Danone agrees recycling partnership with Ecosurety

first_imgDanone agrees recycling partnership with EcosuretyPosted By: News Deskon: December 17, 2018In: Beverage, Business, Environment, Food, Industries, Social responsibilityPrintEmailDanone has signed a three-year recycling partnership with Ecosurety that will see Ecosurety manage Danone’s packaging waste recycling obligations in the UK.Ecosurety is a UK-based compliance company which supports investment in UK recycling projects via infrastructure, innovation and consumer awareness campaigns, and Ecosurety says that the partnership will ensure that Danone’s recycling operations meet the highest possible standards of transparency and traceability.The company adds that the partnership will enable Danone to further offset its impact on the environment via investment into innovation and improved UK recycling infrastructure.Through the partnership, Ecosurety will prioritise the purchase of Danone’s packaging recovery note’s (PRN’s) from UK reprocessors to ensure reinvestment into the UK’s recycling system.Ecosurety says that this move will help increase the UK’s capacity to recycle its packaging waste including problematic types of plastic packaging.Caroline Winters, director of public affairs at Danone said: “As a multinational business with an ambition to lead in the sustainability sector, recycling is an area that we are particularly focused on improving.”“Ecosurety’s approach to traceability and tangible reinvestment in the recycling sector resonated with our own environmental business objectives. This is the start of an impactful new partnership and we look forward to working with Ecosurety.”James Piper, managing director of Ecosurety added: “We are determined to show that recycling compliance doesn’t need to be perceived of as a tax, but rather a positive feedback system that benefits producer, consumer and planet.”“We’re delighted that Danone recognise this, and the long-term potential of our business approach.“Danone is a company that shares many of our sustainability objectives and it is great to have them on board.”Share with your network: Tags: DanoneEcosuretyrecyclingsustainabilityUKlast_img read more

Rolling Stones duo give backing to Mick Jagger as tour postponed

first_imgTopics The Rolling Stones This article is more than 3 months old Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook Canada Read more Share on Twitter The Rolling Stones postpone tour due to Mick Jagger’s health Since you’re here… Support The Guardian Share on Messenger Sir Mick Jagger’s Rolling Stones bandmates have expressed their support for the 75-year-old frontman after he announced he was pulling out of a tour of the US and Canada because of an undisclosed medical problem.Jagger, who follows a strict diet and fitness regime, said he was “devastated” to let down the band’s fans after he announced the group were postponing the North American leg of their tour on doctor’s orders. Mick Jagger This article is more than 3 months old Share via Email Mick Jagger (centre), with Ron Wood (left) and Keith Richards. The singer said he was ‘devastated’ to let down the band’s fans.Photograph: Morris MacMatzen/Reuters … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Rolling Stones duo give backing to Mick Jagger as tour postponed Matthew Taylor Pop and rock Share on LinkedIn The Rolling Stones The singer has been told he needs medical treatment but doctors said they expected him to make a full recovery. No further details about his condition were released.Jagger’s bandmates were quick to voice their support. Keith Richards, who has been at the singer’s side since the band formed in 1962, tweeted: “A big disappointment for everyone but things need to be taken care of and we will see you soon. Mick, we are always there for you!”The guitarist Ronnie Wood added: “We’ll miss you over the next few weeks, but we’re looking forward to seeing you all again very soon. Here’s to Mick – thanks for your supportive messages it means to much to us.”A statement on behalf of the group said: “Unfortunately today the Rolling Stones have had to announce the postponement of their upcoming US/Canada tour dates – we apologise for any inconvenience this causes those who have tickets to shows but wish to reassure fans to hold on to these existing tickets, as they will be valid for rescheduled dates, which will be announced shortly.“Mick has been advised by doctors that he cannot go on tour at this time, as he needs medical treatment. The doctors have advised Mick that he is expected to make a complete recovery so that he can get back on stage as soon as possible.”In a tweet, Jagger said: “I’m so sorry to all our fans in America and Canada with tickets. I really hate letting you down like this. I’m devastated for having to postpone the tour but I will be working very hard to be back on stage as soon as I can. Once again, huge apologies to everyone.”The band were due to kick off the US and Canada leg of their No Filter tour at the Hard Rock stadium in Miami, Florida on 20 April, finishing at the Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Ontario, Canada, on 29 June. Share via Email news Share on Facebook Sun 31 Mar 2019 10.38 EDT Shares8585 Last modified on Sun 31 Mar 2019 19.25 EDT Share on Pinterest Americas Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood voice support after singer seeks medical treatment Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Dragon NaturallySpeaking

first_imgImage Source: EnableMart.comDragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Premium speech recognition software lets you control your digital world by voice — three times faster than typing. This assistive technology device is useful for people who may have physical disabilities that prevents them from reading written text. It’s also useful for people who are Blind or have low vision.This device helps turn ideas into text at the speed of thought. It can “tell” your PC what to do and it does it. Use Dragon to talk your way through your “to-do” list — email, reports, spreadsheets, presentations, social networking, and more — quickly and confidently. Use a digital voice recorder and Dragon will transcribe the audio files when you return to your PC. Dragon can act as your personal assistant to get things done more efficiently.The newest version, version 12 has improved accuracy, enhanced web mail, interactive tutorials, wideband bluetooth support, a more natural text-to-speech voice, fast correction and a remote microphone application for iOS and Android.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATFAQ014 – Q1. Dragon Anywhere Q2. Accessible computer games for someone with low vision Q3. Unlocking my Samsung Galaxy S6 with my voice Q4. Dragon and Spanish accents Q5. Navigational devices for the visually impaired? Q6. Recommending “entertainment” equipment as ATSeptember 28, 2015In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”ATFAQ028 – Q1. Should I remove Apple’s QuickTime from my Windows PC for security? Q2. How do I know if my smartphone is encrypted? Q3. What is a good general speech-to-text system? Q4. What should parents know about AT in Higher Ed? Q5. Are there accessible MUD clients for Android? Q6. What do services like Uber and AirBnB mean for people with disabilities?April 25, 2016In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”Dragon speech software adds apps to the mixSeptember 29, 2011In “Easter Seals Crossroads”last_img read more

Tech Tip PLEXTALK Pocket

first_imgFor this week’s Tech Tip, Belva Smith is going to provide specifics on the PLEXTALK Pocket.  This is a convenient book reader that allows you to read books and review recorded lectures when you want, wherever you want!For more information on this product, visit the PLEXTALK website.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedSend us YOUR Tech Tips!October 6, 2014In “Tech Tips”Send us YOUR Tech Tips!October 6, 2014In “Tech Tips”Monday Tech Tip: Jitterbug phoneAugust 10, 2015In “Tech Tips”last_img

