‘£60m bid by Man United? I’d pay £100m to sign this world class attacker!

first_img Manchester United transfer target Thomas Muller Man United have reportedly offered Bayern Munich £60m for Thomas Muller.It was thought the 20-time English champions were on the brink of sealing the transfer of Pedro from Barcelona, but reports in Germany are claiming the Red Devils have tabled the huge bid for Muller.VIDEO: MULLER ON TARGET IN BAYERN’S 5-0 OPENING BUNDESLIGA WINBelow are a selection of tweets from Man United fans reacting to news of the possible transfer. 1last_img

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Ranking Raiders’ roster Nos. 1 through 53 at midseason

first_imgALAMEDA — Halfway home and better than expected.Here’s a subjective ranking of the Raiders’ 53-man roster, top to bottom, taking into account not only first-half accomplishments but the level of performance which will be required to still be in the playoff chase come mid-December:1. Derek Carr: The person most responsible for the Raiders being a surprise this season is coach Jon Gruden. Gruden’s direct extension to the field is Carr.2. Josh Jacobs: The left jab that sets up all the …last_img read more

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Cells Use Cloud Computing

first_img“Cloud computing” is the up-and-coming trend in information technology.  It allows processes to run in parallel on multiple networked processors with more robustness, because other processors can pick up the slack if a major server fails.  Scientists are finding that cells have been using this technology all along.    Science Daily reported on work by biologists in Spain and Israel working with Carnegie Mellon University.  “Gene regulatory networks in cell nuclei are similar to cloud computing networks, such as Google or Yahoo!, researchers report today in the online journal Molecular Systems Biology,” the article began.  “The similarity is that each system keeps working despite the failure of individual components, whether they are master genes or computer processors.”  Later, the article brought in another internet giant: “We now have reason to think of cells as robust computational devices, employing redundancy in the same way that enables large computing systems, such as Amazon, to keep operating despite the fact that servers routinely fail.”    Cells have master control genes that turn on other genes.  Researchers have been puzzled by experiments in which de-activating these genes one at a time did not interrupt the cell.  It turns out that parallel copies, called paralogs, are able to step in.  Paralogs have more or less sequence similarity to the master genes.  The more similar they are, the more they can fill in for the master gene.  The article explained, “if one of these genes is lost, other ‘parallel’ master genes with similar sequences, called paralogs, often can replace it by turning on the same set of genes.”    Scientists estimate that 5 to 10 percent of genes are in this master-gene category.  Many diseases are associated with mutations in one or more of these transcription factors, the article said.All together now: “This article said nothing about evolution.”  It’s such an ingrained pattern (that the more scientific detail, the less Darwin), it is becoming wallpaper.  For fun, make up a just-so story about how this cloud computing technology in the cell came about.  The crazier the better.  You might even get it published by New Scientist, the euphemistic label for Old Materialist.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Better water supply for South African schools

