Helping close divisions in the US: Insights from the American Well-Being Project

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Editor’s Note:The American Well-Being Project is a joint initiative between scholars at the Brookings Institution and Washington University in St. Louis.

Issues of despair in the United States are diverse, widespread, and politically fueled, ranging from concentrated poverty and crime in cities to the opioid crisis plaguing poor rural towns. Local leaders and actors in disconnected communities need public policy resources and inputs beyond what has traditionally been available.

Scholars at Brookings and Washington University in St. Louis are working together to analyze the issues underlying America’s disaffection and divisions in order to provide policy ideas for a better, more inclusive future. Through on-the-ground community research in Missouri—a microcosm of America’s problems—as well as the application of ongoing policy research, we hope to develop approaches that can tackle factors like lack of access to health care, scarcity of low-skilled jobs, weak education systems, and hollowed-out communities.

Simply put, we are asking how has the American Dream been broken and how can it be restored?

WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT IS MISSING

In general, indicators such as economic growth and unemployment rates continue to improve in the U.S., as do some markers of well-being, such as longevity. Yet the aggregate indicators mask inequality of access and outcomes. Such indicators do not account, for example, for the decline in prime age male labor force participation, nor do they reflect the rising numbers of “deaths of despair” due to opioid or other drug overdoses, suicide, and other preventable causes. Such deaths are concentrated among less than college educated, middle-aged whites.

The past few decades have also seen a dramatic increase in the disability rate (the number of disabled Social Security beneficiaries), greater income inequality, and stagnating mobility rates. Different regions have had divergent fortunes, meanwhile, and many, particularly in the heartland where manufacturing has declined, are characterized by “left-behind” populations in poor health and with little hope for the future, and a hollowed out middle-class.

As such, the macro numbers simply do not capture the full picture of inequality, public frustration, and socioeconomic distress. Well-being metrics could be part of the solution in understanding trends among and across subpopulations.

Looking back on recent episodes of political upheaval, previous decades produced clear indicators that should have been seen as red flags for the current crisis. If we can better identify these risk factors in advance, then we can provide appropriate policy recommendations to those working in communities most affected, as well as anticipate the challenges of those populations and places at greatest risk.

HOW CAN RESEARCH AND DATA BE USED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL? THE APPLICATION OF SUBJECTIVE MEASURES

As we further explore metrics of well-being, the question will be how to analyze data in a way that is useable and valuable to local leaders. While well-being measures offer interesting insights, they are inherently subjective and focused on mindset rather than quantitative outcomes. Pairing well-being measures with traditional “hard” measures like GDP and employment rates has proven useful in the past.

As shown by research in Peru into the relationship of traditional economic and social measures to perceived well-being, status, identity, and inclusion, hope is a significant factor in determining success. People who are more hopeful tend to have better economic and social outcomes.

Communities should also strive to achieve a balance between hope and realism. Although our research shows that hope is a key determinant of well-being, excessive optimism can easily lead to disappointment.

Personal responsibility for success is also an important factor. To the extent that people blame themselves (or their neighbors) for the current social and economic challenges, pressure for policy responses is lost. Too much blame on individual agency makes a community unwilling to try to make things better through policy. The goal should be to achieve a healthy balance of outlooks, personal responsibility, and realistic understanding of chances for success.

Better indicators of people’s outlooks on life combined with indicators of opportunity and deprivation could help achieve this at the grassroots level. Novel approaches that combine quantitative and qualitative data can inform a range of community efforts. Scholars at Washington University have already taken the lead by using national data from call-in distress services for individuals and families, with the goal of identifying specific geographic information, down to the neighborhood level, on vulnerable areas.

Brookings scholars actively participated with the state of Colorado to implement a comprehensive system for monitoring mobility and opportunity—the Colorado Opportunity project, and in a separate effort, with the city of Santa Monica to design an effort to regularly monitor a range of well-being dimensions.

NEXT STEPS

Now is an opportune moment for local, regional, and state leaders to make positives changes in communities, rather than waiting for action at the federal level. And, given the complex nature of our crisis of divide and desperation, policies must be better targeted to different age, racial, and socioeconomic groups—and their circumstances, something best achieved at the local level.

Even if analyses and practices are adapted for specific geographic regions and demographic groups, local governance challenges will still make implementation difficult to achieve on the ground. Many communities lack local leadership and empowered community organizations. Nongovernmental organizations, state level governments, and even the private sector can help fill the leadership void in communities and support existing local efforts.

The fact is that the issues of despair in America have no one answer, nor does the responsibility fall on a single sector, institution, or group of people. It will take a concerted effort from many stakeholders, focusing on an immense set of challenges that differ from community to community.

Our collaboration between Brookings and Washington University aims to help those taking the lead by providing valuable data, analyses, and policy ideas.

[“Source-brookings”]

Moto X4 Android One Edition for Project Fi Launched: Price, Specifications

Moto X4 Android One Edition for Project Fi Launched: Price, Specifications

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The handset has been priced at $399 (roughly Rs. 25,800)
  • The company has started taking the pre-orders for the new variant
  • The Android One edition will offer “Pure Android” experience to users

Earlier this month, a leaked render of the Moto X4 variant with Android One branding popped up on the Internet and on Wednesday, Google finally announced the new handset officially. Notably, the search giant has launched the Moto X4 Android One edition for Project Fi exclusively in the US. The Android One variant of Moto X4 has been priced at $399 (roughly Rs. 25,800) and can be pre-ordered from the Project Fi website starting Wednesday itself. The new edition has been launched in Super Black and Sterling Blue colours.

