Shazam, the app that listens and recognizes what song is playing, has been a cutting-edge product since the company’s inception in 1999. The company’s widely useful and universally in-demand audio recognition technology has put them at the forefront of the space for years, and made Shazam one of the most popular apps in the world. To “Shazam” is now widely recognized and utilized as a verb in conversation.According to a report from TechCrunch, the British company is in the process of finalizing a deal to sell Shazam to U.S. tech giant Apple for sums estimated to be north of $400M. The move will allow Apple to further improve their music delivery capabilities and make for a more immersive listening experience for their customers.In recent years, the company has extended the technology beyond helping you remember “who sings that song that’s playing right now” It also integrates with other apps like Snapchat and Apple’s Siri, and it currently sends lots of traffic to other music apps like Spotify and Apple Music, which pay Shazam when those clicks convert to purchases. The Shazam app is now used as an interactive tool for advertisers, bars and restaurants, music venues and more. Shazam’s augmented reality brand marketing service lets you discover content based on pictures that you snap with the app. “You came for music, stay to experience McDonald’s Karaoke, MTN Dew VR Racing and much more,” is the company’s pitch on this feature.It’s not clear which of these operations will carry on post-acquisition, and which of these might be something that Apple would integrate into its own business (and how), but it’s notable that much of what Shazam does is very synergistic with what Apple apple already has in place and in the works. It’s likely that the technology will be used to attract more users to the Apple Music platform.This is not the first large-scale acquisition Apple has made in the music space in recent memory. In 2014, Apple acquired Beats for more than $3B, and absorbed Beats’ executive team–including Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine, and Trent Reznor–into the Apple family to continue pushing the limits of the product/service they created with the help of the tech monolith. Beats became the basis for Apple Music, which has roughly 30 million users as of this Fall (Spotify has 60 million paying customers, and 140 million overall).We are excited to see what the inventive minds at Apple will be able to think up to improve the music listening experience using Shazam’s unique technology.[via TechChrunch]
Trey Anastasio Trio has announced webcasts for all three of their upcoming sold-out performances at the Civic Theatre in New Orleans, LA via LivePhish. The highly anticipated three-night run will take place this week from Thursday, April 26th, to Saturday, April 28th, coinciding with the beginning of this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.The trio—comprised of Trey Anastasio and his longtime solo bandmates Russ Lawton (drums) and Tony Markellis (bass)—is touring in place of the full Trey Anastasio Band while keyboardist Ray Paczkowski recovers after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor last month.You can trace the origins of the modern Trey Anastasio Band back to this trio of musicians. As Anastasio explained in a Facebook post announcing the Trey Anastasio Trio tour plans, the tour’s opening night, April 17th, 2018, marked the 20th anniversary of the first time Trey shared the stage with Tony and Russ, as part of a gig billed as 8 Foot Fluorescent Tubes, which featured the debuts of “Sand”, “First Tube”, and “Mozambique”, among others. That core group–Trey Anastasio, Russ Lawton, and Tony Markellis–soon became the original iteration of the Trey Anastasio Band.The trio mounted their first full tour in May of 1999. That tour saw the birth of many of the songs that still make up TAB setlists to this day, with just Trey, Russ and Tony holding things down. The band (and the music) continued to evolve from there, with Trey going through a litany of lineup changes, additions, and evolutions over the years, eventually landing on the robust lineups we’ve seen in recent years.While the full Trey Anastasio Band will be back in due time, the opportunity to get a taste of this rare Trey Anastasio Trio tour from their couches. For more information, or to order your webcasts for Trey Anastasio Trio’s New Orleans run, head here.
