Chalk it up to a learning experience: too much debt, even in a low interest rate environment, can be costly.

Cengage Learning, a private equity-backed education company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday as part of an effort to shrink its $5.8 billion debt load. The company, based in Stamford, Conn., also said that it had entered into a restructuring agreement with lenders who hold $2 billion of its first-lien debt. The restructuring will eliminate more than $4 billion in debt from the company’s balance sheet.

“The decisive actions we are taking today will reduce our debt and improve our capital structure to support our long-term business strategy of transitioning from traditional print models to digital educational and research materials,” Michael Hansen, Cengage Learning’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Cengage was originally Thomson Learning, part of the Thomson media conglomerate of Canada, which sold it for about $7.75 billion in 2007 when the company was preparing to merge with Reuters. The buyers were Apax Partners and Omers Capital Partners — a private equity unit of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Board pension fund.

As Cengage, the company acquired the college publishing division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing for $750 million. In 2011, Cengage acquired National Geographic’s digital and print school publishing unit for an undisclosed price.

Cengage said that it planned to make timely payment to vendors for goods and services during its Chapter 11 restructuring and that employees would continue to receive their usual pay and health and welfare benefits. In the filing in the United States bankruptcy court in Brooklyn, the company said it had more than $1 billion in assets.

Cengage’s legal adviser is Kirkland & Ellis, its restructuring adviser is Alvarez & Marsal, and its financial adviser is Lazard.

Source : By DEALBOOK

Interview with Russ Rudish

Feeling the squeeze from regulatory and economic fronts, health care providers are looking to health information technologies to improve operational efficiency and patient care, according to Russ Rudish, vice chairman and principal, Deloitte LLP, and leader of the U.S. and Global Health Care practices. Read on for his perspective on the year ahead.

Deloitte | 2013 outlook on health care providers | Interview with Russ Rudish

Russ Rudish

 

What is the key issue facing the health care provider sector in 2013?

Health care providers, for numerous regulatory and environmental reasons, have been and will likely continue feeling increased margin pressure. The recent Supreme Court decision related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) clarified the path and pace of federal health care reform efforts. The ACA, among other legislative reforms addressing health care, will likely result in additional taxes, costs and penalties for providers; these could be exacerbated by federal budget cuts unless Congress and the president agree on an alternative to the sequester, a deficit-reduction mechanism written into last year’s Budget Control Act

Health care providers in 2013 are likely to experience a four-prong revenue hit: Under ACA, payment rates may decrease for Medicare and Medicaid populations and providers could be penalized for avoidable readmissions; lingering unemployment may lead to more uninsured patients; increased consumerism is making people more conscious of their health care spending; and fewer individuals are projected to sign up for individual insurance than originally anticipated. All of these factors are putting provider margins at risk. In response, we see health care providers looking at ways to reduce costs and enhance revenue, as they continue to deal with the challenges of operating in a time of transition from fee for service to outcome based reimbursement.

What are some steps companies can take to manage through the current climate of economic uncertainty?

“Organizations that have overhauled operations and implemented effective administrative and clinical information technology (IT) systems can be better positioned should Congress increase fraud detection as a result of their inability to secure appropriation funds.”

Health care providers could begin actively formulating potential scenarios and responses for a market defined by continued economic uncertainty. As cost pressures continue to rise due to penalties for unnecessary care and increasing pressures from physicians to “employ” them, it is important that organizations assess their sustainability and access to capital. Determining how to do more with less is an important consideration and one that should include an evaluation of consolidation scenarios. We continue to see consolidation accelerating in certain regions as large health systems buy additional facilities and/or smaller practices to improve efficiency, spread overhead and reduce operating costs.

Providers could also continue to make more efficient and significant use of technology – both in their facilities and for patient self-care at home. Organizations that have overhauled operations and implemented effective administrative and clinical information technology (IT) systems can be better positioned should Congress increase fraud detection as a result of their inability to secure appropriation funds.

Also, providers might begin initiating tactics to create stronger consumer relationships (e.g., mobile apps, social media, etc.) and closer links among individual physicians, hospitals and insurance companies so that, by working together, they can insure and care for patients in a more fluid and efficient manner.

