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Archive for September, 2017

American sniper’s wife Taya Kyle: An open letter to the NFL

Editor’s note: The following column originally appeared  on Facebook on September 26. Since it was posted to Facebook it has received more than 6,000 shares and more than 1,000 comments. Taya Kyle is a Fox News contributor and the author of “American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith and Renewal.” Visit Taya Kyle’s official Facebook page — Taya Kyle American Wife

Dear NFL,

You were doing your part to bring people together and heal the world. That’s really how healing works. We heal by loving each other and leading by example; showing people what is possible when we love each other just as we are and not only recognize our differences but celebrate them and look at how we can use them together to make us jointly better than our separate parts. You were doing your part celebrating each other based on skills, talent and a joint vision without regard to color and religion.

You were doing your part and we were doing ours. We showed up cheering and groaning together to as one. We talked in the concession lines and commiserated and celebrated our team together. Did it ever occur to you that you and we were already a mix of backgrounds, races and religions? We were already living the dream you want, right in front of you.

Your desire to focus on division and anger has shattered what many people loved most about the sport. Football was really a metaphor for our ideal world — different backgrounds, talents, political beliefs and histories as one big team with one big goal — to do well, to win, TOGETHER.

Your desire to focus on division and anger has shattered what many people loved most about the sport. Football was really a metaphor for our ideal world — different backgrounds, talents, political beliefs and histories as one big team with one big goal — to do well, to win, TOGETHER.

You are asking us to abandon what we loved about togetherness and make choices of division. Will we stand with you? Will we stand with our flag? What does it mean? What does it mean if we buy a ticket or NFL gear? What does it mean if we don’t? It is the polar opposite of the easy togetherness we once loved in football.

It was simple – we loved you and you loved us – with all of our races, religions, different backgrounds and politics. Simplicity in a crazy world was pretty awesome.

You dear NFL, have taken that. You have lost me here.

If you ever want to get off your knees and get to work on building bridges, let me know. I have found screaming about the problems in service marriages or even standing in silence in front of them, hasn’t healed even one of them.

On the other hand, funding the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, building a team and rolling up my sleeves to get in the trenches during my “off time” — volunteering there outside of my paying jobs — has proven to make real change.

You have a lot of strong guys, I am sure in the off season a lot of them could build some pretty big bridges if they care enough to do the hard work. That would involve getting off their knees and getting to work though. If I can do it while I raise two kids as their only parent and work through the greatest pain of my life, let’s see if they can do it for the issues they say they care so much about.

Go Longhorns and Sic ‘Em …

Sincerely,

Taya

 

Taya Kyle is co-author of “American Wife: Love, War, Faith and Renewal” (William Morrow, May 2015) founded the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation in honor of her late husband Chris Kyle, legendary U.S. Navy SEAL and author of the bestsellers “American Sniper” and “American Gun.” The foundation is devoted to strengthening the marriages of veterans and first responders. An active public speaker, Taya Kyle makes frequent appearances at fund-raisers and other events, inspiring others to find strength and persevere through struggles. She and her two children live in Texas.

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SALE OF BAMBECO, INC. 

Gerbsman Partners (www.gerbsmanpartners.com) has been retained by Bambeco, Inc. (www.bambeco.com) to solicit interest for the acquisition of all, or substantially all, Bambeco Inc.’s (“Bambeco”) assets. 

Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, Bambeco is the leader in sustainable and socially responsible home décor and furnishings in the Unites States. Founded in 2009, Bambeco is a private, Maryland-based, growth stage sustainable home goods company. Over the past 9 years, Bambeco has raised approximately $31mm in equity and debt from leading venture capital firms including ABS Capital, New Atlantic Ventures and NOVUS Capital.  Please see detail “Executive Summary”, Bambeco NDA and Schedule of Trademarks and Patents attached.

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE:
The information in this memorandum does not constitute the whole or any part of an offer or a contract.

