On page tools – Armorthane Marketing http://armorthanemarketing.com/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 19:49:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://armorthanemarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-32x32.png On page tools – Armorthane Marketing http://armorthanemarketing.com/ 32 32 5 ways to get the most out of the child tax credit https://armorthanemarketing.com/5-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-the-child-tax-credit/ https://armorthanemarketing.com/5-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-the-child-tax-credit/#respond Wed, 22 Sep 2021 13:32:37 +0000 https://armorthanemarketing.com/5-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-the-child-tax-credit/ As a parent, you know life comes to you quickly and you are probably making about 35,000 decisions per day (the average number of decisions an adult is estimated to make in a 24 hour period). When you first heard that the Biden administration was planning to deposit extra funds into your bank account each […]]]>

As a parent, you know life comes to you quickly and you are probably making about 35,000 decisions per day (the average number of decisions an adult is estimated to make in a 24 hour period). When you first heard that the Biden administration was planning to deposit extra funds into your bank account each month as part of an advance on the Expanded Child Tax Credit, you probably spent a good chunk of those 35,000 decisions trying to decide how best to use the money. If you think about it again, here are five options worthy of attention.

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If the drama of the past year and a half has left you in a financial bind, it takes a toll on your whole family. And, if you’re struggling to pay your bills and worry about bill collectors, there’s no shame in using the Monthly Child Tax Credit to cover your obligations, put food on the table. table and keep a roof over your family’s heads. When it comes to extra cash, the smartest choice is always to meet immediate needs. Once you’ve settled the most urgent expenses, you can think about what you want to do next.

2. Pay off the debt

Debt is dangerous for several reasons. Compound interest on debt can take you years to pay off with nothing new to show. And being deeply in debt can keep you awake at night, looking for ways to dig yourself up.

First of all. No matter how much debt you are in right now, it is possible to free yourself from your debt. It all starts with a plan and the belief that you can do it. No matter how many dependent children you have or how much you receive each month from the Advanced Child Tax Credit, these additional funds can make it easier and faster to pay off your old debts.

While the advanced child tax credit was originally scheduled to expire at the end of this year, the Biden administration is working to extend it until at least 2025. Think about it. This would give you at least three years of additional funds to use to get rid of your debt.

Imagine that you owe $ 10,000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 17% and you pay a fixed amount of $ 300 per month to pay off the debt. At this rate, it will take 46 months to pay off the $ 10,000 in full, and you will pay an additional $ 3,630 in interest.

Let’s say you receive $ 500 per month in child tax credits and use $ 250 to pay your monthly bills. That would leave you $ 250 to pay off the credit card faster. Adding the $ 250 to the $ 300 you are already paying will increase your monthly payment to $ 550. In doing so, the debt would be paid in full in 22 months (instead of 46), and you would pay a total of $ 1,645 in interest, a savings of $ 1,985.

3. Make repairs

Anyone of us who’s ever struggled to make ends meet knows how easy it is to put repairs on the back burner. Whether it’s your car or home in need of repair, postponing maintenance can be costly. Suddenly a small problem with your car’s engine becomes a big and expensive problem to fix.

Take a look around and decide if there are any small issues that need to be addressed. If you’re not a handyman, use some of the child tax credit money to pay a professional to do repairs. The cheapest way to fix maintenance problems of all kinds is to fix them before they have a chance to get more serious.

4. Plan for less common expenses

Let’s say one of your kids goes to soccer camp every summer and another desperately wants swimming lessons. Pay part of the child tax credit into a savings account specifically set aside for irregular spending.

Likewise, if you have annual HOA fees, insurance payments, or club dues, the funds you set aside today can keep your budget from taking a hit when the bill comes due. And while no one needs to remind you, the holidays are approaching. If you don’t have any other plans for the money, you have the option of slowly making the purchases you normally would, without dipping into the family budget.

5. Create a budget – with your kids

Why not allow your kids to help you budget that includes the child tax credit? This can accomplish three things:

  1. With a little preparation on your part, including them in the conversation can teach your kids about personal finance. This understands the importance of planning, saving and investing.
  2. This can give your children the confidence to learn more on their own and to develop good financial habits as adults.
  3. It may well protect your children from abuse. According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, financial abuse occurs in 98% of abusive relationships. This is the main reason victims stay in an abusive relationship or come back after leaving it. By taking the time to teach your kids about money, including how to earn enough to be financially independent, you might just be giving them the tools they need to get out of an unhealthy relationship when they’re older.

It may sound dramatic, but here is the truth, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: More than 10 million women and men are physically abused in the United States each year.

Providing your child with tools that will allow him to fend for himself is a powerful gift. If you don’t know where to start, visit this page on teaching girls money. You can also use this page to teach your kids the right financial lessons. You are likely to find tips and ideas that make learning money fun.

It is rare in life to receive money that you did not expect. Ideally, you will put these “found” funds to work for you and your family.

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Water rocks! back in schools and online, bigger and better than ever https://armorthanemarketing.com/water-rocks-back-in-schools-and-online-bigger-and-better-than-ever/ https://armorthanemarketing.com/water-rocks-back-in-schools-and-online-bigger-and-better-than-ever/#respond Wed, 22 Sep 2021 08:12:36 +0000 https://armorthanemarketing.com/water-rocks-back-in-schools-and-online-bigger-and-better-than-ever/ The 2020 and 2021 pandemic has forever changed the way awareness and education can be conducted. He bears part of the responsibility for the exciting new program of Water Rocks! that emerged from the cauldron of change created by school closures, ever-changing rules and best practices. Innovation and creativity were the watchwords within the Water […]]]>

The 2020 and 2021 pandemic has forever changed the way awareness and education can be conducted. He bears part of the responsibility for the exciting new program of Water Rocks! that emerged from the cauldron of change created by school closures, ever-changing rules and best practices. Innovation and creativity were the watchwords within the Water Rocks team, and there was a lot of both. Some of the ideas and efforts met immediate needs and were scrapped over time, but others were so successful that they expanded the programming menu available to schools from Iowa to to come up.

