The Apple founder was a master communicator, both onstage and off
See the full article from Inc.com HERE
Dial-up, floppy disks, Listservs. If you don’t know what any of these terms mean, you weren’t using computers back in the '80s and ’90s. Use this reel to brush up on your early digital era history. You’ll be schooled by programmers who created created ctrl+alt+del and Tetris, an artist who makes drawings with Excel, the voice behind AOL’s iconic “Welcome! You’ve got mail!” message and the last man standing in the floppy disk business.
By Matthew Field
When Rebecca Saunders was called to one side by her manager to check if she was planning to resign, she knew something was up.
The PR professional had sent an email hours earlier, to a colleague joking she was looking for a new job after a difficult day.
“It then happened to another colleague,” she says. “We began to piece things together. They must have been monitoring emails.”
Workplace monitoring is nothing new. For banks and financial services firms, regulatory compliance requires recording and monitoring of calls, while professional services need minute-by-minute time keeping.
For years, companies have screened emails to ensure their IT systems are not being used for fraud. Nearly all companies are able to remotely control desktops to see what users have been browsing.
But technology allowing employers to snoop on their staff is growing more powerful and more prevalent, prompting privacy concerns among unions and worker groups.
Fast-moving start-ups, like British-founded Behavox, are deploying sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine learning software that enables blue-chip companies to use it to spot suspicious activities, rooting out bad apples before trouble ever occurs. But such technology runs the risk of creating a “Big Brother” culture if it is misused.
Is your employer reading your emails?
According to the TUC, 72pc of people believe at least one type of monitoring is happening at their job. The union warned excessive surveillance could interfere with the “basic right to privacy and dignity”.
The market is expected to grow to $3.3bn (£2.7bn) over the next four years. Of 239 large businesses that Gartner looked at, more than half were using more advanced surveillance techniques, up from 30pc in 2015.
Many companies, argue that such surveillance technology can be essential. It can prevent fraud or detect intruders and the data that has been gathered can be used to help increase productivity and organise the workforce.
“The key element in this recipe is trust,” says Angela Evans of Microsoft’s UK arm. “Workplace analytics can help point businesses in the right direction, but it can never tell the full story.”
Microsoft develops tools like Workplace Analytics to show workers how they are spending their time, and give employers a big picture view of what is being done in the workplace.
The company says it keeps individual personal details private. Evans says the technology is best used to identify patterns, such as quiet periods or overworked departments.
According to Matthew Moynahan, chief executive of Texas cyber security firm Forcepoint, workplace monitoring is also key to stopping insider threats.
“If something bad does happen from an insider, you need to use that information to protect employees,” he says. “Deep collection on individuals will become more common. But it has to respect the privacy of an individual.”
The field has provided fertile ground for start-ups working on background checks and helping corporations keep tabs on staff.
One such start-up is Fama, a Californian company with 120 clients including Fortune 500 firms. In 2018, it said it helped scan 20 million pieces of publicly available content, finding 14pc of people had flags for sexism or misogyny in their online presence and 10pc had flags for racism.
“Hiring a misogynistic manager could set you back months, or even years,” its marketing material reads.
The service scans workplace message boards, public forums, social media and emails for harmful language. Other US firms are increasingly using biometric data, such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning, to log “clock in and clock off” times.
Meanwhile, Behavox a UK start-up that has since relocated to New York, has created an advanced artificial intelligence system for monitoring compliance. Drawing from a huge pool of calls, email and message data collected by financial services companies, its technology lets compliance and security staff find unusual patterns in behaviour.
“We can ask the system who has been asking for a favour today? Who is demotivated today? Who is shouting on the phone? Our system is like Google on steroids,” says Erkin Adylov, Behavox chief executive.
The start-up has worked with clients such as mining giant Anglo American and Jefferies. It has also begun to deploy its technology to improve productivity, informing sales staff of when an opportunity has come up, or for managers giving feedback.
