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Jason T. de Mos, Vice President der Bereiche Business Development und Aviation Compliance, sagte: „Das Ziel dieses Tests im Flugzeug mit drei Punkten ist die Bestätigung im Kleinformat unserer Möglichkeit, als Repeater und Router in der Luft zu dienen, der Breitbandsignale von einem Flugzeug zum nächsten sendet und so die digitale Autobahn am Himmel schafft. Wir haben kürzlich den Erhalt unserer experimentellen FCC-Lizenz bekannt gegeben und sind jetzt in der Lage, mit den Testflügen zu beginnen. Damit sind wir einen Schritt weiter in der Entwicklung unseres Infinitus Super Highway™. Wir freuen uns auf die Zusammenarbeit mit unseren strategischen Partnern bei der Durchführung der Tests und der Verbesserung der Kommunikation in der Luft." Das Unternehmen beabsichtigt, durch die Vernetzung von Verkehrsflugzeugen während des Fluges ein drahtloses Hochgeschwindigkeitsbreitbandnetzwerk in der Luft zu schaffen. Alle am Netzwerk beteiligten Flugzeuge agieren dabei als fliegende Repeater oder Router, die Breitbandsignale von Flugzeug zu Flugzeug senden und empfangen und so den digitalen Superhighway in der Luft bilden. Das Unternehmen möchte dies Netzwerk als Hochgeschwindigkeits-Breitbandpipeline zur Verbesserung der Abdeckung und Konnektivität nutzen. Das Unternehmen versteht sich nicht als Einzelhändler von Abdeckung für Endnutzer, sondern als Großanbieter im Netzbereich mit Zielkunden wie Internetanbietern und Telefongesellschaften. Risiken und Unwägbarkeiten sind unter anderem: die Verfügbarkeit von Kapital; die mit der Entwicklung neuer Produkte und Technik und der betrieblichen Tätigkeit als Unternehmen in der Entwicklungsphase verbundenen Unsicherheiten; unsere Fähigkeit, zusätzliche, zur Finanzierung unserer Geschäfts- und Produktentwicklungspläne erforderliche Finanzierung zu erhalten; unsere Fähigkeit, Produkte auf Basis unserer Technikplattform zu entwickeln und zu vermarkten; der Wettbewerb in der Branche, in der wir tätig sind und Produkte vertreiben; allgemeine Branchenbedingungen; allgemeine wirtschaftliche Faktoren; die Auswirkung von Branchenvorschriften; technische Fortschritte; neue Produkte und Patente der Konkurrenz; Probleme oder Verzögerungen in der Produktion; Abhängigkeit von der Wirksamkeit der Patente des Unternehmens; sowie das Risiko von Rechtsstreitigkeiten, einschließlich Patentstreitigkeiten und/oder regulatorischer Maßnahmen.


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.cnet.com

You can get just about anything from a vending machine -- alcohol, electronics, you name it. But in Singapore, you can also purchase a car from one. Autobahn Motors in Singapore just christened its new home, a 15-floor, 60-space showroom that doubles as a vehicular vending machine. The group sells high-end vehicles covering the luxury, sports and exotic segments. Using a touchscreen on the ground floor, a buyer can select a car and have it appear in front of them in as little as two minutes. It might be a novel solution to storing a bunch of cars in a tight area, but when it comes down to it, it's just a giant vending machine. And that's pretty awesome. At the very least, there's nothing else like it in the world.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MINNEAPOLIS, May 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH), the parent company of GWG Life, a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and innovative products and services, today announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Highlights for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2017 “This was another strong quarter for us, one in which we made significant progress on several important corporate initiatives that we expect will lead to significant growth opportunities almost immediately and in the quarters to come,” said Jon Sabes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We closed out our $100 million Redeemable Preferred Stock (RPS) offering and introduced a new $150 million Series 2 Redeemable Preferred Stock (RPS2) offering that continues to see growing acceptance as broker-dealers, financial advisors, and investors better understand our business and its potential.” “On the life insurance secondary market front, we hired as Executive Vice President Chris Orestis who brings decades of experience creating innovative long-term care and life insurance products for seniors. With Chris’s leadership, we are participating in a national rollout campaign to develop insurance professionals into Care Funding Specialists who focus on long-term care solutions. And we are supporting this campaign with a new product suite called the LifeCare Exchange that seeks to give seniors more options to exchange their life insurance to meet their long-term care and other post-retirement needs.” “On the M-Panel technology front, we completed our exclusive license with UCLA for use of Dr. Horvath’s epigenetic methylation biomarker technology that are a predictive of individual all-cause mortality. In layman’s terms, this technology measures epigenetic methylation changes that occur from a wide range of environmental factors such as smoking and air pollution to diet and exercise, and impact our gene expression.  In order to assess and better understand our commercial opportunities with M-Panel technology, we retained a global consultancy firm to assist us in the development of a report to quantify the value of epigenetic methylation technology to the life insurance and annuity industries. We are excited that this report shows us to be at the forefront of an emerging technology whose applications were not even imagined a year ago.” “In the first quarter of 2017, we continued attracting record numbers of independent financial advisors to sell our non-correlated income and growth investment products, which are the primary engine of our growth,” said William Acheson, Chief Financial Officer.  “Likewise, we have attracted a record number of independent insurance agents to fuel the growth of our direct policy acquisitions which, we believe will be  a key differentiator for us and a source of shareholder value once operating at scale,” Acheson continued.  “This progress, combined with the steadily rising cash flows realized from our portfolio of life insurance policies, signals success in the execution of our growth strategy.” Total revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 was $20.1 million, as compared to $17.9 million for the same period in 2016. Realized gain from policy benefits for the first quarter was $16.6 million, as compared to $14.6 million for the same period in 2016. The Company recognized $19.0 million of life insurance policy benefits during the quarter, as compared to $19.2 million for the same period in 2016. Total unrealized gain from policy acquisitions during the first quarter was $10.6 million, as compared to $8.0 million for the same period in 2016. Total expenses for the first quarter of 2017 were $20.1 million, as compared to $15.2 million for the same period in 2016. As in prior quarters, increased expenses versus the prior year period were directly related to our growth in headcount, infrastructure, financing and operating costs as we continue to execute our growth strategy. The rate of increase in our total expenses is declining, however, as evidenced by sequential growth in total expenses of approximately 2% for the first quarter of 2017.  We are, however, prepared to continue investing in the resources necessary to support our growth plans and the opportunity we see in the life insurance markets. (1)  See non-GAAP Financial Measures below. (2)  We calculate adjusted non-GAAP net income by recognizing the actuarial gain accruing within our life insurance policies at the expected internal rate of return of the policies we own without regard to fair value measurements required by GAAP. We net this actuarial gain against our adjusted costs during the same period to calculate adjusted non-GAAP net income. (3)  Includes cash, restricted cash, policy benefits receivable, if any, and amounts available, if any, on our senior credit facilities. Distribution of Policies and Policy Benefits by Current Age of Insured Management will host a conference call today at 4:00 pm Eastern Time to discuss the Company's financial results. The conference call number for U.S. participants is (844) 423-9895 and the conference call number for participants outside the U.S. is (716) 247-5865. The conference ID number for both conference call numbers is 13478244. The call may also be accessed via webcast on the Company’s website at investors.gwglife.com. A replay of the call will be available through May 17, 2017 by dialing (855) 859-2056 (U.S.) or (404) 537-3406 (international), using the passcode 13478244. GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and innovative products and services. Already a recognized disruptor in the life insurance secondary market, GWG Life seeks to further transform the industry by continuing to create innovative products and services. As of March 31, 2017, GWG Life’s growing portfolio consisted of over $1.45 billion in face value of policy benefits. Since 2006, GWG Life has purchased over $2.41 billion in life insurance policy benefits and paid seniors more than $418.4 million for their life insurance. For more information about GWG Holdings, email info@gwglife.com or visit www.gwgh.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenue, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. The words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "would," "target" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements about our estimates regarding future revenue and financial performance. We may not actually achieve the expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements we make. More information about potential factors that could affect our business and financial results is contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Additional information will also be set forth in our future quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, annual reports on Form 10-K and other filings that we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not intend, and undertake no duty, to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein. The Company uses non-GAAP financial measures for evaluating financial results, planning and forecasting, and maintaining compliance with covenants contained in borrowing agreements. The application of current GAAP standards during a period of significant growth in the Company’s business, in which period the Company is building a large and actuarially diverse portfolio of life insurance, results in current period operating performance that may not be reflective of the Company’s long-term earnings potential. Management believes that the Company’s non-GAAP financial measures permit investors to better focus on this long-term earnings performance without regard to the volatility in GAAP financial results that can occur during this phase of our growth. These Non-GAAP financial measures are disclosed to investors to provide an alternative method for assessing our financial condition and operating results. These non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with GAAP and may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies, including other companies within our industry. The presentation of non-GAAP financial information is not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for comparable amounts prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of GAAP to the non-GAAP financial measures described above can be found below. Adjusted Non-GAAP Net Income. Our DZ Bank/Autobahn senior revolving credit facility requires us to maintain a positive net income calculated on an adjusted non-GAAP basis. We calculate the adjusted net income by recognizing the actuarial gain accruing within our life insurance policies at the expected internal rate of return of the policies we own without regard to fair value. We net this actuarial gain against our adjusted costs during the same period to calculate our net income on a non-GAAP basis. (1)  Reversal of GAAP unrealized fair value gain of life insurance policies. (2)  Adjusted cost basis is increased to include those acquisition, financing and servicing expenses that are not capitalized under GAAP (non-GAAP Investment Cost Basis) (3)  Accrual of actuarial gain at the expected internal rate of return based on the non-GAAP Investment Cost Basis for the applicable period. (4)  We must maintain an annual positive consolidated adjusted non-GAAP income to maintain compliance with our DZ Bank/Autobahn revolving credit facility.