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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Trump's Un-American Failure to Protect Internet Freedom

Dictators are gleefully filling the leadership vacuum the administration has created and choking the open web around the globe.

from Wired
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Nigeria Sars protest: VP Yemi Osinbajo promises justice for victims

At least 12 people were killed by security forces during Tuesday's protests in Lagos, Amnesty says.

from BBC News - Africa
via Gabe's Musing's

The Anonymous Grand Juror In The Breonna Taylor Case Speaks Out

The anonymous grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case took issue with Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron’s characterization of the panel’s proceedings.

The grand juror released a statement on Tuesday through a lawyer saying the three weeks of service before the proceeding was a lesson on how a normal grand jury operates, but the Taylor proceedings “was quite different.”

“The grand jury was not presented any charges other than the three wanton endangerment charges against Detective Hankison,” the juror said in the statement. “The grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them. The grand jury never heard anything about those laws. Self-defense or justification was never explained either.”

Cameron said during a news conference late last month his team’s investigation found — “and the grand jury agreed” that the two officers who fired multiple shots into Taylor’s home, were justified because Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired first.

Walker told authorities he fired because he thought someone was breaking into the couple’s home. The juror released a statement through a lawyer days after Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Annie O’Connell denied Cameron’s motion to keep the grand jury proceedings a secret. 

“This court finds that the traditional justifications for secrecy in this matter are no longer relevant and that the ends of justice require disclosure,” O’Connell said in her ruling.

The grand juror also accused Cameron of “using the grand jurors as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for these decisions.”

One of the officers involved in the shooting, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who was shot in the leg that night, did an interview with ABC News Tuesday.

“This is not relatable to George Floyd,” Mattingly said in the interview. “This is nothing like that, it’s not an Ahmaud Arbery. It’s not a race thing like people want it to be. This is a point where we were doing our jobs and returned fire.”

Ben Crump, the lawyer for Taylor’s family, told REVOLT the juror confirmed his suspicions that Cameron was part of a cover-up.

“Attorney General Daniel Cameron took the decision out of the grand jury’s hands,” Crump told REVOLT. “They didn’t allow the grand jury to do what the law says they have the right to do. This failure rests squarely on the shoulders of Daniel Cameron. He then brought Tamika Palmer [Taylor’s mother] in and lied to her, placing the result on the grand jury.”

Cameron told reporters Tuesday he remains confident his office conducted the proceedings the right way and while he disagrees with the judge’s ruling, would not appeal it.

“As Special Prosecutor, it was my decision to ask for an indictment that could be proven under Kentucky law,” Cameron said in a statement. “Indictments obtained in the absence of sufficient proof under the law do not stand up and are not fundamentally fair to anyone.”

from Black Enterprise
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Michigan Businesses Launch Locally Printed Black Lives Matter Merchandise

Two small businesses, The Mitten Brewing Co. and Malamiah Juice Bar, are ready to start taking pre-orders for limited-run editions of locally printed Black Lives Matter merchandise, including garments and masks according to Grand Rapids Business Journal.

The two Grand Rapids, Michigan-based companies will donate 100% of the sales to the Black and Brown Cannabis Guild.

Mitten Brewing co-owner Chris Andrus, and Malamiah Juice Bar owner, Jermale Eddie, have partnered and contracted local custom design and screen printing business Ambrose at WMCAT, and its fundraising platform, Bound As One, to launch the project.

“Malamiah Juice Bar is rooted in West Michigan, and we are proud to give back to our community through the Bound As One initiative in support of BBCG,” Eddie said. “And we are all just that — bound as one in a community that cares deeply but one that is in need of greater social equity and justice.”

“The work that the Black and Brown Cannabis Guild is doing is vital for individuals in our community who have barriers to opportunity because of a drug record — many of which are eligible for expungement. When you buy a T-shirt or mask, every penny goes directly to support communities of color that are benefiting from BBCG’s advocacy, network, and guidance; an incredible mission that The Mitten Brewing Co. fully supports” said Andrus.

“We believe that this work is not charity, it is justice,” Black and Brown Cannabis Guild’s founder and Executive Director Denavvia Mojet said. “We know that our government disproportionately harmed communities of color as a byproduct of a racist political agenda, and we work to help those harmed communities thrive in spite of those convictions. We believe this is what equity looks like, and we are grateful to be supported in these efforts.”

The back of each shirt also has the names of victims of police brutality, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Philando Castile, and more individuals. Pre-orders will be taken on until Oct. 30.

from Black Enterprise
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Your Brain Prefers Happy Endings. That’s Not Always Smart

People tend to focus on whether an experience ends on an up note or a sour one, even if it leads us to make bad decisions. A new study examines why.

from Wired
via Gabe's Musing's

Donate to Playing for Change and Possibly Win a 2021 Tesla Model 3

If you are a car lover, sustainability advocate, or just appreciate doing good for charity groups, then you won’t want to pass up this wildly cool giveaway. Led by StackCommerce, enter for your chance to win a brand new 2021 Tesla Model 3 to by simply donaing to an incredible cause. So while you help children and communities in need, you are also entered to win a Tesla.

Here’s how the giveaway works. Simply choose a donation amount that corresponds with the number of entries you would like, check out, and you’ve entered! The more you donate, the better your chance of winning. Ten dollars will give you 100 entries, $25 equals 250 entries, $50 will enter your name 1,000 times, and if you want to go really big, $100 will give you 2,500 chances. Multiply these numbers by as many times as you’d like and are able to increase your odds even more.

The money will go to help Playing for Change, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2007 to support music education across the world. The programs are designed to support positive change in communities as well as provide jobs to musicians and administrators. Your support will foster arts and music programs in diverse spaces all around the country.

