A Portland man was arrested Friday after the stolen pickup he was driving got stuck on a railway crossing near Wintler Park in Vancouver and was hit by a train, Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said.Brandon J. Fulps, 22, of Portland allegedly tried to drive a Ford F-250 around the crossing while the gate was down and emergency lights were flashing. A westbound coal train heading to British Columbia had just cleared the tracks near the Southwest Beach Drive entrance to the waterfront park in Vancouver’s Riverview neighborhood.The pickup got stuck on the tracks and didn’t make it over the crossing. Fulps reportedly got out of the pickup before it was hit by an eastbound freight train heading to Chicago. Fulps traveled east along the tracks and was later found by Vancouver police in the 6500 block of Buena Vista Drive on the north side of state Highway 14. Witnesses positively identified him as the man who fled the pickup, which was previously reported as stolen out of Vancouver, Kapp said. Fulps was booked into the Clark County Jail on Friday on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle.
Portland-based property investment firm Menashe Group is purchasing Main Place, at 1111 Main St., in a $12.15 million deal set to close Tuesday. Jordan Menashe, left, led the transaction for the firm headed by his father, Barry Menashe. It’s the company’s first major investment in Vancouver. One of downtown’s most recognizable buildings, the black glass box known as Main Place, has been purchased by a prominent Portland investment firm that is making its first major plunge into Vancouver real estate.Jordan Menashe, a second-generation family investor in Menashe Properties, couldn’t be more excited. The 27-year-old son of company founder Barry Menashe is cutting his teeth in the family business with the $12.15 million deal that’s scheduled to close Tuesday. “It’s the first transaction I’ve done from start to finish,” said Menashe, who has worked for his father for four years and who’s eager to lead the company’s expansion beyond Portland and its Oregon suburbs. The building at 1111 Main St., constructed in 1991, contains nearly 88,000 square feet of leasable space on seven floors. The purchase deal includes the 230-space parking structure north of the building, on the same block as Main Place, which was valued at $1.2 million. The building’s Class A office space is 80 percent occupied, and the Holland Partner Group, a West Coast developer of multifamily housing, is the largest tenant with 25,000 square feet on 2½ floors. The building is being sold by Main Place Limited Partnership, which was represented by Richard Gress of Realvest Corp., the parent real estate company. Gress said the investor owners had considered selling the property but had not listed it when they were approached by the Menashe Group. Realvest owns about 2,000 multifamily units and Main Place was its last commercial property. The sale was “purely a strategic move on our part,” Gress said. Realvest will continue to manage the building for the Menashe Group, he said.
The owner of a Sifton-area home raided Thursday by the Clark-Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force and her boarder are the primary suspects in an investigation into alleged drug trafficking out of the house.A search warrant affidavit filed in Clark County District Court indicates that investigators suspect homeowner Leslie E. Dyson, 45, who lives at the residence, and her boarder, Katelynn M. Misener, 24, may have been involved in selling heroin and methamphetamine out the house at 7120 N.E. 131st Ave.Charges have not yet been filed against either women in connection with the raid, said Mike Cooke, who heads the regional drug task force. Misener, who has a criminal history of misdemeanor thefts, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of methamphetamine possession in connection with a different case. Dyson, who has no criminal history, was not arrested during the raid.The Clark County Sheriff’s Office had received several complaints from neighbors regarding suspected drug activity at the house and finding drug paraphernalia in their yards from the house’s visitors, according to the affidavit by sheriff’s Detective Brian Kessel.Kessel conducted surveillance on the house several times in September, according to the affidavit.“During my surveillance, I noted significant short-term traffic at the residence,” Kessel wrote. “Based on my training, knowledge and experience, this is consistent with a residence that is involved in distributing controlled substances.”
BEIRUT — The Islamic State group launched an attack Saturday from Turkey on the Syrian border town of Kobani, a Kurdish official and activists said, although Turkey denied that the fighters had used its territory.The assault began when a suicide bomber driving an armored vehicle detonated his explosives on the border crossing, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria’s powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party. The Islamic State group “used to attack the town from three sides,” Khalil said. “Today, they are attacking from four sides.” Turkey, while previously backing the Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad in that country’s civil war, has been hesitant to aid them in Kobani because it fears to stoke Kurdish ambitions for an independent state. Turkey confirmed Saturday that one suicide attack involved a bomb-loaded vehicle that detonated on the Syrian side of the border. But it denied the vehicle came from Turkey, which would be a first for the extremist fighters.“Claims that the vehicle reached the border gate by crossing through Turkish soil are a lie,” read the statement released from the government press office at the border town of Suruc. “Contrary to certain claims, no Turkish official has made any statement claiming that the bomb-loaded vehicle had crossed in from Turkey.”
