Tag: 苏州桑拿

10 months ago​OFF! Sevilla confident re-signing Arsenal target Banega

first_img​OFF! Sevilla confident re-signing Arsenal target Banegaby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal could be about to miss out on a key transfer target.Reports in Spain and England had suggested the club wanted to sign Ever Banega to appease manager Unai Emery.The creative midfielder is seen as a key addition, especially with Aaron Ramsey on the way out of the club. Banega has played for Emery in the past.But Estadio Deportivo suggests that Sevilla are close to getting Banega to commit to a new contract.It would raise his release clause and commit the 30-year-old to the Spanish side for the next few years. TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img

20 days agoChelsea boss Lampard pleased with England U21 call for Hudson-Odoi

first_imgChelsea boss Lampard pleased with England U21 call for Hudson-Odoiby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard is happy with the England U21 call for Callum Hudson-Odoi.The winger made his England debut last season before injury struck. “That is a good shout,” says Lampard. “I spoke to Gareth (Southgate) and all I can do is say what I see from a Chelsea end and it is Gareth’s choice. Callum has probably not played enough games and the international games will do him good. “It is England Under-21s and he should be proud of that anyway.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Bovada Releases March Madness Odds For All 68 Teams

first_imgSunday night, the 2015 NCAA Tournament field was revealed, and unsurprisingly, Kentucky was named the overall No. 1 seed. The Wildcats are also the odds-on favorite to win this year’s national title, per Bovada. In fact, Kentucky is almost at even money to take home the trophy – they’re currently listed at 6:5 to win it all.Arizona, the 2-seed in the West Region, actually has the second-highest odds. Wisconsin checks in third, with Duke fourth. Villanova and Virginia come in at 10:1.Here’s a list of all 68 tournament teams, along with their odds to win the championship. You could make a lot of money betting on a 16-seed to win it all, but we wouldn’t advise it. No 16-seed has ever even won an NCAA Tournament game, much less a title.Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 12.23.19 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-16 at 12.24.09 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-16 at 12.24.38 PMWho are you betting on?last_img

UK media and telecoms regulator Ofcom plans to com

first_imgUK media and telecoms regulator Ofcom plans to commandeer additional spectrum to cope with an expected spike in demand during the London Olympic Games this summer.Ofcom expects demand for wireless spectrum to double during the games, fuelled by the increasing use of wireless technology by broadcasters, walkie-talkie systems, talkback systems and timing and scoring systems.The regulator has built a dedicated spectrum assignment system to ensure that spectrum is used efficiently, with minimum interference. Ofcom will also deploy additional radio engineers, including engineers from other European countries, to identify and deal with interference problems.Ofcom’s plans to ensure that communications continue to function during the games include the unused parts of the broadcast spectrum – including frequencies formerly used for analogue broadcasting –under its control, as well as spectrum allocated for sale by auction for next-generation mobile services and unlicensed spectrum used for WiFi.The regulator also plans to borrow spectrum temporarily from government agencies including the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office, the Civil Aviation Authority and other bodies.Ofcom’s chief operating officer, Jill Ainscough, said: “The UK’s airwaves are already among the most intensively used in the world. The London 2012 Games will significantly increase demand. Ready and prepared for this challenge, Ofcom recognises that there is no room for complacency. We are working behind the scenes to make this capacity available, to ensure that this demand is met.”last_img read more

Shane ONeill one of the bestknown executives in

first_imgShane O’Neill, one of the best-known executives in the pay TV industry, has passed away.O’Neill had been suffering from a form of Creutzfeld-Jakob brain disease since its diagnosis just over a year ago. He retired as chief strategy officer, Liberty Global, and president, Chellomedia late last year at an event attended by Liberty chairman John Malone and president and CEO Mike Fries among others.Prior to building the Chellomedia business, O’Neill worked at companies including KPMG and Goldman Sachs. More recently he also created the Chello Foundation, a charity dedicated to putting children orphaned by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa into education.He is survived by his wife, Sheelagh and three children.last_img

Orange reported 5463 million IPTV and satellite c

first_imgOrange reported 5.463 million IPTV and satellite customers in France at the end of the third quarter, up 141,000 on the previous quarter and up by 581,000 on the same period for the prior year. Overall broadband customers in the French market numbered 10.046 million, including 273,000 fibre-to-the-home customers. Third quarter fixed broadband revenues in France were flat at €1.005 billion.Elsewhere, Orange had mixed news on the TV front. In Poland, Orange had 702,000 IPTV and satellite customers at the end of September, up by only 3,000 on the previous quarter and 7,000 on September 2012.The company’s base of IPTV customers in Spain, where Orange relaunched its service at the end of September, numbered 62,000, a quarter-on-quarter decline of 3,000 and a year-on-year decline of 7,000.Overall, Orange posted 3Q revenues of €10.162 billion, down 4% year-on-year.“The number of broadband conversion customers has grown by more than 70% year-on-year in France, Spain and Poland, plus 52% in France, plus 127% in Spain and multiplied by 30 in Poland. We saw an increase in demand for very high-speed both in mobile and fixed markets,” said Orange chief financial officer Gilles Pellissier on a conference call following the results. “In France, the pick-up of fibre is confirmed with 273,000 FTTH customers at the end of September. This is materialised by now a base of 6,000 connections per week in September, and we expect to reach nearly 8,000 connections per week at year end, being probably on the top list amongst European operators the numbers of new connections per week.”last_img read more

The UK video sector grew by 10 in 2018 taking the

first_imgThe UK video sector grew by 10% in 2018 taking the total market value to £2.34 billion, according to the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE).The Greatest ShowmanThe BASE figures, based on data from the Official Charts Company and Futuresource Consulting, indicate that 63% of consumers now choose to rent or stream film and TV content, while 37% of category value generated by people choosing to buy and own content either on disc or download.Despite what BASE described as a “challenging broader high street trading environment,” 59% of transactional spend was still for the physical formats of DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD Blu-ray discs.The growth of digital transactional also “surpassed all expectations in 2018,” reaching a total market value of £400 million. Electronic sell-through film sales grew 36% year-on-year with The Greatest Showman establishing itself as the largest digital release to date, selling in excess of 770,000 digital copies since April.Overall, The Greatest Showman was the biggest-selling title of the year, shifting in excess of 2.68 million copies, with 72% of those sales coming from physical formats.Game of Thrones led the 2018 TV charts, with The Complete Seventh Season selling more than 160,000 copies, including box sets, to top the disc chart. Overall franchise sales totalled more than a quarter of a million copies, according to BASE.“The UK transactional digital video exceeded expectations in 2018, cementing its position as a global leader in this sector,” said Futuresource Consulting’s principal analyst for entertainment, David Sidebottom.“Electronic sell-through movies have excelled throughout the year, as consumers become increasingly familiar with the concept and service provider competition fuels purchases. iVoD (movie rentals via online services) has also witnessed increased momentum in 2018, growing by over 20%, with an additional 4 million smart TVs and media streamers in UK homes helping drive uptake.”BASE chief executive, Liz Bales, said: “The third consecutive year of growth in the video category underlines the fact that audiences remain engaged with a broad variety of home entertainment content and format options. This serves as a testament to the innovation and energy that continue to drive the home entertainment category even as the high street retail environment presents clear challenges in some areas.”“Today’s customers enjoy a multitude of options when it comes to keeping themselves entertained and clearly continue to find a huge amount of relevance in the video category which, more flexibly than ever before, caters to every need; whether that is watching on the go, building a digital library or securing the absolute best viewing experience premium formats now guarantee.”last_img read more

