Day: November 28, 2019

2019 Thanksgiving e-commerce sales show 14% rise on 2018, $470M spent so far

With popular social networks seeing some downtime, most shops closed, and many people off work today for Thanksgiving, bargain hunters are flocking online to start their holiday shopping.

Adobe says that as of 2pm Pacific time, $2.1 billion had been spent online, up 20.2% on the same period a year ago.

That shows that as the day went on, sales accellerated. Prior to that, at 10am Adobe said $470 million has been spent online, a rise of 14.5% compared to sales figures from the same time last year. Overall, sales patterns are largely on track to hit Adobe’s prediction of $4.4 billion in sales today.

Over at Shopify, as of 11.30 Pacific time, the e-commerce backend provider noted that it was seeing around 4,500 transactions per minute, working out to just under $400,000 spent each minute.

Within that, some 66% of all sales were being made on mobile devices, with apparel and accessories the most popular category, and New York the top-selling city. Average cart price has been $78.66.

Adobe Analytics tracks sales in real-time for 80 of the top 100 US retailers, covering 55 million SKUs and some 1 trillion transactions during the holiday sales period. Shopify, meanwhile, uses data from across the range of online retailers that use Shopify APIs to run their sales.

Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) used to be seen as the traditional start to holiday sales, but consumers spending time at home on Thanksgiving itself are increasingly coming online — on a day when most brick-and-mortar stores are closed — to get the ball rolling.

This year, Thanksgiving is coming a week later this year than in 2018 (when it fell on the 22nd of the month), which will make for a more compressed, and potentially more frenzied, selling period.

As Sarah pointed out yesterday, many retailers this year made an early jump on their Black Friday deals, and so far some $53 billion has been spent in the month of November up to today. This year’s holiday sales overall are predicted to hit nearly $144 billion.

We’ll be updating this post with more figures as they come in.

As a point of comparison, in 2018, online sales hit $3.7 billion, according to Adobe’s analysis.

Adobe notes that in the $53 billion spent so far this month, all 27 days in November have surpassed $1 billion in sales. Eight days passed $2 billion, and yesterday saw $2.9 billion in sales. That was up 22% on a year ago, which either points to increased sales overall, or simply that the strategy of extending “holiday” shopping to start earlier and earlier is paying off for retailers.

Another interesting insight is that some $18.2B in purchases have been made by smartphones this month, which is up 49.5% compared to last year.

“The strong online sales performance to-date suggests that holiday shopping starts much earlier than ever before. Steep discounts on popular items like computers on the day before Thanksgiving indicate that many of the season’s best deals are already up for grabs. This has led to significant growth in online sales (16.1% YoY increase) so far. What will be important for retailers to track is whether the early discounts will drive continued retail growth overall, or if they have induced consumers to spend their holiday budgets earlier,” noted Jason Woosley, vice president of commerce product & platform at Adobe.

5 Academic Writing Tips to Help You Earn The Highest Grades In Class

If the task of completing a research paper in time seems too daunting to you or you just can’t get that A grade for your thesis, this article will be of help to you. Below are 5 great academic writing tips to help you get that top score in class.

Understand the deliverables

The first step involves reviewing and understanding the requirements. Make sure you understand the questions asked and all the requirements of your research. If you do not understand the task given to you correctly or if you misinterpret it, all your hard work will go down the drain.

Once you understand the question, make a list of all the topics and sub-topics, which you need to explain in the paper. You should make a list to make sure that you have enough topics and relevant terms, which you can summarize later and combine with other related topics for your readers.

Research your topic

academically writing tips

Once you are done with your list, it is time to do to some brainstorming. Go and do your research on your shortlisted topics.

You must keep in mind all the subtopics and points which need to be answered in your report so that you can explain them better. Include both qualitative and quantitative types of research to support your paper.

Give reference to sources of any surveys and statistical data that you have used in your research.

You should look at previously published papers and research materials for inspiration and build upon that.

You should never copy someone else’s research. If your teachers find out that your work is plagiarized, it can have serious repercussions on your grades.

If you use certain parts of previously published research materials in your paper, use citations whenever necessary.

Plan your work

Now that you have figured out what you are supposed to write in your academic article, it’s time to decide how you’re going to write it.

Always keep in mind the date by which you have to submit your assignment. This will help you properly manage time for each section.

Figure out the sections which are going to take the most amount of time and the sections which would take the least amount of time. Plan accordingly.

Start writingacademic writing tip

Writing translates your research and findings into readable content.

Before you actually start writing, you must first read previous papers to get an idea about the proper format. Make sure to use terminologies related to your research topic.

Most academic articles have an introduction, discussion, and a conclusion.

With that in mind, decide how much time you can dedicate in writing each of them. Most people follow a pattern of 10-80-10. 10 per cent to the introduction, 80 per cent to the body, and the remaining 10 per cent of your document to the conclusion.

You may follow the same or decide according to the needs and format of your chosen topic.

The introduction should be concise but intriguing enough to keep the reader interested in reading further. It should state all the questions and the argument which you are going to put up.

The body section of your article is one of the most important sections of your academic paper. It should mention all the relevant questions and your answers. It should represent your point of view in an argumentative manner. You can use references with proper citations to give your point some strength or to put emphasis on certain points.

The conclusion is the summary of all the topics and points you have in your article. It should give a brief explanation of the answers you have provided and the areas where further research can be done.

Finalize your work

You have almost completed your work and now there is only one thing left to do and that is the final proofreading. You must always proofread your work for typographical errors and to check the final format of your research paper before submitting it to your teachers.

It is best to set your final draft aside and take a break to clear your head before you start  proofreading your work. If you don’t have enough time to take a break, you can ask a friend to do it for you.

