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How to Easily Build Your Website with AI

If you want your business to succeed in the modern world, you’re going to have to think long and hard about how to establish your online presence.

The first thing you should do is put yourself in the shoes of the client that you are trying to win over. Ask yourself: where’s the first place they’re going to look?

You guessed it – Google.

Searching on the Internet is by far the fastest way to get access to information about anything. This is why most people don’t look anywhere else.

Technology is quickly changing the way we do business. With that, our perspective also needs to change if we want to stay on top of our marketing game.

Your Online Presence

If you want your business to be found by your clientele, you have to establish a presence in the very place that they’re going to look – the world wide web. This is what having an online presence means.

If you don’t have a website or a page on social media yet, you need to ask yourself – what exactly is stopping you from doing so?

Is it your time or budget? Or are you simply clueless about what a good website is and what it should be able to offer to your clientele?

Many people think that they aren’t tech savvy enough to start with it. However, the truth is that you don’t really need to be proficient about technology at all. The tools we have access to these days are so advanced.

I assure you that establishing an online presence and building a website is not as difficult as it used to be in the past. One of the main reasons for that is the fact that we have access to artificial intelligence.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a computer’s ability to think instead of just being told what to do.

When you open a browser and type in a web address, your computer takes you to that address. Basically, it is just following orders and you’re the one doing the actual thinking.

AI is the next step. It can improvise and come up with solutions independently.

In other words, with AI, you don’t have to be extra specific. It can think for itself.

An AI website builder is a piece of software that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to listen to your input and create something based on that. It listens to you and then it takes some extra steps to build your website.

The best thing about it is that AI guides you throughout the process. It doesn’t need you to be tech savvy at all.

AI website builders out there are Bookmark, Firedrop, The Grid, and Wix ADI. Read reviews if you’re interested.

Advantages of AI Website Builders

There are plenty of advantages of using artificial intelligence to build your website.

But first, let’s look at the alternatives.

One of them is doing the whole thing yourself– designing your page, adding functionality, and fiddling with databases. It’s a very complex process that requires skills you can’t just pick up in a day or two.

Another alternative is paying someone to do it for you. But even an experienced web developer needs time to work on your website before it can go live. Dedicated web development companies will take a month or two and they can be quite expensive.

Using an AI website builder solves both of these problems. It’s much cheaper and you can have your fully functional website available within the day.

Will my website be unique?

Yes.

A common misconception with AI website builders is that your website won’t be as unique as it needs to be. And while it is possible to see where this kind of concern comes from, it really isn’t as much of a problem as most people are led to believe.

Your website won’t just be built by a computer. It will be built by you and the computer together.

There’s a big difference. And as I mentioned, the results you’ll receive will directly depend on the input you provide.

Can AI optimize my website?

ai website

Again, yes.

Most modern website builders do a lot more than just build up a web page that looks good and works well. They can also help you with SEO (search engine optimization) and your site’s user-friendliness.

A lot of those things will be up to you but the good thing is that it is pretty hard to mess up when you’re using AI. All the options that you have at your disposal will already lead you to a fairly optimized website that is ready to go.

Embrace AI

Artificial intelligence is slowly taking ground in modern society. As technology evolves further, we’re bound to see more of it in almost every aspect of our lives.

Just the fact that AI has come far enough to aid us in a process as complex as web development is already amazing. It is definitely something you should be taking advantage of as a small business.

So, if you need a website pronto and aren’t overstocked with time and money at the moment, AI is the way to go.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business

The post How to Easily Build Your Website with AI appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Ways to Constantly Improve IT Skills

As technology continues to develop, the same should happen to your IT skills. Employers only seek out the best IT specialists and the only way to get ahead of your competition is to keep learning and refining your skills.

Becoming complacent is the worst thing any professional could do as this makes you less likely to progress towards your ultimate goals.

As a guide, here are sure ways to consistently improve your IT skills.

Establish Weak Points

read technical books

If there are specific weak points that are dragging you down, consider doing something about them.

If, for example, coding is not your strongest point, figure out why this is the case. It may be that you need extra mentoring.

Reading technical books is hugely beneficial, too. They typically contain helpful information and step-by-step guides which can help you grow as an IT specialist.

Overcome Fear of Automation

Firstly, to self-improve, you must feel confident about yourself and your position in the IT world. Regardless of the industry, the development of automation is inevitable but this should not impact your career potential.

In a report by CompTIA, they stated that an estimated figure of 5.4 million US individuals was hired in the information technology sector. Compared to previous years, this reflects an increase of 2.1%. In 2018, people should expect to see the same growth.

Knowing this, IT professionals can feel safe that their jobs will not be replaced by automation anytime soon.

Consider Further Certifications

You might already have a resume filled with qualifications but these can quickly become outdated and irrelevant in the IT industry.

Certain certifications hold value for IT pros and are more meaningful than others. These include the CAP (Certified Analytics Professional), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) and more.

As identified by Indeed.com, the most in-demand IT jobs include Java Developer, Network Engineer, and Software Developer. Therefore, adapting your resume to suit these types of jobs will give you an advantage over others.

Work Part-Time or Find Freelance Opportunities

freelance work part time

Education is one of the best ways of learning more of what you enjoy. However, work experience is even better. Taking what you learn and putting it into practice not only improves your IT skills but your transferable skills, too.

Boasting great initiative, problem-solving, and decision-making skills will look fantastic on your resume and give you a well-rounded profile.

Regarding work opportunities, it is great to get more exposure by taking up opportunities you would not normally accept. By doing different projects and jobs, you are learning a variety of things, whether it is a new computer programme or application.

Keep Up-To-Date with Cyber News

A brilliant way of staying fresh with new tech is to keep on top of tech news. Do it even if you have a really packed schedule. Read discussions, watch the news, and join forums so you can stay updated with the latest technology.

Take Advantage of the Free Stuff

Keep on the lookout for industry conferences and webcasts, which happen all year round. There are plenty of online guides which can keep you informed of worldwide tech events.

Typically, these events give inspirational talks, information about new technology, and heavy debates about political changes. Attending these are also a brilliant way of networking and promoting yourself to IT firms.

Online resources, like webinars, articles, podcasts, and videos, are great, too. By using online resources, you have the benefit of learning during your free time whilst choosing specifically what skills you want to focus on.

The key is to stay one step ahead of the game, especially in a world where technology has no limits. With dedication and hard work, you can go from professional to elite and feel confident about your place in the IT world.

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Baidu’s streaming video service iQiyi falls 13.6% in Nasdaq debut

The streaming video service iQiyi, a business owned by China’s online search giant Baidu, dropped 13.6% in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq — closing at $15.55, or down $2.45 from its opening price of $18.

