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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.

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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.

Disney’s Frozen Characters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Top Children’s Costume List

October 9, 2014 Comments off

Disney’s Frozen Characters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Top Children’s Costume List
Source: National Retail Federation

Having taken the world by storm this year, Disney’s Frozen and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle characters will again come to life this Halloween. According to NRF’s 2014 Halloween Consumer Top Costumes Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, an estimated 2.6 million children plan to dress up as one of Disney’s Frozen characters, while about 1.8 million children will dress as one of the re-imagined classic characters from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Princess (3.4 million), animal (3 million), and Spider-Man (2.6 million) will be other popular choices for children.

New Article Demonstrates Daily Use of Certain Supplements Can Decrease Health Care Expenditures

October 6, 2014 Comments off

New Article Demonstrates Daily Use of Certain Supplements Can Decrease Health Care Expenditures
Source: Council for Responsible Nutrition

Use of specific dietary supplements can have a positive effect on health care costs through avoided hospitalizations related to Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), according to a new article published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements. The article, “From Science to Finance—A Tool for Deriving Economic Implications from the Results of Dietary Supplement Clinical Studies,” published by Christopher Shanahan and Robert de Lorimier, Ph.D., explores a potential cost-benefit analysis tool that, when applied to a high-risk population (U.S. adults over 55 with CHD) who take dietary supplements, specifically omega-3 fatty acid or B vitamin dietary supplements, can result in the reduction of the individuals’ odds of experiencing a costly medical event.

Hospitalizations for all U.S. adults over the age of 55 with CHD cost the United States over $64 billion in 20122, and the amount spent on the treatment of CHD, rather than the prevention, is burdensome on both the societal and individual levels—and only expected to increase, according to the article. “One way to control the burden of CHD costs is to minimize the number of costly inpatient procedures,” the authors said. “Many dietary supplement products are available in the market today that have been shown to have positive effects on heart health through associated clinical studies…Thus, the potential decrease of total health care expenditures in the United States is a strong argument for the daily use of dietary supplements.”

New Research Reveals Local Government Officials Need to Get Up to Speed on Parking

October 6, 2014 Comments off

New Research Reveals Local Government Officials Need to Get Up to Speed on Parking
Source: International Parking Institute

A new survey of city and county officials shows that more than half are unaware of new parking technologies that can help alleviate traffic congestion, promote sustainability, and increase revenues, but they are eager to bridge that knowledge gap.

Conducted by American City & County magazine with the International Parking Institute (IPI), the survey asked local government decision-makers, about their jurisdictions’ parking challenges and knowledge of latest parking innovations.

The survey revealed a significant need and desire for basic knowledge and guidance on parking. Most respondents were not familiar with today’s parking technology and how it can benefit their municipalities.

Forty-four percent expressed dissatisfaction with their use of technology, and 55 percent said their city or county did not use any of 13 technologies listed in the survey. These included pay-by-mobile parking options; meters that accept credit cards; wayfinding and guidance systems that indicate space availability; systems that enhance traffic management through use of data collection and wireless technology; and sustainable solutions such as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, solar panels, and motion-sensor lighting.

Surprisingly few cities and counties have undertaken a critical examination of their own parking operations. Just 30 percent had conducted a parking study in the last five years; 12 percent had never conducted a study; and 22 percent did not know if or when a study might have been conducted.

Overwhelmed America: Why Don’t We Use Our Paid Time Off?

August 25, 2014 Comments off

Overwhelmed America: Why Don’t We Use Our Paid Time Off?
Source: U.S. Travel Association

Americans are overwhelmed—but they aren’t taking the breaks they’ve earned. Nearly three-quarters of workers say they are stressed at work, with one-in-four reporting they are either “very” or “extremely” stressed.

It’s no surprise that Americans feel this way. Many workers leave their paid time off (PTO) unused, despite near-universal recognition of the importance and benefits of using PTO, from reducing stress to improving productivity when we return to work.

But when the U.S. Travel Association asked GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications to examine the attitudes and beliefs underlying America’s hard-charging work culture, GfK discovered that the benefits of PTO were no match for the fears that are keeping them at work.

In a survey of more than 1,300 employees and senior business leaders across the United States, it was revealed that workers construct many of their own biggest barriers to taking time off. Returning to a mountain of work and the feeling that nobody else could do their job were cited as the top reasons for not using PTO. The effects of a tough economy still linger with one-third of respondents, who said they cannot afford to use their time off, and roughly a fifth of workers expressed concern that they would be seen as replaceable if they used their PTO.

According to the survey, employees’ fears about using PTO are reinforced by their companies, where the silence can be deafening. While senior business leaders may support their employees in taking time off, they aren’t communicating it. In fact, two-thirds of employees are hearing nothing, negative or mixed messages from their employers about using PTO.

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