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    CHICAGO (WLS) -- On Thursday, the Girl Scouts, USA will be hosting a virtual event for their new initiative "Paint Your World Purple."Actress, producer, parent and Girl Scout alum, Kristen Bell will join Girl Scouts for the upcoming virtual event.RELATED: Girl Scouts from Chicago, Matteson Zoom with Michelle ObamaThe event is inspired by the shared values of Girl Scouts and the themes from Bell's No. 1 New York Times bestselling children's book "The World Needs More Purple People."What do Girl Scouts do?Anyone who is interested in joining the Girl Scouts can call 1-855-I-LOVE-GS (1-855-456-8347). For more information on "Paint Your World Purple," click here.
    (CNN)Collaboration has been behind some of humanity's greatest achievements -- the Beatles' biggest hits, putting a man on the moon, the smartphone. Do Zoom and other forms of video interaction crush the creative process that led to such feats? Yes, according to new research published Wednesday that found it's easier to come up with creative ideas in person. It's an answer many employers have been searching for over the past two years, as working from home has become the norm during Covid-19 pandemic. The National Bureau of Economic Research in the United States said last year that 20% of workdays will be from home when the pandemic ends, compared with just 5% before. "We initially started the project (in 2016) because we heard from managers and executives that innovation was one of the biggest challenges with video interaction. And I'll admit, I was initially skeptical," said Melanie Brucks, an assistant professor of business marketing at Columbia Business School and author of the study that published in the scientific journal Nature. Brucks said she previously believed virtual interaction mimics an in-person...
    "This is very misguided, wrong messaging and application of science all in 1 tweet! Threatening virtual learning for the Least at risk, based on knowing the negative impact it had, because of booster rates, even though having booster doesn’t prevent cases and prevent an 'uptick'!" said WTTG-TV senior vice president Patrick Paolini. "At least they’re open about it: Do what we say or we will force you with mandates or taking away school from your kids," noted conservative commentator Karol Markowicz.Anything else?Elrich's threat to send kids back to "virtual school" (i.e., closing schools) is particularly jarring because of the well-known negative impacts of closing schools. Not only did students suffer significant learning loss during school closures, but mental health struggles are now plaguing children and teenagers. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization says the impact of school closures is "particularly severe for the most vulnerable and marginalized boys and girls and their families." Elrich has been endorsed for re-election by the local school union.
    The popular American brand “Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte” has been riding the trend by offering a virtual drink that is also available in the real world. After Brewer Heineken, the system of the famous Coca-Cola brand is once again penetrating the virtual world to deliver a product there. The American drink maker offered a drink called “Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte”, which this time, almost but physically, The American channel CNN reports. “The Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte confirms the extraordinary taste of pixels,” said Ona Vlad, CNN’s Director of Brand Strategy. He describes it as “a taste similar to the already known coke,” with an extra brilliant touch. No details about the flavors have been mentioned yet. Virtual and real This drink has already occupied the virtual world: a part of the video game universe Fortnight Currently dedicated to the American brand, and offers related mini-games. However, Coca-Cola has not formalized any partnership with Epic Games Fortnight. The company notes its desire to be “where communities of players who have long supported are located”. Unlike Heineken’s virtual beer, whose “non-drinkable” character...
    Puerto Rico Daily Kos gathering. Connect! Unite! Act! is a weekly series that seeks to create face-to-face networks in each congressional district. Groups meet regularly to socialize, get out the vote, support candidates, and engage in other local political actions that help our progressive movement grow and exert influence on the powers that be. Visit us every week to see how you can get involved! As we look back at the 20 years of Daily Kos, there are stories I’ve written that I’m very proud of and events that I’m proud of as well. One of the events that meant the most to me was a gathering of Daily Kos readers in Puerto Rico shortly after hurricanes left the island devastated. If you have not followed the writing of Denise Oliver Velez on the issue, go back and do so now. There are things I’ve written at Daily Kos about my family and friends that mean the world to me because of how they emotionally connect to my life and always will. When I think about the work done...