The information contained in this memorandum relating to Bambeco’s Assets has been supplied by Bambeco. It has not been independently investigated or verified by Gerbsman Partners or their respective agents.
Potential purchasers should not rely on any information contained in this memorandum or provided by Gerbsman Partners (or their respective staff, agents, and attorneys) in connection herewith, whether transmitted orally or in writing as a statement, opinion, or representation of fact. Interested parties should satisfy themselves through independent investigations as they or their legal and financial advisors see fit.


Gerbsman Partners, and their respective staff, agents, and attorneys, (i) disclaim any and all implied warranties concerning the truth, accuracy, and completeness of any information provided in connection herewith and (ii) do not accept liability for the information, including that contained in this memorandum, whether that liability arises by reasons of Bambeco’ or Gerbsman Partners’ negligence or otherwise. 

Any sale of the Bambeco Assets will be made on an “as-is,” “where-is,” and “with all faults” basis, without any warranties, representations, or guarantees, either express or implied, of any kind, nature, or type whatsoever from, or on behalf of Bambeco and Gerbsman Partners. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Bambeco and Gerbsman Partners and their respective staff, agents, and attorneys, hereby expressly disclaim any and all implied warranties concerning the condition of the Bambeco Assets and any portions thereof, including, but not limited to, environmental conditions, compliance with any government regulations or requirements, the implied warranties of habitability, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose.

This memorandum contains confidential information and is not to be supplied to any person without Gerbsman Partners’ prior consent. This memorandum and the information contained herein are subject to the non-disclosure agreement attached hereto as Exhibit A.

Bambeco believes its assets are attractive for a number of reasons:

  1.  Market leader in a fast growing $31B (by 2020) sustainable home décor and furniture market.
  2.  Intellectual Property – proprietary product design and sourcing platform and network of 360+ vetted factories around the globe (27 countries) that can produce home furnishings and furniture products with stringent environmental and people standards.  The standards reduce carbon emissions and water while eliminating toxic chemicals and metals.
  3.  Significant dollars invested into the conception, design and development of sustainable products for all home décor and furniture categories, product lines and material types.  The company will continue to innovate; however, research and development and design costs for all key categories have been invested and the company’s only product costs are related to seasonal product and design refreshes and future innovation.
  4. $750K invested in SAP Hybris B2C and B2B omni-channel POS, CMS, and WMS platforms to enable best-in-class home décor and furnishings shopping experience, seamless expansions across markets and countries. Supply chain and sourcing network tapping less than 1% of its overall combined capacity and highly scalable.
  5.  Clear customer profile of the sustainable and socially responsible customer and a customer file of loyal buyers (repeat rate 55%+).  132MM sustainable and socially responsible consumers in the US spanning GenX, Millennials and Boomers
  6.  A fast growing Millennial segment, which cares about socially responsible and sustainable brands, is the largest home buyer in the US real estate market.  The segment has grown more than 170% in the Bambeco file over the past two years.
  7.  Vertically integrated supply chain executing stringent environmental and people standards that can produce authentic sustainable products with 75%+ margins.
  8.  Large strategic B2B customers:  Costco, Total Wine, Whole Foods, The Home Depot and more featuring Bambeco shop-in-shops showcasing the brand in the market.  Bambeco is in 1600 retail doors, hotels and restaurants.
  9.  Experienced and innovative team with sustainable market know-how and a CEO & Founder (from Williams-Sonoma) that is the thought leader in the sustainable home goods sector and in sustainability and climate change
  10. Blueprint for achieving first net neutral home goods retail company. The Company is on track to achieve this by 2020.
  11. Partnerships to deliver CarbonFree to the customers’ doors across the US.
  12. Certifications from Forest Stewardship Counsel (FSC), OEKO-TEX and Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS).
  13. Strategic relationships with press, environmental organizations, and celebrities.
  14. Net Revenue since inception is $20.4MM, FY16 $5MM, and as of Aug 31st$4MM in FY17 (fiscal year ends January 31, 2018, 45% annual revenue occurs in Q4).

