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iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: The Differences Between The New Apple iPhones

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Apple AAPL -1.1%’s much heralded September 9 launch has come and gone and as expected we have two new iPhones: the ‘iPhone 6’ and the ‘iPhone 6 Plus’. Also as expected they come in two new, much larger sizes: 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches. But their differences are far more than skin deep so let’s break them down:

Design – Curves And An Aluminium Unibody

The leaks were on the money. Both new iPhones ditch the hard angles and glass backs of their predecessor, the iPhone 5S, in favour of a more rounded, unibody anodized aluminium chassis available in silver, gold or ‘space gray’. The Apple logo on the back will be in stainless steel.

One area of concern for some is the confirmation of a protruding camera (more later), but on the whole the new chassis promises a significant step forward in durability. There is also a sensible evolution with Apple moving the power button to the side to make it easier to reach (HTC take note).

Read full story here

 

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Is Aging In Place A Pipe Dream?

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Former secretary of HUD Henry Cisneros’ mom lived in the house she and her husband bought in 1945 until last month, two weeks after her 90th birthday, when she was hospitalized, and the doctor said it wouldn’t be responsible to let her go home because her disorientation and forgetfulness would likely result in another incident. Cisneros reluctantly helped her moved to a memory care facility, and the visits are wrenching. “The truth is she doesn’t want to be there; she wants to go home. She ends up crying, and I want to go out to the car and cry,” Cisneros said in his keynote speech at a conference on housing and aging yesterday.

Housing is the linchpin of our well-being, according to the AARP Foundation and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies which held the conference in conjunction with the release of a new report, Housing America’s Older Adults—Meeting the Needs of An Aging Population. The experts explored the mismatch between the nation’s housing stock and Americans’ desire to age in place at home. And they issued a warning: as the baby boomers age and the number of Americans over age 85 swells (triples!) to 20 million by 2030, “our country must face the basic fact that we are aging and we are not ready,” Cisneros said.

Cisneros’ mom, Elvira, intended to live out her days in her 1920s bungalow in the West Side neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas where Cisneros was mayor before he headed the U.S Housing and Development Agency under President Clinton (he now heads housing developer CityView). Cisneros even held her up as a model of aging in place in his 2010 book “Independent for Life: Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging America.”

The reality is that for some people, you can age in place—but only up to a point. Most Americans live in isolated detached, single family homes in suburban or rural neighborhoods without access to transportation services. “The existing housing stock is unprepared to meet the escalating need for affordability, accessibility, social connectivity and supportive services,” the report concludes. The conference speakers offered a range of solutions. The audience favorite: Age-Friendly NYC’s program that enlists doormen (through the building services union) to refer tenants to city agencies and social services if they show signs of elder abuse or cognitive decline.

Here are some ideas for the rest of us.

Pay off your mortgage. More than 70% of homeowners aged 50 to 64 are still paying off their mortgages in 2010, with an average loan-to-value ratio of 56%. And 40% of homeowners aged 65 and over are paying off their mortgages, with an average loan-to-value ratio of 45%.

Trying to get to a situation where you’re not facing mortgage payments in retirement is key, says 53-year-old Chris Hebert, acting managing director of the Joint Center. Herbert said he’s aiming to pay down his home loan in the next 10 years. If your house is paid off, you can better handle property insurance, taxes, and day to day expenses, and have a cushion to pay for health care and caregiving services.

Renovate with universal design. “Where older people live now is likely where they’ll be living,” Herbert says, noting that people are making decisions about housing they’re going to occupy later in life in their 50s and early 60s. He tried to get his 63-year-old brother-in-law who was embarking on a major home renovation project to think ahead, but he didn’t do anything to make his house accessible. Nobody in the process—the architect or builder—egged him on to do so. One thing that allowed Cisneros’ mom to stay in her house as long as she did was ramps and an accessible bathroom that were originally installed for her late husband.

The five key features for an accessible home are: a no-step entry, single floor living, wide doorways, accessible electric switches and outlets, lever-style door handles and faucets. Only 21% of houses have at least three of these features.

Talk about who will help mom. Between 2015 and 2035, the number of people over the age of 75 living alone will nearly double from 6.9 million to 13.4 million, the majority of whom will be women. And the majority of those women will have caregiving needs. About one in four older adults has a cognitive, hearing, mobility or vision difficulty. By age 85, however, more than two in three adults face at least one of these difficulties.

