Day: June 5, 2019

The Most Common Fears in America and How You Can Overcome Them

The word “fear” often bears a very negative connotation. It’s seen as an emotional response that holds us back, puts us on edge, and breeds discomfort. At its core, though, fear is actually a force of good. It’s a biological response that keeps us safe whenever we perceive danger.

So, while fear gets a bad wrap, it’s more of a misnomer than anything. A true frivolous fright is called a “phobia”.

A recent survey conducted by Sofary revealed the most common phobias and anxieties that plague American minds. Since the first step towards getting over your fears is understanding where they come from, we’re going to break down a few of Sofary’s findings. Then, we’ll explore the thought processes behind frequent phobias to debunk their spookiness.

Fear of the dark

fear of the dark

As children, 50% of people said were afraid of the dark and many more feared being home alone or seeing ghosts and a terrifying monster lurking under the bed. For the majority of Americans, these scary thoughts led to recurring nightmares or dependence on a parent or guardian to soothe their worries.

Did you know that being afraid of the dark, or nyctophobia, is actually thought to be an evolutionary phobia?

In the wild, predators typically hunt at night. This caused experts to believe that the human brain has come to perceive darkness as inherently dangerous.

Since this phobia can sometimes lead to impaired sleep, there are a number of known treatments therapists use to improve the lives of people struggling with it.

The most common one is exposure therapy, proving through experience that there is nothing worrisome lurking in the dark. Relaxation techniques, like deep breathing and exercise, can also ease the transition into sleep.

Fear of clowns

fear of clowns

On a scale from 1 to 10, certain childhood phobias ranked consistently high for both genders. While female respondents were much more scared of dogs than males and the inverse applied to a phobia of kidnapping, both sexes listed clowns (and ghosts) as a highly disturbing fear.

Coulrophobia stems from the fact that clowns’ faces are always made to look
cheerful. On top of that, according to Freud, things that are familiar but slightly distorted (or “uncanny”) can come across as fearsome, which toys with our minds.

To effectively face this fear, try attending a circus or show and sitting at a safe distance from the stage. This way, you can get comfortable with the fact that the object of your fear can’t harm you. You can also watch an online video of a professional clown applying their makeup to better understand the process.

It’s a good reminder that the art of clowning is simply entertainment!

Fear of spiders

fear of spiders

As adults, the most common fear among Sofary’s surveyed population was spiders or bugs. It accounted for 33% of women and 31.3% of men.

A nearly identical number of people said they were afraid of natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. And just about twice the number of women find the idea of being home alone or kidnapped compared to men spooky.

The feeling of wanting to jump out of your skin at the sight of eight-legged creepy crawlies is called arachnophobia. Like nyctophobia, scientists believe that a fear of spiders is an evolutionary response for humans since some species are poisonous and can make you very ill.

Overcoming arachnophobia can start with something as simple as a Google search. Do a little reading and you’ll find that it’s rare for spiders to bite at all!

Plus, out of the 63,000 spider species in the world, just 2% are actually dangerous, making it highly unlikely that you’ll run into one that can cause you harm.

When it comes to facing your irrational fears, knowledge is power. Push past your worries with research and familiarization. More often than not, you’ll quickly begin to realize that danger is not always lurking around the corner.

The post The Most Common Fears in America and How You Can Overcome Them appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

MacOS Catalina removes Dashboard, Apple’s kinda useful widget feature

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Remember widgets?

Apple has quietly killed off Dashboard, its widget app, in its forthcoming version of macOS Catalina which was announced at its WWDC yesterday.

The discovery comes from Appleosophy, who found no sign of the feature when looking through the operating system, and no option to turn it off or on.

Dashboard was first introduced in 2005 in Tiger, as widgets became something of a hot new thing to have on your computer. 

These widgets had basic functions like telling the weather, a calendar, and a calculator, but you could add on new widgets that could tell you how warm your computer was, or play the radio, for instance. Read more…

More about Tech, Apple, Macos, Dashboard, and Big Tech Companies

SentinelOne raises $120M for its fully-autonomous, AI-based endpoint security solution

Endpoint security — the branch of cybersecurity that focuses on data coming in from laptops, phones, and other devices connected to a network — is an $8 billion dollar market that, due to the onslaught of network breaches, is growing fast. To underscore that demand, one of the bigger startups in the space is announcing a sizeable funding round.

SentinelOne, which provides real-time endpoint protection on laptops, phones, containers, cloud services and most recently IoT devices on a network through a completely autonomous, AI-based platform, has raised $120 million in a Series D round — money that it will be using to continue expanding its current business as well as forge into new areas such as building more tools to automatically detect and patch software running on those endpoints, to keep them as secure as possible.

