French-Made World’s First Universal Modular Mobile Lighting Solution

The creators of Liggoo have announced that they are seeking community support for their all new mobile lightingsolution. Liggoo is much more than just a lamp and has several amazing applications at home, in car, while travelling or even when at work. In addition, it is an excellent and illuminating solution for bicycle riders, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

For the first time in the world,Liggoo create many accessories and Liggoo will soon become 100% compatible with GOPRO accessories.

Liggoo is a powerful, autonomous, light, and compact led module and comes with four lighting modes. These are 25%, 50%, 100% and Flashing Mode. Moreover, the light has very low environmental impact with a rechargeable LiPo battery and reduced weight of raw materials. Furthermore, these raw materials are recyclable and the light has high performance LEDs with 90% of the nominal luminous flux after 9000 hours of use.

The Indiegogo Campaign is located on the web at:

www.indiegogo.com/projects/liggoo-experience-the-light-mobile and it offers several pledges ranging from $38 to $1750 with rewards ranging from one outdoor pack of Liggoo to a pro pack of 50x Liggoo with 42% discount.

About Liggoo

. It is much more than a flashlight and has several amazing features and benefits. The creators of this amazing light are now seeking community support via Indiegogo and they are welcoming everyone to generously back this remarkable project. 

PDF Days Europe underscores the importance of PDF as a key component of business processes

2017 marks a record number of attendees / Experts shared fully-grounded wisdom on PDF standards across the two-day event

Berlin. With over 200 attendees, this year’s PDF Days Europe in Berlin was a significant success with the largest attendance of any PDF Days event to-date. The agenda of 35 specialist presentations, user reports and discussions illuminated all aspects of PDF technology. Both the forward-looking presentations on PDF 2.0 and Next-Generation PDF, as well as the practical presentations on current applications of the PDF standard, drew significant interest.

Attendees praised the leading PDF event for its up-to-date information and cutting-edge expertise. Aside from the knowledge transfer from stage to audience, attendees also indicated that they saw great value in the opportunities for networking during breaks and at the evening event.

Forward-looking keynotes
The keynote speeches focused on Next-Generation PDF and PDF 2.0. Leonard Rosenthol, PDF Architect at Adobe, explained that the PDF format first developed by his company 25 years ago now requires new functionality in order to display structured PDF content on all devices – from large-scale wall projectors to smartphones and even smart watches. Over the course of the two-day event, the PDF experts discussed ideas and approaches for enhancing PDF to meet the needs of our increasingly mobile world.

The subject of the keynote presented by Peter Wyatt, one of the project leaders for ISO 32000, was the latest version of the PDF specification: PDF 2.0, the first update to PDF developed exclusively within the responsible ISO Working Group. In comparison with PDF 1.7, PDF 2.0 adds many new features and improvements to interoperability while preserving the technical foundation of PDF. According to Peter Wyatt, PDF 2.0 is ready for publication and can be expected this summer. “PDF 2.0 is an evolution, not a revolution” was his summary. In addition to the keynote, experts demonstrated – among other subjects – the influence that PDF 2.0 will have on PDF/A and the printing industry.

Concrete application scenarios
PDF Days Europe presentations were not only about the future – they also provided food for thought for using and working with PDF today. For example, discussions included the use of PDF/A services as a cloud solution, new options for collaboration, central platforms for standardized conversion to PDF and PDF/A, replacement scanning in line with TR-Resiscan and converting Office documents to PDF/A-2, and using PDF/A-3. The creation of universally accessible documents, and especially PDF/UA the ISO-standardized PDF subset for Universal Accessibility, also received significant attention.

Matt Kuznicki, Chairman of the PDF Association, summarized the event: “PDF is not just a format – it is the world’s leading business document solution ecosystem.” This year’s PDF Days Europe once again proved this in impressive fashion. We look forward to future events to showcase everything we have achieved together with our members.”

