MSI Brings Prestige Laptops Big Gaming Performance to a Broader Audience

MSI may be better known for their gaming hardware, but the company is furthering its push for content creators with the Modern 14 and Prestige 15 laptops. Measuring 14" and 15.6" respectively, these laptops are not only thin and light, but also equipped with Intel's new 10th generation processors. Aside from their sleek designs, they feature plenty of helpful connectivity options such as USB Type-C, HDMI, and a media card reader.

1.1 GHz Intel Core i7-10710U Six-Core
15.6" 1920 x 1080 Full HD Display
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB GDDR5)

The Modern 14 is currently available with a 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5-10210U quad-core processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD, and up to an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card. Meanwhile its IPS-level display has thin bezels and a 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution with 72% NTSC coverage. Other notable integrated features include an SD card reader and a fingerprint reader.

MSI 14" Modern 14 Laptop

On the other hand, the Prestige 15 specs include a 1.1 GHz Intel Core i7-10710U six-core processor, up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, up to a 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics card. To cater to different types of content production, its current display options are either a 3840 x 2160 4K 100% Adobe RGB screen or a standard IPS-level Full HD wide-view one. Unlike the Modern 14 though, it has Thunderbolt 3 connectivity instead of just regular USB Type-C, and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). Both the Modern 14 and Prestige 15 are available for preorder now.

MSI 15.6" Prestige 15 Laptop

Key Features

1.1 GHz Intel Core i7-10710U Six-Core
15.6" 3840 x 2160 4K Display
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB GDDR5)

About B&H Photo Video

As the world's largest source of photography, video, and audio equipment, as well as computers, drones, and home and portable entertainment, B&H is known worldwide for its attentive, knowledgeable sales force and excellent customer service, including fast, reliable shipping. B&H has been satisfying customers worldwide for 40 years.

Visitors to the website can access a variety of educational videos and enlightening articles. The B and H YouTube Channel has an unmatched wealth of educational content. Our entertaining and informative videos feature product overviews from our in-house specialists. You can view the B&H Event Space presentations from many of the world's foremost experts and interviews with some of technology's most dynamic characters. Tap into this exciting resource by subscribing to the B&H YouTube Channel here. In addition to videos, the B&H Explora blog presents new product announcements, gear reviews, helpful guides, and tech news written by product experts and industry professionals.

When you're in Manhattan, take a tour of the B&H Photo SuperStore, located at 420 Ninth Avenue. The techno-carousel spins all year round at the counters and kiosks at B&H. With hundreds of products on display, the B&H Photo SuperStore is the place to test-drive and compare all the latest gear.

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Friday, August 23, 2019

Emerging BI Trends You Should Keep an Eye On

In 1865, Richard Miller coined the phrase Business Intelligence, or BI, to describe the way a banker took advantage of information by collecting and using it before the competitors. Now, many describe business intelligence as the key element to the success of a business. The applications, tools, and infrastructure enable access to qualitative data which can improve and optimize operational decisions and performance. In the corporate world, you have to be alert and careful because you risk missing out. Learn about who is driving innovation. If you cannot innovate, copy. In this article, we will look into the emerging BI trends you should know and prepare to master.

Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is not something new. This breakthrough technology which has changed pretty much everything about our lives has been around since 1950. AI is capable of making machines do just about anything. It can be used to solve problems across the business industry, such as detecting spam, manual data entry, product recommendation, and more. Companies are beginning to make decisions based on algorithms, which is not such a bad thing. There is no bias in machine data. The point is that AI algorithms are fair and efficient. 

We are all used to Alexa and Siri. What will happen next? Cognitive analytics is one thing to look forward to. Machines will make hypotheses, draw conclusions, and codify experience. What else? Face-reading machines will be able to get info on the emotional state of the user just by reading facial expression. Of course, the list does not end here. Artificial intelligence will continue to play an important part in the future of business intelligence, so keep an eye on it.

Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics Tools 

The branch of analytics which is used to make predictions is called predictive analytics. With the right tool, you can get a clear idea about your position in the sales funnel, connect with other businesses to exchange marketing lists, optimize the supply chain, and give yourself greater flexibility. Big data will have a significant impact on the future of predictive analytics. More organizations will have computing power. They will be able to gather vast amounts of information in real-time and use it to enhance the customer journey.

Business data is growing at a fast rate and relevant information can be extracted from terabytes, petabytes, and exabytes thanks to technology. Let us talk a little bit about prescriptive analytics. It refers to the final phase of business analytics when efforts are made to find the best course of action. Companies are deploying advanced software, not to mention machine learning to take action. Computer programs alter the data so that it can be used without too much difficulty, in a way that is faster and more comprehensive.

Self-Service BI Interfaces 

Self-service business intelligence is a pretty vague concept. What you need to know is that it is an approach to data analytics that enables firms to carry out tasks themselves. Basically, you can access and work with corporate data even if you are not so good when it comes down to statistical analysis. Now, you understand why it is called self-service. The great thing is that you do not have to wait for weeks at an end to discover key functionality. You can get the info you desperately need from your operational systems. There are certain features to look for when trying to incorporate BI software into your business:

- Compatibility with user software – Make sure that you can manipulate information for optimal insight. 
- User-friendliness
- Handling high-volume databases – Data quantity can increase, so the BI software should be able to maintain efficiency as the data volume grows. 

