John McAfee Cited For Cryptocurrency Fraud and Money Laundering

Global News

What’s the Story

Antivirus software mogul, John McAfee, and his executive adviser, Jimmy Gale Watson Jr. are facing charges for alleged cryptocurrency fraud and money laundering crimes which yielded profits of $13 million.

According to a press release issued announcing the indictment, both men were believed to be involved in a scalping scheme where they bought huge amounts of cheap cryptocurrency altcoins then aggressively advertised them on McAfee’s Twitter account, spreading misleading claims to artificially inflate their market prices.

If proven guilty, McAfee and Watson will be facing five to twenty years imprisonment and financial penalties.

Fox Business

Tech entrepreneur John McAfee charged with fraud, money laundering in cryptocurrency schemes

McAfee’s team made ‘millions through lies and deception’: South District of New York

Fox Business disclosed in a report that tech entrepreneur John McAfee and his cryptocurrency team were charged with fraud and money laundering conspiracy crimes related to two schemes that netted them $13 million by the Southern District of New York.

McAfee, 75, and his executive adviser, Jimmy Gale Watson Jr., 40, are accused of crimes including conspiracy to commit commodities and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities and touting fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, substantive wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering for their alleged roles in two schemes relating to the fraudulent promotion to investors of cryptocurrencies.

The charges carry maximum prison sentences ranging from five to 20 years and also include the potential for financial penalties.

CNBC

Antivirus software creator John McAfee indicted on cryptocurrency fraud charges

McAfee and his “cryptocurrency team” advisor Jimmy Watson allegedly engaged in an “age-old pump-and-dump scheme”

According to CNBC, Federal prosecutors on Friday accused antivirus software company founder John McAfee and his associate of orchestrating fraudulent schemes to rake in millions of dollars from cryptocurrency investors.

McAfee and his “cryptocurrency team” advisor Jimmy Watson allegedly engaged in an “age-old pump-and-dump scheme,” FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a press release.

In the “scalping” scheme, McAfee and his team allegedly bought large amounts of cheap cryptocurrency altcoins, then aggressively promoted them online with “false and misleading endorsement tweets” to artificially inflate their market prices..

Antivirus mogul John McAfee charged with fraud over crypto promotion

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News Time: McAfee and his bodyguard Jimmy Gale Watson Jr were charged over a scheme to exploit McAfee’s large Twitter following by publicly touting cryptocurrency offerings and digital tokens that they later sold once prices rose on the promotions.



Source: TG Daily – John McAfee Cited For Cryptocurrency Fraud and Money Laundering

Chrysler Corporation and the 46RE Transmission: What You Need to Know

Chrysler

Chrysler Corporation has used many different types of transmissions for their Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles. They range from semi-automatic, automatic, and manual transmissions. This article is going to discuss in particular the 46RE transmission and its successors. 

It is the main opinion of those in the automotive community that the 46RE transmission was one of the worst transmissions, with regard to longevity and reliability that Dodge has used in a vehicle. What are the most common issues Dodge customers have dealt with over the years with the 46RE? Here is a list:

  • Fluid levels inconsistent
  • Gear slippage
  • Harsh engagement from neutral to drive or reverse
  • Delayed engagement from neutral to drive or reverse
  • No drive range – reverse ok
  • No drive or reverse – vehicle will not move
  • Shifting is delayed or erratic – shifts harsh sometimes
  • No reverse at all – D ranges ok
  • Has first/reverse only – no 1-2 or 2-3 upshift
  • Moves in 2nd or 3rd gear then abruptly downshifts to low
  • No low gear – moves in 2nd or 3rd gear only
  • No normal downshift or kickdown
  • Stuck in low gear – will not upshift
  • Creeps in neutral
  • Buzzing noise
  • Slips in reverse only
  • Slips in forward drive ranges
  • Slips in low gear D only – but not in manual 1 position
  • Scraping, growling, or grating noises
  • Locks up or drags

Most of the problems listed above are major problems that will shortly lead to a failed transmission. If you need to replace the Chrysler 46RE transmission in your ride visit https://reman-transmission.com/ for the best remanufactured 46RE’s on the market. The 46RE transmission was used in the following vehicles:

  • 1998-2003 Dodge Dakota R/T
  • 1998-2003 Dodge Durango 5.9L V8 – 4WD or 2WD
  • 1996 Dodge Dakota V8 
  • 1998-2003 Dodge Dakota 5.9 L R/T
  • 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.2L
  • 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9L
  • 1988-1993 Dodge Ramcharger SUV 5.2L and 5.9L V8
  • Dodge vans 150/250/350 V8
  • Dodge Ram pickup and diesel engines (DGT)

The 47RE and 48RE transmissions were successors to the 46RE. 

Here are some differences between them.

  • The transfer case is better on the 47RE and 48RE in comparison to the 46RE.
  • The 47RE and 48RE use a larger torque converter.
  • The 46RE OD clutch has four discs.
  • The 47RE and 48RE have five discs.
  • The 46RE direct clutch uses eight discs.
  •  The 47RE and 48RE have ten discs.
  • The 46RE has three discs in the front clutch.
  • The 47RE and 48RE use four discs in the front clutch.

It is possible and common to purchase a used 46RE transmission as a replacement, but not advisable. If the used 46RE transmission unit fails to work correctly after installation, you will pay additional money for the labor to remove it and reinstall an alternative 46RE transmission replacement. Plus, you could even end up having to pay for freight to return the unit to the salvage yard. A remanufactured or rebuilt transmission will save you money in the long-term by not only being more reliable than a used 46RE transmission, but more cost efficient.

In comparison to the 46RE Transmission, the 48RE transmission, made in-house by Chrysler, is a much more sound transmission. This transmission is made more robust, says the experts. The 48RE has most of the upgrades done in the 47RE and but also has the six-pin planetary gears and extra clutches.

The 46RE, 47RE, and 48RE transmissions are all considered “performance” transmissions. The A618, which was renamed later to the 47RE, is a heavier duty version of the A518 or 46RE. To increase durability, there were internal changes made. For example, they decided to steel coat the planetary carriers and use additional clutch plates on some models for extra longevity of the internal assembly.

The 48RE was introduced in 2003, a more vigorous successor yet. These transmissions are available in heavy-duty and super duty style, having a higher torque and horsepower rating than its predecessors.

If you are having problems with your 46RE, 47RE, or 48RE transmission, your best option is to consider a remanufactured or rebuilt transmission. What is the difference between “rebuilt” and “remanufactured” transmissions?

  • A rebuilt transmission is one where the mechanic fixes only the problematic or worn-out components of the transmission.
  • A remanufactured transmission or reman is considered new because all of the original equipment and components are either worked on or entirely replaced.

A rebuilt transmission will be less expensive because it will take less mechanic time to do the repairs. But in the long run, it may be more cost effective to purchase a remanufactured transmission.