Bambeco Company Profile

Founded in 2009, Bambeco is a private, Maryland-based, growth stage sustainable home goods company. Over the past 9 years, Bambeco has raised approximately $31mm in equity and debt from leading venture capital firms including ABS Capital, New Atlantic Ventures and NOVUS Capital.

Bambeco is a leader in designing and developing innovative, sustainable home décor and furnishings with reduced carbon footprint and water and elimination of toxicity to allow consumers to live their environmental values and create a healthier home.

In 2016 at Climate Week in New York City, Bambeco announced its commitment to become carbon neutral by 2020, making the company the first carbon neutral home goods retailer in the world. Bambeco was accompanied by General Electric, Phillips. Bank of America, and Apple in this announcement at the event attended by world leaders – business and government. The company has been executing a carbon neutrality blueprint since being founded by Aplin in 2009.  She and Bambeco serve as a market leader and driver pushing the retail industry to change its practices to produce and deliver products with less of an impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gases, water usage, and eliminating toxic chemicals and production methods.

Bambeco has set the sustainability standards bar for the home décor and furnishings industry.  The company has achieved certifications from the top three organizations that govern responsible forestation and organic and toxic free textiles. The remaining home décor and furnishings categories lack third party certifications. Bambeco has developed those standards and a supply chain that can meet those standards across the remaining product types and categories and the company continues to innovate.  Today, all of the company’s wood products come from FSC or “good wood” sources (e.g. reclaimed barn wood, responsibly harvest highly renewable woods); glassware made from recycled soda bottles; textiles from certified organic and natural fibers without pesticides and reduced water; dinnerware made from natural minerals and biomass from previous production with toxic free dyes and glazes; and outdoor furniture made from recycled detergent bottles. Bambeco is a product innovator that has reimagined every home décor and furniture product, delivery method, packaging, business practice, consumer engagement, and company culture through the lens of sustainability and social responsibility. The company’s mission is to Change the World…One Room at a Time.

The company designs and produces home products for all rooms in the house, as well as products made for outdoor living.  Our more than 4,000 products are made by more than 10,000 fair wage and safe workers around the world.

Sustainable Home Goods Market

The sustainable home goods market opportunity is estimated to be $31B by 2020.  The rapid growth is fueled by a growing consumer demand for socially responsible high quality products that are made with less of an impact on the planet and fair and safe wage employee practices by authentic brands.  Today, there are 132 million socially responsible, sustainable consumers in the United States (58MM Millennials, 32MM GenX and 42MM Boomers).

  • Recent accelerated growth is being fueled by the large eco-conscious millennial consumer segment.  The millennial household formations continue to grow, representing 35% of all new home buyers. Millennials will be 46% of the workplace in 2020.
  • Passionate GenX and Boomer segments, inspired to leave the world in a better place and concerned by chemicals and toxins found in traditional home goods products, continue to see an expansion in discretionary spending and prioritize a more sustainable lifestyle.

Sustainable home décor and furnishings consumers are inspired by sustainable living across other aspects of their lives (sustainably focused hotel lodging, organic and natural groceries, hybrid/electric/green diesel autos, natural body products and cleaning supplies, etc).  These consumers report that sustainability is the first or second filter used in all purchase decisions and 40% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods.

The sustainable home goods market is fragmented and underserved today with limited and targeted product lines sold across retailers and small mom and pop stores.  Bambeco is the only home brand fully dedicated to selling only sustainable home goods and a trusted product offering across all home categories. 

