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Google travel sites hurt Airbnb in search results

first_imgThe Justice Department filed its long-expected antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet last month, alleging the company has unlawfully maintained a monopoly in search by cutting off rivals from key distribution channels. Alphabet rebutted the argument, saying it has plenty of competitors and that its services help consumers.Airbnb and Alphabet have one mutual board member, Ann Mather.Airbnb’s statements follow other travel executives who have criticized Google’s effect on the travel industry. TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer, a longtime critic of Google, told CNBC last month that he welcomes the DOJ’s antitrust lawsuit against the Alphabet search unit, saying the company uses “its dominance in internet gatekeeping at the expense of other businesses.” Expedia CEO Peter Kern also recently said, “We have no axe to grind against Google, except that we don’t think the marketplace is equitable.”Watch Now: Airbnb files for IPO Airbnb says Google’s search business has prevented the home-sharing company from reaping internet traffic, according to documents the company filed as it prepares to sell shares to the public.Airbnb allows users to book short-term rentals and experiences while traveling. Under the “Risk Factors” in Airbnb’s S-1 filing, the company said Google has favored its own products over the company’s, resulting in fewer online visitors to its website. In the last year, the Alphabet company has added more search features akin to travel websites, including for vacation rentals. “We believe that our SEO results have been adversely affected by the launch of Google Travel and Google Vacation Rental Ads, which reduce the prominence of our platform in organic search results for travel-related terms and placement on Google,” the prospectus states. Airbnb explains SEO, or search engine optimization, as the practice of tailoring content to appear more prominently in search results without paying for placement.- Advertisement – “We focus on unpaid channels such as SEO,” the prospectus states. “SEO involves developing our platform in a way that enables a search engine to rank our platform prominently for search queries for which our platform’s content may be relevant. Changes to search engine algorithms or similar actions are not within our control, and could adversely affect our search-engine rankings and traffic to our platform.”The company warns that continued problems with search rankings could force it to spend more on marketing. “To the extent that our brand and platform are listed less prominently or fail to appear in search results for any reason, we would need to increase our paid marketing spend which would increase our overall customer acquisition costs and materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img Brian Chesky, chief executive officer and co-founder of Airbnb Inc., speaks during an Economic Club of New York luncheon at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Monday, March 13, 2017.Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images – Advertisement –last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Jan. 4

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTake action against anti-SemitismThe large number of violent acts of anti-Semitism in recent weeks in the greater New York area is of great concern to the Schenectady Jewish community.It feels like open season on the Jews, and many of us are afraid. We live in a climate of “different than me is my enemy.” And this cycle has to end. Here are some suggestions of action items:1. All leaders, whether in congregations or in government offices or in community services, must speak out against anti-Semitism and violence.2. Each and every one of us need to be vigilant. If we hear others say something, even in jest, that reflects a hatred of Jews or others, stop them and call them out on it.3. Pledge to use your words with care and sensitivity to others.4. Do what makes you feel connected. Remember that we are never alone.5. Create opportunities in your community for Jewish people to share about their experience and about their faith. Ignorance breeds hate.6. Show up at solidarity events to affirm that anti-Semitic violence is not tolerated in our community.7. Do what makes you feel loved. Ask for love from others and share it back.If we want to end anti-Semitism in our community, the task belongs to all of us. Act.Rabbi Matt CutlerCongregation Gates of HeavenRabbi Rafi SpitzerCongregation Agudat AchimSchenectadyUnhappy with First Night experienceI regret having to write this, but Saratoga Arts and the organizers of the First Night 5k race owe me and a few dozen other runners a formal apology, if not a refund, for our pre-paid First Night buttons that were nowhere to be found at check-in.I was told by a young, poorly informed volunteer that they were “probably oversold.” Inexcusable.And after waiting in a deserted Skidmore parking lot for the promised shuttle that never came, I trudged all the way downtown, carrying two bags of wet clothing. (No, I don’t have Uber, and God help you on New Year’s Eve anyway.)We eventually did get our three buttons for which I paid over $50, but not until almost half the evening had passed and I was too spent to continue, so we drove home.Not the kind of experience TV viewers routinely see, but it’s the one I had.William CoxSchenectadyD.C. politicians are scamming taxpayersWashington, D.C., Democrats are dirty players.They have everybody’s heads turned to Trump’s impeachment scam.The Democrats did a sneaky Pearl Harbor attack on the 1.4 trillion-dollar spending bill on the American taxpayers.Who knows what’s in that $1.4 trillion spending bill.I am a conservative and American taxpayer, and like all American taxpayers, I have the right to know.Who can read 300-400 pages of the bill in 24 hours?Rush it before Christmas break, so as not to shut down the government.It’s immoral behavior again by the Democrats.There’s a saying, “Fool me once, it’s your fault. Fool me twice, it’s my fault.”The president should not have signed that spending bill.I guess we will find out in 2020 what’s in that spending bill that the American people are paying for.It’s the fault of President Trump’s, the Republicans and Democrats for pulling a fast one on the American people.There’s no way to read and understand what’s in that spending bill in 24 hours.David S. MattasGloversvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