“Being online was certainly nothing new for Water Rocks, as we had created videos and had substantial online content before the pandemic, but going all virtual was a different challenge; and we did a lot very quickly to support the pandemic. independent home and distance – school education for all of our target audiences, “says Ann Staudt, Director of Water Rocks.” Early additions to the lineup included Water Rocks Out of the Box, a YouTube video science lesson series; and Water Rocks Unplugged, another YouTube series that used live performances of Water Rocks music to give brief conservation lessons. These quick hits were appreciated by teachers and parents, and gave us a bit of a break for ourselves. retooling over the long term. ”

New programs

Other programs stemming from the dramatic changes in the education landscape include the award-winning Harmony Brook Watershed video series for young learners, a strong outdoor classroom program that combines the excitement of Water Rocks assembly programs with the science of traditional classroom visits in one, an educational experience that meets all the requirements and restrictions of the school; live classroom tours; and Water Rocks Spoken Earth workshops for high school students.

Harmony Brook Watershed is a web-based video series that employs live actors (Water Rocks employees) and puppets to explore lessons about Iowa’s ecosystems, conservation, and natural resources. The series received the 2021 Award of Excellence in the Web Series category from the Iowa Motion Picture Association. A new season of episodes will be released throughout the final months of 2021.

“Water Rocks benefited from the knowledge gained from webinars that our partner program Iowa Learning Farms had been producing for several years, but going from a weekly webinar targeting adults to producing a live remote classroom tour took a lot of time. ‘experimentation, introspection and continuous improvement, “continues Staudt.” We received compliments and excellent comments from the teachers and students who participated in the live class tours, but we finally got there. finding that, when practical, being in school has the greatest impact on learners and helps ensure that we fulfill our mission. “

The Outdoor Classroom Tours program was born out of this desire to interact in person with learners across the state. Launched in the spring semester 2021, the outdoor classrooms take advantage of the equipment and materials already available with conservation stations to create a safe learning space in almost any parking lot, park or playground. games. With a few minor adjustments, outdoor tours resumed in August, and the September schedule was chock-full of tours across Iowa. Sure, the Iowa winter weather will force the program on a hiatus, but it’s a welcome option by schools looking for ways to re-engage students in science learning with a fun, portable field trip that comes to school.

During the winter months, live classroom visits will resume. These one-on-one classroom tours use a variety of feedback and live polling tools to help the presenter ensure understanding and guide the teacher in reinforcing the material locally.

For older students, Water Rocks Spoken Earth workshops were developed and piloted in early 2021 to encourage participants to contemplate their environment and ecosystem and to express their feelings about them and their hopes for the future through the creation of original oral poems.

Again, the virtual format was a challenge, but with an almost universal familiarity and comfort with the pandemic-driven video conferencing platforms, interactions between workshop facilitators and participants were fruitful and enriching. The program is being prepared for a new workshop season later this year and will be available to even more participants than the first season.

“We are all ready to return to the schools with our assemblies and interior classroom tours when the schools are ready to receive us, but we are also very happy to offer additional program options for remote participation and distance, and an education that offers educators an even wider choice to reinforce what they teach in the classroom, ”concludes Staudt. “We will be online, in the classroom or outside the classroom – whatever best meets the needs of schools and youth in Iowa for science education and quality awareness raising. water, conservation and natural resources. “

To learn more about the Water Rocks programs available at all schools in Iowa, visit waterrocks.org.

Stevenson is a visual awareness specialist and conservation educator with Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks.

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Does your organization have a Security.txt file? – Krebs on security https://armorthanemarketing.com/does-your-organization-have-a-security-txt-file-krebs-on-security/ https://armorthanemarketing.com/does-your-organization-have-a-security-txt-file-krebs-on-security/#respond Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:17:24 +0000 https://armorthanemarketing.com/does-your-organization-have-a-security-txt-file-krebs-on-security/ It happens all the time: Organizations are hacked because there is no obvious way for security researchers to tell them about security breaches or data leaks. Or perhaps it is not entirely clear who should receive the report when remote access to an organization’s internal network is sold as part of underground cybercrime. In order […]]]>

It happens all the time: Organizations are hacked because there is no obvious way for security researchers to tell them about security breaches or data leaks. Or perhaps it is not entirely clear who should receive the report when remote access to an organization’s internal network is sold as part of underground cybercrime.

In order to minimize these scenarios, an increasing number of large companies are adopting “Security.txt, A proposed new Internet standard that helps organizations describe their vulnerability disclosure practices and preferences.

An example of a security.txt file. Image: Securitytxt.org.

The idea behind Security.txt is simple: the organization places a file called security.txt in a predictable location, such as example.com/security.txt or example.com/.well-known/security.txt. The contents of the security.txt file vary somewhat, but most include links to information about the entity’s vulnerability disclosure policies and a contact email address.

The security.txt file provided by United States, for example, includes links to its bug bounty program; an email address to disclose security related matters; its public encryption key and its vulnerability disclosure policy; and even a link to a page where the USAA thanks researchers who have reported significant cybersecurity issues.

The other security.txt disclosures are less detailed, as in the case of HCA Health, who lists a contact email address and a link to HCA’s “responsible disclosure” policies. Like USAA and many other organizations that have posted security.txt files, HCA Healthcare also includes a link to information about job postings in IT security at the company.

Having a security.txt file can make it easier for organizations to respond to active security threats. For example, just this morning, a trusted source handed me the VPN credentials of a large clothing retailer that were stolen by malware and made available to cybercriminals. Cannot find any security.txt file on the retailer’s site using gotsecuritytxt.com (which checks a domain for the presence of this contact file), KrebsonSecurity sent an alert to its “security @” email address for the retailer’s domain.

Many organizations have unofficially (if not advertised) used the security @ email address for a long time.[companydomain] accept reports on security incidents or vulnerabilities. Maybe this particular retailer also did at some point, but my post was returned with a note that the email was blocked. KrebsOnSecurity also messaged the retailer’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) – the only person in a C-level position at the retailer who was part of my immediate LinkedIn network. I still don’t know if anyone has read it.

Although security.txt is not yet an official Internet standard approved by the Internet Engineering Working Group (IETF), its basics have so far been adopted by at least eight percent of Fortune 100 companies. According to a review of the domain names of recent Fortune 100 companies via gotsecuritytxt.com, these include Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, HCA Health, Kroger, Procter & Gamble, United States and Walmart.

There may be another good reason to consolidate security contact information and vulnerability reports in one predictable place. Alex holden, founder of the Milwaukee-based consulting firm Maintain security, said it is not uncommon for malicious hackers to have trouble getting the attention of the right people within the same organization they just hacked.

