Amazon granted patent for surveillance drones service

first_imgA new patent shows how drones can keep an eye out on a home while making deliveries.  CNET For years, Amazon has shown off how it’ll use drones to deliver items to customers, and it’s even developed a super-quiet drone for neighborhood deliveries. The company has a new patent that’ll give these flying robots a second use: surveillance. Amazon received a patent for what it calls “Image creation using geo-fence data” from the US Patent and Trademark Office in early June. The application explains that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, could be used to provide a secondary service of checking on an individual’s property while the robots are out doing deliveries.Surveillance drones patent figureAn image from the Amazon patent shows how drones will deliver and provide surveillance. US Patent and Trademark Office/Amazon As part of this service, customers can receive images or videos from the drones overlooking the property. UAVs would only be allowed to record the property of the individuals who consented and not those of their neighbors. “We take customer privacy very seriously,” John Tagle, senior PR manager for Amazon, said in an email Friday. “Some reports have suggested that this technology would spy or gather data on homes without authorization — to be clear, that’s not what the patent says. The patent clearly states that it would be an opt-in service available to customers who authorize monitoring of their home.”One company you might think would be worried about this is Sunflower Labs, a startup developing home security drones. But Chief Executive Alex Pachikov says he’s happy with Amazon’s patent.”I am actually very excited to see this,” Pachikov said. “We’ve long believed that drones are ideally suited for security, and while Amazon’s approach is different from ours, we are happy to see this market validated.”Like many patents granted to tech companies, there’s no telling if this drone security service will actually see the light of day. So far, Amazon’s plans for drones and autonomous vehicles are for deliveries sometime in the future. CNET reporter Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.Originally published June 21, 7:50 a.m. PT.Update, 9:16 a.m. PT: Adds Amazon comment. Update, June 23: Adds comment from Sunflower Labs. Share your voice Tags Comments 5 Patents Amazon Drones Smart Home Security Security Cameraslast_img read more

Lynching Memorial and Museum in Alabama Draw Crowds Tears

first_imgBy BETH J. HARPAZ, AP Travel EditorTears and expressions of grief met the opening of the nation’s first memorial to the victims of lynching April 26 in Alabama.Hundreds lined up in the rain to get a first look at the memorial and museum in Montgomery.The National Memorial for Peace and Justice commemorates 4,400 Black people who were slain in lynchings and other racial killings between 1877 and 1950. Their names, where known, are engraved on 800 dark, rectangular steel columns, one for each U.S. county where lynchings occurred.This photo shows a bronze statue called “Raise Up,” part of the display at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a new memorial to honor thousands of people killed in lynchings, launched April 26 in Montgomery, Ala. The memorial and an accompanying museum that open this week in Montgomery are a project of the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative, a legal advocacy group in Montgomery. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)A related museum, called The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, is opening in Montgomery.Many visitors shed tears and stared intently at the commemorative columns, many of which are suspended in the air from above.Toni Battle drove from San Francisco to attend. “I’m a descendant of three lynching victims,” Battle said, her face wet with tears. “I wanted to come and honor them and also those in my family that couldn’t be here.”Ava DuVernay, the Oscar-nominated film director, told several thousand people at a conference marking the memorial launch to “to be evangelists and say what you saw and what you experienced here. … Every American who believes in justice and dignity must come here … Don’t just leave feeling like, ‘That was amazing. I cried.’ … Go out and tell what you saw.”As for her own reaction, DuVernay said: “This place has scratched a scab. It’s really open for me right now.”Angel Smith Dixon, who is biracial, came from Lawrenceville, Ga., to see the memorial.“We’re publicly grieving this atrocity for the first time as a nation. … You can’t grieve something you can’t see, something you don’t acknowledge. Part of the healing process, the first step is to acknowledge it.”Part of a statue depicting chained people is on display at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a new memorial to honor thousands of people killed in racist lynchings. The national memorial aims to teach about America’s past in hope of promoting understanding and healing. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a longtime civil rights activist, told reporters after visiting the memorial that it would help to dispel America’s silence on lynching.“Whites wouldn’t talk about it because of shame. Blacks wouldn’t talk about it because of fear,” he said.The crowd included White and Black visitors. Mary Ann Braubach, who is White, came from Los Angeles to attend. “As an American, I feel this is a past we have to confront,” she said as she choked back tears.DuVernay, Jackson, playwright Anna Deavere Smith, the singing group Sweet Honey in the Rock, Congressman John Lewis and other activists and artists spoke and performed at an opening ceremony Thursday night that was by turns somber and celebratory.Among those introduced and cheered with standing ovations were activists from the 1950s Montgomery bus boycott, Freedom Rider Bernard Lafayette, and one of the original Little Rock Nine, Elizabeth Eckford.“There are forces in America today trying to take us back,” Lewis said, adding, “We’re not going back. We’re going forward with this museum.”Singer Patti Labelle ended the evening with a soulful rendition of “A Change is Gonna Come.”Other launch events include a “Peace and Justice Summit” featuring celebrities and activists like Marian Wright Edelman and Gloria Steinem in addition to DuVernay.The summit, museum and memorial are projects of the Equal Justice Initiative, a Montgomery-based legal advocacy group founded by attorney Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson won a MacArthur “genius” award for his human rights work.The group bills the project as “the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.”Several thousand people gave Stevenson a two-minute standing ovation at a morning session of the Peace and Justice Summit. Later in the day, Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, urged the audience to continue their activism beyond the day’s events on issues like ending child poverty and gun violence: “Don’t come here and celebrate the museum … when we’re letting things happen on an even greater scale.”last_img read more

