News story: Secretary of State announces new rates for determining profit in regulated defence contracts

first_imgFollowing the SSRO’s recommendation in January 2019, the Secretary of State for Defence has announced the baseline profit rate and other rates to be used from 1 April 2019 to determine the profit element of qualifying defence contracts and qualifying sub-contracts.The Defence Reform Act 2014 requires the MOD and contractors in qualifying defence contracts (QDCs) and qualifying sub-contracts (QSCs) to follow a six-step process to determine the profit rate to be applied in those contracts. Three of the six steps are determined with reference to rates set by the Secretary of State, informed by recommendations from the SSRO. The rates and associated steps are: the baseline profit rate (step 1); the SSRO funding adjustment (step 4); and the capital servicing rates used in the capital servicing adjustment (step 6). The rates announced by the Secretary of State for use from 1 April 2019 are shown below:Table 1: Recommended rates agreed by the Secretary of State for Defence Fixed Capital Servicing Rate (% on Fixed Capital employed) 4.38% 3.98% Working Capital Servicing Rate (% on positive Working Capital employed) 1.21% 1.18% SSRO Funding Adjustment -0.024% -0.042%center_img Element 2018 Rates 2019 Rates Baseline Profit Rate (BPR) (% on contract cost) 6.81% 7.63% Working Capital Servicing Rate (% on negative Working Capital employed) 0.53% 0.53% To provide transparency for stakeholders, the SSRO has published its recommendation for the 2019/20 baseline profit rate, capital servicing rates and SSRO funding adjustment together with details of the methodology applied and a range of supporting analysis which was provided to the Secretary of State to inform his determination.The SSRO has also updated its guidance on determining contract profit rates and on Allowable Costs in QDCs and QSCs, to incorporate both the new rates announced by the Secretary of State and other changes for 2019/20 that were published in January 2019 following a public consultation.last_img read more

Bonnaroo Reveals Schedule For Free Webcasts With Dead & Co, LCD, Ween & More

first_imgWith the 15th annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival commencing later this evening down in Manchester, TN, organizers and Red Bull TV have revealed a schedule of livestream performances that will be webcast throughout the course of the weekend. According to the statement, the webcast will be available for on demand viewing at redbull.tv/bonnaroo, as well as through the Red Bull TV app, Apple TV / Samsung TV’s Red Bull channels and apps via Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire TV, Roku players, Nexus Player, Roku TV models and Xbox.Some of the performances included in the webcast will be Dead & Company, LCD Soundsystem, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Ween, Grace Potter, Kamasi Washington, M83, Lettuce, Vulfpeck, The Floozies, Lord Huron, Con Brio, the Superjam and more.Check out the schedule below.Bonnaroo 2016 Live Stream Schedule (all times CT, subject to change)Thursday, June 9Channel 1    7:05 p.m. – Waxahatchee    7:55 p.m. – Bully    8:45 p.m. – Papadosio    9:45 p.m. – Twin Peaks    10:45 p.m. – BØRNSChannel 2    7:05 p.m. – Con Brio    7:50 p.m. – The London Souls    8:45 p.m. – Vulfpeck    9:50 p.m. – Hermitude    10:50 p.m. – LizzoFriday, June 10Channel 1    5:10 p.m. – Misterwives    7:00 p.m. – Kamasi Washington    8:05 p.m. – CHVRCHES    9:10 p.m. – Leon Bridges    10:30 p.m. – J. Cole    10:45 p.m. – M83    12:00 a.m. – LCD SoundsystemChannel 2    5:10 p.m. – Brett Dennen    6:10 p.m. – St. Lucia    7:15 p.m. – Daughter    8:15 p.m. – FIDLAR    9:15 p.m. – Lucius    11:15 p.m. – FlosstradamusChannel 3    5:10 p.m. – Shamir    6:15 p.m. – Allen Stone    7:00 p.m. – GoldLink    8:00 p.m. – The Floozies    9:00 p.m. – Keys N KratesSaturday, June 11Channel 1    5:10 p.m. – The Knocks    6:15 p.m. – Grace Potter    7:20 p.m. – Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats    8:45 p.m. – Sam Hunt    10:05 p.m. – Macklemore & Ryan LewisChannel 2    5:10 p.m. – Chicano Batman    6:10 p.m. – Judah & the Lion    7:15 p.m. – Clutch    9:30 p.m. – The Claypool Lennon DeliriumChannel 3    5:10 p.m. – The Internet    7:15 p.m. – Lolawolf    10:30 p.m. – Lamb of God    12:00 a.m. – RL GrimeSunday, June 12Channel 1    5:05 p.m. – Jason Isbell    6:10 p.m. – Father John Misty    7:15 p.m. – Death Cab For Cutie    8:20 p.m. – Dead & Company (set 1)    10:15 p.m. – Dead & Company (set 2)Channel 2    5:05 p.m. – Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires    6:05 p.m. – Boy & Bear    7:10 p.m. – The Wood Brothers    8:15 p.m. – Lettuce    9:35 p.m. – Lord Huron    10:45 p.m. – WeenChannel 3    5:05 p.m. – Givers    6:05 p.m. – The Oh Hellos    7:05 p.m. – Saint Motel    8:05 p.m. – Sam Bush Band    9:30 p.m. – Third Eye Blind    10:30 p.m. – Adventure Club    11:30 p.m. – Superjamlast_img read more

