TORONTO – It’s hard to believe that a single small study could cause such a hullabaloo, but that’s been the case with a research paper that looked at the effectiveness of using stents to open up clogged coronary arteries in patients with chest pain known as angina.The U.K.-led study published last week in The Lancet has sparked a heated international debate among doctors about how best to treat such patients — by inserting a mesh tube into their blocked artery to improve blood flow or by prescribing anti-angina pills?“I think there was a lot of hysteria here,” said study co-author Dr. Justin Davies, a professor of cardiology at Imperial College London, pointing to the headline on a New York Times story about the study: “‘Unbelievable’: Heart stents fail to ease chest pain.”Dr. Rasha Al-Lamee, an Imperial College interventional cardiologist who led the study, was somewhat more circumspect in her reaction to how the findings were interpreted by some heart disease experts quoted by various media outlets.“I think that perhaps some of their statements were an overreach of the results,” she said from London. “In America, it has been quite incredible.”The 2014-17 ORBITA study enrolled 230 patients with one blocked coronary artery — there are three such major vessels — who were experiencing chest pain and reduced exercise capacity on speed-modified treadmill stress tests.Patients were treated over six weeks with increasing doses of anti-angina medications, such as heart rate-reducing beta blockers and blood thinners, then randomized half and half to undergo either insertion of a stent or a sham procedure that left their blocked artery as it was. In what’s called blinding to prevent biased results, patients were not told which procedure they received.Despite which group the patients were in — stent or no stent — both reported some improvement. But researchers said the difference between the two groups was not statistically significant.“We found, to our surprise, that while the stents improved the blood supply to the heart in this population of people with disease in just one artery … we didn’t significantly improve how they felt in terms of symptoms or how they did in terms of walking on an exercise path, more than a placebo (sham) procedure,” said Al-Lamee.“It probably means that stable angina is quite complex and fixing narrowing you see with stents doesn’t probably fix everything, because these people may have disease in the small arteries we don’t see (with imaging),” she said.“They might have chest pain for other reasons, they may be limited because of other factors that are not their heart.”However, some heart specialists interpreted the findings to mean that the long-used practice of stenting — known medically as percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI — to treat angina should be re-assessed.Among them were Dr. David L. Brown of the Washington University School of Medicine and Dr. Rita F. Redberg of the University of California-San Francisco, who prepared an editorial review of the study for The Lancet.“The results of ORBITA show unequivocally that there are no benefits for PCI compared with medical (drug) therapy for stable angina,” they wrote. “Based on these data, all cardiology guidelines should be revised to downgrade the recommendation for PCI in patients, despite use of medical therapy.”But Al-Lamee disagreed with that interpretation, saying international practice guidelines recommend first starting patients on a variety of anti-angina drugs, with stenting reserved for those who get minimal or no relief from the medications. But it doesn’t mean never using the devices in such patients, she said.Stents are widely used internationally. They are considered first-line treatment for people having a heart attack, and an estimated 500,000 PCI procedures are performed each year worldwide for stable angina.“The results have been a total surprise and they probably need to make us stop and think, but I don’t think they need to be used to change all that we do,” she said.Dr. Christopher Overgaard, an interventional cardiologist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre in Toronto, said the New York Times headline is what initially “got my blood pressure up,” because it reflected what he characterized as an “irresponsible” inference from the study.Given that the patients were relatively healthy, with only a single blocked artery, and had been on weeks of intensive drug therapy, “it’s not really a surprise that the main finding of the study was that their exercise tolerance didn’t change,” said Overgaard, who was not involved in the study.“So the interpretation in my opinion should not be stenting doesn’t work. The interpretation, I think, should be that medical therapy in healthy (angina) patients that already had a good exercise tolerance is probably sufficient and we may not need to open those arteries in the first place.”Overgaard, director of the catheterization lab at Peter Munk, said Canadian doctors commonly stent patients with chronic coronary disease who have significant chest pain after minimal exertion, such as those who can only walk a couple of minutes before becoming breathless. And he doesn’t think the study will change practice in Canada.“But I think the message from this study is that if somebody has a blockage, but they’re doing really well, it may be sufficient to just treat them with pills.”Still, he agreed with both Davies and Al-Lamee that many patients prefer what they see as a quick fix with a stent over taking medications for life with their attendant side-effects. Beta blockers, for instance, may cause drowsiness and, in men, erectile dysfunction.“I see a lot of patients in clinic and it’s very common for patients not to take their medications or not to want to take their medications,” Overgaard said.“So that’s the caveat. Human nature is to get something treated that will eliminate the need for ongoing pills.”– Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.
CALGARY – The National Energy Board has ruled in favour of Kinder Morgan Canada in its efforts to bypass Burnaby, B.C., bylaws thatstand in the way of its Trans Mountain expansion project.The NEB order says the company is not required to comply with two sections of the city’s bylaws as it prepares to begin construction in the area.The company had filed a motion to have the NEB overrule the bylaws on a constitutional basis, because it claimed the city was delaying a project the federal government had approved.Burnaby maintained that it was following the standard bylaws process and that the company was to blame for shoddy applications.The NEB says its decision allows the company to start work at its temporary infrastructure site near the Westridge Marine Terminal,and some work at the Burnaby Terminal, subject to any other permits or authorizations that may be required.Kinder Morgan Canada says the $7.4 billion pipeline expansion is already months behind and further delays could threaten the viability of the controversial project.
TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed higher Wednesday as traders felt reassured about the intentions of the U.S. Federal Reserve on rate hikes and looked to a run of positive earnings reports from the big Canadian banks.The S&P/TSX composite index ran ahead 124.67 points to 14,649.86. The Canadian dollar was down 0.13 of a cent at 91.62 cents US.Here are the closing numbersTSX —14,649.86+124.670.86% S&P 500 —1,888.03+15.20 0.81% Dow —16,533.06+158.75 0.97% Nasdaq — 4,131.54+34.65 0.85%New York was also higher as minutes of the Federal Reserve’s late April meeting showed that officials discussed how to eventually tighten monetary policy and move rates away from near zero, where they’ve been since the financial crisis of 2008. The minutes disclosed that a number of Fed officials said it would be important for the central bank to “communicate still more clearly about the Fed’s policy intentions as the time of the first increase in the federal funds rate moves closer.”The Dow Jones industrials jumped 158.75 points to 16,533.06, the Nasdaq climbed 34.65 points to 4,131.54 and the S&P 500 index rose 15.2 points to 1,888.03.Traders also digested mixed news from the retail sector as Sears Canada (TSX:SCC) posted a quarterly net loss of $75.2 million, or 74 cents per share, up from a net loss of $31.2 million, or 31 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue came in at $771.7 million compared with $867.1 million a year ago, impacted by cold weather and store closures. It shares drifted 10 cents lower to $15.21.And Target reported that adjusted earnings came in at 70 cents a share, a penny lower than expectations. Revenue of US$17.01 billion was in line with expectations and Target also lowered its outlook and its shares were ahead 59 cents to US$57.20. The results were released a day after the company replaced the president of its struggling Canadian operations.Stock markets have been rattled in recent days by retail earnings and outlook disappointments. But analysts say it’s important to remember that the sector has had an extremely challenging quarter and that the trend of recent economic data is positive.“We have gone through a very harsh winter and we have gone through a spring that has not exactly been all that great and so that has had a pretty significant effect on a broad number of companies across the economy,” said Colum McKinley, portfolio manager and vice-president, Canadian Equities, CIBC Asset Management.“But we really need to look through the short-term dynamics of the effect of the weather and I think it would be too early to read this and interpret the results that we’ve seen as a broader economic slowdown.”Financials were a major gainer, up 1% a day before the big Canadian banks start to release quarterly earnings results. Analysts are expecting another solid if unspectacular quarter.“I think this is going to be a bit of a Goldilocks quarter for the banks, not too hot, not too cold,” added McKinley.On the commodity markets, the energy sector was ahead 1.47%, while July crude in New York gained $1.74 to US$104.07 a barrel.The base metals sector was up 0.71% as July copper dipped two cents to US$3.12 a pound.The gold sector was ahead almost 0.5% as June bullion faded $6.50 to US$1,288.10 an ounce.In other corporate developments, shares in Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) fell four cents or 1.02% on heavy volume of 17.4 million shares amid new uncertainty for its CSeries aircraft.Its largest customer, Republic Airways, is weighing options for the plane, which no longer fits into its operating model. Republic says it is deciding how to best deploy the firm order for 40 CS300 aircraft and hasn’t decided to cancel. Bombardier insists the order is “intact.”WHAT’S ON DECK THURSDAYCANADA8:30 a.m.Retail sales (March)UNITED STATES9:45 a.m.Markit Flash Manufacturing PMI (May)10 a.m.Existing home sales (April)CORPORATE NEWSCANADARoyal Bank of Canada earnings: Analysts expect $1.44 a share Silvercorp Metals Inc earnings: Analysts expect loss of 0.01 a share Toronto-Dominion Bank earnings: Analysts expect $1.02 a shareUNITED STATESBest Buy earnings: Analysts expect 0.2¢ a share Gap Inc earnings: Analysts expect 0.57¢ a share Sears Holding Corp earnings: Analysts expects loss of $1.87 a share
“Our heart goes out to the children and families affected and made vulnerable by storm Vinta at this time of the year when majority of Filipinos are getting ready to celebrate Christmas,” said Lotta Sylwander, the head of UNICEF operations in Philippines, in a news release Sunday.“[We] stand ready to support the Government and partners to address risks on children’s life and health and alleviate suffering of affected communities as best as we can,” she added.The relief materials prepositioned by UNICEF include water and sanitation supplies, such as water kits for families, large water tanks for community use, water purification tablets, jerry cans and tents.According to the UN agency, the situation of the communities displaced from Marawi earlier this year is of particular concern as the camps they were staying in were badly hit by the storm and tents have been destroyed.First priority is to ensure children’s lives are saved and protected – UNICEFFurthermore, in any emergency, children are among the most vulnerable and are at a heightened risk of contaminated water, lack of food and epidemics, and other hazards which often follow in the wake of a natural disaster.Saving children’s lives and ensuring they are protected is, therefore, its first priority, stressed UNICEF.According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Philippines, severe flooding and landslides have been reported in Cagayan de Oro City and in a number of towns in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay provinces.So far, some 268,000 people are reported to have been affected by the storm, of whom about 160,000 are said to have been displaced. The storm has claimed at least 200 lives and about 100 more are reported missing.However, these figures could rise as reports from the field come in and search and rescue efforts by local authorities continue, OCHA said.Tropical Storm Tembin made landfall in Davao Oriental on 22 December and swept through various provinces in Mindanao causing flash floods and landslides. Tembin followed another tropical storm, Kai-tak (known locally as “Urduja”), that struck central parts of the country, affecting some 1.7 million people and displaced about 425,000.
