Month: July 2019

Samsung posts 55.6% drop in second-quarter profit as it copes with weak demand and a trade dispute

As it forecast earlier this month, Samsung reported a steep drop in its second-quarter earnings due to lower market demand for chips and smartphones. The company said its second-quarter operating profit fell 55.6% year-over-year to 6.6 trillion won (about $5.6 billion), on consolidated revenue of 56.13 trillion won, slightly above the guidance it issued three weeks ago.

Last quarter, Samsung also reported that its operating profit had dropped by more than half. The same issues that hit its earnings during the first quarter of this year have continued, including lower memory prices as major datacenter customers adjust their inventory, meaning they are currently buying less chips (the weak market also impacted competing semiconductor maker SK Hynix’s quarterly earnings).

Samsung reported that its chip business saw second-quarter operating profit drop 71% year-over-year to 3.4 trillion won, on consolidated revenue of 16.09 trillion won. In the second half of the year, the company expects to continue dealing with market uncertainty, but says demand for chips will increase “on strong seasonality and adoption of higher-density products.”

Meanwhile, Samsung’s mobile business reported a 42% drop in operating profit from a year ago to 1.56 trillion won, on 25.86 trillion won in consolidated revenue. The company said its smartphone shipments increased quarter-over-quarter thanks to strong sales of its budget Galaxy A series. But sales of flagship models fell, due to “weak sales momentum for the Galaxy S10 and stagnant demand for premium products.”

Samsung expects the mobile market to remain lackluster, but it will continue adding to both its flagship and mass-market lineups. It is expected to unveil the Note 10 next month and a new release date for the delayed Galaxy Fold, along with new A series models in the second half of the year.

“The company will promptly respond to the changing business environment, and step up efforts to secure profitability by enhancing efficiency across development, manufacturing and marketing operations,” Samsung said in its earnings release.

It’s not just market demand that’s impacting Samsung’s earnings. Along with other tech companies, Samsung is steeling itself for the long-term impact of a trade dispute between Japan and South Korea. Last month, Japan announced that it is placing export restrictions on some materials used in chips and smartphones. Samsung said it still has stores of those materials, but it is also looking for alternatives since it is unclear how long the dispute between the two countries may last (and it could last for a long time).

Elizabeth Warren schooling John Delaney ends with his death on Wikipedia

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You might not be able to pick John Delaney out of a lineup, but he’ll go down in history in at least one way: as the first 2020 presidential candidate to drop dead during a live televised debate.

OK, not really, but for awhile there, Wikipedia said so. His Wikipedia page was edited mid-debate to list his date of death as Tuesday, July 30, at the hands of Sen. Elizabeth Warren. 

Delaney, a former congressman from Maryland, tried to position himself as a realist, saying he wanted to avoid “impossible promises” and “run on things that are workable, not fairytale economics.” 

And to that, Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, had this to say: Read more…

More about Democratic Debate, Elizabeth Warren, Wikipedia, John Delaney, and Watercooler

Staying Productive: 8 Tips I Follow To Break My Productivity Slump

For the last few days, I have been feeling way too sleepy. That could be because the weather is fantastic where I live or I am overeating (I just ordered Mexican food from Chili’s) or both. The point is I am a solopreneur, a freelancer. I am in the phase of scaling up my business and feeling sleepy at two o’ clock in the afternoon is not something I can afford.

I have too much on my plate at the moment. For starters – I want to get my website up and running. Don’t worry – it will be live by the time you read this article. My husband and I have family visiting us, so there’s that. We are traveling a bit too much in the coming months, so we have to plan for that.

And these are just non-work related tasks. There are assignments to be scheduled for the clients I signed up recently, and articles to be delivered before the month gets over.

Too much to do. Too little time.

These days, by the time I look up after finishing one assignment, it’s already nighttime and I can’t help but wonder if there is a way to break this productivity slump and complete all the tasks on my to-do list faster.

To answer my own question, I usually follow these eight nifty tips to staying productive. Check them out:

Write even when I don’t want to

Since a significant part of my job revolves around writing, I can’t escape it even when I want to. I have deadlines to meet and some critical clients who I can’t disappoint. Therefore, whenever I feel lazy or unproductive, I write. The output may not be as good, but I still get the job done. And, that’s what matters at the end of the day!

Talk to a friend or colleague

stay productive

I am lucky to have a few friends from the same industry. I get on weekly calls with them to discuss our goals and challenges. Sometimes, I have a casual call with them. It’s nice to know what they are up to besides work, which can often get boring.

When I am feeling low, I prefer speaking to a select few – the ones that make me laugh. My conversations with them put me back in the right place, and I can put things in perspective, professionally and personally.

You don’t know how much good vibes of a person can rub off on you.

Take a stroll in the park

I don’t do this often, but just going for a walk calms me and helps me readjust my focus. I really enjoy the weather here, so it’s great stepping out in the evenings. I try to walk for 30 minutes every day. Walking increases cardiovascular fitness, improves balance, reduces body fat, among other benefits.

Stay away from social media

When you are unproductive, don’t make it worse by browsing through your Instagram feed. Believe it or not – it is not the first thing I check right in the mornings anymore. I go on Twitter while I am working, but that too is controlled.

I was never a huge fan of Facebook and can go days without checking it. I am a bit active on LinkedIn, but really, it can’t and doesn’t do much harm. In the last year, if there’s anything that I have learned is that social media can suck your time and energy.

Worse, it can make you feel guilty, useless, and incredibly low by the end of the day. Trust me, you don’t want that.

See Also: Social Media Causing Depression and Anxiety: Is It True?