The company still managed to pull off one of the largest public offerings by a Chinese tech company in the past two years raising $2.25 billion — the only Chinese technology company to make a larger splash in U.S. markets is Alibaba — the commercial technology juggernaut which raised $21.5 billion in its public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014.

“It’s a special day and an exciting day for iQiyi, and I will say it’s also an exciting day for the Chinese internet,” said Baidu chief executive Robin Li of the iQiyi public offering.”Eight years ago, when we got started, we were not the first one, we were not the largest one, but we gradually worked our way up, and caught up and surpassed everyone. It has been not an easy journey, but finally we are public. We surpassed everyone. That’s because we have a very strong team. I have a full confidence on Gong Yu and on the whole iQiyi Team.”

Over its eight year history there’s no doubt that iQiyi has gone from laggardly to lustrous in the Chinese streaming video market. Baidu’s offering and Tencent’s video service have both managed to overtake the previous market leader Youku Tudou, which was acquired by Alibaba in 2016.

Tencent leveraged its 980 million monthly active users on the WeChat mobile messaging app, the 653 million monthly active users on its older QQ messaging platform and the company’s attendant social network (think Facebook) to juice growth of its video streaming offering, according to analysis from The Motley Fool.

For Baidu, the company’s pole position for online search became critical to the growth of iQiyi — along with a partnership to China’s ubiquitous hardware manufacturer and technology developer Xiaomi . The company also locked in early content licensing deals with big Hollywood studios like Lions Gate and Paramount — and a deal with Netflix to juice its subscriber base in China. By the end of 2017, Baidu was claiming more than 487 million monthly active users for the service.

The former leader in China’s video streaming market, Youku Tudou, seems to have wilted under the weight of its acquirer’s platform. Alibaba’s ecommerce was never a natural fit with online video streaming.

For all of their massive user bases each of China’s leading video streaming services face a profitability problem. For its part, iQiyi went to market with substantial losses of $574.4 million for the last fiscal year.

 

 

Digital Marketing for Business: Is It A Must?

Why is content going digital?

There are plenty of people who prefer going to movie theaters to see new movies. There are still lots of folks who enjoy a live musical performance over listening to the radio.

But more and more people are choosing to download digital copies instead of standing in line to buy physical copies of books, music, and movies. And that’s not even the most seismic shift to digital content we are seeing at this point in time.

There is a ton of data out there that is finally starting to be used for something and they are going to change everything about our lives.

How Much Digital Content Is Out There?

90% of today’s data were generated in the last two years and that’s really not surprising. Smartphones have only been around just over a decade. Users have only recently embraced their ability to generate data pertaining to their everyday lives.

Two and a half quintillion bytes of data are created every single day worldwide. Considering that internet usage worldwide is only at 50%, that figure is going to continue growing exponentially in the future.

What Else Is Going Digital?

One major example is currency.

We see this a lot with cryptocurrency. Even though news of cryptocurrency’s volatility, carbon footprint problems, and security problems are making headlines daily, digital currency is still getting more popular. In fact, it increased 43 times in just one year.

That speaks volumes about the trust people put on digital currencies and content.

See Also: Cryptocurrency Is On The Rise: Are You Prepared?

Businesses Are Leveraging All That Digital Content To Innovate

digital business marketing

Think about all the data generated about you when you go online and interact with people there. That’s the same way companies get an idea of who their target audience is.

Think of it this way:

When you call a call center with a complaint or customer service issues, the other party asks for your details. That includes who you are, where you live, how much money you make, your education level, and more.

Those data can tell a company a lot about who its target audience is. They can also provide valuable insights on how its employees and products are doing in terms of customer satisfaction and retention.

Some of the ways that big data is being leveraged to improve businesses include:

  • Cost-benefit analysis and decreasing expenses
  • Making decisions based on data
  • Discovering new avenues for innovation
  • Speeding up current innovation efforts
  • Launching new products and services based on what customers want
  • Adding revenue
  • Transforming business into a sustainable model that will work in the future

See Also: Know Your Customers In The Digital Age

Potential Downsides To Going Digital

We’ve seen places like Puerto Rico get slammed with hurricanes that have wiped out the entire power grid. Replacing that power grid is slow and costly.

Of course, in that situation, you wouldn’t be worried about accessing your digital movies, books, and music.

But what if you’re relying completely on digital currency and there’s no electricity to connect you to the Internet? How can you use it?

Digital Marketing for Businesses

At this point, it no longer makes sense for your business not to adopt and utilize digital marketing. It’s the hottest thing right now and it’s what can give your business the boost it needs to improve its sale.

Here’s a list of what you need to do:

  • Post videos of special events and see how the public will react to them.
  • Post photos regularly on Instagram and see which ones get the most interaction. This is often where you will find your next big idea.
  • Use social media as a means to interact and build relationships with your customers.

Learn more about leveraging digital content from this infographic!

Infographic by MerlinOne

The post Digital Marketing for Business: Is It A Must? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Ways To Build A Personal Brand Based On Authenticity

In today’s society, people are used to getting a taste of products for free. When a product or service is so high-quality that its creator is confident enough to give it away, that tells audiences it’s truly valuable.

Take Chance the Rapper, for example: He has risen to stardom over the past seven years — performing for President Barack Obama at the White House, hosting “Saturday Night Live,” and winning three Grammys in 2017 for his rap album “Coloring Book.” If that’s not impressive enough, he managed it all while giving fans his music for free. He’s taken the road less traveled, and zigging when everyone else is zagging, drawing attention from his fans.

I’m certainly not a rapper, but I have relied on a similar method for success in the 17 years I’ve led a gift strategy and logistics company, and I wrote about it in my book “Giftology.” I’ve built a personal brand based on giving and authenticity, and I can show you how to do the same. Here’s where to start:

giftology

Give back to your collaborators and supporters

When building a brand, most people focus on scrounging for every penny to help them rise to the top. But like Chance, I focus on what I can achieve alone, then collaborate with others to let them shine. In my case, that means partnering with the people providing me gifts, then putting the spotlight on them. A core value of my business is relationship-building because even if I can give only a little at the start of a relationship, my partners and I will grow together over time.

Build a giving mentality into the fabric of your personal brand to help set it apart. As often as you can, donate time or resources to give back to the people or companies that helped you get where you are. Chance, for example, champions causes and invests time and money into revamping Chicago and its public schools. Ensure the messaging you create to market your personal brand focuses on how you’ve helped others, not on how you’ve helped yourself.

Be gracious early on

I follow the Gary Vaynerchuk mindset of playing the long game, which Chance demonstrates with every album he releases. While giving his music away for free might seem crazy at first, he’s really just building good faith with his audience, which pays off in spades. It’s the same reason I ask anybody I’m engaging whether I can comp a gift on his behalf to help him look good. This freemium model has helped us land a number of clients, including pro sports teams like the Orlando Magic, and it builds goodwill.

