Coach Mike Gundy signed five tight ends in the 2008 recruiting class. He signed zero the following three years.“It’s turned a full circle,” Gundy said at Big 12 Media Days. “Years ago, you never saw an offense without one. Then nobody was using one.”Oklahoma State included.Over the next few years, Zac Veatch moved from fullback/tight end to offensive lineman and back again, and Keenen Brown went from receiver to cowboy back. It wasn’t until 2015 that cowboy back even became a recruited position.Coach Jason McEndoo was pulled on board from Montana State, where he ran the offensive line, and was told to get creative.AdChoices广告Over the three-plus years the cowboy back position has been in existence, players as short as 5-foot-10 Luke Hupp or as tall as 6-foot-5 Baron Odom have been raked onto the roster. This outlines a challenge OSU faces in attempting to bring players to be successful at a position that doesn’t exist anywhere in high school football.As of the 2017 roster, only four of the eight cowboy backs were offered a formal scholarship out of high school, and two of them were in the most recent class.“It’s really kinda of hard to find ’em and come up with enough to recruit,” Gundy said.True and false. There are invariably fewer fullbacks and tight ends than almost every other position out there. But when you look at only the states OSU has pulled these types of players from, there are still 24 uncommitted players of at least a two-star rating, according to 247 Sports. That includes recent decommit Nic McTear from Frisco Heritage and his could-be replacement James Palmer out of Westmoore.That’s not a massive pool, but it’s probably enough. One reason it’s not huge though is because of the allure of the position — or lack thereof.“There’s not a lot of guys who are fired up about playing fullback or tight end in high school,” Gundy said. “If they have the body structure, they’d rather go over and play defensive end.”Case and point: Cole Walterscheid. Tight end was Walterscheid’s primary position at Muenster High School, mostly because he only weighed about 210 pounds at 6-5.That happens a lot and it rarely goes the other way.“James Castleman, of course he was bigger,” Gundy said. “When we recruited him, he was 245 pounds. He ended up being 300, but he was that type of body structure. We didn’t know he was gonna be 300 pounds.”It didn’t matter anyway.Poor No. 9.Gundy said current defensive end Jarrell Owens is that same body structure. He played running back in high school but hasn’t ran a snap of offense, unless you count the one on defense.Wild play alert courtesy of @CowboyFB defense.#Big12FB on FS1 https://t.co/9wNohKypWe— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) October 22, 2016As for those who will own the position this season, Gundy still believes the cowboy back, on its face, brings an entirely new facet to the offense other positions cannot.“You have the ability to run a seven-man running play and a five-man passing play with that guy in the game,” Gundy said. “Part of the success with our running game was because of Justice (Hill), but the other part of it was because of our cowboy backs.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Bournemouth 2 Newcastle United 2: Hosts in thrilling fightback after Gayle double Nicholas McGee Last updated 1 year ago 00:56 25/2/2018 Getty Images A Dwight Gayle double was cancelled out by a late Bournemouth comeback as the hosts drew with relegation rivals Newcastle United. Dan Gosling completed a dramatic late comeback as Bournemouth came from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw with relegation rivals Newcastle United.Rafael Benitez’s side travelled to the Vitality Stadium after a shock 1-0 victory over Manchester United last time out, and looked like making it back-to-back Premier League wins after Dwight Gayle twice pounced on poor goalkeeping from Asmir Begovic.After allowing Gayle to beat him to a low delivery for the 17th-minute opener, Begovic enabled the former Crystal Palace striker to double his tally on the stroke of half-time as he let another cross slip under him. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Bournemouth pushed to find a way back into the game, and a lifeline arrived courtesy of a fantastic long-range effort from Adam Smith 10 minutes from time.And parity was restored in the 89th minute as former Newcastle midfielder Gosling turned home from Nathan Ake’s ball into the box.Newcastle did cling on for a draw but missed a chance to go four points clear of the drop. The Magpies are two clear of the bottom three with Bournemouth three further ahead of them, a run of just one defeat in eight top-flight games cold comfort for Benitez after the late setback.A point apiece, as the Cherries come back from 2-0 down… #BOUNEW | #afcb pic.twitter.com/RHoVdoQo8S— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) February 24, 2018It took 10 minutes for either goalkeeper to be forced into a save as Martin Dubravka, coming off an impressive debut against Jose Mourinho’s men, sprung to his left to parry Callum Wilson’s effort on the turn.But, after Kenedy had fired over with a pair of long-range efforts, Newcastle took the lead with a well-worked move.Jonjo Shelvey played a brilliant ball down the right for Matt Ritchie, whose low cross eventually fell to Gayle as he won a challenge with Begovic before nonchalantly backheeling the ball into the empty net.Ritchie then curled wide from 25 yards out as Newcastle continued in the ascendancy.Junior Stanislas and Gosling both lashed volleys over before Newcastle, having struggled to retain possession in the closing stages of the first half, doubled their advantage against the run of play.Paul Dummett’s cross to the far post was met by Ayoze Perez, the Spaniard’s pull back going through the legs of Begovic and finding Gayle, who was presented with another tap-in.28 – Dwight Gayle has now netted 28 league goals since the start of last season, more than twice as many as any other player for Newcastle (Matt Ritchie next on 13). Sharp. pic.twitter.com/BVQ59TxqwN — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 24, 2018 Bournemouth had a penalty claim waved away by Roger East in the opening stages of the second half after Jamaal Lascelles collided with Ryan Fraser.Perez and Shelvey spurned gilt-edged chances to make it three either side of a fine Dubravka save from Steve Cook, and those wasted opportunities ultimately proved costly as Smith fired a stunning strike in off the bar before Gosling struck with a confident side-foot finish as a previously composed Newcastle defence crumbled.There was still time for Bournemouth to pull off a remarkable turnaround but Newcastle did at least save a point, yet they still have plenty of work to do to preserve their top-flight status.Key Opta Stats:- Bournemouth have picked up 13 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, a joint-high along with Everton.- Newcastle failed to win a Premier League game after being two goals up at half-time for the first time since February 2012 (2-2 v Wolves).- Bournemouth have gone eight Premier League home games without a clean sheet, their longest-ever run without a shutout at the Vitality Stadium in the competition.- Newcastle bagged two first-half goals away from home for the first time in the Premier League since March 2014 against Hull.- Dwight Gayle ended a run of 11 Premier League appearances without a goal, via his first Premier League double since May 2016. read more
Champions League MLS has banner day in CCL but must get results next week to keep flag flying high Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 14:29 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Dan Hamilton Champions League MLS Toronto v Tigres UANL Seattle Sounders v Guadalajara Guadalajara Toronto Tigres UANL Seattle Sounders Liga MX Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders topped their Liga MX visitors but have work to do to make the semifinals of the tournament It is a banner day for MLS.All three teams remaining in the CONCACAF Champions League beat their Liga MX opponents in the first legs with Toronto FC topping Tigres 2-1 and the Seattle Sounders getting a 1-0 result over Chivas. The New York Red Bulls did it on the road, withstanding a furious effort from Tijuana to escape Estadio Caliente with a 2-0 victory on Tuesday. MLS fans have been waiting for this moment. Well, not exactly this one. They’ve been waiting to have this moment, but next week. After the second legs. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp These advantages are nice, but the celebration will become embarrassment if, say, the Red Bulls slip up at Red Bull Arena or Tigres flex their muscle at home and roll into an all-Mexican semifinal.Fans with long memories will recall both feelings – that MLS is finally going to break through and the crushing disappointment of another failure in Mexico. The 2013-14 CCL quarterfinals saw all three MLS teams get results against Liga MX opposition. Then, Cruz Azul beat Sporting Kansas City 5-1 in Mexico City, Tijuana topped the LA Galaxy 4-2 at the Caliente and Toluca beat the San Jose Earthquakes in a penalty shootout.Things are different this time around, though. MLS really has grown and done so in ways that make the league more competitive in international club competition. Some of the main issues that were keeping MLS teams from having any chance at regularly getting past Mexican competition have become less significant.TAM, the latest method permitting teams to spend more on individual player salaries and spend on the team in general, has been flowing – especially with the teams at the top. Toronto FC is the most expensive MLS team in history. It shows. Not only does TFC boast stars like Wednesday’s Man of the Match Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco, it also can afford to bring in a player like Gregory van der Wiel to defend Tigres’ left side even with other former European club players like Javier Aquino and Eduardo Vargas included.The other issue has been depth. The money helps there, too. More relevant, though, is that MLS teams are beginning to see fruits of the seeds planted years ago. Jonathan Osorio, whose spinning backheel winner should be put on a lenticular postage stamp if TFC wins the CCL, is a TFC youth product. Marco Delgado, who set up Jozy Altidore’s equalizer, is a Chivas USA refugee.The Sounders also had a mix of stars, like scorer Clint Dempsey, and youth products who coach Brian Schmetzer felt comfortable tossing into the mix against Chivas (the Mexican one, which still exists). Handwalla Bwana, who joined the Sounders Academy in 2015, didn’t look out of place at all going at the Chivas defense while it was homegrown Henry Wingo who set Dempsey up for the tally.The gap is closing between MLS and Liga MX. That’s been true, though, regardless of results in a tournament. The true test will be results over time. For now, that still heavily favors Liga MX.This matchday, though, gave fans in the U.S. and Canada positive evidence that things are changing, that their sides won’t be steamrolled every time. The Red Bulls, TFC and the Sounders can have hope that they’ll keep the MLS flag flying high throughout the CCL. Instead of another entry in the book like the 2013-14 tournament, 2018 may be a new chapter.
