International stories and articles from our Flipboard mag.

DEC
19

How Instagram’s new features will impact organic reach

Last week, Instagram added two features that will alter the content in users’ feeds: The ability to follow hashtags will surface hashtag-focused posts, and a “Recommended for you” section will show posts friends have liked.

When it comes to organic reach on the platform, both changes have favorable and unfortunate implications for brands, publishers and influencers. Here’s a rundown of them:

Clutter will increase
Both changes will add increased clutter to Instagram feeds, resulting in more content users must scroll through to reach all organic content. Ever since 2016, when Instagram switched from a chronological algorithm to one that tailors posts for each specific user, brands have to pay to be seen. Instagram said the new changes will not impact where paid ads will appear within user feeds, so posts that are not backed by a robust paid Instagram strategy are likely to be further buried.

The new hashtag-related posts will follow the platform’s same algorithm. If a user follows a certain hashtag, say “#photography,” Instagram will determine which posts to show the user in their feed based on the recency and quality of the posts. There is no limit on how many hashtag-related posts appear in a user’s feed, said an Instagram spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the new “Recommended for you” section, which will include three to five posts, will appear after a user has viewed all of their new posts. Consequently, users who open and close the app more often will see the “Recommended for you” section more frequently than those that do not.

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DEC
19

How to actually get noticed on social media

social_mediasm

Social media isn't just for sharing photos of your breakfast and arguing over Star Wars movies. If you're starting a new business or launching a side project, these networks can also spread the word about your work. But how do you stand out in the sea of information? Social platforms offer a variety of tools and tricks to help you.

In this guide, we'll cover the best of these attention-grabbing techniques, focusing on DIY methods you can employ without spending any money or hiring a team of promoters.

Embrace the hashtags

Hashtags do more than add an ironic underscore to your tweets or Instagram posts. They can also connect you with a wider audience, including customers and contacts in your chosen market. Even if people don't follow you, they do search for relevant hashtags (something Instagram just added), which means they'll see what you post when you include key words.

Both Instagram and Twitter make it very easy to search via hashtag. On their websites, you can find the search boxes at the top of the screen, and in the mobile apps, you can search by navigating to the separate tab.

There are no hard and fast rules about how to use hashtags—it really depends on what you're selling and what your business is. Still, you can pick up some ideas by looking at other accounts in your field and seeing what words they choose. One rule you should follow is to avoid hashtag overload. A post filled entirely with hashtags looks spammy, and people won't click on it.

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DEC
18

Joomla’s Response to Overturning Net Neutrality in the United States

Details Created: 15 December 2017

New York - December 15, 2017
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) vote on Thursday December 14, 2017 to repeal Net Neutrality, while unfortunately expected, is tremendously disappointing to all believers of an open and free internet.
Open Source Matters, Inc. and the Joomla Community believe wholeheartedly in content creation and dissemination. We as a community have been overwhelmingly in favor of retaining Net Neutrality in the United States and worldwide and will seek to make our voices heard in as many ways as possible.

We encourage individual participation in all public outlets to promote Net Neutrality and combat the shrinking of the internet for only the few who can pay to deliver content. We should not limit ourselves to social media activism, we must call, mail letters, and visit our elected officials to directly relay our displeasure, to ask for accountability, and demand reinstatement of Net Neutrality.

Second, please support the dissenting FCC members, regardless of partisan politics, they had the courage to see and fight for an open internet, and we should use our voices to help them as they fight the day to day battle.
Please read their statements:
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db1214/DOC-348259A1.pdf
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db1214/DOC-348261A3.pdf.

Last, this fight is not over. We individually and as a community have been working with and will continue to work with organizations, political action committees (PACs), and individuals who support an open internet as much as we do. While the process may be arduous and complex, we who have built our professional and personal lives upon an open internet owe it to ourselves, our neighbors, and future generations to preserve one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century.

We are not discouraged.
We are stronger.
And today we are a part of the caretakers of the internet bringing our voices to the masses.

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DEC
16

Google Will Soon Shame All Websites That Are Unencrypted

Google wants everything on the web to be travelling over a secure channel. That's why in the future your Chrome browser will flag unencrypted websites as insecure, displaying a red "x" over a padlock in the URL bar.

