Information from the INDATA Project is now available via podcast! Every Friday, the INDATA Project will release two podcasts featuring new assistive technology projects. The podcasts are available for viewing on the INDATA Project website and on iTunes. The “Assistive Technology Update” is a fast-paced weekly update for AT professionals and enthusiasts. The “Accessibility Minute” is designed for all listeners to provide assistive technology tips and tricks.ATU044: RESNA (Alex Mihailidis) , Run Windows on your iPad, Are you happy with SIRI, AppWriter, BrightStar, VisionAssist, Cause and Effect AppsAM044: Sensory BinsShare this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATU044 – RESNA (Alex Mihailidis) , Run Windows on your iPad, Are you happy with SIRI, AppWriter, BrightStar, VisionAssist, Cause and Effect AppsMarch 30, 2012In “Assistive Technology Update”Friday PodcastsJune 24, 2011In “Accessibility Reviews”Friday PodcastOctober 21, 2011In “Accessibility Reviews”
Josh Anderson, Assistive Technology Specialist, at Easter Seals Crossroads, shows us an app called Inspiration Maps which is a great tool for brainstorming and then turning those ideas into organized outlines, graphs, and diagrams.Check it out here:Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedMonday Tech Tip: Tiny Hands Apps for Kids: Sorting 1 and Lotto 2September 21, 2015In “Tech Tips”Tech Tip: TRANO Language TranslatorMarch 2, 2015In “Communication”Tech Tip: Doc and App Readers on ZoomTextDecember 8, 2014In “Tech Tips”
Training little ones how to use the potty can be a huge challenge. Consistency is key, and if you’re looking for a way to remind your child it’s time to potty, look no further than the Potty Time Potty Watch.With the Potty Watch, you simply set it for 30, 60, or 90 minutes. It automatically resets for consistent reminders all day long. According to the company’s website, “Kids are always on the move and rarely want to slow down for practicalities. Potty Watch empowers them in the process. Best of all, the training experience changes from confrontation to collaboration.”Features of the Potty Time Potty Watch:Colorful lights and music let children know when it’s time to go to the pottyOnce the music and lights play, the timer automatically resets itself for consistent reminders all day longYou can set the timer to go off every 30, 60 or 90 minutesIncludes multiple sing-along songs with potty time lyrics to get your child excited about going to the potty2 LR44 batteries requiredEasy to use stainless steel buckleFits a large range of wrists from a small child to many adultsAvailable in blue, green, and pinkClick here to learn more!Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedAM304 – Potty Time Potty WatchNovember 16, 2018In “Accessibility Minute”ATFAQ030 – iPhones, Google Calendar, Wheelchairs and AirplanesMay 23, 2016In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”Myself Belts : One-handed beltsMay 25, 2017In “Autism”
Thomson Reuters Closes Acquisition of Confirmation PRNewswire1 day agoJuly 22, 2019 Thomson Reuters announced that it has closed the acquisition of Confirmation, a leading provider of secure audit confirmation services. Thomson Reuters previously announced on June 21 that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Confirmation, with completion of the acquisition subject to specified regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.Marketing Technology News: WebCEO, the Agency Oriented Marketing Platform, Launches a New Local SEO ModuleConfirmation, which provides digital confirmation services to more than 16,000 audit firms, 4,000 banks and departments and 5,000 law firms across 170 countries, is now part of the Tax & Accounting Professionals segment of Thomson Reuters.Marketing Technology News: Progress Named a Leader in the New 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multiexperience Development PlatformsCharlotte Rushton, president, Tax & Accounting Professionals, Thomson Reuters, said, “With the acquisition of Confirmation, we continue to fortify Thomson Reuters leadership in the tax, accounting and audit industry. The integration of Confirmation will enhance the capabilities of our Cloud Audit Suite, the most comprehensive cloud solution on the market which delivers integrated know-how and complete workflow management for audit professionals.”Marketing Technology News: Introducing Shutterstock Elements, Thousands of Cinema-Grade Video Effects for Filmmakers ConfirmationMarketing Technology NewsNewsThomson Reuters Previous ArticleTeleverde Joins United Nations Global CompactNext ArticleWith Infobip, Daraz Enhances Customer Experience Through Mobile Messaging Solutions
WebEngage Partners with Kenscio’s Email Management Solution MTS Staff WriterJune 21, 2019, 3:05 pmJune 21, 2019 WebEngage Expands Its Burgeoning Partner Portfolio With the Inclusion of Kenscio’s Email Infrastructure & Deliverability Management Solution Intelligent retention marketing platform WebEngage announced an expansion of their ESP portfolio via a strategic partnership with Kenscio Digital Marketing.WebEngage is a cloud-based Marketing Automation solution that offers cross-channel user engagement via Email, SMS, Mobile and Web Push, In-App Messages, and Web Messages, IVR & Facebook.The email medium has been a critical player in WebEngage’s cross-channel engagement portfolio. Currently, WebEngage powers through over 500 million emails every month across a wide variety of industry verticals. The decision to partner with Kenscio serves as a natural extension of WebEngage’s Email offering portfolio. Kenscio offers a comprehensive Email Deliverability Suite that enables marketers to strategically measure & manage email campaigns and ensure that their marketing emails are reaching the subscribers’ Inbox through a gamut of smart features.Marketing Technology News: Franklin Sports Selects CommerceIQ To Empower Their E-Commerce Team To Manage Amazon Holistically With this alliance, WebEngage clients can access a robust email solution that specializes in deliverability accuracy and efficiency.WebEngage’s Co-Founder & CEO, Avlesh Singh highlighted, “Email has always been a difficult channel to master, but with Kenscio’s expertise in the domain and best in class infrastructure, WebEngage can confidently offer scale to its customers across the globe. We believe that such partnerships can help solve the complex challenges that modern marketers experience every day.” Avlesh stressed on the importance of the email channel by stating that, “Email as a communication medium continues to be one of the biggest channels of engagement for a lot of consumer businesses. With WebEngage, marketers can create truly personalized and contextual email campaigns, and robust email solution providers like Kenscio help bolster our capabilities in that regard. This is just the beginning of a much deeper partnership that will touch several aspects of the business in the years to come.”Marketing Technology News: Qumu Signs International Partnership Agreement with London Startup CaptionHubKenscio’s CEO, Mr. Manjunatha KG mentioned, “We are thrilled that our experience as an email infrastructure & solutions provider can be leveraged by WebEngage, who are leaders in the Omni-Channel Marketing Automation space. We look forward to collaborating with WebEngage to ensure that the clients benefit from contextual & personalized email campaigns and maximized deliverability and effectiveness.”Marketing Technology News: Unstoppable Domains Announces the Top 60 Zilliqa Domain Names Up for Auction Email Management SolutionIntelligent retention marketingmarketing automationMarketing TechnologyNewsWebEngage Previous ArticleNew Research: How Brands Can Connect on OTT and CTVNext ArticleSignallamp Retains Sage Growth Partners for Strategic Marketing Communications Services
