Monthly Archives: June 2015

Cable Television is Feeling The Heat

Slide1There is not a single black person who has not waited half a day for the cable technician to show up at our house; if they showed up. And who hasn’t put up with poor customer service and high cable bills for channels we don’t watch? You know the package where you get the two channels of you want and fifteen channels of crap! We have paid enough and put up with enough.

Video streaming is what’s happening now. The number of people dumping cable televison, or cutting the cord as some call it, is growing. Research conducted by TiVO subsidiary Digitalsmiths shows that 8.2 percent of former cable TV subscribers have cut the cord. That’s up a full percentage point from last year.  Another 45.2 percent reported having reduced their cable or satellite TV service during the same time frame. A practice known as cord shaving. These stats are putting huge pressure on the cable television industry.

Cord shaving consumers are chosing to go with smaller pay TV bundles. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video are becoming the video entertainment of choice. Why? Convenience is the first thing that comes to mind. Anywhere, anytime is a very appealing option. Second is the cost, streaming video services are significantly cheaper than cable television. Third, the shows people know and love are there for the viewing. And finally, cable customer service sucks!

Cable companies are feeling the heat. Verizon FIOS is the first major cable provider to go for the ala carte menu. They now allow cable customers to pick and choose what channels they want to pay for. But in defense of the cable companies they were in a bad position. Many media companies demanded that if the cable company offers one network they had to offer all of them. The result was expensive cable bills for the consumer.

Cable companies are also offering you that DVR thing that costs you so much a month to use but never own. Welcome to the age of the Internet, video streaming, on demand, wherever we want it. NOW! Its becoming obvious that the cable television business model is slowly dying.

Many people are worried about their Internet service and live programming like sports. But that is no longer a concern either. Keeping basic cable and Internet has always been an option. And new streaming services like SlingTV from DISH Network will provide ESPN and ESPN 2 for just $20 a month. You can get other ESPN channels for just $5 more.  And lets not forget that live sports will eventually become a regular part of the streaming media package. Yahoo will stream a live NFL game on October 25th. Its a sign of things to come. Other interesting services that are coming into the marketplace include HBO’s new service HBO Now. This allows you to stream HBO programs and movies as a stand alone service.

But lets get back to the cost of cable television. It is not unheard of for cable bills to be as high as $200 a month. African-Americans need to look at their bill and really make some hard choices about their cable package.  Black families can get an idea of the money they may save by using the interactive calculator provided by MarketWatch.com.

According to the survey 15.3 percent of consumers are planning to either switch, change, or cut the cord completely to cable television service.

Streaming media services offer original programming that is recieving high acclaim. Orange Is The New Black is an extremely popular program that is only available on Netflix. One of the most popular shows in the history of telelvision, Seinfeld, is now available on Hulu Plus. Another one of televisions hottest shows, Empire, is also streaming on Hulu Plus.

Cutting your cable may be a no brainer for some people. For others its a decision that may take some thought. But the bottom line is cable television is being threatened by a new technology with better choices and convenience.  Cable televison operators are fighting to stay in the game but its not looking good. I can take my tablet, laptop or cell phone anywhere and watch whatever I want, when I want.

App of the Week – Avocado

AvocadoMarriage and relationships require work, hard work. Its simply not easy to keep that warm loving feeling going 24-7. You have work, maybe you have kids and other obligations that require attention. And heaven forbid other issues pop-up like money troubles and personal trauma or one sort or another. Being in love is not easy. That’s why Avocado is the App of the Week.

Avocado is an app that facilitates communication between couples using free, iMessage-style chat, share lists, and photos. These maybe unexciting but they are essential communication staples that any strong relationship is based on. 

Avocado tries to duplicate those simple little love messages that mean so much. Users can create and send love notes to one another, over and over again and exchange emoticons with the unique facial expressions of your loved one.

Scheduling time together is another problem couples face, Av0cado lets couples share calendars so they always know when each one has available time to share. This function can eliminate a lot of missed dinners and alone time due to other obligations. You are always aware of the others time and dates. Avocado lets you send “hugs” and “kisses” to the love of your life and let them know they’re on your mind.

Avocado is free and available on Apple and Android.

 

 

 

 

Black Students Create Student’s Rights App

Boston Student Advisory Council president Glorya Wornum, left, and BSAC member Ayomide Olumuyiwa show off the Boston Student Rights app in the hallway of Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/WBUR)

Boston Student Advisory Council president Glorya Wornum, left, and BSAC member Ayomide Olumuyiwa show off the Boston Student Rights app in the hallway of Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/WBUR)

A group of Boston Public School students recently launched the website and mobile phone app Boston Student Rights. The app is intended to inform students of their rights and responsibilities as students in the Boston School System.