Hunting the missing health link

first_imgResearchers at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School have embarked on an ambitious study of the link among genetics, lifestyle, environment, and health that organizers hope will set the stage for a new generation of personalized disease analysis and medical care.The study, called OurGenes, OurHealth, OurCommunity, eventually wants to enroll 100,000 patients in a lengthy, longitudinal study of the causes of illness that could help link genetic background to lifestyle and environmental factors.The study stands on three key parts: patients’ health backgrounds, which are provided to researchers through existing health records, family histories, and medical questionnaires; their genetic profiles, which are provided through blood samples; and their health futures, which are mapped through access to clinical data as it accumulates.Christine Seidman, the study’s co-principal investigator, the Thomas W. Smith Professor of Medicine and professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, and director of the Brigham’s Cardiovascular Genetics Center, said she views the study as a community effort in which Brigham medical workers and patients come together to help realize the promise of advances that have been made in recent years in understanding genes.The study, which is in an initial, yearlong pilot phase, is enrolling patients at six Brigham-affiliated sites. Because of the consent, family history, and questionnaire process, she said the OurGenes staff is using the trial period to ensure that data gathering does not interfere with the clinical purpose of patient visits and also to make sure the enrollment process itself is capturing the diversity of patients.So far, Seidman said, about 100 people have enrolled in the study. The participation rate is about 70 percent of those approached and asked if they’re interested. Instead of waiting for patients to come to the hospitals or clinics, Seidman said, patients with appointments are mailed information a couple of weeks in advance of their appointments so they are aware of the study before being asked to participate. The information that is collected will be kept private.Seidman said healthy patients are as important to the study as people with medical conditions. Those with one condition can be part of a control population for studies that look at others. “If you’re perfectly healthy, you’re as valuable to us as someone with a devastating condition,” Seidman said. “We all have risk for some disease and less risk for others.”Seidman sees the study as long running, since it will take years to get the patient population enrolled, and the plan is to follow patients through time and monitor health outcomes. The study will gather information on topics as diverse as patients’ smoking history, their exercise practices, sun exposure, and even where they grew up. Examples of questions that researchers are hoping to answer include whether specific genes, in combination with certain lifestyle or environmental factors, lead to greater health risks and whether certain drugs lead to adverse reactions in patients with specific genetic profiles. Though the study was launched only in June, researchers are already expressing interest in identifying a patient population that is taking statins, the popular cholesterol-lowering drug.The accumulated health data, when combined with stored blood samples for genetic analysis, will also aid future researchers, who will be able to begin studies quickly and more efficiently than if they had to begin recruiting subjects from scratch, Seidman said.Though other studies have been conducted examining the genetic background of disease, most of those have been aimed at specific ailments, specific populations, or specific genes. OurGenes is one of the first to examine such a large, diverse population for broad health and genetic trends.last_img read more