If you win, you get to look forward to driving around in the Tesla Model 3, which reaches speeds up to 140 mph, has a 263-mile energy range, and can go from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 5.3 seconds. Just imagine yourself with the windows down, exploring your town or road tripping around the country. The car also comes with autopilot, partial premium all-black interior, pearl white paint, and rear drive.

If you are at least 18 years old, you can enter now for your chance to win.

from Black Enterprise
via Gabe's Musing's

The Tech Issues You Won’t Hear About at Tonight’s Debate

Neither President Trump nor Joe Biden is talking much about broadband access, retraining workers, or US spending on research.

from Wired
via Gabe's Musing's

ClickHole Started as a Meat Joke. Can It Avoid Being Offal?

The humor site has survived it all: new owners, layoffs, a culture war. Now a worker-owned cooperative, it needs to update its voice—and bring home the bacon.

from Wired
via Gabe's Musing's

The TikTok Teens Trying to Meme the Vote

Groups like Tok the Vote believe viral clips are the best way to get young people to cast their ballots.

from Wired
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12 Cyber Threats That Could Wreak Havoc on the Election

From targeted misinformation to manipulated data, these are the cybersecurity concerns election officials worry about most.

from Wired
via Gabe's Musing's

Netflix on YouTube

Paranormal | Official Trailer | Netflix
Refaat Ismail, a cynical hematology professor with a dark sense of humor, has his world turned upside down and his lifelong scientific convictions questioned after he begins to experience paranormal activities. Along with his university colleague Maggie, they enter the paranormal world and try to save their loved ones from the immense danger that surrounds them. The story is based on the best selling thriller novel series with the same name by Ahmed Khaled Tawfik. SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments. Paranormal | Official Trailer | Netflix

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Morgan Stanley to cover tuition for 60 HBCU students

The bank has committed up to $12 million to fund the program

*Sixty students at three historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will have their entire tuition paid by Morgan Stanley, the company announced Wednesday. 

The four-year academic and needs-based scholarships are part of its HBCU Scholars program, available to students at Howard University, Morehouse College and Spelman College. The scholarships will be open to students in all disciplines and majors, The Hill reports. The bank has committed up to $12 million to fund the program. 

“To close the racial wealth gap, we know that Black academic and economic advancement is essential. Racial inequity around access to and affordability of higher education can impact Black students ability to grow generational wealth,” Susan Reid, Morgan Stanley’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, said in a statement Wednesday. 

Read More: HBCU students keeping COVID-19 count low at their schools

“Historically Black Colleges and Universities continue to lead the way in leveling the playing field while creating an environment for students of color to thrive. We are proud to support them and their students and we look forward to this deeper journey with Spelman, Morehouse and Howard,” the statement continued.

Morgan Stanley will pay the tuition over the next four years. 

“Over the next four years, 20 @SpelmanCollege students will receive full scholarships, as well as career readiness support thanks to the generosity of @MorganStanley. We appreciate their commitment to reducing financial barriers for our students,” wrote Spelman president Mary S. Campbell on Twitter.

Read More: Travis Scott to pay tuition for 5 HBCU students

Morehouse also announced in a tweet, “Morehouse will share in a $12M gift donated by @MorganStanley to establish the new Morgan Stanley HBCU Scholars program, an initiative that will provide full scholarships to 60 students at three participating institutions.”

According to the press release, the Morgan Stanley HBCU Scholars program provides:

  • Financial Support
    • For the next four years, Morgan Stanley will provide academic and needs-based four-year scholarships (“Morgan Stanley HBCU Scholars Program”) at each institution. The scholarships will cover the entire cost of attending the institution for each academic year and will be open to students across all disciplines and majors.
    • The first year class size is 15 scholars; a new class of scholars will be added each year for a class size of 60 by the fourth year.
    • Morgan Stanley will be spending up to $12 million to support this program.
  • Career Readiness
    • The “HBCU Career Preparedness Program” will be offered to Morgan Stanley HBCU Scholars with virtual and on-site (post COVID-19) components to complement their on-campus curriculum

“This program reflects our intention to invest in communities of color and support the career aspirations of black students, consistent with one of our core values, Commit to Diversity and Inclusion,” said James Gorman, Chairman and CEO, Morgan Stanley. “We look forward to partnering closely with HBCU faculty and students to support rising talent in an effective and meaningful way.”

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“What to Expect When You’re Expecting Robots”

As Covid-19 has made it necessary for people to keep their distance from each other, robots are stepping in to fill essential roles, such as sanitizing warehouses and hospitals, ferrying test samples to laboratories, and serving as telemedicine avatars.

There are signs that people may be increasingly receptive to robotic help, preferring, at least hypothetically, to be picked up by a self-driving taxi or have their food delivered via robot, to reduce their risk of catching the virus.

As more intelligent, independent machines make their way into the public sphere, engineers Julie Shah and Laura Major are urging designers to rethink not just how robots fit in with society, but also how society can change to accommodate these new, “working” robots.

Shah is an associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT and the associate dean of social and ethical responsibilities of computing in the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. Major SM ’05 is CTO of Motional, a self-driving car venture supported by automotive companies Hyundai and Aptiv. Together, they have written a new book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting Robots: The Future of Human-Robot Collaboration,” published this month by Basic Books.

What we can expect, they write, is that robots of the future will no longer work for us, but with us. They will be less like tools, programmed to carry out specific tasks in controlled environments, as factory automatons and domestic Roombas have been, and more like partners, interacting with and working among people in the more complex and chaotic real world. As such, Shah and Major say that robots and humans will have to establish a mutual understanding.

“Part of the book is about designing robotic systems that think more like people, and that can understand the very subtle social signals that we provide to each other, that make our world work,” Shah says. “But equal emphasis in the book is on how we have to structure the way we live our lives, from our crosswalks to our social norms, so that robots can more effectively live in our world.”

