4 hurt after propane tank explodes at SW MiamiDade barbecue

first_imgSOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Two people were taken to the hospital and two others sustained injuries after, officials said, a propane tank blew up during a barbecue in Southwest Miami-Dade, Sunday.Firefighters responded to the scene of the accident at an apartment building near Southwest 82nd Street and 72nd Court.Officials said the propane tank malfunctioned and exploded in an outdoor pool area.Officials took the opportunity to stress the importance of taking safety precautions this holiday weekend. “Just be very careful with any type of LP barbecue grills,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief David Reardon. “Make sure they’re very well aerated when you turn them on. Don’t turn it on and then try to start it multiple times. If it doesn’t start the first couple of times, shut it off, let the fumes evaporate and then try again.”The victims who were transported were taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

38 Cuban migrants intercepted repatriated

first_imgThe Coast Guard repatriated 38 Cuban migrants, Thursday, who had been intercepted in three separate cases in the South Florida Straits.The migrants were transferred to a cutter, where they received food, water and medical attention on their way back to the island.The Coast Guard estimated that 827 Cubans have attempted to migrate to the U.S. by sea since Oct. 1.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

3 OK after personal watercraft crash in Bay Harbor Islands

first_imgThree people avoided injury after their personal watercraft hit a boat lift behind some homes in Bay Harbor Islands.Bay Harbor islands Police responded to the scene of the crash off the 9900 block of West Broadview Drive, just before 3:45 p.m., Sunday.Officials said the victims’ Yamaha WaveRunner hit the beams of the boat lift.All of the people on the watercraft are expected to be OK.The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the crash.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Was Condé Hasty with Blog Cuts

first_imgOn the heels of scaling back Portfolio, folding Men’s Vogue and zapping its teen girl creation, Flip.com, Condé Nast announced that it will close the company’s blog network created by Susan Kaplow, director of syndication and development.Launched in 2007, the under-the-radar network boasted three bare-bones sites, Product Fiend, Elastic Waist and Daily Bedpost, a small staff and network of freelancers; while the three were originally billed as being separate from the company’s magazines, all display links to Condé Nast’s Glamour, Allure and Self. CN has decided to do away with this network in the face of slowing ad revenue growth.”This blog network was a valued experiment,” Kaplow told Mediaweek in an email (supplied by a company spokesperson), adding that the network was growing. However, Condé Nast can “no longer continue to support it in this environment.” While Condé Nast did not immediately release traffic figures for the blogs, a company source told Mediaweek that Bedpost’s traffic was around 100,000 unique monthly users. However, marketing research company ComScore said the sites didn’t meet its minimum reporting threshold of 100,000 unique visitors per month.Part of the challenge of embracing digital is allowing experimental new initiatives enough time to grow—and a fall 2007 to winter 2008 lifespan just doesn’t seem long enough. If the network was growing, why cut it now? It doesn’t appear that Conde is making a high investment of company resources—or dollars—in the network. In the past, the mega publisher has kept sinking magazines afloat for some time before letting them go (House & Garden) at the expense of company dollars and resources. So why not let a new, potentially profitable Web network develop to its full potential?last_img read more

Im Tired of Trying to Scrape a Magazine Together at My Own

first_imgFrom: Greg Morey Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 12:56 PMTo: Greg MoreySubject: Farewell for now.Hi,Unlike the Paper industry who in its infinite wisdom has found the ability to raise prices again, Florida Designers Review finds itself in an environment hit hard by a housing market decline, litigation with clients over unpaid invoices, and now an ad market in decline rendering us with too few commitments to produce this quarter’s issue and likely the Q2 issue as well.  SAVVY, our local Luxury Lifestyle product launching in time for Super Bowl, has also not received the volume of commitments necessary to launch, so I have directed them to International Plaza’s new magazine, which they are launching with Niche Media, the publishers of OCEAN DRIVE.  Bottom line, I am tired of trying to scrape a product together and fighting a vertical battle at my own personal expense, so the inevitable has come to pass and I am dissolving GR WYSE PUBLISHING and suspending FDR for a different time.  A time perhaps where paper manufacturers, printers, and distributors alike can grasp a deeper understanding of the term “partnership” understanding that without one another they stand to all perish.While I am sure for some of you this comes as no surprise and perhaps my humble appreciation for your contributions to FDR falls short of your hopes and expectations.  The product was exceptional thanks in part to your efforts, but most of the credit for FDR goes to Mario Garcia Jr. for his exceptional ability to craft a story from questionable submissions and his exceptional eye for unique page design.  I have enjoyed every second of working with each of you and will carry the FDR experience with me into the future.  My best wishes to you and may your own pursuits find better success.  Warmest regards, Greg There’s no doubt running a magazine business is a difficult task these days. Publishing magazines that serve the housing market even more so.One of those publishers, Greg Morey, CEO and publisher of GR Wyse Publications, apparently has had enough. In an e-mail Wednesday, Morey wrote that he is shutting down the company and shuttering the magazine it publishes, Florida Designers Review. “I am tired of trying to scrape a product together and fighting a vertical battle at my own personal expense,” Morey wrote.Yikes. Morey’s entire, painful, e-mail:last_img read more

