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St. George News -- IRS recognized Small Business Week last week by highlighting some of its most popular educational products, videos and webinars to help your small business thrive. If you are a self-employed landscaper or gardener, visit IRS.gov for all your federal tax needs.

Be sure to view the IRS webinar “Business Taxes for the Self-Employed: The Basics.” Here are some topics included in the webinar or on IRS.gov that you should know:

    • Accounting Method | An accounting method is a set of rules about when to report income and expenses. Many small businesses use the cash method. Under the cash method, you normally report income in the year that you receive it and deduct expenses in the year that you pay them. Find out more in IRS Publication 538, Accounting Periods and Methods.

You may need to pay your taxes by making estimated tax payments

  • Business Taxes | There are four general types of business taxes: income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax and excise tax. You may have to pay self-employment tax as well as income tax if you make a profit. Self-employment tax, or SE tax, includes Social Security and Medicare taxes. You may need to pay your taxes by making estimated tax payments. If you do, use IRS Direct Pay to pay them.  It’s the fast, easy and secure way to pay from your checking or savings account.
  • Tax Forms | There are two forms to report self-employment income. You must file a Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, or Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit from Business, with your Form 1040. You may use Schedule C-EZ if you had expenses less than $5,000 and meet other conditions. See the form instructions to find out if you can use the form. Use Schedule SE, Self-Employment Tax, to figure your SE tax. If you owe this tax, make sure you file the schedule with your federal tax return.
  • Read the rest here: https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/05/10/irs-offers-tax-help-for-small-businesses/#.VVFI9JPk2dw

WTOP -- Google Inc. revealed Monday that its self-driving cars have been in 11 minor traffic accidents since it began experimenting with the technology six years ago.

The company released the number after The Associated Press reported that Google had notified California of three collisions involving its self-driving cars since September, when reporting all accidents became a legal requirement as part of the permits for the tests on public roads.

The director of Google’s self-driving car project wrote in a web post that all 11 accidents were minor — “light damage, no injuries” — and happened over 1.7 million miles of testing, including nearly 1 million miles in self-driving mode.

“Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident,” wrote Google’s Chris Urmson.

“Cause” is a key word: Like Delphi Automotive, a parts supplier which suffered an accident in October with one of its two test cars, Google says it was not at fault.

Delphi sent AP an accident report showing its car was hit, but Google has not made public any records, so both enthusiasts and critics of the emerging technology have only the company’s word on what happened. The California Department of Motor Vehicles said it could not release details from accident reports.

This lack of transparency troubles critics who want the public to be able to monitor the rollout of a technology that its own developers acknowledge remains imperfect.

John Simpson, privacy project director of the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog, notes that Google’s ultimate goal is a car without a steering wheel or pedals. This could prevent a person from taking over if a car loses control, making it “even more important that the details of any accidents be made public — so people know what the heck’s going on.”

Delphi’s accident report shows that the front of its 2014 Audi SQ5 was moderately damaged when it was broadsided by another car while waiting to make a left turn. Delphi’s car was not in self-driving mode at the time, company spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said.

Five other companies with testing permits told the AP they had no accidents. In all, 48 cars are licensed to test on state roads.

Read the rest of the story here: http://wtop.com/tech/2015/05/ap-exclusive-self-driving-cars-getting-dinged-in-california/

A new report by Allied Market Research titled, "Global Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Market Size, Industry Analysis, Trends, Opportunities, Growth and Forecast, 2013 - 2020," stated that the Global Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) market would garner $60.14 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 22.8% during 2014 - 2020.

The deployment of sensors in vehicles has brought a massive transformation in the automotive industry by providing improved passenger experience and safety. The growing trend for comfort and safety while driving, along with favourable government initiatives has largely supplemented the growth of the ADAS market.

An increase in electronic integration along with the multiple functions of different sensors which are used in various driving assistance applications would boost the ADAS market in the coming years. ADAS applications are majorly adopted in the European region and contribute for the largest revenue in the global market, followed by North America. Stringent government regulations and the rising income of people, account for the high growth of the Asian countries.

The European countries exhibit the maximum adoption of ADAS applications. In Europe, the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), established by the government, imposes stringent regulations on car manufacturers in order to provide optimum on road security to the driver. The five-star safety rating system created by Euro NCAP program helps the customers to compare vehicles more easily and to identify safe choice for their needs. Asia-Pacific is the most dynamically emerging market with a highest CAGR of 29.54%, owing to favourable macroeconomic factors such as rise in income and purchasing power, changing lifestyle due to growing urbanization and increasing awareness about active safety systems. In the APAC region, China and Japan are the fastest growing countries in terms of automotive and technology adoption.