Bambeco’s Assets

Bambeco has developed a portfolio of assets critical to the sustainable home décor and furnishings market. These assets fall into a variety of categories, including:

  1.  Recognized authentic and credible sustainable brand in the market
  2.  Intellectual Property and Technology platforms:  IMPACT sourcing platform, omni-channel POS, content management and warehouse management platform, and ERP and B2B order processing system
  3.  Vetted Factory Network of 360 Factories
  4.  Inventory in the categories:  Kitchen and Tabletop, Furniture, Bedding, Bath, Outdoor, Home Décor & Accessories, and Gifts
  5.  Patents, Patent Applications, Copyrights and Trademarks
  6.  Sustainable Product Designs and Ingredients
  7.  Customer File and Profile of the Sustainable Customer
  8.  Warehousing Storage and Processing Equipment
  9.  Strategic Accounts and additional $1.3 million in Purchase Orders from Costco, Whole Foods, and Total Wine in-house
  10.  B2C and B2B Revenue
  11. .Intellectual Capital and Premium Brand and Home Industries Expertise (from company’s such as, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Gap, Hallmark, Red Envelope, and TravelSmith) and Sustainability Expertise as the pioneer and leader of the Sustainable Home Goods market.

The assets of Bambeco will be sold in whole or in part (collectively, the “Bambeco Assets”). The sale of these assets is being conducted with the cooperation of Bambeco. Bambeco and its employees will be available to assist purchasers with due diligence and a prompt, efficient transition to new ownership. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Bambeco should not be contacted directly without the prior consent of Gerbsman Partners.

Revenue

Bambeco has two primary distribution channels today:  B2C (ecommerce) and B2B (retail, restaurant, and hotel customers).  The direct-to-consumer channel and the wholesale (SiS:  shop-in-shop) channels have continued to grow year-over-year.   FY17 includes 8 months of actual sales (fiscal year ends January 31,2018 and 45% of sales occur in Q4.

Key Personnel –

Susan Aplin — CEO & Founder:  Formerly head of Direct-to-Consumer at Williams-Sonoma with over 25 years of retail and ecommerce industry experience.  Held management roles at Gap, The Sports Authority and Staples.

Deborah Baldini — Chief Brand Officer:  Formerly of Cambria Cove, Hallmark, Levis and Style Savvy.   30+ years in the retail and technology industries.

Brian Tsung — Chief Marketing Officer & Head of Direct to Consumer:  Formerly of TravelSmith, Williams-Sonoma / Pottery Barn, Red Envelope and Hallmark.   25+ years of marketing and ecommerce retail and director-to-consumer experience.

Sol Garay — Chief Merchandising Officer:  Formerly of Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Gap, Proctor & Gamble, and S.C. Johnson Wax.  20+ years of product management experience.

Carolyn Wapnick – Chief Sustainability Officer:  Formerly of Live Elements, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Cable in the Classroom and VMS.  25 years of creating social and educational platforms.

Colleen Wood – Chief People Officer:  Formerly of SVP of HR at Living Social.  Held management HR roles at Attachmate Group and EDS. 15+ years of HR management experience.

 

Bambeco, Inc. Board of Directors-

Susan Aplin, Chairman of the Board: Baltimore, MD

Cal Wheaton:  ABS Capital – Baltimore, MD

Thanasis Delistathis: New Atlantic Ventures – Reston, VA

Catherine Levene: Former digital media and ecommerce CEO – New York, NY

The Bidding Process for Interested Buyers

Interested and qualified parties will be expected to sign a nondisclosure agreement (attached hereto as Exhibit A) to have access to key members of the management and intellectual capital teams and the due diligence “war room” documentation (the “Due Diligence Access”). Each interested party, as a consequence of the Due Diligence Access granted to it, shall be deemed to acknowledge and represent (i) that it is bound by the bidding procedures described herein; (ii) that it has an opportunity to inspect and examine the Bambeco Assets and to review all pertinent documents and information with respect thereto; (iii) that it is not relying upon any written or oral statements, representations, or warranties of Gerbsman Partners, or their respective staff, agents, or attorneys; and (iv) all such documents and reports have been provided solely for the convenience of the interested party, and Gerbsman Partners (and their respective, staff, agents, or attorneys) do not make any representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the same.  

