The Latest: Reno Rodeo canceled because of coronavirus

first_imgInter had to delay the resumption of training earlier in the week because not everyone on the team had been tested for COVID-19.The club says all tests have now come back negative and that “optional individual training sessions will begin this afternoon.”AC Milan has also reopened its training center for its players.Most of the other Italian league clubs had already resumed training on an individual basis this week before full team training restarts on May 18.___ The Turkish club is based in the Black Sea coastal city of Trabzon. The team’s players had previously been training in groups of three in line with social distancing guidelines.Turkey’s health ministry has said it was not involved in the decision to restart games and added that the federation would be responsible for any consequences.Istanbul club Fenerbahce said Thursday that it “understands” the federation’s decision but raised questions about the fate of the season if a team needs to be quarantined and the legal implications if a player were to sustain lasting damage after becoming infected.___Spanish soccer teams have resumed individual training after nearly two months of confinement because of the coronavirus pandemic. Reno Rodeo President Craig Downie said in a letter to the rodeo’s board of directors that canceling the event scheduled for June 18-27 was necessary to ensure the safety of participants, fans, vendors, sponsors and volunteers.General Manager George Combs said it was a difficult decision, made in consultation with health experts as well as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Billed as the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West,” the event attended by 140,000 people annually celebrated its centennial in 2019.___The University of Minnesota athletic department is projecting a $4 million deficit for the fiscal year ending on June 30. That’s out of a $123 million budget that ranks as the eighth-largest in the Big Ten conference.Minnesota AD Mark Coyle presented the financial picture at a Board of Regents meeting conducted by video conference on Friday. In February, before the virus outbreak caused the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments and a sharp decrease in revenue, the Gophers were forecasting a $1 million surplus thanks in part to a surge in football ticket sales and fundraising related to a strong 2019 season for the team. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The century-old Reno Rodeo has canceled the 10-day event in June because of the coronavirus pandemic. Djokovic recently said he was against taking a vaccine for the coronavirus even if it became mandatory to travel. He later said he was open to changing his mind.Nadal says “Djokovic will have to be vaccinated if he wants to keep playing tennis at the top level.”He says that “if the ATP or the International Tennis Federation obligates us to take the vaccine to play tennis then we will have to do it.”___Inter Milan players can resume training at the club’s Suning Center after everyone from the first team tested negative for the coronavirus. The international governing body for the sport says the reductions would be in force indefinitely.“From the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games to the cancellation of domestic and international tournaments, the sports world has felt the pain of this virus/outbreak,” UWW says. “Even as we assess the rest of the 2020 calendar, there is uncertainty around the return to competition.”The UWW says its development team has launched a webinar series to address concerns of national federations, athletes and stakeholders.___Turkish soccer team Trabzonspor says its players have started to train as a team following the federation’s decision to resume league games on June 12. Manchester City defender Kyle Walker has complained about being “harassed” and says his family has been “torn apart” after admitting to breaking social-distancing rules again during the coronavirus pandemic.British newspaper The Sun reports that Walker breached regulations three times in a 24-hour period this week by visiting family members and going on a cycle ride with a friend.The England international apologized last month for hosting a party at his home during the lockdown.Walker posted a long statement on Twitter saying he feels he is being followed constantly while also raising mental health concerns.Walker writes “this is no longer solely affecting me but affecting the health of my family and my young children too.” ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 For the next budget cycle covering the 2020-21 school year, the athletic department is bracing for a $75 million loss of expected revenue in the worst-case scenario of no fall sports and thus no televised football games. Games played without fans admitted projects to a $30 million drop in revenue. The best-case scenario of campus reopening in the fall and sports played as scheduled would bring an estimated $10 million hit. Those figures don’t account for reduced expenses in travel and other areas due to the pandemic.— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis___Real Madrid says striker Luka Jovic has a broken bone in his right foot and will not be able to return to practice with the rest of the team next week.The club did not disclose the recovery time but Jovic is likely to be sidelined for at least a few weeks. A further IFAB decision is needed to extend the rule into next season’s competitions and national team games in 2021.