Becknology Days brings products, research to farmers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The annual Becknology Field Days ran through Saturday, August 27th at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, Indiana. Thousands of farmers and members of the agricultural industry turn out to the event each year to learn about the latest innovations, hear from company leadership, and enjoy fellowship among fellow producers.Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood visited with many involved in the leadership of Beck’s Hybrids.Listen to Beck’s President Scott Beck comment on Becknology and the state of the seed industry.160825_ScottBeck_BecknologySonny Beck, CEO of Beck’s160825_SonnyBeck_Becknology_IntvAgronomist Brent Minett on the Ohio crop vs that of the surrounding region.160825_BrentMinett_Becknology_Intv Joel talks with Scott Beck. Sonny Beck Ryan McCallister talks about PFR researchlast_img read more

Kids More Likely to Own a Cellphone Than a Book, Study Finds

first_imgchris cameron Tags:#mobile#web Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces As technology becomes more a part of our day-to-day lives, some are worried that it is stunting the education of children by taking away time from activities like reading. A startling discovery from the London-based National Literacy Trust finds that children are more likely these days to own a cell phone than they are a book. The study, which NLT will publish next week, ties cell phone penetration to the presence of books in a child’s home, but are these conclusions fair to draw?A survey of 17,000 U.K. children between the ages of 7 and 16 found that while 86% owned a cell phone, only 73% said they owned a book. The NLT believes a child’s access to books has a direct effect on their reading ability, finding that 80% of children reading at their expect levels have their own books. Conversely, the same can only be said for just 58% of children not reading up to par with their age group.“Our research illustrates the clear link with literacy resources at home and a child’s reading ability,” said Jonathan Douglas, Director of the NLT. “By ensuring children have access to reading materials in the home and by encouraging children to love reading, families can help them to do well at school and to enjoy opportunities throughout their life.” The connection between books and cell phones in the hands of children is a strange one for the NLT to make. In the press release announcing the study, NLT does not define what they consider to constitute “owning a book,” – a significant factor that could change the way readers interpret the study. There are, however, ways to help the literacy problems by taking advantage of the popularity of mobile devices.While children certainly seem more interested in chatting with friends on their phones than sitting quietly and reading a book, some argue that this debate shouldn’t become about the media which children consume. Teacher and education blogger Vicki Davis told ReadWriteWeb that she believes kids benefit from reading on phones or computers as much as they do from paper.“Whether on a mobile phone, iPod, Kindle, or handheld device or paper – the medium should be irrelevant. The important thing is that students can read and write, or in this case read and text,” said Davis. “If ancient man had demanded that their children continue to use their tools – we would still be looking for cave walls to draw upon – paper has been an essential tool of the mass-produced industrial age and electronics are the essential produce of the interconnected information age. Education needs to wake up and harness these tools for learning!”Redefining “Reading”Michelle Manafy, editorial director at Information Today, says older generations need to open up their definitions of what “books” actually are. “The very notion of literacy and reading itself has evolved beyond the capacity of many who grew up with linear reading experiences to understand,” she says.“If every kid has a phone, then maybe we need to be looking much harder at creating content optimized for this reading environment, to creating a reading experience that coincides with their voracious appetite and shorter attention spans, with their tangentially and serendipitously connected non-linear reading style and socially mediated tastes,” said ManafyMobile technology blogger Jason Harris agrees with Davis and Manafy, and adds that the drop in reading skills are likely due to a combination of factors.“The world is changing in that mobile phones are falling into the hands of new populations, including young children,” said Harris. “Of course, there’s a competition for time in this age group, so if they’re on their mobile phones then all leisure activities, including reading, will take a hit. But are reading scores falling because of this one factor? I doubt it.”Are Parents to Blame?Marnie Webb, co-CEO of TechSoup Global says the technology is not to blame for the decline in reading skills. As she puts it, the onus is on the parents to make sure the kids have the same access to books as they do phones.“It doesn’t have to be an either or. We can’t make it an either or,” says Webb. “But that seems to me to be up to grownups […] I have to put the books in the kid’s pocket. Just like we put the phone in the kids’ pockets.”Agreeing with Webb is Peggy Anne Salz, founder of, a leading blog on mobile search. Salz says the report is “a call to parents to participate in their children’s education, a process they can only improve and enhance with anytime, anywhere mobile access to educational materials.”“Read between the lines, and this is not about a connection between children having a mobile device and any drop in grade school literacy skills,” adds Salz. “The report argues there is a link between having literacy resources at home and a child’s reading ability. That’s an access issue that mobile devices can solve for children in the U.K. and around the world.”It is certainly true that mobile handset penetration is reaching a younger and younger audience, but that is not necessarily a direct catalyst to lowering reading scores. Whether the presence of books in a home affects a child’s ability to read is another argument, but it seems strange to try and hook that on mobile phone usage. As technology evolves, so too will the way kids “read” and consume information, so basing studies on the presence of older forms of information digestion may become less and less appropriate.UPDATE: I received a response after reaching out on Twitter to LeVar Burton, known famously for his love of reading and as the host of the children’s show Reading Rainbow. What did the book lover think of the fact that more children own phones than books? “I believe kids need both,” he said.Photo by Flickr user eyeliam. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Does Microsoft Dare Build Its Own Smartphone?

