3 November 2009The United Nations telecom agency is set to introduce measures that will help consumers know if the information and communications technology (ICT) equipment they are buying will work with other devices. The new conformity and inter-operability programme by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will support much more informed purchasing decisions for end users, be they companies or consumers, the agency stated in a news release. It also has the potential to widen markets, increase competition and decrease costs.A key element of the programme is a global database that buyers can consult, without cost, to check whether a product conforms to ITU standards, or will work with other network elements.According to the ITU, lack of conformity and inter-operability of ICT equipment is a major concern, especially in developing countries.“A dizzying array of similar products can sometimes make purchasing decisions difficult,” noted Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “Inter-operability is at the heart of what ITU does, so we have put in place procedures that will greatly assist those faced with often complex buying decisions.” Mr. Johnson added that the programme will significantly reduce the problems that telephone companies, ICT service providers, businesses and consumers face.“I believe this initiative is of great significance in our efforts to bridge the digital divide, but will be equally beneficial to those in the developed world,” he stated.The new programme, which will be voluntary and open to ITU members and non-members alike, will also focus on skills training and the development of regional testing centres for developing countries. As part of the initiative, ITU will organize a series of inter-operability events that will allow two or more vendors to get together to verify that their equipment inter-operates satisfactorily. An interoperability declaration can then be added to the database. The agency will also hold regional workshops and tutorials on conformity assessment and inter-operability.
No Jitter Roll: Five for Friday Beth Schultz June 14, 2019 A look at news from Slack, Symphony, Intel, Nureva, and PGi Cisco Brings Cognitive to Contact CenterWhile No Jitter bloggers have already covered and discussed much of Cisco’s EC19 presence, here are some additional details on its intentions for bringing cognitive collaboration to its contact center offerings. The announcement encompasses three areas. By combining the CXone intelligent routing for digital channels capabilities with customer attributes from Salesforce records, contact centers will be better able to match up agents and customers. Better matches should lead to faster resolution and fewer transfers between agents, as well as the option to provide higher levels of service to premium customers, NICE inContact said. Log in or register to post comments One Way or Another, Sprint Needs Out of Purgatory Michael Finneran June 19, 2019 For enterprise customers, the benefits of a T-Mobile/Sprint combination are clear, but the politics remain incomprehensible. EC19_ContactCenterZone_774.png “As customer service, proactive customer engagement, and back-office needs converge, Edify has created a new way for organizations to ensure customers get what they need across all channels in the sales and service cycle — powered by a single workflow,” said Blair Pleasant, co-founder of BCStrategies and founder of COMMfusion, in a prepared statement. Edify’s platform is currently available in a limited private release, and users can request access on the company’s website. It’s due for general availability this quarter; pricing models vary based on enterprise need. Sharpen Intros AXSCloud contact center provider Sharpen Technologies has made its Agent Experience Score (AXS) generally available. With AXS, Sharpen said it hopes to redefine the way companies measure contact center success by incorporating a new “empowerment metric” into traditional key performance indicators. AXS uses a proprietary algorithm to quantify and then aggregate agent empowerment, efficiency, and effectiveness, giving managers a more holistic view into performance, Sharpen said. The company has also enhanced agent experience by incorporating bots that drive in-line coaching for agents and managers. “The problem is this: 89 percent of companies rank employee engagement as an important priority, but only one quarter of them consider their agents to be extremely engaged,” said COMMfusion’s Pleasant, in a prepared statement. “Sharpen’s AXS seeks to connect this divide by intelligently aggregating all dimensions of the agent experience to give managers the insight they need to more deeply engage agents so they can deliver better customer experiences.” Looking back on the week of Enterprise Connect 2019 can make your head spin. And if the countless attendee emails I’ve received are any indication, the general consensus seems to be that we all wish we could have been in two, three, or maybe five places at once. Contact Center & Customer EngagementThe contact center space is hot, so much so that we elevated the subject matter to the EC19 mainstage. From startup launches to upgrades across the spectrum of incumbent providers, the news was plentiful. More Contact Center/CX news:XMedius Empowers Teams with Enterprise-Grade Call Center SolutionClick below to continue to next page: AI/Analytics/Speech Technologies, UC & Team Collaboration, and more Calabrio Releases Latest CX SuiteCalabrio, which bills itself as CX intelligence company, introduced the latest version of its Calabrio ONE suite. Calabrio ONE version 11 focuses on workforce optimization, providing users and contact center managers with access to data-driven insights – “regardless of their experience with analytics,” said Matt Matsui, chief product officer at Calabrio, in a prepared statement. Second, Cisco is introducing Cisco Answers, a cloud-based intelligent agent powered by Google Contact Center AI. The virtual agent listens to interactions and assists agents with contextual information so they can be more knowledgeable and reduce customer wait time. Additionally, Calabrio said it has improved and expanded its suite-wide monitoring, notification, and configuration capabilities to ease administration efforts and increase scalability. With updated auditing and alerting functionality, admins can better ensure that Calabrio ONE integrations with CPaaS partner solutions remain stable and continue to perform. Finally, new scheduling tools enable managers to manage the workforce more dynamically. Contact Center Core — adds voice, self-service IVR, integrated softphone, smart routing for Salesforce digital channels, and advanced call and screen recordingContact Center Advanced — adds workforce management, analytics-powered quality management, gamification, advanced performance reporting, and executive dashboardsContact Center Complete — adds speech and text analytics for customer interactions, and customer feedback survey and analytics capabilities for continuous improvement CXone Packages for Salesforce come in three versions: Avaya Taps RingCentral in UCaaS Partnership Beth Schultz October 03, 2019 Deal includes RingCentral’s $500 million investment in Avaya. Third, Cisco is enhancing its Customer Journey Platform with Customer Virtual Assistant, an integrated bot self-service capability for handling customer requests that don’t quite require a live agent. Introducing EdifyStartup Edify Labs chose EC19 for its reveal of Edify, a cloud-based, customer experience (CX)-focused business communications solution that combines the core functionality of CPaaS, CCaaS, and