Japan scientists to study source of high heat on asteroid

first_imgTOKYO (AP) — Japanese space experts say they will examine soil samples brought back from a distant asteroid in an attempt to find the source of heat that altered the celestial body, in their search for clues to the origin of the solar system and life on Earth. Scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency say they have made a preliminary examination of 5.4 grams (0.19 ounce) of soil which the Hayabusa2 spacecraft brought back in December from the asteroid Ryugu, more than 300 million kilometers (190 million miles) from Earth. The scientists say the asteroid was exposed billions of years ago to extremely high temperatures, possibly caused by an internal source of heat or planetary collisions rather than heat from the sun.last_img read more

Auditor recommends changes in Vermont’s VEGI tax incentive program

first_imgVermont Employment Incentive Growth Program AuditJune 12, 2008 State Auditor Tom Salmon Reviews First Year of the “Vermont Employment Growth Incentive” Program Says New Policies Could Reduce Excessive Incentive Awards  MONTPELIER – A prominent new State economic development assistance program is in general compliance with State law, says State Auditor Tom Salmon, but several policy changes to the program could save the State millions. For the full report, go to www.auditor.vermont.gov(link is external) and click on “Audits and Reports” and then click on “Special Audits.” The Legislature asked the Auditor to review the first year of the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive program – VEGI, or the “Veggie” program as it’s sometimes called – which began in January 2007.The Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC) authorized $9.7 million in incentives to 13 companies in 2007. Incentive authorizations ranged from a low of $71,302 to a high of $1.9 million; the average was about $750,000. If the companies meet their job creation, payroll and investment targets for the previous calendar, they receive a cash award from the Dept. of Taxes that is paid out in installments over 5 years. The 13 companies were projected, over the next 6 years, to create 1,310 qualifying jobs, $60 million in total new qualifying payroll, and to make $116 million worth of new capital investments.The report found the program in substantial compliance with rules and regulations, but noted that policies affecting how awards are calculated may result in the State subsidizing some economic activity that would normally occur at a company.”It’s not a good use of scarce State funds to subsidize growth that is likely to happen anyway,” Salmon added. The Auditor is recommending that the Council change its policy so that it can use a company’s own growth rate – rather than the “industry sector” growth rate which includes similar companies – in its incentive award calculations. “The current approach to evaluating a proposed development is to exclude the normal business growth of a company from the award calculations because the purpose of the program is to encourage economic activity that is above and beyond the growth pattern in an industry sector,” Salmon said.Salmon noted that using the “industry sector” growth rate, instead of a company’s own historical growth rate in the calculations, is an approach that has been approved by the Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Committee. “However, the ‘industry sector’ approach is costing us money,” he said. Salmon said, “We could save money by doing more to ensure we are subsidizing only ‘stretch goals’ – the jobs and investments that are above a company’s normal growth trends.””We reviewed the applications of two companies with employment history in Vermont and found in both cases that the company’s particular growth rate was much higher than the industry sector growth rate,” Salmon said. “Using the industry growth rate, a lot of the company’s typical expected growth was included in the award calculations,” he noted, “and new payroll is the key factor in determining the total incentive amount.” “In one company, the payroll to be subsidized over the award period was a total of $819,148 using the industry growth rate, but only $56,138 using the applicant’s own growth rate,” he said.In another award, the projected payroll that qualified for an incentive over the award period was a total of $12 million using the industry average growth rate, but just $1.5 million using the company’s own growth rate,” Salmon said. Since incentives are largely based on a project’s payroll that is above the background growth rate, the choice of growth rates is important. The Auditor estimated that if historical growth rates were used in these two applications, the incentive authorizations could have been reduced by approximately $1.2 million. “There seems to be strong evidence that the State is paying for significant activity that probably would have happened anyway based on a company’s history; it’s just being masked by using a combined industry sector growth rate,” Salmon noted. “This is a policy that should be reviewed by the Joint Fiscal Committee,” he said. The report also found that the State’s consultants operating the cost-benefit model for the Council used an outdated industry classification code in calculating one company’s award. Using the wrong code resulted in employing a 1.6 percent growth rate in the award calculations, rather than the correct industry classification code which had a growth rate of 4.2 percent. The effect of this error was to award $484,000 in additional incentives over what would have been awarded had the correct industry code been used. “The Council has declined to address this error, but it is an honest mistake that should be corrected,” Salmon said. “The Council should quickly approve a policy which allows it to revise awards based on inadvertent errors,” he urged.Auditors also found that: one company had begun making project investments before final approval by the Economic Progress Council, contrary to guidelines;a checklist to guide the review of information submitted by a company about why incentives are necessary is not being used by VEPC staff;of three companies reviewed that said they had to choose between Vermont and out-of-state locations offering assistance, only one provided required contact information on the agency offering incentives, making it extremely difficult to verify “but for” statements of the two other applicants; there is no requirement for a company to maintain pay at 160 percent of the minimum wage if the minimum wage increases beyond the hiring year; in one case, it was not evident that the individuals signing an application were authorized to sign on behalf of the company; and the $10 million annual cap on incentive awards and the 80 percent ratio applied to the preliminary fiscal benefit amount are important safeguards for prudent fiscal management. Salmon said the Employment Growth Incentive program appeared to be much simpler to administer than a previous tax credit incentive program, and focuses more directly on supporting the creation of good-paying jobs with benefits. However, Salmon noted that a critical decision to award incentives is difficult to audit. “The nine volunteer Council members must, to the best of their judgment, vote on whether or not a proposed project would likely happen without incentives,” Salmon said. “If they determine that a project is likely to occur without the incentive award, the company’s application is denied. It’s a difficult decision to make,” he noted. Salmon added that the decision becomes more important considering that the awards are not based on a company’s financial need and that companies are not required to furnish financial statements, business plans or tax returns with applications. Salmon said the report also recommends that the Council get an assessment from an independent source to help members address the question of whether or not projects might proceed without State support. “It’s somewhat unfair to ask the staff that advertises the program and encourages companies to apply to also provide an impartial evaluation of the company’s application,” Salmon noted.last_img read more