Some transmission experts have shared that the 47RE and 48RE transmission are interchangeable. But the jury is still out on the 46RE and whether or not it can be replaced with either a 47RE or 48RE transmission.

In the end, if you have a Chrysler Motor Corporation-made vehicle that needs a quality 46RE, 47RE, or 48RE transmission replacement, consider a remanufactured one. If a cheap budget is the only concern, just have the broken parts fixed and addressed with a simple A518/ A618 transmission rebuild. 

For information on the Chevrolet Corvette and it’s 4L60E transmission, read this.



Source: TG Daily – Chrysler Corporation and the 46RE Transmission: What You Need to Know

Stronger Consumer Engagement and Higher Sales for eCommerce – Why Improved Search Functions Lead to Better Results

shopping online ecommerce internet payment

Precision makes all the difference when it comes to search results. In fact, close to 80 percent of people will leave a site and never return after searching for something twice unsuccessfully. Knowing this, companies that have been able to effectively implement accurate search solutions tend to retain their customers at much higher rates. According to Salesforce data, customers who use search spend more than twice the amount on mobile and desktop retailer’s sites compared to customers that do not use search. 

Despite the numbers overwhelmingly supporting the need for solid search solutions, several ecommerce players are still hesitant about investing proper time and resources into improving their search functionality.

The Overlooked Potential of a Powerful Search

Companies continue to overlook the benefits of search on their customer metrics. Typically, the majority of their focus and resources are funneled into things like site layout and usability, clean product categories, and monitoring inventory issues. These variables are incredibly important, however when paired with a poor search function all that work can go to waste. It’s hard to buy what you can’t find. 

Search solutions can also provide great insight for decision-makers behind the scenes in addition to the navigation benefits it provides consumers. Marketing managers and data analysts are constantly inundated with information. When sales are lacking, finding the root cause can be extremely difficult. Looking at the number of searches made tied to the bounce rate is one key metric that can uncover problems within the search function if it’s not producing quality results. 

As a result of the pandemic, e-commerce competition is much higher. An orthodox search tool with limited functionality no longer gets the job done in this highly competitive space. The modern mobile consumer expects every business interaction to happen efficiently and accurately—and search is no exception. 

The Bottom Line for Revamped Search Function

Customer engagement is front of mind for every ecommerce platform. When people find items quickly, can sort easily, and receive relevant recommendations, then search is providing irreplaceable value. 

Transitioning from a traditional search solution can be a long process, but it’s possible to make small improvements over time. Every refinement to the tool’s capabilities and accuracy will ultimately lead to higher customer satisfaction rates and purchasing results. Enhanced usage of the search bar also provides companies with critical data that can be used to analyze revenue generation. Consider the revenue Amazon derives from its product recommendations, which is driven by its search and buying pattern data. The way an ecommerce firm sets up their search taxonomy relates to the quality of their “product recommendations” engine, so it provides long-tail benefits beyond improving individual search results. 

Breaking Down the Back-End Tech

Wayfair is a perfect example of an industry leading search and sort tool. A customer can find or build their perfect product with search tools that help them filter by color, material, and style.. It’s a quality tool, but far from the best available option. The next level of search would be to enable granularity through the search bar with regular syntax. Ideally, customers would be able to type exactly what they want, and all the filtering happens on the back end, without manual inputs.

Top search solutions providers will offer a range of improvements and features for search, including:

  • Recognizing synonyms and colloquialisms to avoid customers reaching dead ends
  • Search platforms should feed into custom ranking processes for optimal ranking of search results for better retention and more sales
  • Type-ahead suggestions to speed searching and offer best-match keywords for customers who might be unsure of what they need
  • Highlighting functions that bring the important parts of a site to a visitor’s attention based on their searches

Machine learning technology can help vastly improve search function relevancy for users. For example, site search leader Lineate works with ecommerce companies to provide the best results that are tailored to their specific needs using machine learning. Customizable search functions can use machine learning to refine itself over time to ensure the same information is presented regardless of who is doing the searching, and specifically how they search. 

This dynamic tool can help improve results for different groups of people who think about products and perform searches in different ways. 

Ecommerce firms that commit to improving their search functions through technology, are giving themselves a great competitive advantage by utilizing the right tools to complete the customer journey. Through stronger search functions, companies are solidifying their trustworthiness and providing the satisfaction customers are looking for. With improved search, e-commerce players can look forward to completing more sales, gaining referrals, and ultimately increasing brand advocacy. 

Written by Elizabeth Gallagher



Source: TG Daily – Stronger Consumer Engagement and Higher Sales for eCommerce – Why Improved Search Functions Lead to Better Results

Coronavirus Related Fatality Rates are Ten Times Higher in Countries Where Obesity is Prevalent

Global News

What’s the Story

A global study by the World Obesity Foundation disclosed on Thursday that countries where 50 percent of the adults are obese have a higher risk of Covid-19 related deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also earlier disclosed that obesity is likely to increase the chances of hospitalization due to coronavirus since it weakens the immune system and affects the airways.

With the recent roll-out of the vaccines across the globe, researchers say that shots are less effective in obese people.

Study finds link between coronavirus mortality risk and obesity

CDC says obesity may triple the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19

Fox News shared a new study released by World Obesity Foundation on Thursday that found a link between a country’s COVID-19 mortality and obesity prevalence in its population. 

Researchers found high mortality rates only in countries where overweight prevalence exceeds around 50% of the adult population.

The researchers claimed that a country’s wealth, reporting capacity, elderly population, and other factors could not explain the link between COVID-19 and obesity. 

The CDC notes that obesity may triple the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19, as it causes impaired immune function and can decrease lung capacity. 

There is some evidence that the vaccines currently rolling out around the world are less effective in obese people. 

logo - The Washington Post

Most coronavirus deaths have occurred in countries where majority of adults are overweight

Obesity, generally defined as BMI above 30, is associated with particularly severe outcomes.

According to The Washington Post, the report found that 88 percent of deaths due to covid-19 in the first year of the pandemic were in countries where more than half of the population is classified as overweight, which it defines as having a body mass index (BMI) above 25.

Among the nations with overweight populations above the 50 percent threshold were also those with some of the largest proportions of coronavirus deaths — including countries such as Britain, Italy and the United States.

In some cases, the correlations between coronavirus severity and weight are also tied to racial and ethnic inequality..

A higher BMI was also associated with increased risk of hospitalization, admission to intensive or critical care and the need for mechanically assisted ventilation.

Obesity a driving factor in Covid-19 deaths, global report finds

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The Straits Times: The majority of global Covid-19 deaths have been in countries where many people are obese, with coronavirus fatality rates ten times higher in nations where at least 50 percent of adults are overweight



Source: TG Daily – Coronavirus Related Fatality Rates are Ten Times Higher in Countries Where Obesity is Prevalent

Police Reinforces Security Amid Another Possible U.S. Capitol Breach

Global News

What’s the Story

Two months after the mob attack on the U.S Capitol by Trump supporters, an intelligence report revealed another possible plot to breach the building by an unnamed militia group.