Make the first move of generosity by giving your connections something on the front end. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant gift, either. Maybe you can only afford to take someone out for coffee at a trendy local shop while you network and send him a handwritten thank-you note after your meeting — that’s OK. That act of kindness can be enough to keep you top of mind the next time an opportunity comes along that should have your name written all over it.

Go off-book

 

chance rapper

Any time you can surprise and delight by blazing your own trail is a chance to impress those around you. Just because society has set a standard doesn’t mean you can’t change it. Chance the Rapper doesn’t bow to the pressure of $10 million offers from record labels; he pursues his own vision. Technology has made it easier than ever to build a brand that bucks the status quo, regardless of your credentials.

It’s also a great opportunity to set yourself apart from competitors. Going off the beaten path can be a powerful indicator of who you are and what your brand is. Breaking patterns gets noticed, so whether you’re simply changing the way you present yourself on social media or pulling stunts in your community to generate buzz, don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.

Chance the Rapper is known not only for offering his music for free and for his charitable work, but also for becoming a lifestyle icon. No matter your industry, chances are good your personal brand will benefit if you take a page from his book. Take it from me: A personal brand built with authenticity will take you far.

The post 3 Ways To Build A Personal Brand Based On Authenticity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Top Tech Events You Need To Attend For Your Business This Year

The UK is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to technology and in 2017, the tech sector saw a record amount of investment at nearly £3 billion. This was almost double the amount that was spent in the previous year.

At a time of great uncertainty and with Brexit looming in the background, this just goes to show how powerful and infallible the tech industry is. As the tech industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, 2018 promises to be another massive year.

Tech events are great if you want to keep up to date with all the latest trends and developments in the industry. They’re also a great opportunity to network with peers and learn from the most influential thought leaders around.

Whether you’re interested in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence or digital marketing, there’s an event out there that will help you and your business to grow.

Here are the top tech events in the UK that you need to attend for your business this year:

The Wearable Technology Show – London (March 13 to 14)

wearable-tech-show-2018
Via electronicsmedia.info

Wearable technology has been soaring in popularity over the last few years, with many brands recognizing its huge potential. It has been used in sports, fitness, healthcare and augmented reality.

The Wearable Technology Show will be held at the ExCel Centre in London over two days. It will showcase the latest and most innovative wearable gears to date. There will be a range of different speakers and workshops that you can participate in.

Cyber UK – Manchester (April 10 to 12)

cyber uk 2018
Via ncsc.gov.uk

As our reliance on the digital world grows each year, so too does the need to improve cybersecurity. The threat of fraud, hacking, data theft and other nefarious activities online remain more prevalent than ever. This is why cyber security is so important.

Cyber UK will take place at the Manchester Central Convention Complex for three days. It will play host to thousands of delegates and online security experts from around the world.

The event is organized by the National Cyber Security Centre. It will include a number of different workshops, briefings, and talks from thought leaders, government representatives, and many more.

London Tech Week – London (June 11 to 17)

london tech week 2018
Via londontechweek

London Tech Week is the largest festival of tech in Europe, attracting more than 55,000 attendees from over 90 countries. The event is an all-encompassing celebration of all things tech-related. There, you’ll see techs linked to virtual reality, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and cybersecurity.

As a business, you have the opportunity to exhibit some of your work. You’ll also be able to network with and learn from some of the most creative minds out there. The Prince’s Trust Gala Dinner and the Leaders In Tech Summit will both be in the lineup while you’ll also have the chance to watch some exciting F1H20 Powerboat Racing take place.

Turing Fest – Edinburgh (August 1 to 2)

turing fest 2018
Via tech.eu

The Turing Fest in Edinburgh this year promises to be the biggest one yet, with six conference tracks providing an insight into how the most successful businesses use technology to grow and stay relevant. The event will be attended by some hugely successful CEOs, such as Eric Yuan of Zoom, Des Traynor of Intercom, and Samantha Noble of Biddable Moments.

You’ll have the opportunity to network and share tech insights with like-minded peers and participate in a range of panel workshops and keynotes. There’ll also be some additional informal fringe events.

DigiMarCon Ireland – London (September 5 to 6)

digimarcon ireland 2018
Via digimarconireland

While DigiMarCon Ireland is one of the largest Irish digital marketing events, it actually takes place in Heathrow, London. This event is not only ideal for digital marketing companies and startups but also for any brand that wants to grow and expand their reach.

You’ll be able to find out about all the latest developments in terms of generating traffic, boosting brand awareness, and improving lead generation. You will also know more about content marketing, SEO, and geotargeting during this two-day event.

It’s also worth noting that there are many other outstanding tech events that take place internationally, particularly in Australia and America. So, consider heading overseas to expand your tech knowledge- a perfect excuse to spend some of that business trip budget!

The post The Top Tech Events You Need To Attend For Your Business This Year appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Top Technology Trends That Will Shape 2018

Groundbreaking steps are happening in the technology industry all the time. In the past couple of years alone, leaps and bounds have resulted in better augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, speech recognition, and more. This year, you can expect more tech innovations to enhance our lives.

Here are the top technology trends you need to watch out for this year.

Augmented Reality

augmented reality vs virtual reality

We’ve already seen what today’s AR mobile apps can do and games like Pokémon Go are a far cry from it, to say the least.

The AR technology from companies like the startup DAQRI, however, extends well beyond a mobile game experience. Its technology is found in other products, like its $15,000 AR helmets.

You can wear those helmets entirely hands-free and it can work for hours. A requirement for its primary users: industrial workers, sailors, and soldiers.

Take note that these headsets aren’t quite full-scale AR because they suffer from the common problem of most AR headsets. It’s the narrow rectangular view that cuts off images when the user moves.

Now, as the company has partnered with Two Trees, a holography specialist, and is working on developing new dynamic holography technology, it could possibly revolutionize AR.

See Also: How Augmented Reality Is Changing The Game

Google RankBrain

One of the biggest contributors to the advancement of search algorithms in recent years has been Google’s machine learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) system, RankBrain.

Since its inception over two years ago, Google continues to embrace RankBrain, using it to return the best results that match a Google user’s query. It has gone from being used in 15% of Google search queries to now being used in all of them.

Google has also been dabbling in other AI interests. This includes the development of a Cloud Vision API, which has the capability to recognize a huge number of objects. Plus, its Google Brain division has reportedly been developing an AI that can build AI better than humans can.

Artificial Intelligence

Google RankBrain aside, artificial intelligence isn’t only found in data. It’s in just about every industry. Journalism, financial services, video gaming, gambling, automotive, the military, and even healthcare are just some examples.