ATFAQ001 – Assistive Technology FAQ – Q Why is AT so expensive

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | DownloadShow Notes:Brian Norton, Mark Stewart, Belva SmithQuestion 1: How do you know you’re purchasing quality AT?  Is there a consumer reports for AT?Job Accommodation Network | www.askjan.orgAbleData | www.abledata.comQuestion 2: I am blind.  Will the new Sesame Smart Phone work for me and will it be available in Australia?www.sesame-enable.comQuestion 3: I’m an amputee and need one-handed keyboard or mouse access? What types of solutions are out there for me?Adesso | http://www.adesso.com/products/product-sort2-21.htmlLogitech | http://www.logitech.com/product/wireless-touch-keyboard-k400rDatalux | discontinuedQuestion 4: Do I need an expensive screen reader or are the free ones good enough?NVDA | http://www.nvaccess.org/Thunder | http://www.screenreader.net/SA2Go | http://www.serotek.com/systemaccessWindoweyes | http://www.windoweyesforoffice.com/JAWS | http://www.freedomscientific.com/Products/Blindness/JAWSwww.AccessibilityChannel.comwww.EasterSealsTech.com——-transcript follows ——BRIAN NORTON: Welcome to AT FAQ, assistive technology frequently asked questions. I’m your host Brian Norton, manager of clinical assistive technology at Easter Seals crossroads. This is a show in which we address your questions about assistive technology, the hardware, software, tools and gadgets that help people with disabilities lead more independent and fulfilling lives. Have a question you’d like answered on our show? Send a tweet with the hashtag #ATFAQ or call our listener line at 317-721-7124. The world of assistive technology has questions come and we have answers.Welcome to episode 001 of AT FAQ. I want to take some time to introduce our panelists is today. These are some good friends of mine who I work with day in and day out. The first person is Belva Smith. Belva, you want to hey?BELVA SMITH: Hey.BRIAN NORTON: And Mark Stewart is also here.MARK STEWART: Hi, Brian.BRIAN NORTON: And my name is Brian Norton, and we also have a Wade Wingler in the room as well.WADE WINGLER: Hey, everyone.BRIAN NORTON: I guess the first thing I want to do is have everybody go around and introduce themselves, tell our listeners how you guys got your chops in assistive technology, what kind of brought you to the board of assistive technology, how you got your start. That would springboard us into some of the questions that we have for today’s show. Belva, do you want to start us?BELVA SMITH: I’m Belva Smith, I got introduced to assistive technology about 15 years ago. It was through a screen reader, and my best friend at the time who is blind was asking me questions about how to do certain things on the computer, and I was shocked as to how she could do anything on a computer. Here I am 15 years later still doing computer training with screen readers and others assistive technology as well.BRIAN NORTON: Great. How about you, Mark?MARK STEWART: I’ve been with this team for about eight years working in computer access focused assistive technology on the clinical assistive technology team. What brought me to this team was an awareness of what Easter Seals did from past background and also dabbling in some other areas related to assistive technology in one form or fashion, arguably under the umbrella of assistive technology overall, and then this wonderful opportunity came up. I had a Masters Degree in kinesiology from Indiana University from about 20 years ago. I’m an ATP, certified brain injury specialist, employment specialist. I worked in different areas of disability services that I think I’ll merges together pretty well and helps me in the work I do here.BRIAN NORTON: Along with that, my name is Brian Norton, and I’m going to be hosting the show here. I’m also a part of the Easter Seals team here. I manage our clinical assistive technology team. I got my start in assistive technology probably about 15, 16 years ago. I came to Easter Seals Crossroads year as an employment consultant and work with folks, helping them find jobs, maintain their jobs, and really got interested in the technology that can help people do that. The position came open on our team here in assistive technology at our agency, and I jumped at the chance and have been here ever since.I guess if there’s something in assistive technology that really gets my juices going and getting excited, it would be the out-of-the-box assistive technology where if something needs to be fabricated or made, may be some sort of a ticket tearing machine or other kinds of things, those are the things that give me going.So specifically, I know both of you guys are team leads on our team. Belva, you’re over the vision team, and Mark, you’re over the mobility and cognition team on our staff. Tell me a little bit about what those rules and tell.BELVA SMITH: On the vision team, we have myself as team lead and two full-time assistive technology specialists working with our clinical cases, and then we have a third individual on our team who is working primarily with an iPad grant currently which is a little different than what we do. Do you want me to talk a little bit about what it is we do?BRIAN NORTON: Sure, absolutely.BELVA SMITH: Typically, we get a referral for an individual who is he a looking for a job or maybe currently employed, and they are looking for some technology that will help them be able to do a particular job. In our case, our caseloads primarily vision so we will be looking at computer access, print access, and things like that, notetaking devices. We do also work with college students that are looking for technology that will help them attain the degree that they set forth in their plans. We will meet with them in their environment and look at their goals and their barriers, and then we will work through those barriers with different types of technology. Thanks to INDATA, we are often able to allow an individual to use a particular type of technology to make sure that it’s the right fit before following through with the recommendation for the technology. Once the proper technology has been identified, we will continue to work with the individual to make sure that everything is installed properly and working correctly. The next step that would be the training piece to make sure they know how to effectively and efficiently use what it is that has been recommended for them. And then we take a step back and allow them to move forward doing, or move on from, their job or getting their education. If at any time they have a problem with the technology, they are usually the first person that they will call. They’ll explain to us what’s going on, and from there we may need to meet with them again to work out whatever problems are going on, or sometimes we can just give them a quick how to fix it over the phone and that will take care of the problem and they can move on.BRIAN NORTON: That’s great. How about you, Mark?MARK STEWART: That was well said as usual. To check on to that a little bit, as you hinted at, we are team leads and some specialty area. Belva, as she said, is the vision and sensory team lead, and I’m the team lead for the physical and cognition focus areas. Otherwise, most of that description with regards to service flow and philosophy is exactly the same, and I’m proud to say that it’s the same on our end.Something else that I’m really proud of that I’ll tag onto that is a collaborative approach that we have here at Easter Seals, and frankly even the philosophy that we have a collaborative approach across the community with other professionals as well. Results are what we are focused on. We have a group of individuals here, a pretty eclectic, ragtag fleet of very talented and very passionate people that are specialists in particular areas. As a collective group, that’s where the real strength comes in. There’s just no way that one individual person could gain all of that knowledge and still be young enough to get out in the field and practice. As a team, I think it’s amazing the wealth of knowledge we have here.BRIAN NORTON: That’s kind of what brought about the show, related topic of the whole show. We find ourselves sitting on the table talking about the questions that our consumers have, talking about how we resolve those. It’s kind of a common experience of ours to figure out these questions. We have all the answers come and we realize there are a lot more questions out there than what we handle internally. So we are looking to develop relationships outside of our organization to be able to answer those questions.I do want to intro Wade as well over here. Wade is in the background. He’s kind of working out all of the audio board. I want to introduce him because, quite frankly come he will be able to stay quite the whole show.WADE WINGLER: You guys know that I will have to talk some. That’s just all there is to it.MARK STEWART: We do.WADE WINGLER: They are all given me the look right now. My name is Wade Wingler and I’m the director of the program here, but I also host Assistive Technology Update, which is our flagship flow that put us on the radar in terms of doing this kind of content. My main goal is to chop audio and make sure the sound levels are acceptable and things like that. I’ve been in the field for over 20 years and will probably jump in from time to time. So I’m going to try to keep my mute button down, but when you guys hear from me, know that I just can’t help it.BRIAN NORTON: No problem. So we talked a little bit about the show concept. It’s a question and answer format. We have people submitting questions to us via Twitter with the hashtag #ATFAQ. We also have a listener line set up. Is 317-721-7124. You can also send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. Or go to our website which is www.eastersealstech.com.What we want to do with the show is be able to have people submit questions. Like Mark said, we have a pretty eclectic team with lots of experience and expertise in different areas of assistive technology. We want to be able to try to answer those questions for folks. The show itself is going to be released every couple of weeks, so we will record one week and the following week will be released, and we will continue that so that it will be released every other week.BELVA SMITH: Brian?BRIAN NORTON: Yes.BELVA SMITH: Can you tell the listeners how they will find a show?BRIAN NORTON: Thank you, Belva. You can find our show in iTunes if you look up ATFAQ, or you can go to our website which is ATFAQshow.com. We are also going to try to publish the podcast to Stitcher and/or you can go to our website which is www.eastersealstech.com and you can find our show there as well.BELVA SMITH: Thank you.BRIAN NORTON: So we have been gathering up questions for the past few weeks, and we have three or four questions that we will be going through today. The first one is from the National Rehabilitation Information Center. We received it via the hashtag #ATFAQ. The question was some AT can be costly. How do you know if you are purchasing a quality product? Is there a Consumer Reports for assistive technology? So I guess the first question is why is AT so expensive?BELVA SMITH: Can a jump in there on that one?BRIAN NORTON: Absolutely.BELVA SMITH: Many years ago, in 2003 when I went to Freedom Scientific to become a certified JAWS trainer, I couldn’t wait to get there and asked them why on earth Johnson so expensive. As they walked us through their room of technicians that were sitting there working — I guess I shouldn’t say technicians, but programmers, that were sitting there working on that JAWS software program, I asked why on earth is this so expensive. Their answer was very good. I have shared that with many people over the years. It was a two-part answer. Primarily because of the work that goes into it, every single day they have a small group of programmers that are working to make sure that their software is compatible with the ever-changing Microsoft platforms, and they are fixing bugs and cracks in the program. The second part of that was because is not highly in demand. We may have Microsoft Windows or a Mac OSX in pretty much every home in the world, but we don’t have JAWS in every home, so the demand isn’t as high; therefore, the cost is higher.MARK STEWART: That’s a little bit of an Economics 101 thing. If the number of units you’re going to put out our small, and the cost for manufacturing is higher. If it’s going to be high-volume, then it’s going to cost less. Dovetailing off of what Belva said, also the tech support after the fact that involved a lot of times with assistive technology and is a little more necessary as a cost as well. Sometimes that is included with the technology.BRIAN NORTON: Something I’ve recognized over the last users that assistive technology is getting less expensive as things are now put into more retail oriented devices. It doesn’t quite cut as much as it used too, but it’s still rather expensive because of what you guys were saying, the fabrication costs and the limited demand for these products.MARK STEWART: It really is an important question, isn’t it. A couple of other thoughts. We need to keep bringing the cost down so things are more accessible for people with disabilities. We need to keep pushing toward universal design. Wade has a lot of segments on those topics on his radio shows and podcast and what have you. It’s a little bit consistent with what we are trying to do here, just get the word out about assistive technology and normalize things for folks and make things more accessible and more cost effective. At the same time, Belva’s example is a great one on how it’s still very legitimate for a lot of folks and reasonable and understandable that things cost more, and we still need to find a way to procure it for a person with a disability even though it seems the more costly than it would be for high-volume types of implementations.BRIAN NORTON: Absolutely.With assistive technology costing so much, the next question that comes from them would be how do you know if you are purchasing a quality product?BELVA SMITH: I’ll jump in there first again. Fortunately for the individuals that are looking for the appropriate screen reading software, there are trial versions or demos that can be used prior to the decision as to which one you should purchase. So that would be the best recommendation that I would have, is that you should first try to either talk to friends or family members that may be using it already, so word-of-mouth recommendation, and then always look for the demo or the trial version of what it might be.MARK STEWART: I’ll dovetail off of that a little bit. Every state come every province has a tech act project. They often have low libraries associated with them. Here in Indiana we have the INDATA Project, and they have a large loan library where you can get your hands on products where you can try them out before you buy them. It’s kind of the try it before you buy it concept. Using and trialing something before you lay out the money for it is important. I can tell you how many gadgets I’ve got at home that I thought was going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I ended up getting it home, get it out of the package, and thought that really wasn’t what I thought was going to be. I wish I would’ve had the opportunity to try it before I actually brought it home and paid