Digital License Plates Hit the Road

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While the automobile has undergone fundamental changes since its inception, for 125-years one thing has basically remained the same: the license plate.

Not anymore.

Reviver Auto has introduced the Rplate Pro, the world’s first digital license plate. It transforms the 125-year-old stamped metal plate into a cool-looking, multi-functional digital display and connected vehicle platform, delivering multiple efficiencies to businesses, government agencies and consumers. The Rplate Pro offers a variety of features to make driving safer and smarter including automated DMV registration, stolen vehicle identification, emergency broadcast messages, and medical alert displays.

To see more of the Rplate Pro’s capabilities, watch this video:

Reviver Auto is the brainchild of Neville Boston, who initially came up with the idea of the Rplate in 2009 as a means to automate DMV registration. As the Rplate Pro began to take shape, Neville and his team realized that their technology could be used for much more than that.

Fast forward to 2018 and the first Rplates are now on the road in California. Reviver Auto has also reached licensing agreements to bring the groundbreaking plates to Arizona, Texas and Florida in 2018, and has just announced new international agreements to deliver the RPlate Pro to Canada and Dubai, UAE in the near future. Reviver Auto is on track to have 100,000 Rplate Pro’s on the road this year.

The Rplate Pro represents the future of license plates and we at LMGPR are excited to be a part of a truly disruptive and revolutionary moment in automobile history.

Bastille Puts Emergency Warning Systems on Alert

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Bastille has done it again.

The company recently unveiled SirenJack: a vulnerability in emergency alert siren systems supplied by ATI Systems, potentially affecting millions of people.

The vulnerability can be exploited remotely via radio frequencies to activate all the sirens at will and trigger false alarms, potentially causing chaos and panic. ATI Systems customers include the City of San Francisco, other large urban and rural communities, military installations, universities, and industrial sites including oil and nuclear power generation plants.

You can watch the official SirenJack video here:

The SirenJack announcement generated tremendous media interest, with the company featured in top-tier publications including Wired, Dark Reading, McClatchy DC, VICE, and dozens of others.

The announcement has already resulted in ATI Systems issuing a patch to fix the San Francisco vulnerability.

Bastille is world-renowned for its groundbreaking research and discoveries including MouseJack, a massive vulnerability in wireless mice and keyboards, and KeySniffer, a security flaw in low-cost wireless keyboards.

The Robot Revolution: Where Is It Headed?

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LMGPR is a big proponent of robots.

We’ve been part of some of the biggest robot launches over the past few years including Knightscope’s K1, K5 and K7 crime-fighting robots, and UBTECH’s Lynx with Amazon Alexa, Star Wars Stormtrooper Robot, and STEM-friendly line of Jimu Robots, to name a few.

We are constantly amazed at how robot innovation is changing the world around us and are excited to see what the future holds.

A new video series from AJ+ takes an in-depth look at the emergence of robots and asks some tough questions surrounding what it means for jobs, society and our way of life. Knightscope founder William Santana Li is among those featured in the series along with the Knightscope fleet of robots.

We’ve watched the series here at LMGPR and found it compelling to say the least.

“Since watching The Jetsons, robots have captured my attention,” said LMGPR President Donna Loughlin Michaels. “It is exciting to see fantasy come to life but I hope robots augment–not replace–jobs and simple tasks as aggressively as some futurists predict. I can’t replace my creative and media savvy PR team with robots, that’s for certain.”

We invite you to watch the series below and join the discussion on where the robot revolution is headed.

Part 1: Robots and AI: The Future is Automated and Every Job is at Risk

Part 2: A Tale of Two Cities: How Smart Robots and AI Will Transform America

Part 3: Robots, Retraining and UBI: How to Solve the Coming Automation Crisis

AP Matters: Common Press Release Mistakes

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If you’ve ever written a press release AP style, you know there are a lot of guidelines to follow. Unfortunately, many of those guidelines are neglected or ignored, and to those of us who worship at the AP altar, it is a never-ending source of frustration!

That being said, we came across this article that points out common AP style mistakes that deals with things like capitalizing job titles, the use of trademark symbols, and how to write numbers.

So if you think you might be in need of an AP style refresher for your next press release, give the article a read. Thousands of discerning editors will thank you!

