Bill Walton Pens Heartfelt Remembrance For Jerry Garcia

first_imgBill Walton may be known to some as a legendary NBA player, but to us he’s just one of our tallest family members. Walton has been a diehard Deadhead for decades now, even making his debut as a Rhythm Devil in the recent Dead & Company tour finale. With Walton’s high-profile fandom, the basketball player has shared some thoughts on the late great Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia in a new post on Mickey Hart’s website, on the 21st anniversary of Garcia’s death.Walton writes about his experience learning about Garcia’s death, the aftermath, and the legacy. You can read his note below.August 9, 2016It was 21 years ago, in early August. It was in the morning. I was at home in San Diego. The fog was still in. But it was bound to be another perfect day. It was summer in San Diego. I was playing the piano, practicing for the lesson that would come from Dmitry later on. The house and everything around was very, very quiet, just like always, before the children woke up. The phone rang. I never answer the phone when I’m working my way into the zone on the piano–the time and moments are just too precious. But for some reason, I got up, walked to the phone and picked up. It was Ram Rod. He was very quiet, and sad. Jerry had just died. And things were never the same again. Ever.A few days later there was a service, at Saint Stephen’s church in Belvedere, half-way up a small hill that jutted out into San Francisco Bay. It was foggy that day too. We got there real early. It was overwhelmingly sad. What to do ? What to say? Where to go?Everybody was there. Ken Kesey and Robert Hunter spoke. David Grisman played. Bob Dylan came to silently pray. So did Bruce Hornsby. Mostly, people cried. Sad, lonely and fearful tears fell like stones from our eyes. We stayed late, at the church, until there was nobody else there.Everybody reconvened at Bill Graham’s old house up on top of the hill. Michael Klein had bought it after Bill had died. There was no sense of time, or anything else. Everybody and everything was numb. Jerry was a rare and different force of nature. He personified excellence at whatever he chose to be important.Jerry lived in a sad, hard and cruel world that had grown dark and mean. But with a promise of the glow, he was able to beautify that existence with his spirit, his soul, his heart, his mind, his voice, and his guitar. Jerry could make people happy. He was happy himself. Life with Jerry was like a spiritual quest, but he didn’t see things that way– -at all—ever. He was fun, and he had fun. He was welcoming to so many; and the inclusiveness that was his own life was infectious. He had so many remarkable and enviable qualities. He was kind, sweet, playful, joyous, sharing, gentle,loving, contemplative, creative, imaginative, unpredictable, warm, funny, thoughtful, empathetic,adventuresome and innovative–for starters.And he was most curious about nearly everything; and more than willing to explore and experiment beyond the edge.Jerry was always able to float seamlessly between so many personalities: from the soft and awestruck freshness of a young child; to the rambunctious wildness and freedom from restraint of unbridled and unconquerable adolescence; to the laser focus and steeled determination of the guy charged with getting things done now; to the wizened sage of the poised, serious and composed master-teacher responsible for everything.But it was never easy for Jerry. Everybody always wanted something from him, mostly help. Of all the people I’ve ever known, Jerry and Bob Dylan always get the weirdest trips laid on their doorsteps. But Jerry had kindness, elegance, style and taste. He had incredibly high moral standards. And he wouldn’t get involved in things that he didn’t think were right or pure; nor sing songs that delivered a message that he thought inappropriate. Jerry carried a very heavy burden–the failures, flaws and limitations of others. But having given the best he had to give, his heart eventually just broke down. The load was simply too heavy.The scope of his life, dreams and aspirations were universal–and beyond, to places that only he could see, and get to.It was his selfless integrity, class and dignity, at an unparalleled level, that helped create the culture that was so alluring to all of us. And as his melodies touched the themes and chords of our lives, he sang directly to each of us about love, death, forgiveness and renewal. Jerry was a great leader in many classic ways. He made it fun. He made it fair. He made it authentically real. He made it cool. He made you want to come back for more–forever. He knew that the band had something very special going, and he was most often able to fight off the forces of greed and selfishness.At the end of the day, Jerry dreamed of a world as it could be. He was a man of honor who was personally able to make good things happen. And keep the bad things at bay. And that is really hard to do. And as we all said a long, sad, quiet, silent goodbye, we knew that it would never be the same again. We thank you, Jerry. We thank you for your sacrifice. We thank you for your life.We’ll always remember you, Jerry, more so today than ever before, now that we’re all alone, in the great unknown.~Bill Waltonlast_img read more

