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Frozen 2 trailer captures Elsa Anna on dangerous search for answers

first_imgFrozen 2 hits US theaters on Nov. 22. Disney In Frozen 2, Anna and Elsa will venture beyond their home of Arendelle and search for answers to the question: Why was Elsa born with magical powers?A new trailer for the film debuted Tuesday, and it shows Elsa (Idina Menzel) setting out on a dangerous journey with Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad) and Sven.  21 Photos Originally published June 11, 4:56 a.m. PT.  1:52 “We have always feared Elsa’s powers were too much for this world,” says Grand Pabbie (Ciarán Hinds). “Now we must hope they are enough.”It features some sort of spirit horsey and a Shadow of the Colossus-style creature, and Elsa uses her freezing abilities to give the gang passage through magical fog so they can reach what looks like a portal or doorway.Frozen 2 posterIn Frozen 2, Elsa and Anna set out on a dangerous journey. Disney Frozen 2 brings back the filmmakers and songwriters from the 2013 original film, including directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. The first film is the highest-grossing animated movie of all time.Disney also released a new poster for the film on Monday.A teaser trailer for Frozen 2 released in February shows Elsa trying to run across waves using her ice powers before being taken under by the water. Within 24 hours, it became the most-watched animated trailer of all time. Frozen 2 hits theaters in the US on Nov. 22. The film will be available for streaming on Disney Plus next summer.  Now playing: Watch this: Summer movie preview: Aladdin, Spider-Man, Tarantino and more TV and Movies Culturecenter_img Tags 0 Post a comment Share your voice Disney’s new Frozen 2 trailer goes on a quest Disneylast_img read more

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Bill seeks to prevent another Cambridge Analytica

first_imgFollowing massive fines levied against Facebook for data misuse, a new bill in Congress aims to put the brakes on the exploitation of voter info. Getty Images Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday introduced a bill prompted by Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of Facebook users’ private data. The Voter Privacy Act looks to address a lack of federal regulation on the collection and use of voter data by political organizations. The bill also seeks to give voters control over how that data is used in federal elections. “Political candidates and campaigns shouldn’t be able to use private data to manipulate and mislead voters,” Feinstein, a Democrat from California, said in a statement. “This bill would help put an end to such actions.”   The move comes on the heels of a $100 million fine levied against Facebook by the Securities and Exchange Commission and a $5 billion fine from the Federal Trade Commission. During the 2016 presidential campaign, data consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica exploited the personal Facebook data of millions while working for Donald Trump’s campaign. Cambridge Analytica reportedly violated the social network’s policies when acquiring the data, then used it to target voters with political ads developed from psychographic profiles.  Exempting data from public databases, the bill would extend five basic rights to voters. Among them are the right to be notified when campaigns obtain their data and to bar further sale, as well as the right to review data obtained by political organizations and demand its deletion. Voters would also be able to tell Google and Facebook not to use their data profiles to help political groups target them. “Today, campaigns are legally able to conduct sophisticated online surveillance of everyone in our country in order to influence individuals based on their unique psychological characteristics” Feinstein said.  “This targeted manipulation not only undermines our democracy, it’s a threat to basic individual freedom.” Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Tags 1:09 1 Originally published Aug. 1.Update, Aug. 2: Added note recording request for comment. Share your voice Politics Security Comment Facebook hit with hefty FTC and SEC fines, DoorDash changes… Now playing: Watch this: Cambridge Analyticalast_img read more

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Are Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk breaking up Is Lady Gaga to

first_imgBradley Cooper (R) and his partner Russian model Irina ShaykGetty imagesBradley Cooper and Irina Shayk have been in a committed relationship from a very long time but as per a recent claim, things are not going too well between them. Fans are now speculating if Lady Gaga is reportedly the reason behind the ongoing friction between the couple or is there something else going on between Cooper and Shayk.As per a recent claim by PageSix, the 44-year-old Bradley Cooper and his longtime girlfriend Irina Shayk are reportedly doing their best to make everything work for the sake of their daughter, Lea De Seine. However, their long-time relationship is “hanging by a thread.”Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga shared the screen space in the Academy Award-nominee movie, A Star Is Born. Ever since then, fans are rooting for them to become a couple in real life as well.Things started to go south after Bradley Cooper and his A Star Is Born co-star Lady Gaga performed a highly intimate duet at the 91st Academy Awards. During the Oscars, Gaga and Cooper amazed everyone by singing “Shallow” and several reports surfaced around that time suggesting that there is something going on between these two. Lady Gaga, however, has already debunked these absurd claims and stated that they are actors and they were merely acting on the stage.That being said, another insider previously revealed to PageSix that Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk are reportedly miserable together as the acclaimed actor does not drink but his long-time partner wishes to go out. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star is BornLady Gaga (@ladygaga/Instagram)”They were not looking happy … They barely spoke to each other at the start of the meal,” another source revealed. “They couldn’t break up when he was doing promotion for ‘A Star Is Born,’ but who knows what will happen now?”Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk began dating in 2015. Apparently, this is not for the first time when such bogus reports have surfaced online. But the couple has remained strong than ever. Even Lady Gaga has made it clear that she is a very good friend of Bradley and nothing is going on between both of them. It should be noted that Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are not dating, and he is still in a very loving relationship with Irina Shayk, despite the claims.last_img read more

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Polish service provider Netia saw its TV base incr

Polish service provider Netia saw its TV base incr

first_imgPolish service provider Netia saw its TV base increase by 14% year-on-year to reach 169,000 in June.Residential ARPU remained stable over the year at PLN56 (€13), although the number of services per subscriber rose modestly, from 1.46 a year ago to 1.54 in June.Total revenue-generating units fell by 1.4% over the quarter to 2.189 million, which the company said was due to a decision to withdraw from the active acquisition of low-margin regulated access customers.Overall, Netia’s first-half revenues grew by 1% to PLN777,368. Q2 revenues grew by 2% to PLN386,874, despite what the company described as intense competitive pressure.Adjusted EBITDA was PLN115 million for the quarter, up 5%.last_img

