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26 Jul 17:14

New attack bypasses HTTPS protection on Macs, Windows, and Linux

by Dan Goodin

(credit: Ddxc)

A key guarantee provided by HTTPS encryption is that the addresses of visited websites aren't visible to attackers who may be monitoring an end user's network traffic. Now, researchers have devised an attack that breaks this protection.

The attack can be carried out by operators of just about any type of network, including public Wi-Fi networks, which arguably are the places where Web surfers need HTTPS the most. It works by abusing a feature known as WPAD—short for Web Proxy Autodisovery—in a way that exposes certain browser requests to attacker-controlled code. The attacker then gets to see the entire URL of every site the target visits. The exploit works against virtually all browsers and operating systems. It will be demonstrated for the first time at next week's Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas in a talk titled Crippling HTTPS with Unholy PAC.

"People rely on HTTPS to secure their communication even when the LAN/Wi-Fi cannot be trusted (think public Wi-Fi/hotels/cafes/airports/restaurants, or compromised LAN in an organization)," Itzik Kotler, cofounder and CTO of security firm SafeBreach and one of the scheduled speakers, wrote in an e-mail. "We show that HTTPS cannot provide security when WPAD is enabled. Therefore, a lot of people are actually exposed to this attack when they engage in browsing via non-trusted networks."

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26 Jul 13:41

Companies like Google and Ernst & Young have found that one trait is more important than the rest when recruiting new employees

by J.T. O'Donnell
Maxim Bange

"The search for an hungry brain"

border collie jump dog fribee catch fetchBela Szandelszky/AP

Now that the gig economy is fully entrenched, those that doesn't understand every job is temporary are living in denial.

Today, the average worker over the course of 40 years will have as many as nine careers in their lifetime, with as many as three jobs in each one.

Career security is now directly tied to your employability a/k/a the relevance of your skills and abilities to the labor market.

If you don't continue to grow, evolve, and adapt your skills to the demand of the workplace, you risk becoming disposable — and unemployed.

Why Google seeks out "learning animals"

Associated Press

Some companies, like Google and Ernst & Young have figured out one trait is more important than the rest when recruiting employees: learnability. Eric Schmidt from Google says they seek, "learning animals" — people who are naturally driven to learn on their own. These companies have figured out faster than the rest that the key to keeping their teams at peak performance is to choose employees who are predisposed to learn and grow on their own. Forget where you went to college and what grades you got, smart companies are now asking the bigger question in interviews, "How are you keeping your ability to learn new things up, now that school is over?"



Hungry brain = more learning opportunities

松林 L/flickr

More and more, corporations are realizing their top performers are self-directed learners with what's referred to as, 'hungry brains' i.e. are curious and inquisitive individuals who are genuinely interested in acquiring new knowledge. Studies show companies are wasting billions of dollars each year on in-house training programs that aren't providing lasting results. The solution? Recruit talent with natural learnability that comes from a personal motivation to grow professionally.



Simple quiz will reveal your current learnability level

Shutterstock

You should expect to see a series of behavioral questions in future job interviews designed to determine your learnability level. Ask yourself the following:

1) Have you ever self-taught yourself a skill?

2) Have you invested time in learning something new in the last six months just because you wanted to know more?

3) Can you clearly explain the best method for you to learn something quickly?

4) Since graduating, have you invested in any training or courses to teach you something new?

5) In your previous job, did you proactively (without being told), learn any new skills to make yourself more valuable to the company?

6) Have you ever had to learn a new skill on your own, outside of work, in order to stay successful in a job?

If you answered, "yes" to all of the above, your learnability is looking good. If not, you may want to consider how to become more of a, "learning animal" so you can stay employable.



14 Jul 12:18

Nintendo is releasing a miniature NES with 30 built-in games

by Andrew Webster

Nintendo is bringing back the NES — only a little smaller.

Today the company announced what it's calling the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition. It looks just like an NES, only a lot tinier, and it comes with 30 games built-in. You can connect it to your TV via an HDMI cable, and it also includes a controller designed to work just like the iconic rectangular NES gamepad. (The new controller will also connect to a Wii Remote, so that you can use it to play Virtual Console games on a Wii or Wii U.)

In addition to HDMI support and a lack of cartridges, the new mini-console also features one useful modern convenience: multiple suspend points, so that you won't have to fumble around with passwords when you start playing a...

Continue reading…

01 Jul 15:45

The WRT54GL: A 54Mbps router from 2005 still makes millions for Linksys

by Jon Brodkin

The WRT54GL. (credit: Linksys)

In a time when consumers routinely replace gadgets with new models after just two or three years, some products stand out for being built to last.

Witness the Linksys WRT54GL, the famous wireless router that came out in 2005 and is still for sale. At first glance, there seems to be little reason to buy the WRT54GL in the year 2016. It uses the 802.11g Wi-Fi standard, which has been surpassed by 802.11n and 802.11ac. It delivers data over the crowded 2.4GHz frequency band and is limited to speeds of 54Mbps. You can buy a new router—for less money—and get the benefit of modern standards, expansion into the 5GHz band, and data rates more than 20 times higher.

Despite all that, people still buy the WRT54GL in large enough numbers that Linksys continues to earn millions of dollars per year selling an 11-year-old product without ever changing its specs or design.

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16 Jun 10:02

Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens wijst organisaties op wettelijke eisen wifi-tracking

by Sander van Voorst
De Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens heeft in brieven aan gemeenten en bedrijven opnieuw gewezen op de regels die gelden bij de inzet van wifi-tracking. Hierbij worden personen gevolgd via hun mobiele telefoon, wat een inbreuk op de persoonlijke levenssfeer kan vormen.
14 Jun 17:50

Russians Hacking DNC Computers

by Bruce Schneier

The Washington Post is reporting that Russian hackers penetrated the network of the Democratic National Committee and stole opposition research on Donald Trump. The evidence is from CrowdStrike:

The firm identified two separate hacker groups, both working for the Russian government, that had infiltrated the network, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike co-founder and chief technology officer. The firm had analyzed other breaches by both groups over the last two years.

One group, which CrowdStrike had dubbed Cozy Bear, had gained access last summer and was monitoring the DNC's email and chat communications, Alperovitch said.

The other, which the firm had named Fancy Bear, broke into the network in late April and targeted the opposition research files. It was this breach that set off the alarm. The hackers stole two files, Henry said. And they had access to the computers of the entire research staff -- an average of about several dozen on any given day.

This seems like standard political espionage to me. We certainly don't want it to happen, but we shouldn't be surprised when it does.

Slashdot thread.

EDITED TO ADD (6/16): From the Washington Post article, the Republicans were also hacked:

The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some Republican political action committees, U.S. officials said. But details on those cases were not available.

EDITED TO ADD (6/16): These leaks might be from this hack, or from another unrelated hack. They don't seem to be related to the Russian government at all.

EDITED TO ADD (6/12): Another view.

