Tag: 爱上海

  • MDI football team set to join 8-man ranks in 2020

    first_img Latest Posts Park visitation surged in July – August 26, 2020 Acadia campgrounds won’t open this year – August 5, 2020 Bio Dick BroomReporter at Mount Desert IslanderDick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent’s office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. dbroom@mdislander.comcenter_img Gateway to address ‘too many cars’ – August 28, 2020 BAR HARBOR — Eight-man football is coming to Mount Desert Island High School next fall because of a shortage of players for the traditional 11-man squad.MDI will join the 10 high schools in Maine that switched to the eight-man format this year. Athletic Director Bunky Dow told the high school board Monday night that there were barely enough players to field an 11-man team this season.“We started the season with 32 kids,” he said. “In our first JV game, we had three freshmen injured and out for the rest of the season, so we were down to 29 kids, and of those, there were eight kids who should never step on the field for a varsity contest.”Dow said the outlook isn’t much brighter for next year. MDI could try to keep playing the 11-man version of the game, he said, but there would be consequences should the Trojans fail to fulfill their schedule in its entirety.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text“If you have to forfeit or you cannot complete the season, you’re out for two years. I don’t want to get into that situation. We almost had to do that this year.”Another option is to drop football altogether.“But I would not recommend that,” Dow said, “because there are 25 students who are doing something positive. We’re keeping them out of trouble, for the most part. They enjoy playing the game, and I believe they still want to.”He said this year’s football players were informed last week of the decision to go to the eight-man format. The Trojans, longtime members of the Big 11 Conference, went 1-7 in 2019.Principal Matt Haney said the switch was an administrative decision that did not require the high school board to take action, but Dow said he wanted to have the board’s support. The board voted unanimously to endorse the move to eight-man.The 10 high school teams that played eight-man football this past season were Boothbay, Ellsworth/Sumner, Gray-New Gloucester, Maranacook, Mount Ararat, Old Orchard Beach, Sacopee Valley, Telstar, Traip Academy and Yarmouth. Teams were divided into two divisions with the champions from the large-school division (Mount Ararat) and small-school division (Old Orchard Beach) meeting for the state title.Should the Maine Principals’ Association maintain a single class of eight-man football with the current enrollment cutoff (350 students), MDI would compete in the large-school division. Further changes to the eight-man format could be coming, though, as the Portland Press Herald reported last month that anywhere from 6-10 more teams are expected to make the switch to the eight-man code for the 2020 season.Eight-man football has already yielded positive results for another Hancock County high school team, Ellsworth/Sumner. Although Ellsworth/Sumner has experienced its own numbers crunch in recent years, the introduction of eight-man this fall allowed the Eagles to field a competitive team despite beginning the season with only 15 players on the roster.“We wouldn’t have been able to play without eight-man,” Duane Crawford, Ellsworth/Sumner’s outgoing head coach and a former player and assistant coach at MDI, told The Ellsworth American last month. “I think eight-man is where the future lies for a lot of programs.”MDI originally intended to make the switch to eight-man football last year after the Maine Principals’ Association unveiled a classification plan that called for three 11-man classes and two eight-man classes. Yet the Trojans instead chose to remain in Class C North after the MPA scrapped that plan in favor of four 11-man classes and one eight-man class.Dow acknowledged that travel is a chief concern as Ellsworth/Sumner is the only current eight-man team within relative proximity of Bar Harbor. But he noted that some of them are closer than a few of the schools MDI has been playing in other sports, such as Houlton, Presque Isle and Caribou.Dow said he hopes MDI’s switch to eight-man football will encourage some other schools to do the same.“Hopefully, we can be a trend-setter, and some other schools will follow us,” Dow said. “I’ve spoken to a couple, and they want to wait and see who else goes.”Mike Mandell contributed to this report. Latest posts by Dick Broom (see all)last_img read more