All this can be big business. Behavox has already raised $20m from investors including Index Ventures and Hoxton Ventures, and is now said to be seeking $100m.
Other start-ups see surveillance technology as important to improving safety. Unifi.id, a London start-up that has worked with the likes of Canary Wharf Group, develops ID cards that include chips that can tell security who is in the building and where. According to Paul Sheedy, the chief executive, such technology could be vital during building evacuations, giving emergency services immediate data on who is in the building.
“During 9/11, hundreds of firefighters died searching for people who were not there,” he says. “With our AI and machine learning you can assess at that moment just how long it will take it to evacuate.”
The start-up is also using its technology, which includes sensors and monitors, to improve other security systems.
It could, for example, be used to alert security if an unusual individual has entered the building or a secure area.
But such technology inevitably comes with ethical challenges. Arguably the last word in surveillance technology is US firm Palantir, launched by PayPal founder Peter Thiel. Believed to be valued at around $20bn, it has also made moves to use its technology for corporate surveillance.
According to Bloomberg, Palantir was deployed at investment bank JPMorgan. Its Metropolis technology enabled scanning and snooping on huge volumes of employee data.
In 2013, one executive in charge of the technology was found to have been passing data to a former executive about a leak investigation and reading confidential emails.
Excessive monitoring by employers could also fall foul of new European data rules under the General Data Protection Regulation. The rules, introduced last year, require employers to make sure their staff know how data is being used, and that it is deleted if it is no longer needed.
The UK is generally harsher on what employers can and can’t do with their staff’s personal data, says Shaun Hogan, a lawyer at the firm Stevens & Bolton. “In the UK, employers must remember that respecting privacy can be as important as protecting personal information.”
Gig economy workers are also viewed as acutely at risk if employee monitoring goes too far. In 2018, UK food delivery firm Deliveroo was forced to pay a settlement to riders who said they were punished over their performance after being closely monitored on GPS when making deliveries.
And Uber, the ride hailing company, notoriously created the “Hell” tracking software used against its own drivers. The software secretly monitored drivers until 2016 who worked for both the Uber and Lyft apps to see when they were switching between the two.
It is vital employees know just what information their employer is gathering on them, according to Ray Walsh, a digital privacy expert.
“If any of this is unclear to an employee they should approach their employer to find out what monitoring is happening and why,” he says. According to Forcepoint’s Moynahan, ensuring effective workplace monitoring is about striking the right balance.
“If a company abuses their data collection, that is a breach of their social contract,” he says.
The advertising industry is on the verge of an existential crisis. Once so sure of our creative prowess, the IPA has now begun warning of the "catastrophic decline" in creative effectiveness amid the widespread focus on short-term results.
The public is feeling it too. Earlier this year, the Advertising Association found that consumer trust in advertising has hit an all-time low of 25% – just half what it was in the mid-1990s. Among the public’s gripes were the level of bombardment, repetition and volume of advertising messages they were exposed to.
So, if the industry is nearing a crisis point, how can we pull ourselves back from the brink?
Advertising’s technology hangover
First, it’s crucial to understand how we got here.
The biggest change to the industry since the glory days of the 1990s is not the economy, adland’s structure or even the client pressures. It’s technology.
It may be a distant memory to some (and an unrelatable past for others!), but there was a time when instant connectivity was not an option. The problem is that, now that it is, we are growing less connected to our audiences than ever before.
This problem isn’t exclusive to advertising – it’s a societal conundrum that we are all grappling with; loneliness has been described as an epidemic among the young, filter bubbles are deepening divisions and governments are scrambling to regulate platforms they don’t understand.
Against this backdrop, advertising has a responsibility to chart a new path. We, of all industries, have the understanding and tools to get back to the real, human connections we desire – both as businesses and as individuals.
Audiences are humans, not data points
To do so, we must inspire a reset in the way we think about our audiences. For too long, the advertising industry has been going down a technology rabbit hole. And while we’ve been obsessing over data sets and multiplying touchpoints, big tech has been reshaping the way people think, behave and what they expect.
