Several large retailers in the United Kingdom have begun testing a new type of mannequin that sends digital alerts to shoppers’ cell phones as they walk past. Created by tech developer Iconeme, the mannequins deliver detailed messages about a store’s merchandise to customers who download the accompanying app. “Mannequins in the shop window or within the store environment communicate with a customers smartphones via an app,” Iconeme says. “When the customer walks past visual merchandising equipment that incorporates a VMBeacon, an alert is triggered.” Iconeme, who plans to bring the technology into the US market, says that the mannequins can alert users as far as 50 meters away, even when a store is closed.
“The store window becomes a portal for interactive selling, 24 hours a day, making greater use of the retail space on offer,” says Iconeme. While shoppers currently have to choose to participate by downloading the app, Wired Magazine notes that most users will be unaware of the vast amount of analytical data collected by the technology. “Iconeme is now taking a punt at making the digital shopping world truly profitable for shops, not just an experience for its customers. That’s because it will be able to grab analytics on customer behaviour, location and even age and gender,” Wired writes. “They can track how long a shopper dwells on an item and how they purchased it — if at all — to tailor their marketing strategy.” Given the inability of most companies to protect their customers’ data from government agencies determined to “collect it all,” the app may very well become yet another avenue for everyday citizens to be tracked, traced and databased. More
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland-based United Church of Christ, which is considered to be apostate by biblical Christians, has sponsored the 2014 international Gay Games—the world’s largest homosexual sporting event—which is currently being held in Ohio until Saturday. According to reports, the denomination is a silver sponsor of the event, which is stated to be hosting approximately 8,000 homosexual athletes from around the world. The “Gay Games” began on Saturday and continue through August 16th at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, featuring a variety of sporting competitions from track and field to basketball and softball. Silver sponsorship is the fourth highest level of sponsorship for the games.
Over 30 United Church of Christ congregations are said to have lended to the sponsorship, including Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas, Trinity United Church of Christ in St. Petersburg, Florida, First Congregational United Church of Christ in Hillsboro, Oregon, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Laramie, Wyoming and Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ in Mountville, Pennsylvania. “It’s a win-win offer of support that will enable the United Church of Christ to be listed among the Gay Games’ top corporate sponsors,” said J. Bennett Guess, the first openly-gay national officer of the UCC. “[Gay Games] organizers realize that the UCC can play an integral and important role in dispelling the pervasive myth that all people of faith are anti-gay, and we are excited to share our message of extravagant welcome and radical inclusivity.” More
As the Islamic State gains ground and enlarges its pool of foreign fighter recruits, it is increasingly likely to attack on American soil as well. That has been the warning coming from some lawmakers and defense analysts this week, who argue that the United States has de facto declared war on the Islamic State by launching air strikes against IS positions, and now it must steel itself for foreign militants to bring the fight to the US. “Mr. President, be honest with the threat we face,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina warned on Fox News. “They are coming.” Recommended: Quiz: How much do you know about terrorism?
Senator Graham’s warning followed what seemed to be an Islamic State fighter threatening to “raise the flag of Allah in the White House.” A widely-circulated photo on the web showed an IS supporter taking a photo with an IS flag in the foreground, and the White House in the background, the implication presumably being that the IS was at the gates of the White House. The tagline on the much-discussed but unverified photo read, ‘We r here,” with a smiley-face emoticon. There is, however, a big difference between aspirations of attacking America on its own soil and having the means to carry it out. Do IS fighters have skills or means that surpass, for example, Al Qaeda, who has been threatening for more than a decade after 9/11 to carry out another significant attack on US soil, but never managed to do it? More
The images of atrocities by Muslim fighters in Iraq – and Syria – against their soldier and civilian enemies have been have circulating for some time already. There have been reports, many documented in images and even videos, of ISIS crucifixions, executions, mass burials and worse. But now Americans collectively are being left gasping by a flood of new reports and photographs depicting such horrors being inflicted on children. One such report came recently from the Anglican Communion News Service, which said the son, age 5, of a founder of Baghdad’s Anglican church was “cut in half during an attack by the Islamic State,” a name by which ISIS also is known.
