed.Back in May of 2011, I wrote that trading for Kolb would be Ken Whisenhunt’s ‘defining decision’. If it didn’t work, the coach would be out of a job. Well the coach is out of a job, so does that mean it didn’t work?Not yet. Probably.Kolb’s time in the Valley is not officially up, unless of course he does not restructure his contract. The thinking here is he will, though, because no other team is likely to give him a shot at a starting job this season. Because for all he’s done in this league (which isn’t much, really), Kolb is still unproven as an NFL quarterback.Snyder brought up Kolb’s “potential”, and said it’s the line’s job to let him show it. Without a doubt, improved play on the offensive line will go a long way towards helping Arizona’s quarterbacks look better.But even then, it’s fair to wonder what Kolb would look like over a 16-game season. All we have to go off of right now is speculation based off an incredibly small sample size. Last season saw Kolb play well (vs. Seattle, vs. Philadelphia), play alright (@ New England, vs. Miami), and play not so good (@ St. Louis, vs. Buffalo). last_img read more

Modern Times Group MTG has struck a deal to secu

first_imgModern Times Group (MTG) has struck a deal to secure the ATP tennis rights for Sweden and Norway.Under the terms of the agreement, MTG has acquired the exclusive Swedish and Norwegian media rights to the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals until 2019.The free and pay TV broadcaster will air 10 ATP tournaments every year on its streaming service Viaplay and pay TV channels, beginning with the Shanghai Masters on October 7-15.The ATP World Tour Masters 1000 is a nine-stop, year-round global tour for the top singles and doubles competitors in the men’s game, ending with the ATP World Tour Finals in London every November.Peter NørrelundBoth competitions will be shown in Sweden and Norway exclusively on Viaplay and pay TV channels, with selected matches on MTG’s free-TV channels.In addition to the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and ATP World Tour Finals, MTG also holds the Swedish rights to the 2017 Stockholm Open men’s singles and doubles competitions, which take place on October 15-22.Peter Nørrelund, MTG EVP and CEO of MTG Sport said: “The ATP World Tour Masters 1000 serves up exceptional tennis throughout the year, while the ATP World Tour Finals are a thrilling season-ender. With legends Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic battling young guns like Alexander Zverev Jr., Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov, tennis has never been so exciting. MTG is the unrivalled home of premium sport and these latest rights highlight the amazing range of our coverage.”last_img read more

The bull also made a comeback in 20092010 fighti

first_img The bull also made a comeback in 2009-2010, fighting its way up out of what seemed at the time to be the deepest hole (1.04) in October, 2008. Stocks have been on a long slide since the ratio last peaked at 3.24 in October, 2010, with the downturn in 2013 pushing multiples to previously unseen lows. No one—us included—has a crystal ball, and so it’s impossible to tell if the bottom is behind us. We can, however, gauge with certainty when an asset is cheap—and cash-generating companies selling for little more than book value are extraordinary values for big-picture investors. Now let’s see how these valuations look against the S&P 500. Gold stocks staged spring and summer rallies this year, but haven’t able to sustain the momentum. Many have sold off sharply in recent weeks, along with gold. That makes this a good time to examine the book value of gold equities; are they objectively cheap now, or not? By way of reminder, a price-to-book-value ratio (P/BV) shows the stock price in relation to the company’s book value, which is the theoretical value of a company’s assets minus liabilities. A stock is considered cheap when it’s trading at a historically low P/BV, and undervalued when it’s trading below book value. From the perspective of an investor, low price-to-book multiples imply opportunity and a margin of safety from potential declines in price. We analyzed the book values of all publicly traded primary gold producers with a market cap of $1 billion or more. The final list comprised 32 companies. We then charted book values from January 2, 2007 through last Thursday, October 15. Here’s what we found. At the current 1.20 times book value, gold stocks aren’t as cheap as they were when we ran the numbers in June, 2013, successfully pinpointing the all-time low of 0.91 (the turning point before the period in gray). Of course, that P/BV is hard to beat: it was one of the lowest values ever. And while the stocks not quite as cheap now, the valuation multiple still lingers close to its historical bottom. Remember, we’re talking about senior mining companies here—producers with real assets and cash flow selling for close to their book values. In short, yes, gold stocks are objectively selling cheaply. The juniors, of course, have been hit harder. It’s hard to put a meaningful book value on many of these “burning matches” with little more than hopes and geologists’ dreams, but valuations on many are scraping the bottom, making them even better bargains, albeit substantially riskier ones. What does this mean for us investors? It’s no surprise to see that every contraction in the ratio was followed by a major rally. In other words, the cure for low prices is low prices: The August, 2007 bottom (2.2) and the momentary downtrend that preceded it were quickly erased by a swift price rally leading to a January, 2008 peak (3.8).center_img Stocks listed in the S&P500 are currently more than twice as expensive as the gold producers. That’s not surprising given how volatile metals prices can be and how unloved mining is—but is it rational? Note that despite the downtrend in the last month, the multiple for the S&P500 remains close to a multiyear high. In other words, yes, the S&P 500 is expensive. This contrast points to an obvious opportunity in our sector. So is now the time to buy gold stocks? Answer: our stocks are good values now, and, if there is a larger correction ahead, they may well become fantastic values, briefly. Either way, value is value, on sale. As the most successful resource speculators have repeatedly said: you have to be a contrarian in this sector to be successful, buying low and selling high, and that takes courage based on solid convictions. Yes, it’s possible that valuations could fall further. However: The difference between prices and clear-cut value argue for going long and staying that way until multiples return to lofty levels again—which they’ve done every time, as the historical record shows. With a long-term time frame in mind, whatever happens in the short term is less of a concern. Building substantial positions at good prices in great companies in advance of what must transpire sooner or later is what successful speculation is all about. This is how Doug Casey, Rick Rule, and others have made their fortunes, and it’s why they’re buying in the market now, seeing market capitulation as one of the prime opportunities of the decade. That’s worth remembering, especially during a downturn that has even die-hard gold bugs giving up. Bottom line: “Blood in the streets” isn’t pretty, but it’s a good thing for those with the liquidity and courage to act. What to buy? That’s what we cover in BIG GOLD and the International Speculator. Thanks to our 3-month full money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and the potential for gains that only a true contrarian can expect.last_img read more