As an industry, we have skewed towards function and process. We have failed to address what we all know; that people’s expectations have been reset within every type of brand interaction and purchase choice they make.
It’s no longer enough to reach the right person with the right execution for the right brand. We must also meet needs more quickly, more intuitively, with more empathy and with more respect to consumers as individuals. We must shake ourselves free of the robotic torpor in which we process consumers as views or conversions, to be parroted back to the client on a performance spreadsheet.
We must also move away from delineating our audiences into neat segments. While received marketing wisdom will tell you there is such a thing as an "automotive customer journey", for example, our own experiences tell us this is simply not the case.
The human decision-making process is complex and sometimes messy, and it’s time our solutions reflected this. So how do we address this?
At Mindshare, we are using a proprietary tool, called DX (decision experiences), to interrogate people’s decision-making behaviours across both the online and offline worlds to help us better understand this complexity.
We have begun uncovering some unexpected truths and exploding the consumer journey myths that we’ve been holding on to for far too long.
The humans behind new expectations
This isn’t to say that people’s fundamental needs have changed. Rather, we must begin to understand how these needs are manifesting themselves in new behaviours and how we can address them accordingly.
Giving and reading reviews, for example, is a behaviour that now feels intuitive as a consumer but is a relatively new challenge for the industry. In fact, from our research looking at TGI data, the inclusion of reviews in the decision-making process has nearly doubled in the past decade, moving down the funnel from high-involvement decisions to even the most trivial ones. This is a fundamentally human shift in behaviour.
Payment technology has also changed people’s behaviour. Six in 10 adults are now making contactless payments on a weekly or more frequent basis, rising to nearly two-thirds of under-34s, according to the latest Mindshare Trends report.
We all know the less "real" money seems, the more comfortable we are with spending it in higher amounts. Again, this is a very human shift in behaviour that is simply being facilitated by technology – and it’s the humans we must understand, not just the platforms and the data they push out.
Embrace the new unknown
There are many more examples where we are seeing innovation and technology reset people’s decision-making behaviours, from voice tech creating new behaviours around loyalty to algorithms facilitating the discovery of digital content.
The entire industry needs to recognise that performance data sets do not reveal the whole picture. They are not the sole window into people’s lives, which are now changing rapidly. The advertising industry was built on understanding and empathy; it must now rediscover these fundamental strengths and bring clients with it.
But first, we must admit where we have gone wrong; that we have lost some of our human understanding at a time when our audiences are changing radically. If we don’t, it may well be advertising that begins to fade into obscurity.
Helen McRae is UK chief executive and chair of western Europe at Mindshare
A recent LinkedIn survey revealed that nearly one-fifth of hiring managers say they have eliminated a candidate from consideration because of inappropriate photos online.
While resumes have long been an essential ingredient in the job application process, today people are increasingly turning to online options such as LinkedIn. And, of course, making a good first impression is just as important online as it is when using a resume.
According to recent LinkedIn research, 65 percent of professionals say that the impression you make online is just as important as the one you make in person. Not only that, but 76 percent believe it's difficult to overcome a bad first impression.
According to LinkedIn career expert Blair Decembrele, your LinkedIn profile can and should be optimized to make the best impression you can on prospective employers. Blair offers the following specific tips for doing just that.
Showcase what you're "in it" for.
Your profile is an online reflection of who you are and what you're "in it" for, so you'll want to do some introspection before writing your summary. This is one of the top things a recruiter looks at when viewing your LinkedIn profile. Think of your summary as your elevator pitch--how would you spark a potential employer's or contact's interest in 40 words? Include your experience, skills and interests, as well as your passions, motivations, goals and what makes you unique as a professional. Make sure your online persona represents your most authentic self. Don't be afraid to let your personality shine through.
Use a photo that represents your professional identity.
