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Uber rolls into South Bend

first_imgSince its founding in 2009, Uber has spread to more than 100 cities – and since it added South Bend to that list a week ago, it has already won the support of many students who see it as a streamlined way to find a ride.Mary McGraw | The Observer Uber offers an alternative to traditional cab companies by integrating technology in the process of finding transportation. The system is simple: users download a mobile app, check for a driver in their area, wait to be picked up and pay with a credit card. Registered drivers get online any time they’re available, locate anyone who requests their services by their GPS coordinates and pick passengers up using their own vehicles.The term “sharing economy” is tossed around to describe this untraditional system, and Kristen Collett-Schmitt, associate teaching professor in the Finance department, said the concept appears to have evolved in the last 10 to 15 years alongside emerging new technologies that allow people to collaborate and allocate scarce resources. The rising popularity of Uber and other similar businesses such as Airbnb reflects a cultural shift in the past decade, she said.“Social networking has increased the willingness of individuals to actually share with each other, encouraging this type of economy,” Collett-Schmitt said. “One might argue that the ‘sharing economy’ is not just a function of changing technology, but also the financial crisis of 2008 and the uncertainty that still exists regarding the stability of the economy.“Economic uncertainty reminds us that resources are scarce, and increasingly-present environmental concerns encourage us to use resources more wisely. I think the ‘sharing economy’ supports this idea completely.”Junior Rachel Broghammer took advantage of an Uber promotion offering free rides during Labor Day weekend. As a native of San Francisco, where Uber started, she had used it in the past and said she was “really kind of shocked” to hear it would come to South Bend.“It’s really, really popular in San Francisco, partly because taxis there are so pricey,” she said. “And you don’t have to wait as long if you can find a driver that’s closer to me.”Her first South Bend experience with Uber went well, she said, but she expects it will improve as it becomes more widely-used – some students were unable to get rides because no local drivers were available at certain times.“Our driver came right up in the car we expected, and he was really incredibly nice, a South Bend resident who said he does this on his days off,” Broghammer said. “Everything was really nice and clean; they really research their drivers.”She said she’s comfortable with Uber because of the comprehensive review system available, where riders can give feedback about particular drivers that’s available for other riders to view. As it takes off in South Bend, though, it will likely take time before there are enough reviews to be helpful, she said.“With the reviews, you know ahead of time what you’re getting,” she said. “You don’t necessarily know that about a taxi. … For me, I think I would be very comfortable with using it anytime if I’d looked at the reviews of the driver.”For Broghammer, there are still situations in which she’d still stick to a traditional cab instead, though.“The only time I would prefer a traditional cab would be going from something off campus late at night, because at least then you can pack a lot of people into the cab,” she said. “And even if I don’t know the driver, I can trust the cab company.”Senior Quinn O’Heeney used the free ride promotion last week with a group of seven people and said it went well. The driver arrived at library circle when he said he would and was polite and funny, O’Heeney said. He said regular cabs would be more affordable in some situations, but the Uber payment system is more appealing overall. “I would rather use a flag drop cab if it was just me or maybe one other person since $3 each would probably be less expensive,” he said. “In any other situation, I would prefer Uber because of the cashless aspect of it. I have been in many cab rides where one person pays way too much because people don’t have small bills and the driver doesn’t have correct change.”There are limitations to Uber’s availability — South Bend International Airport officials issued a statement Aug. 28 to inform travelers that Uber drivers would not be allowed to pick up passengers at the airport, according to a report in the South Bend Tribune.The “sharing economy” has run into legal issues in some cities, especially with regard to licensing and taxing, and Collett-Schmitt said this is because laws are not yet written to handle this new type of consumption.“I believe these concerns are legitimate,” she said. “The goods in this type of economy might also not be subject to the same laws that protect consumers. With car-sharing services, it’s not always clear who would be liable in the case of an accident. “Taxis bring up the larger issues involving regulation. Many large cities require drivers of taxis to purchase ‘medallions’ or licenses, which are very expensive. . . . This regulation might also stabilize prices and require drivers to meet certain quality standards, thus protecting consumers.”Collett-Schmitt said she sees services like Uber as solving market failure by generating transactions that would not otherwise take place if new technology had not lowered transaction costs. In this way, the additional transactions benefit society, she said.“Services like Uber will also create competition for taxi drivers who had not previously been innovative because of the lack of competition,” she said. “One hopes this will encourage producers that offer substitute or complementary goods to be more innovative.“Or, as the ‘sharing economy’ becomes more popular, larger, more well-known companies that already offer complementary or substitute goods may invest in goods that are part of the ‘sharing economy,’ like a car manufacturer teaming up with Uber.”Tags: Ride sharing, sharing economy, South Bend, taxi, Uberlast_img read more

