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53% of global consumers feel anxious when their mobile device is not nearby, says Nielsen report

The struggle is real. In an increasingly connected world where news, retail shopping, banking and entertainment are available 24/7 on a variety of mobile devices, fear of missing out (FOMO) is a legitimate phenomenon.

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The struggle is real. In an increasingly connected world where news, retail shopping, banking and entertainment are available 24/7 on a variety of mobile devices, fear of missing out (FOMO) is a legitimate phenomenon. According to the new Nielsen Mobile Shopping, Banking and Payment Report, 53% of global consumers say they feel anxious when their mobile devices are not close at hand.  Two-thirds (56%) can’t imagine life without mobile devices, and 70% say their mobile device makes their life better. Two-thirds of global respondents (66%) agree that face-to-face interactions are being replaced with electronic ones, but that might not be a problem as almost half (47%) say they prefer texting to talking anyway.

iPhone 7 Plus PHOTO: APPLE

iPhone 7 Plus PHOTO: APPLE

While mobile has transformed the way we communicate and stay connected with each other, it has also revolutionized the world of retail and banking as it is providing financial inclusion to the estimated 2 billion “unbanked” consumers around the world. Growth in access to cashless payments is estimated to lead to $10 trillion in additional consumer spending over the next decade, according to a new report by The Demand Institute, jointly operated by Nielsen and The Conference Board.

“Mobile commerce has enormous implications for the entire retail ecosystem,” said Stuart Tagg, financial services leader, Nielsen Europe. “Mobile devices are not only bringing new consumers into the modern, connected economy, but they are enabling a more customized experience, as products and services can be more closely tailored to behaviors, needs and preferences. But driving higher adoption and usage starts with a deep understanding of how consumers are shopping and transacting in a digital world and then use that understanding to design strategies around their habits and preferences.”

Key findings of the Nielsen Mobile Shopping, Banking and Payment Report:

  • Globally, mobile devices are indispensable shopping buddies to compare prices (53%), look up product information (52%), look for coupons or deals (44%), make better shopping decisions (42%), make shopping trips quicker or more efficient (41%) and purchase products (38%).
  • Worldwide, 38% of respondents say they purchased a product or service on their mobile device in the past six months, and 34% say they’ve used a mobile app to make a purchase in the same period. Asia-Pacific has the highest self-reported rates of mobile purchasing. Half of respondents in China (50%), and roughly half in India (49%), South Korea (47%) and Vietnam (46%) say they purchased a product or service using their mobile device in the past six months.
  • Globally, mobile banking activities, such as accessing account information (47%) and paying bills (42%) are more common than transferring money between bank accounts (36%).
  • Around the world, just over one-quarter of respondents (27%) say they’re highly likely to use a mobile-only bank serviced entirely through a mobile app. Mobile-only banking is most popular in developing countries with large unbanked populations, with usage rates highest in India (46%), Indonesia (37%), Mexico (34%) and Turkey (34%).
  • Only 28% of global respondents are highly likely to use mobile payments in bars, restaurants or retail stores, with rates highest in India (46%) and China (45%).

The Nielsen Mobile Shopping, Banking and Payment Survey was conducted March 1–23, 2016, and polled more than 30,000 online respondents in 63 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East/Africa and North America to understand how mobile devices are influencing three distinct yet interconnected activities: shopping, banking and payments. Nielsen examined the kinds of mobile shopping, banking and payment activities respondents are currently engaged in and their likelihood to participate in the future. The sample includes internet users who agreed to participate in this survey and has quotas based on age and sex for each country. It is weighted to be representative of internet consumers by country. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. However, a probability sample of equivalent size would have a margin of error of ±0.6% at the global level. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion.

Health & Wellness

No NELL2, no sperm motility; novel protein is essential for male fertility

Male infertility may arise from lack of communication between the testis and the epididymis and new research has uncovered a mechanism of this communication.

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Photo by Dainis Graveris from Unsplash.com

Newly produced spermatozoa within the testis are not fully functional until they mature in the epididymis, a duct that helps to transport and store sperm. Male infertility may arise from lack of communication between the testis and the epididymis and new research has uncovered a mechanism of this communication.

