Misfit, the activity tracker specialist aimed at ‘bringing fashion to the forefront of the fitness industry’, is launching Misfit Vapor 2. The company adds that its new ‘design-forward touchscreen smartwatch for iOS and Android users puts everything they need right on their wrist.’Following the success of the original Vapor, the new Misfit Vapor 2 aims to offer users an elevated smartwatch experience with all key features from the first watch, and combines new features such as standalone GPS, varying size options and NFC (near-field communication) support.Misfit Vapor 2 launches on the heels of and is powered by Wear OS by Google. Wear OS by Google provides Misfit users with a variety of features, including Google Assistant, hundreds of apps on Google Play, notification alerts and Google Fit, in a completely customizable experience for both iOS and Android users.Like its predecessor, Misfit Vapor 2 features a built-in music player, 4GB of storage, an upgraded and redesigned optical heart rate sensor, swim-proof design and all-day battery life.“At Misfit, we want to make your life easier and accessible no matter what you are doing and do it in a fun, fashionable way,” said Hacker Plotkin, VP of Brand for Misfit. “Misfit Vapor 2 is the watch for everyone, and customers have the unique ability to customize this watch to meet their every need.“Our strap bar, alone, offers an array of colours and materials and takes the customer from gym to grocery store to a night out. This watch gives iOS and Android phone users who care about aesthetic and the way technology fits into their everyday lives, the perfect fashion-meets-function option.”Misfit Vapor 2 offers users the technology of a smartwatch with the look of a fashionable wrist accessory. There is a choice between 41mm and 46mm case options, based on preference. The sleek, compact design is complemented by various strap options, with eight different colourways at launch. Users can also customize the watch face with a variety of style options – change the colour, background image, and even the font.With the new Misfit Vapor 2, users can track distance travelled using standalone GPS, calories burned and steps taken using Wear OS by Google and other downloadable third-party apps. Furthermore, users can view and track resting and active heart rate with a new and improved built-in heart sensor.Misfit Vapor 2 also gives users the freedom to choose from various music apps on the go, by pairing Bluetooth headphones for a full wireless experience. Newly integrated NFC enabled payments (available in select countries) give users the ability to make secure payments right from their watch.Wear OS by Google brings the Google Assistant to users’ wrists. Users can ask about the weather, remind themselves to call a friend or family member when they get home, or turn off the lights.The new Misfit Vapor 2 is also equipped with hundreds of apps at launch. Whether users prefer iPhone or Android, the smartwatch provides instant access to favourite apps such as Uber, Google Fit, Google Maps, Google Play Music, Strava, and many more.Round AMOLED display, accentuating a vibrant colour palette in 328 pixels per inchTouchscreen display allows users to seamlessly browse Misfit Vapor 2’s menu of watch faces and view notifications, without obscuring content on the displayQualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 Platform, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivityDurable 41mm and 46mm satin-finished stainless-steel caseStandard USB port charging that connects to a magnetic charging cradleCompatible with phones running iOS 9.3+ and Android 4.4+ (excluding Go edition)Misfit Vapor 2 will be available over the coming weeks, with pricing starting at US $249.99.www.misfit.com Related
Constructed in the early 1900s, the Irene B. French Community Center has limited useable space and costly maintenance issues.By Jerry LaMartinaA plan that would have the city invest approximately $30 million in a new facility to replace the Irene B. French Community Center and the Merriam Aquatics Center is officially on the table for consideration as the city maps out its parks and recreation priorities for the coming years.With unanimous approval at its Monday night meeting, the Merriam City Council formally acknowledged the completion of work on the new facility plan as an option that would be in the mix of consideration in the coming months. The next step is to create a plan to further educate Merriam residents about all three options before the city budget process starts in March, City Administrator Chris Engel said. The other two options call for upgrades to the existing Irene B. French Community Center. Though they would require a considerably smaller investment — between $5 million and $16 million — they would also provide limited usability and would be more expensive in maintenance costs.Representatives from Confluence, PROS Consulting and SFS Architecture detailed the proposed third option, which would call for building a combined community and aquatics center on the site of the current pool facilities at an estimated cost of $30 million. It would take about 33 months to complete. The Executive Summary and the full Facilities Master Plan can be viewed on the city’s website here.A group of about 100 Merriam residents got their first look at concepts for possible replacements for the community and aquatic centers on Dec. 13. All three proposals resulted from months of work among consultants, parks and recreation officials and the city administration.Brian Garvey, an architect with SFS, said the third option’s design would enable people to “see almost all offerings when you walk in the lobby,” which would be large and well lit. It would have a 240-seat event space, meeting spaces, a café, an art gallery, a senior lounge, two classrooms that each could seat 25 and could be joined by removing a partition, a four-lane indoor swimming pool and an eight-lane outdoor pool.The current community center has 33,000 square feet of available space, of which 13,500 square feet is available for programming. The third option proposes 65,000 square feet of available space and 49,000 square feet for programming.The current facilities take in annual revenue of $282,000, require $1.1 million in expenditures and get $814,000 in city subsidies. The third-option single facility would take in an estimated $1.3 million in revenue, require expenditures of $2 million and get $679,000 in subsidies the first year.A few residents expressed support for the plan during the meeting’s public-comments segment. But resident Sam Matier, a frequent presence at council proceedings, said he opposed it. He questioned whether a survey that had been conducted of 522 Merriam residents adequately represented the whole city’s views on building a new, single center.Matier read aloud some opposition responses he’d gotten from other residents to a note he’d sent out asking their opinions on spending $30 million for a new, combined center.