OSU junior middle blocker Tyler Richardson (23) leaps to spike a set by OSU senior setter Taylor Sherwin (8) during a match against Maryland on Nov. 7 at St. John Arena.Credit: Madelyn Grant / Lantern photographerThe No. 17 Ohio State women’s volleyball team is set for a chance at a season sweep against No. 12 Illinois when the two teams go head-to-head Wednesday night.The Fighting Illini (19-6, 11-3) and Buckeyes (18-8, 9-5) played earlier this season in Columbus in a closely contested battle. Ending in five sets, the Buckeyes prevailed, 16-14, in the final frame.Three days later, the Fighting Illini traveled to then-No. 5 Penn State and defeated the defending national champions in four sets.Coach Geoff Carlston said he expects the Fighting Illini coaching staff to motivate the team because the previous matchup was so close and either team could’ve won.“Obviously there’s going to be a little bit of a payback,” Carlston said. “I’m sure their coaching staff is going to use that, say, ‘Hey remember what happened last time?’ Whenever you play a team twice, and you win the first one, there’s some motivation there certainly, and playing at their court, they have a good crowd, and it’s a lot tougher to play on the road than it is at home.”Since playing in Columbus on Oct. 8, the Fighting Illini have won eight of nine conference matches, with the lone loss coming at Northwestern on Nov. 5. The Buckeyes have won six of nine conference matchups in that stretch.Freshman outside hitter Luisa Schirmer said she’s seen a lot of improvement in the team since playing the Fighting Illini earlier this season.“We’ve been getting better, we’ve been working hard to fix a few things that we know we wanted to make some improvements on,” Schirmer said.She added that the Buckeyes need to work on “staying steady and consistent” if they want to come out of Huff Hall with a win.Freshman defensive specialist Kalisha Goree has seen improvements in the gym, too, she said.“Every day we’re just coming here trying to get better,” Goree said. “And I can see an improvement in all the girls.”The Fighting Illini will be led by sophomore middle blocker Katie Stadick, who ranks first in the Big Ten in blocks per set with an average of 1.46. Redshirt-junior outside hitter Jocelynn Birks is also top in the conference in points per set with an average of 4.54.The team as a whole is first in the conference in blocks, averaging 2.88 per set, and second in digs with 15.01 per set.Senior outside hitter Erin Sekinger said the team will treat Wednesday’s contest like any other match, even though the Fighting Illini might be fighting for revenge.“We just have to take every road trip like it is,” Sekinger said. “We just have to really focus and do what we did against them when they came to our house.”Wednesday’s match is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. in Champaign, Ill.
Police will treat gang members like terrorism suspects if they use YouTube music videos to incite violence on the streets, under new proposals to tackle the soaring murder rates.The measures, if taken forward in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), will mean officers won’t have to prove that specific videos or social media posts were linked to an act of violence.Currently, police need evidence to specifically link them to certain crimes.The move will echo terrorism laws, as under the Terrorism Act the offence of inciting a person to commit an act of terrorism does not need to be linked to a particular attack.Commander Jim Stokley, Scotland Yard’s most senior officer responding to gang crime, told The Times “there isn’t specific legislation” for gangs, adding: “Clearly we can’t use terrorism legislation [but] in consultation with the CPS, we have found some existing legislation which we are going to use.” It comes after repeated warnings from Cressida Dick, the Met Police commissioner, who singled out Drill music, an extremely graphic form of rap, as having “a terrible effect” on gang violence.In London, more than 60 murder probes have been opened this year alone. Some cases have been linked to the genre of music on social media.Earlier this week, it was revealed that YouTube has removed more than 30 music videos at the request of the Met Police after the force linked them with gang violence. The move would be reliant on getting approval from the judiciary.Should that fail, attempts to force through a new law could be pursued through the Home Office. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The murder of Dean Pascal-Modeste, 21, was fuelled by a feud between two London gangs played out over social mediaCredit:CENTRAL NEWS
