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Apple’s AirPods Reportedly Sold Out Ahead of the Holiday Season



AirPods will be difficult to find for the rest of the year. (Photo Credit: CNET).

According to various media reports, Apple’s AirPods reportedly are sold out through the holiday season, based on a scan of other top shopping sites and locations tracked on Apple’s U.S. website.

With the popularity of the AirPods, some shoppers searching for the $159 stocking stuffers are out of luck for now, and will have to wait until 2018.

The wireless earbuds purchased on Apple’s site during the holiday season won’t be delivered until early January at the soonest. The new AirPods are currently unavailable on Amazon.  They are also out of stock on the websites for Best Buy, Target, Frys or B&H.

After getting off to a difficult start, the AirPods have proven to be a hot ticket item. They were introduced in September 2016 but didn’t hit shelves until mid-December, after Apple announced the company needed more time to ship the device amid the pros and cons of early reviews. AirPods have enjoyed growing popularity in the year since.

Early shopping data from Adobe had indicated that this holiday shopping season would be big for AirPods, and top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier predicted shipments will double next year.

While accessories are still a relatively small portion of Apple’s business, the division is growing. The other products category, which includes AirPods, hit revenue of $3.23 billion in Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter, up 36 percent from a year earlier.

Mobile phone makers have put more emphasis on voice recognition this year, and have phased out 3.5-mm headphone jacks.

Bloggers across the world have weighed in on the topic. The availability of the item has not been publicly announced by Apple has of this report.


LeNora Millen              12-19-17

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The Obama Foundation Now Hiring For Jobs And Internships



The Obama Foundation hosted a one-day, in-person community engagement training for 18 to 24-year-olds in Tempe last November  (Photo/The Obama Foundation).

The Obama Foundation launched a jobs page on its website on Monday, according to a spokesperson for the organization. In addition to the new openings, the foundation said they opened up applications for its 2018 internship program for current undergrad and graduate students.

Stacey D. Mitchell was named the new Director of People for the foundation on Monday, and released a statement saying, in part,

“As a South Sider, I am honored to join the Obama Foundation as it continues the momentum it created in 2017.  The Obama Foundation has made a commitment to advance civic life for people on the South Side, in the city and across the globe, and I am excited to help us live up to this commitment.”

The Obama Foundation recently submitted its planned development and lakefront protection ordinance applications for the Obama Presidential Center. The center is slated to be built in Jackson Park near the University of Chicago.

Lakeside Alliance, which will serve as construction manager for the Obama Presidential Center, plans to announce job opportunities at a later date.


@ LeNoraMillen     01-30-18

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State of the Union 2018: Trump Expected to Address Immigration, Tax Cuts, Markets, and Trade



Image result for TRUMP STATE OF THE UNION 2018

Trump to herald economic progress in his first State of the Union address Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

President Donald Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address on January 30th before a joint session of Congress, to mark his first year in office and present his vision for the next.

The address at the U.S. Capitol comes on the heels of a three-day government shutdown that resulted from lawmakers stalling on a deal to protect DACA Dreamers, an issue that could reignite on Feb. 8th, when the stop-gap spending measure to keep the government open expires.

What to expect from the State of the Union

The speech gives Trump an opportunity to outline his 2018 agenda ahead of the crucial midterm congressional elections in November.

In the case of President Trump, the stakes are unusually high for his first “State of the Union” as millions across the nation tune in. Trump’s approval rating is historically low compared to his predecessors. Just 39% of Americans approve of the job he is doing, according to FiveThirtyEight, and 56% disapprove. When Former President Barack Obama gave his first address, he had a 49% approval rating. George W. Bush had an impressive 84% and Bill Clinton 54%.

According to Politico, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and staff secretary Rob Porter took the lead writing the speech. Reportedly, Trump has been reviewing drafts in recent days, making handwritten edits requesting rewrites of key sections.

The president’s speechwriters completed a full draft of the speech last week, which in most cases will require several edits and revisions with Cabinet secretaries and senior White House aides reviewing and offering suggestions. National security adviser H.R. McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis have offered feedback on the national security portion of the speech, the White House official said.

The administration official outlining the speech has reported Trump will tout his signature legislative win as the “biggest tax cut and reform in American history.” He further stated Trump will emphasize his ongoing deregulatory agenda, the strength of the U.S. economy and a stock market that had its best year since Franklin Roosevelt.

“People will be reminded and in some cases surprised by how much President Trump has accomplished in his first year,” the administration official said.

Trump’s second-year agenda will focus on a $200 billion federal infrastructure spending package that could generate up to $1.8 trillion in total spending on roads, bridges, transit and other projects. The White House is planning to release a more detailed infrastructure plan in the weeks after the speech.

Immigration an expected theme of Trump’s speech position’s the president to use, the pulpit to pressure Congress in the direction of a compromise on a plan to strengthen border protection, limit future immigration and give 1.8 million undocumented young immigrants — “Dreamers” — legal residency and a path to citizenship. According to Politico, “That’s more than twice the number of Dreamers currently protected under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy or DACA.”