“These are your constituents,” Matier told the council. “I think you should consider what they say. …You have to be financially responsible for this community.”Mayor Ken Sissom said the survey met and exceeded national standards for statistically valid surveys.“I have a lot of confidence in these results,” Sissom said. “I can tell you what’s not statistically significant: one individual comes up and says they went around their neighborhood and talked to seven people and they decided they were against it. And another thing: I’ve talked to a lot of people about this issue, and other council members have, too. People come to talk to us because we are their elected representatives.”Matier asked whether residents would get to vote on whether the city would issue bonds for the project.“Or will this council do as they’ve done in the past and ‘charter out’ of it, and in so doing not let the people have the right to exercise their vote?” Matier said.“We have no choice but to put it to a vote,” Sissom said. “The law requires it. Even if we didn’t want to (put a bond issue before voters), which isn’t the case, we’d have to do it.”The city’s charter does give the council authority to override a state statute, and citizens have recourse through a petition process, City Attorney Nicole Proulx Aiken said after the meeting.Sissom asked City Administrator Chris Engel whether he’d gotten a request from any council member to charter out regarding bond issuance. Engel said no. Sissom asked other council members whether they’d been asked to or had any interest in doing it. They said no.“You talked about the term ‘oligarchy,’” Sissom said to Matier. “While you were standing there I looked it up. I’d like for you to look up maybe another term: it’s called representative democracy, because that’s what we do here. That’s what’s done in this country in every state, in every city. That’s how our country’s run … and that’s what gives us the ethical right and the legal right to make the decisions that we make. Now there isn’t anybody up here that doesn’t believe that the community should get the opportunity to weigh in on this in a public vote.”“Good,” Matier said.“As far as I’ve been told,” Sissom said, “we fully will be moving in that direction, not because it’s legal and it’s our only option, but because that’s our desire, as well. But what I don’t like is when people come up here and accuse us of not doing that just because we simply won’t promise to do it. As I’ve said before, our next process is to take this in to the budget process … because that’s the process we always do.”Matier said he accepted “that this council has said they will not charter out—and I haven’t heard it before tonight—that the people of Merriam will get to vote on whether to issue bonds. That’s what I’ve heard tonight.”
The budget fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has been bad, but not as bad as expected in Johnson County. A first look at a 2021 county budget showed that although tax revenues are expected to be less than originally predicted, County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson hopes to be able to keep the taxing rate steady without dipping into reserves or making big cuts to services.Postoak Ferguson presented her proposed budget on Thursday. It’s a first step in the process that will set county taxes and spending for the coming calendar year.The $1.25 billion budget would be met with an estimated 19.036 mill levy for the county taxing district, 3.904 mills to support the library system and 3.090 mills for the park and recreation district.The total budget includes $931.5 million in spending with $321.5 million in reserves. The biggest part of the reserve fund is $162 million for wastewater for expenses related to the new Tomahawk wastewater treatment plant in Leawood.The budget also includes 4,107 full-time equivalent positions, which is 18 fewer than for this year.Postoak Ferguson said it is “no small thing” that the county will not need to use reserves to get through the rest of this year. “Some local government would make their approach that reserves are meant for times like these but we were trying to do it without,” she said.The outlook for the budget has improved somewhat from early spring, when major revenue shortfalls were predicted. The county’s first COVID-19 case was March 7 and the shutdowns that followed upended all the predictions about how much would be coming in for the county to meet its expenses.County budget experts laid out three scenarios in April, with shortfalls this year ranging from $18 million to $38 million. But by June, the shortfall for the current year is expected to be $15 million, which is better than the original worst-case scenario.In the meantime, the county expects to save close to $25 million this year from various cost-cutting measures, including furloughs, vacancies unfilled and reductions in projects.The county managed to dodge some of the revenue hits this year, said Budget Director Scott Neufeld. Delinquent spring property tax payments were not as high as they could have been, possibly because they came due when people had the money already set aside, he said. And although sales tax was down, the use tax, made on purchases outside the state, was up.Neufeld said a “modest recovery” looks possible for the 2021 budget year. If it holds, the shortfall next year should be around $3.2 million. Sales tax is likely to continue to be about 8-10% lower, he said.Postoak Ferguson advised that the county may need to plan for some extra contingencies if there is a big increase in employee healthcare costs. The hiatus of the state Board of Tax Appeals may also have an effect. The board, which hears appeals on such things as big box property appraisals, will not be able to resume meetings until new appointments are made. Currently there are not enough members for a quorum.Neufeld estimated the appeals on hold could end up costing the county $15 million in the worst case.
