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    • Trans Activist Whose Epic Trump Rant Went Viral Speaks Out
      The transgender activist who took Donald Trump to task in a series of viral tweets says she hopes her rant will inspire others, including Republicans, to speak out against the president-elect’s many lies and offenses toward minority groups, among other transgressions. The interplay began Saturday, when Trump blasted the most recent episode of “Saturday Night Live” on Twitter. Evidently, it was a Dec. 4 segment starring Alec Baldwin as a recklessly-tweeting Trump that incensed the notoriously thin-skinned president-elect, who blasted the show as “unwatchable.” Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2016 Danielle Muscato, who deems herself an “atheist civil-rights activist, public speaker, debater, writer, columnist and pundit,” shot back, arguing that the president-elect was “embarrassing” himself in a tweet that’s since been retweeted over 22,000 times and liked by over 81,000 Twitter users. Jesus fucking Christ, @realDonaldTrump. You are the president-elect. Pick your fucking battles, man. You're embarrassing yourself.— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 She continued: @realDonaldTrump Baldwin's impression isn't "Sad." You know what's sad? In 7 wks you'll be responsible for 330m lives & you can't think of— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 @realDonaldTrump (cont) anything better to do than tweet abt a comedy show. You know that actual lives are at stake, right? You're pathetic.— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 And the Missouri-based Muscato didn’t stop there. Over the next two hours, her rant extended to 30 tweets, all of which garnered thousands of likes and retweets. @realDonaldTrump This is not a joke, Donald. Don't you have anything better to do? Are you so narcissistic that a PARODY is your priority?— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 @realDonaldTrump Do you know how many trans people were murdered since Election Day? Do you know how many veterans killed themselves?— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 Muscato, who had 3,500 followers when she began tweeting at Trump early Sunday, now has over 90,000. She told The Huffington Post that the fact that Twitter users responded so fervently to her series of tweets was evide…
      - 8 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 9:57pm -
    • Mom Gets Real About 'Ooey Gooey Mess' Of Her Postpartum Body
      A mother of four is using Instagram to spread a powerful message about body positivity. Last week, Brittany Craig posted a throwback photo of her newborn son, Kain, next to her stretch-mark-filled midsection at just one week postpartum.  I'm posting this for 2 reasons! A: because I mean come oooon, look at that baby Somebody please give me a newborn! B: Because I am beyond proud of what my body has endured and accomplished in the last 10 years! I may not be societies idea of "sexy", but I have gained 60lbs in 10 months and lost it in 5, FOUR different times! My body has grown and housed 4 human beings 3 of them being over 9 lbs, and somehow delivered them into this world. It's even provided food to nourish them and help them grow. Minus a few rips and tears, hernias, hemorrhoids and stretch marks, my body has done the most miraculous things! And I have a man that thinks I'm sexier now then I've ever been! Don't be ashamed if your body doesn't look like the next, it never will! God made you uniquely you and every BODY is beautiful! #kainhunter #mymoose #fourthtrimesterbodiesproject #4thtrimester #fourthtrimester #postpartum #breastfeeding #childbirth #bodypositivity #stopcensoringmotherhood #motherhood #everyBODYisbeautiful #feminism #selflove #bodylove #fourthtribodies A photo posted by Britt (@brittcraig) on Nov 29, 2016 at 11:01pm PST “I am beyond proud of what my body has endured and accomplished in the last 10 years!” Craig wrote in the caption, noting that while her body may not perfectly conform to society’s ideal of “sexy,” she refuses to let that alter her outlook. “My body has grown and housed 4 human beings ― 3 of them being over 9 lbs, and somehow delivered them into this world,” the mom explained, honoring the two sons and two daughters she gave birth to between 2006 and 2013. “It’s even provided food to nourish them and help them grow,” she added.“Minus a few rips and tears, hernias, hemorrhoids and stretch marks, my body has done the most miraculous things!” Craig continued. “And I have a man that thinks I’m sexier now then I’ve ever been! Don’t be ashamed if your body doesn’t look like the next, it never will! God made you uniquely you, and every BODY is beautiful!”Craig told The Huffington Post she was inspired to post the intimate photo after observing the range of comments about body image on motherhood, birth and fitness-related social media pages. “I just felt I needed to…
      - 9 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 9:02pm -
    • Get Ready To Turn Off Bravo, Because Netflix Is Adding 20 Unscripted Shows Next Year
      With the extraordinary success of “Stranger Things,” the buzz around “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” and oh, the fact that you can now watch Netflix anywhere without internet, it’s safe to say the streaming service is having a pretty good year. Lucky for viewers, Netflix’s plan for 2017 is as ambitious as ever. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix Content Chief Ted Sarandos revealed Monday that the company would spend $6 billion on new programming next year, resulting in 1,000 hours of original programming and 20 unscripted shows. While speaking to investors at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, Sarandos talked about Netflix’s upcoming competition show and a “new model” for the service. He also denied the entertainment giant would bid on live-sports streaming (for now, at least). The content chief couldn’t resist taking a slight dig at competitor Amazon, the company behind “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle.” In his mind, Amazon has essentially been spending money but not “gaining much traction.” The e-commerce giant did recently incorporate HBO and Cinemax programming —which Netflix currently doesn’t offer — for Prime members for an additional fee.“Maybe it sells Prime memberships or other things I’m not privy to, but right now it just looks like they’re spending a lot of money,” Sarandos said.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 9 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 8:47pm -
    • How Will Voice First Devices Disrupt the Pay Per Click Model?
      Is Google aware that Voice First devices will break the pay-per-click business model? originally appeared on Quora: the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Answer by Brian Roemmele, Alchemist & Metaphysician, on Quora:Advertising Does Not Exist In The Voice First WorldAfter about ten years of me presenting this inevitability [1], [2], indeed now Google (and maybe a few other companies) seem to be aware:" thing that we are all clear about is the days of three top text ads followed by ten organic results is a thing of the past in the voice first world"-- Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice president of advertising and commerce, November 29, 2016During an investor call [3] on November 29, 2016 Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice president of advertising and commerce at Google spoke to the coming shift of their business model as voice first device interactions begin to dominate our lives. Web based search will never fully disappear, but a generation of kids are growing up around the Voice First revolution and fully expect a computer to be something they talk to and talks back.Just like this generation now no longer has CDs, DVDs, Tapes or Records, the next generation will expect Voice interaction, not with pages of search results but AI assisted, ontology and taxonomy perfect answers, most particularly one answer. You and I will not tolerate radio-like advertisements, nor would we tolerate a telephone-like IVR list of advertisers. Thus, the writing is on the wall.In April, 2016 I said [1]:In The Voice First World, Advertising And Payments Will Not Exist As They Do TodayIn the Voice First world many things change. Advertising and payments will particularly be changed and, in themselves, become new paradigms for both merchants and consumers. Advertising as we know it will not exist primarily because we would not tolerate commercial intrusions and interruptions in our dialogs. It would be equivalent to having a friend break into an advertisement about a new gasoline.Payments will change in profound ways. Many consumer dialogs will have implicit and explicit layered Voice Payments with multiple payment type. Voice First systems will mediate and manage these situations based on a host of factors. Payments companies are not currently prepared for this tectonic shift. In fact, some notable companies are going in the opposite direction. The companies that prevail will have identified the Onto…
      - 10 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 8:01pm -
    • What's the Best Way to Get Into Financial Technology as a Student?