This report showed that the planned attack is going to happen on March 4, the day when U.S presidents used to be inaugurated.

The Capitol Police believe that the new threat stemmed from a conspiracy theory known as QAnon that says former President Trump’s secret war against elite Satan-worshipping pedophiles in government, business and the media.

In response to the police warnings, the House of Representatives has already cancelled Thursday’s session.

logo - The New York Times

Capitol Police Warn of Threat on Thursday, and House Cancels the Day’s Session

The agency, responding to what the force called “a possible plot to breach the Capitol,” again sounded the alarm that pro-Trump conspirators may be planning an attack.

The Capitol Police force is preparing for another assault on the Capitol building on Thursday after obtaining intelligence of a potential plot by a militia group, according to the New York Times.

The “possible” plot, as described by the Capitol Police, appeared to be inspired by the pro-Trump conspiracy theory known as QAnon, according to a senior administration official who reviewed the intelligence warning.

A senior Democratic aide disclosed that House leaders on Wednesday abruptly moved a vote on policing legislation from Thursday to Wednesday night, so lawmakers could leave town.

The militia group was not named, and even many influential QAnon followers, who believe the United States is dominated by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles, have cast March 4 as a “deep state” plot to incite the movement’s adherents and provoke a nationwide crackdown.

US Capitol police warn of possible militia plot to breach Congress

Security has been ramped up at the US Capitol in response to “a possible plot to breach” the building.

BBC News reports that an unnamed militia group planned the attack for 4 March – the day US presidents used to be inaugurated, according to an intelligence report.

The threat comes two months after the deadly attack on the building by a mob loyal to former President Donald Trump.

Supporters of an unfounded conspiracy theory believe Mr. Trump will return to the White House for a second term on 4 March.

Law enforcement officials warn of new Capitol threat

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CBS News: Law enforcement officials are warning lawmakers about a new threat against the Capitol on March 4.



Source: TG Daily – Police Reinforces Security Amid Another Possible U.S. Capitol Breach

Hate Crimes Targeting Asian-Americans Climb by 150% in Major U.S Cities

Global News

What’s the Story

Racist attacks and hate crimes against Asian-Americans rose by 150 percent in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to police reports, around 122 incidents of anti-Asian attacks occurred in major and most populated cities in the U.S, which started in March and April of last year as cases of Coronavirus started to increase.

It is believed that the hate crimes where fueled by the mistaken sentiments associating Asians with Covid-19 since the virus originated in China.

The Asian American community have been living in fear due to these crimes and some advocacy groups expressed concern about the involvement of law enforcers.

Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Rose 150% In Major U.S. Cities, Study Finds

Racist, nativist and xenophobic sentiments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are leading to attacks on Asian Americans.

Huffpost disclosed that according to a study of police records by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, there were 122 hate crimes targeting Asian Americans in 16 of the country’s most populous cities in 2020.

The first spike in anti-Asian hate crimes occurred in March and April, according to the study, “amidst a rise in COVID cases and negative stereotyping of Asians relating to the pandemic.”

These spikes, according to the study, occurred even as overall hate crimes in those cities fell 7%, a drop likely caused by coronavirus lockdown measures, which created “a lack of interaction at frequent gathering places like transit, commercial businesses, schools, events, and houses of worship.”

Hate crimes against Asian Americans rose in L.A. in 2020, mirroring national trend

An epidemic of hate: anti-Asian hate crimes amid coronavirus

Hate crimes against Asian Americans and other members of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Los Angeles rose sharply in 2020, mirroring a national trend and causing concern among police and local advocacy organizations, Los Angeles Times reports.

Both police and advocates said they believe many more incidents occur than are reported, and that they are working to better identify, track and record such encounters and conduct more outreach in local Asian communities to encourage reporting by victims.

They say the recent hate has been fueled in part by misguided notions of blame for the COVID-19 pandemic, in which early cases arose in China. They said such hatred has at times been spurred by national political figures like former President Trump, and it is up to local leaders to push back.

Hate crimes against Asian Americans continue to rise amid pandemic

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CBS Evening News: In 2020, New York City alone had an 867% increase in Asian hate crime victims compared to the year before.



Source: TG Daily – Hate Crimes Targeting Asian-Americans Climb by 150% in Major U.S Cities

The Story Behind Cisco’s CDA Success In Japan

digitization transformation hand man touch finger

Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program is fascinating.  It is fascinating that it is designed to help countries, not companies, with Digital Transformation. I’ve had a chance to look at other efforts like this over the years, and there have been more failures than successes.  The failure is often the tendency for the company driving the effort not understanding how the government they are trying to sell into works and what drives the purchase decision. Cisco’s success is primarily because their program addresses these oversights out of the box.  Cisco forms a genuine partnership with the country’s government before the project is defined, and that partnership assures the success of the resulting effort.  

One of the most interesting CDA efforts was undertaken in Japan, and that effort’s success has as much to do with Cisco’s approach as it does with Cisco’s technology. Let’s talk about what’s behind Cisco’s CDA program success this week.  

Japan

Japan is a fascinating country, but it can be a problematic country with which to work.  Its language is difficult to learn, its culture is very different from western culture, and business relationship dynamics seem to be modeled after family dynamics.  It is also one of the strongest countries globally, and today Japan produces some of the highest quality products in the world.  

Japanese people tend to put an unusually high value on trust, and they can be exceedingly loyal if that trust is first earned.  But earning that trust, particularly as a Western company, can be difficult.  Companies that have done well working with and in Japan tend to establish a significant presence in the country, staff their effort predominantly with Japanese people, establish trust early on, and put in place processes that assure that this trust isn’t misplaced.  

In this regard, Cisco’s CDA program checked all the boxes.  

Cisco CDA In Japan

While Guy Diedrich leads Cisco’s CDA program, the effort in Japan was driven by Josh Nakamura.  Rather than coming in like most Western vendors and immediately advocating a solution for a problem that wasn’t well understood, Cisco initially partnered with NEC and Alaxala and worked with two of Japan’s Prime Ministers to better understand Japan’s problem and craft a solution the country would accept.  

The problem, which was an aging network infrastructure based on a unique and dated technology, was well within Cisco’s expertise area. Still, they needed a partner that understood this problem from the standpoint of a native to define and mitigate it properly.  This effort was necessary because this old network technology was dragging down productivity and causing Japan to fall behind other countries.  

By working with companies that understood the problem well, Cisco was able to craft a solution. With these partners’ help, they were able to craft a solution that the country not only would accept but widely advocate and help spread.  

