News / US retailers under threat from Amazon move to free next-day shipping

first_img Already burdened with escalating costs, retailers now face a desperate struggle to respond to Amazon’s move to next-day delivery for free shipping.For some it will be the end of the road, predicts John Haber, chief executive of Spend Management Experts, an Atlanta-based transportation procurement consultancy.Many large retailers have favoured a free delivery charge model based on a purchase threshold, rather than go for a subscription approach like Amazon Prime (at which the new offering is aimed) or a flat rate model, Mr Haber noted. This has allowed them to charge a premium for faster deliveries.Making next-day delivery that standard, as Amazon is trying to do, poses a big dilemma for these merchants, he said.“It’s a big financial issue. It’s going to be difficult for many retailers to match.”Based on the delivery rate structures of UPS, premiums for a shipment originating from the west coast are at least 64% higher for deliveries to the US midwest and east coast, and up to 180% higher to markets in parts of Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Arizona, Spend Management found.A switch from two-day to next-day delivery pushes up premiums, on average, by 67% for UPS customers, said the consultancy, adding that FedEx likely will produce similar results.Combined with other cost increases, the steep rise in rates adds to a perfect storm for shippers.FedEx and UPS may have shown some restraint with rate increases of 4.9% this year, but this has only been part of the story. They have been more aggressive with surcharges, such as volumetric charges, additional handling fees for packages over 70lbs and other ancillary charges like address correction.Surcharges on UPS’s SurePost service have climbed over 80% over the past three years, Mr Haber pointed out. Surcharges and premiums can elevate the price of shipping a TV set, which can be moved for about $75 as an LTL shipment, to a dizzying $1,000.On top of this, shippers are facing financial pain from the latest round of tariffs announced by the White House.“That’s impacting retailers tremendously,” Mr Haber said.Spend Management advises shippers to examine their options thoroughly. Juggling carriers may alleviate the pain, but lack of choice in the North American market means that this has limited potential, he said. Pick-ups in stores or at third-party locations should yield better results. In-store pick-ups not only eliminate last-mile shipping costs but often lead to additional purchases to boot.For many retailers the effort to match the move to second-day delivery as the free shipping standard has been quite challenging, so Amazon’s move to shift the goal posts again is quite worrying for many. The e-commerce behemoth has made it clear it intends to make next-day delivery the standard for free shipping in the US.The trend has intensified in the wake of signals from Walmart that it is also preparing to make next-day delivery its default mode for free shipping.And according to Spend Management, the trend is unlikely to reverse. It cited figures from DynamicAction, a provider of retail analytics, which show that retail transactions with free shipping went up 13% in North America last year and had climbed 8%  by mid-April this year.However, Mr Haber believes the free shipping concept is unsustainable.Amazon is spending $800m this quarter alone to make the transition to next-day free shipping – “the entire annual revenue for some retailers”, he said. “They are not able to subsidise those levels for the long run.”Amazon spent an estimated $61.7bn on logistics last year, which translates into about 26% of its net sales. This augurs doom for many players.“There will be a lot of casualties along the way,” Mr Haber said, adding: “Amazon is already putting a lot of people out of business.”The move is also a big challenge for the parcel carriers. The large players are equipped to handle next-day deliveries, but the question is at what cost to the shipper they can do so, Mr Haber said. Unlike them, Amazon can subsidise its higher delivery costs from the revenues in its cloud-based business.UPS, FedEx and DHL all reported downward pressure on margins in their e-commerce business in their most recent quarterly results. As their surcharge moves indicate, they are trying hard to steady their yields, which makes it unlikely that they can lower their overnight rates significantly.Amazon has signalled that it intends to follow up on its domestic initiative with a similar move in the international arena, but has not provided any details so far. Mr Haber thinks the impact will be less dramatic than in the US.“It will be easier for people to compete with Amazon internationally,” he said, pointing to a greater number of carriers in markets like Europe, which gives merchants more options at competitive prices. By Ian Putzger in Toronto 30/05/2019 ID 143836577 © Andrei Gabriel Stanescu | Dreamstime.comlast_img read more

