Hottest summer ‘ever’ melting Greenland ice sheet

first_imgNASA says a massive melting event in Greenland poured billions of tons of water into the Atlantic Ocean last month.The extreme melting of Greenland’s massive ice sheet occurred during the hottest summer ever recorded.A new report from the World Meteorological Organization says this June and July broke or tied all-time average temperature records.No other information is available at this time.last_img

MCBREARTY – “PROMOTION OF POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS TO BE A PRIORITY FOR NEXT COUNCIL”

first_imgIndependent Councillor Frank McBrearty, has today (Wednesday) said that promoting positive mental health in the county must be one of the priorities for the next elected members of Donegal County Council. McBrearty told Donegal Daily, “Irrespective of the make-up of the next council, I am calling on all newly elected Councillors to pledge to do all they can to ensure that positive mental health becomes a key issue for the Council.Speaking of the work which he has done to encourage positive mental health in the County, Cllr McBrearty said that breaking the silence around mental health as well challenging the stigma and discrimination which surrounds the issue was something which he prioritised during his year as Mayor – an issue which he feels very passionate about. McBrearty added, “The office of Mayor enabled me to highlight issues pertaining to mental health and well-being.“I’ve always been very vocal and passionate about this issue as mental health is something which can, and does affect everyone at some point in their life.“When I was Mayor of Donegal I used the office to promote positive mental health, drawing attention particularly to the strong link between physical activity and the beneficial impact it can have to encourage positive mental well-being. It was while Mayor of the County that Cllr McBrearty officially launched the National Conference on Sport aiding Mental Health (SAM), a national conversation concerning mental health, which aimed toincrease awareness of issues relating to mental health and strived to educate people as to how best to support those who sufferfrom mentalillness. McBrearty continued, “There is no health without mental health, and speaking as someone who has personally experienced the negative effects of poor mental health.“I am very much aware of its impact and I understand just how vital reinforcing the message of positive mental health is to our community.“During my tenure as Mayor,I was delighted with the positive response that SAM received from the various organisations, groups and individuals involved in the campaign.McBrearty concluded, “Everyone has a role to play in promoting mental health awareness, and I feel that local authorities have a responsibility to promote this issue and make positive mental health a key theme as part of their activities.“Should I be successful in my bid to get re-elected to Donegal County Council following the elections this Friday, I vow to make the promotion of positive mental health a priority in Council discussions. MCBREARTY – “PROMOTION OF POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS TO BE A PRIORITY FOR NEXT COUNCIL” was last modified: May 21st, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Election 2014:Frank McBreartynewsPoliticslast_img read more

‘Severe lack of sunshine’ to blame for low Vitamin D levels in Donegal – GP

first_imgDonegal people have significantly lower levels of Vitamin D due to a lack of sunshine in the county, according to new findings.Sun levels are lower in Donegal than the rest of the country due to its northern location, which is causing low levels of the vitamin which is crucial to bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.Donegal GP Martin Coyne, who has a special interest in osteoporosis, told the Irish Times that his results from tests at Letterkenny University Lab were “frightening”. He found that 75% of 10,000 vitamin D test results in Letterkenny had insufficient vitamin D levels and 12% were extremely low.The findings were so low that they had to be rechecked to ensure the machines were working properly. ‘Severe lack of sunshine’ to blame for low Vitamin D levels in Donegal – GP was last modified: August 14th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

If Love is About Communication, Why is Facebook Holding Back?

