Business News Feed - Ads of the World March 2014 Winners



Best Film













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Carl Icahn Denies Insider Trading

Want Massive Success? Here Is The Secret – NMPRO #1,074

I can’t make it more clear than this…






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Cosa Nostra Italian Restaurant: Unforgiving Kitchen, 4




Mafia's favorite recipes in a restaurant.



Advertising Agency: Volcan Comunicacion, Mérida, Mexico

Creative Director / Copywriter: Arad Magana

Art Director: Ivan Quiñones

Photographer: Jose M. Garcia

Designers: Isidro Gongora, Arad Magana

Published: May 2014







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Cosa Nostra Italian Restaurant: Unforgiving Kitchen, 3




Mafia's favorite recipes in a restaurant.



Advertising Agency: Volcan Comunicacion, Mérida, Mexico

Creative Director / Copywriter: Arad Magana

Art Director: Ivan Quiñones

Photographer: Jose M. Garcia

Designers: Isidro Gongora, Arad Magana

Published: May 2014







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Cosa Nostra Italian Restaurant: Unforgiving Kitchen, 2




Mafia's favorite recipes in a restaurant.



Advertising Agency: Volcan Comunicacion, Mérida, Mexico

Creative Director / Copywriter: Arad Magana

Art Director: Ivan Quiñones

Photographer: Jose M. Garcia

Designers: Isidro Gongora, Arad Magana

Published: May 2014







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Cosa Nostra Italian Restaurant: Unforgiving Kitchen, 1




Mafia's favorite recipes in a restaurant.



Advertising Agency: Volcan Comunicacion, Mérida, Mexico

Creative Director / Copywriter: Arad Magana

Art Director: Ivan Quiñones

Photographer: Jose M. Garcia

Designers: Isidro Gongora, Arad Magana

Published: May 2014







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Casa de la Amistad: The Hairfest

















Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Mexico City, Mexico

Creative Services: Iván Carrasco, César Agost Carreño

Creative Directors: Manuel Vega, David Sánchez Zacarías

Art Directors: Luis Alberto Guerra, Edson Gonzalez

Copywriters: Manuel Vega, David Sánchez Zacarías, Luis Alberto Guerra, Osiel Diaz

Project Manager: Magali Fernandez Grossi

Front/End Developers: Jorge Hernández, Axel Caballero

Producer: Juan Pablo Osio

Account Director: Jimena Delgadillo

Special Collaboration: Sofia Gomez

Published: February 2014







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IOC Struggling To Find Cities To Host Olympics

LONDON (AP) — The Olympics have weathered world wars, boycotts and corruption scandals. These days, the IOC has a new crisis on its hands: Finding cities willing to host the games.



The troubled race for the 2022 Winter Olympics is a case in point. High costs and internal political opposition prevented several potential contenders not to bid. Two candidate cities withdrew and two others could still drop out.



The way things are going, the winner could be decided next year by default. Take the games, please.



"I have not seen anything like this before," senior Norwegian IOC member Gerhard Heiberg said. "This is urgent. We need to sit down and discuss what is going on. We are at a crossroads here."



It's a challenge the International Olympic Committee and new President Thomas Bach need to resolve quickly to ensure the long-term viability of the world's most prized sports event.



Changes to the bidding process and efforts to reduce the cost of the games are among the key issues being addressed by the IOC as part of Bach's "Agenda 2020," his blueprint for the future of the Olympic movement that will be voted on in December.



Watching closely are countries and cities considering whether to bid for the even bigger and more expensive Summer Olympics of 2024.



The financial burden is worrying potential host cities. Specifically, the $51 billion price tag associated with February's Winter Olympics in Sochi. Olympic officials say most of that huge sum went to long-term projects and that the operations costs of the Olympics were no higher than previous games.



No matter. The public perception is that the games cost too much.



Concerns over Rio de Janeiro's delayed preparations for the 2016 Olympics have further dampened enthusiasm for hosting the games.



The Olympics continue to succeed as a spectacle, with huge audiences on television and online. But the field for 2022 has taken one hit after the other.



Munich and St. Moritz-Davos withdrew planned bids when voters in Germany and Switzerland voted 'no' in referendums. Stockholm, one of the five declared candidates, pulled out in December after the city government declined to offer financial backing. On Monday, the Polish city of Krakow dropped out after 70 percent of voters rejected the bid in a referendum.



That leaves four cities in contention for now: Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; Lviv, Ukraine; and Oslo, Norway.



The bid from Lviv has been on hold because of the turmoil in Ukraine.



It's possible only three bids will still be in play when the IOC executive board meets in Lausanne, Switzerland, from July 7-9 to decide which cities go to the final stage. Rather than cut the field, the board would likely keep the remaining three. The host city will be selected by the full IOC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 31, 2015.



Most worrying for the IOC is the uncertain status of the Oslo bid. Polls show 60 percent of Norwegians are opposed. One of the two parties in the governing coalition came out against the bid earlier this month. The government won't decide until the autumn whether to provide the required financial guarantees.



"We have an image problem," Heiberg said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "People in Norway say we love the games but we hate the IOC."



Oslo, which hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics, would have been the natural favorite. Norway lives and breathes winter sports and its athletes have won the most medals at the Winter Games. The 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, are widely described as the best ever.



"If there is a referendum today, the 'no' side will win by a large margin," said Heiberg, who organized the Lillehammer Games. "But this could change. We have time."



