ATU144 – sitecues from the makers of Zoomtext Win an Accessible Wheelchair

first_img—–transcript follows—–AARON LEVENTHAL: Hi, this is Aaron Leventhal, and I’m the Director of Product Management for sitecues at AI Squared, the makers of Zoom Text, and this is your Assistive Technology Update.[Music]WADE WINGLER:  Hi, this is Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana with your Assistive Technology Update, a weekly dose of information that keeps you up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of technology, designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs. Welcome to episode number 144 of Assistive Technology Update. It’s scheduled to be released on February 28 of 2014. Today I visit with Aaron Leventhal who is going to talk with us about Site Cues, a new service from Zoom text to make your website more accessible; we learn about a book review on a book called Tweeting Blind; a way that you can win a free, wheelchair accessible van; couple of things happening in New England related to us at the technology events and some information from the FCC. We hope you’ll check out our website at www.eastersealstech.com. Give us a call on our listener line at 317-721-7124 or hit us up on Twitter @INDATAprojectAbout 80 percent of the words that we use every day our CORE words. They are part of the CORE vocabulary, and in the world of augmentative and alternative communication, CORE vocabulary and having a strong CORE is really important. On Tuesday, March 4, from 3 o’clock to 4 o’clock Eastern Time, Pat Satterfield from Tools For Life in the Center for AT Excellence, and Beth Saunders with Sautillo, are going to do a webinar about CORE vocabulary. They’re going to talk about all kinds of information about strategies that will help to teach AAC users to indicate anything, anytime anyone with CORE vocabulary. I’m going to pop a link in the show notes so you can check out this webinar coming up here in just a few days after the release of this podcast on Tuesday, March 4, 3 o’clock Eastern.I originally heard about the use of exoskeletons in the military context. These devices that somebody wears to help them walk farther, longer, faster, carry heavier things and those sorts of things. In the last few years, I’m seeing more and more exoskeletons for folks with disabilities People who have neuromuscular conditions or other disabilities that mean it either difficult or impossible to walk. However I see a headline this week that really grabs my attention. The headline from Gizmodo reads “Wheelchair User Walks Again With A 3d Printed Exoskeleton.” Amanda Boxtell is somebody who experienced a spinal cord injury and 1992, and she somebody who has been interested in exoskeleton technology and has even tried some, but this is interesting because this new one, which is called the ExoSuit, is a 3-D printed system. So they do a full 3-D body scan to get custom tailored pieces designed, and then they use 3-D printers to print them off so that they fit exactly. In the world of exoskeletons and also in wheelchair seating and mobility, fit is really important. If you have a wheelchair piece or a cushion or in this case and exoskeleton component rubbing against a bony prominence in somebody spotty, it’s going to lead to abrasions and source and all kinds of problems. The idea is that this particular exoskeleton has been 3-D printed too bad Amanda’s physical body exactly. It’s an interesting article and includes a video with some demonstrations of the thing. I’m going to encourage you to check out our show notes and learn more about this. 3-D printed exoskeleton.Do you tweet? Are you a twitter-er? Are you a king of Tweetdom?  There’s a new book by Jonathan Molson called Tweeting Blind, and he talks about how to use Twitter to its full extent. He’ll talk you through the process of how to set up an account using an iPhone, iPad or computer. He goes through all the different things that you can do with twitter, how to connect with people. It’s apparently a very lighthearted and engaging book that tells you everything that you need to know about twitter from the perspective of somebody who is blind and uses a screen reader. I read a review on this from AFB Access World Magazine, Deborah Kendrick spent some time talking in detail about the book and provide you information about where you can buy the book for $19.95, and you can get it in hard copy, braille, Daisy, e-braille, downloadable, or Daisy formats. Lots of different options there. I would encourage you to check out the link in the show notes. It will take you to Deborah’s review and then read Jonathan’s book called tweeting blind.You know, transportation is important to everybody. A lot of folks require an adapter vehicle or wheelchair van to get around. NMEDA, which is the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association, is going to be giving away wheelchair accessible vehicles. There is a way to nominate folks for the Local Heroes award on the website. You need to do to an essay in 400 words or less or record a video about a local hero of two minutes or less. They say local heroes are people who volunteer, educate, advocate, achieve, and persevere. If you know somebody who could benefit from a brand-new, adaptive wheelchair van, check out our show notes, will have a link over to the NMEDA website where you can learn more about the Local Heroes contest.Are you interested in assistive technology and do you happen to live in the New England area? There are a couple of interesting things coming out of Rhode Island in March. Doctor Therese Wilkin, who is a good friend of mine, is going to be doing a session about fabricating assistive technology. During that session, Therese will show you how to make 50 adaptations to accommodate somebody who experiences disabilities. I’m going to stick a link in the show notes so that you can find out more about this March 28th training.  The other thing coming out of New England is the Assistive Technology Conference of New England. The conference doesn’t happen until later this year, but they are looking for people who are interested in presenting on some of these topics make this a list of a dozen or so topics. A few of them are literacy, employment, environmental control, augmentative communication, AT certification and credentialing, teambuilding, technology integration, or how to sessions on various kinds of assistive technology. I’ll pop a link in the show notes to both of the sessions that if you’re in the New England area and you want to present or go to see Doctor Therese Wilkin talk about how to make assistive technology, you’ll have the opportunity to do those things. Check our show notes.I’ve got a couple of announcements here from the FCC, or the Federal Communications Commission, here in the US. One of them is about some proposed rules to provide 911 emergency call centers with more accurate information about the location of people who called 911. For example the current rules allow some outdoor location information like your GPS signal to be sent. The FCC also wants to require the sending of information about where you might be indoors like what building, what floor, what room, office, apartment those kinds of things when you’re making a 911 call. The reason this is related to disability issues is that if you’re somebody who is nonverbal or you have a disability and can’t provide that kind of information, it would help emergency workers find you a little more easily according to what the FCC is asking for. The other one is there is a request for comment on proposed rules that have to do with closed captioning and the quality of the materials that are done there. A couple of things on the FCC I’ll stick links in the show notes to so that you can find those. These are opportunities for you to chime in and have some input in terms of how these rules are created and implement it. Check our show notes.Each week, one of our partners tells us what’s happening in the ever-changing world of apps. Here’s an App Worth Mentioning.Into this week’s App Worth Mentioning segment, I’m going to do something a little bit different. Normally we talk about a particular app and go through all the details; however, I’ve kind of run across a new tool that I think would be helpful. In fact it’s not a new tool, it’s just something I’ve recently run across. It’s a list manager over at BridgingApps. So if you take your web browser and head over to BridgingApps.org, you’ll find a menu item on the very front of their website called the Insignio app tool. The Insignio app tool, first of all, is a great way to identify all kinds of cool apps by skill sets, kind of device, the independent traits, assistive traits that you’re looking for, lots of great things to find different apps. If you click on the list search tool under Insignio apps, you’re going to find a bunch of curated lists of apps. So for example if there’s one called Betsy’s fraction apps. When you go there, you’ll find all kinds of things related to fractions and the world of teaching math. There’s a game called fraction poker, there’s one called fraction basics, one called fraction math, there’s another called fraction monkey, and then Tony’s fraction pizza shop. This is a list that Betsy from BridgingApps has put together dealing with fractions.As you look down through this list, you’re going to find all kinds of cool stuff. Some are based on meetings and presentations that the folks at BridgingApps have done. There’s a group here from TCEA 14, matching apps to goals. There are some that are based on seasons. There’s some that have been related to things like communication and those kinds of skills. When you go to somebody’s house for a party and you hear some music, you want to know what’s on their playlist. Or a lot of times when you find someone who has similar skills and interest and they use computer technology, you say hey, what do you use, and you can learn from other folks playlist and other folks list of apps. This is a great way for you to be able to go to the BridgingApps website and find all these lists that are curated to have all kinds of cool apps. I’ll pop a link in the show notes over to BridgingApps.org and check out those lists of apps.Recently I’ve seen a lot of announcements on the Internet about something interesting that’s called SiteCues. At first I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it until I found out that it was from AI Squared, the makers of Zoom Text. I have been fortunate enough to have on the Skype line here Aaron Leventhal who’s the Director of Product Management for Site Cues. Aaron, are you there?AARON LEVENTHAL:  Yeah, here I am.WADE WINGLER:  Good, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day. I know that you’ve got a lot going on, and I appreciate you squeezing me into your schedule. Aaron, before we start talking about Site Cues, can you tell folks a little bit about yourself and your history in the industry, because I know that you’re not new to this stuff.AARON LEVENTHAL:  Sure, well first of all I want to say thank you for having me on. My history in the industry goes back to 1990 when I was a university student in Wisconsin, and I fell in love with accessibility when I saw a braille display. It’s kind of a long story, but basically I found that accessibility was just what I wanted to work on with my life, so from there I went on from Mega Dots, a braille publishing software that I worked on for about 10 years. I ended up at Netscape. Netscape kind of fell apart in that it was AOL’s baby, but they just got rid of it. All of that work that went into Netscape ended up becoming part of Firefox. The Firefox web browser I got to continue making that accessible. IBM hired me and they said, by the way not only do we want you make it accessible, but want you to also make it possible for any web application or any kind of – you have to understand back in those days, it was very difficult to make that only the browser accessible to screen readers and screen magnifiers, but basically webpages were pretty plain and static. This was before Gmail and Google maps and the explosion of AJAX. IBM said this is exploding now and the web is changing, we’re going to have to make all of it accessible and we want you to integrate a standard that we’re working on with W3C called Aria. Would like to have you help us develop the standard and get it into Firefox. We did that. We also got the other browser vendors to adopted which was – getting Microsoft Internet Explorer to adopt it was a challenge, but we were able to do it.WADE WINGLER:  Yeah, so the intersection of web content and accessibility is a place that you have kind of been living for the last 20 years, right?AARON LEVENTHAL:  That’s right. So should I go onto the next thing that happened that got me involved in this product?WADE WINGLER:  Please do.AARON LEVENTHAL:  So what happened was I was kind of doing accessibility the traditional way which is you assume that the user has assistive technology tools and you have an application or a web content that you want to make accessible. It’s kind of like two halves of the bridge coming across the river and meeting in the middle. As long as the application is everything right and you work with assistive technology vendors or support standards, and everything can work together and the user can use their application.That’s the sort of traditional view of accessibility, and David Woo is the CEO of AI Squared. He contacted me and said, hey by the way, do you realize how many people don’t use assistive technologies that would benefit from the zoom and speech? I said yeah, I know there’s some out there. He said, well we actually did some market research. We know how many of assistive technology users are used out there in the US, and we find that 95 percent of the users out there who could benefit from it don’t actually assistive technology. I kind of thought that sounds like a bunch of hooey. I don’t really believe this guy. He doesn’t come from the accessibility industry. Plus I didn’t want to believe that all of my nights staying up to two in the morning work wasted. I worked really hard to get the stuff going, and here are saying that I’m only benefiting five percent of the users. That’s not good. An important five percent But is not as many people as we would like to help. So he was able to prove it to me and get me on board, so we develop something called Site Cues which is really an answer to how we reach out to users who could benefit from things but they don’t have assistive technology.WADE WINGLER:  So I’m a little surprised by the 95 percent number, but if I think about age-related vision impairment and English as a second language, immediately I start realizing that there probably is a lot of population out there who just might not be –AARON LEVENTHAL:  It’s actually worse than 95 percent. 