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02 декабря, 18:45

England’s winning run ignites sense of deja vu before Australia clash | Robert Kitson

As England seek to match their record of 14 straight victories, the industry and attitude of Eddie Jones’s side are increasingly resembling Sir Clive Woodward’s team of 2003It does not feel like 13 years ago that Dorian West was sitting in Aix-en-Provence discussing his surprise at being named captain of England for the first – and, as it turned out, only – time. Clive Woodward’s side had not lost in 18 months and, even with a few reserves playing, there was no expectation of his squad’s 14-game unbeaten run approaching its end.If England could have their time again, would they have taken that distant 2003 game in Marseille more seriously? In many ways France’s 17-16 win did not matter hugely, a warm-up game swiftly forgotten in the celebrations of their subsequent Rugby World Cup triumph. The highlight, apart from an enthusiastic Beatles tribute band in the main stand, was England’s then-kitman, Dave “Reg” Tennison, inadvertently getting in the way as France’s goal-kicker, Frédéric Michalak, lined up a touchline conversion. For all that, it will for ever be recorded as the warm Mediterranean night when England surrendered a potential world record that, otherwise, could have extended to 25 matches. Continue reading...

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02 декабря, 17:31

'Swift Playgrounds' Adds 'Hour Of Code' Challenges For Children (And Parents)

Swift Playgrounds helps children learn the Swift programming language. It's adding new Hour of Code challenges for Computer Science Education Week.

02 декабря, 13:45

Авиация — болевая точка суверенитета России

Говоря о суверенности России, мало кто задумывается, как поддерживать единое инфраструктурно-транспортное пространство нашей страны в режиме оперативного времени. В «лихие 90-е» российское самолетостроение было уничтожено. В авиакомпаниях осталось мало отечественных лайнеров. В «Аэроф...

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02 декабря, 08:00

UN welcomes ratification of new peace accord in Colombia

Welcoming the Colombian parliament's ratification of the new Final Peace Agreement between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council have expressed hope for its swift implementation for the benefit of all Colombians.

02 декабря, 05:03

9 unforgettable quotes by James Mattis

A sampling of Mattis’ most memorable quotes.

