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NFT losing mojo: NFT Trading Volume down by 97% since January

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NFT

After the initial excitement and hype, the Crypto market is facing an unprecedented downturn, resulting in hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of crypto enthusiasts collectively losing billions of dollars. The scenario with the NFT market and NFT enthusiasts is no different either.

Although the NFT market trade volume went through the ceiling in the first quarter of the year, the bearish market trends that deepened in the second quarter have only declined further in subsequent months.

According to the latest data from Dune Analytics, the global NFT trading volume is down 97% after zooming to a record high in January 2022. The pattern hints at a concerning scenario for investors and entrepreneurs that have anything to do with the NFT market.

In January this year, the NFT trading volume reached to record high amounting to $17.2 billion, resulting in investors rushing to invest in startups in the Blockchain space.

However, in September 2022, the scenario changed upside down, which could be understood from the nosedived trading volume. According to Dune Analytics, only $466 million worth of NFTs were traded in September.

Nonfungible tokens (or NFTs) are cryptographic assets stored on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that differentiate them from one another.

They cannot be traded or exchanged like cryptocurrencies. This is different from fungible tokens such as cryptocurrencies which can be traded or exchanged at equivalency.

The severity of the situation in the Crypto market could be understood from the fact that over $2 trillion has gone down the drain, and NFT is a significant part of it.

The global NFT market is experiencing rapid selling as investors shun riskier assets and the global monetary policy becomes more restrictive. Experts believe that investors are less likely to invest in risky assets in the market due to the recent rise in interest rates. NFTs are no exception.

The uncertainty in the leading markets is another reason behind the record decline in the NFTs and Crypto market. For example, the Crypto market of India, which is one of the leading markets for Crypto and NFT, is in doldrum now.

Last week we reported about the nosedived trading volume of India’s Crypto market. India is one of the leading Crypto markets in the world. Crypto enthusiasts are no more willing to take the risk of betting on Crypto at least for the time being.

One of the primary reasons behind the discouraging performance of NFT trading in India is the new taxation policy introduced by the government. The 1% TDS on VDA (Virtual Digital Assets) which includes NFT and Crypto that has come into effect from July 01 has adversely affected the market. The traders, as well as investors, are discouraged by the reduced gain due to the new taxation policy. The uncertainty over the regulation of Crypto and NFT is another factor impacting the market.

The global economic uncertainty, the possibility of the longest recession that could be around the corner and the geopolitical imbalance due to the Ukraine-Russia war are some of the reasons behind people’s decision to maintain the distance from the Crypto market.

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The proven SEO link building methods that increase your organic traffic 3x in a short span of time

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SEO link building

Inbound links to a website are often the backbone of search engine optimization (SEO). Understanding ways to implement high-quality links is essential for business growth. Below is a list of ways to establish effective SEO link building.

SEO was a new concept that relied heavily on keyword usage in the pages’ content.

Keyword usage was the best way to rank pages without using sophisticated search engines.

It was straightforward: The more keywords phrases were used on a page, the more likely it was about the real purpose of the page.

SEO professionals of the time took advantage and overused keywords to rank higher.

This technique is also known as keyword stuffing.

Sites can rank for keyword phrases even if they don’t have much information on a particular topic.

It was necessary to find a new way of evaluating websites on their rank and what doesn’t. This should not be limited to analyzing content.

Building Good Relationships

Building good relationships with the target audience is the first approach to good link building. Share and comment on relevant information with various team members in the discussion panel.

Build relationships slowly and steadily with various brands and pitch in for backlinks. Actively participating in multiple groups helps a person to gain the required backlinks. It helps keep an individual updated with the current industry trends.

Give Product Testimonials

Various companies offer other brands to give testimonials and reviews regarding their products. It is usually a perfect way to nurture client trust for the companies, which helps promote a product. When the company positions the testimonial on its website, a person will get new backlinks. The traffic coming from the potential site usually has higher approval rates than usual.

Regularly Publish Articles And Blogs

Posting more often is a proven strategy that helps in obtaining constant engagement. Focus on the clients’ needs and the whole industry while writing blogs. Ensure the content is well structured, relevant, and matches the clients’ needs. Once the audience starts relating to the content, you will earn viable backlinks in the future.

Guest Posts

Guest posts are the oldest yet the most effective approach to building backlinks. Some sites allow people to publish their articles as guests and obtain a link from the website.

Below is a list of things to consider before publishing a guest post.

  • Quality is critical: Write the article well
  • Never boast about your company in the article
  • Website details have to be relevant to the post

Influencer Marketing

The use of social media influencers to market various brands is continually gaining traction. Request a blogger or a celebrity to promote your content or page to reach a wider audience. The approach helps in securing viable ways on how to buy backlinks from authentic sources.

Consider interviewing social media influencers to share relevant information with clients. Publish the interview on the website and request the influencer do the same to secure valuable backlinks.

Create An Infographic

People often find visual information to be more appealing. A successful online marketing campaign consists of information in graphical or written form as it captures the attention of a wider audience. Infographic marketing, however, requires a lot of brainstorming to ensure the image remains relevant to your campaign. It is often a win-win situation for the businesses involved if done correctly.

Add an embedded code at the bottom while uploading such an infographic to make it easier for clients to locate your website.

Referential Content Asset Strategy

Manual outreach helps promote content assets and secure relevant backlinks to a website. However, another approach is practical when acquiring new links and includes passive methods for obtaining referential keywords.

People usually employ referential keywords when searching for resources to cite in their content. Such phrases include statistics, templates, and tools, and creating content that later on gets referenced by content creators and publishers equips a person with the benefits of passive link building.

Convert Mentions Into Backlinks

The approach is the easiest and most effective way to gain backlinks. Since various sites may be writing about you, it is essential to establish them using practical tools. Establish those sites that may have mentioned the company but have not yet offered a link.

Find the mentions and contact a web admin, and request for a conversion of the brand mention into a backlink.

Quiz

Customers usually like to get involved in the marketing process. Design a quiz to facilitate the process and secure many shares. Consider adding an embedded code to the quiz. It helps you secure viable backlinks when the target audience shares the quiz. Ensure the examination is relevant and enjoyable.

Podcasts

Podcasting is one of the practical approaches to secure backlinks. Start with podcasts and include various podcasting channels. Add a link to the transcript and the website to help gain some viable backlinks.

Giveaway Contest

Giveaway contests have gained traction as they offer tremendous engagement and response. Consider running such contests by collaborating with social media influencers to secure a lot of backlinks. Consider reaching out to bloggers and social media influencers to market your brand. Reaching out to them helps brainstorm collaboration opportunities that help in building a long-term brand.

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India’s Crypto Market is in the doldrums

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As new tax rules have forced many crypto enthusiasts to maintain distance from the cryptocurrency industry, India’s adoption rate of cryptocurrencies is likely to drop at a concerning rate in the second half. 

India may lose the numero-uno status in Asia’s top cryptocurrency market as the 30% capital gains tax that came into effect in April – another 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) on profits made from crypto in July – is hugely impacting the prospects of cryptocurrency investments.

A recent report from Chainalysis’, titled Geography of Cryptocurrency report 2022, lists a few concerning factors.

India has been the most valuable cryptocurrency market in central, southern Asia, and Oceania (CSAO). Between July last year and June this year, the Indian cryptocurrency investments market was valued at $172 billion–significantly ahead of second-placed Thailand, which drew less than $150 billion. 

The equations have been changing fast since Budget 2022 was announced. In an apparent attempt to discourage people from investing in Crypto, and reap the most of the heavy gains people have been reporting, the government of India has levied heavy taxation on crypto investments. However, the decision to tax Crypto gain has been taken without giving any clarification about how these investments will be regulated.

From April to September this year, data from Crebaco Global shows a sharp drop in daily trading volumes at WazirX as well as CoinDCX – two of India’s leading crypto exchanges. WazirX’s average daily transactions amounted to $23.2 million in April. This figure has nosedived to $1.3 million this month, resulting in a more than 94% decline. The drop in itself tells a lot about how much people have lost confidence in the crypto market.

The scenario with CoinDCX is no different either; Daily trades on CoinDCX is down to just $1.4 million on 14 September from $13.1 Million in May.