South Korean parliament closed over virus fears

first_imgTopics : South Korea’s parliament was shut down on Thursday and a group of lawmakers were in self-quarantine as the country recorded more than 400 new coronavirus infections.The South endured one of the worst early outbreaks of Covid-19 outside mainland China before bringing it broadly under control with extensive tracing and testing, but is now battling several clusters mostly linked to Protestant churches.Thursday’s 441 new cases were mostly in the greater Seoul area and are the latest in a series of near-six-month highs after several weeks with numbers generally in the 30s and 40s. Opposition parties also cancelled scheduled meetings. The photographer came in contact with around 50 people at the assembly on Wednesday, 32 of them party lawmakers and officials.The parliamentary shutdown is the second over coronavirus concerns, after a February closure when an attendee at an event tested positive.Thursday’s infection numbers were the 14th consecutive day of triple-digit increases and brought the country’s total to 18,706.center_img The National Assembly was closed after a photojournalist who covered a ruling party meeting on Wednesday was later confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.The result prompted more than 10 top Democrats — including the party chairman and its parliamentary leader — to undergo tests and go into self-isolation.After the meeting the reporter learned that a relative he had met at the weekend had tested positive, and he then had himself tested.Officials on Wednesday held late-night talks on how to handle the situation and ordered all parliamentary activities suspended from Thursday, with both the assembly and a building housing lawmakers’ offices closed.last_img read more

Friday people roundup

first_imgVarma, RobecoSAM, Vescore, PLSA, Standard Life, Unigestion, Schroder Investment Management, GAM, Generali Investments, Jetstone Asset Management, Rogge Global PartnersVarma – Pekka Piispanen, Casimir Lindholm and Eila Annala have been elected by the supervisory board of Finnish pensions insurance company Varma to the firm’s board of directors. Piispanen is a director of Akava, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland, Lindholm is chief executive of construction firm Lemminkäinen, and Annala is managing director of healthcare service company PlusTerveys. Annala has been elected as a deputy member, while the other two are to be full members. The appointments will take effect on 1 January 2017, the day after board chair Berndt Brunow’s term ends. Board member Veli-Matti Töyrylä’s term will expire then, as will that of deputy board member Mikko Ketonen. Four other members and deputy members’ terms are also due to finish at the end of December, but they will remain on the board.RobecoSAM – Aris Prepoudis is joining the investment manager as chief executive from 1 January 2017, subject to its Swiss regulator’s approval. He will take over from Reto Schwager, who has been interim chief executive since August 2016. Schwager will continue to perform as global head of private equity and a member of the executive committee. Prepoudis was until recently the chief executive of Vescore (formerly Notenstein Asset Management) and before that head of the institutional client business unit at Notenstein Privatbank. PLSA – The UK’s Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has appointed Jamie Jenkins, head of pensions strategy at Standard Life, to its Defined Contribution Council. Jenkins leads on strategy for Standard Life’s pension business and previously led its corporate pensions operation. He is a scheme trustee and sits on a number of regulatory and trade body councils and advisory groups. Unigestion – Miles O’Connor has been appointed chairman of the board of Unigestion UK, based in London. He was previously the head of UK institutional and head of EMEA institutional at Schroder Investment Management. He has also held senior management roles at Barclays Global Investors and was head of international business development at Bank of America/WorldInvest for six years.GAM – Gerald Saam has joined the asset manager’s institutional sales teams in Frankfurt, having previously been at Generali Investments Europe in Cologne for five years. Before that, he held institutional sale positions at Nomura Bank and Threadneedle Investments.Jetstone Asset Management – Igor Pikovsky has been appointed chief risk officer. He joins from Rogge Global Partners in London, where he was a senior partner and global head of risk. Before then, he worked at Credit Suisse First Boston and Morgan Stanley.last_img read more