95 percent comes from some numbers we got from Forrester. It actually turns out there’s a 2011 study that shows that there are about 22 million people with severe visual impairments, people who have difficulty reading regular sized prints. And we know that there are about 500,000 screen reader and screen magnifiers users in the US. So compare that to 22 million, it’s actually more like 98 percent. That’s not including the 40 million English as a second language people. Some including the 10 to 15 percent of the population that have learning disabilities, most of whom are not diagnosed pick there are also a huge number of people in the US that have literacy challenges. It’s a very sad statistic, but 20 percent of the population has first or second grade reading level. So there’s some overlap between these items, but you can see that there are a huge markets for tools that will help people without them having to have installed their own product.WADE WINGLER:  So tell me a little bit about Site Cues and how it might address some of this problem.AARON LEVENTHAL:  So the design challenge here is whenever I’m designing a product, I’m thinking I have to put myself in the mind of the person who I am designing it for. I had to become that person. So why wouldn’t I be using assistive technology. It’s like you said, if you’re older that’s one of the things. Once you reach the age of 50 constant not really going to admit to yourself that you have a disability. So in order to get somebody to discover that there are tools out there, you would think that they would first need to know that they have a disability so they can find out what tools there are. Because the tools are targeted towards people, you can’t just get it at Best Buy.And then the folks find out that it’s $600, $1200 if it’s a screen reader, and then they look at how hard it is to learn, so there’s actually a lot of cost to the user, not just the actual cost itself which is pretty high for a user, but also the cost of admitting to yourself something that you don’t want to – the cost of learning, the cost of installing, all of those things add up and the person says, it’s easier for me to just leaned in a little closer. Maybe the website changes and I don’t know where things are anymore. Maybe my back and start to hurt because I’m betting over all of the time. Maybe I have to use a magnifying glass against the screen, but I’ll just do that. So that’s where we get all of these users who are kind of struggling. They’re able to get by a little bit at a time, but they’re not doing very well on the web.WADE WINGLER:  Yeah, lots of barriers.AARON LEVENTHAL:  Right. So my thought was let’s develop a product that can go on the website that’s super easy to learn. It’s free for the user and as part of the website they don’t have to download anything. There’s no picture of wheelchairs or canes. It’s not that having a disability is bad, but there is a stigma, and we have to face that, so the person can go and without feeling any different about themselves can start to explore the Site Cues tools on the website and start learning about accessibility and that it helps them.WADE WINGLER:  So when somebody visits a website and Site Cues is fair, what’s their experience like?AARON LEVENTHAL:  The thing is we realize that it’s not possible – if somebody has extreme low vision, and they probably admitted to themselves that they have a disability, and if they’re still using a computer, and they probably went and got a screen magnifier or they are not using the computer anymore because they can’t even get to the website. Or if you’re completely blind and you don’t have a screen reader, you’re not using the computer.So just to start out we decided to work with the folks who have needs up to 4X magnification, and let’s design something that when they are on the website, they can actually see it. So sometimes when you go to a website, you’ll see three A’s that grow in size, that’s a font size control, they don’t usually work very well, but what we did was we borrowed from that so that people at least know what that is and let’s make it look more interesting. Let’s also show that there’s some speech that can be used.So what we did is we have a small A, and then there’s a little slider ramp. It’s a slider that kind of grows in size as it goes to the right and then a big day, and then to the right of that there’s a speech button which looks like a face turned to the side with three waves coming out of it. We worked really hard. We simulate low vision. I go around supermarkets or whatever with misty goggles on so I can see what it’s like. We have simulation tools that blur the screen so we can make sure that even though I have good vision that we’re designing this well. We made it so that people could see it and we did some usability tests to make sure that they can see it. So basically it just has to get the user interested enough to move their mouse to it because users do tend to move their mouse where they are looking. So once the user does that, it grows in size. The two controls become much larger in a box so now you can really see it and can start playing with it.WADE WINGLER:  I’m actually on the SiteCues.com website right now and I must over it and the things not only grows but it expands such a way that it’s very engaging and very interesting and makes me want to click on it.AARON LEVENTHAL:  That’s the idea. It’s the front door. You can’t have an ugly front store.WADE WINGLER:  So it goes to four times magnification. It has speech. What features does it include and other things that it doesn’t include that folks might be interested in?AARON LEVENTHAL:  Let me do the first question and then you’ll probably have to remind me what the second question was. Well how do we pack things down to two controls. Screen magnifies typically have a lot of buttons. As we know, the more buns there are the more thinking the person has to do before they try something. So what it is is as you move that slider up, or you can click on the A’s, but as you increase the magnification, not only does a page get bigger, but other things turn on automatically. So the mouse gets larger of course, we turn on an enhancement that puts a bright blue outline around where you are in a form. We turn on automatic panning so you move from side to side in the screen if the page goes off the side. But basically the idea is you don’t have to turn on all of these features, you just start zooming and the more you zoom, we decide as to what features you need at that level and we strengthen those features as you go.Then there’s this other thing we turn on which is that it will actually tell you move your mouse to an area of the page and press the spacebar key to read more. What that means is as you move around the page you’ll see a highlight, and that highlight not only does it help you see where the mouse is, but if you press the space bar, it blows that little area that’s highlighted up into a larger area, so it grows an extra 50 percent and makes it very easy to read because there’s a box around it and everything else is dimmed out and it just pop out at you as a user. Users in our tests really love this feature. We call it one touch read. It’s unlike any other screen reader. It makes sense on the web.There has been at least a decade of study of eye tracking and web presenters really know how to guide your eye. They have big headings, they have nice images and boxes, but it’s those paragraphs that are pesky that I can’t wait. So rather than assuming everything up so much that I have all of this panning to do, I only need to zoom up enough to see what I want to read, moved to that area, hit the space bar, read it, it the space bar again and move my mouse out and then move on to the next thing.WADE WINGLER:  When I tried it, it worked. It was very intuitive and it made a whole lot of sense right away. I would encourage folks to go to SiteCues.com and check it out. Aaron, we’ve got about a couple of minutes left and I’ve got some things that I definitely want to get to. The first one is browser compatibility?AARON LEVENTHAL:  If it’s okay, I just have to mention the speech feature because it’s so important. The speech button, if you turn that on and you highlight an area and press space bar, though it also reads it out loud. We chose a super friendly voice and pretty cool that we were able to get speech support into software that you do and how to install.WADE WINGLER:  It works like a charm. I’m on a Mac, using Chrome, which is your most standard set up out there. So I know it works on Chrome.AARON LEVENTHAL:  So we’re supporting Internet Explorer 9 and up, we’re supporting Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. So those are the main desktop browsers. As far as touch support, basically we’re putting a lot of effort into touch support, and we want to have you basically watch this space and look what we do in 2014 four touch.WADE WINGLER:  Another question. If somebody finds this and all of a sudden they have gone from having no assistive technology to I can now use a website with speech in magnification, how do we get folks from that point to then using a more robust product if they need that?AARON LEVENTHAL: Our long-term plan on at is basically if a user is using this a lot, we think we are doing them a service. Pop-ups are kind of annoying, but were going to be looking for ways to kind of let the user know, would you like to use this on every website, or would you like to use this on your desktop. If they say yes, then we give them a chance to find out more.WADE WINGLER:  Good, and after they’ve had a positive experience, it’s great to kind of convert them at that point from the business perspective. So if I had a website and I want to include Site Cues, who do I contact, how do I reach out to you, and give me some idea of how depressing works on that.AARON LEVENTHAL:  If you have a website and are interested in putting in Site Cues, then please send an email to sitecues@aisquared.com and just ask and we can help evaluate your website. The cost would be based on how much traffic so obviously a small organization or school would not pay anything close to what a large, multinational bank would pay or something like that. There’s no formula that I can throw out, plus I’m kind of a tech, product design manager, I’m kind of the wrong guy to talk business. If you send an email to that, then we can help do the site evaluation, give you a demo on your site and help you look at the cost.WADE WINGLER:  Excellent. I’ll pop that email address and the show notes. I’ll also pop the website, sitecues.com in the show notes so that folks can get to those things easily. Aaron, I feel like we could talk all day, and I look forward to an opportunity we can connect again because I feel like there’s a lot of things we could talk about. Thank you again for being on our show today. I wish you the best with Site CuesAARON LEVENTHAL:  Thank you, I really appreciate it.WADE WINGLER:  Do you have a question about assistive technology? Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update? Call our listener line at 317-721-7124. Looking for show notes from today’s show? Head on over to EasterSealstech.com. Shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATAProject, or check us out on Facebook. That was your assistance technology update. I’m Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATU033: Assistive Technology Act/Rehab Services Administration (Rob Groenendaal) GW Skype, Wheelchair users who are blind or visually impaired, SoundPod, Choosing apps, Sortable, Free ADA Webinar, CSUN & ATIAJanuary 13, 2012In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU036 – Assistive Tech and Higher Education (Ron Stewart – AHEAD), Tax preparation for people with disabilities, More Students to Qualify for Disability in K12 schools, iBooks 2 and accessibility, Rock Band-like game for the blind and visually impairedFebruary 3, 2012In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU150 – Ray Grott, CSUN Recap, Cortana – Microsoft’s Answer to SIRI, Apps for the Classroom Webinar, Autism now 1 in 68, Bugs and Buttons App Bridging AppsApril 11, 2014In “Assistive Technology Update” Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadYour weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.Show Notes:Aaron Leventhal, Director of Product Management for sitecueswww.sitecues.com | sitecues@aisquared.comTools for Life Webinar: Strengthening Your CORE – Tuesday March 4 @ 3:00PM EST http://bit.ly/1frBZeYWheelchair User Walks Again With a 3D Printed Exoskeleton http://bit.ly/1gC7y2rBook Review: Tweeting Blind by Jonathan Mosen – AccessWorld? – February 2014 http://bit.ly/1frBpxPLocal Hero Wheelchair Van Contest Entry Form | NMEDA http://bit.ly/1gC6dbMTechACCESS of Rhode Island – Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes – Using Ordinary Items to Create Extraordinary Solutions – A Hands-On Make and Take Fabrication Workshop http://bit.ly/1frAk9eCall for Presentations | The Assistive Technology Conference of New England http://bit.ly/1gC583K“FCC ACTS TO HELP EMERGENCY RESPONDERS LOCATE WIRELESS 911 CALLERS” http://bit.ly/1gC3BKU“REPORT AND ORDER, DECLARATORY RULING, AND FURTHER NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING” http://bit.ly/1gC3qiVApp: App Lists at Bridging Apps: http://bridgingapps.org/listscreen/——————————Listen 24/7 at www.AssistiveTechnologyRadio.comIf you have an AT question, leave us a voice mail at: 317-721-7124 or email tech@eastersealscrossroads.orgCheck out our web site: https://www.eastersealstech.comFollow us on Twitter: @INDATAprojectLike us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/INDATAlast_img read more

