Lincoln Turns to Hollywood (8/21/14)

Brand hires actor Matthew McConaughey as pitchman; Ford said planning a dedicated Prius-fighter; recalls hurting Hertz.

Audio/Video Encoder supports analog and digital input formats.

Designed as USB Video Class device, Model 2263S captures HD or SD video and simultaneously sends compressed and uncompressed stream to host. Supported video inputs include DVI, component, and composite. Audio is optionally captured from analog line input, compressed and multiplexed into transport stream. Controlled using DirectShow or Video4Linux video API, Model 2263S implements H.264 video compression and outputs data as MPEG transport stream or in MP4 or AVI file formats.

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Sensors, Monitors and Transducers Sponsored by: BEI Sensors (BEI Industrial Encoders) – Cat Sponsor Jan 2014
Test and Measuring Instruments Sponsored by: TREK EQUIPMENT – PNA Category Tile July14
Communication Systems and Equipment

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Corvette Gears Up to Save Fuel (8/20/14)

8-speed transmission helps Corvette hit 29 mpg; CFPB fines subprime lender $2.75 million; LG Chem lands Audi battery deal.

Guest Post: Have You Heard About the “Fire Challenge”?

As I was driving home from work the other day, I heard a disturbing news story on the radio that instantly grabbed my attention.

A new and life-threatening social-media trend has gone viral among teens.

It’s called the “fire challenge.”

In short, teens are daring one another to use flammable liquids to set themselves on fire, quickly douse the flames and then post a video of the entire incident on YouTube or Facebook.

As this story reports, the trend has become so popular that it has resulted in tens of thousands of horrifying “fire challenge” videos appearing online—in addition to emergency room visits across the country. In the last few weeks, several children, one as young as 11-years-old, have experienced serious burns from engaging in this “challenge.”

One of the latest sufferers was a 12-year-old girl.

“We’re just asking parents and even other teenagers to sit down with each other and talk about what the real consequences are,” said a local fire-prevention expert.

As I listened to the story on my car radio, I felt horrified by the self-destructive trends that seem to be gripping so many teens in this nation and began to pray for the hearts and souls of our children.

Then another question entered my mind:

Do we live in denial as a society when it comes to other cultural messages we promote to teens?  Perhaps these messages are more subtle and less overt, but do they, in effect, amount to another kind of “fire challenge” that is irresponsible, and extremely dangerous?

Through pop culture, televisions shows and movies—and yes, even taxpayer-funded classroom lessons and reading assignments—it seems our teens are being inundated with messages that encourage them to engage in sexual experimentation at young ages. All too often, the idea communicated to our kids is that sexual experimentation of all kinds—even those that delve into “Shades of Grey” areas—are a normal part of growing up and even worthy of celebration.

News stories and studies have trumpeted the fact that students are also experimenting with their sexual identity (including “gay, lesbian and bisexual”), and are “coming out” at younger and younger ages. It stands to reason that “coming out” at younger ages could also involve sexual behavior that is extremely risky.

But just as most of the “fire challenge” videos depict the momentary thrill of a dare while failing to show the long-term, painful consequences—many of our most popular, glamorized cultural messages promote sexual experimentation outside of marriage, while neglecting to disclose to teens very real risks and long-term costs involved.

It’s well-documented that the earlier the age of sexual activity, the greater the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and experiencing emotional harm, both of which can have lifelong impact.

Just as the fire-prevention expert in the “fire challenge” news story issued a call to action to discuss the “real consequences,” it seems to me, that we should feel just as much urgency—and compassion— in the need to have up-front conversations with our youth about the often devastating reality behind the false depictions of cost-free, no-strings-attached sexual activity.

So where does all this leave parents? How can they safeguard their children — and prepare them to withstand the cultural peer pressure and “challenges” that no one is directly addressing—but have the potential to seriously threaten their health, minds and hearts?

That’s where I believe Focus on the Family’s “Empowering Parents” resources—provided for free through our Truetolerance.org initiative— can help. These resources include:

  1. A free, downloadable guide providing parents with easy-to-use tools and tips that equip them to be proactive in talking to their children about God’s design for sexuality and gender—in addition to helping them navigate difficult situations that may arise in their child’s school.
  2. A checklist that walks parents through basic ways to research what’s happening in your local schools, as well as tips on how to approach school officials if you see content that concerns you.

The bottom line is, we want parents and families to know they are not alone when it comes to safeguarding their children’s innocence and seeking to raise godly children with biblical values and Christ’s compassion.  Be sure to check out these resources and share them with your friends and family members.

Candi Cushman is Focus on the Family’s Education analyst. In addition to tracking national issues such as the Common Core standards, home school freedoms and parental rights, she facilitates two nationwide initiatives: TrueTolerance.org for parents and DayofDialogue.com for students.