13 Jun 13:06

LinkedIn soars on deal to sell to Microsoft for $26.2 billion

The all-cash transaction amounts to $196 a share, a 50% premium to Friday’s closing price.
10 Jun 20:58

A hacker explains why you shouldn't believe North Korea was behind the massive Sony hack

by Paul Szoldra

kim jong un computerReuters

It's been nearly two years since a massive cyberattack hit Sony Entertainment, resulting in the leaks of thousands of private emails, social security numbers, unreleased films, and a complete data wipe of half of the company's network.

And in the months and years that followed, attribution of the attack has zeroed in on North Korea — thought to be angered over the release of the film "The Interview" — but as one well-respected hacker told Tech Insider in a recent interview, that claim should be taken with a grain of salt as long as solid evidence continues to be withheld.

"The problem with that one is that the Sony network was documented Swiss cheese," said Cris Thomas (known as Space Rogue in hacker circles), a strategist at Tenable Network Security. "People have been in and out of the Sony network for the last decade. There's a list of who hacked Sony when."

Indeed, the website Attrition.org has a running tally of at least 24 hacks into Sony properties since 2011.

There's even a term hackers use to describe getting hacked (or owned) as much as Sony: Sownage.

"So by the time North Korea got around to it — if it was North Korea — it was a known wide open network," Thomas said.

Sony declined to comment.

On its hacking list, Attrition wrote, "Sony has demonstrated they have not implemented what any rational administrator or security professional would consider 'the absolute basics.'"

At least that was true in the period before the 2014 attack. As we learned in the ensuing fallout, Sony kept email records on its servers for many years, did not encrypt data, and it even kept thousands of passwords in a folder literally named "password."

Prior to the alleged North Korean hack, Sony's Playstation Network was breached by Anonymous, a hacker named "b4d_vipera" breached one of its music sites through a simple SQL injection, LulzSec used the same technique on its Japanese sites, and the group Lizard Squad conducted a large-scaled denial-of-service attack on Sony's gaming networks.

And that's just a partial list.

About a year before the 2014 breach, Sony was warned of unidentified hackers that had breached its network and mined its databases regularly, according to Bloomberg. Investigators found at least three hacking groups rooting around its systems, with a Russian group causing the "most damage" over a period of two years.

Much of the evidence pointing toward North Korea has come via statements from government officials or the FBI, but neither have offered hard evidence. And that has led security professionals to still doubt the country's role in the attacks, with Thomas among them.

"It brings me back to the Cuban Missile Crisis, when President Kennedy famously gave his press briefing where he actually showed U-2 spy plane photos in his press briefing," Thomas said. "And this gave away great secrets of the United States, but it also proved to the world that there were, in fact, missiles in Cuba."

But nothing like that occurred after the 2014 Sony hack. It was as one Fordham law professor summed it up to Fortune, "trust us, but we're not going to let you verify."

And it's interesting to note how strange it is for the president to call something like the Sony hack an "a serious national security matter" and have officials exhibit "high confidence" it was North Korea but offer no reasoning as to why. Now contrast that with the numerous reports, photos, videos, and other data offered as evidence the Syrian government used chemical weapons in 2013.

Thomas will likely remain skeptical until the US shares intelligence data that really explains the rationale behind attributing the attack to North Korea. What would avoid a "he said, she said" debate is evidence of IP addresses and packet captures, among other data.

"It’s a dogpile," Stuart McClure, CEO of cybersecurity firm Cylance, told Fortune. "'Well, that one is North Korea, and this one looks like it, so it must be North Korea.’ There’s no objective evidence." 

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03 Jun 23:06

TeamViewer users are being hacked in bulk, and we still don’t know how

by Dan Goodin

(credit: modpr0be)

For more than a month, users of the remote login service TeamViewer have taken to Internet forums to report their computers have been ransacked by attackers who somehow gained access to their accounts. In many of the cases, the online burglars reportedly drained PayPal or bank accounts. No one outside of TeamViewer knows precisely how many accounts have been hacked, but there's no denying the breaches are widespread.

Over the past three days, both Reddit and Twitter have exploded with such reports, often with the unsupported claim that the intrusions are the result of a hack on TeamViewer's network. Late on Friday afternoon, an IBM security researcher became the latest to report a TeamViewer account takeover.

"In the middle of my gaming session, I lose control of my mouse and the TeamViewer window pops up in the bottom right corner of my screen," wrote Nick Bradley, a practice leader inside IBM's Threat Research Group. "As soon as I realize what is happening, I kill the application. Then it dawns on me: I have other machines running TeamViewer!"

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23 May 19:41

A programmer has some harsh things to say about a popular t-shirt sold at Google's developer's conference

by Julie Bort

Eat sleep code T shirt both at Google i/oDan Kim. Photo used with permission.

While attending Google's developer conference, I/O, programmer Dan Kim noticed a booth selling a T-shirt with a popular saying: "Eat, sleep, code, repeat."

He was not pleased.

"'Eat, sleep, code, repeat' is such bullsh--," he wrote on Medium.

"Eat. Sleep. Code. Repeat.' was printed on everything," he wrote, adding, "I’d seen the phrase before, but this time it burned into my brain, probably because it was being so actively marketed at a large conference. I literally let out an 'ugh' when I saw it."

Because, the truth is, the underlying idea of that phrase isn't so cute. 

Eat sleep code T-shirtDan Kim. Photo used with permission.It's not just another way of saying "I love programming!" It's part of the not-so-subtle message that programmers are constantly being told that if you really want to make it — if you want to command respect in your profession and be known as a "real programmer" — than you must love programming so much it is literally all you do in your life. And all you want to do.
Kim is a professional Android programmer for a company called Basecamp, which creates project management software.

And he, for one, is sick of that message, writing:

There’s a damaging subtext, and that’s what bothers me. The phrase promotes an unhealthy perspective that programming is an all or nothing endeavor  —  that to excel at it, you have to go all in. It must be all consuming and the focus of your life. Such bullsh--.

In fact it’s the exact opposite. ... a truly balanced lifestyle  —  one that gives your brain and your soul some space to breathe non-programming air  —  actually makes you a better programmer.

Eat code repeat shirtDan Kim. Photo used with permission.To understand just how pervasive this indoctrination is, a couple of months ago, Alex St. John, a famous video game developer and exec, someone who has hired a lot of programmers over the years, caused an uproar when he published a controversial article in VentureBeat.

St. John argued that game programmers that didn't love to code so much that they were willing to sacrifice themselves for the privilege had a poor attitude and should give their jobs to someone who did love it enough. (St. John called it a "wage slave" attitude.)

St. John even wrote a recruiting slideshow filled with controversial and sexist ideas on how to find programmers (preferably young) and cultivate this idea in them.
The sad thing is that for those that buy into this message, the stress of working like that has been known to literally drive some of them beyond burnout, even affecting mental health.

Code repeat t shirtDan Kim. Photo used with permission.For instance, some time ago a programmer named Kenneth Parker wrote a blog post about the hardest working programmer he ever knew. He called it "I Knew a Programmer that Went Completely Insane."

