Spring Into Action During the Statewide Litter Sweep

first_imgAs you clear out closets in your house for spring cleaning, why not also put on an orange safety vest and gloves to participate in the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway Spring Litter Sweep? This year’s campaign runs April 14-28.Volunteers from local businesses, schools, non-profits and community groups work alongside NCDOT to help keep North Carolina’s roadways clean throughout the year. Adopt-A-Highway groups are encouraged to participate in the biannual litter sweeps which take place in the spring and fall, helping to increase cleanup and motivate the community to be good stewards of the environment.Now in its 30th year, the Adopt-A-Highway Program helps decrease the amount of litter on the state’s roadsides and improves environmental beauty, quality and safety. Roadsides are available for adoption in all 100 North Carolina counties. Groups commit to cleaning their designated roadways at least four times a year and NCDOT provides them with safety vests, gloves and bags.In 2017, nearly 5,000 Adopt-A-Highway groups removed close to 1 million pounds of litter from almost 10,000 miles of state roadways.“We want to thank the thousands of volunteers who give up their time every year to help make sure our state is a beautiful and safe place to work, live and visit,” says David Harris, Roadside Environmental Engineer. “We couldn’t do this without all of them.”Additionally, businesses, individuals and other organizations can also participate in the state’s Sponsor-A-Highway initiative. In return for cleaning a one-mile stretch of interstate highway, sponsors have their organization’s name or logo attached to the Sponsor-A-Highway sign.last_img read more

Mickey’s PhilharMagic to Debut at Disney California Adventure

first_imgShare This!The ever-enchanting, Mickey’s PhilharMagic will soon be wowing audiences at Disney California Adventure. The 3D show will be found in the Sunset Showcase Theater in HollywoodLand beginning sometime in April.For those on the west coast who haven’t seen Mickey’s PhilharMagic, which can currently be found in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, the show features fan favorite characters, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, as well as some of other classic Disney characters. According to Disney, while rumors have swirled for years about an update to the fil, it appears as though the attraction will not be changed in any way for its addition to the Disneyland Resort.The show opens with Donald preparing the orchestra for maestro Mickey, when Donald comes across the conductor’s baton and that ever important Sorcerer’s Hat. Once he puts the hat on, he’s taken away into the fantastic stories of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Fantasia, The Lion King, Peter Pan, and Aladdin.We’ll be sure to share with you more details of this upcoming new-to-California attraction soon.last_img read more

Marshfield improves win streak to four

first_imgBy Hub City Times staffMARSHFIELD – Merrill came to Marshfield on Jan. 25 for a division showdown. After several lead changes in the first half, Merrill came away with a 28-26 lead at halftime. Marshfield’s offense was hot in the second half; however, overpowering Merrill, leading Marshfield to their fourth-straight win with a score of 62-52.Merrill’s Michael Casper was high scorer for the night with 21 points for the Blue Jays. Marshfield’s Anthony Posteluk scored 16 for the Tigers.last_img read more

Guest Editor This Week

first_imgrichard macmanus Tags:#Admin#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… I’m on holiday all this week and during that time JoshCatone will be Guest Editor of Read/WriteWeb. You may remember Josh fromsuch posts as InternetKilled The Television Star and Crowdsourcing:A Million Heads is Better than One. Josh is a talented writer, as well asbeing co-founder of the web’s largest community dedicated to Ruby on Railsdevelopment – Rails Forum. His personalblog is mockriot. I’ve said to Josh thathe can post what he likes here, as long as it’s about web technology of course🙂Read/WriteWeb’s other writers will also be contributing, so you shouldn’tnotice much difference – although it will probably be lighter posting this weekthan usual.So without further ado, I am off to enjoy a one week break from blogging andonline life in general! If you are thinking of emailing me during this time,don’t expect a response 😉 I will be back at the Editor’s desk from Monday 30April, when Microsoft MIX in Las Vegas kicks off. I will be coveringthat event live, so see you then! Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

Business Models: Product Roadmap Planning Trumps One-Off Project Plans

first_imgBusinesses are re-envisioning how IT is being modeled to support their organizations.  Rather than one-off  projects, businesses instead are developing long-range views based on evolving product road maps.Kasey Panetta, Brand Content Manager at Gartner, said that “projects tend to happen in business-unit silos, compete with other company projects for resources and only contribute to isolated metrics. Product-centric business models offer quicker business outcomes, improved customer experiences, reduced friction within the organization and more flexibility. All of that results in increased trust across the business as the organization works toward the same goals.”55 percent of organizations say that they are trying to transition now from being project-based to more-strategically product-centric. The change involves both technical restructuring and also culturally locating the right members into units where they can interact more frequently.  Gartner says that the change requires optimizing the use of resources plus a little innovation, but the results are worth the change.last_img read more

Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

first_imgCongress returned after its Memorial Day recess and the House Appropriations Committee approved the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill for fiscal year (FY) 2017, which includes funding for the IRS. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued two audit reports, with one finding that the IRS had not effectively identified and assisted all individuals potentially affected by the Get Transcript application data breach. In addition, the IRS issued final regulations that define the term “taxpayer” as it applies for the exclusion of discharge of debt income for specific entities. Final, temporary and proposed regulations that impose corporate level tax when property from a C corporation becomes the property of a REIT or RIC were also issued.CongressHouse. The House Appropriations Committee approved the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill for fiscal year (FY) 2017 on June 9 (TAXDAY, 2016/06/10, C.3), which included a $10.9-billion budget for the IRS for FY 2017. The full committee submitted a draft report in explanation of the bill it will accompany, detailing IRS funding and oversight (TAXDAY, 2016/06/09, C.1). The bill now goes to the House floor.House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and ranking member John Lewis, D-Ga., sent a letter dated June 7 to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking that all assistant U.S. attorneys (AUSAS) involved in the alleged abuse by IRS’s civil asset forfeiture be held accountable (TAXDAY, 2016/06/10, C.2). The letter requested details on how the Department of Justice (DOJ) is reprimanding those involved and seeks information on how the DOJ will ensure the alleged abuse does not happen again.Senate. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, sent letters dated June 9 to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Treasury Department Secretary Jack Lew inquiring into certain safeguards and coordination strategies the agencies have in place for Code Sec. 1603 grants and energy tax credits (TAXDAY, 2016/06/13, C.2).TreasuryCybersecurity. TIGTA found that the IRS did not effectively identify and assist all individuals potentially affected by the Get Transcript application data breach (Ref. No. 2016-40-037; TAXDAY, 2016/06/09, T.1). TIGTA’s analysis of system audit logs created between January 1, 2014 and May 21, 2015, identified approximately 621,000 taxpayers whose tax account information involved potentially unauthorized access not identified by the IRS.Injured Spouse. TIGTA also reported that the IRS’s Injured Spouse Program did not always resolve taxpayers’ requests for relief in a timely manner, resulting in the unnecessary assessment and payment of interest (Ref. No. 2016-40-042; TAXDAY, 2016/06/10, T.1). TIGTA found that 30 percent of the cases were not resolved within the required time period.IRSREITs and RICs. The IRS issued final, temporary and proposed regulations that impose corporate level tax on certain transactions where property from a C corporation becomes the property of a REIT or a RIC (T.D. 9770, NPRM REG-126452-15; TAXDAY, 2016/06/08, I.1). The regulations are meant to prevent abuses of Code Secs. 355(h) and 856(c)(8) and in furtherance of the purposes of the repeal of General Utilities.Discharge of Indebtedness Regs. The IRS issued final regulations that define the term “taxpayer” for the exclusion of discharge of debt income from gross income of a grantor trust or an entity that is disregarded as an entity separate from its owner (T.D. 9771; TAXDAY, 2016/06/10, I.1).Expatriate Health Plans. The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services have issued proposed regulations on the rules for expatriate health plans, expatriate health plan issuers, and qualified expatriates under the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act of 2014 (EHCCA) (P.L. 113-235); NPRM REG-135702-15; TAXDAY, 2016/06/09, I.1). The regulations are proposed for years beginning on or after January 1, 2017.Interest Rates. The IRS announced that the interest rates for the calendar quarter beginning July 1 will remain at 4 percent for overpayments (3 percent for corporations), 4 percent for underpayments, and 6 percent for large corporate underpayments (IR-2016-84; Rev. Rul. 2016-12;TAXDAY, 2016/06/07, I.3). The interest rate corporate overpayment that exceeds $10,000 remains at 1.5 percent.Get Transcript Relaunch. The IRS has relaunched its Get Transcript online service with a much more rigorous authentication process, which provides increased protection against identity theft (IR-2016-85; TAXDAY, 2016/06/08, I.2). The new process requires two-step authentication for all online tools and applications that require a high level of assurance.TE/GE Advisory Committee. The TE/GE Advisory Committee has issued its annual recommendations report to the IRS (TAXDAY, 2016/06/09, I.2). The report offers recommendations to the IRS as to how to approach certain topics and policies to better encourage tax compliance with its limited resources.Common Reporting Standard. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has urged Congress to act quickly on the Common Reporting Standard legislation during his discussion regarding recent international tax development at the 2016 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) International Tax Conference. (TAXDAY, 2016/06/08, I.3). The call for a common reporting standard comes after what has been the successful implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) (P.L. 111-147).By Jessica Jeane and Jalisa Mathis, Wolters Kluwer News Staff.last_img read more

Inside IT: Evaluating McAfee Deep Defender

first_imgThe evolution of threats to the security of the enterprise has driven innovation in how that enterprise defends itself. New tools need to be developed to meet today’s threat landscape. McAfee has introduced such a tool, Deep Defender. It’s designed to detect kernel-based attacks that other traditional software security solutions would miss. In this podcast we talk with Intel IT Security Specialist Greg Bassett and Project Manager Stephanie Mahvi as they discuss the pilot study the company conducted to evaluate McAfee Deep Defender for the enterprise.last_img read more