What are high-performing companies doing to foster innovation and growth?

Health care providers are seeking to establish and maintain a competitive advantage in the uncertain, post-ACA environment of 2013 and beyond. They are investing in new programs and health information technologies that can enable them to forge stronger relationships with consumers, create greater operational efficiencies, lower costs and improve quality.

In addition, health care providers are increasingly collaborating with nontraditional partners – such as health plans and pharmaceutical companies – to identify and pursue novel ways to treat disease, facilitate efficient research and development (R&D) and promote wellness beyond what has been done to date. To support these efforts, providers, health plans and pharma companies are embracing the use of rich data and analytics to drive clinical and operational innovation.

Source Deloitte | 2013 outlook on health care providers | Interview with Russ Rudish.

ALERT – SCAM Companies listed here

The list contains the names of the companies identified as Money circulation companies using the multilevel marketing compensation plans.

Please note :

  1. This list contains names of unviable business models which may have been initiated by the promoters intentionally (with full knowledge of implications) or unintentionally (copied from other scams without understanding the viability).
  2. These companies have Unviable Business plans or have Deceptive information on the website or have a Deceptive business model.
  3. This is not an exhaustive list of these types of companies, but contains a fraction of thousands of companies with presence on the internet which continues to exploit regulatory loopholes in India.
  4. This list also contains names of companies disguising money circulation by promoting intangible products which are of no value to the people paying for the same.
  5. This list does not include companies promoting tangible products using the MLM compensation plans even though they might be falling in the ambit of Money circulation (more payout being offered than provisioned for on the sale of products ) because of their unviable business plan and/or compensation plan.
  6. The details on these companies listed here including – Snapshots of the Web pages with date and time stamps, Names of the directors, Names of the Promoters/Top distributors, Addresses, Contact numbers, Compensation plan, Franchisee addresses, Server details, IP addresses, Name of the Software developer and support, Approximate turnover, Area of operation, Videos of the company meetings, brochures, literatures, etc would be shared on request with Law Enforcement agencies only if requested using official email ids and contact details .
  7. The list also includes Registered/ Non-Registered Entities (with the Registrar of companies) or Individuals using the Multilevel marketing compensation plan (MLM) to promote products or services.
  8. Collective investment schemes registered with SEBI (A Collective investment scheme is any scheme or arrangement, which satisfies the conditions, referred to in sub-section (2) of section 11AA of the SEBI Act) or any registered Chit fund companies are not listed here.

Total Scam Compnies : 702 (http://www.strategyindia.com/blog/scam-alerts/)

 

 

Addtional info on International ALERTS

 

Identifying Information on the Internet

Install all recommended software and/or hardware to protect your information. To be protected against cyber criminals, you need current anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware, and firewall programs.

  • Install reputable anti-spam software. Most reputable anti-spam software programs today are also programmed to identify known viruses, which could contain Trojan horses as well.
  • Keep all your security software and operating systems updated.
  • Verify BOTH the source AND content of each file you download! Don’t download an executable program just to “check it out.” If it’s a Trojan, the first time you run it, you’re already infected!
  • Use caution when dealing with pop-ups. This is a perfect place to plant a virus or Trojan programs.
  • Beware of hidden file extensions. Windows by default hides the last extension of a file, so that innocuous-looking picture “susie.jpg” might really be “susie.jpg.exe” – an executable Trojan! To avoid being tricked, unhide those pesky extensions. This is an option selected in Windows Explorer under Tools\Folder Options\View.
  • If you are an online multi-gamer type, do not publish your I.P. address on websites or newsgroups, unless you are very sure that you are fully protected. You would be much better off logging into others’ game servers than inviting others to log onto your game server at a precise I.P. address.
  • Backup your system!
  • Turn off your computer when not in use. If you are not connected to the Internet, you cannot be infected, hacked or hijacked.
  • Reconsider storing personal information in your computer. Transfer it to a CD and use the CD when you need the information. This is especially true of passwords, SSNs, tax and financial records.

