Might Warriors repay Durant by giving him max money, then trading him?

first_imgWill Kevin Durant re-sign with the Warriors or will he join the Knicks, Nets or some other NBA team?He could do both.There’s a new wrinkle in the season-long question surrounding Durant’s impending free agency, thanks to an ESPN report suggesting the Warriors could do a “delayed” sign-and-trade with their star forward.Brian Windhorst, appearing on ESPN’s “Get Up” Thursday morning, said the Warriors have talked with Durant about the possibility of signing him to a super max contract and …last_img read more

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Medical aid fraud ‘on the decrease’

first_img13 January 2012 The number of fraud cases in South Africa’s medical aid industry has decreased, according to a survey by consultancy KPMG.The Medical Schemes’ Anti-Fraud Survey, which covered the three years from 2007 to 2009, showed that the fraud-to-claims ratio had fallen by 0.15 percent, said national forensic director for healthcare Camilla Singh.“We can clearly see the ratio of investigated fraud to claims is dropping. This is an achievement for South Africa’s medical aid administrators,” said Singh.The survey was sent to 15 administrators and the eight respondents represented 84 percent of all principal members.Medical schemes which participated in the survey included Discovery, Medscheme, Metropolitan and Momentum, said Singh.She said the survey showed that the number of fraudulent claims by members was also at a low.This amounted to R67.3-million out of a claim value of R145-billion over the three-year period.The most common reason given for member fraud was non-disclosure of prior ailments. This amounted to about 92 percent of all cases, said Singh.However, service provider fraud was increasing. Code manipulation was the most common type investigated, followed by services not rendered, Singh said.“There has been a definite crackdown on fraud in this industry in the last decade.”In KPMG’s 2001 to 2003 survey, only 49 percent of medical aid administrators said they never kept quiet about fraud cases, said Singh.By 2009, this had risen to 100 percent.Sapalast_img read more

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Govt, business to partner on delivery

first_img22 May 2013 The South African government and business are set to work together to improve service delivery, with a major announcement of capacity-building partnerships between business and municipalities expected to be made in August. This was announced by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi during his department’s budget vote in Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday. Baloyi said that business formations were polishing their offers for massive engagements to enhance the capacity of municipalities to deliver better services. A major launch of partnerships between municipalities and business organisations is due to take place in August. Some of these partnerships will address basic service delivery through turn-key initiatives to deliver water, sanitation and electricity. Business Unity South Africa has also offered to partner with municipalities. The organisation will assist in local economic development, with private companies being mobilised to support local government; energy and climate change; capacity-building to improve service delivery; public and private partnerships; and the promotion of good governance. Already, Absa Bank has committed itself to focus on developing effective financial skills for local government managers, on promoting effective and transparent procurements, and on leadership building in affordable housing. Baloyi said his department, in partnership with the Department of Higher Education, would soon launch a programme to improve the skills of councilors and traditional leaders. Details of this project will also be made known in August. On the fight against corruption, Baloyi said his department was finalising an agreement between the Local Government Inspectorate and the Special Investigations Unit. The department had also recommitted itself to its Local Government Turnaround Strategy Budget as a roadmap for effective support to the local sphere. Reflecting on the results of this strategy, Baloyi said a number of provinces were pushing hard towards achieving a clean audit by 2014. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Dispatch from the AIA Convention

