Memories and beginnings

first_imgEighty years to the day from when Harvard’s Memorial Church was dedicated in honor of the University’s dead from World War I, members of the University community gathered again in the sacred space on Veterans Day weekend to remember the fallen heroes of wartime, and to welcome a new spiritual leader.The Rev. Jonathan Walton’s  installation as the Pusey Minister and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals on Sunday coincided with Harvard’s annual ceremony to commemorate those who died for their country.“We are all beneficiaries of someone else’s sacrifices,” said Walton, citing his own indebtedness to his distant ancestors and extended family, as well as the nation’s debt to its war dead and its veterans. “None of us are self-made women or men, for it’s by the good will and grace of another, seen or unseen, that our imaginations, our aspirations, and our industriousness are able to take root and blossom into what we have to call achievement.”Walton’s friends and family, as well as members of the Harvard faculty, the administration, the military, and the Harvard community filled the church for the service. Several attendees took part in the formal celebration. David Hempton, dean of Harvard Divinity School (HDS), read a lesson from the New Testament, and a number of undergraduates read prayers and assisted in the service. At Walton’s request, sisters and Lowell House residents Arielle and Danielle Galler Rabinowitz ’14, whom he met while he served as a Lowell House resident scholar, sat side by side at the piano and played Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G Minor by Johannes Brahms.The Rev. Charles G. Adams, a former professor at HDS and pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, delivered the day’s sermon, a moving talk titled “Yes We Can.”Walton’s longtime friend and mentor put a spiritual spin on the slogan from the 2008 presidential campaign. “Yes, we can do the impossible,” Adams told the congregation. The pastor told his listeners that the impossible — in everything from the inability to count calories, to quit smoking, to “maintain my sanity in an insane society,” or to lead fulfilling lives — is possible with faith in God and each other.“Yes, we can, together. Together we can. … We can do the impossible through Christ and through human community, which makes all things possible.”The official installation was officiated by Harvard President Drew Faust, who asked Walton as he stood with his family at the front of the church: “Do you, in the presence of this congregation, commit yourself to these new trusts and responsibilities?”“With God’s help, I do,” Walton responded.Faust then asked the congregation, in “witnessing this new beginning,” if it would pledge to support and uphold Walton. “We will, with God’s help,” the attendees answered. She then instituted Walton and introduced him to the crowd, which received him with loud applause.In brief comments, Walton echoed Adams’ sentiments. He praised the community of family, friends, scholars, teachers, and mentors who have “played such a critical role in my life and my academic and human training.” He also praised his new home, and the welcoming Harvard community. “[My family and I] praise God for giving us you. We love you. We thank you. Yes, we can, by God’s grace, and with the love of one another.”Remembering Harvard’s war dead and veteransHarvard commemorated Veterans Day with a ceremony featuring the solemn placing of a wreath in the church’s Memorial Room, honoring its benefactors. While the church was dedicated in 1932 to commemorate Harvard alumni who died in World War I, it now contains memorials to the University dead of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the graduates of Radcliffe College who died in World War I.“This building honors those who paid the ultimate price with their lives in World War I,” said Walton. “And while, unfortunately since that time, the list of the war dead continues to grow along the wall, we continue to embrace the sublime principles of dedication and sacrifice that animated their efforts.”Prior to the day’s service, Nathaniel Katz, the church’s Epps Fellow, offered encouraging words to the three young Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets from Harvard who served as the official Color Guard for the ceremony and placed the wreath in the Memorial Room as the church’s bell tolled.“You are the reason we are here today,” said Epps. “We are grateful, very grateful.”For ROTC cadet and sophomore Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, the ability to take part in the service carried special meaning. “My grandparents were liberated by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines during World War II,” said the Kirkland House resident. “It was very important for me to be able to thank and commemorate the veterans who played a part in that, and in other conflicts.”The legacy of the Rev. Peter J. GomesWalton’s desire to build community is in close keeping with that of his predecessor, the Rev. Peter J. Gomes. Walton has introduced a coffee hour following Morning Prayers, offering those attending the chance to get to know one another following the brief daily service. He also hosts regular tailgate parties prior to Harvard home football games at Sparks House, a practice that follows in the footsteps of Gomes’ weekly Wednesday teas.“Everybody may not belong to Memorial Church … but we belong to everybody,” Walton said in an interview earlier in the week. “We are in the business here of educating minds, enriching hearts, and expanding lives. And I think that can impact everybody and anybody.”Florence Ladd, who directed the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, the precursor to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, from 1989 to 1997, grew emotional when reflecting on the institution service. A longtime member of the church, Ladd got to know Walton while working with the Senior Common Room at Lowell House. She wrote a letter recommending him for the Memorial Church position.“I am thrilled and moved beyond belief in this moment,” Ladd said. “I think he has enormous promise. I think he will make his own path and leave his own footprint on this church, inspired by God.”Marcia Potter, the mother of Epps Fellow Katz, regularly listens to the church’s weekly radio service from her home in California, and she said Walton inspired both hope and healing.“I just felt like the connection from Peter to Jonathan was fully achieved today. Peter was remarkable, and you can see within Jonathan all the possibilities and promise,” said Potter during a reception that Faust hosted after the service. “Everything about the joy we felt in past, I felt today too. It was a healing feeling for me today.”last_img read more

Council Authorizes Tax Incentives To Create Snowshoe Manufacturing Jobs In Vermont

first_imgCouncil Authorizes Tax Incentives To Create Snowshoe Manufacturing Jobs In VermontMONTPELIER — The Vermont Economic Progress Council recently approved almost a quarter-million dollars in tax credits to a Williston firm that plans to manufacture snowshoes in Vermont.The council approved an application from TSL USA, LLC at its meeting on October 27th, 2005, after the firm presented plans to manufacture aluminum and plastic snowshoes in Williston, Vermont and distribute their products worldwide. The company was authorized for $241,925 in payroll, research and development and workforce development tax credits to add new jobs and invest in research and development and employee training and education. The company was also considering sites in Clinton County, New York.TSL is very excited to bring the snowshoe industry back to Vermont, said Arnaud Claude, President of TSL USA. Thanks to the hard work of the Vermont Economic Progress Council, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, we are going to create new jobs in Vermont, developing and manufacturing high quality snowshoes that will be sold to consumers worldwide.Claude said he hopes to have the first prototype snowshoes completed in January and to have production underway in March. He anticipated starting with 4 or 5 workers with plans to ramp up to 25 in five years.I love it in Vermont, Claude said. Vermont is the image for the snowshoe industry.The tax incentives were authorized based on job creation and capital investments that must occur before the credits can be claimed. The Council approved the application after reviewing nine guidelines and applying a rigorous cost-benefit analysis that projects whether the activity encouraged by the tax incentives will have a positive or negative impact on the region and state. This analysis showed that if the company meets all its projections and utilizes all the tax credits, the State will realize a net increase in revenues of $431,200. The Council also determined that the project would not occur or would occur in a significantly different and less desirable manner if not for the incentives being authorized.These incentives generate good jobs that pay well and increase income levels here in Vermont, said Lawrence Miller, chair of the nine-member council of business people from around the state. “If the credits are claimed, it means that the applicant has performed as expected, created jobs and invested in Vermont. The net fiscal impact is outstanding for Vermont and we’re pleased to offer these incentives.”The Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) is an independent body appointed by the Governor, and is responsible for administering the Economic Advancement Tax Incentive program. It is housed within the Department of Economic Development at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.We are very pleased at the prospect of new jobs being created in Vermonts manufacturing sector, said Kevin Dorn, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.-30-last_img read more