first_imgThe government is aiming to providedrinking water for all schools by 2014. Minister Angie Motshekga applauded theenlisting of specialist companies. Coca-Cola’s William Egbe said project’spartnerships are strategic.(Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Sammy MohlaoliCommunications ManagerCoca-Cola South Africa+27 11 644 0528 or +27 79 525 6934Bongani NkosiThe government’s plan to improve water supply and sanitation in schools has been boosted by a new, R30-million (US$4.2-million) project called Water for Schools, officially launched on 10 September.The project, led by Coca-Cola, will be rolled out in 100 state schools across South Africa over a two-year period.It forms part of the company’s US$30-million (R215.4-million) Replenish Africa Initiative, which it aims to provide potable water to over 2-million people in Africa by 2015.Water for Schools will see water supply infrastructure and sanitation facilities installed where necessary, and improved in other schools, with funds channelled from the new scheme. Work has already begun at nine of the targeted schools.The project is expected to benefit at least 80 000 pupils in primary and secondary schools once fully implemented in late 2012.The beverage giant has partnered with the Department of Basic Education and organisations with expertise on water supply and sanitation, such as the NGO Mvula Trust, water engineering specialists Re-solve Consulting and H2O for Life, an NGO based in the US.The Department of Basic Education has committed to ensuring a “safe, sustainable supply of drinking water and sanitation” at every school across the country by 2014 as part of its Schooling 2025 Plan launched in May 2010.The 2025 strategy includes improving state school infrastructure and administration over the next 15 years.“Water for Schools will help us to further open the doors of learning,” said the department’s minister Angie Motshekga. “This programme is significant to us.”System overloadThere are currently more than 450 schools lacking basic water and sanitation facilities in South Africa, Motshekga said, adding that this is part of the backlog that would require R88-billion ($12.2-billion) to address.Certain communities still don’t have enough schools, so existing ones in those areas are overloaded – putting a strain on their water supply and ablution systems, the minister said.The department will lend all necessary support to ensure that Water for Schools is carried out successfully, she said.“We will do whatever it takes to make sure the project succeeds because we need it more than Coca-Cola does.”Once the facilities are established, the department’s prime role will be to maintain them.Project expertise Motshekga has applauded Coca-Cola for involving specialist companies in the project. This will free up teachers to focus on their jobs while projects are under way.“We’re grateful that Coca-Cola has brought in expertise. We can focus on what we should be doing, so that teachers do not find themselves being project managers or water technicians,” she added.Re-solve Consulting recently finished repairing leaks at three schools in Katorus, located on the East Rand near Johannesburg, at a cost of R300 000 ($42 000).Mvula Trust will provide expertise on sustaining the facilities. The NGO is well suited to this, having been involved in numerous poor communities since 1993 to ensure water service delivery from municipalities.Partnerships formed through Water for Schools are vital for getting the job done within the set time frame, said Coca-Cola’s William Egbe. “We want to ensure that the partnerships will be viable, meaningful to communities and sustainable.”last_img read more

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HIV project aims to reduce new infections among young women

first_imgWomen in their late teens and early 20s make up a large percentage of new HIV infections in South Africa, despite ongoing awareness programmes. Now, an initiative will test the effectiveness of preventative medication in that group.Helen Rees, head of Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, says PrEP is just one facet of a comprehensive HIV programme. Image: Wits)Sulaiman PhilipIn 2016, there were seven million HIV-positive South Africans. In spite of ongoing treatment and the largest programme in the world, as well as awareness programmes, there were 270,000 new infections last year.A large percentage of those new infections – 1,745 a week – are women in their early 20s. A new project beginning in January by the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, funded by Unitaid, will test the effectiveness of an oral medication to prevent HIV infection.Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) will be given to 6,640 women and young girls between the ages of 15 and 24 in areas with the highest number of new HIV infections in that age group. Medication is just one part of a programme that includes comprehensive health services and counselling.Professor Helen Rees, executive director of the institute at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), said once the three-year, R143-million project proved successful in reducing the rate of new infections, it would be integrated into the national Health Department’s She Conquers campaign.“New HIV prevention technologies could make a major difference to the trajectory of the HIV epidemic. If we have new tools, even if they are partially effective, we must consider introducing them into the public sector if we want to stop new infections,” Rees explained at the launch of the PrEP programme.An HIV/Aids awareness billboard in Hoedspruit, Limpopo. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff)She ConquersThe project leader, Dr Saiqa Mullick, shares the objectives of She Conquers. Like the Department of Health programme, the PrEP initiative is working to reduce new HIV infections and decrease the incidence of teenage pregnanies and school droput rates. For Mullick, an important hoped-for outcome would be a reduction in gender-based violence by improving access to services and support for young women.“Adolescent girls and young women are a priority, high-risk population, particularly in east and southern Africa, but few programmes have been implemented for them on a large scale, and many questions remain about how to reach young women to initiate and sustain HIV-prevention options.”According to Mark Heywood, director of the Section 27 NPO, programmes such as She Conquers and the new Wits programme are important because there is “shockingly, a decline in knowledge of HIV among young people. It is like we have taken our foot off the accelerator, in certain respects.”A recent UNAids report found that young and adolescent women made up a quarter of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa. The agency said poverty, lack of education and violence meant the demographic was at “particularly high risk”. In South Africa, these women often have transactional sex relationships with older men who can afford to buy them gifts, food and clothing.Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a one-pill-a-day antiretroviral treatment that has proven to be 70% successful in reducing the risk of infection. There have been five international PrEP studies; the South African study differs in that researchers are looking at how PrEP works among populations that are already accessing health programmes. The programme, run by Wits, will give researchers insight into cost effective modelling to help guide national policy decisions.Said Unitaid executive director Lelio Marmora: “Our longer-term objective is to lay the groundwork for wider adoption of PrEP in high-risk groups. At scale, this project is expected to avert 3,000 HIV infections a year and save nearly $20-million (R267-million), the difference between the cost of PrEP and that of adhering to HIV treatment for a lifetime.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Pork Checkoff submits comments on 2015 Dietary Guidelines