The app provides the district’s student population with the code of conduct in a condensed, simplified format. Information contained in the app includes subjects ranging from types of suspensions to cellphone policies, LGBTQ students’ rights, teacher evaluations and dress codes.

The app was created with the help of Ayomide “Ayo” Olumuyiwa, a senior at John D. O’Bryant High School in Boston. “You can’t defend yourself anywhere if you don’t know the type of rights that you have,” says Olumiyiwa.

According to Olumiyiwa the app provides information on proper school discipline processes and emphasizes the student’s rights and responsibilities according to state law and provides listings of legal aid resources available to students.

Olumuyiwa hopes that by educating fellow students of their rights the app can help disrupt a legacy of harsh disciplinary practices in urban schools. Harsh discipline could potentially push students out of the classroom into a process known as the school-to-prison pipeline.

Research indicates that black students in Massachusetts schools are almost four times more likely than whites and Latino students are 3 times more likely than white students to be suspended often for minor offenses.

Two federal agencies, the Justice and Education Departments, are now urging the nation’s school districts to dial back zero tolerance policies that often result in harsh punishments for seemingly minor offenses.  Congress and student advocates feel these policies are the beginning of the  “school-to-prison pipeline.” “A routine school disciplinary infraction should land a student in the principal’s office, not in a police precinct,” former Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

“In our investigations, we have found cases where African-American students were disciplined more harshly and more frequently because of their race than similarly situated white students,” the Justice and Education Departments wrote in a recent letter to the nation’s school districts. “In short, racial discrimination in school discipline is a real problem.”

Olumuyiwa acknowledges her generation loves their smartphones. “We chose an app because we’re the generation of phones,” says Olumuyiwa. “Like, we all have our phones for everything, so an app is just one click away.”

The Boston Student Advisory Council, of which Olumuyiwa is a member, is the group that created the app. BSAC is made up of elected student activists working to address student identified issues in the district and across the city. BSAC promotes fair school discipline practices. They decided this year that by educating students about their own rights this would hold school staff accountable to honoring those rights. From this thought, came the idea for the app.

“The school-to-prison pipeline, student rights and responsibilities, suspensions, expulsions, legal aid resources, alternative discipline and restorative justice,” says Glorya Wornum, BSAC president and a senior at Edward M. Kennedy Academy in Boston. “And you’re able to click on any one of those tabs and it’ll open you up to another page. And once you’re in another page you’re able to scroll up or down to read on information that could help you.”

The app will soon be available for Apple and Android or can be viewed on the  Boston Students Rights website.

Now you know

 

Get Windows 10 Upgrade FREE!

Terry Myerson Introduces Windows 10

Terry Myerson Introduces Windows 10

Microsoft is offering its new Windows 10 operating system free of charge to current Window users. Most computers in the world are operating on Microsoft or at least run some Microsoft software. What Microsoft wants to do is get everybody using the same version of the Windows operating system. So they are offering it free. Why?

Microsoft is looking at this in terms of money. Its simply cheaper to service one operating system rather than regularly updating multiple operating systems. Microsoft is moving its OS strategy to smaller more frequent upgrades rather than the big OS releases its been doing every few years. Think evolution not revolution.

In addition Microsoft is making an effort to get people using pirated versions of the Windows OS onboard as well but there is a catch. Software pirates using illegal copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10. Now here is the catch; their Windows license will remain invalid after the upgrade process is complete. This means pirates won’t be getting a “free” upgrade to Windows 10. Your stuff is still illegitimate and thus not eligible for patches and upgrades. Sorry, you want it? Pay like the rest of us!

Here are a few things you need to know.

First of all everyone eligible for a free upgrade will see an icon appear on their task bar offering you the free upgrade. Just register your email address and wait for Bill and the boys to tell you when your upgrade is ready.

Now if you’re really old school you may still be running Windows XP or Vista. Windows XP was introduced to the marketplace 13 years ago and Microsoft does not even support this program anymore. So no, you can’t just upgrade to Windows 10 from XP or Vista systems. A clean install will be required, that is if your computer can handle the new OS.  Sorry, no free offers for the first year. Not happening.

For users of Windows 8.0, 8.1 and 7, Windows 10 will come as a free upgrade for the first year. Once a device is upgraded to Windows 10, it’ll be supported for the lifetime of the device.

  • Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Premium and Windows 8.1 users will be upgraded to Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Windows 8.1 Pro users will be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows Phone 8.1 users will be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile
  • Windows Enterprise, Windows RT and Windows 8 users are not eligible for a free upgrade.

Windows users who take advantage of the free upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8 can use Windows 10 as valid license owners indefinitely. Those who don’t get it now for free will likely have to pay for Windows 10 later. Don’t be ridiculous!

For more information about the free Wndows 10 upgrade please see

Is Windows 10 free? Yes and No. An Explainer

Upgrading from Windows 7 0r 8? You’ll Love Windows 10

Where, When and How to get Windows 10

App of the Week – TrueCar

TrueCar-logo-Tagline-XL-combo-layers-®_symbolBuying a car can be an intimidating task. Knowing what car to buy for your needs is the first place to start. Not the dealership. Make sure you study the cars, your needs, and your finances before you ever go near a car salesman. Buying a car requires information. That is why TrueCar is the App of the Week.

TrueCar gives the user the ability to see what other car shoppers in their region are paying for the same car. The company clams that it studies millions of car purchases every year. They believe that this helps to put an end to surprises at the dealership.  According to the TrueCar website the company has a network of TrueCar Certified Dealers that are “committed to truth and transparency in every aspect of how they treat you as their customer.”

There is a link on the webpage that gets you to begin shopping by selecting the make and model of the car you want. But you won’t find a dealership that easily. You will need to enter your email address to get to that step. But you can select your car and all the options you want and see the price. This is all from the website.

With the smartphone app you all the above plus a TrueCar representative who will answer your questions. The site does not say the representative is available 24/7 but they do say “Call us any time.” You can also scan the price sticker on the car to get your “upfront price and savings certificate.” The website failed to explain what that is exactly.

The biggest advantage of the TrueCar App and website is that you can see what others are paying for the same car. TrueCar also allows you access to special incentives that are only available to TrueCar users. According to the website TrueCar users save as much as $3,000 on the purchase of a new car when buying from a TrueCar certified dealer.

But if you really did your homework you would know what you want to and  can pay for the car of your choice. 

TrueCar is free and available on Apple and Android.

 

Silicon Valley Cash? Not for Blacks and Women

courtesy: imagerymajestic

courtesy: imagerymajestic

Silicon Valley is a white male dominated world. Is America’s womb of technology struggling to find people of color to add to the mix or simply rejecting them?  There are probably plenty of answers to that question depending on who you ask. Some of the valley’s biggest and best known companies are at least trying to bring color to the white world of technology.

One of the companies trying to step up to the diversity challenge is Intel Corporation. In an effort to boost diversity in IT, Intel Capital has launched a $125 million investment program aimed at startups run by women and under-represented minorities. This in addition to a seperate investment program of $300 million announced last January with the stated goal of bringing more women and minorities into its workforce by 2020.

Intel has plans to change its capital investment program to make it more accessible for women and minorities. The world’s largest chip maker wants to be more open and responsive to funding requests from startups run by women and minorities. Intel has also established an advisory board of senior Intel employees to help make funding decisions.

Apple, the most successful company in history, is donating more than $50 million to organizations that intend to get more women, minorities, and veterans working in tech.

Apple’s chief of human resources, Denise Young Smith, granted an exclusive interview to Fortune magazine. In the interview Young Smith said that Apple is joining forces with non-profit organizations in a multi-year, multi-million-dollar effort to increase the number of women, minorities, and veterans in the technology industry and at Apple.

“We wanted to create opportunities for minority candidates to get their first job at Apple,” said Young Smith. “There is a tremendous upside to that and we are dogged about the fact that we can’t innovate without being diverse and inclusive.”

Apple’s efforts include a partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a non-profit supporting students enrolled in public, historically black colleges and universities or HBCUs. In total there are 100 HBCUs in the U.S of which 47 are considered public  graduating 20 percent of African-Americans who earn undergraduate degrees.

Diversity is a big issue with Apple CEO Tim Cook who see’s diversity as a vital ingredient to the future of the company. “I think the most diverse group will produce the best product, I firmly believe that.”

Other companies that are pumping money into diversity efforts include AOL which launched the $10 million BBG Fund. The fund will focus on women-led Internet startups. Cable giant Comcast venture fund, Comcast Ventures, launched the $20 million Catalyst fund in 2011 to invest in companies led by women and members of minority groups.

