Health Care Planning

One of the foremost challenges faced by health care professionals is to formulate a well-devised, well-thought out plan for assisting both the patients as well as the health care givers. Care planning is an essential part of health care, but is often misunderstood or regarded as a waste of time. Without a specific document delineating the plan of care, important issues are likely to be neglected. Care planning provides a sort of 'road map', to guide all who are involved with the patient's / resident's care. The health care plan has long been associated with nursing; However, all health care professionals need to be assisted in the care giving process. In today's world, highly expensive Health Insurance policies are not viable for most individuals. Therefore, the government needs to play a crucial part in ensuring that 'health care' is impartially and effectively provided to all citizens.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a new concept, the concept of 'health promotion' began to take shape. It was realized that public health had neglected the citizen as an individual and that the state had a direct responsibility for the health of the individual. Consequently, in addition to.disease control activities, one more goal was added to health-care planning- health promotion of individuals. It was initiated as personal health services such as mother and child health services, mental health and rehabilitation services. CEAWinslow, one of the leading figures in the history of public health in 1920, defined public health care planning as: 'the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health and efficiency through organized community effort.'

The first step in the health care planning program is accurate and comprehensive assessment. Once the initial assessment is completed, a problem list should be generated. This may be as simple as a list of medical diagnosis. The problem list may include family / relationship problems, which are affecting the parent's overall well-being.

Following the problem list, the health-care professional must ask, 'Will I be able to solve this problem? If yes, then the goal of the health-care professional must be to solve that particular problem. Moreover, this goal should be specific, measurable and attainable. The approach towards achieving that goal should also be measurable and realistic. An example of a problem that could improve, would be health-care deficit related to hip fracture. With rehab, this problem is likely to resolve.

In case a medical problem is irreversible-such as diabetes- the next step would be to eliminate further complications or possible health deterioration. In the case of such health problems, the goal should be to retain the level of health at an optimum level.

In case of an illness, where further health complications are inevitable, the goal should be to improve the quality of life. It is note-worthy that for all medical problems, approaches must be ordered by the physician. The health care planning process is never completed until the patient is discharged from the current care setting. Periodic schedule re-evaluation is also necessary once the patient is discharged.

In the final analysis, the ultimate purpose of the health care plan is to guide all who are involved in the care of the patient and to provide appropriate treatment.

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Affordable Health Care Is Better for You

I often buck orthodoxy … on markets and specific investment plays, for example.

I fit that mode well, especially when it comes to public policy issues. For example, I'm a contrarian on health care.

Personal liberty? We're no freer to choose our own doctors under most private insurance plans than we would be under a single-payer system.

Unaccountable bureaucracy? Insurance company administrators are just as horrible as the government variety.

Costly subsidies? If you get your insurance from your employer, you get a massive tax subsidy. Your insurance benefit isn't taxed even though it's every bit as much a part of your compensation as your paycheck.

But the big issue for me is this: The economy-wide benefits of having affordable health care outweigh the costs.

Here's my case … and I want to know if it's a convincing one to you.

How Did We Get Here?

The US does not have a health care "system."

What we have evolved from a deal between the United Automobile Workers and Detroit automakers in the late 1940s. Workers would accept lower pay if they got cheap health coverage on the company's tab.

But nobody expected that deal to be permanent. They assumed that the postwar US citizens, so many of whom had just sacrificed to preserve their country freedoms, would eventually get government-sponsored health care to support the private system.

But that didn't happen. Instead, the company-based insurance system expanded until it covered all industries. Eventually, government-sponsored programs like Medicare and Medicaid emerged to fill in the gaps for those without jobs: the unemployed (Medicaid) and retired (Medicare).

Then both the company and government systems became entrenched by special interests.

For a variety of reasons – basically, employers, employees, insurers and the health care industry had no incentive to rein in costs and premiums – the system got to the point where the US has one of the worst health outcomes of any developed country.

And the highest rate of bankruptcy due to medical bills.

In other words, our health care "system" is a hodgepodge of temporary fixes and counterfixes that became permanent because nobody could agree on anything else.

It damages our economy enormously.

The US spends more of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care than any other country – 16%. But other economy-wide effects of our employer-based insurance system lower our GDP below its potential. Let's consider three.