A number of political pundits on major networks in the last week have stated Trump will likely accuse Democrats of playing politics on immigration; amid growing opposition to a proposal put forward by the White House on last Thursday. Democrats, in turn, have invited dozens of Dreamers to watch the speech from the House gallery, a reminder of the human cost of not reaching a deal.

Trump is expected to place emphasis on a “fair and reciprocal” trade policy and reiterate his support for mutually beneficial bilateral trade deals.  He is also expected to speak about abuses of trade deals, specifically how they harm American workers and the U.S. economy. The message on trade would be similar to Trump’s speech delivered in November at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, according to a White House official.

Trump will address Kim Jong-un and the nuclear threat from North Korea by emphasizing a national security policy of “peace through strength,” the official said.

Trump, who has been criticized for failing to follow through on promises to fight opioid addiction crisis, will introduce a guest in the House gallery affected by drug addiction.

“Anything he can do to send a signal that he would like 2018 to be different — more collaborative and more open to the kind of compromise that gets the people’s business done — would be in his interest,” Galston said.

How to watch the State of the Union

The State of the Union address will be aired by all major US broadcast and cable-news networks and will be streamed live online.

When: 9:00 pm US Eastern time

TV: C-SPAN, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, Univision, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, PBS

Online: C-SPAN, Twitter, White House YouTube and Facebook (as well via the online streaming options of the networks listed above.)

What to expect from Democrats

Some Democratic members of Congress, including Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Maxine Waters of California, as of this article have stated they won’t attend the speech. “I cannot in all good conscience be in a room, with what he has said about so many Americans. I just cannot do it. It wouldn’t be honest with myself,” John Lewis said in an interview with MSNBC.

Jackie Speier of California is also spearheading a campaign among women in Congress to wear black to the State of the Union address in solidarity with the #MeToo and Times Up movements protesting sexual harassment and misconduct.

Congressman Joseph Kennedy III of Massachusetts, a rising star in the Democratic party widely expected to run for the Senate when a seat opens, will deliver the party’s State of the Union response.

In 2013, the performance Senator Marco Rubio, in response to then-President Obama, brought attention to the thirsty Florida Republican, and his water bottle (at about 00:23 in the video).

Video courtesy of ABC News

Source: The Hill and Politico

@LeNoraMillen        01-30-18





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STEM Plays a Vital Role in Youth Education



We must invest in a well-educated STEM workforce

Today’s STEM students are tomorrow’s researchers, scientists, doctors, astronauts, and engineers, as well as the teachers who will prepare future generations to follow in their footsteps. (Photo/Getty Images).

Creating a Foundation for the Future

Making sure your children are ready to take on the world as adults are arguably one of the most important roles of a parent. Now, more than ever, education is the foundation of that preparation.

As technology continues to evolve, it’s important that kids are learning, and also developing skills in high-demand areas, such as science, technology, engineering and math “STEM.”  A strong foundation of STEM learning is an important tool for the future, no matter the career path.

The experts at America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, are aiming to raise awareness of the benefits for today’s students, and partnering with farmers to award STEM grants that enhance programming at rural public school districts.

While nearly everyone has heard about STEM education in one way or another, some people don’t understand its true value in school and in the workplace.

It’s cutting edge. When it comes to innovation, there’s no disputing that STEM is progressing changes throughout society. STEM fields are at the forefront of nearly all of the exciting modern developments, from the latest digital gadgets enabled by technology to ground-breaking scientific research. Another benefit of this progressive environment is the financial and social impact on the community. Skilled STEM workers are driving trends and innovations, which can create jobs and boost the economy. All of these attributes appeal to eager, young graduates looking to make their mark.

It’s where the jobs are. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published a report on the 10 fastest-growing occupations through 2026. In the report, 100 percent of the jobs fall into STEM categories, from the No. 1 growth career – solar photovoltaic installers – to a handful of medical field jobs to statisticians, software developers, and mathematicians.

It’s a chance to make a real difference. STEM fields can drive true social change. Researching and uncovering new treatments, or even the cure, for a debilitating disease is only possible with skills gained through STEM learning. However, science isn’t the only STEM field that brings opportunities to make a difference in others’ lives. A career in technology could mean helping a child hear or see for the first time using a specially constructed device, for example.

It’s a stepping stone to dozens of industries. While STEM learning lends itself well to a fairly large scope of career choices, that list is ever-expanding. In fact, most of today’s graduates find themselves hard-pressed to secure a position without some STEM training. Consider a seemingly distant field such as fashion, for example, where digital technologies enable design sketching, mathematic skills factor into creating patterns and some engineering knowledge is necessary for designing a runway show. One school district in Royal, Washington, is utilizing the program to raise academic achievement for students in the classroom and on state-mandated math tests. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant allows teachers to extend learning for students, especially those who are learning English as a second language, who need intervention but lack the technology at home.

It’s helpful in developing additional skills. The specific training involved in STEM education can help lead to certain career paths that will be available in the future. However, it can also help with more general skills. Students typically follow processes in STEM programming and training, such as the scientific method, that gives them a chance to work with other students, test hypotheses and find solutions. These challenges can often help in developing teamwork, leadership, and other collaborative life skills.

Learn more about America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program at

Source:  Monsanto Fund

@LeNoraMillen          01-27-18

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