Chemical technology incubator launched in Durban

first_img22 April 2014Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies officially launched the R8-million Durban branch of the South African Chemical Technology Incubator (Chemin) at the Westville Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban last week.The incubation centre offers free support services to small chemical technology businesses in the province, as well as access to a state-of-the-art laboratory containing specialised analytical equipment. Current incubated enterprises focus on chemical detergent, cosmetics and health care products.The centre includes a manufacturing pilot plant for recycling compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs using a patented technology.According to the DTI, Chemin’s focus is on developing the downstream chemicals manufacturing industry in South Africa. This includes the manufacture of relatively high-value pure chemicals for use as active ingredients in specialised chemicals for industrial and non-consumer applications (such as paints, mining chemicals, textile specialities, and paper chemicals).Chemin’s Durban branch was established in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) under the DTI’s Incubation Support Programme, which has seen the establishment of 42 incubators in various sectors across the country.Davies, speaking at last week’s launch said a further four incubators had been approved and would be set up during the 2014/15 financial year.Seda acting CEO Sipho Zikode commented: “We are on course to see these incubators increasing as more small enterprises go the technology incubation route …. This can only bode well for our government’s drive to create employment.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Your Klout Score Probably Just Dropped – Do You Care?

first_imgToday Klout released a new scoring model for its social media influence service. According to a blog post, this project “represents the biggest step forward in accuracy, transparency and our technology in Klout’s history.”Klout Score is based on the PeopleRank algorithm, which gathers information about how many people you influence, how much you influence them and how influential they are. “Influence is the ability to drive action and is based on quality, not quantity,” writes Klout Director of Ranking Ash Rust. “When someone engages with your content, we assess that action in the context of the person’s own activity.” alicia eler Klout has flaws. So who cares if your Klout score just dropped? That’s pretty vain. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Klout Score collects data from your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+ and WordPress accounts in order to determine your overall social media influence. But how it calculates your score based on the data is unknown. In his blog post “The Trouble with Klout,” long-time technology journalist Paul Gillin writes:Klout uses a proprietary algorithm to estimate influence based upon comments, retweets, @replies and mentions, among other things. The company isn’t very transparent about how it calculates the score, and with good reason. The algorithm is a competitive asset and disclosure would inevitably invite people to manipulate the system.He concludes by stating that “Klout essentially asks customers to put their faith in the service to do the right thing.” What Is Influence Measurement, Really?Let’s not forget that Klout measures algorithmically derived data points. It does not account for its users offline influence, or any digital influence that isn’t expressed on social media. Are critics of Klout missing the big picture? Jay Baer says yes, they definitely are. Klout should be used directionally and for trending purposes, not adhered to slavishly. It’s one piece of information that needs to be combined with (ideally) several others to do social CRM well. After all, the most important thing to know isn’t online “influence” but historical relationship between that customer and your company, and their corresponding lifetime value…I fear that lazy companies use it as a replacement for sound CRM and database marketing initiatives that bolt together multiple data points for better business intelligence.Klout Scores Keep Dropping, Users Get AngrierIn the comments section below the post, angry users are shouting that Klout has assigned a higher importance to Facebook than it gives to Twitter. Klout responded, stating: “We measure influence equally on every network. We care about your influence over your audience — not the network you influence them in.” Here’s another conversation between a user and Klout, suggesting that their algorithm updates are nothing to quibble over. Related Posts center_img Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#community#Digital Lifestyle#social networks#web A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Louisiana Governor Proposes Tax Cuts, Elimination of Deductions

first_imgIn his opening remarks for the 2018 Second Special Session, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards proposed the following tax changes:– cutting the current sales tax rate;– reducing the number of sales tax exemptions, but keeping exemptions for groceries, pharmaceuticals and utilities;– eliminating the personal income tax deduction for state taxes paid; and– removing the expiration date for reduced tax credits, deductions, and rebates.2018 Second Special Session Remarks, Office of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, May 22, 2018Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img

