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Industry finds ‘devil in the detail’ in TPR’s DB funding code proposals

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first_img“It could push up costs so high that DB pensions become a thing of the past”Susan McIlvogue, head of DB at Hymans RobertsonSusan McIlvogue, head of DB at consultancy Hymans Robertson, said TPR’s proposals will hit remaining open schemes particularly hard, as the same requirements would apply to them as closed schemes.“This could force further DB closures by the back door, by pushing up future service contribution rates, and ultimately lead to the acceleration of the disparity between the security of accrued DB benefits and the level of pension provision for future service and future generations,” she said. “Likewise,” she added, “it could force more stressed employers into insolvency at the expense of trying to secure DB benefits, further tarnishing the reputation of DB in the corporate world, and potentially undermining promising initiatives like collective defined contribution.“Put simply, it could push up costs so high that DB pensions become a thing of the past.”Her comments at least partially echo those of consultancy LCP, which has claimed that hundreds of schemes will have to close, and that employers will be expected to pay more money into the scheme and come under greater pressure to prioritise pension contributions over dividend payments.Bob Scott, senior partner at LCP, said: “There is no doubt that these proposals, coupled with the laws currently going through parliament, mean that the regulator is going to be taking a tougher line on the funding of company pensions and represent a huge shake-up.“There are still nearly 3,000 open defined benefit pension schemes and these proposals could easily lead to a wave of closures.”A TPR spokesperson commented on LCP’s views, which were released on the basis of the consultancy seeing an embargoed copy of today’s consultation document.“We cannot know what the impacts will be yet since this is the first stage of an open consultation,” the spokesperson said. “The first consultation document asks for feedback on a range of proposals and ideas rather than a set of prescriptive measures.“We are mindful of potential impacts on employers and will, after we receive feedback from this consultation exercise, carry out an impact assessment to make sure that member security and impacts on employers are appropriately balanced.”The spokesperson added: “Affordable recovery plans and considerations around employers’ sustainable growth remain key tenets of our approach. Schemes with affordability constraints won’t be required to pay more than they can afford. However, we expect employers who can afford it to support their schemes properly.”On the subject of open schemes, David Fairs, executive director for regulatory policy at TPR, yesterday told journalists there was a large variety of open schemes, with many sharing characteristics of closed schemes.“For those schemes that are essentially closed they will reach a stage of maturity and we think it’s important schemes plan for that,” said Fairs.“For those schemes that are genuinely open with a flow of new entrants they are going to take a very long time to mature, if ever, and so the risk that we will tolerate within those schemes, and therefore the assumptions, means that they can take more investment risk over a very long period.”Investment herding?Investment risk is another of TPR’s main overarching themes, with Aon noting that the consultation document “although this is nominally a funding code there is a lot of material on investment”.This included the introduction of an asset stress test and mandatory de-risking over time.“The investment community will need to engage with this consultation – it cannot be left purely to actuaries”Daniel Haxby, senior risk consultant at AonDaniel Haxby, senior risk consultant at Aon, said: “While TPR states its role is not to direct how trustees should choose to invest, it is difficult to see how the combination of prescriptive journey plan parameters and maximum tolerated risk will not have a major impact on schemes’ asset portfolios.“While funding level de-risking is not ruled out, time based de-risking is definitely ruled in – and the extent to which covenant gives any leeway to investment strategy is uncertain.“The investment community will need to engage with this consultation – it cannot be left purely to actuaries.”Hyman Robertson’s McIlvogue said there seemed to be a “particularly acute” risk of herding with regard to investments, “as schemes going down fast track will all be chasing similar strategies, pushing up the cost of those assets”.TPR has said it does not know how many schemes might adopt the fast track valuation compliance route, as this would depend on the final guidelines for this approach, which will be covered in its second consultation. The possibility of forcing further closure of defined benefit (DB) schemes “by the back door” was among various aspects flagged in a plethora of initial industry reactions to The Pension Regulator’s (TPR) consultation on how it intends to develop a new code of practice for DB funding.Comments were both about what was in the consultation document as well as what was has been left for TPR’s second consultation, such as how it plans to enforce the code and the final guidelines for a proposed standardised “fast track” route to valuation compliance.Paul McGlone, partner at Aon, said: “It’s understandable that a consultation should be open, and not final, but it’s very difficult to comment helpfully on a concept alone, with just a few clues as to where the parameters will be set.”Andrew Coles, CEO of newly-formed pension advisory business Isio, said the regulator’s consultation document posed more questions to the DB pensions industry than it answered.  “A key question is how quickly sponsors have to meet pension deficits and the regulator has reverted to its language of some years ago ‘as quickly as affordable’,” he added. “This could force employers to meet deficits unnecessarily rapidly, and we believe the regulator should focus on defining a short period – the suggestion of six years is mentioned – rather than language which is open to interpretation.”Joe Dabrowski, head of DB, LGPS and standards at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said: “TPR has clearly done a lot of thinking around the eight very sensible guiding principles but there’s usually devil in the detail that will need careful consideration.“This includes the new funding assumptions, assessment and changes proposed to schemes’ ability to benefit from a strong employer covenant,” he added. “It will also effect schemes’ thinking around long-term strategies – and whether to run on, consolidate or buy-out.”Future of open schemesOne of the themes of TPR’s first consultation is open schemes, which the regulator says the DB funding code should address given that the majority of schemes are still open to future accrual and, of those, “an important proportion” of members and assets under management are in schemes open to new members.last_img read more

