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It’s been a long year for both Michigan and Rutgers on the hardwood. Saturday, the basketball Gods decided to make it just a little bit longer. During the first half of the contest between the Wolverines and the Scarlet Knights, the lights went out at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. Here’s video of the incident.Lights going out at Rutgers-Michigan game mid-play. #B1G pic.twitter.com/DjuypIi3gw— Matt C (@05HAWKI) March 7, 2015The issue was quickly fixed, and the teams have resumed play. Michigan is up 41-26 with two minutes to play in the first session.
Twitter/@OU_AthleticsCollege football week five features a very deep slate of games from noon through past midnight. For Oklahoma fans, things are kicking off at 11 am central time, with a huge game against an impressive West Virginia team. To celebrate the morning Big 12 battle, OU put out a unique hype video, featuring the song “Good Morning,” made famous by the 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain. Fry up some eggs, pour yourself a glass of orange juice, or maybe a screwdriver if you’re so inclined, and get ready for some early Sooners football.No matter the time, it’s always a great day for Sooner football! Get ready for tomorrow with a little twist! https://t.co/lOz473epYX— Oklahoma Sooners (@OU_Athletics) October 2, 2015
Alabama head coach Nick Saban got a little heated during somewhat of a rant about satellite football camps and the need for a college football commissioner. Simply against the idea of satellite football camps, and with little belief in the positive narrative surrounding them, Saban let loose Tuesday afternoon in front of the media at the SEC Spring Meetings. As usual, AL.com was on the scene and posted the video to YouTube. AL.com did a terrific job describing the scene as Saban went off, and you can watch their video in its entirety here.
The BBC has announced plans to offer up to 5,000 young unemployed people in the UK digital traineeships.The nine-week traineeships will teach basic digital skills, such as creating simple websites and short videos for the web and will include training from the BBC Academy.The scheme is a partnership between the BBC, Department for Work and Pensions and Skills Funding Agency and is designed to help get young people ready for work, providing them with employability skills and a work placement.The BBC Make it Digital Traineeship is due to start this summer and will be a part of the BBC’s ‘Make it Digital’ initiative, which it will unveil in full later this month.“We’ve already hit our target of having apprentices make up one per cent of our workforce. I’m immensely proud of that, but we need to keep on showing leadership, and keep on bringing people together in a way which only the BBC can,” said BBC director general, Tony Hall.“Our new Make it Digital Traineeship is a hugely ambitious partnership, one we hope will unlock Britain’s digital potential and create genuinely life-changing opportunities for young people.”
Red Bee Media CTO, Steve PlunkettRed Bee Media’s chief technology officer, Steve Plunkett talks us through what to look out for at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.It’s that time of the year again. The over-indulgence of the Christmas period, perhaps with some technology overspend on the latest gadgets, gives way to the double whammy of the credit card bill and the world’s consumer electronics companies rolling in to CES in Las Vegas showing off what will shortly make those new gadgets obsolete.As the world’s biggest show of its kind, CES covers everything from connected washing machines, robot vacuum cleaners, Terminator-esque glasses and of course TVs and related media devices. I suspect that much of the focus this year will be on wearable technologies and the long heralded ‘Internet of Things’ (WiFi enabled kitchen goods etc), but as always we can expect to see the current state of the art in the consumer facing side of our industry too. So what should we be looking out for?Ultra-HD, aka 4K, otherwise known as 2160p TVEvery manufacturer you have ever heard of, and many more that you haven’t, will be demonstrating Ultra-HD/4K wares at the show. There seems to be unstoppable momentum amongst the CE vendors to put 3DTV behind them and replace it post haste with UHDTV. Putting aside for now the debate about the practical benefits of 4K resolution on sub 60-inch screens, and the lack of any content, it’s probably a safe bet to assume that these displays will become mainstream over the next five years.However, despite the fact that I make the typical early adopter look like a technophobe laggard, I won’t be buying a 4K TV just yet. There are too many outstanding issues to be resolved before it makes sense for the home. These include the maturity/availability of HEVC/H.265 implementations to make distribution practical – and other contenders such as Google’s VP9 codec, which will be promoted at CES. Ditto for the latest version of HDMI (2.0), which will be necessary to feed your UHDTV with attractive higher frame rate material, and related industry consensus on issues such as colour spectrum and contrast. And that’s to say nothing of the cost to upgrade the entire production, post and broadcast distribution chain to get high-res content there in volume.OLEDOne of the most impressive display technology improvements that I noted at last year’s show was the OLED TVs being demonstrated. OLED is a very different technology to today’s LCD based displays, not to be confused with the somewhat misleading “LED” TVs that dominate at the moment. LED TVs use LCD panels that are backlit using an array of LEDs. OLED TVs require no backlighting and so can be both thinner and less power hungry, but most notably, they provide beautiful images with vibrant colours that have to be seen to be appreciated.Unfortunately, large OLED panels are expensive to produce using current manufacturing processes and the OLEDs themselves deteriorate and lose their colour range over time. Sony and Panasonic teamed up to tackle these issues but that partnership was recently abandoned leaving some to question the future viability of OLED TVs. Let’s hope that breakthroughs can be made as this really is a promising technology.Smarter TVsFinally, we are likely to see more attempts to make your TV smarter, both in terms of how it connects to content and how it connects to us. Internet delivered content is already quite common on new TVs and the earlier technology limitations are being steadily addressed. Gesture and voice control, along with viewer recognition technologies are emerging and are something to watch with interest in 2014.As the ongoing attempts to reinvent television continue, it’ll be interesting to see what CES 2014 brings.