Scam Alert from LendingTree

LendingTree has issued the following alert: It has come to our attention that LendingTree, LLC’s name and logo were recently used by an illegitimate company in an attempt to defraud consumers. The imposter imitated LendingTree correspondence and paperwork to request advance loan fees before granting the loan and asked customers to send ‘insurance fee’ money via Western Union wire transfer.

FBI Alert

The FBI is aware of a spear-phishing e-mail appearing as if it were sent from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The subject of the e-mail is “Search for Missing Children,” and a zip file containing three malicious files is attached. E-mail recipients should always treat links and attachments in unsolicited or unexpected e-mail with caution.  US-CERT recommends users and administrators review the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center’s announcement and refer to the US-CERT Security.

 

FTC Warning

From FTC.gov – The Federal Trade Commission is warning small businesses that an email with a subject line “NOTIFICATION OF CONSUMER COMPLAINT” is not from the FTC. The email falsely states that a complaint has been filed with the agency against their company. The FTC advises recipients not to click on any of the links or attachments with the email. Clicking on the links may install a virus or other spyware on the computer.  The FTC’s advice: Delete the email. For more information on malicious software (malware), visit www.OnGuardOnline.gov/malware.

Source:

http://www.idtheftcenter.org/

“What is the significance of the term “Ganapati Bappa Morya”? Devotees chant Ganapati Bappa Morya all the time to sing the praises of Lord Ganesh. But how many of them know what the word Morya signify? The word Morya refers to a famous devotee of Lord Ganesh in the fourteenth century called Morya Gosavi, from Chinchvad, near Pune who invoked the Lord with severe penance. He attained siddhi (special powers and blessings) at Shree Chintamani and his son built the temple to commemorate the event.It is said that Moryaji also performed penances at Siddhi Vinayak in Ahmedabad and in Moreshwar/Mayureshwar at Moregoan where he also built the temple. Thus this depicts the inseparable relationship between God and his devotee.”

Source and further information: http://nayna.in/blog/divine-grace/faq-on-lord-ganesh-part-2/

 

“Many sages like tukaram maharaj and others have endorsed Moraya Gosavi as one who merged with Ganapati.
For rationalists, it will be hard to believe but for devotees, praying to Moraya Gosavi means praying to Lord Ganesh!”
Read more: Why we use Word “Morya” in Ganpati Bappa Morya? and what is a the meaning of Morya? | Answerbag http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1841425#ixzz2eNVgOyPT

1) “Ganapati (Sanskrit: गणपति; gaṇapati), a synonym for Ganesha, is a compound composed of gaṇa, meaning “group”, and pati, meaning “ruler” or “lord”.”
Source and further information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganapati

2) Bappa: father / Lord
“All join in this final procession shouting “Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukar ya” (O father Ganesha, come again speedily next year). ”
Source and further information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganesh_Chaturthi

“Morya Gosavi was a 14th century saint of the Ganapatya sect. He was a great devotee of Ganesha. He was originally from a village called Shaligram in Karnataka. He built the Mayureshwar temple at Morgaon, near Pune. The starting of the Ashtavinayak pilgrimage is attributed to him. The words Ganapati Bappa Morya are attributed to him. He was a contemporary of Chattrapati Shahu Maharaj and Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath Bhatt. He took sanjeevan samadhi at Chinchwad, Pune.”
Source and further information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morya_Gosavi

“Mangalmurti : ‘Man’ means complete and glu-gayate means the one endowing Serenity or purity. That which purifies both internally as well as externally is auspicious (mangal). An image bringing auspiciousness is thus Mangalmurti.In Maharashtra ‘Mangalmurti morya’ is used to proclaim Ganapati’s glory. The word morya in it refers to a famous devotee of Lord Ganesh in the fourteenth century called Morya Gosavi, from Chinchvad, near Pune. This depicts the inseparable relationship between God and a devotee.”
Source and further information:
http://www.sanatan.org/en/campaigns/Ganesh/page5.htm

Job Seeking Out of Your Industry: 5 Steps to Take

Here’s a shocking statistic: 59 percent of Americans would choose a different career if given the chance to do it all over again. Although these professionals may be able to move horizontally in their current organization, oftentimes a complete industry switch is necessary.