Vermont Business Roundtable names new directors

first_imgToday, Vermont Business Roundtable President Lisa Ventriss announced that three new directors were elected to the Roundtable Board of Directors at its 24th Annual Membership Meeting on January 13th at Topnotch Resort & Spa in Stowe.New directors are: Rob Adams, President, Simon Pearce; Tim Donovan, Chancellor, Vermont State Colleges; and, Pam Mackenzie, Area Vice-President of VT/Western New England. Elected to a second three-year term is Howard Pierce, President and CEO of PKC.New officers of the Roundtable Board include: Chair – Steve Voigt, President and CEO, King Arthur Flour; Vice-Chair ‘ Mary Powell, CEO, Green Mountain Power Corporation; Secretary ‘ Rob Simpson, President and CEO, Brattleboro Retreat; Treasurer: Gregory Bourgea, Co-Managing Partner, Gallagher Flynn & Co.; and, Immediate Past Chair ‘ Bill Stritzler, Managing Director, Smugglers’ Notch Resort.Continuing members of the Roundtable Board are: Ted Adler, Union Street Media; Pennie Beach, President, Basin Harbor Club; Leon J. Berthiaume, St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, Inc.; Ellen Mercer Fallon, Partner, Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP; David F. Finney, Champlain College; Tommy Harmon, Sonnax Industries, Inc.; G. Kenneth Perine, National Bank of Middlebury; and, Mark R. Neagley, President, Neagley & Chase Construction Co.The Roundtable is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of 110 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy, with an aggregate economic impact of $135 billion and employing 15 percent of the state’s workforce. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on long-range, statewide public policy issues. For more information about the Roundtable and its projects visit: www.vtroundtable.org(link is external).last_img read more

NCUA bans former CEO

first_imgThe NCUA banned last week Linda D. Landry from participating in the affairs of a federally insured financial institution.Landry, a former president/CEO of the $6.9 million Southeast Texas Employees Federal Credit Union in Orange, allegedly stole more than $20,000 from the credit union’s bank account, according to the NCUA’s prohibition order.Through its investigation, the independent federal agency determined Landry converted these funds for her own personal use.She did not admit nor deny this allegation, however, the prohibition order shows. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

7.1 Earthquake Hits Southern California

first_imgAnother earthquake has struck Southern California after a 6.4 earthquake Thursday. Friday evening a 7.1 earthquake struck near Los Angeles. Multiple fires and injuries have been reported in the city of Ridgecrest. There have been a large number of medical aid calls to 911 but so far no reports of any deaths.last_img

Three reasons to be optimistic about Raiders’ defense in 2019

first_imgALAMEDA  — Raiders quarterback Derek Carr dropped back to pass Tuesday, quickly noticing rookies Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby closing in. His pass was batted down, falling harmlessly to the ground.Not long afterward, Carr spotted Antonio Brown breaking free down the right sideline in a red zone drill. It’s been a common sight during media access periods in the off-season, as Brown seems to be just a little faster than anyone else on the field.Not this time. Third-year linebacker Nicholas …last_img read more

SA a global hub for Ford’s diesel engines

first_imgOver the last 24 months, the plant has been completely overhauled, including the construction of an entirely new assembly hall for the Duratorq TDCi programme, which expands the total floor area to 16 514 square metres. The Struandale Engine Plant is unique in that it is the only Ford facility that shares both component machining and engine assembly for the Duratorq TDCi diesel engine programme supporting the Ford Ranger. 2 August 2011 “This programme is more than just an engine, it is confirmation that our Struandale Engine Plant is truly world-class in every respect,” FMCSA chief executive Jeff Nemeth said in a statement last month. “The remarkable transformation that has taken place is the result of the extraordinary dedication and support of our employees, suppliers and partners.” New era for Struandale Engine Plant The high-tech assembly hall was fitted with the latest, most advanced equipment, systems and processes, and is complemented by a specialised clean-room, state-of-the-art cold and hot-test benches, as well as an all-new dynamometer specifically developed for the production of the high-torque Duratorq TDCi diesel engines. The production of Duratorq TDCi engines, which started at the end of June, forms part of the company’s R3.4-billion export investment programme, which includes the upgrade and expansion of production facilities at the engine plant and Silverton Assembly Plant outside Pretoria. “Our employees are simply the best.” “The diesel engine programme represents an entirely new era for the Struandale Engine Plant, which, through Ford’s stringent global quality standards, has undergone a complete transformation to ensure that it competes with the best in the world,” Struandale plant manager Wallace Yearwood said. Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is now manufacturing a new line of diesel engines at Struandale outside Port Elizabeth, turning its local engine plant into a global hub for the carmaker’s diesel engines. Employee training The Struandale Engine Plant has upgraded and expanded its assembly and machining capabilities using Ford’s global manufacturing processes and quality standards, and now has an annual production capacity of 75 000 engines and 220 000 engine component kits. The machined components are used for engine kits which are exported to other Ford Ranger assembly plants, and the fully assembled engines will be used in the South African-built Ranger. “Employee training has been central to this project,” said Yearwood. “We launched a new training centre last year, and every operator has been through extensive simulation training to ensure that we’re able to deliver engines that meet all quality, cost, and efficiency requirements. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

15 days agoTrent Alexander-Arnold open to playing in Liverpool midfield

first_imgTrent Alexander-Arnold open to playing in Liverpool midfieldby Paul Vegas15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveTrent Alexander-Arnold says he’s open to playing in Liverpool’s midfield.The 21-year-old right-back grabbed 12 assists last season, the most ever by a defender in a single Premier League season.And after modelling his game on Reds legend Steven Gerrard, Alexander-Arnold would be open to moving further forward for Jurgen Klopp’s side.”Obviously I’m a defender first and foremost, then I want to try and help the team create chances,” Alexander-Arnold said on Wednesday. “For now the manager has decided I’m a right back. That’s where I’ll play. I’m really not fussed where I play. I just want to play football.”If a manager decides to use me in midfield, or as a centre-back or a striker then that’s where I’ll play.”He added: “[I modelled myself on] Gerrard, really. Everything about his game I always admired. I always studied him and wanted to be like him.”It’s maybe not that important to compare because at a young age, you haven’t achieved the things those types of players have. It’s difficult to say whether you will or won’t. Who knows? “For now, it’s about having an open mind and wanting to achieve those types of levels, wanting to be those types of players, wanting to reach the levels they’ve reached. “Being regarded in the same bracket as them is something the best players want.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

