Month: July 2020

Become a better writer with lifetime access to this online course

Become a better writer with lifetime access to this online course

TL;DR: The Writing With Impact course is on sale for £7.69 as of July 31, saving you 95% on list price.


Prolific writers make writing look easy, but it’s really not the case.

Between finding a unique, zippy opener to decoding a jumble of thoughts and emotions into clean, concise prose, the whole process can be grueling. Yes, even for professional writers. And when it comes to writing persuasively? Forget about it. 

As a writing tutor at Cambridge University, Clare Lynch knows a thing or two about good writing and has developed an online course dedicated to making you a better writer. The Writing With Impact course features 5.5 hours of on-demand videos and 30 articles, and will teach you the nuts and bolts of persuasive writing.  Read more…

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Ford Bronco reservations surpass 150,000

The reception to Bronco 2021 — Ford’s flagship series of 4×4 vehicles that were revealed earlier this month — surpassed expectations of the company’s most optimistic initial projections, CEO Jim Hackett said in an earnings call Thursday. 

More than 150,000 customers have plunked down $100 to reserve a spot to order one of the vehicles, according to Ford. 

“We think this family of vehicles has big upside potential in the growing off-road category and this is a category with a leading OEM has not been seriously challenged until now,” Hackett said.

These are, of course, mere reservations, not actual orders. The deposits are refundable. Now, Ford is focused on the due diligence required to determine how many of these reservations will be converted to orders as it lay outs its manufacturing strategy for the brand.

The Ford Bronco 2 and Bronco 4 will be built at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. The Bronco Sport will be assembled at plant in Mexico. The company is now determining how many shifts to staff at each factory in order to match actual orders.

“There’s still a lot of work to do,” Ford COO Jim Farley said in a call with analysts Thursday. “But the mix is great.”

The Bronco is a brand that leans heavily on nostalgia, customization, functional design and technology, such as the automaker’s next-generation infotainment system and a digital trail mapping feature that lets owners plan, record and share their experiences via an app.

While the response to the Bronco has been palatable, there are a number of competitors also aiming to win over customers. GM released a video this week teasing its all-electric GMC Hummer. While the video was a promotional mashup of buzzwords, it also showed that GM had clearly identified Ford Bronco and Tesla Cybertruck as its main competitors. Then there’s electric upstart Rivian, which plans to start production of its EV pickup and SUV in 2021.

3 Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety Before Going to Sleep

Having a lot of stress and anxiety is harmful for anyone during the day. Having a whirlwind of negative thoughts when you lay down to sleep is even worse! These anxious thoughts make it so difficult to get the sleep that your body and mind desperately need. My past experiences with living in unsafe neighborhoods and moving multiple times after eviction, have caused me to have negative and anxious thoughts every time I lay down to sleep.
After working on reducing my own anxiety for many years, I have found these three strategies help me fall asleep when I am having anxiety before bed.

Take a warm bath or warm shower

calming my anxiety at night

It is ideal to take a warm bath, but not all of us have a bath tub. I surely have had apartments that do not have the option to soak your stress away. A warm shower would do the trick as well. The warm water helps you relieve tension in your muscles and leaves you feeling fresh.

Set yourself up to relax by making the environment calm and peaceful. Create dim lighting with candles or a lamp. The bright lights of a bathroom can be overwhelming and prevent you from truly taking time to rest. Reduce the noise and turn off your phone. It becomes too distracting when my phone keeps ringing or notifying me about emails and social media. Allow yourself during this time to disconnect from those distractions and, let’s be honest, worries.

Also, add some bubble bath, a bath bomb, or epsom salts for an aromatic bath experience. For a relaxing shower, use a fragrant soap or body wash. Take your pick from the variety of products that are meant to promote stress relief and good sleep.

Laugh

Find a way to add humor to your evening plans. Laughing has a similar effect as exercising. They both increase the flow of oxygen in your body and release endorphins to help your mind feel more relaxed. An activity that helps make me laugh is to watch a funny sitcom or one of my favorite stand-up comedy specials.

Another way to laugh is to call up a relative or good friend and remind them of a funny memory you two shared. It is so helpful to share a laugh with someone else. For instance, there are many memories from school years that my brother and I love to chat about.

If you prefer a non-screen option and do not want to pick up the phone, then dust off an old photo album and remind yourself of happy memories. Pay attention to the scenery and people in the pictures, trying to remember how you felt at that time. The hairstyles and fashion of your past will likely help you reminisce and laugh out loud.

Make a gratitude list

calm my anxiety at night

As you lay in bed, say the names of people and things you are grateful for out loud. It is helpful to close your eyes and visualize the faces of the people you are thankful for.

Imagine them feeling happy and fulfilled. Once you start with one person, it causes a waterfall effect and keeps going. You will find that it is easy to imagine many more people in your life that have been helpful to you.

Allow yourself to focus on these people and extend the list as far as you can go. Remember that all of these people and things that you are grateful for are real and true. Some of your anxious thoughts are not true but are actually worries about the unclear future. When stating this gratitude list out loud, you might notice that you start to smile and your anxious energy melts away.

In closing, those negative thoughts that come up at night might be for a good reason. However, anxious thoughts do not get to control how much you sleep. My sleeping patterns were impacted by worries and made me more tired and less focused at school and work. Reducing anxiety before bedtime can improve your sleep and increase your energy during the day. By releasing muscle tension, laughing, and reminding yourself of who you are thankful for, you can reduce your anxiety and enjoy your sleep just like I do!

The post 3 Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety Before Going to Sleep appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Booze delivery app Drizly hit by massive data breach affecting 2.5 million accounts

Booze delivery app Drizly hit by massive data breach affecting 2.5 million accounts

Alcohol delivery app Drizly has been hit with a huge data breach, revealing customers’ email addresses, birthdays, encrypted passwords, and even delivery addresses. You’d hope hackers would at least have the decency to leave our liquor alone amidst this incredibly trying pandemic, but apparently nothing is sacred.

In a statement to Mashable, Drizly said it first realised customers’ data may have been compromised on July 13, and “quickly took steps to tighten security and further reduce risk of attack.”

“In terms of scale, up to 2.5 million accounts have been affected,” said Drizly. “Delivery address was included in under 2% of the records. And as mentioned in our email to affected consumers, no financial information was compromised.” Read more…

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How to watch big tech’s CEOs tangle with Congress on antitrust issues and more

Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai and Mark Zuckerberg will defend their companies before the House Antitrust Subcommittee Wednesday in a hearing that will make tech industry history, no matter what happens.

Given that the tech giants are accustomed to answering to no one in particular, collecting four of them on a substantive topic is notable in its own right. Remarkably, Wednesday will mark the first time Amazon’s CEO has faced lawmakers in a public hearing — and they’re bound to have plenty of questions for the take-no-prisoners online retail behemoth.

For Apple and Cook, who prefer to stay above the public-facing political fray, it’s the first time before Congress in years. Facebook and Google have both been called to Congress more recently, but lawmakers have still barely scratched the surface of two companies that have completely reshaped modern life.

If you’re just catching up, read our explainer about why this whole thing is happening at all and what to expect. You can also read the opening statements from Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google and skip them tomorrow so you can spend more time with your Nespresso or whatever it is we’re all doing to get by these days. The statements provide a good idea of how the companies will play defense against regulators keen to install some safety features before we barrel into a fresh decade of unchecked growth.

There are a lot of unknowns heading into the hearing. Will lawmakers extract any useful revelations or will it be five hours of “let us get back to you on that?” Could tech executives manage to be even more evasive now that they’re appearing remotely via video chat? Will some subcommittee members lead the hearing so far into off-topic territory that we learn nothing about the business practices that scaled an industry of market-owning giants? And most importantly: On a scale of one to supervillain, what kind of vibes will Bezos give off?

We hope to know the answers to all of these questions and more — possibly even a question from a lawmaker or two — as we cover Wednesday’s events closely. If you’re interested in watching it go down yourself, you can tune into the livestream right here (well, up there) on Wednesday July 29 at 12PM ET.

How to Keep Your Office Polite Even When Your Opinions are Radically Different

These are tough times. A pandemic is upon us; social issues are dividing us; and partisan politics is inescapable. Chances are that opinions on some of these problems may differ, extensively, within your workplace. Does that mean you can never have a casual lunch with colleagues in the break room again? Must we always avoid those who don’t share our perspectives to keep the peace?

Fortunately, the answer is no. If you’re willing to take the lead and model some patience, tolerance, and empathy, you could broker a successful and lasting truce among the people at your job. Here are a few suggestions to maintain a happier and more harmonious atmosphere when you’re on the clock.

Employ the “tell me more” technique

In Kelly Corrigan’s memoir, Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say, she suggests those three words to not only encourage the people in your life to open up, but to also give yourself the opportunity to listen. If someone brings up an upcoming election or a controversial article she read at the lunch table, instead of automatically shutting it down to prevent conflict or biting our tongues to avoid disagreement, we could just say “tell me more”.

It may be hard at first, especially if the person who is speaking is negative or irritable, but those simple words can really soften people up. Everyone likes to be heard; everyone appreciates respect. Prompting others to “tell me more” doesn’t mean you have to listen to a three-hour soliloquy; it just means that you’re willing to hear them out and that you’re interested.

When discussing differing opinions, find at least one thing to agree with

what do you do if you have a disagreement with someone at work

One of my pals at work is the polar opposite of me politically. The two of us have no problem discussing any topics, however, because we both know that nothing is all black or all white. We respect each other as intelligent, well informed people and often find ourselves saying things like, “well I’ll grant you that” or “that’s certainly true.” When practicing the “tell me more” technique, you can probably find at least one tiny thing your speaker says on which you could comment positively.

Is the topic climate change? Perhaps you could offer something as simple as, “Well the weather has been crazy this year.” Arguing about an election? Try offering, “It just seems like everyone running has something wrong with them.” Such statements, though not exactly worthy of a Nobel peace prize, are nonetheless bridges to those around us. Keep them generic, simple, and true and they’ll have remarkable results.

Model how to communicate and disagree professionally

People who work together usually mind their manners quite well when they are involved in their everyday tasks or teams. They are busy; there may be quotas; time is money. If you want to have friendly conversations with your coworkers at break or over lunch, you need to interact with consistent professionalism throughout the day. Show them how you can communicate a difference of opinion without judgment or rancor. Be aware of your tone. Assume the best about someone who might be making a mistake.

Instead of, “You’re doing that wrong,” try “We’ve found it usually works better like this.” Know that most people are just like you: doing their best and, sometimes, having a bad day or experiencing personal distractions that make their work a little less than optimal. When people know you are sensible and even-keeled they frequently offer you the same treatment. Such behavior is much more likely to extend to down time when it’s practiced all the time

Have a go-to phrase that changes the subject

Even when polarizing events aren’t in the news, conversations among coworkers can sometimes get heated. It may be a project that’s not going well or someone who is not pulling his weight. Whatever it is, however, people get ticked off about it. This is when investing in getting to know your colleagues pays off. In my work place we have numerous older employees who have grandchildren. Whenever words get raw in the break room, I just throw in something like, “So, Chris, how are those grandkids!” or “John, isn’t your daughter-in-law pregnant again?”

