Category Archives: Local News

Getting Paid to Save Energy: A Green Idea at the Right Time

clean energy
Image by @SunishSebastian

 

 

Climate change, carbon emissions and the rising costs of energy are pressing global issues that clearly demand not only our attention but also smart solutions.

 

One of the most sensible solutions to energy conservation is to convince consumers to actively participate from their own households and workplaces; to this end, an effective measure consists of showing consumers that saving energy means paying less on home electricity bills on a monthly basis.

 

In the past, electric utility companies and governments have mostly utilized awareness and lecturing to push consumers into energy conservation. Extreme measures such as electricity rationing and price hikes have not proven very effective. A more sensible approach involves dollars and sense: by demonstrating savings in a proactive manner, consumers are more inclined to conserve energy in their households.

 

Gamification and Financial Rewards

 

By combining smart meters with mobile devices and data visualization, real-time energy savings can be presented to consumers in a manner that is informative, engaging and even entertaining.

 

Chai Energy, a tech startup based in Southern California, takes advantage of the advanced features of smart meters to help consumers envision their actual household energy use during periods of peak demand, when they are likely to pay higher kilowatt per hour rates. The data is colorfully displayed along with energy-saving tips that consumers can apply on the spot.

 

The attractive, real-time data visualization provided by Chai Energy’s app is an example of “gamification,” a digital design technique that borrows certain elements from games for the purpose of engagement and motivation. In this particular case, the incentive is both fun and very helpful since it rewards consumers who take an energy conservation approach within their households.

 

Chai Energy is actually going a step beyond by rewarding energy conservation with cash incentives. In 2014, the company introduced Power Pay Day, a neat program that paid up to $10 per day to consumers who took a proactive approach to conserving electricity. Many other companies across the country are also offering various methods to save energy, including the City of Lethbridge utilities and Apple. This further proves the inherent need for renewable and sustainable energy.

 

The Power Pay Day mechanism is simple yet very powerful for Southern California utilities. Through its smartphone push system, the app triggers a notification that informs the consumer when a Power Pay Day is coming up. When the notification is tapped, the app displays a few practical tips to save electricity, including:

 

  • Reducing the “vampire load” of a household by unplugging devices such as smartphone chargers, DVRs, cable boxes, etc.
  • Unplugging beer fridges when they are not being used.
  • Setting the air conditioning thermostat to not run until about 20 minutes before returning home from work.

 

In the first year of implementation, the Power Pay Day program claimed savings of up to 40 percent during peak demand hours. The free money incentive certainly helped in this regard, but the overall impact is greater since it freed up resources for local utilities struggling to meet energy demand in densely populated regions such as Los Angeles County.

 

Chai Energy is not alone in providing cash incentives to consumers. In May 2016, German utilities that specialize in the production of renewable energy suddenly found themselves with too much stored electricity, which resulted in a billing quandary. For a few hours in a single day, electricity rates in Germany dipped into negative territory, which means that utilities should have paid their subscribers instead of charging them.

 

In the end, gamification and cash rewards are excellent ideas in terms of advancing energy conservation. The next step will hopefully involve greater incentives for renewable and clean energy production.

Luxurious Resorts in New York are a Perfect Choice for Weekend Escapes

NYC Resorts
Image by loop_oh

New York is among the most desired tourist destinations on the planet. It brings many tourists from around the world annually. It is almost impossible for any other city than New York to offer a lively nightlife and a loony, thousands of pulsating amusement tasks, exotic food, world class skyscrapers and unbelievable jazz cocktail lounges – all at one location. The city of New York offers endless opportunities to investigate and test. . Be it music, art, film, nightlife, diversion, architecture or food, it offers a superlative culmination providing encounters that are exceptional to you regardless of how often you see the city. There’s always something new to find and appreciate. The enjoyment multiplies several folds if you select to stay in any of the high-end resorts in New York. It provides you with a nice encounter and a memorable.

