Tag Archives: industry

Rumour: Metroid Prime Trilogy For Switch Ready To Go, According To Industry Insider

Metroid Prime Trilogy

We’ve got an update on the long-rumoured Metroid Prime Trilogy remaster that’s supposedly heading to Nintendo Switch.

According to the proven industry insider and VentureBeat journalist, Jeff Grubb, the development of the Switch version has already been completed and it’s now just a matter of Nintendo finding the “right time” to release it.

On this week’s episode of the Giant Bomb show (pay wall), the source of the latest update said the video game giant is waiting for best moment to reveal and release the trilogy – with the pandemic still causing some problems along with the delay of Metroid Prime 4.

Here’s exactly what Jeff had to say (thanks, VGC):

“The game is done and Nintendo is holding it. I think Metroid Prime trilogy is done and whether or not Nintendo releases it now or later depends on other factors… I think that game is sitting in their pocket for whenever Nintendo decides it’s the right time, and Nintendo’s done this a lot recently so it’s not unusual, it’s not a sign of some bad thing happening, it’s not a sign of a lack of faith in Metroid… Nintendo can afford [to sit on it] and that’s how they’re treating it.”

“I think a big problem for Nintendo for quite some time during the pandemic was QA… I think Nintendo was focusing its quality assurance resources on one or two big projects at a time and that meant that some games that were basically finished were sitting on the side, while they had their lockdown secure QA processes focused on one or two more important games… Japan is still dealing with these issues so I don’t think those processes are going to open up any time soon.”

“The other factor for Metroid Prime Trilogy is that it’s definitely going to be a marketing beat for Metroid Prime 4, almost certainly. So right now we’re getting Metroid Dread this year and then I would imagine that Metroid Prime trilogy is something they’ll release close to the release of Metroid Prime 4, whenever that is.”

Back in 2019 the Game Informer senior editor at the time, Imran Khan, said the trilogy collection for Switch had been “long done” and also hinted how there was “more Metroid stuff” to anticipate. This was followed by a Swedish retailer listing the trilogy in May last year.

More recently, the former lead designer on all three Metroid Prime games shared their own thoughts about the trilogy coming to the Nintendo Switch and thought it was unlikely to happen. This response didn’t go down well with some people within the Metroid community.

Do you think we’ll ever see the Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Nintendo Switch? Leave a comment down below.

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This post originally posted here Nintendo Life | Latest News

Rheumatologists’ Industry Payments Rise; Small Minority Gets Most

Practicing rheumatologists in the United States received more than $ 220 million from pharmaceutical companies during 2014-2019, with payments increasing each year, according to findings from a descriptive study of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Open Payments Database.

Rheumatologists have identified conflicts of interest as an ethical concern, but the details of industry payments to rheumatologists have not been investigated, wrote Michael Putman, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues in Arthritis & Rheumatology. “Payments among rheumatologists may be of particular interest,” given their frequent prescription of expensive and primarily on-patent biologic and targeted disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), the researchers said.

Over the 2014-2019 study period, 5,723 rheumatologists received a total of $ 221,254,966 from 1,610,668 payments. Of these, 3,416 (59%) received less than $ 5,000; 368 (6%) received more than $ 100,000, accounting for 78% of the total payments. The yearly value of the payments increased from $ 29,755,133 in 2014 to $ 46,308,926 in 2019, a 56% increase.

The payments to individual rheumatologists during the study period ranged from $ 8 to $ 5,612,254, with a median individual payment of $ 2,818. However, most (81%) of the payments were less than $ 25, and only 4% were more than $ 1,000.

Physicians who received more than $ 100,000 were significantly more likely to be paid speakers’ fees, consulting fees, and travel and lodging fees, but significantly less likely to receive payments for food and beverage than were those who received less than $ 100,000.

Overall, women made up 43% of the study population and received 34% of the total payments.

However, the median payment to male rheumatologists was significantly higher than the median payment to female rheumatologists ($ 3,732 vs. $ 2,084). Female rheumatologists were significantly more likely to receive payments for food and beverage and significantly less likely to receive speakers’ fees or travel and lodging coverage.

When the data were analyzed by state, California had the highest amount of total payments ($ 27,769,124), followed by New York and Texas, while Arizona had the highest spending per rheumatologist ($ 143,559). By region, based on U.S. Census divisions, the highest spending occurred in the Middle Atlantic Division ($ 46,327,351) and the highest per rheumatologist spending occurred in the East-South Central Division ($ 49,605).

“These data suggest industry payments in rheumatology have followed two distinct patterns, which have been observed in other medical subspecialties,” specifically, that many small payments are made to a large number of physicians, and large-value payments are made to a small number of physicians, the researchers noted.

The impact of small payments cannot be discounted, they said, “as even small gifts may affect behavior and are associated with prescribing patterns.” The impact of large payments on behavior and practice deserve further investigation, “but it is notable that a recent evaluation of rheumatology clinical practice guidelines identified substantial involvement from rheumatologists who had accepted large values of industry payments,” the researchers added.

Approximately half the total value of payments came from three companies: Bristol-Myers Squibb (20%), Abbvie (17%), and Pfizer (12%). Medications associated with the highest spending included Otezla, Humira, and Xeljanz.