Sam Cavaliere, a San Diego tech worker, considers himself in average health, though the 47-year-old admits, “I can always stand to lose a little weight.” Like a lot of iPhone owners, he uses Apple’s Health app to keep track of his weight, his exercise routines and how many steps he takes in a day.Now the app is also storing his health records. Since last March, Apple has been rolling out a feature that allows people to store their medical records in its Health app. UC San Diego Health, where Cavaliere sees his doctors, is one of more than 200 health care providers around the United States using the health records feature.Cavaliere travels a lot for work, and he likes to keep track of his blood pressure. He’s able to do that using a special cuff linked to the Health app. And he likes the convenience of having the app keep his medical records.”When I go to the doctor, in addition to my records from there, I get my blood pressure results that I’ve taken myself,” Cavaliere says. “And they can see that and compare it to what they’re doing in the office so that they get a bigger picture than just the once or twice a year that I show up at the office.”The global health care industry is expected to reach $10 trillion by 2022. That’s bigger than the economy of any country other than the United States and China. Amazon, Google and Microsoft are among the companies vying for a piece of that pie in areas such as retail pharmacies, using artificial intelligence for disease detection and healthy-living apps. And so is Apple.At a moment when iPhone sales have slowed and many analysts are wondering if Apple’s best days of innovation are behind it, the company has been innovating and expanding its presence in health care. It’s an area where the company’s long-held privacy values may give it an edge over the competition — if it can hold up to the growing public scrutiny. Putting health records into an app created by a big tech company requires trust. Those records could list medications taken, treatments for diseases and visits to mental health care providers. That’s not the kind of information most people want an employer, advertiser or insurance company to see.Apple CEO Tim Cook has been a vocal advocate for privacy rights. Most recently, he has spoken out against rival companies Google and Facebook for making money off user data to sell ads.In an interview with NPR, Cook says acquiring user data to sell ads is something his company has avoided. “People will look at this and feel that they can trust Apple,” he says. “That’s a key part of anyone that you’re working with on your health.”Cook says Apple’s commitment to privacy isn’t simply a marketing ploy. “It’s not the way we look at it in terms of advantages,” he says. “The reality is that I know for me, I want to do business with people that have my health data, people that I deeply trust.”Cavaliere, the San Diego tech worker, says Apple has managed to gain his trust. “I don’t get fed advertisements for them, so I don’t see them trying to monetize it,” he says. Unlike with other companies, he says, “I feel comfortable with how [Apple’s] doing it and what they’re doing.”Dr. Chris Longhurst, UC San Diego Health’s chief information officer, says Apple’s strong privacy values made officials at the facility feel more at ease. “Nothing is more important than keeping the privacy of our patients’ health information,” he says.Longhurst says the iPhone helps keep the data safe. “This data did not go into the cloud,” he says. “It only resided on the user’s device, is encrypted and is only accessible with user permission.” Health records are also subject to strict federal privacy laws.But Apple has far from a perfect track record when it comes to privacy. At a time of heightened scrutiny of all tech companies and their privacy records, the Wall Street Journal has found that several top health and fitness apps available for iPhones send personal information, such as data about heart rates and menstrual cycles, to Facebook. Apple says those apps don’t connect to health records. It says the apps were violating its rules and the developers must fix the problem; those that don’t will be removed from the App Store. Importantly, users must give permission before an app can access their health records. Longhurst says UC San Diego Health cautions patients to be careful. “There are potential risks,” he says. “It is important that patients be informed so that they’re not inadvertently sharing information with third parties they would not want to have this information.”UC San Diego Health and other providers say they’re open to working with other companies besides Apple. They just need assurances that their patients’ health records will be safe, secure and private — and not fodder for advertisers. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Every week, Jorge needs to earn $364.08. His handwritten budget is taped to the wall of the windowless shed where he lives in Miami. Inside the tiny space, there’s barely enough room for a twin bed and a battered dresser; his kitchen consists of a blender and a microwave. There’s no running water, and mosquitoes fly in through the open door.The little that he earns needs to cover more than just his living expenses — Jorge has diabetes and cancer to manage, and he needs to support his five children back home in Ecuador.To survive, Jorge, who requested that his last name not be used for this story to protect his health information, sells fruit on the side of the road. “Rain or shine, cold or heat, I still have to work,” he says. Most days, it’s the heat he struggles with the most, and in recent years, the city has felt hotter than ever. “When you work in the streets,” Jorge says, “you really feel the change.”And it may only be getting worse. The 2018 National Climate Assessment noted that the southeastern United States is already experiencing “more and longer summer heat waves.” By 2050, experts say, rising global temperatures are expected to mean that nearly half the days in the year in Florida will be dangerously hot, when the combination of heat and humidity will make it feel like it’s 105 degrees or more.Such projections are reshaping the conversation around climate change in South Florida. For years, that discussion had been dominated the impacts of rising sea levels. Now, the state’s medical community is sounding the alarm about the health risks associated with rising temperatures. Whether it’s a longer allergy season, air quality issues or mosquito-borne illnesses, heat is already making people sicker, they say, and the nearly 60 percent of Miami residents who live paycheck to paycheck could be the most in danger.Cheryl Holder is Jorge’s doctor, and treats many patients who are living in poverty or are uninsured or homeless. A professor of medicine at Florida International University and a founder of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action, Holder says she started considering climate change in her work a few years ago, after an older patient came to her clinic.”She needed more asthma medicines and she just was not as controlled as she had been,” Holder says. She soon noticed that other patients were having more respiratory ailments. So she reached out to fellow doctors, and the stories they were all hearing pointed to the same thing: Climate change was leading to a cascade of health problems.The past three years, Holder says, “have been the hottest days on record.” And with that heat, her patients with allergies have seen their symptoms exacerbated by a longer ragweed season and trees that flower earlier. The heat and humidity also make it harder to breathe, raising the risk of dehydration and kidney disease.The problems hardly end there, Holder says. People who can’t afford air conditioning find it more difficult to sleep, which can contribute to obesity. Exposure to high nighttime temperatures also makes it harder for the body to recover from daytime heat, which can result in “in heat-related illness and death,” according to the National Climate Assessment. Holder says her patients have air conditioners if they can afford them, but they’re often old and dangerously moldy.On top of those concerns, climate change is