Manchester City Guardiola dismisses Man City contract extension claims Matt Dorman 22:57 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Manchester City Premier League Stoke City v Manchester City Stoke City Guardiola Rumours had spread that the Catalan coach was on the verge of signing a new deal, rumours he has flatly denied Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has rubbished speculation suggesting he could sign a contract extension in the coming weeks.Recent reports in Spain claimed Guardiola’s agent, Josep Maria Orobitg, had flown to Manchester to complete the negotiations.But the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss, whose initial three-year contract started in 2016, flatly denied the rumour that a deal new is imminent. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp City would understandably be eager to tie down the 47-year-old as he looks to guide the Premier League leaders to a hat-trick of trophies this season.”Sometimes journalists receive bad information,” Guardiola said on Friday.”My agent is not in town. Was not, is not, will not be in town for the next six weeks.”Guardiola’s side visit struggling Stoke City on Monday as they seek to mount an immediate response to Wednesday’s surprise, albeit inconsequential, Champions League loss to Basel.Raheem Sterling and Fernandinho could both return from hamstring injuries, while Fabian Delph is also in contention to feature at bet365 Stadium.”Some of the players are better. Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling are much better,” Guardiola said.”We have one or two training sessions until the game. We are going to decide on Sunday. Fabian Delph is [uncertain].”The players are off today so I do not know the exact situation.”David Silva is expected to be in the squad after missing the Basel match for personal reasons. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. That flow. It’s ready. #okstate pic.twitter.com/SKSn5yYiEu— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) July 15, 2019• And would it really be Media Day without a story or two from the farm?Knew Mike Gundy had a farm but didn’t know this … #OKState pic.twitter.com/MG0BV9C2tN— Nate Feken (@TheGreat_Nate) July 15, 2019• Note: The time for OSU’s Oct. 5 trip to Lubbock is TBD.Gary Patterson said there’s one major difference between playing Texas Tech in Lubbock in the daytime and at nighttime:“They throw tortillas at us in the daytime, and they throw frozen water bottles at us at night.” #Big12MediaDays— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) July 15, 2019• Either the date on the trophy is wrong, or OSU has resigned itself to/is predicting back-to-back Liberty Bowl championships.OSU’s Liberty Bowl trophy on display. #okstate pic.twitter.com/ImfEYXnTJu— Phillip (@OKTXARPoke) July 15, 2019PFB Takes on ArlingtonKyle Boone and Marshall Scott were on hand covering the event and each came out with some great stories. There’s much more coming as the week goes on, but here’s what we learned on Monday.• Boone on why Mike Gundy has a pep in his step heading into the fall.• Gundy on the ongoing QB race, “We haven’t had anybody go ahead and take the reins at this point.”• Check out the jersey digits for OSU’s newcomers. Langston Anderson’s is 👌.• Marshall’s Notebook will cover anything else you might have missed.Other OSU Bullets• Mike Gundy got some good news on his way back from Texas when Bixby athlete — and OBJ impersonator — Brennan Presley committed for the 2020 class.• 2020 linebacker commit Jeff Roberson came in at No. 8 on The Oklahoman‘s Super 30. This from Scott Wright’s story should get you excited about what the Choctaw product will bring to OSU.Roberson’s speed sets him apart, making him an ideal fit in Knowles’ 4-2-5 defense, where linebackers are asked to be versatile playmakers in the box and in the secondary.“He’s a freakishly athletic kid who plays extremely hard,” Choctaw coach Jake Corbin said. “He’s very fast, physical, and he’ll deliver a punch when he gets there. [NewsOK]Non-OSU Bullets• Guard yourself with a little self control so that Amazon doesn’t take advantage of you.• A fictional (for now) look at what effects censorship and regulation could have on online media. Arkansas Waterfall + 5 o’clock shadow = guaranteed 10 wins. #OKState pic.twitter.com/8SOKM7HDBo— Guerin Emig (@GuerinEmig) July 15, 2019 Mike Gundy showed up to Big 12 Media Days awfully calm for someone without a starting quarterback established and with plenty of other questions about his team. His mullet was full and his buzz words were fitting (discipline and toughness).Bullets Rundown• Gundy didn’t name his starting QB (duh)• Les Miles is still a walking sound bite• Gundy feeling rejuvenated• OSU adds under-the-radar freakBig 12 Media Day Bullets• The biggest question facing OSU is the one nobody expected to be answered on Monday. According to Gundy, Spencer Sanders and Dru Brown are 1a and 1b (or rather 1x and 1x) with neither having taken the reins of the offense yet.Bill Haisten recalled another QB competition including a highly-touted Texas passer. (For the record, Bill’s sticking with his prediction that Sanders starts the entire year).“We had to put the guy out there who gave us the best chance to make plays,” Gundy recalled. “Bobby wasn’t very healthy at times, and the other guy was making plays. Bobby had every chance to play, and to make plays. I don’t remember it being that stressful.”My memory of that time is totally different. I sensed a ton of stress, and it was my belief Gundy felt great pressure in having to bench a big-time Texas recruit like Reid. [Tulsa World]On Monday, Gundy looked anything but stressed. Hopefully that’s a good sign for OSU.• Tylan Wallace says Sean Gleeson brings something that has been missing from OSU’s offense, intensity and aggression. [heart eyes emoji]Stud WR @OfficialTylan2 stopped by the desk to talk about the expectations for the @CowboyFB offense.#Big12FB | #GoPokes pic.twitter.com/RSbSrimTbo— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) July 15, 2019• At the podium Les Miles was asked how the talent he inherits at Kansas compares to the what he had when he showed up in Stillwater. If he’s picking sides, he says going with the 2019 Jayhawks. Think I’m with OKC Dave on this one.FieldsBellRashaunBajemaD. WilliamsI’d take ’em against KU https://t.co/hrM8FAe5Ww— Dave Hudson (@okc_dave) July 15, 2019• Shots fired. At least the Mad Hatter is confident in the league.Here’s how @CoachLesMiles would rank the Power 5 conferences. “Pac-12 would not be an issue.” “It’s us and the @SEC.” #Big12MediaDays pic.twitter.com/7m3oP0pZeA— Heartland College Sports (@Heartland_CS) July 15, 2019• As is the yearly tradition, Mike Gundy’s elongated locks stole the show.🎷🎷🎷 pic.twitter.com/303LfxsygZ— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) July 15, 2019
Here’s to hoping you got a good night’s rest and brought an extra K-Cup to work to hold you over throughout the day. You’re probably going to need it.Oklahoma State kicks its season off in Corvallis, Oregon this evening, and it’s going to be a late one. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. on the west coast, which means us Okies are stuck with a 9:30 p.m. central time start. Based off recent game-length studies, we could be still up and kicking until 1:00 a.m. local time.So yeah — treat yourself to an extra shot of espresso with that Pumpkin Spice Latte!Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game.Viewing Information• Kick time: Friday, 9:30 p.m. CT• TV: FS1• Streaming: Fox Sports Go• Odds: Oklahoma State -14• Radio: Cowboy Radio Network or TuneInBroadcast informationOn the call for FS1 will be Justin Kutcher, Petros Papadakis and Shane Vereen. On radio, Dave Hunziker will handle play-by-play, John Holcomb will provide analysis, and Robert Allen will do reporting from the sideline.Oregon State preview• PFB podcast with Kyle Porter and Carson Cunningham• PFB predictions for OSU-OSU• Feature story on OSU corner A.J. Green, his rise to prominence, and how a horrendous game helped him reach a new level• Kyle Porter: Ranking the 20 most important figures to OSU football’s 2019 seasonPFB CoverageWe’ll have a gameday forum (BY THE WAY, YES, WE HAVE FORUMS!) cranking all day and throughout the game. All the Kyles will be there, and Marshall will surely make an appearance too. As for other content you can expect, here’s just a sample:• Live blog (PFB+)• 10 Thoughts from Kyle Porter• Game story• Notebook While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
World Cup Iceland vs Croatia: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview Goal Last updated 1 year ago 14:00 6/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Getty World Cup Iceland v Croatia Croatia Iceland Powerade Iceland face an uphill battle in beating Croatia in their final group stage game who have already qualified for the last 16 phase Croatia make it three wins out of three and top Group D with nine points, they will now face Denmark in the next round. Argentina sealed the second spot with that late goal against Nigeria. Iceland finish bottom of Group D with just one point, which they picked up in the first game against Argentina.Iceland put in a terrific performance but they came just short, with Croatia showing their quality late on. Badelj put Croatia ahead midway through the first half, a great half volley after missing a good chance just moments earlier. Sigurdsson then leveled the scoreline shortly after with a penalty, following Lovren’s handball in the box. Iceland continued to press for another goal, a late Argentina goal gave them hope of securing qualification with one more goal. However, Croatia nicked all three points late on, after a superb strike by Perisic.FULL-TIME: ICELAND 1-2 CROATIA Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar 90+3 mins: Iceland are still going for it here, they haven’t given up on scoring another goal and are trying everything. However, time is really running out.90+1 mins: There will be a minimum of four minutes added time.90 mins: GOALLL! CROATIA LEAD 2-1! Perisic with a late goal to surely win it for Croatia. They worked it well, with Perisic powering the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle, giving the keeper no chance. Excellent finish.Badelj won the ball back in midfield, looked up and spotted Perisic making a good run behind the Iceland defence and he picked him out perfectly.SUB! Third and final Iceland substitution, with Bjarnason replaced by Traustason.88 mins: Argentina now lead against Nigeria! Iceland just need to find one goal to win this game and they can qualify for the next round.86 mins: Not long left to play now, can Iceland nick a late winner and possibly clinch the runner-ups spot in Group D? They need a goal.85 mins: SUB! Another Iceland substitution, with Alfred Finnbogason replaced up front by Albert Gudmundsson.84 mins: YELLOW! Saevarsson is the latest player to be shown a yellow card, after bringing Perisic down around 30 yards out from goal.83 mins: YELLOW! Tin Jedvaj is shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Gudmundsson. Free-kick to Iceland deep inside the Croatia half, with Sigurdsson standing over it… Well punched away by Kalinic.82 mins: SUB! Final Croatia change, Mateo Kovačić is replaced by Ivan Rakitić.80 mins: Fantastic support in the Rostov Arena by the Iceland supporters, they are really getting behind their side, urging them forward. An Argentina goal in St Petersburg, will put them through, or if they can score two more goals against Croatia, that would also do it.78 mins: SUB! Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson attempted just three shots in his last game against Nigeria, with his first two shots landing on target in the first six minutes, and his other shot missing the target from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute.76 mins: GOALLL! Iceland are level, it’s 1-1! Gylfi Sigurdsson powers the ball straight into the back of the net, giving Kalinic no chance. The Everton man picked up the ball straight away, despite missing a penalty for Iceland in the previous game against Nigeria.74 mins: ICELAND PENALTY! The referee has awarded Iceland a penalty after the ball strikes the hand of a Croatia defender deep in the box.72 mins: What a chance! Iceland with a huge opportunity to get back into this game. Finnbogason breaks down the right, beating the offside trap and sprints towards the penalty area, with plenty of team-mates racing to get up there in support of him. The striker plays a great low ball across the penalty area to Bjarnason at the far post, he has a tap-in if he gets it right. However, it’s a tired effort and he fires it wide.71 mins: Here is the first Iceland change of the evening, with Ragnar Sigurdsson coming off and he has been replaced by Sigurdarson.69 mins: It looks like Iceland are now going to make a change or two of their own. They are still in this game, they look a threat going forward but Croatia are defending well in numbers.SUB! First, we have another Croatia change, with Marko Pjaca coming off and he has been replaced by Liverpool defender, Dejan Lovren.67 mins: Decent effort. Sigurdsson works his way into the area, but is forced slightly wide after getting past Pivaric, he then fires high over the crossbar.65 mins: SUB! Croatia make the first substitution of the game, with Luka Modric coming off the pitch and he has been replaced by Filip Bradaric.64 mins: Finnbogason slides in late on Kalinic, trying to get on the end of a deep pass into the penalty area. However the Croatia keeper got there first and the Iceland striker clattered into him.63 mins: Croatia have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four World Cup games, as many as they had in their previous 12 in the competition.61 mins: It’s now 1-1 in the other game in Group D between Nigeria and Argentina, so as it stands Nigeria will be the other team going through to the knockout stages with Croatia.59 mins: SUB! Hallfredsson is shown a yellow card after a late challenge on Pjaca.56 mins: CROSSBAR! Even closer from Iceland now. It’s Ingason once again, this time it comes from a corner, smacking the ball against the bar this time and over. So close. This is a really positive response from Iceland.55 mins: CLOSE! Almost an immediate response from Iceland. Ingason came up from the back for another long throw-in, he gets his head to the ball and it needs pushing over the bar by Kalinic.53 mins: GOALLL! Croatia lead 1-0! Badelj who went close just moments ago, now gets the ball in the back of the net. Modric moves the ball out to the left, it’s crossed into the middle where Badelj takes it on the bounce and fires it on the half-volley, powering it into the back of the net and leaving Halldorsson with no chance.51 mins: OFF THE CROSSBAR! Great strike by Badelj which takes a slight deflection off Ragnar Sigurdsson as it strikes the crossbar and goes out for a corner. Wonderful strike.50 mins: Croatia have already guaranteed their place in the World Cup knockout stages, just their second appearance. They’ve never finished top in the group stage, finishing in second place when qualifying in 1998.48 mins: Iceland have started the second half well, just as they finished the first half, showing attacking intent. Hallfredsson wins a corner off Jedvaj, but Sigurdsson’s delivery is cleared to safety.46 mins: The second half is underway!Croatia started the game well, dominating possession with Modric constantly on the ball in midfield and dictating play. However, they have faded as they game went on, losing concentration and playing sloppy passes which is certainly giving Iceland confidence, perhaps all those Croatia changes have had a negative effect as they are struggling to get going here. It’s still all to play for in Group D.It’s goalless at the break here, but Iceland have had a couple of chances to break the deadlock, but they are just lacking a clinical finish in the final third. The best opportunities coming towards the end of the half, with Gunnarsson and Finnbogason going close with long range efforts.HALF-TIME: ICELAND 0-0 CROATIA45+2 mins: SAVE! Gunnarsson fires a curling effort towards goal after excellent build-up play by Iceland. Kalinic makes a superb diving save to deny the Iceland skipper, tipping the ball around the post and out for a corner.45 mins: There will be a minimum of two minutes of added time played.42 mins: The Iceland supporters are making plenty of noise in the stadium, they are really getting behind their side and it’s working at the moment. They are well on top, just lacking a clinical final pass.40 mins: GREAT CHANCE! Iceland go close to opening the scoring, as Finnbogason fires an effort towards goal from 30 yards out, which whistles narrowly past the Croatia goal, rippling the side netting. Best opportunity of the game so far.38 mins: Not long left to play in this first half, can either side break the deadlock before the break? Iceland certainly look the more likely of the two sides at the moment.36 mins: Iceland’s only previous victory against Croatia came in the qualifying stages for this tournament, drawing one and losing four otherwise.34 mins: Good effort! A well worked Iceland corner almost leads to a chance at goal. Magnusson peels off at the far post, chests the ball down to Bjarnason who has his shot blocked.33 mins: Croatia have taken their eye off the ball in the past 10 minutes or so, sloppy in possession and Iceland are really taking advantage, they look the stronger team and are seeing plenty of the ball in the Croatia half.31 mins: CHANCE ICELAND! Iceland with a free-kick in a good shooting position, Gylfi Sigurdsson fired it towards goal and it almost sneaked into the bottom corner. However, Kalinic read the effort well and managed to gather the ball.30 mins: We’re midway through the first half now and Iceland are the team on top at the moment. It’s a very good little spell after having to chase the ball for much of the opening 15 minutes of the game. Can they make it count.28 mins: Another chance for Magnusson! Iceland had a corner, it was whipped towards the defender who rose above his marker and powered a header towards goal, but he couldn’t keep it down and it flies over the crossbar.27 mins: Iceland chance! Gunnarsson with a trademark long throw-in, deep inside the Croatia penalty area and it causes a few problems. Magnusson manages to flick the ball on at the near post and two teammates at the far post almost get to it. Luckily for Croatia, the ball drifts out of play.25 mins: The two goalkeepers have barely touched the ball so far tonight, there hasn’t been much quality in the final third by either side.24 mins: Iceland certainly look dangerous on the counter attack, Croatia have played a few sloppy passes in the last few minutes and it’s giving Iceland a real boost.23 mins: Iceland are looking to become the first World Cup debutants to make the knockout stages of a World Cup tournament since Slovakia in 2010.21 mins: In the other game in Group D, Argentina have just taken the lead against Nigeria, with Lionel Messi scoring for his side. As it stands the two-time winners are going through, but an Iceland goal would change all that.19 mins: Perisic gets his first chance to run at Saevarsson down the left wing, the winger drills a low ball into the box which is cut out by Iceland and Croatia have the first corner of the game. However, Iceland defend the set piece well and manage to clear the danger.18 mins: Bjarnason is now back on the pitch for Iceland, he looks to have overcome the knock and he is once again involved in the action.16 mins: No chances for either side yet, we haven’t had any shots at goals. Croatia still look the more likely to score as they are controlling possession, but the pace of the game is slow at the moment.14 mins: YELLOW! The first yellow card of the game is shown to Marko Pjaca, for the aerial clash with Bjarnason. The Iceland midfielder will need further treatment off the pitch to stop the blood pouring from his nose. It doesn’t look good for the Aston Villa man.13 mins: We have a break in play here, as Bjarnason is down receiving medical treatment following a clash with Pjaca.12 mins: Iceland look happy to let Croatia have most of the possession, it’s all in front of them at the moment and in the middle of the pitch so not really troubling the Icelanders. However, as soon as they get near their final third, they are increasing the pressure and once they win the ball back they are trying to break quickly on the counter attack.10 mins: Iceland and Croatia met in World Cup 2018 qualifying – both sides winning their home fixtures (Croatia 2-0 and Iceland 1-0).8 mins: Half-chance for Iceland. They shift the ball out to the right through Hallfredsson over to Sigurdsson, who drifts past Pivaric. The Everton midfielder drills a good low cross into the box which Finnbogason almost gets on the end of, but Corluka manages to deal with it and clear the danger.6 mins: It will be interesting to see how Iceland approach the game tonight, they know they need to beat Croatia tonight but how long will they wait to try and break the deadlock. Any gaps left at the back whilst venturing forward could be punished by this dangerous Croatia side.4 mins: Croatia have settled nicely into the game, they are dominating possession at the moment with Modric seeing plenty of touches on the ball and controlling the midfield.2 mins: The large number of Croatian changes could play into the hands of Iceland tonight, as many of these players haven’t had many minutes in the