Getting to know you

As robots increasingly enter public spaces, they may do so safely if they have a better understanding of human and social behavior.

Consider a package delivery robot on a busy sidewalk: The robot may be programmed to give a standard berth to obstacles in its path, such as traffic cones and lampposts. But what if the robot is coming upon a person wheeling a stroller while balancing a cup of coffee? A human passerby would read the social cues and perhaps step to the side to let the stroller by. Could a robot pick up the same subtle signals to change course accordingly?

Shah believes the answer is yes. As head of the Interactive Robotics Group at MIT, she is developing tools to help robots understand and predict human behavior, such as where people move, what they do, and who they interact with in physical spaces. She’s implemented these tools in robots that can recognize and collaborate with humans in environments such as the factory floor and the hospital ward. She is hoping that robots trained to read social cues can more safely be deployed in more unstructured public spaces.

Major, meanwhile, has been helping to make robots, and specifically self-driving cars, work safely and reliably in the real world, beyond the controlled, gated environments where most driverless cars operate today. About a year ago, she and Shah met for the first time, at a robotics conference.

“We were working in parallel universes, me in industry, and Julie in academia, each trying to galvanize understanding for the need to accommodate machines and robots,” Major recalls.

From that first meeting, the seeds for their new book began quickly to sprout.

A cyborg city

In their book, the engineers describe ways that robots and automated systems can perceive and work with humans — but also ways in which our environment and infrastructure can change to accommodate robots.

A cyborg-friendly city, engineered to manage and direct robots, could avoid scenarios such as the one that played out in San Francisco in 2017. Residents there were seeing an uptick in delivery robots deployed by local technology startups. The robots were causing congestion on city sidewalks and were an unexpected hazard to seniors with disabilities. Lawmakers ultimately enforced strict regulations on the number of delivery robots allowed in the city — a move that improved safety, but potentially at the expense of innovation.

If in the near future there are to be multiple robots sharing a sidewalk with humans at any given time, Shah and Major propose that cities might consider installing dedicated robot lanes, similar to bike lanes, to avoid accidents between robots and humans. The engineers also envision a system to organize robots in public spaces, similar to the way airplanes keep track of each other in flight.

In 1965, the Federal Aviation Agency was created, partly in response to a catastrophic crash between two planes flying through a cloud over the Grand Canyon. Prior to that crash, airplanes were virtually free to fly where they pleased. The FAA began organizing airplanes in the sky through innovations like the traffic collision avoidance system, or TCAS — a system onboard most planes today, that detects other planes outfitted with a universal transponder. TCAS alerts the pilot of nearby planes, and automatically charts a path, independent of ground control, for the plane to take in order to avoid a collision.

Similarly, Shah and Major say that robots in public spaces could be designed with a sort of universal sensor that enables them to see and communicate with each other, regardless of their software platform or manufacturer. This way, they might stay clear of certain areas, avoiding potential accidents and congestion, if they sense robots nearby.

“There could also be transponders for people that broadcast to robots,” Shah says. “For instance, crossing guards could use batons that can signal any robot in the vicinity to pause so that it’s safe for children to cross the street.”

Whether we are ready for them or not, the trend is clear: The robots are coming, to our sidewalks, our grocery stores, and our homes. And as the book’s title suggests, preparing for these new additions to society will take some major changes, in our perception of technology, and in our infrastructure.

“It takes a village to raise a child to be a well-adjusted member of society, capable of realizing his or her full potential,” write Shah and Major. “So, too, a robot.”

from MIT News
via Gabe's Musing's

Georgia man told to remove BLM shirt before voting

‘This is a pattern that we need to be mindful of at a moment.’

A man wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt at a polling facility in Forsyth County, Georgia on Monday was told he had to take off his shirt before casting his ballot.

Zack Arias, 47, said he was thinking of the county’s history of racism and disenfranchisement when he decided to make a social statement at the polls.   

“I’m fairly liberal, living in a very red county. So I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to wear my Black Lives Matter shirt and go vote,’ ” Arias told The Washington Post on Tuesday. But when he arrived at the polls in Cummings, Ga., an election worker was not impressed with his activism and attempted to shut him down. That’s when Arias started filming their exchange. 

Read More: Latino voters pitted against BLM in false Spanish media

Arias refused to back down when the poll worker told him the shirt was not allowed. An election manager had to be called to the scene to make sense of the matter. In the end, Arias was allowed to rock his BLM shirt while casting his ballot.

He filmed the exchange to confirm reports of poll workers targeting and harassing early voters who wear clothing with Black Lives Matter slogans.

“This is a pattern that we need to be mindful of at a moment that marks an unprecedented movement for racial justice — but it is a movement for justice and not political position,” Kristen Clarke, the president of the National Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told The Post.

The issue seems to stem from poll workers viewing Black Lives Matter as a political movement, connected to a candidate who appears on the November ballot. Engaging in activity that supports a particular candidate or political party is known as electioneering, which is prohibited at the polls, the report states.  

Read More: Absentee Ballot tracking service launched for Georgia voters

In this photo illustration a pencil lies on a U.S. presidential election mail-in ballot received by a U.S. citizen living abroad that shows current U.S. Republican President Donald Trump and his main contender, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, among the choices on September 21, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

“I’m against electioneering. I support the fact you can’t take pictures or video inside the election place — that’s fine,” Arias said. “What upsets me about this whole ordeal is that I was not breaking any rule or law or regulation, and yet I was still told I could not vote.”

He added, “If Black Lives Matter had been on the ballot, or if [Democratic presidential nominee Joe] Biden said, ‘“Black Lives Matter” is my new campaign slogan,’ I would have worn a different shirt that day. But voting is your time to say something.”