Of note, the data showed that H.P. Acthar gel was among the top 10 agents for total payments, and “over 90% of rheumatologists who frequently prescribe H.P. Acthar gel have also received H.P. Acthar–related payments, raising the possibility that such payments have influenced prescribing behavior,” given the lack of high-quality evidence to support its use and the availability of less expensive alternatives, the researchers said.

The study findings were limited by several factors, including the focus only on general payments to rheumatologists, and the lack of external sources to verify payments, the researchers noted. “Most importantly, this was a descriptive study, and the degree to which payments have influenced physician behavior lies outside the scope of this work. Future studies should investigate the degree to which industry payments have influenced prescribing in the field of rheumatology.”

Focus on Collaborations That Add Value

The study is important because previous data on the magnitude of payments or payment patterns from pharmaceutical companies to practicing rheumatologists were limited, lead author Putman said in an interview.

“I was most surprised by some of the medications that received high values of payments,” he said. “Many payments were linked to medications that we use commonly and that have high-quality data supporting their use. That was not surprising, and you could imagine dollars spent on [interleukin]-23 or IL-17 inhibitors being used in a way that is valuable to other physicians or to patients with rheumatic diseases. On the other hand, some medications – most notably H.P. Acthar gel – have no high-quality data supporting their use, are used by a very small cadre of physicians, and are extraordinarily expensive. At least in my opinion, there is no world where payments linked to H.P. Acthar gel provide any benefit for physicians or patients.”

Putman said he expected that the patterns and the increases observed in the study are likely to continue.

“Ultimately, I have a somewhat nuanced view of financial conflicts of interest,” he said. “Collaborations between the pharmaceutical industry and rheumatologists have provided extraordinary value to our field. I think rheumatologists should be much more involved in some areas. At the same time, I think we should be much less involved in marketing drugs that provide little value to patients and great cost to society. H.P. Acthar Gel is the classic example of this, but there are others as well. I think future research should focus on how these payments influence behavior and should seek to identify areas where they result in low-value care.” Going forward, valuable collaborations between rheumatologists and the pharmaceutical industry should be encouraged, but collaborations without value should be discouraged, he said.

Industry Payments Serve No Useful Purpose

The findings “highlight the overarching concern regarding the ability of industry payments to adversely affect care quality within the specific context of rheumatology practice,” Aaron P. Mitchell, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

Dr Aaron Mitchell

Mitchell emphasized several points, starting with the temporal trend showing an increase in industry payments beyond the rate of inflation that has not been universal across specialties. He also emphasized the “highly skewed distribution of payments,” with a large majority going to a relatively small number of rheumatologists. “This suggests an industry strategy of targeting ‘key opinion leaders,’ or KOLs, with higher payments,” and which was not surprising, as similar patterns have been seen in other specialties. Mitchell noted that 10 drugs accounted for more than half of the payments, and that “the unifying feature of these drugs is their high cost.”

“The picture of industry strategy that emerges from Putman et al. and other similar reports is that of intense, sustained KOL-focused marketing soon after the release of a new high-margin drug,” he wrote.

Despite the descriptive nature of the study, the findings have clinical implications based on other studies of the consequences of industry payments with respect to care quality, Mitchell said. “Hypothetically, industry spending to promote drugs to physicians could increase dissemination of new, superior drugs, improving patient outcomes.” However, physicians tend to opt for game-changing drugs without added incentive; “it is the less-innovative drugs that industry has to push harder.”

The practice of industry payments for physicians becomes even more difficult to rationalize given the potential for increased out-of-pocket costs and potentially avoidable toxicities for patients, Mitchell said. “Moreover, industry payments serve no unmet need; through our professional societies and other nonprofit sources, we physicians are fully capable of staying up-to-date on new treatments without relying on industry meals and sponsored events.”

Disclosure of Payments Is Important

The study is important because it is essential to understand how public disclosure of industry payments influences financial relationship between the biomedical industry and physicians, said Amarnath Annapureddy, MD, a clinical fellow in cardiology at Yale University, New Haven, Conn., who has studied and written about industry payments to physicians.

Annapureddy said in an interview that he was surprised by how the study findings were opposite to the assumption that public disclosure would dissuade continuation of financial ties between physicians and industry. “This study showed payments increased over time rather than decreasing due to public disclosure.”

However, Annapureddy said that he was not surprised at how few physicians received the bulk of industry payments. “These physicians are considered to be ‘key opinion leaders’ who could influence practicing patterns of other physicians. These findings are similar to payment patterns for other specialties, including cardiology.

“So far, no study has evaluated factors that drive changes in industry payment patterns,” Annapureddy said. “I anticipate the patterns noted in this study will continue at least in the short term. If health care systems mandate physicians to disclose potential conflicts of interest to the patients, it may reduce payments.”

However, “unless, there is a major health policy mandate by government, I anticipate public disclosure of payments through the open payments program will not impact industry-physician ties,” he said. “This study has not evaluated impact of payments on prescribing practices. There are overwhelming data from several studies that showed payments influence physicians practicing patterns, whether it is prescribing a medication or implanting a device.” However, as for additional research, Annapureddy said that it would interesting to see a randomized trial to show whether the way physicians disclose their financial ties with patients would impact their practicing patterns.