But there are some that believe that investing in minority owned start ups just because they are a minority is not the best approach. Some black entreprenuers are asking that investment be made in minority start ups because its good business.”The more people who think this is an obligation, a social obligation, that’s probably not a good thing,” said Hamet Watt, a venture partner at Upfront Ventures.

The problem is pretty basic and straightforward, white venture capitalists are not interested in female or minority led start ups. White men make up the overwhelming majority of venture capitalists. The National Venture Capital Association/Dow Jones VentureSource reported that 89 percent of VC Partners are men, specifically white men who made up 76 percent.  A study of all VC Partners showed that just 10 percent identified as Asian, 1 percent as African-American, and less than 1 percent as Latino.  In 2014 total VC capital investment reached $48 billion the highest total in over ten years. 

It is a sad fact that there is clear prejudice against companies founded or led by women and minorities. A  2010 study conducted by CB Insights  focused on the disparity of venture capital funding for companies founded by minorities and women as compared to companies founded by whites.

The results revealed that less than 1 percent of venture-capital-backed company founders were black and 12 percent were Asian, 83 percent had a racial composition that was completely white.

In the report preface CB Insights writes:

“When we ask venture capitalists what gets them excited about the young, emerging, and often unproven companies in which they invest, we never hear about deals and dollars. Rather, the first answer is frequently ‘the team’ or ‘the founders’. This demonstrates just how crucial human capital is in VC (venture capital) investment decision-making.”

To translate that statement it simply says race and gender makes a difference when it comes to who gets the money in Silicon Valley.

Of the $1.92 billion invested in March of 2014,

  • Companies led and made up of whites received 61 percent of the total investments, which equates to $1.41 billion.
  • Asian-led companies recieved a 17 percent share of investments at slightly more than $383 million.
  •  Latin American and Middle Eastern led companies took in $460 million, or 18 percent.
  • Mixed-race leadership teams received $96 million in investments, or 4 percent.
  • African-American led companies recieved the lowest share of investments. Only one black company recieved capital funding in the time period studied and that totaled a paltry $1.9 million. (Source: CB Insights)

Because of this glaring prejudice many black entreprenuers are faced with unfair pressure to back black owned start ups.

Charles Hudson, a partner at SoftTech VC, said he feels like he has to make himself accessible to African-American entrepreneurs.

“I also feel a certain pressure to try to help African-American entrepreneurs who I think are talented not work on terrible ideas,” Hudson said. “It’s not that they’re terrible ideas in general, it’s just that they’re not appropriate for venture. To me, that’s not unique to African-Americans.”

Hudson admitted to feeling “an enormous amount of pressure backing an African-American entrepreneur.”

“Pursuing an African-American business, for whatever reason if that investment doesn’t work, the buck stops with me,” Hudson said. “You realize that for whatever reason that investment’s failure is likely to be scrutinized to a greater degree than that SaaS company that didn’t work out. And I think about that. I wish I didn’t have to think about that.”

But the complexion of Silicon Valley is changing make no mistake about that. More and more black athletes like Floyd Mayweather and hip-hop artists are bringing their money into the technology start up game. Black athletes are also taking seats on the board of major technology companies. Most recently Magic Johnson took a seat on the board of directors of Square. The payment start up company is preparing to go public this year.

Now you know

 

 

 

 

 

FCC Votes to Bridge Digital Divide

2000px-US-FCC-AltLogo.svgLast Thursday the Federal Communications Commission voted to consider permitting eligible Americans to purchase Internet access using government funds. The vote is a step toward bridging the growing digtal divide. The poor and minorities without Internet access are being left out of the expanding Internet economy

In a 3-2 vote, the agency began the process of expanding its Lifeline program. The Reagan era program provides $9.25 per month to Americans who meet income requirements or who already receive some form of federal assistance. The money was intended to buy telephone or cellphone service. Recipients could also apply the subsidy toward Internet access but only if it came bundled with telephone or cellphone service. The FCC vote could allow the money to be used for stand alone Internet plans that aren’t tied to telephone packages in the program.

Broadband Internet access is becoming more and more important. According to CNBC nearly 30 percent of Americans are without broadband access at home. That 30 percent is usually the lowest income demographic and predominately black and Hispanic exasperating the digital divide.

John Horrigan, senior researcher on Internet and technology at Pew Research Center pointed out the specifics of the digital divide. “We have 29 million households in the country with school-age children. Of that, 5 million do not have broadband at home,” said Horrigan. “And within that 5 million, African-American and Hispanic households are disproportionately represented.”

