Your phone rings. One problem—it’s buried deep in your backpack. And by the time you finally manage to fish it out, you’ve missed your call. Sound familiar? Sure, snapping and texting may be your preferred method of communication, but once in a while, you do actually need to pick up your smart phone and speak, right? SGNL’s new smart strap may be just the thing, putting your next call at your fingertips.
The smart strap can be worn on its own, or it can replace the strap on your regular old watch or smart watch. It uses Bluetooth technology to connect to your smart phone (nestled in the depths of your bag!) and when someone calls, the smart strap picks up the signal. Simply raise your arm to answer, and the signal is transmitted from the strap on your wrist up to your finger at your ear where it blocks out background noise for call clarity.
“It translates the sound into a vibration so that it can pass through your hand and then through your finger all the way up to your ear. So then it hits the air in your ear and it becomes a sound again,” says Han Nryu, one of the device’s developers at Innomdle Lab, based in South Korea.
We can’t quite put our finger on it, but with well over a million dollars raised on Kick Starter, and over 8,000 backers, looks like wearable phone technology is onto something. Would you use your finger to phone home?
Vote and tell us what you think — you can even submit video comments to email@example.com. We will feature the results of the poll and some of your comments on the show!
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (AP) — The first test between England and Bangladesh remains finely poised with Bangladesh requiring 33 runs with two wickets remaining to take the lead in the two-match series.
Before bad light brought a premature end to the day, Bangladesh made 253-8, chasing 286 for victory after a seesaw battle on the fourth day.
Sabbir Rahman remained not out on 59 and will be crucial for Bangladesh to secure its first victory against England.
Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim combined for an 87-run sixth-wicket partnership to raise the hope of a famous victory.
“Tomorrow if we bat 10-15 overs, we will get that target. We have to get in there, spend as much time as possible in the middle,” Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha said.
“I am a bit disappointed that we could have been ahead of the game in the first innings, more than what we are now. We are chasing the lead that we conceded in the first innings.”
England fought back in the late afternoon and claimed three wickets for 11 runs to leave Bangladesh on 238-8, before Taijul Islam (11 not out) helped Rahman weather the storm to keep Bangladesh alive.
The home side kept the target attainable, bowling England out for 240 in its second innings early Sunday. England survived just 4.2 overs to add 12 runs to its overnight total of 228-8.
“Ideally it would have been great to have finished the test match today,” England fast bowler Stuart Broad said. “From our point of view as a team, to go back to the hotel, get some rest, be refreshed for that first hour tomorrow. “
“The batsmen have to play themselves in again. There has been quite a few wickets in that first hour every morning. We are not too disappointed to come off as a team. We have to make sure our intensity is very high.”
Bangladesh made an aggressive start with Imrul Kayes employing his feet well to neutralize the threat of spinners.
He and Tamim Iqbal added a quick 35 before Iqbal was deceived by the turn and bounce on a Moeen Ali delivery and got an inside edge to short leg.
Kayes and Mominul Haque then combined for 46 runs in just 10.2 overs, but Kayes fell two overs short of lunch as he top-edged a sweep on an Adil Rashid ball, with Joe Root at slip making the catch behind the wicketkeeper.
Kayes sent the ball across the rope six times in his 61-ball knock.
The visitors took the upper hand in the post-lunch session by taking three quick wickets.
Offspinner Gareth Batty dealt a double in his consecutive overs after lunch to get England back on track. He won a video review to dismiss Mominul Haque for 27 and removed Mahmudullah, who took a review in vain, for 17.
Just when Shakib Al Hasan appeared to take the side to safety, offspinner Ali again struck with a delivery that shaped in to take the inside edge of Shakib for 24.
Rahman joined Rahim and counterattacked to put England bowlers in disarray. While Rahman was aggressive, Rahim’s approach was serene and Bangladesh regained control.
Batty could only distract Rahim from his task when he got extra bounce to undo him, bringing an end to an 87-run partnership.
Rahim batted for almost three hours and played 134 balls in his 39-run knock.
Rahman by then hit three fours and two sixes to reach his maiden fifty off 76 balls but restrained himself as the day approached the business end.
Stuart Broad, however, sent fuller-length deliveries perfectly to remove Mehedi Hasan (1) and Kamrul Islam (0).
As England appeared to be heading for victory, Taijul Islam stood tall to aid Rahman in ending the day without any further loss.
Offspinner Gareth Batty took 3-65. Fast bowler Stuart Broad (2-26) and offspinner Moeen Ali (2-60) claimed two wickets apiece.