01 декабря, 23:53

7 Reasons that the Corporate Media Is Pro-War

Why There Is So Much Pro-War Reporting? There are seven reasons that the mainstream media and many of the largest "alternative" media websites are all pro-war. 1. Self-Censorship by Journalists There is tremendous self-censorship by journalists. A survey by the Pew Research Center and the Columbia Journalism Review in 2000 found: Self-censorship is commonplace in the news media today …. About one-quarter of the local and national journalists say they have purposely avoided newsworthy stories, while nearly as many acknowledge they have softened the tone of stories to benefit the interests of their news organizations. Fully four-in-ten (41%) admit they have engaged in either or both of these practices. Similarly, a 2003 survey reveals that 35% of reporters and news executives themselves admitted that journalists avoid newsworthy stories if “the story would be embarrassing or damaging to the financial interests of a news organization’s owners or parent company.” Several months after 9/11, Dan Rather told the BBC that American reporters were practicing “a form of self-censorship”: There was a time in South Africa that people would put flaming tires around peoples’ necks if they dissented. And in some ways the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it is that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions…. And again, I am humbled to say, I do not except myself from this criticism.   What we are talking about here – whether one wants to recognise it or not, or call it by its proper name or not – is a form of self-censorship. Rather said in 2008: One of the most pernicious ways in which we do this is through self-censorship, which may be the worst censorship of all. We have seen too much self-censorship in the news in recent years, and as I say this please know that I do not except myself from this criticism.   As Mark Twain once said, “We write frankly and freely but then we ‘modify’ before we print.” Why do we modify the free and frank expression of journalistic truth? We do it out of fear: Fear for our jobs. Fear that we’ll catch hell for it. Fear that someone will seek to hang a sign around our neck that says, in essence, “Unpatriotic.”   We modify with euphemisms such as “collateral damage” or “less than truthful statements.” We modify with passive-voice constructions such as “mistakes were made.” We modify with false equivalencies that provide for bad behavior the ready-made excuse that “everybody’s doing it.” And sometimes we modify with an eraser—simply removing offending and inconvenient truths from our reporting.” Keith Olbermann agreed that there is self-censorship in the American media, and that: You can rock the boat, but you can never say that the entire ocean is in trouble …. You cannot say: By the way, there’s something wrong with our …. system. Former Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin wrote in 2006: Mainstream-media political journalism is in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant, but not because of the Internet, or even Comedy Central. The threat comes from inside. It comes from journalists being afraid to do what journalists were put on this green earth to do. . . .   There’s the intense pressure to maintain access to insider sources, even as those sources become ridiculously unrevealing and oversensitive. There’s the fear of being labeled partisan if one’s bullshit-calling isn’t meted out in precisely equal increments along the political spectrum.   If mainstream-media political journalists don’t start calling bullshit more often, then we do risk losing our primacy — if not to the comedians then to the bloggers.   I still believe that no one is fundamentally more capable of first-rate bullshit-calling than a well-informed beat reporter – whatever their beat. We just need to get the editors, or the corporate culture, or the self-censorship – or whatever it is – out of the way. MarketWatch columnist Brett Arends wrote in 2013: Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world. Once upon a time you saw people like this in every newsroom in the country. They often had chaotic personal lives and they died early of cirrhosis or a heart attack. But they were tough, angry SOBs and they produced great stories.   Do you want to know what kind of people get promoted and succeed in the modern news organization? Social climbers. Networkers. People who are gregarious, who “buy in” to the dominant consensus, who go along to get along and don’t ask too many really awkward questions. They are flexible, well-organized, and happy with life.   And it shows.   This is why, just in the patch of financial and economic journalism, so many reporters are happy to report that U.S. corporations are in great financial shape, even though they also have surging debts, or that a “diversified portfolio” of stocks and bonds will protect you in all circumstances, even though this is not the case, or that defense budgets are being slashed, when they aren’t, or that the U.S. economy has massively outperformed rivals such as Japan, when on key metrics it hasn’t, or that companies must pay CEOs gazillions of dollars to secure the top “talent,” when they don’t need to do any such thing, and such pay is just plunder.   All of these things are “consensus” opinions, and conventional wisdom, which are repeated over and over again by various commentators and vested interests. Yet none of them are true.   If you want to be a glad-handing politician, be a glad-handing politician. If you want to be a reporter, then be angry, ask awkward questions, and absolutely hate it when everyone agrees with you. The Jerusalem Post wrote last year: Any university journalism course will teach that there are two forms of media censorship in the media: censorship and self-censorship. As one online article explains: “Censorship occurs when a state, political, religious or private party prohibits information from reaching citizens. Self-censorship occurs when journalists themselves prevent the publication of information… because they are fearful of what could happen if they publish certain information – they are fearful of injury to themselves or their families, fearful of a lawsuit or other economic consequence.”   ***   A 2014 academic article was more alarmist in tone. M. Murat Yesil, assistant professor at Turkey’s Necmettin Erbakan University, wrote that “self-censoring practices of journalists put the future of journalism into danger… [such] practices may be threatening the future of journalism.” This past week, Spanish journalists are claiming a new law that protects police officers from having their photographs published will encourage self-censorship. Self-censorship obviously occurs on the web as well as in old media. As Wikipedia notes: Self-censorship is the act of censoring or classifying one’s own work (blog, book(s), film(s), or other means of expression) … 2. Censorship by Higher-Ups Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com. If journalists do want to speak out about an issue, they also are subject to tremendous pressure by their editors or producers to kill the story. The 2000 Pew and Columbia Journalism Review survey notes: Fully half of [the investigative journalists surveyed] say newsworthy stories are often or sometimes ignored because they conflict with a news organization’s economic interests. More than six-in-ten (61%) believe that corporate owners exert at least a fair amount of influence on decisions about which stories to cover…. The Pulitzer prize-winning reporter who uncovered the Iraq prison torture scandal and the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam, Seymour Hersh, said: “All of the institutions we thought would protect us — particularly the press, but also the military, the bureaucracy, the Congress — they have failed. The courts . . . the jury’s not in yet on the courts. So all the things that we expect would normally carry us through didn’t. The biggest failure, I would argue, is the press, because that’s the most glaring….   Q: What can be done to fix the (media) situation?   [Long pause] You’d have to fire or execute ninety percent of the editors and executives. You’d actually have to start promoting people from the newsrooms to be editors who you didn’t think you could control. And they’re not going to do that.” In fact many journalists are warning that the true story is not being reported. A series of interviews with award-winning journalists also documents censorship of certain stories by media editors and owners (and see these samples). It’s not just the mainstream media. The large “alternative” media websites censor as well. For example: Every year Project Censored [which Walter Cronkite and other ] puts together a list of the top 25 stories censored and ignored by the mainstream media.   How many of these stories were you aware of? Even regular consumers of alternative, independent media may be surprised to learn about some of these stories …. There are many reasons for censorship by media higher-ups. One is money. The media has a strong monetary interest to avoid controversial topics in general. It has always been true that advertisers discourage stories which challenge corporate power. In 1969, Federal Communications Commission commissioner Nicholas Johnson noted that tv networks go to great lengths to please their sponsors. Indeed, a 3-time Emmy Award winning CNN journalist says that CNN took money from the royalty in Bahrain to kill her hard-hitting expose, and instead run flattering propaganda for Bahrain. Some media companies make a lot of money from the government, and so don’t want to rock the boat. For example, Glenn Greenwald notes: Because these schools [owned by the Washington P0st’s parent company, whose profits subsidize the Post] target low-income students, the vast majority of their income is derived from federal loans. Because there have been so many deceptive practices and defaults, the Federal Government has become much more aggressive about regulating these schools and now play a vital role in determining which ones can thrive and which ones fail.   Put another way, the company that owns The Washington Post is almost entirely at the mercy of the Federal Government and the Obama administration — the entities which its newspaper ostensibly checks and holds accountable. “By the end of 2010, more than 90 percent of revenue at Kaplan’s biggest division and nearly a third of The Post Co.’s revenue overall came from the U.S. government.” The Post Co.’s reliance on the Federal Government extends beyond the source of its revenue; because the industry is so heavily regulated, any animosity from the Government could single-handedly doom the Post Co.’s business — a reality of which they are well aware: The Post Co. realized there were risks attached to being dependent on federal dollars for revenue — and that it could lose access to that money if it exceeded federal regulatory limits.   “It was understood that if you fell out of grace [with the Education Department], your business might go away,” said Tom Might, who as chief executive of Cable One, a cable service provider that is owned by The Post Co., sat in at company-wide board meetings. Beyond being reliant on federal money and not alienating federal regulators, the Post Co. desperately needs favorable treatment from members of Congress, and has been willing to use its newspaper to obtain it: Graham has taken part in a fierce lobbying campaign by the for-profit education industry. He has visited key members of Congress, written an op-ed article for the Wall Street Journal and hired for The Post Co. high-powered lobbying firms including Akin Gump and Elmendorf Ryan, at a cost of $810,000 in 2010. The Post has also published an editorial opposing the new federal rules, while disclosing the interests of its parent company. The Post is hardly alone among major media outlets in being owned by an entity which relies on the Federal Government for its continued profitability. NBC News and MSNBC were long owned by GE, and now by Comcast, both of which desperately need good relations with government officials for their profits. The same is true of CBS (owned by Viacom), ABC (owned by Disney), and CNN (owned by TimeWarner). For each of these large corporations, alienating federal government officials is about the worst possible move it could make — something of which all of its employees, including its media division employees, are well aware. But the Post Co.’s dependence is even more overwhelming than most.   How can a company which is almost wholly dependent upon staying in the good graces of the U.S. Government possibly be expected to serve as a journalistic “watchdog” over that same Government? The very idea is absurd. In addition, the government has allowed tremendous consolidation in ownership of the airwaves during the past decade. Dan Rather has slammed media consolidation: Likening media consolidation to that of the banking industry, Rather claimed that “roughly 80 percent” of the media is controlled by no more than six, and possibly as few as four, corporations. This is documented by the following must-see charts prepared by: Media Channel The Nation Free Press And check out this list of interlocking directorates of big media companies from Fairness and Accuracy in Media, and this resource from the Columbia Journalism Review to research a particular company. This image gives a sense of the decline in diversity in media ownership over the last couple of decades: The large media players stand to gain billions of dollars in profits if the Obama administration continues to allow monopoly ownership of the airwaves by a handful of players. The media giants know who butters their bread. So there is a spoken or tacit agreement: if the media cover the administration in a favorable light, the MSM will continue to be the receiver of the government’s goodies. The large alternative media websites also censor news which are too passionately anti-war. Huffington Post – the largest liberal website – is owned by media giant AOL Time Warner, and censors any implication that a Democratic administration could be waging war for the wrong reasons. So HuffPost may criticize poor prosecution of the war, but would never say that the entire “War on Terror” as currently waged by the Obama administration is a stupid idea. The largest “alternative” websites may weakly criticize minor details of the overall war effort, but would never say that more or less worldwide war-fighting is counterproductive. They may whine about a specific aspect of the war-fighting … but never look at the larger geopolitical factors involved. They all seem to follow Keith Olbermann’s advice: You can rock the boat, but you can never say that the entire ocean is in trouble …. You cannot say: By the way, there’s something wrong with our …. system. 3. Digital Demonetization The biggest social media websites censor the hardest-hitting anti-war stories. And see this. We noted in 2013: Reddit, Facebook, Digg, Youtube and other social media sites have long censored content as well.   For example, Facebook pays low-wage foreign workers to delete certain content based upon a censorship list. For example, Facebook deletes accounts created by any Palestinian resistance groups. [See this]   Digg was caught censoring stories which were controversial or too critical of the government. See this and this.   Many accuse Youtube of blatant censorship. Indeed, Youtube admits that it censors: Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown Moreover, all of the social media giants say they’re going to crack down on “fake news”.  For example, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other social media are partnering with corporate media such as the ABC News, NBC News, Washington Post, New York Times, to filter out what they label as fake news. Why is this a problem? Because corporate media giants like the Washington Post are labeling virtually any website which questions U.S. foreign policy as “fake news” … and calling on them to be “investigated” by the FBI and Department of Justice for treason. So think about how this will play out 1. First, criticizing U.S. wars will get a website listed on a slapdash “fake news” list 2. Second, the blacklisting will lead to social media – and perhaps search engines – blocking links to the site 3. With links blocked, ad revenue for the site will plummet, which will destroy the main source of revenue for most websites, effectively shutting them down. Get it? If this trend continues, it will lead to tremendous pressure to stop criticizing U.S. military policy. 