Listen to music

how to stay productive

I love listening to music. Sometimes I put on ambient music to remove all distractions while researching or writing. Hans Zimmer, anyone? And then, there are times when I want to listen to SZA, The Weeknd or Post Malone.

Music has a way of filling my surroundings with substance. It lifts my spirits and makes me very happy. The right type of music makes me want to dream big, achieve big, and live my life to the fullest! I hope your experience is similar.

P.S. I am listening to Unforgettable by French Montana and Swae Lee right now.

See Also: How Music Affects Your Productivity

Have some chai

I am a North Indian, and we thrive on chai. When I was working in an office, my friend and I would wait to go on a tea break. Now that I work from home, the charm of companionship may be lost, but hey, I still have my chai. Evenings are meant to be enjoyed with freshly brewed tea.

I feel I deserve a steaming cup after a hectic day. Don’t we all?

I am also a fan of green tea but I feel that’s an acquired taste. I recently bought Blue Pea green tea from Tea Trunk. It has a beautiful azure hue – a visual delight indeed! I like the dull taste too – balanced and calming – just how I want it.

Bottom line: Any type of tea breaks my productivity slump.

Finish off household work

I love my house, and I like it to be nice and proper. Whether it is folding laundry or cooking – I like to make sure I am at the top of things. This attitude is specifically handy during such dull days, when I still want to do something substantial.

When I know I have got one chore off my list, I know I can write an article or finish scheduling social media for a week pretty quickly.

Re-organize my Trello

I am a Trello geek. I think I have over ten boards on my Trello. When I want to break my productivity slump, I get on it and start re-organizing it. It helps me identify the tasks or clients that don’t need my attention urgently.

I can reschedule, reduce clutter, and start work with a clean state – all of which helps me become more productive and better at how I approach things.

What do you think?

As a new solopreneur, I am all about finding new ways to boost my productivity levels, work less and earn more. And, it would be great if you can help me perfect the way I am operating at the moment.

What do you have to say about my tips? Are they nifty enough for you?

The post Staying Productive: 8 Tips I Follow To Break My Productivity Slump appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Capital One’s breach was inevitable, because we did nothing after Equifax

Another day, another massive data breach.

This time it’s the financial giant and credit card issuer Capital One, which revealed on Monday a credit file breach affecting 100 million Americans and 6 million Canadians. Consumers and small businesses affected are those who obtained one of the company’s credit cards dating back to 2005.

That includes names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, self-reported income and more credit card application data — including over 140,000 Social Security numbers in the U.S., and more than a million in Canada.

The FBI already has a suspect in custody. Seattle resident and software developer Paige A. Thompson, 33, was arrested and detained pending trial. She’s been accused of stealing data by breaching a web application firewall, which was supposed to protect it.

Sound familiar? It should. Just last week, credit rating giant Equifax settled for more than $575 million over a date breach it had — and hid from the public for several months — two years prior.

Why should we be surprised? Equifax faced zero fallout until its eventual fine. All talk, much bluster, but otherwise little action.

Equifax’s chief executive Richard Smith “retired” before he was fired, allowing him to keep his substantial pension packet. Lawmakers grilled the company but nothing happened. An investigation launched by the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the governmental body responsible for protecting consumers from fraud, declined to pursue the company. The FTC took its sweet time to issue its fine — which amounted to about 20% of the company’s annual revenue for 2018. For one of the most damaging breaches to the U.S. population since the breach of classified vetting files at the Office of Personnel Management in 2015, Equifax got off lightly.

Legislatively, nothing has changed. Equifax remains as much of a “victim” in the eyes of the law as it was before — technically, but much to the ire of the millions affected who were forced to freeze their credit as a result.

Mark Warner, a Democratic senator serving Virginia, along with his colleague since turned presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, was tough on the company, calling for it to do more to protect consumer data. With his colleagues, he called on the credit agencies to face penalties to the top brass and extortionate fines to hold the companies accountable — and to send a message to others that they can’t play fast and loose with our data again.

But Congress didn’t bite. Warner told TechCrunch at the time that there was “a failure of the company, but also of lawmakers” for not taking action.

Lo and behold, it happened again. Without a congressional intervention, Capital One is likely to face largely the same rigmarole as Equifax did.

Blame the lawmakers all you want. They had their part to play in this. But fool us twice, shame on the credit companies for not properly taking action in the first place.

The Equifax incident should have sparked a fire under the credit giants. The breach was the canary in the coal mine. We watched and waited to see what would happen as the canary’s lifeless body emerged — but, much to the American public’s chagrin, no action came of it. The companies continued on with the mentality that “it could happen to us, but probably won’t.” It was always going to happen again unless there was something to force the companies to act.

Companies continue to vacuum up our data — knowingly and otherwise — and don’t do enough to protect it. As much as we can have laws to protect consumers from this happening again, these breaches will continue so long as the companies continue to collect our data and not take their data security responsibilities seriously.

We had an opportunity to stop these kinds of breaches from happening again, yet in the two years passed we’ve barely grappled with the basic concepts of internet security. All we have to show for it is a meager fine.

Thompson faces five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Everyone else faces just another major intrusion into their personal lives. Not at the hands of the hacker per se, but the companies that collect our data — with our consent and often without — and take far too many liberties with it.

100 million Americans’ data accessed in massive Capitol One hack

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Well, this is not good. 

Finance services giant Capital One announced Monday that there had been a major cybersecurity incident directly affecting 100 million Americans and six million Canadians. Specifically, a host of their customers’ private financial data had been accessed by a hacker. 