Uncertainty haunts parents of Flint, as every rash, every tantrum raises alarms

first_img Fowler’s 19-year-old son, Jared, has autism; her 12-year-old, Taylor, is deaf. “My kids had it tough to begin with and to think that they’ve fought so hard to do well only to be poisoned by this water and possibly face additional damage — it’s unimaginable,” she said. Hanna-Attisha’s research found that 4.9 percent of Flint children under the age of 5 had elevated blood lead levels after the city began drawing water from the Flint River, compared with 2.4 percent before that switch. In one ward, nearly 16 percent of young children had elevated lead levels, compared to just under 5 percent previously.   It was a stunning finding, which garnered immediate attention — and a backlash from state officials — when Hanna-Attisha presented the results publicly last September. But she believes it almost certainly underestimates the problem. Elizabeth Tramble worries about the long-term effects of Flint’s water on her children. Fabrizio Costantini for STATIn part, that’s because blood tests don’t capture the extent of past exposure to lead. Also, available data exclude even more vulnerable populations — pregnant women, infants in utero, and babies who are fed formula, typically mixed with tap water, in the first few months of life. The county health department doesn’t test lead levels in adults, either, though they, too, can suffer adverse health effects, including elevated blood pressure, altered kidney function, and declines in cognitive function.On top of the lead, residents suspect other contaminants in the river. Ten people in Flint have died from Legionnaire’s Disease, a lung infection caused by bacteria that thrives in water, since the city began using the Flint River for drinking water. “We’re not just worried about the lead, we’re worried about everything that’s in the water, and they haven’t come clean about that yet,” said Bill Hammond, 58, a retired industrial hygienist who contracted two serious infections after the city changed its water supply.A defiant 5-year-old raises alarmsElizabeth Tramble, 27, drank Flint River water for seven months during a recent pregnancy, until her older sister Egypt convinced her the health risks were too great. While her baby Lorenna, now 5 months old, seems fine, Tramble doesn’t know if she’ll suffer long-term impacts from the exposure. Tramble’s stepfather, Ronnie Wexler, said he noticed a change in Navaeh last summer. “She didn’t used to be like that,” he said.Wexler is convinced that the city water has something to do with both Navaeh’s outbursts and the strange hair loss experienced by her 6-year-old sister, Tatinasia, who now has a softball-sized bald spot on the back of her head. A doctor told Tramble last year that the little girl had a fungus, but medicine didn’t help and she has to wear a scarf to school to cover it up.Tatinasia Hall, 6, has patches of hair missing on her head; her family blames the polluted water. Fabrizio Costantini for STATNo answers for parentsOne of the most painful aspects of the crisis is that medical professionals have few answers for anxious residents.The only treatment for lead poisoning, chelation therapy, is used only in the most severe cases and isn’t appropriate for people with lower blood lead levels, like those seen in Flint.So people are left to watch for symptoms. And to worry.Hanna-Attisha advises parents to make sure their kids are getting plenty of calcium, iron, and vitamins C and D; a diet rich in those nutrients can slow absorption of lead into bones and organs. But it can be hard to get a nutritionally balanced diet in Flint, which is so disadvantaged, it doesn’t even have a supermarket.The doctor is also pressing for more investment in services: expanded Head Start programs for toddlers, universal preschool, more food aid for mothers and infants, and mental health counseling. “We cannot sit back,” she said. “We have to throw every evidence-based intervention at these kids now to mitigate possible damage.” Under Hanna-Attisha’s direction, and in partnership with Michigan State University, a new Pediatric Public Health Initiative will follow 9,000 Flint children under age 6 who were exposed to the city’s tap water in the past two years. It’s likely that the children will be monitored regularly for years by pediatricians, psychologists, child development specialists, epidemiologists, educators, and other experts.None of that’s enough to give locals confidence in the future.Tiffany Burene and her 8-year-old son have had health problems she believes stem from the contaminated water. Fabrizio Costantini for STATWishing for an escapeTiffany Burene, 33, has lived in Flint all her life, but now wants to leave. She can’t, though, she said. She doesn’t have the money. Like many people in this city, Burene started drinking bottled water a year ago, after the city told residents that the tap water contained elevated levels of total trihalomethanes, a carcinogenic byproduct of chlorine. But in August, she ran out of money and began drinking river water from the faucet again. Several days later, she awoke with her stomach cramping, rushed to the bathroom and found the toilet full of blood. An emergency room physician diagnosed colitis, a condition she hadn’t had previously.“It scared me. And I still have stomach issues to this day,” said Burene, who also had a stretch of alarming hair loss last year.Nothing, however, has worried Burene so much as what’s happened to her 9-year-old son, Gabe, who was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder at the age of 5.  “That little boy is my everything and I don’t know what’s going on,” Burene said. “Within the last year and a half, his ADHD has gotten worse. He gets very agitated and aggravated very easily. His anger outbursts are getting more frequent.”  It could be a new development stage Gabe is going through — or something else. Burene has no way of knowing.   