TSX Venture 125102 124007 192422

first_imgTSX Venture1,251.021,240.071,924.22 Oil84.0393.9894.81 Rock & Stock StatsLast One Year Ago Gold1,627.051,543.781,530.65 TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)11,524.9011,343.0512,972.03 Dear Readers,I’ve just returned from Victoria, BC, where I spoke at the HoweStreet.com Money Expo 2012. The show was smaller than many shows, but the location is beautiful, a major plus for anyone whose spouse doesn’t want to go to Toronto in March for PDAC. I’d never been to Victoria before and hadn’t expected the touch of Old-World charm the place has – it reminded me more of Quebec than western Canada.Or maybe I just had the Old World on my mind, since the Greek elections could well have marked the beginning of the visible disintegration of the Eurozone. As of Sunday night, it seems that Greece will not leave the European Union – at least not yet. It remains to be seen if the slender majority that the pro-EU faction gained in Greece will lead to a coalition government that can actually deliver the austerity program needed to keep the bailout funds coming.For now, the world keeps turning as it did last week. But thinking about the Old World reminds us of one of history’s greatest lessons in hyperinflation, a lesson no one can afford to ignore. The Casey metals team has a look at gold during the Weimer hyperinflation of the 1920s in this week’s article. Good food for thought.Sincerely,Louis James Senior Metals Investment Strategist Casey Research Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ)20.5318.0333.72center_img Does Gold Keep Up In Hyperinflation?By Alena Mikhan and Jeff ClarkInflation is a natural consequence of loose government monetary policy. If those policies get too loose, hyperinflation can occur. As gold investors, we’d like to know if the precious metals would keep pace in this extreme scenario.Hyperinflation is an extremely rapid period of inflation, but when does inflation (which can be manageable) cross the line and become out-of-control hyperinflation? Philip Cagan, one of the very first researchers of this phenomenon, defines hyperinflation as “an inflation rate of 50% or more in a single month,” something largely inconceivable to the average investor.While there can be multiple reasons for inflation, hyperinflation historically has one root cause: excessive money supply. Debts and deficits reach unsustainable levels, and politicians resort to diluting the currency to cover their expenses. A tipping point is reached, and investors lose confidence in the currency.“Confidence” is the key word here. Fiat money holds its purchasing power largely on the belief that it is stable and will preserve that power over time. Once this trust is broken, a flight from the currency ensues. In such scenarios, citizens spend the money as quickly as possible, typically buying tangible items in a desperate attempt to get rid of currency units before they lose value. This process increases the velocity of money, setting off a vicious cycle that destroys purchasing power faster and faster.The most famous case of hyperinflation is the one that occurred in Germany during the Weimar Republic, from January 1919 until November 1923. According to Investopedia, “the average price level increased by a factor of 20 billion, doubling every 28 hours.”One would expect gold to fare well during such an extreme circumstance, and it did – in German marks, quite dramatically. In January 1919, one ounce of gold traded for 170 marks; by November 1923, that same ounce was worth 87 trillion marks. Take a look.(Click on image to enlarge)Inflation was at first benign, then began to grow rapidly, and quickly became a monster. What’s important to us as investors is that the price of gold grew faster than the rate of monetary inflation. The data here reveal that over this five-year period, the gold price increased 1.8 times more than the inflation rate.The implication of this is sobering: while hyperinflation wiped out most people’s savings, turning wealthy citizens into poor ones literally overnight, those who had assets denominated in gold experienced no loss in purchasing power. In fact, their ability to purchase goods and services grew beyond the runaway prices they saw all around them.One can’t help but wonder how the people whose wealth evaporated in Germany during this time felt. In effect, they were robbed by the government – they were on the losing end of a massive transfer of wealth. Of course, there are two sides to the story, as those who held significant amounts of gold and silver were the recipients.Could the US experience a wealth transfer like the one that wracked the Weimar Republic? While the federal government and most so-called economic “experts” dismiss the notion, the economic data suggest that it’s already started.We can’t help but speculate about whether most citizens dismissed the idea of inflation during the calm period in 1920-’21. Did respected economists scoff at the idea that Germany could suffer hyperinflation, just before it struck? Did some politicians proclaim that “a little inflation would be good?”Those who today argue that our obscene debt levels, runaway deficit spending, and money-printing schemes are sound strategies and believe they won’t lead to out-of-control inflation might want to rethink those beliefs. We’ve seen this movie before: it doesn’t have a happy ending.The historical record is clear on what happens when countries embark on fiscal and monetary paths today’s leading economies are embracing. If gold’s recent price performance is anything like the calm before Germany’s hyperinflationary storm, this is a time to be accumulating more gold.Keep in mind that hyperinflation is not a rare event. Since Weimar Germany, there have been 29 additional hyperinflations around the world, including those in Austria, Argentina, Greece, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, and Zimbabwe, to name a few. On average, that’s one every three years or so.While hyperinflation devastates those who experience it, there is a healing aspect to it. Since the responsibility for this type of disaster lies solely at the feet of government, there may be some Darwinian justice to the way hyperinflation purges the perverse fiscal and monetary imbalances from an economy. After the Weimar Republic hyperinflation, the second half of the 1920s was a strong period for Germany, with low inflation and steady growth.It’s no secret that many currencies around the world, including the US dollar, are choosing the path of inflation. If we were to slip into hyperinflation, there will be disastrous consequences for those unprepared. Given that the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency, the problems would spread to practically every country on earth. Hyperinflation will shake people’s confidence not only in the US dollar, but in the paper currency system as a whole.What will actually come to pass, we don’t know. What we do know is that the measures to cure hyperinflation include tying the currency to a hard asset or even replacing it with one. When creditability in fiat money dissipates, gold may be the only viable option left standing.Again, the investment implication is obvious: continue to accumulate gold.How much is enough? Well, how many ounces do you own in relation to your total assets? Anything less than 5% will not offer you a sufficient level of protection in a high inflationary environment.Another way to look at it is this: how many ounces do you need to cover your monthly expenses? In Weimar Germany, inflation rose uncomfortably for two years – and then pinched harder, spiraling into a destructive hyperinflation for another two. Consider what it would take to maintain your standard of living for a couple years instead of just a couple months.And don’t listen to any government’s ongoing pronouncements of confidence in the current system, along with the mainstream media’s noisy and frequently inaccurate portrayals of the gold market. (For example, these two headlines appeared on the same day: Gold Edges Lower as Worries over Europe Simmer; and Gold Settles Higher on Spanish Bailout Plans.) In a world awash in ignorance about real money, if not deliberate obfuscation, you have to study the relevant history, draw your own conclusions, and stick with them.This example shows how gold can perform during hyperinflation. If that worst case scenario comes to pass, will the example your family’s finances sets be a positive or a negative one? Gold and Silver HEADLINESKazakh Central Bank Intends to Have 20% of Reserves in Gold (Reuters)Kazakhstan’s central bank plans to boost the share of gold in its foreign currency reserves to 20% from the current 14-15% level.Last year the central bank bought 5.3 tonnes (0.17 million ounces) of gold, but this year their purchases accelerated, already purchasing 10.3 tonnes (0.33 million ounces).Kazakhstan is one of a number of countries that have been increasing their official gold holdings in recent years. Others include Mexico, Russia, Colombia, and South Korea. Last year central banks bought a record 450 tonnes (14.5 million ounces).Even if the amount of gold purchased by central banks this year ends up slightly less than last year, as some analysts expect, it’s still a big share of total gold demand and lends strong support to the price.Gold Coin Collecting a Deadly Business as Metals Prices Rise (Mineweb)Criminal syndicates now consider thefts of gold, silver, and rare coins to be both less risky and more profitable than robbing banks or other well-protected targets. As precious metals increase in price, more and more cases of larceny are taking place. The FBI estimates that only about 4% of stolen precious metals and jewelry is recovered annually.While many investors know it’s not wise to talk about the gold you own, this article shows that that behavior can have dire consequences. Besides being a valuable asset, gold coins can also be viewed as art, lulling the vigilance of the owner. Showing your collection even to friends and family is tempting, but don’t overlook the potential consequences.Learn more about how to safely store gold at home; Jeff Clark offers some good, practical tips.Indian Gold ETF and E-gold Investments Swell as Rupee Remains Weak (Mineweb)In India, the gold price in rupee terms reached an all-time high of $544.74 (Rs 30,420) per 10 grams. In Mumbai, standard gold prices have risen by 27% over the last year. On one hand, a weak rupee makes gold less affordable, while on the other, it makes it a robust investment asset.Indian ETFs are said to have seen a marked rise in activity, as investors continue to buy the yellow metal as a safe haven and diversification from equities.Assets under management of gold funds in India were $1.83 billion (Rs 102.18 billion) in April 2012. The assets held under India’s gold ETFs nearly doubled year on year. The assets were valued at $981 million (Rs 54.63 billion) a year ago.Recently another gold-purchasing option became available for Indian investors: e-gold trading at the Singapore Mercantile Exchange (SMX). Since its launch on June 1, volume has soared nearly 300%, with US$16 million traded. This Week in International Speculator and BIG GOLD – Key Updates for Subscribers International SpeculatorAn exploration stock announced that it received a major environmental permit. Read what we think. BIG GOLDGet the latest on your BIG GOLD stocks from the portfolio page. Silver28.6427.7035.76 Silver Stocks (SIL)19.4416.9022.81 One Month Ago Copper3.393.524.12 Gold Producers (GDX)46.9239.3453.06last_img read more