Open enrollment, the annual period when Harvard employees can make changes to their benefit plans, begins Oct. 27. This year, faculty and staff will find a few important changes to their health care offerings, including a new vision care plan, free preventive health services, and increases in emergency room and office visit co-payments.Employees have until Nov. 9 to make and review changes to their medical and dental coverage or open a flexible spending account, in which money can be set aside on a pretax basis to cover certain health or dependent-care costs. (Visit HARVie for more information or to make changes, which will be effective Jan. 1, 2012.)But — as Harvard Human Resources (HHR) will be emphasizing over the next few weeks — it’s important that employees review their benefits even if they don’t plan on making a switch, because some changes to benefits will soon go into effect.For starters, the University will offer a vision care plan for the first time. The Davis Vision plan — $5.43 a month for individuals and $12.49 a month for families — will cover vision exams, glasses, and contact lenses with co-payments.Most Harvard employees* will also face a few increases in costs to their health care. Co-payments for visits to the doctor will now be $20, a $5 increase. Emergency room co-payments will rise from $40 to $75, although they’ll still be waived if the patient is admitted.Those in Harvard’s Point of Service plans or Preferred Provider Organization plan — an option for out-of-state employees only — will see an increase in their out-of-network deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Those changes, however, will only affect the relatively small number of employees who opt for coverage outside Harvard’s network of providers.“Three-quarters of our employees are enrolled in our HMO plans, in part because the HMO plans are so comprehensive and include so many top providers,” said Rita Moore, HHR’s director of benefits and human resources systems. “A lot of people don’t feel the need to go out of network.”By increasing co-pays and deductibles, Harvard has kept medical plan costs lower across the board. Overall, the increases are smaller than the national average. A recently released study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust shows that health care premiums have risen 8 percent for individuals and 9 percent for families in 2011. By contrast, Harvard plan rates for active employees are increasing by 3 to 5 percent, and dental plan rates are decreasing by more than 4 percent.Still, the University acknowledges that the costs of health care can be difficult to manage for low-income families.“If we’ve got a lower-wage earner who has substantial out-of-pocket co-pays, they may be able to be reimbursed,” Moore said, referring to Harvard’s Medical Co-payment Reimbursement Program.In another move to offset employees’ out-of-pocket costs, preventive care will now be free to members of Harvard’s plans for active employees, a result of last year’s federal health care reform. The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandates that fully insured plans offer annual exams, OB/GYN and maternity visits, routine pediatric visits, and select other services without co-pay.As health care costs rise rapidly around the country, Harvard has taken several administrative steps in recent years to help slow the growth of ballooning health expenditures. The University has consolidated the number of plans it offers to leverage its buying power to keep costs low, and has moved to a pharmacy benefit manager to help manage costs.The University spends more than $420 million a year on benefits, and health care is roughly 40 percent of those costs, according to Marilyn Hausammann, vice president for HHR.Benefits are a highly valued asset to Harvard employees, Moore said, and the University is mindful of keeping its benefits competitive relative to both other higher education institutions and local employers.“We’re very careful in trying to ensure our plans are a good value to employees and competitive in the marketplace,” Moore said. “At the same time, we’re trying to balance the financial pressures on the institution with the interests of our employees. We’re managing costs not just for this year but for future years.”The distribution of health premium costs will remain the same. Harvard currently pays between 75 and 85 percent of employees’ premium costs for active medical plans and 50 to 100 percent of retiree coverage.*Certain benefits changes for 2012 apply to faculty, non-union staff members, and members of SEIU, Local 26, ATC, and HUSPMGU. Because the University is still negotiating with HUCTW and HUPA over these changes, members of these unions should refer to HARVie for information about their benefits.
Tom Naatz | The Observer Sorin Hall, left, more commonly known as “Sorin College” after it seceded from the University in 1969, was the first dormitory at Notre Dame. Four University Presidents have lived in the dorm.Prior to 1888, all students lived in residential areas in Main Building. As the University grew and living quarters became crowded, Notre Dame’s founder, Fr. Edward Sorin, decided upon the construction of a separate residence hall, originally intended to be called “Collegiate Hall.” It was only during the laying of the cornerstone on May 27, 1888, that Sorin learned that the hall would be named in his honor. Originally, the entire Notre Dame law school was housed in the first floor of the hall. Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy, former University President and Sorin resident for 38 continuous years, said the law school’s location is what led to the construction of Sorin’s front porch.