International stories and articles from our Flipboard mag.

NOV
21

A Chinese startup may have cracked solid-state batteries

According to Chinese media, Qing Tao Energy Development Co, a startup out of the technical Tsinghua University, has deployed a solid-state battery production line in Kunshan, East China. Reports claim the line has a capacity of 100MWh per year -- which is planned to increase to 700MWh by 2020 -- and that the company has achieved an energy density of more than 400Wh/kg, compared to new generation lithium-ion batteries that boast a capacity of around 250-300Wh/kg.

Details beyond this are sparse. The headline news here, if accurate, would be that the company has managed to put solid-state batteries into high volume production, but it's not clear how Qing Tao Energy Development has achieved this, nor what price points are involved. Furthermore, while a capacity of 100MWh is not to be sneezed at, it still only equates to fewer than 2,000 long-range EVs per year. Nonetheless, the news demonstrates that progress is happening in the solid-state battery arena. We might not feasibly yet be at high volume production, but we're on our way.

Original author: England
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NOV
18

How Hackers Are Stealing High-Profile Instagram Accounts

According to its website, SCL Media is “a tech-media company building content brands for multicultural and niche audiences.” Its website lists clients including Netflix, Microsoft, and Comedy Central. But representatives from all three companies said they have no affiliation with SCL Media, nor have they worked with the company in the past.

The influencer marketing industry has exploded over the past several years. According to a 2017 study by Influencer Marketing Hub, 420 new influencer marketing agencies opened in 2017 alone, more than double the amount that opened in 2015. “We’ve seen the industry go from a rising marketing tactic to an essential part of most marketing budgets,” one executive wrote in Adweek. Analysts estimate it’s currently worth more than $2 billion, and could reach up to $10 billion by 2020.

But this very lucrative, very new market still lacks critical infrastructure. There’s no standard method of communication, no formalized negotiation process, and, often, no paperwork. Rates can range widely from brand to brand and are often hashed out entirely via direct message. And because sponsored-content deals typically happen beyond Instagram’s official advertising mechanisms, the company is all but powerless to stop scams.

Eric Toda, head of marketing at Hill City, a GAP brand, said that the influencer industry right now is like the Wild West. “You see a lot of people selling snake oil,” he said, “because the market is so saturated.”

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OCT
28

190 universities just launched 600 free online courses. Here’s the full list.

If you haven’t heard, universities around the world are offering their courses online for free (or at least partially free). These courses are collectively called MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses.

In the past six years or so, over 800 universities have created more than 10,000 of these MOOCs. And I’ve been keeping track of these MOOCs the entire time over at Class Central, ever since they rose to prominence.

In the past four months alone, 190 universities have announced 600 such free online courses. I’ve compiled a list of them and categorized them according to the following subjects: Computer Science, Mathematics, Programming, Data Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, Education & Teaching, Health & Medicine, Business, Personal Development, Engineering, Art & Design, and finally Science.

If you have trouble figuring out how to signup for Coursera courses for free, don’t worry — here’s an article on how to do that, too.

Many of these are completely self-paced, so you can start taking them at your convenience.

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SEP
12

New Research Shows Power of Word of Mouth Marketing

83% of Americans say that a word of mouth recommendation from a friend or family member makes them more likely to purchase that product or service. #ChatterMatters Click To Tweet

This is just one of the dozens of findings in our new research, Chatter Matters: the 2018 Word of Mouth Report.

In this exclusive study, we surveyed 1,001 randomly sampled Americans to determine how we decide what to buy, and how to vote.

Word of mouth—online and offline—impacts every business, organization, candidate, and cause. Word of mouth is, of course, the oldest form of recommendation and customer acquisition, and it may be more important than ever, according to our findings in this Chatter Matters report.

When receiving a verbal recommendation from a friend or family member, 83% of Americans are subsequently more interested in purchasing the discussed product or service.

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SEP
09

The ultimate guide to finding and killing spyware and stalkerware on your smartphone

Our digital selves, more and more, are becoming part of our full identity. The emails we send, the conversations we have over social media -- both private and public -- as well as photos we share, the videos we watch, and the websites we visit all contribute to our digital forms.

As mobile devices are now a common tool for social interactions, it is not just ad agencies, data miners, and surveillance-hungry powers that want to keep track of us.

When a government agency, country, or cybercriminals decide to peek into our digital lives, there are generally ways to prevent them from doing so. Virtual private networks (VPNs), end-to-end encryption and using browsers that do not track user activity are all common methods.