___Rafael Nadal says Novak Djokovic will need to be vaccinated to keep playing if tennis bodies make coronavirus shots obligatory once they become available.Nadal tells Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia this week that Djokovic and all players will have to follow the rules when tennis eventually returns to action.Nadal says no one can be forced to take the vaccine and everyone should be free to make their choices but all players will have to comply if tennis officials require “vaccination to travel” and to “protect” everyone on the tour.center_img Associated Press Barcelona, Sevilla, Villarreal and other clubs have returned to action after the Spanish government loosened some of the lockdown restrictions that had been in place since mid-March.Atlético Madrid is set to resume its activities on Saturday and Real Madrid’s players will be back on the field on Monday.Barcelona’s players were practicing at different parts of the team’s training camp to avoid contact with each other. Coach Quique Setién was wearing gloves and a mask as he watched from afar as players ran their drills. Players had their regular training uniforms but no masks or gloves while on the field.Lionel Messi was seen juggling the ball by himself at one point.All players, coaches and club employees were tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to practice. The league has not yet released results but some local media reports said three yet-to-be-named players tested positive. The information has not been independently confirmed. ___Soccer teams will be allowed to use two extra substitutes per match to protect players during a backlog of games caused by the coronavirus pandemic.The International Football Association Board says competition organizers can now approve teams making five changes with a sixth in extra time.IFAB says the temporary rule is available to “competitions which have either started or are intended to start, but are scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31.”Leagues which typically end in May face a congested program into July and August to complete their season. NASCAR plans to race at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina on May 17 and May 20. Since those races weren’t originally scheduled, NASCAR forfeited events at its Richmond and Chicago tracks. Richmond was originally scheduled for April 19 and Chicagoland was scheduled for June 21Speedway Motorsports traded its road course race in Sonoma scheduled for June 14 for a Cup race at Charlotte on May 27.NASCAR is attempting to race at tracks within driving distance of its North Carolina-based teams as it resumes competition following the sports shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has only announced races through May.The canceling of the Chicago race is an ominous sign for workers at the track in Joliet, Illinois. The track staff was hit this week with a second round of layoffs by NASCAR since the pandemic.___ May 8, 2020 Madrid players are expected to return to individual training on Monday after nearly two months of confinement because of the coronavirus pandemic.Spanish media say Jovic was hurt while exercising at home.Teams are being allowed to resume practicing as the Spanish government begins to ease some of the lockdown restrictions that have been in place since mid-March. ___NASCAR has canceled races at Richmond Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway and Sonoma Raceway in California, as it revises its schedule to restart the season. The Latest: Reno Rodeo canceled because of coronavirus The NHL and NHL Players’ Association have put their plans to play outside of North America on ice for the rest of the year.The league and union announced the postponement of its 2020 international games, adding they look forward to taking teams overseas again next year. The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers were previously scheduled to open this season in Prague as part of the NHL’s Global Series. The Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning had been slated to play two games in Stockholm.___The 19 Swiss-based employees of United World Wrestling have had their salaries cut 50 percent, and external staff have received a reduction in work and monthly service fees. last_img read more

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A Small Town Confronts a Tough Reality: Housing Costs Too Much

first_imgCreating a two-house templateThe firm’s first foray into affordable Passive House design was a project built in Hudson, New York, in 2014. The building consisted of two joined houses, each about 1,200 square feet. (For more on that project, see “Habitat Chapter Sees an Energy-Efficient Future.”)The project narrowly missed the Passive House performance mark, but monthly utility bills are less than $40, according to Wedlick, and the three-bedroom homes cost first-time homebuyers less than $800 per month, which includes mortgage, taxes, insurance, and utilities. As important, the experience helped BarlisWedlick fine-tune the design for future Habitat builds.“We do it every year, and we take the same model and we tweak it every year, and we improve the performance and the buildability of it, and the user friendliness of it, and the comfort level of it based on the way the previous home was used and built,” he said.Early designs used structural insulated panels, or a combination of SIPs and stick framing. Eventually, designers settled on double-stud walls as the most economical way of achieving high energy efficiency on a limited budget.By 2016, Columbia County Habitat for Humanity had sold its sixth Passive House duplex, and the ongoing effort got an organization called the Ancram Preservation Group wondering whether Passive House construction would help their community. A lack of affordable housing in Ancram was taking its toll, with a steady loss of population beginning to threaten not only its agrarian way of life but emergency and municipal services as well — no people moving into town, no volunteers at the local fire department. “No farm workers, no farms,” as Wedlick put it.