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Bill seeks to prevent another Cambridge Analytica

first_imgFollowing massive fines levied against Facebook for data misuse, a new bill in Congress aims to put the brakes on the exploitation of voter info. Getty Images Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday introduced a bill prompted by Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of Facebook users’ private data. The Voter Privacy Act looks to address a lack of federal regulation on the collection and use of voter data by political organizations. The bill also seeks to give voters control over how that data is used in federal elections. “Political candidates and campaigns shouldn’t be able to use private data to manipulate and mislead voters,” Feinstein, a Democrat from California, said in a statement. “This bill would help put an end to such actions.”   The move comes on the heels of a $100 million fine levied against Facebook by the Securities and Exchange Commission and a $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission. During the 2016 presidential campaign, data consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica exploited the personal Facebook data of millions while working for Donald Trump’s campaign. Cambridge Analytica reportedly violated the social network’s policies when acquiring the data, then used it to target voters with political ads developed from psychographic profiles.  Exempting data from public databases, the bill would extend five basic rights to voters. Among them are the right to be notified when campaigns obtain their data and to bar further sale, as well as the right to review data obtained by political organizations and demand its deletion. Voters would also be able to tell Google and Facebook not to use their data profiles to help political groups target them. “Today, campaigns are legally able to conduct sophisticated online surveillance of everyone in our country in order to influence individuals based on their unique psychological characteristics” Feinstein said.  “This targeted manipulation not only undermines our democracy, it’s a threat to basic individual freedom.” Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Tags 1:09 1 Originally published Aug. 1.Update, Aug. 2: Added note recording request for comment. Share your voice Politics Security Comment Facebook hit with hefty FTC and SEC fines, DoorDash changes… Now playing: Watch this: Cambridge Analyticalast_img read more

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5 put on 3day remand in Wari explosive case

5 put on 3day remand in Wari explosive case

first_imgA Dhaka court on Thursday sent five individuals on remand for 4 days in an explosive case filed with Wari police station.Dhaka Juvenile court sent one of the accused Mosharraf Hossain, 13, a class-IX student to jail on the same charges.Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Pranab Kumar Whui passed the order rejecting the bails prayers.Quoting case statement filed by the police on Wednesday night, Md Quamrul Islam, DB inspector and investigation officer of the case said DB police arrested six people while they were planning subversive activities against the government at a mess in Banogram 20-no lane in the capital’s Wari.Family members of five youths demanded to know the whereabouts of their children, who have been remained traceless since 12 September after picked up by plainclothesmen from Airport and Jatrabari areas.According to the family sources, DB police picked up three youths-Shafiul, Monirul, Hayat-from airport area on 12 September.In another incident on the same day, DB police also picked up class-IX student Mosharaf Hossain Maaz and his two roommates from a mess at Mirzabari in Jatrabari.last_img read more

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Facebook Delays Unveiling of Echo Show Competitor Report

Facebook Delays Unveiling of Echo Show Competitor Report

first_imgFacebook has scrapped plans to unveil a smart speaker with video chat capabilities at its f8 developer conference in early May, according to a Bloomberg report. The change of plans comes in light of the recent privacy backlash, which reportedly also prompted the company to revisit some privacy safeguards for the project.Facebook had reportedly been working on a smart speaker that doubles as a video chat device, similar to Amazon’s Echo Show, for some time. The company has yet to publicly acknowledge its plans for such a project, but was set to unveil it at its f8 event on May 1 before making it commercially available towards the end of the year, according to Bloomberg.The device is likely going to mimic some of the functionality of existing smart speakers, which monitor their environment for so-called hot-words like “Okay Google” or “Alexa.”  Upon hearing it, they kick into high gear and transmit audio to the cloud to answer questions, deliver personalized news, music and more. In addition to this fairly standard set of features, Facebook’s device reportedly also makes use of facial recognition to easily let users initiate video calls with their contacts.  However, the outfall over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal would likely not have provided the best context for the introduction of a device capable of voice and video recognition.In fact, the company is now rethinking how to handle some of the data gathered by the device, The Information reported Wednesday. Instead of uploading facial recognition data to the cloud, it might process it locally on the device itself — an approach that mirrors the way Apple uses biometric data to unlock the iPhone X.Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Popular on Variety center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

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ER runs special train to commemorate 123rd day of Swamijis return to