Video recordings and presentations for the PDF Days Europe 2017 can be found at the following link:
https://www.pdfa.org/slides-and-video-recordings-of-the-pdf-days-europe-2017/

Air vs Sea: Is there a modal shift in cold chain logistics?

 

  • There are numerous reports of cargo switching to ocean freight from air cargo, including certain pharmaceutical products, flowers and fruit.
  • Overall the global cold chain market remains highly competitive and fragmented.
  • Innovations in big data and the Internet of Things could transform asset utilisation and the protection of sensitive cargo across the supply chains.

05 June 2017, Bath, UK: Ti is pleased to announce that its latest report, Cold Chain Logistics 2017, is now available to download.

Cold Chain Logistics 2017 offers insight into the complex, but potentially lucrative, nature of temperature-controlled supply chains.

The market continues to grow as new cold chains are created as a result of the buying power of rising middle classes in China and other developing countries, and by new demands for healthier and higher quality products. At the same time, however, restrictions on pharmaceutical production and growing consumer awareness of food safety is pushing the tightening of government regulations on temperature-controlled supply chains.

As a result, reefer container technology has seen improvements in recent years. Not only can reefers control temperature more accurately, but they also monitor humidity, light and shocks. The visibility this provides has helped improve the quality of the reefers by encouraging further innovation. This allows newer reefers to keep perishable goods for longer, meaning a shorter travel time is a less important factor.

Shipping lines with a stake in cold chain logistics are undoubtedly benefiting from breakthrough capabilities in reefer container technology. There are numerous anecdotal reports of cargo switching to ocean freight from air cargo, including certain pharmaceutical products, flowers and fruit.

Ti’s Quantitative Analyst, Andrew Ralls, however explained, “Air freight carriers will need to innovate in the same way ocean freight carriers have done, though strong global trade of agricultural products such as trees & flowers, vegetables and fruits, is set to continue and this will aid volumes for both modes of transport.

Cold Chain Logistics 2017 is a 50 page report that provides analysis of the market and commentary around the future prospects of the industry as a whole, as well as from a logistics market, vertical sector and geographical perspective.

To find out more about Cold Chain Logistics 2017, or Ti’s expertise in logistics technology, visit the Ti website, or contact Ti’s Sales Consultant, Charlie Holden.

The Growing Role of Chatbots in Healthcare

They are not doctors (yet), but well-trained bots can get patients to engage more in their care, helping to close the $300 billion ‘adherence gap’ in taking pills and following orders, say experts at Earley Information Science roundtable

No one would confuse them with young interns or seasoned surgeons, but chatbots are becoming the newest addition to medical teams. Hospitals and other providers, as well as insurers, are starting to employ these digital workers to remind patients to take their medicine, to monitor life signs and to track mountains of data across patient groups that could produce breakthrough insights about diseases and treatments. Already, consumers can choose from among dozens of bots that provide “care” as soon as they are downloaded.  

Help from the bots is critically needed – the lack of patient adherence to prescribed medications and to post-procedure instructions is putting tremendous strains on both providers and payers. Avoidable medical spending exceeds $300 billion a year, according to a recent study by CapGemini.

But for bots to become major players in closing the adherence gap, and to deliver on other health-care and cost-saving fronts, their human bosses have to understand their capabilities while also appreciating their limitations, according to a panel of artificial intelligence (AI) and knowledge management experts at an Executive Roundtable discussion hosted on April 12 by Earley Information Science Corp. (EIS), a leading consulting firm focused on organizing information for business impact.

The bots can greatly improve patient experience, the panelists said, and in the process improve adherence and outcomes. But the spread and acceptance of bots has been slowed by regulatory restrictions, insurance rules and privacy concerns that still have to be addressed, the experts added. And, they noted, because of AI’s limitations in understanding human language, the bots have to be seen as very junior members of the team, and a long way, if ever, from hanging out their own shingles.