Currently, the vast majority of AI systems function as a supportive tool that can make certain processes more simplified, effective, and faster.

That said, as AI enters more and more fields, people like Jack Ma question what impact the future of AI will have on society as a whole. The concerns of Alibaba’s founder and Executive Chairman were made known earlier this year during the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos.

“The AI, Big Data is a threat to human beings. The AI and robots are going to kill a lot of jobs because, in the future, these will be done by machines,” Ma stated during a discussion panel.

He believes that AI should be used to support people and added that tech giants, like Alibaba, Amazon, and Facebook, need to be responsible and “should spend money on technology that enables people, empowers people, and makes life better”.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business

Smart speakers

Forget about talking to your smartphone. The future is all about voice-controlled smart speakers now.

This technology perfectly fits into the ecosystem of a smart home as smart speakers can function as the main control hub. They can answer questions, set timers, play music, and control other devices at home.

As you might imagine, there is a fierce competition between market leaders. Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft aim to develop and sell the most sought-after smart speakers.

Today, the competition is tight between Amazon and Google. These companies are leading the market with smart speakers that are affordable, accessible, and superior to Apple’s Siri.

And once Apple’s smart speaker (HomePod) is out later this year, fans will still flock to buy it despite the high price tag. That only reflects people’s desire to always get their hands on the latest technology.

apple homepad
Via Dezeen

Speech recognition

Speech recognition is another tech that has recently advanced both in its capabilities and its use. Whether you’re asking your smartphone a question or your smart speaker, speech recognition is at play.

While there has always been a lot of kinks to work out when it comes to this technology, last August, Microsoft claimed a new speech recognition record. It was able to reduce its error rate to an amazing 5.1%.

This percentage matched the error rate of multiple human transcribers in a well-known accuracy test.

Microsoft’s continued improvements in speech recognition technology are a part of its wider effort to advance state of the art AI and bring these new innovations to the market.

Conclusion

Of course, no one really knows what the future holds for these top technology trends. Maybe full-scale AR will eliminate the need for mobile phones. Perhaps, speech recognition may prove to be superior to human transcribers- or maybe not. Only time will tell where these innovations might take us next

The post 5 Top Technology Trends That Will Shape 2018 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Nike ramps up membership benefits with Apple Music, ClassPass and Headspace unlocks for app users

 The top line is that Nike is rolling out some membership related updates to its app for iPhone and Android today. The updates will come in the form of new unlocks with partnerships like ClassPass, Apple and Headspace. There will also be a bunch of new unlocks coming for exclusive shoes and clothing. NikePlus Unlocks, the official name for these cards that appear in the Nike+ app Members… Read More

8 Easy Steps To Your Browser Security And Privacy

Bad news.

There’s really no such thing as the most secure browser.

Want proof?

In a poll in 2013, Firefox was voted as the most secure web browser. However, in a hacking contest in March of 2014, Firefox was deemed as the least secure after it went down to four zero-day exploits.

Because you can’t really rely on one browser to protect you and your data, it’s critical that you know how to make your favorite browser the most secure browser for you.

Here are some steps you can follow:

Check your browser’s default setting

The most convenient way to start using any device, including browsers, is by its default setting. It is, however, not the most secure way.

In fact, it can expose you to a lot of potential threats.

With your browser’s default configuration, hackers can easily access your program and even make internal changes without you knowing.

Creepy, right?

The best solution to that is to configure all your browsers as well as your operating system before use. Doing that can greatly increase your security.

Use only one browser when dealing with sensitive activities

use only one browser

Your computer probably has multiple browsers installed and that’s actually a good thing. It means you’ll be able to dedicate one browser for one activity only, limiting the risk of compromising your sensitive data.

Think of it this way:

You can use one browser to pay your bills or purchase something online. You can use a separate browser for researching and random browsing.

This way, if someone hacked the one you are using for general web browsing, the other browser won’t be compromised.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that using separate browsers will automatically protect your data. You also have to play your part to make your browser the most secure browser.

It can also help if you can make a complete browser comparison first before deciding which ones to use.

Update your browser

Security holes will keep on popping up as more and more security threats emerge. One of the few ways you can protect yourself is by updating your browser.

Make sure to follow your vendor’s instructions when updating your browser. If your operating system no longer supports newer browsers, it’s time to get that updated as well.

Browsers like Chrome and Firefox have an auto-update feature by default. If yours isn’t enabled, check if your computer’s firewall is preventing the auto-update or someone else has configured it the way it is.

Get an antivirus installed

A good anti-virus remains one of the best ways to stay protected on the internet. Just make sure that the one you are using is real as a fake antivirus software is already a security threat on its own.

And if you already have one, keep it up-to-date. Using an expired antivirus is more likely to put your security at risk.

Now, listen closely.

While you might think that the antivirus that came with your computer is enough to protect you, it actually isn’t. You see, free antivirus programs aren’t that comprehensive.

It can only provide limited protection and it can only detect certain threats. It has lower and slower scanning performance, too.

The bottom line?

Don’t skimp on your antivirus program and be sure to keep it updated.

Be careful in installing plugins and extensions

Extensions and plugins might look harmless but they can be extremely dangerous. They have access to your every move online. And because they know everything, you can just imagine the damage they can create.

They know what you’ve been searching and they can capture your passwords. These extensions can even insert advertisements in the pages you visit.

One problem with extensions is that they frequently require access to everything. For example, an extension that’s meant to make changes in Google.com will require access to everything related to Google.

Most of the time, that includes your email and Google account.

To stay safe, use fewer extensions and plugins as possible. If you aren’t using the ones already installed on your computer, uninstall them and stick with the ones you use frequently.

If you are planning on adding more, make sure to read the permissions they require.

Use pop-up blockers

turn off pop up blockers
Via hotComm

Ads and pages that pop out of nowhere aren’t just annoying; they can also be dangerous.

By using a pop-up blocker, you’ll be able to prevent those ads from installing harmful malware on your computer. They can also prevent your screen from cluttering.

Now, if the website you are trying to access needs you to temporarily disable the blocker, remember to reactivate it once you are done.

Turn on fraud protection

There are tons of untrustworthy websites on the internet. If you aren’t careful, you can inadvertently visit one of those phishing sites and expose your sensitive information.

Phishing sites are sites that are made to look legit and trustworthy so that they can get your personal details. This includes your credit card number and password in your cached data.

To stop that from happening, always turn on fraud protection. It can blacklist known phishing sites so you won’t be able to access them.

See Also: 7 Top Tips to Avoid Being Caught in a Phishing Net

Be careful with auto-complete features

Being able to log into your email or any of your accounts without typing your login details sound convenient. However, in terms of safety and security, it’s a totally different story.