  1. Job lock : Many people take and keep jobs because they get health coverage. They stay in those jobs longer than they would otherwise. That means overall job mobility in the US economy is lower, which undermines labor market efficiency.
  2. Lower rates of entrepreneurship : The US has one of the lowest rates of new company formation in the developed world, and it's getting worse. That's because starting a business here is riskier than in other countries … because until it turns a good profit, you can't afford health insurance. Young people in the prime of their lives don't start businesses for that reason, which hurts job creation.
  3. Delayed retirement and a weak job market : Older workers tend to stay in their jobs longer in the US to keep access to company insurance. That means less space for younger workers, keeping them underemployed and damaging their long-term career prospects.

In addition to $ 4 trillion of annual direct costs, by some estimates these dysfunctional aspects of our health care system cost the US economy 3 to 5% of GDP every year .

Could You Afford a Private Highway?

So, is favoring some form of public support for health care "socialist"? Hardly.

Here's how I see it: Health care has similar economy-wide effects to the highway system, the justice system and national defense.

Each one is more than the sum of its parts. If done right, such "public goods" contribute more to economic activity than they cost. If you try to do these things individually, you sacrifice a lot of economic dynamism.

The typical argument, of course, is that public health care ends up rationed. We hear horror stories of Canadians or Britons in endless queues for medical procedures. (Of course, under a private system, there's also rationing … if you can't afford it, you're not in the queue at all.)

But a UK-style National Health Service isn't the only option.

Many countries, including most of the Latin American nations favored by US retirees, have hybrid systems. The most common is to have a public system for primary and preventive care – neighborhood clinics where you can take your kid with the sniffles or get a vaccination – and a private system for more advanced health needs. If you want to obtain private insurance and go to a private hospital for surgery, nothing stops you. If you can't afford it, you might have to wait in line for public care.

But there are great advantages. First, we'd avoid job lock, low rates of entrepreneurship and delayed retirement. Second, the availability of low-cost primary and preventive care would reduce the incidence of chronic long-term conditions that end up costing us all a lot of money when uninsured people show up at the emergency room – diabetes, heart disease and so on.

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More Advice for New Real Estate Investors

What advice would you give to a new investor?

1. Find a coach / mentor in your area to whom you can turn for guidance. Most importantly with anyone you turn to, make sure they are successfully doing what you want to do and talk with others they've helped before you make a commitment of your time and / or money.

Real estate investing is not a solo business. You need attorneys, CPAs (knowledgeable in real estate investing), contractors, sub-contractors, real estate agents, title companies, closing attorneys, inspectors, appraisers, on and on. Find someone who's walked through the mine field before you and can give you a hand to save you both time and money.

Should you pay them for their time? Absolutely. If they're willing to share with you what they've learned over years of their own time and efforts, they've paid for their skills one way or another and what you will gain from them is worth paying for. If they're not worth paying, they're not worth following.

And don't reach out to only your peers; reach out to those in a better position than you. Jim Rohn said, "You are the average of the top 5 people you hang around with." If you want to get better in any area, find someone to follow who is doing way better than you are.

2. Get involved with a peer group that knows more than you. Go to all the meetings you can. For real estate investors, that typically means local REIA meetings (real estate investor association meetings which you can find on NationalREIA.com). Also check out MeetUp.com and any local landlord association meetings. Landlords are already doing the business and can be a great source of information as well as potential buyers and sellers to work with.

3. Set goals. Make a plan. How many houses do you want to buy in the next 12 months? How much do you want to be worth in 5 years? As you write out your goals , include strategies for accomplishing them. Want to buy 10 houses in the next 12 months? Break that into pieces to figure out what you need to do every month to make those goals a reality.

4. Buy real estate. If you haven't started yet, start! If you're buying, buy more. If you don't, 10 years will have passed and you'll be kicking yourself for not buying all you could today. The way to truly learn is by doing. Books and seminars are great, but you won't know what you know and what you don't know until you jump in and start buying for yourself.

It's a worn out cliché that "there's never been a better time to buy real estate" , but it's true. I believe it's always true. Sure, you have to adjust your methods and your strategies depending upon the economy and where you invest, but everyone works, shops, and lives somewhere. If you don't own it, someone else will.

Get an education, hook up with a mentor, make a plan and buy real estate.

What can you add?

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The Four Stages of 'Change Curve' Small Business Owners Should Know

The 'Change Curve' is a helpful tool for small businesses to understand the stages of personal transition each employee undergoes. Kubler Ross developed this model to explain the grieving process (Shock and Denial, Anger and Fear, Acceptance and Commitment).