NAFCU stands by CU at ADA hearing in Virginia

first_img continue reading » NAFCU last week attended a hearing on a defendant credit union’s motion to dismiss an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) case. NAFCU remains active on ADA, engaging with various stakeholders on this issue and working with credit unions that are facing litigation.NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt and Vice President of Regulatory Compliance Brandy Bruyere attended the hearing, as well as representatives from the Maryland-D.C. Credit Union Association.The judge, T.S. Ellis III in the Eastern District Court of Virginia, Alexandria Division, heard arguments on issues such as the fact that the plaintiff is not a member or eligible to join the sued credit union and whether the plaintiff has any standing in this case. 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Compliance: NCUA outlines supervisory priorities for 2019

first_imgNCUA outlined its primary areas of supervisory focus in its first Letter to Credit Unions (19-CU-01) of 2019. The letter also contains information on full implementation of an extended exam cycle in 2019.Agency examiners will continue using the streamlined small credit union exam program procedures for most credit unions that have assets under $50 million.For all other credit unions, examiners will conduct risk-focused examinations, concentrating on the areas of highest risk, new products and services, and compliance with federal regulations.In 2019, NCUA examiners will have increased flexibility to conduct suitable examination work offsite. In the agency’s Flexible Examination Program (FLEX) pilot, examiners were able to conduct as much as 35% of examination time offsite, according to NCUA. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

How to keep flu season from destroying your body and your checking account

first_img 72SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details Ahh, flu season. It’s almost over, but cross your fingers if you haven’t experienced “the next morning” yet. You go to bed feeling great and you wake up feeling like you took a charge from LeBron. Then you spend the next week chuggin’ Nyquil like it’s going out of style. Sometimes that is enough, but often, the remedy isn’t that easy (or cheap). After a visit to the doctor and a sack of medicine from the pharmacy, your wallet really can take a hit. If you’re not prepared for cold and flu season, here a few things you can do to keep your body and your finances in good shape…Always wash your hands: When you’re in public, go ahead and assume that everyone you see is sick and they’ve all touched everything. Wash your hands thoroughly when you have the opportunity, and have some hand-sanitizer handy when you’re on the go. Also, check out the 24-hour germ barrier known as Nano Pure.Give your immune system a boost: Your body fights hard to keep you healthy, but sometimes you need to give it a little extra help. It’s a great idea to up your intake of Vitamin C and Zinc, and make sure your diet includes substantial amounts of protein as well. Supplements like Emergen-C and Airborne are also great products to have on hand this time of year.Get a shot: Nobody likes getting shots, but having the flu is awful. Flu shots are often free with your health insurance or through your work, but if these aren’t options, you can get one at your local pharmacy for anywhere from $20 to $40, which is a small price to pay to not feel like a bag of garbage.last_img read more