Karen Shields, a spokeswoman for Forsyth County, said the poll worker who stopped Arias was new this year, as is nearly 50 percent of the county’s poll workers, she said. 

“There’s a lot they have to learn. This particular part of the guidelines about apparel is part of the training,” she told The Post. “This individual unfortunately didn’t remember the specifics of all of them but then called over the location manager, which was the right thing to do.”

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Virginia Baptist church donates $1 million in surplus tithes

‘What I’ve learned is when you open up your hands to God, God can bless you.’

The historic Alfred Street Baptist Church, in Alexandria, Virginia, has donated over $1 million in surplus tithes to the community amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The generosity is part of an initiative called Tithe-the-Tithe, which aids the most vulnerable during the pandemic, Christian Post reports. 

“A few years ago we were blessed to be able to donate $1 Million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. That’s why I’m so grateful to God that Alfred Street Baptist Church can continue to be a blessing to so many people in the community throughout our nation during this pandemic,” senior pastor Rev. Howard-John Wesley said in a statement.

Read More: Severed cable takes Virginia’s state websites offline day before voter registration ends

The 10,000-member Alfred Street Baptist Church is one of the oldest and large Black churches in the nation. 

“Clearly there was a lot of concern, dare I say even fear, some panic of what COVID would do. What would our numbers specifically, would our giving go down? People not being in the building and virtual space and online, would we be able to support ministry? Would we have to lay people off? Would we have to shut this down or stop that?,” Wesley explained in a video published on YouTube.

“In the very first two weeks of worship online, our giving was up almost 25-30%. I really felt the Lord saying, ‘Now what are you going to do with this surplus?’ That the surplus God gave was an opportunity not to build up bank reserves, not to build up our own accounts but we are demanded to give that away. And that’s when Tithe-the-Tithe came to my spirit,” Wesley said.

Church CFO Rev. Sedric Roberts was hesitant to get on board with tithing 10% of the church’s tithes back to the community. But as word spread about the initiative, people began to give more and Roberts had a change of heart. 

“What I’ve learned is when you open up your hands to God, God can bless you. He takes with an open hand and God gives into an open hand,” he said.

Read More: Virginia governor also targeted by group that wanted to kidnap Whitmer, FBI says

Organizations that have received donations from the church include: Hopkins House Preschool Academy, which received $27,000, Children’s National Hospital, received $50,000; Simon Elementary School received $130,000; Unity Health Care received $25,000; Polk Elementary School was given $10,000; D.C. Rape Crisis Center got $20,000; Bright Beginnings received $25,000; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington received $4,000; and Union Baptist Church in Hartford, Connecticut, received $15,000, according to the report. 

“There are smaller churches that minister to people in real and relevant ways that don’t have resources [that ASBC has], and during this season of not being able to worship, some of them may struggle financially. So one of the things that we’re going to do is take some of that 10% and identify a church and/or an organization every week and just give a donation to them. And this is because we are not competitors, we are brothers and sisters in the same work and we want to support everyone with no strings attached,” Wesley said.

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Social Justice Now film festival debuts online: ‘Watch, reflect, take action’

Michael B. Jordan and Opal Tometi are the co-ambassadors for the online event

Gil Scott-Heron once said the revolution will not be televised but that was well before the technological advancements that made social media possible. The revolution has now inspired an entire film festival that kicks off its inaugural edition today.

Read More: Viola Davis calls Chadwick Boseman ‘my baby’ during virtual preview of ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

The Social Justice Now festival begins with tonight’s drive-in screenings of “Just Mercy” and “Fruitvale Station” starring Michael B. Jordan, who is also a co-ambassador of the festival. Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi is the other co-ambassador. During its run through Oct. 25, features, short films and documentaries, panels and filmmaker talks will be available for free on-demand in the non-competitive festival.

“Through these films, we hope to advance the dialogue and help to reshape the narrative of racial and social justice in this country,” said festival founders Jeff and Nicole Friday in a statement. “The festival’s mission is to encourage people to embrace the fierce urgency of now – to watch, reflect, and take action.”

Jeff and Nicole Friday (ABFF)

The Fridays are also the founders of the American Black Film Festival that has gone on mostly in Miami, Florida for the past two decades. Given the coronavirus pandemic, the festival was held virtually this year.

Some of the films that will be showcased during the Social Justice Now festival’s run are The Obituary of Tunde Johnson, directed by “Everybody Love Chris” creator Ali LeRoi, that received rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival in 2019, Riding with Sugar, SNCC, a documentary about the social justice organization told through the photos of Danny Lyon with John Lewis in his last interview, and Us Kids about the student activists created by the Parkland High School shooting.

Read More: Jay Ellis on producing psychological thriller ‘Black Box’ and bringing Black talent out of the shadows

Panels scheduled include an on-demand talk moderated by Soledad O’Brien with Sekou Kaalund, head of Chase consumer banking, northeast division, on how entrepreneurship can stimulate social activism, a conversation with Isabel Wilkerson and Nnamdi Asomugha with an appearance by Kerry Washington, as well as filmmaker talkbacks where creatives discuss how their films reflect a commitment to empowerment and advancement for all.

You can check out the festival via its official website HERE.

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Shonda Rhimes shares Disneyland pass incident that made her move to Netflix

The former ABC showrunner says that she’s now in the position to brag about her accomplishments

Who knew Disneyland tickets could spark such a change?

Shonda Rhimes is doing things her way. The 50-year-old showrunner recently sat down with Hollywood Reporter and revealed Disneyland tickets are what prompted her move to Netflix from ABC after 15 years.

Read More: Viola Davis calls Chadwick Boseman ‘my baby’ during virtual preview of ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Rhimes remembers the day that changed the trajectory of her career. As part of her partnership with ABC, the Scandal creator was given complimentary Disneyland passes. As they aren’t interchangeable, on one occasion when she wasn’t joining her sister, daughters, and their nanny for a fun-filled day at the park, she couldn’t just let one of them borrow her pass. So Rhimes simply requested another.

