Category: algawf

  • Pension Advances: Not a Good Option for Military Retirees

    first_imgBy Carol ChurchAs anyone who works with service members knows, a military pension is a valuable and honorable thing. It signifies many years of hard work and devotion to our county. And for many people, it is an incredibly important financial lifeline.That’s why it’s so galling to hear about companies who prey on veterans by offering so-called “pension advances” that actually consist of predatory loans. Service members, retired service members, and those us who work with these populations need to be aware of this problem.What are Pension Advances?These companies market “quick” “pension loans” to veterans (and often other government employees) using flags and patriotic imagery. They know that some retirees have poor credit and may be in need of money for bills or emergencies, while being entitled to guaranteed pension income.  The companies take advantage of this by offering a fast lump sum of money that “buy out” some of the pensions. The lump sum, while tempting, will inevitably be worth far less than the pension rights that are signed over, making this a bad deal.The pensioner then has to pay back the company. Though a pension advance is not legally considered a loan, it really is one, and the effective interest rates can be astronomical—from 20% to 100%+. For instance, a person receiving a $5000 lump sum might end up having to pay back more than $30,000!There may be very high fees associated with the transaction, and the pensioner may be required to buy life insurance to protect the company’s “investment.” (If the person dies before the company gets all its payments, this policy benefits that company.) What’s more, the lump sum may push some people into a higher tax bracket and cause them to have to pay more taxes.Are They Legal?Pension advances are in a legally gray area. Their status varies by state and is constantly changing. Some law firms, states, and government agencies have pursued legal action against companies in this area. Congress has held hearings to consider whether to outlaw the practice. The fact that the companies insist they are “not loans” when all evidence points to the opposite means that they are on legally shaky ground. In many cases, the companies also are not offering the legal disclosures required by the government. But for now, these companies are still operating in most areas.What Should Be Done if Someone I know Has Participated in a Pension Advance?, a free government service, may be able to assist those who have questions or concerns about their pension plan, including questions about pension advances.Legally, it may be possible to have pension advance agreement invalidated, as has happened in some established cases. However, this is not something to rely on. Even when courts find in favor of borrowers, the companies involved frequently declare bankruptcy, leaving the pensioners with nothing.Those who feel they’ve been taken advantage of by a pension advance may be able to file a complaint with the FTC.What Other Options Are There?These companies are able to find customers because people feel they have no other option. However, these terms are so poor that almost any other loan would be a better choice, including a typical high-interest credit card. Other possibilities include:Working with creditors to reduce interest rates or consolidate loans. Contact a nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency through for more assistance.Taking out a home equity loanA reverse mortgageA personal loan, possibly through a peer-to-peer lending platform like Lending Club No matter what they or their websites say, experts agree that pension advances are a poor choice for veterans. These companies are not in business to offer a fair service, and financial advisors need to warn their clients about them.Further Reading:Beware of the Pension PredatorsPension Advances: Not So FastReferences:Davis, O. (2015). Controversial Pension Advance Industry Flourishes With Little Federal, State Scrutiny.Federal Trade Commission. (2014). Pension Advances: Not So Fast.Marte, J. (2015). Some retirees are making a terrible mistake with their pensions.Pension Rights Center. (2016). The facts about pension advances.last_img read more

  • Food insecurity in America’s Heroes

    first_imgWindome R, Jensen A, Bangerter A, Fu S. Food Insecurity Among Veterans Of The US Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan. Cambridge Core; 2019. Accessed June 18, 2019. Bushatz A. Advocates Are Building a Plan to Take on Military Hunger. Published 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019. Sobol Z. Why Are So Many Veterans Food Insecure? | Move For Hunger. Move For Hunger. Published 2019. Accessed June 18, 2019. Jones A, Ngure F, Pelto G, Young S. What Are We Assessing When We Measure Food Security? A Compendium And Review Of Current Metrics. American Society for Nutrition; 2019:481-505. Food insecurity in America’s HeroesBy Sarah Pittman, Human Nutrition Graduate Student at the University of Illinois SM W. Prevalence of food insecurity among military households with children 5 years of age and younger. – PubMed – NCBI. Published 2019. Accessed June 18, 2019. Published 2019. Accessed June 18, 2019. NPR Choice page. Published 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019. What Is Food Insecurity in America? | Hunger and Health. Hunger and Health. Published 2019. Accessed June 18, 2019. Food insecurity is one definition that has changed meaning since the term first came into existence. The current definition of food insecurity by the USDA is “a lack of consistent access to enough food to live a healthy, active life.”5 Food insecurity has three domains: availability, access and utilization but also included is having the ability to acquire socially and culturally acceptable foods. Food insecurity can change over time, whether it is seasonally or as a result of unexpected shocks like weather events, deaths or regional conflicts.2 Depending on the circumstances, there are two possible food insecurity conditions, chronic or transitory (being food secure one month and food insecure the next). For veterans, food insecurity often stems from the mental health issues that our veterans endure. Veterans can experience difficulty adapting back to civilian life when they return overseas, especially if they don’t have support from friends and/or family when they return.4Food insecurity in our veteransThere is a growing number of active duty service members becoming food insecure, relying on SNAP for assistance.1 In 2018, a study showed that 1.5 million veterans live in a household that completely relies on SNAP to supplement their food intake.4 And in 2016 it was noted that families spent about $67 million in food stamps at commissaries.8 A study by Cambridge University conducted in 2015 found that about 27% of veterans that had served in Iraq or Afghanistan wars were food insecure with 12% reported being very low food security.6Consequences and challenges of food insecurityHaving soldiers that are food insecure increases risk of health conditions that may decrease military readiness.3 Although there are supplemental programs available to veterans, many are unaware they exist.1 A study completed in July of 2016 found that military families facing financial hardships face challenges seeking assistance benefits, which include: limited awareness, stigma, misconceptions and inconsistent eligibility.1Is there hope for food insecure veterans and their families?Yes! In an article from September of 2018, stated that officials with the Military Family Advocacy Network are planning to work with Feeding America, the Food Research & Action Center, National WIC Association and the United Way to tackle food insecurity in veterans and their families. With this help they plan to “find the best ways to help families access services, while increasing education on the assistance that’s already available”, while also reducing the shame of asking for help.7Lawmakers in action“Because of a quirk in the law, some service members can be disqualified from programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP… Service members can be considered ineligible because of certain military pay, such as housing benefits.”8 The Military Hunger Prevention Act excludes the value of a housing allowance for service members in determining eligibility for any federal program issuing benefits for nutrition assistance.9Do you know any veterans that are food insecure? Do they use or at least know the resources available to them? H.R.1078 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): Military Hunger Prevention Act. Published 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019.last_img read more