Tiffany Burene would leave Flint if she had the money. Fabrizio Costantini for STAT“I can’t say 100 percent it’s the lead, but nothing has changed in our household except the water and, honestly, that’s the only way I can put two and two together,” she said. “No matter how many times I take my son to the pediatrician or a therapist, they never find anything.”Echoing other parents across Flint, Burene blames herself for not protecting her son, even though she could not have known about the lead leaching into the water. “Our kids don’t deserve this,” she said, “and it makes me feel like a failure as a parent.” In the meantime, Tramble —a single mother with five girls under the age of 9 — is worried about her 5-year-old, Nevaeh.“She’s very defiant for nothing,” Tramble said last week, sounding tired. “She throws stuff. She acts out real bad. If I tell her ‘No, you can’t hold the baby,’ she just screams. She’s not minding in school. It’s like her attitude has changed and something is wrong with her mentally.” Related: Diana Hernández: Promoting better health through better housing Judy is a STAT correspondent based in Denver. FLINT, Mich. — Uncertainty haunts the mothers and fathers of Flint.No one can tell them how much toxic lead their children may have ingested from polluted drinking water over the past two years.And no one can say for certain what health effects might stem from that exposure. Is the lead to blame for this headache? For that bald spot? For a sudden spate of violent tantrums? Might a child who seems fine now have suffered subtle brain damage that could affect his grades and behavior down the road? advertisement Recognizing the fear pervading this community, physicians and school officials are offering residents tests for lead exposure. But those tests aren’t likely to reveal much.Many families have been drinking bottled water since discovering last year that there was lead in the city’s water; results will reflect that. Lead, a neurotoxin, doesn’t circulate long in the blood before it’s absorbed into bones and other organs or excreted. So a test taken today won’t show how much lead a child ingested a year ago, or what her peak exposure might have been. Volunteers and inmates in a work detail hand out cases of bottled water to residents of Flint. Fabrizio Costantini for STATNor is there any way to definitively link an individual’s exposure to a specific health concern — past, present, or future. All that’s known is that lead exposure can damage multiple organs and the brain, even at very low doses. Children are particularly vulnerable and once harm has occurred, the impact cannot be reversed.“When a child presents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, behavioral problems, or intellectual deficits five years from now, I’ll never be certain if it was from the lead or another reason,” said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician whose research on children’s blood lead levels helped call attention to Flint’s water crisis. “When I look into a mom’s eyes,” she said, “that uncertainty is a great cause of anxiety.” The entire community is suffering from toxic stress, Hanna-Attisha said, and needs mental health first aid to cope with this crisis. But services are few and far between, especially for children.A water tower in Flint, where life was hard even before the spate of lead poisoning. Fabrizio Costantini for STATA hard life, made harderLife in Flint was already hard before the city’s switch in April 2014 from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River exposed residents to lead, E. coli bacteria, and a cancer-causing byproduct of chlorine. More than 41 percent of the city’s nearly 100,000 residents are impoverished, unemployment is endemic, 15 percent of homes are boarded up or abandoned, and the murder rate is one of the highest in the nation. Dilapidated buildings and overgrown lots abound. “When I think about my kids and what might happen to them, I can’t sleep,” said Laura Darch, a Flint native who checks her three boys, ages 9, 7, and 5, each day for rashes. Darch has recently sought treatment for intense anxiety and depression. She feels guilty that she let her sons drink from their school water fountains. She can’t stop thinking of how those sips might set back their development.advertisement Now, evidence of government negligence has raised residents’ distress to an even higher level. Officials failed to add anticorrosive agents to water from the Flint River; as a result, old pipes throughout the city began to leach lead into the water supply. For 18 months, residents’ complaints about discolored, foul smelling, and strange tasting water were dismissed or ignored. Officials assured people repeatedly that the water was safe.  Though Flint returned to Detroit’s water system in October, the damage to the city’s aging infrastructure — and its sense of trust in government — was extensive. The US Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Michigan Attorney General are conducting investigations. “Our lives are already so hard. Why would they do this to us?” asked Bethany Hazard, 59, breaking into tears. Hazard lives alone and is disabled by painful osteoarthritis, which she said has become much worse over the last year and a half. “It’s like they just don’t care.”“We screamed at the top of our lungs that the water was hurting us, and they called us crazy, irrational, fear mongerers,” said Florlisa Stebbins Fowler, 37, a single mom who became a community activist after her three children suffered inflamed skin after showering and diarrhea after drinking the water. By Judith Graham Jan. 29, 2016 Reprints Tags ADHDlead exposurepublic healthcenter_img Elizabeth Tramble worries about how the lead in Flint’s drinking water will affect her children. Fabrizio Costantini for STAT “I don’t feel safe,” she said. “I have never felt so unsafe in my life.” HealthUncertainty haunts parents of Flint, as every rash, every tantrum raises alarms @judith_graham Crisis in Flint shows how far we’ve come on lead. And how far we need to go. Related: Judith Graham About the Author Reprints Related: Watch: Episode 3: Scientists are building mini-brains to understand the human mind last_img read more

