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Brochure Printing for Businesses

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Brochure printing is one of the most essential marketing and advertising activities of a business, not least of all when using direct mail as one element of your brand’s marketing.

Brochures give the readers a sneak peak of what the business does, its missions and visions, partnerships and other pertinent information. One advantage of printing brochures is that it is an effective way of promoting your brand or products and can be turned around relatively quickly and efficiently, if you work with the right Printing Company.

Business Brochure

Tips for printing brochures.

Consider the content of the brochure keenly. Content is king when it comes to advertising. To begin with, the brochure must be visually attractive enough to attract readers. This means that it is important to use graphically rich content. As a rule of the thumb, the brochure should be in full color. When it comes to the content, add the new ideas you have been thinking about, drive product recognition and any other sort of information that gives a snapshot of the entire business. The content should not just be a list of points. Remember that a brochure is just like a business card; it may be the first thing that introduces a customer to your business. Given that you never have a second chance to give a good first impression, the brochure must reveal the value of the business in an elaborate way.

Customised design.

Choose a personalised design for your brochure. Make sure that your brochure does not look like everybody else’s. Perhaps you can focus on the aspects of your business that makes it different, even if it is colour, brand name or trademark. For instance, some businesses are synonymous to some colours. Such businesses should ensure that their brochures are printed in the colour that sets them apart.

Go for a personal touch. Use your creativity and innovativeness to come up with a design that elicits a personal feeling. This requires that you base the design of the brochure on customer-driven content rather than using the templates that have been time and again. Chose specialty papers, metallic inks, die cutting, embossing and other attention-grabbing forms of brochure printing to make the brochures more appealing.

Choose the specifications carefully.

As you come up with a customised design for your brochure, remember to pick the specifications that will accentuate the impact of your brochure. For instance, you can choose a size description that is slightly different from the 11’ x 17’ or 8.5’ x 11’ that everybody uses. Choose the z-fold design or the tri-fold design, and ensure that the brochure is printed on both sides of the paper. Also, choose the aqueous gloss finish to make a personal statement of style and professionalism.

Insist on environmentally friendly brochure printing.

It is advisable to go for waterless printing technology that reduces air pollution, saves water and minimises waste. Environmental conservation is everybody’s business. The community is always keen to see whether the activities of the businesses in the surrounding are eco-friendly. You may waste time and money printing brochures that send environmental degradation signals to the society.

All in all, businesses must ensure that they get everything about brochures right. Average-looking brochures may never get the anticipated results.

7 must-have apps: Ever, Visionn, ‘Lonely Sun’ and more

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Image: Rinikulous Games Corp

With the Nintendo Switch blowing up your feed and getting you to reminisce about the glory days of video games, you may have missed some of this week’s best new apps.

Each weekend, we round up a few of our favorite new and updated apps. This week’s list includes a social podcasting app, a space-themed game and an app to help you add animations to your photos.

Check out the gallery below to see our top picks. If you’re looking for more items to fill up your phone, take a look at ourlast roundup of can’t-miss apps.

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Next generation of women in tech get a savvy role model in new children’s show

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Dot plays on her tablet with her best friend, Hal, and mother in the background.
Image: Dot/Sprout

Dot is like a lot of 8-year-old girls in 2016 spirited, smart and savvy when it comes to all things tech. Although Dot is a cartoon, she is doing real-world work to inspire girls to take these qualities into their adult lives.

A new children’s show, Dot, featuring the young character recently premiered in the hopes of tackling tech’s gender gap. The titular character is a spunky girl with insatiable curiosity about the world and she uses technology to help learn, create and explore.

The groundbreaking show explores what it’s like to live as a child particularly a young girl in a tech-focused world.

Dot premiered on Sprout, a popular children’s channel owned by NBC, on Oct. 22. The series’ executive producer is Randi Zuckerberg a tech entrepreneur, early Facebook employee and sister of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and is based on her 2013 children’s book of the same name.

The show will air regularly on Saturdays at 11 a.m. ET on Sprout, which broadcasts to almost 60 million American homes.

Image: Dot/Sprout

Tech’s gender gap is a well-known problem with staying power. A new report from nonprofit Girls Who Code suggests the percentage of women in tech is actually declining, and expected to fall from 24 percent to 22 percent over the next 10 years.

In the decade Zuckerberg spent in Silicon Valley a place she tells AdWeek is expected to be the “center of forward-thinking” ideals one question constantly plagued her: “Why can I count the number of women executives on one hand? Or people of color?”

“When [adults] think of screen time, we immediately go to a place of anxiety and fear. But children don’t feel that way.”

To help address the gap, Zuckerberg created the character of Dot in 2013 to inspire young girls to see tech as exciting and engaging. Dot, she says, is a role model for girls to picture themselves in a tech industry dominated by white men.

