Intel, 50 Cent Pair Up on Headphones That Can Measure Your Heart Rate

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson attends an autograph signing event at SMS Audio.

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson attends an autograph signing event at SMS Audio. (Marcel Thomas | FilmMagic | Getty Images)

Chipmaker Intel and SMS Audio, the consumer electronics company founded by 50 Cent, are partnering to launch a pair of heart-rate-measuring headphones.

The SMS Audio BioSport In-Ear headphones have an optical light sensor in the earbuds that, combined with other sensors, infer the wearer’s heart rate during both intense exercise sessions and regular, continuous wear.

Unlike LG’s heart-rate monitoring earphones, the Intel-SMS earphones pull power from your smartphone’s audio jack, which means there’s no additional charging required. And rather than requiring the user to go through a proprietary app, these earphones integrate directly with popular app RunKeeper. The companies say there are likely more app integrations coming.

The BioSport In-Ear headphones will launch sometime in the last quarter of the year. Pricing has not been announced.

For SMS Audio, the partnership with tech giant Intel and the new product are part of an effort to gain traction in a crowded headphone market. NPD analyst Ben Arnold has said that, while the premium headphone market has grown 16 percent over the past year, SMS Audio’s dollar share has shrunk to less than one percent. The company’s headphones, which range in price from $70 to more than $200, have gotten mixed reviews.

For Intel, it’s another step in the wearables market. At the International CES earlier this year, Intel revealed a variety of small-device prototypes, seemingly intent not to miss the early wearable wave the way it did with mobile.  In May, Intel showed off a “smart” shirt, embedded with sensors and conductive fibers, that it expects could ship sometime next year.

And just yesterday, the company announced it had teamed up with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to launch wearable devices that would monitor and gather data around Parkinson’s disease. That data will be shared with researchers, who will study the effects of Parkinson’s medications on motor skills.

By Lauren GoodeRe/code.net.

“Scandal” Actor Joe Morton and “Orange Is The New Black” Actress Uzo Aduba Win Emmys

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Actress Uzo Aduba (PHOTO BY JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES)

Two top black actors took home awards from last night’s Creative Arts Emmys ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif., including Joe Morton for his wildly popular role as Elijah Pope on ABC’s Scandalaccording to the Hollywood Reporter. And Uzo Aduba won for her portrayal of Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black.

Aduba earned the Outstanding Guest Actress trophy, while Morton garnered the Outstanding Guest Actor award for his role as Olivia Pope’s father.

“I don’t know how to say how incredibly impressed I am to be a part of this show day in, day out,” a teary-eyed Aduba said from the podium after presenter Morgan Freeman handed her the award, according to the entertainment news site.

“It’s an incredible feeling to have been in the business this long—this is the first time I’ve been up for one of these things—and given who I was quote unquote up against, it’s terrific,” Morton said backstage, the site reports.

For the full list of winnersclick here.

Read more at the Hollywood Reporter.

article by Lynette Holloway via theroot.com

Pentagon Reverses Course: Black Soldiers won’t be Punished for Popular Hairstyles

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released a statement that “conservative” hairstyles popular among black female soldiers will be acceptable according to military grooming standards, Army Times reports.

Last March, the Department of Defense issued new regulations that many African-American servicemen and women claimed were racially biased, especially against black women, who would be forced to use heat or chemical straighteners to achieve an acceptable hairstyle. A number of black women wrote to the Congressional Black Caucus urging them to put pressure on the Department of Defense to change the regulations — and three months later, that is what Chuck Hagel has done.

In a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus notifying them of the changes, Hagel wrote that “[e]ach service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting military requirements. These reviews were informed by a panel of military personnel of mixed demographics reflective of our diverse force. Additionally, each Service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting our military requirements.”

The review concluded that the terms “matted and unkempt” when used in reference to African-American hair were “offensive” and eliminated them from the guidelines. The Air Force also determined that the word “dreadlocks” was offensive, and changed the prohibited hairstyle to “locs” in official grooming literature.

Congressional Black Caucus chair Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) responded to Hagel’s decision to expand the range of acceptable hairstyles for black female soldiers by saying that “[t]hese changes recognize that traditional hairstyles worn by women of color are often necessary to meet our unique needs, and acknowledges that these hairstyles do not result in or reflect less professionalism or commitment to the high standards required to serve within our Armed Forces.”

