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19 февраля, 15:15

10 Reasons Why the Hyundai Elantra GT Sport is the One to Get

Hyundai has revamped its practical little Elantra GT hatchback for the 2018 model year. Here are 10 reasons why the Sport version is looking extra special.

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17 февраля, 21:26

Britax Recalls Over 700,000 Strollers

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); On Thursday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a product recall for two kinds of Britax strollers. The recall, which was issued by Britax, concerns the B-Agile and BOB Motion Strollers with click-and-go receivers. According to the CPSC, “a damaged receiver mount on the stroller can cause the car seat to disengage and fall unexpectedly, posing a fall hazard to infants in the car seat.” The strollers in question have been available at retailers like Target and Babies “R” Us since 2011. Since that time, about 676,000 of these strollers have been sold in the U.S., with an additional 36,400 in Canada and 4,600 in Mexico, the CPSC noted. The issue arises when the products are in travel system mode, when the car seat component is attached to the stroller frame using click and go receivers. Britax issued the recall after receiving 33 reports of car seats unexpectedly disconnecting from the stroller component and falling to the ground. In 26 cases, these incidents resulted in injuries like scratches, bruises, cuts and bumps to the head.   The company has also received 1,337 reports of strollers that have damaged click and go receiver mounts. Britax and the CPSC advise customers with single B-Agile and BOB Motion strollers to stop using those receiver mounts and request a free repair kit from the company. “Owners of the recalled double strollers should stop using them with car seats attached,” the CPSC recall notice states. According to Britax, the stroller and car seats components remain safe to use separately. For more information on this recall, visit the CPSC and Britax websites.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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14 февраля, 16:30

В Москве пройдет Российская Неделя Маркетинга 2017

На Российской Неделе Маркетинга 2017 вас ждет новый формат: меньше спикеров больше интерактива. Это возможность не просто слушать и запоминать, а в реальном времени получить ответы от главных профессионалов страны в области маркетинга и продаж. Вы узнаете: Как адаптировать тенденции к своему бизнесу/сервису/товару Какие параметры замерять, чтобы анализировать и предвосхищать новые тренды Что из маркетинговых новинок подойдет вашему продукту и клиенту Agile-marketing как разрабатывать краткосрочные гибкие стратегии Trend-spotting как искать и использовать маркетинговые тренды Inbound-marketing как вместо рекламы делать полезный контент Performance-marketing как делать привычный маркетинг результативным. Ведущие эксперты в сфере продаж и маркетинга открыты для диалога, достаточно только спросить. Вдохновлять будут: Андрей Парабеллум - один из самых дорогих бизнес-тренеров в России Андрей Губайдуллин - основатель и креативный директор РА Восход Артем Агабеков - основатель компании Фабрика Окон Илья Балахнин - управляющий партнёр PaperPlanes Алексей Манихин - основатель компании PrimeTimeForums Андрей Амлинский - легендарный копирайтер, автор слоганов Не тормози сникерсни , Есть идея есть Икеа . Российская Неделя Маркетинга 2017. Присоединяйтесь к экспертам и учитесь просчитывать тенденции, опережая лидеров!