With this upcoming change in Chrome, Google makes it clear that the web of the future should all be encrypted, and all sites should be served over HTTPS, which is essentially a secure layer on top of the usual HTTP web protocol. Several companies and organizations have been pushing for more encrypted sites as part of a campaign to "Encrypt All The Things," which consists of promoting more websites to abandon the traditional, less secure HTTP protocol and adopt HTTPS.

Currently, Chrome displays only an icon of a white page when the website you're accessing is not secured with HTTPS, a green locked padlock when it is, as well as a padlock with a red "x" on it when there's something wrong with the HTTPS page the user is trying to access. The change will draw even more attention to the sites that are potentially insecure.

"The goal of this proposal is to more clearly display to users that HTTP provides no data security."

The internet giant quietly announced this plan back in 2014, when one of the members of the Chrome Security Team sent out a proposal to mark all HTTP websites as "non-secure."

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DEC
16

Google expands booking features for travelers with price tracking and deals

Google

We are a week and a half away from Christmas, but it’s still not too late to fly away for the holidays — it’ll just cost a pretty penny to do so. If you’re okay with that, Google announced on its blog that it updated its suite of travel applications and services to feature price tracking and deals.

Starting with Google Flights, the search giant is leveraging its machine learning chops to take a look at historical price data to let you when is the best time to book a flight. Once you let Google Flights know where you want to go, you can choose to have it send you tips like “prices won’t drop further” or “prices are less than normal.” That way, you can be better informed as to whether you should book your flight now or wait a bit longer.

Moving right along, Google’s hotel search results offer similar information. Because you’re dealing with hotels, Google lets you know if rates for a specific room are higher or if the surrounding area is busier due to a local event. That way, you can better plan when to make a hotel room reservation, with folks having the option to receive email alerts whenever prices fluctuate.

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DEC
16

Google Inbox will remind you to unsubscribe from unread promo emails

If you have any emails that Inbox has classified under its "Promos" tag, you might start seeing a new Inbox Tip that offers an easy way to unsubscribe (or say no thanks, if you want to keep getting the emails). The feature appears to be new, and seems to only be available on Android phones and the web version of Inbox.

None of the editors at Engadget seem to have one of these tip cards, yet, but Android Police has images of the feature and we've reached out to Google for confirmation. We'll update this post when we hear back.

Original author: LeFebvre
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DEC
15

Facebook defends itself against critics of social media

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc on Friday struck back against scientific researchers and tech industry insiders who have criticized the world’s biggest social media network and its competitors for transforming how people behave and express emotion.

Facebook, in a corporate blog post, said that social media can be good for people’s well-being if they use the technology in a way that is active, such as messaging with friends, rather than passive, such as scrolling through a feed of other people’s posts.

It was the second time this week that Facebook had published such a rebuttal, signaling a new willingness to defend a business model that translates users’ attention into advertising revenue.

On Tuesday, the company released a statement saying that former executive Chamath Palihapitiya, who at a conference publicly blamed Facebook for “destroying how society works,” had been gone for six years and was unfamiliar with the company’s recent efforts to improve.

Palihapitiya on Thursday revised his view, writing in a Facebook post that the service “is a force for good in the world.”

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DEC
15

Top Brand Influencers: 25 You Should Know

As influencer marketing continues to become more and more popular, more and more brands are expected to give it a shot. To get an idea of how influencer marketing works, it can be helpful to take a look at a few influencers who’ve had great success working with brands or even launching their own brands as a way to capitalize on their popularity. Take a peek at the top brand influencers across social media today.

Joy Cho

On Pinterest, Joy Cho slays. The top brand influencer has more than 12 million followers, hundreds of boards, and thousands of pins. Her creativity and popularity have led to collabs with Target, Incipio, and Band-Aid. She also has 387,000 Instagram followers.

Reichel Broussard

Reichel Broussard’s blog, Copy Cat Chic, is all about getting a luxe home decor look for less. As one of the top brand influencers, she has 54,500 Instagram followers, and has worked with brands such as Delta Faucet.

Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson is a blogger, stylist, author, top brand influencer and TV host with 666,000 followers on Instagram. Although she’s mainly into home design and decor, she’s partnered with a variety of brands, including Land’s End and the subscription box service FabFitFun.

Bri Emery

Bri Emery is the graphic designer and blogger behind the blog Design Love Fest. As one of the top brand influencers, she has 797,000 followers on Instagram. She regularly shares posts created in partnerships with brands. Some of the brands she’s worked with recently include Behr Paints and Artifact Uprising.