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Im sure you got this but an ETF is a major deal

first_imgI’m sure you got this, but an ETF is a major deal. I am back as a true believer if that happens! —Mary Justin’s note: When I read today’s essay over the weekend, I knew I had to share it immediately.It comes from our good friend Jeff Brown, Bonner & Partners’ top tech analyst. And it reveals an opportunity that’s both massive… and flying under every mainstream investor’s radar.Read on to see how one piece of technology could secure America’s economic dominance for decades… By Jeff Brown, editor, The Near Future ReportEarly this year, we almost saw the largest corporate merger between two technology companies in history.The companies in question were U.S. semiconductor giants Qualcomm and Broadcom.Broadcom had been pursuing Qualcomm since November 2017. It initially offered an unsolicited bid of $103 billion to acquire controlling interest of Qualcomm.Qualcomm resisted. So Broadcom took another route.It initiated a hostile takeover of Qualcomm. That’s when the acquiring company attempts to bypass its target’s board and purchases a controlling interest in the company directly from shareholders. Very often, this means offering to buy shares at a premium.At $117 billion, the new bid for Qualcomm would have represented the largest technology merger in history.But then the White House stepped in… and this past March, President Trump blocked the merger. The president said that “credible evidence” suggested that the takeover would pose a risk to U.S. national security.The official details are classified. But I believe I know why the White House took this unprecedented step.At the heart of the president’s decision to block the merger is fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology.I’ll explain exactly why in just a moment.But before we get to that, let me provide some context for why 5G will be such a pivotal technological advancement… Revealed For The First Time in Exclusive Live Event…The Step-By-Step Blueprint Big Wall Street Institutions Use to Steal Opportunities from the Little GuyThink Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a fad, over-hyped, worthless? That’s exactly what they want you to think… In this exclusive broadcast, you’ll discover how these institutions have, in the past, taken opportunities from the little guy. Why they’re doing it all over again now. And cut through the spin so you can see the truth with your own eyes. Register for this free event now, and get three free investment recommendations, plus the chance to claim part of an exclusive $2 Million Dollar Bitcoin Giveaway. Details here. Matter of National SecurityCountries that lead the way in deploying these networks will have a competitive economic advantage over other countries. And the technology companies in these “first-mover” countries will be the first to develop the hardware and software enabling these 5G wireless services.Right now, the government’s fear is that China will set the 5G precedent.For context, Chinese company Huawei supplies the infrastructure and support for more than half of the 537 4G networks around the world. And recently, it was caught using its technology to spy on U.S. network traffic.This led to Huawei being banned from the U.S. and several other western markets over spying concerns.The U.S. government sees it as imperative that U.S. wireless networks are built out quickly—with U.S. and European technology—to ensure that the country’s networks are less likely to fall victim to foreign espionage.That’s why the Trump administration blocked the Broadcom/Qualcomm merger.You see, while Broadcom recently stated its intention to bring most of its business back to the U.S., the bulk of its business is still based in Singapore. And while Singapore is its own country, it’s heavily controlled by Chinese Singaporeans.The concern was that Broadcom would force Qualcomm to cut back on its research and development into 5G, letting Huawei fill the void… and making U.S. wireless networks vulnerable to cyberspying.This isn’t wild speculation, either.The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a government agency that oversees foreign investment in American companies, specifically mentioned the threat posed by Huawei when officially recommending the blocking of the Broadcom/Qualcomm merger.The Trump administration even threatened to take things one step further…Nationalized InfrastructureIn January of this year, leaked White House documents showed that the U.S. government was considering nationalizing the 5G network buildout—in other words, seizing control of wireless networks from AT&T, Verizon, and other service providers… and putting them in the hands of the government.My hunch is that this was just a warning… a way to light a fire under the U.S. companies involved in the 5G buildout.The feds were saying, “Get out there and build these 5G networks quickly, or we’ll do it for you.”This was a very smart move by the current administration. And it worked.Verizon and AT&T—along with T-Mobile and Sprint, which are in the process of merging—are already building out 5G networks.The hope is to have the U.S. regain leadership in wireless network deployments, which will stimulate even stronger leadership in wireless network technology.If the U.S. fails, the government fears that America would be dependent on Chinese technology to make use of 5G. That would give China an enormous amount of leverage over the U.S.Verizon is building out its 5G network in Sacramento, California. It says it will have 5G infrastructure built out in five or six other American cities before the end of the year.AT&T is building out its 5G network in Waco, Texas. It also has a long list of cities it aims to have a presence in by the end of the year. One of them will likely be Atlanta.And T-Mobile—the third-largest mobile communications provider in the U.S.—says it will be launching in 30 cities before 2018 is over.The 5G infrastructure boom isn’t some distant event. It’s happening right now. And of course, there is a way for investors to gain exposure…How to Play It… in Three StagesTo best determine how to play this trend, we have to look at what stage of the game we’re in.You see, these buildouts happen in predictable phases… Recommended Link After that, new devices (smartphones) that work with the towers are developed. First, the physical infrastructure (cell towers) is put up. — Right now, we’re in the infrastructure phase of the 5G buildout.For 4G, it took about 200,000 cell towers to build out a nationwide network. A 5G network buildout will require around 1,000,000 cell towers—a 5x increase. When all is said and done, there will be a 5G tower on nearly every street corner.Check out the chart below. It shows how spending on 4G wireless infrastructure changed over time.Spending on the 4G wireless infrastructure hit about $200 billion a year at its peak. I expect 5G infrastructure spending will hit a peak of $275 billion and will require a minimum of $200 billion annual spending through 2025.The best bet right now is to look at the companies that will handle the physical infrastructure.American Tower (AMT) is one way to gain exposure. It’s a wireless communications infrastructure company. It builds and maintains communications infrastructure, like cell towers.It was instrumental in the 4G buildout that started in 2011. And it’s also heavily involved in erecting and maintaining the towers used in the 5G buildout.The chart below shows the performance of AMT from 2011, when the 4G buildout started, to present. I expect American Tower will continue to climb as 5G infrastructure continues to be built.Betting on companies that were instrumental to the 4G buildout, such as American Tower, is an easy way to gain exposure to this unstoppable trend.Regards,Jeff Brown Editor, The Near Future ReportP.S. The completion of the 5G wireless network is essential if America is to maintain its economic dominance over countries like China. That’s why the president is pulling out all the stops to get the network built. And as 5G revolutionizes our communications networks, it will also send a handful of companies soaring…I’ve already shared four companies with readers of my Near Future Report. I expect some of these companies to at least double, perhaps more, in the next 12 months. I put together a brief video presentation with all the details right here.Reader MailbagIn last week’s Dispatch, we explained why a new bitcoin ETF could send the cryptocurrency soaring 5x from here. Below, readers share their thoughts…Yes. And bitcoin could also plummet to zero. —Timothycenter_img — Then, new applications are developed to run on those devices. I am not a bitcoin investor right now. I am signed up for the Teeka Tiwari & Glenn Beck presentation. I would like to speculate on bitcoin. —BruceAs always, you can send any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch right here.And if you’re still on the fence about owning bitcoin, you need to mark July 19 on your calendar. That’s when world-renowned crypto expert Teeka Tiwari will give a special live broadcast—“The Great Cryptocurrency Conspiracy of 2018.”He’ll be joined by media personality Glenn Beck in what’s sure to be our biggest event of the year. And the best part is, it’s completely free to sign up, hear what they have to say, and get three free crypto recommendations… Click here to reserve your spot today. Recommended Link I own bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies. I understand the new ETF will boost bitcoin to new heights, and I assume that other cryptos will skyrocket too. It depends on what cryptos will join bitcoin in the new ETF and what weight they will have. Do you have any insight as to what cryptos your readers need to own along with bitcoin? —Thomas Network EvolutionWhen you connect to the internet on your computer, smartphone, or smart TV, a vast physical communications infrastructure makes that connection possible.Hundreds of thousands of miles of transoceanic cables connect to vast, land-based fiber optic networks, which in turn connect to consumers’ homes and businesses.Over the years, these wireless networks—and the infrastructure that supports them—have evolved.It all started in the 1980s with first-generation (1G) networks. Compared to what’s possible today, it didn’t allow much. You could only place voice calls—there was no layer for carrying other types of data. And you had to use one of those brick-sized cell phones Gordon Gekko yaps into in the movie Wall Street.But from then on, a new network generation went live roughly once every 10 years. Each provided faster download speeds and more applications. The most recent one, 4G, went live around 2011.Now we’re shifting to the fifth generation of wireless networks—5G. And it represents the largest leap in wireless technology to date.1,000 Times FasterThe current 4G networks are a disappointment.The developers that built the 4G network thought it would deliver average download speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps). But in reality, most people only see speeds of about 10 Mbps.[Megabits per second, or Mbps, is a common measurement for internet connection and download speeds. For example, to stream a high-definition video from Netflix, you need a download speed of at least 5 Mbps.]At 10 Mbps, the U.S. has some of the slowest internet speeds in the world. We’re in 50th place, behind Romania (at 27 Mbps) and Finland (at 17 Mbps). Even Dracula and the reindeer have internet speeds faster than most Americans.But with 5G, the peak speed jumps to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). One gigabit is 1,000 megabits. So at peak speed, 5G will be 1,000 times faster than the average 4G connection we have today.Even if we just assume that average 5G speeds would be 10% of their potential, we’re still looking at 1,000 Mbps. That means that average 5G speeds will be 100 times faster than what we have today.With that kind of speed, you’ll be able to download a two-hour movie in 10 seconds. Dropped phone calls and slow-loading web pages will be a thing of the past.Plus, some previously “sci-fi” tech will finally become a reality. Technologies like self-driving cars, virtual reality, and holographic projection will all operate over high-speed 5G connections. The applications are endless.5G is a game-changer because of all the technological innovation it will bring about. It’ll be responsible for $12 trillion worth of new goods and services by 2035. That’s about 60% of America’s total GDP in 2017.And here’s why the government considers the completion of 5G a matter of national security… Trump Declares National Emergency President Trump has mobilized his entire administration to battle this problem by declaring it a National Emergency under federal law. And Congress just approved $6 billion to fight it. Now a company is joining the battle by tackling one of the biggest problems our country has ever faced. In the past, companies in this niche saw peak gains of 96,900%, 196,500% and 787,400%. Could this new company be the next to ride this unique wave? Get all the details here before it’s too late.last_img read more