If you don’t know your coworkers very well, you could use another statement that is suitably neutral like, “Thank God the weekend’s coming up!” (even if it’s only Monday.) Or tap into everyone’s love of sports, “How ‘bout them Knicks?” The idea is to have some kind of bait ready; anything that will turn the conversation in a better direction. Others will almost always appreciate it and follow your lead.

Don’t be afraid to close down a conversation or excuse yourself assertively

disagree with someone at work

This goes along with (4) above. I’ve used my safe phrases (yes, I have several) numerous times early in conversations just to avoid the possibility that things might go south. There are certain people among my colleagues who just can’t resist the opportunity to bust one another’s chops and I refuse to be in the middle of that. Sometimes, however, the best played safe phrases fail.

When that happens I have literally said to people, “Hey, guys, it’s time to get back to work.” Or “Let’s not do this.” Pair those remarks with getting up to leave and throw in something like, “Hey, Bill, can you help me with something in my office?” Those tactics always work for me. If you’re not confident enough to execute them, however, simply excuse yourself. Don’t run away, but make sure people know you’re leaving. A simple and straightforward “I’m going to go” is enough. No one is allowed to intimidate or frighten you.

Over my numerous careers I have always found that everyone appreciates good manners, even the most curmudgeonly. You don’t have to be fake or a doormat to get along with your colleagues. You do, however, need to be aware that you’re not the only one on the job. That means you need to offer some consideration for others and not just vent about everything or everyone who irritates you. Practicing some patience and being polite is guaranteed to improve your productivity and work experience, whether in the break room or the board room. You will almost certainly find it does the same thing for everyone else.

The post How to Keep Your Office Polite Even When Your Opinions are Radically Different appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Seth Meyers mocks the White House’s weird defense of ‘Paw Patrol’

Seth Meyers mocks the White House's weird defense of 'Paw Patrol'

“This is where the Trump administration and Republican party are at,” said Late Night host Seth Meyers on Monday. “Whining about cartoons and Legos while sending secret police to gas moms and vets and arguing that slavery was a, quote, ‘necessary evil.’

The U.S. is continuing to play moral limbo, straining just how low it can go before completely collapsing. As Meyers notes, more Americans believe the U.S. is on the wrong track than at any previous point of Trump’s presidency — which says a lot considering his approval ratings have been consistently low

The entire country is enduring substantial fear and uncertainty right now. So, to reassure the populace, Trump’s White House condemned both the alleged cancellation of cop-themed children’s cartoon Paw Patrol and Lego’s halt on selling their City Police Station set. Read more…

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Tencent wants to take full control of long-time search ally Sogou

It’s been seven years since Tencent picked up a 36.5% stake in Sogou to fend off rival Baidu in the online search market. The social and gaming giant is now offering to buy out and take private its long-time ally.

NYSE-listed Sogou said this week it has received a preliminary non-binding proposal from Tencent to acquire its remaining shares for $9 each American depositary share (ADS) it doesn’t already own. That means Sohu, a leading web portal in the Chinese desktop era and the controlling shareholder in Sogou, will no longer hold an interest in the search firm.

Sohu’s board of directors has not yet had an opportunity to review the proposal or determine whether or not to take the offer, the company stated. Sogou’s shares leaped 48% on the news to $8.51 on Monday, yet still far below its all-time high at $13.85 at the time of its initial public offering.

Founded in 2005, Sogou went public in late 2017 billing itself as a challenger to China’s biggest search service Baidu, though it has long been a distant second. The company also operates the top Chinese input software, which is used by 482 million people every day to type and convert voice to text, according to its Q1 earnings report.

Ever since the strategic partnership with Tencent kicked off, Sogou, which means “Search Dog” in Chinese, has been the default search engine for WeChat and benefited immensely from the giant’s traffic, though WeChat has also developed its own search feature.

The potential buyout will add Sogou to a list of Chinese companies to delist from the U.S. as tensions between the countries heighten in recent times. It will also allay concerns amongst investors who worry WeChat Search would make Sogou redundant. So far WeChat’s proprietary search function appears to be gleaning data mainly within the app’s enclave, from users’ news feed, user-generated articles, e-commerce stores, through to lite apps integrated into WeChat.

That’s a whole lot of content and services targeted at WeChat’s 1.2 billion active users. Many people need not look beyond the chat app to consumer news, order food, play games, or purchase groceries. But there remains information outside the enormous ecosystem, and that’s Sogou’s turf — to bring what’s available on the open web (of course, subject to government censorship like all Chinese services) to WeChat users.

The arrangement reflects an endemic practice on the Chinese internet — giants blocking each other or making it hard for rivals to access their content. The goal is to lock in traffic and user insights. For instance, articles published on WeChat can’t be searched on Baidu. Consumers can’t open Alibaba shopping links without leaving WeChat.

Sogou is hardly WeChat’s sole search ally. To capture a full range of information needs, the messenger has also struck deals to co-opt fellow microblogging platform Weibo, Quora-like Zhihu, and social commerce service Xiaohongshu into its search pool.

Tools to Help Your Employees Work from Home

Working from home has become the new normal, but it’s something that not all businesses and individuals can immediately jump into. There are things to consider, such as new technology and employees used to working on site.

The transition can take time if your company is not prepared for it. Sometimes, situations like this cause confusion and uncertainty among the workforce. However, technology is always one step ahead, so there’s no need to worry.

There are numerous tools available online, both free and paid. These make the process more convenient for you and your employees.

Whatever it is you need, there’s almost always a tool available for it, like video conferencing tools, audio tools, productivity tools, and even project management templates.

Choosing one from the many is challenging, so it’s vital first to find out your choices. Here are some tools to help your employees make working from home more comfortable.

Tools for Productivity

productivity tools for remote work

One of the things businesses worry about when working from home is employees’ productivity, and several tools can help with this.

● Google Online Suite

If your employees use Microsoft Office for many of their tasks, Google Online Suite is what your business needs. It’s Office’s online version, and it has Google Drive, Forms, Sheets, Calendar, Docs, Hangouts (now Google Meet), Slides, and Gmail. It has everything your employees need to be productive.

Google Online suite also makes it easy for teams to communicate, share, and collaborate.

● Trello

Teams tend to achieve more when using a collaborative task management tool like Trello. With its easy-to-use dashboard, monitoring your employees and their progress is simple. There’s an editorial calendar that shows what all the tasks teams are working on – writing, designing, editing, and publishing.

● ProofHub

ProofHub allows you and your teams to work together in one central place. Its main difference from some of the other project management tools is that you and your employees can also communicate and collaborate with clients.

Communication Tools

Most work from home tools have communication components, but using a tool intended solely for communication is essential. Here are some choices to consider.

● Skype

There are now numerous communication tools available online, but Skype is still popular and used by many businesses. It’s highly functional and equipped with a variety of features that help make communication convenient between teams and individuals.

Aside from chat and video conference functions, Skype also works efficiently for online interviews and meetings. Sending photos, videos, and files are likewise easy.

● Intercom

Intercom is another online messaging tool for you and your employees. It’s not as popular as Skype, but it’s just as useful. It’s not only for communications; it’s also an app for customer acquisition. Your employees get to answer clients’ queries, work on email campaigns, and perform various functions.

Video Conferencing

video conference tools for remote work

Video conferencing tools are different from chat or communication tools because they allow you to perform tasks you usually do when you’re in a meeting or conference with your employees. Here are some choices to consider.

● Zoom

Zoom is probably the most-used video conferencing tool nowadays. It’s simple to use and comes with features that make an online call look like it’s happening inside the conference room.

There are two ways to use Zoom – for free with no time limit but with only 100 participants, or paid with unlimited time and up to 1,000 individuals. It has tons of features like scheduling calls/conferences, text chat, recording conferences, and sending individual private messages.

Zoom also allows users to share their screens, either a part of it or the whole screen.

Even if you or your employees have internet connection problems, Zoom will keep working, albeit at a reduced quality.

Zoom is compatible with iOS, Android, macOS, Web, and Windows devices.

● Google Meet

The best reason for using Google Meet is your free access to and use of Google apps such as Google Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Classroom, Slides, and Gmail. Likewise, you can schedule video conferences ahead of time and mark them on Google Calendar.

Google Meet is available for free or for a fee. Some of its most exciting features include live stream support, real-time captions, 250 participants at once, call recording and mic muting. It’s also easy to share your screen whether you want the participants to see your entire desktop, one window, or a tab.

Social Media Management

Social media plays a significant role in ensuring business success. There are several tools to choose from.

● Hootsuite

Hootsuite is probably the most popular among all social media management tools. Its features include content management, filtering social conversations, analytics, and reports. It works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most social media networks. Hootsuite is also easy to understand and use.

● Buffer

Buffer is an intuitive social media management tool used by reputable businesses, individuals, agencies, and brands. It’s perfect for collaboration, engagement, publishing, and analytics.

Helping your employees transition to working from home is not a walk in the park, but using the right tools helps make the process easier. Spend some time studying which options are best for your business before settling for one or two (or more).

The post Tools to Help Your Employees Work from Home appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Fail-Proof Approaches For Meeting Women (Even During A Pandemic)

I don’t know about you, but 2020 easily ranks #1 Strangest Year of My Life. Our attention spans inevitably get sucked up by news headlines and the constantly changing city and safety ordinances as a result of the pandemic’s infection rates. Even as I write this from Los Angeles, just today we’ve begun Shutdown 2.0, and I frankly cannot believe it. More businesses crippled by the current health emergency, and more uncertainty about how the economy will fare. Yet despite all that noise, despite the whiplash of changes this crazy year has presented… life goes on.

Yup, even in a pandemic, you’re hard-pressed to meet a guy who still doesn’t want a woman to become both his companion and lover. That never changes. But how do you meet women during or following a crisis of this magnitude? What’s the right way? Well, here are 3 approaches to try — and note: whenever you read this article, these approaches apply because they’re rooted in basic social truths, not fads.

Check the #1 most important thing (that all women have a radar for)

meet women during a pandemic

Hands down, if you do NOTHING else, make sure your intentions are clean and clear. Whether you’re online dating, meeting a girl six feet away at a restaurant, or passing her on a trail while wearing a mask, women innately possess a keen radar for men who are just after that one thing. So what should your intention be? Should it be to get that date? Her number? Nah. None of those, which obviously excludes sex… but stay with me.

Your intention needs to be to have non-threatening, friendly interaction with her. That’s it. Your first, second, third, etc. interactions with a girl should not be riddled with dating or sex vibes. She can sense that, and the girl who wants that isn’t the girl you want. Treat meeting women and dating as if you’re out just to have friendly conversations with new people. Don’t DM or talk to women like you’re a hound on a fox hunt. That’ll push her away, and likely, invite situations where you just get rejected. But if you make your intention just to meet women for the sake of meeting new people, you’ll eventually find someone with whom the communication and vibes work, and from there, you can gradually grow the interaction to one with chemistry.

