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ATU415 – Haptimage with Shruthi Suresh and Ting Zhang

first_imgTING ZHANG:  Yeah. TING ZHANG:  We didn’t develop the hardware part.  The haptic device is commercially available hardware. The one we use here is manufactured by Force Image, and the model we are using is an omega six.  What we did is we used this haptic device, and we developed software that can automatically extract the image features from any images and render those images into different haptic modalities. First one, project euphonious, the idea behind this is to help individuals with ALS or other speech impairments to be able to access speech to text technology, or the Google assistant.  So individuals who have ALS or other speech disabilities have a very hard time using AI or asking questions of the device.  This could be anything, ALS, MS, traumatic brain injury.  So really, what they are doing is they are having these individuals with these speech disabilities talk to the Google assistant, and they are using it to record all these voices and then optimizing their AI-based algorithms to more reliably recognize and transcribe the words that they say.  This could have a lot of helpful uses.  Not only would the individual be able to probably access their phone, their android phone, or Google assistant much easier, they could also talk out there text messages, especially as some of the motor skills maybe go away.  They could also use it to speak to their device, which could then understand them better and then have those words spoken out of the device, so they may not even need a separate AAC device or this could work in tandem with the device. It says right now the models are currently limited, but they are really working on this in order to be able to help out.  They are also only right now working with individuals who speak English, but I’m sure once they get those algorithms and AI going, they should be able to move that on to others. SHRUTHI SURESH:  And we are the cofounders of HaptImage, and this is your Assistive Technology Update. SHRUTHI SURESH:  I think it’s the prevalence of tactile technology that makes it kind of difficult for them to transition.  Change is always different for people who are used to a very specific type of technology, and that’s how they learn ever thing so far. So I think what we are trying to do is take the experience of a tactile technology, make it more real-time, and hopefully, eventually we will be able to change the tech to allow a more multi-fingered approach. Thanks to everyone who listen to our last show, but we are going to get back our normal format today with a great interview with Shruthi Suresh and Ting Zhang, the cofounders of HaptImage.  We have Amy Fuchs on with an app worth mentioning from BridgingApps.  A story about mouse access for iOS 13.  Some new things Google is working on for accessibility. And a new device called the solo walk, which can help individuals with mobility challenges.  Without any further ado, let’s go ahead and get on with the show. TING ZHANG:  The other thing we are working on is to make this device portable and smaller.  What we have right now is a fixed station.  It’s kind of heavy and lays on the desktop.  You need to connect with a PC.  But what we are trying to do right now is to develop a device that is much smaller that can connect to your iPad, your phone, your tablets, so you can take it on the go, and whenever you want to see the image, you just plug it in and you can feel what’s on your phone. Google Accessibility Story: http://bit.ly/2PUBr7c JOSH ANDERSON:  So a few weeks ago, we had a story about some students over at Purdue University that created a device to allow visually impaired individuals to kind of see images on a screen with a joystick and other feedback.  Reading the story, I just had to learn more about the inventors and the device. Lucky for us, they were nice enough to come on the show today and tell us all about it.  Shruthi Suresh is a PhD student in the Department of biomedical engineering and Ting Zhang is a PhD student in the school of industrial engineering, both at Purdue University.  They combined their talent to found HaptImage.  Shruthi, Ting, welcome to the show. SHRUTHI SURESH:  Like I said, our newly minted CEO is Dr. Bradley Doersop [phonetic].  He’s also our advisor, so that’s how Ting and I know each other, is because he’s our PhD advisor.  His role has been to help us as a company find the right people who can help us meet this goal of creating portable technology that is able to allow people who are visually impaired to just plug it into their phones and just use it to access any image that they want.  What we are looking to do is making this available to anybody and everybody who wants access to this sort of technology, and then making it possible through hiring the right people.  We would love to know if anyone would be interested in joining the company.  That would be fantastic as well. Apps worth mentioning: www.bridgingapps.org TING ZHANG:  This is Ting Xhang. JOSH ANDERSON: Shruthi, Ting, we talked about what’s on the horizon for HaptImage.  But what about for the two of you?  I know that you are working really hard on this.  Are there other things on the horizon for both of you? SHRUTHI SURESH:  Correct.  It was originally developed with a bunch of blood smears, which is basically red blood cells and white blood cells [INAUDIBLE]. SHRUTHI SURESH:  Hi, this is Shruthi Suresh. JOSH ANDERSON:  Hello and welcome to 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 individuals with disabilities and special needs.  I’m your host, Josh Anderson, with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in beautiful Indianapolis, Indiana.  Welcome to episode 415 of Assistive Technology Update.  It’s scheduled to be released on May 10, 2019. JOSH ANDERSON:  That’s a great idea.  I could see how that could help the students, anybody who was blind or visually impaired to access the world and everything that is out there on the Internet a whole lot easier. SHRUTHI SURESH: Thanks for having us. JOSH ANDERSON: Congratulations.  That is excellent.  That means you both are in a good mood for the interview today, so that’s very good to hear.  Before we start talking about HaptImage, could you both tell us a little bit about yourselves? TING ZHANG:  It doesn’t need to follow any format.  Any image will work. Moving straight from Apple and into Google, I found a story over at venturebeat.com about Google, and they are unveiling three accessibility projects that can help people with disabilities.  Those three projects are Project Euphonious, Live Relay, and Project Diva.  None of these are actually available right now, but they are all being worked on there at Google to help build accessibility for their products. *** This story here really focuses on the ergonomics of using an iPad: having to lean over and touch the screen after doing that for a few hours, had to put your body in the wrong position; whereas using a mouse or a trackpad would give you a whole new way to access it.  But I could see how this could also help folks with disabilities. [The iPad] has had a switch access for a long time, so we’ve been able to connect switches to do different scanning and having us on the iPad, and those have worked really well. There is a lot of different Bluetooth switches that we can use in order to access it, but really, once you get mouse support, then we can go with joystick, trackball mice.  Really any kind of mouse that you can use to access the computer can then be used to access your iPad that is running iOS 13. Podcast: Play in new window | Download *** JOSH ANDERSON:  Do you have a question about assistive technology? Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update? If you do, call our listener line at 317-721-7124, shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATAProject, or check us out on Facebook. Are you looking for a transcript or show notes? Head on over to our website at www.EasterSealsTech.com. Assistive Technology Update is a proud member of the Accessibility Channel. For more shows like this, plus so much more, head over to AccessibilityChannel.com. The views expressed by our guests are not necessarily that of this host or the INDATA Project.  This has been your Assistive Technology Update.  I’m Josh Anderson with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana. Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you next time. TING ZHANG:  From the blind students, we’ve been testing [INAUDIBLE] I think they all think this is a great technology and this makes digital images real time for them, so they don’t need to wait for the print for tactile images.  Another drawback of the technology is it’s based on one point of interaction.  Normally how blind kids interact with tactile images is using both of their hands and all their fingers.  But using this haptic device, it has only one point because it was like using a mouse but with some forced feedback.  In this case, it took them some time to get used to the system. Normally we need to train them using the system for half an hour or an hour each so they get used to the system and understand how it works. JOSH ANDERSON:  Very nice.  You could’ve bragged a little bit longer.  That was very good.  So you’ve talked about it a little bit, but what else is on the horizon?  What else is coming up for HaptImage? AMY FUCHS:  This is Amy Fuchs with BridgingApps, and this is an app worth mentioning.  This week’s featured app is called Centered.  Centered is a meditation and mindfulness app from Blue Cross Blue Shield that allows users to set goals for daily steps and weekly meditation sessions. The goal is for users to increase their daily steps and weekly meditation time.  This is shown on the app as two different circles.  The closer the circles come towards each other, the more centered the user becomes.  The app asks users to allow access to the health data in order to help the user get most out of the app and make it personal to their daily lifestyle.  It also asks you to enter some personal information about yourself such as height, weight, and birthday.  You can set your own meditation goal based on the amount of time you want to spend in meditation each week.  You enter a daily step goal and record your current mood.  This app allows you to track stress levels throughout the day.  You are able to see your weekly step data including the amount of calories burned, time spent walking, and mileage walked.  You can also select meditation exercises in order to reach your meditation weekly goal.  The exercises range from four minutes to 19 minutes long.  This is an excellent app for veterans, adults, people who have PTSD, and anyone who wants to learn how to effectively use meditation and mindfulness. Centered is available for free at the iTunes Store for iOS devices.  For more information on this app and others like it, visit BridgingApps.org. Website: www.haptimage.com Email: haptimage@gmail.com TING ZHANG:  Haptics is kind of a new concept, not only for the blind community but also for us.  When we first introduced haptics, it’s really hard to convey what haptics really is. SHRUTHI SURESH: Exactly.  We’ve done experiments before, and this was Ting’s Masters thesis actually.  We had blind users test it out, and they actually love that they can understand very specific details of it.  The message seems to be going across pretty strong. SHRUTHI SURESH: Absolutely. SHRUTHI SURESH: Sure.  The American Public Land-grant University has an innovation showcase that they do.  It’s the second year that they’ve done it.  We got nominated by Purdue to represent Purdue’s efforts at making entrepreneurship and innovation more commonplace.  We actually got selected to represent Purdue and go over there and kind or showcase the technology that we had two people in DC.  It was government representatives, a bunch of congresspeople who were able to get a view of the technology and what different land-grant universities are doing to help students do more entrepreneurial things.  That was kind of the point of going there, was to get different feedback.  We’ve always had feedback from people who are technically minded, and we’ve also had input from people that are very STEM-based.  So getting input from people who are not necessarily related to that field was very novel and cool to understand how this technology could actually be explained with the people. SHRUTHI SURESH:  Hi, Josh, nice to talk to you. TING ZHANG:  Yeah, like this is my last year of my PhD, so I’m away from classes for a while. SHRUTHI SURESH: Sure.  My name is Shruthi.  I’m a second-year PhD – you’ve already talked about that.  I am from Indonesia, which surprises a lot of people because my name sounds very Indian.  