We are throwing good money after bad here as the

first_imgWe are throwing good money after bad here, as the The Washington Times reports: Roughly 6.5 million people with active Social Security numbers are age 112 and older, according to an audit by the Social Security Administration’s inspector general. The March 4 audit concluded that the administration “did not have controls in place to annotate death information” on the main electronic file… The inspector general said the questionable identification numbers put the government at risk of fraud and waste. Some of the numbers assigned to long-dead people were used fraudulently to open bank accounts, and thousands of numbers were apparently used by illegal immigrants to apply for work, CNS News reported. For all of its many shortcomings, the IRS does a darn good job of tracking who’s alive and who’s dead. Maybe it should send an intern over to the SSA to teach ’em how to cross out a name and number with a red pen. Until then, we’ll continue to lose money to people receiving benefits fraudulently and waste money tracking and prosecuting preventable identity-theft crimes. This is just one more example of why people protect their own money far better than any government agency ever will. After all, we all own red pens.last_img read more

first_img – 2017: The Wildest Year on Record? Donald Trump will enter the White House with the country massively divided, wars on all corners of the world, the bond bubble on the verge of collapse, a stock market overdue for a correction… 2017 could be one of the wildest years on record, and it’s urgent that you prepare… That’s why, until New Year’s Day, we’re giving you the chance to access ALL our analysts’ research for a tiny fraction of what you’d normally pay… So you can get expert macro overviews, and specific action items, to help protect and grow your wealth in 2017 and beyond… Click here to learn more… Editor’s note: Today, we’re sharing part two of Casey Research founder Doug Casey’s popular essay on the next industrial revolution. Yesterday, Doug shared the 10 big trends that are rapidly advancing. Below, he explains how to set yourself up to benefit as directly and immediately as possible. WHERE THIS IS GOING You may think I’m pulling your leg and that I’ve gone too far in these projections. But this isn’t just a titillating compilation of cover stories from Popular Science magazine. Our brains are accustomed to thinking arithmetically—1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. But technology is compounding geometrically—1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, etc. You’ve seen this happen in the realm of computing and electronics just in our lifetimes. But—partially enabled by those things—it’s happening in many areas. You might analogize this to what happens to water as it gets colder. There’s not much difference between water at, say, 45 and 33 degrees Fahrenheit. But once it gets to 32, it has a change of state, a transformation in what it is, its very nature. And it happens very, very quickly. The advances being made are the stuff of science fiction. In fact, sci-fi has long been a much better predictor of the future than think tanks, futurists, or even the best scientists. I’ve often wondered why this is the case. As someone with solipsist tendencies, I’m partial to believing that anything you can conceive of can probably be done. And anything that can be done will be done. The transformation of reality itself is just a matter of having sufficient matter, energy, space, and time added to technology. When you see it that way, you have to be intensely optimistic. And I am. In fact, for the first time, advances in the real world are starting to outrun the imaginings of sci-fi. Skeptics might counter: “Sure. Given enough time, everything happens eventually. Including the heat death of the universe.” And they’re right. But because of the exponential rate of improvement in the things I’ve mentioned and some others I haven’t, I suspect we’re about to have a change in the state of existence. This is what Ray Kurzweil, Google’s chief technology officer, has dubbed “The Singularity.” Go back to the things I listed. The really important things—computers, AI, robotics, nanotech, and bioscience—are all advancing according to Moore’s Law. Doubling every 18 months, with costs dropping 50%. Things move very quickly when they move at an exponential rate. Extrapolating them only 10 years into the future, which implies only eight doublings. And eight doublings result in 256 times the starting point. There’s a good chance they’re all going to come together at once. Exactly when might that be? This is the tricky part, predicting the time as well as the event. Kurzweil thinks about 20 years from now. If he’s right, this is not only good news. It is, by orders of magnitude, the best news of any type in human history. Recommended Links The Best Place to Hide Your Money It’s tax-free. Pays up to 37 times more than bank accounts. And you DON’T NEED TO REPORT IT TO THE IRS. No wonder the government doesn’t want you to know about this secret account. Click here. — NOW FOR SOME BAD NEWS What might the bad news be? You may (quite logically) be thinking about some unsavory implications of these advances. The evolution of Skynet and Terminators. People failing to reproduce. Grey goo from runaway nanotech covering the planet. Humanity destroying itself in all manner of ways. I agree that bad things can happen. It’s not just a question of misfeasance, some unforeseen accident happening. But actual malfeasance isn’t out of the question. Why? Technology is advancing exponentially, but human ethics don’t seem to be advancing at all. In fact, maybe the general moral tone of humanity is actually degrading. If that’s true, then you can argue it’s a bad idea for large-brained chimpanzees to have the magic technologies we’ve been discussing. So, of course, some people will say: “We have to slow down this mad rush to the future! We have to at least regulate these scary things!” Sound reasonable? Actually, no; the concept is incredibly stupid. You might also ask who the “we” is that wants to make those decisions. Of course, it’s the same professional busybodies who are naturally drawn to government, NGOs, media, and the like. They’re not the best and brightest, as they like to believe. They’re actually the worst and most dangerous of mankind, and they’re always fearful of progress. Why? Because although the leaders always get new technologies first (e.g., horses, gunpowder, computers), the cat always gets out of the bag, and these things act to further liberate the average man after a while. Notwithstanding various drags on our progress, mankind has been expanding its powers exponentially since about the time it learned to make fire. But the nature of the math is that the real growth doesn’t come until the end, at which point it seems instantaneous. We can see what’s happening intellectually, but