MBB : Melo plays smart after early foul to stay on court, contribute

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first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 8, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img It took two St. Rose possessions for Syracuse center Fab Melo to pick up his first foul.The problem that haunted him last year looked ready to rear its head again in the Orange’s second exhibition game Tuesday night. Melo slid over late on a drive by St. Rose point guard Andre Pope and hacked him as Pope went up for a layup.Last year, it likely would have been just a matter of minutes before Melo picked up a quick second foul and would be relegated to the bench.But that was the old Melo.‘He’s a lot smarter as a player,’ senior forward Kris Joseph said. ‘For one, he wants to stay in the game. He knows that committing other fouls is going to have him right next to coach on the bench. But at the same time, it doesn’t take away from his defensive aggressiveness.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMelo played a team-high 13 minutes in the first half, and though he did pick up the second foul with just more than 10 minutes until halftime, head coach Jim Boeheim let him play through it. The sophomore flashed quickness and athleticism that was nonexistent for most of last season in Syracuse’s 87-69 exhibition win over St. Rose. He finished with eight points, five rebounds and four blocks. And most of that production came in the first half when Melo was in danger of getting into foul trouble.‘I didn’t even think about it,’ Melo said of picking up a second foul. ‘The problem that I had last year was because I didn’t know what to expect from the referees. Now, I know what to expect, so I won’t do the fouls that I did last year.’Melo said he ran about two miles every day in the offseason, ate better and focused on his footwork to prepare for his sophomore year. That led to him losing 30 pounds, giving him the quickness and agility he has shown in SU’s exhibition games.And despite playing with fouls, the sophomore made his presence felt early on the defensive end.A little more than three minutes in, SU switched to its 2-3 zone defense for the first time. St. Rose forward Brian Hanuschak caught a pass on the baseline and appeared to have an open shot. But Melo came flying over from the middle of the zone and sent Hanuschak’s shot back.‘I lost a lot of weight, and I think that helps me move,’ Melo said. ‘I was a little bit heavier, and I had a lot of weight to move before. Now, I don’t have that much weight, so I’m quicker.’Boeheim did say that Melo’s second foul was silly after the center was called for an offensive foul trying to set a pick.But even with the two fouls, Melo didn’t hesitate to make aggressive plays on both ends of the ball.On one defensive possession, Melo blocked a putback and then drew a charge on St. Rose big man Dominykas Milka in the post. He scored later in the half, crashing the boards and tipping in a Scoop Jardine miss. And just before halftime, Golden Eagles’ guard Travis Gill went at Melo on a fast break, but the center held his ground and picked up his fourth block of the game.He finished the first half with four points, five rebounds and four blocks despite playing with fouls.The heavier, slower Melo of last season may never have had the chance to make those plays.‘Last year, his feet were kind of slow,’ junior guard Brandon Triche said. ‘I think with him losing 30 pounds, he’s able to move now instead of reaching. Now, he’s patient down there. He’s not going for too many pump fakes. And once the ball’s in the air, he’s either getting a blocked shot or a rebound.’[email protected]last_img read more

