After a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador on April 16th, 2016, Ever Upward Entertainment put together a benefit concert. The response from local performers was overwhelming, as Digg band, Dyrty Byrds, Booster, Whiskey Tango, Displace, Mama Magnolia, and Lady and The Gentlemen will all be performing. The show takes place tomorrow, July 20th, at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Other Side in Denver, CO.All proceeds from the show will go to Saving Ecuador, a non-profit organization focused on providing aid to the country. Additionally, thanks to our sponsor Fiction Brewing, there will be free craft beer if you get there before 9PM! With great music, free beer and an important cause, there’s no reason to miss this event.You can find details in the poster below, or via the Facebook Event.
There was a time when a laptop could weigh 10 pounds and still sell, a time when a cell phone was larger than a pocket, and a time when an iPod played only music.Today’s consumers expect mobile devices that are both smaller and more powerful. All the bells and whistles, however, suck up energy — and a phone that lasts only four hours because it’s also a GPS device is only so useful.To promote energy-efficient multitasking, Harvard graduate student Wonyoung Kim has developed and demonstrated a new device with the potential to reduce the power usage of modern processing chips.The advance could allow the creation of “smarter” smartphones, slimmer laptops, and more energy-friendly data centers.Kim’s on-chip, multicore voltage regulator (MCVR) addresses what amounts to a mismatch between power supply and demand.“If you’re listening to music on your MP3 player, you don’t need to send power to the image and graphics processors at the same time,” Kim says. “If you’re just looking at photos, you don’t need to power the audio processor or the HD video processor.“It’s like shutting off the lights when you leave the room.”Kim’s research in 2008 at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) showed that fine-grain voltage control was a theoretical possibility. This month, he presented a paper at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ International Solid-State Circuits Conference showing that the MCVR could actually be implemented in hardware.Essentially a DC-DC converter, the MCVR can take a 2.4-volt input and scale it down to voltages ranging from 0.4 to 1.4V. Built for speed, it can increase or decrease the output by 1V in less than 20 nanoseconds.The MCVR also uses an algorithm to recognize parts of the processor that are not in use and cuts power to them, saving energy. Kim says it results in a longer battery life (or, in the case of stationary data centers, lower energy bills) while providing the same performance.The on-chip design means that the power supply can be managed not just for each processor chip, but also for each individual core on the chip. The short distance that signals then have to travel between the voltage regulator and the cores allows power scaling to happen quickly — in a matter of nanoseconds rather than microseconds — further improving efficiency.Kim has obtained a provisional patent for the MCVR with his Ph.D. co-advisers at SEAS, Gu-Yeon Wei, Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering, and David Brooks, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, who are co-authors on the paper he presented this week.“Wonyoung Kim’s research takes an important step towards a higher level of integration for future chips,” says Wei. “Systems today rely on off-chip, board-level voltage regulators that are bulky and slow. Integrating the voltage regulator along with the IC chip to which it supplies power not only reduces broad-level size and cost, but also opens up exciting opportunities to improve energy efficiency.”Says Brooks: “Kim’s three-level design overcomes issues that hamper traditional buck and switch-capacitor converters by merging good attributes of both into a single structure. We believe research on integrated voltage regulators like Kim’s will be an essential component of future computing devices where energy-efficient performance and low cost are in demand.”Although Kim thinks that the greatest demand for the MCVR right now would be in the market for mobile phones, the device could also have applications in other computing scenarios. Used in laptops, the MCVR might reduce the heat output of the processor, which is currently one barrier to making slimmer notebooks. In stationary scenarios, the rising cost of powering servers of ever-increasing speed and capacity could be reduced.“This is a plug-and-play device in the sense that it can be easily incorporated into the design of processor chips,” says Kim. “Including the MCVR on a chip would add about 10 percent to the manufacturing cost, but with the potential for 20 percent or more in power savings.”The research was supported by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Computer and Network Systems and Division of Computing and Communication Foundations.
