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A woman works on a computer while her male coworker drinks coffee.

This woman better keep working while her male coworker takes a break if she wants to make up for the wages she’s losing by earning less than him. (Photo: KieferPix/Shutterstock)

It’s frustrating: I’ve been hearing since I was a little girl how women make less money than men for the same work. I figured that would change by the time I was an adult — but that stat hasn’t budged much. When I was 16, women earned 72 cents to a man’s dollar. My 40th birthday is just a few months off, and current estimates show that women make 78 cents to a man’s buck. (Both numbers are for women who work full-time, year-round jobs.) The forecast for the future is similarly cloudy.

It’s not because women don’t ask for the money we deserve; we do, and we don’t get it as often as men do shows this study by the Cass Business School in London. It’s not because women are less well educated, put less time in at work, or opt for lower-paying jobs overall, all ideas that have been debunked by studies in the past couple of years.

In fact, it has been noted that when women move into a field, the pay rate for that type of job goes down, according to a study that controlled for education, work experience, skills, race and geography. For example, when women entered biology and medicine, all biologists’ and doctors’ pay went down. Computer coding used to be dominated by women and it paid poorly, but now that it’s dominated by men, it pays well. There are plenty of examples like this that point to pure gender discrimination — work must be easier and is less skilled if women do it — as the reason women are paid less.

“It’s not that women are always picking lesser things in terms of skill and importance,” Paula England, a sociologist at NYU told the New York Times. “It’s just that the employers are deciding to pay them less.”

But wait, it (doesn’t) get better

On top of earning lower salaries, according to a new report by the World Economic Forum, women actually work more — to the tune of about 50 minutes more per day, or a whopping 39 more days per year. That’s because women do so much more domestic labor than men, in addition to working outside the home.

A graphic from the World Economic Forum showing that men work a total of 7 hours and 47 minutes a day, with one hour dedicated to domestic chores; for women the total working time per day is 8 hours and 47 minutes with 4 hours of domestic work. Men spend more time working outside the home, but worldwide, they don’t pull their weight when it comes to domestic chores, which tends to be both the drudge work and is unpaid. (Photo: Global Gender Gap Index/World Economic Forum)

The gender gap report looked at all aspects of life and estimated it will be 170 years before women reach gender equality in economic opportunity and political empowerment. That’s a long time.

What can women do about it?

Women in Iceland took their frustration over the pay gap to the streets. Earlier this week, working women there walked off the job at 2:38 in the afternoon to protest income disparity. Even though that country has the smallest pay gap of any in the world, women there still earn 14 to 18 percent less than men. That means, on an average eight-hour work day, women are working for free after 2:38 p.m. — so they quit for the day at that time to make a point.

Iceland’s women have a long and successful history of fighting for women’s equality in that country. On Oct. 24, 1975, 90 percent of Iceland’s women went on strike during the first Women’s Day Off. They refused to work at paid jobs, do housework or look after kids that day. Some children were taken to work by men, while others stayed home, and stores were bought out of easy-to-prepare foods like sausages. Men called it the Long Friday. Meanwhile, the women gathered in public squares to listen to speeches, sing and enjoy the sunshine. (It was, apparently, a beautiful day.) More than 25,000 women showed up that day in Reykjavik’s Downtown Square, which is significant for a country that had a population of only 220,000 at the time.

Just five years after Women’s Day Out, the country elected its first female president, who held office for 16 years. Today, Iceland has the highest female participation in the labor market (88 percent), and 44 percent of Iceland’s parliament is comprised of women. In Iceland, childcare is subsidized at a high rate, and both men and women get three months of paid parental leave when they need it.

Still, there’s work to do. According to the data, it will take Iceland’s women 52 years to reach gender parity at current rates. “No one puts up with waiting 50 years to reach a goal,” Gylfi Arnbjörnsson, president of ASÍ, the Icelandic Confederation of Labor, told RUV today. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a gender pay gap or any other pay gap. It’s just unacceptable to say we’ll correct this in 50 years. That’s a lifetime.”

 

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What If Another Business Uses Your Name?

drop-it-bitch-drop-it-bitch-don-t-fuck-with-me-i-ll-shoot-you-17beba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the business world, your name is everything. Ask Polaroid, Xerox, Kleenex, or Google, — brands whose names have become synonymous with an entire product; they’ll tell you exactly how important a business’s name can be to their bottom line.

But you know this already, which is why you put so much time and care into crafting your small business’s name. Now all you have to do is protect it. So what should you do if another business starts using your name?

Registration

Hopefully, you took our advice on registering the name of your business. There are often legal requirements that LLCs, corporations, and limited partnerships register their business names with a state or federal business authority, but there are good reasons to register your business name even if it’s not legally required. After all, you probably checked state incorporation records and did a domain name search before settling on your business name; by registering, you can put other businesses on notice that you’re already using the name.

You’ll also want to trademark your business name. Trademarks protect your business’s identity, preventing others from using similar words, names, or symbols to sell similar goods or services. Even though you can create trademark protection by use alone, by registering your business name as a trademark, you’ve formed the first line of defense to anyone else using the same name.

Enforcement

Once registered or in use, your focus shifts to protecting your trademark from infringement. If you discover another business using your name, the most common first step is to send a cease and desist letter to the other business. Keep in mind that there are better and worse ways to write a cease and desist letter, and how you craft the letter will have a large impact on whether the other business complies.

If that fails, you may need to resort to litigation to enforce your trademark rights. A trademark lawsuit may require you to prove that you’ve registered the trademark, that someone is infringing on the trademark by using yours or a similar mark to sell similar goods or services, and that the infringer’s use is confusing customers or otherwise diluting the power of your trademark.