In This Issue   Fed Monetary Balance increases

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Fed Monetary Balance increases. *  While ECB’s decreases. *  Weak PMI’s for Russia & India. *  Swedish krona outperforms on data. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. A Soft Bias To Sell Dollars. Good Day! .  And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well another day of recovery in the rear view mirror, has me ready to slay a dragon this morning! HA! There are no dragons to slay, and if there were, I would be the biggest coward about slaying them! The only dragons these days, are cartoons, or Gov’t figures. Hmmm. Oh, stop it Chuck! Jimmy Buffett is singing, stars fell on Alabama to start the day, so that mellow song, just put me back on track to be a good boy. I had another email from a dear reader that asked me the question that I’ve answered so many times I could do it in my sleep! The question? Why, with all the problems in the Eurozone, is the euro more than 1/3-rd cent more valuable than the dollar? Ahhh, grasshoppers. I’ve got this one. There are lots of things to consider, but for now, the thing the markets are focusing on is the fact that the U.S. Fed’s Monetary Balance just keeps climbing. Last May it was roughly $3.3 Trillion, and this May it is roughly $4.276 Trillion. Nearly a $1 Trillion increase in a year, while over at the European Central Bank (ECB) their Monetary Balance is decreasing. Last May it was roughly 2.5 Trillion euros, and this May it is roughly 2.1 Trillion euros.  And in the end, the it is the opinion of the markets that the euro should be stronger than the dollar. Of course that could be questioned tomorrow, when the ECB meets and announces their flavor of stimulus that they’ve chosen for the Eurozone economy. Should they go too far, in the markets’ opinion, the euro could be sent to the woodshed, but, if they settle for what’s already priced into the euro, (negative deposit rates) the euro could very well rally. So the risk is high going into tomorrow’s ECB meeting. But, knowing the risk is out there, didn’t stop the euro from adding about ¼-cent to its value yesterday. The euro bugs were feeling a little frisky. But today, they have returned to the places with bright shining faces, and their tails between their collective legs, as the euro has given back those frisky feelings from yesterday. Speaking of the euro. Yesterday, I said that Eurozone inflation had ticked down from 11.8% to 11.7%…  Of course that couldn’t be correct, since inflation in the Eurozone isn’t even 1%! I was talking about Unemployment in the Eurozone. I guess I have inflation or the lack of it in the Eurozone on my mind, eh?   So, anyway, Unemployment ticked down in April.  Sorry for the confusion. I guess I was still feeling the effects of my whacked out day! Most of the currencies are flat to up just a bit this morning, as there is a slight bias to sell dollars in the markets, but that, as we are so darn well aware of, can change in a heartbeat, especially when the New York boys and girls arrive at their desks, and see what they’ve been told to do by management.  Yesterday, there was some good data printed in Australia, so let’s go downunder and see what’s going on, eh?  Aussie 1st QTR GDP increased from 2.7% in the last quarter to 3.5%! That beat the estimates (3.2%), and it really surprised the markets, who had drank the Kool-Aid that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) had been serving about the economy being bleak. There was some other news from Australia yesterday that I’m sure flew under the radar of the markets, except the bond-guys. And that is as of last week, there is a Record Net Holdings of Aussie Bonds by foreigners. Given the Huge maturities last month in A$ bonds, this is good news, as an mass exit from these bonds by foreigners could have really put the A$ in a tight headlock. So, the A$ is up just a small bit this morning. And as my longtime friend who also happens to be the Big Boss, Frank Trotter, likes to say. That’s better than a sharp stick in the eye. You know what? I just realized that since April 2010, Frank no longer says that to me. I think you know why. HA! The New Zealand dollar / kiwi is off a bit this morning, which is troublesome to me, in that this marks two consecutive days of weakness in kiwi, which should be garnering all the love it can stand from investors looking for positive rate differentials, with an added possibility of a boost in the differentials. Well, the PMI’s (manufacturing indexes) from around the world have, for the most part, printed and put to bed. And for the most part, the indexes from around the world have increased, which is a good sign for global growth. Of course we still don’t know for sure what happened in the U.S. and what the actual index number is, given the games that were played with the data the other day. But, the point I’m getting to here is that in two of the countries that have seen good rallies in their currencies, the Russia and India, their manufacturing indexes left a lot to be desired, thus taking the starch out of the rallies for their respective currencies. Someone asked me about Russian rubles the other day. And I said that we’re working on being able to offer the currency, but if you ask me what the ruble is all about, I would say that in my humble opinion, which could be wrong, the ruble is an oil play, plain and simple. What do you think about the price of Oil? I see where the Saudis issued a communique that talked about what they saw as a fair price for a barrel of Oil, which was $100. It must be storming like crazy outside, I’ve heard loud thunder, I’ve seen bright flashes of lightening, and now the TV’s we have on the trading floor are out. I could go into the problems that you have with storms when using a dish. but since that’s all we can get here, I think it’s not a problem at all! HA! And I’ve talked more about India and Indian rupees in the past few months than I’ve talked about them in all my time writing! So I won’t go into why I think that this weakness in the rupee is short-term, and look for better times, as new leader Modi implements his plans to unlock the Indian economy. Look, I went ahead and told you any way!  The Swedish krona is outperforming this morning on some stronger data prints. Industrial Production and their manufacturing index (PMI) both beat estimates and previous prints. Industrial Production in Sweden for April increased 4.5% VS 3.3% in March, and the May PMI increased to 58.5 from 57.9 in April.  So take that you rate cut campers!  It seems like that about every couple of weeks I’m writing about the krona outperforming the other currencies overnight on stronger data prints. But still the rate cut campers have a governor on the krona. There’s an old song. um, um, um, um, um, um.  Really! That’s the title of the song! And it’s what I sing a lot when I see data like this, and then a day later, it is swept under a rug. Gold is weaker this morning again. But I must point out something that had escaped my memory, which I must say, a lot of things are doing these days. But my good friends, the Aden Sisters, Mary Anne and Pamela, reminded me of.  I’ll let these two fabulous ladies tell you in their own words. “Gold is entering a seasonally slow period. This could last for another month or so, but seasonality alone doesn’t explain why the decline was so steep and sudden.” The U.S. Data Cupboard has some good stuff for us today. The ADP Employment Change for May, the April Trade Deficit, and the U.S. Fed Beige Book, along with some other not that so important data. Well, the U.S. Data Cupboard gave us a couple of prints yesterday. Leading off was the April Factory Orders print, which showed a .7% increase, which sounds good, but when compared with March, you know when bad weather was hurting the U.S., Factory Orders increased 1.5%…  So, more rot on the vine in April.  Then we saw the vehicle Sales for May, and I guess people are still out buying cars, and why not? Financing rates are still near zero, and unless you’re buying a Lamborghini, there are still opportunities to buy. And then there are three other things to talk about with the U.S. economy. I don’t mean to be gloom and doom folks, but I just want to point out that other people, and organizations that track this stuff are beginning to agree with me on the economy. It’s a groundswell of thoughts, we just need to get this to the point of a shouting campaign so that the Fed hears us loud and clear! OK. First out of the starters blocks is something I came across yesterday. So, I was going through zerohedge.com yesterday, as usual I must add, and came across something that really caught my eye. According to the BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis) the people that do a calc that gives us the actual corporate profits, there was a plunge in Corporate profits in the 1st QTR, and that plunge was the biggest since the collapse of Lehman Bros! OUCH!  So, the -1% decline in GDP has this little ditty to go to the dance with, and neither of them are very pretty! And then this piece of information, which doesn’t paint any pretty picture of the economy either. The uneven distribution of incomes is currently escalating and leads to growing social tensions.  In the US, between 1979 and 2011 the average household’s income rose by 64%, while the income of the top 1% of households increased by 300% and the income of the lowest quintile increased by only 18%.  This strongly rising increase in wealth concentration can be gleaned from the GINI coefficient, which has reached historic extremes in many countries.  This means that extremes at the lower and the upper end of the scale of incomes become ever more pronounced, while the classical middle class loses importance.  Thus the GINI coefficient in the US is, for example, currently at the same level as in the 1920s prior to the Great Depression. Chuck again. WOW. One calc has us on the precipice of repeating the Lehman Bros devastation, and the other has us on the precipice of the Great Depression..   Now, here’s hoping that neither of them come to fruition, I will say, that unless we do something about the debt and deficits in this country, I’m afraid we’ll have no choice.  No wait! I said there were 3 things. OK, here’s the 3rd thing.  The Unemployment Rate for teens ages 16 to 19 years old who don’t have a high school diploma yet is 54.2%!!!!!   OUCH! For What It’s Worth. We have a long-time colleague and friend, that we’ve worked with on and off for quite a few years. Joe Losos, comes in and shares his Financial Times (FT) with us on the desk, and there’s always a good ditty or two in the pages of the FT.  I didn’t find this story in those pages, but rather online, but I’m sure they’ll be there!  This is a snippet of the story about how banks routinely rigged Gold Fixing to defend their positions, according to the FT.  Let’s go to the tape! “When the UK’s financial regulator slapped a L26 million fine on Barclays for lax controls related to the gold fix, it offered more ammunition to critics of the near-century-old benchmark. But it also gave precious metal traders in the City of London plenty to think about. While the Financial Conduct Authority says the case appears to be a one-off — the work of a single trader — some market professionals have a different view. They claim that the practice of nudging a tradeable benchmark to protect a “digital” derivatives contract — as a Barclays employee did — was routine in the industry. As a result, customers of Barclays and other market-making banks may be looking to see if they too have cause for complaint, according to one hedge fund manager active in the gold market. “If I was at the Financial Conduct Authority I would be looking at all banks trading digitals. This could be the tip of the iceberg — there’s a massive issue with exotic derivatives and barriers.” Chuck again. Yes, this is a part of the Gold price manipulation, and should this continue to be unraveled as I suspect it will, then maybe we can go to the next step and investigate the paper trades. Then, we’ll have cut into a fat hog folks. To recap. There’s a soft bias to sell dollars in the market today, but the gains are minimal at best, with the Swedish krona taking the prize for outperforming the other currencies overnight, on some good strong data. Australia saw some good strong data too overnight, and the euro is still range bound. Gold is down again, and the Aden Sisters give us a reason for this. And Russia and India both see their currency rallies squashed out, by some weak PMI’s. Currencies today 6/4/14. American Style: A$ .9270, kiwi .8410, C$ .9155, euro 1.3625, sterling 1.6760, Swiss $1.1160, . European Style: rand 10.7470, krone 5.9930, SEK 6.6585, forint 223.95, zloty 3.0425, koruna 20.1550, RUB 35.18, yen 102.60, sing 1.2575, HKD 7.7530, INR 59.33, China 6.1693, pesos 12.94, BRL 2.2795, Dollar Index 80.55, Oil $103.32, 10-year 2.58%, Silver $18.81, Platinum $1,422.85, Palladium $834.35, and Gold. $1,245.79 That’s it for today. Man oh Man. 10 days ago, I thought my beloved Cardinals had finally come out of their funk. But they’ve slipped right back into it. This is a very disappointing team so far, and difficult to watch play.. They’ve got to find their mojo soon, or it will be too late! The Zombie Jamboree is playing on the IPod right now. Back to back, belly to belly. My spring training buddies will get a charge out that! OK. I have a ruptured vertebrae in my lower back, I had it cut back in 1991,with something called “micro-surgery”,  but re-ruptured it a year later, and have lived with that since. It normally doesn’t bother me, but I picked up a cooler full of beverages and melted ice yesterday, and I soon wished I hadn’t! So, now I have to walk around gingerly for a few days, and get it to calm down. UGH! My beautiful bride returns home tonight, so thus ends Chuck and Alex’s fraternity house! HA! I didn’t see Alex much as he’s always going somewhere! And with that, I’ll get out of your hair, hope I didn’t gloom and doom you too much today, I certainly don’t mean to. I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