Amid all the instability, Almaty and Beijing stand as the most solid bids.



Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Olympics, is bidding to become the first city to host both the summer and winter games, with Alpine events in Zhangjiakou. Almaty, the commercial capital of the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia, hosted the 2011 Asian Games and will host the Winter University Games in 2017. It looks like the current favorite.



Has the situation reached the stage where the Olympics can only be held in non-democratic countries where money is no object? No public referendums are being held in Beijing or Almaty. Kazakhstan has been ruled by the same leader in 1989. Both countries have been criticized for their human rights records.



"I see a problem in Western Europe," Heiberg said. "We have to accept the fact that we are not attractive to Western European countries. People think the games have become gigantic, the investments are too heavy."



The current crisis centers primarily on Winter Games, which also face concerns over whether rising temperatures will prevent countries from holding the event in future decades. But the attention will soon shift to the race for a bigger prize: the 2024 Summer Games.



The U.S., which hasn't hosted the Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996, is weighing another bid after failed campaigns by New York (2012) and Chicago (2016). The USOC is expected to decide whether to put a city forward by the end of the year.



Still in the mix are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, Dallas and San Diego.



Paris, Rome and a city from Germany are potential contenders from Europe. Other possible bidders include Doha, Qatar; Istanbul, Turkey, and a city in South Africa.



Business Feed :


40 Global Warming Presentations - From Aiding Humanitarianism to Total Environmental Renewal (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Hearing from some of the world's most iconic environmentalists—such as Al Gore—this collection of updated global warming presentations provides a full discussion on the topic. The...

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Poland's medical tourism clinics offer half-price treatment to the world

The Polish government is promoting the nation as a world-class centre for medicine: certainly the prices seem hard to argue with

The facilities would make any NHS manager envious. The doctors are experts with world-class success rates. The prices are often half what you'd pay at home. Why, then, are more of us not travelling to Poland to have routine medical treatments carried out?


For several years expat Poles have been returning home to get expensive dental work, plastic surgery and procedures such as hip replacements done at 30% to 60% of the cost they would pay in their adopted country.


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Centrica needs a new kind of boss to turn it into a green energy firm. One who doesn't worry about bonuses

Seven figure salary or no, surely someone will relish the job of running a fairer, greener Centrica, and creating a company the public can respect and trust

Sir Denis Rooke ran the state-owned British Gas Corporation as chairman, a job for which he was paid a yearly salary of £24,715 (the equivalent today of around £120,000) according to a parliamentary record from 1978.


Now, it is said, it may be hard to find new senior executives at the corporation's successor, Centrica, because Rooke's equivalent, Sam Laidlaw, earned just £2.2m last year (after a £5.7m payout 12 months earlier). In fact, running British Gas Corporation was arguably a bigger task, because it was made up of the gas sales and trading business, plus what is now National Grid and the exploration company, BG.


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Tesco investors fail to see funny side of chief's Clegg impersonation

Philip Clarke's alarming similarity to the Lib Dem leader may be a cause for concern

Philip Clarke, the boss of Tesco, is fast turning into retailing's answer to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. His leadership is wobbling as a home constituency complains he's ignored the tenets of previous successes, while simultaneously pursuing the glamorous attractions of overseas partnerships whose benefits have proved increasingly difficult to explain.


Anyway, just like Cleggy, Clarke faces what promises to be a tough count this week, as Tesco releases internal polling aka first-quarter trading figures. Previously, those numbers have been showing support for the grocer evaporating, and while Wednesday's release may suddenly reveal a dramatic swing back to Clarke, it is not the way the City is betting.


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How to get the infrastructure spending show on the road

The government needs to take a new look at getting the private sector behind the railways and bridges of the future

Neither David Cameron nor George Osborne needs much encouragement to appear in a safety suit and a hard hat. In a rare double act in April the prime minister and chancellor visited a building site on the M1 to promise that more than 200 rail, road, broadband and water projects would be heading for completion this year. It was part of a bigger national infrastructure plan, a wish list of almost 650 schemes, from HS2 to better drainage on the M3.


The momentum will continue in this week's Queen's speech, which is expected to contain an infrastructure bill attempting to fast-track contentious projects, including fracking.


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Mario Draghi faces moment of truth as man with power to steady eurozone

The European Central Bank governor has charmed the markets with words. But this week he must make bold policy decisions to unite a region increasingly riven by economic disparities

The meeting will be held on the day before the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, but make no mistake: Thursday is D-day for the European Central Bank. That's D as in Draghi, because after all of the ECB governor's silver-tongued manipulation of the market all the nudges, winks and hints the financial markets now require Mario Draghi to do more than just talk.


Expectations are high, probably unrealistically so. After the bloody nose received by mainstream parties in last week's elections to the European parliament, former US treasury secretary Larry Summers had some harsh things to say on US news network CNN about the mess that policymakers had made of things: "The European common market, European monetary union, was an elitist project that was driven by elites, that led to consequences that were entirely unpredicted by elites, that have been catastrophic for millions of people."


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Welcome to the local high street on your smartphone

The government is funding a £2m initiative to create apps designed to help struggling local retailers compete

A future trip to the high street could start with pre-booking your parking spot by mobile app and sending out an alert to local shops to tell them what you are heading into town to buy.


Once there, you might find might yourself searching for a new T-shirt from inside the changing room if you find the one you took to try on doesn't suit.