Nomad Editions To Develop Digital Weekly for National Geographic Traveler

first_imgNomad Editions, the digital media company developed by a group that includes former Newsweek president Mark Edmiston and noted designer Roger Black, officially launched yesterday. The company offers weekly digital publications–such as Real Eats, Wide Screen, Wave Lines and BodySmart-designed specifically for mobile devices such as the iPad. One of its first projects will also be developing a weekly digital prototype for National Geographic Traveler. The prototype will be based on updated archival material and photography from National Geographic Traveler and if successful, will be marketed through Nomad Edition’s digital newsstand. Prospective readers of Nomad Editions get a free trial for the first 30 days then subscriptions are sold in three-month blocks for $6. Advertisers can exclusively sponsor single editions for $9,000 per week but the price varies depending on the length of sponsorship (minimum of one week, with different quarterly and yearly options to sponsor on an ongoing basis). More than one-third of the revenue generated by the digital editions will be set aside for freelancer writers, illustrators, and designers, with 5 percent of total revenue of a Nomad edition going to the editor of that edition. Before the official launch, Nomad had 2,000 subscribers across its digital editions, with 20 percent coming from overseas.last_img read more

Data Takes Center Stage at ABMs Annual Conference

first_imgAmelia Island, FL—Over the last three days, close to 200 b-to-b media executives convened here for ABM’s 2013 Annual Conference. After an 83-3 member vote in favor of the association’s merger with the SIIA, the conference kicked off featuring sessions that repeatedly hit on the growing importance of customer data as a key to cross-platform media success.Incoming ABM Chair and 1105 Media CEO Neal Vitale, who made is first gavel strike Monday, noted in his introductory remarks that “the future of b-to-b media is not owned by companies that fit neatly into any one category.” The nature of what b-to-b media companies do now extends across multiple platforms—confounding any central defining characteristic. Indeed, in the first panel of they day, moderated by Business.com CEO Tony Uphoff and featuring Bizo’s Russel Glass, Penton’s David Kieselstein, 1105 Media’s Abraham Langer, DeSilva + Phillips’ Dan McCarthy and Scout Analytics’ Matt Shanahan, tackled the difficult task of defining the b-to-b media company of the future.”The single biggest competitor you have today is your customer,” said Uphoff, noting the efforts brands are making to turn themselves into publishers. Yet Uphoff said that while they’re getting better at developing content, they’re still struggling with identifying and engaging prospects. Why? Because the data is “inconsistent, expensive and challenging,” he said.So the opportunity for publishers then, is to better understand and harness their own data to solve the needs and pain points of their customers. “We should look to the migration and fragmentation of our audience across digital platforms as an opportunity,” said Langer. “We can finally understand what our readers are interested in and what they want to consume through the data. B-to-b media needs to monetize the behavioral data that is generated in the interaction between the audience and the content.””It’s not about the customer,” said Shanahan, “it’s about the data. I’m just putting my money into where the best conversion rates are. You have to beat that cost in terms of the channel and you’re only going to do that if you know your own conversion rates.”Kieselstein cautioned publishers against simply building a “black box” unified database and expecting solutions to pop out the other end. A company needs people who can understand the data and parse it into patterns that reveal opportunities.That point segued well into the next session, “How Customer Modeling Works (and Why It Should Be the Core of Every B-to-B Strategy)”Scott Vaughan, most recently CMO at UBM Tech, stressed the importance data has taken at the company. “It’s the foundation of everything we do now in business going forward.” But shifting the corporate culture to that sensibility was a long and difficult process.  “The hardest thing I’ve ever done was to take our company from a company of publishing and events to a data company.”Later in the day, data shifted from an internal priority to one that embodied a more directly monetizeable quality. Rafat Ali, founder of Skift, a content and data-focused media brand targeting the travel industry, described his company as a “data-based, data-led and data-focused” entity. Skift’s media/content operation is the entry to what will become Skift’s main revenue center—data aggregation and subscription sales. “We believe media and data can co-exist,” he said. “Data informs our media strategy, which we build as a large funnel on the media side and use that to upsell customers to our data.”On Tuesday, the opening panel featured smaller independent companies, represented by Robert Dippell from the Praetorian Group, John Failla from Tesoro Business Media and Harry Stagnito of Stagnito Media Group. In all three cases, the panelists drove home the importance of sticking to the fundamentals of running a b-to-b media company: meeting customer needs, whether a reader, event attendee or an advertiser.And operational efficiencies, at this stage, are a moot point, noted Failla: “It’s tough to get our costs any lower. We’re a small company and we already have a very efficient organizational model. Frankly, we’re not focused on driving costs down.”last_img read more