This model helps small business owners predict how employees will react to a change, and advises how to help and support the employees through their personal transitions.

An organization does not change just because of new systems or processes. It changes because people within the organization adapt and change. Only when people within the organization make their own personal transitions can the organization benefit from the change.

The Change Curve model

The 'Change Curve' model helps small business owners understand the stages of personal transition and organization change. This model comprises four stages that employees go through as they adjust to a change.

Stage – 1: Shock and denial

Stage – 2: Anger and fear

Stage – 3: Acceptance

Stage – 4: Commitment

Stage – 1: Shock and denial

This is the first reaction that small business owners notice in their employees – they react to the challenges to the status quo. This reaction is seen more in experienced and established employees because these employees are indifferent to new systems and procedures. They feel uncomfortable because of the fear of the unknown, fear of doing something wrong and lack of information. They feel threatened and fear failure. Under these circumstances, they normally take it as a friction rather than an opportunity.

What do the employees need here?

Employees may experience this stage multiple times. To get over it, employees need information, need to understand what is happening in the organization and need to know how to get help from the organization.

Note: This stage affects particularly those employees who have not experienced any major change before.

What should the organization do?

At this stage, it is the responsibility of the owners to communicate with their employees and educate them about the benefits that they will gain by adapting to new systems – personally and professionally. Remember not to overwhelm your employees by flooding them with loads of information at a time, or they may even be more confused.

Stage – 2: Anger and fear

This is the second stage that is seen in the employees. As employees react to a change, they start expressing their anger, concern, resentment or fear. They may resist the change actively or passively. This stage could be dangerous and if the organization does not manage it carefully, it might result in chaos.

What should the organization do?

At this stage, the small business owner should handle employees' objections carefully. Since reaction to change is personal and emotional, it's impossible to prevent it from happening. Therefore, the organization should try to address the employees' experience and iron out the issues as early as possible.

Note: As long as employees remain at Stage – 2 of the Change Curve by escaping progress, the change will be unsuccessful.

Stage – 3: Acceptance

This is a turning point for employees as well as the organization because the employees have stopped focusing on what they have lost and have started accepting changes. They begin exploring changes, and get a real idea of ​​what's good and what's not and how to adjust themselves accordingly.

What should the organization do?

This stage is critical – it takes time for employees to learn and accept things. Therefore, don't expect your employees to be 100% productive during this stage. Give them time so that they learn and explore without much pressure.

Stage – 4: Commitment

At this stage, there will be a commitment from the employees in analyzing and embracing the change. They start rebuilding the way they work and this is the stage at which the organization starts to see the benefits of the change.

Benefits of the change

At this stage the organization will see the benefits of putting in effort for the welfare of their employees when they were in a grieving stage. The positive effects of the Change Curve are now more evident through its productivity and profit.

The Change Curve is an effective model for small business owners while managing employees. Locating an employee on the change curve will help the business owner decide on how to effectively communicate information to employees and to know what kind of support they require. This helps them take necessary measures and protect both the business and the employees.

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Self Motivation and Its Importance

Self motivation is very important. There are several reasons for self motivation being so important in a person's life. Everyone needs to be self motivated.

These days, with so many challenges and a lot of competition one needs to survive, self motivation works like confidence enhancer. It boosts once enthusiasm and provides energy to work.

Self motivation is known as the most important factor in your life. If you are looking for success in any area of ​​your life, you need self motivation. Self motivation plays an important role in enhancing your self esteem. It cultivates a desire to do something in life. Experts in the past have believed and even proved that when self motivation is combined with self determination, one can easily move mountains and find water in deserts.

There are several things one can get motivated with. People get motivated by their strong belief in the almighty. They can even get motivated by an experience they have had or by any other factor. These things just encourage you to change your perspective in life. One can change in to a better person or a better business person with self motivation.

People usually go through happy and sad times in their lives. When thing go awry, you need to support yourself, your family and people around you. This needs a good amount of energy force in you. When providing support and encouragement to your family and friends, you need to be really strong.

Some people are lucky to have good support in the times of pathos. However, some are left alone and require a lot of courage to survive tough times. At such times, one need to get motivates or motivates oneself. Lack of self motivation at such times can be damaging and even complicate your life further.