“The smallest farming communities, like Ancram, are the places that are desperate for affordable housing and could not see any way to develop it, so they reached out to Habitat,” Wedlick said.Town leaders asked BarlisWedlick whether some unoccupied historic buildings in town could be rehabbed to Passive House efficiency levels, but the firm told them the duplex they had developed was the quickest and least expensive path to affordable housing. Wedlick’s network of contacts included some major landowners in town, and he approached one of them to ask whether he’d be willing to donate land for a house.“I just put it to him, ‘How is it sustainable that we have a wonderful county that has acres and acres of agricultural land to conserve but nobody that will take care of it can afford to live here,’ ” he said. “That’s not going to work.”It took some finagling and a zoning variance to clear the zero lot line building, but work is now underway on the first one in an Ancram hamlet called Ancramdale. BarlisWedlick is donating its time and expertise to the project along with the Levy Partnership and O’Leary Engineering. RELATED ARTICLES A new model for HabitatThe house design that BarlisWedlick has developed over time is a good fit for Habitat for a couple of reasons, Habitat’s Adams said in a call. It helps the agency, its volunteers, and homeowners feel like responsible citizens because the houses use less energy than a conventionally built home. Because the houses are attached and built on a small lot, their assessed value tends to run 20% to 30% less than two free-standing homes on larger lots would. That’s a big help in reducing what Adams called the “tremendous stress” of property taxes on many county residents.The $135,000 price tag doesn’t include the value of donated professional services or donated materials, Adams points out, and it’s 12% to 15% more than conventional building. But the houses are cheaper to own.“It’s not enough to get our families in a home,” Adams said. “We need to be as certain as we can be that they will be able to afford those homes for the terms of their mortgages, and most of those mortgages are 30-year mortgages.”The double-stud wall approach is appealing to volunteer builders, possibly because it reminds them of an old-fashioned barn-raising, Adams said, so it keeps participation at healthy levels. And the fact that the architects are continuing to tweak the design to improve it keeps volunteers engaged and coming back.There’s no doubt that building to the Passive House standard involves a learning curve for anyone, volunteer or professional, who’s making the shift from conventional to high-performance construction. Adams says the process gets a little easier over time, and crews consider it a “badge of honor” when the house is able to meet certification requirements. “Everyone just cheers,” she said.With some of the more finicky construction details under control and a successful template for new construction in hand, Adams sees an all Passive House future ahead. “All new construction will be Passive House, yeah,” she said. “Why go back?” An evolving designAs described by BarlisWedlick, the house at Ancramdale (located in Climate Zone 5A) will be built on a concrete slab that’s been insulated with 12 inches of Neopor, a graphite-impregnated expanded polystyrene insulation.Double-stud walls consist of two 2×4 walls on 24-inch centers. Walls are insulated with 2 inches of closed-cell polyurethane foam and about 10 inches of dense-packed cellulose. The trussed roof will be insulated with 24 inches of loose-fill cellulose.Windows are Alpen’s 725 series, a triple-glazed unit with two panes of glass and a suspended film between them.The principal air barrier is Zip sheathing and tape, on both the roof and exterior walls. A polyethylene vapor barrier will be installed beneath the slab. The cladding will be a mix of vinyl siding and vertical shiplap wood siding. BarlisWedlick calculates R-values as 56.8 under the slab, 41.4 in exterior walls, and 81 in the ceiling.Mechanicals consist of a one-head Mitsubishi ductless minisplit for heating and cooling, an electric water heater, and an energy-recovery ventilator. Habitat Chapter Sees an Energy-Efficient FutureLow-Income Housing: Problems and Solutions Can Low-Income Housing Be Energy-Efficient and Affordable?Affordable Housing is Leading Green BuildingHabitat’s High-Performance ExperimentHabitat’s Passivhaus Focus in Vermont A New Multifamily Will Put Passive House Performance to the Testcenter_img Where the design came from The Ancram Build, the latest version of a BarlisWedlick design, has its origins in the 2008 housing collapse and subsequent financial meltdown. When the housing bubble burst, work dried up for a lot of people in the construction business, including architects. Wedlick’s firm wanted to keep as much of its staff as possible, so the firm took on a “case study” project, a way of treading water while they waited for business to pick up.The firm had been commissioned to design a passive solar spec house in Columbia County. This also was about the time that Wedlick first became interested in Passive House design and completed a Passive House certification course. When the passive solar project was shelved, the architects decided to turn it into a Passive House project. They joined forces with a local builder who also was looking for a way to stay busy, and together built what became the Hudson Passive Project.