I love being part of something that I know makes a difference in people’s lives, and hopefully this is something we can take forward and actually bring out to the masses. ——————————If 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/INDATA SoloWalk Story: http://bit.ly/2PVKll5 JOSH ANDERSON:  I’m glad you both met and were able to come together on this.  Our listeners are definitely tuned in to hear about this, so go ahead and tell us what is HaptImage. SHRUTHI SURESH: HaptImage is a tool which allows people who are visually impaired to understand images in real time.  We are talking digital images, and given that the world is so digital right now, there is no real time accessible way for people who are visually impaired to get the nuances of an image.  So we’ve developed this multimodal technology which uses a variety of outputs to basically convey specific details of an image to the people that are blind and visually impaired.  So this could be sound or vibration or forced feedback.  This gives them a better idea of what the image is in the context in the rest of the page. ***center_img SHRUTHI SURESH:  We took part in the Burgundy Morris Business Model Competition last year and we came in second for the social track, which was pretty cool.  And we also had a chance to participate in the Women In innovation challenge, and we actually won that.  It was fantastic because through that, we actually won a bunch of different services as well, so we had accountant services and lawyer services that came along with the cash award, which has been extremely helpful in helping us set up the company and understand what the boundaries of doing things are, how to file taxes for instance.  That was pretty complicated.  We also won a black award from Purdue itself, so that was pretty cool.  It was able to help us promote the technology and get enough capital to start having our CEO recruit an intern who can actually help us move forward with the project. SHRUTHI SURESH: Exactly.  So we are not saying we are going to replace that.  We are a complement to that. Live Relay is their next program.  This is to help folks who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Really, the idea behind it is voice calls really aren’t an option for folks who are deaf or hard of hearing, but the technology behind this live relay is to help them.  Basically they would call an individual.  They could type out whatever they want said.  The hearing individual would then hear that said.  And then they would talk to their phone, that would show up as text on the other individual’s phone who is deaf or hard of hearing.  So basically it’s like sending text messages, but the one person would never actually have to type anything or even read their screen. Very, very cool.  It says it leverages Google’s smart compose and smart reply feature, which is predictive writing suggestions and instant responses that can help a person typing to keep up with the speed of a voice call.  They can also sit there and actually understand what the person is saying and maybe give a list of replies.  Again, not quite ready yet, but a very cool idea that they are doing. JOSH ANDERSON:  It’s great to have you on.  First of all, how were finals? Show Notes: ***Transcript provided by TJ Cortopassi.  For requests and inquiries, contact tjcortopassi@gmail.com***Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATU313 – Purdue University’s New Haptic InterfaceMay 26, 2017In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU090 – AT Newbies (Josh Reckelhoff & Ron King), Bionic Eye for the Blind, CSUN, TarHeel Reader, Weather Alert Radios for the Deaf and Hard of HearingFebruary 15, 2013In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU413 – Boogaloo Beds with Caleb PolleyApril 26, 2019In “Assistive Technology Update” SHRUTHI SURESH: That’s kind of the novelty of our technology, is that basically you can take any image, may be off the Internet, or even if it’s from a specific database that your school uses, for instance, and you would just be able to re-create that and help a student understand or a person understand what’s going on in the image. So in today’s interview, we are talking about a device that helps individuals who are blind or visually impaired.  I found an interesting story about a device that helps individuals with mobility challenges.  It’s from Newz Hook, and the story is called “SoloWalk reaches out to people with cerebral palsy to move around with ease.”  It talks about the SoloWalk device.  What this is, is a mobile mobility robot, I would almost call it.  It’s got to big arms on it that you use for balance, and as you walk, the device actually moves with you.  You can turn, you can go straight.  Not only does this give you some stability, it also has fault detection. It can catch you if you would slip or fall or lose anything like that.  And can really help with building up the muscles in the legs and things like that. It was originally developed and used for rehabilitation for helping folks get back on their feet after an accident or injury.  This one, it was actually able to move around the building.  It’s a pretty good size device, but it can really help out the individual.  Like I said, it can move with them so they are not only on a treadmill or anything like that. Again, this isn’t written in stone.  We don’t know if it will actually be something that is there.  But from everything I’ve been reading and have seen so far about iOS 13, it looks like mouse support is going to be one of the big things that’s in there.  So really looking forward to it and hopefully will hear more about that in the coming months, and hopefully that will be included in iOS 13. JOSH ANDERSON:  I’m sure like you said, the whole other side of it, the whole idea.  Have you had a lot of students who are blind or visually impaired try this out?  What were their thoughts that you took back and were able to change? JOSH ANDERSON:  Did you hear that listeners?  There is even jobs out there.  That’s perfect.  Let’s say that our listeners want to find out more or get a hold of you so they can let you know that they are interested.  How would they do that? JOSH ANDERSON:  And you originally developed this with STEM classes in mind?  Is that right? SHRUTHI SURESH: Absolutely.  That’s kind of the intent of what we’re trying to do.  We recently did an NSF program that allowed us to do a lot of customer discovery.  We spoke to over 100 people, and they all told us that there was a need for this technology.  People really wanted something that could allow them to see any digital image or understand any digital image, because right now the technology is there, but it’s not being widely adopted by people, and there is a very that’s preventing them from taking it up. Shruthi Suresh and Ting Zhang, Co-Founders of Haptimage Your 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. JOSH ANDERSON:  About a month ago, you both went to DC for the University innovation and entrepreneurship showcase.  You tell me a little bit about that program or showcase? JOSH ANDERSON:  We look forward to seeing what you both do in the future.  Thank you both so much for taking time out of your day to come on the show and talk about this amazing program.  As I said, we can’t wait to see where it goes from here.  Thank you. TING ZHANG:  Thank you, Josh. JOSH ANDERSON:  The image itself, does it have to be in a specific format, or is it really any digital image? The last one is Project Diva.  Project Diva is a program to help a person who was is nonverbal or has limited mobility use the Google assistant.  If you think of the Google home thing.  What it does is an external switch plugs into this Bluetooth device that that connects to the Google assistant.  It’s still in the works just like the other ones, but as of right now, what they are trying to do is use big red buttons in order to be able to do it, and that would access the device.  What they are hoping to do is make this available to where it can have a lot more uses so that maybe you could touch a CD and it play your music or touch a cartoon stuffed animal and it will play your cartoons or other show that you want to watch.  A very great idea, and I do love that Google and all these of the big companies are trying to do what they can to just make their product more accessible to individuals with disabilities.  We’ll put a link over to that in our show notes and hopefully these are all things that we will see in the not too distant future. iOS 13 Mouse Story: http://bit.ly/2PXtGNR JOSH ANDERSON:  You’re right.  Right now you can add descriptions of pictures and things like that, but how you describe something and how I describe something can be totally different, and even more different for the individual having a describe to them. That’s really helpful. I realize we are a little early – it’s only May – but some stories are already coming out on some changes that may be coming to Apple’s iOS 13.  I found a story over at 9-to-5 Mac by Bradley Chambers, and it’s kind of a commentary. It’s called “Comment: Mouse support in iOS 13 would solve iPad ergonomic issues for me.”  On our sister show ATFAQ, we’ve actually had the question a few times about how can I control my iPad with a mouse.  While there are some plug-ins – there is a device but I don’t remember the name of it off the top my head – that you can use to actually circumvent and be able to use mouse support, it can be a little clunky and weird to use.  But the rumor is that when iOS 13 comes out, you will actually be able to connect a mouse and use that to control your iPad.  I don’t know if that’s just going to be for the iPad Pro or for all iterations of the iPad that can run iOS 13, but it is a very cool thing. JOSH ANDERSON:  Just another way of access so that you can have those two together, kind of like voice feedback on a computer doesn’t replace Braille.  But when you have the two that can work together, it can really help with understanding and just make sure that you can have more access. SHRUTHI SURESH: Exactly. JOSH ANDERSON:  I’m going to give you both a chance to brag a little bit, because I know you’ve won some awards for HaptImage.  Tell our listeners a little bit about that. JOSH ANDERSON:  It’s also hard to do it on an audio only kind of program, telling folks what exactly it is.  I know I saw the original picture of the device, it’s very cool it looks almost like a joystick.  Where did the idea for this come about? JOSH ANDERSON:  I could see how this could help students in architecture, graphic design, or anything that’s visually based, right? TING ZHANG: Initially, we had different types of blood cells, like sickle cell, the red blood cell that’s not circular.  So we wanted to see if this kind of technology could help blind students understand different shapes and different textures better than tactile images. SHRUTHI SURESH: Finals were not too bad. Thankfully as PhD students, we don’t have to take too many finals.  So that was kind of a relief. TING ZHANG:  I’m Ting.  I’m almost graduating, and I’m a PhD student in the school of industry engineering. I’m from China.  For my background, I took my undergraduate in China in software engineering.  That’s why I have some background about developing the technology we will be talking about. *** According to the story here, it says it’s still kind of in the development stage, but it can really help individuals, especially those with mobility challenges, CP, and different things like that.  You could also give you the help for falls and everything that a normal walker or other kind of mobility device might not be able to do.  It doesn’t have anything about prices, where it’s available, or if it’s available at this time, but it can be really helpful for folks with a myriad of mobility challenges, not just cerebral palsy, but it could definitely help those folks as well.  We will put a link to the story in our show notes. SHRUTHI SURESH:  They can go on to HaptImage.com, our website. You can also email us at HaptImage@gmail.com. TING ZHANG:  Hi Josh. *** JOSH ANDERSON:  Very good.  So there’s all different kinds of feedback, not just a vibration or something like that? SHRUTHI SURESH: Yeah.  I’m actually working on my PC right now, hoping to prelim eventually and get my degree and probably move out and do pretty amazing things with the technology that I have access to or whatever I can contribute to. *** TING ZHANG:  For me, I’m almost there with my PhD.  For my PhD, what I did was an extension of what we had for HaptImage right now.  I really hope with the new research I did, like I incorporated machine learning techniques and some coaching strategies to help them better understand, to help the blind people understand images more accurately and efficiently.  I really hope I can also incorporate this new stuff into what HaptImage has right now.last_img read more