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Cervepar: Yellow short stories

















Advertising Agency: Nasta Ogilvy, Paraguay







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Playboy Retardant Lubricated Condoms: Couple, 2




Long lasting fun.



Advertising Agency: TBWA\Perú, Lima, Perú

Creative Directors: Jorge Santibañez, Gustavo Gamarra

Art Directors: Alex Rodriguez, Renzo Vásquez

Copywriters: Gustavo Gamarra, Jefferson Porras

Account Director: Pilar Dufour

Illustrator: Andrea Lopez del Barco

Published: January 2014







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Playboy Retardant Lubricated Condoms: Couple, 1




Long lasting fun.



Advertising Agency: TBWA\Perú, Lima, Perú

Creative Directors: Jorge Santibañez, Gustavo Gamarra

Art Directors: Alex Rodriguez, Renzo Vásquez

Copywriters: Gustavo Gamarra, Jefferson Porras

Account Director: Pilar Dufour

Illustrator: Andrea Lopez del Barco

Published: January 2014







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Gestión Business Magazine: Old Millionaire vs. Gold Diggers




It's a competitive world.



Advertising Agency: TBWA\Perú, Lima, Perú

Creative Directors: Jorge Santibañez, Gustavo Gamarra

Art Director: Alex Rodriguez

Copywriters: Gustavo Gamarra, Jefferson Porras

Account Director: Pilar Dufour

Illustrator: One Concept

Published: January 2014







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Gestión Business Magazine: Cheerleader vs. Jasons




It's a competitive world.



Advertising Agency: TBWA\Perú, Lima, Perú

Creative Directors: Jorge Santibañez, Gustavo Gamarra

Art Director: Alex Rodriguez

Copywriters: Gustavo Gamarra, Jefferson Porras

Account Director: Pilar Dufour

Illustrator: One Concept

Published: January 2014







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European Union dream theatened by austerity and disharmony

Structural problems with the eurozone and economic blunders have dragged the postwar project into a critical phase

This columnist didn't get where he is today by becoming involved in debates about immigration. My Irish surname speaks for itself. But I have spent most of my career keeping a watchful eye on Europe and, in common with many fellow Europeans, I do not like the way that the European dream is turning into a nightmare.


The principal aim of the founding fathers of the European community was to ensure that there should never be another war between Germany and the rest, the most notable member of the rest being France.


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Gestión Business Magazine: Chubby Kid vs. Sharks




It's a competitive world.



Advertising Agency: TBWA\Perú, Lima, Perú

Creative Directors: Jorge Santibañez, Gustavo Gamarra

Art Director: Alex Rodriguez

Copywriters: Gustavo Gamarra, Jefferson Porras

Account Director: Pilar Dufour

Illustrator: One Concept

Published: January 2014







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Verizon NY Charged "Basic Rate" Phone Customers Multiple Rate Increases for the Deployment of the FiOS, Title II, FTTP Broadband Networks.

Verizon NY Lost $11 Billion over the Last Five Years and Paid No Income Taxes -- Isn't FiOS Profitable?



Part II of a new series based on the new report: "It's all Interconnected."


In Part I we outlined that Verizon's FiOS services ride on a Title II, common carriage, telecommunications FTTP, (Fiber-to-the-Premises) network. FiOS products include cable TV, phone, Internet and broadband service. But "Title II" is only one part in solving Net Neutrality. Another question is -- Are customers really defacto investors and are their rights to have 'open networks' being trampled on?

====

Starting in 2006, Verizon New York (VNY) was able to get the NY State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) to agree to multiple rate increases on business and residential POTS ("Plain Old Telephone Service") customers, including low income families, as well as increased the prices for 'ancillary services', such as Caller ID, inside wiring and non-published numbers. The price of basic local service went up 84% while these other services increased 100-300%. This added over $500.00 per line to customers' phone bills, about $4.4 billion in extra charges.



The NYPSC allowed these increases in reliance upon Verizon's claims of 'massive deployments of fiber optics' and financial losses, among other reasons.



And Verizon New York is using a Title II classification for their FTTP networks as it gives them the use of the utility rights-of-way and the ability to charge POTS local phone customers for FiOS deployment.



Who's Funding Verizon's FiOS, Title II, FTTP Broadband?



Using the Verizon New York filings and NY Public Service Commission orders, etc, let's go through what happened.



In June 2009, the NYPSC issued a press release stating the rate increase was being done due to a 'massive deployment of fiber optics'.



"'We are always concerned about the impacts on ratepayers of any rate increase, especially in times of economic stress,' said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. 'Nevertheless, there are certain increases in Verizon's costs that have to be recognized. This is especially important given the magnitude of the company's capital investment program, including its massive deployment of fiber optics in New York. We encourage Verizon to make appropriate investments in New York, and these minor rate increases will allow those investments to continue'." (Emphasis added).





We tracked these rate increases and found that they started in 2006. In granting the 2008 rate increase, the NYPSC said that one of reasons was because of the 'magnitude of the company's capital investments' for fiber optics.



"This is especially important given the magnitude of the company's capital investment program, including its massive deployment of fiber..." (Emphasis added).





Prices Increased 84% since 2006.



When tracking the monies, we found:




  • Based on actual New York City customer phone bills, since 2006 the price of residential 'dial tone' service (one line item on the bill) went up 84%, while other services, such as inside wire maintenance, went up 132%.