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MINNEAPOLIS, May 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH), the parent company of GWG Life, a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and innovative products and services, today announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Highlights for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2017 “This was another strong quarter for us, one in which we made significant progress on several important corporate initiatives that we expect will lead to significant growth opportunities almost immediately and in the quarters to come,” said Jon Sabes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We closed out our $100 million Redeemable Preferred Stock (RPS) offering and introduced a new $150 million Series 2 Redeemable Preferred Stock (RPS2) offering that continues to see growing acceptance as broker-dealers, financial advisors, and investors better understand our business and its potential.” “On the life insurance secondary market front, we hired as Executive Vice President Chris Orestis who brings decades of experience creating innovative long-term care and life insurance products for seniors. With Chris’s leadership, we are participating in a national rollout campaign to develop insurance professionals into Care Funding Specialists who focus on long-term care solutions. And we are supporting this campaign with a new product suite called the LifeCare Exchange that seeks to give seniors more options to exchange their life insurance to meet their long-term care and other post-retirement needs.” “On the M-Panel technology front, we completed our exclusive license with UCLA for use of Dr. Horvath’s epigenetic methylation biomarker technology that are a predictive of individual all-cause mortality. In layman’s terms, this technology measures epigenetic methylation changes that occur from a wide range of environmental factors such as smoking and air pollution to diet and exercise, and impact our gene expression.  In order to assess and better understand our commercial opportunities with M-Panel technology, we retained a global consultancy firm to assist us in the development of a report to quantify the value of epigenetic methylation technology to the life insurance and annuity industries. We are excited that this report shows us to be at the forefront of an emerging technology whose applications were not even imagined a year ago.” “In the first quarter of 2017, we continued attracting record numbers of independent financial advisors to sell our non-correlated income and growth investment products, which are the primary engine of our growth,” said William Acheson, Chief Financial Officer.  “Likewise, we have attracted a record number of independent insurance agents to fuel the growth of our direct policy acquisitions which, we believe will be  a key differentiator for us and a source of shareholder value once operating at scale,” Acheson continued.  “This progress, combined with the steadily rising cash flows realized from our portfolio of life insurance policies, signals success in the execution of our growth strategy.” Total revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 was $20.1 million, as compared to $17.9 million for the same period in 2016. Realized gain from policy benefits for the first quarter was $16.6 million, as compared to $14.6 million for the same period in 2016. The Company recognized $19.0 million of life insurance policy benefits during the quarter, as compared to $19.2 million for the same period in 2016. Total unrealized gain from policy acquisitions during the first quarter was $10.6 million, as compared to $8.0 million for the same period in 2016. Total expenses for the first quarter of 2017 were $20.1 million, as compared to $15.2 million for the same period in 2016. As in prior quarters, increased expenses versus the prior year period were directly related to our growth in headcount, infrastructure, financing and operating costs as we continue to execute our growth strategy. The rate of increase in our total expenses is declining, however, as evidenced by sequential growth in total expenses of approximately 2% for the first quarter of 2017.  We are, however, prepared to continue investing in the resources necessary to support our growth plans and the opportunity we see in the life insurance markets. (1)  See non-GAAP Financial Measures below. (2)  We calculate adjusted non-GAAP net income by recognizing the actuarial gain accruing within our life insurance policies at the expected internal rate of return of the policies we own without regard to fair value measurements required by GAAP. We net this actuarial gain against our adjusted costs during the same period to calculate adjusted non-GAAP net income. (3)  Includes cash, restricted cash, policy benefits receivable, if any, and amounts available, if any, on our senior credit facilities. Distribution of Policies and Policy Benefits by Current Age of Insured Management will host a conference call today at 4:00 pm Eastern Time to discuss the Company's financial results. The conference call number for U.S. participants is (844) 423-9895 and the conference call number for participants outside the U.S. is (716) 247-5865. The conference ID number for both conference call numbers is 13478244. The call may also be accessed via webcast on the Company’s website at investors.gwglife.com. A replay of the call will be available through May 17, 2017 by dialing (855) 859-2056 (U.S.) or (404) 537-3406 (international), using the passcode 13478244. GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and innovative products and services. Already a recognized disruptor in the life insurance secondary market, GWG Life seeks to further transform the industry by continuing to create innovative products and services. As of March 31, 2017, GWG Life’s growing portfolio consisted of over $1.45 billion in face value of policy benefits. Since 2006, GWG Life has purchased over $2.41 billion in life insurance policy benefits and paid seniors more than $418.4 million for their life insurance. For more information about GWG Holdings, email info@gwglife.com or visit www.gwgh.