There’s No Need to Wait to Join the Smart Home RevolutionSmart technology is making home life more efficient and convenient than ever before. Home automation via connected devices can help you save money on power bills, remember when to take out the trash, or make sure your room is just the right temperature when it’s time for bed.Enhancements like these used to be reserved for luxury residences, but today, the average American has access to a vast array of connected devices that can improve the quality of their life at home. Unless you’re building a new house or planning on a large-scale renovation, you’re probably not going to splurge on a large number of automated features at once. Instead, most people will start by experimenting with one smart home device to see whether the benefits are real and commensurate with the price tag.You can join the smart home revolution — no overhaul needed.This approach makes sense, especially because some of these devices are powered by relatively new technologies and are constantly being updated. Most homeowners find, however, that once they incorporate one form of automation into their lives, they quickly want more. The great thing about smart homes is that the benefits of a device are multiplied when used in conjunction with others. The synergy created by a number of automated functions — and the cumulative cost savings that accrue when combining devices — makes additional investments in automated technology less prohibitive over time.An analysis by Simply Self Storage found that, based on the average U.S. household’s annual utility bill of $3,052, an investment in a comprehensive smart home system (which includes thermostats, sensors, sprinklers, and more) could save hundreds of dollars per year. That doesn’t mean you should buy 10 different devices today, but it does mean that it’s definitely time to start experimenting with smart home technology. If you’re not exactly sure where to start, consider one of these three popular use cases.Improve Energy EfficiencyThe savings realized from using smart technology to improve energy efficiency in the home is one of the biggest reasons people opt for connected devices. And this perk isn’t just for homeowners — rental property owners can benefit, too. As Sean Miller, president of PointCentral, a division of Alarm.com, explains, “An apartment generally costs around $2,400 annually to heat, cool, and power, so residents appreciate energy-efficient appliances and smart devices that provide more sustainable housing and decrease these costs by an average of 15 percent, according to our findings.” Including smart home devices in your rental properties is likely to appeal to many potential tenants, and it’s a great way to make your units stand out in a crowded market.Smart thermostats, lighting, and appliances can all be preprogrammed based on your personal preferences or needs and then remotely managed from your phone. These devices will alert you if they’re experiencing performance issues, allowing you to be proactive in handling problems. Many smart home products, such as the Philips Hue or Lifx smart lights, can also be integrated with popular voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Use a mix of these to reap the maximum energy efficiency benefits of smart tech.Enhance Your Home’s SecuritySmart home technology can provide the peace of mind that most homeowners have always wanted but couldn’t achieve until now. With keyless entry devices, for instance, you can be alerted if someone tries to get in your house without your permission, and you’ll never have to worry about your keys being lost or stolen. Likewise, smart security cameras such as the Nest Hello doorbell will stream real-time footage of your property straight to your phone, and add-ons to the device even incorporate facial recognition technology so you can more easily identify intruders.Just remember that because these devices are connected to the internet, they could be vulnerable to hackers. Protect them the same way you would your computer or cellphone by following some basic security best practices, such as making sure your Wi-Fi router is secure and updating all of your software regularly.Enjoy Convenience and ControlWith smart technology, if you’re away for the weekend and want to make sure your appliances are turned off, all you have to do is look at your phone. Or you can automate mundane tasks like feeding your dog, cleaning your living room or pool, or even watering your plants or yard. The capabilities of connected devices are expanding seemingly every day.Now, instead of hiring the neighbor’s kid to take care of your daughter’s goldfish while you’re on vacation, Apex’s aquarium controller lets you do it remotely, so you don’t have to wonder whether that fish will need life support when you get back. Consider what challenges exist for you as a homeowner, renter, or landlord, and ask yourself how smart tech can make those problems disappear.The ability to control virtually every aspect of your home from the palm of your hand is within reach. Whether you’re building a new home, buying one, or simply upgrading your current home, smart technology provides a great way to personalize and protect. Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Use This Crowdfunding Hack to Fund Your Automat… Related Posts Tags:#connected home#smart devices#smart home#smart technology How Much of Your Home Life Will Be Automated in… The Key to Smart Home Success: Safety and Security The Rise of the Smart Home, Apartment or Condom…