Just think about what can happen when your laptop or device gets stolen or lost. It’s like giving away your personal login information to everyone.

For protection, always turn that feature off. You can do that by accessing your browser’s setting.

If you are using Chrome, for example, you can open its Setting window, select Advanced, and make the necessary changes in the Manage Password section.

In case you are using Firefox, access the Options window, select Privacy, and look for History. Once you are there, select Firefox will: Use custom settings for history and disable the Remember search and form history option.

These changes don’t take a lot of time. In fact, you can complete them in less than a minute.

See Also: How To Maintain Your Privacy Online

 

The post 8 Easy Steps To Your Browser Security And Privacy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Crunch Report | MoviePass pulls out of 10 AMC theaters

Google experiments in local news, MoviePass pulls out of AMC theaters and the Kalanick-Benchmark lawsuit has officially been dismissed. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Crunch Report | CNN shuts down Casey Neistat’s Beme

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VW taps Nvidia to build AI into its new electric microbus and beyond

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Crunch Report | GoPro Cuts 200-300 Jobs

App revenue reached $60 billion in 2017, Travis Kalanick is selling 29 percent of his Uber shares and GoPro cuts 200-300 jobs. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Crunch Report | Telegram and Instagram Are Being Restricted in Iran

Amazon Prime shipped 5 billion Items in 2017, SuperMeat gets $3 million in funding and Telegram and Instagram are being restricted in Iran. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Crunch Report | Apple Apologizes for Slowing Down iPhones

Apple apologizes for slowing down iPhones, humans spent $200 million on apps this Christmas and Google retires the Pixel C tablet. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Crunch Report | South Korea Announces New Cryptocurrency Regulations

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HQ Trivia Is Coming to Android | Crunch Report

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4 Ways Small Business Can Become More Efficient Through Cloud Computing

In today’s business world, it is important that business have access to what they need when they need it. Whether through phones, tablets or computers, there is a need for convenience and reliability as far as access to information is concerned. Cloud computing facilitates all these. Without a doubt, it has transformed how several businesses operate.

For those who are entering the arena for the first time, it is important to note that cloud computing is an umbrella term that includes:

  • Cloud storage
  • Cloud hosting
  • Software as a service
  • Cloud backup

By migrating the cloud, your business can use this technology to enhance your operations in a couple of ways. In essence, cloud computing guarantees several benefits.

Enhanced collaboration

cloud computing collaboration

Provided there is reliable internet access, it is possible to access cloud-based programs any time using a couple of devices. For a business with remote employees, nothing facilitates greater collaboration than this.

In today’s economy, we have a substantial number of small and medium-size businesses which rely on remote productivity as a critical aspect of their operation. Using various cloud-based software, different teams in various locations can collaborate on the same documents without the need to email attachments, schedule calendars, and share task lists.

This reduces the need for physical meetings. Participants only need to sign up for the services and pick up their tasks online without the need to install new programs or download other software.

Secure data backup

Businesses have always relied on data. The only difference is that businesses are more dependent on data now than before.

Losing essential data can be detrimental to a business or an organization. For smaller businesses, you might not have the resources or time to implement an effective backup strategy.

With cloud computing, you can easily retrieve the latest version of your data in case of an onsite system failure. Such system can also come handy in case of a disaster, such as fire.

Remember, you have the option of using cloud-based services to back up your business data automatically. In case of any unforeseen interruptions, your business will be back up and running in a couple of minutes.

Several firms offering cloud services provide geo-redundant backup. That implies that your data is saved in multiple centers across various locations to enhance data security.

Improved reliability

We all understand that cloud-based services are often more reliable compared to promised services. This is particularly true in instances where the servers and other hardware components used in service delivery are aging.

Cloud service providers boast of dedicated and highly experienced IT staff. When it comes to resolving various IT issues, you can rely on such team to provide better services in terms of reliability and speed.

For any business, nothing is more important than knowing that there is a team you can always rely on in case of anything. With the kind of support offered by cloud service providers, you won’t always have to worry about your data.

Better resource management

small business cloud computing

When you opt for cloud service, one huge burden lifted off of your shoulder is that of hosting the servers. Since the servers will be located off-site, you can sit back knowing that their management is an experienced IT staff.

Since there is easier access to resources as needed when dealing with the cloud, there will be less time involved in starting these services. It is also clear that several smaller businesses have limited IT experts and resources.

Outsourcing cloud computing services give them an opportunity to concentrate on the other aspects of their business while cloud service providers handle the rest. For smaller businesses that are out to edge or rival the big names in the market, cloud computing provides an opportunity to be more competitive and claim their fair share of the market.

Don’t ignore the details

While it is true that cloud computing comes with multiple benefits, it will not be fair to ignore the possible setbacks that can come with this technology. Just like any other technology, it takes time to set up and adapt to a new system. You will need to train your personnel, even in the slightest ways possible.

In addition to that, there is also the need to establish a very effective troubleshooting system during and after the system is launched. Always remember to never ignore security risks when considering cloud computing services. The rate of cyber crimes is at an all-time high.

If you are going to use any cloud service provider, make sure that they have all the answers to any security concerns you have. Try to understand the contingency plans they have in place in case of a security breach. Only after that should you sign on the dotted lines.

See Also: How Cloud Technology Can Help Your Business Grow

The post 4 Ways Small Business Can Become More Efficient Through Cloud Computing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Crunch Report | Twitter tests a new tweetstorm feature and Tesla unveils a semi truck

 Today’s Stories Apple pushes back on the release of the Homepod Twitter tests a new tweetstorm feature Tesla unveils a new semi truck Walmart will pilot the new Tesla Semis Credits Written by: Sarah Buhr Hosted by: Sarah Buhr Filmed by: Chris Gates Edited by: John Murillo Notes: Tito continues his journey in the Outback this week so you’re with me til Friday. Let’s… Read More

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5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business

If you are aware of the developments in technology, then you have probably heard about Artificial Intelligence (AI). For a lot of people, it’s too complex or high-tech so they don’t really pay a lot of attention to it.

In fact, even small businesses don’t think much of AI. They believe that only big tech companies like Apple and Google can utilize it. However, that’s not true.

AI has numerous benefits for small businesses. It’s something you cannot ignore if you want to stay ahead of your competition.

Today, open-minded businesses have started using AI to create a business logo, respond to emails, comb the Internet for leads identification, help customers with chatbots and a lot more.

If you have not seriously considered AI automation for your business yet, then the following 5 reasons can surely convince you.

