A group of high schoolers from Kansas City, Mo. are about to embark on a very special road trip, using a car fueled entirely by social media. (Yes, you heard that right.)
According to WKMG Local 6, teens involved in an after-school program called Minddrive -- a non-profit that inspires at-risk teens by focusing on electric car design -- took a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia from 1967 and made it into a car of the future.
After students restored the car and converted it to electric, Wired reports they used an Arduino -- a microcontroller device that makes it easier to program and automate interactive projects -- on the electric drivetrain of the car.
Learn more about their "social media car" in the the video above.
This allowed students to program the vehicle to their specific needs, and in this case, they engineered the car to be powered by social media interactions like hashtagging #MindDrive on Twitter and Instagram, liking their Facebook page and watching the video on YouTube. The car has essentially been programmed to move forward when this device recognizes any of these social media connections.
Now that they're done building the vehicle, the students are planning on testing out the car themselves by road tripping to Washington, D.C., and relying on social fuel to get there.
"Now, I decided I want to be an engineer," one student explained in the video. "This opens a lot of doors for my future."
When it comes to cars and technology, teens have been making especially groundbreaking discoveries recently. Ionut Budisteanu, a 19-year-old student from Romania, won first place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair on May 17 for inventing a self-driving car that is much less expensive than other existing models. The teen used artificial intelligence as a way to decrease self-driving car's technology cost.
"This is the purpose of mankind," Ionut said. "To create some inventions and to create some projects in order to help the entire population and the entire world."
Eesha Khare, an 18-year-old student from California, was also a finalist at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for creating a device that can charge a cell phone between 20 and 30 seconds.
The teen explained that since her phone battery always dies, so she wanted to invent a supercapacitor that acts as a energy storage device and can hold a great amount energy in a small amount of space. Eesha is using her $50,000 prize from the science fair toward her education at Harvard in the fall.
“I will be setting the world on fire,” she told CBS San Francisco.
Do these teens inspire you? Tell us in the comments or tweet at @HuffPostTeen.
By Tove K. Danovich
While discussing industrial animal agriculture in his book Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer wrote, "Cruelty depends on an understanding of cruelty, and the ability to choose against it. Or to choose to ignore it." For many people who read Safran Foer's book, deciding against cruelty has meant going around it, becoming vegetarian or even vegan. Yet there were many others who simply wanted to do things better.
For this latter group, the non-profit Farm Forward (where Safran Foer is a board member) is developing an application called BuyingPoultry.com. Currently in the process of raising funds through Kickstarter, this app is the answer for people who are willing to spend a little bit more for humanely raised products but are confused by the labels.
By inputting the company or farmer's name on an egg carton or cellophane-wrapped drumsticks, customers will be able to use the app to pull up welfare standards of the farm in question. Both a quick rating and more detailed information will be shown for customers to get as much or little information as they want.
Executive Director Ben Goldsmith got the idea for BuyingPoultry.com after being regularly approached by friends and family who wanted to know if they should buy cage free, free range, organic, or if any of it really made a difference. "People want to make the best choices they can. You'd have to read a book or really do some research to get a general sense of what's going on," he said.
Farm Forward recognized that while many people were willing to spend more, not everyone wanted to put in the time to read a library on animal agriculture in the United States. While Farm Forward advocates for change in industrialized farming conditions of all animals, they focused exclusively on poultry for this app. Not only are nine billion chickens raised for food each year, they're afforded no protection under the law.
The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, the only federal legislation protecting farm animals from slaughter, excludes chickens and turkeys entirely. This same lack of federal oversight applies to free range, organic, or pasture-raised birds. But, as Goldsmith said, "The truth is, more than 99 percent of poultry is coming from this system of what people call factory farms."
As the biggest wars are fought while making choices at the grocery store, this app -- similar to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program -- was designed to accompany customers as they push their carts through the aisles.
