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Smart homes: Not simply for tech geeks any longer


Eric Risberg/ AP In this Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, file image, Maxime Veron, head of product marketing for Nest Labs, speak about the features of the Nest Secure alarm during an event in San Francisco.

Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017|2 a.m.

NEW YORK– Internet-connected lights, locks and laundry devices are close to becoming daily home products, thanks in part to voice-activated speakers such as Amazon’s Echo and Google House.

Marketing research groups are seeing increased sales of lights that switch off when you say “great night,” smart locks that let in your good friends prior to you get house and comparable smart-home devices. While the devices are still reasonably pricey– you can get six regular light bulbs for the cost of a single clever one– demand is likely to pick up further as prices fall.

“This holiday, it’s starting to turn the corner into the mass market,” stated Steve Koenig, senior director of market research at the Customer Technology Association, which puts on the CES device show in Las Vegas each January.

Until just recently, many individuals viewed these products as unneeded high-ends, if they knew about them at all– not least since setting them up and using them sounded like a lot of work.


Exactly what’s altered? The growing popularity of wise speakers and their digital assistants, mainly. From your sofa, you can now ask the Echo’s Alexa assistant to play your favorite music or inspect the weather condition. You can buy pizza, track flights or play Jeopardy.

The more individuals utilize such speakers, it turns out, the more things they desire them to do. In many cases, that leads directly to other wise gizmos for the home.

People who own an Echo are certainly most likely to install other wise devices, said David Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president of gadgets and services. “They do not begin by rewiring the whole house. They start with a switch.”

That switch, known as a smart plug, can make any device or lamp remote-controllable by cutting or restoring its power– simply ask an assistant to turn it off or on. From there, it’s only a little action towards items with smarts already integrated in, ones that can dim the lights and even alter colors based on state of mind– all through the speaker’s assistant.

Now that individuals can just talk with their devices, they “no longer have to find out a lot about the best ways to utilize a gadget and its complexities,” stated Kara Alexander, senior product manager for Belkin’s WeMo clever items. “It’s much closer to how we work with people in our home.”


U.S. sales of clever speakers have more than tripled to nearly 25 million in 2017, about 11 million coming during the holiday quarter, according to a CTA estimate. They’re anticipated to grow further in 2018, to about 36 million, as Apple’s HomePod joins the fray.

It assists that such products are no longer restricted to electronic devices stores such as Finest Buy, but are now available in the house Depot, Target and other basic sellers. And costs have actually dropped, with lower-end designs costing simply $50.

Smart-home items such as lights and security cams lag, however capturing up.

“We’re still in the early stages,” stated Jeff Patton, a smart-home executive at General Electric. While the gadgets aren’t yet “mainstream,” he said, typical individuals are a lot more knowledgeable about them.

Alex Hawkinson, CEO of Samsung’s SmartThings smart-home organisation, said that about half of his new customers are coming because of clever speakers “firing up a lot of enjoyment.”

Once individuals get their very first clever item, such as a smart plug, they are likely to buy more, market researchers say. They likewise inform friends and next-door neighbors about them, and may buy some as gifts.


Questions remain over whether inviting internet-connected items to the home likewise opens the door to hackers, notwithstanding makers’ promises of security and personal privacy protections. For that reason, Hawkinson stated, wise lights have the tendency to be more popular than cameras and door locks.

Sharonda Dozier, a 28-year-old in Detroit, stated her boyfriend desires a clever speaker, but she frets: “What if it starts glitching and we’re having an argument or something else is going on that’s personal?”

Experts say the privacy obstacle is surmountable, as people have revealed a desire to set such concerns aside for benefit. The larger obstructions, they state, are expense and awareness.

A pack of 2 smart plugs costs about $30. Smart bulbs start at $10; ones that let you manage brightness and color can cost 3 times that. Gearing up a few rooms with security video cameras will set you back a few hundred dollars– or far more for a premium model such as Nest’s Camera IQ.

Beyond the upfront costs, some items bring ongoing service fees. That’s specifically real of security cams that provide online video storage. Nest, which shares a parent company with Google, charges $10 or $30 a month, depending upon the length of time video is kept.

Still, wise products aren’t going to be best for everyone.

