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Mediagazer presents the day’s must-read media news on a single page.

The media business is in tumult: from the production side to the distribution side, new technologies are upending the industry. Keeping up with these changes is time-consuming, as essential media coverage is scattered across numerous web sites at any given moment.

Mediagazer simplifies this task by organizing the key coverage in one place. We’ve combined sophisticated automated aggregation technologies with direct editorial input from knowledgeable human editors to present the one indispensable narrative of an industry in transition.

via Mediagazer

Data breaches spark increased interest in password managers

Stealing password from code

People have been predicting the death of the password for some time, but it’s still the case that most online accounts rely on them, even if supplemented by another feature like 2FA.

A new report from Avira to coincide with World Password Day shows that so far in 2019, there have been at least four major data breaches, each impacting more than 200 million records.

This has led to many sets of credentials and passwords like Collection #1 being made available on the dark web. The more accounts you have the greater your chance of being hacked. Those with six to 10 accounts have a nine percent chance of a breach — a probability that jumps up to 30 percent when the number of accounts increases to over 100.

Part of the problem is poor security habits. These include weak passwords, recycled passwords across various accounts, repeated user names, and poorly secured databases.

The good news is that high profile breaches are driving more people to investigate password managers, including Avira’s. “News of these breaches led to up to 60 percent more installations and up to 20 percent higher user registrations compared to a normal day,” says Tim Gaiser, director identity protection at Avira.

However, it seems ease of use is often a greater motivating factor than security for adopting a password manager. “Password management is often practiced on a ‘pain avoidance’ principle. People pick the shortest, simplest password possible and then reuse it or variations of it across multiple sites. This strategy does reduce the pain and effort involved for hackers. It gives them a clear motivation to try out known passwords across a targeted user’s full range of accounts,” says Gaiser. “Our research shows that three out of the four major reasons for people to use a password manager were connected to convenience and speed, not security. It’s a paradox: use a password manager, have more fun and incidentally, keep your online life much, much more secure.”

The full report is available on the Avira site where you can also get the company’s Password Manager.

Image credit: Maddas / Shutterstock

via Betanews

Marco Rubio said Russian hackers infiltrated Florida county elections and ‘were in a position’ to change voter data

Marco RubioChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told The New York Times that Russian hackers had infiltrated Florida’s county-level election systems in 2016. 
  • Though hackers "were in a position" to alter voter roll data, Rubio said they didn’t appear to do so. 
  • Rubio’s comment comes after special counsel Robert Mueller’s report said the FBI believed Russian intelligence unit GRU had successfully gained access to data in "at least one Florida county government."
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said in a New York Times article published Friday that Russian hackers had infiltrated Florida’s county-level election systems in 2016. 

Rubio detailed the attack to the Times, which included malicious viruses sent by the GRU, a Russian military intelligence unit, to government officials who were handling 2016 county elections. 

Though the hackers "were in a position" to alter voter roll data, Rubio said, they didn’t appear to do so.

The Republican senator’s comments come after special counsel Robert Mueller’s report said the FBI believed the GRU had successfully gained access to the "network of at least one Florida county government."

Florida has been at the center of Russian hacking concerns for years, but Mueller’s report furthered official conclusions on the hacking. The Tampa Bay Times reported last week that the agency would meet with state officials weeks after the election hacking report. 

This is the latest development in the state’s concerns over hacking since tensions boiled over during the race for November’s midterms last year. 

Read more: A Democratic senator in a tight re-election race says Russians are interfering in his campaign — but some top officials say they don’t know what he’s talking about

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson set off concerns in August 2018 when he said, without offering evidence, that the Russians had penetrated state voting systems and were interfering in the state’s 2018 campaigns.

After the incumbent was pressed and produced no evidence, Nelson’s then-challenger Sen. Rick Scott publicly suggested he had made up the claim.

Rubio’s recent comment contradicts Scott’s hits against Nelson’s claim and is a confirmation of his previous warnings that state systems should be wary of hackers who could easily manipulate voter data. 

"If anyone tells you that Florida, or any state in the country is prepared to handle that, I don’t believe that’s true," Rubio said. "It almost feels like what they did in 2016 is probing those things in the future because…they wanted to create havoc around the world."