first_imgTags:#Analysis#social networks#web Facebook this weekend published a special Valentine’s day study about romantic relationships and happiness. The company’s Data Team sliced and diced the language used in millions of peoples’ status messages, then looked at how they varied depending on the relationship status the people listed themselves with. Conclusions? Married people are the happiest, people in Open Relationships are the least happy. Men are less happy than women in an open relationship (believe it or not) and more happy in marriage. These findings are interesting, but what they really indicate is that there may be a modern-day Farmers’ Almanac for understanding our lives hidden behind the company’s doors. Facebook needs to set that data free or at least do more with it.The Data Team’s conclusions were written up by intern Lisa Zhang, whose relationship status isn’t public on the site. Zhang explained the methodology like this:We already have methodology for measuring the happiness of Facebook users: by considering how many positive words people use in their status updates (see the USA Gross National Happiness Index). This method allows us to see whether a person’s Facebook relationship status affects how positive and negative they are. We examined the use of positive and negative words in the status updates of all English speakers over the course of one week in January. To protect your privacy, no one at Facebook actually reads the status updates in the process of doing this research; instead, our computers do the word counting after all personally identifiable information has been removed. One of the most significant findings reported is about people who listed themselves as in an Open Relationship, meaning typically that they are committed to one person but have sex with multiple people. Those people tend to be less positive than anyone else, less positive even than widowed people! This is truly remarkable, if you think about it. For what tiny percentage of human history has it been a common practice to publicly declare your relationship Open in such a way? It’s a pretty new thing! How’s it working out for people? Apparently not so well!That could be good information to know before making certain decisions (“if I knew then what I know now…”). Of course, how does having children affect happiness in married people? How happy do people in heterosexual vs same-sex Open Relationships tend to be? Do women who are engaged to men with feminist or liberal-sympathetic interests (Fan pages) express less negativity than other engaged women or is that just a facade that in reality means nothing?There are lots of questions raised by this data, and it’s just one of an infinite combination of data points that Facebook could analyze.It’s probable that some of this data includes important observations about the human condition. Information that could help people make better-informed decisions than ever before in human history; informed not only by our own experience, and the experiences of the people we observe in our immediate lives, but by the experiences of hundreds of millions of people around the world.Other Examples of Important AdviceRemember the Farmers’ Almanac? It’s a book that’s been published annually since 1818, filled with advice about cooking, gardening, humor and weather predictions. The mysterious Farmers’ Almanac team (there’s only been 7 editors in the publication’s history) refuses to disclose its methods for weather prediction, but claims to have a 80 to 85% accuracy rate over its history.Similarly, Facebook data might not be able to tell us with 100% accuracy whether people who move from Michigan to California, or who marry young, or who stop playing football and start playing basketball tend to be more happy or less happy than before – but that data could come a whole lot closer to telling us than anything we’ve had before has. Of course we’re all special snowflakes, with infinite complications, and free will is important – but doesn’t it seem that there’s an incredible opportunity for world-wide self awareness hiding inside this social network where we’re typing our relationship status, our location and our interests into fields in a form?Of course Facebook uses that data to target advertising. Why will the company tell an advertiser that I’m part of a group of college educated, white, married men, over 30 years old and living in the state of Oregon but it won’t tell me that among people in those circumstances I have a particularly geographically limited set of friends and should probably get out more if I want to really understand the world? Now that would be valuable information!Hunch, the startup lead by Caterina Fake and Chris Dixon, makes that kind of data a big part of its social decision making service. The site provides a way for you to walk through various things you should consider in making decisions like what kind of car you should buy next or where you might like to go on vacation. It also asks you questions about yourself along the way.Among 10k people Hunch asked “do you like Cilantro?” the ones that said they did were far more likely to prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate. People who said they didn’t like cilantro are much more likely to prefer milk chocolate. (Probably because people who don’t like cilantro don’t know what’s good in life.) A Hunch study last week of people who own different breeds of dogs found that German Shepherd fans tend to rely more on intuition than common sense and Pug fans particularly enjoyed the movie The Shawshank Redemption.How about Facebook coughs up the goods on the far greater supply of user data than any other site in the world has? Unfortunately, Facebook is going in just the opposite direction. The company’s Data Team puts out some lightweight analysis like these Valentine’s Day conclusions about once a month. When software engineer Pete Warden tried last week to offer up user data he’d collected from 250 million Facebook users to the Academic community for study (see The Man Who Looked Into Facebook’s Soul) the company contacted him and told him to put a hold on the release while privacy concerns were evaluated. Last week the company took down Lexicon, its public tool for comparing how often different words were being used across the streams of Facebook users.Come on, Facebook! Set the data free. It’s not about cilantro and chocolate, that’s just the fun stuff. There are important observations about humanity hiding in that data. Check out, for example, Hunch’s observations of hundreds of people who said they don’t believe Barack Obama was born in the US and what else they have in common.If you don’t feel like you can set it free, then at least do something more serious with it. The Farmers’ Almanac is a mysterious organization, maybe some more mystery would be ok if it came along with a whole lot of Facebook data.This is a historically unique opportunity and one that I hope Facebook will take ahold of soon. Think of all the heartbreak the company could help prevent if only people knew their odds of being happy in an Open Relationship, among the countless other decisions we make that would be well informed by analysis of aggregate user data. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…center_img Related Posts marshall kirkpatrick A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Trainer Atlas blasts Horn’s UD win: You’re not supposed to get it for trying hard