The study received no outside funding. Putman was supported by a Rheumatology Research grant, but he and the other researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose. Mitchell disclosed a merit award from the nonprofit Conquer Cancer Foundation, for which the Foundation received financial support from Merck. Annapureddy had no financial conflicts to disclose.

This article originally appeared on MDedge.com , part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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This post originally posted here Medscape Medical News

Frustrated industry groups see Biden’s Covid czar as obstacle to reopening travel

The White House is resisting lifting U.S. travel bans on a broad swath of foreign countries, despite a rising chorus of voices both inside and outside the administration questioning whether they are still necessary in the fight against Covid-19.

Critics of the bans point to Jeff Zients, the coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus pandemic response, as the main obstacle standing in the way of easing the longstanding restrictions, according to five people familiar with the matter. And some of them have grown so frustrated with Zients that they said they have begun discussing ways to go around him and take their case to other top administration officials instead.

President Joe Biden is under intense pressure from members of Congress, European governments, the travel industry and stranded individuals to lift the restrictions — particularly on Canada and much of Europe, where vaccine rates are relatively high. They argue that the bans are costing billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of jobs, and separating families.

Just last month, Europe eased restrictions for vaccinated American travelers, and Canada announced this week that it could open its border to fully vaccinated Americans for nonessential travel as early as mid-August.

“I think the American people are owed an explanation: What the hell happened?” said Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), one of 75 lawmakers who sent a letter to Biden last week urging him “to begin taking science-based, data-driven steps to safely reopen international travel to the United States.” Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) are preparing to send a letter to Biden as well, according to a Senate Democratic aide.

Some senior officials in the Biden administration, including Cabinet secretaries and doctors, have expressed support for easing the restrictions as long as travelers coming into the U.S. can prove they have received vaccinations or provide a negative Covid test. But the administration remains resistant to asking businesses, including airlines, to require proof of vaccination, according to two senior administration officials familiar with the deliberations.

The White House has repeatedly ruled out a so-called national vaccine passport in the face of pushback among conservatives who have raised concerns about government overreach and discrimination against Americans who opt not to get vaccinated.

A doctor in touch with the White House said physicians at the White House are generally supportive of vaccination proof. “Jeff Zients is the holdup of the proof of vaccination,” the person said. “He thinks there are real political consequences to the Biden team looking like they are pro-vaccine passports. He’s thinking politically, but scientifically proof of vaccination is everything.”

“I do think ultimately, yeah, Zients is the decision maker,” an airline lobbyist agreed. “He’s certainly been the one [airline] CEOs have met with and talked to.”

The White House did not directly address the criticisms of Zients. But it countered that it’s focused on restarting international travel safely.

“It is mission-critical that we are making a decision on travel restrictions with the best available data and incredible precision,” Kevin Munoz, a White House spokespereson, said in a statement. “We take incredibly seriously these decisions and the interagency working groups are united behind and steadfastly focused on getting this right.”

Last month, the administration set up four working groups with representatives from different U.S. agencies and officials from Canada, Mexico, the European Union and the United Kingdom to find a way to lift restrictions. The groups — led by the White House Covid response team and the National Security Council — include representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Departments of State, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and Transportation. They have yet to outline a plan and publicly, White House officials have said only that they are “following the science” and listening to public health officials.

Zients gave reporters a little more information Friday morning, saying that any decision on travel bans would be guided by “many variables, including case rates, vaccination rates and the prevalence of any variants, including the Delta variant.” But the administration has not announced what benchmarks will need to be met before the restrictions will be lifted, frustrating those lobbying on the issue.

“They just don’t have an answer. It feels to me like this is an, ‘We’ll know it when we see it,’ and they don’t want to be tied to any certain criteria,” the airline lobbyist said.

Earlier this week, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo — who isn’t a member of the working groups — said that she is pressing for the easing of the restrictions but that U.S. health officials remain concerned about the possibility of more outbreaks.

“I’m pushing really hard,” Raimondo told Reuters. “The CDC is nervous, and it’s hard to know if people are vaccinated. There’s no vaccine passport that’s reliable, and that’s kind of a big hurdle.”

But on Thursday, a Commerce Department official sidestepped questions on Raimondo’s support.

“We recognize the importance of international travel,” the official said. “The best step to reopening travel is getting more people vaccinated in the U.S. and across the globe. Any decisions about reopening international travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts.”

The deliberations come at a time when Covid-19 infection rates attributable to the highly transmissible Delta variant are surging in states across the Midwest and the South, where vaccination rates remain below the national average. Top health officials are increasingly concerned about the rate of transmission in the unvaccinated communities and the possibility that the Delta variant could cause big new outbreaks ahead of school reopenings. Those public health concerns, one White House official said, trump any worries about the economic impact of the restrictions.

At a news conference Thursday, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Biden pledged to provide more information about when the restrictions will be lifted in the coming days. He said he brought in Zients when Merkel raised the question during their bilateral talks earlier in the day.

“I’ll be able to answer that question to you within the next several days, when it’s likely to happen,” Biden said. “I’m waiting to hear from our folks, our Covid team, as to when that should be done.”

Critics of the bans say it’s not just economic concerns driving their opposition — there’s also no scientific rationale to restricting foreigners who’ve received a Covid vaccine from entering the country.

