Help for St. Pete officer shot in the line of duty

St. Petersburg Police Officer, Michael Cordiviola continues to recover after being shot in the leg by a teen suspect May 17th.

Fellow officer, Willie Jennings and Lisa DuBose, who is engaged to a St. Pete officer, wanted to help with that recovery.

“Be somebody’s angel, that is what we’re here on earth to do, look out for fellow man,” said DuBose.

So, the friends started a GoFundMe page.

“I just felt compelled to do something because he’s the sole provider and he has three little kids and a wife,” said DuBose.

Officer Cordiviola is currently on workers’ compensation.

“It gets to a point where workman’s comp actually pays them a percentage of what they usually make, then the City makes up another portion,” said George Lofton, President-Elect of the Sun Coast Police Benevolent Association. “And what I’m told from a lot of officers is, these together don’t always make up 100% of what their normal base pay is.”

When healthy, many officers rely on overtime and off-duty jobs to supplement their incomes.

“With the number of games the Rays play at home and the number of special events that go on throughout downtown and the city on a normal basis,” said Lofton.”Officers do work those and are able to make a few extra dollars to just try to make ends meet.”

Other off-duty jobs include security at area bars and clubs and concerts. Cordiviola can’t work those off-duty jobs or get overtime while out. But friends say he did take advantage of those opportunities before he was shot.

“It means so much just to make ends meet in this economy,” said DuBose. “Its’ just amazing what they do and how much overtime they do.”

DuBose hopes money raised on the GoFundMe page will help the healing process.

“To be able to recover, you have to have peace, mind, body and soul bottom line,” said DuBose. “I hope this just brings him that peace so he can focus, because nobody knows what they go through on the job.”

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Robotic financial advisors: Investing of the future?


If robots are running the show, they must have hidden them for our appointment.

We visited the IKEA-clad headquarters of Betterment (think better + retirement), a financial firm that some like to label “robo advisors.”

“There are people here,” said CEO Jon Stein. 

Stein founded the company after stints working for some of Wall Street’s biggest names. He said he was disappointed.

“I saw them doing things to their customers that were just not acceptable,” he continued, noting fees were high and advice was often bad.

So, Stein set out to do for investing what Silicon Valley has done for many companies: Automate it.

“It’s the union of people and technology,” he said. “It’s doing things more efficiently, which means we can pass on some savings to the customers.”

Here’s how it works: Consumers log onto the Betterment website, tell it about themselves (such as age, retirement status, income, and tax situation). In the background, Betterment applies that data to algorithms that generate an investment model. You add your money, and let the computer do the work.


Betterment invests your money the same way many human advisors do. The bot puts it into stock and bond funds that are made up of companies that you know and likely patronize daily.

“We’re actually telling you how much you need to save for retirement and in which account. — here’s how much in your 401(k), how much in your IRA, your Roth, your traditional account,” he said.

Stein says it is easy. And it’s 65-percent to 85-percent cheaper than a traditional financial advisor. There are also no minimums.

“I built this for myself, for my family, for my friends, and now for 75,000-plus other people and growing by hundreds every day,” he said.

Betterment said it is managing about $2-billion. It’s a handsome sum, but just a tiny fraction of the nation’s $18-trillion in collective savings.

Other companies are competing with Betterment with similar offerings.  But so-called “robo advisors” have many critics — many of whom are human investment advisors.


A scathing review written by Wealth Management Systems, Inc., and posted to the Internet via the Morgan Stanley website, pulls no punches.

“Beware of seemingly easy solutions to complex issues,” it reads. The paper, entitled “Robo-Advisors: Not For Everybody,” warns consumers that automated investing is “limited” and “cannot provide the holistic approach that a live financial advisor offers.”


Even still, some of the country’s biggest financial firms are developing their own automated investing systems.

Betterment’s Stein says he is not trying to ring the bell on Wall Street’s titans. Betterment’s casual Manhattan office — the one with those simple IKEA desks — is a stark contrast from the big firms’ offices near Wall Street.

“I think of the competition as ‘Do It Yourself’ investing,” he said.


DIY investing is most certainly on the rise. Given uncertainty in Social Security’s future and corporations cutting pensions vanishing daily, more and more workers (especially young ones) will have no choice but to manage their own nest egg.