McDonald’s Expanded Role Will See Him Continue to Push Xero’s Core Accounting Products to the Next LevelXero, the global small business platform, has appointed Jamie McDonald as Executive General Manager Product, Accounting and Global Services. This role will see him lead the development of the core accounting tools that more than 1.8 million subscribers use every day.McDonald will also continue as co-CEO of Hubdoc, which joined the Xero family in August 2018.McDonald’s expanded role will see him lead the continued improvement of Xero’s core accounting products for small businesses, including Xero Mobile. Bringing his deep customer understanding and expertise in data automation from Hubdoc, McDonald will lead Xero’s mission of allowing business owners and their advisors to focus on the work that really matters, instead of being tied-up by admin tasks. This will be achieved by ensuring that automation and intelligence are a core focus of every Xero product.Marketing Technology News: Imperva to Acquire Distil Networks, the Industry-Recognized Leader in Bot Management“We’re thrilled to have a product leader of Jamie McDonald’s calibre driving such a crucial part of our business,” said Anna Curzon, Chief Product and Partner Officer at Xero. “His knowledge and experience is invaluable in accelerating our ability to unleash the power of AI and ML for small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers. Intelligent automation will unlock trillions of insights from the information small businesses need most, and provide more accurate information to owners and advisors so they can confidently make decisions about how to run, grow and operate their business.”McDonald’s appointment is the next step in the evolution of Xero’s work with Hubdoc and ensures the teams will work closely together to streamline and seamlessly connect small businesses with their financial data on the Xero platform.Marketing Technology News: RedPoint Announces Digital Acquisition Platform for Targeted Ad ExperiencesJamie McDonald, Executive General Manager, Product, Accounting and Global Services, said: “I’m excited to be taking on this role to continue our work in harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning for the benefit of Xero customers around the globe. We have an extremely talented team of Xeros working on a once-in-a-generation software opportunity. Being a part of bringing our teams together to deliver on that vision is thrilling.”The Hubdoc go-to-market teams will continue to report to Jamie Shulman, the co-CEO of Hubdoc.Marketing Technology News: SRAX and The ALS Association Give BIGtoken Users a New Way to Donate Real Money with Their Data Earnings AI and MLJamie McDonaldMarketing Technology NewsNewssmall business platformXero Previous ArticleCommerceIQ Enables Movado’s E-Commerce Team With Amazon Command Center To Take Actions Efficiently Across Sales, Marketing, and OperationsNext ArticleBidtellect’s Answer for Growing Advertiser Demand is Major Infrastructure Environment Overhaul Xero Appoints Hubdoc Co-founder Jamie McDonald to lead Accounting and Global Services PRNewswireJune 11, 2019, 1:28 pmJune 11, 2019
Bhatpara/New Town (WB): Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday invoked the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 to draw a parallelwith the efforts by her party to dislodge the Narendra Modi government in the ongoing parliamentary polls.”Sepoy Mutiny was the first uprising against the British in India. Now the biggest threat and problem in the country is Narendra Modi,” she said at a rally in support of TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi, who is pitted against BJP’s Arjun Singh.The Sepoy Mutiny was a violent and bloody uprising against British rule in India in 1857. Raising the slogan “Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao”, she sought the support of the people for TMC in both Lok Sabha and assembly by-election at Bhatpara.The by-election was necessitated as Singh, who was the Bhatpara TMC MLA had quit the party and switched to BJP just before the Lok Sabha elections.Slamming the Modi government, she said democracy is at stake and BJP is involved in riots. “This cannot happen here (Bengal)”.”We have seen national leaders like Gandhiji, Netaji Ambedkar and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. But we have never seen a leader like Modi. His very appearance is like Gabbar Singh”.Gabbar Singh is a fictional character, the antagonist of the 1975 Bollywood film ‘Sholay’.”What we want is a democratic government – a government for the people. We don’t want Modi”, she said.Referring to the comment by Modi that 40 MLAs of TMC in Bengal are in touch with him, she said it is unbecoming of a prime minister to make such a statement during elections.”I ask him to name one of such MLA,” she challenged adding “TMC is now a full-grown tree and it is not easy to destabilise it. We do not fear any sort of threats”.The TMC supremo alleged that BJP is spending huge sums of money to influence the vote. “He (Modi) is travelling with big boxes,” she said referring to the recent alleged incident in which a black box was reportedly offloaded from the prime minister’s helicopter during his visit to Chitradurg in Karnataka for poll campaign.Banerjee alleged that Modi had never looked at West Bengal and is now coming to the state begging for votes.”Narendra Modi is shameless. He says that nothing has been done in the state and is now seeking votes to do something for Bengal.”Just come and see the development which has taken place in Rajarhat-New Town area. If he compares the traffic system with this area and Delhi, he will be surprised to see the roads and lighting that has been done”, she said.The TMC supremo accused Modi that of doing nothing for the country in the last five years and instead raising the fuel prices when it had softened in the international market.”This vote is of a different nature. Either Modi will stay or go. If he stays, then everything will be destroyed and shattered. If not, then democracy will prevail and flourish inthe country and everything will survive,” she said at a poll rally in New Town in the northern suburbs of the city. “Sepoy Mutiny started from Barrackpore. You keep this in mind and vote,” she told the gathering at Bhatpara, which is under the Barrackpore parliamentary constituency. Lok Sabha elections 2019Mamata Banerjeetrinamool congress First Published: May 2, 2019, 10:13 PM IST