4. Drumming Up Support for War Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com In addition, the owners of American media companies have long actively played a part in drumming up support for war. It is painfully obvious that the large news outlets studiously avoided any real criticism of the government’s claims in the run up to the Iraq war. It is painfully obvious that the large American media companies acted as lapdogs and stenographers for the government’s war agenda. Veteran reporter Bill Moyers criticized the corporate media for parroting the obviously false link between 9/11 and Iraq (and the false claims that Iraq possessed WMDs) which the administration made in the run up to the Iraq war, and concluded that the false information was not challenged because: The [mainstream] media had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked. As NBC News’ David Gregory (later promoted to host Meet the Press) said: I think there are a lot of critics who think that . . . . if we did not stand up [in the run-up to the war] and say ‘this is bogus, and you’re a liar, and why are you doing this,’ that we didn’t do our job. I respectfully disagree. It’s not our role. The same thing happened in the Libyan and Syrian wars. But this is nothing new. In fact, the large media companies have drummed up support for all previous wars. For example, Hearst helped drum up support for the Spanish-American War. So why has the American press has consistently served the elites in disseminating their false justifications for war? One of of the reasons is because the large media companies are owned by those who support the militarist agenda or even directly profit from war and terror (for example, NBC was owned by General Electric, one of the largest defense contractors in the world … which directly profits from war, terrorism and chaos. NBC was subsequently sold to Comcast). Another seems to be an unspoken rule that the media will not criticize the government’s imperial war agenda. And the media support isn’t just for war: it is also for various other shenanigans by the powerful. For example, a BBC documentary proves: There was “a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by a group of right-wing American businessmen . . . . The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.” Moreover, “the tycoons told the general who they asked to carry out the coup that the American people would accept the new government because they controlled all the newspapers.“ See also this book. Have you ever heard of this scheme before? It was certainly a very large one. And if the conspirators controlled the newspapers then, how much worse is it today with media consolidation? (Kevin Dutton – research psychologist at the University of Cambridge – whose research has been featured in Scientific American Mind, New Scientist, The Guardian, Psychology Today and USA Today – also notes that media personalities and journalists – especially when combined in the same persons – are likely to be psychopaths. Some 12 million Americans are psychopaths or sociopaths, and psychopaths tend to rub each others’ backs.) 5. Direct Government Funding and Support An official summary of America’s overthrow of the democratically-elected president of Iran in the 1950′s states, “In cooperation with the Department of State, CIA had several articles planted in major American newspapers and magazines which, when reproduced in Iran, had the desired psychological effect in Iran and contributed to the war of nerves against Mossadeq.” (page x) Indeed, it is well-documented that the CIA has long paid journalists to write propaganda. This includes foreign, as well as American reporters. And the military-media alliance has continued without a break (as a highly-respected journalist says, “viewers may be taken aback to see the grotesque extent to which US presidents and American news media have jointly shouldered key propaganda chores for war launches during the last five decades.”) As the mainstream British paper, the Independent, writes: There is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it. The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news. The article in the Independent discusses the use of “black propaganda” by the U.S. government, which is then parroted by the media without analysis; for example, the government forged a letter from al Zarqawi to the “inner circle” of al-Qa’ida’s leadership, urging them to accept that the best way to beat US forces in Iraq was effectively to start a civil war, which was then publicized without question by the media. Indeed, many branches of the U.S. government - and allied governments - fund propaganda. As one example, the New York Times reports: Richard Stengel, the State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy [i.e. minister of propaganda] ... has approved State Department programs that teach investigative reporting and empower truth-tellers .... In other words, the State Department is supporting reporters who spout its party line about U.S. foreign policy without question. And Robert Parry, the investigative reporter who many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s, points out: In May 2015, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) issued a fact sheet summarizing its work financing friendly journalists around the world, including “journalism education, media business development, capacity building for supportive institutions, and strengthening legal-regulatory environments for free media.”   USAID estimated its budget for “media strengthening programs in over 30 countries” at $40 million annually, including aiding “independent media organizations and bloggers in over a dozen countries,” In Ukraine before the 2014 coup ousting elected President Viktor Yanukovych and installing a fiercely anti-Russian and U.S.-backed regime, USAID offered training in “mobile phone and website security,” skills that would have been quite helpful to the coup plotters.   USAID, working with currency speculator George Soros’s Open Society, also has funded the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which engages in “investigative journalism” that usually goes after governments that have fallen into disfavor with the United States and then are singled out for accusations of corruption. The USAID-funded OCCRP collaborates with Bellingcat, an online investigative website founded by blogger Eliot Higgins.   Higgins has spread misinformation on the Internet, including discredited claims implicating the Syrian government in the sarin attack in 2013 and directing an Australian TV news crew to what appeared to be the wrong location for a video of a BUK anti-aircraft battery as it supposedly made its getaway to Russia after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014.   Despite his dubious record of accuracy, Higgins has gained mainstream acclaim, in part, because his “findings” always match up with the propaganda theme that the U.S. government and its Western allies are peddling. Higgins is now associated with the Atlantic Council, a pro-NATO think tank which is partially funded by the U.S. State Department.   Beyond funding from the State Department and USAID, tens of millions of dollars more are flowing through the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, which was started in 1983 under the guiding hand of CIA Director William Casey.   NED became a slush fund to help finance what became known, inside the Reagan administration, as “perception management,” the art of controlling the perceptions of domestic and foreign populations. 6. Access Dan Froomkin, Brett Arends and many other mainstream reporters have noted that “access” is the most prized thing for mainstream journalists … and that they will keep fawning over those in power so that they will keep their prized access. But there is another dynamic related to access at play: direct cash-for-access payments to the media. As previously mentioned, a 3-time Emmy Award winning CNN journalist says that CNN takes money from foreign dictators to run flattering propaganda. Politico reveals: For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post has offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to “those powerful few”: Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and — at first — even the paper’s own reporters and editors…   The offer — which essentially turns a news organization into a facilitator for private lobbyist-official encounters — was a new sign of the lengths to which news organizations will go to find revenue at a time when most newspapers are struggling for survival. That may be one reason that the mainstream news commentators hate bloggers so much. The more people who get their news from blogs instead of mainstream news sources, the smaller their audience, and the less the MSM can charge for the kind of “nonconfrontational access” which leads to puff pieces for the big boys. 7. Censorship by the Government Finally, as if the media’s own interest in promoting war is not strong enough, the government has exerted tremendous pressure on the media to report things a certain way. If reporters criticize those in power, they may be smeared by the government and targeted for arrest (and see this). Indeed, the government treats real reporters as terrorists. Because the core things which reporters do could be considered terrorism, in modern America, journalists are sometimes targeted under counter-terrorism laws. The government spies on reporters. Columbia Journalism Review notes: The Edward Snowden leaks made clear that the internet is a tool for peering into the lives of citizens, including journalists, for every government with the means to do so. Whether domestic spying in the United States or Great Britain qualifies as censorship is a matter of debate. But the Obama administration’s authorization of secret wiretaps of journalists and aggressive leak prosecutions has had a well-documented chilling effect on national-security reporting. At the very least, electronic snooping by the government means that no journalist reporting on secrets can promise in good conscience to guarantee a source anonymity. Not only has the government thrown media owners and reporters in jail if they’ve been too critical, it also claims the power to indefinitely detain journalists without trial or access to an attorney which chills chills free speech. After Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the government to enjoin the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans – the judge asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing about bad guys. The government refused to promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge. An al-Jazeera journalist – in no way connected to any terrorist group – was held at Guantánamo for six years … mainly to be interrogated about the Arabic news network. And see this. Wikileaks’ head Julian Assange could face the death penalty for his heinous crime of leaking whistleblower information which make those in power uncomfortable … i.e. being a reporter. As constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald notes: It seems clear that the US military now deems any leaks of classified information to constitute the capital offense of “aiding the enemy” or “communicating with the enemy” even if no information is passed directly to the “enemy” and there is no intent to aid or communicate with them. Merely informing the public about classified government activities now constitutes this capital crime because it “indirectly” informs the enemy.   ***   If someone can be charged with “aiding” or “communicating with the enemy” by virtue of leaking to WikiLeaks, then why wouldn’t that same crime be committed by someone leaking classified information to any outlet: the New York Times, the Guardian, ABC News or anyone else?   ***   International Law Professor Kevin Jon Heller made a similar point when the charges against Manning were first revealed: “[I]f Manning has aided the enemy, so has any media organization that published the information he allegedly stole. Nothing in Article 104 requires proof that the defendant illegally acquired the information that aided the enemy. As a result, if the mere act of ensuring that harmful information is published on the internet qualifies either as indirectly ‘giving intelligence to the enemy’ (if the military can prove an enemy actually accessed the information) or as indirectly ‘communicating with the enemy’ (because any reasonable person knows that enemies can access information on the internet), there is no relevant factual difference between [Bradley] Manning and a media organization that published the relevant information.” ***   It is always worth underscoring that the New York Times has published far more government secrets than WikiLeaks ever has, and more importantly, has published far more sensitive secrets than WikiLeaks has (unlike WikiLeaks, which has never published anything that was designated “Top Secret”, the New York Times has repeatedly done so: the Pentagon Papers, the Bush NSA wiretapping program, the SWIFT banking surveillance system, and the cyberwarfare program aimed at Iran were all “Top Secret” when the newspaper revealed them, as was the network of CIA secret prisons exposed by the Washington Post). There is simply no way to convert basic leaks to WikiLeaks into capital offenses – as the Obama administration is plainly doing – without sweeping up all leaks into that attack.   *** The same [Obama] administration that has prosecuted whistleblowers under espionage charges that threatened to send them to prison for life without any evidence of harm to national security, and has brought double the number of such prosecutions as all prior administrations combined. Converting all leaks into capital offenses would be perfectly consistent with the unprecedented secrecy fixation on the part of the Most Transparent Administration Ever™.   The irony from these developments is glaring. The real “enemies” of American “society” are not those who seek to inform the American people about the bad acts engaged in by their government in secret. As Democrats once recognized prior to the age of Obama – in the age of Daniel Ellsberg – people who do that are more aptly referred to as “heroes”. The actual “enemies” are those who abuse secrecy powers to conceal government actions and to threaten with life imprisonment or even execution those who blow the whistle on high-level wrongdoing. Former attorney general Mukasey said the U.S. should prosecute Assange because it’s “easier” than prosecuting the New York Times.  Congress is considering a bill which would make even mainstream reporters liable for publishing leaked information (part of an all-out war on whistleblowing). As such, the media companies have felt great pressure from the government to kill any real questioning of the endless wars. For example, Dan Rather said, regarding American media, “What you have is a miniature version of what you have in totalitarian states”. Tom Brokaw said “all wars are based on propaganda. And the head of CNN said: There was ‘almost a patriotism police’ after 9/11 and when the network showed [things critical of the administration’s policies] it would get phone calls from advertisers and the administration and “big people in corporations were calling up and saying, ‘You’re being anti-American here.’ Indeed, former military analyst and famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg said that the government has ordered the media not to cover 9/11: Ellsberg seemed hardly surprised that today’s American mainstream broadcast media has so far failed to take [former FBI translator and 9/11 whistleblower Sibel] Edmonds up on her offer, despite the blockbuster nature of her allegations [which Ellsberg calls “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers”].   As Edmonds has also alluded, Ellsberg pointed to the New York Times, who “sat on the NSA spying story for over a year” when they “could have put it out before the 2004 election, which might have changed the outcome.”   “There will be phone calls going out to the media saying ‘don’t even think of touching it, you will be prosecuted for violating national security,’” he told us.   * * *   “I am confident that there is conversation inside the Government as to ‘How do we deal with Sibel?’” contends Ellsberg. “The first line of defense is to ensure that she doesn’t get into the media. I think any outlet that thought of using her materials would go to to the government and they would be told ‘don’t touch this . . . .‘” Indeed, in the final analysis, the main reason today that the media giants will not cover the real stories or question the government’s actions or policies in any meaningful way is that the American government and mainstream media been somewhat blended together. Can We Win the Battle Against Censorship? We cannot just leave governance to our “leaders”, as “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” (Jefferson). Similarly, we cannot leave news to the corporate media. We need to “be the media” ourselves. “To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men.”– Abraham Lincoln “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Powerlessness and silence go together. We…should use our privileged positions not as a shelter from the world’s reality, but as a platform from which to speak. A voice is a gift. It should be cherished and used.”– Margaret Atwood “There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at points in history and creating a power that governments cannot suppress.”– Howard Zinn (historian) “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent”– Thomas Jefferson