Building Support for People with Brain Injuries

first_imgBackground on BITESLast fall, Easterseals Crossroads partnered with the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI) to launch this group, which is made possible through a generous grant from the Comcast NBCUniversal Assistive Technology Grant Fund.Easterseals Crossroads was one of only six local Easterseals programs across the country selected for the grant last year. Established in 2011, “the fund supports technology programs and services that benefit children and adults, including veterans living with developmental disabilities.”Using AT devices at BITES meetingBITES introduces its members to an ever-expanding world of assistive technology, including everything from voice recorders and vibrating alarms to mobile apps featuring memory games, meditation methods, mood tracking and more.Much of this technology is right at our fingertips, but Easterseals Crossroads also gives BITES members access to less readily available technology through the INDATA Equipment Lending Library — a collection of approximately 2,500 assistive technology devices for individuals with visual, cognitive, hearing, mobility, learning and other disabilities. People can borrow any item for up to 30 days at no charge. Building Social SupportAlthough BITES focuses largely on technology, it ultimately provides social and emotional support — not only for people with brain injuries but for their families and caregivers as well. Just ask Jan Quick, who attends meetings with her son, Ryan. He sustained a TBI from a car accident in the fall of 2012, and Quick cares for him every day. She finds comfort in meeting BITES members like her who are “walking the same road and facing the same battles.” And she beams with pride and relief when she sees Ryan out in the community and socializing.Ryan Quick“One thing that happens with so many people who have a TBI is that they tend to get isolated,” Quick said. “So, any time we can get him out in a group and learning from other people is important.”Before attending BITES and other groups, Ryan was reluctant to venture out into the community. “‘No’ was his favorite word,” Quick quipped. She recalls eventually pushing harder for him to participate, particularly in athletic events coordinated by RHI. When he finally took part in a skiing event, Ryan gained the strength to become more active.“It felt like I was flying,” he said. “It was awesome.” Upcoming Meetings and Additional InfoThe next BITES meeting is April 18 from 6-7:30 p.m., and the topic is “You Bring It, We Will Fix It.” Attendees can bring their mobile devices and other technologies, and our team of assistive technology professionals will work with them to fix any issues they may be experiencing.For more information and to see a video highlighting the BITES group, please visit https://www.eastersealstech.com/bitesgroup/.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedBrain Power: The Road to RehabilitationMarch 25, 2015In “Communication”Shedding Light on a Hidden DisabilityNovember 22, 2017In “Communication”BITES – Brain Injury Technology & Education Support GroupSeptember 13, 2017In “Independent Living” A Special CommunityBITES is full of people like Ryan, who are filled with passion and excitement but in need of moving at a slightly slower pace.BITES Meeting“They still have the same interests, loves, values and principles, but things are just a bit more difficult for them now,” said Wendy Waldman, the local support network leader at RHI. She serves as a consultant for Easterseals Crossroads and the BITES group.Waldman’s passion for her work lies in witnessing people persevere. She’s struck with awe when she sees TBI patients push past painful obstacles on the path toward being more independent. Their strength inspires her every day.“This population is so special. There’s no other group I would choose to work with,” Waldman said. “I love working with people to help them find ways to compensate and cope and continue to reach their goals as they navigate through a new normal.”Brian Norton, the director of assistive technology at Easterseals Crossroads, shares Waldman enthusiasm for working with the people in the BITES group.“I would do this every day,” he said. “I love people. Making a difference and helping people be more independent is why I do what I do. I just love it.” Mike VaughanIn the summer of 2016, Mike Vaughan’s life changed forever. A semi-truck crushed his small Volkswagen Golf, and he sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) — one of the leading causes of death and disability across the globe.Vaughan’s long recovery in the hospital and at home left him feeling increasingly isolated and confined. A wave of excitement washed over him when he discovered Easterseals Crossroads’ monthly support group — the Brain Injury Technology Education and Support (BITES) program.“Just getting out of the house is a big deal for me,” Vaughan said. “The ability to go do something besides sitting at home and watching TV is just completely delightful. I’m a big nerd, so I love that (the group) is centered around technology.”Ironically, before his injury, Vaughan worked as a software developer for CreateAbility Concepts, Inc., which serves people with disabilities and those living under the same sort of circumstances he now finds himself facing. Therefore, the assistive technology explored within the BITES group is warmly familiar to him.BITES MeetingBITES meets on the third Wednesday of every month at Easterseals Crossroads to explore a variety of assistive technology devices and coping strategies for individuals with brain injuries. Now is a fitting time to remind people about this group, as March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.last_img read more

Galaxy Tab S6 Leaks Point to Samsungs Continued Commitment to Tablets

first_img This Is Where ‘The Man With the Golden Voice’ Ended Up Jeremy Renner Unveils ‘Hawkeye’s Epic Intro 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. Here’s What Brandi From ‘Storage Wars’ Looks Like Today at 39 Sun Baby From ‘Teletubbies’ Is 22 Now & Unrecognizably Gorgeous 6 Comments Tagged In androidsamsungtabletsleaksgalaxy tab s6 Post a Comment 6 Comments You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet Little Lucy From ‘Narnia’ is Head-Turningly Gorgeous Now at 23 Fans Are Absolutely Furious About That ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Rumor Galaxy Tab S6 Leaks Point to Samsung’s Continued Commitment to Tablets The Tragedy of Marie Osmond Just Keeps Getting Sadder and Sadder By Ryan Whitwam on July 11, 2019 at 9:25 am Samsung has been making tablets almost as long as Apple, but while the iPad has maintained its popularity, Android-based slates have declined. Google might be giving up on making tablets, but Samsung is keeping at it with a rumored high-end Galaxy Tab S6. This device will allegedly be the followup to the Galaxy Tab 5e and Tab S4, but it will have more in common with the Galaxy S10. The latest leaked info points to a major upgrade over the Tab S4, which was Samsung’s last high-end tablet. That device had no fingerprint scanner, instead relying on an awkwardly positioned iris scanner for biometric authentication. The Tab S6 will reportedly have an in-display fingerprint sensor like the one in the Galaxy S10. This would be a first for a tablet — Apple uses Face ID, and most Android tablets aren’t expensive enough to justify such an extravagance. While you should never take photos with a tablet, most of them still have a (terrible) camera on the back. Strangely, Samsung will equip the Tab S6 with a pair of camera sensors on the back. There will be a 13MP primary camera and a 5MP wide-angle. Camera performance on tablets is rarely a selling point for consumers, so it’s odd to direct resources there. Credit: SamMobile.comOn the inside, this tablet should rival the Galaxy S10. Past Galaxy Tabs have been a generation behind in specs, but not this time. The leak points to a Snapdragon 855 chip, the same one in Samsung’s current flagship phones. There will also be 128GB of storage (with a 256GB option), 6GB of RAM, quad speakers, and a 10.5-inch OLED display. We don’t know the resolution, but the tablet reportedly has very narrow bezels. Since this is a Galaxy Tab, it will include Samsung’s S Pen stylus. It’s been reworked to attach magnetically to the back of the tablet. While there, it will charge inductively. So, we can safely assume it will have the same Bluetooth tricks as the Note 9. The Tab S4 stylus wasn’t powered at all, so it didn’t need charging. There’s no word on the pricing, but it won’t be cheap. Samsung’s Tab S4 started at $650, an almost unthinkably high price for an Android tablet. Still, someone must be buying them if it’s making another. Samsung may choose to unveil the Tab S6 alongside the Galaxy Note next month.Now read:Samsung’s Latest Galaxy Tab S5e Has an Enormous Wi-Fi FlawMicrosoft’s Dual-Screen Surface Could Launch in 2020, Run Android AppsReport: Tariffs Could Raise Laptop, Phone Prices 22 Percent The Surprising Reason Why Brandon Routh Is Returning to Supermanlast_img read more