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Pork Checkoff has submitted a second round of comments to the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture supporting the role of lean meat in a healthy diet. The comments include research not previously considered in an earlier report from the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). This group will recommend new dietary guidelines for the American public. The new guidelines, revised every five years, are scheduled to go into effect early next year.“The National Pork Board supports the recommendations in the previous dietary guidelines for the consumption of lean meat and protein foods,” said Adria Sheil-Brown, manager of nutrition communication and research with the National Pork Board.Those recommendations are based on the published science and focused on the benefits of choosing a variety of nutrient-rich foods.“Americans will enjoy better health through more frequent selection of naturally nutrient-rich foods, including lean meat,” she said.Consumption data show that nutrient-rich meats are not overconsumed in the average American diet.“In fact, more than 60% of the U.S. population is consuming the Protein Food Group at or below the recommended intake levels and low intake of protein remains a special concern among older adults, according to the technical report,” Sheil-Brown said.The Pork Checkoff’s comments included details that research has shown how lean meat, including pork, plays an important role in many aspects of a healthy diet:• Iron — Iron is under-consumed by adolescent and premenopausal females, including women who are pregnant. The 2015 DGAC recommends adolescent and premenopausal females increase consumption of foods rich in iron. Heme iron is only found in meat and is more available than the non-heme iron from plant sources. Data indicate that heme iron is absorbed by the body at levels ranging from 15 to 35% while iron from plants (non-heme) is absorbed at levels ranging from only 2 to 20%. A three-ounce serving of pork tenderloin delivers 5% of the daily value (DV) of heme iron.• Potassium — Few Americans consume potassium in amounts equal to or greater than the adequate intake level, yet there are a number of health benefits from dietary potassium including its effect on blood pressure. A three-ounce serving of pork tenderloin is a “good” source as it delivers 10% of the DV of potassium.• Vitamin B-12 — Lean meat is also an important source of vitamin B-12, a micronutrient not found in plant-based foods. As the dietary research scenarios within the DGAC technical report note, generally when animal foods were replaced in various ways with plant foods, the research indicated “micronutrient intake was generally similar with the exception of a drop in vitamin B12.” A three-ounce serving of pork tenderloin delivers 8% of the DV of vitamin B-12.Sheil-Brown says that lean-protein benefits have been linked to better body weight management, positive impacts on cardiovascular disease, lowered hypertension in adults and positive effects in controlling type 2 diabetes.last_img read more

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Oracle: Oracle & Open Text CM Relationship Deepens

first_imgConsolidation and Cooperation within the ECM space continues.  On Tuesday Oracle and Open Text announced a co-seller agreement that allows both companies to bundle each others software. This follows up a June announcement of a partnership between the two companies where OpenText pledged to begin using Oracle’s Content DB infrastructure as the foundation for Open Text’s Business Applications.  There was speculation at the time of the June announcement that the partnership was a first step by Oracle towards acquiring Open Text.eWeek quotes Ron Vangell, Open Text vice president, as saying that 85 percent of Open Text customers use Oracle.  Vangell cites this as the main reason for the two companies trying to better align their technologies.Formtek is an Oracle partner.Update:  So much for the Oracle + Open Text speculation.  Oracle was obviously looking to acquire a company to provide Content Management capabilities.  But it turns out that they are acquiring Stellent.last_img read more