World Cup so far. However, these players may also be hoping to impress their manager in search of a starting spot in the knockout game.1 min: We’re underway!HERE WE GO…The teams are out on the pitch and the anthems are underway, it’s almost time for the game to start!Croatia will win the group if they pick up at least a point, or if they lose and Nigeria fail to win. Iceland will qualify for the next round if they win and Argentina win, as long as they both win by the same margin. Iceland need to make sure they have scored more group goals then Argentina. They could also qualify if Nigeria and Argentina draw, as long as they beat Croatia and they score two goals tonight. A little complicated.This will be the seventh different meeting between Iceland and Croatia but the first in a major tournament, with all of their previous encounters coming in World Cup qualifiers.Meanwhile Dalic Zlatko has made nine changes to his Croatia side for this final group game, from the team that beat Argentina 3-0 only two players keep their place, they are Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic.Iceland have made three changes as they look to bounce back from their disappointing 2-0 defeat to Nigeria for tonight’s must-win game with Croatia. Johann Gudmundsson is the most notable change, he replaces Rurik Gislason in midfield. Meanwhile Sverrir Ingason and Emil Hallfredsson feature, replacing Kari Arnason, and Jon Bodvarsson.CROATIA SUBS: Ivan Rakitic, Domagoj Vida, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Strinic, marcelo Brozovic, Dejan Lovren, Danijel Subasic, Ante Rebic, Dominik Livakovic, Filip Bradaric, Sime VrasaljkoCROATIA (4-2-3-1): Lovre Kalinic (GK); Tin Jedvaj, Vedran Corluka, Duje Caleta-Car, Josip Pivaric; Luka Modric (C), Milan Badelj; Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic, Marko Pjaca; Andrej Kramaric.ICELAND SUBS: Samuel Kari Fridjonsson, Kari Arnason, Frederik Schram, Ari Freyr Skulason, Bjorn Sigurdarson, Rurik Gislason, Albert Gudmundsson, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Runar Alex Runarsson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Jon Dadi BodvrssonICELAND (4-2-3-1): Hannes Thor Halldorsson (GK); Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Hordur Bjorgvin Magnusson; Emil Hallfredsson, Aron Gunnarsson (C); Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Birkir Bjarnason; Alfred Finnbogason.Lets start with how the two teams will line-up this evening, starting with Iceland…For Croatia, they will need just a point to top the group, but they will want to make it three wins out of three. However, they may opt to rest several players in order for them to be fresh for their round of 16 game, after already clinching qualification to the next round.The Icelanders must beat Croatia, who are already through to the knockout rounds – in their final group game to give themselves the chance of qualification and currently have a better goal difference than Argentina.30 mins until KO: Hello and welcome to our live commentary of the Group D match between Iceland and Croatia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.Squads & Team News Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has made nine changes to the team that embarrassed Argentina 3-0 last time out with qualifcation already secured. Ivan Rakitic, Ante Rebic, Sime Vrsaljko and Mario Mandzukic one booking each away from a ban, while Danijel Subasic, Ivan Strnic, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida and Marcelo Brozovic are simply rested.Heimir Hallgrimsson makes just three changes to the side that were beaten 2-0 by Nigeria in their last game, but there are some surprising selections nonetheless. Ragnar Sigurdsson starts despite going off injured in the last match, and it’s Kari Arnason who is replaced by Sverrir Ingason. Meanwhile, Johan Berg Gudmundsson is another of the walking wounded who start today, despite supposedly being ruled out with a torn muscle. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson has been dropped for Emil Hallfredsson, shifting from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1.Confirmed Iceland XI: Haldorsson; Magnusson, Ingason, R. Sigurdsson, Saevarsson; Gunnarsson, Hallfredsson; Bjarnason, G. Sigurdsson, J. Gudmundsson; FinnbogasonIceland subs: Fridjonsson, Arnason, Schram, A. Skulason, Sigurdarson, Gislason, A. Gudmundsson, Traustason, O. Skulason, Runarsson, Eyjolfsson, BodvarssonConfirmed Croatia XI: Kalinic; Pivaric, Caleta-Car, Corluka, Jedvaj; Badelj, Kovacic; Perisic, Modric, Pjaca; KramaricCroatia subs: Rakitic, Vida, Mandzukic, Strnic, Brozovic, Lovren, Subasic, Rebic, Livakovic, Bradaric, VrsaljkoTV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream FOX / Telemundo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on BBC or streamed live online using the BBC iPlayer. UK TV channel Online stream BBC Four BBC iPlayer Meanwhile Dalic Zlatko has made nine changes to his Croatia side for this final group game, from the team that beat Argentina 3-0 only two players keep their place, they are Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic. Croatia have settled nicely into the game, they are dominating possession at the moment with Modric seeing plenty of touches on the ball and controlling the midfield.
The Metropolitan Police and Arsenal are investigating an incident in which Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli was hit by a bottle during the two sides’ Carabao Cup quarter-final clash.Alli scored the second goal for his side in a 2-0 win that set up a semi-final meeting with Chelsea next month, but Spurs’ victory was marred by the incident.No arrests have been made but Arsenal and the Metropolitan Police are working together on the issue, the force said in a statement provided to Omnisport. Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “The Met is working with Arsenal Football Club to identify the person responsible for an incident where a bottle was thrown onto the pitch during the Arsenal v Tottenham match on Wednesday December 19,” the statement said.”There has been no arrest in relation to this specific incident. Seven people were arrested as part of the policing operation for this match for a variety of offences including possession of drugs; public order and assault on police.”England international Alli was clearly unhappy about the incident but was pushed away from the situation by Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos.He made light of the moment on social media following the game, posting a photograph where he is gesturing to Arsenal fans with the game’s scoreline.But Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was unimpressed with the incident and condemned the bottle being thrown, which opposite number Unai Emery said he did not see.”Lucky that it wasn’t a big issue. Come on, when we play a derby we hate each other in a good way, but that looks in a bad way, looking to damage an opponent,” said Pochettino. “I cannot talk in general [terms] because only one stupid person made a mistake.” The incident comes after projectiles, including a banana skin, were thrown when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a penalty in Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Spurs in the Premier League on December 2.
Man Utd players question coach Kieran McKenna’s methodsby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United coach Kieran McKenna’s methods are being questioned, it is being claimed.McKenna joined the senior staff last year under former manager Jose Mourinho.The Daily Mail says some players harbour reservations over McKenna having such a key role in first-team training little more than a year after being promoted from the Under 18s. His sessions are thought by some to be more suited to the academy. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
KIND Financial, the leading financial technology solutions company in the cannabis industry, today announced that Montel Williams, noted television and radio talk show host will join the board as a key advisor on medical marijuana advocacy.“Montel Williams has become one of the most high profile medical cannabis advocates in the country and he is also active in raising money for a variety of charitable organizations relating to veterans issues and multiple sclerosis, which he was diagnosed with in 1999,” David Dinenberg, CEO of KIND Financial, said, “We are proud to have Montel on board. From the first time we spoke, it was clear that we share a similar vision that our business model holds the key to legalization – regulation, compliance and transparency. Montel has a proven track record advocating for these tenets – the same principles upon which we have built our business.”KIND Financial’s technology platform provides tools focused on cannabis tracking and compliance for cultivators, dispensaries, and regulatory agencies in the cannabis industry. These solutions manage the entire cannabis business life-cycle ensuring that transactions are safe, secure and remain in compliance with the rules, regulations, laws and guidelines governing marijuana-related businesses with the federal guidelines set forth by FinCEN, the Cole Memorandums and related laws and regulations.“The national path forward for the medical cannabis movement hinges on the ability to create a well-regulated marketplace in new states, and history has taught us that the better regulated the proposed medical cannabis program, the more appealing it is to voters and legislators, and that’s why I’m proud to partner with KIND, which is at the forefront of medical cannabis compliance,” said Williams.Dinenberg agrees because the genesis of KIND’s technologies were built upon stringent healthcare and banking compliance and regulation foundations, “For the industry to thrive, it must survive. To survive it must figure out a way to manage compliance – we’re never going to get to a Federal policy change without a great compliance record at the state level. That’s where KIND comes in. We believe our partnership with Montel Williams will lead the industry towards a solution to make medical marijuana a viable option for patients who really need it. No one has lived this and represented it better than him.”Said Williams, “We know that the vast majority of voters support making medical marijuana available to relieve the suffering of seriously ill Americans like me and so many others. What we also know is that voters want a well-regulated marketplace – for this industry to expand, to help more patients, the movement needs to keep compliance at the forefront of our minds.”For additional information visit www.Kind.Financial. Kind Financial invites the public to participate in the conversation about the current and future status of financial services in the cannabis industry.