Sometimes, however, surveillance is more difficult to detect -- and closer to home.

This guide will run through what spyware is, what the warning signs of infection are, and how to remove such pestilence from your mobile devices.

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SEP
05

Google’s Chrome browser is now 10 years old

Google first released its Chrome browser 10 years ago today. Marketed as a “fresh take on the browser,” Chrome debuted with a web comic from Google to mark the company’s first web browser. It was originally launched as a Windows-only beta app before making its way to Linux and macOS more than a year later in 2009. Chrome debuted at a time when developers and internet users were growing frustrated with Internet Explorer, and Firefox had been steadily building momentum.

Google used components from Apple’s WebKit rendering engine and Mozilla’s Firefox to help bring Chrome to life, and it made all of Chrome’s source code available openly as its Chromium project. Chrome focused on web standards and respected HTML5, and it even passed both the Acid1 and Acid2 tests at the time of its release. This was a significant step as Microsoft was struggling to adhere to open web standards with its Internet Explorer browser.

Original Chrome logo
Web standards support and sandboxing were key features of Chrome

Another significant part of Chrome’s first release was the idea of “sandboxing” individual browser tabs so that if one crashed it wouldn’t affect the others. This helped improve the speed and stability of Chrome in general, alongside Google’s V8 JavaScript engine that the company constantly tweaked to try and push the web forwards.

After a decade of Chrome, this browser now dominates as the primary way most people browse the web. Chrome has secured more than 60 percent of browser market share on desktop, and Google’s Chrome engineers continue to improve it with new features and push the latest web standards. Chrome has morphed into more than just a web browser, and you could argue it’s an entire platform that now runs on top of Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and even iOS.

Chrome’s first non-beta release
The future of Chrome looks more like a platform

Chrome now powers Chrome OS, Google’s lightweight operating system for laptops and now tablets. While it might not be totally ready for tablets just yet, Google has been bringing Android apps over to Chrome OS to make its Chromebooks and tablets more useful. Even fully-fledged Linux apps are coming to Chrome OS in the near future, and Chrome is helping push progressive web apps to make web apps a lot better. Chrome hasn’t seen a major redesign in years, but a Material Design Refresh is heading to the browser this month.

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SEP
04

A New Facebook Guide to Creating Video, The Shift to Instagram Stories Ads and Messenger, and 5 YouTube Facts You Can’t Miss

Looking to catch up on the latest social media news, but short on time? We have you covered! This week (episode #110) we’re chatting about all of this and more:

According to an interesting article from Digiday, Facebook is shifting gears with brand advertisers. After years of trying to sell brands on the Facebook news feed, they’re changing their pitch to Instagram, Stories, and Messenger engagement.Facebook interviewed some of the top video producers on social media media and compiled their latest tips, tricks, and helpful suggestions to move your business forward with video.YouTube requires a unique focus. The best practices for YouTube video won’t necessarily be the same as they are on Facebook or Twitter. We have some really interesting YouTube stats for you on how to improve your brand’s performance on YouTube.

Join 17,500+ weekly listeners for the Buffer podcast, The Science of Social Media, where we bring you the latest and greatest in social media marketing news, updates, stories, insights, and actionable takeaways.

Let’s dive in!

A new Facebook guide to creating video, the shift to Instagram Stories ads and Messenger, and 5 YouTube facts you can’t miss [complete podcast transcript]

What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the conversation between Hailley Griffis and Brian Peters.

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AUG
31

Why Personal Branding Is Key To Career Success -- And How To Create Yours

I once had a client, let’s call him Jim, who came to me with a question: do I need a personal brand to be successful?

My answer was a whole-hearted, resounding, yes!

Personal branding is crucial to cultivating a successful career. Marketing yourself and your career as a brand is more than just about creative business cards or pretty fonts– it’s about how you present yourself to potential clients, customers, and anyone else imperative to your career.

Your brand is an indication of what you have to offer, and can make or break your success. It’s also indicative of confidence, credibility, and an ability to prioritize.

Do you ever ask yourself how you can create a personal brand that’s both effective and authentic?

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AUG
22

You Think Your Job Sucks? Then You Haven’t Read These 6 Worst Work Stories From A Guy Working In IT

After reading the stupidest and funniest patient stories, you might have thought that doctors have it the worst. There is, however, another field that will test its workers’ faith in humanity. Information technology (IT). To prove this, Imgur user Sembe recently shared his worst work stories, and they’re so ridiculous, they make grandmas look like hackers. From incompetent managers to clueless users, Sembe has seen it all. Scroll down to check out the unbelievable struggles he has to face daily!

