Vermont Business Magazine Vermont is currently experiencing abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions, and the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation is reminding the public to exercise caution and follow all state laws and local ordinances with open burning. Open burning currently requires a permit from your town forest fire warden, and Vermonters should always check with their town forest fire warden before burning. A list of town forest fire wardens is available at https://fpr.vermont.gov/forest/wildland-fire/forest-fire-wardens(link is external).The northeast has been drier than normal with many areas receiving little rain over the summer months. The North American Drought Monitor(link is external), a cooperative effort between drought experts to monitor conditions across the continent, classified 51% of Vermont as experiencing moderate drought conditions and the remainder of the state as abnormally dry. The weather forecast over the next few weeks does not indicate any signs of relief, with little to no precipitation forecasted. The dry conditions call for extra attention when open burning—particularly with campfires—to reduce the risk of wildland fires. Under normal conditions, organic matter in and above the soil, leaves and branches that fall to the ground and decay helps to maintain soil moisture. However, the recent abnormally dry weather has resulted in low soil moisture in many areas of the state, increasing the risk of ground fires. Ground fires are wildfires that occur in the subsurface and consume buried vegetation. This type of fire can be difficult and costly to extinguish and is often started by open burning such as burn piles, bonfires, and campfires. Already this year, several ground fires have occurred in remote areas of the state caused by campfires that were not properly extinguished.Most years, there is enough moisture in the soil and woody material on the surface to quell any embers that smolder in open fires. This year, we need to use extra caution when open burning, especially with a campfire in the woods. Increased awareness can go a long way to limit the occurrence of wildland fires. Please do your part to help prevent wildfires by following these simple guidelines:Be aware of the current weather conditions before igniting a fire. Current conditions can be found at VTforest.com(link is external).Understand the open burning laws and obtain a permit from your Forest Fire Warden.Never leave an open fire unattended.Never build a campfire on top of duff; use a camp stove to prevent escaped fires. Extinguish fires completely before leaving. This can be done by dousing the fire in water including all embers. Use a live, green branch to mix and stir the embers. If water is not available use soil or sand to mix into the embers to cool them down. Continue to mix water and soil with the embers until the material is cool. Before leaving, use the back of your hand to check for heat in the campfire. For more information please visit: fpr.vermont.gov/prevent-forest-fires(link is external)Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Agency of Natural Resources and FPR are taking additional safety measures to protect our employees, partners, and customers. We are now working remotely and focused on keeping our normal business processes as fully functional as possible. Please communicate electronically to the greatest extent possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding that responses may occasionally be delayed.Source: Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation 9.24.2020
Share This!This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Transformers: The Ride-3D! Seeing Disney reboot all its animated classics into live action films got us to thinking. What if we here at the SATURDAY SIX went back and “reimagined” some previous articles? Some articles – such as Extreme Eats at Walt Disney World – have items that are no longer made or have completely changed (such as the “new and improved” King Cupcake Whoopie Pie at Pop Century.) Today we are going to go back and “remaster” the very first article Your Humble Author ever wrote for Touringplans, and it was originally presented the week Transformers: The Ride-3D opened at Universal Studios Florida almost five years ago.(photo by Mike Sperduto)Ah the Summer of 2013. We had all just been disappointed by Zach Snyder’s Man of Steel, not realizing at the time that it was just the first of many DC film misfires. Kim Kardashian gave birth to a direction with North West, Leah Remini left Scientology, and we all rocked out to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” It was a simpler time back then, and in the theme park world we were all shook by the fact that Universal Studios Florida was opening their new Transformers ride. This seemed absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to believe because Universal had just started building the attraction in July of the previous year. On June 20th, 2013 Transformers had its grand opening, and the attraction brought with it a whole bunch of awesome things for theme park fans to enjoy. Today we’re gong to look at our favorite parts of Transformers: The Ride-3D and let’s kickoff the countdown with…# 6 – The Meet-and-Greet As meet-and-greets have become a bigger presence within