The ongoing trend reflects a broader adoption of ADAS applications and its manufacturing across a wide range of premium cars. The challenge for automotive manufacturers is to provide these premium features at effective costs.  Following this, to minimize the effects of other challenges such as, complexity in installing different applications, environmental factors viz. snow, fog, lightening & thundering, storms etc. is a big challenge for the players.

Key findings of the study: 

  • The Global ADAS market would grow at a promising rate across developing countries like China, India and Japan, during the forecast period (2014 - 2020)
  • The cost effectiveness and easy availability of the Ultrasonic sensors would make the segment grow at the fastest CAGR of 24.3% during 2014 - 2020
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System and Drowsiness Monitoring System segments are anticipated to show tremendous growth
  • Increasing purchasing power and supportive government initiatives would foretell remarkable growth for Asia-Pacific market
  • Europe would continue to dominate the market throughout the forecast period due to the stringent government regulations

Advanced driver assistance systems are intelligent concepts that improve transport safety, efficiency and comfort without additional loads on resources such as energy and raw material. The introduction of safety systems has enforced the countries to emphasize on reducing road accidents. Governments across regions, are taking active initiatives and have developed several policies to reduce fatal road accidents.  The European research project, 'interactIVe', is one such safety program that effectively facilitates accident-free traffic. 'interactIVe' has introduced advanced safety systems that autonomously brake and steer, along with warning the driver in case of potentially dangerous situations. The advanced driver assistance systems providing companies are continuously innovating the sensor technologies and applications to meet the multiple demands of the customers.

Global Consumer Telematics Market - Consumer telematics are communication technologies and services enabling transfer of large amounts of data in and out of passenger vehicles in real-time. This provides consumers in-vehicle services, global positioning System (GPS) navigation, traffic information, local search (for example, for petrol pumps / gas stations or restaurants) and concierge services. Passenger cars manufactured today offer unique connectivity solutions for better monitoring and tracking. The market is driven by amplified market penetration of smart phones, supportive governmental regulations which call for higher safety and security measures, growing demand for superior driving experience, lowered connectivity cost, and high speed internet technologies such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE).

View the global consumer telematics market report at http://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/consumer-telematics-market

Connected Car Market - Connected cars facilitate connectivity on wheels offering comfort, convenience, performance, safety and security combined with powerful network technology. This enables the driver to connect with online platforms and facilitates real-time communication on the go. Rising consumer demands, the need for constant connectivity, increased dependency on technology and the growing number of tech savvy people account for the growth of this market. Over time, various connectivity solutions have been developed by the car manufacturers and service providers such as the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connectivity platform. This M2M feature in a car enables interconnectivity between two connected cars. Numerous sensors and processors located in the car provide accurate and real-time information to the driver.

View the global connected car market report at  http://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/connected-car-market

Robert Bosch Gmbh dominates the Advanced Driving Assistance System market owing to comprehensive automotive technology. Many other companies are launching unique -features with advanced technologies for example, Ford launched the Pre Collision Assistance System in Ford Mondeo with pedestrian detection technology that helps avoid frontal crashes with the help of camera and radar sensors. Apart from launching unique-feature and advanced technologies, the companies also focus on other growth and expansion strategies, i.e., strategic partnership with other companies; for example, Robert Bosch GmbH collaborated with Axel Springer Media Entrepreneurs to enhance its offerings in mobility solutions and digital content. Key companies profiled in the report include Valeo, Magna International Inc., Robert Bosch GmbH, Autoliv Inc., Continental AG, Denso Corporation, Audi AG, BMW AG, Ford Motors Co. and GM.

Forbes -- You know forming meaningful relationships with the right people has a direct impact on the success of your business. And that's great news -- if you were born with an outgoing personality.

But what if you consider yourself to be more of an introvert? Is your business doomed?

I've asked myself this a lot recently. As I look back on the success I've had forming deep relationships with influential people, I realize that making meaningful connections in a networking situation isn't about introversion or extroversion.

Here, three steps to building strong relationships -- no matter where you fall on the personality spectrum.

Related: 5 Secrets on Getting the Most Out of Partnerships

1. Your first question should excite them

Do you open a conversation exchanging names and a handshake followed by, “So Barbara, what do you do for a living?”

If so, know that you're just like everyone else. In some ways, that's a good thing, but if the goal is to be memorable and make meaningful connections, you may want to try something different.

One question that's worked well for my clients is, “So Barbara, what's happening in your life right now that really excites you?” By opening with a question like this, you immediately distinguish yourself. You also quickly tap into that person’s passions, which will help you form a connection faster than most others will -- even after several conversations. 

2. Be more interested than interesting

Many people dominate a conversation trying to get the other person to think they are interesting. It feels good to talk about yourself, but it doesn't make the other person feel as good.

This is where the most effective networkers take a different approach: They focus on being interested in you instead of getting you to think they are interesting.