Specific results included a digitized education program in Japan to address the need for remote learning during the pandemic.  One of Japan’s unique problems is that, along with the mainland, many of the 70 large and small islands disbursed over 12,000 kilometers also need access to the web and communication/collaboration hardware and software solutions.  These islands have populations of 7K  people. They are using a combination of wired and wireless cloud resources to connect school kids and businesses to the web.  This effort is now part of a country-wide effort to revamp Japan’s entire education system.  

To help get this technology into small businesses, they partnered with Printer company Ricoh who then worked with Cisco to create a printer internet hub solution that could provide a near instant wireless network in the business with a straightforward setup process bought into the solution.  Using embedded Meraki technology from Cisco resulted in one of the fastest high-speed network upgrades ever attempted.  This combination printer with a built-in wireless network hub was well received in the country because it was designed in the country, and that approach reflects another best practice.  

Wrapping Up:

Cisco was able to massively help Japan by working with the country’s leadership and existing infrastructure vendors to craft and deploy a solution expressly designed in and for the Japanese resident’s unique needs.  By working with the country, instead of just pitching products at them, Cisco’s CDA leadership made progress where other companies using more traditional approaches would have likely failed.  

This collaborative approach doesn’t just work in Japan either; Cisco’s skill set has been shown to work in all countries because you can’t create a viable solution unless there is substantial knowledge about its unique aspects.  

The most successful salespeople know that the probability of a successful sale increases the more you know about the prospect’s unique needs, practices, and interests.  It appears that this scales up to country scale, and Cisco’s CDA program is a showcase of how well this focused approach works, particularly with extensive in-country projects.  



Source: TG Daily – The Story Behind Cisco’s CDA Success In Japan

U.S and EU To Press Sanctions on Russia

Global News

What’s the Story

The European Union, together with the Biden administration is set to impose sanctions against Russia in connection with Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny’s poisoning last year followed by his arrest and detention early this year.

According to Biden’s administration, the sanction aims to send a strong message on human rights.

U.S and EU officials are expected to discuss an executive order focused on Russia’s for its alleged interference during the U.S elections, and the Solar Wind hacking, among others.

U.S., E.U. set to impose sanctions on Russia

The coordinated sanctions come in response to the Kremlin’s poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his subsequent arrest and detention.

NBC News reports that according to three anonymous sources, the U.S. and the European Union are expected to impose coordinated sanctions on Russia as early as Tuesday for the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his arrest and detention.

The sanctions will be the first to target Moscow since Joe Biden became president and opened a comprehensive review of U.S.-Russia policy, including the Kremlin’s actions against Navalny, interference into the U.S. election, the Solar Winds hack and reported bounties offered to Taliban-linked groups to target U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The U.S. is expected to use legal authorities to impose sanctions on Russia for its use of a chemical nerve agent against Navalny in August.

Biden administration preparing to sanction Russia over Navalny treatment this week

The Biden administration is seeking to send a “strong message” on human rights

Two administration officials told CNN that the Biden administration is preparing to impose sanctions on Russia over the poisoning and jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny this week.

These sanctions would be the first costs imposed on Russia by the Biden administration and will set the tone for their policy towards Moscow going forward. 

One option being discussed is an executive order focused on Russia which would trigger sanctions on the country for multiple assaults on US democracy and American personnel — including the SolarWinds hack and the bounties put on US soldiers in Afghanistan — in one package.

North Korean hackers charged in massive Biden Administration Expected To Impose Sanctions On Russia For Navalny Poisoning

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MSNBC: NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel speaks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on the expected sanctions from the Biden administration in response to the Navalny poisoning.



Source: TG Daily – U.S and EU To Press Sanctions on Russia

Is Crime on the Rise in New York Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic?

police crime scene blue light discovery

It is no surprise that the past year has brought many trials and tribulations for the United States and the world at large. One state that has been hit the hardest during this tumultuous time is New York, specifically New York City, as this iconic city has been one of the densest areas for positive COVID-19 cases. Unfortunately, along with this deadly virus has come an increase in violent crimes.

New York crime data indicates that there has been a marginal increase in deadly crimes from 2019-2020, comprised mainly of shootings and murder. After comparing July data from 2019 to 2020,  researchers have concluded that shootings have risen by 177%, and burglary cases have grown significantly as well.  It is interesting to note, however, that while these serious offenses have seen a spike, other crimes such as rape and hate crimes have conversely decreased from 2019-2020 upon entering the pandemic.

Potential Causes of the Rise in Crime

The pandemic has caused a lot of stress and economic hardships on the citizens of New York City. It is believed that the overwhelming economic troubles citizens are going through is one of the potential causes of these increases in crime. Moreover, the government is having trouble providing relief to these people in New York City as they are already spending so much on fighting the pandemic in the hospitals.

Additionally, the rates of crime can often be tied to local political action. As such, the decisions that local government officials have made during the COVID-19 pandemic could be the reason for the rise in the rates of certain offenses. There have been many fingers pointed to why else the crime rates in New York City have been increasing among local officials. Many changes have been made to the justice system in New York City recently. This has caused a lot of division and tension among the people, legislatures, and law enforcement.

State Reaction to Rise in Some Crimes

Among a global pandemic, a weakened economy, and a surge in crime rates, New York government officials have sought out potential solutions. The NYPD is planning on adding around 900 officers to their department on a rolling basis in the beginning months of 2021. Additionally, many public officials including Governor Cuomo are pushing for better gun control laws. With many of these crimes involving shootings, officials want deadly weapons out of the hands of criminals. The plan also includes an increase in on-foot officers to areas with the highest number of shootings, partnering with community leaders to find solutions to these issues, and increasing investigation resources to high crime areas.

It is a scary time in the state of New York. With dangerous crimes like murder and burglary concerningly on the rise, the state has become a vulnerable location during these uncertain times. If you or a loved one has been affected by this dangerous rise in deathly crimes in New York, you should seek legal counsel. Our team at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman could review your case and consult you on how to handle your situation. Contact our office today to find out more.



Source: TG Daily – Is Crime on the Rise in New York Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Ai Inference & Ai Training Comparison

Few data-driven technologies provide more significant opportunities, such as machine learning, to gain value from the Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives. In IoT solutions, the exponential growth of data collected from sensors and machine learning capabilities will give companies unprecedented opportunities to drive market value and create a competitive advantage. 

AI Inference

There are two distinct stages of Machine Learning: training and inference. Generally, preparation takes a long time and can be heavy on a budget. The inference is the process of taking the model and installing it on a computer. It then processes incoming information (usually images or video) to search for and recognize whatever it has been trained to recognize.

AI capabilities based on NXP CPU

Deep learning can typically be carried out in the Cloud or by using extremely high-performance computing platforms, also utilizing several graphics cards to speed up the process. The Cloud can also perform inference, which works well with sensitive workflows that are not time-critical. However, the inference is now generally carried out on a local computer to evaluate the data, which significantly reduces the time used to produce a result (i.e., recognizing someone’s face on a watch list).