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Last weekend The Vagina Monologues was performed f

Last weekend The Vagina Monologues was performed f

first_imgLast weekend The Vagina Monologues was performed for the first time in Myanmar. Audiences loved it. Each performance was filled to capacity.But right up to the opening curtain of the free event, organizers worried that the country might not be ready for a politicized play about female genitalia and empowerment. After all, when they called a sweet shop in Yangon, the country’s largest city, and asked for a culinary tie-in — vagina-shaped lollipops — the proprietor hung up.Fortunately, their next attempt went a little better. When they called a bakery to request the vaginal symbol — [{*}] — on cupcakes, the woman who answered the phone cut to the chase.”So basically in the shape of a vagina, no?” said the baker, Ei Thet.Ei Thet says she’d never had a request like that before but was happy to give it a try.Her openness helped put their minds at ease. Perhaps the locals were ready for the play.Last weekend, 26 women — from Myanmar and abroad — performed the series of monologues about vaginas. And the vagina-shaped cupcakes sold out.Ready or not?The Vagina Monologues was written in 1994 by American playwright and activist Eve Ensler. On Valentine’s Day 1998, she broadened it into a global campaign called V-Day. Each February, to encourage women around the world to perform the work, Ensler suspends the play’s copyright. This year, she extended that status through March.Taking the play international has helped spotlight its universal appeal — even in Myanmar, one of the world’s most conservative countries.”We still can’t talk about the vagina,” says Nandar, a 23-year-old feminist and one of the event’s organizers. Nandar, who goes by one name, read the play’s monologue “My Angry Vagina.” It’s a rant about how society feels the need to create products to clean and perfume vaginas, explains Nandar, “even though it is part of a woman’s body, something that gave birth to all of us.”After growing up in a village in Shan state — where women aren’t allowed to touch men, wash their hair or leave the house if they are menstruating — Nandar says she hopes these monologues will hold up a mirror to some of the discriminatory beliefs and negative attitudes perpetuated in her homeland.Nandar helped Irena Grizelj, a consultant for a peace-building agency and the primary organizer of the event, set up the show. Irena Grizelj says she was inspired after watching a diverse group of women in Myanmar begin a frank discussion about the play’s themes, using the monologues as a starting point: “The whole point of The Vagina Monologues is to stir up a discussion. The title itself makes you talk! The monologues are bold, provocative, subtle and funny.”Besides, says Nandar, “We were told our vaginas are dirty, not to touch. That’s such bulls**t.”Before the play debuted in Yangon, organizers weren’t the only ones who were nervous. Several performers weren’t sure if the timing was right for such a controversial play.”I was excited to hear that this would be on in Myanmar but also a bit nervous about the reaction from the public,” says 24-year-old Evelyn Yu Yu Swe, a DJ and founder of Myanmar’s Women’s Self Defence Centre. Over the past two years, her team of nine trainers has taught more than 400 women.A man was movedActually, this wasn’t the first time the Vagina Monologues has had an impact in Myanmar. Two years ago, a writer named Moe Thet Han found the text online and was drawn to its audacious title. He was especially moved by the monologue “My Vagina Was My Village” — an eerily poetic verse in which a woman recounts her wartime rape and compares it to the destruction of a village.He decided to translate the monologue and wrote an article about its power for Rainfall, a feminist magazine. He says he was the first in Myanmar to write about The Vagina Monologues.And the some of the themes of the play are topics of current discussion. On March 8, International Women’s Day, the Karen Women Organisation (KWO) called out the army’s reported use of rape against minorities — and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.”Their time is up,” said a statement from KWO, which represents the Karen people of southern Myanmar. “No woman from Burma of any background should experience these attacks — not the Rohingya, not the Shan, not the Kachin, not the Karen.”Finding freedom For many here, this kind of thinking is long overdue.A Karen woman named Zoncy, who performed the “My Vagina Was My Village” monologue, says that “vagina discussion has never happened in my life — even with my mum or sisters or friends. I feel like I am free now.”In an impromptu Q&A after the last show, on March 24, a performer named Thinn Thinn spoke about her experience reading “They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy.” The monologue describes the life of a transgender person. For Thinn Thinn, who isn’t transgender herself, this was the first time she reflected on the treatment of transgender people in Myanmar. She spoke to the audience about the perspective she gained.”In Myanmar,” she told the crowd, “[transgender people] don’t have a place. I want transgender people to come to this performance and know [that] this is their space.”Hopes and laughs Audiences who saw the play in Yangon this year received a program that summarized each monologue in the Myanmar language. Due to time constraints, only two of the monologues — “My Vagina Was My Village” and “My Short Skirt” — were fully translated. (Moe Thet Han was one of the two translators working on the project.)Given the play’s popularity, some are discussing the possibility of translating all of the monologues next year.”I hope this performance of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ will help inspire conversations around women’s sexuality,” says Evelyn Yu Yu Swe. She hopes those conversations won’t be confined to “women’s sexual experience through the clinical lens of ‘reproductive health.’ [I hope we can] really start to talk about women’s sexual lives, sexual pleasure, all the other aspects of sexuality that affect women beyond periods, menstruation and reproduction.”Nandar agrees. The first performances weren’t perfect, she concedes. But they were a first step.They were also a way to bring a sense of humor to a serious subject.A doctor named Thet Su Htwe, who founded a group called Strong Flowers to teach about reproductive health, family planning and relationships, would close each night’s performance by sharing some of the names that people use for “vagina” in Myanmar. When she said that some refer to it as a “samosa” — in Myanmar, those are salty potato-and-onion pastries — the audience erupted in laughter.Libby Hogan is a multimedia journalist based in Myanmar. She covers women’s issues, ethnic minorities and the environment. Tweet her @libbyhogan Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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Here you have a government agency whose mission i