  • Based on Verizon New York's information about the number of POTS access lines in service from 2006 to 2013, price increases approved by the NYPSC allowed VNY to collect an estimated $2.4 billion extra for the 'dialtone' line. We estimate that between $1.4 to $2.0 billion more in additional charges were added for optional or ancillary services, such as Caller ID, inside wiring and non-published numbers. Including estimated taxes, the total added charges since 2006 amount approximately $4.4 billion.



  • On average, POTS customers paid about $500.00 in excess charges per line.






Verizon New York also revealed that raising the price of POTS service would force customers to buy bundles of Verizon's other services.



"Moreover, this price change will encourage the migration of customers towards higher-value service bundles, consistent with the trend toward bundled service offerings in the market as a whole."





Financial Losses



Then we have the losses. In the 2009 request for a rate increase, Verizon New York's filing quoted the State that had paraphrased Verizon's statements about their losses.



"There seems to be little question that the company is in need of financial relief; Verizon [New York] reported an overall intrastate return of a negative 4.89% in 2006 and its reported intrastate return on common equity was a negative 73.6%.i3 For 2007, Verizon reported an overall intrastate return of negative 6.24% and an intrastate return on common equity of negative 46.0%."





In fact, Verizon lost $11 billion dollars over the last 5 years, with an 'income tax benefit' of $5 billion that was used by Corporate to lower their tax liability. This whopping amount -- about $2.2 billion annually, was surprising as Verizon Communications overall annual report for wireline services showed no losses in any of these years. I'll get back to that.



But the bottom line is that Verizon New York's financials showed that the company paid no income tax over the last five years.



Unfortunately, tying these losses to POTS service costs is questionable as the price of local service should have been continually decreasing.




  • There is supposed to be competition that lowers the price.



  • Most of the copper networks have already been fully depreciated (written off).



  • POTS is based on the copper networks and they are not being upgraded.



  • The construction budgets were moved to pay for FIOS.



  • There have been multiple staff reductions and much of the union employees serving these networks were either moved to other products, like FiOS, or laid off.



  • The company no longer advertises the product so those costs are all gone.






And while the number of POTS lines has been in steady decline, there is no accounting of the total, actual copper-based lines still in service. (There are a host of other copper-based lines, like DSL, or special access, that are not part of the accounting of access lines.) And ironically, the losses appear to be coming from Verizon's largest competitor --Verizon, as FiOS directly competes (or is being substituted for) the copper-based lines. And, Verizon Wireless is also another major competitor to the wired services.



Losses in Verizon's Other States



Verizon New York wasn't the only Verizon company with losses. In our previous report on five of Verizon's state-based companies (2012) -- New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey Rhode Island and Massachusetts -- all were all losing money in 2009 and 2010, which was the last year that the SEC-state-based reports were available from Verizon.



From 2009-2010, Verizon's state-based SEC 4th quarter reports revealed $5.4 billion in losses with an income tax benefit of $1.96 billion. While Verizon New York had the largest losses with $2.2 billion in just 2010, in the state of New Jersey, Verizon claimed to have lost $786 million in 2009-2010 and received an income tax benefit of $321 million. These losses appear to be common throughout the Verizon territories as in just 2 years, 2009-2010 New England Telephone (Massachusetts & Rhode Island) claimed to have lost $1.2 billion and had a tax benefit of $477 million while Pennsylvania claimed $202 million in losses and a tax benefit of $62 million.



2014-05-31-fivestates.png



(NOTE: Massachusetts and Rhode Island are combined because they are part of "New England Telephone" which was part of the original regional Bell Company, NYNEX.)



And based on the data from Verizon New York, we assume all of these companies are still showing losses, even though their financial information is no longer publicly available.



Verizon Communications' Overall Wireline Business Showed No Losses.



But here's the real conundrum. In our current report we examined Verizon Communications, Inc, the parent company's overall wireline profits and found that in every year the "Mass Market" wireline services were profitable. The details of Verizon Communications Annual Report for 2011 (covering also 2009 and 2010) showed no loss of revenues and even profits for the wireline 'Mass Market', while other categories of services, such as Global Wholesale, had losses. (Global Wholesale, from 2009-2011, lost $1.56 billion.)



2014-05-31-verizonmass.png



Verizon's wireline services for local service and FiOS services are referred to as "Mass Markets".



"Mass Markets" Mass Markets operations provide local exchange (basic service and end-user access) and long distance (including regional toll) voice services, broadband services (including high-speed Internet, FiOS Internet and FiOS Video) to residential and small business subscribers."





How can some of Verizon's largest states have had massive losses, but at the same time, Verizon Communications wireline services, which includes Verizon New York, showed no losses?



Here is a clue to this. The next exhibit shows that the "switched access lines", i.e., the utility POTS services, have declined while 'broadband lines' (sometimes called "broadband connections") increased. Verizon apparently makes a distinction as the "broadband lines" are not part of the accounting of lines given to the public. These "broadband lines" include DSL or the FiOS brand of services from Internet, cable TV or broadband services can also be bundled with phone service.



2014-05-31-broadbandlines.png



Reading the details of the financial reports by year we see that the 'local exchange revenues', which include the 'switched access lines' are losing money but the FiOS services, using the fiber optic networks, are profitable. This is from the Verizon Communications 2011 Annual report:



"2010 Compared to 2009 -- The increase in Mass Markets revenue during 2010 compared to 2009 was primarily driven by the expansion of consumer and small business FiOS services (Voice, Internet and Video), which are typically sold in bundles, partially offset by the decline of local exchange revenues principally as a result of a decline in switched access lines."