NOW WATCH: Here are 7 takeaways from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation

See Also:

SEE ALSO: NRA president Oliver North just resigned in a dramatic fashion as rumors of infighting, extortion, and financial impropriety swirl around the embattled gun lobby group


via Business Insider

How This One Font Took Over The World

When I close my eyes and think of a word, I picture that word in Gotham. I am cursed with the compulsive need to identify every typeface I come across, but even if you do not suffer this particular affliction — if your relationship to typography resembles your relationship to air, a constant interaction so seamless you hardly think about it unless something goes seriously awry — you know this font. If you’ve been online, seen a billboard, gone to a movie theater, or walked down the street with your eyes open, you’ve seen Gotham.

Gotham is a typeface first designed in 2000 for GQ and released for public use in 2002. An abbreviated list of where it has appeared includes: Coke bottles; Twitter; Spotify; Netflix; Saks; New York University; The Tribeca Film Festival; TV shows including CONAN and Saturday Night Live; movies including Inception, Moneyball, The Lovely Bones, and Moonlight. If the advertisements in the train stations and bus stops in your city don’t use Gotham, they probably use a Gotham look-alike.

Gotham is everywhere, as the name of one of the Tumblr accounts dedicated to tracking its prevalence suggests, but how did it become so ubiquitous? How does a typeface take over so thoroughly in such a short period of time — and what do advertisers across every industry like so much about it?

The simplest answers are the technical ones. Gotham is a geometric sans serif — sans serif meaning it lacks the little feet in the corners of letters you’d see in a typeface like Times New Roman, and geometric alluding to the influence of basic shapes in its design. It has a high x-height, meaning that lowercase letters like x and e are comparably large, and its different weights — bold, thin, medium, et cetera — are very distinct from one another. All of this is to say that Gotham can be easily read from a distance on a billboard or sign, making it a natural choice for print advertising.

In fact, Gotham finds its typographic roots in much of the 20th-century architectural signage commonly found in New York City. Oddly enough, the geometric signage on the front door of the Port Authority — not a place many people associate with hipness — served as an inspiration for Gotham’s creator, type-industry titan Tobias Frere-Jones.

“The goal was to find a straightforward voice — even stark,” Frere-Jones told me over email, “and the Port Authority Bus Terminal lettering was a promising example of that voice. I was also concerned about making a new geometric sans when there already so many…I hoped that this non-typographic source could yield something memorable in such a crowded field.”

There’s also the more nebulous and encompassing question of style. Gotham has been described by Frere-Jones as “fresh” and “masculine” (it was, after all, initially intended for GQ); Michael Beirut, who designed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 logo, once described it to Newsweek as a “sleek, purposefully not fancy, very straightforward, plainspoken font.”

It’s difficult to untangle what goes into the distinction of a typeface as “masculine” – is it the blockiness or the letters, for instance, or the straight and authoritative lines that prompt the association? In the context of GQ, Gotham’s unfussy directness and authority could certainly be read as masculine, especially in its heavier weights – but in the lighter weights, paired with the right color palette, it could easily read as an elegant, feminine typface. It’s a font that swings both ways!

Perhaps that combination of sleekness and plain-spokenness is the most crucial factor in its rise to prominence. Gotham is, in many ways, a blank slate, able to be used stylishly in a wide variety of contexts while imbuing its surroundings with a bit of down-to-earth, “plainspoken” elegance.

This includes even the most somber contexts. In 2004, a 20-ton cornerstone was laid at the site of the restored Freedom Tower, bearing the inscription “To honor and remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and as a tribute to the enduring spirit of freedom.” The inscription was chiseled in Gotham, which had only been recently released by Hoefler & Co. for public use. (Incidentally, licensing a font like Gotham isn’t cheap – a basic package of Gotham in four weights with and without italics runs for $199 on

One of the most iconic and widely received messages ever laid out in Gotham consisted of a single word: “HOPE.” Initially, the Obama campaign used Perpetua, a serif typeface in line with Hillary Clinton’s use of New Baskerville, in its logo and brand materials. But with the addition of new designers on the team, the campaign took a very different visual direction, paving the way for a re-election campaign that would prominently feature Gotham in its original and custom slab serif forms.