California may limit liability of selfdriving carmakers

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – California regulators are embracing a General Motors recommendation that would help makers of self-driving cars avoid paying for accidents and other trouble, raising concerns that the proposal will put an unfair burden on vehicle owners.If adopted, the regulations drafted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles would protect these carmakers from lawsuits in cases where vehicles haven’t been maintained according to manufacturer specifications.That could open a loophole for automakers to skirt responsibility for accidents, injuries and deaths caused by defective autonomous vehicles, said Armand Feliciano, vice-president for the Association of California Insurance Companies. For instance, manufacturers might avoid liability if the tires on self-driving cars are slightly underinflated or even if the oil hasn’t been changed as regularly as manufacturers suggest, he said.“When is the last time you followed everything that is listed in your car manual?” Feliciano said.The California DMV declined to comment on its proposed regulations because they’re still being finalized.PAVING THE WAY FOR AUTONOMOUS CARSDetermining liability for self-driving cars is just one of the many hurdles that still must be addressed as dozens of automakers and technology companies expand their tests of robotic vehicles cruising public roads scattered across the U.S. Some of these companies are hoping to deploy their self-driving vehicles in ride-hailing services and eventually sell them to consumers within the next few years.As biggest testing ground for self-driving cars, California is being viewed as a bellwether for how other states might sculpt their regulations down the road.The section addressing the limits of automakers’ liability adopts much of the wording proposed in an April 24 letter to the DMV from Paul Hemmersbaugh, formerly chief counsel for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and now chief counsel for the General Motors division overseeing self-driving cars.Consumer Watchdog, an activist group frequently critical of business interests, believes Hemmersbaugh plied the connections he made at the California DMV while working at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to insert the clause that could make it easier for self-driving carmakers to avoid liability.“It is the result of the ongoing and troubling federal revolving door between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the auto industry,” Consumer Watchdog officials wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to the DMV and the head of the transportation overseeing the agency.“MORAL HAZARD”Under current law, automakers can still be held liable for faulty equipment or other flaws in vehicles that require a human driver, even if the owners haven’t followed all the maintenance instructions.That would change if the DMV’s proposed regulations go on the books as is, warned the Consumer Attorneys of California, a professional association of trial lawyers.“This language creates a dangerous ‘moral hazard’ where manufacturers are encouraged to create unreasonable or impossible maintenance specifications to shift the burden onto (self-driving car) consumers or the public at large for technological failures,” the trade group wrote in its Oct. 25 comments to the DMV.GM spokeswoman Laura Toole lauded the “transparency” of the DMV’s process. Dozens of parties also submitted comments and recommendations, leaving it to the DMV’s staff to decide which to include in the agency’s proposed rules, she said.RULES FOR ROBOTSIn his April 24 letter, Hemmersbaugh linked his recommendations to concerns that self-driving carmakers might be held responsible for all vehicle problems “without taking into account the acts of intervening parties and other factors that contributed to an incident.”Self-driving cars are being touted as safer alternative to vehicles operated by humans who get drunk or distracted. But accidents are still bound to happen, and some are likely to be caused by equipment defects, said Jacqueline Serna, legislative attorney for the Consumer Attorneys of California. And when that happens, she said, it should be left to the courts to draw the lines of liability.“The courts have dealt with new technology in the past and they are equipped to do it again,” Serna said.The issue could end up in court if the DMV doesn’t revise the current wording of its regulations. Consumer Watchdog says it will sue if the current regulations are approved and insurance trade groups say they may take legal action, too.last_img read more

Husky Energy offers apology for largest ever oil spill off Newfoundland coast

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Husky Energy is apologizing for Newfoundland’s largest-ever oil spill last month, which saw 250,000 litres leak into the ocean.The huge spill of oil, water and gas happened while Husky Energy’s SeaRose platform was preparing to restart production during a fierce storm that was, at the time, the most intense in the world.In a statement Monday, the company says it is “deeply sorry” for the incident and is committed to learning from it and putting measures in place “to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”On Friday, Husky submitted its preliminary report on the Nov. 16 spill, stating that it appears that a flowline connector failed near the South White Rose Extension drill centre — about 350 kilometres east of St. John’s.The company says the initial release occurred during the 20 minutes that crews were troubleshooting a drop in flowline pressure, and a retest led to a second release lasting about 15 minutes.  The regulatory board that oversees the province’s offshore activities has said it’s now impossible to clean up the oil spill.Scott Tessier, chief executive of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, said no oil sheens were spotted on the water, meaning the oil has likely broken down to the point that it cannot be cleaned up.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Understanding the new cannabis legislation as it pertains to youth

first_imgThe RCMP say there are two pieces of legislation at play, the B.C. Cannabis Control and Licensing Act as well as the Federal Cannabis Act.“Both have been put in place to protect children and youth and to promote health and safety for all who chose to possess and consume cannabis.  To enforce the protection of youth and their physical and mental wellbeing, police and courts across Canada have been provided new powers to issues fines and jail terms that previously did not exist.”Police are reminding youth that they have the power to issue tickets for underaged pot uses, a power that did not previously exist.“Previously, if a youth was found with a very small amount of cannabis, regardless of age, one way for police to deal with it was what was called a No Case Seizure.  In this instance, police would seize the cannabis and have it destroyed locally; done.  But now under the new cannabis legislation, police have the power to issues tickets that previously did not exist.”The best suggestions the RCMP can give you is that you do your research on what is actually legal and what is not and the penalties associated with them.For more information on marijuana use, you can visit Health Canada’s website. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John RCMP is reminding parents and youth about the rules regarding legal marijuana use.With legalization in October, the RCMP say this is not open to everyone, particularly to youth under the legal requirement age of 19 in B.C.“Many of teens are excited about the legalization of cannabis but what they may not know or understand is that nothing has changed for those who are 18 and under… cannabis is still illegal.  And just because it is legal doesn’t mean it doesn’t impact those who are using it, especially developing teens.”last_img read more

