The Plough Inn, Hillsborough02/07/2015 Grand Central Bar, Derry16/06/2015 Mickey Kelly’s, Armagh02/07/2015 BARDate And even at this early stage, the team to beat is sure to be defending champion and three-times winner The Hoffs from Belfast, who have dominated the quiz since it was formed, as McCoy’s NI Business Account Manager Ricky Wattsexplains.“We are delighted to be launching our sixth annual McCoy’s NI Pub Quiz and every year it seems to get better and better,” said Ricky. “We have seen many teams battle it out for the big prize over the years, but there is no doubt who the outstanding team has been, and that is The Hoffs who have come up trumps on no fewer than three occasion!“Whilst it is clear that The Hoffs are true champions, we are convinced that there are teams out there who are ready and able to be crowned the new McCoy’s NI Pub Quiz Champions 2015 – or maybe even groups of like-minded individuals who fancy combining their intellectual resources to knock The Hoffs off their lofty perch.“All in all, this year promises to be another fantastic challenge and we are urging all teams of friends, families and colleagues to make a night of it and attend one of the heats in their area,” he added.The McCoy’s NI Pub Quiz 2015 continues its association with radio station U105FM and popular drive-time presenterJohnny Hero is excited to revisit his role as Quiz Master at the Grand Final.“We are a competitive bunch in Northern Ireland and the McCoy’s NI Pub Quiz is certainly Northern Ireland’s definitive pub quiz,” said Johnny.“The standard at these events is always incredibly high and the weird and wonderful facts that the top teams have at their disposal never ceases to amaze me. “I’m already looking forward to the Grand Final which is always a great night full of fun, tension and excitement as teams battle it out for the £1000 prize and the much sought after title of NI Pub Quiz Champion,” continued the DJ.As well as The Hoffs, other winners of the McCoy’s NI Pub Quiz over the years include We’re Only Here For The Crispsfrom Bangor and The Sandbaggers from Portstewart.Hopefuls wanting to test their knowledge against the best in this year’s competition should simply turn up to their nearest regional heat*. Teams must have no more than six members and must be available to participate in the final in Belfast on September 3.Demand at each heat is expected to be high so participants are advised to arrive early on the night to avoid disappointment.More details regarding heats and venues, as well as a variety of killer questions, fun facts and prize giveaways can be found on the McCoy’s NI Facebook page.McCoy’s is the number one ridged crisp in Northern Ireland with 100% distribution across 350 symbol stores locally for its top three flavours Flame Grilled Steak, Salt and Malt Vinegar and Cheddar and Onion. Across the UK, McCoy’s crisps are consumed by more than a third of households and one pack is eaten every 15 seconds. Denvir’s, Downpatrick22/07/2015 Yes it can only mean one thing – the province’s biggest pub quiz competition is back in town.So if you’re the kind of person who knows that an octopus has three hearts, that coulrophobia is a fear of clowns, or that Time Magazine named Adolf Hitler ‘Man of the Year’ in 1938, then you and your friends could be in with a chance of winning the coveted title of McCoy’s NI Pub Quiz Champions 2015 as well as a mouth-watering £1000 first prize.Now in its sixth year, the annual McCoy’s NI Pub Quiz will see quiz buffs battle it out in 14 regional heats across the province between now and the end of August with the winning team from each heat qualifying for the Grand Final at The Errigle Inn in Belfast on Thursday September 3.This year’s search to find Northern Ireland’s brainiest pub quiz team is part of the McCoy’s ‘In a Different League’campaign to mark the brand’s newfound status as the Official Crisp Partner of the Football League, the oldest league in world football which was founded in 1888. Beehive Bar, Lurgan06/08/2015 Beechill Inn, Belfast23/07/2015 The McCoy’s NI Pub Quiz 2015 heats will take place at the following venues: The Coach Inn, Omagh04/08/2015 Windrose, Carrickfergus21/07/2015 The Anchor, Portstewart05/08/2015 The Bank, Newry30/07/2015 WHO IS THE BRAINIEST PUB QUIZ TEAM IN THE NORTH? was last modified: June 23rd, 2015 by John2John2 Tags: WHO IS THE BRAINIEST PUB QUIZ TEAM IN THE NORTH? The Front Page, Ballymena10/06/2015 ShareTweet Grand Final at The Errigle Inn03/09/2015 Devinish Bar, Enniskillen13/08/2015 CLEVER CLOGS John Baxter and Ricky Watts of KP Snacks are on the hunt to find Northern Irelands brainiest pub quiz team with the launch of the sixth annual McCoys NI Pub Quiz. The provinces biggest pub quiz competition offers local brainiacs the opportunity to compete for a mouth-watering £1000 first prize and the coveted title of McCoys NI Pub Quiz Champions 2015. From now until the end of August, 14 regional heats will take place across Northern Ireland in Ballymena, Downpatrick, Armagh, Enniskillen, Omagh, Carrickfergus, Cookstown, Newry, Derry~Londonderry, Lurgan, Portstewart and Hillsborough. The winning team from each heat will qualifying for the Grand Final at The Errigle Inn in Belfast on Thursday September 3. Teams wanting to enter the competition and pit their skills against the best should simply turn up at their nearest heat. For details on venues and dates, visit the McCoys NI Facebook page. Teams must have no more than six members and must be available to participate in the final in Belfast on September 3.THAT time of year is upon us when certain questions start being asked all over Northern Ireland. Very important questions. Like… Who wrote Moby Dick? How many are in a baker’s dozen? Or which King in a deck of cards is the only one without a moustache? TIME Bar and Venue, Cookstown02/07/2015 The Errigle, Belfast22/06/2015
(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)L: Doug, we’ve had a lot of questions from readers about the apparent push governments are making to go to paperless currency – all electronic, no cash. Do you think that’s likely, and what would be the implications?Doug: I think it’s probably inevitable. It’s not just cash, but the whole world is becoming increasingly digital. Credit cards already work very well all around the world, and everyone in the world, it seems, will soon have a smartphone – or at least everyone who might have any cash.But it’s not just a question of evolving technology. Governments hate cash for lots of reasons, starting with the fact it costs a couple of cents to print a piece of paper currency, and they have to be replaced quite often. As the US has destroyed the value of the dollar, they’ve had to take the copper out of pennies, and soon they’ll take the nickel out of nickels. Furthermore, with modern technology, counterfeiters – including unfriendly foreign governments – can turn out US currency that’s almost indistinguishable from the real thing. And the stuff takes up a lot of space if it’s enough to be of value. So sure, governments would like to get rid of tangible currency. They’d like to see all money kept in banks, which are today no more than arms of the state. But it’s not so simple: increasing numbers of people trust neither banks – most of which are insolvent – or currencies – most of which are on their way to their intrinsic values.L: Hm. On the technology front, when I was in central Africa a few weeks ago, plastic money was accepted happily everywhere I went – Rwanda, Burundi, the DRC, and Kenya – though not by street vendors yet. And I had access to the Internet everywhere I went, even in the middle of the jungle…Doug: Yes, the move towards digital currencies is already happening, and not just as a result of government efforts. Remember Bitcoin. And, as you know, I’m a big fan of Goldmoney.com, which is leading the way to a sound digital currency. Although Goldmoney.com has bowed to government pressure and has suspended its service allowing customers to transfer funds among one another, it’s another sign of the times…L: Yes, and Goldmoney.com is not the first attempt, nor will it be the last. We should mention to new readers that you are an investor in Goldmoney.com.Doug: The world’s going to digital currencies is in part a good thing, because it’s convenient. But it’s definitely a double-edged sword, because of government involvement in the field. If it were a strictly market phenomenon, I’d have no problem with it. It’d be just another choice. But if the state runs it, it would reduce people’s choices – and privacy. But that’s entirely apart from the fact that government – and I know this assertion will be shocking to most readers – has no business creating currency or minting money. Money, of all things, should be a purely market phenomenon. Government, as an