Though Farm Forward often does seem to lean toward a vegetarian ideal, they're willing to decrease consumption of factory farmed poultry by any methods necessary. "Farmers produce what consumers want," Goldsmith said, "if consumers are out there in large numbers saying that they'll spend a bit more for a product that is meaningfully more humane, farmers will do it. It's not that they can't; there just isn't a significant market."
For people who don't have access to animal products that are Certified Humane, Animal Welfare Approved, or raised by a local farmer, the app also will give customers the option to send a message -- right from their phones -- to the grocery store asking them to provide more options. BuyingPoultry.com will also allow customers to tell large producers to step up their standards or thank farmers for doing something right.
Goldsmith projects that the first version of the application should be ready within the next 12 months, subject to hiccups along the way. They've gotten support from consumers, advocates, retailers and producers. For many reasons and from many backgrounds, people are rallying to give consumers the information they need to choose the products they want.
"That's why we've moved forward and come this far," Goldsmith said. "No matter how good of a job we do producing BuyingPoultry.com, no matter how complete the listings, or how much money we can raise on Kickstarter, the success of this project will be determined by consumers. If the consumers want to change the way turkeys and chickens are treated and make a difference, they can use this app and we can accomplish a lot."
Four weeks ago I joined STEMconnector, 'The One Stop Shop' and powerhouse convener on all things STEM. An organization poised to move the needle on the big issues impacting our country and workforce.
I knew it would be a new career that builds on my 20 years in education teaching entrepreneurship nationally and globally to low-income youth. I was excited to jump in also as a woman in tech to leverage the mentoring of girls with our awesome team. What I didn't know or plan for was how many people would come up to my privately and say, 'Julie, I am so excited for you and want to hear about your new job... but if I am acting confuse ... tend to look dazed... what does STEM stand for? What does it mean?'
"Please don't be embarrassed," I said to my friend Leslie, who is a social media guru I want to help us. "No, it's not stem cell research or another Washington association acronym," I added with an understanding smile.
It stands for Science,Technology, Engineering and Math. At this point, everyone I speak to understands it is somehow about education, but here is why it's critically important to us all and especially our children NOW!:
Let's start with THE 'S' -- Science. Innovation. Inventions. Think of how they affect our life commercially: think Mac computers, think cancer research, retinal scans, machines underwater that are built by engineers using math and technology to monitor the ocean floor and predict tsunamis.
My daughter told me this morning that hates science. She is in a group of 5th graders on a project that she says bores her. My heart starts racing and then I reflect on a report we released with My College Options that showed that only 13 percent of high school seniors want to pursue STEM careers and that 71 percent of jobs require STEM skills. "Justine, can we get you into an Camp Invention this summer," she looked at the photos online of kids creating and building machines. "Now that sounds fun, Mom!" she said. She also shares that she enjoyed replicating the solar system with plastic bottles project in November.
Now moving to the 'T' -- Technology. computers, jobs, new cars that run without drivers, working for Microsoft, Cisco, Google or a hot new startup. The issue here is there are not a lot of available computersScience teachers who are trained in America's schools and often our kids know more about technology than we do. Most states don't require computer science in school and that's a big concern. Often computer science majors are lured quickly into the private sector and don't chose teaching as a career. I see this first hand at home. When Justine was 6, I bought her an iPod Touch and disabled Safari (internet access). Within an hour she was texting family members and called my mom... in Italy! She knew how to take this device that I assumed was for games only and turn it into a communications portal. The vast majority of jobs require technology and companies are hiring often overseas to get the talent they so desperately need. Especially the 'E's' engineers.
Engineers solve complicated problems and apply that learning and technology to building safe bridges that won't ice over, pacemakers, crutches, machinery, buildings that will withstand hurricane force winds, windshield wipers, etc.
Engineers use a lot of M, math, which is our global common language. Financials, how the world works around us. Using math as building blocks to solve complex data driven problems and understanding."
"Justine, tell me what you like about math," I asked before dropping her off at school. Her grades have really gone up in this area and I thought I'd get a better reaction than her science comment. "I liked when we got a million dollars to work with and figure out how we would improve the school. We went online and figured out what materials we would need to buy and how much it costs. We even got onto one site and found great new playground equipment for $20,000 but at another site it was $38,000," she said. Justine is a born entrepreneur with three companies so it made perfect sense that when she is talking about money, she is doing math and loving it.
