Richard Branson Is Now Closer to Flying You Into Space

first_img New York takes aim at skyscrapers’ sky-high energy usage A LifeMinute with John Lithgow: The Actor Discusses His Latest Projects Airbnb Wants to Take You on an All-Inclusive Adventure How Human Behavior is Hurting Animals and What We Can Do to Protect Them Former world paragliding champion Rémy soars over Pyrenees A Safe Way to Get Rid Of Bugs in Your Home 2 Musts for Tackling Allergy Season Memorial Day Weekend Heat Wave Could Smash May Records Turning Up the Heat in the Southeast for Holiday Weekend Congress Is Back as President Trump Heads to the UK A Petition Is Coming ? for a ‘Game of Thrones’ Final Season Do-Over Southern Charm’ Star Talks New Season A LifeMinute with Ryan Seacrest Add to Queue IndyCar Beefing Up Business as Indy 500 Approaches Delicious Summer Entertaining Ideas Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day 2020 Ballots May Have a New Box to Check ? Vice President Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Saint Laurent dazzles with men’s collection on Malibu beach Richard Branson’s space company, Virgin Galactic, has been granted an operating license to fly its passenger rocketship with the world’s first paying space tourists aboard once final safety tests are completed, the Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday.The unprecedented license covers all operations of Virgin Galactic’s six-passenger, two-pilot SpaceShipTwo vehicle, including commercial passenger service, which according to FAA spokesman Hank Price is contingent on “certain terms and conditions” being met first.Those requirements include verification of vehicle hardware and software “in an operational flight environment,” the FAA wrote in an email.The FAA, which oversees U.S. airline service and general aviation, is also the chief regulatory body for commercial spaceflight in the United States.The new license will be modified as Virgin Galactic supplies the FAA with additional data from the SpaceShipTwo flight test programme, company spokeswoman Christine Choi said in an email.The company has not yet announced a date for the start of passenger flights but is selling tickets for a ride aboard SpaceShipTwo at $250,000 a seat. Commercial service is not expected to debut before 2017.About 700 people have put down deposits for rides that will take them about 62 miles (100 km) above Earth, high enough to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of Earth set against the blackness of space.Virgin Galactic’s original SpaceShipTwo vehicle broke apart during an October 2014 test flight that killed the co-pilot and seriously injured the pilot, in an accident that was ultimately attributed to pilot error. Both were employees of Scaled Composites, a Northrop Grumman subsidiary based in Mojave, California, that built the vehicle.The Spaceship Company, a Virgin Galactic sister firm also owned by Branson’s London-based Virgin Group, built a new SpaceShipTwo, the second in a planned fleet of five, and took over the test flight programme from Scaled.The new ship, dubbed Unity, was rolled out of its hanger on Monday for its first taxi test at the Mojave Air and Space Port.Virgin Galactic plans to fly from Spaceport America, near Las Cruces, New Mexico. SpaceShipTwo will be ferried to an altitude of about 50,000 feet (15,000 meters) by a carrier jet known as White Knight Two and then released for an independent rocket ride beyond the atmosphere.SpaceShipTwo is designed to glide back to the ground and land on a runway like a conventional airplane.(Editing by Steve Gorman and Steve Orlofsky) Next Article A Safe Way to Get Rid Of Bugs in Your Home BACK DiCaprio, Pitt want to team up again after Tarantino hit 3 min read Virgin Galactic Sophie Turner Talks Dark Phoenix, Co-Star Jessica Chastain and GoT Summer Beauty Survival Must-Haves HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ Phenomenon Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Summer Beauty Survival Must-Haves Airbnb Wants to Take You on an All-Inclusive Adventure Heat Snapshot Beyond Meat Earnings Are Beyond Analyst Expectationscenter_img Economy adds 75K jobs in May Swimwear Styles for All Shapes and Sizes Justin Bieber Launches Plant-Based Deodorant 2 Delicious Summer Entertaining Ideas Embed 2020 Toyota Camry –shares IHOP Sees Explosive Growth in To-Go Sales Summer is here and there are some great looks this season for women of all shapes and sizes. Check out the hottest styles for hourglass, rectangle and pear shaped women. Reuters Up Next: North Carolina superintendent says new app can help reduce violence in schools Memorial Day Weekend Heat Wave Could Smash May Records Photo of solider placing flag at Tomb of Unknown Solider goes viral A Petition Is Coming ? for a ‘Game of Thrones’ Final Season Do-Over Cannes: ticketless festival-goers seek seats for films 2 Musts for Tackling Allergy Season August 2, 2016 Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Father’s Day is such a special moment for the whole family to come together and spend quality time with one another – and those are moments dad will cherish. What better way for dad to connect with his loved ones than learning about his family’s stor Lifeminute tv Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Guitarist Don ‘Fingers’ Felder Releases New Album US Navy: Russian destroyer almost collided with cruiser in the Philippine Sea Sunlight Shines on Grand Canyon Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Autoplay: On | Off Richard Branson Is Now Closer to Flying You Into Space This story originally appeared on Reuters Sophie Turner Talks Dark Phoenix, Co-Star Jessica Chastain and GoT Albany Steps Closer to Releasing Trump’s State Tax Returns After Assembly Vote The requested video is no longer available Cannes: ticketless festival-goers seek seats for films Figure Out Your Family Tree Just in Time For Father’s Day Economy adds 75K jobs in May Register Now »last_img read more

Amazon Is Cracking Down on Counterfeit Goods

first_img Writer –shares Amazon The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. August 30, 2016 Image credit: Shutterstock 2 min read Add to Queue Amazon is cracking down on more than just counterfeit reviews — the ecommerce juggernaut is waging a war against fugazi products, too. In order to sell Adidas, Asics, Hasbro, Nike and Samsung products, Amazon is asking for a $1,000 to $1,500 fee and a surfeit of paperwork according to CNBC.One of the publication’s anonymous sources provided a screenshot of the submission process for Samsung. The requirements? An invoice no more than 90 days old showing the purchase of at least 30 items, with at least five different products across the invoices.The reaction from sellers has been understandably fraught, with many saying it’s going to cut directly into their bottom line. For its part, Amazon says that the change here is to protect customers and make sure they aren’t burned by a bad purchase.”We want customers to be able to shop with confidence on Amazon,” a spokesperson said to CNBC. “For certain products and categories, Amazon requires additional performance checks, other qualification requirements and fees.”If that means fewer people wind up with knock-off goods, as a customer, it’s hard to complain. Just ask basically anyone who’s shopped on Alibaba. But! This will have an impact on smaller merchants, creating a schism between bigger sellers that can afford the fee and those who cannot.If this goes more widespread beyond things like running shoes or TVs and into smaller items like music and kitchen items, for example, it’s possible we could see less selection, higher prices and fewer sellers overall on the digital emporium. Next Article This story originally appeared on Engadget 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Amazon Is Cracking Down on Counterfeit Goods Timothy J. Seppala Apply Now »last_img read more