institution, inevitably and necessarily corrupts everything it touches. Money is far too important to be left to the tender mercies of the state.L: Sure. A completely digital currency would be an unlimited license to print and spend. Need to give people more welfare? Just tap a few keys, and it appears in their bank accounts. Need to buy more missiles? Just a few more taps on the keyboard… But the privacy issue is even scarier: digital money would seem like Big Brother‘s dream come true. They wouldn’t even have to send their minions out to go through people’s trash. They could see everything anyone ever spent money on and where they were physically when they did it, search for activity nearby, and much more, just by having computers report the details of people’s accounts.Doug: Exactly. They would justify it with a host of phony excuses ranging from the so-called War on Terrorism to the so-called War on Drugs. Maybe they’ll tie it in to their disastrously failed War on Poverty. As the War on Islam heats up, one front will be an attack on the excellent Muslim hawala system, which allows cheap and reliable transfer of money between countries; that system, which is kind of a private SWIFT network, is excellent for evading FX controls. Ironically, Islamic countries are some of the very worst perpetrators of currency controls.L: Maybe that’s why the informal network exists in the first place? But yes, they gotta stop those evil money launderers from washing their money and hanging it out to dry…Doug: Don’t get me started on “money laundering.” It’s a completely artificial crime. It wasn’t even heard of 20 years ago, because the “crime” didn’t exist. Now, everyone speaks of it as though it were a real crime, like murder. It’s ridiculous, and further proof of the totally degraded state of the average person worldwide, absolutely including US citizens – what we used to call Americans. The government proclaims something as a law, and “sheeple” robotically assume it’s part of the cosmic firmament. If an official tells them to do or not to do something, they roll over on their backs like whipped dogs and wet themselves out of fear. The War on Drugs may be where “money laundering” originated as a crime, but today it has a lot more to do with something infinitely more important to the state: the War on Tax Evasion.Incidentally, not that a US citizen can open an account with a Swiss bank anyway any longer – except with at least seven figures and loads of paperwork – but now the policy in Switzerland is to insist that clients prove that their funds are all tax paid. The situation is out of control. And the world’s governments are increasingly working together to make sure no one slips through the net.L: Gotta keep the cattle in line.Doug: That’s right; the US has sent swarms of agents all around the world to bully and cajole bureaucrats in other countries into giving them access to bank account information and to impose income taxes in places that didn’t have them. In Uruguay, where I was last week, for example, there was no income tax two years ago. Now there is. And they’re trying to do the same thing in Paraguay. That’s about the last personal-income-tax holdout among the larger countries of the world.L: When I was in Paraguay last, they had passed an income-tax law, but it was being blocked from implementation by the legislature itself, on procedural grounds. I was told that since all of the legislators are deeply corrupted, none of them want to have to account for their income, and that’s why the measure will never be implemented. “Never” seems a bit optimistic, but it reminds me of your call to make corruption your friend. At any rate, why would the US government care if other countries have income taxes – so they can have tax treaties with them?Doug: I’m sure that’s part of it. A bigger part may be that countries with high tax burdens want so-called tax harmonization, so it’s less tempting to businesses and individuals to leave their borders and go where they can benefit from a lower tax burden – or pay no taxes at all. Governments all around the world, in spite of their differences, share a concern about their income streams – especially since most of them are absolutely bankrupt now – and their bureaucracies work together closely when it suits them. For example, the reason why you get asked if you are carrying more than $10,000 in cash on you when you board an international flight these days, even in a tiny African or South American country, is that it’s an OECD standard that’s been… enthusiastically encouraged. When it first started, it was only $3,000, but that generated too much work for them, so they raised it to $10,000. But all the bad ideas in the world now seem to be coming out of the US.You know, up until the Bank Secrecy Act of 1971, Americans didn’t have to report foreign bank accounts or brokerage accounts. Reporting income generated by such accounts was required, but the existence of the accounts themselves was not required. The rules and reporting requirements have now become so draconian that most foreign banks don’t even want to see a US taxpayer darken their door, let alone open an account for one. It’s a cancer, spreading out from the US.L: So, is this trend inevitable? At some point will Big Brother know everything about all transactions?Doug: Yes. And if they can’t get everything they want from you off your cell phone, which will probably also become your wallet with a digital credit-card app at some point in the near future, they will be able to monitor everything physically via the swarms of tiny spy drones they will flood the skies with. The technology will soon make this cheap as dirt, and computational power is increasing rapidly to the point where it will be possible to process all the images.L: Only if the people don’t divulge everything they are doing and whom they are doing it with on Facebook and Twitter.Doug: [Laughs] Ah, yes, Facebook, the CIA’s most successful covert op. I idiotically opened a Facebook account some years back because someone convinced me it would be a good way to keep in touch with old school friends I’d lost touch with. Now I get scores of people who want to friend me every month, and I know very, very few of them. It will be one-stop shopping for Homeland Security to round up the usual suspects when they feel the time is right. I hate Facebook and never use it for anything. I wonder how many of my Facebook friends are actually government stooges out looking for somebody to railroad…L: A sobering thought.Doug: I have to say that the prognosis for privacy is very grim. The only possible saving grace I can see is that the snoops may end up with information overload, most of it worthless or irrelevant. That’s what seriously impeded the East German and Romanian secret police. But with computer technology getting better and better, there’s not much reason to believe Homeland Security will be buried the way the Stasi was with its primitive technology.I really see no way to stop this trend, nor hide from it – at least in the US or Europe. There’s one thing, however, we can hope for: the coming collapse of the modern nation-state. This will happen, sooner or later, in Europe and North America, at least. This is a possible bright side of the building worldwide financial collapse; it might bring down Big Brother… although it’s more likely, I’m afraid, that he’ll redouble his efforts to control everything. Unfortunately, the immediate aftermath of that collapse is likely to be very unpleasant, especially for those in the most developed and powerful countries.The best way to insulate yourself from this, therefore, is to live in a country whose government doesn’t have the power, financial resources, or technical ability to do these things. As per our last conversation, Africa might be a good place to get out of harm’s way, but it’s a bit too far off the beaten path for my taste and has way too many problems. That’s why I like Latin America.L: What about the hope that if people get pushed too far, they may rebel? Everyone has things they don’t want made public, even those with absolutely nothing nefarious about them. A total lack of privacy would seem intolerable, after some – probably short – period of time. As Princess Leia told Governor Tarkin in the original Star Wars movie: the tighter they squeeze their fist, the more people will slip through their fingers. Or maybe not. It is, frankly, very dismaying to me that the Big Brother concept has been turned into a “reality” TV show.Doug: People may think it’s funny now, or even an egalitarian ideal to live in a society in which no one has any secrets, but that won’t last. If only in relation to currency controls – what we started out talking about – I think there’s something to your Star Wars quote. The more total the monitoring and control