Bots can enable meaningful conversations with the care team and with patients, and encourage better patient behavior, “but they can’t provide medical advice and they can’t prescribe possible treatments,” said one of the panelists, Henry Truong, Chief Technology Officer, Teletech Holdings. Even the data that they provide about a patient’s condition, as rich as it is, can be missing the crucial nuances that a doctor’s eye, or touch, can add. 

The roundtable discussion, “The Role of Intelligent Virtual Assistants in Healthcare: How virtual assistants can help solve the ‘adherence gap’ and more,” was led by David Hatch, Senior Vice President for Marketing at EIS. Besides Henry Truong, the panel included Dr. Bruce Metz, Managing Partner, Bruce Metz & Associates; Michael Flammer, Partner, Life Sciences and Healthcare Customer Strategy Services, Teletech Consulting; and Richard Lynch, Vice President and Managing Consultant, Accelare Inc.  

The discussion was the second in a four-part EIS series, “The Age of the Chatbot Is Coming: Are You Ready?” The first roundtable, “Digital Workers, Chatbots and Customer Service: Reality Versus Aspiration,” was held on March 29. EIS held a related roundtable in January, “Virtual Assistants and Chatbots: The Next Big Thing in Customer Experience.” 

Bots are already a key part of the evolution of the digital healthcare ecosystem, said Dr. Metz. “Providers are increasingly getting paid on the quality of outcomes. Meanwhile, consumers are becoming more demanding and discerning. As they pay more, they want more convenient and transparent care.” Enter technology, and with it, “new directions for wellness and disease detection.”

Where bots can be most usefully deployed is in the treatment of chronic illness, which consumes roughly 75% of the $3 trillion spent each year in the United States on healthcare. The next generation of bots, Dr. Metz said, will more fully interact with patients in their homes, featuring such new tools as wifi-enabled pill bottle caps to track the intake of medications. This larger role, akin to “a virtual physician’s assistant,” will result in better chronic disease management.    

The bots also provide extraordinary scaling opportunities, Henry Truong noted, allowing providers and payers “in non-homogeneous delivery networks” to share knowledge and increasing the ratio of patients to care-team members “without sacrificing the quality of care.” Bots can’t work alone, however, but rather in “orchestration” with the care team, extending its reach (not just geographically but also into patient lifestyle by monitoring many new things) and increasing its efficiency.  

But there are obstacles in the way. For one thing, said Teletech Consulting’s Michael Flammer, 75% of patients are very or somewhat concerned about the privacy of their health records. And those records will be exploding in size. The amount of quantitative data that will be collected by bots is going to be “overwhelming,” Flammer said. Yet from a qualitative standpoint, there will actually be a dearth of information. Is a patient’s skin coloring good? Is the patient depressed? How do those “data points” get collected? Are photos needed, for instance?  

From the provider’s point of view, “bots help to close capability gaps,” said Accelare’s Richard Lynch. “They provide new services along the care continuum,” including proactive education and support with financial questions. “They simplify the complexity, and help patients navigate the system.” In fact, he said, “chatbots are not a technology play but rather a business capability tool.”

The challenge, Dr. Metz added, is for regulators and insurers to revise their rules on compliance and reimbursement. They have to catch up to the bots, he said, which are now “way out in front.” 

The roundtable featured a real-time survey of the webinar attendees:  

  • Nearly a fifth of the respondents, or 17%, said that bots are a major priority (supported by funding and executive buy-in) and 50% said they are important but still require a business case. The remaining 33% said bots are not a priority at this time.
  • None of the attendees has been using bots for more than a year, but 14% have recently launched their first wave, another 14% have begun testing in one area, and nearly three-quarters, or 71%, are just starting to investigate how bots can be used.
  • When asked where they would deploy their first bots, 100% of the participants chose extending patient care remotely. Sixty percent also identified patient or member services.   

Please use these links to access the roundtable and EIS resources about chatbots and AI.

Banjo & Matilda (OTC:BANJ) digital strategy takes shape

LOS ANGELES, CA May 26, 2017. Banjo & Matilda, Inc. (OTC: BANJ) (“Banjo & Matilda” or the “Company”), an e-commerce premium lifestyle brand, best known for its luxury woman’s cashmere sold at non-luxury prices, has just released its March 2017 quarter results.