Mentioned below are some strong reasons on why you require self motivation:

o Self motivation is extremely important when it comes to accepting challenges and opportunities in life.

o The force of self motivation helps in planning your life and easing the difficulties.

o Self motivation provides a new sense of purpose and direction to your life.

o Self motivation is important to provide enthusiasm in life.

o Self motivation lets you live a fulfilling life.

o You can empower and encourage yourself to face tough times and competition in life with the help of self motivation.

o Self motivations fill you with positive energy and boost your enthusiasm.

o Self motivation is important for your existence. It provides you an identity for yourself.

Motivation is a kind of driving force that encourages an individual to get going. It is a kind of boost to the self confidence, faith and inner conscience of a person. All of us look for some kind of motivation in life. It is almost impossible to face a competition, achieve success of accomplish a goal without motivation.

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Nano Coin Compared With Nexty Coin – Crypto

Nano and Nexty: Are these the real and practical cash alternatives? Let's find out!

Blockchain isn't a hip geek-talk anymore! Bitcoin revolutionized the way many of us saw currencies, ledgers, funds transfers and transactions. The beauty of all virtual currencies is that nearly each one of them tries to address a problem. And this is where our coin of interest – Nexty – comes in action. During the write-up, the similarity of the Nexty platform will be compared with Nano – XRB to gain a better understanding of this platform.

In very simple terms, Nexty platform is pitched as a transaction system that will eliminate the concept of transaction fee while ensuring ultra swift transfers to facilitate its users. Apart from this, the transfers are ultra quick because the transactions don't require the miners to perform confirmation as in the case of other virtual currencies such as Bitcoin etc.

However, as per the white paper released by creators of Nexty, the primary use of Nexty is meant for newly established e-commerce businesses to help generate public funding. Since there are no transaction, ultra fast transfer (2 seconds! And that's pretty much real time) and confirmation fee, the fund-raising will become hassle less. The coin is surgically targeting the ecommerce stores because that will cultivate an eco-system where these stores will be accepting NTY coins from shoppers.

The concept behind NTY is making daily online trades a smooth experience. The team behind NTY comprises of Blockchain developers and established marketers. Some of the team members have ten to 12 years of experience in full stack development and marketing.

Some of you might argue that Nano – Previously known as Railblocks, XRB – is already performing the same functions as NTY. The XRB coin is a bit unique because it uses its proprietary block-lattice data structures. Due to this, each Nano account has its own blockchain which reduces latency for fast transfer. Apart from this, the XRB is power and resource efficient and does not need high end GPU system for transaction execution. However, Nano doesn't come with a smart-contract capability. Smart contracts are meant to be exchanging triggers for any crypto currency. These contracts help exchanging funds, real estate, stocks or any tangible or non tangible entity of a financial value. The smart contracts also oust the need for brokers while carrying our crypto to asset exchanging flawlessly. Apart from this one difference, NTV and XRB (Nano) are more or less identical. Another major capability of the Nexty platform is its integration within existing ecommerce applications such as Joomla. As per the developers of NTY, the integration takes 3-4 hours max.

In order to achieve a demand – supply balance of the NTY, the platform comes with a built-in smart staking program. This program offers bonuses and credits on buying, selling and holding Nexty. The system is meant for investors and daily users as the same time.

The capability of the Nexty and Nano platforms are huge. Just imagine a world where crypto replaces conventional wallets and transactions are quick! For instance, if a shop keeper accepts BitCoin, it might not hand you over the goods and service before the transaction is confirmed by a number of minors. And now re-imagine paying for goods and services through a currency that's quickly transferred with zero transaction fees independent from any minor verifications!

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Investing in Pharmacy Business in Uganda: Weep and Reap

Prior to putting pen to paper for this article I called up my mother. Shortly after exchanging Christmas holiday pleasantries, I quickly got down to business (she said she was playing Monopoly with the family and so needed to get back to Euston road), and asked her point blank:

"Is pharmacy business profitable?"

You see at one point of her entrepreneurial career she run a pharmacy and supported 7 children at the time. Drug names like Magnesium Tricilicate and Penicillin V therefore easily rolled off my tongue from early childhood. I therefore believed she would help me.

Her simple response (in my mother tongue):

"Yes, but the pharmacies are always playing cat and mouse with the authorities and you need to watch for theft of the drugs."

In her simple lay person terms, and without a pharmacy degree or formal training, she had laid out the key risk factors to look out for if you are to invest in this business.

Why invest in the pharmacy business in Uganda?

The title of the article highlights the double jeopardy of this sector.

Cat and mouse: Government vs hospitals, where are the drugs?