first_img RELATED ARTICLES One annoying remark can spoil your dayThe Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education was presented to Peter Eisenman, FAIA. The introduction to this award reminded my why I quit architecture school: the obtuse descriptions of architects and their work puts me to sleep every time. Eisenman was offered an opportunity to make some (thankfully) brief remarks, and he was engaging and interesting. Expensive solution to bad design?Sage Glass produces electronically tinted glass that can transform from clear to almost opaque by a switch or through light sensors, reducing solar gain when necessary. This product has been around for a while and is used in some skylights, but it is primarily specified for glass commercial buildings where over-glazing and solar heat gain are problems. After playing around with their tinting for a while, I came to the conclusion that while it is a nice, cool technology, it really is an expensive solution to bad designs. If architects would just not put so much glass on their buildings, they wouldn’t need products like this to fix the problems they create.Thermal break products were abundant on the show floor. Oldcastle displayed a CMU system with integrated EPS foam exterior insulation, including thermal break strips for the mortar joints. Designed for application of a finish masonry veneer over the foam, this looks like an interesting option for commercial, and possibly residential buildings, providing a continuous thermal break while leaving the masonry available for thermal mass on the interior.A different way to accomplish the same result was on display by ITW. The company has a system that uses a cordless nail gun to attach foam and mineral wool boards to CMU or framed walls using large-head plastic anchors. Available in lengths to accommodate most rigid board thicknesses, the product looks promising. However, I would like to know how the exterior finish is applied with this design.Finally, Armadillo NV provides noise and thermal break connection devices. My favorite is the thermal break for cantilevered slabs that includes both fiberglass rebar and an insulation block to really separate the exterior slab from the interior floor.While some starchitects may trash talk sustainability, manufacturers understand that high-performance building is here and continuing to grow. I guess we will have to rely on them to help lead the charge. New Green Building Products — June 2013Cutting-Edge Windows that Can Be Tinted on DemandHigh-Tech Windows with Dynamic GlazingsSmart Glass Maker Opens New PlantGBA Product Guide: SageGlass Insulated Glass Unit He did make one comment that rubbed me the wrong way. He remarked that while he had heroes as a young architect, there weren’t many around any more. References included Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Luis Kahn. He then said that “sustainability is not a heroic condition,” taking the not-unusual-for-an-architect’s position that sustainability is just an afterthought to the noble practice of architecture.In contrast to other award winners, who were not given an opportunity to speak, Eisenman’s comment seemed to me to be a bit tone-deaf. In contrast, there was an award presented to the Auburn University Rural Studio — an incredible school doing meaningful work bringing high quality architecture and construction to an impoverished area.The Latrobe Prize was presented to Woodbury University’s Arid Lands Institute for tools they created to help professionals with stormwater capture and reuse.The snarky remark about sustainability from a high-profile architect was quite a contrast to the Arid Land Institute award. The “starchitect” Eisenman got to tell us how sustainability doesn’t matter, and the people who are working to keep us from dying of thirst weren’t given a chance to say a word. Seems like someone got their priorities wrong on this one. Inspiring remarksA video about Chris Downey, an architect who continues to practice after losing his sight, was inspiring.Andrew Freer, the director of the Rural Studio, was given an opportunity to speak about the studio’s work. Freer’s remarks inspired me to schedule a visit there soon. Enough whining about architectsLooking at the products on display, I ran across several worthy of mention. Mitsubishi has just come out with a traditional air handler that works with the variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology that the company uses in its minisplits. This heat pump now allows for this technology to be ducted throughout a house with products from a single vendor.LED lighting continues to evolve, and one lamp design (offered by several manufacturers, including Cooper Lighting) involves illuminating the edges of an acrylic lens with a ring or strip of diodes. This provides an even light that eliminates glare, as all the light is indirect. Although primarily for commercial fixtures, I would expect to see it expand quickly into the residential market.The departure from the market of one of my favorite products, Perennial Wood, has left me looking for a suitable substitute, and I may have found it. There are several manufacturers of acetylated and thermally modified wood that practically eliminate warping, rot, and termite infestation. However, most of these products are sold only as raw stock for custom milling. Wahoo Decks is now offering thermally treated deck boards and tongue-and-groove porch flooring. Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 2015 convention of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) — a simple matter for me, as it took place in Atlanta. I find that it is often challenging to attend local conferences because we let our daily work take over in a way that we don’t when we travel out of town for events. This time, however, I was able to block out two full days for the event, and was interrupted only occasionally by calls and emails.As with most industry events, there were educational sessions, keynotes, and a trade show floor. The first two were the typical mixed bag — some good, some not, and way too many sessions to try to hit them all. This event, however has an excellent trade show, rivaled only in my opinion by the annual Greenbuild Expo in size and content.Before I share some of the interesting products I saw this year, I feel compelled to comment on one of the keynote sessions. I missed the big keynote by Bill Clinton, but managed to make the second one, which featured the Creative Director of Cirque du Soleil, a communications specialist, and a series of award presentations. ITWCCNAIF_Brochure_Finalpage1.compressed.compressed.pdflast_img read more

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Using a satellite network to realize the full potential of the connected car