first_imgCayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ What ‘missteps’? Sports Illustrated tweeted a couple of videos showing Atlas’ tirade.Teddy Atlas is none too pleased with the decision pic.twitter.com/CQKtQPHImvFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 2, 2017 Jeff Horn, top center, of Australia celebrates after beating Manny Pacquiao, bottom second left, of the Philippines, during their WBO World welterweight title bout in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, July 2, 2017. Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight world title to Horn in a stunning, unanimous points decision in the Sunday afternoon bout billed as the Battle of Brisbane in front of more than 50,000 people. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)Legendary trainer and boxing commentator Teddy Atlas launched a verbal maelstrom Sunday after Jeff Horn took a unanimous decision victory over Manny Pacquiao for the WBO World welterweight championship in the “Battle of Brisbane” at Suncorp Stadium.Horn led in all three of the judges’ scorecards, 117-111, 115-113, 115-113, but Atlas would have none of it.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena READ: Horn trainer promises ‘bloody Sunday’Digging deeper, Horn connected on just 19 jabs while Pacquiao landed 59.And in terms of power punches, Pacquiao had an overwhelming 123-73 advantage.Atlas even spoke his mind when interviewing Horn as the Australian had the WBO belt strapped on his left arm.Teddy Atlas keeping it 💯 pic.twitter.com/0ZRDs6tt9Q— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 2, 2017“Congratulations, good effort, but I thought you lost,” said Atlas. “This guy [Pacquiao] was landing the punches, you were throwing a lot but were missing a lot. But you showed great heart, the heart of a champion, no doubt about that.”READ: NBA players, US celebrities upset over Horn win, say Pacquiao“Do you feel after that ninth round, a very difficult round, after that round was almost stopped, you heard the words of the referee ‘I’m going to stop this fight if you can’t do something’ and your own corner told you that.”center_img After Pacquiao subjected Horn to a furious beating in the ninth round, referee Mark Nelson approached the Australian in the corner and told him he’ll stop the fight if the punishment continues.RELATED VIDEOHorn answers questions about his victory over Pacquiao8.2K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “They gave a trophy, a win, a huge win to Horn the local kid for trying hard,” said Atlas. “You’re not supposed to get it for trying hard. You’re supposed to get it for winning and I thought Pacquiao won the fight if you go by the rules, the real rules.”And for Atlas, whoever “lands the cleaner punches” should be crowned the victor.READ: Horn stuns Pacquiao for unanimous decision winThe punch stats showed clear advantages for Pacquiao, both in terms of hits and the percentage.Pacquiao threw a total of 573 punches and landed 182 of them for a 32 percent rate while Horn, who did attempt more, went 92-of-625.ADVERTISEMENT China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong NBA players, US celebrities upset over Horn win, say Pacquiao ‘robbed’ View commentslast_img read more

CALIFORNIA BILL WOULD GIVE TAX BREAKS TO STUDIOS THAT LEAVE STATES WITH

first_img Twitter Login/Register With: Hollywood Sign Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment A California lawmaker reportedly introduced a bill Monday that would give tax breaks to production studios that leave states with restrictive abortion bans.Assembly Bill 1442 would allow an additional tax credit starting in January 2020 for qualified productions that decide not to film in states that have “pending legislation or existing law that prohibits access to, criminalizes the provision of, or otherwise restricts a woman’s access to abortion services after 6 weeks from the beginning of the pregnancy or earlier.”The proposal comes a week after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed legislation criminalizing nearly all abortions, with no exceptions for rape and incest. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