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DEC
15

Final Cut Pro X Offers 360-Degree VR Video Editing

Just released, Final Cut Pro X (Version 10.4) now offers editors 360-degree VR video editing capabilities, advanced color grading tools, and support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) video. The software has been optimized to work well with the new iMac Pro—which started shipping this week. Users will also be excited to know they can now edit full 8K video on a Mac. The updated software also includes powerful tools for color grading such as color curves, which allow for ultra-fine color adjustments, and custom lookup tables (LUTS) from color-grading apps like DaVinci Resolve. 

Some additional features in Final Cut Pro 10.4:

Easily import iMovie projects from iPhone and iPad for advanced editing, audio work, motion graphics and color grading. HEVC and HEIF support for importing and editing high-efficiency video and photo formats from Apple devices. Updated audio effects plug-ins from Logic Pro X with redesigned, resizable interfaces. Faster, higher quality optical flow analysis built on Metal, Apple’s advanced graphics technology.

Final Cut Pro 10.4 is $300 for new users and available as a free update for existing users on the Mac App Store.
 


PRESS RELEASE

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DEC
15

Social-Media Stars Are Turning Heads---of Regulators

Influencers, the social-media stars courted by fashion, beauty and luxury brands for their legions of internet followers, are attracting a new crowd—regulators.

These stars offer their fans on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms what might seem like unscripted glimpses into their daily lives, complete with products and brand mentions—but sometimes without disclosing that companies have paid them in cash, goods or services.

Regulators say such financial rewards—even those given to influencers without explicit demands in return—can run afoul of longstanding rules against deceptive marketing if they aren't disclosed. Authorities in the U.S., the U.K., France and elsewhere are policing social media to ferret out potential offenders.

The Federal Trade Commission in September sent warning letters to 21 social-media influencers asking them to disclose any financial arrangements with brands mentioned in recent posts on Instagram.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell and “Pretty Little Liars” actresses Shay Mitchell and Lucy Hale, as well as bloggers and reality-TV personalities, were among those contacted by the FTC.

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DEC
15

Triton: hackers take out safety systems in 'watershed' attack on energy plant

In what experts are calling a watershed moment, hackers have infiltrated the critical safety systems for industrial control units used in nuclear, oil and gas plants, halting operations at at least one facility.

The attackers, who are believed to be state-sponsored, targeted the Triconex industrial safety technology made by Schneider Electric SE, according to security firm FireEye and Schneider, who disclosed the incident on Thursday.

A security alert was sent to users of Triconex, but neither firm would reveal the nature or location of the plant, which some have suggested may be in the Middle East, possibly Saudi Arabia. Experts said the attack marks the first reported breach of a safety system at an industrial plant by hackers.

Galina Antova, co-founder of cybersecurity firm Claroty, said safety systems “could be fooled to indicate that everything is OK” even as hackers damage a plant.

The hackers used sophisticated malware, dubbed “Triton”, to take remote control of a safety control workstation, according to a FireEye investigation. Some controllers entered a failsafe mode as the hackers attempted to reprogram them, causing related processes to shut down and allowing the plant to spot the attack.

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DEC
15

Don’t keep cell phones next to your body, California Health Department warns

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a warning against the hazards of cellphone radiation this week. Yes, the thing we are all addicted to and can’t seem to put down is leaking electromagnetic radiation and now California has some guidance to safeguard the public.

The CDPH asks people to decrease their use of these devices and suggests keeping your distance when possible.

“Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones,” said CDPH director Dr. Karen Smith.

The warning comes after findings were offered up this week from a 2009 department document, which was published after an order from the Sacramento Superior Court.

A year ago, UC Berkeley professor Joel Moskowitz initiated a lawsuit to get the department to release the findings after he started looking into whether mobile phone use increased the risk of tumors.

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DEC
15

13 Real Ways I Make Money Online

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Jeff Rose explains 13 ways you can make money online, from podcasting to sponsored content. The internet provides a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs, and getting ahead of your competitors with some of these strategies could make a massive difference. It could allow you to have more cash to invest in yourself or your business, which in turn could be the difference between succeeding and failing. 

So, if you have an interest in learning how to make more money online, click play to learn which of Rose's 13 strategies might fit you best.