      What do you think is the most effective way to get involved in the Blockchain/Fintech space as a student? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Answer by Chris Larsen, CEO and Co-Founder of Ripple, on Quora.There are so many ways you can educate yourself as a student about the Blockchain/Fintech space. This technology is so new and there are so many great minds working on it that you can still get in almost on the ground floor and teach yourself the basics. There are great books, like Nathaniel Popper's "Digital Gold," or the Tapscotts' "Blockchain Revolution." Start there, get the history and the basics of the technology, and then get involved in one of the community groups where people are actually doing the building on these systems. If you're at a school that has a Fintech club, join it. Look for internships in the space once you've got enough down to compete for one.It's very early in the Fintech space -- or as we like to call it the Internet of Value -- it's like being a student in 1995 at the dawn of the Internet. You have plenty of time to make mistakes and drive down some dead ends -- as long as you're challenged and are working with smart, hard working people.That said, the Internet of Value (IoV) has some important differences than the Internet of Information (IoI). Whereas the IoI primarily involved the tech domain, the IoV involves the domains of tech, capital and compliance. As a fintech student, you'll gain huge advantages by gaining experience in all three.This question originally appeared on Quora. - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:​Financial Technology: What fintech startups are the most interesting to watch as we head into 2017?Blockchain: What's biggest barrier you and your team face when dealing with large banks?Ripple: Who needs Ripple most right now and why? -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 10 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 7:49pm -
    • Alexa and Google Home Record What You Say. But What Happens To That Data?
      By Tim Moynihan for WIRED. If you got an Amazon Echo or Google Home voice assistant, welcome to a life of luxurious convenience. You’ll be asking for the weather, the news, and your favorite songs without having to poke around on your phone. You’ll be turning off lights and requesting videos from bed. The world is yours.But you know what? That little talking cylinder is always listening to you. And not just listening, but recording and saving many of the things you say. Should you freak out? Not if you’re comfortable with Google and Amazon logging your normal web activity, which they’ve done for years. Hell, many other sites have also done it for years. Echo and Home simply continue the trend of saving a crumb trail of queries, except with snippets of your voice.However, it’s still a reasonable concern for anyone worried about privacy. If you only use Chrome in “Incognito Mode,” put tape over your laptop camera, and worry about snoops sniffing your packets, a web-connected microphone in your home seems risky. It’s a fair thing to be unsettled about. But recording your voice is a major part of how voice assistants work. Here’s how devices like Echo and Home record your voice, why they do it, what they do with the data, and how to scrub those recordings.How In-Home Voice Assistants Work Whenever you make a voice request, Google Home and Alexa-enabled devices record or stream audio clips of what you say. Those files are sent to a server—the real brains of the operation—to process the audio and formulate a response. The recorded clips are associated to your user account, and that process is enabled by default.RELATED: The Subtle Ways Your Digital Assistant Might Manipulate YouBecause their brains are located miles away, Echo and Home need an internet connection to work. They do have a very rudimentary education, though: The only spoken commands they understand on their own are “wake words” or “activation phrases,” things like “Alexa” or “OK Google.” Once you say those magic words, the voice assistants jump to life, capture your voice request, and sling it to their disembodied cloud brains over Wi-Fi.That means their mics are listening to you even when you’re not requesting things from Alexa or Google. But those ambient conversations—the things you say before “Alexa” or “OK Google”—aren’t stored or sent over a network.Why Do They Need to Eavesdrop? Listening to what you say before a wake word is e…
      - 11 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 7:03pm -
    • Amazon's Grocery Store Lets You Grab What You Want And Leave
      The future of shopping is here.Online shopping giant Amazon rolled out Amazon Go on Monday, enabling customers to walk into its Seattle-based grocery store, grab whatever they want and leave. The store uses deep learning technology, sensors and computer vision to keep track of what you take off and place back on the shelves. It’s similar to the kind of technology used in self-driving cars. To start shopping, you use a free app to scan yourself in when you enter the store.The app keeps a running tab of what you pull off the shelves. Shortly after you leave, Amazon will charge your account for the items and send you a receipt.At the moment, Amazon Go seems more like a corner store or convenience store than a full-fledged grocery store. It offers an array of ready-to-eat, grab-and-go meals prepared by Amazon Go’s staff, plus items such as bread, cheese, milk and chocolate. It also sells Amazon Meal Kits, which include ingredients to cook a meal for two at home in under 30 minutes.The store is currently in its beta phase, and only Amazon employees can shop there for the time being. It will open to the public in early 2017.Amazon Go seems to be the next step in Amazon’s quest to expand its influence in the grocery business, as well as its brick and mortar presence. In 2007, the company rolled out the grocery delivery service Amazon Fresh, and in 2015, it opened a physical bookstore. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
      - 12 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 5:59pm -
    • Why It Was So Worth It To Stick With STEAM
      When I began studying computer science in the 80s at Berkeley, I found the first quarter of my studies incredibly challenging. Evening after evening, I spent time in a basement computer lab, creating Fortran punch-cards in order to run programs. We created these cards by hand on one machine before submitting them to another machine for testing, at which point we’d learn if our program worked or if we had to debug them, which involved creating more punch-cards. In those days, computer programming involved quite a bit of manual labor! It was lonely and uninspiring work, and I wasn’t very happy. I spent quite a bit of time questioning whether or not I had chosen to study the right thing. Especially surrounded mostly by men, I didn’t have a lot of people with whom to talk to about my frustrations. Not only new to the school, I’d only been in the country for a few years, too, and computer science itself as a field of study was so fresh and new at the time that there weren’t role models to which we could turn for advice. Without such examples, I found it hard to see how my lonely work making, testing, and debugging punch-cards could translate into a meaningful or inspiring career. Seeking advice, I approached my father. He had urged me to study CS, while my mother wanted me to be a doctor. In fact, every time I became frustrated with my CS studies, she’d urge me to study more chemistry. (I really didn’t like chemistry.) To keep me motivated, my father gave me a classic set of computer science books that showcased concepts beyond those covered in my introductory class. With the ability to see beyond my immediate, lonely punch-card work, and knowing that I wouldn’t drop the class, I chose to power through. With the basics of programming under my belt, things quickly started looking more interesting. My “a-ha!” moment came in the following quarter as I took the next set of CS classes, which related to discrete math. A prerequisite for certain CS classes at the time, discrete math is a lot like solving puzzles. I’ve written before of my love for and skill at chess, and, finally, I found a hook for my interest in CS that felt much like that familiar enthusiasm for chess. Relating to computer science through math and seeing patterns with which I was familiar, I felt more confident. It’s long been my belief that good computer science requires good visualization -- that good programmers can visualize good code like one might visualize mov…
      - 13 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 4:46pm -
    • NYC Big Data Startups - Game-Changers Across Industries
      The hardest trend this century is big data analytics--analysis of highly voluminous, various, veracious, rapid data--to produce high-quality insights into practically anything previously thought impossible to do so in short periods of time. These insights are valuable to companies across industries both because of their real-time nature, reflecting changes in a specific market, government regulation, or pieces of legislation that can either make or break a company's bottom line. More to the point, big data analytics focuses on formulating insights around pain points in any industry in days to weeks, which would otherwise take years, through the analysis of data of all types--structured (like text in a Word document), semi-structured (like an Excel document), or unstructured (like pictures or radar) data. More than ever, companies of all sizes are looking for greater and more reliable information to use to undergird their cashflows and execute on their goals. A $122 billion market as of 2015, investment in big data companies by venture capitalists alone last year reached $6.64 billion, indicating both the strength of these technologies, and the idea that big data isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It also suggests that startups are the leaders of innovation in this area. Big Data analytics is a hard trend, and huge recent investments in technologies it powers shows that companies will only continue to adopt big data technologies as time goes on. Yet despite this, since the beginning of this trend, large companies have found it difficult to integrate such advanced technologies into their often clunky legacy systems. And, while some engineering labs are excelling in this area, it's mainly big data startups that are driving the majority of the innovation in this area. Unsurprisingly, New York City is a haven for these types of entrepreneurs, and the fact that VC investment in big data trumps investment by everyone else is telling. New York-based CB Insights, the leading venture capital database backed by the National Science Foundation, sloughs all things financial data from the web and makes it accessible to venture capitalists, private equity professionals, entrepreneurs, corporate strategists, and beyond. With products like Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, FactSet taking up most of the market share in the data analytics space, though, it's easy to expect CBI having a hard time delivering valuable solutions that finance professionals don't already have acc…
      - 13 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 4:38pm -
    • Is HR missing out on the benefits of data?
