Facebook is in hot water again The 359 Ep 512

first_imgOn this podcast, we talk about: Facebook’s research app that circumvented Apple rules and had the social network paying people as young as 13 years old $20 a month in exchange for personal data.Apple’s iPhone sales collapse. The heist of Tappy the robot’s arm!The 3:59 gives you bite-size news and analysis about the top stories of the day, brought to you by the CNET News team in New York and producer Bryan VanGelder. Check out the extended shows on YouTube. Also, don’t forget to rate and review the podcast on iTunes. Facebook is in hot water. Again (The 3:59, Ep. 512) See All reading • Facebook is in hot water — again (The 3:59, Ep. 512) Your browser does not support the audio element. Subscribe: iTunes | RSS | Google Play | FeedBurner | SoundCloud |TuneIn | Stitcher Tags Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors • Mobile Commentcenter_img Apple Share your voice Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? The Daily Charge 1 Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Privacy Facebook Huawei T-Mobile Applelast_img read more

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These affordable audiophile inear headphones banish noise

first_img The Audiophiliac The Etymotic ER2 in-ear headphones  Etymotic Etymotic made a big splash in 1991 with its ER4 in-ear headphones, which brought professional audio monitoring into the mainstream.  The Etymotic ER4 headphone was my go-to in-ear for years, and in 2017 the line was refreshed with the ER4SR (Studio Reference) and ER4XR (Extended Response) at $349/£360 each.  This model was quickly followed by the ER3SE/XR ($179/£199), and it was the Audiophiliac affordable Headphone of the Year for 2018. Now in 2019 we have the ER2 in-ear, which also comes in two versions, the ER2SE (Studio Edition) and the ER2XR (Extended Response). The two models look the same, it’s just that the XR version has slightly more bass. Each one retails for $159 in the US and £169 in the UK. Both ER2SE/XR models use dynamic, not balanced, armature drivers featured in the ER3 and ER4 models. The ER2’s impedance is rated at 15 ohms, the 4 foot (1.2 meter) long cable is user replaceable. The ER2’s warranty is two years. Use the included foam or flanged silicone ear tips with the ER2 and you’ll bask in the quietude of 35 dB of noise isolation, that’s so much better than average. There’s one catch, to achieve the maximum noise hushing you’ll have to jam the tips deeper into your ear canals than most in-ear headphones’ tips. Some folks aren’t comfortable with the feeling, but I don’t mind. True, comfort isn’t stellar, but the ER2’s superior noise isolation on the New York City subway was excellent while listening with my iPhone 8. The ER2 doesn’t use batteries; its deep insertion tips hush noise with their airtight seal. Listening tests I listened to the ER2XR for a few weeks before I compared it with the other ER models. Bon Iver’s soaring vocals were set free by these headphones. The open quality and warmth of the sound balance tickled my audiophile ears; I was a happy camper. I wondered how this new Etymotic would compare with the ER3 and ER4. They all look nearly alike, but what about the sound? I listened to all three ERs with my iPhone 8 (with an Apple 3.5mm to Lightning adapter). The sound was fine, but I couldn’t resist upping the ante with the FiiO i1 Lightning to 3.5mm adapter/digital audio converter ($40 on Amazon) and noted a distinct improvement in the sound of all three Etymotic headphones. The Apple adapter sounded muffled by comparison. 51j2nfw-21l-sl1500The Astell & Kern Super Junior music player Astell & Kern I also listened to music with an old Astell & Kern JR portable music player, which provided much improved sound over the iPhone 8/FiiO i1 combination. The current Astell & Kern Super Junior sells for $220 on Amazon. The ER2XR and ER3XR sound nearly the same, the ER3XR was a bit clearer, but the ER4XR was a decisively more transparent and more open sounding headphone with the Gang of Four’s brilliant Solid Gold album. The spiky guitar riffs cut through the haze like a knife over the ‘4XR, but they were blunted by the ER2XR and ER3XR headphones. The ER3 sounds a little better, and the ER4 is still my favorite, but the Etymotic ER2 has its easy listening charms, and it hushes external noise like a champ.  Share your voice Tags 0 Post a comment Headphones Audiolast_img read more

