Target Adds a New Way to Give Gifts This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here and that means almost everyone is shopping. More than ever, there has been an increase in people shopping for gifts online. That’s because it’s essentially taking the easy way out. You don’t have to drive around from store to store, wait in line, and shift through racks and shelves to find what you need. Everything is available at the click of a button.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to online shopping, there are new innovations this holiday season. No longer are there the same old options of giving a gift, money, or a gift card. According to TechCrunch, Target has added something new.

If you’re unsure if someone will like a gift, there’s a new option. You can email them the receipt for what they’re getting. The recipient then has the option to accept the gift, exchange it for something else, or exchange it for money. It’s great for when you’re buying for someone and you’re not %100 sure what they like. This is also great if you’re buying clothes for someone but aren’t quite sure of their size. Many wonder why not just send a gift card? Target views this as a more personal version of a gift card which makes sense. This shows that you at least tried to find something that they would like.

It’ll be interesting to see if this is the way of the future and if other stores will follow suit. It’s not a bad idea because everyone wins with a gift like that. There are still some people out there who are old fashioned and will say nothing beats unwrapping a personal or homemade gift. In today’s society, it’s harder than ever to shop for people. That’s because there’s millions of different gift options and even though you think you know someone, you can still have doubts. That’s why Target is doing this. They want to show that it’s not impossible to shop for the impossible person.

Disney Is Slowly Acquiring Every Entertainment Business, But Is This A Good Thing?

So it’s official, our world is slowly becoming a Disney World with the entertainment mega giants new acquisition. For the, I’m sure, meager sum of $52 billion in stock Disney has acquired 21 St Century Fox’s film division and most of the television entertainment side also. What this means is that Disney is taking over the majority stake in National Geographic programs, Hulu, Sky, and most of the Fox Sports Network. Also, Disney now gets the rights to the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool franchises, so you may see more crossover films than ever. This deal will considerably beef up Disney’s already considerable library, just in time for the planned launch of Disney’s own streaming service in 2019.

I have nothing against Disney. My kids love Disney. We have sung the songs from Frozen more times than I care to announce publicly. My concern is in one entertainment company owning almost every major interest in movies and television. This monopoly could lead to a lack of creativity and competition and an increase in following the movie or tv formula. And yes, every entertainment company has a formula they follow that works in gaining more viewer dollars.

Disney has already made some historic big deals under the leadership of their CEO Mr. Iger: Pixar, Marvel, and Lucas Films. So my question is: When is enough, enough? Like I said, I do not mind Disney films, but I also believe that competition is healthy and can spark more creativity. Of course that is just my opinion, but Disney is welcomed to buy it.

US Government Ponders How To Tax Crypto-Currency Earnings

Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin – these crypto-currencies, once the fringe domain of esoteric geeks and hardcore anarchists, have thundered to the forefront of technology and financial news in 2017. After years of muddling along in the 3-digit range, Bitcoin has now surged past $15,000 in juts a few months. Other crypto-currencies have absorbed the shockwave from Bitcoin’s spiking price, and seen their own skyrocketing prices as well. It seems like you can’t create a crypto-currency right now and not have it shoot up in price.

But how to tax revenue made from overnight Bitcoin fortunes? That’s the question working its way through legislation in the United States right now. So far one representative has proposed the “Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act,” but hasn’t gotten it to the House floor yet in light of other budget and tax matters getting priority.

The larger question is how to regulate crypto-currencies in the future. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is the likely jurisdiction for Bitcoin and its peers. Treating crypto-currencies as a commodity seems the best course, similar to how stocks and bonds are traded. But one snag is the “FIFO accounting mechanism,” which says that gains from trading goods have to be considered on a “first in first out” basis. But there is no difference between the first Bitcoin you bought and the last one; they’re kept in a pool, just numbers stored on a hard drive. Furthermore, crypto-currencies can be traded in fractional amounts, and traded for other crypto-currencies.

One thing we can be sure of is that Uncle Sam will figure out a way to tax crypto-currency profits soon enough. They don’t dare delay when the market cap is becoming a sizable fraction of the US’s GDP.