WazirX’s quarterly trading averages fell 86% sequentially from $48.9 million in the June quarter to $6.9 million in the about-to-end September quarter. On the other hand, CoinDCX’s quarterly trade dropped to a mere $6.3 million this quarter, down 79% from $29.8 million in the June quarter. 

It’s important to note that the September quarter is yet to end, and the average quarterly data may vary, albeit marginally. Any kind of significant change in the trend is most unlikely to take place considering the fear of recession has started gripping people.

Few market experts believe that the current market downturn is due to a domino effect and a combination of a variety of factors.

The TDS was implemented on July 1st and had a significant impact on liquidity on Indian crypto exchanges. Traders are now wary of trading crypto profit margins due to the tax. This has had a significant impact on trading volumes in exchanges and the non-favouring global economic conditions have worsened the situation.

The discouraging scenario in India’s crypto market has a direct impact on India’s ranking as well. The country was ranked second in cryptocurrency markets worldwide in 2021 but had fallen to the fourth position as of June 2022.

There is no sign of recovery anytime soon, considering the global economic downturn. Many countries, including India, are staring at the longest recession due to the worsening market conditions in the US with each passing day.

This fact is evident in a direct comparison of WazirX’s June and July daily trading volumes. WazirX recorded $9.7million in daily trades in June. However, this number dropped to $3.3 million in July, a decline of 66% within a month.

The Crypto winter is going to say for a very long time, some of the industry experts have indicated. As a result, many crypto enthusiasts have pushed themselves back from crypto investment. A sizeable number of people have temporarily exited the crypto market fearing the worst days ahead.

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Apple accounts for nearly 80% of the global handset market operating profits in Q2 2022

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Apple sales of iPhone

Apple never seizes to surprise us, be it features of its devices, shipments, towering revenue or even capturing a lion’s share of the local handset market operating profits.

The iPhone maker continues to dominate the global handset market despite the rising competition from arch-rival Samsung, and a few other device markers which have set their eyes on the premium handset market. According to the latest report from Counterpoint, Apple captured nearly 80% of the global handset market in terms of profits in Q2 2022, leaving all other players way behind.

Apple’s performance in the market becomes more commendable considering it accounted for less than 14% of the global handset market in Q2 2022.

Samsung, which captured 5% more shipment share in Q2 2022, had pocketed 66% lesser than Apple when it comes to profit.

The gap between Apple and Samsung continues to narrow, albeit at a plodding speed. Since the launch of the iPhone 12 series in Q4 2020, Apple has been outperforming Smausng with each passing quarter, both in terms of handset revenue and profits.

Global handset revenue and profit market Q2 2022

While the global handset market was primarily driven by Apple and Samsung, the overall revenue declined 2% YoY and 15% QoQ to $95.8 billion in Q2 2022. In contrast, the overall profits grew 6% YoY to $13.1 billion. The growth was primarily led by Apple and Samsung which are actively focusing on pushing their ultra-premium range of models, especially to lure existing customers who are looking to upgrade.

Nearly 80% of the global handset market revenue was captured by the top five device makers – Apple, Samsung, xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.

One of the biggest surprises came in terms of revenue growth clocked by Samsung and Apple. Samsung’s revenue grew 25% while Apple had to settle with just 3% YoY. This is in sharp contrast to the performance of both the companies in terms of the profits share.

So, what caused the market revenue to decline despite the splendid performance of the two major growth drivers of the market? It’s the fall in shipments due to the lockdown in China and ongoing geopolitical uncertainty.

It’s worth noticing that the average selling price (ASP) has gone up by 6% despite the revenue decline in Q2 2022.

In the second half of 2022, the equations are bound to improve given the launch of the iPhone 14 series and festival season sales. Black Friday, and Cyber Monday sales in US and China, besides the regional festivals would push the sales of handsets up. However, the fear of recession is looming large and the crash of currencies against the dollar could also play spoilsports.

Whatever the situation, the recession-resisting iPhone would remain the growth driver given the much-waited upgrade in iPhone 14.

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The startup entrepreneur leveraged Facebook to become rich, but the war made him a billionaire

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It’s rare to see a young kid, who never got a chance to go to any popular school or college, achieving extraordinary due to his passion and commitment to reinvent something new.

Palmer Luckey is a tech entrepreneur who developed and sold Oculus VR to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014. However, later in 2016, he was alleged to support Trump in the elections politically and got fired from Facebook (now known as Meta).  

In 2017, Luckey invested his acquired fund into a defence tech start-up, Anduril Industries. No one noticed it until the big numbers came in. But the 29-year-old hasn’t built a billion-dollar start-up in the speck of time; he invested his efforts, developed cutting-edge technology and was able to attract multiple rounds of funding when quite everyone was against him. 

Luckey’s estimated net worth is around $1.4 billion, he owns at least 11% of his start-up and with a plan to raise at least $500 million or $1 billion in a Series E round, the entrepreneur’s newly founded company can reach up to $8 billion, reported The information

He achieved this massive success because the US government believed in his all-new AI program, Lattice. The technology is another breakthrough for the US military and came at the crucial time of the Russia-Ukraine war. It surely advantaged Luckey’s vision. 

Lattice includes the most advanced tech software that helps in drone versus drone combat. It has a ground unit packed with sensors that quickly identify a moving on-ground object and trigger a camera to focus and track it. Then Lattice, the core software, highlights the moving object and determines the vehicle type (truck, car, tank, etc.).

The system also comes with a ghost drone that helps to easily track the vehicle if it hides beside a wall or hill. If someone from the car launches a drone, then the software will quickly identify the type of drone and will mark it as suspicious. 

Lastly, to neutralise the drone, Lattice pop opens a metal box that immediately launches a burly quadcopter called Anvil. Its job is to find the highlighted drone and crash into it. The software can identify multiple suspicious drones at once and eliminate them without human intervention. 

Anduril Industries has already tested the system, and it works as expected. That’s why it’s worth the hype. 

Luckey created Oculus when he was just 16! 

The self-taught entrepreneur was also home-schooled by his mother in Long Beach, California. Luckey received his first engineering lessons from his dad and took half his garage to develop advanced gadgets like laser-powered coil guns. 

As a teenager, Luckey found himself interested in gadgets that soon transformed into games and then into virtual reality. He noticed that VRs had seen little to no improvements since 1960. So, he invested his time in replacing old, bulky, outdated hardware with light, modern, cheap ones. The overall cost came down, and the new VR can even fit your mobile inside it. Oculus was born! 

The simple and cost-effective design attracted the attention of Zuckerberg, and they ended up closing a $2 billion deal.

Luckey was always interested in innovation, not money, so he kept working on various projects while working with Facebook. He tried to develop a ramjet engine in his swimming pool but failed, tried to make rocket boots, was always interested in SpaceX but did nothing for himself until Facebook dumped him. 

Forward to 2017, when Luckey partnered with some of his friends to fund his new defence start-up, Anduril. The first project of the newly formed company was to build sentry towers to automatically detect people and vehicles illegally crossing the border with a motive to free many routine patrol units.

It worked, and they got a contract worth $250 million in February 2020; they successfully deployed 176 towers on the Mexican border. 

In January, Anduril secured a contract from U.S Special Operations Command’s drone defences that might be worth around $1 billion in ten years. Even Pentagon is interested in creating a unified view of the battlefield that would require the drones and technology developed by Luckey’s start-up. 

With fantastic tech and billions of dollars gathered in multiple funding rounds, the newly formed company is already making headlines and delivering the hope of improved defence for the US. Let’s see where it reaches. 

The Bottom Line 

Luckey has been interested in tech since childhood. That’s why he was able to develop the base of the Metaverse, a VR headset. He leveraged Facebook to become rich but getting fired never negatively affected him. Instead, he came up with innovative ideas and founded Anduril.

His company has already achieved remarkable milestones; With a possible Series E funding of $500 million, he is betting on successfully deploying the most required AI-powered defence tech.

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Is the reason convincing enough to ditch iPhone 14 Pro Max?

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iPhone 15 Ultra

It’s not even a month since Apple launched iPhone 14 series, and the internet is abuzz with rumours, speculations and expectations related to the successor of it. Yes, we are talking about iPhone 15.

To be specific we are talking about iPhone 15 Ultra, Apple’s next ultra-high-end smartphone. We now have fresh leaks about the next flagship brand from California.