CR Could Stumble in House or Senate

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Support for a fourth continuing resolution (CR) is tenuous in both chambers, making a partial government shutdown starting Friday at midnight a distinct possibility. Leaders in the House are cautiously optimistic they can advance a stopgap measure running through Feb. 16 relying only on Republican votes, but opposition from Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee and conservatives could stop the bill from passing. Defense hawks have become frustrated at the delay in boosting funding for the military.In the Senate, the CR’s prospects will come down to a small group of moderate Democrats who will need to decide whether to back their party’s effort to protect from deportation hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children or help avert a shutdown. As of Wednesday evening, Democrats were far from unified. While some promised to oppose the funding measure, others were reluctant to shut down the government, reported the Washington Post.With Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) absence from the Senate, Republicans would need the votes of at least 10 Democrats, and possibly more, to pass a CR. The real question is whether 40 Democrats, or so, would be willing to force a government shutdown.last_img read more

A Perfect Circles Billy Howerdel On New Music Touring Again More

first_img A Perfect Circle’s Billy Howerdel On New Music, Touring Again & More News We go behind-the-scenes with the influential rock group’s guitarist and lead composer, who shares what it’s been like making music together again and hints that “Judith” could be heard live in the near futureAna YglesiasGRAMMYs Oct 15, 2018 – 12:06 pm A Perfect Circle, led by Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel, released their ground-breaking, genre-nonconforming debut album, Mer De Noms, in 2000 to much critical acclaim. The group followed up with two more albums, Thirteenth Step in 2003 and Emotive in 2004, but then took a long hiatus to work on other projects, including Keenan returning to his GRAMMY-winning band Tool. Despite the time apart, A Perfect Circle wasn’t over, and much to fans’ delight the group started actively working together again in 2017, embarking on a tour and working on new music. They released their fourth studio album, Eat The Elephant, on April 20, 2018, along with a stunning album-length companion film.The group visited the GRAMMY Museum on Oct. 10 for an intimate conversation and performance at the Clive Davis Theater for 200 lucky fans. Before the event we caught up with Howerdel to ask what he’s been listening to lately, how the group’s creative approach has shifted, his favorite songs to play live, what he’d like to say to fans, and more. NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Oct 15, 2018 – 12:05 pm Billy Howerdel On A Perfect Circle’s Return & More Billy Howerdel On A Perfect Circle’s Return & More perfect-circles-billy-howerdel-new-music-touring-again-more Facebook Twitter Email Howerdel, who composes the majority of the group’s music, with Keenan writing the lyrics, shares that their creative process has indeed shifted, and in working on the new album they took extra time “breaking things down a bit more” on each song. The guitarist also reveals that “Delicious” is one of his favorite tracks to play from the new album, and he’s looking forward to playing it live for the first time soon. He also hinted that he wants to play “Judith,” a fan-favorite from Mer De Noms, with the group again soon, one they haven’t performed together live in quite some time.Exclusive Video Premiere: A Perfect Circle “Eat The Elephant”Read morelast_img read more

Gaby Moreno Enjambre El David Aguilar Added To LAMC Performances

first_img Gaby Moreno, Enjambre & El David Aguilar Added To LAMC Performances News The conference, celebrating its 20th edition this year, will partner with the the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival to bring the artists on stageJennifer VelezGRAMMYs May 2, 2019 – 4:08 pm GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Gaby Moreno, rock band Enjambre and rising indie singer/songwriter El David Aguilar have been added to the Latin Alternative Music Conference’s music programming.The artists will hit the stage July 12 at Prospect Park as a part of a show partnership between the conference and the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival which programs free concerts in the city.  Email Twitter Gaby Moreno & More Added To LAMC Performances gaby-moreno-enjambre-el-david-aguilar-added-lamc-performances Facebook https://twitter.com/theLAMC/status/1123664682135330816 LAMC previously announced GRAMMY nominees Los Aterciopelados, Ximena Sariñana and more as a part of their Summer Stage lineup. The conference, celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, brings together music makers, creatives, journalists and fans for panels, workshops, art, live music and more. The conference will take place July 9–13 at the Stewart Hotel in New York City. For more information on the conference, visit LAMC’s website. Tomasa Del Real On Bringing Her Take On Reggaetón, NeoPerreo, To Coachellalast_img read more

