Online Education

Back when colleges first started experimenting with teaching online, pundits mused that competition for college students would one day be global. A student would be able to sit down at a computer and take a course literally from anywhere.

It seemed like possibly a crazy thing to predict, considering that these early internet courses involved reading lectures that were typed out, doing some online discussion, and sending in assignments via email.

But the day of global competition for higher education is actually here, and interestingly, some of the world’s most famous universities were the last to get into the act.That’s what struck me this summer when I met Simon Nelson, head of a company called FutureLearn.  It’s a spinoff of the British Open University designed to deliver MOOCs, those free massive online courses. More than 60 universities across the U.K. and Europe have partnered with Future Learn to deliver their courses, mirroring trends of the growth of these online classes in the U.S. For better or worse, colleges now have to realize that they face competition from everywhere.

Hello and welcome to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Re:Learning podcast. I’m Jeff Young, and I sat down with Nelson this summer during the EdTechXEurope conference.

Nelson isn’t an academic. He spent most of his career as a media executive leading digital experiments at the BBC. And that background shapes his thinking about how colleges can adapt to changing technologies.

Listen to the full audio. Here is an edited and adapted transcript.

Q. It’s a really different world for colleges these days, and it all changed in a pretty rapid time. How much of the challenge now is going to be using — whether it’s MOOCs or online education, whatever version, whether it’s free or partially free or along the spectrum of being a fully traditionally paid but online course — how much do you think that it’s going to be this global competition now? What does that mean for places like the Open University, but even more so, maybe for old brick-and-mortar universities?We definitely see ourselves as a partner to our universities and embracing a whole range of digital opportunities and not just a MOOC platform for them.

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Cloud computing

Rapid growth in cloud computing revenues helped lift Oracle Corp.’s fortunes in its third fiscal quarter reported today, as its profits easily beat forecasts on a 2 percent rise in revenues.

The Silicon Valley software giant reported a profit of 69 cents a share before certain costs such as stock compensation, up 7 percent from a year ago. Sales rose 2 percent, to $9.2 billion, or $9.3 billion after backing out the impact of foreign exchange rates.

As in previous quarters, Oracle showed particular strength in two cloud categories: online applications known as software as a service, or SaaS, and platform as a service, or PaaS, a collection of technologies for creating and deploying those applications. In those two areas, Oracle’s revenues shot up 73 percent, to $1 billion, the first time they’ve topped that milestone. The growth was likely helped by Oracle’s $9.3 billion NetSuite acquisition last year, since this is the first quarter after the closing of the deal.

Total cloud revenues, including infrastructure as a service or IaaS, the base-level computing and storage layer dominated by Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp., rose 62 percent, to $1.2 billion, up 62% in U.S. dollars and up 63% in constant currency. Total cloud and on-premises software revenues rose 4 percent, to $7.4 billion.

“Our pivot to the cloud is now in full swing,” co-Chief Executive Safra Catz said during the earnings conference call. She added that cloud revenue growth has overtaken declines in license revenues, and predicted that in the next fiscal year, cloud revenues will surpass software license revenues.

Analysts on average had expected a 62-cent profit, down about 3 percent from a year ago, on $9.25 billion in revenues, up 3 percent, according to Thomson Reuters. It’s only the second time in the past nine quarters that Oracle has shown year-over-year revenue growth.

Investors liked what they saw and Oracle’s shares rose in after-hours trading, nearly by 5 percent after the earnings conference call started. In regular trading Wednesday, shares rose a little under two-thirds of a point, to $43.05. The reaction is a reversal from the second quarter, when Oracle missed expectations despite continued growth in cloud computing as software license revenues fell more than forecast. Update: In Thursday trading, Oracle’s share were rising nearly 7 percent.

The race to become a force in the cloud isn’t coming cheap, however. Oracle continues to spend big on its cloud computing. Research and development alone grew to $5.1 billion in fiscal 2016, up $2 billion from six years ago, much of the increase from rewriting software for the cloud and creating new cloud services.