the theme parks, Universal has taken them to the next level with some of the most insanely detailed costumes to date. Rumored to cost over $20,000 a piece, Megatron, Optimus Prime, and Bumblebee take pictures with guests at the Photo Connect station located directly next to Transformers: The Ride-3D. Both Optimus and Megatron have pre-recording lines to spice up the interaction, while Bumblebee has music clips. Just watching the characters walk out to their location is impressive as it delivers on the “wow” factor. With Talking Mickey about to be silenced at the Magic Kingdom, the Transformers may be the most impressive character meet in all of Orlando.Optimus Prime. (photo by @HedgehogsCorner)–One reason we all love going back to theme parks again and again is because of the wonderful Team Members and Cast Members that go above and beyond to make special moments for us and other guests. The pictures don’t do justice to how incredible these meet-and-greet characters look in person, but while guests aren’t allowed to get too close to these giant robots, on one occasion Universal made an exception. Matthew is a hearing impaired child who loved the Transformers. Matthew couldn’t hear what Optimus Prime was saying, but the Team Members brought him over to feel Optimus’ “heart,” which would vibrate when he talked. Moments like this are what make theme parks special.Matthew meets Optimus Prime and “feels” him talk. (photo by @LitemAndiyde)Bumblebee. (photo by Mike Sperduto)Megatron. (photo by Brandon Glover)–# 5 – The Supply Vault “Foolish Earthlings, don’t you know all rides must end near the gift shop.” – Kodos, The Simpsons RideWhat used to be almost a dreaded part of every theme park attraction now becomes something to look forward to as The Supply Vault, the gift shop for the Transformers ride, is filled with cool, unique, and exclusive merchandise. Not only can you get the requisite t-shirts (including a great “Robots in Disguise” shirt that has the Autobot logo with a mustache on it), but the store is loaded with toys, magnets, rings and other forms of merchandise with both the current version of Transformers as well as Generation1 version of Transformers, the cartoon from the 80s that many guests grew up watching (in fact my secret shame – or maybe proudest moment – is owning not one but two different versions of Transformers: The Movie on DVD.)The Supply Vault. (photo by Mike Sperduto)Transformers figures with the Universal Studios logo. (photo by Brandon Glover) # 4 – Bumblebee (G1)Once you’ve been to theme parks countless times, its the little things that start to stand out. We happen to love all of the various “Easter Eggs” found throughout Universal and Disney. Many of our favorites include references to long gone attractions, such as Back to the Future‘s Doc Brown making an appearance in the queue for The Simpsons Ride, several references to Jaws in Diagon Alley, and Twister at Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon. While Transformers: The Ride-3D does have a reference on the show building paying tribute to the area’s former attraction Hercules and Xena: Wizards of the Screen, our favorite Easter Egg features a throwback to the old school Transformers from the 1980s. That’s right, the good ol’ days when Megatron transformed into a weird hand gun, Soundwave into a cassette player, and Bumblebee was a Volkswagon Beetle. At the end of the Transformers ride, keep your eyes open for the yellow Volkswagon Beetle with a cleverly placed piece of debris covering up where the Autobot symbol would have been.(photo by Brandon Glover)–# 3 – EVAC One of the best surprises of the entire ride is that guests are sitting in a Transformer throughout the attraction. Exclusive to Universal Studios, Evac is the perfect character to guide guests through this story and unlike Spider-Man – where we are watching all the action take place around us– we get to actually be a part of everything going on throughout the ride. To top it off, EVAC is an exclusive figure available at Universal Studios, giving the perfect synergy between a brand and a theme park ride. Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has several “exclusive” action figures you can buy, but not a single one of those characters make a memorable appearance in the ride, whereas Evac is the ride for Transformers, and a brilliant ride at that.And guess what? Here’s a full review of the EVAC Transformers action figure. For those readers who remember what it was like for me trying to put together that Star Wars Metal Earth Death Star – or the four plus hour experience putting together a kid’s jeep – you can imagine how well this went.Evac. (photo by @HedgehogsCorner)Evac, in his car form.Evac on the box for a set of Transformers that does NOT include Evac. That fits perfectly in line with the Michael Bay edict of “nothing should make sense in the Transformers Universe.” (photo by Brandon Glover)–# 2 – The Queue There’s no ifs, ands, or buts, Universal Creative has been KILLING IT lately when it comes to delivering top of the line queues for guests to wait in. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey along with Escape From Gringotts have queues and pre-shows that are almost as impressive as the attractions themselves. The Simpsons Ride has jokes by actual writers of The Simpsons television show. Who would have thought Shrek 4D would have a ton of Disney references? Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon may be the first attraction in theme park history where the queue actually blows away the ride experience. Transformers: The Ride-3D has guests walking through various rooms of the building, each with their own unique flavor. One room has a video that has the set up of the ride explained to the guest with an appearance by the Autobot Ironhide. Another room has a shard of the Allspark cube. Later guests encounter a impressive prop with the tail of the Decepticon Scorponok (who had a memorable appearance in the first Transformers live action film back in 2007). While Express Pass and Single Rider lines may get you through the queue quicker, it’s highly recommended that the first time you experience this attraction you go through the Stand By queue and see the amazing story laid out in front of you.Transformers hieroglyphics. (photo by Brandon Glover)All Spark. (photo by Brandon Glover)Scorponok tail. (photo by Brandon Glover)–# 1 – The Ride ExperienceTransformers: The Ride-3D (photo courtesy of the Universal Orlando Resort)Transformers: The Ride-3D (photo courtesy of the Universal Orlando Resort)The biggest complaint you’ll hear about Transformers: The Ride – 3D is that it is “too much like The Adventures of Spider-Man.” Now, putting aside the fact that Spider-Man is still possibly the greatest theme park attraction ever made, there is a difference. Much like what happened with the conversion of the Tower of Terror to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout at Disney California Adventure, Transformers gives fans of the Spider-Man attraction a completely new “ride profile.” Transformers is a frenetic version of Spider-Man, and the advancement in technology since Spidey was built allows for the incredible illusion of speed along with photo-realistic imagery.If you asked 20 guests what their favorite part of the ride was, you’d probably get 20 different answers: it’s that cool. Getting sucked out of the subway by Devastator…seeing Optimus and Megatron go at it…having a missile come right at you and explode…it’s one thrilling moment after another. Unlike the incomprehensible movies that the ride is based on, the story and action throughout the attraction is easy to follow. This is not a ride; it’s an experience. I’m not a a huge fan of 3D, but Transformers and Disney’s Flight of Passage are types of attractions where I can admit, “Yes, 3D made this attraction much better.” The effects are sharp, vivid, and give a true dimension of depth to enhance the guest experience.“You got the touch….You got the POWER. Yeah!” (photo courtesy of the Universal Orlando Resort)So there you have it: Six Reasons We Love TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).Evac. A true E-Ticket pressed penny.If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:6 Reasons We Love MARVEL SUPERHERO ISLAND6 Reasons We Love PORT OF ENTRY6 Reasons We Love SEUSS LANDING6 Reasons We Love JURASSIC PARK6 Best Meet-And-Greets at the Universal Orlando Resort6 Best QUEUES at the Universal Orlando Resort6 Best GIFT SHOPS at the Universal Orlando ResortThe SATURDAY SIX Uses Disney Villains To Explain Theme Park BloggingMoves and Television Shows FILMED AT the Universal Orlando ResortSpecial Thanks to crack staff photographer Brandon Glover, Universal super shopper @HedgehogsCorner, photo wunderkind Mike Sperduto, Mr. ‘Ohana Tim Grassey, hot shot Michael Carelli, and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with goofballs co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde , while fellow Potterheads may enjoy Meg’s work on the Central Florida Slug Club.FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2018 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it? Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now! Cars that tie into the merchandise line for the Fast & Furious: Supercharged attraction. (photo by @HedgehogsCorner)Necklace featuring a shard of the All-Spark. (photo by @HedgehogsCorner)Transformers toothpick holders shot glasses. (photo by Mike Sperduto)An inexplicably popular Transformers gun. (photo by @HedgehogsCorner)
Three Dons score in double figures in road winBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterGILMAN — The Marshfield Columbus Catholic girls basketball team won for the second time in as many nights, knocking off Gilman 50-47 in a Cloverbelt Conference East Division game Tuesday night at Gilman High School.The Dons improve to 5-7 overall and 2-5 in the Cloverbelt East, and Gilman falls to 2-8 and 2-6 in the conference.Marissa Immerfall had 13 points and 10 rebounds; Baylie Nieder added 12 points, six rebounds, and four assists; and Abby Baierl chipped in with 10 points for Columbus.The Dons are off until Jan. 19 when they host Greenwood.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Dons 50, Pirates 47COLUMBUS CATHOLIC (50): Morgan Albrecht 5, Baylie Nieder 12, Maren Seefluth 0, Kendra Baierl 2, Jess Trad 6, Abby Baierl 10, Natalie Pospyhalla 2, Marissa Immerfall 13. FT: 15-23. Record: 5-7, 2-5 Cloverbelt East.GILMAN (47): Morgan Birkenhead 12, Caryn Skabroud 6, Taylor Hendricks 8, Kayla Chause 6, Cooper Sherfield 2, Kayla Schooner 13. FT: 10-18. Record: 2-8, 2-6 Cloverbelt East.