Enhanced Bookkeeping

There are plenty of AI tools designed specifically for bookkeeping that you can use. While many offer help with the basic data entry tasks, some are more advanced and can easily perform many roles. You can use it in reading and preparing invoices, set invoice reminders, release payments on schedule and more.

So, instead of expanding your accounting department, you can invest in an AI bookkeeping program which is more affordable and highly useful.

Lead Nurturing

No matter how skilled your sales reps are, they will always have limitations.

For starters, one can handle only a certain number of leads at a time. Secondly, they need a certain amount of time with every lead to learn about their personality, pain points, opportunities for connection building and many other aspects that are required for their nurturing.

However, with AI automation you can take the entire process to the next level and benefit from increased productivity.

An AI program designed for lead nurturing can read and respond to the emails of your prospects using a list of set messages and the Natural Language Processing technology. It can also go through the past conversations you have had with your leads to pinpoint important bits of information. Most importantly, it can work 24/7 since it can function without human intervention.

Online Customer Support

A number of studies have found that customers find it more comfortable to inquire about the services or products of a company through messaging, especially via online chat as opposed to voice calls. However, hiring a full-time customer executive can be expensive for a small business. Again, this is where AI automation can be a great option.

chatbots

Not only AI-powered chatbots are highly popular today, you can also find some highly affordable options easily. You can install one of these on your website so that when your customers need some information, it will be readily available. In addition to that, having AI-powered chatbots can also make your website more attractive.

See Also: How To Boost Your Business with Influence Marketing Chatbots

Cheap but Quality Branding

Usually, it’s hard to find quality and affordability at the same place. However, AI automation seems to have changed that.

This is because it can help you with your company branding in many ways and at modest pricing. There are companies like Tailor Brands that offer an entire suite of branding tools- from logo creation to social media banner creation at a fraction of the price that you would pay to a graphics designer.

Intelligent Personal Assistants

You are probably already familiar with virtual personal assistants, such as Apple’s Siri or Microsoft Corona. Today, a new range of similar assistants is emerging and they are even more intelligent and more suitable for businesses. For instance, there is Amy from x.ai that can arrange meetings for you or Pana that can arrange your travel.

amy intelligent personal assistant
Via slideshare.net

AI has matured enough today that it can be utilized in different ways in every industry. It’s now easily available at affordable costs, too. If you haven’t considered using one for your business, it’s probably the right time to reconsider your strategy.

 

The post 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How to Set Up a VPN

If you want to protect your online privacy and prevent unwanted people, such as government agencies and advertising companies, from tracking you and using your private information to their advantage, there are a few ways as effective as VPNs to do it.

However, not everyone is really aware of what they really are and their advantages. To help you out, we’re here to discuss how to set up a VPN and how you can start using it.

How do VPNs Work?

As the term suggests it, a Virtual Private Network or VPN is a network of servers you can connect virtually (using the internet instead of a physical connection) to enhance your privacy. It does this by encrypting all the traffic that comes from your device and then rerouting it through one of the servers that compose it to mask your online trace.

Each part of the process presents a benefit for the user. The encryption of communications between the user and the VPN makes it impossible for Internet Service Providers and other eavesdroppers to snoop on your online activity. On the other hand, tunneling your connection through a VPN server makes websites think it is the server that’s accessing them when it’s actually you who’s doing it.

That offers you two benefits:

First, this prevents the website from tracking information about you coming from your device. You’d be accessing every website as if it were the first time you’re doing it and advertising companies would be unable to tailor ads for you.

The second benefit of tunneling is tied to the location of the server. Servers located in different countries allow you to access web content as if you were connecting from the same location of the server. This lets you access content from websites that isn’t available in your region.

Clear and Easy Way to Set Up a VPN

set up vpn

To use a VPN, you have to find a provider of the service online. This is perhaps the hardest part of the process since there is a very wide variety of VPN services available online. Not all of them are equally good and some of them may even end up doing more harm than good.

We recommend you use one of the following providers. We have already tried out and verified the quality of their service.

  • NordVPN
  • VyprVPN
  • PureVPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • IPVanish

After you’ve made your pick between them, all you have to do is follow these steps:

Purchase a Subscription

The first thing you have to do after you’ve picked a VPN service provider is to buy one of the subscription plans they offer. Keep in mind that the longer the subscription time you buy, the more value you’ll get for every penny you spend.

Download and Install the Software Client

Most VPN providers will ask you to download their software in exchange for letting you connect. This software client contains all the options you need for a safe connection that suits your needs.

Adjust the Settings

After you’ve installed the software, you have to open it and configure your connection to your specific needs. Most of these settings will come preconfigured for the most common and convenient settings, but you might want to tweak it a little bit.

Particularly regarding communication protocols and encryption algorithms, you’ll want to use OpenVPN and 256-bit AES encryption, respectively. These are the most reliable settings you could wish to have on a VPN, so they are the ones we recommend you to use. If you’re curious, you can look up any other settings online before messing with them but do this with extreme caution.

Choose a Country

After you’ve dealt with the technical details, it’s time to choose the location of the server you’ll be connecting to. This is important if your goal is to bypass the region lock of a website.

For instance, if all you want is to be able to access Netflix’s full library, then you’ll want to connect to a server in the US. VPN services usually let you decide this using a drop-down menu on their software.

Connect and Enjoy

After all this, you’re ready to hit the connect button and start browsing the web as you’d normally do. You’ll now be completely anonymous to the websites you visit. Your ISP won’t be able to monitor your online activity, too.

It’s only responsible for us to spread the benefits of VPN usage to contribute to a safer internet. They are a very powerful tool that helps you protect your online privacy and that of your loved ones.

The post How to Set Up a VPN appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Crunch Report | Hey Dillon Francis, iPhone X Is Now Available For Pre-Order

Today we’re hanging out with EDM artist Dillon Francis, Apple opens for iPhone X pre-orders and releases a sleeve for MacBooks, Walmart starts using robots in stores and Russia condemns Twitter for banning two of its media companies from advertising on the platform. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Southeast Asian e-commerce startup Carousell closes $70-$80M Series C round

 Singapore-based startup Carousell is in the money this week after it closed a Series C round of between $70-$80 million, two sources with knowledge of the deal told TechCrunch. Started by three graduates from the National University of Singapore in 2012, Carousell operates a mobile-first listings service for second-hand goods and services in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Prior to this… Read More

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Crunch Report | SoftBank Vision Fund Sequels

SoftBank is planning to create $100 billion Vision Fund sequels, Chariot is temporarily paused in San Francisco and Stitch Fix shows us what a good IPO looks like. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Crunch Report | Steve Wozniak Launches Education Platform

Steve Wozniak launches a new education platform, “Woz U,” Fandango acquires MovieTickets.com and Baidu plans to make lots of autonomous cars in 2021. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Crunch Report | AOL Instant Messenger Is Shutting Down