Red Cross Announces Upcoming Blood Drives In Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The American Red Cross is conducting the following upcoming blood drives in Wilmington:Thursday, August 23, 2018, 1pm-7pm: Wilmington Knights of Columbus Hall (112 Middlesex Avenue)Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 1pm-7pm: Wilmington Friendship (Masonic) Lodge (32 Church Street)Saturday, September 29, 2018, 10am-3pm: Wilmington Congregational Church (220 Middlesex Avenue)Interested donors can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to book an appointment, but walk-ins ARE welcome.Here are some important facts about blood and the blood donation process, from the Red Cross’s website:Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.Although an estimated 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10% actually do each year.Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.Blood donation is a simple four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments.Every blood donor is given a mini-physical, checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure that it is safe for the donor to give blood.The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 minutes.First time donor?  Haven’t given blood in awhile?  Read this checklist so you know what to expect.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedRed Cross Announces Upcoming Blood Drives In WilmingtonIn “Community”Red Cross Announces Upcoming Blood Drives In WilmingtonIn “Community”Red Cross Announces Upcoming Blood Drives In WilmingtonIn “Community”last_img read more

Wilmington Holds Successful Town CleanUp Day

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Town of Wilmington Department of Planning and Conservation wishes to thank all those who volunteered at the Annual Town Clean-Up Day.Approximately 30 people of all ages volunteered their time to help beautify the Town’s woods and wetlands by removing litter and debris on Town Conservation Land and parks. The focus this year was Town Forest, Town Park, Silver Lake, and Glen Road Berry Bog at Town Hall.Take Junk, who recently opened a location in Wilmington, kindly donated high-visibility t-shirts for the volunteers and provided trash pickup and disposal. Dunkin Donuts and Market Basket also donated refreshments.Town Clean-Up Day is held each year on the third Saturday in September, but anyone is welcome to volunteer their time year-round.  The Department of Planning and Conservation is hoping to hold a similar event with additional activities in April to celebrate Earth Day.If you have any questions or want additional information, please contact Ryan Hale, Conservation Agent, at 978-658-8238 orrhale@wilmingtonma.gov.Town Clean-Up Day volunteers (Courtesy photo)(NOTE: The above press release is from the Town of Wilmington.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington’s Annual Town Clean Up Day Set For September 21In “Community”Wilmington Planning & Conservation Department Hosts Successful Series Of Earth Day EventsIn “Government”Town Announces Nature Walk, Clean-Up Day & Other Earth Day EventsIn “Community”last_img read more

Elon Musk says SEC oversight is broken in wake of Tesla numbers

first_img Elon Musk Tesla Tags 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Now playing: Watch this: More From Roadshow Elon Musk isn’t happy with the SEC. Joshua Lott / Getty Images Tesla CEO Elon Musk used Twitter to push back against the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, a day after the agency chastised him for sharing company information on the social media platform.On Monday, the SEC moved to have Musk held in contempt after he tweeted about Tesla’s likely production volume in 2019, saying he’d violated the terms of an agreement. The agency had forbidden him from using Twitter or other social media to pass along information that could be considered material to investors or Tesla without prior approval.The SEC’s call for action prompted a selloff in Tesla shares, which sank as much as 4.6 percent in after-hours trading Monday. The stock downturn prompted a Twitter commenter to suggest that the SEC’s filing moved markets, not Musk’s tweets. “Exactly. This has now happened several times,” Musk wrote, wrote on Twitter. “Something is broken with SEC oversight.” Originally published Feb. 26 at 9:53 a.m. PTUpdate Feb. 27 at 4:04 a.m.: Adds March 11 deadline for Musk to explain. Comments 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Sliding around in Teslas at the company’s Alaska proving… He responded with another “Exactly” when someone else noted that the information Musk tweeted had already been revealed in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call and a shareholder letter.Musk has a Twitter minder, an experienced securities lawyer at Tesla who is tasked with vetting his communications. The minder is known as the Designated Securities Counsel, a position that was created after earlier SEC actions against the company and Musk.Later Tuesday, US District Judge Alison Nathan ordered Musk to explain by March 11 why he shouldn’t be held in contempt, Reuters reported.Wall Street analysts weighed in on the clash Tuesday, offering both hope and hesitation for investors.Maynard Um at Macquarie Capital pointed out that the SEC is likely looking for decisive action by Tesla’s board. Even so, he wrote, the firm doesn’t see a “material risk of a change to Mr. Musk’s role at Tesla.”But that doesn’t mean all’s well.”This new legal headache for both Elon Musk and Tesla,” wrote Jeffrey Osborne at Cowen Equity Research, amounts to “a negative distraction for a company that needs to execute at this critical juncture.” Cowen continues to see “major risks” given the company’s valuation, cash needs and other factors.Tesla shares on Tuesday closed down less than 1 percent, to $297.86.The SEC, Tesla and Musk didn’t respond to requests for comment. 10:51 7 Share your voice Exactly. This has now happened several times. Something is broken with SEC oversight.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2019 Car Industry Tech Industry 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealouslast_img read more

