JPS Design Group - Everything Else graphic design, packaging design, web design en-us Sat, 18 Nov 2017 06:58:00 -0800 Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 no Easy access to information online has blurred the lines of plagiarism <p><strong>for a dozen years or so, marketers and communicators have been telling businesses that “content is king.” create content, and readers will come, your footprint will grow, and your brand will gain recognition. that was all good advice, but the shift of readers becoming writers has also increased plagiarism.</strong></p> <p>for a dozen years or so, marketers and communicators have been telling businesses that “content is king.” create content, and readers will come, your footprint will grow, and your brand will gain recognition.</p> <p>that was all good advice, but the shift of readers becoming writers has also increased plagiarism. and it’s possible your business’s content – on social media, business networking sites, and even your company’s blog – may have been cribbed.</p> <p>every day, there are <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>500 million new tweets</a>, multiple posts added to the 40 million active small business pages on facebook, and 2 million new blog posts created.</p> <p>that’s a significant amount of content and, if we’re being honest, we want readers to pass it on: to share it, repost it, and retweet it.</p> <p>but some things that have become prevalent on social media cross even the loosest of ethical lines. take linkedin profiles, for example.</p> <p>many writers, marketers, and hr consultants make a living writing compelling linkedin profiles designed to grab the attention of potential clients or employers. but how can you stand out from the crowd when a bunch of other people have the exact same profile? apparently it’s getting to be an embarrassingly common thing for people to copy and paste elements of other linkedin users with the same general business background.</p> <p>the concept of “engagement” has blurred the lines of authorship, and internet postings often fall into a blurry area called “common knowledge.”</p> <p>mit defines common knowledge as “information that the average educated reader would accept as reliable without having to look it up.” while seemingly straightforward, that leaves a great deal open to interpretation. what does “average” mean? what constitutes an “educated reader”? educated based on whose standard?</p> <p>then there’s posting and reposting until the actual originator of an article, graphic, design, or idea is obscured beyond recovery. in many cases, the more your content falls into the realm of “common knowledge,” the more likely you are to lose your claim to it.</p> <p>that’s what happened to bayer’s claim on the product trademark “aspirin.” developed by bayer and trademarked in 1900, aspirin fell victim to what we now call “genericization”: people started to call any painkiller “aspirin.” by 1921, the trademark could no longer be enforced.</p> <p>so what can you as a business communicator do to avoid unintentionally plagiarizing others as well as protect your own intellectual property?</p> <p><strong>attribute your facts. </strong>as one who grew up as a journalist before the internet, i am in awe of how easy information is to find. if you find a great idea that dovetails with your business, share it, but attribute it fully and add a link to the original article.</p> <p><strong>paraphrasing doesn’t make it yours. </strong>some pundits on this topic suggest that you paraphrase the creative ideas of others. it’s a slippery slope. although not as offensive, paraphrasing is still a violation. you need to say in context where the idea or concept originated.</p> <p><strong>vigorously protect your content. </strong>the internet may have given rise to more ways to steal your words, but it also has facilitated more ways to check. with nearly every written word of the millions produced every day available to search engines, a few sentences enclosed in quotes and searched in google will find other articles using the same words. if you find someone has taken your content and reposted as their own, contact them and ask them to take it down or to properly attribute it. there are probably few places where any kind of civil or legal action would be worth the effort, but sometimes just letting people know they are caught is enough.</p> <p>if you have copyrighted your blog or website and find your content has been plagiarized, you may be able to sue in federal court. plagiarism is not a crime, but theft of intellectual property is.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>ubj digital maven</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Five Ways to Get the Word Out About Your Event Venue <p>online marketing can be challenging for the restaurant industry. <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>less than 50 percent of independent restaurants have a website</a>. and for those who do have one, the website alone isn’t enough to promote your venue. <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>51 percent of adults use the internet to find local restaurants</a>, and specifically use search engines, specialty websites, and social media.</p> <p>so, what do you need to do to catch the attention of event planners during their online searches? follow these five digital marketing tips to get the word out and show that your venue is perfect for their next event.</p> <h3>search engine optimization</h3> <p>before you even think about doing anything else, you need to make sure all of your online properties are optimized for search. create a list of keywords that event planners may use when searching for a venue like yours. think of words that describe your venue: your location and neighborhood, the types of events you host, your menu, your amenities, and your building’s style. try the <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>moz keyword explorer tool</a> to tweak your list.</p> <p>once you have a list of keywords, make sure they are included in your webpage copy, webpage titles, urls, blog posts, and image titles, but don’t overdo it. too many keywords could cause google to penalize your page for <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>“keyword stuffing.”</a></p> <h3>ask for testimonials</h3> <p>adding testimonials is another great way to get the word out. ask customers to review you on facebook or yelp. include the text of the reviews on your website and link back to the original review. testimonials will add to your keywords and contribute to social proof of your venue being the best. <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>78 percent of americans read reviews before making a purchase decision</a>. and <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>87 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust friends and family</a>.</p> <h3>sign up for google my business</h3> <p>make your venue stand out in an online search by signing up for a google my business account. google features these businesses on the right side of an online search, and creates a profile for them, which includes photos, a description of your business, a map, address, contact information, business hours, a link to the business website, reviews, and more. this will make your business stand out from the text search results, and gives potential clients a quick overview that will help them make a decision.</p> <h3>get listed on specialty websites</h3> <p>sometimes event planners may skip search engines and use a specialty website to narrow down their search. <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>tripleseat’s venue finder</a> and <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>tripadvisor</a> are good resources for events, destinations, parties, and corporate gatherings. get listed on sites like <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>the knot</a> if your venue hosts weddings. event planners also use <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>yelp</a> to discover venues and food options.</p> <h3>create social media accounts</h3> <p>if you haven’t already, make sure your venue is listed on social media. there’s a good chance an event planner may take a look at your social media profiles to see what’s been happening at your venue lately. your business should absolutely have a facebook account – <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>60 million businesses use facebook pages as part of their marketing plan</a>. it’s the largest social media network and your prospective clients are using it to find more information on venues.</p> <p>consider adding instagram and pinterest to your online presence. instagram can help show off your venue visually – share photos and videos of your event spaces, the different types of events you hold, special menu items, and a behind-the-scenes look at how you put events together. you can post a lot of those same images to pinterest and link them to the original social media post or to a relevant link on your venue’s website. pinterest is a pretty common tool used to bookmark vendors and ideas for events, so make sure your business is visible there.</p> <h3>be consistent and be present</h3> <p>creating a consistent online presence across the places event planners search for venues online will help get the word out about your restaurant or venue to prospective clients. choose your keywords for search engine optimization. then add testimonials, and build your profile on google, specialty websites, and social media. over time, your digital marketing efforts will make you a recognized name among event planners and help to grow your business.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>modern restraurant management</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 Solutions for Building Your Own Website <p>whether you are wanting to gain knowledge about website building ideas for personal use or in pursuit of designing websites for others, you may be wondering where to start. if so, this article may be of some help to you.</p> <p>even if you are totally green to the whole website building thing, that’s perfectly normal and fine. it wasn’t long ago that building a website involved totally alien languages called codes. only “geeks” new these coded languages. even with the proliferation of easy to use plugins and apps, website building is still a mystery to many. you’d be surprised how many people i meet that still don’t know they can build their own website using diy sites.</p> <p>whatever the mistaken views about website design and building, the old methods of doing so are long gone. today, even a knowledgeable 10-year-old child could build a website in a day. thus, you no longer need to know the code in order to build a website. here are some solutions for building your own website.</p> <h2><strong>some things should be left to the experts</strong></h2> <p>even for those who have “mastered” one set of skills in the world of website design, there are not very many people who can master it all. from programmers to icon designers around the globe, everyone has different skill sets of varying levels. becoming a great programmer in itself is truly a gift that no one should underscore.</p> <p>furthermore, for those who are niche-focused, seeking help from external sources should never be out of the question. you can speed up the website development process tenfold and obtain insight and unique experiences working with a team.