SEAS brings good things to light

first_imgBy nestling quantum dots in an insulating egg-crate structure, researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have demonstrated a robust new architecture for quantum-dot light-emitting devices (QD-LEDs).Quantum dots are very tiny crystals that glow with bright, rich colors when stimulated by an electric current. QD-LEDs are expected to find applications in television and computer screens, general light sources, and lasers.Previous work in the field had been complicated by organic molecules called ligands that dangle from the surface of the quantum dots. The ligands play an essential role in quantum dot formation, but they can cause functional problems later on.Thanks to an inventive change in technique devised by the Harvard team, the once-troublesome ligands can now be used to build a more versatile QD-LED structure. The new single-layer design, described in the October issue of the journal Advanced Materials, can withstand the use of chemical treatments to optimize the device’s performance for diverse applications.“With quantum dots, the chemical environment that’s optimal for growth is usually not the environment that’s optimal for function,” says co-principal investigator Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy at SEAS.The quantum dots, each only 6 nanometers in diameter, are grown in a solution that glows strikingly under a black light.The solution of quantum dots can be deposited onto the surface of the electrodes using a range of techniques, but according to lead author Edward Likovich, who conducted the research as a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences doctoral candidate in applied physics at SEAS, “That’s when it gets complicated.”“The core of the dots is a perfect lattice of semiconductor material, but on the exterior it’s a lot messier,” he says. “The dots are coated with ligands, long organic chains that are necessary for precise synthesis of the dots in solution. But once you deposit the quantum dots onto the electrode surface, these same ligands make many of the typical device processing steps very difficult.”The ligands can interfere with current conduction, and attempts to modify them can cause the quantum dots to fuse together, destroying the properties that make them useful. Organic molecules can also degrade over time when exposed to UV rays.Researchers would like to be able to use those ligands to produce the quantum dots in solution, while minimizing the negative impact of the ligands on current conduction.“The QD technologies that have been developed so far are these big, thick, multilayer devices,” says co-author Rafael Jaramillo, a Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment. Jaramillo works in the lab of Shriram Ramanathan, associate professor of materials science at SEAS.“Until now, those multiple layers have been essential for producing enough light, but they don’t allow much control over current conduction or flexibility in terms of chemical treatments,” says Jaramillo. “A thin, monolayer film of quantum dots is of tremendous interest in this field, because it enables so many new applications.”The new QD-LED resembles a sandwich, with a single active layer of quantum dots nestled in insulation and trapped between two ceramic electrodes. To create light, current must be funneled through the quantum dots, but the dots also have to be kept apart from one another in order to function.In an early design, the path of least resistance was between the quantum dots, so the electric current bypassed the dots and produced no light.Abandoning the traditional evaporation technique they had been using to apply insulation to the device, the researchers instead used atomic layer deposition (ALD) — a technique that involves jets of water. ALD takes advantage of the water-resistant ligands on the quantum dots, so when the aluminum oxide insulation is applied to the surface, it selectively fills the gaps between the dots, producing a flat surface on the top.The new structure allows more effective control over the flow of electrical current.“Exploiting these hydrophobic ligands allowed us to insulate the interstices between the quantum dots, essentially creating a structure that acts as an egg crate for quantum dots,” says co-author Kasey Russell, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS. “The benefit is that we can funnel current directly through the quantum dots despite having only a single layer of them, and because we have that single layer, we can apply new chemical treatments to it, moving forward.”Through Harvard’s Office of Technology Development, Likovich and his colleagues have applied for a provisional patent on the device. Beyond the possible applications in computer and TV displays, lights, and lasers, the technology could one day be used in field-effect transistors or solar cells.The research was supported by the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center at Harvard, which is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and by the use of facilities at the Harvard University Center for Nanoscale Systems, a member of the NSF-supported National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network.last_img read more

