Google will shut down its Inbox app on April 2nd

Google+ isn’t the only Mountain View property that’s getting the axe on April 2nd. Apparently, the Inbox app is also bidding its users farewell on the same day. The tech giant first revealed that it’s going to discontinue its smarter take on email late last year, but it didn’t say when specifically. Now, Google has started notifying users that Inbox will be going away in 15 days (from March 18th) through a screen that pops up when they fire up the app.

Google

Image: jdayellow @ Reddit

The notification includes a link to open the Gmail app as an attempt to ensure that current users continue to use Google products. Gmail for mobile already has some of Inbox’s most useful features, such as Smart Reply, Smart Compose and Follow-ups — it also recently went through an all-white redesign that made it look and feel more like Inbox. Unfortunately, fans will have to give up Inbox’s bundling and other features that have yet to make their way to Gmail until Google decides to bring them over.

Via: 9to5Google

Source: Reddit

via Engadget https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/19/google-inbox-shut-down/

FFS, Facebook is abusing 2FA… again

Facebook’s continued abuses aren’t just damaging Facebook, they’re damaging our trust in all technology.

I get it. With all the abuses being discovered about Facebook, week after week, sometimes day after day or even hour after hour, it’s hard to be surprised any more, much less outraged. But, those continued abuses remain and must remain outrageous.

From Fast Company:

On the surface, Facebook prompting people to enable 2FA was a good thing–if you have 2FA enabled it’s much harder for someone who isn’t you to log in to your account. But this being Facebook, they’re not just going to do something that is only good for the user, are they?

Last year it came to light that Facebook was using the phone numbers people submitted to the company solely so they could protect their accounts with 2FA for targeted advertising. And now, as security researcher and New York Times columnist Zeynep Tufekci pointed out, Facebook is allowing anyone to look up a user by their phone number, the same phone number that was supposed to be for security purposes only.

Convinced a friend to turn on Google 2-factor authentication this weekend. Now they read Facebook is abusing the phone numbers collected through its 2FA, and my friend no longer trusts anyone.

Facebook doesn’t just damage itself, it damages trust in technology.

via iMore – The #1 iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch blog https://www.imore.com/ffs-facebook-abusing-2fa-again

This Periodic Table Shows How Often We Come Into Contact With Each Element

Even though everyone had to learn the periodic table at school, there are probably only a few of us that can still remember more than a few elements, their order, what they actually do and where are they used. So, it’s fair to say that all of us could stand to revise our chemistry knowledge, and this periodic table is absolutely perfect for it. If you’ve ever wondered where on earth most of these elements can be found in our day to day lives, wonder no more, because engineer Keith Enevoldsen is here to teach us all!

More info: Keith Enevoldsen

In front of you is “The Periodic Table of Elements, in Pictures and Words” Created By Keith Enevoldsen

Keith is a Boeing software engineer who uses design to teach students of various age groups. His customized and unique table is useful for those who are keen to revise their chemistry knowledge.

The table not only uses illustrations and comparisons but also colors and schemes that help you to understand it better.

But the best part about the table is the real-life examples of where the elements can be found in everyday life.

Who knew that Fireworks are made from Strontium and Lasers have Yttrium? This type of teaching system is useful to people no matter what age and it’s also entertaining!

Enevoldsen, the creator of the table, updates it every time a new element is introduced. For example, back in 2016, when the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry announced four new element names, Enevoldsen added them to his charts.

This cool periodic table isn’t the only one-of-kind teaching material from the clever engineer. With the use of illustration and colors to help people learn better, he offers flash cards and posters along with a website called ThinkZone that is filled with experiments and resources for mathematics, geography, history, language, art, and music.

People absolutely loved this type of teaching and found it very useful!

via Bored Panda http://www.boredpanda.com/periodic-table-elements-in-real-life/

Infographic: Tips for topping YouTube’s search list

In a world dominated by visuals, YouTube reigns supreme.

Not only that, the popular video site looks
poised to surpass Facebook as the second-most visited webpage in theU.S.

With
1 billion hours of content being watched every day, YouTube offers brand managers excellent opportunities to engage audiences
in their favorite medium: video. However,
more than 400 hours of content are uploaded to the site every minute, making it a highly competitive platform.


[FREE GUIDE:
Brand journalism and content marketing—what’s the difference?]

Therefore, it’s essential that your video ranks highly in its searches if
you want to stand out among the massive number of videos hosted on the
site.