</p> <p>some examples of the best psd to html services out there are <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>psd2html</a> and <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>xchop</a>. of course, there are hundreds of these services to choose from. feel free to google “psd to html services” in order to find more.</p> <p>even for those seasoned coders, the whole process of sitting down and coding a photoshop document into html/css can be quite irritating and time-consuming. these services listed above offer their services 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offer discounts and packages most find affordable.</p> <h2><strong>consider using freelancers</strong></h2> <p><img alt='website design coding' src='' /></p> <p>one of the greatest things to come about from the internet is the ability to work for yourself as a freelancer. most of the blogs and articles you read were created by freelancers. the websites you visit to read those article may have had some freelance work involved.</p> <p>furthermore, the internet has brought forth an ease of communication never seen before since the dawn of man. this means that many freelancers work hand-in-hand to complete projects. a programmer from america may work alongside a programmer in japan or china.</p> <p>today, thousands of freelance communities make it so easy for designers and developers to connect. becoming a member of a great freelancing community allows both to share their ideas and work together on a project. often times, hiring a freelancer fresh out of college who is hungry to get themselves established will offer very good yet affordable work.</p> <p>if you don’t know where to start looking for your freelancer, <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>try these sites</a>. nevertheless, in my experience, it is better to use these sites and then find a way to contact the freelancers directly and build a one-on-one business relationship with them. and though freelancing sites frown upon it, it can be done if you’re savvy enough.</p> <h2><strong>take advantage of open source software</strong></h2> <p>one of the best innovations that are disrupting the web development community today is the availability of open source software. existing libraries are constantly being added to by developers in order to improve them. some of the most well known and respected of such would be <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>jquery</a> and <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>mootools</a> that offer javascript libraries. they have great tutorials and an even better reputation.</p> <p>javascript isn’t the only open protocol being worked on, though. there are open source libraries such as github that have thousands of developers sharing and contributing in languages such as php, css, sql, asp, objective-c, and much more.</p> <p>one blogging platform that has grown historically over the years and has become the epitome of open source project is <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>wordpress</a>. developed by <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>matt mullenweg</a> in 2003, wordpress hosts millions of sites and hosts thousands of developers working on their backend. their entire package is free to download and pretty simple to install. for developers interested in building wp themes and plugins, wordpress offers links and tutorials.</p> <p>wordpress also offers an amazing amount of free plugins for all of its users to enjoy.</p> <h2><strong>don’t worry about designing your own icons</strong></h2> <p><img alt='web design icons' src='' /></p> <p>when looking at the animation and graphic design aspect of website development, you will still find a large open source and share community. web designers actually enjoy sharing their artwork with the world and use open source as a way to promote their ideas.</p> <p>good graphic designers are difficult to come by. this makes graphics the most complicated aspect of creating your website. if you don’t have a problem applying retribution links or crediting a designer for their work, you can use free icon sites such as <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>famfamfam</a>, <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>fugue</a> or <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>woofunction</a>.</p> <p><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>icon finder</a> is another great source for the most popular icon sets. it behaves much like a search engine and helps you find free shared icons that make building your website even quicker.</p> <h2><strong>never stop your research and always study</strong></h2> <p>one of the keys to becoming successful at designing websites, whether it be for your own business or for others, is constant research and study. if you truly have an ardent passion for website design, you should find material that keeps you motivated towards your goals. visit sites that cover <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>tips to create your website</a>, join web development communities and purchase books about web design. it is vital to stay on top of the trends.</p> <p>this list is bar far complete, but hopefully, it gives you an idea and a place to start. <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>web design</a> affords you the freedom to control your own business – gives you the power to create a business you can do from anywhere, at any time.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong></strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Sat, 4 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 What Happens to Your Body and Brain When You Watch Football <p>it’s football season — a time when no weekend (and let's be honest, certain work days) goes by when i’m not watching games at least some of the time. even if i’m at a serious social commitment like a wedding, i will still find ways to sneak away and catch a few plays or highlights at a bar or through my phone. (i am not proud of this.)</p> <p>most weeks, i’ll watch professional and collegiate football daily from thursday through monday.</p> <p>and yes, i’m the type who gets really into the games when one of my favorite teams is playing. i become uncharacteristically vocal, screaming things (sometimes obscenities) that almost definitely annoy my neighbors and may even freak them out a little bit. i get nervous. i throw stuff. i do superstitious things i inherently know won’t actually influence the game’s outcome — but i do them anyway, just in case.</p> <p>sometimes i’m very happy with the results of a game, and other times i’m downright despondent and angry. and like pretty much any time i experience extreme emotion, those emotions manifest in my body. i’ll admit that i have broken a sweat many-a-time during a close game, just like i do sometimes when i’m about to give a presentation or meet someone for a first <a href=''>date</a>.</p> <p>and considering the bars and living rooms packed with rowdy spectators and the stadiums filled to the brim with decked-out fans, it's clear i am not alone.</p> <p>so why exactly does watching the sport illicit such intense sensations? here are some of the things happening in our brain when tuning into a game that cause such strong reactions in our bodies.</p> <h3>mirror neurons make you feel like part of the team</h3> <p>one of my favorite things to mess with my friends about while we’re watching football is how they seem to genuinely believe that as fans, they are one with the team — and habitually refer to their favorite teams as “we.”</p> <p>“we really need to pick it up on defense out there,” or, “i can’t believe we’re going to pull this off!”</p> <p>yeah, greg. sure. you’re really playing a large role in the outcome of this game.</p> <p>but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t genuinely feel to them like they are.</p> <p>according to dr. david ezell, clinical director and ceo of therapy provider <a href=''>darien wellness</a>, adult humans have specialized neurons in their brains called mirror neurons that allow us to understand points of view outside of our own. these neurons enable us to <a href=''>put ourselves in another person’s shoes</a> and imagine what they are going through in a particular moment.</p> <p>“these feelings are magnified when we are watching a football team or player we are fans of because we ‘know’ them,” says ezell. “when we see them on the field we are experiencing a portion of the feelings they are having because our mirror neurons are at work.”</p> <p>thankfully, we can’t actually feel the precise and likely painful sensation of what it must be like to get crushed on a kick return or sacked right when you’re about to make a throw, but mirror neurons do allow us to experience a game to some degree as if we were actually there and participating in it.</p> <h3>chemicals affect your overall mood</h3> <p>if you’ve ever watched a game with any real level of interest, especially a particularly close or intense one, you’ve probably felt better following a win than you have felt in the wake of a loss.</p> <p>this has something to do with neurotransmitters, chemicals that your brain produces to <a href=''>regulate your mood</a>. hormones can play a role, as well.</p> <h2>when your team loses, your brain produces cortisol, a hormone that your body releases when you’re under stress.</h2> <p>according to dr. richard shuster, clinical psychologist and host of <a href=''>the daily helping</a> podcast, when your team wins or is playing well, your brain starts releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is directly involved in regulating the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.</p> <p>conversely, when your team performs poorly or loses, your brain produces cortisol, a hormone made in your adrenal glands that your body releases when you’re under <a href=''>stress</a>.</p> <p>“worse, our brains may produce less serotonin, which can lead to <a href=''>increased anger</a> and depression,” shuster says.</p> <h3>your body reacts to the brain</h3> <p>i thought i was weird for sweating like an animal while sitting and watching a football game, but it turns out the response is actually fairly common. whenever i find myself in a high-pressure scenario, i sweat, and that sweat is usually brought on by <a href=''>anxiety</a>. the physical tends to follow the mental. so it makes sense that my sweat glands would have a similar reaction when i'm at the edge of my seat cheering on my team.</p> <p>“when you experience anxiety before or during a game, it’s not your imagination,” says <a href=''>michael grabowski</a>, ph.d, professor of communication at manhattan college who has written on perception, the brain and media. “a few <a href=''>studies</a> have shown that sports fans can have intense anxiety before a big game, just like the players themselves. this includes both cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety, like butterflies in the stomach or other physical expressions of anxiety.”</p> <h2>watching football can increase your heart rate to levels similar to those associated with vigorous exercise.</h2> <p>another thing that can happen to our brains when our teams win is that they are essentially thrown into something called an excitatory state, according to shuster. “if your team wins on monday night football on the final play, it is close to midnight and you are exhilarated,” he says. “if it was tuesday and you had to be awake for any other reason, most people would be exhausted.”</p> <p>this excitatory state comes from the hormone adrenaline, and that exhilaration often shows up in your body’s behavior, according to dr. jason d. hanks, director of anesthesia at <a href=''>nyc surgical associates</a>.