AOL Instant Messenger is shutting down, some iPhone 8s are having battery problems and a smart bandage that releases meds on demand. All this on Crunch Report! Read More

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Crunch Report | Patreon is raising a Series C at $450M

Patreon is raising at a $450 millon valuation, Chrome mutes autoplaying videos and Hulu is spending $2.5 billion for original content. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Gear up for Disrupt Berlin’s Startup Battlefield and apply today

 One dozen days. That’s how much time you have left to apply for the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin 2017. If you want to introduce your early-stage company to the world, there’s no better place to do so than from the Startup Battlefield main stage. It’s the premier launching pad for startups, as Battlefield alumni — like Mint, Dropbox, Yammer and Tripit —… Read More

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Chatbot startup founder sees Southeast Asia potential despite slow start worldwide

 Chatbots may have underwhelmed thus far, but the impact of the technology still has bags of potential in international markets where mobile messaging has been mainstream for years. That’s the view of one startup that’s working to bring the benefit of bots to the mainstream in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country and the largest economy in the growing region… Read More

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Crunch Report | China’s Central Bank Puts a Ban on ICOs

China’s central bank puts a ban on ICOs, the next generation of the Lily drone is here, WhatsApp for Business is launching and Alphabet creates a new holding company to complete 2015 corporate reorganization. All this on Crunch Report! Read More

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Crunch Report | Benchmark vs Kalanick Goes Sour

Reddit is rolling out its own video platform, VR adtech company Immersv raises $10.5 million and Benchmark versus Kalanick goes sour. All this on Crunch Report Read More

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Yes, there's now an app with the sole purpose of showing you dank memes

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If you enjoy wasting time on the internet, you’re probably going to love Memeois, the new iOS app made solely to deliver you the hottest new memes.

The app was made by 17-year-old Anushk Mittal and is free for download on iOS. Just be warned that the only way to enter the app is by signing in through a Facebook account. We don’t see any reason to be alarmed up front, but it’s something you might want to consider before joining.

The app apparently uses machine learning to crawl your Facebook activity to determine what memes it thinks you want to see. It also surfaces different trends based on your activity within the app. Read more…

More about Ios, Memes, Technology, Social Media, and Apple Watch

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Crunch Report | David Letterman Is Coming to Netflix

David Letterman is coming to Netflix, Didi Chuxing backs Careem in the Middle East, Crusie is running an autonomous ride-hailing service and Andrew Ng launches Deeplearning.ai. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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How Evolving Technologies And Facebook Are Deploying Big Data

Each day, 2.5 million TB of data are generated. This huge quantity of data needs to be stored so that they can be easily accessed later. They are data measured in zettabytes, petabytes and exabytes, which are lesser known terms.

As companies gather rising amounts of data, requirements on infrastructure and technology have become larger. The following 3 Vs describes what Big Data is all about.

Volume

This feature represents the absolute amount of data produced by companies. It includes data from transaction information, social media created information, sensor and machine to machine data. Without technologies to accumulate such large amounts of data, storing it easily would be a problem.

Velocity

Latest technologies allow faster data processing through sensors, RFID tags and other technologies. However, structuring and storing them in real time is a big challenge.

Variety

Data come in a wide variety of formats. It can range from regular databases, unstructured video, audio and email to transaction data.

These three features of Big Data offer a challenge for the companies that need to store data in an integrated, structured, affordable and accessible way.

Facebook And Big Data

facebook

Social media assure the growth and development of innovation through mass collaboration. Across various industries, companies use social media platforms to promote products and services. They also use it to observe how people respond to brands.

See Also: 4 Good Reasons For Marketing With Facebook

One of the largest Big Data experts is Facebook. It  deals with petabytes of data on a regular basis. As the world connects through this platform, it generates algorithms to track those connections.

Whether it’s a wall post or your favorite movies and books, Facebook surveys each and every bit of your data. It does this to provide you superior services each time you log in.

Some Of The Contributors Behind Facebook’s Big Data

There is a variety of technology working behind this platform. Below are the most significant ones:

Hadoop

hadoop

Facebook manages the biggest Hadoop cluster. It has beyond 4,000 machines and stores millions of gigabytes. This large-scale cluster provides some crucial skills to developers.

The developers can openly write MapReduce programs in any language.
SQL has been combined to process large data sets, as the majority of data in the Hadoop’s file system are in table format. Because of this, it becomes easier for developers to access smaller SQL subsets.

Beginning with searching, recommendation system, log processing and data warehousing, Hadoop is enabling Facebook in any way possible. In fact, its first user-facing app, Facebook Messenger, is based on Hadoop database.

Scuba

Encountering a large amount of disorganized data each day, Facebook realized that it requires a platform to speed up its analysis. It developed Scuba to help the Hadoop developers plunge into the massive data set. It also allows them to carry on an ad-hoc analysis in real-time.

Facebook wasn’t meant to run across different data centers. A single malfunction could cause the whole platform to fail.

Scuba enables the developers to store in-memory data in bulk. It’s supposed to help speed up the informational analysis. It executes small software agents to collect data from data centers and compress them into log data pattern. The compressed data are further compressed by Scuba into smaller memory systems which can be promptly assessed.

Hive

hive

After the launch of Hadoop by Yahoo for its search engine, Facebook also decided to empower its data scientists. It needed help in storing huge amount of data in the Oracle data warehouse. Thus, Hive came into existence.

This tool enhanced the query capability of Hadoop by using a part of SQL. Eventually, it became popular in the unstructured world. Nearly thousands of jobs are running using this system today.

Prism

As Facebook doesn’t run on multiple data centers, it needed the help of Prism. It’s a platform that brings out several namespaces. It helps in developing many logical clusters, too.

Corona

It was getting difficult to manage the task trackers and cluster resources. As pull-based scheduling model was causing a delay in handling small jobs, MapReduce came to existence. Hadoop was restricted by its slot-based resource management model. It wasted the slot every time the cluster size was unable to fit the configuration.

Developing and executing Corona helped in establishing a new scheduling framework. It helped distinguish resource management from job coordination.

Today, Facebook has become one of the substantial corporations in the world. It’s all thanks to its considerable data on over 1.5 Billion people on earth. However, security and privacy concerns remain as it isn’t sure whether Facebook will just save its big data on its server or use them in order to make money.

But, one thing is for sure. It’s the Big Data that pushed Facebook, a small-time startup in Harvard, into becoming one of the large corporations of all times.