“An emotional Canon Andrew White told ACNS that he christened the boy several years ago, and that the child’s parents had named the lad Andrew after him,” the report said. “I’m almost in tears because I’ve just had somebody in my room whose little child was cut in half,” he said. “I baptized his child in my church in Baghdad. This little boy, they named him after me – he was called Andrew,” White told the agency. The report said it happened in the Christian village of Qaraqosh after Kurdish forces left and ISIS Muslims arrived. Also appearing online was a Catholic.org report that quoted a source, Mark Arabo, a Chaldean-American businessman, confirming the beheading of children by ISIS fighters, who then “put their heads on a stick and have them in the park.” More
Somewhere in southern Russia, a convoy of 280 white-painted trucks snaked its way Tuesday toward the Ukrainian border. Depending on whom you ask, what’s inside may either be a treasure trove of relief goods for war-weary civilians, or the vanguard of a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine. With thousands of Russian troops still posted near the Ukrainian border and Ukraine’s military putting increasing pressure on pro-Russian fighters around the city of Donetsk, many in Ukraine and elsewhere feared the latter. “Russia keeps inventing new excuses for their policy,” Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Danylo Lubkivsky, told reporters Tuesday in Kiev. “In Georgia, it was defending pro-Russian minorities. In Ukraine’s Crimea, preventing NATO invasion.”
“In Donbas,” he said referring to the war-torn eastern region of Ukraine that includes the contested cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, “they are trying to use the pretext of humanitarian aid and assistance.” Without offering proof, Ukrainian officials have even accused Russia of repainting military vehicles white to disguise their efforts. In Kiev, where many loyalties lie with the Ukrainian government, skepticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motive was rampant among ordinary residents. “Normal people do not send guns to kill people and food for them to eat in the same cars,” said IT specialist Igor Vlasenko. “I think most Ukrainians want him to leave Ukraine alone. We can help ourselves.” And it’s not just the Ukrainians raising concerns about a possible Russian Trojan horse. More
The first two doses of an experimental serum created to treat Ebola went to American missionaries. Then the drug was sent to treat a Spanish priest. The two Americans, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, appear to be recovering. The priest, Miguel Pajares, died Tuesday morning. That’s the problem with experimental drugs that have never been clinically tested in humans: No one knows whether they’ll work — and if they do, in whom. This week, the World Health Organization gathered a group of ethicists to decide whether proven medications and vaccines should be used in the current Ebola outbreak. As the death toll from the epidemic soared over 1,000, the WHO panel unanimously concluded that it is ethical to offer medications to fight the Ebola virus, even if their effectiveness or adverse effects are unknown.
“The large number of people affected by the 2014 west Africa outbreak, and the high case-fatality rate, have prompted calls to use investigational medical interventions to try to save the lives of patients and to curb the epidemic,” the World Health Organization said Tuesday. WHO says it believes the virus has infected 1,848 people and killed 1,013, making this the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. The difference between this outbreak and other Ebola outbreaks is that traditional methods of stopping the virus from spreading — protective gear, contact tracing, etc. — don’t seem to be working fast enough, said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO’s assistant director-general. The health care systems in the affected countries are also weak, so resources are scarce. More
The smell of campfires in the night air and the sound of Cicadas outside my window reminded me it was summer in Upstate NY. I haven’t ever liked summer. It’s not just because I am always warm. You’ll never see me wear a coat even on the coldest winter day. That wasn’t the real reason I disliked summer, my childhood was the reason. I loved school as a kid and I didn’t want it to end. I knew that ending of the school year meant loneliness. The other kids looked forward to a summer of playing hopscotch and marco polo in the pool. To most it meant a summer of overnight camps with ghost stories and s’mores to look forward to. I longed for an overnight camp but that wasn’t in the cards for me. Most of my childhood was in a wheelchair which wasn’t conducive to me playing hopscotch or marco polo.