First impressions matter, and a strong LinkedIn photo makes all the difference. In fact, in a recent LinkedIn survey, nearly one-fifth of hiring managers say they have eliminated a candidate from consideration because of inappropriate photos online. And, profiles with photos receive up to 21x more profile views, 9x more connection requests and up to 36x more messages. Ensure your photo is clear and professional by using a simple background, cropping it so your face fills up at least 60 percent of the frame, and using filters to enhance brightness, contrast or saturation.
Reference your education or current position.
Including your education, industry and current position help recruiters and alumni easily find you. Adding your education leads to up to 17x more messages from recruiters, so be sure to fill in your degree type, fields of study (if applicable), and the years you attended school. Additionally, be sure to add certifications and past job descriptions to give your audience more insight into your skills and experience--members with current positions are discovered up to 16x more in recruiter searches and profile views shoot up 29x.
Showcase your skills.
Almost 90 percent of professionals feel that skills are even more important than job titles, use your profile to showcase what you've learned in your career. Including five or more skills can help you get up to 17x more profile views and 31x more messages from recruiters and others who can help you get ahead. If you don't have any formal work experience, feature skills you learned through your studies or volunteer experience. Soft skills are just as, if not more important, than hard skills when applying for jobs, and many employers now tout skills over certificates. Take a look at desirable job descriptions for your field--if you have the skills for these positions, add them to your profile--and keep buzzwords like specialized, passionate and expert out of your summary.
Share your location.
Members with a location listed receive up to 19x more profile views, and 28x more likely to receive a message to start a conversation. Including the city where you are based makes you up to 23x more likely to be found by other members in your geographic area. More than 30% of recruiters rely on location information to find candidates, so the more details you have, the more likely you will be found and connected to your next opportunity.
Oh. And one more thing.
If you decide to upgrade your resume too (not a bad idea), LinkedIn has developed a pretty nifty tool called Resume Assistant which the company says, "offers inspiration and resources to craft a compelling resume directly within Microsoft Word." According to LinkedIn, when you select your desired role and industry, Resume Assistant pulls LinkedIn insights from millions (yes--millions) of member profiles. This provides you with the opportunity to see how people in that role described the work they do.
Regardless of how you decide to do it, making your LinkedIn profile stand out from the pack will be well worth your time. It might even land you your next job.
No matter what you do, your phone's battery capacity — which translates to its lifespan — will degrade as you use it.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you might be reducing your phone battery's lifespan with certain charging behaviors.
Specifically, if you often charge your phone overnight or keep it plugged in for hours after it's reached 100%, you're accelerating the aging process of lithium-ion smartphone batteries.
"If you're going to charge your phone to 100% and keep it at 100% — just keep on charging and charging overnight — this will have negative influence on aging," Dominik Schulte, the managing director of the German battery-technology consultancy firm BatterieIngenieure, told Business Insider.
Indeed, as a lithium-ion battery ages, the chemistry within changes and becomes less efficient at storing and delivering power to your device.
To be sure, all lithium-ion batteries age and have a limited lifespan. No matter what you do, your phone's battery capacity — which translates to its lifespan — will degrade as you use it. But you can have a say in how quickly your smartphone battery ages.
Meanwhile, the companies behind the smartphones in your hands and pockets don't seem overly concerned about you letting your phone charge for too long.
I've asked smartphone companies what they think about charging phones overnight and keeping them at 100% for hours on end. Most referred me to informational webpages on their respective smartphone batteries.
In short, the company that made your smartphone doesn't seem to think that charging your phone overnight is cause for much concern.
Apple does mention overnight charging on one of its informational pages but doesn't say it's not a good idea to do so.
Google said that worrying about overcharging your phone is an "outdated" concern.
Ronald Ho, a product manager at Google, told Business Insider that "in general, this mentality that 'overcharging is bad' or 'charging too often is bad' is pretty outdated given the current battery and charging optimizing technologies companies can build into their devices."