      If awards were given out for the most disliked workplace ritual, I dare say the annual performance review would be up there among the front runners. It's an ordeal that neither manager or employee ever seems to enjoy, yet they largely persist, it seems through no other reason than there are few feasible alternatives.It's perhaps no surprise therefore that recent data from the Institute for Corporate Productivity suggests that just 10% of companies have discontinued their annual performance appraisals in the last year.What is equally clear from the data however is that few companies are entirely satisfied. If they were reviewing the reviews, they would score a firm 'could do better'. The stats reveal that 66% of companies plan to tinker with their performance reviews as a priority in 2017.When quizzed as to just what these reforms might be, respondents said that it would be more frequent reviews together with more training on how to conduct reviews for managers. There was no real perception that data could play a major role in how performance is judged.In HR we trust, all others use dataThis reluctance to take advantage of data when making decisions should perhaps come as no surprise. A recent study found that the HR department was the main laggard when it came to adoption of data driven technologies in the workplace. It reminds me a bit of this famous scene from Moneyball.Just as with the scouts and coaches at Oakland, the study suggests a distinct lack of data literacy in most HR departments. Now we all know the stories of data science skills gaps across companies as a whole, but this is a particular problem in HR. Finance might get some data people, IT probably will, marketing almost certainly, but HR?That's not to say the solutions providers are blameless either. Not only are many solutions expecting a level of skills that don't exist, they also often develop solutions with so many unwanted bells and whistles that simultaneously manage to miss the things that HR want most of all.Improving perceptionsOf course, a big part of the problem is one of perception, with HR people regarding any kind of meaningful data science as being hugely complicated and requiring vast databases. The reality that quite simple solutions can be a good first step is not one held in enough HR departments.What's more, even if companies do have good data, the skills shortage in HR tends to mean a stark gap between the technicians managing the databas…
      - 13 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 4:37pm -

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    • An In-Depth Interview With Stephan Tual Former CCO of Ethereum and founder of & The DAO
      Stephan is the Founder and COO of, a project at the intersection of the IoT and blockchain that aims to address security, identity, coordination and privacy over billions of devices.Q: What's the current status of cleaning up the whole DAO situation?A: We dedicated all our resources to help out with the clean up effort until very recently. Obviously WHG did some amazing work, and so did the rest of the Ethereum Community. In the end everyone who took part in that experiment was made whole, thankfully.Q: What were your main lessons you learned from the DAO and if you could go back, what would you change? Thanks StephanA: I can't go back, but I'm really proud of the work we accomplished on the DAO. It was always an open source project with the best minds in the field as curators. It raised massive awareness around the platform, became the #1 crowdfunded in the world, demonstrating unequivocally the need for a decentralized structure of this nature. That need is still here today, and I'm sure it will be addressed one way or another -- stay assured many have noticed.As for us, well, I remember telling a journalist this was indeed all open source, and something we were supporting because we believed in the concept, and yes, there was a chance a big enough DAO wouldn't even be spawned, or if it was spawned, that it might not even support the Universal Sharing Network and the Ethereum Computer as projects. But that's the whole point of decentralization! Q: Thanks Stephan,, which industries do you believe will be helped the most with a DAO like platform?A: Supply Chain, Logistics, M2M. Everything that's shared could benefit from becoming part of a genuinely public infrastructure we all control as part of the "World's computer". Vitalik briefly touched on it a year ago at the London meetupQ: If you are using ethereum to unlock a smartlock with, will it take 12-30 seconds to unlock, or will it open right away?A: It opens right away because only the 'renting' part of the transaction is done on chain. Opening and closing is done via BLE or similar and just queries the local copy of the chain to check if the user being identified is indeed authorized to open/close the lock. We're still looking at eventually using Whisper for this.Q: Are you worried about ransom-ware slocks, where people put locks on real world objects and only release the lock when the ransom is paid? A: Not worried, no. You'd need physical access to t…
      - 13 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 4:37pm -
    • How Do You Write About A Man Who Doesn't Know Who He Is?