“We had an incredible case study,” Wedlick said. “We could compare what was our best effort using passive solar techniques to a built Passive House version of the exact same design. The project got a lot of ink because nobody was doing anything at the time with the Great Recession, and it looked good where everything that had been done up to that time that was referred to as Passive House looked like a bunker. Ours did not.”With one wall made almost entirely of glass, and a wide open floor plan under a steeply pitched roof, the house in Claverack, New York, looked nothing like a bunker. After its completion in 2011, the Hudson Passive Project became the first certified Passive House in New York State. It also attracted the attention of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which provided a third-party review and energy monitoring of the house for a year. A report published by the agency said the project could reduce overall energy use by 70% when compared to a code-minimum house, Wedlick said. Savings for heating energy were even better.Those numbers were very interesting to Brenda Adams, executive director of Columbia County Habitat for Humanity, the local affiliate that uses volunteer labor to build affordable housing. Adams invited the architects in to give a talk to people who worked on Habitat projects. Builders in the audience, Wedlick said, “ate it up,” and with support from Adams, BarlisWedlick offered to tweak existing house plans the agency was already using so the next Columbia Habitat house could be Passive House certified.“It was a turning point in my career, and I don’t say that lightly,” Wedlick said. “I’ve been working my whole career to make higher quality architecture available to more people than typically come across it. It’s always been rewarding in small ways to have felt I had some small impact on the marketplace, but really producing something that was affordable was never possible until Habitat volunteers showed me how to do that.“And not just any kind of affordable house but the highest quality performance house,” he continued. “It was really rewarding, and so we’ve been doing it ever since.” Wedlick and partner Alan Barlis are banking on an affordable housing model they first developed several years ago to make it possible for workers to live in the communities that need them. Low construction costs typical for Habitat for Humanity projects are key, but so are low operating and energy costs that come with Passive House construction. Wedlick calls the building template they have developed the “sweet spot of affordable homeownership.” It’s not technically a “duplex” because the two houses, separated by a common wall, are individually owned and sit on separate lots. Each house is about 1,300 square feet.The houses can be heated and cooled with a small fraction of the energy needed for a code-minimum home, and they can be built for $135,000 — or about $104 a square foot. “Our monthly carrying costs for a three-bedroom, two-bath house are about comparable to renting a two-bedroom apartment,” Wedlick said in a telephone call. Despite its close proximity to New York City, Columbia County has managed to hang on to its rural character and agrarian economy. More than 100,000 acres remain open fields and farmland, tended by farmers, foresters, carpenters, and a variety of other tradespeople. The Hudson Valley setting seems idyllic, but there’s a catch: the people who help keep farming alive can’t afford to live here.The median price of a home in one community, Ancram, is $289,000. Entry-level wages for many rural workers are less than $30,000 a year, not enough to carry the ongoing costs of owning a home.That’s the assessment of the architect Dennis Wedlick, and the reason for his partnership with Columbia County Habitat for Humanity and local officials in Ancram to develop affordable housing specifically for rural workers.Wedlick calls the effort to preserve open land and an agrarian way of life just 30 miles north of New York City “monumental.” The area is an important source of food for New York’s farmers’ markets, and the assumption has been that the rural workforce making all of this possible should be able to “live and thrive here for generations to come.”That’s the problem, Wedlick says. They won’t.“Unfortunately, in Columbia County and elsewhere in the Hudson Valley, agrarian-related occupations no longer provide entry-level compensation sufficient to purchase and maintain a home,” Wedlick wrote in a background report for a member of the New York State Assembly last year.last_img read more

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Russia pulls basketball World Cup bid, blames negative image

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Russia’s doping scandals across various sports have caused it to be stripped of numerous Olympic medals, though Kirilenko didn’t directly link the decision to doping scandals.That leaves ruling body FIBA with two joint bids for the tournament, one from Argentina and Uruguay, the other from the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutTurkey was also a bidder but dropped out Tuesday, saying it wanted to focus on developing basketball at home. Read Next Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Andrei Kirilenko. AP FILE PHOTOMOSCOW — Russia has withdrawn a bid to host the 2023 basketball World Cup, saying that international criticism of the country’s athletes was to blame for the decision.Russian Basketball Federation president and former NBA All-Star Andrei Kirilenko says the bid was pulled “taking into account the negative attitude of the world sports community to Russian athletes and our country’s sport in general.”ADVERTISEMENT Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Olympic gymnastics ex-doctor pleads guilty to sex charges View comments CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohortlast_img read more

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a month agoKlopp insists he’s not thinking about Liverpool winning run