On top of that, of course, doing nothing but work isn't a sign that you work at a great job, it's a sign that your company lacks project management skills.

Kim is one voice trying to stop the madness.

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05 May 18:41

Microsoft Will End Free Upgrade Offer For Windows 10 In July

by Brad Sams
Windows 10 Hero Good

Windows 10 Hero Good

When Microsoft announced Windows 10 last year, they made the OS a free to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 but as we approach the first anniversary of its release, the free upgrade offer will be going away.

This is an interesting move by Microsoft as they have been aggressively trying to upgrade as many users as possible so that they could meet their 1 billion device goal within three years after release. By removing the free upgrade options, the new price for the OS will be $119, which will create a large barrier for new users looking to move to the OS. As a result, this change should slow down the adoption rate of the platform.

Windows 10 has been well received by the majority of its user-base and considering the company will soon start charging for the bits that you can now get for free today, it’s worth upgrading your machine to avoid this fee.

Many assumed, myself included, that Microsoft would permanently keep the free upgrade offer for the OS and only charge OEMs and those who did not have a valid Windows 7 or 8 key. But, here we are, Microsoft is going to put up a paywall for the OS starting later this year, which means you need to move quickly if you want to take advantage of this offer.

Now, this could be a clever tactic to get users to upgrade with the threat that the free option is going away, as Microsoft is saying after July 29th you will have to pay $119 for the same bits, and only time will tell if this brings a surge of new users to the platform. Of course, Microsoft could always revert back to offering Windows 10 for free at a later time, but it’s not worth the risk of waiting when the OS has been well received and is a stable operating system.

You can check out the announcement post here, for more information.

The post Microsoft Will End Free Upgrade Offer For Windows 10 In July appeared first on Petri.

01 May 09:48

Pirate Bay Gets a ‘Massive’ $9 in Donations, Per Day

by Ernesto

thepirateThree years ago many popular torrent sites added an option to donate via Bitcoin. The Pirate Bay was one of the first to jump on board, a development which caused concern among copyright holders.

The RIAA even informed the U.S. trade representative about this looming threat. The music industry group warned that Bitcoin could make it harder to crack down on pirate sites.

“In April 2013, the site started accepting donations from the public by Bitcoin, a digital currency, which operates using peer-to-peer technology,” the RIAA wrote.

“There are no central authority or banks involved which makes it very difficult to seize or trace Bitcoin funds,” the music industry group added.

Bitcoin does indeed make it harder to seize funds, as law enforcement would need access to the computer where the wallet is kept.

However, Bitcoin also makes it easy to see how much donations are coming in. All transactions are public and traceable which allows anyone to see how much money Pirate Bay is making through donations.

This is exactly what we decided to do. Using the publicly listed Bitcoin wallet address, which is shown on every Pirate Bay page we found that 376 donations, roughly one donation per day, were sent over the past year.

The total amount of Bitcoin received during this period adds up to 8.21 BTC. At the current exchange rate this equals $3,500 in donations over the past twelve months, or $9.34 per day.

Needless to say, Pirate Bay’s operators are not getting rich off user donations.

TPB featuring the Bitcoin address
piratebtc

It appears that the interest in donating has tapered off over the years. Last year Custos Media Technologies reported that the site had received 126.64 Bitcoin in its various wallets between 2013 and 2015, which is significantly more.

TPB Bitcoin earnings from 2013 till 2015
tpb-bitcoin

That being said, even the 8.21 it received last year is a fortune when compared to other prominent torrent sites.

ExtraTorrent also lists a Bitcoin address on its site, as well as in the uploads of their ETTV and ETRG release groups. This wallet amassed a total of 4.31 in donations since 2013 which is roughly $1 per day.

Again, that’s quite a treasure trove when we look at the donations that are coming in at KickassTorrents, which is currently the most-visited torrent site.

Since 2013 KAT has raked in a measly 0.96 BTC, which is roughly $250, or two dozen cents per day. Admittedly, KAT doesn’t promote donations and the address is only listed in the site’s FAQ.

It’s pretty safe to say that if the RIAA and other copyright holders are concerned about the revenue going to pirate sites and groups, there’s little to worry about in respect of Bitcoin or user donations in general.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

25 Apr 09:56

Over two-thirds of German industrial companies were hit by digital crime in the past 2 years

People wearing balaclavas are silhouetted as they pose with a laptops in front of a screen projected with the word 'cyber' and binary code, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014.  REUTERS/Dado RuvicThomson Reuters

HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) - More than two-thirds of German industrial companies have been victims of digital crime in the past two years, according to a survey carried out by Bitkom, Germany's IT, telecoms and new media industry association.

The most common offence was the simple theft of equipment such as computers, smartphones or tablets, but a fifth of companies surveyed reported that sensitive documents, components or designs had been stolen, while 18 percent said their production had been sabotaged with the aim of damaging or paralyzing it.

Such crimes cost German manufacturing industry more than 22 billion euros ($25 billion) a year, Bitkom estimated following its survey of 504 German manufacturing companies with at least 10 employees.

"With the digitization of production and the networking of machines over the Internet, new contact points arise that are vulnerable to attack," Winfried Holz, a Bitkom executive committee member, said in a statement issued at the Hannover Messe industry trade fair.

"German industry, with its numerous hidden champions, is an attractive target for cybercriminals and foreign intelligence services," he added. Germany has hundreds of small and medium-sized family-owned manufacturers that are world leaders in their niche.

Bitkom said the 69 percent of manufacturing companies affected by cybercrime was a far higher proportion than the 51 percent average for German companies in general.

About 70 percent of the machinery and equipment manufacturers surveyed said they had been victims, 68 percent of chemicals and pharmaceuticals producers, 65 percent of electronics makers and 61 percent of carmakers.

Cybercriminality was most often found in production or assembly, with 36 percent of reported cases, followed by 30 percent in warehousing and logistics, 29 percent in IT and 23 percent in research and development.

 

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20 Apr 10:05

Antitrust chief: Google’s restrictions on Android device makers breach EU law

by Kelly Fiveash

Google faces more competition charges in the European Union, after the 28-member-state bloc's antitrust commissioner concluded in a preliminary decision that the company had abused its dominant position by imposing restriction on Android device makers.

A Statement of Objections—which outlines Brussels' charges—has been sent to Google this morning, competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Google will now be given the opportunity to respond to the commission's concerns. Vestager said that Google had pursued a "strategy to protect and expand its position in search," by imposing what the commissioner described as "unjustified restrictions on manufacturers and mobile network operators."

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18 Apr 15:25

Beverly Hills plans to use driverless cars for public transport

by Cadie Thompson

beverly hills carsAndrey Bayda / Shutterstock.com

The swanky California neighborhood of Beverly Hills is planning to introduce a fleet of  self-driving cars to help facilitate public transportation. 