  • Hacking the brain, one cell at a time

    first_imgGot microscopic images of neurons from a bee brain? How about brain cells from fruit fly larvae, mice—or people? BigNeuron wants your data. Whether a neuron branches like a chandelier or spreads like a pyramid, a brain cell’s 3D shape is one of the most important clues about its function, says project leader Hanchuan Peng, a neuroscientist at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Washington. However, different labs use incompatible methods to digitally reconstruct neurons, making their data hard to share. BigNeuron, announced today, will collect microscopic images of neurons from labs worldwide, then host hackathons to develop algorithms that supercomputers can use to create 3D neuronal reconstructions. Free, easy access to this vast library of brain cells, such as the fruit fly neuron above, will help researchers better understand how information flows between cells, Peng says: After all, the brain’s complex connectivity, which produces all thoughts and behavior, “doesn’t just come out of the air.”last_img read more

  • Novak Djokovic solves Gael Monfils puzzle to reach US Open final

    first_imgWorld number one Novak Djokovic scrapped his way into the US Open final for a seventh time on Friday with a confounding 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win over enigmatic Frenchman Gael Monfils.Often viewed as more showman than competitor, the 10th-seeded Monfils tested the patience of both Djokovic and the fans with a display of tennis that swung wildly from dynamic to indifferent.In what was one of the more bizarre encounters to unfold on a grand slam court, Monfils was showered with boos one set and cheers the next before exiting Arthur Stadium to a mixture of both.”He’s very entertaining to watch,” said Djokovic, who will play Swiss third seed Stanislas Wawrinka in Sunday’s final. “He’s a very charismatic guy and he had a great tournament. (US Open: Wawrinka beats Nishikori in the semis)”It was a strange match, as it always is when you play Gael, who is a very unpredictable player. He loves to come up with a variety in his game.”Djokovic has described Monfils as the only player he would buy a ticket to watch and the Frenchman delivered an entertaining if unconventional display that drew both anger and applause.What some viewed as ‘tanking’, Monfils described as tactics, a well-thought-out ‘Plan B’ employed when it became clear a more traditional ‘Plan A’ approach to the match was not going to get him past the Serb.Djokovic had come out on top in all 12 of their previous meetings.”Definitely I try to get in his head, try to create something new for him,” explained Monfils. “And that was it. When the guy is too good, playing clean and you’re playing not that good, you need to change.advertisement”You just don’t want to see it. We can change a little bit. It’s not only one way to play tennis. I know it is not natural because first question is you’re not competing. I’m competing.”The change takes guts. It was a great strategy, I think.”Having advanced to the semi-final without dropping a set, Monfils did not wait long to surrender his first as he went 5-0 down in just 16 minutes.Looking ready to throw in the towel, Monfils flapped at a few shots then sprinkled in a few brilliant returns to leave an increasingly irritated Djokovic off-balance and the crowd scratching their heads.The Serb, however, would quickly get back into rhythm, clinching the first set and then going on to demolish Mofils in second.But when trailing 2-0 and a break down in the third set, the impressive Monfils suddenly reappeared and he went on to take the set as Djokovic ripped his shirt and stalked the court.Monfils’ tactics, while bold, ultimately proved unsuccessful as Djokovic’s skill and familiarity with the Frenchman’s playing style won out.”I had phases when I was entertained by what he’s doing and phases where I was upset with myself for allowing him to do whatever he does to disturb my game and my rhythm,” said Djokovic. “He’s one of the most charismatic guys on the Tour.”You know, sometimes, as his opponent it’s not easy to handle his up and downs but he’s a very important asset to our sport. He brings that joy.”last_img read more

  • N.Y. Battle: Isles Beat Rangers

    first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — The New York Islanders continued their unbeaten start to the new NHL season by scoring four goals from just seven shots in the third period to beat the sliding New York Rangers 6-3.Kyle Okposo netted his 100th NHL goal to put the Islanders ahead in the opening minute of the final frame.Among the day’s other games, New Jersey made it three wins from three road games to start the season when they won at Tampa Bay, Toronto won in overtime against Colorado, and Dallas notched its first victory of the campaign by winning at Columbus.The Islanders broke loose for four goals in the first 11 minutes of the third and improved to 3-0 while sending the Rangers (1-3) to their third straight loss.After Okposo’s goal, Brock Nelson made it 4-2 at 4:50, and Mikhail Grabovski connected 30 seconds later to make it a three-goal edge.New Jersey’s Cory Schneider made 26 saves to help the Devils win 2-1 at Tampa Bay. Travis Zajac put New Jersey ahead and that stood until 8:59 in the third when Alex Killorn replied for the Lightning.Mike Cammalleri scored what proved the winner on a power play at 11:19.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

  • DDC: 48VDC/238A, 16-channel solid-state power controller

    first_img Continue Reading Previous Bringing machine learning to the edge: A Q&A with Neurala’s Anatoli GorshechnikovNext ADLINK joins Open Networking Foundation as collaborating innovator Data Device Corporation introduces its 16-channel, 48VDC, 238A Solid-State Power Controller programmability, system health diagnostic and prognostic data, and high-power density in a compact and ruggedized military-grade form factor. DDC’s 48VDC SSPC Power Distribution Unit (RP-2016371X) distributes and controls power to up to 16 independent 48 Vdc loads, with 8, 10, and 25 Amp maximum capacities, and provides significant Size, Weight, Power and Cost savings.Highly efficient, DDC’s SSPCs enable significant SWaP-C savings compared with mechanical switches, breakers, and relays, saving space for other components and expanded functionality. These compact, high density power control solutions enable a 7X power-to-volume and 5X power-to-weight savings, compared with larger mechanical alternatives, enabling reduced space consumption and fuel costs, while extending mission range. Additional SWaP-C savings are realized through a 70% reduction in power dissipation, along with energy savings through intelligent load shedding and prioritization. Inventory costs can be saved, as these Power Distribution Units can be programmed to support multiple platforms and varying mission requirements.The RP-2016371X employs DDC’s mission proven technology, with more than 1,000,000 nodes installed on military and aerospace systems since 1988, including on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). DDC SSPCs have a 25X improved MTBF compared with mechanical switches, breakers, and relays, with moving parts which are more prone to failure. They also provide real-time health and diagnostic data, enabling improved mission uptime, safety and longevity through preventative and automated maintenance.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components last_img read more

