Mayor Says Neosho Finances "Looking Strong"
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Posted by admin on 07/22/2014 | Short Link

NEOSHO, MO —At a recent town hall meeting, the mayor of Neosho says the citys financial forecast is looking strong.

Mayor Richard Davidson said the citys financial status is currently 5% ahead of budget for 2014. The city of Neosho brings in around $10 million a year, and currently has$1.7 million in reserves.

Davidson said so far the city has done a good job maintaining its finances. By 2017, projections show the citys debt will start to go down.

Right now, were on track, Davidson said. Revenues are ahead of what where we expected them to be. The citys financial situation overall is very strong. And we see that continuing to strengthen over the next year or two.

Mayor Davidson says an immediate city focus is on public safety, making sure first responders have the necessary vehicles and equipment.

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Cricket tickets, shed arson, centre cash, Bishop approval
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Posted by admin on 07/22/2014 | Short Link

EXTRA tickets for Warwickshire County Cricket Clubs return to Rugby School next month are now on sale.

The Bears 50-over Royal London One Day Cup clash with Kent takes place on The Close on Sunday, August 10.

Tickets cost £15 for adults and £5 for under 16s from the Rugby Visitor Centre.

A FIRE was deliberately started near a scout hut in the early hours of Friday morning, firefighters have said.

They were called to the Newbold Path off Oliver Street near the town centre at around 1.45am to a deliberate fire in a small wooden structure near to scout hut.

The crew had extinguished the fire and returned to the station by around 2.15am.

A PROJECT to help unemployed people out of poverty and in to work has secured funding for another two years.

Benn Partnership Centre will receive £15,600 per year from Cemexs Rugby Benevolent Fund to continue its Beyond Recession Project.

The project has provided what is known as Job Journey Planning and support to the unemployed for the last three years.

The new funding will allow phase two of the project to begin, which aims to ease the hardship of people affected by benefits changes, and help clients become more employable.

THE approval of women bishops has been welcomed by the Coventry Diocese.

Bishop of Coventry, The Right Rev Dr Christopher Cocksworth, said the vote by the General Synod this week in favour of the move would allow the Church of England to receive the great gifts of women into the Church’s episcopal leadership.

Reverend Canon Katrina Scott, the Dean of Women’s Ministry in Coventry and Warwickshire, added: This is a great moment to celebrate men and women working together. Having women as bishops will help us as a whole church better represent God to the nation, and to one another.

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Get finances in order before buying first home | HomeWork
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Posted by admin on 07/21/2014 | Short Link

Get finances in order before buying first home | HomeWork

Lending requirements have changed in recent years, but here are some things to do that remain the golden rules for getting ready to buy a home.

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The future and money are big stressors for teens [Infographic]
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Posted by admin on 07/21/2014 | Short Link

(BPT) – Many of Americas teenagers are stressed about paying for college and finding good jobs, and dont always practice smart budgeting. However, they remain remarkably optimistic and are willing to learn, grow and become financially savvy, according to a recent national survey from HR Block Dollars Sense. In fact, the study shows that three of every four teens go to their parents for financial guidance, while an incredible 97 percent plan on attending college, believing the promise of higher education is greater than rising tuition costs.

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Help! I Owe $3600 in Parking Tickets
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Posted by admin on 07/21/2014 | Short Link

Its amazing how something small, like a parking ticket, can quickly snowball into something overwhelming. People receive debt collection notices over little things all the time, and while its easy to dwell on how the problem could have been prevented, time is much better spent trying to deal with the current issue: a pile of debt and credit problems.

A young adult recently took to Reddit to get the weight of her ongoing debt off her chest. Shes 24, out of work for a year, moving back into her parents house and dealing with collection calls regarding $3,600 of outstanding parking, traffic and DMV fines. Its a complicated situation, emotionally and financially, but theres always a way forward in predicaments like this.

1. List All Your Debts

You may have a good idea of your outstanding debt, but youll never make progress if you dont know exactly whats going on. Get your credit report (learn how to get your free annual report here), make a note of your collection accounts, verify them and reach out to the collector.