A brothers love inspires a more accessible Google Assistant

first_img“My mom always made sure that Giovanni had access to all the same gadgets and technology that everyone in the family and all his friends were using to listen to music or to enjoy cartoons,” Lorenzo said.There were several challenges to consider in designing a tool for Giovanni to use. Giovanni is severely limited in his communication. Not only does he not speak, but he only knows a few basic signs in sign language.Because of limitations in fine motor skills, he’s also unable to manipulate a smartphone or tablet. And due to his cognitive disability, Lorenzo said that Giovanni is unable to navigate a complicated user interface with multiple steps or prompts.Lorenzo and Giovanni CaggioniLorenzo is working to make Google Assistant more accessible for his brother, Giovanni, who has Down syndrome, is blind, and doesn’t speak. Google Giovanni has recently been working with therapists to learn how to use a communication device with big buttons that connect to a device and play a prerecorded voice response. These buttons, which use the standard Augmentative and Alternative Communication framework, or an alternative way of communicating to replace speech and written text, attach to a device and can work as an on/off switch or can be chained together to handle more complex requests.  Lorenzo decided to create a gateway device that would allow Giovanni to use these buttons, which he’s already familiar with, to access Google Home. The team created a small box connected to a button using the same headphone jack used for a phone, laptop or tablet, using a wired headphone jack, that is then connected via Bluetooth to access a Google Home device. Now, by simply touching a button, Giovanni can listen to music or watch a movie.Edge-Savage said many people who are unable to speak are already using AAC devices to press a button or an icon on a tablet or some other specially designed device to play preprogrammed voice commands for digital assistants. But Lorenzo’s solution bypasses the need for separate devices to generate a voice command. For people like Giovanni, who are just learning to use an AAC device, this could be a helpful tool. “To me this is magic,” Edge-Savage said. “Here’s a brother who said, I am going to make something so you can do your favorite thing. That’s often where I start with clients as they learn how to communicate. It’s so motivating.” Tech Enabled Google Tags 4:05 Gadgets The way kids interactRight now, Giovanni is using a single button, and the content is already queued up for him. But eventually the system could be expanded to let him choose from a variety of content and may even allow for more searching capabilities. Lorenzo said his team has plans to attach RFID tags that could be coupled with pictures with different information queued up.”You could have these buttons all over the house,” Lorenzo said. He describes the system as a sort of jukebox, with buttons set up to tell him the weather, give him the news or tell a joke.Even in the current setup, Lorenzo says it’s been a game changer for Giovanni. On a recent visit to his parents’ house, Giovanni was watching TV with Lorenzo’s young children. Apparently, Giovanni didn’t like what they were watching, so he went over to the TV, pressed the button and switched to Finding Nemo, his favorite movie.”In this way, Giovanni is able to compete with my kids,” Lorenzo said. “This is the way my kids interact with each other; whoever controls the remote control decides what they watch. And now Giovanni is able to join them and has control, too.”This drawing illustrates how the technology created in Project Diva can be used to provide alternative inputs to a device powered by the voice-activated Google Assistant.This drawing illustrates how the technology created in Project Diva can be used to provide alternative inputs to a device powered by the voice-activated Google Assistant.  Google While this task of simply changing the TV may seem insignificant, Angela Standridge, a speech-language pathologist, who specializes in the use of augmentative communication technology, said even this basic form of communication is significant for someone like Giovanni who has limited communication.”The most powerful thing I do in my practice is teach people to communicate ‘stop’ or ‘don’t,'” she said. “The whole reason to communicate is to control your environment. Having that sense of agency and control is fundamental to us as humans.”Making tech accessibleAssistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant can be a lifeline for certain communities like the blind or visually impaired, or those with physical disabilities, but the need for voice commands leaves out a slew of other people. It would be better for companies to think of these populations as they design their products, so that they can be accessible to as many people as possible, Edge-Savage said, adding that there are many ways to hack mainstream technology to make it accessible. Lorenzo’s system is a good example of such a hack — even if it was done in house. Google is also using machine learning as part of another initiative, Project Euphonia, to make it easier for people with slurred or hard-to-understand speech to use Google Assistant.”Building for everyone means ensuring that everyone can access our products,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on stage at Google I/O. “We believe technology can help us be more inclusive, and AI is providing us with new tools to dramatically improve the experience for people with disabilities.”But some experts say that big tech companies could be doing more. Standridge said Google and other big companies need to think about people with disabilities when they first design these products. “Accessibility is still an afterthought for all the big tech companies,” she said. “They’re retrofitted for people with disabilities. If they used universal design when coming up with their products, they would have a tool that could be accessed by the widest range of abilities from the start.” Project Diva is one of three new projects that Google highlighted at last week’s Google I/O conference, ahead of Global Accessibility Awareness Day. The company has been working on accessibility issues for several years to try to ensure its products are more accessible. For instance, the Google Maps team launched a program to use local guides who scout out places with ramps and entrances for people in wheelchairs. Last year, at the I/O developer conference, Google announced the Android Lookout app, which helps the visually impaired by giving spoken clues about the objects, text and people around them. Google’s effort is part of a broader trend among big tech companies to make their products and services more accessible to people with disabilities. Digital assistants, in particular, have been the focus of several efforts already. Last year, Amazon made the “Tap Alexa” feature available for the Echo Show touchscreen smart speaker to allow deaf users to tap on the screen to access customizable shortcuts to common Alexa tricks, including weather, news headlines and timers. It also offers Alexa Captioning, which allows users to read Alexa’s responses.”The more access methods, the better,” said Jennifer Edge-Savage, an assistive technology consultant in Massachusetts. “There are lots of mainstream technologies that can make life so much easier for people with disabilities. So something that’s just cool for me could be life-changing for the people I work with every day to help them to be more independent.” Adapting technologyFor Lorenzo, adapting Google Assistant for Giovanni was personal. Lorenzo said that Giovanni, the youngest of six siblings, was the brother who “completed our family.””He has always given so much to our family, I wanted to give back something to him,” he said. “I like technology. So that was something I could do for him.”Lorenzo said he was inspired by the approach his mother took while raising Giovanni.  When he has the right setup, the right tools, the right environment around him, he is really able to exceed any expectation. Lorenzo Caggionicenter_img Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: 2 Brothers Lorenzo and Giovanni Caggioni, out for a spin. Google Voice-activated digital assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa make trivial tasks like playing your favorite song as simple as saying a few words. But for people like Giovanni Caggioni, who has Down syndrome and congenital cataracts, which makes him blind and unable to speak, these tools are inaccessible without some of sort of augmented hack. Caggioni, 21, loves music and movies. But he can’t use the family’s Google Home device or the Google Assistant on his Android phone himself because he can’t give the “OK Google” command to search for his favorite entertainment.His older brother Lorenzo, a strategic cloud engineer at Google based in Italy, set out to solve this problem. In an effort to give his brother greater independence, Lorenzo and some colleagues in the Milan Google office set up Project Diva to create a device that would trigger commands to the Google Assistant without using his voice. It involves a button that plugs into a phone, laptop or tablet using a wired headphone jack that can then be connected via Bluetooth to access a Google Home device. Lorenzo knew that with the proper technology adaptation, he could make Google Home a useful tool for Giovanni. “When he is supported by people who believe in him,” Lorenzo said in an interview with CNET, “and when he has the right setup, the right tools, the right environment around him, he is really able to exceed any expectation.” Comments The battle for the best smart display: Google Home Hub…last_img read more

