Heello Echoes Twitter, But Adds Group Messaging

first_imgHeello (“HE-low”), a dead ringer for Twitter created by TwitPic founder Noah Everett, just opened to the public. The project was announced a year ago, but it has been silent for most of that time. The original blog post announcing it has been removed (dead link). In fact, the blog link just takes you back to the homepage. Nevertheless, without declaring its intentions, the new Heello has arrived, and it is just like Twitter with one distinguishing feature: group private messaging. You get a user name with an @ sign, and you @ mention people. No hashtags, though. Just like on Twitter, you can choose your basic design and set a background image. Instead of tweets, you post pings. They’re 140 characters long. You have the option to share them to Twitter or Facebook. You can add a photo, which the posted ping will display as an awkwardly cropped version inside the post. You don’t follow. You listen. Listeners, not followers. Get it? And it really has Twitter beat on this one: Instead of the awkward word retweet, on Heello, you echo. You can also have a private conversation with an individual or a group. The group conversations are the one feature that Twitter doesn’t have. But is that reason enough to launch a service that’s otherwise essentially the same (except that it lacks hashtags)?When Everett first talked about Heello, it sounded like it would be something new. Last August, a year ago tomorrow, Everett told the New York Times Heello was “tackling communications with groups, … building services that help bring teams together online.” Group DMs are the only feature in Heello as it launched today that would seem to address that problem, and it’s not exactly a novel idea (see Facebook and Google Plus). Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… So what gives? Where is Heello going with this?On August first, the Heello Twitter account posted this ambiguous message:The “new Heello” sure looks like the old Twitter.It’s worth remarking that the launch of this Twitter clone coincides with Twitter’s launch of its native photo-sharing service. Everett’s other company, TwitPic, has been a default option for uploading photos from many Twitter apps, including official ones, but now Twitter’s in-house photo uploads will threaten that status. In exchange for Twitter building in TwitPic’s functionality, Everett has released an app that copies Twitter. Everett tells VentureBeat that this was “a complete coincidence,” but he’s “glad the timing happened that way.” He goes on in that interview to hint at some upcoming features, all of which sound Twitter-like. Instead of lists, for example, Heello will have channels.Currently, it’s a Web-only app, which is limiting. The homepage says mobile apps are “coming soon.” The main stream has three tabs: your pings, which is the feed of the people to whom you are listening, your replies, and a tab called “What’s Happening?”, which apparently streams all pings live. It tends to lag rather far behind, but right now, it’s a good way to discover people to follow. I mean listen to. jon mitchell Tags:#social networks#web Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts Why does this exist? It’s hard to say right now. Currently, it’s a giant land grab, with people indiscriminately snatching up user names left and right. There’s no way to tell, except by intuition, whether someone is really who they say they are on Heello, and all the juicy user names are probably taken by now. Fake @GooglePlus, fake @MarkZuckerberg, fake @YouTube, all of them have been claimed. You might as well go get yours in the event that Heello makes a name for itself. And hey, for all we know, Twitter could become an ad-riddled mess, and we’ll all be glad to have Heello when that happens. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Ways and Means Approves Bill Exempting Certain Individuals from PPACA’s Individual Mandate

first_imgThe House Ways and Means Committee on September 8 held its first markup since returning from an extended summer break. The committee approved by voice vote the CO-OP Consumer Protection Bill of 2016 (HR 954), legislation that would exempt certain individuals from the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) (P.L. 111-148), individual shared responsibility requirement (also known as the individual mandate).The bill now heads to the House floor. If enacted, certain individuals who had coverage under a terminated qualified health plan funded through the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO–OP) program may be eligible for an exemption from the individual mandate. An amendment, introduced by Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Tex., also approved by voice vote, revised the bill to expand the exemption to individuals who also experienced termination while enrolled in minimum essential coverage. The amendment revised the effective date for months after December 31, 2013.Brady noted that, since passage of the PPACA, some 23 CO-OPs were organized. However, they number around seven today.Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., expressed concern that the bill would provide an incentive for healthier individuals not to purchase health insurance coverage as required because there would no longer be a penalty for not doing so. “We don’t want to incentivize people to not get health insurance,” Becerra said. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., called the bill a “solution to a hypothetical problem,” questioning how a “critically underfunded IRS could administer the exemption retroactively.”JCTAccording to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), individuals are required under the PPACA to maintain minimum essential coverage or make a shared responsibility payment, unless exempt. For 2016, the payment for an individual is $695 or 2.5 percent of annual income, JCT Chief Thomas Barthold, noted. The JCT estimated that the measure would cost about $4 million over the span of 10 years (JCX-69-16).SenateIn the Senate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., introduced the Protection from Obamacare Monopolies Bill on September 7. The measure would exempt from the individual mandate penalty all individuals living in a county with one or no health insurers offering plans on the PPACA Health Insurance Marketplace.“When there’s only one option, that’s not a marketplace, it’s a monopoly,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who cosponsored the measure. “This bill provides desperately needed relief for those who are hit the hardest.”By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News StaffWays and Means Press Release: Chairman Brady Opening Statement at a Markup of Proposals to Improve the Health Care System for More Americanslast_img read more

