Posts tagged with "google"

Tech’s Impact on Journalism

In the epicenter of big tech, Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) joined Audrey Cooper, the Executive Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, CEO of CalMatters and the former Executive Editor of Bay Area News Group Neil Chase, and Save Journalism Project co-founders Laura Bassett, a laid-off HuffPost reporter, and John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed, to shine a light on the plight of local news and a key culprit: big tech.   

n the first quarter of 2019, the media has shed more than 2,400 jobs – including East Bay Express staffers – and, over the past 10 years, newsrooms have declined in size by 45%. The plight of the journalism industry has generated bipartisan congressional action, a rather unique occurrence in this polarized political climate. And while the journalism industry faces many challenges, the focus of Congress’ current action is to halt big tech’s negative impact on the economic sustainability of the free press. Wednesday’s speakers will address this unusual bipartisan action and the widespread consequences of the loss of local news.

According to Representative Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), “Not that long ago, the Bay Area was home to over 1,500 journalists, but now there are less than 300 serving roughly 7 million people. This problem is not unique to our community—it is happening in every corner of the country, and we need to act. During a time when fact and accountability are under constant attack, today’s conversation about ways to preserve and protect local news and high-quality journalism is critical to the health of our democracy.”

According to Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and the former Executive Editor of Bay Area News Group, “I’m glad we had such a deep, meaningful conversation about the challenges facing journalism today, right here in downtown San Francisco. If we can’t solve it here, we can’t hope to help the places across America that don’t have the technology and financial resources that are available in a place like this.”

According to Laura Bassett, laid-off HuffPost senior politics reporter and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, “As our country grapples with natural disasters, political turmoil, violence, and everyday life, Americans rely on journalists and the news industry to explain and break through the chaos. But, for that process to survive, we need well-staffed newsrooms and a blossoming industry. Instead, big tech is decimating journalism. Facebook, Google, and big tech have consumed the digital landscape and continue to threaten local and national journalism. We need our elected officials to weigh in, to reign in big tech, and to save the journalism industry, before this goes any further.”

And, according to John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, “The irony of all ironies, we live streamed today’s event on Facebook to ensure it reached the largest audience. The mere fact that we had to rely on the conglomerate proves our point: Facebook and Google have too much power. Together, they control the landscape, the audience, and the content. I saw this first hand at BuzzFeed, when Facebook, without notice, changed its algorithm, resulting in huge viewership and financial losses for the company. As more and more local and national news outlets feel the death grip of big tech, we need Congress to step in and save journalism.”

 

Journalism in America is facing an existential threat from the monopolistic control of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms are having drastic effects on journalism as a whole.

One Hour Translation: Google Wins the Battle of Real Time Voice Translators

OHT used expert in-house linguists to compare the performance of Skype Translator, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri in translating business and tourism expressions from English into Japanese, French, German and Spanish and vice versa

On average across languages, Google scored the highest – 4.54 out of 6, Skype second (4.32) and Siri third (4.09). Google was the best in Japanese (4.01), German (4.5) and Spanish (4.8), while Siri led in French (4.87) 

Google Assistant is the top performing real time voice translator, according to a benchmark conducted by One Hour Translation (OHT), an online platform which provides translations in more than 100 languages and 3,000 language pairs.

With demand for real time voice translation on the rise, OHT decided to test out the leading services: Skype Translator (run by Microsoft Translate), Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, and rank them for accuracy.

With the help of expert in-house linguists OHT took 16 business and 10 tourism expressions and translated them from English into Japanese, French, German and Spanish and vice versa. The same sentences were then given to real time voice translator devices, apps and digital assistants to see just how they performed. The results were rated by the linguists on a scale of 0 to 6.

On average across languages, Google scored the highest – 4.54 out of 6, Skype second (4.32) and Siri third (4.09). Google was the best in three out of the four languages – Japanese (4.01), German (4.5) and Spanish (4.8), while Siri led in French (4.87).  Overall Japanese was the hardest language to translate with an average score of 3.7.  French was the easiest language for the instant voice translator devices to translate with an average of 4.75, followed by Spanish (4.54) and German (4.41).