Attention should be paid to the fact that self-service business intelligence is a work in progress. You should not expect perfection.

External Innovation

Within an organization, there are very few people who have the capacity to innovate. These people are capable of disrupting entire industries with their ideas. They see improvement everywhere and make it happen. As mentioned earlier, the number of innovators is limited. The good news is that companies no longer have to rely on their internal capabilities to generate innovative ideas. in the programming world, for instance, change is the order of the day. Developer and ops teams can manage their infrastructure with code. What is more, they can code even if there are security threats.

Many think that there have not been significant changes in programming languages since 1960. They could not be farther from the truth. New programming languages were launched for the World Wide Web. Dart is such an example. Let us not forget about Julia. This mathematical language is not for anyone. It features some interesting aspects, such as multiple dispatch and standard library. Since innovation is a necessity, you might want to consider programming outsourcing. You will basically outsource innovation by using external parties to engage in idea generation for new products and services. Know what you are looking for and find the best platform to post your requirements.

Connected Clouds

Almost all businesses have migrated to the cloud. It is estimated that about 80 percent of enterprises are operating in the cloud landscape. So, the presence of the cloud is not unexpected. In 2020 and the years to come the cloud will continue its reign. Not only will they leverage cloud advantage, but also share resources and data among computers. The phenomenon is called connected clouds. Interestingly, connected clouds do not need massive investments. Software-as-a-Service enables firms to use various tools. Most importantly, they will not depend on a single vendor.

Opting for a multi-cloud strategy is a great idea. The direct connection makes it possible to interact with the clouds from a private, dedicated network. Development teams can build applications and work across multiple platforms. Using connected clouds should be an integral part of your business intelligence strategy. Corporations like Apple, Google, Amazon, or Microsoft are doing it. So, why not?

It is time to evaluate how technologically advanced you are. Are you ready to take advantage of these emerging trends and extract maximum value?

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Casio To Release New PRO TREK Smart With Heart Rate Monitor

Today, Casio America, Inc. announced that it will release a new addition to the PRO TREK Smart series of wrist devices for outdoor enthusiasts – the WSD-F21HR. Casio's new WSD-F21HR, which is slated for release this September, is outfitted with a heart rate monitor for pace management during activities from road and trail running, to cycling, climbing and more.

Casio entered the smartwatch market in 2016 and released the WSD-F20 in 2017. Featuring GPS technology and offline maps, this and subsequent models allow users to easily check their current location from their wrist, even in locations without cell phone service, and they have been especially popular.

Heart Rate Monitor

The new WSD-F21HR is the first PRO TREK Smart to offer an optical sensor. It measures users' heart rates by flashing a LED light onto the wrist. Once measured, information is expressed as one of five heart rate zones1, allowing users to see the elapsed time and more at a glance. The watch also has a new Heart Rate watch face which enables it to automatically switch to the heart rate monitor screen when motion is detected by the accelerometer.

Casio Activity App

The WSD-F21HR also offers Casio's enhanced Activity App which now features Running and Trail Running menus. These menus display measurement data in real time which can be optimized by choosing three types of information displays including heart rate, pace, and distance2. Furthermore, because up to four screens can be set, the user can easily switch between them and check the desired information while engaged in an activity.

GPS & Offline Maps

The WSD-F21HR can also display maps and the current location enabling users to enjoy taking an unfamiliar route or running when they are traveling. Since the WSD-F21HR can import GPS log data, users can check previously used running, trekking and cycling routes. Data measured by the Activity app is also automatically saved to Google Drive, and activity history can be viewed on Google Calendar.

As with other PRO TREK Smart models, the new WSD-F21HR can access Google App services, the trekking app ViewRanger, the cycling app BIKEMAP, the running app STRAVA, and other outdoor sports apps compatible with Wear OS by Google making it ideal for a multitude of outdoor activities.

Additional features and Design

Designed for the active outdoorsman, the WSD-F21HR boasts water resistance up to 50 meters and environmental durability built to military specifications. It features a bold, durable front bezel and a soft urethane band with a double pin buckle to ensure a comfortable fit, as well as Casio's signature dual-layer display. The WSD-F21HR (MSRP: $499) will be available in black and red at select jewelry and watch retailers nationwide. For more information on Casio's WSD-F21HR and full PRO TREK collection of timepieces, please visit and

1: By setting the maximum and resting heart rates, current fitness and training results can be shown as five levels. The target exercise intensity can be checked with the heart rate zone screen, allowing the user to determine the ideal heart rate for the target training, or the user's current fitness level.

