The Price Of Marijuana Has Decreased In Colorado

price decreases for legal marijuana in Colorado

The price of legal marijuana in Colorado has significantly decreased

One of the two U.S. states to legalize marijuana in 2012, Colorado, has excellent reports concerning the legalization of the drug. According to recent news, the sale of both recreational and medical marijuana has increased the state’s earnings by $1 billion of which $135 million consisted in licensing revenue and taxes.

Officials mentioned that most of the additional revenue would be allocated to drug abuse plans, law enforcement, and Colorado schools.

Colorado marijuana consumers will be pleased to find out that legal cannabis prices are now similar to the ones on the black market. The prices decreased from $2,600 per pound in 2015 to $1,600 today. The significant drop has made cannabis more accessible to average customers. Moreover, as consumers will buy the drug legally, this could be translated into more income for the state’s government.

The most simple reason for this decrease could be to enhance the conflict among modest licensed marijuana dispensaries which are appearing to expand in number. However, big businesses do not seem to be in sight of this decrease as the U.S. administration recently chose not to reclassify the drug. It is still an illegal substance or a Schedule 1.

Although the approval of the legalization of marijuana took place at the ballot box, municipalities throughout Colorado were less excited to adopt legal marijuana. Amendment 64 allowed private districts to determine whether to let the marijuana business take root.

168  of the  271 municipalities in Colorado have prohibited the cultivation and sale of retail cannabis. According to the Colorado Municipal League, eight more districts have moratoriums in the discussion.

The deputy manager of the Colorado Municipal League, Kevin Brommer, mentioned that his opinion is that officials established measures to prevent retail marijuana commerce because of the anxiety that it could rise in drug usage among teenagers. Moreover, officials fear that the legalization could lead to crime in neighborhoods adjacent to marijuana stores.

The state has allowed around 450 retail marijuana stores, not including producing facilities, cultivation sites, and examining locations. Denver has more than 200 such shops which could lead to saturation because of the prohibition in other states.

A spokeswoman for the city mentioned that Aurora, a Denver adjacent has implemented a moratorium in 2014 on retail stores to allow the city to create a regulatory system.

Image source: Flickr

British Airways Travelers Delayed By Computer Glitch

British Airways encountered computer glitch

Travelers were delayed on Tuesday due to an extensive computer glitch with British Airways overnight.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport encountered long lines on Tuesday due to an extensive computer glitch with British Airways overnight.

Passengers accused delays at check-in, at the luggage drop and waiting for take-off. Customers were invited to check-in online before reaching the airport because checking in at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports took longer that usual.

On Tuesday morning, one of the passengers, Dana Al-Qatami, who was traveling from Switzerland to London, was given a handwritten boarding pass. Dana alongside other social media users stated that the delays continued once they were on the plane.

A professional poker player from London indicated that she was queued for her flight in Las Vegas for more than two and a half hours. Although the check-in was slow and long she mentioned that the staff handled the situation thoroughly. Moreover, the staff completed the boarding passes and the baggage labels by hand and the pilot apologized for the inconveniences which were caused by a computer glitch, she added.

On Monday passengers in Canada and the US announced delays at several airports due to IT problems. On social media, other delays were reported from individuals traveling from Washington, San Francisco, DC, and Atlanta.

A financial analyst from London, Matthew Walker, waited for around two hours to board his flight to Heathrow.

Although he had managed his checked in online, he said that BA workers could not enter their computers to detect which passengers had passed through security.

Ewan Crawford, of Glasgow, was at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and twitted that it is never a good sign when water is brought to the gate and that it seemed to him like a worldwide computer outage.

The second issue with the service this year might damage the airline’s reliability. At London City Airport, several kilometers east of the Canary Wharf financial district, flights from and to its European destinations were suspended after nine protesters secured themselves together on the runway.

The protesters were holding up posters saying  ‘Climate Crisis is a Racist Crisis’ and ‘Black Lives Matter.’ They wanted to underline Britain’s environmental influence on the lives of black individuals globally and locally. It was a reaction to lethal shootings of black people by white U.S.cops.

Image source: Wikipedia

The Good Deeds of Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola and the company's good deeds

Coca-Cola replenished about 192 billion liters of water

During its 248 community water cooperation projects, Coca-Cola returned about 192 billion liters of water, which is more than 115 percent of the water utilized in its beverages last year. This powerful act is in reply to a 2007 War on Want attack which instantly highlighted Coca-Cola’s massive water usage.

