The return of Madam Mary Broh to clean up Montserrado County as head of the Presidential Cleanup Taskforce has sparked mixed reactions.The former acting mayor of Monrovia resigned in the wake of numerous controversies surrounding her duties at the Monrovia City Corporation and her encounter with the National Legislature. Following her appointment as head of the cleanup taskforce, Madam Broh said she and her team will move in various communities “like a hurricane, sweeping and cleaning up all and everything that looks like debris.” She dubbed herself “Hurricane Mary Broh.”Over the weekend, our reporter witnessed the arrest of three persons who were badly handled on orders of Madam Broh for unruly behavior against her, as well as the breaking down of filthy, unauthorized warehouses and market stalls in Central Monrovia.Madam Broh also claimed that the building housing the Ministry of Gender is dirty.Mohammed Bah of the Mohammed A. Sall Foreign Exchange Bureau, located on Gurley Street, said the destruction of their warehouse was improper and Madam Broh should have warned them instead of tearing it down.He stated that the “manhandling” of one of their customers for speaking up against Broh for breaking down their store was wrong.Martha Diggs, a street peddler said, though Monrovia needs someone like Mary Broh to clean up the city, her approach in destroying things and ordering assaults on persons should not be tolerated.Another street peddler, Saah Tamba argued: “I think it is a positive decision by our President to bring Madam Broh back in the system and we really want to see some transformation, but she must act respectfully.”Other onlookers who our reporter spoke to mostly welcomed the return of hard worker Broh, popularly known as General Broh for the initiative, but said they were afraid of her attitude towards people.They argued that Madam Broh should control her emotion as she goes about dealing with Liberian citizens, while “destroying” their properties.Meanwhile, an employee of the Gender Ministry who begged for anonymity said the “threats and insults of Madam Broh against the Gender Ministry is unwelcome” and as a government institution and a friend to Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell she should have civilly expressed her dissatisfaction with the Ministry ‘s appearance.“To be frank, Mary Broh was missed by everyone in the county because when Monrovia was clean all of us felt good. So Mary Broh was actually missed and if she’s coming back it’s going to be a good one. People will admire the government for that especially the president, but she must act like a professional worker along with her colleagues. The government is one so must be the people who work for it,” the employee said.Known as Mary Break It by many residents of Monrovia, Madam Broh, upon getting the appointment from the President, began operation in Fiamah, where she ordered makeshift structures near the street broken down.She extended her charge to Old Road, where people selling near the road were forced out and structures broken down for being near the road.In Central Monrovia on October 30, 2015, residents of McDonald and Benson Streets were seen moving helter-skelter upon hearing that Madam Broh was somewhere along the Camp Johnson Road heading to their end.Having made the surroundings filthy with empty water plastics and other trash, the residents were seen sweeping the streets, while food sellers were packing their wares in order to avoid arrest or being fined.Although they were doing it in a rush and out of fear, residents spoken to in the wake of the event said they were pleased with Mary Broh’s approach to cleaning Monrovia.“For me, I like the way she is doing it. If you don’t hold the Liberian man with a hard hand, he won’t do anything. See how the appointment of the woman in recent days has made Monrovia clean again? I like her for her hard work,” a woman said.“Go see Fiamah, how she’s broke down all the makeshift structures that were along the road. The whole area is clean, and people don’t have difficulty walking on the side of the road again,” a man eating at a restaurant said.“The only thing I want her to do now is to get to my community, so the landlord I rent from can build a septic tank, as throwing feces in the bush has made the entire place nasty,” another woman said.“The President did well to bring Mary Broh back. The only thing I want her to do now is to get those street sellers who sit right near the road with their goods out of the way. People cannot find their way to pass, and the sellers will be cussing people whereby they sit right on the places we are supposed to pass,” another woman complained.It may be recalled that when Mary Broh was acting City Mayor, she restricted street vendors from occupying Front Street and areas extending to Waterside, leaving Ashmun, Broad and the rest of the streets free of marketing activities.