“The travel bans and which countries are affected don’t make sense. They don’t make scientific sense, or frankly common sense,” said Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University. “It seems to be because of the Biden administration’s … squeamishness over vaccine verification. It’s time they get over it and see that vaccination is our pathway out of this pandemic.”

The bans date back to last year, when former President Donald Trump sealed off the U.S. to most Europeans as well as travelers from other countries, including China, Brazil, India, South Africa and Iran. Trump lifted some bans as he was leaving office, but Biden reinstated them and has kept them in place.

Some travelers can receive exemptions, including U.S. citizens, green-card holders, their spouses and children, as well as diplomats, students, journalists and those who work in the areas involving “critical infrastructure” or “significant economic activity.”

But several other classes of visa holders are out of luck, as are casual tourists. So are bi-national couples who are not married, thousands of whom have banded together to form an online movement called #LoveIsNotTourism to try and pressure the Biden administration to drop the restrictions. They’ve shared thousands upon thousands of tweets, videos and images on social media calling for the administration to lift the ban or at least give them more information.

A top executive at a major U.S. airline said the industry has shown the administration how they could provide self-administered tests when travel is booked as well as how they can attach testing results to boarding passes and vaccination status to frequent flier numbers.

“We’ve seen this sort of caution from the CDC throughout the COVID crisis,” the executive said. “I don’t want to second-guess the science but a lot of the science would certainly indicate that the protection that is afforded by the vaccines should be a path for opening up international travel.”

But oversight of international travel is spread across a number of different federal agencies, making it harder for any single Cabinet member to take the lead on pushing to move faster.

“There’s not a clear Cabinet agency that can kind of push something in the face of White House slowness,” said Stewart Verdery, a lobbyist working on the issue and a former Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary during President George W. Bush’s administration.

German officials raised the issue of the U.S. travel ban directly with Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to the country at the end of June, according to two senior officials with knowledge of the matter. Though the U.S. had been expected to announce it would lift the restrictions, the officials said Blinken relayed at the time that the administration was still considering its options and had not made a final decision. Those same officials told POLITICO that German officials have since pressed the administration for a specific answer on the issue.

“Our travel policy not only lacks rationality, but also is hurting America a great deal,” said Lawrence Gostin, a Georgetown health law professor who’s informally advised the Biden administration.

Gostin praised Zients’ work to combat the pandemic over the past six months but said continuing to restrict international travel was a blind spot.

“He’s smart,” Gostin said. “He’s followed the evidence. But in this case I think he’s more focused on the political optics, because I don’t think that there’s any good evidence that our current travel policy keeps us safe.”

Erin Banco, Eugene Daniels, Daniel Lippman and Kathryn A. Wolfe contributed to this report.

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This post originally posted here Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

Focus: Hotelmize & Qtech Software | a Partnership Promising to Revolutionize the Hospitality Industry

Hotelmize & Qtech Software | a Partnership Promising to Revolutionize the Hospitality Industry

Due to the adverse effects of the global pandemic on the tourism industry, accommodation providers have spent the downtime looking to improve their service for the expected post-corona tourism boom.

One of the ways that hospitality specialists have sought to accommodate this upcoming trend in tourism is by implementing modern technology solutions. It becomes apparent when you look into ambitious partnerships such as Hotelmize, big data booking solutions, and Qtech Software, industry-leading Travel Technology Provider.

With this partnership, Hotelmize will now integrate its big data booking solutions directly with OTRAMS Travel ERP – Qtech Software’s flagship travel software platform. This partnership provides an opportunity for Travel Businesses to benefit from the cutting-edge tech offered by both companies.

Speaking about this development, the CEO of Qtech Software, Paresh Parihar, said, “Travel Businesses are looking to improve their revenue and margins, especially after the latest slump. Seamless business operations on OTRAMS coupled with Hotelmize’s AI-based booking solution will give travel businesses the necessary tools to meet their revenue and profit goals. OTRAMS is not only the leading travel ERP solution, but it is the only comprehensive platform that offers the complete range of features required for business operations, expansion and profitability”.

Qtech Software is a World Leading Travel ERP Technology provider that serves travel companies in over 36 countries around the globe and is renowned for its innovative solutions. Its flagship travel ERP platform – OTRAMS, is used by over 200,000 Travel agents globally.

Outside of OTRAMS, Qtech Software has been diligently working to develop top-shelf solutions for the upcoming post-pandemic uptrend in global tourism. 
They’ve been making some key partnerships, such as the one with Hotelmize.

Furthermore, Qtech has been expanding its technology portfolio through acquisitions and partnerships and investing in Big Data, AI, and Data Science. That’s where the big data solutions offered by Hotelmize come into play.

Hotelmize is a travel tech company powered by AI, Machine Learning, and Big Data, this innovative post-booking solution compares fluctuating hotel rates and predicts prices. That’s how it enables travel companies to uncover hidden revenue opportunities and boost hotel booking profits and margins.

Dor Krubiner,  CEO of Hotelmize commented: “Hotelmize’s technologies have already paved the way for the future of the travel industry, the partnership with Qtech is the perfect next step for our solutions to positively impact an even larger audience”.

