19 Aug

Collette offers free night in NYC through South African Airways

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> MISSISSAUGA — Collette has launched a limited time offer valid on its tours to South Africa including Spectacular South Africa and Exploring South Africa, Victoria Falls, & Botswana tours.“Collette is very excited to offer a one night stay in New York City en route to South Africa,” said Doug Patterson, President, Collette Canada. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for clients to marvel in the restaurants, entertainment, and culture that this famous city has to offer before embarking on their South African adventure.”The deal ends March 31 and is good on travel until Dec. 31. The offer code is 2017SSANYCPRENTCA. The promotion is valid for new air inclusive bookings flying with South African Airways via JFK made by March 31 for travel on Spectacular South Africa or Exploring South Africa, Victoria Falls & Botswana tours operating by Dec. 31.For more information visit gocollette.com. Collette offers free night in NYC through South African Airways Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Share Tags: Collette, New York City, South African Airways Wednesday, March 8, 2017 last_img read more

10 Aug

Related Which airlines have the most leg roomIt s

first_img RelatedWhich airlines have the most leg room?It seems that when it comes to in-flight seating, bigger really is better. A recent twitter poll* found the lack of legroom was one of the most annoying thing when flying, followed by paying for extra legroom. However, the majority cited people reclining their seats in front of them as…5 of the best Premium Economy classesAlways wanted to use the fast track queue? Looking for better plane food? Or maybe you want more legroom on your next flight? Premium Economy can offer you a taste of First Class at a fraction of the price, free WiFi in flight and a welcome drink on boarding. Here…Your verdict: Is it rude to recline your seat on a plane?Is reclining your seat on a flight inconsiderate, or simply a way to get some sleep? We asked you what you thought was good air travel etiquette when it comes to reclining seats and here’s what you said… Check out our other guides to finding the perfect flight:*[ Which airlines offer the best food and drink?](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/guide-airline-food) ***[ Which airlines have the best on-time record?](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/guide-airline-punctuality) ***[ How to avoid turbulence on your next flight. ](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/guide-turbulence)***Getting the most space on your next flight*[ How to get the best fares.](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/get-best-air-fares-skyscanner-price-alerts)***[ Routes with a view.](http://www.skyscanner.net/news/best-views-skies) **ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map It seems that when it comes to in-flight seating, bigger really is better. Our survey found that spacious seating came out as the top choice for improving in flight happiness, with over 60% of respondents.The average economy airline’s seat pitch is 31-32 inches, but if you want a little more room you may want to consider the list compiled by travel ratings service, Skytrax, which ranks the world’s best airlines based on customer reviews and legroom on economy class flights: Qatar Airways – 34 insThai Airways – 34 insAsiana Airlines – 34 insMalaysia Airlines – 34 insSaudi Arabian Airlines – 34 insArik Air – 34 insAir China – 33-34 insGaruda Indonesia – 33-34insKorean Air – 33-34 ins*Seat pitch refers to the distance between each seat row – ie, from the back of one seat to the back of the seat in front, measuring from the same point on each seat.last_img read more

7 Aug

A new RTL Group entertainment channel aimed at Ge

first_imgA new RTL Group entertainment channel, aimed at German speakers and ex-pats around the world, is due to launch on January 18.RTL International is due to debut in countries including Canada, Australia, South Africa, Namibia, Israel and Georgia in the coming weeks, and will roll out in the US in February.The channel will launch on satellite, cable, IPTV and OTT platforms and will be available via app and online in the second quarter of 2016.RTL said that the distribution of the channel will be “gradually and continuously expanded” and that it will make successful programmes from RTL Germany available to overseas viewers for the first time.Specific RTL shows that will be available on RTL International include news magazine programmes like RTL Aktuell, RTL Nachtjournal, and Punkt 12, which will be broadcast live.Regional news magazine shows will also be available, as will drama and action series like Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei and Doctor‘s Diary.Operator partners currently signed up to carry the channel include Bell in Canada, Charter Communications in the US, FlipTV in Australia, Caucasus Online in Georgia, and Deukom and Satelio in Southern Africa.last_img read more

