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News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.techrepublic.com

I attended Storage Field Day 4 a couple of weeks ago in San Jose, CA. One of the companies we had the pleasure of hearing from was Coho Data, a startup that will be releasing its DataStream 1000 scale-out storage product later this month. With this scale-out storage methodology, the use of monolithic storage arrays is no longer the case. Scale-out implies there will be one or most likely several nodes that contain compute resources and storage but act as one device with high availability and failover. Ramana Jonnala, Coho Data CEO and Co-Founder, started the presentation with a brief introduction and mentioned the company obtained Series B Financing (second round). Then, he passed off the presentation to Andy Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder, who went on to wow the entire Storage Field Day panel. The DataStream 1000 GA product will be a 2U box with 4 PCIe flash cards, 4 10 GB Ethernet ports, and 40 TB of capacity storage behind it, which we were told will come out to about $2.50/TB. The IOPs will increase linearly as you plug in more boxes and promises low-latency due to its use of an OpenFlow-like controller. Although I just described the hardware features, Coho Data says it's really a software company running on commodity hardware…not exactly a white box, though. Coho Data decided to ship a physical appliance to ensure performance. Each unit contains two microarrays each with networking, storage, and compute. It's all NFS as well. See Figures A and B. The networking is handled by Arista Networks 10 GB switches. Coho Data is taking advantage of many things that the Arista switch offers — in particular, the use of OpenFlow. During the presentation, someone was asked whether you could use other switches since OpenFlow is open source; although it's possible, it's not supported at this time. This is not just software-defined networking (SDN) for SDN's sake, but more to take advantage of scaling options. They're able to isolate more "per tenant traffic" — think cloud and several organizations, companies, departments (or tenants) within the cloud. Also, it allows them more flexibility with WAN traffic management. Warfield explained that within the OpenFlow controller we have three tables that tell packets (or more accurately flows) where to go. The first table is Layer 2, which is the MAC address layer (see the OSI model for more information). The switch sees a certain MAC and tells it which port to go to. The second table is Layer 3, the IP layer, which dose a similar thing but uses IP addresses. The third table is a Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM) table, which is much more arbitrary. We can use any of the bits within the flow to direct it to a port. (Read this SDNCentral article about TCAM usage in OpenFlow.) They can use this SDN technology to initially balance workload throughout the microarrays, as well as rebalance the workload if necessary due to the addition or the removal of workloads or microarrays. The host connected only uses a single NFS IP, and the switch is able to decide which microarray it should go to, making management from the host a lot easier. You can see a demo of how this works at about 15 minutes into the Building a Flash-Based Distributed System with SDN video. Coho Data also uses object storage, which is widely thought to be more flexible and scalable than traditional storage (block and file). Objects can be contained over several disks, and since Coho Data is replicating our VMDKs between two failure domains, we are ensured data integrity even though the data has been distributed over these various disks. See Figure C for a basic picture of the architecture. (For more information on object storage, read Enrico Signoretti's blog post Object Defined Storage.) Coho Data is exploring in-depth analytics. When nodes are idle or just being used less, the DataStream will be able to take advantage of the resources to run traces and figure out when workload is routinely higher. For instance, if you're re-indexing your database at 2:00 AM every morning, the DataStream could possibly pre-fetch all the data at 1:00 AM preparing it for the 2:00 AM re-indexing. As Warfield points out, it could also prepare to bring down these nightly workloads in time for VDI users to start logging in at 9:00 AM later that morning. The UI looks pretty modern and, upon first glance, seems simple to follow. It uses all HTML5, which is awesome — no more figuring out which version of Java or Flash you need on your system. It also allows you to take per VM snapshots directly from the UI and perform snapshot scheduling if you need to routinely take snapshots. There are interactive pictures to give you information on the various components as well as help you troubleshoot. For instance, if you've wired it incorrectly, the UI will alert you. You can also tag VMs according to business unit for showback purposes. Coho Data's presentation about DataStream was fascinating. The company is putting modern components together and using open source innovation to stay ahead of the curve. For more information, watch all of the videos from Coho Data at Storage Field Day 4.