2 July 2014The third annual Trek4Mandela will see a group of explorers driving through Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania before summiting Mount Kilimanjaro on 18 July – Nelson Mandela International Day – in support of Caring4Girls and in celebration of South Africa’s 20 years of democracy.The group will be led by Caring4Girls founder Richard Mabaso and Sibusiso Vilane, the first black African to conquer the “Three Poles” (South Pole, North Pole and Mount Everest), and joined by Queen MaMchiza of the Zulu royal household.The expedition will stop over at schools en route to discuss the legacy of Nelson Mandela with young people and to distribute sanitary towels to girls, before tackling Africa’s highest peak.Vilane said he chose to participate in this year’s Trek4Mandela because he wanted to “help in keeping our girls in school, and give them back their dignity and boost their self-esteem”.Mabaso founded Caring4Girls when he overheard his mother and niece talking about menstruation and the embarrassment and fear it caused. Studies have shown that rural and disadvantaged girls in particular miss a significant amount of school because of menstruation.To help address this, Caring4Girls supplies sanitary towels (provided by Lil-Lets) and booklets titled “Puberty and Adolescence Demystified”. Last year, the initiative formed part of the Royal Zulu Reed Dance, joined forces with the Teach Children to Save South Africa initiative of the Banking Association of SA, and was officially endorsed by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.Caring4Girls and Trek4Mandela have challenged governments, companies, organisations and individuals to help them reach their goal of a distributing at least 67 000 packets of sanitary pads this year.Support options include making a donation, becoming a sponsor, or taking part in the expedition itself as part of the support team, the drive and climb team, or the climb team only (by flying in to join them at Kilimanjaro).The trek will take place in partnership with Bongani Mountain Lodge and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. For more information, visit www.trek4mandela.com.SAinfo reporter
Hurricane Florence from space. Photo: NASA All eyes are now on monster storm Hurricane Florence after two other hurricanes affecting US airline operations were downgraded to tropical storms.Airlines began expanding waivers, capping fares and removing baggage fees as the Category 4 hurricane moved towards the US coast and are working on the massive disruption the storm is likely to cause to flights.US officials issued a hurricane warning for more than 300 miles of coastline as more than 1.5 million people were told to evacuate. Highways were converted to one-way evacuation routes as motorists streamed inland.North and South Carolina are expected to face tropical storm level winds as early as Thursday morning and hurricane-force winds later that day.The US National Hurricane Center warned late Tuesday US time that Florence was expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to portions of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states.It said the giant storm was moving west-northwest at 17mph (28kmh) with maximum sustained wind gusts near 140mph (220kmh).Hurricane Florence on Tuesday night US east coast time. Source: National Hurricane Centre.Politicians, including US President Donald Trump, joined the chorus of warnings as fears remained the Hurricane could develop move into the most dangerous category, Category 5.“This storm is a monster. It’s big and it’s vicious. It is an extremely, dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.Airlines have been responding to the emergency and began announcing fee waivers.READ: Boeing rolls out the first 777-XUnited Airlines is waiving change, baggage and in-cabin pet fees for all flights to a host of mid-Atlantic cities in the Carolinas and Virginia as well as Savannah, Georgia, as more than 1.5 million people evacuate ahead of Hurricane Florence.The US carrier said it was offering a travel waiver for customers ticketed on flights to, from or through affected cities from September 10 through to September 16.Customers could reschedule their itineraries for travel through September 20 with a one-time date or time change without change fees or fare differences.The airline also reduced fares to below what it would normally charge for impacted markets.Delta Air Lines also announced it was capping fares and had implemented a baggage and pet in-cabin fee waiver to and from select cities from September 10 to 17.It has also expanded its weather waiver to take in Savannah and Charlottesville, Virginia.