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Klopp insists he’s not thinking about Liverpool winning runby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists he’s not thinking about their stunning winning run.The Reds’ have now won 15 Premier League matches in a row as they prepare to face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday but he insists that is not a factor for them.He said, “We don’t think about it. The only moment when I think about it is in the press conference. Nobody mentions it, we don’t think about it and it’s just about the next game.“Thank God we lost from time to time in the Champions League and other cup competitions so we still know how it feels, because that is really important.“We want to go to Sheffield and make their life as uncomfortable as possible. Maybe we are considered a top team but we don’t want to behave like a top team. Playing, if possible, yes but fighting like a proper challenger.“I don’t see any reason why there should be any advantage for Sheffield apart from playing in their own stadium. Is it allowed that they will fight more than us? No. Is it allowed that they will run more than us? No. Is it allowed that they do more? No.“We have to be spot on. That is the plan. We tried to make sure with how we planned the week that the boys will be ready for the game. Really looking forward to it.” last_img read more

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Click on image to enlarge As you can see the

first_img (Click on image to enlarge) As you can see, the royalty fee on Android is pretty steep… and it doesn’t even include a hefty fee paid to Microsoft for patents it holds on Android, which by some accounts is as high as $20 per phone for some manufacturers. The high fee is probably why Samsung rejected the offer… a decision it might regret now. You’ll also notice the royalty fee on Windows is not so steep when compared to that of Android (or to that of any other operating system [OS] listed). The price discrepancy is largely due to the “Licensed OS Discount,” which is the result of a cross-licensing agreement between Apple and Microsoft. Should similar terms be offered to other mobile-phone manufacturers, the prospects of a lower licensing fee (not to mention the legal protection from Apple that Microsoft provides) could serve as an incentive to make the switch to Windows. However, a mass exodus from Android to Windows – at least in the short term – is unlikely, given that Android offers about five times as many apps (although Windows does currently offer many of the most popular apps). But it’s a safe bet that at least some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will opt for Windows on a few product offerings, as Samsung recently decided to do with one of its smartphones. This will undoubtedly allow Microsoft to improve upon its paltry 3.5% market share in the smartphone OS market. It is also a fairly safe bet that Android won’t be “free” anymore… that is, unless those involved figure out a way to navigate around Apple’s vast IP portfolio. The tricky part here is not only sidestepping Apple’s patents, but doing so while creating a phone that people actually want to buy. This could prove to be a tall order in the short-term. The bottom line is that no matter what platform the mobile-phone manufacturers eventually land on, Apple will probably benefit… but heck, that should come as no surprise, even to the most casual observer. Another scenario we might see play itself out in the coming months is some type of blanket licensing agreement between Google and Apple. This prediction may come as a surprise to some, as it would represent a truce in the “thermonuclear war” that Steve Jobs promised to wage on Google’s “stolen product.” But Steve Jobs isn’t with us anymore, and Apple’s new front man, Tim Cook, is reportedly holding secret peace talks with Google CEO Larry Page (however, the war for top tech talent continues unabated). An agreement makes sense for Google, because it would allow the search-engine giant to use some of Apple’s popular patented technology on its Motorola phones – and do so free from fear of legal action. A broad agreement could serve to protect Android OEMs from legal action as well, much in the same way that Microsoft’s licensing agreement with Apple currently does. This could encourage many OEMs to stick with Android which, in turn, benefits Google because it helps maintain the steady flow of traffic to the properties, where it generates piles of ad dollars. From Apple’s standpoint, a truce would free up – as well as generate – cash that could be used to pay more engineers who innovate as opposed to lawyers who litigate, although Apple doesn’t seem to be lacking all that much in the innovation department. By extension, the return to a more innovation-centric business model would allow the company to reclaim, in good faith, its old advertising slogan of “Think Different”… as opposed to its current “should-be” slogan of “Think Different: Sue Constantly.” All joking aside, a peace treaty could also give Apple access to some of Motorola’s coveted patents, which was one of the primary reasons Google bought Motorola in the first place. Speaking of buyouts, this brings us to another possible consequence of the recent verdict… more acquisitions. iBuy There’s little doubt that the outcome of the “patent trial of the century” will facilitate the current smartphone IP acquisition spree, simply because it reaffirmed the importance of holding a portfolio of essential patents. Obviously, this makes companies with the most attractive mobile-phone patents the most attractive acquisition targets. Many hedge funds hire top-notch patent attorneys in order to ascertain who these likely targets are. For me, I will rely solely on the collective wisdom of the market. The first trading day following the verdict, InterDigital popped roughly 5%. This is likely because the company holds a plethora of patents related to long-term evolution 4G technology. InterDigital’s CEO recently expressed interest in continuing a strategy of selling off these valuable patents in chunks at a time, as it did to Intel back in June. But in the wake of the recent verdict, I wouldn’t completely rule out an all-out acquisition sometime in the near