According to a statement issued by the company, two separates breaches occurred — once on March 22 and another on March 23 — and were discovered on July 19. 

Bloomberg reports that a Seattle woman has been arrested and accused of hacking Capital One’s server at an unnamed cloud-computing company.

Notably, it seems that although the customer data in question was encrypted, the hacker was able to decrypt it.  Read more…

More about Capital One, Data Breach, Tech, and Cybersecurity

Why We Need To Think More About Ethical AI Now

Artificial intelligence is the stuff of nightmares and science fiction stories. What if it goes rogue and thinks we are dispensable? It’s not as far-fetched as you might think.

Artificial intelligence can automate many of the repetitive things we do every day. It can even drive for us and recognize different human faces.

The problem?

Artificial intelligence is only as unbiased as we can program it to be — and we are humans with bias. How can we ensure AI is programmed in an ethical and unbiased way?

The Proven History of Bias In AI

People have tried several times to program AI to take over lower-level tasks. It was supposed to free us up to handle the things that are higher-order in nature.

Amazon famously tried this with its hiring protocols. It fed resumes into an artificial intelligence algorithm, telling it which candidates were successful hires. The result was not only that the AI refused to consider women applicants for jobs, but it also kicked out any resumes that have women as references.

There are more dangerous instances of biased programming in artificial intelligence. A 2019 study found that driverless cars were better at detecting pedestrians with lighter skin tones. The data fed to the algorithm contained three times as many light-skinned people as it did dark-skinned people. So, the AI learned to detect lighter skinned people much faster but struggled to identify people with darker skin tones.

There’s also been a lot of talks lately about facial recognition software utilized by police departments. Some cities and states are banning the practice. However, states like Orlando, Florida and Washington County, Oregon have already started using the software.

It has many of the same problems as facial detection software in autonomous vehicles. The programming is biased and often misidentifies people with darker skin tones. The ACLU compared 25,000 mugshots with photos of members of congress and found 28 false matches, 39% of which were people of color. This technology scans police body camera footage as well as security footage even with known flaws.

The Purpose Of Ethical AI

Artificial intelligence can potentially make our lives easier. If we can figure a way to program AI to be ethical, we can actually use the technology to save lives. Driverless cars are estimated to save us up to 250 million hours of free time, $234 billion in public costs in savings from accidents, and 90% of traffic fatalities. But this is, of course, only if it is programmed correctly.

driverless car
Via phys.org

There’s not even a consensus about how driverless cars should react in situations that could lead to death or injury. Only about three-quarters of people believe that driverless cars should save as many lives as possible. There’s not even a consensus that human life is more valuable than property or other considerations.

There are people who believe that autonomous vehicles should spare the lives of children almost unanimously. However, less preference is given to the lives of criminals or animals. What’s more, very few people were actually willing to spend the money to buy a car with programming that would minimize harm.

How Can We Promote Ethical AI?

As the old saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.

If we want artificial intelligence to be less biased, we have to understand the inner workings of human bias. We need to spend the time to ensure it doesn’t get translated into the AI’s training modules.

Training the AI to weigh darker skin tones more heavily or to ignore gender could help make the algorithms less biased. Being more careful about the data that is fed into the system and monitoring for any problems in the output are going to be crucial steps moving forward. Subtle human bias can be multiplied when it becomes part of an algorithm. Once the AI is left to its own devices this can become a serious problem.

If we want to be able to fully benefit from AI, we need to do the work on the front end to make sure it thinks ethically. Learn more about ethical artificial intelligence from the infographic below.

Are we ready for a world where the machines can make their own decisions?
Ethical AI
Source: Cyber Security Degrees

The post Why We Need To Think More About Ethical AI Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Joy Capital closes $700M for early-stage investments in China

Joy Capital, the venture capital firm that’s backed Luckin, NIO, Mobike and other investor darlings in China, just raised $700 million for a new fund focusing on early-to-growth stage startups.

Launched in 2015 by a team of former investors at Legend Capital, the investment arm of PC maker Lenovo’s parent company, Joy Capital made the news official (in Chinese) on Monday. It didn’t identify the limited partners in this new corpus of funding but said they include “top” public pension funds and insurance companies. Its existing pool of investors counts those from sovereign wealth funds, education-focused endowment funds, family funds and parent funds.

The fresh money boosted Joy’s total tally to over 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion) under management, with a focus on backing cutting edge technologies and companies involved in the digital upgrade of China’s traditional sectors, or what Joy’s founding partner Liu Erhai (pictured above) dubbed the “new infrastructure” in an op-ed for the China Securities Journal. Targets can include the likes of logistics companies, online car rental platforms or bike-sharing apps.

As a relatively young fund, Joy Capital has so far achieved a few large outcomes. One of its portfolio companies NIO became China’s first electric vehicle startup to go public in the U.S. as a rival to Tesla. It’s also funded Luckin, the Starbucks nemesis from China that floated in the U.S. only 18 months after inception. The fund’s other big wins include Mobike, the bike-sharing pioneer that was sold to Meituan Dianping for $2.7 billion and fast-growing house-sharing unicorn Danke Apartment.

Joy Capital’s new raise arrived at a time when Chinese venture investors are coping with a cash crunch amid a cooling economy exacerbated by the expansion of U.S. tariffs. We reported that private equity and venture capital firms in the country raised 30% less in the first six months of 2019 compared to a year earlier, and the number of investors that managed to attract fundings was down 52% in the same period.

Apple’s three 2020 iPhones will all reportedly be 5G-ready

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Get your salt shakers ready; it’s time to talk about future Apple products.