7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Banks are already feeling the pressure to reduce underwriting standards not only for their mortgage loans but for car loans as well. Why is this so intriguing to me? Because, contrary to popular belief, nothing in Dodd-Frank or the CFPB’s regulations prevents financial institutions from making exactly the type of mortgage loans that got us into this mess in the first place. Instead, the regulations are designed to incentivize better underwriting standards both by increasing penalties such as foreclosure defenses and monetary damages and providing incentives such as “safe harbors.” Credit unions can benefit from banker uncertainty if they are willing to make the same loans that they have in the past, particularly if they had the ability to hold on to more of their mortgages. It also means that credit unions, like banks, have to have clearly delineated underwriting standards, as well as an understanding of when it is appropriate to make exceptions to the standards. As for car loans, could financial institutions be pushing out loan terms so far that we could experience a car loan bubble? continue reading » by. Henry MeierThe OCC released its semiannual review of the risks facing the banking industry and even though it doesn’t apply to credit unions it provides an excellent synopsis of the trends within the financial industry and the perceived threats highlighted by examiners. This is by no means a definitive list; I’m simply highlighting a few of the issues that might be most relevant to your credit union.Cyber security continues to be on everyone’s mind. The reality is that everyone knows what hackers can do and we are waiting to see just how much more destructive and creative they can get at stealing people’s money. This is no longer just a problem for the largest big name financial institutions. As the OCC explains: “Business lines and functional areas within banks must perform thorough risk and control self-assessments, analyze operational events, and identify, assess, monitor, and mitigate emerging risks. Risk management is balancing resource constraints, retention of key talent, and overall capability to monitor the breadth of change.” Translating: ongoing implementation of your BSA risk assessments is more important today than ever before. In addition, if your vendor contracts don’t appropriately apportion responsibility for monitoring risk, they need to be amended.
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CGG provides its vessel utilization and its fleet allocation updates for the third quarter of 2013.Vessel utilization for the third quarter of 2013:– The vessel availability rate was 89% in line with the Company’s expectations as a consequence of a higher level of planned maintenance this quarter. This compares to a 93% availability rate in the third quarter of 2012 and in the second quarter of 2013.– The vessel production rate was 94% at a historically high level. This compares to a 90% production rate in the third quarter of 2012 and a 92% rate in the second quarter of 2013.Fleet allocation update for the third quarter of 2013:During the third quarter of 2013, our 3D vessels were allocated 78% to contract and 22% to multi-client programs.Press Release, October 10, 2013
Simon Allen is joint head of the national personal injury department at Russell Jones & Walker and managing partner of the Sheffield office In recent weeks, personal injury practitioners have sadly seen the retirement of Lady Justice Smith, a voice of considerable reason who gave leading judgments on many PI issues. For me she most memorably punctured the many conceits flown by Lord Phillips in his attempt to create a policy decision in the pleural plaques case of Rothwell v Chemical & Insulating Co. Ltd  EWCA Civ 27. Prior to the publication of his report on civil litigation costs, Jackson LJ had given judgment in only a handful of personal injury cases. However, in recent months he has featured with some regularity. One senses he may be stepping into the elegant and experienced shoes of her ladyship. While some might comment that perhaps more exposure to personal injury cases before writing his report could have been of value, it is pleasing to see the gap in his judicial knowledge being filled at this time. Surprisingly, as Jackson LJ was sitting, Tomlinson LJ gave the only judgment in a unanimous court in respect of an appeal by the county council against the finding of a judge at first instance that it was responsible for injuries suffered by the claimant who stumbled and fell while walking across a pedestrianised area known as ‘The Square’, in Beeston town centre in Nottinghamshire. The judgment reminds us of the steps that have to be proven in a Highways Act case. Section 41 of the Highways Act 1980 places a responsibility on the highway authority to maintain the highway. ‘Maintenance’ includes repair. The law in this area is clearly stated in a previous judgment of the Court of Appeal (Mills v Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council  PIQR 291) and, in particular, in the judgment of Steyn LJ. The three factors the claimant has to prove are: i) That the highway was in such condition that it was dangerous to traffic or pedestrians in the sense that, in the ordinary course of human affairs, danger may reasonably have been anticipated from its