Study links body clock to mood disorders

first_imgHealthInternationalLifestylePrint Study links body clock to mood disorders by: – May 16, 2018 Tweet Share Share Sharing is caring!center_img Share 21 Views   no discussions PARIS, France (AFP) — Messing with the natural rhythm of one’s internal clock may boost the risk of developing mood problems ranging from garden-variety loneliness to severe depression and bipolar disorder, researchers said Wednesday.The largest study of its kind, involving more than 91,000 people, also linked interference with the body’s “circadian rhythm” to a decline in cognitive functions such as memory and attention span.The brain’s hard-wired circadian timekeeper governs day-night cycles, influencing sleep patterns, the release of hormones and even body temperature.Earlier research had suggested that disrupting these rhythms can adversely affect mental health, but was inconclusive: most data was self-reported, participant groups were small, and potentially data-skewing factors were not ruled out.For the new study, an international team led by University of Glasgow psychologist Laura Lyall analysed data — taken from the UK Biobank, one of the most complete long-term health surveys ever done — on 91,105 people aged 37 to 73.The volunteers wore accelerometers that measured patterns of rest and activity and had this record compared to their mental history, also taken from the UK Biobank.Individuals with a history of disrupting their body’s natural rhythm — working night shifts, for example, or suffering repeated jetlag — also tended to have a higher lifetime risk of mood disorders, feelings of unhappiness, and cognitive problems, the researchers found.‘Owls’ and ‘Larks’The results held true even when the potential impact of factors such as old age, unhealthy lifestyle, obesity, and childhood trauma were taken into account, they reported in The Lancet Psychiatry, a medical journal.The study cannot say conclusively that body clock disturbances are what caused the mental risk, instead of the other way round.But the findings “reinforce the idea that mood disorders are associated with disturbed circadian rhythms,” said Lyall.Measurements of people’s rest-work cycles could be a useful tool for flagging and treating people at risk of major depression or bipolar disorders, the researchers concluded.One limitation of the study was the average age of the trial participants — 62.“Seventy-five per cent of [mental] disorders start before the age of 24 years,” said University of Oxford researcher Aiden Doherty, commenting on the paper.“The circadian system undergoes developmental changes during adolescence, which is also a common time for the onset of mood disorders,” he added.Humans have been shown to be either “owls” or “larks”, corresponding to so-called genetic “chronotypes” that determine whether we function better at night or during the day.Last year, the Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to three US scientists who pioneered our understanding of how the circadian clock ticks.last_img read more

PNP always a problem for any administration – Duterte

first_img “Historically, the PNP has always been a problem for any administration. Alam ninyo ‘yan. And I think that with the remaining two years, if I can just fix a third of what’s bugging the PNP, and that is corruption,” he added. MANILA – PresidentRodrigo Duterte did not hide his frustration over the Philippine NationalPolice (PNP), saying the institutionhas always been a problem for any administration.  Duterte has yet to name the new PNP chief after admitting that he has troubles appointing a replacement for Oscar Albayalde, who stepped down from his post in October. Among the candidates for the PNP chief post were PNP officer-in-charge Archie Gamboa, deputy chief for operations Camilo Cascolan and directorial staff head Guillermo Eleazar. In an interview with the media at Malacañang on Tuesday afternoon, President Duterte has given Interior Secretary Eduardo Año a blanket authority to fix the problems in the PNP.center_img President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. PCOO  “I have ordered Secretary Año to make the corrections… It is on his shoulder the future of how the police would behave in the coming years,” President Duterte said. Albayalde relinquished his post before his retirement age after he was accused during a Senate investigation of blocking the dismissal of 13 policemen involved in an irregular drug raid in Pampanga during his stint as provincial police chief in 2013./PNlast_img read more

Suspect identified in wild three-state chase

first_imgLawrenceburg, In.—  Dearborn-Ohio County prosecutor Lynn Deddens has identified Quinten L. Whittacker as the driver of the stolen SUV that led police on a high-speed chase that ended with a crash on westbound I-74 at the Sunman exit.On August 30 Lawrenceburg police responded to a report of a vehicle fleeing the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport. Soon, multiple agencies joined the pursuit that reached speeds of 120-miles-per-hour. The chase ended when Whittaker slammed the rear of a semi truck in the construction zone.Whittaker was transported to a local hospital for treatment and is being held in Boone County Kentucky for auto theft, resisting law enforcement, counterfeiting, counterfeiting government issued identification and false informing.Prosecutor Deddens says,” The alleged conduct of Whittaker presented a serious risk to the safety of Dearborn County residents and individuals driving along I-74 and I-275. Through the diligent pursuit of agencies from Dearborn County, Kentucky, Ohio, this pursuit was ended without individuals from the community being harmed.”last_img read more

