If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking By @SimonCocking review of Innovator’s DNA, Updated, with a New Preface: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators, Hardcover – June 4, 2019, available from Amazon here.A new classic, recommended by leaders and media around the worldIn this bestselling book, authors Jeff Dyer (Innovation Capital and The Innovator’s Method), Hal Gregersen (Questions Are the Answer), and Clayton M. Christensen (The Innovator’s Dilemma, The Innovator’s Solution, and How Will You Measure Your Life?) build on what we know about disruptive innovation to show how individuals can develop the skills necessary to move progressively from idea to impact.By identifying the winning behaviors of the world’s best innovators–from leaders at Amazon and Apple to those at Google, Tesla, and Salesforce–Dyer, Gregersen, and Christensen outline five discovery skills that distinguish innovative entrepreneurs and executives from ordinary managers: associating, questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting. Through real-world stories, the authors show you how to evaluate and develop your own innovator’s “DNA code,” including advice for how you can use the five skills to generate ideas, collaborate with colleagues to implement them, and sharpen your organization’s competitive edge by building innovation skills into its culture. This innovation advantage will translate into a premium in your company’s stock price–an innovation premium–which is possible only by building the code for innovation right into your organization’s people, processes, and guiding philosophies. This book shows you how.Now updated with a new preface and fresh examples, The Innovator’s DNA is more than ever the essential resource for individuals, managers, and teams who want to strengthen their innovative prowess.Innovator’s DNA, Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators reviewedThis book first came out eight years ago, this second edition builds on the insights there and adds in new elements. The authors have a great pedigree in their own innovation based research, with Clayton Christensen especially pushing the envelope with his series of books on disruption and innovation. Consequently for this book all three authors have been able to leverage their own impressive address books to draw on interviews and insights from a range of the most dynamic and innovative CEOs of current high performing companies.The goal is to capture these entrepreneurial insights and to assess what made them successful, both as leaders and also as companies. The ability to keep asking ‘why’ and looking to dig deeper into why things worked or more importantly often why they were not working. The Jeff Bezos example of digging deeply into a shop floor accident was instructive too, as it moved beyond looking to blame individuals to instead the systemic reasons for the problem arising.Amazon of course has its pros and cons but having worked with several deeply average to worse managers whose mantra was to cover their arse first and then blame others, this was a positive alternative approach (which probably explains why my boss got fired and Bezos is one of the richest people in the world).The book is well written and accessible so it is easy to get useful and actionable insights from your time spent reading it. If you are looking for ways to improve your own companies performance then it won’t be time wasted reading this book.More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home
He was former Public Safety Chief Koos Breedt’s right-hand man. “I worked with him for 35 years. He was a good man, dependable, someone you could rely on,” said Mr Breedt. “It is a sad day for Public Safety, as he will be sorely missed.”“I extend my condolences to his family, wife Amanda and his three children,” added a deeply saddened Mr Breedt.At the time of publishing, the municipality was unable to furnish any details of Mr Watkins’ illustrious career.We will update this story as soon as we know more.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite From deadly fires to town floods, Assistant Manager Public Safety Mr Tom Watkins was there for our town.Early this morning, he passed away at La Verna Hospital after a massive heart attack. Mr Watkins had been admitted to hospital suffering from double pneumonia recently and his condition progressively worsened.With close to 40 years’ service in Public Safety, he served Ladysmith well.Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues. He is survived by his wife Amanda, sons Adam and Bertus, and daughter Sunette.Our town has lost a true hero, a man who always put others first.
Elandslaagte detectives have offered a reward of up to R50,000 to anyone who may have information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of suspects responsible for the murder of Mr Aboobaker ‘Baboo’ Omarjee.Mr Omarjee was shot and killed in what is suspected to have been an attempted robbery on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 28.He and his son were travelling back from the Madevu Store to Ladysmith and while dropping off staff members, they came under fire by unknown gunmen. The gunmen approached from two sides, firing at the bakkie.Mr Omarjee Snr was shot while shielding his son from bullets. A security vehicle following the Omarjees opened fire on the suspects, driving them away. Mr Omarjee Jnr rushed his injured father to La Verna Hospital, where his father was declared DOA (dead on arrival) by a hospital doctor. A case of murder was opened at Elandslaagte police station for investigation.A suspect has since been arrested for the murder. Information received by police led to a 22-year-old man being taken in for questioning on Thursday, May 14. The suspect was charged and has appeared in the Ladysmith Magistrate’s Court. He was remanded into custody pending further investigations.Detectives are hard at work tracing the suspects who are still at large.Police now appeal to anyone who may have information that could assist in the investigation to contact the investigating officer, Detective Constable Philokuhle Mvelase, on 036-421-1733 / 073-269-9108 or Crime Stop on 08600-10111. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
Emnambithi/Ladysmith Mayor Vincent Madlala, along with other ward councillors and officials, introduced a contractor to the community of Peacetown (Ward 15) and Watersmeet (Ward 16) in the Kirkintullock community hall on Wednesday last week.These areas currently have no electricity and the mayor and councillors were there to introduce the contractor who will undertake the job of installing electricity at their houses. Ward councillors TP Makhaza and M Zwane were present at the meeting. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Mayor Madlala officially introduced the contractor and in his speech, he said to the community that the municipality was very happy to present the electricity project that was long overdue. He mentioned that Emnambithi/Ladysmith Municipality had allocated R8 million for this project, which is aimed at changing the quality of life in the community.The contractor will start on April 28.This project is expected to be completed at the end of June this year.Community members turned up in numbers to witness the introduction of the contractor, and thanked the municipality for bringing them what they have been wishing to receive for many years now.