AGF to close several funds

first_img Keywords Fund caps and terminations,  Mutual fundsCompanies AGF Management Ltd. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media IE Staff Purpose looks to fill retirement income gap with longevity fund Toronto-based AGF Investments Inc. announced Tuesday that it will be shutting down several funds.Harmony Balanced Growth Portfolio Class, Harmony Growth Portfolio Class, Harmony Growth Plus Portfolio Class, Harmony Maximum Growth Portfolio Class, Harmony Global Fixed Income Pool and Harmony Diversified Income Pool will be terminated on or about April 8, AGF says in a news release. Related news IG Wealth amends product shelf Franklin Templeton launches new real asset fund Facebook LinkedIn Twitter AGF says it is closing the funds due to: a small number of investors, relatively low assets and the associated costs of maintaining such small funds.The funds are no longer available for purchase, including switches and pre-authorized purchase plans.AGF is waiving the portfolio management fees and AGF’s portion of the management fees until the termination date. The funds may pay distributions before that time.Unitholders may transfer their investments into any other Harmony Pool or Portfolio or redeem their units prior to the termination date, AGF says. Investors who do not do this will have their units transferred to the same series and purchase option of Harmony Money Market Pool, on or about April 5. Investors holding units in non-registered plans or intermediary-held accounts (both registered and non-registered) will have their units redeems on or about April 8, free of redemption fees and sales charges.last_img read more

In the Garage: Art of the Shop

first_img PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. See More Videos Jeff Norwell enjoys invoking a definite sense of action in his hot rod art. ‘Car’ was the first word out of his mouth, he says, and as soon as he could hold a crayon he was drawing them.“I started to doodle at four or five years old,” Norwell says. “Of course, they looked like cars drawn by a toddler, but even then, it was all about action and movement.”Although Norwell was allowed to draw cars, he says his family was actually very anti-automobile. No matter how much he asked, his parents would not provide him with a minibike or a go-kart. Deprived of internal combustion power and speed, instead he says, “I’d build stuff out of apple crates and wood, and then I got my first bicycle when I was six or seven years old. The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever ‹ Previous Next › Trending Videos Trending in Canada Q: What tools are in your collection and where did they come from?A: Well, for art tools, I’ve got two desks, one my mother got for me when I was 12 or 13. It’s an old 6-foot by 4-foot oak drafting table from the ‘40s, that came from somewhere on Parliament Hill. I’ve got another desk from the ‘50s that’s all hand-formed iron.For auto tools, when I was 16 my grandmother bought me a Beach toolbox. That’s a real prize possession of mine. She bought my first sockets and wrenches from Sears because she saw my interest in mechanics and helped foster it.Q: Which tool or tools do you use most often?A: I love a lot of hand tools. Simple ratchets and vises, stuff like that. I have every screwdriver known to man and I like to collect and use old Ford tools. But, a go to tool of mine is the Craftsman socket set, I keep that handy. Art tools, that would be my Iwata air brushes. They’re the Cadillac of air brushes, and I have six or seven of them. That being said, while I did traditional painting and drawing for a long time, I realized the world was going digital and have made that transition.Q: How did you learn to use the tools? Did you go to school, did someone teach you, or do you watch YouTube videos?A: Mechanically, I’m self-taught, but have learned from friends how to use some tools. I’m not a great fabricator, but I feel great satisfaction making something either very small or very big, as long as I’ve made it. I might occasionally have to go to a friend and have them make something for me where I give a bit of direction. But if I see other people do stuff, that’s how I learn. And, I’m learning every day.Q: What’s the most important project in the garage right now?A: Getting my new space set up. But once it’s ready to go, I’m really keen on the ‘57 Ford two-door Custom 300. I’m going to make it like a moonshine car – like in North Carolina in 1958. A big motor and lots of attention to the driveline, but everything else as stock.Q: Is there anyone else in the house or in your life interested in working in the garage?A: No. not in my family. But I’m sharing the interest with the Jalopy Jam Up weekend. I’m partners with two other guys in the show, and this is our fifth anniversary. It’s a traditional car show that used to be at the Frontier Ghost Town, where we’d have 200 to 400 cars come from everywhere – the GTA, guys from out west, Maritimes, Texas and Florida, Pennsylvania and upstate New York. We’ve moved it this year to the Rockton Fairgrounds in Rockton, Ontario on Aug. 24 and 25. There’ll be a swap meet, pin up contest and some mini bike events, with a carnival atmosphere. There’ll be tons of prizes and free stuff as we’re giving away DeWalt, Stanley and King tools and other cool bits. We also encourage vintage campers to come out. The show starts Friday at noon and goes to Sunday morning with all sorts of events going on for just $30.If you have a workspace filled with tools, projects or memories and are willing to share, let me know; I’d be pleased to write it up. Email me at [email protected] COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS RELATED TAGSNews Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 On a dummy baby Red Ram Dodge block Jeff Norwell test fits a 4-71 supercharger while his 1932 Ford pickup sits nearby.  Chuck Vranas advertisement “It was a CCM Mustang. That was my freedom, I’d get on the bike at 7 a.m. and come home around 5 p.m. I’d play Evel Knievel or pretend my bike was a chopper or it was a car—it was my mechanical steed and it took me everywhere.”Norwell would save his pennies and at every opportunity buy an accessory for the CCM, customizing the Mustang with a racing slick rear tire, a sissy bar and a metal flake banana seat. But he didn’t have a stocked toolbox to help him work on the bike. Norwell lived with his grandparents, and his grandfather owned a number of woodworking tools.“Early on, I figured out they were useless mechanically,” Norwell chuckles.Norwell says he didn’t do well in high school until he transferred to Commerce High in Ottawa. There, he explains, it was like someone clicked on a light.“I had a great teacher who was a mentor for me. She opened my mind to what I could do,” Norwell says. “I went there for two years and then went to Sheridan College. I needed structure and took a three-year illustration course.”From that point forward, Norwell has dedicated himself to illustration, working on advertising and story boards for film. He also runs Norwell Equipped, where prints, t-shirts and other creations feature a heavy dose of hot rod action.For years, Norwell had his studio and his gearhead-related shop separated and he long dreamt of having everything all together. Recently, he and his wife bought a unique house in Neustadt, Ontario where there’s a 60-foot by 40-foot building with a loft above and a shop below.Norwell is just now in the process of setting everything up, and will have his two 1932 Fords, two 1957 fords and a parts car, all in the space.“And then, there’s just tons of stuff,” Norwell says. “I’ve got parts upon parts, and because I couldn’t have one as a kid, I’ve got three minibikes and one early Sixtie’s go kart. It’s fun.”As he was just getting set up in the new space, this conversation combines aspects of his old ‘shop’ and his new ‘studio/shop.’ Here’s what we learned about Norwell’s tools and projects. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Jeff Norwell won Street Rod of the Year in 2015 with this 1932 Ford five window coupe.Chuck Vranas Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Creating one-off hot rod themed artwork at an antique desk in Jeff Norwell’s home studio.Chuck Vranas Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Jeff Norwell’s old shop space has been packed up and is ready to be let loose in a new, larger shop.Chuck Vranas Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Jeff Norwell uses an old tool chest to store some of his art supplies.Chuck Vranas Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Hot rod-themed and other paraphernalia in Jeff Norwell’s home studio.Chuck Vranas Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Garage art hanging in Jeff Norwell’s old shop includes a variety of covers, carburetors and gas tanks. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Samples of Jeff Norwell’s hot rod themed art, notably the 2018 poster for Jalopy Jam Up, a traditional car show that will be held August 24 to 25 at the Rockton Fairgrounds in Rockton, Ontario.Chuck Vranas Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2An example of Jeff’s talent.Chuck Vranas Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2And another. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Chuck Vranas Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan”last_img read more