HD is now very much a mainstream format but are c

first_imgHD is now very much a mainstream format, but are channel and content providers ready to switch on to an all-HD future? Anna Tobin reports.The scene is set for HD to take over the world. On the production side, the technology is readily available and stores are stocked with HD-ready TV sets. The question is, are all the players involved ready to wind up SD and fully commit to HD? And are SD viewers willing to pay a supplement for it, by upgrading their TV or decoder or increasing their pay TV subscription charge?This is certainly a conversation that channel operators who are fully committed to HD have been having. “For us there is a strong case for a full migration of our channel portfolio to HD,” says John Honeycutt, executive vice-president, international business operations at Discovery Networks International. “On our production side most of what we produce is already largely done in HD and we’re continuing to grow our HD distribution. We first launched HD in the US in 2002 and now Discovery HD is in over 60 markets around the world. Being quick to market has been a great strategic advantage for us.”BSkyB in the UK is also reaping the rewards of being an early adopter. It is widely acknowledged as the global leader in the HD marketplace. In PAL territories, such as the UK, the SD signal is already pretty good quality, compared with the signal in NTSC territories, so Sky has set the standards bar for the HD programming it transmits very high in order that the difference between SD and HD is noticeable to its viewers.“Sky has incredibly high standards for HD,” reiterates Christian Murphy, vice-president, international, AETN. “It is tough for us, but also great for us as these are the standards that we now set for all our HD content. They are also applying the similarly high standards for 3D, so again there is a lot to strive for.”Sky has opted for quantity as well as quality with 50-plus HD channels in its offering. By creating the demand it has put an extra pressure on channel operators to move over to HD. “In markets, such as the UK, where the SD signal is already very good you need to be able to offer not just one HD channel, but dozens, so that people notice the key differences.” says Niall Duffy, managing director of media technology consultants Mediasmiths.The number of HD channels being transmitted across the continent has multiplied in the last few years. “According to the MAVISE database and the European Audiovisual Observatory at the end of 2010 there were 414 HD channels available across the EU, up from 274 channels in 2009. That shows there is still a high demand for quality HD content and good growth potential for channel providers and clients,” says Bhavneet Singh, managing director and executive vice-president, emerging markets, MTV Networks International (MTVNI).However, Singh notes that within Europe there are pockets of particularly rapid growth. “Various markets are at different stages of the HD development cycle. France, Holland, Poland, Spain and the UK are at the forefront, whilst, in Germany, Hungary and Russia we even see dedicated HD satellite platforms,” he says.Additional revenueThere is no doubt that platform operators view HD as an audience draw, particularly in highly competitive pay markets. Rob Webster, commercial director of Sky in the UK, says: “We have more than 3.5 million HD customers, a number which has grown by 1.5 million in just 12 months. Each of these Sky homes is paying a dedicated monthly subscription, which is generating additional revenue of more than £400 million. Given the appetite from consumers for HD TV and the proven revenue-generating model that’s in place, there is, therefore, a strong commercial case for channel providers to launch in HD. It’s no coincidence that 48 out of the 53 HD channels available on Sky are from pay TV providers: it makes sense for broadcasters to embrace this commercial opportunity.”Some HD channels, however, particularly from public service broadcasters, such as  the UK’s BBC1 HD, are offered free-to-air and in some markets pay HD channels are offered at no extra cost as part of a standard package. The business model is still being worked out. “Due to quality content and the investments behind the technology, HD channelsused to be included in premium digital packages. Recently, we have been observing HD moving to the mainstream of the TV offering. We reckon that this trend will continue especially in the light of more precise telemetry monitoring of the HD viewing,” says Singh at MTVNI.Caleb Weinstein, Discovery Networks senior vice-president and general manager, distribution, and acting general manager, emerging business, believes that the packaging model of HD is dependent on where the operators are in the HD life cycle. “What is apparent is that operators consistently see HD as an ARPU driver and are using their investments in HD bandwidth and equipment as a way to distinguish pay TV from free and a way to raise additional RGUs [revenue generating units] from their customer base.”There is a long way to go before HD rules however. “Even in a real leadership market, such as the UK, HD doesn’t dominate,” points out AETN’s Murphy. “Maybe Italy is catching up with the UK with its HD channel offering, but with other markets in Europe it’s going to be three to five years plus before they reach similar channel levels. And you also need HD TV sets to be moving into homes, flat screens were launched only a few years ago, but there are still a lot of ‘square box’ TVs out there. It’s not time to say goodbye to SD yet. What you will see more of though is content being uplinked in HD and then down converted for SD playout.”