How to Create Your Own StateoftheArt Text Generation System

first_img Hardly a day goes by when there isn’t a story about fake news. It reminds me of a quote from the favorite radio newsman from my youth, “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.” OpenAI’s breakthrough language model, the 1.5 billion parameter version of GPT-2, got close enough that the group decided it was too dangerous to release publicly, at least for now. However, OpenAI has now released two smaller versions of the model, along with tools for fine-tuning them on your own text. So, without too much effort, and using dramatically less GPU time than it would take to train from scratch, you can create a tuned version of GPT-2 that will be able to generate text in the style you give it, or even start to answer questions similar to ones you train it with.What Makes GPT-2 SpecialGPT-2 (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer version 2) is based on a version of the very powerful Transformer Attention-based Neural Network. What got the researchers at OpenAI so excited about it was finding that it could address a number of language tasks without being directly trained on them. Once pre-trained with its massive corpus of Reddit data and given the proper prompts, it did a passable job of answering questions and translating languages. It certainly isn’t anything like Watson as far as semantic knowledge, but this type of unsupervised learning is particularly exciting because it removes much of the time and expense needed to label data for supervised learning.Overview of Working With GPT-2For such a powerful tool, the process of working with GPT-2 is thankfully fairly simple, as long as you are at least a little familiar with Tensorflow. Most of the tutorials I’ve found also rely on Python, so having at least a basic knowledge of programming in Python or a similar language is very helpful. Currently, OpenAI has released two pre-trained versions of GPT-2. One (117M) has 117 million parameters, while the other (345M) has 345 million. As you might expect the larger version requires more GPU memory and takes longer to train. You can train either on your CPU, but it is going to be really slow.The first step is downloading one or both of the models. Fortunately, most of the tutorials, including the ones we’ll walk you through below, have Python code to do that for you. Once downloaded, you can run the pre-trained model either to generate text automatically or in response to a prompt you provide. But there is also code that lets you build on the pre-trained model by fine-tuning it on a data source of your choice. Once you’ve tuned your model to your satisfaction, then it’s simply a matter of running it and providing suitable prompts.Working with GPT-2 On Your Local MachineThere are a number of tutorials on this, but my favorite is by Max Woolf. In fact, until the OpenAI release, I was working with his text-generating RNN, which he borrowed from for his GPT-2 work. He’s provided a full package on GitHub for downloading, tuning, and running a GPT-2 based model. You can even snag it directly as a package from PyPl. The readme walks you through the entire process, with some suggestions on how to tweak various parameters. If you happen to have a massive GPU handy, this is a great approach, but since the 345M model needs most of a 16GB GPU for training or tuning, you may need to turn to a cloud GPU.Working with GPT-2 for Free Using Google’s ColabFortunately, there is a way to use a powerful GPU in the cloud for free — Google’s Colab. It isn’t as flexible as an actual Google Compute Engine account, and you have to reload everything each session, but did I mention it’s free? In my testing, I got either a Tesla T4 or a K80 GPU when I initialized a notebook, either one of which is fast enough to train these models at a reasonable clip. The best part is that Woolf has already authored a Colab notebook that echoes the local Python code version of gpt2-simple. Much like the desktop version, you can simply follow along, or tweak parameters to experiment. There is some added complexity in getting the data in and out of Colab, but the notebook will walk you through that as well.Getting Data for Your ProjectNow that powerful language models have been released onto the web, and tutorials abound on how to use them, the hardest part of your project might be creating the dataset you want to use for tuning. If you want to replicate the experiments of others by having it generate Shakespeare or write Star Trek dialog, you can simply snag one that is online. In my case, I wanted to see how the models would do when asked to generate articles like those found on ExtremeTech. I had access to a back catalog of over 12,000 articles from the last 10 years. So I was able to put them together into a text file, and use it as the basis for fine-tuning.If you have other ambitions that include mimicking a website, scraping is certainly an alternative. There are some sophisticated services like ParseHub, but they are limited unless you pay for a commercial plan. I have found the Chrome Extension Webscraper.io to be flexible enough for many applications, and it’s fast and free. One big cautionary note is to pay attention to Terms of Service for whatever website you’re thinking of, as well as any copyright issues. From looking at the output of various language models, they certainly aren’t taught to not plagiarize.So, Can It Do Tech Journalism?Once I had my corpus of 12,000 ExtremeTech articles, I started by trying to train the simplified GPT-2 on my desktop’s Nvidia 1080 GPU. Unfortunately, the GPU’s 8GB of RAM wasn’t enough. So I switched to training the 117M model on my 4-core i7. It wasn’t insanely terrible, but it would have taken over a week to make a real dent even with the smaller of the two models. So I switched to Colab and the 345M model. The training was much, much, faster, but needing to deal with session resets and the unpredictability of which GPU I’d get for each session was annoying.Upgrading to Google’s Compute EngineAfter that, I bit the bullet, signed up for a Google Compute Engine account, and decided to take advantage of the $300 credit Google gives new customers. If you’re not familiar with setting up a VM in the cloud it can be a bit daunting, but there are lots of online guides. It’s simplest if you start with one of the pre-configured VMs that already has Tensorflow installed. I picked a Linux version with 4 vCPUs. Even though my desktop system is Windows, the same Python code ran perfectly on both. You then need to add a GPU, which in my case took a request to Google support for permission. I assume that is because GPU-equipped machines are more expensive and less flexible than CPU-only machines, so they have some type of vetting process. It only took a couple of hours, and I was able to launch a VM with a Tesla T4. When I first logged in (using the built-in SSH) it reminded me that I needed to install Nvidia drivers for the T4, and gave me the command I needed.Next, you need is to set up a file transfer client like WinSCP, and get started working with your model. Once you upload your code and data, create a Python virtual environment (optional), and load up the needed packages, you can proceed the same way you did on your desktop. I trained my model in increments of 15,000 steps and downloaded the model checkpoints each time, so I’d have them for reference. That can be particularly important if you have a small training dataset, as too much training can cause your model to over-fit and actually get worse. So having checkpoints you can return to is valuable.Speaking of checkpoints, like the models, they’re large. So you’ll probably want to add a disk to your VM. By having the disk separate, you can always use it for other projects. The process for automatically mounting it is a bit annoying (it seems like it could be a checkbox, but it’s not). Fortunately, you only have to do it once. After I had my VM up and running with the needed code, model, and training data, I let it loose. The T4 was able to run about one step every 1.5 seconds. The VM I’d configured cost about $25/day (remember that VMs don’t turn themselves off; you need to shut them down if you don’t want to be billed, and persistent disk keeps getting billed even then).To save some money, I transferred the model checkpoints (as a .zip file) back to my desktop. I could then shut down the VM (saving a buck or two an hour), and interact with the model locally. You get the same output either way because the model and checkpoint are identical. The traditional way to evaluate the success of your training is to hold out a portion of your training data as a validation set. If the loss continues to decrease but accuracy (which you get by computing the loss when you run your model on the data you’ve held out for validation) decreases, it is likely you’ve started to over-fit your data and your model is simply “memorizing” your input and feeding it back to you. That reduces its ability to deal with new information.Here’s the Beef: Some Sample Outputs After Days of TrainingAfter experimenting on various types of prompts, I settled on feeding the model (which I’ve nicknamed The Oracle) the first sentences of actual ExtremeTech articles and seeing what it came up with. After 48 hours (106,000 steps in this case) of training on a T4, here is an example:The output of our model after two days of training on a T4 when fed the first sentence of Ryan Whitwam’s Titan article. Obviously, it’s not going to fool anyone, but the model is starting to do a decent job of linking similar concepts together at this point.The more information the model has about a topic, the more it starts to generate plausible text. We write about Windows Update a lot, so I figured I’d let the model give it a try:The model’s response to a prompt about Windows Update after a couple of days of training.With something as subjective as text generation, it is hard to know how far to go with training a model. That’s particularly true because each time a prompt is submitted, you’ll get a different response. If you want to get some plausible or amusing answers, your best bet is to generate several samples for each prompt and look through them yourself. In the case of the Windows Update prompt, we fed the model the same prompt after another few hours of training, and it looked like the extra work might have been helpful:After another few hours of training, here is the best of the samples when given the same prompt about Microsoft Windows.Here’s Why Unsupervised Models are So CoolI was impressed, but not blown away, by the raw predictive performance of GPT-2 (at least the public version) compared with simpler solutions like textgenrnn. What I didn’t catch on to until later was the versatility. GPT-2 is general purpose enough that it can address a wide variety of use cases. For example, if you give it pairs of French and English sentences as a prompt, followed by only a French sentence, it does a plausible job of generating translations. Or if you give it question-and-answer pairs, followed by a question, it does a decent job of coming up with a plausible answer. If you generate some interesting text or articles, please consider sharing, as this is definitely a learning experience for all of us.Now Read:Google Fed a Language Algorithm Math Equations. It Learned How to Solve New OnesIBM’s resistive computing could massively accelerate AI — and get us closer to Asimov’s Positronic BrainNvidia’s vision for deep learning AI: Is there anything a computer can’t do? 4 Comments Jason Momoa’s Marriage Just Keeps Getting Weirder and Weirder How to Create Your Own State-of-the-Art Text Generation System Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Google Plus Reddit Hacker News Flipboard Email Copy 1shares This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use. Ginny From ‘Harry Potter’ Is 28 and Unrecognizably Gorgeous The Transformation of Daisy Ridley Is Turning Heads You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet Artist Reimagines Iconic Disney Scenes with a Hilarious Twist Tagged In googleartificial intelligenceextremetech explainsdevelopersHow-Toprogrammingtensorflowpythonopenaifake newsgoogle compute engineGoogle ColabGPT-2text generation Post a Comment 4 Comments Natalie Portman’s Female Thor Name Revealed By David Cardinal on June 26, 2019 at 12:01 pm We Finally Understand Why ‘Criminal Minds’ Got Canceled The Fan Theory That Will Totally Change How You See Eric Forman Proof Henry Cavill Isn’t a Very Good Dude at Alllast_img read more