See Also: The Facebook Organic Growth Tactic that Everybody Forgets

The post How Evolving Technologies And Facebook Are Deploying Big Data appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Crunch Report | SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch Planned for November

Falcon Heavy launch is set for November, i.am+ acquires Wink and Stitch Fix has confidentially filed for an IPO. All this on Cruch Report. Read More

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Xiaomi secures $1B loan to expand its international presence and offline retail footprint

 Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has secured a $1 billion loan in order to develop its international focus and build out its offline sales presence. The company revealed today that it has secured a three-year syndicated loan agreement from 18 banks across Europe, Middle East, India, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley served as joint global coordinator, with Bank… Read More

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Vertu is dead

 It’s been a long, downward slide for cellphone maker Vertu. The company, founded by Nokia in 1998, was supposed to be a luxury phone provider to the stars and, to a degree, it delivered. They sold the $11,000 phones like expensive watches in boutique stores in tony neighborhoods. Vertu, with its precious metals and fine, hand-cut leather was supposed to maintain its luxury lead for… Read More

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Samsung will reportedly revive the Galaxy Note 7 with a Korea-only ‘Fandom Edition’

 Samsung is reportedly gearing to revive the Galaxy Note 7, its disastrous 2016 smartphone that was recalled after battery problems caused units to catch fire, with the limited release of a new model. The company hinted a few months ago that it planned to make such a move, but now we have more details. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Note 7 FE (that stands for ‘Fandom… Read More

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Crunch Report | Amazon Bids to Buy Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion

Amazon bids to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Walmart buys Bonobos for $310 million, Mobike, a ride-sharing company in China, raises $600 million. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Crunch Report | The World Is Melting

Waymo is exploring self-driving trucks, Bumble’s meetup space, the Hive and reaction from VCs after pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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LG launches a mobile payment service in Korea

 LG announced plans for its own mobile payment service way back in November 2015, and today it finally went official with the launch.
The LG Pay service is initially limited to the G6, LG’s flagship smartphone, via a software update, but it is only available in Korea. There is launch support for cards from Shinhan Bank, KB, BC and Lotte, and LG plans to cover all of Korea’s card… Read More

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Hey tech bros, we don't want your gimmicky dating apps

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Dating apps are totally out of control. And, we only have tech bros to blame. As an online dater, I’ve had enough of the never-ending barrage of new, gimmicky dating apps from the tech world. For the love of all that is swipe-able, please make it stop. 

Currently, not a single week goes by without the launch of a supposedly quirky dating app claiming to offer something revolutionary and never-before-achieved by the world of online daters. 

In the past few months alone, we’ve seen the release of a “slow” dating app which makes you seduce matches through the art of conversation before you get to see their profile pic.  Read more…

More about Tech, Watercooler, Lifestyle, Technology, and Dating Apps

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Crunch Report | Sprig Is Shutting Down

Sprig is shutting down, Sergey Brin is building a giant airship, Nielsen’s latest data show a ton of people still watch content on TV and bitcoin experiences an outage from all the bitcoin ups and downs. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Xiaomi’s second bezel-less Mi Max smartphone claims a two-day battery

 Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi made a big splash when it announced the the Mi Max, its much-heralded device with a near bezel-less display, last year — now we have a follow-up phone. The Mi Max 2, unveiled today at an event in Beijing, will be available in China from June 1 priced upwards from RMB 1699, that’s around $247. Xiaomi claims it sold over three million of the… Read More

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Why Shopping Online Doesn’t Have To Lead To Stolen Packages

In the dark ages of the 1980s, people used to have to drive to the store and buy their own toilet paper. They would then load it into their cars and drive it to their homes and carry it inside.

It seems like such a foreign concept today. Just thirty-something years later, we can press a button in our bathroom closet and have a drone deliver our toilet paper to our front porch hours later. Alright, maybe most people don’t have drones dropping off their toilet paper, but that IS an option today, especially with more people buying things, even necessities, online and having them delivered.

There’s almost no reason to leave your house for supplies anymore in most major cities. You can even have your groceries and prescriptions delivered right to your house.

But, there’s just one problem.

With the uptick in E-commerce, there has been a corresponding uptick in theft from mailboxes and front porches.

In the last five years alone, E-commerce has more than doubled. Online sales are expected to almost double again over the next five years, reaching $523 billion a year by 2020. Unfortunately, in 2016 alone 11 million people had packages stolen from their front porches, three-quarters of which happened when they weren’t home.

Because of this, a large number of people say they are worried about having their packages stolen from their doorsteps, particularly when they aren’t delivered on the first attempt. This makes delivery more difficult for delivery drivers. It drives up the cost and, subsequently, extends the amount of time it takes to receive packages. It also makes people wary of ordering online, which is scary for online retailers and delivery services.

online shopping

There are a lot of factors that can prevent packages from being delivered on the first try. And theft isn’t the only thing preventing you from getting your packages on time.

If there isn’t a safe and dry place to leave a package, it can get destroyed by the weather. If something is too big to fit inside a mailbox, a mail carrier might not be able to leave it there. More often, there are items that can’t be delivered without a signature.

So, if you have to sit around all day waiting for the delivery man, how is that supposed to save you from going to the store?

Online shopping makes things easier for many people. There is a greater selection of merchandise you can choose from and there are search algorithms that can make the process a lot easier. You will never have to leave your house to go out searching for what you need.

Unfortunately, that convenience ends when you get that package stolen off your front porch. All kinds of solutions have been developed to combat this problem, including doorbells that can record videos of people trespassing your front porch. Unfortunately, those doorbells can’t actually stop those thieves. By the time you see their videos, your new dress or your heart medication are already gone.

online shopping delivery

So, why not give the delivery person a secure place, like a smart mailbox, to use for your packages? Having a locked place means no more missed deliveries and a serious decrease in the likelihood of theft.

Secure mailboxes are nothing new. Remember that keyed mailbox at your first apartment complex?

Secure mailboxes are more necessary today than they ever have been before. Today’s smart mailbox can communicate with you when you have a package delivered or when it is en route. It can even give you the option to communicate with the delivery driver in case you don’t want your package delivered on a specific day.

Options for preventing stolen packages include:

Security cameras

Pro: deterrent
Con: once it’s gone, it’s gone

Delivering to Work/Another Address

Pro: someone will usually be there
Con: you still have to schlep it home

Rerouting Packages

Pro: have it delivered when you will be home
Con: longer wait, more hassle for the delivery driver

Smart Mailboxes

Pro: packages delivered anytime are kept secured and safe from the elements
Con: Big and bulky, more expensive than a regular mailbox

More options mean more flexibility and security for everyone involved and that’s just good business. Learn more about how to prevent package theft from this infographic. A better way to deliver packages could even usher in the next big wave of E-commerce ideas. You might find yourself asking, “Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?”

Snail Mail vs Smart Mail [Infographic]
Source: MailHaven

 

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