“I grew so frustrated by so few women in the room wherever I went,” Zuckerberg tells NPR of her time in the industry. “It was a fantastic decade, but also a lonely one. And so I thought, what if we could get more messages out into pop culture with female role models for young girls, showing them how exciting and cool and wonderful this world of technology is? Maybe that could inspire the next generation of leaders.”

In the show, Dot goes on everyday adventures with her best friend, Hal a young boy of color meant to inspire kids of color to see themselves in the tech industry, too. Along the way, the two rely on tech to enhance their real-world experiences, constantly using their tablets to guide them along the way. But the pair also engages with high tech as well, experimenting with robots, drones and 3D-printing, according to Zuckerberg.

“Dot and her group of friends don’t look like your typical cast of characters,” Zuckerberg tells AdWeek. “I wanted them to reflect all levels of diversity.”

Hal and Dot talk on walkie-talkies.

Image: Dot/Sprout

Children can also engage with Dot online through a series of games and activities created by Sprout. The site teaches kids how to use tech, honing in on five principles: responsibility, respect, safety, kindness and patience.

Yet, Zuckerberg understands that encouraging kids to engage with tech can be contentious for parents who are sometimes hesitant to increase screen time.

Though the gender gap in tech is undeniable, there is also the often-critiqued charge that kids are constantly plugged into technology. This, Zuckerberg tells NPR, sometimes keeps parents from encouraging more tech-based engagement than their kids already have.

She hopes, then, that Dot can be a source of inspiration for young kids while also lessening the hesitation parents have to embrace a tech-focused world.

“When [adults] think of screen time, we immediately go to a place of anxiety and fear,” she tells NPR. “But children don’t feel that way. To them, the future is fun. They don’t think about, now I’m using tech, and now I’m not.”

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I Photograph Parisian Storefronts To Reveal The Story Of Paris Rarely Seen By Tourists (15+ Pics)

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After my adventures with Pixartprinting exploring the floors of Venice, Barcelona and London, the web to print company called me again to start a new and exciting project. It consists in discovering cities through their historical and beautiful storefronts.

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Paris is so beautiful that travellers are often blinded by the glow of its tourist hot spots. But if you dig below the surface, you will uncover another story of the city. A story made by the people who put art and creativity at the core of their everyday life. A look inside some of the Paris shop fronts, at the life going on behind them, will bring you closer to the vibrant pulse of the city.

The beauty of Paris is more than its amazing museums and monuments. Ancient families of craftsman and young designers, food lovers and music addicts, even opticians and dry cleaners, display a unique savoir faire that adds creativity to everyday life. Their workshops, laboratories and boutiques tell a different tale of the city. Next time you go to Paris, take some time to delve into this world: you will not regret it.

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Your Comcast Bill Is a Mess, But a Class-Action Lawsuit Might Finally Fix It

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Your cable and telephone bills are a mess. Franchise fees. Broadcast retransmission fees. Regional sports fees. HD technology fees. Internet cost recovery fees. Administrative fees. Regulatory fees. The “Local BUS Lic Surchg,” whatever that is.

It’s bad enough that your bill getsbigger each year. But these cryptic fees and surcharges make it hard to predict how much you’ll pay from month to month, and almost impossible to know if the cable company made a mistake.

The Federal Trade Commission has taken a stand against thetelco industry’s most noxious practices, yetmystery fees persist. So consumers are taking up the fight. Eight Comcast customers filed aclass action suitagainst Comcast this week, alleging Comcast’s broadcast retransmission fees and regional sports fees constitute false advertising.

“Comcast promises to charge customers a fixed monthly price for the service plans,” the lawsuit says. “But in fact Comcast charges a much higher rate for those plans via concealed and deceptive ‘fees’ which Comcast intentionally disguises in both its advertising and in its customer bills.”

Comcast denies this. A company spokeswoman says that when Comcast introduced the retransmission fee in 2014, itdid not apply to customers witha locked-in promotional rate. She also says Comcast discloses the fact that a bill may include taxes and fees in addition to advertised rates.Indeed, you can find these disclaimers on the Comcast website—after clicking a link titled “Pricing & Other Info,” which displays a lengthy block of text that details the caveats attached to the advertised. In other words, you must readthe fine print.

The broadcast retransmission fee reflects the increasingfees Comcast pays television networks to license programming. The regional sports fee is tied to the cost of licensing sporting events. Neither is imposed by the government. Although critics argue that these fees are a business cost that should notbe passed along toconsumers, the Comcast spokeswoman defends the practice, saying the company lists each feein an effort to be transparent. And she notes that Comcast is not alone in levying these such fees.