  • Brigade of ‘Angels’ Fix Unheated Home For Family of 7

    first_imgBy Jay Cook |MIDDLETOWN – When Kevin Garrison walks through the front door at 240 First Ave., he’s no longer the unfamiliar face from two weeks ago; he’s now a cherished part of the family.Through a dizzying number of connections and chance encounters, Garrison helped change the lives of Hattie Hunter, her five great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.Under the banner of his nonprofit, Blessing Bag Brigade NJ, Garrison and about 50 volunteers and tens of local businesses donated thousands of dollars, countless hours and 11 total days of their time earlier this month ripping apart, renovating and redesigning a two-story, 110-year-old home in the Navesink section of town. And it wouldn’t have happened without a simple plea for help.“I think it’s a miracle from God. I’m going to call all these people my angels,” said Hunter, 78. “And that’s what they are, every single one of them. I didn’t expect this. I knew they were going to fix some things, but not fix everything.”But Garrison did more than fix a home. He turned into a place of warmth and comfort.The First ConnectionOver the past year, Garrison has seen Blessing Bag Brigade NJ evolve from a personal Christmastime endeavor into a regional, charitable 501(c)(3) organization. When the Atlantic Highlands resident, father of two and Amtrak employee, isn’t maintaining signal systems or spending time with his daughters, he’s volunteering his time in New York City and Newark to help the homeless in a unique way.Straying from the usual practice of handing out food, he’s gone down a different path to help the less than fortunate, literally bringing them a refreshing sense of self-hygiene. Anything from basic toiletries to socks to water bottles can be found in one of his blessing bags.“Most of these people, when they reach a certain level, getting food is easy – food pantries and soup kitchens are open morning and night,” Garrison said. “The problem is then they have nothing to clean themselves up with.”Kevin Garrison works alongside Jacob Foracker, left, and Timmy Coward during one evening last week as they helped renovate their own house in Middletown.After spreading his message on social media, over 6,500 blessing bags were made in 2017 by local ice hockey teams and church groups, as well as students and special needs classes in Colts Neck, Freehold Township, Jackson, Middletown and Rumson schools.“You can walk around the dollar store for 10 minutes and you’re doing someone a service that’s necessary,” Garrison said.But Blessing Bag Brigade developed into something much more in 2018. While running a bag-packing effort at Thorne Middle School this month, Garrison learned through teacher Susan Mosely about a student’s family stuck in a tough situation. That student was Timmy Coward, one of Hunter’s grandsons.Garrison went to Hunter’s house, only to find harsh living conditions for a family of seven. A burst pipe meant there was no baseboard heat in the home; nearly every window in the house was broken, some even shuttered with plastic wrap to help keep the cold out; and piles of saved boxes and goods were packed ceiling high in some rooms.“I just couldn’t walk away when I saw the situation they were in, the way they were living,” Garrison said. “I felt like I had to do something.” Living in the home with Hunter were her five great-grandchildren – all siblings who share the same mother – and her newborn great-great-granddaughter, including Dajah Osborn, 18, an enrollee at Monmouth Project Teach and mother of three-week-old Neveah; 17-year-old Rossi Jackson and 16-year-old Jacob Foracker, both students at Middletown High School South; and 14-year-old twins Timmy Coward, a student at Thorne, and Ta’mya Coward, a student at Bayshore Middle School. Hunter said she’s had custody of the children for nearly a decade, and relying on social security checks to get by.“But this house, there was everything,” Hunter said. “It was a mess. I did the best I could. I’m the only adult.”Enlisting the ArmyOn Jan. 10, Garrison, captaining a one-man army, once again reached out to his followers on social media for any assistance they could provide. The first order of business was to get the family out of the house, which had no heat during the early January cold spell. For 11 days, they lived in two rooms at the Comfort Inn on Route 35. Garrison said the rooms were paid for by himself, Thorne Middle School and a YMCA men’s basketball league.Garrison found the best way to spread his message was through Facebook Live videos every morning, posted on his charity page and detailing what was in store for him daily. And many of those videos came just a few short hours after his 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shifts with Amtrak.Timmy and Jacob helped tear out old cabinets and rip up floorboards. Garrison said about three, 20-yard dumpsters were filled and hauled away by ADL Demo from Hazlet.After a few short days, more help than they could have imagined came through the home, with people giving time and sweat to refurbish the house.Dozens of local small businesses donated labor and products to the cause. Builders’ General gave new cabinets; Woodhaven Lumber installed the windows, doors and trim; The Floor Store in Freehold provided new flooring throughout the home; A.B. Carpet in Monroe and D n’ R Carpet in Hazlet both donated carpets for the living room; and the Co-Cathedral of St. Roberts Bellarmine in Freehold donated most of the new furniture.Middletown residents Tommy and Scott Moran helped coordinate daily efforts, and Garrison’s friend and Freehold police officer, Todd Smith, aided in finding donors. Nearly 50 individuals helped daily to renovate the home and aid the family. One of those volunteers was fellow Middletown resident Jen Baker, a mother of four.“It was rough at first,” Baker said. “Lots of hours put in priming, painting, all that stuff. Once I went to the hotel and brought dinner to the family and saw the baby, it made it all so worth it.”A Tear-Filled Finishing TouchAt about 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 20, Garrison walked into the Comfort Inn for the final time to escort Hunter back to her finished home. After an anxious 15-minute car ride with the family, they were greeted at the house by dozens of the volunteers.Hunter said she was overcome with a feeling she’d never experienced in her life.“They believed in (Garrison) and they believed in us even though they never met us,” Hunter said, holding back a tear. “But they wanted to do something and make sure we were secure in our home and had a nice place to come to.”Garrison didn’t want the gaudy reveals that happen all too often on television; he aimed for a more personal moment between the family and the volunteers.“I know what it’s like to feel despair, what it’s like to feel depressed and not be able to get out of your own way sometimes,” Garrison said. “And I just wanted everyone to have that human touch because we don’t always get that.”The family has been thoroughly enjoying their new living quarters since returning home over the weekend. Timmy Coward was taking shots on the basketball hoop beside the home on a recent evening. Osborn is utilizing the additional space to walk around with her daughter. Upstairs the three girls share a small bedroom, with two beds separated by the baby’s crib. Just across the hall, the three boys each have their own bed in another bedroom. “It was amazing, especially in the time they did it in,” said Osborn, of the volunteers. “I was in awe walking in and seeing everything. It was a lot to take in.”“Not that we didn’t have a place to call home before, but it’s a better home,” she said.For more information about Blessing Bag Brigade NJ, visit their Facebook page or blessingbagbrigadenj.wordpress.com.last_img read more