“Now we’re really responsible for our own retirements,” Stein said.

Stein is convinced that best course for those investors is an informed investment tool that is simple and low-cost. He says Betterment is a modern choice for a modern retirement.


“We have made it easier than anyone ever has,” he added.

Do you need to know what Meerkat and Periscope are? (Spoiler: Probably not yet)

There’s been a lot of buzz recently surrounding live video streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat, and you might be wondering what they do and whether they’re another thing you’ll have to learn about if you want to be able to understand what your kids are talking about today. Here’s what the AP had to say about it yesterday:

“Download Periscope, Twitter’s just-launched live video-streaming app, and you’ll find people broadcasting all sorts of mundane stuff: waiting for ATT to fix their wiring, getting out of bed in Silicon Valley, looking outside their office window in Chicago.

“Watch the videos, and you might ask yourself, is this really the next big thing? It could be. Check back in a few months …” (Full story here.)

And that’s about it. Could watching live video from dozens of users’ phones be an amazing way to witness the next Ferguson, or Times Square New Year’s Eve party, or some other breaking news event? Maybe. There’s a pretty big skills gap between the average smartphone user and a professional videographer, tho’, so maybe not. We’ll have to see.

Meanwhile, they’re free to download — just search the store on your gizmo, install them and see what you think. Who knows, maybe there’s an intrepid reporter inside you just waiting to break loose.

To kill bedbugs, just break out the soap?


Blood-sucking bedbugs rightly receive a reputation as disgusting. But these six-legged night crawlers also deserve a little credit for one outstanding attribute: they’re survivors.

Scientists say this itch-inspiring species dates back at least as far as the pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

“Some of the tombs that uncovered, they found bedbugs,” said Rebecca Baldwin, Ph.D., an entomologist at the University of Florida.

Baldwin says modern mankind has made great strides in eradicating — but not eliminating — pesky bedbugs. Recently, though the population of tiny, bloodthirsty insects has exploded with a troubling new immunity.

“Now we have bedbug strains that are resistant to the typical pesticides that we use,” she explained. “So, we’ve been fighting an uphill battle.”

But Baldwin is battling back against the bugs. She and undergraduate researcher Johnalyn Gordon, an East Lake High School graduate, are exploring at how two simple ingredients might be used to kill bedbugs: soap and water.

It’s not that cleaner surfaces repel the pests. No, Baldwin’s research shows that when bedbugs are dunked in or sprayed with a sudsy soap-and-water solution, they die.

Gordon demonstrates the experiment — which she repeats with regularity.

“I place them on a strip of filter paper and I dip them in the solution for 30 seconds,” she explained.

She later removes the bedbug from the beaker and pokes it. When it doesn’t move, we ask if it’s dead.

“Indeed,” Gordon concludes.

It’s not that they drown, though, because bedbugs can swim. There’s something about the soap and water that triggers death.

Interestingly, Baldwin revealed that cockroaches share the same vulnerability. They can swim in plain water, but soapy water kills them.

“It paralyzes their nervous system,” she said. “Sometimes you can see the bubbles escaping from their sphericals.”

Baldwin dunks one fidgety roach in the soapy beaker. Its life ends 41 seconds later.

But why? That’s the tricky part. The researchers simply aren’t sure.

“It’s not completely understood,” Baldwin said.

That mystery drives Baldwin and Gordon to continue exploring the connection — in hopes of creating a new bedbug killer that is safer, more effective, and less expensive than today’s chemical pesticides.

“It would help a wide variety of people,” Baldwin said, noting that bedbug eradication is among the more expensive forms of pest control.

Each year, the University of Florida encourages the public to embrace entomology with Bug Week. It’s a five-day public outreach effort that is designed to raise awareness about the many bugs that share our world and often impact our lives. You can visit the Bug Week website at

More on ADT’s New LG Smart Camera: Is Zonoff the New Home Automation Partner?

Earlier today we posted details and insights on the new smart security camera/home automation hub co-developed by ADT (NYSE: ADT) and LG. Now we offer more details on ADT’s newly announced open API, the significance of Nest and IFTTT integration, ADT’s new smart-home ecosystem, and implications for Icontrol, the SHaaS (smart home as a service) provider that powers ADT Pulse.