New York isn’t only about never-ending amusement and diversion but additionally it is about materialism, luxury, sophistication and style. For the finest holiday, it’s advocated to experience both – indulgence and venture. Drop inhibitions and your understandings and love life in New York to the fullest. Love and dance to the beat of your favourite music in a jazz cocktail lounge or a discotheque. If you are a food fan research the kitchens of star chefs. The takeaway and roadside joints offer you plenty of chances to meet your taste buds at fair costs. Do research fine dine restaurants, if you need to indulge in extravagance.

On the other hand, the boutique hotels in New York additionally provide you with superb cuisines from around the world. The resorts offer a comfy modern décor, luxurious ambience and tranquil setting that you just do not feel like going everywhere else. Indulge yourself in the luxurious at every minute and have a life encounter. These resorts are situated in quiet setting and make a perfect pick for a romantic break away from the hustle bustle of life that was routine.

On the top of that, amazing health spa and health club facilities in serene and clean environment allow you to relax and unwind. You can reserve another health spa price if it’s not contained in your resort tariff. For a hassle-free experience, ensure that you reserve your lodging in luxurious resorts in New York prior to your coming. This takes away all the worry letting you enjoy a holiday that is uninterrupted and peaceful.

Omegle proves a safer alternative to Chatroulette – Opinions & Editorials – The Pace Press – Pace University-NYC

Last year, as a freshman, I discovered the website Chatroulette.com.
For those who do not know, Chatroulette is an online site developed by 17-year-old Andrey Ternovskiy, that allows anyone with a webcam to be randomly paired with another person to video chat.
You cannot pick the person you are paired with. If you grow bored if your partner, or do not wish to chat with them, you can click the “next” button and you will have a new person to chat with.
It’s amazing how many people are on the site. According to an article by Helen A.S. Popkin on Msnbc.com, up to 50,000 people worldwide use the site at one time.
So when I discovered the website, I immediately showed it to my roommate. We then showed it to a couple of floormates. My floormates showed it to our Residential Advisor. Pretty soon, roughly half of my floor was well aware of, and using, Chatroulette.
While the site can be a calling for men and women looking to expose themselves over the internet, I did meet a few normal (and clothed) people. I’ve talked with people from England, Canada and even Chile. It’s cool being able to talk to and feel connected to people all over the world.
Of course, there are obvious dangers to video chatting with complete strangers over the Internet. I wouldn’t recommend giving out your address, your full name or your phone number.
As long as you don’t give out your personal information, then you’re fine. As mentioned before, if you don’t feel comfortable chatting with the person you’ve been paired with, you can easily “next” them.
This past summer I visited the site. It was the first time in four months, and a few of my friends from home had talked me into it. I was disappointed.
The site has been almost completely overtaken by naked men. There was no one to have an actual conversation with, until my friend introduced me to Omegle.com.
Omegle, like Chatroulette, is a site that randomly pairs people up together to video chat. In the same format as Chatroulette, you can also “next” your partners.
Unlike Chatroulette, however, Omegle has an option for people who don’t own webcams. You can be paired with another person sans webcam and type your conversation, rather than actually speak to one another.
Omegle is much better than Chatroulette, especially when it comes to weeding out those wishing to expose themselves. There were many more fully-dressed people on the site. My friends and I were able to have a conversation with a guy from Sweden and everyone kept their clothes on.
I wouldn’t recommend parents letting their kids on the website — I’ve seen kids as young as 10 on Chatroulette — but for an 18-year-old, it can be really fun. As long as you and your friends are smart about what information you do or don’t give out, it can lend itself to a lot of laughs.
The way I look at it, sites like Chatroulette and Omegle are engines that literally allow a single person to be connected with someone half way across the world.
Next time you and your friends are bored, I recommend you check out either of these sites, but, like I said, you’re likely to have more luck on Omegle.com. Happy chatting!