“Secretary Hagel and the Department of Defense not only show they are responsive to the individuals who serve within our military, but that he and his leadership respect them as well,” she continued. “The Congressional Black Caucus commends Secretary Hagel for his leadership in addressing this issue.”

article by Scott Kaufman via rawstory.com

Seattle Breaks Ground on Jimi Hendrix Memorial Park

The City of Seattle officially broke ground on a long-awaited park in honor of former resident, Jimi Hendrix.  Jimi Hendrix Park will be a memorial garden encompassing two-and-a-half acres in the city’s Central District.

The park’s organizers, the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation, have raised over $1million for the project and say they envision the land as being “a place where people of different backgrounds will find the motivation to explore music and art, while celebrating Seattle’s cultural heritage,” according to Rolling Stone.

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The guitar legend’s sister, Janie Hendrix, who is also the president and CEO of Experience Hendrix – the company that manages the singer’s estate, said: “Every project endorsed by our family which bears Jimi’s name is meaningful to us, but this park holds special significance.

“Seattle will always be Jimi’s home. This very area is where Jimi grew up, where his dreams cultivated and his creative energy awakened, in many ways. So to see this amazing place of beauty, dedicated to Jimi and his artistry, blossom into reality is indescribably fulfilling.

“Having been involved in every facet of the park’s creation, I can honestly say that this musical garden is a fitting representation of Jimi’s imagination. It is truly inspired.”

The concept for the park was first announced by the organization in 2011 and was intended for completion in time for what would’ve been the singer’s 70th birthday the following year. It is believed the bulk of construction work is set to take place next year.

article via blackamericaweb.com

The Tempo, an Activity Tracker for Seniors, Lets You Know When Something’s Wrong

CarePredict is building a smartwatch that’s designed to monitor the elderly while maintaining their independence. The Tempo is a wrist-worn sensor that keeps an eye on someone’s activity patterns, and should it spot an anomaly, raise the alarm. It works by mapping out a general schedule of the day, and observing changes like an unusual mid-day nap or if someone has remained still in one room for too long. It’ll even observe trends over a much longer period of time, so if someone’s walking pace slows over a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to see it and address any underlying issues.

The hardware comes in four parts: along with the watch, you’ll need a wireless charging plate, room beacons to help the Tempo orient itself and a wall-mounted communications hub. It’s from the latter of that group that the data will be pushed to the cloud, enabling families and others to keep an eye on their parents while at work or on holiday. Unfortunately, the product isn’t yet ready for prime time, so like so many things nowadays, has taken to crowdfunding to raise enough cash to finish the job. This time out, you’ll have to throw upwards of $170 towards Fundable if you want one of the first units, with four room beacons and three months of free monitoring.

Patti LaBelle joins Angela Bassett and Gabourey Sidibe for “American Horror Story”

Patti LaBelle, Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe

Music legend Patti LaBelle is joining the cast of FX’s critically acclaimed series, American Horror Story. LaBelle joins existing cast members Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe, Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates for American Horror Story Season 4, which will focus on the last American freak show and will be set in Jupiter, Florida, in the 1950’s.

LaBelle will play Sidibe’s mother, a local townie, who begins to unravel the deadly secrets of Twisty the clown killer.

LaBelle is the second music icon to appear on the series. Stevie Nicks guest starred as herself and appeared on two episodes on Coven, the third installment of American Horror Story.

American Horror Story: Freak Show debuts in October on FX.

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article by Chris Witherspoon via thegrio.com

Dr. Sheena C. Howard Wins 2014 Comic Con Eisner Award for Book “Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation”

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Dr. Sheena C. Howard

UnknownAdmittedly, I had not been an avid comic book or graphic novel reader as a child, but even so, as a critical media scholar I knew I needed to do whatever I could to fill this void within academic literature.When I first heard about the Eisner nomination for Best Academic/ Scholarly Work during the winter of 2014, I was amazed. Rarely, does an academic have the opportunity to cross over to the popular culture realm for an academic book. Since this was my first book, I was just happy to be nominated but did not expect to win.

On Friday July 25th, the Eisner award ceremony was held at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront hotel, with doors opening at 7:00 p.m. The ceremony consisted of fans seated in the back and Eisner nominees seated closest to the stage. Upon entering I immediately noticed the attendance of Jack Mendelsohn (writer for “Ninja Turtles”), Reginald Hudlin (Producer of “Django Unchained”) and Orlando Jones (actor).