Throwing rocks at the Google bus

first_img“Plants grow, people grow, even whole forests, jungles and coral reefs grow – but eventually they stop. This doesn’t mean they’re dead. They’ve simply reached a level of maturity where health is no longer about getting bigger but about sustaining vitality. There may be a turnover of cells, organisms, and even entire species. But the whole system learns to maintain itself over time, without the obligation to grow. Companies deserve to work this way as well.”That is an excerpt from his book, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff.  The title of his book refers to a protest in San Francisco against the “Google Machine” and became a symbol of what is wrong with Silicon Valley – a complete obsession with growth and profit. When it debuted on the stock market, Google became Wall Street’s darling. Its market capitalization increased by $27.2 billion – giving it a market cap bigger than Ford and GM on the first day of trading. But, that’s about as big as you can get, so now what? Shareholders want more – they demand constant growth and return on their investment, which is impossible. Google was pretty much forced into becoming Alphabet, Inc. in 2015, a conglomerate. Google had no room to grow. They are no longer a technology company. Now they buy and sell other companies.There is an obsession with growth in America. As if it’s the only sure path to success. Credit unions are continuing to merge in record numbers for the sake of growth. But to what end?This is from a white paper published in 2008 that predicted the mega mergers to come: Credit unions are selecting mergers as a survival and growth strategy rather than relying on the often too slow growth capabilities fueled only by retained earnings. Merging credit unions can often grow exponentially. The best strategic reasons to merge are well known: Asset and member acquisition Stronger branch and infrastructure systems Product and services portfolio growth Creation of proactive market share strategies All of the above elements are needed due to the relentless competition from larger, well-capitalized financial institutions. I don’t know about you but when I read this it sounds absurd. And I know that CUSO power user Linda Bodie, Chief + Innovator of $32 million Element Credit Union would agree. She uses seven different CUSOs to get that bullet list (above). And as she said in an interview with us “I can offer a lot more products, services and solutions even though I’m small. There’s no reason to sit back and not do something because of your size. Size doesn’t matter…not when you have the power of a cooperative system.”Rushkoff goes on to say “What you want to do is optimize the economy for the velocity of money for transactions rather than optimizing it for the extraction from the system and its cold storage in share price. We need to lead by example. Winco is an employee owned cooperative. They are a major competitor to the behemoth Walmart. Every market where they compete head to head Winco is winning and Walmart is losing. Winco has better employees, they are owners and they care.  Winco does not extract value from their communities, they contribute to it. If you don’t put your employees on welfare, towns do better, and you have better circulation of money. As companies collapse we’ll start to see a shift. As people who have no way of finding jobs begin to develop local businesses and work together we will see it change.”Shameless plug: Thanks to the generous support of PSCU we are excited to have Douglas Rushkoff speak at the 2019 NACUSO Network Conference in San Diego, April 14th – 17th. He will be speaking on Team Human, the title of his latest book. Guy Messick has created a new session called “Solving Problems With CUSOs” which hopes to bring those leaders with a cooperative heart and a shrewd business mind together with credit union leaders looking for solutions to their challenges, to collaboratively help solve the problems that exist and walk away with opportunities for continued organic, healthy growth. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Denise Wymore Denise started her credit union career over 30 years ago as a Teller for Pacific NW Federal Credit Union in Portland, Oregon. She moved up and around the org. chart … Web: www.nacuso.org Detailslast_img read more

