City League basketball preview…Westinghouse girls hope to continue reign

first_imgSchenley lost one of the most talented girls high school players in the nation in Markell Walker to graduation. The McDonald’s All-American is now attending UCLA and is a freshman guard on their women’s basketball team. This opens the door for London McCoy and Shaunice Lightfoot standing at 5-8 and 5-9 respectively to do some damage for the Lady Spartans this year. They hope to match an excellent season in 2008-09 in which they tied a league-high 21 wins. MICKITA WHITE of Westinghouse plays tough defense against Brashear’s ASHLEE ALBRIGHT. The Lady Spartans, however, suffered a devastating 52-51 loss to Westinghouse in the City League title game.“I truly believe that any team can win on any given day,” said Westinghouse’s head coach Phyllis Jones. “I’ve seen good things out of (for example) Peabody, Allderdice, Perry, and Oliver. It is truly a wide open field (as opposed to previous years.)”In order for the Spartans to rebound, they must first concentrate on the defending champion Bulldogs who will have Jones back for her 20th season as head coach. They have built a solid tradition in their program as they’ve appeared in 22 straight title games.The Bulldogs welcome back lone starter Tatayanna Cox-Taylor, a senior guard, and also hope to see their 6-2 center Marritta Gillcrease use her height to be more productive for Westinghouse this season.“We are a young team and we have a lot to learn. I’ve done more teaching than usual this year, for certain,” said Jones. “It’s my hope that we can make it back to the big stage but we will have to win some big ones down the stretch.”Perry was the only other winning team in the League last year with a record of 15-7.Brashear, who finished just about in the middle of the pack with a 1-5 conference record last season, will feature two girls who hope to make an impact this season for the Bulls. They are the 5-8 sophomore guard Ashley Albright and 6 foot power forward Antwanette Williams.“We’re getting better,” said Brashear’s head coach Bob Fazio. “I think we may end up close to where we were last season but our team is still young and certainly improving.”Oliver is in the same predicament as they surprised many with their 2-2 conference record.(D.W. Howze can be reached at [email protected])last_img read more

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“Reach Out at the Well” Returns to Downtown Following Successful Summer…

first_imgSubmitted by Renata Rollins for Reach out at the WellFree community fair aims to foster courageous community caretakingFollowing a successful first run, “Reach Out at the Well” returns to downtown’s Artesian Commons Park on Friday October 17 from noon to 3 p.m.The free community fair is hosted by the Olympia Outreach Workers League, a coalition of nearly a dozen downtown service organizations who operate with generous volunteer support. Participating organizations setup booths and provide information on their services and volunteer opportunities.“We aim to uplift the downtown neighborhood through strengthening relationships, cultivating networks, and encouraging volunteerism,” said Renata Rollins, event organizer and a coordinator with the Outreach Workers League. “It’s all about the ethic of courageous community caretaking. It takes a village to raise a village.”All are welcome, whether seeking volunteer opportunities or a little help getting through a rough patch, or even just to get in touch with the Downtown Neighborhood.With winter weather approaching, there’s a big push for volunteers at the local shelters, when they experience a swell in their overnight numbers.“Volunteering is fun and provides community members with the opportunity to directly engage with children and families,” said Natalie Moran of the Family Support Center, which opened the family shelter, Pear Blossom Place, in July. “We welcome children to volunteer alongside their parents. Without the dedication and support of volunteers, the community’s largest homeless family shelter would not be possible.”“We encourage groups, churches, schools and any other interested organization to consider volunteering together to cover a certain period of time,” said Meg Martin, shelter director with Interfaith Works, whose new Emergency Overnight Shelter opens November 1 at First Christian Church. “We are also looking for volunteers to share skills, information and teach enrichment classes as well. This is a great way to gain a better understanding of an important social issue that extends far beyond our downtown.”The Downtown Neighborhood Association will join the fall event, along with returning groups such as Covenant Creatures, which gives out free pet food and supplies at the fair; several youth and family organizations; and free/low-cost health clinics and services. Sea-Mar Clinic will offer Medicaid enrollment for those who qualify. The Downtown Ambassadors will serve as official greeters, serving up free hot coffee donated by Burial Grounds.The event runs noon to 3 p.m. on Friday October 17 at downtown’s Artesian Commons Park, commonly called “the Well,” at 415 E. Fourth Ave. Facebook24Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