Hotelmize was also named as one of the most promising startups of 2020 by Phocuswright, and by UNWTO, for the Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge, as one of the most disruptive startups driving solutions to mitigate COVID-19’s impact on tourism.

Last year, Hotemize received the EMEA People’s Choice Award at the Phocuswright Europe Innovation Summit 2020 – only adding to the company’s rising star status.

How Combining Technology Will Transform Tourism
Combining technologies that are yet in their infancy and applying them to an industry currently on pause might just help change the tourism industry for good.

With the advent of improved booking, data silence, and IoT – accommodation providers can give their clients a far higher standard of service, making them stand out from their competition.

The mutually beneficial partnership between Qtech and Hotelmize shows promise to innovate the tourism industry at large while improving the solutions on both sides.

What This Means for Qtech’s Customers
Qtech is a company with a long-standing reputation of offering cutting-edge solutions – and by partnering with a company such as Hotelmize, they are adding extra value to their existing offer with AI, ML, and big data solutions.

Furthermore, existing Qtech clients will have a chance to benefit from this partnership as Hotelmize can bring new technology and reshape existing practices in the tourism industry alongside Qtech.

www.hotelmize.com

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This post originally posted here Breaking Travel News

Richard Branson finished his historic venture onboard his own rocket-powered plane in a landmark moment for the commercial space industry

Branson -— along with Virgin Galactic employees Beth Moses, Colin Bennett, and Sirisha Bandla and pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci — boarded the SpaceShipTwo, a winged plane with a single rocket motor that the company has spent nearly two decades developing, before the crack of dawn. Attached beneath its massive, twin-fuselaged mothership, dubbed WhiteKnightTwo, the vehicle took to the skies at 8:30 am MT and climbed to about 50,000 feet in the air.
Just after 9:15 in the morning, the SpaceShipTwo detached from its mothership and dropped momentarily before its engine screamed to life and the vehicle swooped upward. On board, the passengers experienced up to three Gs of force from the burst of extreme acceleration and watched the blue sky fade into the star-speckled darkness of outer space. At the top of the flight path, more than 50 miles high, the vehicle was suspended in weightlessness for a few minutes, allowing the passengers to enjoy panoramic views of the Earth and space as SpaceShipTwo flipped onto its belly. It then deployed its feathering system, which curls the plane’s wings upward, mimicking the shape of a badminton shuttlecock, to turn the spaceship rightward as it flew back into the Earth’s thick atmosphere and glided back down to a runway landing.
Virgin Galactic spaceplane VSS Unity rockets to outer space, with Richard Branson and crew onboard.
As Branson floated around in microgravity, he taped a message using cameras onboard the space plane: “To all you kids out there — I was once a child with a dream, looking up to the stars. Now I’m an adult in a spaceship…If we can do this, just imagine what you can do,” he said.
This flight marked only the fourth test flight of the vehicle that reached the edge of space.
Surrounding SpaceShipTwo’s takeoff was — in typical Branson fashion -— a high-production party with friends, family, employees and a few VIPs in attendance. Earlier on Sunday, Branson tweeted a picture of himself and a barefoot Elon Musk hanging out. Grammy-nominated artist Khalid is also expected to perform an as-yet-unreleased song on an outdoor stage.

What this means

Branson’s flight — which came just nine days before Amazon bilionaire Jeff Bezos is slated to rocket into suborbital space aboard his own company’s spacecraft — is a landmark moment for the commercial space industry. The up-and-coming sector has for years been seeking to make suborbital space tourism (a relatively simple straight-up-and-down flight, as opposed to orbiting the Earth for longer periods) a viable business with the aim of allowing thousands of people to experience the adrenaline rush and sweeping views of our home planet that such flights can offer.
Branson and Bezos are situated to become direct competitors in that industry, each offering tickets to wealthy customers for brief rides to the upper atmosphere aboard supersonic, rocket-powered spacecraft.
Virgin Galactic plans to conduct just one more test flight before it will begin flying paying customers. More than 600 people have reserved tickets priced at $ 200,000 to $ 250,000 so far. The company is expected to reopen ticket sales soon, though at a higher price point.
Branson’s flight also helps bolster Virgin Galactic’s reputation as the “world’s first commercial spaceline.” That’s how the company advertised itself as it signed up those hundreds of willing customers who’ve waited through development delays — and a tragic mishap — for their chance to ride aboard SpaceShipTwo.
But whether or not Virgin Galactic will really be the “first” commercially operational suborbital space company is not yet clear. Bezos’ space company, Blue Origin, appeared poised to put its founder in space before Branson, until Virgin Galactic made the surprise announcement earlier this month that he would be on the very next test flight, a departure from the company’s earlier plans.
Bezos’ flight, slated for July 20, could kick off the company’s commercial operations sooner than that, and one of his fellow passengers on the flight is a paying customer, having won a ticket through a charity auction for the price of $ 28 million. The company has not yet begun selling tickets to the public, however, nor has it set a specific date for when it plans to do so.
Neither company is expected to offer tickets that are affordable to the average American. Branson did tease a big “announcement” about his effort to “democratize space” ahead of the flight. But he revealed Sunday only that Virgin Galactic would be holding a “sweepstakes” for two free tickets, along with a tour of the facility from the winners from Branson himself.