“Our so-called lawmakers are the ones who caused the woman to be sent to GSA. Just go and see GSA how it looks. It is clean and everybody there enjoys working with her. It is the same she did while at the Passport Division at Foreign Affairs. Everything there is straight and it takes you less time to get your passport. The government needs to give three agencies to this woman because she is competent,” a man passing by contributed to the talk.“Monrovia, while Mary Broh was a Mayor could not see dirt. Even if you buy banana or peanut you will wrap the peelings in paper and carry it with you. But see how dirty Monrovia looks now,” a food seller said.The Monrovia City Corporation under Clara Doe-Mvogo is working daily to clean the city; however, she unlike Mary Broh, is quiet and seems not to be educating the public on littering and other ordinances that are to be observed.As a result, the custom of throwing dirt in the street has become a way of life even as sanitation workers are seen cleaning the streets.The duration of the taskforce Madam Broh is heading is not known; however, regardless of the time it will exist, residents are hopeful that Monrovia will be clean for the time she will be in charge of City BeautificationShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Todd Lamirande APTN National NewsThe shovels are in the ground, and demolition has begun.That means a controversial $1.2 billion redevelopment on the outskirts of downtown Ottawa is underway.Known as Zibi, it promises to provide jobs for members of Algonquin First nations.And that was a big part of the message at a news conference Thursday.firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow @toddmetis
Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. 7 Boost Mobile Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. $999 Turo Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) $6 at Tidal Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Post a comment See It See at Amazon An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express $999 Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Best Buy Read the AirPods review Read DJI Osmo Action preview DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Share your voice $999 Angela Lang/CNET Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg won’t attend an international meeting in Canada this week to discuss misinformation and election interference, CNN reports. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg don’t plan to attend a hearing in Canada, later this week, CNN reported Monday, despite being subpoenaed by a Canadian Parliament committee.The Facebook executives were invited earlier this month to appear before the International Grand Committee on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy in Ottawa on May 28, but neither responded. Zuckerberg also ignored requests to address a Canadian committee looking into election meddling and disinformation on Facebook.Not attending the hearing could result in the executives being held in contempt of parliament, but the subpoena can only be enforced if Zuckerberg and Sandberg go to Canada.Lawmakers from about 210 countries are expected to attend the meeting, which is scheduled to be held in Ottawa on Tuesday. Zuckerberg also declined to attend a joint international hearing in London last year to investigate disinformation and election interference.Facebook told CNN that instead of Zuckerberg and Sandberg, it’s sending to the meeting Kevin Chan, its head of public policy for Facebook Canada, and Neil Potts, its director of public policy.Last year, Zuckerberg testified before Congress following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which data from as many as 87 million Facebook users was improperly shared with the political consultancy.Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Read the Rylo camera preview $59 at eBay DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Rylo $299 at Amazon $210 at Best Buy Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Sarah Tew/CNET Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Tags Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. See It Apple iPhone XS Sarah Tew/CNET What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Sarah Tew/CNET Sprint Mark Zuckerberg Facebook Sheryl Sandberg,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. $999 0 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Tags $520 at HP Chris Monroe/CNET Share your voice $155 at Google Express Turo: Save $30 on any car rental See It $60 at Best Buy Comments Tech Industry Sarah Tew/CNET Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X See it The Cheapskate HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) See at Turo Read Google Home Hub review I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Amazon
Road accident illustration by Prothom AloTwo people were killed after a truck plunged into a roadside ditch at Lengra Bazar in Muktagaccha, Mymensingh on Wednesday.The deceased could not be identified immediately.Ali Mahmud, officer-in-charge of Muktagaccha police station, said the accident took place around 6:30am when a Mymensingh-bound truck laden with goods fell into the ditch.The driver and his assistant were killed on the spot.On information, police recovered the bodies and sent them to local hospital for autopsy.