enosix Hires Former SAP Executive as CMO

first_imgenosix Hires Former SAP Executive as CMO PRNewswireMay 7, 2019, 2:16 pmMay 7, 2019 Reynolds held multiple leadership positions while with SAP, leading marketing for several of the company’s most valuable solutions. As a member of the global marketing executive team, Reynolds was instrumental in the development of go-to-market strategy for new solutions. For ten years he led marketing for SAP’s IoT, global service, and their cloud businesses. Most recently, Reynolds was the CMO for Telit, a public company and global leader in IoT enablement, headquartered in London.Marketing Technology News: PDI Launches PDI Marketing Cloud Solutions to Broadly Serve Needs of Convenience Retailers and Petroleum Wholesalers“I’m honored to lead enosiX’s global marketing organization. This is a world class team, led by some of the best in the industry, and supported by an incredible Board of Directors,” commented Reynolds. “SAP customers are quickly learning that enosiX is the best integration solution for their complex systems, and the secret weapon that can accelerate their digital transformation. We plan to build on that reputation to take this company to the next level.”Reynolds will be working from enosiX company headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.Marketing Technology News: PushSend Launches All-in-One Marketing Platform That Brings Enterprise Capabilities to SMBs Shawn Reynolds, Former Global Vice President at SAP, to Lead Marketing Strategy for Quickly Growing CompanyenosiX Inc., an innovative provider of integration solutions between SAP and modern systems of engagement, announced the appointment of Shawn Reynolds, former global vice president at SAP, as the company’s new chief marketing officer.Shawn Reynolds D.Wayne ‘DP’ Poole’enosiXintegration solutionsMarketing Technology NewsNewsSAPShawn Reynolds Previous ArticleAragon Research Positions Vonage as a Leader in the Globe For Unified Communications and CollaborationNext ArticleInformatica Announces New Data Protection Integrations Across Microsoft Platform “We are very excited to have Shawn on board. He’s an accomplished executive with a track record of successfully leading businesses to new markets. With his marketing acumen, industry expertise, and executive experience at SAP, Shawn is an important addition to our leadership team at this time of fast growth for enosiX,” said D.Wayne ‘DP’ Poole, CEO, enosiX.Marketing Technology News: Tetra TV Launches Transparent Advertising Network for Connected TVlast_img read more

SpotX Earns Independent Recertification for TAG AntiFraud AntiPiracy AntiMalware ICQ Seals via

first_img Marketing TechnologyNewsTAG CertifiedTAG PlatinumTAG Platinum StatusTrustworthy Accountability Groupvideo advertising Previous ArticleBotkeeper’s Updated Dashboard Gives More Power to the UserNext ArticleCallsign Chooses Nexmo, the Vonage API Platform, to Deliver More Secure Communications for Banking Customers SpotX Earns Independent Recertification for TAG Anti-Fraud, Anti-Piracy, Anti-Malware, ICQ Seals via BPA Worldwide PRNewswireMay 31, 2019, 6:12 pmMay 31, 2019 Video Advertising and Monetization Platform Among First Supply-Side Platforms (Ssps) in Industry to Achieve “Tag Platinum Status” by Earning All Four Seals from Trustworthy Accountability GroupSpotX, the leading global video advertising and monetization platform, announced it has maintained its TAG Platinum Status by being recertified for all four seals awarded by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) through independent validation by global assurance provider BPA Worldwide. Seals earned by SpotX include the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal, TAG Certified Against Malware Seal, TAG Certified Against Piracy Seal, and TAG Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG) Compliance. The independent recertification of all seals further strengthens SpotX’s long-time commitment to brand safety and full transparency.“SpotX is one of the few companies to achieve TAG Platinum Status and independent validation of all four TAG compliance programs: Inventory Quality, Anti-Fraud, Anti-Malware and Anti-Piracy,” said Richard Murphy, BPA’s Executive Vice President of Technology Assurance. “Their commitment to quality and transparency should be recognized and applauded by the industry.”The TAG Certified Against Piracy Program helps advertisers and ad agencies avoid damage to their brands from unsafe ad placements that facilitate the distribution of pirated content and counterfeit products. By blocking sites that commit piracy, SpotX ensures that no money is paid to these entities. The TAG Certified Against Malware initiative works to eliminate the distribution of malware through the digital advertising supply chain, and the TAG Certified Against Fraud Program combats the negative impact of counterfeit online traffic by providing a suite of anti-fraud tools to aid in compliance. The goal of TAG’s IQG program is to create a common framework and language to ensure both campaign goals are reached and informed decisions can be made in programmatic environments.Marketing Technology News: Qlik Kicks Off AI In Action: The Qlik Analytics Tour, The Largest Roadshow In Data & AnalyticsSpotX is recognized as a leader in brand safety and was also an early adopter of ads.txt, the IAB Tech Lab’s technical solution for publicly declaring which companies are authorized to sell digital inventory, thereby combating unauthorized and spoofed impressions across the platform. SpotX is also in full support of app-ads.txt which is identical to ads.txt but specifically designed for mobile in-app and over-the-top (OTT) inventory .“At SpotX, we’re committed to ensuring a brand-safe environment for our advertisers and eliminating any and all bad actors,” said J. Allen Dove, CTO at SpotX and one of the founding members of the IAB’s ads.txt and ads.cert initiatives. “We believe in the importance of implementing multiple processes and technologies to combat fraudulent activity and will continue to keep our ecosystem free of fraud and push to maintain the integrity of the industry as a whole.”Marketing Technology News: StarfishETL Partners with PeopleSense, Inc.Although there is no silver bullet to eliminate ad fraud, SpotX offers multiple layers of protection by taking a commonsense approach in identifying and eliminating suspicious traffic and bad actors via its in-house Brand Safety Team, licensing with several anti-fraud vendors that both pre-filter invalid traffic and monitor impression quality. The company has also made a strategic decision to avoid doing business with any entity that is not seen as adding value to the ecosystem, and has taken a firm stance on not allowing any low-quality OTT apps or OTT resellers on its platform. In fact, only one out of 100 media owners wishing to do business with SpotX are actually approved and integrated.“The TAG Platinum Status achieved by SpotX marks the highest level of achievement across all four of TAG’s program areas, and it demonstrates the extraordinary commitment of SpotX to ensuring a safe and transparent advertising ecosystem,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO at Trustworthy Accountability Group. “We are delighted to recognize SpotX for its recertification across TAG’s programs and equally pleased it took the extra steps of independent validation through BPA Worldwide, one of TAG’s most important partners in ensuring rigorous compliance across the industry.”Marketing Technology News: Seven Tech Data Executives Named 2019 CRN “Women of the Channel”last_img read more

Uniserve Announces the Appointment of Owen Morley as Chief Technology Officer

first_img Marketing TechnologyNewsOwen MorleyPlentyOfFish MediaSeattle data centresTechnologyUniserve Communications Corporation Previous ArticleMagna Imperio Systems Selects Vertebrae for 3D & AR Sales EnablementNext ArticleSurveyMonkey Hires Autodesk Executive Debbie Clifford as Its New Chief Financial Officer Uniserve Announces the Appointment of Owen Morley as Chief Technology Officer PRNewswireJune 4, 2019, 4:42 pmJune 4, 2019 Uniserve Communications Corporation (“Uniserve”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Owen Morley as its Chief Technology Officer.  Mr. Morley is a former Director of Infrastructure with a passion for technology, starting his career in 1998 with his own web hosting venture.  Owen later joined PEER1 Network as a Network Analyst and honed his skills and technique to quickly manage its Vancouver and Seattle data centres.  He then moved to PlentyOfFish Media, one of the world’s largest online dating sites where he was quickly promoted to Executive.  Since the start of his career, Owen has continually exemplified a strong work ethic, leadership abilities and diligence.  Owen is known for perpetually pushing the limits of technology and finding new ways to move forward.  Owen will bring two additional team members with him to expand the Company’s IT department.Uniserve’s President, Darren Nicholls, stated: “Owen fills the last spot in a revamped and revitalized management team.  We are very excited to have him join us and I think we can expect to see great things from Uniserve moving forward.”Marketing Technology News: AT&T Adding Interactive Public Service Locast App to DIRECTV and U-verse Video PlatformsUniserve Communications Corporation is a 2018 TSX Venture top 50 performance company.Uniserve is a unified communications company which has been in business for 30 years, combining voice, data and media services all into one seamless solution, one bill and one point of contact.Uniserve prides itself on world class customer service based in Canada.  When all else is equal, clients can trust Uniserve to have a great price, a great experience and to be a company that customers enjoy working with – we call it “ONE click, call, connect”.Marketing Technology News: Internet Grows to 351.8 Million Domain Name Registrations in the First Quarter of 2019This news release was prepared on behalf of the Board of Directors, which accepts full responsibility for its contents.Marketing Technology News: Mobiquity’s AdCop Finds Ad Fraud Lurking Below the Floorlast_img read more