Sagacious Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is expecting three new iPhones in 2020, and he’s saying they’ll all be wired for 5G support. The detail comes from an investor note obtained by MacRumors so it’s not exactly straight from Apple, but Kuo is a highly regarded analyst.

He had previously said back in June that two of the three expected iPhone models would be 5G-ready, so this is really more of an update to that earlier note. There’s a few reasons key reasons for the update.

The first is tied to a bit of fresh Apple news: the iPhone maker only recently acquired Intel’s modem business, which Mashable’s Karissa Bell already identified as a major boost for cellular Apple devices.  Read more…

More about Apple, Iphone, Ming Chi Kuo, 5g, and Tech

The Knight Foundation launches $750,000 initiative for immersive technology for the arts

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is looking for pitches on how to enhance and augment traditional creative arts through immersive technologies.

Through a partnership with Microsoft the foundation is offering a share of a $750,00 pool of cash and the option of technical support from Microsoft, including mentoring in mixed-reality technologies and access to the company’s suite of mixed reality technologies.

“We’ve seen how immersive technologies can reach new audiences and engage existing audiences in new ways,” said Chris Barr, director for arts and technology innovation at Knight Foundation, in a statement. “But arts institutions need more knowledge to move beyond just experimenting with these technologies to becoming proficient in leveraging their full potential.”

Specifically, the foundation is looking for projects that will help engage new audiences; build new service models; expand access beyond the walls of arts institutions; and provide means to distribute immersive experiences to multiple locations, the foundation said in a statement.

“When done right, life-changing experiences can happen at the intersection of arts and technology,” said Victoria Rogers, Knight Foundation vice president for arts. “Our goal through this call is to help cultural institutions develop informed and refined practices for using new technologies, equipping them to better navigate and thrive in the digital age.”

Launched at the Gray Area Festival in San Francisco, the new initiative is part of the Foundation’s art and technology focus, which the organization said is designed to help arts institutions better meet changing audience expectations. Last year, the foundation invested $600,000 in twelve projects focused on using technology to help people engage with the arts.

“We’re incredibly excited to support this open call for ways in which technology can help art institutions engage new audiences,” says Mira Lane, Partner Director Ethics & Society at Microsoft. “We strongly believe that immersive technology can enhance the ability for richer experiences, deeper storytelling, and broader engagement.”

Here are the winners from the first $600,000 pool:

  • ArtsESP – Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

Project lead: Nicole Keating | Miami | @ArshtCenter

Developing forecasting software that enables cultural institutions to make data-centered decisions in planning their seasons and events.

  • Exploring the Gallery Through Voice – Alley Interactive

Project lead: Tim Schwartz | New York | @alleyco@cooperhewitt@SinaBahram

Exploring how conversational interfaces, like Amazon Alexa, can provide remote audiences with access to an exhibition experience at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

  • The Bass in VR – The Bass

Project lead: T.J. Black | Miami Beach | @TheBassMoA

Using 360-degree photography technology to capture and share the exhibit experience in an engaging, virtual way for remote audiences.

  • AR Enhanced Audio Tour – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Project lead: Shane Richey | Bentonville, Arkansas | @crystalbridges

Developing mobile software to deliver immersive audio-only stories that museum visitors would experience when walking up to art for a closer look.

  • Smart Label Initiative – Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University

Project lead: Brian Kirschensteiner | East Lansing, Michigan | @msubroad

Creating a system of smart labels that combine ultra-thin touch displays and microcomputers to deliver interactive informational content about artwork to audiences.

  • Improving Arts Accessibility through Augmented Reality Technology – Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, in collaboration with People’s Light

Project lead: Lisa Sonnenborn | Philadelphia | @TempleUniv,@IODTempleU@peopleslight 

Making theater and performance art more accessible for the deaf, hard of hearing and non-English speaking communities by integrating augmented reality smart glasses with an open access smart captioning system to accompany live works.

  • ConcertCue – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology

Project lead: Eran Egozy | Cambridge, Massachusetts | @EEgozy,@MIT,@ArtsatMIT@MIT_SHASS

Developing a mobile app for classical music audiences that receives real-time program notes at precisely-timed moments of a live musical performance.

  • Civic Portal – Monument Lab

Project lead: Paul Farber and Ken Lum | Philadelphia | @monument_lab@PennDesign@SachsArtsPhilly@paul_farber

Encouraging public input on new forms of historical monuments through a digital tool that allows users to identify locations, topics and create designs for potential public art and monuments in our cities.

  • Who’s Coming? – The Museum of Art and History at the McPherson Center

Project lead: Nina Simon | Santa Cruz, California | @santacruzmah@OFBYFOR_ALL

Prototyping a tool in the form of a smartphone/tablet app for cultural institutions to capture visitor demographic data, increasing knowledge on who is and who is not participating in programs.

  • Feedback Loop – Newport Art Museum, in collaboration with Work-Shop Design Studio

Project lead: Norah Diedrich | Newport, Rhode Island | @NewportArtMuse

Enabling audiences to share immediate feedback and reflections on art by designing hardware and software to test recording and sharing of audience thoughts.

  • The Traveling Stanzas Listening Wall – Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University Foundation

Project lead: David Hassler | Kent, Ohio | @DavidWickPoetry,@WickPoetry,@KentState@travelingstanza

Producing touchscreen installations in public locations that allow users to create and share poetry by reflecting on and responding to historical documents, oral histories, and multimedia stories about current events and community issues.

  • Wiki Art Depiction Explorer – Wikimedia District of Columbia, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution

Project lead: Andrew Lih | Washington, District of Columbia | @wikimedia@fuzheado

Using crowdsourcing methods to improve Wikipedia descriptions of artworks in major collections so people can better access and understand art virtually.