US will foot the bill for international tariffs CTA predicts

first_imgHuawei thinks the US will get stuck with the bill for international tariffs. Stephen Shankland/CNET The Consumer Technology Association is slamming President Donald Trump’s plans to impose higher tariffs on imported Mexican goods.CTA President Gary Shaprio issued a statement on Friday calling the plan “shortsighted” and “short-tempered” and lacking the economic understanding that “tariffs are taxes.” Most importantly, Shapiro said, American families, workers and companies would pay the price.Shapiro, who’s organization runs the annual CES gadget show and represents the US consumer technology industry, said Mexico is one of the US’ top trading partners and responsible for $41 billion in US consumer tech sector goods in 2017 and almost double that of the next-highest export market.”If Mexico reciprocates with tariffs of its own, our country’s employers and workers will end up paying twice over for the administration’s misguided trade policies,” he said. Shapiro’s thinking seems to be in line with Chinese tech giant, Huawei. The company is railing against the US ban.   “Today it’s telecoms and Huawei. Tomorrow it could be your industry, your company, your consumers,” Huawei Chief Legal Officer Song Liuping said in an emailed statement. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Last November, Trump suggested a 10% tax on phones and laptops built in China. The move would potentially increase the price of some phones and computers. The August prior, Huawei’s FusionHome solar panels were due to launch in the US by the end of summer 2019, but the administration’s 25% tariff made the panels markedly less budget-friendly.  Most recently, Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the tariff hike on Chinese goods would slow the US rollout of 5G. On May 10, the commissioner tweeted that the tariff was “a 25% tax on the future of technology.” Now playing: Watch this: $999 See It Apple iPhone XS Comments $999 See it Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Best Buy See It Tags Boost Mobile AutoComplete: Chinese tariffs on US vehicles going away,… 1:21 Sprint See It $999 Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) $999 Share your voice 8 The tariffs that go into effect today are a 25% tax on the future of technology. All the building blocks of 5G wireless and the internet of things–from modems to antennas to semiconductors–are subject to this new tax. It’s not good–for consumers, innovation or US leadership.— Jessica Rosenworcel (@JRosenworcel) May 10, 2019 Tech Industry CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Huaweilast_img read more