Cloud service boom will continue: Oracle

first_imgIn general, I think the cloud boom will continue. Customers will be on all different formats of the cloud, such as a public cloud, a dedicated region or a hybrid.One prediction is that by 2022, about 80 percent of businesses will be on the cloud in some form or another, including businesses in the Asia-Pacific and Indonesia. Whether their digitalization journey is with Oracle or not, I believe they will benefit from the disruption of digitalization. What industries have yet to adopt to cloud and what do you think is the challenge?There will be people in the economic strata who might not be able to reap the benefits of cloud technology. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would love to have their own retail platform or put their supply chain information to the cloud. This means they have to digitalize but it invokes a cost.However, if SMEs do want to modernize, the cloud is still a better medium today compared to 10 years back when the digitalizing process was slower and more difficult.Today, the cost of digitalization has been reduced by one-fourth of what people would have to spend back then. But most importantly, the implementation time is faster.  How does Oracle plan to compete with other cloud service providers in Indonesia?We have been in the business for the last 40 years, so we understand the enterprise better than our competitors.Indonesia is a big market and it is one of the heavily invested markets for Oracle. Our footprint is also big here and right now our strategy is to introduce the Dedicated Region [email protected] allows customers to bring cloud into their own infrastructure, expanding cloud adaptation opportunities for industries whose data is critical and highly regulated, such as banking, financial services, health care and the government.This is where Oracle finds a sweet spot because sometimes it is just the fundamentals of economics to not put some of that data outside of the customers’ premises or to the public cloud.It is also developed with second-generation cloud services, ensuring a high level of data security.Most importantly our entire architecture uses second-generation cloud services and is powered entirely by artificial intelligence, ensuring a high level of data security.What is Oracle’s plan on market expansion in Asia and how much investment are you going to commit in the region?Last year, we planned to add 20 new data centers, which means we would have 36 data centers available by the end of this year. The data centers will be available in new countries and dual regions in India, Japan and South Korea, among other places. With this expansion, we will be one of the largest public cloud providers globally, setting us apart from our competitors.We recently opened our second data center in India, and we expect to launch a new data center in Singapore. However, if our dedicated cloud region clients go up, then the number of public data centers is irrelevant because customers can just start to put their data in their own data center.As for investments, we have a solid business model and our investments have remained the same even in these trying times. We will continue our trajectory to invest in our people and continue building our business.Topics : The Jakarta Post’s Eisya A. Eloksari interviewed Oracle ASEAN regional managing director Cherian Varghese on July 9 to learn more about the company’s latest developments and the trajectory of cloud adaptation in the region. Question: What is Oracle’s view on the cloud market in Southeast Asia and Indonesia in particular?Answer: It is bullish with a quarter-to-quarter growth across the industry as customers are moving extremely fast on cloud adoption.Now people are also tapping into cloud technology because the pandemic has prevented us from engaging with customers directly and this prompted an era in which people can accentuate their businesses digitalization.  The government’s enforcement of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) to contain COVID-19 transmission has led to a surge in demand for digital services among Indonesians, including in e-commerce, education and cloud services.Indonesia’s digital economy is also on track to dominate Southeast Asia as its market value is projected to triple to US$130 billion by 2025 from $40 billion in 2019, according to the latest e-Conomy Southeast Asia study.Meanwhile, American technology company Oracle recently announced the launch of its newest cloud service product, Dedicated Region [email protected] The product allows users to bring the company’s public cloud services into the customer’s on-premises data center, which reduces latency and keeps data intact.last_img read more

Joyner gem snapped up by NSW buyers for $950,000

first_imgThe home at 20 McIllwraith Rd, Joyner, sold for $950,000.INTERSTATE buyers have snapped up a Joyner property for $350,000 above the suburb median.Belle Property Cashmere estate agent Anna Lobley said about 60 groups viewed the 20 McIllwraith Rd home at open inspections and the vendors received six written offers before selling at $950,000. Outside is a pool surrounded by a deck.The agent said the market was performing strongly in Joyner, but there was a shortage of certain stock.“There’s a shortage of properties that don’t need a lot of work and have good flow,” she said.“They also need to have good, usable land.”Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 10:02Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -10:02 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p270p270p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenJune, 2018: Liz Tilley talks prestige property10:02 The kitchen is sleek and modern.According to CoreLogic data the suburb’s median house sale price is $600,000.More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019“The home is in a really sought-after part of Joyner, it’s a Metricon home with a great layout, and you can walk in with nothing more to do,” Ms Lobley said.“There’s a huge shed on the property that was so amazing – it was a tradie’s heaven.”center_img There is open-plan living.Ms Lobley said the buyers were from NSW and saw the home online.“They loved it from the moments they saw it online, and felt the same when they walked through it in person,” she said.last_img read more