Coca-Cola then decided to replenish all water utilized by 2020, and thanks to its connections which scattered across 71 different nations, it has managed to do so five years early.

It is not the primary project that Coca-Cola has begun to become a more reliable and sustainable company. Moreover, the company has taken some recent steps to refund the societies all over the world.

The Coca-Cola scholarship program helps around 1,400 US college students per year by donating $10,000 or $20,000 towards their education. It provides possibilities for promising students who might not have the opportunity to attend the University.

Furthermore, Coke it Forward founded on the idea of ‘paying it forward’ is a method which gives customers the capacity to make a difference. The company added vending machines allowing customers to buy a drink and give one to someone in need.

The system gives the customer just one drink while paying for two. However, Coca-Cola pairs the donation with another two, indicating that three in total are given when just two are paid for.

In 2015, Coca-Cola provided $84.5 million to populations in over 70 nations through grants which helped 300 different companies. More than 95 percent of those donations are centered on the company’s top priorities of well-being, women, and water.

Around $26.5 million were given to environmental initiatives and water, $5.5 million went to women’s empowerment actions, $48 million to more extensive community initiatives like healthcare and education, and $4.3 million for community development, arts, humanitarian issues, and culture.

Nevertheless, some negative rumors have circled Coca-Cola in the early 1900s. An organization named Maywood Chemical Works presently called the Stepan Company, along with Coca-Cola began a partnership to introduce coca leaves to the Coke Company from Peru.

Reportedly, before selling to the soda company, Maywood extracted the cocaine alkaloid from the leaves. The alkaloid is an agent found in pure cocaine powder. The leftover essence is what persisted in the soda company’s goods.

What do you think of Coca-Cola’s good deed programs? Please let us know in the comment section below.

Image source: Wikipedia

5,500 Cisco Employees to Lose their Jobs amid Shifting Business Model

Cisco HQ

Former Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev with former CA Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger at Cisco headquarters.

The networking hardware giant Cisco Systems announced this week that 5,500 of its employees will be forced to seek another job as the company is transitioning to the cloud business.

It is the fourth time in six years that the tech company announces job cuts in the middle of summer. Experts noted that the regularity with which Cisco now announces its summer layoffs may signal that trimming the workforce has become business as usual for the company.

Other tech giants such as Intel have made a habit of downsizing workforce at regular intervals. The semiconductor chip maker announced earlier this year that it would lay off 11 percent of its workers.

And analysts expect other companies to soon follow suit as cloud computing is gaining steam worldwide. As a result, many hardware makers including server and storage device producers will be forced to face restructuring or die. Cisco is renowned for its routers and switches which could soon no longer be relevant.

Cloud technology expansion has added tremendous pressure on tech firms since the start of the year. For instance, Hewlett-Packard had to split up, while Dell is about to merge with EMC. Additionally, IBM is seeking new ways of remaining competitive against Microsoft and Amazon.

Cisco hasn’t sunk yet because its router and server business is doing fairly well. According to a company’s report, the business generates 45 percent of its revenue, which is a 7 percent decrease from a few years ago.

Despite the slight reduction in sales, its core business remained profitable due to a gross profit margin of about 60 percent, which hasn’t changed in years. The steady profit allowed the company to buy itself some time to rethink its business model.

Analysts are now curious to see whether the hardware giant has the will and resources to make the proper adjustments to survive in a cloud computing-based world. Currently, there is a huge demand for “hyperscale” hardware parts that are resilient to immense volumes of traffic. So, if Cisco moves quickly it may manage to hold off rivals in new markets as it has done before.

Plus, the San Jose, Calif.-based company faces other challenges such as the software defined networking (SDN) standard which could render the company’s integrated routers and switches irrelevant. Still, analysts noted that SDN is only at the beginning and has a long way ahead before it can revolutionize networking as we know it.

Image Source: kremlin.ru

America’s Largest Gun Maker Posts Record Sales, Worries about Clinton

Ruger pistolAmerica’s largest gun maker Sturm Ruger reported record sales in a second quarter earnings call but expressed its concerns over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s tactics to actively campaign against a “lawful commerce.”

The gun maker’s chief executive Michael Fifer was asked on Wednesday whether the politician’s campaign has spurred the rise in demand for guns. Clinton’s efforts to outlaw gun sales in the U.S. has recently led to numerous background checks.