Volvo and Uber show off production-ready self-driving vehicle

first_img advertisement See More Videos ‹ Previous Next › Your author would like to take a moment to welcome his new robot overlords.An array of sensors peppered atop and built into the vehicle are designed for Uber’s self-driving system to safely operate the machine and maneuver it in an urban environment. Several back-up systems are built into the thing for both steering and braking functions plus a dose of battery back-up power.Before you rush out and throw away your driving shoes, know that even though the companies say this machine is capable of handling driving duties all on its own, they aren’t ready to let it drive to the market on its own just yet.After describing the car, they go on to say that when paired with Volvo’s vehicle platform, Uber’s self-driving system may one day allow [emphasis mine] for safe, reliable autonomous ridesharing without the need for a Mission Specialist.A Mission Specialist, if you’re wondering, is the human bag of meat hired by Uber to sit behind the wheel and take command should things go awry. The team says they are specially trained Uber employees “operating and overseeing the car” in areas designated and suitable for autonomous driving. RELATED Volvo gets approval for a no-hands test of its self-driving cars Elon Musk says Tesla has the potential to be fully self-driving by next year Volvo Cars plans to use a similar autonomous base vehicle concept for the introduction of its future autonomous drive cars in the early 2020s. These technologies will apparently include features designed to enable unsupervised autonomous drive in clearly designated areas such as highways and ring roads. COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever Trending in Canada RELATED TAGSVolvoSUVNewsself-drivinguberVolvocenter_img Trending Videos We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” Following two years of collaboration, Volvo and Uber are ready to show off their jointly developed production car capable of driving by itself.This follows several prototypes which were built with the goal of sussing out the companies’ self-driving car development efforts.The Volvo XC90 presented today is the first production car that, in combination with Uber’s self-driving system, is allegedly capable of fully driving itself. PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca Let’s hope these robot overlords are more like the sentient characters in the movie Cars and less like the psychotic transport trucks in Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive. last_img read more