14 февраля, 01:31

Trump Should Tackle America's Infrastructure Crisis Head On

This weekend's mandatory evacuation order for residents downstream from California's Oroville Dam is a reminder of what a perilous state so much of America's infrastructure is in. In 2005, three environmental groups filed a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to require that the dam's emergency spillway be filled with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside, noting that the dam did not meet modern safety standards in the event of extreme rain and flooding. At the time, California's Department of Water Resources refused to allocate funds to fix the problem, FERC rejected the request. Today it is a much more serious issue, and emblematic of America's infrastructure crisis. Overseas visitors arriving for the first time to many of the nation's airports must wonder if there has been some mistake, for appearances would indicate that they have instead just arrived in a developing country. From arrival gates built for mid-20th century aircraft to over-crowded concourses to leaking ceilings, America has ignored the need for 21st century caliber airports for too many decades. The most recent wholly new major airport to open in the U.S. was Denver International Airport -- in 1995 -- which opened 16 months behind schedule and more than $2 billion over budget. Given how much lead time is required to design, finance, construct and open a new airport, we are many decades away from getting ahead of this. America's infrastructure crisis extends well beyond airports, of course. Many of our roads are in miserable shape, our bridges are crumbling, and our national railroad system might as well have been built in the 1800s (and some of it was). Unfortunately, failing to allocate the necessary funds to maintain, upgrade and replace infrastructure is nothing new in the U.S. - the result of a combination of a failure to take the problem seriously, political infighting, passing the buck, and a political culture more focused on short-termism and election cycles than fiscal prudence and reality checks. According to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for 2013, the U.S. ranked 25th in the world in terms of overall infrastructure, behind such nations has Barbados and Oman, and only one spot ahead of Qatar. The quality of America's air transport infrastructure is ranked 30th in the world, while quality of the electricity supply ranked 33rd. That same year, the American Society of Engineers gave the U.S. a "D+" for the state of its infrastructure, and estimated at the time that it will cost $3.6 trillion to bring America's public infrastructure to an acceptable level by 2020. That figure now exceeds $4 trillion. Chronic underinvestment in the nation's essential infrastructure will ultimately require a national investment plan unseen since Europe's post-war reconstruction. Previous administrations have acknowledged the problem and some attempted to allocate resource to address it. For example, the Obama administration proposed a six-year, $478 billion plan called the Grow America Act that would have paid for infrastructure by imposing a 14% tax on foreign earnings being held overseas by U.S. companies. At the time, Republicans were also prepared to use repatriation as a revenue source, but their proposals called for a much lower tax rate, and there was broad skepticism about whether the approach would generate sustainable funds to meaningfully address the issue. Predictably, it died in Congress. It took New York law makers until La Guardia Airport was literally falling apart before they allocated $5 billion to finally build a new airport terminal and related facilities. After witnessing collapsed bridges, multiple train derailments, and now the Oroville Dam, most state and federal law makers now appreciate the gravity of the situation. The question is whether they will set political expediency and short-termism aside to allocate funds -- this year -- so that 10 or 20 years from now, we are talking about what we need to do to stay ahead of the situation, rather than how to get ahead of it. The Trump administration now has a real opportunity to turn the tide - particularly given the Republican majority in Congress. I only wish Obama had done this when the Democrats were in the majority 8 years ago. Identifying viable, long-term financial solutions is the real challenge. If Trump will apply his considerable financial acumen to the problem, make a national infrastructure program a centerpiece of his administration, convene a national panel of business and government leaders, and provide them with a mandate and the tools they need, America may finally be able to say that its infrastructure crisis is getting the attention it requires. This crisis took many decades to develop, and it will take many decades of concerted effort to resolve it. My hope is that one of the Trump administration's historical legacies will be that it tackled America's infrastructure crisis head on. *Daniel Wagner is Managing Director of Risk Cooperative and co-author of the book "Global Risk Agility and Decision Making". -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