Perfecting Your Amazon Prime Day Strategy from Start to Finish

first_imgOne of the most anticipated retail events of the year is almost here: Amazon Prime Day. On July 15 and 16, millions of consumers will browse the site, scouring for the best deals. But they’re not the only ones who mark the days in their calendar each year. Brands and retailers increasingly compete for the attention of the record-breaking number of consumers that shop during Prime Day. If you’re a seller, the deal event presents opportunities to increase brand awareness and drive sales, and you can’t afford to have your marketing tactics flop. But identifying the tactics that best fit your business model can be tough.However, there are certain must-do items before, during and after Prime Day that all brands should have on their list to make the most of the shopping palooza.Read more: Recommendations Are the New DashboardsWhat you should do BEFORE Prime DayLeading up to Prime Day, focus your attention on three areas: Inventory, Product Details, and Ads.1. Preparing inventory: Each year, Prime Day yields record sales. In fact, last year, consumers purchased 100 million products during the event alone. Yet many brands underestimate the number of sales they will make from the event and don’t account for a high enough inventory. If you run out of stock on an item before it’s over, not only do you miss out on potential sales, but you risk frustrating customers. Prepare for the influx of shoppers by increasing your inventory and ensuring you have enough of each product ready to go.2. Perfecting product information: Prime Day shoppers are after the best discounts and deals, and they don’t want to waste their time reading through confusing product information. Clean and organize product listings before Prime Day to remove any friction that might cause consumers to venture to a different vendor.Customers demand clear, concise and accurate production data. Detailed information, like color, size, and materials, should all be part of the description, as well as keywords that help consumers find the product in their searches. Adding clickable titles and high-quality images will enhance the shopping experience and tell a more compelling story to shoppers. To maximize the potential of your product data and comply with all of Amazon’s guidelines, consider a strong Product Feed Management tool that can help prepare this information.3. Creating Amazon ads: While there are millions of consumers shopping during Prime Day, there is also an overwhelming number of sellers. Without the right promotions, shoppers may never see a brand’s listing because of the dozens of pages they have to scroll through to get there. That’s why creating Amazon ads is an essential part of the pre-Prime Day preparation.To make the most of these ads, increase your advertising spend. Amazon ads pause when the budget runs out, so to ensure the sponsored content has optimal visibility during the entire event, allocating more ad dollars during Prime Day than usual is key.Once you’ve got your inventory stocked, product data cleaned and ads created, you’re ready for the big event. However, the work doesn’t stop there. You need to actively promote your products during Prime Day for the best results.What to do DURING Prime DayIt might sound nice to sit back and watch the action of Prime Day rollout, but unfortunately, products don’t sell themselves. The marketplace is too competitive to let listings be without adjusting them throughout the days based on consumer activity. Monitor competitors’ prices at each hour to ensure price points are comparable. Sales will nearly always go to the better deal during Prime Day, so staying on top of other sellers’ pricing strategies will help keep customers interested in your products.Some companies use AI solutions to adjust their prices automatically, relieving employees from some of the work. Either way, you need to be on the edge of your seat during Prime Day, adjusting your pricing to stay competitive. When the 48-hour event is over, you might think your work is done. But while the chaos may have passed, there are loose ends brands still need to wrap up.What brands should do AFTER Prime DayNot only is Prime Day an opportunity for brands to sell products, but it also provides a channel to engage with millions of new consumers. Take advantage of the touchpoints created from Prime Day by following up with customers to build on the relationship.To evolve these relationships from one-time encounters to lasting connections, reach out to customers with a personalized message, hand-written note or phone call. Checking in to see how the quality of the delivery and product met their expectations can encourage shoppers to buy from your brand in the future. This also gives brands a chance to ask for a review or additional contact information. Product reviews make a big impression in e-commerce and influence many consumers’ purchasing decisions, and the more customers you can reach, the more information you can share with them about upcoming promotions.Conclusion:There’s still time to get your marketing tactics ready to drive the most sales. Preparing products and ads leading up to the event, monitoring pricing and competitors during the event, and following up with customers after the event will set you up for a successful Prime Day.Read more: Why Online Coupons Connect With the Ultimate Smart Shopper: The Millennial Amazon adsAmazon Prime DayArtificial IntelligenceProduct InformationRecord SalesStrategy Previous ArticleMarTech Interview with Robert Vis, CEO at MessageBirdNext ArticleA Look Back: Timing Is Everything for Memorial Day Emails Perfecting Your Amazon Prime Day Strategy from Start to Finish Marcel HollerbachJuly 8, 2019, 3:00 pmJuly 8, 2019 last_img read more

Heres Everything You Need to Know About The Conjuring Universe Before Watching

first_imgGet ready to be spooked because Annabelle is coming back soon! Annabelle Comes Home, the upcoming American supernatural horror film based on the legend of the Annabelle doll, is all geared up to hit theatres on June 28 in India. The film serves as a sequel to the 2014 hit film Annabelle and the 2017 film Annabelle: Creation. Incidentally, it is the seventh installment in the Conjuring Universe franchise. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who have been playing the roles of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, respectively, are back once again for the film, and take the doll to their home’s museum.Taking to their website, Warner Bros revealed more about the film and wrote, “Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren bring the possessed doll to the locked artefacts room in their home, placing her “safely” behind sacred glass and enlisting a priest’s holy blessing. But an unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the evil spirits in the room, who all set their sights on a new target—the Warrens’ ten-year-old daughter, Judy, and her friends.”However, before you decide to watch Annabelle Comes Home, here’s what you need to understand about the Conjuring universe.The Conjuring Universe consists of two main stories, The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring 2 (2016). Both installments revolve around the real-life cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren. They were two paranormal investigators and authors who were associated with prominent and controversial cases of haunting including the Amytiville murders.The franchise also includes Annabelle (2014), a prequel which revealed the events of the doll of the same name before the Warrens came into contact with it at the start of the first film. A prequel to the Annabelle film also released named Annabelle: Creation, where the events of the origins of the demon-manipulated doll were revealed.Prior to Annabelle Comes Home, 2018 also saw the release of The Nun, a prequel based on a character introduced in The Conjuring 2. The plot focused on the origins of the demonic nun Valak before coming in contact with the Warren.A standalone film, The Curse of La Llorona, was released in April 2019. For those wondering, how is the film a part of the Conjuring Universe? — When Anna (Linda Cardellini) comes to realise that the Weeping Woman wants to drown her children and claim them as her own, she seeks advice from a neighbourhood priest, who turns out to be the same priest from Annabelle, Father Perez.Timeline of the series:The Nun: Based on events that transpired in 1952.Annabelle Creation: 1955Annabelle: 1967The Conjuring: 1971Annabelle Comes Home: Timeline not yet mentionedThe Curse of La Llorona: 1977The Conjuring 2:1977The Conjuring 3: Timeline not yet mentionedAll seven films of the Conjuring Universe, including the Conjuring films, the Annabelle films, The Nun and The Curse of La Llorona take place between 1952 and 1977.Follow @News18Movies for more annabelleAnnabelle Comes HomeAnnabelle Comes Home release dateAnnabelle: Creation First Published: June 27, 2019, 3:00 PM ISTlast_img read more

Madras HC Stays Defamation Case against DMK Chiefs Remarks over Tamil Nadus

first_img CM K Palaniswamidmkmadras high courtMK Stalin First Published: July 4, 2019, 9:37 PM IST Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday stayed proceedings in a defamation case against DMK president MK Stalin over certain remarks he made against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam.The court also directed tagging of all pending defamation cases filed in different courts on behalf of Palaniswami and ministers to enable it to pass an order on whether public prosecutors have the power to initiate such proceedings. Justice Anand Venkatesh gave the direction while staying the defamation case proceedings against Stalin before a court in Chengalpet in neighbouring Kancheepuram district.The judge also dispensed with Stalin’s personal appearance.The case relates to a criminal defamation complaint filed by the district public prosecutor of Kancheepuram before the principal sessions judge in connection with a speech made by Stalin at a wedding function on January 20.According to the complaint, Stalin had allegedly made a defamatory speech in public against Palaniswami and Panneerselvam.In his plea, Stalin sought quashing of the case.Justice Venkatesh also directed the public prosecutor to tag all pending defamation cases filed by the city public prosecutor and public prosecutors of various districts on behalf of the chief minister and the ministers.He said he would decide whether the public prosecutors have power to file such criminal defamation cases and posted the matter for August 8. last_img read more

Insta360 Pro lets anyone shoot their own Street View images

first_imgIf you’ve ever dreamt of driving around capturing pictures of roads and homes for Google Street View, you now have a way to do that. No, it’s not a job and you won’t be paid for it; in fact, it’ll cost you about $3,500 to buy the Insta360 Pro camera that was just certified for the task. Think of it as a labor of love that helps beef up Google Street View, or maybe just gives you a novel way to waste a few hours. We’ve known since the Google Street View-ready project was announced that the Insta360 would be among the certified Street View cameras. As of yesterday, we know that the certification applies to the 8K-capable Insta360 Pro version of the camera, one that can shoot ultra high definition images that are then stitched together into a 360-degree panorama.Google is certifying cameras into one of four different groups, each with a specific type of certification. In the Insta360 camera’s case, Google has certified this model for shooting 360-degree images while mounted on a car — this is similar to how Google captures its road-based Street View content with its own cars.This makes the Insta360 product the only camera of its kind that is officially certified by Google as ‘Auto Ready’ for Street View. If you can’t afford the camera, you may still have the opportunity to capture your own footage by getting one of the 50 loaner cameras Google will be lending under a loan program. More on the loan program here.Assuming you buy the camera for yourself, you’ll need a device capable of running the related image-stitching app; you’ll also need an account to upload the content to Google through its Street View app. Before buying, though, Insta360 lets users download sample content created with the camera.SOURCE: Insta360 Bloglast_img read more

Leica Q Snow limited edition camera is made for the Olympics

first_imgThe Leica Q is a full-frame camera with a fast prime lens and a sleek, slim style. Leica says this particular edition is based on the color version of the Leica Q model, which itself has a silver anodized baseplate and top deck, as well as silver controls on the top deck. However, the “Snow” edition includes a new shoe cover accessory, which is made from aluminum, and there are highlights made with pure white trim composed of real leather. As well, and as is common, this limited edition series will include serial numbers that define each unit’s position in the run.Overall, users get a full-frame sensor, a 3.68MP integrated viewfinder, plus a Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH lens. The “Snow” model, excepting the unique features listed above, is identical to the regular Leica Q model. Users can record Full HD video at 30fps and 60fps in MP4 format, plus there’s integrated WiFi for use with a mobile device running the Leica Q app.AdChoices广告Leica will be releasing the Leica Q Snow with a white carrying strap and soft white leather case in March 2018. The set will cost more than the regular Leica Q at $5,395 USD.SOURCE: Leica Leica has announced the Leica Q “Snow,” a white version of the model made for the Olympics, sort of. The camera is a limited edition model designed in collaboration with the Swiss Olympics gold medallist snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov, and its name refers to its snowy white color. Only 300 units are being made this time around, making it a very limited edition model.last_img read more

New MacBook Pro features debrisrepelling keyboard iFixit discovers

first_imgThe teardown pros at iFixit have discovered that Apple may have in fact improved the new MacBook Pros’ keyboards to prevent dust and other particles from getting stuck under individual keys, but just kept quiet about it. In their teardown of a 15-inch model, iFixit found a new silicone membrane under each key of the laptop’s keyboard.The silicone membrane appears to be specifically designed to keep dirt and other debris from getting under keys and interfering with the switch mechanism. This exact issue has been a problem with the recent MacBook and MacBook Pro models, as particles result in locked up keys, unable to be pressed. After a number of lawsuits, Apple recently acknowledged the situation and launched a free repair program.As for the updated keyboard, the new solution is almost identical to an Apple patent that was revealed earlier this year, featuring a membrane that sealed the gaps around mechanical components and prevent particles from building up. iFixit and others have suggested that the reason Apple isn’t announcing this upgrade is because it would in turn also be admitting there was a problem with the previous MacBook Pro keyboard, and that could result in more trouble with the ongoing lawsuits.SOURCE iFixit As you may have heard, Apple released new MacBook Pros earlier this week, featuring the usual processor and RAM updates, along with True Tone displays. Less touted, however, was an “improved third-generation keyboard” which only promises to offer a quieter typing experience. Apple didn’t say anything about making real changes to the keyboard’s butterfly switch mechanism, leaving us wondering if they’d even addressed the recently acknowledged “sticky key” problem. As it turns out, they did. Story TimelineMacBook keyboard lawsuit wants Apple to acknowledge bad designMacBook keyboard repair program: What you need to knowMacBook Pro 2018: New CPUs, True Tone, quieter keyboardApple MacBook Pro 2018: Everything you need to knowlast_img read more