Connecting the Dots



If POTS customers were charged for the 'massive deployment of fiber optics' and if the FTTP is Title II, are the revenues from the FiOS services paying any part of the FTTP, Title II networks? And are the losses being caused by POTs customers or by the expenses to deploy FiOS?



And we mentioned low income families in the opening; our next article will discuss this issue in more detail.



Part III - Did Verizon Short Change "Upstate" New York, and are POTS Customers, Especially Low Income Families, Paying for Fiber Optic Services They Will Never Get?




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Americans' Car Ownership, Driving In Steep Decline

The '57 Chevy was still a year away when the launch of the interstate highway system kicked U.S. car culture into high gear. But six decades later, changing habits and attitudes suggest America's romance with the road may be fading.



After rising almost continuously since World War II, driving by U.S. households has declined nearly 10 percent since 2004, with a start before the Great Recession suggesting economics is not the only cause. "There's something more fundamental going on," says Michael Sivak of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. The average American household now owns fewer than two cars, returning to the levels of the early 1990s.



More teens and 20-somethings are waiting to get a license. Less than 70 percent of 19-year-olds now have one, down from 87 percent two decades ago.



"I wonder if they've decided that there's another, better way to be free and to be mobile," says Cotten Seiler, author of "Republic of Drivers: A Cultural History of Automobility in America."



Those changes — whether its car trips replaced by shopping online or traffic jams that have turned drives into a chore — pose complicated questions and choices.



TRYING ALTERNATIVES: Each day, about 3,500 people bike the Midtown Greenway, a freight rail bed converted to cycle highway in Minneapolis, where two-wheel commuting has doubled since 2000. It's still a small percentage, but more residents are testing the idea of leaving cars behind.



A second light rail line opens in June. Street corners sprout racks of blue-and-green shared bikes. About 45 percent of those who work downtown commute by means other than a car, mostly by express bus. That syncs with figures showing Americans took a record 10.7 billion trips on mass transit last year, up 37 percent since 1995.



"There's a lot of people who want the less-driving lifestyle, definitely," says Sam Newberg, an urban planning consultant and transportation blogger.



They include Kimani Beard, 40, who used to drive for a package express company. Now he's a graphic and apparel designer who walks or bikes to a coffee shop a few days a week, with its Wi-Fi providing an instant office.



"I don't want to drive anywhere," he says. "I've spent my time behind the wheel, but I think I've done enough."



Meanwhile, some are rethinking the paradigm of vehicle ownership.



In the suburbs just north of Chicago, Eugene Dunn and Justin Sakofs live four miles apart, but met only because Dunn's 2005 Pontiac broke down.



Dunn, 43 and a math tutor, takes a train to work. But getting to his second job, refereeing youth basketball on weekends, required a car he didn't have.



Luckily, Sakofs, the director of a Jewish day school, had a Nissan he didn't need from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, when his Sabbath observance precludes driving. They found each other through RelayRides, whose app pairs individual car owners with neighbors looking to rent.



"Right now, I just need (a car) to get back and forth and make money," Dunn said.



TESTING THE BONDS: Car culture is about an emotional attachment that can be hard to measure.



A good place to start is Carlson's Drive-In in Michigan City, Indiana, where a car hop arrives at the window before you turn off the ignition.



"It definitely takes you back to an older time," says Barry Oliver, recalling teen nights driving the strip and stopping here.



Places like Carlson's were destinations for Americans embracing driving as recreation. As recently as the 1990s, Indiana had nearly 60 vintage drive-ins. Today just five or six are left. Drive-in movie theaters, which numbered 4,300 nationally in 1957, have dwindled to just 350.



Where does that leave car culture?



"Gear heads live here," says Todd Davis, a Lansing, Michigan native visiting the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum from Orlando. Away from Michigan, "it's not like that."



But Davis' cousin, Sol Jaffee, isn't convinced.



"Kids will always be interested in cars! I mean, cars are America, don't you think?"



But at Wisconsin's Oshkosh North High School, enrollment in driver's education, no longer required for graduation or subsidized by the state, has declined 40 percent.



Like other states, Wisconsin eliminated funding for driver's ed, raising the price of in-school programs. Today's young people often rely on parents for rides, says driver's ed teacher Scott Morrison. And then there's Facebook and other social media. While most students still look forward to the freedom conferred by a license, a small but self-aware contingent says it can wait.



"I've never really needed" to drive, says senior Ashwinraj Karthikeyan. "It's almost like a rite of passage for people to drive, but I know offhand probably about 15 or 20 people who don't have their license."



THE FUTURE: In 1939, General Motors captivated World's Fair crowds with a futuristic vision of technology linking highways and cars. But in 2014, Debby Bezzina will tell you that future is fast approaching.



Bezzina, of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, has just begun to explain the technology inside her 12-seat van when a bend in Baxter Road interrupts, setting off a staccato beep that warns the vehicle to slow down. For nearly two years, 2,800 vehicle owners here have been participating in this federally financed bid to connect vehicles with their surroundings so they can join drivers in decision-making.



Meanwhile, on the institute's second floor, a Nissan Versa wired to let drivers navigate a simulated cityscape will soon be reprogrammed to make it almost entirely self-driving.



There are bound to be complications as people turn over some control to their cars, says the institute's director, Peter Sweatman. But imagine, he says, summoning a driverless car you might not even own, being picked up and dropped off at curbside, and watching it pull away.