As the creator of Grey’s Anatomy, the longest-running scripted show at the network, she didn’t expect asking for an additional pass would be too much trouble. But it was.

GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles - Inside
Shonda Rhimes speaks onstage at the GLSEN Respect Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 19, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for GLSEN)

“We never do this,” said a few different representatives at the company before Rhimes was issued the additional pass. But when her family tried to use the pass at the park, something unexpected happened. The pass didn’t work.

Read More: Sunny Hostin on confronting discrimination at ABC: ‘I needed to take a stand’

When Rhimes reached out to an executive at Disney/ABC to fix the problem she says she was told, “Don’t you have enough?”

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Rhimes wanted out of ABC. But she admits it was a struggle working with the company even before the Disneyland debacle.

“I felt like I was dying,” she said to the publication. “Like I’d been pushing the same ball up the same hill in the exact same way for a really long time.”

2015 Summer TCA Tour - Day 8
Actresses Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, executive producer Shonda Rhimes and actress Ellen Pompeo speak onstage during the ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Scandal,’ and ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ panel discussion at the ABC Entertainment portion of the 2015 Summer TCA Tour in 2015. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Rhimes is no longer pushing the ball up the hill. Now, as the highest-paid showrunner in television, she says she is now ready to “own her s–t,” which includes not being too embarrassed to brag on herself.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, in her speech at Elle‘s 2018 Women in Hollywood event, she said, “The other day I came to the conclusion that men brag and women hide. Even when they don’t deserve to brag, men brag. When men do deserve to brag, they’re good at it. I’m getting this award for inspiring other women, and how can I inspire anyone if I’m hiding? On behalf of women everywhere, I will brag. I am the highest-paid showrunner in television.”

Read More: Jay Ellis on producing psychological thriller ‘Black Box’ and bringing Black talent out of the shadows

Check out the full interview here.

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US reports over 60,590 COVID-19 cases in 1 day, 929 new deaths

Multiple health experts have expressed concern that the worst is yet to come.

COVID-19 cases are rising as the third wave of the coronavirus surges across the nation.

On Tuesday alone, 60,598 new cases were reported in the U.S. and 929 new deaths, according to PEOPLE. Over the past week, the average has been 60,160 new cases per day. The country was reporting a whopping 75,687 new cases daily in July.

There are currently 8,316,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States and at least 220,900 COVID-related deaths, according to The New York Times database. Multiple health experts have expressed concern that the worst is yet to come.

Read More: Woman in her 30s died from COVID-19 on airplane

“I think that the cases are going up because we’re not really seeing a coordinated response that respects this virus, but also keeps our economy and our populations moving forward,” said Yahoo medical contributor Dr. Dara Kass.

“Things are not looking pretty,” said Dr. Leo Nissola, an immunotherapy scientist at Parker Institute in San Francisco. “The most difficult phase of the epidemic is ahead of us.”

According to reports, new infections are increasing or remain elevated in 41 states, while no state is seeing a steady decline. New cases remain low in seven states: Delaware, Maryland, California, New York, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont.

States reporting high rates of new infections are Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

North Dakota has the most coronavirus cases per capita, with 1,000 new infections reported on Tuesday, The Times reports.

Read More: Cuomo may withhold COVID-19 vaccine from New York

“What’s happening in the Upper Midwest is just a harbinger of things to come in the rest of the country,” said infectious-diseases expert Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, also warned on Thursday of an increase in cases as we get closer to winter.

“The issue is that as we enter, as we are now, the cooler season of the fall, and ultimately the coldest season of the winter, you don’t want to be in that compromised position where your baseline daily infection is high, and you’re increasing as opposed to going in the other direction,” Fauci said on Good Morning America. “So we’ve really got to double down on the fundamental public health measures that we talk about every single day, because they can make a difference.”

Over in Europe, the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that COVID-19 cases grew by a million in 10 days, bringing the total number to 7 million reported infections.

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Pennsylvania billboard accuses Biden of dementia while misspelling the word

A sign accusing the former vice president of being mentally impaired instead provided some laughs

A billboard appeared in Pennsylvania claiming former Vice President Joe Biden has dementia. The producers of the billboard, however, forgot to spellcheck.

Read More: Barack Obama to hold his first in-person event for Joe Biden

The large ad, viewable from the road in Fayette County, furthered the allegations about Biden’s mental acuity spread by President Donald Trump. The Pennsylvania Capital Star reported the billboard reads “Biden’s dimensia is worsening, he is not fit.”

Senator Kamala Harris is depicted alongside Biden, both labeled with unflattering nicknames assigned by Trump and his supporters. Text across Harris’ forehead reads “Phony Kamala,” and on his, “Sleepy Joe.”

A Twitter user, @evan_ludy uploaded a photo of the billboard.

According to the local news outlet, the billboard is owned by Penneco Outdoor Advertising, a company based in Delmont, Pennsylvania. Ironically, its low online ratings include one about their spelling. The Pennsylvania Capital Star found the company has a history of right-wing billboards.

In 2018, Penneco erected a billboard that called women who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault “Paid LIARS.”

The Kavanaugh ads were purchased by Citizens for American Energy, an organization based in Delmont, that shares the same address as Penneco Outdoor Advertising, according to the Capital Star.

The Trump campaign has used similar tactics to attack Biden. As theGrio reported the president’s team ran ads on Facebook that called his opponent the same derogatory nickname on the billboard. The ads also aged Biden’s appearance.

Read More: Biden calls for violence to end in Nigeria after SARS fires at protesters

Facebook has decided to suspend all political ads the day after the election, according to theGrio.

