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Improving Ed-Tech Purchasing

November 25, 2014 Comments off

Improving Ed-Tech Purchasing
Source: Digital Promise and the Education Industry Association

For the promise of learning technology to truly become reality for students and teachers, classrooms have to be equipped with the tools that fit their needs.

There are a lot of factors to finding the right match. One of the most important, we’ve found, is also one of the most overlooked – procurement. If it’s not your day job, it probably sounds pretty boring. It makes you think of bureaucracy and rules and everything that gets in the way of innovation.

But procurement matters. It’s the process for discovering, evaluating, and acquiring classroom tools and resources, and it’s key to how schools create teaching and learning environments, how developers decide on features and product improvements, and ultimately how innovations with impact are able to spread.

“Improving Ed-Tech Purchasing” is a new report from Digital Promise and the Education Industry Association that identifies the key obstacles and potential solutions for the procurement of K-12 personalized learning tools. The Johns Hopkins University Center for Research and Reform in Education surveyed district leaders, educators, and learning technology developers from across the country for this study, with a subset participating in in-depth interviews.

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Terrorism Risk Insurance — Economic and Insurance Implications of TRIPRA’s Non-Renewal

November 5, 2014 Comments off

Economic and Insurance Implications of TRIPRA’s Non-Renewal
Source: Insurance Information Institute

The question of what happens if the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (TRIPRA) is not renewed by Congress is no longer a theoretical one.

Since insurance policies negotiated during 2014 extend beyond the imminent December 31 expiration date of the program, the negative consequences of non-renewal are already being experienced by businesses across America and their insurers.

The private sector simply does not have the capacity to provide insurance or reinsurance for terrorism risk to the extent currently provided by TRIPRA (Figure 1). As a result, in the absence of the act, terrorism risk insurance would be less available and less affordable.

Coverage for terrorist-caused economic damages also would likely be more costly or limited in scope if the federal government played no role in this market.

New Survey: Wireless Consumers On The Role of Government in Mobile Innovation

November 4, 2014 Comments off

New Survey: Wireless Consumers On The Role of Government in Mobile Innovation
Source: Mobile Future

Today, we released a new nationwide survey which finds wireless consumers deeply skeptical of an expanding regulatory role for government in the wireless sector.

Among the findings:

  • 90% of Consumers Believe Today’s Level of Regulation or Less Would Help Spur More Innovation.
  • 72% of Consumers, 79% of Millennials and >88% of Heavier Data Users Are Open to New Business Models and See Consumer Benefits.
  • 88% of Consumers Believe the Government Should Not Block—or Be Involved at All—In Approving New Wireless Business Models.
  • Only 10% of Consumers Say Their Wired and Wireless Habits Are Similar—Demonstrating Awareness of Mobile Network Differences.
  • Consumers Are Twice as Likely to Use Smartphones, But Basic Phone Use Remains Significant.

Insurance — Residual Market Property Plans: From Markets of Last Resort to Markets of First Choice – 2014

November 3, 2014 Comments off

Residual Market Property Plans: From Markets of Last Resort to Markets of First Choice – 2014
Source: Insurance Information Institute

Executive Summary

  • The exposure value of the residual property market in hurricane-exposed states has declined significantly from the peak levels seen in 2011. In fact between 2011 and 2013, total exposure to loss in the plans fell by almost 30 percent to $639 billion. Policy counts in 2013—at around 3.2 million—are also down from their 2011 highs.
  • While attempts by certain states to reduce the size of their plans appear to be paying off, the fact that many of the plans charge rates that are not actuarially sound and do not accurately reflect the risk of loss means that a major hurricane could expose residents in certain states to billions of dollars in post-storm assessments.
  • Increased appetite for these risks from the capital markets—highlighted by Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corp’s record-setting $1.5 billion catastrophe bond issued in 2014 (the largest single catastrophe bond issuance in history)—should not detract from the core concerns that this concentration of risk represents.
  • As long as the plans continue to grow and their coverage remains underpriced, state finances will remain under threat, while policyholders and ultimately taxpayers, many of whom live nowhere near the coast, will continue to face the prospect of increased assessments in the years ahead.

State of the App Economy 2014

October 29, 2014 Comments off

State of the App Economy 2014
Source: ACT | The App Association
From full report (PDF):

This is ACT | The App Association’s third annual report on the mobile economy. In 2012, we published our first study, Apps Across America, a report originally requested by the Energy and Commerce Committee at the U.S. House of Representatives for its hearing, “Where the Jobs Are: There’s an App for That.” Last year we took a closer look at the Apple App Store on its five-year anniversary to chart the greatest influences impacting app economy growth.

Only six years old, the app industry has grown at a tremendous rate that shows no signs of slowing down. Having risen to an $87 billion marketplace, analysts project growth beyond $150 billion by 2017.3 Much of this is derived from incredible innovation by app makers that have harnessed the power of mobile connectivity to change the way we work, play, shop, and communicate.

Most recently we have seen advances in mobile technology that offer new ways for consumers to monitor their health and connect with medical professionals. As more schools have implemented curricula using interactive touchscreen displays, there has been dramatic growth in education and children’s apps.

To explore the evolution of the app industry, we reviewed the top 650 apps across key categories in Google Play and the Apple App Store. In addition to the categories featured in our previous reports, we broadened our focus this year to include the categories Kids, Health, and Medical. We found that the app industry is growing and diversifying while creating new companies and jobs across the country.

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association — SIFMA Publishes Recommendations for Effective Cybersecurity Regulatory Guidance

October 22, 2014 Comments off

SIFMA Publishes Recommendations for Effective Cybersecurity Regulatory Guidance
Source: Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

SIFMA today published its “Principles for Effective Cybersecurity Regulatory Guidance,” that provides regulators with SIFMA members’ insight on productive ways to harmonize and create effective cybersecurity regulatory guidance. SIFMA’s goal is to promote a collaborative approach to cybersecurity that can foster innovation and strengthen efforts to protect financial industry operations and most importantly our clients. This paper is one in a series of initiatives undertaken by SIFMA focused on enhancing the industry’s cybersecurity preparedness and practices.

“State of Energy” 2014 Report — An In-Depth Analysis of the Oil and Gas Industry

October 15, 2014 Comments off

“State of Energy” 2014 Report — An In-Depth Analysis of the Oil and Gas Industry (PDF)
Source: Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association
From website:

The Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association is proud to release its second annual “State of Energy Report,” which offers a detailed analysis of national and state trends in employment and wages by the oil and gas industry. The report covers the leading ten states in the country, as well as provides an unbiased overview of the national oil and gas industry as well.

National Key Findings

  • The U.S. oil and gas industry employed more than 1,012,800 in 2013, up 3 percent or 30,800 from the previous year.
  • The oil and gas industry paid a national annualized average wage of $103,400 in 2013, more than 108 percent more than the national average private sector wage.
  • Payroll in the oil and gas industry totaled $105 billion in 2013, an increase of 1 percent from 2012, adjusted for inflation.
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