“In case of ransom, the bad guys try to contact the company with their demands,” Holden said. “You have no idea how often their messages are filtered, deleted, blocked or ignored.”


So if security.txt is so great, why haven’t more organizations embraced it yet? It seems that setting up a security.txt file tends to attract a fairly high volume of spam. Most of this spam comes from self-appointed penetration testers who, without any invitation to do so, run automated vulnerability discovery tools and then submit the resulting reports in the hope of securing consulting engagement or bug bounty fees.

This dynamic has been a major topic of discussion in these Hacker News feeds on security.txt, in which a number of readers recounted their experience of being so inundated with low-quality vulnerability scan reports that it became difficult to spot which reports are really worth watching thorough.

Edwin “EdOverflow” Foudil, the co-author of the proposed notification standard, recognized that spam reports are a major drawback for organizations that offer a security.txt file.

“This is actually stated in the specification itself, and it’s extremely important to point out that organizations that implement it are going to be inundated,” Foudil told KrebsOnSecurity. “One of the reasons bug bounty programs are successful is that they are basically a glorified spam filter. But whatever approach you take, you’re going to be inundated with these shitty, mediocre reports. “

Often times, these sub-par vulnerability reports come from individuals who scanned the entire internet for one or two security vulnerabilities, then attempted to contact all vulnerable organizations at once in a semi-automatic fashion. -Automatique. Fortunately, Foudil said, many of these nuisance reports can be ignored or aggregated by creating filters that search for messages containing keywords commonly found in automated vulnerability scans.

Foudil said that despite the spam issues, he has heard huge feedback from a number of universities that have implemented security.txt.

“It has been incredibly successful with universities, which tend to have a lot of older legacy systems,” he said. “In that context, we saw a ton of valuable reports. “

Foudil says he’s delighted that eight of the Fortune 100 companies have already implemented security.txt, even though it has not yet been approved as an IETF standard. When and if security.txt is approved, it hopes to spend more time promoting its benefits.

“I’m not trying to make money with this thing, which came about after chatting with quite a few people at DEFCON [the annual security conference in Las Vegas] who struggled to report security issues to vendors, ”Foudil said. “The main reason I’m not doing my best to promote it now is because it’s not yet an official standard. “

Has your organization considered or implemented security.txt? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below.

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Reviews | To counter China, US and EU must get back on the same wavelength – Quickly https://armorthanemarketing.com/reviews-to-counter-china-us-and-eu-must-get-back-on-the-same-wavelength-quickly/ https://armorthanemarketing.com/reviews-to-counter-china-us-and-eu-must-get-back-on-the-same-wavelength-quickly/#respond Mon, 20 Sep 2021 08:30:17 +0000 https://armorthanemarketing.com/reviews-to-counter-china-us-and-eu-must-get-back-on-the-same-wavelength-quickly/ The inaugural meeting of the US-EU Trade and Technology Council, which was established to seek a common agreement on the rules of digital trade, starts September 29 in Pittsburgh. Washington’s interest in participating has been heightened by business alarms over the EU’s digital markets bill, which almost exclusively targets five companies, all of which are […]]]>

The inaugural meeting of the US-EU Trade and Technology Council, which was established to seek a common agreement on the rules of digital trade, starts September 29 in Pittsburgh. Washington’s interest in participating has been heightened by business alarms over the EU’s digital markets bill, which almost exclusively targets five companies, all of which are American: Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft.

The European objective is understandable, to offer European companies opportunities to compete with these tech giants, even if none seem able to immediately take advantage of the new rules. Instead, the legislation opens the door for Chinese and Russian companies.

EU digital markets law classifies certain companies as ‘gatekeepers’ based on their number of users, capitalization or turnover, and imposes new obligations and restrictions on how these companies can carry out their activities. Unlike previous EU legislation, which targeted all businesses that collected data on EU citizens, this only applies to a small number of US businesses.

The bill would require these companies to transfer sensitive data or code to third-party vendors without geographic restrictions. This means that Chinese and Russian companies, which are already well supported by their autocratic governments, would potentially have access to sensitive data that they could exploit in order to support not only their businesses, but also their state’s foreign policy goals. For example, Russia Today (RT), a state-controlled Russian media company, has continuously lobbied for greater inclusion on US platforms in an effort to disseminate its anti-democratic narratives to a wider audience.

Worse yet, the law requires gatekeepers to provide access to systems and tools operated by US companies, endangering sensitive code and design features as well as potentially compromising security features and system integrity. It requires companies to provide third-party online search engines with access to information regarding rankings, queries, click and view data, which could help an autocratic government crack down on their own dissident citizens. Finally, “gatekeepers” should provide access to high-quality, continuous and real-time information on user data, which could include proprietary business or technical information.

The trick now – although diplomatically difficult – is to convince the European Union to change this bill so that it does not apply only to American companies. The final legislation is expected to protect consumer choice in Europe in a way that does not disrupt regulatory cooperation between the US and the EU. Indeed, the law should call for greater cooperation with the United States to protect European and other consumers from Chinese and Russian practices.

The September trade technology meeting will end with a statement that is expected to say, among other things, that the European Union and the United States will remain aligned on the regulation of digital commerce. Any new regulations from the European Union and the United States must be coordinated and support our common national security goal: to prevent Chinese and Russian actors from acquiring data that they could use against the United States, Europeans and even their own citizens. The dangers are already evident in the way China and Russia are using “smart city” or surveillance technology to control their citizens, and in the obviously symbiotic relationship between cybercriminals and the Kremlin.

Indeed, there is a need to advocate for the transformation of the Trade and Technology Council into a broader Trade, Technology and Technology Council. Security Advice. Adding security concerns could help further address technology and cybersecurity priorities, including protecting procedural intellectual property safeguards and ensuring that no regulatory initiative degrades device security and platforms.

Moreover, this regulatory cooperation should extend beyond the transatlantic alliance to include key democratic allies such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and Israel. Transatlantic standards should ideally become global or, at a minimum, accepted and adopted by all countries that share our democratic values, including concern for privacy and human rights.

But right now, with new tensions between the US and the EU and many stakes in the digital trade arena, the next meeting of the Trade and Technology Council is the place to start. We must focus our diplomacy on protecting the transatlantic alliance, not just generally but specifically on technology.

This time we can talk to the Australians later.