4 Aug

Dear Reader As many of you know I just moved t

first_imgDear Reader, As many of you know, I just moved to Puerto Rico to take advantage of the recently enacted tax incentives designed to attract investors and employers. I’m happy to report that I just received my official government decree, granting me zero capital gains taxes. With my arrival coinciding with the precious metals markets turning upward, the timing couldn’t be better. More about that later, after I get all set up here on this beautiful, crazy island. Today, I want to tell you a story about one of my best speculations ever, and how I see similar opportunities in our market today. I may have to give up my membership card in the Calm and Rational as Mr. Spock Club; I’m actually quite excited about our sector. But don’t worry—I’ll stay disciplined and focused on buying low so we can sell high. Sincerely, Silver Stocks (SIL) 14.72 12.69 18.62 Rock & Stock Stats Last One Month Ago Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ) 42.91 37.98 63.80 Oil 102.20 94.97 92.84 One Year Ago Gold 1,326.10 1,241.80 1,578.60center_img Gold Producers (GDX) 26.53 23.70 38.12 Copper 3.24 3.35 3.55 Silver 21.85 19.87 28.70 TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) 14,205.72 13,951.77 12,639.97 TSX Venture 1,021.66 979.96 1,133.97 Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Researchlast_img read more

4 Aug

The minimum wage should be the easiest issue to un

first_imgThe minimum wage should be the easiest issue to understand for the economically savvy. If the government arbitrarily sets a floor for wages above that set by the market, jobs will be lost. Even the Congressional Budget Office admits that 500,000 jobs would be lost with a $10.10 federal minimum wage. Who knows how high the real number would be? Yet here we go again with the “Raise the minimum wage” talk at a time when unemployment is still devastating much of the country. The number of Americans jobless for 27 weeks or more is still 3.37 million. And while that’s only half the 6.8 million that were long-term unemployed in 2010, most of the other half didn’t find work. Four-fifths of them just gave up. So, good economics and better sense would say, “make employment cheaper.” More of anything is demanded if the price goes down. That would mean lowering the minimum wage and undoing a number of cumbersome employment regulations that drive up the cost of jobs. But then as H.L. Mencken reminded us years ago, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Which means the illogical case made by Republican multimillionaire businessman Ron Unz is being taken seriously. We Don’t Want No Stinkin’ Entry Level Jobs Unz says the minimum should be $12 and recognizes that 90% of the resistance is that it would kill jobs. So what’s his answer to that silver bullet to his argument? America doesn’t want those low-paying jobs anyway. In his words, “Critics of a rise in the minimum wage argue that jobs would be destroyed, and in some cases they are probably correct. But many of those threatened jobs are exactly the ones that should have no place in an affluent, developed society like the United States, which should not attempt to compete with Mexico or India in low-wage industries.” He doesn’t think much of fast-food jobs either. But he knows that employment can’t be shipped overseas, so Mr. Unz’s plan for those jobs is as follows: So long as federal law requires all competing businesses to raise wages in unison, much of this cost could be covered by a small one-time rise in prices. Since the working poor would see their annual incomes rise by 30 or 40 percent, they could easily afford to pay an extra dime for a McDonald’s hamburger, while such higher prices would be completely negligible to America’s more affluent elements. The Number of Jobs Isn’t Fixed He believes that if all jobs pay well enough, legal applicants will apply and take all the jobs. This is where Unz crosses paths with David Brat, the economics professor who recently unseated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Brat claims to be a free-market sympathizer and says plenty of good things. However, in his stump speeches and interviews, Brat says early and often, “An open border is both a national security threat and an economic threat that our country cannot ignore. … Adding millions of workers to the labor market will force wages to fall and jobs to be lost.” That would make sense if there were a fixed number of jobs, but that’s not the case. An economic professor should know that humans have unlimited wants and limited means, which, as Nicholas Freiling explains in The Freeman, “renders the amount of needed labor virtually endless—constrained only by the economy’s productive capacity (which, coincidentally, only grows as the supply of labor increases).” An influx of illegal immigrants may or may not drive down wages, but even if it does, that’s a good thing. Low wages allow employers to invest in other things. More efficient production lowers costs for everyone, producers and consumers, allowing for capital creation. In the long run, it is capital investment that creates jobs. Employers Bid for Labor Like Anything Else Mr. Unz claims that low-wage employers are