“I walk over and lock the doors. I visit the thermostat and just turn the important things down,” stated Rick Daigneault, 38, a former insurance research study service technician in Warwick, Rhode Island. “Individuals are getting lazier and lazier. You need a gadget to think for you.”

AP Writers Jennifer McDermott in Warwick, Rhode Island, and Jeff Karoub in Dearborn, Michigan, added to this story.

Why privatize air traffic? Thinking simply doesn’t fly

Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017|2 a.m.

View more of the Sun’s opinion area

Due to more pressing problems, the something that Congress requires like a hole in the head is a plan to revamp the nation’s air traffic control system.

After all, security is not in question. Yet the airlines, led by Rep. Expense Shuster, R-Pa., continue to press relentlessly for air traffic control privatization as part of our Federal Air travel Administration reauthorization procedure.

There is no dispute that in the United States, flying is already extremely safe. We remain in more danger driving to the airport than we are in the air. So the concern stays, exactly what do we stand to get by privatizing the system? If we can’t respond to that question, we certainly shouldn’t continue to waste time and the FAA shouldn’t be losing taxpayer resources trying to overthrow the system.

Under the Shuster costs, the new organization running air traffic control would be supervised by personal interests, would be beyond the oversight of Congress and would have the power to set user fees and taxes, and to obtain loan. The primary boosters of this plan are most of the major airline companies. Challengers include a bipartisan group of rural airports, smaller-aircraft owners and pilots, business air travel, farmers, small business, customer groups and labor unions, to name a few.

There is certainly no absence of distress among airline passengers. And this would just worsen under Shuster’s plan, in which the airline companies would have more power within the system. One can discover lots of distress among travelers in Europe, even though European countries have actually adopted numerous privatization schemes.

President Donald Trump supports Shuster’s plan and speaks of our run-down, “3rd world airports,” however the strategy has absolutely nothing to do with the facilities of airports that tourists experience. It has to do with individuals, centers, and equipment behind the scenes, directing liftoffs and landings.

Considering the discomforts and hassles we endure, relief would be welcome. But we cannot blame the government for terrible food, the expansion of additional charges, and seats that would make sardines grumble. We would like more choices of providers and more prompt departures and arrivals– all of which seems to be the fault of the same people who are attempting to state they can run it better.

Proponents continue to promote new innovation– specifically satellites and GPS, which enable airports to manage more flights and enhance timeliness. But the FAA is already undertaking innovation modernization, and this process would be smoother if every time we go to reauthorize the FAA, the airlines didn’t pirate the procedure to try to attach their privatization scheme.

Resistance to taxes and user costs set by a new entity would still dominate, particularly if those with a dominant influence under the brand-new system– when again the airline companies– decided to shift more expenses to the little fry.

If you’re worried about the national debt, you may be much more worried about an organization that might do its own borrowing, however whose debts would be implicitly guaranteed by the federal government. Imagine if a brand-new, independent air traffic control service organization supported the financial eight-ball, disruptions threatened to stall the country’s air traffic, and the federal government did not action in with a bailout. That would not happen. The treasury’s money spigots would open to keep the aircrafts flying.

Worry of this financial exposure was one basis for objections to the strategy from the American Conservative Union. In the exact same vein, inning accordance with a recent analysis from the Congressional Budget Plan Office, the effect of Shuster’s plan on taxes and the budget deficit can not be estimated due to the fact that of the incompleteness of the proposition.

A taxpayer supporter may also take umbrage at Shuster’s arrangement to transfer existing FAA properties to the brand-new entity, free of charge. In other countries, airlines have actually paid for ownership stakes, to compensate the taxpayers.

There suffice things broken throughout the federal government that should command the attention of the Congress. The Federal Aviation Administration is not one of them. In the end, this strategy provides a lot to be apprehensive about, very little in terms of concrete advantages that stand up to scrutiny.

Max Sawicky is an economist and writer specializing in public finance and privatization.

Report: Aging United States Population Simply the Right Rx for MOB Developers and Investors

Markets With Big and Growing Senior Populations Such as Phoenix, South Florida Are Particularly Ripe for New Medical Office Supply, Investment

The rising variety of individuals age 65 and over, pressure for health-care service providers to cut costs and the rise of new innovation will continue to drive need and chances for medical office developers and financiers, inning accordance with a new report by CBRE Group, Inc.