“Decisions regarding flight cancellations or other disruptions at airports along the coastal Southeast are expected approximately 24 hours prior to the storm making landfall,” Delta said.“In addition to flight disruptions caused by the storm’s impact, cancellations may also be driven by conditions on the ground at airports in Florence’s path, such as severe flooding, power outages or other infrastructure constraints.“Delta also continues to monitor for any updates from state and local officials as evacuation warnings are issued.”Other US carriers are also offering fee waivers to destinations they serve in the affected areas.The pressure has lessened in the Hawaiian Islands after Hurricane Olivia was downgraded to a tropical storm.Tropical storm warnings were still in effect late Tuesday Hawaiian time but the system, which was predicted to have passed Hawaii by Wednesday afternoon, was tipped to weaken.A similar situation occurred with former Hurricane Isaac as it approaches the Lesser Antilles islands. The National Hurricane Center forecast Isaac would across the central Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean on Thursday, gradually weakening over the next few daysTropical storm warnings were still in effect for Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe and storm watches for Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba and St. Eustatius.A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within 36 to 48 hours.
In my mind, the best CEOs are usually the ones who are in a race to the future – they’re obsessed with defining the future because they can’t stomach the thought of reacting to a future created by their competitors. During his era, Steve Jobs was miles ahead of every other forward thinking CEO in that race. Somehow he was able to see the unseen, and marshal Apple’s resources to deliver the innovative products that fulfilled his view of what lied ahead. In the process, Apple became the most valuable corporation on the face of the earth. That established Steve Jobs as the greatest CEO of our time. But was he the greatest leader of our time? Apple shareholders would surely say yes. Former subordinates, who suffered under his autocratic and abrasive style, might differ. Theoretically, the principles and personal characteristics that constitute great leadership should mirror those of greats CEOs – but not always. Here’s why: 1. By definition, the person who fails to deliver quantitative business results for the company he leads is not a great CEO (of that company). That does not preclude the individual from being a great leader and a great CEO somewhere else. Reportedly, John Scully was the top of his class during his Pepsi years. Then he moved to Apple and failed miserably. Same leader, different result. 2. Companies, markets, and the categories in which they compete can be exceedingly dissimilar. Fundamentally, the leadership style or the skillset required of a CEO in one environment may be the kiss of death in another. Is a “turnaround” artist right for a profitable, steady bureaucracy? Can a good “start-up” CEO guide a mature organization? Are shareholders looking for a builder or a banker? 3. CEOs can exhibit some odd leadership characteristics and still get the job done.One has to wonder if Apple would have been as successful had Steve Jobs not been ruthless, impatient, emotional, stubborn, intense, and controlling. On point number 3, I’m the first to admit that if I could go back, I would have done a few things differently during my years in the corner office. For starters, I would have injected more fun into a culture that was intensely competitive, but unnecessarily serious. Secondly, I treated everyone the same; at the time I justified my behavior as fair and equitable leadership. It was also “easy” leadership because I led without much regard to filtering the intensity of my personality. On reflection, I should have paid attention to the unique personalities of my management team and made some adaptations that would have allowed their business lives to be even more fulfilling. In the final analysis, would these improvements in human resource strategy have made any difference to the company’s performance? The answer to that question is an unequivocal, “No”. On the other hand, these adaptations would not have hindered the result. The most important question a CEO must answer is still, “What should we do?” Once he or she has taken care of that, the next question is, “How should we do it?” This is the question that affords the opportunity for a leader to provide satisfaction to his or her followers during the long journey to a purposeful destination.