Conservation Plans Under Development To Preserve Prehistoric Salvadoran Village

first_imgThe Getty Conservation Institute of Santa Monica, Calif., has signed a contract with the Salvadoran Ministry of Education to protect the ancient buried village of Ceren, which has been under excavation by the University of Colorado at Boulder since 1976.Considered the best-preserved prehistoric farming village in Latin America, Ceren was buried by 17 feet of volcanic ash about 590 A.D. Although a warning earthquake apparently gave residents time to flee, the ash preserved their personal belongings, from garden tools and bean-filled pots to sleeping mats and religious items, essentially freezing the agricultural village in time.CU-Boulder anthropology Professor Payson Sheets, who discovered the site in 1976 and has directed the archaeological project since, said the CU-led team thus far has excavated 12 structures, including living quarters, storehouses, workshops, kitchens, a community sauna and a religious structure. Because of the site’s importance, an international conservation meeting was held at Ceren in July 1997 that included experts from around the world to identify pressing research tasks.”One of the most urgent tasks to conserve the site was to pinpoint the final boundary of the buried village with ground-penetrating radar — which we did earlier this year — in order to preserve the land above it,” he said. A second goal is to pinpoint ideal ranges of temperature, humidity and ultraviolet radiation at each structure, all of which are roofed over, to prevent degradation, Sheets said.Ceren is thought to have been home to about 200 people, he said. Although no human remains have been found, Sheets believes the villagers may have died while fleeing searing debris and poisonous gases hurled from the Loma Caldera at hurricane force from a hillside about one-half mile away.The contract between the Getty Conservation Institute and the Salvadoran Ministry of Education’s cultural division, known as CONCULTURA, includes the development of a site management plan at Ceren integrating the archaeological, volcanological, geological and botanical research with the conservation of architecture and artifacts, said Sheets, director of research. The Getty Foundation will manage and develop additional education programs for the open-air museum that draws thousands of visitors weekly from around the world.The conservation management plan also includes the ancient city of San Andres three miles away — a small city containing pyramids and palaces of the elite — and the nearby village of San Juan Opico, which features 18th century architectural structures. “Ceren is the crown jewel of the three,” Sheets said.The Getty Foundation purchased thousands of dollars worth of instruments to measure the conditions under Ceren’s excavated structures, information that will be continually uplinked to their headquarters.”Too little UV light allows molds and fungi to grow on excavated materials, while too much can dry out the ancient adobe,” Sheets said. The structures also require a narrow range of humidity to prevent them from drying and crumbling or becoming too moist and “melting,” he said.The research team also would like to develop more sophisticated protective structures over the excavated buildings to decrease the differences in day and night temperatures in order to prevent the expansion and contraction of adobe walls.Sheets is now preparing a five-year archaeological research plan for Ceren. Since the excavation began, the project has involved the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Geological Survey and many other organizations from around the world.Although the Getty research at Ceren may take up to two years to complete, Sheets has funding from the National Geographic Society totaling $35,000 for future excavations. “It’s good to have a breather from consecutive field seasons,” he said. “There is over a century of work that still needs to be done here.”Sheets also has drawn up a series of recommendations that include moving the present dirt road that links the modern village of Joya de Ceren adjacent to the site with a nearby highway, because ground-penetrating radar studies indicate additional structures may be buried beneath the road.The team has identified more than a dozen suspected ruins still buried under plots of agricultural land belonging to Joya de Ceren residents, Sheets said. He has recommended the landowners be compensated with other lands while still allowing them to grow crops on the land overlying the ruins. “This project is an extremely long-term venture, and these structures may remain buried for many decades,” he said. Published: Oct. 5, 1998 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more

Sri Lankan govt authorities undergo training on healthcare in IIHMR University

first_imgSri Lankan govt authorities undergo training on healthcare in IIHMR University Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha By EH News Bureau on November 7, 2017 Related Posts Share The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Read Articlecenter_img MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” The theme of five day programme was ‘Leadership and Strategic Management in Healthcare’A group of senior government officials from Sri Lanka including health minister from North Province and senior bureaucrats participated in a five-day programme in healthcare conducted by IIHMR University-Jaipur. The programme was supported by the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka.IIHMR University, which is regularly roped in by various countries of South Asian region for public health management training, conducted the ‘Leadership and Strategic Management in Healthcare’ programme for the Sri Lankans.“The objective of coming to India for this programme was to learn new approaches in Leading and strategically managing the healthcare system in Sri Lanka. It has been great coming here and learning from India. We will certainly be able to improve the public health management with the insights we have gained here,” said Dr G Gunaseelan, Minister for Health, Northern Provincial Council, Sri Lanka.“We have been conducting many programme and training sessions for doctors, researchers and healthcare professionals from around the globe and we are proud we could be of help to the Sri Lankan delegates,” said Dr Vivek Bhandari, President, IIHMR University.“The content for the programme was designed in a way that would help the delegates to take the learning back home and implement them for improvement in their public health system,” said Dr PR Sodani, Pro President and Dean Training, IIHMR University.This event is being followed up with another programme for the middle level bureaucrats and healthcare delivery professionals in the government from the island nation from November 13-17 November, 2017 on the same subject. Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals News last_img read more

