The iPad app making life easier for people in public housing

first_img For the disability community, tech is the great equalizer The app helping the homeless take back control Men won’t talk about mental health and it’s literally killing them Related stories 0 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. See It Review • Apple iPad 2018 review: The iPad for everyone Post a comment $249 With every FACS officer responsible for between 350 and 450 properties, the department was previously only visiting 30 percent of its public housing tenants in a given year. After the app was launched across the state in April 2018, the department conducted one third of its yearly visits — more than 20,000 interactions — in just 60 days.Former FACS client services officer Roger Mclean helped develop the app and knows the problem faced by front-line public housing workers too well. For each public housing visit he used to conduct, he says he would spend upwards of three hours printing out forms, rifling through case files and doing dry paperwork. For a person who got into the job to help people, the bulk of his time was spent on data entry. “It was horrible and very time consuming,” he says. “Now, we’re not rushing.”With only an iPad in tow, case workers can now spend time actually speaking to tenants in their homes, where issues are easier to identify and difficult conversations can be conducted in privacy. For elderly residents and people living with a disability the focus on in-home interactions is game-changing.  “Before, we spent 100 percent of our time on 10 percent of our clients,” says Lance Carden, director of customer service and business improvement at FACS.But for Carden, the biggest change has been a shift from putting out fires to actually engaging with people in the community who need it most. “We miss out on early intervention if we’re not visiting everybody. And we’re missing that social and human element.”Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech’s role in providing new kinds of accessibility.The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter. $329 $249 Share your voice See Itcenter_img See it Apple Amazon Mentioned Above Apple iPad 2018 (space gray, 32GB) Culture See It Best Buy Family and Community Services officer Roger Mclean talks through the Ivy app with Kate McDonnell. Ian Knighton/CNET For millions around the world, public housing offers the promise of a much-needed roof overhead.But the reality of public housing can be grim, and problems that start small can often become bureaucratic nightmares.That might be a case of waiting weeks to get a broken door fixed or having to file repeated complaints about rowdy neighbours. But issues can be left to fester if councils ignore public housing tenants. And in some cases, as the world saw with the massive fire at London’s Grenfell Tower housing complex in 2017, that can have tragic consequences. While governments can be notoriously slow to adapt, one community housing provider is using tech to catch potential problems before they become big issues, making life easier for some of the most vulnerable people in society.  That solution is the Ivy app.Created by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) in Australia, this iOS app was developed to cut out the endless paperwork case workers and community housing residents need to complete to get basic things done. It lets case workers fill property condition reports and take photos directly on an iPad, while also accessing family records, past incidents or safety issues and recent rent and water bills. Residents can complete forms and make payments on the spot, without having to visit a FACS office or wait an age on the phone to get connected to a call centre. And it’s all done through an iPad, which holds records of all the properties and families a case worker deals with, letting them map out appointments and access any information with a tap of the screen.  facs-apple-ivy-app-4Enlarge ImageThe Ivy app lets public housing residents pay bills, update records and get immediate referrals for help around their home.  Ian Knighton/CNET A simple tech update might seem like a no-brainer. But for Kate McDonnell, who lives in public housing with her five children in inner-city Sydney, the Ivy app has been a huge help. “Before, paperwork got lost … things were falling by the wayside,” she says. Case workers were “overloaded” with admin, and when she did actually get home visits, it was often a new case worker each time.Now, when she has issues, she doesn’t need to wrangle her two young children to get to a FACS centre while the other kids are in school — everything is done through the iPad. And when her case worker visits her house, “I know who they are.” $249 Tags Apple iPadlast_img read more

Article 13 EU countries approve copyright directive

first_img Share your voice Internet Services Tech Industry Tags The EU has adopted Article 13, among other reforms. Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images European countries approved sweeping reforms to copyright law on Monday after the European Parliament voted to adopt the new legislation last month.The EU Copyright Directive will protect and govern how copyrighted content posted online, bringing outdated rules up to scratch for the internet age. The law has been hotly debated both by politicians and the wider tech community, with some of the world’s biggest companies taking a strong stance against the legislation — in particular a section known as Article 13.Article 13 dictates that anyone sharing copyrighted content must get permission from rights owners — or at least have made the best possible effort to get permission — before doing so. In order to do this, it’s thought that internet services and social networks will have no choice but to build and enforce upload filters and generally apply a more heavy-handed approach to moderating what users post online.For proponents of digital rights, the approval of the directive comes as a huge blow after over a year of campaigning to uphold what they see as the integrity of the internet. Following the European Parliament vote in March, there was hope that enough key countries might try to block the directive that it wouldn’t pass, but ultimately it didn’t face enough opposition on a national level (all EU legislation faces a final vote by member states before it can pass into law).Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Finland and Sweden voted against adopting the directive, whereas Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia abstained. In total 19 countries voted to approve the legislation.”This is a deeply disappointing result which will have a far-reaching and negative impact on freedom of speech and expression online,” said Catherine Stihler, chief executive of rights group the Open Knowledge Foundation in a statement. “The controversial crackdown was not universally supported, and I applaud those national governments which took a stand and voted against it.”But not every was disappointed by Monday’s result. A coalition of organizations representing news publishers in Europe celebrated the adoption of the directive. “This important reform will help make the EU copyright regime fit for the digital age without stifling digital innovation,” said Christian Van Thillo, chairman of the European Publishers Council in a statement.center_img 2 Commentslast_img read more