Bolstering Cloud Strategies With Cloud Caffeine

first_imgCloud Caffeine – DevOps DiscussionCloud Caffeine – KubernetesCloud Caffeine – MicroservicesCloud Caffeine – Cloud Native Cloud is synonymous with the age of digital services. Cloud stands for the delivery of applications and data which are core enablers for every organization. I have remained curious about applications and software development since studying for my Masters of Science in Software Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. This may be the most exciting period yet for our industry!The pace of innovation continues to accelerate. In order to thrive and grow organizations must adopt a modern applications approach– one that is architected to support change and deliver reliable services in a multi-cloud world. The modern applications approach is a combination of new software architectures and operational practices. The old way of operating was with Waterfall development and ITIL change management processes. The new way is with Agile and DevOps featuring rapid iteration which produces quick benefits with IT ops teams that are involved throughout the development and delivery lifecycle.Cloud-native is enabled by new software architectures. Traditional applications architectures are monolithic and while virtualization has increased efficiency, the underlying inflexibility has hampered innovation. In the new architectural pattern, an application is created through a set of independent services accessible through APIs called microservices. They’re typically deployed in containers which can be updated and scaled individually greatly speeding delivery and updating of application functionality.At Dell Technologies we’re working with lots of organizations to help them plan and implement their cloud strategy. Cloud Caffeine is a discussion of cloud-related topics from Dell Technologies. This is one way we’re sharing our experiences to help organizations take advantage of all the powerful technology available today. So grab a cup of your favorite beverage and join the discussion with Cloud Caffeine!YouTube: Dell Technologies Cloud Playlistlast_img read more

Mach 7 Technologies moves headquarters to Vermont

first_imgMach 7 Technologies (M7T), a global provider of flexible, PACS-neutral healthcare image management solutions, has relocated its global headquarters from suburban Chicago to greater Burlington, Vermont.  The new office location serves as the company’s base for Americas’ sales and professional service operations, and finance and administration.  The new office also houses global product management and strategic R&D functions.Located at 245 South Park Drive in Colchester, the new Vermont headquarters joins M7T’s Mumbai, India operation, home to the India sales and service team as well as its research and development engineers.  Asia (ex-India) and Middle East sales and service is based in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  A growing network of distributors, system integrators, and image management vendors extend Mach 7 Technology’s reach into India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.  The company plans further distributor expansion into Western Europe and the Far East in 2010 – 2011.About Mach 7 TechnologiesHeadquartered in Burlington, Vermont, Mach 7 Technologies is a global provider of innovative, flexible, PACS-neutral image management solutions that enable healthcare enterprises to better control, share and access medical imaging data.  Mach 7 Technologies develops software products that solve sophisticated image management challenges for hundreds of hospitals, imaging centers and clinics worldwide.  For additional information, please visit www.Mach7T.com(link is external).SOURCE Mach 7 Technologies. BURLINGTON, Vt., June 4, 2010 /PRNewswire/ —last_img read more