future. Unfortunately, the post-verdict run-up in the stock (roughly 8%) has cut into some of the investment gains to be had from a potential buyout. And that’s why it pays to recognize these things in advance. Nokia’s stock popped nearly 9% following the Apple verdict. The prevailing wisdom is that the company bet on the right horse with Microsoft’s seemingly litigation-proof OS, which could, in turn, generate increased demand for Nokia’s new phone as other handset makers scramble to deal with issues pertaining to their copycat phones – and find themselves confronted with delayed product launches or even current products being yanked off the shelves. That partially explains the share-price spike. But it could also have to do with the fact that Nokia is armed to the teeth with an array of attractive patents ranging across a broad spectrum of mobile-phone technologies, and thus is a strong potential buyout target. By most accounts, Nokia’s IP portfolio is at least as attractive as that of Motorola (a company that fetched a price of $12.5 billion largely on the strength of its patents). Should Nokia command roughly the same price – and this is by no means a thorough valuation analysis – that represents nearly a 13% premium to its recent share price. Now, that’s not exactly an enormous premium for the shareholders of a company that supposedly is sitting on a patent “gold mine.” But if I could pocket a 13% return on every investment I make over the next 20 years, I would be fairly pleased. This naturally raises the question: Who might be interested in acquiring these companies? The answer is easy: any interested party with the financial means to do so (Google, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, etc.). This is a massive struggle among giants, as each maneuvers to take the biggest possible bite out of an enormous market. Every possible advantage must be seized. Specifically, I believe that we’ll see an offer from Samsung before long, because the overwhelming legal loss to Apple revealed the weakness of the company’s patent portfolio. That’s something Samsung has to be planning to address, and relatively soon. There’s a Patent for That The final takeaway from all this legal wrangling is that Apple will not allow Google to give away for free what Apple feels it created. If that means years of litigation is forthcoming, then so be it. In the short term, the threat of litigation from Apple – and from anyone else with one of the 250,000 potential patent claims on a single smartphone – will prompt companies to continue to pad their patent portfolios via acquisition (despite that the market for patent portfolios seems to be getting a bit frothy). They will do this so that they can increase their leverage at the bargaining table, should the need arise. Ultimately, I think those involved will begrudgingly agree to pay the “Apple tax.” When this might happen is anyone’s guess. But when it does, at that point maybe we can kill all the lawyers, and everyone can (as Nilay Patel put it in a recent The Verge article) “go back to making cool @%$#.” Bits & Bytes Yahoo Shuns BlackBerry with Free Smartphone Offer for US Employees (The Verge) A recent internal memo from Yahoo! revealed newly appointed CEO Marissa Mayer’s plan for the company to purchase all US employees a new smartphone. The plan will be put into motion through a program called “Yahoo! Smart Phones, Smart Fun!” Under the program, the company will cover the cost of not only the handset, but the phone and data plan as well. It’s a pretty sweet deal… but, as always, there’s a catch. Employees aren’t free to choose any type of phone they wish. Instead, the company provides a small – but good – list to choose from. It includes: iPhone 5; Samsung Galaxy S3; HTC One X; HTC EVO 4G LTE; or Nokia Lumia 920.Notice that the BlackBerry – formerly known as the “CrackBerry” due to its pervasiveness in the business world – is missing from the list. Looks like Yahoo!, which formerly used BlackBerrys as a corporate phone, decided to kick the habit. This indicates where Marissa Mayer – industry insider and CEO of one of the world’s largest tech companies – believes the future lies… and it’s not with Research in Motion’s BlackBerry devices. Of course, the market figured this one out a long time ago, and drove RIMM’s stock price down nearly 95% from its 2008 high. Apple Snubs Emerging Mobile Payment Standard (Reuters) One feature not listed on the spec sheet of the new iPhone 5 is NFC technology. NFC, short for “near field communication,” is a technology that allows two machines in close proximity to communicate with each other. Many are convinced that NFC is destined to be the driving force behind the mobile payment revolution. Evidently, Apple’s not convinced. One problem is that most merchants will not install NFC-compatible payment machines until the handset makers mass-produce NFC-enabled phones. But the handset makers won’t mass-produce the phones until the merchants install the machines. In other words, it’s a classic Catch-22 dilemma. Another problem is that it’s not clear as to whether NFC actually solves a problem – at least not a payment problem… and payment is its main value proposition. NFC doesn’t allow consumers to save time by bypassing checkout lines. And tapping your NFC-enabled phone against a POS terminal, as opposed to swiping to a credit card through one, doesn’t really make the actual checkout process any faster. For the above reasons, Apple decided to take a pass on NFC for the latest version of the iPhone. Speed Cameras: Traffic Enforcement or Highway Robbery? (Washington Post) Automated traffic enforcement is proving to be quite the revenue generator in the Washington D.C. area. The city reportedly raked in $66.7 million through the first three quarters of FY 2012 from its speed and traffic-light cameras. For FY 2013, the city plans to haul in roughly $86.2 