Oregon Stories December 2, 2014

Apple has confirmed that its new retail store in Franklin Park Mall, Toledo, is opening at 9am on Saturday. The Starwood-owned mall is located at 5001 Monroe Street, and the store occupies the former Charlotte Russe space, next to Williams Sonoma.

As usual with new Apple Store openings, the first 1000 people to enter the store will receive a free commemorative t-shirt …  expand full story

Oregon Stories November 10, 2014

Planned earthquake alert app aiming to provide 30 seconds’ warning in California, Oregon and Washington

A joint venture between Early Warning Labs and the U.S. Government is working on app they claim will provide 30 seconds warning of an earthquake in California, Oregon and Washington, reports TechCrunch.

While 30 seconds doesn’t seem like much, founder of EWL, Josh Bashioum says that is enough time to take shelter and save lives. About 13,000 earthquakes in the 4.0 range caused 347 deaths in the U.S. in 2011. However, an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 could have majorly devastating effects. For Bashioum, the best way to get the word out would be via an early warning on a smartphone.

The company hopes to make money by selling a $100-ish physical warning device it describes as ‘Nest for earthquake warnings,’ but the app will be free.

The company’s website provides little detail on how it aims to achieve the 30-second warning. Earthquake alert systems are based on detecting earthquakes in progress outside cities in the hope that they will provide a little warning before they reach urban areas, but typically provide only a few seconds’ notice. EWL says that it aims to use a network of seismic sensors to “rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake […] and issue a warning before significant ground shaking starts.”

Government advice if an earthquake hits while indoors is to get under a sturdy desk or table if possible, otherwise to stand against an interior wall away from windows and exterior walls. If outside, move away from buildings, streetlights and any other structure that may fall.

You can ask to be notified when the app is available by entering your name and email address into an online form and checking the app button.

Oregon Stories April 12, 2014

OregonLive notes that government filings from last week show Apple has taken over a hydroelectric project near its Oregon data center. Apple has previously reported that it powers its data centers entirely on renewable energy. The hydroelectric plant in Oregon will help maintain its 100% renewable energy rating. In fact, on Apple’s environmental website, the company notes that the Prineville site will source power from hydroelectric energy in addition to wind and solar.

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Oregon Stories February 16, 2012

The iPhone is great in many ways, but perhaps one of the best cases is in a medical emergency. KVAL reported a 57-year-old Oregon man was suffering from a diabetic reaction while driving down a local highway. (Video link here.)

When two medical responders came to the scene and tried to assist the man, they ran into quite a language barrier. The man only spoke Chinese, but luckily, one of the responders knew to reach for his iPhone. He fired up Google Translate and was able to speak Chinese with the man to figure out his condition and give him the help he needed.

Cross posted on 9to5Google.com

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Oregon Stories November 7, 2011

In tomorrow’s election, disabled voters in five counties across Oregon will now be able to vote from an iPad. Election officials will be equipped with an iPad to visit disabled voters in nursing homes, parks, and various other places so they can cast their votes easier. The preloaded app on the iPad will allow the user to tap the screen to select a candidate, and then the ballot will be printed out by an Election official.

For the disabled that can’t do it themselves, Election officials will touch the iPad for them. And for the voters with poor vision, the app allows them to change the font size and color to their satisfaction.

Apple has donated five iPads to Oregon to test out the program, but the Oregon state government had to spend $72,000 on the software that runs on the iPads. To deploy the iPad statewide, if the pilot program is successful, the state would need to buy 72 iPads (2 per county) for a total of $36,000. If successful, this program will most likely spread country wide. (via Yahoo/AP).

This is just the first step…

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