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Facial recognition bans spread across America

first_imgThe Oakland (California) City Council has voted to ban facial recognition technology. James Martin/CNET Oakland, California, has has become third city to ban the municipal use of facial recognition technology. Late Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council approved the ordinance, which requires a second and final vote that’s scheduled for Sept. 17.Oakland neighbor San Francisco in May became the first city to ban its police officers from using facial recognition technology, citing a breach of citizens’ civil liberties. The Somerville City Council in Massachusetts followed suit last month. Legal Facial recognition How San Francisco’s ban could impact facial recognition… Mobile Security Computers Politics Security Cameras Now playing: Watch this: 0 Facial recognition technology and human rights Aibo robot dogs and the people who love them 25 Photos Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan, who prepared a report on the proposed ban, cited limitations of the technology, the lack of standards around its implementation, and its potential use in the persecution of minorities, according to KPIX.Matt Cagle, a technology and civil liberties attorney for American Civil Liberties Union Northern California, said it should be elected representatives making decisions on the government’s ability to collect and use facial recognition imaging.”Decisions about whether we want to hand the government the power to identify who attends protests, political rallies, church or AA meetings should not be made in the secret backroom of a police station, lobbied by corporate executives that market this technology,” Cagle said Wednesday in a statement.The ACLU said US House of Representatives on Tuesday night also passed an amendment to the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 that would require the Director of National Intelligence to report on any government use of facial recognition technology (PDF).Reports would include information on the accuracy of the technology, as well as policies and procedures to protect human rights and First Amendment rights. The law shows Congress is recognizing “that this surveillance technology presents an unprecedented threat to our most fundamental democratic values,” said Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU senior legislative counsel. 3:04 null Share your voice San Francisco becomes first city to bar police from using facial recognition AI experts want Amazon to stop selling facial recognition tech to police Huge leaps in AI have made facial recognition smarter than your brain Why facial recognition’s racial bias problem is so hard to crack Smart home cameras bring facial recognition ethics to your front door Tagslast_img read more

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PUBG Mobile Lite features we really hope to see in PUBG Mobiles

first_img This has to be the coolest PUBG Mobile trick, EVER!!! PUBG Mobile Lite was recently launched to attract the masses owning a low-end smartphone. The lighter version of the most popular battle royale mobile title eliminates the need to have a premium, high-end smartphone to get onboard the craze PUBG Mobile has built since its launch.PUBG Mobile Lite developers have thought through the idea behind it, bringing each and every feature tailored to deliver optimum gaming experience. We tested PUBG Mobile Lite and it seemed fine but needs further improvements in terms of lags and some glitches. The gameplay aspect seems to be more favourable than the build itself, but there are going to be updates in the future to fix those errors.During our PUBG Mobile Lite review, we noticed some new features exclusive to this particular version and other features that we had briefly seen in select PUBG Mobile games. Now, we hope that Tencent considers bringing some of its PUBG Mobile Lite features to PUBG Mobile, which can benefit more users who have been playing the game for quite some time now.Riverside rampCamping on bridges is one of the common practices in PUBG Mobile, but there are culverts in the game to allow players to cross a river. While this is helpful, players can alternatively swim to cross to avoid any sniper who would be watching the culvert. But what we saw in PUBG Mobile Lite really had us thinking why this feature can’t come to PUBG Mobile. PUBG Mobile Lite riverside rampIBTimes India/Sami Khan screenshotPUBG Mobile Lite has a riverside ramp that can be used to cross a river in James Bond’s style. Throttle your vehicle and go over the ramp to land on the other side of the river to give opponents an element of surprise. We really hope to see this in PUBG Mobile as it can be used to a better strategy and ambush the enemy without losing your vehicle.RPG missile launcherPUBG Mobile Lite adds a new weapon to the airdrop weapon arsenal. An RPG missile launcher is incredibly cool to carry and highly destructive in short range. We’ve seen the RPG in PUBG Mobile x Resident Evil 2 crossover event to eliminate hoards of zombies, but we never heard of it in other maps. PUBG Mobile Lite RPG launcherIBTimes India/Sami KhanOur sincere hope is that PUBG Mobile gets RPG as a rare item found only in airdrops in addition to the weapons like M249, AWM, Groza and others.Health while on the moveFor so long, PUBG Mobile players have cribbed and complained about not being able to take health while on the move. Being stationary is mandatory to boost the health level, but it puts the player in a comprising situation if the sniper has marked you. In PUBG Mobile Lite, players can take health while on the move, which is something we wish gets introduced in the original PUBG Mobile. This can save lives and give a harder time for enemies to take you out. This works both ways, so don’t get too stressed out when your target is moving out of range while boosting health. PUBG Mobile Lite goes live in IndiaPlay StoreExtended time to killFinally, PUBG Mobile Lite makes it hard to kill an enemy. It’s not a glitch, but it is by design to “enhance players survivability during firefights and encouraging aggressive play.” We don’t entirely wish for this feature to be seen in the original game, but it wouldn’t hurt to be immune to shots while we inspect its origin. Most times, headshots take you out before you realize where it came from. A warning in the form of extended time to kill can be a nice addition.Tencent Games hasn’t promised or hinted to bring these features to PUBG Mobile, but it is merely our hope to enhance the gameplay. Closelast_img read more