01 декабря, 21:41

The GOP's Obamacare 'Repeal-And-Delay' Plan Is A Slow Motion Disaster

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); Republicans are coalescing around what’s come to be known as the “repeal and delay” strategy for Obamacare. By doing so, they’re revealing two key things. First, the party still doesn’t know what it wants the health care system to look like, even though it’s been over six years since the Affordable Care Act became law. Second, Republicans are willing to hold the entire health care industry and 22 million people hostage while they try to solve a riddle that has always eluded them. Almost immediately after Donald Trump won the presidential election and the GOP held onto Congress, lawmakers recognized they faced a dilemma. After years of convincing voters that Obamacare is a policy disaster and that it tramples upon liberty, they believe they need to act swiftly on that front. But they also know they’ve never agreed among themselves, let alone with Democrats, on what should take the law’s place. So they conceived a risky gambit. Pass repeal early next year, but leave the Obamacare system in place for a while ― three years, according to a new story in Politico ― so that the millions of people using the program can keep their insurance while Republicans craft an alternative. It sounds great, but voting to end Obamacare, even years in the future, is likely to cause market problems right away. And that’s to say nothing of the anxiety that millions who depend on the health care provided through the Affordable Care Act will endure while they wait to find out exactly when they’re going to get kicked off their health insurance ― and what, if anything, they’ll get instead. Republicans Think Repeal-And-Delay Is Good Politics The political appeal that “repeal and delay” holds for Republicans is obvious. Come January, they will have the ability to undermine and effectively kill Obamacare on their own, by using the budget “reconciliation” process to eliminate the program’s funding. Reconciliation bills can get through the Senate with just 50 votes, which means Republicans would have one or two votes to spare, depending upon the outcome of an upcoming runoff election in Louisiana. But a bill creating a new health insurance system would require changing government regulatory authority, among other things, and such a measure would likely have to pass through the regular legislative procedure. Democrats could stall debate indefinitely with a filibuster, and Republicans wouldn’t have the 60 votes to break it. By taking Obamacare off the books now, with a fixed timetable for its end, Republicans figure they’ll force Democrats into a no-win situation. If Democrats end up blocking all GOP efforts at crafting a replacement, they will risk taking the blame for whatever chaos ensues. If some Democrats break ranks and agree to support GOP reforms, then they will give those changes bipartisan cover ―and share responsibility for whatever transformation ensues. So far, Senate Democrats aren’t buying it, based on what they told Politico. And that’s not surprising. After spending eight years obstructing President Barack Obama’s agenda, sidelining congressional Democrats and refusing to take even the most basic steps to address the Affordable Care Act’s shortcomings, Republicans are expecting an awful lot from Democrats. The opposition party will be more inclined to let the GOP deal with its own mess while remaining unified against a president many, if not all, Democratic lawmakers believe is dangerous and unfit for office. Even among Republicans, there’s dissent about “repeal and delay.” Trump himself has expressed a preference for executing repeal and “replace” at the same time, although assigning meaning to any of Trump’s statements is a dubious proposition. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has been outspoken about the dangers of kicking the can down the road, and says he favors “replace and repeal” over “repeal and delay.” There’s reason to share Alexander’s skepticism, as the recent history of using deadline “cliffs” to impel action on the debt ceiling and budget sequestration illustrates. Republicans Still Can’t Decide How To Replace Obamacare And then there’s the matter of the actual policy, and who gets to decide what it is. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has his “A Better Way” roadmap, but no legislation or official estimates of how his ideas would affect the number of people with health coverage, its cost or its budgetary implications. And although Republicans are invigorated by their electoral triumph last month, the House GOP conference is fractious and includes a number of very conservative members who don’t want to do anything beyond repealing the Affordable Care Act. The situation in the Senate is even less certain. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) never even began a process of devising health care legislation so he and this committee chairmen practically will be starting from scratch. And anyone who thinks the Senate will simply follow the House’s lead doesn’t understand the institutional rivalries between the two chambers of Congress. Then there’s Trump. As a candidate, he at times promised universal health coverage, saying “everybody’s got to be covered.” Trump has also promised that whatever comes after Obamacare will provide “great health care for much less money.” But after Election Day, he began adopting positions more in line with congressional Republicans on issues like cuts to Medicaid and Medicare. More recently, Trump announced that he intends to nominate Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) as secretary of Health and Human Services. Unlike Ryan and McConnell, Price has actually introduced legislation to “replace” the Affordable Care Act that diverges in key ways from Ryan’s policy prescriptions. The common theme in all Republicans schemes, including the vague principles Trump formally endorsed, is that all would result in fewer people being covered, insurance that provides less financial protection for people with serious medical bills, or some combination of those factors. There’s no reason to think this is what the public wants. On the contrary, a new poll shows just one-quarter of Americans support full repeal. Far more people support keeping Obamacare in place or strengthening it. And while the law on the whole has never been popular, its individual features (except for the controversial individual mandate) are ― particularly to the more than 20 million people now getting coverage through it. So far Republicans have managed to avoid acknowledging the consequences of their scheme, which means they haven’t had to defend them to voters, interest groups, or dissenting members of their own caucuses. But the legislative process would force a reckoning and that’s going to make consensus hard to forge. Delay Could Cause Serious New Problems In Obamacare Markets “Repeal and delay” presents a more immediate problem. It assumes that Obamacare can keep going for three years, with that deadline looming. As many experts have pointed out, that’s unlikely. Many insurers selling policies in the law’s new marketplaces have been losing money, largely because enrollees turned out to be sicker on average ― and need more medical care ― than they had anticipated when they first set premiums. A few insurers have pulled out of markets altogether. The rest have simply raised their premiums, figuring that the program would eventually stabilize and that building a customer base now would lead to profits later on. But insurers aren’t going to invest in a future market that’s not going to exist. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell warned about precisely this problem in a recent interview, and she’s hardly the only one who thinks this way. “Any significant delay between repeal of the ACA and clarity over what will replace it would likely lead insurers to exit the marketplaces in droves,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, told The Huffington Post. “Insurers have been sticking it out for the promise of future profits, but if the future becomes uncertain, they’ll have little reason to stay in the market.” Robert Laszewski, a health insurance consultant and frequent critic of Obamacare, told Vox’s Sarah Kliff that “Insurers have got to put their products together this spring, and we’re right in the middle of killing Obamacare. Are they going to submit proposals to sell in 2018? Why would they stay in the pool?” Jon Kingsdale, a managing director at the Wakely consulting group, agrees that the timing could be critical. “The naturally conservative instincts of financial officers will be to cover the high end of their cost projections, and to exit the least profitable markets,” Kingsdale, who used to manage the Massachusetts insurance exchange, told HuffPost. “For large, publicly-traded insurers, the best strategy might be to exit Marketplaces altogether, so they can start afresh (or not) when the fog lifts.” Insurers are likely to be particularly skittish because of the potential that Obamacare’s impending demise could make their risk pools worse. Basically, the people most likely to keep buying coverage amid uncertainty are the people who are most certain about their medical needs and most in need of coverage ― in other words, the people with the highest medical risks. “It would be like a game of musical chairs,” Levitt said. “When the music stops, no insurer wants to be the only one left in the market with all of the sick people.” Sign up for the HuffPost Must Reads newsletter. Each Sunday, we will bring you the best original reporting, longform writing and breaking news from The Huffington Post and around the web, plus behind-the-scenes looks at how it’s all made. Click here to sign up! -- 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.