ER runs special train to commemorate 123rd day of Swamijis return to

first_imgKolkata: The Eastern Railway ran a special EMU train from Budge Budge to Sealdah station, to commemorate the 123rd anniversary of Swami Vivekananda returning to Kolkata. The train left Budge Budge at 12.50 pm and stopped at all stations en route.Swami Vivekananda had returned to Kolkata on February 19, 1897, after spending four years in the West. He was given a hero’s welcome at Sealdah station. The whole station was decorated with flowers and petals and welcome arches were built on Harrison Road, which is Mahatma Gandhi Road now. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseBraving sharp winter cold, thousands had gathered at the station to welcome the local boy. Youths removed the horses of the carriage and drove it themselves. Swamiji was accompanied by Mr and Mrs Savier and J J Goodwin. They were taken to Ripon College, which is Surendranath College now. He was then taken to the house of Dr Pasupati Bose in North Kolkata. Thousands stood on the road to have a glimpse of Swami Vivekananda. Swamiji tried to address the gathering both at Ripon College and then at Bose’s house but because of the huge crowd, his words became inaudible. Later, in the last week of February, Vivekananda was given a civic reception at Sobhabazar House of the Debs. Sobhabazar Football Club had also accorded a civic reception to him.last_img read more

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Sonar Entertainment launching paidfor YouTube cha

Sonar Entertainment launching paidfor YouTube cha

first_imgSonar Entertainment launching paid-for YouTube channel, Minis + Movies.The TV movie and series producer and distributor will programme the US service with titles from its 500-title catalogue. It will include classic and contemporary miniseries and full-length two-hour TV movies.The channel launched this week and a monthly subscription costs US$1.99 (€1.52). A yearly sub is priced at US$19.99.Sonar said it will refresh the line-up with new titles every month with titles at launch including Lonesome Dove, Merlin (with Sam Neil, not the FremantleMedia series), Tin Man with Zooey Deschanel and Good Fences with Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg.“Our library is rich with beloved and acclaimed titles, perfect to be watched over and over again,” said Stewart Till, CEO, Sonar Entertainment. ”We welcome this opportunity to make them available all in one place, easily accessible to a broad audience.”last_img read more

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Polands TVN Group saw the audience share of its c

first_imgPoland’s TVN Group saw the audience share of its channels boosted by the country’s digital-terrestrial rollout in the second quarter and the company said the ongoing decline in its top line slowed down as a result of an improving advertising market.TVN-backed pay TV platform nc+ meanwhile reported 2.3 million post-paid subscribers at the end of the quarter, posting total revenue of PLN1.138 billion (€268 million) and reaching ARPU of PLN63.40.TVN said its flagship channel gathered the highest audience share for the period, while TVN7 and TTV increased their viewership by 70% thanks to the Polish DTT rollout.Overall, revenue for TVN Group fell by 2.5% in the quarter,  giving a first half fall of 4% in what the company described as a “weak but improving TV advertising market”.EBITDA grew by 20% to PLN171 million thanks to the slowing revenue decline and significant cost savings.“I am proud to announce that for the first time ever TVN Group reports the market leader position in all day audience share in the commercial target group with 23.9% share in the second quarter,” said CEO Markus Tellenbach. “Moreover, our schedules outperformed the main competitors for the last four quarters, despite significant savings generated during that period. Such an excellent performance translated into a profitability which is returning to pre-crisis levels, reflecting the efficiency of our approach to content production and exploitation. TVN Group is dedicated to further support the high quality and strong performance of its schedules across all channels, taking into consideration the ongoing fragmentation which is fuelled by the DTT roll-out and on the backdrop of the first signs of the TV advertising market improvement. We are convinced that TVN Group is to outperform the mid-single digit decline of the TV advertising market and deliver adjusted EBITDA comparable to last year. This allows the management to reconfirm its guidance for 2013 given on February 28.”last_img read more

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Ronald Lauder Ronald Lauder the founder of CME ha

Ronald Lauder Ronald Lauder the founder of CME ha

first_imgRonald LauderRonald Lauder, the founder of CME has resigned from the company’s board.Lauder started CME in 1994 with the launch of TV Nova in the Czech Republic. He has been non-executive chairman of the company for the ensuing twenty years.His departure from the Time-Warner backed Central and Eastern European broadcast group was made official late last week.There have been wholesale management changes at CME in the wake of poor financial results. Current management have unveiled plans to cut 1,000 jobs at the company and offload non-core assets to move the company to steadier footing. A refinancing programme is also underway.Announcing his exit, Lauder said: “I’m honored to have played a part in the development of independent commercial television in Central and Eastern Europe. I could not have accomplished so much without the hard work and dedication of everyone at CME over the last 20 years. And most importantly, the success of our stations would not have been possible without the support of our viewers across the region.”In a joint statement Michael Del Nin and Christoph Mainusch, co-CEOs of CME added: ” We would like to acknowledge [Lauder’s] foresight and initiative in working closely with so many in a part of the world he holds so close, to make his vision a reality.”Lauder also recently cut ties with Israeli broadcaster Channel 10, handing it a final US$10 million (€7.2 million) to cover debts before pulling out.last_img read more