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US approves 8 billion F16 fighter jet deal with Taiwan China warns

first_img Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/1:01Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … President Xi Jinping warns Taiwan: attempts to split China doomed to fail Taiwan Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets fly during a demonstration at Hualien airbase, Eastern Taiwan January 23, 2013.ReutersThe US State Department on Tuesday approved a reported $8 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, according to the Defence Security Cooperation Agency statement.Around 66 Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 jets, 75 General Electric Co engines and other systems are being considered for sale, the official statement to Congress said. The defence deal is said to serve US national, economic and security interests as well as enhance Taiwan’s defence capabilities.Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch welcomed the proposed sale. “These fighters are critical to improving Taiwan’s ability to defend its sovereign airspace, which is under increasing pressure from the People’s Republic of China,” Reuters quoted Risch as saying.US President Donald Trump had notified Congress of the sale last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Monday.Pompeo also said that the sale was “consistent with past US policy” and that the US was “simply following through on the commitments we’ve made to all of the parties”.China has denounced the sale and warned of ‘countermeasures’ accusing the US of harming bilateral relations, peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Responding to the announcement of the defence deal, state media China Daily said the sale sends an “erroneous signal” to Beijing.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Tuesday said US arms sales to Taiwan “severely violate” Washington – Beijing agreements and “constitute severe interference in China’s internal affairs”.Warning of “consequences” he advised the US to “immediately cancel the planned arms sales, and stop selling weapons and military contact with Taiwan”.Tensions between China and Taiwan have increased after Beijing’s assertion of the province as a “One China” and sacred territory. Beijing asserted last month it is “ready to go to war” if people “try to split Taiwan from the country”. China has extensive claims over the strategic South China Sea and has shown an aggressive stance against the US and its allies for undertaking naval operations in the region.The United State’s recent exit from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty allows Washington to develop its military assets especially in comparison to the advanced Chinese military capabilities. The bilateral treaty with Russia is said to have limited the US weapons development, especially sophisticated land-based missile force.The US military test-fired ground-based cruise missile in California’s San Nicolas Island, on Sunday, weeks after it officially exited the treaty.Russia has called the missile launch a “mockery to the international community” and said that the country will also make offensive systems in retaliation.last_img read more