  • Your Master List of Low-Hanging Marketing Fruit

    first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Lead Generation When it comes to optimizing and improving your marketing programs, many marketers tend to think they need to go through these radical undertakings that completely overhaul their entire marketing strategy. While major change can sometimes be good, a lot of times, marketers overlook the little things they can do to incrementally improve their marketing results. (And with the hour those of us in the United States are going to lose from daylight savings time this weekend, we can’t really afford to waste any more time! Unless of course, you’re Hawaiian or Arizonan.)To be honest, you might be surprised at how little things can go a really long way. So the next time you’re thinking about dramatically re-working your marketing strategies , take a step back first and see if you’ve picked these pieces of low-hanging marketing fruit first. 20 Pieces of Low-Hanging Marketing Fruit You Should Harvest 1) Include More Links to Landing Pages in Your Social Updates: Wondering why you’re not generating much traffic or leads from your social presence? Try sending more traffic to landing pages ! Every tweet or Facebook post shouldn’t be promoting your marketing offers, but if you’re not purposely including links to landing pages in your social media update mix, you’re losing out on an important way to use social media for lead generation. 2) Send Email From a Person, Not a Company: This is such an easy one, yet many don’t do it! Your email’s sender name can make a big difference in open and click-through rates. In a HubSpot email A/B test , we found that sending email from a real person’s name from our marketing team generated a click-through rate of .96% compared to email sent from “HubSpot,” which generated a click-through rate of .73%. That winning email also generated 292 more clicks and 131 more leads . Email should be sent from humans, not companies. 3) Embed Twitter Testimonials on Your Reviews Page: Reviews are even more impactful when it’s obvious that they’re real. Use Twitter’s new embeddable tweets feature to add positive testimonial tweets to your website’s reviews/testimonials page. Or, go another route and use the Twitter Faves Widget to display the tweets you’ve favorited on your corporate Twitter account. If you do, just be sure you use your Favorites solely as a Twitter testimonial bookmarking tool; you wouldn’t want your reviews page to be diluted with tweets that aren’t testimonials! 4) Put Calls-to-Action Everywhere: That’s right — everywhere. On every blog post you publish, on every web page you create (except for landing pages), in webinars, speaking presentations, within downloadable content like ebooks, on your social media pages … what have I missed? Don’t go through the work of designing attractive CTA buttons for your marketing offers if you’re only going to use them on one or two things. Get the most bang from your buck. 5) Include Attractive Images in Your Marketing: Make sure every piece of content you publish includes an attractive visual, whether it’s a photo, an image, a visualization, or a chart/graph. Visuals are becoming more and more important in internet marketing, particularly social media. Why else do you think the infographic and Pinterest crazes have blown up recently? Spend the extra few minutes to make that chart or graph more visually appealing or to select a truly compelling image for your blog post. That awesome quote you’re about to share or question you’re about to ask? Put it on a PPT slide and add some simple design to it to make it more sharable on Facebook or Google+. 6) Check Search Traffic When Choosing Blog Titles: Trying to decide which keywords to use in a particular blog title? Check the search traffic for the keyword variations you’re considering ( HubSpot’s Keywords tool or Google’s Keyword Tool make this easy to do). Unless you’re trying to rank for a particular keyword as part of an overall search strategy, that one post isn’t going to make much of a difference, so shoot for longer tail keywords that are easier to rank for. 7) Scrub Your Database: When was the last time you cleaned up your email database? An unkempt one can actually harm deliverability, so do a quick sweep of your list and remove the 7 types of email addresses we identify in this blog post . 8) Update and Re-Publish Outdated Content: Having evergreen content on your website is extremely valuable. It continues to generate traffic, leads, and inbound links for your website over time, and it doesn’t get old (at least not by much). But hey, sometimes even evergreen content could use a tune up. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with updating and re-publishing some of your evergreen content as new (just change the time-stamp for blog posts to avoid duplicate content). You’ll save the time you would’ve spent creating a brand new blog post/ebook/webinar from scratch, and your older content will be even more relevant to a new audience. 9) Repurpose Content: While we’re on the topic of recycling content and saving time/effort, don’t dismiss the content you already have as a baseline for new content. Rather than writing that ebook from scratch, use the few posts on that topic you already have as a starting point. Conversely, use excerpts from new long-form content like ebooks as blog articles, and use the ebook as the CTA to encourage blog visitors to obtain more information on the topic. 10) Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices: This piece of fruit might seem like it’s a little bit higher on the branches to reach, but it’s such an important piece of fruit to pick, that’s it’s definitely worth reaching for. At the very least, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Use mobile CSS (or a mobile redirect) and set up a a meta viewport tag so mobile visitors to your website have a user-friendly experience, too. Here’s how to get started . 11) Add Internal Links: Understanding how the individual pages of your website can contribute value toward other pages is important. Don’t overlook the power of internal linking, which should be a cognizant part of your overall SEO strategy. With great internal linking, ranking for very difficult keyword phrases is made much easier as you share the authority of your other best content with your new content. Spend a few minutes to read this post so you can start to improve your internal linking efforts on your website. 12) Conduct Simple A/B Tests: The major beauty of A/B testing is that it often requires little effort and yields major results. For example, in the A/B testing example below , only the color of the button was changed, and the result was 21% more clicks on the red button . When you stop and think how powerful those results are given the simplicity of the experiment, you’ll start to understand how powerful that test was. Without even needing to increase the traffic to this particular website, it was able to convert 21% more of its existing traffic into clicks. Pretty cool stuff. Simple A/B tests can be conducted to optimize no shortage of variables in your marketing tactics — headlines, images, color scheme, layout … the list goes on ! (Bonus: For HubSpot customers, the CTA Module and Advanced Landing Pages make A/B testing a snap!) 13) Include Brief Surveys on Thank-You Pages: Looking for a great way to get feedback from existing traffic? Embed short polls or surveys to the thank-you pages visitors land on after completing a conversion form. Use it as an opportunity to generate feedback from some of your most engaged site visitors. (HubSpot users can use HubSpot forms to do this.) 14) Modify Your Lead-Capture Forms: Which do you have a deficiency of: raw, net new leads, or high quality leads? Some minor adjustments to your lead-capture forms can help you solve your problems. If you’re struggling to generate net new leads in general and your forms are rather lengthy, try asking for less information. If the opposite is true and you want to generate higher quality leads, try asking for more information. The golden rule of form length is this: ask only for the information you need to contact and appropriately qualify the lead. 15) Put Your Lead-Capture Forms Above the Fold: While we’re chatting about forms, are yours above the fold? Making sure your forms are immediately visible to landing page visitors is important, since you want to draw their attention to the form. Requiring them to scroll down first can increase friction and hurt your chances of conversion. 16) Segment Your Communication:  Neglecting to segment your email sends can result in subpar results. According to the Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report , 39% of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced higher open rates, 28% experienced lower unsubscribe rates, and 24% experienced greater revenue. Furthermore, according to a study by MarketingSherpa , 4 out of 10 subscribers reported that they’ve marked emails as spam simply because they were irrelevant . So rather then hitting “send to all” on your next email and shooting the same message to your whole entire list, send it to a segment of your audience and spend a few extra minutes tailoring that communication to suit the interests and needs of that particular segment. Here are 5 savvy ways to segment your marketing emails , and here are even more ways to be more segmented and personal in your marketing communications . 17) Use Simple Dynamic Tags in Email Sends: Speaking of personalization, are you taking advantage of even the simplest of dynamic tags in your email sends like [firstname], [lastname] or [companyname]? Addressing your email recipients by their first name might sound insignificant, but even the simplest elements of personalization are better than none. 18) Add Tracking Tokens to Your URLs: Tracking URLs are a great tool to help you glean more insights from your marketing efforts, because they take reporting to a more granular level. For example, if you create a landing page but only want to know how well a certain channel contributed to that landing page’s success — say, an email send — adding a tracking token to the URL you’re using in your email send will enable you to identify how many of the landing page’s conversions can be attributed to that particular email send. (Bonus: For HubSpot customers, our software automatically does this for you!) Creating tracking URLs is very simple , and they can afford you with a wealth of data to inform your marketing strategy. 19) Add Social Sharing and Follow Buttons: Give your content better chances of spreading and make it easier for your community to share it by adding social media sharing links and buttons to everything you create — blog posts, email sends, landing pages, case studies … you name it! When you make it dead simple for people to share your content, you increase its reach tremendously. Furthermore, promote your business’ presence in social networks and convert site visitors into social followers by adding social media follow buttons to your blog, homepage, ‘about us’ page, press room, and wherever else you deem appropriate. You can also add social plugins like Facebook’s to give an element of social proof to the content you publish. 20) Update Your Facebook Page to the New Design: Don’t get caught scrambling to make your Facebook page presentable at the very last minute (on March 30th, you’ll have no choice). Preview the new design and select an eye-catching cover photo; clean up your views and apps thumbnails to highlight calls-to-action; hide, star, and pin content you want to feature (or not feature); and create a few milestones. Believe me, you’ll thank yourself for not waiting until the last minute, and you’ll have a leg up on your competitors who are still using the old page design. Here’s everything you need to know . What other low-hanging marketing fruit are you neglecting to harvest? Image Credit: Wonderlane Originally published Mar 9, 2012 4:34:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