very few can picture it in reality. Recall the fable about the mathematician who invented chess and got a king to reward him by giving him double the amount of wheat for each of the 64 squares of a chessboard, starting with one grain. How much grain might that be? The answer is over 18 quintillion grains, which is around 1,000 times the world’s annual production of wheat. It’s counterintuitive because intuition can’t deal with geometric increases beyond a low level. It’s idiocy to try to curtail the rewards of a process—and here we’re talking about the Ascent of Man itself—at the very moment of triumph. Maybe humanity is now (wild guess) at around the 50th chessboard square. Exactly where things start getting interesting. It’s been said that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. But there’s a big problem for you and me as individuals. At the moment, we all have very finite lifetimes. What if (even though medical advances are extending our life expectancies radically) we die before magic happens? That’s why there’s absolutely nothing to be lost by going for the brass ring. Let’s consider mundane life the way it’s always been and still is. Unless things change very quickly for the better, you’re going to be dead sometime in between tomorrow morning and, if you’re both young and lucky, 50 years from now. Considering the (current) absolute and total certainty of death, taking any risk to avoid it, even with long-shot odds, doesn’t just make excellent sense. It’s imperative. So I’m not particularly concerned with the possible ultimate consequences of runaway technological advance. In fact, I think they’re almost all good, even if they’re a little scary. And now, for the first time in history, the inevitable is imminent. We can deal with potential problems when the time comes. Right now, I’m only concerned with things that might stop us from getting there in a reasonable (i.e., a fraction of a lifetime) time frame. But it’s entirely possible that humanity could blow it. How might we blow it? In decreasing order of probability, you can worry about a lot of things. You can worry about a bus hitting you tomorrow morning. Or a pandemic. Or a super volcano. Or an asteroid strike, for that matter. I’m most concerned about human-caused (anthropogenic, if you will) possibilities. Like World War 3, recalling that Einstein said he didn’t know what weapons would be used in it, but he was confident that sticks and stones would be used in WW4. That would put a stop to the advance of technology for a while, in addition to its other unpleasantness and inconvenience. I’m also concerned about the consequences of the next phase of the Greater Depression. We entered the leading edge of the economic hurricane in 2007. We’ve been in the eye of the storm since 2010. And now, we’re going into the trailing edge. No one can tell you exactly what it will be like. Very possibly, both catastrophic deflation and hyperinflation in sequence (in any order). Or in different parts of the economy at the same time (basic foodstuffs skyrocketing; the value of McMansions and BMWs collapsing). People with their life savings in dollars losing most everything. The State raising taxes hugely. All kinds of police-state measures being enforced in a vain attempt to restore stability. And a lot more things of this nature. It’s likely to last at least as long, be much worse, and much different even than what the world went through from 1914–1946. This is extremely important because, you’ll recall, science and technology are only two legs to the tripod. Capital is equally necessary. And the Greater Depression, and its knock-on effects, could destroy a lot of capital. One consequence of the Greater Depression might be that the tech trends I listed above will slow down radically. Less capital may be created and much less put aside for investment. Much could be misallocated. And the government always puts itself first; it may use what capital there is for its own purposes. Technology and science need as much capital as possible to advance as quickly as possible. Vested interests, typically shortsighted, always use politics to fight innovation. Taxi drivers stupidly lobby against Uber; hoteliers lobby against Airbnb. They don’t see themselves as modern Luddites, but they are. Even worse, people may see some bad effects of technology and react against it. Under certain conditions, you could find scientists hunted down like witches for violating God’s will. Stranger things have happened in times of stress. To be clear, I don’t think there’s such a thing as bad technology; people confuse the concept with its use by people with bad intentions. This is why I’m concerned about government using, or even financing, technology. I often talk about how the State is dangerous and destructive. But now, on the cusp of The Singularity, it’s true on a cosmic level. If, for instance, they delay a medical advance that may save you by a year, they may not be costing you a year. They may be costing you 500 years. And it’s not just technology, but science itself that is in jeopardy. If it turns out that anthropogenic global warming is a gigantic hoax (I believe it is), even though it’s said that 97% of scientists believe in it (a lie), and that the science is settled (it’s not), that may discredit the idea of science to the average person. Anything is possible. After all, something like 40% of Americans think the world is about 6,000 years old and cavemen lived with dinosaurs. SO? Let me sum up. It’s likely we’re only 10, 20, or 30 years from what will turn out to be the biggest change in human history. I understand that sounds unbelievable to 99% of people. But I urge you to consider it seriously. What does that mean? In fact, you might ask why investment results even matter if we move into an economy of total abundance. Almost everyone will benefit from these changes, at least indirectly and eventually, if they live long enough. But you want to benefit as directly and immediately as possible. Having capital will put you first in line. Having capital allows you to be an early adopter, and that could be critical. Furthermore, earning capital makes you deserving of that place. Are the useless mouths on welfare deserving of these benefits? It may become a huge, and currently unanticipated, political issue over the next decade. There are huge numbers of hoi polloi out there—you’ll see them rioting this summer—who absolutely believe they deserve everything from free food, to free education, to a guaranteed income. Editor’s note: As you know, Doug is among the most respected investors in the world. Since 1979, he’s called some of the biggest financial events of our time. And now, for a limited time only, you can get all of Doug’s future moneymaking research—as well as everything we publish here at Casey Research—as part of our exclusive Casey Platinum Membership. To learn more about this incredible opportunity, click here.last_img read more