‘Fixing Kingpin’ Chawla likely to be flown on Monday, top bookies jittery

first_imgNew Delhi: The UK Home Department is expected to give a final go-ahead to extradite cricket betting kingpin Sanjeev Chawla to India on Monday.The UK High Court had dispatched a sealed envelope to Home Department to take a final call on Chawla, whose appeal against extradition was turned down by two judges of the High Court on Thursday, highly placed sources in Delhi Police told IANS.London based businessman Sanjeev Chawla, who turned a major bookie for the D-company in the late 1990s, would be the second person to be extradited from London since the UK signed an extradition treaty with India in 1992.Sources said Chawla is expected to be flown to India on an Air India flight reaching Delhi early Tuesday morning. Ram Gopal Naik, DCP Crime, Delhi Police, is presently in London with his team to take custody of Chawla, once the UK Home Department issues the order for the bookie’s release.”The High Court has already given its orders. Now we are only awaiting certain extradition formalities to be carried out by the Home Department. It seems by Monday afternoon we will have the orders in hand,” said an official of the Delhi Police Crime Branch.Sources said that Chawla operated one of the biggest betting syndicates in the late ’90s under the patronage of Mumbai-based business tycoons and operatives of D-Company. While Chawla fixed matches through top cricketers in South Africa, India, Pakistan, and other countries, D-Company ensured that bids are settled smoothly through overseas hawala transactions.”Though Chawla is being brought to India after 19 years, his interrogation in Delhi would expose several big faces in the cricketing world,” said Ajay Raj Sharma, who was the Delhi Police Commissioner in 2000 when the match-fixing scandal rocked the sporting fraternity. IANSAlso Read: Royal Challengers Bangalore will come hard at us, need to be alert: Piyush ChawlaAlso Watch: Protesters, who walked all the way from Tinsukia-Guwahati to protest against CAA 2019, Detained!last_img read more

Tennis News Roger Federer defeats Rafael Nadal, sets up Wimbledon final clash with Novak Djokovic

first_imgRoger Federer has won Wimbledon eight times, the most by a male player.Martina Navratilova has won nine Wimbledon singles titles, the most by any player.Novak Djokovic has a positive head-to-head record against both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. New Delhi: Roger Federer produced an epic performance and added yet another storied chapter in his famous rivalry with Rafael Nadal. The duo and their rivalry, considered one of the greatest in the modern tennis era, squared off in Wimbledon after 11 years. Federer always had a poor head-to-head record against Nadal, but in Wimbledon, he held the edge. Federer’s love for Wimbledon was more than enough to take him past his most fiercest rival and the Swiss maestro did not disappoint. Federer produced a performance for the ages as he defeated Nadal 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final. In Federer’s path to an unprecedented ninth men’s Wimbledon title stands Novak Djokovic, who defeated Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the final on Friday. A Federer-Nadal clash is expected to be one of intensity and many twists and turns. Nadal had thrashed Federer in the French Open final and the Spaniard showed his legendary status by winning the French Open for the 12th time. However, in Wimbledon, it was Federer’s turn to show Nadal who is the boss. Both players played with intensity as they did not yield an inch. The first set went to a tie-breaker and Federer always held the advantage, considering his magnificent record in tie-breakers over the years. Nadal committed a couple of unforced errors and Federer won the tie-breaker 7-3 to clinch the first set.Nadal, though, is not someone who could lie down easily and he roared back to form to put Federer under immense pressure. The Swiss maestro once again seemed to be committing the same mistakes which he had done against Nadal all those years ago and he buckled to lose the set 1-6. However, in the next two sets, Federer’s serve proved to be magical and Nadal found it difficult to find an opening. Federer held his nerve and broke Nadal early to clinch the third set 6-3. Federer and Nadal were at their intense best in the fourth set but a break by Federer gave him a 5-3 lead and he was given the chance to serve the match out. However, Nadal refused to yield and he saved two match points on deuce. It was third time lucky though as Federer clinched the game and the set to reach the final. Earlier, defending champion Novak Djokovic reached his sixth Wimbledon final Friday as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal prepared to meet at the All England Club for the first time since their epic 2008 title showdown. World number one and four-time Wimbledon winner Djokovic booked his 25th Grand Slam final appearance with a nervy 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Spain’s 23rd seed Roberto Bautista Agut. “This has been a remarkable tournament for me and to be in another final is a dream come true,” said the top seed. “I had to dig deep, Roberto was playing his first semi-final at a Grand Slam and he was not really overwhelmed. “It was a really close opening four to five games of the third set that could have gone either way—thankfully it went mine.” The 32-year-old will go into Sunday’s final seeking a 16th major title with a career advantage over both his great rivals.He leads Federer 25-22 and Nadal 28-26. “I will watch Federer and Nadal. I am a fan of that match up—it’s one of the most epic rivalries of all time.” Watched by a Royal Box crammed with sports and movie A-listers—David Beckham, Rod Laver, Gary Player, Jude Law, Damian Lewis—Djokovic swept through the first set with breaks in the second and eighth games.  For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.center_img highlightslast_img read more