  • Preparatory works begin on installation of elevators at Providence overhead pass

    first_img…pedestrians will be charged for not using same – Traffic Chief Preparatory works to install elevators at the overhead pass at Providence, East Bank Demerara, have commenced and the facility should be up and running by September.The workers attached to S Jagmohan Hardware Supplies and Constructing Services have been dedicatedly working day and night, as they prepare the foundation for the installation of the long awaited elevators. These elevators are already sourced and are being kept at the company’s head office.Traffic Chief Ramesh Ashram in an interview with  Guyana Times related that persons will be charged and placed before the courts for not using the overhead passes.Ashram explained that two of the overhead passes are presently closed to facilitate the installation of the elevators so pedestrians, during this time, will be excused from using them.“We are looking to enforce this (laws) to ensure that they use the passes because the Government would have made these provisions for them,” Ashram stated.The Traffic Chief further stated that charges were already instituted against persons for not utilising the passes. “The law says that as long as we have a crossing, then it must be used”.This, he said, is clearly noted in the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act Chapter 51:02.It was further explained that in most cases, where the overhead passes were installed, the pedestrian crossings were removed.As such, in the absence of a pedestrian crossing, the overhead pass must be used, since it will not only ensure the safety of the pedestrian but the free flow of traffic, especially during peak hours.In May 2016, Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had announced plans to construct pedestrian overpasses, as well as a fly-over at Diamond in an effort to reduce road fatalities and congestion on the East Bank of Demerara.These areas were selected based on the highest concentration of pedestrian movement on the East Bank.last_img read more