Fitbit to Acquire Smartwatch Company Pebble

first_img The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. December 1, 2016 As part of the deal, Pebble is expected to stop manufacturing its smartwatches. Next Article This story originally appeared on PCMag Fitbit to Acquire Smartwatch Company Pebble Add to Queue 49shares Fitbit is reportedly in advanced talks to buy smartwatch pioneer Pebble.The deal, according to The Financial Times, would boost Fitbit’s portfolio while keeping Pebble afloat.Kickstarter darling Pebble made crowdfunding history last year when it raised a record $20.3 million to produce its next-generation Time smartwatch.It earned another $26 million early this year with the help of the new Pebble Time Round, later expanding its lineup to include Pebble 2, Pebble Time 2 and Pebble Core — the company’s first non-smartwatch device.Despite its efforts to take on Fitbit’s venerable fitness trackers, Pebble in March laid off 40 employees, about 25 percent of its total staff.The struggling startup, however, shouldn’t expect much of a holiday bonus from its new parent company. With its eye on the PebbleOS software platform, Fitbit will pay “a low price” for the manufacturer, according to people close to the deal.And while Pebble is expected to retain many of its employees to maintain existing products, the company will likely discontinue production of its watches once the acquisition is complete.Fitbit declined to comment on the rumors; Pebble did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.Fitbit ended 2015 as the “undisputed worldwide leader of wearable devices,” according to research firm IDC. Apple, Xiaomi, Samsung and Garmin rounded out the top five. But fitness trackers and smartwatches are losing their luster, and market declines are leaving casualties in their wake.One-time rival to Fitbit, Jawbone over the summer denied reports that it is leaving the wearable business, despite its UP wearables falling out of fashion among many consumers.Microsoft, meanwhile, recently announced plans to phase out its Band fitness tracker, though promised continued support for the Microsoft Health platform.center_img 2 min read Apply Now » Fitbit Reporter at PCMag 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Image credit: via PC Mag Stephanie Mlotlast_img read more

Googleorg Donates 115 Million to Fight for Racial Justice

first_img Angela Moscaritolo Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Reporter The fight for racial justice just got an infusion of cash from Google.The web giant’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, has already committed more than $5 million to nonprofits advancing racial justice since 2015, but this week it more than doubled its previous pledge. Google.org is investing $11.5 million in new grants to organizations working to reform the criminal justice system. The funds will go to 10 organizations Google.org believes “can create meaningful change around racial, social and criminal justice in the U.S.,” Google.org Principal Justin Steele wrote in a Thursday blog post.”Mass incarceration is a huge issue in the United States, and a major area of focus for our grants,” Steele wrote. “The U.S. penal population has exploded, growing by 400 percent since 1984 to more than 2 million today, with Black men sentenced at over five times the rate of white men.”The largest sum, $5 million, will go to the Center for Policing Equity, a New York-based organization working with police agencies and communities to create a database to track national statistics on police behavior. Meanwhile, a $1.5 million grant will go to Measures for Justice, which is building a web platform that lets people see how their local justice system treats people based on different factors, such as race, sex, status and age.Google.org is also giving $1 million to support Impact Justice’s national Restorative Justice Project, which aims to keep youth of color out of the juvenile justice system. Other new organizations getting funding are working to train formerly incarcerated individuals (JustLeadershipUSA) and make data more accessible to criminal justice reform organizations (W. Haywood Burns Institute).”A person’s race should not determine how they are treated by the law,” Steele wrote. “We’re proud to support these organizations, and we hope that their focus on data and community-driven solutions to will bring us closer to a more just society.”Google has also sponsored community screenings of the Netflix documentary 13th in 12 Google offices across the country; Netflix has announced it will also allow the film to be screened for educational purposes. 13th, from Selma director Ava DuVernay, was up for Best Documentary at this weekend’s Academy Awards. 2 min read Add to Queue February 27, 2017 Image credit: via PC Mag The funds will go to 10 organizations working to foster racial, social and criminal justice.center_img –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business This story originally appeared on PCMag Google.org Donates $11.5 Million to Fight for Racial Justice Next Article Google Register Now »last_img read more

The Big Takeaway After Elon Musk Fumbled a Major Tesla Goal

first_img Register Now » 3 min read Nike and Target have also fallen wide of the mark recently. Here’s what you need to know when you are making your own plans Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. 82shares October 9, 2017 Nina Zipkin Entrepreneur Staffcenter_img The Big Takeaway After Elon Musk Fumbled a Major Tesla Goal Add to Queue Next Article Image credit: Shutterstock Grow Your Business Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Tesla last week reported that it is behind on its production goals for the Model 3, it’s more affordable $35,000 vehicle. When Model 3 production began during the summer, CEO Elon Musk shared on Twitter that he anticipated that by September, the company would make more than 1,500 of the cars, aiming to make 20,000 Model 3 cars per month by December.Handover party for first 30 customer Model 3’s on the 28th! Production grows exponentially, so Aug should be 100 cars and Sept above 1500.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2017But the lofty goal has not been met. According to its most recent investor letter, the company has made 260 cars in the third quarter. If you ordered a Model 3 today, you could expect the delivery sometime in the middle of 2018. The company says that while nothing was fundamentally wrong with the supply chain, it owed the slower than expected manufacturing to “production bottlenecks” and some systems not working as fast as they would have hoped.Related: The Perfect Product is a Myth. Here’s How to Scale the Almost-Perfect Product. And Tesla isn’t the only company who has had some trouble meeting its goals lately. While Nike was aiming to bring in annual sales of $50 billion by 2020, analysts are now predicting that it will only reach $42.5 billion in that time. In 2015, Target said that it was working toward a 40 percent growth of its digital sales, but instead hit 31 percent in 2015 and 27 percent in 2016.So how do you account for these gaps between ambition and business reality? The Economist Intelligence Unit and strategy consultant the Brightline Initiative recently polled a group of 500 senior executives at companies that have annual revenues of $1 billion or more. Their study found that even the most successful business regularly find themselves in these types of situations.Ninety percent of executives said that they don’t meet their strategic goals because they do not implement them well. Fifty-three percent said that under delivering to its customer base leaves them open to competitors filling that void. And 59 percent report that their businesses “often struggle to bridge the gap between strategy development and its practical, day-to-day implementation.”Related: Scale-up Secrets From 7-Figure EntrepreneursSo as your business grows, what can you do to make sure it doesn’t fall into these traps? Communication is key.The researchers recommend that as you plan and implement your strategy, remember that the teams responsible for planning, design and execution should also be in constant contact with one another. Additionally, it’s important to remember not to make your goals in a vacuum. You can’t just watch the market and hope that will be enough to inform these decisions.“Outside stakeholders, including consumers and suppliers, can and should be harnessed as active partners in strategy delivery,” the researchers wrote.Lastly, make sure that there is a way to move quickly and efficiently if something does go wrong. “Discuss challenges openly and adjust plans as needed. Learn to reward sensible failure, or at least accept it as valuable input,” the researchers advise. “At the same time, keep an end-goal in sight, so that your organization isn’t knocked off track by overreacting to short-term developments.”Related video: This Skincare Business Has Been Around Since 1851. What’s the Secret?last_img read more