UCaaS/PBX platforms with customer success tools. In a pre-briefing with co-founder Cameron Weeks, I learned that Edify is very much focused on bringing proactive customer engagement to all the corners of an enterprise’s communications by combining the core functionality of communications platform, contact center, and UC as-a-service solutions. With Edify, enterprises can take a holistic approach to its communications, as the platform combines internal collaboration, contact center, and UC functionality with customer success tools and machine learning enhancements. See All in Industry News » First, it’s making its cloud analytics reporting service, called Customer Journey Analyzer, available for on-premises contact center offerings including the Unified Contact Center Enterprise, Packaged Contact Center Enterprise, and Unified Contact Center Express. This version of Analyzer is the first of many cloud-based services Cisco is making available to on-premises contact center customers, Vasili Triant, VP & GM of Cisco’s Customer Care business unit, wrote in a Cisco Blogs post. The company is doing so to help customers begin their journey to the cloud in practical, small steps, while still protecting valuable on-premises investments, Triant said. Tags:News & ViewsSD-WANreal-time communicationsenterprise communicationsEC19Industry NewsAI & AutomationAPIs & Embedded CommunicationsCloud CommunicationsContact Center & Customer ExperienceCPaaSEndpointsEnterprise NetworkingMonitoring, Management and SecurityTeam Collaboration Tools & WorkspacesTechnology TrendsUnified Communications & CollaborationVideo Collaboration & A/V1234nextlast Articles You Might Like EC19_Breezeway_774.png Dish Networks Gets a Bone in Sprint, T-Mobile Merger OK Michael Finneran July 30, 2019 A fantasy solution for a fanciful concern clears the way for Sprint, T-Mobile combo — please let it go through, for safety’s sake! Avaya & RingCentral: Does This Alliance Make Sense? Zeus Kerravala October 04, 2019 While the benefits for RingCentral are clear, that’s not so easily said about Avaya. While we’ve covered many of the highlights and vendor announcements coming out of the event here on No Jitter, with an event of this scale — nearly 220 exhibitors — plenty of other news may have flown under your radar. To help get you up to speed, here’s a roundup of news we haven’t already covered, broken out into categories as best as possible for an industry in which divisional lines are increasingly blurring. With this release, Calabrio has embedded artificial intelligence (AI)-driven analytics throughout the suite so that users can analyze, visualize, and take action without interrupting their workflows. NICE inContact Releases Salesforce IntegrationsCloud contact center solution provider NICE inContact announced CXone packages integrated with Salesforce Service Cloud. These new CXone Packages for Salesforce provide carrier-grade voice, intelligent routing for Salesforce digital channels, embedded workforce optimization, and speech/text analytics, the company said. The Edify platform is fully customizable and designed to scale, Weeks told me. Other features include channel-agnostic cross-department collaboration; support for real-time streaming data for voice, video, chat, and screen sharing; real-time communications APIs; contact center functionality that includes ACD, omnichannel, coaching, and training; a proprietary UC/CC application, API platform, and telecom network; and support for certifications including PCI, HIPAA, ISO: 270001, SOC 2, and GDPR.
After another 100-yard rushing performance, sophomore running back Carlos Hyde has proven that he should be the undisputed No. 2 running back for the Ohio State offense. I’m not someone who enjoys controversy or likes to stir it up, but in my mind, there should be no controversy. The numbers speak for themselves. With just eight more carries than junior running back Jordan Hall, Hyde has compiled 183 more yards with a team-high of 513. Hyde also has four more touchdowns than junior running back Jordan Hall. How can the coaches argue with that production? One common argument for Hall is his “big play ability.” Hall’s biggest play against Wisconsin, the last game in which he played, was a fumbled punt return that gave Wisconsin momentum and a chance to get back in the game. Maybe that is a little cynical, as he did score a touchdown in the third quarter and his final kickoff return gave the Buckeyes great field position to retake the lead for the eventual victory. However, Hall’s touchdown was from two yards out. With three inches of height and 43 more pounds packed on his frame than Hall, I would be willing to bet that Hyde could have punched it in just as easily. Also worth noting is that Hall’s longest rush of the year is 20 yards, compared to Hyde’s long of 63 yards. Is Hall really a bigger play threat than Hyde? Hyde voiced his displeasure with his spotty playing time after the Buckeyes’ victory against Illinois on Oct. 15 on Twitter saying, “Guess I’m not good enough. Take myself elsewhere.” He later (wisely) deleted the tweet and said he wasn’t going anywhere. The damage had been done, though, and his displeasure is evident. But can you blame him? Hyde is only a sophomore and would be in the Buckeye backfield for another two years. Hall, a junior, only has one more year at OSU. If Hyde were to become disgruntled and transfer elsewhere, the Buckeyes would be missing out on at least one, if not two years, of solid backfield play from the runner. Senior running back Daniel ‘Boom’ Herron voiced similar confidence in Hyde following the victory against Indiana. “(Hyde’s) got a great future ahead of him. It was really nice to see him do a great job,” Herron said. “It was great to see him take advantage of the opportunities given to him today.” Keywords: “great future” and “opportunities given to him today.” Coach Luke Fickell and the coaching staff would be wise to keep Hyde as involved in the game plan as possible this week and throughout the season to prepare for the future, as well as get the greater production. With Hall coming off of an ankle injury, Fickell said at his Tuesday press conference that “hopefully (Hall) will be able to go” but “he’ll be a little bit hesitant.” He also said that Hall will retake his position as punt and kickoff returner while the coaches find a way to move the ball around and give all the running backs opportunities to touch the football. I guarantee that given an opportunity to touch the football, Hyde will not be hesitant to take it to the Purdue defense. Put him in, coach.
A body recovered from the collapsed boiler house at Didcot power station has been identified as that of Christopher Huxtable from Swansea.Mr Huxtable, 34, had been missing since the collapse in February, and his body was discovered on Wednesday. Thames Valley Police said his family has been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.A joint police and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation is under way to establish the circumstances of his death, and the search operation has resumed, the force said.Demolition workers Ken Cresswell, 57, and John Shaw, 61, both from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, have been missing since the building in Oxfordshire partially collapsed. The building was previously too unstable to be approached Credit: PA The body of Michael Collings, 53, who was also killed by the disaster, has been recovered from the wreckage.The building was previously too unstable to be approached and a 50-metre exclusion zone was set up around the site. 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.