“The real time voice translators were more accurate in translating tourism related experssions in comparison to business expressions” said Yaron Kaufman, chief marketing officer and co-founder of OHT. He attributed this to the use of a lot of business-related abbreviations which are not easily recognized by real time voice devices. Kaufman added that “despite the recent improvements in all of the assistants we tested, real time voice translations still cannot be relied on for business related content.”

Some examples of the sentences: “Stay on budget for this campaign, we can’t have it affecting our ROI”; “R&D are cutting too many corners, the product is undeployable”;  “Schedule a meeting between your CMO and our product manager”; “Do you have any allergies? This dish contains peanuts and avocado”; “I need to find the fastest way to the airport, my plane is leaving soon”; “My travel insurance should cover that bill.”

There are also new developments on the horizon in the field of real time voice translation. Among other advancements, Amazon is planning to release a DIY toolkit for creating translation apps and Xiaomi has released a new and advanced physical device for real time translations.

About One Hour Translation

One Hour Translation (OHT) believes that businesses should be able to reach any customer, anywhere, anytime, with no language barriers.

One Hour Translation’s AI powered cloud-based translation management platform, HALO,  helps enterprise customers reduce overhead by automating their translation process and workflow. HALO combines automated workflows, Neural Machine Translation (NMT) and professional translation services, to process all of the enterprise content quickly and easily via API/WEB. A dedicated NMT engine is automatically trained as the translations proceed and as a result the project’s cost keeps decreasing while translation speed improves. HALO is easy to implement and use, encrypted, secured and allows the enterprise to use any mix of its translators and reviewers with those of OHT, as well as any mix of NMTs for optimal quality and cost. The platform also allows OHT to manage a company’s resources and in-house budgets earmarked for translation in order to obtain the best possible results.

OHT is the leader in translations for enterprise customers, currently serving over 60 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bank, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, HP, Xerox, Acer, Shell, Deloitte, HSBC, Procter & Gamble, IKEA, 3M, McCann, Allianz, Xiaomi and many other organizations.

One Hour Translation specializes in translation for 30 expert domains, including law, technology, marketing, website translation, applications, software and more.

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How Big Tech Is Destroying Our Press

Ahead of today’s House Judiciary Hearing, the Save Journalism Project held a press call with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11); journalists Laura Bassett, laid off by HuffPost; and John Stanton, laid off by BuzzFeed; and Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and former executive editor of The Mercury News and East Bay Times.

The monopolistic power of big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple is destroying the economic model of the entire journalism industry, whether its traditional circulation newspapers or digital news outlet.

 This week’s hearing on how digital platforms affect news organizations marks the much-needed return of congressional antitrust scrutiny to big tech companies, which have gained a monopolistic position that lets them dominate the digital advertising marketplace and distribute massive amounts of content from news publishers on their platforms without paying to produce the content. 

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) said, “I don’t think there’s anything more important right now than this issue. Being from the Bay Area, I have been to every big tech company. After meeting with them, I think it’s time to make it easier for licensing like the music and movie industries have done. We are members of Congress, you are journalists, and we have to keep an appropriate Constitutional distance, but there are policy proposals in our legislation that protect the freedom of the press and are necessary to keep the industry alive. When I was first elected to the Concord City Council there was a reporter who was consistently in the front row keeping officials accountable. His presence made local government work, and it is vital that we protect the journalism industry to make sure leaders are kept accountable and communities are informed.”

Laura Bassett, a reporter who was laid off by HuffPost, commented, “In the first few months of 2019, I was one of about 2,400 journalists and media staffers who lost our jobs. Even though I was aware the cuts were coming, it was still shocking to be laid off after nearly a decade in my newsroom. The reason for the mass layoffs, I found out, was that Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook are dominating the digital ad market, swallowing about 60 percent of all revenue and making it difficult for journalism to survive. News publishers are being forced to give a cut of their ad revenue to these companies- revenue that would otherwise go to hiring journalists. Because a well-funded news media is vital to a healthy democracy, the public needs to be aware of Big Tech’s death grip on publishers. At the House Judiciary Hearing today, lawmakers in Congress need to address this bipartisan issue and find legislative solutions that regulate tech giants and restore fairness to the digital ad market. Journalists are taught not to be the story, but as Big Tech’s digital ad monopoly benefits off of our revenue streams, it’s incumbent upon us to fight for the future of our industry. One or two companies should not have the power to cripple the free press.”

