Robot Technology Skirts Trump Administration Travel Ban
Living in the
21st century, humans have integrated
almost every function of our lives, both business and personal. Technology's evolution grows exponentially in both speed and complexity in order to
once impossible, relatively
its integrated presence and use in society,
found ways to
apply it in
context of social and political issues. This is
apparent when we look at the
Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) conference held in
Denver, Colorado at the
beginning of May. With
2,900 attendees in
2017, the annual gathering was the
largest of its kind
in the world.
For those in the technology field interested in
career advancement and
networking, events such as this CHI
conference are a necessity, but with
recent travel restrictions brought by executive orders signed by President Trump, many
technology professionals are either unable or
travel to the United States. In fact, many
researchers threatened to
boycott the conference if
move it outside the United States. Naturally, the organizers sought a
solution to this problem by using robotics.
On the conference's website, the organizers called this phenomenon
"telepresence attendance." The tech company Beam gave the conference a steep discount to provide
mobile, robotic terminals available for rent ($300/day) for conference "attendees" who weren't
physically there for one reason or another. German researcher Susan Boll appeared on one of these
rolling interfaces as a way to
protest the Trump administration's immigration and travel ban targeting
seven Muslim majority nations.
Initially, US Courts
opposed the ban, both in its
revised versions, as
discriminatory. By the end of June, however, the Supreme Court allowed
parts of Mr. Trump's
travel ban to go into effect.
Though at the time of the conference, many participants were
technically able to enter the US, they still did not attend
out of fear or
protest. "It is a
political statement, right? That we can allow people to come," said Gloria Mark, General Chair of CHI and professor of informatics at the University of California Irving. Even with
telepresence robots reserved for people who were
denied visas, the conference still lost some attendees over the ban.
Still, the prospect of this technology opens
new doors to communication. Think of it as an
upgraded version of
Skype allowing people to communicate in the middle of a
crowded room attended by CHI student volunteers to assist with any technical malfunctions, of which there were a few. In light of this recent development, it appears that
technology has an e
asier task adapting to the
political environment in which we
find ourselves. Politics and law have
traditionally been slower to adapt to
expanding technology, but perhaps developments such as this will significantly
assist in bridging the gap.
Having Children Could Limit Travel for Italian Parents
Italian parents of minors now need their partner's consent in order to have a passport issued for their child
and themselves. This regulation serves to prevent child abduction, but causes its own set of problems:
Part I of this article is available
Denial of Consent by Other Parent
of the other parent's
either the spouse
minor getting a passport
, according to the applicable law, the
the passport must
file a motion
before the judge having jurisdiction over the matter to obtain consent. The formal motion is filed with the Court having
jurisdiction by territory over the minor
, based on the
of the minor.
If the minor resides in Italy, jurisdiction and venue will be before the
of the child's place of residence. If the minor resides
, the motion should be filed with the
Head of the Consular Office
having jurisdiction by territory. (1) The motion will contain the
reasons for the denial
of the consent by the other party and include contact information for the party denying consent. The Judge, or the Consul, after having carried out all the
deemed necessary to ensure the best
protection of the minor
, (2) looking at the facts of the matter and informing the other parent of the motion filed to allow him/her to be heard, will issue a
that will either grant or deny the authorization to issue the document.
In any event,
consent to the passport issuance
by the authorities is
not a given
and may be refused in certain instances. The Italian Corte di Cassazione, which is the court with ultimate authority for the interpretation of laws and decrees, (3)
recently refused to hear a case
where one parent asked for the issuance of a passport to a minor lacking the consent of the other parent (4). The Judge of first instance and later the Appellate Family Court,
both denied the authorization
to issue the passport because it lacked the consent of the mother and
divorce proceedings were taking place between the parents
. The father filed a claim with the Corte di Cassazione for violation of the
'one passport one person' rule
and for lack of motivation in the lower court's decision because it did not
individual right of the child
to the issuance of the passport for safety during travel. The Court found the appeal inadmissible. The Court stated that the authorization to issue the passport to the child at the request of a parent in a case lacking the agreement of the other
cannot be considered a given
The 'best interest of the child' requirement is
parents are separated
. The Court said that the contested measure was not final nor constituted a Court decision by the lower court, but it was
'an act of voluntary jurisdiction
, aimed not to definitively settle a dispute between the
child parents' individual rights
, but rather meant to evaluate whether the refusal to give consent by one parent was in the
best interest of the child.
' As such, the Court refused to hear the appeal. (5) The Court stressed that it had no reason to change course even in light of the legislation introducing the principle "one person one passport'. The Court stated that one should
also looked at the policy behind that changed rule
, which is to enhance the protection of children's best interests; such interests should be even more of an issue when parents are separated. The Court
, therefore, that the authorization to the issuance of the passport to the minor without the consent of both parents is not a
by the court but is
subject to assessing
best interest of the child
on a case-by-case basis.
