December 2014 Posts

Robust Jobs Report Boosts Economy

American workers who felt stymied by elusive economic gains over the past five years may finally get a boost to their pocketbooks. In early December, the Labor Department reported job growth during the previous month had been much stronger than expected and – better still – average hourly wages made their biggest gains since mid-2013.

The news from the jobs front coupled with falling gasoline prices are good signs we’re in a strengthening economy. In turn, that’s a boon for tourism and hospitality interests, as well as for South Florida’s three R’s – restaurants, retailers and real estate market, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

Chairman and CEO of Turnberry Associates’ Jeffrey Soffer should be encouraged by the news. Soffer’s company will launch its newest Sunny Isles Beach luxury condominium tower in early 2015. The 52-story Turnberry Ocean Club will be situated on the Atlantic Ocean and provide a private club atmosphere for its 154 residences, which are priced at more than $4 million. Turnberry Ocean Club is expected to build on the success of nearby Turnberry Ocean Colony.

Under Jeffrey Soffer’s leadership, Turnberry Associates also maintains a strong presence in South Florida’s hospitality scene, with Fontainebleau Miami Beach Resort and Turnberry Isle Miami leading the way. Both tourist destinations, along with their upscale restaurants, such as Stripsteak, Michael Mina 74 and BOURBON STEAK, can expect to benefit from this stronger economy.

Along with an earnings gain four times what had been expected, the Labor Department reported the number of hours worked also was up – meaning more money in the pockets of employees.

Definitely, good news all around.

Internet Of Everything: It’s All About The Ecosystem

A recent chat with my doctor revealed new insight on life cycles of connected medical devices and the need for an integrated infrastructure to support future IoT devices.

You can’t have a technology discussion today without the phrase “Internet of Things” (IoT), or better yet, “Internet of Everything” showing up. This makes sense, since the latest Gartner hype cycle report places “Internet of Things” at the peak of the hype cycle (ousting big data from the top spot.)

IoT is so pervasive I even had a conversation with my cardiologist this week about it. While I was in for the annual 10,000-mile checkup of my pacemaker, I mentioned that at the recent MassTLC Innovation UnConference, the topic of connected devices was hot (see my blog, MassTLC Innovation UnConference 2014 – Views from an UnConference Neophyte). This triggered a lively discussion with my doctor. Many of the points he made I found very applicable to the technology as a whole, and they provided insight into the Internet of Everything from the viewpoint of a healthcare professional.

Product lifecycle expectations
According to my doctor, based on current usage, my 10-year-old pacemaker has about five years left. I told him that at the MassTLC conference the topic of product lifecycle for devices in the IoT world was widely discussed. The expected lifecycle for these devices tends to be significantly longer than other IT technologies, putting a different level of consideration on the design and development of both the hardware and the software. My doctor noted that the lifecycle for implantable devices is a delicate balance for vendors and doctors. Doctors (and payers) do not want frequent surgeries replacing devices, whereas vendors who are developing new products need a customer base to sell these products.

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Punch List Apps for Construction Management

Smart Bid Net has designed a list of the foremost architecture, engineering, valuation and construction venture management software applications for contractors, project management and architects. The methodology, the standardized theoretical reasoning of the methods related to a field of study, was easily screen out the insignificant apps. Then these will be group by trade and functionality, and ranked by classification as well as their how prevalent they are.

In addition, it authorizes users to maintain course of subcontractor and vendor’s lines of communication open from their phones.

The ease, accuracy and quickness using pre-prepared templates can be achieved in just four simple efficient steps. Measure, pre-designed cutouts build measurements to instinctively calculating your business data. The process of layering, tracking, measurements automatically group them, them can be filtered, batched and exported to Excel.

Latista Field’s cutting edge technology offers a secure cloud base explanation proven to condense exorbitant rework, interruption and excessive paperwork while expanding efficiencies within your construction business. At your fingertips, convenient mobile answer is drafted to comply with the distinctive demands of individuals in the field.

The app is capable of managing thousands of concerns exactly on project drawings while attaching marked up changes on the specific drawings, necessary photos, additional sketches, or any required reference information to automatically to deliver reports to accountable parties with the effortlessly applied. It is also possible to support a general language for the punch list making project participants utilize the similar names for various matters on the job site, and conviction requirements.

Latista Field punch list template app can assist you by quickly planning also identifying topics in the field. Arranging work flows including user permits to correlate your existing processes is another advantage working with a punch list.

Hilton Nashville Downtown Unveils Dynamic New Lobby Experience

Reflecting Nashville’s legacy as a modern city rooted in rich musical heritage, the Hilton Nashville Downtown’s newly transformed grand atrium lobby and lounge is a lively social environment that blends sleek elegance and hometown-inspired accents to evoke the spirit of Music City.