“We’ve known for a long time that the 2020 election in the US would be unlike any other. We’ve been preparing for this election with a unique set of products and policies,” Facebook said.

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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry launch new website for Archewell Organization

The former working royals have launched the charitable website that inspired their son’s name

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took a short break from enjoying their seven-month-old son Archie to launch their new website.

The couple joined forces for their new site,, which launched on Tuesday for their Archewell organization, per Hello magazine.

Read More: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set to make their podcast debut on World Mental Health Day

For now, the website is simply encouraging people to sign up for updates. The homepage reads, “Arche: Greek word meaning ‘source of action,’” and adds “Well: a plentiful source or supply; a place we go to dig deep.” 

The couple announced their new charity in April and say the name of the organization has a lot of meaning behind it. In a statement obtained by HuffPost they said:

Meghan Harry Archewell charity
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex sitting next to Ross Kemp cheer on a wedding proposal as they attend the annual Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 5, 2020 in London, England. Their Royal Highnesses will celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. (Photo by Paul Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“We connected to this concept for the charitable organization we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name,” they said. “To do something of meaning, to do something that matters. Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon.” 

And although the organization’s site is just up, Markle says they’ve have been working since January.

“Part of our focus with the Archewell Foundation is to just ensure that we are helping foster healthy positive communities ― online and off ― for our collective wellbeing,” the duchess said at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit last month per HuffPost.

She says the organization is  “Archewell in action.”

Read More: Meghan Markle says online bullying was ‘almost unsurvivable’

The launch of the website happened simultaneously with the couple‘s episode of TIME100 Talks. The Time Magazine-produced series talks with celebrities and experts on various topics. During their segment, the couple discussed the state of the digital experience.

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FBI says Iran and Russia have interfered in the 2020 election

The voter-intimidation operation used email addresses obtained from state voter registration lists, which include party affiliation and home addresses

BOSTON (AP) — Iran is responsible for emails meant to intimidate American voters and sow unrest in multiple states, and Tehran and Moscow have also obtained voter registration with the goal of interfering in the election, U.S. officials said at a rare news conference Wednesday night just two weeks before the vote.

John Ratcliffe, the intelligence director, and FBI Director Chris Wray said the U.S. will impose costs on any foreign countries interfering in the 2020 U.S. election. Despite the Iranian and Russian actions, they said Americans can be confident that their vote will be counted.

Read More: Facebook will suspend all political ads the day after Election Day

(Getty Images)

“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries,” Ractliffe said.

The news conference was held as Democratic voters in at least four battleground states, including Florida and Pennsylvania, have received threatening emails, falsely purporting to be from the far-right group Proud Boys, that warned “we will come after you” if the recipients didn’t vote for President Donald Trump.

The voter-intimidation operation apparently used email addresses obtained from state voter registration lists, which include party affiliation and home addresses and can include email addresses and phone numbers. Those addresses were then used in an apparently widespread targeted spamming operation. The senders claimed they would know which candidate the recipient was voting for in the Nov. 3 election, for which early voting is ongoing.

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End Sars protests: 'It was a massacre... We pay for these bullets'

An organiser of protests against police brutality in Nigeria tells the BBC he saw soldiers shoot people dead.

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Obama says he paid more in taxes than Trump working at Baskin Robbins

The former president took off the gloves in speech at drive-in rally for Biden campaign

Former President Barack Obama delivered a blistering rebuke against his predecessor President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening during his return to the campaign trail.

During a drive-in rally in Philadelphia, Obama made the case why Americans should vote to elect his former vice president, Joe Biden, as the nation’s next president.

Obama made his most direct and piercing statements to date about Trump in a rare gloves-off stump speech in Pennsylvania, where Biden currently holds a lead in polls over Trump.

America’s first Black president called out Trump over his possible shady business dealings, not paying his taxes and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More: Dr. Fauci says his inclusion in Trump COVID-19 ad was misleading

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a drive-in rally for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on October 21, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Mr. Obama expressed gripe with the president for being “incapable of taking the job seriously” and his inability of “helping anybody but himself and his friends.” He also slammed Trump’s claim that there was “not much” he could’ve done differently to address COVID-19, which has killed more than 220,000 Americans to date.

“Really?” Obama asked. “Not much? Nothing you can think of that could have helped some people keep their loved ones alive?”

Obama lambasted the president over a recent report that he had a secret bank account in China. “Listen, can you imagine if I had had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for reelection?” Obama said, according to CNN. “You think Fox News might have been a little concerned about that? They would have called me Beijing Barry.”

The former president also hit Trump with a familiar criticism aimed at him by Democrats and foes alike: his taxes.

“Of the taxes Donald Trump pays, he may be sending more to foreign governments than he pays in the United States. His first year in the White House he only paid $750 in federal income taxes,” Obama said.

“My first job was at a Baskin Robbins when I was 15 years old. I think I might’ve paid more taxes working that year — dispensing ice cream. How is that possible? How many people here paid less than that?”

Obama instead offered American voters what he believed to be a better option on Election Day: Joe Biden and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

“It just won’t be so exhausting,” Obama said of a potential Biden administration. Voters, he added, are “not going to have to think about the crazy things … and that is worth a lot.”Obama has historically shown restraint when it comes to public statements about Trump, who infamously harassed the country’s first African American president with a racist conspiracy theory that he was not born in the United States. Trump has gone on to use the presidential podium to accuse his predecessor of spying on his 2016 campaign, describing it as “treason.”

Over the past four years since Trump was elected, Obama has gradually turned up the temperature with his rhetoric about Trump. While insiders have claimed he preferred to adhere to presidential tradition of not attacking his predecessor, Trump’s presidency has created a call to action of sorts.