They ask questions about your business, your passions and often make you feel like you're the most important person in the room. How much are you talking about yourself, and how much time do you spend asking questions and being interested in others?

Pay attention to your body language as well. Are you showing them you're interested? The next time you're speaking with someone, think about this: Are you facing the person and looking into their eyes with intention? Focus on being interested in them, and they'll think you're interesting.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245736

Automotive IT -- The manufacturing industry, including the world’s automakers and suppliers, has been putting in a lot of effort to improve production processes through the introduction of new, connected, technologies. “Industry 4.0,” which involves the networking of machinery and processes, is on track in many companies.

But logistics, arguably as important as the actual manufacturing of products, appears to be a somewhat neglected area. “Connectivity between transport, delivery and supplier is lacking,” says Heiko Breier, a logistics expert at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. “So far, these units are traditionally all operating independently.”

That’s unfortunate. As Breier points out, all participants in the process could benefit from an integrated approach to information sharing.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.automotiveit.com/point-of-view-a-need-for-connected-logistics/news/id-0010427

Mobile Electronics announced final numbers for its new KnowledgeFest event, Spring Training 2015, held last month in Indianapolis. The event, which combined a 30-manufacturer exhibit floor with dealer training and education, attracted over 480 attendees from 33 states, including the east and “near” east metro centers, and two Canadian provinces.

“We added Indy as a second KnowledgeFest for three reasons,” said Chris Cook, president of Mobile Electronics. “First, manufacturers weren’t seeing many dealers from east of the Mississippi in January; second, to maintain their competitive edge, 12-volt specialists want and need training and education; and, early April is a great time to deliver training on new products manufacturers are just starting to ship.”

With April’s Indy event in the book, Mobile Electronics is now focused on its second KnowledgeFest in Dallas August 15-17 at the Hilton Anatole. This “original” KnowledgeFest is the largest networking and educational event for mobile electronics retailers in the United States. Its objective is to provide peer-based and professional training to owners, managers and installation technicians through classes, a tradeshow and focused networking events.

“Since acquiring KnowledgeFest, every year we have grown and improved upon the event,” said Cook. “For 2015, we’re returning to having a keynote speaker to kick-off our Town Hall Meeting. Tim Parenti, president of MVP Dynamics, will address the topic of ‘Attitude – The Power to Direct or Misdirect.’ The keynote is sponsored by K40.”

Mobile Electronics has issued a “call for speakers.” For those wanting to be part of the KnowledgeFest conference program, go to knowledgefest.org/call-for-speakers. Additional program enhancements will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information and to register to attend, please visit knowledgefest.org.

Forbes -- Increasingly smart cars (and smart homes) are becoming the center of our digital lives. At a minimum you want to play your music where ever you go, and control other aspects of personal comfort such as lighting and temperature. The convenience of the Internet of things means your personal comfort zone can follow you most anywhere, it doesn’t even have to be your own car or house. But most of us do not fully understand the security consequences of having all our logins and passwords stored inside external devices we may possess even if only temporarily.

“When I get a rental car,” said David Miller, Chief Security Officer for Covisint, “the last thing I do is pair my phone. It downloads all my contacts because that’s what it wants to do. In most rental cars you can go in and –if somebody’s paired with it—see their contacts.”

Unlike most people today Miller is thinking ahead to what happens next. “I spend all this time connecting my vehicle to my whole life,” he said, “and then in five years I sell it – how do I disconnect it from my whole life? I don’t want the guy who buys [my car] to be able to see my Facebook friends, so you have to de-provision. Security guys are much more interested in the security vulnerabilities around de-provisioning than provisioning.”

Miller’s company, Covisint, created by GM, Ford, and the former DaimlerChrysler, connects the automakers back end systems to a variety of supply chain vendors through the use of a single login and password. “We provide a cloud service that connects people and things with information that are external and separate from them.” Lately Covisint has taken that idea and applied it to the Internet of Things.

Read the rest of the story here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertvamosi/2015/05/04/dont-sell-that-connected-car-or-home-just-yet/

USA Today Money -- Forgive the irresistible Spinal Tap reference (“But this (speaker) goes up to … 11?” says a puzzled Christopher Guest to Rob Reiner), but Harman International Industries (HAR) is busy cranking up the business volume for its growing array of in-car audio brands. On Thursday, the Stamford, Conn.-based company — which owns JBL, Bang & Olufsen, Harman Kardon among others — announced it had secured $3.2 billion in orders from a range of top automakers in the first four months of 2015.

Although the company missed on Q1 earnings and revenue this week — $1.22 a share and $1.46 billion respectively, compared to Thompson Reuters analyst expectations of $1.27 and $1.48 billion — its strong position with automakers in the mushrooming connected-car space would seem to bode well for the future. Sales growth has ranged from 17% to 32% over the last seven quarters.