Clay Siegall: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

The name Clay Siegall may not stand out when being spoken. The name itself is fairly common, but there’s nothin common about the Clay Siegall who’s involved in cancer research. This guy is accomplished in more ways than one, and he has revolutionized the industry thanks to his valiant effort. Clay Siegall is a man of many talents as he is known to be an author, a motivational speaker, a scientist, a mentor and a doctor. The guy just so happens to be the president for one of the world’s top cancer research institutions. On top of that, Siegall has a Ph.D in Genetics from George Washington University, and he has a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Maryland.

Siegall’s valiant quest to fight this deadly disease started out when he was in college. His father struggled with the disease for many years, and it was devastating on his body. At that time, cancer fighting medications were very aggressive, which caused pain, sickness and amputation. Siegall set out on finding more progressive ways for dealing with the disease, which eventually led to the inception of Seattle Genetics. In 1998, Seattle Genetics made its debut, but times were tough in the beginning. The small Seattle-based company wasn’t making much of a profit. Siegall had to readdress the issue as well as readdress the situation. After brainstorming for ideas, Siegall brought in a talented team of salesmen. This implementation would eventually lead to success because this team was securing 7-fugure deals on a consistent basis.

As of today, Seattle Genetics earn its revenue through multiple channels. This includes licensing its own technologies, providing production partnerships and selling its proprietary medications. Seattle Genetics’ ADCETRIS drug has brought in $350 million by itself, and it is one of the most successful cancer fighting medications on the market today. Clay Siegall has done an extraordinary job over the years and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down anytime soon.

How Greg Secker Teaches Forex Trading

Those who want to learn how to make substantial amounts of money in Forex markets (currency trading) need a helping hand. They need help not just learning what they need to know to be effective traders, but they also need software that allows this trading to happen and does so in an easy to use way. Greg Secker is a master at Forex Trading as he learned from the best while working in the financial industry. It was while he was a Vice President at Mellon Financial Corporation, in particular, that he got an up-close look at how their Forex traders employed strategies.

After employing professional strategies when it came to Forex Markets, Greg Secker earned enough money to retire from the industry. Instead, he settled into his London home where he had set up his own Forex trading floor. He eventually grew bored of this and between that and his desire to help others succeed financially he decided to teach others his strategies.

Knowledge to Action Group is the parent company that Greg Secker created to teach others. The workshops about Forex markets that he has developed are offered through his company Learn To Trade. Through this company he offers a free to attend seminar to get people started on the path to effectively trading currencies. This first seminar lasts two hours and is filled with interesting material. During this seminar the attendees can sign up for a two-day course that goes into far greater detail.

Another company George Secker has is SmartCharts Software. This is the software package that people use when actively trading. It’s pretty simple to use and allows the user to track different indexes and make buy and sell orders. During the seminars people are taught the ins and outs of SmartCharts Software so that they can use it effectively.

In order to help others, he also founded the Greg Secker Foundation. This is a nonprofit organization that he established in 2010. It’s an organization that helps children with their education. It also helps build leadership and life skills that will stay with them for a lifetime.

Rick Smith: Bringing Changes to Securus Technologies

Rick Smith is the current chief executive officer of Securus Technologies, and he is vital in making the company one of the leading telecommunications company in North America. The company is serving over 3,000 prisons in the United States and Canada, and they are currently the leading choice of prison authorities when it comes to communication services inside the correctional facility. The reason why they are the first choice when it comes to communication services is because of the high end devices that they create, and another reason is because of the efforts of Rick Smith to promote the company and its products. Read more on PRNewsWire.com.

The current chief executive officer of Securus Technologies worked with a number of companies before, all of them specializing in telecommunications. The last company Rick Smith worked with before transferring to Securus Technologies is Eschelon Telecom Inc., where he served as the president. During his term, he managed to increase the company’s revenue, and he managed to get them out of financial troubles. The board of directors noticed the performance of Rick Smith with Eschelon Telecom Inc., and they ultimately decided to invite him to work for Securus Technologies. Rick Smith accepted the offer, and he joined the company in 2008. According to the board of directors, Rick Smith was chosen because of his expertise in the field of telecommunications. Check this article at Bloomberg.com to know more about Rick Smith.

