Inventor of the cronut Dominique Ansel is to open a made-to-order desserts café in New York amid international plans. Made famous in 2013 for his invention of the croissant-doughnut – the first of a wave of bakery hybrids – the French-born pastry chef behind it will now open his second site, according to the Financial Times Weekend Magazine.Set to open this spring in New York’s West Village, the café will sell made-to-order desserts and offer a $65 tasting menu paired with cocktails in the evenings, though cronuts will not be available. The bakery’s first international site is set to be Tokyo, according to the FT.Ansel became an overnight success with his cronut, and it still sees people arriving at 6am to queue, despite his eponymous bakery not opening until 8am. The cronuts are made of laminated croissantesque dough and filled with cream.Though Ansel would not spill how many he sells, they cost $5 each and he caps them at 450 to 500 a day, to “preserve the quality of the product”.Queuing guests are taken care of with freshly baked madeleines, hot chocolate and hand-warmers doled out to those waiting. Ansel has even sought trademark protection for the cronut to prevent big companies from trademarking the word.Fellow hybrid-maker Mr Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco was the victim of crime this week, reporting 200-300 recipes stolen. Famous for its ‘cruffin’ – muffin-croissant hybrid, the bakery told The San Francisco Chronicle that there were back-ups of all recipes.
In my last post I discussed five reasons on why technology organizations should strongly consider making products and services accessible for persons with disabilities, based on my learnings from United Nation’s Conference for State Parties. I received an overwhelming response, supporting how this is the right thing to do. A big thanks to everyone who read my post, and shared feedback through various channels.Dell’s philosophy—the Power To Do More—also extends to its customers and employees with disabilities. Dell is very sensitive to, and active in, designing accessible products for our customers with disabilities. A variety of Dell products have been evaluated for conformance with U.S. Section 508 standards. Many of our products are enriched with accessible features and functionalities and are indicated within the detailed, product-specific Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPATs).We also maintain a strategic alliance with Electronic Vision Access Solutions (EVAS), an industry-leading provider of accessible plug-and-play computers. These systems are functional right out of the box, with application software, peripherals and assistive technology installed and configured.Dell has collaborated with Swedish eye tracking technology company – Tobii Technology to incorporate Tobii EyeMobile eye tracking technology onto our tablets. This revolutionary eye-tracking technology allows users to have hands-free access to tablet functions, apps, the Internet, e-books, and social media; all through movement of the eyes. This technology makes the Dell platform accessible to people with severe physical disabilities. </p><p>And Dell is not alone in these efforts.Here are some examples of other technology organizations who have done exceptional work in designing products and services for persons with disabilities. These organizations are household names, and have demonstrated how to make their mainstream products usable by as many people as possible:Microsoft: A Dell’s partner for long, Microsoft has been developing accessible solutions. Most popular Microsoft products, such as Windows, Office, and Internet Explorer, are compatible with a wide range of assistive technology products. These include screen readers, magnifiers, and specialty devices, such as braille PDA, head mice, and input switches. Microsoft also has a dedicated Customer Support desk that serves customers who have disabilities.Google: The Google accessibility page provides an exhaustive resource on the accessibility features of all Google products. Google is working hard to ensure that all Google products across all platforms (including IOS) are accessible. Similarly, Google has made it easy to add subtitles and closed captions to YouTube videos; an immensely useful feature for hearing-impaired people. Accessibility is also featured in their annual developer forum, and their website provides several resources and guides for developers to build accessible products.Apple: Apple products, including Macs, iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches, come with advanced accessibility features usable by most persons with disabilities. Apple products are not only accessible out of the box, but also give a consistent experience across their product range. The company also works extensively with the developer community to encourage the addition of support for Voiceover, Switch Control, automation and other assistive-technology clients. Apple also lists third-party resources, through an online community that encourages end-users to review applications for accessibility.Amazon: Amazon also has a commitment to making their platform accessible for customers with disabilities. Kindle, their electronic book reading applications, is now accessible across platforms. At the same time, Audible.com, owned by Amazon, has been successful in mainstreaming the use of audio books for people with and without disabilities. The latest Kindle Fire phones and tablets also have basic accessibility features.The list above by no means is exhaustive, nor the state of perfection and complete access. Nevertheless, these organizations are ahead of the curve, and are have established process to address concerns and needs of persons with disabilities. Organizations including Facebook, Twitter, Uber, and many more, are increasingly designing their technology products with the needs of customers with disabilities in mind. However, this the tip of the iceberg, and we require many more organizations to be sensitive to the needs of persons with disabilities and create more accessible products.Do you know of any organization that is also doing some good work in making their products accessible? If so, please comment about them below.
Van Gaal mentioned at his unveiling press conference that Carrick had suffered an injury and would be out for “a long time, too long”. And the club later confirmed on Twitter: “Michael Carrick has had surgery this morning on his left ankle ligaments and will be out for 10-12 weeks.” Carrick will also miss United’s pre-season tour of the United States, where they will play friendlies against the Los Angeles Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. News of his absence emerged when Van Gaal, unprompted, announced: “Michael Carrick was injured a day or two ago so that’s a big blow, because he is an experienced player.” The midfielder was left out of England’s World Cup squad this summer, but appears to be a key part of Van Gaal’s plans, with the Holland World Cup coach’s comments on the nature of “experience” painting him as an admirer of Carrick’s mindset as well as his technical skills. “You have to know that I’m not always convinced of the experience of players,” he said. “For example, a boy like Clarence Seedorf – he was 16 years old when I let him make his debut for Ajax, but he was sometimes more experienced than a player of 30 years old. “It’s very important that we have experienced players, but not only in age, not only in football, but also experience as human beings. “My philosophy is not only the football player but also in total – and then there are not so many ‘experienced’ players.” Carrick later Tweeted: “Well I’ve had better days….very frustrating but my race to get fit has started.” Press Association Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick will miss up to the first three months of manager Louis van Gaal’s reign with an ankle injury.