  • BRENDAN TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS AT ESB AFTER 43 YEARS SERVICE

    first_imgBrendan, his wife Joan and the ESB’s Eddie NallyA LIFELONG servant to the people of Co Donegal has retired – and made sure he raised a few more euro for people when he did.Brendan ‘Mannix’ Gallagher worked for the past 43 years with the ESB in Ballyshannon.And there was a large turn-out for his retirement do at the Allingham Arms Hotel on Friday night. But Brendan refused to take a retirement present; asking instead for donations to the Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat.Brendan Gallagher with RNLI’s Cormac McGurren, Tony McGowan and Patsy FowleyBRENDAN TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS AT ESB AFTER 43 YEARS SERVICE was last modified: December 2nd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BallyshannonBRENDAN TURNS OFF THE LIGHTS AT ESB AFTER 43 YEARS SERVICEbundoran lifeboatlast_img read more

  • Friel wants special council committee for Mica families

    first_imgElection candidate Eimer Friel says she will propose the setting up of a special Mica committee on Donegal County Council if elected this weekend.The Fine Gael candidate has worked with the Mica Action Group (MAG) for the past five years and says it’s important families have a role in the Council-led redress scheme.“It’s important that newly-elected councillors have a role and an oversight over how Donegal County Council manages and runs the scheme,” said Friel. “And it’s just as important that the Mica Action Group has a voice on that committee too.“They are the people who have been at the forefront of the campaign and living the nightmare and it is vital they get to oversee the response from the council. So I want to see a special committee set up in Council and given a statutory footing, with powers to oversee the scheme and scheduled to have full monthly meetings.”The Government has approved a 90 per cent contribution scheme with those homes worst affected being fixed first.Friel added: “I’ve also agreed alongside Joe McHugh to work with MAG to come up with ways of minimising the impact of the 10 per cent contribution including contacts with banks and other lending institutions. “It’s important that banks help including writing down mortgages on homes that are currently worth very little – but will return to their market value once remediation works are completed.“I want to pay tribute to all those involved in MAG and I want to pay tribute to our local TD Joe McHugh whose work to get this problem recognised by officials finally got the redress scheme delivered.”Friel wants special council committee for Mica families was last modified: May 23rd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

  • Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  Scientists, Learn Darwinism on TV

    first_imgIn Current Biology, Kenneth E. Sawin of Wellcome Trust Center for Cell Biology at Edinburgh University was interviewed about his career.  One of the questions was, “What are the big ideas for you now?”  Here is part of his answer:Another thing that I think about, which may be more ethereal, is that cell biologists interested in molecular mechanisms should always be reminding themselves that evolution proceeds without any predestined direction, and this is as true for cellular regulatory mechanisms as it is for organismal evolution [sic].  Even if we don’t think too much about evolution in our day-to-day work, it is the backdrop against which everything takes place, and one needs to keep a very open mind [sic], and not be too dogmatic, about how biological systems may be “designed”, because there is no designer [sic].  The best stimulus for this is to watch a few nature programs on TV. (Emphasis added.)1“Q&A: Kenneth E. Sawin,” Current Biology, Vol 16, R268-R269, 18 April 2006.If anyone can figure out how being dogmatic about evolution is an example of open-mindedness, or how directionlessness produced cellular regulatory mechanisms, or how maintaining faith in purposelessness as a backdrop aids thinking, or how telling oneself there is no designer demonstrates things are not designed, let us know.  Notice two other things he said: (1) scientists don’t think too much about evolution in their day-to-day work, indicating that evolutionary theory is useless, and (2) TV is this evolutionist’s source of inspiration (see visualization in the Baloney Detector).  So producers get their stimulus from the dogmatic claims of the evolutionary biologists, and biologists in turn get their inspiration from watching the resulting TV shows: a vicious cycle, with emphasis on vicious.    Example: last night The Science Channel replayed The Rise of Man, one of the dumbest examples of evolutionary storytelling ever made for the tube.  In this ridiculous portrayal of made-up history, presented in all seriousness, naked ape-faced actors invent religion when lightning strikes, invent language when stealing ostrich eggs, invent the family when she-ape needs help in childbirth, and invent art when one ape-man sticks a shiny stone on his female’s mud-plastered forehead.  The group all giggles in the mud together at this new sign of beauty.  If this is Sawin’s inspiration, God help him.    Cave Man was much better.  At least Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach and John Matuszak all knew it was only a spoof.  Let’s offer Sawin and his ilk free unending reruns of all the evolution shows they want; maybe this will keep them in a permanent state of euphoria – and out of the classroom. (Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

