WILMINGTON, MA — Below is a round-up of what’s going on in Wilmington on Saturday, October 20, 2018:Happening Today:Weather: A chance of showers, mainly before 7am. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 63. West wind 7 to 9 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.Town Yardwaste Recycling Center: The Recycling Center, located off Old Main Street at the Wilmington/Woburn line, will be open for leaf and brush drop-off from 9am to 4pm. Only Wilmington residents will be allowed to use the facility for leaves and brush drop-off. Residents must show an ID at the entrance to the facility. No grass clippings will be accepted. No contractors or commercial vehicles will be allowed. Residents using the Recycling Center must purchase a punch card for $15 which will be good for 5 visits to the center. Punch cards may be purchased Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Treasurer’s Office at Town Hall. Cards purchased previously that have unpunched visits are still valid.In The Community: The Northside PAC, serving the Woburn Street and the North Intermediate Schools of Wilmington, will be holding their 41st Annual Pumpkin Fair from 9am-3pm at the Woburn Street School (227 Woburn Street, Wilmington). All residents are invited!There will be a petting zoo, photo booth, games, crafts, pumpkin and cookie decorating and much more. Also be sure to check out the raffle table and the Wildcat apparel that will be for sale. There will be some terrific raffles!All proceeds go to the Northside PAC to supplement funding for enrichment activities and supplies for both the Woburn Street and North Intermediate Schools. In prior years the Northside PAC has raised funds for iPads and netbooks for the schools, school beautification programs, end of the year activities and exciting enrichment programs for the students.In The Community: The Wilmington Health Department is hosting a Town Wide Flu Clinic for residents ages 5 & up from 9am to noon at Wilmington Town Hall.Here is what you need to know about the town’s flu clinics:Free of Charge.Remember to bring your insurance cards.Vaccine will be available even if you do not have insurance.Please do not arrive earlier than the specified time.Anyone allergic to eggs or egg products must not take this vaccine.Anyone with a fever should delay vaccination.All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.Injectable vaccine and flu mist will be available. High dose will NOT be available.In The Community: Haunted Woods is back for its fifth year. Haunted Woods features nine scary attractions on the grounds of the Harnden Tavern (430 Salem Street, Wilmington). Attractions include a 3D Glow/Clown Room; Abandoned Classroom; “Black Out” Room with maze in the dark; Bloody Butcher Shop; Cemetery/Junkyard; Crazy Scientists’ Lab; a Farmer’s Worst Nightmare; Funeral Home; and Insane Asylum.The event runs from 6:30pm to 9:30pm on Friday, October 19; Saturday, October 20; Friday, October 26; and Saturday, October 27.Tickets cost $7 for students and $10 for adults. Parking is free and located behind the Harnden Tavern, off of Woburn Street. Proceeds from the haunt will benefit the Wilmington Town Museum at the Harnden Tavern for the upkeep of the historical property. Learn more about Haunted Woods from its website. Follow it on Facebook and Twitter. Have a question about the event? Contact Stephen at 978-933-1066 or email@example.com.In The Community: The Wilmington United Methodist Church (87 Church Street) is holding a Cornhole Tournament and Classic Car Rally.The Cornhole Tournament begins at 1pm. There is a $20 team registration fee. Register your team by calling 978-658-4519.The Classic Car Rally runs from noon to 4pm. No registration fee. Free admission. Snacks and beverages will be available.The church’s Pumpkin Patch will also be open during the event. There is a large selection and variety of pumpkins on the church’s front lawn.Proceeds from this event will benefit the church’s youth mission projects. Cash or check only.In The Community: The Friends of the Wilmington Memorial Library’s Book Store Next Door (183 Middlesex Avenue) is open from 10am to 4pm. All books are $2 or less! Every penny of every sale benefits the Wilmington Memorial Library.In The Community: The Wilmington Food Pantry (142 Chestnut Street) is open from 10am to noon for food donation drop-offs. Learn which food items the Pantry is most in need of HERE.In The Library: Poetry Circle at 9:15am. No-So-Scary Mini Movie Marathon at 1pm. Italian Genealogy at 2:30pm. [Learn more and register HERE.](NOTE: What did I miss? Let me know by commenting below, commenting on the Facebook page, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I may be able to update this post.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? 