Ho said that "when the phone's battery reaches 100%, the phone's internal battery charger will actually stop charging to prevent overcharging." Phone batteries will get a top-up from a charger only when they reach a certain level under 100%
But Schulte and most smartphone makers agree on one thing:
When you store a smartphone you don't plan to use, you should keep the battery charge within a certain range — and that's a hint that smartphone batteries don't like being at 100%.
Schulte said that lithium-ion batteries age slowest at about 30% to 50%. And that's about the range where most smartphone makers suggest you keep your phone's battery charge when you plan on storing it away for a while.
On its battery webpage, Samsung says you should keep its battery charge at "at least 50%." Apple says to keep the iPhone "half-charged when it's stored for the long term" to "help extend battery lifespan."
At the end of the day, lithium-ion batteries don't like being at 100%, at least for long periods.
But no one is suggesting that you only ever keep your smartphone between 30% and 50%.
That's simply unrealistic for a device that most of us keep by our side all day, especially when we often need it to last a long time between charges.
The key is to not store or keep your phone's battery at a 100% charge for extended periods.
Instead, Schulte said that "it would be very good to charge the phone in the morning or whenever, but don't store the phone overnight at 100%."
It could all come down to how often you buy new smartphones.
It's hard to say how quickly overnight charging actually accelerates the aging process of the lithium-ion batteries in our smartphones. It may not produce any noticeable effects if you buy a new phone every year, or maybe even every two years.
But if you typically buy a new phone because yours is dying too quickly — and isn't that old — you might want to reevaluate how you've been charging your phones. An overnight charge might not be considered such a long time, but the damage could build up the longer you keep your smartphone. If you're an overnight charger and plan to keep your phone for several years, it might be time to ditch that behavior.
But remember, all lithium-ion batteries die. You can be the most cautious phone charger in the world and your phone's battery life will still degrade, albeit slower.
There are a couple of other things that almost everyone agrees on about smartphone batteries.
For one, avoid fully discharging your smartphone before you charge it again. And avoid extreme temperatures whenever possible.
But in the end, smartphone batteries are meant to be used, so don't worry too much about it.
All in all, don't stress. If you can charge your phone in the morning instead of overnight, great. It can be worthwhile to see whether changing your charging habit can have a positive effect on your phone battery's lifespan.
But if not, you'll be fine.
Perhaps the best thing to know is that many phone makers give you the option to replace your battery for a fraction of the price of buying a new model.
By Mark Zuckerberg - founder and chief executive of Facebook
Technology is a major part of our lives, and companies such as Facebook have immense responsibilities. Every day, we make decisions about what speech is harmful, what constitutes political advertising, and how to prevent sophisticated cyberattacks. These are important for keeping our community safe. But if we were starting from scratch, we wouldn’t ask companies to make these judgments alone.
I believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators. By updating the rules for the Internet, we can preserve what’s best about it — the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things — while also protecting society from broader harms.
From what I’ve learned, I believe we need new regulation in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.
First, harmful content.
Facebook gives everyone a way to use their voice, and that creates real benefits — from sharing experiences to growing movements. As part of this, we have a responsibility to keep people safe on our services. That means deciding what counts as terrorist propaganda, hate speech and more. We continually review our policies with experts, but at our scale we’ll always make mistakes and decisions that people disagree with.
Lawmakers often tell me we have too much power over speech, and frankly I agree. I’ve come to believe that we shouldn’t make so many important decisions about speech on our own. So we’re creating an independent body so people can appeal our decisions. We’re also working with governments, including French officials, on ensuring the effectiveness of content review systems.
Internet companies should be accountable for enforcing standards on harmful content. It’s impossible to remove all harmful content from the Internet, but when people use dozens of different sharing services — all with their own policies and processes — we need a more standardized approach.
One idea is for third-party bodies to set standards governing the distribution of harmful content and to measure companies against those standards. Regulation could set baselines for what’s prohibited and require companies to build systems for keeping harmful content to a bare minimum.