Lok Sabha elections 2019manmohan singhNarendra ModiRahul Gandhi First Published: May 5, 2019, 10:34 PM IST Sagar: As PM Narendra Modi’s jibe at late PM Rajiv Gandhi continues to kick up a political storm, an unfazed Prime Minister on Sunday said that his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh was priming the office till Rahul Gandhi was ready to take up the mantle.“This is the party (Congress) which forced a Prime Minister onto the country so that they can replace him with a PM in waiting,” Modi said in a rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district. The PM compared the Congress move to that of a cricket team, which sends out a night watchman to bat when its team loses a wicket during the last session of a test series. “Dr Singh was picked up by the Congress as PM in 2004 when the party suddenly got power against their expectations and the party and even the family wasn’t sure of the capabilities of the ‘prince’,” he said using the common epithet attributed to Rahul Gandhi.Modi added that the (Gandhi) family had given the ‘prince’ maximum training and had waited for him to mature but, all their efforts have been in vain.“In the process, the country lost ten vital years of the 21st century and there was an atmosphere of despair and despondency by 2014.” The PM further claimed that in the ten years of Congress rule the GDP growth had declined to 5% with an inflation rate of 10% following former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee’s time in office which had seen an 8% growth rate and nominal rate of inflation.“The BJP then offered a stable and strong government from 2014 to 2019,” he said. The PM also promised that his party will by 2022 carry out projects involving the building of roads, toilets and other amenities, which the “Congress government would have taken 100 years” to implement.In the second rally in Gwalior, Modi said, “This is the first election post emergency in 1977 where the public is fighting the election to ensure the return of the (current) government.”“There are four parties in elections—Naampanthi, Wampanthi, Kaampanthi and Vikas Panthi,” said the PM reiterating his hopes that the public would opt for Vikaspanthi (pro-development) BJP.He further alleged that when a destitute individual had reached the government hospital in Amethi and showed his Ayushman Yojana card, he was turned away. “The governments in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan are also not extending benefits of Ayushman Yojana,” he claimed.
DalitDirector Pa Ranjith controversyKaala moviePa Ranjith Anticipatory Bail First Published: June 13, 2019, 11:14 AM IST Director Pa Ranjith on Wednesday moved the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court seeking anticipatory bail in the case registered against him for his “controversial” speech about Rajaraja Cholan. The court is likely to take up the petition shortly.Ranjith, who has delivered back-to-back hits like Kabali and Kaala starring Rajinikanth, was slapped with charges of promoting enmity between groups. Rajaraja I was a Cholan emperor from present day south India who ruled over the Cholan kingdom of medieval Tamil Nadu, parts of northern India, two thirds of Sri Lankan territory, Maldives and parts of East Asia, between 985 and 1014 CE. In a caustic remark against the king, Ranjith allegedly said it was during the era of the famed Cholan rule that lands of the oppressed communities were systemically appropriated and that there was a race currently going on among castes in Tamil Nadu to claim the legacy of Cholan.The application, filed by Ranjith, states “I addressed the speech only for the purpose of creating awareness about the possession of land, further I quoted the same from the historical books.””Apart from that, so many persons were speaking about the same issue on various previous occasions, but my speech alone was wrongly spreading among the social media.” (sic)In the application, Ranjith also mentioned that he “don’t have any intention to commit an offence, my speech would not attract any negative action in the society, at the same time it will create the necessity of having possession of land.”Ranjith made the comments while delivering a speech at Thirupanandal in Thanjavur district on June 5. Following a complaint by Hindu Makkal Katchi, a case has been registered. Police sources said, “In this regard, we have registered a case against the director under Ps Cr.No.105/19 U/S 153,153(A),(1),(a) IPC.”The director, couldn’t be reached for comment.Ranjith is a dalit activist and through his films, he has openly highlighted the troubles of those living on the economic societal fringes. Kabali was about the life of Malaysian Tamils oppressed by Chinese hegemonic forces. Kaala talked about how land was an instrument to power in Dharavi. His film Pariyerum Perumal speaks of the casteist society we live in, showing a young Dalit law student being humiliated for his caste identity and his friendship with a savarna woman.Ranjith has frequently raised his voice against real life caste atrocities. Last year, in an interview with News Minute, Ranjith said that he wants to make films on forgotten heroes, narrate stories that don’t catch the eye of the mainstream. His Bollywood film is going to be on tribal leader Birsa Munda who fought the British in pre-Independence India.Follow @News18Movies for more
Kylie MinogueKylie Minogue performancemiley cyrus First Published: July 2, 2019, 8:45 AM IST Kylie Minogue delighted a huge crowd at Glastonbury with hits including Spinning Around, Shocked and Better the Devil You Know, 14 years after illness forced her to cancel a headline performance at the festival. Kylie, as she is universally known, played all the catchy disco pop hits that the audience had come to hear, from I Should Be So Lucky, her breakthrough 1988 worldwide number one, to 2010 release All the Lovers. Minogue was due to headline Glastonbury, the world’s largest greenfield festival, in 2005, but was forced to pull out after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.“I wished things were different but life is what it is,” she said, chocking back tears of emotion. “We’re all here together in this moment.”She said some of the artists in 2005 had covered her songs, and she welcomed on stage one of them, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, to join her in performing Can’t Get You Out of My Head.The gig changed gear midway when the 51-year-old was joined by previous collaborator Nick Cave for the murder-themed ballad Where the Wild Roses Grow.But the serious interlude was brief in a show that featured a blast of rainbow Pride confetti, four costume changes, and mass singalongs from the sun-bathed capacity crowd, including for the Spinning Around finale.Minogue was followed by U.S. singer Miley Cyrus, who opened with Nothing Breaks Like a Heart, her collaboration with Mark Ronson, who joined her on stage.Her father Billy Ray Cyrus also appeared during the show, performing Old Town Road, with rapper Lil Nas X.U.S. rock band Vampire Weekend will play the main Pyramid Stage later on Sunday before British goth rock band the Cure close the festival.Follow @News18Movies for more