. According to “U.S. Medical Office Buildings: A Remedy for Market Volatility,” CBRE’s very first report outlining the United States medical-office sector’s investment capacity as a growing and developing possession class, the national MOB job rate has actually dropped progressively because 2010 to a record-low level of 8% as of first-quarter 2017, well below the 13% job rate for the wider U.S. office market.

Cost containment and brand-new technologies that can produce much better and more effective patient treatments at lower expense is owning health-care market combination and creating demand for more economical settings to see clients, such as medical office complex and urgent-care centers.

“As investor cravings for health care-related real estate has grown, medical office buildings have emerged as the most popular property type within the sector,” stated Chris Bodnar, executive vice president of healthcare with CBRE Capital Markets. “As yields for conventional property possession classes have compressed recently, new capital sources, consisting of foreign capital, have actually gotten in the medical office sector searching for stability to hedge against any potential correction in the worldwide markets.”

Currently active MOB developers are most likely to get busier as renters contend for the lessening readily available supply. This week, Indiana-based healthcare real estate developer and operator Anchor Health Properties revealed a collaboration with The Villages community in central Florida to establish the 285,000-square-foot Center for Advanced Health care, a multi-specialty building connected to a 150-room hotel, conference center and medspa. The task is slated to begin in early 2018 and will take about two years to complete.

In one of the current examples of the investor appetite for medical-office area, CBRE Global Investment Partners previously this month acquired a 95% interest in a 25-building medical office portfolio across 10 states from Kayne Anderson Property Advisors and MB Property Healthcare for a concealed rate. Likewise recently, Duke Realty (NYSE: DRE)completed its $ 2.8 billion sale of 72 medical office buildings to Healthcare Trust of America (NYSE: HTA). Phoenix is forecast to have the strongest 65+ population growth by 2021, followed by Las Vegas, South Florida, Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta and Houston, according to CBRE.

Large entrance markets are already benefitting from supply/demand dynamics favorable to financiers. For example, single-digit job rates paired with low levels of brand-new supply in recent years have fueled record rent growth in Southern California, CBRE stated.

Medical suppliers pay the most lease for office in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, which have actually each tape-recorded boosts of 9% or more given that 2010. Los Angeles is 4th on the list of most costly U.S. medical office markets as of the very first quarter, behind New York, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Location.

Southern California “is very under-built when it concerns health-care real estate,” stated CBRE Elder Vice President Bryan Lewitt, the Southern California practice leader for the Health care Services Group. “Throughout this last economic recovery, half the possible health-care homes were converted to non-health-care usages.”

Lack of available area is particularly challenging for bigger service providers, Lewitt added.

“If an occupant requires a big block of adjoining area, they will have few or no choices. This is frequently requiring providers to expand their geographic search areas outside their perfect submarkets,” he said. “However we do believe that as soon as this long real estate recovery concludes, there will be chance to broaden the supply of medical space and potentially lower rental rates as well.”

Motion for improvement: Exactly what happens in the mind is simply as essential as exactly what occurs to the body

[not able to recover full-text content] Close your eyes and image this: more than 750 people relocating a smooth, unified yoga flow with the only sound to be heard is originating from palm trees swaying gently in the warm summer wind …

The House simply passed a costs that impacts overtime pay

By Julia Horowitz

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)– Do you get paid for overtime work? The House of Representatives just passed a costs you might want to know about.

The procedure, backed by Republicans, would let employers offer employees time off rather of time-and-a-half pay the next time they put in additional hours. The vote tally was mainly along party lines, with no Democrats voting in favor of the expense. Six Republican politicians likewise voted versus it.

G.O.P. management has promoted the legislation, called the Working Families Versatility Act, as an attempt to codify flexibility for employees.

“I do not believe there’s anything more powerful than providing more control over their time so that they can make the best choices on their own and their families,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington stated Tuesday early morning in a press conference held by Republican leaders in your home.

The Trump administration also came out in support of the procedure on Tuesday. The White House stated in a news release that the president’s advisors would suggest Trump sign the bill into law if it was presented to him in its existing form.