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Reviews | Joe Manchin got the ballot bill he wanted. It’s time to pass it. https://armorthanemarketing.com/reviews-joe-manchin-got-the-ballot-bill-he-wanted-its-time-to-pass-it/ https://armorthanemarketing.com/reviews-joe-manchin-got-the-ballot-bill-he-wanted-its-time-to-pass-it/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 18:58:11 +0000 https://armorthanemarketing.com/reviews-joe-manchin-got-the-ballot-bill-he-wanted-its-time-to-pass-it/ Far too many Republicans are the actors in a cynical pantomime: They say the new voting restrictions enacted across the country are designed only to thwart widespread voter fraud, when in reality there is no such thing as widespread fraud and that the purpose of the new restrictions is to frustrate and disadvantage voters who […]]]>

Far too many Republicans are the actors in a cynical pantomime: They say the new voting restrictions enacted across the country are designed only to thwart widespread voter fraud, when in reality there is no such thing as widespread fraud and that the purpose of the new restrictions is to frustrate and disadvantage voters who lean for Democrats, especially minority voters, young people, and low-income voters.

Are the Democrats going to do something about it? We will find out soon.

Republicans in Congress have repeatedly rejected measures to make voting fairer, more accessible and more secure. State after state, the party has spent this year pushing through laws that tighten access to ballots – at least for some groups – and make the system more vulnerable to partisan interference.

This anti-democratic (and anti-democratic) agenda started before President Donald Trump, but it has supercharged it. Now the former president and his supporters – who tried unsuccessfully to overturn the last election by lying about fraud and trying to force state officials and Congress to overturn electoral votes – have continued their crusade against democracy at national and local levels. In the recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, Republicans began circulating false allegations of fraud long before the votes were counted. “Does anyone really believe that the California recall election is not rigged?” Mr. Trump indicted Monday, the day before election day. Urging voters to beware of the system and reject the result if they don’t like it has become standard operating procedure for the GOP

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats introduced a reform bill to curb the madness. The Freedom to Vote Act, introduced by Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, would correct long-standing flaws in the electoral system as well as some of the Republicans’ recent machinations. It is a sort of compromise proposal, developed by a coalition of moderates and progressives after a more radical reform bill, the For the People Act, was blocked. in June by a Republican filibuster. This lean package throws away some of the more controversial elements of the previous plan. This would not, for example, restructure the Federal Election Commission or mandate the use of non-partisan commissions for the redistribution of Congress. It is nonetheless an ambitious and urgent fix to the Republicans’ continued assault on the franchise.

Package provisions range from making election day a public holiday to protecting local election officials from partisan interference. The partisan gerrymandering and caging voters, a summary method of purging the electoral lists, would be prohibited. Same-day voter registration would be available in all states, as would automatic voter registration systems. A 30-minute waiting period would be imposed for in-person voting, and uniform and flexible identification requirements would be established in states that require voter IDs. The list goes on.

Federal voting protections would not only protect voters in the Red States. Blue and purple states with less liberal standards should also improve their game. For example, neither Connecticut nor New Hampshire currently plans to advance voting in person, and New Hampshire does not have online voter registration either. Wisconsin has a strict photo ID law. New York does not have same-day voter registration (although voters have the possibility of moving to change that in November). Federal standards would serve all voters in all states and in all electoral nuances.

“Put simply, if the new bill is enacted, more citizens will be able to register to vote, vote in person and by mail, and have their votes counted,” said Marc Elias, one of the Democrats’ main voting rights legal champions. “And, those of us who fight suppression laws in court will have the tools to achieve swift and consistent victories for voters when states break the law.”

Merits aside, the prospects for the new bill are fragile to say the least. To avoid filibuster death, he needs the support of all 50 Democrats and 10 Republicans. In the absence of this, Democrats will be faced with a difficult choice: to let this crucial legislation die or to remove the legislative obstruction in order to pass the bill in a party line vote.

It’s at least a better dilemma than the one Democrats faced over the summer when they didn’t even have their entire caucus on board. While 49 Democratic senators supported the For the People Act, one, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, opposed it. As a conservative Democrat representing a dark red state that Mr. Trump won by nearly 40 points last year, Mr. Manchin’s political priorities often clash with those of his fellow Democrats. But while certain elements of the For the People Act made Mr Manchin uncomfortable, his main objection was that it lacked buy-in from Republicans.

“The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and the protection of that right should not be about parties or politics,” Mr. Manchin wrote in a June 6 opinion piece in the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakened ties of our democracy, and for this reason, I will vote against the law for the people.”

He then spoke out against those who wanted him to help remove filibuster to pass the bill. “The truth is, there is a better way,” he insisted, “if we seek to find it together.”

Bipartism is a big deal for Mr Manchin – not surprisingly, as his job security depends on his appeal to voters who generally support the other party. He is right that even in today’s Senate there can be agreement in areas where both parties are committed to making progress. Take the bill to strengthen US competitiveness with China that passed in June with strong bipartisan support, or the $ 1 trillion infrastructure plan that passed with similar bipartisan support. last month.

But there are limits to bipartisanship, and the system comes up against those limits on the issue of voting rights. Yet Mr. Manchin continued his research. In June, he proposed an alternative framework for reform that he said was more promising bipartisan. Key Republicans quickly fired this.

Meanwhile, their colleagues in the United States are seizing the opportunity. Republican-controlled legislatures have already passed laws restricting access to ballots in at least 18 states. Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently signed a series of measures that the head of the Brennan Center for Justice, a think tank in New York City, called “the most extreme voting restrictions passed by legislatures this year.”

Undeterred, Manchin, at the behest of Senate leaders, met with colleagues to develop the revised plan that is now on the table.

After waiting for Mr Manchin to support a bill, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is now eager to move forward. He says a vote on the new package could take place within a week.

Mr Schumer has also made it clear that he considers the time has come for Mr Manchin to try to get all the bipartisan support possible. “He has always said he wanted to try to involve Republicans, and now, with the support of the Democrats and this compromise bill – to which Senator Manchin contributed greatly – he can move forward on that. regard, “Schumer said Tuesday. .

No one expects Mr. Manchin’s bet to succeed. But if his serious engagement with Republicans fails, where does the senator go from there? Will he just shrug his shoulders and sacrifice the right to vote on the altar of bipartisanship? Will he bow to a minority party pursuing undemocratic measures to advance his partisan fortune? “The senator continues to work with his bipartisan colleagues to protect the right to vote of every American while restoring the confidence of the American people in our democracy,” replied a spokesperson for Mr. Manchin.