Mercy-killing plan’s net will widen – campaigner

first_imgNZ Herald 28 June 2012Permitting mercy-killing of people with terminal illnesses would inevitably lead to the killing of newborns with disabilities and the elderly, an anti-euthanasia campaigner says. The head of the Canada-based Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Alex Schadenberg, will speak in Auckland on Saturday at a conference organised by the Euthanasia Debate group. He arrives as Labour MP Maryan Street prepares to put her assisted-suicide bill in the ballot for private members’ bills. “It allows people who have a terminal illness or who are suffering from an irrecoverable condition to determine how and when they wish to die,” she said. “It’s not just for terminal illness. It is also for those who have a condition where their quality of life is so diminished they don’t want to live any longer.” In the Netherlands, doctors are permitted, under strict conditions and at a patient’s request, to end the person’s life or assist their suicide.….The Netherlands physicians federation says non-medical factors such as “loss of function, loneliness and loss of autonomy” can be part of the evaluation of suffering, and that the law can apply to patients with psychiatric conditions or dementia. Dutch paediatricians writing in a leading US medical journal in 2005 described the legal protocol under which euthanasia of newborns, typically those with severe forms of spina bifida, can be permitted. “When both the parents and the physicians are convinced that there is an extremely poor prognosis, they may concur that death would be more humane than continued life.”http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10815895last_img read more

DepEd-Sagay tops nationwide learner information tagging

first_imgLabangco said despite the low internet connectivity in the city, the teachers have found a way to encode the required data in the LIS, and they also did their best to contact the parents, guardians and learners through different online platforms of enrollment. “I provided constant technical assistance to the public schools’ district supervisors, school heads, advisers, and most especially to the information and communications technology coordinators,” she added. If a previous class adviser failed to contact and administer the LESF of the incoming Grade 7 and Grade 11 learners, the parents or guardians shall initiate contact with the former adviser of the learner. “That’s the secret of our accomplishment,” she stressed. The procedure requires all Grades 6 and 10 class advisers of the school year 2019-2020 to initiate contact with their former advisory class and facilitate the administration of LESF. These included the Facebook Messenger application, e-mail, text message, phone call, video call, and online enrollment link. Others included in the top 10, or also “almost done” are the schools’ divisions of Surigao del Norte, Guimaras, Siargao, Butuan City, Southern Leyte, Bayawan City Isabela Province, Batangas, and Baybay City. If the parents or guardians submitted LESF to the prospective Junior High School for Grade 7 and Senior High School for Grade 11, school administrators of these schools shall likewise initiate contact with the previous adviser of the learner and coordinate the administration of LESF, based on DepEd Memorandum DM-PHRODFO-2020-00192 issued by Undersecretary Jesus Mateo. (With a report from PNA/PN)center_img BACOLOD City – The Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division of Sagay City in this province topped the nationwide ranking of the Learner Information System (LIS) Learner Enrollment and Survey Form (LESF) Tagging ahead of school year 2020-2021. DepEd-Sagay City garnered an average score of 89.8 percent to rank number one and be considered “almost done”, based on the LIS LESF Progress Updating Report on the accomplishments of all schools divisions as of the third week of July.Engr. Brenda Labangco, planning officer of DepEd-Sagay City, said on July 30 such achievement can be credited to the cooperation of the teachers themselves. The information they collect through the LESF are then encoded to the LIS. This includes class advisers who have learners intending to enroll in another school. This teacher of the Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division of Sagay City, Negros Occidental enroll learners through phone and online platforms as part of the 2020 Oplan Balik Eskwela last June. The DepEd-Sagay City topped the nationwide ranking of the Learner Information System Learner Enrollment and Survey Form Tagging ahead of school year 2020-2021. DEPED TAYO SAGAY CITY FB Last month, the DepEd deployed the LESF module in the LIS to enable teachers to encode collected learners’ data. Labangco also acknowledged the support of Schools Division superintendent Arlene Bermejo in motivating the schools in expediting the encoding of learners’ information.last_img read more