By Susan Haigh, The Associated PressA detailed account of African-American life in the Northeast during World War II, carefully preserved in the basement of the Connecticut State Library, has been uploaded for a new, modern readership.Hunched over a lighted magnifying machine, Christine Gauvreau spent months scrolling through reels of microfilm of Black-owned and operated Connecticut newspapers, preparing them to be digitized. They’re some of the latest entrants in the Chronicling America project, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress to create a national digital database of historically significant U.S. newspapers published between 1690 and 1963.This Nov. 29, 2018 photo shows an original April 23, 1949 copy of the New England Bulletin, Black-owned and operated weekly newspaper in Hartford, Conn. Old microfilm of this and other incarnations of the newspaper are being digitized so they can be available online as part of the United States Newspaper Program. (AP Photo/Susan Haigh)“It’s really a document from the very early civil rights movement in Hartford,” said Gauvreau, who recently finished archiving old issues of the now-defunct Connecticut Chronicle, Hartford Chronicle, Hartford-Springfield Chronicle and New England Bulletin, a family of Black-owned and operated newspapers that began in 1940 and operated consecutively for about a decade.Connecticut’s latest additions to Chronicling America mark the first African-American newspapers added to the project from a Northeast state.The four Connecticut-based weekly newspapers upheld a “crusade tradition” of journalism, Gauvreau said. They pushed for the hiring of Hartford’s first Black firefighters and Black bus drivers; advocated for a law barring racial bias in the National Guard; and exposed substandard housing, inferior quality goods and high prices in Harford’s North End neighborhood. In an April 23, 1949 article, the New England Bulletin criticized the “vacillating stand” taken by Connecticut’s State Board of Education, which agreed to allow public high school field trips to “jimcro” Washington D.C. “even though Negro students are segregated” at certain hotels.In a front page editorial published in May 14, 1949, readers were urged to write to the State Board of Education ask members to “STOP PASSING THE BUCK” and prove “beyond a shadow of a doubt that the board is very much against segregation.” The editorial said the New England Bulletin was taking a stand and criticizing the board for allowing the trips because the decision was “contradictory to the forward-looking policies of the state with regard to any kind of racial injustice.”An Oct. 5, 1946 column by James E. Shankel, editor of the Hartford Chronicle at the time, wrote about “bare-faced racial discrimination” in Connecticut. He noted a member of a New Haven church had come across a letter from an East Haddam developer advertising lakefront lots for sale and how “this summer colony is restricted to the Caucasian race.”“Obviously, this advertising letter form was never intended to fall into the hands of prospective Negro buyers,” Shankel wrote.Other pages of the newspapers provide a window into the culture of the time. Articles cover everything from an Easter sermon at Mount Calvary Baptist Church to performances by musical greats. One advertisement announces a scheduled performance by iconic jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald at the State Theater in Hartford. Written by correspondents stationed throughout the state and region, many articles chronicle the accomplishments of Black residents. One headline announces “City’s Only Army Nurse Returns,” a reference to a Black nurse from Hartford who was honorably discharged from the Army Nursing Corps.“They wanted to tell the story about what was happening in Black Hartford. They also wanted to highlight issues of discrimination. They wanted to celebrate Black achievement at the same time,” said historian and Professor Stacey K. Close, the associate provost and vice president of equity and diversity at Eastern Connecticut State University. “During World War II, there was a push to improve the employment of African-Americans in terms of the city and the state. And this newspaper took up the challenge.”There was also an effort by the newspapers to make the readers aware of what was happening elsewhere, especially in the southern states where many still had family members.“They also made sure that young people knew what was going on in the rest of the country,” Close said.He added “there was an urgency” to what the newspapers were doing.“They were trying to push the city to do better than they had done in the past,” he said. “They were an organization and a paper pushing for social, economic and political change.”