The Top 50 NBA Draft Prospects According To Our CARMELO Projections

There are a few differences near the top: Hayes and Horton-Tucker leapfrog Morant as the best prospects behind Williamson (CARMELO really appears to love Horton-Tucker), while Culver and Barrett tumble in favor of efficient, rim-protector-type bigs such as Porter and Oregon’s Bol Bol, the 7-foot-2 of son of Manute Bol. I wouldn’t start using these rankings to make my picks if I were an NBA general manager — it’s been shown that scouting rankings are easily the most predictive component any draft projection can add. But they are still somewhat interesting in terms of helping to identify undervalued players whom the eye test alone might miss.And it’s telling that Wiliamson still emerges as the clear-cut No. 1 prospect regardless of whether we’re looking only at statistics or a hybrid between metrics and scouting information. The guy is probably going to be pretty dope in the NBA, and Morant might not be far behind as the likely No. 2 pick. After that, there are a few more solid choices and then a whole bunch of uncertainty. That’s pretty standard for the NBA draft, where potential value drops off quickly after the first pick or two — but this year’s class might be unusually top-heavy even by basketball’s normal standards. 5RJ BarrettSG19315.4C. AnthonyD. Russell 3T. Horton-TuckerSF192110.9G. WallaceT. Ariza 34Bruno FernandoC21342.2T. BryantD. Sabonis 35Daniel GaffordC21382.2C. TaftR. Hendrix 29Isaiah RobyPF21362.5D. BrownJ. Martin 44KZ OkpalaSF20261.3J. JohnsonW. Chandler 19N. A.-WalkerSG21235.7D. MitchellS. Brown 14Tremont WatersPG22476.8P. JacksonM. Banks 30Brandon ClarkePF23124.0T. BookerP. M.-Bonsu 21Nassir LittleSF19164.2Q. MillerK. Oubre RkPlayerPosAge*Scout RkUpside WARNo. 1No. 2 26Jaylen NowellSG20924.6J. ForteJ. Okogie 13Matisse ThybulleSF22285.9D. MillerN. Powell 24Tremont WatersPG22473.4P. JacksonM. Banks 4Jaxson HayesC19915.8Z. CollinsD. Davis 15N. A.-WalkerSG21235.6S. BrownP. McCaw 17Chuma OkekePF21414.8O. SpellmanJ. Martin ‘Pure stats’ CARMELO projections for 2019 NBA draftMost valuable NBA players from 2020-26, according to CARMELO’s upside wins above replacement projections, using only college stats 11Kevin Porter Jr.SG19146.3X. HenryL. Walker 46Justin RobinsonPG22522.5A. HolidayB. Stepp Not including European players or point guard Darius Garland (who played only five career college games). Upside WAR ignores a player’s projected below-replacement seasons.*Ages are as of Feb. 1, 2020.+ Player has withdrawn from consideration for the 2019 draft.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group Unsurprisingly, Duke’s Zion Williamson ranks No. 1 in our prospect ratings with a massive upside WAR of 36.7 projected wins over his first seven pro seasons. To give that number a sense of scale, last year’s top projected prospect — Texas’s Mohamed Bamba — led the pack with an upside rating of just 21.8 WAR, so it’s fair to say that Williamson is a significantly better prospect than we’ve seen the past few years (if not much longer than that).We’re not exactly going out on a limb with our projection: Zion is the top choice in basically every mock draft on the planet. But it’s always nice when the numbers back up the overwhelming consensus of opinion. During his lone season at Duke, Williamson rated better than the median Division I player in every major facet of the game according to the advanced metrics, headlined by a 93rd percentile usage rate and a 100th percentile true shooting percentage. His top comparable player — another former Blue Devil, Jahlil Okafor, whose career has largely underwhelmed — might be concerning, but it mainly speaks to how unique Zion is. The 0-100 scaled “similarity score” between Williamson and Okafor is just 37.1, meaning they’re not very similar at all. (By comparison, the similarity between Zion’s teammate RJ Barrett and model-namesake Carmelo Anthony is a healthy 60.1, which is normal for a top comp.) Simply put, Williamson is a unicorn. We’ve seldom seen a player quite like Zion, who is very short for his position but has great stats across the board (even in terms of rebounds, blocks and steals) and scores so often with such incredible efficiency.Another unsurprising result is the presence of Murray State’s Ja Morant at No. 2 overall. Morant enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign with the Racers, culminating in a triple-double in an impressive NCAA Tournament win over Marquette. To be sure, Morant has flaws in his game (he needs to work on efficiency in terms of both shooting and turnovers), and his upside projection isn’t on Williamson’s level, but he would have been CARMELO’s best prospect of last season, and some of Morant’s top comps — such as John Wall and Derrick Rose — offer a glimpse into his star potential.After Williamson and Morant, there is a huge drop-off before the next group of prospects. Jarrett Culver of Texas Tech, Jaxson Hayes of Texas and Barrett form a clear-cut second tier below Williamson and Morant, and each comes with his own strengths and weaknesses. Hayes is a low-usage, high-efficiency big man who can protect the rim but is a work in progress on offense beyond finishing plays made by others. (Brandan Wright comes to mind as an archetype.) Barrett is a low-efficiency, high-usage swingman with unimpressive defensive indicators, in the mold of Anthony, Andrew Wiggins or Brandon Ingram. Barrett does come with a good amount of upside, in terms of potential value several years into his career, but he also looks like this draft’s best example of a high-risk/high-reward prospect who may just turn into an inefficient high-volume scorer (that classic bane of every stathead). And Culver is a nice all-around wing whose best-case comps include Harrison Barnes and Rudy Gay. Noted bust Joseph Forte isn’t the most encouraging comparison, but Culver’s versatility is a big plus as a small forward prospect.The rest of the draft class drops off steeply after Barrett at No. 5 in our rankings. Some of the players who might be drafted highly but our model isn’t as fond of include Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter (fifth in the scout rankings vs. 14th in our projections), Duke’s Cam Reddish (seventh vs. 12th), Indiana’s Romeo Langford (11th vs. 20th) and Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura (18th vs. 36th). By contrast, players who might be underrated in the draft include Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s (49th by the scouts vs. 23rd in our rankings), Auburn’s Chuma Okeke (41st vs. 17th), Jontay Porter of Missouri (42nd vs. 18th), Matisse Thybulle of Washington (28th vs. 13th), Tyler Herro of Kentucky (17th vs. ninth) and Iowa State’s Talen Horton-Tucker (21st vs. eighth).Just for the sake of comparison (and transparency), here’s a version of our upside WAR rankings that doesn’t include the scouting rankings as an input,4Specifically, every player is assigned a scout ranking equivalent to the No. 10 prospect. which can be viewed as a sort of “stats only” ranking of the prospects this year: 2Ja MorantPG20225.4T. BurkeJ. Wall 33Josh ReavesSG22812.3I. CousinsJ. Richardson Comparable PlayersRkPlayerPosAge*Scout RkUpside WARNo. 