fueling larger and more powerful hurricanes, storms that can damage flimsier homes, like Jorge’s. People with limited means might also be reluctant to go to shelters because they aren’t able to buy the necessary supplies of food and water. And the storms themselves can also lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.”It’s just a vicious cycle that I find my patients involved in,” Holder says.Florida Clinicians For Climate Action, which was founded last year, seeks to connect the dots for patients and show how their symptoms are related to a changing climate. Holder says patients need to understand what is happening in order to adapt, and to that end, physicians can be a trusted arbiter of information. “We feel the messenger is crucial,” Holder says. Taking climate change into consideration means that Holder is more likely to ask her patients who work outdoors about dehydration, for example, or to take a longer allergy season into account when treating those with respiratory ailments whose medicines are no longer keeping up with their symptoms.Holder and her FCCA colleagues are also working to educate other nurses and physicians who may not yet understand the links between their patients’ changing health and the changing climate around them.Doctors in at least 11 other states have formed similar groups, coordinated by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health at George Mason University. In their founding document, Holder’s Florida chapter warns that future health risks will not be evenly distributed.”The burden will fall on the most vulnerable, such as the elderly, children, and pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and those with fewer resources,” the document says. “Ironically the people who are most economically vulnerable have typically contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions.”People like Jorge, who is in his 70s, have already started to adapt. He runs a small air conditioner at night when it is too hot to sleep but says he has to be careful because of the cost. When he works outside, he tries to stay in the shade, wears long-sleeved shirts to keep the sun off and takes a break in the middle of the day. The city is working to increase tree canopy coverage in the city to reduce “heat islands” and says it targets seniors with hurricane preparedness workshops, among many other climate resilience projects. But Holder says she is concerned that city and state officials are more focused on the dramatic threats to the coastline, and she would like to see a sharper focus on the ongoing changes to their constituents’ health.”I hear a lot more about sea level rise and raising the sidewalks and replenishing the beaches. But it’s going to be very, very difficult for the poor population,” Holder says. “I don’t know how they’re going to survive.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
New large public buildings such as shopping centres, sports stadiums and cinema complexes will soon have to include a Changing Places accessible toilet, according to government proposals.The government has announced a consultation on the plans – which will also affect existing large public buildings that undergo significant alterations – more than two years after the idea was recommended by the Commons women and equalities committee.That was followed last year by a petition calling for Changing Places to be provided in all large public buildings as they are built, redeveloped or refurbished, which secured more than 57,000 signatures.Now the government has finally agreed to act by making changes to building regulations.Its proposals would affect public buildings such as new theatres with at least 500 seats, museums and art galleries that expect to receive more than 300,000 visitors a year, cinema complexes with at least five screens, and hospitals and primary care centres.It should mean more than 150 new Changing Places toilets – facilities with extra space and equipment such as hoists and changing benches for disabled people who cannot use standard accessible toilets – every year.But it will not affect existing buildings unless they seek planning permission for significant alterations.There are currently more than 1,300 Changing Place toilets (pictured) across the UK.The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government had announced it was considering a change to building regulations on 24 December.Now it has confirmed that it wants to go ahead with the plans and is seeking views on its proposals through a 10-week consultation, which closes on 21 July.Last month, the Department for Transport, in partnership with the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK), launched a £2 million fund for Changing Places toilets to be installed in existing motorway service stations.The Department of Health and Social Care will also soon launch its own £2 million fund for NHS Trusts to install new Changing Places in more than 100 hospitals across England.Fiona Anderson, from Bolton, a member of MDUK’s Trailblazers network of young disabled campaigners, and herself a user of Changing Places toilets, said: “A lack of Changing Places toilets has led to me deciding to have surgery, which will give me more freedom to go to the toilet.“If these facilities were in every large public building, I would no longer have to endure the pain of postponing going to the toilet all day and the ever-present dark cloud of sepsis occurring would be lifted.“Ultimately, I also wouldn’t need to have a catheter fitted, which would mean the world to me. I’m not incontinent – I simply can’t transfer to a toilet without a hoist.“Changing Places toilets are a much-needed lifeline. But with so few of them available, people like me are forced to sacrifice our dignity and independence.”Rishi Sunak, the local government minister, said: “Everyone should have the freedom to enjoy days out in dignity and comfort.“For severely disabled people, this is made very difficult because there are not enough Changing Places toilets.“We’ve made some progress, but I’m determined to increase the number of these life-enhancing facilities, so people are given the dignity they deserve.“I’m pleased so many people will be helped by this major change.”A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…
For months now, Uber has been dealing with accusations that it has a rampant problem with sexual harassment amongst its employees, and it sounds like the results of an investigation have lead to terminations. Both Bloomberg and the New York Times are reporting (and we have since confirmed) that the company has fired “more than 20” employees for harassment in the workplace — including sexual harassment — with more expected to follow.The law firm Perkins Coie has so far looked into 215 separate, specific claims of workplace harassment (including discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation and other forms of harassment) and decided not to take action in 100 instances. But the “more than 20” terminations came from that group of 215, and Bloomberg reporter Eric Newcomer tweeted that there are more cases under investigation — which means there will likely be more firings before all is said and done. There’s no word yet on the ranks or positions of those who’ve been fired, but it seems likely Uber will make a statement sooner than later.Sexual harassment claims have followed Uber around for some time now, but things reached a tipping point this past February when former engineer Susan Fowler wrote an explosive account of her time at the company and the multitude of ways she was harassed in her year at the company. One week later, the company’s senior VP of engineering Amit Singhal resigned amid accusations of harassment when he worked at Google.Arianna and Liane to press: there is no systemic sexual harassment, just Susan.External lawyers: there are 215 cases of sexual harassment. https://t.co/sZl0bnLccs— Susan J. Fowler (@susanthesquark) June 6, 2017Since then, lawyer Eric Holder (with his firm Covington & Burling) and board member Arianna Huffington have led an investigation that some believed wasn’t independent enough to produce results. (Perkins Coie, who conducted investigations