The $3.2 billion in orders includes agreements with BMW, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler. Some of Harman products appear in high-end models, such as the premium $6,300 Bang & Olufsen system that’s an option on the Audi A8 sedan.

Harman is emerging as a leading player in the battle for the automotive interior, an increasingly gadget-connected space that buyers of the even the least expensive automobiles will expect to interact with their mobile phones, tablets and smartwatches. Harman products already feature integration with Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android tech. Silicon Valley rumors swirl that Apple is itself getting the car-making game, but others think it’s far more likely that the Cupertino giant is simply trying to own the infotainment system inside the vehicle given the growing role it’s playing in the car-purchase experience.

Read the rest of the story here: http://americasmarkets.usatoday.com/2015/05/01/harman-turns-up-profits-to-11/

The Mobile Electronics Industry Awards are now open for nominations. Those interested can vote for themselves or others and review submission criteria on the newly created www.meindustryawards.com. The deadline for nominations is May 22.

The website includes latest news, past winners, current criteria and awards to be included in this year's event. New categories for the event include Rookie of the Year, official voting category for Trusted Tech and Retail Performance awards like Most Improved Location or Chain and Best Online Presence.

The Mobile Electronics Industry Awards will take place at KnowledgeFest at the Hilton Anatole hotel in Dallas, Texas, which runs August 15-17, 2015.

Petra Industries held its 13th Annual Car Audio Expo on Sunday, April 26, 2015, at Petra’s headquarters in Edmond, Okla.

Hundred’s of attendees attended Petra’s eXpo show floor on Sunday to see demonstrations of the newest mobile A/V products including head units, amplifiers, speakers and subwoofers as well as installation kits, lighting navigation systems, satellite radio and much more, all from the 25 industry leading manufacturers exhibiting. This show also afforded attendees the opportunity to see Denny Hamlin’s FedEx NASCAR up close, pose for photos with the car and get exclusive Denny Hamlin FedEx NASCAR gear.

Exhibiting manufacturers included Atrend, AAMP or America Autotek, Bazooka, Boss, Boyo, Cerwin-Vega, Clarion, Cobra, Concept Bay, Crimestopper, DB Drive, Directed Electronics, Dual, Hifonics, Install Bay, Pioneer, Planet Audio, Power Acoustik, Racsport, SiriusXM, Soundstorm, Uniden, Weboost and Whistler. Video of interviews with vendors direct from the eXpo show floor can be viewed at www.petra.com/video/carexpo.

Attendees also had the chance to buy exclusive same-day show special deals and compete with their fellow installers in the always-favored Dealer Olympics. This years competition included a creeper race, subwoofer toss and frozen t-shirt challenge. Adrian Marzette of Backyard Solutions was the day’s big winner in the Dealer Olympics, taking first place in both creeper race and subwoofer toss events.

“Our Car eXpo is always such a great opportunity for our vendors to meet the dealers that our installing their products each and every day and showcase their newest products,” said Tate Morgan. “The show is a highlight of our year and it seems to get bigger and bigger every year. With so much success this year I am confident that the 2016 show is going to be even bigger and better.”

All eXpo attendees were registered for dozens of door prizes and special grand prize drawings. Grand prizes included a Vizio 39” LED Smart TV, a Kindle Fire HD, a Pioneer In-Dash Navigation A/V Receiver, a 50” CREE Curve LED Light Bar and much more.

Radar -- Throughout much of early-to-mid 20th century, cutting-edge design and technology found its way into cars. Following the invention of the integrated circuit, chips and bits started displacing pistons and gears in the hearts and minds of engineers. Silicon Valley’s gravitational force began stripping Motor City of its talent, compounding with the success of every tech startup. Not long after the birth of the Internet, Silicon Valley experienced unencumbered prosperity, while Detroit struggled to hold on for dear life. As automakers rise through the ashes of bankruptcy and corporate hot-potato, I expect our best and brightest entrepreneurs and engineers to be building car tech companies.

Skeptics will cite the arduous three-to-six-year automotive design cycles, onerous qualification requirements, and thin margins that plague the automotive value chain. By attracting the greatest engineers and entrepreneurs, the car business of the early 20th century took us from horseback to stylish coupes within a generation, soon to be followed by tire-smoking muscle cars. Cars built during and after the late 80s pollute less over their lifetimes than their predecessors did parked. Sound like Moore’s Law to you?

Unfortunately, as the automotive business matured, competitive advantage became a matter of economies of scale. Technology innovation began to give way to financial engineering. The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) frenzy and bloodbath that ensued led to brand consolidation and technology divestitures — hence the birth of Tier-1 suppliers. Manufacturing automation lowered the price of entry for new automakers. The Tier 1 suppliers made cutting-edge technology as available to new entrants, such as Hyundai, as incumbents, such as Ford. The industry mantra was to outproduce, outprice, and out market. Technology and innovation took a back seat as the bean counters took the wheel.