being subsidized by the welfare state. “It’s a classic case of where businesses manage to privatize the benefits of their workers—they get the work—and socialize the costs. They’ve shifted the costs over to the taxpayer and the government,” writes Unz. It makes one wonder how the businessman made millions in the first place. Wage rates aren’t determined by what the employee’s expenses are. “Labor is a scarce factor of production,” wrote economist Ludwig von Mises. “As such it is sold and bought on the market. The price paid for labor is included in the price allowed for the product or the services if the performer of the work is the seller of the product or the services.” Mises explained that a general rate of wages does not exist. “Labor is very different in quality,” Mises wrote, “and each kind of labor renders specific services. each is appraised as a complementary factor for turning out definite consumers’ goods and services.” Not every job contributes $12 an hour in production benefits toward a finished good or service. And many unskilled laborers can’t generate $12 an hour worth of output. The Congress that created the minimum wage knew this and carved out the 14(c) permit provision in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, allowing an exemption from minimum wage requirements for businesses hiring the handicapped. That Congress included in the act this language: The Secretary, to the extent necessary to prevent curtailment of opportunities for employment, shall by regulation or order provide for the employment, under special certificates, of individuals … whose earning or productive capacity is impaired by age, physical or mental deficiency, or injury, at wages which are lower than the minimum wage. Entrepreneurs must purchase all factors of production at the lowest prices possible. No offense to labor—that’s what customers demand. All cuts in wages pass through to customers. If a business pays more than the market wage rate, the business “would be soon removed from his entrepreneurial position.” Pay less than the market, and employees leave to work somewhere else. Who Picks Up The Tab? First, Unz says, “American businesses can certainly afford to provide better pay given that corporate profits have reached an all-time high while wages have fallen to their lowest share of national GDP in history.” So, instead of taxpayers supporting the poor, Unz wants business to pay. No, wait: later he writes that consumers will support the poor by paying higher prices. “McDonald’s and fast-food places would probably have to raise their prices by 8 or 9 percent, something like that. Agricultural products that are American-grown would go up by less than 2 percent on the grocery shelves. And those sorts of price increases are so small that they would be almost unnoticed in most cases by the consumer.” Walmart would cover a $12 minimum wage with a one-time price increase of 1.1%, he says, with the average Walmart shopper paying just an extra $12.50 a year. So it’s consumers—who are also taxpayers—who get to be their brother’s keeper either which way with Unz’s plan. Walmart Must Be Offering Enough Fortune magazine writer Stephen Gandel appeared on Morning Joe this week, making the case that Walmart should give its employees a 50% raise (his article in Fortune on the subject appeared last November). According to him, the company is misallocating capital by not paying higher wages. He says investors are not giving the company credit for the lower pay in the stock price, so they should just do the right thing and pay their employees more. But Walmart does pay more when it has to compete for employees. In oil-rich Williston, North Dakota, the retail giant is offering to pay entry-level workers as much as $17.40 per hour to attract employees. Walmart isn’t alone. McDonald’s is paying $300 signing bonuses to attract workers. The night shift at gas stations in Williston pays $14 an hour. By the way, whatever Walmart is paying, it must be enough, because it has plenty of applicants to choose from. In 2005, 11,000 people in the Bay Area applied for 400 positions at a new Oakland store. Three years later near Chicago, 25,000 people applied for 325 positions at a new store. Last year a new Walmart opened in the DC area. Again, the response was overwhelming. Debbie Thomas told the Washington Post, “It’s hard to live in this city on $7.45 or $8.25 an hour. I’ve lived here all my life, and I want to stay here. In the end, I’m just glad Wal-Mart’s here. I might get a job.” Throughout history, people have had to relocate to find work. Today is no different. In the long run, as the minimum wage increases, capital will be invested to replace labor. We’ve seen it for years. Machines don’t call in sick, sue for harassment, require health insurance, or show up late. Now patrons pour their own drinks. Shoppers scan their own groceries and pump their own gas. Soon we’ll be ordering from electronic tablets at our tables in sit-down restaurants to cut down on wait staff, and the cooks will be replaced by automated burger makers. Unz may well believe what he proposes would be doing good; however, it means kids and the unskilled go unemployed and in the end, are unemployable.last_img read more