  • Social Media Mistakes, Terrible Advice & More in HubSpot Content This Week

    first_img Topics: Originally published Apr 20, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social Media Fails Making mistakes is frustrating. As it is, there is never enough time in the week to accomplish everything that you want to get done. Of course, we’ve all heard the saying that mistakes are how you learn, but wouldn’t it be so much better if you could do the learning first and avoid the mistakes altogether?This week in HubSpot content we discussed some major mistakes, as well as keys to success that will help you identify potential pitfalls before they occur. Take a look:8 Things That Trip You Up in Blogging (And How to Get Back on Your Feet)When it comes to blogging, there’s a lot of little things that can trip you up while you’re writing. In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of the eight most common blogging pitfalls to help keep you on your feet.Duane Reade’s Social Media Mistake Might Cost Them $6 MillionIt’s one thing to post something on social media that you wish you could take back, and it’s an entirely different thing to make a mistake that costs your company millions. In this blog post, you will read about Duane Reade’s social media mistake and how it could end up costing them $6 million!7 Schools That Are Totally Rocking Their LinkedIn University PagesColleges have started creating LinkedIn University Pages in order to appeal to and engage high school students. Since the launch of University Pages, hundreds of schools have created pages. In this blog post, see seven colleges that have done a particularly remarkable job engaging their networks.Competing With Content Marketing: 7 Steps to Success [Infographic]Marketers at both B2B and B2C companies are continuing to dedicate more of their budgets toward content creation. This blog post features an infographic that highlights the key findings from a survey of over 2,600 marketers regarding the new age of content marketing.In a Sales Slump? Blog Your Way to SuccessIt happens to everyone; sales slumps come with the territory. When you feel yourself getting into a slump, it’s time to mix it up. In this blog post, discover how sales can use blogging to get out of a slump and drive success.The Worst Advice I Ever Got: Insights From 27 Different Marketers27 marketing professionals were asked about the worst advice they’ve ever received. See a roundup of the best of the worst marketing advice in this blog post.US Airways Tweet a Mayday for Real-Time Marketing?Nobody dislikes being left behind more than marketers. Who has time to be cautious on social media when time is of the essence? Well, it turns out, US Airways will be spending some extra time double checking their tweets from now on. In this blog post, discover the NSFW tweet that caused US airways to initiate a review of their social media processes.What was the most interesting thing you learned this week on Inbound Hub? What do you want to see more of? Leave your feedback in the comments!last_img read more

  • 5 Services Your Agency Shouldn’t Offer in 2017

    first_img Don’t forget to share this post! The success of a marketing agency isn’t just tied to what you do (and do well) but also to the services you don’t provide.The services we’re going to discuss today are — in our judgment — firmly in the “don’t” column. They’re either paths that have already been well-trodden by other big players, obsolete tactics that are starting to lose relevance, or services that don’t fit well into the modern marketing playbook. If you’re thinking of adding any of the following four services in 2017, it might be time to change up your agency’s approach this year.5 Services Your Agency Shouldn’t Offer in 20171) Facebook Killed the Video AdVideo is touted as an excellent way to engage customers and convert leads, but it can also be relatively expensive and inconvenient to produce. If you agency hasn’t yet made the leap into video production, consider your next move carefully — investing in digital video capabilities is a high-risk, high reward strategy. But how high is that reward, exactly? Late last year, Facebook drew ire when it revealed it had been artificially inflating video viewership statistics since 2014. If major video platforms have a history of inaccurately reporting views, it raises some big questions about the dependability of video ROI. If concerns about ROI don’t give you pause, think about this: specialized video marketing agencies have been doing video longer, know the marketplace better, and will have larger budgets. They’re also beginning to build in advanced features, such as interactive video, and 360-degree video ads. As a video neophyte, you’re unlikely to be able to offer these capabilities if you’re building a video service from the ground up in 2017.2) Hang Up on Appointment SettingAppointment setting has always been a weird fit in the marketing universe. Essentially, it’s like running a sales bullpen as a service (SBaaS?), which really has nothing to do with the typical content generation and placement duties of a traditional agency. Therefore, it’s going to be difficult and expensive for any agency to boot up an appointment setting service from scratch — and again, what’s the benefit?The ROI of cold calling has always been low — and it’s been getting lower. A survey from the middle of last year shows that a large majority of sales professionals think that the effectiveness of cold calling has shrunk dramatically over the last several years.A lot of people just don’t have phones at their desk any more, and most will simply hang up on numbers that they don’t already know. That’s why it’s probably a good reason to hang up on appointment setting in 2017.3) Market Research: Don’t Compete, CollaborateFor your dollar, it’s nearly always going to be more lucrative to partner with an existing market research service than to build one of your own. As with video, the incumbents are going to rule — they’ve been around longer, know their subject better, and have more money to burn. In this case, however, it’s better to adopt that old maxim, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”There’s absolutely no shame in collaborating with a pre-existing market research agency. In fact, marketing collaboration has increased across the board. Last year, most client-side marketers (52%), collaborated with external agencies. The most common reason for this was a skills gap. If client-side marketers know that it’s okay to collaborate in the case of a skills gap, agencies should know it too.4) Approaching the Link Building ApocalypseRemember the “Mobilegeddon?” A new revision of the Google search algorithm set to raise the visibility of mobile sites at the expense of their desktop-bound competitors. The effect wasn’t initially epochal, but it did cause several major sites to drop in the rankings. Soon, link building may undergo a similar collapse.Back in September, a new update to the Google algorithm known as Penguin went online. Its goal has been to find and penalize sites that operate in ways designed to game SEO. Link building isn’t shady by definition, but many companies have been using it in shady ways. One example is by building private blog networks (PBNs) with no purpose except to link back to agency generated content. This Fall’s Penguin update — plus a secretive update that launched in February — appears to be specifically targeted at PBNs. Now, the black-hat link building community has been thrown into turmoil.As with most of the services listed above, if you’ve been link building for a while, and you’ve been doing it in a balanced and organic manner, you’re probably in the clear. If you haven’t been link building at all, and don’t know where to begin, 2017 probably isn’t the best year to start.Stick with What WorksTo make it as a marketing agency, you don’t necessarily need to break new ground — but agencies should probably avoid the well-trodden paths. In the examples above, the marketplace of ideas is either so crowded that a new player can’t really get a toehold, or the edifice is beginning to crumble. Black-hat SEO tactics never have a great deal of longevity, and even venerable tactics such as cold-calling are seeing their last days.With that in mind, the principles for agency success still haven’t changed. Iterate on successful strategies. Collaborate when necessary to aid in the success of your clients. Keep on like this, and when you find the idea that does put you over the top, Facebook-like success may not be out of reach. Agency Marketing Topics: Originally published Feb 28, 2017 5:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

