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Innovation that could be the next ‘big thing’ after internet

Here are a few innovations expected to be the next ‘Big Thing’ after internet.

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Photo by Franck V. from Unsplash.com

The emergence of the internet was a game changer, and it has changed and transformed the way we do things in the modern world. But that was not the end of innovation; in fact so much is in store and about to hit the inhabitants of the earth by surprise.

Outlined below are a few innovations expected to be the next ‘Big Thing’ after internet.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence can learn and function on their own without human supervision – sounds like science fiction but it’s a reality that is progressively happening. Let’s examine an example of the above ground pool cleaners, these are amazing innovative robots that clean pools without the need of supervision.

The upcoming AI innovation indicates that the next AI will understand and replicate ideas and procedures hence develop breakthroughs faster.

Autonomous Driving

These are self-driving cars and are already in the market. So in the near future all you have to do is get into your car and tell it where you want to go and maybe take a nap – amazing.

General Motors Company and taxi services like Lyft and Uber are already investing massively for these self-driving cars.

SOURCE: AMAZON.COM

Reusable Rockets

We are accustomed to rockets flying only once then combusting through the earth atmosphere.

United Launch Alliance, Blue Origin and Space X companies are in the process of developing rockets that that can safely land. Very soon rockets will be reusable and space travel will become affordable.

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Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

 AR is said to enhance reality whereas VR helps us forget. As this two technologies improve users will have access to more content so our experience of technology will change.

Increased Adaptation of renewable energy

Mass production of solar panels will revolutionize this sector and make it more affordable. Governments and companies across the globe will strive to purchase and implement these technology.

Large Scale Desalination

Desalination is a concept used to produce water. The world largest desalination plant in Israeli produces 627,000 cubic meters of water daily.

If adapted it can be used to resolve the global water crisis.

Increased fast Internet

Innovation into increased fast internet is ongoing and Google’s Loon Balloon is one of them. Google Fiber has an internet speed of 1 gigabit per second and becoming very popular in the U.S, Li-Fi has an amazing speed of 224 gigabits per second.

Apparently even Wi-Fi is becoming passive using less power. Very soon internet connection will be history the ‘internet of things’ will connect worldwide.

Online DNA analysis     

Will be used to analyze your genetic online

This will help give people information about their health, explain why you can develop certain diseases and not others.

Knowing and understanding your body will become easy and affordable.

Immune system engineering

There is hope for cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV patients who could be treated by engineering the immune system.

It is good news to know treatments like chemotherapy will be a thing of the past. There are companies already saving lives through immunotherapy and genetic editing.

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Almost Foldable Phones

Graphene, a hyper-flexible 2D strongest ever tested material has great potential like filtering drinking water, creating medical supplies. With this material foldable phones will soon be a reality.

LG’s Tube Display

Picture rolling up you TV and carrying it in your pocket. LG has come up with this innovation of tube display which is flexible and lightweight.

Google Pixel Ear buds

Google Pixel Ear buds can translate 40 languages. They are only compatible to Google Pixel smartphone.

In conclusion, one innovation leads to another, and the cycle never stops. With funding, support, and innovation, any idea is worth implementation.

NEWSMAKERS

Loneliness and social anxiety a bad combination for people using dating apps

Loneliness and social anxiety is a bad combination for single people who use dating apps on their phones, a new study suggests.

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Loneliness and social anxiety is a bad combination for single people who use dating apps on their phones, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that people who fit that profile were more likely than others to say they’ve experienced negative outcomes because of their dating app use.

“It’s not just that they’re using their phone a lot,” said Kathryn Coduto, lead author of the study and doctoral student in communication at The Ohio State University. “We had participants who said they were missing school or work, or getting in trouble in classes or at work because they kept checking the dating apps on their phones.”

Coduto said it is a problem she has seen firsthand.

“I’ve seen people who use dating apps compulsively. They take their phones out when they’re at dinner with friends or when they’re in groups. They really can’t stop swiping,” she said.

The study was published recently online in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Participants were 269 undergraduate students with experience using one or more dating apps. All answered questions designed to measure their loneliness and social anxiety (for example, they were asked if they were constantly nervous around other people).

Compulsive use was measured by asking participants how much they agreed with statements like “I am unable to reduce the amount of time I spend on dating apps.”