Communications bill worries business lawyers

first_img August 15, 2003 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Communications bill worries business lawyers Communications bill worries business lawyers Senior EditorCan your Internet service provider tell you what brand of modem to use to receive its signal? Can it mandate you pay a separate fee for each home or office computer that receives its service, instead of using a router to share one line between many computers?Can the state delegate to cable, Internet, and other telecommunications providers the power to decide what is an “illegal” device attached to a home computer or cable signal receiver?Those questions, among others, have been raised by members of the Bar’s Business Law Section in the wake of the passage and signing by the governor of HB 79, on communications services.Nominally a bill to prevent piracy of movies and electronic media, the business lawyers have been warning it might be vague and overbroad, leading to unintended consequences. A bill supporter, though, said only people who knowingly try to pirate electronic signals or copyrighted material have anything to worry about.“There is a great deal of confusion. The bill is quite broad in scope and broadly worded,” said section member Andy Greenberg. “The concern here is they are actually regulating the technology by which the content is distributed.”Charlie Dudley, general counsel for the Florida Cable Communications Association, doesn’t see the problem. “It [the law] says that devices that are illegal under the statute are devices that do not have other legitimate purposes; they are specifically designed for illegal uses,” he said.The bill started out as a measure to fight piracy of cable TV signals, but quickly expanded to cover the gamut of telecommunications, except telephone service.According to a House staff analysis of HB 79, the bill widened both the civil and criminal penalties in F.S. §812.15 and expanded coverage from cable services to “many new technologies that communication service providers, except telephone, are now offering to the public.” In one example, the penalty for illegally receiving or intercepting a signal or helping someone else to do so was increased from a first degree misdemeanor to a third degree felony.The bill also specifically allows providers to bring civil actions for damages, including the value of services that were intercepted or that were intercepted by others with devices provided by the defendant.The bill also makes it easier for companies to recover statutory or actual damages, and allows a court to impose statutory damages of up to $50,000 for each illegal device.Critics say the penalties give the companies a sledgehammer to attack a gnat, especially in the cases of individuals who have done nothing but acquire a cable descrambler or similar device.Tim Morell, a member of the section’s Computer Law Committee, noted that DirecTV recently shut down a Web site that sold descrambler boxes that allowed buyers to decode the DirecTV signal without paying the company. DirecTV got records of the buyers and sent them letters, threatening to sue in federal court where the penalty would be $10,000 per device plus attorneys’ fees unless the buyers paid the company $3,500 and turned over their devices.“You’re presumed guilty and you get none of the protections you would get in criminal court,” Morell said. “It’s huge overkill.”He said while some and perhaps most of the buyers knew the devices were illegal, the sellers do not usually disclose that or tell buyers what the penalties might be if they are caught. And “there are some groups of people out there who have legitimate defenses,” Morell said. “They [DirecTV] have to know there are some people who have legitimate defenses, but they can’t win. They can’t get a defense because they can’t afford to hire an attorney for this to go to federal court.”Ironically, the people most likely to have bought the devices, he said, are those who can’t afford monthly cable or satellite service, and hence face bankruptcy over a large fine. Perhaps even more paradoxical, Morell noted, is state legislatures and Congress have considered tort reform bills to limit damages that harmed individuals can win from companies but at the same time have passed laws increasing the damages that companies can win from individuals.“I understand the industry’s point and I think they have a good point, but I think this is huge overkill,” he said. “It’s unfair to be grinding people into the ground.”Other section members are concerned that HB 79 is not specific enough and consumers with perfectly legal devices could find themselves charged with having pirating or intercepting devices — especially since the bill may leave the definition of what is or isn’t legal up to the companies.The House staff analysis noted that the Florida Supreme Court has held that the state constitution’s separation of powers language prevents one branch of government for delegating its authority to another branch of government. That could arguably be extended that the legislature could not delegate its powers to another entity, such as a private business.The analysis said that one provision in the bill prohibits connecting devices “unless specifically authorized to do so by a cable provider or other communication service provider.” The analysis noted that this “appears to delegate to private parties the authority to determine what acts do or do not constitute a crime; especially combined with the criminal rule of lenity, this may be an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power.”It also said the bill may proactively attempt to incorporate any future federal legislature, which is also proscribed constitutionally.Greenberg said some vocal opponents of the bill have charged that the bill would allow an Internet provider to dictate what accessories and equipment a customer adds to a computer, such as a router or a CD rewrite drive. He’s not sure that harsh criticism is justified, but he’s also not sure that those critics might not be right, mostly because definitions in the bill are broad.“You can only connect to it a communications device that you’ve received consent to use,” Greenberg said. “It will be the subject of substantial litigation.”In a sense, the bill reflects an argument that goes back to player piano rolls, where intellectual property owners seek to protect their investment by controlling technology that might be used to pirate or duplicate it illegally, he said. A defining case involved the entertainment industry’s attempt to prevent Sony from selling its first video cassette records in this country, arguing that the machines would be used to duplicate copyrighted material.The U.S. Supreme Court rejected that claim, saying there were legal and legitimate uses for the technology.Dudley, of the cable association, disputed there are any serious problems with the law. The delegation issue came from the previous law and has caused no problems, he said.As for being too broad or vague, he said the law is clear that prohibited devices are only those designed for illegal use.Aside from his group, the law was supported by the Motion Picture Association of America, the recording industry, and an Internet service providers group. Dudley said a model law like Florida’s has been pushed by those groups in other states. Greenberg said some states have passed the law with few changes while others have delayed it when questions arose.Although some Business Law Section members worried about the criminal provisions of the law, Dudley said it was unlikely that state attorneys would devote significant — if any — resources to cable or cyber piracy, especially involving individual consumers where proving criminal intent could be difficult.He also questioned if the law could be read to give Internet service providers control over what equipment customers could attach to their computers. Even if it did, “We don’t have a design to take this statute and make this illegal,” Dudley said. “Customers would go to another provider.”“What you’re at right now is these [descramblers and similar equipment] are products that are being sold to people. If it’s against the law, it’s against the law,” Dudley said.The purpose of the bill was to set the groundwork for new technology, such as Web-based pay-per-view, while protecting intellectual property, he said.Dudley also questioned why none of the objections was raised in the six legislative committee hearings or when either the House or Senate took up the bills. The measure was passed unanimously in every committee as well as both chambers.Business Law Section member Joel Rothman, who raised the issue at the section’s recent executive council meeting, said no one realized what was in the bill until it was nearly through the legislative process and it was too late to mount any serious effort. “It became a topic of discussion on the computer law community listserv back in April and May,” he said.HB 79 becomes effective October 1.last_img read more