Following an initial round of due diligence, interested parties will be invited to participate with a sealed bid, for the acquisition of the Bambeco Assets. Sealed bids must be submitted so that the bid is actually received by Gerbsman Partners no later than Thursday, October 25, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (the “Bid Deadline”) at Bambecos’ office, located at 3430 Second Street, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21225.  Please also email steve@gerbsmanpartners.com with any bid.

Bids should identify those assets being tendered for in a specific and identifiable way. The attached Bambeco fixed asset list may not be complete and Bidders interested in the Bambeco must submit a separate bid for such assets. Be specific as to the assets desired. 

Any person or other entity making a bid must be prepared to provide independent confirmation that they possess the financial resources to complete the purchase where applicable. All bids must be accompanied by a refundable deposit check in the amount of $200,000 (payable to Bambeco, Inc.). Information on where to send the refundable depoist will be sent in a later update.  The winning bidder will be notified within 3 business days after the Bid Deadline. Non-successful bidders will have their deposit returned to them. Bambeco reserves the right to, in its sole discretion, accept or reject any bid, or withdraw any or all assets from sale.

Bambeco will require the successful bidder to close within 7 business days.  Any or all of the assets of Bambeco will be sold on an “as is, where is” basis, with no representation or warranties whatsoever.

All sales, transfer, and recording taxes, stamp taxes, or similar taxes, if any, relating to the sale of the Bambeco Assets shall be the sole responsibility of the successful bidder and shall be paid to Bambeco at the closing of each transaction.

For additional information, please see below and/or contact: 

Steven R. Gerbsman                                                                                               

(415) 456-0628                                                           

steve@gerbsmanpartners.com                                

 

Kenneth Hardesty

(408) 591-7528

ken@gerbsmanpartners.com

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Here’s everything Apple announced at its big iPhone launch event

Tim Cook Apple event iPhone XApple CEO Tim Cook and design chief Jony Ive display the new iPhone X.Justin Sullivan/Getty

Apple unveiled not one, but three new iPhones at its hardware event on Tuesday.

The iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus join a slew of new products and services from Apple, many of which are set to roll out as early as this Friday.

Along with the new phones, Apple announced its first foray into wireless charging, new facial-recognition technology, and a 4K Apple TV. Plus, Apple finally added a cellular connection to its new Apple Watch Series 3.

Here are all the things Apple announced at Tuesday’s event

Apple announced its latest and greatest iPhone, the iPhone X.

Apple announced its latest and greatest iPhone, the iPhone X.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

The new iPhone X — pronounced “iPhone ten” — features a strikingly different design from its predecessors like the iPhone 7. It has a 5.8-inch screen that Apple calls a “Super Retina Display,” which utilizes a superior screen technology called OLED. The iPhone X comes in just two colors for now: black, and white.

You can preorder the iPhone X on October 27. It ships on November 3, and has a starting price of $999 for 64GB of storage.

There are also two more new iPhones: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

There are also two more new iPhones: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Apple

Like its predecessor the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 comes in two varieties: a standard 4.7-inch model, and a larger 5.5-inch “Plus” model. Apple is offering the two iPhone 8 models in three colors: silver, matte black, and a new gold color. Both the iPhone 8 and the 8 Plus have a glass back and both support the Qi wireless charging standard.

The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus start at $699 and arrive on September 22.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is Apple’s third-generation smartwatch.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is Apple's third-generation smartwatch.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Apple Watch Series 3 is the first Apple Watch, and the first Watch with cellular built in. The watch can make and receive calls allowing you to leave your phone at home, and will have the same number as your iPhone. The new watch comes in three colors: a new gold aluminum finish, silver, and space gray.

Apple Watch Series 3 will be available to order on Friday and will start at $329 — the watch with cellular will cost $399. It will be available a week later, on September 22.