  • 1st T20I: Ross Taylor shines as New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets

    first_imgRoss Taylor played a knock of 48 runs off just 29 balls, allowing New Zealand to defeat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the first T20I of the three-match series here in Pallekele.Chasing 175, New Zealand got off to the worst start possible as Lasith Malinda rattled the stumps of Colin Munro (0) in the very first over of the innings. Martin Guptill was also not able to stay at the crease for a long time as he was sent packing by Akila Dananjaya to reduce Kiwis to 18/2.Tim Seifert and Colin de Grandhomme put up a brief 21-run stand, but their stint at the crease came to a halt as Wanindu Hasaranga dismissed Seifert (15), with Kiwis still needing 136 runs for the win.Ross Taylor and de Grandhomme retrieved the innings for Kiwis as the duo scored at a brisk pace and they managed to put up a stand of 79 runs, but their resistance came to an end as Malinga clean bowled de Grandhomme (44), reducing Kiwis to 118/4, still 57 runs away from the target. with this wicket, Malinga became the highest wicket-taker in T20Is, surpassing Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi.Taylor and Daryl Mitchell stitched a partnership of 26 runs, but as soon as Kiwis started to get ahead in the match, Hasaranga sent Taylor (48) back to the pavilion. With Kiwis 144/5, the rain came down and the match had to be stopped.The match resumed quickly after and Mitchell and Santner ensured Kiwi victory by five wickets. Mitchell and Santner remained unbeaten on 25 and 14 respectively.advertisementEarlier, Kusal Mendis’ knock of 79 runs enabled Sri Lanka to post 174 runs for the loss of four wickets in the allotted twenty overs after opting to bat first.Openers Mendis and Kusal Perera provided a steady start to Sri Lanka’s innings as the duo played in an aggressive manner, stitching up a partnership of 41 runs, but their stint at the crease came to a halt as Kiwi skipper dismissed Perera (11) in the fifth over.Avishka Fernando and Mendis put up a brief 27-run stand, but the former was dismissed after scoring just ten runs by Mitchell Santner in the 10th over, reducing Sri Lanka to 68/2.Niroshan Dickwella came out to bat next and he provided support to Mendis at the crease and the duo kept scoring at a brisk pace and Sri Lanka reached the score of 114/2 in 15 overs.In the last five overs, both batsmen started to look for big shots and they rapidly increased the run-rate of the team. Mendis and Dickwella ended up having a partnership of 63 runs. Mendis (79) was finally sent back to the pavilion by Kiwi skipper Southee, reducing the Islanders to 131/3 in the 17th over.Kiwis kept a check on the scoring rate in the final overs, and Dickwella (33) was sent back to the pavilion via a run-out in the last over, reducing Sri Lanka to 159/4 with three more balls left to play.Isuru Udana smashed 15 runs off the final three balls of the innings to take Sri Lanka’s score past the 170-run mark.Sri Lanka and New Zealand will take on each other in the second T20I of the three-match series on September 3.Brief Scores: New Zealand 175/5 (Ross Taylor 48, Colin de Grandhomme 44, Lasith Malinga 2-23) defeat Sri Lanka 174/4 (Kusal Mendis 79, Niroshan Dickwella 33, Tim Southee 2-20) by five wickets.Also Read | Sri Lanka vs New Zealand: Lasith Malinga surpasses Shahid Afridi to become leading wicket-taker in T20IsAlso Read | 50-year-old Jonty Rhodes’ fitness drills still awes younger athleteslast_img read more

  • Which Big 12 Teams Are Most Efficient in the Red Zone?

    first_imgRecently we looked at how effective Oklahoma State has been on red-zone trips this year. I am using a stat I call PPR or “points per red-zone attempt”.The stat basically shows how good a team is at getting touchdowns (six points) instead of settling for field goals (three points) once they get into the red-zone.I thought it would be helpful to go a little more in-depth on the stat and in the spirit of context, compare the Cowboys to the rest of the Big 12. Here I compared this year’s Cowboys to previous OSU teams.Here are the current PPR rankings for the Big 12.b12pprIowa State is higher than I would have thought and Baylor and West Virginia are lower. Of course this is only part of the equation. We need to look at how many times each team gets to the red zone in order to use that effectiveness.Here are the red-zone attempts per game.b12rzaSo, while Iowa State is third in red-zone points per attempt, they make it to the red zone less than three times per game, better than only Kansas. Baylor hasn’t been the most efficient as far as touchdowns to field goals inside the 20-yard line, but they get there over five times per game, meaning more points.The Cowboys went a perfect three-for-three in the red zone last week against Kansas State and didn’t attempt a single field goal. They’ll need to continue that uptick in efficiency if they want to keep up with the remaining three offenses on their schedule.Check out my look at PPR numbers as they pertain to a grading Big 12 defenses. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

  • Three Stats For The Alamo Bowl: Who Gets Explosive Plays?