Pornographic site Is Anyone Up? reinvents the art of blackmail | The Pace Press

Written by: Erick Mancebo
Type Isanyoneup.com into a web browser and hundreds of pornographic images of young adult boys and girls will immediately fill your computer screen. The images may have been submitted by the very people whose private photos are now available for worldwide scrutiny, or they may have been submitted by a disgruntled former lover or by a random person who happened to come across the images. The website’s handlers make no distinction between the three.
Once the pornographic image is submitted through the website’s anonymous “submit” form, the website’s owners take a look at the picture and verify the subject’s identity by checking his or her Facebook page. If everything checks out, the picture is then prepped to be published as a post on the website.
The offending image will be sandwiched between a screen capture of the subject’s Facebook or Twitter profile, sometimes revealing a person’s full name, location, where the person attends school and other publicly available information. There is also a “reaction” picture picked by the site’s owners. The reaction picture is usually something offensive such as a moving .gif file which usually express’ disgust or amusement.
Relishing in the public humiliation of others, the posts often encourage negative comments and harassment. Posting the subject’s Facebook and Twitter profiles is an open invitation from the website for anyone to find the person and message, friend request or otherwise harass them.
As humiliating as the photos might be, some victims of the website choose not to pursue the removal of the pictures. This is especially true in the case of the many band members who find themselves on the website and see it as an opportunity for free exposure for their band.
A Los Angeles Times article, titled “Rockers, fully exposed on Is Anyone Up?” guitarist of the band Deception of a Ghost and victim of the website, Buddy Dameron, stated, “I think it can only help….People who haven’t heard of us have seen that. If you were talking about Taylor Swift, then yes, it would be a problem. But for a rock ‘n’ roll band? I don’t see it being an issue.”
For the rest who are not as worried about promoting their band’s latest single however, simply keeping the photos online might not seem like such a great option. Although the website claims to abide by take-down requests from the legitimate subject of an image, many argue that the gesture is not enough. With monthly page views in the millions, one nude picture posted on the website for only a few hours can spread quickly online. Anybody with a computer, cell phone or tablet can access the website and download the image.
Senior Noor Fatima doesn’t agree with the website’s ideology. Speaking of the format the website uses, Fatima said, “It’s immature of the company itself. It’s immature of the people that are involved in it.” When the subject of copyright laws came up, Fatima said, “I feel like you could sue them…what right do they have over the picture? They have no right over the picture.”
However, although many have tried to sue the website and its webmasters, none have managed to sustain any court orders against the website. According to Forbes magazine, this is because, “Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…protects site owners from legal liability for the things that their users post, and because most people don’t have copyrights on their XXX pics.” In a July 2011 interview with Forbes magazine, the website’s creator, Hunter Moore, said of naked photos, “Everyone is doing it. It’s no secret….I actually post myself now and then to show that I’m not a hypocrite.”
That argument did little to soothe Fatima however. “Not everyone feels comfortable exposing themselves to everyone like that. He [Moore] may feel like that, [but] there’s people that come from different cultures, different backgrounds, different perspectives, different experiences where they don’t feel sexually open to expose themselves like that. If they felt at some point like exposing themselves to like a boyfriend or they felt like that was the one for them or whatever and it just didn’t turn out well, I don’t think that it’s okay for them to…post it online. Absolutely not,” Fatima said.
Moore insists however, that he’s not running the website to ruin lives. Speaking of his promise to take down pictures of professionals who could be harshly affected by the posts, he stated to Forbes magazine, “If someone has a real job, like a school teacher or something, I don’t want to ruin their life….There’s a never-ending supply of photos anyway.”
However, senior Shaista Saleem sees a simple solution to websites like these. “To some extent, that is true — if you don’t want to expose yourself [online] like that, then don’t…[take the photo], because once it’s submitted…it’s there forever and there’s no way of getting it back and deleting it,” Saleem said.