“After 20 years of covering Congress and the White House for BuzzFeed, I found out layoffs were coming in a tweet from the Wall Street Journal,” said John Stanton, former Buzzfeed Washington Bureau Chief before being laid off. “Despite the great work my colleagues and I were doing for the publication, there simply wasn’t enough money. Because stories that lead to changes in state and federal law, jailing of criminals and exposing wrongdoing — cost money. Money that is increasingly gobbled up by Google and Facebook. To try to survive, slashes had to be made. To entire desks. The reason advertising revenue has fallen so steeply is that Google and Facebook dominate the digital ad market, consuming more than 60 percent of all revenue. And their share is growing, because they devour nine out of every ten new dollars that are spent on digital advertising. Big Tech’s monopoly has a death grip on publishers. Congress needs to be discussing how to regulate this imbalance and restore competitive fairness in the digital market.”

Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and former executive editor of The Mercury News and East Bay Times, added, “We all believe journalism is central to democracy. Newspapers have experienced a decline not in the past five years, not in the past ten or fifteen years, but in the past seventy-five years. Newspapers have been declining since World War II. The problem is that we are essentially sitting on a 200 year-old product, but are trying to compete with new and changing technologies. Newspapers have maintained a monopoly for over 200 years. This is how people historically gained all their information; how they found where to buy clothing, where to buy their groceries, and where they got their news. With the change in how society works, all we have is the news. In order to solve this problem, we need a multi-pronged approach. We need to engage in philanthropy, which my company is already focused on this aspect. We need newspapers with benevolent leaders, not the leaders that we have at some major news organizations now. We need support from legislators. And, we need people paying for the news. We need a lot of support from a lot of different places in order to make this work.”

Save Journalism Project Launches To Protect Our Press From Big Tech

BuzzFeed Reports on Recently Laid Off Journalists Serving  As Spox For New Campaign To Save Journalism From Monopolistic Power of Big Tech Companies

Today, BuzzFeed reports on the Save Journalism Project that’s launching to raise awareness and engagement about the critical need to save journalism as it faces an existential threat—the monopolistic power of big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple destroying the economic model of the entire journalism industry, whether its traditional circulation newspapers or digital news outlets. At the same time, Google and Facebook have made acquisition after acquisition, gaining a monopolistic position that lets them dominate the digital advertising marketplace and distribute massive amounts of content from news publishers on their platforms without paying to produce the content. Just now are Facebook, Google, and other tech giants facing federal government and Congressional antitrust scrutiny.

Two recently laid off reporters will serve as spokespeople for the Save Journalism Project, Laura Bassett  and John StantonLearn More and Join the Fight at SaveJournalism.org and@SaveTheNews.

BuzzFeed: These Reporters Lost Their Jobs. Now They’re Fighting Back Against Big Tech.

“John Stanton and Laura Bassett are warning about what they believe the tech industry is doing to journalism, as thousands have lost their jobs this year alone.

By Rosie Gray”

Two prominent reporters who were recently laid off from digital media outlets are forming a new advocacy group formed to raise awareness about big tech’s impact on the journalism industry.

John Stanton, a longtime congressional correspondent and former BuzzFeed News Washington bureau chief, and Laura Bassett, a former culture and political reporter for nearly 10 years at the Huffington Post, have teamed up to launch a new initiative called the Save Journalism Project. The two have first-hand experience with the troubled state of the news industry: Stanton was laid off from BuzzFeed News during a round of layoffs that affected 200 people company-wide this winter and spurred a unionization drive among the news staff. Bassett lost her job in similar fashion in January after Huffington Post laid off 20 employees as part of larger cuts at its parent company, Verizon Media.