System developers have become more conscious that neural networks function is not inherently the best solution as machine learning-based systems become more deeply embedded in our everyday lives.

The truth is that, while there are questions about how it could work in some circumstances, many industrial and automotive systems continue to evolve.

For several years, at NXP, we have been investing in building our AI capabilities and are concerned with such deficiencies. Your mobile assistant is far from the implications that may arise in an industrial or healthcare setting by wrongly inferring a spoken phrase.

How does it work with i.MX8M Plus?

So now, there is a need for the edge of ML. The sum of tera operations per second typically referred to as TOPS, an acronym for Tera (trillion) Operations Per Second, is one way to calculate ML accelerators. It turns out that i.MX 8M Plus provides 2.3 TOPS of acceleration for inference in consumer and industrial Internet of things endpoint systems, suitable for applications such as multiple object detection, speech recognition up to 40,000 words, or even medical imaging (MobileNet v1 at 500 images per second). It can simultaneously perform various intricate neural networks.

AI Training

A fundamental part of every AI project is training. It’s completely critical that everyone involved in the development of your model knows how it functions. It may be shocking, though, just how many individuals see the mechanism as challenging to comprehend. Even if all the words are well known to those not working directly with data, training may seem pretty abstract. This general lack of understanding may prove to be a significant obstacle on the way to your business’s success.

For instance, we’ll pretend to have a vast data collection of different names for cats and dogs. We want to be able to categorize the names according to pets as our model. There are some essential things that we need to review before training. For example, check that the data is of high quality. Data must be clean and ordered for all machine learning, with no duplicates or trivial samples. Rogue samples or a disorganized structure may destroy the entire project, so we must thoroughly review the information.

Now, as you would teach your toddler to ask for food with certain gestures or words, you do the same with your data. It’s not that far from AI, but the learning is performed by a neural network (NN).

The method is almost the same: you need to show it how to do the tasks right if you want the NN to do the assigned job. 

Wrapping up

Make sure you always keep your fingers on the pulse of the most recent technologies. We hope our article helped you to learn something new.



Source: TG Daily – Ai Inference & Ai Training Comparison

U.S Air Strike Aims at Iranian Backed Military Site in Syria

Global News

What’s the Story

The very first airstrike under the Biden administration was carried out on Thursday, targeting Iranian-backed militia in Syria.

According to Pentagon, several facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups were destroyed by the strike.

These sites are believed to be used as storage for advanced weapons from Iran, as well as part of the weapons smuggling operations by militias.

Although the US has not confirmed the number of casualties, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 17 pro-Iranian fighters were killed from the attack.

US carries out air strikes in Syria targeting Iranian backed militias

Pentagon said the strikes took place “at President Biden’s direction” 

CNN reports that the strikes, which mark the US military’s first known action under President Joe Biden, swiftly drew criticism from a Democratic lawmaker.

A US official told CNN that “up to a handful” of militants were killed in the strikes.

The site the US struck on Thursday is believed to be used as part of a weapons smuggling operation by the militias, according to a US official. 

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Biden authorized the strikes after consulting with US allies, including coalition partners, and that they had taken place at about 6 p.m. ET.

Biden approves US air strike on Iran-backed militias in Syria

The US military has carried out an air strike targeting Iran-backed militias in Syria, the Pentagon says.

According to BBC News, this was the first military action ordered by the Biden administration and came in response to attacks against US and coalition personnel in Iraq.

The Pentagon named Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada as two of the Iran-backed militias it targeted in Thursday’s strike near the Iraqi border in eastern Syria

The US did not confirm any casualties, but UK-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the US attack had killed at least 17 pro-Iranian fighters.

An unnamed US official told Reuters news agency that the attack was meant to send a signal that while the US wanted to punish the militias, it did not want it to escalate into a bigger conflict.

U.S. Conducts Air Strikes In Syria Against Iranian-Backed Militia Group

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NBC News: President Biden ordered air strikes against an Iranian-backed militia group in eastern Syria after the group fired rockets at U.S. troops. NBC News’ Kristen Welker reports.



Source: TG Daily – U.S Air Strike Aims at Iranian Backed Military Site in Syria

The Huawei VS. US Battle Is An Embarrassment But Would Make For A Great Movie

technology 5g aerial abstract background

The US vs. Huawei battle has always seemed inappropriate to me.  You had lots of allegations, little proof, and some questionable behavior from the US, and a sequence of events that made the US approach look like it came from a 3rd world country.  Canada got roped in, ended up in a battle with China they didn’t want, and the US looked like it was trying to blackmail China by kidnapping the adult child of a leading Chinese businessman.  

Let me walk you through what looks like the backstory. I’ll be editorially filling some blanks but will provide links to stories on the major points.  Hold on to your hats; because this looks like it could be made into a fantastic movie, it just doesn’t reflect well at all on the US.  

Foundational Elements

Huawei is one of the most potent and well-regarded companies in China.  Operationally, they are a blend of Apple, the old AT&T, with a little bit of Microsoft.  They not only sell Smartphones, but they are a leader in cellular tower technology.  This last is interesting because the US doesn’t have anyone competing with Huawei in this last segment.  They are a Chinese company, and, as is often the case in any company, they have to comply with the local authority, which has created concerns.  That seems to create problems, but as the Clipper Chip and Phone scandals showcased in the US, you don’t need to operate in the Asia Pacific to have your government do something stupid.  

Huawei has the leading, in terms of performance and cost, cell tower solution for 5G. But their competitors in the market are European, so blocking Huawei doesn’t seem to benefit US businesses, at least concerning the 5G roll out. It just deprives US carriers of the lowest cost, easiest to deploy hardware causing the country to fall behind the countries using it in terms of 5G availability.  One part of this is particularly troubling: Huawei is estimated to have a 1-to-2-year lead on their competitors.  This lead means that the technology the US is deploying is not only more expensive, in terms of purchase and labor, but also inferior to what other countries are rolling out, giving meaning to the old saying “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”  

Now the US is blocking access for Huawei to US technology, so Huawei is creating their own.  The result is a locally well-liked company headquartered in Asia and well-funded with a history of building tech products that lead markets being forced to create an alternative to US products.  If you were to create a list of companies that you would rather not compete with, Huawei would be toward the top. Instead of encouraging them to license or buy US technology, the US forces them to become that super-competitor.  

Here is some additional background:  Huawei is largely self-financed (consistent with other Asian cultures which doesn’t view debt financing positively). And the ownership of the company is mostly by Huawei employees (the Huawei labor union).  While they design their chips, they are mostly fabless and depend on others for manufacturing which has been problematic with the US sanctions.  