      NEW YORK ― Here’s a mystery. In 2004, a Burger King employee discovered a naked man lying unconscious near the restaurant’s dumpsters. The police brought him to a nearby hospital in Savannah, Georgia. But when the man regained consciousness, he didn’t know who he was.There were some clues. He had cataracts and signs of previous physical trauma to his skull, as well as scars on his neck and arms. Yet a database search of his fingerprints and appearance yielded no results. It seemed no one was looking for him. Who was this “Burger King Doe?”That’s the mystery Matthew Wolfe, a Ph.D. student in sociology at New York University, wrote about in his story “The Last Unknown Man,” which ran in The New Republic in November. The Huffington Post sat down with Wolfe last week to find out more.Your specialty at NYU is missing persons. Why this case? I was interested in the subjective experience of someone who is conscious, but unaware of who they are, where they came from or what their name is. I wanted to know what identity is left at that point. What remains?I also had a more scientific and technological interest. If you can look at someone’s fingerprints or their DNA or hear their accent, can you figure out where they came from?  Also, his case was just so weird. There was a mystery there. It’s a spine you can hang things on. Readers will stay engaged because there is a central question that needs to be answered. Who was this guy?  Talk about the seed of the story.I read an article on “living John Does,” people who were alive but couldn’t be identified. And the most prominent case was Benjaman Kyle [Burger King Doe].How long did the reporting process take?I started reporting in February 2014, then continued to work on it until September of this year. When I started reporting, I was working for a private investigator. Not as exciting as it might sound! It was for civil cases involving companies. There was very little slouching in a car with a camera, but I made a lot of phone calls. It’s a great journalistic skill to be able to look up phone numbers and addresses. Initially I got in touch with Josh Schrutt, the guy Benjaman was working for in Florida. A few days later, I bought a plane ticket and flew down to talk to him. To be honest, I was suspicious of his story. I thought it was a hoax. But I thought even if it was a hoax, and even if he was lying, there was still the fact that for 10 years people tried to figure out w…
      - 13 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 4:16pm -
    • #FredinChina: 'Circles' newest feature turns Alipay into a hook-up app
      I'm Fred Raillard, Creative CEO, Co-founder and Creative Chief Officer with Farid Mokart of FRED & FARID, a social, content, tech solutions for brands company based in New York, Paris and Shanghai. #FredinChina is an essential social media podcast to know and understand the world's largest economy.I fell in love with China, and live in Shanghai with my wife and three sons since September 2012. With my teams at the FRED & FARID Shanghai agency we monitor, analyze and decrypt this ultra-connected China with nearly 800 million netizens by sharing what we see, hear and read on Weibo, WeChat, Huaban, Youku. I prepare this column with Zhuomin Qin from FRED & FARID Shanghai.Thanks to Zhuomin Qin, Feng Huang, Jalila Levesque, Jules Chaffiotte, Radouane Guissi, Yi Zhang, Ying Zhang, Aliou Maro, Tina Liu, Louis Caudevilla, Dushan Karageorgevitch, Jing Qian, Jonathan Roy, Maxime Aubanel and Antoine Robin for their participation to this chronic.Click here to listen to all the podcasts.'Circles' newest feature turns Alipay into a hook-up appThe HotBrand of the week is Alipay, the payment system of Alibaba. Alipay publicly announced the launch of a new social media service called 'Circles'. 'Circles' is similar to 'Groups', where people can post pictures and content to 21 different 'Circles'. 18 of these 'Circles' are extremely normal where anyone can post content, but 3 of them are very special as only women can post content, and only rich men can like, comment and reward those women for posting content. This became very viral as sexy, half-naked women invaded those 3 special 'Circles', and posted extremely sulfurous content. The comments were pretty crazy as well, coming from crazy and very excited men! Alipay then went public to say that they will cancel this service in the future.WeChat fundraising for girl's leukemia treatment sparks controversy amid false financial claimsThe HotTopic this week is Luo Yi Xiao, a 5-year-old girl who has leukemia. The story made 90 million media impressions on one hashtag, and 60 million on a second hashtag, and 55 thousand discussions. Now the father of this little girl launched an operation on WeChat to touch people's hearts, and raise money to help his daughter. He told the story of how he lost his job a year ago, and how he just does not know how to help his daughter. A financial company called Xiao Tong Ren decided to help the father, by saying that they would give him 1RMB for every re-post of the story.…
      - 13 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 4:15pm -
    • Where Is Bana? Mystery Surrounds Shutdown Of Syrian Girl's Twitter Account
      UPDATE: 2:10 p.m. ― Later on Monday, Bana Alabed’s Twitter account was back up online. It’s still not clear why it disappeared.PREVIOUSLY: A seven-year-old Syrian girl’s Twitter account has mysteriously shut down.Bana Alabed’s Twitter account had gained more than 100,000 followers since she and her mother Fatemah began tweeting about their experiences in the war-torn city of Aleppo in September. Their documentation of the shocking daily ordeals they faced in the rebel-held eastern part of the city even caught the attention of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who sent the youngster the full set of her fantasy novels after learning she was a fan.But on Sunday, multiple media outlets reported that the mother and daughter’s account had suddenly vanished from the micro-blogging service. Clicking on the handle now brings up a page that states, “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!”According to CNN, the duo’s last tweet read: “We are sure the army is capturing us now. We will see each other another day dear world. Bye. - Fatemah #Aleppo.”As of early Monday, there was no indication of what had happened to the pair, nor what exactly had caused the Twitter account to vanish.Concerned fellow tweeters expressed their fears via the #WhereIsBana hashtag.I'm so worried about little Bana. I hope she's safe... #whereisbana— T.R (@OfficiallyTab) December 5, 2016 I so hope that Bana is okay. Poor little girl had been exposed to a lifetime of suffering. #WhereIsBana ?— Aishvarya Singh⚡ (@ai5hvarya) December 5, 2016 Night All. Pray for Fatemah and Bana #WhereisBana— Robbie Wallis (@sterion75) December 4, 2016 #BanaAlabed I've avidly followed this seven year old girl for weeks and now I fear the worst #WhereIsBana #Aleppo— Desiree Perez (@desrister) December 5, 2016 Uhh, worrisome. Little girl from Aleppo's twitter account deleted today. Last tweet was about being captured by army.. #WhereIsBana— Shannon Morse (@Snubs) December 5, 2016 Rowling herself also retweeted several posts from the Free Syria Media Hub’s account: #whereisbana ? Please Re Tweet— Free Syria Media Hub (@Free_Media_Hub) December 4, 2016 Worrying news little @AlabedBana the 7 year old girl who tweets from #Aleppo Twitter page has been deleted :( by whom we know not— Free Syria Media Hub (@Free_Media_Hub) December 4, 2016 While some ha…
      - 19 hours ago, 5 Dec 16, 10:15am -
    • Twitter User Delivers Perfect Response To Donald Trump’s Latest SNL Rant
      President-elect Donald Trump seems to spend a lot of time hatewatching “Saturday Night Live” ― because since the election, he’s fired off angry tweets just about any time he’s been portrayed on the show.On Saturday, he took to Twitter to call the show “unwatchable” for a segment that mocked his use of Twitter. And some people are tweeting back ― wondering why a man about to take the highest office in the land is spending his time tweeting about “SNL.”In a series of replies going viral, civil rights activist Danielle Muscato called Trump out: Jesus fucking Christ, @realDonaldTrump. You are the president-elect. Pick your fucking battles, man. You're embarrassing yourself.— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 She was only getting started.Here’s more of the rant: @realDonaldTrump Baldwin's impression isn't "Sad." You know what's sad? In 7 wks you'll be responsible for 330m lives & you can't think of— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 @realDonaldTrump (cont) anything better to do than tweet abt a comedy show. You know that actual lives are at stake, right? You're pathetic.— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 @realDonaldTrump This is not a joke, Donald. Don't you have anything better to do? Are you so narcissistic that a PARODY is your priority?— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 @realDonaldTrump Do you know how many children went to bed tonight without enough food to eat? Do you even care? What is *wrong* with you?!— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 @realDonaldTrump No, of course you don't know those things. You don't even know what a "blind trust," and you call yourself a businessman.— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 @realDonaldTrump You're pathetic. You ran for prez for attention. You are a fake,a fraud. You never wanted to win anyway; we can all see it.— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 @realDonaldTrump You are not fooling anyone. You're scared, and overwhelmed, and you have absolutely no idea what you're doing. And it shows— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 @realDonaldTrump You think we're all too polite, too aghast, to call you out. I see through you, Donny. I'm calling you out. You're a joke.— Danielle Muscato (@DanielleMuscato) December 4, 2016 @realDonaldTrump With every fiber of…