Editors’ Recommendations The Tetris Company and N3TWORK will be working together to develop new Tetris games for mobile devices, and the first product of the partnership is Tetris Royale.N3tWORK describes Tetris Royale as a “a fast and fun Tetris game with large-scale friendly competition at its core,” featuring the classic puzzler mechanics that have maintained the title’s popularity over the years.The twist is that Tetris Royale will incorporate the battle royale genre. It will feature a 100-player competitive mode where gamers will be matched up against one another, with the goal of being the last man standing.N3TWORK said that the game will feature leaderboards, which players will look to climb with each season. There will also be daily challenges to accomplish, which will allow players to earn rewards such as customization options, power-ups, and boosters.In addition to the 100-player battle royale mode, Tetris Royale will also feature daily competitions of thousands of players. Gamers who prefer the traditional version will be able to play a solo Marathon mode.The studio has not yet released any screenshots of the game in action though, and we’ll have to wait and see whether N3TWORK has more surprises up its sleeve.If Tetris Royale sounds familiar, it is because the game is similar to Tetris 99, which also adds a battle royale twist to the classic game. Tetris 99, however, is exclusive to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. Tetris Royale, meanwhile, is currently being developed for iOS and Android, with a plan of rolling out beta testing in certain territories within the year.Tetris Royale will be a new addition to the battle royale craze, which is headlined by Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Apex Legends. The current popularity of the genre has also given rise to amusing projects such as the 75-player Mario Royale, which has since been taken down.Digital Trends’ gaming editor Felicia Miranda talked with Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris, just in time for the game’s 35th birthday. The interview revealed several interesting tidbits, such as Pajitnov’s favorite version of the game, his favorite Tetromino, and why he think Tetris remains popular to this day. Persona 5 The Royal due in 2020, will introduce new character and story chapter Fallout 76 to add NPCs and a battle royale mode called Nuclear Wasteland Fortnite: Battle Royale review Battle to be the best plumber in the 75-player, fan-made Mario Royale Help wanted: British royal family seeks social media wiz to run its accounts
To gain access to the Android P Public Beta, head over to Google Android Beta right now. There you’ll either have to join the Beta Program, or you’ll already be signed up and will have only to tap a few buttons. Users can download this system on a number of devices, including Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and a few more.Non-Pixel phones in Android Public Beta program:• Essential Phone PH-1• Nokia 7 Plus• Oppo R15 Pro• Sony Xperia XZ2• Vivo X21UD• Vivo X21• Xiaomi Mi Mix 2SThis extended list is made possible by Project TrebleDownloading this update will take you a while. Unless you’ve got a SUPER fast bit of internet, you might be waiting for a few minutes – staring at your phone’s screen, digging your fingernails into your kneecaps, you know the drill. This update is going to ring in at around 1,167.8 MB (that’s approximately 1.2 GB) – assuming you’ve got a Pixel 2 XL. Other devices may have updates that size in differently.For those that’ve never used a Beta release of Android before – beware! This isn’t the sort of update you should get on your single, primary smartphone device. There’s a significant chance that bugs might appear, and features might not work. You don’t want to be caught without some vital bit of your phone’s functionality just because Google offered you the ability to get some new features earlier than most other users, right?Have a peek at the timeline below for a few Feature Spotlights for Android P. We’ll be continuing to explore Android P throughout the day and the week – and well into the future as well, of course! Today we’re having a peek at the Android P Public Beta as it’s made available through Google. This system update installs a beta version of Android P (PPP2.180412.013 on your smartphone this afternoon. This update is a “pre-release” edition of Android P, and should be treated as such. Users must opt-in to the Android Beta program to be a part of this preview update. Story TimelineAndroid Digital Wellbeing is Google’s new biggest dealAndroid P feature: New UI and GesturesAndroid P spotlight: Adaptive Battery
No Apple device so far has had dual SIM support despite the feature being available for years, especially on Android phones. Apple just didn’t see the need for it but the market has changed significantly over the years and dual SIM users will no longer be denied. Apple, however, might be doing things differently in a way that no Android phone has so far.According to Chinese media, Apple will take two approaches to dual SIM iPhones. In China, it will use a standard SIM tray with two card slots. In the US, however, it will utilize a single SIM tray paired with an Apple SIM. The latter has already been used in iPads as a rewritable virtual SIM solution. This lets Apple offer two SIMs while also giving users the flexibility of what network to use on the Apple SIM.Nothing’s set in stone yet but Apple’s divergent strategy is definitely unusual. Apple SIM isn’t supported in China, which is why Apple is forced to go the conventional route. However, rumors also say that only the 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus and the cheaper 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will get the dual SIM dual Standby feature, leaving the 2018 iPhone X out in the cold.All three iPhones, however, will share a similar bump in performance thanks to a new A12 chip and, more interestingly, an increased 4 GB of RAM. At least according to Geekbench (via VentureBeat). The one caveat being that the cheaper LCD iPhone might just have a modified set of last year’s specs. Either way, there could be as much a 10% increase in performance, which is already quite a lot for those specs. So while Android phones come with oodles of RAM and cores, the next iPhones will be able to do even more with less. The Android market has been pretty eventful these past months, with curious innovations like Vivo’s and Oppo’s elevating cameras and ASUS ROG’s gaming phone. That’s not to say, of course, that the iPhone is missing out on new features. It just so happens that Apple tends to focus more on practical innovation rather than fanciful ones. Take, for example, the upcoming iPhones which, based on new leaks, could one-up Android in two areas: dual SIM support and CPU performance.