the state achieves over the legal economy, the more it will push people into the black market. We saw that in Soviet times. Stringent and very intrusive state monitoring, compulsion, and punishment only made the informal market flourish all the more. I’m sure this will happen. Even North Korea has an active black market. But I don’t like that term. What’s called “the black market” is really the free market; it’s heroic. The legal market – with all its taxes and regulations – is actually the one in need of either radical reform or abolition.L: But the monitoring beyond finance – your drone swarms – might make noncompliance too risky for most people to try.Doug: True. And maybe the US will get not just 10% of the population hooked on stuff like Prozac, but 20% or 50%. As Aldous Huxley pointed out in Brave New World, it’s much easier to control zombies. That’s another reason why I think that hope for the future rests in what are today derided as corrupt Third-World countries. If you’re going to have a ridiculous number of impossible laws, corruption is a good thing. Increasingly, what matters is not the number or even nature of laws on the books in the place you live, but the amount of actual control the state has over private individuals. Corruption subverts idiotic laws; it’s the next best thing to abolishing them.L: I’ve often said that on paper, the US is freer than Mexico, but in fact, Mexico has become much freer than the US, in spite of its legally powerful socialist government. The average Mexican considers tax evasion to be a universal given, but US taxpayers fear their government – a letter from the IRS can cause instant weight loss.Doug: It’s certainly true that in Argentina, where I’m building a new home, people don’t fear their government. Well, not in the police-state sense, anyway; they see it as more of a nuisance. It’s probably more accurate to say they are resigned to their government destroying the economy periodically than to say they actively fear it. If I get pulled over for speeding in Argentina – which itself would be highly unusual – I feel that I have nothing to fear at all, whereas back in the US, I could end up getting tased, have my car taken, and do jail time for saying or doing the wrong thing, even without harming anyone. Any contact with the police in the US brings an increasing risk of a lethal outcome these days. I understand that there are about 40,000 SWAT raids on real and imagined targets every year, and the number is growing fast.Another contrast: in Argentina, most people despise the police and military, whereas in the US, they are apotheosized. This tells you a lot about the psychological states of these populations – it’s a very bad trend in the US.L: On the subject of Argentina, perhaps we should mention that readers who’d like to meet you could head down there for the upcoming harvest celebration.Doug: Well, I’m in the middle of one right now, but another is coming up next week, and there’s still time to sign up for that one. Sure – we have a lot of readers, and I’ve enjoyed meeting many, but it would be nice to get to know more of them. And it’s a nice time to get away from the dying days of winter in the northern hemisphere and come to a place where the weather is pleasant and the wines are fantastic. And I’m really tickled with our world-class gym, spa, and all the rest of it.L: Very well. Investment implications?Doug: Well, this highlights the importance of owning gold, but not for investment purposes or even for the financial prudence we’ve spoken of before, but for a different kind of prudence: privacy – and even freedom.One thing that has changed since we started having these conversations – back when gold was trading at about $600 per ounce – is that having approached $2,000 per ounce, and being likely to surpass that level soon, governments are going to start clamping down on gold more and more. Back when gold was under $300 an ounce, it wasn’t convenient to carry large nominal sums in gold – it was too bulky, too heavy. A roll of hundred-dollar bills was less trouble. But now you can hide $20,000 in one hand using gold. This has not gone unnoticed by the bad guys, and customs and immigrations forms of several countries have started asking not only if you are carrying more than $10,000 in cash, but specifically gold. Incidentally, to keep up with this type of thing, I urge readers to sign up at International Man, which has a great, free daily letter.L: I agree; it’s an excellent publication. That’s an interesting admission for Big Brother to make, asking people to declare cash and gold; in effect, it admits gold’s value as money… But okay, if the state achieves total monitoring and control of the legal economy, and the informal economy becomes much larger, would that not greatly increase the demand for gold? The black market is, as you say, a free – if somewhat chaotic – market, so, according to you and Aristotle, would not gold emerge as the money of choice in that market? And would that not add to the speculative reason for owning gold in addition to the reasons of prudence?Doug: Yes, and yes. Other sub-trends speculators might look for, within the overall trend of digitalization of our world, would lie in various new technologies this will make possible. Many of them would be very positive and profitable for those who deploy them commercially first. This is the sort of thing Alex Daly keeps tabs on in our Casey Extraordinary Technology letter.L: That reminds me of what you said about our phones becoming our wallets. You already don’t really need a physical card to make most revolving credit purchases, just the information on the account. Not only do we buy all sort of thing online these days with this information, but there are chips that transmit gas-card info to gas pumps so we don’t even need to get our wallets out to fill up our tanks. Who knows where that will end up, but I can imagine that as phones and computers (and what used to be TVs) all merge into one technology – which already includes payment systems – money will get folded into this technology as well.Doug: I fully expect that, even though I still don’t own a cell phone and really loathe the things. As an individual human being, I’m going to keep on paying for things in cash for as long as I can – and to me, gold is the real cash of the world. But as a speculator, I think there’s a lot of money to be made investing in the developers of these technological innovations.L: Good luck with that fight. As Locutus of Borg said, “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.” There are computer chips in clothing, in cars – heck, it won’t be long before they’re in our food and in the drinking water… Only to help doctors monitor our health, of course.Doug: I know, I know. The prison planet we live on could get pretty ugly before it frees up again. I fear that before things get better, they will have to get much worse, and our world will soon come to resemble a cross between Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984 – or maybe Soylent Green if it gets really bad.L: Another cheerful thought, Doug.Doug: You know I call ’em like I see ’em. I hope many of our current readers will look into The Casey Report as well, if only because this month has part two of a long article that I’m rather fond of, titled Evil, Stupidity, and the Decline of America, which examines the root causes of the pickle the West is now in.But the greater the invasion of privacy, the greater the need for privacy there will be – and the market will respond. I doubt you’ll need stolen eyeballs for retina scans, as in the movie Minority Report, but technologies that identify you to the monitors as a Boy Scout from Iowa (with a perfect grade-point average, totally clean driving record, and no arrests or interrogations) will certainly become available. Clean digital identities should become highly lucrative commodities, all the more so for being illegal. But, with any luck, when the revolution comes – and it will, even though it will be most unpleasant, inconvenient, and dangerous – I hope it turns out more like the revolutions in V for Vendetta or the American Revolution than the one in France under Robespierre. In any event, there’s no doubt in my mind that things will get much worse before the world reboots and gets better again.L: Well, that’s marginally better. As has been observed before, as in the times of chattel slavery, for example, when laws become unjust, just people must become outlaws.Doug: Just so. Maybe we’ll all have our chance to play Robin Hood against an evil king.L: Right then. Thanks for your thoughts… I’ll have to take a closer look at our technology picks for my own investment portfolio.Doug: You should. And you’re welcome. Talk to you soon. In the meantime, live, and be wellL: Until next time.