Elite topple No. 1 Bolts in thriller, force decider for semis spot

first_imgHotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games “Going into the final 15 seconds of the game with Meralco up by one, the instruction was to have a good shot and if there was opening, we take it,” Blackwater head coach Leo Isaac recalled.“We challenged the players to face the situation. We wanted the ball to Walker but there was also an option for Maliksi,” Isaac said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe ball did go into the hands of Walker, who then setup Maliksi for game-winning jumper from the free throw line with 9.5 seconds left.Walker and Maliksi carried the Elite down the stretch but it took team effort in the waning seconds to pull off the defensive stop on the Bolts, whose last shot was a one-hander from just inside the 3-point line by Mike Tolomia that was off target. Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors PBA IMAGESAllein Maliksi continued to prove why Blackwater made a good move in trading for him late in the season.Maliksi came up clutch as the Elite took down the top-seeded Meralco Bolts, 92-91, Wednesday to pave way for a do-or-die for a slot in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Marcelino twins help Lyceum go 14-0 Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse chargescenter_img ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Reigning Best Import Allen Durham posted 18 points, including an inside basket that gave the Bolts a 91-90 edge with 15.8 ticks remaining, 21 rebounds and seven assists while Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge had 19 and 18 points, respectively.Blackwater tries to become only the fourth team to knock off the No. 1 team on Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “We played good defense and made the stop,” Isaac said.The dramatic win was Blackwater’s first in the playoffs since joining the league in 2014 and it couldn’t have come at a better time with the Elite facing the formidable Bolts, who won nine games against only two losses in the elimination round.Walker only had 11 points in the first three quarters before taking over when it mattered most. He exploded for 19 points in the fourth quarter, scoring Blackwater’s first 18 points in the period.The former NBA veteran, who had stints with the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Miami Heat, scattered 30 points, 18 rebounds, six assists, one steal and a block.The 30-year-old Maliksi, who was acquired from Star in a four-player trade on Sept. 10, wound up with 15 points and four rebounds. Starting guard Mike DiGregorio added 20 points.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans View commentslast_img read more

Past failures spur Adamson coach on

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThere are facets in life that humans tap into to give them that extra kick of motivation, and for the head coach of Adamson Pep Squad it was the losses when he was still a student-cheerleader that spurred him on.Jeremy Lorenzo,  a wide-eyed member of the Pep Squad from 2007 until 2012, was never able to step into the podium of the UAAP cheerdance competition in those five years.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH No disappointments for UP despite failing to get podium finish LATEST STORIES For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay And those setbacks were what kept his fire burning, inspiring him to coach Adamson into cheerdance glory when the Pep Squad captured the gold in the Season 80 edition.“My motivation really were the winless experiences, being a loser during my college life,” said Lorenzo in Filipino Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe closest Lorenzo got to a medal when he was still student was when Adamson finished fifth in 2007, 2008, and 2011.Adamson hit rock bottom in 2010 and 2012, Lorenzo’s final collegiate year, when the Pep Squad finished dead last at eighth. Malditas save PH from shutout View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads So when the opportunity to go back to his alma mater as a coach came his way, he never hesitated and kept all those pent up frustrations to use as his tinder to light the fire in his pupils.“When I was given the opportunity to apply as the coach for my school, I remembered all those past losses as motivation,” said Lorenzo whose Adamson Pep Squad scored 663.50 points out of 800. “My inspiration was my frustration from the years I experienced all those losses.” Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READlast_img read more