4 Aug

Dan Steinhart Managing Editor of The Casey Report

first_img Dan Steinhart Managing Editor of The Casey Report Dear Reader, It’s been too long since we’ve heard from fund manager John Hussman, one of the most disciplined and data-driven investors I know of. I’ll rectify that today by sharing John’s latest insightful market commentary with you. In what follows, John explains why the US stock market is even more expensive than common metrics suggest. He also discusses an important but often overlooked distinction: the difference between an overvalued market that’s likely to continue grinding higher, and an overvalued market that’s prone to crash.last_img read more

3 Aug

Parts of the Dakotas and Minnesota dove to 27 deg

first_imgParts of the Dakotas and Minnesota dove to -27 degrees F or lower this week, according to the National Weather Service. That’s not just uncomfortable — that kind of cold can be dangerous and even deadly, especially if you don’t take precautions in how long you’re out and how you dress.”I’ve seen patients develop frostbite within approximately 10 to 15 minutes after being exposed to these extreme temperatures,” Dr. Jeff Schaider tells NPRs Ari Shapiro on All Things Considered. Schaider is chief of emergency medicine at the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital in Chicago and the head of emergency medicine at Cook County Health.Just taking a brief walk outside without a hat can give somebody frostbite on the back of their unprotected ears, he says.Frostbite’s damage to skin and underlying tissue is the most common injury resulting from exposure to severe cold and it usually occurs on the body’s extremities — fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin.The damaged skin typically appears white, waxy or grayish-yellow at first, Schaider says, and is cold and numb. Call your health care provider if you notice these symptoms. If the condition is caught early, it’s possible to prevent permanent damage. If not, frostbite can progress, and lead to the need for amputation.An even more dangerous reaction begins when the internal body temperature significantly drops, in a condition called hypothermia. Initially when you’re exposed to the cold, Schaider says, you’ll shiver and that can be beneficial in trying to keep you warm. But, as hypothermia progresses, your body’s response to the cold actually diminishes.”You’ll stop shivering, and then your body temperature will start dropping at a more rapid rate,” he explains. The body gets colder and moves slower. Your mind thinks slower. Your heart moves slower. And, as time goes on, he says, you become confused. You can go into a coma or even die.So — how do you protect yourself in the worst-hit areas? First, anticipate likely problems. Check local news sources for updated weather warnings, and stay inside unless you absolutely have to go out. If you must go out, wear layers of protection appropriate to your activity level. (The cold-weather authorities at the Appalachian Mountain Club have some specific tips.)And if you’re headed out in a car, Schaider says, be sure to pack along additional clothes, a blanket, an extra hat and extra gloves (mittens are best) — just in case something happens to your car.Also, recognize that drinking alcohol may affect your judgment and your physiology, he says.”People who go out and drink might walk outside because they don’t feel the effects of the cold that much when they’re intoxicated.”They might be exposed to the cold for a longer period of time than is safe in frigid climes, he says, and their body temperature would begin to drop. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

26 Jul

Is the BestSelling Video Game Losing Steam

first_img This story originally appeared on CNBC Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business –shares Chris Morris 3 min read Register Now » Next Article December 20, 2014center_img Is the Best-Selling Video Game Losing Steam? Add to Queue To the surprise of absolutely no one, “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” was the best-selling game in November.The title, which is the crown jewel of the Activision Blizzard’s portfolio, represented one-quarter of the industry’s software sales at brick-and-mortar retailers last month, according to The NPD Group, which normally would be cause for celebration.But the sales numbers posted by “Advanced Warfare,” which has been a critical hit, were 23 percent lower year over year than those posted by last year’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” according to Edward Williams of BMO Capital Markets. And “Ghosts” was a game critics took to task.That’s a significant drop, but it could have been one that investors saw coming. Last year, Activision was quick to announced that “Ghosts” had Day One sales shipments of $1 billion (which, admittedly, was a bit of corporate slight of hand, since sales shipments to retailers do not mean consumers have bought that many copies).This year, the company further couched its language, simply calling the game “the biggest entertainment launch of 2014 in terms of revenue, surpassing all movie, music and book launches this year.”The declining sales of this year’s “Call of Duty” prompted Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson to lower his price target on the publisher from $27 to $24, though he maintained an “overweight” rating.”This is disappointing data following first week ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’ sales showing a year-over-year increase,” Olson said.Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, seems unconcerned about the health of the franchise, though. In a conversation last month, before the sales numbers were reported, he downplayed concern over preorder numbers, saying “We see purchase intent well above last year and we see engagement with the brand in social media channels all being markedly up, so I’m still optimistic.”Williams says he believes the shortfall in sales numbers is largely due to the ongoing transition from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to newer consoles.”Advanced Warfare,” he said in a note to investors, posted sales growth of 212 percent on so-called next-gen platforms (the Xbox One and PlayStation 4). At the same time, it faced heavy declines on previous-generation consoles, falling 60 percent.This marks the fourth-consecutive year a “Call of Duty” game has seen its first-month sales decline. The game hit its peak in 2011 with the release of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” which sold a reported 9 million copies in its first month on shelves.Whether the game is beginning to lose its appeal with gamers or not, it’s still a massive moneymaker, and it’s still the envy of every other CEO. Activision, in a release Friday, noted that the game has already become the top-selling console game of 2014. Image credit: Scott Mlyn | CNBC Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Video Gameslast_img read more