Apple is launching its own heart rate study for Apple Watch users.

Apple is launching its own heart rate study for Apple Watch users.

Apple

The new Apple Watch Series 3 will feature an enhanced heart rate app, watch will notify you when it detects an elevated heart rate specifically when you’re not active. The sensor will also be able to analyze heart rhythm, so Apple is launching the Apple Heart Study in partnership with Stanford University. The study will use data from Apple Watch to analyze cardiac arrhythmia and will be available on the App Store later this year.

There’s a new Apple TV that will stream video in ultra-sharp 4K resolution.

There's a new Apple TV that will stream video in ultra-sharp 4K resolution.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

The new Apple TV 4K will be able to stream 4K – or UHD (ultra high-definition) – resolution video, which is sharper than the full-HD 1080p resolution from previous Apple TV models. It will also support HDR (high dynamic range) to produce better colors and contrast between light and dark areas of a scene.

The Apple TV 4K will be able to stream live video, like sports, in 4K HDR from Apple TV apps. It will be available to buy for $179 and you can pre-order it starting on September 15 — it ships a week later.

Apple made its first wireless charging pad called AirPower.

Apple made its first wireless charging pad called AirPower.

Apple

AirPower is a wireless charging pad that will be large and powerful enough to charge your new iPhone — either the new iPhone 8 or the high-end iPhone X — as well as your Apple Watch Series 3 and AirPods at the same time.

Unfortunately, it sounds like AirPower won’t arrive until 2018. Apple must first work with the regulatory committee that oversees the Qi wireless charging standard to implement a new standard it developed for AirPower. Apple didn’t say how much AirPower would cost or when it will be available.

iOS 11 will arrive on your iPhone and iPad September 19.

iOS 11 will arrive on your iPhone and iPad September 19.

Apple

Apple’s smartphone operating system, iOS 11, will arrive on phones September 19. The new OS features person-to-person payments in Apple Pay, a refreshed Control Center, a revamped Apple Maps, support for augmented reality (AR) applications, and much more.

Apple’s smartwatch operating system, WatchOS 4, will also launch on the September 19.

MacOS High Sierra will be available to download on September 25.

MacOS High Sierra will be available to download on September 25.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Apple’s latest operating system for Mac laptops and desktops, MacOS High Sierra, will be available to download on Monday, September 25.

MacOS High Sierra will include “Autoplay Blocking,” which stops media from autoplaying across the internet; an improved Photos app; an overhauled core file system, support for high-end virtual reality; and more.

There’s a new system to unlock your iPhone X called FaceID.

There's a new system to unlock your iPhone X called FaceID.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Face ID is the new way to unlock your phone on the iPhone X. Face ID replaces Touch ID, which scans your fingerprint to unlock the iPhone. Since the new iPhone X doesn’t have a physical home button or a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, Face ID will be the only way to securely lock and unlock the iPhone X.

Apple says Face ID will be able to handle and recognize any changes to your face, like beards, different haircuts, and putting on or taking off glasses and hats. And the technology will recognize your face in the day and night time.

Animoji are animated emojis you can control with your face.

Animoji are animated emojis you can control with your face.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Animoji use Apple’s new facial recognition software to turn you into animated emojis that can make facial expressions and talk. There are a dozen different Animojis, including the monkey, panda, alien, and fox.

Changes are coming to Apple’s retail stores.

Changes are coming to Apple's retail stores.

Chris Hondros/Getty

Apple’s most famous store design feature will return late next year: The “cube” on 5th Avenue in New York City. Apple will open up its surrounding plaza and let light into the underground store. Apple is also opening a new flagship store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

Apple’s retail boss Angela Ahrendts also announced another feature coming to Apple stores called “Today at Apple,” which gives customers tips for their devices, such as how to take great photos with photo walks around the town. There are also classes where people can learn to code and teachers can learn about the latest education apps.