Galaxy offers first glimpse of new Galaxy Macau convention center ahead of 2021 launch JW Marriott at Galaxy Macau named venue and Galaxy Entertainment Group named Venue Sponsor for 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 Black Tie Gala Dinner Galaxy Entertainment Group announced on Wednesday the launch of its own shuttle bus service transporting passengers between its Cotai integrated resort Galaxy Macau and Kowloon, Hong Kong via the newly opened Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB).The HKMO Express will operate from 07:00 until 04:30 each day, with stops on Shanghai Street and Elements shopping mall in Hong Kong and StarWorld and Galaxy Macau in Macau. Daytime one-way tickets cost HK$160 on weekdays and HK$180 on weekends while nighttime one-way tickets cost HK$180 on weekdays and HK$200 on weekends. Load More RelatedPosts Macau GGR tumbles 8.6% in August Meanwhile, Sands China proclaimed the Parisian Macao as the first Macau IR to receive guests via the HZMB after several busloads of passengers arrived via the One Bus service at 11:00 on Wednesday morning.“Our warmest congratulations on the opening to traffic of the HKZM Bridge, the world’s longest cross-sea bridge,” said Sands China President Dr Wilfred Wong.“The opening of this mega bridge marks another milestone in cross-border integration. It can greatly shorten the traffic time between Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau, thereby contributing to the forming of a ‘one-hour quality living circle’ in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.“This state-level bridge also helps promote exchange and sustainable development in the three regions, while facilitating close connectivity between the cities of the Greater Bay Area.”
The Takeovers Panel stated at the time that the circumstances of the on-market acquisition were unacceptable because, among other reasons, the market was not aware OCP had any security interest in Donaco shares. It subsequently vested the 9.71% stake acquired by OCP between 7 and 31 December 2018 in the Commonwealth.In its own filing, ASIC revealed it will now look to sell those shares vested in the Commonwealth via the use of an investment bank or stockbroker. Donaco to file multiple appeals after arbitrator rules in favor of Thai vendors in Star Vegas land lease dispute The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced it will appoint an investment bank or stockbroker to sell around 80 million shares in ASX-listed Southeast Asian casino operator Donaco International Ltd.The move comes after the country’s Takeovers Panel last week ruled against the acquisition of a 9.71% stake in Donaco by Asian investment firm Orchard Capital Partners (OCP), which had previously taken control of a further 27.25% interest as a result of a defaulted loan repayment. Load More Donaco ready to reset after horror year sees losses widen in FY19 on Cambodia impairment charge RelatedPosts Wynn Resorts shares favored over Wynn Macau: analysts
The number accounted for the majority of the government’s total revenue in 1H19 of MOP$63.86 billion (US$7.93 billion), highlighting the importance of the gaming industry to the local economy.Government expenditure also increased slightly to MOP$35.53 billion but it still managed a significant surplus for the period of MOP$30.53 billion. JW Marriott at Galaxy Macau named venue and Galaxy Entertainment Group named Venue Sponsor for 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 Black Tie Gala Dinner Macau GGR tumbles 8.6% in August RelatedPosts The amount of tax revenue collected by Macau’s government from the six concessionaires climbed 1.9% year-on-year in the six months to 30 June 2019, according to figures released by the Financial Services Bureau this week.Concession revenue totaled MOP$58.40 billion (US$7.25 billion) for the period, comprising MOP$58.19 billion in gaming revenue and MOP$209.7 million in concession revenue from public utility services. Load More Galaxy offers first glimpse of new Galaxy Macau convention center ahead of 2021 launch
Something for the weekend: Many employees will be familiar with waiting for an outcome from a meeting before being able to move ahead on a project or task, but what can help motivate staff during this wait?When patient journalists were waiting for hours for news from government officials recently, they were given pizza and vodka to help them stay motivated.Discussions about Syria between Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and US secretary of state John Kerry took place in Geneva, Switzerland, last week, with numerous journalists waiting in the basement ballroom of the President Wilson Hotel where the talks were ongoing.Reporters were still waiting for the scoop towards midnight when Lavrov rewarded the waiting press for their patience with a stack of pizzas, which he said were a gift from the US delegation to make up for the delay.After journalists polished off the pizza, Lavrov made a re-appearance, this time with two bottles of Russian vodka to help wash down any remaining food. He quipped that the pizza was from the American delegation and the vodka was from the Russian delegation.Here at Employee Benefits, we think pizza and a cheeky tipple is the ideal way to celebrate landing a great story, although hopefully we never have to wait until midnight in a basement!
Swiss banking organisation UBS has decreased its 2016 performance award pool by 17% to CHF2.9 billion.The organisation, which employs 59,387 members of staff, had a performance award pool of CHF3.5 billion in 2015.The performance award pool includes all discretionary performance-based variable awards. It is determined by business performance, including group and division achievements against set performance targets, capital growth, and risk-adjusted profit.The group executive board performance award pool for 2016 was CHF71.9 million, which on a per capita basis, represents a decrease of 16%. The performance award pool for the group executive board is capped at 2.5% of the organisation’s adjusted profit before tax; the 2016 pool is 1.3% of adjusted profit before tax.Ann Godbehere, chair of the compensation committee of the board of directors at UBS, said: “In line with the group and business division performance in 2016, the firm’s total performance award management pool for the year was CHF2.9 billion, down 17% from 2015. As in previous years, the overall performance award pool was determined based on a range of performance considerations, including risk-adjusted profit and capital strength.“Compared with most of our peers’ compensation frameworks, we believe our framework ensures a closer alignment of employee and investor interests by linking a greater proportion of variable compensation to the firm’s own equity and debt instruments and subjecting awards to longer deferral periods.“With this approach, our compensation framework rewards longer-term performance, supports our capital base and allows us to pay competitively.”