According to the earliest information available, the next generation of the iPhone series will include the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro. Apple is planning to replace iPhone 15 Pro Max with iPhone 15 Pro Ultra.

A number of reliable sources, including Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo, have confirmed that there are high chances that iPhone Pro Max will no longer be continued. The line’s most costly model would be called Ultra, consistent with the Apple Watch Ultra launch. However, the model is expected to be even more expensive than the iPhone Pro Max.

Following the new leaks related to the iPhone 15 and Apple’s plans to discontinue iPhone 15 Pro Max surfaced, LeaksApplePro a well-known Twitter insider, shared some more technical specifications for the next iPhone 15 Ultra. It’s important to make a note that any of these leaks or rumours must be taken with a pinch of salt as Apple has a habit of surprising the world considering it works on several devices with different designs and specifications at the same time.

If rumours have any truth to them, the iPhone 15 Ultra would be capable of 8K video recording – something that many were expecting with iPhone 154 Pro Max this year. Apple is said to be working on 8K recording. However, the leaker isn’t sure if the iPhone 15 Ultra will be the only model offering this feature. The Pro version may also be able to record 8K videos.

The recent iPhone Pro models can only record 4K videos. This is a major challenge for Apple, especially when Samsung is actively arming its ultra-premium range of smartphones with futuristic features and technologies. Three generations of Samsung Galaxy S smartphones support 8K recording. The same feature is available on Galaxy Fold smartphones as well. Analyst Ming Chi Kuo claims that the iPhone 15 Ultra will include a periscopic zoom lens for superior optical zoom.

On the other hand, many analysts believe that Apple’s approach with 8K video recording is aligned with the content consumption pattern. There is only a very small fraction of people consuming content in 8K, but it’s projected to increase in the coming years. Hence, offering iPhone 14 Pro Max without the 8K video recording feature is a well-thought-through decision by Apple.

The iPhone 15 Ultra would also offer improved battery performance as well. Apple wants to put a larger battery under the hood of the most expensive smartphone. LeaksApplePro claims a 3-4 hour increase in autonomy.

Similar to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the iPhone 15 Ultra is expected to have a 6.7-inch screen, albeit it may be even more expensive. While it’s too early to talk about the price of the iPhone 15 Ultra, insiders have given a hint that it will start from $1,199 onwards. This is $100 more than the current price of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

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SoftBank Puts IPO-bound OYO in a tough spot: Slashes valuation to just $2.7 billion

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The challenges for OYO, the hospitality startup unicorn of India, are far from over. As the company has started to come out from the grip of Covid-19, SoftBank Group Corp. has slashed the value of Oyo hotels on its books by over 20%. And, the move has taken place at the time when Oyo hotels is once again preparing to float its IPO in near future, according to people familiar with the matter.

According to Bloomberg, Softbank, the largest shareholder in Oyo hotels, has revised the valuation of Oyo further down to $2.7 billion. This is $700 million less than the $3.4 billion valuation of Oyo that Softbank estimated earlier. The revised valuation is a result of benchmarking activity done by the Japanese investment bank with peers in the market that have similar operations.

Oyo has quickly responded to the situation. The company has rejected Softbank’s valuation markdown, claiming there is no rational basis for it.

“As per our latest audited results, we have clocked Rs 7 crore maiden adj EBITDA profit in the June quarter, at 41 percent gross profit margin and a 45 percent increase in gross booking value per hotel per month vs the last financial year. These are the dramatically improved results and the strong performance trajectory is expected to continue,” Oyo said.

The valuation of Oyo touched $10 billion in 2019 the founder Ritesh Agarwal bought the company’s 20% shares for $2 billion. The move, however, was largely seen as an effort to bump up the valuation after receiving a lukewarm response from external investors.

After failing to debut on the stock market due to unfavourable conditions last year, Oyo has now filed a new round of financial documents with India’s market regulator on Monday. The company plans to make its stock-market debut following cost reductions and travel recovery which has helped the company reduce losses.

According to people, Oyo expects approval from India’s Securities and Exchange Board for its public debut. It plans to tap the stock market in early next year eyeing a $5 billion valuation. However, Oyo’s plans for its IPO are still in flux and could change depending on market conditions.

Last year, the company was reportedly in talks with potential investors and was looking to attain $12 billion valuation. The company planned to raise $1 billion through its the IPO. The investors gave cold shoulders considering the hospitality industry was going through its worst phase due to lockdown and various other curbs imposed by many countries.

SoftBank did not immediately respond to the request for comment on the revised $2.7 billion valuation. Oyo stated that it expected that recovering business performance should have a positive impact on its valuation. It also added that the company is yet to decide when an IPO would take place.

Oyo’s latest filing shows narrowing losses and a rebound in sales for FY’22 ended on March 31, 2022. The company reported a loss of 18.9 billion rupees for FY’22, which is nearly 50% lesser than the loss incurred by the company during the previous financial year.

Investors around the world have reduced their stocks due to increasing macroeconomic risks, thereby taking a very conservative approach while valuing tech companies.

The investment in Oyo was considered one of the most controversial startup bets made by SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son. It was similar to Son’s support for WeWork and its eccentric founder Adam Neumann. Son supported Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal over the years and encouraged him to expand rapidly in markets like Japan, the US and elsewhere. Little did he know there would be devastating consequences.

SoftBank is known as an aggressive investor. There are hundreds of startups in its portfolio and estimates their value each quarter. Then it books the changes in valuation on its income statement as a profit. In Q2 2022, it reported a record loss of $23.4 billion due to plunging values of its portfolio startups and foreign currency losses.

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Uber is in trouble: The key database hacked, extremely sensitive data is out in public domain

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uber india layoffs

Uber Technologies Inc. shuts down its internal Slack messaging amid the investigation related to the cybersecurity attack by a hacker who allegedly claimed to have accessed sensitive company information.

According to one person familiar with the matter, employees of Uber had left stunned when they received a Slack message on Thursday from an unknown individual claiming that “I am a hacker.” The perpetrator claimed to have gained access to all internal databases and an employee’s account.

According to the New York Times, the cyber attacker was an 18-year-old who infiltrated many internal systems and released snapshots of emails as well as code repositories on the internet to support his claims.

Sam Curry, a Yuga Labs‘ researcher, stated that the hacker or hackers had access to Uber’s cloud infrastructure hosted on Amazon and Google. He also claimed to have been in touch with the attacker.

The criticality of the situation can be well understood from the fact that hackers also gained access to the HackerOne system, which allows Uber to offer a bug bounty program, in which ethical hackers are rewarded for reporting vulnerabilities.

This is extremely concerning for Uber considering the depth of the hacking. Almost everything related to their business and code is out in open for people.

Curry has revealed that almost everything is compromised.

Experts are suspecting that gaining access to all HackerOne’s reports allowed hackers to make use of all identified vulnerabilities to gain access.

After the sensitive information went viral on social media and the internet, Uber was left with no other option but to confirm the breach but declined to provide more details.

According to Uber’s Twitter account, the company has contacted law enforcement and frozen all Slack communications as it investigates the claims of the hacker and understands the depth of the damages.

The incident, however, has no impact on the services provided to its customers. People claimed that Uber’s ride-hailing services and food delivery services were operating as usual around the globe.

Sensing the complexity of the situation, HackerOne was quick to react and assured all of its customers of the safety of their data and information.

HackerOne is there for its customers. We’re in close touch with Uber’s security staff, have locked down their data, and will continue with their investigation,” Chris Evans, Chief Hacking Officer of HackerOne, said.

This is not the first time Uber came on hackers’ radar. Uber had to cough up $148 million to settle claims relating to a large-scale data leak that exposed the personal information of more than 25 million US users in 2016.

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Apple Photos has 18 new features for iPhone users to produce mind-boggling images and videos

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new features of Apple Photos on iOS 16

One image is equal to 1,000 words!

Apple Photos has become so powerful that it may make you get rid of all other video and photo editing apps on your iPhone. The new features of Apple Photos on iPhone have almost killed the need for any third-party photo editing app that you may be using until now.

Your iPhone must have iOS 16 to access the powerful new features of Photos. If you don’t have it, you must first update your iPhone (Settings->General->Software Update).