20Oct Rep. Poleski invites residents to November office hours Categories: News State Rep. Earl Poleski today announced his local November office hours schedule. Residents are invited to join in conversation at the Jackson County Tower Building, located at 120 West Michigan Ave., from 3 to 5 p.m. every Friday of the month, excluding the week of Thanksgiving, when the meeting will instead be held on Tuesday, Nov. 24.“This is a very valuable opportunity for us to come together to discuss the future of our great state and the impact that state legislation will have locally,” said Rep. Poleski, R-Jackson. “It’s really an invaluable part of my job as your state representative.”No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those who are unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Poleski’s office by phone at 517-373-1795 or by email at EarlPoleski@house.mi.gov.###
Pawn to A3 On the surface, it may seem innocuous for Germany to move some pallets of gold closer to home. Some observers note that since Russia isn’t likely to be invading Germany anytime soon – one of the original reasons Germany had for storing its gold outside the country – the move is only natural and no big deal. But Germany’s gold stash represents roughly 10% of the world’s gold reserves, and the cost of moving it is not trivial, so we see greater import in the move. The Bundesbank said the purpose of the move was to “build trust and confidence domestically, and the ability to exchange gold for foreign currencies at gold-trading centers abroad within a short space of time.” It’s just satisfying the worries of the commoners, in the mainstream view, as well as giving themselves the ability to complete transactions faster. As evidence that it’s nothing more than this, Bundesbank points out that half of Germany’s gold will remain in New York and London (the US portion of reserves will only be reduced from 45% to 37%). Sounds reasonable. But these economists remind me of the analysts who every year claim the price of gold will fall – they can’t see the bigger implications and frequently miss the forest for the trees. Checkmate If other countries follow Germany’s path or the mistrust between central bankers grows, the next logical step would be to clamp down on gold exports. It would be the beginning of the kind of stringent capital controls Doug Casey and a few others have warned about for years. Think about it: is it really so far-fetched to think politicians wouldn’t somehow restrict the movement of gold if their currencies and/or economies were failing? Remember, India keeps tinkering with ideas like this already. What this means for you and me is that moving gold outside your country – especially if you’re a US citizen – could be banned. Fuel would be added to the fire by blaming gold for the dollar’s ongoing weakness. Don’t think you need to store gold outside your country? The metal you attempt to buy, sell, or trade within your borders could be severely regulated, taxed, tracked, or even frozen in such a crisis environment. You’d have easier access to foreign-held bullion, depending on the country and the specific events. None of this would take place in a vacuum. Transferring dollars internationally would certainly be tightly restricted as well. Moving almost any asset across borders could be declared illegal. Even your movement outside your country could come under increased scrutiny and restriction. The hint that all this is about to take place would be when politicians publicly declare they would do no such a thing. You could quite literally have 24 hours to make a move. If your resources were not already in place, even the most nimble of us would have a very hard time making arrangements. Once the door is closed, attempting to move restricted assets across international borders would come with serious penalties, almost certainly including jail time. In such a tense atmosphere, you could easily be labeled an enemy of the state just for trying to remove yourself from harm’s way. The message is clear: storing some gold outside your country of residence is critical at this point, and the window of time for doing so is getting smaller. Don’t just hope for the best; do something about it while you still can. The minor effort made now could pay major dividends in the future. Besides, you won’t be any worse off for having some precious metals stored elsewhere. If you’re moved to take action, know that you’re not alone. It’s critical that you take these first steps now, while you still can. The best chess players in the world aren’t that way because they can see the next move. They’re champions because they can see the next 14 moves. You only have to see the next two moves to “win” this game. I suggest making those moves now before your government declares checkmate. There’s another “great game” when it comes to the precious metals market: the junior mining sector. The truth is, these stocks aren’t for every investor – junior miners are more volatile than any other stock on Earth. However, for those who can stomach sudden price swings and are willing to bet against the crowd, right now junior explorers are offering the profit opportunity of a lifetime. If you’ve ever wanted a realistic shot at making a fortune, you owe it to yourself to sign up for the upcoming Downturn Millionaires free online video event. It will feature famous speculators, including Doug Casey, Rick Rule, and Bill Bonner, who will detail how everyday investors can leverage junior miners to fantastic profits… just as they have done time and again over the years. Get the details and sign up now. Check What your friendly government economist doesn’t reveal and the mainstream journalist doesn’t report (or doesn’t understand) is that in the event of a US bankruptcy, euro implosion, or similar financial catastrophe, access to gold would almost certainly be limited. If Germany were to actually need its gold, regardless of the reason, any request for transfer or sale would be… difficult. There would be, at the very least, delays. At worst such requests could be denied, depending on the circumstances at the time. That’s not just bad – it defeats the purpose of owning gold. But this still doesn’t capture the greater significance of this action. First, it reinforces the growing recognition that gold is money. Physical bullion isn’t just a commodity, a day-trading vehicle, or even an investment. It’s a store of value, a physical hedge against monetary dislocations. In the ultimate extreme, it’s something you can use to pay for goods or services when all other means fail. It is precisely those who don’t recognize this historical fact who stand to lose the most in an adverse monetary event. (Hello, government economist.) Second, here’s the quote that reveals the ultimate, backstop reason for the move: Bundesbank stated it is a “pre-emptive” measure “in case of a currency crisis.” Germany’s central bank thinks a currency crisis is really possible. That’s a very sobering fact. We agree, of course: history is very clear on this. No fiat currency has lasted forever. Eventually they all fail. Whether the dollar goes to zero or merely becomes a second-class currency in the global arena, the root cause for failure is universal and inevitable: continual and perpetual dilution of the currency. Some level of currency crisis is inescapable at this point because absolutely nothing has changed with worldwide debt levels, deficit spending, and currency printing, except that they all continue to increase. While many economists and politicians claim these actions are necessary and are leading us to recovery, it’s clear we have yet to experience the fallout from spending more than we have and printing the difference. There will be serious and painful consequences, sooner or later of an inflationary nature, and the average person’s standard of living will be greatly reduced. And now there are rumblings that the Netherlands and Azerbaijan may move their gold back home. If this trend gathers steam, we could easily see a “gold run” in the same manner history has seen bank runs. Add in high inflation or a major currency event and a very ugly vicious cycle could ignite. The best indicator of a chess player’s form is his ability to sense the climax of the game. –Boris Spassky, World Chess Champion, 1969-1972 You’ve likely heard that the German central bank announced it will begin withdrawing part of its massive gold holdings from the United States as well as all its holdings from France. By 2020, Bundesbank says it wants half its gold reserves stored in its own vault in Germany. Why would it want to physically move the metal from New York? It’s not as if US vaults are not secure, and since Germany already owns the gold, does it really matter where it sits? You may recall that Hugo Chávez did the same thing in late 2011, repatriating much of his country’s gold reserves from London. However, this isn’t a third-world dictatorship; Germany is a major ally of the US. So what’s going on?
$26,269,900 Wal-Mart(NYSE:WMT)CVS Caremark(NYSE:CVS)Target(NYSE:TGT)Amazon.com(NasdaqGS:AMZN)TJX Companies(NYSE:TJX) Revenue TTM (000s) Rev per Employee 241,500 361,000 $509,722.57 As is obvious above, Amazon’s revenue per employee is leaps and bounds above its competition. The only other one on our short list that comes close is CVS, but despite the public perception of the company as a retailer, it now generates the overwhelming majority of its revenues from its insurance programs, so it’s partially miscategorized. Even so, it still doesn’t come close to Amazon in terms of revenue efficiency; CVS would need to grow its sales by nearly 50% without adding a single staffer in order to catch up.Walmart? It would have to lay off over two-thirds of its employees or triple its same-store sales to even come close.Amazon’s revenue efficiency is remarkable by virtually any standard. And it’s one of the reasons that despite a long track record of underperforming on earnings, the company has generally stayed in the market’s good graces and been granted a hefty valuation relative to its peers. The market sees Amazon for what it is—a technology company with leverage that can grow revenues in a big way—and not a more traditional retailer.But this also means that for every jar of Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty that is shipped out the door, the number of people on the payroll is only one-fourth that of Walmart or Target… or one-fifth that of TJX.What Does This Mean for the President’s Jobs Plan?Does this mean that Barack Obama is right? Does the government need to step in, tax these efficient companies harder, and spend that money on solar farms, wind turbines, and transport infrastructure? After all, you cannot efficiently deliver tens of millions of packages when roads are choked and bridges are crumbling.At first glance, it would be easy to jump to that conclusion. That’s the direction I heard quite a few of Tuesday and Wednesday’s commentators heading with their questions, even on business-oriented stations like my morning commute companion, Bloomberg Radio.And yes, in some senses, for every job Amazon “creates,” four other jobs go away at a company like TJX.But it’s not that simple. First, with any efficiency comes inefficiency on another point. The relative competitiveness of two business models is driven by the economic weight of those items in contrast to each other—an equation that changes over time. For instance, Clayton Christensen eloquently pointed out years ago in his book The Innovator’s Dilemma (available at Amazon.com, of course) that at one point the commonplace hydraulic backhoes and diggers that litter every construction site in the modern world were once considered vastly inferior to their cable-actuated big brothers. Per foot, they couldn’t—and still can’t—dig nearly as wide a moat per pass. But it didn’t matter. They won the overall market on convenient smaller sizes, easier maintenance, and better safety. Their inefficiencies were simply smaller than the value of their improvements.Much the same, while you can argue about Amazon’s relative efficiency to TJX, you must be careful not to discount its INefficiency. For instance, at a store like TJMaxx, one truckload of goods can restock the place for weeks. To deliver the orders of a few dozen Amazon customers might require dozens of individual packages, shipped to half a dozen different sort facilities, and put on a few dozen different trucks.TJX benefits from all the dinosaur dung burned by its customers coming to the store and driving goods back home for it. Amazon, on the other hand, takes those nearly countless millions of extra miles and absorbs them into its business model. Compared in this way, Amazon is incredibly inefficient.What Amazon doesn’t spend hiring direct employees, the company outsources to others, and the sum of those expenses is enormous.In fact, the company is so good at spending that gross margin per staffer, that it usually manages to spend it all. Just look at this graph of Amazon’s gross revenue and its profits for the past five years…You might have to squint to find the red bars that represent profits. The difference between those two sets of colored bars is the amount Amazon spends on not just its 89,000 employees, but all of its operations and marketing. All of those dollars flow into the economy, be it through FedEx drivers and pilots, outsourced programmers, content licensing agreements, purchases of inventory to keep its unimaginable selection of goods growing, or any of hundreds of other paths. And each path is itself a