The advocate general at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that a UK worker is entitled to holiday pay and that untaken leave may be carried over until it can be used.In the case of C King v The Sash Window Workshop, King, a self-employed salesperson who was paid on a commission-only basis, brought an employment tribunal claim against window and door installation organisation The Sash Window Workshop, seeking compensation for leave that was accrued but not taken, as well as for unpaid holiday days that he had taken over his 13-year tenure. There was no right to paid leave in King’s contract with the organisation.King was dismissed from his role at The Sash Window Workshop in October 2012, effective from his 65th birthday. In December 2012, King brought the case to the Employment Tribunal (ET), which was heard in August 2013.The ET ruled in favour of the holiday pay claim as well as an age discrimination claim brought by King with regards to his dismissal. The ET found that King was a worker for the purposes of the UK Working Time Regulations.The Sash Window Workshop appealed the ET’s decision in favour of the holiday pay claim, taking the case to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). The EAT case, which took place in November 2014, allowed the appeal and remitted this element of King’s claim to be reheard by the ET. Consequently, King appealed to the Court of Appeal In December 2014, with the hearing taking place in February 2016.The Court of Appeal then referred the case to the ECJ to clarify components of European law relating to the Working Time Regulations 1998. This included seeking clarification on whether the worker in question would have to take unpaid leave and only after doing so would be able to test whether he was entitled to holiday pay, whether untaken paid leave can be carried over, and if paid leave can be carried over indefinitely.Advocate general Evgeni Tanchev issued the opinion that it is incompatible with EU law to require a worker to take leave first before being able to establish whether the worker is entitled to be paid.Furthermore, advocate general Tanchev considered that should the worker not be provided an opportunity to exercise the right of taking annual leave, the worker should then be given payment in lieu of untaken leave. He also stated that if the worker does not take all of the entitled annual leave because the employer does not pay the worker for leave taken, the paid leave will carry over until it can be taken.If the employment relationship is terminated, advocate general Tanchev also clarified that the worker is therefore entitled to an allowance in lieu of paid annual leave that has not been taken up until the date on which an adequate facility that for the exercise of the right to pain annual leave has been established.The advocate general’s opinion is not binding on the Court of Justice.Tanchev said: “I appreciate that the answers to the questions referred I am here proposing would require employers rather than workers to take all the necessary steps to ascertain whether they are bound to create an adequate facility for the exercise of the right to paid annual leave, whether those steps be the taking of legal advice, consultation with relevant unions or seeking counsel from Member State bodies that are responsible for the enforcement of labour law.“If an employer does not take such action, it will risk having to make a payment in lieu of unpaid leave on termination of the employment relationship. However, this would be in keeping with guaranteeing the effet utile of the right to paid annual leave, a fundamental right of substantive normative weight in Member State law, EU law, and international law, and would also be consistent with the practical reality, recognised in the Court’s case-law, of the worker’s position as the weaker party in the relationship.”John Turnbull, partner at Trowers and Hamlins, said: “The advocate general’s opinion is of particular significance to the gig economy where, on a number of different occasions, the label of self-employed contractor has been found to conceal an individual’s true status as a worker. Employers who find that those they have always regarded as self-employed contractors, actually have worker status [and] will now potentially be faced with a significant financial liability for unpaid holiday pay.“It will be of some comfort to remember that, under the Deduction from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014 there is now a two year backstop on claims for holiday pay so employers’ liability for unpaid holiday pay will be limited. In the meantime it is not a foregone conclusion that the ECJ will agree with the advocate general’s opinion. The issue will not be finally resolved until the ECJ has handed down its decision.”
Advertised salaries for jobs in the human resources (HR) sector have increased by 2.6% since the end of 2016, according to research by Reed Human Resources.Its analysis of over seven million job postings between 2015 and 2017 also found that advertised salaries for learning and development managers increased by 7% since last year, while job postings for recruitment co-ordinators recorded an advertised salary increase of 6%. Advertised salaries for HR project managers have risen by 5% over the same time period.HR positions advertised in London showed an advertised salary increase of 4.2%, compared to job postings in the North West and East Midlands, where advertised salaries increased by 3.1% and 3% respectively.The number of HR jobs posted has increased by 5% since last year.Chris Adcock, divisional director at Reed HR, said: “Staff turnover costs [organisations] £4.13 billion each year, so [organisations] want to recruit the best HR talent to help cut these costs. As a result, hiring managers are asking their boards to commit more money towards recruitment of new staff, and that is reflected in the advertised salaries.“What this data shows is that, during 2018, those [organisations] which are struggling to attract the right talent will need to be ready to increase the salaries they offer.“As already seen in other sectors, [artificial intelligence] and robotics will naturally replace some roles within the industry. However, [organisations] and candidates know that where there is change there is always opportunity. The key is to embrace the technological revolution. Humans will always be required to operate this innovative and complex technology and we aren’t going to see [artificial intelligence] and robotics technology in the workplace overnight.“Many [organisations] are looking to invest in people with the skills needed to adapt to this new order. HR professionals will need to focus upon demonstrating a strong understanding of how new technology can work effectively and streamline processes, along with varied experience and, as ever, strong people management skills. HR professionals with a combination of these skills will be in great demand in 2018 and beyond.”
MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – An adult male suffering from schizophrenia went missing over the weekend in Miami Gardens.According to Miami Gardens Police, 27-year-old Winston Antonio Jackson, who was last seen on Saturday, at around 10 p.m.Police said Jackson is a black male, standing 5 feet 8 inches, weighing about 140 pounds with short, black hair and brown eyes. The 27-year-old was wearing a black T-shirt, black or blue jean pants and black shoes.He suffers from schizophrenia.If you have information on Jackson’s whereabouts, please call Miami Gardens Police at 305-474-6473 or Detective Coleman at 305-474-1542.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
NEW YORK (AP/WSVN) — New York City police are searching for a man who they say punched a 5-year-old boy on the subway.Police say the boy and his mother were riding through Brooklyn on Saturday when the attack happened. Police say the suspect punched the boy in the face then fled.According to the New York Daily News, the man also yelled “Are you going to cry to ya’ mommy?” before fleeing.The victim suffered bruising on his face and was taken to an area hospital for treatment.Police have released surveillance images of the suspect, and have identified him as 25-year-old Ramon Thomas.An investigation continues.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
(WSVN) – A new policy taking effect October 1st in Michigan means some people who collect food stamps must start working or doing community service to continue receiving benefits.The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has begun enacting the new policy, which says that “able-bodied” people between the ages of 18 and 49 have three months to find a job or lose their benefits.Those affected by the change must work, volunteer or attend job training for an average of 20 hours per week in order to continue receiving food stamps.The policy had previously been in effect in Michigan, but was waived over a decade ago due to high unemployment rates and a struggling economy.Food assistance recipients may be exempt from the work requirements if they meet any of the following federal criteria:Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Officials have lifted a precautionary boil water notice for the Isle of Venice neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale.Residents were advised to boil their water due to emergency infrastructure repairs in the area back on Thursday.Those repairs have since been completed, and on Saturday, the water was deemed safe to drink.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Daniel Antila, age 53 of Soldotna, reportedly punched out the windows at Wildmans, in Cooper Landing. According to Troopers a janitor called to say that Antila was threatening him and damaging the building. Troopers located Antila at Mile 49 of the Sterling Highway. Investigation revealed Antila punched out the windows, and assaulted the janitor. The value of the window and damaged items was approximately $1,400 dollars, according to an online Trooper dispatch. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A Soldotna man was arrested on Wednesday for punching out the windows to a local business in Cooper Landing. Antila was arrested and remanded to Seward Jail. According to Troopers no one else was injured in the incident.
American Business Media has released its year-end 2007 Business Information Network (BIN) numbers, the metrics that track advertising spending by category in b-to-b media. Totals show an overall revenue decline of 2 percent—not a strong finish in the face of a decidedly gloomy 2008 economy. And this after essentially finishing flat at the end of 2006. Among the 21 categories tracked, the steepest revenue declines were computing, software, telecom (-17.59 percent); business, advertising & marketing (-10.7 percent); and travel, business conventions & meetings (-6.95 percent).The top three gainers were resources, environment, utilities (12.72 percent); architecture, design, lighting (10.49 percent); and science, research and development (10.11 percent). A total of 13 categories showed revenue increases, but 9 of those were below 5 percent and many of those categories saw corresponding drops in page counts. Total spending across all categories for the year was $10.72 billion—down from year-end 2006 total spending of $10.94 billion.The total number of ad pages were also down 3.35 percent. The numbers erase a flat 2006, where the fourth quarter of that year wiped out decent gains through the third quarter. The year concluded with a 0.61 percent revenue “gain” over 2005. All hope now seems to rest on the revenues to be made in ancillary businesses such as e-media and events. ABM president and CEO Gordon Hughes emphasized these segments when he noted “continued industry growth” in a statement accompanying the results, pointing out that digital business has been growing “in excess” of 20 percent. ABM’s T-BIN numbers, which track trade show activity, recorded a 6.60 percent increase in revenues over 2006. ABM attempted to put a good face on the print results, going so far to suggest “ignoring” the computer, software, telecom category—the report’s top decliner. “In fact, ignoring the ‘Computing, Software, Telecom’ category would result in an overall 0 [percent] change over 2006,” contends ABM’s analysis. This of course begs the question of whether the rest of the declining categories should also be ignored.
