Obama Slams Potential Refugee Policy

President Barack Obama addressed the nation on Sunday regarding a proposed policy to not allow for Muslim refugees access to the United States, while still allowing other religions the ability to find refuge. Obama, who says the plan was proposed by a group of Republicans, has taken a hard stance by saying that the nation must either accept refugees from all backgrounds or none at all. His speech was one of many over the years in which he has stated that the war on terror is in no way to be considered a war on Islam.
President Obama went on to say, “Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values. Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both.”
He also went on to state that he believes that the United State’s current policy and strategy against terrorism will still succeed, although he admitted it will be tough to stop terrorists with a willingness to take their own lives.
President Obama reiterated that there vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims in the world have condemned the actions of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The Islamic extremists are such a small population of the Islamic community that they should not be combined in the thoughts of Americans, with Obama also saying that he thinks the first step to winning this war on terror is for Americans to understand that Muslims and terrorists are not one in the same, and that we as a world are fighting the same war.

Tally, the Friendly Grocery Store Robot

The Tally robot is a whole new kind of retail employee.  It is tall and skinny and has round blinking eyes to give it a friendly looking ‘face.’  Tally is an inventory-tracking robot which is able to figure out when a store shelf is beginning to run low on an item or if an item has been placed in the wrong spot.

Tally is the first product from Simbe Robotics.  Their goal is to create robots to tackle mundane tasks up to 10 times faster than their human counterparts, according to CEO and co-founder Brad Bogolea.  For example, one Tally robot can scan and inventory 15,000 items in just one hour, as opposed to human employees who can take 20-30 hours a week to accomplish the same task.

Tally is completely autonomous, moving four feet at a time before pausing to take high-resolution images of everything on the store shelves.  From there, it tags the images with metadata and uploads them to the cloud.  Then, the system uses those images and cross references them with a store’s files giving the information of what exactly that shelf should look like, then Tally creates a series of reports.

Inventory issues are undoubtedly a huge financial drain on retail stores.  According to one study by the IHL Group, out-of-stock items cost retailers nearly $500 billion a year.  In addition, the Tally robot will help with labor costs.

Bogolea made it clear that Tally does not replace any human’s job, but it frees up resources to focus on customer service.  So far, Tally has been tested in one big-name store, though Bogolea would not specify which.  Simbe has decided not to disclose the price of Tally at this time, but hopes to place the friendly robot into fast-moving goods retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart and CVS.

Cities Band Together for Revenue

As previously mentioned the state is holding out on giving Illinois cities revenue from casino, video gaming, fuel, and 9-1-1 taxes.  Now, some of those cities are pressuring the state to get their money.  Joliet, Aurora and Elgin have agreed to pass a resolution calling no the state to release the money.  The state owes Joliet alone $6.6 million dollars just on casino tax.  This resolution could be the first step to suing the state for the money.  However, city manager Jim Hock said Joliet should try to avoid that option since the city works closely with the state on different projects. “We need to get along with the state.  It would be much better to have a cooperative agreement with the state.”  Hock also stated that he does not think the state has a legal basis to hold the money, “There isn’t an appropriation that’s required because the money has already been remitted to them by the casinos.”  There is also a worry that cities will never see the money at all.