This may not be easy. Engaging a collector means theyll want to get you to pay  thats their job, after all  so prepare yourself to clearly, confidently explain youre seeking information so you can plan the best way to meet your debt obligation.

2. Negotiate

The Redditor wants to resolve her debts, but she has no job (and cant drive because of the fines). That makes it difficult to pay debts. Shell obviously have to get back into the workforce at some point, but her inability to pay the debts is a problem many others can relate to.

By working with creditors and collectors, you may be able to settle your debt for less than you owe. Figure out what you can afford by going through your expenses and bank accounts. If your creditor hasnt sent your bill to collections yet, see if you can work out a deal (you can negotiate with collectors, too). Do your best to work with your creditor and figure out a way for everyone to get something they want: you out of debt and the creditors with at least some of what theyre owed.

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3. Make a Plan amp; Stick to It

While youre negotiating, write everything down. Keep all documentation. Once you know what you have to do, whether its meeting terms of a settlement or repaying the entire debt, figure out a way to do it. Again, this isnt an easy path, otherwise you probably would have done it already, but know that getting out of debt takes discipline. Look to the future: Once your debt is resolved, you can focus on developing good habits that will help you avoid falling into debt again.

4. Ask for Help

Most people are embarrassed by debt, but keeping your emotions to yourself could be causing you more harm than coming clean ever would. If you struggle with debt, you need support  not necessarily financial support, because that can mess up relationships  so if you have someone who can hold you to your goals and encourage you to do the difficult things you need to do, ask them to do it.

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5. Check Your Credit

If you get to the point of dealing with a slew of debt collectors, youve probably had the thought, I dont even want to know what my credit score is. Thats understandable, but its also unproductive. You want to know where you stand so when you start to rebuild, you can see your progress. Positive reinforcement works, and if you dont see the improvement you hope for, youll realize something needs to change. It doesnt cost anything, either: You can review your credit data for free and receive personalized tips for boosting your credit score through Credit.com.

More on Managing Debt:

  • The Credit.com Debt Management Learning Center
  • How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt
  • Top 10 Debt Collection Rights

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Help For Boys With Duchenne Muscular Distrophy
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Posted by admin on 07/21/2014 | Short Link

Hoffman is a founder of ReveraGen, which is developing a glucosteroid analog code-named VBP15. The company recently secured funding from advocacy groups to start enrollment in a Phase I study in October. It plans to begin Phase II studies just six months later in boys with DMD between the ages of four and seven, Hoffman says.

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Inspirational headteacher Paddy Beels looks back on 25 years in education
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Posted by admin on 07/21/2014 | Short Link

She fought for funding for a new nursery, was the brains behind bringing a family centre to the village where she worked and was awarded OBE for her services to education. Former pupil and Journal reporter Katie Davies chats to Wingate Nursery headteacher Paddy Beels following her retirement.

In a corner of Wingate Community Nursery School little butterflies flutter around their home waiting to be released into the wild.

Like the children who start the school, they are nurtured before they move onto pastures new. Headteacher Paddy Beels tells all her children that they have wings too and no matter where they live, they can go on to.

That is important for the nursery in a deprived area of the country where behaviour is sometimes challenging.

Government figures show that 40% of pupils at the school are officially classed as “disadvantaged”, a relatively high number.

Paddy’s appointment in 1989 came at a time when the village was reeling from the pit closures and when the people were pessimistic about their futures.

During her first few days in the post she tells me she sensed a feeling of loss when she took herself for a walk around the village.

The original nursery building was built in 1942 for mothers during the war as place for them to take their children. By the 1980s, it was run-down and tired.

However, Paddy set herself a task to find funding for a new school and give the people of Wingate what they wanted. Within the first year of her being there, she’d cracked it.

“It was an old building and it wasn’t good enough for the children and their families,” she said. “Wingate was already run down and deprived because of the closure of the pits.

“I wanted to create a bit of optimism and I wanted the people to feel good about themselves when they came into the nursery.

“The Government agreed to build a new school and two years later when the old school was 50 years old we moved into the new building.”