  • SA calls for more Africa-India trade

    first_img27 May 2011 Speaking at the second Africa-India summit in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe reaffirmed the strategic importance of India’s relationship with Africa, while stressing the need for burgeoning trade relations to be pushed to the next level. “We need to ensure that capacity building is focused on further expansion and leads to increases in trade between and amongst the African countries and India, as well as in investment in infrastructure development,” Motlanthe told representatives from India and the 15 African countries that took part in the summit. Motlanthe commended the commitment of $18-billion worth of projects to Africa by Indian businesses at an Africa-India Business Forum Conclave held early this year, as well as the credit line India offered to Africa during the first Summit in 2008 – commitments made in a harsh economic environment in the aftermath of the global recession. “We, as African countries, need to ensure that we fully utilise such opportunities to the benefit of our people, especially since the shortage of finance experienced by Africa in this current economic situation depresses investment, deters growth and undermines the ability of our countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals,” Motlanthe said. Currently, the World Bank estimates that Africa needs investment of US$93-billion per year to address its infrastructure gap. While the Deputy President acknowledged gains made in the agriculture, manufacturing and other sectors, he said there was still a need to explore ways of making more out of the partnership with India in order to stimulate employment creation in various African countries. Motlanthe proposed that there should be a follow-up mechanism that would ensure monitoring and evaluation of progress made. “With strict time-frames, this will help member states to remain focused and effectively implement the programmes and projects sponsored by this forum,” Motlanthe said. With Africa still trying to break into India’s highly regulated economic market and one of the world’s fastest growing economies, Motlanthe was hopeful that gains would be made through partnerships like the Africa-India Forum, IBSA and BRICS. Working in concert with India, he was also confident that Africa could push for the conclusion of the World Trade Organisation’s Doha Round of negotiations, which would ultimately see a more equitable global trade system. The next Africa-India summit will be held in New Delhi in 2014. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

  • Twitter is No Threat at All to Facebook, Traffic Analyst Says

    first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Analysis#news#NYT#social networks#web Hitwise, a web traffic analytics firm that often publishes fun and interesting stats on issues of the day, looks today at how threatened Facebook’s growth might be by Twitter. The company’s conclusion: Twitter is no threat at all. Traffic to Twitter is declining, Hitwise General Manager of Global Research Bill Tancer writes, while Facebook’s growth continues to go through the roof. Facebook is approaching ubiquity, while Twitter’s appeal is narrow and its average registered user is totally unengaged. “That being said,” Tancer writes, “I still plan to tweet this entry.”Twitter may be befuddling still for mainstream masses of users, but for the millions of people who get it – Twitter is invaluable. It’s a public listening post for innovative thought leaders across a broad swath of industries – if that’s what you’re into. It’s also a great place to read short jokes about flatulence or sex from people you’ve never met – if that’s what you’re looking for.Facebook feels more secure though, it’s got clearer social hooks and it’s easier to start using. As a result, Facebook is probably ten or more times the size of Twitter. As Twitter user Justin Houk put it today, “Twitter is a cult classic in the making – not a blockbuster.”The Hitwise data doesn’t take into account the use of 3rd party Twitter clients, but the Twitter website is a more common way to interact with the service and its traffic is a good proxy for overall Twitter use.What are the relative business prospects for both, long term? It’s hard to say, but charts like these from Hitwise have got to make Twitter HQ feel uneasy. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification marshall kirkpatrick The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos See also: Facebook Has Twitter Envy – But Why? and Twitter and Facebook Investment Terms and Game Plans Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

