Google Voice now expands support to third-party apps

google voice nowGoogle has been recently updating many of its core services by adding third-party apps. Google Now cards received 70 new partners earlier this week and now Google voice actions is getting the same.

Google now offers support tie-ins aimed to make developers create voice actions for certain apps, according to a post in the Android Developers Google+ site. For example, users can launch apps such as TripAdvisor, Shazam and NPR using the voice assistant. One can go further by giving a command after the app has been launched, such as telling Shazam to analyze a song or launching TuneIn in car mode.

For now, only a select number of partners is working with Google, which said  will be opening up to more partners in the future.

Chief Justice Roberts finds himself in spotlight again in landmark same-sex marriage case

john roberts same sex marriageU.S. Chief Justice John Roberts , who surprised conservatives about three years ago by voting in favor of the President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act , finds himself again in a historic case.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that will determine whether it is constitutional for gay and lesbian couples across the country to marry. The Obergefell v. Hodges case offers one of the most important debates of this century, and one that could potentially influence the 2016 presidential elections.

Many appeals courts in the country have leaned toward backing same-sex marriage. The issue was taken to the country’s highest court, which is led by Roberts, due to the split at the appellate level.

Roberts was a President George W. Bush-appointee to the bench, and has held a strong conservative record. He was initialy seen an unlikely to throw his support to granting constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Both liberals and conservatives both agree that the case will mark the legacy for the 60-year-old chief justice. Supporters for same-sex couples are still hopeful that he will vote on their favor. The two sides are expected to scrutinize his words and demeanor on Tuesday to get clues about how he willl vote.

Conservatives, who had been disappointed by Roberts before, will suffer a big blow if he will vote in support of same-sex marriage in the case.

VIDEO: Made to Order Furniture Maker in Manila

Watch this video by custom made furniture maker manila Wooden Love. They make made-to-order furniture for homes, condominiums and offices within the Metro Manila area. Watch the video:

Ron Paul still undecided in supporting Romney-Ryan ticket

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tampa, FL, United States (4E) – Rep. Ron Paul said on Tuesday that he remains undecided for now in endorsing the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket in November’s elections.

Paul said he is for promoting the constitution, prosperity, peace, and individual liberty rather than the politics of the nomination process.

Earlier in the day, Paul supporters failed to nominate the Texas congressman formally through a fair roll call vote as they were denied the chance. They angrily reacted to the removal of Paul’s delegates from Maine and loudly booed when House Speaker John Boehner was introduced to make a speech.

Paul, meanwhile, simply laughed off any possibility that he would support instead President Barack Obama this November, when asked by Fox News host Neil Cavuto. He said: “Not too likely.”

Paul, who organized a separate rally in Tampa along with his supporters during the weekend, told Cavuto that the GOP is anxious to have their delegates released to the Romney-Ryan ticket. Both Romney and Ryan have said they expect Paul’s followers to show up and support them during the convention, but the Texan lawmaker admitted they may not go that way stating that he does not control his delegates.

Paul also talked about the selection of Ryan as Romney’s vice presidential candidate. He noted that the Ryan Budget did not cut anything significantly, so he voted against it.

He said that Ryan’s fiscal discipline plan is not totally serious about spending cuts, since it does not discuss baseline budgeting, and is not willing slash expenditures for domestic and foreign programs. Paul said that the problem about fiscal deficit is a serious and urgent one that needs attention as he thinks the country is entering another financial crisis worse than that in 2008.

Paul admitted that he agrees on Romney and Ryan on certain issues and leans more toward supporting the GOP ticket, although he expects to leave Tampa without issuing an endorsement to both candidates.

Article © AHN – All Rights Reserved

Gov. Chris Christie, Ann Romney electrify crowd in GOP convention

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tampa, FL, United States (4E) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was on his usual combative stance when delivered his keynote address Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Ann Romney, meanwhile, tried to soften her husband’s image to the public and made a pitch about the party’s support for women in America.