Editors note Today we have something special fo

first_imgEditor’s note: Today, we have something special for you. Instead of our usual market commentary, we have a brand-new interview with E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report. As you may know, E.B. sees tough times ahead for the U.S. economy and stock market. To prepare, E.B. has encouraged his readers to hold extra cash, own physical gold, and only invest in stocks that can weather the coming storm. He’s also shorting some of America’s most vulnerable companies. Shorting is betting that a stock will fall. If it does, you make money. It sounds easy. But most investors have never shorted a stock in their life. They think it’s something only the “pros” do. Today, we put that myth to rest. Below, E.B. explains how to short stocks…what he looks for in a short…and how to avoid mistakes most investors make when shorting stocks. We’ll even reveal a stock E.B. is shorting right now. Casey Report readers have already made 18% on this short…but we think much bigger gains are on the way. Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily Dispatch: E.B., can you explain how shorting works? E.B. Tucker: The first step is to get a margin account. [A margin account allows you to borrow money to buy stocks.] After that, it’s fairly simple. Let’s say you want to short one share of tech giant IBM. To do this, you would actually have to borrow one share from your broker. You would then sell that share on the marketplace. If IBM is trading for $100, then $100 will land in your account when you sell it. Now, let’s say IBM’s stock falls to $90. You decide to pocket this 10% gain. To close this trade, you would buy back one share of IBM [buy to cover] and return it to your broker. You keep the $10 profit. JS: Easy enough. Why should investors short stocks? E.B.: Shorting can protect you from market declines. If stocks crash, the payoff can be huge. If they don’t, you only lost the cost of being protected. It’s like buying insurance. JS: A lot of investors think shorting is a “sophisticated” strategy. Is that true? E.B.: Shorting isn’t just for sophisticated traders. Anyone can do it. But you better have a strategy… Let’s say you own 10 stocks. If this were my portfolio today, I’d have seven “longs” and three “shorts.” [A long position is a bet that a stock will rise.] Right now in The Casey Report, we’re long world-class companies that can make money no matter what happens to the economy. On the short side, we’re betting against stocks that will get clobbered during a market correction. [More on those stocks in a second…] Having essentially 30% of the portfolio dedicated to shorts means we’re looking for the market to decline right now. JS: What are common mistakes investors make when shorting stocks? E.B.: Most investors don’t think to buy insurance until it’s too late. By then, they’ve already lost a lot of money. It’s also “expensive” to short stocks when everything is falling. It’s like trying to buy flood insurance for your beach house when a hurricane is about to make landfall. Sure, someone might sell you insurance, but you’re going to pay a fortune for it. Today: Claim One FREE YEAR of Chris Mayer’s Brand-New Research Service Chris Mayer is one of the most successful analysts in the Agora network. Agora founder Bill Bonner himself has committed $5 million from his family trust to investing in Chris’ ideas in one of his premier research services. And today you have the chance to claim one of the best deals ever offered on Chris Mayer’s highest-level research. You get a big charter membership discount and two years for the price of one when you decide to try his newest research service 100% risk-free. That’s $5,000 worth of premium research for free. WARNING: offer expires soon. Click here for details. — – As the economy worsens, unemployment is going to tick higher. More and more of Signet’s customers will fall behind on their payments. Eventually, Signet could have to slash prices to move its inventory, meaning it could make less money on every wedding ring it sells. Signet’s business could completely derail. In a way, this is already happening. From 2014 to 2016, Signet’s annual bad debt expenses rose from $138 million to $190 million. That’s a 30% increase. Over the same period, credit sales grew by only 20%. That means bad debt expenses rose 50% faster than credit sales. Signet’s stock is already down 18% since we shorted it in June. But it could go much lower if the economy hits a soft spot like I expect. We’re also shorting a major airline in The Casey Report. This stock could plunge 50% or more before all is said and done. And we’re shorting a major health insurance company that could unravel as the Obamacare boondoggle implodes. These shorts should hand Casey Report readers huge gains if the market tanks. We will then use this cash to go shopping when everyone else is stunned and confused. Editor’s note: As you may remember, U.S. stocks began the year on a rough note. The S&P 500 plunged 11% over the first six weeks before recovering. According to E.B., the brief downturn was “only a warning.” In this short presentation, E.B. talks about a major financial crisis on the horizon. As you’ll see, this coming crisis has already quietly begun in an “overlooked” part of the global financial system. The good news is that you can still prepare. At the end of this video, you’ll learn how to access E.B.’s top ideas (including his three shorts). Click here to learn more.center_img JS: So, when is it a good time to short stocks? E.B.: I like to short stocks when the market is red hot. When stocks are up big, investors become less disciplined. They overlook problems that would normally scare them away. The higher stocks climb, the more investors throw caution to the wind. After all, it’s human nature to think the good times will never end. Eventually, companies can’t live up to the market’s unrealistic expectations. You see, the stock market “prices in” the future, meaning the price of a stock reflects how much money investors think a company will make tomorrow, next quarter, or next year. Sooner or later, some companies will disappoint investors. When that happens, look out below. JS: So you like to short expensive stocks? E.B.: It’s not that simple. You see, a lot of investors get carried away shorting. They’ll look for the next high-flyer and try to call its top. That can be dangerous. Shorting a stock because it’s “overvalued” is very difficult. Just look at Amazon (AMZN). It trades at more than 140 times future earnings. That’s off the charts. But the stock made a new high today. Amazon’s been expensive for years, and all it’s done is keep rising. That’s because it’s one of the most dominant companies on the planet. In other words, you shouldn’t short a stock just because it’s expensive. After nearly two decades of active investing, I’ve learned to avoid that strategy completely. I like to short companies that are dependent on a certain customer or economic situation that I expect to change. If my assumptions about changing economics are right, a company’s valuation today might be irrational and set to decline sharply. JS: The U.S. stock market looks very fragile right now. Is now a good time to short stocks? E.B.: Stocks have been rising for almost eight years. Corporate profits have been falling since 2014. And many key economic indicators, like the Purchasing Managers’ Index, are flashing warning signs. So, yes. It’s a good time to short. Surprisingly, most investors are still fully committed to stocks. They haven’t set aside enough cash. And they certainly aren’t shorting many stocks. If stocks start falling, these folks could take heavy losses. But since we have three open short positions, Casey Report readers should make money no matter what direction the market heads. JS: Can you tell us about a stock you’re shorting right now? E.B: One company we’re shorting is Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG). The stock hit a 52-week low yesterday. Signet is one of America’s biggest jewelry store chains. It owns jewelry brands you’ve seen at your local mall, like Zales, Jared, and Kay. These might be household names, but don’t confuse Signet with Tiffany & Co (TIF), which caters to a higher-end customer who often pays with cash. Signet serves the average American, and more than half of its customers buy on credit. That could turn into a big problem. Recommended Links A Decade in the Making: Hidden Profit Code Revealed In 2006, a prominent Wall Street financier handed me this 111-year-old document — a financial “timetable” that has predicted every major boom and bust of the last century with uncanny accuracy. I can’t thank him enough… because by using this powerful calendar, I had the opportunity to turn a small investment into over $1.2 million. The shocking details are right here.last_img read more