13 февраля, 19:38

Liberals, Republicans, and the Jews Between Them

Donald Trump signs orders to green-light the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Source: Donald Trump's Twitter Account US Jewry stands out more than any Jewish community in history. They will determine if this works for them or against them. For several months now, I have been writing about the exposure of the totalitarian nature of today's liberalism, the manipulation of public opinion through the media, and the necessity of American society to embrace all views, not only all colors and ethnicities. During those months, the divide between Democrats and Republicans has only deepened. If we could still hope that the demeaning attitudes toward the other side, the personal offenses, and the delegitimization campaigns would abate after the election, now that hope is gone. The entire left-hand column of The New York Times home page has become a section titled, "The 45th President," and is dedicated entirely to bashing Donald Trump and the Republican Party. CNN has also created a section high on its homepage called "The Trump Presidency," which dedicates the majority of its items to the same purpose as the section in the Times. The biased reporting, organized protests, such as over the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the violence and tirades against conservative speakers do not hint at any easing of the battle of the media and financial elite against the new administration. Sooner or later, the tension will snap and the outcome could be devastating. From violent civil riots to a full-blown civil war, anything is possible right now. And in the midst of all this balagan (mayhem)--the Jews. Jews are already top players on both sides of the conflict. If it turns violent, the Jews could be the first to take the heat. Screen capture from "Crossing the Line 2 - The New Face of Anti-Semitism." Entrenched Anti-Semitism The liberal press often argues that electing Donald Trump has released anti-Semitic elements from the far right, which has kept relatively quiet until now. Perhaps this is true, but implying that this is the reason for the rise in anti-Semitism in the US is complete nonsense. Anti-Semitism has been rising in the US and all over the world for years now, particularly in liberal hubs, such as US universities and colleges. In February 2015, the most notable expert on anti-Semitism in the US, Prof. Charles Asher Small, spoke about "institutional anti-Semitism" in the US, inferring that the government itself, which at the time was the Obama Administration, is anti-Semitic. In addition to all of the above, the leading role that some Jews--such as George Soros--play in flaming the toxic firestorm spreading through the US puts the Jews in a precarious position. As has always happened throughout history, if things go awry in the US, the Jews will be blamed for it, and they will incur the punishment. Connection Is the Secret Jews are not like other people, and they are not treated as such. Even when people intend to compliment the Jews, they often make it even more conspicuous that Jews are different. Just recently, during his Holocaust Memorial Day speech, Antonio Guterres, the new UN Secretary General, noted the vital role that Jews played in the history of his own country, Portugal. Lamenting the deportation of Portuguese Jewry in the 16th century, Guterres said about King Manuel's decision to expel them: "This was a hideous crime and an act of enormous stupidity. It caused tremendous suffering to the Jewish community - and deprived Portugal of much of the country's dynamism. Before long, the country entered a prolonged cycle of impoverishment." Subsequently, Guterres describes what the Lisbon Jews did to the Netherlands, where they resettled. "Lisbon's loss was Amsterdam's gain," Guterres said, "as the Portuguese Jewish community played a key role in transforming the Netherlands into the global economic powerhouse of the 17th century." Just over a century earlier, Spain made the same mistake--expelling its Jews and ending centuries of prosperity for Spain. But the Jews who fled from Spain were not left homeless. Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer and Steve Miller wrote in The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent: An Informed Response to Islam's War with Christianity, that the Ottoman Sultan, Bayezid II, was so delighted at the Jews' expulsion from Spain and arrival in Turkey that he "sarcastically thanked Ferdinand for sending him some of his best subjects, thus impoverishing his own lands while enriching his." The Jews did not take wealth with them when they fled from Spain or when they were deported from Portugal. They did not steal anything from these countries, but their departure denied these countries a trait that is more vital than any precious metal--the ability to make connections. The Jewish secret to wealth and power is the ability to make connections and utilize them for their needs. Yet, it is precisely this trait that causes us to be so hated. We are using our unique ability for self-centered purposes, and this is something that the world cannot forgive. The Ingathering of the Pariahs Most nations are forged over generations of geographical proximity or biological affinity. Not so are the Jews. Our nation is the creation of an idea, a modus operandi that no other nation in the history of humanity has implemented. Like Abraham himself, the ancient Hebrews were outcasts. They fled from their tribes and joined Abraham when he told them about his ideology--that diversity of views and characters is welcome, as long as it is used for the common good. Our ancestors were individualists; they could not put aside their views and be run-of-the-mill folks. In Abraham's tent, they found a way to be themselves and at the same time belong. Maimonides wrote in Mishneh Torah (Chapter 1) that Abraham was expelled from Babylon when he argued with Nimrod, king of Babylon, over whether or not there are multiple forces governing the world or only one force. Abraham won the debate but lost his home. As he wandered toward Canaan, he and Sarah would speak to anyone who wished to listen. They welcomed everyone, all the loners, pariahs, rejected and dejected who