Catz set a new, higher fourth-quarter profit forecast of 78 to 82 cents a share on total revenues ranging from down 1 percent to up 2 percent. That includes the expectation that currency “headwinds” will have a 2 percent negative impact on revenues and depress profits by 2 cents a share.

 

On the cloud front, Catz said Oracle expects SaaS and PaaS revenues to rise 69 percent to 73 percent. IaaS revenues could grow in a range of 25 percent to 29 percent. Over time, she added, gross margins on the cloud business will be about 80 percent.

The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 4 cents, to 19 cents.

 

 

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Online Education

Back when colleges first started experimenting with teaching online, pundits mused that competition for college students would one day be global. A student would be able to sit down at a computer and take a course literally from anywhere.

ویڈیو دیکھنے کے لئے تصویر پر کلک کریں 

It seemed like possibly a crazy thing to predict, considering that these early internet courses involved reading lectures that were typed out, doing some online discussion, and sending in assignments via email.

But the day of global competition for higher education is actually here, and interestingly, some of the world’s most famous universities were the last to get into the act.That’s what struck me this summer when I met Simon Nelson, head of a company called FutureLearn.  It’s a spinoff of the British Open University designed to deliver MOOCs, those free massive online courses. More than 60 universities across the U.K. and Europe have partnered with Future Learn to deliver their courses, mirroring trends of the growth of these online classes in the U.S. For better or worse, colleges now have to realize that they face competition from everywhere.

Hello and welcome to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Re:Learning podcast. I’m Jeff Young, and I sat down with Nelson this summer during the EdTechXEurope conference.

Nelson isn’t an academic. He spent most of his career as a media executive leading digital experiments at the BBC. And that background shapes his thinking about how colleges can adapt to changing technologies.

Listen to the full audio. Here is an edited and adapted transcript.

Q. It’s a really different world for colleges these days, and it all changed in a pretty rapid time. How much of the challenge now is going to be using — whether it’s MOOCs or online education, whatever version, whether it’s free or partially free or along the spectrum of being a fully traditionally paid but online course — how much do you think that it’s going to be this global competition now? What does that mean for places like the Open University, but even more so, maybe for old brick-and-mortar universities?A. First, I completely agree with you that MOOCs and the online-learning world in general have now converged effectively.

We definitely see ourselves as a partner to our universities and embracing a whole range of digital opportunities and not just a MOOC platform for them.

 

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IT’S TIME TO TRANSITION: BENEFITS OF THE HYBRID CLOUD

You’re not alone.  The vast majority of firms are closely watching this development and the ability to move your phone system into Office365.  It’s an exciting time and having the ability to move one of the most mission critical aspects of our environments to a cloud that’s known to be extremely resilient with guaranteed SLAs is a huge win.  There are just a few more missing features before we’re there…

Here’s the secret, you don’t have to wait for CloudPBX to mature – and you shouldn’t. The reason is that most Skype for Business solutions involving telephony will have a hybrid component for years to come.  Planning your move now and starting with a hybrid approach will not only allow you to have a smooth controlled transition to the cloud, it will fill the short and long term feature gaps giving you the best of all worlds.

It’s important to understand that while most of the standard telephony features for day to day users will be available, there will still be aspects that aren’t on the roadmap for CloudPBX.  Infrastructure such as analog lines, customized solutions including many contact centers, and preferred telephony providers will only be available through hybrid deployments.

Hybrid makes migrations smooth. ­

Starting with a hybrid deployment allows you to connect your existing PBX to an on-premises infrastructure using your existing telephony provider.  From here, users can be migrated individually or in batches.  Users can call seamlessly between the two systems using the same dialing methods and extensions they’re used to and are comfortable with.  As you’re ready, the users can then be smoothly moved to the CloudPBX.

Hybrid simplifies licensing.

Licensing CloudPBX for your business allows users and phones to be hosted on-premise or in Office 365 without purchasing more than you need.  Scaling it up is as simple as adding more licensing.