Related: How to Invest When You Only Have $100 to Spend

Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing entertainment, education and inspiration from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. We provide expertise and opportunities to accelerate brand growth and effectively monetize video and audio content distributed across all digital platforms for the business genre.

EN is partnered with hundreds of top YouTube channels in the business vertical. Watch video from our network partners on demand on Amazon FireRokuApple TV and the Entrepreneur App available on iOS and Android devices.

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DEC
15

How to Create Influencer Roundups: Tips and Tools for Bloggers

Do you want to improve your influencer outreach for roundup posts?

Wondering how to come up with a unique topic idea?

In this article, you’ll discover a four-step plan to create effective influencer roundups.

How to Create Influencer Roundups: Tips and Tools for Bloggers by Ann Smarty on Social Media Examiner.

#1: Plan a Timeline for Your Roundup

Timing is everything. If you plan your influencer-driven content in time for the upcoming holidays, you’ll get a number of benefits including:

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DEC
15

Facebook to put ads before (some) videos

Starting next year, Facebook will test advertisements at the beginning of some videos. The ads will last six seconds and only show up before videos you seek out in Facebook's Watch section.

That means you won't see these ads in your news feed. You'll only run across a "pre-roll" advertisement when you view something in the dedicated "Watch" section, which Facebook (FB) launched earlier this year. (Facebook says the news feed location doesn't "work well" for these kinds of ads.)

Related: Facebook's new video service is called 'Watch.' But will you?

Watch is Facebook's separate area just for video. It has a dedicated button on the bottom of the mobile app, and a link on the side of the website.

There are some original shows on Watch, like video versions of the popular Humans of New York account. But it's more of a burgeoning YouTube than the next Netflix. The content is mostly short and low budget.

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DEC
14

The FCC just killed net neutrality

Net neutrality is dead — at least for now. In a 3-2 vote today, the Federal Communications Commission approved a measure to remove the tough net neutrality rules it put in place just two years ago. Those rules prevented internet providers from blocking and throttling traffic and offering paid fast lanes. They also classified internet providers as Title II common carriers in order to give the measure strong legal backing.

Today’s vote undoes all of that. It removes the Title II designation, preventing the FCC from putting tough net neutrality rules in place even if it wanted to. And, it turns out, the Republicans now in charge of the FCC really don’t want to. The new rules largely don’t prevent internet providers from doing anything. They can block, throttle, and prioritize content if they wish to. The only real rule is that they have to publicly state that they’re going to do it.

Advocates say internet providers will prioritize their own content over their competitors

Opponents of net neutrality argue that the rules were never needed in the first place, because the internet has been doing just fine. “The internet wasn't broken in 2015. We were not living in some digital dystopia,” commission chairman Ajit Pai said today. “The main problem consumers have with the internet is not and has never been that their internet provider is blocking access to content. It's been that they don't have access at all.”

While that may broadly be true, it’s false to say that all of the harms these rules were preventing are imagined: even with the rules in place, we saw companies block their customers from accessing competing apps, and we saw companies implement policies that clearly advantage some internet services over others. Without any rules in place, they’ll have free rein to do that to an even greater extent.

Read the dissenting statements of the Democratic FCC commissioners

Supporters of net neutrality have long argued that, without these rules, internet providers will be able to control traffic in all kinds of anti-competitive ways. Many internet providers now own content companies (see Comcast and NBCUniversal), and they may seek to advantage their own content in order to get more eyes on it, ultimately making it more valuable. Meanwhile, existing behaviors like zero-rating (where certain services don’t count toward your data cap) already encourage usage of some programs over others. If during the early days of Netflix, you were free to stream your phone carrier’s movie service instead, we might not have the transformational TV and movie company it’s turned into today.

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DEC
14

3 Simple Questions to get Marketing and Sales Working Together | LinkedIn Marketing Blog

FireIceHeader

How do you get the sales team and marketing team to work together?

There’s a lot of talk about the increasing need to align sales and marketing functions within organizations. Customers are expecting a seamless experience. And it’s getting more difficult to split the different parts of the customer life cycle between the sales team over there, and the marketing team over here.

Instead of keeping the two separate and distinct, it’s clear that the new buyer’s journey requires them to become closer. And at the same time, both marketing and sales professionals are being expected to expand their role. Juggling all of this can be challenging.