Thirty eight percent of African-American households with school age children earning less than $50,000 annually are without broadband access. That number drops to 13 percent above the $50,000 level. Among households earning below $25,000 per year nearly half, 46 percent, are without Internet access at home.

FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel pointed out that Internet access has become an educational issue. Nearly seven in ten teachers assign homework that requires students to be online. “Students who lack regular broadband access are struggling to keep up,” said Rosenworcel, “Now is not a moment too soon, because this is about the future.” Most of these students, again, are black, hispanic and poor. Improved Internet access makes a difference beyond the classroom. Many employers are now only accepting job applications online. A lack of Internet access or skills deprives many minorities of access to available employment.

The world’s economy is becoming more and more reliant on the Internet. The current FCC board recognizes that ensuring equality of Internet access is an important priority. The board’s decison regarding net neurality and this action reflect its attitude toward a more open and accessible Internet.

“Today begins a proceeding to spend ratepayers’ money more wisely, to deliver 21st-century benefits to deserving recipients, and to get to the heart of the historic issues that have haunted this program’s efficiency,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Internet service providers that offer broadband under the Lifeline plan may have to offer a basic level of service and speed. The proposal also lifts the burden of verifying elegibility for the Lifeline benefit from ISPs.

The actual dollar value of the credit would not increase for the Lifeline service. Last year 12 million Americans were served by the Lifeline program.  Republican members of the board argued that the plan would be too costly.  “I am open to having a conversation about including broadband in the Lifeline program,” said FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. “But any such change must go hand in hand with the reforms that are necessary to producing a fiscally responsible program.”

Lifeline critics believe that the program is wasteful and mismanaged with some Americans recieving the service who are not eligible and others applying for the program multiple times. Some Republicans have taken to calling the phones “Obamaphones.” Odd considering it was a program that came about during the Reagan Administration.

In response to the criticism the FCC has launched a campaign to clean up and eliminate Lifeline abuse. So far the FCC has removed more than a million duplicate entries from its rolls.  A series of reforms were adopted in 2012 to streamline the program. Thursday’s vote aims to expand those measures. For example, the burden of proving a customer’s eligibility for Lifeline is removed from telecom companies and handed over to a neutral third party that can handle the verification.

According to Wheeler over $1 billion in wasteful spending has been “weeded out” from Lifeline. Wheeler added that he was disappointed that mistakes by his predecessors were preventing his Republican colleagues from voting with him on the proposal.

“I am befuddled at how this Republican-developed program has suddenly become so partisan,” said Wheeler. “But I am proud to cast my vote with the majority to reform and revitalize the Lifeline program.”

Breaking It Down

A monopoly on information or information services is simply unacceptable. We cannot allow people in America, because of their income, to be left out of the information age. Keep in mind that one of the keys to economic advancement is education. Children of the poor must be able to participate in the modern education methods and technology. Access to the Internet must be as important as the telephone for these people. Why else would the Reagan administration agree to any program for the poor? Now the FCC has taken the next step and insured the right to information is met. Poor people will remain poor as long as we refuse to provide the economic opportunity that information can provide. The Internet is a tool. It is a tool of information and communication. To deny an economic tool to the poorest Americans is to deny they have a right to advance in society. They have the right to the knowledge needed to improve their condition. The FCC is doing the right thing. End the digital divide!

 

AT&T Hit With Historic $100M Fine

AT&TThe FCC has body slammed AT&T with a $100 million dollar fine for misleading customers and throttling their data. It is the largest fine in FCC history.

AT&T offered customers unlimited data plans starting in 2007 but discontinued the practice in 2010 according to the FCC. However there were millions of AT&T customers with unlimited data plans still in effect. AT&T decided to throttle, or restrict the data flow, to those customers once they hit a certain threshold each month. This was a clear contract violation and the FCC was obviously not happy.

According to the FCC AT&T  “capped speeds were much slower than the normal network speeds AT&T advertised and significantly impaired the ability of AT&T customers to access the Internet or use data applications for the remainder of the billing cycle.”

AT&T isn’t the only carrier to throttle. Verizon and T-Mobile have been accused of the practice.  Supposedly Verizon has ceased the practice. T-Mobile is known to slow down data of its top users when the network is congested.  According to T-Mobile the customer most likely to be throttled are those who perform peer-to-peer file sharing or download torrents. T-Mobile smartly made this practice clear to its customers. AT&T failed to do the same. The company never definitively stated in any of its marketing materials or billing statements what it was doing. Thousands of customer complaints resulted in an FCC investigation.