  • 6 Best Business Phone Services for Small Business in 2019

    first_imgTrends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Follow the Puck What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. Related Posts Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The business phone service chosen for your small business defines your communication abilities. How you and your employees connect, impacts the way, your company operates. The customer experience loses value when your business does not have unified communications. The customer relationship and business reputation will diminish.It is no secret; a business cannot run on an unreliable and inflexible phone system. To build confidence in VoIP systems, here are the six best phone services for small business in 2019.6 Best Business Phone ServicesEvery employee and customer desires to be heard and understood.Anything that interferes with those two goals is an interruption or breakdown. If this happens, it can lead to poor customer service due to miscommunication.Your small business needs to meet the communication expectations of employees and customers. For your business phone service needs to be of high quality, you need to achieve those two goals.Business owners need to also think about improving customer support and employee productivity. Using the right small business phone solutions can enhance the customer experience.When going beyond phone calls by incorporating unified communications, your business will excel. Unified communications that include; text messages, video conferencing, visual voicemail, and more.After all, it is 2019, and the traditional phone system does not cut it for customers anymore. Customers want to reach employees through different forms of communication. The right virtual phone system will serve your customers in the right way.These six best small business phone services will narrow down your search.After all, it is 2019, and the traditional phone system does not cut it for customers anymore. Customers want to reach employees through different forms of communication. The right virtual phone system will serve your customers in the right way.These six best small business phone services will narrow down your search.1. NextivaStarting at $20/month per userNextiva is a complete, cloud-based, Voice over internet protocol business VoIP service. Your small business should not have to compromise on scale, quality, or flexibility.Nextiva offers a multitude of features designed to better your small business communications.With features like,Auto-AttendantText MessagingNextiva Mobile AppVoicemail to EmailHD Video CallsCall QueuingCall RoutingInstant Messages and Chat RoomsReal-Time AnalyticsUnlimited CallingLocal Number – Reducing Ignored Calls By CustomersConference CallingVideo ConferencingPhone Calls to and from Landline and Mobile PhonesHighly Reliable Network – Means 99.999% Uptime for Your BusinessPlus More Advanced FeaturesSince Nextiva provides VoIP phone service, as long as there is an internet connection, your small business can do a lot. Employees can make outgoing and incoming calls, text messages, and more from anywhere.It offers you the option of remote employees too, and for your employees to continue working while on the go.Nextiva aims to create a unified and seamless customer experience for your business communications. Their complete platform is easy to use so you can get started right away.Get ready to transform the way your small business communicates. Nextiva offers an organized, productive, connected, high in quality flexible VoIP phone system. Nextiva is the VoIP business phone service of choice.2. 8×8Starting at $28/month per user8×8 is a VoIP cloud-based phone service. It helps small businesses improve employee and customer experiences.An all-in-one system, 8×8 offers businesses voice calling, video, collaboration, and contact center.With features like,Unlimited Calling within 14 CountriesPhone Number and Extension Dialing feat. High-definition Voice QualityVoicemailAuto AttendantSMS Messaging (Only available in U.S. and Canada)Call RecordingHold Music1GB Media StorageCall QueuesMobile and Desktop AppsPlus Much More8×8 is an excellent cloud phone solution for businesses. When you are looking for a VoIP phone system, messaging, or a meeting service, you may want to consider 8×8.With its use of VoIP, 8×8 will enhance your small business communication on many levels. It will improve team collaborations, employee productivity, and customer experiences.3. JiveStarting at $19.95/month per userJive is a hosted VoIP business phone service. It simplifies conferencing and phone management.As a cloud-based system, Jive will help improve employee-to-customer interactions through voice options.With features like,Missed Call IndicatorCall HoldCaller ID3-Way ConferencingLast Number RedialCall AnalyticsDial by NameSpeed DialCustom Hold MusicPlus Much MoreJive improves customer experiences with small businesses. By providing a phone system that handles many employees and high call volumes.4. OomaStarting at $24.95/monthOoma Office offers your small business the ability to stay connected while at home or in the office. It supports select IP phones, analog phones, softphones, and mobile phones.As your VoIP service, Ooma will have your small business looking more professional in no time.With features like,Virtual ReceptionistExtension DialingConferencingMusic on HoldLocal and Toll-Free NumbersCall