2: The information that can be displayed includes Heart rate and zone / Heart rate / Heart rate graph/ Total time / Running time /Expected time / Goal ETA / Lap / Average lap / Pace / Average pace / Maximum pace / Total distance / Distance remaining to goal / Speed / Average speed / Maximum speed / Speed graph / calories consumed /Barometer / Barometer graph / Altitude / Altitude change graph / Target altitude / Altitude remaining to goal / Elevation gain / Elevation loss / Current time / Battery level. Certain types of information can only be shown in the upper, middle, or lower parts of the display.

SOURCE Casio America, Inc.
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RIG 700 Wireless Gaming Headset Takes Ultra-Lightweight to the Next Level

Plantronics, Inc. ("Poly" – formerly Plantronics and Polycom) (NYSE: PLT), a global communications company that powers meaningful human connection and collaboration, today announced at Gamescom the addition of the RIG 700 series of wireless headsets to its award-winning RIG gaming line.

The newest addition to the RIG gaming line delivers a durable, precise and ultra-lightweight wireless gaming experience. With up to 12-hours of battery life, the RIG 700 Series is designed to endure an all-night raid or those intense competitive gaming sessions. The RIG 700 series is now available for Xbox One (HX), PlayStation (HS) and Windows PC (HD).

Available in a variety of new colors and patterns and equipped with a game/chat balance dial easily accessible on the earcup, players can perfect the precise audio levels that work for them. RIG 700 HX and HD versions feature Windows Sonic surround-sound to boost game audio the way game designers intended – giving them a competitive edge.

"Lightweight comfort and wireless design are two must-haves we consistently hear gamers are looking for in their favorite gaming headset," said Corey Rosemond, Global Director, Marketing and Business Development at Poly. "Not only does RIG 700 Series answer that call, but it also brings competitive gamers the audio precision they crave, and endurance build that they need to rack-up their wins and get totally immersed in gameplay."

RIG 700 Series, available in HX, HS and HD editions, includes performance-boosting features, such as:
Game/Chat Balance Dial: You'll never have to choose between "too loud" and "too quiet." Dial in the perfect balance for your play style
Adjustable Mic Monitoring: Hear exactly what your team hears, so the only times you're yelling are when you're winning
Up to 30 feet of Wireless Range: Step away from your game and stay connected with the fully dedicated wireless audio connection with the RIG 700 headset and wireless base
40 mm Drivers with Bass Tubes: High-quality, full-range audio with substantial bass and articulated mid-range for high-frequency detail and auditory acuity
Removable Noise-canceling Mic: Let team members hear your game calls clearly and easily detach for solo sessions

"A 2019 survey conducted by IDC revealed that hardcore gamers are playing more than 15 hours per week," said Lewis Ward, Research Director of gaming and VR/AR at IDC. "Which means headset comfort and ultra-lightweight design, in addition to premium audio, can be crucial in terms of helping these players stay focused, avoid fatigue and gain a competitive edge."

Pricing and Availability

RIG 700 Series for use with Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC is available at Walmart in the US and at Argos in the UK. For more information on pricing and availability of RIG 700 Series, please visit:
RIG 700 HS
RIG 700 HD
RIG 700 HX


Pelco Introduces Sarix Professional Series 3 Fixed IP Cameras

Pelco, Inc., a global leader in intelligent video surveillance solutions, has released the Sarix Professional (Pro) Series 3 Fixed IP cameras. Offered in mini-dome, bullet, box, and wedge configurations, these IP cameras deliver a balanced set of features and performance at affordable price points that allow for deployment across a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications, including low light and wide dynamic range capabilities with options of 1MP, 2MP, 3MP, and 5MP resolutions.

Sarix Pro 3 cameras are ideal for industries such as Commercial, Government, Healthcare, and Education that demand a robust set of features, superior performance, and image clarity in an easily installed and maintained camera system.

"The Sarix Pro 3 IP Camera Series solves real security video challenges in a broad range of industries by providing more security detail in challenging scenes with excellent low light and wide dynamic range performance," said Kevin Saldanha, Principal Product Manager. "In Healthcare and Education verticals, where vandalism and bi-directional audio communication is required, this camera series has models with IK10 vandal resistance and built-in microphones that can meet those requirements seamlessly. For Commercial industry-related needs that require several hundreds to thousands of high-resolution cameras with 24/7 monitoring on a limited budget, the Sarix Pro 3 Series delivers cost-savings with less bandwidth and storage requirements supported by h.265 video encoding and Pelco Smart Compression," he concluded.