into specific claims that led to today’s firings, was hired in addition to Covington & Burling.) And a number of high-ranking employees have fled the company during a toxic year as the company tries to clean itself up. Just earlier today, the company announced that it had hired Frances Frei (an expert on gender equality from the Harvard Business School) as the company’s senior VP of leadership and strategy.This comes after Frei assisted in the investigation into Uber’s harassment problems. Whether she’ll be able to straighten the company out remains to be seen, but a first round of firings could be a positive step in the right direction — even though there’s certainly more work to be done.Update, 2:55 p.m. ET: An Uber spokesperson has confirmed the firings, noting that they came from an investigation from law firm Perkins Coie into specific reported cases of harassment from Uber employees. The spokesperson also noted that the second investigation being led by Eric Holder isn’t into specific cases of harassment but more about how to change the overall culture at Uber that’s driving the problems the company is experiencing. This story originally appeared on Engadget –shares Add to Queue Next Article June 7, 2017 Uber Fires More Than 20 Employees for Harassment Register Now » Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Senior Editor at Engadget Uber The company’s investigation into harassment in its workplace continues, so more firings may be coming. Image credit: Uber | Shutterstock 3 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Nathan Ingraham
Image credit: Cheriss May | NurPhoto | Getty Images Add to Queue 4 min read –shares Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Mitch McConnell Is Positioning Himself as the Champion of the U.S. Hemp Industry hemp Download Our Free Android App April 18, 2019 Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community. dispensaries.com Guest Writer Politics is legendary for making for strange bedfellows but it doesn’t get any stranger than hearing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, staunch Republican from Kentucky, tell reporters earlier this month that he is behind quickly cleaning up any “glitches” with the U.S. hemp industry.That’s an issue most would associate with Democrats but money talks and there’s a lot of money talking about hemp. McConnell, who successfully led the charge to legalize hemp farming in the 2018 Farm Bill, has vowed to do whatever is necessary to get a regulated hemp system running smoothly.McConnel, speaking in football analogies, described hemp supporters as in the “red zone,” according to the Associated Press. “I’m prepared to do my job … all the way into the end zone if it requires additional legislation,” McConnell saidHow important is this to McConnell? The Senate majority leader put himself on the farm bill conference committee as “insurance” that hemp legalization would get included in the bill, according to Roll Call. Related: Marijuana the Feds Allow for Research Is More Like Hemp Than Real-Life PotWhy Is McConnell a hemp supporter?To understand McConnell’s willingness to use the power of the Senate Majority Leader officer to hammer out any problems for the hemp industry, it’s important to understand the current state of farming in Kentucky, particularly tobacco farming. Fewer people are smoking each year, tobacco sales are falling and demand for what has been a major cash crop for generations is also falling. By contrast, hemp is “four times more profitable than corn or soybeans,” according to CNBC and has immense growth potential.McConnell is trying to establish Kentucky as a hemp “processor hub,” the term used by Kentucky Agricultural Commissioner Ryan Quarles. He told CNBC that “industrial hemp is promising and is the fastest area of growth in Kentucky agriculture. We don’t know if industrial hemp will replace tobacco, but we are going to champion it.”Roll Call also noted that, not surprisingly, getting the hemp industry running smoothly could prove key to McConnell’s reelection in 2020.Related: 5 Other Uses for Hemp You May Not Know AboutHow McConnell can help hemp.Two of the biggest current problems for hemp producers are shipments getting stopped by law enforcement and the lack of financial services for hemp companies.Both Oregon and Kentucky have farmers who are big producers of hemp. Many of them ship their hemp to Colorado for processing. However, some shipments have been detained by law enforcement officers who have no way to test the difference between hemp and marijuana on the road. Legal hemp contains only trace amounts of THC, the chemical ingredient in cannabis that causes the highMcConnell and other federal and state officials are calling for better communication between federal regulators and law enforcement and the development of better testing protocols.A larger issue is the lack of access to financial services for cannabis-related businesses. This long-standing issue revolves around the fact that banks will not offer financial services to the marijuana industry because the plant remains an illegal drug in the eyes of the federal government. Most marijuana businesses operate on a cash-only basis or through expensive work arounds with payment processors.McConnell has “urged” federal financial regulatory agencies to issue guidance to financial institutions, letting them know that hemp is not the same as marijuana, according to the AP. He’s been joined in the effort by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat.It’s also an issue that Democrats such as Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have tried to address.The banking issue is another example of how cannabis and hemp, and the millions they can bring both private businesses and taxing agencies, are leading to politicians crossing the aisle in ways they do not with many other issues.Follow dispensaries.com on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest cannabis news. The Senate Majority Leader sees hemp as a boon for Kentucky farmers and his own reelection next year. Free Green Entrepreneur App Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Next Article
Next Article Legal Hemp Is Being Planted at George Washington’s Historic Estate for the First Time in 200 Years Hemp Nation Free Green Entrepreneur App Image credit: John Greim | Getty Images 7 min read Brought to you by Marijuana Venture Brian Beckley Download Our iOS App George Washington has been a hero of the cannabis movement ever since he famously told his gardener to “Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, sow it everywhere.” But, ironically, that seed has not been sown at Washington’s home at Mount Vernon since the man himself planted it.Until 2018, that is.Last year, thanks to changing laws regarding marijuana’s non-psychotropic cousin, the workers at Mount Vernon planted and harvested a small plot of hemp on the same land that the first president used to grow the plant two centuries ago.“It’s been tremendously exciting to bring back a crop that hasn’t been grown since Washington’s day,” says Dean Norton, the estate’s current head gardener, or director of horticulture, as he is known today. “That’s kind of our mission, trying to represent this site as it was during his time.”And while the plot at Mount Vernon is tiny — only about 1,000 square feet — it represents not just the past as it was in the time of our first president, but the future in a state looking for a new agricultural lifeline.“There’s a real need for that crop, which is why to me it was so important to bring something back to the soil at Mount Vernon that had been grown by Washington in the 18th century that hadn’t seen the soil here at Mount Vernon since his time,” Norton says, adding that Mount Vernon has a “special” role in potentially convincing the legislature to legalize hemp production.“Washington’s use of it was strictly for fiber. There’s no reference anywhere for anything other than that,” he says. “But I think it can become an amazing commercial crop for the state of Virginia.”Related: An Argument for Farming HempA Farmer FirstThough he is rightfully remembered as a great military strategist, one of our Founding Fathers and the country’s first president, Washington was a farmer first. In fact, he walked away from the presidency after two terms so he could go back to his beloved Mount Vernon and work the soil. In a letter to a friend, he once wrote “agriculture has ever been amongst the most favorite amusements of my life.”