Fantastic essay! – Linda Recommended Link For the first time ever: a guided tour of Doug’s Ranch in UruguayDoug Casey was kind enough to take our cameras on a guided tour of beautiful Uruguayan Estancia. We even captured Doug showing off a few special pieces in his art collection. Click here for a rare look inside the private life of one of the world’s most reclusive millionaires. Recommended Link By Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily DispatchCalifornia just made history.Last week, state regulators announced a new mandate that will require all new homes to have solar panels. The law applies to single-family homes and low-rise apartment buildings. It will go into effect in 2020. As a result, California became the first state to introduce such a mandate.And as I’ll show you in today’s Dispatch, this isn’t just big news for the people of California.It’s big news for all Americans… and it’s a massive investing opportunity.I’ll tell you why in a second. But let’s first take a closer look at the mandate… and how it will impact people living in California. — Hi guys, Tell John Hunt his article was absolutely spot-on, just brilliant.– Anthony — • The mandate is expected to add $9,500 in costs for each new home built…Now, some folks worry that this will make it even less affordable to buy homes in California. That’s the bad news.The good news is that the average Californian is expected to see $19,000 in energy savings over the next 30 years.This mandate will have serious ripple effects. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Florida, Nevada, or even Texas eventually introduced similar legislation.If that happens, more and more Americans will need to buy solar panels. And that will obviously be good news for the solar panel companies. But here’s the thing…• The solar energy industry will flourish even if other states don’t follow California’s lead… There’s a simple reason for this.Solar energy has become very cheap. According to a recent report from asset management firm Lazard, the cost of solar power has declined 86% since 2009. That’s the biggest drop of any major energy source.As a result, one megawatt hour of solar power now costs just $50. That’s less than half of what it costs to produce one megawatt-hour of coal power ($102). And get this… solar energy currently accounts for just 2% of U.S. electricity needs. So, solar energy will become even cheaper as the industry achieves economies of scale.This will encourage even more people to adopt solar energy for their energy needs.You can see where I’m going with this. But look, I’m not the only investor bullish on solar stocks. Just look at this chart of the Guggenheim Solar ETF (TAN), which invests in a basket of solar stocks.You can see that TAN surged 9% following California’s big announcement. It’s now up 46% over the last year. That’s a big move. But solar stocks should climb much higher in the coming months.Check out this chart to see why. It compares the performance of TAN to the S&P 500.When this line is rising, it means that solar stocks are doing better than the S&P 500. When it’s falling, it means they’re doing worse.You can see that solar stocks have been underperforming the market for the past 10 years. This means they have a lot of catching up to do. But the trend has changed direction over the past few months… and solar stocks will continue to move higher, thanks to California’s mandate and the industry’s rapidly improving economics.So, consider investing in solar stocks if you haven’t already. You can easily do so with TAN.As I mentioned earlier, this ETF invests in a basket of solar stocks and allows you to bet on this big trend without taking on any company-specific risks.Regards, Justin Spittler Buenos Aires, Argentina May 18, 2018Reader MailbagToday, lots of great feedback on Wednesday’s Dispatch featuring an important update on Argentina and a new essay from John Hunt…Nice essay, Justin. – Peter New tool could disrupt the entire $8 trillion food industry Scientists recently discovered a new tool hidden in billion-year-old bacteria that could disrupt the entire $8 trillion global food industry… This could mean 35X growth for the industry at the center of this new technology. Click here to learn more. Beautiful. Perfect. Now I see why John Hunt and Doug Casey are writing novels together. Always nice to be reminded that I’m not completely alone in my view of government people. Thanks! – Gordon As always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us right here.In Case You Missed It…Doug Casey just found a crypto guru worthy of Casey Research subscribers…This bright young German has been involved with digital currencies since he invested in e-gold in the late ’90s—long before the current blockchain breakthrough.And like Doug, he’s a truly an “international man.” He made so much money from cryptos; he dropped everything and traveled the world for five years. And now, he has an important message…
Welcome to a new season of Invisibilia! The NPR program and podcast explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior. Episode 3 involves two brothers who are happy about the polite, helpful tenant who moves into their mother’s house, until they start to suspect he has sinister motives. Here at Shots, we are exploring the main theme of the story — the things left unsaid, and the havoc they can cause on your personal relationships — with an essay by behavioral scientist Nicholas Epley.The average human brain contains roughly 100 billion neurons, each of which is attached to thousands of other neurons, meaning that another person’s brain is likely to be the most complicated thing you will ever think about. And yet, despite this dizzying complexity, you and I routinely guess what’s going on in the mind of other people almost as easily as we breathe.It takes only a split second to form an impression about another person’s intelligence or intentions, guess what our spouse or a homeless person is feeling, and predict what a political opponent is thinking. You can even leap quickly to conclusions about people in situations you’ve never experienced before, from what’s going on in the mind of our president to the mind of a homeless person begging for food. Making judgments about another person’s mind is easy. Making judgments accurately, however, is hard. In fact, our research indicates that it is surprisingly hard.Consider, for instance, an experiment that Tal Eyal, Mary Steffel and I conducted that put people’s beliefs about their mind reading abilities to the test. We recruited people who we thought would know something about each other, namely romantic couples. These couples had been together for an average of 10 years. Fifty-eight percent were married.One person in each couple played the role of Responder, reading 20 statements and reporting how much he or she agreed with each one on a scale ranging from minus 3 (strongly disagree) to 3 (strongly agree). These statements included, “I would like to spend a year in London or Paris,” “I would rather spend a quiet evening at home rather than go out to a party,” and “Our family is too heavily in debt today.”The other member of each couple played the role of Predictor, guessing how his or her partner would respond to each statement, and also predicting how many of the statements he or she guessed correctly. Think of this as something like The Newlywed Game for science.Our Predictors believed they guessed an average of 13 items out of 20 exactly correctly. In truth, the task was much harder than our predictors expected. They actually guessed only five, on average, correctly.The problem with our inferences about others is not incompetence, but hubris. We tend to think we understand each other better than we actually do.So what’s a person trying to understand the most complicated thing on this planet to do? Dale Carnegie offered a suggestion in 1936: Principle 8. In what has become the Bible of social relations, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie describes his eighth principle as a method that will “work wonders” for you: “Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.” That is, do some perspective-taking.Even if you never read Carnegie’s book, his suggestion has a powerful ring of common sense to it. Indeed, the vast majority of people we surveyed predicted that actively adopting another person’s perspective would help them understand another person better in a variety of ways, from understanding another person’s reaction when looking at a picture to predicting movie preferences.Our research, however, suggests that this bit of common sense is at least somewhat mistaken. When we tested the impact of perspective-taking on accuracy in a series of 25 experiments we recently published, we found no evidence that actively considering another person’s perspective systematically increased accuracy.If anything, perspective-taking tended to decrease accuracy, including in the romantic couples study I described earlier. This experiment included another condition in which one member of each couple was asked to put themselves in their partner’s shoes before predicting their partner’s responses. This perspective-taking actually decreased accuracy compared to the control group I already described, but it slightly increased the number of items these perspective-takers thought they had predicted correctly. Perspective-taking may work some wonders for your social life, but understanding another person better does not seem to be one of those wonders.Instead, accurate insight reliably comes only when you actually gain knowledge about what it is like to be another person. We refer to this as perspective-getting, as opposed to perspective-taking. The easiest way to get another’s perspective is by simply asking them to describe what’s actually going on in their minds in a context where they can report it both honestly and accurately.This solution may seem painfully obvious, but it is not so obvious to people who are in the midst of actually using it. The romantic couples study I’ve described included another condition in which predictors were given a chance to ask their partner to report their feelings about each of the statements before predicting how he or she would respond. This increased accuracy dramatically, even though those who asked did not have any more confidence in the accuracy of their judgments than those who guessed their partners’ reactions. Even those who take the right approach to understanding the mind of another person — asking directly and listening carefully — seem unaware of how much they had learned.True insight into the minds of others is not likely to come from honing your powers of intuition, but rather by learning to stop guessing about what’s on the mind of another person and learning to listen instead.Nicholas Epley is the John Templeton Keller Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is the author of Mindwise: Why We Misunderstand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