</p> <p>“when we get stressed or nervous our brain again sends signals causing the release of adrenaline from the adrenal glands,” says hanks. “the heart begins to beat faster, blood pressure goes up and blood gets diverted to the most important parts of your body, heart and muscles, as part of the fight-or-flight response. other less important organs, like the digestive system, close off their blood supply leading to that ‘butterfly’ sensation you experience when you get nervous or anxious.”</p> <p>according to a recent <a href=''>study</a> in the canadian journal of cardiology, spectators of a professional hockey game saw significantly elevated heart rates, equivalent to the rates associated with vigorous exercise. it’s certainly not a stretch to assume the same can happen during a football game, and shuster confirms that yes, watching football can increase your heart rate to levels similar to those reached when working out.</p> <p>this, in combination with increased stress, may not be a big deal to someone who is young and healthy, but shuster warns that a fan who is older or <a href=''>significantly overweight</a> may actually be at an increased risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack during a big game.</p> <p>if you’re worried about potential health issues or simply don’t like the way being a football spectator sometimes makes you feel, take some time to put your fandom into perspective. you might find that like <a href=''>many of the things we worry about</a>, it’s not that big of a deal in the greater scheme of things, and isn’t really worth getting worked up about.</p> <p>“sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in the moment on game day,” says hanks. “emotions can get escalated pretty quickly with a win or loss. in the end, we need to remember that sports are meant to be for entertainment purposes, as an outlet to take our minds off the stressors and struggles we have in the real world, not add to them.”</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>nbc news</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Mon, 30 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 I planned a stress-free bachelorette party using a key principle of web design <p>the stress of planning and executing a bachelorette party is an american rite of passage—satirized in <a href='' target='_blank'>the new yorker</a> and movies like bridesmaids and bachelorette. people say yes to extravagant getaways when they want to say no. the plan gets expensive. assumptions get made. feelings get hurt. festering issues get swept under the rug.</p> <p>i had the chance to find out for myself just how complicated these events can be when i organized a weekend getaway for eight women and a bride-to-be this summer. my goal was to make things run as smoothly as humanly possible. to that end, i decided to use a strategy that web designers call progressive disclosure. basically, progressive disclosure is when information is introduced tactfully to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed.</p> <p>the technique is used to improve user experiences by giving users a sense of power over complex features, according to design consulting firm <a href='' target='_blank'>nielsen norman group</a>. i wanted to see if i could achieve the same thing in real life.</p> <h2>the art of prioritizing</h2> <p>the google search engine is one of the most famous examples of progressive disclosure. google has a huge number of features, from gmail to google maps to google flight search. yet only one tool has made it to the homepage of their site: the search function.</p> <p><img alt='screen shot 2017-10-16 at 4.01.52 pm' src='' style='width:90%' /></p> <p>the craigslist homepage is a useful comparison. craigslist doesn’t distinguish between its core features (let’s say, finding housing and buying and selling items) and its secondary features (gigs, personals, discussion forums, items for sale). the website provides so many options that it’s easy to become confused.</p> <p><img alt='screen shot 2017-10-16 at 4.09.24 pm' src='' style='width:90%' /></p> <p>one of the keys to progressive disclosure is figuring out how to say no to many features, in order to say yes to the most important one. when planning the party, i had to do the same.</p> <p>i thought about the most important things the group wanted out of the weekend: quality time together, shared meals, and celebrating the bride. there were other things a lot of us wanted: sunny weather, elaborate home-cooked meals, instagram-able photos. but if push came to shove, the latter list was negotiable.</p> <p>identifying what was essential was useful for planning the weekend—but it was also a helpful way for me to measure success. having pinpointed the things that were most valuable, i was able to accept minor problems like colder-than-expected weather and a shifting headcount.</p> <h2>embrace your constraints and clarify expectations </h2> <p>designers are obligated to work towards alleviating friction for their users. tools like navigation and labeling allow them to handle user issues that are beyond their control. in other words, when you can’t give people everything they want adjust their expectations. </p> <p>netflix does this well in their browsing experience:</p> <p><img alt='screen shot 2017-10-16 at 4.11.11 pm' src='' style='width:90%' /></p> <p>netflix offers more content then people can navigate in one sitting. the solution is simple: they help guide users toward the movies and tv shows they might want to watch with section labeling. categories like “popular on netflix” and “recently watched” help users sort through a wide variety of shows and let them know how to progress.</p> <p>clarifying information is essential in planning a bachelorette weekend. i did this by mentioning potential tension points in emails before the event around alcohol, cleaning, and gift-giving. i also opened up the conversation, letting the bridal party know that they were welcome to ask questions or give feedback.</p> <p><img alt='screen shot 2017-10-16 at 4.20.35 pm' src='' style='width:90%' /></p> <h2>plan efficiently to maximize success</h2> <p>jakob nielsen, a user experience expert and principal of the nielsen norman group, believes in <a href=''>efficiency</a> as a way to assess how usable a design is. his definition for efficiency is “”once users have learned the design, how quickly can they perform tasks?” this is the key question that lets him know whether the design is working, or if he needs to revise it.</p> <p><img alt='screen shot 2017-10-16 at 4.29.58 pm' src='' style='width:90%' /></p> <p>the netflix website uses a number of techniques to help users efficiently choose entertainment. for example, they have a gallery of images to let viewers consider their options. hover ver an image, and you get a drop-down menu with more information about the tv show. progressive disclosure is at work here, carefully directing the user towards their next move.</p> <p>for the bridal party, the efficiency question i asked was: “once i’ve decided on this basic structure, is there room for others to take initiative?” the thought of having to single-handedly plan every meal or outing exhausted me, and i hoped members of the group would want to take the lead on activities, too. i set the temptation to micromanage aside.</p> <p>when it came to food, i framed meals as an activity that could be as simple or as complicated as the group was willing to organize. i provided directions to nearby grocery stores and options for eating out. someone joyfully volunteered to cook, another person offered to drive to the store, and the rest were happy to clean up.</p> <p>in the end, the weekend was a success. initially, there was disappointment around the lack of alcohol—but we set up a bonfire and i provided s’mores. comfort levels varied on sex-themed gifts, so i made suggestions for alternatives. it wasn’t hot enough to go to the beach, so i prepared crafts for us to do on the porch.</p> <p>for me, the big lesson was that in order to avoid getting overwhelmed, it makes sense to break complex issues into smaller pieces. this created space for thoughtful solutions. what could have been an anxiety-inducing experience turned out to be a great time for everyone—a reminder of the power design has to keep us grounded.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>quartz</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Boy Scouts’ change to let girls in some programs: ‘A big deal’ <p>embracing a historic change, the boy scouts of america announced wednesday plans to admit girls into the cub scouts starting next year and to establish a new program for older girls using the same curriculum as the boy scouts. </p> <p>under the plan, cub scout dens – the smallest unit – will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. the larger cub scout packs will have the option to remain single gender or welcome both genders. the program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the coveted rank of eagle scout.</p> <p>“that is a big deal,” said ralph voelker, scout executive for the south sound-based pacific harbors council. “boys have been able to put this on applications for jobs and schools and everybody knows what it means. now, girls will have the same opportunity.” </p> <p>the boy scouts board of directors, which approved the plan unanimously in a meeting at bsa headquarters in texas, said the change was needed to provide more options for parents. </p> <p>“we believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” said michael surbaugh, the bsa’s chief scout executive. </p> <p>“the values of scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,” surbaugh added.</p> <p>voelker said the news changes are exciting. “it’s our mission to teach young people to be leaders and to make ethical and moral decisions,” he said. “not just boys.” </p> <p>the announcement follows many months of outreach by the bsa, which distributed videos and held meetings with the boy scout community to discuss the possibility of expanding girls’ participation beyond existing programs, such as venturing and sea scouts. </p> <p>the girl scouts of the usa criticized the initiative, saying it strained the century-old bond between the two organizations. girl scout officials have suggested the bsa’s move was driven partly by financial problems and a need to boost revenue.</p> <p>“the girl scouts is a great organization,” voelker said.</p> <p>in august, the president of the girl scouts accused the boy scouts of seeking to covertly recruit girls into their programs while disparaging the girl scouts’ operations. </p> <p>“i formally request that your organization stay focused on serving the 90 percent of american boys not currently participating in boy scouts … and not consider expanding to recruit girls,” wrote gsusa president kathy hopinkah hannan in a letter to the bsa’s president, at&t chairman randall stephenson.</p> <p>the girl scouts, founded in 1912, and the bsa, founded in 1910, are among several major youth organizations in the u.s. experiencing sharp drops in membership in recent years. reasons include competition from youth sports leagues, a perception by some families that they are old-fashioned and busy schedules that prompt some parents to despair of meeting all their children’s obligations. for some families, scouting programs that welcome both boys and girls could be a welcome convenience. </p> <p>as of march, gsusa reported 1,566,671 youth members and 749,008 adult members, down from just over 2 million youth members and about 800,000 adult members in 2014. the boy scouts say current youth participation is about 2.35 million, down from 2.6 million in 2013 and more than 4 million in peak years of the past.