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2019 Ford Ranger Midsize Pickup Review Whats New Again Is Old

first_img2019 Ford Ranger Midsize Pickup Review: What’s New Again Is Old You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet This Is Where ‘The Man With the Golden Voice’ Ended Up 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. The Ford Ranger nameplate returns to the US after an eight-year absence. Once again Ford has a credible entry in the booming midsize pickup truck market with a powerful turbocharged engine and extensive safety technology. The ability to tow 7,500 pounds or carry 1,800 pounds of cargo means you don’t always need a Ford F-150.While the 2019 Ranger is new to the US and Canada, it has been out in the world markets since 2011. The Ranger cockpit has not aged well and some of the technology is past its sell-by date. What the Biggest Fans Don’t Know About ‘Cutthroat Kitchen’ The Real Reason Emma Watson Refuses to Do a Nude Scene By Bill Howard on July 2, 2019 at 7:25 am The cabin in the Ranger Lariat is nicely trimmed in black leather. Even the upscale fittings don’t mask that this interior feels dated compared with the much newer Ford F-150.<><>12345678910111213141516 The Most Offensive Video Game Characters of All Time Natalie Portman Breaks the Silence on Her MCU Return We Finally Understand Why ‘Criminal Minds’ Got Canceled ‘Mindhunter’ Season 2 Images Introduce Charles Manson and More 7 Comments Tagged In carsautomobilesautosfordcar reviews2019 carspickup trucksauto reviews2019 pickupsFord RangerFord reviewsmidsize pickup trucks Post a Comment 7 Comments Huge Scandals That Rocked The History Channel Only in the world of pickup trucks can a vehicle be 211 inches long and described as a midsize. The 2020 Ford Explorer at 199 inches is at the top end of what’s considered a midsize SUV.  The Ranger is a two-row pickup. The SuperCab version trades snug rear seat legroom for a six-foot cargo bed while the costlier SuperCrew variant (you have to pick one or the other) gets a passable back seat but the bed is only five feet long (both 44.8 inches wide inside, meaning 4×8 plywood or drywall won’t lie flat). Which is too bad, because the Ranger carries 1,560-1,860 pounds of cargo.The Ranger I tested was a premium Ranger Lariat 4×4 with the SuperCrew configuration (bigger cabin, smaller cargo bed) and off-roading configuration, coming in just under $45,000. But the cheapest Ranger XL at $25,395 has the same powerful turbo-four engine mated to a 10-speed automatic delivering 270 hp and 310 pound-feet of torque, which is a lot for something with just 2.3 liters of displacement. That’s why Ranger has a higher base price than the competition: Every Ranger built gets the good motor.It only took a decade for Ford Sync to get good (about the same as BMW needed for iDrive): less complexity, bigger fonts, and slick features such as the audio volume indicator when you’re turning the dial.Technology of the Present and PastThat cheaper Rangers come with the Ford Sync version that dates to when Ke$ha was breaking in. It has a 4.3-inch screen. Move up to Lariat and you get Sync 3, which is one of the best infotainment interfaces available, thanks to a simpler interface and bigger fonts. One of the Sync 3 signature tricks is the big ring and number inside showing the volume or temperature you’re adjusting. The darker portion of the ring shows what fraction of max volume or temp you’re at.As standard equipment, Ford provides telematics, Sync Connect, and a Wi-Fi hotspot serving the cabin and about 50 feet outside the truck. On a jobsite, until the accessory power times out (about 20 minutes, then run back and press the ACC button again), you can get internet access for a tablet and the car’s antenna pulls in a better signal than your phone does.The left side of the steering wheel controls the instrument panel (arrow buttons) and adaptive cruise control. The ACC buttons are small to medium size and on the downward slope of the wheel. Sometimes they’re hard to punch accurately.Driver Assists: Helpful Above 10 mphThe Ranger offers Ford Co-Pilot360 technology: blind spot detection (Ford term: blind spot information system) with cross-traffic alert for truck and trailer, lane keeping system, pre-collision alert, and automatic emergency braking. It’s a $735 option on the entry XL that also includes front and rear sensing and a 150-watt AC outlet.It’s been months since I’ve tested a 2019 or 2020 vehicle whose adaptive cruise control wasn’t full-range, meaning it didn’t take you down to a full stop and then back up to speed. The Ranger’s ACC cuts out at 10 mph, making the feature unhelpful in stop-and-go traffic.The older instrument panel design of a mechanical speedometer with a 4-inch LCD on each side tried to jam too much information into too little space. Having the fuel gauge next to the ACC following-distance info, both as vertical strips, was hard on the eyes.Also missing is Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist, a slick knob that figures out how to make the truck back up, in the direction you want, without jackknifing.Ford Ranger in its element: bulk garden supplies section of Home Depot.Should You Buy?2019 Ford Ranger FX4 Off-Road badging.The 2019 Ford Ranger is new to the US market, but otherwise, it’s an eight-year-old vehicle. The ride is generally soft, perhaps too soft for some. The opposite may be the case if you order the $1,295 FX4 off-road package: everyday driving will be too stiff for others, and it doesn’t have the off-roading cred of the F-150’s Raptor version.The entry Ranger XL is short on features such as cruise control (not adaptive cruise control) or power door locks, although you can add them in an options package. You’ll want that and the Co-Pilot360 package.The mid-range Ranger XLT is $32,290 including$1,195 freight. The Ranger Lariat is $33,585 and includes Sync 3 standard. On all three trim lines, the SuperCrew adds $2,400 to the price. Four-wheel-drive adds $4,000, more than twice what you pay in an SUV to go from two- to all-wheel-drive. The SuperCab is too snug for adults, so SuperCrew is probably the Ranger you want.The 2019 Ranger makes the most sense if you’re buying a work truck and not a family car, and if you don’t need adaptive cruise control. If you think you’ll be towing, you need the $495 tow package to get the 7,500-pound tow rating. When you’re not towing, you’ll get decent mileage: 21 mpg city/26 mpg highway with rear drive, 20/24 with four-wheel-drive. For a pickup, those are exceptional. That’s topped only by the Chevrolet Colorado with the optional turbodiesel engine: 20 city/30 highway.As for the competition, the Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma, and the new Jeep Gladiator are all solid competitors with more contemporary interiors. The full-size F-150 is more well-rounded than the Ranger, and it’s also the best-selling vehicle in the US (more than 800,000 in 2018). The Ranger may be a suitable midsize pickup, including against the F-150, if you’re towing heavy loads or carrying a bed of heavy material; just not extraordinarily heavy loads / materials. It fits the sweet spot for pickup owners and there’s no wimp engine in the base trim to keep the price down. Just buy knowing you’re getting a capable pickup with some throwback technology. Ford will need a new Ranger in the next two years to be competitive going forward.Now read:2020 Hyundai Palisade Review: A New Star Among Midsize SUVsThe Go-Fast, Go-Safe Parts You Only Get on Police Cars 2019 Mini Countryman S E All4 Review: Bouncy, Fun-to-Drive Plug-In Hybrid last_img read more