Their decision to include Rick Smith in the team paid off, as the new chief executive officer immediately released memos and notices on how the company should work to get to the top. Under the leadership of Rick Smith Securus, the company managed to develop devices and products that are considered to be top of the line, providing video calling services and voice calling services for prisoners, with incredible speed. They also created software that helps the jail authorities in monitoring the inmates, increasing the security inside the correctional facilities as well as the community where the facility is located. Rick Smith is also known for spending hundreds of millions of dollars to protect the company’s inventions and patents, and he stated that it is very important to protect their assets so that introduction of fake counterparts can be prevented.

Rick Smith is working hard to expand the company’s presence outside of North America. He is currently studying the possibility of exporting their products and services to Europe and Asia, and he is hoping that new markets would open for Securus Technologies. For the meantime, he is dedicating his time to oversee several products and software that is being developed inside the company. He promised everyone who are using the product from Securus Technologies that more improvements would come, and that the company is dedicated in providing high quality communication services to connect the prisoners with their loved ones outside.

Read: http://cityscene.org/securus-technologies-ceo-rick-smith-cuts-prison-communications-costs/

Why Interswitch has not Made Good its Promise to go Public

In 2016, speculations were rife that Interswitch, a payment processing firm based in Lagos, Nigeria, would be the first African tech firm to be listed both on the Lagos and London stock exchanges. The tech firm would be listed at a $1 billion valuation. All indicators were right, Interswitch had selected investment bankers, and Helios Investment Partner stood by the company as a primary backer.
Almost two years later, Interswitch has not gone public; neither has any other VC backed African tech firm. TechCrunch sought to establish why Interswitch has not made good its promise. However, it appeared as if Interswitch is unwilling to discuss the matter as the spokesperson for the tech firm reserved their comments regarding the pending IPO. Nevertheless, TechCrunch found out that Interswitch had partly addressed the matter in the last quarter of 2016. Through Akeem Lawal, Interswitch divisional officer, Interswitch had blamed “unfavorable equity markets,” while affirming it would go public before the end of 2019.
In pursuit of more information on Interswitch’s delay to go public, TechCrunch sought the opinions of some Nigerian tech insiders. Also, TechCrunch wanted to establish whether another company could be publicly listed before Interswitch.
Tayo Oviosu, the CEO of Paga—a Nigerian mobile money firm—suspects that Interswitch had not gone public owing to macroeconomic dynamics in Nigeria. He added that 2016 was unfavorable economically to launch an IPO. The weak Naira made it impossible to fetch a reasonable IPO valuation or opening share price. Consequently, Interswitch would have been valued lower than its actual market standing. Omobola Johnson, a senior partner at TLCom Capital, echoed Oviosu sentiments. Apparently, all analysts agree that 2016 was a bad year for a private company to go public. Johnson is also a former Minister of Communication Technology.
While Interswitch remains capable of going public anytime, Johnson named some companies which he believes might be listed soon. They include Andela and Flutterwave and Kenya’s Twiga Foods. Nigeria’s 2017 economic outlook is a marked improvement from 2016.

Little Known Factors That Can Shortchange Your Retirement

Preparing for retirement involves much more than applying for Social Security benefits at age 62. It requires potential retirees to engage in purposeful financial planning long before the anticipated retirement takes place. Nationwide Retirement Institute conducted a study of retirees 50+ years. About 900 participants completed the survey and were categorized according to where they were on the retirement spectrum. The first category consisted of participants planning to retire within 10 years, the next category represented those who had been retired for less than 10 years, and the last category included those who had been retired for at least 10 years.