False advertising is of course illegal, but these fees are, in most cases, legal. Butthe issue here isn’t so much the fees, which you could argue are unfair, but the way they make bills so confusing that it can be hard for consumers to ferret out accidental, or even fraudulent, charges.“There isn’t any sort of consistency or uniformity in how this is presented to consumers, to understand this stuff and make informed decisions about what’s on their bills,” says John Gasparini of the advocacy group Public Knowledge. “Then we can get into whether a particular line item is unfair.”

The Federal Communications Commission has keptquiet on the issue of cryptic fees, despite taking a more aggressive posture in recent years. But some of recent moves could help customers. Last week the agency hit Comcast with a $2.3 million fine for charging customers for services they didn’t order. This week FCC settled a $48 million suit with T-Mobile over the way it advertised its “unlimited” data plans.

Gasparini says this week’s class action suit could help, and that the FCC and congress, along with local and state governments could help end the madness of the mystery fees. But as ever, this problem boils down as much to competition as it does to regulation. Pay TV providers typically only have a handful of competitors in any given region, and broadband Internet providers have even fewer. “There’s no market incentive for people to behave,” he says. “We shouldn’t be surprised that they have a rocky at best record on customer service.”

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Tesla says you can’t sign up your autonomous car as an Uber driver

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV.
Image: justin sullivan/Getty Images

Trying to make some extra money with your new Tesla? Read the fine print first.

Tesla is banning its customers from using their Model X or Model S electric cars now equipped with the hardware to allow full autonomous driving at some point in the future as Uber drivers. Customers can drive their cars for a ride-sharing service like they would with any other vehicle, but can’t use the cars’ antonomous features to have them pick up passengers on their own.

The restriction was buried in the fine print under a section describing the cars’ “full self-driving capability,” as pointed out by Ars Technica.

The restriction reads:

Please note also that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year.

So while you can’t sign your Tesla up as an Uber or Lyft driver for now, you can buy one and wait around until the Tesla Network, Tesla’s own ride-sharing option, debuts.

The new rule highlights the inevitable competition between Tesla and other ride-hailing companies. Uber is working on its own self-driving cars that could eventually replace the company’s drivers. The company’s driverless vehicles hit the road in Pittsburgh for a test program in September.

Tesla announced that all its cars would be able to be fully autonomous at an event Wednesday night.

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10 tools to make sure your small business gets paid

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Image: Getty Images/Ikon Images

Getting paid is a core aspect of your business.

That might sound obvious, but moving cash from a clients bank account to your own is often more complex than many new entrepreneurs realize. Thankfully, there is no shortage of companies making the process of invoicing and receiving payment easier, whether youre a freelancer, startup founder, or small business owner.

These services allow you to schedule and send professional invoices, and offer various options in terms of payment methods, helping you get paid quickly and maintain that steady cash flow you need.

While there are many accounting, invoicing, and payment processing companies, there are fewer companies that offer a wide range of these services in one platformlet alone for free. Heres a roundup of 10 online invoicing tools with free options that can fit the bill and your budget:

1. Due

Due is a payments solution company that offers time tracking, customizable estimates and invoice templates, over 100 currency and language options, a database to store client and staff information, document attachment, and email and website embedded invoices with option to pay directly. Unlimited invoices, clients and time tracking. It offers integration with Paypal as well as several other companies.

Additionally, Due offers a free digital wallet feature and ACH payments as well as domestic and international payment processing. You can send unlimited professional invoices per month for free and enjoy a low flat-rate transaction payments fee of 2.7% for credit card processing, including international payments. They even offer payment processing so you can control all your business processing in one location.

2. Online Invoices

With multiple plans, the free plan is generous with 15 clients, 15 invoices, 7 subscriptions, and 30 estimates per month plus two invoice layouts. With this free online invoice tool, you get access to features like estimates, recurring invoices, time tracking, expense and income tracking, multiple tax settings, document attachments, saved items, security features and invoice templates. You can speed up your client payments by integrating eWay, Paymate, or PayPal.

3. CitrusDB

CitrusDB is an open source customer service and billing software. If you are technically inclined, you can use and contribute to the process of improving this online invoice service without having to pay to use it. CitrusDB offers a customer service database, service management functionality, a billing system for printing and emailing invoices, credit card batch capabilities, multiple languages and all types of customization. It can also be integrated with various payment processing tools.

4. Xero

Xero is an online account software alternative to Quickbooks. They offer a very intuitive invoicing feature for small businesses as well as several other accounting features. Xero makes it easy to get a real time view of the cashflow of your small to medium sized business.

5. Invoicera

Invoicera is a popular online invoice and payments tool among freelancers for the number of features and ability to enjoy it free for up to three clients. It delivers online estimates and invoices, time tracking, free invoice templates, subscription billing, and multiple currencies. Invoicera provides you with a dashboard that lets you see and manage expenses, finances, projects, staff, tasks and clients in one location. Its payment integration tools include and PayPal.