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Apple and Stanford team up to study how Apple Watch might detect stroke condition

Chances are, you’re probably not wearing a dedicated heart monitor capable of measuring abnormal heart rhythms. If you have an Apple Watch, you just might be.

Apple Inc. is partnering with researchers at Stanford Hospital and Boston-based telemedicine vendor American Well to launch a new study into whether the Apple Watch can accurately detect irregular heartbeats, which can be a precursor to strokes, CNBC reports, citing two unnamed sources.

One of Apple’s goals with the Apple Watch was “performing some measurements of your health that people were not measuring, at least continually,” CEO Tim Cook told Fortune in an interview published this week. “Like your heart. Very few people wore heart monitors. We’re extremely interested in this area. And yes it is a business opportunity.”

Earlier this year, San Francisco-based startup Cardiogram gathered 139 million heart rate measurements from 6,158 Apple Watch users and found they were able to detect irregular heartbeats with 97 percent accuracy.

Apple has a vested interest in turning the Apple Watch from a nice-to-have fitness gadget into a must-have health monitoring wearable. On an earnings call in August, Cook said Apple Watch sales had grown 50 percent year-over-year, but declined to provide specific numbers.

The company is also reportedly pursuing the “holy grail” of life sciences— a noninvasive blood-sugar monitor to help those suffering from diabetes. Apple reportedly has hired at least 30 biomedical engineers to work on the glucose monitoring task.

In June, Apple hired Sumbul Desai, the executive director of Stanford Medicine’s center for digital health, to help lead the company’s Health division. Part of Desai’s work at Stanford centered around the Apple Watch and how its sensors could be used to detect specific health conditions.

Apple and health insurer Aetna have also reportedly held secret meetings in an effort to bring the Apple Watch to Aetna’s more than 23 million customers, an initiative that could launch next year. Such a partnership would be another way for Apple to make its Watch a “must own” for consumers.

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Dedicated to the men, women and children
who lost their lives; those brave people who gave their lives
And the Heroes that responded to the emergency
11 September 2001
http://attacked911.tripod.com/

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Google has upgraded its Street View cameras for the first time in 8 years — and the implications are worrying

Google Street View Car A Google Street View car. Flickr / Sancho McCann

You’re about to see a lot more on Google Street View — and Street View’s about to see a lot more of you.

Google has upgraded the cameras for its mapping service for the first time in eight years to capture sharper images with more detail.

According to a profile in Wired, the new cameras are so sharp they might be able to see a store’s hours from a sign. And they’re feeding all that granular data back to Google’s machine-learning algorithms.

Like their predecessors, the new cameras will sit atop Google-branded cars, capturing information about the world and taking still, HD images on either side.

Better imagery should mean a more useful service. The head of Google’s mapping division, Jen Fitzpatrick, says people no longer search just for their addresses on Google Street View.

“People are coming to us every day with harder and deeper questions,” she told Wired, such as, “What’s a Thai place open now that does delivery to my address?”

Google has already invested huge amounts into artificial intelligence and machine learning, and it’s using that technology to scan Street View data to answer conversational queries.

Eventually, Fitzpatrick wants Google to be able to answer people’s questions that are even more conversational, like what the pink building down the road is.

“These are questions we can only answer if we have richer and deeper information,” she said.

What is less obvious is what else Google can figure out from the new Street View data and how it might use the information.

Wired reports that a team of Stanford researchers — including Google’s chief scientist at its cloud division, Fei-Fei Li — found they could use Street View data to predict income, race, and voting patterns. The team used software that analysed the make, model, and year of cars from Street View photos.

At the time, the team said, “Using the classified motor vehicles in each neighborhood, we infer a wide range of demographic statistics, socioeconomic attributes, and political preferences of its residents.”

What could Google figure out with even more detailed data?

When Wired asked Google whether it had planned anything similar, a representative said the company was always looking for ways to use Street View data to improve its platforms — including beyond maps.

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