Ralph Nader’s consumer advocacy campaign — known to many as Unsafe at Any Speed — put the brakes innovation. It helped turn cars into one of the most heavily regulated consumer products on earth. Death rates per mile driven did drop, but at a rate nowhere near that in the first half of the 20th century. Everything from tires to windshields to dashboard materials began undergoing more rigorous regulatory certifications — even the most simple modifications became subject to a litany of checklists. Cars became difficult to differentiate, to the point where automakers are now relying on sheet metal and badge engineering to differentiate themselves. The difference between an Accord/Camry, A4/3-Series, F-150/Silverado continue to blur, as the way they look, feel, and drive is a function of the same components subject to narrowing regulatory constraints.

Should we assume that cars will soon be indistinguishable? Perhaps, but they will be autonomous, extremely personalized, and carry subtle differences that will characterize our motoring experience. Components such as engines, brakes, seats, and headlights will undergo the same battery of qualifications; however, those components will be abstracted by rapidly evolving technology that will make cars personalized, and eventually, autonomous. The creators of Knight Rider didn’t have to worry much about distinguishing KITT’s appearance from a base Pontiac Trans Am, or its evil twin KARR, as its artificial intelligence made it as unique a character as Michael Knight himself.

For example, today, most modern navigation systems are obsolete as soon as the new car hits the showroom floor. That is because they are qualified under similar timelines and processes as those used to qualify critical safety systems such as brakes and seat belts. As Apple Carplay and Android Auto gain broader adoption, everything we touch, feel, and hear will become as personal and customizable as floor mats, seat covers, and fuzzy dice. While automakers will continue to focus on what they do best — build safe, efficient, comfortable, and reliable chassis — we are being ushered into an arena reminiscent of the dawn of motoring: custom coaches built on production chassis, except the “customization” will be in software, not hardware.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Automotive News -- Self-driving cars aren't just possible. They're inevitable.

So says Ray Kurzweil, the inventor and futurist who's now director of engineering for Google.

Indeed, the days when an inexpensive computer outperforms a human at a task such as driving aren't far off, Kurzweil said in a speech last week to the SAE World Congress.

"The price, performance and capacity of information technology -- not every technology -- follows a very predictable path" of exponential, rather than linear, growth, he said. At the current pace of progress, he predicted, a $1,000 computer would be able to "emulate all the computation of the brain" by 2022.

Kurzweil said self-driving vehicles will prove their utility in the marketplace by helping to drastically reduce the number of people injured and killed in accidents, and by freeing people up to do something useful with their commute times.

Moreover, he predicted, the ownership model for cars will change once they're able to drive themselves, potentially shifting to something like the ride-hailing service Uber or the home-sharing app Airbnb, in which consumers are able to access a ride when they wish, without having to own a vehicle.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Automotive News -- Automakers are so obsessed with imitating smartphones and other gadgets that they have loaded vehicles with a bewildering array of infotainment features and apps that many customers never use.

That was the conclusion of panelists discussing the "In-Car Experience -- What Does the Consumer Really Want?" last week here at the SAE World Congress.

The industry must do better with its infotainment and communications controls and displays, they said.

"Vehicles on the road today are overladen with tools," said David Lyon, a former General Motors designer who left the company in 2012 to form his own consultancy, Pocketsquare. "Most systems today are trying to look like the Apple iPhone. It doesn't work."

   

The panelists agreed that most motorists don't need the myriad choices that carmakers offer, and that those choices are not only confusing, they can be dangerously distracting.

Customers typically listen to a few radio stations and call just a few people. Carmakers need "features intervention," Lyon said.

Rather than imitate smartphones, carmakers could look to their history for examples of how to get it right. He showed a picture of a 1964 Ford Mustang radio. The knob on the right is for volume, the one on the left for tuning, with the buttons across the center for radio presets.

"Volume requires a knob," he said.

Lyon suggested a simple central touch screen with just a few options customized to the motorist.

Too often, complexity creeps into systems. He showed a slide of the first generation of BMW's oft-criticized iDrive system. In 2002, when the system was launched, there was a single controller knob on the console with no surrounding buttons. Over the years, BMW kept adding buttons until the current version, which he described as a "button farm."

David Taylor, director of connected services at Panasonic Automotive Systems Co. of America, said there is "an explosion" in consumer services and expectations. Automakers' challenge is to meet those expectations consistently around the globe without spending a fortune. That requires being prudent and building a budget to design what is needed and leave out what is not, he said.

