ZF takes 35 percent stake in autonomous driving specialist ASAP

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Car parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen said on Friday it acquired a 35 percent stake in ASAP, a Germany-based maker of software and testing systems for autonomous driving applications and electric vehicles.

ASAP specializes in car-to-x communication, human-machine interfaces and electronic architecture and last year generated sales of 84 million euros. It employs 1,100 staff.

ZF’s Chief Executive Officer Wolf-Henning Scheider recently said ZF will invest about 12 billion euros in electromobility and autonomous driving over the next five years.

A purchase price for the ASAP stake was not disclosed.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze, editing by Riham Alkousaa

Kangaroo attacks couple in northeastern Australia, injures woman

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian wildlife carers Jim and Linda Smith are lucky to be alive, an ambulance official said, after they were attacked by a kangaroo in northeastern Queensland state.

The Smiths were feeding wild kangaroos on their property in the Darling Downs when a grey kangaroo buck struck out at Jim Smith, knocking him to the ground.

The kangaroo attacked his wife, Linda, when she ran to help him, leaving her with a collapsed lung, broken ribs, cuts and scratches.

“It’s scary, it knocked me over once or twice and once they grab you, you can see what they do”, Jim said, showing his injuries.

It was only when their son came out and hit the kangaroo with a piece of wood that the marsupial stopped the attack and returned to nearby bushland, Australian media reported.

Linda Smith was taken to Toowoomba Hospital, where she underwent surgery, media reports said.

“If the kangaroo was able to continue to inflict further injury, her life was, yes, in danger,” Queensland Ambulance Service’s senior operations supervisor Stephen Johns said.

Australia has roughly 45 million kangaroos and it is not unusual for them to come into conflict with people as housing has expanded to areas where the marsupials live.

They are even more likely to be driven into populated areas in search of food and water in drought-stricken areas.

Reporting by Stefica Nicol Bikes; Writing by Karishma Singh

Louisville Voter Guide Takes It Up A Notch Locally

Louisville Voter Guides have in the past left something to be desired.  The official state guide at govoteky.com only gets a voter to register and understandably it leaves out most of the candidate information.

Louisville voters guide

Sean Delahanty’s campaign site similarly must remain neutral as a judge must remain nonpartisan but his voter guide includes candidates website links when available, and a side by side tweeter comparison for the Louisville Metro Mayor‘s race.  This adds a more rich experience to visitors looking for more than just a piece of the puzzle.

Local Election Coverage

The Complete Voter Guide as it is termed on the site aims to form a puzzle from all of the pieces of other sites.  Jefferson County Clerk’s site provides precinct and voter statistics, the Kentucky Secretary of State’s site provides voter information lookup capabilities and various mapping sites provide legislative districts for State House, State Senate, Metro Council Districts and suburban cities.

What District Am I In?

When Louisville merged with Jefferson County decades ago it did a secular thing in leaving all of the other cities in the county in tact.  This means that in addition to Louisville election districts the same voters may have additional cities and districts to vote upon.  The cities of Shively, St. Matthews and Jeffersonville are the largest of these examples.  Some cities barely cover a couple blocks such as Stratford Manor.  The voter guide at Sean Delahanty’s site provides a Louisville Neighborhoods and Districts map to aid voters in those regards.

Metro Council Districts Map
Metro Council Districts map in voter guide

Comparatively other voter guides are actually used in the voter guide such as Vote411.org and Ballotpedia.

Election Polling and Statistics

Its an interesting collection of info and insights that Louisville voters don’t usually see in local elections.  Polling is almost nonexistent at this level but the voter guide still makes an attempt with their polling for entertainment purposes.  The site’s inclusion of crime data for the last ten years is also unique as it divides incidents by category and zip code.

Its a good guide from a nonpartisan candidates campaign.

University Students Voter Registration

University Students Who Live On Campus

If your primary residence is the university on campus student housing you may register to vote in the precinct where your student housing is located.

University Students Who Travel To Campus

You should register to vote at your primary residence. Commuting to school does not change your primary residence.

Registering To Vote

Students registering to vote may do so online through the State Secretary’s website which is available from the linked Voter Guide.