So what does STEM got to do with it? Why should 'we the people' care about STEM? It ties to everything, education, skills and to where the jobs are and will be. It's fun! It's America's competitiveness; it's cures for cancer and the world's water crisis; immigration and making a home for the best and brightest to stay and build great new companies; the woman in Seattle who mentors a girl in 4-H to patent her idea or code; the amazing focus from the White House and President Obama to train 100,000 more STEM teachers; the next Sheryl Sandberg, inventor Madame CJ Walker, or Steve Jobs.
India has achieved remarkable economic success over the last 30 years. Once wed to closed-market, "small is beautiful" policies that severely curtailed growth, by the 1990s India had embraced the core tenets of economic liberalization and open trade. As a result, its once-meandering economy began to grow rapidly, showing liberalization's unrivaled power as a growth catalyst for the world's second most populous nation.
Unfortunately, India has taken a wrong turn in recent years, the effects of which are quickly reaching critical mass. In a range of industries from information and communications technology (ICT) to life sciences, clean energy, and biopharmaceuticals India has vigorously embraced a range of "innovation mercantilist" policies such as forced intellectual property transfer and mandated local production as a condition of market access.
For example, India's Supreme Court Court garnered headlines last month when it denied a patent to Novartis for the cancer drug Glivec. The decision will allow Indian pharmaceutical companies to expropriate Novartis' intellectual property and produce a drug that has been patented in nearly 40 countries. In addition, India's new Preferential Market Access (PMA) rules for electronics procurement seek to ensure that by 2020 80 percent of the computers and electronics sold in India are manufactured domestically. One glaring example of this is India's exclusion of foreign ICT companies from participating in the country's $4 billion national fiber optic network project, even if the companies produce the equipment in India. Collectively these policies constitute a concerted mercantilist policy that seeks to block foreign competition and boost domestic-owned manufacturing. As such, India's actions violate global trade rules, damage the international economy, and cut the nation off from much-needed foreign direct investment.
India has taken this turn in part as a response to China's robust embrace of similar tactics. They see the rapid growth in manufacturing in China and want it for India, and rather than take the hard steps through reducing corruption, building a viable infrastructure, and ensuring a trained workforce, it's easier for them to take the mercantilist short-cut to growth.
But these practices fundamentally will not lead to sustainable and broad-based growth for India. They will however shut out U.S. companies from one of the world's largest consumer markets and hurt American innovation and jobs. As such, the United States, a long-time strategic ally of India in a volatile geopolitical region, needs to wake up to the reality that these Indian policies are now threatening our economic well-being here at home.
While we should continue negotiations, our long history with China shows that negotiation can only get us so far. Mercantilists respond to action, not talk. To that end, Congress should begin the process of withdrawing India from receiving benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the development assistance program that eliminates import duties on thousands of products from developing countries. India was the largest recipient of GSP benefits in 2012, at $4.5 billion, nearly a quarter of the entire program. If it continues to close its doors to U.S. firms or steal U.S. intellectual property with impunity, there is no rationale for extending India this kind of preferential treatment.
To be clear, a strong, growing, and collaborative trade relationship between the United States and India is in both parties' best interests. But India's recent trade policies are placing that relationship in jeopardy. The United States should not sit idly by as the Indian government enacts regulations that harm American industry and jobs. Strong leadership will be needed to achieve these goals and establish a fair, constructive and robust trade relationship between the two countries.
For the past several years I've helped judge Trend Micro's annual What's Your Story video contest, which, in past years, focused on how to combat Internet risks like cyberbullying and inappropriate use of mobile technology. But this year, the contest had a more uplifting theme. Contestants were asked to create videos that addressed the question, "What does the good side of the Internet look like?"