You cry (or weep) for our beloved country because it would seem that many reports indicate that whereas the Government is constantly allocating money to hospitals for buying medication, when you get to the hospital the doctors tell you there are no drugs in stock and you will have to buy them from somewhere else.

Ugandan hospitals appear to have therefore been transitioned into diagnosis clinics identifying underlying health issues of patients and then sending them out to look for medication. The doctors claim there are no drugs in stock. It's therefore common for patients in Uganda to go to government hospitals, receive diagnosis for their diseases and leave without even the basic medication of pain killers. The government claims they send the medicine to the hospitals but the hospitals claim they never receive the drugs so the big question is where do the drugs go?

The pharmacy sector: More weeping.

According to the Pharmaceutical society of Uganda, the body responsible for the sector, there are currently 465 qualified pharmacists, of whom 70 are abroad, leaving about 395 practicing within the country.

With a population of approximately 34 million people, this represents a pharmacist to population ratio of 1: 88,000 which is way below the recommended World Health Organization (WHO) 1: 2,000 ratio.

The chronic shortage is being addressed by the pharmaceutical society in conjunction with Universities to among others increase the number of pharmacists being trained but in the meantime, illegal pharmacies continue coming up, the cat and mouse games with the National Drug Authority (NDA), the regulator , continue and meanwhile, the population suffers as a result of the imbalance.

This therefore presents an opportunity to invest, and hence reap (whilst weeping for the sad state of affairs).

When I further analyzed the state of the pharmacy sector in Uganda, I noted a number of key aspects to consider:

1. Whilst many press report place the number of clinics in the country to over 10,000 there are only 414 registered pharmacies in Uganda (registered with the regulating body).

2. Of these 414 registered pharmacies, over 292 are located in Kampala, the capital and in the Central region. This is a huge imbalance considering Uganda's population is almost equally distributed at 25% in all the four regions (Northern, Eastern, Western and Central).

3. The opportunity is therefore to invest in a franchise or network of pharmacies that target the up country towns.

Prior to investing, there are however a few key considerations:

1. Drug license. You must have a license and your approved pharmacist must be regulated by the pharmaceutical society.

2. Retail business considerations. As any retail outlet, you must consider retail business risks such as location and stock controls (as my mother alluded to). Many drugs come in tablet or pill form and as such the quantities can be hard to monitor. It is therefore important to first understand the drug classes (in Uganda, this is mostly class B and C) and then understand how to ensure proper controls are put in place.

3. Return on investment. From my estimates, the profitability from investing in this sector is a revenue of Shs. 187m and a Return on Investment (ROI) of only 0.87 months.

Final word

In a country characterized with limited availability of medicine in the government hospitals, more and more pharmacists and businessmen have seen an opportunity to open independent pharmacies. They do this because of the unsatisfied demand for medication by the patients who don't get it in the hospitals.

It is a business where we all weep for the state of our country, and then those who see the opportunity to help create change (while making money) reap (perhaps with little gnashing of teeth).

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How Long Does It Take To Learn Java Programming?

In Information Technology, people who are programmers should update themselves with the latest platforms, versions of several programming languages ​​such as Java. IT is a field that continues to evolve, improve every now and then. Do you know that since it's first released, Java has a total of 7 versions already? Imagine the impact of the continuing release of versions to programmers. Say for instance, if you have learned Java programming in the late 90s chances as what you have studied will become obsolete or not applicable at present times. Why? The version that is widely use now is Java 7 which has currently had its update 9 released within this month.

Now you have an idea as to how important it is to learn Java, then you need to determine certain factors which will affect you. First is money. Do you have the money to pay off a one-on-one tutorial with a good programmer, view video tutorials online, or browse through e-books for further insights. Second is time. For having time as an issue, a hindrance it would always be like that.

If you are on a bit of a hurry to learn Java the quickest time possible, sorry to disappoint you but there is no such thing as a guarantee. Indeed, time will be your enemy especially if you are grabbing for a promotion or earn more in the world of IT development. To safely say, it may take a couple of months and even years for some to learn this programming language. But there are those who are gifted with a good memory and academic skills. Therefore, it is much easier for them to learn Java. It's more of less of an effort on their part. By simply reading a book, watching video tutorials, or listening to podcast all at once can do the trick for them. Good for those who can learn things fast.

What about those who are a bit slow and can not process information as fast as they want it to be? Fret no more! There will always be a way to do resolve such issue. This is where pacing comes into the picture. Take it slowly. Be sure that every bit of information is processed and absorbed. Once it's in, then apply it through doing the real thing. It is through application which a person's learning about a particular thing will be tested.