Ethics in the age of autonomous vehicles

Earlier this month, TechCrunch held its inaugural Mobility Sessions event, where leading mobility-focused auto companies, startups, executives and thought leaders joined us to discuss all things autonomous vehicle technology, micromobility and electric vehicles.

Extra Crunch is offering members access to full transcripts of key panels and conversations from the event, such as Megan Rose Dickey‘s chat with Voyage CEO and co-founder Oliver Cameron and Uber’s prediction team lead Clark Haynes on the ethical considerations for autonomous vehicles.

Megan, Oliver and Clark talk through how companies should be thinking about ethics when building out the self-driving ecosystem, while also diving into the technical aspects of actually building an ethical transportation product. The panelists also discuss how their respective organizations handle ethics, representation and access internally, and how their approaches have benefited their offerings.

Clark Haynes: So we as human drivers, we’re naturally what’s called foveate. Our eyes go forward and we have some mirrors that help us get some situational awareness. Self-driving cars don’t have that problem. Self-driving cars are designed with 360-degree sensors. They can see everything around them.

But the interesting problem is not everything around you is important. And so you need to be thinking through what are the things, the people, the actors in the world that you might be interacting with, and then really, really think through possible outcomes there.

I work on the prediction problem of what’s everyone doing? Certainly, you need to know that someone behind you is moving in a certain way in a certain direction. But maybe that thing that you’re not really certain what it is that’s up in front of you, that’s the thing where you need to be rolling out 10, 20 different scenarios of what might happen and make certain that you can kind of hedge your bets against all of those.

For access to the full transcription below and for the opportunity to read through additional event transcripts and recaps, become a member of Extra Crunch. Learn more and try it for free. 

Megan Rose Dickey: Ready to talk some ethics?

Oliver Cameron: Born ready.

Clark Haynes: Absolutely.

Rose Dickey: I’m here with Oliver Cameron of Voyage, a self-driving car company that operates in communities, like retirement communities, for example. And with Clark Haynes of Uber, he’s on the prediction team for autonomous vehicles.

So some of you in the audience may remember, it was last October, MIT came out with something called the moral machine. And it essentially laid out 13 different scenarios involving self-driving cars where essentially someone had to die. It was either the old person or the young person, the black person, or the white person, three people versus one person. I’m sure you guys saw that, too.

So why is that not exactly the right way to be thinking about self-driving cars and ethics?

Haynes: This is the often-overused trolley problem of, “You can only do A or B choose one.” The big thing there is that if you’re actually faced with that as the hardest problem that you’re doing right now, you’ve already failed.

You should have been working harder to make certain you never ended up in a situation where you’re just choosing A or B. You should actually have been, a long time ago, looking at A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and like thinking through all possible outcomes as far as what your self-driving car could do, in low probability outcomes that might be happening.

Rose Dickey: Oliver, I remember actually, it was maybe a few months ago, you tweeted something about the trolley problem and how much you hate it.

Cameron: I think it’s one of those questions that doesn’t have an ideal answer today, because no one’s got self-driving cars deployed to tens of thousands of people experiencing these sorts of issues on the road. If we did an experiment, how many people here have ever faced that conundrum? Where they have to choose between a mother pushing a stroller with a child and a regular, normal person that’s just crossing the road?

Rose Dickey: We could have a quick show of hands. Has anyone been in that situation?

A Safety Guide For Dental Implants

Every person wants to look competent and confident. The shape of a face mainly depends on the structure and form of the teeth. People have various perceptions about the beauty of a face. Earlier, when medical sciences were not so technologically sound, people used to live with the set of teeth from the time they were born.

Gradually, various inventions took place in the medical sciences. The advanced treatments now help to change the face of a person according to their desires. Various treatments like the use of dentures, braces, and dental implants, among others have been developed over time.

These treatments have helped to fix a lot of problems apart from the usual dental pains. Dental implants, in particular, is one of the most well-established therapies. Nonetheless, it requires regular maintenance and proper care from time to time. So, the patients need to see a doctor after a certain period to keep a healthy dental condition after the dental implants.

What Is A Dental Implant?

dental implants

Dental implants provide support to the teeth. They are surgical components that go deep inside the jaw and supports the dental prosthesis.

The implants help in reconstructing the entire set of teeth very efficiently. They are titanium screws that are inserted in the place of a tooth as it falls from the jaw in a natural process through decay. The screw is placed very carefully in the jawbone for such reason.

Advantages of Dental Implants

There are a lot of benefits to having dental implants. Some of them are:

  • Enhances looks: Dental implants help to improve the facial structure of a person since this is a permanent solution.
  • Better speech: Poor dental sittings often cause mumbling of words. The dental implants help in improving one’s vocal expressions as words spoken are easier to understand.
  • Improve set of teeth: The setting of the teeth gets disturbed if teeth start falling. The dental implants help to improve the context of the teeth and make it as the patients want.
  • Enhances confidence: These implants help to increase one’s self-confidence.
  • Beautiful smile: Dental implants not only help to gain confidence but also possess a charming smile. A great smile helps a person bring out themselves in front of the world.