Participants also reported negative outcomes from using dating apps, such as missing class or work or getting in trouble because they were on their phones.

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Results showed, not surprisingly, that socially anxious participants preferred to meet and talk to potential dating partners online rather than in person. They tended to agree with statements like “I am more confident socializing on dating apps than offline.”

But that alone didn’t lead them to compulsively use dating apps, Coduto said.

“If they were also lonely, that’s what made the problem significant,” she said. “That combination led to compulsive use and then negative outcomes.”

Coduto said people need to be aware of their dating app use and consider whether they have a problem. If they have trouble setting limits for themselves, they can use apps that restrict dating app use to certain times of day or to a set amount of time each day.

“Especially if you’re lonely, be careful in your choices. Regulate and be selective in your use,” she said.

Coduto’s co-authors on the study were Roselyn Lee-Won, associate professor of communication at Ohio State and Young Min Baek of Yonsei University in Korea.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

‘Sexting’ not at epidemic levels, but has not decreased despite preventive efforts

Non-heterosexual students were approximately twice as likely to have shared an image with others and to believe their image had been shared with others without permission.

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Photo by Jack Sharp from Unsplash.com

A study on teen ‘sexting’ has good news, and – yes – bad news. The good news is that adolescent “sexting” is not at epidemic levels as reported in some media headlines. The bad news is that it also has not decreased despite preventive efforts by educators and others.

Most commonly, the term sexting has been used to describe incidents where teenagers take nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves and exchange that content via text or private social media messages. While intended to be shared with trusted romantic partners, these images also can find their way into the hands of others.

While various studies have contributed to the understanding of sexting behavior among minors, the prevalence estimates are dated (prior to January 2011), and therefore, little is known about its frequency and scope on a national level in recent years.

A new study by researchers at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is providing a much-needed update to what is currently known about the nature and extent of sexting among youth today.

The study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, examined prevalence rates for sending and receiving sexually explicit images or video among a nationally-representative sample of 5,593 middle and high school students (ages 12 to 17) in the US. Researchers focused only on explicit images and videos (as some previous studies have conflated the picture by also including explicit texts) in order to isolate those experiences that have the greatest potential for problematic outcomes.

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Results show that across all sociodemographic variables explored, the vast majority of students were not participating in sexting. Approximately 14 percent of middle and high school students had received a sexually explicit image from a boyfriend or girlfriend, while 13.6 percent said they received such an image from someone who was not a current romantic partner. About 11 percent of students reported sending a sext to a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Males were significantly more likely to have sent and received a sext from a current romantic partner. However, males and females were equally likely to receive them from someone who was not a current boyfriend or girlfriend.
Photo by Cristofer Jeschke from Unsplash.com

Interestingly, most of the students who were asked by a current boyfriend or girlfriend to send a sext complied (63.9 percent). Among those students who were asked to send a sext by someone who was not a current romantic partner, only 43 percent complied.

Males were significantly more likely to have sent and received a sext from a current romantic partner. However, males and females were equally likely to receive them from someone who was not a current boyfriend or girlfriend. Female students were more likely to have been asked to send a sext by someone who was not a current romantic partner (14.3 percent), but only 34.1 percent complied.

Among the different racial groups examined, no statistically significant differences emerged with regard to sexting participation. As expected, older youth were more likely to both send and receive sexts. Students who identified as non-heterosexual were significantly more likely to be involved in sexting in all its forms.

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With regard to frequency, about one-third of the students who sent or received explicit messages did so only once. Most commonly, students engaged in these behaviors “a few times.” Fewer than 2 percent of all students said they had sent a sext “many times,” while 2.6 percent said they had received sexts “many times.”

Overall, about 4 percent of students said they shared an explicit image sent to them with another person without their permission, and the about same number believed an image of them was shared with others without permission. This, of course, can lead to instances of “sextortion,” which the authors also have studied. Males were more likely to have shared an image and were more likely to believe an image they sent had been shared with others without permission.

Non-heterosexual students were approximately twice as likely to have shared an image with others and to believe their image had been shared with others without permission. It also appears that 15-year-olds were the most likely to have shared a sext and to believe a sext of them was shared without permission.