The petrodollar system is the reason foreign count

first_img The petrodollar system is the reason foreign countries keep such large US dollar reserves. Now China is set to hit the petrodollar with a mortal blow… Why the US Dollar Is So Special The petrodollar system is the big reason the US dollar is so unique. Here’s how it works… Oil is by far the largest and most strategic commodity market in the world. And, until recently, virtually anyone who wanted to import oil needed US dollars to pay for it. Every country needs oil. And if foreign countries need US dollars to buy oil, they have a very compelling reason to hold large dollar reserves. This creates a huge artificial market for US dollars. It also gives a tremendous boost to anyone who lives in the US or holds US dollars. Nick Giambruno and Ron Paul A new technology is about to put big pharma out of business… And an FDA anomaly this December could be the catalyst that brings this new biotech to the forefront. For a limited time, you can watch our brief video presentation, The Biggest Medical Breakthrough Since Antibiotics. Click here to see the best way to play this medical breakthrough. China Wants Pricing Power One of China’s key goals here is to reduce the dollar’s influence over oil pricing. China is the world’s largest oil importer. Developing the new crude contract gives it some global pricing power. Currently, most of the $1.7 trillion worth of oil traded each year is priced off of two US dollar-denominated crude benchmarks: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent. Beijing thinks the yuan crude contract will reflect the market conditions in Asia better. It could become the most important oil benchmark in Asia. The vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission recently said: The country will make crude oil futures the new starting point of opening up all futures markets… And then, we will allow foreign players, whose enthusiasm is very high at present, to enter other futures markets, such as iron ore and PTA, when conditions are ripe. In other words, oil is just the beginning. Eventually, China plans to challenge the dollar’s dominance over all commodities. 4%, it would need over $1.2 trillion, or over half of what it currently snatches from taxpayers—again, just to pay the interest. 2%, it would need over $800 billion. Why Medium Sour Crude? The INE crude futures will be priced in yuan per barrel and be for 1,000 barrels. Brent and WTI futures contracts are for light, sweet crude. “Light” means it has relatively low density, and “sweet” means it has a low sulfur content. The INE contract, on the other hand, will be for medium sour crude. There are a handful of reasons for this: Silicon Valley Rocket Scientist Declares: An anomaly at the FDA could launch a new biotech industry 35,000% starting December 19 Clearly, none of this is sustainable. Trump was correct last year when he noted: “What happens if that interest rate goes up 2, 3, 4 points? We don’t have a country.” In many ways, this could turn into President Trump’s financial 9/11. The petrodollar system has allowed the US government and many Americans to live way beyond their means for decades. The US takes this unique position for granted. But it will disappear once the petrodollar system breaks down. When that happens, inflation could be severe. This will likely be the tipping point… Afterward, the US government will be desperate enough to implement capital controls, people controls, nationalization of retirement savings, and other forms of wealth confiscation. I urge you to prepare for the economic and sociopolitical fallout while you still can. Expect bigger government, less freedom, shrinking prosperity… and possibly worse. It’s probably not going to happen tomorrow. But it’s clear where this trend is headed. It is very possible that one day soon, Americans will wake up to a new reality. Until next time, Nick Giambruno Editor, Crisis Investing P.S. I started to see the pieces falling into place late last year. That’s why I told readers the death of the petrodollar would be the No. 1 black swan event of 2017. Eventually, I think people will look back and see China’s Golden Alternative as the catalyst that made it happen. We recently released a video that shows how it could all go down… Click here to watch it now. Reader MailbagToday, one reader’s skepticism of the crypto mania… It is understood there is a real chance of cyber warfare in the future where all internet, and possibly all computer activities, might be affected (in which case, only older VW beetles might continue to work because they have no computer components). If this is the case, then cryptocurrencies, whether government currency or otherwise, would be frozen, along with credit and bank cards. This means, of course, that only physical currency such as precious metals would be an acceptable transaction medium—real money! Yours truly, astounded at the crypto mania.—Vern We’d love to hear from you. If you have a question or comment on the Dispatch, you can send it to us right here. Medium sour crude oil accounts for over 40% of global crude output, but there is currently no price benchmark for it. The first major “win” for the Trump Presidency The mainstream press hasn’t written a word about HR 835… But Congress’s new bill has already helped send one little-known market soaring 1,025%… And according to a Goldman Sachs insider, prices could rocket 4,900% higher in the months ahead. There’s still time for you to get in – if you act before Trump signs HR 835 into law (no later than December 31). “There is a wall of money coming,” says one hedge fund manager, “and we’ll see an explosion in prices.” Click here for the full story. Bottom line, it will allow oil producers to sell oil for gold. Producers will be able to completely bypass the petrodollar system and any restrictions/regulations/sanctions of the US financial system. I recently spoke with the officials at the exchange. They told me they plan to go live with the INE crude contract before the end of the year. Immediately convert the yuan they receive from selling oil into physical gold at the spot price for immediate delivery. Recommended Linkcenter_img Or, lock in the gold to be delivered at a future date for a fixed yuan price with a gold futures contract. This eliminates any uncertainty because of fluctuating prices. — Recommended Link China recently announced a mechanism that will make it possible to trade oil for gold on a large scale for the first time in many decades. This mechanism could undermine the petrodollar system—the system that’s supported the US dollar as the top global currency since the 1970s. I call it China’s “Golden Alternative” to the petrodollar. PetroChina and Sinopec, two giant Chinese oil companies, will provide liquidity to the new yuan crude futures. But non-Chinese companies will be welcome, too. The crude yuan future will be China’s first commodities futures contract open to foreign investors. JPMorgan and UBS have already gained approval to trade. So have over 6,000 individual traders. It’s just a matter of time before the other big global players join. Remember the big idea here… the new yuan crude futures contracts will be a huge hit to the petrodollar. And it’s going to make a lot of money flood into gold—money that would have otherwise gone into the US dollar and US Treasuries. “We Don’t Have a Country” The breakdown of the petrodollar will cause a financial crisis. Here’s how things will unravel… The petrodollar system is one of the most powerful forces driving the US bond market. Oil-producing countries accumulate hundreds of billions of US dollars in oil profits, which they recycle back into US Treasuries. This keeps interest rates lower than they would be otherwise. It allows the US government to finance enormous deficits with debt at an artificially low cost. If the petrodollar system unravels, interest rates will soar. (Interest rates are currently near historic lows.) Even a small rate increase is a lethal threat to the US budget. The US government currently needs over $400 billion from taxpayers just to pay the interest on its debt. Tax receipts are just over $2 trillion. If interest rates rise… Justin’s note: Today, I’m sharing an urgent essay from Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno. Below, Nick discusses what will undermine our current petrodollar system—and why now is the time to prepare before it’s too late… By Nick Giambruno, editor, Crisis Investing Ron Paul told me this would happen… Dr. Paul first laid out his theory in 2006, in a little-known speech, during an otherwise dull session of Congress. I think it’s his most important speech ever. During the speech, Paul traced the history of the US dollar within the international financial system. Crucially, he pointed out the one thing that would precipitate the US dollar’s collapse. Now that one thing is about to happen. Here’s the most important part (emphasis mine): The economic law that honest exchange demands only things of real value as currency cannot be repealed. The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. We will know that day is approaching when oil-producing countries demand gold, or its equivalent, for their oil rather than dollars or euros. The sooner the better. In other words, we’ll know the dollar-centric monetary system is about to end when countries start trading oil for gold or its equivalent… not dollars. Now—thanks to China—that’s about to happen in a very big way. China’s Golden Alternative to the Petrodollar Throughout history, every great power has had money that’s recognized around the world. Usually, these currencies have been tied to gold and silver. Ancient Greece had the silver drachma. Rome had the silver denarius. The Islamic Caliphates had the gold dinar and the silver dirham. Venice had the gold ducat. Great Britain had the gold sovereign. The United States used silver in its coins until 1964. And the dollar was under a pseudo-gold standard until 1971. Now it’s China’s turn. It’s no secret that China has been stashing away as much gold as it can. Today, China is the world’s largest producer and buyer of gold. According to informed observers, China now has official reserves of over 160 million ounces. It also has 400 million ounces in the ground that it could potentially mine. (The US, by contrast, claims it has official reserves of around 260 million ounces.) China’s Golden Alternative is the reason it’s been stashing so much gold. The Golden Alternative will allow anyone in the world to trade oil for gold. It will totally bypass the US dollar and the US financial system. For many, it will be much more attractive than the petrodollar system. The Golden Alternative is the beginning of the end of the international monetary system that has reigned since the early 1970s. Here’s how it will work… The Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) is about to launch a crude oil futures contract denominated in Chinese yuan. It will allow oil producers to sell their oil for yuan. Of course, most oil producers don’t want a large reserve of yuan. China knows this. That’s why China has explicitly linked the crude futures contract with the ability to convert yuan into physical gold through gold exchanges in Shanghai (the world’s largest physical gold market) and Hong Kong. The system won’t touch China’s official gold reserves. Oil producers will have two ways to do this: Medium sour crude is the main type of oil China and its neighboring countries import. 3%, it would need $1 trillion. I discussed all of this with Ron Paul extensively at a past Casey Research conference. He told me he stands by his assessment. — The supply/demand dynamics of medium sour are not the same as light sweet crude. 1%, the government would need over $600 billion to pay the interest on its debt.last_img read more

Papa Johns Launches Program to Help Employees Pay for College

first_imgEducation Papa John’s Launches Program to Help Employees Pay for College Image credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images –shares Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Add to Queue Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. 2 min read The embattled pizza chain is partnering with Purdue University.center_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now » Next Article Entrepreneur Staff Nina Zipkin Papa John’s announced last week that it will partner with Purdue University to offer both corporate and restaurant employees full tuition to the school’s online courses. The initiative nets out to $5,250 per person per year, and the embattled company said it aims to work with other universities going forward.Roughly 20,000 workers will be able to take advantage of the program, with the company covering tuition and other attendant fees, including books and classroom materials, for Papa John’s employees that work at least 20 hours a week.Franchise locations also are eligible for the initiative, with slightly different requirements. Franchise employees will receive 20 percent off tuition for associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, and 14 percent off for master’s degrees.In an interview about the new program with Bloomberg, Chief People Officer Marvin Boakye said, “This is a great message to candidates that, not only can they have a place to be employed at, but a place to continue to develop,” with the intent to “drive our employer brand and quite frankly build retention.”With the initiative, Papa John’s joins a growing list of corporations that help their employees cover college tuition, including UPS, Starbucks, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Home Depot, Chipotle, Best Buy and Walmart.The move comes after a prolonged period of upheaval for the company’s leadership. In the fall of 2017, founder John Schnatter stepped down from this role as CEO after he said on a conference call that the NFL’s ongoing player protests were adversely affecting Papa John’s sales. In July of 2018, the then-chairman was recorded on another conference call — this call set up with a marketing firm with the goal of preventing additional PR issues — using the N-word. Shortly after, he resigned his position as chairman. February 20, 2019last_img read more