This
infographic
from
Digital Information World
offers tips for optimizing your videos so that they land at the top of
YouTube searches.

Tactics include:

  • Choose a compelling—but brief—title that uses popular keywords.
  • Create a one-of-a-kind, captivating thumbnail image.
  • Craft your own closed captions to pair with your video.

For more ways to give your videos an edge on the competition, see the full
infographic below.

via PR Daily News Feed http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/a493fceb-9e5a-43f1-b687-fa27cd2870c0.aspx

Twitter for Marketing – A Refresher

Twitter has been one of the biggest social media platforms for more than half a decade now, which means some of your potential customers are using it. 69 million people in the US are on Twitter, but what’s more interesting is that nearly half use the social network every day. While this is a known fact, very few people know how to use Twitter for marketing a brand, product or service.

You may have already realized that shooting out tweets about your business every five minutes brings nothing at the end of the day. But is that a reason to rule out the platform as an impracticable marketing channel? The point with Twitter is to gain influence and grow awareness but it can’t be done by blatantly selling. You may have let your Twitter accounts languish in favor of Instagram or LinkedIn. But it’s well worth your time to dive back in and take another look.

In case you’ve forgotten, here is a refresher on how to use Twitter for marketing your brand and grow your influence.

Showcase your brand

Your profile is the face of your business on Twitter. It is the first thing anyone scrutinizes whenever they bump into your handle on the platform. Too many brands don’t focus on the profile aspect. With so much competition on social platforms and every startup hyping their business to look like an international brand, you would have to put some effort to prompt clicks from potential customers. Users are overwhelmed with options and the decision to take further action or continue scrolling is only a glance into your profile away.

Use your business logo, if you have one, and avoid adding a personal touch to it. This will add to your credibility and earn your brand respect and recognition. Your bio should be short, formal and informative and all background photos should conform to your brand concept. Try a provocative call to action with a URL attached to it and use a unique landing page to measure your results. Change this up every couple of months or so, to see what works best and what doesn’t. Use hashtags in your bio as well to draw attention from like-minded users.

Above all, share interesting content

No one logs onto Twitter to look for a product to buy. On this channel, you’re judged by the curation you keep. Most people who will come across your product will do it inadvertently while checking out tweets from friends and their favorite humor handles. To blend in seamlessly, use pictures and videos that users will enjoy without compromising the message in your tweet. This not only promises to capture the attention of your followers but also prompts them to share with their followers which attract views and clicks from people who are not in your follower list. Become an account that people follow as a news stream and influence will follow.

Build your own Twitter community

If you’re starting to build your online presence, consider being the first one to follow people so they can follow back. Don’t go on following random handles. Find people who hold some benefit for your business. For starters you can follow related businesses, your customers, colleagues, competitors, and relevant influencers and handles with the information you find useful. Engage with the people you follow. Don’t just share information about your brand and product. Be active, like and re-tweet other people’s tweets. Tools like Buzzsumo can help find good folks to follow and keep you up to date on trends.

Keep tweeting

Online conversations these days are much like any other face-to-face meetings. Daily conversations with your customers build trust and attract new customers who get the impression that the people you converse with are your satisfied customers. Check the Twitter habits of your newly-formed community. Check when they tweet, what they tweet about and how people respond to the tweets. Create your Twitter for marketing strategy based on what you observe.‘Replies,’ ‘follows’ and ‘favorites’ should be responded to, and promptly. This is to build a good image on the platform and expand your online following. If it’s hard to remember to keep up, turn on notifications to keep you apprised of activity.

Use hashtags

Hashtags are there to help potential customers find your tweets. Incorporate trending hashtags in your tweets and use their popularity to your advantage. However, ensure the hashtag is relevant to your brand and tweet.Of course, you may have to alter your tweets a bit to accommodate trending hashtags as, naturally, most will not be pertinent with your normal tweets. Check to find out which hashtags would push your tweets to reach wider audiences and achieve higher levels of engagement.  Use hashtags that bear the perfect combination of popularity and relevance for your chosen area or field. If you’re not sure how to do this, @KimGarst has some great advice on finding good hashtags for marketing. 

Automate your marketing

It is advisable that you tweet often and predictably if you want to make the most of your Twitter marketing campaign. Tweet at least three times a day to stay relevant in the eyes of your followers. Studies have shown that tweets that score the most re-tweets are those shared at 5 pm. Tweets between 12 and 6 pm will earn you highest click-through rate (CTR), especially on weekdays. You may want to integrate these tips into your tweeting routine.