In a study published in Science, Dr. Martin Matzuk at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Masahito Ikawa with Osaka University and their colleagues have discovered a novel testicular luminal protein, NELL2, that triggers in the epididymis a chain of events that matures the sperm and enables each one to be motile in females.

Sperm production

Sperm are produced in the seminiferous tubules of the testis and move through the epididymis, a long, convoluted tube linked to the vas deferens, the duct that moves sperm from the testicle to the urethra. When the sperm enter the epididymis, they are not motile and are incapable of fertilization. However, in their passage through the epididymis, the sperm are provided an appropriate environment for maturation and storage pending ejaculation.

It has been hypothesized that proteins released by the testis earlier in this process could act on the epididymis to mature the sperm as they arrive in the epididymis.

“Until now the proteins working through the lumicrine system of signaling have remained elusive. While it was known that the orphan receptor tyrosine kinase ROS1 expressed in the initial segment of the epididymis is necessary for its differentiation, neither the testicular factors that regulate initial segment differentiation nor the process of sperm maturation had been fully understood,” said Matzuk, professor and director of the Center for Drug Discovery at Baylor.

Photo by Dainis Graveris from Unsplash.com

Identifying NELL2

The researchers zeroed in on NELL2, a protein factor secreted by testicular germ cells, as a possible lumicrine regulator of fertility. “Using innovative genome editing technology, we generated knockout mice lacking the NELL2 gene and showed that these knockout males are sterile due to a defect in sperm motility,” explains lead author Dr. Daiji Kiyozum. “Moreover, their infertility could be rescued with a germ-cell-specific transgene, thus excluding other sites of expression. We also illustrated lumicrine signaling by demonstrating tagged NELL2 in the epididymal lumen.”

The research team observed that spermatogenesis proceeds normally in NELL2 knockout mouse testes but their epididymis was poorly differentiated, similar to Ros1 knockout mice. Following mating, neither NELL2 knockout nor Ros1 knockout spermatozoa can enter the uterine tubes or fertilize an egg. Further investigation showed that the Nell2 knockout epididymis is incapable of processing a specific sperm surface protein essential for male fertility.

Implications for male fertility?

Elaborating on their study, Ikawa and Matzuk, both senior authors, said: “We discovered a complicated cascade of events in which disruption of any point in this lumicrine pathway causes a male to be infertile. Our findings have important translational implications for diagnostic and therapeutic research in male infertility and male contraceptive development. This unique transluminal communication pathway between tissues and organs likely functions elsewhere in our bodies.”

Others who contributed to the work include Taichi Noda, Ryo Yamaguchi, Tomohiro Tobita, Takafumi Matsumura, Kentaro Shimada, Mayo Kodani, Takashi Kohda, Yoshitaka Fujihara, Manabu Ozawa, Zhifeng Yu, Gabriella Miklossy, Kurt M. Bohren, Masato Horie and Masaru Okabe.

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Lifestyle & Culture

Dodge the issues that will knock your business off the market

Unfortunately, there are numerous issues that can cripple your business and cause it to go under.

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Did you know that more than 90% of new businesses will fail within their first year? Many more will slowly fade away after just five years on the market. What goes wrong? Unfortunately, there are numerous issues that can cripple your business and cause it to go under.

IMAGE SOURCE: PEXELS.COM

Let’s explore some of these possible scenarios as well as the right steps to take if you want to avoid a potential disaster. 

Downtime 

The first issue that you need to be aware of is the problem of downtime. Downtime is any period where your company isn’t able to function on the market anymore. This can occur because there is a tech issue in your business. For instance, a hack could cause a significant level of downtime in your company. You might also find that this is a problem due to a natural disaster. For instance, a nasty storm could knock out your server leaving you unable to function. As well as costing a fortune, it can mean that your business is forgotten by buying customers. 

To prevent downtime, you need to make sure that your systems are prepared the right way. A database conversion service can help here. It will ensure that your business servers are flexible and versatile. If there is an issue, your company will bounce back immediately. 

Overspending 

Of course, one of the easiest ways to damage your business is always going to be through overspending. You need to make sure that you are not creating a lot of wastage in your business model. Wastage will leave your company in a weaker position and make it more difficult to adapt to economic challenges. To reduce wastage, you need to think carefully about how you utilize your business funds. You should price check every service that you use in your company whether it’s an outsourcing solution or a supplier providing a product you need in your model. 