http://jrnl.ie/3064390 By Cliodhna Russell Appeal for 27-year-old man missing from Dublin Marcel Tiba has been missing from Swords since Wednesday evening. Nov 4th 2016, 8:44 PM Short URL GARDAÍ ARE SEEKING the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of 27-year-old Marcel Tiba.He has been missing from Swords since around 6.30pm on Wednesday, 2 November.Marcel is a Romanian National and is about 5’ 7’’ tall, of slim build and with short dark brown hair and brown eyes.He also has an ’M’ tattoo on the left side of his neck.When last seen he was wearing a dark jacket, red jumper, blue jeans, dark coloured shoes and carrying a dark backpack type bag.Anyone who has seen Marcel or who can assist in locating him is asked to contact Swords Garda Station on 01 6664700, the garda confidential telephone line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.Read: Gardaí renew appeal for man missing since last year> Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 2 Comments Friday 4 Nov 2016, 8:44 PM 18,615 Views Share100 Tweet Email
Property tax increases in the midst of the Great Recession make for a hot topic. Local municipalities are deciding whether to increase levy amounts by 1 percent, which they can do without a public vote.Here’s the scorecard so far: Vancouver and Ridgefield will increase their levies and Woodland, Battle Ground and La Center are all expected to increase their levies when they adopt their budgets this week.As for Camas and Washougal, those cities don’t have the option of increasing their levy amounts, as they are at the statutory limit. If Clark County commissioners, after four public hearings on the 2011-12 budget, decide this week they need to raise the county’s property tax levy 1 percent, take heart and seek perspective. A breakdown of what taxes buyPress Talk: Examination of our taxing storyProperty taxes in Clark County fall in the middle among 792 U.S. counties ranked by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, D.C.In a 2009 study that ranked counties in terms of percentage of home value that property owners pay in taxes, Clark County ranked 373rd.Homeowners here pay, on average, 1 percent of their assessed property value in property taxes.Multnomah County, Ore., ranked 384th, with homeowners paying, on average, .97 percent of their assessed value.Monroe County, N.Y. (Rochester is the county seat), was ranked No. 1; Tangipahoa Parish, La., ranked last.To put it in simple terms, my husband and I paid $2,341 in property taxes this year on our $194,100 home in west Hazel Dell.In Tangipahoa Parish, where homeowners pay, on average, 0.13 percent of the value of their property in taxes, we would have paid $252. In Monroe County, where homeowners pay, on average, 2.89 percent, we would have paid $5,606.New York also has a state personal income tax. Plus a sales tax, which Monroe County residents can’t easily escape with a short drive to another state.Old laws, new painsFeeling any better about what we pay in property taxes?Here’s more perspective: Before voters in Washington approved two property tax-limiting measures, levy amounts in Clark County grew, on average, by 6 percent each year between 1973 and 1997.
For us, that’s a challenge. If The New York Times Magazine is putting Nicki Minaj on its cover or T Magazine is putting Rihanna on its cover during the same cycle as us, we want to make sure that the way we’re covering that story is innovative, unique and high quality. For us, having Rihanna on our cover at the same time as Vanity Fair and T Magazine, I feel like our story really held up. That’s what this year has been about for us, challenging ourselves not to just be a good music magazine or a good looking magazine, but to be one of the best culture magazines out there. Folio: There was a time when a huge, global pop star like Rihanna might have only wanted to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair, for example, and it seems that’s no longer the case. Is that reflective of a changing landscape in magazine media? Folio: Going back to the digital growth—where are you seeing all this new traffic coming in from? Folio: For starters, to what do you attribute all of this growth in digital? Is there anything you’ve been doing differently? Some of our biggest stories in the past year have absolutely been magazine stories. We had an amazing run with Fader 100 where we had two incredible cover stories, but also just a ton of excellent content that we created for the magazine that’s all done really well online. We had an exciting cover story with Zayn Malik, which for The Fader was kind of a departure, but also super in line with the history of the best stuff The Fader does, which is to talk to an artist early on in a project and take time to learn where their head is at. That Zayn story was a classic Fader story, and we were happy to bring the Fader approach to a new audience with that one. For music and culture magazine The Fader, the end of 2015 saw the release of the brand’s landmark 100th issue, the digitization of its complete archive through a partnership with BitTorrent, and unprecedented digital growth. Combined traffic across desktop and mobile jumped 33 percent year-over-year, and October 2015, the month the 100th issue was released, was the highest-traffic month in the magazine’s sixteen-year history. Our goal has been to move away from that MP3 blog model. We saw so much potential in The Fader’s brand and the way that The Fader has always looked at music, which is using music as a prism to learn more about the entire world and youth culture and technology. It’s been a process both of staffing up and working with everyone here to improve day-to-day writing and editing skills. We’re still a small staff and we will lean on each other to create most of the content. To some extent, we’ve just been in blogging boot camp all together, and trying to do magazine-quality stuff every day. Folio: caught up with Naomi Zeichner, editor-in-chief, to get a glimpse of what’s behind The Fader’s growth and what’s next for the brand. Folio: Looking back at that Fader 100 issue, was featuring well-established stars like Drake or Rihanna a departure for the brand? Naomi Zeichner: We’ve been doing everything differently over the past year or so. I don’t mean to say we’ve switched our entire approach or model, but The Fader at its inception and for many years on the internet was a great MP3 blog; that was the bread and butter of our business, and then we had this separate magazine that we were doing, and those stories would also always go online, but there were only so many of them. Zeichner: The Fader has always been all about balance. I don’t think The Fader has ever shied away from pop music. Drake and Rihanna are both established artists, but also artists who constantly have their hands in what’s next in culture and are supporting or feeding off of young artists, so they’re very much in our world. It was about looking back, but we also think those artists are really vital and interesting right now. It was the same for Zayn; Zayn was a pop star who was actively trying to wheel himself back into a smaller, more meaningful world. We thought that was an interesting story and it says a lot about the status of the boundaries between indie and pop. Zeichner: Yes, we have each issue up for free download as part of our bundle now, and then you’ll be able to purchase the entire archive. I went to an art show recently where these kids had created a whole wall out of Fader photography that they got from the archive bundle when it was free, and that was a really cool moment for me. Some of our early magazines still exist in this office only on compact discs as quark files, so