Interest over this Samsung One UI isn’t all positive, of course. Even those on Samsung’s camp are curious how far the company will manage to mess up its Android interface. While it seemed that Samsung was finally falling in line for the past 2 years, it now has made a complete U-turn and will be striking its own path yet again.And it’s not just because its going overboard with the use of rounded corners that were perhaps inspired by Android Pie’s own design language. It will also be changing how some apps behave fundamentally, like moving important controls to the bottom of the screen for easier reach. While it will be argued that it could help usability, it definitely strays far from the Android standard.And it’s just the tip of the iceberg, as you can see from XDA’s screenshot above. There are more changes, those mostly confined to Samsung’s own apps. And it’s only just begun, as the next few weeks are expected to reveal more changes to Samsung’s UX. Maybe even some hints on how One UI will behave in foldable phones.The One UI beta program has now started but, as previously announced, it will be limited to a few countries. Currently only South Korea, Germany, and the US are known to get it. Plus, it’s only available on the Galaxy S9 and S9+, no Galaxy Note 9 yet. It might be too early to judge if this is Samsung’s final direction for One UI but, considering it’s in beta already, some things are probably already set in stone. It’s understandable that many are curious if not excited over Samsung’s Android 9 update. And it’s not just because of the Pie. Renamed as One UI, it exhibits Samsung’s biggest changes to its user interface that eclipses the mostly cosmetic ones it did in the Samsung Experience UX. Plus, it will be the UI that will run on its foldable phone next year. If that excitement turns into more than just mere curiosity, then you might want to try out Samsung’s One UI Android Pie beta. That is, if your Galaxy S9 or S9+ qualifies.
News feeds, a.k.a. RSS/Atom, have been said to have gone the way of the dodo. In its place has risen curated news services, initially like Flipboard. Pretty soon, however, that was no longer enough and companies, including Google, have started riding on the AI train to spread the news around. The latest to hop on board is Microsoft but not via its existing MSN News app. Instead, it has just silently released Hummingbird, offering “stories for you” as selected by AI. The idea behind these AI-driven news apps and services is that users probably don’t want to have to keep track of specific websites and sources. Unless those are very subject-specific, chances are they will have news and topics that may not appeal to you all the time. So instead of having to let you do the search, the AI will scour news sources for topics you might find interesting.Hummingbird isn’t really different in that regard. The initial setup requires you to select very broad topics but doesn’t let you drill into them. You will be able to fine-tune your selection later by showing disinterest in a story or even removing a source entirely. Over time, the AI will learn your preferences, or at least that the promise. Like many AI-based services, you can’t really tell how well it works until after you’ve used it regularly for some time. That’s fine for those who search through news as a pastime but probably not for those who rely on it for a living. So far, however, AI-curated news has yet to actually impress.Microsoft’s Hummingbird is currently only available on Android and only in the US (unless you download the APK). No word yet on an iOS version. It is definitely strange that Microsoft would put out yet another app when it already has one rather than integrate the AI features into MSN News. Then again, it might not matter because it will be heavily competing against Google News and Apple News on both platforms.
There probably isn’t a mouse around as well known as Microsoft’s IntelliMouse. The line has been around since 1996 with Microsoft releasing a number of new iterations over the past 23 years, and the latest one was announced today. Say hello to the Pro IntelliMouse, a new device that stands alongside 2017’s Classic IntelliMouse. Despite the “Pro” moniker, this new IntelliMouse seems pretty content with sticking to basics. There are five buttons in all – a rarity among many modern mice, especially gaming mice that seem to pack as many buttons on their frames as possible. Three of those buttons are programmable through the Windows Mouse and Keyboard Center, which is also where you can customize the color of the taillight.Microsoft say that it has upgraded the tracking sensor for this release, allowing the Pro IntelliMouse to “capture everything from the smallest flicks to the largest gestures with greater speed.” It also took some inspiration from its Xbox One accessories in designing the Pro IntelliMouse, giving it the gradient color scheme that has proven to be popular on Xbox One controllers. In the end, we’re left with a multi-purpose mouse that will probably be a good choice for people who don’t need anything too extreme. The Pro IntelliMouse is outfitted with a braided cable and designed with ergonomics in mind, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be an ambidextrous mouse like some of its predecessors have been.The Pro IntelliMouse is available now from the Microsoft Store and can be had in two colors: shadow black and shadow white. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to own one either, as the Pro IntelliMouse will only set you back $59.99.