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'>the news tribune</a>.</p> Everything Else Thu, 12 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How chatbots and artificial intelligence will save banks and the finance industry billions <p>chatbots, computer programs that typically use text-based live chat as an interface to carry out tasks for customers on behalf of the business, are emerging as an inexpensive way to introduce artificial intelligence (ai) in banking.</p> <p>new digitally savvy companies have found success attracting consumers with user-friendly offerings, while legacy banks are finding it difficult to invest in and adopt innovative products. to remain competitive, these large banks will have to adapt their traditional services by incorporating more robotics in banking that will attract more tech-savvy customers.</p> <h2>chatbots in banking</h2> <p>chatbots in banking are a digital solution that is relatively inexpensive to develop and maintain. for starters, chatbots require less coding than standalone banking apps. and the current growth in popularity of messaging platforms saves banks the cost of developing their own channels, as well as saving on data storage thanks to chatbots' cloud-based systems.</p> <p>companies such as cleo, stripe, and wealthfront are giving traditional banks a run for their money. however, for these players it is more difficult to meet the demand of key bank products (such as loans) due to less restricted regulations that force their customers to spend heavily on compliance and maintain large capital cushions.</p> <p>dbs uses kasisto’s kai, the underlying technology of mykai, to allow customers to conduct transactions such as transfers and bill paying. furthermore, they can ask about their personal finances using messaging applications such as facebook messenger and eventually whatsapp and wechat, all of which are the top messaging applications used across the world.</p> <p>in 2016, swedbank launched on its website and mobile application nuance’s nina, who helps answer customer inquiries more quickly by sourcing information relevant to their query using intuitive analysis.</p> <h2>chatbots in finance</h2> <p>the finance industry is built on processing information, which makes it an ideal industry for automation and reduction of salary expenditure, according to a <a href=''>new report from pwc</a>. however, two-thirds of us financial services respondents said that they’re limited by operations, regulations, budgets, or resources to make the investment in such innovative development.</p> <p>fintech companies such as plum, digit, and cleo use chatbots that drive microsaving by putting small amounts into savings each day for their users. these companies’ chatbot is their core product, unlike legacy banks that use it to supplement a core product.</p> <p>these companies are improving various financial services that provide their customers more than just automated savings. chatbots can provide wealth management for the masses, underwrite loans and insurance, provide data analyses and advanced analytics, and detect and notify of fraudulent behavior, all through an automated virtual assistant.</p> <p>bank of america uses erica to give customers key and real-time updates on their finances using a channel of their preference. her predictive analytics and cognitive messaging helps customers make payments, pay down debts, and check their balances. </p> <h2><a href=''><img alt='robot' src='' style='height:330px; width:440px' /></a></h2> <h2>chatbots set to grow</h2> <p>although chatbots have been around for a long time, recently the underlying ai technology has made waves in the market.</p> <p>bi intelligence, business insider's premium research service, has found that the technological advancements in ai has made leaps and bounds in recent years in financial services.</p> <p>the growing popularity of messaging apps have made them reliable hosts for chatbots, and the increasing public acceptance of chatbots have created more trustworthy relationships with users, particularly for millennials, whom banks are trying to target.</p> <h2>more to learn</h2> <p>chatbot technology will continue to improve in the coming years, particularly thanks to robotics in banking and chatbot financial services. chatbot architecture and design will evolve to the point that interactive ai will become standard for customer service. but there are numerous applications for chatbots across a variety of sectors.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>business insider</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Thu, 12 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0800 50 Business Ideas Using Google AdSense <p>it’s easier than ever to start a website. and advertising platforms like google <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>adsense</a> can make earning an income from those websites easy as well.</p> <p>but not all websites are created equal. there are certain topics that tend to earn more than others when it comes to including adsense ads. and there are some topics that are especially popular with online consumers. of course, you’ll need some actual knowledge and expertise in the niche you want to build a website around. but if you’re looking to stick with a topic that has some adsense earning potential, take a look at these 50 options.</p> <h2>adsense business ideas</h2> <h3>health information</h3> <p>health is one of the most profitable topics out there for adsense websites. if you’re knowledgeable on health topics, you can offer general information or focus on a specific health related niche. but use care when dealing with medical advice.</p> <h3>fitness tips</h3> <p>you can also focus on fitness rather than other health issues. offer workout routines and tips to those looking to change up their exercise methods.</p> <h3>diet tips</h3> <p>for another popular health related niche, you can offer some diet tips and recipes for health food and weight loss.</p> <h3>technology</h3> <p>technology is another popular topic for adsense sites. you can create a website that share information about new innovations or even focus on a specific brand or type of device.</p> <h3>it news</h3> <p>you can also create a site that’s more geared toward it professionals or that can help individuals troubleshoot various tech issues.</p> <h3>smartphone information</h3> <p>smartphones are clearly one of the most buzzworthy types of products out there. so within the tech niche, you can create a website that’s all about different smartphone options and the new models being released.</p> <h3>mobile apps</h3> <p>you can also create lists and databases about the various mobile apps that are available, as mobile apps are another popular topic within adsense.</p> <h3>software information</h3> <p>or you could focus on a specific type or brand of software and build a business around sharing information and updates related to it.</p> <h3>fashion</h3> <p>fashion is another popular topic. you can share news from designers, trends, fashion tips and more.</p> <h3>beauty tips</h3> <p>you can also create a website where you share beauty tips and trends related to makeup, hair and nails.</p> <h3>relationship advice</h3> <p>if you have experience in relationship counseling or related fields, you can start a website where you answer questions and offer advice on personal relationships.</p> <h3>family topics</h3> <p>family related websites can also help you integrate a number of popular adsense keywords. you can share family friendly events and activities, parenting advice and more.</p> <h3>home care</h3> <p>or you can create a website that serves as a great resource for homeowners, offering tips and solutions to common home care issues ranging from decor to necessary home repairs.</p> <h3>gardening</h3> <p>gardening can also fall into that category, though you can also build a standalone website that’s just dedicated to gardening tips and advice.</p> <h3>personal finance</h3> <p>finance is a hugely popular topic online and when it comes to adsense earning potential. you can start a website where you offer finance tips and news that could relate to individuals and their finances.</p> <h3>forex trading</h3> <p>or you could get even more specific and build a website that’s completely dedicated to foreign exchange trading rates and updates.</p> <h3>student loan information</h3> <p>student loans also offer a lot of opportunities for you to share relevant information with people looking for help with their student loan related decisions.</p> <h3>mortgage information</h3> <p>you can also focus specifically on mortgage rates and updates to provide valuable information to homeowners and those looking to buy.</p> <h3>credit information</h3> <p>or you could focus more generally on credit and offer comparisons and valuable insights to help people make credit related decisions.</p> <h3>insurance information</h3> <p>insurance related keywords pay relatively high per click from google adsense and have relatively low competition so a site containing detailed and valuable information on various kinds of insurance might be a very profitable one.</p> <h3>real estate information</h3> <p>real estate is another popular topic for adsense websites. offer real estate listings or information geared toward a specific area.</p> <h3>automobiles</h3> <p>you can also create a website that shares information related to automobiles, like automotive news, vehicle listings and even repair tips.</p> <h3>celebrity news</h3> <p>popular celebrities also garner a lot of search traffic. so you could start a celebrity news site or start a fan site related to a specific celebrity.</p> <h3>entertainment information</h3> <p>or you could focus on more general entertainment topics, like reviews about movies, tv shows or books.</p> <h3>sports news</h3> <p>sports are also hugely popular online. so you could start a website that offers sports scores and headlines or one related to a specific city or team.</p> <h3>online games</h3> <p>online games can also be a great subject for a website business. you can develop your own games so that people are likely to spend a lot of time on your site. or you could also provide information and insights into popular games that people can play on other platforms.</p> <h3>political updates</h3> <p>political news and updates can get a lot of attention online. so you could start a site where you share news and information about different candidates or politicians.</p> <h3>viral videos</h3> <p>everyone loves a good viral video. so if you create a website where you share funny and interesting viral content, you could potentially get a lot of views and thus, a lot of adsense income.</p> <h3>travel</h3> <p>travel is another topic that’s popular with adsense advertisers, especially information about airlines and hotels. so you could create a website that shares travel tips and deals to get in on this popular niche.</p> <h3>photography tips</h3> <p>there’s also a lot of advertising power behind the photography business. so if you start a website where you share photography tips and opinions about different types of equipment, you could potentially earn a lot of revenue from adsense.</p> <h3>stock images</h3> <p>or you could start a website where you offer stock images in a particular niche and simply include some adsense space on your site.</p> <h3>blogging tips</h3> <p>blogging tips are also popular in online searches. so if you’re an experienced blogger, you could share some of your expertise in a separate website.