Safety Rules To Follow

Safety measures are necessary to avoid any problems after dental implants. Some safety rules are as follows:

  • Before the implant, proper dental care is necessary so that the gum is not damaged.
  • One should take care and have healthy food that is good for one’s gums and teeth.
  • Immediately after the surgery, one should be extra careful and take medicine as prescribed by the doctors.
  • Taking good care of the gums after the dental implantation should be the priority.
  • After the dental implantation, one needs to follow the diet as given by the doctor. One should only have that food suggested by the doctor, or else one may suffer from more significant problems.
  • Even after the surgery, one should take proper maintenance of the affected area, if not taken proper care, pain and swelling may occur.
  • One should go for routine checkups from time to time for a long-lasting effect of the dental implantation.
  • After the surgery is over, one should take proper care of their teeth by regular brushing, regular dental checkups, and having fewer sweets.

dental implant advantage

See Also: 9 Dental Health Myths That You Should Stop Believing Now

Dental implantation helps a person have a beautiful smile and gives them the confidence to face the world. It can also make you feel more confident about yourself.

The post A Safety Guide For Dental Implants appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

‘Moulin Rouge!’ on Broadway is one hell of a fun spectacle

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The spectacle of Moulin Rouge! begins not with the opening number, but from the moment you walk into the glamorous, immersive theater decked out with a giant windmill on one side and a larger-than-life elephant on the other. Then, as you actually focus on what is on the stage, you’re greeted with seductive dancers strutting around in their burlesque best, making eyes at patrons as they find their seats and begin to even attempt to take in all the wonder around them. 

Welcome to the Moulin Rouge.

This bombastic, enchanting and altogether magical Broadway musical, based on the Oscar-nominated 2001 film of the same name by Baz Lurhmann, is a love letter to love, most especially the all-consuming, desperate kind of love that songwriters have been trying to put into words over and over again for centuries.  Read more…

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SoftBank announces AI-focused second $108 billion Vision Fund with LPs including Microsoft, Apple and Foxconn

SoftBank Group announced today that it will launch its second Vision Fund with participation from Apple, Foxconn, Microsoft and other tech companies and investors. Called the Vision Fund 2, the fund will focus on AI-based technology. SoftBank said the fund’s capital has reached about $108 billion, based on memoranda of understandings. SoftBank Group’s own investment in the fund will be $38 billion.

It is worth noting that the second Vision Fund’s list of expected limited partners does not currently include any participants from the Saudi Arabia government (the first Vision Fund’s close ties to people, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who have been implicated in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has understandably been a major source of concern for investors, companies and human rights observers).

But SoftBank Group also said is still in discussions with other participants and that the total amount of the fund is expected to increase. The full list of participants who have signed MOUs so far are: “Apple, Foxconn Technology Group, Microsoft Corporation, Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, Ltd., The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited, SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., Daiwa Securities Group Inc., National Investment Corporation of National Bank of Kazakhstan, Standard Chartered Bank, and major participants from Taiwan.”

SoftBank’s intention to launch Vision Fund 2 was first reported earlier this week by the Wall Street Journal. The new fund is expected to decrease SoftBank’s reliance on Saudi Arabian investment and also potentially change the relationship between startups, corporate giants like Microsoft and investors.

The second Vision Fund could help SoftBank extend its position as the most influential investor globally. Through its first $97 billion Vision Fund, the giant invested in dozens of high-profile growing companies, including ride hailing giants Didi Chuxing and Grab, and India-based grocery delivery startup Grofers, payments-firm Paytm, and budget lodging startup Oyo.

The maiden Vision Fund, which was announced in October 2016 and began investing in early 2017, has earned 62% returns to date, SoftBank said last month. SoftBank, known for consistently cutting checks of $100 million and of larger sizes, has invested in 24 of 377 unicorns globally (companies with valuation of $1 billion or more), according to research firm CB Insights.

The Most Devastating Cyber Attack: How to Prevent Ransomware

Large corporations, governments, and even small businesses are always at a high risk of being attacked. Hackers and cybercriminals aim to steal your money no matter who or what you are.  Cyber-attacks have an increase of 235%, according to a report issued by Malware Labs in 2019.

Malware, Man-In-The-Middle, and phishing are some of the most common types of cyber attacks, but which could be more destructive? The answer is ransomware.

Ransomware is on the rise in the cyber world. It is a type of malware attack that will steal your data. Criminals will demand ransom to return your data.

In the U.S., Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Baltimore City faced ransomware attacks. These drove smaller businesses, thinking that large corporations and governments are the only targets of a ransomware attack.

The truth, however, is that every business should prepare itself to prevent this attack. Every business needs to know how to prevent ransomware.

Difference between ransomware and other cyber attacks

ransomware

Ransomware doesn’t lack confidential information or personal data to be effective. This distinct behavior makes it different from other cyber attacks. It surfs for data in an organization that is valuable enough for the victim to pay the ransom just to get them back.

Ransomware is a very effective approach of hackers to paralyze an organization. It restricts their access to their information, deliver services, and accept payments. All these obstacles will turn customers of an organization away.

How to Prevent Ransomware

Ransomware can cost a lot to a business so it must prepare itself to combat not only ransomware but all kinds of cyber attacks.

Several best practices businesses should implement to protect themselves from cyber attacks include:

Security Software

Security software is crucial for an organization to detect and deter fraudulent activity. This software should be strong enough to verify activities and detect potential harm to the organization.

If your business is online, then your organization must use an identity verification service. It is an anti-fraud technology for online businesses that can verify your customer and even employees online. It is capable of detecting if someone is pretending to be someone.

Firewall & Intrusion Detection/Protection

Installing a firewall is a crucial security measure and any business should not neglect it. It can deny and allow access to a company network or a part of the network. By restricting access with the help of a firewall, an organization can prevent scammers.

Web & Email Filtering

cyber attack

All efforts of preventing ransomware from getting in the network become useless when an end-user inadvertently opens a malicious email and click a malicious link. For end-users, it is becoming increasingly complex to detect all malicious emails as phishing attempts are becoming more sophisticated.