6. Hiveage

Once known as Curdbee, Hiveage is a fast, free, and effective online estimate, invoice, billing and payments tool. The standard account is free and comes with numerous features, such as unlimited invoices and customers, multiple currency support, and PayPal Standard integration. Other features can be added for a low-cost premium account with Hiveage, such as mileage, expense, and time tracking as well as subscription and auto billing, financial reports, and the ability to oversee the billing and payments for multiple teams and businesses. Other payment processing systems can be integrated within the premium account like Stripe and 2Checkout.

7. FreshBooks

FreshBooks still offers a 30-day free trial but now charges for its smallest service plan that gets you all the features for up to five clients. There are significant features to enjoy for this low-cost price, including customized quotes, estimates, and invoices as well as the ability to print, download a PDF, or email your invoices. You will also know when clients open your invoices. Other benefits include time tracking, expense capture, the ability to add receipts to an invoice, and recurring invoices. You can accept credit cards on invoices through payment processing capability with PayPal, Stripe, or integration.

8. Inspire Pay

Made for small businesses, freelancers, and individuals, Inspire Pay is a fast and basic way to get paid. You simply create a custom payment page, share the custom URL for that page with your client, and receive your funds. You can customize and brand your payments page and then share it via text, email, Twitter or Facebook. Payment methods include, PayPal, Dwolla, Sage Payment Solutions, Inspire Commerce, American Express, Mastercard or Visa. All you pay is a transaction fee for each payment. Otherwise, its completely free.


While not free, they do offer a low-cost monthly option of $19 per month that allows you to control your accounts receivable or accounts payable function. It comes with unlimited document storage, import and export of data, payment support, and a Business Payments Network that allows you to connect and collaborate with customers and vendors. They do charge extra to send your invoices for you and also have a menu of add-on services that each add to the monthly fee you would pay to use their invoicing and payments platform.

10. Quickbooks Online

Although it is not free, Quickbooks Online is an affordable solution for access to a complete invoicing, payment processing, and bookkeeping tool. Regularly priced at $12.95 per month for the cheapest plan, the company often offers promotional discounts or a lower price when paying for a year upfront. You will be able to track expenses and revenues, create and send estimates and invoices, and synch your bank account for easy payment. Quickbooks Online also has other payment processing integration as well as works on mobile platforms through its app.

Take Control of Your Payment Speed

Most of these company options mentioned here, you can use on a trial basis to determine which one fits your comfort level and business size. Get started now on changing how fast you can get paid with these online invoicing and payment processing tools.

Josh Steimle is the author of Chief Marketing Officers at Work and the CEO of MWI, a digital marketing agency with offices in the US and Asia, and despite being over 40 can still do a kickflip on a skateboard.

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MacBooks of the future may offer E Ink keyboards

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Most recent Apple speculation is focused on the possibly of a new MacBook Pro coming next week. But a new, completely separate rumor is looking even further into the future

Apple may be prepping a MacBook for 2018 that will offer an “E Ink” keyboard allowing users to quickly change what the keys display, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal that cites a person “familiar with the plans.”

For example, a user could quickly switch a keyboard from English characters to Japanese hiragana and katakana characters. Yet another mode, in a more whimsical vein, might allow the user to turn their entire keyboard into an array of emoji characters.

The report indicates that Apple may be working with Australian keyboard technology company Sonder, a company backed by frequent Apple partner Foxconn. Adding heft to the rumor is the fact that, just last week, the Guardian reported that Apple was in talks to acquire Sonder.

In a video demonstration posted on YouTube last week, Sonder’s E Ink keyboard is shown seamlessly making the transition from one set of characters to another on a single keyboard with transparent keys.

Oddly (in light of recent chatter), the only other video on Sonder’s YouTube page features a still image of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs with audio from 2007 talking about keyboard technology. It’s also difficult to ignore the fact that Sonder retweeted the Guardian report about the potential acquisition, without comment.

Image: sonder via twitter

However, in response to the Guardian’s report of a meeting between Apple CEO Tim Cook and the Australian company, Sonder CEO Francisco Serra-Martins told Mashable a different story.

“I did not meet Mr. Cook last Wednesday,” said Serra-Martins. “Nor are we able to comment further on information on any single company or customer.”

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Mashable.

Currently, the most frequent contact consumers have had with “electronic ink” is via e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle. Nevertheless, an increasing number of products have begun to incorporate some form of the technology, from smartphone cases to wearable devices.

Of course, predicting what Apple will release in 2018 is about as reliable as predicting an Apple Car.

And previous looks into the Sonder rumor have yielded skeptical reports. But based on the aforementioned indicators, it does appear that E Ink could be a part of some future Apple product.

If that happens, at the very least it would represent a renewed commitment from Apple to its desktop and laptop lines, even as some believe its increasing focus on the iPhone and iPad hints that other hardware might eventually fall off the Apple product list.