The post Guest Post: Have You Heard About the “Fire Challenge”? appeared first on Jim Daly.

Car That Will ‘Define’ Cadillac (8/20/14)

Big car must be symbol of excellence, Reuss says; ADP Dealer Services changing name; Lear in leather?; L.A. show plans.

PSE Controller, Module, and Design accelerate PoE development.

Dual-layer PoE power sourcing equipment (PSE) evaluation module and TI Design based on TPS23861 quad-port PoE controller reduce development time when creating PoE-enabled network video recorders, IP phone switches, and wireless base stations. Minimizing material and build expense, TPS23861 evaluation board features 2 controllers with associated circuitry on 2-layer PCB. Plug-and-play evaluation module is also offered in auto mode, which eliminates need for host control.

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Controls and Controllers

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Upcoming report tracks P2 results at U.S. public agencies

The database maintained by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable and Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange is to reveal 2010-2012 findings.

Upcoming report tracks P2 results at U.S. public agencies

Turbulent Times Require More Frequent Strategic Breaks

what's next

“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.” – Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne, 1926

Bump, bump, bump! Does this sound like your days, weeks, months and maybe even years? Are you acting purposefully? Are you taking timeout to think? Or do you find yourself too busy?

The biggest challenge of leading in VUCA times is the huge amount of demand placed on a leaders time. Unless you’re careful you’ll find yourself with little time for thinking and reflection. The result? You postpone dealing with critical strategic concerns. Or, in the worst case, your strategic issues go unresolved.

Too often busy kills leadership. What happens when you postpone strategic thinking? The urgent crowds out important strategic issues. And in times of rapid change this is risky. It results in delayed decision-making, poor allocation of resources and frustration.

The most effective leaders make time for strategic thinking and reflection. They take time to think about the future of their organisations. Effective leaders set aside regular time to think about “what’s next?”

“Every CEO has to spend an enormous amount of time shuffling papers. The question is, how much of your time can you leave free to think about ideas? To me the pursuit of ideas is the only thing that matters. You can always find capable people to do almost everything else.” – Michael Eisner, Fortune

When last did you set aside time to think? To consider what’s next? Setting a aside regular time devoted to strategic thinking is a critical leadership practice.

  • Unless you make time to think you forget who you are, why you’re here and what you stand for
  • Unless you make time to think you fail to learn from your experiences
  • Unless you make time to think you forget what matters and you become distracted

Strategic thinking doesn’t just happen. You need to deliberately set aside time to think.

Block Out Time for Strategic Thinking

Leading in VUCA times demands clarity in the areas of purpose, vision, values and direction. Too often we feel the pressure to get things done, to take action, early and often. Paradoxically what is needed is more space and time set aside to think strategically. It’s when things are uncertain, fast-moving and ambiguous that you need to slow down, taking time to think and reflect. Unless you deliberately make space in your calendar to think, your time will be sucked up with meetings, to-dos and daily interruptions.

Volatile Times Require More Frequent `Strategic Breaks, Not Less

Counter-intuitively the faster the pace of change the more time you need to set aside for strategic thinking. The faster the pace of change the more often you need to get your team together to explore what’s happening and agree the way forward.

  • When last did you set aside time for strategic thinking?

Honda on Avoiding ‘Stupid Things’ (8/19/14)

Company not counting on fleet, long loans or spiffs to build share, exec says; Saab seeking a partner; valet-proofing the Vette.

Why I Don’t Want Perfect Children

These first few days of school remind us that our children grow up quickly. In the midst of those early years, the long nights, the crying and the diapers, to name just a few passages of early life with kids, it seemed like it would go on forever.

But then you’re walking your son or daughter by the hand into school, or dropping them at the bus stop, and suddenly you realize just how fast the seasons come and go. In fact, sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about all our children need to learn while they’re young and living at home.

Because we want them to become mature and successful adults, it’s easy to get caught up in a pattern of silently evaluating them. We look at what they’re doing and wonder if they are capable of more.

Do they measure up in areas that are deemed to be important in this competitive world we live in?

Are they at the top of the class academically?

Are they developing social skills?

Do they excel in athletics? And for us as believers, is there strong evidence of spiritual growth?

I want my sons to know that my love for them is not dependent on their accomplishments. Of course, it’s important to encourage them to be the person God created them to be, but I also need to remember that they’ll face challenges along the way, and they’ll make mistakes. I want them to feel the freedom to be real and honest with Jean and me about who they are and what’s going on in their lives right now.

The beginning of a school year is a great time to think about things like this. I hope you heard part one of our three part broadcast titled “Loving Your Kids for Who They Are” with author Jill Savage and psychologist Dr. Kathy Koch. If not, you can listen online or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app. Parts two and three are filled with great wisdom and advice as well. I hope you’ll tune in!

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