    first_imgColorado1.15 per game0.85 per game + 0.54 per game       (24th in FBS) Opportunities are going to be important in a game where a strong secondary could limit a high flying offense and an offense dependent on an injury prone quarterback running the ball effectively.With two ball-hawking defenses, momentum will hang in the balance at times and if the Pokes can win this battle, they’ve won 28 out of the last 30 games that they haven’t lost a turnover.Who Gets Explosive Plays?A good indicator of how smoothly an offense functions is explosive plays (over ten yards), as the likelihood of going 70 yards is awful difficult without those kinds of plays. And the Pokes have done a really good job of that, averaging more than 18 plays of 10+ yards per game (no. 17 in FBS). The steady Buffalo attack is middle of the road averaging just below 14.5 plays of 10+ yards per game.  A big reason for OSU’s advantage is a guy who can do stuff like this:So how good are the Alamo opponents at stringing together long drives? The Pokes are No. 3 in the country at getting points on drives of 80+ yards while the Buffs stall out far more often earning them 94th in the FBS in points per long drive. Just watching their highlights, you can see most good things for them aren’t longer plays but shorter stuff:The Colorado offense has been capable, putting up 446 yards per game. But if Zach Sinor gets to pinning the Buffs deep in their own territory, don’t count on CU quarterback Sefo Liufau to lead them on a long, fruitful drive like we’ve grown accustomed to in Boone Pickens Stadium… And will get to enjoy next year! InterceptionsFumblesTurnover Margin The Pokes do a better job of holding on to the ball (*crosses his fingers that Neutral Site Mason is more like Home Mason than Road Mason*) and I think that’s ultimately what gives OSU the edge here. The Buffs have a lauded secondary and Coach Gundy talked about how six of their guys are being looked at by the NFL, but that doesn’t intimidate the Cowboy offense.A couple of years ago the Pokes went toe-to-toe with a prolific defense featuring numerous future NFL guys in the Cactus Bowl against Washington, but how this strength-vs-strength match up turns out will no doubt be shaping in the outcome. The Cowboy secondary isn’t too bad itself: OSU1.08 per game0.92 per game + 0.83 per game        (11th in FBS) The Pac-12 South Champs are a different type of team than the Pokes have seen in 2016, let’s take a look at some key numbers that are likely to shape the outcome.Keep the Buffs below 100 Yards RushingThe most apparent common denominator in all three of Colorado’s losses is not being able to top 100 yards rushing. Otherwise stated, Colorado is undefeated when they rush for 100+ yards and slowing the ground game severely stunts the offense. The Pokes are giving up an average of 204 yards per game in their “bend don’t break” scheme facing potent Big 12 offenses and it’ll be intriguing to see how the Cowboys fare against a less potent Pac-12 unit.Coach Gundy is 32-5 when OSU holds teams below 100 yards and he’ll need guys like Chad Whitener, Mote Maile and DQ Osborne to step up and do a solid job stuffing the run up the middle. If Glenn Spencer’s front seven can keep the Buffs rushing attack at bay, the Cowboys will have a great shot at getting to that magical 10th win. Especially when you’ve got a guy who can hit like this: 25 Turnover Margin BattleThe Pokes are one of the best in the nation at turning teams over (it’s so fun that we can repeat that phrase about our basketball team!), but tonight will feature two teams that are great at it (both averaging two per game). While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Forcing Turnovers #Big12FB: The week nine #TopPlays winning play is Ramon Richards’ interception in OSU’s win over West Virginia.— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) November 3, 2016OSU has one of the nation’s best throwing the ball around as Mason Rudolph has only thrown four interceptions on 416 attempts this year (an interception every 104 throws). The Buffs QB is twice as likely to throw a pick as he has six interceptions on 290 attempts (an interceptions every 48 throws).With a peaking run game (6.43 yards per carry since November 1st), the Buffs will have to fill up the box to slow down a freshman All-American and a steamroller named Chris Carson. Advantage: Cowboys.last_img read more


    first_imgAs a result of lengthy discussions and negotiations with NRL franchise Melbourne Storm, Michael Sparks (TFA Chairman) and Mick Lovett (Victorian Technical Director) have secured the scheduling of a 30 minute promotional Touch game at Olympic Park, as a curtain raiser to the Storm v Raiders game on Sunday 18th June (1:25 – 1:55pm).This is a great opportunity for Touch to showcase itself to the large supporter base which follows the Storm & the Raiders and the many Touchies that also attend these games.The promotion will include a Womens and Mixed game, between Victoria and the ACT (to capitalise on the rivalry between the two groups of supporters.)For a special deal on ticket prices contact Special Tickets Prices:Adults – $20Children 15 and under – $8Children 5 and under – FREEFamily – $44 (2 adults; 2 kids)This great value deal (valued at $35/adult) includes seats in the Eastern stand reserved area and entry to the Storm social club after the games, where you’ll get the opportunity to mingle with the Storm boys!There will also be free kids amusements and rides, face painting, player autograph opportunities, cheerleaders and your chance to win the $5,000 Mega Stash of Cash by becoming a Storm member, see for details or join on the day!This is an excellent opportunity to do something on the big stage – something many Touchies have talked about for many years.It is now up to everyone in the Touch Football community to make it work, get along to watch the big clash and throw your support behind Touch Football! Ticket prices shown above are exclusive and are not available at the gate or at standard ticket outlets.last_img read more

  • Gautam Gambhir mocks Pakistan over cricket under intense security arrangement in Karachi