With target applications including 1G, 2.5G and 10G Ethernet switching and aggregation, the joint reference design from Microsemi and Aquantia is ideal for enterprise infrastructure applications such as  enterprise and  small and midsize business (SMB) switches, enterprise access routers, as well as wireless local access network (WLAN) access point (AP) switches. Due to exponential growth of Wi-Fi enabled devices, today's enterprise APs have maximized their Gigabit uplink throughput. IHS Technology expects total worldwide 802.11ac and 802.11ac Wave 2 APs will exceed 128 million units from 2015 to 2020, comprising more than 76 percent of total AP shipments by 2020. These 802.11ac upgrades, especially Wave 2, will require additional Ethernet data rates beyond what Gigabit Ethernet technology can currently support. "As Wi-Fi speeds are projected to exceed the capabilities of existing wired networks, the need for optimized multi-Gigabit Ethernet solutions is clear. Combining the Aquantia AQrate AQR409 multi-rate PHY with Microsemi's SparX-IV enterprise switch provides a highly optimized solution to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to address this challenge," said Kamal Dalmia, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Aquantia. "As a result, we expect our new joint reference platform with Microsemi to accelerate the adoption of multi-Gigabit bandwidth over existing network cabling, while enabling enterprises to cost-effectively address information technology (IT) concerns." Aquantia collaborates with Microsemi as part of the Accelerate Ecosystem, designed to reduce time to market for end customers and time to revenue for ecosystem participants. Microsemi's Accelerate Ecosystem brings together leading silicon, intellectual property (IP), systems, software and design experts to deliver validated board and system-level solutions for end customers. Learn more at http://www.microsemi.com/design-support/accelerate-ecosystem-partners. About Microsemi's SparX-IV L2/L3 Enterprise Switch, VSC7448 Providing a rich set of enterprise Ethernet switching features, the VSC7448 SparX-IV-80™ device is an 80G SMB/small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) industrial Ethernet switch with up to 52 ports supporting a combination of 1G, 2.5G and 10G Ethernet ports. Using multistage Versatile Content Aware Processing (VCAP™), it delivers virtual local-area network (VLAN) and Quality of Service (QoS) processing that enables delivery of differentiated services, security through intelligent frame processing and egress frame manipulation. For industrial applications, VSC7448 integrates VeriTime™, Microsemi's patent-pending timing technology that delivers highly accurate IEEE 1588 network timing and synchronization implementation. A powerful 500 MHz central processing unit (CPU) enables full management of a Layer 2 and Layer 3 Ethernet switch solution, and a comprehensive API and software development package accelerates time-to-market for managed Ethernet applications. The software API package also integrates seamlessly with third-party software, preserving existing software investments. Learn more at https://www.microsemi.com/products/ethernet-solutions/ethernet-switches/vsc7448-52-port-l2-l3-enterprise-gigabit-ethernet-switch-with-10-gbps-links. About Microsemi's PD69208M PoE PSE Manager and Clock Management ICs The PD69208M PoE PSE manager is future-ready for IEEE 802.3bt, supporting data rates up to 10G. Microsemi's clock management portfolio provides ultralow jitter devices for clock synthesis, frequency conversion, jitter attenuation and fan out buffers to reduce bill of material costs and board space requirements, improve performance reliability and simplify design complexity. About Aquantia's AQrate AQR409 The Aquantia AQrate AQR409 is a low power, high performance three-speed, quad-port PHY housed in a 19x19mm flip-chip ball grid array (BGA) package. AQrate technology bridges the bandwidth gap between legacy cabling infrastructure designed for 1 Gbps data rates, and emergent 802.11ac WLAN technology offering bandwidth in excess of 1 Gbps. The AQR409 delivers 2.5 Gbps, 1Gbps and 100 Mbps line rate speeds through 100 meters of Cat 5e or Cat 6 cabling so enterprises can grow their 802.11ac WLAN infrastructure with zero change to legacy cabling. All AQrate PHYs are compatible with the NBASE-T Alliance PHY specification and the IEEE® 802.3bz standard to perform all the physical layer functions required for transmission over 100 meters of twisted pair cabling. They also support the IEEE 802.1AE MAC-layer security (MACsec) protocol, the IEEE 1588 v.2, the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) to synchronize real-time clocks to sub-microsecond accuracy, Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) to reduce operating power and Power over Ethernet (PoE) up to 60W. Product Availability The production-ready multi-rate switch reference platform from Microsemi and Aquantia is available now. For more information, visit https://www.microsemi.com/company/2-5gbps-wifi-aggregation or email sales.support@microsemi.com. About Microsemi's Product Portfolio for Communications Microsemi is a premier supplier of semiconductor, system and services differentiated by performance, power reliability and security. Microsemi enables customers to build solutions in a range of applications including Ethernet switches, 100G Ethernet and optical transport network (OTN), cellular infrastructure including LTE-Advanced and 5G, small cells, microwave and millimeter wave systems, Wi-Fi access points, XGS PON or NGPON2 based converged wireline access, broadband gateways including fiber/PON, G.fast and DOCSIS3.1, and home/on-premise security/surveillance. Microsemi's communications portfolio includes high accuracy timing and synchronization including IEEE1588 PTP and NTP servers, software and components; low jitter PLL and high fan-out buffers, enterprise and carrier Ethernet switches and PHYs, voice and audio intelligence including AEC and ASR, lowest power FPGAs with high security and reliability; PCI Express Switches, OTN PHYs and processors, optical drivers, integrated Wi-Fi front-end modules (FEM) and power-efficient and multi-standard Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) ICs and systems, and G.hn, G.fast and xDSL line drivers. For more information, visit http://www.microsemi.com/applications/communications. About Aquantia Aquantia is a leading developer and global supplier of high-speed semiconductor connectivity solutions. Backed by more than a decade of technology leadership and execution, Aquantia's market-leading product portfolio enables the world's most innovative computing, data center, and enterprise infrastructure applications. Aquantia addresses ever-changing market needs by providing an extensive line of products, based on architectural innovations that deliver high-performance, low-power consumption, high-density and high-quality silicon solutions to its customers. Aquantia is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, with strong venture