In an interview with CE Pro, ADT’s chief innovation officer Arthur Orduna says ADT will soon announce some other devices in the ecosystem for the new camera/automation thingy (they haven’t announced the product name yet) ecosystem.

In the meantime, we should expect the device out-of-the-box will communicate with a wide range of Z-Wave and ZigBee devices – lights, door locks, thermostats and the like.

We can also expect it will integrate cloud-to-cloud with IP-enabled devices like Nest, with which ADT just announced a partnership.

The ecosystem will develop rather quickly, thanks to a new open API being released by ADT for Pulse.

In fact, says Orduna, the really big news about Nest is “the fact we were able to do integration so rapidly because of the API set.”

He notes as well that the API “covers the new product,” not just Pulse, so ultimately there will be a single ADT environment across devices, services and customers.

Impact on Icontrol

Which brings us to Icontrol. We have learned that ADT is not using Icontrol for the new product line. Will it continue to use Icontrol for Pulse? It seems not, considering ADT wants a unified environment across all product lines.

ADT isn’t yet naming its new SHaaS provider, but sources suggest it is Zonoff, which currently powers Staples Connect, as well as the Tahoma smart-home system from Somfy, a leading provider of motorized shading products.

Coincidentally (or not?), Zonoff also just announced Nest integration. The company raised $31.8 million Series B funding last December and is approaching 100 employees, which will all be able to fit in Zonoff’s brand new 35,000-squre-foot office space in Malvern, Penn., which is three times the size of Zonoff’s last place.

That round of funding included money from an unknown strategic partner, which was rumored at the time to be ADT.

It may be the case that ADT will continue to use Icontrol services as a subset of its overarching new cloud platform. That’s what Comcast is doing with its Xfinity Home service. The cable provider just announced it would move to its own platform, separate from Icontrol, and open up its API.

The potential loss of those two major accounts will surely sting Icontrol, which along with has dominated the market for interactive security and home automation for the last decade., which is sold through hundreds or thousands of independent dealers, is up to about 1.5 million subscribers right now. Total guess, but maybe Icontrol has around 2.5 million subscribers if you count ADT’s 1.2 million Pulse customers plus whatever all the cable companies have sold. Most of them use Icontrol for interactive services, and Comcast, Time Warner and Rogers have about 4% market share of some 24 million U.S. households with monitored security, according to research from ADT and Parks Associates.

This year, Icontrol launched a program called Icontrol One to capture the independent-dealer market, which accounts for about 56% of the North American market for residential monitored security.

The first major customer from that channel is Monitronics, whose dealers capture about 4% of the home security market.

Last year, Icontrol acquired Piper, maker of a smart camera/automation hub not unlike ADT’s new product. Currently, Piper does not communicate with professional security monitoring stations, but perhaps that will change.

So if you’re worried about Icontrol … they’re working hard to make up the business.

IFTTT is Coming in a Big Way

Last year, ADT announced it would launch a “channel” on IFTTT, the if/then engine that enables disparate devices and services – Nest thermostats, Philips Hue lighting, Belkin Wemo switches, Google Calendar, Twitter and the like–to communicate with each other via the cloud.

Orduna tells CE Pro that ADT is now beta-testing the service on a private channel testing out such Pulse functions as system arm/disarm, door lock/unlock, lights on/off.

The company, he says, is “happy” with the performance so far.

ADT will take IFTTT integration further than usual, with the intent to “embed IFTTT functionality” into the Pulse API and the entire ecosystem, according to Orduna.

As a Reminder, Here’s the Prelim Specs of the LG Camera

Out-of-the-box services bundle

– ADT Professional Monitoring Response – no contract no term

– Video storage and retrieval

HD Camera

– 1080p

– 5 Mega-Pixel sensor

– Approx. 150-degree field-of-view

– Night vision (low-light use) with range up to 10 meters

– Motion detection

– Streaming video

Connectivity support

– Z-Wave

– Zigbee HA1.2

– Bluetooth LE

– Wi-Fi

– Expandable to support more

– Video/audio analytics to support motion detection

– Built-in jiggle/tamper detection

– Ambient light / temperature-humidity-pressure sensors

– Two-way audio (microphone and speaker)

– Siren

A Final Note

CE Pro sends out an email newsletter most days of the week, and in most of those newsletters I include a little editor’s note (the note being little, not the editor).