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Share your voice Tags $999 Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. $155 at Google Express 7 TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays $520 at HP Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Read DJI Osmo Action preview Boost Mobile Comments Android 10 (Android Q) Google Play Google,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Sarah Tew/CNET 1:33 $60 at Best Buy $299 at Amazon Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. See at Turo See it Sarah Tew/CNET Post a comment Chris Monroe/CNET Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Now playing: Watch this: JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) The Cheapskate $999 $59 at eBay Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Google is apparently introducing a method for you to pay for Android apps in cash. Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Google will soon let people literally part with their cash to pay for Android apps, a report said.The search giant will launch “pending transactions” to give you more payment options, according to TechCrunch.”This is a new class of delayed form of payment – like cash, bank transfer and direct debit,” Aurash Mahbod, the Director of Engineering responsible for the Play Store and Games on Google Play, told the site at Google’s I/O Developer conference on Wednesday. $999 Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Read Google Home Hub review Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express $210 at Best Buy Rylo Android 10 beta’s best new tricks from Google I/O 2019 Turo The feature is geared towards emerging markets where credit cards aren’t as common, Mahbod noted. It apparently gives people a payment code that they can use to make their purchase in cash at a local store — they’ll get the app or in-app item and an emailed receipt within 10 minutes.However, TechCrunch mentions that getting your purchase can take up to 48 hours at times and refunds only come as Play Store credit, not cash.Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment.First published at 5:04 a.m. PT.Updated at 5:23 a.m. PT: Adds more detail. Read the AirPods review Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Sarah Tew/CNET See It See at Amazon HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Apple iPhone XS Sprint 0 Read the Rylo camera preview Turo: Save $30 on any car rental CNET may get a commission from retail offers. All of the news out of Googles I/O keynote $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Sarah Tew/CNET Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) $999 DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Tags Best Buy Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) 34 Photos $6 at Tidal See It Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Share your voice DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Internet Services Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Angela Lang/CNET See It Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Amazon
A marine biologist films as members of the Cypriot department of fisheries and marine research enter a cave to collect data from cameras they installed to observe the habitat of the endangered mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachuus) off the coast of Pegeia in western Cyprus on 23 May, 2018. Photo: AFPThe first eight boys rescued from a Thai cave are in good mental and physical health and are asking for chocolate, officials said Tuesday, although two were on antibiotics after being tested for pneumonia.”Everyone is in a good mental state,” Jesada Chokedamrongsuk, permanent secretary of the public health ministry, told reporters at Chiang Rai hospital.”None of the eight boys has fever today,” he added in the clearest update yet on the condition of the boys rescued from Tham Luang cave.The boys, aged 12-16, were the first to be extracted on Sunday and Monday, while the final four and their coach spent a 17th night inside.Experts had warned of possible long-lasting damage from the ordeal, either through psychological trauma or infections caught in the cave.Jesada said the group had been given x-rays and blood tests, adding that two presented suspected symptoms of pneumonia but were given antibiotics and were “in a normal state”.He said the group can eat, move about, and talk.”They (all the boys) will have to stay in the hospital for one week to wait for their results and to see if anything changes,” he said.Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, Inspector General of the Public Health Ministry, said the first four boys taken out on Sunday were eating normal and plain food.”They’re asking for chocolate. We can see that everything is ok as they’re eating well,” he said.The boys remain in quarantine but some of their parents have been able to see their children through the glass.Thailand has been riveted by the dramatic rescue mission to save the “Wild Boars” team after they first got trapped in Tham Luang more than two weeks ago by rising floodwaters.Rescuers are racing to extract the rest of the squad and their coach as heavy rains pick back up in the northern province, threatening to complicate the last phase of the mission by reflooding the cave.
