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Baltimore, MD, United States

Social Solutions is a 100+ person software company with headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. The company provides performance management software for human service organizations, including Harlem Children's Zone, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Administration on Aging, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and organizations in the cities of Boston and Hartford, Connecticut. Social Solutions’ software product, called Efforts to Outcomes , helps organizations measure the progress that they make with participants and families.Social Solutions' current Executive Chairman is Steve Butz, who is also one of the founders and a Baltimore native. Wikipedia.

It’s no surprise that a search for “tax” brings up quite a number of results in the Rude Baguette. If it’s not a tax on tablets, or inquisitions about taxes on Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, or LinkedIn, it seems there’s always something the Government’s got cooking up. This week, however, French tech news took a dark turn when one overzealous L’express journalist took French social network Viadeo to task over revelations that the Social Network was not paying VAT in France. Well, that’s not exactly true. The now-revisied article notes that the social network doesn’t pay VAT in France on premium subscriptions, which are managed by the San Francisco office, making the action entirely legal and normal. The outrage is not entirely unfounded. The social network is often called “France’s LinkedIn,” and has received over $50 Million in investment, most recently from the French Sovereign Wealth fund (FSI), including some 10 Million euros in grant money from the government, The conclusion of this journalist, and the many others who re-ran versions of the discovery, is that tech startups receiving money from the French government in one form or another “owe” something to the government, and should create their company in such a way to pay a maximum amount of its taxes in France. Sounds crazy when you don’t just infer it, doesn’t it? Luckily, a combination of internet commenters, tweeters, and almost every French entrepreneur has pointed out that what Viadeo is doing is neither illegal, shocking, or advantageous. California is far from being a tax-haven – most of the aforementioned companies being investigated by the French Government register their revenue in Dublin, and then whisk the rest of to X tax-haven island so they don’t have to register their gains in the US. Nonetheless, this highlights in bright colors the problem with ‘free money’ from the government – nothing is free. If it isn’t time spent rebutting overzealous journalists trying to drive a stake through your heart, it’s applications, justifications of ‘innovation’ as the government defines it, and, most importantly, time. The reason Yahoo walked away from the Dailymotion deal wasn’t that the terms were being changed last minute, it’s that that request was coming from a ranking official of the French government, which means that more strings will reveal themselves down the road. If any company that receives public money is expected to drown itself in overbearing French taxes in the event that it succeeds, or, worse, prevent itself from internationalization in order to remain faithful to the French tax regime, then France will never see a global leader again. Every company has public grant money – Criteo. Criteo. Criteo. Need I say more? What this ultimately comes down to is that the sentiment represented in this debate, whether representative of the minority or majority, is one of a people that still have not understood what it means to build a global company. This article calls for Viadeo’s head because Viadeo reneged on its duty, the duty that comes along with being put on a pedestal by the French digital community and government. They both want to celebrate Viadeo as an international success and they want it to remain a faithful French company. Turns out the two are paradoxical. What Viadeo wants, and what it needs, is for the world to forget its French identity. Only then will France be able to reap the successes of the $50M it has invested. I doubt that lost VAT will mean much to the government if they have to write off a $50M investment in a company their own country persecuted.

Via a graphical user interface on a first mobile computing device of a first user, the first user is prompted to upload a first electronic photograph representing an appearance of the first user who is a participant of a virtual social network. Via the graphical user interface, the first electronic photograph uploaded by the first user is received. From a second user who is also a participant of the virtual social network, an electronic voucher is received. The electronic voucher is redeemable for a merchandise item that is offered by a physical venue, the physical venue corresponds to the virtual social network. A screen is generated that contains both the electronic voucher and the first electronic photograph. An electronic scan of the electronic voucher is detected. An electronic transaction is completed, in which the merchandise item is redeemed in response to the electronic scan of the electronic voucher.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: National Institutes of Health | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 651.50K | Year: 2016