capital and strategic investors. For more information, visit www.aquantia.com. About Microsemi Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC) offers a comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor and system solutions for communications, defense & security, aerospace and industrial markets. Products include high-performance and radiation-hardened analog mixed-signal integrated circuits, FPGAs, SoCs and ASICs; power management products; timing and synchronization devices and precise time solutions, setting the world's standard for time; voice processing devices; RF solutions; discrete components; enterprise storage and communication solutions, security technologies and scalable anti-tamper products; Ethernet solutions; Power-over-Ethernet ICs and midspans; as well as custom design capabilities and services. Microsemi is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, Calif., and has approximately 4,800 employees globally. Learn more at www.microsemi.com. Microsemi and the Microsemi logo are registered trademarks or service marks of Microsemi Corporation and/or its affiliates. Third-party trademarks and service marks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. "Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Any statements set forth in this news release that are not entirely historical and factual in nature, including without limitation statements related to Microsemi and Aquantia Corp., a pioneer and market leader in high-speed Ethernet connectivity solutions for data centers, enterprise infrastructure and client connectivity, announcing a production-ready multi-rate switch reference platform optimized to support 24x2.5G and up to additional four 2.5G/5G/10G BASE-T ports, and its potential effects on future business, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, such factors as rapidly changing technology and product obsolescence, potential cost increases, variations in customer order preferences, weakness or competitive pricing environment of the marketplace, uncertain demand for and acceptance of the company's products, adverse circumstances in any of our end markets, results of in-process or planned development or marketing and promotional campaigns, difficulties foreseeing future demand, potential non-realization of expected orders or non-realization of backlog, product returns, product liability, and other potential unexpected business and economic conditions or adverse changes in current or expected industry conditions, difficulties and costs of protecting patents and other proprietary rights, inventory obsolescence and difficulties regarding customer qualification of products. In addition to these factors and any other factors mentioned elsewhere in this news release, the reader should refer as well to the factors, uncertainties or risks identified in the company's most recent Form 10-K and all subsequent Form 10-Q reports filed by Microsemi with the SEC. Additional risk factors may be identified from time to time in Microsemi's future filings. The forward-looking statements included in this release speak only as of the date hereof, and Microsemi does not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/microsemi-and-aquantia-announce-production-ready-multi-rate-switch-reference-platform-300453782.html


CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ra Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: RARX), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development of next-generation therapeutics for the treatment of complement-mediated diseases, today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 and provided an update on recent corporate and clinical developments. “ We continue to advance our lead compound, RA101495, and we recently commenced dosing in our Phase 2 program in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, or PNH,” said Doug Treco, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ra Pharma. “ The goal of our program in PNH is to provide sustained and improved disease control, which reduces the risk of breakthrough hemolysis, while simultaneously offering patients a more convenient and flexible subcutaneous treatment regimen as a substitute for intravenous administration, today’s standard of care. We look forward to sharing initial data from these Phase 2 studies mid-year 2017 and additional results at year-end.” Dr. Treco added: “ We are also investigating RA101495 in other complement-mediated diseases such as myasthenia gravis (MG) and lupus nephritis (LN). We plan to initiate a Phase 2 trial in MG and a Phase 1b clinical trial supporting development in LN in the second half of 2017. We look forward to updating you on our RA101495 development plans, our orally-available small molecule C5 inhibitors and other pipeline programs.” As of March 31, 2017, Ra Pharma reported total cash and equivalents of $105.4 million. For the first quarter of 2017, the Company reported a net loss of $11.4 million, or a net loss of $0.50 per share (basic and diluted), compared to net loss of $5.1 million, or a net loss of $9.42 per share for the same period in 2016. Research and development expenses for the first quarter of 2017 were $9.0 million compared to $5.0 million for the same period in 2016. The increase in R&D expenses for the first quarter 2016 were primarily due to clinical development costs associated with our lead program, RA101495, for the treatment of PNH. General and administrative expenses for the first quarter of 2017 were $2.5 million, compared to $1.3 million for the same period in 2016. The increase in G&A expenses for the first quarter 2017 were due primarily to employee-related costs, including salary, benefits and stock-based compensation due to the increase in G&A headcount to support the growth of the Company. The Company’s revenue is derived from its collaboration and licensing agreement with Merck. Revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2017 was $0 compared to $1.9 million for the same period in 2016. The decrease was due to the expiration of the research term of the Merck Agreement in April 2016. About RA101495 Ra Pharma is developing RA101495 for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), refractory generalized myasthenia gravis (rMG), and lupus nephritis (LN). The product is designed for convenient, once daily SC self-administration. RA101495 is a synthetic, macrocyclic peptide discovered using Ra Pharma’s powerful proprietary drug discovery technology. The peptide binds complement component 5 (C5) with sub-nanomolar affinity and allosterically inhibits its cleavage into C5a and C5b upon activation of the classical, alternative or lectin pathways. By binding to a region of C5 corresponding to C5b, RA101495 also disrupts the interaction between C5b and C6 and prevents assembly of the membrane attack complex (MAC). This activity defines an additional, novel mechanism for the inhibition of C5 function. In Phase 1 studies, dosing of RA101495 was well tolerated in healthy volunteers and demonstrated sustained and near complete suppression of