the money for it.BELVA SMITH: I think it’s also important to look for your local assistive technology agency or person to discuss with them what they might know about a particular product. Because you are right, Brian, I’ve got that big box of gadgets that I’ve bought because this has got to be cool, right? Not so much. Try to get as much information as you can from your specialist in the area.MARK STEWART: And friends, others with disabilities. It’s becoming a little cliché, but it shouldn’t. It’s legitimate and powerful, especially if you know how to use it right. Google it.BELVA SMITH: Google it.MARK STEWART: Can we expand on that just a little bit just in case? I would say Google it and cross-reference. How do you guys Google? Not to put you on the spot, but I know you have answers to this. When you go to do your background research on a product, how do you screen that? How many sites to go to? How many reviews do you read?BELVA SMITH: I may read endless amounts of reviews, but when I Google, I Google and look for the usually top three or four results. If I have to go much deeper than that, I start feeling like I’m not getting reliable information. I will also look for the manufacture of a particular product and start to do some research on that particular company to find out what kind of reviews the company itself has.BRIAN NORTON: Have you guys found any objective — the third part of the question was is there a Consumer Reports for assistive technology. In the past, I look for objective point of view or reviews of different types of products and services. Did you guys find a Consumer Reports for assistive technology?MARK STEWART: Quick, humble answer for me is no, not that I know of. I don’t know every site out there. I know the Job Accommodation Network is a really good site. Frankly I’ve been in the trenches along with my specialty area that, while I am always trying to stay current with things and researching new products, I’m talking to other experts who have had their hands on certain types of products. I find that to be reliable information or I play off of my past experience.There is that factor that I know we talk about a lot on our team with implementation of assistive technology for people with disabilities. If it’s a situation where the person — the situation or the individual isn’t that bombproof with regards to what we are going to be getting for them, in other words we can’t mess around with getting a lemon. We can’t be pushing the limits of bleeding edge technology. We really need that reliability factor. That’s very justifiable sometimes. That’s why you and I talk about it a lot, that sometimes why we hold back a little bit when a new operating system comes out on the iPhone or what have you. We have our radar up. We don’t just jump on it and say let’s get it out to everyone with a disability. We have to screen it first.So a Consumer Reports website specifically? I don’t know. But that would be another great resource if someone knew of one.BRIAN NORTON: There are a couple of websites that I’ve used and have gone to in the past. One is AbleData.com. AbleData is a great website. It’s a little outdated is what I find. Some of the information there can be outdated. It’s kind of hard to find some of the products you are looking for. But that is a resource. I know in the blind and low vision communities, places like the AFB have something called Access World where they do lots of product comparisons and will give you their professional opinion on the good, the pros and cons of a particular device versus other similar technology. But I think you’re right, Mark. I’ve not found an up to date, reliable source for consumer AT reports. It’s a lot of word-of-mouth, talking to my friends, talking to other folks in the business, talking to consumers and then googling it like you said.MARK STEWART: Technology is changing so rapidly. It may really be hard to find that Consumer Reports site that has the resources to state up to speed where folks like us scrutinize a bit and said that is our Bible, so to speak. So what we are doing is cross-referencing and double checking and trying to stay current and find the best information that way from a number of good in one way or the other. Wade, I know will we use but I’m not just thinking of it at the moment, the good folks down at the Easter Seals in Texas with regard to apps.BRIAN NORTON: BridgingApps. That’s another great resource. BridgingApps.org does a lot with prescreening different apps for both Apple devices and android devices. They are lots of folks comment about what they offer for folks and also what the usability is, are they good apps. I think that the regular segment on one of our other shows.WADE WINGLER: Are you cross promoting my show, Brian?BRIAN NORTON: I am.WADE WINGLER: So the folks at BridgingApps usually two or three times a month call in and do an app review which is a really useful section of the show. In the meantime, you can find them at BridgingApps.org.BELVA SMITH: I think user groups are also another good place, especially for the folks that are using screen readers. There are several different user groups out there where you can go and get the feedback for the folks that are actually using the technology and how they are using it. I also wanted to mention at this point AppleVis, because if you’re looking for different apps that are available for the blind users, you can go to AppleVis and they’ve got a great list of different apps there and some reviews on them as well.BRIAN NORTON: That’s great. I think that kind of wraps that question up. We talked about why AT is so expensive. We talked about the high cost of fabrication and the limited demand, that Economics 101 theory behind that. How do you know if you’re purchasing a quality product: Talking to other users of the technology, using the tech act project in your state and other resources that we talked about. And then there really isn’t a really up to date, consistent Consumer Reports for assistive technology, but we threw a couple of those places out there. We will probably try to include some of those things in our show notes at the end of the show.The second question that came in was from a person who is totally blind. He had heard about a new product that just came out earlier this month. It was called the Sesame Phone. His question is can you tell me more about the Sesame Phone? He says I am totally blind, and will it work for me? And the third question on there, is it sold in Australia? Anybody want to talk about the Sesame phone?BELVA SMITH: It’s not necessarily for the person who is blind. I think it’s going to be a great piece of technology. Of course I would like to get my hands on it and actually see what it can do, but from what I read in the reviews, it’s not going to be — the target audience won’t be for the blind users.BRIAN NORTON: Sure. So in my research on the phone itself, it sounds like it’s a touch free smartphone. So what it does, it uses the front forward facing camera to be able to look at the user. And it allows the user to have a mouse pointer put on the screen. And then it does something I call and refer to as kind of dwell select. So if you hold the cursor in a certain area on the screen, maybe over top of an app for a certain period of time, it brings up some swiping options, which are really commonplace, the gesturing features of most touchscreen smart phones, it’ll bring up a list of different things that you can do at the point at which that cursor is located.So, again, I don’t think the target audience is your blind and low vision users. I think it’s more for folks with some physical challenges. But it’s a really interesting product.MARK STEWART: Absolutely. Moving forward from the question specifically about its use for somebody with low vision or blindness, for the folks with physical impairments, from my experience over the last decade or so, now, I have not had my hands on this to really do some reliability testing, but certainly from what I’ve looked at so far, they’re well intentioned and they even know their stuff in terms of they’re trying to cover, there definitely is that need there. There’s all kinds of workarounds or techniques that we implement to not even work around but actually be successful in allowing somebody with a significant dexterity issue or physical impairment to access a smartphone. But even when we get it all figured out, it might involve three, four pieces of equipment, take extra time, take extra steps. So all of the initiatives to kind of streamline that from, I don’t know, the phrase “the dematerialization of things” and then of course the simplification of things, making things more efficient and even cost effective, all of those things are great directions to go in. And it seems like this device is headed that way.BRIAN NORTON: Right. One thing I like about their website is a lot of their new smartphones are touch enabled. So you have to be able to interact with the screen itself. And on there, on their website they talk about touch is overrated. Why don’t we just look at the screen and be able to operate the mouse that way.If you want to learn more about the sesame phone, you can go to their website. It’s www.sesame-enable.com. And they have lots and lots of resources there. Several user videos where they actually walk you through the different features to be able to explain a little bit more about how it works.As far as it being available in Australia, I would assume so. You can go to their website actually I did reach out to the company. I did not hear back from them about whether it’s for sale in Australia. But I would assume it is.MARK STEWART: Can I touch on the concept of the time being right? Now certainly there may have been some brilliant minds involved in coming up with this, but there’s also that concept in assistive technology overall that the idea is there, but especially people that are really in the know and really understand that we’re trying to fix a problem, not cause another problem, sometimes the software isn’t there or the expense is too high. And it’s really exciting that if this phone proves to be what it looks to be, it’s taking technology applications that we’ve known about for some time that are used on a full blown computer that actually have had their challenges over the years that have gotten to the point where they are really reliable but they’re not start hone ready just because the phone is so small and the processing chip is not nearly as capable. If we’ve now arrived to an era where that can work extremely well for folks with significant physical disabilities, that’s just a wonderful thing.BRIAN NORTON: Right, right. That’s kind of the way technology is going. It’s moving toward, you know, bigger computer systems back down to these mobile devices that people can take with them wherever they go. So, absolutely.MARK STEWART: We always have to — sorry. But we always have to, out in the field, as you know, we’re always answering those questions and sometimes having to say I am current on that topic. I’m the person for that question. I am the person to give you the answer and I’m current with it, and the answer unfortunately is not yet.BELVA SMITH: That’s often the answer to the question about new technology for the visually impaired and blind because they’re always coming out with the newest and the greatest and this is going to be the end-all, do-all device and unfortunately that’s not often the case. I’ve seen over the years that I’ve been involved many pieces of different devices and software both that have been introduced as the greatest and then the price is so high and the technology just isn’t there. And so the product doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. And that often is why   or that’s what taught me over the years to say: Let’s wait a minute and let this product be on for a while. And let us play with it and find out just how reliable it’s going to be and how functional it’s going to be.BRIAN NORTON: Right. And it’s not quite available yet. It’s still kind of an indiegogo campaign. So there’s lots of unanswered questions. But I’m sure as there’s more and more information that comes out about it, we’ll be able to better answer, you know, just how applicable and useful it will be for folks who have those physical impairments that make that touch interface to a smartphone or mobile device difficult.The third question we have coming in today was this person is an amputee and he says “I’m an amputee and need a one handed keyboard and mouse access. What types of solutions are out there for me?” and so I’ll just throw that out to our group today.MARK STEWART: So I’ll speak to the question. But I have to say in the beginning I need to know more. I pride myself in doing consumer-centered work. And I’m certain if I met this person, I certainly would listen to that and they’re very likely right. But one of the possibilities is I haven’t met them and they might not necessarily need a one handed keyboard. They might be okay with a full keyboard. There’s a steep learning curve when you switch to a significantly different form factor in keyboard. If it’s   it not be, but I’m interested in the task. If it’s a job related thing or school related thing, then we’re going to look at that with regards to whether they’re only going to use one keyboard? Or will they be switching from keyboard to keyboard, station to station, things like that.With that said, simply moving forward, there are one handed keyboards. Adesso is a good reliable product that we’ve used a lot over the years. The magic to that is just a shrunken down form factor. Back in the day it was, oh, how would we say it? A little more magical because laptops weren’t very prominent. And here’s a keyboard that’s super, super, super small. Well now with all due respect to Adesso and how it helps folks so much with disabilities, the keyboard I’m thinking of is a shrunken mini keyboard but it looks a lot like some of the laptop chicklet style keyboards. And it simply allows you to not have to reach as far. Your range doesn’t have to go as far to access the keys. And that can help sometimes when you’re typing with one hand.Certainly there are training programs for a right or a left handed typist only. You can set up the orientation of the keys differently. But, again, in my practice, I’m very conscious of the learning curve involved, so I really try to cover all the questions related to. Are you really   do you really need this? Is this the only keyboard you’re going to use? What input speed do you really need? Is this really solving the right question?BRIAN NORTON: Sure. Absolutely. One of the biggest things that I run into when I’m evaluating folks for computer access and things like that is kind of what you hit on there. It’s that range of motion. The range of motion over across a full sized keyboard can be significantly reduced with a smaller form factor keyboard like the Adesso.There was a really — one of my favorite keyboards was the data lux but that’s been discontinued recently. And they’ve somehow looked at replacing that with some other kinds of maybe an accounting keyboard here and there. But it’s kind of hard to find. And reducing that range of motion for folks significantly reduces their fatigue over the time. So if they’re using the computer for a period of time, not having that range of motion is going to help