The 7 Pieces of a Successful SEO Starter Kit

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Okay, so you’re interested in search engine optimization (SEO), but like most newcomers, you’re intimidated by the perceived complexity of the field. To be sure, there are hundreds of independent variables that collectively bear an impact on your site’s rankings and search engine visibility.Related: 6 Essential SEO Strategies to Incorporate in 2016And, learning how to master all of them is a process that takes years of experience and practice.However, you don’t need a huge budget or years of experience to get started with SEO. Dominating the top rankings for general keywords related to your brand may be out of your reach, but even a slight investment in SEO can help your business earn more traffic and visibility.To get started, you’ll need these seven basic components of a starter SEO campaign:1. A website with a good SEO pluginFirst, you need a decent website, and if this one is your first effort, and/or you want to keep things simple, it’s in your best interest to use a website builder like WordPress. In fact, this and most other website builder tools are inexpensive and easy to use; and, importantly, they come automatically equipped to handle basic SEO fundamentals.For example, they’ll be coded in a way that’s neat, clean and easy to crawl, and they’ll be responsive, so you needn’t worry about a separate strategy for mobile optimization. You may also want to consider a separate SEO plugin, which can help you with technical tasks like optimizing title tags and meta descriptions, and pinpointing the keyword density of your various pages.2. A carefully chosen nicheNext, you’ll want to define your niche and target a list of carefully chosen keywords. If you go too general, you’ll end up competing with businesses that have a much bigger budget and a longer history of development. Instead, it’s better to focus on a highly specific niche that’s relevant only to your customers.At that juncture, you’ll need to conduct some keyword research. You don’t need to get fancy here; just target a mix of basic “head” keywords and extended “long-tail” keywords, and aim for terms with high volume and low competition ratings.3. An on-site overhaul.Next, you’ll need to optimize your site directly. It’s true that your website builder will set you up with some fundamentals, but you’ll still need to add your own content.Organize your pages into categories and subcategories, including page titles that contain some of your target keywords. Make sure every page of your site contains at least several hundred words of helpful, well-written, relevant content; and optimize all your title tags and meta descriptions while you’re at it.Related: 5 SEO Techniques You’re Doing All Wrong4. A regular blogI’d argue that the most important thing for a new SEO strategy to take off is a high-quality, regular content-marketing campaign. Aim to produce at least two new posts every week, covering topics that are relevant to your readers, and providing detailed, helpful information that your competitors haven’t already covered.Originality, practicality and aesthetic value all matter here, so spend some time refining your strategy and stick to your editorial calendar. You’ll also want to include a blend of mediums, including images and videos, if you can.5. An off-site publication schedule.Aside from on-site optimization and content marketing, the most important element of your strategy is your link building campaign — otherwise known as off-site optimization. The quality and quantity of links you have pointing to your domain determines your overall authority, which in turn determines where you rank for various search queries.However, you can’t just spam off-site links — nor would you want to. Instead, focus on writing valuable content for external publishers, establishing your author profile and your expertise simultaneously. Usually, you’ll earn at least one link back to your site, and over time, you’ll develop your authority so you can rank higher.6. Integrated social mediaContrary to popular belief, social media doesn’t have a direct relationship with your search rankings. However, it can have an indirect bearing on the success of your SEO campaign. So, flesh out your profiles and regularly promote your latest content; you’ll earn more shares and links to those blog posts, which can boost your search visibility.Additionally, you’ll earn more followers, which can become an additional stream of traffic to your site (and a good way to get your foot in the door with more publishers since it establishes your credibility).7. A good reporting strategyFinally, you’ll need some way to measure your effectiveness (so you can determine what changes you need to make to your strategy). A good starter tool for this is Google Analytics, which will allow you to measure your “organic traffic” — meaning the amount of traffic you’re generating naturally through search engines. Ideally, this will grow over time.Implementing these seven “starter kit” items won’t let you tap your business’s full online marketing potential, but they can and will get you started on the right path. With a decent infrastructure in place, including a baseline domain authority score, your subsequent investments will become even more valuable.Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO ConsultantWhen you’re ready to scale your strategy, consider hiring a professional SEO agency or a highly skilled independent contractor. Or invest in your own training and education to see better results. June 1, 2017 5 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