[icitspot id=”9169″ template=”box-story”]While demand for HD programming could bring faster returns for content providers (although extra production costs still have to be taken into account), for channel providers additional revenue is hard to find. “HD is no longer seen as a premium product per se and so additional revenue opportunities are limited,” explains Louise Cottrell, vice-president affiliate sales, Chello Zone. “That said, operators are looking for HD channels generally and that is where their budgets are focused, so there are still additional commercial deals potentially available. We are discussing new deals for ESC HD as well as Food Network; and rolling out a new HD brand from our portfolio – Outdoor Channel.”Even when programmers commit to moving over to HD, distribution and transmission still presents some challenges. Factors such as bandwidth, and low HD TV set penetration in emerging markets contribute to the discrepancy in HD take up between different territories. “Consumer adoption and penetration of HD sets varies from economy to economy. We see different distributors using bandwidth in different ways, but our job is to deliver the highest quality imagery for the right economic situation. That is what we commit to do and from a production and infrastructure perspective we think HD is a way of future-proofing ourselves,” says Discovery’s Honeycutt.Limited satellite capacity is forcing many western European broadcasters to limit their HD ambitions, according to Ian McDonough, senior vice-president and general manager, EMEA, BBC Worldwide Channels. “In western Europe, although HD launches are perceived as highly important, limited capacity is an issue in most countries, meaning that operators have to make some difficult choices about whether to sacrifice channel variety for a larger HD selection,” he says. “While migrating our full channel portfolio offering to HD would be an ideal scenario for us and our viewers, capacity is a limiting factor.”Channel operators can only do so much, reiterates Cottrell at Chello Zone. “There remain capacity restrictions at the platform operator end and so HD development still tends to be channel by channel, rather than carte blanche across existing portfolios,” she says. “Operators in many cases are focusing on launching HD versions of existing brands and offering simulcast HD/SD channels to subscribers at this stage. We are moving existing brands such as Extreme Sports Channel over to HD later this year and are working on plans to migrate another channel brand to HD in 2012. Newer brands that we have brought to the market, such as Food Network and Outdoor Channel, already have simulcast HD versions available.”Simulcasting HD and SD is likely to be the way forward for some time, perhaps following the same model as the analogue/digital phase out. “In the past many platforms had an HD showcase channel as content was limited, now we are in a fortune position where we can simulcast channels,” says Dean Possenniskie, AETN’s managing director, Europe.Multiple screen challengesTrickier waters lie ahead for HD when it comes to delivering images to multiple screens, such as tablets, PCs, mobile phones. Content owners face a battle to retain their copyright and extract value from it. “This is a complex area, regardless of format, due to availability of programme rights by channels and being able to pass these on to the operators for distribution to multiple screens,” says Chello’s Cottrell. “Technology has moved quickly and it is important to control use of content, whilst also working with the operators to support them as they roll out new innovative services to subscribers. Channel providers are working closely with platforms operators to support supply of their channel brands to multiple screens, at this stage mostly in SD, but where HD is technically feasible and content rights are available, then the format, subject always to costs of course, should not make too much of a difference.”Getting your content to go further and have a life outside the TV screen is obviously attractive to content providers. AETN’s Possenniskie, says: “We have rights for internet, PC and tablets and we’re heavily involved with Sky and Sky Player. The financials might not be there yet, but to be there, to have this accessibility and to have viewership across other platforms is important.  We are a content company at heart and it shouldn’t matter too much where our content is viewed.”It’s when that content ends up somewhere it shouldn’t be, via an over-the-top platform, that its creators start to object. There has until now been an air of complacency about this, but as connected TVs inch their way into the mainstream overlapping over-the-top distributors with mainstream pay-TV distribution, it is likely that there will be a clampdown. Connected TV services delivered over the open internet will soon be able to offer something akin to HD in quality, making the threat even greater. But so far the reality is not living up to the hype.Discovery’s Honeycutt says: “I’m not impressed so far with what I’ve seen of connected TV. The navigation is often complicated and the buffering is long and I don’t think that there is any great technological reason for this, it’s just that there isn’t enough collaboration between the consumer electronics folk and the distributors.”HD is caught up in many of the general challenges that currently beset the TV industry. Like the moves from black and white to colour and analogue to digital, the move from SD to HD will be gradual and unpredictable, but it will get there sooner or later and some markets will get there quicker than others.last_img read more