CHICAGO (AP) — One little doctor’s appointment for Kyle Schwarber has turned into an intriguing possibility for the Chicago Cubs.
Schwarber is working out in Arizona after major left knee surgery in April, and the Cubs say the slugger with the sweet left-handed swing could be in the mix when Chicago returns to the World Series for the first time since 1945.
The Cubs had ruled Schwarber out for the year after he tore two knee ligaments during an outfield collision. But Schwarber’s checkup with Dr. Daniel Cooper on Monday in Dallas cleared the way for the Cubs to take a closer look at the catcher/outfielder in the Arizona Fall League.
“We got the best possible report. It exceeded any reasonable expectation that we had,” president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said before the Cubs beat the Dodgers 5-0 in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series on Saturday night.
“We basically got the news at six months that we had hoped to get at seven months, which was Dr. Cooper upon examining him cleared him to run the bases. Kyle called me right away and asked for a chance to get ready. The doctors greenlighted him to start hitting.”
Schwarber’s return would be a big boost for Chicago, which will play at Cleveland in Game 1 on Tuesday night. He hit .333 with a franchise-record five homers in nine playoff games last year, including a drive that reached the top of a Wrigley Field videoboard.
Schwarber was 0 for 3 with a walk as the designated hitter Saturday night for the Mesa Solar Sox. He watched the Cubs face the Dodgers on a tablet in the dugout between at-bats.
“Overall a really plus day for me,” he said. “Feeling confident, so we’ll see where this goes.”
Schwarber was activated from the 60-day disabled list Saturday. If he looks good in Arizona, he might be able to help the Cubs at designated hitter while the World Series is in Cleveland.
“I’m down here to try and get my work in, and I might join them up in Cleveland if it’s either cheering or whatever it is,” he said. “I’m all in for it.”
Left-hander Giovanni Soto was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
Schwarber tracked 500 balls off a hitting machine on Thursday and Friday before taking at-bats against James Farris, a pitcher in the Arizona Fall League. He also ran the bases on Friday, according to Epstein.
“We’ll just continue to evaluate him medically day by day in terms of baseball readiness,” Epstein said. “We have a lot of business we need to take care of first before there’s any relevance to it short term. But long term it’s a great prognosis for him and we’re proud of him that he’s worked so hard to get to this point.”
The Cubs selected Schwarber with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft out of Indiana University. He rocketed through their system and made his major league debut last June, part of a wave of bright young talent that helped the once-downtrodden franchise blossom into one of baseball’s top clubs.
The 23-year-old Schwarber hit .246 with 16 homers and 43 RBIs in 69 games last year. He stayed around the team even after he got hurt in early April in Arizona, making the most of Wrigley’s revamped home clubhouse for his rehab process.
He remains a fan favorite, drawing loud cheers every time he is introduced or shown on the videoboard at home.
“I don’t know to what extent we would be able to use him or not, but right now we’re just trying to explore all the possibilities,” manager Joe Maddon said.
AP freelance reporter Jose M. Romero in Arizona contributed to this report.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T’s $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner represents a new bet on synergy between companies that distribute information and entertainment to consumers and those that produce it.
The acquisition would combine a telecom giant that owns a leading cellphone business, DirecTV and an internet service with the company behind HBO, CNN, and some of the world’s most popular entertainment, including “Game of Thrones,” the “Harry Potter” franchise and professional basketball. It’s the latest big media acquisition by a major cable or phone company — such as Comcast’s 2011 purchase of NBC Universal — and aimed at shoring up businesses upended by the internet.
Regulators would have to sign off on the deal, no certain thing. The prospect of another media giant on the horizon has already drawn fire on the campaign trail. Speaking in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump vowed to kill it if elected because it concentrates too much “power in the hands of too few.”
Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, said the deal “raises some immediate flags about consolidation in the media market” and said he would press for more information on how the deal will affect consumers.
MEDIA MERGER MANIA
Network-owning companies like AT&T are investing in media to find new revenue sources and ensure they don’t get relegated to being just “dumb pipes.” In addition to the Comcast-NBC Universal deal, Verizon bought AOL last year and has now proposed a deal for Yahoo to build a digital-ad business.
After its attempt to buy wireless competitor T-Mobile was scrapped in 2011 following opposition from regulators, AT&T doubled down on television by purchasing satellite-TV company DirecTV for $48.5 billion. AT&T is expected to offer a streaming TV package, DirecTV Now, by the end of the year, aimed at people who have dropped their cable subscriptions or never had one.