Willie Nelson Welcomes All Five Members Of Greensky Bluegrass For “I’ll Fly Away” In Camden

first_imgWillie Nelson‘s traveling, multi-band music fest, Outlaw Music Festival, stopped at Camden, NJ’s BB&T Pavilion last night. Nelson was joined by Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Particle Kid and Van Morrison for the Saturday occasion.Nelson played a 15-song set, chock full of classic originals and country covers. For the final song of Nelson’s set and the evening, Nelson invited up jamgrass superstars, Greensky Bluegrass, who played a set earlier in the evening. About halfway through the tune, red bandanas started appearing, Greensky’s subtle nod to the Red Headed Stranger. Huddled around a few microphones, all five members of Greensky Bluegrass provided backing vocals on “I’ll Fly Away”.Luckily for fans not in attendance, video of Greensky’s sit-in with Willie Nelson has surfaced. Watch below:Willie Nelson w/ Greensky Bluegrass – “I’ll Fly Away” – 9/15/2018[Video: Jim Powers]Setlist: Willie Nelson | BB&T Pavilion | Camden, NJ | 9/15/2018Set: Whiskey River, Still Is Still Moving To Me, Good Hearted Woman, Down Yonder, Texas Flood, Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys, Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground, Jambalaya, On The Road Again, Always On My Mind, Hey Good Lookin’, Move It On Over, Georgia On My Mind, Georgia On A Fast Train, I’ll Fly Away[H/T Jambase]last_img read more

Umphrey’s McGee Announces THC Extract Collaboration With MedPharm Holdings

first_imgUmphrey’s McGee has announced their first official foray into the world of weed ahead of their upcoming Red Rocks run set to go down on June 21st, 22nd, and 23rd (grab your tickets here).Umphrey’s is the latest in a recent string of artists to come out with branded cannabis products, from The Disco Biscuits to The Motet to Jimmy Buffett to the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart.Related: Umphrey’s McGee Is Set To Put The “Rock” In Red Rocks This June [Videos]The band announced the new THC extract collaboration with and MedPharm Holdings on Tuesday via a hilarious press release on the their website. Rather than attempting to paraphrase this artfully stoned announcement, we’ll just drop it below for you to read yourself:Breaking: Jamband Sells Weed In ColoradoIn an unforeseen turn of events, rock stalwarts Umphrey’s McGee apparently dabble with the devil’s lettuce. Their partnership with cannabis virtuosos MedPharm Holdings sends a clear message to the burgeoning industry that they are no longer reliant on Uncle Danny for their grass, they are here to play.It’s a move few saw coming. Some did see it coming — and forgot. But now both industry vets and “Am I supposed to feel anything yet?” newcomers agree, UM should probably be endorsing jazz cabbage.Named after a pair of UM original songs that no one can quite remember which is which, the Day Nurse / Night Nurse duo has arrived to further confuse the issue. Apparently formulated for “the day” (sativa), Day Nurse delivers an uplifting, energetic high that is sure to keep you from napping through your next shift at Cheba Hut. Night Nurse was created to elicit a more relax, calming effect good for that high stress Netflix binging. The kids call that indica. Avoid administering Night Nurse to grandma for restlessness despite her assurances “she was there when . . . ”Both custom formulated strains are available in the highest quality disposable vape pens (that’s a thing now), limited edition run exclusively at all Colorado Lightshade locations.Things you will forget but need to remember:-Two 250mg disposable vape pens-100% pure, uncut distillate oil-In house grown, custom UM formulated strains-Blue Dream sativa for Day Nurse, Screaming Gorilla indica for -Night Nurse-Limited edition, available starting June 5th via 8 Lightshade locations–More info here, including how to order online, bundled discount, so forth so onWe recently spoke to members of the band about their weed history, the development of the “Day Nurse” and “Night Nurse” strains, and more. Stay tuned for that interview, coming this Friday, June 7th on Live For Live Music.last_img read more