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20pc workers can form trade union draft law says

first_imgPrime minister Sheikh Hasina chairs cabinet meeting at Bangladesh secretariat on 3 September 2018. Photo: PIDThe cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft of Bangladesh Labour Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 with more facilities for workers, reports UNB.The draft law also reduces the workers’ threshold to 20 per cent from the existing 30 per cent for forming trade unions.The approval was given at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at the secretariat with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.Under the proposed law, the percentage of workers’ participation required for forming trade unions at factories will be reduced to 20 per cent from the existing 30 per cent, said cabinet secretary Md Shafiul Alam.The draft bill has been prepared and updated following the observation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).”The amended law will be a labour-friendly one,” said the cabinet secretary.”Under the proposed law, no child will be allowed to work in factories. If anybody employs child workers then he or she will have to pay a fine of Tk 5,000,” he added.In the draft bill, the punishment of workers for violating laws has been reduced by 50 per cent while new facilities included for them.Under the draft law, the inspection for factories and establishment department has been upgraded to the level of directorate.The post of the chief inspector of the department is now inspector general, while deputy director general is additional inspector general, and the post of labour director has been upgraded to the rank of director general, Shafiul Alam said.Under the proposed law, he said, mentally and physically-challenged labourers cannot be employed in any risky works.According to section 47 of the draft, if any female worker gives birth to a baby before informing the authorities, she will get an 8-week leave within 3 days after informing the authorities. If the factory authorities do not allow her to go on leave, they will be fined Tk 25,000.Besides, if any worker does his or her duty during festival, he or she will get a two-day leave and wage for two days after the festival.Both owners and workers will be sentenced to one year jail with a fine of Tk 10,000 for misconduct, which was two years in the previous law.Section-195 of the draft law will be applicable for factory owners and section-196 for labourers and workers.In the draft law, the punishment for enforcing strike illegally has been reduced to six months from one year.In case of natural death, the family of the worker concerned will get Tk 200,000 as compensation, which was Tk100,000 in the previous law, and in the case of injury, they will get Tk 250,000, which is now Tk 125,000.last_img read more

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ANALYSIS The Biggest Threat To Texas Republicans Texas Republicans

first_img Share It might not work in mailers from Republican senators like Cruz, but Abbott’s works — and those of the state’s lieutenant governor — are pretty good evidence that some of the folks at the Texas GOP’s family reunion would like to throw out some of their political kin.Susanna Dokupil, an assistant solicitor general when Abbott was the state’s attorney general, will have the governor’s support — for what that’s worth — against Davis in the Republican primaries. What that is worth depends on the governor himself. Two Republican incumbents — Doug Miller of New Braunfels and Wayne Smith of Bay City — lost their runoffs in 2016 in spite of Abbott’s endorsements. His name alone was not enough to save them. But the governor, who has a huge campaign account and no formidable opposition in his own bid for reelection, could bring heavy artillery to back up his choices in legislative races.There’s a tie here to one of Abbott’s perennial “emergency issues” for the Legislature: His call for ethics reform. He seems more interested in it for other officeholders than himself. The governor’s office bristled — governors have