Tag Archives: America

Pack Your Bags: Not Taking a Vacation is Costing America $62 Billion Every Year–Here's Why
May 12, 2018 6:01 pm|Comments (0)

Don’t feel bad for taking a vacation. Truth is, it’s good for you and your career to use up every single one of those vacation days. However, you’d be surprised how many Americans aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity, but when you’re finished reading this, Bermuda may be calling your name.

The Stats

Project: Time Off’s State of American Vacation 2018 report found that 52% of American workers have unused vacation days. This leads to a total of 705 million unspent vacation days, 212 million of which cannot be reimbursed. Thus, the result was American employees leaving $ 62 billion – or $ 561 per person – on the table, so to speak. 

The average American takes only 17.2 vacation days each year, though most will only spend 8 of those days traveling. Think about that for a second. In an entire year, most Americans will spend a little over a week using their vacation days as intended. 

Using those extra 9.2 days makes a significant difference. How much so? Those who use all or most of their days off are: 

  • 56% happier with their health 
  • 20% happier with their relationships 
  • 28% happier with their companies (hello employee longevity)
  • 24% happier with their careers
  • 18% more likely to have gotten a promotion within the last two years (when compared to infrequent travelers)

The takeaway: if you use your vacation, you’ll be promoted. Just kidding, but the statistics are legitimately both compelling & startling. 

Happy = Productive

As we all know, happy employees are the most productive. They’re also even more creative, efficient, loyal, and can help significantly improve the company’s bottom line. Employees that are happy with their company will surely feel obligated to give each day their best effort.

Treat your employees well and your company will blossom in return. And keep in mind, taking breaks has many benefits too. It helps workers remain productive, retain information, and avoid burnout.  

But won’t taking all my vacation make me look bad?

Well, Tom, I’m glad you asked that thought-provoking question to yourself. Sure, many workers fear taking advantage of all their vacation time can make them appear disinterested and replaceable. Au Contraire — let’s myth-bust this real quick with the managerial take on it: 

  • 90% of managers think that workers who plan their vacations ahead of time are responsible. 
  • 85% of say that planning ahead makes it easier to schedule work around an employee’s absence. 
  • 43% of managers say that they often can’t approve vacations since the worker didn’t give enough notice time.  

It’s a win/win, people. 

Treat Yourself

It’s time to start treating yourself to the vacations you deserve. America is the only developed country where employers aren’t obligated to provide workers with paid vacation days or holidays (and on that note, American employees aren’t entitled to sick days or maternity leave either). In fact, a quarter of Americans don’t get a single paid day off all year. Meanwhile, New Zealand, Italy, Austria, Belgium, France, and several other countries all give workers at least a month off every year.

So be thankful, take advantage of what you have, and go somewhere nice. The dividends will pay off…literally. 

Yes, I accept postcards. 

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Mexico supreme court says competitors can use America Movil's network
February 22, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Mexican mogul Carlos Slim’s America Movil must allow competitors to use its network and infrastructure, essentially holding up aspects of the 2014 telecoms reform.

The court said the obligation imposed by the reform on America Movil, Mexico’s largest telecommunications firm, to lend interconnection services to competitors does not violate its rights.

“Because the constitutional decree itself recognized that there are certain obligations that are imposed on the preponderant economic agent, which will expire once there are conditions of real competition in the market,” it said.

The case was filed by America Movil’s Telmex unit.

A central pillar of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s reform sought to bolster competition by giving other companies free use of Slim’s network, which grew from the former state monopoly he acquired in the 1990s.

The policy was later abandoned by the government after the country’s Supreme Court ruled in August that America Movil’s interconnection rates should be set by the telecommunications regulator, not legislators.

The IFT telecommunications regulator said in November that America Movil would be able to charge rivals 0.028562 peso per minute for calls to its network as of Jan. 1. Competitors can charge 0.112799 peso per minute for mobile calls to their networks, it said.

Rival AT&T Inc calculated that for every peso cent America Movil can charge for interconnection fees, the company’s competitors in Mexico would collectively pay about $ 20 million per year.

America Movil declined to comment.

Slim holds about two-thirds of mobile phone subscriptions in Mexico.

Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Stephen Coates

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How to Fix America's Holiday Travel Mess—And Why Doing It Would Ruin America
December 23, 2017 12:58 pm|Comments (0)

Holiday travel sucks, and probably has ever since a bunch of shepherds, wise men, and angels converged on a stable in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. Every November, every December, every year, America’s highways and airports runneth over, and not in the good way.

Thus, a question: What would it take to make the US a transcontinental Whoville, where the only thing louder than the roar of efficient travel is the constant caroling? And would it be worth the price?

The Fix

“Well, for starters I would design a system where the power didn’t go out in the world’s busiest airport for 50 hours,” says Sean Young, a civil engineer at Ohio University’s Center for Aviation Studies. (It was 11 hours, but still, ouch Atlanta.)

More seriously, Young says the problems with holiday travel begin because most people are moving through major airline hubs. The best ways to alleviate that strain? Build more runways at smaller, regional airports, and route more flights through them. This would free up the larger hubs to handle the bulk of long distance holiday travel, all those people choosing Florida and Mexico over winter and extended family.

For those big city airports, Young recommends investing in frequent, reliable public transportation linkages. “People leave for the airport much earlier than they need to, which creates additional volumes of traffic,” Young says. If they know they can make their flight with time to spare, they’re less likely to show up mega early and spend six hours taking up space.

As for ground travel, adding lanes and freeways seems like the straightforward fix, unless you’ve completed your Armchair Associate’s Degree in Transportation Theory. “In any situation where you expand the infrastructure, you will encourage travel on that infrastructure,” says Megan Ryerson, a transportation engineer at the University of Pennsylvania. This is the rule of induced demand: If you build it, they will crowd. The real answer, then, is more investment in things like Amtrak, high speed rail, or, because we’re fantasizing anyway, hyperloop. Basically anything that spreads demand over multiple modes.

Of course, no transportation dreamscape would be complete without autonomous vehicles. Instead of a carpool lane, think of a dedicated roadway for robocars, shuttling people to the airport in orderly, automated fashion, no long term parking fees required.

Finally, infrastructure dollars could stretch a long way when applied to little technological fixes, like simply giving people accurate, real time information about their travel. Think Waze, but for everything: traffic, train times, whether the TSA security checkpoint has only one lane open (seriously, why do they do this?). The more information people have, the more rational their travel decisions become, and the less likely they are to trigger gridlock.

Crisis Reverted

Say we did it all: enough runways, planes, and lanes to handle humanity at its most itinerant and quiet the grumblers. Now we’ve got another question: What happens to to all that infrastructure during the 50 weeks a year Americans aren’t trading gifts and political opinions with their weirdest blood relations? Our best guess: disaster.

“If you force Delta to buy an extra 300 jets to satisfy demand for Thanksgiving and Christmas, they would then have to cover the cost of those extra jets,” says (Paul Lewis)[https://www.enotrans.org/profiles/paul-lewis/], the vice president of finance and policy at the Eno Center for Transportation. “They would do that by increasing prices on all flyers through the rest of the year.”

Then there’s the cost of maintaining all the additional runways. Airports, which are usually owned by their host cities, make money by charging airlines a landing fee to use their facilities.

Think of this like a fraction, where each airfield’s numerator is the cost of maintaining those facilities. This stays fairly static. The denominator is the number of flights that use those facilities. “When an airport has relatively robust levels of service, it is able to offer more competitive landing fees to airlines,” says Ryerson. Less traffic means higher fees, and in turn, more expensive flights.

That’s why, if you’re going from Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Los Angeles, it may well be cheaper to Uber to the Philadelphia airport and go direct than to make a connecting flight from Allentown’s regional airport. (Factor in layovers, and the Uber might be quicker too.)

Even if built-up regional airports did well during the holiday crush, they’d likely become prohibitively expensive to travel through the rest of the year. And the cost of maintaining the airfields would probably be passed along to local taxpayers.

So once again, air travel would consolidate at large airports, triggering congestion. In a recent study, Ryerson and some coauthors looked at car traffic within a 300 mile radius of large airports in cities like Atlanta, Dallas–Fort Worth, and Phoenix. On roads leading from smaller cities nearby—think Oklahoma City for Dallas, or Tucson for Phoenix—about 1 to 3 percent of the traffic could be attributed to people driving to access these larger airports. “The rural highways had an even higher amount, between 5 and 10 percent of traffic, from people driving to or from the airport,” she says.