hemolysis and complement activity. To learn more about RA101495, please visit: http://rapharma.com/pipeline/ra101495/. About the Extreme Diversity™ Platform Ra Pharma’s proprietary Extreme Diversity™ mRNA display platform allows the Company to produce synthetic macrocyclic peptides that combine the diversity and specificity of antibodies with the pharmacological properties of small molecules. The platform generates highly specific and stable peptide-like molecules with the potential for greatly increased bioavailability, improved cell permeability, and the opportunity to address protein-protein interactions including previously undruggable targets. It can produce libraries of 10 to 100 trillion members, allowing for the rapid discovery of highly potent candidate molecules. The platform is being leveraged for the Company’s emerging pipeline projects in Factor D and C1. To learn more about the Extreme Diversity platform, please visit: http://rapharma.com/science/extreme-diversity/. About Ra Pharmaceuticals Ra Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development of next-generation therapeutics for complement-mediated diseases. The Company discovers and develops peptides and small molecules to target key components of the complement cascade. For more information, please visit: www.rapharma.com. Forward-Looking Statement This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the safety, efficacy and regulatory and clinical progress of our product candidates, including RA101495. All such forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include the risks that Ra Pharma’s product candidates, including RA101495, will not successfully be developed or commercialized; as well as the other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section in Ra Pharma’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as other risks detailed in Ra Pharma’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by Ra Pharma will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, Ra Pharma. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Ra Pharma undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Another research by Global Market Insights indicates that strong R&D spending trends for synthetic biology to enable drug and vaccine development, including Europe NEST program will stimulate growth. Organizations including DBT (Department of Biotechnology) and NTBT (National Biotechnology Board) provides funding for promoting biotechnology market share. The U.S. biotechnology market size held a dominant position in terms of industry revenue share, with Europe following. This trend is likely to continue throughout the forecast period. The U.S. will further see increased adoption of products based on these platforms, as growth for personalized medicine becomes a preference. Quest PharmaTech Inc. (TSX-V: QPT) is a pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing products to improve the quality of life. Just this morning the company announced that its subsidiary, OncoQuest Inc. ("OncoQuest"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of immunotherapeutic products for the treatment of cancer has completed the enrollment of the first patient in a Phase 1/2 clinical study to evaluate the use of oregovomab in combination with Nivolumab, an anti-PD1 human monoclonal antibody which works as a checkpoint inhibitor in ovarian cancer patients in the recurrent setting. This clinical trial is being conducted at the National Cancer Centre in Singapore ("NCCS"), with Dr. Tira Tan as Principal Investigator, Adjunct Associate Professor John Chia from Oncocare Cancer Centre as the Study Chair, and Dr. Jack Chan as the co-chair. "We are extremely excited about launching this study," noted Dr. John Chia. "Ovarian cancer is a lethal disease, and this trial may offer new hope for our patients. Early clinical data suggests that oregovomab may improve the immune system's processing of cancer antigens, and enhance the immune ability to recognize these cancer targets. We believe that the combination of oregovomab and Nivolumab, which amplifies such immune activity, will have a synergistic effect to elicit a higher quality tumor immune response, and hence improve control of the cancer." This will be the first clinical trial testing the combination of oregovomab with a checkpoint inhibitor as potential treatment of ovarian cancer in the recurrent setting. "We continue to explore the potential of oregovomab in various stages of the progression of ovarian cancer," said Dr. Madiyalakan, CEO of Quest and OncoQuest. In frontline ovarian cancer, OncoQuest has recently announced positive interim results from its randomized controlled multi-center Phase 2 clinical trial with oregovomab as an indirect immunizer, in scheduled combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel. "In the recurrent setting, we are exploring the use of oregovomab with immune adjuvants in two clinical trials. The trial NCCS is conducting is in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor. We are also in the process of initiating a trial in U.S. in combination with a TLR3 agonist, Hiltonol®," continued Dr. Madiyalakan. Theratechnologies Inc. (OTC: THERF) is a specialty pharmaceutical company addressing unmet medical needs to promote healthy living and an improved quality of life among HIV patients. Recently, the company announced that its partner, TaiMed Biologics, Inc., has completed the submission of a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ibalizumab for the treatment of multidrug resistant Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (MDR HIV-1). If approved, ibalizumab will be the first antiretroviral treatment (ART) with a new mechanism of action to be introduced in nearly 10 years and the only treatment that does not require daily dosing. CRH Medical Corporation (NYSE: CRHM) is a North American company focused on providing gastroenterologists throughout the United States with innovative services and products for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. On March 15, 2017, the company announced that it has completed an accretive transaction whereby CRH has acquired a 60% interest in a gastroenterology ("GI") anesthesia practice in Kissimmee Florida ("Kissimmee"). CRH also announces that it has entered into an exclusive agreement to develop and manage a monitored anesthesia care ("MAC", or "Deep Sedation") program with Puget Sound Gastroenterology ("PSG"), located in Washington State. Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AUPH) a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the global immunology market, today announced additional 48-week results from its global Phase IIb AURA-LV (AURA) study in lupus nephritis (LN) during the National Kidney Foundation 2017 Spring Clinical Meetings in Orlando, FL. In addition to the trial meeting its complete and partial remission ("CR"/"PR") endpoints at 48 weeks, all pre-specified secondary endpoints that have been analyzed to date were also met at 48 weeks. These pre-specified endpoints include: time to CR and PR (speed of remission); reduction in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index or SLEDAI score; and reduction in urine protein creatinine ratio (UPCR) over the 48-week treatment period. The data were presented during the late-breaking session by lead author Dr. Samir Parikh, a clinical investigator for the study and Assistant Professor of Clinical Nephrology at the Ohio State University. Concordia International Corp. (NASDAQ: CXRX) together with its subsidiaries is an international specialty pharmaceutical company focused on generic and legacy pharmaceutical products and orphan drugs. On January 3rd, the company announced it has entered into a three-year, co-promotion agreement with RedHill Biopharma Ltd. through which the companies expect to expand sales of Donnatal®, Concordia's product used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Concordia's North America segment seeks to acquire and manage drugs that are in the maturity or legacy stage of the pharmaceutical product lifecycle and continue on a predictable revenue generation path. These products have a well-established record of safety and efficacy and a history of stable demand. Please Sign Up Now at http://www.FinancialBuzz.com to receive alerts on Trending Financial News from all these companies. "The Latest Buzz in Financial News" Subscribe Now! 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News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA MAC) recognized two of OTJ Architects’ projects at its yearly Premiere awards gala, held in downtown Washington D.C. For 22 consecutive years, this prestigious competition, judged by a team of lauded design professionals from around the country, has honored the best interior projects submitted by Washington, Northern Virginia, Baltimore, and Annapolis firms. OTJ’s design for the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center received the Award of Honor for projects under 10,000 square feet. Located in Washington, D.C., this free-flowing collaborative space brings together staff, clients, partners, and the community to inspire each other, grow their networks, and devise ground-breaking technology solutions. Booz Allen's Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Joe Mahaffee remarked: “We needed the right environment to get the best out of our talent. The Center’s open, adaptable space expresses our century-old spirit of teamwork, collaboration, and entrepreneurialism in a way we’ve never done before." Innovators have taken note: the Center’s successful design is drawing the interest of leading organizations nationwide eager to leverage the built environment’s ability to connect tech forerunners and spark creativity. Entertainment Software Association (ESA) was also recognized at the gala with an Award of Merit in the 10,000 - 30,000 square foot category. This technologically advanced showcase invites visitors and staff alike to “press the power button” and enter into a brand-rich realm that celebrates the cultural importance of video games from Pacman to today’s latest advances in virtual reality. Rich Taylor, ESA's Senior Vice President, Communications & Industry Affairs, remarked: "ESA's new office provides incredible experiences for interaction and engagement. From dedicated creative video game spaces to break-out rooms for collaboration, we now have a showcase that represents the innovative and energetic video game industry." Lance Jaccard, OTJ's Managing Partner, remarked: “We’re thrilled to see our designs recognized by our industry peers. We were privileged to work with exceptional clients who, like us, were eager to ask hard questions, push boundaries, and ultimately create spaces that inspire by looking to the future of the built environment.” This year’s IIDA MAC awards competition drew an exceptional number of superlative entries with projects ranging from less than 10,000 to over 100,000 square feet. OTJ is proud to have received two of the ten prizes awarded. About OTJ Architects OTJ Architects is a well-respected national interior architecture design firm that has successfully completed thousands of projects throughout the country. Founded in 1990, OTJ is comprised of six studios headquartered in Washington, DC, with more than 85 architects and designers, many of whom are LEED and WELL Accredited Professionals. We are workplace designers who focus on you – your goals and your opportunities – to create a unique vision of your future work environment. Our goal is to constantly challenge ourselves to design better, smarter workplaces that allow people to work strategically, flexibly and with a better quality of life. For more information, please visit http://www.otj.com.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.techrepublic.com

The UK is considering relaxing the rules under which IT-related roles can be offered to foreign workers. The UK Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is recommending that the government eases regulations on hiring non-European data scientists, senior developers, cyber security specialists and product managers. The MAC is an independent body that advises government on migration issues. Rules would be loosened so employers no longer have to demonstrate they have tried to fill the job domestically before recruiting workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Currently employers must prove they have advertised a job in the UK for 28 days and were unable to find a suitable worker. However, the MAC recommends that only start-up companies should be able to recruit from abroad in this fashion, stating it failed to receive much evidence from large tech firms that they are suffering from a skills shortage. "Any significant shortages within the sector, on the basis of the evidence we received, seem presently to mainly be confined to firms at the start-up/scale-up end," the report states, adding that start-ups lack the resources that larger firms use to recruit foreign workers. "Given the nature of the industry, remuneration is often determined differently in start-ups: a lower basic wage will be offered but with a share of equity (in the hope of future success). Start-ups have therefore been losing out to bigger IT companies who can compete on basic salary." The MAC was persuaded of the existence of a skills shortage after meeting small tech firms, rather than by written evidence, which the report said failed to provide compelling proof. For example, of more than 850 members of employer body techUK, only 33 companies responded to questions about whether they had difficulty filling "digital technology roles" - nine experienced no shortages, 18 had suffered shortages and six gave verbal feedback. The MAC defines scale-up companies as "enterprises that experience over 20 percent more growth in employees or in turnover each year over a three-year period starting from 10 or more employees". However, it admits this definition might be hard to apply and suggests a simpler assessment based on turnover or employment might be preferable when enforcing the restriction. Start-ups argued they are