Technology Minister Remains Optimistic of Growth Potential in ICT Sector

first_imgTechnology Minister Remains Optimistic of Growth Potential in ICT Sector TechnologyAugust 4, 2014Written by: Marlon Tingling Advertisements Technology Minister Remains Optimistic of Growth Potential in ICT SectorJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay Photo: JIS PhotographerMontego Bay businessman, Mark Kerr-Jarrett (right), has the full attention of Finance Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips (left) and Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell (centre), during a tour of the Barnett Tech Park in Montego Bay on Monday August 4. During the tour, Mr. Kerr-Jarrett updated the Ministers on the construction progress of the centre, which is set to welcome its first ICT client in November of this year. RelatedYouth Urged To Develop Apps That Solve Agricultural Problems RelatedEnergy Minister Calls on JPS to Address Unscheduled Power Outagescenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Story HighlightsScience, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, remains optimistic about the potential for growth in the island’s ICT sector.Following a tour of several ICT companies in the Montego Bay Freezone, on Monday, August 4, along with Finance Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, Mr. Paulwell said the potential in the industry is great.Mr. Paulwell said ongoing developments in the ICT sector fits into the country’s mandate for the sector. Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, remains optimistic about the potential for growth in the island’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.In an interview with JIS News, following a tour of several ICT companies in the Montego Bay Freezone, on Monday, August 4, along with Finance Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, Mr. Paulwell said the potential in the industry is great.“Minister Phillips and myself have been on a tour of a number of the ICT facilities and we believe that the prospect for growth in tremendous…and we are trying to encourage all the players in the industry,” the Minister said.Mr. Paulwell said ongoing developments in the ICT sector fits into the country’s mandate for the sector.“The Finance Minister, in this year’s budget, singled out the ICT sector for special treatment, because we believe we have certain competitive advantages. We have seen it on display during the tour, and we are very upbeat about the prospects for the future,” the Minister said.Speaking specifically about the Barnett Tech Park, which is due to come on stream in November of this year, Mr. Paulwell pointed out that the progress made so far speaks volume for local investors.He said the vision of Montego Bay businessman, Mark Kerr-Jarrett, to construct the Barnett Tech Park, must be praised.“We want to encourage players, such as Mark Kerr-Jarrett and other private sector interests, to get involved in the building of office space. We believe it is a worthwhile investment and it will lead to the jobs that we are trying to create,” Mr.  Paulwell said.Meanwhile, the Finance Minister said it is very pleasing to see the progress of the Barnett Tech Park, for which ground was broken in December of last year.“We signed in December and it’s now August and the first ICT clients should be in (the building) in November, so that is reflecting progress,” Dr. Phillips said.The Finance Minister said the ICT sector can be expanded into other areas of Jamaica, and during the tour, it was noted that close to 10,000 persons are employed to the sector in Montego Bay.“We visited a lot of businesses in the Freezone. I think there is close to 10,000 young Jamaicans employed at all layers of the industry in Montego Bay and this is something that we can develop in other parts of the country,” he said.Dr. Phillips said he will be having further discussions with players in the ICT industry regarding ways in which Government can work with them to maximize the benefits to Jamaica.“We have a lot of talented young people with all the skills needed to make Jamaica the ICT capital of the world, certainly in per capita terms, and we want to do that because the more young people we put to work, the more their families can be secured. We think that growth is going to depend a lot on what happens in this ICT sector,” the Finance Minister emphasised. RelatedClan Carthy Primary Teachers Get Tablet Computerslast_img read more