Kika Tech Delivers Spooky Treats

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By Rachelle Avila 

It’s beginning to look a lot like… Halloween! Kika Tech is getting its users in the Halloween spirit with a variety of Halloween-themed emojis on its Kika Keyboard. From ghosts to skeletons to jack o’lanterns, Kika users are accessorizing their texts with spooky sentiments.

With 60 million average monthly users, Kika Keyboard is the #1 rated keyboard app on the Google Play Store in the U.S. and comes packed with thousands of emojis, GIFs, cool fonts, keyboard themes, and much more to enhance your messaging experience. Kika Keyboard incorporates the company’s cutting-edge artificial intelligence engine to enrich the communications and emotional connections between individuals.

Halloween is just a day away, so put on your witch’s hat and conjure up some Halloween spirit with Kika Tech.

You can download the app for Android here.

Twitter: Where Characters Count!

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By Jason Garcia

“What’s in a tweet? That which we call a tweet by any other length would read as brief.” – 21st Century Shakespeare

Or would it?

Up until now, 140 characters, which includes letters, spaces, special characters, mentions, emojis, and hashtags, has been the law of the land in the Twitterverse.

But what can you actually fit in 140 characters?

Well, Twitter users can write love notes, state political views, share polls, conversations, tell jokes, or even write the world’s shortest novel. While there’s a lot that can go into 140 characters, it can still feel limiting to some.

There are obvious workarounds for users to go beyond the 140 characters such as spreading the text over multiple tweets, abbreviating or substituting words with emojis.

According to Twitter, language limitations are affecting how much is being communicated per tweet. The language you tweet with dictates how many words can fit in 140 characters. For instance, in Japanese you can say about double the words you can in English with the same number of characters.

As a result, Twitter is testing out an idea to double the size of tweets from 140  to 280 characters in some languages including English, French and Spanish.

But is there really a need?

Twitter has been able to maintain a successful communications platform with its current standard of 140 characters.

To me, the composition of a tweet is similar to a haiku or a sonnet. The boundaries of the medium create a beauty for content to live on. After all, it’s not just about publishing the tweet–people have to read them too. For the reader, 140 characters is easy to read and move on to the next tweet. We live in a world where people want to consume more content and that includes social posts. 140 characters can be seen as the perfect balance for both the writer and the reader.

Supporters of the character expansion say yes because they will no longer need to fumble around adjusting their tweet to fit the character constraints while getting the original message across.

Twitter purists, however, believe 140 characters are sufficient and more characters would kill the essence of Twitter.

As a social media professional, I see both sides to the argument. It can be helpful to businesses because you can get more content out per tweet, but at the same time, it can also be a negative because there will be more noise to compete with.

Wherever you stand on the issue, just remember a good tweet isn’t just about its characters, it’s also about the content.

So tweet responsibly, my friends!

Women in STEM: Girl Scouts adds 23 new STEM Badges

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By Miranda Carter

One small step for Girl Scouts, one huge leap for women in technology.

The Girl Scouts of America is dedicated to helping young girls excel in life and this summer they took that dedication to a new level.

Proving its commitment to building girls of courage and leadership, the Girl Scouts has introduced 23 new badges in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math, and the outdoors. This marks the organization’s largest programming rollout in almost a decade, focusing on building girls’ skills and interests in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age.

“Design a Robot” badge:

“Programing Robots” badge:

The newest badges include honors in activities such as “Design a Robot” and “Programming Robots” that require the Scouts to create and design simple machines to plan and build like an engineer.

“Race Car Design Challenge” badge:

“Fling Flyer Design Challenge” badge:

Other hands-on and age-appropriate STEM badges include the “Race Car Design Challenge” where Scouts learn how their race car and track design affect speed, and the “Fling Flyer Design Challenge” which teaches Scouts about the forces that affect flight.

With 1.8 million girls, The Girl Scouts is providing a platform for young women from the ages of K-12 to embrace their interests in STEM. According to its website, Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM (60 percent versus 35 percent) and outdoor activities (76 percent versus 43 percent).

As STEM skills become more and more important, the Girl Scouts organization is giving its members a head start on developing those skills that stand to help them excel in both their academic and life goals.

You go, girls!

Crime-Fighting Robot Invades Squawk Box

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Knightscope and the K5 crime-fighting robot were in the national spotlight today appearing as guests on the popular CNBC morning show Squawk Box.