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DirectLync Shakes Up Small Business Marketing with New Digital Marketing Platform

first_imgDirectLync Shakes Up Small Business Marketing with New Digital Marketing Platform PRNewswireApril 24, 2019, 4:02 pmApril 24, 2019 digital marketing platformDirectLyncemail marketingMarketing TechnologyNewsSMBsSocial Media Management Previous ArticleUserIQ Names Tyler Winkler as CEONext ArticleToast is Cooking with Salesforce and Helping Restaurants Succeed The New Platform Brings Together All the Essential Sales and Marketing Tools in One Place, Changing the Way Businesses Use Marketing TechnologyDirectLync announces the launch of its digital marketing platform for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The platform’s integrated approach to digital marketing brings together all the essential tools – contact management, email marketing, social media management, website CMS, and reporting and insights – into one easy-to-use platform, saving users over 14 hours a month in efforts managing data from different sources. The all-in-one platform is aimed to help SMBs easily execute their sales and marketing activities and get a more holistic view into their channel performance.DirectLync is founded on the principle that custom design and integrated technology solutions should not be limited to enterprise corporations. The US Small Business Association says there are 30.2 million small business in the US. The platform offers these businesses a more affordable alternative to current enterprise solutions.Marketing Technology News: Userful Announces New Drag-and-Drop Command and Control Module for Visual Networking Platform“The siloed approach to marketing is a painful and time-consuming experience for SMBs,” said Kevin Lynch, President and Founder of DirectLync. “Many sales and marketing teams are using multiple platforms to manage digital efforts or skipping out on digital marketing because of time constraints. Analyzing reports and attributing success to campaigns is nearly impossible. SMBs are an impactful part of our global economy, and they need to be equipped with easy-to-use, affordable, and integrated solutions.”According to a Capital One Spark Business survey of small business owners, 76 percent of owners face marketing challenges, and 64 percent feel they’re unable to effectively market their businesses the way they’d like to. DirectLync helps solve this problem by providing them with the tools they need to perform and track marketing and sales initiatives across channels.Marketing Technology News: PCM Partners with RingCentral to Bring Cloud Communications Solutions to EnterprisesDirectLync offers a 30-day free trial and four different pricing tiers starting at just $20 per month. In 2019, they plan to introduce expanded features and new tools to the platform.Marketing Technology News: CoreMedia Partners with Zilker Technology to Provide Roadmap to Help IBM Customers Optimize eCommerce Investmentslast_img read more

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sgCarMart and Ocean Protocol Partner to Build Singapores First KnowYourVehicle Secure Data

first_imgBuying a used car is common in Singapore as it is expensive to own a car. According to LTA 2018 figures, nearly 9,000 cars changed ownerships per month in Singapore. In addition, since there are significant environmental costs to both manufacturing a new automobile and scrapping an old car, a thriving used-car market can reduce vehicles’ carbon impact on our environment. In fact, manufacturing makes up as much as 35 percent of a vehicle’s lifetime carbon emissions. This means that every buyer who selects a used vehicle over a new one is helping to slow the build-up of greenhouse gases. However, it is important for consumers to choose used cars with good gas-mileage and lower emissions.Another very important factor to get to “know your vehicle“ is safety. Buyers should confirm details such as engine and chassis number, safety rating, past accident records, number of owners the car had, etc. before purchasing a used car. Unfortunately, the sources of these data are not always reliable.By using Ocean Protocol, the origin of data and its trail can be established, recorded, and traced. Hence, sgCarMart’s used car data marketplace can not only ensure buyers get up-to-date information about the used cars available in the market, but accurate and reliable ones. All in all, the Know-Your-Vehicle Data Marketplace can promote road safety for all by making sure that consumers purchase cars that are fit for the road; and in the long run, encourage car owners to better maintain their cars to maximize resale value thereby enforcing a virtuous cycle.Marketing Technology News: ada Strengthens Its Leadership Team as It Doubles Its Headcount“Data is everywhere but a vast amount of it is currently locked up due to friction surrounding data sharing. Ocean Protocol provides companies with a platform to share and monetize data in a secure, traceable, and privacy-preserving manner. It allows data owners to retain control of data access and offers an incentive mechanism for companies to deploy, to collect quality data from their stakeholders,” said Daryl Arnold, founder of Ocean Protocol.Ocean Protocol uses blockchain technology, smart contracts, and tokens to enable safe and secure sharing of data, guaranteeing control and auditability while protecting privacy. The technology allows organizations to set pricing and trade data without losing control of their data assets. Smart contracts allow data owners to program the conditions of access, which are then executed with precision. This gives data owners and buyers transparency, security and guarantees of payment and use.Ocean also enables algorithms and models to travel to the data, get trained and then leave without exposing the data or taking a copy, thereby retaining privacy, ensuring regulatory compliance. This can ultimately free up data to advance problem-solving AI.“We are pleased to unlock used car data so that consumers can make better and safer buying decisions. In future, we hope to leverage these data further to help industries and the government to advance products and services as well as a greener and more efficient future for the people in Singapore,” Glenn Ong added.Marketing Technology News: Veritonic Launches First Audio Score For Marketers To Understand Relative Power Of Their Creative Assets “Currently, customers wanting to buy a used car will need to rely on information provided by the current owner or used car dealer. There will be a natural tendency to understate or not reveal defects of the vehicle,” said Glenn Ong, General Manager of sgCarMart Quotz. “Buyers can rely on 3rd party inspection centres to do a check but matters like odometer tampering can still go undetected.”Marketing Technology News: AccuWeather Continues Rapid Expansion with Relocation of Global Office in New York City sgCarMart and Ocean Protocol Partner to Build Singapore’s First Know-Your-Vehicle Secure Data Marketplace PRNewswireJuly 9, 2019, 9:15 pmJuly 9, 2019 AIGlenn OngNewsOcean ProtocolSecure DatasgCarMart Previous ArticleMarTech Interview with Martin Frascaroli, CEO and Founder at AivoNext ArticleBooking.com Releases the Most Comprehensive Global Research Into the Next Generation of Travellers – Gen Zcenter_img sgCarMart wants to help consumers make better and safer buying decisions with the secure data marketplace on Ocean Protocol sgCarMart is launching Singapore’s first Know-Your-Vehicle used car data marketplace to support better decision making for consumers. Leveraging Ocean Protocol‘s breakthrough data sharing blockchain technology, comprehensive information about a used car can now be securely shared and accessed to help consumers make more objective and accurate buying decisions.last_img read more

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CoSchedule Launches Marketing Suite to Transform the Way Marketers Work

first_imgCoSchedule Launches Marketing Suite to Transform the Way Marketers Work PRNewswireJune 28, 2019, 4:52 pmJune 28, 2019 The Family of Agile Marketing Tools Helps Marketers Publish More Work, Complete Projects on Time and Prove Value to StakeholdersCoSchedule, the fastest-growing marketing platform on the Inc. 5000 list and recognized on Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Content Marketing Platforms, announced its new CoSchedule Marketing Suite . The Marketing Suite helps marketers stay focused, deliver projects on time and make their team happy.The strategic shift to build a unified marketing platform is the company’s direct response to marketers’ feedback and frustration with disconnected toolsets that cause marketing teams to waste time coordinating work rather than completing it.“We surveyed more than 3,000 marketers, and they unanimously shared the need to get more work done in less time,” said Garrett Moon, co-founder and CEO of CoSchedule. “The pressure for this productivity pushes them to adopt new technologies and processes. But in reality, we hear this only leads to siloed tools and teams. They’re frustrated. At CoSchedule, we call this ‘makeshift marketing.’ It’s the wasted effort marketers spend coordinating projects, managing spreadsheets and cobbling together single-function tools.”Marketing Technology News: Verve Releases SDK 4.0 To Supercharge The Revenue-Generating Power Of In-App InventoryThe CoSchedule Marketing Suite brings together a work management, content marketing, social media management and digital asset management toolset built upon a marketing calendar foundation. This family of agile tools is designed to provide unprecedented visibility into marketing operations with a single source of truth for all marketing activities.“Our mission is to end makeshift marketing, so we decided to build a completely new way for marketers to work,” said Moon. “The CoSchedule Marketing Suite brings together all the tools that marketers need on a daily basis and puts them in one place. It’s a monumental step and an exciting evolution for CoSchedule and our customers.”Marketing Technology News: Gigapaces Partners with Tableau to Accelerate Machine Learning and Data VisualizationCoSchedule’s Marketing Calendar is the cornerstone of the Marketing Suite. The platform includes four additional product offerings that build off the calendar.Content Organizer is content marketing software to drive strategy and growth.Social Organizer is social media management software to empower marketers with everything they need from publishing to measurement.Work Organizer is team collaboration software designed to help marketers manage and automate workflows.Asset Organizer is brand new digital asset management software designed to organize digital assets and share files with stakeholders.Promoting the value proposition “the only way to organize your marketing in one place,” CoSchedule saw it necessary to add new functionality into the platform to fulfill its promise. The Social Organizer includes all-new Social Conversations Inbox monitoring capabilities for engaging with followers, which makes the software a complete social media management solution. Asset Organizer is an entirely new product to the company as well, making the Marketing Suite a complete marketing project management solution.“Prior to CoSchedule, we were using tons of different tools,” said Sadie Rudolph, public relations director at Flint Group and long-time CoSchedule customer. “We were jumping from product to product and none of the things we were doing were working together. Because everything wasn’t in one place, I didn’t have a lot of visibility into what our team was working on.Marketing Technology News: Invoca Survey Finds Over Half of Consumers Only Offered Automated Communications By Brands Feel Frustrated When They’re Unable to Speak with a Live Person“The CoSchedule Marketing Suite lets us know what everyone is working on and when it’s going to get done, and it’s allowed us to consistently meet our deadlines,” said Rudolph. “Because we have visibility into every project, we’ve been able to drastically reduce wasted effort and produce more content.” Content Marketing PlatformsCoscheduleCoSchedule Marketing SuiteGartnerMagic QuadrantMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleAmperity and Snowflake Partner to Help Joint Customers Power Customer 360 InitiativesNext ArticleConstant Contact Unveils New WooCommerce and Shopify Offerings at 2019 Internet Retailer Conferencelast_img read more

