Tag: management (page 1 of 2)

Saint Germain – Initiate a Last Thrust – October-12-2016

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Infants Deeply Traumatized By Common Medical Procedures

Just Up Ahead...and Right on Schedule -- Sirian High Council -- Patricia Cori

Sayer Ji, Green Med InfoA concerning new study suggests that decades of medical procedures performed on infants without pain management has had deeply traumatizing effects.A groundbreaking study published in eLife titled, “fMRI reveals neural activity overlap between adult and infant pain,” demonstrates that the infant pain experience, despite long held assumptions to the contrary, closely resembles that of adults.Researchers discovered that when  [...]

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Is The CIA Manipulating The Weather?

Derrick Broze, ContributorIn a recent speech, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency discussed the controversial topic of geoengineering, leading some activists to ask whether the agency is actively and deliberately modifying the weather.​In late June, John Brennan, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, spoke at a Council on Foreign Relations meeting about threats to global security. Director Brennan mentioned a number of threats to stability before di [...]

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Our Fatally Fractured Food Chain

Julian Rose, ContributorThe term ‘food chain’ refers to the steps that constitute the movement of food from its starting point in the field to its end point on the fork. This incorporates processing and ultimate consumption.The food chain operates within a dynamic life cycle. One which expresses the inseparable interconnection between soil, plant, animal and man – and ends back in the soil again. So that if any one element of this cycle is poisoned or weakened, the [...]

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Neonics Causing Bee Collapse with ‘Limited to No Benefit’ for Farmers

Alex Pietrowski, Staff WriterFor over the last decade, beekeepers and scientists have been documenting the decline of important pollinators such as honeybees. This decline poses a huge threat to the food supply, because without pollinators some crops wouldn’t exist, while others would suffer in crop output and quality. Losing the bees would be an indicator that we are next to go.The American Beekeeping Federation offers some insight:As honey bees gather pollen and nec [...]

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Smart Meters and Domestic Surveillance

Catherine J. Frompovich, GuestTalk about copycats! Whoa! Someone did a rather convincing job of that, I’d say. It’s the Internet site “Domestic Surveillance Directorate. Defending Our Nation. Securing The Citizen,” which identifies itself as a “parody” on the NSA (National Security Agency). The parody site does an excellent job, so I encourage readers to study it thoroughly, as it contains too much information to talk about here [...]

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The Aspirin Alternative Your Doctor Never Told You About

Sayer Ji,  Green Med InfoMillions use aspirin daily without realizing its true dangers. The good news is that there is a natural alternative which preliminary research indicates is safer and more effective.Aspirin is taken faithfully by millions every day as a preventive measure against heart attack, often without the user having any awareness of the serious health risks associated with it, some potentially fatal. You can view over 60 adverse effects of aspirin on the GreenMedIn [...]

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The Final Frontier: US Building War Command Center to Take Foreign Policy to Space

By Carey Wedler for The Anti-Media(ANTIMEDIA) According to Defense One, the Pentagon is rushing to build a space war center to sustain its global power. Within six months, the space apparatus will be fully functional, as announced by Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work at the 2015 GEOINT conference. Work openly admitted the move is an attempt by the Pentagon to maintain global dominance and combat alleged attacks from China and Russia. Most prominently, the [...]

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Pipeline Spill Dumps 105,000 Gallons of Oil on California’s Coastline

Oil from a broken pipeline coats miles of the Pacific Ocean and shoreline near Goleta, Calif., May 20, 2015, after a 24-inch underground pipeline broke May 19th and leaked into a culvert leading to the ocean. Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline said an thousands of gallons of oil were released before the pipeline was shut down. Photos by Jonathan Alcorn/Greenpeace. Steve Horn, DeSmog BlogUp to 105,000 gallons of oil obtained via offshore drilling have spilled from a p [...]

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Seattle Company Raises Minimum Wage to $70,000 a Year For All Employees!






Excerpt from nytimes.com

The idea began percolating, said Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments, after he read an article on happiness. It showed that, for people who earn less than about $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives.