When a relationship ends but love remains it can

first_imgWhen a relationship ends but love remains, it can be both frustrating and embarrassing.Dessa, a well-known rapper, singer and writer from Minneapolis, knows the feeling well. She’d spent years trying to get over an ex-boyfriend, but she was still stuck on him.”You’re not only suffering,” she says, “you’re just sort of ridiculous. Discipline and dedication are my strong suits — it really bothered me that, no matter how much effort I tried to expend in trying to solve this problem, I was stuck.”But things changed when Dessa turned to the frontiers of neuroscience for help. She came across a TED Talk by Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and visiting research associate at Rutgers University. Using a type of brain scan called functional MRI, or fMRI, Fisher had looked into the brains of love-struck people and noticed that certain parts of their brains were unusually active.”That you could objectively measure and observe ‘love’ — that had never occurred to me before,” Dessa says.She wondered: If science could map the sources of love in her brain, could it somehow make that love go away?The question led her to a controversial therapy technique called neurofeedback.The idea is simple: If you want to learn to lower your heart rate, it helps to be able to hear your pulse. And if you want to change patterns of brain activity, it might be helpful to be able to see what your brain is up to.One flavor of neurofeedback therapy uses a technology called electroencephalography (EEG). A cap full of electrical leads picks up brain waves and translates them into visual or audio cues — like shifting colors on a screen or a series of dings.The idea is that people can use this feedback to retrain those brain waves, changing underlying patterns in the process — turning down unwanted brain activity or turning up regions that are too quiet.Clinicians have used neurofeedback to try and treat all kinds of mental health issues: anxiety, depression, autism, and ADHD. And they say they’ve seen some positive results. Patients say they feel better.The growing popularity of EEG-neurofeedback has been met with skepticism. Some scientists say the power of this therapy may stem from the placebo effect. (They also point out that a lot of neurofeedback research is done by people who have a financial stake in the industry.)But more rigorous research from the past couple of years supports the idea that, at least in some cases, neurofeedback can be used to train the brain. Most of this research uses fMRI brain scans — not EEG — to peek inside the skull.In one study, participants learned to turn up a brain region linked to motivation and focus. In another, patients with depression were able to alleviate some of their symptoms. But scientists doing this research say there’s a lot of work to be done before it can be applied clinically.Could neurofeedback provide a balm for broken hearts? No research has been done in this area. But that didn’t stop Dessa from trying a sort of experiment on herself: nine EEG-neurofeedback sessions aimed at helping her brain escape the rut of romantic obsession.She says she felt different when she was done.”Before, I felt that I was really under the thumb of a fixation and a compulsion,” she says. “And now it feels like those feelings have been scaled down.”Now, maybe the neurofeedback had worked as practitioners suggest it does. Or maybe, alternatively, Dessa got the therapy she wanted in other ways — by talking through her experiment, by writing about it, by composing songs for her new album.Or maybe, her neurofeedback sessions helped her via the placebo effect. They suggested that her emotions are grounded in a physical organ — one that she might be able to influence. Maybe simply believing that she wasn’t helpless helped her change her mind and heal her heartbreak.Whatever the reason, Dessa is happy to begin to move on and to start a new chapter with her music.”I’ve written a bunch of sad rap bangers — I’d like to write other kinds of songs,” she says.Follow Skunk Bear, NPR’s science show, on YouTube and Facebook and please fill out our short survey so we can learn more about you and the kind of stories you’re interested in. Dessa’s new book, My Own Devices, was published Tuesday, Sept. 18. You can watch her perform behind NPR’s famous Tiny Desk here:Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