The World Health Organization said Friday that security concerns in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s North Kivu region were preventing aid workers from reaching certain areas — and leaving open the possibility of the Ebola virus spreading.At least 1,500 people could be exposed to the virus, WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva, according to Reuters.Congo’s health ministry declared an outbreak of Ebola on Aug. 1 in the North Kivu region. As of Wednesday, the WHO reports 51 confirmed cases and 27 probable cases of Ebola in the region, with 44 people (17 confirmed, 27 probable) having died of the disease.”We don’t know if we are having all transmission chains identified. We expect to see more cases as a result of earlier infections and infection developing into illness,” Jasarevic reportedly said. “We still don’t have a full epidemiological picture. … The worst-case scenario is that we have these security blind spots where the epidemic could take hold that we don’t know about,” the wire service quoted him as saying.North Kivu — “a lawless, mineral-rich area in the northeast of the country,” as NPR’s Jason Beaubien describes it — is home to 8 million people. “Over the last decade armed groups in North Kivu have massacred civilians and each other while vying for control of the province’s deposits of gold, diamond and coltan, an ore used in cellphones and other electronics,” Beaubien reports.The WHO says the area “has been experiencing intense insecurity and worsening humanitarian crisis, with over one million internally displaced people and a continuous efflux of refugees to the neighbouring countries, including Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania.” About 1,500 miles away in the DRC’s northwest Équateur province, the WHO had just declared a previous Ebola outbreak over on July 24. It said the next day that 33 people had died in that outbreak that had been declared in early May — a relative success compared with the devastating outbreak in 2014 through 2016 in West Africa that left more than 11,300 people dead.The WHO’s response in May involved the first widespread use of the experimental Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV since testing started in 2015.On Friday, the WHO said more than 500 people, including health workers, had been vaccinated against the disease in the North Kivu outbreak. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. August 25, 2017 Add to Queue Email Nina Zipkin Image credit: Shutterstock –shares 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Would You Be Thankful or Horrified If the Emails You Got While on Vacation Disappeared? Arianna Huffington really wants to make sure her employees unplug. 2 min read Next Article Americans are known for being truly terrible at taking time off. A study from careers site Glassdoor found that the average employee reported only taking 54 percent of the vacation days they had available to them. More telling is that 66 percent of those polled said that they worked while they were away.There are tons of tools out there to make your inbox a little less daunting, but if you’re always checking email, even if you’re supposed to be relaxing, that stress will still follow you to whatever beach you’ve parked yourself on.Arianna Huffington, the founder and CEO of wellness brand Thrive Global, has long been a proponent of unplugging to the point of creating on-the-nose merch — such as a $50 charging bed for your phone. Now, she’s introduced an email office tool called Thrive Away that she described in a post for Harvard Business Review.Related: The Impact Of Chronic Work Stress On Your Employees“While you’re on vacation, people who email you get a message, letting them know when you’ll be back. And then — the most important part — the tool deletes the email,” she wrote.” If the email is important, the sender can always send it again. If it’s not, then it’s not waiting for you when you get back, or even worse, tempting you to read it while you’re away.”While most companies likely won’t implement an office-wide system like Huffington’s, it’s a helpful reminder that if you don’t respond to that email right away, the world won’t come to an end. And as a business owner, if you want your employees to stay healthy and productive, it’s on you to encourage them to actually take that time away for themselves — and leave their inboxes behind. Entrepreneur Staff Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Apply Now »
Tesla Tesla Model 3 Moves to 24/7 Production Yesterday, it was revealed that Tesla intended to stop Model 3 production for up to five days. The reason given was to improve automation. However, a letter sent by Elon Musk to employees reveals the real reason for the pause in production: Tesla is upgrading the plant for round the clock production from next week.As Electrek reports, in the letter Musk confirmed that Model 3 production had reached 2,000 per week, which is double that attained in January. The goal is to reach 5,000 per week no later than June 30, but in order to achieve that and allow for a margin of error, Musk is setting the new goal of 6,000 per week by that date.Going from 2,000 to 6,000 in just over two months would be very optimistic if not for the fact Tesla is also introducing another shift to the production line, meaning the Model 3 will be manufactured 24/7 in Fremont. Tesla’s general assembly, body and paint teams will all add a third shift and require more people. Tesla is expecting to employ an extra 400 people a week for several weeks across its entire operation to help support that.The letter goes on to talk about improving the build precision of the Model 3 to exceptional standards and how Tesla needs to become profitable. With that in mind, “we will be far more rigorous about expenditures” and all contracts with third-parties will be reviewed. Musk describes the contractor situation within Tesla as being like a “Russian nesting doll” and that some perform “worse than a drunken sloth.” So expect some big changes on that front soon.There’s a suggestion of one more pause in production during May for further upgrades, but beyond that Model 3 production just got serious. Six-thousand by the end of June does indeed look achievable if 24/7 production works without a hitch. That also means the dual motor version could still happen in July. Next Article Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Matthew Humphries Elon Musk is serious about reaching 6,000 cars per week by June. Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Image credit: via PC Mag Add to Queue This story originally appeared on PCMag –shares Senior Editor 2 min read April 18, 2018 Enroll Now for $5
Journalist Benjamin Kabin Technology July 17, 2013 Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Add to Queue Register Now » Discount-of-the-day site LivingSocial is closing its Fifth Avenue office in New York City and eliminating its local events division, leaving 30 full-time staffers without jobs.Remaining New York staffers in its sales and advertising department have been asked to work from home. Once all local events in New York are completed by Oct. 1, the company plans to lay off dozens of part-time employees.The news, confirmed by TheNextWeb, comes less than a month after the company shuttered its Seattle office, where it also asked displaced employees to work remotely.The deals site stressed that these changes are not part of a cost-cutting effort but “a decision geared towards achieving profitability.” LivingSocial said that larger events have been more lucrative than the niche ones offered by the local-events division. Meanwhile, the company said it plans to create 50 new jobs for its call center in Tucson, Ariz.Last November, LivingSocial laid off 400 employees, mostly in the U.S., in an effort to “streamline” its sales and editorial departments. Groupon, another big daily discount site, saw massive layoffs in 2012 as well, cutting 648 jobs over a six-month period.Related: What Happens When Startups Grow Too Fast –shares Struggling Deals Site LivingSocial Kills Events Group, Closes New York Office Image credit: blog.buyometric.co.uk Next Article 1 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.