Bipartism can be a means to an end. But when voting rights are dragged back by a party, bipartisanship cannot be an excuse for inaction.

President Biden is said to be ready to join the fray. “Chuck, you tell me when you need me to start making phone calls,” he urged Mr Schumer recently, according to Rolling stone.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it is time to act boldly. Make those calls. Host those Oval Office conversations with Mr. Manchin and any other Democrats who might still need persuading. Bring all the persuasive powers and clout of the office to this issue before further damage is done.

After losing the White House and Senate last year, Republicans appear determined to rig the game in their favor before the mid-term. Protecting the integrity of the US electoral system and the voting rights of its citizens should be the # 1 priority – not because it helps Democrats, but because it helps preserve democracy.

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Reviews | Religious beliefs and abortion laws https://armorthanemarketing.com/reviews-religious-beliefs-and-abortion-laws/ https://armorthanemarketing.com/reviews-religious-beliefs-and-abortion-laws/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 15:00:08 +0000 https://armorthanemarketing.com/reviews-religious-beliefs-and-abortion-laws/ The Bible teaches us that in an ideal world, “mercy and truth meet, justice and peace are embraced.” Instead, Texas has become the barometer of a world where justice spits on mercy. We can and must do better. Rosemary C. McDonoughNarberth, Pennsylvania. For the publisher: Re “God has no place at the Supreme Court”, by […]]]>

The Bible teaches us that in an ideal world, “mercy and truth meet, justice and peace are embraced.” Instead, Texas has become the barometer of a world where justice spits on mercy. We can and must do better.

Rosemary C. McDonough
Narberth, Pennsylvania.

For the publisher:

Re “God has no place at the Supreme Court”, by Linda Greenhouse (Sunday Review, September 12):

As a minister for 35 years, I am distressed by the continued reference to “God” in letters, opinion pieces, and nonsensical articles to which God refers. Ms. Greenhouse is one of the best commentators, and she’s right that God does not belong to the Supreme Court, that’s for sure, but what God is she referring to, or is the Supreme Court referring to?

Is this the God of the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament? Allah or Gaia, Thor or Kali, Elihino of the Cherokee tradition, the Buddha or Shiva? There are thousands of Gods. Is this the God of Paul Tillich, Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Jerry Falwell? It would be so helpful to identify which God is cited, because there is certainly more than one.

Jim nelson
Pasadena, California

For the publisher:

Having argued constitutional law issues and as a former member of the board of directors of New Jersey Right to Choose, I must (alas) challenge “God has no place on the Supreme Court”.

The reality is that since our founding, “God” has always held a place in the public arena (often against my agnostic preferences). The famous Declaration of Independence declares that it is not the “government”, but our “Creator” who endowed us with “certain inalienable rights”.

Indeed, the courtroom of the Supreme Court is adorned with religious images such as Moses holding the Ten Commandments. So while I sympathize very much with the philosophy of Linda Greenhouse, I cannot ignore the facts that work against it.

Two-thirds of Americans want abortion to remain safe and legal, if not entirely at least to some extent. Thus, the pro-choice movement would do well to focus its energies on securing abortion rights through the legislative process. Although there may unfortunately be aberrant states such as Texas and Mississippi, if two-thirds of Americans want to preserve some degree of abortion rights, they should persuade their elected lawmakers to do just that, and not to not rely on the whims of unelected judges.

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FDA Advisors Green Light For Pfizer Boosters For People 65+ And At Risk Groups https://armorthanemarketing.com/fda-advisors-green-light-for-pfizer-boosters-for-people-65-and-at-risk-groups/ https://armorthanemarketing.com/fda-advisors-green-light-for-pfizer-boosters-for-people-65-and-at-risk-groups/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 22:09:53 +0000 https://armorthanemarketing.com/fda-advisors-green-light-for-pfizer-boosters-for-people-65-and-at-risk-groups/ Enlarge / Vials with COVID-19 vaccine labels showing the logos of pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotech company BioNTech. Covid-19 coverage See more stories A committee of independent advisers from the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously (18-0) to allow a booster dose of Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 65 and over. […]]]>
Enlarge / Vials with COVID-19 vaccine labels showing the logos of pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotech company BioNTech.

A committee of independent advisers from the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously (18-0) to allow a booster dose of Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 65 and over. more, as well as people at high risk based on an underlying medical condition and / or occupational exposure (eg, healthcare workers). It is recommended that the booster doses be given at least six months after the end of the two primary doses.

If the FDA goes ahead with the advisory committee’s recommendation, which it likely will, boosters will be offered to these two groups on the basis of an emergency use authorization.

Before voting for permission for both groups, the committee rejected the idea of ​​approving boosters for anyone aged 16 and over with a resounding 16-2 vote against.

In general, the committee – the Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biologics (VRBPAC) – felt that there was simply too little safety data to make an assessment, especially for young men. those most at risk of developing a rare side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine of inflammation in or around the heart (myocarditis and pericarditis). In addition, the committee considered that there was no convincing data indicating that overall vaccine protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death had diminished to the point that a booster was required.

“A third dose is probably good,” said Ofer Levy, VRBPAC voting member and infectious disease expert at Harvard, after voting against boosters for all. “This is already true for the immunocompromised. It is probably beneficial, in my opinion, for the elderly and could possibly be indicated for the general population. I just don’t think we are there yet in terms of the data. . “

The votes came after a tumultuous one-day meeting in which members of the advisory board appeared to resent the idea that they would give the green light to boosters for the general population. Last month, the Biden administration announced ahead of the FDA review that it was ready to roll out booster shots for those vaccinated starting the week of September 20. The announcement reportedly sparked frustration and anger within the regulatory agency, leading two high-ranking regulators to announce their resignations.

Vaccine efficacy

One of those resignations was Marian Gruber, the now-outgoing director of the FDA’s Office of Vaccine Research and Review. At the opening of today’s deliberations, she thanked her staff, noting that this was probably her last VRBPAC meeting. In her opening remarks, she stressed that the decision whether or not to approve a booster dose depends on determining its “safety”, which “involves determining whether its benefits outweigh its risks.” For younger men, this leaves the delicate question of whether the potentially increased risk of myocarditis / pericarditis would be outweighed by the potential benefits of a third dose, given that younger men are already at a lower risk of serious disease. than older groups and still seem to have high levels of protection against the two primary doses.