Carlo Ancelotti confident over Chelsea future as his side face another test today

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first_imgChelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has denied that his job is dependent on the outcome of the Champions League quarter-final with Manchester United.The Blues are trailing 1-0 going into Tuesday’s second leg at Old Trafford.Ancelotti hinted he has received assurances from owner Roman Abramovich that his contract, which runs until 2012, will be honoured.“My future is already decided,” he said. “It is not important that I speak with Roman. I have a contract.”With Chelsea 11 points behind leaders United in the Premier League, a Champions League exit would effectively end their hopes of silverware this season.But Ancelotti, who won the Double in his debut season with the Blues last year, insisted any pressure on him and his players could be used to positively. “I have said many times pressure is not a bad thing,” he said. “It means staying focused, concentrated, giving players a chance to do their best.“To be involved in this game is fantastic for my job, for my career. So I’m not afraid. I’m not worried about this.“I’m happy to have a possibility to be involved in this game, to use my ability and my skill to give the players the skills to play at their best.”Ancelotti was also keen to play down the pressure on striker Fernando Torres, who is yet to score since his British record £50m transfer from Liverpool at the end of January.“Yes he is searching to score a goal but he doesn’t have pressure from us because our aim is that he can play for the squad and his team-mates,” stated Ancelotti. “I never ask my strikers to score a goal. “I’m not interested in a goal for Fernando. I’m interested in Chelsea winning this game. If he scores it’s good for him and for Chelsea, but it’s just important to win here.”Ancelotti suggested Torres could benefit from the return to fitness of his former Liverpool team-mate Yossi Benayoun.During three seasons together with the Reds, the Israeli provided the assist for 10 Torres goals in the Premier League and Champions League.The understanding between the pair was also in evidence against Wigan on Saturday when Benayoun set up Torres for a clear chance, but his shot was saved by keeper Ali Al Habsi.“Yossi knows Fernando very well,” said Ancelotti. “He knows his movement and for this reason I think it can help Fernando.” United striker Wayne Rooney has been in fine form of late, scoring four goals in his last two games, including the decisive strike against Chelsea in the first leg at Stamford Bridge.The 25-year-old is likely to start at Old Trafford, having missed his side’s 2-0 win over Fulham on Saturday because of suspension for swearing at a television camera.However, Ancelotti says he has no special plans to try and nulify the impact of the England forward.“I think that, obviously, Rooney is the most dangerous player in the squad,” said Ancelotti.“We have to pay attention to his position and his performance. We have to do better than we did in the last game. “But we don’t change our shape, our mentality, our philosophy to control Rooney.“We want to play our football at the best level we can.”Asked about United manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s suggestion that Chelsea are “obsessed” with winning the Champions League, Ancelotti said reaching the final was a “dream” that remained a long way off.A 1-0 victory by Chelsea at Old Trafford after extra-time would send the match to a penalty shoot-out, a scenario that would echo the 2008 Champions League final, United beat the Londoners on spot kicks.Pressed on that eventuality, Ancelotti joked that he would take the first spot kick, before admitting that he had not decided who his penalty takers would be. Source: BBClast_img read more

Bulls to move Jabari Parker out of starting lineup after coaching change

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first_imgJabari Parker is moving back to the Bulls’ bench.The Bulls are planning to replace Parker in the starting lineup with Lauri Markkanen, new coach Jim Boylen said Monday to NBC Sports Chicago. Boylen replaced the fired Fred Hoiberg earlier in the day. Bulls F Jabari Parker on his start to season: ‘I’m far away from where I want to be’ Boylen says Markkanen will start against Pacers on Tuesday on @NBCSChicago with Jabari Parker coming off the bench. #Bulls— Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) December 3, 2018Parker began the season as Chicago’s sixth man but moved into the starting lineup after the team was hit with a rash of injuries. He initially appeared unhappy about his bench role.“It would be a huge adjustment for me,” Parker said before the season. “But I just have to change with the times.” Related News Markkanen missed the start of 2018-19 after spraining his elbow in late September. He scored 10 points in his season debut last weekend.The Bulls will face the Pacers on Tuesday. They’ll carry a 5-19 record into that matchup.center_img Chicago Bulls fire head coach Fred Hoiberg Parker, who signed a two-year, $40 million contract with the Bulls this summer, has averaged 16.6 points and 7.4 rebounds in 32.1 minutes per game this season. He has shot just 45.5 percent from the field and 29.5 percent from 3-point range.last_img read more