The Sequence Of Events

HSBC was in big trouble with the US government, that problem has gotten worse recently, and HSBC has decided to focus on Asia (which I doubt will end well because of what they appear to have done to Huawei).   But while the Trump administration was going after HSBC and wanted a lever to use against China (the Trade war wasn’t going well), HSBC “discovered” an old 2013 PowerPoint presentation that explained its dealings with Iran was under US sanction.  It showed Huawei works with Skycom (a Huawei subsidiary)  to do business with Iran, something HSBC should have known from being one of Huawei’s long-term banks.  

HSBC then used this disclosure to get favorable treatment for their money laundering issues ending up with a wrist slap.  To which Huawei aptly called foul.  Then the US, working through Canada, had Meng Wanzhao, Huawei’s CFO and daughter of its founder, provide her phone and laptop as a requirement to Canadian entry. Then they had that phone and laptop used to confirm the existence of the PowerPoint presentation HSBC detailed.  Trump has allegedly claimed that if China agreed to US trade demands, Meng would be released.  Ironically this is an apparent quid pro quo with Meng (recall Trump’s first impeachment), who is has been fighting extradition to the US for years, being held as a hostage for trade talks.  The US looks terrible, and by association (look at the sequence of events), Canada doesn’t look much better.  And now China and Canada appear to be playing. Let’s see who can piss the other country off more.  

Told in a much more concise fashion:  The US makes a vast trade war mistake with China and needs a win.  HSBC has a huge problem because of its illegal behavior with the US.  HSBC throws Huawei under the bus to get relief, which they get, from the US.  The US gets Canada to effectively kidnap the daughter of a powerful Chinese businessman to use as a hostage to get favorable treatment.  This effort fails and now is causing significant problems for all three countries.  Stepping aside, at no time should it be OK for any country to go after someone’s daughter to get favorable treatment from another country.  

Wrapping Up:

There is an impressive amount of embarrassment that flows from the Trump presidency.  Bullying, abuse, misuse of power, and even recently insurrection.  But one of the worst is this failed effort to make a failed trade policy work by taking the daughter of a prominent person in China hostage for political gain.  

This behavior isn’t something any country, let alone the US, should be proud of. I hope that the current administration will let this go and instead focus on policies and practices that don’t seem to manufacture evidence and hold someone’s kid hostage.  I get she is an adult, but the optics of going after someone’s daughter, especially during the sustained #MeToo movement started by a President that is famous for abusing women, should be put rapidly in the past because it tarnishes the US present.  

Most troubling is Huawei’s ownership. While most US companies are primarily controlled by Hedge funds famous for sucking out the value and making the firms they invest in less competitive, Huawei is owned by its employees who have a shared interest in Huawei’s success.  I’d argue that the model is better for all concerned than the Hedge fund model, which means the US is hurting, with their Huawei attacks, Huawei labor, not wealthy investors or political figures when it attacks the company.  Not a good look.  

But it would make an interesting movie.  



Source: TG Daily – The Huawei VS. US Battle Is An Embarrassment But Would Make For A Great Movie

The Importance of Investing in Your Video Marketing Campaign

youtube vlog video multimedia videos

Video marketing is one of the most significant concepts in present-day digital marketing. It delivers consistent results, drives sales like nothing else and is used by the majority of digital marketers. The problem is that in order to have a successful video marketing campaign, you need to invest in it quite heavily. Your marketing budget is supposed to be between 10% and 50% of your average annual revenue (depending on the industry). A significant part of this budget should go towards professional video production and an overall video marketing campaign. Here’s what you should have in mind.

1. An easier way to build consumer trust

The first major advantage of the video marketing campaign is that it increases consumer trust more efficiently. Namely, defense mechanisms are naturally lower when immersion is on a higher level. While reading, your audience has only one of their senses occupied, which leaves quite a bit of their mental capability active and ready to respond to any kind of branded message. You see, online offers are often interpreted as deceiving or hostile. This is why about 84% of consumers are more likely to buy after watching a brand’s video.

 
2. The pandemic increases the number of hours watched

The global pandemic is another compelling reason to turn towards video marketing. You see, marketing methods like hosting live events are no longer a possibility, which leaves you with more room in your budget for digital marketing. With people spending so much time indoors, people consume more video content than ever before. With a lot of people behind desktop monitors and laptop screens, videos intended for larger screen formats are also undergoing a rapid rise in popularity. In other words, 2020, 2021 and the future seem to be primarily video-oriented.

3. Incredible ROI

The next thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that about 86% of all those who use video marketing have increased traffic to their website. You see, before buying, people want to get to know more about your brand and your product. These instructions may also unburden your customer service, seeing as how the videos will educate them on the product. The key lies in the fact that investing in video marketing increases traffic, sales and leaves less work for your customer support. In other words, it has a great ROI.

4. Criteria are higher

The main reason why you need to hire video production experts is that the criteria are much higher than ever before. You see, people who watch too much video content have a keen eye for all mistakes and irregularities. They also have a higher appreciation for quality video content. The skill in video production, a well-tailored script and great camerawork give much better results with audiences oversaturated with video content. According to some estimates, in 2021, people watch about 18 hours of online video per week. This is why insisting on the quality of your content is the only way to distinguish your brand.

5. Higher engagement

The problem with content is that you need people to read/watch it to its fullest in order to get the most value. Engagement also requires shares, comments and likes (despite some of these being described as vanity metrics), in order to see their effectiveness. Facts are that videos are more likely to be shared on social networks, which automatically gives them a much greater reach. So, you need to ask yourself a philosophical question – what is a value of a content piece that no one is going to read/watch? Remember that a branded content is an asset and not a piece of art. Through higher engagement, quality-made video content has a higher value.

6. FOMO

Even if you decide not to invest in video marketing, chances are that you won’t be able to make a significant saving. In fact, you’re more likely to use this uninvested part of your budget into a different (less-effective) marketing method, which will result in you getting outcompeted. The risk of getting left behind is a powerful motivator, indeed. You see, if this method is effective and you’re the only one not using it, you’re creating a greater gap between you and the rest of the industry. This is something you should never allow. 

7. Great for so many channels

The key responsibility of every marketer is to locate and identify their target audience. However, regardless of the social network they prefer, video is always an appropriate format. For instance, Instagram allows videos in both stories (15 seconds long) and regular posts. For YouTube, video is a default format. On Facebook, about 100 million hours of video get watched every single day. Videos are also popular on Twitter and LinkedIn. Overall, regardless of your target demographic and their network of choice, chances are that reaching them via video marketing is a good idea.

8. A trend of growth

Transitioning into a new marketing method is quite difficult. This is why it’s always good to preemptively invest in a marketing technique that might grow in the nearest future. The thing with video marketing is that it has an uninterrupted trend of growth for quite a bit now. This means that it is bigger this year than it was in 2020 and it will be even bigger in 2021. This is why it is one investment that will definitely not go to waste. Even with the emergence of AR and VR, it will be years until the majority of people have devices capable of playing them.