Pace Press – Mama, please buy me Cursive’s Mama, I’m Swollen

After a three-year hiatus since their last album, Happy Hollow, indie rock band Cursive is back with their latest release Mama, I’m Swollen.
Upon first hearing a Cursive song, you’d be surprised to hear that they have been around since 1995 with the sound and lyrics they choose to convey in their work.
Tim Kasher’s lyrics are blunt and straight to the point on some songs, while other tracks embrace his thought process and leave it to the listener to decipher his words.
Kasher alternates between screaming vocals to faint whispers and juggles between pleading for sympathy or empathy.
“In The Now,” the first track on the album builds the listener up with anticipation and comes at them with full force. Lyrically, it is repetitive with “Don’t want to live in the now/ Don’t want to know what I know…We’re wearing out our heels/ On the road to hell,” but for a first track it gives a sample of what else to expect and leaves you wanting more.
Soft drums begin “From The Hips,” as Kasher gives it away with the first line, “I’m at my best when I’m at my worst.”
The song then picks up in tempo when Kasher grows from soft singing to screaming the lyrics, as if the message was building up in him and waiting to come out and be broken down.
The band alternates between slow and fast tempos, complimenting each instrument in a round robin kind of way, with each playing out at certain parts.
With lyrics like, “And I wish that we had never talked/ Our hips said it all,” and “I hate this damn enlightenment/ We were better off as animals/ right?” Kasher writes what many out there may be thinking.
Sounds similar to the winding of an old toy start as Kasher’s voice trickles in like a whisper. Harmonious “Whoa’s” carry the track “Donkey,” as he kind of throws it to the audience “We may be donkeys but at least we have a tale to tell.”
Track “Caveman,” is more upbeat and has more of a full band sound than previous tracks. Kasher sings of wanting to get away from basically everything, like “I want down from this family tree…Want to burn my bridges down” and wants to live simply: “I’m no high society man/ No suit and tie/ No dapper Dan/ I’m no happy family man/ I’m no husband/ Ain’t no dad/ I’m a goddamn caveman.”
The album continues with “Mama, I’m Satan.” Satan indeed. Distinct guitar and steady drums floods in as commands and accusations begin. “You’re going to do what I say/ And say what I say / You stretch your peacock feathers/ You’re always on display.” Again, Kashers voice comes in as a rasp whisper.
The track carries dark tones with lyrics like, “All in all we’re pawns/ The darkness of mankind stirs in us all.”
Fast guitar riffs progress as volume picks up and Kasher shouts “I cast you out/ I cast you out,” and repeats this point a few more times. Chaotic notes begin to blend together and ultimately cut off at a high point.
Its counterpart track, “Mama, I’m Swollen,” does not stray far with a slower tempo and whispers but builds up with harmonies, having deep vocals accompany Kasher’s. Like screaming at the top of his lungs, Kasher sings “Got no faith/ I got no hope/ I’m the joke of all existence/ I am no one.” Pounding drums and cymbals carry the rest of the song as guitar riffs build and end the song on a strong note.
Ending song “What Have I Done” is the longest track on the album with a time of six minutes and 11 seconds.  Slower and softer, Kasher exclaims “I spent the best years of my life / Waiting on the best years of my life/ So what’s there to write about?”
The song makes up for its lengthy listen with lyrics that honestly anyone and everyone can relate to.
With lyrics like “A boy waiting to begin/ A man with no memoirs,” and “You’re young and you’re going to be someone/ Then you’re old and you’re ashamed of what you’ve become/ Well, take a look around you/ You’re preaching to the choir,” it is easy to see why asking “What Have I Done” is appropriate and an appropriate title for the track.
Mama, I’m Swollen highlights Kasher’s unique voice and the band’s chemistry with one another as the songs exemplify their abilities to balance out each other.
Although the album has been out for a while, its sound and content are still refreshing with today’s music and they have separated Cursive from other bands.