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A county court has delivered a devastating judgmen

A county court has delivered a devastating judgmen

first_imgA county court has delivered a devastating judgment against the Local Government Ombudsman, after it discriminated against a disabled woman by failing to provide the reasonable adjustments she needed to lodge a complaint against a local authority.The ombudsman has been ordered to pay £12,500 in damages to Jeanine Blamires to compensate her for the ordeal, following breaches of both the Equality Act and the Data Protection Act by the ombudsman.Although the judgment is only in draft form, its conclusions are unlikely to be altered.District judge Joanna Geddes even awarded aggravated damages against the ombudsman over the breach of the Equality Act, because she said it had defended the case in a way that “added to the injury, frustration and distress” felt by Blamires, which had “exacerbated” the symptoms of her long-term health conditions.She also awarded aggravated damages for the Data Protection Act breach, because of the ombudsman’s “continued denial” that it had broken the law.Blamires has told Disability News Service that she was “disgusted” and “sickened” by the ombudsman’s behaviour and that she believed it had now “lost its moral authority to adjudicate over others”.Judge Geddes said Blamires’ husband David (pictured with his wife at a parliamentary evidence session) told the court that his wife had “found the whole process extremely distressing and has on several occasions been reduced to tears by the intransigence of the defendant in not meeting her disabled needs by making reasonable adjustments.“This has led to a deterioration in her condition and a reduction in her ability to fulfil her role as a housewife and mother.”The case relates to her attempt in March 2012 to help her daughter lodge a complaint through the ombudsman against North Yorkshire County Council over a housing issue.She then complained herself about the council five months later.Blamires, who represented herself in the legal case, had told the ombudsman – when lodging the complaint against the council – that she had severe ME and dystonia, while her husband also had ME, as well as chronic pain and dyslexia, and that they would need help to use the service.She told the ombudsman that they both found telephone conversations difficult, and that “though e-mail is useful, regular meetings are better, we have a lot of evidence and we are not sure about what you will need”.But the ombudsman lost this information in transferring her application form to a different format, and then took two years to admit to the court that it had done so.It had originally claimed that Blamires failed to fill in the part of the form that related to requests for reasonable adjustments.As the process of lodging a complaint against the council progressed, she told the ombudsman that she was struggling – for impairment-related reasons – to submit all of the necessary paperwork.But the ombudsman ignored this and without warning reached a provisional decision in the case against the council – one which she found unacceptable – in December 2013.She complained that she had not been allowed to present all of her evidence, and that the ombudsman had failed to provide reasonable adjustments, and she asked it to arrange face-to-face meetings and some support to help her with the complaint.Blamires told Disability News Service this week: “The defendant didn’t provide it. They only offered extra time. I just cried.“They didn’t have all the evidence and they didn’t understand my complaint.”Judge Geddes says in the draft judgement that the ombudsman had issued the provisional decision without exploring the issue of reasonable adjustments, and even though it knew that Blamires had expressed more than once “how overwhelmed and fatigued she was by the process”.The judge added: “They were aware that she found the volume of paperwork she had ‘overwhelming’ and was struggling both to know what to submit in support of her claim and to physically complete the task of sending it by reason of her disabilities.”Judge Geddes even suggested that the ombudsman’s argument that its limited resources did not allow it to offer face-to-face meetings or advocacy as a reasonable adjustment – when one of its own leaflets said that it did – implied that such promises were published to “pay lip service only to the duties the [ombudsman] has to anticipate and make reasonable adjustments”.The judge even had to withdraw some of her own statements made earlier in the case because the ombudsman had provided her with misleading information about the extent of its powers.As well as being ordered to pay £12,500 in damages to Blamires, the ombudsman was also ordered to pay her costs of £750.Blamires said she was “disgusted” by the ombudsman’s behaviour during the lengthy case – including misleading the court, failing to disclose documents and submitting false information – when its own purpose was “supposedly to ensure justice”.She said: “It has been an horrendous ordeal for my family who care for me who have had to watch as I have got worse due to this fight.“I am so glad that District Judge Geddes listened to me. It’s taken too long to do this – four years – much of that time and public money has been wasted by the ombudsman due to its behaviour. I am sickened by it.“I am not sure it is now possible for the Local Government Ombudsman to sustain its role to remedy injustice. It has lost its moral authority to adjudicate over others.“Councils are not going to respect the Local Government Ombudsman’s decisions because the Local Government Ombudsman chose not to respect the county court.”She wants communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid to replace the ombudsman with a new organisation.But she also praised Leeds Combined Court, which “did the exact opposite” of the ombudsman by providing her with reasonable adjustments, including arranging video conferencing for one of the court hearings, and supporting her when she became ill in court.And she thanked the charity, the Personal Support Unit, which helps people who have to represent themselves in court, and supported her by reading documents, and helping her write witness statements and skeleton arguments.Michael King, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman*, said in a statement: “We didn’t get things right for Mrs Blamires and I have personally apologised to her.“We hold ourselves up to the same standards we expect of those bodies we investigate and we will fully accept the final findings of the court when we receive them.“This is a salutary reminder that mistakes happen and when things do go wrong, it’s how you deal with them that matters.“This case highlighted some issues with our IT system and the way we were doing things that we needed to change. We’ve done that and we’ve strengthened our quality checks and revised our guidance.“But we won’t stop there. We will use this as an opportunity to look at what else we can do to be flexible and find more creative ways of helping people access our service.” He added: “We are sorry if the judge felt we provided her with misleading information, this was not our intention.”*It was renamed earlier this monthlast_img read more