Avoid men’s greatest fear by ditching these

Men obviously have many fears, but in the dating sphere, let’s be honest: no one enjoys rejection. Oh yes, rejection is the chokehold of dating; just one bad rejection from a hot girl can cut your confidence and recalibrate what you think you deserve from a relationship.

So how do we avoid rejection in dating? Ditch your expectations. Expectations are the trap of dating because by having expectations, you pigeonhole yourself into how the interaction, night, or date should go. By placing a “should” on any dating scenario, you automatically get sucked into your head, and worst of all — out of the environment. When your attention is not on and in the environment, you cannot experience the girl, or see clearly if she really is a good match for you.

Also, let’s be honest: you don’t know how the future will go when you start dating. You have no idea who you’ll hit it off with! I had no idea I would hit it off with the girl I am with, but in the beginning, we just kept hanging out, talking, and talking some more. My expectations with her were not to have sex, get serious, or build a future… but funny, that’s eventually (over time) what happened. When you have etched-in-stone expectations about how a conversation or date should go with a certain girl, you cut yourself off of what could be. And, when things don’t go exactly how you planned? You just end up feeling rejected… but you’re feeling rejected by your OWN ideas. Get that?

Stop creating expectations around dating, and just adhere to #1: adopt a clear intention just to meet people, hot or not.

Follow the flow and never use force

tips on how to meet women during a pandemic

I know that sounds like something a sailing instructor would tell you, but in dating, you want to keep the flow light. What do I mean? Don’t force interactions that aren’t easy, and that aren’t wanted. I’ve read advice from other guys stating that they called their girl every month for a year before they got a date. Maybe that works sometimes (in rare instances), but I’d liken that approach to forcing something that maybe should not be forced.

You want to meet a girl who adds to your life, and with whom life is better — not more work. So if you’re talking with a girl online or offline, and the conversation feels awkward, or maybe she’s just rude? Maintain good manners and keep it moving. Just because she’s hot doesn’t mean she’s worth pursuing. The right girl who evolves from a simple communication into a longer conversation into a hang-out, into a date, and so forth will ultimately be one with whom everything flows. I can’t think of any relationship or human interaction that results well from using force. Have you ever been screamed at? That’s force… and how did that work out for you? Probably not well.

Use flow. Give attention to interactions that run well with no drama, only good vibes.

Now, do you notice something?

I didn’t mention anything about using online dating apps or making sure you hit up the hottest clubs. That’s because the most effective dating and communication tactics work well anywhere — online or offline.

The truth is, achievement in any area of life starts with you, not to sound like a bumper sticker, but you need to check your motivation and goals when it comes to dating. So get your head right, and stack the odds in your favor. Meet many women just to be friendly and meet new people. Meeting new people is one of the joys of life!

And if you occasionally meet people who suck? No worries. Follow the flow, keep it moving, and remember: if you keep your positive attitude and keep your eye on the top of the mountain, you’ll eventually get where you want to go.

The post 3 Fail-Proof Approaches For Meeting Women (Even During A Pandemic) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Bring some truth to your CV with this Microsoft Office course

Bring some truth to your CV with this Microsoft Office course

 

TL;DR: The All-In-One Microsoft Office Professional Suite Certification Prep bundle is on sale for £27.49 as of July 27, saving you 98% on list price.


Before you update your CV with a bunch of trendy fonts, you might want to circle back to the skills department. If Microsoft Office isn’t on there, or if it is, but you aren’t actually proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, you’re already behind. 

Luckily, this All-In-One Microsoft Office Professional Suite Certification Prep bundle has got you covered. Not only will it help you boost your productivity to support that WFH lifestyle, but it’ll also bring some truth to your CV in 2020. Read more…

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SAP will spin out its $8B spin-in Qualtrics acquisition

Well, this isn’t a story you see every day.

Less than two years after German software giant SAP snatched experience management platform Qualtrics for $8 billion days before the startup’s IPO debut, it has now decided to spin out the company in a brand new IPO.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/11/sap-agrees-to-buy-qualtrics-for-8b-in-cash-just-before-the-survey-software-companys-ipo/

In a press statement released Sunday, SAP said that Qualtrics had seen cloud growth “in excess of 40 percent” in a quote attributed to SAP CEO Christian Klein. The company will continue to be run by founder and former CEO Ryan Smith, who joined SAP with Qualtrics and led the organization within the German conglomerate.

SAP will retain majority ownership of the new spin out. Interestingly, the statement noted that “Ryan Smith intends to be Qualtrics’ largest individual shareholder.”

SAP’s press statement is vague, but the implication is that the move will offer Qualtrics more flexibility to engage with customers and partners outside of its parent company’s dominion.

I am sure my Equity colleague Alex Wilhelm will have much more to analyze tomorrow with his The Exchange column, but SAP’s rapid about-face on the acquisition is a major surprise. While private equity firms will take a company private and sometimes quickly turn it around in an IPO, it is rare to see a large company like SAP make such a dramatic last minute bid for a company only to reverse that decision just months later.

Given the heated market for SaaS markets these days though, the path seems clear for Qualtrics’ return to the public markets, particularly if the soon-to-be independent company’s metrics have held up since we last saw its financials. As Wilhelm and his Crunchbase news team wrote back during its S-1 filing:

Qualtrics, unlike most companies going public this year, isn’t a trash fire of losses incurred under the name of growth. It shows that you can grow, and not lose every one of the dollars you have at the same time.

“Isn’t a trash fire” was a high bar back then, but Qualtrics was indeed an outperformer of its peer group. Assuming those fundamentals haven’t changed, it looks like a real win for Qualtrics and Smith, and a save by SAP from whatever strategic plan they decided to change midstream.

6 of the best ice cream makers for making frozen treats

6 of the best ice cream makers for making frozen treats

Ice cream makers have never had a moment like other popular kitchen devices. They’ve never trended like bread makers or air fryers, but that could still change.

We’re not totally sure why these devices haven’t had their moment in the spotlight, because everyone loves ice cream, right? It’s probably something to do with workload, as you generally can’t throw all of your ingredients into an ice cream maker and hope for the best. Well you can, but the result might not be what you had in mind.

You still need to do some preparation even with the very best devices. You’ll also need to devote around two hours of your day to the cause, because ice cream takes time. We’re really not trying to put you off. We just want to be very clear about what these machines require from you, because you do need to be committed. Read more…

More about Kitchen, Mashable Shopping, Consumer Tech, Ice Cream Maker, and Uk Deals

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IMAGE: Amazon



BEST FOR FEATURES

Cuisinart ICE100BCU

Impressive machine makes delicious ice cream, gelato, frozen yoghurt, or sorbet in as little as 40 minutes.


    £250 from Amazon

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    BEST FOR VERSATILITY

    Sage BCI600UK

    This ice cream maker features 12 hardness settings for all your desired desserts.


      £349.99 from Amazon

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      BEST FOR BEGINNERS

      Duronic IM540

      A straightforward option that takes less than 30 minutes of churning to make smooth and creamy ice cream.


        £44.99 from Amazon

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        BEST FOR ATTACHING

        Kenwood Major AT957A

        This Kenwood attachment makes smooth ice cream, frozen yoghurt, and sorbets.


          £60.49 from Amazon

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          BEST FOR KIDS

          Sensio Home

          The Sensio Home machine can create ice cream, sorbet, gelato, and frozen yoghurt in just 20 minutes.


            £34.95 from Amazon

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            IMAGE: Amazon



            BEST FOR CUSTOMISING

            Cuisinart ICE30BCU

            This ice cream machine lets you add extra toppings through the lid whilst mixing.


              £76.60 from Amazon

              The Not Company, a maker of plant-based meat and dairy substitutes in Chile, will soon be worth $250M

              The Not Company, Latin America’s leading contender in the plant-based meat and dairy substitute market, is about to close on an $85 million round of funding that would value it at $250 million, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans.

              The latest round of funding comes on the heels of a series of successes for the Santiago-based business. In the two years since NotCo launched on the global stage, the company has expanded beyond its mayonnaise product into milk, ice cream and hamburgers. Other products, including a chicken meat substitute, are also on the product roadmap, according to people familiar with the company.

              NotCo is already selling several products in Chile, Argentina and Latin America’s largest market — Brazil — and has signed a blockbuster deal with Burger King to be the chain’s supplier of plant-based burgers. It’s in this Burger King deal that NotCo’s approach to protein formulation is paying dividends, sources said. The company is responsible for selling 48 sandwiches per store per day in the locations where it’s supplying its products, according to one person familiar with the data. That figure outperforms Impossible Foods per-store sales, the person said.

              NotCo is also now selling its burgers in grocery stores in Argentina and Chile. And while the company is not break-even yet, sources said that by December 2021 it could be — or potentially even cash flow positive.

              NotCo co-founders Karim Pichara, Matias Muchnick and Pablo Zamora. Image Credit: The Not Company

              With the growth both in sales and its diversification into new products, it’s little wonder that investors have taken note.

              Sources said that the consumer brand-focused private equity firm L Catterton Partners and the Biz Stone-backed Future Positive were likely investors in the new financing round for the company. Previous investors in NotCo include Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment firm of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; the London-based CPG investment firm, The Craftory; IndieBio; and SOS Ventures.

              Alternatives to animal products are a huge (and still growing) category for venture investors. Earlier this month Perfect Day closed on a second tranche of $160 million for that company’s latest round of financing, bringing that company’s total capital raised to $361.5 million, according to Crunchbase. Perfect Day then turned around and launched a consumer food business called the Urgent Company.


              These recent rounds confirm our reporting in Extra Crunch about where investors are focusing their time as they try to create a more sustainable future for the food industry. Read more about the path they’re charting.


              Meanwhile, large food chains continue to experiment with plant-based menu items and push even further afield into cell-based meat using cultures from animals. KFC recently announced that it would be expanding its experiment with Beyond Meat’s chicken substitute in the U.S. — and would also be experimenting with cultured meat in Moscow.

              Behind all of this activity is an acknowledgement that consumer tastes are changing, interest in plant-based diets are growing, and animal agriculture is having profound effects on the world’s climate.

              As the website ClimateNexus notes, animal agriculture is the second-largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas emissions after fossil fuels. It’s also a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution and biodiversity loss.

              There are 70 billion animals raised annually for human consumption, which occupy one-third of the planet’s arable and habitable land surface, and consume 16% of the world’s freshwater supply. Reducing meat consumption in the world’s diet could have huge implications for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If Americans were to replace beef with plant-based substitutes, some studies suggest it would reduce emissions by 1,911 pounds of carbon dioxide.

              5 Tips on Finding Compatible Partners on Dating Apps

              Online dating has become the mainstream way to meet singles. Nowadays, it’s more common to meet couples who say that they met on an app than those who say they met at a bar.