Debating the debates

first_img In this topsy-turvy presidential campaign, the old laws may no longer apply Related Politics in a ‘post-truth’ age Whether looking for some reason, any reason, to support one candidate over another, or just wanting to watch high-stakes political mud wrestling, millions of Americans will tune in Monday night to see Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off in the first of three presidential debates.In this tumultuous and divisive election cycle where even the usually sleepy primary debates garnered record ratings, the first head-to-head matchup between the Democratic and Republican nominees is expected to be among the most watched television events of the year.Historically scheduled late in the run-up to Election Day, presidential debates purport to offer the public an easy way to learn about the candidates, to compare and contrast them side by side on the issues as well as on their demeanor. The first modern debate in 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon set the bar for how a candidate came across to voters could make — or break— his chances of winning the election. But over the years, as the news media declared winners and losers based on the “big moments” — on who got off a good quip on his opponent or, worse, who made himself look bad, like George H.W. Bush checking his watch in 1992 or Barack Obama looking down as he peevishly scribbled on a notepad in 2012 — the debates have come under frequent criticism for stoking conflict and emphasizing theatrics over substance or a civil exchange of ideas.Now, as the race tightens between Clinton and Trump and many would-be voters remain undecided or unenthusiastic about both candidates, Harvard analysts say that while there is some truth to criticism that the debates are more “show” than “business” in this era of endless social media and nonstop campaigning, there is still much to glean from seeing candidates sparring under a white-hot spotlight.Clocking the candidatesAs Clinton and Trump prepare to debate Monday night, each candidate has some clear weaknesses to try to counteract with their performances, debate experts say.Clinton’s reputation as a stiff, lawyerly speaker whose vast knowledge of policy minutiae doesn’t connect emotionally with people stands in sharp contrast to Trump’s brash, freewheeling style that delivers intuitively but offers little depth or substance.“Each of them has to understand the persona that they’ve already created and then see if they can soften the edges of that persona in the context of the debate,” said lecturer Marie Danziger, the former director of Harvard Kennedy School’s (HKS) communications program who now teaches “The Arts of Communication.”“Hillary’s challenge is to imagine herself in a one-on-one with Trump at a dinner party or over drinks and give the impression that she’s comfortable with this kind of confrontation, that she can tease him a little instead of acting as if she’s being attacked. She’s got to try and hide her scars in these debates,” Danziger added.“She’s got to show she’s got a human side,” said Steve Jarding, who trains students to debate and teaches campaign strategy at HKS. “She’s got to do what she did in New Hampshire eight years ago, and don’t be afraid to show some emotion. I think the worst thing is to keep this wall built up around her because that makes her look almost robotic at times, it makes her look less sincere, it makes people cynical about her.”For Trump, “He’s got to show that he’s in control, which is almost impossible; he can’t take cheap shots. He can’t be this snide, cynical, mean-spirited person — he’s got that group. He’s got to show that mainstream voters shouldn’t fear him,” Jarding added, noting that Trump has the bigger hill to climb in preparing because he’s not as deeply informed as Clinton on the issues.“It’s easier for her to try to be more human than it is for him to become ‘smart’…. There’s too much out there. I would not try to make him ‘smart’ on the issues because it’ll fail. If I’m training with Donald Trump, we’ve got to try to make him friendlier, we’ve got to say, ‘You’ve got to show that you can be presidential.’”“I do think that Trump, although he can get away with more of that than any other man I can think of, has to be very careful he doesn’t disrespect her in any kind of sexual or gendered-type putdown,” said Danziger. “Nothing the least bit provocative. That’s one way he can blow it.”“I really think in light of their flaws, in light of 60 percent of the American public saying ‘We don’t like either one,’ they’ve both got a ton of work to do,” said Jarding. “And there’s no better forum than a lengthy debate.”No small matterWith candidates now arguing issues and policy positions on social media nearly every day, many observers question whether the presidential debates are still relevant or effective tools to persuade voters before they head to the polls. Yet some Harvard faculty contend that demanding candidates to ask and answer tough questions for 90 minutes, without help from teleprompter and without media interference, is one of a precious few unfiltered moments in a campaign.“What’s special about these is the chance for millions of people simultaneously to hear from the candidates in their own words and let them define — or try to define — what they’re all about, what their agendas are like, what their capacity for leadership is, how their experience dovetails with the requirements of the presidency,” said Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at HKS.“I know journalists like to say these things are nothing but sound bites and canned arguments, but … [studies show] that for a lot of people, it’s relatively new … and most people say they learned something from listening to them. The journalists may have been hearing the same speech for six months, but that doesn’t mean that the typical viewer has,” said Patterson, who has done a series of analyses of the 2016 election media coverage and will study the debate coverage later this fall.