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LotusLive Scores Huge Win at Panasonic over Microsoft Exchange

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#enterprise#news Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… alex williamscenter_img LotusLive has scored a big win over Microsoft Exchange in perhaps the most significant deal to date for a SaaS provider. The IBM deal with Panasonic means that 300,000 people at the electronics company will drop Exchange for the LotusLive, web-based collaboration service. We would normally not cover customer wins, but the LotusLive deal with Panasonic is so large it signifies how lucrative this market could be for cloud service providers.We expect these deals to pop up everywhere as more companies see the benefits of shedding IT assets for cloud-based services. In turn this will change how companies negotiate. With more competition and publicized wins, managers will look beyond the desktop for the best deal possible they can find from a cloud services provider.Panasonic will use LotusLive for its calendar; email; web conferencing; messaging; file sharing; project management and contact management as well. LotusLive will also replace Lotus Notes and other collaboration tools.The LotusLive tiered pricing structure looks similar to what we see with many SaaS providers. According to eWeek, the cost for LotusLive starts at $3 per user, per month. As the client uses more services, the price per user increases.The win also shows that Google Apps is not as dominant as it sometimes appears. Google Apps has not scored a win on this scale. Still, Google Apps has had the most success as a provider of online collaboration service. It recently closed deals with several large enterprise customers, including the city of Los Angeles.All of these wins show that enterprise customers will move faster to the cloud than many expected. In the coming months, we expect Google and IBM will intensify its campaigns against Microsoft. IBM may also have an advantage against Google as the LotusLive pricing structure makes it easy for customers to make an investment. Google offers its services for free and $50 for a premiere account.It may seem like Microsoft is the one most vulnerable. But we don’t think so. Its cloud-based platform, Azure, may be the best fit of all for many enterprise customers. Further, its deal with Hewlett-Packard means it now has a powerful package it can sell, combining HP servers with Microsoft software.This is already proving to be quite a year for cloud computing. And just think, we’re only halfway through the month of January. Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

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Is R-8 Duct Insulation Enough?