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Penrose Physical Therapy Gives Tips for Teleworking and Gym Closures During…

first_imgPhoto courtesy: Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy8.  Boot camp is available on Facebook live in our private group “Penrose Boot Camp,” which is a higher intensity hips and core routine. That is $20 a week Tuesday/Thursday at 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. if you are interested (replay would be available).  Please email [email protected] if you want to attend. Injury questions will be answered as well.We are also hosting an virtual knee pain workshop on Wednesday April 8 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on webex.com.  You will need to email [email protected] for the invitation to join.  Dr. Penrose will answer questions regarding knee pain and what you can do about it.  And then there will be a way to enroll in our online knee pain course! We will find a way to help you in this COVID-19 time! Facebook28Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Penrose & Associates Physical TherapyPenrose & Associates Physical Therapy in Olympia has some at-home office tips to help your body stay healthy while working from home during COVID-19. Standing desk. Photo courtesy: Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy1.  Take the time to set up your work station so you are not increasing your neck pain, back pain, elbow tendonitis etc.If you have a laptop you will want to take the time to set it up so you are not looking down at an awkward angle for prolonged periods of time.  Try to set it up on a work stand if you can and stand up and work.Click here to buy one that adjusts and is the one I am using in the pictures and videos.Click here for video of a standing station set up.If you are seated make sure you have good lumbar support like a lumbar roll, small rolled up pillow, rolled up towel.  You need enough support to help maintain your lumbar curve and prevent you from slouching.  This will make it easier on your whole spine.Click here for seated work station tips.2.  Next make sure your elbows stay at your side and are not reaching too far forward as this will eventually lead to arm, shoulder and neck strain over time.3.  Make sure you are looking at the screen straight ahead versus down. If you can get your laptop to plug into a docking station and a separate screen that would be ideal.center_img Stretches at desk. Photo courtesy: Penrose & Associates Physical Therapy4.  Stop every 30 min and do shoulder blade squeezes, shoulder rolls, and reach up overhead and lean your upper back backwards for some stretching.  Turn your head to the left and to the right a few times.Click here for video of stretches to do at your work station.5.  Take a mid-morning and mid-afternoon mini walk and standing stretching break. Stretch your chest, arms, shoulders and hips.6. Keep up a mid-day walk outside if you can even if it is only for 15 minutes.7.  Make exercise a priority during this COVID-19 time. If you are unsure what to do we have a virtual strength class on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 10:00 a.m. designed to use body weight, dumbbells, and simple house hold objects at home. Marissa Ang, ATC is very familiar with modifying the exercises for knee arthritis, neck pain, back pain and she can find something for everyone. You can attend the first one free.  Just email her [email protected] Those classes are meeting in google hangout so you will need a gmail account to attend virtually.  We also have a virtual Yoga class on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and you can attend for free the first time.last_img read more

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Lunch Break Facing Severe Shortage