series of jobs generated and a series of taxes that eventually do flow to the government to fund all of its activities—from building fences to keep out Mexicans to staffing the IRS to collect all that money.Even if the company was profitable, the same would be true. Those people who made more money would be inclined to invest and spend it. The higher the relative profitability, the more free cash flow, and the more likely it is to turn into additional spending.Any company whose technology improves efficiency in these ways is going to reduce employment in the affected industry. That’s the breaks. But it does not necessarily mean those jobs are gone forever.A time will come when the amount of efficiency gained by automation, aggregation, logistics, and other techniques puts another significant and serious dent in the demand for labor—we’ve already seen it with low-skill manufacturing jobs, and we are seeing it take hold now in retail sales. But that does not have to mean the end of the economy or an economy of no jobs. Instead, the efficiency flows outward to create new opportunities surrounding the new business and its investors.Revenue efficiency creates demand for business services. What is not done in house gets pushed to other networks of suppliers—services contracted by the sellers or by the buyers. Also, profit efficiency creates income for investors, which gets reinvested into more new businesses. Just look to the Silicon Valley venture-capital scene, and you’ll see years of investment gains flowing back into the markets to the tune of multiple billions of dollars per year in investments into companies bent on reinventing every area of the economy, from entertainment to building supplies to biotechnology to car rental, through technology.The biggest risk to our economy and employment is not innovation, which speeds up the flow of capital. Rather, the risks to be on the lookout for are the ones that compromise the ability of businesses to innovate, or which otherwise impede the flow of capital—i.e., those that restrict lending, cause people or companies to hoard cash, or generate fear and distrust among trading partners.Fears over banking failures in 2008 showed just how serious this risk can be. And while the short-term reaction of shoring up liquidity in financial markets may look to have been a smart one in retrospect, the long-term lack of consequences for outright criminal activity in that sector are damning for the future of the economy. Trust in our government, bankers, and currency continues to be at all-time lows, a factor that can only be slowing the return of economic growth.If Barack Obama and camp want to generate more government revenues, they should consider backing off on the new taxes and focus instead on limiting the regulations that impede the flow of capital. They should help secure confidence in the economy, not just through buoying up the stock markets, but through justice and prudent oversight over the value of our money and security of our savings.Companies like Amazon thankfully continue to invest and grow despite the rising tide of operational regulations (for all the deregulation in banking over the past 20 years, the same cannot be said of any other sector) and the continued political immunity of the banking class. As it does so, its innovations are making life better for the majority of people. While the industry-wide shift of employment will be painful to some, over time the economy will adjust, as it always has, and other employment opportunities will fill the gaps created.Plus, it’s not like Amazon has a lock on retail efficiency. After all, Costco—the star quarterback of the big-box store movement—generates over $975,000 in sales per employee. Yes, it seems like even Amazon could still learn a few things.As for the question of whether more efficient companies—which employ software and even robots (as Amazon does in its warehouses increasingly every year) to save on labor—destroy more jobs than they create… it’s not as simple as it might seem at first. Innovation ultimately benefits society, so we must be careful not to hamper it for fear of the unknown future it will bring.While technology jobs pose a conundrum for politicians, companies like Amazon will continue to grow their market share and make handsome profits for investors. If you aren’t making your share of them, consider a risk-free trial subscription to BIG TECH today, and see the actionable and profitable investment advice our technology team provides for yourself. Learn more and get started today.Bits & BytesBMW Launches Its First Mass-Production Electric Car (Wall Street Journal)Yuppies who are concerned about the environment can now rejoice. BMW is making an electric car. The BMW i3 is expected to go on sale in the US early next year. The price is projected to be $41,350 before federal and local incentives, and taxes. $470,339,000 179,000 The Technology Jobs ConundrumThe past few weeks have seen the tech and business media abuzz about a not-so-little warehouse in Tennessee. That’s because this distribution center, opening its doors with a burst of fanfare and even a few visits from nearby politicians, isn’t a jumping-off point for Macy’s or Target. Instead, the warehouse is the latest in a series of new locations being opened by retail technology giant Amazon.com.The jobs this new mega-warehouse is purported to create: 5,000.The politicians who made the quick trip to Tennessee to get in front of the cameras included one President Barack Obama, who gave a rousing speech not just about the importance of the 5,000 jobs promised at this one facility (and another 2,000 corollary positions at customer service centers elsewhere in the country), but also about the “need” to raise taxes on the businesses that are creating them and use those taxes to fund “infrastructure” jobs in green energy and natural gas, among other areas.The politically charged speech and the press conference from Amazon.com touting its job-creation abilities have understandably drawn quite the skeptical reaction from some. But surprisingly, in all the talk I’ve heard in the media these past few days, most of the fury seems directed not at the proposed tax hikes, but at Amazon itself for creating what might be fewer jobs than it claims… and possibly for destroying more jobs than it creates.Along with its jobs announcement, Amazon’s PR department was ready for the utterly predictable media criticism that the jobs are nothing more than menial, low-wage shop floor jobs. Its retort? These new jobs will pay on average 30% higher than typical retail jobs. That’s a good thing for the employed, no doubt, to be paid more for a similar skill-level job.But with its emphasis on low prices, how can Amazon afford to boost those wages so much? It all boils down to efficiency. Think about Amazon versus another retailing giant without the same level of sales, but with a similar “low prices” kind of push: TJX companies (owners of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods). Last year, Amazon had retail sales of over $60 billion globally (up from $47 billion in 2011); TJX brought in about half that, at almost $26 billion globally (up from $23 billion in 2011).Whatever the companies’ similarities, the differences between the two couldn’t be bigger; and those differences have profound impacts for investors, as well as for the future of our economy.On one hand, you have companies like TJX—so-called “bricks and mortar” retailers—which in order to do business every day must staff a few thousand stores, and keep them open for 10, 12, or even 24 hours per day. That means greeters, checkers, security, customer service, and stockroom employees, plus bright lighting, catchy displays, and other ordinary features of a quality retail facility.Companies like Amazon have bricks and mortar too, of course, as displayed on the recent junket in Tennessee. But that’s about all they have. Amazon can operate in facilities far off the beaten path, with nothing but wire shelves and cement floors, and they can serve just as many customers from only a fraction of the locations—and a fraction of the manpower—that their competitors require. On just about every front, the company is more efficient than its peers. But let’s look specifically at two of the top expenses for virtually any retail company: its plant and its people.FacilitiesLast year, TJX ended with 3,055 stores, making it one of the most prolific clothing and home goods retailers in the US. It pegs its sales at a respectable $8.5 million annually per store. That’s not a big-box retailer like Best Buy, which racked up $25 million per store in 2011, but it’s solid compared to many other clothing and home goods retailers (like Sears, with much larger stores and only $9.5 million in per location sales, or the Gap, with smaller, mall-style stores and only $5 million per outlet).Amazon doesn’t have stores, of course. It has “fulfillment centers,” just like the new one in Tennessee that the POTUS visited. As of May 2013, a few dozen such centers are scattered across the world, including 37 in the US and 2 in Canada, and another dozen plus in Europe:Of course, it’s unfair to count only fulfillment centers, as the company handles customer service at separate locations, something a retailer like TJX would normally handle mostly onsite in the stores (excepting the separate online sales division, but that constitutes only a small fraction of TJX’s business). Add in those locations, plus the newest centers Amazon plans to open, and you still have fewer than 100 retail operations centers globally.If we round up just to be fair, that pegs Amazon’s sales per location for the past year at $660 million, or about 80 times the sales per location of a TJX.In addition to the amount of dollars per square foot in revenue that Amazon can push out its doors, the company can strike deals to grab land in otherwise desolate areas for its facilities, so long as UPS and FedEx will service them—no need for high-rent districts with lots of shopper traffic. This means that not only does the company have to support fewer square feet of space and make each square foot less glamorous, it can also push into districts willing to offer it big tax savings, or where construction costs are highly depressed (often one and the same). Amazon’s negotiation power and economies of scale are both significantly higher than the average multi-thousand storefront retailer.EmploymentOf course, having more sales per location means less if you have to fill that location with just as many people to get the goods out the door. Sure, you save on the overhead from electricity to property taxes, but you can only gain so much efficiency in a labor-intensive business. But here too, Amazon’s differences are broadly apparent.TJX Companies Inc. has approximately 179,000 employees: as with any retailer, it’s a mix of full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers.Amazon’s demand is just as cyclical as any other retailer. When queried at the press conference in Tennessee, a company rep wouldn’t specify how many of the 5,000 promised new jobs are part-time and seasonal. He instead jumped back to the pre-approved talking point about pay being 30% higher on average. The spokesman did acknowledge that a good number of them would not be full-time, year-round positions.(Amazon is able to staff much more efficiently than most retailers during non-holiday seasons, thanks to real-time, around-the-clock operations management and the ability to pull staff in for extra shifts and on short notice—a more difficult task for traditional storefront retailers, because having 10 extra people show up tomorrow from midnight to 6 a.m. doesn’t help move any more product. So it’s reasonable to assume Amazon will have more seasonal help as a percentage than most other retailers.)In all, though, Amazon has managed to grow to its current level with just about 89,000 employees, or almost exactly half of TJX’s workforce. To do that yet pull down 150% more revenue makes Amazon about five times more efficient than TJX, measured by retail sales per staffer.Amazon is able to do so because the number of shoppers who can be served per warehouse employee is much higher than at a typical retail location—especially the smaller stores that TJX mostly uses. The same goes for all the servers the company operates: one IT guy can take the midnight shift and keep a few thousand servers up and running, but one janitor cannot clean the floors at two locations, let alone 400—and many other aspects of the business share this limitation.Stacking Up Against Retail’s Big BoysTJX wasn’t cherry-picked as a counterexample—there are many retailers with far worse operating margins than TJX to pick on if that was the goal. Amazon stands out head and shoulders above nearly all other retailers in efficiency. Even when stacked up against larger competitors which can bring more scale to the business than TJX can, such as retail megastore Walmart, whose $470 billion in sales don’t put a dent in the revenue-per-employee figure: $213,790.45 $66,848,000 88,400 $202,603.88 2,200,000 $123,098,000 # of Employees $756,199.10 $146,759.22 $73,140,000