Why Silicon Valley Uses Multiple Computer Displays and Why You Should Too

first_img Register Now » Walk into any fast-paced startup or high-powered tech company in Silicon Valley and you’ll see a lot of things that might not be traditional for a workplace. Unorthodox decorations, strange lighting and open floor plans will be the order of the day. Yet while tech company environments may be one-of-a-kind when it comes to snack bars and ping pong tables, one thing all seem to share are multiple computer displays for their computing needs.Related: Why Two Monitors Are More Productive Than OneUsing more than one monitor, in this way, has a long history. Banks of displays have their role everywhere from business to the realms of science fiction. It’s only relatively recently, however, that home and business computing has reached a point where it’s cheap enough — and computers are powerful enough — to run multiple monitors without extra internal hardware.Take a tour of any high-powered tech company, and other businesses, and you’ll see monitors everywhere. Microsoft workstations have two to three screens on average, and, often, large projectors. Even small, agile startups have docks for netbooks with additional monitors.So, what’s significant about that? you might ask. Well, using more than one display benefits anyone with a lot of work to do (read: entrepreneurs). Sure, this scenario might not be ideal for everyone, but it’s worth trying out for the following reasons:Convenient data accessOne of the best benefits to using more than one monitor at a time is having the screen real estate necessary to show you everything you need to see at once. When you’re writing a blog post, you can have a word processor and two to three browser windows open to access research, tools and references all at once. You don’t have to waste time tabbing and scrolling, trying to remember where a particular detail is. You just have them all on hand!The same goes for other forms of data access. Someone in a programming field can could have code references up in one window, the current project in another, a database query result in another and the tools necessary to compile whatever’s needed squirreled away in a corner. Nothing is buried, nothing is hidden; it’s all right there and easy to access.Part and parcel with data access is a reduction in errors. It’s easy to mix up numbers or introduce typos when translating data from one window to another, but when both are visible on screen at the same time, verification becomes easier.Active monitoringSome of us work in positions where a quick response time is crucial. A customer service or sales rep might want to jump on the chance to follow up on a new contact, so having an email window open at one end of a screen is a great benefit.  An IT worker might want server-health monitors or other displays visible, to spot a sporadic problem while at work on another task.What a second monitor — or a third, in some cases — provides is awareness. One screen can be devoted to a primary task, while a secondary screen to the side or above can serve as a window into information.  You can simply glance up or over to see how everything looks, rather than taking several moments to tab over or open an analytics window to check.You can also use part of a second monitor for certain productivity apps. Pomodoro timers and similar task-management aids are great for this; you won’t necessarily be as startled by a sudden alarm when a timer starts counting down.Task prioritizationOne great benefit few people mention is the ability to prioritize tasks while using multiple monitors. It takes some self-discipline, but we all inherently choose one monitor, or even one position on a large monitor, as a primary location. Your current active task goes right in the middle, surrounded by additional windows necessary to perform that task, while the next item or two oin your to-do list takes up tertiary positions on other screens.Related: We Test It: The Portable LED MonitorSome people might find this distracting or feel they need to multitask on each visible project simultaneously. Personally, I find I can focus on one task while the next one percolates in the back of my mind.  