Xpressdocs Acquires Amazing Mail, Expands Direct Mail API Capabilities PRNewswireJune 12, 2019, 6:42 pmJune 12, 2019 Xpressdocs Partners, Ltd, a Texas based provider of tech-enabled direct marketing and brand management solutions announced the acquisition of Amazingmail, an Arizona based provider of direct mail solutions.This acquisition, under which Amazingmail will operate as a 100% owned subsidiary of Xpressdocs, brings together two industry leaders specializing in high quality product offerings and cutting-edge marketing solutions. The complementary nature of the companies’ service offerings creates numerous opportunities for mutual business growth and an expansion of direct mail API capabilities for Xpressdocs.Marketing Technology News: Crimson Agility Receives Two Nominations from Magento“We are very excited to be joining forces with Amazingmail. When you look at their portfolio of great products and how their focus on innovative technology and marketing automation has led to them creating a world class experience for their customers, it just made them an ideal fit for Xpressdocs,” said Jim Wright, Chief Executive Officer of Xpressdocs.Danielle Stiehl, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amazingmail, also commented, “This acquisition provides Amazingmail with the opportunity to offer an expanded set of products, services, and support to our customers by leveraging Xpressdocs’ expertise in enterprise marketing solutions. We look forward to the future and what we can produce as members of the Xpressdocs’ family.”Marketing Technology News: DAA Announces Enforcement Deadline for ‘Political Ad’ Guidelines and Transparency IconAmazingmail will continue to operate in Phoenix, AZ under the Amazingmail brand with the current management team remaining in place and continuing to run daily operations.Xpressdocs is a Falcata Capital portfolio company. Woodbridge International served as exclusive financial advisor to Amazingmail.Marketing Technology News: SentinelOne Announces $120 Million Series D Amazing MailDirect Mail APIdirect marketingNewsXpressdocs Previous ArticleAppSheet Expands Management Team, Adds Veteran Tableau ExecsNext ArticleCopper Partners with DocuSign to Enable Small Businesses to Accelerate Business Decisions
Cleo’s Latest Release Helps Organizations Optimize the Order-To-Cash Process to Drive Increased Value Across Their External and Internal Ecosystems for Unified Commerce and Trading Partner TransactionsCleo, the global category leader in ecosystem integration software, announced general availability of the latest Cleo Integration Cloud platform release, which strategically builds out e-commerce innovations to further optimize critical order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, and other supply chain processes driving the modern enterprise.@CleoNeverStops announces enhanced #ecommerce integration capabilities in Spring Release to deliver seamless #ecosystem experiences #ecosystemintegrationCleo’s latest release focuses on driving seamless experiences for internal user personas and external trading partners when delivering end-to-end transactions. To differentiate their brands and stay competitive, businesses must deliver reliable, accurate, and timely data for all process stakeholders – inside and outside the company – and the latest Cleo Integration Cloud enhancements support that journey. New capabilities bring additional visibility through real-time operational insights and “smart” integration functionality to help businesses accelerate creating their business-critical workflows to rapidly meet customer expectations.Marketing Technology News: Zeno Media and ADORA Cooperate on Strategic Marketing and Mobile App Content for Diaspora ListenersCleo Integration Cloud – Spring 2019 Release HighlightsCleo Integration Cloud is a single-platform ecosystem integration solution available as a service in public and private cloud deployments that enables companies to connect, transform, integrate, orchestrate, and analyze end-to-end business processes, such as order-to-cash and procure-to-pay, across internal and external ecosystems of applications, systems, marketplaces, and trading partners. Highlights of the latest release include:Smart Integrations™: Cleo’s latest release enhances an organization’s capability to optimize end-to-end business processes by using Cleo’s Smart Integrations – prebuilt or templatized workflows that enable organizations to rapidly onboard applications by automating multi-enterprise integration components of critical end-to-end business processes such as order-to-cash, procure-to-pay and many others.Persona-based insights: Real-time visibility of content and business context for a variety of internal and external user personas. Cleo Integration Cloud provides an easy way to consume integration workflow data without needing to create custom reports or manually collect data from multiple systems to get consolidated views – regardless of a user’s role.Executive teams get a global view of all revenue-generating transactions in a single, consolidated dashboard to optimize and uncover new growth opportunities.Line-of-business managers can onboard trading partners faster, assess the health of existing relationships quickly, and proactively act on errors through “one-click” transaction reprocessing.Integration specialists and technical teams can easily manage the key revenue driving integrations for the organization, with the ability to view, interact, and manage end-to-end integrations that connect business partners, applications, and data to their internal enterprise ecosystems.Customers, partners, and suppliers can now be given access to transaction data directly in the Cleo Integration Cloud platform. The intuitive user experience enables proactive issue resolution and centralized exception management visibility – making Cleo Integration Cloud the industry’s first integration platform supporting ecosystem enablement and accelerating collaboration for external constituents. Application integration connectors: Cleo has added a host of new application connectors designed to accelerate time-to-value by automating key parts of the order-to-cash or procure-to-pay processes. WooCommerce, SAP S/4 Hana Cloud, and others are the latest additions to Cleo’s expansive connector library. Such connectors further improve a company’s ability to quickly integrate end-to-end business processes with off-the-shelf support for e-commerce, payments, finance and ERP applications that span multi-enterprise ecosystems.Marketing Technology News: Adaptive Ad Systems Completes Installation of New Ad-Insertion Equipment on National Cable TV Systems Adds 40,000 Additional SubscribersThe Ecosystem Integration ImperativeA modern approach to business, ecosystem integration prioritizes the designing, deploying, operating, and optimizing of end-to-end processes between internal and external systems, customers, and partners that drive core revenue generation. The latest updates to Cleo Integration Cloud further underscore the value of an “outside-in” approach to understanding how and where value can be created for businesses in any industry in which order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, and other end-to-end processes are critical for growth.What Cleo customers get from these enhanced capabilities, then, are more predictable business outcomes, better trading partner relationships, and the ability to provide better experiences for all stakeholders, inside and outside the company. Cleo customer Charlie’s Produce, the largest independent west-coast wholesale produce distributor, was looking to modernize its legacy solutions and better serve its customers and vendors.Charlie’s Produce EDI Analyst Louie Brothers said the company was looking for a better way to handle non-EDI transactions and speed up trading partner onboarding. That’s when it migrated its B2B integration to Cleo Integration Cloud. “By partnering with Cleo, we were able to migrate trading partners from our legacy system to the cloud and can onboard new partners more quickly,” he said. “We can now accept and transform almost any data format, and we have real time visibility into all data transactions. Cleo Integration Cloud provides the scalability, reliability, and 24x7x365 support to ensure we are accelerating end-to-end business processes and proactively meeting all new and existing customer requirements.”Jason Bloomberg, president of Intellyx, an industry analyst firm familiar with Cleo’s offerings, said, “Cleo offers pre-built core business processes like order-to-cash and others, thus giving its customers a straightforward approach to optimizing their core process while solving both B2B and internal integration problems.”Cleo CEO Mahesh Rajasekharan highlighted the need for businesses to deliver top quality unified commerce experiences, especially as manufacturers, retailers, and other organizations adopt new sales channels, expand their reach, and continue to compete with the “Amazon effect.”Marketing Technology News: Leading Associations Turn to ON24 for Member Engagement and Revenue Growth“All told, our latest release of Cleo Integration Cloud is packed with new capabilities and is without question our most innovative to date,” Rajasekharan said. “Our focus on user experience for internal and external personas enables Cleo customers to deliver unified commerce in ways that create value throughout their ecosystem. They’re effectively able to rise up and meet the challenges and opportunities that the Amazon effect has created for every industry, and they’re providing experiences that not only meet but exceed the expectations of all their key integration process stakeholders.” Cleo Integration Cloud Enhances E-Commerce Integration Capabilities to Deliver Seamless Ecosystem Experiences Business WireJune 24, 2019, 6:38 pmJune 24, 2019 CleoCleo Integration Cloude-commerce innovationsecosystem integration softwareMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleCloudscene Launches Enterprise Tool to Find Cloud Connectivity Routes WorldwideNext ArticleWPP and iHeartMedia Launch ‘Project Listen’