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces dan rowinski Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Tags:#HTC#Microsoft#Nokia#smartphone#Windows Phone The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Microsoft has long been a company that relies on its manufacturing partners to spread its Windows operating system. That has been true for Microsoft’s mobile efforts as well, partnering with companies like Samsung, HTC and Nokia for its Windows Mobile CE and Windows Phone platforms. So when Microsoft decided to build its own Windows 8 tablet – the Surface – speculation increased that the company would take a similar route and build its own smartphone. Would Microsoft really be willing to jeapordize its strong ties to its smarpthone partners, like Nokia, and dare to enter the market on its own?The answer, according to Taiwanese news site DigiTimes, is yes. According to DigiTimes sources, both Amazon and Microsoft have placed orders with Chinese gadget manufacturer Foxconn International Holdings (the same company that builds the iPhone for Apple) for small batches of their own smartphones to be shipped in the middle of 2013. It is important to note that, as far as smartphone rumors are concerned, DigiTimes is not always to be trusted. The publication has long been a source of unsubstantiated rumors that light fires under hype cycles for new devices, especially those from Apple like the iPad and iPhone. But for a number of reasons, I’m not ready to completely ignore this rumor. Microsoft Not An Unlikely ManufacturerWhile it is only speculation at this point, the notion of Microsoft creating its own smartphone is not as far-fetched as some might think. (For one thing, speculation on the topic has been running for months, see A Surface Smartphone From Microsoft? Yes, Please!) After all, against the industry’s better judgment, Microsoft did create its own tablet in the Surface and has thrown a huge marketing budget behind it. Also, if DigiTimes is correct, the order size for Microsoft is not large. Microsoft may not be jumping into the deep end of the smartphone manufacturing pool, but may be ready to dip a toe in the water. Mobile analyst Chetan Sharma comments that Microsoft building its own smartphones is a way to both keep the pressure on its manufacturing partners to perform at high levels and hedge its bets by preparing for a possible future of vertical integration (designing and building its own smartphones in the same way Apple does). “So, if you connect the dots, it is not inconceivable that Microsoft will come out with a smartphone that A) forces OEMs to come out with their best in rapid cycles and B) keeps them in the game if they have to resort to a vertical strategy at some point in the future,” Sharma wrote in an email to ReadWrite. “It is the same dilemma that Google faces. The Nexus line of products is to keep the pressure on the OEM partners as well as prepare for a possible vertical strategy down the road.”HTC 8X Microsoft’s Manufacturing HistoryMicrosoft is not a complete stranger to building its own devices. It manufactures the popular Xbox video game console and has delved into mobile devices in the past – notably the ill-fated Zune and the disaster that was the Kin phone.If Microsoft were to make a limited-run Windows Phone device it would likely take a similar route to how Google creates its Nexus devices, which are ostensibly the flagship Android smartphone and tablets that are supposed to be the benchmark for how other manufacturers model their devices. The difference between the Nexus devices and Microsoft making its own flagship smartphones is that Google has its manufacturing partners build the devices for them. The Nexus 4 smartphone is made by LG while the Nexus 7 is made by Asus and the Nexus 10 by Samsung. The motivation for Microsoft (and to a lesser extent, Google and Amazon) to build their own devices rests just west of San Jose: Cupertino. The Apple iPhone juggernaut has given many mobile manufacturers pie-eyed dreams of being able to integrate vertically and reap the benefits.“Microsoft (and Google) have also seen the vertical model of Apple succeed beyond their imagination and view it with envy,” Sharma said. Potential PitfallsThe problem that Microsoft has is that its entire mobile strategy is built on shaky ground. Windows Phone 8 engenders some loyalty among users and it is considered creative in relation to iOS and Android. But, it is not selling well. That is despite Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s comments last week that it was selling four-times better than last year. Thing is, Microsoft sold only a scant 1.7 million Windows Phones in Q3 2011, so four times that is still not much to brag about in relation to Android and iOS. Microsoft’s two primary partners for the Windows Phone 8 launch are Nokia and HTC. Microsoft has invested a lot in Nokia to be the flag bearer for Windows Phone and at this point it should be doing everything it possibly can to buoy Nokia until it can once again stand on its own. (That may not be easy, see ReadWrite DeathWatch: Nokia.) HTC has its own problems, losing market share to Samsung and reporting scant earnings in its last quarter. Nokia Lumia 920“They do need to do something to kick start Windows Phone adoption, as its still a meager part of the market. But if they produce a phone, it will hit Nokia in particular really hard,” Jack Gold, principal analyst at J. Gold Associates said in an email. “Nokia is struggling to regain market share, and anything Microsoft would take away from them would be very painful. So I think Microsoft will tread carefully here, as it would be a balancing act between accelerating the market, and hurting your vendors (particularly Nokia but also HTC).”Microsoft’s position is more precarious than Google’s when it comes to its manufacturing partners. There is little Google can do to hurt most of its partners, short of withdrawing the open source license for Android and consolidating all of its manufacturing to its Motorola subsidiary. Microsoft, on the other hand, could do great damage to Nokia by building its own smartphone. At this point, there are just not enough Windows Phone sales to support the ecosystem. Taking any of those sales away from Nokia could well end up being the straw that broke the camel’s back. Unlike the Surface tablet, which had no set market and didn’t compete with any manufacturing partners before its release, Windows Phone already is established with manufacturing partners trying to use it to claim mobile market share. Nokia’s entire business is focused on Windows Phone. The potential for collateral damage from a Microsoft-built smartphone is much greater than it was for the Surface. So, back to the original question. Does Microsoft dare enter the smartphone manufacturing game, when doing so could bury the already fragile Nokia? Or limit the potential of the fading HTC? Or does the vague promise of a Surface-like flagship Windows Phone and/or complete vertical integration outweigh those factors?I don’t have any inisght into what Micosoft execs are thinking, but I think they will go for it.Images from Microsoft, HTC and Dan Rowinski.last_img read more

