Analysis What does McCormick want with RBs food business

first_imgAnalysis: What does McCormick want with RB’s food business?Posted By: Alex Clereon: July 19, 2017In: Blog, Food, Industries, Ingredients, OpinionPrintEmailMcCormick has agreed to buy Reckitt Benckiser’s food business, including brands like French’s mustard and Frank’s RedHot sauce, for $4.2 billion.It follows RB’s announcement in April that it would sell its food assets to cut debt, in the wake of its $18 billion acquisition of infant formula producer Mead Johnson.The unit made $179 million in pre-tax profit in 2016, but is largely periphery for consumer goods giant RB, which performs much stronger in domestic products and personal care.With long-term debt of £804 million and borrowing facilities totalling £3.5 billion, it makes sense for RB to strip off its non-core food assets, generating useful funds to lower group debt and help ease pressure from its investors. But why would McCormick, a flavour company, want to acquire a brand of mustard and a brand of hot sauce?In the company’s own words, French’s and Frank’s RedHot will turn McCormick into “a one-stop shop” for its customers’ condiment, spice and seasoning needs, providing them with “an even more diverse and complete flavour product offering”.It expects the integrated food business to generate ‘meaningful’ margin expansion and produce ‘significant’ cost synergies in the region of $50 million. The brands will benefit from McCormick’s global reach, leveraging existing infrastructure and knowhow in the condiments category.The brands will complement Lawry, McCormick’s range of barbecue seasonings and marinades – as well as Grill Mates, its brand of seasonings for meat. The company also owns Stubb’s, the branded line of authentic barbecue sauces.Tellingly, the company puts Frank’s RedHot sauce above French’s mustard in terms of importance – and it’s the one that fits most with this existing portfolio.In his comments on the acquisition, McCormick chief executive officer Lawrence E Kurzius called Frank’s RedHot “the clear consumer favourite in an attractive and high-growth category”.McCormick anticipates that hot sauce will continue to see robust growth, and with insight-driven innovation and a passionate and increasing fan base, there are significant opportunities for further expansion. Greater influence from millennial households will help to create substantial upside for hot sauces, and there are several ways that McCormick can cross-promote Frank’s RedHot sauce with its other brands.In addition to retail, RB’s food brands have attractive positions across hot sauce, mustard, crispy vegetable and barbecue sauce sold through the US and Canadian foodservice channels. McCormick expects the acquisition to add over 50% to its foodservice sales in the US and Canada.The company said: “French’s and Frank’s RedHot are ideal additions to McCormick’s tabletop offering and its established products.”Why not Unilever?For a while, the more likely suitor seemed to be Unilever, after CEO Paul Polman confirmed that it would investigate the viability of buying the business. Only this week, reports suggested that Unilever and Hormel Foods were the only bidders remaining. But it’s McCormick that prevailed, with a $4.2 billion valuation that was higher than many of the more liberal predictions.As strong as they are, brands like French’s and Frank’s RedHot sauce just don’t stand up to Unilever’s portfolio. The Anglo-Dutch company has major labels like Hellmann’s, Maille and Colman’s – already competitors for French’s mustard – and it recently acquired premium condiments brand Sir Kensington’s in the US. It’s possible there just wasn’t room for RB’s brands. In contrast, for McCormick, French’s mustard and Frank’s RedHot sauce will become the company’s second and third largest brands respectively.The financials didn’t add up either: RB’s food unit made $179 million in pre-tax profit in 2016 with net revenue of $564 million. That will be a good fit for McCormick, which currently has sales of $4.4 billion a year, but it’s not so significant to Unilever – a €52.7 billion consumer goods giant.Unilever has set out its stall. There’s still no buyer for its spreads business, which it said it would sell in April, and the company has told investors that it will be focusing on driving volume growth and improving its operating margin in the year ahead. It looked into RB’s brands, but they won’t now have a role to play in that.Talking about the acquisition, Kurzius said: “The acquisition of RB Foods strengthens McCormick’s flavour leadership with the addition of the iconic French’s and Frank’s RedHot brands to our portfolio, which will become our number two and number three brands, respectively. RB Foods’ focus on creating products with simple, high-quality ingredients makes it a perfect match for McCormick as we continue to capitalise on the growing consumer interest in healthy, flavourful eating.“RB Foods’ track record of creating market-leading products and its dedicated state-of-the-art manufacturing facility are a strong complementary fit that we expect will strengthen McCormick’s business opportunities as we expand our presence in condiments, a core category for the company in the US and internationally.“This transaction reinforces our focus on growth, reflecting McCormick’s commitment to making every meal and moment better and driving significant shareholder value. We have great respect for RB Foods and the strong business its employees have built. McCormick will be able to grow these brands in new and unique ways through our proven track record of insight-driven innovation and the ability to leverage our global footprint. We are confident McCormick is the perfect home for RB Foods’ popular brands and employees.”We expect to see the transaction close in the third quarter of the year.Share with your network: Tags: condimentsMcCormickReckitt BenckisersaucesUnileverlast_img read more

Breville adds Oracle Touch automatic espresso machine

first_imgBreville adds Oracle Touch automatic espresso machinePosted By: News Deskon: August 07, 2017In: Beverage, Cooler, Industries, Refreshment, Tea & Coffee, Technology, VendingPrintEmailGlobal kitchen appliance brand Breville has launched the Oracle Touch, a ‘next-generation’ automatic espresso machine, aimed at homes and small offices, that brews café-quality coffee using a simple touchscreen.“The Oracle Touch is redefining the way consumers prepare and enjoy premium coffee in the comfort of their homes,” said Breville global beverage business manager Phil McKnight.“This machine was designed with brewing true café-quality coffee in mind while also simplifying the steps of traditional one-touch automatics. There’s no trade-off required – it simply makes delicious coffee drinks like a commercial machine and the touchscreen automation makes it easy to use.” The Oracle Touch allows users to swipe and select from a full menu of classic café options – espresso, Americano, latte, flat white or cappuccino – with the option to customise the drink based on taste preferences. Options include grind size, extraction time, milk temperature and milk texture. Up to eight personalised settings with a unique name and picture can be saved for future use.With a touch of a finger, the machine automatically grinds, doses and tamps coffee, automatically pre-infuses and then extracts at 9 bar pressure using water heated to a precise temperature. Finally, it automatically steams and textures milk to create a variety of coffee drinks as well as produce the silky micro-foam needed to create latte art. Once a beverage is made, the Oracle Touch’s steam wand automatically cleans itself.The product has already won a number of 2017 design awards, including the 2017 best new product award from the Speciality Coffee Association.Share with your network: Tags: Brevillecoffeecoffee machinesespressoOracle Touchlast_img read more

UPM Raflatac completes pilot for ecommerce smart label solution

first_imgUPM Raflatac completes pilot for e-commerce smart label solutionPosted By: Contributoron: February 08, 2019In: Beverage, Food, Industries, Labelling, Logistics, TechnologyPrintEmailUPM Raflatac has completed the first pilot of its new smart label solution for e-commerce that uses internet of packaging technology to log and share information about packages during the delivery process.Called RafMore for e-commerce, the label is said to add transparency, reduce inefficiencies and waste, and improve the user experience for e-retailers, logistics providers and consumers.Information attached to labels can be updated online or by scanning a code without needing to print a new label for the package. For example, designated users can reset a delivery address and time, which saves time and reduces the carbon footprint generated by failed delivery attempts.UPM Raflatac said that as e-commerce purchases rise, brands are looking for new ways to interact with their customers outside of the point of sale, while consumers want to easily make returns, reorder and give immediate feedback if there are any issues with the shipment. The company said this is can now be done by scanning the RafMore label with a mobile device. Sami Poukka, vice president for global business and segment development at UPM Raflatac, said: “We don’t want to build a new tracking system or replace existing systems. We want to pull all the information from the supply chain together in one place and this way increase transparency.”The solution was piloted on UPM Raflatac’s shipments on various routes throughout Europe. The pilot demonstrated that it provides full interoperability between supply chain stakeholders without requiring heavy IT integration.For the final phase of testing before the commercial launch later in 2019, UPM Raflatac will recruit e-commerce retailers to test the solution with actual orders and customers.UPM Raflatac uses Magic Add’s internet of packaging platform to issue the unique digital identities and process all the data generated by RafMore smart labels.Share with your network: Tags: UPM Raflataclast_img read more