Nearly 250 people, some wearing “protect Roe v. Wade” hats and holding a poster with the slogan “Trojans vs. Trump,” gathered Wednesday at E.F. Hutton Park for the Rally for Inclusion and Tolerance. The rally was led by Professor Tania Modleski, who expressed the importance of supporting those who feel impacted by the upcoming administration.Falling on Jan. 18, two days before the inauguration, the rally at USC followed UCLA’s #J18 initiative, which encouraged faculty and schools to teach, organize and resist, according to Modleski.Modleski read the #J18 intentions, which include teaching about the agendas of the new administration, organizing against violence directed toward minorities and resisting the institutionalization of ideologies.The rally featured speeches, poems and book passages from faculty members and professors from the University. Niels Frenzen, director of the Immigration Clinic at the Gould School of Law, spoke about the uncertainty for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy caused by President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign, which impacts undocumented students, including USC students. Frenzen also expressed concern regarding the incoming administration’s potential use of raids to find and deport undocumented immigrants.“We don’t know what the new president is going to do with DACA,” Frenzen said. “This lack of clarity and lack of knowledge in regards to what the new administration is planning on doing in the immigration area contributes to their fear. We haven’t seen raids in decades. Are we going to go back to that?”Frenzen also invited those in attendance to “know their rights” and shared handouts explaining immigrant and constitutional rights in both English and Spanish with those in attendance.William Vela, director of El Centro Chicano, also expressed his concern with the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.“This is a surreal time,” Vela said. “I keep telling my students that I have never seen anything like this. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen because I just don’t know.”Despite this, Vela remained optimistic.“I really do see the positive in this,” Vela said. “I think it will bring us closer and help us understand who we are.”Bryn Ziegler, a junior majoring in fine arts, attended the rally and said that the administration “threatened the people she loves.”“I care about racism, sexism and xenophobia not getting a foothold in our country, now that we’re moving toward progress,” Ziegler said. “It’s important to feel that there are people we can go to and people who care about this as much as I do, as a student.”Modleski said that Trump’s victory was unexpected, and that she anticipated he would not prevail.“It’s unbelievable that this could be happening,” Modleski said. “This man stood for building walls and registries for Muslims, encouraged hate speech [and was] the worst misogynist.”For many like Modleski and those who attended the rally, Donald Trump’s campaign and platform perpetuated negative stereotypes and normalized hate speech toward minorities.Karen Tongson, an English and gender studies professor, also spoke at the rally. Tongson read a passage from the Queer Nation Manifesto and invited those in attendance to “build a community of lovers.”Modleski said she hopes that rallies like these prompt USC to protest injustices.“This rally isn’t going to accomplish miracles, but it’s a way for people to come out and speak out for those who are vulnerable,” Modleski said. “I really hope this rally changes how people see this institution and how this institution acts.”Modleski also invited those in attendance to events happening near USC on the cusp of the Presidential Inauguration, including a walkout planned for Friday at 11 a.m. Viet Thanh Nguyen, a professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, also encouraged everyone at the event to follow the words of Martin Luther King Jr. and “break silence every day.”“People like John Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr. used stories and rallies and protests to change the story of what America was, is and should be,” Nguyen said. “Whenever it’s a time to break silence, it takes courage, but it also takes imagination.”In Photos: Tolerance Rally
Andrew DanielsAndrew Daniels Managing Director of specialist mobile and web development agency Degree 53 details to SBC readers why in a digitally connected world, UX design has to be at the forefront of all industry development as stakeholders are faced with increased customer retention costs. Degree 53 is a digital agency, specialising in providing solutions to the gambling industry. The company holds a Remote Gambling Software license accredited by the UK Gambling Commission. The Manchester-based agency provides support in development, UX design, prototyping and consultancy.