“Findings from our study provide a very important message for youth who may believe media headlines that suggest sexting is more widespread than it actually is,” said Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice within FAU’s College for Design and Social Inquiry and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, who co-authored the study with Justin Patchin, Ph.D., a professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. “Showing adolescents clear evidence that a relatively small proportion of teens engage in sexting could actually result in decreased overall participation since it underscores that it is not as normal, commonplace, or widespread as they might believe.”

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NEWSMAKERS

Apple updates Holding Hands emoji to represent more LGBTQIA relationships

In a major update to the Holding Hands emoji typically used to represent couples and relationships, users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender, to personalize the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations.

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Apple is previewing a selection of new emoji coming, revealing the newest designs that bring even more diversity to the keyboard, alongside fun and exciting additions to popular categories of food, animals, activities and smiley faces.

In a major update to the Holding Hands emoji typically used to represent couples and relationships, users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender, to personalize the people holding hands, opening up more than 75 possible combinations.

Following Apple’s proposal to the Unicode Consortium last year to introduce more disability-themed emoji, a new guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, a prosthetic arm and a prosthetic leg will be available in the emoji keyboard. Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values and these new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard.

Many additional emoji categories are getting exciting updates with a new smiley face for yawning, a one-piece swimsuit, new food items including a waffle, falafel, butter and garlic, and new animals like the sloth, flamingo, orangutan and skunk.

Fifty-nine new emoji designs will be available this fall with a free software update for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Thousands of emoji are currently available, including emotive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters, more professions, various clothing options, food types, animals, mythical creatures and more. New emoji are created based on the approved characters in Unicode 12.0.

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NEWSMAKERS

Virtual worlds can help social movements raise awareness and create safe spaces – study

Going forward, social movements may make use of other emerging technologies, such as virtual or augmented reality. Insights from this study could provide the analytical tools necessary to understand how different technologies impact LGBT and other movements.

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Online virtual worlds can help social movements raise awareness and create safe spaces for their members, according to a new study by an academic at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The research examined how an LGBT group used a virtual world for their own cause, which was different to its intended design. These worlds are immersive, three-dimensional environments, where users create an avatar, or character, that enables them to interact with other users.

The study, by Dr Brad McKenna of UEA’s Norwich Business School, focused on the game World of Warcraft (WoW) and analyzed data from an LGBT ‘guild’ within it. It looked at how its members used the technology compared to ordinary game play.

The guild, known as ‘Alpha’ for the purposes of the study, was created to “better service the LGBT community and offer a safe, inclusive place to game for members of any sexual orientation or gender identity”. The group was the largest special interest guild in WoW, with up to 7800 members during the course of the study. There were approximately 15,000 characters in the guild, as it was possible for one player to have multiple characters.

The group held regular activities inside the game, including an annual Pride parade, model competitions and dance parties. The movement also had a website with discussion forums.

The findings, published in Information Systems Journal, show how members used the game’s features and virtual environment for their specific needs and objectives. For example, in ordinary game play, players have spells they can use in battle against others. However, the members used these as lighting effects to create an atmosphere during the parade and dance party.

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They also show how the group navigated changes made to the game by the developers. On one occasion, the parade route had to move when the virtual landscape it previously went through changed after an update. 

Another change involved introducing a cap on the size of guilds because the developers found that large ones did not function well in the system. This saw the group having to come up with creative ways to continue their existence without losing members.

To conduct his research Dr McKenna joined the LGBT guild, with permission from its leaders, and participated in their movement over a period of 18 months. He created an avatar, which became his identity when in WoW.

“This study provides some practical examples of how virtual worlds can act as a safe haven for social movements or to create awareness, for example about for LGBT issues, within a broader gaming community,” said Dr McKenna, a lecturer in information systems. “Many group members came from countries that do not support LGBT rights, so this was a safe space for them.

“By understanding the affordances, or possible actions, available to them groups can shape how the world works for them and think of more creative uses of the technology and features, using them in a much different way, without involvement from the game’s developers.

“This paper also raises some important issues for virtual world social movements. If a movement wants to use these worlds to advance their cause, their leaders and members need to be aware of what the virtual world can offer them and how they could use that to their advantage, or be aware of actions which could potentially be a hindrance to their cause.

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“Social movements also need to be aware of the type of virtual world they might use, for example a social virtual world, or a gaming virtual world, as depending on the type, different limitations or affordances might impact the movement.”

Other social movements have previously used WoW, for example to raise awareness for breast cancer, for political rallies and environmental protests. Dr McKenna said the findings may have implications for other users of virtual worlds and businesses.