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TechBytes with Abhishek Thakur Chief Data Scientist at boostai

first_img Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at boost.ai.I work as Chief Data Scientist at boost.ai, a Norwegian software company specializing in conversational Artificial Intelligence. My role involves developing state-of-the-art algorithms for Natural Language processing and Natural Language understanding, as well as managing the Machine Learning team. I’m responsible for the machine work behind-the-scenes and building the backbone of our solution. Our work ensures that any customers interacting with a business (be it a bank, insurance company or telco) via one of our virtual agents get served correct and useful replies. We develop algorithms ranging from language detection, entity extraction, intent prediction, and our proprietary automatic semantic understanding.Why are B2B marketing teams steadily moving toward Applied Data Science for Sales and Marketing initiatives?The more data that a Marketing team has at their disposal, the better they can accomplish their goals. Artificial Intelligence is a perfect platform for helping both gather and parse the mountain of data that marketers need in order to effectively do their jobs. Virtual agents are one such avenue that can be utilized to achieve this. We recommend our clients position their Virtual agents as a ‘front-line’ service channel – this not only gives their customers 24/7 access to the answers they need, but it also helps gathers useful customer data that can be utilized by sales and marketing teams to better target their efforts.How do you build Analytics around Conversational AI platforms?Our analytics dashboard offers a deep dive into the interactions of a Virtual agent. Apart from being able to track things like a number of conversations or how many buttons and links are actioned on, we also monitor message and conversation feedback. This feature is popular amongst our clients as it allows them to see how certain intents and responses track with their customers. We have also recently implemented a ‘goals’ system that monitors conversations towards specific business goals. This is a great way to increase conversion rates and see what is and isn’t working in a particular conversation flow.What is conversational AI? What types of technologies run this engine?Conversational AI is the technology powering the next generation of what some people call chatbots. At boost.ai, we think they’re better than that and call them Virtual agents. Using a combination of Deep Learning and Natural Language understanding – as well as a number of our proprietary neural networks – our conversational AI is able to better understand the direction that a conversation is headed and offer intelligent and helpful responses with far greater accuracy than in other solutions. In fact, with our latest Automatic Semantic Understanding (ASU) upgrade, Virtual agents built on our technology are able to reduce false positives in complex customer interactions by up to 90 percent.How can data analytics make virtual agents function more effectively?Data Analytics opens up a world of possibilities for maintaining and improving Conversational AI. For example, if a bank identifies that its customers are regularly asking about a particular product in its portfolio, it can choose to have its Virtual agent proactively mention that product either the next time the customer returns to the bank’s website, or mention it to other customers who might be interested. Similarly, Analytics can be used to find where the gaps in the model might be and generate new Intents and responses almost on-the-fly so the Virtual agent remains constantly up-to-date.Tell us about your Customer Experience products. How can MarTech customers benefit from your AI/ML products?Customer Experience is a primary focus of boost.ai. We believe that if you put Customer Experience first, the rest will follow. Which is why our solution has been developed with a CX mindset from the ground up. While our market-leading algorithms are unparalleled in their ability to understand the underlying Intent and context of the customer interaction, we’ve also developed them to know when it’s appropriate to transfer to a human rather than just answer with a canned ‘I don’t understand’ response. This approach to CX has proved immensely successful for our clients with one major Norwegian bank, DNB, managing in just six months to automate 51% of all chat traffic via their Virtual agent.What is the current state of Machine Learning and AI for Digital Transformation?Machine learning and AI are the catalysts for Digital Transformation. Adoption of these technologies by industries is constantly showing significant results. It is more effective and more accurate decision-making in real-time and can help to dramatically accelerate a business. Every major industry is exploring and educating their employees to approach challenges using data-driven decisions.Can you recommend some best practices when building out a conversation AI solution?At boost.ai, we maintain that it is important that a Virtual agent can be developed and maintained by non-technical personnel. Finding a vendor that provides extensive training material and online certification means you can upskill existing customer support staff into AI trainers. This is key, as it is their expertise and product knowledge that can prove invaluable to maintaining and further developing a conversational AI project after launch. Abhishek Thakur serves as Chief Data Scientist at boost.ai. After graduating with a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Bonn University in 2014, Abhishek has been working with automatic Machine Learning. He is a former rank 3 in Kaggle competitions. boost.ai  provides solutions to Scandinavian Banking, Finance, Retail, Transportation, Government, and Insurance – solutions that make headlines while boost.ai grows at a record rate.Now the company employs 40 ambitious individuals with the same goal: To deliver virtual assistants to all industries, enhancing all departments. About AbhishekAbout boost.aiAbout Abhishek About boost.ai TechBytes with Abhishek Thakur, Chief Data Scientist at boost.ai Sudipto GhoshJune 10, 2019, 2:30 pmJune 10, 2019 Abhishek ThakurAIASUboost.aimachine learningNLPTech Bytesvirtual agent Previous ArticleTech. 2019: Global Retail Tech Spending to Top $203 Billion This YearNext ArticleLabTwin’s AI-powered Digital Assistant Now Talks Back and Connects Data Sources in the Lab with New Open APIlast_img read more

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Vodafone RED Family Plans Priced Rs 598 Onwards Offer Bill Guarantee And

first_img airtel new offerAirtel new planAirtel New Prepaid Plansairtel offer First Published: June 24, 2019, 10:54 AM IST Your mobile phone subscription is more affordable than ever before. In the face of relentless competition from Reliance Jio, operators including Vodafone and Airtel are regularly tweaking their prepaid and postpaid packages for mobile users, to offer more data and value additions. And it is not just individual subscriptions, but also postpaid bill plans that can be shared by families on different connections. Vodafone has a range of RED postpaid plans called RED Family, which allows you to share one bill plan with other Vodafone postpaid users in your family. The advantages of this are simple—you get one single bill, you have to pay one postpaid bill instead of individual ones for each postpaid mobile connection at home and this is offered with certain discounts as well. Vodafone has the RED Family postpaid plans, which are designed to offer multiple connections with just one bill plan. These are priced at Rs 598, Rs 749 and Rs 999 per month. Interesting to note that Vodafone is also offering something known as a Bill Guarantee. The company says that irrespective of which RED postpaid plan you choose, they will check your final bill every month and compare it with the RED postpaid plans—and if there is a bill plan that could have offered you a better deal that month, Vodafone will credit back the differential amount to your account without having to change the bill plan. “If we find a lower bill on any other plan, we will simply credit back the difference as savings in your next bill…even without you changing your plan,” says Vodafone. The first RED Family postpaid plan costs Rs 598 per month and can be used on two Vodafone postpaid connections. This includes 80GB 3G/4G data where the primary user gets 50GB 3G/4G data allocation while the secondary user gets 30GB data. The second RED Family postpaid plan is priced at Rs 749 per month and can be used with three Vodafone postpaid connections. This bill plan bundles 120GB 3G/4G data. The primary user gets 60GB 3G/4G data allocation while the second and third users get 30GB data each. The highest spec Vodafone RED Family postpaid plan costs Rs 999 per month and would be ideal if you need to have five postpaid connections in your family. This bundles 200GB of 3G/4G data, where the primary user gets 80GB data while each of the other 4 users get 30GB data each per month. The common factor among all these plans is that each user will get unlimited voice calls for local calls, STD calls and while on roaming, as well as 100 local and STD SMS. For any unused data left at the end of the month, Vodafone will carry forward that to the next month, accumulating that carry forward data up to a maximum of 200GB. Each of these RED Family postpaid plans also bundle an Amazon Prime subscription for one year (worth Rs 999), Zee5 subscription for an year (worth Rs 999), mobile insurance package (worth Rs 3,000) and the Vodafone Play subscription that is priced at Rs 499 per year. The total benefits with each bill plan total up to Rs 5,497 over the course of an year.last_img read more