1No. 2 6Coby WhiteSG19108.9B. KnightC. Sexton 6Charles Bassey+C19519.6C. BoshD. Favors 1Zion WilliamsonPF19136.7J. OkaforM. Bagley 30Dedric LawsonPF22442.4J. GreenM. Muscala 3Jarrett CulverSG20617.1J. ForteH. Barnes 27Matisse ThybulleSF22284.3D. MillerJ. Richardson 42Q. WeatherspoonSG23571.5D. WellsS. Thornwell 50Donta HallPF22971.0J. GrantM. Estill 43Zach Norvell Jr.SG22772.7W. EllingtonJ. Meeks 18Jontay PorterC20424.7C. WoodS. Zimmerman 45Justin RobinsonPG22521.3Q. CookD. Walton 15Coby WhiteSG19106.7B. KnightD. Rose 47Quentin Grimes+SG19842.5A. BradleyH. Diallo RkPlayerPosAge*Scout RkUpside WARNo. 1No. 2 36Rui HachimuraPF21181.9M. HaislipT. Warren 43A.J. Lawson+SG19861.4L. StephensonA. Goodwin 27John KoncharSG23683.0D. WellsM. Gansey 10Bol BolC20137.1S. HawesH. Ellenson 25Dylan WindlerSF23333.3J. KaponoM. Bonner The NBA doesn’t waste much time before moving on. The 2018-19 season has been over for less than a week, and the Toronto Raptors are still picking up the debris from their jubilant1And surprisingly violent. championship parade. And yet, Thursday’s NBA draft will mark the de facto beginning to the 2019-20 season. So we at FiveThirtyEight are also wasting no time: We’ve fired up our CARMELO projection system and run the numbers looking ahead to the next season and beyond. We’re still making some tweaks and improvements to the way we’re projecting veteran players, so we’ll be rolling out those numbers sometime in the next few weeks. But for rookies, we have the data, and the CARMELO computer is all ready to go. Let’s take a look at the best statistical prospects whose names should be called from the podium by Adam Silver.First, though, a little refresher on how this works. CARMELO (the Career-Arc Regression Model Estimator with Local Optimization) is our system for predicting the career of each NBA player, based on how things tended to pan out for similar players from the past. For rookies, we use a database of college stats (adjusted for pace and strength of schedule) since 2001 provided to us by ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, plus biographical information like a player’s height, weight, age and — before the draft — scouting rankings.2After the draft, we’ll switch those to a player’s actual draft position. Those latter few categories actually matter quite a bit, so older players and those regarded poorly by the scouts will need much, much better college stats to achieve the same projection as a younger player who scores better on the eye test.Like we did last year, we’ll be ranking the members of this draft class on each player’s “upside” wins above replacement — the number of wins he’s expected to add above a minimum-salary replacement (at the same position) over the first seven seasons of his career, zeroing out seasons in which he is projected for negative WAR.3This is done to avoid penalizing players for situations where, in reality, their coach would (or at least should) bench them before they accumulate negative value. One big disclaimer: These rankings don’t include players from overseas leagues, such as Sekou Doumbouya (who played in France), nor do they include players who didn’t accumulate enough time in college, like potential Top 5-pick Darius Garland, who logged only 139 minutes as a freshman at Vanderbilt because of a knee injury. We don’t have a good sample of data on these kinds of players, so CARMELO can’t really render an assessment right now (though we will eventually assign them ratings for our team depth charts next season).Anyway, let’s move on to the rankings: 40A. SchofieldSF22321.6Q. PondexterJ. Harper 25Nassir LittleSF19164.6Q. MillerT. Harris 7Brandon ClarkePF23128.0D. LeeN. Collison ‘Stats + Scouts’ CARMELO projections for 2019 NBA draftMost valuable NBA players from 2020-26, according to CARMELO’s upside wins above replacement projections, using college stats and scouting 20Josh ReavesSG22815.6J. TrepagnierJ. Richardson 47Louis KingSF20351.2D. GreeneM. Williams 28Charles Bassey+C19512.6T. BryantJ. Allen 1Zion WilliamsonPF19129.5J. OkaforM. Bagley 9Tyler HerroSG20177.6M. BeasleyG. Trent Not including European players or point guard Darius Garland (who played only five career college games). Upside WAR ignores a player’s projected below-replacement seasons.* Ages are as of Feb. 1, 2020.+ Player has withdrawn from consideration for the 2019 draft.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 16Grant WilliamsPF21245.1M. SweetneyT. Murphy 14De’Andre HunterPF2255.7M. MorrisA. Bennett 36Nicolas ClaxtonC20403.5R. LopezA. Len Comparable Players 12Chuma OkekePF21417.2O. SpellmanJ. Richardson 37Nicolas ClaxtonC20401.7S. ZimmermanS. Dalembert 31Jaylen HandsPG20934.0M. WilliamsK. Satterfield 12Cam ReddishSF2075.9H. BarnesT. Young 22PJ WashingtonPF21154.0R. H.-JeffersonB. Portis 13Devon Dotson+PG20737.0T. JonesM. Conley 8Jarrett CulverSG2068.5J. ForteK. C.-Pope 7Bol BolC20138.5G. OdenM. Beasley 32Luguentz DortSG20272.3M. RichardsonA. Goodwin 22Donta HallPF22974.7J. AugustineJ. Bell 38Dylan WindlerSF23333.3J. KaponoS. Battier CORRECTION (June 20, 2019, 3:15 p.m.): A previous version of this article listed Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey as a prospect for the 2019 NBA draft. Bassey withdrew his name from draft consideration on May 29. 21Grant WilliamsPF21245.3M. SweetneyM. Bridges 49Jaylen NowellSG20921.0S. LandesbergD. Washington 23Ty JeromeSG22294.7S. WeemsT. Bowers 46Ky BowmanPG21851.2B. WrightS. Mack 16Kevin Porter Jr.SG19146.5Z. LaVineJ. Richmond 17John KoncharSG23686.2M. GanseyF. Jones 24Daniel GaffordC21384.7R. WilliamsJ. Poeltl 29Bruno FernandoC21344.0J. PoeltlD. Sabonis 48Terence DavisSG22791.1M. BrooksB. Paul 5Jontay PorterC20429.8T. LylesC. Wood 2Jaxson HayesC19914.1Z. CollinsD. Stone 9Tyler HerroSG20177.5M. BeasleyJ. Lamb 34Dedric LawsonPF22443.5M. MuscalaJ. Green 11RJ BarrettSG1937.4R. VaughnM. Fultz 42Q. WeatherspoonSG23572.8B. HieldD. Wells 39Luguentz DortSG20273.3A. RiversM. Richardson 8T. Horton-TuckerSF19218.0T. ArizaG. Wallace 38Cameron JohnsonPF23221.7M. BonnerS. Novak 26Keldon JohnsonSF20203.2M. BeasleyD. DeRozan 18A.J. Lawson+SG19866.1A. GoodwinT. Brown 32Cam ReddishSF2073.6M. RichardsonX. Henry Comparable Players 28Ky BowmanPG21854.1K. WalkerJ. Robinson 39Devon Dotson+PG20731.6C. JosephT. Green 31Carsen EdwardsPG21252.4G. DiazK. Martin 37Romeo LangfordSF20113.4A. RiversM. Williams 10Shamorie PondsPG21497.5K. WalkerJ. Williams 35Terence DavisSG22793.5M. BrooksB. Paul 40Isaiah RobyPF21363.2T. WilliamsJ. Gist 41PJ WashingtonPF21152.9J. MartinR. H.-Jefferson 4Ja MorantPG20210.8J. FarmarN. Calathes 50DaQuan JeffriesSG22552.3J. CageR. Terry 44J. CumberlandSG22942.6J. CrawfordM. Brooks 33Keldon JohnsonSF20203.6D. DeRozanM. Beasley 41Jalen McDanielsPF22371.5J. MartinB. Bentil 23Shamorie PondsPG21494.0S. MackJ. Robinson 48Killian Tillie+C21902.4E. MurphyD. Brown Comparable PlayersRkPlayerPosAge*Scout RkUpside WARNo. 1No. 2 20Romeo LangfordSF20114.5A. RiversD. DeRozan 45Carsen EdwardsPG21252.6B. GordonG. Diaz 19Ty JeromeSG22294.5T. BowersW. Ellington 49Jalen McDanielsPF22372.3J. GistJ. Martin read more