“The dean of the law school [Colonel William Hoynes] used to go in and out the front door, and one day some students, in an antic, were pouring water on their friends going out, and he got poured on,” Malloy said. “He went to the president, and the president said that we need to build a porch so Colonel Hoynes can get in and out safely.”Since its founding, Sorin has been home to four University Presidents, including Malloy and current University President Fr. John Jenkins. Former Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne and the football players comprising the “Four Horsemen” also lived in the hall.“In some ways, the dorm has changed as the University has changed,” Malloy said. Malloy noted that in addition to multiple renovations and physical changes to Sorin College, the dorm also houses fewer undergraduates than in the past.“When I first moved into Sorin there were 175 students, now we have 147, and that was deliberate to reduce some of the crowding and have more social space,” he said. “In terms of the spirit of the hall and the quality of the students, that’s always been one of the hallmarks of the dorm.”Sorin Hall seceded from the University in 1969. To protest the Vietnam War, the hall residents declared themselves separate from the University, unofficially renaming the hall “Sorin College.”“The seceding was never accepted by the University,” Malloy said. “Nobody did anything. That was the wisdom of [former University President] Fr. Hesburgh — he didn’t respond. He just let it go on. So, it’s still called ‘Sorin College’ by its residents, but the official name is ‘Sorin Hall.’”Hall president, sophomore Steve Provencher, said the dorm community finds its unrecognized secession humorous.“We have a banner that says ‘Sorin Hall: Hall of the Year 1888,’” he said. “And we also have a banner that says ‘1969: College of the Year.’ I don’t think we’ve actually ever won the [Hall of the Year] competition, but we have both those banners which is kind of funny.”However, the dorm’s nominal status as a separate “college” does have an effect on Sorin’s community, Provencher said.“I think we’re definitely kind of independent, and we don’t really care about ‘Rockne’s,’” he said. “We don’t really put a whole lot of effort into them, and we don’t really care about being ‘Hall of the Year.’ … It’s definitely more ‘Sorin loves Sorin.’”The legacy of Sorin College’s secession also lives on in one of the the dorm’s signature events, “Secession Week” — a week in April dedicated to hosting a variety of events for members of the dorm. The week culminates with “Kick-it for Kevin,” a kickball tournament to raise money for cancer research, held in honor of Kevin Healy, a Sorin resident who passed away from cancer in 2009.Sorin’s mascot is the “screaming otter,” which can be recognized on the hall’s crest and interhall sports jerseys, as well as in the residents habit of referring to each other as “brotters,” short for “bro-otters,” Provencher explained. Malloy said that a contest was held to determine the hall’s mascot.“A bunch of guys sat around and they came up with ‘screaming otters,’ and that was about the extent of it,” Malloy said.Malloy said he believes that Sorin enjoys high visibility within the campus community. “We feel we don’t have to explain who we are, people kind of know what Sorin is and who we are,” he said. “I think a second thing is, we’re like Switzerland. When there’s the first snowball fight, where one quad is against another, there’s Sorin just sitting. During first-year orientation time, Sorin doesn’t march around the campus yelling out its name. It never does this. It’s just taken for granted that pretty soon everyone will find out what Sorin is, who Sorin is.”Tags: dorm features, Fr. Monk Malloy, Residence Hall Feature, Sorin College For well over a century, Notre Dame’s first residence hall, Sorin College, has stood on God Quad beside the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Much has changed since its construction in 1888. For instance, the dorm’s front porch has not always been a part of the building, and Sorin has not always been known as a “college,” Sorin rector Fr. Bob Loughery explained.“That’s what defines us, having that kind of history as a dorm,” Loughery said.
Three new women were named members of the USC Board of Trustees on Wednesday: Miriam Adelson, Suzanne Dworak-Peck and Claude Mann. All three have been involved with bettering the community and improving the lives of others, be it medical, social or philanthropic workA physician conducting research in drug addiction, Adelson founded, sponsors and serves as a chairman for two major drug abuse treatment and research centers in Las Vegas and Tel Aviv, Israel. Through her clinics, Adelson helps adults and teens overcome painkiller and opiate addiction. She and her husband, Sheldon G. Adelson, also support two foundations: the Adelson Family Foundation, backing Israel, and the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation, advancing medical research.Suzanne Dworak-Peck has been a leader in the field of social work for 40 years, helping families in unfavorable conditions. She has served as president of the International Federation of Social Workers, the National Association of Social Workers and the organization’s California chapter. Focused on providing resources to the media, Dworak-Peck also founded the NASW Communications Network Inc. Just last month, she gave $60 million as a gift to the USC School of Social Work, now the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work. Elected a life trustee, Claude Mann serves as the executive vice president of gifting and development for the Alfred Mann Foundation, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to developing advanced medical products and named in honor of her late husband. Mann served on the USC Board of Trustees from 1998 until his death in 2016 and donated more than $174 million to advance USC’s contributions to human health, establishing the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Mann has also received many awards, including the Women of Achievement Award from the Women of Sheba, the Woman of Valor Award from the Women’s International Zionist Organization and the Larry King Heart Award.