minions to do that for them — earlier this year when the House overwhelmingly supported a bill that would have barred big donors to governors from gubernatorial appointments to state boards and commissions. Some lawmakers believe that’s a little too blatant a case of quid pro quo. For this governor and his predecessors, fancy seats for big givers is simply the way things are done.Davis wasn’t the author of that gem — state Rep. Lyle Larson was. He might be on Abbott’s hit list before this is over. But Davis was part of the club, and one of the noisiest critics when Abbott didn’t put ethics reform, an issue he declared an “emergency” earlier this year and two years ago in his first session as governor, on the list of 20 things he wanted done during the summer’s special session.If the governor is successful, Davis won’t be one of the thorns in his paw for much longer. It would tell the surviving members of the Legislature that crossing the governor has real costs. It would tell members of the more conservative Senate that the governor is on their side of the bubbling Senate v. House turbulence that colored this year’s legislative debates.It also puts the governor’s thumb into the race for speaker of the House. Joe Straus, the current speaker, is leaving. The people elected to the House in 2018 — a group that will include Davis or Dokupil or a Democrat who beats the Republican nominee — will select the next speaker. Abbott evidently wants more people in that chamber that vote like the state’s conservative senators, and picking off the least-conservative members of the House is a way to move things in that direction. Abbott isn’t the Texas GOP’s only cannibal. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s campaign consigliere, Allan Blakemore, has signed on to run a challenge to state Sen. Kel Seliger, an Amarillo Republican who doesn’t always toe the movement conservative line favored by Patrick.The two leaders are trying some political behavior modification on their own party. They can’t kill many more Democrats, but the Republican-drawn House and Senate political maps have minimized the danger from the minority party. They’re trying to straighten their own ranks, to remove obstacles within their own party that have successfully blocked or slowed their agendas.And they’re betting Republican primary voters are with them. Davis answered Abbott’s endorsement of her challenger with a cautionary note, noting Hillary Clinton’s 15-point advantage over Donald Trump in her district and pointing to that as evidence that a moderate Republican is what her voters want. Electing a more conservative Republican in the March primary, she said, risks a Democrat winning the seat in November.They can’t all be right. Marjorie Kamys CoteraRep. Sarah Davis R-West University Place, speaks to media regarding her request to add ethics reform to the special session on Aug. 2, 2017The Republican big tent shares a risk with big family reunions; everybody shows up, and the name is sometimes the only thing they have in common.In the latest installment of the GOP’s family feud, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican whose own state representative is a Democrat, came out against a Republican Houston incumbent this week by backing the GOP challenger to state Rep. Sarah Davis in the lead-up to next year’s March 6 primary.This is a big deal. Texas governors generally don’t endorse against incumbents, never mind endorsing against incumbents in their own party. Sure, this is politics and politics ain’t beanbag and all that. But this puts a sort of official stamp on a split in the GOP that so many Republicans won’t even acknowledge.In a recent email to supporters, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz nodded to that, saying, “The media continues to pit Republicans against each other in squabble after squabble …” But here’s Abbott putting a squabble on his list of things to do in the next four months. He’s not done, either: Aides told The Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek that he’s likely to add more Republican incumbents to the list.last_img read more