Through the generations, the 3 Series has grown significantly in both size, available technology, and power. At the same time, the purists put the E46 on a pedestal against which any modern 3 series should be compared. They’re a tough audience, too: it’s fair to say that the sixth generation car never met with quite the reception BMW hoped it might.For this latest 3 Series, then, BMW’s designers have tipped their hat to the E46 even more consciously. It starts with the angular line leading from the lower grill to the shark-fin shaped intrusion into the G20 headlight, itself meant to mimic the lower shape of the old E46 headlights. Gone are any unnecessary cutouts in the bumper, to give the new 3 Series a cleaner old-school look. Still, it wasn’t just the designers who started looking back at 3 Series history. Story TimelineAll-new BMW 3 Series gets official, M Sport version is comingThe 2020 BMW M340i is a compelling return to form 15,543,000. That’s the number of 3 Series that BMW has produced over the past four decades – and now seven generations – of the iconic sports sedan. BMW enthusiasts often argue about which generation is best, the never-settled discussion generally focusing around the second generation E30 (1982–1994) and the fourth generation E46 (1998–2006). Both of these 3 Series would raise the benchmark of what a great sports sedan should be, with their precise steering, even weight distribution, power delivery, and sheer driving pleasure. 2019 BMW 330i and 2020 M340i Gallery Chassis and engine engineers also went to work to build a more dynamic 3 Series. The chassis is now 50-percent stiffer, the sedan is now back to a perfect 50/50 weight distribution, the center of gravity has been lowered by -10 mm, the overall weight is down -121 lbs, the front track has increased by +43 mm, and the rear track by +21 mm.To see first hand what BMW has accomplished, the automaker invited us the beautiful Algarve, Portugal a few hours south of Lisbon, to take a road trip not only through incredible scenery but through the new 3 Series line-up, too. We would start with the 2019 330i M Sport, as it will be the launch model when the car debuts from $41,000 in the US early next year, the car our host through a mixture of small towns and beautiful twisty mountain roads.Setting into the new 3 Series, the first thing that you notice is the lack of analog gauges. The cockpit is now comprised of two displays, a large screen right in front of the driver and a second in the middle atop the center console. BMW has played with the arrangement of the driver’s display, and have unwound the tach and speedometer to display them along the edges of the screen, instead of in the traditional circle. This allowed them to display more useful information in the center of the display. Also, all of the driver controls have been centralized around the shifter in a tidier layout.I started the drive with the 330i M Sport set to its default Comfort mode. The Driving Experience Control adjusts the steering, transmission, suspension, and xDrive bias. The first thing I noticed is that, even in Comfort, everything felt sharp. The best improvement comes in the steering feel as BMW has really fixed the responsiveness. In the last generation, it felt like there were some major dead spots where there was no response out of the steering input. After leaving the town and approaching the twisty roads, I switched into Sport mode and the engine revs jump as the transmission immediately jumped down a gear. I start pushing, and the car is not backing down; thanks to all of the new suspension magic that the BMW engineers have worked out, the whole thing feels stable and well planted.BMW for the first time has introduced lift-related dampers that are part of the car’s standard chassis. The newly developed suspension and damping system contributes to the well-balanced handling of the car. The dampers work to reduce body movements and even out vibrations caused by uneven pavement and when pushing the car through high-speed turns. Extra hydraulic damping at the front axle and a compression limiting system at the rear continuously adjust the overall firmness, according to the changing spring travel. Altogether it helps reduce that unsettling response that you often feel when driving over larger bumps, uneven surfaces, or twisty mountain roads.The 330i M Sport comes equipped with the optional M Sport suspension, helping tighten up the car even further with its rigid bearings and additional body struts, firmer springs and anti-roll bars, and an even higher degree of wheel camber. The damping forces are 20-percent greater than the standard suspension during high-speed, twisty road driving; the difference between the two suspension options is now twice as great as it was in the previous 3 Series. Both the xDrive all-wheel drive and sDrive rear-wheel drive models benefit from the M Sport suspension’s 10mm lower ride height, something previously absent on xDrive cars.So far I’m totally smitten with the 330i M Sport, and it’s not even the tip of the 3 Series spear. The engine’s power delivery is great, though I definitely felt some drop out at the higher rev range; that’s to be expected from a four-cylinder. Switching the transmission into Sport mode and letting it handle the gear changes itself, I was pleasantly surprised by how the car almost always seemed to be in the right gear. I experimented with using the paddle shifters, but almost always ended up back in Sport or Sport+ mode as it really allowed me to focus on the driving. There was really nothing I could do with the paddles that the car was not already doing itself.That instinctive, overall polish is the result of a huge amount of work in the car’s development. The engineers’ goal was to optimize BMW’s existing engines, keeping VANOS and Valvetronic, refining the twin-scroll turbochargers and the integrated manifold, and polishing up the engine pulses to better feed the turbos. In the four-cylinder 330i, this resulted in a gain of 7 horsepower and 37 lb-ft of torque, for a total of 255 HP and 295 lb-ft.The belt drive which integrates the oil pump with the timing chain has been simplified, and there’s a new cooling method for the cylinder head and crankcase. The cylinder head is cooled to start, and then once the engine warms up then both the cylinder head and crankcase are cooled. BMW also introduced shape honing within the cylinder walls to stop cylinder deformation. All of this is designed to remove complexity and help reduce fuel consumption. Official US EPA figures aren’t available yet, but even after all the Sport+ driving, we were still able to achieve close to 30 mpg.Using similar techniques for the M340i six-cylinder, the engineers were able to reduce the rotating assembly inertia by 25-percent compared to the previous generation. This leads to a 62 horsepower and 39 lb-ft torque increase, for a total of 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. This makes for the fastest 3 Series to-date, as I was to discover later.Both cars use a 3rd generation, 8-speed transmission, which features shorter gearing for lower ratios, shorter shift times, more precise shifts, improved shifting hydraulics, and gearshift optimizations. The engineers have also made improvements