1 The Consul will act as a 'Giudice Tutelare', pursuant to the power granted by Section 33 and 34 of the Legislative Decree No. 71/2011.
2 This phase of the proceedings, called 'istruttoria' is the closest to a discovery phase that you can have in the Italian system, although it is extremely simplified compared to the US system.
3 This is the only tribunal in the Italian system whose decisions can set a precedent, together with the Corte Costituzionale, which is the sole interpreter of the Constitution.
4 Corte di Cassazione, Sezione I Civile, Sentenza 18 gennaio - 5 febbraio 2013 n.2696
Validated Best Practices in the U.S.
May Shift Your Global Marketing Strategy
By Sherré DeMao
A national study conducted by my firm within the U.S. compared
high-growth companies to
negative-growth companies amidst the
Great Recession. This research documented keys to successful growth realized by companies that thrived regardless of the economic conditions.
Tactical best practices were
confirmed within five areas of marketing concentration. These core marketing initiative areas are: Customer Relations, Referral Relations, Internet Presence, Strategic Involvements, and Public Relations.
Customer Relations: As obvious as this may seem, how well are you relating to your customers
operationally and promotionally?
Are you connecting with customers
face-to-face and not just virtually and telephonically?
communicating information of relevance on a regular basis?
exceeding customer expectations and continually
monitoring and benchmarking to confirm exceptional performance deliverables?
showing customers appreciation and
rewarding them for their
Is doing business with your company an
experience that cannot be replicated by any competitor from the customer's viewpoint?
Referral Relations: A referral relations program is not what most companies think. Growth companies know that
getting referrals from an
entire network of connections in addition to customers is
key to exponential growth.
Have you established a
database of connections with
non-competitor contacts going after the same ideal customer profile along with a means of
building strategic rapport of mutual benefit?
Do you have indirect competitors to whom you refer with mutual referrals coming from them?
Do you have a referral protocol in place to track and monitor effectiveness of referrals and engagement?
Internet Presence: High growth companies are using the Internet on a
daily basis in business for
promotion, communications, operations, and obtaining resources and information. They are also using the Internet to do
business better, faster, and smarter, which in turn improves their ability to serve their customer or reach prospects.
Is your website a source of information and/or service, as well as a source of promotion and preference building?
Do you give your
customers a reason to visit and access your
website on a regular basis?
regularly update and add news and information to your website that increases its
chances of being placed higher on the search engines?
leveraging appropriate social media networks to further
increase awareness and buzz about your business?
Do you have a strong "Google Factor" of
testimonials, positive reviews, affiliations and recommendations easily found with the click of a mouse?
Strategic Involvements: Strategic Involvements entail being involved with the
right organizations in the
right way for the
Is your company engaged in your trade industry association,
effecting change and opportunities?
Is your leadership selecting
involvements based on a high probability of referrals or access to your ideal target customers?
organization adopted a charitable cause, and established a protocol for giving back that is meaningful to employees and customers?
Have you formed
strategic alliances for competitive advantage and expanded opportunities?
Public Relations: Public relations was confirmed to be the most misunderstood of the core initiates, and yet is essential to credibility and preference building.
send news and
information about your
company's growth and advancements to trade, business, and targeted customer media?
identified expert authorities within your
potential resources to media for industry insights,
case success stories, and
Are any of your leadership or experts
positioned to speak at industry conferences or target market meetings?
company pursued opportunities for
awards and recognition within your industry or marketplace?
As we expand our research to an
international level, we are
seeing further validation of these five core concentration areas as the foundation and basis for building an effective marketing strategy for year-over-year growth on a global level.
Sherré DeMao is CEO/founder of SLD Unlimited Biz Growth Inc. based in Charlotte, NC. Her books, Me, Myself & Inc. - a Synergized World, An Energized Business, Living Your Ultimate Life, and 50 Marketing Secrets of Growth Companies in Down Economic Times have received national acclaim as Top Business Shelf picks. Her newest book, The Profitability Quotient, is expected to be released internationally in 2018, and in select markets in late 2017. She can be reached at 704.483.2941 or email@example.com.
Image Courtesy of Sira Ananmwong at freedigitalphotos.net
The German Green Party Moves Against Online Shopping on Sundays
dawn of the Internet,
online shopping has expanded the
boundaries of retail beyond the store's physical location. Just recently
Amazon bought the grocery store chain
Whole Foods for $13.4 billion.
Over the years, online shopping has proven to have its advantages and disadvantages.
Shoppers are able to
access almost an
unlimited number of choices when it comes to products and prices 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Stores are able to
expand beyond their
local setting without the burdensome necessity of constructing other physical locations. It has given
corporate icons such as
Amazon, eBay, and Overstock.
However, not everyone is on the same page when it comes to his or her perspectives and opinions concerning online shopping.