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Dozens of Baltimore Schools Forced to Close Due to Extreme Heat

first_imgBy Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, syoes@afro.comIt was a short first day of school for children at dozens of Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) and about 10 public schools in Baltimore County never opened, because they have no air conditioning.The tweet from Baltimore County Public Schools announcing school closures due to heat. (Twitter)Temperatures climbed into the 90’s once again on September 4, and the forecast calls for temperatures to remain in the 90’s for the rest of the first week of the 2018-2019 school year. The 10 public schools in Baltimore County that closed for lack of air conditioning today are: Bedford Elementary, Berkshire Elementary, Colgate Elementary, Dundalk Elementary, Campfield Early Learning Center, Catonsville Center of Alternative Studies, Dulaney High School, Lansdowne High School, Patapsco Center for the Arts High School and Woodlawn High School.During the winter several BCPS schools were forced to close because of lack of heat; photos of children huddled in classrooms wearing coats and gloves during the winter months went viral. Many BCPS observers argue the decrepit condition of many city schools continue to be a significant obstacle to the education of public school students.We’ll have a full report on how the lack of air conditioning at dozens of hot city schools will affect the first week in the upcoming issue of the newspaper, which will be published on Thursday.last_img read more

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Whatever Happened To The Kids Whose Lead L

first_img by NPR News Susan Brink 8.29.19 12:28pm In January 2016, Goats & Soda reported on lead levels in the soil of neighborhoods near an abandoned smelter in Kabwe, Zambia — and in the blood of the children. For nearly 100 years, smoke from the smelter, which closed in 1994, had been releasing heavy metals, including lead, in the form of dust. Children have grown up playing in that dust, inhaling it — and being poisoned by it. How are the people of Kabwe faring 2 1/2 years later?To date, little has changed for the 76,000 people living in the most contaminated areas of Kabwe.In 2016, there was reason to hope for improvement. The World Bank lent the Zambian government $65.5 million for a five-year project to clean up lead-contaminated areas and treat the people affected by lead poisoning,But the title of a report from Human Rights Watch, released this month, is decidedly pessimistic: “We Have to be Worried: The Impact of Lead Contamination on Children’s Rights in Kabwe, Zambia.””It’s not getting any better,” agrees Richard Fuller, president of Pure Earth, an organization that identifies environmental toxins in poor communities and helps with cleanup. “I’ve been working on this town for 18 years. And when we looked at the place again recently, nothing has happened. It’s really upsetting.” Fuller is co-author of a book with a chapter focusing on Kabwe, The Brown Agenda: My Mission to Clean Up the World’s Most Life-Threatening Pollution.Past studies of Kabwe offered sobering statistics. To identify children with abnormally high lead levels, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses a reference level of 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. A deciliter is a metric measure equal to about one-tenth of a quart. The lowest blood level in the children measured in Kabwe was 13.6 micrograms per deciliter; the average was 48.3; and the highest couldn’t be measured because more than 25% of the children had levels higher than the 65 micrograms per deciliter the instruments could measure.Affected children can have short attention spans, behavioral problems and a host of health problems.A 2018 report in the journal Environmental Research re-analyzed data from three existing studies and estimated that more than 95% of children in those areas have elevated blood lead levels; about half of those children have levels high enough to require medical intervention.In November 2018 and April 2019, Human Rights Watch visited lead- contaminated areas to see if any progress had been made. They interviewed officials, teachers and community members, both adults and children.They found almost no encouraging signs. “A loan from the World Bank, launched in 2016 — and still no visible results on the ground,” says Joanna Naples-Mitchell, research fellow in the Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.Testing of blood levels in some children of Kabwe was done until 2016 when test kits ran out, according to the Human Rights Watch report. It also found that medicines for children with extremely high levels of lead have run out as well, so those children go untreated. Cleanup efforts of homes, schools, yards and fields are small and inconsistent, the report noted.The Human Rights Watch report found that the Kabwe cleanup and treatment project was still in the planning stages. In a June 2019 status report, the World Bank rated the Kabwe project “Moderately Unsatisfactory.” The Zambian government has responded by saying that it intends to begin cleanup of contaminated soil as well as testing and treatment of affected people before the end of 2019.There’s no clear-cut plan yet, but past pilot projects to address the problem consisted of cleaning up soil outside homes, schools and public areas, as well as ridding individual homes of dust using special vacuum cleaners, Fuller says.Dirt roads present a special challenge. In previous efforts to address lead contamination in other parts of the world, Pure Earth has found that existing dirt roads should be paved or tarred so that passing traffic doesn’t kick up contaminated dust. “But the government has said they don’t have enough money to do the roads,” says Naples-Mitchell. “If a home is cleaned but the road next to it is not, it’s only a matter of time before everything is recontaminated.”The World Bank loan is also intended to pay for diagnosis and treatment of children with lead poisoning. Naples-Mitchell says she hopes that efforts will be coordinated, or they will fail. For example, when a child is treated for lead poisoning — with nutrition or, in severe cases, with medical therapy — the child must go home to a lead-free environment or else could be recontaminated.Lead cleanup can work. “A success story is in Dong Mei in Vietnam,” says Jack Caravanos, a consultant on Pure Earth’s effort in this village of 3,000. The main industry was the informal recycling of lead acid batteries, Caravanos says. The result was highly contaminated soil — and children with blood lead levels five to 13 times higher than the CDC’s levels of concern, according to a case study by Pure Earth. During the year of the project, blood lead levels in 206 tested children dropped by 75%, according to Pure Earth’s summary of the project.But the lead contamination in Kabwe is even worse than in Dong Mei. “This is really a public health emergency that has never been treated with the urgency it deserves,” says Naples-Mitchell. “I’m hopeful that, given the attention to Kabwe right now from the World Bank project and this report, that we’ll see real change.”Fuller is not so much hopeful as just plain determined. “This is a massive human rights violation and disaster,” he says. “It has to get fixed. We have to keep pushing. We’ll find a way.”Susan Brink is a freelance writer who covers health and medicine. She is the author of The Fourth Trimester, and co-author of A Change of Heart.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. Whatever Happened To … The Kids Whose Lead Levels Were… last_img read more