When you find yourself in the position of job seeking in an industry you’re not familiar with, it’s important to take some alternative routes. Here are some valuable steps to keep in mind.

1. Figure Out The Skills You Need

Your new industry may require certain skills you don’t have. For instance, a design position may involve understanding various applications or programs. So, although your extensive marketing background is impressive, it may not be enough to land you a job.

Tip: Do your research and understand what skills you need to succeed in a different job. Look at what your desired position may require and ask yourself if you have the necessary skillset to do well. This may mean going back to school or taking an internship. However, if switching careers is your goal, doing the extra legwork is necessary.

2. Talk To Industry Members

No one knows an industry better than those who’ve been working in it for years. Although it may be intimidating to reach out to these seasoned professionals, they could provide you with the inside knowledge you need in order to move forward in a new job.

Tip: Go to in-person networking events or reach out to professionals online through LinkedIn. Not only will you receive real insight, you may also create a connection which can help you in the future. Just don’t make it all about you! Let them know how you can provide value as well.

3. Switch Up Your Professional Materials

Your professional materials, such as your cover letter and your resume, reflect who you are as a worker. If they don’t meet industry standards, or if they showcase your skillset in a different industry, you more than likely will be put in the “no” pile and not be considered for the job at all.

Tip: Check out some industry forums online and understand what your professional materials should look like. Some industries may require bringing a full portfolio; others may need a five-page resume. It all depends on the profession and what the typical standard is. You may also want to ask new industry connections if they could go over your materials to gauge what’s good and what needs to be worked on.

4. Amplify Your Social Networks

Job seekers, take note: 92 percent of employers are using social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for recruiting purposes. So, although you may not be actively tweeting industry news now, you should start. Your online image is just as important as your offline one and your social networks can give recruiters the insight they need into who you are as a candidate — without having to meet you in-person first.

Tip: When you’re job seeking, you should keep tabs on your online reputation. Google yourself and see what information is out there. Then, delete any questionable materials, enable some basic privacy settings, and be sure to always keep your content up-to-date. Communicate your interest in the industry by posting relevant content, like recent news or opinions. That way, a potential employer can see your enthusiasm, even if you’re new to the industry.

5. Apply With Industry Standards In Mind

Some industries prefer you apply through basic applicant tracking systems (ATS). Others recruit at job fairs or through speedy interviewers. Some would be partial to those who applied through their social networks. No matter the process, be sure you understand the optimal application process.

Tip: There’s nothing wrong with using some tricks to get noticed. For instance, an ATS typically screens resumes and cover letters for important keywords listed in the job description. Showing up early to a networking fair can help you to avoid the crowd and connect with the recruiter. Linking all your professional content on your social networks can save a recruiter time. These tactics can help you to get to the top of the pile, instead of being just another applicant.

Job seeking outside of your industry can be tricky. However, in the end, it’s all about using every opportunity to your advantage… even if you don’t have a ton of experience. The work you put into getting the job will likely make up for it.

What do you think? What are some other steps to take when job seeking out of your industry? Let us know in the comments.

Mashable Job Board Listings

The Mashable Job Board connects job seekers across the U.S. with unique career opportunities in the digital space. While we publish a wide range of job listings, we have selected a few job opportunities from the past two weeks to help get you started. Happy hunting!

Image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Sudy%2520bharadwaj-1425

Sudy BharadwajSudy Bharadwaj is a co-founder and the CEO of Jackalope Jobs, a platform that helps job seekers find a job via their social networks. …MoreSource http://mashable.com/2013/08/31/job-seeking/

My Dear Blog Reader,

I saw this promo by Chitrangana S today, was impressed and motivated to share this vital info with my sister, mother, wife, daughter, and friends. Tell them that we are VithU (V and U, with you…..)

I am a regular follower of GUMRAH on Air or online if I miss any, have been also concerned about our women and those friends visiting our country.  Lets make this place safe, share to show you care.