Before funding for the new building was secured Paddy adopted a make-do-and-mend attitude.

“I spent my first week decorating my office,” she said. “I hired a skip and threw a lot of stuff out. I just did what I could to make the nursery look nice.

“I also spent hours walking around the village to get a feel for the place and the people. I just felt like I wanted to pick the place up and give it some TLC. Everything about Wingate was deprived and sad.

“I wanted to lift the place up and the parents were ready for it. I was theirs and I was there for their children. I wanted to give them some optimism. I wanted them to believe in themselves and in their children.”

The new centre, which was built in the garden of the old nursery, was officially opened in 1992 in an event that involved the whole community.

Paddy, who is now 69, said: “I wanted that to be a big celebration and I wanted it to involve all of the community. It was called the Golden New.

“I always wanted the nursery to be a part of the community and the wider environment. It was really important to me that the children and the community felt they knew and understood what was going on in there.

“There is an old African proverb that says, ‘it takes a whole village to educate a child’ and it does.”

Not content with what she had achieved with the new school, Paddy still thought the village lacked a place for parents and their children to go.

So she got to work with her next project – a new family centre for the community.

“Myself, parents at the time and the health visitor spoke about how we wanted to create somewhere for parents and families to be,” said Paddy.

“We had to raise enough money for the capital and for the first three years’ running costs. The aim of the family centre was to help parents enjoy their time with their young children.

“We wanted to support parents and help them enjoy raising their children. That opened in 1998 and we set it up as a charity with lottery money and funding from One NorthEast.

“The family centre was a great example of people working together. It was about identifying what we needed and going out and getting it.”

The nursery was made a beacon school in 1998, an award that was given by the Government to outstanding schools in England and Wales from 1998 to August 2005. This meant it shared its practice with other schools across the country. But when the Beacon funding came to an end, the requests for support from Paddy and her staff continued and that’s where an idea for the Training and Research Base was born.

Alongside this also came the build for a Children’s Centre, which would look after children from the age of three months.

The Training and Research Base was opened in September 2006 after the nursery secured funding and has delivered training to hundreds of people, some of which have travelled from as far as New Zealand and Australia.

In 1999, Paddy won a National Teaching Award and in 2000, she was awarded the OBE for services to education.

British sculpture Antony Gormley once referred to the school as a “laboratory of possibilities”, before Paddy made it one of her values.

Today after 24 years service to the nursery she retired as headteacher and handed the school over to deputy head Becky Wood in a moving ceremony which was attended by pupils past and present.

“I am very happy that I’m leaving it in good hands” said Paddy. “Becky is my co-pilot and I’m moving over to let her take it into the future.”

“I don’t feel I’m leaving. I just feel like I’m taking a step back. I’m still going to be involved in the training base.

“It’s a strange feeling. I can’t envisage it. I’m not precious about it and it can change. I’m just glad that there’s something good here for Wingate.

“I feel that I have given myself to my job and to the community but equally the community has taken me in.”

“I feel privileged to be a part of the community and the lives of so many families. I feel that they are all my extended family.

“When people come here they’re not just coming here, they are sharing our lives and taking away something special that we offer.”

It was 21 years ago since I was a pupil at Wingate Nursery. I too was once one of Paddy’s “little butterflies” before I was released into the wild.

My sepia tainted memories of the place were happy ones and one thing Paddy taught me was that people can go on to do great things – no matter where we are from.

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The credit catch 22: How to build credit if you can’t get credit
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Posted by admin on 07/20/2014 | Short Link

The idea that everybody has to start somewhere can be really frustrating for people without credit: Good credit comes from properly managing loans and credit cards, but it can be difficult to get loans and credit cards if you have bad credit (or no credit). How the heck is that supposed to work?

A lot of consumers feel this way. In a recent post to Reddit, a 24-year-old asked: How do you build credit when no one will allow you a credit card? The individual#39;s situation is more complicated than that, but there are few ways to address the basic question.