The family care ratio is going in the wrong direction, notes Herbert, who says he pools resources with four siblings to care for his mom, but he and his wife have only two kids to eventually call on for caregiving support. And then there are the childless who will rely on friends and extended family to help them through old age. Of the youngest baby boomers, aged 50 to 59, 16% do not have children who might take care for them in older age, the Joint Center found.

“The Joint Center is often referred to as the Joint Center for gloom and doom,” Herbert jokes. But the message he hopes people will take away is that individuals and their families need to recognize these issues and take steps now to prepare.

 

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I care about safe drinking water. Do you?

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We all know we are screwing ourselves by finding every possible way to extract more fossil fuels.  Like a good junkie, we don’t care.   We need our fix, even though we know it is killing us.Cant we get out of this denial and start going to OilAnnon meetings?

I cared enough to write my Congress Person.   Do you?  I don’t care what political affiliation you have.  Our kids deserve a decent life.

 

September 5, 2014

Dear Mr. Ulrich,

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts about the process of hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” I appreciate the time you took to write to me.

As you know, fracking involves tens of thousands of gallons of water, sand and chemicals that are injected at high pressure into underground rock formations to blast them open. Fracking often occurs near underground water sources, but the Energy Policy Act of 2005 contains an exemption for this industry in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). No other industry has a similar exemption.

This exemption should be repealed because fracking fluids are believed to contain highly toxic chemicals such as benzene, toluene, methanol and formaldehyde. These compounds, which can contaminate drinking water, are kept secret from the public as “proprietary information.” Even low concentrations of toxic chemicals can have adverse health and environmental consequences.

In the 113th Congress, I’m a cosponsor of H.R. 1921, the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act, which takes important steps in this area. This legislation repeals the oil and gas industry’s SDWA exemption; ensures that drinking water supplies are protected; requires the public disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids; and allows safe hydraulic fracturing operations to continue.

Thank you again for writing to me, and if you have any other questions or comments, let me hear from you. I value what my constituents say to me, and I always need your thoughts and benefit from your ideas.

To stay in touch, please visit my website at eshoo.house.gov, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

Most gratefully,

Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress

 

 

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10 Things Bosses Never Tell Employees, But Should

Even if you’re an exceptional boss — and here’s how to tell if you’re an exceptional boss –there’s a lot you don’t know about your employees.

There’s also a lot employees don’t know about you.

Here are a few things bosses wish they could say to their employees… but never do:

1. “I really do care whether you like me.”

I want you to like me. When I come off like a hard-ass who doesn’t care about your opinions, it’s mostly because I’m insecure or uncertain of my authority.

If I’m the owner, my business is an extension of myself. If I’m your boss, the company is at least partly an extension of myself. So I want you to like your job.

And I definitely want you to like me– whether it seems like it or not.

2. “I don’t think I know everything.”

A few people stepped in, without being asked, and made a huge difference in my professional life. I will always be grateful to them.

So I don’t offer you advice because I think I’m all knowing or all-powerful. I see something special in you, and I’m repaying the debt I owe to the people who helped me.

3. “I like when you’re having fun.”

You don’t have to lower your voice and pretend to be working really hard when I walk by. I know it’s possible to perform at a high level and have a little fun at the same time. Before I started acting all serious, I used to work that way, too.

When you enjoy what you do it makes me feel a little better about our company and about myself.

I get to feel like I’m part of something more than just a business.

4. “I really would like to pay you more.”

I would love to be the employer of choice in our area. But I can’t, mostly due to financial constraints. And if I own the business, the financial risk I’m taking deserves a reasonable return. (If I go out of business tomorrow, you lose your job. That’s terrible, I know. But I lose my business, my investment, my credit, my house… I might loseeverything.)

Someday, if you become a boss – or especially if you start your own business – I promise you’ll understand.

5. “I hope you work here forever.”

Job-hopping may be a fact of business life, but as a boss it’s a fact of business life I hate. I don’t see you as a disposable part. When you leave, it hurts. A part of me feels like I’ve failed.

I want to run the kind of business people hope to retire from.

6. “We sell what we can sell.”

I know you despise filling certain types of orders or doing certain types of work. It’s aggravating, it makes you fall behind, it makes it tough to hit your targets and goals… it’s a pain. You wish we would sell other work.

Unfortunately (from your point of view at least) sometimes the jobs that takes the most time are actually the most profitable for our company. And even if they aren’t that profitable, sometimes the least desirable work (from your point of view) is the only work we can sell.

And sometimes we take terrible jobs because it’s the only way to keep the lights on.

7. “I would love to turn you loose.”