If you are wondering what you will get with Android One edition of the Moto X4, it will offer a “Pure Android” experience and “carefully curated set of preinstalled apps” as per the company. “For example, it comes optimised for the Google Assistant to help you get more done, and offers high-quality video calling with Google Duo. You’ll also get access to the latest updates from Android, such as Android Oreo before the end of the year. Android One Moto X4 will be among the first to receive an upgrade to Android P,” the company said in its blog post.

If we talk about specifications, the handset comes with the same configuration as the regular variant of Moto X4. This means, the Moto X4 Android One edition packs a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) LTPS IPS display with 424ppi pixel density and Corning Gorilla Glass protection. It is powered by the 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 octa-core SoC paired with Adreno 508 GPU and 3GB of RAM.

In terms of optics, the Android One edition of Moto X4 sports a dual camera setup at the back. It houses one 12-megapixel dual autofocus sensor with f/2.0 aperture and 1.4-micron pixels; and another 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor with 120-degree field of view, f/2.2 aperture, and 1.12-micron pixels. This dual camera setup comes alongside a colour correlated temperature (CCT) dual-LED flash and PDAF. At front, the handset sports a 16-megapixel shooter for taking selfies. The handset houses a 3000mAh battery.

The company is also providing users with a trade-in offer, if you have an older Nexus phone and want to trade it in for a new device, the company will give you up to $165 for select Nexus devices. Further, if you trade-in the old device for an Android One Moto X4 by October 5, you’ll earn an extra $50 Fi credit.

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Motorola Moto X4

Motorola Moto X4

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.20-inch

Processor

2.2GHz octa-core

Front Camera

16-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 7.1.1

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

12-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

Also See
  • Motorola Moto C (Starry Black, 16GB)
    Rs.5,428
  • Motorola Moto C (White, 16GB)
    Rs.5,574
  • Motorola Moto C (Starry Black, 16GB) –
    Rs.5,591

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Students turn creative to raise funds for design project

Reshaping spaces: The architecture students plan to create a vertical garden under the bridge on TTK Road.   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

Hold painting exhibition under TTK Road bridge

The aspiration of a group of architecture students to compete in a contest has turned the space below the bridge on TTK Road colourful.

When 20-year-old Shruti Mohan and 20 other students of Mohamed Sathak AJ Academy of Architecture wanted to participate in the annual NASA Design Competition conducted by the National Association of Students of Architecture, which requires them to effectively utilise public space, they struggled to mobilise the necessary money.

Quickly, they put together some pocket money and decided to put on a painting exhibition on Sunday under the bridge itself.

“This painting exhibition is like a fund-raiser for implementing the project of creating a vertical garden on the pillars of the bridge. We have used insulation and used tyres, made them colourful and turned them into seats. Then, we approached some artists, who promised to give us about 50% of the sale money from their paintings to us,” she said.

They have about 100 paintings of many noted artists with the price ranging from ₹1,000 to ₹3 lakh. This project, they say, will cost them ₹6 lakh.

Dhanya M, another student, said, “We have been able to raise about ₹10,000 so far. We are hopeful of getting funds somehow.”

[“Source-thehindu”]

Qualcomm Meets IT, Telecom Ministers for Satellite Project

Qualcomm Meets IT, Telecom Ministers for Satellite Project

Electronics chip major Qualcomm Monday met IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha to discuss its satellite connectivity project and production of chips, used in devices like mobile phones.

“They really intend to expand their footprint. They have great experience in the field of chip design. They are very excited about expansion of mobile manufacturing in India,” IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after meeting with Qualcomm Executive Chairman Paul Jacobs.

“I also asked him to explore the possibility of … bring in satellite connectivity in hilly areas of India. He has told me these are very exciting areas and area of his concern,” Prasad said further.

Qualcomm met the IT Minister to discuss a slew of issues around its expansion in India, venture fund and its new global satellite based communications network – OneWeb.

Jacob also met Sinha to discuss OneWeb which the company expects to launch in 2019-20.

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“We also spoke about investment in satellite company called OneWeb that is going to build over 700 satellites, launch those by 2019 and 2020. It will provide mobile broadband to most remote areas of the country and will have connectivity from a terminal on ground, up through sky into the rest of the network,” Jacobs said after meeting Sinha.

Qualcomm’s OneWeb communications network will be made of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation made up of hundreds of satellites, orbiting at approximately 1,200 kilometers and working in coordination to create the world’s largest coverage footprint. Unlike existing Geosynchronous (GEO) satellite solutions, which orbit at approximately 36,000 kilometres, the OneWeb satellite constellation will be closer to the earth to reduce response time to and from satellites.

“It will have cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity so people will be able to use phones and tablets to get access to Internet to get connectivity that way. We want to do that with schools for education purposes, with hospitals, put them in rural communities to give connectivity,” Jacobs said.

He also said that the company is foreseeing development of mobile ecosystem in the country not just assembling but also designing and manufacturing of devices.

“That will then create whole ecosystem for all components that need to go in mobile phones. We see that building up over the time with right incentives so we get into advance manufacturing of semiconductor chips. We have seen this happening in other countries and we see India is really set up to this as well,” Jacobs said.

When asked about its status to start production of chipset in India, he said that Qualcomm has had initial discussion with manufacturers of chips but not reached to the stage where production details can be firmed up.

Qualcomm designs chipsets on its own but get them produced from semiconductor plants of its partners.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Qualcomm, Ravi Shakar Prasad, Paul Jacobs, Apps, Chips, Internet

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]