Many of these changes are also available on iPadOS 16 for iPad and macOS13 Ventura for Mac. These versions, however, are still in beta, hence one must be mindful before hitting the Update button on these devices.

With the introduction of new features to Apple Photos, iPhone has become even more appealing to people who are still in a dilemma of buying it.

18 new features of Apple Photos

Remove Background: Click a button

One of the most frequently used activities in photos is removing the background and people always have a hard time doing so. Paying attention to such data, Apple has decided to make life easier for people while playing with an image background.

To remove the background of any prominent subject, all you need to do is open an image, and long-press the subject. The subject will glow, letting you know that the magic is working. You’ll then see the “Copy” and “Share” options. The Copy option will add the subject to your clipboard so that you can paste it elsewhere. The Share will open the standard share Sheet for this subject.

Remove Background feature on iPhone

The tap-to-remove-background is a part of Visual Look Up, which is the interactive feature that let users know more about objects, such as art, pets, plants, and landmarks. There are many other ways you can use it.

You can, for example, tap on the subject of an image, continue to hold, and switch to Messages. While holding down the object, drag and drop it where it is needed. The background removing feature works with images directly in Files, Safari, and Quick Look apps as well. You may be able to long-press an image to select “Remove Background,” or “Copy Subject” in those apps.

Get Rid of Duplicate Images

There is no option in iOS 15 that allows you to identify and delete duplicate images. You need to manually search for duplicates in your photo library or use an app that does the job for you. All of that struggle comes to an end with iOS 16. “Merge Duplicates” is one of the most useful new features of Apple Photos app.

Get Rid of Duplicate Images on iPhone

You can open the “Duplicates” folder in Utilities on iOS 16 instead of the additional app. You’ll find similar photos in your library when you click on “Duplicates”. These photos can be any type of image, including screenshots. Tap “Merge” next to a group of images and then “Merge [#] duplicates” to create a single file that “combines the highest quality and pertinent data from its duplicates.”

You can also tap on an image to view it in preview and then swipe through duplicates to see which one is best. You can trash an image or tap “Select”, then “Merge [#] duplicates.”

Biometrics: Beef up your Photo Privacy

You may have noticed that under Utilities, folders “Hidden”, and “Recently deleted” are now locked. Each one has a lock icon. Depending on the model of iPhone you use, Face ID, or Touch ID are required to unlock each one. You can still unlock it with your passcode if biometrics don’t work.

This is a major privacy improvement that Apple users have been asking for a long. To hide the hidden album from your albums, you had to go to Settings->Photos. Anyone could access your iPhone or iPad’s preferences to unhide it and then browse your secret images.

Private media can be hidden from the album list. The toggle is now “Show Hidden Album”. If you don’t care about privacy, you can turn off the “Use Face ID”, or “Use Touch ID”, toggle in the Photos settings. This will make it easier to open “Hidden”, and “Recently Deleted”. It is only possible to toggle it off, as it requires Touch ID or Face ID authentication to disable — another security improvement.

Images Actions: A Single Click

Going further, you’ll notice a new ellipsis (***) beside the “Edit” button when you open a photo. To open a drop-down menu, tap it. This will give you options to duplicate, hide/unhide, copy and save the image as a video (Live Photos), add it to an Album, feature the person less (for photos with people in them); adjust the date, time, and location.

These options are available in the Share Sheet on iOS 15. To avoid repetition, some items from the new ellipsis menu in iOS 16 won’t appear in the Share Sheet.

You’ll also be able to see the new (***) menu when you select more than one image, video, or combination thereof. It is not the same as the old ellipsis (***) menu that was used to filter results and zoom in or out.

Image Editing can be replicated

There are instances when you may want to replicate the same editing to multiple photos or videos. It was a tedious process until iOS 15. Gong further, Copy and paste edits made to an image or video can be duplicated to other images or videos in iOS 16. You can also use the same set of adjustments repeatedly if you like them.

To copy edits to a photo, tap the new (***) menu. Next, select that option and then locate the file you wish to apply these edits to. You’ll see an option to “Paste Edits” in the file’s ellipsis menu. Use this option to make adjustments. To copy and paste edits, you can also use the (***) menu in the photo editor.

However, this new Apple Photos feature comes with few restrictions. You can only copy and paste certain styles to other files. This includes adjustments, depth modifications, and lighting intensity. Crops, Markup, and Live Photos keyframes will not work.

Bulk Editing of Images and Videos

What could be better than copying edits from one video or image into another? Edits can be pasted into multiple photos or videos simultaneously. To batch apply edits, copy them from one file. Hit the “Select” button to select multiple files.

Undo Edits Simplified

It doesn’t matter if you made edits long ago or just batch-edited a few photos or videos. You can easily revert the files back to their original state with iOS 16. Earlier, you used to do this from the video or photo editor. But now, you can copy and paste edits to “Revert To Original” using the same ellipsis (***) Menu discussed above. Revert edits can be done from the quick actions menu.

A Static Photo from Live Photo in a jiffy

For iOS 15 users, the only option to turn a live photo into a static image is to turn off the “Live” photo feature while sharing or editing the image. There’s an easier way now. Tap the Live Photo menu to see a dropdown that offers “Loop”, “Bounce”, and “Long Exposure” options. At the last of it, you will see an “Off” option.

Get rid of custom albums easily

You can delete an album from iOS 15 by tapping “See All” and then “Edit”. This will bring up the minus buttons. This function is still available in iOS 16, albeit with better options.

Tap the ellipsis (***), to see a new button “Delete Album”. You can also long-press an album to delete it from the albums list.

Do more with Albums fast

With iOS 16, the quick actions menu for albums allows you to do much more than delete an album. There wasn’t a quick actions menu before. You can now share files, add photos, play a video memory, and rename or delete the album.

Sorting the names alphabetically

You can only view contacts in iOS or iPadOS 15 in the order that they were presented. To switch from the “Custom Order”, you can tap on the ellipsis button. It already allows you to sort by name.

Play with Edits As you want

When editing photos or videos on iOS 16, you can now use the undo and redo buttons. The value of each effect can now be reset automatically by tapping the redo or undo buttons. These buttons work for all edits, including crop edits, and you can undo edits back to the first edit in the current session.

Options: Prominently Placed now

The Share Sheet now features a prominent “Options” button at the top of the page for sharing images, videos, or groups of files in Photos. People might not have noticed it before.

New memory types

Apple’s Memories feature offers new memory types that it can use to enhance your photo library. You may see a “This Day in History” memory if you have media from the same date in the past. You may also see a memory if there are media of children playing.

Restart videos in Memories

iOS 15 allows you to tap the left side to return to the previous photo or video. This works with iOS 16 photos, but when you are watching a video, tap the left side of your screen to restart it without any interruptions in the music. Tapping twice will take you to content placed before the video file.

Music in Memories can be silent now

You can now silence the music by tapping the speaker icon that appears next to the exit button when you play a photo in Photos. With iOS 15, to silence the music, you had to adjust it manually.

Feature Content: Switch it off

There’s a way to make featured content disappear from the “For You” tab. You can toggle off the “Show Featured content” in Settings -> Photo’s Memories and Featured photos section. It also prevents featured content from appearing in a search or on a Photos widget.

Videos support Live Text now

Live Text was previously used to extract text from photos in Photos. But now it works for videos too!

Conclusion

All the above-mentioned new features of Apple Photos come only with iOS 16. Apple has released the update to iOS 16 this week for selected iPhone models. Any iPhone older than the iPhone 8 will not support iOS 16, including the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. However, users of some of these iOS 16 supported iPhone models – especially the iPhone 8 series, iPhone X and iPhone XS – may find the new features of Photos either not available or working as mentioned above.

We suggest you must update your iPhone with iOS 16 only if you have an iPhone 11 or a later model. In case you have older models, we strongly suggest looking out for the upgrade offers available during the upcoming festive season sales on various online stores.

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Things that matter the most while playing in an online casino?

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impact of technology on online casino Global online gambling market

The exploded adoption of online gambling can be well understood from the fact that the market was worth USD 57.54 billion in 2021, and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 11.7% between 2022 and 2030. The growth of the global online gambling market is being driven by the increasing popularity of online games in public places and at home, thanks to smartphones and fast mobile internet. The market is also being boosted by cultural and legal approvals, easy access to online gambling, celebrity endorsements, and corporate sponsorships. Due to the availability worldwide of affordable mobile apps, the market will continue to grow.