Only the Sarix Pro 3 IP Camera Series Offer These Key Features:

Clear Detail in Low Light Conditions with:
Up to 120dB True Wide Dynamic Range: These cameras can bring out detail in both very bright and dark areas to maximize visibility and are especially useful in environments that have both dark and light areas in one scene, such as entrances.
Adaptive IR Illumination (Up to 50m for dome cameras and up to 80m for bullet cameras): With capabilities that produce detailed images in zero light, the adaptive IR Illuminator avoids overexposure that can hinder detection as objects approach the camera.
One camera can provide wide, yet detailed coverage with resolutions up to 5MP at 30 FPS. This level of clarity allows customers to view license plate numbers and faces.
Capture fast moving objects in Traffic, Gaming, Banking, and Commercial industries: 5MP camera models can stream 60 FPS for up to 4MP resolution.
Conserve/minimize bandwidth and storage costs via h.265, the highest video compression standard, and Pelco Smart Compression technology.
Flexible recording and viewing of video with three streams and optimized streams to save on costs. All three independent streams are configurable with video encoding (H.265/H.264/MJEPG), resolution, and frame rate.
Enhanced detection and faster response ability by way of bi-directional audio with audio line-in and line-out. A built-in microphone is also included in the indoor dome camera.
Flexible deployment in challenging environments with IK10, IP66, and IP67 ratings and a wide operating temperature. The cameras' housings are built using metal construction and select camera models are ideal for areas prone to tampering and vandalism, like correctional facilities, hospitals, and schools. IP66 and IP67-rated models are available for water and dust protection, while environmental models can operate in extreme temperature environments (between –40° to 60°C).
Faster, easier, and lower-cost installation with a single-wire PoE connection. 24VAC and 12VDC power options are also available for flexibility in installation.
Integrated and industry standard compliant. These cameras work with VideoXpert on both H.264/H.265 and with Endura and Digital Sentry along with VxToolbox. They are also ONVIF Profile S, G, Q, and T compliant and work with well with third-party video management systems that conform to these ONVIF Profiles.

Sarix Pro Series 3 cameras are available to be ordered now. Dome and bullet models ship in August, box cameras ship in September, and wedge models ship in October. For more information, please go to:

A video featuring the Sarix Professional 3 IP Cameras can be viewed here. For more information about how Pelco is meeting today's security and surveillance challenges, visit or follow Pelco on Twitter (@PelcoVideo).


Monday, August 19, 2019

LG Advanced Display Technologies Provide Canvas For Unique 4K Multimedia Art Exhibit

LG Electronics USA has teamed up with noted Los Angeles-based multimedia artist David Van Eyssen to present Projections, a collection of enthralling 4K Ultra HD digital artwork presented via the new LG CineBeam Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Projectors and critically-acclaimed LG OLED C9 TVs.

Throughout Projections, which will be open to the public Aug. 23-24 at 508A Gallery in Santa Monica, guests will experience a new method for displaying 4K UHD art in the home using the new LG CineBeam projectors (model HU85LA) and 65-inch class LG OLED C9 TVs. LG's ultra short throw 4Kprojector employs 2,700 ANSI lumens to deliver vibrant and crisp images up to 120 inches (measured diagonally) while housed in a minimal design that hugs the wall.

The artwork, a sequence of eight original large-scale still fragmented art portraits and motion triptychs merged with high-frequency interference patterns, were all created by Van Eyssen and will be on display at the VIP exhibition in the heart of the vibrant Southern California arts community, with support from EPV Screens and installation by Vivid Visuals and Sound.

"This exciting collaboration will show how our award-winning LG OLED TVs and 4K projectors can elevate the home entertainment environment above and beyond what is normally expected," said Michelle Fernandez, head of home entertainment consumer marketing at LG Electronics USA. "Collaborating with a cutting-edge artist like David Van Eyssen on Projections represents a new take on the fusion of art and technology, marrying the power of advanced LG displays with never-before-seen multimedia art. The takeaway is that you have to have these TVs in your home," she said.

Growing up in the entertainment industry as the scion of a studio production head, Van Eyssen, who is a director, producer and multimedia artist in his own right, embraces technology in bringing his artistry to new audiences. "When conceiving Projections, I approached LG to provide the canvas. Their 4K UHD projectors and OLED TVs bring my digital art to life in ways never seen before," he said, inviting art mavens from Southern California and around the nation to experience the exhibit first hand.

Available now at LG-authorized dealers for a suggested retail price of $5,999, LG's award-winning HU85LA is also the first projector to come with both the Google Assistant and LG's ThinQ AI solution built-in for optimal control through simple voice commands. The versatile ultra short throw projector can be used to display moving art, but also automatically connects to streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon as well as broadcast TV through its smart TV platform.

LG OLED TVs set the industry standard for TV performance delivering stellar picture quality with perfect black, vibrant images, accurate colors and wide viewing angles, all in a razor-thin package with ultra-thin bezels. These TVs elevate picture and sound quality thanks to LG's advanced Alpha 9 Gen 2 intelligent processor that uses Artificial Intelligence to optimize images by recognizing source quality and implementing the best algorithm to display stunningly realistic images. The LG OLED C9 series TVs are available now nationwide in 77-inch class (77OLEDC9), 65-inch class (65OLEDC9) and 55-inch class (55OLEDC9) models.*

For more information on LG projectors and LG OLED TVs, please visit

SOURCE LG Electronics USA
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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Sharpen Up Your Kitchen With The First, Full Built-in Kitchen Suite By Sharp

With more than 50 years of cooking heritage, Sharp Electronics Company of America (SHCA), the creator of the modern microwave drawer, today unveiled its first-ever complete kitchen suite, including its first-ever IoT-enabled appliances. The full line, including its SuperSteam™ Ovens, Induction Cooktops, Wall Ovens, Slide-in Range, Microwave Drawer™ Built-In Ovens and Over-The-Range microwave ovens, as well as Dishwashers and Refrigerators – firsts for Sharp – are on display at the Nationwide Primetime Show from August 17-20 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

"This line of kitchen appliances is rooted in Sharp's rich heritage in cooking," said Jim Sanduski, President, Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America. "We've taken our experience in the kitchen and created the recipe for a brand-new, end-to-end kitchen solution that is both technologically advanced and beautiful."