Here you have a government agency whose mission i

first_img“Here you have a government agency whose mission is to alert people of imminent dangers, and the one thing they’re supposed to do isn’t being done very well, because the message is garbled,” says Covington.So what kind of technology is used for sending weather alerts?George Newman, the chief operator and operations manager at WFDD, spends much of his time troubleshooting the equipment at the station. That includes making sure our Emergency Alert Services, or EAS machine, is functioning properly. The Sage Digital ENDEC is used to receive and send all types of alerts, including those from the National Weather Service. EDDIE GARCIA/WFDDOurs is a blue box called a Sage Digital ENDEC. Newman says it’s an encoder and decoder that brings in all the systems WFDD is required to monitor.“You can hear it’s clear, but there’s some static in the background,” says Newman. “National Weather Service alerts are consistent because they’re coming from the same place.”So how are these alerts made?The alerts are composed on a custom workstation called WarnGen. And though there have been updates, it has been in use since the late 1990s.Nick Petro works for the National Weather Service in Raleigh. He’s their warning coordination meteorologist. That means he’s a liaison between the teams that get weather info out to the public.“So what happens then is once the alert is created it goes across our internal network,” Petro says. “It creates the audio, and it uses a voice synthesizer to create the actual warning. And then it gets pushed out through our software that manages the NOAA weather radio broadcast.”A voice synthesizer – so what we’re hearing is a synthetic interpretation of a human voice.  What could affect the sound quality of this weatherperson simulation? Petro says there are a number of variables.“That audio signal is sent over telephone lines,” he says. “There’s one point of entry for maybe signal degradation or static to enter the stream.”Were talking landlines here. Yes, the kind that once upon a time we relied on for a phone call. That telephone line leads to a transmitter that sends the message into the air.Petro says that’s “another entry point for static or signal degradation to get in the system.””A lot of times the weather or atmospheric conditions can affect the way radio waves propagate and alter or introduce static into an audio stream.”So if this system of sending and receiving is so potentially noisy, why is it still being done this way? Are any changes in the works?“That, I would say, would probably take some effort,” Petro says. “And I don’t know what it would take. I don’t know what the cost involved would be. I don’t know if there are any efforts to do any upgrades. But certainly, the system that we have in place now is the system that we have. If there is a solution to make it better out there, I’m not really sure what that is, or how, or when any such improvements could be deployed.”That’s one of the reasons Petro urges you to look into backup methods, like a NOAA weather radio, or apps, such as Ready NC, Weather Underground, NOAA Weather Radar, or Hurricane Tracker. And with a major storm on the way, a battery-powered portable radio can be very helpful for getting up to the minute alerts. For more ideas on being prepared for disasters, check out Ready.gov.  And stay safe out there. One of the services that radio stations like WFDD provide is broadcasting alerts from the National Weather Service. These emergency alerts let listeners know about weather concerns, helping folks stay safe. With Hurricane Florence being on track to hit the East Coast this week, and a state of emergency in place in North Carolina, these types of messages are important.And many times, those announcements are clear. But sometimes, those messages are clear as mud. You may have heard one that was a little noisy, or distorted, and felt frustrated that you couldn’t decipher it.Listener Howard Covington shares your concern.He asks, “Why in an era of broadcasting advances can’t the weather service produce an alert that can be easily understood?”Covington feels that with modern technology, we should hear crisp audio.center_img 0/140Your contact infoWe’ll be in touch if we look into your question.NameEmail addressZip Code Sign me up for your newsletter!Please don’t publish my nameSubmitSupported by Reynolda House Museum of American Artpowered by Hearkenlast_img read more

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A county court has delivered a devastating judgmen