continued use by the public; ii) The dangerous condition was created by the failure to maintain or repair the highway; andiii) The injury or damage resulted from such a failure. The appeal court made it quite clear that the highway authority did not have to provide ‘a bowling green’ level surface free of irregularities. Once the claimant has proved these three factors, then a section 58 defence may arise. This compels the authority to show that it has, in all the circumstances, taken such care to secure that the part of the highway to which the action relates was not dangerous for traffic. In looking at the defence, the court will consider a number of factors including the character of the highway, the appropriate standard of maintenance, the state of repair that a reasonable person would have expected, whether the highway authority knew that the condition of the highway was likely to cause danger and whether, if a repair could not have been expected in a short duration, warning notices of its condition had been properly displayed. In Mrs Dalton’s case, the court found that the offending part of the highway consisted of a loose and wobbling paving block that caused her to overbalance and fall. The block was ‘loose, unstable, wobbling, proud of its neighbours and, moreover, its height relative to its neighbours was capable of being altered’. The judges made it clear that this was not a simple case of a difference in level between 2 adjacent surfaces. His lordship stated: ‘One does not expect the structure under foot to be shifting in nature.’ This was the key to the case. The claimant was also aided by the fact that the defendant had graded the repair as a ‘category 1’ type. His lordship held that: ‘Where a council has an inspection and maintenance regime being couched in terms of the identification of an immediate or imminent hazard, the identification by the council of defects so defined is obviously powerful evidence of the presence of a danger against the risk of which the council can reasonably be expected to take steps to safeguard the public.’ This is a critical point. The defendant’s documentation must be obtained and analysed in respect of how it categorises the repair, as the Appeal Court properly advises that the higher the categorisation the faster the repair ought to be completed. In this instance it was understandable that the defendant had so categorised the defect in that it was in the main square in the centre of town and received high pedestrian and vehicular usage. ‘Members of the public… should not expect to find paving stones in a main square loose.’ This hazard went beyond merely a tripping hazard. The fact that the block could move made the risk of a pedestrian stumbling far greater. The defendant’s assessment of the defect simply underlined the need for swift action. Responsibility for the highway Dalton v Nottinghamshire County Council  EWCA Civ 776 Lady Justice Smith After the decision in Carver v BAA  EWCA Civ 412, there has been much confusion and much litigation in respect of the consequences of part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules. In this case, Jackson LJ gave the lead, and only, judgment in a unanimous court. The claimant suffered injury in an accident in 2003 during the course of his employment, as a result of which he suffered a disc prolapse in his lumbar spine. In April 2008 he submitted a schedule of loss, claiming damages of £280,000. In September 2008 the defendant made a CPR part 36 offer to settle in the sum of £63,000 gross. This offer was subsequently withdrawn and a new offer of £31,702 was made. Video evidence was disclosed showing the claimant able to walk normally and with generally good mobility. Medical experts for the claimant and defendant, while not in agreement, limited the accident-related symptoms to a period of two years and one year respectively. The case settled in the sum of £31,702 against the net part 36 offer of £23,550. The judge at first instance held that the defendant was the successful party and ordered the claimant to pay the defendant’s costs in respect of the period following the later CPR part 36 offer. On appeal, the defendant conceded that the claimant should be regarded as the successful party. Therefore, as his lordship pointed out, the claimant should recover his costs from the other side pursuant to rule 44.3(2)(A) of the CPR. The next step is to consider whether there should be any adjustment to the costs order to reflect issues on which the successful party has lost, or other circumstances. At this point, his lordship’s apparent exasperation with the post-Carver situation is evident. His view is that unless a claimant has been dishonest, he should recover his costs. The fact that the claim had been exaggerated from a schedule claiming £280,000 to an ultimate settlement of £31,702 was of no consequence. The defendant could have made a modest part 36 offer if they had wished to do so. This would have provided them with some costs protection. His lordship found that there is now an ‘unwelcome trend’ resulting in ‘a swarm of appeals to the Court of Appeal about costs, of which this case is an example’. His expectation is that the ‘forthcoming amendment to rule 36.14 will point the way to a more clear-cut approach to the costs rules in future’. It will rid part 36 of the accumulated authorities that have disguised