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Aquamatic Fresh Scents Detergent: Nose-pins




Irresistible scents.



Advertising Agency: TBWA\Perú, Lima, Perú

Creative Directors: Jorge Santibañez , Gustavo Gamarra

Art Director: Alex Rodriguez ​

Copywriter: Gustavo Gamarra, ​Jefferson Porras

Account Director: Pilar Dufour

Illustrator: ​Kapitan Ketchup

Published: January 2014







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Vape Mosquito Coils: Old man




The 24/7 Assassin.



Advertising Agency: TBWA\Perú, Lima, Perú

Creative Directors: Jorge Santibañez, Gustavo Gamarra

Art Director: Alex Rodriguez​, Daniel Vera​

Copywriters: Gustavo Gamarra, ​Roger Rospigliosi

Account Director: Pilar Dufour

Illustrator: ​Wilder Pallarco

Published: January 2014







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Vape Mosquito Coils: Housewife




The 24/7 Assassin.



Advertising Agency: TBWA\Perú, Lima, Perú

Creative Directors: Jorge Santibañez, Gustavo Gamarra

Art Director: Alex Rodriguez​, Daniel Vera​

Copywriters: Gustavo Gamarra, ​Roger Rospigliosi

Account Director: Pilar Dufour

Illustrator: ​Wilder Pallarco

Published: January 2014







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Britanico English Institute: Linked to the future

















Advertising Agency: Y&R, Peru

Executive Creative Director: Flavio Pantigoso

Head of Art: Christian Sánchez

Digital Director: Ed Félix

Creative Director: Daniel de León

Copywriter: André Toledo

Art Directors: Jorge Rocca, Carlos Tapia

Agency Producer: Jorge Luis Noblecilla

General Manager: Eduardo Grisolle

Account Director: Carla Wilson

Account Executives: Karla Whittwell, Pamela Bedoya

Post-Production: Zeppelin Studios

Producer: Daisy Salas

Audio: Kazoo Audio







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The Hidden Cash Millionaire Is Causing 'Pandemonium' In Los Angeles

The mysterious millionaire who hid cash in random places in San Francisco is now causing chaos at a Los Angeles area beach after surreptitiously "donating" his money there, too.



On Saturday, the purported middle-aged real-estate developer announced on his Twitter account, @HiddenCash, that he stashed 36 "Angry Bird" toys filled with cash around Hermosa Beach, Calif., an oceanfront city just south of Los Angeles, for anyone to find.










The anonymous benefactor, who gained notoriety earlier this month after hiding money throughout the Bay Area, moved on to Burbank, Calif. on Friday and egged people on to go on a scavenger hunt for money there.



The frenzy continues into the weekend. This was the scene at Hermosa Beach a little over a half an hour after Saturday's clue was tweeted.










One person on Twitter described the scene as "pandemonium."










Some of the toy birds reportedly contained as much as $180.































Los Angelenos who struck out on Saturday shouldn't lose hope. The person behind @HiddenCash hasn't run out of cash yet.










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MasterCard PayPass: Dreamers behind the cash desks

















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Published: December 2013







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Mary Portas accuses coalition of failing high street shops

Retail guru complains that government has been slow to offer support to struggling shopkeepers

Retail guru Mary Portas has criticised the government for being slow to provide funding and guidance for suffering UK high streets in an essay which takes on her critics by highlighting the successes of towns which have followed her guidance.


Two years after the coalition responded to Portas's 2011 review of the high street in which she made a string of recommendations, she writes: "Progress from central government has been far slower than I'd hoped." She also blamed "bumpy starts" at the 27 Portas Pilot towns on "vague supporting processes" and "insufficient guidance from government".


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Obamacare Prompts States To Revisit Their Health Care Rules

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Prompted by the health care overhaul law, several states are updating their rules for insurance networks to better reflect who is covered and how people shop for and use their benefits.



Laws governing health insurance vary, but states generally try to ensure that health plans give residents reasonable access to a sufficient number of primary care and specialty physicians, said Tyler Brannen, a health policy analyst for the state of New Hampshire. Yet that aim hasn't kept up with changes in how and where people access health care, he added. For example, nurse practitioners and physician's assistants now provide a significant share of primary care, and many consumers head to urgent care clinics instead of scheduling office visits, he said. And the current focus on hospitals ignores the reality that virtually every service provided during a short-term hospital stay is now available in other settings, including ambulatory surgical centers.



"There's going to be an emphasis on types of services, versus types of providers," he said of the new standards being put in place.



New Hampshire recently began working to revise its 2001 rules, and while its first step in that direction came after a consumer challenged them under the Affordable Care Act, Brannen said he realized years ago that the standards were outdated. Washington state just implemented new regulations, and discussions are underway in several others, including Arkansas, Minnesota and California.



Also changing is how many people have insurance and who makes up that group, with previously uninsured residents gaining coverage through the health overhaul law and the expansion of Medicaid, which in New Hampshire will involve using federal money to buy private health coverage.



"We're now talking about people with different health care needs, and different abilities to travel to providers," Brannen said.



Similar discussions are playing out elsewhere, said John Weis of Quest Analytics, a Wisconsin company that provides software and consulting services for health plans, employers and government agencies seeking to measure network adequacy.