Russell Simmons issues statement supporting MeToo despite sexual assault allegations

first_img Since you’re here… #MeToo movement Share on Twitter Laura Snapes Russell Simmons steps down from companies after new sex assault allegation … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger news ‘In the end I’ll be fine’ … Russell Simmons pictured in New York City, July 2017.Photograph: Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic Share via Email Simmons has also used his Instagram account to ask people to help rapper Kanye West, who has asserted, among other claims, that slavery “sounds like a choice”. West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, have said that speculation about West’s mental health is invasive. Simmons suggested West was “unravelling in public”, and called on the hip-hop community to support him: “I refuse to believe a black man who supports black empowerment but now says ‘Slavery was a choice’ is operating with a healthy state of mind,” Simmons wrote.This article was updated on Friday 4 May to acknowledge that Jarosik’s lawsuit against Simmons was dismissed. Share on Facebook Russell Simmons Kanye West Thu 3 May 2018 07.01 EDT This article is more than 1 year old ‘I miss the old Kanye’: what has happened to rap’s most complex star? Russell Simmons Sexual harassment Reuse this contentcenter_img This article is more than 1 year old Shares66 Share via Email Share on Twitter Last modified on Fri 4 May 2018 13.01 EDT Share on WhatsApp Topics Read more Race Simmons has repeatedly denied accusations against him, including in court documents filed on 4 April, in which he denied raping film-maker Jennifer Jarosik, who attempted to sue him for $5m (£3.68m) – the lawsuit was later dismissed. In a statement posted to his Instagram account as the caption to an image that stated, “Shoutout to black women just because”, Simmons reiterated this position, but accepted the net benefits of the #MeToo movement: “A little blood on my shoulders so that my daughters see a better world is worth it.” The hip-hop mogul says the #MeToo conversation has inspired him ‘to look beyond my personal scenario’, while he has repeatedly denied multiple accusations of sexual harassment and rape Share on Facebook Women He paid tribute to black women, who “have bared [sic] the biggest burden”, and the “unequal” treatment of women “of ALL RACES and RELIGONS [sic]”, and suggested that “without guidance from the feminine forces then men will destroy the planet”.At least seven women have accused Simmons of sexual assault, including fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone, and at least six women have accused him of rape. In November 2017, Simmons stepped down from his role in Def Jam records, the label he cofounded with Rick Rubin, along with his yoga lifestyle brand, other media properties and CNNMoney. HBO removed his name from All Def Comedy, a series he created to showcase up-and-coming comedians.In response to allegations of sexual assault from screenwriter Jenny Lumet last November, Simmons wrote: “While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely apologise.”Following four further accusations of rape in December 2017, Simmons posted another now-deleted statement to Instagram, pledging to clear his name: “Today, I begin to properly defend myself. I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges,” Simmons posted, beneath an image that read #NOTME. Share on LinkedIn Russell Simmons has spoken up in favour of #MeToo movement, saying it has “ inspired me to look beyond my personal scenario”. The hip-hop mogul is facing at least 13 accusations of sexual harassment and rape, and is the subject of a New York City police department special victims unit investigation. Read more Support The Guardian Russell Simmons issues statement supporting #MeToo despite sexual assault allegationslast_img read more

Gab forced offline following antisemitic posts by alleged Pittsburgh shooter

first_imgShare on WhatsApp Blogging PayPal, Stripe and Joyent abandon support of social media site that hosted posts by Robert Bowers Last modified on Sat 23 Feb 2019 17.07 EST Share on Pinterest @alexhern The far right Pittsburgh shooting: suspect railed against Jews and Muslims on site used by ‘alt-right’ This article is more than 8 months old This article is more than 8 months old Twitter An archived posting by Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers from the social media website Gab.Photograph: AP Social media Share on Twitter Apps Share on Facebook Share via Email Apps Topics Internet Share on Twitter Alex Hern Gab, the social media site popular with the far-right, has been forced offline by its service providers after it became clear that the alleged Pittsburgh shooter Robert Bowers had a history of anti-semitic postings on the site. Formed in August 2016 after Twitter began cracking down on hate speech on its social network, Gab has been labelled “Twitter for racists” by the website Salon but describes itself as “a free speech website and nothing more”. But the platform has proved popular among white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the “alt-right”, including the man accused of opening fire on a synagogue in Pennsylvania on Saturday, killing 11.“I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered,” the alleged assailant wrote, moments before the murders. “Screw your optics, I’m going in.” It was his last post on the site.In the hours following the attack, when the suspect’s postings were discovered on the site, Gab’s corporate partners abandoned it one by one. PayPal and Stripe, two of the company’s payment providers, dropped it, arguing that it breached policies around hate speech. PayPal said it takes “immediate and decisive action … when a site is explicitly allowing the perpetuation of hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance,” while Stripe said that the company had not provided sufficient evidence that it actually applies its moderation policies in practice.Cloud-hosting company Joyent also withdrew service on Sunday, giving Gab 24 hours notice of its suspension, as did GoDaddy, the site’s domain registrar, which provides the Gab.com address. Both companies said the site had breached their terms of service. news Gab forced offline following anti-semitic posts by alleged Pittsburgh shooter Shares102102 Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Digital media Share via Email Share on LinkedIn GoDaddy added that it had “investigated and discovered numerous instances of content on the site that both promotes and encourages violence against people”.Gab hit back, saying in a statement that the site is “under attack.”“We have been systematically no-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers, and several payment processors,” the company said in a statement posted to its site. “We have been smeared by the mainstream media for defending free expression and individual liberty for all people and for working with law enforcement to ensure that justice is served for the horrible atrocity committed in Pittsburgh.”Gab is not the only social network accused of failing to apply its own policies against hate. On Saturday, Twitter apologised for its failure to take action against the chief suspect of a wave of attempted mail bombings, Cesar Altieri. He had been reported to the social network for threatening others, including journalist Rochelle Ritchie.“Hug your loved ones real close every time you leave you home,” Altieri tweeted at Richie earlier this month, in one of many tweets reported for violating policies against threatening language. But Twitter took no action against Altieri’s tweets, a fact the company apologised for over the weekend.“We made a mistake when Rochelle Ritchie first alerted us to the threat made against her,” the company said. “The tweet clearly violated our rules and should have been removed. We are deeply sorry for that error.” Read more Mon 29 Oct 2018 09.28 EDT Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Slavery in the north Washingtons fugitive Detroits forgotten crime

first_imgShare on Facebook Slavery Read more Share on Twitter Facebook “To run off, as a twentysomething-year-old woman and to make a life for herself was courageous and almost unimaginable, given who her owners were, but I think the fact that she does it and is successful at remaining never caught allows readers to see her, her story and to recognize her the way we recognize George Washington as a hero,” Dunbar told the Guardian.Judge was enslaved in the Washington household, where she drew baths for Martha Washington and cared for her when she was sick. She would go to stage productions and the circus with the family but never had freedom of her own and was constantly under surveillance.Eventually, she fled the Washington household while the family was having dinner, aided by free black people in Philadelphia.The book is called Never Caught because the Washington family never gave Judge her freedom and for the rest of her life she was technically a fugitive.“She knew that although she escaped the clutches of her owners, that no matter what she did, she was still property and that she could be, legally, dragged back into the job of slavery at any moment,” Dunbar said. “So she lived her life as a fugitive, looking over her shoulder.”Dunbar, the Charles and Mary Beard professor of history at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said Judge’s life resembles what is happening with undocumented immigrants in the US today.“We’re asking those same questions about people who are living in the United States and constantly looking over their shoulders and thinking about whether or not they have the ability to live in this country legally or they will be sent back somewhere else,” she said. Share on Facebook To understand the US’s complex history with slavery, look to Thomas Jefferson … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Pinterest Slavery in the north: Washington’s fugitive, Detroit’s forgotten crime Share via Email Slavery Ona Judge, the enslaved woman who fled President George Washington to live for decades as a fugitive, gave just two interviews in her lifetime. The will of Lisette Denison, born in 1786, is the only surviving document generated by an enslaved resident of Detroit.From such tatters of history, researchers have reshaped the historical narrative around slavery in the US, building a fuller picture of the country’s greatest crime.And this week, two of those historians were celebrated for presenting the first in-depth portraits of Judge and of slavery in Detroit.At the Yale Club in New York, Tiya Miles and Erica Armstrong Dunbar accepted the Frederick Douglass Book Prize for the most outstanding nonfiction book in English on the subject of slavery, abolition or antislavery movements. The award was established in 1999 in honor of the slave from Maryland who escaped to become one of the most celebrated abolitionists and orators in history.In The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits, Miles brings to light a little-acknowledged world where native children were traded for animal pelts.In her exploration of Judge’s life in Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, Dunbar presents a stark portrait of life for black women in the 18th century and of the president who refused to free her from slavery. Amanda Holpuch George Washington never gave Ona Judge her freedom and for the rest of her life she was technically a fugitive. Photograph: Stock Montage/Getty Images Share on Pinterest Tiya Miles, author of The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits.Photograph: Jeffrey Sauger/Getty Images/Courtesy John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation features ‘It’s hidden history’: the race to save one man’s collection of black Americana Read more Pinterest Reuse this content Sun 3 Mar 2019 01.00 EST Detroit Two prizewinning books detail the life of a woman who refused to be a possession of the nation’s first president and the Michigan city’s troubled past Twitter Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge. Photograph: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images There are few primary sources about Judge, and what there is is mostly written by white men in positions of power. But Dunbar does not use that an excuse, instead building a world using her decades of research into the lives of black women in the urban north in the 18th and 19th century to shape a dusty, post-revolutionary city. Deploying the words “could have” and “may” with precision, she helps the reader form their own vision of life for the enslaved, Judge taking center stage as she walks the streets of Philadelphia, passing the homes of free black people before returning to her life of forced labor in the home of the first president.Dunbar calls her technique “informed speculation”.“In many ways to do this as a historian is a risk,” Dunbar said. “It kind of goes against everything we’re trained to do as scholars. But I argue if we want to get at the stories and lived experiences of people of African descent from the 18th and 19th century, there is almost no other way to do it.”To write enslaved people back into history, researchers must look at documents in new ways, she says, must dig deep into documents for a shred of evidence about the enslaved and piece together fragments. “It was a place where various groups of people, and often Detroiters as a whole, felt they were vulnerable to attacks from various quarters,” Miles said. “So in many ways they had to turn to each other, they had to turn inward and that meant relationships formed in surprising ways.”Miles said Detroit’s history of slavery was buried under the celebration of the city as a key stop on the underground railroad, a network that routed the enslaved to free territories. She said those celebrations do “productive cultural work”, but have been used in Detroit to ignore the earlier, more complicated period in which the city was complicit with slavery.“There was a silence around this,” she said, “and I couldn’t ignore the silence.” Since you’re here… Topics Support The Guardian Twitter Shares228228 Share via Email Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Messenger Slavery in the north: Washington’s fugitive, Detroit’s forgotten crime To capture this in Detroit, which has no historical marker acknowledging its own history of slavery, Miles said she looked at documents with enslaved people at the center.“If enslaved people are talked about at all, which usually they are not, but if they are, they are going to be in the margins of the stories we tell about American history,” said Miles, a professor at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.“Once you hunt for them, you realize that there are more people there than you thought to begin with.”What Miles found transformed her understanding of Detroit. It is, she writes, “not the scene of natural disaster, but rather the scene of a crime – a crime committed by individuals, merchant cabals, government officials and empires foaming at the mouth for more”.In a short period, Detroit belonged to its indigenous population, the French, the British and the US. These groups were in the wild north, isolated from other parts of the country, and the legal conditions of the territory were frequently changing. This meant the terms of slavery were constantly shifting too.When the Northwest Ordinance was adopted in 1787, it meant French and British families could keep their slaves and their children could inherit those slaves, but new Americans could not have slaves. Those Americans could, however, marry into slave-holding families. Last modified on Tue 5 Mar 2019 09.08 EST Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter @holpuchlast_img read more