This year has been one of the worst in recent memory for journalism jobs. Across the industry, thousands have lost their jobs: from BuzzFeed News, Vice, CNN, and others across the country at local publications. Media organizations have been imperiled by crashing advertising revenues as Facebook and Google vacuum up available ad dollars.

Their new project will be set up as a nonprofit, according to Eddie Vale, a Democratic consultant whose firm is providing the man-power to launch the effort. Vale pitched Bassett on the idea, and the two of them brought in Stanton. Vale said initial funding had been secured from “someone who doesn’t want to be public so Google and Facebook don’t go after them,” and the group plans to continue to fundraise. So far, the pair have co-authored testimony given to the Senate Judiciary Committee highlighting the tech giants’ impact on the news industry — “since being laid off, we’ve made it our mission to understand how the digital marketplace works and how Big Tech is killing the journalism industry,” they wrote — flown a plane above Google’s I/O conference, and authored op-eds.

A key part of their goal is to get journalists, who aren’t known for showing a keen interest in the business side of their publications or for engaging in advocacy themselves, to take an active role in defending the future of their jobs. In an interview, Stanton said they were “trying to educate the public and members of Congress and also start encouraging our colleagues to speak up.”

“Reporters are not generally super interested in speaking about their own problems and about things that affect them directly because they feel like it becomes a conflict of interest, and in certain ways that’s true,” Stanton said. “But when the future of the free press is being pretty seriously endangered by something, I think it’s incumbent upon us to stand up for ourselves.”

Like many reporters, Bassett said she had “never really had to pay attention to the financial side of journalism.”

But “after getting laid off, I started to become really interested in why all of these amazing news publishers were sort of going under, having to lay off staff, why we were losing local newspapers. It’s a tragedy, it’s really bad for democracy.”

Their effort comes at a time of increased scrutiny of the tech industry on the part of the federal government as well as Congress as public concern mounts over repeated privacy scandals, technology companies’ role in spreading misinformation, and their dominance over certain industries. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission reportedly made a deal to divide potential antitrust investigations between them; Apple and Google will fall under the purview of the DOJ, while the FTC took Facebook and Amazon. The House Judiciary Committee announced it would “conduct a top-to-bottom review of the market power held by giant tech platforms.”

The Save Journalism Project’s founders are hoping to steer the public conversation around the negative effects of Big Tech towards its impact on journalism.

Stanton, who lives in New Orleans, mentioned examples like that city’s local paper, the Times-Picayune, which laid off its entire staff last month. Around the country, Stanton said, “local reporters are so overtaxed. They’re doing as good a job as they can but there’s not enough of them.”

At the moment, Stanton and Bassett are more focused on warning the public and the industry about the issue than on proposing solutions.

“I do think that everyone is starting to see a need to break up and regulate these companies or something along those lines,” Bassett said. “And with regards to how they’re going to make journalism viable again, I don’t frankly know…I think right now we’re starting with just getting this conversation out into the public and making people aware of exactly what’s going on. I do hope at some point we graduate into saying, ‘here’s a list of policy proposals, here’s exactly what needs to happen.'”

Stanton and Bassett plan to interview elected officials, candidates and colleagues in the media about the industry’s crisis, and started with conducting on-camera interviews with Reps. Mark DeSaulnier and Ruben Gallego. They plan to circulate a letter with which media companies can sign on to their cause. And their first official event will be at the annual Congressional Baseball Game, where they plan to distribute a physical newspaper laying out the problems on their agenda.

“The DC press corps is a really powerful constituency within our industry,” Stanton said. “If we can get our colleagues [there] to start talking about this it will help more broadly.”

PathSpot Awarded Funding

Today, nonprofit Women Who Tech, one of the largest organizations that funds and showcases women-led ventures, announced the winner of the 2019 Women Startup Challenge hosted at Google.

Women-led startups from across the US and Canada pitched their ventures before a prestigious panel of tech industry executives and investors on May 29th at Google’s NYC headquarters.