01 декабря, 18:05

Are Canada's New F/A-18E Super Hornets Already Obsolete?

Danny Lam Security, The DND must ensure that the RCAF's replacement for the CF-18s can defend North America against emerging threats. The Liberal Government of Canada has announced that it intends to swiftly sole-source 18 F/A-18E Super Hornets to fill a perceived capability gap. The need flows from Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan’s views of existing treaty obligations under NORAD and NATO. The Royal Canadian Air Force, however, has stated that its 77 existing CF-18s will last at least to 2025, even if the loss rate for the type has increased of late. Whoever is correct, and however the government proceeds in replacing the fighter fleet, missile threats to North America are rising. The incoming Trump administration in Washington will bring heightened expectations for what NORAD and NATO really mean. Thus, the Department of National Defence must find new planes that are at least upgradeable for directly addressing these emerging threats. Read full article

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01 декабря, 17:12

Ученые поймали сигнал из другой галактики

Обсерватория Swift, находящаяся на спутнике NASA, зафиксировала гамма-лучи, связанные с таинственными межгалактическими радиовсплесками.

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01 декабря, 16:53

За 2016 год хакеры пытались вывести через ЦБ 3 млрд руб., а вывели 1 млрд

За 11 месяцев 2016 года хакеры пытались вывести с корсчетов коммерческих банков в Банке России 3 млрд рублей. Было 23 крупных попытки хищения денежных средств. Об этом 1 декабря на конференции AntiFraud Russia рассказал Дмитрий Фролов, начальник Центра мониторинга и реагирования на компьютерные атаки в кредитно-финансовой сфере (FinCERT) Банка России. — И более 1 млрд руб., к сожалению, переведены окончательно, — отметил он. Главным методом хакерских взломов в финансовой сфере в 2016 году эксперт назвал взлом Автоматизированного рабочего места клиента Банка России (АРМ КБР) — так называется компьютерная система взаимодействия коммерческих банков и ЦБ. Известно, что прежде сообщения в этой системе (список платежей банка за определённый период) передавались в незашифрованном виде. И можно было подменить содержание файла. Сейчас эту "дыру" уже закрыли, внеся изменения в программный код. В 2017 г. главными направлениями хакерской деятельности будут атаки на Автоматизированные банковские системы (АБС — программы, управляющие банками), а также на банкоматы. В последнем случае имеется в виду не скимминг (кража данных карты и изготовление поддельной), а вирусы и внешнее проникновение с помощью электронных устройств. По словам главы фирмы Digital Security Ильи Медведковского, производители банкоматов хорошо научились защищать их как сейфы, но не всегда думают о возможности управления банкоматом с помощью присоединённого к нему устройства. Директор по развитию ЗАО "Информзащита" Анна Гольдтейн ожидает также роста числа атак на систему SWIFT.

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01 декабря, 16:50

Selena Gomez becomes Instagram's most-followed celebrity

LOS ANGELES, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Selena Gomez overtook Taylor Swift as the most-followed celebrity on Instagram, as two of pop's leading women once again dominated the social networking site in 2016.

01 декабря, 09:52

РЖД запускает контейнерный сервис по маршруту Китай - Монголия - Россия

РЖД запускает контейнерный сервис по маршруту Китай – Монголия – Россия. Время в пути с учетом прохождения пограничных переходов Замын-Ууд и Наушки составит 10 дней, сообщает компания. Фитинговые платформы и контейнеры под погрузку предоставляет ПАО"ТрансКонтейнер". Первый контейнерный поезд из Китая в европейскую часть России через Монголию был запущен 30 ноября РЖД совместно с портом Тяньцзиньи SWIFT Transport International Logistic.

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01 декабря, 01:51

DirecTV Now Is Another Reason To Say Goodbye To Cable

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); AT&T launched its new internet TV streaming service, DirecTV Now, on Wednesday — and traditional cable providers should be worried.  All DirecTV Now requires is an internet connection to stream live TV to a computer, smartphone, tablet and streaming devices. A clear advantage of the service, at first glance, is that it kicks cable’s ass when it comes to pricing. Currently the new service offers four tiers of channel bundles ranging from $35 to $70/month (there’s currently a limited-time $35 promo offer for its second largest plan, Go Big, with more than 100 channels that will eventually run for $60/month). HBO and Cinemax are offered as add-ons for $5 each.  DirecTV Now has a lot to offer, but some of the service’s offerings might make one say, “Hmm.” Live TV programing from ABC, FOX and NBC is included in all four plans, but it’s only available in select markets. There are some conditions for watching NBC in particular — subscribers can only watch it from a browser, not on “streaming devices or Apple TV.” Again, “Hmm.”   Less perplexing, but also notable, is the fact that the service doesn’t offer programing from CBS (or Showtime), so if “The Big Bang Theory” or “NCIS” is your thing ― well, sorry about that.  It feels a little like AT&T rolled the service out prematurely. While it works, it definitely feels unfinished. For instance, though there are some on-demand shows and movies available, there are no DVR capabilities to record favorite shows. AT&T says that feature will come in 2017, but DirecTV Now’s closest rival, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, already offers recording options. Customers would have to catch a program live, or wait until an episode is available in the on-demand library. Judging by the library’s current selection, that doesn’t seem to be a quick process. For example, “Westworld” is available on-demand, but Episode 6 is the newest episode listed — the show is about to air the 10th and final episode on Sunday night.  If you want to stream to a television, the service works with Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Chromecast ― for Android only ― which means iOS and Roku users are out of luck for now. Other issues:  For sports fans, NFL Sunday Ticket and the Red Zone aren’t offered.  There’s no 4K video or 5:1 surround sound audio. You can only stream from two devices at the same time, which limits use in larger households.  DirecTV Now is not perfect ― in fact, it’s far from it — but the prices are good and it seems like its poised to get better. Plus, it’s the only place you’ll find an all-Taylor Swift channel, so that might swing you either way.  -- 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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30 ноября, 18:54

Speaker Ryan Touts #CuresNow Ahead of Final House Vote

Today, Speaker Ryan discussed the 21st Century Cures Act—legislation introduced by the Energy and Commerce Committee to bring American health care into the 21st century—at a weekly press conference with House Republicans: “We are certainly very excited to bring a final bipartisan version of the 21st Century Cures bill to the House floor today. “This has been a long time coming. This is going to be a game-changer. It’s going to be a game-changer for patients and for their families. It will fundamentally transform the way that we treat and cure diseases in this country. Cures provides needed funding, but it does so in a responsible way. “I am also pleased, as you just heard, that this legislation includes Tim Murphy’s mental health legislation—mental health reform. Again, something a long time coming. Not only do we need to bring mental illness out of the shadows, we really have to improve how we address it. We need more coordination, more early intervention, and this bill takes a huge step in that right direction. “I just want to thank Fred Upton and Tim Murphy. They have been pushing this for years. And this is the result of their hard work and their collaboration with other people. I want to thank the Republicans and the Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee for making this possible. “These are ideas that we’ve been working on for years. They did not quit. They did not give up. And this is a result of their hard work. “And that’s really the driving principle of this legislation: We don’t give up on anybody in the country. Nobody is alone. No matter how rare the disease—no matter how dire the situation—there can always be hope. There should always be hope. And with this legislation, there will be more hope for more families. “We expect very good bipartisan support today, and then we hope the Senate will act swiftly so we can get this bill to the president’s desk.”  