The North Queensland Touch Football Championships will be held this weekend in Townsville, on Saturday, 6 June and Sunday, 7 June. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the championships, testament to the strength of North Queensland Touch Association.42 teams from across the region will compete in the 10 divisions on offer. Also participating in the championships will be Australian Men’s 30’s World Cup champion and former NRL great, Scott Prince, who will play in the Townsville Men’s 27’s team. Based on performances over the weekend teams will be selected for the 2015 National Youth Championships and 2016 National Touch League.Several special guests will also be in attendance over the weekend including Australian Men’s Open coach, Tony Trad, Australian Men’s Open captain, Steve Roberts and Touch Football Australia High Performance Manager, Wayne Grant. All three will be conducting coaching workshops and skills sessions over the weekend, with Roberts also playing for the Mt Isa Open Men’s team versus Townsville on Saturday afternoon. For further information and to keep up to date with results from the weekend please visit – http://nqtouch.com.auRelated Links2015 NQ Champs
To raise awareness of the importance of sustainable wood sourcing, Martin Guitar has announced it is teaming up with the Rainforest Alliance on a public engagement campaign, #FollowTheFrog.The multi-phase campaign, which launched this week, will use Martin’s social media platforms, Martin Ambassador James Valentine of Maroon 5, and public events to drive attention to Martin’s longstanding commitment to the environment and its collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance for over two decades to protect precious forests through the practices of responsible forest management.The multi-faceted Martin Guitar activities kick off the next Rainforest Alliance annual Follow the Frog campaign, which engages companies and consumers in the sustainability mission and communicates the positive impact of products that carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. Martin Guitar is proud to begin its engagement with #FollowTheFrog today and will launch the 2nd phase in early 2017, when the Rainforest Alliance will commence its 30th anniversary year with full global Follow the Frog activation.As part of the campaign, Martin will chronicle the manufacturing of a guitar, certified by the Rainforest Alliance for meeting the strict standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). FSC-certified guitars must comply with the most rigorous social and environmental standards on the market, including using woods from forests where ecosystems, wildlife and communities are protected.Martin Guitar’s multiple social media platforms and corporate website will allow people to #FollowTheFrog throughout the journey of the instrument’s production, from conception to the final stage of adorning it with the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal, featuring the organization’s iconic tree frog inside the guitar.When ready in early 2017, the finished guitar will be given to Martin Ambassador James Valentine, lead guitarist of the multi-platinum selling rock band Maroon 5, who will lead Phase 2 of the Martin Guitar #FollowTheFrog campaign, which will serve as an exciting key element of the global Rainforest Alliance Follow the Frog campaign.“Martin has been deeply committed to environmental responsibility in a variety of ways for many decades, but as the world’s premiere manufacturer of acoustic guitars, wood sustainability is of particular concern for us,” said Chris Martin IV, Chairman and CEO, Martin Guitar. “It’s important to us and it’s important to our customers that we operate in a way that ensures we will have healthy forests around the world for many generations to come. We’re proud to team up with an organization as respected as the Rainforest Alliance to help us continue to achieve this mission.”“By working with collaborating companies like Martin Guitar, who share our vision, we are able to promote the responsible management of forests to benefit communities, wildlife and the environment,” said Nigel Sizer, President of the Rainforest Alliance. “The Martin Guitar #FollowTheFrog campaign is a wonderful way for people to get an inside look at what it really means to source wood responsibly, in a way that helps people and the planet. With the global challenges of climate change and deforestation we currently face, sustainable wood sourcing has never been more important.”The first phase of the campaign will feature special messaging on both Martin Guitar’s and the Rainforest Alliance’s digital platforms, as well as informational booths hosted by the Rainforest Alliance and Martin Guitar at key music festivals. To learn more about the campaign, please visit www.martinguitar.com/followthefrog.