A county court has delivered a devastating judgmen

first_imgA county court has delivered a devastating judgment against the Local Government Ombudsman, after it discriminated against a disabled woman by failing to provide the reasonable adjustments she needed to lodge a complaint against a local authority.The ombudsman has been ordered to pay £12,500 in damages to Jeanine Blamires to compensate her for the ordeal, following breaches of both the Equality Act and the Data Protection Act by the ombudsman.Although the judgment is only in draft form, its conclusions are unlikely to be altered.District judge Joanna Geddes even awarded aggravated damages against the ombudsman over the breach of the Equality Act, because she said it had defended the case in a way that “added to the injury, frustration and distress” felt by Blamires, which had “exacerbated” the symptoms of her long-term health conditions.She also awarded aggravated damages for the Data Protection Act breach, because of the ombudsman’s “continued denial” that it had broken the law.Blamires has told Disability News Service that she was “disgusted” and “sickened” by the ombudsman’s behaviour and that she believed it had now “lost its moral authority to adjudicate over others”.Judge Geddes said Blamires’ husband David (pictured with his wife at a parliamentary evidence session) told the court that his wife had “found the whole process extremely distressing and has on several occasions been reduced to tears by the intransigence of the defendant in not meeting her disabled needs by making reasonable adjustments.“This has led to a deterioration in her condition and a reduction in her ability to fulfil her role as a housewife and mother.”The case relates to her attempt in March 2012 to help her daughter lodge a complaint through the ombudsman against North Yorkshire County Council over a housing issue.She then complained herself about the council five months later.Blamires, who represented herself in the legal case, had told the ombudsman – when lodging the complaint against the council – that she had severe ME and dystonia, while her husband also had ME, as well as chronic pain and dyslexia, and that they would need help to use the service.She told the ombudsman that they both found telephone conversations difficult, and that “though e-mail is useful, regular meetings are better, we have a lot of evidence and we are not sure about what you will need”.But the ombudsman lost this information in transferring her application form to a different format, and then took two years to admit to the court that it had done so.It had originally claimed that Blamires failed to fill in the part of the form that related to requests for reasonable adjustments.As the process of lodging a complaint against the council progressed, she told the ombudsman that she was struggling – for impairment-related reasons – to submit all of the necessary paperwork.But the ombudsman ignored this and without warning reached a provisional decision in the case against the council – one which she found unacceptable – in December 2013.She complained that she had not been allowed to present all of her evidence, and that the ombudsman had failed to provide reasonable adjustments, and she asked it to arrange face-to-face meetings and some support to help her with the complaint.Blamires told Disability News Service this week: “The defendant didn’t provide it. They only offered extra time. I just cried.“They didn’t have all the evidence and they didn’t understand my complaint.”Judge Geddes says in the draft judgement that the ombudsman had issued the provisional decision without exploring the issue of reasonable adjustments, and even though it knew that Blamires had expressed more than once “how overwhelmed and fatigued she was by the process”.The judge added: “They were aware that she found the volume of paperwork she had ‘overwhelming’ and was struggling both to know what to submit in support of her claim and to physically complete the task of sending it by reason of her disabilities.”Judge Geddes even suggested that the ombudsman’s argument that its limited resources did not allow it to offer face-to-face meetings or advocacy as a reasonable adjustment – when one of its own leaflets said that it did – implied that such promises were published to “pay lip service only to the duties the [ombudsman] has to anticipate and make reasonable adjustments”.The judge even had to withdraw some of her own statements made earlier in the case because the ombudsman had provided her with misleading information about the extent of its powers.As well as being ordered to pay £12,500 in damages to Blamires, the ombudsman was also ordered to pay her costs of £750.Blamires said she was “disgusted” by the ombudsman’s behaviour during the lengthy case – including misleading the court, failing to disclose documents and submitting false information – when its own purpose was “supposedly to ensure justice”.She said: “It has been an horrendous ordeal for my family who care for me who have had to watch as I have got worse due to this fight.“I am so glad that District Judge Geddes listened to me. It’s taken too long to do this – four years – much of that time and public money has been wasted by the ombudsman due to its behaviour. I am sickened by it.“I am not sure it is now possible for the Local Government Ombudsman to sustain its role to remedy injustice. It has lost its moral authority to adjudicate over others.“Councils are not going to respect the Local Government Ombudsman’s decisions because the Local Government Ombudsman chose not to respect the county court.”She wants communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid to replace the ombudsman with a new organisation.But she also praised Leeds Combined Court, which “did the exact opposite” of the ombudsman by providing her with reasonable adjustments, including arranging video conferencing for one of the court hearings, and supporting her when she became ill in court.And she thanked the charity, the Personal Support Unit, which helps people who have to represent themselves in court, and supported her by reading documents, and helping her write witness statements and skeleton arguments.Michael King, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman*, said in a statement: “We didn’t get things right for Mrs Blamires and I have personally apologised to her.“We hold ourselves up to the same standards we expect of those bodies we investigate and we will fully accept the final findings of the court when we receive them.“This is a salutary reminder that mistakes happen and when things do go wrong, it’s how you deal with them that matters.“This case highlighted some issues with our IT system and the way we were doing things that we needed to change. We’ve done that and we’ve strengthened our quality checks and revised our guidance.“But we won’t stop there. We will use this as an opportunity to look at what else we can do to be flexible and find more creative ways of helping people access our service.” He added: “We are sorry if the judge felt we provided her with misleading information, this was not our intention.”*It was renamed earlier this monthlast_img read more

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Many of the countrys biggest disability charities