first_imgRED BANK – Critical shortages of food are now being seen on the empty shelves at Lunch Break.Lunch Break is the first line of defense for thousands of people who struggle with hunger throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties, and is serving more and more people every year.According to Gwen Love, executive director of Lunch Break, the number of hot meals served has increased more than 68 percent in the last few years, and the food pantry distributions have increased a staggering 657 percent.Empty food pantry shelves are the result of a severe food shortage at Lunch Break in Red Bank where food distribution has increased by 657 percent during the past few years.“Last year, we served over 56,000 meals and over 500 families depend on Lunch Break every month for their groceries. Add to that our homebound program where we deliver meals six days a week to the elderly, ill, weak and disabled, and the numbers combined are frightening,” she said.“With summer vacation over and the push to get kids back to school and the signs of fall popping up everywhere, at Lunch Break the sign of fall is bare shelves in the pantry,” Love said. “The toughest times of year for us are September and October as well as February and March where we face critical shortages. We try to plan for these months, but with the daily increase in demand for our services, when the food is gone, it’s gone. It’s heart-wrenching to plan and not be able to meet the need. Right now, our resources are critically low.”A month ago Lunch Break was forced to reduce the amount of groceries provided to families from the food pantry.“It’s an overwhelming feeling,” Love said. “If we don’t get food, people are going to go hungry. We’re almost to the season of giving, but we’re not quite there yet. In November donations will really start to pick up, but right now, even though it’s a season of harvest, people just don’t stop to think about the need and that is why we are reaching out to the community. When people realize the need, they are tremendously generous,” Love said.Giving is very easy and safe by donating funds online at www.lunchbreak.org, and the organization also welcomes personal checks or cash at the Lunch Break facility at 121 Drs. James Parker Blvd.Monetary donations give Lunch Break the opportunity to plan meals weeks ahead of time and also give them immense purchasing power. People can also visit the website for the wish list of food items to be donated.“Unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times,” Love said.In a study released recently by the Legal Services of the New Jersey Poverty Research Institute, it concluded that more than 2 million people in New Jersey struggle to meet their basic needs. That represents a significant increase of more than 300,000 since the beginning of the economic recession.Nationally, the poverty line is defined at about $23,000 for a family of four. The study put the threshold at double that number because New Jersey’s cost of living is dramatically higher than the national average.“The worst part is,” Love said, “the study showed that children suffer the most.”Love added that many don’t know that Lunch Break is Monmouth County’s first and most accessible soup kitchen and food pantry, and this year celebrates 30 years alleviating hunger.“Our guests come from near and far – from Keansburg, Keyport, Union Beach, Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant, Neptune and Asbury Park – to name a few. We are open six days a week and we are so much more than a meal to so many. Our Suited for Success program last year outfitted over 125 individuals for job interviews, and we accept new and gently used clothing,” she said.“We provide families with holiday food baskets at Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas; we offer cooking classes for children; a toy program for children over the December holidays and we partner with over a dozen local social service organizations to provide health screen­ings, visual testing, affordable housing referrals, veterans assistance, and more, all in our facility in Red Bank,” Love said.Lunch Break is located at 121 Drs. James Parker Blvd. in Red Bank, and can be reached at 732-747-8577. For more information about Lunch Break visit www.lunch break.org.last_img read more

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New County Homeless Shelter to Cost More