If you find this to be too much consider using one of the several online tools to schedule your Twitter activity (like Hootsuite.) With the help of such tools, you will only need to prepare your tweets beforehand and line them up for automatic posting.

Use Twitter Ads

Use of Twitter ads is one of the easiest ways to increase your Twitter following, clicks and app downloads. Engagement with ads on Twitter increased by nearly 70% last year, so it’s still an attractive (and fairly inexpensive) channel for paid media It comes with targeting features to ensure your information recipients are people you believe are potential customers. Twitter ads are highly effective, particularly when using native video.  Twitter recommends you choose around four tweets to use in your ad campaign when starting. Pick tweets with the most inclusive information and strong call-to-action. They should not include hashtags to avoid encouraging people from clicking into other things.  For $99 a month, ten of your tweets every day will be included in a Promoted Tweets campaign, which will be targeting your chosen audience.  Hootsuite wrote a great blog recently on using Twitter for marketing  and paid advertising.

 

You may have forgotten about using Twitter for marketing, but for many brands (particularly B2B) it’s regaining popularity. See if you can jumpstart your integrated strategy by giving this social media network a little more love.

 

 

The post Twitter for Marketing – A Refresher appeared first on Wax Marketing.

via Wax Marketing Blog – Wax Marketing https://www.waxmarketing.com/twitter-for-marketing-a-refresher/

Russia to Amend Copyright Law After Yandex was Forced to Remove Pirate TV Content

After complaining that Russian Internet giant Yandex had failed to keep pirated versions of their content out of its search results, several major broadcasters filed a lawsuit with the Moscow City Court.

Gazprom-Media outlets including TNT, TV-3, 2×2, and Super went straight for the jugular, petitioning the Court to have ISPs block Yandex’s video indexing platform. The Court granted the request and gave Yandex until August 30 to remove all of the offending content.

Initially, Yandex flat-out refused. The company said the law was being misinterpreted, claiming that current legislation states that pirate content must be removed from sites hosting it and that search engine links are not covered.

However, after announcing that it would appeal the decision of the Moscow City Court, Yandex suddenly changed its mind on removing the content. Fearing its entire platform would be blocked by ISPs, Yandex erred on the side of caution, deleting all content that may (or indeed may not) have infringed the media companies’ rights.

Early September the TV channels again filed lawsuits with the Moscow City Court, again over the appearance of links to their content appearing in search results.

“Four lawsuits were filed by Yandex. In all the lawsuits, the TV channels ask the Court to oblige the defendant to stop creating technical conditions that ensure the placement of works on the Yandex.ru website,” press secretary of the court Ulyana Solopova told Interfax.

With a decision on the matter pending (and the underlying aim of Gazprom Media to reach a settlement agreement with Yandex), soon after the Moscow City Court responded to Yandex’s original appeal against a preliminary blocking injunction.

In a blow to Yandex, the Court upheld its original ruling, meaning that the decision to remove the content before an ISP ban was put in place was well-timed by the search company.

However, it now appears that the confusion over the requirements of the law will see the government step in to offer a solution. According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov, the country’s anti-piracy legislation needs to be “improved” following the Yandex/Gazprom Media dispute.

“Regarding the regulation of data in terms of copyright and intellectual property rights, of course, the improvement of legislation, including anti-piracy, is exactly necessary,” Akimov told Interfax.

“By the end of the year we will try to present the necessary amendments to the Duma, which will allow us to more clearly define the rights of the parties,” he said.

Akimov said that the amendments will be the product of negotiations between the Federal Antimonopoly Service, intellectual property bodies, and the Ministry of Economic Development and Business.

It is currently unclear which direction the talks will go and whether any changes will favor Yandex’s perception of the law or the Moscow City Court’s interpretation.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

via TorrentFreak http://bit.ly/2DZ4eFg

I am a Good Manager


When we think about managers, we think about people we know (or knew) who have shaped us. We think about people we either look up to or despise. We think about people who are incompetent, and you could do their job better, or those you are amazed at their time management skills.

I’d like to share a few personal stories today on some of my managers and how they have shaped me over the years. There are some good and some bad. There are those who knew what they were doing and those who were thrown in the deep end. Some were leaders, and some were following what they were told. I call this essay “I am a Good Manager”, not because I am a good manager (I’m not even a manager yet), but because I want to enlighten people on what good and bad management looks like.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a lead software engineer with a few companies under my belt. I’ve experienced the ups and downs of the software world. I’m learning about leadership and management every day, and I’m trying my best to stay humble. I’m not saying I know everything there is to know about management or leadership, but I have had some glimpses and insights as to what a good manager looks like to me.