              During the age of social distancing, more and more singles are turning to dating apps to meet potential partners—especially those with video call features, such as Say Allo and Coffee Meets Bagel. Even as restrictions ease up, dating apps will still be a vital tool for meeting new people.

              Dating apps have grown in popularity over the years. There are now 1,500 dating apps around the world that cater to people from all types of backgrounds and interests. According to Pew Research Center, dating app usage in the U.S. has been on the rise over the past few years. 30% of U.S. adults have at some point used a dating app, an 11% increase since 2013.

              In addition to a surge in dating apps and an increase in usage, apps have become increasingly diversified. There are apps that cater to people from all walks of life with different tastes and personality types. There’s now a niche dating app that appeals to every type of person.

              Whether you want to meet someone who shares your faith, or who is passionate about saving the environment or who loves dogs; or you’re an introvert who prefers intimate connections, you’re sure to meet someone who shares your interests and lifestyle preferences.

              While dating apps have made it easier to meet a large pool of singles, it doesn’t mean they’ve made dating easier. The idea of sifting through a sea of romantic options is daunting and it leaves many people wondering if it will actually lead them to that one person who they can share a magical and lasting connection with.

              Most experienced daters know that sharing common interests isn’t necessarily an indicator of personal compatibility. There are other deeper and significant aspects of compatibility that should be considered when looking for a stable and long-term connection such as, future vision, attitude towards family and financial planning.

              Dating and relationship expert, Susan Winter, said in an interview with Say Allo, that dating can be a valuable learning process, provided we take the right approach. Winters said that by being strategic about our use of dating apps and gaining experience as we date more people, we’ll maximize our chances of finding our perfect match.

              If you’re someone who feels overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options of potential partners available on dating apps or you’re having difficulty finding compatible matches, here are five tips you can use to find compatible matches and set yourself up for dating success.

              Ask the right questions

              In the beginning you want to keep things light and flirty, but if you want to take things to the next level you should be asking questions with substance. These are questions that allow you to get to know a person’s true character. Good dating questions help you scratch more than just the surface and reveal personality traits and interests to see if you’re a good match.

              Make sure your profile reflects the real you

              online dating tips for finding the right person

              Your profile is set up to give a snapshot of who you are: your personality, what you’re into and possibly some hints of what being in a relationship with you would be like. This helps matches get what your vibe is and understand how you’re different from others. The more you reveal the real you, the more you filter out people who would not be a good match for you. Don’t be afraid to declare if you’re a geek at heart or if you’re a gym rat or a vegan. Fully own everything about you and know your value.

              Spend more time on each profile

              When using dating apps, there’s a tendency to mindlessly swipe through matches, but if you want to find compatible partners you have to spend more time on each profile, especially the ones that pique your interest. Look at photos and examine details such as outfit choices, locations, body language, locations, poses. Read each person bio and responses. What does it reveal about them? Are they playful, serious or cheeky? Are they career-driven or are they the life of the party type of person or a bookworm?

              Use apps with the right features

              The technology of dating apps has become increasingly sophisticated with filters that allow users to focus on personality traits, body types and values before they even meet in person. There are dating apps specifically designed to find compatible matches for long-term relationships. Compatibility indexes and reports such as the ones offered on Say Allo and eHarmony do all the work for you. They also provide an overview on initial compatibility centered on income, religion, education and more.

              Use your gut instinct

              dating tips

              We’ve all heard a lot about those happy couples who said they “just knew” right away when they met someone special. That’s because they listened to their gut instinct—a powerful tool in dating. It’s that strange feeling you can’t quite put your finger on. It could be a voice in your head, butterflies in your tummy, and feelings of nervousness. It could be a knot in your stomach. Whatever it is, listen to it. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your judgement. But if you sense good vibes from the person, go ahead and swipe right.

              The post 5 Tips on Finding Compatible Partners on Dating Apps appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

              Trump’s latest boast about his ‘very hard’ cognitive test instantly became a bleakly funny meme

              Trump's latest boast about his 'very hard' cognitive test instantly became a bleakly funny meme

              Of all the many things to be concerned about right now, the mental acuity of Donald Trump is certainly one of them. It’s also one of the things he’s currently talking about incessantly, presumably to avoid discussing the coronavirus pandemic that’s claimed more than 145,000 lives in the U.S. and counting.

              Trump’s rambling, non-linear speaking style makes George W. “Is Our Children Learning?” Bush look like the greatest orator of the modern era in comparison. The contrast between his more natural, coherent speech just a few years ago and his tendency to slur words, as well as his habit of sharing thought bubbles like “Could we inject bleach into the body to kill the coronavirus?” right in front of TV cameras and journalists, have long had people speculating that the 74-year-old is experiencing some cognitive decline.  Read more…

              More about Memes, Health, Fox News, Donald Trump, and Culture

              Singaporean startup Partipost gets $3.5 million to let anyone become an influencer

              Partipost, a Singapore-based marketing startup that lets anyone with a social media profile sign up for influencer campaigns, has raised $3.5 million in new funding. The round was led by SPH Ventures, the investment arm of publisher Singapore Press Holdings, with participation from Quest Ventures and other investors.

              The funding will be used to grow Partipost’s current operations in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan, and expand into Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, other Southeast Asian markets with heavy social media usage. Since launching its mobile app in 2018, Partipost says it has added about 200,000 influencers to its platform, and that over the past 12 months, it has helped conduct 2,500 social media marketing campaigns for more than 850 brands, including Adidas, Arnott’s, Red Bull, Chope and Gojek.

              According to benchmark report released in March by Influencer Marketing Hub, the influencer marketing industry is expected to be worth about $9.7 billion in 2020, with companies spending increasing amounts on social media campaigns and working with more “micro-influencers.” To serve them, the report said that more than 380 new influencer marketing agencies and platforms were launched last year, joining a roster of companies that already include AspireIQ, Upfluence, BuzzSumo, SparkToro and Inzpsire.me, to name just a few examples.

              While most of these companies focus on helping brands identify the influencers with the widest social media reach, Partipost lets anyone sign up to take part in a campaign.

              “Partipost’s main difference is that we believe that everyone can be an influencer,” founder and chief executive officer Jonathan Eg told TechCrunch. “Even if you have 200 followers, you can be one. We want to create a new market that we believe will be the future. Everyone can post on social media, write a review or give some feedback and be paid for it.”

              “We want to empower everyone to monetize off their own data and influence and not just allow the big tech companies to do so,” he added.

              Aspiring influencers browse brand campaigns on Partipost’s app and apply to take part by submitting a post draft. If the brand approves it, the user can then go ahead and post it on their social media profiles.

              The amount of cash they earn is based on how much engagement each post receives. According to the company’s website, most campaigns require a minimum of 200 followers or more, and successful users can earn an average of $5 to $150 per campaign, depending on the brand’s payout structure.

              One of Partipost’s selling points for brands is that it enables them to sign up thousands of influencers for a campaign in a single day, help them react quickly to online trends. Part of the funding will also be used to build data tools to help brands match campaigns with Partipost users more efficiently. The company says it expects to increase its base of aspiring influencers to one million within the next 18 months.

              As part of the funding, SPH Ventures chief executive officer Chua Boon Ping will join Partipost’s board, while Quest Ventures partner Jeffrey Seah will become an observer.

              In a media statement, Chua said, “Social influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing segments within Digital marketing. Hence, we are very excited to lead Partipost’s Series A round to further accelerate its growth. We are impressed by Partipost’s strong traction in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan as a young startup and look forward to partnering it to scale to new markets.”

              The Four Most Simple Mistakes That Renters Make All Too Often

              There are over 100 million renters in the USA, meaning around a third of people in the country do not own the roof above their head.

              That number is 74% higher compared to the 1960s and it’s a result of a variety of reasons, from the high cost of buying property to the freedom which many value of not being tied down. There are also various other factors such as economic recessions and personal circumstances that might dictate the decision to take the leap and become a homeowner.

              Whatever the reason though, with so many Americans opting to rent, there are several things they should know. Firstly, it’s essential to understand your rights as a renter and next to avoid mistakes which can potentially cause big issues. Simply by being aware of these house renting tips, renters can avoid foregoing their rights or losing out on their hard-earned cash.

              Avoid Renting a Property You Have Not Physically Seen

              renter mistakes

              It sounds obvious, but one should never rent a property that they haven’t seen. If this can be avoided, never sign for a property without viewing it!

              There are many reasons why you may not be able to view a property before you sign an agreement. Perhaps there’s a need to move quickly, or you may be in a different city or country and need to move for work. There is some practical advice for how to deal with this, but be sure to do your due diligence and avoid making what could be a costly and upsetting error.

              Even if you currently reside far away, if you are physically able to visit a property to view it before signing a rental contract, then there is no excuse for not doing so. Even if you find yourself in a rush to find a new residence, don’t rely solely on photographs or sales literature as this can often be misleading. Take a Skype tour, find someone you trust to view the property, and remember if the deal seems too good to be true then it probably is.

              It’s not just important to view a property in person to check out the property. When visiting a potential rental, you get a clearer picture of the surroundings. During a visit it’s also a good idea to locate any amenities or transport hubs like trains or bus stops that are close by.

              Document the Condition of the Property

              Once you sign the contract and get the keys there are important steps that all renters should follow. For many of us, we want to make our rented property feel like our home as quickly as possible. However, before you put down that new rug, document the condition of the house /or apartment. Ideally this should be before you move in, or at least before unpacking your belongings.

              Documenting can be tedious work depending upon the age of your rental. You should make notes of cracks, electrical problems, structural problems, or anything that just doesn’t look right. The slightest of problems should be noted, including small holes in walls where picture frames have been hung; no imperfection is too minor to note. If you document these problems them in an inventory, the landlord may fix these prior to moving in.

              Pictures can help as visual proof to accompany any written documentation. Taking photographs beforehand is advantageous for when you move out. If you happen to have a dispute about deductions from your security deposit, you might need photographical evidence to support your case.

              Documentation could save money down the line if you happen to identify a minor problem that could turn into a major problem.

              It depends on the terms of the contract, but the burden of responsibility at the point of documentation is usually on the homeowner so long as it’s an issue noted in the walkthrough prior to moving in. Always discuss an inventory with landlords as it proves the state of the property when you move in, helping to avoid any disputes when you leave.

              Consider taking out insurance

              When buying a property, it’s almost unheard of that the homeowner won’t take out insurance. Yet so many renters do not even consider rental insurance.

              A landlord, or the property owner, will have insurance to cover the property in case of fire, natural disasters, or other types of damage, but this insurance does not extend to cover the contents of the tenant. This could be a particularly expensive mistake if you are unfortunate enough to become victim to a fire or flood in your rented home.

              When assessing the terms of renters’ insurance or if you should insure the contents of your home, consider the items of value and the cost to replace them should they become damaged. Some personal contents insurance policies also pay-out if you happen to fall victim to burglary. Take the time to carefully review the terms and conditions of potential insurance policies to see what’s covered.

              Know Your Responsibilities

              When moving into a new property, rented or not, it’s important to understand contractual responsibilities. In a proper contract, it should be clear when the renter is responsible for maintenance or when responsibility falls on the owner/property manager.

