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California becomes latest state to require online retailers to collect sales taxes

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — As of Saturday, California became the latest state to implement "sales tax fairness," in requiring online-only retailers to begin collecting sales taxes on products sold to California residents.

“Modern retailers operate in a competitive environment that requires them to compete on price 24 hours a day, both in the store and online," stated Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retailers Industry Leaders Association. "Closing the loophole that has given Amazon and other e-tailers an unfair competitive advantage over brick and mortar stores is essential to a free market economy that is void of government picking winners and losers."

California joins Texas and Pennsylvania this year in requiring online retailers to begin collecting sales taxes, New Jersey and Virginia will require the same next year, RILA reported.

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Omron introduces new pedometer

BY Allison Cerra

BANNOCKBURN, Ill. — Omron has introduced a new pedometer that utilizes Dual-Axis acclerometer technology to record users’ daily step count.

The new HJ-720ITC combines all the activity-enhancing features of 2D smart sensor technology pedometers with Omron’s health management software. In addition to featuring Omron Dual-Axis technology, the pedometer also features an automatic reset; 42-day memory; a weekly log, which stores up to seven days of information in memory and also includes six tracking modes: track steps, aerobic "brisk" steps, time, distance, calories and fat burned. What’s more, the pedometer will be able to connect to a new Web-based solution that will be launched by Omron later this year. The pedometer also is compatible with Microsoft Windows 7, Vista XP and 2000.

The HJ-720ITC pedometer carries a suggested retail price of $59.99 and is available at select sporting goods stores and pharmacies, as well as online.


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JDRF announces Type 1 diabetes treatment competition winners

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — An organization focused on Type 1 diabetes research announced Monday the winners of a competition to find new ways to treat the disease.

The organization, JDRF, formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, announced the winners of what it called the first-ever public challenge to find new theoretical ideas to approach the discovery and development of glucose-responsive insulin treatments. The treatment would deliver a price amount of insulin needed in response to circulating blood glucose levels 24 hours a day, reducing or eliminating high and low blood sugars and much of the daily burden of managing diabetes.

The winners included one individual and two teams of scientists: Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Light White Innovation Technology owner Luz Blanco; University of Texas at Austin doctoral fellow Chen Xi and research partner Feng Siqian; and California Institute of Technology graduate students Mohsen Chitsaz and Alborz Mahdavi.

JDRF launched the competition a year ago under a partnership with open innovation and crowdsourcing company InnoCentive a year ago. The two selected for final review 23 applicants out of a total of 63. Three of the ideas were selected to receive the Agnes Varis GRI Grand Challenge Prize, made possible with support from the Agnes Varis Charitable Trust. JDRF said the next GRI challenge will be a "discovery phase," which will build on the winning ideas, providing experimental design and validation of the potential GRI drugs, culminating in pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies with timelines and budget estimates.

"Out-of-the-box thinking and crowdsourcing have proven to be valuable tools in research," JDRF treat therapies senior director Sanjoy Dutta said. "We look forward to beginning early discovery research based on the original ideas of these talented prize winners."


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