“I think they’re extremely important, and more important than ever,” said retired CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer, who has moderated three presidential debates and served on the Commission on Presidential Debates until last January. “They’re one of the events that stills move the needle.”“If they live up to it, I think the debates are the three most critical days in the campaign,” said Jarding.“Surveys suggest more and more undecided voters make up their minds with debates than ever before, so the public is paying attention, and it does matter to the public. Now, having said that … all the players have to step up, including journalists and moderators … so that we can have follow-up [questions]. We cannot let a candidate somehow filibuster an answer or not give an answer. They have to be called to task,” he said. “They’re only a sham if we let them be.”For the candidates, debates are high-risk events with fairly low rewards.“We train students not to lose, as opposed to win, because it’s hard to win a debate unless somebody screws up. Then it’s Dan Quayle quivering when Lloyd Bentsen says ‘You’re no Jack Kennedy.’ The rest of that debate, Lloyd Bentsen didn’t win, but that sealed it,” he said.For those working on campaigns, getting ready for a presidential debate is grueling.“They’re a minefield you’re just trying to get through,” said Jarding, who has prepped candidates. “The campaign-person power that it takes to put together the campaign books, research the policy, have the policy team and the opposition and self-research guys try to prepare answers and questions that you can ask your opponent to try and trap them, give you answers on questions you think they’re going to try and trap you on — it takes hundreds and thousands of man and woman hours to prepare for two hours of TV time when at most, unless there’s a screw up, it’s going to be a tie,” he said. “So as a manager, you hate them. They’re such a waste of time.”With the race between Clinton and Trump tightening, even a very good performance won’t drive a mass migration from one side to the other, the analysts said, yet even tempered shifts can prove significant.“You’re not going to have 100 million people watching the debate and 100 million people make up their mind or change their mind,” said Jarding. “Elections are won at the margins. If, let’s say, Trump is down five, six points in the national polls, he gets 2, 3 percent that he pulls from her and moves to him, that can be the election.”What it takesWhat goes into an effective debate performance, and good public communication more broadly, are Aristotle’s logos, pathos, and ethos, said Danziger.“Logos is the quality of the rational argument: Are there some meaningful facts and figures involved? Pathos is: Is there emotional impact; can the candidate talk about how this issue affects real people with real feeling? But most important is ethos: And that is the personal trustworthiness, likeability, [and] authority of the speaker.”While candidates are expected to answer questions with something resembling the relevant facts, Danziger says ultimately it’s the values that underline those answers that really touch voters.“It’s all about public speaking as a two-way street where you’re trying to answer the questions on the turf of your audience,” she said. “‘I understand your concern, I understand your fear, I understand your objection, and here is my best attempt to respond to that underlying emotion.’” It’s a skill President Bill Clinton really mastered, she added.The psychodynamic relationship between public speakers and their audience is very complex, akin more to a tango than a tennis match, where facts and barbs fly back and forth, Danziger argues. “It’s a kind of power play, but it’s also a seduction. How do you control that dynamic? It’s partly about building trust, but it’s also about projecting leadership and confidence, while at the same time allowing yourself a certain amount of vulnerability and making it a two-way street,” she said.Though Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip style has come under fire for degrading the political discourse, win or lose, his informality appears here to stay.“What makes these upcoming debates so interesting is that whatever else he has done or hasn’t done, Trump is changing the style of our political rhetoric,” said Danziger. “And I don’t mean to suggest it’s all for the bad. I think that this authenticity idea, the fact that ‘I’m going to say what I believe, I’m not going to be the same old, same old bureaucratic politician’ — I think from now on, every politician is going to have to project some of that.”Only in moderationThe historically low percentage of voters who say they find Clinton and Trump honest or trustworthy, as well as Trump’s history of uttering falsehoods, as fact-checking organizations have reported, makes the role of debate moderator especially important and complicated this year.“Today” show host Matt Lauer was widely criticized for failing to challenge Trump when he repeated an untrue claim that he had been an early opponent of the Iraq War, during a Sept. 7 town-hall forum on veterans’ and military issues.“I think the first fact-checker ought to be the candidate,” said Schieffer, the Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow at HKS. If neither candidate puts forward an accurate answer and things descend into bickering, only then should the moderator step in and correct the record, he said.