first_imgBy Laura D.C. Kolnoski |OCEANPORT – As 2017 drew to a close, Monmouth County was preparing to solicit bids from firms interested in building a modular, prefabricated adult emergency homeless shelter on a 3.1-acre site on the former Fort Monmouth from plans prepared by the Spiezle Architectural Group of Hamilton.When potential bidders were contacted, however, officials discovered the timeline and costs would be impacted by a lack of availability of modular structures.“Prefabricated trailers have been scooped up due to natural disasters like hurricanes and fires around the country,” said Monmouth County Administrator Teri O’Connor on April 2. “What was available two years ago isn’t now. We haven’t given up hope on it, but we’re now looking at other options.”O’Connor said plans for the shelter have been expanded to include “stick built traditional construction,” adding the county is hopeful the original completion target for this fall can still be met.Original plans called for two prefabricated modular structures connected by a bridge portion at the corner of Courier Avenue and Murphy Drive.The site was conveyed to the county by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) in March for $1. The county’s original homeless shelter, located nearby on Stephenson Avenue, was destroyed in Super Storm Sandy in 2012. Since then, adults needing temporary shelter have been placed at the John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold, a former county facility that was sold to a private concern last year.By statute and agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the county’s homeless shelter must be located in the Oceanport section of the fort. A suitable permanent site was identified last year and accepted by county, FMERA and Oceanport officials.FMERA is obligated by contract to reimburse the county for approved costs up to $1.5 million for demolition of two small existing buildings on the site, and design and construction of the new 4,080-square-foot emergency homeless shelter. Those monies come from the FMERA Homeless Trust Fund, funded by a percentage of each fort parcel closing. At the authority’s March 27 meeting, members approved transferring up to $450,000, primarily for preparatory work at the site, which proved more involved than originally anticipated.Costs “will substantially exceed the previously established $1.5 million budget based on their updated engineering and construction estimates” because of the revised quotes, according to the FMERA resolution authorizing the increase. These cost overruns prompted the county to request a proportion of funding from FMERA’s Homeless Trust Fund.Additional roadwork was required, O’Connor said, as FMERA opposed plans for including a side street the county planned to use as part of the project. Engineering and utility relocation work has been performed but additional work was required to improve ingress and egress. Other additional costs were incurred demolishing the two structures, which contained more asbestos than originally anticipated, O’Connor added. The site already includes a paved parking area.The adults-only facility will have one side for men and the other for women, with an area in between with a kitchen, laundry, a dining area and a common room, with space for security, counseling, clothing, a computer nook and staff. The Spiezle Architectural Group renderings released by the county last December are still valid, O’Connor said.The county houses a fluctuating number of about 18 up to 30 homeless adults who are required to work or look for work and permanent housing during daylight hours. Occupants are allowed to remain at the emergency shelter for a maximum of 30 days.“There are strict criteria participants must follow,” said Monmouth County Freeholder deputy director Lillian Burry, the county’s FMERA representative. “It’s an interim place to be sheltered until they can transition into new circumstances. This is something we’ve done for years for those who are in a temporary state of homelessness.”This article was first published in the Apr. 5-12, 2018 print edition of the Two River Times.last_img read more

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Villas-Boas: Confidence restored, but Spurs assessing injury to defender

first_imgTottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said his team’s victory at Fulham was another step in the right direction following their recent bad spell.Having beaten Tromso and now Fulham and drawn with Manchester United since being thrashed 6-0 by Manchester City, Villa-Boas believes their confidence has received an important boost.The former Chelsea boss said: “This game was very important. For both teams, a win would be a boost of confidence, and it went our way.“At the moment it’s going well for us. We managed to get two good wins and played well against Manchester United.“To complete the bounce back it would be great to get a win [against Sunderland] on Saturday.”But Spurs are assessing an ankle injury suffered by defender Jan Vertonghen during their 2-1 win at Craven Cottage.“He rolled over it and at the moment it’s quite sore,” Villas-Boas said.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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What’s the Environmentally Friendliest Way to Shop?