The experience, however, at an online casino is slightly different from what you get at a land-based establishment. Here, the games are played virtually and come in a wider variety. There are also way more online casinos than there are brick-and-mortar casinos. When entering the world of online gambling, you need to be prepared for these differences. Gamble online helps you navigate the crowded market through these expert best online casino reviews, to help you find the best site for your needs.

In the meantime, the following pointers will help you play games online and even win:

How Do Online Casino Games Work?

Online casinos exist thanks to innovation and technology. Rather than drive to a physical location, you can play your favorite casino games online across any device, including your PC, Android phone, iPhone, or tablet. Online casinos are basically platforms that connect you to these games and allow you to perform financial transactions to collect your winnings.

To play online casino games, you start by picking a reputable online casino and signing up with your personal details. Once you have an account, you can redeem your bonus (most casinos offer them to new members), make a deposit, pick a game you like, and start playing.

Global online gambling market

There Are Many Types of Games Available

As mentioned, online casinos offer a wider variety of casino games. You can expect pretty much the same games available at a physical casino, plus more. Online casinos also incorporate technology like VR and AR into their games to improve your experience. Some games you will find here include online slots, card games like blackjack and poker, and dice games like roulette.

Online casino games are categorized into luck-based and skill-based games like slots and poker, respectively. This is the first choice you will need to make regarding what you will be playing. As the name suggests, luck-based games don’t require strategy, and your skill does not determine whether you win or lose. Skill-based games, on the other hand, require concentration and strategy.

There Are Several Ways to Make Deposits

Unlike a physical casino where you walk in with money and get chips, online casinos run all their operations online, including financial deposits and withdrawals. Most platforms offer several mobile payment options to cater to the wide variety of gamers, and you can pick the option that best suits you.

Online casinos also impose different minimum deposits, which is the least amount you must fund into your wallet to access the games. The amounts vary across different casinos but are generally affordable. You can usually make deposits through the following payment methods:

  • Cryptocurrency, e.g., bitcoin
  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • PayPal
  • Wire transfers
  • E-wallets

Always check whether an online casino allows instant deposits or charges payment fees. Make sure these fees are not so high that you lose your winnings every time you make a withdrawal. Additionally, make sure you redeem the bonus you get when you make your first deposit.

Online Casinos Have Promotional Offers

Online casinos incentivize players to join their sites by offering welcome bonuses. They also have promotional offers for loyal customers. Before joining an online casino site, shop around for the best bonuses and offers and use these to familiarize yourself with the games before betting real money.

Online Gambling Requires Self-Control

Online casinos are businesses like any other, and they need to make money. They do this in the long run by placing the odds in the house’s favor in every game while still allowing you to win from time to time. Consequently, online gambling should never be your primary source of income. You should play for fun with the knowledge that you might make or lose some money. This involves a lot of self-control and includes only gambling money you are willing to lose and stopping when you hit your daily target.

You Can Play Anywhere

The advent of mobile gaming influenced the online casino industry in a big way. You can now play your favorite casino games across multiple devices, including your laptop, phone, or tablet. That said, not all casino sites offer easy integration to mobile gaming, so you need to find one that optimizes its games for mobile devices. If you enjoy the private, relaxed experience of mobile gaming but would still enjoy some interaction, make use of functions like the chat room and live casino games.

You Need Strategy

Some online casino games are based on luck, and anybody can win, regardless of skill or experience. However, if you plan to play skill-based casino games like poker and blackjack, you will need to sharpen your skills and devise a strategy. This requires some studying and practice.

Conclusion

Online casinos grew more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it seems they are here to stay. In addition to being convenient (you can play anywhere, anytime), they also offer more games, bonuses, and promotions to keep your gameplay interesting. These tips give you a nice entry point into online gambling even as you look for the best games for your needs.

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The Big Reasons Your Data Analytics Is Consistently Wrong

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Data Analytics

These days, businesses run on Big Data. Data can provide outstanding insights that allow for radically better decision-making, allowing organizations to effortlessly deliver on consumer demand and easily out-compete their opponents in their marketplaces. As more businesses undergo digital transformations, more will understand and leverage the power of data analytics.

Unfortunately, this means that even more companies will get Big Data wrong. The usefulness of the insights provided by Big Data depends entirely on the accuracy of the analytics used to understand that data.

Here are a few common mistakes that businesses make in analyzing the data they capture and what you can do to avoid these errors going forward.

You Didn’t Cleanse Your Data

Every data set — or at least the vast majority of data sets — contains errors that will impact the accuracy of any effort at analysis. Errors like redundancies, typos, irregular naming, and more as well as incomplete data and outdated data will all cause data analytics to stray from the truth. Before an organization can benefit from data analytics, they need to make an effort to cleanse the data sets of such erroneous information.

Data cleansing can be a laborious manual task that involves combing through spreadsheets to identify duplicate data, spelling mistakes, and the like. Alternatively, business leaders can invest in augmented analytics, which harness the power of machine learning to speed up and improve the accuracy of every step of the data analysis process. In either case, businesses cannot skip data cleansing, as it is a fundamental step in ensuring data accuracy.

You Didn’t Normalize Your Data

Normalization is the process of transferring data into a consistent format to allow for comparable and compatible analysis. For example, if one data set shows the monthly income and another shows the annual income, the results of the analysis will be incomprehensible. This mistake is much more common than one might suspect, especially given its simplicity and the ease with which it can be rectified. A smart practice is to maintain a standard format for analysis and to normalize data to that format as soon as data is collected.

You Rely on Inaccurate Algorithms

Few algorithms are truly perfect, but many algorithms are critically flawed. Flawed algorithms do not behave as intended; they might ignore vitally important data or place too much weight on data that has little import. The most prominent tech firms are constantly reviewing and tweaking their algorithms to ensure that their programs are accomplishing their stated goals. 

Likewise, data scientists within any organization should prioritize updating their data analysis algorithms. It might be necessary to create an updated schedule, which could keep analytics teams accountable for the consistent maintenance of their algorithms. However, an even more optimal strategy might be relying on AI- or machine learning–driven algorithms, which might have some capacity for updating themselves.

Your Models Are Bad

Many business leaders do not realize that there is a significant difference between algorithms, which are the methods used to analyze data, and models, which are computations created using the results of algorithms. Algorithms might crunch the data, but to gain usable insights, the output of algorithms must be put through models that test the resulting analysis in various ways.

Unfortunately, bad models quickly ruin the results of even the most perfect algorithms. Business leaders need to work with data analytics teams to ensure that their models are not overly simplistic or too complex. Depending on the amount and type of data available to business leaders, models can provide different insights, and it might be necessary to experiment with different models to find the right fit.

You Are Falling Victim to Bias

Bias is one of the most pervasive issues impacting the accuracy of data analytics — and it is often the most difficult issue to identify. There are dozens of types of biases, from biases that impact what type of data is collected to biases that skew leader interpretation. Executives may want to enroll in courses focused on biases in data science to understand and eliminate any biases that may be affecting the accuracy of their analytics.

The power of data is immense — but when that power is wielded improperly, it can cause business leaders to make major mistakes. Leaders should do everything they can to make their data analytics as accurate as possible, which means looking for some of the worst errors listed above.

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WhatsApp: From near disaster to becoming Meta’s golden goose!

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Meta, earlier Facebook (NASDAQ: META), generates 97% of revenue through ads, but its another most popular application WhatsApp which has over 2 billion users doesn’t contain ads. And, it is resulting in the potential loss of billions of dollars every year.

It’s not because they never tried monetizing WhatsApp through ads; every time they did so, the company found itself surrounded by conflicting laws, declining users’ trust, and the threat from competitors like “Signal”, who amassed millions of users overnight just because WhatsApp changed its policy related to data sharing in favour of targeted ads.

However, the core reason behind the difficulty in monetization was that founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum developed WhatsApp on solid principles of safety, security, and barrier-free communication for people worldwide. That’s why they introduced end-to-end encryption, which restricts anyone from reading your chats, not even WhatsApp.

WhatsApp was dubbed a ‘failed launch’ in earlier days. The app failed to create excitement among its early adopters as it was riddled with connectivity issues and frequent crashes. The response from the market was extremely disappointing for founders and it once reached a level where Koum started thinking about abandoning the project.