"We need to get away from worthless features in a car," he said.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

AAMP of America will be holding its second MECP training and testing day on Sunday, May 17th at its headquarters location in Clearwater, Fla. The training session will be from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and the testing session will run from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The study session will focus on material covered in both the Advanced and Master level study guides. Guests can sign up through Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mecp-study-group-tickets-16618744111.

Master Installation Technician level is the highest credential offered by MECP and is achieved only by mobile electronics professionals who have at least three years of experience and show the individual initiative, credentials and dedication necessary to earn such a prestigious honor. AAMP of America currently has 3 staff members that are Master Installation Technician’s; Ernie Hartman, Rick Costello and Tony Tassillo. They hope to add more after this session.

According to David Klatt, President and CEO of AAMP of America, “With only 275 MECP Master Installation Technicians in the USA, Canada and Mexico, and 27 in the state of Florida*, we are proud that three of them are on the AAMP team. Our customers can benefit from knowing that the people testing our products and providing technical support are among the best the industry has to offer.”

The proctors for the exams will be Mr. Costello and Mr. Hartman. AAMP of America will be exploring additional testing sessions in the future, based on demand.

VOXX Electronics participated in the first KnowledgeFest Spring Training event hosted in Indianapolis, Ind., April 11-13. During the weekend, VOXX held a successful training workshop centered on advanced FlashLogic trouble shooting, giving installers additional tools to diagnose and install more advanced remote start systems in newer vehicles.

“We were excited to be a part of the debut of KnowledgeFest Spring Training to support the mobile electronics industry. This show brings together a group of dedicated specialty retailers and reps with an interest to learn more and interact with the many different mobile electronics suppliers exhibiting at the show” said Tom Malone, President of VOXX Electronics Corporation.  “We commend KnowledgFest and their continuous dedication to educating installers and retailers by offering numerous educational tracks hosted by industry leaders and representatives.”

On both Saturday and Sunday the Company held a successful training workshop for over 50 attendees. Phil Camirand of Automotive Data Solutions (ADS) and Brian Munyon of VOXX Electronics took attendees through advanced troubleshooting and diagnostics for transponder and door lock interface modules, calling out the latest tips on today’s challenging vehicles. Brian also spent some time walking through the steps for the new VOXX Prestige/Pursuit web based programming system.

Attendees of the training workshop walked away with a swag bag full of goodies and were entered into a raffle to win the following prizes: Klispch RB-10 Soundbar, Prestige APS997E Remote Start & Security System with Car Connection PRO and 1 year prepaid service and a $100 Snap-on gift card.

For more information about VOXX Electronics please visit: www.voxxelectronics.com  

Infowars -- The Association of Global Automakers, a lobbying firm for 12 manufacturers, is asking the U.S. Copyright Office to prevent car owners from accessing “computer programs that control the functioning of a motorized land vehicle, including personal automobiles, commercial motor vehicles, and agricultural machinery, for purposes of lawful diagnosis and repair, or aftermarket personalization, modification, or other improvement.

“In order to modify automotive software for the purpose of ‘diagnosis and repair, or aftermarket personalization, modification, or other improvement,’ the modifier must use a substantial amount of the copyrighted software – copying the software is at issue after all, not wholly replacing it,” the AGA claimed. “Because the ‘heart,’ if not the entirety, of the copyrighted work will remain in the modified copy, the amount and substantiality of the portion copied strongly indicates that the proposed uses are not fair.”

Auto Alliance, which also represents 12 automobile manufacturers, is also asking the agency to scrap exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that allow car enthusiasts to modify and tune their rides.

“Allowing vehicle owners to add and remove [electronic control] programs at whim is highly likely to take vehicles out of compliance with [federal] requirements, rendering the operation or re-sale of the vehicle legally problematic,” Auto Alliance claimed in a statement. “The decision to employ access controls to hinder unauthorized ‘tinkering’ with these vital computer programs is necessary in order to protect the safety and security of drivers and passengers and to reduce the level of non-compliance with regulatory standards.”

But people have been working on their own cars since cars were invented.

“It’s not a new thing to be able to repair and modify cars,” a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Kit Walsh, said. “It’s actually a new thing to keep people from doing it.”

Read the rest of the story HERE.

DD Audio has announced the appointment of Eric Parks as International Sales Manager.

As the International Sales Manager, Mr. Parks will be responsible for identifying and maximizing growth opportunities with international customers. Charged with building brand recognition and customer relationships, he will develop programs to achieve sales goals while addressing current and future customer needs.