could not express themselves in their own communities. In Abraham's tent, they learned that all things are manifestations of a single force, and so they all belong to it, yet are its unique representation. Here they legitimized being who they were, yet became part of a greater whole--the family of humanity. Abraham's disciples and descendants developed their father's teachings and continued to absorb anyone who subscribed to their notion that everyone is different, yet belongs to the same greater whole. Because we are different, we do not like each other. But because we all are parts of a greater whole, we unite nonetheless. The ideology was simple: "Hate stirs strife, and love covers all crimes" (Prov 10:12). By the time the Jews came out of Egypt, they numbered some three million people. And yet, the same rule applied--connection above hatred. The result of their efforts to unite above differences was the revelation of a law that enabled them to unite at the highest level--loving their friends as themselves. The reason why they received this law--which we call Torah--specifically at the foot of Mt. Sinai is that the word "Sinai" comes from the Hebrew word sinaah (hatred), and Moses' trek up Mt. Sinai symbolizes the commitment of the people to rise above their mutual hatred and unite. For centuries after the reception of the Torah, the Jews kept polishing their techniques for achieving unity. When they succeeded, they prospered; when they failed, they suffered. But after each failure, they always rose and united above their hatred. Gradually, the Jews became the masters of connection. Mark Twain once wondered why the Jews have survived as a distinct nation since antiquity. In his essay, "Concerning the Jews," Twain wrote, "The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?" The secret is the ability to connect above all differences. The book, Likutey Etzot (Assorted Counsels), writes, "The essence of peace is to connect two opposites. Hence, do not be alarmed if you see a person whose view is the complete opposite of yours and you think that you will never be able to make peace with him. Also, when you see two people who are completely opposite to each other, do not say that it is impossible to make peace between them. On the contrary, the essence of peace is to try to make peace between two opposites," by uniting above them. Similarly, Eliezer Ben Yehuda, reviver of the Hebrew language, wrote in The Complete Writings of Eliezer Ben Yehuda (Vol. 1): "We have yet to open our eyes and see that only unity can save us. Only if we all unite ... to work in favor of the entire nation, our labor will not be in vain." Likewise, A.D. Gordon, the chief ideologist of Zionism, asserted in Light of Life on the Day of Smallness: "'All of Israel are responsible for one another' ... Only where people are responsible for one another there is Israel. Moreover, all the people are responsible for one another, and only where people are responsible for one another there are people (and there is a nation, a humane nation). If there are none who are responsible for one another, what is there? We, who are coming to build [the State of Israel], will certainly not build on the basis of relations of the generation of separation [generation of Babylon, when people were separated]." And finally, the great British statesman Winston Churchill was quoted in Churchill and the Jews: "The Jews were a lucky community because they had that corporate spirit, the spirit of their race and faith. ...That special power which they possessed would enable them to bring vitality into their institutions, which nothing else would ever give." Why the Nations Blame Us Approximately two millennia ago, we lost our ability to connect above our differences. We fell into baseless hatred and thereby lost our ability to be "a light unto nations," the messengers of connection above differences. Because of it, we lost our land and mingled with the nations. Yet, instead of using our ability to connect in order to solidify society, we started using it for self-benefit. Our ability to connect made us more perceptive, agile, yet sociable than any other nation. Is it any wonder then that we are always at the center of events? We connect to people and help people connect to one another. But unlike our forefathers, we do this only if there is something in this for us. Naturally, people fear us, admire us, want to be near us, and detest us all at the same time. And when things go awry because people cannot get along--which is the only reason why anything ever goes awry--they blame the Jews for it. We, the Jews, who were supposed to be the masters of connection, have failed them so they expel us or kill us. Living in Historic Times Today's US Jewry is more emboldened and more vociferous than any Jewish community in history. Jews are dominant figures on Wall Street, in the film and TV industries, Internet and social media, and certainly in politics. If American society falls apart and chaos ensues, the Jews will take the blame. The only way they can avoid a tragedy of epic proportions is by reaching out to their brethren on the other side of the political map and saying, "Yes we disagree, and yes we hate each other's guts; now, let's connect above all this." Jews must take the lead because they are still the masters of connection. Now they only have to force themselves to use it for the benefit of society rather than their own. By doing so, they will become "a light unto nations," showing a shredded nation how to transcend all disputes and find a new power in connection--just like our ancestors. We are living in historic times. Usually, historic times entail horrific bloodshed. But we can make this time different. We can usher our global society into an era of peace not because one side obliterated the other, but because both sides have decided to contribute their uniqueness to the success of society as a whole. The global village, of which we are all parts, can become heaven on Earth or hell on Earth, depending solely on the decision of the Jews whether to rise above their differences and unite with their brethren, or not. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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13 февраля, 18:30