The venerable phone company has to contend with slowing growth in wireless services, given that most Americans already have smartphones. And it faces new competitors for that business from cable companies. Comcast plans to launch a cellphone service for its customers next year.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who will run the combined company, said on a conference call that the deal will allow AT&T to offer unique services, particularly on mobile, though he didn’t provide details. Jeff Bewkes, the Time Warner CEO who will stay with the company for an undefined transition period, added that more money will help fund production of additional programming and films.
Both men stressed that it will be easier to “innovate” when the companies are joined and don’t have to negotiate usage rights at arm’s length. (AT&T, of course, will still have to strike such deals with entertainment conglomerates it doesn’t own.) The combined company is also likely to lean more heavily on advertisements targeted at individuals based on their interests and personal details.
Buying Time Warner may be “a good defensive move” against Comcast as the cable giant continues stretching into new businesses, New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin said in a Friday note. Comcast also bought movie studio DreamWorks Animation in August.
Even if the AT&T deal overcomes opposition in Washington, it’s possible that regulators might saddle the combined company with so many conditions that the deal no longer makes sense.
“It’s not hard to imagine what you can do on paper. They would keep HBO exclusive for only DirecTV subscribers, or only make TNT or TBS available over AT&T Wireless,” said analyst Craig Moffett of research firm MoffettNathanson, referring to Time Warner networks. “But as a practical matter, those kinds of strategies are expressly prohibited by the FCC and antitrust law.”
Then there is the $85 billion that AT&T is handing over to Time Warner, almost 40 percent more than investors thought the company was worth a week ago.
“Count me as a skeptic that there is real value to be created,” Moffett said.
Amy Yong, an analyst at Macquarie Capital, recalled many celebrated media deals of the past have turned into duds — in particular, Time Warner’s disastrous acquisition by AOL in 2001. “If you look at history, it’s still an unproven” that big deals make sense, she said. AT&T, she noted, was paying “a huge price.”
Still, Yong said that AT&T and other phone companies feel they have to act because the threats to their business seem to be coming from every direction. “At the end of the day, these companies are trying to compete with Google and Facebook and Amazon, not just traditional competitors,” she said. “You see Google pivoting into wireless.”
John Bergmayer of the public-interest group Public Knowledge, which often criticizes media consolidation, warned of harm to consumers from the AT&T deal. He said, for example, AT&T might let wireless customers watch TV and movies from Time Warner without counting it against their data caps, which would make video from other providers less attractive.
Shares of AT&T, as is typical of acquirers in large deals, fell on reports of a deal in the works on Friday, ending the day down 3 percent. But the prospect of more media acquisitions sent several stocks soaring Friday. Netflix and Discovery Communications each jumped more than 3 percent.
Time Warner rose nearly 8 percent on Friday, and is now up 38 percent since the start of the year.
The company has moved aggressively to counter the threat that sliding cable subscriptions poses to its business. Among other things, it launched a streaming version of HBO for cord-cutters and, alongside an investment in internet TV provider Hulu, added its networks to Hulu’s live-TV service that’s expected next year.
The deal would make Time Warner the target of the two largest media-company acquisitions on record, according to Dealogic. The highest was AOL’s $94 billion acquisition of Time Warner at the end of the dot-com boom.
In that last deal, AOL paid entirely in its own stock, which then proceeded to crater. This time, Time Warner is playing it safer. It’s getting half of the deal in AT&T stock and half in cash.
NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Authorities in Nashua are searching local rivers and the city’s underwater storm drain system for a teenage boy who may have been swept into an open drain during a heavy rain storm.
Police said they received a citizen report Friday night about the open storm drain and some personal items on the ground nearby. The heavy water flow prevented authorities from determining if someone had fallen in.
On Saturday, the father of 16-year-old Jacob Goulet told police he had not seen or heard from his son since the night before when Jacob left a friend’s house to walk home during the storm. His parents searched for him throughout the night but didn’t find him.
Police said video surveillance confirmed that Jacob, a student at Nashua North High School, had with him the personal items that were found and that he was walking in the area of the storm drain.
Jacob was described as white, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 200 pounds with black hair cut short on the sides and long along the top of his head. He was last seen wearing a denim vest with metal studs on it, a gray T-shirt, black shorts and black Converse All Star sneakers.
The Nashua Police Department is overseeing a search that includes the Nashua River, the Merrimack River and the city’s storm drain system. Police are being assisted by the fire department and its dive team, public works employees and members of the state Fish and Game department.
Authorities said the search could take an extended period of time.