Erasing the past

first_imgAlso sharing the spotlight was libero Kath Arado who negated UST heavy hitter Cherry Rondina, making 32 receptions and 28 digs.The Lady Warriors thus notched their second win in eight games, tying the Tigresses, who are now in danger of missing the Final Four. Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City View comments Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Read Next MOST READ One team PH: battle cry of Vargas’ board Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Ateneo also got back at FEU after losing to the Lady Tamaraws in the first round. Both Ateneo and FEU are at 5-3.Jho Maraguinot scored 14 points while Kat Tolentino added 11 points for the Lady Eagles, who also snapped the Lady Tamaraws’ four-win run and muddle up the standings.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut it was the startling 25-23, 18-25, 28-26, 26-24 triumph by the Lady Warriors over the Tigresses that created the bigger uproar.It was the first victory of UE over UST in 24 years, and one that UST coach Kungfu Reyes said during the game would go down in infamy for the school. Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Maddie Madayag typifies the Lady Eagles’ dominance over Bernadeth Pons, Celine Domingo and the Lady Tams. —SHERWIN VARDELEONAteneo redeemed itself from the heartache of a previous loss but it was University of the East that stole the spotlight as it redeemed itself from the ignominy of the past few seasons Wednesday night.The Lady Eagles bounced back after losing to the defending champion and rival La Salle Lady Spikers by trouncing the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 25-19, 25-21, 25-17, in the UAAP women’s volleyball at FilOil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games “If we lose here, it’s going to be the most forgettable season for us,” Reyes told the Tigresses early in the fourth when they trailed 12-5. “If you can’t win it for yourselves, at least win it for the school.”That appeared to strike a chord for the Tigresses, who clawed back and even reached set-point, 24-22, on Carla Sandoval’s hit. But in a stunning turn of events that mirrored what happened in the first and third sets, UE came through with clutch hits to steal the match.It was the second straight win for the Lady Warriors, who also defeated the Adamson Lady Falcons to end the first round. UE won one game each the past two seasons.Now they are looking at turning things around after a poor start this year that led to coach Francis Vicente finally calling it quits.Interim coach Rod Roque drew 21 points from Mary Ann Mendres, while Shaya Adorador added 15. Judith Abil and Seth Rodriguez had 10 each.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHlast_img read more

Kevin Durant lashes at media amid Knicks rumors

first_imgUS judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes “You all piling on me because I don’t want to talk to y’all about that. I have nothing to do with the Knicks, I don’t know who traded Porzingis, it ain’t got nothing to do with me. I’m trying to play basketball.”When pressed further, he told reporters: “Y’all come here every day, ask me about free agency, talk to my team-mates, talk to my coaches, rile up the fans about it.“Now when I don’t want to talk to you all, it’s a problem with me? Come on man. Grow up.”Asked why he was reluctant to speak to the press, Durant added: “I just don’t trust any y’all. Every time I say something, it gets twisted up and thrown out in so many publications. Trying to tear me down with my words. And then when I don’t say nothing, it’s a problem.“I just want to play ball. I want to go to the gym and go home. Is that a problem?”ADVERTISEMENT Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates in the final seconds of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant lashed out at the media on Wednesday following reports linking him to a move to the New York Knicks.Speculation over Durant’s future has intensified during the free agency window after the Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis and other players to the Dallas Mavericks on February 1.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentscenter_img LATEST STORIES PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Durant, who has not spoken to the media since the Porzingis trade, broke his silence on Wednesday following Golden State’s rout of San Antonio.The two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP has been repeatedly linked to a move to the Knicks when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesHowever, the 30-year-old insisted on Wednesday he was not thinking about his future and attacked reporters for “twisting” his comments.“I don’t think about that type of stuff, that’s your job,” Durant said. Asked to comment on Golden State’s form following their 141-102 win, Durant abruptly walked out of the press conference.“I’m done,” he told a reporter. “You know you don’t care about that.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes James Harden makes 8 3s as Rockets thump Kings MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more