Further to the previous shareholder update on March 10th, after a strategic review of the Company’s historical operating performance and the current state of the traditional retail apparel business, the Board and Management pivoted the business strategy and have wound-down its traditional wholesale business in favour of a more efficient, high-margin, direct-to-consumer e-commerce business model.  

Because of the shift to the vertical digital strategy, the following key metrics have improved for the quarter ending March 31, 2017 compared to the same period in the prior year:

  • Product margin increased to 68%, from 55%. Also up from the December 2016 Quarter.
  • Inventory efficiency increased 110% from 1.23x sales vs inventory to 2.58x,
  • Repeat purchase rates increased to 61%, from 58%,
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) increased 9%,
  • Customer satisfaction “Net Promoter Score (NPS)” increased 12% to 67%, and has increased 26% since the company began tracking NPS. This represents the top 5% of NPS scores in the US (eg Apple 70%, Amazon 69%),
  • Fulfilment (Freight & Logistics) improved by decreasing from 27.4% of sales, to 19% of sales; and,
  • Overheads have reduced by 35% for the 9 months to March 31 compared to the same period in the prior year.

 

Ben Macpherson, CEO said “Management is pleased with the continued operational improvements after implementing our new digital vertical strategy as outlined in March 2017.  Core unit economics and operating metrics continued to improve in the March 2017 quarter, demonstrating the potential of the business model.  However, the company remains capital constrained, and as evidenced in Q3-17 results the company would have achieved significantly higher sales and profitability had the company been properly capitalized to hold enough inventory to meet demand, and invest in marketing”.  

Banjo & Matilda’s products can be seen on its website – www.banjoandmatilda.com.

Additional information about Banjo & Matilda, Inc. can be found at the Company’s corporate website: www.banjoandmatildainvestors.com.

Sincerely,

Ben Macpherson

Chief Executive Officer

END

Forward looking Statement

Certain matters discussed in this press release are ‘forward-looking statements’ intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In particular, the Company’s statements regarding trends in the marketplace, growth in the number of stores that will carry its products, increases in its sales and financial results, are examples of forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic trends and conditions, trends in the fashion and retail industries, the acceptance of new product designs, inherent discrepancy in actual results from estimates, projections and forecasts made by management and other factors not within the Company’s control The factors discussed herein and expressed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission could cause actual results and developments to be materially different from those expressed in or implied by forward looking statements made by the Company. The forward-looking statements contained herein are made only as of the date of this press release and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

 

 

Eclipse Across America, Inc and Curiosity Stream partner to produce first limited series about the Historic Eclipse of August 21st, 2017

Eclipse Across America, Inc. and CuriosityStream have partnered to create a four episode limited series titled Eclipse Across America designed to build public awareness for the historic, upcoming Eclipse on August 21st, 2017.  Coast-to-coast principal photography was completed March 2017.

CuriosityStream, the world’s first ad-free streaming service for factual programs in science, technology, nature, history and more, is the vision of Discovery Communications founder John Hendricks, with former Executive Vice President of Global Content for NGC Worldwide, Steve Burns, as Head of Content. This limited series is the first offering available about the dynamics of how and where to see this once-in-a-lifetime Eclipse.

Slated for a July 13th, 2017 premiere, the limited series will feature experts, scientists, animation and stunning 4k cinematography that is the hallmark of CuriosityStream programming.

 “This will be the first time in almost four decades that a total solar eclipse will be visible from the United States,” said CuriosityStream’s Steve Burns.  “The Eclipse Across America team travelled from the shores of Oregon across our great nation to South Carolina to reveal to our audience the best, and oftentimes secret, spots to witness this remarkable event, and to showcase not only the most enjoyable way to experience the eclipse, but also the science behind it.”