knowing that the archive was digitized and made available is really amazing. Zeichner: This year, we have a fuller stable of editors than ever. A joke that I make with my deputy is that we taught each other “folk journalism.” We aren’t people who went to journalism school, but all of a sudden we have this infusion of people who have worked at amazing places and are some of the best editors in the business. Their specialties aren’t only in music. They’re people who love music and love culture, but also are really ambitious writers about politics, sports, technology, identity—things like that. I’m looking forward to those editors both improving the overall quality of our magazine stories and also making sure that we have more non-music, high-quality stories that we’re breaking in our magazine, as well as just bringing in more freelancers and more people into the Fader network. Folio: Your BitTorrent partnership resulted in over one million downloads for the Fader 100 issue. Can we expect more promotions like that in the future? Zeichner: Not exactly, but we are thinking about how to use social platforms for native content. These days, when an artist visits the office, what we’re doing with them for our Snapchat story is one of the first things we think about. A few years ago when we did our redesign for our site, we built it mobile-first, and we’re going to introduce a couple of tweaks to the mobile design in a couple weeks, making sure that all of our articles—whether it’s a long-form magazine article or something that’s more newsy or more listy—is really pleasant to read on your phone, and that you’re able to easily navigate around the day’s content on your phone. That sort of user experience is really important to us, but we aren’t necessarily tailoring content towards social. Folio: What are some ways in which that affects your editorial strategy? Are you tailoring content for different social platforms? Zeichner: Just like other publishers, we’re seeing a ton of traffic directly from Facebok. For us, I would say Twitter is a larger audience than for some other publications, I think because music readers still hang out on Twitter, which is awesome. We’ve seen a huge increase in mobile traffic. We also see a lot of direct traffic, which is coming from people texting each other links, or when people put links in their Instagram bios, which for us is an exciting metric. Folio: So what’s next? How will you top those numbers in 2016? Zeichner: Absolutely. I think a print magazine cover at this point is such a feather in the hat. There are so few print magazine covers, and we’re just really proud that people still feel that a Fader cover, as a symbol, is a currency that they want to be a part of, and that it still means something. These distinctions between a high-brow thing and a low-brow thing, or a popular thing and an underground thing, might go away. Lots of publications are now operating with that understanding. Last year we saw huge traffic growth when we were able to meaningfully weigh in on a cultural moment. When Meek Mill and Drake were fighting, we had a million posts that were different from posts that you’d see elsewhere on the internet, and that’s where we really saw growth. Looking at things like the election, and even the Grammy’s coming up, we want to make sure that we have the best coverage and all different types of coverage. Now we have coverage coming from our UK office, and we also have someoene in Canada starting, so we’re looking forward to broadening the types of stories we tell. More on this topic The Fader Releases Full Archive on BitTorrent A Look at The FADER’s Expansion Plans Folio: Week in Review – January 30, 2016 How Runner’s World is Connecting with Audiences Like Never Before Inside Harvard Business Review’s Plans to Boost High-Frequency Traffic Selling Positivity: A Look Inside Condé Nast AuroraJust In Shanker Out, Litterick In as CEO of EnsembleIQ Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring BabyCenter Sold to Ziff Davis Parent J2 Media | News & Notes The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the Move Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the Move This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV NetworksPowered by
PlayStation VR may get upgrades, but not necessarily when PS5 debuts. Sarah Tew/CNET VR headsets have been arriving in force in 2019, with new hardware from Oculus, Valve, and Vive. But Sony’s PlayStation VR, which debuted back in 2016, hasn’t made its next evolutionary leap yet. That time is coming, but it likely won’t be alongside the debut of the PlayStation 5.At Toronto’s Collison conference, Sony’s Global Head of R&D for PlayStation, Dominic Mallinson, sat down with CNET to discuss what’s on the horizon for PSVR, and what we might see next. None of these are guarantees, but they could be key features of PSVR’s next leap. Something wireless, and lighterThe PSVR has been a success story relative to other VR hardware, selling over 4.2 million headsets so far, but the PlayStation 4’s install base of 96.8 million dwarfs that. Mallinson admits PSVR “does need to evolve. It’s not quite there yet as a mass market proposition.” A key step could be making it easier and less cord-tangly. “We do want it to be lighter weight, and easier to put on, less cables, less mess.”But a wireless option could take the form of an add-on, instead of the default. “Wireless suffers from the issue of being expensive,” Mallinson says. “If you don’t care about cables, then it’s a lot cheaper than to have a wireless system. But at the same time, having wireless just makes you so much more free.”Recent patent filing reports show designs indicating a wireless headset. The current PlayStation VR is relatively bulky, and its tether and break-out box means gameplay needs to happen in close range of the PS4. Eye tracking is in playNo mainstream VR headsets use eye tracking yet, but eye tracking (or gaze tracking) is something that PlayStation’s actively considering, and Mallinson considers crucial. “That’s the one that excites me the most… I think there will come a point in time in the not too distant future when you cannot launch a VR headset without eye tracking.” It could have practical benefits, too: eye tracking can help reduce graphics load to make games perform better via a technique called foveated rendering, which could help a game console perform more like a high-end PC. “It’s a win-win in that respect,” says Mallinson. “For me it’s a pretty obvious technology.”PlayStation VR’s Move controllers date back to the PS3. Sarah Tew/CNET New controllersPart of the current PSVR design was always about getting to the lowest price possible, which meant using existing PlayStation Move controllers and PS4 cameras instead of VR-specific controllers (while PlayStation VR games can also use the standard DualShock 4, he says Move has won out slightly with developers). “We knew if we went back into the R&D labs and we did something brand-new, we could have created something better than PlayStation Move, but it would have cost more,” Mallinson says, but hints that a better solution is coming. “We do recognize that does need to be evolved, and in the future we will obviously replace it.”Could mixed reality be onboard?Sony’s not exploring making a HoloLens for gaming (as far as we know), but there’s a possibility that pass-through mixed reality using VR headset cameras could be a part of the picture. “In the future, it’s interesting to us,” Mallinson says. He sees incorporating real-world things into the VR headset, like the way Oculus Quest can draw magic boundaries while seeing the room with pass-through cameras, is better than trying to drop holograms into actual