An experienced intellectual property attorney will be able to assess your trademark case if another business starts using your name.

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Related Resources:

 

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Yext Review: Is Yext The Answer For Local Search Listings?

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Yext ReviewYou want people to be able to easily find your business when searching on the internet.  In addition to finding your website when searching for the name of your business, you want them to be able to find you when doing general location based searches like “Brooklyn dentist” or “painters in Boynton Beach FL”.

While many of these searches happen on Google, they also occur on dozens of other sites like Yelp.  Yext enables your business to be listed / included in dozens of the most important search engines and directories, without having to manually enter your business information on each one individually.

Want a free listing that will boost your visibility in local searches? Click here to get your free listing at YP.com today.

When you need to update information, like when you change address or update store hours for a holiday,  Yext enables you to make the changes once, and have it instantly updated across its network.  There are two main benefits of Yext:

  1. Your listing will appear within a few hours throughout the Yext network. If you were to manually submit listings, it might be weeks before your listing went live.
  2. It saves tremendous time. You can accomplish with Yext in minutes, what might take 15 – 20 hours of work to do yourself. More information is available at the Yext website.

Where should your business be listed?

You may have already claimed your Google+ local business page or Facebook business page, which puts you ahead of many local businesses. However, there are dozens of places where potential clients could find you including:

  •  Yahoo! Local Listings
  • Bing
  • Yelp
  • YP / Yellow Pages.com
  • MapQuest
  • MerchantCircle
  • CitySearch
  • Manta

And these are just some of the better known general local search directories! There are many large directories that you might not be familiar with.  For example the local directory site “Local.com” does over 50 million page views per month.

How do you get your business in all the relevant directories?

DIY – For most directories, you can manually submit your business to the directory. If you spend 10 hours, you can lay the groundwork to have your business listed in 30 to 40 different directories. In some directories, your listing will show up instantly while others may take a few days to a month or two. Here is list of 50 local business directories where you can submit.

Pay A Local SEO or Citation Building Professional – Citations building (getting your business name, address, and phone number, and possible more into directories) and link building are not the same. Citation building is not hard, but does require effort and attention. Link building (getting links to your business in articles) requires a higher skillset than citation building. Because of this citation building is not extremely expensive.

Hire a reputable company:

Whitespark  – Very well known provider of online tools for tracking citations. They charge about $200 for citations in 50 large directories. For $500, they will provide 100 mainstream directories and about 20 hyper-local or very targeted directories.

Submit To Directories Via Yext- Yext is the type of service that intuitively make sense. Why should you need to submit to lots of different directories when they all basically require similar information. Why not have a service that just does it once?

Yext enables a business to submit its information (name, business category, address, phone number, description, hours of operation, website address, photos, videos, and coupons) to multiple directories at once.

Please note: Citation building is only one part of doing SEO (search engine optimization). If you want to appear high in the results when people do searches on google or bing,  you are going to need to do citation building, on-page optimization, and link building. For on-page optimization and link building, we recommend using Web CEO! It provides detailed step-by-step guidance  on what actions to take.

Here is the Yext value proposition in a nutshell:

  • You can submit information to 47 different directories all at once. These include Yahoo! Local Listing, Facebook, Bing, and Yelp. It does not include Google+ Local Listing Or YellowPages (YP).
  • Most submissions happen instantaneously and your listing can be updated quickly as well. This is perhaps Yext’s most important feature, as many directories can take weeks to show new information without Yext. Not only is this useful in terms of getting listings live, but also updating them on a more regular basis. For example, a business might want to offer special coupons during certain times of the year or change store hours for the holidays.
  • Yext also provides enhanced listings for sites like Yahoo!. A Yext listing gives the business the same privileges as Yahoo Enhanced Listing. This service costs $119.40 per year if purchased on its own.

The cost of Yext is $500 per year.

Yext Review Versus DIY or Having A Professional

DIY
Professional
Yext
Cost
Free $200 to $500 (one time fee) $500 (annual fee)
Time (Effort)
10 – 20 Hours Less Than 2 Hours Less Than 2 Hours
Number of Listings
30 – 60 50 – 120 47
Google + Local Listing Page Creation
Yes. No. Google requires address confirmation using a calling in a code sent by postcard. No.
Benefits For Google Local Search Rankings
Yes. Having 20 or so structured citations from high quality sites will help. Yes. Having 20 or so structured citations from high quality sites will help. Yes. Having 20 or so structured citations from high quality sites will help.
Yahoo Enhanced Local Listing
No. It costs $9.95 per month. No. No.
Time For Listings To Go Live
Greatly Varies from a few hours to several weeks. Greatly Varies from a few hours to several weeks. The majority go live instantly.
Ability To Update
Manually Manually Yes

A Look At The Issues Raised In Other Yext Reviews

Non-Transparent Pricing & Aggressive Salespeople – There is a comprehensive review (extremely negative) and lively discussion in the comments section of Big Diastemia. The negative comments tackle the following areas:

  1. While they advertise $500 annual services,  Yext appears to offer everybody that doesn’t buy immediately a discounted price of $449 per year.
  2. Many people are concerned that google ranking algos will penalize firm’s for instantly having almost 50 citations. Google is always trying to prevent websites / companies from trying to artificially manipulate their ranking higher.
  3. There is concern about what happens when one cancels, more about this later.
  4. The biggest complaint is that the company super-aggressive sales practices.