For many years the death rate from cancer climbed

first_imgFor many years, the death rate from cancer climbed steadily, and the focus of big cancer meetings was the quest for better treatments to bring malignancies under control. Cancer death rates have been falling in recent decades, and that’s allowed researchers to ask another important question: Are some people getting too much treatment for their cancers?The answer, from the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago these past few days, is an emphatic yes.One dramatic example revealed at the meeting relates to the most common form of breast cancer, known as hormone-positive, HER-2 negative disease. For many women who have this diagnosis, but for whom the disease has not spread to lymph nodes, a new study finds that anti-hormone treatment after surgery is enough, and women won’t benefit from rounds of toxic and uncomfortable chemotherapy.Treatment of breast cancer for this large group of women will become easier. And for the many women who already choose not to undertake chemotherapy, they can be reassured that it’s the right call.Likewise, researchers from France presented evidence that people with severe colon cancer don’t benefit from a common treatment, which involves heated chemotherapy administered at the time of surgery. This treatment has been in use for 15 years, without good evidence that it actually works. Some doctors were adamant about using it, while others shunned it. The study of 265 patients found that it didn’t work, says Dr. Francios Quenet, at the Regional Cancer Institute on Montpellier, France.The study is “an excellent example of how less is more,” when it comes to certain cancer treatments, says Dr. Andrew Epstein, an oncologist from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who spoke on behalf of ASCO.Patients with advanced kidney cancer can also be spared surgery, according to another study presented at the meeting. “Based on studies that were done 20-30 years ago, the patients who had their kidneys removed lived a bit longer than the patients who did not,” Dr. Bruce Johnson, the president of ASCO and a cancer doctor at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, tells Shots. A study of 450 patients coordinated by researchers in Paris found that the surgery was pointless. Patients who had their kidneys removed did no better than those who got chemotherapy. Those who avoided surgery were spared the trauma and the expense of this operation.The surgeon who presented the study at the meeting’s giant plenary session, Arnaud Mejean, got a big cheer from the audience after he projected a cartoon at the end of his talk, showing someone shooting himself in the foot. His point was that this kind of study isn’t in a surgeon’s self-interest – but it should be done for the interest of patients. And he suggested that all cancer physicians should ponder what that means in their own practices.Why are doctors giving patients challenging and unnecessary treatments?Johnson says one reason is that the way that cancer treatments evolve. In the case of breast cancer, the chemotherapy was first developed to treat advanced cancers. There, it was used aggressively to kill as much cancer as possible. Over the years, doctors started using it for less advanced cases, and eventually as a treatment to prevent cancer from coming back (known as “adjuvant therapy.”)Doctors and patients already knew that it provided relatively little advantage for many women when used as an adjuvant – perhaps reducing the risk of cancer recurrence by just a few percentage points, for women who have a low risk on genetic tests that can help predict the odds of a recurrence. But narrowing down that risk even more required a huge study, involving 10,000 women and taking many years.Drug companies, which fund many cancer studies, would have no interest in funding that study, so the National Institutes of Health backed it, with the help of governments overseas and advocacy organizations within the United States.There may be many other cancer treatments that are unneeded and possibly even harmful. Many long-time medical practices are based on tradition and thin evidence. But Johnson worries the federal government has been losing interest in this kind of expensive and time-consuming research. He notes that over the past decade, the number of studies presented at the ASCO meeting that have been funded by the U.S. government has dropped from 575 to 143. “It’s cut in one-fourth!” he laments. “And one of the things that we think is critically important is a robust clinical infrastructure supported by our government.”Indeed, European researchers presented many of the big studies at this year’s meeting. There, governments seem to have more patience for studies that can last for a decade or more, and care about research that will save government health services the costs of unneeded treatment.To be sure, the pharmaceutical industry is funding plenty of studies – but mostly they aim to bring expensive new drugs on the market. There was plenty of evidence of that at the meeting as well, both in lavish displays where companies brag about what they hope will soon come out of their pipelines, as well as studies showing that pricey new drugs are better than inexpensive treatments.In the hot field of immunotherapy alone, there are more than 2,000 drugs in development, according to Dr. Solange Peters at Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland and president-elect of the European Society for Medical Oncology. The number of possible combination therapies is mind-boggling, and it’s hard to find the true winners. “Many combinations are not based on biological mechanisms and many are likely to fail,” she said in a presentation.Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, tells NPR a glut of “me-too” drugs that don’t offer meaningful advances, contributes to some of the confusion. It’s left up to doctors “to figure out the drugs we should be using versus the drugs we should not be using.””If I can use an auto industry example, if General Motors develops an SUV that means Chrysler and Ford have to develop an SUV to compete in that market, and the drug companies do the same thing, unfortunately,” Brawley says.He notes there are 30 companies producing very similar immunotherapy drugs, “and one of our concerns is they’re actually slowing down the development of immunotherapy drugs by having too many drugs that are very similar out in clinical trials.” These studies all are competing for patients, “and slowing down the completion of all the trials.””This is a huge problem,” Brawley says. “We sometimes wish we had a policeman who could direct traffic when it comes to drug development.”But he admits he can’t figure out what that would look like, given that the profit-driven system has worked well, in that it has brought exciting drugs to market. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Standard Chartered Bank Uganda partners with MTN to launch Straight2Bank Wallet