“Different online communities could use these ideas, look at how the technology can be shaped for their causes. For organisations which operate within virtual worlds, these findings begin to shed light on the issues faced, and suggests that they need to be willing to evolve if they want to continue operating in these environments, which may constantly be changing.

“Going forward, social movements may make use of other emerging technologies, such as virtual or augmented reality. Insights from this study could provide the analytical tools necessary to understand how different technologies impact LGBT and other movements.”

The main sources of data in the study were participant observations, discussion forum data (128,773 posts downloaded), and chat logs. Additional sources included documents from the LGBT movement’s website, other WoW websites, patch notes about changes to the game’s implementation, and informal conversations with other WoW players.

‘Creating Convivial Affordances: a Study of Virtual World Social Movements’, Brad Mckenna, is published in Information Systems Journal.

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Technology

Cyberbullying still a huge concern for LGBTQIA community

The LGBTQ community faces significant risks of cyberbullying, which is why it’s so important that people within the community know how to protect themselves online and on social media.

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Photo by Wesson Wang from Unsplash.com

In the wake of Pride month, it’s important to remember that there are many all over the world intent on shaming the LGBTQIA community. Whether due to religious fervor, mistaken personal beliefs or simple blind prejudice, the community still comes under attack every day. We still live in an era where homophobic attacks are all-too common all over the world and they are as multifaceted as they are egregious and wrong. In the US, the FBI has documented a rise in homophobic hate crimes, while across the Atlantic, Britain is also seen a worrying surge in homophobic and transphobic crime.  

For the LGBTQIA community, the importance of safety and security cannot be underestimated. While this applies to staying safe while out and about it goes double for when online. The LGBTQ community faces significant risks of cyberbullying, which is why it’s so important that people within the community know how to protect themselves online and on social media.

Social platforms can prove a huge blackmail risk for members of the community who do not yet feel comfortable coming out. 
Photo by FotoReith from Pixabay.com

Configure your privacy settings

Many don’t even look at their privacy settings on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but they can be your most potent defense from cyberbullying. This is especially important for members of the LGBTQIA community who are not yet out to certain members of their family or social circle. 

Make sure that you know exactly what people can and can’t see and before you post anything (particularly photos of you and your partner) that you are aware of who can see it. Social platforms can prove a huge blackmail risk for members of the community who do not yet feel comfortable coming out. 

READ:  Cyberbullying still a huge concern for LGBTQIA community

Even if you are out and proud, it’s a good idea to make sure that people you don’t know cannot send you unsolicited comments on your images or direct messages.

Invest in a VPN

A VPN is an important security consideration for anyone, but it’s especially prudent for members of the LGBTQIA community. Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend a fortune. In fact, here’s a link to a perfectly good Free VPN for Windows. It uses military grade encryption to ensure that your data is always secure. This is especially important when using the internet at public hotspots where all internet users are particularly vulnerable.

Install antivirus software

As well as a VPN, antivirus software should also be an essential investment. Whether you’re out or not, you should be careful to mitigate the risk of being hacked. Hackers can gain access to your personal information, address and card details as well as your photos and messages.

Antivirus software helps you to protect any data that you wouldn’t want in the hands of a stranger.

Know how (and when) to block

Finally, no matter how many measures you put in place to protect yourself online, there will (unfortunately) always be those who will attempt inappropriate contact with you. They may say offensive things to you directly, tag you in offensive posts or even make unsolicited sexual advances. This is why you should make sure you know how to block people on all platforms.

You may see these kinds of interactions as an opportunity to educate people or to engage them in meaningful debate… However, these kinds of people are rarely looking for a nuanced discussion and (unfortunately) you’re unlikely to get them to reverse their stance on the LGBTQIA community.

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It’s best to hit the block button and spare yourself the upset that comes from interacting with someone who’s spoiling for a fight.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

8 Things your website needs to increase sales

People use the internet in a very specific way, making it of the utmost importance to best exploit psychology and get those people to buy. A good website is the perfect blend of marketing, advertising, psychology, and simple common sense.

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Having a website that sells items, whether it be purely affiliate or e-commerce, can be a great way to make a full-time income from home. However, not everyone who decides to open up their own websites ends up making that much money.