David Axelrod, Obama’s longtime adviser, described it to CNN as such: “Former presidents tend not to delve too deeply into politics and certainly not the politics of their successors. I think that was his plan, but Trump changed that plan.”

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The Horny Internet Wants You to Vote

From X-rated Twitter feeds to, sex workers are using their talents to get fans to the polls.

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Americans Took Prevagen for Years—as the FDA Questioned Its Safety

From the memory supplement’s launch in 2007 through 2016, agency officials repeatedly raised concerns as the number of consumer complaints grew.

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Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo Review: An Audio Nerd's Dream

For $500, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo is a fantastic turntable that will last vinyl-loving audiophiles a lifetime.

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End Sars protests: Growing list of celebrities pledge support for demonstrators

It comes amid reports that several people have been shot dead or wounded at a protest in Lagos.

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Taiwan charges Chinese captain over killing of 'Somali pirates'

Officials say the Chinese national ordered the killings while captaining a Taiwanese vessel in 2012.

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Countdown to AI Experience EMEA Virtual Conference

The AI Experience EMEA Virtual Conference is just three weeks away, and Team DataRobot couldn’t be more excited about what our speakers have in store for our virtual audience. Conference attendees will walk away with pragmatic ideas for how to accelerate time to impact and value for AI, and practical strategies to implement those ideas within their organizations — all at no cost to attend. This day-long event is an experience that no AI visionary will want to miss. 

We’re pleased to announce two keynote speakers that conference attendees can look forward to hearing from on November 10th. 

Brian Prestidge: Director of Insights & Decision Technology at Manchester City Football Club

BP 2020 21 1

With 15 years working in professional football in various roles supporting elite performance practitioners, Brian has seen the technological developments that have created an exponential growth in data available to football clubs. Whether through the use of AI & simulation for player development or the application of robust data science methods to support coaches in their game preparation, Brian & his team play a key role at City Football Group in enabling them to make better and faster decisions in the very dynamic and heavily scrutinised environment of professional football.

Dr. Hannah Fry: Associate Professor in the Mathematics of Cities, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London 

Hannah Fry Main Website image speaking

Dr. Hannah Fry is an Associate Professor in the Mathematics of Cities at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL where she studies patterns in human behavior. Her research applies to a wide range of social problems and questions, from shopping and transport to urban crime, riots and terrorism.

Her critically acclaimed BBC documentaries include Horizon: Diagnosis on Demand? The Computer Will See You Now, Britain’s Greatest Invention, City in the Sky (BBC Two), Magic Numbers: Hannah Fry’s Mysterious World of Maths, The Joy of Winning, The Joy of Data, Contagion! The BBC Four Pandemic and Calculating Ada (BBC Four). She also co-presents The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry (BBC Radio 4) and The Maths of Life with Lauren Laverne (BBC Radio 6).

Hannah is the author of Hello World, published in 2018.

We hope you’ll join us on November 10th to hear these keynotes, and our full lineup of powerhouse speakers, share their insights on impactful, trustworthy AI. Leaders from Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Medical Faculty Manheim, Heidelberg University, and more will help you understand how to leverage AI to address hyper-critical issues impacting your organization.

Virtual Event
AI Experience EMEA Virtual Conference: Accelerating Impact With Trusted AI

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How to Setup and Manage Log Rotation Using Logrotate in Linux

One of the most interesting (and perhaps one of the most important as well) directories in a Linux system is /var/log. According to the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, the activity of most services running in

The post How to Setup and Manage Log Rotation Using Logrotate in Linux first appeared on Tecmint: Linux Howtos, Tutorials & Guides.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

GoAccess (A Real-Time Apache and Nginx) Web Server Log Analyzer

GoAccess is an interactive and real-time web server log analyzer program that quickly analyze and view web server logs. It comes as an open-source and runs as a command line in Unix/Linux operating systems.

The post GoAccess (A Real-Time Apache and Nginx) Web Server Log Analyzer first appeared on Tecmint: Linux Howtos, Tutorials & Guides.

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Boy, 15, executive produced Robert De Niro’s latest film

The comedy was number one at the box office on its opening weekend, bringing in $3.6 million.

One of the producers behind Robert De Niro’s latest film The War with Grandpa is a 15-year-old boy who pitched the project to the veteran actor after reading the classic young-adult novel of the same name. 

Tre Peart was in the third grade when he was assigned to read “The War With Grandpa” by Robert Kimmel Smith, first published in 1984. The story centers on a kid named Peter whose grandfather moves in with his family and takes over his grandson’s room. Peter responds by waging a war of pranks to get his room back, PEOPLE reports.

Read More: Robert De Niro opens about raising biracial children: ‘I take certain things for granted’

Tre Peart, Robert De Niro, and producers of ‘War with Grandpa’ (Twitter)

Peart says he loved the book so much that he asked his parents to see the movie version and learned there wasn’t one.

“I realized my parents made movies,” Tre told The Times of Israel. “They were in the movie business. I asked, ‘Mom, can you make this into a movie?’”

The rest, as they say, is history.

The resulting feature film is executive produced by Marvin, Rosa and Tre Peart.

De Niro stars alongside a supporting cast that includes Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour and Cheech Marin. The comedy was number one at the box office on its opening weekend, bringing in $3.6 million.

Read More: Robert De Niro goes in on Trump in profanity-laced speech at Tony Awards

As in the book, in the movie, grandpa comes to live with his grandson’s family after the death of his wife.

“Grandpa was mourning his [wife], mourning his change of life, he did not want to let go of the fact he’s aging,” Rosa Peart said. “It’s the transition of life, and [De Niro] really captured that.”

Marvin Peart also recalled, “There were pranks [in the book] about Monopoly pieces,” he said. “Board games don’t happen anymore. We added a lot of technology to the movie … Grandpa has trouble keeping up with technology he doesn’t understand, like an iPhone or iPad, and drones.”