Many of the countrys biggest disability charities

first_imgMany of the country’s biggest disability charities have refused to back a petition that calls for an inquiry into the links between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the deaths of disabled benefit claimants.The charities – none of which are led and controlled by disabled people – are refusing to support the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition*, with many of them rejecting its calls for any evidence of criminal misconduct by civil servants and ministers to be passed to police.And many of them are also rejecting the petition’s demand for DWP to be branded institutionally disablist and not fit for purpose, and for it to take urgent steps to make the safety of benefit claimants a priority.Jodey Whiting (pictured) died in February 2017, 15 days after she had her out-of-work disability benefits mistakenly stopped for missing a work capability assessment.The Independent Case Examiner concluded earlier this year that DWP was guilty of “multiple” and “significant” failings in handling the case.But her death was only the latest avoidable tragedy linked to DWP’s actions, stretching back nearly a decade.The lukewarm response to the petition is likely to highlight concerns among grassroots groups that many of the disability charities that are run by non-disabled people are too close to the government, and particularly to DWP.Only last week, Scope and Sense were included in a government press release, praising the prime minister for a much-criticised series of announcements on disability.Only one of the 13 charities approached this week by Disability News Service (DNS) – Mind – has agreed to back the petition and its four demands.None of the others have been willing to support the petition or issue a public statement supporting its aims.At least two of these charities – RNIB and Leonard Cheshire – have signed Work and Health Programme contracts that include clauses preventing them bringing DWP and work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd into disrepute.RNIB refused to back the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition this week, or to answer questions about its demands**.Leonard Cheshire has also refused to back the petition, or answer questions about it, saying instead that it had “very real concerns about some of the ways the welfare system impacts disabled people”, and adding: “Clearly there needs to be further investigation into deaths connected to changes in benefits.”Scope refused to back the petition and answer questions, calling instead for “urgent reform” to the benefits system and action to prevent further deaths like Jodey Whiting’s.Sense, the other charity that supported the government last week, had refused by noon today (Thursday) to back the petition or answer questions about it.Parkinson’s UK refused to back the petition or answer questions about its demands, saying instead that it continued to work with DWP to improve the system.The National Autistic Society refused to support the petition or answer any questions about its demands.Instead, it praised DWP for apologising for its failings in the Jodey Whiting case.It said that “for any public body, any evidence of misconduct, criminal or otherwise, should be addressed by the appropriate authority”, and that “if there’s evidence of any criminal misconduct, then this of course must be investigated by the police”.NAS said there was “a clear and urgent need to improve benefits assessments for autistic people”.John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, one of the grassroots, disabled-led organisations supporting the petition, said: “By their failure to oppose and condemn these systems and policies and join us in calling for an independent judicial inquiry they have blatantly betrayed all those for whom they were set up to support and defend.“They are not on the side of disabled people.”Mind is the only one of the 13 non-user-led disability charities approached by DNS this week to support the petition.Vicki Nash, Mind’s head of policy and campaigns, said: “We support the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition.“Jodey’s story is tragic and it’s also too common. We hear every week from people with mental health problems who have struggled to cope with the impact of sanctions and other changes to their benefits.“While the causes of suicide are many and complex, the Department for Work and Pensions has a particular responsibility to make sure that its processes and policies do not cause avoidable harm.“We believe an independent inquiry could hold the DWP accountable, shine a light on these issues and bring about changes to the system.“An inquiry would need to establish what changes to the structure and culture of the DWP are needed to make it capable of providing safe and compassionate support to all disabled people navigating the benefits system.“However, we also know that these inquiries are often slow-moving. An independent inquiry cannot be a substitute for immediate action to make the benefits system safer for people going through it.”She added: “We are not aware of any evidence of criminal misconduct in these cases and so we have not been calling for such an investigation.“But of course if any inquiry were to find evidence of criminal misconduct, it should be investigated appropriately.”Other large disability charities have been far less supportive of the petition.The MS Society has refused to back the petition or respond to questions about it, as have Action on Hearing Loss and Turning Point.The mental health charity Rethink refused to support the petition or to answer questions about its demands.It said instead that “changes in welfare policy have had a devasting impact on disabled people” and that the “most vulnerable are being left with the least support and the process of claiming is known to worsen health, including the mental health of claimants – including our supporters and members”.Two of the charities did offer some support to some of the petition’s demands.Mencap, while refusing to support the petition, said that the deaths of claimants such as Jodey Whiting should form the basis of an “independent examination” into DWP policies and practices in relation to “vulnerable claimants”.A spokesperson said: “As part of this, the department must commit to act on recommendations to prevent future deaths.“Should any evidence of criminal misconduct emerge though an independent review, this must, as part of a standard procedure, be passed to the police for investigation.“We would also expect an independent investigator to consider allegations of institutional disabilism and draw conclusions on this from the evidence they have gathered.”Epilepsy Action also gave some support to the petition’s demands, without backing the petition itself, saying: “We would support an inquiry into any links between DWP failings and the deaths of benefit claimants.“We are not aware of any evidence of criminal misconduct by senior civil servants or ministers in relation to this issue, but would of course be in favour of any such evidence being passed to police.“Any conclusion as to whether the DWP is institutionally disablist – or not – should be a function of any inquiry.“While we are aware of many problems experienced by disabled people in their dealings with the DWP, we believe that whether this extends to institutional disablism needs to be evidenced by a thorough inquiry.“As such, while we support the aims of an inquiry, including the conclusive statement makes it difficult for us to actively support the petition.”*Sign the Jodey Whiting petition here. If you sign the petition, please note you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committee**RNIB claims that relevant clauses in its Work and Health Programme contracts have now been changed or deleted “so there was no ambiguity whatsoever that RNIB still maintains the right to campaign on issues that matter to blind and partially sighted people”, but it had refused to show these new clauses to DNS by 1pm today (Thursday) A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

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Someone in 2010 Bought 2 Pizzas With 10000 Bitcoins Which Today Would

first_img Laszlo Hanyecz bought these pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins on May 22, 2010. Bitcoin Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Someone in 2010 Bought 2 Pizzas With 10,000 Bitcoins — Which Today Would Be Worth $20 Million –shares Image credit: Laszlo Hanyecz This story originally appeared on Business Insider May 22, 2017 Rob Pricecenter_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article Register Now » On May 22, 2010, a developer bought two pizzas using 10,000 units of a then-little-known digital currency called bitcoin.Today, 10,000 bitcoins are worth more than $20 million.Bitcoin is going nuclear. Its price is tearing upward, with each bitcoin worth $2,128 — a little shy of its all-time-high of $2,185 reached earlier Monday morning.Just a year ago, it was trading at just $443, after deflating from what was then seen as the giddy highs of about $1,100 in late 2013. It has since embarked on an epic bull run.”The Japanese have caught the Bitcoin bug and inefficiencies across markets are being exposed,” CryptoCompare founder Charles Hayter said in an emailed comment. “Irrational exuberance is taking hold as the Japanese stumble over each other to enter the Bitcoin market and drag up international prices.”The digital currency has come a long way since 2010, when the purchase of the two Papa John’s pizzas by Laszlo Hanyecz from another bitcoin enthusiast marked what is believed to be the first “real-world” bitcoin transaction.He posted on the Bitcoin Talk forum on May 22, 2010, writing:”I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later. You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I’m aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order or prepare it myself, kind of like ordering a ‘breakfast platter’ at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you’re happy!”I like things like onions, peppers, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni, etc.. just standard stuff no weird fish topping or anything like that. I also like regular cheese pizzas which may be cheaper to prepare or otherwise acquire.”If you’re interested please let me know and we can work out a deal.”Ten thousand coins were then worth about $40. A British user agreed to buy the pizza for him, and even at the time the buyer got a good deal out of it: The person paid only $25 for the two pizzas.The date is a marked on an annual basis by bitcoin users as “Bitcoin Pizza Day.”Today, 10,000 bitcoins add up to about $20.5 million.The #Bitcoin pizza is worth $20,509,958 today. (-0.15% from yesterday) Today is Bitcoin pizza day!— Bitcoin Pizza (@bitcoin_pizza) May 22, 2017″It wasn’t like Bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool,” Hanyecz told The New York Times in 2013. “No one knew it was going to get so big.”Bitcoin is on an epic bull run, soaring to all-time highs.Image credit: CoindeskGet the latest Bitcoin price here. Bitcoin is going nuclear. Add to Queue 3 min readlast_img read more