Hybrid gives you flexible cost.

With a hybrid deployment, you have the ability to bring your own telephony provider, giving you greater control over your costs.  Adding users or even an entirely new office becomes as easy as adding new Active Directory accounts.

Hybrid really is the best of all worlds.

All of the features you need today are available in the hybrid model. On-premise users can be members of response groups or a part of contact centers, while users who fit well into the cloud model can leverage the scalability and resiliency of the cloud.  Cloud users with E5 or PSTN conferencing licensing can use Microsoft as a conference bridge for up to 250 callers, and any hybrid user can leverage broadcast meetings, allowing up to 10,000 participants to web meetings at no additional charge.

Hybrid is future proof.

As features are rolled into the cloud and we reach feature parity, more of your users will live there.  New features will be automatically added without you lifting a finger.  This is one of the great features of the cloud.  Once you’re in this environment, you don’t have to worry about costly upgrades to get the latest features that your users demand.  You’re future proof.

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Online Education

Back when colleges first started experimenting with teaching online, pundits mused that competition for college students would one day be global. A student would be able to sit down at a computer and take a course literally from anywhere.

It seemed like possibly a crazy thing to predict, considering that these early internet courses involved reading lectures that were typed out, doing some online discussion, and sending in assignments via email.

But the day of global competition for higher education is actually here, and interestingly, some of the world’s most famous universities were the last to get into the act.That’s what struck me this summer when I met Simon Nelson, head of a company called FutureLearn.  It’s a spinoff of the British Open University designed to deliver MOOCs, those free massive online courses. More than 60 universities across the U.K. and Europe have partnered with Future Learn to deliver their courses, mirroring trends of the growth of these online classes in the U.S. For better or worse, colleges now have to realize that they face competition from everywhere.

Hello and welcome to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Re:Learning podcast. I’m Jeff Young, and I sat down with Nelson this summer during the EdTechXEurope conference.

Nelson isn’t an academic. He spent most of his career as a media executive leading digital experiments at the BBC. And that background shapes his thinking about how colleges can adapt to changing technologies.

Listen to the full audio. Here is an edited and adapted transcript.

Q. It’s a really different world for colleges these days, and it all changed in a pretty rapid time. How much of the challenge now is going to be using — whether it’s MOOCs or online education, whatever version, whether it’s free or partially free or along the spectrum of being a fully traditionally paid but online course — how much do you think that it’s going to be this global competition now? What does that mean for places like the Open University, but even more so, maybe for old brick-and-mortar universities?

Video: http://mayaali.com/nasa-cloud-computing/

 

A. First, I completely agree with you that MOOCs and the online-learning world in general have now converged effectively. We definitely see ourselves as a partner to our universities and embracing a whole range of digital opportunities and not just a MOOC platform for them.

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Best iPhone insurance

insurance for iPhone – iPhone insurance 2017

Should you buy iPhone insurance? If you’re worried about losing or damaging your iPhone, you’re probably wondering just that. Here, we’ve got expert advice on the best iPhone insurance options and how to find the best iPhone insurance to suit you.

Best iPhone insurance 2017: Consider the different types of iPhone insurance cover

Before taking out a policy you need to think about how you use your iPhone, its value and the risks. Most policies will cover for liquid, damage and theft but cheaper packages – starting at around £4 a month – will often only offer theft as optional or leave it out entirely. This might be a deal breaker, say, for those living in dangerous neighbourhoods.

It’s also worthwhile considering adds-on like worldwide cover, the need for a replacement service (some insurers take longer than others) and the amount you’re willing to pay.

Best iPhone insurance 2017: Weigh up risk versus price

As part of this consideration, you need to weigh up the cost against the likelihood of needing to take out a claim. Figures from SIM-only operator GiffGaff showed that 80 percent of smartphone policy holders never take out a claim.