A sequel to the book is reportedly in the works titled “The War with Grandma.”

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Bringing construction projects to the digital world

People who work behind a computer screen all day take it for granted that everyone’s work will be tracked and accessible when they collaborate with others. But if your job takes place out in the real world, managing projects can require a lot more effort.

In construction, for example, general contractors and real estate developers often need someone to be physically present on a job site to verify work is done correctly and on time. They might also rely on a photographer or smartphone images to document a project’s progress. Those imperfect solutions can lead to accountability issues, unnecessary change orders, and project delays.

Now the startup OpenSpace is bringing some of the benefits of digital work to the real world with a solution that uses 360-degree cameras and computer vision to create comprehensive, time-stamped digital replicas of construction sites.

All customers need to do is walk their job site with a small 360-degree camera on their hard hat. The OpenSpace Vision Engine maps the photos to work plans automatically, creating a Google Streetview-like experience for people to remotely tour work sites at different times as if they were physically present.

The company is also deploying analytics solutions that help customers track progress and search for objects on their job sites. To date, OpenSpace has helped customers map more than 1.5 billion square feet of construction projects, including bridges, hospitals, football stadiums, and large residential buildings.

The solution is helping workers in the construction industry improve accountability, minimize travel, reduce risks, and more.

“The core product we have today is a simple idea: It allows our customers to have a complete visual record of any space, indoor or outdoor, so they can see what’s there from anywhere at any point in time,” says OpenSpace cofounder and CEO Jeevan Kalanithi SM ’07. “They can teleport into the site to inspect the actual reality, but they can also see what was there yesterday or a week ago or five years ago. It brings this ground truth record to the site.”

Shining a light on construction sites

The founders of OpenSpace originally met during their time at MIT. At the Media Lab, Kalanithi and David Merrill SM ’06, PhD ’09 built a gaming system based on small cubes that used LCD touch screens and motion sensors to encourage kids to develop critical thinking skills. They spun the idea into a company, Sifteo, which created multiple generations of its toys.

In 2014, Sifteo was bought by 3D Robotics, then a drone company that would go on to focus on drone inspection software for construction, engineering, and mining firms. Kalanithi stayed with 3D Robotics for over two years, eventually serving as president of the company.

In the summer of 2016, Kalanithi left 3D Robotics with the intention of spending more time with friends and family. He reconnected with two friends from MIT, Philip DeCamp ’05, SM ’08, PhD ’13 and Michael Fleischman PhD ’08, who had researched new machine vision and AI techniques in their PhD research. Fleischman had started a social media analytics company he sold to Twitter.

At the time, DeCamp and Fleischman were considering ways to use machine vision advances with 360-degree cameras. Kalanithi, who had helped guide 3D Robotics toward the construction industry, thought he had the perfect application.

People have long used photographs to document construction projects, and many times contracts for large construction projects require photos of progress to be taken. But the photos never document the entire site, and they aren’t taken frequently enough to capture every phase of work.

Early versions of the OpenSpace solution required someone to set up a tripod in every space of a construction project. A breakthrough came when one early user, a straight-talking project manager, gave the founders some useful feedback.

“I was showing him the output of our product at the time, which looks similar to now, and he says, ‘This is great. How long did it take you?’ When I told him he said, ‘Well that’s cool Jeevan, but there’s no way we’re going to use that,’” Kalanithi recalls. “I thought maybe this idea isn’t so good after all. But then he gave us the idea. He said, ‘What would be great is if I could just wear that little camera and walk around. I walk around the job site all the time.’”

The founders took the advice and repurposed their solution to work with off-the-shelf 360-degree cameras and slightly modified hard hats. The cameras take pictures every half second and use artificial intelligence techniques to identify the camera’s precise location, even indoors. Once a few tours of the job site have been uploaded to OpenSpace’s platform, it can map pictures onto site plans within 15 minutes.

Kalanithi still remembers the excitement the founders felt the first time they saved a customer money, helping to settle a dispute between a general contractor and a drywall specialist. Since then they’ve gotten a lot of those calls, in some cases saving companies millions of dollars. Kalanithi says saving builders costs helps the construction industry meet growing needs related to aging infrastructure and housing shortages.

Helping nondigital workers

OpenSpace’s analytics solutions, which the company calls its ClearSight suite of products, have not been rolled out to every customer yet. But Kalanithi believes they will bring even more value to people managing work sites.

“If you have someone walking around the project all the time, we can start classifying and computing what they’re seeing,” Kalanithi says. “So, we can see how much framing and drywall is being installed, how quickly, how much material was used. That’s the basis for how people get paid in this industry: How much work did you do?”

Kalanithi believes Clearsight is the beginning of a new phase for OpenSpace, where the company can use AI and computer vision to give customers a new perspective on what’s going on at their job site.

“The product experience today, where you look around to see the site, will be something people sometimes do on OpenSpace, but they may be spending more time looking at productivity charts and little OpenSpace verified payment buttons, and maybe sometimes they’ll drill down to look at the actual images,” Kalanithi says.

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated some companies’ adoption of digital solutions to help cut down on travel and physical contact. But even in states that have resumed construction, Kalanithi says customers are continuing to use OpenSpace, a key indicator of the value it brings.

Indeed, the vast majority of the information captured by OpenSpace was never available before, and it brings with it the potential for major improvements in the construction industry and beyond.

“If the last decade was defined by the cloud and mobile technology being the real enabling technologies, I think this next decade will be innovations that affect people in the real physical world,” Kalanithi says. “Because cameras and computer vision are getting better, so for a lot of people who have been ignored or left behind by technology based on the work they do, we’ll have the opportunity to make some amends and build some stuff that will make those folks lives easier.”

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