The new branding — and most notably, the “HOPE” poster — made a lasting impression in the world of political design. At the time that Obama switched over to Gotham in 2008, more traditional serif typefaces dominated the political sphere; now, in the 2020 primary, geometric-leaning sans serifs are all the rage, along with bold colors well outside the traditional red and blue palette.

“I think the whole Obama design program changed the look of politics,” said Frere-Jones, “[and] Gotham happened to be a component of that. Campaigns are now very aware of their typography, across the political spectrum.”

Maybe its plain-spokenness allowed Gotham to pivot the look of Democratic politics into the 21st century; in that same Newsweek interview, Michael Beirut noted that “unlike other sans serif typefaces, it’s not German, it’s not French, it’s not Swiss. It’s very American.”

But what makes the Gotham phenomenon extraordinary is the way in which it has been used across countless industries for innumerable products and brands while transcending its association with any particular one. If I showed you a sentence typed in Jubilat or Myriad Set Pro, both of which have some letter-construction similarities to Gotham despite looking very different, you would likely recognize them as the typefaces used by Bernie Sanders and Apple, respectively.

But you likely wouldn’t immediately peg Gotham as “the Obama font,” or “the Saturday Night Live font,” or “The Spotify font,” would you? In its universality, Gotham resists being pigeon-holed, allowing it to be used by major brand after major brand without becoming stale.

In the nearly two decades since Gotham’s arrival, the already well-populated field of pared-down sans serifs has seen an explosion in the world of advertising. Gotham look-alikes including Raleway, Montserrat, and Gibson have taken up the mantle of clean, straightforward sans serifs, alongside Gotham progenitors like Avenir and Proxima Nova.

But it’s not just a matter of typefaces; the popularity of sans serif is part of a constellation of trends within a major shift toward minimalist design. Millennial-targeted fashion brands such as Glossier and Thinx and app-based companies such as Postmates, Lyft, and AirBNB are the most aggressive adoptees of this style, with flat photography, solid color backgrounds, copious white space, and geometric sans serifs characterizing the vast majority of their design schemes.

The minimalist moment has been characterized as a millennial phenomenon, and it’s not hard to see why; across the worlds of fashion, art, interior design, and social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, young people appear to prefer stripped-down aesthetics — or at the very least, stripped-down aesthetics are being thrust upon them.

There are some grim implications to the millennial minimalist trend: young people have inherited a world with far less to offer them that it did their parents, and for most, decadence is simply unattainable. If we’re finding elegance and sophistication in the plain, perhaps it’s out of little more than necessity, paired with the comfort of clean lines and legible boundaries in a world that is constantly, collectively losing its shit.

All trends fade eventually, and some have predicted that millennial minimalism is already headed out the door. What will follow depends, in large part, on what we will need in order to make sense of the world five or ten years down the line, and what new advertisers will create in order in order to satisfy for us.

The geometric sans serif may soon go the way of the now-lame Times New Roman. But I tend to believe that Gotham is here to stay. It’s stood understatedly in the background of iconic moment after iconic moment of the 21st century, like the Forrest Gump of fonts. Even as trends come and go, Gotham has continually proved its exceptional sticking power.

“The pendulum never stops,” said Frere-Jones. “The wave of stripped-down sans serifs is already starting to show its age, and some corporate identities are already turning away from it. But being clean and straightforward never really goes out of style, even if it needs a new expression.”

Rachel Hawley is a freelance writer and graphic designer based in Chicago.


Rich guys are most likely to have no idea what they’re talking about, study

Researchers embarked on a novel study intent on measuring what a Princeton philosophy professor contends is one of the most salient features of our culture — the ability to play the expert without being one.

Or, as the social scientists put it, to BS.

Research by John Jerram and Nikki Shure of the University College of London, and Phil Parker of Australian Catholic University attempted to measure the pervasiveness of this trait in society and identify its most ardent practitioners.

Study participants were asked to assess their knowledge of 16 math topics on a five-point scale ranging from “never heard of it” to “know it well, understand the concept.” Crucially, three of those topics were complete fabrications: “proper numbers,” “subjunctive scaling” and “declarative fractions.” Those who said they were knowledgeable about the fictitious topics were categorized as BSers.