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Weighing Design and Function When Building Your App

first_img This story originally appeared on Bizness Apps 5 min read These days, app makers must contend not only with well funded giants in the mobile space, but with the endless amount of new competition entering the scene as app store growth accelerates. Once a better version of your app gains popularity, yours is likely getting the axe — especially when the daunting “Storage Almost Full” message appears. To avoid the chopping block but not waste precious resources, you have to prioritize. So, which matters more: design or function?Computer, tablet, and smartphone users tend to be both decisive and loyal. For years, we’ve seen the same major brands go head-to-head, but this point buyers have generally chosen their camp. Try to sell a longtime iPhone user on an Android (or vice versa) and you’ll find yourself wrapped up in an endless debate over features, UI, customization, battery life, security, the color of the message bubbles…When it comes to apps, the market is endless and users are far less forgiving, especially when installing is free and uninstalling is simple. Once dominated by professional designers, the app industry is now accessible to anyone with a computer and some time on their hands through DIY app builders like Bizness Apps. So with such a high degree of market saturation, how can you entice users to download and keep your app installed for the long-run, especially when gaining loyalty is much harder?Function Breeds LoyaltyWhen a new user launches an app, they form an opinion immediately. Is it easy to use? Is it visually appealing? Does it perform all the functions I need it to? The average user doesn’t want to spend more than 10 minutes figuring out how to use an app and there’s no barrier to uninstalling which makes user experience of chief importance in retention. Recent findings by TechCrunch suggest average users spend 85 percent of their smartphone time on native applications, and 84 percent is devoted to just five apps total. Each user’s “fave five” will vary considerably, of course, but the apps with the highest usage fall under the categories of social media, gaming, and instant messaging.Mobile apps can edge beyond the competition by doing one thing — and doing it well. Consider e-commerce; since mobile websites often facilitate easy purchasing, mobile apps need even simpler checkout processes to be attractive to the average user. That means reducing the number of clicks to the purchase page, storing account info, and generally providing a much more personalized experience. If a user has installed a retail app, they’re likely looking for deals and an improved purchasing process. The app needs to check those boxes to stay on the home screen.Design Closes the DealFellow designers and mobile experts are sold on apps for entirely different reasons. Many industry buffs are most impressed by an app’s ability to draw on the device’s existing features, improving or applying them in new ways. For example, camera apps that optimize flash and size often top the design charts. Gaming apps are still popular in this demographic too, but generally for their innovative design and graphics. And though the general public tends to discount design in favor of the function-packed these days, the nuance of design is very much alive.Remember the message bubble thing above? It may seem silly that the background color of a text message would merit a reaction (and an emotional one, at that), but I can’t tell you how many iPhone users have expressed actual hatred for the green bubble that appears when they text non-iOS users. The message bubble defaults to blue when you’re texting another iOS user — a genius little trick on Apple’s part that glorifies its own. When applied to mobile apps, this psychology suggests that design holds the power of long-term influence. Users may be drawn in and initially held by an app’s function, but design can lock them in as they gradually develop a UI preference that they can’t imagine swapping out for something new.What This Means for YouAverage users want instant gratification and answers to their specific needs, but craftsmanship and visual innovation have more subtle capabilities in user retention. If you’re operating on a slim budget or a time crunch, your top priority should be perfecting function. Give users a reason to download and a reason to come back, and you’ll make a bigger dent than you would with an app facelift. But if you can devote more energy to your mobile app, don’t overlook the potential small design changes have to radically improve user experience. With three million apps and counting, there’s something out there for everyone, but you can’t beat a good first impression. April 5, 2016 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