Fifer declined that there was a link between Clinton and a growing demand. He added that the current situation cannot be traced back to the words or actions of a single politician. He did say that we live unique times when a presidential hopeful with “a real likelihood” of getting into the Oval Office publicly said that the nation’s highest court ruled wrongly in the Heller case.

In District of Columbia v Heller, the Supreme Court rejected the state’s ban on firearms arguing that it would violate the residents’ constitutional right to own a gun for self-defense. Dick Anthony Heller was a body guard who was allowed to carry a handgun at work, but was denied the same right at home.

A few months ago, Clinton said in an interview that the case was “wrongly decided.” She argued that municipalities and states should be allowed to draft “commonsense laws” to prevent unfortunate gun-related incidents from happening in America’s homes.

Fifer described Clinton’s comments as “unprecedented” and expressed his disbelief that her remarks haven’t impacted sales. Under the current administration, both Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger saw record demand for handguns and ammunition.

Stock prices reached record highs after each mass shooting as the resulting scandals have prompted gun owners to stockpile firearms in case they get banned. In the last quarter, the gun maker’s sales were $167.9 million. This represents a 19 percent or $27 million increase from last year’s same period.

Profit in the first half of the year soared 30 percent and by the end of the second quarter Sturm Ruger raked more than $115 million in gross profit, a consistent gain from last year’s $89.9 million.

Fifer zoomed in on gun sales in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub, where 49 people were slaughtered. He said that the impact on sales couldn’t be measured. He said that distributors got some calls but demand “quickly died down.”

Image Source: Wikimedia

Tesla Driver Dies while Car in Autopilot Mode

Tesla Model S Wheel and dashboardOn May 7, a man from Williston, Florida, lost his life in a car crash when a large truck made a left turn in front of his Tesla model S car which was running on autopilot. Federal investigators are currently investigating the case.

Tesla, which unveiled the accident Thursday, said that a federal agency is now probing whether its cars’ autopilot feature is safe for the public roads. The car crash could now spark a lot of soul searching within the driverless car industry, some analysts suggest.

Though it is the first time a person dies while a car is in autopilot mode, there had been other reports of incidents related to the technology.

Tesla said that the Williston driver’s car ended up under the big rig whose bottom smashed the car’s windshield. The company said that the autopilot and driver were deceived by the bright lit sky which made it impossible for them to detect the white trailer truck moving in the car’s direction.

As a result the car failed to brake in time. Tesla, which reported the collision to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that very day, said that the autopilot mode was still in beta testing.

The firm noted that the feature is far from perfect and gets constantly improved. Furthermore, the feature is not turned on by default. A driver needs “explicit acknowledgement” before activating the system that he is aware that the mode is in a beta phase.

Additionally, the system prompts the driver to keep his or her hands on the wheel while autopilot is on. The driver is also prompted to stay alert and get ready to take control of the vehicle at any time.

Industry analysts believe that the recent fatal crash won’t make customers lose faith in Tesla but in the infallibility of the autopilot feature. Karl Brauer of the Kelley Blue Book believes that the tragic incident is an opportunity to educate customers before driverless cars become mainstream.

NHTSA announced that it would probe the “design and performance” of the autopilot in Tesla Model S cars while also investigating the fatal crash and the vehicle.

Other analysts think that the car crash won’t ruin the momentum of automated driving technology unless the agency finds that driverless driving is more dangerous than conventional driving.

Image Source: Wikimedia

Gogo Drops as American Airlines Invites ViaSat On Board

alt= woman uses tablet on board of aircraft

American Airlines’ choice to split an order between ViaSat Inc. and Gogo Inc. for in-flight Wi-Fi services had a rough effect on Gogo.

The company’s stocks have tumbled the most in more than three months after the decision, which left unanswered the question of who will provide services for 400 aircraft.

American Airlines Group Inc. chose ViaSat for satellite-based connections on its upcoming Boeing Co. 737 Max fleet of roughly 100 jets; at the same time, Gogo’s new 2Ku service was selected for 134 Airbus Group SE A319s and A320s, according to Casey Norton, a spokesman for the airline.

It is also the company’s right to disrupt Gogo connections from 550 planes, including 150 that will soon be retired and won’t need the upgrades.

American Airlines has yet to decide which provider will be chosen for the remaining 400 planes as they switch from the current ground-based offerings to faster satellite systems.

Offering speedy internet for its customers in the air is quickly becoming the standard for airlines. In this all-connected era we live in, passengers want to remain connected even at flying altitudes, being able to chat through social media, and stream music.