CDC epidemiologist Sara Oliver presented a summary of the data suggesting that the vaccine’s effectiveness against the infection declined over time, but the protection against hospitalizations remained strong. Comparing the efficacy of the pre-delta vaccine in adults aged 18 years and older with the latest post-delta data, the vaccine’s efficacy range against infection increased from 72 percent to 92 percent before the delta to a range 39 to 84 percent after delta in July. For hospitalization, vaccine efficacy before delta ranged from 84 to 97 percent, falling to a range of 75 to 95 percent in July after delta.

Importantly, when the agency’s scans only looked at older populations rather than all adults together, the vaccine’s efficacy still appeared to be strong, with over 88% efficacy in people aged 75 and over. more. However, Dr Oliver noted data from Qatar suggesting that protection from hospitalization decreased in people aged 60 and over after 25 weeks of vaccination, although the confidence intervals are extremely wide.

Likewise, Israeli experts have presented data suggesting that the vaccine’s effectiveness continues to decline over time, with older groups seeing less protection against serious illnesses. Israel is about three months ahead of the United States to vaccinate much of its population. Thus, the country is considered as an indicator of the effectiveness of vaccines. In light of data suggesting a widespread decline in protection, Israel rolled out a booster on July 30 every 16 and over, starting with the elderly. Since then, Israeli data suggests that the boosters have stemmed confirmed cases in people over 60 and reduced the relative risk of serious illness in this age group by more than 10 times. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough time since the boosters were rolled out to young men to generate useful safety data that could inform a decision in the United States.

Data issues

In another presentation at the meeting, statistician Jonathan Sterne of the University of Bristol cautioned against taking actual estimates of vaccine efficacy at face value due to various confounding factors. These include different characteristics of people who get vaccinated versus those who don’t, as well as past COVID infections that offer some protection to the unvaccinated. Estimates of vaccine effectiveness can be influenced by the timing of people’s immunizations, the risk factors each group may have, the waves of infection, and how the waves are timed with vaccinations. Many of these factors could add up to make the vaccine appear to be less effective than it actually is. For example, people who were the first to receive a vaccine included those with weakened immune systems, so the increase in infections and serious illness could perhaps represent the problem of poor immune responses in these populations rather than a significant decline in overall protection.

Also, it’s important to note that Israel defines critical illness differently from the United States, counting people with high respiratory rates and blood oxygen levels below 94%. In the United States, studies often define serious illnesses as those requiring hospitalization or intensive care, or those that die as a result of their infection.

Pfizer presented its own case for the recalls, showing US data suggesting that protection against infection has waned but protection against hospitalization has not waned. The company argued that data from Israel portends a decline and suggests that the boosters will prevent increases in serious illness and death among those vaccinated.

Regarding safety, Pfizer and the FDA made separate presentations that chose Pfizer’s safety data, which only involved 306 people between the ages of 18 and 55. Data suggested that a third dose increased antibody levels to levels comparable if not greater than those seen after the second doses. Likewise, side effects from a third dose were similar to those seen after a second dose, with the most common effects being injection site pain, fatigue, headache, chills, and muscle pain.

Overall, the VRBPAC has been influenced by data from Israel suggesting that the elderly may soon become more vulnerable to serious illness, hospitalization and death and that booster doses may increase protection in any way. security. But with so little safety data on the younger groups and without a clear and growing risk of serious illness in these younger groups, members were not convinced that boosters should be offered to all 16-year-olds and more at present.

Final decisions

In their final deliberations, members addressed those aged 65 and over as well as those at high risk. The threshold and the definitions are fragile. The committee did not have decisive data on which age group to draw the line to, with some committee members suggesting those over 50 or 60. Ultimately, the FDA reworded the final voting question, which included the threshold of 65.

In addition, the committee considered it necessary to include people at high risk of serious illness due to underlying conditions, given the possibility of further decline and the need to protect health systems from ‘be overwhelmed. Who might be eligible under these conditions has yet to be defined by an advisory committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices – which is due to meet on September 22.

Likewise, VRBPAC felt it was important to include people at high risk of infection due to occupational exposure, as booster injections can reduce the risk of infection and transmission. . With hospitals across the country under strain and under the weight of the delta coronavirus wave, the committee wanted to ensure that healthcare workers, frontline workers and teachers could receive maximum protection. – again – to protect all health systems.

While today’s decision may disappoint some hoping for a general green light for boosters, the committee was happy to have followed the science and resisted any pressure from the Biden administration.

“I think this should demonstrate to the public that the members of this committee are independent from the FDA and that in fact we are making our voices heard,” Archana Chatterjee, Voting Member of VRBPAC and Dean of Chicago Medical School.

Going forward, VRBPAC Chairman Arnold Monto noted that if booster doses are allowed using an EUA, it will be easy to review the data in the near future to determine if and when booster shots are given. for larger groups may be needed.

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Augmented reality was absent at the launch of Apple’s iPhone https://armorthanemarketing.com/augmented-reality-was-absent-at-the-launch-of-apples-iphone/ https://armorthanemarketing.com/augmented-reality-was-absent-at-the-launch-of-apples-iphone/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 17:58:12 +0000 https://armorthanemarketing.com/augmented-reality-was-absent-at-the-launch-of-apples-iphone/ Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 8, 2021 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images At Apple’s annual launch event this week, it revealed new iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches, all of which were improvements to previous models. What Apple didn’t release, however, was a […]]]>

Apple CEO Tim Cook attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 8, 2021 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

At Apple’s annual launch event this week, it revealed new iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches, all of which were improvements to previous models.

What Apple didn’t release, however, was a new kind of product – Apple’s “next big thing” that customers hope will be extremely cool and that investors hope will lead to another decade or more of growth. ‘Apple, like the iPhone did before it.

In previous years, Apple and its CEO Tim Cook have focused on “augmented reality,” or AR, which is a term for a collection of technologies that use advanced cameras and modern chips to be able to understand where the objects are in relation to the user and place infographics or information on a screen showing the real world.

Eventually, believers like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg claim that augmented reality technologies will be bundled together in a headset or glasses, which could represent a sea change for the tech industry, like the way the touchscreen of the The original iPhone created billion dollar companies.