first_imgAdvertisement Standard Chartered Bank has partnered with MTN Uganda Limited, a leading mobile money provider in Uganda, to launch Straight2Bank Wallet in the country.First introduced by Standard Chartered in Kenya, Straight2Bank Wallet is a mobile wallet service that enables companies to make cashless payments to the MTN Mobile Money Wallets, of both banked and unbanked individuals. The Bank’s partnership with MTN will expand the coverage of Standard Chartered’s mobile wallet service in Africa, making it the sixth country in Africa where the service is available.With the introduction of this new payment channel, Standard Chartered’s corporate clients in Uganda can now use the Bank’s Straight2Bank electronic banking platform to make payments directly into an individual’s MTN Mobile Money wallet. This allows clients to effectively reach out to their beneficiaries with timely payments, while mitigating the risks of fraud and theft associated with cash payments. – Advertisement – More than half of Uganda’s population operates mobile money accounts, providing an ideal platform for companies to deliver safe and timely payments directly to individual beneficiaries.Straight2Bank electronic banking platform can be used to make payments directly into an individual’s MTN #MobileMoney wallet.— MTN Uganda (@mtnug) June 7, 2016Phrase Lubega, MTN’s General Manager for Mobile Financial Services said, “Mobile wallets are especially useful for companies such as; development organisations, international organisations, agricultural companies and fast-moving consumer goods companies which process high volumes of individual payments to beneficiaries such as; aid workers, trainers, policy holders and farmers. This partnership provides immense opportunity for such companies and organisations to make payments directly to the final beneficiaries. MTN continues to provide Mobile Money innovations to support our partners and we are very excited about this partnership with Standard Chartered Bank.”Standard Chartered CEO Herman Kasekende commended the collaboration with MTN saying it will enhance the Bank’s ability to extend its world-class financial services countrywide. “The Ugandan government is working towards a cashless economy, to maximise operational efficiencies and mitigate the risks associated with cash payments. Standard Chartered remains committed to creating partnerships which not only enhance the local financial sector’s proposition and infrastructure, but also improves our customers’ experience and operational efficiencies.” Kasekende said.The Head of Transaction Banking at Standard Chartered Bank Uganda Mr. Keval Bid, added, “Straight2Bank Wallet is another way we are relieving some of the operational pressures on Ugandan-based companies so they can focus more time and energy on running their core businesses more efficiently and profitably. Standard Chartered currently provides cash management solutions for more than 900 companies in Uganda, with more than 65% of those companies using our award winning online portal, Straight2Bank.”To date Standard Chartered has delivered the benefits of Straight2Bank Wallet to corporates in 11 markets within the Bank’s global footprint, namely Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. The Bank aims to launch the product in more markets by the end of 2016.last_img read more