Election Results

State Board of Elections and County Clerk’s will be reporting unofficial numbers on election night. These numbers may differ from voting polls or each other.  We’ll report both sets of results through the Election Results page.

Ranking Louisville Candidate Site With Organic SEO

Its likely no secret we’re working hard to rank up Judge Sean Delahanty‘s site.  He had judgeseandelahanty.com but I’ve always believed that the primary site for any campaign needs to be someone’s name unless its hard to spell without any office referenced.

Thats why we developed his new election site seandelahanty.com.  Wanting to bring a small level of gamification and interactivity I added polls and debated a chat section but due to speed concerns on the domain I moved that idea to fordelahanty.com. Its a site to allow supporters to collaborate and make a difference.

In the image below you can see the vast majority of his tracked pages are on page one of Google.
In order to draw new traffic from higher search volumned topics I added the FAQ and Voter Guide content.  The voter guide is not the most innovative site but it is likely the one campaign site that provides maps and names on races beyond their own.  Its a gamble that the voter will find and appreciate Sean Delahanty’s site

The site recently received a make over notice the reported as of today.

ranking seo

Judging The District Court Judges – Insider Louisville

(Editor’s note: Several Insider Louisville contributors collected information for this post including Terry Boyd, who did the majority of the writing.)

This is a story with a back story.

We’ve been trying for weeks to get documents related to chronic absenteeism by a small minority of Jefferson District Court judges.

Insiders told Insider Louisville Chief Judge Angela McCormick Bisig is one of a group of female judges frequently absent from the court, a group that includes fellow judges Katie King and Michele Stengel.

Neither King nor Stengel replied to written requests for interviews left with court officials.

Bisig’s and others’ absences caused log jams, confusion and unreasonable workloads for the judges who do show up, say those sources, whose identities we agreed to keep confidential, because they have to appear before these judges, or work beside them as colleagues.

These particular judges are the judges who sort through the jammed criminal dockets in a court system that attorneys say is broken.

How broken?

For two weeks, we tried to find out, and we know now this is a story that will have to be teased out over time.

Judge Angela McCormick Bisig

Multiple sources told Insider Louisville that Bisig, among others, had extensive absences from her courtroom during 2012.

In an interview Thursday, Bisig told Insider Louisville that she hadn’t “taken a single day of vacation this year.”

However, the judge posted photos on her Facebook page of an April trip to New York City.

Bisig then confirmed she took “a long weekend” to go with her sons, adding that “any allegations of excessive absences are not true.”

What’s the truth?

We don’t know.

It’s nearly impossible to document the workings of the court, especially which of the 14 district court judges actually earn their paychecks, about $113,000 annually. (By comparison, Gov. Steve Beshear is paid $127,885 annually.)

Insider Louisville was denied documents, or told documents didn’t exist, only to find out they were public domain.

Beyond the stonewalling, documenting those absences and the additional strains they place on colleagues is difficult, because judges have virtually no obligation beyond personal scruples to show up.

We also came away with the feeling that at least one judge wants to tell the whole story, but can’t quite bring himself to do it.

District Judge Sean Delahanty doesn’t deny some Jefferson County District courtrooms aren’t in disarray.

But Delahanty won’t discuss the situation beyond vague assertions of lack of work ethic by other judges.

This very problem – backed up courts – was the driving force for a reorganization of Jefferson District Court last August.

Before that reorganization, judges were too frequently combining dockets, Delahanty said. That is, one judge doesn’t show up, so another judge has to fold that additional case load into his or her docket.

That’s still going on now, he said.

“The only reasons judges are supposed to combine dockets is vacations or emergencies, and dockets are getting combined way too often for other things,” Delahanty said.

He declined to go into detail.

In a story posted Wednesday on a survey of attorneys concerning the reorganization, Courier-Journal reporter Jason Riley quotes Delahanty as saying, “Some of these judges need to decide if this job interferes with their lifestyle, and I’m not going to say anymore than that.”

Which could be interpreted as a shot at Bisig, who appears frequently at social events featured in the Voice-Tribune newspaper, the Bible of Louisville’s social scene.