million from the high-tech crackdown. The financial windfall is a result of the city’s ultimate goal of “getting people out of their cars” and onto their bikes through the use of hyper-vigilant traffic enforcement that is all made possible by the city’s vast network of camera cops. Google Is Great, But Apple’s Going to $1,650 (Yahoo! Finance) Google and Apple have both crossed the $700/share mark. From here, Ironfire Capital founder Eric Jackson believes that Apple is the stock destined to surge much higher (to $1,650 by 2015, to be exact). “This train is just getting out of the station,” Jackson said. However, he does see Google heading to $880 from its recent price of $723 over the next 6-12 months. Over the long term, Jackson believes that Google’s main obstacle lies in its ability to monetize mobile search. By Adam J. Crawford, Analyst It’s been nearly a month since the verdict came down in the “patent trial of the century.” To our readers, it may seem the Casey Research tech team is a little late on this one. But sometimes, in order to avoid careless mistakes and/or sloppy analysis, it pays to take a step back and survey the scene before offering up an opinion. With that said, the verdict is in. For better or worse, it has been extensively covered; most know by now that the ruling was a decisive victory for the Cupertino crew, which won over a billion dollars in the case. And, more importantly, it won several claims on patents concerning the design and use of some of Apple’s popular gadgets, not the least of which was important intellectual property (IP) concerning multi-touch gestures. Now it’s off to appeals court, where many legal experts feel that Samsung (which has now been dubbed “Samesung”) is likely to lose yet again. Adding insult to injury, Samsung could also face product bans in the United States. There are a number of other developments that could evolve from this verdict… far too many to attempt to predict. Allow me to lay out a few possibilities. Say Hello… to Licensing Fees One reason Android devices rule the smartphone sphere is because Google offers the iPhone-like platform for “free.” But after the recent verdict, the likes of Huawei, Sony, Lenovo, ZTE (which all use Android extensively), and many other Android users face the threat of lofty licensing fees for access to Apple’s popular, patented technology… or face the very real threat of a sizable legal judgment should Apple decide to pursue the issue – which I think it will. Neither is an attractive option, but royalty fees are much more so, given the unpredictable and potentially devastating effects of an unfavorable court decision, especially on those who don’t have the financial resources to engage in a lengthy legal battle. Evidently, the fee route was an option Apple offered Samsung back in 2010. Below is the “royalty fee menu” that was presented to Samsung and later revealed at the recent trial.last_img read more

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A Strategy That Pays 2x More Than Your Social Secu

first_img A Strategy That Pays 2x More Than Your Social Security Benefits The average person collects $1,180 per month in Social Security benefits. We’ve recently uncovered an investment strategy that can pay 2x more than that…and potentially much, much more. Like David Williams, who used this strategy to collect $6,560 in a day…and Wesley McCrea, who skyrocketed his monthly income to over $5,000 using a twist on this strategy. Click here to see how to supersize your income with the click of a button in the next 60 seconds. Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida June 10, 2016 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to [email protected] We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. Negative interest rates are spreading like a plague. As you’ve probably heard by now, many interest rates around the world have “gone negative.” Normally, you earn interest on the money in a savings account. With negative rates, you pay the bank to hold your money. In other words, negative rates turn savings upside down. They basically “tax” the money in your account. Negative rates were unheard of for most of history. But, as you’re about to see, they’re starting to take over the world. In this issue, we’ll tell you exactly what’s happening…and what to do about it. • The European Central Bank (ECB) started using negative rates two years ago… The Bank of Japan (BOJ) introduced them earlier this year. Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland have them too. Today, $10 trillion worth of government bonds pay negative yields. That’s up from $6 trillion in February, a staggering 67% increase in just four months. The Wall Street Journal reported today that government bond yields in Japan, Germany, and the U.K. have just fallen to record lows. • Negative rates have even seeped into the corporate bond market… At least $36 billion worth of corporate bonds have negative rates. Iconic American businesses Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), General Electric (GE), and Philip Morris (PM) all have bonds trading with negative rates. So if you buy a Johnson & Johnson bond today, you’re essentially paying a fee to lend the company money. • Central bankers said negative rates would “stimulate” economies… The idea is that folks will spend more money if you “tax” their savings. According to mainstream economists, this will grow the economy. It hasn’t worked. Europe and Japan are both growing at their slowest rates in decades. Their stock markets are also doing poorly. The STOXX Europe 600, which tracks 600 large European stocks, is down 12% over the past year. The Nikkei 225, Japan’s version of the S&P 500, is down 16% since last June. • Negative rates have backfired… Folks aren’t spending more money. They’re hoarding cash to avoid paying negative rates. In Japan, sales of home safes have