Credit: ACS Nano More information: Ultrathin, Rollable, Paper-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Acoustic Energy Harvesting and Self-Powered Sound Recording ACS Nano, Article ASAP, Publication Date (Web): March 19, 2015. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b00618 Six authors have described their work in harvesting energy in a paper titled “Ultrathin, Rollable, Paper-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Acoustic Energy Harvesting and Self-Powered Sound Recording.” Translation: A paper microphone may help charge your cellphone. Jacob Aron in New Scientist wrote about their work; he said one benefit of such a microphone is that it could harvest acoustic energy to top up a phone charge on the go. The team, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S. and Chongqing University and Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, published their paper in ACS Nano last month. Explore further Device captures energy from walking to recharge wireless gadgets Journal information: ACS Nano This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2015 Tech Xplore The scientists developed a rollable, paper-based triboelectric nanogenerator with 125 μm thickness. It can deliver maximum power density of 121 mW/m2 and 968 W/m3 under a sound pressure of 117 dBSPL. (The amount of power the microphone provides depends on its size, but it’s around 121 milliwatts per square meter.)What is a nanogenerator? Interviewed last year by Paul Weiss, Zhong Lin Wang of Georgia Tech said: “A nanogenerator is a device that utilizes piezoelectrics, triboelectrics, or paraelectrics, or all three of them, to convert mechanical action, thermal action, or other action into electricity for powering small electronic devices, mostly by converting mechanical energy.” As for the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), he explained that this uses the electrostatic charge “created due to the triboelectrification process as a driving force for electron flow to an external load. Using this process today, we can achieve 55 percent energy conversion efficiency, the best so far.”Again, Aron translated what Zhong Wang of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and colleagues actually did to their paper. “They used a laser to zap a grid of microscopic holes in the paper, then coated one side in copper and laid it on top of a thin sheet of Teflon, joining the two sheets at one edge. Sound waves vibrate the two sheets in different ways, causing them to come in and out of contact. This generates an electric charge, similar to the one made when your rub a balloon on your hair, which can charge a phone slowly.”The microphone is the size of a postage stamp. Aron said, “The amount of power the microphone provides depends on its size, but it’s around 121 milliwatts per square meter. ‘It can be made into any size you like,’ says Wang, though he admits a stamp-sized microphone fitted to your phone would only provide a small amount of power rather than fully charging your phone.”The authors of the paper said it can be implemented onto a commercial cell phone for acoustic energy harvesting from human talking. Aron, meanwhile, also wrote about another potential application—the recycling of sound energy from the environment, where one could get “free electricity from the ‘waste’ sounds all around us.”The authors said the concept and design could be applied to a variety of circumstances for energy harvesting or sensing purposes. Some examples they gave would be toward wearable and flexible electronics, military surveillance, jet engine noise reduction, a low-cost implantable human ear and wireless technology applications.Via NewScientist Citation: United States, China team explore energy harvesting (2015, April 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-states-china-team-explore-energy.html
She may have told only her partner and her parents, but data collected by Castlight Health could predict a female employee’s pregnancy before she has announced the news to her co-workers.The San Francisco-based company will make this determination by looking at a woman’s age, the ZIP code she lives in, the number of children who live in this woman’s household, the woman’s search history within the platform’s internal health resource library, what doctors the woman has visited lately, whether a woman has filled a prescription for prenatal vitamins, whether a woman has filled a prescription for birth control and other related digitized data. If the Castlight Health analytics software thinks that a woman may be pregnant, its system sends the individual relevant, personalized health information and advice within the platform.The goal is to empower employees to make better decisions about their health, says Alka Tandon, the Castlight Action product lead. Pregnancy is just one of any number of health conditions that the Castlight Health system can predict. Others include lower back pain, diabetes, hip and knee issues that may require surgery and cardiac care.These conditions be disruptive, expensive or even tragic, so getting personalized healthcare advice when you need it can be crucial — such as when taking steps to prevent a future child from being born with a birth defect. But this peek into the future comes with a high price.