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The marathon, organised by the Ladysmith Athletics Club, will take place on Saturday, 11 April. This 52km race is largely run through open country, farm areas and a forest. It offers an ideal opportunity for runners to test their fitness levels. Some challenging sections can be expected at 12km and 18km with another testing pull at the 45km mark. The race finishes with a downhill meander to the Ladysmith Indoor Sports Centre.Pre-race and after-race reporting will be available on the Ladysmith Gazette site with up to the minute updates on Twitter and FacebookApart from the main 52km ultra marathon, the N3TC 21km Half Marathon will take place on the same day and for those who want take it really easy, the 5km Khanyisile Trust Fun Run is also planned for Friday 10 April before the two big races.This fun/run walk benefits the Khanyisile Community Trust which supports twelve schools in the Van Reenen district through a number of programmes for children including education development initiatives, safe transport, eco-training, waste recycling, nutrition, health and sanitation. R10 from every entry in any of the N3TC Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon races will be donated to Khanyisile.Pre-entries and more information are available from:www.enteronline.co.za or www.ladysmithathleticclub.co.zaEntries close on Friday, 20 March.For more information contact: 076 536 7070 or email@example.com.Follow us on Twitter: @ArthurCresswell or share your experience on @N3Route Runners only have a few days left to enter the N3TC Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon. Only pre-race entries are accepted for this Comrades qualifier.To mark this milestone, N3TC is offering a course record incentive of R10 000 to first man and first woman to break the respective 52km course records at this year’s event.Entries close on 20 March 2015.“This is the 5th year that N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) will be hosting the race. We are looking forward to celebrating 50 years of the successful hosting of this quirky marathon. As far as we know, this is the only marathon in South Africa that had its origins in a pub.The plan to host the Arthur Creswell Memorial Marathon got hatched in Ladysmith’s Old Country Club Pub when the late Dave Gardner and Dart Bousefield had the idea to commemorate their runner-friend, Arthur Cresswell, with an ultra-marathon. It is now one of South Africa’s oldest marathons and a favorite of many runners preparing for the Comrades Marathon,” explains N3TC Marketing Manager, Andy Visser.N3TC is responsible for the management of the N3 Toll Route between Heidelberg and Cedara.Well-known marathon athletes have completed this race in the past including Bruce Fordyce, Shaun Meikeljohn, Frith van der Merwe and Nadine Harris, to name a few. Manie Khun became the inaugural winner of the Arthur Cresswell Marathon clocking a good time of 03:42:20 for 52km. Last chance to enter the 50th N3TC Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon between Bergville and Ladysmith
In conjunction with School Week 2015, a team from Lenmed Health La Verna Hospital paid a visit to a few local schools from Monday to Friday last week.Windsor Secondary was one of the schools visited.Cardiac arrest (heart attack) being one of the leading causes of death in society today, the learners were educated about cardiac pulmonary resuscitation, an emergency technique used to re-establish heart and lung function until more advanced life support is available. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
One person was injured after a Honda Ballade crashed last night (Thursday) in Shepstone Road.It is alleged that the driver lost control of the car and hit the barrier at the side of the road. The bonnet was completely ripped off in the accident.The Honda came to rest partly on the sidewalk and partly in the road, blocking the flow of traffic.The driver was treated for slight injuries by Sharaj Ambulance Services paramedics.A crowd of onlookers gathered as police officers took down the details of the crash.Traffic was controlled by Public Safety and police while clean-up operations took place. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Soerboe said in Oslo that the four had identified themselves as U.N. workers when they were arrested on April 29 in the Heglig border region by Sudanese soldiers firing weapons nto the air. Violence between Sudanese and South Sudanese forces had spiked in that area.“We introduced ourselves and told them we are on a mission for the United Nations. They asked us if we cleared the mines they had put out, and we acknowledged,” Soerboe said in a statement released by his agency. “So we were blindfolded and we got hit in the head.”Soerboe said he was working with Briton Chris Fielding from the United Nations, Peter Monyluak of the South Sudan Mine Action Authority, and Thabo Siave of the South African demining organization Mechem.Britain’s Foreign Office has confirmed that Fielding was freed on Monday, and Foreign Office Minister David Lidington said the Briton was “healthy and was well treated by the Sudanese while he was in detention.”On Twitter, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said Friday that he has met with Soerboe who is “in a good shape, high spirits. He’s a good man.”Soerboe said the Sudanese authorities thought they were spies or mercenaries who had entered Sudan illegally. Top Stories Top holiday drink recipes Men’s health affects baby’s health too (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) OSLO, Norway (AP) – Four foreigners who were arrested by Sudanese authorities and held for three weeks were on a U.N. mine clearing mission along the disputed border with South Sudan, a relief agency said Friday.The Norwegian, Briton, South African and South Sudanese soldier were all freed in Sudan on Sunday. John Soerboe, a 50-year-old relief worker for Norwegian People’s Aid, returned home Friday.African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki facilitated their release, said the Norwegian People’s Aid and Britain’s Foreign Office. Patients with chronic pain give advice Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments Share
3 international destinations to visit in 2019 MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Philippine police say 11 detainees including the leader of a notorious bandit group have escaped from a jail by cutting through iron grills with a smuggled hacksaw.The fugitives include Datukan Samad, a high-profile suspect facing kidnapping and murder charges in the southern Philippines. He has been linked to Muslim rebels.Samad was transferred to the Maguindanao Provincial Jail in Cotabato city following a failed attempt to spring him from another jail in February that left three people dead, including a Red Cross driver. Comments Share ErrorOK ErrorOK Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Cotabato police chief Danny Reyes says the fugitives sawed through iron bars in the jail’s bathroom and escaped early Tuesday. A manhunt is under way.The escape happened a day after President Benigno Aquino III lauded jail authorities for tightening notoriously lax security in prisons.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths
Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home U.S. Marshal Robert Almonte in West Texas said he has testified about La Santa Muerte in at least five drug trafficking cases where her image aided prosecutors with convictions. Last year, Almonte testified that a Santa Muerte statue prayer card, found with a kilogram of methamphetamine in a couple’s car in New Mexico, were “tools of the trade” for drug traffickers to protect them from law enforcement. The testimony was used to help convict the couple of drug trafficking.Almonte has visited shrines throughout Mexico, and given workshops to law enforcement agencies on the cult of the saint.“Criminals pray to La Santa Muerte to protect them from law enforcement,” Almonte said. “But there are good people who pray to her who aren’t involved in any criminal activity so we have to be careful.”Devotees say La Santa Muerte has helped them find love, find better jobs and launch careers.Gregory Beasley Jr., 35, believes he landed acting roles on “Breaking Bad” and the 2008 movie “Linewatch” after a traditional Mexican-American healer introduced him to La Santa Muerte.“All my success … I owe to her,” he said. “She cleansed me and showed me the way.” (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) For decades, though, La Santa Muerte remained an underground figure in isolated regions of Mexico and served largely as an unofficial Catholic saint that women called upon to help with cheating spouses, Chesnut said.It wasn’t until 2001 when a devotee unveiled a public La Santa Muerte shrine in Mexico City that followers in greater numbers began to display their devotion for helping them with relationships and loved ones in prison. Economic uncertainty and a violent drug war against cartels that has claimed an estimated 40,000 lives also are credited for La Santa Muerte’s growth.Oscar Hagelsieb, assistant special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in El Paso, said agents have found that most members of the Gulf and Zeta Cartels mainly pray to Santa Muerte while those from the Sinaloa and Sonora Cartels honor folk saint Jesus Malverde.