significantly reduce their fatigue throughout the day.As far as a mouse access, I’ve done things with trackballs, things where you don’t have to move. It’s again addressing that range of motion and the fatigue throughout the day where you’re not moving a mouse across your desktop. You’re moving a ball and your hand is pretty much stationary the whole time. That can significantly reduce the fatigue factor, as well.And then oftentimes because they’re a one handed typist or don’t have that range of motion, sometimes I’ll even look for keyboards and mice that are all in one device. So I’ve done things with an IntelliKeys keyboard and/or the Adessos much like what you mentioned are like laptop keyboards have a touch pad built into it that way you’re not moving from one device to the next, which again creates fatigue throughout the day.MARK STEWART: Right. On that topic of track pads, you were referring to a bit there, Logitech has a new one that’s a larger track pad that’s multi gesture, that’s wireless, that seems to be quite reliable and capable. That’s been something that I’ve found to be an issue. Adesso makes one of the best the track pads. But sometimes you would think from a movement standpoint a track pad might work well for the person. But the reliability of it isn’t quite as strong as it is for a particular track ball or what have you. And as that reliability factor in the software improves, it leads us towards being able to use different form factors.BRIAN NORTON: Right. And you mentioned the typing tutorials and things like that. There is a with un handed typing tutorial guide that can be downloaded from the Internet, as well, that basically reteaches the home row. So you get rid of the traditional two sided home row and it basically changes it so that you bridge the home row and kind of use the middle keys in your keyboard and reteaches you how to type and where the letters and the key strokes are to be able to just basically type one handed on a traditional QWERTY style keyboard.MARK STEWART: And coming back and making sure with full respect to — now picturing an individual. This is our first show. And I’m picturing an individual who is an amputee sent this question in. We do certain type of work with certain funding sources. There are certain practicalities to what can be done or should be done to solve the problems for the folks that we work with.Stepping back from that a little bit, let me say that it might not be something that I work with day in/day out. But I don’t know this particular person’s situation. But I’ll bet you that there is some type of keyboard that can hit the nail on the head with regards to the answer.I mean, for example, there are — you were referring to all the possibilities. But I’m picturing some, just some wonderfully looking keyboards that I haven’t been able to get the funding sources to procure for my folks. And they haven’t been needed because I want things to be more normalized and it wasn’t really appropriate. But there were some keyboards where you basically put your hand in the device and you can just barely flip your fingers forwards and backwards and really you’re learning a whole new language. But as you were talking about the endurance, the motor efficiency involved is greatly improved. And who knows? That might be the situation. That might be the appropriate fix for this person. So there’s a lot of hope out there.BRIAN NORTON: Yeah. I would say to circle back around to something that we said earlier in the show, a lot of states have Tech Act projects. And in these Tech Act projects they have these loan libraries. And in the loan libraries, they may have lots and lots of different keyboards. As we go out and provide comprehensive evaluations for folks day in/day out, we’re taking lots of equipment with us. We’re trying it out because there literally are thousands of different types of keyboards. And the person, really, we need to see them use the keyboard to be able to really specify exactly what we think works best for them. So maybe circling back to that previous answer of check out your local Tech Act project and see whether or not they have different keyboards that you might be able to borrow. Our last question for the day: Is there screen readers that cost thousands of dollars and there are screen readers that are free?MARK STEWART: Can I slip something in there?BRIAN NORTON: Absolutely.MARK STEWART: Back to the previous question. I will throw out to have — again, this might not be on target at all. But have them — are they a new amputee? The learning to live with it part of it, as well. Not that I don’t want them to push for all the functional capability that they can possibly get. But there’s probably — an assessment would probably be in order. As far as I know this person is in California, but I’d love to get them in front of a talented assistive technology professional or somebody like that who can navigate the waters of the whole situation. So I guess a phrase, the reason I stopped you, the phrase is to add: If it’s the case that a regular keyboard that most people use with two hands ends up being fine for you, good. That’s okay. Keep it normal. Move on. How much do you keyboard? Are you really under pressure for time, pressure of time, excuse me. It might be a shocking situation that you’re a new amputee but don’t stir things up unnecessarily. You may be okay.BELVA SMITH: Mark, I’m glad you came back to that question because there was a little that I wanted to say, too, about the Adesso keyboard. I’ve had to use that several times over the years. I remember thinking when I pulled the first one out of the shelf, it’s marketed as a space saving keyboard.MARK STEWART: There you go.BELVA SMITH: So who would know that that would become my piece of assistive technology. And if I’m Googling it, I’m not going to find the Adesso keyboard as a piece of assistive technology because it’s manufactured as a space saver. But I have, and I’m sure we all have on more than one occasion, used it as the appropriate piece of assistive technology. So I just wanted to throw that in there.BRIAN NORTON: That’s a very valid point. A lot of the things that we use day in and day out with our clients aren’t really classified as necessarily assistive technology. They’re technology for everybody. But we find very specific uses for the individuals that we work with because it just addresses the need that they have.Jumping forward again to that third or fourth question that we had there. This is a low vision user, low vision client or caller. And they are asking about screen readers. And they’re talking about there are screen readers that cost thousands of dollars and there are screen readers that are free. Which ones are the best? And do I really need to pay for a screen reader? Or are there free or built in ones that were just good enough for me?BELVA SMITH: Well, to go with what Mark said, I can’t say which one is the best. And I can’t say whether you should buy one or whether a free one is good enough without knowing 100% what the situation is. What are your goals? What will you be doing?First of all, a screen reader needs to not only give you the information that’s displayed on the device screen, but it also has to allow you to be able to interact with the program that you’re trying to work with 100%. And I think in the beginning of this session, we discussed why the cost of certain technology is so high. The same answer would be as to why is it that some screen readers cost a thousand dollars and some are free? Primarily with the free ones — and there are some very popular ones. Do you want me to name some of them?BRIAN NORTON: Sure, that’s fine. Yeah.BELVA SMITH: So we’ve got the number 1 free one at this time I would say is probably NVDA, which is Non Visual Desktop Application. Very, very popular. And a very good, very good screen reader. And then we have Thunder, which is not heard of quite as much. But I did double check this morning. It is still available. It’s still out there. And then there’s essay to go. All of which are very good screen readers. But if you’re a professional or a student, would any one of those be sufficient to help you meet all the goals that you need to meet? Probably not. Maybe but probably not. Primarily because of compatibility.If you go to the third party or what I call “boxed” screen readers, such as Jaws or Window Eyes.MARK STEWART: Belva, I was just wondering. Window Eyes is also free if you have Microsoft Office, right?BELVA SMITH: Window Eyes is free if you have Microsoft 2010 or above. But with the free, there are some serious limitations. Number one is tech support. If you want tech support with that free version, you’re going to be paying for that. It’s not something that’s include Wednesday the software.MARK STEWART: And that’s with all the free versions, you get limited tech support with those, right?BELVA SMITH: You get no tech support that you don’t pay for. And I’m sorry, but I’m not aware of what the pricing is on the tech support. But every tech support call you make will cost you.And with the free version of the Window Eyes, you do still have the advantage of the fact that GW Micro is still working to improve the software. So it’s not — they’re still working hard to make sure that it’s compatible with your third party programs.So, again, if you are working for a company that’s using some special database or any kind of a program that isn’t necessarily a Microsoft program, if you’re not using one of the third party or boxed software, you’re probably going to have a lot of compatibility issues. And you’re certainly not going to get the type of tech support that would be needed to figure out why is it that it isn’t doing something that it should be doing?And then, I’m sorry, Brian, I also wanted to address at this point — you got me started.[Laughter]BRIAN NORTON: I did it. You get to do it, too.BELVA SMITH: The Voiceover that comes with Apple and then the Narrator that comes with windows. Because both Apple and Microsoft have decided that they need to, you know, get involved with this screen reading act. And so in doing so, they have both included with their devices a screen reader. And they’re great, again, if you’re going to be doing just specific things. If you try to use narrowing crater outside of a Microsoft environment, it’s not going to be so well with you, same thing with voiceover. So I just wanted to say that, yes, those are both good depending upon what it is you’re going to do.So I think I answered all those questions. But I just want to sum it up by saying if you’re in need of a screen reader, I’ve got to go back to what Mark said. You really do want to seek out your professional in the area that can sit down with you and can go over the directions and help you try them out and do your check and balances to make sure that you’re getting the appropriate one. Start out using a free one if you want and then, you know, find what it won’t do for you. And then decide which one you want to try to purchase.MARK STEWART: And to piggyback off what you were saying, I mean, screen readers are one of those really tricky programs that based on what you’re trying to do with it, it may or may not work very well. If you’re trying to access, especially in the situations we find ourselves in, a lot of job accommodations and things like that where there’s third party databases and all those different things, there’s oftentimes some customization that’s needed. I know Jaws and Window Eyes both provide some customization features, some scripting features that can be used to make it more accessible or be able to address things that aren’t out of the box. And that’s why you end up paying for those. In fact, I think Window Eyes, they have the free version that if you have Microsoft Office 2010 and above, you can get for free, but you still have the option to pay for a full version. And with that full version, you get tech support and things like that. But it is much, much more costly.But it is one of those things that as you said, seeking out a professional because based upon what you’re really trying to do with that software, any number of those applications may be appropriate if you’re a stay at home homemaker, you know, and you’re just doing a little bit of email and you’re just doing a little bit of word processing, maybe one of the free versions is just fine for you; but if you’re doing something a little bit more complicated, having one of the paid for versions that has some customization available and a little bit of tech support to kind of enhance your ability to get something done would be helpful.BELVA SMITH: Yeah, and, Brian, over the years, I’ve worked with some real power users that will use multiple screen readers because Jaws will do, you know, XYZ for them; but it won’t do ABC, and they’ve discovered that, you know, NVDA will. So depending upon what task they’re setting out to do determines which screen reader they’re going to use.Again, those are the power users. But I know personally several people that use more than one screen reader.BRIAN NORTON: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, thank you to everyone. That is episode 001. It’s set to release on March 9th, so next Monday. And, again, here’s how to find our show. You can search assistive technology questions on iTunes or look for us on Stitcher or visit www.atfaqshow.com.Also, please call and chime in. We’d love to hear your questions. In fact, without your questions, we really don’t have a show. So be a part of our show.Our listener line is 317 721 7124. You can also find us at atfaqshow.com. You can tweet, as well at hashtag #ATFAQ. Or you can email your questions to tech@eastersealscrossroads.org.WADE WINGLER: You guys just did a show.BRIAN NORTON: Yay.WADE WINGLER: You rocked it.BELVA SMITH: Yeah, but Mark and I didn’t get to say goodbye.WADE WINGLER: So, Brian, tell them goodbye.BRIAN NORTON: All right. See you guys. Thanks, Mark. Thanks, Belva.[Laughter]BELVA SMITH: Come on, Mark, say bye. Mark doesn’t want to say bye.MARK STEWART: That’s all I’m saying? See you later.BRIAN NORTON: It was a pleasure. See you guys.WADE WINGLER: Information provided on assistive technology frequently asked questions does not constitute a product endorsement. Our comments are not intended as recommendations, nor is our show evaluative in nature. Assistive Technology FAQ is hosted by Brian Norton; gets editorial support from mark steward and Belva Smith; is produced by me, Wade Wingler; and receives support from Easter Seals Crossroads and the INDATA project. ATFAQ is a proud member of the Accessibility Channel. Find more of our shows at www.accessibilitychannel.com.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATU198 – Introducing our new show: ATFAQMarch 13, 2015In “Assistive Technology Update”ATFAQ049 – Q1 Accessibility of the new Blackberry phone Q2 Zoomtext vs Magic Q3 Local AT funding Q4 AT for reading student worksheets aloud Q5 JAWS language support Q6 Antivirus Q7 Which laptop for a studentMarch 13, 2017In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”ATFAQ056 – Q1 Why Todoist Q2 Voice commands on phone Q3 List of AT for college library students Q4 Durable headphones Q5 Intellikeys replacement Q6 Small grips for smart phone Q7 Dragon NaturallySpeaking Medical Q8 Roomba and Internet of thingsJune 26, 2017In “Assistive Technology FAQ (ATFAQ) Podcast”last_img read more