ForwardingVirtual Faxing ExtensionPort Existing NumberVoicemailPlus Much MoreOoma offers an internet telephone service that is reliable. Your employees can use their smartphones and remain in touch. Thus, providing your small business with the convenience of mobility.5. Phone.comStarting at $12.99/month per user for pay per minute plans and starting from $24.99/month per user for unlimited plans.Phone.com is a communications and collaboration solutions for small businesses. It offers several methods to keep in touch with your customers and colleagues.With the use of almost any device, employees can stay connected at all times.With features like,300 Monthly MinutesUnlimited User Extensions1 Local or Toll-Free Number5,000 SMS Messages4Phone Number PortingCall QueuingVoicemail to EmailAddress BookAccount ManagementPlus Much MoreA VoIP phone system, Phone.com offers your small business many ways to speak with customers via the Cloud.6. MitelStarting at $21.74/month per user for the essentials package and $24.74/month per user for the Premier package.Mitel is all-in-one communication, collaborations, and contact center. Thus, you can focus more on your business and not your phone system.Ensure that your phone system satisfies your business needs with Mitel.With features like,PBX FeaturesVoice and Video CollaborationConference CallingInstant MessagingVoicemail and EmailOfficeLink AppVoicemail to EmailVideo and Web ConferencingContact CenterPlus Much MoreMitel is a VoIP system that offers phone lines for your small business using the Cloud.Phone Service Weakness ListHere are some questions to review:How often do customer calls drop?What is the percentage of calls transferred to the incorrect department?What is the average number of minutes customers are on hold?Are your business department heads able to track and analyze call quality?Does any part of the phone service cause difficulty in delivering customer service?Is your current phone system able to handle the volume of calls received?How flexible are your phone features? i.e., Does it offer you the ability to have remote workers?Does it cause any part of the buyer’s journey to slow down?Are your employees more or less productive when using the system?Does it encourage collaboration?Does it have mobility features? i.e., Are your employees only able to receive and make business calls from inside the office?Once your “Phone Service Weakness” list is complete, make another list. This time, create one called, the “Phone Service Improvement” list.What to Look for to Choose a Quality-Driven Phone ServiceWhen searching for VoIP providers, choose the one that improves the call quality. A phone company aimed at bettering your employees and business operations.It would be best if you had a VoIP solution that handles high volumes of outgoing and incoming calls. Not to mention, a VoIP system that goes beyond simple phone calls.Be aware of the other services your VoIP solution offers. Be sure to look into them when choosing the best office phone for your business.Phone Service Improvement ListWhat to look for:Easy to use interface. Most users can handle operations without the constant need of a technician.Track call duration, hold times, wait times, and usage with ease.Offers call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting, call routing, and more.Provides the ability to share one business phone number among several users.It offers flexibility and mobility. Employees can use their desk phone, mobile devices, tablet, or a computer to receive and make calls.Affordability, for long-term usage.Employees and customers can quickly and conveniently communicate with each other.It offers automation to an efficient operation — increasing productivity.Lessens the amount or eliminates the need for a variety of vendors and tools.It enables employees to use your business’ local or toll-free number from any location.  Using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and high-speed internet makes this possible.Small businesses are always in search of saving money where they can. By using the internet to make and receive calls, you will say goodbye to expensive phone bills. Your phone system will no longer focus on landlines. Instead, VoIP systems and cell phones will become your primary form of communication.When selecting a virtual phone service, you want to consider your business needs. There are many reasons startups fail, but your phone system should not be one of them.Do not be like most businesses. Most small businesses focus more on a communication strategy than on the delivery. They must go hand-in-hand for proper business communications.“Communication and communication strategy is not just part of the game – it is the game.” – Oscar MunozFor efficient and effective customer experiences put the quality of communication first.The phone service your business uses can be a game-changer.Prevent communication mishaps that spiral into further avoidable issues. Do not have your employees feel like that have to put out “small fires” when accepting or making a phone call.Instead, create a smooth and quality-driven user experience. Not only for employees but customer communications as well.Make 2019 the start of better communication at your small business. Choose the best VoIP phone system that provides reliable service for your customers. 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  • The Science Behind 4K Restorations of Classic Films