The Deadly A-10 Warthog: Why the U.S. Military Can't Kill the "Flying Tank"

Kris Osborn Security, It is a true warrior on the battlefield.  By virtue of being able to fly at slower speeds of 300, the A-10 can fly beneath the weather at altitudes of 100 feet. This gives pilots and ability to see enemy targets with the naked eye, giving them the ability to drop bombs, fire rockets and open fire with the 30mm cannon in close proximity to friendly forces. “We shoot really close to people. We do it 50-meters away from people. I can sometimes see hands and people waving. If I get close enough and low enough I can see the difference between good guys and bad guys and shoot,” Haden explained. Known for an ability to keep flying after taking multiple rounds of enemy machine gun fire, land and operate in rugged terrain, destroy groups of enemy fighters with a 30mm cannon and unleash a wide arsenal of attack weapons, the A-10 is described by pilots as a “flying tank” in the sky -- able to hover over ground war and provide life-saving close air support in high-threat combat environments. “It is built to withstand more damage than any other frame that I know of. It’s known for its ruggedness,” A-10 pilot Lt. Col. Ryan Haden, 23rd Fighter Group Deputy, Moody AFB, told Scout Warrior in an interview. The pilot of the A-10 is surrounded by multiple plates of titanium armor, designed to enable the aircraft to withstand small-arms fire and keep flying its attack missions. “The A-10 is not agile, nimble, fast or quick,” Haden said.  “It’s deliberate, measured, hefty, impactful calculated and sound. There’s nothing flimsy or fragile about the way it is constructed or about the way that it flies.” A-10 Thunderbolt II, affectionately known as the Warthog, has been in service since the late 1970s and served as a close air support combat aircraft in conflicts such as the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Allied Force in Kosovo, among others. Having flown combat missions in the A-10, Haden explained how the aircraft is specially designed to survive enemy ground attacks. “There are things built in for redundancy. If one hydraulic system fails, another one kicks in,” he said. If the aircraft loses all of its electronics including its digital displays and targeting systems, the pilot of an A-10 can still fly, drop general purpose bombs and shoot the 30mm cannon, Haden explained. Read full article

13 февраля, 17:30

Axcelis Technologies, Gigamon and Sears Holdings highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

Axcelis Technologies, Gigamon and Sears Holdings highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

13 февраля, 15:46

Electronics Stocks' Earnings Slated on Feb 14: A, GNRC, NVMI

We are past the peak of the earnings season with 358 S&P 500 members, representing 71.6% of the index's total membership, having already reported their results.

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13 февраля, 11:56

Для доставки продуктов ученые создали робота-цыпленка

Компания Agility Robotics создала робота Кэсси, напоминающего цыпленка. Сообщается, что робот передвигается на двух ногах- прямо как цыпленок-бройлер. По словам авторов новинки, в будущем он сможет избавить людей от рутинных занятий.

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13 февраля, 00:05

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: Agility Robotics Introduces Cassie, a Dynamic and Talented Robot Delivery O…

21ST CENTURY HEADLINES: Agility Robotics Introduces Cassie, a Dynamic and Talented Robot Delivery Ostrich.

12 февраля, 14:31

Infiniti’s Old Guard: How the QX70 is an Exercise in Delayed Gratification

Infiniti has given the Q50 a twin-turbo V6, and both the Q60 and QX30 are now fresh and fun. Here's why the QX70 needs to be the brand's next big overhaul.

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10 февраля, 21:25

Beyond Agile Operations: How To Achieve The Holy Grail Of Strategic Agility

The main financial gains in Agile will come from strategic Agility, not operational Agility

10 февраля, 20:00

Sears Skyrockets 30% on New $1 Billion Cost Cuts

On Friday, shares of struggling retailer Sears Holdings (SHLD) are skyrocketing, up around 32% to $7.33 per share in morning trading--and up nearly 44% in premarket trading--after the company announced a plan to cut costs by at least $1 billion in 2017.