A Taste of the Kitchen of the Future

Exhibiting in booth #1715 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Sharp will also offer a glimpse into the kitchen of the future via two products that are world firsts:
The Sharp 24" IoT SuperSteam+ Built-In Oven (SSC2489ES) is a hybrid convection oven that uses convection heat and steam super-heated up to 485°F to cook; similar to a restaurant combi-oven. With five high-performance cooking modes, consumers can steam, steam bake, convection bake, super steam grill and super steam roast all their favorite dishes. The oven also features 12 preloaded Smart Cook settings, with 39 settings available in total. Additionally, the IoT SuperSteam+ Built-In Oven App is "Powered by SideChef", for step-by-step guidance and smart appliance control.
The Sharp 24" IoT Microwave Drawer™ Built-In Oven (SMD2489ES) builds upon the brand's incredible market share and success by introducing the first, Wi-Fi-enabled, built-in Microwave Drawer™ Oven for seamless integration into your modern, smart home. Features include built-in airflow control for flush mounting, "Easy Wave Open" for quick, touchless opening, and a Sharp Kitchen mobile application for iOS and Android devices to enable the smart features.

"The entire team at Sharp Home is committed to delivering on our promise to service the dreams and desires of the home cook, and the introduction of our first-ever kitchen suite is another step in our commitment to Simply Better Living," said Peter Weedfald, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America. "Our revolutionary new products, such as the IoT-enabled SuperSteam+ Built-In Oven and IoT Microwave Drawer, are simple to use, and help to create great-tasting meals for modern, fast-paced families pursuing a healthier lifestyle."

New Offerings from Sharp

This is Sharp's first Nationwide Primetime Show, following the announcement of a business relationship between Nationwide Marketing Group and SHCA. Sharp will also introduce complementary kitchen appliances, creating a seamless full kitchen solution for the consumer, including a refrigerator, dishwasher, and over-the-range hood. The entire line includes:

SuperSteam+TM Ovens

24" IoT SuperSteam+™ Super-heated Steam and Convection Built-In Wall Oven (SSC2489ES)
30" SuperSteam+™ Super-heated Steam and Convection Built-In Wall Oven (SSC3088AS)
Superheated Steam Countertop Oven (SSC0586DS)

Induction Cooktops

36" Width Induction Cooktop, European Black Mirror Finish Made with Premium Schott® Glass (SDH3652DB)
30" Width Induction Cooktop, European Black Mirror Finish Made with Premium Schott® Glass (SDH3042DB)

Wall Ovens

Stainless Steel, European Convection, Built-In Wall Oven (SWA3052DS)
Stainless Steel, European Convection, Built-In Double Wall Oven (SWB3052DS)

Microwave Oven Drawers

24" IoT Microwave Drawer™ (SMD2489ES)
24" Microwave Drawer™ (SMD2480CS)
24" Microwave Drawer™ (SMD2470ASY)
24" Microwave Drawer™ (SMD2470AH)
24" Microwave Drawer™ (KB6524PSY)
30" Microwave Drawer™ (SMD3070ASY)

Over-the-Range Microwave Ovens

1.8 cu. ft. 1100W Over-The-Range Microwave Oven (SMO1854DS)
1.6 cu. ft. 1000W Over-The-Range Microwave Oven (SMO1652DS)


24" Dishwasher with Turbo Wash (SDW6757ES)


22.5 cu. ft. Counter Depth Refrigerator (SJG2351FS)

Range Hood

30" Stainless Steel, Range Hood (SHC3051ES)
36" Stainless Steel, Range Hood (SHC3651ES)

Slide-in Convection Range Oven

5.0 cu. ft. Electric, Convection Range (SRE3061FS)

The full line of appliances will be available at retail locations in early 2020. Prices to be announced.

SOURCE Sharp Electronics Corporation USA
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NASA Television Coverage Set for Uncrewed Soyuz Mission to Space Station

An uncrewed Russian Soyuz spacecraft is set to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 11:38 p.m. EDT (8:38 a.m. Aug. 22 Baikonur time) on a test flight to validate the spacecraft's compatibility with a revamped Soyuz booster rocket. The booster will be used to transport crews to the International Space Station beginning in spring 2020.

Live coverage of the launch, docking and undocking of the spacecraft will air on NASA Television and the agency's website.

The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft will lift off from Site 31 at the Cosmodrome on a Soyuz 2.1a booster, which has been used recently to launch uncrewed Russian Progress cargo resupply missions to the space station.