The Issue Of Yext Cancellations – There seems to be a general concern in Yext reviews about what happens to your listings after a business cancels the service. Yext is a subscription service. Many believe that the directory listings revert back to what was there previously when a Yext subscription ends. Obviously, if the business moved or changed its phone number this would be very bad. This issue is tackled by the blog Kat & Mouse. The basic answer is that “core information” (which is assumed to be the business’s name, address, and phone number) will not revert back. But photo, videos, coupons, and perhaps other information provided to directories through Yext will disappear.

Want to create a pro business website in less than 60 minutes? Click Here to get our FREE Website Builder guide and find out how.

The Issue of Duplicate Listings – If there are multiple listings (for one location)  for your business in a directory, you could be penalized by google. This is one area that google likes to see consistency. A citation building professional will help your find and eliminate duplicate listings. Unfortunately, Yext does nothing to solve this problem. The issue is explored in detail in the post “Why Yext Might Not Be The Best Fit For Your Business”

Bottom Line:

Why would I use Yext?

●    If I had a grand opening or was going to be moving my business in the near future.
●    If I had multiple locations which frequently changed hours and/or specials.

Why would I use a citation building professional?

●    This is the best choice for most people, as the services provided are affordable and save lots of time and effort.

Why would I do it myself?

●    If saving $200 is a big deal.

Regardless of what you decide, you’re going to need to create a Google+ local page.

That’s our article for today.  If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below.

 

About the Author

 

Marc Prosser

Marc Prosser has been involved in many businesses as an executive, advisor, and investor. Prior to starting his own company, Marc Prosser was the first employee and Chief Marketing Officer of FXCM. During his ten years at FXCM, the company grew from a small business to over 700 employees.

 

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My Co-Workers Hate Me — Because I Do My Job

Shutterstock

Dear Liz,

I am in a bad work situation right now. I took a job that was a step down back in January because I had no choice. I got laid off in October. The job I have now was the first offer I got and I was out of money.

There is nothing wrong with my job except one thing. I’m a Senior Account Specialist for a marketing firm. When I started the job I was excited, even though I had the same job in a different company over 10 years ago. I work for a good company. The managers are smart and compassionate, but they are clueless about their employees’ performance.

I am one of 10 Account Specialists and I’m the oldest one. Several of my co-workers are unbelievable slackers. The amount of work I do in a half-day is what they accomplish in a whole week. They just don’t care. They make one phone call and then go on Facebook. A half hour later they answer one email message. The managers here have no idea that their employees are ripping them off blind.

For the first couple of weeks after I started the job, everything was fine. Then my co-workers started to make comments. “You’re making us look bad,” my teammate said. Another co-worker told me “Slow down, man — you don’t  have to do everything in your first month on the job.” I’m not the type to judge anyone. I don’t care if my co-workers don’t do any work, but it’s not pleasant to get sideways looks and evil comments just because I do my job at a normal pace!

Of course, not everyone here is hostile to me. Several of my co-workers are great, and they work hard and they appreciate that I work hard too. Still, there is a large faction of people on my team who do almost nothing during the day. I guess they resent me getting something done and making them look bad by comparison. What should I do?

Thanks,

Riley

 

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Ninety percent of ‘genuine’ Apple chargers on Amazon are fake

If you buy a “genuine” new Apple charger off Amazon, there’s a 90 percent chance it’s a fake.

The Cupertino-based iPhone maker sued Mobile Star LLC for trademark infringement, claiming the company is selling counterfeit Apple chargers on Amazon. Apple bought more than 100 “iPhone devices, Apple power products, and Lightning cables sold as genuine” by sellers on Amazon. The company discovered 90 percent of the products were fakes.

“Consumers, relying on Amazon.com’s reputation, have no reason to suspect the power products they purchased from Amazon.com are anything but genuine,” the company wrote in the lawsuit, which was posted on Patently Apple. “This is particularly true where, as here, the products are sold directly ‘by Amazon.com’ as genuine Apple products using Apple’s own product marketing images.”

Apple’s engineers claim that the Mobile Star products were “poorly constructed, with inferior or missing components, flawed design, and inadequate electrical insulation.” The fakes had the potential to catch fire and electrocute users.


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Apple is seeking damages of up to $150,000 for each registered copyright infringed, in addition to damages of up to $2 million per trademark infringed.

Amazon said it has “zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits,” and that it works “closely with manufacturers and brands, and [pursues] wrongdoers aggressively,” according to a statement sent to MacRumors. When Amazon was informed of the chargers, it turned over all of its inventory purchased from Mobile Star.

So how can you protect yourself from these dangerous knockoffs? Start with the smell test. If the charger is far cheaper than one you could purchase at the Apple store, then it’s likely to be a fake. Also, make sure to read product reviews and avoid products that have complaints of overheating or fraying wires.

Apple warns that Mobile Star products are still on the market.

“Mobile Star’s distribution of counterfeit Apple products is ongoing and extends beyond Amazon.com as shown by Apple’s purchase of 10 counterfeit Apple products directly from Groupon in December 2015,” the company wrote in its lawsuit.

The lawsuit continued, “In addition, an Apple investigator recently purchased counterfeit Apple EarPods headphones and Lightning cables directly from Mobile Star, showing that Mobile Star is brazenly continuing to sell counterfeit Apple products even after learning that Apple was on to it.”

 

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EVERYTHING IS RIGGED: Medicine, science, elections, the media, money, education, search engines, social media… you are living in a fabricated fairy tale

Rigged elections

(NaturalNews) After witnessing how Reuters just blatantly cooked the presidential election polls this week to favor Clinton and how the mainstream media is so terrifyingly biased in favor of Clinton that the very foundation of democracy is now in crisis, it’s time to tell you something that perhaps a lot more people are finally ready to hear:

EVERYTHING IS RIGGED.