CARE BOX Subscription Program

first_imgSubscription boxes are a fun way to receive new products bi-weekly, monthly, and more!  One of my more recent Accessibility Minute podcasts covers the Spectrum Toy Store.  The Spectrum Toy Store is specifically designed for individuals with developmental disabilities.  It recently opened in Chicago, but the website features an online catalogue including many of their special needs toys, products, and adaptive equipment.  The nonprofit toy store now offers carefully selected products for your child in their CARE BOX subscription program.How the CARE BOX program works:You can get started with the CARE BOX subscription program by signing up anytime on the Spectrum Toy Store website and completing a child application.  When signing up, you’ll find you can choose from two different delivery plans: monthly or bi-weekly.  You can even opt in and out of each shipment!  There is no commitment and you’re able to cancel your subscription anytime by submitting a written email cancellation 10 days before renewal date.The contents of the box will differ for each child.  The child application helps specialists select products that may benefit your child’s unique needs.  Questions on the application include:“What is your child’s diagnosis?”“What kinds of toys, sensory products, arts and crafts, etc. does your child play with?”“Are there any core areas that are most important to you?”“What skill deficits does your child have?”And much more!The subscription program is eligible in all states.  Once you sign up, the CARE BOX will be delivered within 3-5 days from the enrollment date each month (or every 14 days for families who selected the bi-weekly plan.)  A portion of the proceeds from the program will provide scholarships for out-of-school programming offered to families in Chicago at Spectrum Toy Store.Click here to learn more.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedAM210 – Spectrum Toy StoreNovember 18, 2016In “Accessibility Minute”ATU181 – Lekotek’s Toys and Games for kids with disabilities, Microsoft’s 3D soundscape, Virtual Conference for People with DyslexiaNovember 14, 2014In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU183 – Holiday Shopping Episode 2014 – part 1November 28, 2014In “Assistive Technology Update”last_img read more