“Let’s be clear: There is always risk,” says Kevin Johnson, CEO of the cybersecurity firm Secure Ideas, a team of white-hat hackers paid by companies to break into their security systems. “If anybody tells you that there is no risk involved, punch them in the throat because they are lying to you.”Image credit: ShutterstockYour doctor has your personal health information. So does your insurance company. Now, many companies give employees the option to invite a third-party analytics company into the exam room. That means more eyeballs on your chart — and more potential cracks for that information to get out, according to Johnson.Related: Ready, Set, Hack: Pentagon Invites Hackers to Break Into its Computer SystemsThe question here — and with all exchanges of information in the digital realm — is whether the risk to the individual is worth it. Will this data actually help you make better health decisions? The potential benefits are huge — life changing — but the risks are just as great. The danger of having your health information tampered with is greater than the danger of having almost any other information tampered with. If your credit card security is breached, you can order a new credit card. It’s annoying, Johnson says, but it’s not going to put your life in jeopardy.In some cases, you may not become aware that your health information was tampered with until it’s too late. Johnson explains how this scenario could work. “One of the reasons that people steal health records is to qualify for insurance for themselves. So this person who has stolen my health records so that they can get healthcare is allergic to penicillin, but I am not,” he says. “All of a sudden, I have an emergency and my lungs are having problems, I am sick, I go to the hospital, they pull up my medical records, and because of this bad guy, they now believe that I am allergic to penicillin, so they don’t use it even though it would be the most effective treatment.”The business of analyzing your healthcare data.Healthcare costs have ballooned in the U.S. Employers are hiring these outside, third-party healthcare tech companies because there is more data and computing power than ever before. The goal is both to empower individuals to be proactive in their own care and to lower overall healthcare costs for employers.Image credit: ShutterstockFor example, Castlight Health’s software may help steer an employee away from costly back surgery to a less invasive, cheaper alternative. With the software, every employee gets access to a single, personalized healthcare dashboard that breaks down options by cost. In a testimonial on Castlight Health’s website, IT infrastructure services company Pomeroy said it had been facing projections that healthcare costs for its 3,500 employees would increase by 50 percent over the next four years. It’s been able to save millions of dollars on healthcare costs since implementing Castlight’s software.That has made healthcare tech big business. Other Castlight Health customers include Adobe, CVS Health, Nielsen and Viacom. Last year, Castlight Health had total revenues of $75.3 million, up 65 percent from 2014.Related: Meet the Middlemen Who Connect Hackers for Hire With Corporate AmericaAnother healthcare tech company, Dallas-headquartered HealthMine, collects historic health data from medical and prescription claims, biometric data from fitness and activity trackers and laboratory data from national labs that handle blood screening. Other data that HealthMine uses, such as an individual’s health and exercise habits, is self-reported. All of that information is used to generate a personal health score for employees. That health score is designed to provide recommendations that people understand — and allow them to fully comprehend diagnoses.“If you are diagnosed with hyperlipidemia, do you even know what hyperlipidemia is? Do you know what impact that has onto your life and your lifestyle?” asks Christopher Chang, the company’s chief technology officer. HealthMine aims to make sure the answer to both of those questions is yes.HealthMine does not disclose financial information, but companies like it are part of an exploding sector of the economy sitting at the intersection of healthcare and technology. By 2020, the global healthcare IT market is expected to reach $104.5 billion, according to a report from San Francisco-based market research and consulting company Grand View Research. In the coming years, investors are expected to seek out companies driving innovation around digitizing and integrating health records systems, the report predicts.Playing offense when it comes to privacy concerns.To be sure, these healthcare technology companies are aware of the fence they are dancing on. They understand that consumers are always living with the fear of their private medical information being compromised. “This is definitely a concern that we have addressed from the very beginning as we started to build the product,” says Tandon of Castlight. “It was one that we heard a