But remember that price isn’t just the monthly direct debit but also the excess which you’ll fork out in the event of an accident. For example, a policy from Protect Your Bubble costs £7.99 per month but charges just £50 for excess. More affordable policies with lower monthly costs see excesses rise up to near £100, and offer maximum cover as low as £450.

Best iPhone insurance 2017: Look at multi-policy

You’ll often get a cheaper policy if you protect your iPhone in a multi-device policy. Vendors like Protect Your Bubble and Gadget Cover offer affordable – and flexible – packages which protect your smartphone, tablet and PC.

Best iPhone insurance 2017: Think outside the box

Think outside the box on who offers phone insurance. UK banks Barclays, Halifax, Nationwide, and NatWest offer insurance, for example.

Some of these banks will cover two iPhones on joint bank accounts but beware – policies and the level of protection will vary.

 

Your mobile network might offer phone insurance too. EE, O2 and Vodafone each offer instant phone replacement insurance, for example.

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mesothelioma law firm

A National Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law Firm

With experience you can trust, Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen is a nationwide firm dedicated exclusively to representing victims in mesothelioma lawsuits. Having over two decades of asbestos law experience, we represent in excess of one thousand eight hundred victims of asbestos disease in their cases against the asbestos industry. We are currently licensed to practice in: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C. and have developed close working relationships with reputable mesothelioma attorneys throughout the United States. Click on a state below to get information about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit in your state. mesothelioma victims, and for our understanding of and compassion for injured parties and their families. Our experience in these matters spans two decades and our lawyers have been recognized as some of the best in the country. We have been awarded Martindale-Hubbell’s highest AV rating, we are a National, Tier 1 ranked law firm with U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms, and we have been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers rating publications.

 A National Mesothelioma and Asbestos Law Firm

With experience you can trust, Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen is a nationwide firm dedicated exclusively to representing victims in mesothelioma lawsuits. Having over two decades of asbestos law experience, we represent in excess of one thousand eight hundred victims of asbestos disease in their cases against the asbestos industry. We are currently licensed to practice in: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C. and have developed close working relationships with reputable mesothelioma attorneys throughout the United States. Click on a state below to get information about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit in your state.

Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen is nationally recognized for our representation of product liability and mesothelioma victims, and for our understanding of and compassion for injured parties and their families. Our experience in these matters spans two decades and our lawyers have been recognized as some of the best in the country. We have been awarded Martindale-Hubbell’s highest AV rating, we are a National, Tier 1 ranked law firm with U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms, and we have been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers rating publications.I am pleased to inform you that you have been awarded the highest accolade in Martindale-Hubbell; an AV rating. This is as a result of an extensive, confidential review conducted among the legal profession in your community.

Your AV rating is important because it is a confirmation of the status you have achieved as a highly respected, ethical member of the Bar. It signifies that your legal abilities are of the very highest standard and that your professional ethics are unquestioned. You now join a select group of attorneys who have been recognized by their peers for their legal expertise and professional reputation.

Martindale-Hubbell has gone to considerable lengths to confirm the validity of your rating. To maintain the accuracy of ratings, periodic reevaluations are conducted.

 

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

To start the process of seeking compensation for a mesothelioma client, ELSM begins with a brief introductory meeting. During this meeting, an attorney from ELSM will outline the various steps of the legal process; address any questions or concerns you may have related to the legal process; and discuss the ways in which a mesothelioma client has been exposed to asbestos.

 

 

 

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Three major cloud trends for 2017

cloud architecture, this is going to be a big year for cloud computing. Here is the story behind each trend:

SMBs drive cloud adoption

Small and medium-sized businesses will be the driving force behind the cloud adoption not only because the cloud presents an amazing and cost-effective opportunity to utilise the services they are not able to afford in-house, but also because it’s the easiest and scalable market demographic for service providers to drive sales.