By email safety awareness training and email filtering for employees, an organization can mitigate the risk. It’s one of the best ways on how to prevent ransomware.

User Education

Users/clients are the most valuable asset of a company. Their protection should be the priority of any organization. An organization should arrange regular awareness programs for users to educate them about malicious links and persons.

See Also: 5 Top Cyber Security Training Tips For Employees

Backup offers the best protection

Taking backup on regular basis can secure you from ransomware. In case you become a victim of ransomware, you can use your previous backup to keep going. Usually, taking backup costs you little to nothing but restoring backup could take days or weeks. It will cost you in labor and downtime to restore and recover your systems to make them fully functional.

Various types of backup, disaster, and threat prevention strategies are circulating in the market and every solution is valuable according to its use. You can protect your business by implementing a solution that mitigates risks attached to your business.

Your IT team or technical department should understand and analyze business deeply to provide and implement the best solution for unique problems. An IT team must identify which type of backups are beneficial for specific organizations and how to restore them more efficiently in less time in case of any critical situation.

The post The Most Devastating Cyber Attack: How to Prevent Ransomware appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Alibaba to help Salesforce localize and sell in China

Salesforce, the 20-year-old leader in customer relationship management (CRM) tools, is making a foray into Asia by working with one of the country’s largest tech firms, Alibaba.

Alibaba will be the exclusive provider of Salesforce to enterprise customers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and Salesforce will become the exclusive enterprise CRM software suite sold by Alibaba, the companies announced on Thursday.

The Chinese internet has for years been dominated by consumer-facing services such as Tencent’s WeChat messenger and Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace, but enterprise software is starting to garner strong interest from businesses and investors. Workflow automation startup Laiye, for example, recently closed a $35 million funding round led by Cathay Innovation, a growth-stage fund that believes “enterprise software is about to grow rapidly” in China.

The partners have something to gain from each other. Alibaba does not have a Salesforce equivalent serving the raft of small-and-medium businesses selling through its e-commerce marketplaces or using its cloud computing services, so the alliance with the American cloud behemoth will fill that gap.

On the other hand, Salesforce will gain sales avenues in China through Alibaba, whose cloud infrastructure and data platform will help the American firm “offer localized solutions and better serve its multinational customers,” said Ken Shen, vice president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, in a statement.

“More and more of our multinational customers are asking us to support them wherever they do business around the world. That’s why today Salesforce announced a strategic partnership with Alibaba,” said Salesforce in a statement.

Overall, only about 10% of Salesforce revenues in the three months ended April 30 originated from Asia, compared to 20% from Europe and 70% from the Americas.

Besides gaining client acquisition channels, the tie-up also enables Salesforce to store its China-based data at Alibaba Cloud. China requires all overseas companies to work with a domestic firm in processing and storing data sourced from Chinese users.

“The partnership ensures that customers of Salesforce that have operations in the Greater China area will have exclusive access to a locally-hosted version of Salesforce from Alibaba Cloud, who understands local business, culture and regulations,” an Alibaba spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Cloud has been an important growth vertical at Alibaba and nabbing a heavyweight ally will only strengthen its foothold as China’s biggest cloud service provider. Salesforce made some headway in Asia last December when it set up a $100 million fund to invest in Japanese enterprise startups and the latest partnership with Alibaba will see the San Francisco-based firm actually go after customers in Asia.

Samsung says an improved Galaxy Fold will launch in September

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Samsung’s foldable phone is back on.

An improved version of the Galaxy Fold will be ready to launch in “select markets” beginning in September, Samsung announced. The company said it has made a number of improvements to the design of the foldable phone, including “additional reinforcements.”

Samsung launched the Galaxy Fold with great fanfare in February, promising the foldable phone would usher in a new era of smartphone design. But when the company handed out devices to journalists in April, many early reviewers quickly reported serious issues. Samsung then put the phone on hold, and rumors of design flaws and planned fixes have trickled in since.  Read more…

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Things to Consider Before Starting a New Marketing Campaign

Starting a marketing campaign from scratch can feel overwhelming. In case you have never made a marketing campaign or if you have at least tried and just felt like you were in a tight spot, you’d know how tough it is.

However, if you want serious returns for your new business, you need to think your marketing campaigns through.

Preferably, before you plan a coupon marketing campaign, you ought to have a marketing plan for your business. The marketing plan is the foundation of your marketing strategy for a product or service. It gives the general coupon marketing strategies and objectives to draw your target market to the products or service your business offers.

A good marketing campaign includes only a bit of your actual marketing plan—an activity intended to accomplish a specific marketing goal. When you know how your campaign fits into your general marketing plan, then you can distinguish your objective market and how best to approach them.

Here are some things you should consider before starting a marketing campaign for your product/service.

When to start your campaign

Your marketing campaign must have a start and an end date. Utilize a calendar to schedule and plot out the significant dates and activities.

Figuring out when to begin your promotions is similar to tossing spaghetti at a wall. You study different marketing strategies and implement what you think fits the bill.

Hence, there is no definite answer to this question as it varies from business to business. You need to consider your market, the type of product or service, the purpose of the product, and other factors before you can decide when to start your marketing campaign. However, you need to take your time to plan out and design the campaign and the strategies you will need to implement in order to make the campaign successful.

See Also: Ask Questions Before Approving a Marketing Campaign Plan

Pick your target audience

Before you start your coupon marketing campaign, you have to decide the “who”. You need to determine your target market and how you will contact them.