Felicity Huffman to plead guilty in college admissions cheating case

first_imgGuardian staff and agencies US crime Mon 8 Apr 2019 16.57 EDT Share on Messenger The actor and 12 other parents will plead guilty after being accused of paying to rig children’s test scores and bribe coaches Shares7070 First published on Mon 8 Apr 2019 15.25 EDT Share on Pinterest Felicity Huffman leaves federal court in Boston, Massachusetts, on 3 April 2019.Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters Share on Twitter Felicity Huffman to plead guilty in college admissions cheating case California Since you’re here… Share on Facebook This article is more than 3 months old Share on Facebookcenter_img … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on WhatsApp California Felicity Huffman has agreed to plead guilty in the college admissions cheating scandal, the biggest celebrity name so far to admit to her involvement in the scheme. Court documents made public on Monday show that 12 other prominent parents, in addition to Huffman, will also plead guilty in the case.The actor, 56, was accused of paying a consultant $15,000 to have a proctor boost her older daughter’s SAT score in order to ease her way into college. Authorities say the actor also discussed going through with the same plan for her younger daughter, but she ultimately decided not to. Other parents charged in the scheme include prominent figures in law, finance, fashion, the food and beverage industry and other fields. It’s the biggest college admissions case ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.The scandal embroiled elite universities across the country and laid bare the lengths to which status-seeking parents will go to secure their children a coveted spot. The consultant, Rick Singer, met with Huffman and her husband, 69-year-old actor William H Macy, at their Los Angeles home and explained to them he “controlled” a testing center and could have somebody secretly change their daughter’s answers, authorities said. Singer told investigators Huffman and her husband agreed to the plan. Macy was not charged although the authorities have not said why. Huffman will plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest-services mail fraud, according to court documents made public on Monday.In her first public comments since her arrest last month, she apologized and said she accepts full responsibility for her actions and “will accept the consequences”. Huffman said in a statement that her daughter did not know about her actions. She said her desire to help her daughter was “no excuse to break the law”.Huffman and TV actor Lori Loughlin had appeared in federal court in Boston last Wednesday afternoon, to face charges that they participated in a wide-ranging college admissions cheating scam that has rocked the US.The actors, along with Loughlin’s fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli and dozens of others, were charged last month in a scheme in which authorities say parents paid an admissions consultant to bribe college coaches and rig test scores to get their children into elite universities.Huffman was among 50 people charged in what authorities have described as the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the justice department.Loughlin and Giannulli are not among those who’ve agreed to plead guilty and haven’t publicly addressed the allegations.Earlier on Monday, Stanford University in California announced it had expelled a student who lied about her sailing credentials in her application, which was linked to the college admission bribery scandal.The university wrote that it had rescinded the student’s admission in a short statement posted on its website on 2 April after determining “some of the material in the student’s application is false”.The statement added: “The student is no longer on campus.”University officials previously said the student was admitted without the recommendation of former Stanford sailing coach John Vandemoer, who pleaded guilty to taking bribes in exchange for helping students get into the elite university. They said a $500,000 contribution to the sailing program was made several months after the student was admitted.The Stanford Daily first reported on Sunday that the student had been expelled. Share via Email Share on LinkedIn US universities Support The Guardian Share on Twitter news Reuse this content Topics This article is more than 3 months old Share via Emaillast_img read more

Autism Family Resource Center a place for support and connection

first_imgLocated on the third floor of the building is what appears to be just another office. Glass doors greet any visitor that happens to drop in. However, what is behind these doors is much more than just an office; it is a place for parents and caregivers of those on the Autism Spectrum to find support, resources and connection.Free and open to the public, the center is essentially a space that anyone can use with resources available featuring advice and counseling on how best to connect with those, not just on the Autism Spectrum, but also various resources throughout the community that may be able to help. The center works closely with other centers in the state, such as the LOGAN Center in South Bend, IN and the Indiana Resource Center for Autism in Bloomington, IN to provide as many resource options as possible.In addition to the recommendations the center can provide, the office boasts an impressive amount of books stacked in shelves along the back wall, as well as computers with internet access, Wi-Fi, a conference space that has a TV equipped with a DVD player and even an on-site social worker for referral information. The idea is to make the space usable and supportive for everyone who comes along, including parents, grandparents and/or caregivers.The two computers each have access to “Boardmaker,” an interactive software that allows the user to create visual communication boards that they can, in turn, print at the center and use at home. These boards can be used for anything from schedules at home, school or church, the possibilities are endless! With help from the center’s staff, each child or adult can design a board that meets their specific needs. Committed to helping in whatever way they can, the center may also direct its visitors to the autism sensory lab located on the second floor of the building. The therapy provided in this room of sensory stimulators helps children and adults develop skills to overcome sensory, motor and perceptual problems that affect their daily lives. Sensory integration is an essential element to understanding the environment around us and encourages awareness of both self and surroundings.For more information be sure to visit eastersealscrossroads.org or call 877.330.3300 toll free.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedEaster Seals Crossroads Autism Resource Center Toy DriveJanuary 10, 2013In “Easter Seals Crossroads”Celebrate Autism Awareness Month!April 6, 2016In “Apps”Adventures in Camping for AllJune 24, 2015In “Autism”last_img read more