Pace Press 3

Issue date: 10/20/05 Section: News
A major component of today’s culture involves internet technology and one of the most popular trends is file sharing. File sharing is the process of obtaining music or movies for free over the internet using peer-to-peer software, such as Kazaa, Gnutella or iMesh. Most of these file sharing programs are illegal, and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade group that represents the U.S recording industry, has made many attempts throughout the past few years to ban the action.
On Jan. 27, 2005, the Collegiate Presswire published a press release on www.cpwire.com stating that 717 file sharers were sued by the music industry for copyright infringement. Of those 717, 68 were downloading music while using their respective school’s computer networks. The University was among 23 educational institutions listed as having students being sued.
According to cpwire.com, many universities nationwide are either negotiating or have agreed to offer legal music services to students residing on campus. Accordingly, this fall the University chose Ruckus as the digital entertainment network, providing students with unlimited access to movies and music.
For $14.95 per semester, members will gain access to 1.2 million songs, social networking applications, and the ability to share downloaded music. For $29.95, students will have access to both music and movies and hit T.V. shows.
“The Ruckus digital entertainment network is an alternative to illegal file sharing,” Chief Information Officer Frank Monaco said. “We decided to look for options among the many downloading services out there after learning of the possibility of a small number of our students being sued for illegal downloading.”
CEO and chairman of Ruckus William J. Raduchel said, “We have worked hard to provide a service that allows students to safely find friends and socialize, upload their own creative and original content, and download a variety of legal movies, music and television programming.” By merging college students’ interests (music and social activity) Ruckus is a great choice for universities.
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University’s outdoor spaces offer potential – Features – The Pace Press – Pace University-NYC

A prospective student understands when applying and enrolling at the University, they will be attending what the University calls a “vertical campus.” Yet that is not to say that the campus does not have outside space.
The view of the University and its outside exteriors is the courtyard, the small grass lawns with statues on Gold Street, the front of One Pace Plaza as well as adjacent gated picnic tables and of course the fourth floor east wing roof. 
The front of One Pace Plaza and the court-yard are two University areas currently being used as a public space, but some students wonder if the University is utilizing its limited outside space to the best of its availability.
The most prominent area that most NYC students think of is fourth floor roof. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) thinks so as well. In 2005, the EPA suggested that the 32,000 square foot roof could be built into a green roof, a project that would benefit both the University and the public. 
The EPA granted the university a $60,000 grant to conduct the project. Dr. Richard Schlesinger, a professor of biology and health sciences, spearheaded the project and also taught “The Urban Green Roof,” a special topics course.
The project later fell apart, “In 2005 the University saw potential for the green roof; they used most of the grant to collect research on the project.
They then realized that it would be quite an expensive endeavor including the installation of a membrane required for planting, safety precaution to ensure student safety, they reluctantly gave up the project and returned left over amounts of the grant.”  Head of Public information for the University, Christopher Cory said.
Professor Robert Chapman, Director of the Pace Institute for Environmental & Regional Studies, feels more could be done to utilize the University’s outside space.
“A roof garden would be a wonderful addition to the environmental studies program—providing educational opportunities in botany, green design, climate studies, urban ecology, etc., while improving the environment of lower Manhattan. This was the original intent of the project when it was proposed and accepted by the EPA.
“The past Administration lacked the foresight and interest to pursue such a valuable project the present Administration is likely to look favorably upon such an academic enterprise, if approached by committed faculty and concerned students,” Professor Chapman said.
Alumna Rosie Hudson, who graduated last spring, wrote a sociological ethnography, doing research observation on the front space.
“I looked at how the design of the space created a deliberate line between private and public land even though there isn’t an actual gate and how students pretty much stay in the Pace property area and only a small percentage of public crosses the line (and only people who live or work in the area, since they are familiar with the space),” Hudson said.
At the end of her project last year, Hudson hosted a Peace and Love Rally where students used the space as a social gathering spot by eating, drawing on the cement with chalk and dancing.
The courtyard, the official outside space of the University is landscaped with trees and shrubbery. 
Although some dislike the little sunlight and the constant smoke, others find it as a perfect escape from their hard classes.    
“Unfortunately at school I stay inside, as a woman with severe asthma there is no outside place at this University that is not contaminated with cigarette smoke,” sophomore Irene Jacobs said.
Dyson Green House Don and political science professor, Dr. Meghana Nayak gave her opinion on the University’s public space. “I think we could be doing a lot more to create open spaces at Pace, since we do not have a traditional college campus.
Frankly, many people I know avoid these outside areas because of all the smoking.
But, I would support any ongoing or new efforts to make the most out of these outside areas: create smoke-free zones, community gardens (with composting), tree planting, etc.”