struggling to recruit experienced staff who could train others and lead teams. For that reason, the MAC recommends that the only individuals from outside the EEA with a minimum of five years' relevant experience and who have led a team should be eligible to fill UK roles without the Resident Labour Market Test checks. "Employers estimated that it would take five to 10 years to develop enough UK workers with sufficient experience to fill these roles. If having relevant experience is the key factor in all these jobs then there is no short cut to the acquisition of this," according to the report. Large offshoring firms such as TCS and Infosys should also not be able to take advantage of this route to employ foreign workers in the UK, the report said. It proposed they continue to bring in workers using the intra-company transfers (ICTs) route, which is both more costly and imposes a higher burden on the employer, as well as allowing for shorter periods of employment. In the year to September 2014, about 30,000 non-EEA workers were employed in graduate level IT-related occupations in the UK, mostly via ICTs. "The vast majority of IT workers come into the UK under the intra-company transfer route, where different, and arguably less favourable, conditions apply pre- and post-entry, and where there is no route to settlement in the UK," states the report. "Our concern is that too liberal a description of the roles that are held to be in shortage could encourage large employers to switch staff presently being brought in under the intra-company transfer route to staff using the shortage route. Indeed some partners readily admitted the attractiveness of doing so." The report accepts the job titles affected by the rule change are quite broad and attempts to specify the nature of each role: The report says these titles are necessarily open to interpretation because "the digital technology area is fast moving and demand for skills can change at very short notice". Not everyone the MAC spoke to agreed there is a digital skills shortage. The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed said many jobs could be filled by workers on a contract basis, rather than by permanent employees. "They considered that employers were not making full use of the existing Resident Labour Market test route to recruit from outside the EEA, nor were they drawing on existing skills." The MAC report also questions some of the trends that appear to indicate a skills shortage, such as pay for Java developers rising as high as £55,000, as individuals chose careers as contractors over a company employee. "It does beg the question to what extent are shortages actually the result of employers' reluctance to pay the higher wages commanded by contractors; and the extent to which they wish to avoid paying this by recruiting more directly employed staff," it said. The MAC report is now with the UK government, which should make a decision on whether to accept the recommendations to add the roles to the Shortage Occupation List shortly. Antony Walker, deputy CEO of techUK, said if the recommendations were accepted, they would play a role in "helping tech and digital start-ups and scale-ups grow more quickly, in turn creating more jobs and growth for the UK".


News Article | May 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

ezCheckprinting business check writer for MAC customers now updated with check draft options for receiving payments faster. Halfpricesoft.com created this software so that any small to midsize business could easily create a check draft. A regular check is created by the account holder, and signed (authorized) by the account holder. A check draft is created by the merchant, and the signature is not required. Payment can be sent via internet, phone or fax. With ezCheckPrinting software, customers can print pre-approved check draft with MICR encoding on blank stock easily in house. “EzCheckprinting software for Macintosh customers makes it easy to create draft checks via fax, email and online for faster payments,” said Halfpricesoft.com founder Dr. Ge. The easy to install and use business check writer, EzCheckprinting is now also compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP and has network capability. This allows business owners to save time and money. Take a look at what customers get for just one low price with key features in ezCheckprinting MAC: 1- Customers can use both blank stock and pre-printed checks 2- Draft checks can be created to receive payment by fax, email and online 3- No recurring or hidden fees for using this software application 4- Supports company logo and other customizable design features for a professional, corporate look to company checks 5- Supports network version from 2-10 users 6- Reprint checks from the register quickly 7- Export and import of check data for use with ezTimeSheet, Excel file, QuickBooks, Microsoft Money, and other accounting software 8- No cost customer support for life of the product. ezCheckPrinting business software for MAC customers can support unlimited accounts and checks with no extra charge. Download and test it with no cost or obligation using the link below: http://www.halfpricesoft.com/mac-check-writer/check-printing-software-mac.asp Another great reason customers purchase this check printing software is that it does not require an internet connection, making it more versatile for the small business that prefers or needs to run check writing tasks offline. Operating offline reduces risk hacking and virus contamination. An internet connection is only required when updating the software or using ezCheckprinting in conjunction with ezAch to issue direct deposit payments to employees’ bank account. Writing a check is really easy with ezCheckPrinting! All customers have to do is to enter the date, payee’s name and amount payable to the payee. This check writer will automatically convert numbers to words. Clients can write and print a check with just a few clicks. Potential customers can download the free trial version at http://www.halfpricesoft.com/mac-check-writer/check-printing-software-mac.asp with no cost and no obligation. Starting at just $39 per installation (Free through TrialPay offer), ezCheckPrinting is affordable for any size business and is compatible with all popular brands of laser printers (most of which can print bank-accepted MICR numbers) and specialized MICR printers. To learn more about ezCheckPrinting check writing software and the win-win deals, user can visit http://www.halfpricesoft.com/mac-check-writer/check-printing-software-mac.asp About Halfpricesoft.com Founded in 2003, Halfpricesoft.com has established itself as a leader in meeting and exceeding the software requirements of small businesses around the world. Offering payroll software, employee attendance tracking software, accounting software, check writing/printing software, W2 software, 1099 software and ezACH deposit software. It continues to grow in the philosophy that small business owners deserve affordable, user friendly, and totally risk-free software.