Meanwhile, there are large gaps in income along racial and ethnic lines in Texas: Texans tend to believe more money should be spent on primary and secondary education, including 54% of Hispanics and 52% of African Americans: Meanwhile, whites are making up less and less of the state’s population. This shift is especially pronounced in major cities like Houston: The Texas House of Representatives Committee on County Affairs invited experts to share insights on shifting demographics, voting habits and voter opinions in Texas. Below are ten takeaways from presentations by Rice University Sociologist Dr. Steve Murdock and University of Texas professor Dr. James Henson, who directs the Texas Politics Project.Texas has always been a rapidly growing state, and that’s as true now as ever: Even modest demographic predictions show the Hispanic population will be the majority of the statewide population by at least 2050: When you consider these socioeconomic gaps and changing demographics, Texas could see a decrease in mean consumer expenditures over the next several decades: A plurality from a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll disapprove of how education has been handled: Share As these demographics shift, Texas lawmakers say they want to make important changes to school finance. So, what do their constituents think? Most of that growth is from Hispanics. As you can see, that population has increased in almost every county across Texas: However, a plurality of Texans say they care more about immigration and border security than any other issue: Those gaps in income are also reflected in educational achievement:
Weaker Memory Performance Exacerbates Stress-Induced Cannabis Craving in Youths’ Daily LivesRobert Miranda, Jr., Stephanie E. Wemm, Hayley Treloar Padovano, Ryan W. Carpenter, Noah N. Emery, Joshua C. Gray, and Ethan H. Mereish Heterogeneity of the Anxiety-Related Attention Bias: A Review and Working Model for Future ResearchTracy A. Dennis-Tiwary, Amy Krain Roy, Samantha Denefrio, and Sarah Myruski The Influence of Stress on Depression and Substance Use Problems Among Young Male Same-Sex Couples: Relationship Functioning as an Underlying MechanismBrian A. Feinstein, Elizabeth McConnell, Christina Dyar, Brian Mustanski, and Michael E. Newcomb Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science: Most of the past research on suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs) relied on long follow-ups and examined risk factors in isolation when predicting suicide is more complex. To address whether these methodological constraints have the ability to predict suicide risk, the researchers recruited a large sample of individuals worldwide who were at elevated risk of STBs, evaluating them in a first session and again 3, 14, and 28 days later. The researchers also used machine-learning algorithms to examine the complexity underlying suicide risk. Results indicated that machine-learning algorithms were better than individual follow-ups at predicting STBs. Some predictive factors such as suicide ideation, were already strong predictors in more standard analyses, but complex models in this research were a way to better predict imminent suicidal thoughts and nonfatal suicide attempts. Taken together, these findings support the use of complex models and inclusion of artificial intelligence in clinical decision making. This study examined the interaction of stress, reminders of cannabis use, and craving for the drug among adolescents and young adults. Miranda and colleagues recruited participants who used cannabis at least twice weekly and reported at least one symptom of cannabis abuse. At the beginning of the study, participants performed a memory-for-words test that captured working memory performance. Then, over 4 to 14 days, they were prompted on their mobile devices every 3 hours to report their cannabis cravings, consumption, current levels of stress, and presence of cannabis-related stimuli in their environment (e.g., presence of drug paraphernalia, interactions with people they frequently smoked marijuana with). Individuals reported stronger craving in the evenings and late night relative to the morning, in the presence of other cannabis-related stimuli, and when experiencing more interpersonal stress. Importantly, individuals with weaker working memory performance experienced stronger craving when their stress was heightened than individuals with stronger working memory performance. However, working memory performance did not affect the association between cannabis-related stimuli and craving. These findings indicate that stronger working memory may protect individuals from craving cannabis at stressful moments. Predicting Imminent Suicidal Thoughts and Nonfatal Attempts: The Role of ComplexityJessica D. Ribeiro, Xieyining Huang, Kathryn R. Fox, Colin G. Walsh, and Kathryn P. Linthicum To examine the associations between stress and health (including depression and substance use) among male same-sex couples, Feinstein and colleagues analyzed data from an ongoing longitudinal study on HIV and substance use among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Participants completed measures of perceived stress, internalized stigma (e.g., fear of coming out), microaggressions (e.g. someone expressing a stereotype, such as “Gay men are so good at fashion”), victimization (e.g., being physically assaulted), outness, depression, alcohol-use problems, marijuana-use problems, and relationship functioning (i.e., satisfaction, trust, and commitment). Results indicated that when a member of the couple reported internalized stigma and microaggressions, relationship interactions were more negative and were linked with greater depression and alcohol abuse. These