to the torsen damping system, to help remove vibrations and remove distractions from the driver.Pointing the kidney shaped grille west, toward the ocean, it was time to hit the highway to not only get a feel for the car where it will be used the most, but to also take in some spectacular views. The 330i is just as great on the highway as it is on the mountain roads. It accelerates to pass effortlessly, and the steering reacts just as well to lane changes as it does tight turns. Off the highway, the roads quickly turned into narrow twisty roads and eventually transitioned from pavement to dirt. Something you would expect for a small beachside community, slowing us down until we could pause to take in views that were absolutely stunning.2020 BMW M340i first driveThe next day would make for a totally different experience. Our destination would be the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve (Portimao). My drive partner and I decided to make our own route through Lagos, and stop and enjoy a cappuccino at a tiny cafe overlooking the ocean, BMW’s stunning blue paintwork holding its own against the natural beauty. Only a pitstop, of course, since there was a camouflage-clad prototype 2020 M340i awaiting us at the track.For all my enthusiasm about the 330i M Sport, the M340i was the car that I was really excited to drive. On paper, it reads like a detuned M3 with xDrive, and I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel and see if it could hold up to those expectations.We broke up into groups of three, and had an instructor leading the way. Mine would be former Formula 1 driver and current BMW DTM Driver Timo Glock. Getting into the M340i and starting it up, you are immediately greeted with a totally different sound. Again, we would start out in Comfort mode for the first lap, with traction control on. Timo started out at an easy pace, but on the next lap I switched to Sport as we started pushing the cars even harder, allowing them to slide out of the turns.The xDrive badge may be there, but it did not feel like these cars had all-wheel-drive – in the best possible, purist-pleasing way. In fact I was totally blown away by how much fun this car is. Switching to Sport+ allowed even more slip, and even drifting, with minimal effort. The suspension kept the car well settled, and the steering was so precise. It’s tough to believe that this is not a full M car.After crossing the start/finish line, I fell back and switched places with the car behind me. It was astonishing to watch the M340i keeping pace with the M2 Competition pace car; even Timo later admitted that he hasn’t been sure that it would be possible. The driver in front of me even managed to find his limit, and the car reacted much better than I expected. He was easily able to get it back under control and continue on.Final lap behind Timo, and I noticed that – even after four laps of very hard braking – there was no sign of any fade. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S Tires seemed like the perfect match for the car. I walked away immediately thinking that if you are looking for a sports sedan, this is definitely the one to consider. With pricing starting at $54,995 for the sDrive, and $56,995 for the xDrive, there won’t be much in the category that can touch it – all the more impressive considering these are still prototype cars.VerdictIt’s not hard to get the impression that everyone involved with the new 3 Series set out with a goal of bringing it back to what BMW enthusiasts expect from the brand. There’s no shortage of technology here, too, such as a new BMW voice activated assistant that can control the temperature and help you navigate, along with motion-sensing radio controls and a really great sounding audio system.To me, though, all of that comes second to just how great the car drives. The purest of the 3 Series purists will likely complain that, when it arrives in America, it will be missing the manual transmission option. Still, that’s just about the only negative thing I could say about the car when I grudgingly handed the keys back. Welcome home, 3 Series, we’ve missed you.
First Edition: November 21, 2012 Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including articles about regulations for the health law released by the administration Tuesday and the road ahead on implementing the law.Kaiser Health News: Administration Releases New Health Law Rules For Insurers, Employers Kaiser Health News staff writers Julie Appleby, Jay Hancock and Mary Agnes Carey report: “Long-awaited details on how insurers can structure health benefits and premiums for policies that will cover tens of millions of Americans starting in 2014 were released by the Obama administration Tuesday. The three proposed rules reaffirm key elements of the 2010 federal health law, including its requirement that insurers accept all applicants, even those with health conditions, and not charge higher rates based on health, gender or occupation” (Appleby, Hancock and Carey, 11/20).Kaiser Health News: Obama Administration Gives Smokers A Way Out Of Higher Insurance PremiumsKaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: “The Obama administration on Tuesday effectively nullified a provision of the federal health law that would have allowed insurers in the small group market to charge smokers up to 50 percent more than nonsmokers. Under the proposed regulation, employees who use tobacco can avoid paying those higher premiums if they participate in a program to quit (Galewitz, 11/20).Kaiser Health News: Online Access To Docs Increases Office Visits, Study FindsColorado Public Radio’s Eric Whitney, working in partnership with Kaiser Health News and NPR, reports: “Uncle Sam wants you to e-mail your doctor. A federal law passed in 2009 says that physicians have to start offering their patients online communication, or Medicare will start docking how much it pays them in the future. Some patients hope that having online access to their doctors will mean they can cut down on how often they have to go to the doctor’s office. But new research suggests that patients with online access actually schedule more office visits” (Whitney, 11/21).The New York Times: Administration Defines Benefits That Must Be Offered Under The Health LawThe Obama administration took a big step on Tuesday to carry out the new health care law by defining “essential health benefits” that must be offered to most Americans and by allowing employers to offer much bigger financial rewards to employees who quit smoking or adopt other healthy behaviors. The proposed rules, issued more than two and a half years after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, had been delayed as the administration tried to avoid stirring criticism from lobbyists and interest groups in the final weeks of the presidential campaign (Pear, 11/20).Los Angeles Times: Administration Affirms Key Mandates Of Healthcare LawThe Obama administration reaffirmed key requirements of the new healthcare law Tuesday, setting out how insurance companies will cover nearly all Americans, even if they are already ill, and provide plans with minimum benefits. Consumer advocates, insurers and business groups were looking for signs the administration might try to modify