His idea bubbled into reality on Monday afternoon, when Mr. Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing that he planned over the next three years to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid clerk, customer service representative and salesman to a minimum of $70,000.

“Is anyone else freaking out right now?” Mr. Price asked after the clapping and whooping died down into a few moments of stunned silence. “I’m kind of freaking out.”

If it’s a publicity stunt, it’s a costly one. Mr. Price, who started the Seattle-based credit-card payment processing firm in 2004 at the age of 19, said he would pay for the wage increases by cutting his own salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000 and using 75 to 80 percent of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million in profit this year.

Employees reacting to the news. The average salary at Gravity Payments had been $48,000 year. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

The paychecks of about 70 employees will grow, with 30 ultimately doubling their salaries, according to Ryan Pirkle, a company spokesman. The average salary at Gravity is $48,000 year.

Mr. Price’s small, privately owned company is by no means a bellwether, but his unusual proposal does speak to an economic issue that has captured national attention: The disparity between the soaring pay of chief executives and that of their employees.

The United States has one of the world’s largest pay gaps, with chief executives earning nearly 300 times what the average worker makes, according to some economists’ estimates. That is much higher than the 20-to-1 ratio recommended by Gilded Age magnates like J. Pierpont Morgan and the 20th century management visionary Peter Drucker.

“The market rate for me as a C.E.O. compared to a regular person is ridiculous, it’s absurd,” said Mr. Price, who said his main extravagances were snowboarding and picking up the bar bill. He drives a 12-year-old Audi, which he received in a barter for service from the local dealer.

“As much as I’m a capitalist, there is nothing in the market that is making me do it,” he said, referring to paying wages that make it possible for his employees to go after the American dream, buy a house and pay for their children’s education.

Under a financial overhaul passed by Congress in 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission was supposed to require all publicly held companies to disclose the ratio of C.E.O. pay to the median pay of all other employees, but it has so far failed to put it in effect. Corporate executives have vigorously opposed the idea, complaining it would be cumbersome and costly to implement.

Mr. Price started the company, which processed $6.5 billion in transactions for more than 12,000 businesses last year, in his dorm room at Seattle Pacific University with seed money from his older brother. The idea struck him a few years earlier when he was playing in a rock band at a local coffee shop. The owner started having trouble with the company that was processing credit card payments and felt ground down by the large fees charged.

When Mr. Price looked into it for her, he realized he could do it more cheaply and efficiently with better customer service.

The entrepreneurial spirit was omnipresent where he grew up in rural southwestern Idaho, where his family lived 30 miles from the closest grocery store and he was home-schooled until the age of 12. When one of Mr. Price’s four brothers started a make-your-own baseball card business, 9-year-old Dan went on a local radio station to make a pitch: “Hi. I’m Dan Price. I’d like to tell you about my brother’s business, Personality Plus.”

His father, Ron Price, is a consultant and motivational speaker who has written his own book on business leadership.

Dan Price came close to closing up shop himself in 2008 when the recession sent two of his biggest clients into bankruptcy, eliminating 20 percent of his revenue in the space of two weeks. He said the firm managed to struggle through without layoffs or raising prices. His staff, most of them young, stuck with him.

Aryn Higgins at work at Gravity Payments in Seattle. She and her co-workers are going to receive significant pay raises. Credit Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times

Mr. Price said he wasn’t seeking to score political points with his plan. From his friends, he heard stories of how tough it was to make ends meet even on salaries that were still well-above the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

“They were walking me through the math of making 40 grand a year,” he said, then describing a surprise rent increase or nagging credit card debt.

“I hear that every single week,” he added. “That just eats at me inside.”

Mr. Price said he wanted to do something to address the issue of inequality, although his proposal “made me really nervous” because he wanted to do it without raising prices for his customers or cutting back on service.

Of all the social issues that he felt he was in a position to do something about as a business leader, “that one seemed like a more worthy issue to go after.”

He said he planned to keep his own salary low until the company earned back the profit it had before the new wage scale went into effect.

Hayley Vogt, a 24-year-old communications coordinator at Gravity who earns $45,000, said, “I’m completely blown away right now.” She said she has worried about covering rent increases and a recent emergency room bill.