Beverly Hills' City Council recently passed a resolution to create a program that would use a fleet of driverless cars to facilitate the city's public transportation system.

The idea is that people will use their smartphones to request an autonomous vehicle, which will then take them from point A to point B within the city limits. 

The program is still very much in the early stages, but the City Council said in a press statement that they are already working to develop the infrastructure to support autonomous vehicles. 

According to a Beverly Hills press statement, the city is currently designing a citywide network of fiber optics cables, which will help smart cars communicate while on the road. 

No word yet on what cars will be used in the fleet, but the statement mentions that the city will work to develop relationships with manufacturers of self-driving cars like Google and Tesla. 

Beverly Hills, of course, isn't the only city looking to introduce autonomous vehicles into its public transportation system. 

Singapore already has a program in place that enables people to hail an autonomous shuttle via smartphone app. Amsterdam has a similar program and London will be introducing a trial this year that uses driverless pods. 

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08 Apr 15:22

How to create a killer LinkedIn résumé in 5 minutes

woman on laptopShutterstock

If you want to discover how to attract clients using LinkedIn, it's critical to understand what your ideal audience on that particular platform wants... and what they don't.

For instance, they're not interested in reading an online version of your work résumé. (In fact, that's about as far away as you can get from creating a killer LinkedIn profile.)

They do want to know, as quickly as possible, who you are, what product or service you provide, and how that product or service can help them achieve their goals.

They also have to know how to take next steps to working with you, so they are going to be frustrated if you don't place your contact information in some strategic places.

I want to show you how to create a client-attracting, lead-generating LinkedIn profile in five minutes or less. Before I get there, however, I need to make one thing clear: If you want to attract your ideal clients and customers on LinkedIn, you must adhere to these two core tenets: Speed and Clarity.

The fastest way to ensure you deliver on those two key elements is to think about one simple reality: How most of us tend to consume content online.

Even as you're reading this post, you're likely flicking along on your phone or scrolling on your laptop, scanning and moving fast, stopping only when something stands out and grabs your attention. Your ideal customer is doing the same.

When it comes to laying out your LinkedIn profile in a way that appeals to prospects who are quickly scanning to see if you have what they need, the "copy and paste" template below works as well as anything I've seen on the platform.

Best of all, the entire process should take less than five minutes.

The copy-and-paste template for generating Leads on LinkedIn:

(Note that I use ALL CAPS for sections like "WHAT I DO" and "WHO I WORK WITH" to help those headers stand out, since LinkedIn, as of this writing, doesn't allow you to use bold or italic text on your profile page.)

WHAT I DO: I help [MY TARGET AUDIENCE] achieve [THEIR TOP GOAL] by providing [MY PRODUCT or SERVICE].

WHO I WORK WITH: I partner with [TARGET AUDIENCE or INDUSTRY TYPE] including:

[Insert Bulleted List of Job Titles, Industry Names, Client Types, etc.]

WHY IT WORKS: When you partner with [MY COMPANY NAME], you get the most efficient, effective, and affordable [PRODUCT or SERVICE] that [TARGET AUDIENCE] are looking for right now.

WHAT MAKES ME DIFFERENT: [Answer that question! What makes you unique/different/better than similar vendors or competitors? XYZ years of experience? Certifications/Patents/etc.? Something else?]

WHAT OTHERS SAY: [Copy and paste two-three testimonials in this area. Make them specific to the product or service you're offering or the industries you're serving. Focus on the results clients got from using your product or service. Include the full name of the person and his or her company to give your testimonials more legitimacy.]

HOW IT WORKS: [Explain how your process -- "we start with a free evaluation, we do an analysis of your website's SEO rankings," etc.]

READY TO TALK? Feel free to connect with me here on LinkedIn, drop me a line at [EMAIL ADDRESS], visit me online at [WEBSITE URL] or call me directly at [PHONE NUMBER].

Look here: great LinkedIn summary examples.

If you want to see some great examples of how LinkedIn Riches students of mine have followed this format to near perfection with their LinkedIn profile summary sections, check out these profile pages:

Your turn — update your LinkedIn summary!

Time to take action! Copy and paste the template above into your LinkedIn summary section, then leave a comment below and let me know how it turns out!

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25 Mar 18:07

4 rituals that will make you an expert at anything

by Eric Barker

photographerZach Dischner/flickr

We hear a lot about “10,000 hours” being what it takes to become an expert. But the majority of people totally misunderstand the idea.

So I decided to go to the source and talk to the guy who actually created the theory.

Anders Ericsson is a professor of psychology at Florida State University. His wonderful new book is "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise."

So what does everybody get wrong? 2 things.

First, the “10,000 hour rule” is not a rule and it’s not an exact number. The amount of time varies from field to field. It’s an average. But it’s always a lot and more is better. Here’s Anders:

In most domains it’s remarkable how much time even the most “talented” individuals need in order to reach the highest levels of performance. The 10,000 hour number just gives you a sense that we’re talking years of 10 to 20 hours a week which those who some people would argue are the most innately talented individuals still need to get to the highest level.

What’s the second mistake? Becoming an expert is not merely doing something over and over for 10,000 hours. There’s a right way — and an awful lot of wrong ways — to spend that time.

Let’s learn the right way … 

Getty / Tim Boyle

1. Find a mentor

The most important part of deliberate practice is solitary practice. Hard work. But that’s not the first step.

The first step is social. You need to know what to do. And that’s where mentors, coaches and teachers come in. (To find the best mentor for you, click here.) Here’s Anders:

They need to talk to somebody that they really admire, a person that is doing something in a way that they would like to eventually be able to do. Have this person help you identify what it is that you might need to change in order to be able to do what that other person is doing. Interview that person about how they were able to do it, and then have that person help you identify what is it that you can’t do right now and what are the steps towards reaching that desired level of performance.

The secret here is “mental representations.” You want to be able to clearly and specifically visualize the right way to do something in your head. This is what separates the experts from the chumps.

From Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise:

What sets expert performers apart from everyone else is the quality and quantity of their mental representations. Through years of practice, they develop highly complex and sophisticated representations of the various situations they are likely to encounter in their fields… These representations allow them to make faster, more accurate decisions and respond more quickly and effectively in a given situation. This, more than anything else, explains the difference in performance between novices and experts.

How good can those mental representations get? Top chess players can play blindfolded.

They can see the board in their mind’s eye. And Anders explains that they don’t even train to do this, with enough hours it just occurs naturally.

So you need a clear idea of what it is you’re trying to do, whether it’s playing an instrument or performing an appendectomy. The clearer your vision of it, the better you’ll be able to detect and correct mistakes. Here’s Anders:

What a skilled musician does is think about what kind of experience they want to give the audience. Once you have an idea here about what it is that you want to produce, then you can now start working on trying to be able to generate that experience. That requires a representation about what it should sound like. Then, when you try to do it, you’re going to find that there are going to be differences between the representation and their performance. Those differences you can now focus on and eliminate. Successively, you’re going to be able to produce that music performance that sounds like what you had originally imaged.