I know you can’t stand to be micromanaged. And that’s good, because I hate to micromanage. But freedom is earned, not given. Show me you can fly on your own and I’ll gladly focus on something or someone else.

In fact, if you feel I’m micromanaging you, tell me. Say, “I can tell you don’t quite trust me to handle this well. I understand, so I’m going to prove to you that you can trust me.”

Pull that off and not only will I get off your back… I’ll respect you even more.

8. “I do notice when others don’t pull their weight.”

I’m not blind. But I won’t discipline anyone in front of you. Every employee, no matter how poorly they perform, has the right to confidentiality and privacy.

And sometimes I won’t discipline those people at all, because occasionally more is going on than you know. You wouldn’t realize that, though, because oftentimes…

9. “There are some things I just can’t tell you.”

Even though I would love to, and even though you and I have become friends. Still, I can’t. Especially if it regards other employees.

10. “I worry — about everything.”

I worry about sales. I worry about costs. I worry about facilities and employees and vendors and customers and… you name it, I worry about it.

So occasionally I’m snappy. Occasionally I’m distracted. Occasionally I’m tense and irritable and short-tempered. It’s not your fault. I’m just worried.

More than anything, I’m worried about whether I can fulfill the trust you place in me as your boss.

Now it’s your turn: What do you wish you could tell your employees?

 

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How to Handle Tough Market Conditions For Your Business Survival? Learn The Basic Strategies

Every business has to undergo some kind of good and hard times. If a business develops proper strategies, uses the right tools and knows the tricks of making the most out of favourable conditions, it can go through the tough times in a relatively easier way. The article gives you an in-depth view of business strategies which can help you successfully through the economic contractions.

Before getting into the business world, entrepreneurs need making up their minds that they are likely to come across different situations both – favourable and unfavourable and those, who know the skills of going through each step successfully, become the spearheads.

Economic fluctuation is not just the dilemma, the under-developed countries; rather every state, region or country undergoes some kind of economic changes. As economy of an area or country sees an expansion, the conditions are considered favourable for businesses and in-case of a contraction, the situation gets reversed.

Usually, the entrepreneurs surviving successfully through tough times are those, who develop proper business plans and strategies. Their proper groundwork not only helps them getting through the economic contractions successfully but they also make the most out of good market conditions.

Let’s get into some of the useful online business strategies which may help you become one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Keep Exploring

The more you explore, the more you learn, knowledge has no limit. Like every other department of your company, you need to allocate a special team that could keep a track of the latest trends, methods, market conditions and other similar stuff. Even you can encourage the new ideas, innovations and news from every department. With the latest technological developments and excessive internet usage, the task of exploring has become much easier. Go for every source, to gather knowledge, about the business, market, consumers, technologies, buying behaviours and much more. The purpose of having both –personal experience by visiting market in person and exploring others’ work on the internet is to broaden your vision because you might find differing results for the same thing.

Stay Focused

No matter, how much you go farther in your assessments, do not ever lose focus because it may make you lost. Exploring things while keeping a focus on your core business strategies and goals helps you learn useful tactics.

Play Smarter

Do not ever underestimate your competitors. You need to do a smart work by staying up-to-date with present market conditions, customers’ buying behaviours, new technologies, the good tactics your competitors are using to go through the tough situations and much more. Instead of remaining trapped into multiple technologies (both old and new), pick up the one that replaces other in the best possible ways. For instance one of the online business tools, live chat software has been proved highly helpful. It is evident form the different market surveys and results that the tool has diminished the importance of other customer service and support channels like email and telephone. By using these tools, you would not only make your tasks simpler and faster but you would also be able to cut down the overheads to a greater extent.

Simplify Your Business Practices

Simplifying never means that you should cut down some major practices but to refine your tasks. Let us suppose if you want to catch international customers, using telephone or emails would not be a feasible option, because the former source charges huge amount whereas using the latter is a time taking option. For each support channel, you need preparing a separate team. However, if you use live chat support, you can reduce the expenses in various ways. Incorporating this channel into your e-commerce website is much easier and economical. It invests you a minor or no amount to catch overseas customers. Additionally, the online channel works faster than any other means of communication. No matter how far a particular customer is located, you can catch up every potential client at your earliest.

Make the Most of New Opportunities

Making the most during favourable conditions helps you go through the tough times. Do not lose the golden opportunities of making sales, earning repute and making a stronger customer base. Usually, good economic conditions and special occasions help you boost your sales and online clientèle.

Set Your Priorities

Every business may have its own preferences but looking at the present-day market scenario all across the globe, the best option is to prioritize your customer service because this serves to be the lifeline of a successful online business.