League One play-offs: Swindon and Preston earn slender first-leg advantages

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first_img Nathan Byrne 1 Nathan Byrne scored one and set up another as Swindon gained the upperhand in their League One play-off semi final with a 2-1 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.The Robins had to come from a goal down after Kieran Freeman opened the scoring for the Blades with a low first time finish after 19 minutes.Byrne then won his side a penalty, but Mark Howard brilliantly saved Ben Gladwin’s spot-kick as the hosts went into the break with a narrow lead.Swindon took just five second-half minutes to equalise as Sam Ricketts headed in from Byrne’s inswinging corner, and Byrne then provided the telling contribution with a driven effort in stoppage time.In the other semi-final, Jermaine Beckford’s early goal means Preston will take a slender into their second leg at Deepdale next week after a 1-0 victory at Chesterfield.The former Leeds and Everton striker capitalised on some hesitant Spireites defending to confidently finish over Tommy Lee in the home goal after just six minutes.Chesterfield midfielder Jimmy Ryan was fortunate to avoid a red card for an elbow on Preston striker Joe Garner, whilst Sam Johnstone denied Gary Roberts late on in the hosts’ clearest opening.The Lilywhites clung on to preserve an advantage for the return leg in their bid to bounce back after agonisingly missing out on automatic promotion on the final day of the season.last_img read more

Evolutionists Turn Misses into Wins

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first_imgEvolutionists have evolved a skill by design – the ability to turn falsification into confirmation.  It’s a kind of philosophical judo, or parry, that can turn the energy of a criticism into a win for Darwin. Convergent turnarounds:  A good example of an evolutionary parry can be seen in a post on Science Daily entitled, “Homoplasy: A Good Thread to Pull to Understand the Evolutionary Ball of Yarn.”  Homoplasy is a jargon term for convergent evolution – the idea that unrelated organisms can converge on the same solution to a problem via evolution.  Three evolutionists funded by the National Science Foundation came up with these whoppers:The authors provide many fascinating examples of homoplasy, including different species of salamanders that independently, through evolution, increased their body-length by increasing the lengths of individual vertebrae.  By contrast, most species grow longer by adding vertebrae through evolution.    The authors also explain how petals in flowers have evolved on six separate occasions in different plants.  A particularly striking example of homoplasy cited by the authors is the evolution of eyes, which evolved many times in different groups of organisms—from invertebrates to mammals—all of which share an identical genetic code for their eyes.If evolving eyes one time is spectacularly hard for a random process, it would seem that multiple independent cases would falsify evolution big time.  Instead, these authors, with taxpayer funding, decided that the damaging evidence was really a triumph for Darwin: “These kinds of examples of genetic and developmental biology help scientists elucidate relationships between organisms, as well as develop a fuller picture of their evolutionary history.”Victory in defeat:  Even when admitting mistakes, evolutionists are never ready to give up on their theory.  An example of unfeigned faith is seen in Live Science, where reporter Natalie Wolchover told how two headline-making fossils touted by their discoverers as human ancestors have turned out to have nothing to do with humans: “they’re probably just non-hominin ape bones.”  Readers might recall how headlines blared in recent years that Orrorin tugenensis,Sahelanthropus tchadensis and Ardipithecus ramidus were shedding light on human evolution (03/05/2004, 10/02/2009, 11/25/2009)  Now that Bernard Wood and Terry Harrison have debunked these claims (02/16/2011), is evolution in trouble?  Not according to them:Skepticism regarding these famous primate fossil finds seems to call into question the rigor of the scientific process within the field of paleoanthropology.  Wood’s and Harrison’s paper certainly makes one wonder: Are these isolated incidents of misinterpretation followed by media hype, or does the problem pervade the whole branch of science?  Is the human evolutionary fossil record a crapshoot?    “No,” said Harrison.  There are reasons why this branch of science may seem messier than most, he said, but all things considered, it is doing extremely well.Harrison’s firm response to Wolchover’s worries recalls the cover story of National Geographic in Nov 2004, “Was Darwin Wrong?” with its confident NO inside (see 10/24/2004 and the resulting letters to the editor, 02/15/2005).Polygamy games:  A particularly bizarre twist on evolutionary parrying was reported in PhysOrg about Mormon history: “Polygamy hurt 19th century Mormon wives’ evolutionary fitness.”  After stating that fitness of “sister wives” decreased in polygamous households (measured by number of children produced), the researchers at Indiana University were left with the conundrum of why evolution would produce polygamy in the first place, whether among human beings or bacteria.  Michael Wade was ready with a ring buoy for Darwin:So if polygamy (or the female equivalent, polyandry) is disadvantageous to most of the sequestered sex and most of the mate-sequestering sex, why should such systems survive?    “The complete answer is still forthcoming,” Wade said.  “One thing we know now, based on rigorous studies in many species, particularly the fruit fly, is that selection can be so strong on males that it can drag the entire species off of a naturally selected viability optimum.”Aside from equating Mormons to fruit flies, Wade seems to have just said that natural selection can drag a species away from increased fitness.  WWDD?  What would Darwin do about that idea?Darwinians appear very adept at turning criticism into praise.  Whether this neat trick justifies evolution as a scientific theory is a different question.  Does it really lead to deeper understanding of evolution, or is it sophistry?It’s sophistry.  See?  Our commentaries are not always verbose.Aside:  Apparently the irony of #1’s headline was lost on the reporters: “…the Evolutionary Ball of Yarn.”  Apt description.(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Mennen and Hynek claim first Cape Epic title