lot from folks that we interviewed before we even wrote a single line of code.”Castlight keeps all of the data it collects about employees confidential, and its software is HIPAA compliant. “Employers that use our system never, under any circumstance, see individual employee data … the employee data is anonymized, aggregated,” says Jim Rivas, a spokesperson for Castlight, in an email with Entrepreneur.Instead, the Castlight software is able to see the size of a group of no fewer than 40 employees who may be at-risk for a specific condition. Then, Castlight can send tailored recommendations and advice. The minimum size of the at-risk group that Castlight contacts is almost four times the minimum size of 11 individuals for research cells that Medicare and Medicaid require, according to the Research Data Assistance Center for those using Medicare or Medicaid data. Image credit: Ariel Skelley | Getty ImagesRelated: The 12 Trends That Will Drive the Tech Conversation Over the Next YearTo ensure these messages aren’t too invasive, each one goes through a nearly two-day consumer testing process. “If, at any point in those 40 hours, the content is flagged as creepy or insensitive or too personal, we will throw out that content and start again,” Tandon says.At HealthMine, there are only a select few people within the company who have access to data tied to a person’s name. HealthMine also trains support staff to be hyper-vigilant in sniffing out fraudsters who try to break into technical systems by smooth-talking customer service agents. Often data breaches are the result of human error, not technical error, Chang says.And there’s always a way for employees to opt out, although knowledge of the extent of these programs plays a large role, Johnson says. Often, new employees are largely oblivious to what they are agreeing to in the first-day blur on a new job. “This idea that you have to ‘opt in’ sounds really, really, good, but when you start to think about benefits, when you start to think about the amount of paperwork people fill out when they join a company, nobody understands everything they are opting in to,” Johnson says. “So, that isn’t really a protection.”Transparency does go a long way, Chang says. “We explain exactly why we are gathering information, how they might benefit from this, and we try to create a habit loop: What is in it for me? What can I do about it? What do I get out of it?” he says. “You either trust or you don’t trust your employer. And if you don’t trust your employer and you believe that such data will be used against you, you simply opt out. You don’t have to participate.”HealthMine, healthcare management firm Jiff and Castlight Health all encrypt data both at rest and in transit, each company says. That’s a bit technical-wonky, but while it’s relatively standard practice for data to be encrypted, or scrambled, while it’s traveling from one source to another, encrypting data while it is at rest is a higher level of data protection than most companies employ. Having data encrypted at rest means that even if a hacker were able to penetrate a server where data is stored, the hacker would not be able to understand or retrieve that data.CEO Derek Newell (center, striped shirt) working with his team at a Jiff office.Image credit: JiffWe are more willing than ever to live our lives online, but our health information is still private. Consumers are living more and more of their lives online. Our expectations of privacy are being outweighed daily by the desire to get feedback and information. Mark Zuckerberg is partially to thank, or blame, for that.“In the last five years, with the explosion of smartphones and especially social media, people are just so much more comfortable. LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, their lives are online and are shared largely publicly so their tolerance for sharing, they are more likely to share now than they were five years ago for sure,” says Derek Newell, CEO of Jiff.Related: 5 Remarkable Facts About the Future of Health CareEven as consumers live more and more of their lives online in a public format, they are still more hesitant to share health information than they are to post their latest vacation snapshots on Instagram. “Let’s say Facebook took people from willing to share 10 percent to willing to share 90 percent in their personal lives. We have gone from 1 percent willingness to share in the same time period to maybe 50 percent willingness to share” personal health information, Newell says. “People do not want their health information shared in any public way.”Image credit: Portra Images | Getty ImagesMountain View, Calif-headquartered company Jiff works with large corporate clients including Johnson & Johnson, Qualcomm, Activision Blizzard and Red Bull. In addition to gathering medical and biometric data, Jiff uses the search history of employees within the Jiff healthcare system to classify individuals in one of five categories depending on their engagement with their own healthcare: engaged, aspirational, independent, unmotivated, moderate. The