    FAST food is dipping its fry into the metaverse. Wendy's is launching a virtual reality hub where fans can visit the iconic burger stand using an Oculus headset. 1Wendy's is on of many franchise racing to establish a footing in the metaverse Wendy's virtual reality restaurant is opening in the metaverse on April 2nd. The Wendyverse Town Square Central will have basketball-themed VR games - keeping in line with Wendy's sponsorship of the March Madness college basketball tournament. Wendy's has been steady in the rush to establish a locale in the metaverse with a longterm goal of expanding on the lone digital restaurant. It's ambitious for a company whose slogan is "you know when it's real." Read More in MetaverseCUPID'S OCULUS Inside the world of METAVERSE 'speed dating' – avatars flirt by candlelightHI-TECH HIJACK Microsoft warns millions of metaverse users of 'identity THEFT' The Wendyverse will launch on Horizon World, a free platform developed by Meta. "Wendy's has always been an innovative leader in how they work with creators," a Meta creative executive told PRNewsWire. "Building this world is...
    An employee wearing HTC's Vive virtual reality headset plays a video game at the T.UM showroom in the SK Telecom Co. headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, on June 11, 2021.SeongJoon Cho | Bloomberg | Getty Images Imagine discussing a confidential multimillion-dollar deal with your boss. The conversation ends, and you both leave. A while later, you both meet again and you bring up your earlier conversation — but your boss has absolutely no recollection of the deal. What just happened? In the metaverse, this might mean you were the victim of a hacked avatar or deepfake, said Prabhu Ram, head of the industry intelligence group at CyberMedia Research, a research and consulting firm. Deepfakes refer to manipulated digital figures that look or sound like someone else. The metaverse has drawn hype in recent months, with companies like Meta, formerly known as Facebook, and Ralph Lauren, rushing to get their foot in the door. But unless cybersecurity risks in the metaverse are addressed, these companies may not see the success they're hoping for. Cybercrime in the real world is already becoming...
    CHERRY HILL, New Jersey -- New Jersey officials are considering legislation that would allow school districts to go virtual in case of inclement weather or other emergencies if it becomes law.The bill passed the Senate and is now being considered in the Assembly.Ask most kids, and they'll tell you one of the best winter pastimes is a snow day.Thanks to the pandemic, virtual learning is now an option for most classrooms. But should that mean fewer snow days? Some say yes."They should do virtual instead of missing a day of school, just to not draw the year out longer. It just makes sense," said Steve Martin, a father from Magnolia, N.J.Aspen Thomas' 13-year-old daughter doesn't love virtual school, but Thomas says she likes the idea of having a remote learning day."Will she be devastated if she didn't have a real snow day? Probably. But that's okay," he said.Enter Senate Bill 464: legislation that would allow districts to go virtual for one or more days because of weather or a declared state of emergency.Currently, New Jersey schools are not allowed to...
    In this article FB 6758.T-JP Sony PlayStation VR2 headsetSonySony unveiled its PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset on Tuesday, as competition in the VR space continues to heat up. Facebook-parent Meta, for example, has devoted $10 billion over the next year to shift its focus to the metaverse, a digital world where it hopes people will work and play using its $299 Meta Quest 2 headset. But companies like Sony may attract people who want a headset that seamlessly connects and plays the games they already have on their PlayStation consoles. Sony's VR headset requires a PlayStation to run, for example, while the $299 Meta Quest 2 can connect to a computer for power-intensive gaming applications or can run wire-free for less intensive tasks. Sony hasn't announced pricing for the headset yet, but it looks similar to the Meta Quest 2 and, like Facebook's headset, comes with two controllers that you use to navigate in VR. Apple is also expected to launch a virtual reality headset in the coming year, according to reports. "Our goal is to create a headset...
    The FBI's new "virtual asset exploitation" unit will analyze blockchain to investigate crimes and be empowered to seize virtual assets. It will work in partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and other federal law enforcement agencies. Choi's appointment comes shortly after the DOJ arrested Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife Heather Morgan, a New York couple accused of laundering bitcoins now valued over $4.5 billion that were stolen from the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex in 2016. According to Reuters, the arrest constituted the Justice Department's largest-ever financial seizure. The newly installed NCET director's experience includes working for nearly a decade as a cybercrime coordinator and assistant U.S. attorney in New York investigating complex fraud and money-laundering schemes, DOJ said. "We are issuing a clear warning to criminals who use cryptocurrency to fuel their schemes," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a speech at the Munich Cyber Security Conference in Germany, where she announced Choi's appointment. "We also call on all companies dealing with cryptocurrency — we need you...