In conclusion

In the end, investing in your video marketing campaign should not be seen as optional in 2021. It is something that every business needs to do, to a degree, and find a way how to make it fit its own respective industry. Overall, investing in your video marketing campaign is such an important issue and once you understand why it will be quite easy to find the motivations and resources to actually commit to. With the above-listed eight reasons, this becomes even more apparent.



Source: TG Daily – The Importance of Investing in Your Video Marketing Campaign

Sports And A Healthy Lifestyle

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Sports require mental preparation and the will to win for those engaged in it results in extreme physical stress. For many professional athletes, this leads to the fact that the body wears out ahead of time, and after a sports career ends, the number of disorders affecting the internal organs increases.

To minimize excessive physical overload and nervous tension, athletes increasingly began to use methods leading to a healthy lifestyle. These include not only having a balanced diet and quality sleep but also exercises aimed at recuperation after intense training and competition.

Some examples of a healthy living include breathing exercises, massages, meditations, walking at a slow pace. Now coaches of professional athletes are trying to develop training programs that take into account their psychophysical characteristics, including elements of a healthy lifestyle.

Also, some athletes often use a variety of steroids, although there are different opinions on this. Before you buy steroids online, you need to understand what effect they can have on the body so that later there are no adverse effects.

Steroids increase endurance, performance, strengthens the bones, tendons, and ligaments. Aside from these, it can help you quickly gain lean muscle mass in a short time. However, if you do not follow the rules for taking such drugs, you will likely experience some side effects, so you should carefully in using them. If you strictly follow the method of their use, then the risk of negative effects on the body will be minimized.

Sports available for everyone

Despite the availability of steroids that can help increase power, it is worth looking at other strength and endurance aids. These include cycling. It will help improve the muscular system’s functioning, heart, and lungs, perfectly increasing the general body’s resistance to heavy physical exertion and stress.

Aside from cycling, swimming is essential for a healthy lifestyle. It perfectly allows you to lose weight and promotes flexibility, endurance, and smoothness of movement. It also helps to lose fat, strengthen legs and arms, improve balance and tennis. Moreover, practically each of us can do it, no matter how old the person is.

If you use these types of exercises regularly, they will positively affect all systems of the body. Then you do not need artificial stimulants, although sometimes they can be useful. But this applies primarily to professional athletes who need to show successful results during the competition. Steroids have been developed for them. For everyone else, it is enough to engage in a variety of physical exercises, allowing you not to get sick, keep yourself in good shape and not spend money on medicines. A healthy lifestyle is impossible without sports. The main thing is that it brings not only physical but also moral satisfaction. And you need to do it regularly so that the health-improving effect of sports exercises is maintained as long as possible!

Motivation for sports

Everyone has a reluctance to exercise from time to time. Even among top-ranked professional athletes, negative motivation for sports is far from uncommon. The problem needs to be solved quickly.

Exercise is one of the best antidepressants. This statement of psychologists is not unfounded. But when lifting yourself up with training, follow some rules. Do it half-heartedly or, according to the sensations, change the type of planned workout to another one. For example, stretch at home instead of jogging. Excessive efforts and an increase in cortisol levels, against the background of a primary lack of desire to exercise, can “swing the pendulum” of mood in the opposite direction after training.

The results of recent studies are eye-popping and can indeed be a powerful motivator to stay on track. It turns out that regular physical activity helps maintain the length of the terminal sections of DNA chromosomes, which inevitably shorten with age. Exercise inhibits this process. It means you will look younger than your non-athletic peers.

If strength or cardio training has not yet led to the emergence of a state of euphoria in the process of exercising, a one-time gentle load still increases the production of endorphins and other substances. It allows you to look your best and feel younger for 36-48 hours after finishing your workout.

A healthy lifestyle is not possible without movement. Let’s point out that we mean not hard physical training to achieve sports results. Instead, it’s a physical exercise to keep your body fit, feel great and prevent aging.

If you choose only proper nutrition from the whole complex of healthy lifestyle measures, this will give a result, but it will not be so obvious. Daily exercises are essential for health and beauty.

Written by Barbara McGee



Source: TG Daily – Sports And A Healthy Lifestyle

Chicago Lawmaker Proposes Bill that Bans the Sale of Grand Theft Auto

Global News

What’s the Story

Chicago has recently seen an increase in carjacking incidents perpetrated by minors who are not even old enough to drive.

Just last January, a 14 year old boy was arrested for participating in a series of motor vehicle theft. The youngest carjacker arrested was a 12 year old boy.

Chicago police revealed that these minors work in groups and are impelled to use stolen vehicles to commit other crimes.

This has prompted Rep. Marcus Evans Jr., a Democrat lawmaker, to introduce a bill that bans the sale of violent video games like Grand Theft Auto.

Some believe that the prohibition of these video games would help decrease the crime.

Chicago sees spike in carjackings, prompting call to ban ‘Grand Theft Auto’

Chicago police say carjackings rose about 135% last year

Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. has called for an amendment to an existing law that would bar the sale of games that depict “motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present,” Fox News reports.

A philanthropist in Chicago said video games like “Grand Theft Auto” could have an impact on young minds. The report pointed out that some of the carjacking suspects in the city are not even old enough to legally drive.

Chicago police said that a 14-year-old boy has been arrested for taking part in multiple carjackings including one involving an off-duty police officer.

The youngest carjacker arrested in recent attacks was about 12 years old, according to police. The perpetrators often work in crews and are motivated either by joyriding or using the stolen vehicle to commit other crimes

Illinois lawmaker seeks ban of Grand Theft Auto game following rise in carjackings

There have been renewed debates around the ban after carjackings among young people have gone up recently. 

The Hill disclosed that according to Rep. Marcus Evans Jr., a Democrat, the bill would prohibit the sale of some of these games that promote the activities that communities are suffering from.

A 16-year-old was arrested and charged with carjacking on Monday. Days ago, there were two 15-year-olds arrested and charged with carjacking as well,

Some believe a ban on violent video games for children would help decrease crime while others believe that video games do not contribute to aggressive acts in children.

FOX 32 Chicago: Philanthropist Early Walker says violent video games like GTA could be influencing young minds.



Source: TG Daily – Chicago Lawmaker Proposes Bill that Bans the Sale of Grand Theft Auto

Wife of Mexican Drug Lord “El Chapo” Arrested for Drug Trafficking

Global News

What’s the Story

On Monday, Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Mexican drug cartel kingpin “El Chapo”, was arrested at Dulles International Airport for her supposed involvement in the smuggling and distribution of cocaine and other drugs.