      - 1 day ago, 5 Dec 16, 4:56am -

    Small Business

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    • 6 Key Business Benefits Of UCaaS Show Why Businesses Need It Now
      Communicating at work should be as simple as pulling up a chair, anywhere. Knowledge workers carry the essential communication tools with them: cellphones, laptops and their inquisitive minds. In their daily lives outside of work, video, instant messaging and consumer cloud apps help today's people share information with friends and family. Teams now want to apply similar tools to be more productive at work. Knowledge workers who bring their own mobile devices to work can be more effective and save the company hardware expenses--but only if their office messages, files and contacts stay in sync, and their valuable data is safe within the network.While small- and medium-sized businesses' (SMB's) telecommunications networks have become more proficient at serving more devices and connecting them to the cloud, they may not be able to offer the effective bandwidth increase, speed and security required. For next-generation telecommunications providers, the new Unified Communications (UC) solutions will be as transformative as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) was a decade ago. Now, Unified Communications as a Service, or UCaaS, makes telecom the backbone for real-time video conferencing, screen sharing presence and instant messaging.SMB's use online collaboration services to relay messages clearly and move discussion along without buffering or other video streaming quality issues. A capable network brings a far-flung team together regardless of geographical boundaries and keeps them engaged in solving business problems instead of fixing conference-line glitches. They can contribute to a meeting on the way to the office, and enter a virtual conference room ready to share slides, various document types, graphics, charts and much more.Making the case: Lower costs with UCaaSThe current business climate makes upgrading a communications network particularly challenging. Gartner this year forecasts flat IT spending worldwide--and that's actually an improvement on early estimates. For that reason, IT managers turn to economical UCaaS solutions. These hosted UC services make full use of cloud capabilities to extend communication resources. They share six major advantages: 1. No upfront expenses. UCaaS shifts a business's cost of designing solutions in an increasing complex space to an experienced service provider. Leased phones and equipment allow companies to adopt new technologies and set up shop in new locations without worrying about features bec…
      - 50 days ago, 17 Oct 16, 1:53pm -
    • Evaluating Trump's Immigration Plan: Facts To Bring Down A Wall Of Fiction
      In the past few weeks, Donald Trump's zig-zags on his immigration positions have been dizzying for the public. Because of his unconventional presidential campaign style, he has managed, thus far, to avoid the usual scrutiny and analysis that all candidates normally face. For us in the Latino and immigrant community, his speech in Arizona represents more of the same as we have directly felt the impact of his words for over a year.With the election nearing, it is about time to look beyond the rhetoric and unravel the truth behind his declarations. In particular, now that Trump has reaffirmed his extreme nativist position on immigration, we have to examine seriously and thoroughly his "10-point plan." Correlating his statements with reality takes a concerted effort, so let us tackle his points one-by-one. Before delving into each point, it is important to highlight the overall contribution of immigrants to this country. In fact, studies have shown that immigrants contribute over $700 billion to the U.S. economy each year. In 2011, it amounted to $743 billion in total wage, salary, and business proprietor income. In addition, according to the Brookings Institute, immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a small business and three times more likely to file a patent. Furthermore, contrary to Trump's assertions and portrayals of immigrants, both documented and undocumented as criminals, there is ample evidence that demonstrates otherwise. In fact, according to the New Yorker's Eyal Press in his recent article, studies by Harvard sociologist, Robert Sampson, have shown that incidences of crime decrease in neighborhoods with an influx of immigrants. These studies have reported that immigrants contribute to the revitalization of neighborhoods, thereby advancing economic growth and development. Also, immigrant communities are marked by their drive to improve the wellbeing of their families with immigrants focused on economic advancement and educational achievements for their children.With this context in mind, let us explore the Trump plan.1. Complete the border wall.Building a wall in the fashion that Donald Trump envisions along the entire 1,989 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border is not only costly but also highly unrealistic. The Washington Post estimated the cost of an actual physical barrier across the border at more than $25 billion. And, as the BBC reported in its recent story, the plan will mean extension into remote areas, as well as incursi…
      - 88 days ago, 9 Sep 16, 4:58pm -
    • The Entrepreneur's Guide To Freaking Out
      By Liz GutmanAnxiety is a totally normal and even expected part of running your own business. Here's how to keep from being crippled by it. As the public face of my company, I encounter a lot of pressure to appear as though I'm 100% together at all times.But, in truth, as an entrepreneur, there is no way to completely avoid freaking out. So many things constantly come at you - staffing issues, tax worries, equipment malfunctions - it would take a miracle to achieve a state of never-ever-freak-outedness. But when it all seems overwhelming and impossible, know that you can (and will!) get through it. Here's how:1. BREATHEI know - it's a total cliché. But it's everyone's number one piece of advice for a reason: it works, as long as you really commit. No, taking one big deep breath usually isn't enough. If you find yourself starting to clench up or getting that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, take a moment. Sit (or stand) with both feet planted flat on the floor. Close your eyes. Breathe in for a slow three-count - one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand - hold for another slow three-count and breathe out for a slow five-count. Do this at least ten times.Now open your eyes. Better?2. MOVEI battled severe anxiety long before becoming an entrepreneur, and it was a revelation to discover how much regular exercise helps calm my mind.It doesn't have to be hardcore. I used to run, but now I go for brisk walks of about 30 minutes in the morning instead. Walking isn't quite as exciting as running, but can be even more beneficial (see links here, here and here) than more strenuous activity. Take a stroll on your lunch break, stretch or do gentle yoga before bedtime, knock out some jumping jacks while you're watching Netflix. Any of these things will help as long as you stay consistent (I shoot for three times a week). It's an investment that pays off if you keep doing it! You'll be amazed at how much it improves your outlook.3. ASK FOR HELPThis may be the easiest-said and hardest-done piece of advice out there. I have massive issues with asking for help; it's especially hard for entrepreneurs and even more so for women. We spend our entire lives internalizing messages to be quiet, be nice, don't make a fuss, figure it out. "Quiet strength" seems like an admirable quality until you think about the nuances of that subtly oppressive first word: quiet. Don't be quiet. Reach out. Ask a friend to spend some time with you. F…
      - 88 days ago, 9 Sep 16, 2:29am -
    • Airbnb's Work To Fight Bias And Discrimination
      Over the course of my career, I've learned that lasting change often begins with tough, honest conversations, genuine self-reflection, followed by bold action. In the last half century, we've made tremendous progress toward realizing our civil rights and equal opportunity goals. But we still have a long way to go. We need to talk about, and then take action to end, the discrimination, prejudice, and inequality that still exists -- not only in our laws, but in our schools, our neighborhoods, and our businesses. That's in part because the way in which bias manifests itself keeps evolving. At the beginning of this century, few predicted that the internet would become such a pervasive tool for cyber bullying or religious extremism, or would so often be used to communicate and enable discrimination and division. Airbnb is no exception. Their mission is to connect people from around the globe and foster a sense of belonging. But despite those good intentions, some Airbnb users have been turned away from booking accommodations because of their name, background or skin color. Understanding that one case is one too many, the company reached out to me and to Laura Murphy, the former chief of the ACLU's Washington legislative office, to work with them to determine how to greatly diminish -- with the goal of eliminating -- discrimination on its platform. I agreed to help because from the first time we spoke, Airbnb's leadership team was willing to have that tough, uncomfortable conversation, and because they had the humility and courage to ask for help in the first place. That told me that their goal was to fix the problem, not simply to respond to public criticism. Airbnb's leadership team was willing to have that tough, uncomfortable conversation. Throughout the last three months, under Laura's leadership, Airbnb has conducted a rigorous, thorough and inclusive review of its technology and its policies. The review included conversations with employees at every level of the company, Airbnb hosts and victims of discrimination, and outside experts. It also included outreach to civil rights organizations, regulators and federal and state lawmakers. The result is one of the most detailed and honest reviews of a company's role in fighting discrimination, including where efforts fell short, that I've ever witnessed. That review -- which I believe provides a model for our growing "sharing economy" and the role internet companies play in unintentionally…