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first_img1 April 2014 Germany’s Robert Mennen and Kristian Hynek of the Czech Republic claimed the overall honours in the Absa Cape Epic on Sunday at Lourensford in the Western Cape, while Denmark’s Annika Langvad and Switzerland’s Arianne Kleinhans lifted the women’s title. The event, the world’s biggest mountain bike stage race, once again attracted the cream of the world’s mountain bike marathoners, many top cross country competitors too, and other intrepid amateurs up for a massive challenge. The Topeak-Ergon pair of Mennen and Hynek won only one stage, the second, but it was enough to move them into the leader’s yellow jersey. They never gave it up by showing the most consistency among the title contenders.‘I never thought I could win’ “I never thought I could win the biggest mountain bike stage race in the world. It feels incredible,” Mennen said after securing victory. He had famously failed to finish the 2013 Cape Epic after colliding with a duiker, which sent him flying over his handlebars, resulting in a broken collarbone. World cross country champion, Switzerland’s Nino Schurter, riding with South African cross country star Philip Buys, came on strong in the latter part of the 718 kilometre race, with the Scott-Odlo MTB Racing capturing victory on stage four and stage six. They also backed off to allow the Scott Factory Racing team of South Africa’s Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns to take the honours on the final stage by just 0.3 seconds. In the end, Schurter and Buys finished fifth overall.‘Unbelievable!’ “Unbelievable! To do this with my two best friends (Heyns and Buys) and the world champion, who has also become our friend, was very special,” an ecstatic Beukes said of the final stage win. The Meerendal Songo Specialized pairing of Christoph Sauser, a four-time winner of the Cape Epic, and Frantisek Rabon, finished second to Topeak-Ergon, with the Bulls 2 combination of Tim Boehme and Simon Stiebjahn placing third. One of the pre-race favourites, the Team Bulls duo of Karl Platt and Urs Huber, failed to finish after Platt picked up an injury. Scott Factory Racing’s Beukes and Heyns were the leading African pairing in sixth place. Erik Kleinhans, the husband of Arianne Kleinhans, and Nico Bell, racing as RECM, were the second South African team in the overall classification, in eighth overall, while Red-E Blend’s Andrew Hill and Charles Keey, in 11th place overall, were the third of the South African teams.Women’s race Team RECM’s Langvad and Kleinhans dominated the women’s race, winning six of the seven stages, but a disastrous first stage, filled with mechanical problems, left them almost 25 minutes down on Meerendal’s Esther Suss of Switzerland and British star Sally Bigham. It took until after stage four for RECM to hit the front in the general classification, but there was no stopping them as they went on to win by close to 38 minutes over Meerendal. Third place went to the Cape Brewing Company combination of Sweden’s Jennie Stenerhag and South Africa’s Theresa Ralph. Kleinhans thanked the South African crowd, who have “adopted me as their daughter.‘Very emotional’ “Their support made me very emotional,” she added. Sasol Racing’s Ischen Stopforth and Yolande De Villiers were the leading South African women’s pair, finishing in sixth place overall, followed Sasol Racing 2’s Yolandi du Toit and Leana de Jager, in seventh, and Pragma Orange Monkey’s Hanlie Booyens and Mariske Strauss, in eighth.last_img read more