We often hear about the NFL’s dominance in the mindshare of sports fans, and it’s hard to argue with the facts and figures floating around to support this notion. Pro football has been No. 1 in the annual Harris Poll survey of Americans’ favorite sports for three consecutive decades, and the NFL’s television ratings routinely trounce those of other sports. But, curiously, I was fooling around with Google Trends, and there is at least one area in which the NFL is not crushing the opposition: Google searches.The NFL is trailing the NBA by about 5 percent since Google’s Trends search data became available in 2004.There are a lot of factors that can cloud these results, including the possibility that not all search terms are being correctly attributed to each league. This is a particular issue for “football,” which is, as you probably know, what everyone outside the U.S. calls soccer. Recent improvements to Trends make this issue less problematic, but it’s still worth mentioning.The numbers also include worldwide searches; the NBA has a large global presence (particularly in Asia), and Google is, by definition, biased toward countries with a greater number of Internet users. For what it’s worth, the NFL is still tops by quite a bit within the U.S.Even so, it’s an interesting data point about the relative global reach of America’s biggest sports leagues. If we look at things from an international perspective, the NFL is not the behemoth it usually appears to be stateside.
DeMarcus Cousin Timberwolves (Kimani Okearah)NBA player DeMarcus Cousins offered to pay for the funeral of 22-year-old Stephon Clark, who was killed by Sacramento police.The former Sacramento Kings star reportedly reached out to Clark’s family to offer and pay for funeral expenses, a source confirmed to ESPN.Clark was gunned down by officers on Sunday in his grandmother’s backyard. The police mistook his cellphone for a weapon and reportedly released at least 20 shots at the unarmed victim. Clark’s family initially set up a GoFundMe page on Monday to raise money for the victim’s funeral costs according to Sacramento Bee. The 22-year-old’s family is demanding justice, along with many city protesters.Cousins’ kind gesture to the family of Stephon Clark came after protesters delayed a “Kings” game against the visiting Atlanta Hawks for about 20 minutes, ESPN reports.The NBA star is known for his generous acts and funded the funeral of Jaulon “JJ” Clavo, a local football player who perished in a shooting in 2015. He also hosted free basketball camps and bought a new scoreboard for Sacramento High School’s basketball gym.The now “Pelicans” basketball player was given the NBA’s first “NBA Cares Community Assist Award” for his charitable achievements in Sacramento; New Orleans; Mobile, Alabama and South Africa last October. He spent seven seasons with the Sacramento Kings and considers the city his “home.”
Upon the conclusion of Monday night’s NCAA men’s basketball championship game – and as an aside, thank you, Louisville, for beating Michigan – many of my fellow Buckeyes immediately flipped their internal switches to the next sport on the docket – football. In Columbus, it seems we only have three seasons: football, March Madness and spring football, and despite Ohio State men’s basketball coach Thad Matta’s best efforts, the March Madness season is usually grouped together with winter football conditioning anyway. Such is life at a university that doubles as a football powerhouse. Be honest. I know what you were doing last night. You were sitting there, watching “One Shining Moment” put a nice little bow on the basketball season while you planned your road trip to Cincinnati for this weekend’s spring football game at Paul Brown Stadium. But stop. Stop it right now. Put Urban Meyer on the backburner for – gasp – two weeks. That’s it. I understand football is awesome. I love football. I love football more than my unborn future children, who will undoubtedly be twins and will undoubtedly be named Scarlett and Grayson. I’m not telling you to forget about football. I’m not telling you to bail on the Spring Game. But I am asking you, the OSU student who is probably wearing some article of OSU-branded clothing right now as you read this, to expand your taste palette a tad. Show that Buckeye loyalty exists outside the gates of Ohio Stadium and the Schottenstein Center. Challenge yourself to use these last two weeks of school and go watch a so-called “minor” sport here at OSU. Some of you, myself included, only have two more weeks left on this campus as a student. Use it wisely. Go see student-athletes who work just as hard as our football and basketball players but who receive a fraction of the glory and recognition. Take a few hours and watch senior attacker Logan Schuss and the No. 13 men’s lacrosse team in action at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Come see the No. 5 ranked men’s tennis team, led by coach Ty Tucker, play a home match. Odds are you’ll see them win, because they haven’t lost at home in a decade. Yes, a decade. Take a trip to Buckeye Field and watch sophomore pitcher Alex DiDomenico dominate some hapless batter for the softball team. Come to Bill Davis Stadium and see redshirt senior pitcher Brad Goldberg do the same for the baseball team. Support the men’s and women’s golf and track teams. Show up for women’s tennis and rowing. Men’s volleyball, too. They’re all Buckeyes. They all deserve attention. You consider yourself a big Buckeye fan, right? Prove it. OSU doesn’t just play football and basketball. Come watch some of your fellow students do what they love. Come support some athletes who compete every bit as hard as junior quarterback Braxton Miller and junior guard Aaron Craft. There are 36 different varsity teams on this campus, and they all call themselves Buckeyes. Let them know this university’s fandom runs deeper than football and basketball. They deserve it.