Take for example the widespread adoption of Microsoft Office 365. It is a direct cloud replica of what everybody is used to in a classical office infrastructure sense — Microsoft Exchange email. Office 365 provides the same functionality, except there is no need to buy hardware or purchase licensing for the entire server. Just hosting a few mailboxes through another hosting provider is the easiest way to adopt the service. Attached to that, comes a myriad of add-on services extending the functionality of Office 365 mailboxes. Backup, analytics, additional file storage and many other tools make the service more attractive to all users across the board. This provides an attractive opportunity for service providers to increase recurring revenue and for end users to adopt and use the service without any large investments.

There are many other examples that will drive the cloud adoption by SMBs in the next 12-18 months. This will be the largest service adoption shift in the whole of the IT market space.

Traditional distributors give way to cloud service providers

The classical distribution model, which involves moving physical boxes of hardware and software to provide service to customers, is rapidly changing shape. To stay in the game, traditional distributors are turning their focus from physical goods onto service provision. Not only in a sense that they start providing services from their own datacenters, but also in a sense that they are turning into aggregated cloud distribution companies to provide their reseller channels with all the available Independent Software Vendor (ISV) services they are able to consolidate under one invoice.

This will create a completely new trend where cloud services will be more predominant and focused on the traditional distribution channels. When choosing a cloud vendor, service providers will be giving preferences to services that come with easy management, integration, and flexible onboarding tools.

True cloud architecture emerges

 

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house insurance and loans

Anyone who has applied and got a home loan sanctioned after January 1 and has less than Rs 18 lakh annual income, will be eligible for interest subsidy of 3-4%. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the interest subsidy on December 31, though the annual income criteria was not announced.

This benefit interest subsidy can also be availed by unmarried and earning young adults for acquisition/ construction of a new house including repurchase. Moreover, flats measuring up to 960 sq ft and 1,184 sq ft will be eligible for 3% and 4% interest subsidy respectively for the specified income group.

TOI on January 4 had first reported that the housing ministry had moved a proposal to provide 4% rebate on interest rate for loans up to Rs 9 lakh and this can be availed by those who earn up to Rs 12 lakh annually in urban areas. Similarly, people earning up to Rs 18 lakh annually will be eligible to avail 3% rebate on interest for loans up to Rs 12 lakh.

Sources in housing finance sector said that though the government had finalised the policy, it has not yet announced it because of election code of conduct. In fact, the ministry had held a meeting with banks and housing finance companies where the operational guidelines for “credit linked subsidy scheme for middle-income groups (CLSS-MIG)” was discussed.

The rebate in interest rate is likely to push housing demand in urban areas and thereby help the sector to revive.

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7 good reasons to shop for car insurance in 2017

Car insurance is meant to provide protection from a large financial burden in the event of a crash, but how do you avoid paying too much for coverage? “Shop around for car insurance” may be an insurance cliché, but it’s still the best advice on how to save money on your policy.

Have you shopped around for car insurance lately? Here’s why you should!

It literally costs nothing to shop and can often result in hundreds of dollars in annual savings. How often should you look around? The answer is subjective, but we think you should look around every six months to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Here’s why:

1. You’ve maintained insurance coverage (and a good driving record).

Normally, car insurance is most expensive when purchasing a policy for the first time or after you’ve been without coverage for more than a month. In fact, some companies look at drivers without coverage as being too high risk and will not offer a policy at all until that person has been insured elsewhere first.

As you maintain continuous insurance for six months, however, you are seen as a better risk by more companies and eligible for a prior insurance discount. Data from The Zebra’s State of Auto Insurance report shows an average savings of $100 annually after being insured for just one year, and the discount continues to improve year over year.

Like most things related to car insurance, the amount of the discount varies by company, so shopping around every six months will help to maximize the benefit to your rate. And if you’ve had a lapse in coverage, it is even more important to compare rates since you may be losing part or all of the discount you have built up.

2. You had a birthday since your policy last renewed.

Here’s a nice birthday gift for most drivers — the older you get, statistically the lower your insurance rates are (to a certain point, that is)!

 

 

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