Then, suddenly, luck struck!

Apple launched the push notification feature, and it turned the table for WhatsApp.

The push notification feature helped WhatsApp to send messages without opening them. The company modified the WhatsApp function to send push notifications whenever users changed their status. The app quickly became popular with the founder team’s friends, who began to ping one another throughout the day with custom statuses. This was more than just instant messaging.

In October 2009, WhatsApp 2.0 was launched!

In the initial days, the founders charged a $1 yearly fee to cover the cost of sending verification texts. But later, the only monetisation feature of the app was removed to fuel the rapid growth.

Fast forward to 2014, Mark Zuckerberg locked the historic deal by purchasing WhatsApp for $19 billion with an infamous promise of “No games, No ads and No gimmicks.”. The promise, however, restricted Facebook from employing any popular monetisation strategy and left everyone in the dilemma of what benefit the deal brings.

Even in a viral statement, Koum said, “You can still count on Ad-free communication.” Although with no assurity, it will remain the same throughout the app’s lifetime.

And it happened! 

In 2016, Facebook revoked the promise with an update in its privacy policy that allowed them to share information and metadata with Facebook. The texts are still end-to-end encrypted because the company never wanted to mess with the core principle of “Privacy.”

However, it is evident that because of the policy update and breach of promise, both founders Acton and Koum left WhatsApp and Facebook.

With a new update, WhatsApp is now allowed to share plenty of information, including your registration information, transaction data, details about how you communicate with businesses, IP address, location information, app use frequency, mobile network, cookies, language and so on.

It brought in data worth billions that helped to transform WhatsApp and other Meta apps, majorly Facebook and Instagram. This significant update is a part of the credit for why Meta apps connect better with users.

The update indirectly helped the business to grow but making money from billions of users was still a distant reality. It was found that introducing ads in the main application might dissatisfy the users; At the same time, the company noticed the growing popularity of business transactions. 

So, they came up with an innovative idea of introducing a new feature of WhatsApp Pay and a parallel app called WhatsApp Business.

WhatsApp business is a game changer 

The app currently has two variants. First, WhatsApp business for small businesses, which is currently free to use and provide various tools that allow businesses to showcase their products in a catalogue, send automatic messages, quick replies, and labels, allows to connect Facebook and Instagram account, and generate short link or QR for immediate chats. 

Some sources claim that WhatsApp will soon roll out subscription-based plans that are only available to its business users.

In addition, Meta is also aiming to monetise it through a Click-to-Chat advertising system. It is an API that allows users to click WhatsApp’s Click-to-chat links on the web and immediately connect with the business for queries, orders, etc. By paying a very nominal fee, businesses would be able to manage chats across ten devices and create customised links, including their business names. 

The second version of WhatsApp Business is for large corporations where WhatsApp currently charge them after the first 1,000 conversations. The app provides almost similar features but has several restrictions that can only be unlocked after paying a fee.

WhatsApp’s financial statements aren’t publicly available, but this report from Forbes estimates a potential revenue to be $27–$29 billion by Q1 of 2022. 

WhatsApp Pay is still not generating revenue, but Zuckerburg is confident about Click-to-message features. The model has already brought billions to the business and expects double-digit growth in the upcoming years. 

But how Meta would monetise 2 billion active users of WhatsApp’s main application is a question that everybody is looking for an answer to.

The bottom line 

Acton and Koum never wanted to make money from WhatsApp; they built an app where people can communicate safely and for free. That’s why even after six years of acquisition, Zuckerberg finds it challenging to monetise. 

It’s not because they cannot do without interrupting user experience because another Meta-owned app “Messenger”, which already contains ads, is also widely popular.

It’s because WhatsApp is widely used for privacy. 

Ads and end-to-end encryption can go simultaneously but making people believe it is challenging. 

Also, WhatsApp users are sceptical about any privacy change, thanks to the shady history of Meta when it comes to dealing with users’ privacy and data. The Cambridge Analytica scandal is still quite fresh in people’s minds.

Besides, a tiny privacy update can result in Meta losing millions of users besides damaging the brand reputation of the entire company. Perhaps, that’s why Zuckerberg is still refraining from launching ads on WhatsApp. 

All said and done, their rapid growth in monetizing the WhatsApp business is remarkable. And the increasing reliance of businesses on Whatsapp is taking it closer to becoming the golden goose for Meta.

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Apple has out-thought rivals again: Dynamic Island in iPhone 14 Pro will be a trendsetter

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Android users have mocked Apple for failing to shrink the Face ID notch to a hole punch for many years. But now, its Dynamic Island has left rivals stranded and disappointed.

The iPhone 14 Pro is yet to be shipped and be in users’ hands. However, the Dynamic Island feature already looks intriguing. Apple appears to have done again what it is known for doing so many times before – taking an existing idea and making it work.

Apple did it when the keyboard was moved to the back of PowerBook. Rivals made a mockery and criticized it but Apple didn’t pay any heed to it. The company did it again when the floppy disc was removed and the headphone jack was dropped. Failing to pull down Apple, rivals started to copy and Apple became a trendsetter. The decision to move the keyboard was immediately admired, but it took longer than usual for the other two to get copied by rivals.

Apple introduced the notch in 2018 with its iPhone X. It was how sensors and a camera could be integrated into the front of the device. Samsung was quick to realize the importance of the change and announced Galaxy A8s in 2018 with similar sensors and a circular notch.

However, for the last five years, Apple has been criticized for falling behind the trend by failing to shrink the size of the notch in the iPhone. Little did anyone know what’s Apple cooking in its R&D center to reimagine the concept of the notch. iPhone 14 Pro not only has a hole-punch section but also has a wider, pill-shaped cutout that has revolutionized how they are used.

Dynamic Island: A real disruption

The familiar notch is always located at the top of your screen. At first, many people found it distractive as it cut into what they were seeing on the screen.

The Dynamic Island is now narrower but approximately the same height. It’s also lower on the screen.

Apple has achieved it by moving the proximity sensor. This is one reason why it is narrower now. The sensor has been always an important component in iPhone and performs a few of the most important activities – It registers when the phone is placed in your ear.

The proximity sensor allows you to switch off the screen to save battery power when it is not in use, and to avoid your ear accidentally calling someone.

Does that mean Apple has compromised with a feature to shrink the top-notch? Not really!

Although the iPhone 14 Pro is capable of doing the same thing, the new iPhone 14 Pro houses the proximity sensor below the display instead. Because the components of the old notch were all hardware, they cannot be moved around for optimal design. This is the first time anything can be removed.

This is also the only part that was repositioned. Therefore, Apple has a very small room for enhancement by replacing it.

Before the launch of the iPhone 14, earlier rumors claimed that Apple would replace the big single notch with two. One smaller, pill-shaped, and one with a hole-punch cutout. Apple, however, has not only done this but also chose to alter the screen for a better experience.

The utilization of gaps between hardware or even between icons has always been the focus area for Apple from the beginning. We all heard the story of Steve Jobs putting the first iPod into the water to make a point that there is room for improvement in terms of size. size and placements of components. Tim Cook has done the same with iPhone 14 by repositioning and replacing components and icons at the top of the iPhone 14 Pro for an enhanced experience.

Apple decided to use the space between the hole punch and the pill, rather than letting the pill and hole block the display always. It activated and deactivated the pixel between them or toggles between them. This is the beginning of the dynamic part of the Dynamic Island.

Do more with less

There were limitations in what Apple can do between the two parts of the new notch that has sensors, even after controlling every pixel of it.

The new iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island feature, however, allows Apple to do many things. It can display and keep displaying Live Action information, such as stocks or sports results.

By making use of the pixels in the Island, It can indicate your concurrent performing activity, such as an ongoing call while you browse through the internet or accessing another app.

The new system will also show you the status of any other apps running in the background. For example, if you have a countdown clock and you want to listen to music, it can show both. It’s the only way you can physically see the hole punch and the pill on the screen.

What’s even more interesting is how Apple animates the area around the pill and punch. Apple does not just insert one status icon into the hole punch, and another into the separate, pill-shaped one. Instead, it animates the area around the pill extruding the smaller, hole punch one. This then settles in place.