Here’s the note from today in case you missed it, which I hope you didn’t:

After buying AMX stock at $21 and selling it for $3 about 15 years ago, I no longer trust myself to invest in the stock market. But if I was gonna do it I’d buy ADT. The company seems to be doing everything right. The Pulse home automation product with Icontrol interactive services has been a phenomenal success, with more than 70% of new ADT customers opting into the more expensive solution, and attrition rates that are far less than with ADT security alone. Now ADT is coming out with a DIY product co-developed with LG. It’s a camera with a home automation hub built in (like Piper), made for the mass DIY market, with optional pay-as-you-go security monitoring through ADT. This is a perfect next-step for the security powerhouse. Let’s just hope that independent ADT dealers get access to the new product and related services. I’ll keep pushing ADT on that point.


ADT Goes DIY: New LG Camera Does Security, Home Automation with Z-Wave, ZigBee

Comcast to Open API for Xfinity Home Automation; Adds Nest, Arlo, Lutron, SkyBell, August, More

ADT Pulse Teams with IFTTT, the DIY Home Automation Rules Engine

ADT Pulse Eying DIY Market with New Security, Home Automation Panel?

Icontrol One Takes Aim at, Telguard and Honeywell Security Home Automation

Icontrol One Scores First Big Win via Partnership with Monitronics

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Home Entertainment: ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Walking with Dinosaurs,’ ‘Best of Bogart’ out this week

The five time Oscar-nominated flick full of debauchery and greed “The Wolf of Wall Street” kicks off the week’s list of new releases with Leonardo DiCaprio leading the way in the true story of stockbroker Jordan Belfort’s rise and fall.

The R-rated film is now available on DVD, video on demand, and on a Blu-ray Combo Pack which features behind the scenes with the cast and legendary director Martin Scorsese.

For a family-friendly film to watch at home, find “Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie” on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD. Famous voices bring this prehistoric tale to life including John Leguizamo and Justin Long. The Blu-ray comes with interactive bonus content.

In the comedy aisle, Jean Claude Van Damme shows off his funny side in “Welcome to the Jungle” about a dangerous company retreat on a desert island. The film also stars Adam Brody, Rob Huebel, and Kristen Schaal. Comedian Jeff Dunham released his first ever animated film “Achmed Saves America” based on one of his well-known characters. Plus fans of HBO’s “Veep” can now find season two with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in stores.

For collectors of Hollywood history there’s the “Best of Bogart Blu-ray Collection” with “African Queen,” “Casablanca,” “Maltese Falcon,” and “Treasure of Sierra Madre” plus hours of special features.

In new music releases, global superstar Shakira had many things to celebrate this week. She was named the most followed page on Facebook with more than 86 Million “likes” and the singer also released new tunes on a self-titled collection.

Michael W Smith released a full album of traditional “Hymns” exclusively through Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. Merle Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee” was released in a 45th Anniversary Edition. “Out Among the Stars” includes 12 never before released Johnny Cash studio recordings. Elton John’s 1973 album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” was remastered and re-released, plus is now available in a 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Box Set which includes nine covers of Elton John’s classics done by artists from Fall Out Boy to Zac Brown Band.

Jerrod Niemann introduces his third album “High Noon” with the lead single “Drink to That All Night” which Niemann tells FOX 411 sets the scene for the rest of the tunes.

“We all know there is plenty of bad news in the world, so I try to bring the good news or at least something that gets your mind off the bad news,” he said. “So it was great to find a party song that everybody wants to raise their glasses together, and so it did kind of set the precedent for the album which is definitely like a spring, summer sort of album.”

Compared to his last two albums, Niemann adds they did kick things up a notch when it comes to rocking out, “This album is really more up-tempo, more electric, we definitely plugged in the electric guitars on this one.”

Click the video above for a listen and a look at more of this week’s Fox 411 New Releases!

Fox News Entertainment Producer Ashley Dvorkin covers celebrity news, red carpets, TV, music, and movies. Dvorkin, winner of the 2011 CMA Media Achievement Award, is also host of “Fox 411 Country,” “Star Traveler,” “Fox 411 Big Screen,” and “Fox bose home theater on Reddit.”