“Altars are very intricate. We have found some with food and others with blood from animals,” Hagelsieb said.The association with cartels and denunciations by some priests has resulted in some non-devotees destroying makeshift roadside altars. Recently, assailants smashed a life-size statue of La Santa Muerte in a South Texas cemetery. Police in Pasadena, Calif. recently found human bones at a home with a Santa Muerte altar outside. The owners say they bought the bones online. But the vast majority of devotees aren’t crooks.Kiko Torres, owner of the Masks y Mas art store in Albuquerque, said sales of La Santa Muerte statues, incense, and oils have skyrocketed in recent months.“Most people who buy the stuff are regular people who just recently found out about her,” he said. “Some probably have no idea about her connection to that other world.”One such devotee is Steven Bragg, 36, who said he was introduced to La Santa Muerte in 2009 and began praying to her for a variety of different reasons, including a plea for a life companion. Recently, the New Orleans man built a public chapel to her and holds rosary services that attract around a dozen people.He also just formed a nonprofit to support the “New Orleans Chapel of the Santisima Muerte,” the official name of his public altar.“It’s something I decided to do after all that La Santa Muerte has provided,” Bragg said. “She has never failed me.”___Follow Russell Contreras at http://twitter.com/russcontreras Clad in a black nun’s robe and holding a scythe in one hand, Santa Muerte appeals to people seeking all manner of otherworldly help: from fending off wrongdoing and carrying out vengeance to stopping lovers from cheating and landing better jobs. And others seek her protection for their drug shipments and to ward off law enforcement.“Her growth in the United States has been extraordinary,” said Andrew Chesnut, author of “Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint” and the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. “Because you can ask her for anything, she has mass appeal and is now gaining a diverse group of followers throughout the country. She’s the ultimate multi-tasker.”Exact numbers of her followers are impossible to determine, but they are clearly growing, Chesnut said.The saint is especially popular among Mexican-American Catholics, rivaling that of St. Jude and La Virgen de Guadalupe as a favorite for miracle requests, even as the Catholic Church in Mexico denounces Santa Muerte as satanic, experts say.Her image has been used on prayers cards citing vengeance and protection, which are sometimes found at scenes of massacred bodies and on shipments of drugs. Comments Share Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A follower in New Orleans built a public shrine in her honor. An actor in Albuquerque credits her with helping him land a role on the TV show “Breaking Bad.” She turns up routinely along the U.S.-Mexico border at safe houses, and is sighted on dashboards of cars used to smuggle methamphetamine through the southwest desert.Popular in Mexico, and sometimes linked to the illicit drug trade, the skeleton saint known as La Santa Muerte in recent years has found a robust and diverse following north of the border: immigrant small business owners, artists, gay activists and the poor, among others _ many of them non-Latinos and not all involved with organized religion. Top Stories Some devotees pray to the saint by building altars and offering votive candles, fruits, tequila, cigarettes _ even lines of cocaine in some cases _ in exchange for wishes, Chesnut said. A red La Santa Muerte, her best-selling image, helps in matters of love. Gold ones aid with employment and white ones give protection. Meanwhile, a black Santa Muerte can provide vengeance.“She’s my queen,” said Arely Vazquez Gonzalez, a Mexican immigrant and transgender woman who oversees a large altar inside her Queens, New York apartment. Against one wall of her bedroom altar is a tall, sitting Santa Muerte statue in a black dress surrounded by offerings of tequila.Gonzalez, who sports a tattoo of La Santa Muerte on her back, holds an annual event in August in the saint’s honor, with mariachis and a feast.“All I have to do I ask for her guidance and she provides me with what I need,” she said.The origins of La Santa Muerte are unclear. Some followers say she is an incarnation of an Aztec goddess of death who ruled the underworld. Some scholars say she originated in medieval Spain through the image of La Parca, a female Grim Reaper, who was used by friars for the later evangelization of indigenous populations in the Americas. 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Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Latvia, which gained its independence after World War I, was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, then by Nazi Germany a year later, and again by the Soviets in 1944. During the Nazi occupation thousands of Latvians were forcibly conscripted into the Waffen SS divisions, and many Latvians consider them to be heroes who fought for independence from communism.Some 250,000 Latvians fought alongside either the Germans or the Soviets, with approximately 150,000 eventually dying in battles.Nearly 80,000 Jews, or 90 percent of Latvia’s prewar Jewish population, were killed in 1941-42, or before the formation of the Latvian Waffen SS units. This, claim many Latvians, shows the unit did not have a role in the Holocaust.On Saturday, the Latvians walked from a cathedral in downtown Riga, the nation’s capital, to lay flowers at the nearby Freedom Monument, where they were met by a small group of protesters.Like in previous years, those protesting the commemoration hung pictures of the Holocaust on a mock death camp fence, but this time they used two large speakers to blare an air-raid siren, Russian language music, and finally a list of crimes committed in Latvia during World War II. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement RIGA, Latvia (AP) – Over a thousand Latvians on Saturday commemorated Nazi-allied World War II soldiers while police used force to prevent violence from erupting between participants and ethnic Russians, who are a minority in the country.Many Latvians consider March 16, or Legionnaires Day, an opportunity to commemorate war veterans, while Russians see it as an attempt to glorify fascism and whitewash a black chapter in Latvia’s history. The cacophony incensed a handful of commemoration participants, including nationalist lawmakers Raivis Dzintars and Janis Dombrava, who approached protesters and tried to tear down the photographs.Police dragged the participants away, and an additional group of riot police was summoned to surround protesters and force them to turn off the speakers.Police said four people were detained at Saturday’s event.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Top Stories Sponsored Stories 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments Share
Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy WASHINGTON (AP) — If you want a job, take note. These sectors are on a hiring roll: Health care, business services and hospitality.Health care alone accounted for more than 20 percent of U.S. job growth in May, adding to the outsized growth the industry has produced over the past year. The health care category includes hospitals, doctors’ offices, dentists, outpatient care centers and home health care companies. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments Share Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home About 14 percent of May’s job growth came from administrative and support services. That job category ranges from secretaries and office temp workers to security guards and janitors.The leisure and hospitality sector has also been stepping up hiring, a sign that operators of restaurants, hotels and recreational facilities are feeling confident about customer traffic.Overall, U.S. employers added 280,000 jobs in May. The unemployment rate edged up to 5.5 percent, reflecting an influx of people looking for jobs and not all of them finding work. The gains were widespread, with only one sector — information — losing jobs.Here’s a look at the jobs added or lost in each major industry category:Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Sponsored Stories