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenue, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. The words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "would," "target" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements about our estimates regarding future revenue and financial performance. We may not actually achieve the expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements we make. More information about potential factors that could affect our business and financial results is contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Additional information will also be set forth in our future quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, annual reports on Form 10-K and other filings that we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not intend, and undertake no duty, to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein. The Company uses non-GAAP financial measures for evaluating financial results, planning and forecasting, and maintaining compliance with covenants contained in borrowing agreements. The application of current GAAP standards during a period of significant growth in the Company’s business, in which period the Company is building a large and actuarially diverse portfolio of life insurance, results in current period operating performance that may not be reflective of the Company’s long-term earnings potential. Management believes that the Company’s non-GAAP financial measures permit investors to better focus on this long-term earnings performance without regard to the volatility in GAAP financial results that can occur during this phase of our growth. These Non-GAAP financial measures are disclosed to investors to provide an alternative method for assessing our financial condition and operating results. These non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with GAAP and may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies, including other companies within our industry. The presentation of non-GAAP financial information is not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for comparable amounts prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of GAAP to the non-GAAP financial measures described above can be found below. Adjusted Non-GAAP Net Income. Our DZ Bank/Autobahn senior revolving credit facility requires us to maintain a positive net income calculated on an adjusted non-GAAP basis. We calculate the adjusted net income by recognizing the actuarial gain accruing within our life insurance policies at the expected internal rate of return of the policies we own without regard to fair value. We net this actuarial gain against our adjusted costs during the same period to calculate our net income on a non-GAAP basis. (1)  Reversal of GAAP unrealized fair value gain of life insurance policies. (2)  Adjusted cost basis is increased to include those acquisition, financing and servicing expenses that are not capitalized under GAAP (non-GAAP Investment Cost Basis) (3)  Accrual of actuarial gain at the expected internal rate of return based on the non-GAAP Investment Cost Basis for the applicable period. (4)  We must maintain an annual positive consolidated adjusted non-GAAP income to maintain compliance with our DZ Bank/Autobahn revolving credit facility.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MINNEAPOLIS, May 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH), the parent company of GWG Life, a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and innovative products and services, today announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017. Highlights for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2017 “This was another strong quarter for us, one in which we made significant progress on several important corporate initiatives that we expect will lead to significant growth opportunities almost immediately and in the quarters to come,” said Jon Sabes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We closed out our $100 million Redeemable Preferred Stock (RPS) offering and introduced a new $150 million Series 2 Redeemable Preferred Stock (RPS2) offering that continues to see growing acceptance as broker-dealers, financial advisors, and investors better understand our business and its potential.” “On the life insurance secondary market front, we hired as Executive Vice President Chris Orestis who brings decades of experience creating innovative long-term care and life insurance products for seniors. With Chris’s leadership, we are participating in a national rollout campaign to develop insurance professionals into Care Funding Specialists who focus on long-term care solutions. And we are supporting this campaign with a new product suite called the LifeCare Exchange that seeks to give seniors more options to exchange their life insurance to meet their long-term care and other post-retirement needs.” “On the M-Panel technology front, we completed our exclusive license with UCLA for use of Dr. Horvath’s epigenetic methylation biomarker technology that are a predictive of individual all-cause mortality. In layman’s terms, this technology measures epigenetic methylation changes that occur from a wide range of environmental factors such as smoking and air pollution to diet and exercise, and impact our gene expression.  In order to assess and better understand our commercial opportunities with M-Panel technology, we retained a global consultancy firm to assist us in the development of a report to quantify the value of epigenetic methylation technology to the life insurance and annuity industries. We are excited that this report shows us to be at the forefront of an emerging technology whose applications were not even imagined a year ago.” “In the first quarter of 2017, we continued attracting record numbers of independent financial advisors to sell our non-correlated income and growth investment products, which are the primary engine of our growth,” said William Acheson, Chief Financial Officer.  “Likewise, we have attracted a record number of independent insurance agents to fuel the growth of our direct policy acquisitions which, we believe will be  a key differentiator for us and a source of shareholder value once operating at scale,” Acheson continued.  “This progress, combined with the steadily rising cash flows realized from our portfolio of life insurance policies, signals success in the execution of our growth strategy.” Total revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 was $20.1 million, as compared to $17.9 million for the same period in 2016. Realized gain from policy benefits for the first quarter was $16.6 million, as compared to $14.6 million for the same period in 2016. The Company recognized $19.0 million of life insurance policy benefits during the quarter, as compared to $19.2 million for the same period in 2016. Total unrealized gain from policy acquisitions during the first quarter was $10.6 million, as compared to $8.0 million for the same period in 2016. Total expenses for the first quarter of 2017 were $20.1 million, as compared to $15.2 million for the same period in 2016. As in prior quarters, increased expenses versus the prior year period were directly related to our growth in headcount, infrastructure, financing and operating costs as we continue to execute our growth strategy. The rate of increase in our total expenses is declining, however, as evidenced by sequential growth in total expenses of approximately 2% for the first quarter of 2017.  We are, however, prepared to continue investing in the resources necessary to support our growth plans and the opportunity we see in the life insurance markets. (1)  See non-GAAP Financial Measures below. (2)  We calculate adjusted non-GAAP net income by recognizing the actuarial gain accruing within our life insurance policies at the expected internal rate of return of the policies we own without regard to fair value measurements required by GAAP. We net this actuarial gain against our adjusted costs during the same period to calculate adjusted non-GAAP net income. (3)  Includes cash, restricted cash, policy benefits receivable, if any, and amounts available, if any, on our senior credit facilities. Distribution of Policies and Policy Benefits by Current Age of Insured Management will host a conference call today at 4:00 pm Eastern Time to discuss the Company's financial results. The conference call number for U.S. participants is (844) 423-9895 and the conference call number for participants outside the U.S. is (716) 247-5865. The conference ID number for both conference call numbers is 13478244. The call may also be accessed via webcast on the Company’s website at investors.gwglife.com. A replay of the call will be available through May 17, 2017 by dialing (855) 859-2056 (U.S.) or (404) 537-3406 (international), using the passcode 13478244. GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and innovative products and services. Already a recognized disruptor in the life insurance secondary market, GWG Life seeks to further transform the industry by continuing to create innovative products and services. As of March 31, 2017, GWG Life’s growing portfolio consisted of over $1.45 billion in face value of policy benefits. Since 2006, GWG Life has purchased over $2.41 billion in life insurance policy benefits and paid seniors more than $418.4 million for their life insurance. For more information about GWG Holdings, email info@gwglife.com or visit www.gwgh.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenue, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. The words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "would," "target" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements about our estimates regarding future revenue and financial performance. We may not actually achieve the expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements we make. More information about potential factors that could affect our business and financial results is contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Additional information will also be set forth in our future quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, annual reports on Form 10-K and other filings that we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not intend, and undertake no duty, to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein. The Company uses non-GAAP financial measures for evaluating financial results, planning and forecasting, and maintaining compliance with covenants contained in borrowing agreements. The application of current GAAP standards during a period of significant growth in the Company’s business, in which period the Company is building a large and actuarially diverse portfolio of life insurance, results in current period operating performance that may not be reflective of the Company’s long-term earnings potential. Management believes that the Company’s non-GAAP financial measures permit investors to better focus on this long-term earnings performance without regard to the volatility in GAAP financial results that can occur during this phase of our growth. These Non-GAAP financial measures are disclosed to investors to provide an alternative method for assessing our financial condition and operating results. These non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with GAAP and may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies, including other companies within our industry. The presentation of non-GAAP financial information is not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for comparable amounts prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of GAAP to the non-GAAP financial measures described above can be found below. Adjusted Non-GAAP Net Income. Our DZ Bank/Autobahn senior revolving