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AUG
13

Study: Blue light from screens can steadily blind us

The negative health effects of blue light emitted from our laptops, mobile devices, and other digital screens are common knowledge: Tech’s favorite color inhibits the body’s production of melatonin and alerts us awake, throwing off our sleep cycles. In addition to causing serious eye strain, it also increases the risk of obesity and certain types of cancer—all of which can explain the recent popularity of eyeglasses made just to filter out blue light. The effectiveness and necessity of these, meanwhile, are still up for debate.

Now, a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports reports that our blue-tinted screens are even worse for us than we think—they’re steadily making us blind.

[Illustration: FC]Conducting a series of cell culture and imaging tests, a research team of optical chemists from the University of Toledo found that blue light causes vital molecules in our eyes to become “toxic,” killing off photoreceptor cells in the retina that the body does not regenerate. In other words, with enough exposure, we’ll all be blinded by the light: Macular degeneration, an incurable disease that causes significant loss of vision in one’s 50s and 60s, is noted as a leading cause of blindness worldwide. In the U.S. alone, more than 2 million new cases of age-related macular degeneration are reported each year.

[Illustration: FC]More precisely, the team determined that blue light exposure triggers retinal molecules to produce “poisonous chemical molecules” that cause irreparable damage to these photoreceptor cells. As one of the researchers put it: “Photoreceptor cells do not regenerate in the eye. When they’re dead, they’re dead for good.”

“We are being exposed to blue light continuously, and the eye’s cornea and lens cannot block or reflect it,” said Dr. Ajith Karunarathne, a biochemistry professor at UT. “No activity is sparked with green, yellow, or red light. The retinal-generated toxicity by blue light is universal. It can kill any cell type.” Karunarathne is hopeful that the new findings might lead to the development of a preventative remedy, such as an eye drop. In the meantime, he echoes previous suggestions to try out UV and blue light-filtering eyewear, and reduce screen time in the evenings.

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AUG
13

An Analysis of 43M Facebook Business Pages Shows This Is the Ideal Number of Times to Post a Day

If you've been on Facebook at all recently, either for personal use or to promote your business, you've no doubt noticed radical changes to the newsfeed. Posts by friends and family have been given pride of place, while others pages appear less frequently. What does this mean for brands and companies looking to promote themselves on the site?

To figure out the best strategies for businesses after Facebook's latest algorithm changes, BuzzSumo and Buffer recently teamed up to comb through their trove of data for answers. Together the two companies crunched data on 43 millions pages from 20,000 top brands.

The complete results, delivered via an in-depth Buffer post, are well worth a read if you do any sort of Facebook marketing. But perhaps the headline finding is that now more definitely is not always better on Facebook. In fact, the analysis showed that a modest five posts a day is actually the ideal frequency for businesses to post.

The fact is more brands than ever before are producing more content than ever before for a decreasing number of slots on users feeds. Competition for customer eyeballs on the site is growing increasingly fierce.

"There has been a 24 percent increase in the number of posts per quarter from 6.5m posts to 8.1m posts over the past year. That's an increase from 72,000 posts per day in Q1 2017 to 90,032 posts per day in Q2 2018," reports Buffer.

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AUG
10

Apple runs into another embarrassing issue with the new MacBook Pro

A series of embarrassing gaffes in Cupertino are leading many to question whether Apple has lost its eye for detail.

Just weeks after Apple acknowledged, then patched, a throttling issue in its updated line of “Pro-level” laptops, users are now reporting another problem that casts Apple‘s quality control in a less-than-favorable light: the speakers. Numerous users have taken to Reddit and YouTube to report or demonstrate the problem.

Blockchain and cryptocurrency news minus the bullshit.Visit Hard Fork.

It appears that both 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro‘s have an issue that causes a cracking sound in its speakers, a distortion of sorts that’s present even at a relatively low volume. The speakers, it’s worth noting, were advertised as taking “listening to new levels with wide dynamic range and more bass for maximum boom.” Apple also noted that these speakers were its best yet, with a direct connection to the power supply that enabled “peak amplification.”

It’s unclear at this time what’s causing the issue, although a source familiar with the matter tells TNW the company is aware of the issue, and looking into it. Finding the cause, though, could be troublesome. User reports, so far, are all over the map. Some report the issue as one that primarily happens in specific applications, like Apple Music, iTunes, or Garage Band. Others say YouTube videos have the same effect. Still others report that they’re also noticing it when using Windows via BootCamp — a problem that may point to a hardware issue, rather than a software “bug.”