Eclipse Across America, Inc. was co-founded by filmmaker/director and Eclipse Chaser Mark Bender and Producer Elizabeth (Betty) Buckley.  They are joined on this CuriosityStream production by Michael Mavretic, who serves as writer/producer for the series. The EAA team previously worked together on the National Geographic special, Easter Island Eclipse.

Each episode focuses on a different aspect – from viewing locations to key details of this Eclipse; From the science of how and why eclipses happen, to the different ways scientists, eclipse chasers, and the general public can watch and experience it.

Says Bender, “Having travelled across the entire country along the path of totality, I was humbled at my journey’s conclusion on the coast in South Carolina. Once there I was struck by what a truly unique moment this total eclipse will be for this vast and diverse nation!”

The Oregon segment of the trip features astronomer, professor, eclipse chaser, and artist, Tyler Nordgren, who created an original “Eclipse Across America” poster, available free for all to download on the NASA and EAA website.

The series reveals how different communities along the eclipse path are preparing for the event.  States are expecting huge crowds, while most hotels along the path are sold out.  Some municipalities have gone into full emergency preparedness mode.

Along the path, from Lincoln City, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina, festivals large and small are planned, from wineries in the Willamette Valley to the events in Columbia, South Carolina, where the local baseball team, The Fireflies, will play—then pause the game for the whole stadium to witness the eclipse.

Similar events, some scientific and many celebratory, can be found all along the path the shadow of the moon will create as it crosses the continental United States for 90 continuous minutes.

Meanwhile, the series explores how the scientific community sees this event as perhaps the greatest opportunity to observe the sun and its all important corona in a lifetime.  With so many locations to choose from across the eclipse path, the question facing astronomers and physicists isn’t whether or not to go to the eclipse, it’s where they should go to give themselves the best shot at clear skies.

 

 

About CuriosityStream

CuriosityStream is the world’s first on-demand streaming service for documentary and nonfiction programming. Over 1,500 shows from the world’s best filmmakers are available to watch on most streaming devices, including Xbox One, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, iOS and Android, starting at just $2.99 per month. Focused on offering enriching and enlightening content covering science, history, technology and nature, CuriosityStream was founded by Discovery Communications founder and media visionary John Hendricks. For more information, visit www.curiositystream.com.

 

For more information:

 

Vanessa Gillon – CuriosityStream

301-755-2069

vanessa.gillon@curiositystream.com

 

Elizabeth Buckley – Eclipse Across America

210-314-9370

eclipseacrossamerica.org

eclipseacrossamerica@gmail.com

Aviation Weather Site MyFlight Forecast Partners With Airlines to Provide Custom Passenger Briefing Portals

​Traveling hundreds of miles per hour, thousands of feet in the air, a routine flight for an airline cabin crew can be a source of profound dread for passengers suffering from aviophobia (fear-of-flying). Throw in the x-factor of a few unexpected bumps in the ride, and some potential customers will check out of air travel completely. That’s why popular online turbulence predictor MyFlight Forecast™ has recently unveiled a customized Passenger Briefing Portal service for aviation companies, including airlines and charter operators, giving them a new tool to help set travelers at ease. The Portal will aggregate various weather reports to produce a turbulence index for the airline’s upcoming flights.

“Our goal is to make people feel safer traveling by air,” says Captain Timothy Griffin, Founder of MyFlight Forecast’s New York-based parent company, FlyHome. “We do that by giving them access to the kind of sophisticated weather and turbulence forecasts that pilots themselves rely upon. Knowing what to expect from your flight conditions removes that area of uncertainty where an overactive imagination can do its worst.”

MyFlight Forecast’s data includes information on precipitation and cloud cover, weather advisories, fleet tracking and a specific turbulence forecast for any flight in the United States. As much as one quarter of the American population suffers from some degree of flight nervousness, with 6.5% (>20 million people) being diagnosed with aviophobia. The term “turbulence forecast” alone generates over 22,000 Google searches per month. Particularly for smaller charter companies, maximizing sales means being able to access customers their competitors can’t.