“Everyone is talking about this $15 minimum wage in Seattle and it’s nice to work someplace where someone is actually doing something about it and not just talking about it,” she said.

The happiness research behind Mr. Price’s announcement on Monday came from Angus Deaton and Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning psychologist. They found that what they called emotional well-being — defined as “the emotional quality of an individual’s everyday experience, the frequency and intensity of experiences of joy, stress, sadness, anger, and affection that make one’s life pleasant or unpleasant” — rises with income, but only to a point. And that point turns out to be about $75,000 a year.

Of course, money above that level brings pleasures — there’s no denying the delights of a Caribbean cruise or a pair of diamond earrings — but no further gains on the emotional well-being scale.
As Mr. Kahneman has explained it, income above the threshold doesn’t buy happiness, but a lack of money can deprive you of it.
Phillip Akhavan, 29, earns $43,000 working on the company’s merchant relations team. “My jaw just dropped,” he said. “This is going to make a difference to everyone around me.”

At that moment, no Princeton researchers were needed to figure out he was feeling very happy.

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Google to lease former Nasa airfield for space research


Hangar One
Google will restore Hangar One which has become a landmark in Silicon Valley

Excerpt from

bbc.com



Google latest "moonshot" is an apt one - it is investing in a Nasa-owned airfield to expand research into space exploration and robotics.

Planetary Ventures, an offshoot of Google, will take over management of the Moffett Federal Airfield.

The airfield is already regularly used as a landing strip for the private jets of the firm's billionaire executives.

Google has not divulged exactly how the site will be used.
But, according to a Nasa press release, the site will be used for "research, development, assembly and testing in the areas of space exploration, aviation, rover/robotics and other emerging technologies".

For Nasa, the sale offers rich pickings - the agreement will provide it with $1.16bn (£731m) in rent over the initial 60-year lease term.

"As Nasa expands its presence in space, we are making strides to reduce our footprint here on Earth," said Nasa administrator Charles Bolden. 

And for Google, the investment represents an opportunity to restore an iconic building.

Part of the deal includes the restoration of Hangar One, an important landmark in Silicon Valley. Built in 1933, it is one of the world's largest free-standing structures.


Moffett Federal Airfield golf courseThere is also a golf course on the site


Planetary Ventures plans to invest more than $200m in rebuilding Hangar One and two other hangars on the site.

It will create an educational facility where the public can explore the site's legacy and the role of technology on it.


Very little is known about Planetary Ventures, the firm behind the deal. Press reports describe it as shell organisation for real estate deals although the name hints at something more. 

The base, previously maintained by Nasa's Ames Research Center, is located four miles from Google's Mountain View headquarters.


Space Projects

It is not the first time Google has invested in unusual purchases. Two mysterious barges that appeared on the coasts of San Francisco and Portland, Maine, last year turned out to be Google-owned.

It emerged that Google intended to use them as floating showcases for new products such as Google Glass and its self-driving cars. The project was later abandoned after coastguard officials deemed them to be a fire risk.

(It is not) the first time that Google has worked with Nasa. Back in 2005, Google built an office at Nasa's research facility in order to co-operate on a range of projects.

More recently, the two teamed up to launch a new laboratory, focused on advancing machine learning, also based at Nasa's research centre.

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Double blast of solar storms heading to Earth raise disruption concerns