YouTubes HighestPaid Star Just Trolled Everyone Heres What You Can Learn

first_img 117shares Apply Now » Nina Zipkin Next Article YouTube December 9, 2016 Image credit: PewDiePie | Youtube 3 min read Entrepreneur Staffcenter_img Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Add to Queue 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List The joke’s on us.Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, known as PewDiePie to now more than 50 million YouTube subscribers, posted a video earlier this week announcing he would exit the platform that made him famous if he reached the 50 million threshold.The U.K.-based creator has been making vlogs and videos of him playing video games — with jokes and commentary — since 2010. This year, Forbes named the Swede the highest paid YouTuber, with reported earnings of $15 million this year.In the inciting video last week, Kjellberg expressed irritation at being unknowingly unsubscribed from channels or not seeing content that he was subscribed to. He said that he first noticed that there was an issue when vlogs he released hadn’t reached 2 million views.Related: YouTube Star PewDiePie Posts Brilliant Reply to Those Outraged by His $7 Million Income (VIDEO)After claiming that YouTube told him it didn’t know what was happening with the apparent subscription issue, he also expressed displeasure with the recommendation algorithm YouTube has in place.Kjellberg has the most subscribers of any creator on YouTube, he wrote a book that went to number 1 on The New York Times bestseller list and last year, he launched his own network, Revelmode, under the auspices of Maker Studios, the digital production company owned by Disney.Related: YouTube’s Biggest Star Is Getting His Own Network From DisneyA flurry of press coverage followed the announcement, with the central question being: What did this massively popular creator with a huge following stand to gain by burning it all down?”You know when you make a joke, and it just blows up way bigger than you ever imagined?”That’s right. Having reached 50 million subscribers, Kjellberg deleted his channel at noon EST, Dec. 9, as promised — but it was his second channel. He never specified which channel would bite the dust.”Thanks for 50 million subs,” the final screen of the video reads, “will delete PewDiePie at 100 million.”Sure, and I’m the Queen of England.Related: YouTube Star PewDiePie’s Firm Rakes in $8 Million ProfitSo what can you take away from all of this?Well, clearly the old adage that any publicity is good publicity still rings true. Kjellberg wanted to get to 50 million subscribers in an expedient fashion, and figured that his similarly-minded fan base would get him there. The move also allowed him to call out YouTube, while still showing how valuable his brand is to the platform.He believed in his product and he went big. And whether you’re a fan of his methods or not, you can’t deny that it ended up working for him. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. YouTube’s Highest-Paid Star Just Trolled Everyone. Here’s What You Can Learn. The reason why should be obvious, but many fell for PewDiePie’s stunt.last_img read more

How a 9 Billion Startup Deceived Silicon Valley

first_img By Steve Kovach and Emmanuel OcbazghiJohn Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal broke the original story about how Theranos, a company that pitched a revolutionary blood-testing system, was misleading investors, patients, and business partners about how its technology worked. Carreyrou’s new book, Bad Blood, documents the history of Theranos and how its CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, sold a vision that was too good to be true. Carreyrou sat down with Business Insider to talk about how Theranos was able to pull off this massive deception.Following is a transcript of the video. Steve Kovach: Theranos was one of those Silicon Valley stories that sounded too good to be true. It was going to revolutionize the laboratory testing industry. And it turns out, it was too good to be true. John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal charted that story about Theranos in his new book, Bad Blood. John, thanks for joining us. John Carreyrou: Thanks for having me. Steve Kovach: So, let’s talk about what Theranos was saying it’s technology could do and what it was actually doing behind the scenes. What were they selling to the public and investors? John Carreyrou: Right, so, when I started looking into the company in early 2015, they had already gone live with the blood test for a year and a half. Steve Kovach: And this was in Walgreens? John Carreyrou: In Walgreens stores, they’d rolled out in a couple Walgreens stores in Northern California and then another 40 or 45 Walgreens stores in the Phoenix area. And the claim was that they had a technology that could run the full range of laboratory tests from just a drop or two of blood pricked from the finger, get you very fast results and do it at a fraction of the cost as regular laboratories, even cheaper than Medicare. The reality was that Theranos had a prototype that was the last iteration of its device called the Mini Lab. And that was a malfunctioning prototype that it was still trying to make work. And when they had gone live in the fall of 2013, they had gone live with a previous iteration of the technology they called the Edison, so named after Thomas Edison, that was actually a very limited machine. It could only do one class of blood tests known as immunoassays. And it didn’t do those tests well. It was an error-ridden machine. And so for the rest of the tests on the menu, and they had about 250 tests on the menu, they had hacked machines made by the German conglomerate, Siemens. They had modified them so that they could accommodate small blood samples. And then there was a third bucket of tests that they just did the regular, the old regular way with venous draws, drawing the same amount of blood as everyone else and running it also on commercial analyzers. Steve Kovach: So how does this happen? This is a highly regulated industry here in the US, you would think something like this that was mostly smoke and mirrors wouldn’t be able to get past regulators let alone into a major retail chain like Walgreens. What did Elizabeth Holmes and her colleagues do to sway regulators and sway Walgreens into believing that this should actually be put to use on real patients? John Carreyrou: Right. So for one thing they exploited a, what I call a regulatory no man’s land, in the laboratory space. You have on the one hand the FDA which regulates reviews and improves the laboratory instruments that labs use that they buy off the shelf and that they use in their labs. And on the other hand, you have CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is the regulator of clinical laboratories. But, then there’s this category of tests known as laboratory developed tests which are fashioned by labs with their own methods that aren’t really regulated by either of these entities. And Elizabeth Holmes and her boyfriend, Sunny Balwani, were able to exploit this third category and say we fall in this category, what are known as LDTs, because we’re using our own proprietary machine within the walls of our own lab. Therefore, we don’t have to be reviewed by the FDA or at least our machines don’t have to be reviewed by the FDA. And CMS which regulates labs doesn’t look closely at LDTs so that’s the loophole that they were able to exploit. Theranos had been doing, had been attempting to validate its technology for years with pharmaceutical companies. All these validation studies with big pharma companies had failed and in early 2010 it was running out of options so it decided to go straight to consumers. And the way to do that was to align with a retail partner and so they started courting Walgreens. And they told Walgreens, we’ve got this great technology, it’s portable, it can do all these tests off just a drop of blood and we want to partner with you. And Walgreens was desperate for a new way to renewed growth. And so it started meeting with Elizabeth in Palo Alto and in Chicago where Walgreens is based. And it hired a laboratory consultant, named Kevin Hunter to help it do due diligence. And this guy, Keven Hunter, as I explained in the book, very early on smelled a rat. And tried to alert Walgreens executives to his suspicions and they just wouldn’t listen to him. Related: 6 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From the Fall of TheranosSteve Kovach: So these tests are being done in Walgreens, you know they’re hyping the technology, cover stories on famous magazines and so forth. Why weren’t we hearing much from the medical community or if we were why did it seem so diminished? Why weren’t there more flags from peers in the industry? John Carreyrou: Right. There were whispers in especially the field of laboratory science. But the bottom line is that the company was so secretive and very little if anything was filtering out of the company itself. So, while there were some skeptics in academia and in the field of laboratory testing, all they could say was that there was this company that was getting a lot of hype, whose founder was becoming a Silicon Valley celebrity, at the same time wasn’t doing what you usually do in medicine, which is that you publish studies about your innovation and you publish them in peer-reviewed publications and you have your peers check what you’re doing and verify it. So there were a couple laboratory scientists who actually wrote op-eds in scientific journals. One of them was Dr. Ioannidis at Stanford who came out with a gen op-ed in, I believe it was 2015. I’d already started digging into the company at that point. A couple months later, a laboratory scientist at the University of Toronto, I believe, had another op-ed in another scientific journal. Steve Kovach: Which no one reads these by the way, it’s not like The Wall Street Journal where everyone’s going to see it. It’s like these nerdy guys just talking about it. John Carreyrou: And you know, they started raising alarm bells about the secrecy, about the, they called it the stealth research. Steve Kovach: Which doesn’t happen in this industry, it should be peer reviewed right? John Carreyrou: Right, it should be, it certainly hasn’t been the way medical science has unfolded for the past century. And so, to their credit, they were on the right track. They didn’t have the goods in terms of knowing what was actually going on behind the scenes. But, they had the right intuition. Steve Kovach: This story sounds a lot like what we hear from Silicon Valley, the overpromise and under deliver. You know, we’re going to put out this really cool phone, turns out to be vaporware. How does that relate to what happened with Theranos? John Carreyrou: In this case, I think Elizabeth lost sight of the fact that her company wasn’t a computer software company. Steve Kovach: Even though she was running it like that. John Carreyrou: She was running it like that. She lost sight of the fact that it was first and foremost a healthcare company. A medical technology company whose product doctors and patients were going to rely on to make crucial health decisions. Steve Kovach: And if that new iPhone doesn’t come out it’s not going to affect your health. Related: Theranos: The House of Cards That Elizabeth Holmes BuiltJohn Carreyrou: And that’s a big part of what went wrong with this story is by really draping herself in the modus operandi of Silicon Valley, instead of modeling herself after say the biotech industry or another corner of the healthcare industry. She ended up behaving that way and while it’s OK most of the time to behave that way in traditional tech, it isn’t in healthcare.  This story originally appeared on Business Insider How a $9 Billion Startup Deceived Silicon Valley Author John Carreyrou of ‘Bad Blood’ — which documents the rise and fall of Theranos — explains how Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes got away with deception for as long as she did. Theranos 58shares Register Now » May 24, 2018center_img 8 min read Image credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Add to Queue Next Article last_img read more