Ask Someone For Help

If you have parents or a relative with good credit, you could ask to be added as an authorized user on one of their credit cards. Doing so will add the account along with the history of that account to your credit report. This, in turn, can benefit your credit score to the extent that the payment history on the account is good. So make sure you#39;re added to an account with a good payment history and, ideally, a low balance.

You need to understand what you#39;re asking of this person, though. If your mom gives you a credit card she#39;s responsible for, she#39;s putting her credit at risk in order to help you, because if you spend more than you#39;re supposed to and don#39;t have the money to pay the bill, she has to cover the cost or deal with the impact on her credit score.

Your friend or relative could add you as an authorized user and never give you the card, allowing you to benefit from having the trade line on your credit report without allowing you to learn how to use credit responsibly, but that#39;s not necessarily a great way to start using credit.

Start Small

Secured credit cards are often the best way for people with no credit to establish a credit history. These are credit cards that are easy to get, and they work by requiring you to make a deposit before using the card. That deposit (say it#39;s $500) is your credit limit, and you use the card and pay the bill just like you would with a non-secured card. This allows you to build a payment history and understand how credit card use impacts your credit score.

If you don#39;t make payments, the card issuer will take your deposit, but if you use the card responsibly, you can get your deposit back and possibly graduate to a non-secured card. Even with a secured credit card, you should shop around for the best terms.

Understand Your Situation

The strategies listed above can work for someone trying to improve from no credit or bad credit, but if you#39;re dealing with bad credit, make sure you#39;ve addressed the issues that hurt your credit in the first place.

For example, let#39;s go back to the Reddit user. He wants to build credit, but can#39;t get a credit card because he has unpaid student loans. He never graduated from college and sees himself stuck in low-paying jobs without hope of returning to school. Student loans must be repaid whether or not they result in a degree, but this poster has never made a payment. That undoubtedly destroyed his credit.

Student loans can actually be a great way to build credit, because making payments on time will establish a very strong payment history for the borrower. At the same time, student loans can have the opposite affect on credit if the borrower doesn#39;t make payments, as this consumer has learned. Getting a secured credit card probably won#39;t do much for his credit while he continues to default on his loans, and a poor credit history may mean he has trouble renting an apartment or getting reasonable insurance rates.

If you#39;re having credit problems because of unresolved debt issues, that#39;s probably a better place to start than with a secured credit card. Check your free credit scores and get a snapshot of where you should focus your financial efforts using the free tools available on Credit.com then make a serious commitment to paying down debt and building credit.

More From Credit.com:

How to Get a Credit Card With No Credit

Does Checking My Credit Score Hurt My Credit?

How to Get a Secured Credit Card

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Fear running short of cash in retirement? What to do
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Posted by admin on 07/20/2014 | Short Link

Fear running short of cash in retirement? What to do

One of our biggest fears is that we havent saved enough for retirement. Well, the fact is that most of us havent. Well, its time to stop worrying about it and start doing something about.

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Take This Quiz To See If You Can Tell Whether These Startups Are Real Or Fake
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Posted by admin on 07/20/2014 | Short Link

GawkersValleywagblog provides a useful service to snarky startup-watchers by

highlighting ridiculous companies that claim to fall under the rubric of tech.

But reading onlyValleywag, youd be forgiven for thinking that the phenomenon is a modern one: the product of an industry with too much money that has run out of ideas.

Dig a little deeper into the history of bone-headed businesses, however, and you discover that obviously dead-end startups arenothing new, nor are they restricted to those periods analysts call bubbles times in the lifecycle of the industry when it seems as though just about anything can get funded, at occasionally preposterous valuations, provided the founders are sufficiently enthusiastic.

Its fun to examine the wacky excesses of the start-up world. After all, it can often seem like the tech industry is an elaborate practical jokealbeit one with a lot of money at stakeplayed on the rest of us by attention-seeking college brats and a few wealthy enablers.

So this week I opened my address book and picked out a few prominent journalists, investors and entrepreneurs. The list included close friends, former business partners and former colleaguesin other words, people I trust to tell the difference between reality and satire. I sent them a list of seven real and eight fictitious startups and asked them to mark each with REAL or FAKE. (They werent told how many on the list were real companies and how many Id made up.)