      - 89 days ago, 8 Sep 16, 3:05pm -
    • Computers Are For Girls, Too
      I remember three things about my first computer science class in college. First, improbably, the professor was named Ramm, as in "random access memory." Second, the class was about processors, and I only had a vague idea what a processor was. Third, it was the last computer science class for most of my female classmates, who quickly decided they'd rather major in something else.I never would have guessed that my time as a computer science student would turn out to be pretty much the high water mark for women in the field. The percentage of computer science majors who are women has gone down from 37 percent in 1984 to just 18 percent today. In other words, on average my daughters are half as likely to major in computer science as I was 30 years ago. My daughters are half as likely to major in computer science as I was 30 years ago.But the young women in this video are defying these odds -- they're pursuing careers in computer science and dismantling stereotypes about the field. I love hearing them talk about the sense of empowerment and joy that coding brings them. Kimberly got a standing ovation from her high school English classmates when she demonstrated a book review app she made. Kayla is preserving and sharing the rich history of her community with an app that customizes multimedia walking tours. Courtney helped design the landing legs on a rocket when she interned at SpaceX!The gross underrepresentation of women in computer science is not just a problem for the girls who are left out. It's a problem for all of us, because we're not benefitting from the creativity girls have to offer. There's a mountain of research showing that diversity makes for better companies and better products -- that we're more innovative when we work in teams with different kinds of people -- yet the gender diversity in tech has been getting worse for decades.One reason why is that somewhere along the way, society decided that computers are for boys. Or, as Aishwarya says, "guys in hoodies." And this toxic stereotype becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, virtually guaranteeing that computer science is indeed a male-dominated field.First, since girls aren't supposed to be into computers, they aren't exposed to computer science when they're young, and even if they are, they often aren't encouraged to pursue their interests in the field. That helps explain why only 22 percent of the high school students who take the AP computer science exam today are girls. Kayla…
      - 23 Aug 16, 8:42pm -
    • 37 Times Donald Trump Should Have Apologized
      Yesterday, Donald Trump read the following off a teleprompter in Charlotte, North Carolina:Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.It's a clever line. Hats off to Donald's speechwriter. But that's all it is: a line from a teleprompter.For most of us, an apology involves looking someone in the eye and taking responsibility for what you did. But Trump didn't even bother to tell us what he regrets saying or who he regrets hurting over the past year.Here's the truth: over the past year, Donald Trump has tried to insult and bully his way to the White House. He has fabricated lies and invented bizarre conspiracy theories to stoke racial animus and divide the American people. He repeatedly made racist remarks about a federal judge's heritage and attacked a Gold Star family because of their faith. He has preyed upon the most vulnerable and disparaged our men and women in uniform in his power-hungry quest for the presidency.Even after winning his party's nomination, he has acted more like a Bully-in-Chief than a future leader of our country.In Trump's warped world, it might be enough to vaguely say that you have regrets. But Trump owes the people he has attacked and bullied so much more than that. He needs to explain exactly what he regrets--and then sincerely apologize to the individuals, families and communities to whom he has caused personal pain.Here's where he could start:1.Slandering Mexican immigrants: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." [Campaign kickoff speech, 6/16/15]2.Criticizing former POW Sen. John McCain: "He's not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." [Politico, 7/18/15]3.Criticizing Fox News host Megyn Kelly: "I have no respect for her...You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever." [CNN, 8/7/15]4.Calling children of immigrants "anchor babies" [Fox News (reported by CBS), 8/19/15]5.Questioning then-opponent Ben Carson's religion: "I just don't know about" the Seventh-Day Adventist church [Washington Post, 10/25/15]6.Mocking a disabled reporter: "'I don't know what I said. I don't remember!' He's going, 'I don't remember!'" [South Carolina rally, 11/22/15]7.Claiming…
      - 19 Aug 16, 9:24pm -
    • 5 Ways To Increase Your Chances Of Surviving A Plane Crash
      The odds of getting into a plane crash are low. Very low. In fact, your odds are only 1 in 8,357 of dying in an "air and space transport incident," as the National Safety Council calls it. In fact, you are more likely to die from a lightning strike than to face an aircraft evacuation. But, the reality is, every time you strap yourself to the seat in a metal tube as it hurls itself through the air, you are facing the possibility of an emergency evacuation.Recent events such as the crash of Emirates flight 521 are a reminder that as safe as air travel is, quick thinking flight attendants and a competent flight crew can mean the difference life and death. Long lines, tight spaces, and elbow rubbing with strangers is now the norm when it comes to air travel. Although packed planes only add to the chaos during an evacuation, with a little foresight and these tips, you will find yourself better prepared in the unlikely event of an emergency.1. Keep your shoes on during take-off and landing.Taxi, take-off, and landing are the most critical phases of flight. They are so crucial that flight attendants and pilots are prohibited from communicating with each other unless they are discussing an issue related to the safety of the flight. It is okay to slip your shoes off during flight, but putting your shoes back on prior to landing will prevent you from having to run barefoot across a jet-fuel soaked tarmac. 2. Do not drink or take medication to help you relax.Sometimes nerves, the desire to start vacation early, or down right fear of flying will cause a passenger to drink alcoholic beverages or take a prescription medication to ease the stress of air travel. And while a cocktail is alright, keep in mind that your blood will be thinner at the high altitude even after cabin pressurization, and this can make the effects of alcohol feel more pronounced. When it comes to prescription medications, make sure you discuss your travel plans and anxieties with your doctor. The chances of surviving a plane crash hinge on two things: the ability of the flight attendants to get the exits open and your ability to get yourself to the exit. Make sure you are sober-minded enough to think clearly and move quickly.3. Consider the type of aircraft.Every type of aircraft is different. Even if you fly all the time, you are more than likely flying on different types of airplanes and sitting in different seats each time you take to the sky. Every time you get on a plane, take a…
      - 11 Aug 16, 9:11pm -
    • Driving Growth Through Inclusive Entrepreneurship