first_imgIs cyber-shopping terrible for the environment?  Some say yes, with all those trucks heading out into suburbia to deliver your latest gadget, fashion garment, or book. But online retailers insist it is the greener delivery route—much better than you driving to the store. So, who is right? And are there even better ways?RELATED ARTICLESAs Electric Cars Stall, A Move to Greener Trucks and BusesAre Traffic-Clogged Cities Ready for Congestion Pricing?Beyond Sprawl: The Solar Suburbs of the FutureDesigning the Cities of the Future This really does matter for. Online shopping makes up one in seven retail purchases worldwide. Its value in 2019 will be a staggering $3.5 trillion, a figure that is rising by more than a fifth every year. How much of the total carbon footprint of what you buy is attributable to delivery varies hugely. But wherever your latest purchase comes from—whether a Chinese factory or a field in your home state—transport from the store or warehouse to your home likely dominates the delivery footprint, says Alan McKinnon, a professor of logistics at the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg, Germany, and author of a new book Decarbonizing Logistics. What logistics folks call the “last mile” is usually the most energy-intensive stage, McKinnon and colleague Julia Edwards have pointed out, “and typically generates more CO2 emissions than all the upstream logistical activities.”  It is also where the difference between online and in-store shopping is greatest— nd McKinnon says that most of the time, delivery is best. A typical home delivery round of online purchases in Britain consists of 120 drops on a 50-mile (80 kilometer) round. That round produces some 50 pounds (20 kilograms) of CO2, or just over 6 ounces (170 grams) per individual delivery. If you went to the store, the typical drive would be around 13 miles (21 kilometers) there and back, which would generate 24 times more CO2.  So you’d have to pick up 24 items to break even, he says. Theory vs. real world That’s the theory. In the real world, the difference is much less, says manufacturing technology specialist Dimitri Weideli, who did an environmental analysis of online shopping while a research associate at MIT in 2013. For instance, 12% to 60% of home deliveries have been reported to fail first time. Either the van has to make a second and even third run, or customers end up driving to an out-of-town warehouse to pick up the product. Also, typically, one-fifth of products are returned, for whatever reason. Every false move increases the carbon footprint. Just as bad, our growing love of speed deliveries almost triples the footprint of online delivery, says Weideli. That is because your supplier no longer has the flexibility to bundle multiple orders into a single delivery, and because it sends out vans less full and to travel farther per delivery than they would if you were willing to wait a bit longer for your purchase to arrive. Weidel says such “impatient” cyber-shoppers have the worst carbon footprint of all. But even allowing for them, in general, whether buying laptops or Barbie dolls or T-shirts, he wrote in an analysis he did as a research associate at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics in 2013, “online shopping is the most environmentally friendly option.” Of course, this assumes the comparison is with conventional shoppers who make special trips to the store for single purchases. Many don’t do that. We walk, bike, or take the bus. Or buy many items on a single shopping trip. In a bus ride, you share the emissions. On a typically half-empty bus, your share may still be greater than the emissions for a home delivery—seven times more if you are only buying one item, says Patricia van Loon, based on her research at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. But since the bus would have been on the route regardless, you haven’t added to the actual emissions. EVs, drones, and robots If we can shop better, can online retailers deliver better too? That last mile is still a source of great (and costly) inefficiency for them, say logistics analysts. It’s where both dollars and carbon emissions can be saved. So they are trying. Amazon wants half its shipments to be “net zero carbon” by 2030. But how? Electric vehicles are one possibility. With no tailpipe emissions, they reduce transport’s contribution to urban smog. But their carbon footprint depends on how their electricity is generated. Right now, an electric vehicle is a lot greener in Vermont than in coal-burning West Virginia. How about drones? They would mostly deliver one package at a time. But even flitting back and forth from the depot, drones could sometimes still reduce carbon emissions relative to delivery trucks, according to Anne Goodchild of the University of Washington. They are likely to work best with light, urgent deliveries, such as medicines, food or mail, and in confined high-demand areas such as university campuses. But staying aloft for long with a heavy load is energy-intensive. Drones could be combined with trucks that drive to local transport nodes, and then hand over to drones for the last mile. Or perhaps ground-based robots? This year, both FedEx and Amazon announced plans to deploy these smart, autonomous hampers-on-wheels along our sidewalks, dodging pedestrians and crossing at the lights. Lowe’s already has plans to deploy with FedEx, and FedEx says it is talking to Pizza Hut and Walmart about doing their deliveries as well. Low-tech options Some say low-tech is still the best route to low carbon. Many European cities have companies such as Deliveroo using bicycle couriers for fast, zero-emission meal deliveries from local restaurants. The system could be extended for other goods. Ford recently developed software that could summon bike couriers to take parcels in a suburban London neighborhood the last mile from truck to front door.  Lockers in shopping malls also get around the last mile problem for online retailers. Customers are given a code and pick up their own package. But if you drive there, the carbon gain is lost. The new kid on the block is crowd-shipping—hitchhiking for parcels. Start-ups like Roadie promise to “connect people who have stuff with driver already heading that way.” Drivers make bids to deliver. Right now in some places, half of all crowd-shipping trips are made specially for the delivery, while another third take long detours. So the potential carbon saving disappears. But the more people join in, the more efficient it could be. The bottom line The bottom line? Online shopping can be greener than driving to the store. Novel last-mile alternatives to conventional delivery trucks stand to make it even more environmentally friendly. But the devil is in the details. If we bundle our orders, and avoid the speedy delivery option, we boost the environmentally friendly quotient. (Imagine if we were offered a “green shipping” button when choosing dispatch options?) Other tips for reducing delivery’s environmental impact: Do be in when the courier calls. Don’t buy on a whim and then take up the “free return” option. Oh, and don’t binge on stuff. Some say the real danger from online shopping is it encourages us to buy stuff we wouldn’t otherwise. The purchase that doesn’t happen has the lowest delivery carbon footprint of all. Fred Pearce is a British environmental journalist and author. This post originally appeared at Ensia. For more information, see Decarbonizing E-Commerce: A Path to Low-Carbon Shipping.last_img read more