Every institution in America is sold out, corrupted and politically rigged to favor Big Government and Big Business. “America is a lost country,” explains Paul Craig Roberts. “The total corruption of every public and the private institution is complete. Nothing remains but tyranny. And lies. Endless lies.”

CNN, Reuters and the Associated Press are all now shameless promoters of every big lie across every sector of society, from vaccines and GMOs to elections and politics. The federal government itself is incapable of doing anything other than lying, and it has totally corrupted the entire realm of science by pulling the strings of funding via the National Institutes of Health and the NSF.

The FDA is entirely corrupt, as is the USDA. Both function now as little more than marketing propaganda pushers for Big Pharma and Big Biotech. Similarly, Google, Facebook and Twitter are all rigged, too, censoring the voices they don’t want anyone to hear while highlighting the establishment lies they wish to promote.

Here’s what “rigged” really means… the tools of tyranny

When I say “everything is rigged,” what does that mean, exactly?

• All “official sources” are ordered to constantly lie about everything, weaving illusions to push a chosen narrative rooted in fiction (from “there are no Islamic terrorists” to “carbon dioxide is poison to the planet”).

• All voices of reason and sanity are silenced. Only the most insane, irrational voices are allowed to be magnified through any media (including social media). This is also true across the sciences, where real science has been all but snuffed out by political agendas (biosludge, GMOs, glyphosate, mercury in dentistry, etc.).

• All facts are obliterated by propaganda. Facts have no place in any debate, and those who invoke facts are shamed and silenced (or even fired from their jobs, expelled from their schools or bullied into a state of suicide on social media). Anyone who invokes facts on things like the actual statistics of police shootings is told they are “part of the problem” because they have the “wrong attitude” about social justice.

• Every branch of government is weaponized against the people and used as an assault tool against political enemies who threaten the status quo. (IRS, FDA, FTC, DEA, EPA, USDA, etc.)

• All science is distorted into absurd, politically-motivated conclusions about everything the government wants to use to control the masses: Vaccines, climate change, GMOs, fluoride, flu shots, chemical agriculture, carbon dioxide and so on.

• Every branch of medicine is hijacked by globalist agendas to make sure medicine never makes anyone healthier, more alert or more cognitively capable of thinking for themselves.

• Every “news item” that’s reported from any official source is deliberately distorted to the point of insanity, turning many facts on their heads while attacking anyone who might offer something truly constructive to the world. (Such as reporting that Clinton was “cleared” by the FBI when, in fact, she was indicted by the very facts the FBI presented!)

• All voices of truth are silenced, then replaced by meaningless, distracting babble (Kardashians) or meaningless, tribal sports competitions (the Rio Olympics). The point is to dumb down the entire population to the point of cultural lunacy.

• Any true reports that contradict any official narrative are immediately censored. For example, radio host Michael Savage just got blocked by Facebook for posting a true story about an illegal alien who committed murder in America.

• Emotions are used as weapons to manipulate the masses. For example, when the mom of a Benghazi victim shares her grief with the world, she is ridiculed and shamed. But when a radical Muslim father who’s trying to bring Sharia Law to America attacks Trump by expressing his loss of his soldier son, the media turns him into an instant celebrity, praising his “courageous voice” for daring to speak out. The media hypocrisy is enough to make you vomit…

What exactly is rigged?

• The entire mainstream media
• Google search engine and Google News
• Facebook and Twitter
• The DNC and the RNC (both 100% rigged by globalists)
• Every federal agency (EPA, FDA, etc.)
• The entire justice system (makes a total farce of real justice)
• Interest rates and the value of the money supply (central banksters)
• Academia (all public universities)
• EPA’s “safe” limits on pesticides (all rigged by Big Biotech)
• Food and food labeling (all run by corrupt food companies)
• Public education (rigged into Common Core anti-knowledge idiocy)
• Banking and finance (all controlled by globalists)
• Government economics figures and statistics
• Medicine and pharmaceuticals (rigged to maximize profits)
• Big Science (totally rigged by government agenda pushers)
• The music industry (most top singers can’t sing at all)
• Weapons manufacturers and war corporations
• The illegal drug trade (it’s run by the government)
• Political elections (all 100% rigged at the federal level)
• Political polls (now rigged by Reuters, too)
• The health insurance industry (rigged by Obamacare)
• College admissions (legally discriminates against Whites and Asians)
• 9/11 and domestic terrorism (all rigged “official stories”)
• Oil and energy industries
• The rule of law (rigged in favor of the rich and powerful)
• Infectious disease and the CDC (a constant stream of lies)
• Hollywood (all run by globalists)
• Climate change science (all a grand science hoax)
• Press release services (they only allow official narratives)
• History (what you are taught is mostly a lie)
• Government grants (only given out to those who further the agenda)
• Government bids (only awarded to those who kick back funds to corrupt officials)
• Consciousness and free will (we are all taught consciousness doesn’t exist)
• Ethnobotany (medicinal and spiritual use of healing plants)
• Life on other plants (the obvious truth is kept from us all)
• The origin of the universe (the official narrative is a laughable fairy tale)

As a fantastic example of how everything is rigged, consider these paragraphs from this Breitbart.com news story published today:

Over the weekend and for the past few days since Khan spoke alongside his wife Ghazala Khan about their son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, media-wide reporters, editors, producers, and anchors have tried to lay criticism on Trump over the matter. They thought they had a good one, a specific line of attack that pitted Trump against the military—and supposedly showed him as a big meanie racist in the process.