My earliest management experience comes from my dad. He’s one of the people I most respect in the world. He has built a company of family values from the ground up and kept a culture burning within the company that shares in happiness, hard work, and family. What do I mean by family? My dad has kept all his employees close. Most of them have stayed with the business through good and bad times.

Most of my family has worked with my dad at some point, and most are still working for him. Even those who aren’t related by blood seem almost like an extended family. Everyone respects my dad and the effort he has done to create the company. But what I most like about my dad, is the management.

Now, I’m not an expert in my dad’s management practices. I only worked for him for a few short weeks in between school and university. What I do know, is that he was always friendly with the staff. I never saw him talk down to someone. He could hang out with the labourers as well as with the office staff. Even with me, being a nobody at the company, I saw how his management trickled down.


My next manager(s) was one of many. I worked briefly in what I thought would be a dream-come-true job (at the time). I was working at a local cinema. But, it was a somewhat impersonal job. It was not a career. During my time there, I learnt how the real world works.

We had some basic training. Work at the till, scoop some ice cream, clean the machines, clean the cinemas, check the tickets. It was a hectic job with lots of downtime between showings. The strongest memory I have of my managers was when I had to deal with misbehaving customers.

I stick to the rules. You won’t find me breaking any because my parents brought me up that way. Now, to paint you a picture, the managers at the cinema, usually kept to a small office (unless it was super busy) and let the frontline staff deal with most of the work. So, how does this relate to management?

A film had just come out (I forgot which), but it was R16 — which in New Zealand means you have to be 16 or older to see it. No ID, no entry. A father had brought his son along to this film. We are taught to ask for ID. So I did. Now, the father said his son had no ID, but he’s given his son permission to watch it. I said no. That’s illegal. You can go back to the till and ask for a refund.

The father started acting aggressively. Why can’t his son see this film? He’d paid for it. It’s his right. Again, I remained calm. No, I insisted. At this point, I got on my walkie-talkie and called for my manager. I didn’t know how to deal with this, so I escalated. My manager did not come to my rescue. They waited at the till and I pointed out to the father that my manager is over there if they want to talk about the rules. The father huffed and puffed but eventually gave in and stormed over to the manager.

My point in this story is that the manager was not proactive, but reactive. Sure, if it had gone further, they probably would’ve intervened. But luckily it didn’t. A proactive manager would’ve seen I was like a deer in front of headlights and walked over to offer support. So, I’ve learnt a lesson for my future self, if you see your people in trouble — don’t wait until they call for help — help them as soon as possible.


If we skip ahead a few years, I can tell a story more relevant to my current expertise, software engineering. This story left me wounded for some time. I lost my voice, my character, my passion. But, because of my manager at the time, I came out not completely broken.

The entire story is a bit of a blur to me. However, I’ll give you the events as I remember them. I was a graduate engineer at the time with a lot of energy. We all know the type. The ones who are fresh out of university and think they know everything. Let me tell you; I didn’t. But I did have a voice, and at my company, even graduates were heard.

We, as the development team, had a meeting about some architectural decision. The seniors spoke first and presented their ideas. And here comes my mistake, I interrupted a senior engineer as I couldn’t hold mine in.

“Shut the fuck up. It’s my turn to speak.”

I was shocked. I shut up and didn’t say a word more in the meeting. No one had ever talked to me that way before. I wasn’t expecting it at work at all. I walked out of the meeting a mute. I’m pretty sure I was almost shaking. My manager was present and pulled me aside.

“Alex, that never should’ve happened. I’m sorry.”

My heart warmed a little. I didn’t feel so alone in that situation. All I needed was that bit of empathy to put me through the day. I nodded to my manager and went back to work, still feeling utterly destroyed.

Later in the day, the senior developer popped around and asked if we could chat. He apologised to me and mentioned that it was nothing to do with me at all, he has just had a bad day. I felt better, but it still took me months to recover my previous voice.

The moral of this story is that a manager needs empathy and should be able to feel when something isn’t right. A good manager needs to help facilitate the healing when something is broken, but they should also know the right time to talk to people.


The next experience I want to talk about is how not to treat your employees. Again, a different company and a different time. If the following is your management style, please stop what you’re doing. I can tell you what happens in the end. No one is happy.