    first_imgGautam Gambhir mocks Pakistan over cricket under intense security arrangement in KarachiPakistan vs Sri Lanka, ODI series: Gautam Gambhir took to social media to take a dig at the security arrangements in place for the Sri Lanka cricket team in Karachi.advertisement India Today Web Desk New DelhiOctober 1, 2019UPDATED: October 1, 2019 13:54 IST Former India cricketer-turned politician Gautam Gambhir (IANS Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSri Lanka are currently in Karachi for a 3-match ODI seriesPakistan have heightened security for the visiting team in KarachiGambhir took to Twitter to take a dig at the security arrangementsFormer India cricketer-turned politician Gautam Gambhir took a dig at Pakistan over a video of the security arrangements in place in Karachi for the visiting Sri Lanka cricket team.In a video going viral online, an array of security vehicles can be seen accompanying the Sri Lanka cricket team buses on their way to the National Stadium in Karachi. Convoy vehicles are surrounding multiple team buses and an ambulance also follows the array of vehicles in an apparent curfew-like situation.A man can be heard giving a funny commentary to the scene in Karachi wherein Sri Lanka are playing the ongoing 3-match ODI series.”Itna Kashmir kiya ke Karachi bhool gaye,” Gautam Gambhir wrote while sharing the video on social media platforms.Itna Kashmir kiya ke Karachi bhool gaye Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) September 30, 2019Gambhir’s jibe comes a day after he lashed out at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for his UNGA speech and termed it as ‘role model for terrorists’.”Sportspeople are supposed to be role models. Of good behaviour. Of Team spirit. Of ethics. Of the strength of character. Recently in the UN, we also saw a former sportsperson speak up. As a role model for terrorists. @ImranKhanPTI should be excommunicated from sports community,” Gambhir had tweeted.Pakistan have not been able to host high-profile international matches in the country ever since the 2009 bus attack on a touring Sri Lankan team bus. Gunmen opened fire at the team bus in Lahore, leaving several cricketers injured.advertisementHowever, Sri Lanka agreed to play a full-fledged limited-over series after multiple assurances from the Pakistan Cricket Board. Sri Lanka will head to Lahore for a 3-match T20I series later this week.Notably, 10 top stars, including Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews, withdrew from the tour, citing security fears. Their families reportedly were uncomfortable with the players touring Pakistan for the limited-over series.After the washed out ODI in Karachi last week, Pakistan took an unbeatable 1-0 lead by winning the 2nd ODI on Monday.Batting first Pakistan scored 305/7 in the allotted fifty overs and then they bundled out Sri Lanka for 238 runs, scripting a win by 67 runs.`Also Read | Rohit Sharma will be given time to find rhythm as Test opener: Virat KohliAlso see:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byNitin Kumar Tags :Follow Gautam GambhirFollow Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Nextlast_img

  • Damen Opens Its New Joint Venture Shipyard in Vietnam

    first_imgzoom Vietnamese Minister of Transport Mr Nguyen Hong Truong, carried out the official Vietnamese ribbon-cutting ceremony for the latest addition to Damen Shipyard Group’s portfolio. Damen Song Cam, a brand new yard, is one of the largest in the Group and represents Damen’s first formal Joint Venture yard in Vietnam.Damen Song Cam is considered state-of-the-art, bringing a western shipyard designed to meet European health, safety and environmental standards into a Vietnamese environment. The yard will produce around 40 ships annually in the first phase.The auspicious occasion was held on a suitable day in the Lunar Calendar in honour of Damen’s Vietnamese team. The many guests were treated to a special tour of the yard, which included many surprises, such as spectacular acrobatics, music and local dance troops. A history of successDamen has a well-established history in Vietnam and has been working with five shipyards for more than 12 years. Pim Schuurman, Managing Director of Damen Holding Vietnam, is delighted to see Damen Song Cam officially open its production hall. “We have successfully built 226 vessels in Vietnam with our partner yards. Vietnam has a lot of shipbuilding knowledge, the people are very hard working and in the next stage of Damen’s Vietnam journey we are looking forward to having our own Joint Venture shipyard, which has been designed to maximise efficiency.”Chris Groninger, Managing Director of Damen Song Cam comments: “Damen started building in Vietnam for the first time at Song Cam yard and this venture was such a successful cooperation for both Damen and Song Cam that we decided to bring this to the next level and that led to Damen Song Cam.”Mr Schuurman adds: “Damen built up its presence in Vietnam by subcontracting to yards in Hai Phong initially and the number-one yard was Song Cam and now it is great to see it become our partner in Damen Song Cam.”With direct access to open sea, the new yard is based on a 43-hectare site, of which 500 m is directly alongside the River Cam. The yard has a 120 m long x 85 m wide outfitting hall, plus extensive paint and carpentry workshops.Damen Song Cam to set to become the largest series producer in the Group therefore everything revolves around efficiency. The shipbuilding hall is in fact a dedicated outfitting hall, with three overhead cranes of 25- tonnes each over every bay.Designed to maximise efficiencyAdditionally, Mr Schuurman explains special work platforms are fitted at 5 m and 8 m, so employees are able to work very close to the main deck of the vessels, making the logistics very efficient and the walking distances very short. “Components can be stored on the platforms so outfitters don’t need to climb up and down; it is as if you are building the vessel on the ground floor. Everything is to hand so it is less tiring for people.”Swing arms on the top of the vessels give access to power, oxygen and compressed air. A Rolls-Royce Syncrolift® shiplift, with a platform of 60 m long x 24 m wide, is also on site. And directly next to the site of Damen Song Cam there is a further 43 hectares, which will be developed as a maritime industrial zone.The paint shop is an air-conditioned, controlled environment. “This is very important given the humidity here. A controlled environment is very important for us to be able to guarantee Damen quality,” adds Mr Groninger.In the short term, Damen Song Cam will also be carrying out all of the detailed engineering in Vietnam and they will be directly ordering parts and components within Damen’s framework agreements.Around 300 people currently work at Damen Song Cam but when phase 2 is realised – whereby up to 80 vessels can be built annually – this could rise to 800. Damen indirectly employs around 5,000 people in Vietnam and most people have worked for the Dutch shipyard group for many years.Knowledge transferDamen has invested a great deal in training and the transfer of knowledge to Vietnam. More than 50 engineers have been trained in the Netherlands and many more will attend courses in the Netherlands and Vietnam. Additionally, an office has been established in Hai Phong and in the next six months Damen is looking to open a base in Hanoi.Mr Schuurman, who has been visiting Vietnam for decades working on building long-lasting relationships with the yards there, is very proud to see a brand new shipyard come into being.Closer ties with VietnamAnd Damen’s bond with the country is becoming even stronger as the Group’s relationship with its other partner yards is formalised into joint ventures, he adds.Damen works with Song Thu (Da Nang), Song Cam/Ben Kien (Hai Phong), 189 (Hai Phong) and Ha Long Shipyard (Ha Long). Recently, the original Song Cam Shipyard merged with Ben Kien and this organisation is owned by Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (SBIC), formerly known as Vinashin. By the end of 2014, Damen will have formed a joint venture with the newly merged company Song Cam/Ben Kien, as well as with Ha Long.Mr Schuurman: “In Vietnam we have built up long term partnerships and friendships based on trust and respect and may this continue in the future!”Damen, March 24, 2014last_img read more

  • Dynagas in Charter Deal with Gazprom

    first_imgApril 18, 2014 zoom Dynagas LNG Partners LP, an owner and operator of LNG carriers, has entered into a new 13-year time-charter contract with Gazprom Marketing & Trading Singapore for the Clean Force, a fully winterized, 149,700 cbm Ice Class LNG carrier built in 2008.In addition, the company has entered into an agreement with BG Group Plc., the current charterer of the Clean Force, to amend, at no cost to Dynagas, the expiration date of the current time-charter contract from the third quarter of 2016 to July 2015, at which time the new Gazprom contract will take effect.As of April, 17 2014, the amended BG Group charter and the new Gazprom charter, taken together, are expected to increase the company’s:average remaining charter term to approximately 6.9 years from an average of approximately 3.0 yearsaverage fleet-wide time charter equivalent rates, calculated for a period of twelve months following the commencement of the new charter to approximately $78,200 per day per vessel from an average of approximately $76,150 per day per vessel based on the company’s three existing vessels.The Clean Force is expected to be renamed Amur River prior to its delivery to Gazprom.last_img read more