Home Sweet Accessible Home

first_imgConstructing solutions“We work with partners like physical or occupational therapists to really get an overview of the living situation and how we can best help the homeowner,” Menn said. “The goal is to help our clients live longer in an existing space.”Experts like Kelly and Menn work together to construct solutions to the challenges they meet in a home.“The remodeler takes the therapist assessment, and they work together to come up with a solution on how to remodel and modify the house,” Menn said. “We work for the trust to make sure a person’s living environment suits his or her needs. That could be for a young child recovering from an accident with an injury or someone in their 60s in rehab for a hip or knee replacement.”They discuss everything from zero-threshold showers and comfort-height toilets to grab bars and ramps to the doorways.“A ramp has to travel at least a horizontal foot for every vertical inch,” Kelly said. “And in a small yard or constrained space, designing that ramp can be difficult. So you also look at devices such as porch lifts, which is a small elevator that sits next to the porch and lifts you from the ground to the porch or door level.”“Technology has really changed the way we can modify a home,” Menn said. “Products don’t look industrial anymore. Materials have changed and made it easier to do remodels. There are many ways to put in ramps so they don’t even look like ramps. Grab bars don’t need to look like grab bars. You can remodel a home with wider doorways and hallways so the normal onlooker doesn’t even know you made a modification.”That’s where the concepts of aging in place and universal design intersect.“Universal design involves designing a space to be used by all occupants — anyone from age 5 to 95,” Menn said. “Aging in place is more specific to a person with a disability or difficulty in doing daily tasks, but there is a crossover between the two now more than ever before. There are a variety of devices, appliances and techniques to accommodate every need.” Laying the groundworkKelly has a background in physical therapy and began working as a physical therapist assistant with older adults with neurological injuries, individuals overcoming a disability and individuals with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS).“Through my work with these clients, I discovered when getting them back home that it was no longer a functional place for them and, depending on the severity of their injuries or condition, adjustments needed to be made,” Kelly said.“We would go into the home, assess the living situation and then hand the family a list of recommendations,” he said. “If the family didn’t have the resources, the money or the expertise, they couldn’t follow up on many of those recommendations.”That laid the foundation for Kelly to take some continuing education courses from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) on home safety, but even that wasn’t adequate enough for him and his growing interest in the field.“I decided to take a graduate-level course on home modifications from the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community, and that was the beginning of me moving into this as a career and becoming more of an expert in the field,” Kelly said.Then in 2002, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in partnership with AARP and the NAHB Research Center, developed a special designation program called the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS). It’s the leading national educational designation designed to teach professionals how to modify homes for aging in place.Kelly made it a point to get that certification.“People can then find contractors and evaluators who are specialists and who speak the same language,” he said. “Often it’s hard for the contractor, the social worker and the occupational or physical therapist to communicate and understand each other. And these individuals are all involved in making home modifications for someone who needs a more accessible home. The CAPS certification helps bridge the gap between them all and get them working toward the same goals.” Tools to use together“Home environments are very different than they were 30 years ago,” said Michael Menn. Menn has been a practicing architect for 40 years and is also the chairperson of the CAPS board of governors.Since 2002, more than 5,000 people have completed CAPS, making it one of the fastest-growing education programs at NAHB. As chairperson, Menn oversees meetings and working groups, including those currently working on the rewriting of the certification curriculum.Right now, the courses include CAPS I, CAPS II and a management course for business professionals.“As things change, courses change,” Menn said. “We have noticed a greater percentage of non-NAHB members are taking the class and want the certification — from OTs and PTs to realtors and vendors. Some of those people really don’t need to take a business management class, so we are rewriting some of the curriculum to accommodate the class, which was originally written for remodelers and builders.”NAHB is making the course more interactive and accessible for everyone — as the interest in the once-specific niche is now widening in scope.“I’m part of the Baby Boomers, and it’s a generation getting older — but it’s also a generation living longer and wanting to stay in the current living environment longer,” Menn said. “Whether you’re aging or you’re a person with a disability — or both — more people are affected and want to stay where they are as long as they can.” Menn recounts a personal health situation.“Before this generation, an individual may have had a hip or knee replaced and immediately went into a nursing home from the hospital. I had a total knee replacement and then saw an occupational therapist. We came up with a plan before I went home, adapted my living environment, and I returned home right away.”Being able to have the ability to come home after rehab or a stay in the hospital is what motivates both Menn and Kelly to learn as much as they can and help as many as they can.The physical therapist and the architect work together. The contractor and the therapist build the walls of a home with a common set of tools. Writer: Tiffany Whisner, Coles Marketing“People want to stay in their homes as long as they can. If you have the resources to plan for that and can consciously build a home and make accessible features part of the design, that is definitely becoming more of a trend.”And that accessibility in a home can help seniors who are aging in place as well as individuals with disabilities, said John Kelly, the coordinator of home modification services at Easter Seals Crossroads.Certainly, building an accessible home from the ground up is ideal — but there are also a variety of ways to modify a home with adaptive techniques and materials. Size up the situation“I do a comprehensive assessment of the living situation when I first visit a home,” Kelly said. “Sometimes it involves more than one trip. I look at how much area of the home needs to be modified and how complicated the needs are of the individual.”The assessment takes into consideration the house — but also, and more importantly, the individual.“Having my background as a physical therapist assistant really helps me in that area,” Kelly said. “Knowing if a disease or condition is progressive in nature might make me decide in one direction rather than another, or if the person is recovering from an injury or if it’s strictly an aging-in-place situation.”Kelly interviews the family or a caregiver, since they are often in charge of day-to-day care, for insight into what the individual might be struggling or dealing with. Then it’s time to take a tour of the home.What’s the most problematic room in the house? The bathroom.“The bathroom is usually the number one area of concern,” Kelly said. “Getting in and out of the bathtub, getting on and off the toilet, and just having enough space in the bathroom in general are common problems. The bathroom is the most heavily-modified area.”Another focus spot is the entrance to the home.“Sometimes you have to decide which entrance makes the most sense to modify,” Kelly said. “How does the person access transportation? Is there a garage? Is modifying a different entrance even viable?”Common obstacles include having steps to get up to the front door, an entrance that isn’t wide enough, and storm doors that only open in one direction and are difficult to manage.Moving through the home, Kelly checks and rechecks and makes his recommendations.“I take lots of measurements and pictures,” he said. “I do a blueprint drawing of the area, where the individual needs modifications made, and then I meet with the architect or contractor.”In many instances, Kelly turns his recommendations into specific makes and models of appliances and devices along with placement in the room and accessories specific to the individual, all in great detail.“I remain involved in the case through the whole process to make sure all client problems are solved and to offer my advice and support along the way to both the individual and his or her family.” Universal design, accessible for all“There are lots of accessible features on appliances not necessarily marketed as accessible just because of the universal design movement,” Kelly said. “There are so many things now — buttons and switches, the way doors open — that are in the general public to go and try out. If you want to decide how to modify or design a more accessible home, going to a store and trying out some of the features is pretty necessary before you spend the money.”The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has research-based guidelines on what specifications work well for heights and widths of various parts of the home, but it all comes down to the individual.“I reference the ADA guidelines all the time as a starting point and then go one direction or another based on each individual,” Kelly said.Along with the ADA guidelines, it’s helpful to find a CAPS who can customize modifications and offer appropriate solutions.“More people, no matter the situation, want to stay in their environment longer,” Menn said. “It behooves any professional related to the industry to understand the marketplace by gaining the certification and having the skills to help people do just that.”And if you’re planning to build a home instead of modify the one you’re in, you can consult a CAPS to help in the planning process.“One tip is to consider putting everything on one level,” Kelly said. “Overcoming multiple levels in a home is a huge issue. Along with that, have a zero-step entrance with a covering to keep the weather out. So many builders want to have a step or two at the entrance to help keep water out, but it’s most accessible to have the front entrance be on level with the ground or porch.”Another suggestion is the open design concept, which creates larger spaces for hallways and doorways. That way, if you or a visitor has a wheelchair or another piece of equipment, you’ve already got the space to be able to accommodate those changes in mobility.Plan for the bathroom ahead of time with a barrier-free shower. Consider wall ovens in the kitchen and pull-down shelving in the laundry room.“People feel more comfortable in their own homes,” Menn said. “Why would we not want to stay there as long as we can? And each day — with better technology, more universal designs and more people becoming experts in modifying homes with accessibility in mind — that becomes more achievable.” For more information on the CAPS certification, visit https://www.nahb.org/en/learn/designations/certified-aging-in-place-specialist.aspx For more tips on accessible homes and appliances, listen to the Assistive Technology Update podcast: https://www.eastersealstech.com/2016/04/15/atu2255-accessible-homes-and-appliances-with-john-kelley-glucose-sensing-wrist-band-older-americans-month-on-the-hill-with-audrey-busch/Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedAM084 – National Center on Health Physical Activity and DisabilityJanuary 4, 2013In “Accessibility Minute”AM171 – BookshareFebruary 19, 2016In “Accessibility Minute”Indiana Assistive Technology ConferenceFebruary 18, 2010In “Conferences and Events”last_img read more