It all comes down to a few simple concepts that these people just don’t end up following in the grand scheme. It can be surprising at what small, simple changes can result in dramatically increased conversion rates, all of which means more money in the bank. People use the internet in a very specific way, making it of the utmost importance to best exploit psychology and get those people to buy. A good website is the perfect blend of marketing, advertising, psychology, and simple common sense.

Here’s what separates the wheat from the chaff in the online marketplace:

1. Clearly State What Value You Provide

On any landing page, it is of extreme importance that you quickly get the point across as to what need you are fulfilling and how valuable your solution is. Don’t assume that your visitors know exactly what a product does or how it can help them, start small and then work your way up to the more complex details. If someone lands on your page and can’t figure out what it’s all about within 10-20 seconds, chances are they’ll find a different site that is much less obtuse in how it delivers its information.

2. Keep The Homepage Simple

Too many people go completely overboard on their homepage, giving too many options and too much in-depth information to their readers. The homepage should be simple and elegant while allowing the visitor to then decide which page they’d like to navigate to. Keep only your best sellers and most trafficked pages on the homepage, don’t do too much at once.

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3. Use Other Forms Of Media On Your Pages

While text is the quintessential way of delivering information on the internet, that’s only the only medium available. Use audio and visual resources to the best of your ability on any landing page. A simple 30 second video that clearly explains how a product works and why it is better than the competition can perform much better than the most well-written and in-depth explanation out there. People’s attention spans while browsing can be fairly limited, any good media that helps keep them engaged will translate into increased sales.

4. Make Sure To Build Trust

Anything that makes your website seem like it is more than just information solely provided by yourself and existing in a vacuum will help your website out more than you can imagine. Things like comment sections, testimonials, and even case studies about how your services work all come together to make your brand seem much more trustworthy overall.

Some sites require further information from people in order for them to book a service. People might have to enter their personal details such as their email, phone number or even card details that’s why it’s imperative to build trust with users.

Some services need to send follow-ups to people and reminders to ensure they attend their booking or appointment. The best recommendation for sorting these tasks is to create a bespoke system which will send personalised emails and reminders to customers. By using personalised messages and messaging them a few times they will become familiar with your brand and feel like you’ve created a relationship with them; therefore trust is created.

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If you can gain potential customer’s trust early on it means you’ll do very well when competing with competitors. This is something you can’t put a price on.

5. Know Your Audience & Target Them Accordingly

You should already have a basic understanding of best SEO practices and have some tools at your disposal to best understand what the people in your market are looking for, but if you haven’t, this is an important step. Carefully select your keywords and pages to target a very specific kind of customer as opposed to painting in broad strokes hoping to attract as many people as possible. While it might seem appealing to cast a large net, a smaller net with smaller holes will catch more fish.

6. Create An Email List

If your site is full of new products & a constantly updated stream of information regarding the industry you’re in, people are going to be willing to sign up for an email list to stay up to date. This email list is essentially people consenting to having your advertisements land directly into their inbox and you know that they’re already engaged with the kind of services you provide. Any new content you pump out as well as best sellers can be consistently brought right in front of the eyeballs of the people most likely to make a purchase.

7. Upselling Is Your Friend

There are many products that have sister products that accompany them to make the experience easier overall. For instance, if you sell hockey sticks, it would be prudent to have a link to things like hockey tape nearby. When people have already decided they’re willing to put a bit of money down, they’re more likely to be able to mentally justify another purchase, especially if it is only a fraction of the cost of the original item. With the right upselling techniques, you can consistently sell two or more items instead of one in every transaction.

READ:  Cyberbullying still a huge concern for LGBTQIA community

8. Perform Split Tests

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a way to see what kind of web design works best on your prospective customers. An example of an A/B test is to have one webpage with a call to action in the middle of an article and another page with the call to action around the top of the article. By comparing which pages result in more conversions, you can then re-tool all of your existing articles to better suit the shopping habits of those who frequent your website.

Improving your website is a constant, never ending game, these tips are only the beginning of a wildly successful site. Always think about how you can improve each and every aspect of your site to fit new & existing trends. It might seem like you’re always a few steps from where you want to be and your site will never be truly “complete”, but that’s actually precisely the truth. Stagnant websites are cast aside every day in favor of more modernized and up to date sites. It’s up to you if you want to be in someone’s bookmarks tab or in page ten of the search results.

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