PathSpot cofounder and CEO Christine Schindler was awarded the grand prize of $50,000 for their innovative hand-scanning system that eliminates the threat of foodborne illness by instantly detecting invisible signs of bacteria and viruses that cause foodborne illness including Norovirus, E.coli, Listeria, Hepatitis A, and Salmonella.

The Audience Choice Award went to Stephanie Yim, cofounder of Good Call, who will receive $120,000 in cloud services from Google for establishing a centralized 24/7 arrest support hotline for those detained to provide legal support in under a minute.

The eight other finalists – Basepaws, Ejenta, Elidah, Farm Fare, i-Subz, Metalmark Innovations, Queen of Raw and The Growcer – will each receive $20,000 in cloud services from Google.

“There is a severe disparity when it comes to funding diverse startups – we need to equally back those who are making an audacious impact on a national and global level. Our Women Startup Challenge at Google successfully showcased an array of innovators who need funding to scale,” said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech. “We have hard data to show the investor world that placing big bets on women-led startups will generate big returns.”

“Investors need to put their money where their mouths are to support women founders and close the funding gap for good. This will help maximize innovation and create products that are useful to everyone,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and Advisory Board member for Women Who Tech.

The jury included investors:

  • Ellie Wheeler, Partner at Greycroft
  • Jen Wolf, Partner and COO of Initialized Capital
  • Jenny Fielding, Managing Director of Techstars and Cofounder of The Fund
  • Nashilu Mouen-Makoua, Investor at First Round Capital
  • Nisha Dua, General Partner at BBG Ventures

The 10 finalists will also be  hosted at Silicon Valley Bank for one-on-one meetings with investors.

About Women Who Tech

Founded in 2008, Women Who Tech is helping to draw global attention to the significant gender bias in venture capital funding by shaking up a culture and an economy that has made it exceedingly difficult for women to launch and scale their startups.

By showcasing women-led ventures through Women Who Tech’s flagship Women Startup Challenges, the nonprofit provides capital, mentoring, direct access to leading investors, and other resources for women who are creating the most innovative tech companies, with the ultimate goal of closing the funding gap for good. To date,84% of the Women Startup Challenge alumni have raised investor funding, collectively totaling $53M+.

The Women Startup Challenge is one of the largest global programs to showcase and fund women-led tech startups, hosting thousands of women innovators across the world including New York, Silicon Valley, London (co-hosted by the Office of Mayor Sadiq Khan), and Paris (co-hosted by the Office of Mayor Anne Hidalgo). For information, visit www.WomenWhoTech.com.

The Women Startup Challenge is supported by Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Google, Pineapple Fund, Rad Campaign, Techstars, Silicon Valley Bank, Donna Griffit Storyteller, and more.

New Carly Rae Jepsen Video

CARLY RAE JEPSEN  “NOW THAT I FOUND YOU” VIDEO

Directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada and Nelson de Castro

Concept by Carly Rae Jepsen

Watch the clip HERE

Multi-platinum Grammy, Juno and Polaris Prize nominated singer/songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen releases the video “Now That  I Found You” today. “Now That I Found You” was produced by Captain Cuts and was released last month, along with the song “No Drug Like Me,”  on School Boy/Interscope Records. “Now That I Found You” and “No Drug Like Me” will appear on Jepsen’s forthcoming album which is set for release in 2019.   

Carly Rae Jepsen “Now That I Found You”

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Halston dare, 360 MAGAZINE

Halston Dare

Singer-songwriter and popular online content creator, Halston Dare drops new single Something Special today.

Halston Dare is not your average pop star. Growing up in a musical family to a Cuban American, immigrant father, Halston grew up with music in her blood. As a child, she grew up listening to classic 70’s, 80’s and 90’s music from the likes of Patti Labelle, Phil Collins, Bryan Adams, Donna Summer and Whitney Houston. As one of the brightest young voices in both the musical and digital influencer space, Halston is used to wearing many hats. “I want to be known as the girl who does it all. Music, fashion, make-up, sports. I want people to know that I’m a real person.”