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Many of the countrys biggest disability charities

Many of the countrys biggest disability charities

first_imgMany of the country’s biggest disability charities have refused to back a petition that calls for an inquiry into the links between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the deaths of disabled benefit claimants.The charities – none of which are led and controlled by disabled people – are refusing to support the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition*, with many of them rejecting its calls for any evidence of criminal misconduct by civil servants and ministers to be passed to police.And many of them are also rejecting the petition’s demand for DWP to be branded institutionally disablist and not fit for purpose, and for it to take urgent steps to make the safety of benefit claimants a priority.Jodey Whiting (pictured) died in February 2017, 15 days after she had her out-of-work disability benefits mistakenly stopped for missing a work capability assessment.The Independent Case Examiner concluded earlier this year that DWP was guilty of “multiple” and “significant” failings in handling the case.But her death was only the latest avoidable tragedy linked to DWP’s actions, stretching back nearly a decade.The lukewarm response to the petition is likely to highlight concerns among grassroots groups that many of the disability charities that are run by non-disabled people are too close to the government, and particularly to DWP.Only last week, Scope and Sense were included in a government press release, praising the prime minister for a much-criticised series of announcements on disability.Only one of the 13 charities approached this week by Disability News Service (DNS) – Mind – has agreed to back the petition and its four demands.None of the others have been willing to support the petition or issue a public statement supporting its aims.At least two of these charities – RNIB and Leonard Cheshire – have signed Work and Health Programme contracts that include clauses preventing them bringing DWP and work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd into disrepute.RNIB refused to back the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition this week, or to answer questions about its demands**.Leonard Cheshire has also refused to back the petition, or answer questions about it, saying instead that it had “very real concerns about some of the ways the welfare system impacts disabled people”, and adding: “Clearly there needs to be further investigation into deaths connected to changes in benefits.”Scope refused to back the petition and answer questions, calling instead for “urgent reform” to the benefits system and action to prevent further deaths like Jodey Whiting’s.Sense, the other charity that supported the government last week, had refused by noon today (Thursday) to back the petition or answer questions about it.Parkinson’s UK refused to back the petition or answer questions about its demands, saying instead that it continued to work with DWP to improve the system.The National Autistic Society refused to support the petition or answer any questions about its demands.Instead, it praised DWP for apologising for its failings in the Jodey Whiting case.It said that “for any public body, any evidence of misconduct, criminal or otherwise, should be addressed by the appropriate authority”, and that “if there’s evidence of any criminal misconduct, then this of course must be investigated by the police”.NAS said there was “a clear and urgent need to improve benefits assessments for autistic people”.John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, one of the grassroots, disabled-led organisations supporting the petition, said: “By their failure to oppose and condemn these systems and policies and join us in calling for an independent judicial inquiry they have blatantly betrayed all those for whom they were set up to support and defend.“They are not on the side of disabled people.”Mind is the only one of the 13 non-user-led disability charities approached by DNS this week to support the petition.Vicki Nash, Mind’s head of policy and campaigns, said: “We support the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition.“Jodey’s story is tragic and it’s also too common. We hear every week from people with mental health problems who have struggled to cope with the impact of sanctions and other changes to their benefits.“While the causes of suicide are many and complex, the Department for Work and Pensions has a particular responsibility to make sure that its processes and policies do not cause avoidable harm.“We believe an independent inquiry could hold the DWP accountable, shine a light on these issues and bring about changes to the system.“An inquiry would need to establish what changes to the structure and culture of the DWP are needed to make it capable of providing safe and compassionate support to all disabled people navigating the benefits system.“However, we also know that these inquiries are often slow-moving. An independent inquiry cannot be a substitute for immediate action to make the benefits system safer for people going through it.”She added: “We are not aware of any evidence of criminal misconduct in these cases and so we have not been calling for such an investigation.“But of course if any inquiry were to find evidence of criminal misconduct, it should be investigated appropriately.”Other large disability charities have been far less supportive of the petition.The MS Society has refused to back the petition or respond to questions about it, as have Action on Hearing Loss and Turning Point.The mental health charity Rethink refused to support the petition or to answer questions about its demands.It said instead that “changes in welfare policy have had a devasting impact on disabled people” and that the “most vulnerable are being left with the least support and the process of claiming is known to worsen health, including the mental health of claimants – including our supporters and members”.Two of the charities did offer some support to some of the petition’s demands.Mencap, while refusing to support the petition, said that the deaths of claimants such as Jodey Whiting should form the basis of an “independent examination” into DWP policies and practices in relation to “vulnerable claimants”.A spokesperson said: “As part of this, the department must commit to act on recommendations to prevent future deaths.“Should any evidence of criminal misconduct emerge though an independent review, this must, as part of a standard procedure, be passed to the police for investigation.“We would also expect an independent investigator to consider allegations of institutional disabilism and draw conclusions on this from the evidence they have gathered.”Epilepsy Action also gave some support to the petition’s demands, without backing the petition itself, saying: “We would support an inquiry into any links between DWP failings and the deaths of benefit claimants.“We are not aware of any evidence of criminal misconduct by senior civil servants or ministers in relation to this issue, but would of course be in favour of any such evidence being passed to police.“Any conclusion as to whether the DWP is institutionally disablist – or not – should be a function of any inquiry.“While we are aware of many problems experienced by disabled people in their dealings with the DWP, we believe that whether this extends to institutional disablism needs to be evidenced by a thorough inquiry.“As such, while we support the aims of an inquiry, including the conclusive statement makes it difficult for us to actively support the petition.”*Sign the Jodey Whiting petition here. If you sign the petition, please note you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committee**RNIB claims that relevant clauses in its Work and Health Programme contracts have now been changed or deleted “so there was no ambiguity whatsoever that RNIB still maintains the right to campaign on issues that matter to blind and partially sighted people”, but it had refused to show these new clauses to DNS by 1pm today (Thursday) A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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Rulings by an ombudsman that show how three London