Fiat ChryslerRenault Merger Points to High Cost of Developing Electric Cars

first_img Sun Baby From ‘Teletubbies’ Is 22 Now & Unrecognizably Gorgeous You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet ‘Frozen 2’ Theories That Just Might Be True By Bill Howard on June 3, 2019 at 2:04 pm Should Americans care in the least if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) merges with Renault, as is currently rumored? Should you get excited at the prospect of a, say, Renault Clio coming stateside, given that many American butts won’t fit on the seats of a 149-inch sub-subcompact hatchback?Probably not, so let’s keep it simple: FCA is doing well. It has money to invest because two of its brands (Jeep and Ram) are kicking butt in sales. Grown men drooled seeing the 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup at the various winter-spring auto shows. So that gives the London-based (don’t ask) FCA multinational the ability to go on a shopping spree. Or, at the very least, go window shopping.What FCA wants is what Renault has: more of a head start in the EV business than either the F or C part has. Also, access to Renault may or may not mean access to Renault-partner Nissan, which is also a capital-P Player in EVs. It also means possible access to Mitsubishi, which, ah, well, sometimes you get puzzle pieces that don’t always complete the picture. Expect more alliances and mergers as automakers deal with the huge costs of electrification, as well as the need to work on higher levels of autonomous driving.Under its new CEO, Mike Manley, Fiat Chrysler pledged to build cars, SUVs, and pickups using a wide range of powertrains: conventional gasoline and diesel, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and pure electric vehicles. In March, Manley said FCA would develop opportunities “including at least four plug-in hybrid vehicles and the flexibility to produce fully battery-electric vehicles.”2019 Renault ClioBut What About Nissan (and Mitsubishi)?Remember the Facebook status box every teenager checked: “In a relationship and it’s complicated”? That box got ticked here, too. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance dates to 1999 between Renault and Nissan, with Mitsubishi joining up in 2017. The three companies represent the world’s largest automaking alliance and sell 10-11 million cars a year (Nissan 6 million, Renault 4 million, and Mitsubishi 1 million a year ago). With 500,000 EV sales since 2010, they’re also the biggest player in electrification. (Tesla is at about 300,000, for comparison.)The three automakers don’t own each other, but they have stock investments in each other: Renault 43 percent stake in Nissan (with voting rights), Nissan 15 percent stake in Renault (without rights), and Nissan a controlling stake in Mitsubishi. They control 10 brands: Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Infiniti, Renault Samsung, Dacia, Alpine, Datsun, Venucia, and Lada.Nissan Leaf: 400,000-plus sold.While FCA seems to be interested in Renault’s EV savvy, it’s Nissan that sells way more EVs. The Leaf recently topped 400,000 sales on its own. Analysts have been busy deciding if they believe an FCA-Renault alliance is good for Nissan, or bad. Nissan sells more vehicles and has twice the market value. Nissan also has a significant self-driving effort and Nissan’s ProPilot Assist has been well received. Renault also doesn’t have many cars of interest to the North American market. The Renault Clio looks sharp, but critics say it’s short on interior space compared with competitors and the US isn’t dying (yet) for another Ford Fiesta kind of car.The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, before FCA came calling, had added an Alliance 2022 campaign to reach 14 million sales and $240 billion by 2022. But the iconic leader of the alliance, Carlos Ghosn, has been in or out of jail in Japan this year (the Japanese keep re-arresting him and he keeps posting bail, most recently in April) on charges of underreporting his incoming and misusing of company assets. Last November he was ousted as Nissan’s chairman. He previously had been chairman of Renault and since the early 2000s has had a reputation as a fierce cost-cutter and innovator.2019 Ram 1500Where Electrification Matters to FCAPreviously, Fiat Chrysler seemed most intrigued by electrification prospects in China, the world’s largest car market, with 28 million sales in 2018 versus 17 million in the US, and an even larger lead in air pollution so bad much of the populace complains. Now FCA apparently sees potential in the US.Both the Jeep Wrangler and Ram 1500 offer gasoline engines with battery-assist 48-volt electric motors that function as economy boosters and also as e-turbochargers both on- and off-road. Several automakers such as startup Rivian, Tesla and now Ford are talking about electric-only pickup trucks and Ram is doing R&D as well. As a market, it will be small for some time. And for now, FCA needs to work with other automakers. The electrified vehicles include:2019 Jeep WranglerJeep Wrangler with a four-cylinder eTorque engine, FCA-speak for the 48-volt electric motor booster with a 0.4-kWh battery. It’s a $1,000 upcharge.Jeep Renegade, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Wrangler, all with plug-in hybrid options in 2020. The Renegade and Compass target younger buyers, potentially more open to alternative drivetrains. Wrangler is the iconic Jeep flagship.Ram 1500 pickup also with the eTorque motor/generator attached to the engine crankshaft, standard on the 3.6-liter V6, $1,450 on the Hemi V8. Continental supplies the liquid cooled motor for the V6, while Magneti Marelli supplies the Hemi’s electric motor.FCA’s US EV sales have been modest. Green Car Reports last fall estimated that the EV version of the Fiat 500e EV has about 19,000 US sales over five years. FCA launched the 500e as a California “compliance car” to meet the state’s 2012-2017 zero-emissions-mandate. At some points during the period, FCA was offering the 500e at lease rates under $100 a month with little money down. That got you a car with a cramped cockpit and an 84-mile range. It sort of worked out for five years, but now buyers are looking for 150 miles of range and up.FCA’s smaller, halo brands like Alfa Romeo are moving toward hybrids and plug-in hybrids because a) they have to to keep up with competitors, b) they have to keep up with fuel-economy standards, and c) the electric motors boosting hybrids act as additional turbochargers.US tastes may be changing, and more accepting of EVs, primarily in urban areas. You’ll see more UFOs in heartland America than electrified Fiats. But the market is clearly looking for cars with ranges well over 100 miles. That’s where automaker partners come in. Thus FCA’s approach to Renault and discussions of a merger of near-equals.From 2013 to 2018, Americans (on average) worried (very or somewhat) increased from 53% in 2013 to 69% in 2018. 95% of liberal Democrats are concerned and so are a third of conservative Republicans. (Source: Yale Program on Climate Change, George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication.)The US Slowly Warms to Climate Change ConcernsOfficial Washington, the part in power right now, has mixed concerns about climate change, including the “what global warming, it was cold in May” school of thought. But surveys show America is changing. Much of the world has concerns about global warming coming from internal combustion engines. You can lick air pollution, but CO2 emissions — which link directly to how much fossil fuel comes out of tailpipes, regardless of how otherwise-clean the exhaust is — may be damaging the planet long term, and long term may soon be near term. That’s how they feel, as do people in coastal cities who voted for Hillary. Also, a lot of students and young people who may be around as long as the year 2100. Not so much conservative Republicans. Currently, seven in 10 Americans say they are somewhat or very worried about global warming. Five years ago it was just over half, according to a late 2018 survey.So, there’s more reason for FCA to woo Renault (and maybe Nissan): access to more and better EV technology. As long as Jeeps and Ram pickup trucks are selling well, FCA has some money to spend.Could we see more mergers and alliances? Quite possibly. Anti-trust regulators are less concerned about joint parts procurement, or things that may not be seen as cutting edge on the one hand (transmissions, infotainment). Automakers say they need the alliances and maybe mergers, such as Renault and FCA here. In the 1990s there was a belief an automaker needed to build 1 million cars a year to be in a survivable position. Now it may be 5 million.The hottest rumor, and rumor is about all it is, is that Ford and General Motors might merge. Or ought to merge. The idea gained impetus with a May 30 story in MarketWatch that claimed a merger of the two is inevitable, mostly because MW doubts Ford can really bring to market the 40 hybrid and EV models it claims it can by 2022, and if it does, they won’t sell. Meanwhile, GM has issues but not at Ford’s level, and it has savvy in both electrification and self-driving. GM’s real ace in the hole is how well its cars sell in China. So far, most other media outlets have referenced the story without passing judgment on the odds it will happen. If it does, chalk it up to the high costs of developing next-gen technology, and ferocious competition from international automakers.Now read:Nissan Leaf EV First to Pass 400,000 Sales, but Tesla Model 3 Topped 20182019 Nissan Leaf EV Review: The Long Ranger Rides, FinallyNew eTrucks Reduce Air Pollution at the Cost of More Visual Pollution<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>  16 Comments The Transformation of Daisy Ridley Is Turning Heads Winnie From ‘Wonder Years’ Is 44 Now and Unrecognizably Gorgeous Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 0shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. Artist Reimagines Iconic Disney Scenes with a Hilarious Twist ‘Criminal Minds’ Stars Talk J.J. And Reid In Final Season Fiat Chrysler-Renault Merger Points to High Cost of Developing Electric Cars This Is Where ‘The Man With the Golden Voice’ Ended Up Tagged In carsautomobilesautosNissanMitsubishiInfinitiRenaultAlpineDaciaDatsunLadaRenault SamsungRenault–Nissan–Mitsubishi AllianceVenucia Post a Comment 16 Comments Winona Ryder Is Not Letting Anyone Forget She’s Married to Keanulast_img read more

Boomerang Commerce Rebrands as CommerceIQ™ After the Acquisition of its Retail Analytics

first_img AmazonBoomerang CommerceCommerceIQLowe’s CompaniesMarketing TechnologyNewsRetail Analytics platform Previous ArticleIBM Security: Cybersecurity Threats Growing In Travel and Transportation IndustriesNext ArticleOneTrust Launches Policy and Notice Management Solution to Centrally Manage and Update GDPR and CCPA Privacy Policies & Disclosures Following the announcement that Lowe’s Companies Inc. has acquired the Retail Analytics platform of Boomerang Commerce, Inc., Boomerang has announced it will rebrand and operate as CommerceIQ focusing on helping consumer brand manufacturers succeed on Amazon.Boomerang Commerce Rebrands As CommerceIQ after retail analytics platform is acquired by Lowe’sBoomerang Commerce was founded in 2012 by Guru Hariharan, an Amazon and eBay veteran, and is based in Mountain View, CA with offices in Seattle, Chicago and Bangalore. Boomerang Commerce offered 2 market-leading solutions i) a retail analytics solution, and ii) CommerceIQ, an insights and automation platform for consumer brands selling on Amazon.Hariharan said, “This transaction will allow us to significantly accelerate our product roadmap and invest in customer success infrastructure for CommerceIQ™. We look forward to directing the full effort of our company to help our brand-manufacturer customers win market share in their e-commerce business.”Marketing Technology News: Punchh Launches Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence “Customer Sentiment Analysis” to Enable Real-Time Response to Customer ReviewsCommerceIQ™’s vision is to power intelligent commerce. CommerceIQ is the industry’s first and only unified Amazon Sales, Advertising, and Operations platform trusted by leading consumer brand manufacturers to simplify their Amazon business and amplify sales, profits, and share. 8 of the Top 50 consumer brand manufacturers and 500+ brands accounting for over $1B in annual Amazon sales and marketing spend rely on CommerceIQ’s machine learning and automation technology to power their Amazon business.Marketing Technology News: Baidu’s Mobile Reach Expanded to 1.1 Billion Monthly Active Devices in March 2019Karan Mehandru, General Partner at Trinity Ventures and an early investor in Boomerang Commerce adds, “We invest in companies and teams that imagine, build, create value and disrupt the status quo. The Boomerang Commerce team has certainly delivered on that promise via its retail analytics solution. Looking ahead, we are extremely bullish on CommerceIQ™ and will be doubling down our support of the solution to accelerate the already impressive logo and revenue momentum achieved so far, and success that brand manufacturers are realizing.”Marketing Technology News: Alibaba Cloud Expands Offerings for EMEA Partners Boomerang Commerce Rebrands as CommerceIQ™ After the Acquisition of its Retail Analytics Platform by Lowe’s PRNewswireMay 22, 2019, 3:10 pmMay 22, 2019 last_img read more