Go further than persuading. Build consensus

first_img 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr For the next few minutes I’d like you to think about the way you communicate in the workplace. Think about how you deliver information, and think about the efforts you make to persuade and build consensus with your colleagues.The concepts of persuasion and consensus are critical to success in the workplace. Persuasion and consensus lead to sales, decision-making, momentum and, at times, alignment and collaboration… all good things. The person who has the ability to persuade and build consensus has huge value inside any organization.“The person who has the ability to persuade and build consensus has huge value inside any organization.”But there are different ways of approaching the concepts of persuasion and consensus, and sometimes persuasion and consensus are very different. continue reading »last_img read more

Reinvent the member experience with self-service tech

first_imgWhen it comes to self-service, your members today expect a speedy, seamless experience at every digital touchpoint. While the personnel you hire remain the warm, friendly face of your credit union branch, your self-service channels also provide a rich member experience that engages and empowers them, and frequently sits squarely in their comfort zone.“The world is quickly migrating to a self-directed and self-service means of doing business,” said Sarah Bang, Chief Strategy Officer for CO-OP Shared Branching. “Kiosks today can help you set up your home computer system from miles away, or purchase luxury items 24/7 from high-tech vending machines. And there are apps for ordering food, scheduling appointments and downloading movies. These platforms all offer unbeatable service in two very important ways – they are convenient and they are consistent.”According to Bang, convenience represents just one of many reasons your members so often choose self-service. Consistency is one of the many reasons credit unions offer them.“Consumers frequently prefer self-service, as long as it is intuitive,” she said. “They don’t want to have to read instructions every time they step up to a machine or launch a mobile app.” continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

PODCAST: Royce Ngiam on why ‘blue sky is the norm’ at Partners CU

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr What’s it like having the Walt Disney Co. as your sponsor?“Mind-blowing,” says Royce Ngiam, vice president of marketing for Partners Federal Credit Union in Burbank, Calif., and a member of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Executive Committee.“It’s a world of endless possibilities,” he says. “Bob Iger, chairman/CEO of Walt Disney Co., one said on a conference call, ‘We do things few others even dream of attempting.’ When you have that collective mindset and collective talent, blue sky is the norm. That’s where we try to play every day.”In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Ngiam shares why he’s a self-described “data dork,” how to get started with data analytics, what he’s learned from working with Disney executives, and why Ariel from the Disney classic “The Little Mermaid,” is his favorite Disney character. continue reading »last_img read more