Customer Complaints 

According to recent polls, more than 85% of customers will check the reviews of a product or service before they commit to a purchase. That’s why you should make sure that you are being careful and keeping an eye on the perception of your business. Ideally, you need to tackle negative reviews of your company as soon as they appear. 

Be aware that reviews can be on social media as well. That’s why it’s important to constantly check mentions of your brand on Twitter and similar networks. In doing so, you can directly interact with the individual who has left a negative review. Potentially, you can even widen your customer base if you respond to a complaint the right way. This is a great way to transform a negative into a positive for your company. Be aware that there is automated software available that will check mentions for you. You don’t need to do this manually. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the reasons that your business can get knocked off the market. If you take the right steps here, then you can plan for the issues and help preserve the longevity of your business.

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Travel

Netherlands to remove gender from identity cards

By 2024 or 2025, gender identity will no longer be contained in Dutch national identity cards. This move is expected to counter-check the potential harms caused by gender declaration – e.g. harassment, discrimination and violence – particularly when there is no justification to publish a person’s legal gender at all.

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By 2024 or 2025, gender identity will no longer be contained in Dutch national identity cards.

This after the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, announced the decision in a letter to the House of Representatives. This move is actually part of a broader plan from the Ministry, which also includes limiting “unnecessary gender registration”.

This move is expected to counter-check the potential harms caused by gender declaration – e.g. harassment, discrimination and violence – particularly when there is no justification to publish a person’s legal gender at all.

Gender identity will, however, remain on Dutch passports due to European Union regulation.

The removal of information that used to be deemed “important” from IDs is not actually new.

Various countries, for instance, already exclude personal characteristics, such as race, religion or marital status, which could cause more harm than good.

The Netherlands is not the first EU country to do this. In 2013, Germany recognized indeterminate sex by permitting babies born with no clear gender-determining anatomy to be put on the birth register without a male or female classification.

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Travel

Thailand could become first Southeast Asian country to legalize same-sex civil partnerships

Thailand’s Cabinet approved a draft bill that will legally recognize same-sex civil partnerships while giving greater rights to same-sex couples. If/when passed into law, this could be the first for any nation in Southeast Asia; and the second in Asia to allow for the registration of same-sex unions after Taiwan legalized marriage equality in 2019.

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Photo by Sumit Chinchane from Unsplash.com

The rainbow rises in Thailand.

Thailand’s Cabinet approved a draft bill that will legally recognize same-sex civil partnerships while giving greater rights to same-sex couples. If/when passed into law, this could be the first for any nation in Southeast Asia; and the second in Asia to allow for the registration of same-sex unions after Taiwan legalized marriage equality in 2019.

This is a major step, but to clarify, it doesn’t endorse same-sex “marriage(EMPHASIS OURS). Instead, the Civil Partnership Bill allows same-sex couples to legally register their union.

The draft bill defines “civil partners” as “couples born with the same sex”. To register, couples must be at least 17 years old and at least one of the pair must be a Thai citizen; meaning that – similar to Taiwan’s law on this – foreign same-sex couples will not be able register their partnership in Thailand.

Those under the age of 17 must get permission from their parents/legal guardian.

Under the draft bill, same-sex couples will be allowed to adopt children, claim inheritance rights, and jointly manage assets such as property for the first time. However, partners would not be entitled to the same financial benefits that heterosexual couples get from the state.

The bill also covers rules for separations – e.g. unions could be ended by death, voluntary separation or court order.

While the Cabinet’s approval is a major development, process-wise, this is far from over as the draft bill still needs to go through a public hearing and then the House of Representatives (HOR) will debate and vote on it. If HOR passes the bill, it will then will go to the Senate for another vote.

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Lifestyle & Culture

Sticky wilds in slots explained

You may not think it at first, but studying gambling history is actually incredibly interesting, especially in the field of slot machines where there has been a pretty crazy amount of developments in a relatively short space of time.

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You may not think it at first, but studying gambling history is actually incredibly interesting, especially in the field of slot machines where there has been a pretty crazy amount of developments in a relatively short space of time. Seriously, it wasn’t much more than 100 years ago that Charles D. Fey was applying the finishing touches to the first commercially viable slot machine, and now they are everywhere.