Using a data set spanning nine predominantly English-speaking countries, researchers delineated a number of key findings. First, men are much more likely than women to master the art of hyperbole, as are the wealthy relative to the poor or middle class. North Americans, meanwhile, tend to slip into this behavior more readily than English speakers in other parts of the globe. And if there were a world championship, as a true devotee might appreciate, the title would go to Canada, data show.

The study drew from the Program for International Student Assessment, which is administered to tens of thousands of 15-year-olds worldwide. The test included a background questionnaire that captures demographic information, along with students’ attitudes toward the subjects they study in school. That section of the test included the questions about math knowledge.

The data revealed that boys across all nine countries were significantly more likely than girls to pretend expertise, with the difference between the two working out to nearly half a standard deviation in some countries — a big gap, statistically speaking.

BS gaps between girls and boys (measured in standard deviations from average)

Country Girls Boys Gap
England -0.23 0.24 0.48
Ireland -0.23 0.23 0.46
Scotland -0.23 0.21 0.44
Australia -0.21 0.21 0.42
Wales -0.21 0.21 0.42
New Zealand -0.20 0.20 0.40
Northern Ireland -0.18 0.17 0.35
Canada -0.17 0.17 0.34
USA -0.13 0.13 0.25

Interestingly, the gender gap for this trait in the United States is the smallest among the countries studied, about half the size of the gap in England. Americans are, perhaps, more egalitarian in our exaggerations than our peers across the Atlantic.

There’s also a significant class-based difference, with respondents from the wealthiest households showing a greater proclivity toward overstatement than those from the poorest. As with gender, however, the gap in the United States is the smallest among the countries surveyed.

BS gaps by economic class (measured in standard deviations from average)

County Bottom 25% Next 25% Third 25% Top 25% Gap
Scotland -0.36 0.08 0.09 0.30 0.65
New Zealand -0.29 0.03 0.09 0.33 0.62
Ireland -0.21 0.07 -0.02 0.23 0.44
Australia -0.18 -0.12 0.02 0.25 0.42
Wales -0.17 -0.03 0.04 0.19 0.36
England -0.12 -0.09 0.02 0.17 0.29
Canada -0.13 -0.07 -0.05 0.15 0.28
USA -0.09 0.02 -0.04 0.11 0.20

Finally, a between-country comparison finds that young people in Canada and the United States are the most likely to over-sell themselves overall, with those in Europe being much less likely to engage in such behavior.

Taken as a whole, the results appear to suggest that the countries with the greatest propensity toward bombast also have the smallest variances between groups living within them. In the U.S. and Canada, for instance, there may simply be so much BS going around that everyone ends up partaking in it.

In Europe, the trait is less widespread but more confined to males and the wealthy. That may result in less pressure on women and the non-rich to enhance their social standing through pretense.

BS by country (measured in standard deviations from average)

Country BS score
Canada 0.298
USA 0.252
Australia 0.179
New Zealand 0.135
England 0.093
Ireland -0.255
Northern Ireland -0.265
Scotland -0.432

The study also found that the true practitioners are more likely to “display overconfidence in their academic prowess and problem-solving skills.” The individuals most likely to claim to be math whizzes, in other words, are also the most likely to claim expertise in subject areas that don’t exist. That finding suggests that people who are particularly boastful of their abilities should be treated with some skepticism.

Nevertheless, the study gives reason to believe there’s a useful life skill to be had here, such as the ability to bluff your way to success. “Being able to bulls— convincingly may be useful in certain situations (e.g. job interviews, negotiations, grant applications),” the study authors write. That would be a plausible explanation for why kids from wealthy families are more likely to adopt this behavior: they’re taking cues from their successful parents.

The study also suggests that men’s higher propensity toward this behavior “could help them earn higher wages and explain some of the gender wage gap,” said study co-author Nikki Shure. “This has important implications for thinking about tasks in job interviews and how to evaluate performance.”

One caveat to consider is that the study subjects were adolescents. Though it seems a good bet to assume that personality traits developed as teens will carry over into adulthood, this study isn’t proof of that. “These 15-year-olds are most likely already thinking about applying to university or entering the labor market, both of which are points during which bulls—ing may serve as an advantage,” Shure said.

The authors also point out that their study was narrowly defined and restricted to the realm of mathematics. “Ideally,” they wrote, “future research should try to include a greater number of fake constructs in order to maximize precision of the bulls— scale.”

via Hacker News