How Sleep and Fitness Trackers Work and Whether Theyre Worth It

first_img Why Jordan Peele Probably Won’t Be Directing ‘Blade’ This ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Star is Breathtaking in Reality Helen From ‘Waterworld’ Is 56 Now and Incredibly Gorgeous 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. Willow Smith’s Transformation is Turning Heads By David Cardinal on March 26, 2019 at 7:27 am You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet 10 Scientifically Proven Side Effects of Growing a Beard Little Rudy From ‘Cosby Show’ is Absolutely Gorgeous Now at 40 10 Comments Jim Carrey’s Tragic Life Just Gets Sadder and Sadder How Sleep and Fitness Trackers Work, and Whether They’re Worth It If you’ve read articles about fitness trackers, they were probably written by compulsive workout junkies who compare them for how well they can track those zillion mile bike rides or marathon training runs. Well, I’m not one of them. But the tech in sleep and fitness trackers is pretty amazing and well worth writing about. And yes, they can also provide health benefits for the rest of us who get exercise as time permits.Trackers, as with much of the digital health movement, have come a long way in the last few years. From the simple and not-very-accurate step counters of a few years ago, they have evolved into devices that can monitor your heart rate, sleep, and other vital signs. However, they’re far from perfect, so they can also provide an undeserved impression of accuracy.How Step-and-Stair Tracking WorksThe simplest form of counting steps is to use the data from the device’s accelerometer and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to detect rhythmic motions that are consistent with the back-and-forth movement that typically goes along with walking or running. By using the data from both sensors, the device tries to filter out false positives.Once the device has a step count, then it multiplies that by an estimate of your stride to calculate how far you’ve walked or run. Worst case it uses a generic guess at your stride, but typically you’re able to enter your height to give it a more accurate starting point, or even enter your stride length directly. Some devices go a bit further and will calibrate your stride by comparing GPS results with its estimates. Because consumer GPS has limited accuracy, this process usually requires several minutes of traveling at a consistent speed. Some also calculate separate stride lengths for walking and running. Until recently, that meant remembering to tell the tracker when you started a hike or run. But many newer devices do a good job of auto-detecting when you start some type of exercise and classifying it appropriately.From having owned various fitness trackers over the years, it’s clear that counting steps and stairs is as much of an art as a science at this point. Even when using several current state-of-the-art trackers at the same time, their step counts can differ by as much as 15 percent. Typical wrist trackers and watches don’t have the processing power to run a lot of sophisticated AI-based analytics to help clean up the data, either.Devices with altimeters often also let you count how many flights of stairs (or equivalent) you’ve climbed. Here, too, sensor fusion is required, so that altitude gained while driving or flying doesn’t get credited to your fitness (a shame for tech journalists who spend a lot of time on airplanes).Tracking climbing can be even more of a crapshoot. For example, my Fitbit Versa regularly reports dozens of floors climbed while I’m playing tennis — even though each floor is supposed to represent 10 feet of altitude gained while walking or running. In contrast, my Huawei Band 3 Pro isn’t fooled. However, the Versa does a better job keeping up with my running up and down stairs during the day.Fitness Tracking: Another Field Turned on Its Head by AIAs with so many areas of technology, digital health has been vastly improved through the use of AI. For example, instead of writing long sequences of complicated code based on physical models to count steps, modern trackers rely on neural networks that use machine learning to determine strides. Similarly, instead of relying on human analysis of sleep data for each patient, trackers have systems that are trained on huge amounts of human-labeled sample data. As a result, they can categorize the sensor information from users into not just sleeping or awake, but even the specific type of sleep.How Heart Rate Monitoring WorksIf you’ve ever had a heart issue, you may have been hooked up to a machine with a variety of electrodes to monitor your heart (an ECG or EKG). Those electrodes measure the small electrical currents emitted by the “pacemaker cells” in your heart. The best consumer-grade heart monitors use a simplified version of the same technique. A chest strap with electrodes on the inside is used. With that approach, it is possible to get both a very accurate measurement of heart rate, and also calculate Heart Rate Variability (HRV), an increasingly popular metric of fitness.As you can imagine, that’s something of a hassle, so most trackers rely on a less accurate but lower-hassle optical system. Optical heart rate monitors use a process called photoplethysmography (PPG) to calculate your heart rate by shining light into your skin and measuring the reflectance. The light is emitted from LEDs (usually at least two) on the inside of the tracking device. Multiple LEDs at different frequencies help provide better results across the wide range of possible skin colors and thickness.Unfortunately, the readings from an optical tracker placed on your wrist, or in a ring, are susceptible to fluctuations as you move. In particular, if you are running or jogging at a similar pace to your heart rate, then it is possible for a tracker to pick up on that cadence and think it is your heartbeat. This is often referred to as the “crossover problem.” Since only about .1 percent of the light reflected from your skin is related to the heart rate signal, there are plenty of opportunities for error to creep in.To help with this, many trackers also incorporate an accelerometer to help them disregard incorrect data. The amount of light reflected also varies with ambient light level, as unless you are in a dark room or have your hand and wrist completely covered, some pollution of the light from the LEDs will occur. Higher-end devices include ambient light monitoring to minimize this problem.Because of these issues, the most accurate of the optical heart rate devices appear to be armbands and clips that go on your finger. Of course, neither is quite as easy to use as a wrist-based tracker or even a ring, so a lot of work has gone into making more accurate heart rate tracking for popular devices that can be worn all day (and night). Manufacturers of brand-name models from Garmin, Fitbit, and others claim accuracy within 5 percent of a medical-grade device for their wrist-worn trackers. That’s pretty reasonable if you just want a general measure of your health, and an estimate of how much “cardio” time you’re getting from exercise each day, but certainly not good enough for training elite athletes.As an experiment, I outfitted myself with five different heart-rate-capable tracking devices. For starters, we have a Sleeptracker from FullPower under our mattress (which uses pressure and vibration to measure heart rate while asleep). Then I tried a ZeTime watch, a Fitbit Versa, a Huawei Band 3 Pro, and an inexpensive fingertip pulse-oximeter. While the data from the ZeTime nearly gave me a coronary (it showed some massive spikes while sleeping that certainly didn’t look healthy), the other four trackers were generally consistent in pattern, and fairly close in actual values. I’m sure some of the differences were caused by having to wear several at once, so none of them were really in an ideal location. None of these devices are accurate enough to calculate HRV, though. Leading HRV app maker EliteHRV only fully supports chest strap devices for that purpose.Using an ECG to Detect A-fibWhile the Apple Watch 4 isn’t the first wearable to be able to provide users with an electrocardiogram (ECG), it is by far the most popular. Specifically, on demand, the latest Apple Watch can provide an ECG trace and detect whether the user may be suffering from an irregular heartbeat — in this case atrial fibrillation or a-fib. It does that by measuring the electric pulses sent out by the heart as they reach the watch. To get a reading, the user lays their finger alongside the watch for 30 seconds to close the circuit. By itself, diagnosing an irregular heartbeat may not mean much, but it is enough reason to consider further evaluation by a medical professional. Apple helps the process along by providing a PDF of the ECG that the user can forward to their physician.To validate the effectiveness of this capability, Apple has funded an extensive study showing that wearers of its Watch 4 using this feature receive similar benefits to those wearing a medical device in a more typical week-long evaluation. There are clearly benefits to early detection of symptoms of possible heart disease. However, the medical community is divided over the value of diagnosing a-fib in otherwise healthy people with no specific propensity for heart disease. In any case, this capability is certainly a taste of what are likely to be further developments in tracking heart health through popular wearables.Sleep Tracking Compared With Sleep StudiesIf you have a sleep disorder or have ever suspected that you have an issue with sleep apnea, you were probably referred to a clinic that could load you up with electrodes and charge you a ton to let you know how, and how well, you sleep. But if you simply wanted an idea of how well you’re sleeping, and what you might be able to do to improve it, wearing a dozen electrodes every night certainly isn’t practical. Enter sleep trackers. Using one or more sensors, they rely on science and machine learning to estimate when you are sleeping, what phase of sleep you’re in, and suggest various health tips and tidbits.My experience with five different trackers that report on sleep indicates that consumer products can do a reasonable job of creating a rough outline of your sleep and waking states, and perhaps of roughly the total time spent in each of the labeled sleep states. These are commonly called Light, Deep, and REM, although a sleep researcher I spoke with said that medically REM is important enough that they start by classifying sleep into REM and non-REM. In any case, no two of the trackers matched on a consistent basis.Sleeptracker’s AI-powered cloud and proprietary sensor results in the sleep data I feel most confident about.The sleep tracker I’ve been using the longest is the Sleeptracker. The sensor pod goes under your mattress so it is totally hassle-free. Fullpower has also done an excellent job of building health statistics based on your demographic profile compared with its community of users. That lets them provide some interesting and potentially useful coaching tips. Placement of the sensor also helps them measure breathing rate — something the typical fitness trackers I’ve used couldn’t estimate. From speaking with Fullpower, the company credits its in-house design sensors that detect motion from under your mattress coupled with an AI model based on 250 million nights of sleep with giving the device 90%+ accuracy and putting it ahead of the competition. I also asked about the large variety of mattresses and learned that the device auto-calibrates, again based on the company’s cloud-based AI models. By using dual sensors, Sleeptracker can also monitor two sleepers in the same bed, which is pretty impressive.Fitbit Versa sleep data from the same night. The overall pattern and total time are similar, but the specific stages varied by quite a bit.Most other sleep trackers in use are simply fitness trackers that can do continuous heart-rate monitoring. They analyze data including how much you are moving and your heart rate to estimate whether you are asleep or awake, and which stage of sleep you’re in. Currently, none of the standard fitness trackers are certified as medical grade devices or for use in diagnosing sleep apnea. However, startup Beddr has a device you can attach to your forehead that also includes a pulse-oximeter and can be used to detect apnea events. Fitbit markets that its Charge 3 and Versa have SpO2 (pulse-ox) sensors, but they don’t actually do anything currently.Huawei’s sleep data from the same night (worn next to the Versa) shows a lot more time in deep sleep than any of the other trackers, which is consistent with its 20-60 percent reference data, which also seems high compared with the benchmarks used by the other companies. Caveat: Wearing two trackers on the same wrist or even one on each wrist (I tried it both ways) is certainly not a perfect way to compare them.The Quantified Self Is on the WayWhile consumer fitness and sleep trackers clearly have a long way to go before they are on a par with medical-grade procedures, progress has been and is likely to continue to be rapid. Sensors are getting smaller, less expensive, and more accurate at the same time that increased processing power and improved analysis tools are becoming available. What took a large watch a couple of years ago can now be done with a ring. As a next step, look for increased integration of personal tracking devices with the professional health care system. It is already starting to happen on a limited basis but is likely to become commonplace.[Image Credit: PPG]Now read from PCMag:The Best Fitness TrackersThe Best Fitness AppsThe Best Heart-Rate Monitors<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>  The Tragedy of Marie Osmond Just Keeps Getting Sadder and Sadder Tagged In extremetech explainshealthfuture healthsleepquantified selfdigital healthecgekgfitnesselectrocardiogramfitness trackersBeddrSleepTrackersleep trackingFitness trackingHuawei Band 3 ProFitBit VersaZeTime Post a Comment 10 Commentslast_img read more

Hayabusa2 Probe Collects Second Sample From Asteroid Ryugu

first_img By Ryan Whitwam on July 11, 2019 at 1:04 pm You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet The Outrage Over Robert Pattinson As Batman Continues Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe has just made history — again. The spacecraft gathered samples from the surface of the asteroid Ryugu earlier this year, and it bombed the asteroid a few months later. Now, the probe has taken another trip to the surface to scoop up pristine material that used to be buried below the surface. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched Hayabusa2 in 2014, taking four years just to meet up with Ryugu in its orbit some 185 million miles (300 million kilometers) from Earth. It started by dropping off some barrel-shaped robots to get the lay of the land, and then it descended to pick up its first sample in February 2019. Hayabusa2 carried several tantalum slugs, which it fired at the surface after each landing. The impact launched particles upward and into the probe’s collection compartment — that first landing collected material from the top layer of the asteroid. The most recent collection is crucial because it may have included material from deeper inside Ryugu. In April, Hayabusa2 launched the 5.5-pound (2.5kilogramsm) Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI). The SCI used a shaped HMX explosive charge to launch the impactor at Ryugu at more than 2 kilometers per second. The result was a small, artificial crater. Regolith on the surface of Ryugu has been bombarded by solar radiation for eons, but just below the surface is pristine material that is virtually unchanged since the birth of the solar system. That’s what Hayabusa2 was after this time. [PPTD] These images were taken before and after touchdown by the small monitor camera (CAM-H). The first is 4 seconds before touchdown, the second is at touchdown itself and the third is 4 seconds after touchdown. In the third image, you can see the amount of rocks that rise. pic.twitter.com/ssZU5TV3x9— HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) July 11, 2019This landing required careful preparations — any problems could risk the loss of the first sample which is still inside Hayabusa2. The probe landed about 20 meters from the center of the crater, using its second tantalum slug to scoop up ejecta. Visual examination of the area showed varying color compared with other parts of the asteroid, so the team believes it does indeed have material from inside Ryugu. Hayabusa2 will remain in orbit of Ryugu for several more months, departing in November or December. The spacecraft will arrive back at Earth in late 2020, at which point scientists will be able to examine the Ryugu samples up close. JAXA doesn’t know exactly how much of Ryugu is coming back to Earth, but it hopes to get up to 100mg of material from the asteroid. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it will be the only perfectly preserved sample of the solar system from an object more distant than the moon.Now read:Hayabusa2 Probe Deploys Third Robot on Asteroid RyuguHayabusa Sends Back Photos and Video From Surface of Asteroid RyuguJapan’s Hayabusa 2 Spacecraft Reaches Asteroid, Prepares to Collect Sample Why Billy Hargrove from ‘Stranger Things’ Looks So Familiar Sun Baby From ‘Teletubbies’ Is 22 Now & Unrecognizably Gorgeous Hayabusa2 Probe Collects Second Sample From Asteroid Ryugu Little Lucy From ‘Narnia’ is Head-Turningly Gorgeous Now at 23 2 Comments The Tragedy of Marie Osmond Just Keeps Getting Sadder and Sadder Anna Kendrick’s Transformation is Turning Heads Wesley Snipes Breaks Silence On Marvel’s Huge ‘Blade’ Decision 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 Transformation of Daisy Ridley Is Turning Heads Tagged In sciencespaceasteroidsjaxaHayabusa 2Hayabusa2 Post a Comment 2 Commentslast_img read more