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A senior commander with the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab has been killed in a U.S. drone strike in southwestern Somalia, a Somali official and a militant commander said Thursday.The attack Wednesday night targeted a vehicle in which the al-Shabab commander, Ismael Jabhad, and three other fighters were traveling near the rebel-held town of Bardhere, a Somali intelligence official told The Associated Press. The official insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. An al-Shabab official named Abu Mohammed confirmed the attack but gave no details.The U.S. has carried out many airstrikes in Somalia targeting leaders of al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida.Al-Shabab is responsible for carrying out a series of deadly attacks on civilians, government troops and African Union forces across Somalia. The group has also carried out attacks in Kenya and Uganda, countries that have sent troops to Somalia as part of the African Union force protecting Somalia’s weak federal government.Al-Shabab militants have been pushed out of much of the territory they once controlled across the Horn of Africa nation, including the capital, Mogadishu. But the rebels remain a lethal threat, frequently carrying out drive-by shootings, suicide bombings and other attacks.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Check your body, save your life 0 Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Sponsored Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes
Sponsored Stories KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Hundreds of Ukrainian right-wingers were rallying in Kiev on Tuesday to protest against government policies in the wake of a deadly stand-off between radical nationalists and police in the country’s west.The radical Right Sector group was one of the most militant factions in the massive protests in Ukraine’s capital that prompted pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country in February 2014. Since the war broke out in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russia separatists several months later, the Right Sector has fought on the government side. However, Right Sector militants keep running into disputes with local Ukrainian authorities and Amnesty International has accused the group of holding civilians as prisoners and torturing them. The activists claim they are trying to clamp down on corruption and nepotism but Ukrainian authorities accuse Right Sector of using violence to reach its goals.Speaking Tuesday at the national Right Sector congress, group leader Dmytro Yarosh called for a referendum to impeach President Petro Poroshenko and his government.Yarosh also called for the recognition of volunteer battalions and their right to carry arms as well as introducing martial law, which he said, will help defeat the rebels in the east.Right Sector supporters gathered on Tuesday evening on Kiev’s main square to support Yarosh’s motion. Most of them were civilians and appeared to be unarmed, although some young men wore camouflage.Yarosh told the supporters at the square that the new government that replaced Yanukovych’s regime was only about “changing names” but not the political system.“We are an organized revolutionary force that is opening the new phase of the Ukrainian revolution,” he told the rally. Members of the right sector sing the national anthem during a rally in center Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 21, 2015. The radical Right Sector group was one of the most militant factions in the massive protests in Ukraine’s capital that prompted pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country in February 2014. Since war broke out in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russia separatists several months later, the Right Sector has fought on the government side. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Patients with chronic pain give advice Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments Share The Right Sector leader garnered about 1 percent of the vote in the May 2014 presidential election. His radical anti-Russian stance prompted the Kremlin to dismiss the uprising in Kiev as a neo-Nazi coup.The Ukrainian government has attempted to rein in the volunteer battalions who often took frontline positions in eastern Ukraine where soldiers were reluctant to go by encouraging them to join the National Guard and police forces. In reality, hundreds of men in government-controlled eastern Ukraine still carry arms without any authorization.Two Right Sector members were killed earlier this month after the group attacked police in the western city of Mukacheve with gunfire and grenades. Police responded and then surrounded some gunmen in a wooded area of Mukacheve and have been trying to negotiate their surrender since then.Right Sector insists that the men were trying to confront local policemen who he said were involved in a major smuggling business in the region.Yarosh accused the government of deploying troops and weaponry to hunt down the Right Sector members instead of focusing on the war in the east: “Our guys were spilling their blood (in the east) but now they are being punished behind the lines.” In a sign that he does not control the men in Mukacheve, he said Tuesday he did not know for sure how many men were still out there but said it was likely to be nine. He also dismissed reports that Right Sector fighters are roaming the country with the arms they were given to fight the rebels in the east.The stand-off in Mukacheve has caused a split in Right Sector with several dozen fighters quitting the battalion to join other battalions in protest.___Nataliya Vasilyeva contributed to this report from Moscow.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories
Networking and web security giant Cloudflare says the recent 8chan controversy may be an ongoing “risk factor” for its business on the back of its upcoming initial public offering.The San Francisco-based company and former Battlefield finalist, which filed its IPO paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, earlier this month took the rare step of pulling the plug on one of its customers, 8chan, an anonymous message board linked to recent domestic terrorist attacks in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which killed 31 people. The site is also linked to the shootings in New Zealand, which killed 50 people.8chan became the second customer to have its service cut off by Cloudflare in the aftermath of the attacks. The first and other time Cloudflare booted one of its customers was neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer in 2017, after it claimed the networking giant was secretly supportive of the website.Cloudflare, which provides web security and denial-of-service protection for websites, recognizes those customer cut-offs as a risk factor for investors buying shares in the company’s common stock.“Activities of our paying and free customers or the content of their websites and other Internet properties could cause us to experience significant adverse political, business, and reputational consequences with customers, employees, suppliers, government entities, and other third parties,” the filing said. “Even if we comply with legal obligations to remove or disable customer content, we may maintain relationships with customers that others find hostile, offensive, or inappropriate.”Cloudflare had long taken a stance of not policing who it provides service to, citing freedom of speech. In a 2015 interview with ZDNet, chief executive Matthew Prince said he didn’t ever want to be in a position where he was making “moral judgments on what’s good and bad,” and would instead defer to the courts.“If a final court order comes down and says we can’t do something… governments have tanks and guns,” he said.But since Prince changed his stance on both The Daily Stormer and 8chan, the company recognized it “experienced significant negative publicity” in the aftermath.“We are aware of some potential customers that have indicated their decision to not subscribe to our products was impacted, at least in part, by the actions of certain of our paying and free customers,” said the filing. “We may also experience other adverse political, business and reputational consequences with prospective and current customers, employees, suppliers, and others related to the activities of our paying and free customers, especially if such hostile, offensive, or inappropriate use is high profile.”Cloudflare has also come under fire in recent months for allegedly supplying web protection services to sites that promote and support terrorism, including al-Shabaab and the Taliban, both of which are covered under U.S. Treasury sanctions.In response, the company said it tries “to be neutral,” but wouldn’t comment specifically on the matter.Cloudflare files for initial public offering
