‘Two Screens for Teachers’ to supply extra monitors in Seattle and puts out call for help in other cities

The two-screen setup of an elementary school teacher in Seattle. (Photo courtesy of Two Screens for Teachers)

Remote teaching is about to get a little bit easier for thousands of teachers in Seattle Public Schools. The nonprofit organization “Two Screens for Teachers” announced Tuesday that it’s purchasing a second computer monitor for every teacher who needs one, and plans to deliver about 3,000 monitors at a value of around $430,000.

Started by a small group of Seattle startup veterans, Two Screens for Teachers aims to boost teacher productivity through added technology, helping to make remote instruction less stressful during the ongoing pandemic.

Matt Lerner and Mike Mathieu are behind the idea. They previously co-founded Walk Score, a Seattle startup that sold to Redfin in 2014. Their hope is that their latest cause will spread beyond Seattle and they can inspire techies in other cities to purchase monitors for the thousands of teachers who need them.

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“I’ve spent my career in tech on two screens and can’t imagine working without them,” Lerner said in a news release. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve asked our teachers to become tech experts, on top of doing the crucial job of educating our children. A second screen lets teachers see their students on one screen and their lesson plans on the other. This is a simple productivity solution that people in tech centers like Seattle take for granted.”

“Having two monitors is incredibly helpful for teaching,” Seattle elementary school teacher Jannah H. said. “I use my second monitor to display my lesson plans and weekly schedule. I also sometimes use it to keep the video of my student’s faces open while I open a lesson powerpoint on my computer.”

She

Pachama: Carbon-credit startup puts a price on trees, market opportunity

  • Backed by Amazon and a fund led by Bill Gates, Pachama runs a marketplace for forest carbon credits. 
  • Carbon credits are generated when a forest is conserved or restored. 
  • As more companies pledge to reduce or eliminate their emissions, the market for carbon credits is expected to surge. 
  • Researchers challenge the efficacy of carbon credits for curbing deforestation and reducing global emissions.
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In late August, a forest fire, set by lightning and emboldened by climate change, whipped across the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, ultimately burning more than 85,000 acres. 

Diego Saez Gil’s home was among its victims. 

Ironically, it was in that home that Saez Gil dreamt up the idea for his startup, Pachama. Founded in 2018, the company aims to fight climate change — which makes wildfires more common and severe — by protecting forests.

“It is meaningful that now my house is taken by the consequences of climate change, and that those forests will need restoring soon,” Saez Gil, the company’s cofounder, wrote on Medium the day after his home was destroyed. “You can’t make our mission more personal to me now.” 

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Saez Gil’s startup is a tech company, but it’s not your typical Silicon Valley startup.

Pachama sells carbon credits, which represent the carbon dioxide that trees remove from the air. Forests that are protected or restored can generate credits, and companies can buy them to offset their own emissions.

The idea is that, in doing so, businesses can help curb deforestation while reducing their overall climate footprint. 

Though Pachama is just a few years old, it’s won backing from major investors including Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Amazon, and tennis

CRA Website Error Puts CRB Applications on Hold

It seems like the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Thanksgiving surprise was not that good. Canadians are flocking on to Twitter and other social media sites to discuss the error message on the CRA website. Today, the CRA opened the application window for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). Millions of Canadians logged in only to be disappointed with a message.

The message read, “You cannot apply for the Canada Recovery Benefit as you have applied for all eligible periods. The next periods become available every second Monday.”

And today being Thanksgiving, the CRA contact centre is closed. So, I guess you will have to wait until Tuesday to apply for the CRB. 

The CRA website error on CRB application

The CRA had less than a month to transition millions of Canadians from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to CRB. Also, it had to implement new sickness and caregiving benefits. To pile up the work, the CRA was waiting for the legislation on the new benefits to be passed till the end of September. This left the CRA with just two weeks to implement three benefits. To add to the trouble, the CRA website had two incidents of cyber attacks in August, which encouraged the agency to add a layer of security. 

All the above hurdles made the transition from CERB to CRB difficult. This is not the first time there has been an error in benefit payments. When the government launched the CERB in April, both the CRA and Service Canada were processing the claims. This led to some Canadian getting double benefit payments in April. The CRA rectified the error by adjusting the June payments for those who received double payments.  

The CRA will give CRB benefits 

Just like before, the CRA will rectify the CRB error when it

Adobe puts artificial intelligence tools into its marketing software



a close up of a screen: An Adobe Systems Inc software box is seen in Los Angeles


© Reuters/Lucy Nicholson
An Adobe Systems Inc software box is seen in Los Angeles


(Reuters) – Adobe Inc said on Monday that it has put a new set of artificial intelligence tools into its digital marketing software with the aim of helping companies sharpen their marketing campaigns.

Once known for applications like Photoshop, Adobe has become one of the biggest providers of software for running such campaigns, which businesses use to decide which of thousands of images and pieces of written to content to show to potential customers. Growth in its marketing software division has helped send shares up nearly 50% this year.

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The artificial intelligence features released on Monday aid that effort by, for example, scanning and labeling thousand of product images by color and shape, or using natural-language processing technology to read an article to determine its subject.

That makes it easier for marketing campaigns to make a recommendation, whether that means showing a person browsing an e-commerce site a pair of shoes similar to ones they have previously viewed or a news website suggesting a story on a similar subject to the one just read.

Such artificial intelligence technology has existed for several years, but using it generally required corporate marketing departments to export data from their systems and work with another division of the business to use, slowing the work down, Ali Bohra, director of strategy and product marketing for intelligence services at Adobe, said in an interview. Adobe has placed the technologies directly inside the marketing systems, reducing the need to export data.

“When you’re thinking about the need to be agile and work in real time, this is not a process that works very well,” Bohra said.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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CBI puts Hathras case FIR on website, removes within hours

New Delhi, Oct 12 (PTI) Hours after putting the Hathras rape case FIR on its website, the CBI removed it sensing possible violation of a Supreme Court order that FIRs in cases of rape and sexual assault, including those against minors, should not be put in public domain by police.

The agency, however, did not retract or remove its media statement from the website.

The FIR withheld the name of the Hathras victim, concealed using a whitening ink, but it was decided to withdraw it from public domain to avoid unnecessary controversy, sources said.

In December, 2018, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur directed the print and electronic media to not reveal the identity of victims of rape and sexual assault ‘even in a remote manner’.

The apex court said FIRs in cases of rape and sexual assault, including those against minors, should not be put in public domain by police.

The issue had cropped up when the court was hearing a batch of petitions filed after the rape and murder of a paramedic student on December 16, 2012, in New Delhi to support the initiatives on women’s safety across the country.

The CBI took over the investigation from UP police into alleged gangrape and murder of a Dalit woman in a village in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh on September 14 after registering an FIR early Sunday under IPC sections related to gang rape and murder among others, and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, officials said.

It assigned the case to its Ghaziabad unit with a special team to investigate the crime, they said.

The 19-year old woman succumbed to injuries at a Delhi hospital on September 29, which was followed by a hushed up cremation at night allegedly forced by