A significant investment in tooling and product engineering by Martin Engineering has produced a patented conveyor belt cleaner that is projected to reduce the cost of ownership by cleaning better and lasting longer.A lower purchase price was also one of the primary goals in designing the Martin® QB1 Cleaner HD, achieved by adopting state-of-the-art roll forming equipment as part of Martin Engineering’s manufacturing capabilities. The move is part of an overall plan to deliver high-performance components at industry-best prices.“Rather than fabricating the main frame from individual steel profiles welded together, the frame for the new design is roll formed out of a single piece of steel, which produces an extremely strong and durable component,” explained Paul Harrison, Director of the Conveyor Products Business Group. “The process eliminates the time-consuming steps of having to weld any portion of the frame, which also contributes to the reduced purchase price.”Described as one of the most comprehensive patents the company has ever been awarded, protection covers the main frame design, manufacturing process and attachment method. The new cleaner features Martin Engineering’s unique “CARP” (Constant Angle Radial Pressure) technology to maintain the most efficient cleaning angle throughout service life, with a no-tool replacement process that can be performed safely by one person in less than 5 minutes.The company says it delivers outstanding performance and durability, while reducing the total cost of ownership. “We’ve simplified the manufacturing process and also re-engineered the blade itself,” Harrison continued. “The new profile is less complex to produce, and because it can be roll formed or manufactured on a press brake, it will be easier to source throughout the world from any Martin Engineering manufacturing site.”The new design also features a special alignment system to facilitate extremely precise installation. “One of the most common problems we see in the field is primary cleaners installed in the wrong position,” said Senior Product Specialist Dave Mueller. “This cleaner was engineered for easy, accurate installation.”The product announcement comes on the heels of Martin Engineering’s introduction of the company’s “Forever Guarantee,” which ensures lifetime no-cost replacement of tensioners and main frames for any belt cleaner assemblies that are exclusively fitted with the company’s replacement blades.The Martin® QB1™ Cleaner HD is “engineered to represent the next generation of belt cleaning technology, delivering the cleanest belt and longest blade life — at the lowest cost. It can be retrofitted onto any existing Martin Engineering tensioners, as well as most competitive systems.”In addition to its cost advantages, the QB1 HD design features a square mainframe positioned to shed dust and spillage. The urethane blade formulation can accommodate belt speeds of up to 4.6 m/s and service temperatures of -40° to 70°C.The QB1 HD is available in lengths of 457 to 2,438 mm can also be ordered in 3.05 m sections, allowing distributors or customers to cut to length for increased versatility. The new design is one of the many belt cleaners covered by the company’s new Mr. Blade program, under which Martin Engineering’s mobile technicians “provide fresh, factory-direct replacement blades, delivered and custom-fitted on-site — installed free of charge.”
← Previous Story THW Kiel’s warm up with football in “Veszprem Arena” (PHOTO&VIDEO) Next Story → Bundesliga (Round): Neuhausen stops HSV Hamburg at home, takes a point BM Atletico MadridEHF CLSavehof handball Spanish vice-champion and last season VELUX EHF CL finalist, BM Atletico Madrid is defeated for the third time in the Preliminary Round of VELUX EHF CL 2012/2013. After home loss against THW Kiel and MKB Veszprem, Talant Duyshebaev and his squad negatively surprise their fans with another defeat in Sweden against Savehof 35:30.In the second match of the day, Fuchse Berlin had easy job against Kadetten Schaffhausen 31:27. Slovenian Gorenje Velenje celebrated second victory over BSV Silkeborg 31:23.Gorenje Velenje: Gajić (18 odb), Taletović, Melić 9, Medved 2, Bezjak 3 (2), Pucelj 1, Dolenec 4 (3), Cehte 5, Miklavčič 1, Gaber 4, Golčar, Dobelšek 2, Gams, Bajram, Nosan, Dujmović.Bjerringbro Silkeborg: Šijan (2 odb), Jakobsen 2, N. Nielsen 1, M. Nielsen 1, Olafsson 4, Mortensen, Lauge 3, Jörgensen 1, Kirkegaard 1, Green Krejberg (8 odb), Baagöe 5, Kristiansen 3, K. Nielsen, Schilling 2.