              For example, gardens are always a bit of a grey area. Establish who is responsible for the upkeep of any external areas and get a clear idea of how often it will need to be tended to.

              For larger, more complex maintenance cases there will be many responsibilities that lie with the owners. However, always ensure that it’s legally written in the contract that it is the owner’s responsibility to undertake major works and inspections. Details regarding the frequency of maintenance works and inspections should be clearly notated. Legally it can vary state-to-state, but as a tenant you should be aware of how often a fire safety inspection should take place. Other important areas of maintenance and inspection duties include security. Establish in writing whether it is up to the tenants as a collective (i.e. if you’re renting an apartment in a building) or the responsibility of the landlord or property owner.

              In Summation

              mistakes that renters make

              Remember it’s your responsibility to know your rights. Ignorance of the law does not exempt you from responsibility. Legal precedence states that a person who is unknowing of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely due to being unaware. Do your homework and seek legal advice if needed, as there’s a plethora of free resources out there. Even if you pay for a legal consultation for a contract review, be rest assured that for tenants especially, knowledge is power!

              The post The Four Most Simple Mistakes That Renters Make All Too Often appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

              Waymo and Fiat Chrysler’s next big project is to develop self-driving Ram vans

              Waymo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have inked a deal to develop and test autonomous cargo vans and other light commercial vehicles designed to shuttle goods. The agreement is an expansion of a partnership that kicked off four years ago with a focus on self-driving Pacifica hybrid minivans meant to transport people.

              The deal is the latest example of Waymo’s efforts to build out the delivery arm of its autonomous vehicle technology business. The two companies said the initial plan is to integrate Waymo’s self-driving stack — the suite of software and hardware that allows the vehicle to operate without a human behind the wheel —into FCA’s Ram ProMaster vans. These self-driving cargo vans will be used by Waymo Via, the company’s trucking and local delivery service.

              However, it appears that the terms of the deal could extend far beyond Waymo Via. It’s possible that FCA could supply other transport companies with the self-driving vans (equipped with Waymo tech) through a licensing deal.

              The companies said the partnership actually covers FCA’s entire portfolio of vehicles. The agreement between FCA and Waymo also extends to future affiliates, according to those familiar with the partnership. This point matters because FCA and French automaker Groupe PSA are in the process of merging into a newly formed corporation called Stellantis. If the 50-50 merger closes as expected in the first quarter of next year, the agreement would theoretically include all the brands that fall under Stellantis.

              As broad as the Waymo-FCA agreement might be, the automaker has sought out other partners in the autonomous vehicle industry in varying capacities. FCA’s approach to rapid advancement of autonomous vehicle technology is to focus on vehicle-side needs while establishing smart and strategic collaborations that promote a culture of innovation, safety and know-how, the automaker previously told TechCrunch.

              Last year, FCA and autonomous vehicle technology startup Aurora announced a partnership that was also focused on light commercial vehicles. FCA said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Aurora, an agreement that has since run its course, a spokesperson said. The two companies are still working on custom-built Pacifica hybrids, which Aurora is using in its testing, but they are not co-developing autonomous commercial vans.

              “Over the last eighteen months, Aurora and FCA have collaborated closely in the specification, design, and development of custom-built Pacificas into which we’ve integrated the Aurora Driver,” Aurora said in an emailed statement. “Aurora looks forward to deploying our self-driving solution on FCA’s passenger and commercial vehicles.”

              FCA is also supplying self-driving vehicle startup Voyage with purpose-built Pacifica Hybrids that have been developed for integration of automated technology. These vehicles come with customizations such as redundant braking and steering that are necessary to safely deploy driverless vehicles.

              Waymo is best known for developing, testing and now launching an on-demand, ride-hailing business using self-driving passenger vehicles, namely the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. A spokesperson reiterated that ride-hailing is still its most important business.

              While Waymo has publicly talked about its ambitions for self-driving trucks, local delivery vans and even personal car ownership, the ramp-up of its Waymo One robotaxi service in Arizona has largely overshadowed those plans.

              Waymo first integrated its self-driving system into Class 8 trucks and began testing them in Arizona in August 2017. Those tests stopped sometime later that year. The company didn’t bring back its truck testing to Arizona until May 2019.

              Those early Arizona tests were aimed at gathering initial information about driving trucks in the region, while the new round of truck testing marked a more advanced stage in the program’s development, Waymo said at the time.

              Waymo’s trucking program has had a higher profile since June 2019 when the company brought on 13 robotics experts, a group that includes Anki’s co-founder and former CEO Boris Sofman, to lead engineering in the autonomous trucking division.

              6 of the best gaming chairs for improving your experience

              6 of the best gaming chairs for improving your experience

              Gaming isn’t an inactive hobby. While maneuvering a controller, keeping an eye out for enemies, and sitting for hours, your body is in fight-or-flight mode. Whether you play for leisure or stream full-time, a gaming chair can help you perform and stay comfortable during lengthy sessions.

              One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to gaming chairs, though. There are ergonomic-style chairs and chairs with additional cozy fixings, such as foot rests. Regardless, it can be hard to find the best gaming chair for your digital entertainment needs. Before you drop major cash on a gaming chair, there are a few things to consider. Read more…

              More about Tech, Gaming, Mashable Shopping, Uk Deals, and Gaming Chairs

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              IMAGE: Amazon



              BEST FOR BACK PAIN

              GTPlayer Gaming Chair

              The strong metal frame is designed to help promote a comfortable seated position for long gaming sessions.


                £159.99 from Amazon

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                IMAGE: Amazon



                BEST FOR BREATHABILITY

                Corsair T3 Rush Chair

                The breathable soft fabric exterior retains minimal heat, providing comfort and support for gaming.


                  £249.99 from Amazon

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                  IMAGE: Amazon



                  BEST FOR BEGINNERS

                  Millhouse Gaming Chair

                  The Millhouse chair is made from high quality leather with thick padding to ensure total comfort.


                    £82.99 from Amazon

                    95740b8f a741 4139 8793 f466d44cd88f



                    IMAGE: Amazon



                    BEST FOR ADJUSTING

                    JL Comfurni Gaming Chair

                    The height and armrest angle can be adjusted individually with the JL Comfurni gaming chair.


                      £99.99 from Amazon

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                      IMAGE: Amazon



                      BEST FOR MATERIALS

                      UMI Gaming Chair

                      The smooth bonded leather, seat cushion, and pillows offer added support and comfort.


                        £159.99 from Amazon

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                        IMAGE: Amazon



                        BEST FOR DURABILITY

                        Corsair T1 Race Chair

                        The solid steel construction enables you to play comfortably for years to come.


                          £250 from Amazon

                          7 Easy To Spot Signs Your Relationship Has Problems

                          You would probably be surprised at the number of couples I work with where one or both partners feel their problems “Came out of nowhere” or “Happened overnight.” There are also those couples where one person doesn’t feel that anything’s really wrong and is just attending counseling to appease the other.

                          I can tell you with certainty that nothing causing problems in a relationship happened overnight or came out of nowhere, and if one partner thinks there are problems, then there really are and counseling is a good choice. Many couples go for too long with blinders on, ignoring the signs there are problems in the relationship. By the time the issues are too big to ignore they’re also often too big to be dealt with alone and require professional help.

                          If you want to keep your relationship strong, healthy, and happy, it’s much better to tackle issues as they arise and while they are still small. If you don’t, it’s like a snowball. Before you know it the small thing that may have been worked through with a thoughtful conversation or two is now tangled up in all the other issues it caused and requires counseling to sort out and fix the damage caused.

                          So, if you want to save yourself a lot of frustration, pain, and complications, there are some common signs to watch out for that can indicate you’re moving to shaky ground.

                          You’ve stopped talking and laughing together

                          relationship trouble sign

                          Communication is crucial to a happy relationship and not just the communication that allows you to work out problems. Couples need to be able to talk like friends and laugh together, even over silly, non-crucial things.

                          So much focus is given to the communication skills that relate to conflict resolution that we often forget that couples also need to be able to just chat, laugh, and enjoy each other. If you’ve noticed that you and your partner no longer do this regularly, consider it a warning sign there are problems looming and fix it.

                          You have secrets

                          Maybe they’re not big secrets and don’t seem like a big deal. You bought something and don’t want to deal with the conversation about spending, or you grabbed a drink with a friend after work and it doesn’t feel worth discussing. It’s not the specific thing that is a problem in most cases, it’s the fact that you purposely didn’t tell your partner.

                          Secrets, even the small, stupid ones, cause problems. And the little ones inevitably lead to bigger ones – don’t doubt me on this. I’m not suggesting that you each need to detail every little thing you’ve done every single day, but if you feel even slightly inclined to not tell your partner something then it’s a pretty sure bet you should.

                          You’re not completely sure you trust your partner

                          This doesn’t mean you have to suspect them of having an affair or leading a double life, but more likely that you have a nagging “curiosity” regarding certain things that seem odd or unclear about their behavior. Maybe it’s a, “I wonder who that text was from,” or “Is there more to the story that you’re not telling me?”

                          These minor cracks in trust are a problem even if they’re unfounded. Your partner (or you) may be doing nothing wrong, but the fact that one of you is concerned means that something needs to be done to fix the trust problem before it gets larger and potentially destroys your relationship.

                          Doing things together doesn’t interest you

                          If your reaction to, “Let’s go to dinner, movie, for a walk, bowling, etc.” is, “Meh, no thanks” it’s a problem. Just like you need to be able chat and laugh together, you also need to be able to do stuff together and enjoy each other’s company.

                          Arguments don’t ever get resolved, just ignored

                          If the end to an argument is, “Fine, whatever,” it hasn’t been resolved. Unresolved arguments are like tooth decay, they will eat away at your relationship and eventually cause a painful cavity. If, as a couple, you are finding it harder and harder to resolve your disagreements there’s a bigger problem and it’s time to fix things. This doesn’t get better without intervention, it gets worse.

                          The physical has fizzled

                          relationship troubles

                          The intensity of intimacy in a relationship will ebb and flow, that’s completely normal. But when the desire leaves entirely it’s a red flag. Intimacy is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship, it’s part of what keeps you bonded and satisfied with each other. So, if one or both of you seem to have lost interest entirely it’s time to figure out why and fix it.

                          You’ve stopped hearing each other

                          This is a big one and hard for some people to understand, but as a couple you need to really hear each other. Many times, one partner will say things like, “I tried to tell you,” or “I’ve said it over and over” and the other (often the man) will be oblivious. There is also an element of nonverbal communication that can be difficult for people to get, but is worth trying to understand. One partner may communicate through their actions how they’re feeling more than their words. While this isn’t an advisable way to communicate, if you’re worried that your relationship is starting to have problems, it’s worth paying attention to.

                          If any of these sound familiar it’s time to act. Doing so now can prevent larger problems and keep your relationship on solid footing. Know that encountering these issues in a long-term relationship is very common and doesn’t spell doom for the two of you, nor does it mean you have to go to counseling. Catching these things early may just mean you will be able to resolve them more quickly and happily than if you wait too long.

