“Avion: An Accelerator For Latinas Takes Flight” by Giovanni Rodriguez

The launch of Avion, an accelerator for Latinas, comes at a key moment in N. American history and they plan on making history! Good luck Deldep & Jesse.

“Will Silicon Valley bet on Latina Youth” by Giovanni Rodriguez

The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now

I know this can be a literal heartache but here is a list of what accounts you should be changing passwords to. Good luck!

 

Limiting Smartphone Access Has Cost to Latino Community

By Natalie Blanning

Imagine something that you could never live without.

For almost a third of Americans, that item is their mobile phone. According to a recent Pew Charitable Trust study, a mobile phone is more than just a communication tool; it’s a direct connection to health information, news, online banking and other services for many Americans. More and more, Latinos rely on their smartphones to help them navigate everyday life. Smartphones are particularly important as an accessible and affordable alternative Internet portal for the 19 million Americans who do not have access to broadband Internet.

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But a battle at a government agency, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), has the potential to increase the cost of smartphones, putting further strain on certain segments of the U.S. population who are already struggling to get by. Apple is seeking an over-reaching injunction that would bar various smartphones made by Samsung—sold by different carriers and at varying price points, from being imported to the U.S. If granted, it will ultimately lead to higher prices and less consumer choice.

Unfortunately, this would deny affordable access to the Internet for many Latinos who rely on their mobile phones to pay bills, get news or job-hunt. To ensure the cost of smartphones stays down, companies should compete in the marketplace over products and innovations, not in courtrooms.

millennialsThis issue came about because Apple is claiming monopoly over any rounded rectangular touchscreen device. But almost all smartphones are shaped this way, and for good reason—it’s functional. If Apple gets its way, it may try to ban all non-Apple smartphones with rounded corners from entering the United States. This means a higher price tag on mobile phones, because competition won’t exist to drive prices down.

While the ITC’s ruling will have an immediate impact on all of our pockets, it will also widen the digital divide in the Latino community. As more aspects of daily life move online, and as offline alternatives disappear, the range of choices and services available to people without broadband Internet access narrows.

Preserving access to smartphones is especially important in preventing some underserved communities from falling farther behind the digital “haves.” Samsung and other manufacturers of smartphones offer a broad choice of mobile phones at different price points and provide service to rural and prepaid markets, many of which are not serviced by broadband providers.

According to a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center, a digital divide still exists between native- and foreign-born Latinos. For example, the study found that while 49 percent of the current Latino population in the U.S. owns a smartphone, 58 percent of those who do not own a smartphone are foreign-born Latinos. With this in mind, it seems banning smartphones that come in broader price ranges could further broaden the digital divide for Latinos here in the Bay Area and throughout the country.

While it will be to all smartphone users’ detriment if Apple wins its overbearing case, the biggest burden will be placed on those who can least afford to pay higher prices. That’s inequality at its best.

About The Author: Natalie Blanning is the executive director of Consumer Alliance for A Strong Economy, a statewide non-partisan organization which seeks to educate and inform consumers about state and federal public policy issues. For more information, please visit: www.consumeralliance.org

Guillermo Diaz, Jr (part 3)

On Giving Back and Developing Leaders

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Guillermo Diaz, Jr (part 2 of 3)

Silicon Valley Latino Corporate Leaders Series Presents
Guillermo Diaz, Jr, Sr. Vice President, Information Technology
Cisco Systems

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Guillermo Diaz, Jr of CISCO Systems

Silicon Valley Latino Corporate Leaders Series Presents
Guillermo Diaz, Jr, Sr. Vice President, Information Technology
Cisco Systems

PART 1 OF 3 VIDEOS

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Globaloria- empowering youth through science

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How to think green for your next construction project.

California’s single family residence construction trends.

 

Green is hot. Green is everywhere. Green is the new “must have” quality of almost every home remodel, addition or new project, especially in California, and particularly in the Bay Area.

In the past decade, California, always known for pushing the envelope, has moved towards darker shades of green. A deeper awareness of the concepts of sustainability has developed into mandatory regulations and even a recent green building code in 2010.

What does it really mean for a house to be green?

Silicon Valley is all about gadgets!  In the built environment green means: solar panels, solar water heaters, whole-house fans, energy efficient appliances, etc.

Using green or sustainable products, considering their origin and making most efficient use of resources are also essential in making a house green.

 

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The actual “design” of the house is the most important aspect to consider.  Prior to having mechanical heating and cooling systems, ancient cultures developed techniques to take advantage of solar orientation, natural ventilation, thermal mass; etc. Today, architects use the very same techniques to build green.

The Moody House in Los Altos Hills is a good example of a house in which the architect used design, resources and gadgets to make the house green.  The architect carefully studied the site:  The elements of nature & context around the property included sun patterns on a south facing hill, valley breezes, trees and views. A major road on the north facade and breathtaking valley views towards the east had to be considered as well.

A thorough understanding of the site as well as understanding the owners’ specific needs translated into a simple and efficient building. The simple rectangular shape of the house on two and three levels, is organized on an east-west axis. It follows the contours of the site and fits well into the topography.  The house is situated in such a way that it takes advantage of the top and bottom flat areas of the site while capturing the best views towards the bay.

All living spaces face south, while the service spaces close off the building to the north, protecting it from cold and providing privacy from the street.  Length of overhangs on the south and east facades were calculated to shade the house in hot summer days, and allow sun into the rooms during winter. The design incorporated natural cross ventilation throughout the house.  In the summer time, the valley breeze works its way from the wide openings on the south side through the clerestory windows above (stacking effect) on the north side.

 

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It’s been a couple of years since the Moody house was completed and the owners have noticed that local bird species populate the surrounding trees and often visit the decks and balconies that surround the house.

Also, many of the bikers who frequent that road seem to be in the habit of taking breaks in front of the house to say hello and chat for a little while.

The moody house has a real sense of place and has taken on a life of its own.

To learn more about the Moody House visit:

www.360designstudio.net

Gerardo Vazquez