3 Ways Drone Startups Are Making Dangerous Workplaces Safer

first_img –shares Potential hazards such as loose scaffolding or fuel tank leaks are identified earlier. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business 3 Ways Drone Startups Are Making Dangerous Workplaces Safer Add to Queue Image credit: Hinterhaus Productions | Getty Images Technology Next Article Guest Writer Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Startup mentor, CEO and tech blogger If you look at the numbers on job-related accidents, something disturbing becomes clear — going to work can be unsafe.The International Labour Organization estimates that 2.3 million people worldwide die due to work-related reasons each year. It’s a figure that comprises both job-site accidents and deaths due to illness or exposure to hazardous materials. To put it in perspective, that is a million more deaths every year than the 1.25 million deaths, worldwide, attributed to road traffic.In high-risk industries such as construction the risk of death over a 45-year career is 1 in 200. Add to that the 340 million non-fatal workplace injuries that take place each year and it’s easy to see that we must find ways to reduce risks in work environments .Related: Amazon and Tesla Listed Among the Most Dangerous U.S. WorkplacesThe human toll should be enough to leave us motivated to effect change. But in every business, you also have to look at the bottom line, and workplace injuries and illnesses are costing employers more than $3 billion a year.As always, in technology we trust, and drones are part of the process of treating some of those problems. Whether at an oil refinery or a power plant, here are some of the ways drones are improving working conditions and respective drone startups that are part of the advancement.Inspection and collection.Keeping workers safe is a priority for all employers, and regular site inspections are an important component of this. But when it comes to inspecting hard-to-reach places, such as industrial chimneys, rooftops, fluid barrels, or even just a high scaffolding, often times it’s the inspection itself that causes injury. Some startups are aimed towards improving inspections, such as the Sparrow drone by Percepto. It’s an autonomous drone with day and night (thermal) vision capabilities, which treats safety at site inspections with its ability to access areas that would pose a danger to human inspectors. Without the risk to human life, the pre-programmed drone inspections can be performed more frequently. The result is that site inspectors are exposed to less harm, while potential hazards such as loose scaffolding or fuel tank leaks are identified earlier. Once the site is inspected, data needs to be collected. Drones are also able to collect, transmit and analyze site data more efficiently than humans can, giving employers a more accurate picture of what’s happening on their site.Related: 5 Ways Drones Are Changing the WorldEmergency situations.From fires to gas leaks to hazardous waste spills, disasters strike, even at the most diligently inspected work sites. Drones are minimizing the odds of a chemical disaster occurring, and they’re also acting as first-responders when the unimaginable happens. After all, there’s no reason to put human lives on the line, when you can send a drone in first to assess the situation.For the sake of evaluating an entire disaster site, drone company PrecisionHawk teamed up with the Environmental Protection Agency in 2014 to map out an industrial landfill in South Carolina that was releasing toxic particles into the air. The result was a full assessment of the area in under an hour, a job that would take human surveyors days or even weeks to complete, exposing them to unnecessary hazards.Security breaches.Whether industrial, military, or personal, perhaps one of the biggest uses for drones is in the area of security. While drones can’t replace their human counterparts or eliminate the need for manpower, there’s no question that a drone can cover more ground in less time than the combination of humans and stationary cameras.Aptonomy is a drone company which equips its UAVs with a night-vision camera. The low-flying drones can hone in on an intruder and capture a mugshot — something a stationary camera can do with less accuracy. But while it may seem that the benefits of security drones are mostly for employers, they also keep employees out of potentially dangerous situations. Because drones provide such an accurate picture in real time, they significantly reduce the risk posed to security guards and emergency responders.Related: The Drone Industry: Thoughts From an OutsiderWe still have a long way to go when it comes to keeping workers safe on the job. And while employers will never be able to achieve zero-risk on their sites, autonomous drones located on-site, conducting dozens of daily missions, are a huge step in the right direction to reducing exposure to hazardous materials, accidents and death. In the meantime, I’m grateful to be working from home today. 4 min read July 13, 2018 Yoav Vilner Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

Italy Claims Google Dodged 248 Million in Taxes

first_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Legal Image credit: GongTo | Shutterstock.com Italy Claims Google Dodged $248 Million in Taxes 2 min read Next Article –shares This story originally appeared on Reuterscenter_img Reuters Add to Queue Register Now » Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. The Italian finance police believe Google evaded 227 million euros ($247.5 million) in taxes in Italy between 2009 and 2013, investigative sources said on Thursday.The finance police report was due to be delivered to the Internet giant later in the day and comes amid an increasingly angry debate across Europe over taxation of multinationals who park earnings in low-tax nations.Asked about the Italian report, a Google spokesperson said: “Google complies with the tax laws in every country where we operate. We are continuing to work with the relevant authorities.”Google’s latest figures show it paid 2.2 million euros of tax in Italy in 2014 on revenues of 54.4 million euros generated in the country. Italy’s Communications Authority estimates Google’s Italian revenues at around 10 times higher.Last week Google agreed to pay 130 million pounds ($185 million) in back taxes to the British authorities, though the opposition Labour Party and others said this was too small compared with the profits the company earned in Britain.In December, Apple Inc (AAPL.O) agreed to pay Italy’s tax office 318 million euros to settle a dispute over allegations it failed to pay taxes for six years, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.On Thursday the European Commission weighed into the row over taxation of multinationals with a proposal that would allow EU countries to tax corporate profits at home in some cases, even if the money has been transferred elsewhere to avoid such payments.($1 = 0.9170 euros)(Reporting by Sara Rossi and Manuela D’Alessandro, Writing by Crispian Balmer, Editing by Gareth Jones) January 28, 2016last_img read more