    In this article DISDisney store is seen in Times Square, New York City.Nick Pfosi | ReutersDisney CEO Bob Chapek on Tuesday appointed an executive to lead the company's metaverse strategy. Mike White will be Disney's senior vice president in charge of "next generation storytelling," Chapek said in a memo to employees that was viewed by CNBC. White was previously in charge of Disney's consumer experiences and platforms. The metaverse is the concept in which the virtual worlds you experience through virtual reality headsets will usher in a new wave of business on the internet. Facebook has made the biggest bet on the metaverse so far, changing its corporate name to Meta and spending more than $10 billion on developing virtual reality hardware and software last year. Chapek has not definitely outlined how Disney plans to make money from the metaverse, but said in his Tuesday memo White's task will be "connecting the physical and digital worlds" for Disney entertainment. "Today, we have an opportunity to connect those universes and create an entirely new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage...
    A virtual, company-wide meeting meant to introduce new Peloton CEO Barry McCarthy descended into chaos on Wednesday as some of the 2,800 employees who were abruptly laid off the day before took out their frustrations in the chat box. 'I'm selling all my Peloton apparel to pay my bills!!!,' one person wrote. On Tuesday, the company announced it was replacing CEO and co-founder John Foley and slashing 2,800 jobs in a desperate bid to cut costs and revive the struggling exercise company. Some of the laid off employees - who make up 20 percent of global corporate staff - reportedly learned they were fired when they found their access to the company's Slack channel switched off Tuesday morning. In a memo, Foley said that the axed employees would get 12 months of free fitness classes as part of their severance packages, a value of about $468. 'This is awfully tone deaf,' wrote one user who sneaked into Wednesday's meeting. 'The company messed up by allowing people who were fired into this chat,' another user said. 'Too late to mod [moderate] this.' It's...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department announced Tuesday its largest-ever financial seizure — more than $3.6 billion — and the arrests of a New York couple accused of conspiring to launder billions of dollars in cryptocurrency stolen from the 2016 hack of a virtual currency exchange. Federal law enforcement officials said the recovered sum was linked to the hack of Bitfinex, a virtual currency exchange whose systems were breached by hackers nearly six years ago. READ MORE: Harlem-Based Organization Trains Homeless Population To Combat Overdose DeathsIlya “Dutch” Lichtenstein, a citizen of Russia and the United States, and his wife, Heather Morgan, were arrested in Manhattan on Tuesday morning, accused of relying on various sophisticated techniques to launder the stolen money and conceal the transactions. They face federal charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the United States. It was unclear if they had lawyers or people who could speak on their behalf. They were in custody pending an appearance in Manhattan’s federal court later Tuesday. “The message to criminals is clear: Cryptocurrency is not a safe...
    People from seven surrounding states and Canada regularly travel to Family Tree Clinic in Minneapolis for gender-affirming hormone care. In some industries, attracting patients from far away may seem like a sign of success, but staff at the 50-year-old reproductive and sexual health clinic are doing everything they can to change that. They want people to get the care they so desperately desire without having to travel hundreds of miles.  A five-year, $757,000 Community Innovation grant from the St. Paul-based Bush Foundation will soon make it possible for Family Tree staff to teach health care providers in isolated communities how to offer gender-affirming hormone care, hopefully reducing the need for their patients to travel long distances for treatment. Alissa LightAlissa Light, Family Tree Clinic executive director, said that the Bush Foundation grant is, “an opportunity for our staff to develop a democratized training institute where we can both share protocols and do the technical-skills training content of an informed-consent hormone-care program.”  Light explained that Family Tree staff plan to help participants learn how to provide the type of care that...