The Kentucky Derby Is Getting Predictable

Co-favorite victories counted as winsSources: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Daily Racing Form Update (May 6, 10:50 a.m.): Although Classic Empire was the morning-line favorite, the odds have since shifted. As of 10:50 a.m. Saturday, Always Dreaming is now narrowly favored to win the Kentucky Derby in what is considered a wide-open field.One of the cardinal rules of horse racing is that betting on favorites is fun — who doesn’t like having a winning ticket? — but it’s the quickest way to go broke. Except, that is, in the most famous race in America.The Kentucky Derby should be nearly impossible to handicap. The horses, at just 3 years old, don’t have much experience and are still maturing. Many of them have never run this distance before, or run at Churchill Downs. And even if a handicapper can sift through all that uncertainty and use a combination of past performances and pedigree to identify the best contenders, it can all become irrelevant thanks to the abnormally large Derby field — with as many as 20 horses creating gridlock and chaos, results ought to be utterly unpredictable.That’s what makes the last several years of the Kentucky Derby so strange: It is, seemingly, getting more predictable. For four straight years, the favorite has come out on top. It began with Orb in 2013, then continued with California Chrome, American Pharoah and Nyquist.In total, 16 favorites have won the Kentucky Derby in the last 50 years.1Including Forward Pass, the favorite in the 1968 Kentucky Derby who initially finished second but was awarded the win after first-place finisher Dancer’s Image was disqualified for failing a drug test. Bets on Dancer’s Image may have been paid out before the horse was disqualified, but for the purposes of this thought experiment, we’re counting things as if Forward Pass won the usual way. And that has produced a compelling betting strategy: Forget all the wonky handicapping. Over the last half-century, placing a $2 bet (the smallest bet you can make on a single horse in the Derby these days) on the favorite each year would have netted you $107.80 on a $100 investment — a 7.8 percent profit. But in just the last 20 years, returns on that same strategy would be much better: 74 percent. Belmont Stakes1.430-0.77 Kentucky Derby2.732%+$0.16 Outcome of betting on the favorite, 1967-2016 RACEAVG. FAVORITE ODDSFAVORITE WIN PCT.AVG. PROFIT ON $2 BET Now the question has become: Is the recent rash of victorious favorites a coincidence? Or a sign of something bigger?Before these last four years, the Kentucky Derby had for decades been known for its unpredictability. Between 1980 and 1999, not a single favorite won. Before 2013, it had been four years since a favorite wore the roses.There are two rational explanations for this trend. The first is chance. These horses, after all, are the favorites for a reason. And this kind of streak is not unprecedented — favorites won four straight years from 1972-1975, too.But there’s another rationale that would indicate that this is more than a fluke. It explains why the Kentucky Derby is getting chalkier and why the mega-longshot winners we once saw regularly in this race might become increasingly rare.When Orb won the Derby in 2013, that wasn’t just any year. It was the first year that horses qualified for this first leg of the Triple Crown under a newly implemented points system. This “Road to the Kentucky Derby” awards points to the top four finishers in a select group of races. The top 20 get to run in the Derby.What’s more important than the point system is the mechanism it replaced. Before 2013, horses qualified for the Derby based on their winnings in graded stakes races.This created chaos in the Derby. In some instances, horses that were elite in sprints — races shorter than a mile, which are excluded from the new qualifying system — could crowd the Derby, a route run at 1¼ miles. In other instances, horses that weren’t good enough made it in anyway. But these horses didn’t just fade down the stretch into irrelevance. They regularly introduced anarchy, transforming the subtle mechanics of a race in a way that allowed longshots to thrive.There’s no more illustrative example than the 2005 Derby, when 50-1 longshot Giacomo stunned the world. Giacomo’s best friend in that race was a 71-1 longshot named Spanish Chestnut, which led for the first three-quarters of a mile. In the last two races Spanish Chestnut ran before the Derby, it finished sixth twice. In other words, it didn’t belong. But during those first six furlongs, Spanish Chestnut set the second-fastest pace in Derby history.Predictably, Spanish Chestnut couldn’t sustain such a hot pace, ultimately fading and finishing 16th. But while this longshot was in the lead, other horses got sucked into running that fast and wound up tiring, too. The favorite that day, Bellamy Road, was close by, in fifth place, when Spanish Chestnut started to slow.At that same distance, three-quarters of a mile, Giacomo was in 18th place out of 20 and trailed by 14¾ lengths, the farthest behind of any eventual Derby winner in more than a quarter-century. But when Spanish Chestnut — and every horse that tried to keep up with Spanish Chestnut — tired, Giacomo had enough gas left in the tank to pass 17 other horses.The new points system is better at weeding out the Spanish Chestnuts. That means longshots like Giacomo are even less likely to encounter the volatile circumstances that enable them to win.The strategy of betting the favorites for 50 years would also pay off in the Preakness Stakes, the Triple Crown’s second leg. In fact, in the long run you’d make more than you would on the Derby — the Preakness has offered returns of 11.4 percent. But in any single year, betting on a favorite in the Preakness can be less attractive: When American Pharoah and California Chrome won, for example, they went off at odds shorter than 1-1, meaning that if you cashed in on a $2 bet, your winnings would likely be counted out using more quarters than dollar bills. Essentially, it requires risking a lot of money just to win enough to pay for a celebratory cigar. On the other hand, because the Derby is so uncertain, favorites can be had at good value. This year’s morning-line favorite, Classic Empire, is priced at 4-1. That would offer better returns any Preakness favorite in the last half-century.At the same time, the biggest sucker’s move is betting a favorite in the Belmont Stakes, which at 1½ miles is longer than almost any other race these horses will ever run. In other words, nobody knows how the horses will handle the distance. What’s worse, the favorite will often be racing for the third time in seven weeks, which can leave a horse worn down. A bet on the favorite in the Belmont in the last 50 years would have cost you 38.7 percent of the money you staked. There’s a reason we went nearly 40 years without a Triple Crown winner before American Pharoah came along.All of this means that the best betting strategy for this year’s Derby may also be the dumbest one: Bet on Classic Empire. Preakness Stakes1.544+0.23 read more

Ancelotti was thrilled after Napolis later winner

first_imgItalian manager Carlo Ancelotti expressed his happiness for Napoli’s later victory against Liverpool FC this Wednesday in San Paolo.This Wednesday evening everybody was expecting Napoli to lose against Jürgen Klopp’s powerful Liverpool side, but the Carlo Ancelotti’s team had something very special planned and gave us the biggest upset of this Champions League week.A late Lorenzo Insigne goal was enough for the Italian side to get those three points, it also served them to take the momentary lead of Group C after they got a tie against Red Star in the first match of the season.“The team did well throughout the game, we never lost control, we were always very focused, above all when defending and allowed Liverpool practically nothing,” said ‘Carletto’ to Sky Italia. “We had the chances to score earlier, but I think we timed it well. We scored at the right time… If Mertens had scored a few minutes earlier, it would’ve been more time suffering!”Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“It means a lot to us to have won against the finalists from last year. It’s important for the confidence of the players, and these games give extra focus, but also some worries. I just told them to enjoy themselves, and it went well.”“We showed this group won’t just be hard for Napoli, but for everyone involved. After the disappointment of the first game, this is a great injection of confidence, but there’s still a long way to go in this group,” added the Napoli boss.¡TRIUNFO AGÓNICO DE NAPOLI!#ChampionsxFOX | Con una definición en el final del partido de Lorenzo Insigne, el equipo italiano doblegó en San Paolo a Liverpool. pic.twitter.com/wdxLMY0j7t— FOX Sports Argentina (@FOXSportsArg) October 3, 2018last_img read more

KSAC Working With Police To Tackle Illegal Vending

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, Sept. 10 (JIS):The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has met with the police to roll out a more targeted and sustained programme to tackle illegal vending, and restore order to the streets of the Corporate Area.Mayor of Kingston, Senator Angela Brown Burke, told the monthly meeting of the Council on Tuesday (September 9), that the problem appears to have worsened over the past several weeks, with an eight-year old boy suffering an eye injury after he came into contact with metal hangers on display on a sidewalk along one of the city’s streets. “I have received several complaints of the level of intimidation meted out to pedestrians and motorists by vendors, who have their wares blocking access to our roadways and pathway,” she said.The Mayor, in expressing regret at the incident, said that she and the Town Clerk have met with the family, and are working with the police in its investigations to find the person responsible for the act of negligence, which resulted in the injury to the child.“This points out very squarely the reasons why we have been advocating for vendors to remain in designated vending areas. This has only strengthened our resolve to ensure that illegal vending is brought under control,” she stated.Mayor Brown Burke warned that the Council will be taking a zero tolerance approach to illegal vending, and is committed to ensuring that law and order prevails, “in our markets, in our parks, and along our streets”.Meanwhile, she informed that the KSAC has removed and demolished 16 illegal constructed wooden and concrete structures, in several communities, which were being used for commercial and residential purposes.The operations were carried out over several weekends in the communities of Maverly, Duhaney Park, Washington Boulevard, and its environs.Additionally, notices were served on illegal garages, and eight derelict vehicles removed from sidewalks.“This clean-up operation will help to make the Maverly Park more accessible to its residents for recreational purposes,” she remarked.On the matter of the fire at Oxford Mall, which impacted the lives and livelihood of 40 vendors, she informed that the area has been cleared, and plans are in place to have normalcy restored as soon as possible. “As soon as we are in a position to say exactly how we will proceed, the KSAC will meet with registered vendors,” she stated. Bahamas DPM Turnquest, as IDB Governor, Talks Technology and Climate Change Resilience at IDB Conclave Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:jamaica, kingston, Senator Angela Brown Burke, st. andrews Recommended for you Two boys die, bicycle and van collide in St. Catherine, Jamaica Jamaica’s Senate Begins debate on National Identification and Registration Billlast_img read more