                          The post 7 Easy To Spot Signs Your Relationship Has Problems appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

                          Save over £900 on this digital marketing training bundle

                          Save over £900 on this digital marketing training bundle

                          TL;DR: The Dynamic Digital Marketing Manager bundle is on sale for £23.90 as of July 19, saving you 97% on list price.


                          As with most things in the modern world, the digital marketing landscape is constantly changing. And if you’re out of date, you’re limiting your brand’s potential. Modern businesses just cannot thrive off of old procedures. Sorry.

                          The first thing you have to remember when diving into digital marketing is that it’s a long game. You can’t just snap your fingers and make magic happen overnight. You have to put in the work, and this Dynamic Digital Marketing Manager bundle can help you along the way. Read more…

                          More about Digital Marketing, Online Classes, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Uk, and Uk Deals

                          It’s time to build against pandemics

                          Rish Joshi
                          Contributor

                          Rish is an entrepreneur and investor. Previously, he was a VC at Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI fund), co-founded a fintech startup building an analytics platform for SEC filings and worked on deep-learning research as a graduate student in computer science at MIT.

                          We’re a few years out from the call to action Bill Gates made in his TED Talk on preparing for pandemics back in 2015, yet the state of scalable software for important workflows like data collection and contact-tracing has greatly lagged expectations during the current pandemic.

                          The Trump administration’s letter to health agencies regarding data-sharing guidelines asked for daily Excel uploads, and manual contact-tracing efforts without software have proven difficult given the scale of the current pandemic. 

                          Everything is being built right now. 

                          Research universities are helping build models used by the CDC for case prediction, and that’s brought to light the dire issues around incomplete data sharing between health institutions and governments. 

                          Dozens of contact-tracing apps are springing up, surfacing design decisions around privacy, the need for newer technologies beyond Bluetooth for near-field communication and leading companies like Google and Apple to strike partnerships to power cross-platform mobile capabilities.

                          The good news is that the current efforts are taking seriously the need for better software and driving necessary innovation to help society better prepare for pandemics.

                          How can detailed case data be shared by hospitals with governments to better predict case and mortality numbers, and used to better allocate medical and labor resources? 

                          How can software help local and state governments make better policies, and help digitize contact tracing while appeasing privacy concerns?

                          Software has the ability to power many of these capabilities, and it is creating new opportunities for startups to vet the newly formed appetite for better data and digitized workflows on the part of health agencies, local and state governments and other organizations involved in fighting pandemics.

                          6 of the best strimmers for tidying up your garden

                          6 of the best strimmers for tidying up your garden

                          Beautiful gardens are not created without the blood, sweat, and tears of busy gardeners. The best gardens are the direct result of hours of hard work, and it’s a constant battle to make sure things continue to look neat and tidy.

                          Gardeners are continuously faced with pests, weeds, and plants that simply refuse to grow. To win this fight, gardeners must equip themselves with the best gear on offer. That means investing in tools like lawn mowers and strimmers.

                          The lawn mower is probably the most important purchase a gardener will make, but the strimmer is a close second. These devices keep your lawn edges and borders tidy by cutting back weeds and long patches of grass. Basically, these products handle everything that your lawn mower can’t reach. They are essential tools for keeping your garden looking its best. Read more…

                          More about Gardens, Gardening, Consumer Tech, Shopping Uk, and Uk Deals

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                          IMAGE: Amazon



                          BEST FOR ERGONOMICS

                          Bosch ART 30

                          The lightweight and ergonomic design makes it easy to handle, and you can adjust the handle height with a click.


                            £62.99 from Amazon

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                            BEST FOR WEIGHT

                            Flymo SimpliTrim Li

                            This lightweight strimmer utilises a powerful integrated 14.4 V battery with a run time of 40 minutes.


                              £79.99 from Amazon

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                              BEST FOR ADJUSTING

                              VonHaus 20V Max

                              The 180 degree adjustable trimmer head helps you get accurate border edges by tackling the trickiest spots.


                                £59.99 from Amazon

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                                BEST FOR CORNERS

                                Greenworks Tools G40LT

                                The electronic speed control helps when you’re navigating the edge of a patio, sensitive plants, or tree trunks.


                                  £90.99 from Amazon

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                                  BEST FOR BEGINNERS

                                  WORX WG157E.9

                                  Not the most powerful or adaptable, but it’s easy to handle and gets the job done effectively.


                                    £39.99 from Amazon

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                                    BEST FOR POWER

                                    McCulloch TRIMMAC

                                    With a power output of 0.6 kW, this petrol strimmer easily cuts through dense grass.


                                      £129.99 from Amazon

                                      ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ and the limits of today’s game economies

                                      Kaiser Hwang
                                      Contributor

                                      Kaiser Hwang is a longtime member of the games community and a vice president at Forte, an organization building an open economic platform for games.

                                      “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is a bonafide wonder. The game has been setting new records for Nintendo, is adored by players and critics alike and provides millions of players a peaceful escape during these unprecedented times.

                                      But there’s been something even more extraordinary happening on the fringe: Players are finding ways to augment the game experience through community-organized activities and tools. These include free weed-pulling services (tips welcome!) from virtual Samaritans, and custom-designed items for sale — for real-world money, via WeChat Pay and AliPay.

                                      Well-known personalities and companies are also contributing, with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” scribe Gary Whitta hosting an A-list celebrity talk show using the game, and luxury fashion brand Marc Jacobs providing some of its popular clothing designs to players. 100 Thieves, the white-hot esports and apparel company, even created and gave away digital versions of its entire collection of impossible-to-find clothes.

                                      This community-based phenomenon gives us a pithy glimpse into not only where games are inevitably going, but what their true potential is as a form of creative, technical and economic expression. It also exemplifies what we at Forte call “community economics,” a system that lies at the heart of our aim in bringing new creative and economic opportunities to billions of people around the world.

                                      What is community economics?

                                      Formally, community economics is the synthesis of economic activity that takes place inside, and emerges outside, virtual game worlds. It is rooted in a cooperative economic relationship between all participants in a game’s network, and characterized by an economic pluralism that is unified by open technology owned by no single party. And notably, it results in increased autonomy for players, better business models for game creators, and new economic and creative opportunities for both.

                                      The fundamental shift that underlies community economics is the evolution of games from centralized entertainment experiences to open economic platforms. We believe this is where things are heading.

                                      5 Tips To Take Actions On If You Want To Leave A Legacy

                                      At some point in our lives, we start thinking of how we’re living it so far; whether there are certain matters that require more of our attention and efforts. We begin reflecting on whether we’ve done our best to live a life we can be proud of – the kind of life that leaves a great legacy.

                                      Most people don’t see resolutions as something that could change their lives, probably because they fade out quickly. They also happen to be short-term goals. In most cases of resolutions, you tend to fall by the wayside and go back to previous habits and enjoyable patterns.

                                      Rather than thinking about resolutions, you should think about your legacy. It is the life you can look back with pride, something you would love to leave behind. How can this be accomplished? First, we get inspired. We all have a few personal role models, those with larger than life charm that have made a positive impact on our lives. We tend to get inspiration from those people whose journey we admire and respect. Then comes the work.

                                      This article offers 5 tips you can take action on if you want to leave a great legacy behind.

                                      Assess Yourself

                                      tips on how to leave a legacy

                                      Take quick thoughts about your past and pinpoint specific ways you intend to leave a legacy. Imagine what those who know you best would write about you once you’re gone. If you have got these things in mind, it will give you reasons to see what’s holding you back from being what you really what to be.

                                      You Should Think Bigger

                                      We didn’t just come to this life to eat, sleep, work, and die. We are all destined to be great. We were created with special talents to do something different and leave it better than it was found. The act of thinking beyond extraordinary is a key tip to leaving a legacy. You shouldn’t just think about what you can get for yourself, rather think of what you can come up with and belong to as well.

                                      You Should Be Dedicated

                                      You should be ready to think outside your comfort zone. In most cases, people never get past thinking concerning something. All they do is think rather than doing. Don’t just leave your ideas in your diaries, your thoughts; you should move your ideas into attested actions. However, you shouldn’t over-dedicate yourself to something, instead go for something small and go with it.

                                      I’d advise you on taking relevant ideas which you’re enthusiastic about and make further findings on how you can get involved. Make sure you choose the action which you can take in-person and focus on the action that is kind of bigger outside of oneself.

                                      You Should Have A Personal Role Model

                                      leaving a legacy

                                      It is very advisable that whenever you got the hang of things, you must relate and share your knowledge with someone else. Having a personal role model is quite important. They are people you can always rely on whenever you need help one way or the other. They should inspire you positively. A role model isn’t about making someone like you or creating someone in your image. Rather, a role model should be someone who allows other people to become the best versions of themselves.

                                      You Should Be Consistent

                                      At a point, our passions might change, which is fine. You should evolve yourself and try new things. You should not be scared to start something new, remain consistent until you reach your goals. Look for ways you can evolve yourself and even push your barriers.

                                      The post 5 Tips To Take Actions On If You Want To Leave A Legacy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

                                      NASA and ESA have released the closest ever images of the Sun, and they’re mesmerizing

                                      NASA and ESA have released the closest ever images of the Sun, and they're mesmerizing

                                      NASA and the European Space Agency have released the amazing first images taken by the Solar Orbiter — including the closest pictures ever taken of our nearest star.

                                      Launched on February 9, the Solar Orbiter is a joint project by NASA and the European Space Agency. Carrying six telescopes and four other instruments to monitor the surrounding environment, the spacecraft’s mission is to study the Sun, taking measurements to help scientists understand it. The Solar Orbiter completed its first close pass of the star in June, orbiting 77 million kilometers away — about halfway between us and the Sun.  Read more…

                                      More about Nasa, Sun, European Space Agency, Esa, and Solar Orbiter

                                      Federal court rules WhatsApp and Facebook’s malware exploit case against NSO Group can proceed

                                      A U.S. federal court judge ruled on Thursday that WhatsApp and parent company Facebook’s lawsuit against Israeli mobile surveillance software company NSO Group can go forward. Phyllis Hamilton, Chief Judge of the United Stated District Court of the Northern District of California, denied most of the arguments NSO Group made when it filed a motion to dismiss the suit in April (a copy of her decision is embedded below).

                                      Last October, WhatsApp and Facebook filed a complaint alleging that NSO Group exploited an audio-calling vulnerability in the messaging app to send malware to about 1,400 mobile devices, including ones that belonged to journalists, human rights activists, political dissidents, diplomats and senior government officials.

                                      WhatsApp and Facebook also claim that NSO Group developed a data program called Pegasus that extracted data, including messages, browser history and contacts, from phones, and sold support services to customers including the Kingdom of Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Mexico.