FERC Nominee Approved Despite Murkowskis Objection

first_imgOn Tuesday, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm two members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. One of those nominations was approved over the outspoken objection of Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski.Download AudioThe Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, had two members confirmed on Tuesday.  Cheryl LaFleur, acting chair of the Commission, was approved in a 90-7 vote.  The vote for the second nominee, Norman Bay, had a much closer vote of 52-45.  The vote on Bay’s nomination fell along mostly partisan lines, though two Democrats did break ranks to vote with the Republican minority.  Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was one of the more vocal opponent’s of Norman Bay’s nomination.  Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy committee, says that part of her reason for opposing the nomination has to do with President Barack Obama’s intent to make Bay, a first time Commission member, the chairman of FERC.Upper Valley residents may be familiar with FERC.  It is the agency that, among other things, licenses hydroelectric projects like the proposed Susitna dam.  That’s far from all there is, however. Senator Murkowski explained in a floor speech on Tuesday what else FERC does.“In the energy world, FERC regulates ‘midstream everything.’ The Chairman is its CEO.  Under his or her leadership, FERC regulates: Interstate natural gas and oil pipelines; LNG import and export facilities; The sale of electricity at wholesale (and therefore the large and wholesale power markets that increasingly affect the affordability of all electric service, including at the retail level); The transmission of electricity in interstate commerce – basically the nation’s bulk power system, practically speaking, its high voltage transmission networks; The reliability of that bulk power system; The licensing of hydroelectric facilities and the safety of dams; And the list goes on and on. ”Senator Murkowski contends that Norman Bay is not ready for the leadership role.  Bay has worked as an employee of FERC for five years.  Under a proposed compromise agreement, he would serve on the Commission for nine months before taking over as chair.  In the meantime, acting chair Cheryl LaFleur would head the agency.   Senator Murkowski says there isn’t certainty at this time as to what exactly would actually take place, however.“You have to ask the question: What are its terms? Will Acting Chair LaFleur have the opportunity to serve fully and completely as chair? Will it be clear that Mr. Bay is not a ‘shadow chairman’ or ‘chairman-in-waiting’ during this crucial period? At a minimum, before we make a choice about who should lead FERC, the president owes senators a clear timeline of who will be in charge, and what powers will be given to her or him.”Senator Murkowski also questioned the reason that Cheryl LaFleur, the Commission’s only female member, would be “demoted” in favor of someone who has never served.  She says that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated it has to do with changes to policies put in place by former FERC chair Jon Wellinghoff.““One hint came from our Majority Leader, Sen. Reid. He recently told the Wall Street Journal that Ms. LaFleur ‘has done some stuff to do away with some of Wellinghoff’s stuff’ – without, of course, defining what ‘stuff’ that was, and without acknowledging that much of Mr. Wellinghoff’s ‘stuff’ was either controversial or incapable of withstanding legal challenge.”Senator Murkowski also says that Norman Bay’s tenure as the head of FERC’s enforcement division has also raised questions.  In the past, she has said that she would not necessarily oppose Bay’s nomination were it not for President Obama’s plan to promote him to chair.  On Tuesday, however, she mentioned questions about Norman Bay’s handling of enforcement for FERC.  In the end, Bay’s nomination was confirmed, albeit not by a large margin.While Senator Murkowski says she does not always agree with Acting FERC Chair Cheryl LaFleur, she does support her nomination to continue on the Commission.  Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Senator Murkowski, refers to LaFleur as a “liberal Democrat,”  but says that the Senator has been impressed by her ability to lead.Who ultimately ends up as chair of FERC will be up to President Obama.last_img read more