30 ноября, 18:24

Select Your Sales Metrics: Which Ones Are Most Important for Your Team?

It's almost impossible to overstate the importance of sales performance metrics for any B2B organization. For everyone from run-of-the-mill office supply salespeople to the highest tech Software as a Service (SaaS) organizations, regularly tracking a comprehensive set of KPIs and using the results to inform your strategy and goals is crucial for success. Great sales talent, an attractive product, and a competitive price can get you far, but getting the most out of your resources requires knowing what you have achieved in relation to what is possible. In order to inspire their team and achieve optimal performance results from sales processes, a sales manager must be able to give honest and accurate assessments of the sales unit's performance. Choosing the right KPIs can help reduce and even eliminate human biases and error, which can often put a damper on an organization and leave you scrambling for consistency, when evaluating performance. When trends in results are analyzed over time, they can point to breakdowns in various sales processes such as hiring, training, and technology implementation, and help you build a bridge to a more productive and prosperous path forward. It's truly amazing how advanced analytics have transformed the sales profession and created so many new possibilities to increase efficiency, help you work smarter, and improve the customer experience. So when there are so many factors that can be measured, how do you best use your time and resources? Read on below to decide what to measure. Assessing Organizational Structure The metrics you should focus your attention on depend somewhat on certain business-specific factors. If you're in the process of reevaluating your KPIs (or finally codifying a program that has been left unwritten for too long), the first step should be a thorough examination of the makeup of your team, the technological resources available, and the sales needs of your company. The trend toward inside sales and the increasingly complex sales cycles that follow also drive the need for a review of effective sales KPIs. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that over a two-year period, 46 per cent of participants had switched from a field sales model to an inside sales model, compared to only 21 per cent shifting in the opposite direction. As more organizations adopt inside sales practices to adapt to a marketplace filled with complex B2B products, the metrics that take priority may need to evolve to paint an accurate picture of the unit's strengths and weaknesses. Below are six sales metrics your team should consider. 1. Sales Cycle Length After indicators tied to revenue, the length of the sales cycle is one of the most important metrics you can track. Looking closely at the length of your average sales cycle on a monthly basis helps determine if, and where, there are any bottlenecks throughout the pipeline. In addition to examining the entire length of time it takes to convert a lead into a sale, you also need to pay attention to the length of each individual stage of the sales cycle in order to determine which areas you can make more efficient. 2. Percentage Achieving Quota Every sales director must ask themselves the question, "Am I doing everything I can to set my team up for success?" Evaluating the percentage of your sales reps who meet 100 per cent of their quotas can be an important step to answer this query. If you find that a consistent percentage of your salespeople regularly fall short of meeting their quotas, there's likely an issue that needs to be addressed with your hiring, strategic plan, or training. Once you identify the symptom, you can analyze all of your data to help find a solution. 3. Lead Response Time B2B customers have a wealth of buying options available to them, which makes your lead response time more important than ever. If a buyer feels they're waiting too long for a response from a salesperson, it's easy for them to research other products in-depth and move on to the next stage in the process with the first person to contact them. Research shows that sales reps who respond to leads quickly generate considerably more conversations than those who wait longer to respond. 4. Opportunity Win Rate Not all sales reps, even the talented ones, are created equally. Some team members may excel when it comes to engaging new prospects and building trusting relationships, yet they may not be quite as adept at guiding the client to put pen to paper. Opportunity win rate is one metric where looking at a specific data point isn't likely to provide much insight. A single potential deal can dissolve for any number of reasons, many of them completely out of the salesperson's control. However, when you evaluate the numbers over the long term, compelling patterns can indicate whether a particular sales rep requires in-depth coaching on the closing process. 5. Average New Deal Size Your average deal size can have important ramifications for your company's lead generation efforts and pricing strategy. It's possible there is a disconnect in the lead generation process that prevents you from identifying your ideal buyers. Or it's possible that your package pricing discourages customers from making larger purchases at one time. This indicator is also helpful in conjunction with the cost of acquiring a new customer to determine if certain deals should be pursued or left on the table. 6. Revenue from SMBs Versus Large Enterprises Strategically, it may be important to examine separately how your sales effort is connecting with small businesses, mid-market players, and larger enterprises. If one segment is thriving while another is lacking, it may be necessary to reshape some of your sales processes to better court a group of customers who are more receptive to your sales pitch. Field Sales Metrics Versus Inside Sales Metrics This is an expansive category that can be composed of many different indicators, but if your company employs both field sales and inside sales, it can be helpful to look at the performance and trends of each initiative. Not only are these numbers important for the overall direction of your sales operation, but they can also reveal insights concerning your specific sales functions and resources. For instance, do your inside sales revenues grow at a slower pace when compared to the field sales despite diverting resources into inside sales? If that is the case, do the increased costs associated with acquiring a new customer via field sales calls render the revenue gains moot? Are your field sales reps consistently outperforming their quotas, while the inside sales reps come up short? Once you are able to benchmark several indicators and make comparisons between the two units, you will have a much clearer idea of where resources need to be allocated to achieve your goals. To further measure the effectiveness of your sales team, here are three additional metrics to track. 1. Marketing Collateral Usage Considering marketing and sales teams frequently collaborate on content generation, sales leaders need to know resources are used effectively. This interdepartmental alignment is crucial because recent survey results from the American Marketing Association indicate that approximately 90 per cent of sales professionals find marketing collateral to be useless. Monitoring the usage of marketing materials by the sales department is a key component to remove inefficiencies in the handoff from marketing to sales and strengthen the connection between the two units. 2. Cost of Sales to Revenue Ratio It's not enough to know that any dedicated sales effort is going to cost money; you need to have a clear and evolving framework that details exactly how much is being spent to reach your current results. Executives and shareholders love to see large revenue gains, but we all know that achieving such gains is sometimes so costly that it results in net losses or nominal profits once you have a complete tally. By scrutinizing your cost of sales to revenue ratio, you'll have the data to justify more incremental gains in revenue that may be won for a fraction of the cost. 3. Sales Preparedness With more sales technology tools available and their increasing importance in complex new sales cycles, leaders must be attuned to choosing the right solutions for their teams as well as ensuring that all employees have received proper training before interacting with prospects and clients. Analyzing your sales preparedness levels in quantitative terms is the gateway to aligning your training and technology functions. When your technological tools and your training protocols are optimized for your organization and your sales team, your sales professionals will be well-equipped to deliver an exceptional customer experience throughout every stage of the sales funnel and contribute to a sustainable and growing revenue stream for the company. Building a cohesive suite of metrics that work for your sales team While each of these metrics reveals interesting individual truths, the true power of data is uncovered when you analyze your KPIs in concert with each other to develop a quantitatively based view of your sales effort that is wide in scope. Every organization's sales unit structure is ultimately unique, and every team has a specific set of realities and limitations that must be addressed in the chosen performance metrics. Thankfully, innovative tools make it easier than ever for sales managers to accurately track a wide variety of advanced sales metrics simultaneously and use real-time results to make swift adjustments when needed. This post originally appeared on the Salesforce Canada blog and is republished with permission. ***** Danny Wong is the co-founder of Blank Label, an award-winning luxury menswear company. He also leads marketing for Conversio, an all-in-one ecommerce marketing dashboard, and Tenfold, a modern phone intelligence platform. To connect, tweet him @dannywong1190 or message him on LinkedIn. For more of his clips, visit his portfolio. -- 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.