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Mother’s Day doesn’t have to break the bank when utilizing budget friendly gift ideas from Halfpricesoft.com and Trialpay. ezCheckpersonal family finance software is happy to announce that customers can now get the MAC or Windows application at no cost when taking advantage of a special Trialpay offer. Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse to get the software at no cost when purchasing a gift such as flowers for mom. “Make Mother’s Day memorable by purchasing flowers through Trialpay and getting in return getting ezCheckPersonal at no cost!" said Founder, Dr. Li Ge. ezCheckpersonal software allows customers to print professional checks on blank check stock or pre-printed checks easily, in house. This latest version also includes the new category and report features that allow for easy classification of payments and keep track of personal finances. ezCheckPersonal, which is available for test-drive at http://www.halfpricesoft.com/check-printing-personal-software-download.asp, is the personal and home-use version of the popular check writing software from software developer, Halfpricesoft.com. Halfpricesoft.com (http://www.halfpricesoft.com), the leading provider of easy-to-use software for small businesses and families, give buyers a new way to get products at no cost by partnering with TrialPay, the leader in alternative online payments. Buyers can now get full version check printing software and Laser Blank Computer Check Paper for $0 when they try or buy an offer from one of TrialPay’s 2,000 blue-chip advertisers. Customers have the capability to customize checks with logo, signature, font and the new labels. There is no frustrating learning curve, and checks can be printed as soon as the check printing application is downloaded. Affordability in only $29.00 one time cost or the option to purchase another item and get the software at no cost when checking out through Trialpay. ezCheckPersonal is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8. 7, vista, 98, 2000 XP, 2003 with .Net Framework v2.0. and Apply Mac OS systems. All software from Halfpricesoft.com, including ezCheckPersonal, is designed to be easy to use. Customers can begin printing checks within minutes of downloading and installing the software. The intuitive graphical interface leads customers step by step through the check writing and printing process. To learn more about ezCheckpersonal and other special offers from halfpricesoft.com, please visit: http://www.halfpricesoft.com/check-printing-software.asp About Halfpricesoft.com Founded in 2003, Halfpricesoft.com has established itself as a leader in meeting and exceeding the software requirements of small businesses around the world. Offering payroll software, employee attendance tracking software, accounting software, check writing/printing software, W2 software, 1099 software and ezACH deposit software. It continues to grow in the philosophy that small business owners deserve affordable, user friendly, and totally risk-free software.


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Perfect365®, the Webby-award winning, free makeup and beauty platform loved by celebrities and more than 80 million users that is leading the digital beauty evolution, today announced a partnership with national makeup school, CHICSTUDIOS. To kick off the partnership, Perfect365 hosted a masterclass at CHICSTUDIOS NYC with celebrity makeup artist, Kabuki. With this partnership, CHICSTUDIOS alumni and students have the opportunity to learn about digital makeup, create digital makeup looks and engage with beauty brands via the Perfect365 digital beauty platform. As an added benefit, Perfect365 beauty advisor and celebrity makeup artist, Kabuki, held a master class at the CHICSTUDIOS NYC location to demonstrate his newest digital makeup looks now available in Perfect365 and show students how to recreate the look in real life. This generation of students are already using makeup apps to experiment with looks. Among makeup artists who do use makeup apps, when given a choice of the four most popular, Perfect365 is the one most commonly used—42% report using it. “Digital beauty is an essential aspect of the education we provide at CHIC STUDIOS. Today’s makeup artists need to understand how to market themselves on digital platforms. Our partnership with Perfect365 is a perfect complement to the direction of the school and a valuable relationship for our students.” CHICSTUDIOS is a leading national makeup artistry school, teaching through course instruction, live hands-on lessons and opportunities for graduates via the ‘CHICPro Community’. CHICSTUDIOS – School of Makeup is certified by the NY State School Board. CHICSTUDIOS alumni become part of the ‘CHICPro Community’, which offers a platform for events, job opportunities, advanced education, internships, gigs or career hiring fairs. CHICSTUDIOS brand partners in the classroom include Billion Dollar Brows, MAC Cosmetics, Real Techniques, Make Up For Ever, NARS Cosmetics, Laura Mercier, Graftobian, Cinema Secrets, Bobbi Brown, NYX Cosmetics, Stila Cosmetics, Real Techniques, Morphe Brushes, Embryolisse + Bioderma Skincare and much more! “Digital beauty is being adopted at a rapid pace and students are driving this adoption. They are already using makeup apps to experiment with new looks and engage with brands. Our partnership with CHICSTUDIOS is bringing us another step closer to transforming the beauty industry by making virtual makeup try-on an industry standard,” said Vickie Wei, Director of Marketing, Perfect365. Perfect365 is one-of-a-kind because it uses advanced Face Detection technology that allows for the most accurate virtual makeup placement possible, both on photos and in live video. As a result, any makeup design looks realistic because the app knows exactly where eyeshadow should be applied, how to contour the cheekbones, where to place eyeliner, and now even where to apply lashes. With more than 200 one-tap makeup looks, over 20 customizable makeup and tweaking tools, Style it! clothing and accessory recommendations, hair styles, and step-by-step tutorials for recreating looks in real-life, Perfect365 has become the go-to app for selfie, makeup and fashion enthusiasts around the world. Perfect365 also offers makeup and