There were two $10,000 grand prize winners in two categories: individual (or a group of individuals) and schools. The winners in the individual category were Saad Sifate, George Strawbridge, and David Oladejo, of Ottawa, Ontario. The school grand prize went to teacher Patty Ream's class at Ripley Union Lewis Huntington High School, of Ripley, Ohio.
Sifate, Stawbridge and Oadejo's entry, "I'm an Educated Dude," which took place in front of a graffiti covered wall in Ottawa, consisted of a poetic rap about the pros and cons of the Internet. I was a little worried that the group might have missed the mark when the lyrics began with, "Press down Ctrl H, all I see is hate, confidence deflate and less than civil debates." But I lit up when he went on to rap, "But the forgotten message is that the Internet has a direct correlation to education communication and a supreme impact on our generation. Education is the key." What impressed me was the way the video explored the nuances of the Internet and how you can transform bad into good."The Internet is a composite and the parts that are negative are what can truly make it positive," it concluded. But my quotes don't do it justice. Click here or below to see the two-minute video for yourself.
The school video, "The Legend of the Responsible Gamer," begins with a teenage boy bad mouthing another online gamer "you're so bad kids, why do you even play this game, why not do everyone else a favor and log off." But then the unthinkable happens. A hand reaches out from the monitor and pulls the young gamer into another world where he is greeted by a guy in what looks like a Jolly Green Giant outfit who -- in a positive and very physical way -- teaches him a lesson in humility as they go through an obstacle course together with some positive reminders like "it takes a much better person to encourage somebody rather than bash them down." Click here or below to view the video.
Also see Digital wisdom from young filmmakers: "What's Your Story?" winners from my ConnectSafely.org co-director, Anne Collier.
This post first appeared on SafeKids.com
Today, plenty of employers need tech-savvy employees with the social know-how to navigate and solve complex, real-world workplace issues.
The best way to recruit these top candidates? Gamification.
Gamification means applying game-like mechanics -- think reward, recognition, and participation -- to non-game contexts like recruitment and workplace training. Gamifying the recruitment process makes hiring more interactive for referred candidates and current employees, who are rewarded for their participation and progress. Current employees can be certain the candidate screening process is interactive and rewarding for those they refer, incentivizing them to continue to make quality referrals.
If your company is looking to ramp up employee referrals and improve the recruitment process overall, it can help to take a look at some existing games to glean insight on what will work best for your business's hiring and employee referrals. Here are three recruitment games your business needs to know about:
Plague. Over at Risk Management Solutions (RMS), vice president of talent acquisition Amelia Merrill employed game mechanics to help her company compete with the likes of Google, Facebook, and other hot Silicon Valley start-ups. RMS is in the business of risk modelling for man-made disasters, so the company partnered with Plague Inc., one of the most popular games for iPhone and iPad.
Plague simulates pandemic situations much like the ones RMS tackles, so the company integrated their brand as an expert character, offering a scientific authority within the game to guide players. Merrill predicted 700 million brand impressions in 12 months -- a huge boost for employee branding and recruitment efforts. The game is a great tool for current employees to act as brand ambassadors and promote the company on a wider scale, boosting employee referrals overall.
My Marriott Hotel. Marriott International Inc. was one of the first to adopt game mechanics for the referral and recruitment process. As the company spread into international markets, it needed a way to attract tech-savvy Millennials and interest them in the hospitality industry.
The company created a hotel-themed Facebook app, My Marriott Hotel. The game required users to navigate the complex daily tasks of running a hotel kitchen. Available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Mandarin, the game has been successful in attracting a wide range of job candidates while giving them an opportunity to solve real-world problems.
Cityville. Cityville allows players to build virtual cities, similar to the way Farmville allows users to build farms. With Cityville, users can try their hand developing business management skills. Players oversee virtual development by adding businesses, producing their own goods, performing jobs in neighboring cities to earn reputation points, and more.
Cityville has already partnered with major franchises like Best Buy, Coca-Cola, and McDonald's, much like RMS's relationship with Plague. The companies have used the game to strategically improve brand recognition and engagement of potential job candidates. With Cityville, passive job candidates get a chance to build their skills and be rewarded for it -- and companies get key recognition to improve their hiring process.
