The 78 year-old iconic game show host has revealed last week that he has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, vowing  to “fight this” deadly malignancy.

However, in an interview with Business Insider, he admitted to having a Milky Way and diet soda for breakfast every day, “A Diet Coke or a Diet Pepsi or a Diet Dr. Pepper,” especially on taping days.

A Stage 4 is given to cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Each year over 55,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, whose 5-year survival rate is 5%.  Older individuals who are healthy can do as well as those who are younger when diagnosed with advanced stage of the disease.  However some sources cite the median survival time is between 2 and 6 months if the cancer is diagnosed at a late stage.

What are the risk factors for pancreatic cancer?

Known risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:

  • Older individuals
  • Male (though women are affected as well)
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Genetics
  • African-American descent
  • Ashkenazi Jewish descent
  • Obesity
  • High fat diet
  • Hepatitis B
  • H. pylori infection
  • BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations
  • Can Diet Soda CAUSE Diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners have been linked to diabetes and diabetes is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.  Their relationship to pancreatic cancer, however, still remains controversial.

 

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Daliah Wachs is a guest contributor to GCN news, her views and opinions, medical or otherwise, if expressed, are her own. Doctor Wachs is an MD,  FAAFP and a Board Certified Family Physician.  The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00 pm (all central times) at GCN.

Published in Health

Roseanne Barr goes on a Twitter rant and acts like a lunatic!

 

Not exactly news though, since she’s been a lunatic for at least ten years. Barr uses Twitter and other social media platforms to spread all manner of idiocy. That being said, she does indeed have the constitutional right to say such lunacy and spread such idiocy.

 

Also, we all know that her free speech right does not protect her from consequences. And today her lunatic rant has gotten her huge hit of a TV show - cancelled! (There is no sarcasm there, either. Her show was a ratings juggernaut for ABC).

 

It all started early this morning when, on Twitter (in a now deleted Tweet), Roseanne, while referring to Valerie Jarrett, an African American former Obama aide, wrote, “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.”

 

Well, ABC wasted little time with a reply and two hours later publicly cancelled the Roseanne revival despite its huge ratings. ABC wrote:

 

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”

 

Barr quickly deleted the Tweet but the damage had already been done. Screenshots of it can be found all over the internet (here it is on TMZ).  Her cast mates and the show producers quickly fell all over themselves condemning Barr’s words. One of them even quit - Wanda Sykes said she would not return to the show. Of course, that’s all moot now the show has been cancelled, but still. It’s nice to see.

 

Barr tried to pull the ol’ “It’s a joke” instead of offering an apology. And I agree with her here. It was a joke. She’s a comedian, comedians make jokes. That makes sense. It’s just that - this was a particularly racist joke. Barr should have the right to say it. And she does. And now there are consequences. Which is great!

 

Not so great for the entire cast and crew who just lost their jobs because Roseanne is a lunatic racist. But still - a step in the right direction if you ask me. Roseanne did get around to offering an apology writing on Twitter:

 

“I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste. I am now leaving Twitter.”

 

Meh, no big loss to Twitter.

 

Anyway, I should at least note I’ve not watched a single episode of the Roseanne show, ever. I’ve heard it actually did a decent job of tackling socio-economic issues. I don’t know one way or another and so I don’t really have a dog in this fight other than - I am happy to read that there are some things more important to ABC executives than money. The Roseanne revival made ABC piles of cash! But racism should get you fired every time and so ABC made the right call.

 

Well played ABC!

 

Published in Entertainment
%PM, %30 %873 %2017 %19:%May

A sports fan's guide to cheap TV

If you’re a sports fan, you probably feel like you must watch your favorite team play almost every game of the season. That means you’re likely paying hundreds of dollars for cable or satellite service every month. Service in my area runs from $109 per month to $170 per month because I have to purchase almost 200 channels I won’t watch just to get my regional sports channel.  

Just because we’re sports fan doesn’t mean we should let cable and satellite service providers take advantage of us, though. You can watch almost every game your favorite baseball team team plays, whether you’re in their area or not, as well as NFL regular season and playoff games, MLB, NBA and NHL playoff games, and NCAA men’s basketball tournament games for less than $55 per month. And that includes your internet bill! Here’s how:

Buy the Right TV Antenna for Your Area

Getting your sports fix all starts with the right TV antenna for your area. Do some research to determine where the television broadcast towers are near you. If you live in rural America, a traditional antenna mounted to the roof of your home would be best. These have a range of up to 150 miles and are still very affordable, with options under $40. Here are some options compared.