Which brings us to the other problems surface transportation would face in this holiday travel utopia. Remember our old pal induced demand? Well, if historical trends and hard data still mean anything to anyone, those bigger roads would entice people to move farther from urban centers, where land is cheaper. More sprawl leads to more traffic, and brings you back to the search for meaning in a world where your commute never stops sucking.

Meanwhile, taxpayers would be stuck with a huge bill for maintaining all that extra capacity. American infrastructure is already more than $ 4 trillion short of adequate, and the federal gas tax hasn’t budged since 1993. More roads to maintain would make the problem even worse.

“The way I explain this to undergrads is that you wouldn’t buy six fridges for your dorm room just because you have one big party a year,” Ryerson says.

Learn From Experience

We’ve never had a transportation wonderland, but we have tried it in bits and pieces. During the late 1990s, the economy was so flush that WIRED ran a 42,000-word article about undersea fiber optic cablesin print—good reading material for all the people traveling like crazy. Airports across the country paved dozens of new runways, and airlines beefed up their fleets to meet the demand. Then the dot com bubble burst. The industry contracted; airlines went out of business or were swallowed up by their competitors. Less than a decade later, the same thing happened: More planes, more runways, more jetsetting, until the financial crisis hit, and the industry consolidated again. “The top four airlines now control 75 percent of all passenger traffic,” Lewis says.

And so this transportation utopia remains a dream, and not the kind you actually want to come true. In that case, the best advice may come from Mary and Joseph: Host the party, and make everyone come to you.


Travel Dreams

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Hugo Weaving Enjoyed Outrageousness of Playing Red Skull in Captain America
November 14, 2016 6:40 am|Comments (0)

Hugo Weaving was a great Nazi in Captain America: The First Avenger, playing Cap’s nemesis, Red Skull. And given that it was a comic book movie, meaning time and space are fluid—and given that any non-Loki villain has failed to really capture people’s attention—it’s natural to want Weaving back. So he’s opened the door a crack to coming back to Marvel, a studio he didn’t love working with.

Read more…


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Tigo to deliver Microsoft Cloud in Latin America
July 14, 2016 7:05 am|Comments (0)

Tigo Business brand from Milicom and Microsoft have come together to reveal the Microsoft Cloud OS Network (COSN) to deliver cloud computing …


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13 Hilariously Disgusted Fan Reactions To Hydra Captain America
May 27, 2016 7:35 am|Comments (0)

Fans were outraged after learning Captain America is secretly a Nazi in “Captain America: Steve Rogers” No. 1.

Source: http://www.mtv.com/news/2885635/captain-america-hydra-nazi-allegiance-comics-marvel-fan-reactions/

Adrianne Palicki Aisha Tyler Aki Ross Alecia Elliott Alessandra Ambrosio Alexis Bledel


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North America has used up its new IPv4 addresses
December 14, 2015 10:05 am|Comments (0)

North America has finally run out of new addresses based on IPv4, the numbering system that got the Internet where it is today but which is running out of space for the coming era of networking.

The American Registry for Internet Numbers, the nonprofit group that distributes Internet addresses for the region, said Thursday it has assigned the last addresses in its free pool. The announcement came after years of warnings from ARIN and others that IPv4 addresses were running out and that enterprises and carriers should adopt the next protocol, IPv6.

IPv4 dates back to 1981 and only has room for 4.3 billion unique addresses. IPv6, introduced in 1999, should have enough addresses to serve Internet users for generations, according to ARIN. 

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It’s official: North America is out of new IPv4 addresses
November 26, 2015 6:30 pm|Comments (0)

North America has finally run out of new addresses based on IPv4, the numbering system that got the Internet where it is today but which is running out of space for the coming era of networking.

The American Registry for Internet Numbers, the nonprofit group that distributes Internet addresses for the region, said Thursday it has assigned the last addresses in its free pool. The announcement came after years of warnings from ARIN and others that IPv4 addresses were running out and that enterprises and carriers should adopt the next protocol, IPv6.

IPv4 dates back to 1981 and only has room for 4.3 billion unique addresses. IPv6, introduced in 1999, should have enough addresses to serve Internet users for generations, according to ARIN. 

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here


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