Researchers develop optical tools to detect metabolic changes linked to disease

Graphic abstract of study. Credit: I. Georgakoudi, Z. Liu, and D. Pouli PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen More information: “Mapping metabolic changes by noninvasive, multiparametric, high-resolution imaging using endogenous contrast” Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aap9302 , http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/3/eaap9302 Play Credit: I. Georgakoudi, Z. Liu, and D. Pouli Metabolic changes in cells can occur at the earliest stages of disease. In most cases, knowledge of those signals is limited, since we usually detect disease only after it has done significant damage. Now, a team led by engineers at Tufts University School of Engineering has opened a window into the cell by developing an optical tool that can read metabolism at subcellular resolution, without having to perturb cells with contrast agents, or destroy them to conduct assays. As reported today in Science Advances, the researchers were able to use the method to identify specific metabolic signatures that could arise in diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. The method is based on the fluorescence of two important coenzymes (biomolecules that work in concert with enzymes) when excited by a laser beam. The coenzymes—nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) – are involved in a large number of metabolic pathways in every cell. To find out the specific metabolic pathways affected by disease or stress, the Tufts scientists looked at three parameters: the ratio of FAD to NADH, the fluorescence “fade” of NADH, and the organization of the mitochondria as revealed by the spatial distribution of NADH within a cell (the energy producing “batteries” of the cell).The first parameter—the relative amounts of FAD to NADH—can reveal how well the cell is consuming oxygen, metabolizing sugars, or producing or breaking down fat molecules. The second parameter—the fluorescence “fade” of NADH—reveals details about the local environment of the NADH. The third parameter—the spatial distribution of NADH in the cells—shows how the mitochondria split and fuse in response to cellular growth and stress. A novel method for designing fluorescent probes improves imaging of complex molecules in live cells Play Credit: I. Georgakoudi, Z. Liu, and D. Pouli That is not necessarily a limitation. Many diseases can be detected at the surface of tissues, including cancer, while many pre-clinical studies are performed with animal models and engineered three-dimensional tissues that can benefit from being monitored non-destructively. The method developed by Georgakoudi and colleagues may prove to be a powerful research tool for understanding their metabolic signatures. “Taken together, these three parameters begin to provide more specific, and unique metabolic signatures of cellular health or dysfunction,” said Irene Georgakoudi, Ph.D., corresponding author of the study and a professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering at Tufts. “The power of this method is the ability to get the information on live cells, without the use of contrast agents or attached labels that could interfere with results.”Other methods exist for non-invasively tracking the metabolic signatures of disease, such as the PET scan, which is often used in research. But while PET scans provide low resolution information with excellent depth penetration into living tissues, the optical method introduced by the Tufts researchers detects metabolic activity at the resolution of single cells, although mostly near the surface. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Explore further Optical readouts of HL-1 cardiomyocytes in response to chemical uncoupling by CCCP. Redox ratio map for control (left), and CCCP exposed cardiomyocytes (right). Credit: Irene Georgakoudi, Tufts University Citation: Researchers develop optical tools to detect metabolic changes linked to disease (2018, March 7) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-optical-tools-metabolic-linked-disease.html Provided by Tufts University Journal information: Science Advances 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. read more

Five things to know about VWs dieselgate scandal

first_imgthe company admitted that some 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, including 8.5 million in Europe, and 600,000 in the United States, had been fitted with illegal “defeat devices” © 2018 AFP 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. Explore further Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal, for which Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler was arrested on Monday, has had repercussions for the car industry around the world.center_img Here’s what you need to know about “dieselgate”.How the scandal startedOn September 18, 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that VW had installed illegal so-called defeat devices in hundreds of thousands of 2.0-litre engines in the United States since 2009.The software—used in the Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands—helped make the cars meet exhaust pollution standards when monitored in tests but in real life their emissions exceeded the limits.Four days later the company admitted that some 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, including 8.5 million in Europe, and 600,000 in the United States, had been fitted with the software. Investigators found that some cars spewed out up to 40 times more harmful nitrogen oxide—linked to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases—than legally allowed.As recently as May this year, Germany ordered Porsche to recall 60,000 vehicles across Europe after they were found to have been equipped with so-called “defeat devices”. A month later, Audi was ordered to recall 60,000 cars for the same reason.How VW reactedVW chief executive Martin Winterkorn stepped down five days after the scandal broke in 2015, insisting however that he knew nothing of the scam.He was replaced by Matthias Mueller, who himself is now being investigated. In April, Mueller was unexpectedly replaced as CEO by VW brand chief Herbert Diess.VW’s guilty plea to a US criminal case in March 2017 settled its legal entanglements there, adding $4.3 billion in criminal and civil fines to $17.5 billion it had already agreed to pay in compensation to owners and dealers and for environmental clean-up.Volkswagen no longer faces legal action in the US, but eight former and current executives and an Audi official have been charged, including Winterkorn. Out of the nine two have already been handed prison terms.Hoping to turn the page on dieselgate, VW has announced a renewed focus on electric vehicles, aiming to become the world leader in electric cars by 2025.But it has offered no compensation to drivers in the European Union—annoying the bloc’s consumer protection authorities.VW did however agree to pay a fine of one billion euros to settle a probe by German prosecutors earlier this month.Consequences for VWThe scandal has so far cost VW more than 26 billion euros in fines, compensation and buybacks, mainly in the United States.The company announced a net loss of nearly 1.6 billion euros in 2015, its first in 20 years, after setting aside billions to cover the costs of the dieselgate.But it returned to the black in 2016, with a net profit of 5.1 billion euros, followed by 11.35 billion euros in 2017.It still faces lawsuits from thousands of car buyers and investors around the world, including Germany, France, Italy, Britain and Poland.Have other carmakers been cheating?Tests carried out in the wake of the scandal found that diesel engines by other carmakers were also more polluting on the road than during testing. But none have so far admitted to mass cheating.Rather the manufacturers in those cases said regulations allowed deactivation of emissions controls in certain conditions to protect the engine.German luxury brand BMW and Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler have both had their offices raided by investigators searching for evidence of possible cheating.France has also launched investigations into VW, Renault, Peugeot and Italy’s Fiat.How have customers reacted?While VW sales have fallen in the United States, European drivers appear to have largely shrugged off the controversy.The VW group is still the world’s biggest carmaker, selling a record 10.74 million vehicles last year—more than before the crisis erupted.Diesel’s market share however has fallen across Europe. Citation: Five things to know about VW’s ‘dieselgate’ scandal (2018, June 18) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-vw-dieselgate-scandal.html German prosecutors raid Audi boss over diesel cheatinglast_img read more