By adopting the right strategies, picking up the appropriate business tools and making the most out of golden opportunities, you can keep flourishing your online company in all kinds of market situations.

 

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The wasteful fraud of sorting for youth meritocracy

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by Seth Godin -

“Sorry, you didn’t make the team. We did the cuts today.”

“We did play auditions all day yesterday, and so many people turned out, there just wasn’t a role for you. We picked people who were more talented.”

“You’re on the bench until your skills improve. We want to win.”

Ask the well-meaning coaches and teachers running the tryouts and choosing who gets to play, ask them who gets on stage and who gets fast tracked, and they’ll explain that life is a meritocracy, and it’s essential to teach kids that they’re about to enter a world where people get picked based on performance.

Or, they might point out that their job is to win, to put on a great show, to entertain the parents with the best performance they can create.

This, all of this, is sort of dangerous, unhelpful and nonsensical.

As millions head back for another year of school, I’m hoping that parents (and students) can call this out.

When you’re six years old and you try out for the hockey team, only two things are going to get you picked ahead of the others: either you’re older (it’s true, check this out) or you were born with size or speed or some other advantage that wasn’t your choice.

And the junior high musical? It’s pretty clear that kids are chosen based on appearance or natural singing talent, two things that weren’t up to them.

Soccer and football exist in school not because there’s a trophy shortage, not because the school benefits from winning. They exist, I think, to create a learning experience. But when we bench people because they’re not naturally good, what’s the lesson?

If you get ahead for years and years because you got dealt good cards, it’s not particularly likely that you will learn that in the real world, achievement is based as much on attitude and effort as it is on natural advantages. In the real world, Nobel prizes and Broadway roles and the senior VP job go to people who have figured out how to care, how to show up, how to be open to new experiences. Our culture is built around connection and charisma and learning and the ability to not quit in precisely the right moments.

But that’s not easy to sort for in school, so we take a shortcut and resort to trivial measures instead.

What if we celebrated the students who regularly try the hardest, help each other the most and lead? We if we fast tracked those students, and made it clear to anyone else willing to adopt those attitudes that they could be celebrated too?

What if you got cast, tracked or made the cut because you were resilient, hard working and willing to set yourself up for a cycle of continuous improvement? Isn’t that more important than rewarding the kid who never passes but still scores a lot of goals?

Before you feature a trumpet prodigy at the jazz band concert, perhaps you could feature the kid who just won’t quit. No need to tell him he’s a great trumpet player–the fact is, none of these kids are Maynard Ferguson–just tell him the truth. Tell him that every single person who has made a career of playing the trumpet (every single one of them) did it with effort and passion, not with lips that naturally vibrate.

We’re not spending nearly enough time asking each other: What is School For?

Since I first published Stop Stealing Dreams to the web, it’s been shared millions of times. My hope is that as we go back to school, you’ll forward this video and this manifesto (screen edition) to every parent and teacher you know. (Here’s a printable edition if you want to print it out and hand copies out).

Let’s talk about school and figure out what we’re trying to create.

 

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The NFL’s Uneven History Of Punishing Domestic Violence

The elevator doors open and he drops her. She falls to her knees, and then to the floor, but her feet prevent the doors from closing. The man is holding the woman’s purse as he tries to move her unconscious body out of the way using his feet, but she won’t budge. He tries picking her up again, but unconscious bodies can be heavy, even for a 5-foot-8, 208-pound running back in the National Football League. Then the video ends.

That video, showing the aftermath of an altercation between Ray Rice and his then-girlfriend (now wife), Janay Palmer, made the rounds this NFL offseason as if it were a Zapruder film. Prompted by the video and an arrest, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Rice, a star running back for the Baltimore Ravens, for two games, citing personal interviews with Rice and Palmer and the league’s personal conduct policy.

But the punishment felt incommensurate with the crime. “It’s a joke, and a bad one,” ESPN columnist Jane McManus wrote. How was it possible that Rice was given two games, many exclaimed, when players had beensuspended six games for cheating on a test for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) and entire seasons for repeatedly smoking marijuana?

“We can’t just make up the discipline,” Goodell said at a press conference after issuing Rice’s suspension. “It has to be consistent with other cases and it was consistent with other cases.”

On Thursday, Goodell announced a new discipline policy. In a letter to all 32 team owners obtained by ESPN, Goodell wrote that the league fell short in its treatment of the Rice case. “Effective immediately, violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to a suspension without pay of six games for a first offense, with consideration given to mitigating factors, as well as a longer suspension when circumstances warrant.” (This will not affect Rice’s current suspension.) A second offense will result in a ban from the league, with the opportunity to apply for reinstatement after one year.