If Clayton Christiansen were running Apple Computer, then…

first_imgAs a follow-up to my last article on the decentralization of the economy from one of a relatively large number of very large businesses and a relatively few number of small businesses to a relatively few number of very large businesses and a very large number of small businesses. As you may recall, I talked about how the advent of networks (railroad->telephone->highway->airline->fax->email->internet) has overall lowered the “transaction costs” between businesses which increases the likelihood of a decision to outsource a task versus hire additional employees leading to an overall economic decentralization. One of the problems with this model is that it’s a bit hard to know where your industry is in it’s development. For example, Apple has been earning huge profits on its itunes/ipod business for several years now — are there many more years to come or are they facing near-term de-centralization as the buying criteria shifts from simplicity to something else (i.e. price, features, other)? It is likely doing its best to keep the interfaces between the pieces of the value chain locked up (trade secrets, patents, exclusivity with parts suppliers, etc.) and keep customers locked in, but how long can they hold on? At some point in time, there may be another disruption in the computer industry that will cause it to consolidate again. For example, the buying criterion moving to a new price point to serve underdeveloped countries might end up creating a new integrated player in the pc space who controls the boundaries of a new device that can be sold for $100 or less. I suspect that we will see a similar decentralization in the online music industry. Just as they did in the PC industry 20 years ago while the category was in the “not good enough” phase, Apple has seized control of the subsections/interfaces between the components within the mp3 player (ipod), the music delivery application (itunes), the music itself, and the distribution (Apple stores). As they did with the pc, they are optimizing around the buying criteria of ease of use because prior to ipod/itunes, “you’d have to be a high school student” [I borrowed that line from Christiansen] to figure out how to make this type of stuff work. By not having to worry about designing the boundaries (api’s), Apple lowers its “transaction costs” and can innovate quickly. We are still in the early phase of this industry and Apple is earning the lion’s share of the profits. It will be interesting to see who the winners are as the industry decentralizes. In particular, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft’s strategy plays out. From my perspective, Microsoft is making a mistake by trying to play the same game as Apple here and controlling the end-to-end experience, rather than sticking to it’s knitting and trying to control a strategic layer that enables this industry to split apart. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Today, I want to talk a bit about centralization/decentralization within industries. I think Clayton Christiansen does a pretty good job of explaining the centralization/decentralization of industries and where the profits flow in the value chain depending on where the cycle is. Basically, his thesis is that vertically integrated firms take the lion’s share of the profit in an industry when the products are not that good (i.e. pre-chasm). They generally have a big advantage because they do not have to worry about defining boundaries (i.e. api’s) between subsections of their products and can just focus on innovating. This is something that Apple has proven they are exceptionally good at. They first proved it with the PC back in the 1980’s where they controlled the subcomponents including the operating system and while the industry was in its infancy, it accrued major profits on Mac’s using that integrated approach. As the industry matured, the buying criteria started changing to price and the “boundaries” between the subsections were detailed sending the profits away from independent architecture providers like Apple to multiple tiers in the value chain, such as Microsoft, Intel, memory companies, disk drive companies, etc. It is probably helpful to think a bit about what’s happening in your industry? Are the profits centralized around integrators of functionality? Are the boundaries between the subsections of your industry starting to break down? Is there reason to believe that a disrupter could be coming along at the low end? The following is Christiansen’s specific take on the how the value chain in the computer industry has changed. It is most interesting to see how much the industry has decentralized over time and how the profits now accrue to the subsections in the value chain versus the integrated suppliers, such as Apple. Originally published Feb 13, 2007 11:50:00 AM, updated July 11 2013last_img read more

Inbound Marketing: Doing is Believing!

first_img From my experience, most people only believe something will work for them once they’ve done it themselves and it worked for them. Chamber’s New England Business Expo a year ago inbound marketing stats from the event website . It took us about 5 weeks to sign up 30 people for the event. Based on the current sign up rate, we should have 50 attendees. We used no traditional marketing methods to market this. No direct mail. No cold calling. Just blogging, social media and email invitations to a very small portion of our opt-in email list.  We didn’t even implement all of the suggestions in Ellie’s leveraging the long tail for online marketing , I jumped at the opportunity. I spoke at the Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack event Do you want to start DOING your inbound marketing?  Free Online Crash Course on Inbound Marketing… We’re constantly sharing the Inbound Marketing ROI results from our own marketing efforts. (See the graphs in Prashant’s post about The attendees walked away from the seminar “believing”. However, only a few of them started “doing”. A bunch more said they needed more training. So, the Chamber called and asked if we could do a longer more hands-on format.  . excellent “inbound marketing for events” guide. .) Thus, the quandary… a Catch-22. is designed to have small business owners and marketers actually start doing their inbound marketing.  to a packed room.  But, my other answer will be to show the The most common question that I expect to hear during the event is, “How long will this take for me to achieve online lead generation success?” last_img read more