Two days later, on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 1:30 a.m., the Soyuz will navigate to an automated docking on the station's space-facing Poisk module.

The Soyuz 2.1a booster, equipped with a new digital flight control system and upgraded engines, is replacing the Soyuz FG booster that has been used for decades to launch crews into space. The Soyuz spacecraft will have an upgraded motion control and navigation system, as well as a revamped descent control system.

Instead of crew members, the Soyuz will carry 1,450 pounds of cargo to the Expedition 60 crew currently residing on the orbital outpost.

After a two-week stay at the station, the Soyuz will be commanded to undock from the station on Friday, Sept. 6, at 2:13 p.m.

TV coverage of the launch, docking, and undocking activities is as follows (all times EDT):

Wednesday, Aug. 21:
11:15 p.m. – Soyuz MS-14 launch coverage (launch at 11:38 p.m.)

Saturday, Aug. 24:
12:45 a.m. – Docking coverage (docking scheduled for 1:30 a.m.)

Friday, Sept. 6:
1:45 p.m. – Undocking coverage (undocking scheduled for 2:13 p.m.)

The uncrewed Soyuz MS-14 will be deorbited for a parachute-assisted landing in south-central Kazakhstan at 5:35 p.m.on Sept. 6 (3:35 a.m. Kazakhstan time on Sept. 7), where Russian personnel will be standing by to recover the spacecraft for postflight analysis. NASA TV will not provide live coverage of landing. The mission's completion will be reported on social media and the agency's website.

Check out the full NASA TV schedule and video streaming information at:

Get breaking news, images and features from the station on social media at:

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Net zero construction is on the rise for commercial and residential properties. The term “net zero” basically means that the structure can generate the amount of energy as is used. While becoming net zero is ambitious, by understanding the two main components - extreme energy efficiency and renewable energy can help you strive toward the goal.


Whether it is a new construction or remodel to an old building, in order to achieve a net zero goal, extreme energy efficiency measures will need to take place.

Nothing will waste energy like drafty doors and windows. Therefore, the single most cost-effective measure you can take to improve energy cost is to air seal the building. Sealing a building means placing an air-tight barrier between the outside of a structure and the inside.

The next step is to insulate the building. In the construction of net zero energy buildings, insulation should be installed on all sides — walls, floors, and ceilings.

Consider a triple-pane glass with a low emissivity coating for the highest thermal performance for doors and windows. Air tight, weatherproofed, energy efficient doors and windows can prevent heat loss in the building by up to 40% over a non-insulated building.

Since one goal of net zero construction is for the building to be airtight, it may be necessary to install an automatic ventilation system. An automatic ventilation system will help control the water vapor and maintain excellent air quality. In addition, to reduce energy loss, install an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) to maximize heating and cooling efficiency. The ventilator exchanges fresh air for the indoor stale air while keeping about 70% to 90% of the heat from the discharged air.


While an energy efficient design is a vital part of a net zero building, it is not the only part. Renewable energy plays a vital role, as well. So, what is renewable energy?

While fossil fuels, such as — coal, oil, and natural gas, make up for the vast majority of today’s energy production. The problem is when the fossil fuels supplies are depleted; they will be gone forever.

The concept of renewable energy embraces the ability to use the resources we

naturally have, but that we will never run out of. For example, Solar energy is considered a renewable energy.

Solar power is likely to be the most valuable of the renewable energy sources

available because it is plentiful, and it is the least expensive to implement. New buildings can be built that incorporate the concepts as can homes. As well as, an existing building can be modified to use solar power.

While solar panels are the least expensive to implement, it is still quite an investment. However, an investment that can reduce your current electricity expenses and will eventually pay for itself.

Solar panels and collectors will need to be placed where they can receive maximum sunlight usually on a roof. The process of converting sunlight into electricity is known as photovoltaics (PV).

Another option for renewable energy is a wind turbine. Even though, wind turbines can produce a significant more energy than solar and aren’t dependent on sunlight so they have the ability to generate energy 24 hours a day, there is a caveat.

The wind turbines for residential use is about eighty feet tall, plus they need to be placed high above any obstacles that would block the wind. Not to mention, for maximum benefits of wind power, the desired location will need a consistent wind speed of 15 MPH.


To achieve net zero in construction, balancing energy efficiency and renewable energy is a great starting point. The more the energy footprint can be minimized, the closer you are to becoming net zero.


Michael Tobias is the founder and principal of Chicago Engineers. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech class of 2004, with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with honors. His innovative approach to MEP engineering comes from graduating GE’s Engineering Leadership Program, where he designed wind turbines and biofuel power plant engines. Michael’s passion within design is energy efficiency and green technology.

Photo by Timea Kadar from Pexels
Friday, August 16, 2019

With Groundbreaking Design, The New SOUNDBOKS Delivers A Bluetooth Performance Speaker Without Limitations

Breaking through the noise of the bluetooth speaker industry, SOUNDBOKS launches the NEW SOUNDBOKS Bluetooth Performance Speaker. Unlike any other, SOUNDBOKS has revolutionary sound quality, can connect up to five nearby speakers wirelessly and boasts the longest battery life of any portable bluetooth speaker on the market.

"We have finally created the speaker we always wanted," says Jesper Thiel Thomsen, CEO of SOUNDBOKS. "Over the past four years we've been integrating community feedback with the vision of the speaker we have always wanted to build; the result is the New SOUNDBOKS. We were very focused on creating an unmatched sound experience, connectivity options and battery life were critical for that. We are really excited to bring this to our community and lead a new category of bluetooth performance speakers."

The completely redesigned SOUNDBOKS features 126 dB volume, TeamUP wireless connectivity (up to five nearby SOUNDBOKS speakers), pro panel inputs and even a removable steel grill for easy customization. Extremely portable and easy to use, the SOUNDBOKS weighs 34 pounds and is the only bluetooth speaker with a swappable battery that can last up to 40 hours on a single charge.

With the redesign, comes the introduction of SOUNDBOKS' "Break through the noise" campaign, focusing the brand on exceeding traditional (performance) limitations and breaking through the barriers that hold us back. SOUNDBOKS has established key partnerships with Danish Brewery Mikkeller and Danish musicians AV AV AV among others.

SOUNDBOKS is available now for $999 USD at Additional SOUNDBOKS accessories include The Batteryboks ($149 USD) and The Backpack ($129 USD).

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Redesigned 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback Gets Fresh Exterior and Interior Styling, Updated Technology and Expanded Manual Transmission Availability

The 2020 Honda Civic Hatchback returns with updated exterior styling, new interior trim, and a revised Sport trim that adds Smart Start and Entry and an upgraded Display Audio system with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration. In addition, the line-topping Sport Touring trim is now available with a 6-speed manual transmission for the first time. The 2020 Civic Hatchback goes on-sale tomorrow with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $21,650 (excluding $930 destination and handling), joining the 2020 Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe which were refreshed last year.

Exterior and Interior Updates

Exterior styling refinements to the 2020 Civic Hatchback lineup include revised styling of the lower bumper fog light housings, which now feature a body-color crossbar. The Honda-signature "wing" grille crossbar is also updated, and the headlights now feature a sporty blackout treatment. In the rear, the lower bumper openings receive similar changes to the front, with a new body-color crossbar. All trims feature new wheel designs, in either dark gray or black. Sport Touring trims also benefit from improved LED headlights with wider and longer light beams.

Inside the 2020 Civic Hatchback, new dash trim differentiates various trim levels, with Sport trims receiving a new geometrical pattern, LX and EX a new painted pattern, and EX-L and Sport Touring an exclusive brushed black treatment. The EX trim also adds an 8-way power driver's seat in place of manual adjustments, plus a new leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Sport Touring trims also now come with HomeLink®, plus the option of a 6-speed manual transmission mated to the standard 1.5-liter turbo engine. All Civic Hatchbacks also benefit from additional sound insulation in the floor, trunk, and front and rear fenders.

This year's changes build on model year 2019 (MY19) changes, which included the addition of the Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive systems as standard equipment on all trims, and multiple usability updates. Enhancements to technology and connectivity for MY19 included an updated Display Audio system on EX, EX-L and Sport Touring trims with physical buttons and a volume knob, improved voice recognition and Bluetooth® integration with easier device pairing, a USB sub-cord, upgraded steering wheel controls for simplified operation, and physical buttons for fan speed on models with dual-zone climate control. Other changes included a new center console cup holder that better holds larger beverages, and an updated electronic parking brake with an indicator light.

Sport and Sport Touring Trims

The Civic Hatchback Sport receives a host of changes for the 2020 model year. The upgraded 7-inch touchscreen Display Audio system with eight speakers (up from four) and Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration is now standard on Sport trims, along with Smart Start pushbutton ignition and Smart Entry keyless entry for improved ease of use. Sport trims equipped with the CVT also come with remote start for the first time. Additionally, Sport receives new seat upholstery unique to Sport trims, and a new embossed dash trim similar to what's found on the Sport trim introduced last year for Civic Sedan. For the line-topping Sport Touring trim, buyers now have a choice of either CVT automatic or 6-speed manual transmissions, both of which remain available in the Sport trim. HomeLink® is also standard.

2020 Civic Hatchback Pricing and EPA Fuel Economy Ratings

MSRP including 
$930 Destination 
EPA Fuel Economy 
(city / highway/ combined)2
Sport Touring
Sport Touring

In addition to being the best-selling car in its class, the Honda Civic has been the retail best-selling passenger car for three straight years. Civic is also the number one choice for Millennials, Gen Z, multicultural and first-time buyers, making it an important gateway to the Honda brand for the newest car shoppers in the market today. The 2020 Civic Hatchback for the U.S. market is manufactured exclusively by Honda's Swindon, UK plant.

SOURCE American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
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Dodge Debuts Limited-production 717-horsepower Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition on New 2020 Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody

2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition is powered by the proven supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine with an extra boost of power: 717 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque
Revised powertrain calibration unique to Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition increases rated power output by 10 horsepower to 717 at 6,100 rpm
Charger Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition pays tribute to the infamous 1969 Charger Daytona, with production limited to 501 units, mirroring the 1969 production total
As a nod to its design heritage, the Charger Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition features a unique "Daytona" decklid and rear-quarter decal with matching spoiler
Available in four exterior paint colors – B5 Blue, Pitch Black, Triple Nickel and White Knuckle, with B5 Blue exclusive to the Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition in 2020 model year
Dealer orders for all 2020 Dodge Charger models, including the Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition, open in fall 2019; vehicles will start arriving in Dodge//SRT dealerships in early 2020
The 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition will be on display at the Modern Street HEMI Shootout (MSHS) lot during the annual Woodward Dream Cruise in Pontiac, Michigan, on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 50881 Woodward Ave., between Orchard Lake and Pike streets 

Dodge is continuing to push the boundaries of performance, introducing the most powerful Charger ever – the 717-horsepower 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition – raising the performance bar even higher with the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

Fifty years ago, Dodge launched the infamous Dodge Charger Daytona model with its huge wing and massive nose specifically designed to dominate in NASCAR racing. The Daytona prototype was the first car to break 200 miles per hour (mph) average lap speed and set a record that stood for 17 years. Coveted by collectors ever since, only 501 copies of the 1969 model were produced – the minimum number required to qualify for use on the NASCAR circuit.

Today, Dodge salutes its high horsepower heritage with the new 717-horsepower 2020 Dodge Charger Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition. Its design, attitude and the limited-production numbers all pay tribute to the original record-setting Daytona. A unique "Daytona" decklid, rear-quarter decal with matching spoiler and Daytona-exclusive B5 Blue paint are throwbacks to the 50th anniversary. Like the legendary 1969 Daytona, production of the Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition is limited to 501 units.

"The Dodge brand continues to push the boundaries of performance with the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world, the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody," said Tim Kuniskis, Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. "Today, with the introduction of the limited-production Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona, we are both recognizing the Dodge brand's performance heritage and staying true to our roots by offering high-performance, collectible vehicles that continue to defy the trends and deliver attainable performance that can't be found anywhere else."

Performance enthusiasts can check out the new 2020 Dodge Charger Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition this weekend during the annual Woodward Dream Cruise this weekend. Dodge will display the new Daytona Edition, along with the new 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody, the 797-horsepower 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye and much more, on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 50881 Woodward Ave., between Orchard Lake and Pike streets, in Pontiac, Michigan.

New 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition
Created in 1969 as a 501-unit, purpose-built production run to qualify for NASCAR racing, the Charger Daytona set records with its distinct aerodynamic styling and legendary HEMI® power. The new Charger Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition builds on this celebrated history by adding more performance to North America's only four-door muscle sedan.

Building on this legacy, the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody is the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world, adding 3.5 inches of width with wider wheels and tires that are unmistakably Dodge//SRT, creating an aggressive, planted stance unlike any other four-door sedan on the market. The Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition ups the ante by increasing the shift points to 6,100 rpm in automatic mode, which yields a 10-horsepower boost from 707 to 717 exclusive to this model.

The Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition adds unique heritage appointments that give Dodge enthusiasts another way to display legendary Dodge performance attitude. The new 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition is available in four exterior paint colors – B5 Blue, Pitch Black, Triple Nickel and White Knuckle, with B5 Blue exclusive to the Daytona Edition.

Dodge designers reached back into the Daytona's storied past to create cues for the 50th Anniversary Edition, including "Daytona" decklid to rear-quarter decal with matching spoiler. The "Daytona" decal, spoiler and Hellcat badge are white on B5 Blue, Pitch Black and Triple Nickel models. On White Knuckle models, the "Daytona" decal and spoiler are Blue and the Hellcat badge has a bright finish.

Completing the athletic look are 20- by 11-inch "Warp Speed" wheels with a unique Satin Carbon finish, Pirelli 305/35ZR20 all-season performance tires (three-season tires are optional) and ultra-high performance Black Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes with vented rotors.

Race-inspired interior features carbon fiber and unique Daytona blue accent stitching
Daytona cues are also seamlessly integrated into the interior with unique black heated and ventilated Nappa leather and Alcantara suede performance seats with blue accent stitching and "Daytona" embroidered seat backs. Both driver and front passenger seats feature 12-way power adjust function. The blue accent stitch appears throughout the interior, on the center console armrest, door panels and armrest, dashboard and shifter.

A Dynamica Suede headliner, real carbon fiber instrument panel (IP) and console bezels and Light Black Chrome interior accents are paired to the suede flat-bottom steering wheel, which features dual blue and silver accent stitching. Premium velour-bound floor mats have a blue dual-stitched accent border. Both the steering wheel and floor mats are exclusive to the Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition.

A custom IP badge with the Hellcat and Daytona logos is located on the passenger side identifying each vehicle as "x out of 501."

Dealer orders for 2020 Dodge Charger models, including Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition, open in fall 2019; vehicles will start arriving in Dodge//SRT dealerships in early 2020.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019
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