The most ideal approach is to comprehend their novel difficulties and how you can tackle them. Characterize purchaser personas for your customers so you can refine your messages to their particular needs as they assess their alternatives.

Create a content calendar

target marketing campaign

When you share content on different marketing platforms, it tends to be hard to remain on track. On the off chance that you fall behind, completely disregard a platform or miss a post, it could destroy your whole campaign.

Endeavor to recall what content to post and when can be a noteworthy pressure. Occasional posts and conflicting messages may make your clients think that you don’t care about your online nearness.

A content schedule or calendar will enable you to remain on track and guarantee you’re posting the right data at the best time. Rather than expecting to recollect what day you should post something, you can check your calendar every morning to decide what ought to be planned for that day.

Moreover, it enables you to see the master plan for your marketing procedure. You will know how each bit of your marketing content fits together to make the whole campaign.

See Also: Effective Content Marketing: 8 Ways to Get Your Content Noticed

Where to distribute your campaign

What media channel will you use to convey your message and pull in and catch your customers?

Some marketing platforms include:

  • Websites
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Mobile
  • Video
  • Search Engines

The channels you pick should depend on your business, target audience, and objectives.

Note: The channel is the way to communicate with people. The strategy is how you use the channel to promote your business. So, your coupon marketing strategy is the thing that you post, share on the marketing channel to promote engagement which turns into leads.

Set your marketing campaign budget

The amount of cash you can spend on your campaign will enormously influence the advertising strategies you pick.

A billboard is much more expensive than flyers. Try not to rely upon free publicizing and advancement procedures for your business.

This doesn’t mean that all free advertising techniques are terrible. However, there is always an expense to marketing. The best method to achieve your target market may not be so cheap, so be reasonable when setting your campaign budget.

Track and measure results

It is imperative to monitor your marketing strategies to results. Results will be dictated by what your objectives were for the campaign. Following and estimating results can be easy or complex depending on the business.

When you have finished your campaign, keeps these things in mind during the review:

  • Did your offer fulfill the needs of your target customers? If not, what would you be able to offer that will?
  • What did you discover that you can apply to your next campaign?
  • Did you meet the objectives? If not, why?
  • Should anything change next time you run the campaign?

Boosting a marketing campaign isn’t something you can do rapidly and accomplish results overnight. Every activity should be arranged and carefully thought of before you start the campaign. Without an appropriate plan, your campaign is probably going to fall flat.

Make changes

marketing campaign

You can dissect, measure, and track your marketing practices to figure out what your crowd will associate with. When you realize your coupon marketing campaign isn’t verging on accomplishing your objectives, then you need to make changes.

Remain mindful of how your audience is responding, yet keep your team ready to make improvements and amendments wherever necessary. Do not sit idle or waste your money on a campaign that will not bring you any returns.

Conclusion

The key takeaways here are to focus on the needs of your audience, pick the channels that you believe will give the best return, and monitor your progress and finally stick with what works for your business. Consider the factors mentioned above before starting a marketing campaign to get the most out of your coupon marketing efforts.

The post Things to Consider Before Starting a New Marketing Campaign appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

China plans e-cigarette regulation as industry booms

China is taking steps to regulate its blossoming vaping market as health concerns over electronic cigarettes increase in recent times.

China’s National Health Commission has begun research into e-cigarettes and plans to issue legislation for the industry, said the head of the health authority Mao Qunan at a press conference this week. The attempt came as Chinese e-cigarette startups raised loads of venture capital over the past year in their fight to vie for attention in the world’s largest market of smokers.

Vaping suppliers in China range from little-known workshops that have come under legal attack from industry giant Juul, which is reportedly mulling a China entry itself, to venture-backed startups operating out of manufacturing hub Shenzhen. At least 20 e-cigarette companies in China have raised fundings since the beginning of 2019, according to data collected by Crunchbase.

These players are in effect up against state monopoly China Tobacco, which is the world’s biggest cigarette maker and provides the government with colossal tax revenues.

Some researchers support the use of vaping to help adults quit smoking while others have shown that e-cigarettes are just as addictive as traditional ones. The other major controversy is the growing use of e-cigarettes among teenagers, which has led to California’s plan to ban vaping product sales.

China is also applying more scrutiny to the new smoking technology. Research shows that the aerosol produced by heating up e-cigarettes can contain “a lot of harmful substances” and additives in e-cigarettes can “pose health risks,” said Mao. He also noted that equivocal labeling of nicotine level can misguide smokers and sloppy device standards can result in battery explosion and other safety incidents.

Like the U.S., China has seen a worryingly high vaping rate among young people, which is another reason that urges Beijing to hold the industry in check. The use of e-cigarettes by kids, teens and young adults has been proven unsafe because nicotine, which is highly addictive, can harm brain development.

In May, China drew up a set of standards (in Chinese) for e-cigarettes that specify the level of nicotine, the type of additives and other components and designs allowed in battery-powered cigarette devices.

The softblocking meme blends literary references with cancel culture

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Oof. Yikes. A new copypasta has everyone softblocking problematic villains from well known stories, all in the name of the meme. 

Urban Dictionary defines softblocking as “A phrase often used by Twitter users to describe the blocking of another person, then immediate unblock.” 

Essentially, it forces the blocked party to unknowingly unfollow the user so they stop interacting with the user’s tweets. 

It’s a passive-aggressive — but drama-skirting — way to get someone out of your social sphere. When Twitter users find out that someone has been problematic — whether it’s a terrible take they had on a marginalized group or allegations of sexual harassment — they’ll softblock the person to gently remove them from their online social lives.  Read more…

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