Jassa Langford, DD Audio President, says “Eric has over 30+ years experience in mobile electronics distribution, retail merchandising, and product development. In addition to his well rounded industry experience, he has earned several CES Innovation awards for his efforts in product development. We feel Eric is a very strong addition to the DD Audio team, and we’re confident he will help us to grow and improve our international customer relations.“

Consumer electronics rep firm End Result, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has announced that its 16th annual electronics expo for home A/V and 12-volt retailers was a huge success according to attendees. More than 170 local dealers attended the Survive—Revive—Thrive, event held on April 15 at the Fort Rapids Resort & Convention Center, in Columbus, Ohio. 

 At the one-day event, local dealers had an up close and personal preview of several new products from exhibiting manufacturers, and all had an opportunity to participate in a variety of educational seminars, manufacturers’ training sessions, and roundtable discussions. The full day of activities concluded with an entertaining Casino Night that gave everyone a chance to kick back.

Ed Dalesandro, principal of End Result and organizer of the event said, “The Show went great! Enthusiasm was high and everything was well received by the dealers attending. My biggest disappointment is that there were dealers in less than an hour away who couldn’t make. They missed some very exciting stuff. I am sure some had a legit reason why they couldn’t come, but we can’t make them better if they don’t try themselves. There was a wealth of knowledge and enthusiastic colleagues eager to share successes.”

Todd Hays, President of Columbus Car Audio & Accessories had this to say, “The End Result Show in Columbus, Ohio was a great event.  Ed Dalesandro and his team put together a great line up of seminars including a fantastic session on Selling Your Labor by Bryan Schmidt.   The seminar has our company working on implementing change immediately.  The day ended with an inspiring keynote speaker, Rick Crossland, that discussed having "A Players" in your organization. Thanks to Ed and his many manufacturers for putting this regional event together!

Mike Woods, President of Sound & Visions said, “We appreciated Ed Dalesandro’s effort to put together a regional show that included both a product showcase & educational seminars for our staff.  End Result goes above & beyond the efforts of most rep firms.” 

Highlights of the event included the introduction of Jaymar Theater Seating, a family business out of Montreal and the introduction of Electric Mirror, a cutting-edge lighted mirror and Mirror TV company that demonstrated an amazing image on a mirror and the TV was invisible.

Attending dealers:

  •       Absolute Theater
  •       Access One Alarms & Audio
  •       Audio Sensations
  •       Airwaves
  •       American Entertainment
  •       Audio Craft
  •       Audio visual concepts
  •       Audio Innovations
  •       Audio Video Doctors
  •       Audio Werks of Cincinnati
  •       Auto Additions
  •       Auto Sound
  •       Beacon AVS
  •       B’s Car Stereo
  •       Butch’s Sound and Vision- oldest dealer there 1968)
  •       Car Audio design
  •       California Custom Sound
  •       Carls Stereo Plus Pick ups
  •       CD Innovations
  •       Cincinnati Home theaters
  •       Columbus Car Audio
  •       Connections Unlimited
  •       Custom Auto Restylers
  •       Davis Distribution
  •       Elite Audio Video
  •       Enlightened Technology
  •       Ergo Audio
  •       Genesis Audio
  •       Goosebumps
  •       Ideal Sound and Vision
  •       Innovative Auto works
  •       Just in Time Audio Video
  •       Ministry of Sound
  •       Perfect Solutions
  •       Pittsburgh Custom Home Theater
  •       Roadquake
  •       RSJ Mobile Electronics
  •       Safe Systems
  •       Simply automated
  •       Scene Scape
  •       Sound & vision
  •       Alamo Electronics
  •       AC Audio video 
  •       Yankellos Audio video
  •       VIP Autoworks
  •       Team Nutz
  •       The Wholesale House
  •       Ramko Distributing
  •       Sound Investment

Special thanks to Sound & Visions of Akron, OH who closed 3 stores for the day and sent 14 people to the event! VIP Autoworks and Elite Audio video for helping us during setup. Innovative Auto Works and Columbus Car Audio for loaning us their displays. 

Exhibiting home audio/video manufacturers included:

Anthem, BDI, Electric Mirror, Jamar, Paradigm Russound, Screen Innovations, and Wolf Cinema.

Autosound/Automotive manufacturers: Accele Electronics, Avidworx, Cadence, Hertz Audison, PAC / iSimple, RaceSport Lighting, Rosen, Rydeen, Soundquest/Stinger, Wet Sounds.

Interested in getting free registration for the upcoming KnowledgeFest in Indianapolis? Then here are some questions to help you decide:

What are you doing to help your cause?

In the early 1990s the Internet was just becoming popular and a man with a vision left his job and home in New York to map out his course that would change consumer purchasing forever.

What did the man do after he moved away from New York?

There was a trade show for all “Book Store” owners and he drove himself for this four-day “INDEPENDENT TRADE SHOW” to learn how to become better at what he was planning on doing. Topics included “Selecting Opening Inventory” and “Inventory Management”. In the mean time, his associate was learning other aspects of the business to build one of the most successful teams in US history and with a threadbare budget.