26 Jul

Toyota Recalls 337 Million Cars Over Airbag Emissions Control Issues

first_img June 29, 2016 Apply Now » –shares Toyota Add to Queue 2 min read Toyota Recalls 3.37 Million Cars Over Airbag, Emissions Control Issues The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue.center_img Reuters This story originally appeared on Reuters Next Article Toyota Motor Corp. has recalled 3.37 million cars worldwide over possible defects involving airbags and emissions control units.The automaker on Wednesday said it was recalling 2.87 million cars over a possible fault in emissions control units. That followed an announcement late on Tuesday that 1.43 million cars needed repairs over a separate issue involving air bag inflators.Some of the automaker’s gasoline-electric hybrid Prius models contain both of the potential defects, taking the total number of vehicles affected by the recalls to 3.37 million.No injuries have been linked to either issue.Toyota on Wednesday said evaporative fuel emissions control units in models produced from 2006 to 2015 including the Prius, Auris compact hatchback and its popular Corolla models were prone to cracks, which could expand over time and lead to fuel leaks.Late on Tuesday it recalled Prius models and Lexus CT200h cars made from 2010 to 2012 over air bag inflators that could have a small crack in a weld, which could lead to the separation of the inflator chambers.The inflator could partially inflate and enter the vehicle interior, increasing the risk of injury, Toyota said.Sweden-based auto safety gear maker Autoliv Inc. confirmed on Wednesday that it supplied the airbag inflators involved in the recall.The company said it was aware of seven incidents where a side curtain airbag has partially inflated in parked Toyota Prius cars, but no injuries were reported.Autoliv has benefited from an early recall involving faulty airbag inflators made by Japan’s Takata.The company said in a regulatory filing in April that it was investigating six incidents related to its airbags and a possible recall could cost it between $10 million to $40 million, net of expected insurance recoveries.Autoliv said on Wednesday it expected the cost of recall to be at the lower end of the range.The company’s U.S.-listed shares were down 4.7 percent at $105 in premarket trading. The stock fell as much as 16 pct to 765 Swedish kronas on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, their lowest since December 2014.Toyota Motor’s U.S. listed shares were down 1.2 percent at $98.69 in premarket trading.(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu in Tokyo and David Shepardson in Washington, additional reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler and Don Sebastian) Image credit: GongTo | Shutterstock 2019 Entrepreneur 360 Listlast_img read more