Farm Credit Mid-America awards scholarships to college students from Ohio

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Sixteen Ohio college students who are majoring in agriculture and business-related disciplines received scholarships from Farm Credit Mid-America. Scholarships of $1,000 or $1,500 were awarded based on academic record, leadership qualities, and community and school involvement. These awards are part of the organziation’s commitment to develop future leaders in agriculture.“Ushering in the next generation of agriculture is an important part of Farm Credit’s mission to secure the future of our industry, and rewarding standout students is one way of recognizing the achievements of Ohio youth,” said Tara Durbin, senior vice president, financial services. “As future leaders of rural communities and farming, we are eager to support students who strive to achieve success in education and who have a passion for agriculture.”In total, Farm Credit Mid-America awarded 62 college scholarships across its four-state territory of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Scholarships were awarded to customers’ children and grandchildren who are pursuing degrees related to agriculture. Farm Credit also offers scholarships at 16 universities across its four-state territory.Scholarship recipients from Ohio are listed below, along with each student’s hometown and college:• Anna-Marie Stiver of Homerville, University of Dayton• Grant Michael of Baltimore, Ohio State University – Newark• Kyle Daugherty of Fresno, Ohio State University ATI• Kristine Culler of Edgerton, Wilmington College• Katie Frost of Bloomingburg, The Ohio State University• Drew Lament of Lakeview, Eastern Michigan University• Sarah Ann Landis of Farmersville, The Ohio State University• Lindsey Campbell of Minerva, The Ohio State University• Philip Eberly of Wooster, The Ohio State University• Evan Smith of Canal Winchester, Ohio State University ATI• Monique Adam of Howard, University of Findlay• Isaac Inkrott of Leipsic, Ohio Northern University• Garrett Stanfield of Manchester, Redlands Community College in Oklahoma• Justin Haerr of Springfield, The Ohio State University• Erin Gaerke of Russia, The Ohio State University• Sydney Hoffa of Massillon, Auburn UniversityFor additional information on Farm Credit Mid-America’s community engagement efforts, visit e-farmcredit.com/community.last_img read more

How to Avoid Mediocre Co-Founders

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first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting dana oshiro Tags:#start#startups Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Just because your college roommate won the university’s engineering award in 1996, does not mean he’ll perform well in a VP role now. Early-stage startup teams come in many forms and while it’s nice to showcase those founders who began with personal ties, more often than not, these teams fail. Speaking as a recent panel participant at the Girls in Tech Conference, Y Combinator cofounder Jessica Livingston revealed that early-stage companies tend to list recruitment as one of their toughest issues. Said Livingston, “Above all else, never hire a B player – B players hire C players and then you find yourself with a mediocre team. My best advice is to always hire someone more competent than yourself.” Echoing Livingston’s sentiment, Fast Ignite CEO Simeon Simeonov wrote an excellent guest post for Venture Hacks entitled, When to Fire Your Co-Founders. Simeonov argues that weak teams get built when founders fail to anticipate a pivot from the original business plan or model and when they do not spend the time expanding their recruiting network. He offers ten rules for building agile founding teams including using your investor network to recruit, setting clear expectations and agreements and my personal favorite, “[hiring] generalists early and specialists later.”We’ve all seen the early-stage company with one great founder / generalist and an entourage of childhood friends who are ill-equipped to help with anything beyond their lackluster specialities. As Simeonov points out, VC’s just think, “Shoot, this is a backable entrepreneur and the idea may have legs but the two other founders are B players and a poor fit for the company at this point…Frustrating… this could have been a good seed deal. Now it’s too complicated. I’ll pass using some polite non-reason.”You can’t afford to miss out on funding because your uncle fancies himself a salesman or your cousin lent you money and thinks he can dictate your operations. In addition to today’s Venture Hacks post, ReadWriteWeb’s articles on hiring an A team andhiring for the company’s life cycle will help you get the info you need to make the right recruitment decisions. last_img read more