Alice Lloyd GeorgeContributorShare on Twitter Alice Lloyd George is an early stage investor based in New York and the host of Flux, a series of podcast conversations with leaders in frontier technology. More posts by this contributorOne billion 3D views and countingThomas Reardon and CTRL-Labs are building an API for the brainIn the latest episode of Flux podcast, I sit down with Eric Marcotulli, the co-founder of Elysium, a life sciences company developing consumer-facing health products based on aging research. The company’s first product is Basis, a supplement that combines compounds designed to increase NAD levels and activate sirtuins, boosting cellular health and longevity.In this conversation we discuss why precursor companies failed, including Cambridge-based Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, which was bought for $720 million in 2008. Eric explains how Elysium is a platform-based company that will sell a host of products and diagnostics, why he believes direct to consumer is the best market strategy, and what the current user base looks like. The company just announced a new clinical trial this week. Eric gets into the importance of bringing academic rigor and peer review to the supplement category, how he plans to build consumer trust and ultimately pull it into the mainstream. He shares why he believes in open source research, how cellular senescence is a particular area of interest right now, what his personal health routine is and how he thinks about the singularity.An excerpt of our conversation is published below. Full transcript on Medium.Eric Marcotulli — Bottling the Fountain of YouthALG: Welcome everyone to the latest episode of Flux. I’m excited to have Eric Marcotulli here today. He is the co-founder and CEO of Elysium Health a company that is rethinking healthcare whose first product is a science based supplement that promotes cellular health. Welcome.EM: Thank you.ALG: Appreciate it. I’ve been excited about your company for a long time. It’s nice to meet in person.EM: Likewise.ALG: As a New York based VC it’s also great to meet New York based companies, especially science focused companies. I’d love to start by hearing the beginnings of Elysium. You started the company in 2014. I talked to one of your investors last summer, he said to ask you the story of how you met your co-founder at Equinox — is that true?EM: So there’s two co-founders and they both have their own stories. I’ll start with my scientific co-founder, Leonard Guarente. Leonard’s run the biology of aging Lab at MIT for the last 25 to 30 years. I didn’t set out to become an entrepreneur. It was a confluence of events.If you go back to 2011, 2012 I was in business school and in one of my classes we were studying a company that in the field of aging is well known but outside is not. It’s called Sirtris Pharmaceuticals and it was a Boston based biotech company going back to the mid 2000s. What’s interesting about this company is they were studying processes of aging and they identified one in particular. It was a class of genes that we now affectionately refer to as longevity genes. They’re called sirtuins. What they identified was that these genes are found in every living thing and that the activity level of these genes decreases through the normal course of aging. And when they reactivated these genes they saw amazing benefits, regardless of which model or organism you were looking at. They would live to the human equivalent of 120 years old. They don’t get cancer. They don’t gain weight.ALG: You mean the mice?EM: That’s right. Life is pretty good at this point if you’re a mouse. It was a monumental discovery in terms of aging research and it got the researchers nominated for the Nobel Prize. One of the researchers involved in that series of discoveries in the late 90s early 2000s went off to Harvard to open his own lab. And being more risk-seeking he was screening for natural molecules that could potentially activate these genes. The hypothesis there, which has since carried over to Elysium, is that aging itself isn’t a disease. It’s about the interconnected degradation or failure of our own biological processes and metabolisms. There is a prevailing hypothesis we are seeing develop that natural compounds will be the most effective interventions. That was the approach taken there, and the researcher’s name is David Sinclair. He screened natural product libraries for potential hits that could activate these genes.And he found one, a derivative of red wine called resveratrol. Some people have heard of this. If you look back at the ‘04 ‘05 time frame there was a massive spike in red wine sales due to all the media coverage around it. So they started a company, Sirtris. So they make you the protagonist in this case study, and you have to make a decision as the management of the company. What was interesting was that you have a natural product and that aging isn’t a disease. To try and create a traditional pharmaceutical company and go after diseases you’d be trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. You’d likely have to modify the molecule, you would have to start looking at disease models. On the other hand, you could build a direct to consumer company, where you don’t have to modify the molecule, and aging isn’t a disease so you don’t have to go through a laborious long-term and huge cost effort from an approval standpoint. We debated the merits of both of these business models. I was firmly in the camp of the consumer facing effort, because I was reading this research and saying, how could anybody sitting in this room not want this for themselves or their parents or their friends?ALG: Right.EM: It ends up not mattering which position you take. [In 2008] GlaxoSmithKline stepped in and bought the company for almost three quarters of a billion in cash, before they read any human data. I was fascinated at this point with the research. If you had played word association with me going into that class and you said “anti-aging” and “longevity” I would have just rattled off “late-night infomercials” and “snake oil.”ALG: So that class awakened you to the industry and got you interested?EM: That’s right. I didn’t know this was something you could study. Aging — most people think it’s an unstoppable ambiguous force. But it’s not. It’s something that we can now quantify and measure and potentially intervene. That was new to me, the fact that people at MIT and Harvard were studying this and making progress. So I left that fascinated. Shortly thereafter I reached out directly to the the the MIT professor who was the original discoverer of these genes, the sirtuins. I reached out to the scientific co-founder at Harvard. The question I had was, whatever happened to this? Because now it’s almost a decade since the acquisition. There had been little news on it. If you fast forward to today the MIT professor, the one where they made the original discoveries of the longevity genes, is now the co-founder of Elysium.Elysium Health co-founders Eric Marcotulli, Dan Alminana, Leonard Guarente.ALG: Leonard?EM: Yes. Dr. Guarente. Or Lenny as we call him. Lenny and I just started off with conversations around how the research had progressed. At one point Lenny called me and said, “I’ve been approached by a Japanese venture capitalist who has invested in a company in Taiwan. They believe they have a potent sirtuin activating compound that’s very different from the resveratrol molecule.” He said, “I know nothing about the business side of things. We’re dealing with a venture capitalist and you’re a venture capitalist.” I was at the time — before business school I was at Bain Capital Ventures, after I was at Sequoia. He said, “would you want to go with me to look at this potential molecule?”I said, “I don’t know how much help I can be but I’m happy to go with you.” So Lenny and I met for the first time six months after our first phone call. This was late 2012. We met in San Francisco International Airport and went to Taiwan for a few days. It was a fascinating experience. We ultimately passed on that molecule despite some interesting research. But it was through that that Lenny and I came up with this idea that you could build a direct to consumer facing effort and that there would be more of these types of products, that it wasn’t limited to a single product idea. So this was the vision for creating a platform-based company.ALG: So that’s how you met him. And it sounds like you explored a couple of different routes in terms of what molecules could stimulate sirtuins right?EM: That’s right.ALG: And the one you ultimately went for first is NAD?EM: So there’s two components to the product we have today, which is called Basis. One of the things that Lenny and his constituencies in the research community had identified was that sirtuins are dependent on a coenzyme called NAD. We didn’t know that at the time that Sirtris was founded. It’s the production of NAD — a coenzyme, a fuel that’s used in a variety of reactions at the metabolic level — it was actually the production of this coenzyme that was decreasing in all of these living things. So NAD itself is not new. We’ve known about it for a hundred years. Two Nobel prizes have been awarded for elucidating its function. It’s important for