But at Tuesday’s event, augmented reality technology didn’t make an appearance except for a brief mention of an AR app running on the iPad.

Justine Ezarik, who goes by iJustine on her popular YouTube page, spoke about the lack of AR at the launch in a video interview with Cook posted after the event.

In his response, Cook repeated some things he has said about AR in the past, but continued to be very optimistic about the technology, calling himself “the number one AR fan”.

“I think AR is one of those very rare deep technologies that we will come back to someday and how have we lived our lives without it?” Cook said.

Cook said the main uses for AR technology include educating, collaborating, and buying furniture while making sure it fits into the user’s home.

“And that’s at the start of RA,” Cook said. “It will only get better.”

Competitors take out glasses

AR supporters say wearing computer glasses will be a normal, everyday experience, like using a smartphone today.

Apple has never confirmed that it makes AR headsets, despite buying several startups work on key building blocks like transparent screens embedded in lenses and hiring hundreds of employees to work in its technology development group on the project.

Some of Apple’s closest competitors have already released headsets.

Facebook this week released Ray-Ban sunglasses equipped with a camera, which the company says are a precursor to more advanced products. Microsoft has developed a high-end headset called Hololens and has a contract with the US military potentially worth billions of dollars. Google kicked off Silicon Valley’s obsession with computer glasses when it released Google Glass in 2013.

The lack of AR announcements at Apple’s event isn’t a clue that Apple has given up on the technology. Apple’s launch events focus on hardware and products that customers can buy now, without providing clues about versions in the years to come.

None of Apple’s new devices have AR hardware, unlike in recent years when some models have added lidar sensors that can measure how far away an object is. The cameras on the new iPhone Pro have an improved night mode, which could be a useful feature for headsets in low light.

So far in public, Apple has generally treated AR as a software feature. He built tools called ARKit and RealityKit so that app developers could build their own iPhone AR apps without doing difficult physics like triangulating the user’s location or detecting hands and faces.

These tools made their appearance before the Apple event. Users of AR-compatible iPhones could upload a file to Apple’s website that created a portal to a California landscape, which was the theme of Apple’s launch.

Apple’s new city navigation feature in Apple Maps.


IPhone software launched on Monday, iOS 15, includes a mode in which Apple Maps overlays walking directions over the real world – large arrows showing the user where to go, on the iPhone screen – in a preview of which could be a major feature for a headset.

A challenge with these technologies is knowing what to call them. Some people in the industry prefer the term “mixed reality” which is less technical. The CEOs of Microsoft and Facebook, who are perhaps the most enthusiastic big companies about augmented reality, have begin talk about a “metaverse” or a digital world superimposed on the real world.

Cook and Apple, for now, are sticking to “augmented reality”.

“There are clearly different words. I’m going to stay away from the buzzwords and for now call it augmented reality,” Cook said in an interview with time published this week.

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Agencies are increasingly using “Big Data” as part of their advertising strategy https://armorthanemarketing.com/agencies-are-increasingly-using-big-data-as-part-of-their-advertising-strategy/ https://armorthanemarketing.com/agencies-are-increasingly-using-big-data-as-part-of-their-advertising-strategy/#respond Fri, 10 Sep 2021 14:50:52 +0000 https://armorthanemarketing.com/agencies-are-increasingly-using-big-data-as-part-of-their-advertising-strategy/ To stay competitive, global advertising holdings have invested in their data … [+] capabilities that make it part of their core competencies. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images for Somerset House) getty The advertising industry is increasingly relying on data to meet the needs of its customers. Over the past five years, large ad […]]]>

The advertising industry is increasingly relying on data to meet the needs of its customers. Over the past five years, large ad portfolio companies have acquired, invested in, or launched big data companies. The aim is to strengthen their advanced capabilities in data and technology to better compete with Facebook, Google, to meet the needs of their customers and as part of their core competencies when presenting new business accounts.

Earlier this year, WPP launched Choreograph, a global data company. WPP joins a number of competing holding companies. In 2016, Dentsu acquired a two-thirds stake in Merkle, a data-driven performance marketing agency, for an estimated $ 1.5 billion. In April 2020, Dentsu exercised its option to fully acquire Merkle. In 2018, IPG acquired the data marketing division of Acxiom for $ 2.3 billion. The following year, Publicis acquired Epsilon, a data-driven marketing agency for $ 4.4 billion. In the meantime, Omnicom

has built its own internal media, marketing and planning system called Omni.

With Agencies Now Focusing on Data Literacy, Jay Pattisall, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research

Note: “Data is the new oil when it comes to marketing and running a digital / direct business. This is what is fueling the skyrocketing growth of DTC companies, multi-billion dollar ad companies like Google.

, Facebook and Amazon

. For agencies, data management and information enrichment capabilities for media and messaging are essential to marketing in the customer era. Therefore, agencies like Dentsu, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe and WPP have built or purchased data management and data technology platforms to power their media and creative businesses.

Pattisall adds, “They all fundamentally enrich data and information for brands and client marketing, but do so in different ways that suit the structure of the agency. At IPG, Acxiom and Kinesso are creating a series of data and audience tools that IPG agencies can customize based on each agency’s proposition. While Omnicom’s Omni platform functions as an agency operating system combining planning and purchasing tools with asset management and creation tools. Epsilon, Choreograph and M1 are all platforms but also companies within the holding company to which services are also attached.

“Data and audience platforms within agencies are primarily media planning and purchasing tools and the most visible in media agencies. But in the past 18 months, platforms such as Omni, M1, Epsilon People Cloud, and Acxiom have branched out into other parts of holding companies such as PR, Healthcare, and creative / content. This is a strong signal for further integration.

WPP Choreographer will allow their clients to use their own privacy compliant first party data, as the use of third party cookies will soon be discontinued. Choreograph will be made up of 700 data and technology experts from around the world from WPP GroupM and Wunderman Thompson agencies. WPP has stated that Choreograph will develop the capabilities necessary to partner and enable its customers to properly use their first party data for advertising purposes. This could include monitoring the first party data of their customers with the goal of increasing sales. Key capabilities cited included information and planning, private identity tools, media optimization, predictive analytics, strategy consulting, technology development, and data management. Walgreens Boots Alliance is the first Choreograph customer.