30 ноября, 15:56

Taylor Swift is the world's best-paid musician

Singer’s 1989 world tour boosted her earnings to $170m, $60m more than second-placed One Direction, says ForbesWomen dominate the upper reaches of Forbes magazine’s list of the highest-paid musicians of 2016. Four of the top five places are occupied by women, with Taylor Swift topping the list. Between June 2015 and June 2016, the magazine estimates she earned $170m, largely from her 1989 world tour.She earned $60m more than second-placed One Direction, who were followed by Adele, Madonna and Rihanna. Continue reading...

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30 ноября, 15:12

Controlling NATO's air assets

It is made up of 10 shipping containers, equipment weighing 360 tonnes and is staffed by 160 operators. NATO’s Deployable Air Command and Control Centre has been moved by air, land and sea, from its home in Poggio Renatico, Italy, to Sardinia, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, 600 km south of the DACCC’s home base. The aim was to show NATO’s readiness and ability to swiftly deploy to counter threats to Alliance security. The DACCC, as it’s known, can be deployed to control NATO’s air assets in times of crisis. Footage includes shots of the containers, computer screens, planes and soundbites from various personnel. ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ SUBSCRIBE to NATO YouTube http://bit.ly/NATOsubscribe Connect with NATO online: Visit the Official NATO Homepage: http://bit.ly/NATOhomepage Find NATO on FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/NATOfacebook Follow @NATO on TWITTER: http://bit.ly/NATOtwitter Find NATO on Google+: http://bit.ly/NATOgoogleplus Find NATO on LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/NATOlinkedin Find NATO on Flickr: http://bit.ly/NATOflickr

Выбор редакции
30 ноября, 15:00

The World's Highest-Paid Musicians Of 2016

What happens when you smash the Rolling Stones’ North American touring record, sell millions of albums and add seven-figure endorsements with the likes of Keds, Diet Coke and Apple? If you’re Taylor Swift, you clock the biggest single-year payday of your career.

30 ноября, 13:52

Families on tax-credit harassment: 'a massive headache and real worry'

Chased by debt collectors for overpayments made in error by HMRC, they suffer what one MP calls a ‘menacing obstacle course’ Since its introduction in 2003, the tax-credit system has been plagued with problems. For more than a decade, HM Revenue & Customs has struggled to respond swiftly to families’ changing circumstances, resulting in hundreds of thousands of people unwittingly owing money after being overpaid working tax credit and child tax credit. In the year to June 2016, Citizens Advice helped people with 40,000 issues relating to tax credit overpayments, a 6% increase on the previous year.In 2014, it was reported that the government was pursuing more than 4.7m cases of overpaid tax credits, amounting to total debts of £1.6bn, and using debt collectors to do so. Since then, it seems to have continued to take a heavy-handed approach. In the past year, Citizens Advice has seen a 32% increase in the number of issues related to the recovery of tax-credit overpayments, including the involvement of debt collectors. In some cases, debt-collection agencies hold inaccurate information from HMRC and are chasing money from individuals who already been making payments via direct debit. Continue reading...

30 ноября, 13:50

Kanye West: 8 Things to Know About His Hospitalization

Kanye West has been taken to the hospital after a breakdown. Find out what exactly happened leading up to the event and what's going on now.

16 января 2015, 16:07

Итоги 2014 и прогноз на 2015

Не могла пройти мимо статьи в Ведомостях: На чем заработали и сколько потеряли инвесторы в 2014 году.  Судя по этой статье, самый высокий доход показывает т.н."инвестиции в доллар" или долларовые депозиты или наличные. Это и понятно- за счет резкого обесценения рубля против доллара , как нам говорится в статье," долларовые депозиты оказались самыми доходными (+78,7%)". Иными словами, в статье как бы намекают,что лучше доллара вы ничего не найдете,чтобы сберечь свои накопления. Я уже как-то говорила о том,что доллар - это не деньги, вот сейчас всем нам эту разницу- разницу между деньгами и финансовым иструментом- мы и узнаем. Деньги помимо расчетной функции обладают функцией накопления капитала, финансовый инструмент  обладает "инвестиционной возможностью" , являясь "инвестицией". Инвестиция в финансовый инструмент- это спекуляция, риск неизвестности получения дохода и возможной полной его потери вместе с "инвестицией", который берет на себя обладатель "инвестиции",т.е. это предпринимательский риск, который вы берете на себя, оперируя теми же валютами. Пример такого риска нам показал только что банк Швейцарии и валютные брокеры. Читаем Зерохедж Numerous FX Brokers Shutter After Suffering "Significant Losses" Following SNB Stunnerили на русском это ВестифинансШторм от Банка Швейцарии. Есть пострадавшие "Большое количество клиентов с позициями в швейцарском франке оказались в проигрышной ситуации и понесли потери намного большие, чем объем их депозитов.Брокер также сообщает, что тем клиентам, которые не смогли вовремя закрыть позиции из-за отсутствия ликвидности, он не может компенсировать потери. В Excel Markets обращают внимание на то, что даже на межбанковском рынке франк был неликвидным в течение нескольких часов после решения Банка Швейцарии". Разница валютного депозита с валютной спекуляцией на рынке форексе будет заключатся в том,что вы участвуете в этом ввиду полной интеграции российской банковской системы в валютную расчетную систему SWIFT- Россия на втором месте по интеграции банков в эту систему, поэтому все общания ЦБ РФ в том,что они подготовят альтернативу SWIFT так и останутся обещаниями. Напомню,что глава ЦБ РФ входит в американский долларовый институт Бреттон-Вуда- МВФ, поэтому ничего удивительного нет в том,что ЦБ РФ тупо выполняет все инструкции МВФ- ЦБ РФ- это одна из марионеток американской системы.МОСКВА, 16 января. /ТАСС/. "Период резких изменений курса рубля завершается, правительственные меры по поддержке национальной валюты заработали, сказал ТАСС глава российского представительства Международного валютного фонда Бикас Джоши".  Десятка стран, лидирующих по числу кредитных организаций, подключенных к SWIFT (по данным SWIFT, 2013) по факту Россия слишком глубоко интегрирована в западную систему, зависима от нее. У страны нет возможностей создать собственную альтернативную сеть (разве только на двусторонней основе с Китаем), а разговоры о переходе расчетов на внутреннюю систему, как и в случаях других предложений  власти, останутся разговорами. Вчера было озвучено,что европарламентарии требуют от Совета ЕС распространить уже действующие санкции на предприятия атомной промышленности России, а также ограничить все международные финансовые транзакции РФ. Сегодня продолжили: БРЮССЕЛЬ, 16 января. /Корр. ТАСС Александр Шишло/. Действующие санкции Евросоюза против России могут быть усилены в случае значительного ухудшения ситуации на востоке Украины. Об этом заявил в пятницу высокопоставленный чиновник ЕС, близкий к руководству институтов сообщества. Давление усиливается и разговор идет уже о полной капитуляции России перед США. Как это принято у бандитов, клиента "поставили на счетчик", например, это дело ЮКОСА МОСКВА, 16 января. /ТАСС/. С сегодняшнего дня начинается начисление процентов за несвоевременное исполнение арбитражных решений о выплате РФ $50,1 млрд бывшим акционерам ЮКОСа. Но наездом на государство дело не ограничивается. Уже против Лукойла возбудили дело о "коррупции в рамках финансирования терроризма":КИЕВ, 16 января. /ТАСС/. Служба безопасности Украины (СБУ) возбудила уголовное дело по статье "Финансирование терроризма" против бизнес-структур, входящих в группы компаний ЛУКОЙЛ и ВЕТЭК.   Если внимательно смотреть за происходящим во Франции, то можно увидеть,что Франция на этот раз выполнила роль этакого подопытного кролика, где начинают претворяться идеи будущей Европы- будущего фашизма- зомбированные марионеточные европейские чиновники и послушное население, готовое быть рабом и идти в этом на все. Все,кто мог более-менее осмыслить происходящее, были жестоко не только подавлены, но и наказаны за "инакомыслие", включая несовершенолетних. Или еще можно так сказать,что фашизм начинается с Франции и с Великобритании. В целом,на мой взгляд, глава Raiffeisen прав, говоря, что Америка не пойдет на уступки и «будет сражаться с Путиным до последнего европейца». При этом можно обратить внимание на очень похожие случаи в Армении и в Германии. В Германии, в Дрездене, активно выступала PEDIGA против мусульманской колонизации Европы. Недавно там был зарезан чернокожий юноша на фоне вот этого антиисламского движения,что послужило обвинением антиисламского движения в экстремизме. В Армении произошел очень странный случай в Гюмри, закончившийся беспорядками, при этом мы читаем: ЕРЕВАН, 16 января. /Корр.ТАСС Тигран Лилоян/. Европейский союз предоставил Армении 77,5 млн евро на продолжение реформ, проводимых при его помощи.В правительстве республики состоялась церемония "запуска" восьми соглашений, которые были заключены месяц назад по различным направлениям сотрудничества - от сельского хозяйства до территориального развития. Иными словами, похожие процессы на Украине ,с высокой вероятностью, будут запущены в Армении. Поэтому, никакого разговора не может быть ни о каком ЕВРАЗЭС- это пустышка, если никто всерьез этим не собирался заниматься. Все это фантазии россиянской элиты, которая сама никогда ничего не создавала. Военная обстановка, к которой прибавится Казказ и Азия: Сегодня США оказывают жесткое давление на Россию по трем направлениям: северному – из Прибалтики, центральному – из Польши и южному – через Румынию. То есть мы с вами наблюдаем то,как США защищают собственные интересы- вполне себе бандитскими способами, не чураясь никаких угроз и шантажа, используя в своих приемах гражданское население, убив его , запугав террором, превратив послушных в своих рабов, чтобы получить желаемое. А что Россия? Вопрос уже всем понятный- дни нынешней России уже сочтены, поэтому нам с вами стоит приготовиться к разным вариантам. Например, это отключение банков от SWIFT и попыткой переключения на внутреннюю систему. Я не исключаю невозможности работать банкам в стандартном режиме, поэтому запас  наличности должен быть дома- у каждого по возможностям. Скорее всего, в этом случае вклады получить будет проблематично. Далее. Очень вероятно,что появится натуральный обмен и бартер. Например, вспоминаем, всем известную валюту- водку. Значит, делаем запасы этой натуральной валюты. В общем, вспоминаем советское время и готовимся к сложным временам. 