Document Signing Companies Have Become an Online Business Necessity

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Next Article Electronic Signatures Add to Queue December 24, 2017 Entrepreneur Image credit: graphicstock Renzo Costarella 8 min read The increasingly paperless business world requires many electronic signatures, and somebody to assure you the signatures are genuine. Guest Writer Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Document Signing Companies Have Become an Online Business Necessity –shares With more business conducted on the Internet than ever before, it makes sense that those sharing documents, agreements and contracts would also want the convenience of digital signatures or electronic signatures. That explains market research companies like P&S Market Research show continuing strong growth through 2023. They attributed this demand to “increasing use of digital signatures to reduce deception, growing government focus towards eliminating paperless work coupled with growing adoption of digital signature-based biometrics in various end-use industries, across the globe.”With my business, we send out a lot of documents that need to be signed by our customers — some days it’s hundreds of documents. This makes it crucial for our business to automate this process. We’ve used countless companies to help us with this process. We’ve done our homework and found a few key companies that stand out so that you don’t have to test everyone out.I’ve listed the top document signing companies you should be using in order, based on how much I liked their product, service, pricing and overall ease of use to our company. EversignEversign is a legally binding digital signature company that can be used at work or through a mobile application. It is ideal for many aspects of your business, including financial, HR, sales and legal. Also, it integrates with other applications you most likely already use, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and more. Their API is one of the easiest APIs that we’ve had the privlage of using.PandaDocPandaDoc is especially helpful for sales documents, including quotes, proposals, and contracts. However, the digital signature company also is effective for employee onboarding and other document signing needs. Their documents look amazing and have a nicest look and feels of any software we’ve used. We also love the ease of their mobile app.In addition to obtaining signatures, the software also helps your team create professional documents, including these proposals and estimates. The company also has an entire HR suite of tools that facilitate onboarding and employee management.Related: 7 Online Business Ideas That Could Make You RichDocuSignDocuSign is one of the most widely used digital signature companies.  It works on all types of devices — from laptops and desktop computers to mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.The digital signature platform helps small businesses and global enterprises.We put this as number three on the list as it’s a great solution that everyone recognises and trusts. Though not as easy to use as others, we have a higher esignature response rate over any other software on this list. I feel it’s due to the familiarrity of this esignature software.eSign LiveThis electronic document signing company is one of the most established, helping government agencies and banks with electronic signing processes. eSign Live offers a free trial and has multiple plans in place so you find the one that fits your document signing needs and budget.The company also offers mobile e-signatures and specific solutions for mortgage companies, insurance firms, and financial services. We really liked their fully white-lable option.Related: 5 Steps to Carving Out a Niche BusinessPDCflowPDCflow is a digital signature service that can be used for many applications. Thes include document delivery as well as invoices and payment authentication. The software works with many payment types. A subscription to this fully compliant service comes with unlimited users and templates so you can use it for numerous transactions without incurring a high cost.eSign GenieeSign Genie is a user-friendly document signing option. It offers reusable templates and customization with API so you can integrate it into your website or mobile website.  And, it also works with Google Drive, Salesforce, Dropbox, and many more tools and platforms.We like that these guys listen to their customers. We submitted one ticket for a new feature and that feature was built in less than two weeks. Adobe Document CloudAdobe is a long-trusted business solution that has added digital signatures to its product portfolio. It offers a swipe and tap solution to make digital signing as easy as possible. Integrate it with Salesforce, Workday, Microsoft, and numerous enterprise applications. Also, the digital signature feature works with numerous departments, teams, and audiences.Related: 7 Steps to Defining Your Niche MarketSignNowSignNow is a highly rated digital signature solution among companies of all sizes. This is due in part to the fact that it’s highly customizable. This includes options for the interface and branding.It also has an extensive API library for greater control and the ability to integrate it with more of your own tools. Additionally, it works with applications like Salesforce, NetSuite, Office 365, Google Drive and more.Right SignatureRightSignature is a fast, easy, and affordable option for your electronic signing needs. You can sign from anywhere with any type of device. It also ensures that your workflow is seamless. As part of its comprehensive security features, it uses biometric data capture. Plus, the plans fit all budgets.EvernoteThanks to an integration with RightSignature, Evernote offers a suite of beneficial tools for the small business owner beyond the digital signature feature. It’s a collaborative tool for sharing files, managing teams, and creating a more efficient workflow.Plus, the digital signature option speeds the completion of contracts and agreements, creating a legally binding, highly secure document that provides a way for teams to move forward on projects.Related: The 10 Key Legal Documents for Your BusinessDigiSignerDigiSigner is used by companies of all sizes and across numerous industries, such as real estate, legal, HR, and more. Although it is a basic tool, it works effectively and helps you avoid wasting time and other resources. The digital document signing company offers a free account.DocVerifyDocVerify is a secure, compliant, and legally binding way to get all your documents signed online. It’s a leader in electronic and remote notarizations. The document signing service is easy to use with no hardware or software requirements. The company is also one of the most affordable digital signature solutions available. Also, the tool works with Salesforce, Wufoo, and Instaform.Sky SignatureThis online digital signature application also provides numerous beneficial tools for working specifically with PDF documents. These tools include PDF editing tools and the ability to create a new PDF document from existing PDF documents.SignaShareSignaShare is a versatile application that gives you a way to do e-signatures, create customer forms, and file all types of digital forms for an array of tasks. You get unlimited document signing, reusable templates, document management tools, and open API for further customization. Also, there are five different tiers of pricing, providing a way for everyone from the solopreneur to the small business owner to the enterprise leader to leverage this application.SignBoxSignBox puts your signature on any PDF no matter where that document is located. All you need is your touchID or a passcode to use it.  You don’t need to set up an account or start a subscription. It’s an extension tool to use anywhere. Yet, there is still considerable technology and security inside. This includes pixel-perfect signatures.Related: 4 Simple iPhone Apps for Creating and Editing DocumentsSigningHubThis online signature app is available at the iTunes store and Google Play.The digital signature tool is fast, easy, and secure. SigningHub differentiates itself from other document signing companies. It stores long-term signatures. Also, you can reuse existing identity management infrastructures.U-Sign-ItU-Sign-It has legal acceptance in over 60 countries and is used by thousands of businesses around the world. This is an always-free service that does not ask for your credit card or requires a contract. Additionally, you can opt to use a paid plan with this digital signature company to tap into other business tools and features offered.SignEasySignEasy helps you sign documents and get agreements, contracts, and other documents signed by your customers, partners, or employees. You can use it on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can track your document and reuse templates. The digital signature company offers a free trial.SigniXSigniX is a digital signature solution that primarily helps those in industries like credit unions, financial services, real estate, insurance and annuities, healthcare,  government, education, and corporations. They offer specific document, forms, and e-signature assistance through their various products that include Enterprise DoX, MyDoX, eNotaryDoX, and PharmaDoX.Digital Document Signing BenefitsThese top document signing companies can give you a way to reduce paperwork and add efficiency. Also, you’ll find that your clients, customers, employees, and others on the receiving end of your digital documents prefer to use e-signatures. Therefore, this solution enables businesses to move forward on a project, close on a house, or complete anything else in a more timely way. Register Now »last_img read more