As he made his case for the GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Christie fired away against political leaders settling with the status quo whom he described as “paralyzed by our desire to be loved”. Christie said that the former Massachusetts governor would take on the country’s big problems regardless of the political price, as he had done in his constituency.

Among the most keenly awaited speakers throughout the convention, Christie fired up the supporters using his straight-talking style he is known for, and encouraged the party faithful to give their support to the Romney-Ryan ticket in November. He also encouraged people to usher in a “new era of truth-telling” — key to the country’s revival that is, according to Christie, currently being held back by the lack of strong leadership from the Democrats.

Christie gained popularity with his conservative crusade against interest groups in New Jersey like public employees and teachers unions.

His charisma and strong speech fired up around 20,000 delegates inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Republicans were counting on his speech not only to increase the energy level in the convention but also to make the case for Romney to fellow GOP members, Democrats and independent voters.

Ann’s speech, meanwhile, talked about her love for her husband, family, and the country.

She offered a more sentimental and personal speech, describing her husband as a man that people can trust. Mitt Romney, surprised those in the audience by walking onstage after Ann delivered her speech and then embraced and congratulated her.

Article © AHN – All Rights Reserved

GOP line up to nominate Romney in Tampa

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tampa, FL, United States (4E) – Mitt Romney officially became the nominee of the Republican Party after being selected as the party’s presidential candidate during Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. He will try to unseat President Barack Obama come November in the general elections.

Romney needed to muster at least 1,144 delegates’ votes in order to win the party’s nomination, and he easily reached that marked after receiving the New Jersey delegation. Romney eventually got a total of 2,061 votes as announced by the House Speaker John Boehner.

Romney got the support of over 90 per cent of the delegates that attended the gathering. Rep. Ron Paul finished second with 189 delegates or just 8 per cent of the vote. His supporters, who earlier in the week staged their own separate rally, were also in attendance in the venue.

In alphabetical order, representatives from each state and territory took turns to announce the number of delegates that have voted for the former Massachusetts governor. Paul’s delegates were likewise announced, but Romney’s other opponents in the primaries like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich already released their delegates to Romney — the reason why they were no longer announced.

The roll call process may already been completed during the first day of the convention, but both Romney and his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan need to wait until Thursday until it becomes official after they have accepted their nomination.

The convention was initially scheduled to start on Monday, but the opening festivities were moved to Tuesday due to the threat from Hurricane Isaac heading toward the city of New Orleans.

Tuesday’s convention also saw several of Paul’s supporters expressing their dissatisfaction to proposed rule changes that would make it more difficult for non-establishment candidates in the future to secure delegates and the nomination.

Article © AHN – All Rights Reserved

Home price index shows signs of housing rebound

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – A closely watched index released its second quarter data on Tuesday showing gains in home prices across major cities in the U.S.

Rising for the first time since June 2010, the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index, soared 6.9 per cent in the second quarter compared to the first three months of the year. The index covers around 80 per cent of the entire housing market in the U.S.

The measurement for 10 major urban areas was up by 2.2 per cent rise in June compared to May. The index for 20 cities, meanwhile, shows an increase of 2.3 per cent in June from the previous month. Based on seasonally-adjusted data, the increases were 1 per cent and 0.9 percent for the 10- and 20-city lists, respectively.

The housing industry received a slew of positive data this past several weeks. The new home sales for July improved by 25 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year; sales of existing home sales grew 10 per cent year-on-year; and residential building permit applications rose by 30 per cent.

These developments point to a rebounding U.S. housing industry and one that is trying to surface from another recessionary dip — the second one since 2006.

In 2006, home prices tumbled, bounced back in 2009, but went down again in 2010.

Economists, however, remain cautious as the upbeat news could overstate the notion that the housing is moving towards full recovery. Recently, the type of homes sold in the market have changed with lesser repossessed homes in the mix. Homes that sell at huge discounts move prices down.

Home prices in Phoenix have risen 13.9 per cent in June compared to the same period last year, posting the biggest increase among the 20 cities listed.

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