Pressed to address the major problems in the courts, Delahanty said, “There are things that will come out in time.”

“What he’s talking about is the lack of accountability the judges have in the way they spend their time,” said attorney Thomas Clay, a partner at Clay Frederick Adams, PLC.

Clay and other attorneys say there are two ways judges hand off their dockets  – by calling a colleague and asking that judge to take their cases, or to call into clerks of the court, who would assign the absent judge’s docket to another judge.

Which is what causes delays and confusion, with judges not in their assigned courtrooms when defendants, witnesses and judges show up for trials and hearings, say our sources.

The system leads to a core of judges picking up the slack including Delahanty, our sources said.

“I defy you to find one attorney anywhere out there who will say my courtroom is broken,” Delahanty said. “You can come to my courtroom anytime you want. Courtroom 204. You come any day, and you can see how a court should be run.”

Asked to talk about the workings of the court or attorneys who don’t run their courtrooms as they should be run, he demurred.

Most elected officials have some mechanism that can be used for accountability whether it be records of votes, legislation or roads paved.

But not judges.

Delahanty told Insider Louisville that he doesn’t believe there are any documents that have data documenting the time judges are in the courtroom or the volume of cases they hear: “We don’t keep a record of attendance.”

“It’s an issue that needs to be addressed. And this is not an issue that just cropped up recently. There have been questions about this topic for years,” Clay said.

Jacob Conway, whose Website Mentors consults with local judicial campaigns and frequent Insider Louisville contributor, said he finds ridiculous allegations that Bisig is a chronic no-show.

Bisig, a former prosecutor, “had a stellar record” in that job, Conway said. “She was one of the people who was always there, later than her job required, longer than any other judges … a workhorse. It’s why no one ever ran against her before.”

Conway says he believes allegations that Bisig and other female judges are devoting less than their all to their positions connect back to possible resentment about more women winning judicial elections.

“A majority of women on the court are women who beat incumbent men,” he said. “These men pointing fingers may be upset about the number of women judges (winning) just in the last few years.

“This is the last ‘old boys club’ left in (Kentucky) politics.”

––––––––––

Two weeks ago, legal insiders told us about a survey of attorneys coming out Tuesday, August 21 that would expose the Jefferson District Court system as a system in chaos.

We went to Bisig to request a copy. Bisig was non-committal, telling us she didn’t know anything about any survey, and wasn’t sure if it would be public record if there was such a document.

We persisted. We asked who paid for the survey, aguing if it was paid with taxpayers’ dollars, it’s a public document. Bisig said she didn’t know.

We asked state officials, including Leigh Anne Hiatt, public information officer for the Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort, for the document. Hiatt never followed up on our request.

We asked local employees at the Administrators of the Court, and they claimed the survey didn’t exist, or referred us to state officials.

Wednesday night, Riley posted a story on the survey, a story that stated 53 percent of 164 lawyers responding disagreed or strongly disagreed the reorganization had enhanced administration of justice, with 10 percent agreeing. (Thirty-seven percent had no opinion.)

 From Riley’s story:

Among the biggest problems cited in the survey are that the changes have led to too many combined dockets – those in which a judge took on their own cases as well as the cases of another judge who was either not in court that day or unavailable, backing up the process.

We tried to quantify attendance rates and workloads through the court dockets, which our sources told us judges must sign off on daily.

However, in an email response, Hiatt stated that’s not true (emphasis ours):

You … requested information about when individual judges are on the bench. The court system does not have any one document to provide that information. In addition, docket information does not provide a complete picture of when judges are working. When outside of the courtroom, judges may be preparing paperwork, reviewing probate files, ruling on default judgment motions and taking 24-hour calls regarding bond reviews, search warrants, emergency protective orders and mental inquest warrants. Judges can also have dockets on evenings and weekends. It is also important to note that judges determine their own schedules to meet the needs in their jurisdictions.

More as we solicit these documents.

Campaign, Candidate And Political SEO: Optimize Or Be Trumped

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I say be “Trumped” because for all that he did wrong in tarditional campaigning, he did Political SEO better than anyone had before.