Nokia 9 images are here 5 lenses bonkers reality

first_imgThis device is likely set to be revealed in full either very late here in the year 2018 or very early in the year 2019. At that time it’ll probably be called Nokia 9 or Nokia 9 PureView. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if HMD Global attempted to sell this phone worldwide – including inside the USA.The Nokia 9 will likely sport the Nokia-original PureView brand for its absurd number of camera lenses on a single smartphone. This device was leaked with dimensions 155 x 75 x 7.9mm with a 5.9-inch display up front. Unlike most of its main competitors, this device’s display does not have a notch. It does have very rounded corners, but no notch whatsoever.NOTE: The brand PureView is different from Pure View. The Pure (SPACE) View brand is owned by the cheap phone brand BLU and has nothing to do with the Nokia brand PureView. Nokia PureView is a camera brand that stood for (and likely still stands for) high quality mobile camera technology. Leaks suggest that the Nokia 9 will have a Qualcomm 845 SoC inside with a whopping 8GB RAM (or up to 8GB) with 128GB internal storage. This device is expected to have a 4,150mAh battery and will likely be sold for under $1000 USD. Or, if HMD Global wants to sell only very FEW devices, they’ll sell it for a whole lot more. We’re expecting HMD Global to reveal this device either within the next couple weeks or inside the first couple of months of 2019. If they release the phone now, they run into the end-of-year holidays. If they release in the Spring, they run into the Samsung Galaxy S10. Either way, they might get lost! The leak comes from OnLeaks and was posted to 91Mobiles. Per usual, OnLeaks got ahold of CAD specifications for the smartphone. These drawings usually go to case-makers and the like, preparing them for making the hardware that covers, protects, or accentuates the hardware made by Nokia. And by Nokia I mean HMD Global, the company that owns the Nokia brand and distributes Nokia smartphones. center_img The Nokia 9 – or whatever it’ll be called – was leaked today in a set of hyper-realistic renderings. A set of leaked CAD drawings of the next Nokia phone were leaked to the creator of the images you’re about to behold. Given the track record of this creator, we have no reason to believe these are anything less than a 3rd-party-rendered set of views of the real deal, coming later this year or in early 2019.last_img read more

NHTSA some older Honda and Acura cars need airbags replaced ASAP

first_imgIn a statement released today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that some older Honda and Acura vehicles need to have their airbags replaced as soon as possible and should not be driven until that replacement is made. The warning follows new test data that reveals “a particular subset” of Takata’s faulty air bag inflators have a much higher risk of exploding when the air bag is deployed. The vehicles covered by the warning are from the 2001 to 2003 model years. With as high as a 50 percent chance of a dangerous air bag inflator rupture in a crash, these vehicles are unsafe and need to be repaired immediately. Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately, free of charge.Check out SaferCar.gov to find out whether your car is covered by a recall.SOURCE: NHTSA The issue revolves around Takata’s faulty air bag inflators, hardware that has caused several deaths and that is responsible for the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. When exposed to sustained high moisture environments (eg, high humidity), the inflators may end up deploying with too much force in the event of a crash, causing shrapnel to injure the driver or any passengers.While many affected vehicles are slated for recalls planned for future months and years, the NHTSA says it has identified some that must be fixed as soon as humanely possible — if you own one of these cars, don’t wait for a recall notice to arrive in the mail. Get it into a shop ASAP and then wait for the reimbursement later on if necessary. Vehicles covered by a recall will be repaired for free (assuming parts are available).According to the NHTSA, the following vehicles have potentially deadly air bag inflators: ▪ 2001-2002 Honda Civic ▪ 2001-2002 Honda Accord ▪ 2002-2003 Acura TL ▪ 2002 Honda CR-V ▪ 2002 Honda Odyssey ▪ 2003 Acura CL ▪ 2003 Honda PilotSpeaking about the issue, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said:last_img read more

Microsoft aims for hearts minds and eyeballs of autonomous vehicle riders

first_imgAlthough my ride in the autonomous Volkswagen Jetta that I had been scheduled to take was cancelled due to an error with the V2X communications module in the car, I was still able to sit down with Christian Simon and Sebastian Hahnl to discuss the Microsoft-delivered services it plans to offer to its range of automotive clients.The showcase, for Microsoft, was focused on how it could best leverage its current Azure cloud platform offerings in delivering in-car entertainment as well as business connectivity to individual vehicles after we’ve all been declared passengers by self-driving cars. Simon stressed that Microsoft is in no way interested in building a car or truck of its own – a not-so-subtle dig at recent efforts by Google and Apple to do the same – but instead work together with automakers to enhance what their own vehicles have to offer customers. This included the implementation of the Cortana personal assistant, as well as the new auto-oriented Skype for Business effort that has already found Volvo as a willing partner. If you read between the lines of the autonomous vehicle ‘revolution,’ you’ll find that much of the battle for the hearts, minds, and free time of passengers boils down to two things: delivering entertainment options, such as access to online social media surfaces or media properties, or extending the office into the automobile by making the commute merely one more place you can get some work done before or after you’ve spent the entire day at the office, erm, working.Technology is often advertised as being a tool through which we can free ourselves from the grind of every day life and instead carve out a niche of leisure time in which to pursue our own interests. In many cases this is true, as automation has freed millions of people from the drudgery of repetitive labor, but the flipside is often an always-on culture that is never truly disconnected from the concepts of productivity or accessibility. We should keep a careful eye on how the architects of our self-driving future to ensure that we aren’t simply trading the frustration of being stuck in traffic for a car filled with sponsored content, advertisements, and a longer work day. If we don’t take charge of what we want from autonomous automobiles, rest assured someone else will decide for us. Whereas much of the autonomous car hype centers around the sensors and processing technology necessary to tackle the self-driving challenge, Microsoft is more interested in what you’re going to do with all the time you’ll be spending while en route, but not behind the wheel. Specifically, the software giant has banded together with partners NXP, IAV, Swiss Re, and Cubic Telecom to demonstrate how it plans to fit in to the driverless future at CES.center_img Story TimelineTaking Hyundai’s Ioniq autonomous car for a Las Vegas test driveToyota Concept-i’s friendly AI is your autonomous car co-pilotlast_img read more

Kitty Hawks flying car flies floats but doesnt roll

first_imgAnd yet, it still has a long way to go to qualify as a flying car, never mind as a car in the first place. The flying vehicle, which can already achieve heights of 15 feet above water, looks less than a commercial vehicle and more like an unfinished Star Wars prop. It resembles more a speed boat with a web-like safety keeping the rider from being cut up by the propellers. And it sounds like a speed boat, too. Suffice it to say, if Kitty Hawk wants to sell these by year’s end, they have a lot of work left to do.AdChoices广告And that’s not yet considering the regulations and laws they have to pass through. After being caught unprepared by the meteoric rise of drones and self-driving cars, government agencies and lawmakers are not about to let flying cars pass without much scrutiny. Kitty Hawk, unlike, say, Uber, wants to consider regulators as their friends and play by their rules. They currently operate under a special FAA category for ultralight aircraft so that drivers and testers won’t need pilot licenses. And for added safety, they test only over open water.But, sooner or later, Kitty Hawk will have to face the problem that every flying car company is facing. The world as we know it isn’t yet prepared for an aerospace filled with drones, let alone flying cars. So while Kitty Hawk may be able to start selling its vehicles soon, it will take far longer for laws to catch up.SOURCE: New York Times Silicon Valley is often credited for defining and redefining many things, and it seems it is set to redefine what a “car” is. One that can fly in air, float on water, but not drive on land. That might be the impression you’ll get from seeing this flying car prototype from Kitty Hawk, until you realize what it really is: a successful test of a personal flying vehicle designed to be accessible and available before the year ends. Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen flying cars and neither will this be the last time. If the trend continues, the automotive and tech industry will soon be shifting gears from autonomous cars to flying cars. We’ve already prospects and proposals from giants like Airbus, Uber, and PAL-V. Now it’s the turn of Silicon Valley startups to take center stage.Named after the town where the Wright Brothers made their historic first flight, the relatively smaller Kitty Hawk has giants behind it. It is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, though not owned by Alphabet. At least not yet. It is headed by Sebastian Thrun, the founding direct of Google X, now just X. And although it only came into the spotlight less then four years ago, this recent test flight, which took place above a San Francisco lake, shows it has come a long way.last_img read more