Any business looking to boost employee referrals and improve recruitment efforts can turn to gamification as a key strategy. Simply ensure you're offering rewards, recognition, and participation. Your workers will be more likely to engage in referring candidates, and passive job seekers will be drawn to your business.
Do you know of a person or organization who has made a great contribution to the Internet community? If so, have you considered nominating that person or organization for the 2013 Jonathan B. Postel Service Award? The nomination deadline of May 31 is fast approaching! From the description of the award:
Each year, the Internet Society awards the Jonathan B. Postel Service Award. This award is presented to an individual or an organization that has made outstanding contributions in service to the data communications community. The award includes a presentation crystal and a prize of US$20,000.
The award is focused on sustained and substantial technical contributions, service to the community, and leadership. The committee places particular emphasis on candidates who have supported and enabled others in addition to their own specific actions.
The award includes a $20,000 USD prize and will be presented at the 87th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in Berlin, Germany, in July. Anyone can nominate a person or organization for consideration.
To understand more about the award, you can view the list of past Postel Service Award recipients and also read more about Jon Postel and his many contributions to the Internet.
Full disclosure: I am employed the Internet Society but have nothing whatsoever to do with this award. I am posting this here on CircleID purely because I figure that people within the CircleID community of readers are highly likely to know of candidates who should be considered for the award.
Written by Dan York, Author and Speaker on Internet technologies
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I saw a story recently about a school, named Ngee Ann, in Singapore where a math teacher gave problems to students and asked that the answers be "tweeted." These tweets were then projected on a screen at the front of the room, in real time! (1) Now this was not just some rogue, social media instructor who decided to try something new. Ngee Ann is what the Singapore government calls a "future school" and teaching using social media is encouraged.
Think of that, teaching using social media is encouraged. What about requiring the teaching of social media itself in schools across the world? In 10 years will it be as common as teaching computer skills in school has now become? Should it be? Those that disagree typically site privacy concerns, safety, inefficiency and economic costs in their case against it. I will address each of those concerns below.
Now I might be a little biased, okay A LOT biased, but I want to give you the 4 reasons why I think that teaching social media to our children in schools is not only necessary, but critical.
Reason #1 - It is now, and will continue to be a social world. The top 5 social media sites combined have nearly 2 BILLION users (2). Smartphone users, on average, check their Facebook status 14 times per day. 79% check their smartphone for social media updates within 15 minutes of waking up (3). Social media and smartphone growth are both expected to grow at strong double-digit rates for the next several years (4). 80% of college faculty members now use social media and a full 50% of college professors say they use it in their classrooms (5). Enough proof?
Bottom line, social media is here to stay.
While there are certainly lots of ways to waste time with social media, nobody is arguing that you cannot use social media to engage and learn in interesting new ways. So, the argument that teaching social media to our students is a waste of time because it is a fad and will soon be gone certainly does not hold water. I promise, even if Facebook disappears or if we no longer call it social media, the idea of using the Internet to connect the planet on digital networks will not go away anytime soon.
Reason #2 - The privacy concerns and safety of social media do not outweigh the benefits. I get this argument. I really do. Here is an interesting fact. Did you know that the US Library of Congress has archived every tweet from Twitter. That is 170 billion tweets and counting (6). Even scarier, they are making them available to researchers and other interested parties. What you say and write on social media does live forever. The fact of the matter is that the privacy and safety concerns are going to be there regardless of whether or not we teach social media in schools. At least if it is taught, we can also include instruction on maintaining privacy and being safe.
I have done a lot of work on stopping cyber bullying. That is where people, often children, use the Internet, often social media, to harass, threaten and intimidate other people. My number one tip to prevent cyber bullying is to be involved and educated about what it is and how to respond to it when it is happening to you or somebody you know - like your child! We can teach cyber bullying prevention as part of our social media curriculum and actually make the Internet a safer place. This is just one example.