reuters.com
By Irene Klotz

CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) - A rare double burst of magnetically charged solar storms will hit Earth Thursday night and Friday, raising concerns that GPS signals, radio communications and power transmissions could be disrupted, officials said on Thursday.
Individually, the storms, known as coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, wouldn’t warrant special warnings, but their unusual close timing and direct path toward Earth spurred the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center to issue an alert.
The first CME, which burst from a magnetically disturbed region of the sun on Monday night, should reach Earth Thursday night, center director Thomas Berger told reporters on a conference call.
The same patch of solar real estate produced a second, more powerful storm about 1:45 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.“We don’t expect any unmanageable impacts to national infrastructure from these solar events at this time, but we are watching these events closely,” Berger said.
The sun currently is in the peak of its 11-year cycle, though the overall level of activity is far lower than a typical solar max.
Storms as powerful as the ones now making their way toward Earth typically occur 100 to 200 times during a solar cycle, Berger said.
“The unique thing about this event is that we’ve had two in close succession and the CMEs could possibly be interacting on their way to Earth, at the Earth’s orbit or beyond. We just don’t know that yet,” he said.
The highly energetic, magnetically charged solar particles could hit Earth’s magnetic field and disrupt some radio communications and degrade GPS signals, NOAA said.
The storms also have the potential to impact electric field power grids in the northern latitudes, which are more susceptible to geomagnetic disturbances.
Power grid operators and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been notified “just in case,” Berger added.
On the plus side, the storms should trigger beautiful auroral displays, visible wherever clear skies prevail along the northern tier of the United States. Aurora are caused by electrically charged solar particles hitting oxygen, nitrogen and other gases high in the atmosphere, creating curtains of light above the planet’s magnetic north and south poles.

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Future Tech Watch ~ Will this technology replace herds of Walmart Rascals?


Honda’s Walking Assist with Stride Management: Coming to a Hospital Near You!

en.akihabaranews.com

If, that is, you’re connected to one of 50 Japanese medical institutions now testing and evaluating a pair of the semi-robotic exoskeletal assistive devices. Honda breaks down the what’s-it-do-and-how as follows:

“The [Walking Assist Device’s] control computer activates motors based on information obtained from hip angle sensors while walking to improve the symmetry of the timing of each leg lifting from the ground and extending forward, and to promote a longer stride for an easier walk.”
 Honda Stride Assist Device



Shoppers utilizing Rascals at Wal-Mart 
Honda’s worked closely with several medical institutions throughout development of the Walking Assist Device, but last week’s announcement of the 100-unit roll-out signals what is effectively their flagship field testing effort; a medical trial to collect feedback and evaluations from professionals and patients, and data from the devices themselves, of course. But it’s much sexier than your average medical trial. Because robots. Obviously.
Each rehabilitation and/or physical therapy-focused recipient medical facility gets one medium- and one large-sized device. Details on the cost and duration of the leases haven’t been disclosed, but we do have the following specs:




If successful, the devices will very likely see wider domestic trials, possibly moving beyond rehabilitation and making their way into the homes of Japan’s rapidly aging population. In addition to recovery, the Walking Assist Device could provide just the boost needed for walking to the grocery store, visiting a friend or family member, a healthy stroll around the shopping center, or, for Japan’s endangered farming population, 50% of whom are within 5-10 years of retirement, another trip out to the field.
Given sufficient demand, and should they be cheap enough to produce, the Walking Assist Devices could perhaps be enlarged for populations a bit more… uhhh, let’s be nice and say “a bit more robust.” Among other developed nations, the U.S. also has a growing population of retirees who’d definitely appreciate the extra spring in their step. But Honda, remember, you’re going to need some bigger springs. Sorry about that. It’s a problem. Sorry.

Honda’s Ongoing Assistive Robotics Commitment – Respect Due:

While Honda began specific work on walking-assist devices in 1999, the devices weren’t widely public until 2009. Differences between the current and early iterations are visible in the main image above: on the right and left are the earlier, bulkier, more metallic devices – the middle image, included in last week’s press release, shows the sleeker, current model (the middle image has actually been out in the wild for at least a year, so one assumes the 50 medium and 50 large devices now shipping are the same, possibly with some under-the-hood upgrades and/or modifications).

Unless you’re of a certain level of robo-dorkiness, you might not know that Honda’s actually been pounding away on bipedal humanoid robotics tech since the mid-1980s. You might be unaware of their proactive efforts toward addressing Japan’s aging population crisis through assistive robotics (Akihabara News coverage). And, you could have missed news that Honda’s pursuing a robotics-in-the-home partnership with Sekisui House (even more Akihabara News coverage!).*

Cars, ATVs, a lawnmower perhaps, maybe a sprinkling of ASIMO – that’s the standard mental image of Honda.
Consider upgrading?

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