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Man Freaks Out When Appraiser Says Soup Picture He Paid $125 For Is Worth Over $20,000

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There is nothing more exciting than finding out you’re virtually sitting on a pile of money!

Sometimes people pick up knickknacks or pieces or art at auctions or garage sales and don’t realize that they are much more valuable later on in life.

Or people get things passed down to them from family members, like this woman who got her grandmother’s “brain lamp” that wound up being worth $40,000.

That is why shows like Antique Roadshows are perfect! People can bring in practically anything to find out its true value, where they can learn that they either paid way too much for something or if that precious item is actually worth a lot more than they ever expected.

One man stopped by when the show was visiting El Paso, TX,and learned he had some very valuable merchandise.

In the 1980s, he met Andy Warhol at a nightclub and got some soup cans signed by him. The next day, he went to Andy’s workshop and the late artist not only sold him a priceless piece of art, butalso proved he enjoy getting to know the people who liked his work.

Over 30 years later, it turns out this print out a Campbell’s golden mushroom soup can is worth a lot more than the $125 spent on it. It’s worth $20,000! Along with the rest of the set of cans, this man can make a pretty penny off the artwork!

If you thought this was great, you will also love this old man finding out the blanket he had hanging on the back of his couch wasworth $500,000.

Don’t forget to SHARE this great discovery with all of your friends and family!

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Hey Silicon Valley: President Obama Has a To-Do List for You

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Ask not what the government can do for Silicon Valley; ask what Silicon Valley can do for the government. Thats President Obamas tack, anyway. He presented WIRED with six challenges he feels the tech industry needs to addressjust a few earthshaking problems the country could use some help with, thats all. We reached out to six of the biggest names in the WIRED world, and we gave each of them a challenge from the presidents list. Then we asked: To get this done, whats the industrys best play?

The most exciting companies think of technology as a tool to create more opportunities for people, not reduce them. About the least interesting way to think about self-driving cars is merely as a means to cut payroll expenses. Instead we should be thinking up all the ways they will empower new economic activity: cheaper, smarter public transportation networks; better access to medical care. We should think the same way about all new technologies. Take Zipline, one of Silicon Valleys hottest startups, which is running a pilot program that uses drones to deliver medicines and blood for transfusions on demand. Its starting in Rwanda, a country with sometimes impassable roads and poor health infrastructure. But theres already demand for its product here in the US; after all, there are plenty of places in America too where delivering just-in-time medical supplies is all but impossible.

This is the right way to approach innovation: Start with a real problemnot an invented oneand then find ways for technology to help solve it. Its the difference between Lets be the Uber of dry cleaning (Washio, shut down after nearly $17 million in venture funding)and Lets rethink the way we deliver elder care (Honor home care, $62 million in funding, growing fast, and showing that the on-demand economy can be a source of real, full-time jobs).

This all may sound obvious, but far too little of the tech industry operates this way today. Weve gotten to a point where companies arent even trying to build a business that will produce profits; they are just trying to stay funded long enough for another company to acquire them. They are actively chasing the waste instead of the win. That misplaced focus isnt just annoying, it contributes to global inequality, because it emphasizes capturing value instead of creating it. It reminds me of Wall Street in 2007.

And it echoes the story of the economy writ large. Over the past 30 years, wages have largely flatlined as corporate profits have surged, which means that companies in other sectors too are capturing more wealth than they are creating. This is a recipe for economic stagnation. Consumer demand is 70 percent of GDP. So when companies treat people solely as an expense to be automated away, or as mere supply of wealth to be extracted, they are slowly cutting their own throats.

In short, the best way for the tech industry to tackle inequality is for it to do what its supposed to do: innovate in ways that create actual gains in growth and productivity that dont just replace people but empower them to do what was previously impossible.

Chris DixonStanley Chow

2. Strengthen Cybersecurity.

Chris Dixon, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz

I like to say were in the third era of computer security. In the first era, during the 1980s and early 1990s, the primary threats were viruses created by hackers who were mostly interested in mischief or vandalism. In the next era, during the late 1990s and early 2000s, the main threats were economically motivated hackers who created things like botnets, spam, and dark markets for stolen credit card numbers. In both of these eras, the attackers would launch the same attacks against many targets. Security software would track the patterns of attack and stop bad code from getting inside a network. Despite the occasional breach, it did a reasonably good job.

Now, in the third era, governments and other well-funded organizations are sponsoring sophisticated, customized attacks on specific targetsSony Pictures, the Democratic National Committee, the US Office of Personnel Management. Because the bad code is custom-written for each assault, the hackers dont leave patterns of attack, which means the core design principles of prior-era security software no longer apply. This has shifted the balance of power to the attackers. Almost every day, there are media reports of significant new breaches. For every breach we hear about, there are many more that go unreported. Its a scary situation. This is not only very bad for the hack victims, its also bad for the tech industry. People wont buy products they dont trust.