    AT&T has rolled out its ultra-fast 5 gigabit per second fixed-line fiber broadband offering to more than 70 cities, reaching an extra five million customers. This will see the firm increase the maximum speed of its fiber network from 1Gbps to up to 5Gbps in cities like Dallas, Atlanta and LA for the first time.   It is expected the connections will cost upward of $110 per month, but will allow multiple people sharing a connection to stream in the highest quality, and upload larger files. That should prove useful for families where multiple people are working or studying from home, and who require a fast, reliable connection to an online meeting service such as Zoom.  The aim, according to AT&T, is to provide these ultra-fast speeds to more than 30 million customers by 2025, citing an ever increasing demand on the network as a reason for increasing maximum speeds.   A major change is that the connections will be symmetrical, meaning upload and download speeds will be the same, enabling people to upload files much more quickly.  AT&T has rolled out its...
    It should seem implausible that there would be anything new to say about the story of Princess Diana. What piece of pop culture, at this point, could possibly add anything to our understanding and our emotion about her supernova existence in the public eye and her tragic death? These last years especially have seen her life and the impact of her death parsed and chronicled in an endless torrent of new documentaries, each promising some tantalizing new detail or anecdote to entice insatiable consumers of all things Lady Di. It’s also been fictionalized, dramatized according to rumor and assumption in high-profile projects like The Crown and the recent Kristen Stewart-starrer Spencer. Is it a bad thing that there seems to be an infinite appetite for this content, and ample offerings produced to answer the call? There is so much to learn about the media, the monarchy, and ourselves, let alone about one of the most famous women there has ever been, so why shouldn’t there be so much content? Then again, it was the ravenous and rapacious demand for her...
    SCARY drone tech that lets one solider control 130 drones with just their voice has been developed in partnership with the Pentagon. The drone swarms have been tested in indoor and outdoor settings. 1This image of the drone test was releasedCredit: Raytheon Defense contractor company Raytheon has been working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on the project. The drone swarms have been dubbed “OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics” (OFFSET). One swarm is said to be made up of 130 physical drones and 30 simulated ones. Raytheon announced the successful tests in a press release. It said: "Using integrated swarm technology developed by a Raytheon BBN-led team, a single operator successfully controlled a swarm—composed of 130 physical drone platforms and 30 simulated drone platforms—both indoors and outdoors in an urban setting." It said that controlling the drones required "minimal training". Most read in News TechWHICH ONE ARE YOU? What is the 5000 character quiz on TikTok and how do I take it?SUNBELIEVABLE Solar storm predicted to hit Earth this weekend, experts claimBANK SCAM Warning over online scammers posing as your bank – how to spot fake text...
    After scrapping its previous formula on when a school switches to virtual learning due to COVID-19, Montgomery County, Maryland, schools are expected to soon reveal the new plan for making the pivot. During a board of education meeting on Thursday, officials for the school district previewed the plan for shifting to 10 days of virtual learning if certain criteria were met. Some of the factors include the number of students and teachers testing positive for COVID-19 over a 10-day period, the number of absences for students and teachers, and if the school doesn’t have enough substitute teachers. The number of unserved bus routes and the concerns of school officials about being able to safely and efficiently operate will also come into play with the decisions. This plan comes more than a week after the school system scrapped its plan to shift schools to virtual learning if 5% of teachers and staff test positive. The decision was made to throw out the formula after state officials advised MCPS against using an automatic trigger or threshold to determine when all online learning...
    SONY says it's working on a new virtual reality headset designed for the PlayStation 5 – and it could be out as early as next year. The Japanese tech titan has already teased some of the PSVR 2's specs and capabilities, but is keeping the exact release date a closely guarded secret. Read the latest stories for PS5 Keep up-to-date with all the Xbox news Read the latest gaming news 3Sony is working on the follow-up to its PlayStation VR headsetCredit: Sony/The Sun When is the PSVR 2 out? Following months of leaks and rumours, Sony confirmed it was working on the PSVR 2 in a blog post in February. The company said that the device would not be launching in 2021, but stopped short of giving an expected release window. In a recent report, Bloomberg claimed that the PSVR 2 will be released in late 2022. Sources with inside knowledge of the project told the news site that Sony plans to use Samsung OLED panels in its high-tech headset. 3The original PSVR launched in 2016Credit: Sony...