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Big data innovations benefit community financial institutions

first_imgSpreading the availability of once complex information and technology to broader audiences is known as democratization. As the big data revolution marches on, we are seeing an increase in the availability of data and the analytical tools needed to make sense of the data once it’s collected. In other words, we are entering a phase of big data analytics democratization, and community financial institutions (FIs) stand to benefit.Recently released research from Mercator Advisory Group looks at how the democratization of big data analytics is helping FIs better understand consumer behavior. The research report, “Analytics Innovations for Business Users Show Promise in Banking,” delves into innovations, such as data visualization, that are simplifying data gathering analysis for FIs.Standouts from the report include: How FIs understand the value of big data as it progresses beyond basic charts and reportsThe increasing availability of faster, more user-friendly analytics tools and softwareNew methods for quicker modeling, data management, testing and implementation continue reading » 33SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Palm Springs-inspired property renovated on House Rules epitomises Gold Coast living

first_imgDoes this property look familiar? It starred on a television show and is now listed for sale.SPLASHES of colour, eccentric wallpaper, trendy textures and luxury fittings have been expertly blended at this Broadbeach Waters house, creating the ultimate summer haven.The Palm Springs-inspired oasis is bright, beautiful and epitomises Gold Coast waterfront living. Each room is packed with personality and you’ll want to entertain at every chance you get to show off the quirky, yet luxurious home. MORE NEWS: How to sell for the highest priceMORE NEWS: Luxury mansion redesigned: see the before and afters The property even makes a statement from the water.Topping off the offering is the backyard with a beach vibe. The pool is surrounded by whitewashed timber decking and glass fencing to make sure the canal views are on full display. The covered entertainment area has lights, a ceiling fan and a barbecue and nearby steps lead to the private sandy beach. At 9 Summerland Key, the property lives up to its street’s name. The four-bedroom house is on the market with a $1.325 million price tag through Danny Stanley and Jamie Harrison of Kollosche. The four-bedroom house at 9 Summerland Key, Broadbeach Waters, is on the market with a $1.325 million price tag. The home is a tropical oasis. The main bedroom and its open ensuite is a highlight of the property.The property is immediately enticing thanks to a stylish gate with a intricately detailed wooden entry door and a sun-splashed sitting area in the enclosed frontyard. Even the entry hallway makes a statement with two feature walls and a funky pendant light. The main bedroom is zoned at the front of the home and features a double walk-in wardrobe and an open ensuite. The ensuite is a real highlight of the property with a vibrant feature wall, brass gold fixtures, a freestanding bath, a floating timber vanity and luminous oval mirrors. The rear of the floorplan is open and light filled. Even the kitchen has its own unique features.The home’s floorplan then opens out to the main living hub where the kitchen, dining and living areas all effortlessly connect with the tropical backyard. The cooking zone has an aqua feature wall, a window splashback, high-end appliances, a door that leads to the alfresco area and a servery window. Polished concrete, timber and wallpapered walls are featured across the living and dining area and bi-fold doors open out to the backyard. There’s also a cosy rumpus room with a loft in this zone, as well as a family-sized laundry. The remaining three bedrooms share the main bathroom, which has a wet room design with a freestanding bath. More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa10 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoWant an entrance! [email protected] Aaron and Daniella Winter had their home transformed on House Rules in 2017. Picture: Tertius PickardOwners Aaron and Daniella Winter, the winners of Channel 7’s House Rules in 2017, had their home completely transformed on the show. A two-week renovation on the small screen is to thank for the product today, with the couple also adding some of their own touches after production wrapped. “We have added more features to the house and added our personal touch to every space,” Ms Winter said. “The front facade has changed, plus we have made the backyard a real entertainers’ dream by adding an outdoor kitchen and a fire pit. “It’s a bright, colourful, happy home. “We have a lot of memories (and) our kids love our home as much as we do. This is the part we will miss, seeing how much the kids enjoy the home.” Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:50Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:50 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenTop tips for sellers in Spring00:50 Outdoor entertaining covered.last_img read more