first_imgTags:#autonomous vehicles#connected car#driverless cars#Inmarsat#Internet of Things#IoT#Self-Driving Joel Schroeder Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… Related Posts IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…center_img 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle… The market for wireless connected devices is exploding. We know this. From garage doors to refrigerators to healthcare devices to alarm systems to pet products, it’s reasonable to expect that nearly everything we purchase in the future will have a chip and a platform.  How functional, viable and useful many of these devices will actually become in our day-to-day lives, however, is still up for debate. Debated less are the revenue opportunities associated with the connected device we use with the greatest frequency – our cars. The latest research suggests the connected car market will grow to just shy of $60 billion by 2021. GM alone already has 12 million connected cars on the road today. See also: Are connected cars only as good as your network?From infotainment to in-car Wi-Fi, the revenue possibilities are tantalizing and manufacturers are already seeking to capitalize. And while these services are certainly marketable to the consumer and potentially allow brands to distinguish themselves in a hotly competitive market, they are not necessarily transformational to the bottom line.The greatest revenue opportunities for manufacturers will come from the ability to conveniently service their fleets of vehicles from afar and own the relationship with the car owner long after the new car has been driven off the lot. 100 million lines of codeToday’s personal vehicle typically has over 100 million lines of software code. By comparison, the F-22 fighter jet has just 1.7 million. As is the case with your laptop computer, updates are required quite frequently to enhance performance and security. Today, each time an update is required, it means a trip to the dealer for the owner where hot coffee, free Wi-Fi and a usually longer than anticipated wait time awaits. If the manufacturer could instead update a connected vehicle’s internal software remotely over-the-air, the cost savings associated with warranty support and recalls would be dramatic. Certainly, the owner would appreciate a reduction in the number of annoying trips to the service station. This all sounds great in theory, but making it practical and realistic depends on access to a reliable and cost-efficient network. For early days connected services, manufacturers are relying primarily on terrestrial networks. But for the more advanced type capabilities such as OTA updates, satellite communications needs to be in the mix.Joel Schroeder, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, InmarsatIt’s true; satellite communications has never been considered mainstream. It’s often thought of as a last resort due to costs, speed challenges and size of equipment. But things have changed, and satellite will be a strong player within the 5G “network of networks” as costs have come down and hardware has been reduced to the point where they can be embedded quite easily into any number of devices, including the automobile. Network reach is what rulesWhy does satellite have such an upside in the connected car arena? Let us count the ways. First, satellite’s broadcast capability makes it ideal for shooting out a single update to an entire fleet of vehicles at once via a single transmission. Does GM want to send one message to its 12 million connected cars or 12 million to each individual car? The efficiencies of satellite broadcast would save OEM’s millions in network usage costs. Second, while AT&T and Verizon may claim to be everywhere in the US, they are certainly not everywhere in the world. Satellite networks, on the other hand, are. They are global in nature, have much larger footprints and can reach a vehicle anywhere. Using a satellite network will eliminate the need for OEMs to negotiate and manage tricky international roaming agreements. Third, the advent of all these connected devices has also resulted in a much larger playground for hackers with nefarious intentions. While no network can claim to be completely impervious, the topology of a satellite network is inherently more secure as it operates as a private network that does not traverse the public Internet where there is a greater likelihood of intrusion.  With encryption technologies layered on top, satellites can offer even stronger protections for users.Finally, once the vehicle is connected to the satellite network – and the latest componentry now allows for easy embedding into shark fin antennas and internal control units – the potential then emerges for OEM’s to introduce, upsell and cross-sell a host of services that not only deliver new revenue streams but also allow for an enhanced relationship with the vehicle owner, something they have always craved.As the connected car market matures and education of satellite’s inherent advantages continues, expect to see satellite emerge as the preferred method of connectivity and the key component that will not only drive down costs for OEMs but truly transform the relationship between the automaker and car owner.The author is Vice President, Strategy & Business Development for Inmarsat’s Connected Car Program of Inmarsat’s Connected Car division, which is working with automotive suppliers and manufacturers to bring satellite connective to the next generation of connected vehicles. For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

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NBA: Gasol to opt out of deal but re-sign with Spurs — report

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Pau Gasol reportedly plans to re-sign with San Antonio Spurs for next season. AFPLOS ANGELES, United States — Spanish center Pau Gasol will decline a $16.2 million NBA contract option for next season but plans to re-sign with the San Antonio Spurs, the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday.The 36-year-old 7-footer (2.13m), who won two NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, would become a free agent but hopes the move would help him obtain a longer-term contract.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ What ‘missteps’? View comments WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Teng takes over as Philippines wins 3×3 World Cup closer 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Gasol taking a lower salary would enable the Spurs to spend more money to offer other free agents deals for next season, adding talent to a lineup that produced the second-best record in the NBA last season but was swept out of the Western Conference finals by eventual champion Golden State.Gasol, a six-time NBA All-Star taken with the third overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, averaged a career-low 12.4 points with 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots over 64 games in his first campaign with the Spurs last season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHis career averages over 16 seasons are 17.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 1,119 games with the Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies.Former All-Star forward David, 34, is expected to opt out of a deal that would bring him $1.6 million next season in a similar move. Lee averaged 7.3 points and 5.6 rebounds over 79 games for the Spurs last season. CBBlast_img read more

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