things like DNA maintenance and repair, the creation of energy, the way the cells communicate both internally and with one another. Without NAD you’d be dead in under a minute. It’s very important. So this idea that it was decreasing, which we didn’t know until 2012, was a monumental discovery.ALG: Decreasing over a mouse or human lifespan?EM: Universally. Whether you’re a plant, animal, bacteria — doesn’t matter. You have NAD, you use it for these critical functions and it declines in its production in everything that ages. But not every living thing ages. Jellyfish don’t age for example.ALG: Oh wow. What’s going on with their NAD?EM: Well we don’t know yet. But it’s a small number [of organisms]. In everything else you see this decrease [in NAD] when the organism ages. Since we didn’t know this, Lenny said trying to activate these sirtuins would have been a failure regardless. So what we first need to do is restore levels of NAD. Then we need to activate these sirtuins. And we know that resveratrol does not work in humans. So that was another discovery that happened in the subsequent time period after the acquisition.ALG: So all the red wine articles are baloney?EM: Well interestingly if you drink red wine you do get the benefit of sirtuin activation. You just have to drink quite a bit of it.ALG: I can do that.EM: Ha most people say that. So that’s just an example of removing a high purity molecule from its natural carrier state in the wine to a pill as an example, which was a failure in humans. So we identified a cousin of resveratrol called pterostilbene [an antioxidant], which from a structural standpoint, at the molecular level, is more stable.ALG: The stuff found in blueberries?EM: That’s right. If you could choose one food for the rest of your life my recommendation would be blueberries. Some people would disagree with me. Maybe it’s wine. But that was the idea behind Basis. First we need to restore levels of NAD. Secondly we can then go in and activate these longevity genes. And that there would be a synergy associated with that. The best way to think about it would be sports cars. If you’re activating sirtuins it’s like putting a turbo in the engine, but the car still requires some energy source. So if there’s no gasoline, or if you own a Tesla and there’s no battery power, it’s not going to work. But once you have the two of them together there’s a supercar.ALG: It’s actually an analogy a lot of people use for aging. I don’t know if you know Aubrey de Grey and the SENS foundation, but he talks about aging as a disease. That it’s just like a car and we need to figure out how to repair the car and the many different things that go into that. I also want to ask you more about this reframing of how we think about living longer, and how the healthcare system doesn’t consider aging a problem so far or something to tackle. How does the shift happen?EM: Part of it is, we are going to have to deal with it regardless. Everything we’re seeing now given the advancements in medicine is somehow related to aging. If you survive cancer you are unfortunately going to die from Alzheimer’s or cardiovascular disease or Type 2 diabetes. I won’t get the number exactly right, but if you cured every single form of cancer it would only add about three years of lifespan collectively, on average.ALG: Because there’s going to be another disease that kills you.EM: Correct. So for example, one of the areas we’re interested in is something called acute kidney injury. Thirty percent of people who go in for cardiovascular surgery will develop acute kidney injury, and with too much of it you’ll get kidney failure and dialysis. In 2004 there were just shy of a million cases in the United States of acute kidney injury. In 2014 just 10 years later there were four million cases. It’s not that our surgical techniques changed, it’s that older people are going in for these surgeries more often because our healthcare system is actually getting better. So we’re going to have to deal with these things. Two, from a diagnostic standpoint we are moving — out of necessity, at the research level — into an area where we’re now able to quantify aging. As an example there is an epigenetic test, a cheek swab or a spit tube type test, developed at UCLA in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health. It can basically tell you your biological age. The age on your passport or your driver’s license is your chronological age. But there’s something that the gene activity expression data we collect can tell you about how you are aging.ALG: Is that a hard test to do? I’m sure everyone would want to do that if they could.EM: So we are commercializing this test. Think of it as rings of a tree. Over time you can get a pretty accurate understanding of a single tree. How old is it. Did it go through a bountiful spring or a terrible winter. Was there a forest fire. That’s at the individual level. Then when you look at the macro level, at the forest, you can learn a lot about that particular ecosystem. It’s an oversimplification of the idea but it’s the same thing every time, looking at something called methylation. Every time one of these sites is methylated it leaves a mark. So we can quantify that and say does this intervention or product reverse, slow, or stop the aging process.ALG: That’s a game changer for you right. Because everyone thinks it’s a good idea to take [the product], why not. But without being able to measure a result, it is hard to say. People do report feeling better in the short term — less hangovers etc. I saw one of your advisers say something about his elbows getting softer—EM: Oh Rich.ALG: Yeah. A lot of great side effects that sound like they are worth having anyway. Like great energy peaks.EM: Right. As we move towards aging, we would argue that it should be classified as a disease. But today it’s difficult because it’s not a moment in time diagnosis. It’s not like one day you wake up feeling symptoms and you go to the doctor and he says, “yes we ran the tests and you have aging.” It’s a decades long accumulation of mutations and failures and other things. So these types of diagnostics have been developed by the research community out of necessity. They need to understand does this intervention actually slow, stop, or reverse aging. That’s just one measure. We’re going to see other diagnostics that take shape and form over the next several years. So to your point, that’s important for us. Because one, the conversation today has been around, OK if you can reverse this fundamental process of aging what does it mean for me? It’s one thing to say, the models that exist today could show efficacy in cancer or neurodegenerative diseases et cetera. But there’s been nothing between showing the reversal of that process and the outcome of it from a disease standpoint. So this idea that there’s a middle ground, something where you can say, well the speed at which you’re aging has changed for the better. That is an important step in the entire process.ALG: That’s super exciting. So what does the roadmap look like? Lets get into the product so that listeners who haven’t seen it know. Out the gate, your first product was Basis, the daily supplement which is $50 a month for a subscription, or $480 for the year. And it’s recommended that you take two pills in the morning. So that’s product one. It sounds like there’s a lot of other things in the works? How do the diagnostics fit in?EM: Sure. Going back to the hypothesis for the company — we sought early on to commercialize these technologies on a platform basis. We knew the diagnostics were coming. We knew that there would be other interventions. The third leg of the stool would be things on the digital front or the wearable front. We’re still a bit aways away from seeing the commensurate rigor in that camp. One is — as you mentioned earlier — the diagnostics are important to show the efficacy broadly speaking for these products. The other thing that’s exciting is this idea of N of 1. We’re finally going to be able to move into the realm of personalization. First, is this product working for me? Second, what is it doing for me? Third, how would I have to modify my lifestyle or administration of the product?That’s how we think about the world from a product development standpoint, through these systems. Apple is an exaggerated example but they’ve done a fantastic job from a platform basis — of providing the app store and cloud services to integrate all the devices you have. What’s interesting about these diagnostics that we’re developing is that they are very much a subscription in nature. What you’re doing today is going to be different to what you’re doing tomorrow. Your health status may change for a whole host of reasons, genetic or otherwise. Since these aren’t just genetic tests looking at your ancestry, our hope is that 5 or 10 years in the future this is part of your annual checkup.ALG: And there’s no negative side effects that we know?EM: No. By and large this is one of