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6 Million People Pay For Spotify – Is That Good Enough?

first_img12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Related Posts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Who says freemium doesn’t work? For Spotify, the hybrid free/paid business model has reeled in 6 million paying subscribers out of its 24 million total listeners. Not bad. But as the music streaming space heats up, the company will face some enormous challenges, both in the short term and down the road. Spotify is growing fast. The company added 1 million new subscribers over just the past three months, according a report from CNET. Spotify confirmed those listener and subscriber numbers in an email to ReadWrite, but declined to comment any further on how its total revenue breaks down. Still, for just about any freemium product, a 25% conversion is pretty damn impressive. It would be even more impressive if Spotify can maintain that growth and the paid conversions well into 2013 and beyond. Spotify’s Growing Competition: Google, Deezer and DaisyThe company really needs to keep these numbers up, because its neighborhood is about to get a whole lot more crowded — and complicated — this year. Deezer, another wildly popular European streaming service, is expected to launch in the U.S. this summer. Deezer offers roughly the same amount of music as Spotify, but has a much stronger foothold across the globe. Whereas Spotify is available in 17 countries, Deezer has launched in 182 countries as of last month. That means that connected users in 92% of the world’s nations can access Deezer.  Spotify still has more paying subscribers, but that gap may start narrowing once Deezer secures the licensing deals required to go live in the U.S.Of course, Spotify has the advantage in the U.S. Its launch here was preceded by at least a solid year of anticipation and buzz. Its growth since has been huge, fueled in part by a tight integration with Facebook. For being so young here, Spotify is practically a household name in the U.S., whereas very few people here even know what Deezer is. Meanwhile, the longer Deezer waits to enter the U.S. market, the stronger Spotify’s numbers get. The more daunting threat is going to come from Google. The search giant has confirmed that it’s looking at a subscription model for its digital music products, which include Google Music and YouTube. That makes sense. Google already plays a massive role in online music thanks to YouTube, which is now the most popular source for music among teenagers. Google also has relationships with big content providers, which it has been placating with increasingly aggressive anti-piracy measures over the last several months. Coming at Spotify from yet another angle will be Daisy, the music subscription service being launched this summer by Beats Electronics. The new venture will combine the popular headphone manufacturer’s name recognition with some high-profile music industry personalities and some hefty funding from well-connected investors. Combined with digital album sales, streaming is shaping up to be something of a savior for the music industry, which is finally seeing increases (albeit minor ones) after a decade of decline. Industry-wide, revenue from streaming music was expected to grow 40% last year, according to IFPI’s Digital Music Report (PDF)  Spotify’s success suggests that the optimism wasn’t unwarranted, although we’re still waiting to see the next installment of numbers from IFPI. The pie is growing, as are the number of forks surrounding it. The question for Spotify is how big of a slice it can realistically hang onto. Is Spotify’s Business Model Sustainable?Since its launch, Spotify and services like it have faced fundamental questions about their business model. First, there’s the ongoing debate over artist royalty payments. The financial deals are obviously satisfactory for record labels, but some artists have been frustrated with a trickle of funds that’s decidedly slower than the revenue they see from digital or physical album sales.There are two basic defenses to these complaints:The model is different. Streaming is not the same as purchasing, and therefore it makes sense for each stream to generate a fraction of what a download brings in. Over time, frequently-streamed tracks can earn real money, sometimes even more than sales could generate.Yes, it sucks, but this will get better in time as the listener base – especially the paying subscribers – grows. Hang tight.Then there’s the other side of equation: How much money is Spotify making? It’s hard to tell, because we don’t know how many of these subscribers are paying $5 to silence the service’s ads and how many are shelling out $10 to get mobile access on top of that. (CNET reports that roughly 90% of subscribers are paying the higher fee.) We also don’t know how much money Spotify makes per listener from advertising (they wouldn’t tell us).Inching Toward $1 Billion (Profit Is Another Story)At Evolver.fm, Elliot Van Buskirk did some semi-educated guessing a few months back and predicted that Spotify could reach $1 billion in revenue this year.  The logic is sound, but it relies on too many unknowns for us to tell if it’s realistic or not.  Based on current subscriber rates, Spotify is bringing in somewhere between $360 million and $720 million per year from subscriptions alone. If Buskirk’s theory that most users opt for the pricier premium subscription is true and the company is making a few hundred million from ads, he may well be right: Spotify is inching toward $1 billion. Profit is another story. The company says it pays out about 70% of its revenue to rights holders. So, if it does hit $1 billion this year, it will be paying out $700 million of that to labels, songwriters and other rights holders. That leaves $300 million for compensation, operating costs, marketing and the like. When all is said and done, there’s probably not a ton of cash left over. On the business side, Spotify and companies like it have a dual challenge: Somehow get licensing costs under control without alienating the artists and labels whose content is desperately needed to court the listeners who will pay the bills with subscriptions and ad impressions. Do the best you can with ad sales, but do everything in your power to convert as many listeners as possible to paying subscribers. It’s a tricky balance to strike, but Spotify is pretty well-positioned to pull it off. For their sake, this momentum had better continue for as long as possible, because a year from now, the streaming music business is going to look pretty different.  This game is not going to get any easier. center_img john paul titlow 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#digital music#google music#spotify last_img read more