States Are Starting to Certify Organic Cannabis Because the Feds Wont

first_img That organic produce you pay a premium for is certified under a federal program that excludes marijuana, even when grown legally under state law. Member of the Faculty Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. Next Article States Are Starting to Certify Organic Cannabis Because the Feds Won’t Jon Baumunk Recently, agricultural committee leadership of both the United States Senate and House of Representatives announced they had reached a tentative agreement on the 2018 Farm Bill. If passed in its current form, this legislation will pave the way for industrial hemp and one of its non-psychoactive compounds, cannabidiol (CBD), to become fully legal under federal law. As a result, domestic industrial hemp producers soon could be eligible for organic certification by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).Federal organic certification indicates to consumers that a farmer or processor complies with federal organic regulations, which permits it to lawfully sell, label and otherwise represent that its products are organic. To receive federal organic certification, the products must be overseen by a certifying agent authorized by the USDA’s National Organic Program, not use excluded agricultural methods, such as genetic engineering and ionizing radiation, and use allowed substances.According to Nathaniel Lewis, a member of the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Organic Advisory Board, “USDA organic certification is a marketing program based around strict production standards. These production standards translate into lower pesticide use, carbon sequestration and increasing environmental health.”However, unlike industrial hemp, federal organic certification of cannabis that contains the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is unlikely to occur in the near future. As long as this type of cannabis continues to be classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. §801 et seq.), it will remain ineligible for federal organic certification because it is not considered a crop. Therefore, states where cannabis is legal have begun to create their own substitutes for federal organic certification. For example, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is required to create an “organic” cannabis program by 2021.Related: The World Health Organization Won’t Reschedule Cannabis. Should We Care?In May 2017, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill sponsored by Republican Senator Ann Rivers that “creates a voluntary program for the certification and regulation of organic marijuana products,” which is likely to begin certifying cannabis according to organic-like standards in early 2019. According to Lewis, the WSDA’s “certified cannabis” program “will mark the first time that cannabis producers will be regulated directly by a state department of agriculture. It will also mark the first time that a state department of agriculture will have authority to regulate marketing claims made on cannabis.”Both the CDFA’s “OCal” organic cannabis project and the WSDA’s “certified cannabis” program intend to essentially follow federal organic standards. According to Lewis, “Residue testing under WSDA’s ‘certified cannabis’ program will require that any certified cannabis product have test results less than 0.01 parts per million, the typical limit of detection for any multi-residue pesticide screen. This approach will ensure that consumers are not consuming products with harmful chemicals on them. Until additional research is conducted on the safety of residues on cannabis products, this precautionary approach is prudent and appropriate.”Related: How to Start and Market Your CBD CompanyHowever, others feel a more state-specific approach is desirable. Due to concerns about the amount of electricity used for indoor cannabis cultivation, the Washington SunGrowers Industry Association (WSIA), whose mission is “to support sungrown cannabis by encouraging environmental and economic sustainability through advocacy, education, and research,” has created its own cannabis certification called “Orca Safe.” Citing Denver Department of Public Health and Environment data, which indicate that cannabis businesses consume nearly 4 percent of the electricity in that city, WSIA contends that indoor cannabis cultivation in Washington is harming the environment due to high energy use. According to the Institute for Energy Research, hydroelectric power accounts for more than two thirds of Washington’s production of electricity.Related: The Next Big Thing in ‘Green’ Packaging Is Hemp BioplasticAccording to Wild Orca, a Washington non-profit organization “dedicated to supporting research, spreading awareness, and collaborating in the mitigation of threats facing endangered killer whales,” consumers should, among other things, “buy as much local and/or organic food as possible“ to create a home that is “orca safe.” However, Wild Orca also mentions concerns about dams that block salmon — which a certain killer whale “ecotype” almost exclusively eats during the summer months — from their natal spawning grounds. In WSIA’s view, a WSDA-certified cannabis standard that doesn’t also help curb the amount of electricity cannabis grown indoors consumes would not go far enough.Despite WSIA’s concern about the amount of electricity used by indoor cannabis cultivation, Lewis remains supportive of the WSDA’s “certified cannabis” program, stating, “I believe this to be a significant step in the direction of legitimizing and mainstreaming cannabis production into American agriculture. It is clearly an agricultural product, despite its inconsistent federal and state classification, and interacting with a state department of agriculture will move the needle for cannabis producers seeking to make cannabis production a legitimate commercial enterprise.”As demonstrated in Washington, because cannabis containing more than minimal amounts of THC remains illegal under federal law, there are potentially competing policy goals in the development of state-level “organic” certification standards. On the one hand, conformity and ease of adaptation to federal organic certification standards seem to be guiding regulators in at least two states, while on the other hand, at least one cannabis industry association has raised an environmental concern that is at least arguably outside the scope of existing federal guidelines. As California and other states begin to develop “organic” cannabis standards, they and the affected businesses should be prepared to address concerns that may depart from existing federal organic certification requirements. Legal Marijuana Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. –shares December 14, 2018 Add to Queue Image credit: Juanmonino | Getty Images Guest Writer Free Green Entrepreneur App 5 min read Download Our Free Android Applast_img read more