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Cheater Beater This Ring Will Stop Your BingeWatching Partner From Netflixing Around

first_img Kim Lachance Shandrow Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. May 27, 2016 2 min read Image credit: Cornetto Next Article Streaming Former West Coast Editorcenter_img Cheater Beater: This Ring Will Stop Your Binge-Watching Partner From Netflixing Around –shares Cheaters are dirtbags. Just when you thought you had something special together, they slip between the sheets and do it without you. Then they lie about it to your face.Listen bae, it is what you think. He has eyes for the ladies of Game of Thrones and he’s binge-watching them without you. Again.How dare your one and only stream without you? If you want to make your love last more than one season, there’s just one thing to do: Put a ring on it, and fast. Take it to the next level with a streaming commitment ring, like the British ice cream company Cornetto dreamed up in its latest cheeky YouTube clip, an ad for its new (and mostly empty) website, seriescommitment.com.Related: Imagine These 7 Entrepreneurs as ‘Game of Thrones’ CharactersIf only you could put a Cornetto ring on it. Too bad the streaming adultery-stoppers are reportedly still only in concept mode, though Fast Company reports that Cornetto is scheming to get into bed with a bunch of video streaming apps.As the ad says, streaming cheating is “the worst kind of cheating.” Obviously, though maybe not as gross as re-watching a show with your partner and faking your reactions. That’s just uncalled for.The clever concept involves a pair of shiny black NFC chip-equipped rings. They’re “linked to a video streaming platform that can only be activated when the rings are together.” When the rings — and you and your everything — are apart, the shows you share won’t play.  Ah, couples streaming, as it should be. Together, whipped and stalker-level. A more committed way to Netflix and chill. Well, you know what we mean. Register Now » Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Add to Queuelast_img read more

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Showpad Secures 70 Million in Series D Funding

first_img Dawn CapitalfundingHummingbird VenturesMarketing TechnologyNewsSales EnablementShowpad Previous ArticleMobile Marketing and Advertising Tech Company Vehicle Relaunches as Sinch Engage, Setting a New Standard for Personalized, Relevant Customer EngagementNext ArticleLiveRamp Alum and AppNexus Executive Join Narrative I/O Board of Directors Showpad Secures $70 Million in Series D Funding Business WireJune 25, 2019, 6:45 pmJune 25, 2019 Investment Will Accelerate Global Expansion and Drive Continued Platform Innovation by the World’s Largest Sales Enablement Software ProviderShowpad, the leading sales enablement solution, has secured $70 million in Series D funding, a combination of debt and equity, led by Dawn Capital and Insight Partners with participation from existing investor Hummingbird Ventures and new investor Korelya Capital. Silicon Valley Bank provided the debt financing for the deal. The investment will fuel Showpad’s continued global expansion and new product development as Showpad accelerates delivery on its mission to empower sales and marketing to sell the way modern buyers want to buy.Showpad is the world’s largest sales enablement software provider, with more than 1,000 customers worldwide spanning a breadth of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, technology, and financial services. With more than 90 percent year-over-year growth, Showpad’s rapid expansion is indicative of the explosive growth of the sales enablement market segment. According to Gartner, 15 percent of all sales technology spending will be applied to sales enablement technology by 2021.“The growth we’ve experienced in the past year is proof that sales enablement solutions are now a must-have for B2B businesses. We pride ourselves on empowering modern sales teams to increase win rates, deal size, and buyer engagement with a single, scalable platform and a consumer-like user experience,” said Pieterjan Bouten, CEO of Showpad. “The continued support of our investors is validation of our vision for the sales enablement market and our ability to deliver innovation that maximizes sales productivity and optimizes marketing impact.”Marketing Technology News: LiveVox and TDECU Share Keys to Optimizing the Customer Experience in a Digital Environment at CCW 2019Showpad has experienced explosive growth in recent years. In the U.S., the company has experienced 150 percent year-over-year revenue growth and grew the headcount of its Chicago office to more than 150 employees in just 18 months. With this investment, Showpad will drive continued growth in the sales enablement market by adding more than 200 new jobs to its global workforce of 400 in 2019. This investment will also drive the next chapter of the company’s geographic and platform expansion, including deeper penetration into the European market, which Showpad has dominated since its founding in 2011. In addition to its headquarters in Belgium, Showpad has offices in London, Munich, Poland, Chicago, San Francisco, and Portland.With organizations accelerating their investments in sales enablement, Showpad remains focused on extending its leadership position in the sales enablement industry. In 2018, Showpad acquired two technology companies to broaden its sales enablement capabilities, including the $50 million acquisition of sales training software, LearnCore, and the acquisition of meeting intelligence platform, Voicefox. As a result, Showpad now offers the most flexible and complete sales enablement platform and is recognized as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Sales Enablement Automation Platforms, Q3 2018.Marketing Technology News: Global Software Leaders Xero and Stripe Join Forces to Bring Seamless Payments to Millions of Small Businesses“To date there has been enormous innovation in automating the marketing and sales workflow. However, in the end, sales comes down to one person selling to another,” said Norman Fiore, General Partner at Dawn Capital and member of the Showpad Board. “Historically, this has been an offline process that has been wildly inconsistent and opaque. Showpad’s suite of products succeeds in bringing this process online for the first time with data-rich feedback loops on the effectiveness of teams, managers, salespeople and even individual pieces of sales content.”“Its AI-driven recommendation engines work at all these levels recommending, for example, the most effective next piece of content for specific customers or the most appropriate training for an individual seller. Since we first invested in 2014, Showpad has consistently demonstrated its ability to define and lead the sales enablement category and we are thrilled to double down on this category, co-leading their Series D alongside Insight.”Marketing Technology News: GoSpotCheck Gains Valuable Leadership Expertise with Five Additions to Management Teamlast_img read more

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This Silicon Valley car tech firm is bringing secret weapon to the