Today’s announcement is further evidence of the highly competitive nature of the Irish pharmacy market. This upfront membership fee model has also recently been seen in a couple of GP and dental practices. It remains to be seen whether the Healthwave model will be successful.Shane O’Sullivan is the chief executive of the Dundrum pharmacy. He says people could save €500 a year through his pharmacy, with savings of between 50 and 80 per cent on medications.O’Sullivan said:Ireland is still one of the most expensive countries in the world to buy medicine, particularly prescription medication.Healthwave charges €4.95 for a 28-day supply of Atorvastatin, a generic cholesterol medication, which costs €10.42 in most pharmacies in the Republic and €5.99 in Newry.Salbutamol inhalers, which are about €10, will cost €2.95.The pharmacy launched this scheme last week and Shane says people have been travelling from Wexford and Tipperary to avail of it.Generic drugs are more expensive in Ireland than the EU>One third of people are not taking enough of their prescriptions to cure them>Prescription drug usage on the rise among women> THE IRISH PHARMACY union doesn’t believe that Irish pharmacies will change their model with the introduction of a new prescription scheme by a pharmacy in Dublin.Healthwave in Dundrum Town Centre is now offering generic prescription drugs at Northern Ireland prices.For an upfront fee of €25 a year, customers can avail of cheaper prices on generic drugs, under the pharmacy’s Health Pass Scheme.The Irish Pharmacy Union represents over 2,000 pharmacies across the country.Its director of communications, Jim Curran said “An ESRI Report published in June 2013 indicated that average prescription costs had fallen by approximately 30% between 2008 and 2012.”He added that:
Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Image: Fáilte Ireland Sunday 12 Feb 2017, 10:00 AM By Fora Staff Feb 12th 2017, 10:00 AM “Unfortunately, 70% of visitors go left and down through Clare and Limerick and into north Kerry,” she told Fora. “There are much lower numbers heading north, so the challenge really is giving them motivating reasons to come.”Sligo is the least-visited county on the Wild Atlantic Way, according to the most recent figures from Fáilte Ireland.In 2015, a year after the multimillion-euro marketing campaign was launched, 186,000 overseas visitors came to the county out of the eight million tourists that visited the island.Donegal was the second least-visited county on the Wild Atlantic Way, with 289,000 visitors. Donegal’s Slieve Lieg cliffs Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall IrelandThat’s only a fraction of what Cork and Kerry experienced, with those counties attracting 1.4 million and one million visitors respectively.To counter that trend, Fáilte Ireland has formed “cluster groups” made up of local tourism businesses and accommodation providers. Those groups have been tasked with coming up with new initiatives and itineraries to market to foreign tour operators and online travel agents.For example, Monaghan said a group in Donegal that is working on itineraries centred around the Slieve Liag cliffs.“The Cliffs of Moher are renowned internationally, but Slieve Liag could equally become the new Cliffs of Moher,” she claimed. “It has the potential. We have to present things in a way that visitors will want to make the trek.”In Sligo, there is an effort to play off the county’s reputation as a “hub for good, local seafood” with ‘beach foraging’ expeditions in search of cockles and mussels.GermanyMonaghan believes that there is strong demand for north-west-bound trips from German visitors, who she described as “good tourers”, willing to avoid tourist hot spots.“They don’t want to meet 40 coaches at the Cliffs of Moher. They want their own intimate experience at lesser known places.”For that reason, Germany is Fáilte Ireland’s priority market for 2017.Monaghan said one of the biggest problems with tourism in the north-west is that too few attractions stay open in off-season to meet demand from guests at hotels and B&Bs. Tourists in Ireland Source: Rollingnews.ie“A lot of the accommodation providers are starting to stay open either year-round or longer in the winter,” she said, “but a lot of the activities and attractions close, so there’s very little for visitors to do when they get here.”Monaghan said Fáilte Ireland is hosting workshops for businesses in those areas to show how to market themselves and how cost-effective it would be for them to stay open for longer.The body is also hosting a ‘champions’ training programme for businesses that come into contact with tourists – like petrol-station attendants – to familiarise them with the Wild Atlantic Way brand and what attractions they can recommend to visitors.AdvertistingIt conjunction with five local authorities, Fáilte Ireland recently completed a €500,000, four-week advertising campaign to attract British visitors to Galway, Sligo and Donegal. Wild Atlantic Way ad Source: Fáilte IrelandIt specifically targeted UK cities that have easy air access to those counties, including Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester.However, none of the print ads made explicit reference to the actual counties photographed in the Wild Atlantic Way advertisement.Monaghan said that campaign was “a first effort” mostly aimed at profiling the Wild Atlantic Way for shoulder season – or off-peak – getaways.She said that “an area has to be of interest to domestic visitors before overseas visitors will happen upon it”.For that reason, Fáilte Ireland will soon launch a domestic ad campaign that will be “over-emphasising places north of Galway”.Written by Conor McMahon and posted on Fora.ie https://jrnl.ie/3231997 15,303 Views Share30 Tweet Email2 Take me to Fora TOURISM BUSINESSES ON the north-west stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way aren’t reaping the same rewards from the initiative as those in the south.Fáilte Ireland, the state body responsible for developing Ireland’s tourism offering, has admitted the initiative has fallen short in attracting overseas visitors to counties Donegal and Sligo despite its success in other regions.The Dublin-Galway motorway is the most trafficked roadway leading to Wild Atlantic Way, according to Fiona Monaghan, who heads up the initiative – but then too many tourists opt to head south. Image: Fáilte Ireland Short URL What tourism officials are doing to lure visitors to Ireland’s overlooked north-west The bulk of Wild Atlantic Way travellers opt to head south – and bypass Sligo and Donegal. 30 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