However Democrats stand in strong opposition. Their primary concern is that employers have the final say on when comp time can be utilized, which indicates employers can defer compensating staff members for overtime work.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts– a Democrat who has actually made employees’ securities her flagship cause and sits on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions– called the bill a “disgrace” on Twitter.

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, who is the top Democrat on the Senate HELP committee, stated the bill doesn’t put employees initially.

“This is absolutely nothing but a recycled bad bill that would allow huge corporations to make an end-run around giving workers the pay they have actually earned,” Murray said in a declaration.

Congressional Republicans have actually pitched similar measures a number of times over the previous twenty years but have actually been unable to get the rule on the books. A comparable costs passed the House in 2013 but passed away in the Senate.

Republicans, who hold 52 seats in the upper chamber, will need 8 Democrats to enact favor of the legislation to avoid a filibuster.

Your home costs is sponsored by Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah has introduced a comparable costs in the Senate, however it’s still in committee.

TM & & © 2017 Cable television News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights scheduled.

Competitive eating is more than simply devouring


Steve Marcus

Las Vegas competitive eater Miki Sudo, right, contends during a Hooters wing-eating contest at the Acid rock Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Sudo won the competitors, consuming 192 wings in 10 minutes. Adrian “the Bunny” Morgan, left, completed in 2nd location.

Monday, June 29, 2015|2 a.m.

Miki Sudo is downing oysters at the Orleans.

Although they’re not her preferred, Sudo gets a half shell, raises it to her mouth, sucks out the raw oyster and swallows it whole. Chewing would take too long in competition.

A few minutes later on, all that stays is a stack of empty shells.

“I don’t even seem like I ate,” Sudo states.

Welcome to a practice round for one of the world’s top competitive eaters. Sudo is ranked by Major League Consuming No. 1 among ladies competitive eaters around the world and No. 4 amongst men and women, having fallen under the sport in 2011 after scarfing down a 12-pound bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup in Chinatown. Sudo won a $1,510 jackpot and found her calling.

A day after the oyster session, Sudo downs platefuls of pot stickers, prepping for a various competitors. Last summer season, she won the women’s department of Nathan’s Hot Dog Consuming Contest, drawing down 34 hotdogs in 10 minutes.

How do Sudo and her colleagues do it? Exactly what does it require a competitive eater? And why don’t they weigh 300 pounds?

Training 101

It sounds counterintuitive, however competitive eaters are skilled, trained professional athletes. A lot of work hard at their craft and commit a considerable quantity of time to preparing for competitions.

Warning: Do not attempt this in your home. These people are specialists, and taking in too much water can be fatal.

Practice runs

A lot of competitors do dry timed runs at house before a competitors. Joey Chestnut, who compares his training program to that of a bodybuilder or marathoner, states he practices once a week by eating enormous quantities of whatever food will certainly be featured in his next competition. It assists him shave time off the clock and best his strategy for the particular food.

Some eaters video their practices so they can critique and enhance their techniques.

Enhance your jaw

Masticator muscles in the jaw are among the best in the human body and are a crucial consider having the ability to grind food quickly. Competitive eaters often work the muscles by chewing gum– anywhere from six to 25 pieces at a time.

Control your breathing

Eaters discover a practical rhythm for breathing and stay with it. If they don’t breathe enough, their heart rate will accelerate. If they breathe too often, they’ll waste time.


Workout is crucial for competitive eaters, to maintain their body weight and limitation belly fat, which can restrain food consumption.

Rodriguez said he invests about 12 hours a week working out, doing mostly weight training and a little bit of cardio.

An individual’s abdomen can only fit so much, and the leaner it is, the more food can be pushed in.

Many rivals exercise an hour or two before a competition to enhance their hunger and promote their muscles.

Stomach capacity

The key to successful competitive eating is stretching your stomach. A lot of competitors do that in time by guzzling increasingly large amounts of water or milk– approximately a gallon at a time, normally in only a minute or more.

Rivals also eat big amounts of food. The key is low-calorie, high-fiber, water-rich dishes. Yasir Salem, who in 2013 won the Cannoli Consuming Competition, trains by consuming 6 to 8 pounds of steamed broccoli and cauliflower topped with a number of pounds of sauerkraut in about 20 minutes. Others stretch their stomachs with watermelon, lettuce, cabbage or grapes.