If you live near a city you can save a few dollars and some installation hassles by purchasing a 25-mile or 50-mile, indoor antenna. I bought a 50-mile, indoor antenna that I stuck to a wall in my apartment and receive more than 40 channels, most of which display in perfect HD. This cost me less than $25 and took less than 10 minutes to find the best location for the antenna. That’s a one time cost to watch every NFL playoff game, including the Super Bowl, every MLB playoff game, including the World Series, every Stanley Cup Finals and NBA Finals game, and select NCAA men’s basketball tournament games -- all in stunning HD -- for as long as you or the antenna lives.

Invest in Internet and Protect Yourself with a VPN

You can save a ton of money on television by investing in your internet connection, and I’m not talking about paying for the highest bandwidth. You only need a 15 to 20 mbps download speed to stream 4K UHD video, so anything more than that is overkill, unless you’re downloading a lot of media. Regardless, you should protect your online history with a virtual private network (VPN).

A VPN shields your IP address location from internet service providers and other spying eyes. You can change the perceived location of your IP address to anywhere in the world, which allows you access to foreign versions of Netflix and other streaming software. You can even use the VPN on other devices like your phone or tablet. The best part is, a VPN subscription runs around $5 per month or less, and allows you to get around MLB.TV’s blackout restriction.

Using a VPN to Get Your Local MLB Team’s Games

If you live in the area served by your favorite MLB or NHL team’s regional sports channel, you can’t watch any game on that channel via MLB.TV or NHL.TV without a VPN. Don’t make the mistake of paying $45 per month for Sling TV for two months to basically watch your regional sports channel, and on a minute-or-so delay at that.

The real trouble with watching your local team on your HDTV is that you can’t run your VPN on your TV. You can run an HDMI cable from your computer to your TV, but why use two devices to watch TV when you could use one?

Run Your VPN Through a Wireless Router

There are certain routers that allow for open-source, firmware installations that will allow you to shield the IP addresses of your entire network of devices. Then, when you connect your smart TV to the internet, it will take on the location you set using your VPN through your router’s client software. This will allow you to utilize the MLB.TV and NHL.TV apps on your TV or Roku device instead of connecting your computer to your TV every time the game is on.

The problem is that open-source software like DD-WRT and Tomato takes time to write, and new routers are introduced so often that it’s difficult for these coding communities to keep up. Translation: There aren’t many routers you can buy in a store that will be compatible with this open-source software. So if you’re not tech-savvy or just don’t want to take the time to “flash” your router and install the open-source firmware, you can buy routers with this open-source software preinstalled. Then it’s as easy as plugging it in and entering your VPN information in the client software and setting your preferred location.

If you’re willing to take the time and want to save a few dollars, a good place to start is by reading the forums at the DD-WRT and Tomato links provided above. I would suggest buying a router with open-source firmware pre-installed, though. Finding a router that’s compatible with DD-WRT or Tomato is harder than you’d think. While model numbers are printed on the router box, version numbers are not, so when you see a model number that’s the same as one that’s compatible, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily compatible.

The savings are worth the struggle, though. You could save $700 per year or more by cutting cable and employing these methods. Here’s a breakdown of what you'll spend and save by investing in a digital antenna and VPN compared to cable and satellite providers:

  • $10.94 per month for MLB.TV through September (single-team package)
  • $3.33 per month for VPN
  • $39.99 per month for internet
  • $24.95 for digital antenna

= $54.26 per month during baseball season

= $43.32 per month the rest of the year

With NHL.TV = $67.76 per month during hockey/baseball season (roughly two months)

With NHL.TV = $56.82 per month during hockey season (roughly six months)

Yearly total without NHL.TV = $595.48

Yearly total with NHL.TV = $749.72

The Xfinity Double Play is the cheapest cable or satellite option in my area that includes my regional sports channel. That runs about $109 per month after tax for the first 12 months, or $1,308 for the first year, and a lot more after that. So without NHL.TV I’d save $712.52 annually. With NHL.TV, I’d save $558.28 each year. I’m either saving 54 percent or 43 percent on my TV and Internet bills, and the only games I wouldn't get are those on ESPN and NBCSN. 

So just because you’re a sports fan doesn’t mean you have to pay for cable or satellite service. You can save a ton of money on your TV and Internet bill just by taking these few, easy steps. The best investment you can make is in your internet service and the cheapest investment you can make is in a VPN. Don't let increasing cable and satellite costs make you sacrifice your love of sports. Force the cable and satellite companies to be more competitive with other options by using those options.

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Editor’s Note: An update follows.

If you run into some trouble getting your router VPN configuration working, visit here. To find out if your setup is working, visit a site like WhatIsMyIPAddress.com and see if the location you set up in your DD-WRT admin panel is the one identified by WhatIsMyIPAddress.com. Then do a speed test at SpeedTest.net.

There will be quite a bit of bandwidth lost due to the VPN running on your router, but it should still be fast enough to stream HD video.