first_imgI don’t know about you, but when I look at that, it seems we may be prescribing too little insulation for ducts in unconditioned attics. The largest delta-T in the house has the lowest R-value. Hmmmm. RELATED ARTICLESKeeping Ducts IndoorsHow to Get Your Ducts Inside the Building EnclosureUse Plenum Trusses To Keep Ducts Out of Your AtticCreating a Conditioned AtticShould Flex Duct Be Banned?Buried Ducts Allowed in 2018 Energy CodeNew Englanders Love Heat Pumps How much load does thin duct insulation add?As Kai Rysdaal says every day on MarketPlace, let’s do the numbers. I pulled up a job we did a few years ago to play around with different scenarios. The house is about 3,500 square feet, all on one floor. All the ducts are in the attic. According to RightSuite (the software we use), there’s about 560 square feet of surface area for the supply ducts and 101 square feet on the return side. Looking at the cooling load only, the additional load would be:R-8 duct insulation:     5,227 BTU/hourOne ton of air conditioning equals 12,000 BTU/hr, so this would be almost half a ton (0.44) of cooling load.But what if you have an older house that doesn’t have R-8 duct insulation? Or you live in a state that doesn’t require R-8 on the ducts? (I’m looking at you, Mississippi and Alabama.) R-6 and R-4.2 are common R-values for ducts. Here’s how that 3,500 square foot house would come out with those:R-6 duct insulation:    6,305 BTU/hour  (0.53 ton)R-4.2 duct insulation: 7,948 BTU/hour  (0.66 ton)The numbers are even higher for the additional heating load.Some other factors to considerThe duct insulation R-values I mentioned above are what’s on the product label. How often do you think you get the full labeled R-value? Even with a really nice installation, as in the photo in Image #2 below, there’s usually compression at the supports.And then there’s the issue of how the R-value on the label is determined. That’s a topic worth its own article, though, so all I’ll say here is that when a product is laid out flat for testing and then installed cylindrically, the actual R-value likely isn’t the same as what’s on the label.What are the remedies?Unconditioned attics are the worst place to put ducts. If you’re facing that as one choice for a new home or if you already have that in your existing home, here are some ways to reduce your duct losses:Get the ducts out of the attic and into the conditioned space below. Doing this results in zero additional load.Encapsulate the attic. This isn’t equivalent to bringing them into the conditioned space as you’ll still have additional duct load but it’s a lot better than having them in unconditioned attic space.Bury the ducts deeply in insulation. That’s what happened to the ducts in the lead photo of this article. That’s one of Mike MacFarland’s jobs in northern California, where burying ducts is a no-brainer. In humid climates, burying ducts can be a risky strategy.Replace your ducted system with ductless mini-split heat pumps.Go with hydronic distribution and keep all the pipes inside conditioned space. Use water instead of air to move heat into or out of the conditioned space.We’ve gotten new homes to be much more efficient in the past decade because of energy codes that require blower door and duct leakage testing, better windows, and higher levels of insulation. Now it’s time to focus on the next level of problems. And that means it’s time to deal with duct insulation in a more meaningful way than just increasing the required R-value to 8 for ducts in attics. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.center_img If you know a little building science, you’ve no doubt seen a lot of problems that occur with air distribution systems. Ducts just don’t get anywhere near the attention they deserve in most homes.I’ve written about ducts quite a bit here and have shown problems resulting from poor design and installation. We all know how stupid some of those problems are. So today I’m going to talk about a problem that doesn’t get nearly enough attention: duct insulation — even when the design and installation are perfect.OK, maybe the design isn’t quite perfect. If it were, all the ducts would be in conditioned space. That would be the smart thing to do and would make duct insulation less important. What I’m talking about is a house with ducts in unconditioned space, especially an unconditioned attic.Our R-value cognitive dissonanceI’m in Georgia (IECC Climate Zone 3), where our current state code requires R-13 in exterior walls, R-18 in attic kneewalls, R-19 in floors, and R-30 in ceilings. If we put ducts in unconditioned space, they have to be insulated to either R-8 (if they’re in an unconditioned attic) or R-6 (in any other type of unconditioned space).Have you ever considered the temperature differences (delta-Ts) across those different insulated surfaces? Let’s take a look at what they would be on a summer design day here in Atlanta. The outdoor temperature would be 92°F. The indoor temperature would be 75°F. Crawl spaces can vary a lot, depending on how much above-grade foundation wall there is, but 85°F is typical. Attic temperatures are about 120°F. And conditioned air inside a duct is about 58°F. So the delta-Ts would be:last_img read more

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Professional Development: 9 Lessons I Learned in the Worst Way