The Dynamic part is about how many types of information can be displayed in the new area. It also has to do with the animation. Apple seems to have spent a lot of time making each change and every move vibrant and dynamic.

Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro: The seamless experience

All app developers will have access to Dynamic Island’s features, but Apple also has a set of pre-defined animations and styles.

Most of the time, we’ll usually see the Island with just a few icons. These icons include album art, when you play music, and an animated waveform. The Siri logo appears in the middle of the square-shaped cutout when it is invoked.

When someone calls, the narrow, tiny island expands in all directions to display the name or number of the caller, and to accommodate buttons to answer or decline.

There is also a third size almost equal to the iOS widget. It is for an app to display information a widget can accommodate.

Perhaps, developers may have already created iOS widgets. This is why we are most likely to receive the largest notification.

Apple cutaway showing the new sensors

Apple, from onwards, has put developers on an additional task. They will have to put extra effort while developing apps as only iPhone 14 Pro users can expect Dynamic Island, and all regular iPhone 14 users can not get it.

In simple words, developers will have to develop and design apps that need to be able to take advantage of the new Dynamic Island while still working seamless experience on the iPhone models that don’t support it.

No matter whether you love it or hate it, this new system will eventually be available on all iPhones, and most Android phones as well. It’s one of those Apple designs that are so perfect and useful. It also makes us think why none of the other device manufacturers ever thought of making the best use of the notch at the top of the device like Apple has reimagined. Apple is a real trendsetter!

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You Must Avoid These SEO Mistakes To Achieve Top Ranking on Google Search

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Top Common SEO mistakes to Avoid 2022

When hiring a web developer to build you a new website, it’s easy to presume that your website will rank well in the search engines. After all, if you have a fantastic website, Google will love it too, right?

Not so fast. Your new website might look great, and it might have a lot of clever bells and whistles that justified the price tag, but that doesn’t ensure that every piece of the puzzle is in place. Suppose SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is not given proper weight throughout the web development process. In that case, you could be wasting your money unless you intend to buy most of your website traffic.

If you want to take advantage of the abundance of free organic traffic that ranking on the first page of Google and other major search engines can bring to your website, it’ll need to be “SEO-friendly”.

Having been working as an SEO specialist for the past 15 years, both as a freelancer as well as some established digital marketing agencies, I’ve worked on countless websites on behalf of a wide variety of businesses. If you’re looking at getting a website built, be it a new one or a redesign of an existing website, this article will give you a checklist of some common SEO mistakes so you can make sure your developer avoids them.

Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Not Planning to Fail, but Failing to Plan for Search Ranking

Before any work happens on your website, your developer needs to understand your business goals. Part of this process should involve some keyword research. Essentially, you want to understand the most relevant phrases to your business that people enter into Google search, and their average monthly search volumes based on your geographic markets.

There are quite a few keyword research tools available. Almost all of these tools get their keyword data from the Google Ads platform. To access Google Ads, all you need is a Google account.

Armed with some keyword research, you have the basis for an SEO plan for your website. You and your developer now know which of your website’s related search terms are most popular and can figure out which pages should include them in the content.

  1. Improper Use of Meta Tags

When you load a web page in your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.), a page title appears in the tab. This title is what also shows up in organic search results. This element is created with a line of HTML code called a meta tag. The page title meta tag is an essential element for on-page SEO and should contain your most valuable target keywords. Too often though, developers leave the page title as the default name of the web page. The page title cuts off after 65 characters but should still be more than 30 characters.

Another important meta tag for SEO is the page description tag. Google will typically show up to 156 characters of a description tag. This tag should be concise and enticing to encourage searchers to click on your link and visit the page. Description meta tags are not a direct ranking factor for Google, but it does affect click-through-rates, which are factored into the search rankings.

Not so important for SEO, but for your presence on social networks is social sharing meta tags. These tags specify the page title, description, and image to use when sharing on social sites like Facebook and Twitter. If you want your previews to look good on social media posts, these meta tags should also be defined on your web pages.

  1. Poorly Structured Site Navigation

If your website’s menu system is confusing or difficult to use, not only will your visitors not find what they’re looking for, but Google will also find it difficult to crawl your website and rank all of your pages in search. 

If your website only has a few pages, then a flat menu is fine. If your website has lots of pages and category pages, such as an e-commerce website, your navigation menu should be able to drill down appropriately with sub-items.

All of the pages on your website should be no more than 3-4 clicks away from your home page. Any more than that and those pages won’t be considered valuable and are unlikely to be indexed in search results. This is one of the most common SEO mistakes found in newly launched e-commerce websites.

  1. XML Sitemaps Missing

An XML sitemap is a list of all your web page URLs laid out in a particular format that search engines can easily read. XML sitemaps are especially for making it easy for search engines to know about all your web pages and some other index-worthy elements of your website.

Many websites use separate XML sitemaps for each type of web page and even have individual XML sitemaps for images and videos. An e-commerce website, for example, might have a sitemap for the main pages such as the home page, about, contact, shipping info, etc. another sitemap for product categories, another for product pages, yet another for images, and yet another for videos. 

Image and video sitemaps are useful if you want those elements to show up specifically in image or video search results in Google and other search engines.

To get Google to make use of your XML sitemaps, you need to submit them to Google Search Console. You can access it with your Google account, where ownership of the website will need to be verified. If your website is new, submitting sitemaps to Google Search Console is the best way to get Google to crawl it for the first time and get your pages indexed. Otherwise, Google will need to find your website through a link to it from another website, and that is hardly a guarantee.

Bing has a similar process to Google for submitting XML sitemaps in its Webmaster Tools. It is a good idea to submit your sitemaps to both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

XML Sitemaps Missing - SEO Mistakes
  1. Uses IFrames to Display Content

IFrames are code snippets that display content on a page that actually exists on a different page. The content could indeed come from another website altogether. This method of pulling content from other pages doesn’t fool Google, and it will credit the source page for the content with a place in the search results instead of using the IFrame code. 

Websites often use IFrames to embed youtube videos, slideshows from Slideshare, or PDF documents. These uses are acceptable and won’t negatively affect your search rankings. If your developer uses iframes to embed text and images where they should be part of your page content, then this can be a problem for your SEO and is quite frankly just lazy design.

  1. Not Mobile-Friendly

The majority of searches now take place on mobile devices, so if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, your chances of getting good rankings on Google will be limited. This is also one of the most common SEO mistakes that can be avoided by hiring a skilled mobile developer.

Back in November 2016, Google announced that they were working towards eventually using the mobile version of a website’s content to rank web pages. In March 2020, Google confirmed that 70% of all websites had shifted over to mobile-first indexing and that all remaining websites will be indexed on a mobile-first basis starting September 2020. 

So the fix is in; if your developer is stuck in desktop mode for your web design and can’t create a great mobile user experience, it simply won’t fly in Google search.

Google has a useful tool to help to make sure the mobile user experience is adequate, appropriately named “Mobile-Friendly Test”.

  1. Slow Loading Pages

Time is valuable, and slow-loading web pages create a poor user experience, especially on mobile devices. Google doesn’t like slow loading websites either and has made page loading time a factor when ranking pages in search results.

As mentioned in item 6 above, most people now search on mobile devices, so making sure your pages load fast on mobile devices is particularly essential to today’s SEO.

If your website is slow to load on mobile devices, getting on the first page of Google is going to be tough in 2020. The maximum load time you should be aiming for is under 4 seconds from your target geographical areas.

Striking the optimal balance between creating a beautiful and impressive website and keeping the load times down is a challenge for developers. Too many bells and whistles, so to speak, come at a cost in load times.

Possibly the biggest culprit for slow loading pages is large image files. There is often the temptation from both designers and website owners to use high-resolution images. To speed things up, you’ll need to keep the image file sizes to under 160kb. The smaller, the better, so it is worthwhile to compromise a bit on the image quality to get the load time down as much as possible. I try to go for around 80-100kb for large images, but in any case, I’d use 160kb as a hard limit. If you are showcasing a large gallery of high-quality photos, make sure they aren’t all being rendered when your page first loads.

There are a lot of other ways to speed up your website, from using a CDN service (Content Distribution Network) and leveraging browser caching to making the on-page code as efficient as possible. 