NASA Captures ‘Red-Handed’ Avalanche on Mars in Mesmerizing PhotoBest Skywatching Events in September 2019 Stay on target For many years, there has been a great debate over the possibility of methane on Mars. Now, scientists say they have identified the presence of methane on the Red Planet and where it might have come from.On June 16, 2013, Curiosity’s instruments recorded an increase in methane in Mars’ Gale crater, a 96-mile-wide area where the rover landed in 2012,” The Guardian reported. Since this time, Curiosity has discovered evidence of seasonal changes in methane on the Red Planet. According to scientists, the waft of gas detected by Curiosity might have been released from a fractured Martian permafrost.Despite some speculation over methane on Mars, a group of scientists decided to conduct an independent investigation to see if the gas might exist on the Red Planet. Their study, which was published in Nature Geoscience, used an instrument on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter to observe for more evidence of methane on Mars.With the orbiter’s planetary fourier spectrometer (PFS), the scientists searched for methane in and nearby the Gale crater from December 2012 to July 2014. During this time, the instrument noticed methane only once, which was on the same day Curiosity observed the sudden increase in methane on Mars.On Earth, #methane is generated by living organisms, as well as geological processes. On #Mars, scientists are striving to understand the different processes that can create & destroy this molecule which holds key clues to the planet’s activityDetails: https://t.co/YwyFdDkt4H pic.twitter.com/bdLWlryKhm— ESA Science (@esascience) April 1, 2019“Our finding constitutes the first independent confirmation of a methane detection,” Marco Giuranna from the National Institute of Astrophysics in Rome told The Guardian. “Prior to our study, methane detections on Mars, being either in situ, from orbit, or from Earth-based telescopes, were not confirmed by independent observations.”On June 16, 2013, the Curiosity rover recorded a methane concentration of 5.78 parts per billion (ppb) in the Gale creator, while the Mars Express instrument recorded 15.5 ppb in the atmosphere above the crater, scientists said in the study.Tracing the methane source wasn’t easy though: Scientists split up a large area around the Gale crater into a grid with squares, and then, researchers at Brussels’ Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy used computer models to replicate one million different emission incidents in each square, Space.com noted. Geologists from Italy and the U.S. also carefully examined the region around the Gale crater for methane-releasing features.“Remarkably, we saw that the atmospheric simulation and geological assessment, performed independently of each other, suggested the same region of provenance of the methane, which is situated about 311 miles (500 kilometers) east of Gale,” Giuranna told The Guardian. This area of the Red Planet, which is dubbed Aeolis Mensae, has numerous geological faults that might have broken permafrost and released previously trapped methane. It’s also possible that meteorites might have caused the ice to break open and allowed methane to escape.“That methane could be released episodically along faults that break through the permafrost due to partial melting of ice, gas pressure buildup induced by gas accumulation during migration, or stresses due to planetary adjustments or local meteorite impact,” the scientists said in the study.Even though there are still doubts over methane on Mars, the study revealed some interesting insights on potential methane sources and how the Red Planet’s fluctuating atmosphere might have tampered with a permafrost and allowed methane to be released.More on Geek.com:NASA’s Mars Helicopter Passes First Test Flight With Flying ColorsGoogle Will Now Take You to ‘Mars on Earth’ NASA Will Send a Helicopter to Mars With 2020 Mission
Following its April sale of Out and Advocate print magazines to Here, a New York-based gay television network, debt-ridden Planet Out today said it agreed to merge with Here and Regent Entertainment, forming Here Media Inc.As part of the agreement, Here Networks and Regent will contribute at least a combined $4.7 million into the new company. Planet Out will become a subsidiary of Here Media. The merger is expected to close before the second quarter.Here CEO and founder Paul Colichman will serve as CEO of the new company. Stephen P. Jarchow will serve as chairman. It was not immediately clear if Planet Out CEO Karen Magee would transition to Here Media. In April, Planet Out sold Out and Advocate to Here for a reported $6 million. The company’s Web portals—gay.com and planetout.com—were not part of the deal.Through the first nine months of 2008, Planet Out reported a net loss of $43.1 million, compared to a loss of $14.1 million during the same period in 2007.The merger agreement remains subject approval by the majority of outstanding Planet Out stockholders. Allen & Company served as financial advisor to Planet Out in the merger.