19 Jul

LetsGetChecked The Company Thats Revolutionizing Consumer Healthcare

first_imgHow accessible are these tests? Are there any restrictions or limits to purchasing tests?Anyone in the United States or Europe can purchase a test, without needing a prescription first. We are available for purchase in selected pharmacies, available online at LetsGetChecked.com, Walmart.com, CVS.com and on Amazon.All orders and results are reviewed by a LetsGetChecked physician. We are replicating what happens in a doctor’s office by bringing the process into a patient’s home with no restrictions on the number of tests you can take.What further support is there for customers after purchase?We have a great support system! Our medical team review each customer’s personal health needs and results. Our clinical team is on standby throughout the testing process. You will receive a call from the nursing team when your results become available. Our team take the time to not only explain results but also to offer advice to those who need it.We have a 9.7 rating with Trustpilot, a third-party rating tool which allows customers to rate our service.Do these tests integrate with other health monitoring activities for example those that you might get on a smartwatch?We have integrated with Garmin, with Fitbit and Apple coming online soon. Our customers can now check their lab data including lipid panels, cholesterol as well as viewing their heart rate in one personalized portal.Presented in a user friendly and digestible format, consumers can track a wide range of data points including sleep, steps, heart rate and certain risk scores. What’s new is that a customer can connect their data, with their own lab results including thyroid function, a1c and cholesterol, all within their LetsGetChecked dashboard.This allows consumers over time to truly track, monitor and improve their health. LetsGetChecked is quickly becoming an integration engine, to help customers and patients to gain access to all their health data.Are the tests confidential, both the data and ordering services? Are the results shared with the customer’s doctor?Keeping our customers data secure is important to us. All data is completely anonymized using alphanumeric codes to ensure that your privacy is maintained throughout the process.Rest assured, we will not share your information with any third party. Once a customer speaks with a nurse, their results are released onto their LetsGetChecked personalized dashboard. They can show this to their doctor or we can send them a lab report.What’s next for Letsgetchecked.com?Let’s see. Our aim is to continue to be the company that’s revolutionizing consumer healthcare through at home testing and educational material.Where can readers find more information?For more information about LetsGetChecked, you can visit www.letsgetchecked.com, or check us out on social media, follow us on Instagram. We have a blog that is full of education content on all things health related, you can find this on https://www.letsgetchecked.com/articles/.About Peter FoleyPeter Foley founded LetsGetChecked in 2014. LetsGetChecked is a technology platform which links customers to highly accredited labs for at-home testing and patient management. Based in New York and Dublin, LetsGetChecked offers a wide range of laboratory tests to include wellness, men’s & women’s health and sexual health.Peter started LetsGetChecked because he always wanted the ability to manage and track his own health. When he completed his thesis on Diagnostic Related Groups he had access to a huge amount of population health and information. His original thought was compounded when he could see that everything was going up at a global level including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. All of these issues can be prevented but are not due to a lack of screening and prevention.He founded LetsGetChecked to make healthcare more accessible and provides consumers with the information they need to be proactive when it comes to their well-being.Source*The Census Bureau*The Commonwealth Fund Most customers will receive a call from our nursing team with results a few days later, which will then become available within their personal LetsGetChecked account.We’re revolutionizing consumer healthcare for our customers, allowing them to be tested when they want, and receive their results quickly and in the comfort of their own home.How do you assure quality in the products that you provide and your partner laboratories that perform the test?We control the entire manufacturing process allowing us to maintain a high-quality standard from initial production to the delivery of a test to the home, and in the care we provide after the testing process.All test kits are manufactured in our ISO 13485 accredited facility, thereby ensuring highest quality standards.We have built strong relationship with our global network of labs, which are CLIA approved and CAP accredited ensuring that the tests are of the same quality as those used in a doctor’s office. Sponsored Content by Letsgetchecked.comDec 4 2018 insights from industryPeter FoleyFounder and CEOLetsGetCheckedPlease give a brief overview of LetsGetChecked, the products and services that you provide and the markets you serve?LetsGetChecked is a medical technology platform linking customers to its global network of regulated laboratories for at-home health testing.We are revolutionizing consumer healthcare by making it open and patient-led, enabling people to use technology in a simple yet powerful way. This provides greater control to the wider public in controlling their personal health, with the ability to self-collect their sample and receive their results directly to a private online dashboard.We are based in New York and Dublin and offer a wide range of testing options that include wellness, men’s and women’s health and sexual health, with plans in the pipeline to expand our testing options further.Why is open access to preventative healthcare and getting checked early important?With many of the conditions that we test for, early detection can be vital for survival. Screening also minimizes the severity of where a condition can progress to, impacts the amount and cost of treatment, and offers a more positive prognosis if a health issue is caught early.If early detection were commonplace, we would shift from our current societal approach to our health, which is reactionary. What I mean by this is, only testing when you feel physically unwell as opposed to proactively prioritizing your health. Early detection saves lives and that is the purpose of LetsGetChecked, making healthcare more accessible to the consumer.28 million people in the US have no health insurance*, and another 41 million report that they have inadequate health insurance*.At LetsGetChecked we provide better access and clinical support direct to our customers.The LetsGetChecked medical team are on standby around the clock to talk to each customer and take the time to not only explain results but also to offer advice to those who need it.How does the LetsGetChecked service work from the perspective of a customer, for example a blood collection?The LetsGetChecked service is very convenient. Customers can purchase testing kits online or instore in selected pharmacies.Once you receive your kit, follow the straightforward instructions supplied. For example, with a blood collection, you simply activate your kit online and then self-collect your sample by pricking your finger with a lancet provided within the kit. You apply pressure to your hand and massage the blood flow down to the tip of your finger to collect the blood drops in a small tube. Once you are done, you then send your sample directly to the lab in a prepaid label that is enclosed within the kit. Sponsored Content Policy: News-Medical.net publishes articles and related content that may be derived from sources where we have existing commercial relationships, provided such content adds value to the core editorial ethos of News-Medical.Net which is to educate and inform site visitors interested in medical research, science, medical devices and treatments.last_img read more

18 Jul

MUSC study provides evidence for link between leaky gut and autoantibody production