skyrocketed. According to Business Insider, safe sales are now at the highest level since the 2008 global financial crisis. Europeans are doing the same thing. Business Insider reported last week: “Safe sales have shot up through the roof in Europe,” said Hickmore [portfolio manager at Aberdeen Asset Management]. “People are taking cash out, and even with security costs, it’s better returns than your negative rates. It’s crazy, crazy behavior.” • Huge corporations have also gone to extreme lengths to avoid negative rates… German insurance giant Munich Re recently pulled €10 million ($11 million) from its account with ECB. Munich Re is the world’s second-biggest “reinsurer.” It insures insurance companies. Like other large European financial institutions, Munich Re keeps money with the ECB. This arrangement used to make sense. Not anymore. These days, Munich Re has to pay €4 for every €1,000 it stores with the central bank for a year. That’s because the ECB’s key rate is currently -0.4%. That might not sound like much. But for Munich Re—which oversees about €231 billion—it adds up quickly. Munich Re put the money it withdrew into other currencies and gold. • This week, one of Germany’s largest banks said it might soon do the same thing… Reuters reported on Wednesday: Commerzbank, one of Germany’s biggest lenders, is examining the possibility of hoarding billions of euros in vaults rather than paying a penalty charge for parking it with the European Central Bank. The company made the announcement one month after it said negative rates were eating into earnings. Its profits fell 52% during the first quarter. Commerzbank would become the first major European bank to take this step. We don’t think it will be the last. According to the Financial Times, negative interest rates cost German banks €248 million last year. • Negative rates are eating Europe’s banks alive… Spanish banking giant BBVA’s (BBVA) profits fell 54% last quarter. First-quarter profits at Deutsche Bank (DB), Germany’s largest bank, were down 58%. Swiss bank UBS’s (UBS) profits plunged 64%. Last week, Deutsche Bank’s CEO said it could continue to struggle as long as negative rates are in place: In the banking world, we are currently struggling with negative interest rates. We will struggle more as the effect of those negative interest rates plays out into our deposit books. European banks are now trading like they’re in a financial crisis. Deutsche Bank’s shares have plunged 41% over the past year, and they’re down another 5% today as we write. BBVA is down 37% since last June. UBS is down 25%. – ALERT: Jim Rickards Is Giving Away “G-Series” Gold (Get ‘Em While They Last) This is the real McCoy. Jim Rickards, gold expert and author of The New Case for Gold is pounding the table for gold… So much so that he’s giving away REAL, U.S. mint gold coins. Why on earth would Jim decide to GIVE AWAY two gold coins to 1% of readership today? Click here to find out. This offer WILL NOT last long.center_img Recommended Links • Low interest rates are destroying the value of paper currencies… The value of Europe’s currency, the euro, has fluctuated 25% since the start of 2014. The Japanese yen’s value has swung 20%. These are huge price swings for major currencies. Remember, we’re talking about the value of money in people’s wallets, not volatile biotech stocks. These wild swings directly affect anyone with a bank account. • This is setting the stage for a major financial disaster… And the best way to protect yourself is by owning physical gold. Gold is real money. It’s held its value for centuries because it has a unique set of qualities: It’s durable, easily divisible, and easy to transport. And unlike paper currencies, gold has intrinsic value. It will retain its worth no matter how recklessly world governments act. As negative rates continue to destroy paper currencies, gold’s value should skyrocket. That’s because it’s a safe haven that’s preserved wealth through stock market crashes, economic depressions, and even full-blown currency crises. If you do one thing to protect yourself from the “grand monetary experiment,” own physical gold. For other ways to protect yourself, watch this short free presentation. By the end, you’ll understand why crashing currencies are a sign of a much bigger problem. Click here to watch this free video. Chart of the Day Rock-bottom interest rates have changed how companies spend money… As you probably know, the Federal Reserve has held its key interest rate near zero since 2008. Like the ECB and BOJ, the Fed cut rates to “stimulate” the economy. Eight years of near-zero rates encouraged companies to borrow huge sums of money. Since 2007, U.S. corporations have borrowed nearly $10 trillion in the bond market. Last year, they borrowed a record $1.5 trillion. The Fed slashed interest rates to encourage borrowing and spending. So, in a way, it got what it wanted. The problem is that companies borrowed money for the “wrong reasons.” Today’s chart shows how much U.S. corporations have increased spending on share buybacks, dividends, and business investment since 2009. A share buyback is when a company buys stock on the open market. Business investment includes spending on machinery and equipment. You can see spending on buybacks has nearly tripled since 2009. Spending on dividends increased 67%. Business investment rose just 44%. Companies can boost their share prices by paying dividends and buying back stock. But the benefit is usually short-lived. That’s because neither actually helps a company grow its sales or profits. Buybacks just make profits look bigger “on paper.” And eventually, the “high” wears off. If you want to own stocks, avoid expensive ones and stocks that have been bid up by share buybacks. We also encourage you to set aside extra cash and own physical gold. —last_img read more

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