reality like Magic Leap. “If you are more interested in mixed reality for gaming applications, then I actually think video see through is more compelling and a lot less complicated.” Sony’s had experience with AR games before, going back to PlayStation 3 games like Wonderbook, or EyePet.Don’t expect a new PSVR to launch alongside PS5Mallinson seems satisfied with how PlayStation VR rolled out several years after the PlayStation 4 was on the market. The current PSVR will be PS5-compatible, which means a new headset isn’t necessary right away. And that could mean Sony waits to debut a new headset for a while. “There’s no reason for us to coincide it with a new console. From the point of view of the consumer, to be bombarded with many many things — oh, you have to buy this, you have to buy that — is a message that we don’t want to send. In some ways, it’s good to have a little breathing space between those things.”Don’t expect a mobile VR standalone system, either Mallinson admires Oculus Quest, Facebook’s new standalone console-free VR system, but doesn’t see Sony taking a similar path yet. “I do applaud them for doing something that is mobile, but it’s something you would more likely do in a private living room space. I don’t think you’d go out on the road and do this stuff. But I think having no wires, making it light and unencumbered, it is great. So I think going mobile for both reasons is important.”New VR headset or not, VR is gaining tractionWhile developer interest is high, says Mallinson, the audience is smaller and Sony is still looking to grow the audience. “The fact of life is, you get a little less in terms of commercial movement from the VR titles.”But he sees VR as finally becoming a platform that can work. Sony’s recent lineup of VR games has been impressive and some of the PlayStation’s best games of 2018 (Moss, Tetris Effect, Astro Bot: Rescue Mission) were VR titles. “We’re just reaching that level now where, as a developer you can say, ‘OK, I can make money. It’s not easy, but I can now make money.'” Virtual Reality Sony Gaming Wearable Tech 1 Share your voice Comment Tags
Srikakulam: Permanent solution is not yet available for traffic problem in Srikakulam city. District headquarter Srikakulam is having 21 square kilometres area and it is improving towards Visakhapatnam and Amudalavalasa at brisk pace. Roads are narrow and not enough to cater to traffic requirements in the city.Previously inner ring road (IRR) and outer ring road (ORR) are proposed in the city. IRR had been proposed from Day and Night Junction via Rama Laxmana, Surya Mahal, Arasavalli Mill, Potti Sriramulu Circle and Seven Roads Junction with an estimated cost of Rs 50 crore. Traffic rush is witnessing on these roads regularly and road widening is essential to ease congestion. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us To widen these roads, buildings, shops, commercial establishments need to be removed on either side of the road. But due to political involvement and pressure, the proposal for IRR remained on paper and people are habituated to tolerate traffic problems. ORR proposed around the city by connecting nearby villages in Srikakulam Rural, Etcherla, Gara, Ponduru and Amudalavalasa mandals with an estimated cost of Rs 50 crore initially. But later these estimations had been enhanced to Rs 300 crore. Also Read – Saaho movie tickets pricey in Nellore Advertise With Us As per proposals, ORR started from Peddapadu via Kunukupeta, Sanivada, Kottapeta, Killipalem, Kusalapuram, Tamminaidupeta, Thotada, Ragolu, Chapuram, Patrunivalasa villages in Srikakulam rural, Etcherla, Gara, Ponduru and Amudalavalasa mandals. The aim of the ORR is to reduce traffic congestion on the city roads from rural areas and to divert it from outer side of the city. Because of stoppage of these two roads at proposal stage, traffic problem is being continued in Srikakulam. “IRR and ORR both are at proposal stage and no further orders issued by the government in this regard so far” stated Srikakulam Town Planning and Engineering officials and engineers of roads and buildings department.
New Delhi: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has constituted Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF) headed by former Vigilance Commissioner T M Bhasin to examine bank fraud over Rs 50 crore and recommend action. The panel in its previous avatar called the Advisory Board on Bank, Commercial and Financial Frauds. The ABBF, formed in consultation with the RBI, would function as the first level of examination of all large fraud cases before recommendations or references are made to the investigative agencies by the respective PSBs, CVC said.
High CourtThe High Court on Monday asked the authorities concerned to stop harassing supporters and agents of the opposition BNP’s mayoral candidate in Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) election, reports UNB.The court issued a rule in this regard, less than 24 hours before the city near Dhaka goes to polls on Tuesday.Following similar arrests and raids during the recent election in Khulna city, as the BNP complained, its party leaders and workers who would have been agents of the BNP’s mayoral candidate Hasan Uddin Sarker, were intimidated.The High Court on Monday issued the rule about arbitrary arrest and asked the authorities concerned to explain as to why they should not be directed to follow the Appellate Division’s guidelines and take measures to stop arresting the BNP men in Gazipur.An HC bench of justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and justice Md Iqbal Kabir came up with the rule following a writ petition.The home secretary, the election commission, the inspector general of police, the Gazipur police commissioner, the police superintendent and three others have been made respondents to the rule which is returnable in two weeks.The court also verbally asked attorney general Mahbubey Alam to make sure that the supporters and agents of BNP mayoral candidate in the GCC polls Hasan Uddin Sarker are not arrested arbitrarily ahead of and during the voting.BNP leader Moudud Ahmed along with Mahbub Uddin Khokon stood for the petitioner while the attorney general represented the state.Hasan Uddin Sarker, earlier in the day, filed the writ petition with the HC seeking its directives to stop harassing his supporters and agents violating the Appellate Division directives.
Kolkata: Minister of state (independent charge) for Women & Child Development & Social Welfare Shashi Panja on Tuesday said the government is setting up six new adoption centres in the state.The state presently has 24 adoption centres covering all the districts in the state that are managed by non-governmental organisations. However, the entire funding for functioning of these centres are borne by the state government.”The six new centres will come up in Paschim Medinipur, Alipurduar, Hooghly, Howrah, Jalpaiguri and Purulia. It will be directly managed and financed by the government,” said Panja. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe minister on Tuesday inaugurated a new adoption centre at Manikpara in Jhargram. “This adoption centre meets all the criteria of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015,” Panja said. The Jhargram adoption centre has 10 children.The minister will hold district level meeting on review of Adoption and ICDS matters in the district on Wednesday with all the concerned officials. The various schemes like Kanyashree, Rupasree and Manobik will be reviewed by the minister.The adoption centres in the state take care of a child up to an age of six and during this period it ensures that it is handed over to a couple who wants to adopt the child.