2. The iPad feels familiar: Since purchasing my first Mac in the spring of 1984, there’s always been some tactile or sensory surprise with unboxing and having that first contact with the product. The weight and balance and materials and color-shades usually come together in a way that photos or video can’t convey. Perhaps because I’ve spent so much time thinking about what the iPad would be—and it came so close to my speculation—I felt more relieved, than wow’d. 3. Biggest surprise to me—Not having Flash actually is a problem: In the three years I’ve had an iPhone, I’ve never once missed not having Flash (a type of software that enables lots of the web’s animation and video—but that is not supported by iPod/iPhone/iPad). I even have Flash blocked on my browser. But on my browser, a click allows me to use it when I want to. Using the browser on an iPad is an entirely different experience than on the iPhone—it’s more like using the browser at my desk. Video is much more of an intuitive expectation with a screen the size of the iPad’s. While I was dismissive of those who whined about the lack of support for Flash, I’m totally on board now. FAIL.4. Not having a user-facing camera is ridiculous: This may be just a personal thing because I constantly use video iChat and Skype to communicate with kids at college and co-workers and clients in other cities. But, to me at least, the lack of a user facing camera is another failure of the product. Macs have trained us to expect to be able to have a camera atop the screen. The lack of such a camera is why I’ve recommended to anyone who asks my advice: “Postpone purchasing an iPad until it has a user-facing camera.” As a cynical observer of Apple for 25 years (well, as cynical as a Pavlovian-trained fan-boy can be), since the “lost iPhone incident” revealed the next generation iPhone will have such a camera, I’m now assuming Apple may have feared that including it on the first generation iPad could have cannibalized sales of the next iPhone. Is it too hard to believe some people we all know will purchase the iPad 1, the iPhone 4 and the iPhone w/ the camera(s)? (Okay, stop looking at me.)5. Why get a 3G iPad when you can purchase a mobile wi-fi device? If you travel a great deal, chances are you’ve done the math on paying for wifi at hotels and airports vs. purchasing a cellular modem. If, like me, your cellular modem is not under contract and the math works, ability to have wifi for up to five devices using a Verizon Mi-fi or Sprint Overdrive seems to trump the potential of spending any more money with AT&T. Now, let me be clear: the math may work in the 3G’s favor is you travel some months, but not others. But for road warriors who may travel with both a notebook and iPad and need wifi for both, the mobile wi-fi option may be a better fit.6. A Blue-tooth keyboard: I can’t figure out why I’d purchase a $69 iPad keyboard instead of a $69 Blue-tooth keyboard. No brainer: the Bluetooth keyboard is light-weight and, geez, doesn’t have a wire. I’ve been writing speculative (okay, “wishful”) blog posts about an iPad-like device from Apple since 2006.* And now, for the past three weeks, I’ve been able to work (and play) with one daily (and nightly). So I thought it was time to collect and share some of the random thoughts, recommendations and post-launch review-ettes I’ve been collecting during Month One of the iPad Era.1. If you can wait, wait: This is my standard recommendation to anyone who asks me if they should purchase anything that Apple is launching. Somehow, the whole fan-boy gotta-have-it-first thing you find in any niche spilled over into the mainstream many years ago when it comes to Apple products. (I blame Walt Mossberg.) However, I promise: you can live without an iPad. Probably for years. (If you can’t wait, you’ll know exactly why without me explaining it.) In fact, I strongly recommend waiting until there’s a user-facing camera on the iPad (See #3). It’s like the Seth Myers line on the SNL Weekend Update (see left): Don’t become a part of the new tradition of buying something just to see what it is. (I drive an 11 year old car. My “shiny new” needs are compartmentalized.) I will make an exception for one group of people, however: If you’re in the media business and you want to understand the future, you’re probably more in the “get one now” category than the “I’ll wait until they are more than a fad” category. The pad/slate device is not a fad. 7. You need a case: With my iPhone, I’m not a case person. I don’t care if it gets scratched up (it doesn’t), I just prefer not having any extra bulk in my pocket. It took me only a couple of days to realize that a case for an iPad is a requirement. If,for nothing else than to hide the device so I don’t have to talk about it when I’m reading something on it in public, a case adds a little discreetness to the conspicuous new-thinginess of having an iPad. Fortunately, Griffin Technology, the world’s coolest source of iPad/iPod/iPhone accessories, and I both call Nashville home. Some elf (a Canadian one, I believe) there guessed correctly that I would blog how much I’m glad my iPad is sporting a new Elan Passport Case if one magically appeared on my desk. It’s rather swell, if I do say so myself. (Disclosure: The Griffin Technology Elan Passport Case that I’m touting just magically showed up on my desk one day—magically, because I was just about to order one.)8. How to fix the stomach muffled speaker problem: When lying down on a sofa and listening to music, if the sound is muffled, rotate the screen 180 degrees and you’ll discover the speakers sound much better if pointed upwards and not downwards into ones slightly padded abdomen area.9. My rapidly evolving theory of what makes a great app: Before the iPad appeared, the pre-release concepts I was seeing reminded me of early 1990s CD-ROM design. Sure enough, some of the early efforts have been along those lines, with many developers apparently believing they can replace intuitive navigation standards with goofy gimmicks. I’m finding my favorite go-to apps are those that emphasize (no surprise here) function over gimmicky features. Indeed, I find the best apps are those that don’t stand between me and the content. Unlike the app from Popular Science that I really, really don’t like, great apps aren’t self-absorbed. They don’t shout, “Hey, watch this cool navigational gimmick we just made up.” They