Halo Top Creamery introduces lowcalorie vegan ice creams

first_imgHalo Top Creamery introduces low-calorie vegan ice creamsPosted By: News Deskon: September 29, 2017In: Dairy, Industries, Innovation, New productsPrintEmailUS ice cream company Halo Top Creamery will launch a low-calorie ice cream range which is also non-dairy and vegan-friendly.Made with coconut milk, the line will be available in seven flavours: peanut butter cup, chocolate, oatmeal cookie, sea salt caramel, caramel macchiato, cinnamon roll, and chocolate-covered banana.The new non-dairy and vegan flavors join Halo Top’s collection of 25 low-calorie ice cream pints, including its classics like chocolate chip cookie dough and birthday cake.Los Angeles-based Halo Top Creamery was founded in 2012 by former lawyer Justin Woolverton. It claims its products are high in protein and low in sugar.“The number one request that we get from our fans is to make a non-dairy and vegan-friendly version of Halo Top,” said Woolverton.“Whether you have to or choose to restrict dairy – or only eat vegan – we always want to make sure we listen to our fans.“It took a long time to get it right, but we’re absolutely thrilled with the outcome and can’t wait for our fans to try these flavours.”The release is the latest non-dairy ice cream to hit the market, following Unilever’s new Ben & Jerry’s launch and the non-dairy Häagen-Dazs range.The Halo Top Creamery vegan ice cream will be available in the US from mid-October.Share with your network: Tags: Dairyice creamnew productUnited Stateslast_img read more

TNA opens new manufacturing facility in the Netherlands

first_imgTNA opens new manufacturing facility in the NetherlandsPosted By: News Deskon: April 17, 2018In: Agriculture, Business, Food, Industries, ManufacturingPrintEmailTNA has inaugurated a new manufacturing facility in Woerden, the Netherlands, enhancing the company’s ability to supply processing equipment to manufacturers in the potato processing industry.TNA says the new 3,600 square-metre facility will manufacture a comprehensive range of processing equipment, including fryers and freezers and pre-processing equipment such as peelers, washers and dryers.The facility will also incorporate an expanded ‘Food Technology Testing Centre’, which will show clients how TNA’s food processing equipment operates in a fully-operational factory setting.TNA claims that the new facility will reinforce the company’s position as one of the leading suppliers to manufacturers in the potato and vegetable processing industries.Nadia Taylor, co-founder and director of TNA said: “We’re incredibly excited to officially open our new food processing centre.“The new site is three times bigger than the previous Florigo factory, which not only strengthens our current manufacturing capabilities, but also ensures that we have the capacity to further expand our operations in the future.“It’s also great news for our customers who now have even more room to test our equipment. From cutting and drying through to frying, seasoning and distribution, all the way to our high-speed packaging technology, the new factory will be the first place where we’ll get to showcase our entire range of start-to-finish solutions.”TNA’s CEO Alf Taylor added: “The Netherlands has always played an important role in the global potato processing industry.”The Dutch are not only amongst the top ten potato producers in the world, but also achieve the highest average yield rates per square meter.“We’re proud to be part of such an important sector and look forward to continue sharing our own success with the local industry.”Share with your network: Tags: manufacturingNetherlandspotatoesprocessingTNAlast_img read more

2 Sisters Food Group appoints Ronald Kers as its new CEO

first_img2 Sisters Food Group appoints Ronald Kers as its new CEOPosted By: News Deskon: May 17, 2018In: Agriculture, Appointments, Business, Distribution, Food, Industries, ManufacturingPrintEmailUK-based meat producer 2 Sisters Food Group has appointed Ronald Kers as its new CEO, effective from 1 June 2018.Ronald Kers, the new CEO of 2 Sisters Food GroupKers formerly served as the global CEO of Müller, and he brings with him more than two decades of experience at global FMCG companies including Nestlé and Procter & Gamble.He will replace Ranjit Singh in the role, who announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down from his position after 25 years at the helm, and he was subsequently appointed as President of 2 Sisters’ parent company Boparan Holdings.Singh made the announcement following a challenging few months for the company, during which time it was implicated in a food hygiene scandal following an investigation by The Guardian and ITV.Workers at a 2 Sisters plant in West Bromwich were found to be altering kill dates and the undercover report stated that employees were seen changing records of where the chickens had been slaughtered.These allegations led to the proposed closure of three of the company’s UK production facilities earlier this year, putting up to 900 jobs at risk.Commenting on the appointment, Singh said: “This appointment underlines our serious intention to do what we say we’re going to do.“I am pleased that Ronald is joining 2 Sisters as CEO and we will benefit from his tremendous experience working in many of the world’s leading global food businesses.“The last 25 years has been all about growing 2 Sisters. Today we have reset our direction and we are focusing back on our core strengths and getting back to what we do best – delivering great value, great quality food for our customers.”Kers added: “2 Sisters is an incredible company and I am pleased to take over from Ranjit and write the next chapter of its success story, one which is often overlooked. Under Ranjit’s leadership this business has grown from scratch to over £3.2bn turnover and has 23,000 employees working across 48 sites in various countries.“It will be a privilege to work with such a successful entrepreneur.“Ranjit and his team have built some strong foundations here and all colleagues should never forget how we help feed consumers in several countries every day with quality, affordable food. That is something to be extremely proud of.“We are already the largest food business in the UK but what I would like to do now is, with the help of all colleagues, customers and other stakeholders, transform the business from good to great to being the best everywhere we operate.”Share with your network: Tags: 2 Sisters Food GrouppoultryUKlast_img read more