But, as Breitbart News showed on Monday midday, that clearly was not the case. Khizr Khan has all sorts of financial, legal, and political connections to the Clintons through his old law firm, the mega-D.C. firm Hogan Lovells LLP. That firm did Hillary Clinton’s taxes for years, starting when Khan still worked there involved in, according to his own website, matters “firm wide”—back in 2004. It also has represented, for years, the government of Saudi Arabia in the United States. Saudi Arabia, of course, is a Clinton Foundation donor which—along with the mega-bundlers of thousands upon thousands in political donations to both of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2016—plays right into the “Clinton Cash” narrative.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/054857_rigged_elections_fake_media_fairy_tales.html#ixzz4NfGaiXrb

 

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Where only dogs can go …

Image may contain: 1 person , dog and indoor
Love What Matters by S. Niehaus – 

“See this moment? I’ve never experienced a moment like this. Yesterday was the first day my 5 year old Autistic son met his new Autism Service Dog, Tornado. We are Americans that live overseas in Japan and have prepared for nearly two years to meet Tornado.

This picture captures the face of a mother who saw her child, who she can’t hug, wash, dress, snuggle and touch freely lay on his new Service dog of his own free will, with a purposeful, unspoken attachment. This is the face of a mom who has seen her son experience countless failed social interactions on the playground in an attempt to have a friend. Any friend. Any kind of connection. She has sat with her son while he has cried at night for months because he has no consistent connections outside of the family no matter how hard he tries and no matter what he works hard on in his Autism therapies. It doesn’t transfer to the natural occurring world for him. And now she is sitting behind her son silently watching this moment, with the air sucked from her lungs, and no words to say.

It’s worth every fight for services for my son, every diagnosis, every new provider, every dollar spent, every paper filled out, every school meeting, every shed tear, every step forward, every step back, and every wonder of the unknown future. Somehow because of this – because of Tornado – I know everything will be okay. As a mother, I have seen countless challenging and painful moments my son has encountered and cried countless more. Yesterday however, I cried for a different reason. It is a feeling that is indescribable.”

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free podcast on iTunes:http://apple.co/2cc9Ytg or for more platforms LoveWhatMatters.com/podcast

#LoveWhatMatters

A Love What Matters Original Story

Service Dog from 4 Paws For Ability

 

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US carbon emissions from energy lowest in 25 years

by Sami Grover

Wind power UK

There have been some incredible changes in our energy system in the last decade or so. From the rise of LEDs to the spread of wind and solar energy, we’ve seen significant advances in both lower emissions from energy production, and in ways to cut back on energy demand in the first place.

Last week saw a particularly exciting headline in this regard. As reported by Business Green, carbon emissions from energy production in the US for the first half of 2016 were the lowest we’ve seen since 1991.

As you might expect, the reasons for this decline are mixed. Milder weather meant lower heating demand. Coal use fell 18% since the same period in 2015. And renewables were up 9%. True, as we reported previously, transportation emissions have been on the rise—but the other changes in our energy demand more than made up for an uptick in oil use, apparently.

What’s interesting about all this is that we are just getting started. Whether it’s the tantalizing prospect of large-scale offshore wind in the US; the widespread, systemic impact of electrified transportation; or the fact that the Clean Power Plan is likely to start pushing down emissions even more (SCOTUS willing), I think we have good reason to anticipate further and more rapid progress than we have seen so far.

And it’s not a moment too soon. As the effects of global climate change continue to make themselves known, we really do need to get going on this mission as fast as we possibly can.

Tags: Carbon Emissions | Energy | Energy Efficiency | Renewable Energy

 

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Larry Ellison’s 10-Point Plan: How Oracle Will Beat Amazon In The Cloud

 
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Simplify IT, Drive Innovation

BY Bob Evans – Oracle
Eager to help Oracle customers around the globe innovate and grow, founder Larry Ellison says his company’s surging efforts in Oracle ERP Cloud applications and cloud infrastructure have reshaped the competitive dynamics of the industry such that Oracle’s top two competitors are now Workday and Amazon Web Services.

Oracle can provide its customers the maximum possible benefit in the ERP cloud space—including financials, procurement, performance management, project management, and much more—Ellison says, because this application affects so many business processes. Workday has become Oracle’s only viable competitor in this space, given SAP’s obsession with building HANA, a new database platform. Oracle contends its ERP Cloud business is already much larger than Workday’s and is growing significantly more rapidly.

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Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison

At Oracle OpenWorld 2016, Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison explained Oracle’s strategy for surpassing Amazon in the cloud.

In the first quarter, which ended August 31, Oracle added 344 new ERP and EPM (enterprise performance management) cloud customers, CEO Mark Hurd said on Oracle’s September 15 earnings call. “That’s more ERP customers than Workday has sold to in the history of their company,” Hurd added.

However, over in the cloud infrastructure sector, the competitive dynamics are reversed as Amazon Web Services claimed first-mover status in infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and has a significant lead over Oracle in IaaS revenue.

But it’s abundantly clear that Ellison is relishing—yet again—the role of underdog, a role he and Oracle have played successfully over the company’s history in database, middleware, applications, high-end business systems, and, more recently, in the two other major portions of the cloud business: SaaS (applications) and PaaS (platform as a service, including database, middleware, and programming languages).