credit facility requires us to maintain a positive net income calculated on an adjusted non-GAAP basis. We calculate the adjusted net income by recognizing the actuarial gain accruing within our life insurance policies at the expected internal rate of return of the policies we own without regard to fair value. We net this actuarial gain against our adjusted costs during the same period to calculate our net income on a non-GAAP basis. (1)  Reversal of GAAP unrealized fair value gain of life insurance policies. (2)  Adjusted cost basis is increased to include those acquisition, financing and servicing expenses that are not capitalized under GAAP (non-GAAP Investment Cost Basis) (3)  Accrual of actuarial gain at the expected internal rate of return based on the non-GAAP Investment Cost Basis for the applicable period. (4)  We must maintain an annual positive consolidated adjusted non-GAAP income to maintain compliance with our DZ Bank/Autobahn revolving credit facility.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.6.2 | Award Amount: 18.24M | Year: 2011

The objective of the DRIVE C2X Integrated Project is to carry out comprehensive assessment of cooperative systems through Field Operational Tests in various places in Europe in order to verify their benefits and to pave the way for market implementation. This general objective is split into four major technical objectives:\nCreate a harmonised Europe-wide testing environment for cooperative systems\nCoordinate the tests carried out in parallel throughout the DRIVE C2X community\nEvaluate cooperative systems\nPromote cooperative driving.\nThe proposal fully responds to EC requirements and the Call 6 contents on Field Operational Tests.\nDuring the past decade, researchers have been working on cooperative systems worldwide in numerous research projects. Tentative results suggest that communication between vehicles and vehicles and infrastructure can substantially improve sustainable transportation. There is today a general understanding of the benefits of cooperative systems in terms of traffic safety and efficiency, but so far these systems have been tried out in small scale experiments only. There is no proof of their benefits yet with many communicating vehicles used in variable conditions on roads.\nThe work proposed builds strongly on previous and on-going work on cooperative systems, which are now considered to be mature enough for large-scale field operational tests. The Europe-wide testing community envisaged for DRIVE C2X comprises of six test sites in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, France and Finland. Essential activities in this project are the testing methodology and evaluation of the impact of cooperative driving functions on users, environment and society. In addition to impacts, other important areas of testing are technical functionality and robustness of the systems also in adverse conditions. The user feedback and the results from technical tests enable the creation of realistic business models for the following market introduction.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.53M | Year: 2014

The European Road Network is undoubtedly one of the most important land infrastructures in the EU. It is and will remain for the foreseeable future a crucial artery for Europe, both in economic terms, as it services the vast majority of goods traffic, and in social terms, as it does so for passenger travel as well. Maintenance is considered to be the most expensive function of a high-way operating agency, so there is a special need for the early detection of deterioration mechanisms and of potential presence of defects through a more advanced road pavements inspection technology. The proposed system will detect the presence of defects, determine the cause, extent and rate of deterioration, provide information for assessing stability and serviceability and for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of various remedial measures and provide this information in real time, not causing traffic disturbances. The system is aiming to upgrade and optimize the inspection & maintenance of the European roads, reducing costs and increasing traffic safety and will achieve this by developing a novel automated and integrated NDT (Non Destructive Techniques) system for high speed analysis and evaluation. It will demonstrate the value of combining 3 technologies: Ground Penetrating Radar, InfraRed Thermography and Air Coupled Ultrasonic testing with Near Real-Time data transfer and analysis as a reliable, fast and safe tool for pavement inspections, as well as a great business opportunity for SME participants in EU. The proposed system incorporates and drastically enhances the capacities of the 3 different techniques, to produce quantitative, reliable, precise, continuous and at-traffic-speed measurements. Research & innovation outcomes will be to obtain a GPR capable of detecting adjacent layers of the same materials at traffic speed, quantitative and high speed image capturing Thermography, continuous ACU at traffic speed and a 100% coverage measurement tool.


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Tesla's autonomous vehicles, especially Model S, have been the subject of both criticism and praise for its achievements in acceleration but if there is something Tesla co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk wants to send across, it is that the company takes safety seriously. So when Manfred Kick, a Model S driver, acted heroically by sacrificing his vehicle to save someone's life, Musk was quick to react to it. Forty-one-year-old Manfred Kick was driving on the Autobahn near Munich, Germany when he noticed a Volkswagen Passat moving erratically on the highway. Kick grew concerned because the vehicle not only swerved about but also collided with the guardrail multiple times, which could have meant car trouble, someone is driving under the influence, or something was very wrong with the driver. What Kick did was to speed up his Model S and took a peek at what was going on inside the VW Passat and it was then he realized that the rogue car's driver