Facebook already publishes transparency reports on how effectively we’re removing harmful content. I believe every major Internet service should do this quarterly, because it’s just as important as financial reporting. Once we understand the prevalence of harmful content, we can see which companies are improving and where we should set the baselines.
Second, legislation is important for protecting elections.
Facebook has already made significant changes around political ads: Advertisers in many countries must verify their identities before purchasing political ads. We built a searchable archive that shows who pays for ads, what other ads they ran and what audiences saw the ads. However, deciding whether an ad is political isn’t always straightforward. Our systems would be more effective if regulation created common standards for verifying political actors.
Online political advertising laws primarily focus on candidates and elections, rather than divisive political issues where we’ve seen more attempted interference. Some laws only apply during elections, although information campaigns are nonstop. And there are also important questions about how political campaigns use data and targeting. We believe legislation should be updated to reflect the reality of the threats and set standards for the whole industry.
Third, effective privacy and data protection needs a globally harmonized framework.
People around the world have called for comprehensive privacy regulation in line with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, and I agree. I believe it would be good for the Internet if more countries adopted regulation such as GDPR as a common framework.
New privacy regulation in the United States and around the world should build on the protections GDPR provides. It should protect your right to choose how your information is used — while enabling companies to use information for safety purposes and to provide services. It shouldn’t require data to be stored locally, which would make it more vulnerable to unwarranted access. And it should establish a way to hold companies such as Facebook accountable by imposing sanctions when we make mistakes.
Finally, regulation should guarantee the principle of data portability.
If you share data with one service, you should be able to move it to another. This gives people choice and enables developers to innovate and compete.
This is important for the Internet — and for creating services people want. It’s why we built our development platform. True data portability should look more like the way people use our platform to sign into an app than the existing ways you can download an archive of your information. But this requires clear rules about who’s responsible for protecting information when it moves between services.
This also needs common standards, which is why we support a standard data transfer format and the open source Data Transfer Project.
I believe Facebook has a responsibility to help address these issues, and I’m looking forward to discussing them with lawmakers around the world. We’ve built advanced systems for finding harmful content, stopping election interference and making ads more transparent. But people shouldn’t have to rely on individual companies addressing these issues by themselves. We should have a broader debate about what we want as a society and how regulation can help. These four areas are important, but, of course, there’s more to discuss.
The rules governing the Internet allowed a generation of entrepreneurs to build services that changed the world and created a lot of value in people’s lives. It’s time to update these rules to define clear responsibilities for people, companies and governments going forward.
Is the collective horror of the world’s tragedies diminishing the weight of each individual crisis?
In 1999, two teenagers killed 13 people and injured 24 others in what was the third most closely followed piece of news in the entire decade. At the time, it was the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history and it utterly captured the nation’s attention. Flash forward to 2018 where there were three attacks unsettlingly similar to Columbine:
With every new tragedy, the media cycle repeats itself, but each time it seemingly gets shorter. First, a video will appear — a bystander or victim will almost certainly reach for their phone and start filming after hearing gunshots, and sometimes the shooter even livestreams the event as with the shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. Then, the sensational imagery of terror will spread like a wildfire through social media, amplifying the fear that the perpetrator hopes to sow.
Struck by fear, but no longer surprised by such an event, a torrent of people will go through the motions by posting messages of thoughts, prayers, solidarity, and other platitudes to no one in particular on social media. Condemnations of violence and vilifications of whatever group(s) the shooter belongs to will follow, although there will be notably fewer of them if the terrorist is white; a fact that will also be pointed out on social media but will quickly devolve into troll fests and flame wars much to our detriment.
A week will pass. We will forget. Nothing will change.
A discussion about modern masculinity, its historic roots, and its relationship with violence will not be had. A conversation about thoughtfully regulating access to firearms and how to strike a balance between reducing harm and protecting rights will also not be had. “This is why we need to BAN ALL GUNS,” will be met with, “Naw, what we really need is more good guys with guns!” And another opportunity is flushed down the drain.