Average speed cameras are being installed on the A500 between Hanchurch and Wolstanton (Image: (Photo by Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)) It comes as drivers – who will face £100 fines – are already contending with narrow lanes and an extended 50mph limit during the D-road widening works between Etruria and Porthill. Read MoreWatch as driving instructor’s dash-cam captures TWO taxis jumping red lights in Stoke-on-Trent – in quick succession Highways England official Stuart Danks said: “The safety of all road users is our priority and while the majority of motorists stick to the 50mph speed limit the introduction of safety cameras along this route will help reduce accidents. “We thank motorists for their patience while work to install the cameras takes place. Any road closures will be overnight when we know the roads are quieter. Where possible, we will work on one carriageway at a time or with lane closures to minimise disruption while ensuring the safety of our workers.” Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailSpeed cameras are to be installed along a five-mile stretch of the busy A500. Work starts today to install the average speed cameras at 12 locations along the 50mph stretch between the junction 15 M6 roundabout at Hanchurch and Wolstanton. The first phase focuses on the Hanchurch roundabout with every camera expected to be in place by December 20. The programme of work – which also includes bridge repairs and carriageway resurfacing – will lead to lane closures and some night-time full closures. Average speed cameras are being installed on this stretch of the A500 between Sideway and Hanford Latest figures show 3,263 drivers were caught speeding on the A500 between Etruria and Hanford in the 12 months to the end of August. The stretch between Hanford and Hanchurch is not routinely monitored because there are no bridges across the carriageway. Driving instructors and cabbies have welcomed the introduction of average speed cameras if they help reduce accidents. In 2013, the then North Staffordshire coroner Ian Smith called for them to be installed on the A500 after Staffordshire Police reported there had been 28 fatal accidents on the road over a 10-year period. There were 231 accidents on the A500 between 2014 and 2016, including nine fatal and 16 serious crashes. poll loadingShould average speed cameras be installed on the A500?1000+ VOTES SO FARYesNo Driving instructor Les Brigham, of Milton, said: “People need to recognise that speed cameras and extra road markings encourage a reduction of speed. They are often installed reactively. “One of the sayings in driver education is ‘the more paint the more danger’. The traffic markings and road signs tell a story of previous incidents. Wetley Rocks is a good example, lots of paint and lots of speed cameras tells us there had been far too many incidents in the Wetley Rocks area. Read MoreDon’t warn other drivers about police speed traps, you could get slapped with a fine “Average speed cameras on the A500 should be a good way to keep drivers safe by encouraging motorists to stay within the legal speed limit – and safer – for longer distances.” Stoke-on-Trent Private Hire Association chairman Sharaz Yaqub said: “Safety is paramount and if these speed cameras achieve that and reduce the number of casualties, then I’m all for it.” Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Police search for missing woman Punter found hiding in bushes Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Driver named following fatal collision Follow StokeonTrentLive Download our app – You can download our free app for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or get the Android version from Google Play. Follow StokeonTrentLive on Facebook – Like our Facebook page to get the latest news in your feed and join in the lively discussions in the comments. Click here to give it a like! Follow us on Twitter – For breaking news and the latest stories, click here to follow SOTLive on Twitter. Follow us on Instagram – Featuring pictures past and present from across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our Instagram Stories. Click here to follow StokeonTrentLive on Instagram.
News | October 19, 2008 SDMS Honours Medipattern VP with Award for Sonography Research Technology | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | July 02, 2019 Philips Extends Advanced Automation on Epiq CVx Cardiovascular Ultrasound Platform Philips recently announced new advanced automation capabilities on its Epiq CVx and Epiq CVxi cardiac ultrasound… read more Related Content The ScanTrainer transvaginal simulator is one example of Intelligent Ultrasound’s simulation technologies. read more 360 Photos | Ultrasound Imaging | July 08, 2019 360 Degree View of an Echocardiography Exam on the SC2000 System This is a 360 degree view of a live cardiac echo demonstration for the Siemens Healthineers Acuson SC2000… read more 3D Auto RV application image courtesy of Philips Healthcare News | Ultrasound Imaging | July 31, 2019 Studies Confirm Clinical Value of ShearWave Elastography for Liver Fibrosis Evaluation SuperSonic Imagine announced the publication of the results of its prospective multicentric clinical study conducted in… read more Technology | Interventional Radiology | August 16, 2019 Profound Medical Receives U.S. FDA 510(k) Clearance for Tulsa-Pro Profound Medical Corp. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to… read more News | Ultrasound Women’s Health | July 11, 2019 FDA Clears Koios DS Breast 2.0 AI-based Software Koios Medical announced its second 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). News | Pediatric Imaging | August 14, 2019 Ultrasound Guidance Improves First-attempt Success in IV Access in Children August 14, 2019 – Children’s veins read more October 20, 2008 – The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) has recognized Cindy Rapp, Medipattern’s vice president of Clinical Program Development, as the 2008 recipient of the Joan P. Baker Pioneer Award, for research that establishes that ultrasound technology can be used to differentiate breast lesions as benign or malignant.The award established to honor sonographers who have made outstanding contributions in the profession. The Pioneer Award is awarded to those members who have made focused contributions and have created innovative new directions for sonography. Ms. Rapp, BS, RDMS, FSDMS, FAIUM, was one of the co-authors of the landmark paper “Solid Breast Nodules: Use of Sonography to Distinguish between Benign and Malignant Lesions” with A. Thomas Stavros (the chairman of Medipattern’s advisory board), M.D., David Thickman, M.D., Mark Dennis, M.D., Steve Parker, M.D., and Gale Sisney, M.D. The paper was published in Radiology in 1995 (196 123-124). This body of work establishes that ultrasound technology can be used effectively to differentiate breast lesions as benign or malignant with a high degree of confidence. Prior to this effort, it was widely believed that the primary role for ultrasound was to establish whether a lesion was solid or cystic or to guide a needle for biopsy. The paper is the basis for the criteria to evaluate breast lesions based upon ultrasound image information. The criteria originally established in the paper, formed the basis for what was to become the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) Breast Ultrasound Breast Imaging Report and Data System (BI-RADS(R)). The ACR officially adopted BI-RADS for breast ultrasound in 2003 and it is the approved methodology for reviewing breast ultrasound imaging today.Ms. Rapp has been involved in sonography for approximately 25 years. An active member of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), Ms. Rapp received Fellowship into both organizations in 2001. She was also actively involved with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS), where she chaired the task force for the Breast Ultrasound Registry. Ms. Rapp routinely lectures nationally and internationally on various ultrasound topics with an expressed emphasis in breast sonography. She has authored numerous sonographic chapters, articles and award winning scientific exhibits. In 2000, she received the prestigious Kenneth R. Gottesfeld award of excellence for her publication in the JDMS “Ultrasound of Abdominal Wall Hernias”. Ms. Rapp also received the distinguished sonographer of the year award from the AIUM in 2005.For more information: www.medipattern.