Apollo 11 at 50 NASA Is Streaming the Landing

first_img Actors Who Could Barely Stomach Kissing Each Other on Screen By Joel Hruska on July 20, 2019 at 6:27 am 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. We Finally Understand Why ‘Criminal Minds’ Got Canceled Buzz Aldrin descends onto the moon’s surface. Credit: Neil Armstrong/NASAUpdate (7/20/2019): Today’s the big day. NASA TV will live-stream the original moon landing and then, six hours later, the moon walk. Broadcast times on the YouTube channel linked below are 4 PM EST (for the Moon landing) and 10 PM EST (for the moon walk).Original story below:Fifty years ago yesterday, the Apollo 11 mission took off for the Moon. You can see CBS’s coverage now on YouTube, showcasing not just what happened, but how it happened. It’s the same way you, your parents, or your grandparents saw the event.I am admittedly not much for watching video. I use YouTube almost exclusively for listening to music when I use it at all. But there’s something fascinating about seeing the real-time broadcast, complete with commercials and with breaking news coverage of then-current events happening in… well, not “real-time” obviously, but what real-time looked like 50 years ago. The original launch occurred at 9:32 AM on July 16, 1969, with the later lunar touchdown on July 20. Armstrong actually stepped out on the lunar surface six hours later.Watching the full live stream is fascinating for another reason — it highlights the degree to which both the takeoff and landing were extended, live affairs, carried out over hours with extensive footage. The idea that the moon landing was some kind of hoax carried out by Stanley Kubrick or through some other form of visual effects wizardry has been debunked more times (and from more angles) than I can think of. But one of the better treatments of the topic is by S. G. Collins of Postwar Media.Collins details in the video above why the special effects technology of the 1960s literally wasn’t capable of this kind of feat. Both launches and landings were live broadcasts that went on for hours and were seen by millions of people worldwide. Today, those kinds of issues would be no object for special effects wizards to solve. Fifty years ago, it was an entirely different matter.I hadn’t planned on watching any of the moon landing details this weekend, but after watching some of the Apollo 11 launch broadcast I may change that plan. Seeing the moon landing lift-off sent chills up my spine, grainy video and bad color reproduction be damned. Seeing the Saturn V in action is a joy, blurry video and all.It is unfortunate that the triumph of Apollo 11 and the following Apollo missions remain the last time we have sent humans to another world beyond our own. I do not know if I’ll be around when the 100th anniversary of Apollo rolls around, but I hope that by the time we hit the 75th — and I do hope to be around for that one — we’ll be able to say that we eventually exceeded the achievements of my grandfather’s generation. “We came in peace for all mankind” is too good of a slogan to leave it isolated and alone on the lunar surface. There are further worlds, farther worlds, to explore. Hopefully, one day, we’ll reach them.Now Read:NASA’s Restored Mission Control Shows the Glory Days of the Apollo EraApollo Guidance Computer Restored, Used to Mine BitcoinHow Space Exploration Has Evolved Over the Years We Now Understand Why Sean Connery Has Disappeared Dani From ‘Girl Next Door’ is Absolutely Gorgeous Now at 36 ‘Legacies’ Season 2 Casts New Vampire As A Love Interest Sun Baby From ‘Teletubbies’ Is 22 Now & Unrecognizably Gorgeous You Might Also LikePowered By ZergNet Why The Hound May Have Been ‘GOT’s’ Most Important Character Little Lucy From ‘Narnia’ is Head-Turningly Gorgeous Now at 23 Apollo 11 at 50: NASA Is Streaming the Landing Tagged In sciencespacenasaapollomercuryApollo 11CBSBuzz Aldrinmoon landingGeminiGene KranzNeil Armstrong50th Anniversaryspace programWalter Cronkite Post a Comment 12 Comments 12 Commentslast_img read more