During the annual Oracle OpenWorld mega-event in San Francisco late last month, Ellison laid out Oracle’s strategy for surpassing Amazon in the cloud, detailing an extensive set of capabilities, assets, and experiences that Oracle possesses and Amazon lacks for meeting the end-to-end needs of enterprise computing in the cloud. At the same time, Ellison went out of his way to freely acknowledge Amazon’s success and achievements here in the still-early days of the enterprise cloud. Ellison—always the master of the long game—constructed his core arguments around a few major themes:

For 40 years, Oracle’s one and only business has been enterprise computing, and that focus is only accelerating as Oracle completes its pivot to being a cloud-first company.
Companies that have run their businesses on on-premises systems and software for the past 30 to 40 years are not going to shift everything to the cloud in one year or five years or perhaps even 10 years—so, enterprise cloud vendors need to have expertise in both types of computing.
Oracle has not only the desire but the proven and hard-earned ability to compete at global enterprise scale in all three established layers of the cloud—SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS—plus the emerging fourth layer, data as a service.

So, pulled from Ellison’s remarks during Oracle OpenWorld, as well as during a Q&A with financial analysts, here is Ellison’s 10-point plan for beating Amazon in the cloud.

1. Customer Choice for a Decade of Coexistence. As noted above, almost all businesses and large organizations today are operating significant on-premises estates of hardware, software, middleware, networks, and more. So while they’ll look to move to the cloud as quickly and securely as possible, the inescapable fact is that it’s going to take awhile to get to their desired state, and until then they’ll create and refine a blended “coexistence” model of on-premises, public cloud, and private cloud. So in the meantime, which enterprise-cloud vendors can meet those needs? While Amazon surely cannot, Ellison says Oracle’s unmatched technology and experience will help lead customers through this challenging period by making it possible for them to have “your data center and your cloud services used interchangeably at the touch of a button.”

2. Lower Acquisition Price and TCO and Better Performance. Ellison says Oracle will be able to offer cloud infrastructure that not only outperforms Amazon’s, but comes with a lower acquisition price and lower cost of ownership over time. This is possible, Ellison explains, for a few reasons unique to Oracle:

a) Oracle plays at all three layers of the cloud, and Amazon doesn’t—so Oracle’s end-to-end cloud services and technologies give customers the choice of avoiding the costly, time-consuming, and highly complex integrations that cannot be avoided with Amazon.

b) Oracle’s huge R&D investments are generating world-class data-center technologies and expertise that Amazon can’t hope to match, says Ellison. The new “Generation 2” data centers that Ellison and President Thomas Kurian announced at Oracle OpenWorld will have big competitive advantages over what Amazon IaaS can offer: 2X as many cores as AWS, 10X I/O capacity, *plus* 20% less cost to businesses. “Gen 2 means you build a fundamentally simpler, cheaper, more reliable, more secure, and more-powerful data center where we have significant advantages. In some cases, our costs are multiple times lower than Amazon’s…and we deliver better performance,” Ellison said.

c) Oracle’s massive installed base of enterprise-scale workloads: “Our big customers haven’t really started moving much [of these big workloads] to the cloud yet. That’s a huge opportunity for us.”

3. Software Chops that Amazon Lacks. For all of Amazon’s early successes in offering compute and storage services, Ellison said, it simply doesn’t have the breadth and depth of enterprise-class R&D to compete at all levels of enterprise cloud computing—not just IaaS but also PaaS and SaaS. That multilayer expertise, Ellison said, is essential in the enterprise cloud for optimal performance, security, reliability, and price. (For a detailed discussion of Oracle’s Gen 2 data centers and overall IaaS and PaaS strategy, see this extensive interview with Oracle President of Product Development Thomas Kurian.)

Ellison went on to make the argument that four—and only four—tech companies have the deep software expertise and data-center expertise to compete at all layers of the cloud: Oracle, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook (with the caveat of “if they want to” for Google and Facebook). “One of Facebook’s core competencies is data centers,” Ellison told the analysts. “A Facebook data center is better than a Google data center and it’s better than an Amazon data center, and let me tell you why: they’re newer, and they use newer technology.”

On top of data center competency, he said, success across the enterprise cloud will be wholly dependent on breadth and depth of enterprise-software expertise: “We are still the largest enterprise software company in the world. Microsoft is the largest software company in the world.…You look at a Salesforce.com and you look at an Amazon and they’re both called ‘big cloud companies’ and yet they have nothing to do with one another. They don’t do the same thing at all. So my belief is that in order to compete broadly in the cloud at the SaaS layer and the infrastructure layer and the PaaS layer, you have to be a pretty big software company. And I would argue, Amazon’s not a real big software company. Don’t get me wrong—I have a lot of respect for Amazon—I really do. I think they’ve done an incredible job. But I don’t think of them as a really big software company in the way I think of Microsoft as a big software company, or in the way I think of Oracle as a big software company.”

4. Unique, Unparalleled Security. At his opening-night keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld last month, Ellison proclaimed, “If you don’t think data security is a big thing and getting bigger every day, you are mistaken!” And he used much of not only that presentation but also his second keynote address to hammer home the huge investments Oracle is making in security from the chip level through databases to applications and networks and virtualization. And security is core to the design of Oracle’s next-gen data centers, which Ellison described in some detail during his Q&A with financial analysts: “And I think you’ll see a lot of emphasis on the network because in these cloud data centers, your limitations in performance are largely the network. Your risks and security are largely the network. So we spent a lot of time re-architecting this and building this virtualized network in our Gen 2 data centers. It allows us to give you much better security as messages move around the network. Not only is everything encrypted in motion, it’s encrypted at rest—in storage. It’s encrypted in motion on a network, but because it’s virtualized, each message is encapsulated with virtual addresses. It’s almost impossible for people to interpret these messages as they’re flying around.”