As with regard to the time frame of learning Java, it may take months or even a year. This would always depend upon the person. Not every person is alike. One may have only 2 months to learn everything and master it but another person may take a year to do so. You can never tell.

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SMS Long Code Vs Short Code for Texting in the US – Dispelling the Myths

The SMS Long Code has hit a level where its adoption rate is significant enough to get attention from Short Code providers. When searching for information about the Long Code you will find plenty of "opinions" for and against its use from providers of both technologies.

As a veteran of 25 years in the telecommunications industry and having worked within both the wireless and landline sides of the industry, I will do my best to present the facts without prejudice and let you the reader decide what you think is right and what is best for your situation.

I will start with what the Long and Short codes are, and a brief history on how they evolved.

Short and Long Code Background

Short Code

The Short Code was created by the primary cellular carriers, CTIA, Neustar and a handful of others in 2003 as a solution for carriers to handle the higher volume, more bursty A2P (Application to Person) text messaging traffic. P2P (Person to Person) text messaging would be handled through standard 10 digit phone numbers. The Short Code was created as a 5 or 6 digit number that is leased on a monthly basis for higher volume A2P traffic at a cost of $ 500 or $ 1000. Numbers deemed "common" are $ 500 / month and vanity numbers are $ 1000 / month.

Once a Short Code is obtained the lessee then has to submit to the carriers a quite comprehensive plan outlining how the code will be used. This is usually done through a handful of aggregators that work with all the carriers.

Neither the Short nor Long Code escape the transactional charges that are applied to each message sent and received. The transactional costs to the end user can range from $ .02 to $ .05 with the Long Code usually being less expensive than the Short Code.

Long Code

The Long Code is a 10 digit telephone number that has been enabled for text messaging. Until 2003, the Long Code was the only way text messaging was transmitted because the traffic was all P2P. There is a lot of controversy over using the Long Code for A2P traffic in which I will discuss later.

For now, there are two flavors of the Long Code, and it is important when reading articles to identify "prejudice" opinions. It would be equally horrible to commit your company to a bad idea as it would to omit something that makes sense.

Reputable companies such as ILEC's, CLEC's, Virtual Telephone Service Providers, Cable Companies, ASP's and others I may have missed, can use the Long Code for text messaging. I will label these companies as legitimate, reputable users or potential users of the Long Code, but will again cover the controversy within this later.

The second flavor of the Long Code will often be referred to as Gray Route numbers. It is a loosely used term, rarely clarified and often used as propaganda to create confusion in the competitive Short Code / Long Code debate. It is most often associated with companies / people who are trying to get around ethical use of the Long Code.

The concerns around Gray Routes are their use for questionable applications, such as spamming (sending messages to someone who has not asked for it, ie … "opted in"). This is usually executed by companies setting up banks of SIM cards, purchased from a mobile carrier and used to blast out unsolicited text messages to many people at once. Because it is coming from what appears to be a cell phone it looks like P2P text messaging, when in reality they are just masking what they are truly doing.

It is called a 'gray route' because it is simulating an individual users (P2P) account, however it could be sending out thousands of messages at a time and will slip through the cracks until reported.

Businesses who are approached to work with a mobile marketing company that suggests or conducts their business through Gray Routes should realize the potential risks of losing their money and more importantly the potential concerns for promoting a product through spamming.

The cost for a Long Code is simply a feature charge on top of the regular monthly cost of a phone line. Costs for the additional feature should be in the low 10's and never 100's or 1000's.

The Issues

Both the Short and Long Code have supporters and both have valid points to support their opinions.

Short Code providers defend the right to block 10 digit NANP (North American Numbering Plan) numbers enabled with SMS because they deem any messaging traffic from a 10 digit number, sent to multiple people at once, or being sent at rates faster than someone can type , is spam and therefore will block it.

In a recent Mobile Marketer article, Jay Emmet, General Manager of OpenMarket, a leading aggregator for Short Codes said – "Any organization that sends an unsolicited text message to a consumer is in violation of the" Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 ". One of the key concerns is establishing and improving consumer protection. With Long Codes or gray routes, an unscrupulous content provider can send unsolicited SMS to a mobile subscriber, using unauthorized carrier access."