“I don’t care who the candidates are, interviewing somebody in real time, live, is different than when you can go back and check. I think you just have to do your best to be up on the issues and familiar with what they are to the best of your ability,” said Schieffer. “And the fact is, you’re not going to catch them all.”If moderators see themselves as stand-ins for the profession of journalism, “I think that’s a mistake,” said Patterson. “They’re really stand-ins for the American public, and they really should be asking questions that voters would like to have answered” on major concerns that need solving, rather than the strategy and process questions that much of the press prefers.And it’s not all about memorizing responses to complex policy questions, Schieffer says. “It’s not just the answers, but how the person answers. What the moderator’s goal should be [is] to give the American people the best possible picture of who these people are. You want to help people see how these people react under pressure, how they react in response to a critical reply to something they’ve just said.”All sizzle and no steakThe debates may have started out as a simple way for voters to learn about candidates and their views on issues, but the ubiquity of social media and the press’s emphasis on spectacle and confrontation have diluted their civic value, argue some at Harvard Law School (HLS).“In my view, they’ve gotten morphed into less about the candidates’ actual substantive views on an issue, and it’s turned into a slugfest and who can have the sound bite for the next morning. And that just seems to me to be counter to helping informed citizens in a democracy make an educated choice about who they might select for their leader,” said Robert Bordone, Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law and director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program at HLS.“I think most viewers expect to see sound bites and fights, and that sort of expectation sets up the debates. It’s almost like the incentives to have a healthy dialogue between the two, with a debate on issues, are not there,” said lecturer Heather Kulp, who has co-written with Bordone about the need to overhaul the way presidential debates are run. “I think we underestimate what people would be interested in seeing.”If Clinton and Trump abandoned the artifice of podiums and sat together on a couch and had a conversation rather than a war of words, perhaps their substantive views and ideas would be better elucidated, she said. “That’s going to be a lot more useful for the electorate than, ‘Well, Donald Trump’s a racist’; ‘No, Hillary Clinton’s a racist.’”Social science research shows that deep distrust of political leaders often leads to a similar distrust of their supporters, even if they’re neighbors or friends. With two polarizing candidates in Clinton and Trump, it’s a dynamic that’s causing social and political harm, even here on campus, Kulp and Bordone say.Partisanship “infects everybody to the point where we can’t even have conversations about issues of difference anymore with each other. We really avoid it, and how much does that hurt democracy?” said Kulp.“So it’s not just the debates at a national level that hurt democracy. I think that is indeed a symptom of the fact that we can’t and don’t want to talk about difference anymore because we feel like we don’t have the capacity, we don’t have the words, because we see difference as a place where we can be fighting one another rather than actually having an interesting and helpful discussion with one another about those differences.”Bordone and Kulp suggest candidates would be better off sitting together at a table and answering inquiries posed by a handful of questioners, similar to a group job interview. The questioners could be journalists knowledgeable on a host of topics or perhaps a pool of citizens who discuss the practical effects of legislation or policy positions. For example, a nurse, a home health care worker, a pediatrician, a professor, and a doctor who works with immigrants could talk about the Affordable Care Act and their ability to give care and ask candidates to tell them what needs to be fixed and how they’ll do it.“Since one of the skills [as president] is that you have to work with people from a lot of different perspectives, including people who represent an entirely different political spectrum than you do, so how do you work with those people? Remove the audience, have one or two interviewers, and have the candidates engage in a project together or engage in a conversation together about issues that will really draw out what some of their skills, talents, abilities are to work with someone from a different political [vantage point],” said Kulp.This fall, Bordone is leading a new reading group to teach HLS students, many of whom will go into politics or hold leadership positions later, how to talk about politically charged issues and negotiate differences.“Leadership is not simply giving an eloquent speech or having a good, substantive policy proposal, or being the smartest woman or guy in the room. It’s figuring out how to talk with people of different views, how to listen to those people, and how to find some common ground to do something with them even when we disagree,” he said.“In our teaching and our pedagogy, we’re really thinking about how do we equip and build and encourage skills where people can have conversations with each other across lines of difference?” said Kulp. “One of the challenges right now, so many of our students feel like, ‘What’s the point, why bother?’ There is no common ground. All they see is models of people in their own corner, reinforcing their own views, and preparing to fight the other. So we have to give them opportunities to experience reasons why it matters for themselves and their lives and for their country and their community.”last_img read more