“Through our iOS, Android and Alexa apps, as well as MyFlightForecast.com, we already helps tens of thousands of people every month who are taking it into their own hands to do this research,” says Griffin. “By working with us, airlines and private charter operators will be able to offer their customers a direct link to a customized Passenger Briefing Portal on our site, complete with the airline’s own branding and data pertaining to the routes they fly. We can pretty well guarantee clients will see significant uptake on the offer to check out the Portal from their customers. People are desperate to know this kind of information.”

Captain Griffin is more familiar than most with the needs and behaviours of aviophobes. He’s the principle instructor behind the FlightAnxiety 101™ course, which has an astounding success rate alleviating pre-flight anxiety, while the FlyHome brand has received positive coverage in many major news outlets.

“We’ve had great success going directly to travelers with MyFlight Forecast, and we’re excited to follow-up on that success by partnering with airline and charter companies,” says Griffin. “Everyone should feel safe in the sky.”

– 30 –

For more information contact:

Lara Turner
​press@flightanxiety101.com

Wyndham Worldwide Honors Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs™ for Excellence

[Lake Buena Vista, FL. April 13, 2017] – The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs™, an official Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, today received the Award for being a “Best of Wyndham Hotels”.  This prestigious honor recognizes Excellence within the Wyndham Brand.

“This is an incredible award for our team, and a direct result of our guest service commitment and ‘can do’ culture” said Jay Leonard, General Manager of the Wyndham LBV Disney Springs™ Resort. “I am equally proud of our recent introduction of the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista.  Our Wyndham Garden is connected to the Wyndham, located on the same acreage and shares all the same amenities as the upscale 19-story tower at even more value-minded price.”

The Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista Springs, has become a favorite of Wyndham Rewards members and includes 394 guestroom accommodations comprising 330 rooms with two double beds and 64 rooms with one king bed.

Both Wyndham properties are Official Walt Disney World® Hotels, located in the Walt Disney World® Resort. As such, continuous shuttle service to all four Walt Disney World® Theme Parks is available. A Disney Character Breakfast is featured three days a week, and an on-site Disney Store is offered for those seeking souvenirs and Disney Theme Park tickets. Walt Disney World® Theme Park admissions can also be purchased online through the hotel website or by visiting the Guest Services Desk in the tower lobby.

Guests of each hotel have plenty of activities to enjoy at the resort. The Oasis Aquatic Pool Playground features two pools with many interactive water attractions for children, a hot tub and an abundant amount of space to stretch out in the Florida sun. The Oasis Bar & Grill, located poolside, is perfect for cooling off and refueling for the next adventure. The resort also offers a state-of-the-art fitness center, along with tennis, basketball and sand volleyball courts.

With the recent re-imagination of the 12,000-square foot grand ballroom in the tower, a $10 million-dollar renovation was completed, giving the resort a total of 21 function rooms and a total of 25,000 square feet of meeting space ideal for corporate travelers, groups and associations.

The 19-story Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs tower features 232 guestroom accommodations, including seven parlor suites, 42 rooms with one king bed and 183 rooms with two queen beds.

A lake house retreat concept ties together the tower’s redesign while lobby space is energized with a fresh, neutral color palette accented by vibrant turquoise and pops of chartreuse. Distressed wood paneling, white granite, custom wood screens and bead board paneling are a few of the finish details that are now incorporated into the lobby. The concept extends throughout the public spaces – from Sundial Café to the Eclipse Lobby Lounge to the Lakeview Restaurant.

The textures and patterns selected for the tower guest rooms and suites are reminiscent of those found in nature. Custom case goods and lighting, plush seating in neutral-toned upholstery fabrics, luxurious pillow-top bedding and modern bathroom fixtures are all just part of the numerous upgrades to the hotel.

Both Wyndham hotels are adjacent to Lake Buena Vista and have gorgeous water views. The guest rooms and suites in the tower offer guests a true sanctuary with generously appointed accommodations and all the amenities that could be found in a Central Florida vacation lake house.