Vion invests 35m euros to modernise Boxtel meat factory

first_imgVion invests 35m euros to modernise Boxtel meat factoryPosted By: Martin Whiteon: March 06, 2019In: Business, Food, Industries, ManufacturingPrintEmailVion Food Group has invested €35 million to modernise its meat production facility in Boxtel, the Netherlands, as the company aims to consolidate its production operations and optimise its supply chain.As a direct result of the investment, some of the operations taking place at the company’s production site in Scherpenzeel – such as the production of pork ribs – will cease and be moved to the Boxtel site.Vion says that the approximately 120 workers at the Scherpenzeel site will be relocated to the company’s Boxtel, Apeldoorn or Groenlo sites, or will leave “by means of natural labour turnover.”According to Vion, this consolidation process will allow the company to operate a shorter supply chain and increase efficiency, while the operation of a single facility will make the company’s operations more sustainable. Vion estimates that the move will reduce the distance travelled by goods transport vehicles by one million kilometres annually.The proposed plan is estimated to be completed by mid-2021, and has the full backing of Vion Food Group’s shareholders.John de Jonge, COO at Vion Pork, said: “This investment in a more integrated production is an important step for Vion.“It will improve our international competitive position and the quality of our products. Thanks to the careful approach, we limit the nuisance for neighbours to a minimum and it will contribute considerably to making the production of meat more sustainable.“Optimising the production chain is one of the focal points in our strategy.”Share with your network: Tags: meatNetherlandsporkVion Food Grouplast_img read more

Mealtime Partners Address the Issue of Dehydration in Individuals with Disabilities

first_imgDrink-Aide on Wheelchair Mealtime Partners Inc. is an organization that aims to provide individuals with a physical disability the opportunity to eat and drink independently. Mealtime Partners offers a broad range of drinking systems, some of which provide hands free drinking and can be mounted to a wheelchair or bed. Others address the special swallowing needs of our clients including drinking thickened liquids or needing a controlled amount of liquid for each swallow. In their January 2011 Independent Eating and Drinking Newsletter, Mealtime Partners addresses the widespread issue of dehydration, which is a common ailment of individuals who lack the physical ability to adequately feed and hydrate themselves. The following is an excerpt from the January newsletter.The High Cost of DehydrationMedical treatment for rehydration is estimated to have exceeded $1 billion in the U.S. in 1999 for elderly patients, alone. If these costs are projected to 2010 it is an enormous medical expense that could be significantly reduced with preventative treatment.Because medical costs are skyrocketing there is a movement towards providing preventative medical treatment to reduce overall medical cost in the United States. Many health conditions, if treated appropriately on a regular basis, can be managed without hospitalization or the need for emergency treatment, but if neglected can become life threatening. Some examples of these are diabetes, high blood pressure, and some heart conditions. However, something as simple as adequate hydration is often overlooked as a significant health issue that is essential for ongoing good health. When hydration is neglected and someone becomes dehydrated, many negative health issues can occur.Dehydration is an ongoing problem for many people, especially those with disabilities. It is responsible for health problems such as urinary tract infections, kidney problems, skin tissue deterioration, and headaches. All of these conditions require medical treatment that, in some cases, can be protracted, require hospitalization, and thus be very expensive.In most cases, dehydration is preventable! However, it takes a vigilant caregiver to offer a drink on a regular schedule to keep someone adequately hydrated. This is a difficult task when someone is undertaking many care-giving responsibilities. Often, what happens is the person is offered a large drink, infrequently. This introduces an element of risk to the health of the person. When drinking a large quantity of liquid at a time, the person drinking takes a sizeable volume of liquid into their mouth at one time, and swallows repeatedly to clear all of the liquid from their mouth. With each swallow, within the sequence of swallows, the risk of choking or aspiration increases. Therefore, because of the added risk, this is a poor method of avoiding dehydration.For most people a drinking system can be made available to them even if they are unable to hold or lift a cup. However, regardless of this easy solution to avoiding dehydration, Medicare, Medicaid and private health care insurance providers consider all drinking systems as “aids for daily living” and do not cover their cost. However, they do cover the cost of an emergency room visit and/or hospital stay that was brought about by dehydration. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), about one in  ten of the nearly 40 million hospitalizations in 2008 were potentially avoidable. Dehydration was among the conditions for which hospitalization was avoidable with the appropriate outpatient care.Additionally, according to the National Pressure Ulcer Long-Term Care Study (NPULS), dehydration was associated with a 42% increase in risk of developing pressure ulcers in nursing home residents. The estimated annual cost for treating pressure, or decubidus, ulcers in the United States is $1.3 billion.Would it not be wiser for Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance providers to fund drinking systems for those clients who are unable to drink independently? It certainly appears to be one inexpensive approach for reducing overall medical expenses in the United States.For more information on Mealtime Partners drinking systems, click here or call 800-996-8607To receive the Mealtime Partners monthly newsletter, click here!Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint Related4 Products for Eating IndependentlyMarch 20, 2019Similar postA Healing Hand in Accessible HealthcareJanuary 27, 2016In “Communication”AM286 – Bestic for Mealtime independenceMay 18, 2018In “Accessibility Minute”last_img read more

Walmart Expands Program to Provide Talking Prescription Containers

first_imgImage source: www.lflegal.comIn June, 2012, Walmart became the first national pharmacy retailer to offer free, Talking Prescription Containers to people with visual impairments.  The ScripTalk Talking Prescription program is offered to customers across the country through Walmart mail order.  In addition to the national mail order program, Walmart now offers ScripTalk at 33 stores around the country.If you’d like to order ScripTalk talking prescription containers, first you should contact Walmart. You can call Walmar’s dedicated toll free phone line for ScripTalk requests.  The toll free number is 1-888-227-3403.To listen to the talking label provided by Walmart, you will need reading device from Envision America, the company that makes ScripTalk.  The device you will need is called a ScripTalk reader (or the ScripTalk machine or device) and isavailable free of charge to Walmart pharmacy customers who are blind.  Envision America has a dedicated toll-free line for requests, and for general ScripTalk service & inquiries.  You can reach Envision America by calling 1-855-773-2579 (1-855-SPEAK-RX.)If you are a Walmart customer with a visual impairment who’s store is not yet offering ScripTalk, contact Walmart at 1-888-227-3403 to request that the ScripTalk containers be offered at your store.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedTalking Pill ReminderJuly 1, 2014In “Medical Equipment”Home delivery services improve accessibility of food, medications, and medical care for people with transportation issues.October 1, 2014In “Services”Consumer Highlight: Wade Jackson Sr.July 10, 2017In “Consumer Highlight”last_img read more

OrCam MyEye See for Yourself

first_imgOrCam is a company focused on wearable technology to help people who are blind or have visual impairment better interact with the world around them through the concept of “artificial vision.”Their signature product is the MyEye, a miniature smart camera that sits on a normal eyeglasses frame, converting visual information into the spoken word.It can read printed words on any surface, from computer screens to newspapers and books to street signs, and instantly relay the information to the user through a mini speaker.The MyEye also stores and recognizes familiar faces and identifies consumer products, cash and credit cards. It can be activated by pressing a button or just pointing a finger! There’s no need to learn new software or use other tools.For people who are blind, visually impaired, or have dyslexia, aphasia or other similar conditions. OrCam MyEye gives independence.Click here to learn more, or watch the video below.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterest1LinkedInEmailPrint RelatedAM179 – OrcamApril 15, 2016In “Accessibility Minute”ATU249 – Orcam, Free Web Accessibility Webinar, Wearable Robot Arms for Drummers, Microsoft’s Accessibility Plans for 2016March 4, 2016In “Assistive Technology Update”OrCam: Artificial Vision for Visually ImpairedFebruary 19, 2015In “Products and Devices”last_img read more