Do RoboAdvisors Have a Place in Insurance

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global May 14, 2017 8 min read When my co-founder and I were fleshing out the foundation of PolicyGenius, we knew our goal was to bring the insurance-buying process — from education to shopping to application — to the modern online consumer. The question was, “How do we do this?” And as we spoke to consumers about their decision journeys, we realized that the answer wasn’t new. It had been around for 30 years.Time after time, unprompted, we’d get asked why there wasn’t something like TurboTax for insurance.TurboTax helped pioneer robo-advice in household finances by offering expert-level guidance without requiring a face-to-face appointment with a specialist. It showed that it could be done for a complex financial process (there isn’t anything more complicated than filing your taxes, is there?) and now robo-advisors are taking over the investing world thanks to the likes of Tradeking, Wealthfront, Betterment, and more.Related: 11 Ways to Make Money While You SleepSo the people we wanted to reach wanted TurboTax for insurance: something where they could go through the insurance shopping process — the whole process — online, getting guidance that they could follow at their own pace.Here’s what we learned by building it.You can’t be just an aggregator.You can find and compare insurance policies on PolicyGenius, so it’s tempting to describe the process as like “Kayak, but for insurance.” But unlike travel aggregators, we don’t just gather a bunch of deals and show them side-by-side on the screen. We can’t. Insurance is more complicated than flights, so we have to do more.When you go on vacation you buy your plane ticket, go on the trip, post the pictures to Facebook, and go back to your life. Insurance, especially life insurance, is more expensive, longer-term, and more complex. Choosing the wrong flight means you have to wake up early or have no legroom, but messing up your insurance policy has real consequences. That’s why we emphasize education and decision support.We built a resource center with content that explains different concepts, terms, and scenarios. During the application process, we explain why we’re asking for each piece of information. And with our Insurance Checkup, we show you not only what sort of protection you need, but why you need it.For a lot of people, shopping online for insurance means plugging your personal information into a form and waiting to get called by a horde of salespeople. That’s not a good experience. Customers don’t want to just be added to a call list. They’re trying to protect the wellbeing of themselves and their family; being little more than a stepping stone for a salesperson to get closer to their quota isn’t reassuring. Instead, we gave people a full shopping experience: go from research to application at your own pace, and only give up your contact information when you’re ready to take the next step in completing your application.Related: How to Start a Business With (Almost) No MoneyAnd insurance isn’t something that people think about all the time. That means you have a limited window to reach (and keep) them. How do you make the most of that time? By giving them all of the information and tools they need to go through the whole process upfront without needing to jump through hoops. In other words, don’t waste their time. Showing them the opportunity and value of life insurance through educational content and an easy-to-use process gives users the confidence that they can buy a policy without hassle and benefit from it for years to come.People will do more than you think they will.It’s easy to write off digital experiences as only being appealing for Millennials. And even though Millennials make up half of our customer base, that means that half of our users are from older, more affluent segments – and yet they still use and enjoy our digital experience. Remember, they’ve lived most of their lives in a world where TurboTax is the way millions of people do their taxes. They’re not new to this.Where do you integrate robo-advice? Wherever you can in the funnel – which, as it turns out, is every step.For example, we customize content and advice so that we’re giving customers relevant information. Even though the advice is “robo” that doesn’t mean it’s impersonal. If you can translate the type of advice a human insurance agent would deliver in the “kitchen table conversation” into an algorithm, then you can deliver tailored advice in a self-service, automated fashion. That’s what our Insurance Checkup does: in five minutes customers can find out exactly what type of coverage they need based on their financial situation.It doesn’t stop there, though. We provide instant, accurate, automated quotes with advanced underwriting techniques; at the evaluation stage, we’ve built plain-English content and decision-support features that answer the most important questions insurance shoppers have; our insurer report cards highlight all the ratings and customer “moments of truth” essential for the purchasing decision. Step by step, we make learning about, applying for, and purchasing insurance easy and self-directed.And what happens when you put robo-advisor tools in place in the funnel? More than you’d think.Related: Habits of the World’s Wealthiest People (Infographic)Our customers spend a lot of time on the research and decision-making steps of the process because we’ve given them personalized content to dig through. They answer a lot of high-friction questions to get accurate quotes (more questions than a typical UX/UI designer would think is possible) and spend upwards of 10 minutes on our site per transaction. There’s only a few days between when they begin the process and when they finish their application, and a vast majority of our users do finish their application once they start – enough that we’ve seen 20% month-over-month growth when the rest of the life insurance industry has stayed relatively flat. We’ve done this by enabling people to buy life insurance the way they want to: with plenty of advice, on their own terms, instantly.Robo-advice isn’t a one-size-fits-all tool.We aren’t all suited for robo-advice just yet. Whether it’s because we’re concerned about the security implications of entering all of our financial information online or we just like having an expert sit down with us and answer questions in real life, an agent works better for some people.Although we’ve been able to reach across generational gaps at PolicyGenius, studies show that older generations (sorry 35 year olds, you’re an “older generation” now) are more likely to prefer a face-to-face experience at some point, while younger people are more comfortable with a fully online process – according to an AXA survey 34% of Millennials want to interact with their insurer solely online, and 8% don’t want to interact with them at all.But it’s not just an age thing. Whether or not people want to apply for life insurance online depends on their needs and their do-it-yourself orientation; where they fall on that spectrum dictates where you can fit robo-advisor tools into the process to make their experience as seamless as possible.On one end, you have someone with simple needs — they just want a pretty straightforward life insurance policy, for instance — and they’re comfortable going through it themselves; you can automate every step of the process, from education all the way through to checkout. They don’t have to talk to a single person if they don’t want to.Then you get to people who want to do it on their own but need an agent due to their financial situation: high net worth consumers with complicated estate planning needs are probably better served with a personal advisor at some point in the process.The inverse of the latter customer is the consumer who wants (more than needs) an agent but it may not be feasible for them to be supported every step of the way because it’s not cost-effective for the agent to handle every step of the process for them. For these customers, you can complement their journey with robo-advisor tools — let them go through as much as they can on their own and having an agent step in only when necessary so the agent doesn’t have to invest too much in time or resources for a simple policy.And finally, at the other end of our spectrum, there’s the traditional agent model for anyone who doesn’t want to go through the process alone or has complicated needs that an experienced professional can help with. 69% of respondents to a recent Allianz survey said they don’t trust advice found online, so they’d rather work with an agent than a robo-advisor — so there’s still a market out there for them.The life insurance industry has been around for a long time. We’re not going to revolutionize it overnight. We don’t have to, and we don’t want to — it’s a large, complex industry, and a lot of people still find value in the way it currently works. But we shouldn’t fight the tools and technology that are available to us, and implementing robo-advisors is one of the incremental changes we can put in place to make buying life insurance easier for everyone.  Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