Proofreading is critical to your work and the score you’ll get. Once you submit your work to the teachers or the review panel, you can’t make any changes in the document after that point.

See Also: Effective Tips for Writing Assignments You Probably Didn’t Know About

The post 5 Academic Writing Tips to Help You Earn The Highest Grades In Class appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

You can totally take a Thanksgiving turkey on a plane, according to Stephen Colbert

You can totally take a Thanksgiving turkey on a plane, according to Stephen Colbert

This week is Thanksgiving in the U.S., a time when families gather together to eat copious amounts of food and silently hate each other, like pre-gaming for Christmas. 

Fortunately for those saddled with the enormous task of cooking a Thanksgiving feast, the host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert pointed out that they could just start the preparations early and bring the food along on their flight.

“According to the TSA, you can bring your Thanksgiving turkey on an airplane. Just tell them that’s your emotional support meat,” said Colbert. “As for other Thanksgiving foods, pies or cookies are allowed right in your carry-on, gravy and cranberry sauce can go in your checked luggage, and corn pudding can go directly to hell.” Read more…

More about Politics, Thanksgiving, Stephen Colbert, Michael Bloomberg, and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

You can totally take a Thanksgiving turkey on a plane, according to Stephen Colbert

You can totally take a Thanksgiving turkey on a plane, according to Stephen Colbert

This week is Thanksgiving in the U.S., a time when families gather together to eat copious amounts of food and silently hate each other, like pre-gaming for Christmas. 

Fortunately for those saddled with the enormous task of cooking a Thanksgiving feast, the host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert pointed out that they could just start the preparations early and bring the food along on their flight.

“According to the TSA, you can bring your Thanksgiving turkey on an airplane. Just tell them that’s your emotional support meat,” said Colbert. “As for other Thanksgiving foods, pies or cookies are allowed right in your carry-on, gravy and cranberry sauce can go in your checked luggage, and corn pudding can go directly to hell.” Read more…

More about Politics, Thanksgiving, Stephen Colbert, Michael Bloomberg, and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

TikTok apologizes for removing viral video about abuses against Uighurs, blames a “human moderation error”

TikTok has issued a public apology to a teenager who had her account suspended shortly after posting a video that asked viewers to research the persecution of Uighur people and other Muslim groups in Xinjiang. TikTok included a “clarification on the timeline of events,” and said that the viral video was removed four days after it was posted on November 23 “due to a human moderation error” and did not violate the platform’s community guidelines (the account @getmefamouspartthree and video have since been reinstated).

But the user, Feroza Aziz, who describes herself in her Twitter profile as “just a Muslim trying to spread awareness,” rejected TikTok’s claims, tweeting “Do I believe they took it away because of an unrelated satirical video that was deleted on a previous deleted account of mine? Right after I finished posting a 3 part video about the Uyghurs? No.”

In the video removed by TikTok, Aziz begins by telling viewers to use an eyelash curler, before telling them to put it down and “use your phone, that you’re using right now, to search up what’s happening in China, how they’re getting concentration camps, throwing innocent Muslims in there, separating families from each other, kidnapping them, murdering them, raping them, forcing them to eat pork, forcing them to drink, forcing them to convert. This is another Holocaust, yet no one is talking about it. Please be aware, please spread awareness in Xinjiang right now.”

TikTok is owned by ByteDance and the video’s removal led to claims that the Beijing-based company capitulated to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party (Douyin, ByteDance’s version of TikTok for China, is subject to the same censorship laws as other online platforms in China).

Though the government-directed persecution of Muslim minority groups in China began several years ago and about a million people are believed to be detained in internment camps, awareness of the crisis was heightened this month after two significant leaks of classified Chinese government documents were published by the New York Times and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, confirming reports by former inmates, eyewitnesses and researchers.

Aziz told BuzzFeed News she has been talking about the persecution of minority groups in China since 2018 because “as a Muslim girl, I’ve always been oppressed and seen my people be oppressed, and I’ve always been into human rights.”

In the BuzzFeed News article, published before TikTok’s apology post, the company claimed Aziz’s account suspension was related to another video she made that contained an image of Osama Bin Laden. The video was created as a satirical response to a meme about celebrity crushes and Aziz told BuzzFeed News that “it was a dark humor joke that he was at the end, because obviously no one in their right mind would think or say that.” A TikTok spokesperson said it nonetheless “violated its policies on terrorism-related content.”

“While we recognize that this video may have been intended as satire, our policies on this front are currently strict. Any such content, when identified, is deemed a violation of our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, resulting in a permanent ban of the account and associated devices,” a TikTok spokesperson told BuzzFeed, adding that the suspension of Aziz’s second account, which the makeup tutorial video was posted on, was part of the platform’s blocking of 2,406 devices linked to previously suspended accounts.

In TikTok’s apology post today, TikTok US head of safety Eric Tan wrote that the platform relies on technology to uphold community guidelines and human moderators as a “second line of defense.”

“We acknowledge that at times, this process will not be perfect. Humans will sometimes make mistakes, such as the one made today in the case of @getmefamouspartthree’s video,” he added. “When those mistakes happen, however, our commitment is to quickly address and fix them, undertake trainings or make changes to reduce the risk of the same mistakes being repeated, and fully own the responsibility for our errors.”

Aziz told the Washington Post, however, that “TikTok is trying to cover up this whole mess. I won’t let them get away with this.”

The controversy comes as TikTok faces an inquiry by the U.S. government into how it secures the personal data of users. Reuters reported yesterday that TikTok plans to separate its product and business development, and marketing and legal teams from Douyin in the third quarter of this year.