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich were tipped off as favorites to win the German Bundesliga at the end of the season.Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are the favorites to win the German Bundesliga this season.At least that was what many experts said before the start of the 2018-2019 season.Now Dortmund has a seven-point lead over the Bavarians with just 14 games left to play.“We still have 14 games and a lot can happen in that time,” said Bayern’s coach Niko Kovac to the league’s official website after his team lost against Bayer Leverkusen today.“We’ve now lost a game having won seven in a row in the Bundesliga. It’s frustrating, but we now just need to ensure that we go on a new run.”“We don’t get any points by talking anyway, so it doesn’t matter what I say. What were we missing? Good question,” Bayern’s forward Thomas Müller wasn’t very happy to answer.“Of course we look at the other results after the game. We can’t leave here completely satisfied because we would’ve like to have won the game,” Marco Reus, Dortmund’s captain commented.“There were periods in the second half, and at times in the first half, where we made a few mistakes. We’ll have to work on this.”Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“We’re not satisfied. We look at each other and we all know we’d have liked to have won here,” Dortmund’s goalkeeper Roman Bürki said.“Then it would have been a top weekend. Although Bayern losing is a consolation, we’d rather have won.”“Obviously we came here trying to win, but you can’t win every game and unfortunately we got a draw today,” Borussia winger Jadon Sancho commented.“It’s still good and we still got a point. We just need to keep working hard and the next game, we’ll come back.”FULL TIME | Stalemate at Frankfurt.We keep on marching.#SGEBVB 1-1 pic.twitter.com/zeobuCcENp— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 2, 2019
Kintzer, who says she’s wanted to change the company’s name since she took over in April 2014, jumped on the opportunity to expand the project into a full rebranding. From there, Starfish developed the new logo and redesigned the corporate website. As content publishers jockey for the attention of advertisers and investors, the last thing they want to do is explain how their corporate branding relates to their asset portfolio. That’s why, after 93 years, Reader’s Digest Association is announcing today that it’s changing its name to Trusted Media Brands Inc. The new name gives equal weight to the company’s full suite of brands, which expanded dramatically when RDA bought Reiman Publications for $760 million back in 2002. Chief among those brands was Taste of Home. “The name should have changed when Reader’s Digest bought Reiman,” says Kintzer. “At that point it became a very broad-based portfolio. I look at this as a long overdue change.” The full digital platform attracts 53 million monthly uniques, says the company, and in the last couple of years TMBI has built out an online education platform, called EnrichU, that spans its Taste of Home, Family Handyman and Reader’s Digest brands. “I look at this as the fact that we have all these brands and we’re always in the position of having to explain ourselves,” says Trusted Media Brands CEO Bonnie Kintzer. “That’s not the position you want to be in.” RDA hired creative agency Starfish, which was originally hired to work on an advertising positioning project. During that process, Starfish came up with six building-block terms to describe a common theme that ran through all of RDA’s products (uplifting, enduring, wholesome, trusted, empowering, amplified engagement). “It shows that we are a modern, current company with many brands, and what really runs through our brands is trust,” says Kintzer. “Our customers are trusting us to give them a recipe, health advice and craft ideas. Part of the genesis of this really started before the name change. How do you go to market to position the company with advertisers? What’s the common thread?”
Police have detained a madrasa teacher in Fatulla of Narayanganj city for allegedly trying to sexually assault a student, reports UNB.The detainee is Nizam Uddin, 25, a teacher of Ramarbagh Hafizia Madrasa.The victim’s mother said Nizam tried to commit sexual assault on the boy, 12, on Saturday and Sunday when he was asleep at night.He disclosed the matter to his mother when she went to visit him on Monday.Following a complaint, police detained the madrasa teacher around 10:00pm, said sub-inspector Fazlul Haque of Fatulla model police station.However, Nizam denied the allegation, saying the student fabricated the story as he asked him to study attentively.