Your health insurance questions, answered

first_imgSo you’re a freelancer and you need to get health insurance. Now what?Here are the most common questions about Freelancers Union’s health insurance plans in New York — and questions about insurance generally.If you’d like to see this post as a webinar, click here. Want a more in-depth guide, including billing, claims, and pharmacy? Go here.Do I really need health insurance?Yes. It’s not only good for you, but, under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), it’s also required that everyone get health insurance.The penalty for not having health insurance in 2015 is pretty significant — it’s 2% of your yearly household income or $325 per person for the year, whichever is higher.When can I buy health insurance?You can buy health insurance any time during open enrollment, which runs from November 15 – February 15, 2015. If you purchase health insurance by January 15, you’ll have coverage February 1; if you purchase healht insurance by February 15, you’ll have coverage March 1.What kind of plans are out there?Under the ACA, insurance plans are basically offered at five metal tiers:CatastrophicBronzeSilverGoldPlatinumAs you might guess, higher metal tiers (shinier metals!) are usually more expensive upfront but cover more of your medical expenses throughout the year. Lower tiers (catastrophic and bronze) have lower monthly premiums but cover a smaller part of your medical expenses throughout the year.For example, in a Bronze plan, your plan will pay about 60% of the average cost of essential health benefits. A Platinum plan will pay about 90% of the average cost of essential health benefits, but costs more upfront.I think I’m eligible for a subsidy. What can I do?Under the ACA, if you make less than about $45,000 as an individual (or $94,200 for a family of four), you may be eligible for a subsidy or tax credit towards your health plan. This is great news for many middle- and low-income freelancers. You can check here at the New York State of Health marketplace calculator. If you are eligible or think you might be eligible, you should contact the marketplace directly at 1-855-355-5777 to purchase a plan or ask questions about financial assistance.We also have certified representatives available to help you enroll in a subsidy-eligible Empire BlueCross BlueShield plan over the phone at 800.856.9981.What about dental and vision insurance?All our plans offer pediatric dental and vision coverage, but not adult dental and vision coverage. You can find affordable dental coverage by searching our National Benefits Platform. We do not offer vision insurance right now.Why did you choose Empire?Freelancers Union spent a long time looking for the right partner who would work with us to help offer health plans for our members at the best possible value. We’ve utilized Empire’s highly-rated network of doctors for the past 6 years, and during that time they’ve shown a commitment to working with us to meet the needs of freelancers. We’re confident they’ll continue to be great partners as we work together to make sure you and every other freelancer can get high quality, affordable healthcare.Why should I buy insurance through Freelancers Union?Good question! Freelancers Union’s National Benefits Platform is a place built by and for independent workers where you can find a host of benefits from top-flight partners nationwide. It brings the collective power of freelancers together to take some of the anxiety and confusion out of finding health care — and puts your insurance dollars towards a non-profit mission devoted to advocacy and education for independent workers. When thousands of freelancers get coverage together, they’re a constituency, which gives us the power to advocate on behalf of freelancers with policy makers to improve health care for all.In New York, buying insurance through Freelancers Union can also give you access to our free, unlimited primary care center — a completely revolutionary model with free doctor visits, acupuncture, creativity classes, stress management groups, and more. Learn more about Freelancers Medical at freelancersmedical.org.What are all of the plans in New York State through Freelancers Union?Here are the plans we’ll be offering in 2015. You can see a side-by-side comparisons of all our plans here (PDF).Platinum 200 with Freelancers MedicalGold 1000Gold 1000 with Freelancers MedicalSilver 2450Silver 2450 with Freelancers MedicalSilver 2000Bronze 5600 with Freelancers MedicalBronze 5600Bronze 3000Catastrophic 6600What is the network of doctors and hospitals on these plans?To see if your doctor or preferred hospital is in network, follow these instructions. Or you can choose to call your doctor and ask if they accept Empire’s Pathways HMO network.How do I find an in-network pediatric dentist?You can find pediatric dentists by visiting this link. Select New York as your state and select Dental Prime as your Plan/Network. Then press Select and Continue. On the following screen, select Pediatric Dentistry as the Specialty. You can then search by either proximity to your area or name.What is Freelancers Medical?Freelancers Medical is a one-stop shop for primary care, same-day sick appointments, pediatrics, women’s health, stress management, and health coaching — all for $0 copay. If you’re enrolled, Freelancers Medical is the only primary care program that you and your family can visit, with 2 locations in Downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. Specially designed with freelancers in mind, it includes access to your doctor and health coach over Skype and email, with a team that supports for your lifestyle. Learn more at freelancersmedical.org.Want to enroll in a plan with Freelancers Medical? When applying, simply select a plan with “FM” in the name. Here are the four plans that allow you access to