26 декабря 2014, 11:49

ЦБ запустил аналог SWIFT для операций внутри России

Банк России с декабря предоставил кредитным организациям новую услугу по передаче финансовых сообщений в формате SWIFT по внутрироссийским операциям. Банки подключаются к услуге на основе договоров с Банком России.   "Новый сервис реализован в целях обеспечения бесперебойности и безопасности передачи финансовых сообщений внутри страны и является очередным шагом в направлении совершенствования системы услуг, предоставляемых Банком России", - сообщает ЦБ. Новая услуга позволит кредитным организациям передавать сообщения в форматах SWIFT через Банк России во всех регионах страны и без ограничений. ЦБ намерен обезопасить банки от возможных проблем в случае отключения системы международных расчетов SWIFT. ЕС в сентябре призвал к новым ограничительным мерам в отношении России, в том числе к отключению России от системы SWIFT. Однако сама компания SWIFT неоднократно заявляла, что не собирается отключать Россию от своих услуг. ЦБ заявил ранее, что цены на новую услугу окажутся конкурентоспособными.

05 июня 2014, 17:29

США все активнее используют юань во внешней торговле

  США вышли на третье место в мире после Сингапура и Великобритании по объемам использования китайской валюты. Все больше американских компаний переходят на юань при оплате импорта из КНР. Международная межбанковской системы передачи информации и совершения платежей SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) опубликовала пресс-релиз "The United States jumps ahead of Taiwan as an offshore RMB clearing centre". По данным организации, со стороны США наблюдается заметная активизация в использовании китайской валюты. Общая доля юаней в торговле между США и Китаем остается сравнительно небольшой, однако динамика использования юаня в расчетах со стороны США говорит сама за себя. По сравнению с апрелем 2013 г. в этом году доля использования юаня в сделках между США и Китаем выросла с 0,7% до 2,4%. При этом, в апреле 2014 г. объем платежей США с использованием китайской валюты в годовом отношении увеличился на 327%. Общая доля платежей в юанях с американской стороны в общемировом контексте выросла с 1,3% в апреле 2013 г. до 2,6% к апрелю 2014 г. Юань в торговле США – Китай/Гонконг; США – остальной мир: Графика: SWIFT США опередили Тайвань и вышли на третье место в мире – после Сингапура и Великобритании – по использованию юаня. Майкл Мун, директор подразделения платежей SWIFT в Азиатско-тихоокеанском регионе отметил, что это очередное свидетельство растущей роли юаня в международной торговле:  “На мой взгляд, повышение объемов платежей в юанях в сделках между США и Китаем/Гонконгом – это серьезный сигнал, который будет способствовать дальнейшему использованию китайской валюты. Хотя американский доллар все еще занимает доминирующее положение в торговле между странами, тем не менее, данные говорят о том, что США все более активно используют юань для того, чтобы поддержать свои корпорации, которые хотят расширять свои производственные мощности в Китае и все чаще оплачивают продукцию своих китайских поставщиков в юанях. Это хорошие новости для дальнейшей глобализации юаня в качестве мировой валюты”.

04 декабря 2013, 01:06

Сенсация! Юань - вторая торгуемая валюта... точно? )))

Китайский юань обошел евро в рейтинге самых торгуемых мировых валют, следует из отчета Международной межбанковской электронной системы платежей (SWIFT). Коэффициент использования юаня поднялся с 1,89% в январе 2012г. до 8,66% в октябре 2013г. Опережает китайскую национальную валюту лишь доллар США, который лидирует с коэффициентом 81,08%. Между тем доля евро упала с 7,87% в январе 2012г. до 6,64% в октябре 2013г.: сейчас единая европейская валюта занимает третье место в рейтинге самых торгуемых. По данным на октябрь 2013г., больше всего в финансовой торговле юанем пользовались Китай, Гонконг, Сингапур, Германия и Австралия. Так, на долю КНР приходится 59% сделок с юанем, на Гонконг - 21%, Сингапур - 12%, Германию и Австралию - по 2%. http://top.rbc.ru/economics/03/12/2013/892600.shtml _______________________________________ РБК, мягко говоря, отжигает .... Если реально SWIFT очень любит юань и публикует ежемесячно отчеты о расчетах в нем (надеясь на активный рост роли юаня). Собственно сам отчет на основе которого и появился материал. Читаем внимательно: RMB now 2nd most used currency in trade finance, overtaking the Euro, with a activity share of 8.66%. Что именно имеет ввиду SWIFT смотрим здесь "traditional trade finance - Letters of Credit and Collections" Торговое финансирование, конкретно инкассо и аккредитивы ...как бы это далеко не "рейтинг самых торгуемых валют". 59% из них - сам Китай, ещё 21% - Гонконг, ещё 12% - Сигнапур и только оставшиеся 8% - остальные страны из которых по 2% Германия и Австралия. Причем бурный рост, скорее всего, обусловлен во многом более корректным учетом операций самого континентального Китая. Доля Китая в международных платежах в отчете на 6-й странице и составляет в октябре0.84%. Она выросла с 0.25% в январе 2012 года, до 0.63% в январе 2013 года (когда юань обогнал рубль), после этого рост несколько затормозился: март - 0.74%, июнь - 0.87%, сентябрь - 0.86%, октябрь - 0.84%. По-хорошему, с лета экспансия юаня в общем объеме платежей прекратилась ... но все ищут сенсации. P.S.: В перспективе доля юаня в платежах, конечно, должна существенно вырасти (при либерализации рынка юаню есть куда расти), но только в перспективе. P.P.S.: Кому интересно: ссылка на раздел с отчетами SWIFT