 

VithU: V Gumrah Initiative (STAR India Pvt. Ltd.- August 28, 2013)

Description

VithU, is an emergency App that, at the click of the power button of your smartphone 2 times consecutively begins sending out alert messages every 2 minutes to your contacts that you feed into the app as the designated receivers or guardians.

The message says “I am in danger. I need help. Please follow my location.”

The receiver will receive a link to your location every 2 minutes giving them your updated location. Also, you will get updates on the Crime Scene in India and a “Tips Feed” option exclusively giving you safety tips in an emergency situation.

VithU

Developed in house by Channel V, the “VithU” app is a panic button ready to be powered in moment of crisis. The app has been launched with Channel V’s prime property, Gumrah that returns on the telly for the third time. Its focus is simple – “be aware, be prepared, be safe.” Alive on android phones, and soon will be made available on IOS, all one needs to do is press the power button on their phone twice in case of emergency and a message “I am in trouble, please help” will immediately reach five contacts selected by you along with your location. Neat. Download it now, please.

Chitrangana Singh at Launch
Source : Channel V

Don’t miss your favorite, Crime Show “Gumrah” with the “Show Alert” option in the Menu Bar which will be your reminder & alert you whenever Gumrah is on Air.

Last but not the least, if you have been a victim or witnessed a Crime you can share the incident with Channel V by posting it in the “Submit Your Story” option in the Menu Bar.

thank you again for reading

Source : Google Play

Digital Publishing, MS Project, Learning, Mobile Technology.

Digital learning has made education more interesting and engaging. Hence, teachers must learn to use technology as a classroom tool

View Anil S. profile on ThinkVidya

The first time I came across GoVenture´s Gamify.me mobile app I was doing some research for xAPI Design Program organized by ADL (I will write more about this in the upcoming weeks). I was looking for some ways to integrate gamification with existing learning solutions in order to make them more effective and engaging.
Let´s imagine the following scenario:

Your company will be launching a new product in two weeks´ time and every sales representative needs to know about its features/specifications. Do you need an eLearning course? A 5-hour workshop? Or, will you be distributing a 120-page manual? Let´s try something different: every day during the next ten days, employees will receive a short video or feature description via email/text message. Then, they will self-monitor their own progress and success.

Source : Mayra Aixa Villar

Video  —  Posted: August 16, 2013 in Apps, Education, Games, Ipad, m-Learning, Quiz maker
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“Warning” If you, your kids or grand kids take pics from your phone—WATCH THIS!

This is truly alarming – please take the time to watch. At the end they’ll tell you how to set your phone so you don’t run this risk!

PLEASE PASS THIS INFO TO ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO TAKES PICTURES WITH THEIR CELL OR SMART PHONE AND POSTS THEM ONLINE.

I want everyone of you to watch this and then be sure to share with all your family and friends.

It’s REALLY important info, about what your posting things on your cell phones can do TO YOU!!!

Too much technology out there these days so beware………..

PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO WATCH THIS VIDEO, AND TAKE THE RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS.

If you have children or grandchildren you NEED to watch this. I had no idea this could happen from taking pictures on the blackberry or cell phone. It’s scary.

Source : See links Below

In this new Substance interview: Storytelling: Past, Present and Future, I share an intimate conversation with Shel Israel, a global speaker, columnist, and co-author with Robert Scoble of the upcoming book, “The Age of Context” .

On this episode, Shel and I discuss where technology is heading, global neighborhoods and how proximity is shifting, how public relations has shifted into this new media age, and his views on the “Age of Context,” from his soon to be released book with Robert Scoble (who I had the pleasure of interviewing on the last Substance episode).

Shel will be keynoting at C2SV: Creative Convergence Silicon Valley conference (www.c2sv.com) in September. Shel welcomes technologists and marketers in the Bay Area to join him at this inaugural conference the San Jose Silicon Valley Business Journal has dubbed “Silicon Valley’s answer to SXSW.”

Source Link:

Storytelling: Past, Present and Future with Shel Israel.

PM

Video  —  Posted: August 7, 2013 in Interview
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