10 февраля, 19:41

Agility Robotics продемонстрировала многофункционального робота-страуса

Бипедальный робот по имени Cassie, как считают его разработчики, может стать одним из надежных помощников человека в быту, на производстве, в научных исследованиях и спасательных экспедициях Роботов сейчас разрабатывают многие компании, как транснациональные корпорации вроде Sony, так и не слишком крупные организации, которые специализируются именно на роботах. К последним относится компания Agility Robotics, которая на днях представила свою последнюю разработку — многофункционального бипедального робота Cassie. Разработчики считают, что этот робот может использоваться в различных ситуациях: для исследования местности, при спасательных работах, на производстве и для доставки грузов. Двуногость робота и его «птичьи» ноги-манипуляторы делают Cassie устойчивым при ходьбе как по ровной дороге, так и по пересеченной местности. Робот-страус ходит действительно неплохо, поэтому разработчики планируют поручить ему важное занятие — доставку небольших грузов до двери заказчика. Создатели Cassie считают, что он будет полезен для различных компаний, которые занимаются доставкой груза в пределах населенного пункта. Читать дальше →

10 февраля, 17:27

Can Agilent Technologies (A) Pull a Surprise in Q1 Earnings?

Agilent Technologies (A) is set to report first-quarter fiscal 2017 results on Feb 14. Last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 13.46%.

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10 февраля, 13:09

Компания Agility Robotics показала устойчивого двуногого робота (ВИДЕО)

Робот под названием Cassie отдаленно напоминает нижнюю половину туловища человека и представляет собой пару ног, которые крепятся к тазобедренному суставу. В перспективе подобные роботы могут найти применение при проведении поисково-спасательных работ.

10 февраля, 09:07

Сотрудников ищут Skyeng, «Сбербанк», «Нетология» и Ozon

Редакция vc.ru продолжает публиковать резюме специалистов, желающих работать в стартапах и ИТ-компаниях (выходят по понедельникам), а также вакансии компаний, которые ищут сотрудников (выходят по четвергам).

10 февраля, 05:09

Report: U.S. Navy Needs More Nuclear Attack Submarines and Smaller Aircraft Carriers

Mike Fabey Security, Asia And the reason is clear: China.  The CSBA does not recommend the U.S. abandon its carrier-centric force altogether, but says the Navy needs to focus more on submarines and calls for a resurgence of the surface fleet. The report also calls for a new smaller carrier-sized ship. The Pentagon and the U.S Navy must increase submarines, strengthen the surface fleet size and build new smaller, more agile carrier-type ships -- as as part of a broader effort to rethink the way it constructs the American fleet for future conflicts and operations, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment (CSBA) contends in a just-released report.   “Today’s approach of using large, high-end platforms such as aircraft carriers to support the whole range of naval operations will not be effective at providing the prompt, survivable, high-capacity firepower that might be required to deter aggression in the South or East China Seas,” CSBA says in its report, CSBA “Restoring American Seapower, A New Fleet Architecture for The United States Navy,” released Feb. 9. The CSBA does not recommend the U.S. abandon its carrier-centric force altogether, but says the Navy needs to focus more on submarines and calls for a resurgence of the surface fleet. The report also calls for a new smaller carrier-sized ship. “It may be better to rely upon submarines and surface combatants as the primary instruments of deterrence and reassurance and deploy aircraft carriers from the open ocean where they can maneuver to engage the enemy once aggression occurs,” CSBA says. While the study does not call for a decrease in the current numbers of carriers, it does maintain that smaller, more maneuverable type carriers might make certain high-risk missions more plausible in light of emerging threats such as long-range anti-ship missiles and enemy coastal defenses.  The report cites growing international naval competition as a reason for altered strategy. “Today the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) Navy (PLAN) boasts the second largest fleet in the world, with a large portion of ships built in the last decade. The PLA includes a rapidly modernizing air force in addition to a Rocket Force (formerly the Second Artillery Corps) that deploys a wide array of conventional land-attack and anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) as well as the country’s nuclear arsenal,” CSBA notes. Read full article

09 февраля, 16:59

Fiserv (FISV) Q4 Earnings In Line, Revenues Miss Estimates

Fiserv Inc.'s (FISV) fourth-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $1.16 per share were in-line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate

09 февраля, 16:13

How Spotify Balances Employee Autonomy and Accountability

Autonomy may be the single most important element for creating engagement in a company. How can anyone feel engaged, let alone inspired, if she feels that some supervisor is always looking over her shoulder? But autonomy is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it spurs creativity and involvement. On the other, unchecked autonomy can lead to ambiguity and inefficiencies, even organizational chaos. To find the right balance, you have to wrestle with three challenges: Balancing autonomy and accountability. An essential counterweight to autonomy is strict accountability for results, and for the actions and behaviors that deliver those results. A company has to establish a strategy and a purpose that provide context for employees’ actions. It has to put the strategy into practice with measurable objectives, consistent measurement of progress toward those goals, feedback systems to monitor activities along the way, and appropriate consequences for reaching or failing to reach the goals. At their best, companies realize that not everything is easily measurable, or should be measured, and that constant temperature taking and micromanagement are inefficient and demoralizing. They establish transparent boundary conditions and clear expectations. Employees and teams know they will be held accountable, and they know where the guardrails are. They understand the objectives, and they have a great deal of freedom in determining how to reach them within those guardrails. Clarity of purpose and what we call high-resolution strategies, which give people a clear view of where they’re headed, provide the compass that can guide the choices that teams and individuals make when working autonomously. Balancing freedom to innovate versus following proven routines. The art and science here is determining how to get both outcomes — consistency and innovation — in the right proportion and in the appropriate parts of your organization. In many areas, freedom to innovate is the critical need. Think of new product development, or the parts of the company’s value chain and business model that are undergoing significant reinvention because of digital transformations. In these activities, speed of innovation is critical, and the rallying cry should be autonomy, small teams, and organizational agility. Other areas, however, may benefit from standardized approaches. These are areas where consistent outcomes are essential and where speed of execution comes from deploying common methods, best practices, and enforced routines. The focus here should be on repeatability and efficiency. Each requires speed in different areas, innovation versus execution, and achieves these results in different ways. The challenge in striking the right balance is to know which method should predominate and how to design appropriate ways of working for each area. The wrong approach leads to confusion over goals and to ineffectiveness. Balancing alignment with control. This task is closely related to the other two. In traditional hierarchical organizations, managers direct the work of subordinates and thereby ensure alignment with broader organizational goals. Spans of control are limited to a reasonable number — typically eight people or fewer — so that managers can effectively oversee their subordinates’ efforts. This organizational model can work well in relatively stable business environments, where the pace of change is modest and where annual planning cycles suffice for managing strategic changes and course corrections. In dynamic business environments, where innovation cycles happen in days or weeks rather than months and years, and where much of the work is cross-functional in nature and is undertaken by small, agile teams, this type of organizational model can be slow to respond and innovate. Companies that take the approach of empowering autonomous teams must find ways to ensure that coordination and connectivity happen among those teams without relying on controlling managers. Again, it’s a matter of managerial art as well as science to achieve alignment without excessive control. Our favorite example illustrating how to approach these three challenges is the Swedish company Spotify. Spotify is a 10-year-old music, video, and podcast streaming company with 30 million paying subscribers and about $3 billion in revenue. Its more than 2,000 employees are organized into agile teams, called squads, which are self-organizing, cross-functional, and colocated. Spotify has largely succeeded in maintaining an agile mindset and principles without sacrificing accountability. It enables innovation while keeping the benefits of repeatability, and it creates alignment without excessive control. Its lessons apply to many companies, not just digitally enabled service providers. Here’s how. Spotify’s core organizational unit is an autonomous squad of no more than eight people. Each squad is accountable for a discrete aspect of the product, which it owns cradle to grave. Squads have the authority to decide what to build, how to build it, and with whom to work to make the product interoperable. They are organized into a light matrix called a tribe. Tribes comprise several squads linked together through a chapter, which is a horizontal grouping that helps to support specific competencies such as quality assistance, agile coaching, and web development. The chapter’s primary role is to facilitate learning and competency development throughout the squads. Leadership within the squad is self-determined, while the chapter leader is a formal manager who focuses on coaching and mentoring. Spotify believes in the player-coach model: Chapter leaders are also squad members. Squad members can switch squads and retain the same formal leader within their chapter. Spotify introduced a third organizational element, known as a guild. Guilds are lightweight communities of interest whose