don’t assume that you paid $5 to see their navigation, in other words.Here are a few of my favorite “early apps”: Instapaper: An app so awesome I can’t believe the anti-awesome police haven’t gone after it. The iPhone version is equally awesome. (It’s all function.) Evernote: It’s the brain-augmentation software I use, so this is no surprise. (Note: I don’t think it’s marketed as “brain augmentation software” —but that’s what I call it.) Media and Magazine Apps I like: The NYTimes’s Editors Choice app is my go-to news fix when I don’t have time to glance at Google Reader. One of the coolest apps with a Magazine brand is Entertainment Weekly’s Must List app as it demonstrates how to extend a brand onto an app by executing well on a narrow but scalable concept. I think such concept apps, with single sponsors, can be great opportunities for magazine companies—even in he B-to-B field. While it’s not an app, check out Wired.com’s website as viewed on an IPad. NPR for iPad: Easily, the best designed news app I’ve seen. Takes all the great features of the NPR iPhone app and adds/tweaks features, content and design for better display and bigger format. Wonderful WIN. Kindle: I’ve blasted the Kindle hardware on my blog many times, but I’ve never had anything but praise for the Kindle book-buying service—or Amazon’s retailing savvy. The iPad using the Kindle app is everything I’d like the Kindle to be. One negative: On the iPad Kindle app, I miss the dictionary that’s integrated into a book’s text when using the Kindle device. I’d also like a copy and paste feature (available neither on the hardware or app except through a rather clumsy way in which one synchs the Kindle with ones computer, something I’ve never done). I’m assuming easy cut and paste is not going to happen in my lifetime as publishers will block it, assuming I’ll copy and paste an entire book, page and by page. I’ve already read three books using the Kindle app on the iPad—no eye problems or straining. I’ve seen the complaints about screen glare when reading outside, but when I’m outside, I’m never reading—so not a problem here. I’ve also seen a news item suggesting the iPad’s back lighting may keep people awake more than the ePaper technology of a Kindle. In my personal studies, no such problem exists. Reading in bed puts me to sleep no matter what the technology. Kayak Flight and Hotel Search: Sets the standard for an e-commerce app. It is the first app I’ve seen that’s better than the company’s website. USA Today app‘s “Today’s Photos” and the Guardian Eyewitness app: Stunning photography inspired by the incredible Big Picture blog on Boston.com. 10. Is the iPad a “creation, lean forward, whatever the buzzword is today” device? There’s this debate among the early fringes of the early adopters regarding whether or not the iPad is good for “creating” content (there’s no debate over it being a media consumption masterpiece). As my content creation tends primarily to be in Google docs, the iPad fails big time there, as Google Docs is read-only using the iPad. However, I’m also a big user of Keynote and, while I’d never create an entire presentation on an iPad, I could if I needed to. This whole argument I can outsource to Jeff Smykil at ars technica who has reviewed the iWork suite that I’ve purchased—and concur with his review. I will say this: using a BlueTooth keyboard makes the device much more of a “creation” device than using the screen keyboard. One last “creation” note: If you are a real artist or, like me, a compulsive doodler, check out the iPad version of ArtStudio. It will stop all arguments about the iPad lacking in the creation department.11. Will the iPad save magazines? Frankly, I’ve never understood the question. If the iPad completely replaced the way we all read content from companies that currently publish magazines, then I can see how that might be interpreted as saving a company. But to me, the magazine is a format and a medium and the iPad is another kind of format, platform and medium. I think the iPad provides lots of opportunities for magazine companies who do something other than replicate magazines on an app. As I’ve said for 20 years, as long as there are coffee tables, there will be magazines.12. Will magazines be able to charge for content on the iPad? Since purchasing the Kindle on the day it became available, I’ve spent more money on e-books than I ever spent on paper books during a comparable period—and that’s hard for me to believe as I probably scale to the top end of book buyers. When Amazon priced ebooks for less than $10, a brand new price/value light went off in my head—you know, the paradigm shift light bulb. Now that book publishers are doing all they can to push up the pricing of e-books, the paradigm shifting light bulb will start dimming for me and other e-book buyers. I say that to predict magazine publishers can sell content, and a lot of it, if they get the price/perceived value right. Frankly, magazine publishers don’t have lots of the baggage book publishers have with their business model and sales channel, so I don’t know why they’d feel the need to protect something that is obviously broken. The right price will take into consideration the savings in paper, production and distribution of content delivered digitally vs. physically. Prediction: Those who believe people will pay the same price for an iPad “magazine” as they do for a print version will fail. I also have my doubts about those who believe adding some video and interactive features to the magazine will justify a higher price in the reader’s mind (and wallet).13. The iPad is not a one-shot “launch” product: Every few days, I’ll see an app that will make me realize the iPad is something more—or different—than I thought the day before. It changes every day. In fact, these random thoughts could be out-of-date within a few weeks. At least, I hope they are.*I wrote my first such speculative (or, wishful thinking) post in July, 2006, before the introduction of either the iPhone or iPod Touch. When the Kindle was launched in November, 2007, I wrote a long blog post comparing an eBook reader with what an oversized iPod Touch could provide the user. And in March, 2009 I went so far as to mis-predict a launch date (I thought it would be tied into a back-to-school push in September, 2009) but came pretty close to describing what would be announced 10 months later—including the price.