</p> <h3>social media news</h3> <p>you could also start a site where you share social media tips and news about the various platforms that are popular with individuals and businesses.</p> <h3>search engine optimization</h3> <p>another aspect of blogging and running a website, you can use your seo expertise to gain a lot of search traffic to your seo website, then reap the benefits from adsense.</p> <h3>web design</h3> <p>you can also start a website that offers information about web design and development topics.</p> <h3>graphic design</h3> <p>or you could focus on graphic design related topics.</p> <h3>domain and hosting information</h3> <p>domain and hosting information is also fairly popular when it comes to adsense. so you can start a website where you offer tips and information related to those aspects of starting a website.</p> <h3>money making tips</h3> <p>one of the most profitable topics for adsense websites is money making tips — specifically, making money online. so you could start a website that offers tips and methods people can use to make some extra income online.</p> <h3>money saving tips</h3> <p>similarly, you could also start a website where you provide tips and methods for people to save their money or spend less.</p> <h3>business tips</h3> <p>most of the popular adsense topics are geared toward individual consumers. but you can also create a website that offers tips and information for businesses.</p> <h3>marketing tips</h3> <p>more specifically, you can offer marketing tips and valuable information on various marketing methods.</p> <h3>advertising news</h3> <p>advertising is another b2b topic that can be profitable for adsense websites. you can provide tips or share examples that advertisers can look to for inspiration.</p> <h3>cybersecurity</h3> <p>cybersecurity has become a major issue for both consumers and businesses. so you can help those looking for information and earn some adsense revenue by starting a website on the topic.</p> <h3>farming and agriculture</h3> <p>farming is another profitable adsense topic. so if you’re knowledgeable about farming and agriculture techniques, you can make a business out of sharing your expertise online.</p> <h3>education news</h3> <p>things like online classes and information about various colleges get a lot of search traffic. so websites that offer information in those areas can earn a lot of adsense revenue.</p> <h3>charitable information</h3> <p>there’s also a lot of popular keywords related to charitable giving, specifically donating cars or other large items. so you could set up a website where you can point people looking to donate those items in the right direction.</p> <h3>traffic updates</h3> <p>though this would take a lot of updating, people are always looking for updates on traffic in their area. so you could start a site dedicated to providing those updates in real time.</p> <h3>local business listings</h3> <p>you could also start a website where you list local businesses in different niches, ranging from restaurants and stores to service providers like plumbers and electricians.</p> <h3>law and lawyer information</h3> <p>specifically, information about lawyers and lawsuit information can generate a lot of search traffic and be very profitable for adsense sites.</p> <h3>breaking news</h3> <p>and of course, so many people turn to websites now for breaking news updates. so you could start a blog or online publication dedicated to sharing the latest breaking stories.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>small business trends</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Apple iPhone 8 event: what to expect <p>apple’s upcoming september 12th event is more than just its annual hardware event: it marks 10 years of iphone launches, which first shipped in june 2007 and is undeniably apple’s most important product. so, it’s not surprising that many of the early reports and rumors about this event have been focused on the iphone. will it have an oled display? will there will be a “pro” version of the phone? and just how much will it cost? </p> <p>but over the past decade, there have been just as many other notable product developments for apple, on its path to becoming the world’s most valuable tech company. it created the app store, and the app economy. it shipped the long-rumored ipad. it got into wearable computing and health and fitness tracking with the launch of the apple watch. its “services” business became one of the fastest-growing areas for the company. </p> <p>so this event could very well be about other products and services as much as it’s about a new iphone. here’s a rundown of what to expect from the event.</p> <h2>new iphones</h2> <p>okay, with all of that said: this event is really about new iphones. </p> <p>we are expecting as many as three different iphones. first and most obviously, there should be updates to both the iphone 7 and iphone 7 plus. the cadence between a new, numbered iphone and an "s" update is something apple has been doing since the iphone 3gs. all rumors point to that happening again this year. s models usually include faster processors and better cameras, so that's probably a safe bet, too.</p> <p><q>we’re expecting as many as three different iphone models</q></p> <p>as for naming, we still don’t know whether apple will continue its tradition of affixing an “s” to an existing model number, or if it will be called iphone 8. but our best guess is on the s model, because there’s <em>another</em> new iphone that everybody's expecting, and this one could be a very good candidate for being called the “iphone 8.” (other guesses include iphone x, iphone pro, and iphone edition — though those candidates don't seem as likely.)</p> <p>it’s widely expected that this will be some advanced version of the iphone, one that could possibly ship later this year. rumors and leaks point to an edge-to-edge oled display, a new 3d face-scanning camera, wireless charging capabilities, and a nonexistent home button. </p> <p><img alt='' src='' /><br /> <cite>photo by amelia holowaty krales / the verge</cite></p> <p>many of the new iphone headline features are new for apple, but not new in the broader industry. other high-end smartphones have bright, edge-to-edge oled displays, are using biometric sensors like iris scanners, or have done away with a physical home button, opting instead for fingerprint sensors on the backs of phones. and inductive charging isn’t even entirely new for apple, since the apple watch charges this way. </p> <p>what would set apple’s phone apart is the way it integrates this new design with software features, or gesture or voice controls, since apple’s distinct advantage is having control of the full stack in its products. we've also not yet seen a consumer phone with a face-unlock solution that wasn't insecure or slow (they're usually both). so if apple has figured that out, it will be a genuinely new thing that it can claim to take the lead on. </p> <h2>apple watch 3/lte</h2> <p>the wearables business isn’t nearly as important for apple right now as its phone business, but that hasn’t stopped the company from making vague claims about the apple watch being comparable to the size of a fortune 500 company all on its own. and, according to recent data from idc, apple is now only second to xiaomi in terms of worldwide wearable shipments. so it’s still a noteworthy product area for apple. </p> <p><img alt='' src='' /><br /> <cite>photo by vjeran pavic / the verge</cite></p> <p>that’s why it’s not surprising that we may see another update to the apple watch, one that adds an lte modem to the device. this means that certain features that currently require having your phone nearby — like making phone calls, sending text messages, streaming music, or even installing new software — could work on the watch independently of the phone. other smartwatch makers have tried this before, including lg and samsung. but one thing that often suffers when you try to make a tiny smartwatch act like your phone, and not an <em>accessory</em> to your phone, is battery life. so it’s still tbd what lte would do to apple watch’s 18-hour battery life. </p> <p>apple’s new watch software, watchos 4, is also expected to roll out in the coming weeks. this will bring new features like a siri-ready watchface, a tri-sport (or multisport) mode, and some direct integration with gym equipment. </p> <h2>apple tv</h2> <p>this may be the year that apple finally catches up with amazon, roku, and chromecast by offering 4k support on its streaming media device. the next generation of the apple tv, according to a <a href='' target='_blank'><em>bloomberg</em> report earlier this year</a>, will stream videos in 4k and in more “vivid colors.” (we're hoping for both hdr10 and dolby vision.)</p> <p><img alt='' src='' /></p> <p>it’s a move that will likely help boost sales of the box, which were down in the 2016 holiday season from the previous year, because it’s a shiny new thing. but apple tv has still been more expensive than many of its competitors, and it has an “app”-like interface rather than one that models a more traditional tv “channel” experience. </p> <p>apple, unlike amazon, has also struggled to make compelling original content that hooks people into its services the way it undoubtedly hoped it would. but if wwdc was any indication, apple is also fully aware of that: the company said at the developers conference that the <a href='' target='_blank'>amazon prime video app would come to apple tv</a> sometime this year. </p> <h2>homepod, imac pro, and mac pro</h2> <p>all three are products that apple has announced, but has yet to ship. so whether they'll get stage time is anybody's guess. the homepod's planned release date is december, and apple has, so far, marketed it <a href='' target='_blank'>more as a high-quality speaker than a digital assistant</a>. apple will surely remind us that it's coming, but probably won't do much more with it.</p> <p>the <a href='' target='_blank'>imac pro is also slated for a december release</a>, but there probably won't be time to touch on it during this month's event. as for the fully <a href=''>redesigned mac pro</a>, that won't arrive until next year, and it's hard to imagine that apple will unveil it now. sorry, mac fans. you'll have to wait a little longer.</p> <h2>ios 11, arkit, and macos high sierra</h2> <p>new hardware is great, but apple’s software rollouts are a lot more critical for people who aren’t planning on buying new macs or iphones in 2017. and this year, ipad users are arguably going to benefit the most: the new ios 11 software could very well transform the ipad into an actual productivity device, with a redesigned dock, advanced multitasking, and new drag-and-drop features. and on both ipad and iphone, ios 11 brings a bigger, consolidated control center, a new, grid-like app switcher, and a new file-storage app called, simply, files. </p> <p><q>apple’s software rollouts are a lot more critical for people who aren’t planning on buying new hardware this year</q></p> <p>these are just a few of the features — there’s even more stuff to come around siri, notes, screengrabs, and file markups — but one of the biggest advancements that’s rolling out with ios 11 is the launch of arkit, <a href='' target='_blank'>apple’s new app platform for augmented reality apps</a>. we’ve already seen a bunch of ar apps on iphone and android (the tremendously popular <em>pokÉmon go</em> is a favored example), but most ar mobile apps to date have been basic, 2d or “flat” imagery. arkit, on the other hand, lets developers build advanced, 3d ar apps without requiring months of work or computer imaging expertise. it’s expected to be a big deal in the ar world — especially since <a href='' target='_blank'>google</a> has also <a href='' target='_blank'>just rolled out its own version of this, arcore</a>, for android devs. </p> <p><img alt='' src='' /><br /> <cite>photo by amelia holowaty krales / the verge</cite></p> <p>we still don’t know exactly when apple’s newest software will roll out — it happened in mid-september last year — but it’s safe to guess that it will likely coincide with when the new hardware goes on sale. </p> <h2>steve jobs theater </h2> <p>there’s another new product out there that most of the world hasn’t seen yet, and that’s apple’s <a href='' target='_blank'>new $5 billion campus in cupertino, california</a>. (in fact, most apple <em>employees </em>still haven’t been inside of it yet.) the september 12th event will mark the first public event taking place in the steve jobs theater, a <a href='' target='_blank'>brand-new, 1,000-seat auditorium</a> named after the late co-founder and ceo of apple. the auditorium is also underground, according to <a href='' target='_blank'>floor plans</a>, which hopefully won’t impact wi-fi signals. as always, <em>the verge</em> will be on the ground (under the ground?) bringing you all of the latest news.