Forum users at MacRumors have speculated about a number of potential causes, from radio interference due to a lack of shielding, to bad audio drivers, or even Apple’s new T2 chip. One user reports that a fix is incoming in the latest macOS ‘Mojave’ beta update, although we couldn’t confirm this.

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AUG
07

The #1 Reason Why Your Social Media Has Zero Return on Investment in 2018

Do you feel stuck in a rut when it comes to achieving your business goals and utilizing social media to help you do such?

If so, you are not alone. Even some of the most savvy social marketers are finding themselves ready to throw in the towel with social media for business in 2018.

According to a recent study from the DMA, only 48% of marketers believe they are receiving a positive return on their investment in social media. This is disappointing in that 77% of marketers are using at least one social network for business.

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AUG
07

How to Create a Successful Content Marketing Schedule

Is content marketing one of your business’ promotional strategies? If so, how do you find time and stay on schedule when it comes to creating social media updates, blog posts, e-newsletters, white papers, infographics, videos, images, etc.?

While content creation is a valuable and affordable approach to marketing, it does require time and resources. Follow this guide to create a content schedule for your brand, or if you don’t have the capacity to handle it yourself, feel free to contact us to find out how we can assist your efforts!

1. Determine Content Marketing Elements to Invest In

Which content marketing elements will you use in your strategy?

What types of content marketing elements will you include in your strategy? The big three I usually recommend are blogging, social media and email marketing, although you may also want to consider infographics, videos, images, white papers, case studies or podcasts.

Start by thinking about your goals. What do you hope to accomplish with your content marketing efforts? That will help guide you towards the best tactics for your brand.

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AUG
07

Visual Content Marketing in 2018 Webinar: How to Power Up Your Brand with Visuals

 

A picture can speak a thousand words! Visual marketing is a form of content marketing and branding that enables you to communicate with, inspire and connect with your audience in very memorable, inspiring and compelling ways.

Did you know that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than the time it takes for the brain to decode text?

Learn how you can grow your brand and business with visual marketing on my free on-demand training webinar!

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AUG
07

Facebook vs. Google: AdRank Auction Factors [Infographic]

Many businesses use Google AdWords as part of their advertising strategy, but many are still warming up to Facebook Ads. An infographic from Ice Cube Marketing compares the two platforms, which—perhaps not surprisingly—have some similarities.

For example, each is a bidding-style platform, and bids can be manual or automated. Moreover, both platforms consider relevance when displaying ads.

Facebook goes on to determine an ad's "estimated action rate" as well, which is the probability that the targeted audience will take action based on the optimization event that you select, such as conversions, app installs, and video views.

(For more about Facebook ads, check out this August 23 MarketingProfs seminar: Facebook Advertising Tactics for the B2B Marketer. And check out this infographic about Facebook, also by Ice Cube Marketing.)

To explore the ad auction factors for Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, check out the comparison in the following infographic. Just tap or click to see a larger version.

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AUG
07

The Secret Behind Facebook Messenger Marketing, 5 Best Practices for Better ROI

While chatbot marketing in Facebook Messenger is a new marketing discipline, we aren’t executing campaigns in the Wild West.

With Facebook Messenger marketing best practices in place, the reward is audience engagement to the tune of 80% engagement rates.

Chatbots done well delight customers and streamline purchasing.

If you think chatbots can help your business, there aren’t too many Messenger marketing playbooks available.

When you’re looking for guidance and best practices in the uncharted territory of Facebook Messenger marketing, you can start here.

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AUG
07

PINTEREST FOR BLOGGERS: 10 INSANELY EASY RULES TO FOLLOW FOR PINTEREST SUCCESS

Everyone raves about Pinterest Success.

Getting massive traffic from Pinterest.

Building a huge Pinterest tribe.

Using Pinterest marketing strategies for business growth.

Pinterest becomes the major source of traffic for many bloggers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. Counting myself in.

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AUG
07

5 Reasons Your Social Media Isn't Working in 2018 and How to Fix It!

Pam is Founder Marketing Nutz - Social media, digital marketing & branding training & consulting agency. Global keynote speaker. Forbes Top 10 Social Media Power Influencer

Original author: Moore
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AUG
07

5 crucial e-commerce marketing tactics to drive more sales

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