A six-game suspension, according to data collected by FiveThirtyEight, would be four times what the average suspension has been for domestic violence and an unprecedented consequence for a first offense of any kind. The ban from the league after a repeat offense would be the harshest punishment for all second-time offenders.

Following the Rice incident, I went looking for every NFL suspension1 issued in the league’s 94-year history. I wanted to understand how violations like Rice’s, the ones unrelated to steroid or substance abuse, were determined. If domestic abuse warranted two games, what kinds of conduct violations warranted five games? Eight games? An entire season? I assumed that someone — if not the governing body itself — must keep track of every player suspended, why he was suspended, and the length of the suspension. I was wrong.

When I contacted the NFL, a spokeswoman, Darlene Capiro, responded by email, “We do not have a comprehensive list.” Several of my colleagues at ESPN and Grantland who report on the NFL were unaware of any complete data set. The ESPN Stats & Information group also did not have this information in its entirety, only selected incidents. A spokesman for the NFL Players Association, George Atallah, said the union had at least some of the data but did not provide it after repeated requests.

And so I cobbled it together myself, with the help of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s NFL arrests database, a Wikipedia list dating back to 1947, and theSpotrac suspension tracker.2 I found 263 incidents in that process, and verified suspensions using news reports,3 while making note of the reason for the suspension and the number of games the player ultimately missed.4 The data isn’t perfect, but it’s a good start.

Once I’d categorized the offenses and the corresponding games missed, I had hard evidence of what many already suspected: The NFL’s punishment of personal conduct violations has been inconsistent and on average less harsh than its punishment of drug offenses.

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Note that the tallest peaks occur in the two charts on PEDs; more than 90 percent of first-time offenders receive a suspension of four games and 100 percent of repeat offenders receive a suspension of eight games. There’s little question about the number of games a player will be forced to miss for using steroids because the length of the suspension is specifically outlined in league policy.

Substance abuse violations are not as consistently punished as PED violations, but 68 percent of first-time offenders receive four games and almost 75 percent of second-time offenders receive one year, per league policy.5

Contrast that with the greater variation in the length of suspensions for personal conduct violations. This catchall category includes everything from murder to unsanctioned in-game violence to embarrassing the league on social media.

Since 2002 (the first instance I could find), 38 percent of conduct violators received a one-game suspension. In this group are Larry Johnson, who spit his drink in a woman’s face, and Ricky Manning, Jr., who assaulted a man outside a Denny’s restaurant. Another 19 percent of players received two games, among them Jeremy Bridges, who pointed a gun at a stripper. Marshawn Lynch was among the 21 percent of players to receive a three-game suspension — after he was arrested for having a gun in his car. Even fewer players — 13 percent — received four games, and their cases ranged fromsexual assault to multiple DUI arrests. The longest suspension went to Adam “Pacman” Jones, who was suspended 20 games (the entire 2007 season and the first four games of 2008) for numerous arrests and altercations with the police.

The difference in the NFL’s treatment of drug and conduct violations is a result of the league’s collective bargaining agreement. The CBA does not mention the Personal Conduct Policy, but does explicitly refer to the Policy and Program For Substances of Abuse. The disparity is evident even when you compare the two documents. The one covering drugs is 32 pages. The other, three.

The league’s new regulations are meant to bridge that gap. For years, there has been clear guidance on how to handle drug offenses but no prescription for violent, off-field offenses. Now there will be, and if a player commits a second act of violence, it “will result in banishment from the NFL.” An appeals process is available, but the player must wait a year.

There were only four previous lifetime bans in my database — three were for repeated substance abuse, one was for gambling.6 For comparison, Donte Stallworth, who pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter in 2009, was out of the league for a year.

The previous inconsistency in punishment of domestic violence became clear when I looked at the 53 personal conduct violations that the league has issued since 2002. The average number of games suspended for all personal conduct violations was 3.0. For the 15 cases of domestic violence that had been punished under the old, nonspecific guidelines, the average number of games suspended was 1.5.

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The baseline suspension is now six games, assuming Goodell doesn’t reduce it because of “mitigating factors.” That means any domestic violence suspension going forward will double the previous record for any domestic violence punishment. The NFL will now take it more seriously when a player beats a woman than when he’s caught smoking a joint.

Editor’s note: This post originally featured a searchable table of NFL suspensions. We’ve removed it while we work to correct errors in some of the entries.

FOOTNOTES

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