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Rich haul in a day’s work

first_imgHowever much you abuse the Indian sporting system, it’s no secret that we have an abundance of shooting talent. And they are the ones who gain the most from the government support.On Tuesday, unsung and unknown Rahi Sarnobat from Kolhapur came out with her pistol smoking as she teamed up with seasoned Anisa Sayyed to secure India their second gold medal from shooting.Rahi’s individual score of 296 out of 300 was by any standard world class, and she has been lucky to learn the nuances of ‘sports pistol’ from former international shooter Sheela Kanungo. This was Rahi’s first big medal, though she had served notice of her talent earlier this year when she made it a World Cup final in Australia.Rahi started off as an air pistol shooter and graduated to sports pistol over two years ago. Old timers rave about her as the one for the future, as on Tuesday, she was comfortable with both precision and duelling.And however much we complain about the Commonwealth Games, Rahi’s success began at the Pune Youth Commonwealth Games in 2008.On a day when the country’s two top rifle shooters – Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang — shot a golden gold for India, this also set the tone for an exciting individual final on Wednesday.It’s going to be a nerve-jangling affair as they have scores to settle, though they will never admit it. Gagan had told me before the Games he wants to win six gold medals. May be too early to get carried away, but surely not beyond the realms of reality.advertisementThat apart, the rich haul from the wrestling arena was simply out of the world. Agreed, Ravinder Singh and Sanjay were tipped favourites, but the way Anil grappled was breathtaking against an ugly Aussie opponent answering to the name of Hassene Fkiri.Hassene had the height and build advantage but when it came to using the brain, Anil showed everyone how cool he is and used his brain well.Despite rough play from Hassene, Anil did not get flustered. All the same, when the technical panel decided to suspend Hassene, it was a clear signal that in modern day sport, there is no scope for unprofessional conduct.The Aussies always take great pride in representing their country and Hassene shamed them on Tuesday. To head-butt, still lose and not even shake hands with Anil after losing the gold was simply ugly.last_img read more

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