findings suggest that individual stress might increase conflict within a relationship. Results also highlight the importance of considering general stress as a risk factor for negative health outcomes among male same-sex couples. Relationship education and interventions focused on sexual minority individuals and same-sex couples may be enhanced by showing them strategies to cope with stress and understand how their relationship quality influences health, Feinstein and colleagues propose. Anxiety-related attention bias (AB) is characterized by selective or exaggerated attention toward threatening information and seems to be a concept with different aspects and with complex relationships with anxiety. In this review, Dennis-Tiwary and colleagues propose a working model of AB that incorporates subtypes and variability. They say AB should no longer be considered solely a tendency to focus attention on a threat instead of away from it. Behavioral and neurophysiological research indicates, for instance, that AB toward threat is associated with distress-related disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder. Meanwhile, AB away from threat is associated with fear-related disorders, such as phobias. According to this threat-discrimination and cognitive-control model of AB, four subtypes of AB heterogeneity can be identified: (a) labile, characterized by low threat-safety discrimination (TD; ability to discriminate between safe and threatening cues) and low cognitive control (CC), with high variability in AB; (b) vigilant, characterized by high TD and low CC, with a bias toward threatening information; (c) avoidant, characterized by high TD and high CC, with a bias away from threatening information; and (d) no bias, characterized by low TD and high CC. The authors propose that this model can lead to personalized interventions for anxiety disorders, with treatment tailored to an individual’s AB subtype.
The second edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival- DIFF, was announced in the Capital on Tuesday. For all the cinema lovers this year DIFF has an array of 30 films – a choice pick from independent movies, documentaries, short films and experimental cinema.Created by noted filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam this film festival is determined to provide a platform to independent movie makers and to present exceptional contemprory cinema to the viewers. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Few movies to be screened this year includes Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s provocative Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, based on controversy created by the Russian feminist punk rock protest group. Another interesting watch will be Polish filmmaker Jacek Borcuch’s award-winning romantic feature film, Lasting which will be followed by Australian director Kate Shortland’s moving post-World War II drama, Lore; British artiste Shezad Dawood’s debut sci-fi feature, Piercing Brightness and Japanese cult director Takanori Tsujimoto’s martial arts extravaganze, Bushido Man. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThis year, DIFF have a special focus on Indian documentaries with strong social concerns. Festival will be presenting Nishtha Jain’s Gulabi Gang, Amit Virmani’s Menstrual Man, and Anand Patwardhan’s Jai Bhim Comrade.A number of films selected for the festival are based on children or teenagers struggling to overcome failure and dilemmas are also lined up. Some of these are Kim Mordaunt’s coming-of-age drama set in Laos, The Rocket; Dominga Sotomayor’s Chilean road movie, Thursday Till Sunday. Following the new Indian Indie wave, films like Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s Fandry and Q’s Tasher Desh will also be screened.A carefully curated series of fillers (to be screened between movies) will present short takes made by leading international artistes.
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 2 min read August 4, 2016 Facebook is consolidating some of its hardware research, currently performed around the world, into a single 22,000-square-foot lab in Palo Alto, Calif.Named Area 404 in a nod to hardware engineers who were searching for a space to collaborate with their worldwide colleagues but couldn’t find one, it will handle the majority of Facebook’s modeling, prototyping and failure analysis.Area 404 is the latest indicator that Facebook is set on a path that will take it far from its roots as a social media platform. The new space offers tools familiar to those who have worked in other fabrication facilities, like milling machines, lathes, fabric cutters and microscopes.Some of those conventional tools will be dedicated to implementing Facebook’s rather unconventional plans to bring Internet access to currently unconnected communities worldwide. Some of the development and testing for the company’s OpenCellular access points will move to Area 404, as will research to support Aquila, Facebook’s giant Internet-beaming drone.Area 404 is focused mostly on building computing hardware, some of which is designed to support software that will ultimately show up in the company’s apps. That includes developing modular sleds and shelving for the servers that power Big Sur, Facebook’s artificial intelligence research.The facility will also host teams developing new virtual reality hardware and technology, including the Surround 360 camera rig and prototypes of future Oculus VR headsets.Beyond its lathes and milling machines, Area 404 will act as a kind of nerve center for Facebook’s aspirations. By consolidating research in one place, the company that started in a Harvard dorm room is flexing its design muscle, and showing it isn’t afraid to consolidate research in its core products with out-of-left-field initiatives. This story originally appeared on PCMag Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »
19Mar Reps. Afendoulis, VerHeulen to host Senior Brigade Day State Reps. Chris Afendoulis and Rob VerHeulen today announced they will host a Senior Brigade Day to inform local seniors and their caretakers about different types of scams and how to protect against them.The event will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 27, at the Rockford Community Cabin, located at 220 N. Monroe St. in Rockford. Reps. Afendoulis and VerHeulen will be joined by Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford.“Unfortunately, seniors are all too often the main target of fraud and scam artists,” said Rep. Afendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Township. “It’s important that we are all educated on the matter so that we can protect our family, friends and loved ones against dishonest behavior.”The Senior Brigade Initiative is designed to assist and inform seniors on financial and health care decisions and protect them against scam artists and other predators. A representative from the Attorney General’s Office will be in attendance to give the presentation.“Identity scams are avoidable and can be recognized if we teach people what to look for and what questions to ask,” said Rep. VerHeulen, R-Walker. “I am confident that these presentations will give our seniors more knowledge about these criminals so they can better protect themselves.”The west Michigan representatives said all seniors and their caregivers are welcome to attend and they look forward to meeting with the community on this important issue.For more information or to RSVP, contact Rep. Afendoulis’ office by phone at 517-373-0218 or via email at ChrisAfendoulis@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Afendoulis News,VerHeulen News
Companion devices have the power to transform the TV experience, but the TV ecosystem will need to evolve to meet the challenge, writes Simon Woodward.It’s hard to imagine a world without our mobile devices – handsets, smartphones and tablets are now run of the mill tools that we rely upon, connecting and interacting with one another via social networks and other communication platforms. This move towards a more interactive world isn’t just having an impact on our communications when we’re on the go; it’s in our homes too.The living room experience of 2011 is a far cry from 10, or even five years ago. For consumers, it means interacting with multiple devices all at once – a television, laptop, a mobile phone, a tablet. It increasingly means that TV services are no longer confined to the living room, with the potential for content to move beyond the main TV screen, driven by the consumer.The chance to reach a viewer whilst they’re on the move through flexible, personalised content and on-demand features means that broadcasters have an opportunity to engage and connect with their audiences at a more in-depth level. The TV has now fully evolved from a ‘loudspeaker’ role (a box transmitting content controlled by someone else). Today, the consumer is firmly in the driving seat, selecting from a vast range of content to shape their own viewing experience fitted around their own schedule.With personalisation fully ingrained in our ‘traditional’ TV viewing behaviour – arguably many of us take for granted today the ease with which we can pick and choose what we want to watch and when we want to watch it – it’s time for us to really contemplate what the rise of the companion device world means for the future of TV.A recent industry study revealed that 70% of portable device owners use their devices whilst watching TV. For the broadcaster, the content provider and the advertiser, this is an engagement opportunity not to be missed. By taking online connectivity to the next level, there’s scope to examine a huge array of benefits – both for consumers and service providers.Companion devices form part of a chain of connectivity leading to the convergence of media content and interactive services. The opportunity to move content from the TV to a companion device and vice versa provides consumers with a new level of flexibility, enhancing the viewing experience.Touch screen user interfaces, a standard feature on today’s tablets and smartphones, create an opportunity to provide new search, navigation and control functions for the main screen TV. The impact of moving content across different devices must be considered when designing the user interface and the different functions of each device must be taken into account. And, it’s not just a challenge for broadcasters and content providers.Device manufacturers also have a growing challenge on their hands – after all, these are the organisations that consumers are going to turn to when it comes to making this interactive experience a reality, companion device functionality offers an opportunity to differentiate.Simple search and navigation and a slick user interface are just the first in a line of things that must be considered. Consumers don’t want purchase a new set-top box every time a new application or service hits the market. In order to make their products as agile as the marketplace, they need the right technology in place that will enable these new companion services to grow with demands – enabling them to deliver consumers with fresh content and new features, as they become available.TV applications and services in the connected home have the potential deliver a step change in the TV experience. However, to fully fulfil this promise and deliver a seamless, intuitive, interactive TV experience, the whole TV ecosystem will need to embrace it.Simon Woodward is CEO of ANT Software.