some of the law’s requirements as the federal government races to implement the legislation by the end of next year. But the proposed rules issued Tuesday hew closely to the Affordable Care Act that President Obama signed in 2010 (Levey, 11/20).The Wall Street Journal: States Get A Say In Health LawThe Obama administration Tuesday issued new rules to implement several key provisions of the health-care-overhaul law, giving states some additional discretion over plans sold within their borders. The long-awaited rules underscore that the millions of customers who get new insurance through the law will see their plans vary from state to state. For example, the administration said it would let states choose whether to ban insurers from taking into account consumers’ tobacco use when setting prices for their policies (Radnofsky, 11/20).USA Today: Administration Unveils Health Care RegulationsThe Obama administration released new health care regulations Tuesday that preclude insurers from adjusting premiums based on pre-existing or chronic health conditions, tell states what benefits must be included in health exchange plans, and allow employers to reward employees who work to remain healthy (Kennedy, 11/20).NPR: Administration Lays Down Rules For Future Health InsuranceNow that the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act constitutional and the president’s re-election made clear that big chunks of the law will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, the administration is finally releasing rules of the road that states and insurance companies have been clamoring for. The big one makes clear how companies will have to comply with anti-discrimination requirements starting in 2014. The law requires that health insurance be made available to everyone regardless of health status and that people with pre-existing conditions not be charged higher premiums (Rovner, 11/20).The Washington Post: Obama Administration Officials Propose Altered Rules For Health InsurersThe Obama administration proposed new rules Tuesday that would loosen some of the 2010 health-care law’s mandates on insurers while tightening others. Certain health plans, for instance, would be able to charge customers higher deductibles than originally allowed under the legislation. But all plans would be required to cover a larger selection of drugs than under an earlier approach outlined by the administration (Aizenman, 11/20).The Washington Post: Many Americans Unaware Of Health-Care Law ChangesAfter surviving a Supreme Court decision and a presidential election, the Obama administration’s health-care law faces another challenge: a public largely unaware of major changes that will roll out in the coming months. States are rushing to decide whether to build their own health exchanges and the administration is readying final regulations, but a growing body of research suggests that most low-income Americans who will become eligible for subsidized insurance have no idea what is coming (Kliff, 11/20).Politico: Next Up For Obamacare: Launching The Exchanges In 2014Now that the elections saved the health care law from the threat of repeal, the Obama administration and its backers are turning their attention toward getting the law right — before the next elections come around in 2014. All eyes are on January 2014, when the health insurance exchanges — online portals where individuals and small businesses can get their health coverage — are slated to start covering millions of people. Consumers will have access to tax subsidies, if they qualify, to help them buy coverage, and almost everyone will be subject to the mandate to have insurance. Each step holds the potential to reinforce — or change — public perception (Haberkorn, 11/20).Politico: HHS Looks To Step Up Role In Health ExchangesThe last thing the Obama administration wanted to do was come into a bunch of states and start running health insurance exchanges. But when the new insurance marketplaces open for business late next year, it’s clear that the Department of Health and Human Services will have a much bigger job than it wanted (Millman, 11/20).Politico: Rough Start For Fiscal Cliff TalksThe opening round of negotiations this week between White House and senior GOP congressional staffers left both sides pessimistic about their ability to reach a quick deal on averting the fiscal cliff, according to sources familiar with the talks. Hill Democrats say Republicans aren’t serious about crafting a deal that President Barack Obama can accept. The GOP’s opening offer, the sources said, would freeze the Bush-era tax rates, change the inflation calculator for entitlement programs, keep the estate tax at 2012 levels and authorize a major overhaul of the Tax Code — although they did not provide a revenue target. … For their part, Republicans remain unconvinced that Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will make the kind of significant concessions on entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid that would make them agree to tax rate hikes (Sherman, Bresnahan and Budoff Brown, 11/20).Politico: Medicare Cuts Give Health Providers JittersThe $716 billion in Medicare “cuts” that got so much attention in the presidential election have already begun sinking their teeth into health care providers. And there are widespread jitters that any further cuts as part of a year-end deal to stave off sequestration or strike a “grand bargain” for a long-term fiscal deal would deeply gouge some providers, if not put them out of business (Norman, 11/20).Los Angeles Times: Union Ads Take New Tack: Praising GOP MembersLabor unions seeking a fiscal solution that protects entitlement programs and raises taxes on the rich are trying the carrot approach before taking the stick to lawmakers. A new six-figure ad campaign backed by three major unions includes radio spots praising four Republican House members as “leaders willing to put people ahead of partisan politics.” … Union officials said the four GOP House members were selected because they were among those who signed a bipartisan letter this summer calling for a balanced budget deal that considers both cuts and new forms of revenue. … The commercials call on the lawmakers “to stand up for us by investing in job creation, extending the middle class tax cuts, and protecting Medicare, Medicaid and education from cuts.” The labor unions also released a poll showing that voters overwhelmingly oppose cuts to Social Security or Medicare (Gold, 11/20).The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Fake-Drug Probe Puts Spotlight On Role Of DoctorsA Tennessee cancer doctor has pleaded guilty to purchasing illegal foreign drugs, as part of a long-running investigation into overseas distributors that sold fake versions of the cancer drug Avastin and other unapproved medicines to U.S. clinics. The physician, William Kincaid of Johnson City, Tenn., who signed a plea agreement last week, is among the first to face charges in the probe. Dozens of doctors were warned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that they may have purchased the fake Avastin from distributors owned by Canada Drugs, a Winnipeg Internet pharmacy company (Weaver, 11/20).Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.