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Live Events Are the Next Big Thing in Branding

first_img 5 min read Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. March 1, 2018 Brand is probably the most misused word in the English language. Branding started as a way to identify livestock roaming the range. It grew from there to mean creating a logo for a company. As the word gathered steam, it came to mean the look and feel of a company, then the customer experience and finally the company itself. But at its core, brand building is about storytelling — about connecting with people rationally and emotionally. And it’s for everyone — people, small businesses, large enterprises and associations.For as long as our species has been on Earth, we have been feeding our insatiable hunger for stories. At first, we just told each other stories that were shared inside our tribes. Sometimes we illustrated them on the walls of caves, and they were shared with other tribes. Eventually, we got smarter and came up with more ingenious ways to experience our stories. We invented language and tablets to help us tell them. Then, when we realized we could transform bark into paper, we invented scrolls and books for our stories. The smarter we got, the more technology we applied to help share and create experiences around the stories of our time.Related: To Be Successful, Your Brand Needs a Clear, Simple FocusWe created big thing after next big thing, including the printing press, radio, television and, finally, the internet. All these technologies helped to satisfy our hunger to share the human experience. These days, the internet itself has spawned a plethora of next big things enabling us to better share our stories. We have email, social media, blogs, podcasts, streaming video, virtual reality, augmented reality and much more to come. It’s this media through which we feed our souls — and through which we build our brands.These next big things continue to change the course of human behavior. I’ve seen it before, having had the privilege to work with companies that have done just that — including Apple, Adobe, BlackBerry, Cisco and Google. These companies changed the way we communicate with each other, gather information, develop and share content, go to work and entertain ourselves. They brought about new trends in behavior, including our dependence on smart phones, our storing and sharing of photos, finding our way, listening to music and educating ourselves.Related: How to Build a Billion-Dollar BrandInterestingly, the technologies behind these trends enable us to be more productive, increase our networks and keep meticulous track of our lives, but they also conspire to separate us from each other. This phenomenon has brought about a new trend to spend more and more time exploring the things we enjoy live. Live is experiencing our humanity together, in the same space. It invites the opportunity to look up and at each other and to feel the human connection. The live experience has officially become a medium of choice for people around the world, especially millennials.In 1964, Marshall McLuhan told us in his book Understanding Media that the medium is the message. In other words, when you choose a medium in which to tell a story, the story is inevitably connected to, and actually embedded in, that medium, complete with the medium’s capabilities, limitations and idiosyncrasies. The medium, in fact, becomes part of the story.I think Marshall McLuhan would agree that in the 21st century — an era ripe with technology in which we can communicate with each other in myriad ways, but one in which everyone is glued, heads down, to their device — the richest medium of all is “live” because it affords us the opportunity to experience the human condition together and to share it. It’s no wonder companies are hungry to get face-to-face time with employees, customers, partners and influencers, and to create experiences that develop into long-term meaningful relationships with their brands.Related: 5 Marketing Strategies From Major Brands: What You Can Learn From Their Mistakes and SuccessesThe live medium is ripe for commercialization in the same way publishing, radio, television and the internet were commercialized in the past. The giants of these industries — Hearst, Tribune and Gannett; ABC, CBS and NBC; Google, Amazon and Netflix, among others — built empires on the crests of new media waves. Their efforts moved industries; their companies changed the world. The music industry is already commercializing the live medium focusing on concerts as primary revenue generators and artist brand builders. If the music industry can do it, why can’t others?Imagine a world where live experiences become brand builders for companies and organizations. Is it possible to transform old industrial spaces into new brand building experiences? Could that be a commercial service? Yes, and the time is now to capitalize on the live medium for the purpose of brand building. After all, the better a brand is, the more people will flock to it. And effective live experiences can solidify a brand’s presence, and even drive brand migration, among consumers. Don’t miss out; it’s time to start implementing this next big thing into your brand building and marketing strategies. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

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Rep McCready announces April office hours

first_img28Mar Rep. McCready announces April office hours ### State Rep. Mike McCready invites residents of the 40th House District to meet with him from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, April 18, in Meeting Room 3 of the Bloomfield Township Public Library, 1099 Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Township. No appointment is necessary.“I always look forward to hearing input from residents in our area,” said Rep. McCready, R-Bloomfield Hills. “Office hours are an important tool to meet with people and hear questions and concerns regarding state government.”Anyone unable to attend Rep. McCready’s office hours is encouraged to contact his office by calling toll-free at (855) 373-8670, emailing MikeMcCready@house.mi.gov or visiting his website, www.RepMikeMcCready.com.center_img Categories: McCready Newslast_img read more

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