The Jamaican government has cleared the more than J$7- billion owed to the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) for street lights. Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond Mckenzie, says the street light debt dates back several years.He said that J$4.5 billion was paid to the light and power company over a two-month period to reduce the debt significantly, as the arrears stood in the way of residents getting defective streets lights repaired and new ones installed.Mckenzie said that the government “then had to find on a monthly basis, J$300 million to pay to the [JPS] for street light and when we fail to pay that J$300 million, it attracts interest.“So… after discussions with Minister of Finance and Public Service, Dr. Nigel Clarke we went to Cabinet [and] Cabinet supported the recommendations that were made. We have now paid off the entire debt. So, come the end of the financial year, we will not owe the JPS one cent.”McKenzie said that the JPS has since committed to repairing the country’s 12,000 malfunctioning streetlights by the end of the 2018/2019 financial year.
Billy Sharp scored Sheffield United’s first Premier League goal in 12 years as the newly-promoted Blades earned a point on their return to the top-flight.The 33-year-old striker continued where he left off last season – when he netted 23 times – with his late strike securing Sheffield United a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth.Chris Wilder’s visitors, back in the top flight for the first time since 2007, looked set to leave the Vitality Stadium empty-handed after defender Chris Mepham’s first Cherries goal.But Sharp, a boyhood Blades fan, scrambled home from close range following a well-worked free-kick routine just six minutes after coming on as a substitute.Wantaway winger Wilfried Zaha came off the bench for Crystal Palace as they played out a 0-0 draw with his suitors Everton in a Premier League clash at Selhurst Park.The visitors were reduced to 10 men following Morgan Schneiderlin’s second-half dismissal but created the better chances to secure an opening-day victory – only for both sides to have to settle for a share of the spoils.Burnley scored three goals in 12 second-half minutes to get their Premier League season off to a flying start with a 3-0 victory over Southampton at Turf Moor.Chris Wood sealed a fine win for Burnley at home (Image credit: Getty Images)The Clarets, who struggled to recover from a poor start to the last campaign, did not have a shot on target until Ashley Barnes netted the opener in the 63rd minute.He then scored again with their second seven minutes later, with new signing Erik Pieters the creator on both occasions, and Johann Berg Gudmundsson grabbed the third in the 75th minute.Graham Potter’s new-look Brighton recorded their first win in five trips to Vicarage Road with a comfortable 3-0 win over Watford.In Potter’s first competitive game in charge of Albion, his side took the lead in the 29th minute after a ball across the box from Pascal Gross was turned into his own net by Abdoulaye Doucoure.As Watford looked for the equaliser in the second half, Brighton struck again with substitute Florian Andone (65) firing home with his first touch of the ball after coming on just one minute previously.The three points were sealed when fellow debutant Neal Maupay expertly rounded Ben Foster in the Watford net before tapping home in the 77th minute.Premier League results on Saturday, August 10West Ham 0-5 Man CityBournemouth 1-1 Sheffield UnitedBurnley 3-0 SouthamptonCrystal Palace 0-0 EvertonWatford 0-3 Brighton Source: talkSPORT
Manchester United manager David Moyes has set Wayne Rooney a target of scoring 30 goals this season.Following a pre-season which was disrupted by injury and transfer speculation, the 27-year-old forward netted his first strike of the campaign with a curling free kick against Crystal Palace on Saturday.Rooney scored 16 times in all competitions for United last season and Moyes believes that the England international is capable of building an understanding with Robin van Persie.“I will try to do that [get Rooney to 30 goals],” Moyes told reporters.“I think Wayne’s aim will be to do that as well. Hopefully we can make that happen.“The hope is that we get a partnership where folk are saying, ‘My goodness we are having to play against Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney’. “Everybody is looking to see if those two form a partnership that can score lots of goals. I have to say I have also got Chicharito and Danny Welbeck. Danny has made a great start to the season.”Rooney’s reduced tally last term was partly down to being played in midfield on occasions, a move which Moyes is reluctant to replicate this year.“I can only see Wayne playing up top and playing as a forward for us,” said the Scot.“He has scored a lot of goals. It was down last year. But to be successful you need to have people who can score you 20 goals.“I am hoping with Robin and Wayne you have two there who you would say they have it in them to do that. It was also good for us that Robin scored. A good start.”