Local "mom-and-pop" stores express
frustration when potential customers merely
walk in to see what products they want and then immediately go to their phones to see
which online retailer offers a
better deal. But in the expanding globalized economy of the 21st century it makes sense that
online shopping would be
treated differently by
different cultures. This gets to the heart of the reason why
online shopping clashes with Sundays in Europe, and Germany more specifically.
There is currently a movement of
German retailers participating in the
initiative titled "Selbstbestimmter Sonntag" or
"self-determined Sunday," including companies such as
initiative's supporters are calling for shops to be open on Sundays in order to
stay competitive with
online retailers. On the other hand, the German Green party of Lower Saxony have
tackled this issue from the o
pposite point of view. They want to
limit the opening hours of
online trading meaning that customers may
place orders on Sundays but they would
not be processed until Monday.
The Green Party leader Stefan K
örner told the news agency dpa, "It is sufficient, however, if the processing of the order happens on Monday. Then the employees do not have to stay the whole weekend."
The measure with which the Greens are trying to "defend Sunday"
received support from German
Unions such as
ver.di and at the same time
received pushback from online retailers. The president of Bundesverband Onlinehandel (BVOH), Oliver Prothmann criticized the proposal:
"Any thinking of restriction or regulation is a step backward. [...] In the future, it may be the wish of consumers to have the order already on Sunday or at the latest on Monday [...]. It is precisely the Greens, as a consumer's party, that should not introduce these restrictions but look to the future of the consumer."
Image Courtesy of renjithkrishnan at freedigitalphotos.net
Bitcoin: The Underlying Blockchain Technology
convertible virtual currencies
(CVCs), was created by an anonymous user who goes by the name
. CVCs serve as a
digital medium of exchange
for goods and services. In his Nakamoto's white paper, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, Nakamoto believed that the
current financial systems
a third party
risk of fraud
through double spending. Nakamoto proposed Bitcoin as a
current use of
financial institutions when dealing with
would allow online payments to be
sent directly from one party to another
without going through a financial institution."
Nakamoto believed that the
trust- based system
, which we have learned to
, allowed for any
by the financial institution, creating an
in the way we transfer currency. Nakamoto therefore proposed "a
solution to the double-spending problem
[by] using a peer-to-peer distributed timestamp server to generate computational proof of the chronological order of transactions."
Compared to a
, CVCs serve a similar use. The Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has described CVCs as "a
medium of exchange
operates like a currency
in some environments, but does not have all the
attributes of real currency
In particular, in most environments CVCs do
not have a legal tender status
, which is one of the reasons why CVCs
lack widespread use
. Further, this has created
when attempting to utilize CVCs to
pay for goods and services
. But the main difference between currency and CVCs is the
IRS' guidance on the taxation of CVC
If you or your company are interested in further exploring your ability to utilize CVCs and the legal aspects connected to it, please feel free to reach out to Bridgehouse Law to schedule a call to better assess your situation.
Clearing house - such as a bank or intermediary, a clearing house acts as a middle man to confirm that the transaction takes place and the transaction is not a subject of fraud.
4 A government backed currency such as the US dollar or Chinese yen
Image Courtesy of IceHawk33 at freedigitalphotos.net
Upcoming Seminars and Events
USA-Markteintrittsseminar und Risk Management Meeting
BridgehouseLaw fördert auch dieses Event durch Sponsorship und die Stellung eines mit den Themen in den USA vertrauten Referenten.
13. September 2017: USA Markteintritts-S
14. September 2017: Risk Management Meeting
werden unter Anderem ausführlich behandelt:
- Corporate Formation and Governance
- Standortwahl und Zuschüsse
- US Taxation
Vertriebsaufbau und Marketing
HR und Personalrekrutierung in den USA
Visum und Arbeitserlaubnis
Datenschutz und Datensicherheit Pr
US Prozessrecht Haftungsschutz für die deutsche Muttergesellschaft
Herausforderungen der transatlantischen Personalführung
Contractual Risk Management
Beide Tage sind, je nach Interesse und
USA-Engagement, sowohl einzeln als auch zusammen buch
bar. Die Referenten leben teilweise in den USA oder haben aus Deutschland heraus starke USA Erfahrungen, die Ihnen
praxisrelevante Anregungen vermitteln.
Im Übrigen werden
auch Inhaus-Schulungen angeboten, falls Ihnen diese Termine nicht passen oder Sie die Informationen gerne mehreren Interessenten vermitteln möchten.
Weitere Seminartermine für das Jahr 2017 sowie die vollständige Programmübersicht und Informationen zu Teilnahme und Anmeldung finden Sie bitte hier.
BridgeAlliance Seminar in Cuba - Save the Date!
Our partners from the Bridge Alliance have prepared a varied agenda of activities, including a visit to the Mariel Special Trade Zone, as well as opportunities to establish relations with major industry sectors, such as energy, food, and tourism, which are open for business with foreign investors. We will also have a chance to hear directly from Cuban companies and government officials on the current portfolio of business opportunities.