How Virgin Galactic got here

Virgin Galactic moved into its facilities in New Mexico in May 2019 after years of delay. The glitzy building, called Spaceport America, was paid for with more than $ 200 million in mostly taxpayer money, and it had been waiting nearly a decade for Virgin Galactic to move in and open for business.
The company refurbished the building to include a lounge and other amenities that ticket holders will be able to use before their brief journey to the edge of space.
Virgin Galactic’s development program has endured a series of setbacks, including a catastrophic accident during a test flight in 2014 that left a co-pilot dead and the pilot badly injured after the SpaceShipTwo’s feathering system was prematurely deployed, ripping the spacecraft apart. The company has since parted ways with its manufacturing partner and says it has worked to enhance SpaceShipTwo with additional automated safeguards.
Branson said ahead of Sunday’s test flight that he was anxious to join the pilots and test engineers who’ve already flown on SpaceShipTwo because he felt it demonstrated a crucial vote of confidence.
Richard Branson receives some cards from children as he walks out from Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021.
“You’ve got to remember that Virgin Galactic has people on every spaceflight… The fact that I’m willing to fly with those people shows confidence,” Branson told CNN Business’ Rachel Crane earlier this month. “I think the least the founder of the company can do is go up there and fly with his people.”

Video Analytics Market Worth $13,001.7 Million at 21.3% CAGR; Industry Giants Such as IBM and Cisco to Ramp up Investments to Develop Advanced Data-driven Video Solutions: Fortune Business Insights™

List of the Companies Profiled in the Market: Viseum International (Potters Bar, England), AllGoVision (Karnataka, India), Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Shenzhen, China), Agent VI (New York, United States), Gorilla Technology Group (Taipei, Taiwan), Cisco Systems, Inc. (California, United States), IBM Corporation (New York, United States), Kiwisecurity (Vienna, Austria), Axis Communications AB (Lund, Sweden), Robert Bosch GmbH (Stuttgart, Germany), Honeywell International Inc. (Charlotte, United States), Motorola Solutions, Inc. (Avigilon Corporation) (Illinois, United States), ULTINOUS Zrt. (Budapest, Hungary) Viseum International (Potters Bar, England), AllGoVision (Karnataka, India), Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Shenzhen, China), Agent VI (New York, United States), Gorilla Technology Group (Taipei, Taiwan),

/EIN News/ — Pune, India, July 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The global video analytics market size is projected to reach USD 13,001.7 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 21.3% during the forecast period. Development and introduction of video analytics to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is emerging as a major game-changer for this market, observes Fortune Business Insights™ in its report, titled “Video Analytics Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Component (Solutions, Services), By Application (Crowd Management, Facial Recognition, Intrusion Detection, License Plate Recognition, Motion Detection, and Others), By End-user (BFSI, City Surveillance, Critical Infrastructure, Education, Government, Retail, Transportation, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027”. With coronavirus cases refusing to abate, several tech companies are seizing this opportunity to create and launch smart analytics solutions to augment governments’ capacities to battle the pandemic.

Request to Sample PDF Brochure: https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/enquiry/request-sample-pdf/video-analytics-market-101114

For example, in August 2020, AllGoVision Technologies launched AllSafe, a video analytics suite developed by the company to enhance safety and security of people in offices and public areas, having features such as No-Mask Detection and Contact Tracing. Facial recognition specialists such as Herta are releasing advanced video analytics, especially for airlines, to identify people even when they are wearing masks. In December 2020, Johnson Controls and Microsoft announced the integration of the OpenBlue Digital Twin and the Azure Digital Twin platforms that will leverage video analytic technologies to enable companies to efficiently implement COVID safety measures and maximize digital space. These are a few examples of market players utilizing the innovation opportunities thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic, which are benefiting this market.

As per the report, the global market value in 2019 stood at USD 2,896.0 million in 2019. The salient features of the report include:

  • Microscopic assessment of the trends, drivers, and restraints influencing market growth;
  • Comprehensive analysis of the regional developments impacting the market;
  • Actionable research into the key players’ profiles and their strategies; and
  • Holistic study of all market segments.

List of Key Companies Profiled in the Video Analytics Market Report:

  • Viseum International (Potters Bar, England)
  • AllGoVision (Karnataka, India)
  • Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.  (Shenzhen, China)
  • Agent VI (New York, United States)
  • Gorilla Technology Group (Taipei, Taiwan)
  • Cisco Systems, Inc. (California, United States)
  • IBM Corporation (New York, United States)
  • Kiwisecurity (Vienna, Austria)
  • Axis Communications AB (Lund, Sweden)
  • Robert Bosch GmbH (Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Honeywell International Inc.  (Charlotte, United States)
  • Motorola Solutions, Inc. (Avigilon Corporation) (Illinois, United States)
  • ULTINOUS Zrt. (Budapest, Hungary)

Driving Factor

Expanding Utilization of AI-based Video Analytics by Governments to Feed Market Growth

The proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies in administrative, public safety, and law enforcement domains is emerging as a major driving force for the video analytics market growth. Governments in several countries are actively deploying AI-powered video analytics and facial recognition solutions to conduct efficient surveillance of citizens, public infrastructures and spaces, and improve the quality of governance. According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s AI Global Surveillance (AIGS) Index, 75 out of 176 countries worldwide are actively using AI for surveillance activities, including smart policing, facial recognition, and smart city development. The AIGS further reveals that 51% of the liberal advanced democracies and a large chunk of full democracies extensively utilize a wide range of surveillance technologies. Adoption of AI-based video analytics technologies by government agencies will prove highly beneficial for this market in the near future.