Rulings by an ombudsman that show how three London

first_imgRulings by an ombudsman that show how three London councils discriminated against disabled people with invisible impairments by failing to make their services accessible are just “a tiny tip of an iceberg”, according to a disabled people’s organisation.Inclusion London spoke out after the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman published reports on investigations into three local authorities in the capital.All three of the councils – the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Lambeth and Wandsworth –failed to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people who were trying to use its services.Svetlana Kotova, Disability Justice Project co-ordinator for Inclusion London, welcomed the ombudsman’s rulings, but she said that the three cases were “just a tiny tip of an iceberg”. She said: “Despite it being a legal requirement, we often come across failures to provide information in accessible formats, refusals to change standard procedures and practices or provide support for people to engage in the processes.“We’ve seen people losing their homes or money or not getting information or support they are entitled to as a result. “Unfortunately, many of us got used to this discrimination, but we believe it is time we started to challenge it.”She said Inclusion London had developed interactive guides that can help disabled people to challenge these practices*.In the first of the cases dealt with by the ombudsman, Hillingdon council failed to suspend an autistic and dyslexic woman’s housing benefit payments after she told the local authority she had returned to work.When Ms X received an overpayment of more than £1,000, the council then failed to help her find her way around its complicated system after demanding she repay the money.It refused to provide her with a named officer she could email and often insisted she telephone the council with her queries, even though she explained she struggled with phone calls.The ombudsman concluded that the council “failed to consider any reasonable adjustments for Ms X, although she told it many times what her problems are and how she struggled”.He also concluded that the council had no policies on providing reasonable adjustments.Hillingdon council has agreed to take a series of measures, including apologising to Ms X, paying her £1,000 compensation, and providing an equality refresher course for frontline staff.In the second case, Mr X, who is dyslexic, complained that Lambeth council failed to make reasonable adjustments when he tried to challenge a parking penalty charge notice (PCN), forcing him to do so in writing rather than verbally.And when the council sent enforcement agents to his home to recover the money he owed, those agents also refused to make reasonable adjustments for him.Lambeth council has agreed to pay Mr X compensation of £750 and apologise to him.It has also been asked to take other measures, such as arranging Equality Act training for customer service staff and other steps to ensure it meets its obligations under the act.In the third ombudsman case, Wandsworth council failed to make similar reasonable adjustments for the same man when he tried to apply for a residents’ parking permit and challenge the PCNs he later received because he did not have a permit.The council has agreed to pay Mr X £300 compensation, apologise and allow him to appeal the PCNs on the telephone, while the ombudsman has also asked the council to take other measures, such as arranging Equality Act training for customer service staff, and reviewing its systems and procedures relating to reasonable adjustments.Michael King, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: “The Equality Act 2010 requires councils to anticipate the needs of people who may need to access their services.“This means when councils are alerted to the fact someone might need to be treated in a different way, they should ask that person what adjustments are needed, and consider whether these are reasonable.“It can be difficult for people to navigate complex council procedures, yet in all three cases, the councils were made aware that these people needed additional help, but none was given.“We recognise the significant challenges faced by public service providers in adapting their processes to the needs of people who may require adjustments, particularly where the services have been automated.“But this is a duty councils must meet and needs they must anticipate.“I welcome Wandsworth and Hillingdon councils’ commitment to improve their wider processes for people who need help accessing services.“I urge Lambeth council to reflect on the lessons it can learn from my investigation and make the changes I have recommended.”*https://www.disabilityjustice.org.uk/learn-more-and-take-action/ A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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Someone in 2010 Bought 2 Pizzas With 10000 Bitcoins Which Today Would