These threats are only going to become more severe. Well soon have computers embedded in our homes, offices, cars, and throughout our critical public infrastructure. As computing devices proliferate, so will the threats. Mercedes recently ran an ad saying that its new car has 100 million lines of code. Thats impressiveuntil you realize that on average, any piece of software has a few bugs per thousand lines of code, so the car probably has thousands of vulnerabilities. In a recent incident, hackers flew drones near office buildings; workers trying to print files were actually sending sensitive information to the drones, which mimicked local network identities.

How can we turn the tide? Entrepreneurs are working on new ways to use smartphones to authenticate users, better ways to track insider threats, and a new generation of security software that detects and responds to threats in real time. New computer architectureslike blockchain systemsinclude audit trails and are less corruptible by a single actor, making them inherently less vulnerable.

At the same time, the kinds of artificial intelligence that have proven so adept at image recognition and language processing in recent years are now starting to be enlisted for security. Todays spam filters look for relatively simple patterns, like whether the same email was sent to millions of people. This isnt effective when an attack email is targeted and personalized. A machine learning system, on the other hand, might be smart enough to know its suspicious that, say, your boss is emailing you asking for your password. The technology to do this accurately and comprehensively is probably only a few years away.

Another crucial answer to all these challenges is public policy. The relationship between Washington and Silicon Valley has become strained in recent years over the issues of encryption and privacy. Strong end-to-end encryption is an essential tool for securing our networks and devices, but it can make the job of law enforcement more difficult. To thrive in this third era, we need to find a constructive way to work together on issues like thisone that preserves both national security and personal security.

Mark ZuckerbergStanley Chow

3. Ensure that artificial intelligence helps rather than hurts us.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

People have always used technology as a lever to improve lives and increase productivity. But at the beginning of every cycle of invention, theres a temptation to focus on the risks that come with a new technology instead of the benefits it will bring.

Today were seeing that happen with artificial intelligence.

AI sounds like magic, but most of the examples that you read about today really just consist of basic math and pattern matching. You feed the system a lot of datalike thousands of pictures of dogsand then it can identify more dogs. Its a powerful tool for doing things like translating languages or teaching cars to drive, but its nowhere near what humans can do.

Eventually, I hope AI will help computers have common sensethe capacity to observe the world and then generalize and learn from it. But were very far from developing that. And when we do, it will be because we reduced the problem to math, not magic.

When people come up with doomsday scenarios about AI, its important to remember that these are hypothetical. Theres little basis outside science fiction to believe they will come true. People are always worried about new technology, but the reality is that AI is already saving lives. The AI were developing now can diagnose diseases and match them up with new treatments. Self-driving cars will be much safer than those with human drivers.

Whoever cares about saving lives should be optimistic about the difference that AI can make. If we slow down progress in deference to unfounded concerns, we stand in the way of real gains.

Weve had this kind of debate before. The airplane has been a massively beneficial piece of technology. When it was being invented, people had a lot of concerns that it could be dangerous. And they were right! But we didnt rush to put rules in place about how airplanes should work before we figured out how theyd fly in the first place. Instead, we waited until the science was actually understood and then worked together to shape its application.

As powerful as advanced AI might be someday, we need to understand it first and think carefully about how it should be applied. The best thing we can do is make sure we have the best minds working on AI and support research that helps us develop it faster. Again, its just math. Not magic.

At a very basic level, I think AI is good and not something we should be afraid of. Were already seeing examples of how AI can unlock value and improve the world. If we can choose hope over fearand if we advance the fundamental science behind AIthen this is only the beginning.

Yasmin GreenStanley Chow

Yasmin Green, head of R&D at Jigsaw (formerly Google Ideas)

If you want to dissuade someone from joining a group like ISIS, you have to reach them at just the right moment: before theyve committed to its cause. Ive spent the past year talking to people who did join the group, and many of them started out with questions about the so-called Islamic Stateabout the effectiveness of its government or the legitimacy of its religious claims. ISIS hopes to intercept those questions and provide its own answers to them via recruitment videos in Arabic, English, French, Russian, Chinese, Hebrew, and even sign language. Its very inviting. When you talk to people who have joined ISIS, they say that this is how they got involved. It started on the open web.

One way to disrupt online radicalization is to redirect vulnerable audiences toward credible counter-messages just as they start looking into those questions. And thats where online advertising comes in. We can use it to reach people who are interested in ISISs message but not yet fully committed. For example, when someone searches for religious rulings on holy warfatwas on jihadonline ads targeted against these terms can redirect them to video testimonials from defectors, who can talk about what ISIS is really like. When weve tried this in experiments, targeted audiences clicked on our anti-ISIS search ads 70 percent more than comparable ads that use similar keywords.