      This week we recognize August 4th as Startup Day Across America, a time to celebrate entrepreneurs and the jobs they create. It's also an opportunity to reflect on the challenges that our entrepreneurs face and explore solutions to allow the best and brightest minds to succeed. Our country's entrepreneurial spirit and innovative minds are the lifeblood of the American economy.Our country's entrepreneurial spirit and innovative minds are the lifeblood of the American economy. America's startups are the driving force behind new job creation in the United States. In fact, companies less than one year old have created an average of 1.5 million jobs per year over the past three decades, fueling both local and national economic growth. From Uber to ZocDoc, startups are behind the technologies and services now a part of the daily lives of many Americans. And these companies no longer exist solely within Silicon Valley -- in fact, Texas ranks fifth highest on the Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship.While the United States continues to provide exceptional opportunities for private organizations to innovate, more can be done to ensure all entrepreneurs, especially immigrant founders, are set up to succeed in America. Representing the public and private sectors, we see this need firsthand. Congressman Castro's San Antonio is one of the top 10 U.S. cities in overall startup activity, and Unshackled Ventures works within our current system, investing in 16 teams with founders born in six different continents. More can be done to ensure all entrepreneurs, especially immigrant founders, are set up to succeed in America.Without the necessary support, too many innovators will give up, and too many brilliant ideas will remain unexplored.As a starting point, we must encourage an inclusive, collaborative entrepreneurship pipeline, so that all aspiring innovators across the country have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and compete with larger corporations. When the playing field is level, the best ideas will win.We must also connect aspiring innovators with the tools and resources they need to build a startup. In some cases, the resources are already there, and it is simply a matter of linking entrepreneurs to the right network.Unfortunately, some of the country's most promising entrepreneurs are still struggling to break through. This is particularly true for the U.S. immigrant population. In addition to the challenges of the entrepreneurial j…
      - 4 Aug 16, 12:34pm -
    • 7 Principles Of Life That Everyone Knows, But Only A Few Follow
      Early 2015 I was pretty frustrated with my career. Just a year earlier I said goodbye to my entrepreneurial aspirations and took a job at an IT-research firm in London.Normally, that's a good thing. The pay was good, so were the benefits, and I had great colleagues. But it wasn't for me  --  I felt like I gave up entrepreneurship.And on top of that, my personal life wasn't great either. My girlfriend and I decided to end our relationship. And in that same week, my grandmother, who I loved dearly, passed away suddenly.I felt a lot of things. But mostly, I was felt like I didn't understand life. Have you ever thought about it? What is life? What are you supposed to do? It's not like babies are shipped with manuals that teaches them to be awesome human beings.For the first time in my life, I started looking for answers because I was tired of just living/existing without purpose. When I went back to Holland for the funeral, I also caught up with one of my mentors. The last time we spoke was over a year ago  --  before I moved to London.I told him the whole story, and he said: "Even though there's no right or wrong way to live your life, there are certain universal principles that lead to a happy, wealthy, and healthy life."Naturally, I asked him, "What principles?"In a Mr. Miyagi way he said: "I think you know the principles. Everyone does. But 99% of all people don't do what they know."That's about the best, and most bad-ass pieces of wisdom I've ever heard in my life.People hardly do what they say. That was also the story of my life. So for the next year or so I spent thinking, reading and researching to find the principles my mentor was talking about.I asked myself: What are things that people talk about, but they never do? Here's what I came up with until now.1. No Strain, No GainWe often talk about doing all kinds of crazy shit -- climb mountains, run marathons, skydive, start businesses, travel the world, write books, record albums, make movies, the list is endless. Just think about what's on your bucket list for a second. Now, can I ask you one thing? Why haven't you done those things? Don't shy away from hard things. Instead, train yourself to become a person that can endure difficulties.The answer almost always comes down to this: It's hard.Well, I hate to break it to you, but life is SUPPOSED to be hard!That's probably the most valuable lesson I've learned. Don't shy away from hard things. Instead, train your…
      - 3 Aug 16, 5:31pm -
    • Understanding Trump
      There is a lot being written and spoken about Trump by intelligent and articulate commentators whose insights I respect. But as a longtime researcher in cognitive science and linguistics, I bring a perspective from these sciences to an understanding of the Trump phenomenon. This perspective is hardly unknown. More that half a million people have read my books, and Google Scholar reports that scholars writing in scholarly journals have cited my works well over 100,000 times. As a longtime researcher in cognitive science and linguistics, I bring a perspective from these sciences to an understanding of the Trump phenomenon.Yet you will probably not read what I have to say in the New York Times, nor hear it from your favorite political commentators. You will also not hear it from Democratic candidates or party strategists. There are reasons, and we will discuss them later this piece. I am writing it because I think it is right and it is needed, even though it comes from the cognitive and brain sciences, not from the normal political sources. I think it is imperative to bring these considerations into public political discourse. But it cannot be done in a 650-word op-ed. My apologies. It is untweetable.I will begin with an updated version of an earlier piece on who is supporting Trump and why -- and why policy details are irrelevant to them. I then move to a section on how Trump uses your brain against you. I finish up discussing how Democratic campaigns could do better, and why they need to do better if we are to avert a Trump presidency.Who Supports Trump and Why Donald J. Trump has managed to become the Republican nominee for president, Why? How? There are various theories: People are angry and he speaks to their anger. People don't think much of Congress and want a non-politician. Both may be true. But why? What are the details? And why Trump?He seems to have come out of nowhere. His positions on issues don't fit a common mold. He has said nice things about LGBTQ folks, which is not standard Republican talk. Republicans hate eminent domain (the taking of private property by the government) and support corporate outsourcing for the sake of profit, but he has the opposite views on both. He is not religious and scorns religious practices, yet the Evangelicals (that is, the white Evangelicals) love him. He thinks health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, as well as military contractors, are making too much profit and wants to change that.…
      - 22 Jul 16, 7:45pm -

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    • Between The Parades
      On public holidays, Americans salute their military. This Fourth of July will be no exception. In big cities and small towns across America, families will line the streets to watch Fourth of July parades, and sports stadiums around the country will bring veterans of all ages to center field, lighting up the skies with fireworks and paying homage to our military heroes. Then the fireworks will be over, the parades will have passed by, and most Americans will return to their daily activities, with little attention paid to veterans and families until the next parade.With less than one percent of American having served on the battlefield, most don't have personal connections to those who have served. And hundreds of thousands of those who have served are coming home: some 250,000 men and women in uniform are now transitioning each year to civilian life. Veterans and their families want a return to normalcy when they return home. But the military culture that serves to protect men and women while in service does not mesh with nor well- prepare them for civilian life. For far too many, their new neighborhoods are foreign, their families are estranged, and they are out of sync with what used to be home. Ask veterans what they want and most will say that a return to normalcy starts with meaningful employment. American corporations and small businesses have admirably set significant targets for hiring our returning veterans and veteran unemployment continues to fall. Yet 50 percent of veterans leave their jobs within a year and 65 percent do so within the first two years. Forty seven percent of post 9/11 veterans report they are not working in their preferred career field. San Diego's Operation REBOOT started by the National Veterans Transition Services, has become a model for how to help veterans achieve what they are looking for. The focus is not just on hiring but on finding the right fit. REBOOT personnel understand both the military culture from which veterans are emerging and the civilian culture that they are about to enter. At the heart of REBOOT's Centers for Military and Veteran Reintegration is a free, three-week workshop, designed to holistically address transition from military to civilian life. Going far beyond typical career transition programs, participants are given in-depth re-socialization training that culturally prepares them for civilian life after the military. They also undergo career assessments to help determine what…
      - 4 Jul 16, 4:05am -
    • Stop Playing Games With The Pentagon Budget