This is a good example of a statement made about Long Codes that was said for one of two purposes. Either Mr. Emmet does not understand that Long Codes can be deployed through non-gray routes by legitimate, respectable phone companies, which he does clarify by calling them "unscrupulous content providers" or he is labeling Long Codes and Gray Routes one in the same. Maybe he is doing both but lumping together the reputable companies with the spammers, of which no one stands behind spammers from either of the Long or Short code supporters, is an injustice for the reputable content providers and the businesses who would truly benefit from the Long Code.

One of the more challenging issues of the Short Code is it's unnecessarily costly and there are many approvals to go through, sometimes taking up to six months before it can even be used. Short Code supporters say the system was created this way to protect the end user from annoying and unwanted text message solicitations.

Long Code providers that fall into the reputable category, as I discussed before, feel the text messaging market is monopolized and the wireless carriers illegally block legitimate traffic in fear of it being spam.

Even the reputable Long Code providers shun the use of a 10-digit phone number through a gray route and strongly look down upon any company sending unsolicited text messages to subscribers.

Other issues expressed by Long Code providers are how inter-carrier messaging decisions are made by associations and companies that have a vested interest in their own companies. It is felt that these decisions and actions create barriers for fair competition and ultimately hurts the small business and the consumer.

The Controversy

The companies and associations that control the Short Code are very powerful and are financially very strong as a group. In 2003, the introduction of the Short Code was an example of their power.

The new rule said SMS over a 10 digit number that appeared to be A2P texting would be be blocked and all companies sending A2P texting moving forward would have to start paying a monthly lease for a Short Code and a transactional fee for sent and received text messages.

In a class action suite filed by a reputable messaging company which makes its living with solutions for both the Short and Long Codes, filed 4/5/2012 against the Short Codes governing body companies, to list a few: AT&T mobility LLC, Verizon Wireless , Sprint Nextel Corp., T-Mobile USA, Inc., US Cellular, CTIA-The Wireless Association, Syniverse Technologies, Inc., Nuestar, WMC Global, Inc. and others, here labeled "Carrier Defendants", it is stated –

"The Carrier Defendants conspired to set up systems under which persons transmitting A2P SMS could not use inexpensive ten-digit telephone numbers, but were forced to use common short codes (CSC's) – five digit (and later six-digit) numbers at materially higher lease and transmission charges with additional fees for connectivity and content review, all of which resulted in substantial overcharges to persons transmitting A2P SMS and materially higher revenue for the Carrier defendants and other defendants. "

Summing that up, the Class Action law suite is claiming the Carrier Defendants have violated Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act of 1890, a landmark federal stature on competition law that prohibits certain business activities that reduce competition in the marketplace (anti-competitive) and requires the US Federal government to investigate and pursue companies and organizations in violation.

Interesting as well, in a closed meeting, as recent as last falls CTIA show in San Diego, CA, the CTIA put it in writing to prohibit A2P messaging using the Long Code in their new inter-carrier text messaging guidelines.

My Take on It

The Short Code was created in a time when text messaging was just starting to catch on. If one keeps in mind a statistic published in 2003 from the CTIA showing monthly volumes of text messages sent in the US were reported to be 1.2 Billion The CTIA's latest data shows that same monthly number at a whopping 193.1 Billion. That is a 16,092% increase in text messaging volume.

With that said, it is safe to say times have changed. During this time, consumers and companies have gone through an educational and adoption process with text messaging. How it used, who it is used by, and more importantly what the consumer wants out of text messaging has all changed.

I agree that the consumer needs to be protected, but assuming that consumers would tolerate spam is an insult to our very own text messaging education we provided them during adoption and more importantly an insult to the consumer.

Gray routes used for unapproved purposes should not exist and those who choose that route should be shut down and I am sure this process would happen quickly because the average consumer won't tolerate it, nor pay for it.

What ever the evolution of messaging follows it will only be a band-aid until the next technology comes around. The companies who can adapt in a "fair playing field" are the ones I will be writing about in another 9 short years, the amount of time it took text messaging to grow by 16K percent.

Short Code providers need to let go of their strong hold and realize the industry has changed. If they aren't aware of these huge changes, maybe they should read this article

Businesses have a legitimate need and right to use both the Long and Short codes but Long Codes can't support these businesses because traffic will be blocked by the carriers.

Example: A College that needs to send out an emergency alert message to their students, technically, based on the way the rules of inter carrier message are written, cannot use a Long Code because it will either be blocked or throttled to a speed to slow in the time of an emergency.