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>the verge</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Finally, Someone Finds a Use for the Apple Watch <p>the 2004 comeback of the boston red sox against the yankees in the american league championship, coming back from 3 games down to win the best of 7, was as close to a miracle in baseball as you might get. except for now. the sox have done what no one else was able to do: find a use for the apple watch.</p> <p>apple has been in a money-making funk. it <a href='' target='_blank'>depends on the iphone</a> to drive profits. other product lines, like apple tv, have never come close to that level of popularity. even news that the <a href='' target='_blank'>apple watch saw a 50 percent increase in sales</a> might make your head shake.</p> <p>when a company seems worried about saying how many units of a product it sells even as it reports all the other major lines, a 50 percent jump might mean, what, someone sold an extra 20 or 30?</p> <p>a big problem for the apple watch is that it seems so unnecessary. you need an iphone for most of what the device is supposed to do. if you've already got the phone, who needs to strap a display to their wrist? how many people do you know who opt to use a watch to tell the time when they have a phone in the pocket.</p> <p>but the red sox pulled off another miracle that transcended sports to touch on tech. they reportedly <a href='' target='_blank'>made an apple watch useful by using it to spy on opponents</a> like the yankees, said the new york times.</p> <blockquote>the yankees, who had long been suspicious of the red sox' stealing catchers' signs in fenway park, contended the video showed a member of the red sox training staff looking at his apple watch in the dugout. the trainer then relayed a message to other players in the dugout, who, in turn, would signal teammates on the field about the type of pitch that was about to be thrown, according to the people familiar with the case.</blockquote> <blockquote>baseball investigators corroborated the yankees' claims based on video the commissioner's office uses for instant replay and broadcasts, the people said. the commissioner's office then confronted the red sox, who admitted that their trainers had received signals from video replay personnel and then relayed that information to red sox players -- an operation that had been in place for at least several weeks.</blockquote> <p>see? even in a miraculous case like this one, the apple watch needed help from another source. the good tech news is that the yankees also resorted to top-notch electronics -- video cameras clearly equipped with a long telephoto -- to get their evidence.</p> <p>and then the sox said that the yankees use a video feed from the team's television network to steal pitchers' signs during games. the yankees said that wasn't true. quick, check them for apple watches.</p> <p>apparently there is also a rule that electronic devices are not to be used in the dugouts. what will people do? the players are almost all millennials. how will they survive prolonged phone deprivation (hereby known as ppd).</p> <p>here's an idea. forget all the sneaking around. just wait for some entrepreneur to natively enable the apple watch to steal signs. then the players can shrug their shoulders and say, "who knew it was wrong? there's an app for it."</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>inc.</strong></a></p> Everything Else Thu, 7 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Apple Inc.'s Big iPhone Secret Revealed <p>there has been a lot of speculation on how apple will name its upcoming trio of iphones. in the press, the two lcd models were referred to as the iphone 7s and iphone 7s plus, while the all-new oled model was often called the iphone 8 or iphone x.</p> <p>however, while those names were certainly helpful during pre-release discussions, they probably wouldn't have been great from a marketing perspective.</p> <p><img alt='three apple iphones showing various aspects of the apple app store.' src='' /></p> <p>image source: apple.</p> <p>thanks to a new report from <a href='' target='_blank'>9to5mac</a>, which cites information from case makers who claim to have seen the final packaging for the next-generation iphones, we now know -- or, at the very least, have a <em>really </em>good idea of -- what apple is planning to call all three new models.</p> <h2>sensible naming </h2> <p>the 4.7-inch lcd model, which will succeed last year's iphone 7, is said to be called the iphone 8. the successor to the current 5.5-inch lcd iphone 7 plus will reportedly be called the iphone 8 plus.</p> <p>and the "premium" iphone -- the one that everyone is seemingly looking forward to -- will be known as the iphone edition.</p> <p>this naming scheme seems rather sensible. even though the iphone 8 and iphone 8 plus are rumored to sport the same form factors as the current iphone 7 and iphone 7 plus, except that they'll have glass backs rather than aluminum ones, apple is reportedly bringing a whole host of improvements to the devices, including a new <a href='' target='_blank'>a11 fusion chip</a>, <a href='' target='_blank'>true-tone display tech</a>, <a href='' target='_blank'>wireless charging</a>, and possibly much more.</p> <p>those improvements, in my view, justify a new number. after all, apple would be downright silly to cram in all these wonderful enhancements and innovations only to name the devices in a way that implies that they are merely incremental improvements to the current models.</p> <p>further, given that apple currently uses the name "edition" to distinguish its premium apple watch models from the more mainstream models, and given that the name <em>sounds </em>premium -- an argument i've <a href='' target='_blank'>made before</a> -- this seems like smart naming to me.</p> <h2>future names</h2> <p>what seems a little bit unclear now is how apple will name its devices going forward. apple had previously been <a href='' target='_blank'>rumored to launch three new iphone models next year</a>, which would've made it easy to have an iphone 9, 9 plus, and yet another iphone edition.</p> <p>however, a recent report from <em><a href='' target='_blank'>the korea herald</a> </em>claims that apple canned its plans to introduce a next-generation iphone with a 5.28-inch display and instead plans to launch its 2018 iphone models in just two screen sizes: 5.85 inches and 6.46 inches.</p> <p>in that case, it's harder to predict how apple will market its next-generation line of phones. my best guess now is that the company would call the 5.85-inch model simply "iphone" and then call the 6.46-inch model the "iphone edition."</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>the motley fool</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Tue, 5 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 The New iPhone Will Look Completely Different <p><a href='' rel='' target='_blank'>apple</a> plans to transform the way people use its next high-end iphone by eliminating the concept of a home button and making other adjustments to a flagship device that’s becoming almost all screen, according to images of the new device viewed by <em>bloomberg news</em> and people familiar with the gadget.</p> <p>the home button is the key to the iphone and the design hasn’t changed much since it launched in 2007. currently, users click it to return to the starting app grid that greets them multiple times a day. they hold it down to talk to the siri digital assistant. double-click it and you get multitasking where different apps screens can be swiped through like a carousel.</p> <p>apple is preparing three new iphones for debut next month. one of the models, a new high-end device, packs in enough changes to make it one of the biggest iphone updates in the product’s decade-long history. with a crisper screen that takes up nearly the entire front, apple has tested the complete removal of the home button—even a digital one—in favor of new gesture controls for tasks like going to the main app grid and opening multitasking.</p> <p>in the new, high-end iphone, apple also plans a taller screen with rounded corners, a cutout at the top of the display for the camera and sensors, and new antenna locations, the images show. apple often tests different designs and the details may differ from what the company ultimately releases. an apple spokeswoman declined to comment.</p> <p>across the bottom of the screen there’s a thin, software bar in lieu of the home button. a user can drag it up to the middle of the screen to open the phone. when inside an app, a similar gesture starts multitasking. from here, users can continue to flick upwards to close the app and go back to the home screen. an animation in testing sucks the app back into its icon. the multitasking interface has been redesigned to appear like a series of standalone cards that can be swiped through, versus the stack of cards on current iphones, the images show.</p> <p>the new model’s overall size will be similar to that of the iphone 7, but it will include an oled screen that is slightly larger than the one on the iphone 7 plus (5.5-inches), people familiar with the product have told bloomberg news. the phone will have symmetrical, slim bezels around the entirety of the screen, meaning the area below the screen that used to house the home button and the area above the screen for the earpiece have been removed. the earpiece, facial recognition sensor, and selfie camera are instead present in a cutout, or “notch,” at the top of the screen, the images show.</p> <p>the new screen is rounded on the corners, while current iphone screens have square corners. the power button on the right side of phone is longer so it is easier to press while holding the device in one hand, according to the images and the people.</p> <p>the screen is also noticeably taller than the iphone 7 plus’s screen, meaning it could show more of a web page or additional text messages, the people said. the phone will still have six vertical rows of apps, showing 24 icons on each page, excluding the dock, a grey bar at the bottom that houses commonly used apps. the dock is redesigned with a new interface similar to the one on the ipad version of ios 11, the images show.