The growing number of platforms and channels are pushing marketers to create an increasing amount of content. At the same time, it’s easier than ever to quantify ROI for different marketing initiatives. So marketers are being expected to create more material and being held to higher standards for what they produce.

On the other side of the aisle, there’s increasing pressure on sales people to engage their prospects and customers with relevant insights. Digital communication has become a powerful tool for engaging in long-term value- and relationship- building. That means salespeople need content to share, and unfortunately, most sales people don’t have the training, experience, or desire to create it.

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DEC
13

A month after a New York woman died, someone used her identity to campaign against net neutrality

And then, just over a month after she died, Margaret Basco submitted a comment to the Federal Communications Commission about its proposal to overturn net neutrality.

"The unprecedented regulatory power the Obama Administration imposed on the internet is smothering innovation, damaging the American economy and obstructing job creation," the comment read.

Basco's story shows how stolen personal data can be weaponized and used to interfere in the democratic process. Investigators say the identities of more than one million Americans, both dead and alive, may have been used to hijack the FCC's public comment process -- one of the few ways beyond voting that Americans can directly share their opinion with the government.

The current rules on net neutrality, adopted under the Obama administration, bar internet providers, like AT&T and Comcast, from deliberately speeding up or slowing down traffic to or from specific websites and apps. (AT&T is in the process of acquiring Time Warner, CNN's parent company.)

On Thursday, the FCC, now Republican-controlled, is expected to repeal the Obama-era rules -- an outcome for which the major telecom companies have lobbied long and hard.

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DEC
13

More than 450 HP laptop models contain hidden keyloggers capable of tracking everything you type

More than 450 HP laptop models have a keylogger hidden away in a driver, forcing HP to issue patches for the affected devices.

The keylogger, found in Synaptics' touchpad software, is disabled by default, but hackers could potentially enable it if they had access to a computer by elevating user privileges, said Michael Myng, the researcher who discovered the flaw.

Commercial workstations, consumer laptops and other HP products contain the flaw, including Spectre devices, Pavilion devices, ZBooks and others.

"A potential security vulnerability has been identified with certain versions of Synaptics touchpad drivers that impacts all Synaptics OEM partners," an HP statement on its security bulletin read.

 "A party would need administrative privileges in order to take advantage of the vulnerability. Neither Synaptics nor HP has access to customer data as a result of this issue."

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DEC
12

The Future of Web Typography: CSS Fonts Level 4

Web fonts helped to breathe life into designs, helping us avoid the system defaults so widely used during the early days of web design. With so many options available today, we as have plenty of tricks up our sleeves in order to serve and style custom fonts. Level 4 of the CSS Fonts Module outlines more intriguing options you will love, including some exciting properties such as font-min/max-size. This article won’t uncover every last crumb of level 4, but will highlight the interesting parts still in their infancy. The adventure starts now!

The Status Quo

Currently we sit between two levels of specs. On one side we have level 3; a spec that has been at “Candidate Recommendation” since October 2013. Looking ahead we have level 4; a spec that has been resting at “Working Draft” since July 2017. If you’re in need of a reminder regarding the order of W3C specification stages, let’s take a moment to review them:

Working Draft (WD): Published for review by the community, including W3C Members, the public, and other technical organizations. Does not represent a consensus of the Working Group nor imply any endorsement by W3C.Candidate Recommendation (CR): Widely reviewed and ready for implementation. Doesn’t imply endorsement by W3C. Signals to the wider community that it’s time to carry out a final review.Proposed Recommendation (PR): A mature technical report sent to the W3C Advisory Committee for final endorsement.W3C Recommendation (REC): Receives endorsement from W3C Members and the Director. Recommends wide deployment of specification guidelines.

Now that we understand the specification stages let’s dive into the guts of level 4 and bring to light some of the known and documented features new to this module.

Fonts Module Level 4

Parts of level 3 that become standardized will be ported into level 4, but level 4 will also include its own unique additions. Sections such as Font Variations, Font Rendering Controls, Color Font Support, Basic Font Properties and Font Resources will contain brand-new items many developers will find useful.

Basic Font Properties

The particular font face rendered is determined by the font-family and other font properties that apply to a given element, such as font-weight and font-style for example. This structure allows settings to vary independently of each other and what encompasses Basic Font Properties. So what’s planned for this group?

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