The results were pretty funny. Since its the weekend, you might like to take the test yourself, so Ive listed all fifteen companies below, and you can find the answers right at the bottom of this page.

THE QUIZ

Before you get started, youll want to know how the experts fared. I dont want to single anyone out; Ill just give you the average across the panel. On average, they got nine correct answers, out of a possible 15. Well return in a moment to whether or not thats significant and whether the current glut of preposterous startups matters.

1. Layoffspace

A social network for the unemployed that doubled as a job site. It was public, so required users to broadcast their own humiliation to the world to connect with other like-minded unfortunates. Mystifyingly, no one signed up.

2. Agester

According to Mashable, the Hot or Not for your age asked users to upload photos of themselves so other people could guess how old they were. The product failed to iterate or scale.

3. Rewined

TechCrunchs worst startup of 2010, Rewined enabled you to swap unfinished bottles of wine youd opened, but decided you didnt like, with others in the same situation.

4. Relit

A San Francisco startup for smokers, the Relit app would dispatch a courier to bring you a lighter fluid refill wherever you were in the city, at any time of the day or night. Raised $25,000.

5. Schweeb

Schweeb is a human-powered monorail into which Google has invested $1 million. Travelers get from A to B by pedaling themselves the entire way. No Schweeb monorails have been built yet.

6. Beyoncify

An intelligent selfie filter for women that suggested a list of retouching options and then performed them, before posting the image on Facebook or Twitter with a choice of Beyonce quotes overlaid on the image. The founders decided one day to roll it out to other celebrities and raised pound;25,000.

7. Washboard

For a 50 per cent surcharge, this startup promised to mail you quarters for use in laundry machines. Launched and closed down almost immediately in 2014 (it was illegal), Washboard was aimed at students and city-dwellers.

8. Meet Pen

Meet Pen never secured funding but before moving on to other projects the team were designing a pen you could point and click at other Meet Pen owners to exchange contact details at conferences. The product had to be aimed very precisely and usually took 20-30 attempts to work.

9. Cardclone

A personal credit card cloning kit with which card-holders could make multiple copies of their own bank cards, so if they ever left their wallet at home, they could simply print another card off. Failed due to regulatory hurdles in Germany.

10. SitAtMyDesk

A sharing economy startup based in Baltimore that facilitates desk swaps in cubicled offices. Has never taken off, owing to the logistical problems and the amount of confusion and extra work it created for managers, but the company still has money in the bank.

11. Lulu

A social network for women that enables users to rate their dates with a variety of cringeworthy hashtags. Variously referred to as a libel factory and bullying at scale, the app is banned in Brazil.

12. Timbre

Timbre was the Tumblr for voicemail that lasted just six months, despite raising $1 million in venture capital to build a comment system in which every comment was a 10-second audio message. No major website installed the tool.

13. Chipps

At the height of the dotcom boom, Chipps launched as a Beenz competitor that raised $205,000 but put only $5,000 worth of transactions through its payment platform, which exchanged real-world currencies for a 56-character passphrase consisting of quotes from 90s teen movies.

14. Dr Death

A smartphone app and social network that encouraged users to take surreptitious photographs of medical professionals and publish them, together with an incompetence score. Raised euro;45,000 before being sued by an insurance company.

15. Knocked App

The number one paid entertainment app in the iPhone store in five countries within 48 hours of launch, Australian startup Knocked allowed users to impregnate anyone they met by taking a photo and allowing the software to generate a virtual baby bump.

Before you check your score, lets ask: does it matter? One school of thoughtthe view you hear from entrepreneurs, investors and cheerleading bloggersis that this is capitalismworking precisely as intended: a continuous cycle of innovation that requires a degree of failure to function. People who can afford to lose a bit of money fund ideas. The good stuff succeeds. The bad stuff fails, and its founders move on to other projects.

Its a reasonable argument, butoutside Silicon Valley, in particularit ignores some important economic realities: namely, that a great deal of this red-in-tooth-and-claw capitalism is funded by taxpayers. Are you comfortable with the state financing such a risky asset class as VC? Because some European venture funds consist entirely or almost entirely of tax dollars.