    first_imgHow do you feel about 4K restorations of classic films? Let us know in the comments. What Does It All Mean?Sadly, it means you’re never going to see a classic film as it was originally intended to be seen unless you saw it when it came out. However, you are able to see restored digital versions that are much closer to the original prints (and in some ways, much better) than ever before.This process is also a way to save films that have never been converted from their original negatives from being lost forever. (Like Eagle Pennell’s Last Night at the Alamo, which was restored by SXSW’s Louis Black.)You can even watch them on your couch or in your room if you’d like. Or, if you want the most authentic and aesthetically pleasing experience, you can see them on the big screens with popcorn and friends, like they were meant to be seen — In which case I would highly recommend this one. There’s something magical about seeing a digitally restored film as it was intended — on the big screen. It captures something that’s lost when you stream on your laptop. But what is that something?Cover image via Time & Life PicturesI recently saw a 4K restoration of the Coen Brother’s film Blood Simple at an indie art house theater. I had seen the film once before, but it was several years ago as a DVD-ripped Xvid played through an Xbox 360. To say the least, it wasn’t the same experience.Psychologically, it feels different to sit in a theater surrounded by other people who are there to enjoy the same film in their own ways the same as you. The aroma of popcorn fills the air as the lights go down and the screen lights up. It’s been described as a collective dream state, but it also harkens to our own nostalgia and fantasies.Not that we don’t get the same feelings when we watch a movie alone in our rooms. But part of the something lost is the aesthetics of it all. The other part is the actual information that was contained in the original film. Let’s explore how film works and what you really lose in those low-quality streams and torrents.The Origins of Digital RestorationThe majority of film was recorded to 35mm film stock. 65mm and 70mm were also popular and used for big-budget productions throughout most of the 20th century. Without getting into a debate about how digital stacks up to analog recording (we’ll leave that to Keanu Reeves to sort out), the celluloid process has historically recorded images at a much higher resolution than could be reproduced on DVD or Blu-ray. That being said, when many of the classic films were first transferred to DVD (or “restored” in HD), they were still drastically dumbing down the quality and decreasing the amount of information contained in each frame.How-to Geek has a great write-up on how the process works and the inherent flaws in the early days of “digital restoration.” Here’s a good example of DVD-quality remastering vs. Blu-ray.Ben-Hur SD DVD:Ben-Hur Blu-ray:Images via How-to Geek and Metro-Goldwyn-MayerThe above screen capture doesn’t even show off the true potential for detail the 65mm film master can provide. A future remastering of the film coupled with a large 4K HDTV set could yield a viewing experience that lets you count the creases in bridles and the hairs on the horses’ heads.So to put that in perspective, if you’re watching an old “HD” DVD of your favorite movie (or ripping it online), you’re several steps removed from the original recording. But that was ten years ago — what about now?Getting Closer with 4K RestorationsNow, with the advent of 4K as the successor to HD, digital restorations are able to jump up to a much higher resolution. Is it the same though as the film print? Not quite, but that’s because film doesn’t work in the same way exactly. There isn’t a resolution pixel count in film like there is in digital. So, if you blow up an image from film to 100x the size, the lines will look the same — just blurrier. Here’s a great article by Sony UK on their restoration process and examples of the 2k to 4K difference.2K (Simulated)4K (Simulated)As you can see, the image is sharper at the higher resolution with color and contrast more defined. Sony has worked with restoration specialists like Park Circus to 4K restore films like Citizen Kane, Psycho, and Ghostbusters to name a few.Digital Remastering Literally RestoresOne other neat part of the restoration process includes the work of digital artists to clean up and “fix” parts of classic films that have had debris or scratches mar their original negatives. The process, as detailed in a 2014 Gizmodo article and video, is actually quite fascinating in the painstaking time digital artists take to restore everything from grain to sound design to adding additional contrast and color correction as needed. Here are a few examples:Images from Jaws (1975) via NOLA.com and Universal PicturesImage from Foreign Correspondent (1940) via Gizmodo and United ArtistsYou can watch the full video below which details the process from start to finish. It is worth noting that the restoration below is for 2k rather than 4K because they were on a time crunch — “In 2k the scanning takes about 2 days. In 4K it takes four times as long, so you would need at least a week to scan a 90-minute movie.” But the restoration process, at its base, is the same.last_img read more