its original intention to provide a clear and simple framework within which parties can settle litigation. We should, therefore, look forward to the introduction of the amended rule on 1 October 2011. Part 36 of the CPR and inflated claims for damages Fox v Foundation Piling Limited  EWCA Civ 790 Hufton v Somerset County Council  EWCA Civ 789. The claimant was a pupil at the defendant’s school. She suffered an injury to her knee when slipping on water on the wooden floor of the assembly hall when re-entering the building during the morning break. While it was not raining at the commencement of the break period, it did so approximately seven minutes later. The claimant’s case was that the school negligently permitted its pupils to walk directly into the assembly hall thus depositing water on the floor of the assembly hall. The defence alleged that on wet days pupils were not permitted to enter the school hall in the manner of the claimant, and that prefects were positioned by the fire exit doors to prevent this happening. They had a system whereby if it was raining a sign was placed by the doors to that effect. Unfortunately, on the day of the accident, while there was no rain at the commencement of the break period, there was during it, and the claimant managed to enter the building before the steps mentioned above were taken to prevent such access. The defendants could show that a risk assessment had taken place. Lord Justice Jackson, giving the only judgment in a unanimous decision, rejected the appeal of the claimant from the dismissal of her case by the judge at first instance. He underlined that there is not an absolute duty on the part of an occupier to prevent any accident from ever occurring on their premises. In this instance the court would not interfere with the trial judge’s finding that a reasonable system was in place to prevent access to the hall floor in wet weather. Furthermore, his lordship rejected the second strand of the claimant’s appeal – that the defendants had been negligent in failing to clear up the wet floor before the claimant stepped on it. They cited Ward v Tesco Stores Limited  1WLR 810, a leading case in which the Court of Appeal found for the claimant against the supermarket primarily on the basis that the yoghurt on which she slipped was one of approximately 10 spillages a week that occurred on the floor of the particular store. The school had had the floor in place for many years and, since the risk assessment, a period of six years had passed without a similar incident. Ward did not assist the claimant.
The government is putting together an expert panel to examine the case for introducing a new offence of ‘drug driving’. The initiative, by the Department for Transport, will bring together academics and scientific experts in alcohol and drug misuse, the Home Office and Department of Health. The panel will look at how an offence of driving with an illegal drug in your body could be defined, as well as considering whether it is possible to set levels for the impairing effects of specific drugs, including cocaine, MDMA, cannabis and opiates. It will also examine whether impairment levels could be exceeded through prescribed or otherwise legally obtained drugs, as well as the effects of the interaction of drugs and alcohol and of different combinations of drugs. The move follows the recommendations in the 2010 review of the drink and drug driving law by Sir Peter North. Currently police have to prove that a driver’s actions have been impaired by the use of drugs. The new offence would remove the need for this where drugs were present beyond the lawful level. The road safety minister, Mike Penning, said: ‘Britain has some of the safest roads in the world but we know how important it is to tackle the menace of drug driving. That is why we are putting together a panel of experts to give us advice on the technical aspects of introducing a new offence of driving with an illegal drug in your body.’
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34 Views one comment A recently formed, non-profit organization; Unite Dominica, will this evening bring the spirit of Christmas to the City, by the lighting of the trees at Peebles Park.Unite Dominica, seeks to bring the people of Dominica together, both corporate and individuals, to help educate them on and inform them of the best practices by professionals in the respective fields thereby empowering them to make informed decisions. “This initiative by the group has brought together several corporate citizens to brighten up part of the city thereby creating the cheerful atmosphere that is associated with the joy the Christmas Holiday season,” a press release issued by the group indicates.Emile De Pooter, told Dominica Vibes News; “We want people to feel the Christmas spirit. “You hear a lot of people saying Christmas dread and people hardly buying, lighting or decorate Christmas trees these days. So we just want to bring that Christmas feeling to Roseau”.Unite Dominica will also be organizing activities for 2013 Carnival and the Easter celebrations.Some of United Dominica members include, Kelly-Ann Williams, Delroy Williams, Jason Jno. Baptiste, Emile De Pooter and Robert Tonge.The group’s tree lighting ceremony will begin at 7:00 p.m. Dominica Vibes News LocalNews Unite Dominica to host tree lighting ceremony by: – December 17, 2012