Sprint, the other major carrier, has announced that it is ceasing its throttling practice as a result of the new FCC Net Netrality ruling. Sprint had been restricting data speeds for a certain percentage of users who consumed what the company believed was execesive amounts of data. But Sprint put the brakes on that policy.

Breaking It Down

This news is significant for black people for one simple reason. Black people are more likely to use a mobile device for Internet access than other people. That means we are consuming more data on our phones and tablets than others. Consequently we are more likely to be labeled a data hog than others. Now how many black people were affected because of throttling? Who knows? But the practice was deceptive and violated the contract that AT&T had with its customers. The FCC has delivered the message loud and clear to AT&T; honor your contract. We all know exactly how the cell carriers act when we fail to make a payment or break the contract. Now they know how we feel.

Cops Offer Safe Zones for Internet Transactions

Safe TransactionOne of the beautiful things about the Internet is the ability for people to buy and sell from one another.  However the Internet also can bring you in contact with some pretty bad characters who have no intention of conducting an honest transaction.

There have been many stories in the news of people robbed, assualted and even murdered as a result of meeting with people from person-to-person websites like Craigslist.

As a result of the rise in crime of this nature police and sheriff’s departments nationwide are creating areas at their stations for people to complete transactions that began online. These areas are known as Safe Zones or Safe Havens.

Although this trend started several years ago the idea has caught on.  As many as 70 police agencies stretching from Boca Raton, Florida to Bedford, Texas, have created safe transaction zones. They are usually in parking lots or lobbies according to websites that track the programs. Safe havens located inside buildings are normally open only during office hours and no reservations are required. Parking lots are usually available 24/7.

Because these areas are literally inside the police station or on police property and under surveillance theives are detered from committing crimes. The program does have its skeptics who believe the police accept some liability  if a transction goes wrong. But many police departments said they felt obligated to do something as a result of crimes carried out as part of an online transaction.

According to a report by the AIM Group, a classified-ad consultancy, 87 killings were tied to Craigslist interactions in the U.S. since 2007, including 22 last year and six so far in 2015.

Jim Buckmaster, Craigslist’s chief executive accuses AIM of unjustly portraying the website as fraught with risk for criminal activity. AIM has done studies of crime connected to Craigslist by its competitors.

Craigslist does offer an advisory on its “Personal Safety” page that reads: “With billions of human interactions facilitated, the incidence of violent crime is extremely low.” Among several precautions the company suggests is to “consider making high-value exchanges at your local police station.”

Where the service is available people seem to aprove. Atlanta Craigslist user Derek Lee said news reports of people getting murdered after connecting online caused him to complete his transactions at a police station.

That “is your ultimate safety zone,” he said. “It’s not just personal safety. I think people are less likely to rip each other off, like selling a bogus product or counterfeit product.”

Law-enforcement officials said it is too early to determine whether the zones are reducing crime, but some contend initial results are promising.

Now you know

 

 

App of the Week – CareGiver Mobile

CargiverCaring for an aging parent or grandparent is often a task spread among multiple family members. Making sure everyone works as a team to get things done can be a tough management task. Thats why CareGiver Mobile is the App of the Week.

Making sure seniors get the proper care is becoming a common task for many Americans especially African-Americans families. The common goal is to be certain that our elderly loved ones get their medications and other needs met regularly and on time. These tasks, spread across the family, can cause confusion and stress if not properly planned out and monitored. 

Caring for elderly family members with disabilities or dementia can stress everyone. According to the Alzheimers Association African-Americans are two times more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer’s disease than whites and less likely to have a diagnosis of their condition. 

But according to the American Psychology Association African-American family caregivers experience less stress and depression and garner greater rewards from caregiving than white caregivers. Studies also reveal that ethnic minority caregivers work harder providing more care than their white counterparts and report worse physical health than white caregivers. 

In order to manage caregiving responsibilities CareGiver Mobile provides the user with several tools that allow them to;

  • Coordinate caregiving with other family members using smartphones.
  • Create a private, secure online community with family members to share information and updates.
  • Create, manage and view upcoming caregiving tasks.
  • Assign tasks to individual family members or ask for volunteers.
  • Put your individual tasks directly into your smartphone’s calendar and receive reminders.

Proper management and keeping track of the caregiving tasks can take a lot of pressure off everyone and also allow more time for families to be families. 

CareGiver Mobile is free and available for Apple and Android.