Halston’s creative savvy and relatable personality has helped her amass a following of over 150,000 fans on instagram.

Halston started sharing covers of her favorite songs on Youtube a few years ago. She then branched out into the world of makeup, beauty and lifestyle. Her fanbase grew rapidly and when she finally released her single “Drowned Love”, it was received to much fanfare. Her fans instantly connected to the raw emotion and personal narrative. Over the years, Halston has fostered a uniquely deep and personal relationship with her fans. “Lots of fans I’m actually friends with. I rely on them as much as they rely on me. Let’s be friends, tell me about your day. Tell me about your problems.”

More About Halston:

Unlike many young musicians, Halston did not wait to get discovered. By age 11, the plucky and vivacious curly-haired preteen was googling agencies and managers and setting up her own meetings. That year, she heard an advertisement calling for aspiring young singers and Halston jumped at the opportunity. She begged her parents to attend the audition and because they saw her passion and dedication, allowed her to go. She attended the audition and the agency ended up flying her to Orlando, where she sang Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” in front of 5,000 people. That’s when Halston and her family realized the stage was Halston’s home.

She then picked up piano and started vocal lessons. It was actually her first vocal coach who introduced Halston to song writers and producers and helped hone her talents. She started writing original music that she felt compelled to make. She says her lyrical inspirations come from a mix of real life and fantasy. “I love writing based on fairytales and stories I make up in my head. I love sharing my hopes, fantasies and daydreams.” Recently, Halston has been taking a much more personal approach to songwriting, writing about personal situations and real life events. Her new single “Something Special”, details a real-life situation about infatuation, dealing with ego and the misadventures of youth.

Aside from music, Halston is passionate about global issues like environmentalism, animal rights and female empowerment. Halston’s message has always been about empowering young women and making them feel important, beautiful and valued from the inside out. “In today’s Instagram world, we’re always comparing ourselves to these fake, filtered photos and that’s not really realistic. That’s just what people want them to see.” She says. “I want young girls to know that they’re beautiful the way they are and that they don’t have to look like an Instagram photo to be enough.”

For the future, Halston is excited to keep performing, making original music and connecting even deeper with her fans and followers. As Halston looks ahead she advises her followers to chase their dreams and follow their hearts, “If you want to sing, SING! Reflect you, show everyone how you can be the best you can be. If someone tells you, you can’t. Don’t listen to them. The only person who can stop you is you.”

Starlight Xperience for Children

Starlight Children’s Foundation, an organization whose mission is to create moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families, unveiled today its newest initiative, Starlight XperienceTM virtual reality, a groundbreaking new technology program that offers millions of seriously ill children a fun and exciting way to explore the world and beyond through the magic of VR.

To watch a video on Starlight Xperience and how it helps kids, please see here.

Built for the Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream, Starlight Xperience features a state-of-the-art and hospital-ready headset that comes preloaded with age-appropriate and dynamic content geared toward entertainment and distraction for hospitalized kids, which has been specifically modified to meet strict infection safety protocols for use in hospital settings. Pre-loaded content includes educational field trips to exotic locations through Google Expeditions and Street View, fun interactive stories like Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay by ILMxLAB, and Lola and the Giant, popular apps such as Ocean Rift and Hello Mars, and meditation exercises and therapeutic games such as Relax VR, which allows the patient to escape into beautiful environments.

Starlight Xperience was created in collaboration with Founding Sponsor, Star Wars: Force for Change, the charitable initiative from Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Company that harnesses the power of Star Wars to empower and improve the lives of children around the world. Through grant funding provided by The Walt Disney Company and Niagara Cares – the philanthropic arm of Niagara Bottling – as well as charitable donations from grassroots donors, Starlight Xperience will be provided at no cost to Starlight’s network of more than 800 children’s hospitals and other health care facilities across the US.