"States are saying, 'Boy, you know what? The process I had in place wasn't really sufficient,'" he said. "What you've witnessed over the last six months is consumers saying, 'Hey, my provider's not in the network, my hospital's not in the network, these networks are so skinny, there's no access to care,' because there weren't any rules that prohibited plans from doing that."



Given the relatively quick implementation requirements of the health overhaul law, however, most states did not have sufficient time to revamp their process, Weis said. Regulations vary by state, and states are taking different pathways to update them. Legislative approval is required in some states, while in others, insurance departments have the authority to make changes.



Anna Odegaard is head of an advisory committee representing consumers and small businesses in Minnesota. She believes the standards adopted when the state created its marketplace, MNsure, aren't strong enough because they only focus on how far patients live from providers and not on whether those providers are actually accepting new patients.



Her committee has heard complaints from providers who believe their specialties are not well represented in the marketplace and from navigators who helped people sign up for coverage. Many new enrollees had no idea whether their doctors would be included until after they signed up, she said.



"The conversation right now is: How do we get MNinsure or the Department of Health to do the data collection to substantiate that there really is a problem, so we can come back around with solutions?" she said.



Washington state's insurance department began developing a new network adequacy rule in September, and the approved changes took effect Monday. The new regulation was designed to give consumers more information about the networks, according to Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. In a statement, he said many consumers were upset to find their health plan no longer included their trusted doctor or hospital.



"The Affordable Care Act increased benefits, but it also expanded the role consumers are expected to play when shopping for health insurance," he said.



The previous network rules dated back to 1998 and hadn't been modified since 2003. Under the rule, insurers must supply detailed geographic information illustrating how their networks meet the needs of all their enrollees. It doesn't prohibit narrow networks but requires all networks to guarantee timely and adequate access to care.



"I also want health insurers to innovate, especially if it helps keep costs down for consumers, but innovation cannot be at the expense of a consumer's ability to access care," Kreidler said.



Balancing access with affordability, while increasing transparency for consumers, also are key goals in New Hampshire, Brannen said.



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Motorola: Meet Moto E

















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Another Restaurant Asks Customers to Leave Guns at Home

The States With The Strongest Unions

The percentage of American workers in unions remained effectively unchanged last year. This marks a departure from the nation’s long-term trend. In the past 30 years, union membership has dropped from 20.1% of the workforce in 1983 to 11.2% last year.



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Sonic Drive-In And Chili's Announce No-Gun Policies

Chili’s and Sonic Drive-In announced no-gun policies on Friday, nearly two weeks after pro-gun activists carrying rifles upset customers in two of the restaurant chains’ Texas locations.



Chili's and Sonic said in separate statements that they were asking customers not to openly carry firearms in their eateries, following a similar move by Chipotle earlier this month.



“We recognize that the open carry of firearms creates an uncomfortable atmosphere and is not permitted under many local liquor laws,” a Chili’s spokeswoman said in an email. “So, we kindly ask that guests refrain from openly carrying firearms into our restaurants and we will continue to follow state and local laws on this issue.”



A Sonic spokeswoman said the company will defer to local laws with respect to storing guns in vehicles, but said it will no longer permit firearms in its dining areas.



“We’re asking that customers refrain from bringing guns onto our patios or into our indoor dining areas,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to HuffPost.



Last week, Chili’s told HuffPost it was reviewing its policies after a video surfaced of activists from the group Open Carry Texas bringing assault rifles and other heavy firearms into a San Antonio location. The protesters were asked to leave after upsetting other diners.



This story is developing




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Asda looks underground for electricity-saving apple storage

Vast storage system deep in the mountains in Italy will hold up to 50,000 tonnes of golden delicious apples

Asda has become the world's first supermarket to trial a vast "cave" storage system deep in the mountains of the Italian Alps for its golden delicious apples, in a ground-breaking move designed to reduce its carbon footprint.


The initiative from Asda, in partnership with the Italian apple supplier Melinda, offers the capacity to store up to 50,000 tonnes of apples, saving 60% of the electricity needed to store the same quantity in a standard refrigerated warehouse.


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Skype Translator Makes You Understood in Other Languages Almost Instantly

translator app


Just imagine it! You jump on a Skype call with a distributor or customer in Bangkok, Shanghai or Madrid. You can’t speak their language. They can’t speak yours. Yet, in minutes, Skype is translating their speech into words you can understand and vice versa.


This is the promise of Skype Translator which Microsoft (Skype’s parent company) has promised to have available by the end of 2014.


In a recent post on The Official Microsoft Blog, Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President of Skype and Lync explained:



“Today, we have more than 300 million connected users each month, and more than 2 billion minutes of conversation a day as Skype breaks down communications barriers by delivering voice and video across a number of devices, from PCs and tablets, to smartphones and TVs. But language barriers have been a blocker to productivity and human connection; Skype Translator helps us overcome this barrier.”



Here’s a peak at Skype Translator in action from Microsoft Research:



At the recent Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled the new feature with Pall demonstrating (pictured above, top of page).


In the demo, Pall and a German colleague talk about Pall’s impending move from Seattle to London.


Pall speaks in English and his colleague speaks in German. After a moments hesitation, Skype translates each of the speakers’ comments into the others language and repeats it back to the listener allowing them to respond.


For small businesses, in particular, the implications seem huge. Tools like Google’s “Translate” have been around a while to internationalize your website’s content.


But Skype Translator, if delivering as promised, could have you collaborating with companies all around the globe either doing business with them as service providers or serving them as clients. And all this could be done despite lack of a common language.