The next day, writers and pundits will remind us not to share the video we’ve already all seen because Twitter or Facebook autoplayed it in our feeds. The Onion will change a few names and republish a satirical article, originally written in 2014, titled, “‘No Way To Prevent This’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”
A week will pass. We will forget. Nothing will change. We already know how all of this shakes out and have developed a bad national case of learned helplessness as a result. In 2014, the writers at The Onion had already identified our pitiful and feeble reaction to what used to be shocking violence. In the years since that diagnosis, we have proven that The Onion writers were right all along: there is no way to prevent these tragedies. Not because of some universal truth, but because of our own political stubbornness and stagnation. And honestly, how could we hope to make meaningful change when we can’t even have a meaningful conversation?
Our debate surrounding mass gun violence is filled with false dichotomies between wannabe panaceas and hollow inaction — our only two choices. Our national conversation is as trite and meaningless as the reductive memes we deploy to make our arguments. Get on the digital soapbox — but be sure to make your case in 280, or fewer, characters. Let them know how you really feel — but only if it’s funny, 20 words or fewer, and fits within one of 100 or so predefined meme templates.
“I’m not shocked…”
Waleed Aly, an Australian news anchor for The Project, said of the shooting in Christchurch, “The most dishonest thing I could say is that I’m shocked… if we’re honest, we’ll know this has been coming.” And indeed, in a few short weeks, or maybe if we’re lucky a couple months, the tragedy at Christchurch will be replaced in the public consciousness by yet another mass shooting, bombing, or another vile act of humankind.
The truth is that we are constantly bombarded with the sensationalist coverage of horrific violence that has become the status quo. We have no right to be shocked because we have repeatedly chosen to do nothing in the wake of tragedy after tragedy.
Aly is right that extremist violence, such as the targeting of Muslims at a mosque, is on the rise. The Southern Poverty Law Center — a group dedicated to tracking hate groups and the violence they enact — reports that in the U.S. membership in hate groups has been rising steadily since 2014 and the number of hate groups has recently reached a record high.
The relentless pace of horrific news has an overwhelming effect. The violence never seems to stop, and so we feel powerless to stop it.
On the other hand, New Zealand had not been host to a mass shooting in the 20 years prior to the shooting Christchurch. Maybe this event did shock the Kiwi community, and maybe that shock is why political action was on the table. In the wake of the shooting, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern said unequivocally: “Our gun laws will change.” Ardern even suggested a ban on some or all semiautomatic weapons as part of those changes. Five days later, more details about the proposal were announced, including a ban on some semiautomatic military-style rifles. And then, it actually happened. In under a week, New Zealand banned a subset of semiautomatic rifles, high capacity magazines, and some accessories designed to make weapons more deadly like the bump stock.
The current ban is temporary, but legislation to make it permanent will be introduced in the first week of April, and has broad support from both the current coalition government as well as the main opposition party. It’s anecdotal, but in an interview with NPR some Kiwi gun enthusiasts seemed quite comfortable with updating gun laws saying, “Owning a gun in New Zealand is a privilege not a right” and “Well, to be honest, I think the more military-style semiautomatics should be banned. There’s no need for them — probably the same with pistols, to be honest.”
But there’s another twist to all this, understandably overlooked in the anxiety and fear that hovers like a cloud after each massacre. Mass shootings, school shootings, violent crime in general, and homicide specifically, have all been falling in the U.S. — especially over the long term. While the number of mass shootings is declining, the total death toll from them is rising — shootings are becoming more deadly, not more common. Gun violence is rising as well, but that is because a greater share of crime is committed using a gun, not because of an increasing crime rate. Both of these facts suggest that the available tools for enacting violence are highly effective; too effective given their prevalence, or too prevalent given their effectiveness.