seemed to be unconscious. Kick immediately accelerated his Model S, positioned it in front of the Passat, and allowed the erratic vehicle to collide with his car gently. Kick then slowed down his Model S, along with the Passat, until both vehicles came to a stop. Afterwards, he immediately approached the Passat and opened it to administer first aid on the unconscious driver. The passers-by who saw the situation were quick to call for emergency services, and medical help soon arrived to take the man to the hospital. Due to Kick's quick action and willingness to sacrifice his Model S to save a stranger who suffered a stroke, police say the man is now stable. A road accident — regardless of intent — is still an accident so the German police still have a job to investigate the collision against Kick. The good news is that, since the man was saved and no other vehicles were involved, the police believe Kick will receive an award for his heroism instead of a fine. Kick saved a life and he is most likely getting an award but there is one other thing to take care of: the bills. According to reports, the damages, though minor, total to about $10,700 (€10,000) for both vehicles and that is most likely Kick's responsibility. Ouch! As the old adage says, "You reap what you sow," and Kick's heroism and compassion earned him a reward from Musk. On Feb. 15, the Twitter active innovator shared the story and announced that Tesla will cover the expenses for the damages to Kick's Model S. Take a look at Musk's tweets below. That is definitely a huge load off our Good Samaritan's back and a good way for Tesla to prove why its vehicles' safety features can still be manipulated by the drivers. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: www.wired.com

No one saw the crisis coming: a coordinated vandalistic effort to insert Squidward references into articles totally unrelated to Squidward. In 2006, Wikipedia was really starting to get going, and really couldn’t afford to have any SpongeBob SquarePants-related high jinks sullying the site’s growing reputation. It was an embarrassment. Someone had to stop Squidward. The Wikipedia community knew it couldn’t possibly mobilize human editors to face down the trolls—the onslaught was too great, the work too tedious. So instead an admin cobbled together a bot that automatically flagged errant insertions of the Cephalopod Who Shall Not Be Named. And it worked. Wikipedia beat back the Squidward threat, and in so doing fell into a powerful alliance with the bots. Today, hundreds of algorithmic assistants fight all manner of vandals, fix typos, and even create articles on their own. Wikipedia would be a mess without them. But a funny thing happens when you lock a bunch of bots in a virtual room: Sometimes they don’t get along. Sometimes a pair of bots will descend into a slapfight, overwriting each other’s decisions thousands of times for years on end. According to a new study in PLOS ONE, it happens a lot. Why? Because no matter how cold and calculating bots may seem, they tend to act all too human. And these are the internet’s nice, not-at-all racist bots. Imagine AI-powered personal digital assistants in the same room yelling at each other all day. Google Home versus Alexa, anyone? On Wikipedia, bots handle the excruciatingly dull and monotonous work that would drive an army of human editors mad—if an army of editors could even keep up with all the work. A bot does not tire. It does not get angry—well, at least not at humans. It’s programmed for a task, and it sees to that task with a consistency and devotion humans can’t match. While disagreements between human Wikipedia editors tend to fizzle, fights between bots can drag on for months or years. The study found that bots are far more likely to argue than human editors on the English version of Wikipedia: Bots each overrode another bot an average of 105 times over the course of a decade, compared to an average of three times for human editors. Bots get carried away because they simply don’t know any better—they’re just bits of code, after all. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t trustworthy. Bots are handling relatively simple tasks like spellchecking, not making larger editorial decisions. Indeed, it’s only because of the bots’ work that human editors can concentrate on those big-picture problems at all. Still, when they disagree, they don’t rationally debate like humans might. They’re servants to their code. And their sheer reach—continuously scanning more than 5 million articles in the English Wikipedia alone—means they find plenty of problems to correct and potentially disagree on. And bots do far more than their fair share of work. The number of human editors on the English Wikipedia may dwarf the number of bots—some 30,000 active meatspace editors versus about 300 active editors made purely out of code—but the bots are insanely productive contributors. “They’re not even quite visible if you put them on a map among other editors,” says the University of Oxford’s Taha Yasseri, a co-author of the study. “But they do a lot. The proportion of all the edits done by robots in different languages would vary from 10 percent, up to 40 even 50 percent in certain language editions.” Yet Wikipedia hasn’t descended into a bloody bot battlefield. That’s because humans closely monitor the bots, which do far more good than harm. But bots inevitably collide, Yasseri contends. For example, the study found that over the course of three years, two bots that monitor for double redirects on Wikipedia had themselves quite the tiff. (A redirect happens when, for instance, a search for “UK” forwards you to the article for “United Kingdom.” A double redirect is a redirect that forwards to another redirect, a big Wikipedia no-no.) Across some 1,800 articles, Scepbot reverted RussBot’s edits a total of 1,031 times, while RussBot returned the favor 906 times. This happens because of discrepancies in naming conventions—RussBot, for instance, made “Ricotta al forno” redirect to “Ricotta cheese,” when previously it redirected to “Ricotta.” Then Scepbot came in and reverted that change. For its part, Wikipedia disputes that these bots aren’t really “fighting.” “If, for example, Scepbot had performed the original double-redirect cleanup and RussBot performed the second double-redirect cleanup, then it would appear that they are ‘reverting’ each other,” says Aaron Halfaker, principal research scientist at the Wikimedia Foundation. “But in reality, the bots are collaborating together to keep the redirect graph of the wiki clean.” ‘We’re perfectly aware of which bots are running right now.’ Aaron Halfaker, Wikimedia Foundation Still, Halfaker acknowledges that bots reverting each other can look like conflict. “Say for example you might have an editor that wants to make sure that all the English language lists on Wikipedia use the Oxford comma, and another editor believes that we should not use the Oxford comma.” (Full disclosure: This writer believes the Oxford comma is essential and that anyone who doesn’t use it is a barbarian.) But Wikipedia has a bot approval process to catch these sorts of things. “We’re perfectly aware of which bots are running right now,” he says. Also, Wikipedians are at all times monitoring their bots. “People often imagine them as fully autonomous Terminator AI that are kind of floating through the Wikipedia ether and making all these autonomous decisions,” says R. Stuart Geiger, a UC Berkeley data scientist who’s worked with Wikipedia bots. “But for the most part a lot of these bots are relatively simple scripts that a human writes.” A human. Always a human. A bot expresses human ingenuity and human mistakes. The bot and its creator are, in an intimate sense, a hybrid organism. “Whenever you read about a bot in Wikipedia, think of that as a human,” says Geiger. “A human who’s got a computer that they never turn off, and they’ve got a power tool running on that computer that they can tweak the knobs, they can fiddle the words, they can say they want to replace X with Y.” On the all-too-human front, Yasseri’s study also found cultural differences among the bot communities of different Wikipedia languages. “That was really interesting, because this is the same technology being used just in different environments, and being used by different people,” says Yasseri. “Why should that lead to a big difference?” Bots in the German Wikipedia, for instance, argue relatively infrequently, while Portuguese took the prize for most contentious. Those differences may seem trivial, but such insight has profound implications as AI burrows deeper and deeper into human society. Imagine how a self-driving car that’s adapted to the insanity of the German Autobahn might interact with a self-driving car that’s adapted to the relative calm of Portugal’s roadways. The AI inside each has to make nice or risk killing the occupants. So the different ways bots interact on different versions of Wikipedia could foretell how AI-powered machines get along—or don’t—in the near future. And imagine that AI elsewhere on the internet like Twitter makes its way into machines. Bots that spew fake news, that imitate Donald Trump, that harass Trump supporters. Unlike the benevolent bots of Wikipedia, these fool humans into thinking they’re actually people. If you think Wikipedia bots squabbling is problematic, imagine machines with heads full of malevolent AI doing battle. For now, though, the many bots of Wikipedia collaborate, clash, and keep Squidward in his place.


CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - February 13, 2017) - The Midwest Automotive Media Association announced today that the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica has been named the winner of its seventh annual Family Vehicle of the Year award. MAMA is a nonprofit group of automotive journalists and public relations professionals, and it developed the award to help car-shopping families make a wise decision when they're ready for a new vehicle. "Choosing a family vehicle is an important decision. It should be versatile, reliable, efficient, and reasonably priced. MAMA members pooled their expertise and experience to select the best family vehicle from an excellent group of new and notably refreshed models, and the Chrysler Pacifica came out on top of them all," said MAMA Senior Vice President Damon Bell. To qualify for the award, vehicles had to have four doors, start at less than $50,000, appear at one of MAMA's two annual rallies, and be new or significantly updated within a year of the 2016 Spring Rally, which took place last May. The MAMA Spring and Fall rallies feature roughly 100 manufacturer vehicles for journalists to drive and evaluate. Voting took place at both rallies, and out of more than three dozen competitors, we ended up with 12 finalists: Acura MDX, Audi A4, Chevrolet Volt, Chrysler Pacifica, Ford Fusion, GMC Acadia, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Jaguar F-PACE, Mazda CX-9, Toyota RAV4, and Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. In each round of voting, three points were awarded for a first-place vote, two points were given for a second-place vote and third-place votes were valued at one point each. MAMA members then voted in one final round, and 91 automotive journalists selected the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica as the winner with 215 points, beating the 2016 Mazda CX-9, which garnered 109 points. The 2017 GMC Acadia placed third with 47 points. Voting for the 2018 Family Vehicle of the Year award will begin at the 2017 MAMA Spring Rally, which is scheduled for May 24-25 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The MAMA Fall Rally is scheduled for October 4 at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill. Founded in 1991, and now in its 26th year, the Midwest Automotive Media Association comprises 278 automotive journalists and public relations professionals from 25 states, D.C. and Canada. Though based in the Chicago area, MAMA welcomes members from all parts of the country. The organization's primary purpose is to provide a forum for newsworthy people, major issues, and new products in the auto industry.

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