How to Set Up a CrossPlatform Network

first_img As your company grows and you add employees, computers, and an office to house them, you’ll need a network to connect everyone to each other and to the Internet. But at this point maybe your startup crew uses a collection of Macs and PCs, with the graphics people favoring OS X, the software developers relying on the tools that come with Linux, and everybody else preferring Windows. Fortunately, these three operating systems can communicate and coexist on a single network. By using suitable off-the-shelf networking equipment and the various operating systems’ built-in tools, you can connect your heterogeneous hardware to the universe in short order.First, There Was EthernetYour first question when setting up an office network may be “Wired or wireless?” Unless you have serious security constraints, the answer should be “Both.” Wireless networks are more convenient, allowing untethered laptop users to work anywhere in the office. Wired connections are the better choice for stationary PCs and printers because they’re faster, more secure, and easier to configure–and they leave maximum wireless bandwidth for your free-range connections to use.Before you run out and buy the first $99 wireless router you see, however, take a moment to assess your specific networking needs and your office’s topology. First, is network wiring already in place? If so, does it go to the places where you want to connect computers and other networked devices, such as printers?Ethernet cables are fairly inexpensive. To create an uncluttered, professional-looking environment, however, you may want to have an electrician install ethernet cabling in the walls before you move into a new office space. But even if your budget is too tight for electricians and interior designers, it makes sense to draw a plan showing where your connected and wireless devices will be.All of that wiring has to end up somewhere–and often the destination turns out to be a closet, where the cables plug into an ethernet router. The router does a number of important jobs: providing computers on your network with a private, local IP address (required to communicate with each other); coordinating connections between those private addresses and servers on the Internet; and blocking unwanted incoming and outgoing connections with a firewall. The router may also incorporate a wireless access point.If your Internet connection enters the premises in the same closet, so much the better. And if your business is small–say, five people or so–you may be able to get by with a cheap wireless router after all (for likely candidates, see our most recent roundup of wireless routers). Most routers incorporate a wired ethernet hub with three to five connections, and a few offer eight ports–the more the better, for a growing business.If you need additional wired connections, you’ll have to purchase an additional ethernet switch that you can set up between the router and the clients to increase the number of available ports. Most routers can assign addresses to up to 254 devices (wireless and wired), though some of them top out at 20 or so wireless clients.Still, even the fastest wireless routers may show signs of bogging down when hosting ten or more active users, depending on the bandwidth demands of each. Alternatively, you can opt for a wired router (with lots of ports, of course) and a separate wireless access point that connects to it. Walls, masonry, metal cabinets, and other structures can interfere with the radio signal used by wireless ethernet, so a wired router plus wireless access point is a good option if your network wiring hub is fairly distant from your wireless workers.For optimum performance, position your wireless router or access point as close as possible to the wireless work areas. Upgrading to the latest wireless technology–the draft 802.11n specification–can significantly speed up your wireless connections as well. Sometimes draft or nonstandard wireless technology delivers its best results when you purchase the router or access point and the wireless client hardware from the same manufacturer. Read the manual before installing a router, and be sure to heed its urgent warning to change the router’s default password before connecting it to the Internet.Hooking Up PrintersOne great reason to network your business PCs is to share printers. Printers that connect directly to the network via ethernet constitute one of the most brilliant innovations ever. Simply plug a printer in and turn it on, and soon it is available to every computer on the network.To find and install a network printer in Windows, go to Control Panel, open Printers and Faxes (just plain Printers in Vista), click Add a printer, and use the network printer option in the resulting dialog box to browse for the printer on the network. Windows Vista will detect and install a driver for it, if one is available online; Windows XP offers a list of available drivers. Network printers may not show up in Windows XP if your Workgroup name differs from the one that the printer belongs to (often, ‘WORKGROUP’). To locate the printer, temporarily join its workgroup (click Change in the Computer Name tab of Control Panel’s System Properties) before browsing for the printer. In general, it is much easier to share resources between computers if all of them are configured with the same Workgroup name.To find and install a printer in OS X 10.5, open System Preferences, choose Print and Fax, click the lock icon to allow changes, then click the plus sign to add a printer. If your printer doesn’t appear in the Default list of printers, you may find it listed under the Windows category, which allows you to select printers shared on any local Windows Workgroup. Select the printer and click Add. To install a printer in Ubuntu Linux (the popular distribution we use as an example in this article), choose System.Administration.Printing, click New Printer, select the printer in the resulting list, and click Forward to select the correct driver and install the printer.The wonderfulness of networked printers notwithstanding, you may want to share a printer that’s connected directly to a PC with other computers on the network. To share a printer in Windows, first enable file and printer sharing. In Windows XP, open Network Connections in Control Panel, right-click your active network connection and choose Properties, check File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks in the ‘This connection uses…’ list, and click OK. In Windows Vista, open the Network and Sharing Center in Control Panel, expand the Printer sharing section, select Turn on printer sharing, and click Apply. While you’re there, enable Network discovery and File sharing if you want to share your files with other users on the network. Next, in the Printers and Faxes dialog box, right-click the printer you want to share, select Share this printer, enter a name in the ‘Share name’ field, and click OK.In OS X, select the printer from the list of printers in Systems Preferences’ Print and Fax page, and check Share this printer. Although Ubuntu can share its printers with other systems–and browse Windows printers by default–it can’t share its own printers as Windows shares until you install the Samba utility, which emulates Windows’ Server Message Block (SMB) file-sharing and printer-sharing protocol.The fastest way to install and configure Samba in Ubuntu is via command-line tools. Nonexperts can install the program graphically, however: Choose System.Administration.Synaptic Package Manager to open Ubuntu’s software installation interface; then click Search, enter Samba, and click Search.Scroll through the resulting list, select the entry that reads simply Samba, and check it. Synaptic package manager will select the other necessary packages. To install the software, click Apply. For details on configuring Samba, start with the official guide.Share Your FilesLike printers, storage can be much more useful when it’s networked. In the past, sharing files meant dedicating an entire computer to the job. Now, Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices–often no larger than an external hard drive–provide always-available disk space to anyone on the network via the lingua franca of file sharing, the SMB protocol.To connect to an SMB share from Windows–whether on a NAS device or on another computer sharing it via SMB–open My Network Places, and browse the shares available on the current workgroup. As with printers, Windows XP will show only the shares available on the workgroup you are a member of. To view files shared on the local network via SMB in OS X, browse them in the Finder; available servers are listed under ‘Shared’ in the window’s left-hand pane, or choose Go.Network in the menu. In Ubuntu, choose Places.Network.As with printer sharing, not all storage is attached directly to the network. OS X, Windows (Vista and XP), and Linux all allow you to share files stored on your computer with other users on the network, as well as to browse file shares on other PCs. To share files in Windows, first enable file and printer sharing (as detailed above). In Windows XP, browse to the folder you want to share, right-click it, choose Sharing and Security, and check Share this folder on the network. If you want other users to be able to edit, delete, and create new files in the shared folder, check Allow network users to change my files. Click on OK to finish.By default, Windows Vista requires users to provide a log-in name and a password before they can gain access to its file shares. If you’d like to share files with anyone on the network without having to create a user account and a password for each person, set Password protected sharing to Off in the Network and Sharing Center before you attempt to share files or folders. To share a file or folder in Windows Vista, right-click it, choose Share, select Everyone (all users in this list) from the list of users and groups available to share with, click Add, and then click OK.To share files in OS X, open System Preferences, click Sharing, check File Sharing, click Options, select the shared home folders (if any) that you want to share via SMB (public folders are shared by default), check Share files and folders using SMB, enter the account password for any checked home folder when prompted, and click Done. To share a folder with everyone on the network in Ubuntu, select the folder in File Browser, choose File.Properties, select the Share tab, check Share this folder and Guest access, andclick Create Share.After following all of these steps, you should have your company’s network up and running. Now your employees can focus on advancing your business to the next level.Scott Spanbauer is a Contributing Editor for PC World. Your business–and the computers that power it–may have started with an idea that popped into your head while you sat in front of your laptop, freeloading off of the local coffee shop’s wireless network. But you can’t work out of the Java Hut forever. Add to Queue November 25, 2008 Next Article Technology Scott Spanbauer Brought to you by PCWorldcenter_img 10 min read How to Set Up a Cross-Platform Network Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals –shares Register Now »last_img read more