first_img Laszlo Hanyecz bought these pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins on May 22, 2010. Bitcoin Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Someone in 2010 Bought 2 Pizzas With 10,000 Bitcoins — Which Today Would Be Worth $20 Million –shares Image credit: Laszlo Hanyecz This story originally appeared on Business Insider May 22, 2017 Rob Pricecenter_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article Register Now » On May 22, 2010, a developer bought two pizzas using 10,000 units of a then-little-known digital currency called bitcoin.Today, 10,000 bitcoins are worth more than $20 million.Bitcoin is going nuclear. Its price is tearing upward, with each bitcoin worth $2,128 — a little shy of its all-time-high of $2,185 reached earlier Monday morning.Just a year ago, it was trading at just $443, after deflating from what was then seen as the giddy highs of about $1,100 in late 2013. It has since embarked on an epic bull run.”The Japanese have caught the Bitcoin bug and inefficiencies across markets are being exposed,” CryptoCompare founder Charles Hayter said in an emailed comment. “Irrational exuberance is taking hold as the Japanese stumble over each other to enter the Bitcoin market and drag up international prices.”The digital currency has come a long way since 2010, when the purchase of the two Papa John’s pizzas by Laszlo Hanyecz from another bitcoin enthusiast marked what is believed to be the first “real-world” bitcoin transaction.He posted on the Bitcoin Talk forum on May 22, 2010, writing:”I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later. You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I’m aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order or prepare it myself, kind of like ordering a ‘breakfast platter’ at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you’re happy!”I like things like onions, peppers, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni, etc.. just standard stuff no weird fish topping or anything like that. I also like regular cheese pizzas which may be cheaper to prepare or otherwise acquire.”If you’re interested please let me know and we can work out a deal.”Ten thousand coins were then worth about $40. A British user agreed to buy the pizza for him, and even at the time the buyer got a good deal out of it: The person paid only $25 for the two pizzas.The date is a marked on an annual basis by bitcoin users as “Bitcoin Pizza Day.”Today, 10,000 bitcoins add up to about $20.5 million.The #Bitcoin pizza is worth $20,509,958 today. (-0.15% from yesterday) Today is Bitcoin pizza day!— Bitcoin Pizza (@bitcoin_pizza) May 22, 2017″It wasn’t like Bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool,” Hanyecz told The New York Times in 2013. “No one knew it was going to get so big.”Bitcoin is on an epic bull run, soaring to all-time highs.Image credit: CoindeskGet the latest Bitcoin price here. Bitcoin is going nuclear. Add to Queue 3 min readlast_img read more