Overall, such a great job has been done building the communications infrastructure in United States and it should be used to its fullest potential. In order to do so, we can not focus on yesterdays needs. We need to focus on today's needs and how to meet the needs of the future.

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Tough Love for an Obese Child

Q: How do you convey to a child that you are not serving the food he wants right now because it is not healthy (ideally without becoming the meany he would think I was)? In this example, he wanted waffles (with lots of syrup) or pancakes or donuts. The child is already extremely obese. He is sensitive to his weight, so I sure wouldn't want to point out the connection about eating this and becoming even fatter, also to not make him feel bad about himself. I know when I want some dessert (that's what I call waffles and donuts), I wouldn't stop or even care now because of some consequences later. How do I get him to eat healthy without ruining our relationship or his self-esteem?

A: You're not going to like me for this answer. I'm just going to quote your question, changing just a couple of words:

How do you convey to a child that you are not giving him the heroin he wants right now because it is not healthy (ideally without becoming the meany he would think I was)? The child is already extremely strung-out. He is sensitive to his sweating, nausea, dry mouth, vomiting and itching , so I sure wouldn't want to point out the connection about taking heroin and becoming even more uncomfortable , also to not make him feel bad about himself. I know when I want some drugs I wouldn't stop or even care now because of some consequences later. How do I get him to stop injecting heroin without ruining our relationship or his self-esteem?

After coming up with that horrible analogy, I have to defend it. Obviously, waffles and donuts are not the same as heroin in every respect. They're legal, for example, so you can get them inexpensively without risking imprisonment. What about addictive? A toxic diet comprised largely of sugar and fat and white flour is at least as addictive as refined drugs. After all, with drugs you can quit. You can't quit eating. You can shift the nature and quality of what you eat, but with toxic food universally celebrated and available everywhere we turn, the recovering food addict's life is a neverending struggle.

You write that your child is sensitive about his weight. Can you see a spiral in which his food addictions are fueled by bad feelings about his weight, leading to a vicious cycle? If the other children in his life aren't already making him feel bad about being fat, they will soon. Choices bring consequences, and it's not within your power to prevent those consequences for him. You can mask some of them, perhaps delay others, but results suppressed have a way of emerging with a vengeance.

Let me ask you a few practical questions:

  • What are the limits of your power?
  • How much control do you have over your child's total environment? Is your partner with you, neutral, or against you?
  • How old is your child?
  • Is his toxic food addiction simply the result of habit, or are there underlying emotional issues he needs to address and resolve that are unrelated to food and weight?

This answer isn't so much about giving you advice on what to do; There's plenty of that in the rest of this blog, and in my upcoming book, Eating to Beat the Odds (write me if you'd like to look at a reviewer's copy, available in about two months). Rather, I want to reframe your hesitation to act. How motivated are you to making a difference in this child's life? The long-term consequences of heroin addiction are well known: collapsed veins, liver disease, weak immune system, respiratory failure, breathing difficulties, pneumonia, bacterial infections, infections of heart lining and valves, arthritis and other rheumatologic problems, risk of hepatitis C and HIV / AIDS from sharing needles. The long-term consequences of a toxic diet are also well-known: cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, MS, macular degeneration, IBS, gout, Alzheimer's, arthritis, weaker immune system, bacterial and viral infections, liver disease, and many more.

Not so different…

You are limited by your motivation to act and your control over the situation. Somewhere, at the intersection of those two lines, you can act. Do it with love, only love. Not judgment. Only compassion; not disgust. Only in joy; not in constriction. Can you give the gift of responsibility without the baggage of blame? It's a fine line, and requires total clarity about your motives and your goals.

Practical Considerations

  • Get the toxic food out of the house. As long as you're in charge of shopping, you can simply eliminate 90% of all temptation by clearing out your fridge and pantry.
  • Don't force him to eat anything. Put out a selection of healthy foods, but don't insist on consumption. When he's hungry, he'll eat. He won't starve himself.
  • Engage him to design his own healthy menu. Go through cookbooks with him and see what appeals to him. Take him shopping. Make cooking together a fun activity.
  • Gradualize him from unhealthy to healthy versions of the same dishes. Examples:
    • whole grain waffles
    • artificial syrup to sauteed fruit topping
    • 100% white rice to 90% white / 10% brown, all the way to 100% brown rice
  • Check out the recipes section at http://www.FitFam.com for some kid-friendly foods

Good luck!

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