“We believe Starlight Xperience has the potential to transform the hospital experience for millions of seriously ill children and their families,” said Chris Helfrich, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation. “We’re thrilled to stand beside The Walt Disney Company, Google, Lenovo and Niagara Cares in unveiling this exciting new program, which is the latest evolution in our 35-year history of bringing innovative entertainment technologies to hospitalized kids.”

“Providing these unique entertainment experiences reflects our commitment to bring comfort during what can be difficult times for kids and families. This is part of our Disney Team of Heroes initiative, which includes a $100 million commitment to children’s hospitals,” said Elissa Margolis, senior vice president, Enterprise Social Responsibility for The Walt Disney Company. “The collaboration with Google and Lenovo is the perfect blend of technology and content that we’ll be able to deliver to kids during their hospital stay.”

“Our goal has always been to create virtual reality experiences that are accessible, useful, and relevant to as many people as possible,” said Amit Singh, VP of Business & Operations for AR & VR at Google. “Starlight Xperience is a shining example of that goal coming to life in a really great way. We’re thrilled to be able to support Starlight in bringing transporting VR experiences to hospitalized children across the country.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Starlight and Google to bring technology to hospitalized children in their time of need. Helping to provide a solution for the children and their families allows us to truly make a difference for the better,” said Gunjan Shah, general manager for North America Smart Devices at Lenovo.

Starlight Xperience was developed in part through a series of grants provided by Starlight to the CHARIOT program (short for Childhood Anxiety Reduction through Innovation and Technology) at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. CHARIOT implements new technologies in the hospital that are nontraditional yet familiar to children to engage and distract them during stressful or painful procedures, keeping clinical usage in mind and improving upon the typical hospital experience. This past summer, Starlight Xperience was soft launched and tested at five children’s hospitals: Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, Minn., and Texas Children’s Hospital.

“At Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, virtual reality has been a fantastic addition for our patients,” said Chantel Barney, Ph.D., a clinical scientist who leads Gillette’s VR program. “In some instances, we’ve been able to curb the anxiety and fears our kids typically experience during procedures such as blood draws, transfusions, wound cleanings, casting and more. It’s a wonderful distraction for kids and parents alike.”

“We’re proud to support Starlight Xperience and look forward to bringing smiles to the faces of hospitalized children through this educational and inspirational program,” said Andrew Peykoff II, President and CEO, Niagara Bottling. “This technology makes learning fun and we’re excited to expand the program to even more children.”

Thanks to the grants provided by The Walt Disney Company and Niagara Cares, in addition to the generosity of charitable donations from individuals, Starlight is on track to deliver up to 1,000 Starlight Xperience kits to its network of hospital partners by the end of 2018, with a goal of doubling that by the end of 2019. A donation to Starlight will entertain, educate and inspire hospitalized kids across the US through stimulating immersive experiences that transport children from the hospital to any place in the world – or beyond – through the magic of virtual reality.

The public is invited to learn more and support the program online at www.starlight.org/starlight-xperience.

ABOUT STARLIGHT CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION
Starlight creates moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families. For 35 years, Starlight’s programs have positively impacted more than 60 million critically, chronically and terminally ill or injured children in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. With your help, more kids and their families will enjoy Starlight Gowns, Starlight Fun Centers and other Starlight programs at a children’s hospital or facility near you. Support Starlight’s work by visiting www.starlight.org and by following Starlight on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT STAR WARS: FORCE FOR CHANGE
Star Wars: Force for Change, a charitable initiative from Lucasfilm and Disney, harnesses the strength of Star Wars to empower and improve the lives of children around the world. Since 2014, it was inspired by Star Wars fans, and the countless hours they have dedicated to philanthropy over the past four decades. To date, over $16 million has been raised for charitable causes around the world on behalf of Star Wars: Force for Change. With a bright future ahead, and new Star Wars stories to be told, Force for Change aims to continue collaborating with causes and encouraging others to be forces for change in their own community. To learn more, please visit ForceForChange.com.

ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in four business segments: Media Networks; Studio Entertainment; Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products; and Direct-to-Consumer and International. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $55.1 billion in its Fiscal Year 2017.