email marketingEmail Testing SoftwareLitmusMarketing Technology NewsNewsPersonally Identifiable Information Previous ArticleQuadrant Audiences Launches Offering Highly-Targeted Audience Insights in Asia PacificNext ArticleTBWA\Media Arts Lab Appoints Ricardo Adolfo as Executive Creative Director for Japan and Korea Litmus Adds Cloud Storage Integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive PRNewswire9 hours agoJuly 23, 2019 Award-Winning Email Platform Now Imports HTML Email Design Files from Leading Cloud-Storage Solutions, Saving Time and Eliminating Errors for Email MarketersLitmus, a leader in email marketing and analytics, announced several new updates to its email platform, including the ability to import email design files from leading cloud storage solutions, expanded privacy protections, and enhancements to custom email tracking. The company also announced that its platform was recently named Spring Leader 2019 by G2 Crowd in the category of Email Testing Software, receiving positive user feedback and above-average scores for both ease of setup and ease of use.“We continue to expand the capabilities of the Litmus platform to deliver an integrated and best-in-class email marketing solution for our customers,” said Richard Yu, senior vice president of product, Litmus. “These new collaboration features and enhancements make it even easier for our customers to efficiently design and test their email campaigns, and to gather critical insights from post-send analytics.”“At Dropbox, it’s our priority to bring content, tools, and teams together, by organizing your content, bringing context to your work, and giving everyone a place to get work done,” said Abhishek Lahoti, business development executive at Dropbox. “Email is a core communication tool for most marketing organizations, so we’re pleased to partner with Litmus to enable marketers to collaborate more efficiently and execute effective campaigns faster.”Marketing Technology News: James Liu Appointed to Board of Directors of Opera LimitedThe Litmus platform and the new features span the full email marketing cycle—from pre-send design to testing and post-send analytics. The new features, as well as recently announced accessibility functionality, make marketing campaigns more inclusive and extend the value of the Litmus platform while maintaining its hallmark ease of use.Cloud Storage IntegrationLitmus users can now import their hypertext markup language (HTML) email files from popular cloud file storage solutions such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive. By importing these directly into Litmus, users save time and avoid copy-and-paste errors. The import feature streamlines workflow at several steps along the way, including Builder, Proof, and Checklist — and ensures users are always working with the latest files. Review and approval cycles are simplified, and testing checklists are quickly created without the need to switch between platforms.Privacy Protections and Custom TrackingMarketers can now protect subscribers’ personally identifiable information (PII) while still gathering actionable insights via meaningful tags and parameters. The new functionality enables users to disable email fields that collect PII and replace those with unique tracking codes for every email, along with defined campaign timeframes and expiration dates. This enables Litmus users to track email metrics at the subscriber level and better identify which emails are making the biggest impact.Marketing Technology News: Adobe Survey Says That Voice and Screen Combined Are the FutureG2 Spring Leader AccoladeThe G2 Leader badge is based on independent tech reviewers who have identified Litmus as a leading email marketing and testing solution. Litmus achieved the highest satisfaction scores in its product category, with above-average scores for both ease of setup and ease of use. The satisfaction rating is derived from independent and authentic user reviews, factoring in multiple rankings across product features, administrative services, and Net Promoter Score (NPS). G2 applies a unique algorithm to each review, analyzing and weighting reviews in terms of popularity, thoroughness, and age. Products in the leader quadrant are rated highly by G2 Crowd users and have substantial market presence scoresMarketing Technology News: OpenText Automates Invoicing for Rosneft Deutschland
The study from Western Sydney University, looked at 16 clinical trials that analyzed 45,826 people who had modified their diets to alleviate their symptoms of depression and anxiety. The clinical trials were from a more than one nation including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy and the UK. Lead researcher Dr Joseph Firth from Western Sydney University said that the major change that their diets involved was reducing “junk food intake” and replacing high fat and high sugar foods with foods that are rich in nutrients and fibres such as fruits and vegetables. Dr Firth said, “We took a bit of a close look at the data and interestingly found there was no significant differences in the types of diets used… Weight loss diets were just as effective as nutrient boosting diets.” This means that no “extreme diets” are necessary for depression, he explained. What is needed is a change in the basics he said. Dr. Firth added that the study did not find a beneficial effect of diets on anxiety disorders and women with depression were found to benefit more with an altered diet than men.Related StoriesSome children are at greater risk of ongoing depression long after being bulliedNew structured approach to managing patients with depression in primary careStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskDr. Firth said that there have been studies showing that regular exercise can have a protective effect against depression. This is the first study to prove that a healthy diet can also play a role in reducing the symptoms of depression. He explained that an average Australian individual consumes around 19 servings of junk food per week and much less amount of the recommended fruits, vegetables and whole grains that are rich in nutrients and fibre.The authors emphasize that diet is not a replacement to tested and accepted treatments of depressive illness including medications and psychotherapy. However diets can be an additional remedy they said. They call for public health campaigns to emphasize upon healthy diet and its effects on the mental health. “Public health schemes are trying to improve people’s diets and looking at the physical health outcomes… and focusing on combating things like obesity… They should also pay attention to actual positive mental health outcomes that could occur and improve people’s diets on a large scale to fix people’s psychological well being,” Dr. Firth said.“Thus, depressive disorders incur considerable burden not only for individuals, but also for society due to the high economic cost from lost productivity and demand on healthcare services,” The authors write. Authors add that dietary interventions could be a “novel” approach to depression and conclude, “Future research is required to determine the specific components of dietary interventions that improve mental health, explore underlying mechanisms, and establish effective schemes for delivering these interventions in clinical and public health settings.”In 2017 and 2018, there has been a rise in depressive illness with at least one in five Australian experiencing a mental illness (13.1 per cent had anxiety and 10.4 per cent felt depressed). Women were more vulnerable than men, say reports. A healthy balanced diet. Image Credit: Syda Productions / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDFeb 5 2019It has been speculated earlier that a healthy diet can raise the mood and reduce symptoms of mild depression. A new study proves the cause and effect of healthy diet and improved symptoms of depression.The results of the new study titled, “The effects of dietary improvement on symptoms of depression and anxiety: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” was published this week in the latest issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Source:https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00006842-900000000-98656
Film industry eyes Internet future at Venice fest If you like independent, art-house films or other specialised movies, you may have heard of the Romanian comedy-drama Sieranevada, which was released in 2016. The film was formally premiered as part of the main competition programme of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and was subsequently shown at other international film festivals, including Toronto, New York and London. Due to its success on the festival circuit, Sieranevada was reviewed by 48 international film critics, and received a positive rating from 92% of them. Among these were UK-based trade journals, such as Sight and Sound and Screen International as well as mainstream newspapers The Guardian and The Telegraph. But while this publicity generated audience interest in the film, it has yet to secure distribution that would allow UK audiences to actually watch the film – it’s not in cinemas, on DVD/Blu-ray, nor on online video-on-demand platforms (VOD).The development of VOD has provided new opportunities for films to reach audiences. In particular, specialised films with traditionally limited distribution opportunities have taken advantage of this development. But are online audiences presented with an endless choice? Not really. So why is this?The digital film revolutionIn the mid-2000s, digital utopians such as Chris Anderson were already arguing that an endless choice of specialised and niche content would become available to online audiences. And more than a decade later, it’s true that distribution opportunities have increased for such content in the online market. Film audiences are able to browse through catalogues on transactional VOD platforms such as Amazon Video, Microsoft and iTunes where they can find tens of thousands of films. Provided by The Conversation Why can’t we get everything?In the film business, sales companies have an important role to play in the process of enabling access for films because they negotiate distribution deals with a range of distributors in international markets. But if sales companies are unable to sell distribution rights, they retain control over the distribution and release of those films.The development of the online market, in this respect, has opened up opportunities for them to work directly with VOD platforms or with content aggregators, who work as intermediaries between rights holders and VOD platforms. Examples of such content aggregators include The Movie Partnership, Juice Worldwide and Gunpowder & Sky.For instance, the comedy-drama Dreamland (2016), directed by Robert Schwartzman, premiered in the US Narrative Competition of the Tribeca Film Festival. The US sales company FilmBuff (now named Gunpowder & Sky) acquired worldwide distribution rights. In the UK market, the film was not released in cinemas or on DVD or Blu-ray, but FilmBuff made it available in the online market through direct connections with Microsoft and iTunes rather than via a UK distributor.Despite such opportunities, sales companies do not always work with content aggregators or directly with VOD platforms to make specialised films available if they are not picked up by distributors. Making films available online requires organisational effort and a low-cost investment in digital formatting, but returns on investment can be very modest. That explains why some films remain inaccessible to audiences – as demonstrated for the UK market in the table below. 