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 360 Photos | Ultrasound Imaging | July 09, 2019 360 Degree View of a Mitral Valve Ultrasound Exam on a Vivid E95 System A view of a mitral valve on a GE Healthcare Vivid E95 … read more News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | August 05, 2019 Digital Health Devices Used at Point of Care May Improve Diagnostic Certainty A West Virginia-based rural medical outreach event showcased the use of point-of-care technology in an ambulatory… read more 360 Photos | Ultrasound Imaging | July 11, 2019 360 Degree View of a Smartphone Performing a Cardiac Ultrasound Exam This 360 degree photo shows a basic, point-of-care cardiac echocardiogram being performed using a smartphone turned i read more News | Ultrasound Imaging | July 26, 2019 Intelligent Ultrasound Group Collaborating With the National Imaging Academy Wales Artificial intelligence (AI)-based ultrasound software and simulation company Intelligent Ultrasound Group plc (AIM:… read more
Siemens MAGNETOM Aera 1.5 T scanner Feature | Contrast Media | July 18, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr How To Manage Risk in the MR Suite Macrocyclic contrast agents have the best safety profile of all the magnetic resonance (MR) contrast media that are n read more News | Focused Ultrasound Therapy | July 10, 2019 Insightec’s Exablate Neuro Approved With GE Signa Premier MRI in U.S. and Europe GE Healthcare and Insightec announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and CE mark for Insightec’s… read more News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 16, 2019 AAPM 2019 Features More Than 40 Presentations on ViewRay’s MRIdian MRI-guided Radiotherapy ViewRay Inc. announced that the company’s MRIdian System is the focus of more than 40 abstracts selected by the… read more Technology | Neuro Imaging | August 07, 2019 Synaptive Medical Launches Modus Plan With Automated Tractography Segmentation Synaptive Medical announced the U.S. launch and availability of Modus Plan featuring BrightMatter AutoSeg. This release… read more November 28, 2008 — Two new MR scanners are the first to incorporate the innovative Tim and Dot technology. The combination of Tim and Dot delivers patient-centered care and significantly improves productivity across the entire MRI workflow. Magnetom Aera 1.5 Tesla and Magnetom Skyra 3T scanners were unveiled at RSNA this week with the goal of increasing productivity and improving patient experience. Both systems provide 70 cm open-bore design together with the Tim and Dot innovations, increasing efficiency and ease of use. Tim supplies the power needed for superb image quality, while Dot takes away the complexity inherent in MR scanning.The 70 cm open-bore design of MAGNETOM Aera and Skyra can accommodate a large variety of patient sizes, shapes and conditions. The friendly and open appearance helps to reduce sedation rates, minimizes stress for claustrophobic patients, and leads to higher throughput and more referrals. And the super-short magnets allow many studies to be completed with the patient’s head outside the bore while still supporting a full 50 cm FoV (45 cm in z-direction).Tim’s new ultra high-density array, with up to 204 coil elements combined with a new RF design with up to 128 RF channels, leads to an SNR increase. This enables high-resolution imaging that holds up even when zooming in on multi-station images. The 3T MAGNETOM Skyra is also optimized with Siemens TimTX TrueForm design for greater B1 homogeneity. Clear, sharp images can be viewed with 50 percent more imaging volume and TimTX TrueForm provides the foundation for multi-channel transmit array capabilities at 3T. In addition to Tim and Dot, both the MAGNETOM Aera and MAGNETOM Skyra come with Tim DirectConnect cableless coils and an optional Tim Dockable Table. 510(k) approval is pending. For more information: www.siemens.com/healthcare FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Two brain metastases from primary lung cancer are contrast enhanced in the brain of a 61-year-old male. Speakers at AHRA 2019 will state that ProHance and other macrocyclic MR agents present a very low risk to patients. Images courtesy of Bracco Technology | Interventional Radiology | August 16, 2019 Profound Medical Receives U.S. FDA 510(k) Clearance for Tulsa-Pro Profound Medical Corp. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to… read more Technology | Contrast Media | July 15, 2019 FDA Approves Bayer’s Gadavist Contrast for Cardiac MRI in Adult Coronary Artery Disease Patients The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Gadavist injection for use in cardiac magnetic resonance… read more News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 01, 2019 | Jeff Zagoudis, Associate Editor FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Medical Device Safety in MRI Environment The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new draft guidance titled Testing and Labeling Medical Devices for… read more News | Neuro Imaging | July 05, 2019 Delta T1 Maps Provide Quantitative, Automated Solution to Assess Brain Tumor Burden Imaging Biometrics LLC (IB) a subsidiary of IQ-AI Ltd., is highlighting a recently published study in the American… read more Related Content News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 06, 2019 Canon Medical Introduces Encore Orian MR Upgrade Program Canon Medical Systems USA Inc. is helping to provide low-cost patient care solutions for its customers with the launch… read more Technology | December 02, 2009 New MR Scanners Boost Productivity Across MRI Workflow Images of regions of interest (colored lines) in the white matter skeleton representation. Data from left and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were averaged. Image courtesy of C. Bouziane et al. News | Neuro Imaging | August 16, 2019 ADHD Medication May Affect Brain Development in Children A drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to affect development of the brain’s… read more
Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman Heritage tourism getting rediscovered in JapanAway from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, is a completely different side to Japan, filled with history and beauty. A more traditional and historical Japanese holiday is becoming more popular and available in Japan. Obviously you cannot tell a tourist to Japan to ignore the big cities, however there is much more to Japan that travellers can experience.Last week, Japan hosted a Heritage Tourism Forum in Tokyo, with the aim of the forum to help bolster the rise of heritage tourism in the country. Dr David Atkinson, the CEO of Konishi Decorative Arts and Crafts Company was the keynote speaker at the event. Professor Robert Campbell of University of Tokyo was the moderator of the forum. Other panel members included Fashion journalist Yoshiko Ikoma, Naotsugu Kuroda a themed travel advisor to Club Tourism, the Executive Vice President of Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) Mamoru Kobori, and Dora Tauzin a French journalist.Panel Discussion at Heritage ForumDr David Atkinson started the event with his address, in which he discussed what his company, Konishi is doing to help increase heritage tourism sites across Japan. In 2015 Japan named its first 118 fully heritage listed sites, Dr Atkinson believes the country should have over 100 sites by 2020. “By 2020 there will be over 100 heritage listed sites in Japan, what we must do is explain all the sites and history in greater detail,” Dr Atkinson said. He says Japan has all of these fantastic historic places and artifacts but they struggle to explain in English what the history is. “Tourists come to these historic sites and leave with no greater knowledge, tourists want to learn about the history and this can be difficult if the explanations are only in Japanese.” To coincide with greater tourism numbers visiting Japan in search of a history lesson, the heritage sites need to learn to explain their history with more prowess.Also discussed at the forum was the incredible diversity of Japan. With 3,000 kilometres of coastline, you can truly do anything in Japan. The length of the country is the same as the distance between Sweden to Spain in Europe, and Dr Atkinson says you can do everything in Japan. “Japan’s coastline is the same distance as half of Europe, and you can do everything you can do in Europe, in Japan. You can do everything from skiing to scuba diving,” he said.The Japan National Tourism Organisation has set a goal to have 40 million tourists coming to the country by 2020. Last year there was 24 million tourists, so the goal definitely looks achievable. With the Olympics coming to Japan in 2020, there will be a large influx of tourists looking for things to do. Heritage tourism in Japan is on the rise and in the heritage tourism industry should be able to capitalise on the large tourism numbers in the near future. Japan National Tourism Organisation