NGDATA Enables Marketers to Design and Deliver DataDriven Individualised Campaigns in Minutes

first_imgIntelligent Engagement Platform unlocks the power of personalisation for every marketer – no data science degree neededNGDATA announces a new platform that transforms marketers’ ability to tailor campaigns to individual consumers, enabling them to set up data-rich, insight-driven customer campaigns in minutes rather than weeks.NGDATA’s Intelligent Engagement Platform (IEP) has been engineered to overcome the challenges of turning huge volumes of data into individually tailored campaigns which create a unique experience for each customer.Traditionally many organisations have struggled to stitch together data from various sources to gain a true picture of consumers. What’s more, brands often lack the tools needed to connect every customer interaction across a growing range of channels, making it difficult if not impossible to adapt interactions with timely and accurate data. Finally, businesses in every sector are facing a chronic shortage of data science skills needed to turn data into actionable insight that result in revenue.Marketing Technology News: Blis Expands Into the Netherlands With First HireThe Intelligent Engagement Platform enables any marketer to supercharge their omni-channel interactions with rich and comprehensive insight on the unique Customer DNA of each individual. The IEP provides a simple and intuitive user interface that enables marketers to design and manage holistic, contextualised and individually-relevant campaigns at the push of a button. An evolution of the NGDATA CDP (Customer Data Platform) product, the IEP builds on these capabilities to further develop self-service analytics, orchestration capabilities and ‘out of the box’ use cases to facilitate faster time to market.“Customers expect a highly personalised relationship with brands, but all too often businesses are drowning in data and unable to get the right message to the right person at the right time,” said Doug Gross, CEO at NGDATA. “Turning data into insight has traditionally been a job for specialists, and it can typically take around a week to set up a new customer-focused campaign with all the relevant metrics.“NGDATA’s Intelligent Engagement Platform makes it simple and fast for any marketer, even those without data and technical skillsets, to design and implement customer-centric campaigns for a huge range of use cases to deliver on marketing goals. What we’ve added with the IEP is an intuitive push-button approach to using this insight to achieve specific goals.”Marketing Technology News: Shoppers Take Center Stage in the 2019 Retail Systems Research Report on eCommerce Website PerformanceThe new capabilities enable marketers to set up and manage individualised customer experiences in minutes, and to visualise audiences and measure consumer sentiment in real-time. They can also refine metrics as they go, ensuring the most accurate, relevant and timely experiences are recommended automatically by the IEP. The extensive possibilities presented by the IEP include ‘out of the box’ solutions to solve common marketing pain points, such as: driving customer acquisition in financial services, increasing the average transaction value in retail, and running customer retention and loyalty programmes in telecoms and hospitality contexts.Geert Van Mol, CDO at Belfius, one of Belgium’s top ten banks and long-standing NGDATA customer, adds: “The new NGDATA platform will put customer analytics and AI in the hands of our marketers and will help our marketing organisation to play in a whole new league by delivering the most effective and hyper-personal customer engagement in real-time on a daily basis”.Marketing Technology News: Mongolia’s Mongolsat Networks Optimizes Multi-Screen Video Delivery with Verimatrix and moTV.euNGDATA’s Intelligent Customer Engagement Platform is centred on three core capabilities:Unified Customer View, that provides a holistic, contextualized Customer DNA.Real-Time Omni-Channel 1:1 Interactions, enabling marketers to supercharge channel and execution systems with real-time actionable insights into individual customers, thereby maximizing targeting precision.Self-Service Analytics and Machine Learning, including capabilities such as audience clustering and lookalike modelling to discover, analyse and predict emerging opportunities from customer data. This enables marketers to deliver more relevant customer experiences.Marketing Technology News: Study: Consumers Reject Brands That Advertise on ‘Fake News’ and Objectionable Content Online NGDATA Enables Marketers to Design and Deliver Data-Driven, Individualised Campaigns in Minutes, Not Weeks PRNewswireJune 18, 2019, 3:10 pmJune 18, 2019 customer engagementDoug GrossIntelligent EngagementMarketing TechnologyNewsNGDATA Previous ArticleSalesforce Research: State of Connected Customer Redefines Customer ExperiencesNext ArticleAppTek and yellaUmbrella Announce Systems Integration Partnership to Provide Market-Leading Tools for Media Localizationlast_img read more

Neongecko Inc Launches Neon AI Nano HTML to Add Conversational AI to

first_img AI Nanocontent management systemsMarketing Technology NewsNeon AI Nano HTMLNeongecko.comNews Previous ArticlePDI Releases New C-Store Shopper Report on Customer Behaviors Crucial to Loyalty Program SuccessNext ArticleNew Study Finds Millennials Are the Biggest Audio Generation, Listening to More Content Than All Others: More Types, More Times, More Places Website Designers Can Now Add a Powerful Desktop AI Assistant to Standard Webpages Neongecko.com Inc. unveiled the “Neon AI Nano HTML” to enable website designers to quickly and easily add conversational AI to webpages. Neon AI Nano can be added to webpages with standard HTML. Conversational AI results can be input from Neon AI with a simple “paste” command.“Our Neon AI Nano HTML and Neon AI SDK enable integrating voice into existing applications and into new applications in many fields, from business to homes to medicine to gaming to marketing. The future is voice, not keyboards.”Recent market data shows that typing will be used for less than 50% of searches in 2020, and voice will be used for more than 50% of human computer interactions by 2025, so now is the time for website designers to embrace new conversation processing tools.With Neon AI, users are empowered to use voice commands for gathering helpful information from a company’s website, scheduling events, searching the web, home automation, real-time language translation, transcriptions, conversions, math solutions, voice-controlled lights and devices, and much more. In the middle of an application while scheduling an event, a user can click the microphone button and get weather forecast information to decide on scheduling. On a travel site, users can ask for a conversion from dollars to euros and meters to miles.Marketing Technology News: Eggplant Expands Test Automation Across Entire LifecycleNeon AI Nano is compatible with Content Management Systems, like WordPress and Drupal, and can be added to such websites in under a minute. Watch the Neon AI Nano HTML “60-second demonstration” video.Remarkably, Neon AI can be added to standard webpages in one line of HTML. The one line of Neon AI HTML is powered by millions of lines of code, as well as public and private data, through the Neon AI servers. Here’s the example one line of HTML to insert on your webpage.Marketing Technology News: WebEngage Partners with Kenscio’s Email Management SolutionCorporate developers can use the Neon AI Nano HTML for voice access to company databases, with their own custom in-house skills. Neon AI Nano is a customizable Desktop Assistant based on the “Neon AI SDK,” a “white label solution” since it can be customized to seamlessly provide interactive conversational input and output for applications and databases, with the flexibility of conversational AI, and embedded in a webpage. Think Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana – with source code for software developers and hardware designers.For the announcement, Richard Leeds, Founder and President of Neongecko, said: “Our Neon AI Nano HTML and Neon AI SDK enable integrating voice into existing applications and into new applications in many fields, from business to homes to medicine to gaming to marketing. The future is voice, not keyboards.”Marketing Technology News: Whitebox Raises $5 Million in Series A Funding to Accelerate eCommerce “Factory Floor to Front Door” Tech Platform Neongecko Inc. Launches “Neon AI Nano HTML” to Add Conversational AI to Websites Business WireJune 25, 2019, 5:59 pmJune 25, 2019 last_img read more

DAA Announces Enforcement Deadline for Political Ad Guidelines and Transparency Icon