This ability is often impaired by the frustrating malfunctions that come from being constrained to ground-based systems. So the rivalry between internet providers has increased significantly.

“Basically, American is telling Gogo, ‘You are going to have to compete with ViaSat,”’ explained Tim Farrar, founder of Telecom Media Finance Association in Menlo Park, California.

Gogo dropped 15 percent to $9.38 in New York, after a previous fall of 16 percent for the biggest intraday decline since February 16. Meanwhile, ViaSat rose 4.3 percent to $72.90.

“At the end of the day, worst-case scenarios are off the table, the downside is bracketed” to 550 planes at most; having Gogo’s 2Ku installing on 140 planes will also allow the company to compete head-to-head with ViaSat.

As the world’s largest airline, American is in a favored spot of being able to have “multiple suppliers” for broadband Wi-Fi; this practice helps them ensure that all planes are equipped as quickly as possible.

American’s decision to use the 2Ku technology for some planes is important for Gogo, as the company was at risk of losing the airline as a customer. Gogo’s new platform has been slow to roll out while it awaits regulatory certification for the new systems on various aircraft.
Image Source: Lufthansa

Apple Inks $1Bn Investment Deal with Chinese Rival of Uber

'BYD e6'

Taking a taxi is cheaper than driving your own car in China, and Uber’s toughest competitor in the country, Didi, owns 99 percent of the taxi-hailing market.

Apple Inc. has just poured $1 billion in Uber’s largest competitor in China, Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Analysts believe that the move is expected not only to help the U.S. company’s driverless car business grow, but also help Apple mend its tense relationships with Beijing.

The decision was announced a week after the Chinese government banned iTunes and iBooks from the country. The U.S. tech giant is directly interested in China as most of its manufacturing plants are based there. So, investing in the country’s largest home-grown ride-sharing business might be the best way to reduce the tensions.

Didi Chuxing is an important company for the Chinese government though the firm was nearly shut down when it started to offer ride-hailing services like Uber. Back then, Beijing said that Didi was putting fully licensed taxis out of business.

As a response, Didi agreed to allow taxi drivers to feature on the company’s e-hailing app and offer their services. Also, the company recently closed a deal with Shanghai-based taxi company Haibo to split revenues.

Didi network comprises 400 cities and 99 percent of the taxi-hailing market. In 200 cities the company makes profit. Furthermore, partnerships with local taxi companies also help Didi reduce traffic congestions, a growing problem in China’s urban areas.

Since up to 70 percent of Beijing residents own a car, it is very difficult to go by car to any area of the city. As a result, the government had to set some restrictions, deciding which days cars can be used. Furthermore, there’s a 100 percent tax on foreign vehicles brought to the country to discourage the Chinese from buying more cars.

So, Didi is now helping the government address the country’s ever growing fleet of vehicles. By offering cheap rides, the ride-hailing company helps both people who don’t have a car and those who seek a better alternative to public transportation. In China, it is cheaper to travel by taxi than by private car due to restrictions and taxes.

Didi is confident that with a fleet of 1 million taxis it can serve the entire population of China. At the moment, taxis are the key to solving transit issues and displacing car ownership.

Apple’s $1 billion bid is the same amount Uber is reportedly hemorrhaging in China. Plus, Didi is also interested in building a fleet of driverless cars just like Apple, which has now also the opportunity to build strong alliances with key Didi investors and partners such as Lyft, Tencent, Ali Baba, and Grab.

Image Source: Wikimedia

Bears Get Stressed Out by Drones, Researchers Say

Bears get stressed out by drones

Bears Get Stressed Out by Drones, Researchers at University of Minnesota say.

Led by Mark Ditmer, researches have attempted to answer the question found in the study published by Current Biology, which notes that the rising usage of drones we are experiencing can cause irreversible stress on wildlife.

One might say that this news isn’t bearable at all – pun intended.

To be absolutely clear from the get-go, this isn’t an in-depth research. Mark Ditmer, along with his group, frolicked around with a rather small quadcopter around four American black bears. All of the bears were equipped with a heart tracker, and a GPS tracking collar.

Mark and his crew flew-over them 17 times, and only once a bear slightly changed his behavior when he acknowledged the drone’s presence.

But on every occasion, researchers noted a spike in heart rate – one case noted an increase to 123 bpm, and another high bpm for a bear that was supposed to hibernate.