The amount of money in publicly-funded European venture capital runs into the billionsand thats before we even get to the grants handed out directly by the European Union with no reasonable expectation of return. The VCs who run them, with no oversight, transparency or accountability to the public, invest in some spectacularly stupid stuffsome of it not a million miles away from the companies listed above. Again, I wont be cruel and single any out (until a few paragraphstime, at least): youneed only glance at TechCrunch to see what I mean.

Governments like to focus on consumer technology, which today means apps, because it provides easy wins: the products being created are tangible and easy to understand and the companies have short life-cycles, which enables politicians to boast about job creation and new company registrations. Meanwhile, big technological problems in energy, infrastructure and medicine languish unfunded and unloved.

And it gets worse: immense tax breaks are available for angel investors, who are even less qualified than VCs and whose punts are even more speculative. The qualifying conditions for tax relief, should the investment fail, are absurdly easy to meet, with the effect that the taxpayer is underwriting monstrously idiotic projects, repaying angels as much as 90 per cent of their initial investment whensurprise, surprisevertical social networks for dogs or cats or flying ant enthusiasts fail to set the world alight.

In other words, you and I are picking up the tab for what can sometimes look like an enormous middle-class dole queuea way for burnt-out management consultants and deluded graphic designers to party in Shoreditch or Williamsburg or the Mission with someone elses money. Your money.

So perhaps it does matter that the startup industry produces so many obvious duds and that they are vociferously defended, especially when public money is so often involved somewhere along the chain.

The jurys still out on whether taxpayers should play any part at all in high-risk early-stage technology businesses: while its true that a lot of successful startups in Europe take public money and have public sector clients in their early years, really big hits, wherever they come from, rarely need to appeal to taxpayer-funded lenders of last resort.

Of course, no company, given todays state-sector heavy Western economies, exists entirely independently from the government. But if you believe the state has a role to play in early-stage technology, perhaps its at a local level, along the lines of San Franciscos deal with Twitter, which had the effect of persuading the company to move to an undesirable bit of town in the hope that its halo would prompt local regeneration. (It hasnt happened yet, but who knows.)

What seems obvious is that publicly-funded venture capitalists should be subjected to a great deal more scrutiny than they currently are, their employees should be of a higher standard and their investments subject to public scrutinyand, where appropriate, even ridicule. After all, its we who not only determine whether the latest productivity app or social network stands or falls as customers, but, increasingly commonly, fund or underwrite the project as well.

You cant blame my band of experts, each of whom is an enthusiastic and lifelong contributor to the startup world, for not being able to tell fiction from fact, such is the silliness of the startups they see every day. But perhaps we could ask founders, who like to say they are taking a lot of personal risk but who are increasingly underwritten by you and me, to be a bit less frivolous and address their talents to real problems.

Call me a cynic, but Im really not sure the public purse should be pouring cash intobad jokes like Lulu.

Answers to the quiz: 1, REAL; 2, REAL; 3, FAKE; 4, FAKE; 5, REAL; 6, FAKE; 7, REAL; 8, REAL; 9, FAKE; 10, FAKE; 11, REAL; 12, FAKE; 13, FAKE, 14, FAKE, 15; REAL

With thanks to my panelHussein Kanji, partner at Hoxton Ventures;Andy McLoughlin, cofounder of Huddle;Alex Hoye, a prominent angel investor in London; Tom Cheshire, technology correspondent for Sky News;Dave Lee, technology correspondent for the BBC;Colette Ballou, president of Ballou PR; Oli Barrett, founder of the Cosponsorship Agency and Web Mission; Robin Wauters, founder oftech.eu; James Cook, former deputy editor of The Kernel;Jennifer Arcuri, founder of the Innotech Summit;

***

Milo Yiannopoulosis a columnist and broadcaster. He writes a weekly column on technology, media and politics for Business Insider. His first book, The Sociopaths of Silicon Valley, will be published in 2015.

Milo Yiannopoulos is a regular columnist for Business Insider. You can read his past columns here.

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