Modern media has put every new tragedy on blast since before the invention of the 24-hour news cycle — but the hyperconnectivity of the internet age takes global amplification to a new level. Thirty years ago, a large majority of Americans would likely not have even heard of an event equivalent to the massacre at Christchurch, just as a generation ago most New Zealanders would not have heard about the Squirrel Hill shooting. News just didn’t get distributed as widely.
Instant global distribution combined with our news media’s penchant for sensational stories has made the world much more aware of international tragedy. Similarly, platforms like YouTube and Twitter have made every individual citizen a kind of journalist, but without any training, a code of ethics, or an editorial team. Our newfound global awareness, combined with population growth, means we are individually exposed to many more horrible events — even as homicide and poverty continue to decline on a global per-person basis.
The relentless pace of horrific news has an overwhelming effect. The violence never seems to stop, and so we feel powerless to stop it. The sheer volume desensitizes us and makes us feel numb even in the face of brutal, senseless, massacres.
Research shows that civic engagement is strongly tied to local news consumption. The people who show up and make change tend to be the ones who are focused on their sphere of influence and what they can do in their own communities. But, local news doesn’t go viral. Local news is definitionally interesting to a small, geographically confined audience. By getting our news primarily from global channels, we have missed our own tree for the forest. When we focus our attention solely on what happens nationally, or globally, we cede our ability to create change on the topics we follow most closely.
Obviously, international and national news are important. I don’t believe we should isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. But admitting that most of us, individually, have little power at a global scale is actually empowering. Doing so gives us permission to focus on how we can improve the lives of the people around us, in our own communities, in our own sphere of influence. And maybe if we turn down the volume on the relentless, sensational coverage of global violence, we’ll be able to see the growth and improvement in our own backyard more clearly.
By: Larry Kim
These six tips will help keep your email account and personal data safe and secure.
Hackers are always coming up with new sophisticated phishing schemes to steal any personal information they can.
Hackers want to gain access to your email because so much of valuable personal information can be found there.
Case in point: Earlier this month, there was a pretty serious phishing attack that targeted Gmail users. As NBC News reported:
Although I wasn’t impacted by this phishing scam, millions of people were. I knew some of them.
Luckily, most of my friends were savvy enough to recognize the scam for what it was and reported and deleted the emails. Most, but not all, unfortunately.
Don’t become the next victim of hackers. Keep your personal data safe and secure.
Here’s how to recognize phishing and how to avoid it.
How Phishing Works
At the most basic level, here’s how a phishing scam works:
How to Avoid It
What can you do if you suspect phishing?
Here are some simple tips courtesy of Citrix ShareFile, which helps businesses securely and easily share files:
By Larry Kim
Chatbots can schedule meetings, tell you the weather, and provide customer support. And that’s just the beginning.
Want to order pizza, schedule a meeting, or even find your true love?
There’s a chatbot for that.
Just as apps once were the hot new thing that would solve whatever problem you had back in 2009, now we’re moving into the age of chatbots.
Chatbots make life even easier for consumers. With chatbots, there’s no more long waits on hold to talk to a person on the phone or going through multiple steps to research and complete a purchase on websites.
Millions of people already get it. They’re using chatbots to contact retailers, get recommendations, complete purchases, and much more.
Adoption of chatbots is increasing. People are discovering the benefits of chatbots.
All of this is good news for entrepreneurs and businesses because pretty much any website or app can be turned into a bot.
Now is the perfect time to hop on the bandwagon. Even I’ve jumped on the bandwagon with my new startup.
What’s so great about chatbots?
Check out these 11 interesting examples of ways you can use chatbots right now.
1. Order Pizza
2. Product Suggestions
3. Customer Support
5. Personal Finance Assistance
6. Schedule a Meeting
7. Search for & Track Flights
9. Find Love
10. Send Money
11. Find a Restaurant
These are just 11 examples of how businesses are already using chatbots. There are nearly limitless possibilities for what can be done with chatbots. So don’t miss out on this huge opportunity to help, engage, or sell to your customers.