Coastline Search Leads To First Residents Camps

first_imgA computer-generated map of Southeast Alaska shows additional land (in brown) beyond today’s shoreline. (Courtesy Jim Baichtal)The Earth’s crust is more flexible than you think – especially in Southeast Alaska. Growing and shrinking icefields and glaciers, and rising and falling oceans have altered the region’s coastline over time.Download AudioUnderstanding those changes is helping scientists learn more about the area’s early human habitation. A Southeast geologist talked about what’s been discovered during a Nov. 25 Sealaska Heritage Institute Native American Heritage Month lecture.We’ve all pretty much grown up with the assumption that the land we live on is when it’s been for thousands of years.Sure, we have volcanoes and earthquakes and, if you paid attention in school, plate tectonics. But the big stuff happened millions of years ago, right?Wrong. In this part of the world, drastic changes have happened in the past 6,000 to 15,000 years.Forest Service Geologist Jim Baichtal explains.“The ice came out on the landscape. It pushed down on that land. The sea reinvaded as the ice started to melt. And now that land has risen up,” he says.He knows that because he – and others – have been mapping shell beds. They’ve been found from below today’s shorelines to hundreds of feet above.Once you figure out where the shore used to be, you can make an educated guess of where early inhabitants lived – and what they saw.“If you and I would have been, 10,000 years ago, on the shoreline and we lived to be 50 years old, sea level would have risen 10.2 feet in our lifetime,” he says.And that matches some oral history.Some of the settlements moved up and down rivers and streams as the ocean rose and fell, flooding coastal waterways, then receding.Scientists have found campsites with tools and other signs of occupation.Baichtal says they include agate and obsidian, which is only accessible in a few areas.“So these people had been on the landscape long enough to find all those sites, and develop trade back and forth from those sites throughout all of Southeast Alaska by 10,500 calendar years ago,” he says.The findings have larger implications for the region’s human history.For example, Baichtal says flooding could have made it easier for early inhabitants to travel.“So [when] people were coming into Southeast Alaska, they might not have been paddling down rivers. They were coming down the fjords,” he says.And once here, travel would have continued on the water.“Admiralty Island was a multitude of islands. If you look at the Cleveland Peninsula, it was a multitude of islands. The same [is true] for Gravina Island and Annette Island outside of Ketchikan,” he says.Baichtal and other scientists have continued expanding their discoveries. He says before 2009, only five early settlement sites had been located. Since this type of research began, 17 more have been added to the list.Excavation has also provided a look at Southeast Alaska’s climate history.“Throughout 10,000 years to about 6,000 years, I’ve got a lot of evidence out of these muds that suggests that we were as much as 3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, with half the rainfall, and that fire was part of our ecology,” he says.Baichtal says weather patterns settled down around 5,500 years ago. That’s when human settlements really began to grow.“The sea level balances, fish probably started getting established in big numbers in the streams, the streams no longer were being as dynamic and down-cutting and the sea level was no more rising, and I think people began to greatly flourish at that time,” he says.As they’ve found more sites, Baichtal and his fellow scientists have developed more detailed maps of past Southeast coastlines.He says other coastal areas could do the same.“I’m sure all the way along the Gulf of Alaska, when you get out to Kodiak and up north, the same processes are going on. We’ve just not taken a look at applying this strategy on the landscape,” he says.Another type of early settlement research still needs to be undertaken.That’s exploration below current tidelines. Researchers in nearby northern coastal British Columbia have found evidence of settlements – 300 to 500 feet below the ocean’s surface.last_img read more

Fish and Game Transporting Wood Bison to Interior

first_imgDownload AudioThe Alaska Department of Fish and Game is planning to transport Wood Bison to the village of Shageluk later this month. Wood Bison have been extinct in Alaska for over a century, but animals transplanted here from Canada’s Yukon could re-populate interior Alaska with the species, and offer an alternative subsistence food source.last_img

Historical Gardening in Alaska

first_imgPicture Alaska 100 years ago – the open tundra, the dense forests – and the gardens. We’re looking at the state’s horticultural past with guests from the Alaska Botanical Gardens. We’ll talk about historical planting methods and how they can still be used today.Download AudioHOST: Anne HillmanGUESTS:Ginger Hudson, Horticultural Project ManagerRobin Dublin, Alaska Botanical Garden ExecutiveCallers statewidePARTICIPATE:Post your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).Send e-mail to talk [at] alaskapublic [dot] org (comments may be read on air)Call 550-8422 in Anchorage or 1-800-478-8255 if you’re outside Anchorage during the live broadcastLIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.SUBSCRIBE: Get Talk of Alaska updates automatically by e-mail, RSS or podcast.TALK OF ALASKA ARCHIVElast_img read more

Alaska Miners Dispute Claim That Much Of Alaskas Federal Lands Are Open

first_imgAlaska mining advocates are taking issue with something Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said last week, while defending federal resource management in Alaska. Download AudioHere’s what Jewell said: “We are in no way preventing development of Alaska’s resources on public lands. We’re facilitating development in a number of areas. Much of the mining in Alaska is on public lands.”The Alaska Miners Association has written a letter to Jewell disputing that “much” of Alaska’s mining is on federal lands. Alaska has six big mines. Two, Kensington and Greens Creek in Southeast, are on federal land. The others are on state and Native land. Deantha Crockett, executive director of the mining group, says Alaska has more than 400 placer mines, but only about 80 are on federal land.“I think our concern is when you say “much” you’re talking about 18 percent of placer mines, and two out of six large-scale mines,” Crockett said. “I guess I don’t consider that to be ‘much.’”Crockett says the lack of mining activity on federal land didn’t happen by accident. More than 60 percent of the state is federal land, but Crockett says too much is closed to mining. “And the then the acreage that is administered by the federal government that isn’t closed to mineral entry, frankly, there are tremendous permitting delays and a whole bunch of bureaucracy that’s affecting these operation from moving forward,” Crockett said.Crockett says the BLM is hampered by staff turn-over and budget constraints. She says the Alaska Miners Association is offering to help the Interior Department simplify the permitting process to speed it along.An Interior Department official, counting both pending and active mining plans and notices, says there are 176 mining sites on federal land in Alaska.last_img read more