Reason #3 - Social media is a not a waste of time. When computers first came out, people thought that they would be a waste of time. Few imagined all of the cool programs that would be written and novel ways they could be used to enhance our lives. When websites became popular most had visions of people "surfing" their lives away. Sure you can waste time on a computer and find more than your share of inappropriate websites unsuitable for viewing by school age children, but it is impossible to argue that computers are not a valuable teaching tool and most schools have computer training as part of their core curriculum.
Imagine the possibilities social media brings to the classroom. Assignments can be shared via links, entire classrooms can be part of the same closed Facebook group, and study groups are a Google+ Hangout away. The same way computers are not used to play video games in classrooms, using social media in classrooms will not be a waste of time if it is managed and administered constructively.
Reason #4 - Teaching social media IS preparing our children for the future. The world's largest professional network is LinkedIn, a social media site with over 200 million members. 90% of employers surveyed said they planned on using social media to recruit and hire new employees (6). Schools are supposed to be places where we teach our children the knowledge and the skills they will need to compete and succeed in their adult lives. Social media IS one of those skills.
Many others already recognize this fact and are acting. Singapore, an economic leader in South East Asia, has already integrated social media into the classroom. To compete in the workforce and in the global economy our children must learn how to correctly and safely use social media. I am simply suggesting that we make that part of our teaching curriculum.
Demand Media throws five domains into private auction ring, but three are against competitors who won’t participate.
Demand Media subsidiary United TLD has committed five of its applied-for top level domains to the first private domain auctions to be handled by Peter Cramton.
The five domains are .fishing, .green, .mom, .rip, and .wow.
Donuts recently committed 63 domains to the same auction.
In order for an auction to take place, all applicants for the string must participate. Three of the domains United TLD committed are in contention sets with applicants who have already said they won’t participate.
Top Level Domain Holdings has applied for .fishing and .green. Uniregistry applied for .mom. Both companies have stated they won’t participate in private domain auctions due to concerns about anti-trust rules.
[Update: see note below regarding Top Level Domain Holdings, which may participate afterall.]
© DomainNameWire.com 2013. This is copyrighted content. Do not republish.
Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.
Some expensive spring chickens and a cruise company were among last week’s end user domain name buyers at Sedo.
Here’s a selection of end user domain sales from Sedo last week:
A UK company called Spring Chicken Direct Limited bought SpringChicken.co.uk for a whopping 12,000 GBP.
Online game company Greentube Internet Entertainment bought Greentube.it for 1,500 GBP. Its website is greentube.com
IFN.com, which offers a toll free forwarding business, bought LiveAgent.co.uk for 1,100 GBP.
Viking Cruises, which does ocean and river cruises, bought VikingCruises.co.uk for 8,000 EUR.
San Antonio and Austin printing company Chile Media bought ChileMedia.com for $3,000. It has been using AddChile.com as its web address.
A Mark Monitor client bought BrandAlly.com for $750.
Advertising company Blvd Media Group dropped the hyphen from its domain, buying BlvdMedia.com for $1,750.
Entertainment company Discovery Communications bought HistoryStuff.com for $1,995.
GEA Group AG bought GEAGroup.co.in for 1,000 EUR. Its web address is GEAGroup.com.
Online gambling company Monte Carlo Ltd bought Casino5.com for $8,000.
The owner of San Francisco Bay area destination weddings company Holliday Weddings, bought TeamHoliday.com for $790.
New Economics Institute, which seeks to build a New Economy that prioritizes the well-being of people and the planet”, bought NewEconomy.net for $1,350.
Clothing company Next Plc has been busy at Sedo lately. It bought NextDirect.co.in for $1,500 and Next-uk.com for $1,599. Last week it bought Next-USA.com for $1,000.
Infragistics, a New Jersey development shop, bought MobileBusinessApps.com for $1,600.
O’Reilly Automotive Stores paid $3,995 for Orewards.com.
South African packaging company Mpact bought Mpact.com for $10,000. Its web address is mpact.co.za.
© DomainNameWire.com 2013. This is copyrighted content. Do not republish.
Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.
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