The results of the study revealed that participants have several misconceptions and/or misunderstandings related to Social Security benefits and other retirement-related issues. Participants failed to accurately identify the factors that determine the amount of and taxability of their Social Security benefits. Some did not realize that Social Security is not a retirement plan but is designed to supplement other types of retirement income (pensions, savings, or investment income, etc.). There several factors that can influence Social Security benefits that are not widely known to current and future retirees.

Financial experts indicate that the aforementioned types of issues arise as a result of poor planning and/or misunderstanding the dynamics that influence retirement income and Social Security benefits. Consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable financial investment and planning expert like David Giertz can help potential and existing retirees at every stage of retirement to create and maximize their financial portfolio.

David Giertz, a former leadership executive of Nationwide Financial is an industry professional with decades of success as a wholesale strategist and distributor of a wide range of financial products and services. During his extensive tenure in the financial industry, he has innovated progressive tactics that promote growth and profitability for financial entities and individuals alike.

Find out more about David Giertz: https://thebrotalk.com/investing/even-bros-retire-ohio-investment-advisor-david-giertz-ideas-get-prepared/

Can An AI Attorney Generate Billable Hours?

When most people think about jobs that can be lost to artificial intelligence (AI), their first though is not an attorney’s job. Case Cruncher Alpha‘s founders, Jozef Maruscak, Rebecca Agliolo and Ludwig Bull, saw the outcome of legal cases as something that deep learning could predict. The three were Cambridge law students who started out developing a chatbot to answer legal questions, even though they had no tech background.

 

To test Case Cruncher Alpha’s artificial intelligence, the U.K startup pitted its program against 100 London lawyers. Both the lawyers and Case Cruncher Alpha were given payment protection mis-selling complaints, which were already decided by a Financial Ombudsman Service. The attorneys correctly guessed the outcome of 62.3 percent of the mis-selling complaints, while CaseCruncher Alpha correctly predicted the outcome of 86.6 percent of the complaints.

 

Law firms and other organizations that currently devote resources to legal decision predictions could use Case Cruncher Alpha to do the work faster, and more accurately. Each of the AI company’s customers receive a program tailored to predict specified types of legal cases. Case Cruncher Alpha’s founders are quick to point out that the AI can make predictions when it is asked a precise question; they will be publishing a paper soon that explains exactly predictions their AI can make for organizations.

 

Case Cruncher Alpha’s AI cannot replace a flesh and blood lawyer who empathizes with clients or argues in front of a jury, however, large firms often use junior attorneys to make outcome predictions based on many billable hours of research. Would it be possible for law firms to bill for an AI’s hours or its use in the client’s case? While Case Cruncher Alpha has not released any pricing information yet, a customized AI program will not be cheap.

The Ionity Partnership Increases Electric Car Charging Stations in Europe

Four major car companies may be undertaking an initiative that could yield bold changes for the electric car industry. BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen have launched a project known as “Ionity.” At the core of this partnership is a desire to rapidly expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations in Europe. The partnership’s plans are bold. Hopes exist to add 400 new charging stations by 2020.

 

The Ionity name brings forth 20 new charging stations to Europe by the twilight of 2017. Things are moving fast with this project. In truth, the project must do so. The consumerism of the market dictates such.

 

Electric cars could become the vehicles of the future. Numerous reasons exist why the electric car may continue to appeal to more and more consumers. In time, when the prices on these vehicles drop and several economic models reach the market, the volume of interested buyers should increase substantially. Similarly, when convenience grows, buyers come around to making purchases. Right now, the number of charging stations in the world remains a sore spot for potential buyers. Traveling too far to charge up a vehicle doesn’t exactly add to the convenience factor.

 

More charging stations addresses the inconvenience of traveling great distances to power up a vehicle. Demand for electric cars may increase as more charging stations emerge. Clearly, the four auto manufacturers would wish to see increases in vehicle demand as the industry slowly transitions to electric-powered models from the current fuel-powered ones.

 

The growth of the electric car market won’t make quantum leaps year-to-year. Slow and consistent yearly growth, however, means a lot over time. Chipping away at impediments to purchasing electric cars assists with that growth. Adding more charging stations surely reduces impediments to purchases.