Who was the man and what was the name of his business?

Before I answer you let me ask you this, between who the man is and what the man did to become successful, what’s most important? If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you'll achieve the same results.


- Tony Robbins

You see you have before an outstanding opportunity to do what the man I am talking about did!
 We have some of the best trainers in the field of car audio coming together to help you to learn to become better at what you are planning on doing!

We have people like Jason Kranitz, Micah Williams, Mike Bartells, Eric Carter, John Schwartz, Ken Ward, Harry Lichtman, Bryan Schmidt and of course yours truly. 
You have manufacturers wanting to invest their time and energy on how to make your facility better and more profitable, and yet you look for or make excuses not to go!

By the way, the man Tony Robbins is talking about above is Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com. 

Based on all the above info, you ask, "Del, what should we do?" 
The answer is, I would beg, borrow or do whatever it takes to get yourself and your staff underneath the teaching of these great leaders in our independent industry which we all love so much and come learn the secrets like Jeff Bezos learned in the early 1990s.

Now, as promised, here's what you do to get your FREE registration: 

1. Go to http://bit.ly/KF4Free.

 2. Fill in your contact information. Be sure to enter your title under 'Registrant Title.' 

3. Under 'Exhibitor Name,' select the vendor you're most excited to see at KnowledgeFest Spring Training. 

4. Under 'Registration Classification,' select 'I am a VIP retailer invited by an exhibitor.' 
 5. Click Registration Confirmation and that's it! You'll receive a confirmation in your email.

We look forward to helping you in Indianapolis at our own Independent Trade Show on April 11th-13th 2015.

23 Mar

March Madness and the Pyramid of Success

Monday, 23 March 2015

Given the popularity of college basketball and its annual tournament known as “March Madness,” I thought it appropriate to discuss the concept of a tournament and its affect on the human psyche. But first, here’s a seemingly unrelated book reference:

I recently finished reading the second book in a series called “The Reckoners”. The first book in the series, “Steelheart,” follows a group of freedom fighters attempting to rid the world of super-powered overlords and the book’s namesake antagonist, a Superman-esque villain that is impervious to all weapons. These powerful beings, called Epics, once mere ordinary people,  were corrupted when a powerful atmospheric event turned them into Epics. But due to their powers, every one of them was corrupted. As they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I know what you’re thinking. What the hell does any of this have to do with “March Madness?” Good question.

Legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, was known for many things. He was the first person in history to be named to the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and coach. He was given the nickname, “Wizard of Westwood,” an appropriate title given his record of winning 10 NCAA titles during his last 12 seasons, with seven of the 10 coming in consecutive years. He was also incredibly humble, making no more than $35,000 a year—$151,918 in today’s dollars—and never asking for a raise.

Despite all of those accolades, Wooden is perhaps best known for his inspirational wisdom, stemming from his Pyramid of Success model. The model was aimed at giving players the tools to be successful in both basketball and life, inspiring players like Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar—both former UCLA players—to become future NBA greats.

There’s a point to all of this, I promise.

As you can see in the attached image, the pyramid is built with a list of carefully selected elements, consisting of virtues like loyalty, cooperation, initiative, self-control and team spirit, among others. These virtues all add up to the top section of the pyramid: competitive greatness.

For the 12-volt entrepreneur, this concept should be familiar considering that to be successful in any endeavor, one must be well-prepared to best the competition, or at least put up a good fight. Perhaps the biggest part of being accomplished is how to deal with success without it going to your head. In his book, “Wooden on Leadership,” Wooden said, “You must monitor confidence because it can easily turn into arrogance which then can lead to the mistaken and destructive belief that previous achievement will be repeated without the same hard effort that brought it about in the first place.”

This leads me to “The Reckoners” book reference from earlier. It’s easy to let success go to your head. You can have the appearance of success by gaining fame, professional respect and money, but that doesn’t mean you are achieving it in the best way possible to gain inner peace and self-respect. If you sacrifice any of the elements that make up the pyramid in exchange for the easy way, you will lose sight of yourself as a person and become a self-absorbed, arrogant bore on his way to “the bench.”

Much like the playoff brackets in the NCAA “March Madness” tournament, the pyramid requires patience and determination so that all steps are executed properly. It’s like building a sound system in an RV; it’s a large endeavor that requires planning, long hours and lots of equipment placed carefully in the vehicle. If any step is skipped, the whole thing could be a colossal waste of time and require even more hours to fix all of the errors. 

More often than not the teams that win the championships in basketball are those that follow the pyramid, or any other healthy leadership paradigm from their coach. Those that fail are like “Steelheart”; they take their natural, genetic talent and squander it without tapping into their true potential. If you don’t believe me, just read the words of the man himself:

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”

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