I’d recommend only running your VPN through your router when you’re watching the game. This is as simple as removing the command from your router’s admin panel that connects your router to the VPN, saving the text in a Word, Text Edit or Notepad document, and rebooting your router. When you’re ready to watch the game, simply paste the text back in the router management tab labeled “Commands,” save startup, and reboot. This will lengthen the life of your router, too, as running the VPN through the router makes your router work harder and hotter.

Don’t expect this workaround to work forever, but take advantage of it while you can.

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If you like this, you might like these Genesis Communications Network talk shows: The Tech Night Owl, Free Talk Live, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, Erskine Overnight, Home Talk, The Josh Tolley Show, The Tom Chenault Show, View From The Couch

Published in News & Information

The smartest business analysts in the world don’t seem to know what Dish Network’s CEO Charlie Ergen is up to after spending $6.2 billion in the recent airwave spectrum auction. That put Dish on the same playing field as Verizon and T-Mobile when it comes to ownership of the airwaves. All of it’s unused, however, and Dish has never presented a plan of how it intends to use its spectrum, whether that’s streaming Dish Anywhere to its customers’ devices or building a wireless network of its own for Sling TV users, which is helping Dish add subscribers but is lowering revenues.

Analysts say Dish Network’s action in the auction makes it less likely that Verizon Wireless would merge with Dish, like AT&T did with DirecTV. But I refuse to believe Verizon isn’t interested in Dish’s spectrum. Verizon reportedly needs more urban capacity (and I can attest to this personally), which requires the very spectrum Dish owns. If that doesn’t scream value on Dish Network’s behalf, I don’t know what does.

But Dish stock has plummeted since the spectrum auction purchase was announced, dropping over six percent in two days. It’s stock price is lower than it has been since the start of 2017. That drop could continue until companies can start communicating again at the beginning of May, which was done to avoid collusion during the auction.

That’s when I see the fireworks happening. Ergen will sell all the spectrum Verizon doesn’t need at a huge markup thanks to Ergen’s opportunistic purchasing of the airwaves from bankrupt satellite providers over the years. The sale will put Dish in an ideal situation to negotiate a merger with Verizon, thanks to Ergen retaining the spectrum in low frequency bands that Verizon requires to make it’s urban service better. Verizon currently owns 24.3 fewer megahertz of spectrum below the 1-gigahertz frequency than AT&T.

Verizon and Dish merge to give AT&T some real competition while AT&T negotiates a new contract with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in June. Verizon will get the boost it needs in urban areas thanks to Dish’s spectrum, and Dish will get a boost in subscribers from bundlers getting out of cable contracts, which are expected to double in price. Dish will also benefit from turning their Sling TV subscribers into new Dish contracts by offering bundles that will save them money on telephone service. Sling TV will continue to bring in those unwilling or unable to pay for television service, while DirecTV lowers prices to try and match the new juggernaut in the market.

The best part is that both Verizon Wireless and Dish Network share the same color scheme and already provide commendable customer service. I’ve never been a customer of AT&T's before, but the customer service experience I had with Dish is far better than that of DirecTV. I never had a problem with Verizon (besides price) in 12 years as a customer, but they just reported a loss of subscribers for the first quarter ever. I was one of them.

These near-monopolies know where the market is headed. People are going to move between the very few providers of television and telephone services to take advantage of introductory rates, much like they do with credit card debt and balance transfers. The key is to give consumers a reason to join and then more reasons to stay. There’s inherent value in already providing commendable customer service, and when people switch to VerizonDish, they’ll be more apt to stay once they speak to a customer service representative.

Top US Pay TV Service Provider Metrics Q3 2016 (ranking by subscribers)
Rank   Platform Subscribers (millions) Net Adds ARPU*
1 AT&T IPTV + Satellite 25.292 -3,000 $118.09
2 Comcast Cable 22.428 32,000 $148.47
3 Charter Cable 16.887 -47,000 $80.81
4 Dish Network Satellite 13.643 50,000 $89.44
5 Verizon IPTV 4.673 36,000 n/a
6 Cox Cable 4.146 3,000 n/a
7 Altice Cable 3.598 -41,000 $117.80
*Comcast and Altice ARPU is Total Blended ARPU, All others are Video ARPU  Source: Strategy Analytics' Digital Television Operator Performance Benchmarking: North America   

Courtesy of FierceCable.com via Strategy Analytics

Editor’s Note: An update follows.

Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen announced in an interview with the Denver Post that Dish will use its spectrum to build a network for devices, citing that most Sling TV subscribers are watching on mobile devices and not televisions.

The network could be used by any device that connects to the internet, including self-driving cars, heart monitors and home security systems. Ergen didn’t rule out partnering with other wireless companies but did say that Dish would like the network built by 2020.

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If you like this, you might like these GCN talk radio shows: Erskine Overnight, Home Talk, The Josh Tolley Show, The Tom Chenault Show, The Tech Night Owl, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, Free Talk Live

Published in News & Information