“George Washington considered himself foremost a farmer,” Norton says. “I like to say his love was of nature, his gift was leadership, but his passion was farming.”Washington began his agriculture career as a tobacco farmer, but in the 1760s he was looking for a new cash crop and first explored the possibility of hemp. According to Norton, at that time England was offering “bounties and subsidies and bonuses” for people who knew how to grow hemp because the plant’s fiber was so important to the country’s navy and shipping industry.Ultimately, Washington went with wheat as his primary crop, building a grist mill that still stands today, but he kept a large plot of hemp planted at Mount Vernon for his own purposes, including a fishing fleet that one year accounted for two-thirds of his income, according to Norton.“The hemp they grew here and the fiber they made would help repair the seines [nets] and of course he needed the ropes for his fishing fleet,” Norton says.Related: Hemp vs. Marijuana: Why Can’t Cops Tell Them Apart?Traditional MeasuresMount Vernon’s current plot is a far cry from what Washington would have needed to keep his fishing fleet in rope. But it is also far from the industrial hemp we think of today. The tiny plot at Mount Vernon is purely for demonstration, especially since all of the farming, harvesting and production is being done as it would have during the Colonial era.“We’re growing it, we’re harvesting it, we’re putting it into shocks, we’re drying it, we’re going to ret it, we’re going to break it; the whole thing,” Norton says. “The people are in costumes whenever we do anything down there.”But that doesn’t mean it didn’t face the same kinds of challenges that other hemp farmers face. For example, last year Mount Vernon’s seed was quarantined in New York for longer than expected, meaning it did not get to Norton until May, a little later than hoped. Then, after it was sown, Virginia experienced three storms that dropped more than three inches of rain on the fields, washing away or rotting out much of the seed and forcing Norton and his team to replant.“So it had a rough start,” he says with a laugh.But by the time the Aug. 31 harvest came around, the plants had grown to nearly eight feet, about what Norton says they hoped for.“It really is an amazing plant,” he says.Norton says the year has been an educational experience for him. Despite being a professional horticulturist who has worked at the Mount Vernon since he began picking up trash at the estate as a teenager in 1969, this was his first experience with Cannabis sativa L. Norton says one of the things he has learned is how laborious the process was back in the 18th century, from the planting to the harvest, but especially the processing. It has given him a new appreciation of the skills the plantation workers and slaves possessed. But the small patch at Mount Vernon will not produce a lot of fiber. According to Norton, you need six acres of hemp to get just one acre of fiber, making the 1,000-square-foot plot truly for demonstration only.“What’s fun about the 18th century is that when you do something you’ve only read about for the first time, it’s just this whole new world,” he says. “You really don’t know until you actually go through the process.”Norton says the plot also proved extremely popular with local wildlife, even more than the other crops that are planted at the estate.“When I am out at the flower garden here at Mount Vernon, the Pleasure Garden, I rarely see a honey bee,” he says. “But this hemp crop during the flowering, it was like this buzz you could hear 50 feet away, there were so many of them.“Then, when they left and the seed are coming, the birds flew in,” he adds. “It was like the Hitchcock movie.”Related: 5 Other Uses for Hemp You May Not Know AboutAgriculture as an AttractionNorton says the response to the planting has been overwhelmingly positive, from media coverage to the tourists who “do a double take” when they walk by the patch and often stop to pose for photos with the crop.He is already planning to plant additional hemp this year, taking the first president’s advice to make the most of the seed and expanding the plant’s footprint at the estate.“Oh yeah; it will become a regular crop down there for sure,” he says, adding that it will be planted in the “Sundries Field,” along with corn, flax, cotton and tobacco.Norton says it’s all part of the mission of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, which owns the former president’s estate and teaches people about life in the 18th century and about the farming that Washington treasured.“You know, agriculture is agriculture,” he says. “Whether it’s hemp or cotton or flowers, we can all learn from the practices we do.”This article was first published in Marijuana Venture, a content partner of Green Entrepreneur. Add to Queue Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Our nation’s first president was also the first and most famous advocate of hemp. –shares April 29, 2019
July 18, 2016 5 min read Next Article –shares This story originally appeared on Reuters Reuters Image credit: Reuters | Chris Helgren Apply Now » The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Add to Queue Success of Pokemon GO Adds Impetus for Change at Nintendo 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Nintendo The phenomenal success of Pokemon GO and the surge in Nintendo Co.’s market value by $17 billion in just over a week has been seized upon by one of its most vocal investors to press for a change of strategy at the company.Until Pokemon GO, a mobile game, was launched just over a week ago, Nintendo had taken every opportunity to say its main focus was still gaming consoles, and games for smartphones were just a means to lure more people to them.But the success of Pokemon GO — unforseen even by its creators — has shown the potential for augmented reality and for Nintendo to capitalize on a line-up of popular characters ranging from Zelda to Super Mario.Seth Fischer, founder and chief investment officer at Oasis Management, is one of Asia’s best known hedge fund managers and has long been a small but loud shareholder. Encouraged by the success of mobile games like “Candy Crush,” he has campaigned for years for the Japanese console maker to develop and sell games for platforms run by Apple and Google.”I hope they will now understand the power of smartphones,” Fischer told Reuters. “And as a result, I hope this means there is a whole change in strategy.””My next focus with Nintendo is for them to focus on monetizing the rest of their 4,000 patents for mobile gaming, multi-player gaming, et cetera. I think they could be making 30 to 60 billion yen ($290 million to $570 million) annually from licensing.”Fischer has described Oasis as an advisor to entities that own Nintendo shares and a shareholder. The fund’s direct holding is not listed among the company’s largest investors.Nintendo President Satoru Iwata last year cautioned against hoping for too much change at the company. The expansion into smartphone games was “not because we have lost our enthusiasm or prospects for the console business,” he said at the time.A Nintendo spokesman, asked about its mobile strategy, said last week there were three main objectives: “To maximize exposure of Nintendo’s intellectual properties to consumers, to make profits on mobile devices and to create synergies with the console business.”He did not comment further on Pokemon GO.”Junk food”Serkan Toto, founder of Tokyo-based game industry consultancy Kantan Games, said Nintendo still saw itself as a console maker.”When you sell $400 dedicated devices and you sell the gamer boxed software for $60 a piece — for them this is the gold standard,” he said. “For them, mobile is the junk food: enjoy while you wait for the bus. It’s not something that Nintendo sees for itself.”Pokemon GO, however, has been a