Capitol Hill hearing on online hate sees it firsthand

first_img Explore further YouTube disabled the live chat section of the streaming video about 30 minutes into the hearing because of what it called “hateful comments.”The incident came as executives from Google and Facebook appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the companies’ role in the spread of hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. They were joined by leaders of such human rights organizations as the Anti-Defamation League and the Equal Justice Society, along with conservative commentator Candace Owens.Neil Potts, Facebook director of public policy, and Alexandria Walden, counsel for free expression and human rights at Google, defended policies at the two companies that prohibit material that incites violence or hate. Google owns YouTube.”There is no place for terrorism or hate on Facebook,” Potts testified. “We remove any content that incites violence.”The hearing broke down into partisan disagreement among the lawmakers and among some of the witnesses, with Republican members of Congress denouncing as hate speech Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s criticism of American supporters of Israel.As the bickering went on, committee chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., was handed a news report that included the hateful comments about the hearing on YouTube. He read them aloud, along with the users’ screen names, as the room quieted.”This just illustrates part of the problem we’re dealing with,” Nadler said.The hearing comes as the U.S. is experiencing an increase in hate crimes and hate groups.There were 1,020 known hate groups in the country in 2018, the fourth straight year of growth, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremism in the U.S. Hate crimes, meanwhile, rose 30 percent in the three-year period ending in 2017, the organization said, citing FBI figures.Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island grilled the Facebook and Google executives about their companies’ responsibility for the spread of white supremacist views, pushing them to acknowledge they have played a role, even if it was unintentional. Potts and Walden conceded the companies have a duty to try to curb hate. In this Dec. 17, 2018, file photo, a man using a mobile phone walks past Google offices in New York. Executives from Google and Facebook are facing Congress Tuesday, April 8, 2019, to answer questions about their role in the hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) In this Jan. 9, 2019, file photo, media and guests mingle before a tour of Facebook’s new 130,000-square-foot offices, which occupy the top three floors of a 10-story Cambridge, Mass., building. Executives from Google and Facebook are facing Congress Tuesday, April 8, to answer questions about their role in the hate crimes and the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) Citation: Capitol Hill hearing on online hate sees it firsthand (2019, April 10) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-capitol-hill-online-firsthand.html Goldy, who has asked her viewers to help “stop the white race from vanishing,” was not removed until Monday.”What specific proactive steps is Facebook taking to identify other leaders like Faith Goldy and preemptively remove them from the platform?” Cicilline asked.Potts reiterated that the company works to identify people with links to hate and violence and banishes them from Facebook.The hearing was prompted by the mosque shootings last month in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left 50 people dead. The gunman livestreamed the attacks on Facebook and published a long post online that espoused white supremacist views.But controversy over white nationalism and hate speech has dogged online platforms such as Facebook and Google’s YouTube for years.In 2017, following the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, tech giants began banishing extremist groups and individuals espousing white supremacist views and support for violence. Facebook extended the ban to white nationalists.Despite the ban, accounts such as one with the name Aryan Pride were still visible as of late Monday. The account read: “IF YOUR NOT WHITE friend ur own kind cause Im not ur friend.”On Wednesday, a Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing on allegations that companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter are biased against conservatives, an allegation leveled by political figures from President Donald Trump on down.The companies have denied any such bias. © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. A congressional hearing on online hate turned into a vivid demonstration of the problem Tuesday when a YouTube livestream of the proceedings was bombarded with racist and anti-Semitic comments from internet users. But the challenges became clear as Cicilline pushed Potts to answer why Facebook did not immediately remove far-right commentator Faith Goldy last week, after announcing a ban on white nationalism on the social network. Facebook, Google face House hearing on white nationalism This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Nanobowl arrays endow perovskite solar cells with iridescent colors