The K5 roamed the studio as Knightscope Chairman and CEO William (Bill) Santana Li talked about the benefits of the autonomous security robot and how it aims to protect people and property.

The segment included a deeper dive into some of the current and future capabilities of the security robot including its ability to see, feel, hear and smell, the ability to detect concealed weapons as well as weapons of mass destruction, and how artificial intelligence is being implemented for future features. Bill also announced the upcoming K-7, a 4-wheel autonomous security robot that can traverse more difficult terrain than the K3 and K5 models. Bill stated that there are no plans to build a weaponized security robot.

The economics of Knightscope’s security robots was discussed. Bill detailed the company’s machine-as-a-service business model and that the robots cost just $7 an hour to operate. Bill reiterated that the low cost isn’t aimed to eliminate human security guard jobs, but instead enhance overall security for a business.

Knightscope’s growth as a company was also profiled. To date Knightscope has 24 clients in 22 cities across five states and three time zones. Knightscope’s unique investment model, a mini-IPO, was also examined. Bill talked about the benefits of public funding saying “this is an opportunity for us to build a brand, seek clients, and seek investment all at the same time very efficiently.”

Finally, there was a short discussion on where robotics in society is headed. Bill painted an optimistic future predicting there will be more change in the next ten years than the past 100 combined. He predicts a “revolution” with robots having a “massive, massive positive impact on society.”

To watch the entire CNBC Squawk Box segment with Knightscope, click here.




On the Road with Knightscope

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They look lovable enough, but Knightscope’s security robots are serious about crime. The K3 and K5 have been deployed across California and have played key roles in preventing crime and taking criminals off the street.

They’ve been so successful, that the company is now expanding operations and rolling out these crime-fighting robots nationwide. The company is in the midst of an “Investor Roadshow” giving people the opportunity to invest in the future of security:

This week, the roadshow finds itself on the Las Vegas Strip, where Co-Founder and CEO William Santana Li will present to an exclusive gathering of private investors. The demo and Q&A (April 20) will offer an in-depth look at the company and its goal to cut America’s trillion-dollar crime problem in half.

Next week, Knightscope will travel to the bright lights of New York City for private demonstrations of its crime-fighting technology for potential investors, new clients and the media at NASDAQ (April 25) and in Times Square (April 26).

It’s a busy and exciting time for Knightscope. The company has signed contracts for nearly two dozen machines in fifteen cities, in five states across three time zones and recently launched a “mini IPO” as the company continues to build momentum. Keep an eye out because the Knightscope Investor Roadshow could soon be coming to a city near you.

To learn more about Knightscope investment opportunities, click here.

Silicon Valley Women of Influence

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By Rachelle Avila

As women continue to trail-blaze and shatter glass ceilings here in Silicon Valley, the Silicon Valley Business Journal has announced its 2017 “Women of Influence Awards.”

The annual awards spotlight the 100 most influential women in Silicon Valley from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, and we are proud to announce two of our clients are among the recipients:

Dr. May Wang is the co-founder and chief technology officer at Zingbox, a leading Internet of Things security company. May has deep ties to Silicon Valley: prior to ZingBox she spent 14 years at Cisco’s CTO office where she served as principal architect and head of Asia Pac Research. Her contributions include developing security algorithms currently used in Cisco switches and leading the Internet of Things innovation. An advisor, an investor and a venture capitalist, May is a graduate from Stanford University where she received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and is also the author of the book “Women Executives in Silicon Valley.”

Mercedes Soria is VP of software engineering at Knightscope, makers of the K3 and K5 crime-fighting security robots. Mercedes is a technology professional with over 15 years of experience in systems development, life cycle management, project leadership, software architecture, and web applications development at companies including Carbon Motors Corporation, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and Gibson Musical Instruments. She is a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and currently serves as Executive Advisor to TechWomen, an initiative from the State Department that brings women tech entrepreneurs from the Middle East, Asia and Africa to the US for mentoring and coaching in tech business skills.

In addition to being honored at the Women of Influence awards ceremony on May 18, 2017, both women will be profiled in a Silicon Valley Business Journal special report. We congratulate May and Mercedes on this achievement and are excited to be working alongside them as they continue to innovate and deliver a brighter future for tomorrow.