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Ukhand CM Turns Referee as His MLAs Take to Akhada After Brawl

first_imgDehradun: A public spat between two MLAs of the ruling BJP in Uttarakhand, in which one challenged the other to a wrestling bout, was resolved on Thursday with the intervention of Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.BJP MLA from Khanpur Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion and party legislator from Jhabreda Desraj Karnawal, who had been inveighing against each other in public, met the chief minister at his official residence in the presence of Pradesh BJP general secretary Naresh Bansal, said Pradesh party media in-charge Devendra Bhasin. The chief minister advised the two legislators to resolve their differences amicably and never do anything which goes against party discipline, Bhasin said.The spat had broken out between the two MLAs when Karnawal cast doubts over Champion’s educational and sports credentials. Champion, who claims to be a wrestler, challenged Karnawal to a wrestling bout at a stadium in Roorkee after he learnt that the Jhabreda MLA had termed his educational degrees and achievements in the field of sports as “fake”.However, when Champion arrived at the stadium for the wrestling bout, Karnawal did not show up. Karnawal said it was an era of guns and only someone who has gone off his head can talk about wrestling as a method to resolve an issue. Bharatiya Janata PartyBJPTrivendra Singh RawatUttarakhand First Published: April 18, 2019, 9:50 PM ISTlast_img read more

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Hrithik Roshans Exwife Sussanne Khan Defends Him Says Sunaina is an Unfortunate

first_imgKangana’s sister and spokesperson Rangoli Chandel Wednesday alleged that Sunaina’s family had been physically assaulting her because she was in love with a Muslim man from Delhi. She even claimed that Sunaina had been asking Kangana for help in the matter.Sunaina Roshan is asking Kangana for help, her family is physically assaulting her because she is in love with a Muslim man from Delhi, last week they got a lady cop who slapped her, her father also hit her, her brother is trying to put her behind bars..(contd)— Rangoli Chandel (@Rangoli_A) June 19, 2019Meanwhile, Hrithik’s cousin Eshaan slammed Kangana and her sister Rangoli in a series of tweets. He wrote, “It’s sad to see how people can stoop this low as to use a vulnerable period of the family for their own ends. Even if there is a family crisis, Didi has the law and order machinery of this country for her.”In another tweet, attacking Kangana and Rangoli, he further added, “Why are these sisters obsessed with this family? My bade papa is undergoing a health crisis, Didi is vulnerable. It’s a very sensitive period for our family. I request these people to be sensitive and not act as vultures.”It’s sad to see how people can stoop this low as to use a vulnerable period of the family for their own ends. Even if there is a family crisis, Didi has the law and order machinery of this country for her.— Eshaan Roshan (@RoshanEshaan) June 19, 2019Why are these sisters obsessed with this family ? My bade papa is undergoing a health crisis, Didi is vulnerable. It’s a very sensitive period for our family.I request these people to be sensitive and not act as vultures.— Eshaan Roshan (@RoshanEshaan) June 19, 2019Follow @News18Movies for more A day after Hrithik Roshan’s cousin Eshaan Roshan came out in his support in the Sunaina Roshan case, the actor’s ex-wife Sussanne Khan has defended him by asking people to respect a family’s “tough period”.Sunaina has alleged that her family, including her brother Hrithik, has been extremely unkind to her in recent times. She even tweeted that she supported Kangana Ranaut in the infamous Hrithik-Kangana war, that has been going on for over three years now. Now, Sussanne has issued a statement on her official Instagram regarding the matter. In her statement, she wrote, “As a part of my experience with all concerned and in my life span of being a part of this close knit family, I know Sunaina, to be an extremely loving warm, caring person, who is in an unfortunate situation. Sunaina’s father is undergoing a major health crisis. Her mother is herself vulnerable to say the least. Please respect a family’s tough periods, each family goes through such times. I needed to say this as someone who has been a part of this family for long.” hrithik roshanHrithik-Kangana warKangana Ranaut Sunaina Roshansunaina roshan First Published: June 20, 2019, 8:47 AM ISTlast_img read more

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Wrong to Suggest Ramani Posted Tweets to Raise Awareness About Sexual Harassment

first_img me too indiaMJ Akbarpriya ramani First Published: July 6, 2019, 2:42 PM IST New Delhi: Former Union minister MJ Akbar on Saturday told a Delhi court that articles and tweets by journalist Priya Ramani were not meant to raise awareness on sexual harassment at workplace.During his cross-examination by senior advocate Rebecca John, appearing for Ramani, Akbar was questioned about the allegations made by other women journalists who had also accused him of sexual misconduct while they were working with him. “It is wrong to suggest that Ramani’s disclosures in her tweets and articles were true and made in good faith for public interest,” Akbar said. “It is also wrong to suggest that the articles and tweets of Priya Ramani were meant to raise awareness of pervasiveness of the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace,” he added.While he termed as “misunderstanding the allegations made by Majlie De Puy Kamp, who worked with him as an intern, Akbar said he was not aware of an article written by his former colleague Ruth David accusing him of sexual harassment.”I am not aware nor have I read any articles written by Ruth David recounting instances of sexual misconduct on my part. If any article is written, the allegations are denied,” the former editor told Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal.Akbar, who had resigned as minister state for external affairs on October 17 last year following the allegations levelled during the #MeToo campaign, said that prior to filing the complaint against Ramani, he was aware that several other women had made allegations against him but he did not file any complaint of defamation against any other person, international or Indian publication.However, he said he was not selective in filing this complaint against Ramani in order to target her. He said that Ramani’s tweets used language that was deeply offensive, maligning, in bad faith, and a web of fabrication spun out of the lies. He also said that the allegations in Ramani’s articles were false. The court will now take up the matter on July 15.Akbar filed a private criminal defamation complaint against Ramani after his name cropped up on social media as the #MeToo campaign raged on in India. Ramani accused Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago when he was a journalist. He has denied the accusations.Akbar had earlier told the court that the allegations made in the article in Vogue and the subsequent tweets were defamatory on the face of it as the complainant had deposed them to be false and imaginary. He had told the court in his statement that an “immediate damage” has been caused to him due to the scurrilous, concocted and false allegations of sexual misconduct.Multiple women have come out with accounts of alleged sexual harassment by him while he was working as a journalist. Akbar has termed the allegations “false, fabricated and deeply distressing” and said he was taking appropriate legal action against them. (With inputs from PTI) last_img read more

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JP Nadda Appointed BJP Working President Amit Shah to Remain Party Chief

first_img Amit ShahBharatiya Janata PartyBJPBJP President First Published: June 17, 2019, 7:57 PM IST | Edited by: Sumedha Kirti New Delhi: Former Union minister JP Nadda was appointed as the national working president of the BJP at the party’s parliamentary board meeting on Monday evening. Amit Shah, who has entered the Narendra Modi cabinet as the home minister, will continue to be BJP chief and will likely see the party through assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand elections later this year. “The BJP won several elections under leadership of Amit Shah ji. But since PM appointed him home minister, Amit Shah ji himself said the responsibility of party president should be given to someone else. The BJP parliamentary board has selected JP Nadda as working president,” senior leader and defence minister Rajnath Singh said.The @BJP4India has won several elections under the leadership of party president Shri @AmitShah. After the Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi appointed him the Home Minister, Amitji himself had said that the responsibility of party president should be given to someone else. 1/2— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) June 17, 2019BJP Parliamentary board met today and it has selected Shri @JPNadda as the working president. He will remain the working president till the BJP’s membership drive& org. elections are over. Congratulations & best wishes to Naddaji for shouldering this new responsibility. 2/2— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) June 17, 2019After Shah was nominated to the Union cabinet, it was widely expected that the BJP will have a new president. Similar procedure was followed in 2014 when Rajnath Singh demitted office as the BJP chief after being made Home Minister in the Modi government.Shah replaced Rajnath as the organisational head, and completed his predecessor’s remaining term.The organisational election process in the BJP starts later this year and culminates with the election of national president in January 2020. The amended BJP constitution stipulates for two full three-year term for the post of the party president.Nadda, a Brahmin leader from Himachal Pradesh, enjoys the confidence of the party’s top brass, is trusted by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh – the BJP’s ideological parent – and enjoys a clean reputation. He was the health minister in the first Narendra Modi government. That Nadda (58) maintains a low-profile went in his favour as the new working president will be expected to run the organisation in cohesion with the government and carry on with organisational agenda firmed up by Shah. Nadda is a member of the BJP’s parliamentary board, the party’s top decision-making body having its most important members, that gives him requisite seniority for the job as well. Known as a master strategist, Nadda was given the charge of Uttar Pradesh in the recently concluded elections in which the party bagged 62 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Educated at St. Xaviers School in Patna, Nadda thereafter did his BA from Patna College, Patna University and LLB from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla. He was three-time MLA in the Himachal assembly and came to the Upper House from Himachal Pradesh when he was appointed Union minister in 2014.After being appointed working president, Nadda, in a series of tweets, said Modi’s guidance has always been inspirational for him and under the prime minister’s leadership the party has got huge support from people of the country. “I will try to strengthen the party as its worker…serving the party is like worship for me,” Nadda said.Thanking Shah, Nadda said that under his leadership the party touched new heights which is exemplary and in the same way he will also serve the partylast_img read more