Likewise, Oracle does its software-defined networking in network processors off-box with no access to the public internet. “So you can’t break in—there is no door! So, we did it very, very differently than everyone else did it,” Ellison said. “…The big difference in our infrastructure as a service is our network and how we do virtualization.”

5. Unleash Tremendous Business Value. Oracle’s massive end-to-end R&D investments in all three layers of the cloud let customers move more low-value manual IT work over to Oracle, which in turn enables those customers to redeploy huge chunks of their IT budgets to customer-facing initiatives focused on innovation and growth. In his meeting with financial analysts, Ellison focused on the huge competitive advantages those investments are delivering in the mission-critical areas of database and analytics/AI:

Database: Ellison expects more and more customers will discover the new features and functions of Oracle Database 12c Release 2 via the cloud, not by loading it on on-premises boxes. Oracle’s new Exadata Express Cloud Service starts at $175 a month. “I think it’s extremely attractive for everything from an MIT graduate student who’s starting her own company to a large corporation like General Electric with thousands and thousands of developers who can develop on our cloud rather than develop in their data center,” he said. “So, I think the opportunity for 12.2 is gigantic.”

Database and analytics/AI: “Do you know who the last big purchaser of our analytics software was? It’s a really big retail company: Amazon,” Ellison said with a smile. “So, how good is the opportunity for analytics? Well, Amazon is buying our analytics. Amazon runs most of their retail stuff on the Oracle Database, and they’re buying our analytics. We think the opportunity for analytics is enormous, and we’re selling analytics to our big database customers.”

6. Lift and Shift Enterprise Workloads. Oracle’s newest data centers give customers a powerful new option: To lift and shift entire workloads—even an entire data center’s worth of workloads—into Oracle Cloud, complete with IP addresses and virtualization software. Oracle offers IaaS using Oracle Linux and Xen-based virtualization software (based on open source projects that Oracle contributes to), which it has optimized for cloud infrastructure. But Oracle’s Bare Metal IaaS gives customers the choice of using their existing architecture without rewriting apps, so that a company running a workload on Red Hat Linux and VMware virtualization can move that as is to Oracle’s Bare Metal infrastructure.

“That is a very big deal,” Ellison said. “Right now, people are moving kind of an application at a time, and they have to partially rewrite, at least reconfigure the application, retest it on the new OS, change the I/O. They have to do a lot of things to move an existing application to a data center. You have to retrain your people over—there’s a bunch of things you have to do, not so with our new Bare Metal experience. It’s just, take your existing network, your existing network definitions with your existing range of IP addresses, your existing operating system, your existing hypervisor, your existing database, your existing apps, your existing everything, move it over, and it just runs. No one else can do that. We think that’s very, very important.”

7. Fast, Easy Purchasing via Oracle’s Accelerated Buying Experience. Ellison recalled when the Oracle leadership team decided it needed to become the easiest enterprise-cloud company to do business with. “I give credit to Amazon,” Ellison said. “The company we were looking at and studying was Amazon.” If Oracle hadn’t changed how it sells cloud, that would’ve been a huge impediment to growth, Ellison said. But it did change. Today, Oracle has neutralized that AWS advantage by totally rewiring how it sells cloud services, creating what it calls the Accelerated Buying Experience to automate much of the process of configuring and quoting a cloud service and to offer a click-to-accept option to purchase.

“We decided to redo our contracts to make them human-readable, to make them easy,” Ellison said. “…It eliminated a lot of the friction and heat inside of companies who wanted to consume our services.” Almost 70% of Oracle Cloud deals used the Accelerated Buying Experience in the past quarter, and Ellison said he expects that percentage to keep growing. “I think it’s the way customers want to buy.”

8. No Hotel California, which “You Can Never Leave.” Unlike Oracle’s unconditional commitment to industry standards, AWS has two cloud databases and *both* are closed—“more closed than an IBM mainframe,” Ellison said, noting that, even in the mainframe’s heyday, companies could move their IBM workloads to other mainframe makers’ hardware. Ellison added that, while Amazon’s Aurora and Redshift databases are based on open source projects (MySQL and Postgres), they aren’t open source code that companies could choose to run on their own infrastructure; they run only on Amazon’s IaaS. By comparison, companies can run Oracle Database on premises, in AWS, in Oracle Cloud, or anywhere they want. And, Oracle’s benchmark tests show Oracle Database runs faster on Oracle Cloud than on AWS, and that Oracle Database on Oracle Cloud ran 105 times faster than Aurora and 35 times faster than Redshift on AWS.

9. Public Cloud and Private Cloud and Cloud at Customer. While Amazon offers only public cloud, Oracle offers public *and* private clouds, in all combinations customers might need or want during their decade of coexistence between on premises and the cloud. For example, a company can run its development and testing on Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Service, and then move that workload for production to its own on-premises data center, using an identical cloud environment based on Oracle Exadata. And in another perfect alignment of on-premises data center operations with the cloud, Oracle’s Cloud at Customer offering lets customers deploy within their data centers the same systems—hardware and software—that run Oracle Cloud. And, they can pay for these systems on the same subscription, usage basis as the same service in Oracle Cloud.