Monday Tech Tip Open Sesame

first_imgShai Eilat from Sesame Enable shows us Open Sesame! app that allows you to use head gestures to control your smart phone or tablet.Check it out here:Click here for additional information about Open Sesame!.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint Relatedlast_img

Monday Tech Tip Bluebee Pals Educational Toy

first_imgJustin Amber, Equipment Loan Specialist, at Easterseals Crossroads shows us one of the Bluebee Pals, which is a bluetooth interactive educational toy.Check it out here:Click here for additional information about Bluebee Pals.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint Related6 Toy Ideas to Encourage Language–Part 3: Holiday Gift Guide 2015December 2, 2015In “Products and Devices”Monday Tech Tip: Adaptive Ride-On Toy Cars by AbleRacersMay 6, 2019In “Tech Tips”Monday Tech Tip: Assistive Technology “Then and Now” Adaptive ToysAugust 13, 2012In “Easter Seals Crossroads”last_img

NTT DATA Presents the Future of Digital Acceleration

first_imgIn a successful narrative exercise, the series is structured in six episodes. Each episode corresponds to what in the series is known as DFAs – Digital Focus Areas – that is, the six fundamental themes that, now in 2019, are causing digital acceleration and the transformation of industries. The six DFAs are: Intelligent Automation, Customer Experience, Data & Intelligence, IoT, IT Optimization and Cybersecurity. These focus areas are related to another great structural feature, the Dual Format. Each episode ends with interviews to experts of the technologies exposed in the fiction.In each episode Adam faces a professional challenge related to each of the thematic areas. It depicts the future in which there are ordinary people with the difference that they coexist with robots and advanced artificial intelligences in an amazingly natural way. People who solve problems using technology that today can be utopian or typical of science fiction novels.Marketing Technology News: Accelerators Launched for Rapid Execution and Faster Time to Market NTT DATA launches the second season of its branded content series for NTT DATA, WAKE UP. The series focuses on the six fundamental areas of digital transformationWAKE UP 2 is a series divided into six episodes plus an introduction. It is a branded content, developed by Growthland exclusively for NTT DATA. Throughout the series the viewer can follow the personal and professional avatars of the charismatic protagonist, Adam, whom we already met in the first installment. In this season, viewers witness a dramatic change in Adam’s life.Marketing Technology News: NextStage to Support YSEOP, a World Leader in AI Dedicated to Natural Language Generation, in View to Accelerating Growth, Particularly in the United StatesOld timers will remember the Adam of the first season, a man alien to the modern world, which he entered without warning after spending ten years in a deep coma caused by mysterious reasons. On this occasion, viewers find a completely changed Adam. His innocence and curiosity, his vision and purity, have helped him to become the new CIO – Chief Innovation Officer – of a fictitious technological titan.Marketing Technology News: SynergySuite Closes $6 Million Series A Led by First Analysis NTT DATA Presents the Future of Digital Acceleration PRNewswireJuly 15, 2019, 1:29 pmJuly 15, 2019 center_img Automationcustomer experiencedata intelligenceDigital AccelerationIoTNewsNTT DATA Previous ArticleYAO Network Makes BaaS 3.0 a RealityNext ArticleMarTech Interview with Joe Sacchetti, Head of Channel Partner Program at KeyedInlast_img read more

ContractZen Makes Deploying Enterprise Software As Easy As Installing an App

first_imgContractZen Makes Deploying Enterprise Software As Easy As Installing an App Business WireJuly 16, 2019, 7:45 pmJuly 16, 2019 ContractZenMarketing Technology NewsMarkus MikolaNewsSaas Previous ArticleOneMarket Introduces First Customer Activation Platform Dedicated to RetailNext ArticleIBM And AT&T Announce Multi-Year Strategic Alliance ContractZen’s SaaS Software for Meetings & Contract Management is Among First of 20 Products That Can Be Purchased from Microsoft’s New Commerce-Enabled MarketplacesContractZen announced that its SaaS-based solution for board meetings and contract management is one of the first 20 products available for purchase directly from Microsoft AppSource, and other commercial marketplaces where millions of companies shop for business software.Marketing Technology News: Blue Prism Collaborates with Microsoft to Deliver Free Cloud Trial on AzureContractZen’s presence in the Microsoft’s commercial marketplaces means that companies can now buy and start using ContractZen’s enterprise-grade SaaS solution as easily as one installs a consumer mobile app from Google Play or Apple App Store.“Just like the app stores forever changed how we get new software onto our mobile phones, we see the ability to purchase ContractZen and other SaaS solutions directly within the AppSource as a similar game-changing event for B2B software,” said Markus Mikola, Founder & CEO of ContractZen Ltd. “Microsoft’s commerce-enabled marketplaces give us global-scale awareness and distribution, and customers can find and buy our software from one trusted source. In addition, ContractZen can be sold via Microsoft’s direct sales force and Microsoft’s 70,000 cloud resellers.”Marketing Technology News:Aussie Anthony Capano appointed Managing Director, International at Rakuten MarketingContractZen customers can manage their software licenses to ContractZen and other vendors all from a single system, and ContractZen and all other SaaS solutions on the Microsoft commerce platform are optimized to work seamlessly with other Microsoft software technologies and environments.“We’re pleased to see innovative solutions like ContractZen’s, which is built on Microsoft Azure, adding immediate value to the commercial marketplaces. This is exactly the type of technology solution that our enterprise customers are searching for, and it helps our sales reps be more successful in helping customers,” said Kirsten Edmondson Wolfe, Senior Director, Microsoft AppSource Product Marketing.Marketing Technology News: ANSYS Welcomes Lynn Ledwith as Vice President of Marketinglast_img read more