Japan-based holding company Dentsu said its acquisition of Merkle provided the agency with enhanced analytical skills for first-party data, thereby enhancing their digital media capabilities, among other things. Merkle also enables more data-driven solutions to improve a brand’s advertising ROI and e-commerce strategies, as well as Merkle’s consulting.

At the time of the acquisition, US-based Merkle had more than 650 global customers, could access 150 marketing databases, and managed more than 3.7 billion proprietary consumer records. In addition, the acquisition of Dentsu allowed Merkle to expand globally. In July, Dentsu acquired LiveArea, an agency focused on customer experience and commerce for $ 250 million. LiveArea will be integrated with Merkle.

IPG’s acquisition of Acxiom gave the holding company access to large sets of anonymized customer data. This allowed IPG to better target consumers with more contextual advertising messages used for purchase consideration and purchase preference. Acxiom operates as a stand-alone unit within IPG and has integrated within the agency by breaking the existing silos between traditional and digital media. As of June 2020, SpotX, a global video advertising platform, is now part of Magnite. announced a partnership with IPG’s Acxiom. With the emergence of data-enriched programmatic buying and hyper-targeted addressable advertising, the goal has been to provide better audience-based buying capabilities by combining data assets. The acquisition of IPG did not include LiveRamp, a data integration company that became a separate company.

Publicis’ acquisition of Epsilon will strengthen their efforts as online customer data becomes a core competency for advertising agencies. Epsilon’s core business is people-based precision marketing. At the time of the acquisition, Epsilon had 9,000 employees, including 3,700 data scientists. 97% of net income comes from the United States. Epsilon also has 250 million privacy-protected consumer IDs. Epsilon focuses on media by integrating its datasets with Publicis to develop more optimized and better targeted consumer identifiers, audience segmentations and media buys for customers. With their digital management capabilities. Epsilon enables the agency to offer greater information to consumers to help optimize their clients’ business strategy. In addition, Publicis’ global accounts allow Epsilon to expand into other markets. In April, Publicis announced the expansion of its relationship with Adobe

to enable large-scale individual personalization targeting.

In 2018, Omnicom launched Omni, a people-based marketing and information platform that personalizes consumers in creative, media, customer relationship management (CRM) and more. areas. Omni allows customers to plan and purchase a media program as well as maintain anonymous first party customer information such as product purchases. The goal is to improve collaboration and produce neutral results fortified by the lonely view of the consumer to help customers. Omni operates several third-party consumer-connected databases, including Neustar, LiveRamp, and Experian, to name a few.

Data usage has issues such as punch outs. Pattisall says, “The consequence is a sea of ​​digital sameness in which marketing and experiences deliver the same benefits and advantages. On the other hand, marketers want to do the opposite and stand out by requiring agencies to invest in smart creativity that brings together people and platforms.

Privacy can be another issue, adds Pattisall: “Nothing prevents a CEO from sleeping at night like the idea of ​​a hack or a breach. Customers should take steps to protect their customers’ data and privacy. Third party vendors like Live Ramp, Zeotap, The Trade Desk offer clean rooms that allow brands and their partners to work with first party data with low loyalty risk. Agencies are also building cleanroom and data identity solutions. These are good steps in the direction of confidentiality. But not leveraging their first-party data is a greater risk for customers. As Facebook, Google and Amazon build even higher walls, businesses in closed ecosystems must use their first-party data as a basis for understanding customers and prospects in order to maintain relationships outside the dictates of “Big Tech” .

Well-known media consultant Bill Harvey says: “It makes sense for all agency holding companies to become top big data experts, especially now that digital with its obvious direct marketing capabilities has become such a part. significant media allocations. At the same time, the depreciation of third-party ID matching solutions will cause advertisers to increase the priority given to collecting the largest possible database of direct consumer relationships, even with people who don’t buy. still their marks. The agency systems will be competing to manage these huge customer databases, so they created them just in time.

Agencies embracing data come at a time when many ad technology companies are using large data sets in an effort to compete with or replace Nielsen by providing audience metrics to use as the bargaining currency between agencies and companies. programmers.

The days of Mad Men seem to be long gone.

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Auditor: hospital price transparency tools now available https://armorthanemarketing.com/auditor-hospital-price-transparency-tools-now-available/ https://armorthanemarketing.com/auditor-hospital-price-transparency-tools-now-available/#respond Tue, 07 Sep 2021 17:59:21 +0000 https://armorthanemarketing.com/auditor-hospital-price-transparency-tools-now-available/ In addition, the the federal government now requires each hospital to have a publicly available website showing how much you will pay for “purchasable” procedures. You can find all Vermont hospital pricing transparency pages on my website. Please visit these sites so that you are ready to use the tools when you need them. Hopefully, […]]]>

In addition, the the federal government now requires each hospital to have a publicly available website showing how much you will pay for “purchasable” procedures. You can find all Vermont hospital pricing transparency pages on my website. Please visit these sites so that you are ready to use the tools when you need them. Hopefully, the state’s Green Mountain Care Board creates a user-friendly site so that Vermonters can access all the information they need, in layman’s terms, without needing to visit many (often confusing) websites. ).

I would like to conclude by going back to the two examples I opened with and briefly explain why these new price transparency tools are so important.

In the joint replacement example, it’s likely that many Vermonters’ health insurance policies will cover most of the tab. However, if you own a small self-insured business, the difference between the two hospitals is $ 10,000 of your money!

Ditto with a health reimbursement account (HRA). Your employee may not have a direct financial interest in choosing the cheapest option, but you are certainly encouraged to equip them with price differences. Heck, you can even offer a cash incentive to use the provider for less, putting money in the employee’s pocket while keeping more money in your business bank account.

If you don’t have health insurance, the importance of this pricing information is even more vital for expensive procedures like joint replacements. It could be the difference between seeking treatment or not, and going bankrupt or not!

In the MRI example, many Vermonters would be directly impacted financially by the choice they make. Simply put, would you knowingly choose to pay $ 1,500 more out of your own pocket? for exactly the same service? Most Vermonters I know would scoff at this suggestion. With the new pricing tools, you have the power to avoid this equivalent of setting your money on fire.

My office, your legislature, and the federal government have all made making hospital pricing information available to you so that you can pay the best price for quality health care services. These tools have a value in direct relation to the number of Vermonters who use them. So do yourself a favor, do your family a favor, do your small business a favor – check out these tools, show off Yankee savings, and keep more money in your pocket.

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