And you want to keep improving those mental representations as you learn, creating a clearer and clearer image of every detail.

(To learn the four rituals new neuroscience research says will make you happy, click here.)

Okay, you talked to someone who is better than you and you’ve got an image in your head of how to do things right. Now just do that over and over until you begin crying uncontrollably, right? Wrong…



Flickr / GoToVan

2. It’s not “try harder,” it’s “try different”

Anders says the biggest problem most people have with getting better at something is that they’re not actually trying to get better at something.

Doing something over and over again does not necessarily make you better at it. If it did, we would all be excellent drivers. Repetition is not expertise.

To prove the point (and to scare the crap out of you) I’ll mention that this applies to doctors as well. Think your surgeon is better because he’s been doing this for 20 years? Nope. He’s probably worse.

From "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise":

Research on many specialties shows that doctors who have been in practice for twenty or thirty years do worse on certain objective measures of performance than those who are just two or three years out of medical school. It turns out that most of what doctors do in their day-to-day practice does nothing to improve or even maintain their abilities; little of it challenges them or pushes them out of their comfort zones.

To improve, you need to get out of your comfort zone. Anders says this is one of the most critical things to remember. Mindlessly going through the motions does not improve performance.

When you try to get better at something is it fun? Yes? Congratulations, you’re doing it dead wrong.

Anders cites a study where they talked to singers after practice. Who was happy? The amateurs. The experts were pushing themselves. It was hard. And they were tired afterwards, not elated.

Dan Coyle says you only want to be succeeding in 50-80% of your attempts. Less than that and you’ll get frustrated. More than that and you’re not pushing yourself.

And you want to be working on your weak points. That’s how you get better.

From "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise":

First, figure out exactly what is holding you back. What mistakes are you making, and when? Push yourself well outside of your comfort zone and see what breaks down first. Then design a practice technique aimed at improving that particular weakness. Once you’ve figured out what the problem is, you may be able to fix it yourself, or you may need to go to an experienced coach or teacher for suggestions.

And your goals need to be specific. Don’t say, “I want to be better at business.” Say, “I want to get better at engaging the audience at the beginning of my presentations.”

(To learn how to be happier and more successful, click here.)

So you’ve accumulated the knowledge on what’s right, what you’re doing wrong and what you need to do to get better. And that’s where most people breathe a sigh of relief. And then they fail miserably. Here’s what’s missing…



flickr / zoetnet

3. It’s about doing, not knowing

You’ve read half this blog post. Are you half of an expert now? No.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that knowing equals doing. It doesn’t.

Watching a lot of football does not make you a great quarterback. 60 years of sitcoms hasn’t made people funnier.

From Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise:

When you look at how people are trained in the professional and business worlds, you find a tendency to focus on knowledge at the expense of skills. The main reasons are tradition and convenience: it is much easier to present knowledge to a large group of people than it is to set up conditions under which individuals can develop skills through practice.

Once you have the knowledge, you need to focus on building the skills. Remember the three F’s:

1. Focus
2. Feedback
3. Fix it

You need to concentrate on having your execution match your mental representation. Then you need objective feedback on how well you performed. Then you need to analyze what you did wrong and how to do it better.

From "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise":

Get outside your comfort zone but do it in a focused way, with clear goals, a plan for reaching those goals, and a way to monitor your progress.

(To learn the schedule that the most successful people follow every day, click here.)

So you know the right system for improving any skill. But a lot of people might say, “I’m not a violinist or an athlete. This won’t help me in my career.” Wrong…



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
25 Mar 23:24

Europe must resign itself to a long-term terror threat

Italy terrorism BrusselsMaurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA via AP

Paris (AFP) - Europe must learn to deal with the likely deaths of many more innocent people in jihadist terror attacks, experts have warned as Belgium struggled to get back to normal after a week of bloodshed and extremist manhunts.

The Brussels attacks, in which 31 people died and more than 300 were injured, came only four months after Paris was hit for a second time in less than a year by major jihadist atrocities.

And this may only be the start of Europe's suffering, according to Simon Palombi, international security expert at the London-based think-thank Chatham House.

"We are not doing anyone any favors by not being honest about this. We face a serious and long-term threat and this will not be the last attack by a long shot," he said.

Politicians on the continent must prepare the public for further deadly violence because "they dropped the ball in not taking the threat as seriously as they should have when Britain and the US did."

He was also highly critical of EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini who shed tears about "a very sad day for Europe" at a press conference during her visit to Jordan where she said relations between the EU and the Muslim country sent a "most powerful message of strength and friendship" in the wake of the suicide bombings in Brussels.

"It doesn't help the public one little bit when they see their leaders crying on television," claimed Palombi. "We have to toughen up in some respects. Emotions are understandable at these times, but politicians need to show an example."

A former UN counter-terrorism expert, Palombi also argued that Europe's complacency had left it dangerously vulnerable. 

The jihadists "have found the weakness in European intelligence systems, which cannot be solved overnight, and which will allow them to strike again. The public must be prepared for this." 

How people cope

People can live with "terrible but infrequent violence of the type of which Europe is experiencing now", said John Brewer, professor of post-conflict studies at Queen's University in Belfast.

"While bombs were going off in Northern Ireland for decades every other day, people still went to work, fell in love and got married," he told AFP. "It was those routines that got them through it."

Having studied the long-running Sri Lankan and Northern Ireland conflicts, Brewer found societies can learn to adapt. "People cope by continuing with their normal lives and by distancing themselves from those who are suffering most."

For psychologist Carole Damiani whose group Paris Aide helps victims of the attacks in the French capital, "people don't have a choice — they have to take the threat on board. But we have to steer a path between the pitfalls of being hyper vigilant about possible attacks and to pretend nothing has happened."brussels memorialMaurizio Degl'Innocenti/ANSA via AP

Social media, however, is complicating that process, Brewer warned.

He said it has "collapsed the distancing mechanism we put in place to protect ourselves" from extreme violence. 

Social-media trauma

"We are being exposed to far more trauma and emotion from these attacks than we would have in the past, because the violence is being recorded on people's phones who were right there, which can traumatize everyone," he said.

But the technology also has a positive side. "The very democratic nature of social media means we all can share your distress which makes it easier to bear."

Psychiatrist Patrick Legeron, who specializes in stress disorders at Sainte Anne hospital in Paris, said the attacks had created "a very strong feeling of insecurity and invisible, non-controllable danger."

"A lot of people have realized that the problem is massive and will be recurrent," added French psychologist and criminologist Jean-Pierre Bouchard. But "we cannot live in a permanent state of anxiety.

"Some people are going to change their behavior, and avoid certain areas they find risky," he said, but most will not.

For Michel Olivier, however, a former French special forces officer whose book "Ne pas subir" (Do not give in) was published this week, all has changed utterly.

"In a country at war you do not live as before," he said, referring to France's state of emergency which is still in force.