10. Win over ISVs. Ellison acknowledged Amazon has done a good job getting startup independent software vendors (ISVs) and software-dependent businesses like Netflix to run workloads on AWS, on alternative databases such as Mongo DB. That said, Netflix isn’t an enterprise workload that would’ve ever been a candidate for Oracle Database, Ellison said. But now, a new wave of true enterprise ISV apps are ready to move to the cloud, many of which are built on Oracle Database. “It doesn’t make sense to me for very many SaaS companies to run their own infrastructure or, for that matter, run their own database,” Ellison said. “…We should be able to save them money, get better performance, better security, better reliability, all of those things.” Helping ISVs run in the cloud, and run more efficiently, is a “gigantic” opportunity for Oracle, Ellison said. “I think that’s one thing that no one is expecting.”

At the end of the day, Oracle’s market opportunities in IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are symbiotic with Oracle’s customers’ needs. In today’s tumultuous business world, where disruption is everywhere and customers are calling the shots, companies that cannot aggressively fund customer-centric business innovation will die. Those innovations can only come from the efficient use of cloud services, and Oracle is becoming the only tried-and-true business technology provider that can offer those efficiencies.

Turning around traditional vendor-customer relationships where vendors won at the customer’s expense, Oracle Cloud is becoming that true unicorn where Oracle and its customers can both win.

Bob Evans is senior vice president and chief communications officer for Oracle.

 

Safe Harbor Disclaimer The preceding is intended to outline Oracle’s general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.

 

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From the desk of Larry Baer

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Dear Stephen:

I hoped we would still be playing right now. We all did. Tuesday’s loss was about as tough as it gets in baseball. Yet I find myself thinking about how proud I am of this team who — despite the ups and downs of the second half – battled their way into a wild card berth and were among the four National League teams still playing in October. That says a lot about the character of our players, coaches, front office and, of course, our fans.

Though we exited the playoffs earlier than we hoped, I’m proud that once again our team, led by future Hall of Fame manager Bruce Bochy, never stopped fighting. If anything illustrates what Bochy calls “champion blood in their DNA,” it is their success in do-or-die games. Their streak of 10 straight victories in elimination games is the longest in Major League history. In all of sports, only the Boston Celtics have more.

And we head into the off season in a much stronger position than we were at this time last year. Our needs are clear, which I’ll get to in a moment. But our strengths are also clear — namely a foundation of talented, battle-tested, mostly homegrown players and an elite starting rotation.

The final weeks of the season encapsulated so many of the reasons we’re energized about diving into the work of putting another playoff caliber team on the field in 2017. There were enough gritty, inspiring performances to fill a highlight reel.

There was Matt Moore, who arrived in a mid-season trade, coming within one out of throwing a no-hitter against the Dodgers in late August and then staring down the Cubs for eight innings in the National League Division Series Tuesday night, giving up just two hits.

There was Conor Gillaspie emerging as yet another example of the Giants summoning surprise performances from players up and down the lineup. With the team battling for a Wild Card berth, Conor dove into a photographer’s well, flipped over a television camera and popped up with the foul ball in his glove. He was our hottest hitter during the final week of the regular season and batted .421 with six RBI during the postseason. Against the Mets in the Wild Card game, he broke the 0-0 tie in the ninth with a three-run homer to win the game. He came through again with a two-run triple off Aroldis Chapman on the way to winning Game 3 against the Cubs.

There was rookie Ty Blach making a strong case for a spot in the 2017 rotation. He pitched eight shutout innings against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers in that final weekend and was an inspiration to us all. Then — stepping into the frying pan of Monday’s tense Game 3 – he coolly threw two scoreless innings to earn the win in the 13th inning.

There was Derek Law, with a 2.13 ERA in his rookie season, shutting down the Cubs for two innings Monday night then cheering wildly and waving a rally towel in the dugout like a kid in the bleacher seats.

There was Joe Panik, hampered by injuries for much of the season, batting .462 in the postseason. Denard Span set the table during the NLDS with some critical and timely hits.

Our starting pitching features All-Stars Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto at the top of the rotation. Bumgarner recorded more than 200 strikeouts for the third straight season, joining Juan Marichal, Christy Mathewson, Amos Rusie and Tim Lincecum as the only Giants ever to do so. Cueto finished third in innings pitched (219.2), tied for third in wins (18), fifth in ERA (2.79) and sixth in strikeouts (198). Jeff Samardzija posted a 2.45 ERA in his last 10 starts, lowering the starting staff’s ERA to 3.71 for the season, the fifth best in the big leagues.

Our defense was outstanding in 2016, the best in baseball. Led by All-Stars Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Buster Posey in the infield, and our inspirational leader Hunter Pence in right, the Giants defense had the highest fielding percentage (.988) in all of baseball. They set the longest errorless streak in National League history with a late-summer stretch of 17 consecutive games.

The primary and obvious focus in the off-season is to fortify the bullpen. As we were reminded this week, no team can win without a strong, reliable bullpen. Under the outstanding leadership of Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans, we will actively pursue options, whether through free agency or trades, to add to our young arms.

In short, we will pursue every opportunity and commit the necessary resources to field the best possible team to get back to the playoffs in 2017.

When the historic streak came to an end this week, we were reminded that champion’s blood is, more than anything, about character. We saw it in the clubhouse after Tuesday’s defeat. There was no retreat from addressing the media, no finger-pointing. The players faced their disappointment with grace, reflection and resolve. They said they would double-down on preparation, that they’d never forget how awful this felt. They hugged and consoled and thanked one another. As always, they had each other’s backs.

And as always, you had theirs. Despite the ups and downs of the season, they could look up into the stands and see wave upon wave of orange and black. A full house every game. You make it clear: We’re all in this together. Every player is so grateful to play in front of the best fans in baseball.

Thank you for another incredible season and I am already counting the days til pitchers and catchers report.

Sincerely,

Laurence M. Baer
President & CEO

 

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