School days or rainy days meant the other kids were inside and would keep me company. But hot summer days meant all of the kids were outside and I was alone. I wished for a summer full of rainy days but I knew that wasn’t realistic. One summer my parents took pity on me and found a way for me to spend a weekend at brownie camp. An older girl scout was assigned to help me get dressed and go to the bathroom. She followed me everywhere and assisted me. It was heaven. I remember falling asleep in the night air in the top bunk the girl scout had helped me get into. I felt like a normal kid for once but it was short lived. I am unsure why I couldn’t continue doing this, maybe it was too much to assign someone to a grown girl or maybe it was just too good to be true. More
The World Health Organization says the death toll in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has passed 1,000. The U.N. health agency said in a news release Monday that 1,013 people have died in the outbreak, which has hit Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and possibly Nigeria. Authorities have recorded 1,848 suspected, probable or confirmed cases of the disease, which causes a high fever, vomiting and bleeding. The outbreak was first identified in March in Guinea, but it likely started months earlier. The updated WHO tally includes figures from Aug. 7- 9 when 52 more people died and 69 more were infected. Ebola is highly lethal and there is no licensed vaccine or treatment for the disease, but so far three people infected have received an experimental drug. –ABC News
Dictionary.com, the popular destination for writers seeking definitions and synonyms, contains some scathing commentary on homeschooling. “If you want to keep your kids from reality and turn them into mindless automaton copies of yourself,” the site declares, “homeschool them.” The pointed statement is just one of three potentially offensive sentences that could be found on the site as late as Tuesday morning as examples for how to use “homeschool” in a sentence. “If you wish to teach your children such nonsense,” another of the sentences declares, “then homeschool where lame propaganda can remain unchallenged.” “If she can’t find anyone willing to validate her helicopter parenting,” lists a third, “she’ll homeschool.” More
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction on Tuesday for an area surrounding Ferguson, M0., the town where a police officer fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old black man, after a St. Louis County police helicopter was fired upon Sunday night. The flight restriction was issued Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. local time. The reason for the notice is “TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES.” A Ferguson police officer shot Michael Brown on Saturday. The incident sparked outrage in the community as Brown was reportedly unarmed and surrendering to the officer when he was shot multiple times. A heavy police presence appeared as protesters gathered on Saturday, and community anger spilled over into looting and rioting Sunday night, following a vigil. A number of stores were set on fire, numerous gunshots were reported and 32 people were arrested. The anger boiled over to the point that someone on the ground fired at a county police helicopter. More
A Spanish priest being treated for the Ebola virus at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid died on Tuesday, Associated Press reported, citing hospital officials. Miguel Pajares had contracted the disease while he was working at the San Jose de Monrovia Hospital in Liberia’s capital city, and was airlifted to Madrid last week. Earlier reports had said that the 75-year old Pajares was to be treated with ZMapp, an untested drug being used in the treatment of two Americans infected with the virus. The Spanish drug safety agency had said that the government chose to make an “exceptional importation” of ZMapp because the patient could not be “treated satisfactorily with an authorized medication.” More
More than 600 convicted criminals, including felons, were among thousands of illegal immigrants freed under the Obama administration in advance of 2013 budget cuts mandated under sequestration. That’s according to a new report today from the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security. According to the IG’s report, at least two-dozen “aliens” were released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement even though they were in a “mandatory detention category.” (After an internal review, ICE later redetained them.) The report provides a scathing portrayal of budget mismanagement and flawed processes at the highest levels inside the nation’s immigration enforcement agency. More
The Reason we aren’t seeing Revival and Awakening in America is not because of our President or the Sinners it is because of one main failure which is brought out in this message from 1 Kings Chapter 19. This message is confirmed from a New poll that recently taken in America regarding Pastors and their Core message. Click on the Image to hear the Message