He said people needed to take responsibility for their own security. 

"You should not allow yourself to be transported passively" on a bus or metro, he said, but to be aware of possible risks and sit or stand at the back or the front of trains to be able to get out faster in case of emergency. 

NOW WATCH: Amal Clooney opens up about her family — refugees much like the ones flooding into Europe now

22 Mar 22:36

In Europe, terror is the new normal

A man walks by solidarity messages written in chalk outside the stock exchange in Brussels on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Explosions, at least one likely caused by a suicide bomber, rocked the Brussels airport and subway system Tuesday, prompting a lockdown of the Belgian capital and heightened security across Europe. At least 26 people were reported dead. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)http://syndication.ap.org/AP.Distro.ContentBroker2/ContentBroker.aspx?contentid=b537d3a6dc02e70e930f6a70670029ae&iid=e6f2c251b55c40ec9cda8c442afc30db&rsn=1&recordid=75ab1fe27469482688879f10262d1912&filingId=25c7745bc41945959cd7e5ceaf46a4e4&role=Preview&reldt=2016-03-22T15:58:26&media=Photo&sz=&dest=ak&trF=VLM146&ofn=APTOPIX%2bBelgium%2bAttacks.JPEG&fmt=jpg&relativeUrl=jpg/2016/201603/22/b537d3a6dc02e70e930f6a70670029ae.jpg&s3Key=preview.jpg&authToken=eNoti7sOwyAMAL8IZExtkgGpv8KrkoeGKAS1gz%2b%2bDF1uuTtt38ie9gchO0IA2CigFomZfKg%2bsakF0LQAzeweXoZTAA4AuKemXeragbzOEUs%2f7kvyvPs1nnkOOdpYGFLbZUt%2f65QVO2Cv5yf%2bhSNQOSOhZYsO7UY%2flEwtcg%3d%3d

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Paris, Copenhagen, Brussels. In just over a year three European capitals have been ravaged by bombs and gunfire.

After each attack life slowly returns to normal. But it's a new normal for Europe, where terror alerts are always on high and where people in cities so far spared major violence assume it's a matter of when, not if.

"With each atrocity that occurs we change," said Ian Duncan, a Scottish member of the European Parliament in Brussels. "We become less open. We pull down barriers and close doors. But it is a direction we are following now."

The carnage in Brussels on Tuesday came as Europe was still reeling from the November attacks by Islamic militants in Paris that killed 130 people. In the following months France and Belgium have looked like countries at least partially at war, with soldiers in the streets, lockdowns and deadly shootouts with militants.

The rest of Europe has watched with trepidation.

"These were attacks in Belgium. They could just as well be attacks in Britain or France or Germany or elsewhere in Europe," British Prime Minister David Cameron told the BBC on Tuesday. He said Britain's threat level remains "severe," meaning an attack is considered highly likely.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks at the Brussels airport and in the city's subway that left dozens dead and scores more wounded.

French President Francois Hollande said the attacks targeted all of Europe and he warned of a long "war" ahead.

Though people in Western Europe have dealt with the threat of violence from Muslim extremists as well as homegrown nationalist and revolutionary movements for decades, the idea that a "war" is playing out in their streets is hard to imagine. But the recent frequency and scale of attacks have made some Europeans feel that it's just something they have to get used to.

"Five years ago you didn't think about it so much," said Francesca Cervellini, a 20-year-old Italian tourist as she passed by the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm. "It didn't happen so often before. Now it's everyday life. It's normal."

In Moscow, security has been tightened notably at everyday locations in the wake of a series of attacks in the past 15 years. There are metal detectors at the entrances to all subway stations, all passenger rail stations do luggage scans, most indoor shopping centers have metal detectors and glowering guards. Airports do luggage scans at the entrance.

In Western Europe people are more reluctant to trade civil liberties and an open society for more security. But after each attack that equation changes, at least temporarily, said Catherine Muller, of the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton, England.

"Terrorism is one of the risks people normally overestimate because it is very scary and has a strong emotional effect," said Muller.

While those fears are perfectly understandable, she said, it's important to remember that "no matter what policies or laws are in place, there's not going to be 100 percent security."

In Germany the fear of terrorism is less acute than in France or Belgium, but the risk of such attacks is something far-right and nationalist groups focus on a lot, especially in connection with the influx of migrants from the Middle East.

There haven't been any attacks by Islamic extremists in Germany since Arid Uka shot dead two American servicemen at Frankfurt airport in 2011. However there have been several attempted attacks that failed or were foiled.

German mainstream politicians have also been at pains to point out that Germany is a target for Islamic extremists and it's probably a matter of when, not if, such an attack happens.

Even in small countries on Europe's periphery the same fears are palpable.

Denmark witnessed an attack in February last year, when a gunman, apparently inspired by the Charlie Hebdo shooting massacre in Paris a few weeks earlier, opened fire against a free-speech seminar and outside a synagogue.

Sweden hasn't seen an attack since a suicide bomber blew himself up in Stockholm in December 2010, but failed to kill anyone else. But reports of hundreds of extremists from Sweden joining Islamic State fighters in Syria and last year's unprecedented influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa have sparked concerns that an attack will happen sooner or later.

"It could happen tomorrow or in a year or in five years," said Dani Amouri, a 23-year-old Stockholm resident who left Lebanon five years ago. "In Sweden, Denmark, Germany, everywhere. There is no peace in the world anymore. Not even in Europe."

Duncan, who represents the Scottish Conservatives in the European Parliament, was supposed to give visitors from Scotland a tour of the European Parliament on Tuesday. Instead they had to stay in their hotels.

He said the violence made him think about what, if anything, one can do to be more vigilant when moving in public places without overreacting.

"It's not like a film where you can see the villain approaching," Duncan said. "Is it someone carrying a backpack? Is it someone who doesn't look like me? I can't tell you what I should try to avoid."

___

Associated Press writers James Heintz in Moscow and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.

NOW WATCH: IAN BREMMER: Greece is headed for a humanitarian disaster

03 Mar 19:50

Oculus Founder: Rift will come to Mac if Apple “ever releases a good computer”

by Kyle Orland

It's been almost a year now since Oculus announced that the consumer version of the Rift virtual reality headset would only support Windows PCs at launch—a turnaround from development kits that worked fine on Mac and Linux boxes. Now, according to Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, it "is up to Apple" to change that state of affairs. Specifically, "if they ever release a good computer, we will do it," he told Shacknews recently.

Basically, Luckey continued, even the highest-end Mac you can buy would not provide an enjoyable experience on the final Rift hardware, which is significantly more powerful than early development kits. "It just boils down to the fact that Apple doesn’t prioritize high-end GPUs," he said. "You can buy a $6,000 Mac Pro with the top-of-the-line AMD FirePro D700, and it still doesn’t match our recommended specs."

"So if they prioritize higher-end GPUs like they used to for a while back in the day, we’d love to support Mac. But right now, there’s just not a single machine out there that supports it," he added. "Even if we can support on the software side, there's just no audience that could run the vast majority of software on it."