Freelancers Medical:Platinum 200 with Freelancers MedicalGold 1000 with Freelancers MedicalSilver 2450 with Freelancers MedicalBronze 5600 with Freelancers MedicalCan I enroll at a different time?Yes, but only if you have a special circumstance which makes you eligible for a special enrollment period. These special circumstances include:a. Gaining or becoming a dependentb. Losing existing health coverage (through job loss, separation from a spouse, etc)c. Expiration of COBRAd. Loss of eligibility for or expiration of a student health plane. A permanent move or relocation to an area with different health plansf. Dramatic change in income that affects your eligibility for tax credits (which can make health insurance more affordable) or cost sharing reductions (a discount that enables you to pay less out-of-pocket for some medical expenses).If any of these special circumstances sound like you, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period. And even if they don’t, it’s good to keep them in mind. Freelancing can be up and down, and if you find yourself needing new coverage, remember that you might be eligible to enroll outside of open enrollment!Hold on, what do all these insurance terms mean?Here’s a glossary of some health insurance lingo to help you through the enrollment process.So how do I choose what plan is right for me?Here are some questions to think about when trying to pick a health insurance plan.What’s more important to you — a lower monthly premium or lower out-of-pocket costs if you need care? You can’t have both.What kinds of medical services do you typically need? If you have chronic needs, you’ll want to make sure your plan covers the specialist visits and prescriptions you need.What kinds of prescriptions do you have? Some plans only cover generic drugs or cost a lot out-of-pocket. Pay attention to how drugs are paid for in your prospective plan.It’s important to remember that even if something is covered by the insurance plan, that doesn’t mean it’s free after you pay your monthly premium — it just means that the insurance company will pay for part of it. Insurance won’t pay for services that aren’t covered, or aren’t deemed medically necessary.In general, if you know you don’t need much in the way of healthcare, you might be more likely to look at a plan with low premiums and a high deductible. You’ll pay less upfront, but if you do incur some expenses, you’ll have to take care of them on your own until you meet the deductible. You might be interested in a Bronze plan.If you’re under thirty, you might also want to consider getting a catastrophic plan. This is a less expensive plan with low premiums and a high deductible that protects you from extremely high medical costs in the event of an accident or emergency. Of course, the risk is that if you are in an accident or receive a diagnosis of a chronic medical condition, you will have to meet that high deductible before your insurance benefits kick in. You can find a catastrophic plan through Freelancers Union here.Conversely, if you think you’ll have a lot of medical bills in the coming year (a surgery, a persistent injury that requires scans or tests, or planning on having a baby), you might want to get a plan with higher premiums and a lower deductible. Though it seems like more upfront, you’ll have lower out of pocket costs over the course of the year for the medical care you receive. You might be interested in a Platinum plan.Lastly, if you have any important medical prescriptions that require certain drugs, check your plan to see what drugs are on their formulary list (the list of prescriptions they’ll cover in general).What if I have a pre-existing condition?The ACA made it illegal for insurance companies to charge you higher premiums for a pre-existing health condition or to deny claims for treatment of a pre-existing condition. No one is allowed to ask about your health and try to make you pay more.I see that you have “rating regions.” What region am I in?Refer to this map below:Who can I call if I have questions?If you have questions about how to get covered, call Freelancers Union’s member services team at 800-856-9981 and we can help. You can also email us at membership@freelancersunion.org.So go forth and get covered! And spread the safety net: click here to tweet about our National Benefits Platform and tell your friends to get health insurance, too.One last thing: you wouldn’t happen to have this as a webinar, would you?We sure do. You can check it out below:All set? Share the knowledge. Click here to tweet about our National Benefits Platform and remind your friends to get health insurance, too.Freelancers Union, Inc. (FU) is not a licensed insurance agent. Freelancers Insurance Agency, a wholly owned affiliate of FU, is a licensed health insurance producer in New York and New Jersey only. Freelancers Insurance Agency (FIA) contracts with HealthPlanServices,Inc. (HPS), a nationally licensed insurance producer. Other than in New York, HPS is acting as the insurance agent of record. In New York, FIA is the agent of record. HPS pays royalty fees to FU for the use of its intellectual property, which are used for the general purposes of FU. FU and FIA are not insurers. You should consider your needs when selecting products. FU does not make specific product recommendations for individuals. Each insurer has sole responsibility for its products.The information on this Website about insurance benefits is a summary of applicable terms and conditions that is provided for general informational purposes only. The terms of any insurance products are governed solely by the applicable Member Contract or Policy Form. In the event of any inconsistency between information provided on this Website and the specifics provisions of the Member Contract provided by the carrier, the carrier’s Contract shall govern.last_img read more