Magic Technology Lands EMC in Gartner Magic Quadrant

first_imgLast week, Gartner released their first ever Magic Quadrant for Solid State Arrays (SSAs), also known as All-Flash Arrays (AFAs).  We’re proud to have EMC recognized in the ‘Leaders’ quadrant (Figure 1), a testament to EMC’s flash strategy and the execution of bringing XtremIO to market near the end of last year.  Flash arrays have been around for quite a while, anywhere from years to decades depending on the vendor.  So why is Gartner only now beginning to track a Magic Quadrant specific to them?I believe the answer is straightforward.  Until recently, flash arrays were very expensive, very limited devices that were targeted only at boosting performance where price was no object.  The market for them was small as were the use cases.  They weren’t enterprise-ready, serving only a niche performance market.  EMC never entered this niche.  At our scale you need to be bolder to move the needle and that’s why in 2012 we acquired XtremIO, bringing it to market in November 2013.Since then, in well under a year, EMC has surpassed all others in the SSA/AFA market and XtremIO has assumed the leadership position.  Why is this?  I believe this answer is also straightforward.  XtremIO is magic technology.“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. ClarkeShareIt’s easy to think about XtremIO as just another flash array that’s great for boosting performance on some critical application.  But if that’s the only way you think about it, you’re missing the huge value it brings across your data center.  It’s common for XtremIO customers to begin with a targeted workload in mind, but quickly find out they can expand the use cases for the array with additional applications and workloads, and to revise their flash strategy to use XtremIO across the board.  Consider what a couple of XtremIO customers recently said:“When you’re doing a 100,000 IOPS why wouldn’t I put everything on this? We get a boatload of business value for OLTP.  I’m having a hard time saying ‘why not?’” – Steve Vogler, USI Holdings“After our great experience with VDI, we had a SQL server that was on physical infrastructure that took 6-7 hours to process and load.  I reached out to the application owners, and said ‘Let’s try to put this in a virtual infrastructure’.  I gave them a virtual machine with less CPU and memory but on the XtremIO flash storage array.  It outperformed the physical server by 2-3x.” – Craig Englund, Boston ScientificShareTo these customers, XtremIO is magic.  It transforms their datacenters.  It transforms their businesses.  It transforms they way they spend their time because they no longer worry about provisioning or tuning complexity.  If you haven’t taken a hard look at XtremIO, you’re missing out on one of the most important technological shifts to come along in a decade.Don’t wait any more! Sign up for an XtremIO demo today and begin to redefine your business.  If you are interested in viewing Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for SSAs, please follow this link.Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.last_img read more

Mobile World Congress: Partnering With Service Providers And Telcos In Transition

first_imgMobile World Congress is starting this week. It’s one of my favorite industry conferences and the premiere industry event for the telecommunications and service provider market. Coming out of Mobile World Congress 2015 I predicted this industry would move from analyzing the next generation infrastructure architectures needed to support more flexible, and agile service delivery to actual execution. EMC was fully committed to partnering with the industry in this transition. In 2015, this is exactly what happened.As this shift to execution occurred, EMC realized there were two types of customers, tier one global scale players, and regional, moderate scale players. The tier one global operators were leading the transformation. They were building out bespoke, customized architectures where EMC’s product toolkit was very useful, but the solution stacks were new and untested. We created a new engagement model based on Open Innovation principles where we could combine our best in class product toolkit and our technology expertise to collaborate with the transformation leaders to create new custom solutions. These engagements with the early adopter global tier one operators allowed us to learn the patterns to implement new services based on Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and next generation data analytics technologies. What we learned allows us to create repeatable, packaged offerings that smaller scale regional operators can deploy quickly and reliably.The purpose of this transformation is to enable the industry to provide more agile, less expensive, and new differentiated service to their customers.This is an exciting time for the Telco and Service Provider industries and I look forward to meeting with the customers we worked with in 2015 to share with them our plans for 2016 at Mobile World Congress. We’ve got some exciting news to share and we look forward to seeing you there. Until then, the entire EMC federation events schedule is available at: http://www.emc.com/emctelco/index.htm.last_img read more