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

12 Mar 14:12

11 common tech myths you should stop believing today

by Steven Tweedie

low battery on iphone wideBusiness Insider, William Wei

Is it bad to charge your phone overnight? What about charging an iPhone with an iPad adapter?

Despite how often we use devices like smartphones and laptops, we have plenty of questions about how they work. And with so much information out there — not all of it true — it's hard to know if we're treating our electronics properly. 

We're here to debunk some of the biggest misconceptions out there. 

Mac computers can’t get viruses

Business Insider

Yes, Apple computers are susceptible to malware, too. Apple used to brag its computers aren't as vulnerable as Windows PCs to viruses, but the company quickly changed its marketing page after a Trojan affected thousands of Mac computers in 2012.

 

 

 



Private/Incognito browsing keeps you anonymous

Screenshot

There’s a misconception that “incognito” and “private” are synonymous with anonymous. If you’re using Incognito Mode in Google Chrome or Private browsing in Safari, it simply means the browser won’t keep track of your history, import your bookmarks, or automatically log into any of your accounts. Basically, it's good for keeping other people who use your computer from seeing what you've been doing. But it won’t keep your identity hidden from the sites you visit or your ISP — so keep that in mind if you’re visiting sites you shouldn’t be.

 

 



Leaving your phone plugged in destroys the battery

Business Insider, William Wei

If you’re like most people, you probably leave your phone plugged in overnight long after the battery is fully charged. Some used to say this would hurt your phone's battery life, but in fact, there's no proof that this damages your phone’s battery in any way. Modern smartphones run on lithium-ion batteries, which are smart enough to stop charging when they’ve reached capacity.

 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
11 Mar 13:05

Netwerken KPN en T-Mobile bijna gelijkwaardig aan elkaar

by info@gsmhelpdesk.nl (Tim Wijkman van Aalst)
Nederland hoort tot de top in de wereld als het gaat om netwerkdekking. Bijna op het gehele Nederlandse grondoppervalk is wel mobiele dekking beschikbaar. Toch zijn er altijd kleine verschillen tussen providers. KPN en T-Mobile hebben volgens het Finse bedrijf Omnitele de beste netwerken.
10 Mar 08:07

'EU gaat Google aanklagen voor machtsmisbruik met Android'

by info@gsmhelpdesk.nl (Tim Wijkman van Aalst)
Het ziet er naar uit dat Google op korte termijn een aanklacht kan gaan verwachten van de Europese Commissie (EC). De EC doet al langer onderzoek naar vermeende machtsmisbruik door Google in het Android besturingssysteem.
09 Mar 00:30

Microsoft is beating Apple in a key battle for the future of computing (MSFT, AAPL, GOOG)

by Matt Weinberger

microsoft surface bookScreenshot

Overall tablet sales are looking at a 5.9% drop for 2016, reports analyst firm IDC.

But by 2017, IDC says, the rise of keyboard-detachable tablets — like the Microsoft Surface Book, the Apple iPad Pro, and the Google Pixel C — will return the tablet market to stable, if single-digit, growth.

And it's Microsoft that's poised to take full advantage of the rise of the detachable.

IDC projects that Windows 10 devices, like the Surface Book laptop and Surface Pro 4 tablet, will ride that wave to a 74.6% share of the detachable tablet market by 2020, up from 53.3% in 2016.

Microsoft's growth will come at Apple's expense, with that same report projecting that the iPad will go from 28.5% market share in detachable tablets today to 7.3% share in 2020. Currently, Apple's only detachable tablet is the gigantic iPad Pro, although there are rumors that the secretive company will soon debut a smaller model.

Android detachable tablets like the Google Pixel C will stay pretty steady, IDC predicts, with 18.2% marketshare in 2016 and an estimated 18.1% in 2020. 

Tablets with detachable keyboards represented only 8% of the broader tablet market in 2015, but they will account for about 30% of the market in 202o, IDC says.

In fact, detachable tablets increasingly look like the future of the broader PC market, no matter which operating system you favor. IDC has previously calculated that detachable tablets were actually already saving the shrinking PC industry.

If you factor in detachables, according to the past report, IDC estimates that the PC market's expected 3.1% decline next year becomes a positive 1% to 2% of growth. It's not exactly barnburning growth, but any increase is better than the alternative. 

ipad pro surface pro 4Screenshot

The trend plays right into Microsoft's hands: The company was among the first to push "detachable" devices with its Surface tablet. Companies like Dell, HP and Samsung soon followed with their own versions.

And so, as the world increasingly demands touch-based computing, Microsoft and its Windows 10 operating system are well-positioned for the future — even if PC sales shrink, detachable tablets are rising, and most of them will need Windows 10.

Of course, as PCWorld points out, IDC also predicted that Microsoft would dominate the smartphone world. So take it all with a grain of salt.

NOW WATCH: We got a hands-on look at the Surface Book — Microsoft’s first-ever laptop everyone’s freaking out about

24 Feb 04:19

Boston Dynamics' latest robot is here to make humanity irrelevant

by Rich McCormick

Boston Dynamics has a long history of producing terrifying robots, and its scientists have a long history of kicking, taunting, and teasing them. That ill-advised practice continues in the company's latest video, showcasing its next generation Atlas droid, a bipedal bot capable of striding through snow, picking up boxes, opening doors, and — by the looks of things — one day murdering humans.

Atlas' gait is a bit awkward — it stumbles as it walks around the woods near Boston Dynamics' offices — but the machine is relentless, righting itself before it takes a tumble. If it does get knocked over, as it does when one of the company's scientists plants a boot in its back during the video, then it can get back up by itself. The robot's even...

Continue reading…

14 Feb 02:01

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are depending on 'the greatest marketing trick of the century' to save business

by Kate Taylor

smartwater with nails@smartwater on Instagram

In the next few years, bottled water will likely overtake carbonated soft drink sales. Surprisingly, that could be good news for soda giants — and bad news for consumers.

“Bottled water is the marketing trick of the century,” writes John Jewell in The Week.

Companies selling bottled water, he argues, have managed to convince Western consumers that buying water is a healthier choice than sugary soda.

However, the comparison is a case of false equivalence. Bottled water isn’t simply an alternative to soda — it’s an alternative to the much more inexpensive and eco-friendly tap water.

"The purchase of bottled water allows us to communicate our uniqueness and the care we have for bodies and the environment," writes Jewell.

This nutrition-minded and independent sense of self is exactly what soda giants like Pepsi and Coke are currently trying to tap into.

Bottled water@smartwater on Instagram

In 2014, the volumes of major water brands including Nestle’s Poland Spring, Coca-Cola’s Dasani, and PepsiCo’s Aquafina grew 7% to 9%. For comparison, Coke and Pepsi’s volumes fell close to 3% in the same time period.

Consumers’ thirst for bottled water is only growing — on Thursday, major European bottling company Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. reported that total water volume increased 12% in 2015.