      Defending the United States and its allies is serious business. That's all the more reason Congress should stop playing games with Pentagon spending. A good place to start would be to put aside proposals to add billions to the department's already ample budget. The Senate took a step in the right direction earlier this month when it beat back an amendment by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that would have added $18 billion in Pentagon spending beyond the amount agreed to in last year's bipartisan budget deal. A good place to start would be to put aside proposals to add billions to the department's already ample budget. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has shown no such restraint. During the consideration of the defense authorization act, House Armed Services Committee chair Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) pushed through a proposal to steal $18 billion from the war budget and use it to pay for pet projects that the Pentagon hasn't even asked for, like 11 additional F-35s and 14 more F/A-18s. This raid on the war budget is fine for Lockheed Martin and Boeing, the builders of the F-35 and the F-18. But what happens when the war budget runs out of funds to support the troops in the field? Thornberry's answer is to let the next administration worry about it. The House inserted a $16 billion raid on the war budget in its appropriations bill, setting up a fight over the issue in the House/Senate conference committee on Pentagon spending that will convene later this year. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has denounced Thornberry's maneuver in no uncertain terms, calling it a "terrible distraction" that "undercuts stable planning and efficient use of taxpayer dollars, dispirits troops and their families, baffles friends, and emboldens foes." To add insult to injury, Thornberry and his colleagues claim that they are robbing the war budget because there are insufficient funds for readiness -- the training and maintenance activities needed to sustain our armed forces. Yet an analysis by the Project on Government Oversight has found that the net result of Thornberry's proposal would be to cut operations and maintenance - the funding source for readiness activities -- by over $11 billion. Advocates of higher Pentagon outlays claim that the rapid pace of change in the world -- from the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino to the continuing threats posed by ISIS and Russian aggression in Ukraine -- has rendered last year's budget deal obsolete. T…
      - 17 Jun 16, 12:23pm -
    • Finding A Business Idea You Love By Trial and Error
      by Eleni Gianopulos"I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun."Thomas A. Edison's quote reminds me of my father. Sitting around the dinner table with my family when I was growing up, my dad always admonished us to "Find something you love to do!"I eventually found what I love, though the route to starting my business was not exactly straightforward. Along each step of the way, I learned something that could benefit any entrepreneur, and maybe help you reach your goals a little quicker. Here's a quick tour of my journey and highlights of the lessons I learned from each experience. College degree, what's next? I graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in psychology only because I held the most credits in that department. While I loved the psychology classes, I didn't want to work in that field. I didn't do well in school, nor did I really apply myself. Unfortunately, the gap year wasn't in vogue then, because I definitely would have benefited from one. I was jealous of friends and family members who had clear career visions. They knew exactly what they wanted to be or do from day one and plowed straight ahead toward their goals. (Though I have since learned that didn't mean their journeys were any easier than mine.)Takeaway: Don't be too hard on yourself. The stress and worry will cloud your judgment and get in the way of listening to your inner self about what is best for you.New York City callsI didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew exactly where I wanted to live! I moved to New York and got a job at in the jewelry department at Bloomingdale's. This felt comfortable because I'd held odd jobs since high school. The jobs I had growing up, while completely unrelated to the business I would eventually start, helped me understand hard work. I baby sat often, worked as a PeeWee golf attendant, was hired as a seasonal employee to wrap presents during the holidays (in a liquor store, of all places), and took part-time jobs in college at both a gourmet kitchen shop in Dallas and as a sales associate at a specialty stuffed animal store. I enjoyed working while in college in Dallas - certainly more than studying! And I was introduced early on to some very basic business practices: sales, month-end inventory, employee shift schedules and the absolute importance of reporting to any job on time. Takeaway: No job is too big or too small. Learn as much as you can, whatever you are doing. One day you wil…
      - 15 Jun 16, 7:05pm -
    • 4 Ways You Didn't Know Your Small Business Can Benefit From Online Auctions
      If there's one thing that most consumers who are online are busy with aside from work-related matters, it's browsing and shopping at online auctions. And why not? The feeling and satisfaction you get when you find great deals and awesome bargains is just simply unbeatable. For this reason, it will be wise for small business owners to take advantage of this opportunity and to utilize online auction sites to the benefit of their small business.1. Reduce your costsJust because you have the funds for buying equipment, tools, and business supplies does it mean that you'll automatically go to retail stores and get what you need from them. Before you make a purchase, why not search the web first to see if there's anything available at online auctions? You'll never know if there's another business or company who have posted their equipment and/or supplies online for a lesser price. If there is, it's always worth putting a bid because if you get it, it will mean lower costs for your small business. It's one of the best ways to save!2. Sell excess productsIf you have excess products sitting around your store, office, or home unsold, you can sell them through online auction sites so you can still earn some money from them. The profit you'll get may be a little lesser but that's better than earning zero, right? On the other hand, if people bid for your products for a higher amount, then that would mean huge and extra income for your business. Either way, it would be a win for you. 3. Test price range for newly launched products You may be working on a new product and you're not sure yet about the price you'd sell it for. What you can do is to try selling it first in a number of online auctions. Let's say that you've put it up for bidding in five sites. Check how much people bid for your product then compute for the average. The answer is the most reasonable price you can sell it to the rest of your customers. 4. Sell your productsSo you have a website for your business and that's mainly where your customers purchase the product that you sell. However, if you don't get that high number of visitors to your site, it could mean lesser profit for you - something which online auction sites can help you with. Because most of them receive more visitors and hits, you can benefit from their audience reach when you sell your product through them. Imagine if you sell your product in more than 20 sites aside from your small business website (and your physical store…
      - 15 Jun 16, 5:47pm -
    • Why Entrepreneurs Make the Worst Significant Others
      1) You will need to adopt a new languageEntrepreneurs all use a mystical tongue of venture capital and startup lingo. This means you will be need to be able to decipher statements such as: "I just 5 at a 40 pre from a16z and Sequoia."Translation: I raised a bunch of money at a good valuation from cool people."We're doing a bridge note to get from our A to our B."Translation: We raised money, now we are raising more money before we raise even more money."What CSR model works best for a SaaS company?"Translation: How can a company that sells software subscriptions to companies seem like it cares about people?2) Chances are they will not make time for youLori Greiner from Shark Tank once said that entrepreneurs work 90 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week. When you launch a company it becomes your life because until you get big you obsess over making it big. Once you are big you obsess over staying big. There is never an end point. If you complain, you will likely get an answer that resembles Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network telling off his ex-girlfriend.3) You will need a higher alcohol toleranceEntrepreneurs are notorious alcoholics for throwing elaborate launch parties, drunk coding, and overall attempting to live obnoxiously. Most hangout sessions will be equipped with craft beer, meet-and-greets with wine, and parties with handles of Grey Goose. Overall, you get it that entrepreneurs don't have the best livers.4) Random people will become celebritiesIf you are lucky enough to bump elbows with the founders of Atlassian, Docker, Oculus, etc. you have just met the second-coming of Jesus in your S.O.'s eyes. People with 400 Instagram followers will be treated with the social influence level of Kendall Jenner. Metrics of coolness will root back to valuations, user metrics, press, and other factors that land on the list of least sexy cool things ever.5) Egos will be the normEveryone in entrepreneurship thinks they are either Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or Steve Jobs or some mutant of the three. It is the sad truth. 1,000 downloads on the app store and a small check from a name brand dude automatically makes people think they are killing the game and living the first 30 minutes of their soon to be released blockbuster entrepreneurial movie plot.6) Networking events will become date nightSTAY AWAY FROM EVENTBRITE! Eventbrite is the cemetery filled with the corpses of networking events whose notifications will con…
      - 8 Jun 16, 11:01pm -
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