Media Contact:    George McNeilly

                             407.791.6851                                  george@mcneillycommunications.com

Securus Reaffirms Its Integrity Pledge to the Corrections Industry

California Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Approval for Global Tel*Link (GTL) to Pay $8.8 Million Dollars for Violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Report #3in a Series – Competitor Has History of Wrongdoings

 

April 5, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DALLAS, TX April 5, 2017– Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil and criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, announced a reaffirmation of its Integrity Pledge (Customer Integrity Pledge) established in 2012 and a release of Report #3 in a series of reports, facts, findings, and articles that will highlight significant wrongdoings and integrity breaches by inmate communications provider Global Tel*Link (aka “GTL”).

“Every Securus Associate must sign our integrity pledge upon their hire and then reaffirm their commitment to it every year,” said Richard A. (“Rick”) Smith, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Securus Technologies. “I love our industry – serving law enforcement, corrections, inmates, friends/family members, and all of society – and only hire Associates with the highest integrity and ethics. It offends me that some carriers have less than the highest integrity in their business dealings and even engage in unlawful practices such as deliberately programming clocks that time the duration of calls and adding 15 to 36 seconds to calls, charging rates over those permitted, using add-on programs to artificially inflate charges to its customers, and deliberately double billing calls. At Securus we always serve all of our customers with their best interests at heart – it’s in our DNA.”

Securus recently received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a formal accreditation. “I’m proud that the BBB determined that we met their standards of honesty, integrity, transparency and trust and gave us their highest rating,” said Smith. “It’s a testament to our Associates and the only way we will conduct business. Our customers deserve it, and we deliver it each and every day.”

 

Report #3 – Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Approval for Global Tel*Link to Pay $8.8 Million into a Class Action Settlement Fund

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President George H. W. Bush as public law.  The law restricts telephone solicitations (telemarketing) and the use of automated telephone equipment (dialers).

“GTL was sued in 2014 for TCPA violations by way of class action plaintiffs.  They allegedly used robo-calling to inmates’ friends/family members in a way that would violate federal law,” said Smith.  “The United States District Court in California approved and recommended approval of a settlement between GTL and the plaintiffs.  GTL also agreed to system/process changes so as not to violate the TCPA in the future.  To my knowledge, this the largest class action settlement amountby far ever paidin our sector – not surprising to me that GTL holds that distinction.”

 

Previous Reports

 

Report #1 – Louisiana Public Service Commission

 

Report #1 involves a formal 17 page Order No. U-20784-B by the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding GTL actions when they served the Louisiana Department of Corrections and provided outbound telecom services to thousands of inmates.  The Louisiana PSC investigated GTL actions and found the following:

 

  • Global Tel Link programmed the clocks in their telephones at correctional institutions to add either 15 or 36 seconds to the duration of each call and “Global’s practice of advancing the clocks [was] unauthorized…and unlawful”;
  • Global Tel Link  “programmed its telephones to rate calls on the basis of higher rates than those permitted either under its tariffs or the [PSC] rate caps” and  “this practice was wholly unauthorized”;
  • Global Tel Link “artificially inflate[d] charges to its customers” by “the addition of various amounts of money to its calls after the calls were rated”  and  “No excuse could possibly exist for such action.” “The use of add-on programs is perhaps the most insidious and problematic of all of Global’s activities.
  • Global Tel Link “engaged in the practice of billing a single call more than once” and “No authorization exists for such double billing”.
  • In many instances, these unlawful practices were engaged in deliberately and with no other intent than to unlawfully overcharge customers”.
  • We find that as a result of the four practices described above,…Louisiana taxpayers were overcharged by Global in the amount of $1,243,000”.

 

Report #2 – Attorney General of the State of Mississippi Sues GTL

Report #2 involves a 17 page lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi on February 8, 2017 against GTL regarding the payment of bribes and other illegal actions with the then head of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (DOC).