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Barack Obama Existing-Home Sales Home Sales Homebuilders Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Mitt Romney National Association of Home Builders National Association of Realtors Residential Construction Service Providers 2013-03-15 Mark Lieberman It’s been two weeks since the dreaded sequester took effect and we’re still standing. So far, the only casualty of the sequester has been the White House tour.[IMAGE]There actually have been some positives, with both parties presenting budgets–an inexcusable first for the Democrats who so far have been quick to criticize Republican plans but reluctant or unable to produce budgets of their own.Both the GOP–read: Paul Ryan–budget and the Democratic plan have one major similarity: Each is dead on arrival and destined to be at best, a one-house budget, which leaves the country back where it was.Well, not exactly. The current fiscal year, which ends in September, is on track to produce an under $1 trillion deficit ($845 billion to be precise, according to the Congressional Budget Office) and marks the second year in a row the deficit has gotten smaller. The deficit was $1.417 trillion in fiscal year 2009, Obama’s first year in office (but the year was three and a half months old when he took office), up from $454.8 billion the year before. In fiscal year 2010, it was $1.294 trillion. In fiscal year 2011, it was $1.299 trillion and then $1.089 trillion in fiscal year 2012. If the $254 billion year-over-year reduction were to continue, we’d have a balanced budget by fiscal year 2017, the president’s last budget year.Of course, straight-lining the deficit reduction is overly simplistic, but it does serve as a reminder to Obama critics who complain of his lack of fiscal toughness. Indeed the president was tough, insisting on tax increases that contribute to the deficit reduction. Budgets, after all, are two-sided documents consisting of revenues and expenses. We can either raise the bridge or lower the water, since relying too heavily on either side of the ledger can create a new set of problems.That, of course, is the rub, and both Democrats and Republicans have been too eager to embrace a meat cleaver approach to a problem which requires something closer to a surgeon’s scalpel.It is often at times like these, though, that legislators–or at least those elected to sit in the legislature–resort to more grandiose schemes like turning to a “”balanced budget amendment”” as the solution to the nation’s finances. While a proposal such as separate capital and expense budgets for the federal government (“”advanced in this space a few weeks back””:https://themreport.com/articles/commentary-capital-idea-2013-02-15) might be just as theoretical, the balanced budget amendment–just as both the Democratic and Republican budgets–skirt the fundamental issue of what role we want or expect of government.Budgets, when we get down to it, are political documents. Those who describe President Obama as a “”redistributionist”” are not wrong because that is what government–Republican or Democratic–budgets do: redistribute resources from one segment of the population to another. The question becomes whether, in the minds of those who give, those who receive should.Governments are called upon to work in “”bad”” times, whether the bad times are a disaster (think Katrina or the Joplin tornadoes) or a recession throwing millions of people out of work. Indeed, the counter-cyclical spending in the federal budget–primarily unemployment insurance and food stamps–coupled with reduced tax revenues represented nearly half the increase in the deficit between fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2009. In fiscal year 2005, the fiscal year immediately following and including Katrina aid, the federal emergency management administration spent $24.1 billion, more than twice the $11.8 billion it spent the year before. While some of those dollars may have been wasted (“”heck of a job Brownie””), the overall objective was on target: the federal government coming to the rescue of those who need it. That’s no different than what was done in the aftermath of the slower moving but perhaps more devastating “”storm”” known as the Great Recession.Getting back on track is equally difficult, but not impossible. One possible approach is to take small steps. While neither of the competing Democratic and Republican budget plans achieve a balanced budget in the short term, there is an alternative.The first step would be harsh but perhaps less so: developing a plan to achieve “”practical balance””–a balanced budget excluding interest on public debt–in an agreed-upon time frame. In the last fiscal year, the government spent about $454 billion on interest, about 42 percent of the total deficit and about 54 percent of the projected 2013 deficit. While cutting $454 billion would not itself be easy (though certainly easier than cutting $845 billion), it would at least avoid the awkward situation of going deeper into the hole because of interest payments. Under the new legislation government credit cards, each credit card statement indicates how much debt we run up by making only the minimum credit card payment each month. Setting a target for practical balance would take the country a step closer–with less pain–toward reducing the deficit while at the same time recognizing the deficit is not the immediate problem.+The week ahead:+Housing numbers will be in the news next week, starting with Monday’s report on builder confidence from the “”National Association of Home Builders””:https://www.nahb.org/. After reaching a six-plus year high in December, the HMI stalled and then slipped. The consensus forecast sees the index resuming its upward climb in March, but not setting a record.Single-family housing starts hit their highest level in January since July 2008, a milestone almost lost as multi-family activity dragged starts down. Total starts, “”reported Tuesday””:http://www.census.gov/, are expected to recover in February, again dominated by multi-family activity.Existing-home sales recovered slightly in January, but the real story was a sharp decline in the inventory of homes for sale, which fell to the lowest level since December 1999, with the months’ supply (based in part on the sales rate) at the lowest level since April 2005. The consensus forecast shows a rebound in sales to be “”reported Thursday””:http://www.realtor.org/, but the range is wide enough to include a further slip.The Federal Open Market Committee meets this week as well with a new round of economic forecasts to be released following the meeting statement Wednesday._Hear Mark Lieberman on P.O.T.U.S (Sirius 124) on Friday at 6:40 a.m. and again 9:40 a.m. EST._*_Want to write an opinion piece for our site? Send your submission to_* “”MReportEditor@TheMReport.com””:mailto:MReportEditor@TheMReport.com. March 15, 2013 417 Views Commentary: Budget Pains in Data, Government Share
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