Avengers Endgame ending — Solo Black Widow movie may feature Iron Man

first_imgScarlett Johansson as the Black WidowAvengers official FacebookAvengers: Endgame movie released earlier this week and it instantly broke all the box-office predictions. The movie made a whopping $60 million on opening day and movie experts are predicting that it will garner more than $1 billion. Apart from the box-office success, the movie will be remembered for several iconic sequences and particularly the one which happened between Black Widow and Hawkeye.Major spoilers for Avengers Endgame movie:As we have covered in our previous Avengers Endgame time travel post, Black Widow and Hawkeye goes to Vormir to get the Soul Stone. As we learned in Avengers: Infinity War, the only way one can acquire Soul Stone is by sacrificing the one person he or she loves the most. In IW, Thanos sacrificed his daughter Gamora.Black Widow and Hawkeye had a discussion as who is going to die and who is going to get the stone. After a lot of heated argument that involved punching and hurting each other physically, we see how Black Widow dies and Hawkeye comes back to the present storyline with the Soul Stone.If Black Widow is dead then what it means for Scarlett Johansson’s solo Black Widow movie?Scarlett Johansson has played Natasha Romanoff from Iron Man 2 and has remained a core member of the Avengers team. Before Captain Marvel, she was the only woman in the group and her presence meant a great deal especially to Bruce Banner aka Hulk. Scarlett Johansson at the press event for Avengers: EndgameTwitterAs earlier reported, a solo Black Widow movie was in development by Marvel with a May 2020 release. Cate Shortland is attached to direct the project and stars like Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh, and David Harbour are going to play some important roles. At first, we were speculating that the solo Black Widow movie will feature Natasha’s story after the events of Avengers Endgame movie but the character’s death has proved that the upcoming solo movie will be a prequel story, which means that we might get to see other Avengers as well.As of now, neither The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios have confirmed the plot details of Black Widow movie but since the lead character is dead, it is most likely that they will be working on a prequel movie. We are not sure whether we get to see Tony Stark in the upcoming Black Widow movie but characters like Clint Barton aka Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, and Nick Fury may come in some capacity.Production of solo Black Widow movie is expected to begin after the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home.last_img read more

Very heavy rain incoming in city today

first_imgKolkata: The Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore on Wednesday issued a warning of heavy to very heavy rainfall in several South Bengal districts, including the city, in the next 24 hours. The northern parts of the state will also witness rainfall till Friday.A cyclonic circulation over the northern part of Bay of Bengal has formed into a low pressure area over the bay and its adjoining areas, bringing heavy downpour in the state. Under its influence, heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur in North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Nadia and Murshidabad, Hooghly, West Midnapore and South 24-Parganas. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to the weather office prediction, the other districts will also receive moderate to heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours. It has been learnt that the low pressure trough has become stationary at one point and is moving very slowly. So, it may cause heavy rain in various places in both North and South Bengal districts. There is a possibility of strong wind blowing in some parts along with rain, the Met office has predicted.According to experts, the low pressure area over Bay of Bengal may turn into a depression during the next 24 hours, resulting in more rain in the state. In view of the prediction of heavy rainfall, the fishermen in the coastal districts have been advised not to venture into the sea as it might turn turbulent. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to a senior weather official, a few days ago a low pressure trough had formed over North Odisha and adjoining parts of Bengal and gained strength, contributing to rainfall in the state. Rain is also predicted in the North East states as well.It may be mentioned that the city and other districts have been witnessing moderate to heavy rainfall for the past few days. Continuous rain for the last few days have, however, given some relief to the city dwellers as both the temperature and the humidity levels have been brought down by the downpour.The people were experiencing sweltering heat before it started raining. The situation is likely to continue in the next couple of days, when city residents will experience comparatively comfortable weather.last_img read more