runaway success, marrying a classic 20-year old franchise with augmented reality. Players walk around their neighborhoods in real life, search out and capture Pokemon cartoon characters on their smartphones.The game was created by Nintendo, Google-spinoff Niantic, and Pokemon Company. Nintendo owns a third of Pokemon Company and both have undisclosed stakes in Niantic.Nintendo has not commented on next steps, which many speculate could now involve other favorite characters.The hardware-focused group had planned to introduce a device called Pokemon GO Plus, which could allow it to piggyback on the success of the mobile game. The device vibrates when a Pokemon character is nearby, enabling players to catch them without constant monitoring.Pokemon GO is on track to be the first mobile game to break the $4 billion-per-year wall, beating out Candy Crush Saga and Supercell’s Clash of Clans, according to Macquarie Research. But the impact to Nintendo’s bottom line could be minimal because of shared ownership, as little as 3 percent of net profit in the year to next March.Niantic declined to comment on the future of its relationship with Nintendo, although it credited Pokemon’s unique appeal for the game’s success.”It’s been wonderful to be able to combine our philosophy for these kinds of games with the powerful affinity that people have for Pokemon,” Niantic CEO John Hanke told Reuters.But analysts say the craze signals the vast money-making opportunities available for Kyoto-based Nintendo — when it eventually brings out more serious hits.”Over the last decade they never compromised on the software side. That’s why they’ll blow everybody out of the water once they start take iOS and Android more seriously than they do now,” Toto said. “The successes of Pokemon Go will open the eyes of executives in Kyoto. This is unprecedented.”There are no signs, however, that will happen soon.Of the four mobile games that Nintendo has promised to launch this financial year through March, two are set to be Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem — no sign of Mario nor Donkey Kong, at least not yet.(Additional reporting by Yoshiyasu Shida; Writing by Ritsuko Ando and Miyoung Kim; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
About Blue Fountain Media Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at Blue Fountain Media.I am Vice President and General Manager of Blue Fountain Media (BFM). I oversee all agency activities from Revenue Generation to Expense Management. BFM has a strong history of growth through our technology partnerships – as evidenced by being awarded Acquia Growth Partner of the Year in 2018. While we love Drupal on Acquia, we are also strong proponents of WP Engine, Sitecore and Adobe for CMS.On the commerce front, BigCommerce has a great product that’s growing very quickly ever since Adobe acquired Magento. Salesforce Commerce Cloud has made key purchases in both B2B and B2C commerce – making them suddenly a player, as well. We tend to make recommendations based on the entirety of our clients MarTech stack and build integrations with many different Marketing Technologies.Our parent company, Pactera, has a strong partnership with Microsoft and we have been implementing many Microsoft products both internally and for clients as a result of their special relationship.What do you see as the biggest web trends moving forward?Can I be the first to call the end of websites as a “thing people build”? It’s so much more evolved and complex than that. At BFM, we enable content to be delivered across many different devices – and Voice Technology is one area we see becoming bigger every day. For us, Voice Technology represents a paradigm shift in how consumers interact with content, as voice-enabled speakers become more deeply intertwined with day-to-day life. Being able to interact with your favorite brand using voice commands, simplifies and humanizes the user experience. It’s an area we see tremendous growth happening in.Here’s another trend. Privacy regulation comes home. Remember last year’s scramble to comply with GDPR? Well, this EU import is coming to America in January 2020 – and anyone who’s ignored the privacy laws thus far must get in compliance with California’s pending laws or the enforcement will come from much closer to home. I’m sure this will become a more active topic of conversation as that bill becomes law in 6 months or so.What are the key Advertising Analytics/Metrics that Digital Advertising and Marketing teams should be keenly following?Brands are collecting more data than ever, but gleaning valuable, actionable insights out of all this data is what remains woefully out of reach for many. Return on Advertising Spend and the ability to attribute Ad Dollars to Revenue Dollars is the most relevant metric for many advertisers who concentrate on direct response advertising.Other Advertisers are simply trying to win hearts-and-minds, and create brand recognition/affinity so that the next time someone is deciding between Pepsi and Coke, they choose that advertisers brand.We do a lot of work in the CPG space where the goal is not only to collect useful consumer data (and not run afoul of GDPR) but most importantly, it’s about having the Data Scientists and Analytical tools that will help you fuel smarter strategic decisions across your enterprise.How is Blue Fountain Media’s strategy transforming the way modern brands do their Marketing and Sales?In a marketplace defined by Digital Disruption, established brands are continually faced with “what’s next?” moments. Established enterprises must essentially re-invent themselves to be Digital First while still performing their day-to-day functions in order to compete with Digital First competition. That’s not an easy task, especially when tackled from within an organization that’s always done things in an analog environment. We offer businesses solutions, from a fresh perspective, using technology that can essentially transform an enterprises way of working.Why do brands fail to fully understand Digital Marketing Analytics? How do you train your customers to understand this Analytics better?For most brands, collecting data isn’t as much of a problem as making sense of it in the context of today’s business environment. Too often, they limit themselves to one analysis tool, typically chosen because it churns out the dashboards their bosses want to see. This can leave out a lot of valuable insights unnoticed. This is why we work with our clients on the importance of understanding and building actionable metrics for each business. The purpose of this is not just to build pretty dashboards, but to impact both brand and business by offering a clearer view into all aspects of company operations of which Digital Marketing is only one component.Where do you see AR and VR playing a part in the Website Experience?We see these technologies fast becoming powerful Marketing tools for forward-thinking brands. Why? Not only do they create more engaging online user experiences, but they also alleviate an age-old e-commerce selling conundrum: making a customer comfortable buying a product they can’t “see or touch.” AR and VR promise to knock down that barrier by bringing the brick-and-mortar retail experience to the customer.The advent of 5G mobile connectivity gives these nascent technologies a shot at going mainstream, as improved signal bandwidth will support their intensive bandwidth requirements. This is why, going forward, we recommend all brands should be considering ways to incorporate these evolving technologies as part of their comprehensive digital strategies.What are the biggest challenges in measuring the ROI of Social Media Advertising?Measuring ROI on social media campaigns has always been a challenge, even when specific measurements are incorporated in the activation itself. API’s can change rapidly. Social Media Advertising is part of a long-term Marketing strategy and has a much bigger impact when it comes to introducing customers to the brand and overall customer retention than direct sales. Coming up with engaging content is a huge challenge, but maybe more important is avoiding content that might turn a customer off – like deceptive