first_imgThey say good judgment is the result of prior lousy judgment. That idea has proven true for me over the course of my life in sales. The following stories of nine mistakes are all true, and the name of the person responsible is known to you and cannot be changed to protect the guilty.Buying Clients: I was very young with a flush expense account to entertain clients or prospects. I had called on a contact at a large company in Century City to schedule a meeting, but all my attempts ended badly. I decided to ask the contact for lunch, and she agreed. She ordered two appetizers, two meals, and two desserts. The second of each course was her dinner later that night. She said hardly a word at lunch. However, by saying nothing, she said everything. Although you will see it done from time to time, you can’t buy clients.Not Checking for Competitive Threats: After five or six sales calls with a decision-maker, I gained a verbal commitment and scheduled to pick up a contract the following week. Instead, I received a call that he had chosen my competitor. After I had left the building, a competitor presented and showed hi something I didn’t offer. He liked what he saw and changed his mind. I never asked what other options he was considering or if he had seen anything he wanted that I hadn’t shared with him.Selling Price from Behind: My price was always higher than my competitor’s prices. My strategy was to build the value up before disclosing my higher price as a way to validate it. I had not yet thought of the difference being a more significant investment in the client’s solution, though that is what it was. At some point, I started explaining to prospective clients in the first meeting that my price was higher than my competitors, and the difference in price was how we invested in improving their results. I built the value through the rest of the process. It’s hard to see a higher price at the end of the sale—even when it serves your client to invest.Big Logos: My small company and I won a lot of huge, well-known clients. I created a slide with all the big logos and added them to a slide deck I used to explain our offerings. Many people were impressed. Several smaller prospects, however, had a negative response to the logos. One of them said, “I believe we might be too small for your company.” I protested, explaining that we were also a small company. What I did not understand for some time was that some clients were looking at the list and recognizing the risk of other, much larger, much more prestigious company they were sure would get the attention they needed. You have to know your audience, and the proof you need should match the client’s concern, not create a new one.The Front Door Is Locked: I started by calling on people in Human Resources. Most of them would tell me they already had a partner, and that my services were not needed. Some of them would meet with me to learn enough about my company to be able to tell other people on their team, we were not a good fit—and to protect their incumbent. So instead of walking through the front door, I very literally started walking in the back door of buildings and finding the person who used the service I provided. I found my way to the people who wanted better results and were not married to my competitor. The people guarding the front door found out they were going to be using us only after the decision was made by someone who wasn’t getting what they wanted.Assuming What’s Important: I had a meeting with a client that took me seven years to obtain. To prepare, I read the last three years of their annual reports, including the Chairman’s letters. Having done my homework, I had a list of their three biggest, most strategic initiatives. When I sat down with my contact, I started to describe how my solution could help with the strategic initiatives. He asked me where I came up with those initiatives, and I told him. He replied, “No one in this building cares about any of that. I need people who can drive forklifts. Can you get me those people.” Never one to avoid a necessary change of plans, I quickly said “yes,” without another word about the Chairman’s letter. I overshot the mark by not knowing my audience.Big Does Not Mean Dream Client: At the time, my largest client was spending millions of dollars with my firm. They were always late on their bill, and they were not good partners. There were many people on their leadership team who brutal to my people—and tried very hard to be tough on me, but lacking in effectiveness due to my demeanor in conflict. At some point, I had enough of how they treated my people and their lack of payment. The CEO of the company told me if I ever asked again or mentioned how they handled my people, he would fire me (using much more colorful language and what he thought was a threatening tone). I calmly told him I expected him to pay me, and that I was sending them the thirty-days notice canceling our contract. The money spent doesn’t mean your client is a dream client.New Stakeholder: After serving a client for seven years, they hired a new person into a role with authority over my program. The new stakeholder’s power grew as some of my contacts moved out of the company, always taking my team with them because of the better results we provided them. The new stakeholder wanted to make a name for themselves and decided to attack my company and me over our pricing. I defended the investment they were making and did my best to explain why they had made it in the first place. When this stakeholder had the opportunity, they removed us from the company. We continued to work on the stakeholders who knew us, and because of the decisions the new stakeholder made, within a year she was gone. We were back. Because we held so many relationships and did such good work, we suffered from the false illusion that we were safe. We were not.Not Leading: As a young leader, I found it challenging to get the results I need through others. I started with a terrible premise. I assumed that all people were just like me, self-starters, needing no direction or leadership. That plan, as you might have guessed, was a disaster. I doubled down on that bet by hiring experienced people and compensating them so I wouldn’t have to lead them. The results were even worse. After spending too much time and way too much money, I accepted that everything was my fault, and I started to lead.There is no substitute for experience when it comes to your growth and development. You can learn as much from your mistakes as you can your successes if you derive the lessons and avoid them in the future. What mistakes have you made, and what did you learn from them? Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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