Drugmaker Mallinckrodt Reaches $1.6B Opioid Settlement

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Stock Photo: PixabayNEW YORK – The generic drugmaker Mallinckrodt has a tentative $1.6 billion deal to settle lawsuits over its role in the U.S. opioid crisis, it announced Tuesday.The deal is intended to end hundreds of lawsuits faced by the company over opioids.The company said that it had an agreement with a key committee of lawyers representing thousands of local governments suing various drug industry players over opioids — and that the deal has the support of the attorneys general of 47 states and territories.The company, based in Staines-Upon-Thames, England, was one of the highest-volume opioid producers in the U.S. at the height of the nation’s prescription drug crisis, shipping 2.3 billion pills from 2006 to 2014, according to federal data. In 2010 alone, Mallinckrodt’s SpecGX subsidiary, shipped 210 million doses of oxycodone to Florida, then the epicenter of the black market opioid trade. The company’s potent 30 milligram pills were especially sought after by people with addiction.Documents gathered as the company prepared for trial showed that a Mallinckrodt sales manager told a distributor in 2009 of the pills: “Just like Doritos; keep eating, we’ll make more.” A company spokesman later called the statement “outrageously callous.”The company argued in court filings that unlike makers of brand-name drugs, it did not promote opioids to doctors or understate the addiction risks. But plaintiffs in the cases said Mallinckrodt continued to ship suspicious orders without making sure the drugs weren’t going to be diverted to the black market.Under its agreement, Mallinckrodt is filing for bankruptcy. The plan calls for it to make payments for eight years after the company emerges from the protections. That route is similar to one OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is taking to settle opioid claims against it.For Mallinckrodt, there are business concerns, beyond the potential liability in opioid cases, that contributed to its seeking bankruptcy protection.“Reaching this agreement in principle for a global opioid resolution and the associated debt refinancing activities announced today are important steps toward resolving the uncertainties in our business,” Mark Trudeau, president and CEO of the company, said in a statement.Joe Rice, a lawyer on the executive committee of plaintiffs suing in federal court over opioids, said in an interview Tuesday that some details of the Mallinckrodt agreement still remain to be ironed out.Most of the money contributed by Mallinckrodt would go to a trust to pay for addiction treatment and other costs related to an opioid crisis that has been linked to more than 430,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000. Additionally, the trust would be able to buy Mallinckrodt stock at a fixed price; it could be sold to help the cause.State attorneys general praised the deal.“My focus is on not only accountability, but also obtaining the resources we need to get victims of this epidemic the help they deserve,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a written statement. “This agreement is a significant step in the right direction.”Mallinckrodt’s announcement comes weeks before a trial on the toll of opioids is scheduled to start in Central Islip, New York. The looming trial has been a factor in a ramped-up push for other drugmakers and distributors to settle, as well.There have been increasingly public tensions between attorneys general and the private lawyers for local governments over the biggest of the proposed settlements, which would involve at least the three biggest U.S. drug distribution companies. States have also been divided on whether to accept the deal, under which the distributors would pay a total of $18 billion over 18 years.last_img read more