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Will Tejashwi Yadav Return to Lead Oppn in Bihar Assembly RJDs Crisis

first_img grand alliance in BiharLalu Prasad YadavLok Sabha elections 2019Rashtriya Janata Dal First Published: June 24, 2019, 11:24 PM IST | Edited by: Sohini Goswami Patna: With the Monsoon session of the Bihar Assembly set to begin on June 28, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is in a literal crisis with its leader, Tejashwi Yadav, missing from the scene. Although a few other senior leaders like Abdul Bari Siddiqui and Bhola Yadav may be able to take up the role of the leader of the opposition, RJD president Ramchandra Purve expressed hope that Tejashwi would turn up on time. Another senior leader, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, told News18, “We expect Tejashwi to take charge of the Monsoon session. If he does not, then it is certainly a serious concern for everyone.” Singh added that those considered to be Tejashwi’s mentor may have a better idea as he himself wasn’t aware of the Yadav scion’s whereabouts. He was referring to senior leaders Jagadanand Singh and Manoj Jha, both of whom are considered very close to the RJD acting president.After Raghuvansh Singh recently told reporters that Tejashwi, a cricket enthusiast, may be in England where the World Cup is underway, Jha had said the Yadav scion was in Delhi.Last week, a poster also came up in Muzaffarpur declaring a reward of Rs 5,100 for anyone able to track down a “missing” Tejashwi.Since the Lok Sabha election results were declared on May 23, Tejashwi has been missing from the scene. He remained absent even from a party meeting held on May 28 to review the poll debacle. In the meeting, it was decided a three-member committee led by Jagadanand Singh would soon submit a report on the matter.Tejashwi’s silence on issues such as the increasing number of deaths due to encephalitis and heat-wave in Bihar has raised several eyebrows in the state’s political circle. In his last post on Twitter, Tejashwi sent out birthday wishes for his father and RJD founder Lalu Prasad Yadav on June 10. Although many had expected him to remain present at the party office in Delhi, along with his sister Misa Bharti and Jha to celebrate the day, that was not to happen.When Raghuvansh Singh and Purve recently went to meet the families of ailing children at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur, they were bombarded with queries about Tejashwi’s absence. A visibly embarrassed Singh said, “Why was the media talking about Tejashwi’s absence, a non-issue, while not questioning the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was voted in for better governance?” “Tejashwi worked very hard in the parliamentary election, so now he is on a holiday. The whole party is active. Why you are asking such questions?” Purve told reporters.Bhai Virendra, another leader who was earlier the party spokesperson, had a different take. “Why is Tejashwi expected to remain present at all occasions? The party is already active on the various issues concerning the state and its senior leaders are doing the job responsibly,” he said. The state Congress, an RJD ally, has also raised questions about the absence. Recently, Pradesh Congress Committee president Madan Mohan Jha said the leader of Opposition should have been present with the people of Bihar at a time when several families were losing their children due to the encephalitis outbreak.Sources said Tejashwi was upset with some party leaders and alliance partners for opposing him on several occasions ahead of the Lok Sabha election that ultimately led to their drubbing. He was also allegedly facing trouble from within the family. Tejashwi is further angry over the fact that the alliance partners squarely blamed him for the rout in Bihar. The state Congress leadership had also boycotted a review meeting held on May 29. Hindustani Awam Morcha (secular) president and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has said he was not ready to accept Tejashwi as the leader of the grand alliance ahead of the Assembly election in 2020.“After facing so much criticism and opposition from all quarters, Tejashwi now wants his father to issue clarity on the issue so that he can be given complete command, else he would work as a party soldier,” said a senior RJD leader on condition of anonymity.Lalu Yadav, who is currently serving a 14-year sentence in Jharkhand in a multi-million-rupee fodder scam, is said to be very unhappy with the churning and is likely to bring about a major overhaul in the party after the national executive meet on July 6.Meanwhile, the ruling Janata Dal-United (JDU) led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is having a hearty laugh. Party spokesperson Sanjay Singh recently said, “The RJD should file an FIR to get information about its missing leader Tejashwi Yadav… Those who were saying that Kumar would have to hide his face after the Lok Sabha results are announced are themselves missing for the scene,” he added. last_img read more

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Digital Trends Live Facebooks Study Ubers fastfood drones deepfake Zuck

first_img Digital Trends Live: Florida’s autonomous vehicle law, E3 updates, and more Digital Trends Live: Prime’s one-day shipping, Samsung Fold delay, and more Digital Trends Live: Facebook’s cryprocurrency, Walmart deliveries, and more Digital Trends Live: Pixel 4 images, Samsung’s Wall TV, Uber’s skyports Digital Trends Live: Impossible Burger rollout, Mother’s Day guide, and more On this episode of Digital Trends Live, DT Content Manager Hanif Jackson joins host Greg Nibler to dig into the trending tech news of the day, including Facebook’s new Study app that pays users for their data, Uber’s fast-food delivery drones, a new Legend of Zelda game, an E3 update, deepfake Mark Zuckerberg, and more.Later, DT senior writer Parker Hall sits down with Shaun Masavage, chief executive officer of Edge Tech Labs, to discuss and test their Fret Zealot LED learning system for the ukulele.Nibler then welcomes Loren McDonald, program director of marketing research for IBM Watson Marketing, to talk about how to improve customer experience using A.I.DT News Editor Matt Katz joins us from Digital Summit Portland, where he speaks with Oath’s “Digital Prophet” David Shing, as well as Intel Senior UX designer Saara Kamppari-Miller.DT Video Producer Riley Winn continues his reports from E3, where he chats with YouTube gamer ProPepper about his evolution as a gaming content creator. ProPepper is represented by Fullscreen. Editors’ Recommendationslast_img read more

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Galaxy S8 is still only second best to Pixel says DxOMark

first_imgThe Google Pixel, the tech giant’s first ever “made by Google” phone, burst into the market with a shockingly good camera. So good that it has topped DxOMark’s charts months after its launch. If you expected that the most recent batch of new smartphones would be toppling it, think again. DxOMark has just given the Samsung Galaxy S8 an extensive testing and, while praiseworthy, the smartphone falls one point short of even tying with the Pixel. To its credit, Samsung’s flagships have generally done well on DxOMark’s charts, topping former king Sony and on par, sometimes even surpassing, Apple’s iPhones. But it seems that Samsung has finally met its match and might take another iteration before it can claim the crown again.That’s not to say that the Galaxy S8’s camera isn’t good. In fact, DxOMark does concede that it’s one of the best they’ve tested. But, as always, the devil is in the details. For example, the Galaxy S8 does great in low-light situations, reducing noise considerably. However, this comes at the expense of a slight loss of detail and sharpness, which may be acceptable, depending on your needs.Video recording is where the Galaxy S8 improved the most over its predecessor. Particularly, image stabilization has been improved even indoors. The tradeoff, however, comes in noise levels, which are particularly visible in low light.The Galaxy S8 earns an 88 in still photos and an equal 88 in video, with an average score of 88. That’s just one point shy of being on the same pedestal as the Google Pixel. Somewhat ironically, this does emphasize Google’s accomplishment even more, that it was able to achieve such high scores for less, like relying only on digital stabilization instead of OIS for non-shaky videos.SOURCE: DxOMark Story TimelineSamsung Galaxy S8 Review: On the shoulders of giantsGalaxy S8+ gets 6GB RAM, 128GB storage in Hong KongGalaxy S8 ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Edition surfaces in photoslast_img read more

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HTC President of Smartphones quits aims for AI

first_imgIn the long term, you’ll find that HTC moves in one of two directions. One is going out of business – they won’t do this. They’ve been acquired by Google and they’re most certainly going to be around in one form or another for some time to come. The other option is a move toward smartphones that set the company aside in a much more obvious way.Over the past few years, HTC’s gone from a major player in the smartphone business in the USA and abroad, to a relatively small operation. They’re still on our minds as tech news writers and readers, but they’re not commanding store shelves by any means. In the near future, we’ll expect a more Google-ified approach to their hardware business.NOTE: Back in 2012, Chang joined HTC as CFO. Before that, he worked at Motorola. After HTC, rumors suggest he’ll set up his own company in Taiwan dedicated to artificial intelligence. This guy also worked at Goldman Sachs in the past – so it’s clear he’s able to move about from position to position with relative ease. HTC confirmed to SlashGear that Chang has, indeed, resigned from his position as President of the Smartphone and Connected Devices Business at HTC. HTC continued, “We thank him for his dedication to the Company for the last six years and wish him well in his future endeavors.” For more information on HTC’s current status with Google, head down into the timeline below. This is a very strange time for the company. A very strange time indeed. Story TimelineGoogle buys part of HTC’s smartphone operations for $1.1bHTC reportedly cut down on number of phones in 2018Google closes HTC deal, welcomes smartphone innovators Smartphone company HTC’s President of the Smartphone and Connected Devices Business, Chialin Chang, has resigned from his position. This position has not yet been filled by the company as of the first publishing of this article. But what’s this all mean for you, the end user? Not one whole heck of a lot in the short term.last_img read more

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Android phones may not be as secure as they claim

first_imgIndeed, not for nothing does Android have a reputation for being a Wild West of security patches and OS versions. It’s not just cheap phones and tablets that are still being sold running a version of Android several generations behind the cutting edge, either. Top tier phone-makers have also demonstrated that they’re not on the ball when it comes to releasing new software versions, with delays stretching to months after Google makes the core software available. Now, Wired reports, a team from Security Research Labs plans to reveal a lapse that’s arguably even more concerning. In a presentation at the Hack in the Box security conference, Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell will detail the results of two years of reverse-engineering Android device code. The pair looked at 1,200 Android phones, they say, to see if the security updates that had been made available were actually included. Worryingly, in some cases, they were not. Nohl and Lell have dubbed it the “patch gap”: a discrepancy between the patches available and what’s actually been included. “It’s small for some devices and pretty significant for others,” Nohl says. As many as a dozen patches could be absent, the research found. AdChoices广告Even when updates were available, they might not be what they seem. “Sometimes these guys just change the date without installing any patches,” Nohl says. It looked at more than a dozen phone manufacturers, including Google, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and ZTE. Google, for its part, counters that there’s more to the issue than just misleading manufacturers. While it agrees that the area needs greater attention, it also points out that some of the devices in the study may not have been Android certified, meaning the standards of security they’re held to are different. It also highlighted Android’s core security features, which have made hacking even unpatched phones more difficult, and counters that some of the missing patches may have been down to companies leaving out the features they relate to. Nohl says that last point is actually very uncommon, but welcomes more attention to the issue. There are a number of possible contributing factors, the research suggests, beyond just vendor. While some manufacturers only missed at most one patch that SRL was looking for – including Google, Sony, Samsung, and Wiko – other devices, particularly those using MediaTek processors, had far more absences. Actually taking advantage of unpatched phones is still a tricky matter, and the security risk is almost certainly still higher from simply downloading a compromised app. Nonetheless, it’s another sight of the challenge Google faces in trying to elevate Android’s security credibility, particularly when it comes to a matter it can only hope to influence, not control. Your Android phone may not be on the level when it tells you it’s up to date on software, with security researchers warning that even device-makers releasing relatively timely updates could in fact be missing out security updates. Over the past few years, Google has pushed its OEM partners like smartphone manufacturers to be more aggressive with their updates, but it’s been an uphill battle. last_img read more

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Uber patent details AI that can tell if riders are drunk or

first_imgUber has submitted an application to patent an artificial intelligence technology that identifies drunk passengers. The patent, which is dated June 7 with the US Patent and Trademark Office, is titled “Predicting User State Using Machine Learning,” and it hints that such a system may be used to accommodate riders who are outside of their “normal behavior” state. The patent describes a system that is trained to identify passenger states so that it can determine when they’re acting outside of their normal behavioral state. “The prediction is based on data associated with a request submitted by a user,” Uber explains in the patent. Machine learning would be behind this system. The company indicates that the system could be used as a way to prevent issues that could arise when “users and/or providers behave uncharacteristically.” Being drunk is perhaps the most common instance in which a passenger may be in an altered state that results in “uncharacteristic” behaviors, but the patent also points toward tiredness as another possible issue.One usage example is that a tired passenger could have trouble finding the driver’s car compared to someone who is well rested. Knowing whether a passenger is behaving unusually can help mitigate any issues before they become problems. Based on the patent, the system appears to be one that depends on past user data to predict future behaviors.AdChoices广告The user’s current state is also determined by this system based on how they handle their smartphone. If the user is clumsy with their handset, for example, and if they make a lot of typographical errors, the system would guess a level of impairment that might indicate abnormal behaviors. The patent explains things that may help the system make its determination:For example, the user activity can include text input characteristics, interface interaction characteristics, and device handling characteristics. For example, text input characteristics may include the number of typographical errors entered by a user or the number of characters erased by a user while entering a search query. Examples of interface interaction characteristics include the amount of time for a user to interact with the user interface after new information (or a modified display) is shown to the user, or the user’s accuracy in pressing an interface element on the device.So, for example, a user who typically walks at 3MPH, who rarely makes typos while entering text on their phone, and who doesn’t have to try to tap buttons multiple times, will have trained the system with those characteristics. Based on this, the system will guess the person is in an altered state if they’re walking at an unusual pace, making typos, and having trouble tapping buttons.How would Uber use this data? It could, for example, prevent a possibly drunk passenger from joining a ride that has multiple passengers, a way to avoid possible issues. The system could also pair riders with drivers who are experienced to handle them. Of course, a patent doesn’t mean the system will actually ever be implemented.SOURCE: USPTOlast_img read more

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Nokia 31 budget phone preorders arrive in the US

first_imgREAD: Nokia 2.1, 3.1, and 5.1 arrive this summerThe Nokia 3.1 is a budget-tier smartphone targeted at buyers who need something decent at a similarly decent price. The handset is generously sized with a 5.2-inch 1440 x 720 18:9 display, and adding to the appeal is the complete lack of a notch.Though this phone’s specs aren’t blowing anyone away, they’re pretty decent at this price. The Nokia 3.1 features a MediaTek 6750 1.25GHz octa-core processor under the hood, as well as 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Around back, users find a 16-megapixel camera with auto-focus and an LED flash.AdChoices广告Unfortunately, HMD doesn’t make any mention of a fingerprint sensor, but that’s not a deal-breaker for most users. The phone does have a microSD slot for expanding the storage, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS/AGPS/GLONASS/Beidou, 4G LTE support, and Corning Gorilla Glass.The handset has the expected array of features: light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope. Rounding it all out is a 2990mAh battery, a single speaker and headphone port, and a micro USB charging/data port. You can grab the handset now on Amazon for $159 USD. The Nokia 3.1, one of three new smartphones HMD announced late last month, is now available to preorder in the United States. You won’t get your hands on the phone right away, but preorders have gone live on Amazon with shipping listed as July 2. This budget phone won’t break the bank at $159 USD, but is it worth buying at all?last_img read more

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Nike power laces return in 2019 for lower price

first_imgThe HyperAdapt 1.0, a pair of shoes released back in November of 2016, cost a whopping $720 USD. You can find them in black (2nd release) in some stores for around $600 USD right this minute. If you’re all about the first edition, you’re going to be paying over a thousand bucks – well over a thousand if you’re looking for some mint condition all-white HyperAdapt 1.0 sneakers. EARL indeed!The second generation Nike HyperAdapt will have a set of four flashing lights on their heels. These lights flash when the system starts tightening. “When you see the blue glow, let E.A.R.L. do its thing.” The shoes also sport the Nike sayings “In the future, there are no laces,” and “the perfect fit, every time.” If you’re looking for the second generation, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find the tech for a much more affordable price. The “adaptive performance platform” shoe in its 2.0 edition for less than half the original price. Nike suggests the suggested retail price of HyperAdapt 2.0 will be around $350 USD.AdChoices广告Nike Executive Vice President Andy Campion suggested that Nike HyperAdapt 2.0 will begin to hit stores in Spring of 2019. ” That begins in Spring with the launch of the Air Max 720 and HyperAdapt in Basketball and extends to innovation platforms launching in early FY20 and through the Tokyo Olympics,” said Campion during the Nike Q2 FY19 earnings call. The average consumer might be able to afford the next Nike self lacing shoes – imagine that! Nike’s announcement this week suggests that the Back to the Future shoe will be back – sort of – inside the next year. This next-generation release won’t LOOK LIKE the original Nike Air Mag, but they’ll work pretty much the same. This is the “future of footwear” in the form of a Nike shoe called Nike HyperAdapt, complete with Nike E.A.R.L. (Electric Adaptable Reaction Lacing). Story TimelineNIKE MAG Official Details Released in Full [Updated with Max Detail]Back to the Future NIKE MAG self-lacing sneakers details emergingWhere and How: the 2015 NIKE MAG Back to the Future sneaker with power lacesNike MAG Back to the Future shoes made affordable with HyperAdapt 1.0NIKE Air Mag 2016 with power laces released in photos and videolast_img read more

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Orro Switch is an intelligent cloudfree lighting system for homes

first_imgOrro has introduced a new smart dimmer called Switch, a product that intelligently controls the lighting in one’s home for an automatic, convenient experience. The product doesn’t depend on the cloud, meaning an outage won’t take out the user’s lighting, and the device is designed to function without Internet. The company has also put an emphasis on privacy, stating that all of Orro’s features are opt-in. Story TimelineLighthouse AI security camera company shuts down, offers refundsRing Beams outdoor lighting might finally be close to launchGE Lighting new smart bulbs get Google Home support to take on Hue Connected light bulbs are great, but come with various downsides, including the potential for an outage depending on the system, as well as bulbs that may turn on at full brightness if they briefly disconnect, then reconnect to the Internet. While the technology is smarter than a basic switch, there’s still some hassle at times, requiring users to program schedules and manually trigger lights.Orro Switch aims to offer an intelligent alternative to these problem — the system spends less than a week learning the user’s lighting preferences, using that information to automatically adapt the home’s lighting based on the user’s activities. The system relies on sensors rather than cameras and responds to presence, not just motion, according to the company. The device was created with automotive and industrial parts, according to the company, which says the switch is durable enough to last at least a decade. As well, the switch has a microprocessor and everything it needs built-in, eliminating reliance on the cloud. Users can access extra features through the Orro app, but the company says it isn’t necessary for the system to work.The app is only necessary for the product’s setup, which is said to take 15 minutes and involve installation requiring only “simple household tools.” The device supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for activating lighting patterns or adjusting brightness levels verbally. The system is compatible with existing bulbs and light fixtures.The smart dimmer is available to purchase from Orro starting today.last_img read more

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