first_imgDAA Announces Enforcement Deadline for ‘Political Ad’ Guidelines and Transparency Icon MTS Staff WriterJune 7, 2019, 8:16 pmJune 7, 2019 Guidelines Take Effect November 1st; Enforcement Starts January 1, 2020 by Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and Association of National Advertisers (ANA)The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) announced the timeline for enforcement of its new transparency guidelines for political advertisers, including use of the “Political Ad” icon. The new guidelines will become effective on November 1, 2019, and enforcement of compliance will begin on January 1, 2020. The independent enforcement program will be run by the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) and Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which also are responsible for enforcement of the DAA’s YourAdChoices program.Appearing in or around digital express advocacy political ads, the DAA’s Political Ad icon will offer an easy, interactive, and clearly-identifiable tool for voters to get information on the advertiser paying for the ad. Information available through the Political Ad icon will include the political advertiser’s name, contact information, contribution or expenditure records (when applicable), individual contacts, and other required disclosures.“Transparency and accountability are two of the foundational principles of our democracy, and the advertising industry is committed to giving voters simple access to the information they need about express advocacy political ads,” said DAA Executive Director Lou Mastria. “The responsible digital advertising industry has a vested interest in making digital advertising more transparent, and the Political Ad Icon program redoubles our commitment to this critical goal.”Marketing Technology News: Liferay Announces New Content, Commerce and Headless Capabilities to Drive Personalization at Scaleprn“The DAA took an important step to streamline the reporting requirements for political advertisers by creating a national transparency standard for disclosing information about political advertising.  With the backing of the major ad trade associations, this new guidance can be quickly implemented across the ecosystem,” said Mike Signorelli, partner at Venable LLP and counsel to the DAA. “Having rolled out the tech specs for the Political Ad program less than a year ago, we are ready to move toward enforcement.  Over the coming months, we will continue to educate the marketplace about the steps they need to take to license the icon and comply with the program guidelines and disclosure notice requirements.”Under the DAA’s guidance for political advertising, the Political Ad icon and/or wording should be used to provide clear, meaningful, and prominent notice for ads that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate for federal office and in certain state-wide elections. The icon/wording should link to disclosures that include:Name of the political advertiser;Phone number, address, website, or alternative and reliable contact information for the advertiser;Other information required by applicable federal or state law for such notices;Link to a government database of contributions and expenditures for the advertiser, if applicable;Any disclaimers required by state or federal law, if the ad itself is too small to display them (as permitted by applicable law); andName(s) of the advertiser’s CEO, member of the executive committee or board of directors, or treasurer.The DAA’s political advertising transparency initiative is modeled on the DAA’s YourAdChoices program, which offers consumers a gateway to information and control over Interest Based Advertising (IBA) through the ubiquitous blue YourAdChoices icon, globally served more than a trillion times a month.Marketing Technology News: E-discovery and Information Governance Expert Rena Verma Joins FTI Consulting“Recent investigative reports about media and social media have dramatically underscored the need for the public to know the sponsor of the political ads they see,” said Marla Kaplowitz, President & CEO, 4A’s. “Fortunately, the advertising industry has in place the Ad Choices tool, now expanded to provide that much-needed transparency to political advertising. A simple click-through the DAA’s Political Ad icon reveals the name and contact information of the advertiser.”“The ANA is a proud founding member of the DAA program,” said Bob Liodice, CEO, ANA. “Transparency and consumer control have always been a major foundation of the DAA program.  DAA’s added accountability will now foster greater trust and transparency in the political advertising realm.”“There is no speech more central to American democracy than political speech, and that requires it to be free of corruption, taint, or illegal interference,” said Randall Rothenberg, CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau. “The Digital Advertising Alliance’s PoliticalAds initiative demonstrates once again that industry experts from media, advertising, and technology can quickly build mechanisms that can help solve seemingly intractable public problems. In less than a single election cycle, the DAA constructed a window into digital political advertising, giving American voters a clear view into who’s paying for the electioneering ads they see. We urge the Federal Election Commission and all 50 states to make PoliticalAds the foundation of digital political ad disclosure, and protect our democracy from the threats it faces.”“These guidelines will provide much-needed transparency to protect and enhance the integrity of online political advertising, establishing uniform standards that are even higher and more transparent than advertising on traditional media,” said Leigh Freund, President and CEO, Network Advertising Initiative. Advertising Self-Regulatory CouncilBob LiodiceDigital Advertising AllianceFederal Election CommissionMarketing TechnologyNewsPoliticalAds Previous ArticleIf First-Party Data Is the High Ground, Customer Experience Is the EscalatorNext ArticleCrimson Agility Receives Two Nominations from Magentocenter_img Marketing Technology News: Report: Native Email Security Systems Open Doors to Vulnerabilitieslast_img read more

Deve Gowda Was Much Better PM Than Modi May Take on Big

first_img BJPcongressDeve GowdaHD Kumaraswamy First Published: April 20, 2019, 10:20 AM IST Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Saturday said that his father HD Deve Gowda proved to be a better Prime Minister during his 10 month tenure in 1995 as compared to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as no terrorist activities took place in that duration. “When my father (HD Deve Gowda) was the Prime Minister for 10 months in 1995, did any terrorist activity take place in this country? Did any terrorist activity go on at the India-Pakistan border? The entire country was in peace at the time when my father was the PM,” Kumaraswamy was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “You can go through the records to see what happened in Deve Gowda’s 10 month government and five years under the leadership of PM Modi,” he added, insisting that the country’s national security was far better during Gowda’s tenure. Kumaraswamy said his father was an experienced administrator and he is going to advise Congress president Rahul Gandhi to follow in his footsteps. “Deve Gowda is a good administrator and is experienced. He has experience in his political career. He’s better than everybody. But he’s not interested now. He already projected name of Rahul Gandhi (for prime minister). He’s going to advise Rahul ji for good administration,” said HDK. On whether he sees his father taking on a national role after the Lok Sabha elections, HDK said: “Most probably. Because in the next election, there will be no BJP govt. We have to form the government with several regional parties together. At that time, Deve Gowda may play a major role of an advisor to everybody,” he told ANI. last_img read more

Hyderabad Safe Haven for Terrorists BJP Leader Blames KCRs Bond With AIMIM

first_imgNew Delhi: BJP lawmaker from Secunderabad Bandaru Dattatreya on Sunday courted controversy by alleging that Hyderabad is a ‘safe haven for Islamic terrorist activities’. He blamed the KCR government for not taking action as it was ‘aligned’ with the Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). “Recent investigations of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) reveal that Hyderabad is a safe haven for Islamic terrorist activities, that the very activity of Islamic terrorist are increasing in Hyderabad,” Dattatreya was quoted as saying by the ANI. “Large number of people are recruited only in Hyderabad,” he added. Training his guns at the ruling TRS, Dattatreya said that the government was aligned with the AIMIM and that is why no action was being taken against the terror activities. “I demand that state government should form a special cell under the DG or IG rank officer for investigation of these activities,” the BJP leader said. Dattatreya’s statement comes two days after the NIA conducted searches at two locations in Hyderabad in connection with an Islamic State module case. AIMIMbandaru dattatreyaBJP mpHyderabad First Published: April 22, 2019, 10:02 AM IST | Edited by: Sana Fazililast_img read more

iPhone 8 release Apple seems very confident about September

first_imgIn fact, while their suppliers, detail-digging assessors, leaky assemblers, and the rest of the assembled crowd – tech news sites like ourselves included – discuss when is really feasible for what’s shaping up to be the most interesting iPhone in years to go on sale, Apple just dropped some very heavy hints among the controversy. No, the Cupertino firm didn’t come out and say “this is when the iPhone 8 will go on sale,” since that would be the kiss of death to any remaining iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus sales. Instead, it signposted it with its most recent financial results.Announced yesterday, it was another solid quarter for Apple. Indeed, even with new iPhones on the horizon, sales of the current models were up in the company’s third fiscal quarter of 2017. More than 41m units were sold in the three months, in fact, running counter to the traditional pattern of a slump before refreshed hardware.So far so good, but the really interesting part came when Apple estimated its financial performance for the next quarter. The market had been predicting a solid quarter, but Apple CEO Tim Cook still prompted some surprise when he suggested fiscal Q4 2018 would see $49 to $52 billion. For comparison, in this solid past quarter the company managed revenues of $45.4 billion, itself up 7-percent year-over-year.It’s a heavy hint from a company that generally eschews dropping news until it’s absolutely ready to launch. Although updated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models – expected to be the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus, if Apple continues with its now-traditional nomenclature – will undoubtedly prompt sales, they’re almost certain to be refinements and tweaks over existing hardware, rather than all-out new designs. That wow-factor should come courtesy of the iPhone 8, as the handset has become unofficially known.There’s plenty of pitfalls that could affect it. Apple is expected to use OLED for its screen, a first for the iPhone, and with only Samsung Display currently able to meet the Cupertino firm’s stringent requirements, it’s unclear whether panel supplies will be too constrained to meet overall demand. It’s not like they could balance that with LCD, either; recent leaks from the HomePod firmware suggest Apple will be taking advantage of OLED’s support for non-rectangular shapes to make a display with an unusual notch taken out of the top section. Meanwhile, given any new iPhone launch generally sees interest in the handset outstrip how many Apple can produce, there may end up shortages of other components like batteries and memory chips. NOW READ: 5 huge iPhone 8 bombshellsBalancing that out, perhaps, are the ongoing suggestions that the iPhone 8 will be the most expensive iPhone to-date. The consensus from analysts is that it’ll be in the $1k bracket from the get-go, with higher-spec versions adding several hundred dollars more to that figure. It’ll be enough to dissuade many buyers who simply can’t afford it.Apple has undoubtedly done the math itself, and worked out its own set of predictions. Still, a September release date for the iPhone 8 increasingly seems a solid expectation, with initially constrained supplies gradually loosening as the quarter goes on. The iPhone 8 will launch in September, except it’ll actually be delayed, or maybe it’ll arrive on time but stock will be so limited you won’t get one until the holidays. The past few months haven’t exactly helped if you’ve been trying to time your next iPhone upgrade, with leaks from the supply chain warning of delays for Apple’s new flagship, analysts weighing in with their own speculation, and a general cloud of “can they build enough in time” lending the whole affair a sense of ominous foreboding. All except, that is, for Apple itself. Story TimelineiPhone 8 face unlock confirmation found in HomePod firmwareiPhone 8 face-scanning will take Snapchat filters to a new universeThese leaked iPhone 8 photos will make you (and Jony Ive) weeplast_img read more