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 2 2019Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, attacks the immune system, making affected individuals more susceptible to infections. When patients with HIV are treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART), their immune system can recover, but some of them produce self-destructive proteins, or autoantibodies.Instead of attacking foreign invaders such as bacteria or viruses, some autoantibodies attack the body’s own cells. This is known as autoimmunity. We all produce low levels of autoantibodies. However, when they are produced persistently at high levels, autoimmunity may occur.In an article in Microbiome, Wei Jiang, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and her team report that HIV-positive, ART-treated patients with high levels of autoantibodies also have increased levels of bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) products in their blood.The MUSC study compared autoantibody production in HIV-positive patients and healthy individuals before and after receiving a seasonal flu vaccine. Patients provided blood samples before vaccination and one and two weeks after. The blood samples were tested using a 125-autoantibody array panel.The autoimmune response in the HIV-positive patients was linked to the presence of Staphylococcus aureus products in the blood. This is the same bacteria responsible for skin staph infections. Some HIV-positive patients have a higher baseline level of these bacterial products in their system. The team examined other strains of bacteria but linked only Staphylococcus aureus to autoantibody production in HIV-positive individuals.A “leaky gut” could explain the increased level of Staphylococcus products in the blood of HIV-positive patients.Related StoriesNovel method can help clinicians identify individuals most in need of PrEPStudy: HIV patients continue treatments if health care providers are compassionatePrevalence of anal cancer precursors is higher in women living with HIV than previously reportedIn patients with “leaky gut,” the intestinal lining is weakened, enabling bacteria and toxic products in the gut to enter the bloodstream, where they become vulnerable to the immune system. The immune system’s attacks on these bacteria could also injure the body’s own tissues.A “leaky gut” is associated with persistent inflammation and several chronic illnesses, including HIV, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes.To verify their findings, Jiang and her team injected heat-killed Staphylococcus bacteria into healthy mice and found that they did in fact stimulate autoantibody production.”We used animals to verify what we found in humans,” explains Jiang. “We saw that the level of Staphylococcus product was correlated with autoantibody production in HIV patients, and we hypothesized that these bacteria induced autoantibodies, so we tested our hypothesis in mice.”The mouse studies were supported by voucher funding from the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research (SCTR) Institute, an NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Awards hub at MUSC.The ability to further explore clinical findings in an animal model was crucial to this study. The mouse study showed that injection of Staphylococcus bacteria stimulates autoantibody production.”We are now studying which Staphylococcus products are active in autoantibody production in mice,” says Jiang. “It may be possible to design an inhibitor to block these bacteria from activating the immune cells.”Going forward, Jiang and her team hope to design a drug that inhibits Staphylococcus to help prevent autoimmunity in HIV-positive patients receiving ART. Source:https://web.musc.edu/about/news-center/2019/04/01/wei-jiang-microbiomelast_img read more

18 Jul

Spotify to let artists post music without labels

first_img Music streaming sites benefit indie singers at the expense of top 100 artists 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. In a move with the power to shake up the music industry, Spotify said Thursday that it will allow select artists to upload songs directly without record labels or distributors. Spotify, by far the biggest player in the fast-growing format of streaming, said that the feature for now is only in the test phase for select US-based independent artists who have secured their own copyrights.But the feature, if eventually put to scale, could in the long run drastically change the business decisions for artists who would not need to go through a label or one of the batch of new companies, such as TuneCore, that provide uploading services for independent artists.Spotify said artists would simply upload their songs to the platform, first seeing a preview of how it will look, with the Swedish company automatically sending royalties each month.”You’ve told us time and time again that sharing your work with the world should be easier,” Spotify said in a blog post addressed to artists.The handful of artists who have already been selected for the feature include Noname, the Chicago rapper who has won acclaim for her songs of African American women’s struggles framed as telephone conversations, and Michael Brun, the Haitian-American DJ and producer known for his lively inter-cultural mixes.The new feature will be seen warily by record labels, which have reached licensing deals with Spotify and have increasingly sought close partnerships with the company.But the move could reset Spotify’s relations with artists, many of whom have complained that they see little back even as streaming brings handsome profits to the industry.As streaming quickly becomes the pre-eminent way of listening to music, especially for young consumers, artists have relented with virtually no prominent musicians still boycotting Spotify and its rivals completely. Citation: Spotify to let artists post music without labels (2018, September 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-spotify-artists-music.htmlcenter_img Explore further © 2018 AFP Disc jockey Michael Brun is one of a handful of artistists selected by Spotify to upload songs directly to the streaming music servicelast_img read more