California’s New Mobile App Privacy Guidelines Go Beyond The Law

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first_img“The mobile app industry is growing fast, but it is still in the early stages of development, with practitioners who are not all alert to privacy implications and how to address them. To help educate the industry and promote privacy best practices, the Attorney General’s Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit has prepared Privacy on the Go: Recommendations for the Mobile Ecosystem. The recommendations, which in many places offer greater protection than afforded by existing law, are intended to encourage app developers and other players in the mobile sphere to consider privacy at the outset of the design process.”  California Attorney General Kamala Harris, writing in Privacy On The Go: Recommendations for the Mobile Ecosystem.On Thursday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris released a 22-page report on mobile privacy intended to strengthen user protection and regulation. The document specifically calls for readable privacy policies, transparency when it comes to alerting users if third party vendors collect their personal information, and an end to unnecessary data collection unless it is critical for the app to function. “We are now offering this set of privacy practice recommendations to assist app developers, and others, in considering privacy early in the development process,” Harris wrote in the report, which was completed after dialogue with mobile developers, carriers, manufacturers, advertisers and privacy experts. The report was prompted both by a recent directive from President Obama to define an online strategy to fight terrorism, and by Harris’ own interest in how mobile apps collect user data.In December 2012, Harris sued Delta Air Lines for violating California’s online privacy law and not informing people how their personal data is collected. Before that she was instrumental in getting Apple and Facebook to require that apps display privacy policies. Report CardHarris’ report recommends developers make clear to users the details of just what information they are collecting, how long they store it, and what third parties the data is shared with. It also asks ad networks to do away with tracking devices in favor of “using app-specific and/or temporary device identifiers,” and create plain-language privacy policies that spell out all of the above in layman’s terms. While having app makers follow these guidelines would clearly benefit consumers, the extra red tape probably won’t sit well with most developers.“In general that report is inline with common sense and I agree that apps should be more transparent.  However, with the average price of apps being so low, developers and companies are forced to explore other monetization strategies which almost always involve selling user information to advertisers,” said Jad Meouchy, a developer and founder of Osurv, a custom mobile survey app. “While I agree with all the directives, I don’t see any way to enforce them.”Enforcement Is The IssueThat’s the key issue right now. Since Harris’ report goes above and beyond existing law, these recommendations are just that – recommendations – and are not enforceable by law. Still, they’re a step in the right direction, towards transparency and broader awareness of information. Over time, it’s likely that more states will draft their own recommendations – and even bills that could become mandates. The Future of Privacy Forum‘s director and co-chair, Jules Polonetsky, says California’s recommendations could be a guideline for app makers. “As a best practices guide, the document is very reasonable, and many app developers already comply with the key points the reports make,” he said. Polonetsky also liked the fact that the recommendations’ tone and direction mirror the President’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which calls for a push towards improved telecommunications and information policy. “The guide also supports the direction that the NTIA multi-stakeholder process has taken and will be a useful input into the national effort to come up with an enforceable code of conduct for developers,” he said. Where These Recommendations Go, The Law Is Likely To FollowWith more than half of the U.S. accessing the Internet via mobile devices, more than a million mobile apps available and roughly 1,600 new ones added every day, it’s only a matter of time until recommendations like these become regulations. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing — especially if there is full communication between legislators, developers and consumers. “Our hope is that privacy-respectful practices such as those we are recommending here will be adopted by app developers and others, enabling consumers to make informed choices from the vast array of mobile apps while maintaining the level of privacy control they desire,” the report states. “Our recommendations, which in many places offer greater protection than afforded by existing law, are intended to encourage all players in the mobile marketplace to consider privacy implications at the outset of the design process. They are also intended to encourage the alignment of architectural and functional decisions with the widely accepted Fair Information Practice Principles.”This may very well be the year that the U.S. government steps up to the plate and hammers out laws that actually make sense for all parties concerned. Harris’ plan is a good step towards that goal.Photo courtesy of Shutterstock. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … adam popescu Related Posts Tags:#apps#mobile#privacy#security center_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more