The lawsuit indicates the following quotes/comments:

  • Defendant GTL paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in so called “consulting fees” to Sam Waggoner and these were used to pay bribes and kickbacks;
  • DOC Commissioner Epps awarded, directed and/or extended public contracts, paid for by the state, to Defendant GTL;
  • Mississippi seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages, civil penalties, disgorgement of all ill-gotten funds as a result of Defendant’s conspiratorial scheme;
  • DOC Commissioner Epps, Sam Waggoner, and GTL knowingly and intentionally conspired to devise schemes using overt acts such as bribery, kickbacks, unfair and deceptive trade practices, misrepresentations, fraud, concealment, money laundering, and fraudulent use of sole source contracts and other wrongful conduct, all with the intended purpose and effect of defrauding the state of at least $6,000,000;
  • Waggoner paid a portion of his fees as bribes and kickbacks to Epps in exchange for the Mississippi DOC awarding approximately $6,000,000 in public contracts to GTL.

 

“I would note that the claims against GTL by the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi are only causes of actions – it does not represent a judgment or finding against GTL and GTL deserves their day in court,” said Smith.  “But these causes of actions are serious and ultimately could conclude with a settlement or a judgment against GTL – either outcome could possibly be business ending events for GTL as it would be difficult to retain their existing contracts or win any new contracts – now, and in the future.”

“Our industry is very special – serving law enforcement, corrections, inmates, friends/family members, saving lives, solving and preventing crimes, and serving all of society,” said Smith.  “It offends me and our entire industry when a carrier stoops well below the integrity bar that most other carriers have – but GTL may not have.  Our business’mission is a lot more than making money.  It is to serve all of our customers with their best interests at heart – in the right way and to obey the rules and laws of this land.  And we follow the rules of the game at Securus,” concluded Smith.

To that end, Securus will continue to provide historical additional wrongdoings/potential wrongdoings by GTL in a series of additional Press Releases over the next several months.

 

ABOUT SECURUS TECHNOLOGIES

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and serving more than 3,450 public safety, law enforcement and corrections agencies and over 1,200,000 inmates across North America, Securus Technologies is committed to serve and connect by providing emergency response, incident management, public information, investigation, biometric analysis, communication, information management, inmate self-service, and monitoring products and services in order to make our world a safer place to live.  Securus Technologies focuses on connecting what matters®.  To learn more about our full suite of civil and criminal justice technology solutions, please visit SecurusTechnologies.com.

 
For more information, contact:

Russell Roberts
972-277-0656

rroberts@securustechnologies.com

Source: Securus Technologies, Inc.

Native American Traditions to help European Scholars Interpret Ancient Beginnings

A Call for Papers has been issued for a highly unusual gathering.  

Everyone wants to know what was going on at places like Stonehenge.  Megaliths, mounds, kivas and cairns: monumental ceremonial and ritual spaces are hallmarks of human development that predate agriculture and technology, and signify a revolution in lifestyle.   In March 2018 researchers from around the world will gather on Florida’s Gulf Coast to explore and share the traditions of various Indigenous people in pursuit of a better understanding of how civilization got on its current path.

“A lot of things can be proved by local archeological, historical, folkloric material but cross-cultural analysis would complete the researcher’s final conclusions and findings,” says H. G. Ananyan, Curator of the Museum of the Armenian State Pedagogical University in Yerevan.  “This initiative is a great opportunity to exchange thoughts and get acquainted with the rituals, legends and beliefs of other people.”

Equal benefit to the New World side of the exchange is suggested by Stanford University Anthropology professor Dr. Ian Hodder:  “I do think that there is an exciting potential for getting the new generation of Native American scholars to interpret the monuments of the ‘origin of civilization’ in the Mediterranean and Middle East – a wonderful example of ‘talking back’.”

The People of the Great Stones Symposium welcomes contributions from researchers, scholars and technologists working across diverse disciplines, sites and practices.   Details for participation are on the website:  http://www.OTSF.org/greatstonesymposium.html