Look for Skype Translator as a Widows 8 beta app before the end of the year.


Image: Microsoft


The post Skype Translator Makes You Understood in Other Languages Almost Instantly appeared first on Small Business Trends.







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Pull Over, Google Car: 6 Other Crazy Transportation Innovations

Appreciating the Homefront Heroes

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In 1999, Congress officially designated May as National Military Appreciation Month, a time to recognize the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices made by our armed forces. Now, I know a few people have opinions about this. Shouldn't we celebrate our military community every day? Absolutely. Still, in a country where one percent of the population has carried 100 percent of the burden of war for the last decade, it can be easy to forget that our freedom comes at a price.



During my time in the Marine Corps and in my work and travels since, I have had the privilege of meeting thousands of military families and the incredible people who keep them running. If you want to see what resilience looks like, go find a military spouse. In addition to working, running businesses, volunteering and raising children, these women and men support their service members through training, deployments and reintegration every day. Military spouses are at the heart of the armed forces community, and their efforts extend far beyond their individual households.



Although I'm not married, I have seen the incredible spirit of a military spouse firsthand in Mrs. Bonnie Amos. This past Christmas, I had the privilege of traveling with the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Jim Amos, and his wife Bonnie to Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Christmas is a time to be with family, and that is certainly how Mrs. Amos treated every deployed Marine she met on that trip. I got to know her well during that visit, and she is an exemplary woman and leader.



In spite of reaching the height of the Marine Corps, however, Mrs. Amos has also faced the struggles that can come from being a military spouse. She's made 29 moves and endured multiple deployments in her 42 years of marriage, frequently leaving behind jobs and professional opportunities. In all that time, however, she has also built military family support networks across the country, planned and executed thousands of community events and dedicated her time to helping wounded service members.



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While Mrs. Amos is certainly a unique person, her sense of civic duty and call to leadership are common in military spouses. Spouses volunteer at a rate more than three times that of the national average, they manage multiple moves with little advance notice and persevere in earning degrees and starting businesses knowing they may have to pick up and move at any time. Their high mobility may explain why their unemployment rate hovers around 30 percent.



Sometimes it can be difficult to get recruiters to look past the gaps in work history that may appear on military spouse resumes. Perhaps employers assume spouses are not working during those periods, when the truth is they are serving as mentors, completing professional fellowships and leading organizations -- all at no charge. Managing budgets, personnel, marketing and more is still work experience, with or without a paycheck.



Addressing these kinds of misperceptions is exactly what Toyota, Hiring Our Heroes and Blue Star Families had in mind when they developed Career Spark, a first-of-its-kind online tool to help military spouses build strong, skills-based resumes. Career Spark was modeled after the Personal Branding Resume Engine for veterans, but instead of military skills, it translates things like volunteer and unpaid leadership roles into functional work experience. After a full resume is created, spouses can make them searchable to thousands of employers across the country.



Given the significance of this month, my message to military spouses is simple: your skills are valued and appreciated. Help employers see your strengths and I have no doubt that you will be as indispensable to their companies as you are to our military.



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Arch Coal Workers Took $2 Million In Kickbacks, Feds Say

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Ten Arch Coal employees at a West Virginia mine are charged with pocketing almost $2 million from vendors in a pay-to-play kickback scheme, federal prosecutors said Friday.



U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said the widespread setup required vendors to pay kickbacks to Arch employees to do business with the coal company. The employees at Arch's Mountain Laurel mining complex in Logan County are accused of taking kickbacks from 2007 to 2012. The Mountain Laurel facility includes underground and surface mining. It produced 2.9 million tons in sales last year, according to Arch Coal's website.



The St. Louis-based company has previously said it reached out to the U.S. attorney for help investigating possible misconduct. The company issued a statement Friday thanking investigators for their quick response.



"While it was extremely disappointing to find that former employees had failed to live up to our trust in them, we are pleased and relieved to have this issue behind us," the company said.



Former Mountain Laurel General Manager David E. Runyon is accused of helping orchestrate the scheme. The 45-year-old from Delbarton faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of extortion.



Vendors spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to win or keep contracts at Mountain Laurel, with two employees at Tri-State Mining Service Inc. shelled out nearly $425,000 over five years, prosecutors said.



Quality Oil Inc., then doing business as Southern Construction of Logan, directly paid Runyon $400,000 in kickbacks through its owner, Alvis R. Porter, prosecutors said.



Porter, a 61-year-old from Holden, is a former Logan County Circuit Court clerk. He was charged with failing to collect, account for and pay over trust fund taxes for an employee.



In another instance, prosecutors said, the owner of MAC Mine Service Inc. paid $340,000 for more than three years to keep Runyon from terminating a labor contract. The owner, 63-year-old David N. Herndon of Chauncey, faces charges.



Another vendor that refurbishes mine shuttle cars gave Runyon and a former maintenance manager at least $250,000 in kickbacks, prosecutors said.



Other Arch employees and vendors face various charges, from mail fraud to structuring cash withdrawals.



Goodwin said the investigation is ongoing.



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The Secret to Better Face-to-Face Job Interviews Online (Infographic)

As video calls became the way to interview candidates, it's important to get them perfect.

















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5 Ways to Avoid Micromanagement

Micromanagement is the plague of the technology-driven workplace. Here's how to spot it and what to do instead.

















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The Secret To Winning An Argument Is Ridiculously Simple

The only way to get someone to agree with you is get them to rethink their own position.

















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