Are antibiotics turning livestock into superbug factories?

first_img Almost 80% of all antibiotics in the United States aren’t taken by people. They’re given to cows, pigs, and chickens to make them grow more quickly or as a cheap alternative to keeping them healthy. These drugs could give rise to superbugs—bacteria that can’t be treated with modern medicine—and things are only getting worse. In 2013, more than 131,000 tons of antibiotics were used in food animals worldwide; by 2030, it will be more than 200,000 tons.In a paper published today in Science, epidemiologist Thomas Van Boeckel of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and colleagues outline the growing threat—and what can be done about it. Van Boeckel spoke to us about his team’s work. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.Q: What are the threats posed by the overuse of antibiotics in food animals?Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)A: Most antibiotics are used either to prevent disease or to promote growth, and this means exposing healthy animals to antibiotics over long periods of time. If the bacteria that colonize these animals acquire [antibiotic] resistance genes, treatment becomes ineffective: That’s a threat for the livestock sector because you can’t keep your animals healthy. But bacteria in the animals’ gut can also transfer the resistance genes to microbes harmful to humans. We don’t know the magnitude of this process, but given the large amount of antimicrobials used in animals we have good reason to be concerned. [In 2013, researchers showed that people living near pig farms or crop fields fertilized with pig manure are 30% more likely to become infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.]Q: What was the motivation behind your study?A: Most countries have taken baby steps to limit the use of antibiotics in animals: For example, in the United States certain drugs can’t be used in food production, but loopholes in the legislation may still allow antibiotics to be used as growth promoters. If we are serious about antimicrobial resistance, we need more ambitious policies. Last year the United Nations General Assembly asked its member states to take measures to tackle the antimicrobial resistance problem. So we thought it was the best time to test if policies to reduce antibiotic use in animals could work at the global scale.Q: How did you do that?A: We collected data on antibiotic sales and prices for the countries that made them available. Then we tested three different strategies to reduce antibiotic use worldwide. The first one is cutting down meat consumption: In the United States, people eat on average 260 grams of meat per day. Reducing the meat consumption to 165 grams of meat per day—or four standard fast food hamburgers per person—would reduce the global consumption of antimicrobials by more than 20%. But recent history shows that people in low- and middle-income countries who can afford meat tend to eat more of it, so this can’t be the only solution the problem. Are antibiotics turning livestock into superbug factories? By Giorgia GuglielmiSep. 28, 2017 , 2:00 PM A pig outside of its pen.center_img Q: What’s the other strategy you propose?A: Last year, the O’Neill Review, a report on antimicrobial resistance, proposed a cap of 50 milligram of antimicrobials per year per kilogram of animal product. [At the moment there is no cap on antibiotic use.] We calculated that if we applied that cap to China and the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, we could reduce antibiotic use by 60%. The main challenge here is that if we want those legislations to work, they need to be enforced. And this means developing a surveillance system, which might be challenging on a global scale.Q: What’s the third strategy?A: Taxing the antibiotics used in agriculture when they come out of the factory or at the point of import. The idea—which is not new—is to make antibiotics more expensive so that farmers and veterinarians would only use them when necessary. Imposing a 50% tax on antibiotics for food animals could decrease global consumption by more than 30%, and at the same time generate revenues from $1.7 to 4.6 billion, which could be invested into research for new antibiotics or improvements to farm hygiene.Q: Which one do you think is the most effective way to reduce global antibiotic consumption?A: There’s no silver bullet against it, and our solutions are not mutually exclusive. If the three measures were combined and fully implemented, we could reduce the antibiotic consumption up to 80%.Q: What are the limitations of your study?A: The main limitation is that there’s little publicly available information on antibiotic sales and prices, so we had to rely on data from the 38 countries that made them available. It’s crucial that more countries and the animal health industry report how much antibiotic is sold for animals: That would help us more accurately estimate the impact of each strategy. t-loren/iStockphoto last_img read more