the safest products we’ve ever seen, with all of the data that we have and millions and millions of data points in ongoing safety testing. Moving beyond that requires us to prove more digestible and accessible points of understanding. This idea of rate of aging is a step in that direction. We’re also, as an example, doing a study on photo aging of the skin based on both the existing body of literature that’s out there as well as feedback we’ve had from customers. The conversation changes a lot if I can put you under a special camera that shows the UV damage to your skin and then shows you the before and after of someone who has taken the product for six months and how it changed them. Even just showing wrinkles and things like that. Things that people are used to, from a marketing standpoint, but they might not actually see the science in it today. So there is that evolution. The evolution from, yes we can reverse this fundamental process of aging to, well what does that mean for me? Well it means it’s actually going to change the rate at which you age, which is tied to your health and all these diseases. Well OK, now I can actually tell you that it’s going to do XYZ for your skin, brain or whatever it might be.ALG: You say upfront that this is about improving cellular function, but there’s no guarantee of longevity, though of course the name has connotations there. I’d like to ask your thoughts on longevity. There’s now things like cryo and people are signing up for places like Alcor. Do you think if we all had the ability to live forever, that that would be a good thing?EM: So you skipped over the easier question. We’re focused on healthspan first and foremost. If you go into a room of people, and we do this all the time, and you say to the audience, “We’re going to take a quick poll. How many of you want to live forever? How many of you want to live to 120 or 150? How many of you want to live to 80?” It’s interesting to see the distribution. If you then say, “you are going to live to that age but you’re going to be as healthy as you are today, would you change your answer?” Most people do. So we are first and foremost focused on quality of life and healthspan. The belief is, ultimately if you improve every day, that you’ll have more days on the back end.ALG: So it would be fine to go to 90 with a 20 year old’s full health, then kick the bucket. That’s more the goal.EM: That’s exactly it. We’ve all dealt with it ourselves with loved ones. No one wants to live for another 10 or 20 years in a certain state. Usually the conversation is, what are the implications of that. From our standpoint, every time humanity has had an order of magnitude improvement in health — the introduction of antibiotics for example — I don’t think we’ve ever seen humanity broadly say, we don’t need this or we don’t want it. I do think the question changes with the singularity. Which is living forever.ALG: We should probably do another 40 minutes on the singularity, it’s an important topic.EM: It is. I always say without question in our lifetime we will see a merging with something digital. Musk has announced his Neurolink technology recently and is claiming to make progress on it, so it may happen. We’re not going to be able to predict when it happens. And when it happens it’s going to happen quickly. That’s dangerous for a whole host of reasons. But I’m not sure we have a good answer for, “should we?”ALG: I guess the answer is in splitting the question into healthspan and lifespan. People are generally in agreement on healthspan. Lifespan is more of a question mark.EM: Without question. If you talk to anybody in the aging community at the research level, we would be surprised to hear them say, let’s focus on longevity first. Everybody is actually focused on understanding its implications and its role in human health more broadly and how interventions might change that. Then of course the idea is, well if we can get rid of all these diseases of aging, you would think that you’re going to live longer too. In a higher quality state.ALG: It does amaze me. From a personal perspective I am signed up at Alcor. Do I think it’s going to work? Not really. But I did it for other reasons—EM: Yes. I think we as a group need to hold companies in this space to a higher standard than we have in the last 10 years in terms of these types of things. I always say when someone brings me a product — even the products that I’m interested in — What is the research behind it? Where are the studies published? What do they find? How are they designed? If you just look at the supplement portion of our business, the consumer facing interventions, it’s a $35 billion dollar market in the United States.ALG: And that’s with the current low standards and general snake oil perceptions [in supplements.]EM: Of course. The other thing is, if you stop someone on the street and ask, “what’s your favorite supplement company?” you’re going to get a puzzled look back. No one walks around with a hat or a bag that has one of these companies on it. That’s because they lack legitimacy. That’s a huge part of Elysium’s mission. Hiring with the rigor that you would see in life sciences on the pharma side, into the consumer market. This is part of the shift. We will see legitimate companies not just Elysium, but others in the consumer sphere, changing this conversation. The market will look like a lot of other markets as opposed to this fragmented, untrustworthy one that we see today. That evolution might take a little longer. But ultimately we’re going to end up in a place where people feel good about the products they’re buying, because only the products that work are going to survive.The global supplements market was estimated at USD $115.06 billion in 2018. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.8% in coming years. [Source]ALG: It’s interesting because you’re a pioneer in this area of supplements. There are other supplements startups, such as prenatal which is also taking off. But there’s less controversy — people say, prenatal vitamins? Of course, why wouldn’t you take that. With yours there’s more questions. My point on Alcor and backlash was that people have strong opinions on human longevity.EM: It’s interesting. Our category is hot right now. In a lot of these established categories — take prenatal — there’s great literature supporting the use of folic acid. There’s companies that sell products around that. But they’ll make unique claims or link to literature that’s been done by other companies on other formulations or other delivery methodologies. Those can be dangerous. The data might appear to be good but in fact their own product hasn’t been tested. We have to do it by virtue of what you highlighted, the fact that we are new. But the buyer should beware of whether this exact formulation or exact product was tested for what it’s claiming to accomplish for you.ALG: So you’re trying to do as much as you can in-house, which includes all R&D at the moment?EM: Yes. We have a very open source model. One of the things we did, going back two or three years, was we did a randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study on Basis to show that it could actually restore levels of NAD. We had to show that it actually did what it did. Now that’s mechanism of action in terms of what we’re showing. We didn’t show any tangible health benefits in that particular study, it was just the reversal—ALG: That was the 2017 study?EM: That’s right. It was an important first step to show that.ALG: NAD levels increased by an average of 40 percent in your users?EM: Yes. In a one month span. Then that was sustained over a period of time after that. And it was done safely. But if a traditional pharmaceutical company had done that study they would have just internally validated that the product works, then continued their research. We chose to publish and announce it. What we found was an influx of research interest from MDs and PHDs all around the world who said, “I’m interested in NAD repletion or sirtuin activation, and I now know that your product can safely and sustainably reverse this decline. Would you be willing to work on this particular health problem with me?” So a lot of it we do internally. And a lot of it is also driven by the scientific advisory board or collaborators that approach us and say we’d love to do something with you. This idea of open source is something that’s important to us and we encourage others to pursue it as well.ALG: A lot of exciting stuff going on there. To wrap up is there anything else you want to share about the company or what we should expect in the next six to eight months?EM: In terms of 2019, it is our plan to launch new products in both of the categories we talked about. You’ll see new diagnostics and you’ll see new interventions from us.ALG: Exciting. I can’t wait to see. Thanks Eric for coming on. It’s great to meet and I look forward to seeing the products when they come out.EM: Great. Thank you.ALG: Thank you.