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant The word adolescence derives from the Latin word andquot adolescereandquot meaning andquot to grow upandquot Adolescence is a crucial period of transition between childhood and legal adulthood with individuals following more uncertain and complex paths based on gender race ethnicity social class and geography The passage to adulthood revolves around a complex web of factors which include social socioeconomic and cultural contexts Research studies have established that growing up in under resourced environments e g poverty low income geographical isolation fragile family structures can seriously threaten a teenandapos s successful passage to adulthood Education has become a primary source of social stratification dividing the haves and the have nots As a result dropping out of high school pretty much consigns individuals to a life of permanent poverty and having only a high school degree offers career options that rarely pay a livable wage Young people from low income families are considerably less likely than their higher income peers to move successfully through school and more likely to drop out making it much more difficult for them to earn family sustaining wages It is not that these youth devalue academic success and attainment but rather they gradually may begin to see academic success as impossible even though it is still valued Possible identities reflect how individuals think about their potential and their futre Adolescents living in under resourced environments rarely have the opportunities or means to reflect on and consider their future goals dreams threats fears and assets Hence an intervention focusing on these elements is necessary Afterschool programs are an excellent location for these interventions because they provide a safe context for development of identities as well as interpretations of difficulties and strategies that can be used to attain positive possible selves This Phase II project completes the full development of ME GAMES tm a digital media intervention focused on early adolescents ages in afterschool settings ME GAMES tm will be part of a virtual world Afterschool Virtually r environment that serves as a scaffold for multiple theory based Edugames My World of Dreams The Valley of Others Disappointments Bridge and The Sea of Hope and structured on line and off line activities linked to them The goal of ME GAMES tm is to support early adolescentsandapos successful transition to adulthood by increasing their academic engagement motivation and performance through digital learning activities that make the future feel close and connected to the present promote a productive interpretation of experienced difficulties and create a link between possible selves and current action Using a virtual world with different Edugames not only creates a feasible and scalable alternative to a totally face to face intervention it also offers an appealing space n its own right especially for early adolescents aged Almost all adolescents currently go online daily and nearly three in four play games regardless of the socioeconomic status age race or gender This product will be subscription based and licensed to afterschool programs for use as an adjunct to other services and activities they provide In this Phase II project REESSI proposes to continue the research and development activities of the successful Phase I study based on the outcomes and lessons learned The setting for implementation and evaluation will be local Boys and Girls Clubs in the United States The REESSI team will complete the Phase II tasks utilizing the foundation of five key aims Develop the final After School Virtually r virtual world based on the Phase I paper version of this world This world includes seven components the orientation theatre the games Aim a site for structured reflections after each game a site for structured chats after each game approved personal pages program newsroom program neighborhoods and a parentsandapos place Refine and complete the final versions of all four Edugames My World of Dreams The Valley of Others Disappointments Bridge and Sea of Hope Refine and complete the post game face to face structured activities based on their Phase I development There are two elements structured discussions with a supportive adult in the participantandapos s life and structured group discussions with a designated program staff member Beta Test each of the elements of the virtual world and the face to face activities at two Boys and Girls Club sites and after the outcomes study conduct cognitive interviews with a sample of study participants to understand what elements of the virtual world and Edugames caused the most impact and Conduct a randomized controlled trial RCT to test the effects of the full intervention which includes the virtual world Edugames and the face to face activities The RCT will assess the effect of participation on the theoretical process model of change identity based motivation formerly possible selves and test the effect of participation on change in academic outcomes school grades attendance from school records and self reported engagement and time spent on homework REESSI will engage and strategically manage a transdisciplinary team of seasoned experts that includes developmental psychologists behavioral researchers research assistants a statistician youth development experts intervention and curriculum developers creative and technical writers and gaming digital media experts PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE ME GAMES II Given the early onset of most hurtful and risky behaviors risk reduction education and activities must take place before these behaviors are initiated Additionally the Institute of Medicine study on the promotion of youth development encourages federal agencies to expand their funding to research on personal and social assets needed to promote the successful transition to adulthood This project responds to two Healthy People objectives AH HP Increase the percentage of adolescents who participate in extracurricular and out of school activities and AH HP Increase the percentage of vulnerable adolescents who are equipped with the services and skills necessary to transition into an independent and self sufficient adulthood

A hosted virtual social network includes a plurality of users that each have a digital profile. The users are each within a predetermined distance of a venue. The users communicate with other users of the virtual social network via their respective mobile computing devices. The users include a first user and a second user. From a mobile computing device of the first user, a request is received to make a digital profile of the first user appear invisible on a mobile computing device of the second user. In response to this request the digital profile of the first user is hidden from the mobile computing device of the second user. The hiding is performed without notifying the second user and without affecting a display of the digital profile of the first user on mobile computing devices of remaining users of the plurality of users of the virtual social network.

A method of selecting, displaying, and purchasing favorite drinks of a user within a location-based virtual social networking context is disclosed. A mobile computing device of a first user is used to perform a digital check-in to a venue that is within a physical proximity of the first user. After the digital check-in, a digital menu that contains a list of drinks available at the venue is accessed. The digital menu is displayed to the first user via a screen of the mobile computing device. In response to selection from the first user, one or more drinks from the digital menu are designated as preferred drinks of the first user. The first users preference of the one or more drinks is electronically communicated to another electronic device.

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