Stomachs stretch after you consume a dish but usually diminish back to regular size. Consistently eating huge amounts of food can cause stomach muscles to weaken and expand the “typical” size of the stomach.

Hit the buffet

In the week leading up to a competition, Juan Rodriguez, a valley citizen who is the 11th-best competitive eater in the world, dinings at least a trio of buffet meals, consuming platefuls of food for up to 3 hours. He aims to fill two plates of food from each section: Italian, Chinese, American.

“Residing in Vegas is a terrific benefit due to the fact that we have all the buffets at our disposal,” Rodriguez stated.

Click to enlarge photo

Test yourself

Do they throw up?

Sometimes competitors can be too much even for an expert to deal with. Throwing up during an eating contest isn’t really typical but does take place.

In Major League Consuming, anyone who suffers what the league nicely calls “a Roman event” is disqualified if vomit touches a plate or table. Once time expires, rivals can toss up without penalty.

It’s unlikely the average diner can down 103 hamburgers in eight minutes like competitive eating champ Joey Chestnut or ingest 57 cow brains in 15 minutes like gurgitating guru Takeru Kobayashi. However how about a six-pound burrito in 45 minutes? Or 87 ounces of noodle soup in a half-hour? That’s more manageable. In truth, it has been done right here. A growing variety of Las Vegas dining establishments have included oversized food obstacles to their menus. It’s marketing brilliance– and gastronomical abuse.

Right here’s a taste of what’s out there for those who want to put their stomachs to the test:

■ Pho 87

3620 S. Jones Blvd.

702-233-8787, pho87.net

Consume this: PHOzilla, a heaping bowl of pho, in 1,987 seconds (simply over 33 minutes)

If you prosper: Win a progressive cash prize (which recently hovered around $1,870).

If you fail: Pay $50 plus tax.

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Pollo tacos at Mercadito in Red Rock Resort.

■ Mercadito at Red Rock Resort

11011 W. Charleston Blvd.

702-979-3609, mercaditorestaurants.com/redrock

Consume this: Forty tacos in 40 minutes

If you prosper: Win a $200 dining establishment present card and an invitation to contend against other winners this fall. The prize? Tacos for life.

If you fail: Pay $40 for the tacos.

■ The Pub at Monte Carlo

3770 Las Vegas Blvd. South 702-730-7420, montecarlo.com/restaurants/the-pub.aspx

Eat this: An 8-pound hamburger and mendings in 45 minutes

If you succeed: Win a T-shirt.

If you fail: Pay $29 for the food.

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Todd English P.U.B. provides 41 beers on tap, including the only cask beers (English-style beers served 7 to 10 degrees warmer than regular) in the state of Nevada.

■ Todd English P.U.B. at the Shops at Crystals

3720 Las Vegas Blvd. South 702-489-8080, toddenglishpub.com

Consume this: A pint of beer in 7 seconds

If you succeed: The beer is on your house. You can choose any beer for the challenge as long as it costs less than $10.

If you fail: Spend for your drink.

■ Born and Raised

7260 S. Cimarron Road

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Hot wings at Diablo’s Cantina at Monte Carlo.

702-685-0258, bornandraisedlv.com

Eat this: Fifteen different sliders and a mountain of french fries in an hour or less

If you prosper: Win a T-shirt.

If you fail: Pay $75 for the food.

■ Diablo’s Cantina at Monte Carlo

3770 Las Vegas Blvd. South 702-730-7979, diabloslasvegas.com

Consume this: Twenty chicken wings soaked in “Death Sauce,” made from habanero chili puree and ghost chili extract, in 20 minutes

If you are successful: Win a T-shirt and your photo on the Wall of Popularity.

If you fail: Take care of the wings and mug for the Hall of Shame.

It’s competitors time!

Consuming competitors usually last 10 to 12 minutes.

Depending upon the food type, winners are figured out by the variety of items consumed, as with hot dogs, or the weight of the food consumed, just like chicken wings.

Prizes typically vary from boasting rights to a couple of thousand dollars.

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