                                      In its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, one of NSO Group’s arguments was that its business dealings with foreign governments, which it said use its technology to fight terrorism and other serious crimes, granted it immunity from lawsuits filed in U.S. courts under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA). In her decision, Judge Hamilton wrote that NSO Group failed to qualify because it was not incorporated or formed in the U.S.

                                      In an email to TechCrunch, a WhatsApp spokesperson said “We are pleased with the Court’s decision permitting us to move ahead with our claims that NSO engaged in unlawful conduct. The decision also confirms that WhatsApp will be able to obtain relevant documents and other information about NSO’s practices.”

                                      TechCrunch has also contacted NSO Group for comment. When the lawsuit was filed in October, the company stated, “In the strong possible terms, we dispute today’s allegations and will vigorously fight them.”

                                      WhatsApp vs NSO Group, cour… by TechCrunch on Scribd

                                      7 Tips for Building Relationship Equality

                                      Relationship equality is one of the key ingredients to a healthy, happy life with your partner.

                                      The meaning of relationship equality isn’t always simple to define. Many feel that a relationship should be 50/50, but the truth is relationships have ups and downs. Sometimes the needs of one partner may legitimately overshadow the other, such as extra support after a family member’s death.

                                      So, what is relationship equality and how can you build it with your spouse?

                                      Relationship equality is all about respect. Both partner’s feelings, boundaries, and physical body should be respected. There is no power/control dynamic.

                                      When you have equality in your relationship it means that you and your spouse can live in harmony together and feel safe and secure.

                                      Here are 7 relationship tips on how to build equality.

                                      Make respect your no. 1 priority

                                      Unfortunately, relationship equality isn’t a given in our day and age. But just because your relationship scales are tipping to one side doesn’t mean you can even things out. With willing hearts and a little bit of patience, you can build relationship equality.

                                      Couples who respect one another put one another on an equal playing field. They do this by:

                                      • Communicating openly
                                      • Speaking kindly to one another
                                      • Freely giving support
                                      • Compromising
                                      • Listening without interrupting
                                      • Respecting boundaries

                                      Relationships that lack respect are often toxic, so make building and maintaining respect toward your spouse one of your biggest relationship priorities.

                                      Your needs should be equally important

                                      There is no doubt that your needs are important, but so are your partner’s. There is nothing worse than going to a partner with a problem or concern and having your feelings shot down. Remember, healthy relationships are all about equality.

                                      Never treat your spouse like their feelings and the issues they are going through are unimportant or play second fiddle to your own.

                                      Toxic relationships indeed make it difficult for one partner to be assertive, but those in healthy relationships may have the same experience. One partner may be shy by nature, lack assertiveness, or simply hate making conflict. To accommodate this and equalize the playing field, work hard to make your partner feel comfortable and safe expressing their needs.

                                      Get on the same page about sex

                                      having equality in a relationship

                                      Sex is a big deal in a marriage, so both partners must get on the same page about it. You want sex to be something you share, not just something you “do.”

                                      Sex is not something that should be controlled by one partner, used as a way to guilt somebody or a tool to be used to win an argument or gain something.

                                      Research shows that sexual communication equals greater relationship satisfaction for both men and women – so communication is going to be your best friend when it comes to all things sex.

                                      Talk openly and honestly – and make it fun! Share your sexual likes, dislikes, triggers, preferences, and how often you’d like to be intimate together. It may be a little awkward to talk about it at first, but in the end, it will put positivity into your sex life.

                                      Build a romantic friendship

                                      Relationships are about more than just romance, they’re also about friendship.

                                      Think about one of your closest friends. Likely, you both share interests or hobbies, you do fun things together like go to movies, have game nights, play sports, or go to events. Good friends build trust, loyalty, and can talk to each other about everything.

                                      These are all fantastic qualities that shouldn’t be limited to your friends. You can boost equality in your love life by making your relationship about more than romance. Make it a true connection that requires you to think of your spouse as something more than sexual intimacy.

                                      Make your relationship a partnership

                                      Shallow dating is all about filling time. You fill time with your spouse by hanging out, being intimate, and exploring romance. But true equality comes from building a healthy relationship where you share your lives together.

                                      When you don’t welcome your spouse in as your partner, you open yourself up to a “me first” attitude.

                                      Couples can create a partnership by:

                                      • Getting to know each other’s friends and family
                                      • Talking about what’s going on in their lives
                                      • Consulting one another before making big decisions or purchases
                                      • Having an equal share in how your life is built
                                      • Helping one another out where you can

                                      Spend quality time alone

                                      equality in a relationship

                                      Another way you can build relationship equality is by spending quality alone time with your spouse.

                                      Spending time alone also shows your spouse that you value their company and their friendship. Instead of solely using your leisure time to be with friends or family, you choose to be with your partner. This gives you more of an opportunity to connect and strengthen the love and respect you share for one another.

                                      Additionally, spending time together regularly (such as with a weekly date night) has been proven to reduce stress, boost relationship satisfaction, increase sexual encounters, and -for married couples – reduce the likelihood of divorce.

                                      Support each other

                                      In a happy relationship, one person’s desires do not overshadow the others. Showing partner support is integral to building relationship equality. Both spouses should support each other’s healthy dreams and goals; never undermining, belittling, or controlling them.

                                      Another way you can show support to your spouse is by making your home life as stress-free as possible – showing love regularly, acknowledging problems, using kind words even when you disagree, showing nonsexual physical affection, and checking in emotionally on a regular basis.

                                      If your relationship doesn’t feel equal, don’t worry. There are things you can do to fix it. First, make respect a priority in your love life.

                                      Work hard to be partners, to listen and communicate, and to build a friendship. Scheduling time to be alone with yourself or your friends is also important since it helps you retain your individual identity. Good luck!

                                      The post 7 Tips for Building Relationship Equality appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

                                      Nissan Ariya is just like its concept EV, only now it’s a real Tesla Model Y competitor

                                      Nissan Ariya is just like its concept EV, only now it's a real Tesla Model Y competitor

                                      The Nissan Ariya made a splash last year at the Tokyo Motor Show as a concept electric SUV with a sleek interior and an advanced driving system built in. Now the car is a real thing coming to the U.S. late next year.

                                      Nissan is well-known for its Leaf electric vehicle, one of the original all-electric options available in the U.S. Until now that was the extent of its EV lineup. With the Ariya’s unveiling Wednesday, Nissan has a small SUV with higher-end features with a moderate price tag starting around $40,000 and a whole lot of range to take on Tesla’s newest compact SUV, the Model Y.

                                      The top-model Ariya (there’ll be four variations to choose from) promises up to 300 miles of range on a single charge, while also providing the spaciousness of a bigger vehicle and a smooth-bottomed floor (since the battery pack sits on the car floor).  Read more…

                                      More about Tesla, Nissan, Electric Vehicle, Model Y, and Tech

                                      Jack Ma’s fintech giant tops 1.3 billion users globally

                                      The speculation that Alibaba’s fintech affiliate Ant Group will go public has been swirling around for years. New details came to light recently. Reuters reported last week that the fintech giant could float as soon as this year in an initial public offering that values it at $200 billion. As a private firm, details of the payments and financial services firm remain sparse, but a new filing by Alibaba, which holds a 33% stake in Ant, provides a rare glimpse into its performance.

                                      Alipay, the brand of Ant’s consumer finance app, claims to earmark 1.3 billion annual active users as of March. The majority of its users came from China, while the rest were brought by its nine e-wallet partners in India, Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Pakistan.

                                      In recent years Ant has been striving to scale back its reliance on in-house financial products in response to Beijing’s tightening grip on China’s fledgling fintech industry. Tencent, Alibaba’s nemesis, is considered a lot more reserved in the financial space but its WeChat Pay app has been slowly eating away at Alipay’s share of the payments market.

                                      In a symbolic move in May, the Alibaba affiliate changed its name from Ant Financial to Ant Group. Even prior to that, Ant had been actively publicizing itself as a “technology” company that offers payments gateways and sells digital infrastructure to banks, insurance groups, and other traditional financial institutions — rather than being a direct competitor to them. On the Alipay app, users can browse and access a raft of third-party financial services including wealth management, microloans, and insurance.

                                      As of March, Ant’s wealth management unit facilitated 4 trillion yuan ($570 billion) of assets under management for its partners offering money market funds, fixed income products, and equity investment services. During the same period, total insurance premiums facilitated by Ant more than doubled from the year before.

                                      In June, Ant’s new boss Hu Xiaoming set the goal for the firm to generate 80% of total revenues from technology service fees, up from about 50% in 2019. He anticipated the monetary contribution of Ant’s own proprietary financial services to shrink as a result.

                                      Ant grew out of Alipay, the payments service launched by Alibaba as an escrow service to ensure trust between e-commerce buyers and sellers. In 2011, Alibaba spun off Ant, allegedly to comply with local regulations governing third-party payments services. Ant has since taken on several rounds of equity financing. Today, Alibaba founder Jack Ma still controls a majority of Ant’s voting interests.

                                      8 Tips for a Compelling Business Presentation

                                      Everyone has great ideas at some point—that’s not the biggest challenge. Success is all about showcasing your creativity in a way that amazes your audience. And how should you do that? By having a compelling presentation.

                                      An amazing presentation will make you look professional and confident. Being careful with the smallest details will not go unnoticed and will probably make the audience trust you more easily. Taking time to perfect your presentation—which is both about your slides and your speech—will ensure your success, along with that amazing idea of yours.

                                      There are a few opinions on what makes a presentation great, but some things are universal. You should pay attention to the design of your slides—keep it clean and attractive. Another important point is how you display your data. Don’t throw all the text you have on a few slides and be done. Exhibit your most important, strongest point and develop it in your pitch. And use powerful visuals—they don’t say that a picture equals a thousand words for nothing.

                                      How to Make a Compelling Business Presentation

                                      Be convinced about your idea

                                      If you don’t believe in your idea, no one will. This means that you have to build your presentation to showcase your passion. Show your audience why your idea works and why they should care.

                                      Having passion is a great way of showing how much you care. That this is not just another business idea, but something you have strong feelings about. Usually, the audience will pick up on your attitude. This greatly influences how much they will care about what you have to say.

                                      Tell a story

                                      People tend to show more interest in personal stories rather than listed facts. If your pitch originates from personal experience—use it to your advantage. Become a narrator, rather than a salesman, and see how your audience changes.

                                      Having a story to tell makes you more human. Make people feel something about your idea by transposing them in your narrative. We’re hardwired to get involved emotionally in a good story. So use that to your advantage.

                                      Use supporting materials

                                      create a compelling presentation

                                      Everyone will be more inclined to trust your data if you have supporting materials. Don’t be afraid to quote your authoritative sources. It only shows that you’ve done your research and you’re confident about it.

                                      Most of the time, if someone puts effort into something, it shows. If you’re worried that quoting your sources will make your idea sound less original, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. All of us find inspiration in everything that is around us. What is important is what we do with that inspiration.

                                      Memorable visuals and quotes

                                      Maybe this one doesn’t sound important, but trust us, it can change everything. A well-placed quote or a striking image that supports your ideas is easy to remember for your audience. Inspire your audience to believe in what you present.