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Regional Insights

North America to Spearhead the Market Backed by Rapid Uptake of Advanced Surveillance Systems

North America is envisaged to dominate the video analytics market share during the forecast period on account of the speedy adoption of AI-based video surveillance systems by government authorities in the US. Furthermore, major cities across the US have made heavy investments to deploy smart technologies such as drones and street sensors to augment safety and security of citizens. In 2019, the North America market size stood at USD 971.8 million.

In Asia Pacific, the market is expected to experience robust growth owing to the implementation of smart city projects, increasing focus on national security, and steady expansion of the retail industry. On the other hand, Europe is anticipated to generate lucrative opportunities as the advanced economies of the European Union (EU) are exploring options to develop technologies by blending analytics, energy, and mobility.

Competitive Landscape

Product Enhancement to be the Principal Focus Area for Key Players

Leading companies in this market are concentrating on enhancing their products and services with advanced features and tools to deliver superior performance for their customers. These players are focusing on developing offerings that have a broad range of applicability and can cement their position in the market.

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Industry Developments:

  • November 2020: Axis Communications announced its plans to launch the Axis Object Analytics, its smart video analytics solution that can identify and classify humans and objects as per surveillance need. The product has been designed for application in diverse spaces such as car parks and warehouses.
  • March 2020: Lanner Electronics and Gorilla Technology joined forces to release the next-gen Secure Edge AI solution that combines Gorilla’s real-time video analytics and Lanner’s intelligent edge computing platform. The solution offers AI-optimized video analytics and ensures cyber-security and data safety at the edge.

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Table of Content:

  • Introduction
    • Definition, By Segment
    • Research Methodology/Approach
    • Data Sources
  • Key Takeaways
  • Market Dynamics
    • Macro and Micro Economic Indicators
    • Drivers, Restraints, Opportunities and Trends
    • Impact of COVID-19
      • Short-term Impact
      • Long-term Impact
  • Competition Landscape
    • Business Strategies Adopted by Key Players
    • Consolidated SWOT Analysis of Key Players
    • PESTLE Analysis
    • Porter’s Five Force Analysis
    • Supply chain Analysis 
  • Global Referral Marketing Software Key Players Market Share Insights and Analysis, 2019
  • Key Market Insights and Strategic Recommendations
  • Primary Interviewee’s Key Responses
  • Companies Profiled (Covered for key 10 players only)
    • Overview
      • Key Management
      • Headquarters etc.
    • Offerings/Business Segments
    • Key Details (Key details are subjected to data availability in public domain and/or on paid databases)
      • Employee Size
      • Key Financials
        • Past and Current Revenue
        • Gross Margin
        • Geographical Share
        • Business Segment Share
    • Recent Developments
  • Annexure / Appendix
    • Global Market Size Estimates and Forecasts (Quantitative Data), By Segments, 2016-2027
      • By Deployment (Value)
        • Cloud
        • On-premises
      • By Enterprise Size (Value)
        • Large Enterprise
        • SMEs 
      • By End-user (Value)
        • BFSI
        • Retail
        • E-Commerce
        • Education
        • Hospitality
        • Others (Healthcare, Media & Entertainment, etc.)
      • By Region (Value)
        • North America
        • South America
        • Europe
        • Middle East & Africa
        • Asia Pacific
    • North America Market Size Estimates and Forecasts (Quantitative Data), By Segments, 2016-2027
      • By Deployment (Value)
        • Cloud
        • On-premises
      • By Enterprise Size (Value)
        • Large Enterprise
        • SMEs 
      • By End-user (Value)
        • BFSI
        • Retail
        • E-Commerce
        • Education
        • Hospitality
        • Others (Healthcare, Media & Entertainment, etc.)
      • By Country (Value)
        • United States
          • By End-user
        • Canada
          • By End-user
        • Mexico
          • By End-user

TOC Continued.

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Author: Aalto University
Read more here >>> The European Times News

Service industry struggles to reclaim workers despite massive public demand

AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 50,000 people are still out of work in the Austin metro, according to Workforce Solutions Capital Area, an organization dedicated to connecting job seekers to employment.

And beginning on Saturday, the $ 300 weekly federal unemployment benefits will end in Texas. Facing a staff shortage and high demand from busy revelers, some restaurant and bars owners are hoping the change will lead to more people applying for jobs.

Recent data from the Austin Chamber of Commerce shows 97% of the jobs lost during the pandemic have been recovered. However, for the hospitality industry, only 74% have been reclaimed.

The Texas Restaurant Association said many of these people, out of desperation, chose different careers altogether after the industry was forcibly shut down in 2020 due to ongoing safety precautions. Other industry workers have told KXAN they still fear returning to work, where your job duty is to closely interact with hundreds of people daily.

However, the clear message many service industry workers wanted to get across is their absence shouldn’t be interpreted as laziness or complacency in receiving unemployment benefits.