__________________________The gambling industry relies heavily on continuous customer turnaround to maintain profitable business. Gaming operators have vast budgets for marketing and user acquisition to support this initiative. However, another challenge is maintaining customer retention and making sure they return after the first visit. To stay ahead of the competition, operators need to review the user journey of their particular product (website or mobile app), focusing on the user experience (UX) to create brand loyalty and a growing customer base.The principle of UX is offering users the easiest and clearest ways of getting to the desired destination. In gambling, the users’ intention is logging in or registering and placing a bet or playing a game. This means that the journey needs to be as effortless as possible. If the UX is confusing or involves too many steps, consumers are more likely to abandon the product and never return. They are also more likely to seek alternatives from competitors. Below, we highlight some points that operators need to follow to create a great and intuitive UX.Clearly defined user retention strategyOne of the main points gambling operators need to address is their user retention strategy and how the entire website or app supports it. While operators focus heavily on acquisition, it is even more important to consider what will help them keep the customer. They need to view this from a user’s perspective, including thinking through reasons for and expectations when engaging with the product in question, and how to enhance this experience. Having a clear strategy will help define the path from acquiring and then retaining the customer.Simplify the customer journeyTo comply with the online gambling regulations, operators are required to carry out identity checks upon registration as part of the know-your-customer (KYC) process. It often involves lengthy forms, however, in a world where users are so used to a simple social login, it is worth considering how to make it more seamless.The UX during registration can be greatly improved and sped up with a progress indicator in forms, so users are aware of the length, as well as any mandatory details. Adding intuitive entry fields with an option to find the address by entering a postcode and using in-line field validation, can also make this process smoother. If users need to provide proof of identity, adding a camera functionality to take a picture of their document can save several minutes and a great effort for the users, without the need to leave the app. Similarly, allowing users to scan or take a picture of their bank cards instead of entering the number can also be useful. These small but effective UX solutions make it easier for customers to register with the required information and get to the fun part quicker.Guide to the relevant pointUnderstandably, every gambling operator wants its customers to play a game or place a bet using its website or app. Therefore, companies need to help them find relevant activities as quickly as possible. The gaming UX needs to be intuitive and second nature to users for locating the right option. This includes displaying clear calls to action and instructions, easy navigation and consistent design. For mobile apps and websites, operators need to keep in mind the specific design principles for iOS and Android platforms, as well as different screen sizes.User testingOne way of finding out whether the product or an idea is truly working and appeals to customers is testing it with real users before embarking on further product development. This can potentially save substantial amounts of money, time and resources on something that might not be viable. It can be as simple as including basic wireframes and images with touch points that would show the intended user journey or getting users to review the current product. Involving actual customers in testing will show whether the product works in real life and whether they agree with the process. It can be a very insightful activity for product owners and can provide lots of learning opportunities.Put the customer first in all cases Gambling customers tend to have little brand loyalty, as they are likely to choose the operator for the easiest process of engaging with the brand, and UX plays a big role in this. For example, banks are something many are reluctant to change due to the various paperwork and hassle of switching payments to a new account. However, some users decide to do this simply based on unsatisfactory experience with their mobile app offering, which says a lot about UX and its importance in customer retention. If the UX and customer journey don’t align with the business strategy, operators might risk losing their users and subsequently maintaining profit.At Degree 53, we advise our clients to take part in our Product Design Sprints to determine how a digital product could be improved. During our workshop, they come up with a new idea, analyse and test it in just one week. We spend three days reviewing challenges and brainstorming possible solutions, one day creating a prototype, and another day testing it with real users to ensure it meets the client’s business objectives. Product Design Sprints determine how the audience perceives the product and what UX principles need to be adopted to retain customers, without the need for costly development.________________Andrew Daniels – Managing Director- Degree53 Related Articles Degree 53 expands technical and product development teams July 22, 2020 Share Roger Tyrzyk, IDnow: Helping online operators stop the bad guys May 19, 2020 Submit StumbleUpon David Pope: HooYu – Betting needs to stay alert on temporary KYC actions June 23, 2020 Share