primary purpose is to share knowledge in areas that cut across chapters and squads, such as leadership, continuous delivery, and web delivery. This unusual combination of squads, tribes, chapters, and guilds is the organizational infrastructure that underlies Spotify’s operating model. At first reading, it might sound like just another way to define a conventional organizational matrix in Millennial- and digital-friendly terms. But a closer examination reveals just how different the model really is and why it seems to work so well. The squad structure achieves autonomy without sacrificing accountability. Every squad owns its features throughout the product’s life cycle, and the squads have full visibility into their features’ successes and failures. There is no single appointed leader of a squad; any such leadership role is emergent and informal. Results are visible both through internal reviews and through customer feedback, and squads are expected to fully understand successes and failures. Squads go through postmortem analyses of failures to ensure learning, and some squad rooms have “fail walls.” Every few weeks, squads conduct retrospectives to evaluate what is going well and what needs to improve. To ensure that the feedback process is effective for individuals as well as for the squads, Spotify redesigned its performance management system to separate salary discussion and performance evaluations from coaching and feedback. Before, peer feedback was incorporated into salary reviews; in Spotify’s words, that “incentivized people to gather as many favorable reviews as possible rather than getting feedback around their biggest areas of potential improvement.” Now, colleagues use an internal tool to invite anyone — including managers, peers, and direct reports — to provide feedback on results and on what an individual can do to improve. Employees may solicit feedback as often as they choose. Spotify employee Jonas Aman told us, “The result is a process that everyone needs to own and drive themselves — it is about development and personal growth.” Adapted from Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team’s Productive Power Strategic Planning BOOK Michael MankinsEric Garton 32.00 Add to Cart Save Share Spotify encourages innovation without losing the benefits of repeatability. Since squads are the primary centers of innovation, Spotify introduced its chapters as the matrix to connect competencies across squads. Chapters in some ways are like a function-led center of expertise in a traditional model, which links center-led functions with business units. In Spotify’s case, chapters have less formal authority, and they are organized around discrete competencies as opposed to broad functions. Guilds were added to facilitate experience sharing for horizontal topics of interest that are at a higher level than a specific competency. In the traditional model, central functions define and enforce standards and routinized processes from the top down. At Spotify, best-practice methods are discovered over time and determined by popular adoption from the bottom up. A practice or tool becomes a standard only when enough squads have adopted it to make it a de facto standard. Culture plays a big role in keeping the innovation engine firing on all cylinders. Spotify has an experiment-friendly culture with an emphasis on test-and-learn approaches and contained experiments. If people don’t know the best way to do something, they are likely to try alternative approaches and run several A/B tests to determine which is preferable. In place of opinion, ego, and authority, Spotify works hard to substitute data, experimentation, and open dialogue about root causes. It lowers the cost of failure through a decoupled architecture, so that a failure has a “limited blast radius” and affects only part of the user experience. Spotify fosters alignment without excessive control. The central organizational feature that shapes Spotify’s model is the concept of “loosely coupled, tightly aligned squads.” The key belief here is that “alignment enables autonomy — the greater the alignment, the more autonomy you can grant.” That’s why the company spends so much time aligning on objectives and goals before launching into work. The leadership model at Spotify reinforces this alignment. A leader’s job is to figure out the right problem and communicate it, so that squads can collaborate to find the best solution. Coordination comes through context and through a deep understanding of the company’s priorities, product strategies, and overall mission. The release process decouples each element for feature squads, infrastructure squads, and client application squads. The ability to release features and then toggle them on or off enables full releases even before all features are fully operational. Here, too, the culture acts as a support. The watchword at Spotify is “be autonomous, but don’t suboptimize — be a good citizen in the Spotify ecosystem.” A common analogy at the company is a jazz band: Each squad plays its instrument, but each also listens to the others and focuses on the overall piece to make great music. Clearly, not all of Spotify’s choices will be appropriate for every company; that’s not the point. Rather, the point is that a company must make explicit choices in its operating model, ways of working, and culture that address the three core tensions between individual autonomy and organizational goals. Systematically aligning all elements of your operating model and working environment to create autonomy without sacrificing accountability, to get innovation where it matters most without sacrificing the benefits of scalability and repeatability, and to get alignment without excessive control are all at the heart of building an engaging and inspiring working environment. Adapted from the Harvard Business Review Press book Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag and Release Your Team’s Productive Power.