I’ve always been a political guy.  I love using technology to those political ends.  Earlier this year I was able to leverage my experience in SEO, Adwords, cloud computing, data analysis and web design for a political candidate. It’s why these unique products are bundled into what I offer through Upwork.  Today there is no excuse for a candidate to neglect digital media needs.  Local candidates can easily benefit from a solid online presence for much less than they might think.  The past experience with Brent Ackerson’s campaign was very encouraging.

I’ve started to reposition satellite sites made in March for a new project I’ll mention below.  VoteLouisville.com for instance is intended to be a voter education site for anyone who wants to post I just so happen to post all of the stuff there.  I have some further plans for louisvilleelection.com but those are all in my head.

All of these sites are hosted by my Google and Amazon cloud accounts, so that stuff has come in handy.  I hope to attract additional campaign work if not in 2018 by 2020.  I figured this new niche deserved a site so I’m working on candidateseo.com with a handful of .net names also headed there just for ease of use.

Candidate SEO

I said at the a campaign meeting that I felt radio and TV ads were as effective as yelling out a window.  I still feel that way, even more so each day.  In these meetings people point out I’m tech savy but others still watch TV … then I think of my 88 and 92 yr old grandparents who recently decided Netflix, Amazon and Hulu were all they needed.

My Grandmother is the idea focus for a campaign, everyone knows older people vote much more regularly and reliably than younger people. She has 29 children, grand children and great grand children.  Living in half a dozen states I think now.  Guess what that means…she’s on Digital mediums 29 times the amount you’d probably expect.

I’ve also explained to candidates that it is a growing trend for a voter to arrive on election day with one or two races already decided.  This voter is now faced with several other races on the same ballot and will likely reach for their phone and decide who to vote for with only minutes of searching for the office or candidates.  The results of these searches will ultimately decide these votes.  Interestingly the money needed for Political SEO and Campaign Site Digital Marketing, creating content with the candidate amounts to a fraction of what campaigns will spend on radio.

I’ve added Candidate SEO to my domain family because I figured I needed a site as unique as this niche.

Position, Position, Position Its Up To Campaign SEO

Real estate brokers say location, location, location.  Did you know that first position in Google search results gets about 35% of users focus but 3rd gets some where around 7%?  If one candidate SEOs their site and a negative site against the other unprepared candidate that could be the election.

Sean Delahanty

I’ll be focused these next months on politics and SEO again.  I’m excited that Judge Sean Delahanty has signed on board with me to help him get out his digital message.  I’ve only had a couple weeks to put into this but check out his new campaign site. There is method to the madness, Ive also create a sister site that serves as a funnel or over flow thats officially the campaign committee‘s site.

I dont want to give away much during a race, but when we search Sean’s name its already number one on Bing and Yahoo.  Google of course is the goal, and we are climbing … as an army of pages are indexing daily.  Last search I found 73 pages indexed for the site each with their own distinct keywords all climbing in ranking.   UPDATE:  Its 146 pages now … on one domain mind you, that started less than a month ago.  The social media presence is expansive, Ive left off some sites from this social media collage.

Social Media – Candidate SEO – “You’re going to be popularrr”

 Sean Delahanty Social Media

Most of you will look at this wall of profiles and think to yourself who is ever going to go to these?  If you did and you’re running for office send me an email…you need me.  These sites aren’t REALLY there to be read by people.  All of these sites are visited by search engines and these sites frame an image of a candidate to Google. All of these social media accounts ultimately end up at the campaign site, there is value in reaching voters … but you’ll reach voters if you are at the top of their searches.

I’ll post shortly about the positioning the sites are reaching.  If you are running for office in Louisville Kentucky and looking for what you dont know you need reach out to me.  Not convinced you need me?  What would you say is the least important phrase for me to ranking these pages for on Google?  If you aren’t thinking the candidates name you should email me.  I’ll explain after the election or ya best ask in person.

Future post I’ll explain why IP based Digital Marketing is so 2001!  Don’t do it…its technically and human behaviorally flawed.

Just in case anyone was worried I have not disclosed anything that someone can learn within a little bit of research concerning my candidate’s sites. All the secret sauce is still in the bottle.

Campaign, Candidate And Political SEO: Optimize Or Be Trumped

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