Google publicly disclosed its acquisition of homework helper app Socratic in an announcement this week, detailing the added support for the company’s AI technology and its relaunch on iOS. The acquisition apparently flew under the radar — Google says it bought the app last year.According to one founder’s LinkedIn update, that was in March 2018. Google declined to comment when asked for specifics about the acquisition.Socratic was founded in 2013 by Chris Pedregal and Shreyans Bhansali with the goal of creating a community that made learning accessible to all students.Initially, the app offered a Quora-like Q&A platform where students could ask questions that were answered by experts. By the time Socratic raised $6 million in Series A funding back in 2015, its community had grown to around 500,000 students. The company later evolved to focus less on connecting users and more on utility.It included a feature to take a photo of a homework question in order to get instant explanations through the mobile app launched in 2015. This is similar to many other apps in the space, like Photomath, Mathway, DoYourMath and others.However, Socratic isn’t just a math helper — it can also tackle subjects like science, literature, social studies and more.In February 2018, Socratic announced it would remove the app’s social features. That June, the company said it was closing its Q&A website to user contributions. This decision was met with some backlash from disappointed users.Socratic explained the app and website were different products, and it was strategically choosing to focus on the former.“We, as anyone, are bound by the constraints of reality—you just can’t do everything—which means making decisions and tradeoffs where necessary. This one is particularly painful,” wrote Community Lead Becca McArthur at the time.That strategy, apparently, was to make Socratic a Google AI-powered product. According to Google’s blog post penned by Bhansali — now the engineering manager at Socratic — the updated iOS app uses AI technology to help users.The new version of the iOS app still allows you to snap a photo to get answers, or you can speak your question.For example, if a student takes a photo from a classroom handout or asks a question like “what’s the difference between distance and displacement?,” Socratic will return a top match, followed by explainers, a Q&A section and even related YouTube videos and web links. It’s almost like a custom search engine just for your homework questions.Google also says it has built and trained algorithms that can analyze the student’s question, then identify the underlying concepts in order to point users to these resources. For students who need even more help, the app can break down the concepts into smaller, easy-to-understand lessons.In addition, the app includes subject guides on more than 1,000 higher education and high school topics, developed with help from educators. The study guides can help students prepare for tests or just better learn a particular concept.“In building educational resources for teachers and students, we’ve spent a lot of time talking to them about challenges they face and how we can help,” writes Bhansali. “We’ve heard that students often get ‘stuck’ while studying. When they have questions in the classroom, a teacher can quickly clarify—but it’s frustrating for students who spend hours trying to find answers while studying on their own,” he says.This is where Socratic will help.That said, the acquisition could help Google in other ways, too. In addition to its primary focus as a homework helper, the acquisition could aid Google Assistant technology across platforms, as the virtual assistant could learn to answer more complex questions that Google’s Knowledge Graph didn’t already include.The relaunched, AI-powered version of Socratic by Google arrived on Thursday on iOS, where it also discloses through the app update text the app is now owned by Google.The Android version of the app will launch this fall.Updated, 8/16/19, 3:30 PM ET to note Google’s decline to comment.
Given that esteemed Color Field painter Sam Gilliam‘s career spans more than six decades and his work was first acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1979, it’s surprising that he has never been represented by a New York gallery. But now, with recognition and demand for his work at an all-time high, the artist is joining mega-gallery Pace, which is headquartered in New York with locations worldwide.Gilliam will continue to work with Los Angeles-based gallery David Kordansky, which has represented him since 2013. The artist also had a major exhibition with Mnuchin Gallery in New York in 2017.Gilliam first garnered attention in the mid-1960s for his beveled-edge and drape paintings, which sought to push the boundaries of what a painting could be. He was the first African American artist to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1972.He is one of a number of painters active in the ’60s and ’70s who were celebrated when they emerged, but receded from view in the ensuing decades due to a mix of factors, including his race and the fact that he worked in Washington, DC, outside of a major art-market hub.In recent years, however, the art world has appeared to wake up and take notice of Gilliam’s importance. In 2017, Gilliam returned to the Venice Biennale with a vibrant, unstretched canvas Yves Klein Blue (2017), which welcomed visitors to Giardini’s main pavilion. In 2018, he was the subject of a major retrospective at the Kunstmuseum Basel.Sam Gilliam, Idle Twist(1972). Courtesy of Tom Powel Imaging. © 1972 Sam Gilliam.But the Gilliam renaissance appears to be just beginning. Next month, the Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, New York, launches a long-term display of the artist’s early work from the ’60s and ’70s, putting him in the context of his minimalist and post-minimalist contemporaries, such as Robert Ryman and Mary Corse. Gilliam’s new works on paper are also on view now in a solo exhibition on at the FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea.In a statement, Pace Gallery founder Arne Glimcher called Gilliam “a radical and influential artist” who, by “inventing the path by which the canvas was freed of its support… transformed the possibilities of picture-making internationally.”Gilliam’s auction record was broken three times in 2018—a powerful indicator of the rising demand for his work. Over the course of last year, his top price more than doubled. The current record of $2.2 million was set at Christie’s New York for Lady Day II (1971) in November. Five months prior, a 1967 canvas, FORTH, sold for $1.2 million at Sotheby’s London. That March, a 1968 painting had sold for $885,000 at Sotheby’s New York.Follow artnet News on Facebook: Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Though the opening of Pace Gallery’s new $100 million, eight-story New York headquarters is still weeks away, the gallery is already dominating headlines. Today, Pace announced the launch of PaceX, a new initiative to support projects at the intersection of art and technology.The gallery has hired an all-star team to lead the venture. Christy MacLear, who led an advisory service for artists’ estates and foundations at Sotheby’s Art Agency, Partners until her somewhat abrupt departure last year, has been tapped as CEO of the program. (Prior to Sotheby’s, she served for six years at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, where she was the organization’s first CEO.)AdChoicesADVERTISINGinRead invented by TeadsMollie Dent-Brocklehurst, the former president of Pace London who left to co-found the FuturePace project, has returned to the gallery as chief creative officer of PaceX, while Kathleen Forde will join as the program’s inaugural curator of experiential art. Forde, a well-regarded curator in the sector, previously served as artistic director at large for the media arts space Borusan Contemporary in Istanbul.In an interview with ARTnews, which first reported the story, Pace’s president and CEO Marc Glimcher noted there is currently a lack of infrastructure at the gallery level for tech-minded artists. “In what way is the gallery model equipped to support these artists in the way it supports painters and sculptors?” Glimcher asked.Christy MacLear. Courtesy Sotheby’s.Pace has been moving into the tech sector more aggressively than any other mega-gallery. It opened a permanent gallery space in Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley, in 2016, after operating a pop-up space in Menlo Park out of a former Tesla showroom for two years. The new PaceX program appears to be an outgrowth of Pace Art + Technology, a program launched in 2016 to support collaboration with interdisciplinary art groups, collectives, and studios who work with tech.Pace currently represents the collectives teamLab and Random International, both of which use tech to create crowd-friendly, high-tech, interactive spectacles that have the potential to make as much, if not more, money from ticket revenue as from traditional art sales. In an interview with artnet News earlier this year, Glimcher said he was “pondering” how Pace might incorporate ticketed exhibitions into the current gallery model.Asked what kind of projects PaceX will take on, MacLear told ARTnews: “Bold ones. Projects which match the issues like climate change or social justice that drive artists to new tools and canvases, such as cities or immersive spaces.”Follow artnet News on Facebook: Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.