Korger: Optimism remains after devastating weekend of injuries

first_imgIf there’s something I’ve learned in my life as both a fan of sports and as a journalist, it’s that athletic prowess and success can be taken away at the drop of the hat.Or a single hit. Or an ACL tear.But that’s just the nature of sports. The game is physical, the demands on the body extremely rigorous and sometimes, pure chance plays unfavorably to the athlete in motion.But the measure of the player comes in his response to the injury, to an event that threatens to derail the dreams of a season. The measure of the athlete’s team comes in its response to that absence, from the players who step up to meet the challenge and take on new roles.So, does the team crumble under the adversity? Do they rise up to meet the challenge? Or is it a shadow of itself simply going through the motions?Time always yields the answers, but sometimes as onlookers we lose the real message in the entire situation where pessimism reigns supreme.It’s just one player.If these sports truly are team sports, then one player does not win or lose a game. Granted, the special ones find a way to make their presence and impact known on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean their absence dooms an entire season.At least, not this year.Stave was a growing star in this Wisconsin football season – that’s a given. The redshirt freshman had his struggles, but when the team needed him most, he rose to restore faith in the campaign for a third-consecutive Rose Bowl appearance. After amounting the best first half in his career as a starter under center, against one of the best defenses in the country, Stave’s collarbone was broken by the sheer force of a physical hit to start the second half.Josh Gasser was supposed to emerge stronger and more talented then ever in his junior campaign for Bo Ryan and Wisconsin basketball, providing veteran leadership and taking over the void left at point guard by campus legend Jordan Taylor. With an extremely young and unproven backcourt coming into the season, Gasser was supposed to help mitigate the learning curve that George Marshall and Traevon Jackson would experience during their increased roles.Two leaders gone. Now what?Sure, Danny O’Brien’s performance after he replaced Stave inspired less confidence than a ship with holes in it plugged with Swiss cheese. And yes, the Wisconsin offense had less flow than a clogged toilet. But at least O’Brien has some starting experience this year. Keep in mind, Danny O’Brien probably received about a third of the snaps that Stave did during the week. It’s no excuse for his poor play, but his preparation for Michigan State was probably lacking compared to the man he was replacing. Remember, the last time O’Brien found the field in an actual game situation was at Nebraska during a questionable two-minute drill. With a bye week approaching at the perfect time, O’Brien will have adequate time to prepare for what essentially amounts to a one-game play-in for a spot in the Big Ten Championship game against the Hoosiers. If O’Brien can manage the offense well enough to give Wisconsin a win in Bloomington, the team will get its shot at a return trip to Pasadena. And in just one game, who knows what can happen?As for Gasser’s injury, it’s definitely shortened the length of the learning curve for the young Marshall and Jackson. With the most seasoned guard missing from Wisconsin’s roster, Marshall will most likely take the reigns at the point faster than expected. But heck, he was expected to play eventually, so why not right away?Yes, the team will miss Gasser immensely. His terrific defense was always a brutal necessity in a long Big Ten season full of terrific guards, as was his steady three-point shooting. But fans can take solace in knowing that young players like Sam Dekker, Marshall, Jackson and Ben Brust have the talent necessary to keep this Badger backcourt competitive enough to once again reach the NCAA tournament under Bo Ryan.Because, let’s be honest, it’s Bo Ryan. He finds a way to get it done. And don’t forget about Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren.So don’t let one of the most awful weekends in recent memory for Wisconsin sports get you down. There’s still plenty of football to be played and an entire season of basketball remaining. Nothing is, by any means, over.Nick is a fifth-year senior majoring in English and history. He is also a featured member of WSUM’s “The Badger Herald Sports Hour” on Sundays from 4-5 p.m. and “The Student Section” on Mondays from 4-6 p.m. Have a thought about the column? Email him at nkorger@badgerherald.com or reach out via Twitter @NickKorger.last_img read more