  • How to buy recreational pot online in Ontario once pot is legalized

    first_imgTORONTO – When recreational cannabis is legalized on Oct. 17, the only legal retailer in Ontario will be the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store through its online website site will be up and running at 12:01 a.m. ET on Wednesday, and consumers will be able access it from computers and mobile devices. The products offered for sale will include dried flower, oils, capsules, pre-rolled joints and accessories, but no seeds for the time being. The government has not released a list of prices, but said they would be competitive to compete with the illicit market.Here’s a primer on how to purchase marijuana online:— Shoppers will be asked to enter their full birth date and then confirm their age. Only those who confirm they are 19 years of age or older will be able to access the site. No proof of age will be required.— Shoppers will have the option to check out educational resources if they want to learn about cannabis, including the plant’s anatomy, facts about consumption and how to choose cannabis products. The information is already available on the newly launched website— Shoppers will then be able to choose from cannabis products including dried flower — there will be 70 strains at first, with that number expected to eventually reach 150 — oils and capsules, pre-rolled joints as well as accessories like vapourizers, rolling papers and trays.— Each product listing information will include the brand and licensed producer, a description, price (including taxes), percentage of THC and CBD, plant type and terpenes, which are fragrant oils found in plants which produce a unique taste and smell.— Shoppers will not be able to buy more than 30 grams of cannabis at one time, in line with the maximum amount allowed for one person to carry in public under law. However, they will be able to place several online orders.— Only VISA or MasterCard will be accepted for online purchases, but OCS officials say they will look at adding other payment options in the future. It is not known how the purchase will appear on the credit card statements, but OCS officials have said the word “cannabis” won’t be included.— When checking out, customers will be required to confirm that they are 19 years of age or older, again.— Deliveries will be made to Ontario addresses only by Canada Post at a flat rate of $5, and will take between one to three business days.— Purchases from the OCS will be in plain packaging and delivered only to anyone who answers the door and is 19 or older. As with other products that require age verification, if the person accepting the package looks under the age of 25, identification will be required. When no one is available, the package will be sent back to the nearest post office. For those who live in condominiums, however, a concierge will not be able to accept the package.SOURCE: Ontario Cannabis Storelast_img read more

  • 20 Images from Xavier Dolans The Death and Life of John F

    first_img Facebook Frequently, the most unexpected correspondences can lead us onto new paths. Xavier Dolan, the French-Canadian director of such films as Mommy, Laurence Anyways and Tom at the Farm, is exploring such a correspondence with his first English-language feature, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. It was also an unexpected chain of messages with Dolan that put Collider on a plane to London to view a few days of intense emotional scenes lensed by Dolan in the English countryside and London alleyways. I got a rare chance as a journalist to sit next to an Award-winning director as he directed Award-winning actors and view, firsthand, his level of precision in framing both the picture and the emotional reactions of Natalie Portman and Jacob Tremblay.We’ll have much more about the production of the film, including a lengthy conversation with Dolan and members of the cast, in due time. But at this current moment we’re excited to debut the first images of scenes and behind-the-scenes pictures from the film and give some extra context to the characters that the actors are playing.While the film boasts a starry ensemble, few share scenes together. This made it easier to get talent when they were needed, but it also has made for a lengthy production process in multiple locations, spanning a year and a half shoot. Yet, that process also allowed for Dolan to take breaks and edit the film in between the next shoot. The official synopsis for the film is as follows:A decade after the death of an American TV star, a young actor reminisces the written correspondence he once shared with the former, as well as the impact those letters had on both their lives. Although the logline doesn’t mention a mother, don’t worry Dolan-ites, the tumultuous mother-son relationship that Dolan has traversed throughout his career is just as strong as ever. “When editing, [during a lengthier shooting break] it became clear that the heart of this film would be the mother-son relationships,” Dolan said. “And you, know that realization didn’t bother me. I could spend the rest of my life talking about mothers and sons and still be making a completely different movie than the last.”The story of John F. Donovan spans more than a decade as the timeline begins with the news of the death of the titular character, John F. Donovan (Kit Harrington), which reverberates back to his life and numerous characters he interacted with that positively and negatively affected him. Then the story moves forward ten years past his death, when the younger recipient of a correspondence is himself an actor and is opening up about the previous written relationship he had with Donovan to a journalist, Audrey Newhouse (Thandie Newton).READ MORE LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

  • Missing 15yearold located in Grande Prairie

    first_imgUPDATE: The Grande Prairie RCMP say that Cialan Zabel has been located safe and unharmed.GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – The Grande Prairie RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating a 15-year-old boy who went missing over the weekend.Cialan Zabel was reported missing on Sunday after he was last seen at his home in Grande Prairie at around 5:30 p.m. last Friday. Zabel is described as: Caucasian, standing 5’9″ tall, weighing 160 lbs., with dark blonde hair and brown eyes.He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a black sweater.There is a concern for Zabel’s well-being, and the RCMP would like to locate and speak with him as soon as possible.If you have any information about his whereabouts, please contact Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment at 780-830-5700. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1.800.222.8477 (TIPS) or by Internet at www.tipsubmit.comlast_img read more

  • Morocco police block launch of rappers new album

    first_imgRABAT – Police disrupted the launch Thursday of a new album by rapper Mouad Belghouat, an outspoken voice of Morocco’s February 20 pro-reform movement who spent a year in jail, witnesses said.Belghouat, released from prison last year after serving a one-year sentence for defaming the police in his songs, had planned to present his album “Walou” (Nothing) at the Karama bookshop in Casablanca at 1800 GMT.But dozens of police were deployed nearby, and shortly before the event they ordered the bookshop shut, said Abdou Berrada, one of the organisers. “They then told those who had come for the launch to leave,” he added, speaking by phone.Contacted by AFP, the interior ministry declined to comment on the incident.“This ban proves once again that the authorities are determined to prevent politically engaged artists from expressing themselves,” Belghouat told AFP.He said the album, his first since being released from jail, had taken him a lot of time and effort.The rapper, who goes by the rap name Al-Haqed (The Rancorous), is known for writing songs critical of Morocco’s monarchy and political establishment.He became a public face of the February 20 movement which was born out of the Arab Spring protests sweeping the region in 2011 and demanded extensive reforms in Morocco.He was convicted in March 2012 over a song he wrote called “Dogs of the State,” which denounced police corruption and was deemed an affront to Morocco’s entire police force.While in prison, he was awarded an “integrity” prize by Transparency Morocco, for his “honesty and the justice of his fight” for a better society.last_img read more