                                      Visual content is also a way of influencing what your audience feels. Some images, for example, can be scientifically linked to feeling a certain emotion. So by using memorable visuals, you can technically show your public how they should feel about what you’re saying. Emotion can be a really great incentive if used well.

                                      Questions and rhetorics

                                      If you want your audience to pay attention, engage with them. Ask questions—even if they’re rhetorical—to stress what you want to say. If people agree with you, or if they find themselves having the same questions you have, then they will remember you. What is greater than a hooked audience? (See what we did there?)

                                      Having an engaged public means that not only will they pay attention during your whole presentation, but they will also try to anticipate what you want to say. You can use that and try to surprise them. Thinking out of the box will only make people love your pitch even more.

                                      Skip the jargon

                                      More often than not, people won’t be familiar with your jargon. Technical terms or words that are hard to understand will make you lose the audience’s attention. Explain everything as if you were talking to a child – simple and without showing off your knowledge.

                                      You can still showcase your knowledge but in a subtle manner. If you start throwing jargon in the public’s face, there’s a very small chance that they will be impressed. But if they feel like they actually learned something new—that they didn’t know they needed to know—then congratulations! You’ve definitely impressed some people.

                                      Clean design

                                      A simple design doesn’t have to be bland. Think out of the box! Try to be creative with your slides. Luckily for you, there’s plenty of free PowerPoint templates online ready to use. All you have to do is download them and start editing!

                                      Try to match your template to the feel of your presentation. Sometimes it’s a good idea to be conventionally professional. But there are times when showing your human side can bring you more success. Think about what you’d like people to think about you and your idea, and act accordingly.

                                      The 10-20-30 rule

                                      creating a compelling presentation

                                      This rule is simple but golden. You should have around 10 slides. Your presentation shouldn’t last more than 20 minutes. No font you used should be smaller than 30 points. The attention span of a person gets shorter and shorter every day. By following this rule, you won’t overdo and you have all the chances of having an engaged audience.

                                      Maybe you won’t respect this rule word-by-word. But you should still be aware of what it brings to attention. It’s easy to make a 100-slide presentation when you have a lot to say. But it’s a bit harder to sum up everything in 10 slides while still touching all the points you need. However, the latter will help you have a more engaged audience and it will improve your presentation skills.

                                      What to Take Away

                                      There are many elements involved in a great presentation. But perhaps the hardest part is making it look like it took little or no effort. Like that’s how you arrange your ideas, naturally. A well-designed presentation will make you look professional and trustworthy.

                                      Amazing presentations take you a long way. You need to have more than a great idea to convince anyone. Make your audience say “Why haven’t I thought of this before??” after your pitch. Impress them with your clean, minimalistic slide design. Back up your facts. Make yourself memorable with visual elements. But most importantly, try not to show off or overdo anything. Just be yourself, show your passion, and hook your audience!

                                      The post 8 Tips for a Compelling Business Presentation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

                                      This complete web developer course is on sale for under £10

                                      This complete web developer course is on sale for under £10

                                      TL;DR: The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 is on sale for £9.51 as of July 14, saving you 91% on list price.


                                      People say the best way to learn is by doing.

                                      You can’t learn how to drive if you don’t hop inside a car (and maybe hit a few curbs). You can’t play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix by simply binging on YouTube tutorials. And you can’t really perform CPR just by watching that one episode of The Office.

                                      The same principle applies to programming, and that’s why the Complete Web Developer Course’s philosophy on teaching is centred around having you build your own websites, allowing you to learn better and faster. As of July 14, you can get the training package for under £10. Read more…

                                      More about Web Development, Mashable Shopping, Online Courses, Shopping Uk, and Uk Deals

                                      Huawei posts revenue growth in H1 despite sanctions and pandemic

                                      Huawei reported a 13.1% year-over-year revenue growth in the first half of 2020, even if countries around the world continued to weigh up bans on its equipment and smartphone sales shrink amid the pandemic, the telecom giant said in a brief on Monday.

                                      The firm’s revenue reached 454 billion yuan ($64.88 billion) in the period, with its carrier, enterprise, and consumer businesses accounting for 35%, 8% and 56% of total revenue, respectively. It finished with a net profit margin of 9.2%, a slight increase from 8.7% in the same period last year.

                                      The privately-owned company did not specify what contributed to its H1 growth, but said in the release that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “information and communications technologies” — the main focus of its business — “have become not only a crucial tool for combatting the virus, but also an engine for economic recovery.”

                                      The growth came amid the U.S.’s ongoing campaign urging allies to remove Huawei from their network infrastructure. The U.K. is reportedly scheduled to phase out Huawei gear in its 5G network as soon as this year, a plan that critics warn could cause network outages and other security risks.

                                      Though Huawei does not break down its regional sales, it’s reasonable to expect China to be its bedrock of growth as it stumbles abroad. The company and its local competitor ZTE — which is also on the U.S. trade blacklistdivide up the bulk of 5G base station contracts from China’s main carriers. The network operators have also agreed to procure 5G phones from Huawei, which would naturally give the company a boost in sales.

                                      How To Have A Growth Mindset About Money

                                      More than 75% of Americans have at least one financial regret, and is it any wonder? We’re taught from a young age that talking about money is taboo, and the result is that throughout most of adulthood we have no actual idea how to deal with our finances. People are stuck living paycheck to paycheck, not saving enough for retirement and emergencies, and the result is always catastrophic. Debt continues to grow, and we rely on credit cards to get us through the tough times. But what if there were a better way to handle our finances and make small changes that will add up in the long run? If you can apply a growth mindset to your finances, you might find yourself in a better financial situation sooner than you think.

                                      Money Troubles Abound

                                      having growth mindset to your finances

                                      With our economy in a free fall, there has never been a more relevant time to talk about money troubles. Whether you’ve lost a job or you’re just unsure of the future, the way you spend and save now could impact your life for years to come.

                                      As of this year, American consumers owed more than $14.15 trillion in household debt. This is everything from mortgages to credit card balances to student loan balances, and it adds up quickly. In student loan debt alone, Americans owe more than $1.64 trillion. Credit card debt has skyrocketed to an all-time high of $1 trillion. Americans just aren’t prepared for everyday life.

                                      Part of the problem is that wages have stagnated while the cost of living has ballooned out of control. For decades raises have barely kept up with inflation, while the cost of living has overshot normal wages by a significant amount.

                                      Most Americans have decided that college is the only way to beat the system, but that often leaves them with a crippling debt load they later find they can’t afford as they try to juggle paying rising rents, minimum student loan payments, and healthcare premiums. This, in turn, has sent an entire generation back to their parents’ basements to try to regroup, which further exacerbates the economic situation. For those who are unfortunate enough to have any sort of medical needs, making ends meet is just not a financial possibility in many cases.

                                      Currently, a third of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, while even three in every ten low-wage earners are able to save at least some of their money but don’t. Student loan borrowers often find themselves regretting choosing a more expensive college than they needed, and 42% make at least one late payment a year. 35% of credit card users only pay the minimum amount instead of paying the full balance every cycle.

                                      Applying A Growth Mindset To Your Finances

                                      how to have growth mindset to your finances

                                      Most people apply a fixed mindset to their financial situation – they feel they are helpless to change it, that they know all there is to know about their finances, and that challenges can only lead to failure or financial ruin. When you instead start to apply a growth mindset to your financial situation you realize there’s a lot you don’t know about finances and that you have plenty of room to learn and grow. Setbacks become opportunities for growth.

                                      Financial mistakes and problems happen, and it’s your responsibility to learn from them and do better next time. Start by listing all your debts and their corresponding interest rates. There are a couple of things you can do here. The snowball method is probably the easiest – start by concentrating on paying off the smallest debt first. Keep paying minimum payments on all your debts so you don’t go into default, but find extra money each month to go toward your smallest debt. Once that one is out of the way, apply all that money to your next smallest debt until it is paid off, and keep going from there. Before long you will be debt-free and have the ability to focus your attention on other aspects of your financial life.

                                      There are tons of apps out there that can help you keep track of your finances and expenses and make cuts wherever you can. Saving is also going to be a major component of your financial strategy, as emergency savings prevent you from having to go into debt in the first place.

                                      Learn more about having a financial growth mindset from the infographic below.

                                      Growth Mindset
                                      Source: Money Hacker

                                      The post How To Have A Growth Mindset About Money appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

                                      Microsoft spins out 5-year-old Chinese chatbot Xiaoice

                                      Microsoft is shedding its empathetic chatbot Xiaoice into an independent entity, the U.S. software behemoth said (in Chinese) Monday, confirming an earlier report by the Chinese news site Chuhaipost in June.

                                      The announcement came several months after Microsoft announced it would close down its voice assistant app Cortana in China among other countries late last year.

                                      Xiaoice has over the years enlisted some of the best minds in artificial intelligence and ventured beyond China into countries like Japan and Indonesia. Microsoft said it called the shots to accelerate Xiaoice’s “localized innovation” and buildout of the chatbot’s “commercial ecosystem.”

                                      The spinoff will see the new entity license technologies from Microsoft for subsequent research and development in Xiaoice and continue to use the Xiaoice brand (and Rinna in Japanese), while Microsoft will retain its stakes in the new company.

                                      In 2014, a small team of Microsoft’s Bing researchers unveiled Xiaoice, which means “Little Bing” in Chinese. The bot immediately created a sensation in China and was regarded by many as their virtual girlfriend. The chatbot came just a few weeks after Microsoft rolled out Cortana in the country. Modeled on the personality of a teenage girl, Xiaoice aims to add a more human and social element to chatbots. In Microsoft’s own words, she wants to be a user’s friend.

                                      Like all foreign companies, Microsoft has to grapple with China’s censorship. In 2017, Xiaoice was removed by Tencent’s instant messenger QQ over suspicions of politically sensitive speech.

                                      The project has involved some of the most prestigious scientists in the AI land, ranging from Lu Qi, who went on to join Baidu as its chief operating officer and brought Y Combinator to China; Jing Kun, who took up a post at Baidu to head the search giant’s smart devices; and Harry Shum, a former executive at Microsoft’s storied Artificial Intelligence and Research unit and now sits on the board of fledgling news app News Break.

                                      Shum will serve as chairman at Xiaoice’s new standalone entity. Li Di, general manager of Xiaoice, will serve as chief executive officer. Chen Zhan, a developer of the Japanese chatbot Rinna, is appointed general manager of the Japanese office.

                                      The new company will retain the right to use the “Xiaoice” and “Rinna” brands, with a mission to further develop its client base across the Greater China region, Japan and Indonesia.

                                      Microsoft claimed that Xiaoice has a reach of 660 million users and 450 million third-party smart devices globally at the last count. The chatbot has found applications in such areas as finance, retail, auto, real estate and fashion, in which it claimed it can “mine context, tonality and emotions from text to create unique patterns within seconds.”

                                      Unlock American Netflix with this discounted VPN

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                                      Learn to code with this developer certification bundle

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