Internet infrastructure praised in new book

first_imgHomeFeaturedInternet infrastructure praised in new book Jan. 04, 2019 at 8:46 amFeaturedNewsInternet infrastructure praised in new bookMadeleine Pauker2 years agoNo tags Santa Monica’s status as a technology hub is no accident.It’s a result of careful planning by the city over the past 20 years to install an inexpensive fiber network that allows businesses to transfer massive amounts of data in mere seconds.Susan Crawford, a Harvard Law School professor and Santa Monica High School alumna who also served as President Barack Obama’s technology advisor, writes in her book Fiber: The Coming Tech Revolution—and Why America Might Miss It (Yale University Press) that other cities have a lot to learn from Santa Monica’s investment in its fiber infrastructure. The book is on sale Jan. 8.Fiber transmits data using light rather than electricity, which makes it hundreds of times faster than cable internet. The technology is becoming spreading to cities around the world, including Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong, allowing people to access cheap, extremely fast internet. Santa Monica was ahead of its time. While fiber connects cities in the United States, only a quarter of American households can directly access a fiber network. And because of the monopoly the five main cable companies have on the telecommunications industry, Crawford writes, it could stay that way.20 states have made it difficult or impossible for cities to intervene in fiber access, but California is not one of them. That allowed Jory Wolf, the City of Santa Monica’s chief information officer, to create a telecommunications master plan in 1998 that “put him in the room whenever a public works official was considering tearing up a street” to make sure the City installed fiber, Crawford writes in Fiber. “It took his individual patience with this issue and ability to persuade successive mayors and City Councils that it was important,” Crawford said in an interview with the Daily Press. “As a result, Santa Monica remains very relevant as a place for entertainment and tech. Anyone dealing with very large files needs a fiber connection to their business.”Other American cities could follow Santa Monica’s example and reap benefits far beyond creating a better business environment. Crawford said more low-income people could access the internet because municipal fiber would be significantly cheaper than purchasing internet from cable companies. Fiber would also make downloads almost instantaneous and allow people on video conferences to be able to make eye contact in real time, making virtual doctors visits and classroom participation viable.The problem is, she said, is that cable companies have been politically proactive in fighting cities that have tried to build fiber networks. Comcast sued the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2008 when the city tried to build its own fiber network. (It won the lawsuit and has since built a successful network.)Crawford likens this era to the period around the turn of the century when electricity provided by private companies only reached wealthy areas. Despite attacks from electricity companies, most states were able to create state-level commissions to oversee utilities by 1914.A similar transition is needed today, Crawford argues. Internet now is as essential to life as electricity: inadequate connectivity prevents people from accessing economic opportunities, healthcare and education, and hinders business development, she writes in Fiber.While installing fiber is expensive, Crawford said labor (i.e. paying construction workers to tear up streets) comprises 80 percent of the cost of building a network. Like Santa Monica, cities could simply install fiber whenever a street is already undergoing construction. “All it would take to roll out fiber to homes and businesses is political will,” she said.Today, Santa Monica’s CityNet provides free public Wi-Fi in tourist destinations and real-time data for apps that help people finding parking, Crawford writes. The City has also connected ten of its affordable housing buildings to fiber since 2015 with $175,000 in initial funding. An additional federal grant of $1.85 million will bring fiber to 29 more buildings in the next few years, providing more than 900 low-income families with either free Gigabit broadband in their community room or service in their units for $48 per month.Both local and federal policymakers have the obligation to take on the cable companies and pave the way for other cities to follow Santa Monica’s lead, Crawford said.“I don’t like to see people being bossed around, and the whole country is being bossed around by five companies with no competition or oversight, so they can charge whatever they want for subpar service,” she said. “I was pleased my hometown had taken this issue on so deliberately for so many years and is doing it so well.” [email protected] on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentLaughing MattersResolve to give blood with the Red CrossYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall9 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press19 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press19 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson19 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter19 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor19 hours agolast_img read more

Samsung chip unit fuels surge in Q1 operating profit

first_img South Korea-headquartered Samsung forecasts a near 50 per cent jump in its Q1 operating profit, with its memory chip business reportedly the main driver behind the robust growth.In Q1 2017 earning guidance issued today, the world’s largest smartphone maker estimated operating profit at KRW9.9 trillion ($8.85 billion), a 48 per cent increase from Q1 2016. According to Yonhap news agency, the figure would be Samsung’s second-highest quarterly operating profit ever. The previous high was KRW10.1 trillion in Q3 2013.Its consolidated revenue in the January to March quarter was expected to rise 0.4 per cent to KRW50 trillion. The company did not break down sales or profit by division. It will release final Q1 results later this month.Samsung is expected to report a strong operating profit from its chip business, which local brokerages said may hit KRW6 trillion, Yonhap reported. Its chip unit posted an operating profit of KRW4.9 trillion in Q4 2016.The strong performance comes just six months after Samsung pulled the plug on the crisis-ridden Galaxy Note 7, which was plagued with problems since its launch in August. The company’s vice chairman, Lee Jae-yong, was also caught up in a corruption scandal resulting in the impeachment of the country’s president Park Geun-hye. Lee was arrested in February.Late in Q1, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8 and S8+, featuring iris and facial recognition as well as an ‘infinity display’, as the vendor looks to recover from the Note 7 battery debacle. Author Samsung boosts logic chip investment by $34B Samsung stands by Q2 component warning AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 07 APR 2017 Previous ArticleComcast enters unlimited battlefield as MVNONext ArticleIndia regulator asks Jio to drop latest free offer HomeAsiaNews Samsung chip unit fuels surge in Q1 operating profit Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he… Read more center_img Related chip divisionGalaxy Note 7 Galaxy S8Samsung Tags Asia Joseph Waring Ericsson-Samsung patent deal ends legal disputeslast_img read more