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. A selection of films released by distributors in the UK market. BFI weekend box office figures, IMDb, Amazon, Microsoft, iTunes, Author provided Endless choiceThe politics behind the process of providing access to specialised films ultimately affects producers and audiences. In the new digital economy of attention, producers demand wider distribution for their films, while audiences demand endless choice.This issue needs to be resolved. First, it needs to be addressed in film industry discussions between film producers and sales companies. In particular, sales companies should make a stronger commitment to making films available on transactional VOD platforms.Second, policymakers can intervene in the process of making specialised films available online. Public funding agencies, such as the British Film Institute (BFI) in the UK, provide substantial financial support for the production of specialised films. They can provide more distribution incentives to support cultural diversity in the online market for films in the UK. This would help to support greater cultural diversity, democratisation of access to films and enhancement of consumer choice. While cinema goers have always had limited options when it comes to the number of screens they can see their favourite art house movie on, the internet era was supposed to bring with it an endless choice. But what is becoming clear is that this utopian dream is still far from being realised. But there is still a significant proportion of films that remain inaccessible for audiences, even if – like Sieranevada – they have been selected for prestigious international film festivals. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Explore further Number of specialised films released in the UK market. BFI weekend box office figures, Amazon, Microsoft, iTunes, Author provided What is available?In an effort to identify the proportion of well-regarded specialised films that reach audiences in the UK market, I analysed a sample of 119 such films shown at prestigious European and US film festivals in 2016. My analysis in the graphic below confirms that the online market creates distribution opportunities for a greater number of films than the theatrical cinema and DVD/Blu-ray markets:88 specialised films (74%) were given an online release on Amazon, Microsoft or iTunes71 specialised films (60%) were given a DVD/Blu-ray release61 specialised films (51%) were given a theatrical cinema releaseBut while access to specialised films has increased, 26% of specialised films remain inaccessible for audiences on any format. That is a remarkably high percentage – given that it is relatively easy to secure online access for films. My analysis includes a sample of specialised films selected for some of the most prestigious festival programmes, but it is likely that online availability is more limited among specialised films selected for less prestigious competitions. So why can’t online audiences see any film they want? It’s to do with the way the industry works. Credit: Shutterstock Citation: Video-on-demand and the myth of ‘endless choice’ (2018, August 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-video-on-demand-myth-endless-choice.html Example of Amazon’s transactional VOD platform as of July 6, 2018 (Amazon’s catalogue includes 50,000 films). Credit: Amazon.co.uk, Author provided
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. A new research project at Rochester Institute of Technology will help ensure the endangered language of the Seneca Indian Nation will be preserved. Using deep learning, a form of artificial intelligence, RIT researchers are building an automatic speech recognition application to document and transcribe the traditional language of the Seneca people. The work is also intended to be a technological resource to preserve other rare or vanishing languages. “The motivation for this is personal. The first step in the preservation and revitalization of our language is documentation of it,” said Robert Jimerson (Seneca), a computing and information sciences doctoral student at RIT and member of the research team. He brought together tribal elders and close friends, all speakers of Seneca, to help produce audio and textual documentation of this Native American language spoken fluently by fewer than 50 individuals.Like all languages, Seneca has different dialects. It also presents unique challenges because of its complex system for building new words, in which a whole sentence can be expressed in a single word.Jimerson is able to bridge both the technology and the language.”Under the hood, it is data. With many Native languages, you don’t have that volume of data,” he said, explaining that some languages, while spoken, may not have as many formal linguistical tools—dictionaries, grammatical materials or extensive classes for non-native speakers, similar to those for Spanish or Chinese. “One of the most expensive and time-consuming processes of documenting language is collecting and transcribing it. We are looking at taking deep networks and maybe changing the architecture, making some synthetic data to create more data, but how do you make this work in deep learning? How do you augment data you already have?”That process of attaining data is being coordinated by a wide-ranging team that includes Jimerson; the project principal investigator Emily Prud’hommeaux, assistant professor of computer science at Boston College and research faculty in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts; Ray Ptucha, assistant professor of computer engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering and an expert in deep learning systems and technologies; and Karen Michaelson, professor of linguistics, the State University of New York at Buffalo. The research team was awarded $181, 682 in funding over four years from the National Science Foundation for “Collaborative Research: Deep learning speech recognition for document Seneca and other acutely under-resourced languages.” “This is an exciting project because it brings together people from so many disciplines and backgrounds, from engineering and computer science to linguistics and language pedagogy,” said Prud’hommeaux. “In addition to enabling us to develop cutting edge technology, this project supports undergraduate and graduate students and engages members of an indigenous community that few people know is right here in western New York.”The researchers started the project in late June, bringing together the community members and linguists for data collection—acquiring and translating current and new, original recordings of Seneca conversations then converting data into textual output using deep learning models.”What you are really trying to do is find that line between the new data you can get and the changing of the architecture of a network,” Jimerson explained.Since the summer, the team has just over 50 hours of recorded material with people working full time on the translations that include breaking down the language into individual phonetic symbols and using this information to begin training the models.”We use a process called transfer learning which starts with a model trained with readily available English speech to get the basic, initial training for the system, then we’ll re-train the neural networks and fine tune it toward the Seneca language. We’re getting very good results,” said Ptucha, who is an expert in deep learning systems and technologies. Deep learning technology consists of multiple layers of artificial neurons, organized in an increasingly abstract hierarchy. These architectures have produced state-of-the-art results on all types of pattern recognition problems including image and speech recognition applications.”No one has really tried this before, training an automated speech recognition model on something as resource-constrained as Seneca. Robbie is the expert in transcribing Seneca and training the others on how to do this. He’s a pretty rare guy, ” said Ptucha,This current project is a continuation of Jimerson’s work to expand the language resources available to his community. In 2013, while he was a graduate student in RIT’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, he developed an online Seneca language translation dictionary for the Seneca Language Revitalization Program. The project was funded by the Seneca Nation and awarded to RIT’s Future Steward’s Program. Left to right, Ray Ptucha, computer engineering assistant professor, Robbie Jimerson, computer science doctoral student, both from RIT, and Emily Prud’hommeaux, assistant professor of computer science, are leading the NSF project to use artificial intelligence technology to preserve the Seneca language. Credit: A. Sue Weisler/RIT Using multi-task learning for low-latency speech translation Explore further Citation: Researchers use deep learning to build automatic speech recognition system to help preserve the Seneca language (2018, October 15) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-deep-automatic-speech-recognition-seneca.html Provided by Rochester Institute of Technology