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Cheater Beater This Ring Will Stop Your BingeWatching Partner From Netflixing Around

first_img Kim Lachance Shandrow Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. May 27, 2016 2 min read Image credit: Cornetto Next Article Streaming Former West Coast Editorcenter_img Cheater Beater: This Ring Will Stop Your Binge-Watching Partner From Netflixing Around –shares Cheaters are dirtbags. Just when you thought you had something special together, they slip between the sheets and do it without you. Then they lie about it to your face.Listen bae, it is what you think. He has eyes for the ladies of Game of Thrones and he’s binge-watching them without you. Again.How dare your one and only stream without you? If you want to make your love last more than one season, there’s just one thing to do: Put a ring on it, and fast. Take it to the next level with a streaming commitment ring, like the British ice cream company Cornetto dreamed up in its latest cheeky YouTube clip, an ad for its new (and mostly empty) website, seriescommitment.com.Related: Imagine These 7 Entrepreneurs as ‘Game of Thrones’ CharactersIf only you could put a Cornetto ring on it. Too bad the streaming adultery-stoppers are reportedly still only in concept mode, though Fast Company reports that Cornetto is scheming to get into bed with a bunch of video streaming apps.As the ad says, streaming cheating is “the worst kind of cheating.” Obviously, though maybe not as gross as re-watching a show with your partner and faking your reactions. That’s just uncalled for.The clever concept involves a pair of shiny black NFC chip-equipped rings. They’re “linked to a video streaming platform that can only be activated when the rings are together.” When the rings — and you and your everything — are apart, the shows you share won’t play.  Ah, couples streaming, as it should be. Together, whipped and stalker-level. A more committed way to Netflix and chill. Well, you know what we mean. Register Now » Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Add to Queuelast_img read more

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Showpad Secures 70 Million in Series D Funding

first_img Dawn CapitalfundingHummingbird VenturesMarketing TechnologyNewsSales EnablementShowpad Previous ArticleMobile Marketing and Advertising Tech Company Vehicle Relaunches as Sinch Engage, Setting a New Standard for Personalized, Relevant Customer EngagementNext ArticleLiveRamp Alum and AppNexus Executive Join Narrative I/O Board of Directors Showpad Secures $70 Million in Series D Funding Business WireJune 25, 2019, 6:45 pmJune 25, 2019 Investment Will Accelerate Global Expansion and Drive Continued Platform Innovation by the World’s Largest Sales Enablement Software ProviderShowpad, the leading sales enablement solution, has secured $70 million in Series D funding, a combination of debt and equity, led by Dawn Capital and Insight Partners with participation from existing investor Hummingbird Ventures and new investor Korelya Capital. Silicon Valley Bank provided the debt financing for the deal. The investment will fuel Showpad’s continued global expansion and new product development as Showpad accelerates delivery on its mission to empower sales and marketing to sell the way modern buyers want to buy.Showpad is the world’s largest sales enablement software provider, with more than 1,000 customers worldwide spanning a breadth of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, technology, and financial services. With more than 90 percent year-over-year growth, Showpad’s rapid expansion is indicative of the explosive growth of the sales enablement market segment. According to Gartner, 15 percent of all sales technology spending will be applied to sales enablement technology by 2021.“The growth we’ve experienced in the past year is proof that sales enablement solutions are now a must-have for B2B businesses. We pride ourselves on empowering modern sales teams to increase win rates, deal size, and buyer engagement with a single, scalable platform and a consumer-like user experience,” said Pieterjan Bouten, CEO of Showpad. “The continued support of our investors is validation of our vision for the sales enablement market and our ability to deliver innovation that maximizes sales productivity and optimizes marketing impact.”Marketing Technology News: LiveVox and TDECU Share Keys to Optimizing the Customer Experience in a Digital Environment at CCW 2019Showpad has experienced explosive growth in recent years. In the U.S., the company has experienced 150 percent year-over-year revenue growth and grew the headcount of its Chicago office to more than 150 employees in just 18 months. With this investment, Showpad will drive continued growth in the sales enablement market by adding more than 200 new jobs to its global workforce of 400 in 2019. This investment will also drive the next chapter of the company’s geographic and platform expansion, including deeper penetration into the European market, which Showpad has dominated since its founding in 2011. In addition to its headquarters in Belgium, Showpad has offices in London, Munich, Poland, Chicago, San Francisco, and Portland.With organizations accelerating their investments in sales enablement, Showpad remains focused on extending its leadership position in the sales enablement industry. In 2018, Showpad acquired two technology companies to broaden its sales enablement capabilities, including the $50 million acquisition of sales training software, LearnCore, and the acquisition of meeting intelligence platform, Voicefox. As a result, Showpad now offers the most flexible and complete sales enablement platform and is recognized as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Sales Enablement Automation Platforms, Q3 2018.Marketing Technology News: Global Software Leaders Xero and Stripe Join Forces to Bring Seamless Payments to Millions of Small Businesses“To date there has been enormous innovation in automating the marketing and sales workflow. However, in the end, sales comes down to one person selling to another,” said Norman Fiore, General Partner at Dawn Capital and member of the Showpad Board. “Historically, this has been an offline process that has been wildly inconsistent and opaque. Showpad’s suite of products succeeds in bringing this process online for the first time with data-rich feedback loops on the effectiveness of teams, managers, salespeople and even individual pieces of sales content.”“Its AI-driven recommendation engines work at all these levels recommending, for example, the most effective next piece of content for specific customers or the most appropriate training for an individual seller. Since we first invested in 2014, Showpad has consistently demonstrated its ability to define and lead the sales enablement category and we are thrilled to double down on this category, co-leading their Series D alongside Insight.”Marketing Technology News: GoSpotCheck Gains Valuable Leadership Expertise with Five Additions to Management Teamlast_img read more