This is a more fruitful approach than trying to erase dialog from the Internet altogether. We can all agree that material that incites violence doesnt belong online. But when ISIS raises questions about the world, you cant just wipe that from the Internet. Ideas need to be raised and confronted and disputed. Right now, it can feel dangerous to challenge extremism online. People get shouted down, harassed, or worse. That gives power to the bad guys, because it shuts reasonable people out of the conversation, leaving just the violent voices.

We havent seen a terrorist organization as digitally savvy as ISIS before, but when you think about it, much of what its doing isnt all that different from what any teenager can do; you wouldnt be surprised if your 14-year-old daughter made a video and put it online. Its only surprising because we have this idea of terrorists as old, bearded men hiding out in the mountains. Terrorist groups are evolving like the rest of us. We need to continue experimenting with solutions that meet these groups where they connect with the rest of the world.

Mary BarraStanley Chow

5. Develop tools that will take climate resilience and clean energy mainstream.

Mary Barra, chair and CEO of General Motors

A few years before I became CEO, we started to think about really big trends, and we quickly came to the conclusion that climate resilience was an area where we could lead. And so the question became: As our customers learn about and understand the environmental impact of driving, how can we provide them with vehicles and transportation options that allow them to become part of the solution?

A company of our size has a huge responsibility to find solutions and make them available as quickly as possible. Thats why weve allied with Lyft on ride-sharing programs and why we purchased Cruise Automation, a self-driving-tech startup; weve partnered both companies with our in-house teams to drive development. It used to be difficult for outsiders to break into the automotive world, but now were actively looking for great ideas that we can bring to scale. We partner with startups, with suppliers, and with universities, especially on the electrification frontwere constantly trying to figure out, for example, how we can make smaller battery packs with more power at an affordable price. And thanks in part to that work, were building the Chevy Bolt EV, which we expect to be the first electric car that truly fits the needs of the mass market.

Of course, cars alone wont solve the problem. If you sell electric vehicles but dont have clean electricity production, you just shift the problem somewhere else. And government has a huge role to play. If you want autonomous vehicles to reduce congestion and get people from point A to point B more efficiently, then you need the right legal and regulatory framework to ensure youre developing them responsibly. If you want electric vehicles to succeed, you need an infrastructure of charging stations to support consumer adoption.

Every business makes decisions about how it uses energy. And people notice. They form beliefs about companies based on whether they are good citizens of the world, and those beliefs inform which products they purchase, which stocks they buy, and which companies they work for. I want the best and brightest talent to come work for GM. And thats just one more reason why it is important for us to play a leadership role. Ultimately, everybody has a part in solving this problem, whether youre a five-person startup or a huge manufacturer with more than 200,000 employees. Weve all heard the rhetoric about how big challenges amount to big opportunities. In this case, its absolutely true.

Satya NadellaStanley Chow

6. Make it easier for citizens to participate in their government.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

Over the past few decades, businesses have grown accustomed to operating in a data-rich environment, with systems that help them make the most of that data. We know when our customers come to our websites, when they interact on our mobile apps, when they call our sales department. We have a 360-degree view of who our customers are, what theyve done, and what theyre likely to need in the future.

People typically dont expect governments to have those same capabilities. But Ive spent quite a bit of time working with the public sectornot just in the US but worldwideand Ive begun to see a fundamental shift. Civil servants are starting to go after those same capabilities, tapping into the same kind of analytic and predictive powers that private-sector companies enjoy, so they can get better at their jobs.

We see local governments all over the world using data to tackle the challenges facing their communities. In Tacoma, Washington, the Department of Education can predict high school dropout rates and use that information to disburse its scarce resources to bring those numbers down. In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a Microsoft cloud-computing platform helped process live video from polling booths to help ensure free and fair state elections. And US cities including San Jose, Seattle, New Orleans, and New York are using public data sets to identify road safety risks and the best ways to ameliorate them.

This is a massive opportunity for developers. Theres this impression that the tech industry innovates quickly, while governments are bureaucratic and lethargic. Thats changing. They are beginning to run like any large company that needs to innovate. Of course, the public sector has different standards of security and privacy. But these agencies are creating room for experimentation and rapid evolution that, once it proves itself, can be brought into the core functions of government.

As developers wake up to these possibilities, and governments keep up this momentum, one day soon well be able to interact with our local, state, and federal agencies as easily and transparently as we do with other consumer services. As a result, well get rid of many of the transactional costs we all bear in getting things donewhether its waiting in line at the DMV, filing our taxes, or accessing benefits. It will all become more seamless. And as you grow trust and reduce transactional costs, that will result in real GDP growth. Its not just technology for technologys sake. Americas economy grows when we invest in infrastructureand this is just infrastructure of a different and unprecedented kind.

This article appears in our special November issue, guest-edited by President Barack Obama. Subscribe now.