</p> <p>apple has opted to not hide the notch area at the top of the screen, showing a definitive cutout at the top of apps with non-black backgrounds. the cutout is noticeable during app usage in the middle of the very top of the screen, where the status bar (the area that shows cellular reception, the time, and battery life) would normally be placed, according to the images. instead, the status bar will be split into left and right sides, which some apple employees call “ears” internally. in images of recent test devices, the left side shows the time while the area on the right side of the notch displays cellular and wi-fi connectivity and remaining battery life. because of limited space, the status bar could change based on the task at hand, according to a person familiar with the testing.</p> <p>the color reproduction of the oled screen means that when the display shows black, it blends in nearly perfectly with the phone’s notch and thin black edges on the front, presenting a seamless look, according to the people familiar with the product. the screen itself, however, is flat like current and past iphones and lacks the fully curved displays of the latest samsung phones.</p> <p>apple also plans to include a stainless steel band around the phone which the glass curves into. the steel band has small antenna cuts on the corners like past iphones to improve reception, the images show. apple previously used steel sides and a glass casing for the iphone 4 and 4s before moving to a mostly metal back and sides with the iphone 5. the iphone 6 line and newer have had completely metal backs.</p> <p>apple also is planning two additional new iphone models that use faster processors, but include the same screens as the iphone 7 and iphone 7 plus. the new devices will debut at apple’s september launch event alongside upgraded apple tv and apple watch models.</p> <p>original article posted on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>fortune</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Thu, 31 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Apple set to unveil its new iPhone lineup on September 12th <p><em>dow jones</em> is <a href='' target='_blank'>reporting</a> that apple will unveil its 2017 iphone lineup at a special event scheduled for tuesday, september 12. while apple has yet to issue official invites for the event, the september 12th date does align with previous rumors that recently emerged over the past few days. assuming that the september 12 date is in fact accurate, apple in just about two weeks will introduce a brand new iphone 7s and an iphone 7s plus. of course, it goes without saying that the main attraction at apple's upcoming event will be the highly anticipated iphone 8, a device which may very well usher in the largest iphone refresh apple has ever seen.</p> <p>at this point, it's no secret what the iphone 8 will bring to the table. according to a number of credible sources, the iphone 8 will feature a edgeless oled display and will incorporate advanced facial recognition technology. what's interesting, though, is that the inclusion of facial recognition technology might see apple remove touch id altogether. from what we can gather so far, apple initially wanted to embed the touch id sensor underneath the oled display itself, only to abandon this approach after encountering a yield issues during initial production runs.</p> <p>as for other iphone 8 features we can expect to see, apple's next-gen device will likely incorporate a new wireless charging feature. though android smartphones have had wireless charging for quite some time, it's nice to see apple finally deciding to join the party. on a related note, a recent iphone 8 rumor claims that wireless charging on apple's next-gen device will not be up to par with what some android smartphone owners already enjoy. as we <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>covered earlier</a>, rumor has it that the iphone 8 -- along with apple's iphone 7s lineup -- will only support qi's slower wireless charging standard.</p> <p>as for some other iphone 8 tidbits worth mentioning, it's believed that the entry-level iphone 8 will sport 64gb of storage, with more premium models offering users 256gb and 512gb of storage. price wise, <em>the new york times</em> recently published a report indicating that the entry-level iphone 8 will start at $999, easily making it the most expensive iphone model ever released.</p> <h2>more from bgr</h2> <ul> <li> <h3><a href='' target='_blank'>i'm worried that the iphone 8 might be the wrong iphone to buy this year</a></h3> </li> <li> <h3><a href='' target='_blank'>the iphone 8 will have wireless charging, but it still won't be as good as android</a></h3> </li> <li> <h3><a href='' target='_blank'>6 free iphone games that just launched on the app store this week</a></h3> </li> </ul> <p>lastly, we've also seen rumors claiming that pre-orders for the iphone 8 will open up on friday, september 15 ahead of a worldwide launch on friday, september 22, two dates which fit in nicely with the aforementioned september 12th unveiling.</p> <p>new iphones aside, apple on september 12 will also unveil a revamped version of the apple watch along with a brand new 4k capable apple tv.</p> <p>update: <em>the wall street journal</em> also has a report corroborating the september 12th date, adding that the event will be held in the 1,000-seat steve jobs theater located at the company's new spaceship campus.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>fox news</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Wed, 30 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 This is how much coffee you need to drink a day to live longer <p>four cups of joe a day will keep the doctor away, or so a recent study says. </p> <p>almost 20,000 people participated in a seguimiento universidad de navarra in pamplona, spain, study analyzing coffee consumption and its effect on mortality. the <a href='' target='_blank'>study</a> followed the spanish participants — who were an average of 38 years old when they started the project — for 10 years. in that time, 337 participants died but people who drank four cups of coffee a day had a 64% lower risk of dying than those who never or almost never drank coffee, the study found. </p> <p>the link between coffee consumption and a decreased risk of mortality was not as prevalent in younger participants, but those who were at least 45 years old and drank two additional cups of coffee per day had a 30% lower risk of mortality. researchers took into consideration the participants’ sex, age and adherence to the mediterranean diet, and collected information about their food intake, lifestyle, health conditions and family history. </p> <p>this isn’t the first study to link coffee to <a href='' target='_blank'>longevity</a>. another u.s.-based study found that four or more cups of coffee a day led to an 18% lower risk of death, and a european study that followed half a million adults 35 years and older for 16.5 years found the more coffee a person drank, the less likely they were to have died by the end of the study. participants in the european study took a blood test at the beginning of the study, and researchers found people who drank coffee had lower levels of inflammatory factors and sugar. other <a href='' target='_blank'>studies</a> suggest coffee consumption reduces the risk of dying from a stroke or heart disease.</p> <p>the researchers of the latter two studies noted that other factors could skew their findings, such as the fact that coffee consumption habits could change over a decade. </p> <p>of course, other studies have found that coffee consumption has its downfalls. one study published in the journal the lancet said people who drank seven cups of coffee a day were up to 50 times more likely than those who drank two cups or fewer to develop <a href='' target='_blank'>type 2 diabetes</a>.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>market watch</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Mon, 28 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Read Apple CEO’s email denouncing white supremacism in Charlottesville <p>much like politicians, tech company ceos are nowadays expected to take a position on the big social issues facing their country, and apple boss tim cook has been the latest to join the fray with an email sent to all global employees of the company on wednesday night, which was obtained by <em>recode</em>. in the email, cook provides a strong response to the violence on display in charlottesville over the weekend, and he goes on to make an unequivocal call about who was in the wrong.</p> <p>“i disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights,” writes cook. <a href='' target='_blank'>like microsoft ceo satya nadella</a>, cook doesn’t explicitly address another issue that arose before charlottesville — namely the memo that was circulated inside google suggesting biological differences explain why there are more men than women in tech — but he seems to be talking about it in the same breath as he denounced the nazis of charlottesville. he underscores equal treatment of all people as fundamental to his own morality and that of apple, which is expressed through its products and actions.</p> <p>apple will make $2 million of donations to civil rights groups working to fight white supremacism such as that on display in charlottesville, and it will furthermore match employee donations to similar causes on a two-for-one basis. there will soon also be an option added to itunes for apple users to contribute to supporting one of apple’s chosen organizations, the southern poverty law center. in an apparently related move, apple pay has ceased accepting payments on websites selling white supremacist and nazi gear.</p> <p>the email in full:</p> <blockquote> <p>team,</p> <p>like so many of you, equality is at the core of my beliefs and values. the events of the past several days have been deeply troubling for me, and i’ve heard from many people at apple who are saddened, outraged or confused.</p> <p>what occurred in charlottesville has no place in our country. hate is a cancer, and left unchecked it destroys everything in its path. its scars last generations. history has taught us this time and time again, both in the united states and countries around the world.</p> <p>we must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it. this is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. it is about human decency and morality. i disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. equating the two runs counter to our ideals as americans.</p> <p>regardless of your political views, we must all stand together on this one point — that we are all equal. as a company, through our actions, our products and our voice, we will always work to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.</p> <p>i believe apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that. we have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that apple is inclusive of everyone. we empower people to share their views and express themselves through our products.</p> <p>in the wake of the tragic and repulsive events in charlottesville, we are stepping up to help organizations who work to rid our country of hate. apple will be making contributions of $1 million each to the southern poverty law center and the anti-defamation league. we will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and september 30.</p> <p>in the coming days, itunes will offer users an easy way to join us in directly supporting the work of the splc.</p> <p>dr. martin luther king said, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” so, we will continue to speak up. these have been dark days, but i remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright. apple can and will play an important role in bringing about positive change.