Any time you’re considering assets and content management services, an XML workflow and proper tagging at the onset is critical, Grande says. “Content portability, mapping content to various displays, having an XML format for that is critical as well,” he says. “It gives you the immediate ability to recast that data in various display formats as well as take that information and merge and purge them with other items.”At SMS, all content is automatically converted to XML. Ad files and images get processed and converted to a Web-friendly format as RGB jpegs. And all content is repurposed to prepare to use for digital products,” Brai says. The production services company allows users to continue to use their own workflow systems, such as InDesign or InCopy, and provides a transparent work environment. Publishers can drop in and check on the work in progress through a Web browser, compared to the old style of finishing something and dropping it off before you could see it, says Sina Adibi, CTO at SMS.Standardizing content to XML is a major undertaking for any publisher, Adibi says. He notes that maintaining content in XML can be a bit of a “nightmare” for publishers as new formats emerge and publishers think about archives and how to migrate them forward.The XML conversion is one of the advantages to outsourcing production. Also, publishers don’t need to make all of the capital expenses necessary to stay up to date with workflows and technology, Walker says. “It’s gotten to the point in technology on the print side and on the digital side and the content side, whether Web site, newsletter, iPad or iPhone, that publishers don’t need to own their own technology,” he says. “We combine the best technology with the best people and introduce best practices so publishers end up with a variable cost model and they save money.”Questex Media Group LLC, publisher of such titles as American Spa, Hotel Design and Golfdom, recently chose SMS to handle the digital pre-press and production of its 31 publications and directories. As part of the agreement, 15 Questex production employees will transfer to SMS’ Duluth, Minn., office and continue to work on the Questex titles, for six months and possibly longer.“The workflow we are adopting gives the Questex teams great flexibility as it combines the openness of an XML-based content management system and extensive integration into our current Adobe InDesign tool set,” says Tony D’Avino, executive vice president of Questex. The publisher anticipates savings in the 20 percent range from the current costs associated with its in-house production services.Fry Communications also offers production outsourcing capabilities to publishers via several shared services, from production and editorial workflows to digital asset management and an ad portal. “For a publisher, you can offer this expertise and resource that’s a composite of a lot of skills,” Grande says. “Look at economies of scale and operating infrastructures—our goal is to do it at 10 percent or better below what it would be if you maintained your own service.”Ad PortalsFry’s ad portal, Fry ReADy Ad Portal 2.0, a publisher-branded ad submission site, is another way the printer helps publishers achieve cost savings and efficiencies. Most major printers these days have an ad portal or are developing one. “The ad portal provides a stable, tolerant and secure storage of advertising assets as well as a streamlined workflow and an inline proofing system,” Grande says. The way it works is an advertiser can receive an invitation to the portal or go to the Web site, click on the link and deposit an ad. It brings them to a window where they plug in the ad. A salesperson will get a pass/fail confirmation and if the ad failed to go through, the advertiser will get a call from the salesperson. The other scenario is a publisher does all of that for the advertiser, uploading the ad onto the system, etc., Grande says. Fry has transacted more than 260,000 ads in its ad portal and roughly 20 percent are destined for multiple publications as part of a multi-title ad buy.Time Inc. uses a third-party ad portal, Blanchard Systems’ SendMyAd.com. “We have found many benefits to using a portal—from capturing critical data about the ads that drives our production systems to the automated quality checking that delivers only those ads that are ready for print,” says Peter Meirs, VP of production technologies at Time Inc. “Better yet, the portal is a service to advertisers, who can extend deadlines and save on shipping costs when using the Web-based portal.”“Most ad portals do a good job of automating the processing of ads (job ticket, preflight, soft proof and PDF processing). The advantages are consistent advertising files and a reduction of manual labor,” Brai says. “The challenge is getting advertisers to use your portal. You can have a great portal but it’s not productive if no one’s using it.” Brai adds that the best ad portals allow users to send e-mail messages to advertisers with links to the portal at certain intervals to improve adoption. SMS does not currently support an ad system but is looking into developing one in the near future.To Proof or Not to ProofPerhaps one of the best ways production teams can streamline efforts is through virtual or soft proofing. By proofing pages over the Internet and collaborating in a common environment, publishers can save time and money by not having to move files back and forth. “You have the option of downloading a PDF of a page, you can look into the layout of any magazine or you can get into the InDesign file,” Brai says.There’s been some talk in the industry for a while now that proofing—in some cases—may disappear altogether. “Hard proofs will go the way of film—they will disappear except for high-end products in the fashion and beauty world,” says Brai, who stopped sending proofs three years ago at Northstar.SMS client Questex has given its business teams the flexibility to proof based on market sensitivity, D’Avino says. “As an example, we still rely heavily on hard copy in our Beauty & Wellness market,” he says.