So, I was in a well-established team. We were working fast on our product and producing new features all the time. There was never any word from above that things were moving slow or that there were problems. There was just one small thing — mobile.

The company had decided that mobile was the way forward and wanted to move to the mobile web as soon as possible. Can you guess what happened to my team?

“Tomorrow, you’ll be working with team B and C together on the mobile website. DROP EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING.”

The company was not a “startup”, but a company that had been around for a few years and had almost 1000 employees. As a developer, I can tell you that being told to drop everything you’re doing and start working with people you’ve never worked with is not great.

Plans like this shouldn’t be kept from the team that you’re managing. You should have transparency. Even our team leads didn’t know! With such drastic changes, you lose the trust of your team. How can they trust anything promises you make when you could at any point do a complete 360?

For me, as a developer, I was shocked at first, but then I’m a pretty calm person, so it didn’t completely rock me. Other members of my team had heated discussions with management and each other. Why would they do this to us? It caused complete chaos, and I’m not sure if we moved faster to mobile because of it.

It was a harsh lesson learned for management, and I think they lost a lot of respect from the move. Later on, they admitted it was a mistake, but I guess it was too little too late. You’d have thought that they would learn from this, right?

Just before I left that company, my team was disbanded and scattered to other teams in the business. Management gave them a couple of weeks notice. Why the move? Because they wanted to move the development of that product to another office. Again, there was no transparency from management and communication was pretty poor.

Transparency is important. People like to know what’s going to happen in a couple of months. They don’t like surprises. Especially when it comes to your job. That’s a skill that I now know I need to have. Communicate early and often.


Managers need to be able to train their staff. They need to be a mentor as well as a manager. Your power as a manager comes from how your team (or teams) perform. This next story is how I felt disconnected from my manager and in turn, the company.

I’m ambitious. I’m not going to lie. I will tell you day one where I want to be in your company and ask how to get there. I know not everyone likes ambitious people. They may feel insecure, or you may have ruffled their feathers. I don’t know.

In a company that I’ve worked for, I told my manager during the interview and during our one-on-ones that I want to be a manager. I set my goals high and asked for guidance on how to get there because I had no idea on what I needed to do to make that jump.

In the second one-on-one, I pushed my manager. How can I make the jump to become a manager? What do I need to do?

“Are you looking for a pay rise or do you really (emphasis on really) want to become a manager?”

That was like a punch in the gut for me. I felt like a balloon that had just deflated. My manager is questioning my motives. I had previously told him that in my last company I found leading a team a refreshing change from development and that I’d like to move more in that direction.

Being a mentor means that you should support your employees’ lofty goals and let them know what they need to do to reach that within the confines of your company’s development framework.

When you question your employee’s motives, they will feel disconnected as I did. We’re supposed to build trust during one-on-ones, and it is so easy to break. I felt like my manager was not a mentor to me then and it was clear that he probably wouldn’t push me towards my goals.

“I really want to be a manager. I don’t need a pay rise.”

Over the next year, I persisted with my goal. “What can I do to get there?” I would ask him. Vague responses returned. “Lead your team more.” I realised then that I probably wouldn’t reach my goal at this company.

My manager was not a mentor to me. Don’t be that guy/gal. Listen to what your employee needs or wants and help them get there. If you don’t know, then ask someone who does.


To be a good manager doesn’t mean you need to be perfect. You’re human; no one expects you to be. But you do need to be there for your employees. They’re human too; not just resources ready to be used. Be friendly and kind.

Don’t just sit and wait for a fire to happen. Be proactive and prevent the fires in the first place. When you see someone struggling, go and ask if they need help. Ask what you can do for them. Don’t wait until they come to you with problems.

Have a little empathy. When you see or hear about a bad/toxic situation, please see if there’s anything you can do or say. Sometimes just listening helps. But don’t try to step in the middle — you might lose trust from both sides.

Be transparent and open with your communication. Communicate your decisions as early as possible, especially big decisions that affect someone’s job. People need time to prepare, and as long as your decision is well thought out and justified, we will understand.

Lastly, be a mentor. Help your employees reach their potential. It’ll pay you back ten-fold and the company. You want to hire and keep stars. You want people who want to grow.

It’s not an easy job to manage people. Everyone has different expectations of what a manager should or should not be. Every company has different expectations for managers. Be a people-first manager. I think you’ll find your team will shine.


Originally published at www.alexaitken.nz on September 3, 2018.

via Hacker Noon http://bit.ly/2LZykXW