Back in January Amit Agarwal wrote a post called “How to Reduce RSS Stress In Your Online Life” in which he talked about managing enormous lists of RSS feeds. It’s likely that your feed list doesn’t top 1200 like Amit’s, but even with just 20 or 30 feeds, the constant stream of news can get overwhelming. At the time, on my own blog, I advised people to simply read fewer feeds, but now a team from Ontario, Canada led by programmer Ilya Grigorik thinks they have a better solution: AideRSS.AideRSS, which launches today, is a new type of RSS filtering service that uses a proprietary system called PostRank to determine the best posts on each blog. I first read about PostRank on Ilya’s blog last December and remember being very intrigued and thinking, “There’s a web service in this.” Just over 6 months later, Ilya’s idea is being born as AideRSS, which I have been playing around with for a little over a week.What is PostRank6 and a half months ago when Ilya conceived of PostRank, he described it this way:“I look at the number of comments, number of bookmarks the visitors made, and the number of trackbacks. I collect this information from the internet and then normalize each post against the average for the blog in question – if you always get 15 comments, then you getting 17 comments doesnÄôt affect the ranking as much as, say getting 15 comments when you usually get 2.”PostRank still works more or less the same way, but it now includes information from digg, del.icio.us, Technorati, IceRocket and Bloglines. PostRank ranks post from 1-10 (with 10 being the most important posts), and the idea is that the most talked about posts are likely the most important. The key to making PR work, however, is really the normalization. A PR10 post on Slashdot, for example, where 100 comments isn’t out of the ordinary, will be different than a PR10 post on a smaller blog where 15 comments might be abnormal. “Trying to define ‘good’ for every blog is impossible,” Ilya told me, which is why PostRank is figured based on the average performance of each blog. “Otherwise, the ‘A-list’ will skew all the scores,” says Ilya, who built AideRSS using Ruby (back end) and Rails (front end). The site utilizes Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud service in order to keep the growing index of sites up to date.I did notice one weakness in AideRSS rankings, which which was a result of the service relying on outside services. The specific example that I saw involved my rarely updated personal blog, which had one post defined as a PR10. The problem was that it seemed to have achieved that ranking because of a bunch of trackback spam that Technorati let slip through. In this case, Technorati’s failing adversely affected AideRSS rankings. Hopefully the guys at AideRSS can figure out a way to apply their own spam and trackback filters to make sure posts are not ranked highly because of spam comments or bad links that slip by other services.How Do You Use AideRSS AideRSS couldn’t be simpler to use. Enter the URL of a website, and the application automatically finds and analyzes the feed if it hasn’t seen it before. Once that is completed, the service displays a page with that site’s last 20 posts. The posts can be organized by date or PostRank. Clicking on the ‘More’ button shows a brief excerpt from the post, as well as information on the various PostRank elements. Clicking on the title of each post will direct you to the post itself.Posts can be filtered into three categories: good, great, and bests posts. This is again normalized to each blog. For example, since July 2nd, 21% of Read/WriteWeb’s posts have been deemed by AideRSS to be in the “best” category, each having a PR between 6.5 and 10. For Slashdot, however since July 5th only 3% have achieved “best” status, with the highest PR among them at 8. It’s important to note that because PostRank is normalized for each blog, a PR8 post on Slashdot is vastly different than a PR8 post on Read/WriteWeb.Users can subscribe to filtered feeds (either good, great, or best posts feeds) via RSS in their usual feed reader, or add filtered feeds to their ‘My Feeds’ page. The My Feeds dashboard shows a mashup feed that includes every filtered feed the you’re tracking. You can subscribe to that mashup feed in your normal feed reader.In addition to adding feeds by hand, users can also import an OMPL file into AideRSS. Or if you decide you want to bring your saved feeds to another RSS reader, you can export an OPML file as well. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market AideRSS For BloggersAideRSS is free and intends to remain that way. Their FAQ promises that there will always be a free version of the service available. I asked Ilya what his plans for monetizing the service were, and though he said the main focus right now is building the free consumer service, he hinted at the possibility of publisher services. Ilya told me that as the index grows, there exists the potential for meaningful analysis of post and reader trends, patterns, habits, meme tracking, etc. These sort of services are the type of things that could potentially be offered on a for-pay basis to publishers, but Ilya stressed that that is not a focus for AideRSS at the moment.The website does offer a couple of blogger-centric services, however. The “Sharing & widgets” page for every site indexed by AideRSS offers two services aimed at publishers: a syndication widget that provides RSS links to AideRSS-filtered feeds (good, great, and best) as well as a top posts widget that lists the top ranked posts over a given time period. Below is Read/WriteWeb’s best posts over the past month according to AideRSS. These are the posts that elicited the largest response from our readers, and according to the AideRSS system are thus deemed the most likely to be our best.Top Posts: Read/WriteWebConclusionWhen I first read about Ilya’s idea for a PostRank system, I was impressed. The service he and his partners Francis Lau and Kevin Thomason have put together is equally impressive. AideRSS is a novel way to filter RSS feeds that I think could be truly useful. More importantly, though, I think the real value of this service will come in the future, when and if they develop publisher tools that allow bloggers to track reader behavior. AideRSS should be able to theoretically help bloggers find that holy grail of blogging: the key to posts that your readers consistently respond to. Give AideRSS a try and let us know in the comments what you think about the service. Tags:#web josh catone 1
How Wearables Will Take Health Monitoring to th… 4 Ways Big Data & VR Are Changing Professi… michael singer Tags:#Fullpower#MotionX#Philippe Kahn#wearable world congress#Wearable World Congress 2015 Related Posts You Think Your Employees WANT to Wear That Devi… Wearable World Congress, ReadWrite’s signature annual conference in San Francisco on May 19-20, will feature the key players who are shaping wearable technology and the Internet of Things. This series profiles some of the experts who will be speaking at the conference. Swiss watchmakers, legendary for creating precise, stylish timepieces, have faced their fair share of challenges. Their analog timepieces have withstood the advent of quartz watches and novelty devices foisting calculators, garish video games and more. Now smartwatches join the ranks as the latest rivals. Re-enter Philippe Kahn, CEO of Fullpower, the company behind the MotionX software that powered many of the original activity- and sleep-tracking bands. Recently he’s been working with well-known Swiss watchmakers to create a new line of horological smartwatches. Buy tickets now: Wearable World Congress, May 19-20Fullpower’s technology now aims to blend the digital and analog worlds by combining activity tracking, sleep monitoring and cloud services, with always-on time and date, as well as battery life that’s measured in years, not hours or days. I caught up with Kahn, who will be speaking at Wearable World Congress next month, to talk with him about innovation and what got him interested in wearables in the first place.As a consumer, what excites you about wearables? What irritates you?I hate charging devices. I already have my laptop and my smartphone. I don’t want to worry about a third device. That’s the biggest irritation. I do love beautiful objects and iconic design, even though I am a geek. I just love beautiful objects, and I like wearing beautiful objects. I love them when they are like an Alpina watch. As the great Miles Davis used to say: “If you want to play good, you have to look good!”There’s a perceived mad rush to improve user experience. How do you see this future playing out? What are the key developments that need to happen for us to get there?Because wearables need to be worn, the charging and invasiveness factors are key to the user experience. For example, we built the Alpina horological smartwatch. It is a beautiful Swiss watch, [but] we had to solve an impossible technology problem and deliver two-plus years of battery life. And we did. That was the number one experience request from users. A watch should be able to tell the time, all the time, every time. Tell me about the moment when you decided that you needed to solve the power issue.When we started our company in 2003, nobody was thinking about wearables. We realized that if we wanted people to use them 24/7, we needed to solve the power issue and make the technology invisible. So we decided to build a strong technology foundation focused on breakthrough power management technology and miniaturization. Of course this was a roadmap, but we called our company Fullpower and the technology platform MotionX. We thought that this would keep our focus on what really matters. What are the top five things companies should consider in seeking to follow in the footsteps of horological designs?Fullpower built the MotionX platform so that iconic brands such as Mondaine, Alpina, Frederique Constant and others have the flexibility to build beautiful objects. That’s the challenge: To make the technology invisible, and yet deliver breakthrough battery life and miniature form factor without ever compromising on quality and accuracy. It’s a beautiful thing. To hear more from Philippe Kahn and other innovators and experts, register for Wearable World Congress 2015, May 19-20 in San Francisco. Early bird prices end soon!Photo courtesy of Philippe Kahn/Fullpower The Key to Mass Adoption of Wearables
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