“There’s always going to be a need to verify the color and accuracy of page creation but the stand-alone proof is headed for the scrap heap,” Meirs says. “Using monitors for that process has major advantages and is the norm for all of our print advertising production. Print-by-numbers is really more about replacing the proof at the press once the color has been established.”When implemented correctly, the G7 calibration method for print can eliminate the need for visual proofs of any type, Meirs says. “This emerging method of measurement eliminates all subjective criteria for color reproduction by using CMYK+RGB color to achieve gray-scale balance,” he adds. “This yields highly consistent output to any CMYK imaging device or press.”Fry, which has virtual proofing on every color press it operates, does soft proofing about 70 percent of the time, Grande says. It also does print to numbers on a regular basis as well as checking solid ink densities, midtone value and gray balance and G7 calibration for several weekly publications that it prints. Fry’s print-to-numbers operations are, in fact, the reference standard for one publisher for other printing plants, Grande says. “A linear calibration workflow is important in a single print site operation as well as multi-print site operations,” he says. Print to numbers is so important because “it’s normalizing the data and reproduction characteristics in repeatable fashion. It’s also incredibly efficient. We can move from press to press and move proofs over from one press to another.”Grande explains that the technology is such that the information contained in a virtual proof is integrated into closed-proof technology and the information in the proof is what the press is printing to. “It’s very much a linear process. If I’m seeing a green Volkswagen on screen, that green one will be the same as printing on an HP color printer or a sheet-fed press—they all have a known characteristic for color identification that will have to reproduce a certain way due to characteristics of that device,” he says. “We’ll have a picture on the press-side monitor where the press operator holds the print out up to the monitor and it looks the same.”Grande doesn’t see proofing going away anytime soon because there’s still a level of craftsmanship involved. “I’m amazed to see what comes off without human intervention, but it’s those final little tweaks that make it spectacular,” he says. “I couldn’t see the industry moving away from proofs.”The next level of printing will be defect reduction because despite having full-time, on-board camera inspection with various controls and high-speed cameras on press and at binders, there are still defects in the printed product that just go by too fast to be caught.Meanwhile, that which can’t be put on a digital device—the printed page—is getting more high-end with specialty printing: foil, embossing, high-UV coating and other print gimmicks. Publishers will be looking for a boost in newsstand sales and attaching a premium to printed magazines. “For things that have physical presence—magazines, direct mail —the value of those will become more enhanced and will become more entrenched,” Grande says. “It will be very dear to get those things. So when you get a hard-copy magazine, it will have a perceived value.” BACK TO MAIN PAGE THE IPAD IS NOT just perceived as a game-changer in the computer and electronics world; it’s already affecting magazine production.“There’s a general feeling on the consumer side that the iPad will become the savior of magazine publishers,” says Bill Walker, CEO of Superior Media Solutions, a production services company. “Publishers have got to do things that are richer, more dynamic and interactive, not just transfer a static page from print to digital.”In fact, these days magazine publishing and production can be boiled down simply to: things you can put on an iPad and things you can’t, says Steve Grande, VP of sales for Fry Communications. And that’s really what magazine production is all about right now: streamlining workflows and content for print and digital distribution.“What you’re seeing is a convergence of print and digital, and publishers are looking very strategically at organizational structures,” says Rob Brai, co-founder of SMS and former production director for print products at Northstar Travel Media LLC. “In most cases you find separate print and digital operations. The main point is to create a single stream of operations, removing the silos of print and digital. The advent of XML is neutralizing content and putting it in a form to use for print and digital.”
The Hangout series includes content that ranges from beauty how-tos and shopping inspiration to live music and insider tips. The Hangouts will be uploaded to Glamour’s YouTube channel, as well as the advertisers’ websites and social media outlets. Some of the Hangouts are live, enabling readers to log on and participate using the hashtag #GLAMOURHangouts, while others will be pre-recorded, allowing readers to watch and comment via Google+.The magazine began working directly with Google in January to develop this first Hangout series. Sponsors are casually folded in—SlimFast will present a comedic improv session featuring members of the comedy troupe the Upright Citizens Brigade and 30 Rock actress Sue Galloway, for example.“We’ll be promoting the hang outs across other social networks to get as much momentum as possible,” says Bowman. “We’re always trying to come up with ideas based on what our advertisers are looking for, and custom content is hugely important.”Stay updated on the latest FOLIO: news, follow us on Facebook & Twitter! It’s a cross between social advertising, content marketing and a traditional ad-buy: Glamour magazine is launching a new month-long series of custom Google+ Hangouts, giving its advertisers unique access, and exposure, to the title’s more than 1.5 million Google+ followers.Between April 10 and May 8 the magazine will roll out nine hangouts that will include a total of nine advertising partners. The online campaign is a direct extension of Glamour’s May beauty issue—the publication invited select print and digital advertisers to receive a custom Google+ Hangout that the magazine would produce on their behalf.“A lot of our advertisers were asking for custom content—things they could use across their websites and socially,” says Jenny Bowman, executive creative services director for the brand. “This is part of their commitment for running in the May issue. We produce the Hangouts, bring in talent and film it—it’s something that we’re doing as added value.”