Waymo says Uber made cover up scheme to steal selfdriving car tech

first_imgTo learn more about the events that’ve lead up to this point between Waymo, Uber, and Levandowkski, see our earlier timeline. Putting it all in a nutshell, it has a lot to do with timing and the divulging of important information. The keys in expansion of the case today include a few details that enter into play during the operation of Levandowski’s company Otto.Levandowski started the company Otto not long after he left Google. “Through discovery we’ve learned that Uber and Levandowski created a coverup scheme for what they were doing,” said Waymo’s lawyer Charles Verhoeven this week. “They concocted a story for public consumption.”That quote comes from Business Insider, who also provided notes from the case in court this week. They include word from Waymo suggesting that an email sent by Brian McClendon (formerly at Uber) which suggested he was meeting with an “Anthony”. Another email, they say, included a file called “NewCo Deliverables” with word that “this list of deliverables is a high bar for sure but then again so is what he is asking for in $$.”Both of those emails were sent in January of 2016 before the exit of Levandowski from Google on the 27th of that same month. According to Ina Fried, also at the hearing, Waymo produced a “document showing Levandowski got more than 5 million shares of Uber stock that vested the day after he left Google.”“The very next day, he’s getting awarded stock by Uber when he’s supposedly starting his own company,” said the prosecution’s lawyer, Verhoeven. “When he’s supposedly building his own technology, he’s secretly working for Uber.”Judge William Alsup responded to the prosecution, suggesting that they show “evidence that Uber knew Levandowski had downloaded company documents” (VIA AXIOS.). According to Verhoeven, Waymo can’t do this because Uber is withholding 3,000+ documents that might contain proof while Levandowski pleads the Fifth Amendment.The hearing is currently taking place and isn’t likely set to be over any time soon. Check back for updates, and check back often. In a legal battle between Alphabet’s Waymo (previously under Google) and Uber is raging in California. Revelations today suggest that Uber may have given a former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski $250-million in stock options in exchange for a massive amount of data (9.7GB, according to Waymo outside attorney Charles Verhoeven) essentially stolen from Waymo computers. Of course it’s not all that simple – there’s another company in between Waymo and Uber, but Google suggests that the company in question was created only to act as a shell to cover Levandowki’s tracks. Story TimelineAlphabet’s Waymo sues Uber, Otto for stealing trade secrets, IPUber denies Waymo self-driving tech theftWaymo demands court slams brakes on Uber autonomous carsWaymo launches early rider beta program in PhoenixUber’s self-driving expert off project amid Waymo lawsuitlast_img read more

Verizon 5G for phones goes live Where you can get it and

first_imgVerizon has turned on its first 5G smartphone service in the US, going live a week earlier than expected, though subscribers will need a new device in order to actually access the swifter speeds. The 5G Ultra Wideband Network has gone live in two locations – “select areas” of Minneapolis and Chicago – Verizon said this morning. Story TimelineVerizon 5G: What is it and why does it matter?Verizon 5G smartphone details: Samsung onboardVerizon 5G in 2019: Over 30 cities, S10 5G, and some surprises That hadn’t been expected to take place until next week, but Verizon opted to pull the launch ahead. The promise is peak download speeds of up to 1 Gbps, assuming you have the right hardware, and average latency of 30 milliseconds. Average download speeds will be somewhat lower than that peak, mind. Verizon says that early customers can expect a typical download rate of 450 Mbps. That should increase over time, though, with the carrier promising “regular improvement” in speed, latency, and overall network performance as upgrades roll out through the year. If you actually want to use Verizon’s 5G, mind, you’ll need to own a very specific device. Currently, only the moto z3 combined with the new 5G moto mod will support the network. The 5G add-on is priced at $199.99 for an initial promotional period; after that, it will be $349.99. AdChoices广告For the first three months, 5G data will be free. After that, postpaid customers on any Verizon unlimited plan – including Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, or Above Unlimited – will pay $10 extra per month for unlimited 5G data. Obviously you’ll also need the moto z3, too: to buy the 5G moto mod, Verizon will require you to either have the phone registered to your account, or to buy one at the same time. It’s priced at $10 per month for 24 months on the carrier’s device payment plan, for a total of $480. Before you open your wallet, it’s worth checking out where, exactly, the 5G is available. In Chicago, that means areas of the West Loop and the South Loop – Verizon says around landmarks such as Union Station, Willis Tower, The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, and The Chicago Theatre – in addition to the Verizon store on The Magnificent Mile. There should also be 5G coverage throughout The Gold Coast, Old Town, and River North.In Minneapolis, meanwhile, 5G is focused in the Downtown area. That includes Downtown West and Downtown East, in addition to inside and around U.S. Bank Stadium. Verizon 5G should be found around the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Minneapolis Central Library, the Mill City Museum, Target Center and First Avenue venues, The Commons, areas of Elliot Park, and in the Verizon store in The Mall of America, the carrier promises.Outside of those areas, meanwhile, your 5G device will fall back onto 4G LTE. For the moment, in fact, most people are going to see LTE service much more often than 5G, though Verizon says it aims to have service active in more than 30 US cities by the end of the year. In the pipeline, meanwhile, is at least one more device. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will launch as a Verizon exclusive, and is expected to go on sale this Summer. If you’re holding out for an 5G iPhone, though, you could be in for quite a wait.last_img read more

Confused by cryptocurrency Heres how to buy Bitcoin for the first time

first_imgBitcoin is in the news today more than ever. Thanks to skyrocketing prices and rollercoaster dips, everyone and their dog are interested in learning how to buy and sell Bitcoin. As the most popular form of cryptocurrency (and the blockchain technology that powers it) Bitcoin is now widely accepted around the world and has a growing number of applications. But before you can get into any of that, you need to first know where to go to purchase and store it.There are a few steps you need to take to make your first purchase, but if you’re ready and willing to follow along, we’ll teach you how to buy Bitcoin in no time.Quick tipsAlthough each step does take some consideration, these are the main points you need to think over when it comes to making your first Bitcoin purchase:Install an offline Bitcoin wallet and set up a strong password to protect it.Set up an account on Coinbase (and its trading platform, Coinbase Pro, if you want additional control).Choose your preferred payment method.Buy some Bitcoin!Step 1: Find a good Bitcoin walletDigital “wallets” are used to store Bitcoin until you are ready to spend them or exchange them for another currency. Wallets range in terms of features, platforms they can be used on, and security, so it’s important to choose one that works for you — probably not the one evangelized by John McAfee.To get you started, your best bet is to use the wallet that’s automatically provided to you on our recommended exchange, Coinbase. However, it’s also a good idea to set up a wallet that’s not linked to an exchange as that way if the exchange ever goes down or becomes rammed with traffic, you still have ready access to your Bitcoin.Here are our recommended options:Exodus An all-in-one offline application with support for a number of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Exodus is free to use, has built-in shape-shift trading and some simple graphing tools to help you visualize your cryptocurrency portfolio.Mycelium is a popular mobile wallet known for being compatible with more advanced tech, like Trezor hardware wallets (for maximum security) and Tor.For a look at a few other of our favorite wallets, here’s a more in-depth guide to the best Bitcoin wallets.Note: Although an online wallet is fine for your first Bitcoin purchase, if you find yourself with a lot of valuable cryptocurrency because of trading or an upswing in value, make sure to store it in an offline “cold storage” wallet for maximum protection.Step 2: Choose the right Bitcoin traderThe best place to make your first Bitcoin purchase is on an exchange. There are a whole lot of exchanges out there, with varying performance. Some are less trustworthy than others and some can be quite limited, so it’s important to pick the right exchange to start with. We recommend using Coinbase, though there’s no harm in checking out the competition using a Bitcoin exchange comparison site.Signing up for a Coinbase account is easy, though you will need to provide some form of identification. That may involve sending a copy of your photo ID and potentially also sending a live image of your face using a webcam. These rules are important to follow as they allow the site(s) to comply with ‘know-your-customer’ regulations.Although Coinbase alone will allow you to buy and sell Bitcoin, it’s also worth signing up to its linked exchange platform, Coinbase Pro, which will give you greater control over your purchases.If you would rather take a more direct route in buying Bitcoin, you can opt to use a peer to peer service such as LocalBitcoin or BitQuick. They offer a wider array of payment options and let you purchase Bitcoin directly from a seller without the exchange middleman. If you do opt to use these and plan to trade in person, make sure to meet in safe place.Step 3: Select your payment methodExchanges accept a variety of payment options based on what they are willing to use. This is sort of a sore point for many exchanges, since some payment methods have been used to scam sellers for a quick buck in the past. Coinbase allows both bank account and credit or debit card transfers for payments and one payment solution must be linked to your account before you can make the trade. Paypal is not supported by Coinbase and with good reason.Note: Bitcoin ATMs allow you to exchange Bitcoin in compatible wallets for cash. These ATMs are available in a limited number of cities, but do provide an alternative to withdrawing money using an exchange. Again, most exchanges and online wallets will not deal directly with cash.Step 4: Buy some Bitcoin and store them in your walletExchanges provide you with information on how many (or how much of a) Bitcoin you can buy for specific sums of money. However, due to its volatile nature, Bitcoin prices can vary dramatically by exchange and from moment to moment.  That means that even if you have a lot of money to burn, you’ll probably be buying a fraction of a Bitcoin. There’s nothing wrong with that and for most people is the route they’ll go down as few but the wealthy can afford more than that.To make your first trade, input the amount of Bitcoin you want to buy in the provided field and click the buy button. On Coinbase or Coinbase Pro, this will be a basic “market” buy order, which will purchase Bitcoin at the best market rate. Alternatively, you can place a “limit” order, which lets you set a price you’re willing to pay for a certain amount and a trade will only happen if that amount shows up at that price.Once you’ve made your purchase, your new Bitcoin will be stored in your Coinbase wallet. You should then seek out the option to transfer these funds to the address of the Bitcoin wallet you have created that’s off the exchange. You will have to pay a small fee to do so, but that is part and parcel of Bitcoin transfers. Fortunately, the fees for such trades are far from their peak.Important note: Bitcoin transfers can be a bit sporadic. Unlike other currency trades, when you buy Bitcoin funds. the transaction needs to be recorded in the blockchain and affirmed. This can take time, especially during busy trading hours. It’s not uncommon for a trade to take an hour or two to complete, so you may not want to immediately leap over to your account and start moving funds around.Step 5: Get ready to use itWhether you plan to ultimately sell your Bitcoin (hopefully at a profit) or use it to purchase something, be ready to do so at a moment’s notice. The way Bitcoin value fluctuates it’s important to have your end-game planned out early on. Be prepared by setting up a seller account now, or figure out how to buy what you want with it before you actually plan to. That way when the time comes, you’ll not have a panicked rush while everyone else is trying to do the same.For a look at where you can spend your Bitcoin, here’s a list of compatible online stores. Always read reviews and fine print before making any purchase or exchange with your Bitcoin. Editors’ Recommendations How to sell Bitcoin Everything you wanted to know about cryptocurrencies but were too afraid to ask Facebook Libra vs. Bitcoin Hackers demanding bitcoin payments for code held hostage from GitHub and GitLab What is Libra? Here’s what you need to know about Facebook’s new cryptocurrencylast_img read more