Special situation stocks: Special situation stocks can thrive in even poor market conditions. This category includes: Companies unfairly punished by the market, including companies in loathed industries (like PCs) or companies undergoing restructuring. Companies poised to ride an emerging trend… like social media, robotics, big data, LED, etc. Companies that will benefit from government policy… like incentives encouraging adoption of electronic health records, clean air initiatives, etc. Recap: Big tech stocks appear richly valued and ripe for a pullback, but there are some good deals in foreign markets and with special situations. In 2013, stocks went up pretty much across the board. But the market is starting to look toppy, so don’t expect the same thing in the coming year. 2014… a year to be picky. Worst case: Markets start to fear that multiples are too high, and a selloff begins. Margin selling is triggered, which only adds fuel to the fire. In this scenario, the selloff would likely be greater than a normal 10-15% correction. If the best-case scenario plays out, we might miss out on some gains. However, because the risks are mounting, we need to forego some of those gains in exchange for restful nights. Since we think scenarios 2 and 3 are more likely, we recommend rebalancing your portfolio in this manner: raise your cash levels, take out market hedges, and limit your involvement in the stock market to “spearfishing” for mispriced deals. If the markets keep surging, those few mispriced deals will soar and more than make up for the cost of insurance and the lost opportunity of not being heavily allocated toward the stock market. If the market tanks, the mispriced deals shouldn’t get hit as hard as the high-fliers and could even be profitable. Plus, you’ll be positioned with cash to buy back into the market at post-correction prices. So where are these “mispriced deals”? Biotech: Think Small With the historic rise in the biotech indices, a casual observer might see no opportunities in the sector. But look closer and it’s clear that the major increase in biotech indices has been driven by large biotech companies with a handful of drugs that are expected to become blockbusters. In fact, it looks as though 2013’s FDA approvals will generate big sales down the road… But much of this anticipated performance is priced in to the big biotech stocks that dominate the biotech indices, like Biogen. Good luck finding significant value with any of these. Smaller biotechs, however, are one place where you can still find very reasonable, even cheap, valuations. The recent boom in new biotech issues and the unclogging of the FDA-approval backlog left too many companies for the Street to track. Many small biotechs don’t even hit the market’s radar until just before (or even after) big events. It’s a situation that savvy investors can exploit for sizable returns, like the 197% gain that Casey Extraordinary Technology recently booked on the insulin-inhaler manufacturer MannKind. If there is a general pullback, small cap biotechs will take a big hit, as institutional investors flee to safety to protect their quarterly bonuses. But for investors with a little patience, the right stocks will eventually pay off in spades. Specifically, we’re targeting small-cap biotechs with near-term catalysts (like a drug approval or results from significant human testing) and enough cash to weather an economic storm. Riding long-term biotechs through a big downturn can be incredibly painful, especially as those companies will struggle to raise the capital they need to stay in business. But well-funded companies with shorter runways to their “big events” will fare much better. In Casey Extraordinary Technology, we have a plethora of such companies, including: A molecular testing company whose “spherical DNA” testing platform has it launching half a dozen new tests a year, all of which are remarkable cost savers (the sepsis test saves an average of $21,000 per patient, according to two peer-reviewed studies just published). Nanotech pioneers with remarkable new biotargeted delivery systems that can carry thousands of times more payload than current tech, and do it safer, cheaper, and across immune system blockades that were previously impenetrable. All of these companies trade at low risk-adjusted multiples, have catalysts in the next year, or are just starting to ramp sales. If things go as planned, these companies should yield remarkable returns in the coming year. (If you’re interested in these types of targeted speculations, we offer a 90-day risk free trial. Click here for details.) Recap: Large-cap biotechs are overpriced and due for a correction, but there will be plenty of opportunities with small-cap biotechs in 2014. Look for companies with cash and catalysts. Big Tech: Look Abroad and at Special Situations Amazon, Google, Facebook, Hewlett Packard, Priceline, and several other big tech stocks soared in 2013. Will this momentum continue next year? We don’t think so. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid the large-cap tech stocks entirely. The key to success will be selectivity. At BIG TECH, we’re focusing on: Foreign stocks: The rush to US markets in recent years has left foreign markets with relatively low multiples. The big banks don’t want to risk their money as long as the Fed will guarantee it when kept in the US. But that veneer is starting to peel amid talk of stimulus tapering and concerns about high valuations on US stocks. Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite is trading at a P/E of 8.3, half of US valuations. Growth markets like Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa are cheap too. Picking up a few large-cap stocks in those regions—especially those that provide stable services like telecom and e-commerce—can mean consistent earnings at bargain prices. We have a few of these companies in the BIG TECH portfolio and are looking to add more in the coming months, since a rush to safety in the wake of Fed tapering will likely include flight to global mega-cap stocks. Most likely case: Companies meet projected earnings but multiples cool. Under this scenario, prices pause as earnings catch up. With the major tech indices surging indiscriminately higher, those employing the dartboard strategy for picking stocks probably fared well in 2013. But will that strategy work in 2014? Or will the coming year require more caution? Of course, all prognostication begins with the same disclaimer: Beware of “black swans”—those unforeseen events that could pop up at any time and wreak havoc on the markets. But, assuming there is no nuclear war with China and Duchess Kate isn’t abducted by Muslim extremists, we believe the picture is shaping up clearly. A Stock-Picker’s Market With the markets near record highs and margin borrowing at never-before-seen levels, the probability of a selloff is high. Something as simple as a change in Fed policy could easily ruin the market’s appetite for risk and send stocks spiraling downward. In that case, overallocation to stocks in general, even the “safe” large caps, could burn investors. The way we see it, there are at least three possible scenarios: Best case: Federal stimulus, being the main thing moving the market, continues at an unabated rate (and possibly even an accelerated rate, especially if economic conditions deteriorate), and the market moves higher. An anticancer researcher whose “heat shock protein 90” inhibitor is quickly proving it can halt growth of multiple cancer types.
Online Harrassment Martin Shkreli is learning the hard way that his eagerness to harass others has consequences beyond social networking bans. Judge Kiyo Matsumoto has ordered the price-gouging (and most recently, securities fraud convict) “pharma bro” CEO to jail over the Facebook post he wrote offering $5,000 to whoever could get him a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. Shkreli and his lawyer maintained that the post was satire protected by free speech, but Judge Matsumoto didn’t buy it. This was “solicitation of assault,” she said in her decision, adding that it wasn’t funny to effectively issue a threat.Judge Matsumoto has also slated Shkreli’s sentencing for January 16th, so he’s going to spend a while behind bars even if he gets a relatively short prison term for his fraud.Shkreli certainly didn’t help his case leading up to the jailing. Prosecutors cited his earlier, creepy harassment of a woman journalist as evidence, and he wasn’t exactly quick to take down the Clinton “bounty” post. He did take it down, but only after the Secret Service got involved… and even then, a day later than promised. The former executive almost couldn’t help but test the limits of online abuse, and it’s clear that he found them. Enroll Now for $5 Next Article Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Add to Queue Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand –shares This story originally appeared on Engadget Jon Fingas September 14, 2017 ‘Pharma Bro’ Shkreli Ordered to Jail Over Internet Harassment Image credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri The judge isn’t a fan of trolling that includes threats. 2 min read
As the father of five sons, chief executive of two companies (Tesla, SpaceX) and occasional sitcom guest star, Elon Musk’s to-do list is undoubtedly very long.Near the top? Building up Tesla’s autonomous vehicle division. He made that clear last night, when he tweeted out a call for software engineers to apply.Ramping up the Autopilot software team at Tesla to achieve generalized full autonomy. If interested, contact email@example.com.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2015We are looking for hardcore software engineers. No prior experience with cars required. Please include code sample or link to your work.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2015Not intrigued yet? Musk sweetened the proposition with his next tweet:Should mention that I will be interviewing people personally and Autopilot reports directly to me. This is a super high priority.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2015So for all the qualified “hardcore” software engineers out there, now is your chance. To meet Musk — i.e. billionaire entrepreneur and the inspiration for the Tony Stark character in the Iron Man movies – just email firstname.lastname@example.org with a code sample link to your work. Related: Elon Musk Is Not Impressed With AppleThose who make the cut will work on Tesla’s Autopilot system, which transforms the company’s Model S into a semi-autonomous car that can detect and respond to highway traffic and conditional hazards. (Unlike Google’s self-driving cars autopilot does require the assistance of a human driver, although Musk has said that he is aiming for full automation within three years.)Recently, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg indirectly credited his Tesla Model S (presumably its autopilot system) for saving his life after a car accident last month. “Thank you, Elon Musk — you saved my life,” Katzenberg told The Hollywood Reporter after the collision.To which Musk modestly responded:Compliment from Jeffrey is much appreciated, but the people of Tesla deserve all the credit— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2015And that’s why Musk continues to be a leader to watch.Related: Elon Musk’s Advice for Jack Dorsey: Don’t Run Two Companies Elon Musk Is Personally Interviewing Job Candidates Add to Queue November 20, 2015 Next Article 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Guest Writer The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. –shares Laura Entis Hiring Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 2 min read Apply Now »
fundingGeneral Automation PlatformMarketing TechnologyMeritech CapitalNewsSpark CapitalTray.io Previous ArticleDirectLync Shakes Up Small Business Marketing with New Digital Marketing PlatformNext ArticleDell Technologies Cloud Accelerates Customers’ Multi-Cloud Journey Tray.io Raises $37 Million Series B Funding to Usher in the Era of The Automated Enterprise PRNewswireApril 30, 2019, 6:32 pmApril 30, 2019 Tray.Io’s Series B Round, Led by Spark Capital, Brings Total Funding to $59 Million for Rapidly-Growing Leader in the Automation and Integration SpaceTray.io, the General Automation Platform that puts complex software integrations and enterprise-class automation into the hands of citizen automators, has closed a $37M Series B funding round led by Spark Capital with participation from Meritech Capital, and existing investors GGV Capital, True Ventures, and Mosaic Ventures. Spark Capital’s Alex Clayton will join the company’s board of directors.“This latest round of fundraising is a powerful validation of our mission to empower enterprises to build their own automated central nervous system,” said Rich Waldron, CEO and co-founder of Tray.io. “More than ever, teams are looking to use automation to create entirely new ways to work with an emphasis on strategy, growth, and efficiency. We remain eternally grateful to our amazing customers for their support and the world-class customer ratings they’ve awarded us, and are beyond excited for the future.”