first_imgWith the maturing of perovskite solar cells (PSCs) technology, it is highly desirable to develop colorful solar cells to satisfy the requirements of aesthetic purposes in applications including building integrated photovoltaics and wearable electronics. The broad optical absorption and the large absorption coefficient of perovskites normally lead to high-efficiency cells with dark-brown colors. Till now, two representative approaches have been used to achieve colorful PSCs: bandgap engineering and structural colors. The former approach usually leads to considerably reduced power conversion efficiency (PCE) values (typically less than 13%) owing to diminished optical absorption associated with the enlarged bandgap. The latter approach takes advantage of engineered optical properties arising from patterned structures, enabling the generation of structural colors that are bright and dazzling. Despite the great efforts devoted to the colorful PSCs with respectable efficiencies, it remains a challenge to realize high-efficiency, colorful PSCs through deliberate structural design. Citation: Nanobowl arrays endow perovskite solar cells with iridescent colors (2019, July 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-nanobowl-arrays-endow-perovskite-solar.html More information: Wenhui Wang et al, High-efficiency colorful perovskite solar cells using TiO2 nanobowl arrays as a structured electron transport layer, Science China Materials (2019). DOI: 10.1007/s40843-019-9452-1 Provided by Science China Press 2-D patterned nanobowl arrays with a remarkable photonic structure have been previously employed with an electron transport layer (ETL) to fabricate efficient PSCs, but the obtained PSCs showed only dark or dark-brown colors, which could be related to the full filling of the nanobowls by the perovskite overlayer. Recently, Limin Qi’s research group at Peking University have developed a novel strategy to prepare colorful PSCs by delicate deposition of a uniform perovskite thin layer into arrayed NBs acting as a structured ETL without jeopardizing their photonic properties. They succeeded in using TiO2 NB arrays as a photonic ETL to integrate with a uniform thin overlayer of CH3NH3PbI3, achieving high-efficiency colorful perovskite solar cells. A new crystalline precursor film based on lead acetate was prepared through a Lewis acid base adduct approach, which allowed for uniform deposition of the precursor thin film onto the inner walls of the TiO2 NBs and subsequent formation of a uniform overlayer of high-quality perovskite crystals.The perovskite solar cells fabricated using the nanobowl arrays inherited the photonic properties of the periodic structures, showing angle-dependent vivid colors under light illumination (Figure 1). These colorful PSCs exhibited a remarkable photovoltaic performance with a maximum efficiency up to 16.94% and an average efficiency of 15.47%, which are higher than those for all the colorful PSCs reported so far. It is expected that the performance of the colorful PSCs based on the nanobowl arrays could be further improved by delicately manipulating the patterned nanoarray structure and optimizing the deposition processes of the perovskite films. This work may open a new avenue toward high-efficiency colorful perovskite solar cells with promising applications including building integrated photovoltaics. 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. Mixed-cation perovskite solar cells in space Schematic illustration and photographs of colorful perovskite solar cells based on nanobowl arrays. Credit: Science China Press Explore furtherlast_img read more

Win 4 Weekend Tickets to the BlueDot Festival 2019 in the UK

first_imgDo you love music? Do you love science? Would you like to go to a festival where both are rolled up into a weekend of family fun? Well look no further, as we’re giving away four tickets (two adults plus two teens (11 to 15 years old) for a weekend of camping and festival-going at BlueDot festival, located at Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire, United Kingdom. Kicking off on Thursday, July 18, this event will last through Sunday (July 21) and will be jam-packed with science, art and music in the most creative and immersive fashion. Not only will there be talks from the brightest scientists from around the globe, but there will be a selection of world-famous art on display. The main stage will sit in the foreground of the observatory’s Lovell Telescope, which has been at the forefront of scientific discovery for over half a century. Thursday will begin the long weekend of musical acts, including an opening convert from The Hallé. The kick-off will see music acts such as Hot Chip, Jon Hopkins, Kate Tempest and Ibibio Sound Machine, among many more. Saturday will welcome Kraftwerk 3-D, Jarvis Cocker, 808 State, Sons of Kemet and more. Finally, Sunday will finish with multiple award-winning New Order, John Grant, Gruff Rhys, Anna Calvi, Gogo Penguin and others.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65823-win-tickets-bluedot-festival.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  But it’s not just the music that people travel from around the world to see, and this includes the brilliant scientists and engineers providing brilliantly informative talks about the latest in STEM subjects. Such names include Britain’s first astronaut Helen Sherman, famous science historian James Burke, French-Irish science and history presenter Liz Bonnin and other exciting names in the world of science, including Jim Al-Khalili, Dallas Campbell and the director of Jodrell Bank, Tim O’Brien. In between the music and the science, there are opportunities to visit some exciting stalls with a variety of interesting cuisines; there are comedy shows, stargazing, microbrewery, mixology, family events, a deep-space disco and so much more. *Please note that the ticket isn’t valid until 9 a.m. on July 19. To be in for the chance of winning tickets to an unforgettable weekend of science and music, all you need to do is enter here before the July 10.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoLivestlyThe List Of Dog Breeds To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndoBirch Gold GroupThis IRS Tax Law is Sweeping the U.S.Birch Gold GroupUndolast_img read more