Try these places

first_imgHeading out of the city? Then try these places. PuneChef Cheeru and Praful ChandavarkarMalaka SpiceWalk in to Malaka Spice, Pune’s first standalone Pan-Asian restaurant, which dishes out cuisine from the far east countries. The stylish yet cosy restaurant doubles up as an art gallery for upcoming artists. It also has,Heading out of the city? Then try these places.PuneChef Cheeru and Praful ChandavarkarMalaka SpiceWalk in to Malaka Spice, Pune’s first standalone Pan-Asian restaurant, which dishes out cuisine from the far east countries. The stylish yet cosy restaurant doubles up as an art gallery for upcoming artists. It also has a store that sells T-shirts, lamps and bric-a-brac. Meal for two: Rs 2,000 inclusive of taxes.Where: Lane 5, Koregaon Park.Tel: 09823064050.Owner Damayanti Raje Bhosale at AraliyaAraliyaThe store has more than 50 designers on board offering styles for various occasions and prices. Located at Koregaon Park, Araliya also hosts art exhibitions, music launches, wine soirees and soon plans to start poetry reading sessions. Cost: Leggings for Rs 4,500, top with mythological motifs for Rs 5,500 and mesh earrings for Rs 1,400.Where: Lane No 5, Koregaon Park.Tel: 020-65007535.BangaloreAuthor AnitaNair, musician Stanley Pinto with chef Abhijit Saha at CaperberryCaperberryPick any spot and get comfortable at Caperberry. The cosy restaurant serves modern European cuisine. During lunch besides a la carte options Caperberry serves three course executive meals comprising salads, soups and desserts. Meal for two: Rs 1,000 plus taxes.Where: 48/1, Ground Floor, The Estate, 121, Dickenson Road, Bangalore -560042.Tel: 080-25594567; www.caperberry.in Radhika Poddar at CinnamonCinnamonGo to Cinnamon to witness a slice of India. The store owned by Radhika Poddar houses handwoven saris, home decor products and contemporary jewellery. Don’t miss reversible silk saris from Varanasi, scented candles from Kerala and bidri work (a specialised metal handcraft craft) from Andhra Pradesh. Cost: Rs 100 for candles in coconut shells to Rs 25,000 for a sari.Where: 11 Walton Road, Off Lavelle Road.Tel: 080 22212426. MumbaiadvertisementFashion designer Pria Kataria Puri undergoing amarine plant stem facialMyrahIf you are looking for Asian spa treatments, Myrah is a destination. Located at Juhu, the luxury day spa offers Balinese, Thai and Chinese treatments, among others. Don’t miss their signature therapy, royal hibiscus, and caviar body envelopment, a full body wrap that tones the skin. Cost: Treatments range between Rs 1,000 to Rs 9,000 plus taxes.Where: 11 Palm Spring Society Behind Shoppers Stop, Juhu. Tel: 022 26253963; www.myrahspa.com Mora TaaraWhen you enter Mora Taara you are greeted by a pleasant clutter of home decor items like a sleeping elephant and a baby Buddha made out of sandstone. This home accessories and gifts store sources products from China, Thailand and even Mexico: like a cat statue made of resin. Cost: Rs 100 for an ivory candle and Rs 1,00,000 for a drift wood table.Where: G-6 Maini mansion, Peddar Road.Tel: 022-65754822; morataara@gmail.com PunjabAmrinder Singh Chopra, CEO of The Kikar LodgeThe Kikar LodgeNestled in the foothills of the Shivaliks, Kikar Lodge is spread over 1,800 acres of forest. This private forest reserve is around 70 kms from Chandigarh via Mohali and Ropar. Besides watching wild animals and birds in their natural habitat, guests interested in adventure sports can try rappelling, quad biking and zip lining. Where: Village Kangar, Nurpur Bedi District Ropar Tel: 09478964971; www.thekikarlodge.comHyderabadNagarjuna at NN Give a break to desi ghee and head to star Akkikneni Nagarjuna’s restaurant N for a meal cooked in minimal butter or oil. This Hyderabad restaurant offers a mix of Italian, Mediterranean and Thai. Fresh salads are a good option for vegetarians. Others can relish N signatures like rock shrimp tempura and beef steak tenderloin with porcini mushroom sauce.Meal for two: Rs 2,500 plus taxes. Where: Road No 36, Jubille Hills.Tel: 040-20012009. KolkataByLoom Handmade explains ByLoom best. The colourful handwoven saris from the inhouse label Bailou, designed by Bappaditya Biswas, 39, and his wife Rumi, 38, have already made a name for themselves in the city. Bailou loyalists include Amitav Ghosh, Aparna Sen, Kirron Kher and Amit Chaudhuri. Cost: Handmade soaps for Rs 45 to Bailou’s saris for Rs 40,000 plus taxes.Where: 58 B Hindustan Park. Tel: 033 24198727.last_img read more