</p> <p>best,</p> <p>tim</p> </blockquote> <p>originally posted on the <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>the verge</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Apple's Accidental Leak 'Confirms' iPhone 8 Design <p>apple’s homepod accident delivered a mother lode of iphone 8 information. the company’s own code verified two exclusives (<a href='' target='_self'>1</a>, <a href='' target='_self'>2</a>) i published last month and now in conjunction with this i can <em>confirm</em> the iphone 8’s production-ready final design...</p> <p>following on from my renders last month, i have been able to obtain a prototype of apple’s finalised iphone 8 design. unlike a number of dummy units which have surfaced in recent months, this is not a crude slab but a highly detailed model constructed with premium materials and operational power, volume and mute buttons. </p> <p><em>this is the iphone design apple is currently putting into mass production.</em></p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 prototype (left) beside iphone 7 (right)</p> <p>so what do we learn from my prototype? in short: the leaked <a href='' target='_self'>schematics</a>were spot on. the iphone 8 is indeed slightly larger than the iphone 7, but noticeably smaller than the iphone 7 plus and it feels great in hand. it is similar to the galaxy s8 in look and feel (which is a good thing) and it should be relatively easy for most owners to use one handed.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8's cut-out 'notch' can clearly be seen in the top bezel</p> <p>the massive 5.8-inch edge-to-edge is also going to look stunning in the final release, though how the ‘cut-out’ notch in the top bezel - housing the front facing camera and sensors - will be designed around in software is open to dispute. i have <a href='' target='_self'>some tip-offs</a> here, but nothing rock solid. that said i do believe the notch will ‘square off’ (be blacked out) when viewing video to create a straight vertical image along the top bezel.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 vertical dual camera will protrude significantly</p> <p>and speaking of vertical, yes the rear dual cameras are vertically aligned as widely tipped. this is partially to aid augmented reality (which it is frequently viewed in landscape mode) and partially as i believe the circuitry of the iphone 8 left apple with little choice, though expect it to be marketed as the former.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 (top) has a much larger power button than the iphone 7 (bottom), but why remains a mystery</p> <p>in february i also <a href='' target='_self'>exclusively revealed</a> fast charging is coming to the iphone 8. that remains correct and it will be joined by wireless charging (though the wireless charger will be an - expensive - optional extra) and the headphone jack will not be returning - something i <a href='' target='_self'>saw coming in 2014</a>.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 (left) switches to a glass back for wireless charging</p> <p>for the record i also understand almost every point of the bloomberg/kuo <a href='' target='_self'>iphone 8 25 feature leak</a> is indeed correct. these two sources have been on fire. </p> <p>adding to my confidence are my good contacts at <a href='' target='_blank'>mobilefun</a> which have supplied me with <a href='' target='_blank'>olixar</a>’s commercially ready iphone 8 cases. these are the real deal. i tried its crystal clear, wallet and flexishield cases and each fits perfectly around my prototype unit. i’ve taken several images to demonstrate the precision of these finishes above and below - apple’s partners are all on the same page.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 prototype inside an olixar wallet production case</p> <p>as for <a href='' target='_self'>my iphone 8 concerns</a>, these are less to do with the hardware and more to do with the supply chain itself. the same leaky supply chain which has provided me with so much information throughout the year is also consistently reporting <a href='' target='_self'>drastic stock shortages at launch</a> and a <a href='' target='_self'>major price increase</a>.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly </small></p> <p>iphone 8 prototype in an olixar flexishield case - it's a perfect fit</p> <p>i am also told apple will take the risky move of <a href='' target='_self'>killing off touch id</a> in the iphone 8 to go solely with ’face id’ facial recognition security (passcodes are still available obviously), though i haven’t been able to verify this through more than one source.</p> <p><a href=''><img alt='' src='' /></a><small>gordon kelly</small></p> <p>iphone 8 (top) is longer than the iphone 7 (bottom)</p> <p>that said given how significant the overhaul of the iphone 8 is, i don’t see any smartphone generating more interest over the next year and i expect whatever follows the iphone 8 will be iterative for at least one maybe two generations. the iphone 8 is apple’s big move and it looks set to be a home run.</p> <p> </p> <p>original article published by <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Forget Everything You Know About Passwords, Says Man Who Made Password Rules <p>was it m@nk3yp@$$w01rd or m0nk3yp@ssw0!rd? </p> <p>**#@$%!! </p> <p>for 20 years, the standard advice for creating a "strong" password that is hard to crack has been to use a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. </p> <p>it's so ingrained that when you go to create a new email account you'll frequently get praising or finger-wagging feedback from the computer on how well your secret code adheres to these guidelines. </p> <p>and you're supposed to change it every 90 days. </p> <p>now, the man who laid down these widely followed rules says he got it all wrong. </p> <p>“much of what i did i now regret," bill burr, a 72-year-old retired former manager at the national institute of standards and technology told the wall street journal. </p> <p>in 2003, the then-mid-level nist manager was tasked with the job of setting rules for effective passwords. without much to go on he sourced a whitepaper written in the 1980s. the rules his agency published ended up becoming the go-to guides for major institutions and large companies. </p> <p>the result is that people create odd-looking passwords and then have to write them down, which is of course less secure than something you can memorize. users also lean on common substitutions, like "zeroes" for the letter o, which a smart hacker could program their password cracker to look for. or they pick one "base" password that they can memorize and only change a single number. that's also not as safe. </p> <p>“it just drives people bananas and they don’t pick good passwords no matter what you do,” burr said. </p> <p>the new password guidelines are both easier to remember, and harder to guess. the nist's revised tips say users should pick a string of simple english words — and only be forced to change them if there's been evidence of a security break-in. </p> <p>not only did the old password format frustrate users, it wasn't even the best way to keep hackers at bay. </p> <p>for instance, "tr0ub4dor&3" could take just three days to crack, according to <a href=''>one viral comic</a> whose assertions have been verified by security researchers, while "correcthorsebatterystaple" could take 550 years.</p> <p>articled orginally by <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>nbc news</strong></a>.</p> Everything Else Wed, 9 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How to Respond When Clients Say You're Too Expensive <p>it really doesn't matter what kind of photography you do if you get paid for your services i guarantee that at some point you will be faced with price objections from a client. if you haven't already you definitely should arm yourself with a few tactics for when the inevitable happens.</p> <p>the guys over at <a href='' target='_blank'>the futur</a> are back once again with some more role playing exercises to help creative people while out in the field. this week they discuss the typical reactions you are likely to face from a client during price negotiations. the video features <a href='' target='_blank'>chris do</a> who is an emmy award winning designer, founder of brand strategy design consultancy <a href='' target='_blank'>blind, inc.</a>, and passionate advocate for freelancers getting paid fairly.</p> <p>even though the video uses graphic design as an example, these tips are more than transferable to all imaginable areas of the creative world. do has some great answers to the typical responses you will likely face when talking figures to a client. ever had someone ask you to work for half the going rate with a possible offer of more work later down the line? this video will show you how best to combat such ridiculous offers and get the rates you deserve each and every time.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>fstoppers</a></p> Everything Else Tue, 8 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Apple has an official Instagram account showcasing photos shot on iPhone <p>gizmo maker apple just launched its official instagram account, <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>@apple</a>. but this isn’t your average corporate account as the company doesn’t want to showcase its own product <em>ad nauseam</em>. instead, apple is going to share photos shot with an iphone.</p> <p>in many ways, this instagram account feels like the natural extension of the “shot on iphone” billboard ad campaign. without showing the iphone, apple is promoting the iphone camera as the perfect tool if you want to up your game on instagram.</p> <p>every year, there are more than a trillion photos taken on various iphones. chances are that there are people in every corner of the world currently using an iphone to shoot a unique photo or video. so apple wants to leverage that and showcase the creativity and diversity of iphone users.</p> <p>based on the first posts, curators working for @apple find some photos captured with an iphone, ask the creator if they can share them and repost them on the company’s account. apple isn’t taking any photo itself.</p> <p>there are a few interesting things with the account. first, apple relies heavily on the recently introduced gallery format to showcase five creators at a time. you can find them on instagram by reading the captions.</p> <p>second, the company is using videos to share a few photos at a time, add sound effects and interview the creators — those sound bites remind me of <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>humans of new york</a>. apple is also sharing instagram stories with the same format.</p> <p>third, apple uses the #shotoniphone hashtag in the account description and below each post. it’s clear that the company wants to encourage people to use the hashtag so that it becomes a pop culture symbol. many popular instagram accounts use this method to resurface popular posts as well, such as <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>@ihavethisthingwithfloors</a>.</p> <p>this isn’t apple’s first instagram account — <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>@applemusic</a> currently has 2.2 million followers. i’ve also seen apple ads for apple music and the apple watch on instagram. but it’s interesting to see apple creating an “instagram-native” account.</p> <p>original article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>tech crunch</strong></a></p> Everything Else Tue, 8 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800