Google provides a very useful tool for analysing website speed called Google PageSpeed Insights. It will generate a score for the desktop and mobile versions of your pages as well as list everything that is causing slow-downs and how to fix them.

  1. Improper Use of Heading Tags

Heading tags are the visible headings and subheadings represented on the page using HTML tags such as <H1>Your Title</H1> or <H2>Your Sub-Title</H2>. In your on-page text, it creates a hierarchy of titles from 1 to, usually, 4. There is no limit to how far you can go (h23 if you really wanted), but it doesn’t make sense to do that in most circumstances.

The H1 title is usually placed at the top of a page, it should be unique from your page title meta tag, and there should only be one per page. The H1 title should contain your most relevant keywords to the topic of the page, describing what it is about in under 70 characters.

Web developers that are not SEO-savvy often do things like make all the title tags on a page H1, or use H1 tags in the website template for content that’s replicated on different pages.

You can use H2 headings multiple times on pages and they are useful for improving the readability of your text. No one wants to see long slabs of text and the sub-headings help readers the information that’s most important to them. They’re also good opportunities to point search engines towards ranking the page for your keywords.

H3 and H4 title tags can be used for breaking down your content even further if necessary. The text under these sub-titles is seen as less important though. They are often being used for widgets and table titles too.

  1. Not Using, or Misusing Structured Data

Structured Data, otherwise known as Schema data, is code that is used to tell search engines, or “highlights” specific information related to what a web page is essentially about.

Not only that, but structured data can also influence Google to show additional information as “rich snippets” within the search results. These snippets include aggregate ratings of up to 5 stars from customer reviews, images, price information, publishing date, video player thumbnail, and more. Enhancements like these can make your search result stand out and drive higher click-through-rates.

Below is an example of Google search results that have been enhanced with rich snippets that are made possible with Structured Data.

If your website isn’t using structured data, you’re basically at a disadvantage against those that are. It has to be appropriately applied, though. Structured data has only been relatively widely known for about five years, so only a small number of web developers are aware of it, and even less know how to implement it properly.

It is even difficult to find CMS (Content Management System) plugins that do the job of implementing structured data properly or offer all the options that would make it work best for every kind of business.

Google has a useful tool for validating your website’s structured data and will report any errors or warnings about the implementation.

  1. CMS still blocks Search Engine bots from crawling the website after it goes live

I’ve come across this problem several times and it has devastated search rankings for websites that had been redesigned and severely held back new websites from getting organic search traffic. It’s such a simple oversight, but the consequences to a business are huge.

While a new website is built on a staging server, a setting is used to block search engine bots from crawling the website. This makes sense because the staging server won’t be on your live domain name yet and you don’t want search engines indexing an unfinished website on a server that isn’t meant to be public.

Then the website goes live…it’s showtime. However, days and even weeks pass, and Google hasn’t indexed anything. The reason might be the setting that blocks the search bots is still active on the live website. 

On website platforms like WordPress, all that needs to be done to unblock your website from being crawled is to untick a single box and then click “save”. 

All that lost traffic over a single tick-box!

Websites Should be Built to be Search-Friendly

When investing in getting a website built, often the SEO fundamentals are overlooked. Making sure your website is search engine friendly means that you can take advantage of what is essentially free web traffic. Paying for ongoing specialist advice from SEO experts is a wise investment that can enhance your presence in search engines even further. 

But planning for success in organic search before and during the website design and build process will pay dividends far more quickly than going back over it after launch, figuring out which search terms to target, and fixing all the issues.

Hopefully, these ten common SEO mistakes that web developers make can be avoided thanks to reading this article and your new website can hit the ground running, getting you sustained and ever-increasing organic search traffic.

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Social Media Debates In College: Pros And Cons For Mental Health

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pros and cons of social media

It’s no secret that social media has taken over the world. What started out as a way for people to connect with friends and family has turned into a battleground where people can share their opinions on any and everything. This is especially true in college, where students are constantly debating the pros and cons of social media when it comes to mental health. Today, we will explore both sides of the argument and let you decide for yourself!

But before that let’s quickly glance at the growth of social media over the years to understand the potential influence on society and people.

Social media has had a profound influence on our lives in recent years. It has changed the way we communicate, the way we receive news and information, and the way we interact with one another. For better or for worse, social media has made the world a smaller place. We can now connect with friends and family who live across the globe with just a few clicks of a button. We can share our thoughts and feelings with a wider audience than ever before. And we can access an endless stream of news and entertainment at any time of day or night. Whether we realize it or not, social media has become an integral part of our lives. It is hard to imagine a world without it.

According to the latest report published by Hootsuite in collaboration with WeAreSocial, there are 4.7 billion social media users worldwide as of July 2022. This is nearly 60% of the global population.

Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp are the top three social networks people rely on and trust the most in terms of consuming news on a regular basis. Nearly 44% of users claimed to use Facebook for consuming news, followed by YouTube and WhatsApp with 30% and 22% users, respectively.

However, when it comes to spending time on social networks, a new list of top platforms emerges. The report from data.ai highlights that TikTok tops the chart. A TikTok user spends, on average, 23.6 hours every month on the app, followed by YouTube and Facebook with 23.2 and 19.4 hours, respectively.

What is sociological imagination and how can we use it?

Sociological imagination is the ability to see beyond the individual and personal level to the societal level. It allows us to understand how our lives are shaped by the larger social forces around us. If you’re interested in learning more about sociological imagination, search for examples of sociological imagination in everyday life online. There are many great essay examples available for free. Social media is a perfect example of how sociological imagination can help us understand the world around us. By looking at the ways that social media is used in our everyday lives, we can gain insights into the larger social trends and patterns that are at work. 

There are many examples of sociological imagination in social media, but one of the most popular is the way that it can be used to study human behavior. By observing how people interact with each other on social media, we can learn a lot about social norms, attitudes, and beliefs. We can also learn about how these things change over time. 

The Pros of Social Media

In the past decade, social media has become an integral part of our lives. We use it to stay in touch with friends and family, share news and experiences, and connect with like-minded people. But social media is more than just a way to stay in touch. It can also be a powerful tool for promoting businesses and causes, raising awareness, and building relationships. Here are just a few of the ways that social media can be used for good:

1. Social media can be used to promote businesses and brands.

2. Social media can be used to raise awareness about important issues.

3. Social media can be used to build relationships and connect with like-minded people.

The Cons of Social Media

While social media has many benefits, it also has a number of disadvantages. One of the biggest problems with social media is that it can be highly addictive. Studies have shown that people who use social media for more than two hours a day are more likely to become addicted than those who use it for less than two hours. This addiction can lead to a number of problems, including anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

Social media can also be detrimental to relationships. Because people are spending so much time on social media, they are often not spending enough time with their family and friends. This can lead to communication problems and even conflict. Finally, social media can be a major source of cyberbullying. Because people can hide behind screen names and avatars, they can say and do things that they would never do in person. This can have a devastating effect on the lives of those who are targeted. While social media has many advantages, it is important to be aware of its potential downside.

  1. Depression and anxiety-provoking
  2. Cyberbullying attacks
  3. Can be highly addictive

How to Manage Your Mental Health in a Digital World 

The digital world can be overwhelming. We are constantly bombarded with notifications, emails, and the pressure to be “connected” 24/7. It’s no wonder that our mental health is suffering. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are a few tips to help you manage your mental health in a digital world:

  • Limit your screen time. Turn off notifications and set aside specific times to check email and social media. This will help you to avoid the feeling of being constantly connected.
  • Be selective about what you consume online. Follow accounts and subscribe to channels that make you feel good. Unfollow or mute anything that causes you anxiety or stress.
  • Be mindful of your body language. When we’re glued to our screens, we tend to adopt poor posture which can lead to physical pain and fatigue. Make a conscious effort to sit up straight and take breaks often to move your body.
  • Connect with nature. Spend time outside in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the digital world. Let the fresh air and tranquility of your surroundings soothe your mind.
  • Seek professional help if needed. If you’re struggling to cope with anxiety or depression, don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist or counselor who can provide guidance and support.

Conclusion

Social media can be a great way to stay connected and promote causes, businesses, and relationships. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential negatives of social media and take steps to protect your mental health. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the digital world, try following some of the tips above. And if you’re struggling to cope with anxiety or depression, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

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