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. It shows a sleek black car driving across the Tower Bridge … with no one in it. The company, Phantom Auto, is a key player in the emerging world of autonomous vehicles. But the car cruising across Sacramento’s iconic portal wasn’t a robot car. A human was in fact driving.That person just happened to be 100-plus miles away, sitting in Phantom Auto’s Mountain View headquarters, with a steering wheel, gas and brake pedals, and a series of computer screens that allowed him to see, via car cameras, 360 degrees around him.It’s called teleoperations, and some people in the autonomous vehicle industry say it’s the little-known irony behind all the bold talk that computers are about to drive our cars for us and do it more safely.Phantom Auto executives and many in the industry say that autonomous vehicles are decades away from being able to truly drive safely on city streets and highways all by themselves under any conditions.Until that time, humans will act as remote monitors and sometime remote operators, watching over the vehicles and grabbing the wheel if the car’s computer gets stumped or the system fails.”We believe you will always need a human in the loop,” Phantom Auto co-founder and chief strategy officer Elliot Katz said. “There are so many oddball scenarios multiple times a day.”It could be a tree that’s fallen over the road, requiring the car to go over a double yellow line to get around. The computer may not be programed to do that. Or there could be a police officer in the street ahead at a crash, signaling cars to go around. The computer may just stop the car if it can’t figure out what the officer wants it to do. Heavy rain or snow may confuse the car’s sensors.An autonomous system could, for instance, shut a car down in a freeway travel lane if it runs into a scenario it doesn’t understand, Katz said. Someone needs to be there to steer the car off of the road until the technology gets experienced enough to deal with more atypical scenarios.State regulators recognize that. The DMV requires any driverless autonomous vehicle being tested on the streets to have a remote driver or monitor watching over it. Two companies so far have applied to the state DMV for a permit to do driverless tests. Neither had yet been approved as of Friday, according to the DMV, which is not yet disclosing the names of the two companies. Self-driving cars with no in-vehicle backup driver get OK for California public roads Citation: This Silicon Valley car tech firm is bringing secret weapon to the streets of Sacramento (2018, August 17) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-silicon-valley-car-tech-firm.html Phantom Auto hopes its remote driving system and driver training—based on Israeli drone training—will be the ones that autonomous car testing companies will turn to when the first driverless test cars hit the road.And Sacramento is the city Phantom Auto has chosen to show off its product, enticed here by the mayor and others who are eager to create a new tech economy in the capital city. Starting this month, company reps will be in town to “geomap” the streets between downtown and Sacramento State, readying them for autonomous car tests, and prepping them to show off Phantom Auto’s remote-driving system.”We believe that Sacramento is going to be a key area (nationally) for testing,” Katz said. ©2018 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Explore further Phantom Auto’s work here will include checking for a continuous wireless communication connection between the car and the remote driver. The company uses a technique it calls “bonding,” where it overlaps all the providers—such as Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T—to make sure it has the best chance at continual coverage.But there likely will be communication dead zones. Phantom Auto will note them and tell autonomous car testing companies to avoid those spots, Katz said.How safe is remote monitoring, and, if needed, remote driving?The question remains an open one. The DMV requires driverless vehicles to be monitored, but doesn’t have standards for remote driving. Phantom Auto, for instance, did not need permits or have to pass any safety protocols to remotely drive its car across the Tower Bridge.That light regulatory touch has some consumer and car safety advocates upset. Regulators seem ready to allow tech companies to treat California streets like video games, but unlike video games, “when something goes wrong, people get killed,” John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog said.DMV declined a Sacramento Bee request last week to discuss safety issues involved in remote driving. It issued an email statement, instead, saying in part: “The California Vehicle Code addresses who is in control of the vehicle, not if a driver must be behind the steering wheel. That said, all drivers must have the proper class of license, must be insured and must comply with every aspect of the vehicle code and traffic laws.”One national autonomous vehicle expert, Karen Pannetta, calls remote monitoring and driving the “security blanket” for the burgeoning world of autonomous vehicle technology.But she has safety concerns.Pannetta is a Tufts University dean, an electrical and computer engineering professor, and member of the robotics and automation group at the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). She said she worries whether a human monitor can respond fast enough in a difficult moment, especially if human monitors are asked to watch over multiple vehicles at a time.For now, remote operators may be watching over only one or a few autonomous vehicles at a time. But autonomous industry experts say that as technology improves, a monitor may be overseeing dozens of vehicles at once, and possibly more.When trouble hits, the car will alert that monitor, Pannetta said. But, she asks, “what is the reaction time? Those are the big things.”Over time, the computer algorithms will learn to deal with more complex situations, she said, taking more responsibility away from monitors. Even then, humans may be needed to watch over some autonomous cars, such as rideshare vehicles, to make sure the person inside hasn’t had some sudden health issue or there isn’t some other problem inside the passenger compartment.Katz said his system is ready to prove its worth in the coming months on the streets of Sacramento, right down to driving minutiae: The remote operator can hear honking and sirens. He can honk the horn and has a speaker system to talk to police if pulled over.”Anything a human in the car can do, our remote operator can do.” A Silicon Valley tech company recently posted a video front and center on its website that may startle some Sacramentans.last_img read more

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Congress sticks to guns to go it alone in Delhi

first_imgDelhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit with State unit leaders after a meeting with party President Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi   –  PTI Opposition flexes muscle again Former Delhi chief minister and Congress’ Delhi unit president Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday announced that her party will contest the seven Lok Sabha seats independently.“We have unanimously decided that we will not have an alliance with the AAP and we will contest alone and emerge stronger,” Dikshit said. Dikshit’s announcement came after her meeting with Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Other Opposition parties such as the Trinamool Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Left have been asking the Congress to share seats with the AAP in States such as Delhi, Haryana and Punjab to consolidate votes against the BJP. Kejriwal respondsAs the Congress ruled out the possibility for any alliance, Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday claimed a “secret understanding” between the BJP and the Congress.“At a time when the whole country wants to defeat (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi-Shah duo, the Congress is helping the BJP by splitting the anti-BJP vote. Rumours are that the Congress has some secret understanding with the BJP,” Kejriwal tweeted. “Delhi is ready to fight against the Congress-BJP alliance. People will defeat this unholy alliance,” he added.‘Playing hide and seek’Senior AAP leader and minister Gopal Rai said: “The Congress was of late playing hide and seek. After today’s meeting between Sheila and Rahul Gandhi, it is clear that the Congress’ stand goes against the country’s mood. Not only in Delhi, the Congress is going against the country’s mood in other States as well.”Other than Dikshit, Gandhi held interactions with AICC in-charge of Delhi PC Chacko, AICC secretary Kuljit Singh Nagra, senior leaders Haroon Yusuf, Rajesh Lilothia, Ajay Maken, JP Aggarwal, Arvinder Singh Lovely and Subhash Chopra and former Speaker Yoganand Shastri. Most of the State leaders apparently were in favour of going alone in the polls. state politics Party is in a secret pact with the BJP, alleges Kejriwal Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS AAP keen on alliance with Congress in Delhi: Mamata Banerjee COMMENT March 05, 2019 Kejriwal announces indefinite hunger strike over ‘statehood for Delhi’ demand from March 1 New Delhi RELATED SHARElast_img read more

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