“There are powerful drivers of automation in the marketplace, including the explosive growth of software stacks – with enterprises using 100+ applications per department. There’s also the growing need for digital transformation for seamless customer experience and operational flexibility. And there continues to be relentless demand for automation-related roles, particularly in marketing and operations, to put business users in total control of increasingly complex processes,” said Alex Clayton of Spark Capital. “Tray.io is the absolute best-in-breed for empowering line-of-business users in any role to become citizen automators that integrate and automate thousands of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications – and unlike legacy solutions – does not require developers to use.”Marketing Technology News: GroundTruth Names Chris Yamaoka Chief Privacy OfficerWithin the past 12 months, Tray.io has seen:Hyper revenue growth: Growing annual recurring revenue (ARR) by over 450%+ year on year.Adoption by the world’s fastest-growing companies and largest enterprises: Grew customers by 400%+ with adoption by “unicorns” Lyft, Segment, Intercom, joining enterprise customers such as IBM, FICO, SAP, and Arrow Electronics.Rapid talent expansion: Expanded talent in North America and Europe by 500%+ in every area, across sales, marketing, customer services, and development.Numerous innovation milestones: Collaborative development; real-time analytics; and lifecycle management capabilities enabled organizations to accelerate their automation roadmaps.New product launches: Introduction of Tray Embedded, enabling any software company to add automation and integration to their commercial applications at lightning speed.Marketing Technology News: Regions Bank Taps IBM’s AI to Power Next Generation Customer ServiceThe funding will support strategic hiring for a broad range of roles and continued product development that will expand Tray.io’s products’ enterprise-class capabilities. Tray.io’s automation platform empowers line-of-business professionals across marketing, sales, customer success, product, and operations to capture powerful efficiency and revenue gains with sophisticated automated workflows that give users full control of their data. Developers and IT professionals also use the company’s products as a centralized platform to rapidly build and maintain enterprise-wide integrations without having to devote extensive engineering resources to these projects. The Tray Platform’s easy-to-use, clicks-or-code interface and modern serverless architecture empowers users to scale without limits, running billions of automated tasks every month that rapidly process, manage, and transfer mission-critical enterprise datasets across multiple micro-services.Marketing Technology News: STOMP Out Bullying™ Launches Emma, the First AI Platform Designed to Process and Respond to Cyberbullying
Source:https://www.mountsinai.org/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 30 2018Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have found clear disparities in the way males and females–both those with schizophrenia and those who are healthy–discern the mental states of others.The research, the first of its kind, will be published online on October 30, in Social Neuroscience.The research team examined emotional processing in 37 clinically stable participants diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, compared with 31 healthy controls. Subjects identified emotions of other people by looking at pictures of eyes and listening to stories. Smell tests were also administered to measure odor detection and odor identification ability. Most animal species rely on their sense of smell to determine the intentions of other animals. Intelligence scores measured more complex brain processing and olfactory or scent scores measured simpler mental processing.Related StoriesResearchers find new physical evidence in the brain for types of schizophreniaTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairThey found that females without schizophrenia used more complex areas of their brains to identify someone else’s mental state, including other’s beliefs, desires, intentions, and emotions. The healthy males used less complex brain regions to process others’ mental states.Both women and men with schizophrenia used less complex brain regions to process the emotional states of others. Men with schizophrenia used less complex brain regions for processing than healthy men.”Women and men are fundamentally different, and it is critical to perform sex-specific research across psychiatry and all of medicine,” said the study’s senior author, Dolores Malaspina, MD, Director, Psychosis Program, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Sex-stratified research is essential for studying social processes in general and especially for conditions such as schizophrenia that present differently in women and men.””The neurocircuitry of olfaction is very closely related to the neurocircuitry for emotional processing,” said the study’s first author, Julie Walsh-Messinger, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Dayton. “So the interaction between the two might be a window to better understanding schizophrenia.”The research team plans to study what causes the differences in sexes in their olfactory responses in the future.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 10 2018An analysis of race and ethnicity data from the TAILORx clinical trial was presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The new study confirms that women of all races and ethnicities can safely follow the TAILORx findings (above and here). However, the study also found that after nine years of follow-up, 83.1 percent of white women were alive and cancer-free, compared to 78.9 percent of black women. It found that the type and duration of chemotherapy and hormone therapy treatments were similar among black and white women and other races as well as between Hispanic and non-Hispanic women. Pathologic characteristics of the tumors were no different as well.”The study adds to an emerging body of evidence suggesting there are biological factors contributing to racial disparities in breast cancer outcomes,” said lead author Kathy S. Albain, MD, Huizenga Family Endowed Chair in Oncology Research and professor of medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and director of the Breast and Thoracic Oncology Programs at the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center of Loyola Medicine in Maywood, Illinois.The most common type of early breast cancer is hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that has not spread to lymph nodes. The ‘recurrence score’ is a measure of how likely cancer will recur in distant organs. For women with this type of cancer, the test is now recommended to determine the best course of treatment following surgery and to spare them from unnecessary treatment.”The racial disparities observed in this trial were not explained by differences in recurrence score or reported duration of antihormonal endocrine therapy,” Dr. Albain said. “Nor were the differences explained by the type of chemotherapy (if used) or characteristics such as age, tumor size or grade. As such, our results suggest that biological differences may contribute to the significantly different outcomes of black women compared to others with breast cancer.”Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerDr. Albain continued: “Our findings are consistent with prior studies indicating that black women with hormone-receptor positive, HER2-negative breast cancer have worse prognoses than women of other racial and ethnic backgrounds, even when they have access to the same contemporary cancer care. This suggests that additional research is required to determine the basis for these racial disparities and also highlights the need to enhance accrual of minority populations in cancer clinical trials.”TAILORx was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, and designed and led by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group. It also was supported by the Canadian Society Cancer Research Institute, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the U.S. Postal Service Breast Cancer Research Stamp.Limitations of the study include the retrospective nature of the analysis, lack of adequate power to address specific questions in the race/ethnicity subsets, and a reliance on self-reported adherence to hormone therapy.The genomic test used in the trial was the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test from Genomic Health Inc., Redwood City, California. Source:https://ecog-acrin.org/news-and-info/press-releases/tailorx-confirms-lack-of-chemotherapy-benefit-regardless-of-race-or-ethnicity
Source:https://www.stjude.org/media-resources/news-releases/2019-medicine-science-news/genomic-testing-of-patient-reveals-common-gene-mutated-in-pediatric-melanoma.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 5 2019Comprehensive clinical genomic testing of an adolescent patient, including whole genome sequencing, helped researchers identify mutations in a single gene that drive the most common childhood melanoma. The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital study appears as an advance online publication today in the journal Nature Medicine.Further research found that 33 percent of young people with spitzoid melanoma screened in this study carried novel mutations, including rearrangements, in the same gene, MAP3K8. Analogous mutations were also found in 1.5 percent of the almost 500 adult melanoma patients tested. Spitzoid melanoma occurs in children and adults, but it is the most common pediatric melanoma.Researchers also reported evidence that patients with the MAP3K8 mutations may be candidates for precision medicines. The initial patient in this study had a short-lived response to a precision medicine that targeted a gene deregulated by the mutated MAP3K8.”This research demonstrates that whole-genome and whole-transcriptome sequencing can reveal driver mutations missed by popular commercial screening tests that use gene panels,” said corresponding author Jinghui Zhang, Ph.D., chair of the St. Jude Computational Biology Department. “These newly identified alterations, including gene fusions, have the potential to influence treatment.”The co-corresponding authors are Scott Newman, Ph.D., of the St. Jude Computational Biology Department, and Armita Bahrami, M.D., an associate member of the St. Jude Department of Pathology. Newman is also the first author.The diseaseThis year about 96,480 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S., including 1 to 2 percent that occur in children and adolescents. Spitzoid melanoma ranges widely from slow-growing moles to aggressive tumors. In about 50 percent of cases, however, the mutation driving the tumor was unknown. These results indicate that MAP3K8 is the most commonly mutated gene in pediatric spitzoid melanoma.The discoveryMAP3K8 surfaced as an oncogene that initiated spitzoid melanoma through the St. Jude research study Genomes for Kids. The study included whole-genome, whole-exome and whole-transcriptome sequencing of patients’ tumor and normal tissue.Whole-genome sequencing determines the exact order of the 3 billion chemical bases that make up human DNA, the molecule that encodes instructions for assembling and sustaining life. The exome is the 1 to 2 percent of the genome with instructions for assembling proteins. The transcriptome identifies the genes that are being expressed.Sequencing and analysis of genetic material from the initial patient revealed alterations, including deletion of the gene CDKN2A/B and mutations in the gene TERT, known to fuel spitzoid melanoma. But the story was incomplete.Related StoriesEMBL study reveals uncoupling between chromatin topology and gene expressionISTH introduces new global education initiative in gene therapy for hemophiliaResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmias”Kinase gene fusions generally serve as the initiating driver of spitzoid melanoma,” Bahrami said. Newman, who was analyzing the case, added: “The tumor carried none of the kinase mutations previously associated with melanoma.” Kinases are enzymes that function as “on/off” switches to regulate activity of other proteins.Newman turned his attention to the dozens of other rearrangements and other mutations that sequencing revealed, including a novel fusion gene created when MAP3K8, a kinase, fused with part of another gene.”Having both whole-genome and whole-transcriptome data was essential,” Newman said. “It helped us identify the gene rearrangement and determine that the novel fusion gene was being translated into a functional protein.”MAP3K8 is known to regulate MEK, a gene that promotes cell division and is deregulated in other cancers. A scientific literature search turned up previously published research that suggested a possible role for MAP3K8 in melanoma.The findings led to treatment of the patient with trametinib, a precision medicine that inhibits the MEK protein. After an initial positive response to the MEK inhibitor, the treatment was discontinued when it apparently stopped working and the patient developed side effects.When another novel MAP3K8 mutation was discovered in a second St. Jude patient with spitzoid melanoma, researchers expanded their analysis to include spitzoid tumors from 49 patients. The screening found 33 percent of the patients carried MAP3K8 mutations. The team predicted that the different MAP3K8 mutations they found would all cause MAP3K8 to be over-active and go on to activate MEK.Newman and his colleagues mined the transcriptome sequencing data in the Cancer Genome Atlas and to their surprise found 1.5 percent of the 472 adult melanoma patients carried similar MAP3K8 mutations.Next stepsThe findings underscore the need for clinical trials of trametinib and other precision medicines that target the alteration identified in this study, the researchers noted. There was evidence that the patient developed resistance to the drug.”In addition, this research suggests MAP3K8 should be incorporated into cancer genomic panels in the future,” Bahrami said.Study data, including comprehensive sequencing data from the initial patient, are available in the St. Jude Cloud.