MarTech Interview with Steve Weiss CEO MuteSix

first_img AI in MarTechAmazonInterviewInterview SeriesMarketing Tech InsightsMarketing TechnologyMarketing Technology InterviewMarTech InterviewMarTech Interview SeriesMarTech SoftwareMartech stackMarTech UpdatesMuteSixnative contentSteve Weiss Previous ArticleFanConnect a hit with MLBNext ArticleTechBytes with Chemi Katz, Co-Founder and CEO, Namogoo Tell us about your role and journey into technology. How did you start at MuteSix?I was born and raised in New Jersey by a single mother who actually bought the first computer for my sister and me when I was 14. It was out of my sheer web addiction that I started tinkering around with programs such as Photoshop and Unix while building websites and running websites. But I never considered a career in tech. Back in college, I actually uncovered a passion for stand-up comedy. It wasn’t until a personal family tragedy after Hurricane Sandy when I decided to drop it all and shifted to Los Angeles without a job or a place to stay. Sometimes you have to go all-in. At one point, I ended up joining a local 24-hour Fitness just to use their showers.In LA, I quickly learned how ridiculously hard it was to get folks out to the comedy clubs. I’d spend hours ripping apart a topic for jokes and must have gotten kicked out of at least 8 different clubs as I honestly couldn’t get the guests to fork over fistfuls of cash like other guys. One night, the idea hit me — a majority of the regular club goers were on Facebook. So, were my friends. It wasn’t a novel idea, but a simple one. So, I started running Facebook ads for my upcoming comedy sets, which were targeted to my friends and comedy lovers. And, it worked. I started to see repeat “fans” often who told me they found out about me on Facebook. This was actually the very first Facebook ad campaign I ever ran.After a tumultuous year of hustling “bringer” shows, I got burnt out and decided to look back to tech and leverage my ad skills. I took on advertising for an e-commerce brand, helped scale its sales to six figures, and earned the largest commission I had seen to date. From there, I began working at an old office building that was acting like a router for the growing tech scene in Santa Monica. This was long before the idea of co-working spaces. It was here where I met Daniel Rutberg. He had just broken off an SEO-agency partnership. So, I took it upon myself to pick him up on the rebound. We went to dinner and realized we both needed to survive. We decided to start an agency with killer Facebook targeting with one top-level goal in mind: Don’t be the cog. Be the machine.The early MuteSix days were pretty scrappy—Dan and I ran the agency from a client’s office who offered to give us free desks for our use. In 2014, we started off with four employees, remained lean, and won high-caliber deals off our back-room reputation. Five years later, I’ll say it’s been one hell of a ride. We’re now managing $300 million in ad spend and have grown to a team of 130 friends and family. The payoff is that if you work with the right set of folks, anything can happen fast.From the time you joined MuteSix, how much has Advertising Technology evolved? The velocity of innovation in ad tech is phenomenal, to say the least. Facebook has literally built the ad tech industry thanks to its agility and ability to scale when it comes to paid media. The breadth and depth of this industry-wide consolidation (thinking of Instagram) will offer more streamlined business opportunities in ad tech for brands no matter what stage of business they’re at. In essence, the best thing to come out of the ad tech evolution is how marketers have changed the art and science of advertising due to the massive amounts of data available and opportunity to use it for finding and targeting specific online consumers. The most valuable skill today — requiring marketers (not AI) to interpret data. In the end, this is always going to be about humans selling products to humans.As an Ad Technology CEO, how would you identify the biggest advantages of leading online ad sales operations with automation and analytics?Some of the biggest advantages of leading with on-demand analytics and actionable information is knowing that the data delivers. We experience supercharged performances and reshaped media landscapes for our partners. Clients look to us for sharing our expertise on how to enable faster and larger-scale evidence-based decision making, insight generation, and process optimization to help their business objectives. More often than not, that objective is centered on high growth. Research shows that companies with advanced digital capabilities across operations, and analytics grow revenue and market share faster than peers. They improve profit margins three times more rapidly than average and, more often than not, have been the fastest innovators and the disruptors in their vertical through increased throughput, higher quality, and decreased risks.Tell us more about your campaign with Khloe Kardashian and the limited edition BURST Oral Care Sonic Toothbrush. Burst Oral Care Toothbrush partnered up with Khloe Kardashian to run a ‘Corn Test,’ which was highly trending at that time. The idea was that Khloe would test toothbrushes on a cob of corn to show how deep they can get. The challenge was how to get this video out and uncover a new audience to drive customer acquisition. The massive thought-bomb was that by combining demographic, contextual and psychographic information in a simple, easily executable fashion, we could turn this into a paid ad that will resonate easily with Khloe’s fans. We also found that if we match back the brand’s personality to the influencer’s personality, we could expect to see a lift in engagement and in overall ROI by creating truly authentic native content at a much lower price turning the campaign into yet another Kardashian viral phenomenon. And, it worked as we were able to target nearly 7 million consumers in a record amount of time.What valuable lessons did you learn from 2018’s massive mergers and acquisitions in the Ad Sales and Automation areas?Facebook and Google are the only two dominant players when it comes to both driving “discovery-” and “intent-” driven marketing campaigns. There isn’t a dominant player after them.Tell us about your go-to strategies to support rapid growth and the lessons learned through periods of massive shift and transition in social media advertising.The biggest takeaway for 2019 is that video is the most powerful medium for marketing today. Specifically, mobile video content is gaining hard, fast traction and popularity across mobile devices. By 2019, global consumer Internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.Video provides marketers with a myriad of new opportunities to push their brand. Digital video also runs on a clean ecosystem and is, therefore, a more impactful format. By creating strong, engaging video content, you can tap into more mobile device users who will spend more time on your content earning increased share and greater exposure for your brand. A majority of social media users do their sharing, commenting, and newsfeed-scrolling from their smartphones. In July 2018, Facebook grew to 168 million active mobile users in the US — this is roughly 50% of Americans. Translation: mobile video will fuel sales.We want to further enhance the dialog behind the evolution and momentum of mobile because it’s a big focus of discussion right now with nearly every single client. Some of our strategies this year include focusing on targeted consumer needs with advanced analytics, tipping-point trendy and brave creative, growing vis-a-vie first-to-scale vs. first-to-market, and watching for emerging consumer acceptance and new behaviors. The growth game has changed and it’s our job to stay on top of those changes.How do you mentor your Product Marketing and B2B Commerce teams at MuteSix?This year, I am walking into our 5th year with the company and it has grown stronger, more dedicated to ad tech, and more aware of skillsets. We’ve literally grown from four employees to 130+ friends and family today. Everything changes when you’ve hired around 100+ people. Then your job is no longer finding customers, creating a product or designing solutions — your job is also to hire and keep great teams and surround yourself with skillful folks.As we scale, it’s important for me to set aside four hours of mentoring time each week to the marketing and sales teams. For some of us. it was a difficult ride to get to where we are at now, so I want to make sure we collectively pave the road when inviting others onto the MuteSix journey.There are still a lot of challenges every day. Things can really go sideways from 0 to 60 minutes. And, when that happens, we all feel like we have to weigh in. So, I ask the teams to come to meetings with something to talk about. A lot of folks want to establish relationships and the first thing they ask you is ‘tell me your story.’ I find that that question can be less intimidating than coming with a specific question on how to help oneself. I start my meetings asking our teams a little bit about their background on where they’re at today and follow by ‘how can I help you?’ The sharper they are in their raw answers and their asks, the better the answer and insight they can receive from me. The best thing I’ve learned through this process is just how open people are to change when you just ask.What do you think about the recent listing of Amazon as a Facebook advertising report?Amazon is largely pay-to-play and as such has become the third largest advertising platform behind Facebook and Google. We are seeing first-hand how they’re evolving their products and are earning traction from a budget-growth perspective. It’s actually their highest growth channel, for the time being, so we’re definitely not underestimating their potential. And, we know it’s encroaching on Google’s space, which is going to rattle some G-nerves. We expect to build solutions for new customer acquisition and accelerate awareness building for clients of all sizes.What is the state of advertising duopoly? How do you deal with it?The reality is Facebook and Google offer the best converting ads and volume today. There’s no question about this data-rich duo operating as the ‘power center’ of ad tech. We are working hard to uncover efficiencies on other platforms (think: Amazon, Snapchat, Pinterest). But, we’re not seeing clients pull back on their spend as the marketing dollars invested are delivering to receptive audiences. When it comes particularly to Facebook, they are so far ahead of other platforms with their arsenal of tools and in their specificity that they are still performing at optimal levels. In general, I see the idea of a triopoly as a hugely positive move for all. In the end, having more competition is always good for the consumer and advertiser.What does your technology community look like? Who do you meet at events and conferences to discuss technology?One of the draws of working the agency life is the sense of community, which is largely made up of folks who live to learn from people who are solving the next ad tech problem(s). It’s always great meeting fellow marketers who share the desire for variety and creativity in their work and actually want more skin-in-the-game. You quickly realize that you’re not a lone wolf in this industry as everyone has the same end goal — scale.Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use? HubSpot for sales; our proprietary ad stack for all else.What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in Marketing and Sales Technology for 2019-2020?Artificial Intelligence is going to be the sweeping topic when it comes to data disruption and how multiple marketing channels will communicate and exchange information between each other to personalize the marketing experience to a more connected and discerning digital customer. Accelerating the process of data aggregation will help make the product even better and hopefully create a pretty defensible and durable sales model. AI — through chatbots, Robotic Process Automation, or Machine Learning — will ultimately create value across all touchpoints and through all marketing offerings at the right price, with the right message, and to the right target. Surviving in the face of AI and its rising tide means learning how to let evolution happen.What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now? Voice, audio, the move away from linear TV to connected TV, and to all things video are super exciting at the moment. It’s clear these are going to drive the future for consumer interactions and branding. Entertainment Data Oracle (founded by actor Edward Norton) is one startup that piques my interest. I’m looking to see how the company will roll out new technology gradually over time, can scale its products (new data sets to establish consumer intent across live and non-live TV ads), what types of creative executions will resonate with TV audiences.How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?Education from the front lines. You can foster a ‘wait-and-see attitude’ or play an active role in the change happening now. Leaders of all industries need to be educated to comprehend where AI can provide value. And, where it cannot. Yet. I’ll say this — it’ll be impossible to try and sidestep AI integration no matter what you do.How do you inspire your people to work with technology? For our scope, it’s helpful to demonstrate the power of data and how it relates to inspiration. In data, lies beauty. What is the problem and how can you solve it? People need to be taught that relying on immense silos of data in a data lake isn’t what drives creativity and inspiration. Volume is irrelevant. The key to data lies in the objective of its use. Solve problems through a feedback loop using insights, ideas, and innovation as inspiration can and will strike through this agile matrix. Something old can become something new when examined differently.One word that best describes how you work.Empathy.What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?Spotify and Netflix. Both help me check out at the end of my day to recharge the mental batteries.What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?I’m old school and write everything I want to accomplish for the day. I literally walk around with a ballpoint and notebook jotting down ideas and thoughts in abstract form as you never know where inspiration can and will strike. I find this helps me filter through important insights. Do you know that note-taking has been found to be as cognitively demanding as playing a round of chess is for an expert! I once read how the process activates parts of the brain that lead to better understanding and focus. And, I’m for more empathy and focus.What are you currently reading?Currently reading Tom Brady’s book, “The TB 12 Method” on my Kindle. It shouldn’t always be about work.What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?Empathy matters more than we think. We need to develop this trait to become agents of change.Something you do better than others — the secret of your success?Eight hours of sleep. No matter where I am in the world. No excuses. My personal research proves this is how to drive productivity and stay engaged, happy, and healthy.Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:Mark ZuckerbergThank you, Steve! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon. mute MarTech Interview Series About SteveAbout MuteSixAbout Steve “Facebook and Google are the only two dominant players when it comes to both driving discovery- and intent-driven marketing campaigns — there isn’t a dominant player after them.” Steve is the Founder and CEO of MuteSix, a data-led, full funnel digital and creative studio founded in 2014. He is responsible for the overall vision, strategic leadership, service delivery, culture, and growth of the creative agency leading to a billion in trackable revenue for clients.Under Steve’s direction, MuteSix has earned the distinction as most awarded Facebook social advertising agency with more Facebook & Instagram marketing case studies than any other agency. MuteSix has grown into a comprehensive and integrated global marketing agency with prominent clients across all major industry B2B/B2C sectors, including leading brands in retail, e-commerce, luxury, non-profit, technology, sports, publishing, and financial services. Steve is a frequent speaker at industry events and is regularly quoted in business and tech publications. MuteSix is a data-led, full funnel digital and creative studio providing intelligent ad solutions to help grow next-gen growth brands and enterprise market leaders. With a billion dollars in trackable revenue, we help our clients design for the future while evolving their existing businesses with our agency’s winning combination of digital capabilities, technology and talent. We help deliver scalable marketing and technology solutions for clients across a broad spectrum of startups, turnarounds, established blue chips, and challenger brands across various B2B/B2C industries, including retail, e-commerce, luxury, non-profit, technology, sports, publishing, and financial services.Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, we have a performance-obsessed team of 100+ employees, all with industry recognized qualifications, who combine a rich, deep understanding of online user journeys and branding. Driven by an insight-led strategy, we offer a full range of “Consult to Operate’” strategy development and breakthrough creative across all consumer touchpoints creating end-to-end, seamless customer experiences, which are both agile and empathic to the client’s needs.Recent accolades include MuteSix being named as one of Inc. magazine’s Best Workplaces, ranked #263 on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies, and is recognized more Facebook Success Stories than any other agency. MarTech Interview with Steve Weiss, CEO, MuteSix Sudipto GhoshApril 30, 2019, 2:30 pmApril 29, 2019 The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick. About MuteSixlast_img read more