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What a major offshore gas find means for South Africas energy future

first_img Explore further Provided by The Conversation Many South African politicians, economists and specialists in the energy sector are celebrating the news that a promising show of natural gas has been discovered in deep water south of Mossel Bay. It was found in an offshore prospecting area called Brulpadda (Afrikaans for bullfrog), which is licensed to global energy giant Total. Credit: Shutterstock Citation: What a major offshore gas find means for South Africa’s energy future (2019, February 13) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-major-offshore-gas-south-africa.html 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.center_img Other reasons for increasing the use of gas are a bit counter-intuitive if your perception is that South Africa should be moving away from fossil fuels like gas and oil and into renewable energy sources, to reduce climate change and save money. The problem is that solar energy and wind energy – the main forms of renewable energy available to South Africa – are both intermittent: the energy they supply fluctuates with the sunshine and the weather. Currently the country fills the gaps between the variable supply and the consumer demand, which also fluctuates through the day and year, by turning on very expensive diesel-powered electricity generators. Switching them to natural gas could do this job more cheaply, more efficiently and with lower emissions, including of greenhouse gases. So increasing the gas used increases the fraction of renewables which can be included in South Africa’s electricity mix, while still meeting a given electricity security and emissions target.Will this gas be used in South Africa, or exported into the global market?It’s too early for South Africa to be counting its chickens. It takes years to develop a gas-field to the point where it is producing gas. Many things can change in that period. The Brulpadda find is at great depth, both below the sea surface and below the sea floor. It will be challenging to develop in an area notorious for high winds and heavy seas. But the likelihood is that a modest-sized gas find on the South Coast would mostly be used in South Africa. Compressing natural gas for long-distance export by sea is an expensive business. It needs major infrastructure, which South Africa currently doesn’t have. The country also doesn’t yet have a well-developed infrastructure for using gas, so the supply may initially be more than South Africa can consume. But since there’s a captive market nearby, Total – an international, for profit company that will charge a market-related price for its gas – will almost certainly first try to sell it locally, rather than incur the cost of transporting it elsewhere. The most likely first candidates will be the PetroSA gas-to-liquids plant and the Gourikwa (diesel) power station near Mossel Bay.The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act amendment, soon to be sent to the South African parliament after years of wrangling, is designed to protect national interests in this regard. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. The discovery, comes against the backdrop of rising fuel prices and an electricity utility in crisis, has raised hopes that it may be a game changer. The Conversation Africa’s Nontobeko Mtshali spoke to Robert Scholes and Rod Crompton about the significance of the find.Is this an energy “game-changer”?It’s not yet clear how big the find is. In a press release, Total said it “could be around one billion barrels of global resources, gas and condensate light oil”. To put that in perspective, South Africa’s total refinery capacity is 700 000 barrels of oil per day. The gas is present over a relatively large vertical distance (57 metres), but it’s not clear how extensive the gas-rich area is. We simply won’t know until more holes are drilled, and three-dimensional seismic surveys are completed. Gas can be converted into liquid fuels. There are only a few gas-to-liquids refineries around the world. PetroSA, South Africa’s national oil company, built one in Mossel Bay in 1989, which it still operates. It is the smallest refinery in the country.The Brulpadda find contains condensates – a kind of light crude oil – which only PetroSA’s Mossel Bay refinery can process. This means the biggest benefit will probably be to that refinery. It has a capacity of about 40 000 barrels a day, and the Brulpadda find – given its proximity – could extend its life substantially.How does this change the national energy strategy?The government’s energy policy and its Gas Utilisation Master Plan agree that South Africa could usefully increase the amount of natural gas in the mix. It wants to diversify away from coal and imported crude oil. Total unveils ‘significant’ offshore S. African gas findlast_img read more

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