A One Hour Translation OHT Survey Finds out How Good Google Assistant

first_imgA One Hour Translation (OHT) Survey Finds out How Good Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri Are in Translating Some of the Most Popular Phrases of All Times MTS Staff WriterApril 18, 2019, 4:06 pmApril 18, 2019 Marketing TechnologyNeural Machine TranslationNewsOne Hour Translationonline translation serviceYaron Kaufman Previous ArticleSmile Launches TextExpander for Chrome BetaNext ArticleBeeswax Announces “Bid Models” to Power Programmatic In-Housing 60 Well Known Phrases in English Were Translated by the Three Leading Assistants into French, Spanish, Chinese and German Google Assistant Scored the Best in Three out of Four Language Pairs and Amazon Alexa in ChineseTake the most famous phrase from the Godfather – “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” – or “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” from the inaugural address of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and see just how the virtual assistants do in translating them using their newly introduced Neural Machine Translation (NMT) capabilities. One Hour Translation (OHT), the world’s largest online translation service, conducted a study to find out just how accurate these new services are.OHT used 60 sentences from movies and famous people ranging from the Godfather and Wizard of Oz to Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, US presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy and historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Aesop. The sentences were translated by Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri from English to French, Spanish, Chinese and German and then given to five professional translators for their assessment on a scale of 1-6.Google Assistant scored highest in three of the four languages surveyed – English to French, English to German and English to Spanish and second in English to Chinese.  Amazon’s Alexa, whose translation engine is powered by Microsoft Translator, was tops in the English to Chinese category. Apple’s Siri was second place in English to French and English to Spanish and third place in English to German and English to Chinese.  All three virtual assistants are compatible with mobile phones.Marketing Technology News: Improvado Raises $8 Million to Automate Full-Stack Marketing Analytics Through 60 Silicon Valley Investor“The automated assistants’ translation quality was relatively high, which means that assistants are useful for handling simple translations automatically,” says Yaron Kaufman, chief marketing officer and co-founder of OHT. He predicts that “there is no doubt that the use of assistants is growing rapidly, is becoming a part of our lives and will make a huge contribution to the business world.”A lot will depend on further improvements in NMT technology, which has revolutionized the field of translation over the past two years.  All the companies active in the field are investing large sums as part of this effort. “OHT is working with several of the leading NMT providers to improve their engines through the use of its hybrid online translation service that combines NMT and human post-editing,” notes Kaufman. He adds that this will no doubt have a huge impact on the use of assistants for translation purposes.Marketing Technology News: Adswerve and Google Cloud Break Down Data Silos for MarketersOHT has made a name for itself in assessing the level of translations by NMT engines.  Its ONEs Evaluation Score is a unique human-based assessment of the leading NMT engines conducted on a quarterly basis and used as an industry standard.Marketing Technology News: Zaius Adds New Dimension to Customer Behavior Analytics Using Predictive Intelligencelast_img read more

Mechanisms that govern HIV latency differ in the gut and blood finds

first_imgRelated StoriesHIV persists in spinal fluid even after long-term treatment and is linked to cognitive deficitsHIV DNA persists in spinal fluid despite treatment, linked to cognitive impairmentScripps CHAVD wins $129 million NIH grant to advance new HIV vaccine approachAvailable antiretroviral drugs significantly prolong life expectancy in people living with HIV. However, the virus can escape host defenses and drug treatment by establishing a reversibly silent infection in immune cells that produce a protein called CD4 (i.e., CD4+ T cells). This latent infection, which is characterized by inactivated HIV transcription, represents the major barrier to a cure. While much of the research to date has highlighted the importance of CD4+ T cells in the blood as reservoirs for latent HIV, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the gut may play an integral role as a major tissue reservoir for the virus. To compare the mechanisms that inhibit HIV transcription in the gut and blood, Yukl and his colleagues quantified HIV transcripts in cells from the blood and rectum of HIV-infected individuals effectively treated with antiretroviral drugs.The researchers found that different mechanisms block HIV transcription and underlie HIV latency in CD4+ T cells in the blood and gut. Moreover, the findings suggest that the rectum may be enriched for latently infected cells, or cells in a deeper state of latency. These differences in the blocks to HIV transcription are important to consider in designing therapies that aim to disrupt HIV latency in all tissue compartments. In particular, infected cells in the rectum may be less susceptible to agents designed to reverse latency or may require different types of therapies. Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding (in green) from cultured lymphocyte. This image has been colored to highlight important features; see PHIL 1197 for original black and white view of this image. Multiple round bumps on cell surface represent sites of assembly and budding of virions. Credit: CDC / C. Goldsmith, P. Feorino, E. L. Palmer, W. R. McManus. CC BY 0 Source:https://www.plos.orgcenter_img Nov 16 2018Mechanisms that govern HIV transcription and latency differ in the gut and blood, according to a study published November 15 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Steven Yukl of San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues. According to the authors, the findings could inform new therapies aimed at curing HIV.last_img read more

Mapping fiber layers of mammalian cerebral cortex reveals clues to their evolution

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 20 2018[Background]The cerebrum plays the most important roles in the higher functions of the brain. In particular, the cerebral cortex, among other parts of the cerebrum, is essential. Humans have by far the most developed cerebral cortex among animals and it is thought that we have acquired specific abilities thanks to this. In addition, the cerebral cortex has received special attention, since various parts are involved in various brain diseases, psychiatric disorders and others.The developing cerebral cortex of higher animals like humans contains two axonal fiber layers that transmit neural information and are, therefore, considered to be important in brain functions. The cerebral cortex of the mouse, the most commonly used model animal in research, was not found to have equivalents of the axonal fiber layers, which made mouse research on this subject very difficult. Thus, research on these fiber layers has been much retarded.The present research group at Kanazawa University has been promoting studies using the ferret, since it is important to conduct research using higher animals with a more developed cerebrum, closer to that of the human than the mouse. Research techniques for the ferret were previously not available, so in 2012 and 2013 the group developed an appropriate technique, in utero electroporation, for use in ferrets at the gene level. They have thus led research into the brains of higher mammals including the development of disease model ferrets in 2015 and 2017.[Results]In the present study, the Kanazawa University group has mapped the fiber layers of the developing cerebrum of a higher mammal, the ferret, using its own unique research technique. They have also found an important clue to the evolution of these fiber layers. More specifically, the following three points have been established: A trace of axonal fiber bundles is found in the mouse brain. So far, equivalents of the two fiber layers were not described in the mouse cerebral cortex. The group applied the same technique, used to reveal the two fiber layers in the ferret brain, to the mouse brain. Unexpectedly, they found one fiber layer as well as a trace of axonal fiber bundles. This trace pathway is thought to have later evolved to become the second axonal fiber layer of higher mammals. This raises the possibility that it is this second axonal fiber layer, i.e. the outer fiber layer, which is important in the development of higher brain functions. The two axonal fiber layers have different destinations in the brain. Upon investigation of the destinations of the two fiber layers, the one on the surface side of the cerebral cortex has destinations in the proximal areas of the cerebral cortex; i.e. it represents a short-distance pathway (Figure 1 lower panel, indicated with an arrow); on the other hand, the other in the deep side of the cerebral cortex has destinations in the cerebral cortex of the opposite hemisphere and to the other brain regions; i.e. it represents a long-distance pathway. Thus, selection of the axonal fiber layers takes place depending on their destination. The two axonal fiber layers found in the human and monkey brain also exist in the ferret brain. By introducing GFP (green fluorescent protein) into neurons in the ferret cerebral cortex, it was found that axons in two fiber layers are derived from the neurons of the cerebral cortex .center_img [Significance and future prospects] In this study, the Kanazawa University group has elucidated the destinations of the two axonal fiber layers in the cerebrum and the process of their evolution with the use of their unique research technique for the ferret. This finding is of major significance, since there have been very few studies on these two fiber layers. This study should contribute to our understanding of brain evolution in higher organisms up to the human, which has been very difficult with the mouse, a conventional model animal. Further, it should help reveal causes of various brain disorders. Source:https://www.kanazawa-u.ac.jp/latest-research/63084last_img read more

France unveils new tax for global internet giants

first_imgFiscal justicePresident Emmanuel Macron came to power in 2017 promising to increase levies on global tech and internet groups, seeing their often minimal tax rates as part of a backlash in France and Europe against globalisation.Having failed to persuade his European partners to introduce an EU-wide tax—because of objections from low-tax jurisdictions such as Ireland and fears of provoking US President Donald Trump—France will now go it alone with its own new mechanism. French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire says about 30 companies will be affected And Manon Aubry, a leader of the France Unbowed party, told France Inter radio it was like “putting a plaster on a wooden leg”.The government hopes the move will catch on abroad despite an earlier failure to reach consensus at the European Union level.Britain, Spain, and Austria have said they too intend to unilaterally tax the giants, while Japan, Singapore and India are also working on such schemes.Paris says it is now seeking “common ground” on the issue with fellow members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in order to reach a worldwide accord.Talks are ongoing among 127 countries at the OECD in a bid to reach “a consensus-based, long-term solution in 2020,” the international organisation said in a statement in January.An interim report should “be presented to the G20 during 2019,” it added, speaking of the group of industrialised and emerging nations. France on Wednesday introduced a bill to tax internet and technology giants such as Google and Facebook on their digital sales, putting it among a vanguard of countries seeking to force the companies to pay more in the markets where they operate. France unveils new tax for global internet giants The new levy is known as the “GAFA tax” in France—an acronym for US giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon—who have until now routed their sales in France through subsidiaries in low-tax EU members.In one of the most best known cases, the European Commission concluded that Apple had paid an effective corporate tax rate of just 0.005 percent on its European profits in 2014—equivalent to just 50 euros for every million.In 2016, it was ordered by the commission to pay 13 billion euros in back taxes to Ireland which were judged to amount to illegal state aid.Under EU law, internet giants can choose to report their income in any member state, prompting them to choose low-tax nations such as Ireland, the Netherlands or Luxembourg.Only digital companies with global annual sales of more than 750 million euros and sales in France of at least 25 million euros will be taxed under the new French law.About 30 companies from the US, China, Germany, Spain and Britain as well as France would be affected, he said.France’s move comes after aggressive action from tax authorities to pursue the companies in the courts, with mixed results.Apple said last month it had reached an agreement to settle 10 years of back taxes, reportedly for nearly 500 million euros. Explore further © 2019 AFP Citation: France unveils new tax for global internet giants (2019, March 6) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-france-unveils-tax-global-internet_1.html Lawmakers worldwide have struggled over how to effectively tax internet giants France wants to lead the way in making internet giants pay taxes on digital sales where they take place The French bill was discussed at cabinet level and will be submitted to parliament in early April.Speaking to reporters, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire described the levy as “a first step” in setting up “a 21st century taxation system”.”It’s a question of justice for our fellow citizens” and for “our businesses”, he said, adding “no one can accept that big digital firms pay 14 percent less tax than our small and medium firms”.”If we want to be able to continue to finance our public services, our day nurseries, our hospitals, our schools, we must tax value where it is created,” he added.The tax, to be applied retroactively from January 1, sets a three percent levy on digital advertising, websites and the resale of private data by internet giants.It should bring in 400 million euros ($452 million) to the public purse this year, and 650 million by 2022, according to Le Maire—an amount the Le Monde newspaper called “a small sum” but “highly symbolic.”Left-wing politicians denounced the measure as too feeble.”Bruno Le Maire is taking on these giants with a water pistol,” Ian Brossat, a leader of the Communist party, told Liberation newspaper. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Streaming to subscriptions Video games enter new frontiers