Bears get stressed out by drones 2

Bears returned to their usual mood after Mark and his drone left. The group didn’t notice any out of the ordinary behavioral change, but they did observe physiological responses.

However, the study didn’t answer the question aimed by the Current Biology study. Instead, they noted that more research should be done on how much of an impact do UAV flights have on wildlife, given the huge surge of users across the world that adopt this new kind of hobby.

The fact that wildlife is stressed-out when encountering low-altitude flights by helicopters, or any other aircraft is already known in the science community, but not regarding drones.

In 2014, paired with results Mark and his team brought-up, the US National Park Service banned the use of UAVs withing the park’s territory, but there are still some drone enthusiasts that don’t abide be these rules.

Park Rangers note that  because bears get stressed out by drones, they could react in unforeseen ways, even trying to hunt, and attack the UAV. Considering that quadcopters have an average range of 330 feet, this could be incredibly dangerous to people visiting the park.

Bears are borderline awesome, and they are borderline dangerous. Nobody wants to upset an already pissed-off 800 pound bloodthirsty bear.

Image Source: 1, 2

Facebook’s Messenger App Will Add Business in the Mix

Facebook's MessengerFacebook’s Messenger app is transforming and evolving into a tool that will be used for more than sending a funny cat emoji to friends, it’s also going to help its users get some business done.

In order to make this happen, Facebook is opening Messenger up to outside programmers, so that they can start building new features that will help Messenger be more business oriented. Messenger will also have added the ability to display store receipts and information about shipping to help its users keep track of their various interactions with businesses and merchants. This new feature will be rolled out starting with the beginning of April and it is expected to be available around the world by the end of April.

Facebook’s decision to update and upgrade its Messenger is, many believe, a means to keep up with the current trends. There is a growing number of mobile messaging applications that offer more direct and also more intimate ways to converse and connect with one’s friends.

Facebook is sensing that its young crowd is spending less time on Facebook and more time on the wide range of mobile messaging apps, such as Snapchat, Kik, Viber, Whisper, Tango, Secret and Line. These apps are taking young Facebook users away from Facebook and the social media giant feels the need to do something to fix it. Improving its Messenger is the main way to do that.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, talked about the Messenger expansion at a developers’ conference on Wednesday in San Francisco. He stated that the company has been building Messenger into a service to express more than just text. Zuckerberg promised that even more features would be rolling out in the coming months.

Facebook’s Messenger was introduced four years ago, and since then Facebook has been doing various tweaks to it, such as the ability to attach photos, video, swap stickers, make phone calls and even send money.

Messenger has more than 600 million users, it was revealed by Zuckerberg at the conference. The main reason for that is the fact that it is connected to Facebook, which has more than twice as many users, around 1.4 billion.

But there is a consequence to the popularity of mobile messaging, which translates to less time spend on social media. Less time on Facebook means fewer chances for the social media giant to learn about its users’ lives and interests and show the ads that bring in the big bucks for the company.

This threat is also what lead Facebook’s CEO to, aside from expanding Messenger, to spend a whopping $22 billion to buy WhatsApp last year. WhatsApp is a mobile messaging service with more than 700 million users; a big part of WhatsApp’s users is located in Western Europe and other less affluent countries outside the United States.

It is expected from Facebook to begin showing ads on Messenger, the moment people start spending more time on Facebook’s Messenger to do more than just chat. Obviously, Messenger is heading towards becoming a marketing vehicle, even though the mother company did not reveal its plans to turn it into one.

Eight years ago, Mark Zuckerberg made the decision to open Facebook to other programmers, and this current decision mirrors that in the entirety. Keeping in mind that the move turned Facebook into the multipurpose giant that it is today, one can only imagine what it would do for Facebook’s Messenger.

David Marcus, in charge of Facebook’s Messenger and former CEO at PayPal, hopes that Messenger becomes the multipurpose giant that Facebook is today. He concluded the company has opened the floodgates.

The social media giant is counting on apps from other developers to allow Messenger users to speak their minds with audio clips, GIFs and other dynamic formats that will make people smile and get them engaged.

During his presentation, Facebook’s CEO made a prediction that, at one point in the future, messaging apps will incorporate virtual reality technology. His prediction is largely based on Facebook’s decision to buy Oculus for $2 billion last year.

Facebook’s revenue for last year went up 58% to $12.5 billion, which allowed the company’s stock price to more than double from $38 in its initial public offering price in 2012.

Image Source: Digital Trends