Hilton Nashville Downtown is owned by Turnberry Associates, which is led by Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Soffer The lobby upgrade is part of a $28 million renovation at the hotel. New additions to the Hilton Nashville Downtown include a grand circular glass entrance and lobby staircase fashioned in glass panels, stunning marble flooring accented by modern rugs, and elegant yet comfortable furnishings that invite guests to relax and connect. A focal point of the re-imagined lobby is a centerpiece screen wall that ascends 30 feet along the elevator shaft, and features a juxtaposition of wood, metal and open segments in a repetitive pattern to resemble piano sheet music.

The new Parkview Café & Lounge centered within the grand staircase is now a vibrant social gathering space, while MarketStreet restaurant serves as an inviting breakfast area with dramatic lighting that can transform into a multi-function event space. In addition, the lobby vestibule now features an open-design business center, offering two PCs and two Mac computers with high speed internet access and a printer.

Microsoft creating ‘Skype for Business’ communications, kicking Lync brand to the curb

Microsoft’s efforts to tighten up its portfolio of brands continues as the Redmond, Calif., software company prepares to rebrand Lync as “Skype for Business.”

It has been roughly three years since Microsoft acquired Skype — three years of speculation of how Microsoft would proceed given it already owned a similiar tool in Lync.

With Skype boasting 300 million users, Lync will be retooled and amalgamated into the service. Lync will be rebranded Skype for Business during the first half of 2015, says Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president of Skype and Lync.

Lync’s transformation will extend beyond a new name. The application is already benefiting from a client-side overhaul. It’ll receive a new server and will enjoy an update in Office 365, according to Pall.

After talking up the enterprise-level security Lync offers organizations, Pall says Skype for Business will push the evolution of workplace communications. Along with facilitating secure communications inside enterprise organizations, users of Skype for Business will finally have the ability to video chat with the Skype network at large — Lync users could only exchange text and voice with Skype users.

“[Lync is] like tapping someone on the shoulder to say ‘let’s chat’ no matter where you are in the world,” says Pall. “Colleagues meet together and make decisions in an instant and IT professionals rest easy knowing their end-users are supported by a secure platform for that they manage and control.”

Skype for Business will incorporate several Skype features, further illustrating Microsoft’s desire to make the rebranding more functional than cosmetic.

Skype’s call monitor feature will be baked into Skype for Business, affording working individuals the ability to navigate between windows while keeping track of active conversations. Transferring calls in Skype for Business has been streamlined from three-step process to requiring a single touch.

Continue to the complete article.


Cunningham Energy Forges New Path into West Virginia

The oil and gas shale boom has been erupting across the United States but has been particularly concentrated in two regions; one based in North Dakota and the other in the Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio region. One player, Cunningham Energy, is making a push into different parts of the country with their acquisition of an oil field in West Virginia.

The oil field that Cunningham Energy acquired is located in West Virginia in two counties; Jackson and Roane Counties. Just over 2,700 acres of land was acquired which encompasses the total area of Buffalo-Peniel Oil Field, Cunningham is betting that they can develop this land and take advantage of the multiple oil and gas wells that are already producing on this land as well as develop the oil field further. What is an added benefit to Cunningham is that this land is contiguous which makes it easier to manage.

Oil and gas have become more profitable since new drilling processes came into vogue such as hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling. While many oil wells were known of, they were thought to be unprofitable until these new technologies have lowered the cost of production significantly. For example, the Buffalo-Peniel Oil Field was originally identified in 1930 but was largely undrilled due to the technologies not being present to efficiently drill them.

While the cost of production is not as low as some oil fields such as those in Saudi Arabia, which can extract a barrel of oil for as low as $2 a barrel, the political stability, presence close to many transportation hubs including efficient pipelines, and population dense oil and gas consumption areas provide untold advantages for oil production facilities on the East Coast of the United States such as those found in West Virginia.

Cunningham is installing new horizontal wells that reach a depth of over 5,000 feet which is able to target oil in the Big Injun Sand Formation. A 185 drilling rig is placed with these wells and can extract oil efficiently. Further, the lack of significant regulations which led to rising costs in the Marcellus Shale basin are not present in this West Virginian Appalachian basin, which has made this region more profitable for independent producers than other areas.

It is expected that many oil and gas producers are likely to follow Cunningham Energy’s path to invest in West Virginia, particularly other mid-sized independent producers, which is still mostly unregulated and provides many opportunities for shallow horizontal oil and gas producers.

U.S. retailers warn of Chinese giant Alibaba’s impact in U.S.

Several of the largest U.S. retailers warned that Alibaba Group Holding Inc may “decimate” local companies unless Congress closes tax loopholes for online retailers, singling out the Chinese company before it has even established a major American consumer presence.

In TV and radio ads over the weekend, the Alliance for Main Street Fairness, which includes Best Buy, Target, JC Penney and other major chains, called on Congress to end special tax treatment for Alibaba and other online giants.

“Main Street will never look the same,” it said.

The ad marks one of the biggest public marketing campaigns against a Chinese company that handles more e-commerce than Amazon and eBay combined, even though Alibaba only surfaced in the American consciousness after it went public in the world’s largest-ever IPO in September.

U.S. retailers and industry analysts expect Alibaba to soon launch a service targeted at American consumers, armed with its IPO war chest.

Read the complete article here.