The funding was led by Insight Partners, with Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, NextEquity participating, alongside all of the company’s existing investors, which include the likes of Third Point Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Data Collective, Sound Ventures and Ashton Kutcher, Tiger Global, Granite Hill and more.

SentinelOne is not disclosing its valuation with this round, but CEO and co-founder Tomer Weingarten confirmed it was up compared to its previous funding events. SentinelOne has now raised just shy of $130 million, and PitchBook notes that in its last round, it was valued at $210 post-money.

That would imply that this round values SentinelOne at more than $330 million, likely significantly more: “We are one of the youngest companies working in endpoint security, but we also have well over 2,000 customers and 300% growth year-on-year,” Weingarten said. And working in the area of software-as-a-service with a fully-automated solution that doesn’t require humans to run any aspect of it, he added, “means we have high margins.”

The rise in cyberattacks resulting from malicious hackers exploiting human errors — such as clicking on phishing links; or bringing in and using devices from outside the network running software that might not have its security patches up to date — has resulted in a stronger focus on endpoint security and the companies that provide it.

Indeed, SentinelOne is not alone. Crowdstrike, another large startup in the same space as SentinelOne, is now looking at a market cap of at least $4 billion when it goes public. Carbon Black, which went public last year, is valued at just above $1 billion. Another competitor, Cylance, was snapped up by BlackBerry for $1.5 billion.

Weingarten — who cofounded the company with Almog Cohen (CTO) and Ehud Shamir (CSO) — says that SentinelOne differs from its competitors in the field because of its focus on being fully autonomous.

“We’re able to digest massive amounts of data and run machine learning to detect any type of anomaly in an automated manner,” he said, describing Crowdstrike as “tech augmented by services.” That’s not to say SentinelOne is completely without human options (options being the key word; they’re not required): it offers its own managed services under the brand name of Vigilance and works with system integrator partners to sell its products to enterprises.

There is another recurring issue with endpoint security solutions, which is that they are known to throw up a lot of false positives — items that are not recognized by the system that subsequently get blocked, which turn out actually to be safe. Weingarten admits that this is a by-product of all these systems, including SentinelOne’s.

“It’s a result of opting to use a heuristic rather than deterministic model,” he said, “but there is no other way to deal with anomalies and unknowns without heuristics, but yes with that comes false positives.” He pointed out that the company’s focus on machine learning as the basis of its platform helps it to more comprehensively ferret these out and make deductions on what might not otherwise have proper representation in its models. Working for a pilot period at each client also helps inform the algorithms to become more accurate ahead of a full rollout.

All this has helped bring down SentinelOne’s own false positive rate, which Weingarten said is around 0.04%, putting it in the bracket of lower mis-detectors in this breakdown of false positive rates by VirusTotal:

“Endpoint security is at a fascinating point of maturity, highlighting a massive market opportunity for SentinelOne’s technology and team,” said Teddie Wardi, Managing Director, Insight Partners, in a statement. “Attack methods grow more advanced by the day and customers demand innovative, autonomous technology to stay one step ahead. We recognize SentinelOne’s strong leadership team and vision to be unique in the market, as evidenced through the company’s explosive growth and highly differentiated business model from its peer cybersecurity companies.”

By virtue of digesting activity across millions of endpoints and billions of events among its customers, SentinelOne has an interesting vantage point when it comes to seeing the biggest problems of the moment.

Weingarten notes that one big trend is that the biggest attacks are now not always coming from state-sponsored entities.

“Right now we’re seeing how fast advanced techniques are funnelling down from government-sponsored attackers to any cyber criminal. Sophisticated malicious hacking can now come from anywhere,” he said.

When it comes to figuring out what is most commonly creating vulnerabilities at an organization, he said it was the challenge of keeping up to date with security patches. Unsurprisingly, it’s something that SentinelOne plans to tackle with a new product later this year — one reason for the large funding round this time around.

“Seamless patching is absolutely something that we are looking at,” he said. “We already do vulnerability assessments today and so we have the data to tell you what is out of date. The next logical step is to seamlessly track those apps and issue the patches automatically.”

Indeed it’s this longer term vision of how the platform will be developing, and how it’s moving in response to what the current threats are today, that attracted the backers. (Indeed the IoT element of the “endpoint” focus is a recent additions.

“SentinelOne’s combination of best-in-class EPP and EDR functionality is a magnet for engagement, but it’s the company’s ability to foresee the future of the endpoint market that attracted us as a technology partner,” a rep from Samsung Venture Investment Corporation said in a statement. “Extending tech stacks beyond EPP and EDR to include IoT is the clear next step, and we look forward to collaborating with SentinelOne on its groundbreaking work in this area.