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Florida Tax Revenues Drop Nearly $900 Million Due to Pandemic

first_imgThe state of Florida may have lost nearly $900 million in tax revenues in April, with the coronavirus halting tourism and other industries on which our economy depends heavily.Last March, the state Legislature approved a $93.2 billion budget that it was preparing to send to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature.However, the session to approve the budget took place as DeSantis was beginning to shut down some businesses while implementing stay-at-home measures.Until that point, Florida officials were expecting to take in about $3 billion in tax revenues last month, but learned this week that they fell short by $878 million.A monthly revenue report from the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research reflects the effects of the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders on the state’s tax income.“The presence of coronavirus in Florida presented its most serious threat to the sales tax forecast, especially to those taxes collected from tourists,” explains the report. “In addition, critical supply chains were already interrupted by the impact to other countries and retail sales displaced as a result of social distancing and crowd-avoidance behaviors.”Net revenue for April was projected to be $2.984 billion, but ended up at $2.106 billion.Sales tax revenues from tourism were down 24.1 percent, or $598.2 million.Other revenue sources, including corporate income taxes, highway safety fees and corporate filing fees, collectively earned $323.1 million below previous estimates, due to new state orders allowing delayed payments until June or later.However, revenue from the documentary-stamp, intangibles, beverage, tobacco and severance taxes and earnings on investments exceeded projections.“Together, these sources generated a total gain of $40.9 million for the month; however, some of these sources are expected to experience losses in the coming months as lagged economic effects begin to appear,” the report said.There is no word on when Gov. DeSantis plans to sign the budget, which is scheduled to take effect July 1.State Budget Set, with Money for Teacher Pay and Coronavirus Reserveslast_img read more

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Giroud kickstarts Chelsea career with Southampton fightback

first_img0Shares0000Giroud celebrates scoring his first Premier League goals for Chelsea. © AFP / Glyn KIRKSOUTHAMPTON, United States, Apr 14 – Olivier Giroud hopes to have kickstarted his Chelsea career after coming off the bench to inspire an eight-minute turnaround from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Southampton on Saturday with his first Premier League goals for the club.The French international striker has largely struggled to make an impact since his deadline day move from Arsenal in January, putting his place at the World Cup at risk. “I’ve been through some difficulties in my career, but I always try to come back stronger and it happened today,” said Giroud.“The most important thing is to never give up, believe in our quality, play our game and I am proud of what we have done today.”Defeat is another body blow to Saints’ chances of avoiding relegation as they remain rooted in the bottom three when for so long they seemed set for a first home win in the Premier League since November.Dusan Tadic and debutant Jan Bednarek put the hosts in command, but Giroud struck either side of Eden Hazard’s equaliser to cut the gap on Liverpool and Tottenham in the fight for a top-four finish and Champions League football next season to seven points.“As long as it is mathematically possible we will believe we can reach the top four,” added Giroud. “We have got five finals to play, after that we will see.”The two sides will meet again in the FA Cup semi-finals next weekend, and Southampton will do well to raise themselves for cup glory with their place in the Premier League next season looking ever more precarious.“As has been the case all year apparently we’ve got a soft underbelly,” said Saints boss Mark Hughes, whose three Premier League games in charge have now all ended in defeats. “When the momentum shifts against us we can’t get a platform and wait until the momentum swings our way again.”– Alonso escapes red –Southampton had got off to a perfect start thanks to a former Chelsea player as Ryan Bertrand burst past Cesar Azpilicueta before squaring for Tadic to apply a simple finish.Only a fine save low to his right from Thibaut Courtois denied Saints a second through James Ward-Prowse as Chelsea struggled to create anything of note before the break.“Our first half was very negative,” said Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. “We didn’t show great spirit, desire, will to fight to win this game.“But I saw a great reaction. If you don’t have something in you’re heart, it’s difficult to come back and win this game.”Chelsea’s frustration overspilled as tempers flared late in the first period when Marcos Alonso was lucky to escape unpunished for raking his studs down Shane Long’s calf.“It’s a clear red card and clear intent to hurt Shane,” raged Hughes. “It could’ve broken his leg. There were three officials within five to 10 yards so how each of them missed it is a mystery to me.”Bednarek marked his Premier League debut in style when he half-volleyed expertly across the goal and into the far corner from Ward-Prowse’s free-kick on the hour mark.Conte swiftly responded by hauling off the disappointing Alvaro Morata and Davide Zappacosta for Pedro Rodriguez and Giroud.And Giroud showed what he is capable of with a brave near post header from Alonso’s pinpoint cross to get Chelsea back in the game and spark an incredible fightback 20 minutes from time.Five minutes later Hazard levelled by smashing home Willian’s cross from close range.With Southampton reeling, Giroud then completed Chelsea’s comeback when he pounced on a loose ball inside the area to drive into the bottom corner.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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