18 Jul

Ship disasters avoided with big data statistics techniques

first_img 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. Software to transform ship maintenance Companies can save millions by using advanced statistical methods to extract information from large amounts of collected data. One company that has adopted this new way of thinking is the international industrial group ABB. They work closely with statisticians at the University of Oslo in Norway to enable shipping companies to save millions on more optimal operations and improve ship safety. Ships are checked at regular intervals to ensure that they maintain their condition. They must be docked to do this, and such intervals can be quite costly.”Instead of sending inspectors aboard ships, we can use statistical methods to monitor all the data for changes, such as when the engine is about to overheat or break down. This automatic data monitoring should be able to provide warnings about incidents before they happen,” says Morten Stakkeland, who is both a project engineer with ABB and adjunct associate professor of statistics at University of Oslo in Norway.If the captain is notified a few hours before the engine breaks down, it is possible to repair it before the ship shuts down. Imagine the disaster if an engine fails as a several hundred-metre-long tanker is approaching an oil terminal.The main mantra of the statisticians is to extract and interpret the enormous amount of information that can be collected from large ships. “The point is to be able to find a pattern in these reports, so that the alarm sounds when something approaches a crisis,” says Ingrid Glad, professor at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oslo to the research magazine Apollon. She is part of the research group Big Insight, a centre for research-driven innovation. They are working to develop and commercialise statistical methods.SensorsThe data comes from the large number of sensors on board. A single ship can have several thousand sensors. Some sensors transmit data every 10 seconds. Other sensors transmit data as often as every millisecond. Obviously, this amounts to a huge amount of data over the course of a year.Sensors are not the only source of data. The many pieces of equipment on board also communicate with each other. On large tankers, the instruments send a series of cryptic reports to each other; these reports are not standardised. The huge amounts of data are continuously stored on the ship or sent to control centres on shore. The point is to find something that stands out in the data streams.”We can then build a statistical model that shows the normal condition and where we can find deviations. We might find deviations in only one sensor, or perhaps all the data from all the sensors are within the accepted range, but the correlations between the data are so special that they still trigger an alarm,” says Erik Vanem, senior researcher at DNV-GL. Provided by University of Oslo Explore further Checking the hullCracks in the ship’s hull are one of the feared scenarios. The struggle against big waves in rough seas can break the hull apart in the worst case. Hundreds of sensors can be placed inside the hull to monitor the risk of material failure. The company DNV-GL, formerly Veritas, looks for tension in the hull. They specialise in ship safety and work on making sea transport safer.”We can measure the tension in the hull and use this to say something about the strength of the ship and the risk of fatigue. In addition to inspecting ships on a regular basis, we can equip critical components with sensors to provide continuous monitoring. We can then catch things that we can’t catch with spot checks, and use the additional knowledge to plan when physical inspection is needed, rather than having to inspect the ship at fixed intervals,” says Erik Vanem.The sensor data is also linked with weather data to calculate the extent of the strain on the hull over time. “If a ship has taken a lot of beating, we can pay extra attention,” says Erik Vanem.Battery checkEven something as seemingly simple as a battery check can save shipping companies large sums of money. Electric ships with large batteries must be taken out of operation for a whole day to conduct annual service. “This is lost uptime. We look at how it is possible to use statistics to evaluate the batteries. This will save shipowners a lot of money,” says Morten Stakkeland.One of the big points is maintenance only when needed, rather than at fixed intervals. “Shipowners could potentially save millions of kroner per ship,” Stakkeland says. He believes that data monitoring may be the first step towards driverless ships.Advanced statisticsThe challenge is interpreting the enormous amounts of data and sounding the alarm only when necessary. “The ultimate goal is to be able to report that the engine is going to fail before it happens,” says Ingrid Glad.She compares this to looking for something abnormal in the woods without knowing what it is. “If you go mushrooming, you know exactly what you’re looking for. However, we are looking for something we have never seen in the woods before. That’s much harder.”The analysis must also take place in real time. This means that the statisticians need to create a system that detects anomalies before the abnormal situation leads to faults or damages. At the same time, they must reduce the likelihood of false alarms. It’s a mathematical challenge. Citation: Ship disasters avoided with big data statistics techniques (2019, February 6) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-ship-disasters-big-statistics-techniques.html New statistical methods should make it possible to sound the alarm before faults on large ships happen, say Morten Stakkeland and Ingrid Glad. Credit: Yngve Vogtlast_img read more

16 Jul

Britain sends second warship to gulf amid tensions with Iran Sky

first_img World 11 Jul 2019 Gibraltar police arrest captain of detained Iranian tanker Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Sky said the destroyer HMS Duncan, which had been earmarked for deployment in the region anyway although not so soon, would sail to the Gulf in the next few days to join the frigate HMS Montrose. Britain’s Ministry of Defence had no immediate comment on the report. (Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison) World 11 Jul 2019 UK will not escort all its ships near Iran, does not want to escalate tensions – sourcecenter_img World 11 Jul 2019 Iran’s Revolutionary Guards deny trying to stop British tanker in Gulf – Fars news Related News LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is sending a second warship to the Gulf amid growing tensions with Iran after Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar last week, Sky News reported.last_img read more