“We’ve had some substantial investments in R&D that have allowed us to put out more new products,” Al Carey, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, said at Beverage Digest’s Future Smarts conference in December. “Not all of it is skewed toward healthy, but very much healthy and very much single serve.”

hiker drinking bottled water in desert@smartwater on Instagram

Bottled water’s manufactured status as the healthiest beverage around is exactly the reputation that Coke and Pepsi want to earn. In recent years, the company has been plagued by sugar-related concerns that drove soda sales down and negative headlines up.

However, while bottled water costs as much as 2,000 times as much as tap water, the beverage yields surprisingly low profit margins for companies. So, these beverage giants are not only investing in simple bottled tap water — the most straightforward marketing trick in existence — but also new, pricier takes on the classic H2O.

jennifer aniston smartwater@smartwater on Instagram

In 2016, Pepsi is debuting new sparkling Aquafina flavored waters. The drinks will be the “official hydration sponsor of New York Fashion Week” this spring, a glitzy title that continues the elevation of the most basic beverage. At the same time, Coca-Cola is rolling out sparkling Smartwater, with actress Jennifer Aniston acting as spokesperson.

Bottled water is a $13 billion business that, logically, doesn’t need to exist.

Jewell sums up his piece on the industry saying that bottled water is a symbol of a “disposable culture” that values branding over the environment. Coke and Pepsi would likely disagree with that sentiment — but if there is one thing these soft drink giants can do, it is market a beverage.

NOW WATCH: Coca-Cola is now selling milk and it costs twice as much as regular brands

06 Feb 15:35

Facebookbericht van getuige van treinongeval gaat viral

Een Facebookbericht over een treinongeluk is vandaag duizenden keren gedeeld, schrijft RTV NH. Het ongeluk gebeurde afgelopen donderdag. Een80-jarige vrouw uit Heiloo kwam om het leven toen ze in paniek raakte terwijl ze op een spoorwegovergang stond.

Een getuige die zag dat haar omstanders direct na het ongeval foto's maakten van de stervende vrouw, goot haar boosheid in een Facebookbericht. Haar open brief ging vandaag viral.

Piepende remmen

Elisabeth Gerrits-Molenkamp richt zich in haar Facebookbericht tot de overleden vrouw: "Wat er gebeurde zag ik niet, maar wat ik daarna zag zal voor altijd op mijn netvlies gebrand staan. U en uw fiets waren geschept door de trein die met 90/120 km per uur op u af kwam."

Terwijl de oudere vrouw vervolgens voor haar leven vocht op het spoor, grepen omstanders direct naar hun mobieltjes. "Het enige wat ik kon doen was tegen ze schreeuwen dat ze het beter uit hun hoofd konden laten die te gebruiken voor filmpjes of foto's."

Boosheid

Gerrits-Molenkamp schrijft dat niet iedereen haar oproep op prijs stelde. Een 'bijdehante meid' vroeg Elisabeth waarom ze geen foto mocht maken. "PARDON? Wat denk je nou zelf, er ligt hier een mevrouw te vechten voor haar leven, en jij wilt even stoer foto's maken zodat je die het internet op kunt slingeren of aan wie dan ook wilt laten zien?"

"Het liefst had ik geen van dit alles willen zien, maar u had vast ook niet dood willen gaan, daar op die plek, met zoveel pijn en zoveel respectloze mensen om u heen. Het spijt me, lieve mevrouw, dat u dit is overkomen. Het spijt me, lieve echtgenoot en andere familie dat uw geliefde op deze manier is weggerukt uit jullie leven."

Ander geluid

Ze deelt haar verhaal om een ander geluid te laten horen. "Ik wil dat een ieder die boos wordt vanwege vertraging met de trein de andere kant van het verhaal ziet, omdat ik hoop dat mensen die denken 'ik kan nog wel even onder de spoorboom door' dit nooit meer zullen doen, het kan zomaar je laatste keer zijn."

06 Jan 16:21

Dutch government: Encryption good, backdoors bad

by Glyn Moody

(credit: Rainer Ebert)

The Dutch government has released a statement in which it says that "it is currently not desirable to take restricting legal measures concerning the development, availability and use of encryption within the Netherlands." It also notes that forcing companies to add backdoors to their products and services would have "undesirable consequences for the security of communicated and stored information," since "digital systems can become vulnerable to criminals, terrorists and foreign intelligence services."

The Dutch government's declaration, translated by Matthijs R. Koot, looks at both sides of encryption—the benefits it provides by allowing sensitive information to be protected, and the issues it raises for the police and security services. It recognises that crypto "enables everyone to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of communication, and defend against, for instance, espionage and cyber crime. Fundamental rights and freedoms as well as security interests and economic interests benefit from this."

But it also acknowledges that the use of encryption by criminals "complicates, delays, or makes it impossible to gain (timely) insight in communication for the purpose of protecting national security and the purpose of prosecuting criminal offenses. Furthermore, court hearings and the providing of evidence in court for a conviction can be severely hindered."

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23 Dec 09:12

London adopts e-paper signs for real-time bus schedules

by Engadget

Picture the scene: it’s raining and you’re waiting for a night bus in London, with very little charge on your phone. Wouldn’t it be great if the bus stop had some up to date arrival times? So you didn’t have to pull out your phone and refer to Citymapper or Google Maps? Transport for London (TfL) is now trialling e-paper displays at a small number of bus stops which show timetables, route maps and real-time travel information. The screens are roughly the same size as a conventional bus stop sign — equivalent to three A4 sheets of paper, stacked on top of one another — and include some colourful buttons for illumination and page switching.

The hope is that the new displays will be both readable and environmentally friendly. Like a Kindle, they should be readable in bright sunlight and require less power than a conventional full-colour screen. TfL says they can be charged from a solar panel too, and retrieve bus arrival information over 3G. For now, it’s only available in one location, near Waterloo Bridge, although the plan is to introduce a further three in Parliament Square, Piccadilly Circus and Sloane Square next month. They’re be trialled until the autumn — a full roll-out would probably be too expensive, but this should give TfL a better idea of its future viability.

Via: BBC

The post London adopts e-paper signs for real-time bus schedules appeared first on AIVAnet.

15 Dec 14:54

Hoverboard-riding Lucozade thief could make legal history in the UK

by James Vincent

A Londoner who stole a crate of Lucozade while riding a two-wheeled hoverboard could make legal history in the UK as the first person to be prosecuted for using such a device on the sidewalk. According to a report from The Evening Standard, 19-year-old Omaree Lindsay has been charged with theft and driving a "self-balancing scooter" on a public footpath — which can be prosecuted as an offense under the UK's Highway Act of 1835. CCTV footage published last week shows Lindsay entering a shop in Mitcham on a hoverboard before leaving with the pack of energy drinks.

Although it sounds strange to prosecute someone under legislation nearly two centuries old, as FullFact points out, the law in question bans any form of "riding on footpaths"...

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