Kelsey Erickson Streufert, the vice president of Government Relations and Advocacy for the Texas Restaurant Association said the impact of the industry shutdown last March is still being felt. Workers, restaurant owners, suppliers and the general community are still hurting. However, she said the road to recovery will depend on collaboration.

“It’s going to take time to rebuild our workforce and be back in the place we want to be,” Erickson Streufert said. “It’s a struggle, its a process, but I’d much rather be here than where we were 12 months ago.”

She said it’s up to the industry to make changes that excite their staff and help them see their employment opportunity as a career and not a job.

The TRA has also come to an agreement with the Texas Workforce Commission: For a limited time, food handler licenses and alcohol certification fees will be waived for any returning hospitality worker.

As for guests, they’re being asked to show grace to businesses still struggling to get back on their feet. It’s something that many said they’re willing to do.

“They’re having to re-staff and retrain. What they are really having to do is relearn something that took years to hone,” said Galen Farris, a Las Vegas resident visiting Austin. “We’re just happy to have them back.”

The Texas Restaurant Association reports around 10,000 businesses permanently closed due to the pandemic. In the greater Austin area, that’s around 1,500 restaurants.

Reach KXAN’s Education Reporter Alex Caprariello by email at [email protected] or by phone at 512-703-5365, or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Author: Alex Caprariello
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Travel industry calls for ‘clear roadmap’ and financial support after 'catastrophic' year

“We saw Portugal move straight from green to amber with no warning and lots of people were left out there.

“It seems the frameworks that have been put in place are largely being ignored and we just don’t understand why.”

According to the travel agent, if restrictions don’t ease for at least vaccinated Britons, there will be “more job losses.”

Chris Harrison, managing director of 21-branch Dawson & Sanderson, said: “I think the industry has been forgotten by a Government that doesn’t understand the structure of our industry. We either need a traffic light system that is transparent and taken seriously, or we need tailored support as an industry. There is metric evidence that borders can open.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

'We've been sailed down the river!' UK farmers' Brexit fury as industry 'thrown under bus'

A lifelong Conservative Party voter and farmer has claimed he is close to turning his back on the party due to feeling “lied to” over Brexit’s potential impact on the farming industry. The farmer added that the UK Government has thrown multiple industries “under the bus” following the conclusion of Brexit.

One farmer said: “Brexit I hoped would make a big change in the way people buy from Britain again.

“But we’ve been sailed down the river as farmers.”

She continued: “We’re just going to be something that they brush aside because let’s face it for them farming now is not that important.

“That is how we feel as farmers.

READ MORE: ‘Excessively burdensome!’ Boris Johnson bemoans EU’s approach to trade

“We feel farming has been brushed aside but again it’s through the back door.”

A second farmer said: “I can’t believe as a life-long Conservative voter, I stand at the moment thinking I would be very, very unlikely to vote Conservative again at the moment.”

He told ByLine Times: “Brexiteers said this would a great new world and we would be able to export all over the world.

“We just feel lied to basically.

Ms Mummery said: “The broken promises that our Prime Minister gave us are soul-destroying.

“I get lots of Remainers saying you know what you voted for and you knew this was going to happen.

“I truly believed Boris…I had a meeting with him where he said if we leave the EU we will take everything back.

“I believed him…and that is what hurts me too.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Royal Caribbean cruise ship hit by new coronavirus cases in major blow for industry

After a streak of positivity for the cruise industry with sailings resuming around the world, a new blow has hit a Royal Caribbean ship. Two passengers onboard the Celebrity Millennium ship, one of the first in North America to restart sailing, have tested positive for COVID-19.

It comes just weeks after the cruise line returned to sea, having met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) comprehensive guidelines.

The cruise ship was in the Caribbean when the guests were discovered to have the virus.

Both were said to be asymptomatic.

As part of the terms of returning to operations, all crew onboard have to be fully vaccinated and passengers over 16 had to provide evidence they had received both COVID-19 jabs before boarding.

According to CNN, there are 500 passengers onboard the cruise ship and more than 95 percent of them are fully vaccinated.

READ MORE: Spain: New testing rules for Canary and Balearic Islands

“We are conducting contact tracing, expediting testing for all close contacts and closely monitoring the situation.”

Royal Caribbean says it remains dedicated to “rigorous health and safety protocols”.

“Celebrity Millennium is sailing with fully vaccinated crew and guests and following comprehensive protocols that align with our destination partners and exceed CDC guidelines to protect the health and safety of our guests,” the spokesman continued.

“All guests on Celebrity Millennium were required to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before sailing from St. Maarten this past Saturday.

“This situation demonstrates that our rigorous health and safety protocols work to protect our crew, guests and the communities we visit.”

It is not yet clear if this small impact will have any effect on the CDC’s decision to allow cruises to resume sailing.

So far, the CDC has not given a comment on the situation.

In the UK, a number of cruise lines have returned to sailing around the British Isles.

Among them are Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises and Saga.

Each cruise line has its own policy for guests, with many stating passengers must be fully vaccinated and able to prove both doses of the vaccine before boarding.

Cruise lines are also conducting pre-embarkation testing, as well as routine tests throughout the sailing.

Face masks are to be worn in public spaces where social distancing can not be ensured.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed