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Variety: “Amazon just got yet another competitor in the ebook and audiobook space: Walmart launched its very own digital book store Wednesday, selling ebooks as well as audiobooks through its website and dedicated apps. The retail giant’s digital book service is being powered by Kobo, the ebook company owned by Japan’s Rakuten. Through the partnership, Walmart customers are now able to buy from a catalog of more than six million books, which can be read through dedicated mobile apps as well as Kobo’s line of ebook readers. Walmart is also launching a Kobo-powered audiobook subscription service for $9.99 per month. For that price, consumers get one book credit per month. Audiobooks will be accessible even after a subscription is cancelled. As part of the partnership, Walmart will also start to sell so-called digital book cards that can be redeemed online for ebooks in 3500 stores. Additionally, Walmart will sell Kobo’s latest ebook reader in 1000 stores. Amazon has long dominated the ebook market with its Kindle readers and online store, and the company’s Audible subsidiary is the audio book market leader. But more recently, other companies have tried to go head-to-head with Amazon on both fronts. Most notably, Google launched its own audiobook store as part of its Google Play Books service in January…”
Adobe: “Our love for the inbox remains, but our preference for engagement on other channels has increased. That’s one of the findings in our fourth annual consumer email survey of over 1,000 white-collar workers in the U.S. According to the survey, which looked at how consumers are communicating across email and other channels, time spent checking personal email is up an impressive 17 percent year-over-year (YoY). Consumers are checking personal email an average of 2.5 hours on a typical weekday. On top of that, they’re spending an average of 3.1 hours checking work email. All this time means people have integrated email into nearly every part of the day. Ninety percent of respondents check personal email during work. Eighty-five percent check it before they get to work, and nearly a quarter take a look before they even get out of bed in the morning. People even check personal email while watching TV (60%), using the bathroom (40%), talking on the phone (35%), working out (16%), and even driving (14%). Why is email so ingrained in our lives? One reason may be that it’s so manageable—we can sort, file, filter, and generally get things done. It’s also a known, safe quantity. We’re familiar with how to make email work for us, and we feel confident about the privacy of our data…”
CNNTech: Facebook’s artificial intelligence lab is working with New York University’s medical school to make MRI exams 10 times faster, which, if successful, would allow radiologists to complete a test in minutes. “Doctors use MRI — shorthand for magnetic resonance imaging — to get a closer look at organs, tissues and bones without exposing patients to harmful radiation. The image quality makes them especially helpful in spotting soft tissue damage, too. The problem is, tests can take as long as an hour. Anyone with even a hint of claustrophobia can struggle to remain perfectly still in the tube-like machine that long. Tying up a machine for that long also drives up costs by limiting the number of exams a hospital can perform each day. Computer scientists at Facebook (FB) think they can use machine learning to make things a lot faster. To that end, NYU is providing an anonymous dataset of 10,000 MRI exams, a trove that will include as many as three million images of knees, brains and livers…”
NARA Records Express – “We are pleased to announce the publication of NARA’s Federal Agency Records Management Annual Report, 2017. It is now available on our website. In 2017, we required Federal agencies to submit three annual reports: the Senior Agency Official for Records Management (SAORM) Report, the Records Management Self-Assessment (RMSA), and a supplemental Federal Email Management Report. This consolidated report provides a summary analysis of the state of Federal records management programs across the Federal Government. Overall, the great majority of Federal agencies reported they are working towards transitioning from maintaining the costly separate policies, practices, and physical infrastructures in traditional (analog) formats to managing records electronically. As a result, they have improved their ability to follow recordkeeping requirements prescribed by Federal statutes and regulations. These are critical steps to improve records management throughout the Federal Government. This transition of Federal agencies’ business processes and recordkeeping to a fully electronic environment is supported by both our Strategic Plan 2018-2022 and the Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations…”
“Global Uprisings is an independent news site and video series dedicated to showing responses to the economic crisis and authoritarianism. Since 2011, Brandon Jourdan and Marianne Maeckelbergh have been travelling, researching, and making documentary films. Their short films detail social movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the US. Their films cover strikes and demonstrations in the UK, the large-scale housing occupations and street mobilizations in Spain, the various general strikes, protests, and factory occupations in Greece, the revolution in Egypt, the Gezi Park uprising in Turkey, the 2014 social explosion in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the revolt against austerity in Portugal, and the occupy movement in the United States. Throughout the project, they have also collaborated with collectives and media makers such as the Mosireen collective, Grit TV, Deep Dish TV, Big Noise Films, Democracy Now, and David Martinez…”
Christian Science Monitor – “Affordable housing is proving difficult to come by in the nation’s fast-developing capital. But some residents are finding a solution through housing cooperatives where tenants can collectively purchase their building, enabling low-income people to remain within city limits. But resident Linda Leaks pays only about $1,000 a month, half the area’s average in Washington, D.C. She lives in a housing cooperative in which members collectively own the building, pay a low “share price” – of $2,000 to $3,000 – to move into their unit and then pay a small amount each month to cover utilities and management of the building. Ms. Leaks created the Ella Jo Baker cooperative over a decade ago for community activists “who did not have a lot of money.” “When people move in, they are here for a long time,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from her flat on a quiet, rowhouse-lined street.
This model – also known as a limited-equity cooperative (LEC) – is an attractive proposition for many in fast-developing Washington, which is experiencing one of the worst shortages in affordable housing in the country, according to the US-based National Low Income Housing Coalition.” [h/t Pete Weiss]