Amazon Cloud Cam Review Alexa will see you now

first_imgAlexa is already listening to you, but now the Amazon Cloud Cam wants to watch you, too. The retailer’s first connected security camera may not be the first to market, but it does offer some competitive cloud storage pricing and is an integral part of Amazon Key. Question is, with heavyweights like Nest already well associated with the smart security space, can the Amazon Cloud Cam hold up to scrutiny? There’s also a microphone and speaker for two-way communication, though it’s push-to-talk rather than full duplex. You can shut off the camera altogether via the app manually, or set up geofencing which relies on your smartphone’s location to toggle the Home/Away settings. Unlike on some security cameras there’s no way to turn off the green LED aside from disabling the Cloud Cam completely. Video qualityThe 1080p of the Amazon Cloud Cam is solid. Unlike some WiFi cameras, there’s no option to scale down to 720p in the name of reducing bandwidth. On the plus side, there’s plenty of detail, and the eight IR LEDs do a decent job of illuminating a room. Certainly, it’s sufficient to make out people’s faces. An Extended plan is $9.99 a month or $99.99 for the year, and covers up to five cameras with up to 14 days of cloud storage. Finally, the Pro plan is $19.99 a month or $199.99 per year, and bumps the cloud storage up to 30 days and the number of covered cameras up to ten. Out of the box, you get a 30 day free trial to see how the premium features play.As subscription offers go, Amazon’s falls somewhere in the middle of the segment. It’s cheaper than Nest, which offers 10 days of video, activity zones, smart alerts, downloadable clips, and timelapses for $10 per month, per camera. That adds up fast if you have more than one camera installed, and Nest’s free tier doesn’t even include video, only snapshots from the past three hours. All the same, there are more generous deals elsewhere. The $179.99 Logi Circle 2, for instance, is more expensive than Amazon’s Cloud Cam, but its free tier includes video clips from the past 24 hours that can be downloaded. For $3.99 per month, per camera, you can increase that to 14 days; $6.99 per month extends it to 30 days, with person detection and motion zones. Where Amazon’s plans make most sense, therefore, is if you’re comfortable paying and have more than one camera. Its entry level subscription is a better deal for multiple Cloud Cam installs. Nonetheless, there are alternatives out there with local storage – D-Link has a number of security cameras with microSD slots, for instance – that can save as much local video as your memory card has capacity, with no subscription fee. In my experience, they can be a little trickier to set up and remotely access, mind. Alexa is in control – sort ofThe Cloud Cam also differentiates itself by virtue of its Alexa integration. Amazon’s assistant can be used to pull up the camera’s view on an Echo Show, the upcoming Echo Spot, an Alexa-enabled Fire tablet, or a Fire TV. By saying “Alexa, show the dining room” to the Fire TV remote, for example, I was able to instantly see what the Cloud Cam was pointed at. Saying “Alexa, stop” ended it. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can actually do, beyond see what’s happening right there and then. Unlike in the Cloud Cam app, Alexa on your TV, Fire tablet, or Echo Show can’t access saved clips. You can’t zoom into the frame, and you can’t use the microphone to talk through the Cloud Cam’s speaker. You’re just seeing a livestream of what’s happening there and then. Amazon KeyOpinion was divided when Amazon announced its new Amazon Key service, launching for Prime subscribers who still want to receive deliveries even when they’re not home. Courtesy of a connected lock, the retailer’s couriers will be able to access your house to drop off packages inside, rather than leaving them on the step where they could be rained on or, worse still, stolen. Nobody likes having their orders stolen, but even so the thought of a random delivery person getting into your house while you’re not home still proved too creepy for many. Amazon is pitching the Cloud Cam as the solution: its Amazon Key starter kit includes not only the smart lock, but the camera too. The idea is that you’ll have video evidence of just what the courier got up to. Wrap-upThe connected camera space is fierce, and for many their first taste of the smart home is some sort of WiFi-enabled security system. Nest has become the go-to, but you pay handsomely for its simplicity. There’s a lot to like about the Amazon Cloud Cam. It’s affordable, easy to set up, and works as promised. The Alexa integration feels a little half-baked right now, though, and I’d really like to see video history supported there too. Most frustrating, however, is the inability to download clips unless you’re a subscriber: that’s one of the most annoying aspects of Nest, and somewhere other rivals have a clear advantage. Honestly, that seems like something Amazon could easily offer its Prime customers as another perk to encourage sign-ups. All the same, if you want the ease of a cloud-based security system, are okay paying for that, and you plan on installing a number of cameras, Amazon’s Cloud Cam pricing and plans are both very competitive. Hardware and designWere I a member of the design team at Nest, I might have done a double-take when Amazon first revealed the Cloud Cam. There’s a striking similarity between Amazon’s new camera and the Nest Cam IQ, with their white cylindrical bodies, black fascias, and slender stands. Unsurprisingly, given the Cloud Cam is also less than half the price, it’s not quite so sleek overall: glossy plastic where Nest uses matte, a less sturdy-feeling hinge, and a cable that, rather than being integrated with the stand, sticks out the back.The aesthetic stuff I can forgive given the price, but I wish Amazon had more heavily weighted the Cloud Cam’s base. It’s easy to inadvertently pull the camera around just from the weight of the USB cord. In Amazon’s favor, there’s a wall mounting plate included in the box, which requires just a few screws to fit and then the camera slots into place. center_img There’s zooming, but since it’s digital there’s a loss in quality involved as you get closer in. That’s in contrast to the Nest Cam IQ’s lossless zoom; Nest’s enhancement algorithms are better, too. All the same, Amazon’s camera is more than sufficient to pick out nuances in the frame. Open your walletAs with most consumer connected cameras, Amazon is pushing its cloud storage plans and, frankly, if you want the most usefulness from the Cloud Cam then you’re going to have to open your wallet. The free tier includes 24 hours of cloud storage for video clips, for up to three cameras; you also get notifications when any activity is detected. However, critically, you can’t download those saved clips.If you want that, you’ll need to subscribe. The Basic plan costs $6.99 a month or $69.99 for a year, and includes seven days of cloud storage and the ability to download and share on social media your video clips. It also adds person detection, which promises to tell the difference between a car driving past and someone walking into the frame. You can assign zones within which movement is tracked, too. Amazon has used a 1080p Full HD sensor, capable of up to 30 fps and paired with a 120-degree lens. It’s not the widest-angle lens out there – Nest offers 130-degrees while Logi’s Circle 2 goes all the way to 180-degrees, albeit with some noticeable curvature at the edges of the frame as a result – which demands some careful positioning to make sure everything in the room you want to monitor is in the frame. Connectivity is via 802.11n WiFi (2.4GHz only), and there’s Bluetooth LE which is used during the initial setup. That basically involves plugging the camera in, waiting until the LED on the front blinks blue and green, and then using the iOS or Android app to teach it your WiFi network and give it a name. Around the lens there are eight infrared LEDs, which light up automatically when the room is dark.last_img read more

Google Pay transit tickets makes Android a better wallet

first_imgStory TimelineGoogle Pay gives Android Pay a new walletGoogle Contacts can send money via Google Pay Send With numerous mobile payments systems out there to choose between Google Pay is making another attempt to be the most essential in your pocket by promising to absorb your transit tickets too. A new update to Google Pay is adding the ability to not only purchase tickets for travel but save them to the Google Pay wallet, and then use them completely paper-free. It’s something Apple has been offering with Apple Pay and the iPhone and Apple Watch wallet for some time, and now it’s beginning to show up on Android too. It relies on Google Pay’s support for NFC transactions, building on the short-range wireless chip increasingly present in many smartphones. That includes devices like the Galaxy S9 and the Google Pixel 2.Initially, though, you’ll need to be in one very specific place to actually try all this out. Google is launching transit ticket support with the Las Vegas Monorail, allowing riders to buy a ticket on the booking site, and then save it to the Google Pay app. After that, to board the train you don’t need to open the app specifically, just hold the smartphone near the fare gate and let NFC do the rest. The Google Pay app update adds support for prepaid tickets and passes, in addition to the existing credit and debit card capabilities. After you’ve saved a ticket there, there’s also information within the app as to where the ticket is valid, and where stations are on an embedded Google Map. It also shows recent activity, like your previous rides. AdChoices广告Google Pay saw the search giant consolidate its various wallet and payment options into a single place back in January. What had previously been two separate apps – Android Pay and Google Wallet – were combined into a single replacement. At the time, the company said that was to reduce confusion among users. Unsurprisingly Google now says that it has broader ambitions than just a single train service on the Las Vegas strip. Google Pay transit support is “coming to more cities soon” the company claims, something likely to give Android users in public transportation-dependent places like New York City, San Francisco, London, and more reason to hope their travel options will be among those catered for next.last_img read more

Galaxy Note 9 appears in full 360 view

first_imgThis week we’re having a peek at a full 360 view of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. This isn’t the official Samsung-made render set, but it’s the next best thing. We’re looking at a set of models made by OnLeaks, aka Steve H – one of the most accurate leakers of such things in the past couple of years. Especially when it comes to this sort of leak. Another major difference lies in the arrangement of the sensor collection and lenses, making room for another piece of hardware. Here instead of a couple of LED flash bulbs, we’ve got one, maybe two (if they’re small), and an extra sensor. That could be a 3D sensor of some sort – or just some infrared business of some sort. We’ll see!The images you see here show the Galaxy Note 9 in all its glory from all sorts of angles. You’ll find that the frontside looks a lot like it did with the Galaxy Note 8. This is because the device’s frontside will be almost identical in technology to its predecessor. That means no frontside fingerprint reader, under-display or otherwise.The device you see here won’t be mind-blowingly different from the Galaxy Note 8, but it will be a rather good smartphone. Have a peek at the timeline below for more information on this smartphone, and stick around for more! We’re expecting this smartphone to be revealed at an early August event, with a release several weeks later!IMAGES: 91Mobiles The factory CAD leak-made-models shown here make the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 look a lot like its predecessor, with a couple of significant changes. One – the fingerprint reader is physically separated by a couple of barriers. They’re not BIG barriers – they’re just edges of areas – but they’re there. Now it’ll be more difficult to accidentally smudge the backside camera lenses on this smartphone.last_img read more