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Is Pravda coming to Scotland? – BBC News

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Last week the Scottish newspaper, the Herald, reported that a media organisation called Pravda International was to open an office in Edinburgh early next year. The report was picked up by other newspapers and widely interpreted as a sign of Russia’s eagerness to help bring about Scottish independence. But was it all a hoax?

When the Herald got the scoop, it quoted a man referred to as Pravda International’s UK editor, Oliver Haste. He said that the new outlet would be “independent” and was not part of a modern “Cold War propaganda campaign”.

Haste, who was described as having Russian roots, also told the newspaper that the project was being bankrolled by private Russian backers to the tune of 8.3m.

Image copyright Pravda

The report appeared to have particular significance following the opening of a branch of the Russian state media outfit Sputnik in Edinburgh earlier this year and the looming prospect of a second independence referendum in Scotland – a cause that the Kremlin has given every indication of supporting.

Sputnik’s appearance in Scotland is part of a general expansion of Russia’s international media operation in recent years. In 2014, the Kremlin’s main foreign-language broadcaster, RT (also known as Russia Today) launched a dedicated news service in the UK. The idea that Pravda – once the top newspaper in the Soviet Union – might be opening an office in Scotland was superficially plausible.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pravda International’s new home?

But the Soviet Pravda no longer exists.

The Herald linked Pravda International to, a pro-Kremlin website that can claim to be a successor of the old Pravda.

When contacted by the BBC, though, denied that it had anything to do with the plans for an Edinburgh Pravda. So we tried another Pravda – the newspaper of the Russian Communist Party. This one also denied any plans to open an office in Scotland.

It is also striking that whereas the story of the Edinburgh Pravda was covered by several high-profile media outlets in Scotland and England, including The Times and The Guardian, it was almost completely overlooked in Russia – and by the Edinburgh office of Sputnik.

So what is Pravda International and who is behind it?

A company called Pravda International published a version of the newspaper between 1992 and 1996 but now appears to be defunct.

A report in the Edinburgh Evening News refers to a Pravda International website, which it says showed several Western celebrities – including Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp and Leonardo di Caprio – “holding the Pravda print publication”.

The website in question does indeed feature a gallery of newspaper-reading Hollywood celebs, but the title they are holding is not the real Pravda, but an obscure newspaper from the town of Kopeysk in the Urals. The photos were taken several years ago by a Hollywood producer and his Russian wife, who hailed from Kopeysk, and in 2013 were briefly the subject of a viral internet craze.

This is not the only oddity about

As well as featuring a mirror of’s English-language site, it is accompanied by an obviously bogus Wikipedia page set up two days after the site was registered in 2014.

Image copyright Wikipedia

This says that Pravda International has a print circulation of over 577,000, sourcing this fictitious claim (there is no such newspaper) to

Then there is the fact that plays host to travel and restaurant reviews by a young British right-wing writer and activist called Henry Hopwood-Phillips.

Hopwood-Phillips’s Twitter account, called Byzantine Ambassador, suggests that he writes for, and in reply to a written enquiry from the BBC he seemed to imply he had some connection to Pravda International.

Image copyright Twitter

“Yes, there’ll be a new Edinburgh gig coming shortly,” he wrote in an email, without giving any more details.

At around this time of this email some of the more obviously bogus features of the site disappeared.

Previously, it had featured a photo mock-up with a picture of President Putin taken from the front cover of Time magazine, but under the banner of the old Soviet Pravda. There was also a picture of an unrelated Slovak newspaper called Pravda.

The newspaper-reading celebrities on also appear in a Gumtree advert apparently seeking journalists for Pravda International, which is described as a “major international newspaper”.

The advert was posted about a week before the Pravda International article appeared in The Herald.

Unlike Hopwood-Phillips, the Herald’s original contact, Oliver Haste, seems to be an elusive figure on social media.

Image copyright Twitter

A Twitter account was set up in his name and with the title of editor of Pravda International on 12 October, though as of 18 October, he had posted no tweets and was following just one other user, TV academic Prof Alice Roberts.

A reporter at The Herald told the BBC that the original information about Pravda International came from a press pack. The people who sent it refused a telephone interview, but agreed to answer questions by email. It was they who said Pravda International was connected to, the reporter said.

It is not clear whether Pravda International is a hoax or not, or whether it was even a deliberate attempt to dupe The Herald, which has taken a tough line on the Russian media presence in Scotland – it published an editorial in August this year under the headline, “Politicians should be wary of Sputnik”.

What does seem certain, though, is that this is not another instance of an established Russian media organisation reaching out to audiences in the UK, as earlier reports suggested.

It is perhaps telling that neither Haste nor anyone else connected to Pravda International appear to have taken steps to correct this misapprehension.

In Russian, “Pravda” means “The Truth”. It make take a little time for the truth to emerge in this case.

Image copyright Thinkstock

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