Three major Australian political parties hacked by sophisticated state actor ahead of

first_imgYesterday, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, revealed that “a sophisticated state actor”  was behind a cyber attack on the Australian Parliament’s computing network that also affected the network of major political parties. First reported by The Guardian, the attack affected the computer networks of the Liberal Party and the Nationals – as well as the opposition Labor Party, only three months before the Parliamentary election in May. Morrison told reporters that “Our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity”. In a statement to parliament on Monday, he said there was no evidence of electoral interference and measures  were taken to “ensure the integrity of our electoral system”. This intrusion into the networks of political parties was detected by agencies investigating the attack on the Parliament House network. He said security agencies had “acted decisively” to confront the incursion and were “securing these systems and protecting users”. Australian Cyber Security Centre head Alastair MacGibbon stated that the agency was currently unable to answer whether or not data had been stolen because all the agencies involved were “acting extraordinarily quickly and very openly, so we are piecing together all of the events.” There is no evidence as to which country was behind the intrusion as well as no comment on how deeply the attack had penetrated the computer networks. The news comes just months after the Assistance and Access Bill was passed that allows the police to tell apps like WhatsApp and Signal to build in so-called “backdoors”, to give investigators access to the contents of messages, to assist in any investigation of cyber offense. However, security experts were unanimously against backdoors since once such a mechanism has been implanted in the app, it can create a target for other countries’ spy agencies and corporate spies to see what people are discussing. Users on Twitter and HackerNews have expressed strong sentiments on this news, one user is blaming the government’s choices like weakening the encryption in apps through their new law, that has lead to this attack. Other users are speculating Russia’s hand in this attack. The Sydney Morning Herald stated that just four states — China, Russia, Israel, and the United States — have the capability to perform such an attack. Head over to BBC for more insights on this news. Read Next Australian intelligence and law enforcement agencies already issued notices under the ‘Assistance and Access’ Act despite opposition from industry groups Australia’s Facial recognition and identity system can have “chilling effect on freedoms of political discussion, the right to protest and the right to dissent”: The Guardian report Australia passes a rushed anti-encryption bill “to make Australians safe”; experts find “dangerous loopholes” that compromise online privacy and safetylast_img read more

In a fastpaced interview with Max Keiser Doug Ca

first_imgIn a fast-paced interview with Max Keiser, Doug Casey explains how the “financialization” of the global economy came about and why it’s a time bomb about to explode; why travel is a key element in successful speculation; and much more. Quadrillion dollars of derivatives: an unstable daisy chain. Stock certs are just computer entries, therefore can’t trust them and the businesses. HSBC’s discovered “$70B black hole of debt”, Harvard prof’s withdrawal of 1M from Bank of America are straws in the wind. Gold is the only way to truly save and hold on to wealth. As was pointed out, one can’t both run with the crowd and be a successful speculator. If your approach to investing needs recalibration—if you’re ready to change your thinking and the course of your financial future—click here to get started now.last_img read more

More than half of disabled people who have tried t

first_imgMore than half of disabled people who have tried to buy tickets for live music events have had to call premium-rate phone numbers to arrange access, according to a new survey.Four-fifths of those surveyed said they had experienced problems with booking access alongside their ticket, while nearly three-quarters said such barriers had been discriminatory.The results of the national online survey were published by the user-led music charity Attitude is Everything (AiE) as part of its fourth State of Access Report on the live music industry.Of the 53 per cent who said they had been forced to use premium rate phone lines to book access, several reported that this had cost them more than £20 in phone charges.Although the survey results cannot be directly compared – because they were obtained through different methods – they do appear to show an improvement since a survey of AiE mystery shoppers in 2014 found 95 per cent of respondents had experienced problems when booking access and 88 per cent said they had felt discriminated against.This year’s State of Access Report focuses on problems associated with booking tickets for live music events.Publishing the report, the charity also launched a new taskforce, the Ticketing Without Barriers Coalition, which aims to address five key problems encountered by Deaf and disabled live music fans when booking tickets.The pan-industry group includes more than 35 trade bodies, ticketing agencies, event promoters and venues, including UK Music, PRS for Music, Ticketmaster, Festival Republic and Live Nation.The areas the coalition will address include: the need for a single proof-of-disability system that is uniformly recognised and accepted across the UK; all venues and events to provide quality online information about access; more choice and flexibility when booking tickets for fans with access requirements; and a more dependable system for managing access bookings.The coalition will also target the need for “equal access”, so that disabled fans can book access for pre-sales of tickets, VIP and artist meet-up tickets, and when using entertainment gift cards; can resell accessible seats; are not charged to use access booking lines; and can easily book tickets for a personal assistant if they need one.The report concludes that access across the live music industry “remains a mixed picture”.It adds: “Many venues and events have moved beyond basic reasonable adjustments to improve access for customers in impressively creative and collaborative ways.“On the other hand, there are venue and event organisers now being left behind as they continue to enact outdated and potentially discriminatory policies that impact the ability of Deaf and disabled people to access the paid-for services they provide.”Suzanne Bull (pictured), AiE’s chief executive and the government’s disability sector champion for music, said: “Although there has been much progress in making the ticketing process accessible and inclusive, and certain venues and companies are definitely getting this right for their Deaf and disabled customers, we felt that only a comprehensive and truly unified approach would be able to drive through the real and lasting changes that we need. “In 2018, every large-scale music event should be all-inclusive.“Disabled customers should be able to buy a ticket online, they should be encouraged to attend shows with their friends, and not have to jump through undignified hoops when things go wrong.”Sarah Newton, minister for disabled people, said: “Going to a gig or festival is an experience that everyone should be able to enjoy.“It’s therefore incredibly important that disabled people have the right access when booking tickets for live music events, which is why I’m really pleased to see leading businesses from across the music industry coming together to improve accessibility. “We know that disabled people and their households have a combined spending power of £249 billion a year, proving that being inclusive isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense.”AiE also announced that it will convene a new cross-sector group that will “exchange ideas and unite around common principles when it comes to accessibility”, across music, cinema, theatre, heritage and sport, and will focus on issues such as the provision of access information, providing evidence of access requirements, and implementing access bookings.Organisations that have already pledged to join the group include Arts Council England, Shape Arts, Level Playing Field, UK Theatre and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers.Picture by Joanna Dudderidgelast_img read more

Google Using your health records to predict whether youll live or die

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. An elite team of computer scientists and medical experts from Google and three major U.S. universities believe they’ve found the best way yet to predict whether a hospitalized patient will end up leaving via the front doors or the loading dock at the morgue.As might be expected from research led by Google, the software for accomplishing this task relies on artificial intelligence, which has become a key focus in virtually all areas of the Mountain View company’s operations.In a just-released paper, not peer reviewed, the researchers claim their AI-based software, based on AI known as “deep learning,” does a better job at predicting patient outcomes than other methods currently available.”These models outperformed state-of-the-art traditional predictive models in all cases,” the paper said.To make its predictions, the software uses medical-records data including patient demographics, previous diagnoses and procedures, lab results and vital signs.Top of the list of outcomes predicted is “inpatient mortality,” in which the patient is reported as “expired.”But the software goes beyond the question of life and death, to answer questions important to patients as well as hospital administrators and bean counters. Unplanned re-admissions to the medical facility within 30 days are also covered, as well as probable length of stay and diagnoses, the latter of which is delineated using hospital billing codes.The paper covered the study of some 216,000 hospitalizations involving about 114,000 patients—anonymous to the researchers—at two hospitals: UC San Francisco’s and the University of Chicago’s.”Its biggest claim is the ability to predict patient deaths 24-48 hours before current methods, which could allow time for doctors to administer life-saving procedures,” according to online magazine Quartz, which spotted the paper published Jan. 26.The software was able to predict death, at 24 hours after admission, with 93 percent to 95 percent accuracy, about 10 percent better than the traditional predictive method, according to the paper.The researchers admitted to various limitations in their work, noting, for example, that it’s not a “foregone conclusion” that accurate predictions can improve care.Among the science stars on the 35-researcher team were Google senior fellow Jeff Dean, head of the AI-focused “Google Brain” project; Stanford Neurosciences Institute professor Nigam Shah; and Alvin Rajkomar, director of clinical data science at UCSF’s Center for Digital Health Innovation. Explore further ©2018 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Citation: Google: Using your health records to predict whether you’ll live or die (2018, January 31) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-google-health-youll-die.html How long will patient live? Deep Learning takes on predictions Dr. Google may not have much of a bedside manner—she’s an algorithm, after all—but if she says you’re soon to be “expired,” she claims to be about 95 percent accurate, and you might want to start planning that last meal. read more