Share MIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR. / KUTAs health care providers prepare for a new Texas rule requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains, some funeral homes wonder how the rule will apply to them and express concern over the rule’s implications.Abortion providers are hoping to stop a new rule that would require health care facilities to cremate or bury fetal remains from miscarriages and abortions, regardless of the gestation time or a woman’s wishes.Filed on Monday, the federal lawsuit brought by Whole Woman’s Health and others claims the new rule, which is set to go into effect on Dec. 19, is unconstitutional.Gov. Greg Abbott has supported the rule, though, and has said fetal remains shouldn’t be treated like medical waste.However, health care providers – and even funeral homes – are worried the implications of this rule are unclear and possibly costly. Darryl Thompson runs the Weed-Corley-Fish funeral home on the edge of UT Austin’s campus. He says for years now he’s worked with a local Catholic hospital as part of a community service. Sometimes he’s asked to deal with the fetal remains of a miscarriage for families.Usually, he says, the hospital chaplain arranges a funeral at a local cemetery. Other times, he’s asked to step in.“Families are certainly given the opportunity to make disposition of their family members and, if they elect not to, then the hospital will call us and we will take care of that process,” Thompson explained. “Now, this is one specific group.”Catholic hospitals do things this way because they believe life begins at conception, but not all health care providers are Catholic—or even religious.However, the State of Texas is soon going to require all health care providers to deal with fetal remains this way. That includes remains from abortions and miscarriages. This means Thompson could go from doing this work once every three months – like he does now – to doing it way more often. How often, though, Thompson says, he has no idea.“We haven’t been provided with any information other than this rule will take effect on the 19th of December,” he said. While he doesn’t have an opinion on the rule itself, he says the fact that there’s so much uncertainty is what bothers him.Because this was an agency rule – not a bill –stakeholders like Thompson didn’t have as much input. There was a public comment period and some hearings, but not much came of that. The rules moved forward despite the fact that the medical community – including the Texas Medical Association and Texas Hospital Association – has significant issues with this.LISTEN: KUT’s Ashley Lopez reports“I really feel this was a very rapid, quick decision,” Thompson said. “I don’t think that all the implications were considered.”But not everyone thinks this was haphazard. Amy Hagstrom Miller is the CEO of a chain of abortion providers in the state called Whole Woman’s Health. She says state leaders introduced this rule after her group bested the state in a court battle over another set of restrictive abortion regulations.“Texas put forward these proposed rules just four days after our June victory in the Supreme Court, and I think there is a direct connection,” she said. “And I think this time, once again, Texas has really gone too far.”This is why Miller is going back to court. This week, Whole Woman’s Health, and others, filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas.Part of what they’re arguing is that the law is really vague and it’s hard to figure out what compliance with the rule would actually look like. JORGE SANHUEZA-LYON / KUTDarryl Thompson, director of the Weed-Corley-Fish funeral home on North Lamar Boulevard.Then there are the costs.Funerals are thousands of dollars, which would make them prohibitively expensive for most women. Cremation, Miller says, is just another hurdle. “To date, we have only found one crematorium in the entire state of Texas that is willing to work with the abortion care providers, and that is not a path to compliance,” she said. “That’s a very obvious bottleneck that’s going to put services at risk throughout the state for the women who need us.”Texas responded to a lot of comments – mostly concerns – about this rule. Among the responses, the state says that these new rules quote “do not unduly burden individuals seeking abortions.” But Miller’s lawyer, David Brown with the Center for Reproductive Rights, disagrees with that.“What an undue burden means, in the words of the Supreme Court, is a law that imposes pointless burden without a benefit at all,” he said.The Texas Department of State Health Services also says it estimates the costs for health care facilities will be low enough to be covered by their operating costs.Some providers are saying that’s just not true either.Thompson says he likely won’t bear the brunt of this rule like health care facilities will, but even he thinks no one really knows what this will cost everyone – including him.“Hopefully, it will not impact families financially,” he said. “And I can perhaps see how that could happen, and I guess, as the adage goes, we will see.”Plaintiffs suing the state are hoping to get a federal court here in Texas to stop the law from going into effect on Dec 19. Indiana had a similar measure in place, but it was struck down by a federal court this past summer.Copyright 2016 KUT-FM. To see more, visit KUT-FM.