The game is changing from push to pull marketing and the smart publishers are the ones capitalizing on this movement; meeting readers in all of their different chosen venues and even anticipating their next moves. And with mail lists declining, targeting the most profitable customer has never been more important.To do this, publishers need a different kind of database—not one based on traditional demographics but one that is based on the behavioral patterns of consumers and their engagement with brands. The savviest of marketers are generating leads from their new über-databases to cross-sell and upsell across the enterprise.“This is more relevant today as marketers are interacting with customers, whether through acquisition or customer relationship management, they’re doing all of that via multiple channels now,” says Bart Surrick, vice president of strategic services for Alliant Cooperative Data Solutions. “Knowing how a customer was sourced, what channels they’re interacting with and their behavior is all more important now. The strongest evolution of the database is the ability of marketers to interact via different channels. The people who will be successful are the ones with access to data in one place and those who have the chops to understand the data.”Publishers are taking their decentralized databases—which could easily run past 100 different data sources for a mid-size company—and building that data into one supercharged database. It’s critical to have that information reside in one place to be able to track and analyze a consumer’s many moves and, in turn, market more effectively to them. The Homegrown HitOne company that’s already enjoying success from its centralized lead-generation database is IDG. The multi-billion-dollar tech company thrives on a decentralized environment, so the process hasn’t been an easy one, according to Frank Cutitta, general manager of IDGConnect, the company’s centralized database and resource library. While still growing and evolving, it now has about 6 million contacts in it, including about 2 million opt-in, e-mailable names. The database has contributed to 100 percent business growth to the company and its lead generation business over the past three years.IDG built its database two years ago in-house from scratch, leveraging a home-grown database from Computerworld. “If you’re going to do it homegrown,” Cutitta advises, “make sure that you have the wherewithal from a staffing point of view with the database department to grow in an exponential way with a lot of complexities.”One of the biggest challenges for IDG has been data normalization. With data pouring in from numerous disparate databases, data hygiene is of the utmost importance. The silver lining is that by cleaning up a lot of the typographical errors, such as e-mail addresses with dot.co instead of dot.com, IDG has been able to recover thousands of names for a fraction of the price of going out and soliciting new names, Cutitta says.IDG was also looking for a competitive advantage in the increasingly ROI-driven advertising and marketing investments in publishing when it created IDGConnect. It also recognized a smart way to build on its brands by using the consumers’ affinities for its products as currency. In that way, IDGConnect stands apart from some of the third-party, name-harvesting operations out there that don’t have any related affinities on consumers—a key factor behind behavioral marketing and the ability to predict the likelihood that a consumer will respond to any given campaign or product.Platinum LeadsIDG slices and dices across its vast network to deliver what it calls its “platinum business card leads”: a name, address, phone, title, some information on the company and its size and function. And some leads include more vertical information, depending on the market, Cutitta says. These leads can command top dollar—IDG prices its leads for its clients from $50 per lead up to more than $1,000 for the most comprehensive—but there is a slippery slope here.The challenge isn’t merely list fatigue, but publishers have to start enforcing some rules upon themselves and showing some restraint when it comes to frequency of mailing to contacts. “People start counting the cash and then the next thing people unsubscribe and your business asset, your database and those names, start evaporating. You have to find the sweet spot for how much mail they’ll accept,” Cutitta says.That’s where IDG starts appending those files with behavioral profiles and affinities to carve out new opportunities. “For example, we know this person likes white papers on virtualization and Webcasts on network security and as we get more sophisticated, we populate their record with things they’ve done with IDG assets and it gives us the future ability to mail with laser focus with the highest probability to engage on those assets,” Cutitta says.IDG has developed what it calls an “engagement intensity index,” a kind of data scoring system. It all hinges upon the quality of the content and knowing the attributes of the content, Cutitta says. In addition to the attributes, the index takes into consideration the frequency of action and nature of people downloading them and puts that into the score. That’s when you get a very behaviorally-driven lead, he says. For example, if a person had downloaded three high-impact assets, such as white papers, then the lead goes to the sales department to call upon the customer immediately.“There are certain things people would only read if they’re getting close to purchasing a product, like a PowerPoint presentation for people not in the board room,” Cutitta says. “We’re able to tell people what their content looks like and do gap analysis based on these audits.” IDG then will make recommendations, á la the Amazon model: if you read this article, you might also be interested in this one. In that way, IDG is able to fill out a customer’s “curriculum” by peppering in all sorts of content from across the IDG brands.Working with a VendorQuestex Media Group Inc., a b-to-b publisher based in Newton, Massachusetts, is on a similar mission. The company, which covers a plethora of markets, from hospitality to natural resources, is in the midst of converting all of its far-flung databases into a single enterprise database and is about a month away from a live launch. The company is using its fulfillment partner, Hallmark Data Systems, to manage the process instead of doing it in-house because it was the least expensive approach and because much of the database already resides with that partner, says Questex director of circulation and audience development Heidi Spangler. She says good fulfillment bureaus are already tracking and analyzing behavioral data but that it’s important to be with a fulfillment company that sees itself primarily as a data company and not simply a magazine subscription company.Spangler estimates that the finished database will house hundreds of thousands of contacts, possibly up to a million, all accessible to Questex through its Web-query system and an online interface. But, again, it’s not about the quantity of contacts, it’s the quality. “If you have a list of 25,000 people in the industry, the more we know about them and target the message, you can send it out to fewer people but still get the same number of clicks because they are reaching the right person,” she says. “You make sure you’re sending a relevant message and don’t worry about the open click rate because you’re sending it to the cream of the crop.”Questex was actually already doing a lot of the manual matching on the back-end, Spangler says, and she believes converting to a single database will save on circulation development costs and acquisition costs.Through this process, she says she is learning more about her customer files than she has ever known before. It’s also teaching the company new ways to approach its customers. “It used to be when we would develop the audience, we’d try to get a subscriber on the magazine list and go from there,” says Spangler. “Now, we identify someone in the industry the appropriate product for them, which may not be print. We find most of our audience members are getting more than one of our products. Instead of trying to force them to take the magazine to code them, it’s a different approach.” SIDEBAR5 Best Practices for Getting the Most out of the New Breed of Databases• Pre-populate registration forms from the database for customers downloading products like white papers or Webinars. IDG does this and has noticed a stronger clickthrough rate because of it.• Consider using an e-mail reputation manager, such as Habeas or Return Path, which can trouble-shoot why e-mails from the database are getting held up. It’s an enormous challenge to get new names now so the small investment to rehab dead names is well worth it.• Bad content will beget no leads, says IDG’s Frank Cutitta. Don’t fall into the trap of putting format before content, like throwing together a Webinar that would have made a better white paper.• Meet the customer in their preferred channels. You can grow your market share by delivering the content in the desired format instead of clinging to the print-centric mindset.• Do extensive planning before implementing new database features or when converting to a centralized database. If you don’t plan ahead for something and it pops up late in the game, it may not be a simple fix.