One of the main developments in the field of slot gambling has got to be the discovery of the RNG – Random Number Generator. It was this that first enabled slot creators to make video slots, a version of the popular game at top10slotgames.com that didn’t have to rely on mechanical reels, and could therefore be pumped full of tantalizing bonus symbols and features. Read ahead for a lowdown on one of these – sticky wilds! 

What is a wild symbol? 

First things first: let’s do a little recap for those of us who are just starting their online slots journey and may not know what a wild symbol is, let alone a sticky wild symbol. In the vast majority of cases wild symbols end up being slot gamblers’ best friends, as these special bonus symbols can frequently swap with other icons on the reels in order to make winning combinations. 

As you might imagine, this means wild symbols can be a bit of a god send when you are spinning those reels, especially if you happen to be on a particularly drawn out losing streak. For this reason it is always worth checking what the wild symbol is before you start playing an online slot, they are often embroidered with some kind of “Wild” slogan, although a lot of the time you would not know until you checked. 

What is a sticky wild symbol? 

So then, what on Earth is a sticky wild symbol? Well, a sticky wild symbol isn’t actually that much different to a normal wild symbol, its function and affect on the reels is pretty much exactly the same, however the difference here is that sticky wild symbol can end up staying in the same place for several spins. 

This is why it is called a “sticky” wild symbol, as it has the ability to stick in place! This is incredibly useful because it means that there are way more possibilities to win money with a wild symbol when it appears on the reels. 

A history of sticky wild symbols 

As experienced slot gamblers will tell you, sticky wild icons have not been around for that long, and that is mainly because it is impossible to emulate a sticky wild symbol on a purely mechanical slot machine. It was only with the advent of video slots that developers could start playing around with sticky wild symbols, as the digital screen was so much more flexible than a mechanical set of physical reels. 

As you might imagine, sticky wild symbols can now be found everywhere too, testimony to how good they are.

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Lifestyle & Culture

Necessary to avoid e-gambling in Canada? All truth revealed!

Ferret out the possible ways how to choose the reliable and reputable casino to gamble at with no negative side effects ever.

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Should you avoid the online casinos in Canada?

The e-gambling universe is known to be one of the rapidly-developing branches of human expertise, and that’s why one should be always aware of the possible hidden threats standing behind the appealing bonus offers and steeping layout! Anyway, what can be a real obstacle on your gambling success path? 

Before we inform you about everything, just know that the best casinos are always possible to be at your disposal when in Canada (or—for French-speaking Canadians, les meilleurs casinos en ligne par NativeCasino sont ici). As a result, you’ll have no problems to read the most reliable and detailed information either in English or in French.

E-Gambling: Main Pros

When it comes to the benefits of playing casino games, no one would argue that along with the fabulous opportunities to win, it gets possible to evolve some strategy-building techniques and intuition. 

Are these pros truly effective if the casino online being chosen by a gambler is not meant to provide any payouts at all and all of RTP rates are nothing else but another fake? So, each time every gambler should be aware of the possible disadvantages. Also, they have to know the ways to fix the cons up!

We’re sure you’re interested in this point, and, so, we would like to ensure you know how to omit the irresponsible e-gambling platforms to get the biggest wins ever!

E-Gambling: Essential Threats

In compliance with RGC’s Standards & Criteria for iGaming, the main threat is of course, related to the matters of addictive behavior. Along with this, it is also possible single out some more side effects, like, for instance, psychological necessity to gamble or exposure to psychological side effects of losing. What’s more, the development of possible psychological/deviant syndromes can be enumerated, as well.

However, there is another point to be touched upon, which is even more significant than just that irresponsible gambling. That’s the unreliable gambling platforms. Of course, if a virtual casino website states they have a licence by the Curaçao Gaming Control Board or any other reputable authority, it’s a good sign. In many cases, the casinos do fool up the gamblers by claiming they have a licence.

So, no one can know for sure if the reliable casino is chosen, and if it’d be possible to win at least anything. That’s why one should always pay attention to the fact there are great ways to omit the issue by reading the casino reviews.

As a result, by choosing a fair casino that would ensure the honest gambling process, one would prevent oneself from the unnecessary psychologically negative effects. Besides, there’ll be a chance to take one’s gambling endeavors over to have clear vision of the winnings and loses’ balance.

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