entertainment industries a fully customizable digital platform, allowing users to try on looks from GSN’s hit TV show Skin Wars, Universal’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and Sony’s Pixels. Users also benefit from the app’s “try before you buy and apply” digital makeup looks from top brands including celebrity makeup artist Susan Thompson’s eponymous label, Michelle Phan’s beauty box ipsy, five-time Emmy award winner, Eve Pearl, and the fast growing indie label Nudestix. As a part of its commitment to building a leading beauty platform for consumers and businesses, Perfect365 seeks to actively engage in partnerships with beauty brands, retailers and artists. For more information about product partnership opportunities, please contact bd@perfect365.com. For more information about makeup artist and indie brand partnership opportunities, please contact beautysquad-artists@perfect365.com. For more information on Perfect365, high-res images, and screenshots, please visit http://www.perfect365.com/press/. The app is available for iOS (iPhone, iPad), Android (phone and tablet) and Windows 8 devices. Follow @Perfect365 on Twitter, @Perfect365_official on Instagram and at www.facebook.com/Perfect365 on Facebook. © 2017 Perfect365, Inc. All rights reserved. Perfect365 is either registered trademark or trademark of Perfect365 Technology Company Ltd. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


"What Doug did in helping to build the TOMS brand worldwide was incredible," said Drew Fraser, CEO of People Against Dirty. "When you look at his entire career, you can see that Doug is clearly an expert at storytelling, driving awareness and relevance and creating deep, meaningful relationships with consumers in all types of industries. Both method and Ecover have a lot of business momentum here and abroad, and we are thrilled to have someone of Doug's caliber to add marketing innovation and creativity to our products, our purpose, and beyond." As the head of Global Marketing and Communications at TOMS, Piwinski was responsible for promoting and protecting the brand's image, while preserving the company's reputation with customers, community and the public at large. At various times, Piwinski oversaw PR, social media, influencer marketing, brand partnerships, community engagement, experiential activation, and events. His innovative work during the company's enormous growth led to TOMS' status as one of the most inspiring brands in the world, and elevated its founder Blake Mycoskie as the leading voice of the One for One™ movement. While at TOMS, Piwinski identified and secured a wide range of partnerships and collaborations that continue to lead to enormous consumer awareness – reinvigorating the brand and driving traffic and sales to TOMS.com, its retail stores and its retail partners. TOMS partnerships ranged from those with celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, Christy Turlington, Paul Van Dyke to designers Jonathan Adler, Tabitha Simmons, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen to causes such as Movember, Discovery Network's Shark Week, Charity Water, Save the Waves and corporate-based American Greetings, AOL, National Geographic and Target. Before joining TOMS, Piwinski served as executive vice president with PMK*BNC, one of the nation's top lifestyle media and marketing agencies. Over 13-plus years, he built and rebuilt the images of some of the world's most recognized and respected companies and causes. Corporate clients included American Express, Audi, CNET, Essence, Gatorade, Gillette, Jordan (Nike), kidrobot, MAC Cosmetics, Nickelodeon, Nintendo, Paramount Movies, PlayStation, Proactiv Solution, Rolling Stone and Sony Pictures Consumer Products, among others. In the cause and mission-based worlds, Piwinski developed and directed several major campaigns as communications architect for (PRODUCT) RED, founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver to eradicate AIDS in Africa. Alongside legendary producer and philanthropist Norman Lear, Doug helped create the successful youth voter initiative, Declare Yourself, which ran through and greatly impacted the high stakes 2004 election home and abroad. He served as lead for the program in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. "For someone who lives and breathes marketing and communications, joining Drew and the team is a dream job and a huge opportunity, " said Piwinski. "Both method and Ecover have great history great potential. There are very few brands that have achieved the type of love, loyalty and respect that method has, both in the U.S. and now around the world, and in Europe, the Ecover brand is poised to assume iconic status. Together, they form a powerful combination of clean, and I'm excited to deliver new marketing strategies and ideas to accelerate their growth." People Against Dirty is a company made up of two brands – method and Ecover – filled with fearless thinkers, mad scientists and adventurous designers who believe in defying the status quo with innovation and optimism. We take cleaning seriously – but not ourselves. Founded in 2000 and headquartered in San Francisco, method (methodhome.com) is the pioneer of premium planet-friendly and design-driven home, fabric and personal care products. Formulated with naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients, method puts the hurt on dirt without doing harm to people, creatures or the planet. Today, method can be found in more than 40,000 retail locations throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Also playing an important role at People Against Dirty is Ecover (ecover.com) the revered pioneering European-based line of ecological cleaning products that has had an enormous impact on the world of cleaning – and a positive impact on the environment – since its formation in 1980. As a certified B Corp, People Against Dirty is raising the bar in clean manufacturing with our legendary green factory in Belgium and the industry's first LEED Platinum-certified manufacturing plant in Chicago, affectionately known as the South Side Soapbox. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/makers-of-method-and-ecover-appoint-doug-piwinski-as-chief-marketing-officer-of-people-against-dirty-300454896.html

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