What Is Speculative Execution

first_img The Dangerous ‘Toy Story 4’ Scene One Million Moms is Protesting You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet Why Billy Hargrove from ‘Stranger Things’ Looks So Familiar Iconic Movie Scenes These Actors Totally Regret Filming The Surprising Reason Why Brandon Routh Is Returning to Superman 28 Comments Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. Saying Goodbye to Johnny Depp As discussion of the Spectre and Meltdown flaws continues to dominate the tech news cycle, there has been repeated reference to a specific feature of high-end CPUs: speculative execution. It’s a key capability of higher-end ARM products, Apple’s custom ARM cores, IBM’s POWER family, and the vast majority of the x86 processors produced by Intel and AMD. Here’s what speculative execution is and how it relates to other key capabilities of modern microprocessors, and how the recent Meltdown bug targets Intel CPUs in particular.What Is Speculative Execution?Speculative execution is a technique CPU designers use to improve CPU performance. It’s one of three components of out-of-order execution, also known as dynamic execution. Along with multiple branch prediction (used to predict the instructions most likely to be needed in the near future) and dataflow analysis (used to align instructions for optimal execution, as opposed to executing them in the order they came in), speculative execution delivered a dramatic performance improvement over previous Intel processors. Because these techniques worked so well, they were quickly adopted by AMD, which used out-of-order processing beginning with the K5. ARM’s focus on low-power mobile processors initially kept it out of the OOoE playing field, but the company adopted out-of-order execution when it built the Cortex A9 and has continued to expand its use of the technique with later, more powerful Cortex-branded CPUs.Here’s how it works. Modern CPUs are all pipelined, which means they’re capable of executing multiple instructions in parallel, as shown in the diagram below.Image by Wikipedia. This is a general diagram of a pipelined CPU, showing how instructions move through the processor from clock cycle to clock cycle.Imagine that the green block represents an if-then-else branch. The branch predictor calculates which branch is more likely to be taken, fetches the next set of instructions associated with that branch, and begins speculatively executing them before it knows which of the two code branches it’ll be using. In the diagram above, these speculative instructions are represented as the purple box. If the branch predictor guessed correctly, then the next set of instructions the CPU needed are lined up and ready to go, with no pipeline stall or execution delay.Without branch prediction and speculative execution, the CPU doesn’t know which branch it will take until the first instruction in the pipeline (the green box) finishes executing and moves to Stage 4. Instead of having moving straight from one set of instructions to the next, the CPU has to wait for the appropriate instructions to arrive. This hurts system performance since it’s time the CPU could be performing useful work.The reason its “speculative” execution, of course, is because the CPU might be wrong. If it is, the system loads the appropriate data and executes those instructions instead. But branch predictors aren’t wrong very often; accuracy rates are typically above 95 percent.Why Use Speculative Execution?Decades ago, before out-of-order execution was invented, CPUs were what we today call “in order” designs. Instructions executed in the order they were received, with no attempt to reorder them or execute them more efficiently. One of the major problems with in-order execution is that a pipeline stall stops the entire CPU until the issue is resolved.The other problem that drove the development of speculative execution was the gap between CPU and main memory speeds. The graph below shows the gap between CPU and memory clocks. As the gap grew, the amount of time the CPU spent waiting on main memory to deliver information grew as well. Features like L1, L2, and L3 caches and speculative execution were designed to keep the CPU busy and minimize the time it spent idling.If memory could match the performance of the CPU there would be no need for caches.It worked. The combination of large off-die caches and out-of-order execution gave Intel’s Pentium Pro and Pentium II opportunities to stretch their legs in ways previous chips couldn’t match. This graph from a 1997 Anandtech article shows the advantage clearly.Thanks to the combination of speculative execution and large caches, the Pentium II 166 decisively outperforms a Pentium 250 MMX, despite the fact that the latter has a 1.51x clock speed advantage over the former.Ultimately, it was the Pentium II that delivered the benefits of out-of-order execution to most consumers. The Pentium II was a fast microprocessor relative to the Pentium systems that had been top-end just a short while before. AMD was an absolutely capable second-tier option, but until the original Athlon launched, Intel had a lock on the absolute performance crown.The Pentium Pro and the later Pentium II were far faster than the earlier architectures Intel used. This wasn’t guaranteed. When Intel designed the Pentium Pro it spent a significant amount of its die and power budget enabling out of order execution. But the bet paid off, big time.There are differences between how Intel, AMD, and ARM implement speculative execution, and those differences are part of why Intel is exposed to some of these attacks in ways that the other vendors aren’t. But speculative execution, as a technique, is simply far too valuable to stop using. Every single high-end CPU architecture today — AMD, ARM, IBM, Intel, SPARC — uses out-of-order execution. And speculative execution, while implemented differently from company to company, is used by each of them. Without speculative execution, out-of-order execution as we know it wouldn’t function.Why Is Meltdown Such a Problem for Intel?The reason Meltdown causes such unique headaches for Intel is because Intel allows speculative execution to access privileged memory a user-space application would never be allowed to touch. Here’s how MarkCC of Goodmath.org describes the problem:Code that’s running under speculative execution doesn’t do the check whether or not memory accesses from cache are accessing privileged memory. It starts running the instructions without the privilege check, and when it’s time to commit to whether or not the speculative execution should be continued, the check will occur. But during that window, you’ve got the opportunity to run a batch of instructions against the cache without privilege checks. So you can write code with the right sequence of branch instructions to get branch prediction to work the way you want it to; and then you can use that to read memory that you shouldn’t be able to read.The speculative prediction implementations of other CPU vendors don’t allow user-space applications to probe the contents of kernel space memory at any point. The only way to mitigate Meltdown in software is to force the system to perform a full context switch every time it switches between kernel and user memory space. The reason the performance impact from Meltdown is so varied is that how much this patch hurts is a function of how often an application has to context switch. The performance issues, however, appear to be limited to servers and have not generally been seen on the consumer side — at least, not very much.There are Performance Impacts on Some Mitigation StrategiesOne of the mitigation strategies we’ve seen proposed, particularly more recently, is disabling Hyper-Threading. Apple has issued an update related to MDS, notifying its users that they can disable HT if they want to limit the ability of data to leak between multiple threads within the same CPU core. They’ve also stated that this can hit performance by up to 40 percent. That’s an extreme case because HT isn’t generally “worth” that much performance to an Intel CPU — we’d expect the typical impact to be in the 20-30 percent range — but it’s still a significant whack and far more performance than we typically see from a new CPU version.There has been genuine expert disagreement on the degree to which people need to do this in order to protect themselves. Some, like Theo de Raadt, who runs the FreeBSD project, have disabled HT by default. Other OS’s have yet to take this step. Companies like Apple have shied away from telling customers to do this as well, writing: “Although there are no known exploits affecting customers at the time of this writing, customers who believe their computer is at heightened risk of attack [can disable HT].” Some of the patches associated with fixing Spectre and Meltdown have also had performance impacts, though some of the impacts were then reduced by further patches, and the degree of slowdown is workload and, to some extent, CPU architecture dependent in the first place.In the long run, we expect AMD, Intel, and other vendors to continue patching these issues as they arise, with a combination of hardware, software, and firmware updates. Conceptually, side channel attacks like these are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to prevent. Specific issues can be mitigated or worked around, but the nature of speculative execution means that a certain amount of data is going to leak under specific circumstances. It may not be possible to prevent it without giving up far more performance than most users would ever want to accept.Now read:Intel Discloses New Speculative Execution Security VulnerabilitiesModern CPUs Likely Permanently Haunted by Spectre Security FlawsIntel’s Whiskey Lake Contains Some Hardware Mitigation for Spectre, Meltdown, and ForeshadowCheck out our ExtremeTech Explains series for more in-depth coverage of today’s hottest tech topics.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>  What Is Speculative Execution? False Things You Believe About Marvel Tagged In microsoftamdintelcpuswindows 10ARMcpusemiconductorsibmextremetech explainsprocessorsRAMprogrammingspeculative executionbranch predictionspeculative processing Post a Comment 28 Comments The Real Reason Emma Watson Refuses to Do a Nude Scene By Joel Hruska on May 16, 2019 at 9:07 am ‘Bond 25’ Car Scene Clues Teased Via Workshop Photolast_img read more