ABOUT LENOVO
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$45 billion Fortune Global 500 company and a global technology leader in driving Intelligent Transformation through smart devices and infrastructure that create the best user experience. Lenovo manufactures one of the world’s widest portfolios of connected products, including smartphones, tablets, PCs (ThinkPad, Yoga, Lenovo Legion), data centers and workstations as well as AR/VR devices and smart home/office solutions. Lenovo works to inspire the difference in everyone and build a smarter future where everyone thrives. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Weibo, read about the latest news via our Storyhub, or visit our website at http://www.lenovo.com/.

ABOUT NIAGARA CARES
Niagara Cares, a philanthropic arm of Niagara Bottling, is committed to supporting local and national community initiatives serving children and families in need by engaging stakeholders and investing its resources. Niagara Cares efforts include national strategic partnerships, local community grants, employee engagement, volunteerism and the Andrew D. Peykoff, Sr. Scholarship Program. For more information, visit www.niagarawater.com/niagara-cares.

1/3 TripAdvisor Reviews Are Fake

HotelPlanner.com CEO Tim Hentschel explains how the recent report claiming 1 in 3 TripAdvisor reviews are fake.

Despite the report of fake reviews, Hentschel still trusts in TripAdvisor. “Tripadvisor has always kept a Chinese wall between its review department and advertising department,” according to Hentschel.

Hentschel elaborates that “TripAdvisor’s high traffic numbers mean it has always been able to have an independent review department. The site’s advertising sales have always been independently strong like Google or Amazon.”

Additional Tim Hentschel talking points:

  • “This debate is very old in travel tech circles. Everybody has been trying to build the perfect machine to spot fake reviews, but nobody has gotten close yet.”
  • “There are sites that make you verify a purchase before you can post a review, but those can be tricked as well, especially by a hotel or restaurant generating fake receipts.”
  • “Up to a few years ago the general consensus in travel tech circles was overall rating is a good indication of the quality of the project, i.e. anyone can fake a few reviews, but if you have hundreds and thousands of reviews and they are mostly positive or mostly negative, then that is good sign of the overall quality of the product.”
  • “A large problem are sites that charge companies a monthly fee to keep up positive reviews. Yelp is facing multiple lawsuits for this practice.”

HotelPlanner.com, the largest group hotel booking site in the world, was called the “go-to site” for travel planners by The New York Times.

Complaint Against Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Instagram

Just recently, Larry Klayman who is the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch and former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor, announced filing a class action lawsuit which alleges social media giants such as Google/YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Instagram conspired by entering into an explicit or tacit agreement, in parallel to each other, to restrain trade in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. See Freedom Watch v. Google/YouTube et. al (Civil Action Number 18-cv-2030, U.S. District Court for District of Columbia).

Complaint alleges intent and effect of this agreement in restraint of trade is to quash and/or limit advocacy by conservatives and pro-Trump pubic interest groups, advocates, and others to further leftist anti-conservative agendas of these social media giants and help bring down the Trump presidency, nullifying the vote for the president by millions of citizens. These alleged illegal and anticompetitive actions are an integral part of the so-called “resistance” to remove President Trump and install a leftist government over the 50 states.

The class action complain can be found here.

The complaint is first of its kind in the wake of mourning proof that social media giants are illegally restricting free speech of conservatives, and promoting free speech from leftist sources such as CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and others.

“Our inert and compromised Attorney General Jeff Sessions is unwilling to take strong action through his Antitrust Division as he has become the darling of the left given his refusal to prosecute Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, prominent Democrats and others who have allegedly committed crimes, while giving Robert Mueller carte blanche to proceed with his ‘witch hunt,” says Klayman.

“Freedom Watch seeks to right this discrimination against conservatives by social media giants. Our complaint asks for injunctive relief and over a billion dollars in damages, including punitive damages, pales in comparison to what the Commission of the European Union has already levied against such social media giants as Google for alleged ruthless tactics in stifling competition.”

For more information, contact daj142182@gmail.com: (4240 274-2579.

Media contact: Adrienne Mazzone

SOURCE: Freedom Watch