Google does not give up: YouTube next social network? by Martin Brinkmann on August 25, 2016 in Companies, Google – Last Update: January 04, 2018 – 30 commentsGoogle tried to establish a social networking site several times in the past to complete with the almighty Facebook.But even the company’s latest endeavor in the social space, Google Plus, did not work out as planned. If you consider that Google went all in that time, forcefully integrating Google Plus in many of the company services, and pushing it on its prime properties such as Google Search, it is not far-off to call Google Plus a failure.One of the properties graced with forceful Google Plus integration was YouTube. Google made the decision to replace YouTube’s commenting system with Google Plus, angering millions of YouTube users in the process.Google decided to abandon the Google Plus project some time ago. While it is still available, traces of Google Plus on other Google properties are slowly being removed again.The company has not given up yet on conquering the social networking space though. Its latest plan? Use a billion user site that already exists for that.That site is YouTube, and if reports are correct, it could soon get a lot more social on the site.YouTube BackstageVentureBeat reports that Google may plan to introduce an internal feature called Backstage to YouTube that lets users share photos, links, text posts, videos, and polls with their subscribers.Google may launch this as a limited trial for select YouTube accounts first and may go from there. According to VentureBeat, Backstage will be visible next to the Home and Videos tabs on YouTube, and posts made to channels will appear in subscriber feeds and notifications.Subscribers may reply to posts through various means including posting videos of their own, but also by text or images.Backstage will introduce new types of posts to YouTube. Google plans to differentiate between regular videos and Backstage videos. The latter allows channels to push videos only to subscribers and not to users discovering the channel through search or other means.Backstage is an internal project currently and it is unclear if and when it will be made available. While YouTube is highly popular when it comes to video publishing and watching, it lacks in the social department. While users may post comments under videos or channels, there is little in terms of communication going elsewhere.There is a send message option when you open the about page of a channel, but it is almost hidden from sight.Closing WordsAdding more social components to YouTube, even if only for a limited number of channels and publishers in the beginning, may improve interaction on the site.It is unclear how the move will impact Google Plus, but seeing the service being reduced to a crumble, it would not surprise me one bit if Google would announce its retirement in the near future.As far as I’m concerned, I go to YouTube to watch videos, not to communicate. That’s my personal preference though, and judging from the large number of comments on the site, others see it differently.Now You: What’s your take on this?SummaryArticle NameGoogle does not give up: YouTube next social network?DescriptionIf rumors are to be believed, Google plans to introduce a feature called Backstage on YouTube that adds social networking features to the site.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement
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Genworth LendingTree mortgage New Home Sales Prices reator.com sales 2019-03-29 Seth Welborn Share New Home Sales Data: Industry Reacts New home sales reached an 11-month high, according to data from the The U.S.Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In February 2019, new single family home sales were a ta seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000, around 4.9 percent higher month over month and 0.6 percent higher year over year. Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist for LendingTree, noted the impact lower interest rates had.“Sales were the highest in 11 months as the benefits of lower interest rates start to become evident,” Kapfidze noted. “January sales were also revised higher, adding to the evidence that the housing slowdown from the second half of 2018 is ending.”Tian Liu, Chief Economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance, noted the strong job market and its impact on housing in the past few months and even years.“Falling interest rates since late December 2018 have helped to stabilize housing demand, especially in the single-family housing market,” said Tian Liu, Chief Economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “The tight labor market has created the fastest wage growth in almost 10 years, making it more attractive for workers to change jobs and boost housing demand associated with increased relocation rates.”According to Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale, this month’s data indicates a stronger market.“February pending home sales data showed weakness after a pick-up in January contract signings, but February new home sales data shows a stronger read of 667,000 new home sales, up 4.9 percent from January and also slightly above last year’s sales pace (0.6 percent),” Hale stated. “This trend supports the fact that lower mortgage rates have started to entice buyers this spring and foreshadows a potential strengthening of existing home sales in the months to come. Looking forward, orders should also help bolster builder confidence and boost new construction. A slight moderation in the median price due to an increase in the share of sales in the $200,000-$300,000 category is also a good sign.”Find the complete Census Bureau/HUD data here. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination March 29, 2019 961 Views
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