company adjusts its outreach to employees based on their personality category.Beyond manila folders.Doctor’s offices aren’t going back to a world filled with manila folders that could easily be misplaced or stolen. Going forward, we are going to have to find a way to manage in a reality where our healthcare data is online and more and more parties are sifting through and sorting it for us.Customers of these third-party data analytics companies need to demand that the companies have gone through rigorous third-party cyber security checks, says Johnson, who runs a company that does just that.Also, one opportunity for the world of healthcare technology to become more secure is for there to be a centrally regulated database that all healthcare data checks against. Then, any malfeasance could be noticed, tracked and flagged. “A great business opportunity is out there right now for somebody right now to solve the problem of the decentralized medical records,” Johnson says.Related: Jump Into the Hot Health-Care Sector With These 10 BusinessesAbout 15 percent of employees opt out of using Jiff’s healthcare software, Newell says. But that means that a solid majority of employees working in companies that Jiff serves opt in. Individuals are willing to take on some level of risk in sharing personal data if they get a service in exchange that improves their life, he says.HealthMine says it’s not in the business of convincing customers to participate in its program. Instead, it presents the potential benefits and lets individuals measure their own temperature for perceived risk.“What we do is expose the value proposition to them such that it outweighs what they perceive as the risks,” Chang says. “It’s no different from you getting up in the morning and getting in a car, bus or subway and going to work and understanding that there is an innate risk in doing so. It’s not our job to basically tell you what you think is risky or not.” 12 min read June 3, 2016 Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 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Clients save up to 20% off with Contiki’s ‘Europe Everyday’ campaign Share Posted by Friday, June 8, 2018 TORONTO – As part of its new campaign, Contiki has penned a “love letter to Europe” in an effort to encourage young Canadians to book a trip during the peak summer months.The ‘Europe Everyday’ campaign, which runs until July 31, allows clients to save up to 20% off on a selection of last-minute Summer Europe adventures that depart this summer, as well as up to $365 off select trips to Europe this fall, winter and spring 2019.“We’re excited to launch this new campaign as an ode to such a beautiful region,” said Sheralyn Berry, President of Contiki Canada. “From the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland to the sheer romanticism of Paris during springtime, we want young Canadians to fall in love with Europe every day of the year.”According to Contiki, while Europe is still primarily seen as a summer vacation destination, the continent has seen a new trend among young travellers visiting during the off-season. Canadians are now seeing endless possibilities in off-peak months, which typically offer lower prices, fewer crowds and Christmas markets.More news: Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyHere are samples of last-minute summer deals, available at up to 20% off:Greek Island Hopping: Three nights in Mykonos, Ios, Santorini and AthensCroatia Island Escape: Island hopping from Hvar, Split, Dubrovnik and other hotspotsMediterranean Escape: Starts in Rome, to the Amalfi coast, ends in AthensHere are autumn itineraries, with savings up to $365 off, departing between October 2018 to March 2019:Simply Italy: 12-day journey that visits Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice and moreMediterranean Highlights: Highlights include Rome, the French Riviera, Barcelona and MadridSpanish Spree: A two-week journey that includes San Sebastian, Ibiza and moreWinter itineraries include the following, with savings up to $365 off, departing between October 2018 to March 2019:Iceland: This four-day adventure includes the Blue Lagoon and a search for the Northern LightsBerlin to Budapest: Ideal for the refined traveller, this journey includes everything from a goulash cooking class to Czech craft beer samplingEuropean Discovery: On this nine-country trip, highlights include a traditional German beer hall and gelateria in RomeMore news: Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsSpring itineraries include the following:Eastern Road: Clients can start in Berlin with the option to loop back around or end in WarsawSpain, Morocco & Portugal: Clients will visit medinas and mosques, cathedrals and kasbahs, and see seven World Heritage SitesWestern Quest: This one-week itinerary highlights the bustling city of Barcelona, the wine region of Bordeaux and the seaside town of San SebastianFor more information go to www.contiki.com/ca/en/activity/europe-everyday. << Previous PostNext Post >> Michael Smith Tags: Coktiki, Europe