Colombian Government, FARC Agree to Negotiate End to 48-Year Conflict

first_img BOGOTÁ — Ten years ago, FARC rebels hijacked a commuter plane, forced it to land on a stretch of abandoned highway and kidnapped a Colombian senator on board. The brazen act of terrorism was the last straw for the Colombian government, which promptly called off three years of peace talks with the guerrillas. Now the two sides are again preparing to sit down for talks to end a conflict that began in 1964. In a Sep. 4 speech, President Juan Manuel Santos said a new round of negotiations would kick off in Oslo, Norway, early next month with subsequent sessions to be held in Havana, Cuba. But Santos also declared: “We will learn from the errors of the past.” Indeed, this time around, Colombia’s vastly improved armed forces hold the advantage after a long-running offensive that has cut rebel forces by half and killed many of the FARC’s top commanders. As a result, many analysts believe that the FARC — the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — may finally be prepared to disarm. “There are reasons for optimism… because the government is in a much better position for negotiations,” political analyst Pedro Medellin wrote in the Bogotá daily El Tiempo. And if the talks fail, “the army and the police are well-prepared to confront the guerrillas.” But at the same time, the government’s military offensive has failed to eliminate the FARC, which earns millions from the illegal drug trade and remains a lethal force even in its weakened state. Economists estimate that the war, which began in 1964, shaves between 1 and 2 percent from Colombia’s annual GDP. A peace treaty would free up huge sums now spent on the conflict for health, education, infrastructure and other badly needed projects in rural areas where the FARC has always been able to recruit down-and-out peasants. “I am convinced that now the conditions are right to make peace in Colombia,” said Jan Egeland, a former United Nations envoy who monitored the last round of talks that lasted from 1999 to 2002. “Both sides, the government and the rebels, have understood at last that the only possibility to end the conflict is a negotiated solution. That was not clear in 1999.” FARC down from 15,000 to 8,000 fighters Indeed, back then the FARC was at its military peak. It had more than 15,000 fighters, operated in 31 of Colombia’s 32 departments, and held hundreds of hostages, including government officials. Just to convince the FARC to sit down for talks, the government agreed to withdraw troops from a 16,000-square-mile patch of territory in southern Colombia. But rather than take the negotiations seriously, the FARC used the demilitarized zone to launch military attacks, recruit foot soldiers, stash hostages and grow coca — the raw material for cocaine. The rebels toyed with government envoys because they were convinced they would soon march triumphantly into Bogotá. Instead, the Colombian armed forces regrouped, expanded and went on the attack. The total number of personnel in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Police — which is part of the Ministry of Defense — jumped from 291,000 in 1999 to the current 431,000. Improved air power and intelligence paved the way for a series of strikes that took out top FARC leaders, demoralized the rebel rank-and-file and led to massive desertions. Today, the FARC has been reduced to about 8,000 fighters who no longer threaten Bogotá, Cali and other major cities as they did a decade ago. No longer able to stage massive attacks on towns and military bases, the FARC mainly relies on land mines and sharpshooters to ambush government troops. Despite capturing and detaining a French reporter for about a month earlier this year, the FARC has pledged to stop kidnapping civilians and no longer holds government hostages to use as bargaining chips. FARC: We’ll negotiate ‘without hatred or arrogance’ All of these factors have apparently convinced the FARC that the war is unwinnable and that it’s time to cut a deal. In a rebel video posted on the Internet this week, the FARC’s supreme leader, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri — alias “Timoleón Jiménez” but widely known as “Timochenko” — said the FARC was prepared to negotiate “without hatred or arrogance.” In his speech to the nation, Santos assured Colombians that these peace talks would be radically different from the negotiations 10 years ago. With the sessions taking place overseas, he said, there would be no need for a DMZ. Santos said the talks would last for months, rather than years. He also outlined five negotiating points centered around the demobilization of the FARC — as opposed to the broad agenda last time around that included everything from reforming the constitution to the way the country’s natural resources are managed. Some experts are lobbying for a ceasefire and say that the constant fighting 10 years ago helped derail the last round of talks. But Daniel García-Pena, a former government peace envoy, pointed out that ceasefires can also aggravate the negotiating environment. He said they are often violated, causing the two sides to point fingers and become sidetracked from the end game of signing a peace treaty. For now, Santos vows that the Colombian military will remain on the offensive. On Sep. 3, army troops killed nine FARC fighters in southern Guaviare and Caquetá departments. “The armed forces are aware that this is a historic moment,” Gen. Alejandro Navas, commander of the Colombian Armed Forces, said of the pending peace talks. “But the best way to support this presidential decision is to continue with our military offensive, on the ground, in the air and on the water against all armed and terrorist threats against the state.” That seems well to me because there won´t be more conflicts in the country. Ah, maybe this can “end” but there will always be conflicts, don’t get your hopes high. By Dialogo September 10, 2012last_img read more

New contenders for Eni assets

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Valencia confirm two positive tests for coronavirus

first_imgValencia have been hit by two positive cases for coronavirus, the La Liga club announced on Tuesday, a day after players and staff returned for pre-season.The identities of the two individuals have been kept anonymous. They are both isolating at home while the club has notified the Spanish health authorities. It continues a rise in the number of confirmed infections among La Liga teams after Atletico Madrid’s Sime Vrsaljko and Angel Correa both tested positive on Saturday.  Topics : Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz and Sevilla midfielder Nemanja Gudelj have also been infected in the last two weeks. La Liga completed the 2019/20 season on July 19 and the plan is for the 2020/21 campaign to begin on September 12, following the conclusion of the Champions League and Europa League. Spain is one of the worst-hit countries by the pandemic and has seen an increase in cases in recent weeks. The Spanish health ministry on Monday reported 8,618 new coronavirus infections since Friday and 65 deaths from the virus over the previous seven days.Valencia were starting their pre-season preparations this week under new coach Javi Gracia, who was appointed two weeks ago following the sacking of Albert Celades in June. center_img They were one of the first clubs to confirm cases of coronavirus in March, when 35 percent of the squad, including players and coaches, tested positive after playing a Champions League match against Atalanta in Italy at the end of February. Valencia finished ninth in La Liga after a miserable season for the club, during which supporters grew increasingly disillusioned with the ownership of Singaporean businessman Peter Lim. A club statement on Tuesday confirmed the two positive cases for coronavirus. “The PCR and blood serum tests carried out on Monday for the first team, coaching staff and employees have detected two positive cases of COVID-19,” it read. “Those who have tested positive will remain isolated in their homes, in accordance with LaLiga and club protocols. The health authorities have been informed immediately of their status. “From the start of this health crisis, Valencia have given special importance to measures to halt the expansion of the pandemic, and will maintain a strict protocol to which all members of the club are completely committed.” last_img read more