Once I finish the primary task, my subconscious has already formulated a few ideas for getting started on the next one.Jon Peddie Research has performed studies in 2002, 2012, and 2017 about the productivity increases involved with multiple monitor usage. It’s found that usage has steadily increased, and that productivity among multi-monitor users is on average 42 percent higher than single monitor users.AlternativesUsing more than one monitor isn’t necessarily required to gain the above benefits. There are an increasing number of ultra-wide monitors hitting the market. One ultra-wide monitor can be more useful than multiple standard monitors. For one thing, there’s no gap between them: You can spread out your windows however you like. They’re also often curved, for a more natural display and reduced stain on the neck and the eyes.One drawback to an ultra-wide monitor is that most programs and websites are not designed with a huge horizontal distance in mind. This leads to a lot of fiddling with window- and app-positioning, and resizing. As an alternative, to skip this, use virtual desktops. You can organize different virtualized desktops for different tasks, and switch between them quickly and easily.DrawbacksUsing multiple monitors isn’t for everyone. It’s not a perfect system, and there are some people today switching back to single screens.  Admittedly, you do require a certain level of discipline to avoid distractions while using two or more screens. They can be a pain in the neck — literally — if they aren’t positioned properly. They do require an appropriate amount of space on a desk or in a cubicle; and getting a setup that’s comfortable is a matter of trial and error. There’s also an adjustment necessary if you frequently work with a laptop or tablet on the road, and dock it, or use a multi-screen setup in the office or at home.Related: Apple Is Reportedly Trying to Make its Own DisplaysEven so, I still highly recommend giving multiple screens a try. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. November 9, 2018 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 6 min readlast_img read more

Sandals Marriott sign deal for new 50 million hotel in Jamaica

first_imgSandals, Marriott sign deal for new $50 million hotel in Jamaica Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, January 24, 2017 KINGSTON — Sandals Resorts International has partnered with Marriott International to manage a new 220-room AC Hotels by Marriott property in Jamaica’s capital. Construction on the $50 million AC Kingston is now underway and the hotel is scheduled to open in winter 2019.According to reports, the hotel will include a 10,000 square foot conference centre and dining and retail space.Travellers are picking up on Kingston’s “renewed energy” and many are making Kingston their starting point before heading to their beach vacation, said Sandals CEO Adam Stewart. Sandals wants to make the new AC Kingston “a destination within a destination”, he said, adding that AC Hotels by Marriott “is the right brand to bring our vision to life.”center_img AC Hotels’ design DNA is European modernism, with sleek lines and muted colours. According to Marriott, AC Hotels is aimed at “a new kind of traveller – a creative, entrepreneurial and modern global traveller – who prefers to have fewer things, but expects them to be better than good.”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”There are now close to 100 AC Hotels properties throughout Europe, North America and Latin America. The new AC Kingston will be the first in the Caribbean. Tags: Marriott, Sandals Resorts Travelweek Group last_img read more