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In this Nov. 20, 2018, file photo Leslie Hatch of Rusk shops with Rylan Hatch, 7, and Bailey Hatch, 6, at GameStop at Broadway Square Mall in Tyler, Texas. The video game industry is entering new frontiers. In the past, you plunked down $60 at GameStop for a copy of Grand Theft Auto or Madden NFL and played it out. Now, you’ll increasingly have the choice of subscribing to games, playing for free or possibly just streaming them over the internet to your phone or TV. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph via AP, File) © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This Wednesday, March 6, 2019, photo shows a “Level up!” screen as a gamer plays “Apex Legends” in Jersey City, N.J. Electronic Arts’ “Apex Legends” got 50 million players worldwide in its first four weeks. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane) Penfield loves that Fortnite is free and says he can’t see himself spending $60 again for a game upfront. He estimates he spends about $10 a month on in-game purchases—meaning he’s spending twice as much in just one year.The trend started a few years ago with Candy Crush and other mobile games that appealed to casual gamers looking to pass the time on a subway or doctor’s waiting room. The success of Fortnite shows that this model works with more sophisticated styles of games, too. Despite being free to play, it raked in an estimated $2.4 billion in 2018, according to SuperData.And there are many signs Fortnite isn’t a one-hit wonder. Electronic Arts’ Apex Legends got 50 million players worldwide in its first four weeks. While it doesn’t have a mobile component—yet—its style of game play and revenue model are similar to Fortnite. Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard is working with Tencent on a mobile version of its popular Call of Duty first-person shooter franchise.But it’s a gamble if users don’t spend enough money in the game itself.”Even though we can start to see the shape of things to come, it will take a while before they come into focus,” van Dreunen said. The video game industry is entering new frontiers. Explore further Game retailer GameStop’s shares fell Wednesday, a day after it projected a revenue drop of 5% to 10% in 2019. And major video game publishers Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard have announced layoffs.Responding to changing consumer behavior, video game makers and new entrants like Google are offering new ways to play.GAME STREAMINGBig players are entering the arena: Google announced Stadia , a console-free game streaming service due out this year. The platform will store a game-playing session in the cloud and let players jump across phones, laptops and browsers with Google’s software.Google didn’t say how much its new service will cost, whether it will offer subscriptions or other options, or what games will be available at launch —all key elements to the success of a new video-game platform. Google will be hoping to avoid the fate of OnLive, which debuted in 2010 and streamed high-end video games over the internet. The service had promise, but failed to garner a big enough user base. It shuttered in 2015. In this Sept. 11, 2018 file photo, Nick Overton, a professional video game player, plays “Fortnite” while engaging with his fans online from the game room at his home, in Grimes, Iowa. “Fortnite,” a free-to-play game that has become a massive hit with its “battle royal” mode winning over millions of fans. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP, File) In the past, you plunked down $60 at GameStop for a copy of Grand Theft Auto or Madden NFL and played it out—after which you could trade it in or let it gather dust.Now, you’ll increasingly have the choice of subscribing to games, playing for free or possibly just streaming them over the internet to your phone or TV.Welcome to a new world of experimentation in an industry that hasn’t been seriously shaken up since Nintendo launched its home gaming console in the U.S. in 1986 or when mobile gaming surged in popularity a decade ago.”We’re in an environment where people want content and media when they want it, how they want it,” CFRA analyst Scott Kessler said. “You can play a great video game with a console or on a computer or with a mobile device and you might not have to pay anything. That’s a dramatic departure from even a few years ago.”Of course, people will still buy and use traditional video games and consoles for years to come. But as games have become more accessible online and on mobile, it is becoming harder to convince people to spend a chunk of money upfront, said Joost van Dreunen, co-founder of research company SuperData. SUBSCRIPTIONS Citation: Streaming to subscriptions: Video games enter new frontiers (2019, April 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-streaming-subscriptions-video-games-frontiers.html Has ‘Fortnite’ peaked? As season 8 arrives, research suggests revenue dipped in January In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo Henry Hailey, 10, plays one of the online “Fortnite” game in the early morning hours in the basement of his Chicago home. “Fortnite,” a free-to-play game that has become a massive hit with its “battle royal” mode winning over millions of fans. (AP Photo/Martha Irvine, File) Apple announced a subscription service that some are calling the “Netflix of Games .”Apple Arcade subscribers will get to play more than 100 games, curated by Apple and exclusive to the service. Games can be downloaded and played offline—on the Apple-made iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. Notably, Apple says players won’t have to pay for virtual weapons and other extras—something free mobile games typically charge for. The company didn’t say how much Arcade will cost when it launches this fall.FREE-TO-PLAY GAMESAnd then there is Fortnite, a free-to-play game that has become a massive hit with its “battle royal” mode winning over millions of fans. In this mode, 100 players battle one another for weapons and armor until only one player is left. Created by Epic Games, which is backed by Chinese mobile behemoth Tencent, a key aspect of the game is being able to play it on anything from your phone to a decked-out gaming PC.”I like the interactiveness and being able to play with your friends,” said Patrick Penfield, a Syracuse University student. “There are infinite possibilities.”Free-to-play games such as Fortnite make money from in-app purchases. In Fortnite, for instance, players use real-world money to buy for their characters outfits, gear or “emotes”—brief dances that have become a cultural phenomenon performed on playgrounds, in social media posts and in the scoring celebrations of professional athletes.last_img read more

Crowdsourcing Immigrants make a killing at AP election rallies

first_imgWith the locals no longer keen on attending mega poll rallies, immigrant workers find a new revenue source. This photo, shot last week, shows a crowd at a party’s rally in Allagadda   –  THE HINDU COMMENTS SHARE national elections Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL Contractors populate top leaders’ meetings with flag-waving supporters who each cost up to ₹1,500 a day Andhra Pradesh Sanatan Nayak, a construction worker from Ganjam in Odisha, understands nothing about Andhra Pradesh politics. But he is a regular participant at poll rallies of almost all parties.There are many like him — regulars at political rallies in Andhra Pradesh, which is witnessing a shrill battle in campaigning for the State Assembly as well as Lok Sabha elections, with polling slated for April 11. The reason is interesting: locals are no longer attending the mega rallies of top leaders in big numbers. “This has created a new earning opportunity for immigrants from the neighbouring States of Odisha and Telangana who do not have regular incomes,” M Sattanna, a labour contractor-turned ‘crowd supplier’, told BusinessLine at Ibrahimpatnam, in Krishna district. He is among over a dozen contractors who are now helping local politicians mobilise crowds for public meetings, mainly in and around Amaravati, the State capital region. Language is no barrier. “We have been asked to clap and wave the flags of the party that hires us,” he said in Hindi.The crowd contractors operate in close association with local political leaders — cutting across parties — and schedule the attendance of people at meetings. In the Mangalagiri-Guntur region, at least 300 to 500 ‘participants’ are available within a notice period of 10 hours. Gainful employment“What is wrong in this? Paying for people in election rallies is an open secret. The only difference now is we are arranging people from different regions,” said M Koteshwara Rao, a ‘team-lead’ for a group that has arrived from Telangana’s Khammam district, now camping for gainful employment in the Andhra Pradesh polls. The crowd, of course, comes at a price. If top leaders of major parties happen to campaign at a location on the same day, the cost per person goes up to as much as ₹1,500, inclusive of travel, water and food. “We are farm labourers from Suryapet (Telangana) and are looking for work. A person we know from Nandigama informed us of the earning opportunity and we are here,” G Devender, who has landed here along with four family members, told BusinessLine. The “hired supporters” are housed either at rented halls, or in tents pitched in open fields close to Amaravati. An attempt by this writer to photograph a ‘camp’ was not allowed by the security personnel.Moonlighting workersImmigrant workers from Bihar, employed in the construction projects of Amaravati, are also chipping in, moonlighting in their free time at poll rallies.Two major regional parties and two national parties are frequently ‘sourcing’ supporters, while one new party depends solely on willing participants, according to locals. It remains to be seen if all these tactics will sway Andhra Pradesh’s voters on polling day. April 03, 2019 COMMENTlast_img read more