promotions, a poor customer service experience or not responding to online communications, especially when those are public comments made on the company social media page.What is your prediction on the disruptive application of AI in B2B and B2C Marketing initiatives?AI, ML, and Personalization have been the disruptive technology for the last 10 years but they are yet to truly disrupt as they are very difficult to implement elegantly. While AI will certainly be the future, I don’t think it will be disruptive in the foreseeable future. The rollout of 5G technology will be the most disruptive technology to face Digital Marketers in the near future. It will trigger wave upon wave of Marketing Innovation that will spread far and wide, and that’s a very exciting prospect! About BrianAbout Blue Fountain MediaAbout Brian Brian Byer is a leading digital expert helping businesses navigate technology trends to create a competitive advantages and ultimately transform organizations. He has over 20 years of business and entrepreneurial experience and is currently the VP and General Manager at NYC’s leading Digital Agency, Blue Fountain Media. TechBytes with Brian Byer, Vice President, GM at Blue Fountain Media Sudipto GhoshJuly 10, 2019, 1:00 pmJuly 10, 2019 A leading NYC digital agency creating experiences that connect, marketing that performs, and branding that inspires. Explore how we can help you move from now to next. 5GAIARBlue Fountain MediaBrian ByerDigital advertisingGDPRTechBytesVR Previous ArticleCoveo Acquires Tooso to Expand Its AI-powered Digital Commerce TechnologyNext ArticleNEORIS Launched Augmented Intelligence Practice to Spur Data-driven Business Innovation
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 3 2018In an update to a global clinical trial stretching from Philadelphia to four continents, the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy Kymriah® (tisagenlecleucel, formerly CTL019) led to long-lasting remissions in patients with relapsed/refractory (r/r) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The most recent results from the trial will be presented today at the 60th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego (Abstract #1684). Stephen J. Schuster, MD, director of the Lymphoma Program at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, was the principal investigator on the trial, which is known as JULIET and has already led to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as by the European Commission, Health Canada, and Swissmedic. Another data set from the JULIET trial with an earlier cut-off date will also be published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).JULIET included 27 sites in 10 countries across North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. According to the data presented at ASH, 115 patients with r/r DLBCL received an infusion of CAR T cells. The overall response rate of evaluable patients was 54 percent, with 40 percent achieving a complete response. The median duration of those responses was not reached at a median follow-up of 19 months.”These findings are consistent with what we’ve shown in our single-site studies here at Penn, which is that the majority of patients who go into remission stay in remission,” said Schuster, who is the senior author on the ASH abstract and is the lead author on the NEJM study. The data will be presented at ASH by Richard T. Maziarz, MD, a professor of Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science Knight Cancer Institute.Two-thirds of DLBCL cases are successfully treated with frontline chemotherapy. When that fails, a high-dose chemotherapy combined with an autologous stem cell transplant can potentially lead to long-term disease-free survival. However, only half of r/r patients are candidates for this approach, and for those who are, the expected three-year event-free survival rate is just 20 percent.Related StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellNew gene-editing protocol allows perfect mutation-effect matchingBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancer”CAR T therapy represents a potentially life-saving alternative for these patients, who now have a therapy that can help them achieve durable remissions even after other therapies, including transplant, have failed,” Schuster said.The treatment modifies patients’ own immune T cells, which are collected and reprogrammed to potentially seek and destroy the patients’ cancer cells. After being infused back into patients’ bodies, these CAR-expressing T cells both multiply and attack, targeting cells that express a protein called CD19. Tests reveal that this army of hunter cells can grow to more than 10,000 new cells for each single engineered cell patients receive, producing high remission rates. They can also survive in the body for years.Grade 3/4 cytokine-release syndrome (CRS), a toxicity associated with CAR T therapy, which includes varying degrees of flu-like symptoms, with high fevers, nausea, and muscle pain, and can require ICU-level care, was reported in 23 percent of patients, 16 percent of whom required treatment with tocilizumab, which is the standard therapy for the toxicity. All patients recovered from their CRS. Other Grade 3/4 toxicities included infections (19 percent of patients), fever resulting from low blood count (15 percent), neurological events (11 percent), and a metabolic abnormality called tumor lysis syndrome (two percent). There were no treatment-related deaths.In May 2018, Kymriah® was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of adult patients with r/r large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy, including DLCBL, high grade B-cell lymphoma, and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma. In August 2018, it was approved by the European Commission, making it the first cellular therapy approved for two different cancer indications. The original FDA approval came in August 2017 for the treatment of patients up to 25 years of age with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that is refractory or in second or later relapse. Penn and Novartis formed a global research and development collaboration in 2012. Source:https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2018/november/global-trial-shows-car-t-therapy-can-lead-to-durable-remissions-in-nonhodgkins-lymphoma
Amazon set its sights on the pharmacy market Thursday with the acquisition of tech-focused retailer PillPack, sending shock waves through the sector over prospects of disruption by the US online colossus. Amazon had long been rumored to be interested in the pharmacy business ‘Hacking medicine’PillPack was launched by two members of the “hacking medicine” initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and helps people manage multiple medications with a software platform that offers reminders, dose-specific packaging and delivery. Citation: Amazon takes on pharmacy sector with new acquisition (Update) (2018, June 28) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-amazon-pillpack-pharmacy.html Amazon has long been rumored to be interested in the pharmacy business, and the entry by a powerful new player could unsettle a business dominated by large American chains including CVS and Walgreens.Terms were not disclosed on the deal for PillPack, an online pharmacy which operates in all 50 US states and offers pre-sorted dose packaging and home delivery. Some media reports said Amazon paid $1 billion and outbid rival retail giant Walmart.”PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology,” said Jeff Wilke, head of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, in a statement.”We want to help them continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier.”CVS shares slid 6.1 percent in closing trading on the news, while Walgreens Boots Alliance slumped 9.9 percent.Neil Saunders of the research firm GlobalData Retail called the Amazon acquisition “a warning shot” for the pharmacy sector.”Not only has Amazon finally made a solid move into pharmacy, it has done so via an innovative supplier which helps patients manage and organize their prescription drugs,” Saunders said in a research note.He added this “is only the first play in an increasingly aggressive strategy” by Amazon in the sector.”This is incredibly bad news for traditional players, like Walgreens and CVS, who stand to lose the most from Amazon’s determination to grow its share,” Saunders said.Saunders added that “Amazon’s entry into any market will put downward pressure on prices and upward pressure on costs as others try to match its service,” and that CVS and Walgreens could be vulnerable.Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina told a conference call on its quarterly results Thursday that “we are not particularly worried” about Amazon but added that “we know that we have to change the level of our services to the customers and we are working quite hard on that.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Amazon threatens to disrupt the prescription drug delivery business, analysts say © 2018 AFP The Boston-based company has said it has raised $118 million from investors and venture funds since its launch in 2013.”Together with Amazon, we are eager to continue working with partners across the healthcare industry to help people throughout the US who can benefit from a better pharmacy experience,” PillPack co-founder and CEO TJ Parker said in a statement.Amazon and PillPack said they expected to close the deal by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval.Seattle-based Amazon, which began two decades ago as an online bookseller, has mushroomed into one of the world’s largest companies.It has retail operations across the globe, a large cloud computing business, a video service that competes with Netflix and a hardware division that makes devices powered by its digital assistant Alexa, which is available to makers of appliances, cars and other products.Last year, Amazon closed a deal to acquire the Whole Foods grocery chain and has begun offering discounts to consumers who are members of its Prime subscription service.Separately Thursday, Amazon announced plans to expand its own delivery fleet to reduce its dependence on services like Fedex and the US Postal Service.Amazon said it has committed $1 million to a fund to help individuals and entrepreneurs set up a contractual delivery service with Amazon.”Individual owners can build their business knowing they will have delivery volume from Amazon, access to the company’s sophisticated delivery technology, hands-on training, and discounts on a suite of assets and services, including vehicle leases and comprehensive insurance,” an Amazon statement said.”Over time, Amazon will empower hundreds of new, small business owners to hire tens of thousands of delivery drivers across the US.” Amazon began two decades ago as an online bookseller but has mushroomed into one of the world’s largest companies whose assets also include groceries and a hardware division
Citation: Air taxis – why they’re no longer pie in the sky (2018, November 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-air-taxis-theyre-longer-pie.html Provided by The Conversation Companies like Rolls Royce are teaming up with industry and academia to provide workable, practical solutions. And although many of the 120 or so concept vehicles exist only on computers for the time being, a select few have built scale and full-size prototype “proof of concept” vehicles. Some are simply “learning by doing” – the very same approach adopted by Orville and Wilbur Wright in the pioneering days of flight.Reach for the skiesAs a service provider, Uber clearly sees air taxis as an extension of mobility options. Customers might expect to use a smart phone app similar to the ones currently in operation, but with the option to choose whether to be driven or flown to their destination. But no matter how high these companies aim to travel, there are still barriers left to overcome. Air taxis would mean busier skies and higher air traffic concentration. Regulators will want to see stringent target levels for safety and security. Simplicity of design will also be key. Battery technologies are improving but have some way to go to meet range requirements for even short urban trips. Automation is seen as a way to make operations safer but it is likely that early vehicles would need human pilots before moving to driverless air taxis in the future. Customer comfort and safety issues will have to be addressed, as will consumer confidence in using this kind of travel technology. On top of all this, noise and emissions within an urban area must be minimised and vehicles will need to be able to operate in adverse weather. The cost of these vehicles will need to be affordable and this can only be achieved through large scale production. There is already a shortage of commercial pilots, so new thinking will be required as to who will operate these machines. Seamless transport integration will require conveniently located “Skyports” and these will place increased demand on electricity supplies. Without integrated air traffic management for air taxis, safety may be compromised. The technology on its own is not the answer, and the concept is unlikely to succeed without a wider view of the business model and operating environment. Joined up thinking will be needed. These future vehicles will not only need to overcome technological but also societal challenges.Despite all that, unmanned and tethered flights for selected concept vehicles have already taken place, and it is likely that in the next two to five years we will see piloted demonstrations. Within the next five to ten years, we could see limited commercial operations in niche market sectors – but collaboration and joined up thinking will be paramount. Drone technology and lessons learned from autonomous vehicles – like Lidar, short for “light detection and ranging” – can also be adopted, while the internet of things may finally mean that connected, seamless travel is indeed possible. Credit: Dean Mangurenje, Author provided Imagine a taxi service that picked you up (into the sky) and then dropped you off after an exciting journey, completely free of road works and traffic lights. It has been claimed that air taxis could be flying us through the air in just a few years’ time – and it’s true that some big companies are speeding ahead with the idea. Uber shows off its vision for future ‘flying taxi’ Why? Well, to start with, we simply need to find better ways of moving around. By the year 2050, it is estimated that around 68% of the world’s population will live in cities (compared with today’s proportion of 55%). This increase, combined with population growth, could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations in the next few decades – leading to ever increasing urban traffic congestion across the globe. In London (currently the most congested city in Europe), drivers spend on average over 72 hours – three whole days – in traffic congestion per year. The need for energy and transport solutions with minimal environmental cost is only going to increase. Commuters will want ever more choice and more flexibility in their modes of transport – hence the interest in using the third dimension of airspace.There are now over 120 concept Electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (EVTOL) vehicles and prototypes being tested across the globe. They range from scaled up drones, to electric and hybrid multi-rotor machines with or without wings. Companies such as Uber (with expected gross revenues in the region of US$50 billion) are investing heavily in the sector. Boeing has acquired technology firm Aurora Flight Sciences to accelerate entry into the market. Airbus has three different projects on the go.Flight of fancyPrevious attempts at building the flying cars of science fiction have failed to live up to expectations. So what’s changed? In short, the electrification of cars has led to the creation of very high energy density batteries and much improved electric motor efficiency. The availability of new lightweight and robust materials (such as carbon fibre) mean higher power to weight ratios. And the use of 3-D printing means that complex parts can now be printed in plastics and metals. Explore further This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.