Coronel was also charged in the past for her alleged conspiracy regarding her husband’s two prison escapes on 2015 and 2016.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman of the Sinaloa drug cartel, who was extradited to the United States in January 2017, is serving life imprisonment.

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Wife of drug kingpin “El Chapo” arrested on U.S. drug charges

Her arrest is the latest twist in the bloody, multinational saga involving Guzman, the longtime head of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was arrested Monday in the United States.

She is accused of helping her husband run his multibillion-dollar cartel and plot his audacious escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.

Her arrest is the latest twist in the bloody, multinational saga involving Guzman, the longtime head of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Coronel’s attorney Jeffrey Lichtman declined to comment Monday night.

Wife of ‘El Chapo’ faces international drug trafficking charges, federal authorities say

Prosecutors said Coronel conspired with others to assist her husband in his July 11, 2015, escape from a prison in Mexico.

According to CNN, the Justice Department announced that the wife of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera was arrested Monday in Virginia on charges related to her alleged involvement in international drug trafficking.

Emma Coronel Aispuro, is facing charges of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, five kilograms or more of cocaine, 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana and 500 grams or more of methamphetamines for unlawful importation into the country, according to a news release from the Justice Department.

The complaint says the FBI believes she took messages from Guzmán to his lieutenants, associates and four sons before and while El Chapo was in a Mexican prison.

Coronel, a dual citizen of the US and Mexico, is expected to make her initial appearance Tuesday in US District Court in Washington, DC, via video conference.

Wife of “El Chapo” Arrested on International Drug Trafficking Charges

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World News: Cornel Aispuro is charged in a one count criminal complaint with a conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, five kilograms or more of cocaine, 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, and 500 grams or more of methamphetamines for unlawful importation into the U.S.



Source: TG Daily – Wife of Mexican Drug Lord “El Chapo” Arrested for Drug Trafficking

How Crowdfunding Is Changing the Game for Real Estate Investing

real estate investment

For a long time, real estate investing has been an opportunity only available to the elites.  Those who had the capital and the connections could access a range of property deals that simply weren’t possible for anyone else.  You would need a lot of money to put down upfront, or access to large credit lines in order to make the necessary quantum to sign any real estate deals.  As a result, a rift occurred between those who could benefit from property appreciation, and those who couldn’t.

This is all changing thanks to a new business model that opens that world wide open.

Crowdfunding refers to a collaborative project where a large number of people contribute small amounts of money towards a common goal.  Instead of having one investor putting in 100% of the investment, you can have thousands of people putting in a small fraction of the total investment.  When this happens, each individual investor owns a fraction of whatever is being invested in and can benefit from its appreciation without needing to front all the capital themselves.

This model has proven very successful in a range of equity scenarios and its magic is now being brought to real estate through platforms like Stake which allows individual investors to crowdfund property in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.  Here’s why real estate crowdfunding is such a game-changer:

Democratizes investment opportunities. 

With crowdfunding, you and I can be a part of very complex and sophisticated real estate deals that previously were completely out of our reach.  Our fractional ownership can be directly in the debt or equity of the property and we can access the same sorts of deals that the rich are able to utilize to boost their returns.

Diversification. 

Instead of throwing all of your eggs into one basket, you can take smaller stakes in a number of different properties which affords you the opportunity to accomplish some diversification in your real estate portfolio without having to lay down the vast amounts of capital that would previously have been needed to achieve this.

Opens up a new funding mechanism for developers. 

On the other side of the transaction, developers are excited by what’s happening in the space because it’s opening up a whole new pool of investors, which is increasing the chances of their deals finding the needed funding to get off the ground.  With more confidence in these sorts of alternative funding platforms, developers can take on more interesting projects and push the boundaries of what is possible with real estate in general.

The future is bright when it comes to real estate crowdfunding and as more individual investors are drawn into the asset class, we’re likely to see a number of new innovations to make things more efficient and more palatable to the individual investor.  Those hallowed walls are being broken down, slowly but surely, and this is not a trend that is going to slow down any time soon.



Source: TG Daily – How Crowdfunding Is Changing the Game for Real Estate Investing

5 Areas of Business Where You Could Use More Analytics

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Even small businesses have the ability to gather significant types and amounts of relevant data. Yet many entrepreneurs and executive teams focus on areas other than data collection and analysis. After all, it’s easy for any team to get sidetracked with all the other aspects of day-to-day operations. 

However, leveraging data can boost any company’s productivity and profitability. As the old saying goes, “Numbers don’t lie.” Neither does data. Therefore, as you move forward this year as an organization, consider how data can help you in several key areas.

1. Elevating the customer experience.

Customers demand personalization, not to mention convenience. One method to deliver a better overall customer experience (CX) for your target audiences is to delve into data. Specifically, evaluate and identify all the touchpoints you have with prospects and clients. Then, recoup data from those touchpoints to drill down into ways to make the CX increasingly wow-worthy.

What are some places to gather data? Start with your website. Make sure you’re looking beyond surface statistics like pageviews, though. A blog post with high page views may look like a winner on paper. In reality, it might be a dud in terms of link-throughs or conversion rates. Consequently, even though people are landing on the content, their CX isn’t benefiting you—or potentially them. 

As you sift through your CX data, you never know what you’ll find. Some responses might surprise you, but be open to learning and bettering your processes based on the findings. For instance, let’s say your data feedback shows customers expect to reach live representatives almost immediately during “normal” office hours. As a result, you’d want your public-facing team to have reliable WiFi solutions to minimize customer waits or tech glitches.

2. Unclogging the sales pipeline.

You’ve probably heard your sales team complain about specific problems more than once. “We’re not getting qualified leads.” “The leads from source XYZ tend to ‘ghost’ us after the initial presentation.” “Every third quarter, our sales seem to drop off for no reason and it’s demoralizing.” As long as you’ve hired well, the issue probably isn’t your people. However, it might be the sales journey.

Most companies have some idea of their sales pipeline. That is, how leads come into the top of the funnel and where they go based on different factors. Analyzing various points in the pipeline can often unravel what’s causing drop-offs or lost sales. And you might not notice them without a little help from AI software.

The right software can use data to recommend the best times to perform sales and marketing functions. Case in point: Maybe customers from a certain region tend to buy at the end of the month. Yet customers from another area seem to make purchases at the beginning of the month. These tiny facts could revolutionize the way you sell and stop pipeline stalls.

3. Understanding and evaluating the competition.

Monitoring your competitors through robust data mining and analysis tools keeps you one step ahead. Not only will you know what the competition’s doing well, but you’ll know when they stumble. Yes, it can be challenging to know where to start with evaluating other businesses with big data. One place is on social networks.

Simple social listening software can assist you in finding out what’s happening in real time. Obviously, you should practice social listening on your own brand. Don’t ignore other brands in the process. The more you know what’s being said about your biggest competition, the faster you can take advantage of opportunities.

Let’s say your competition makes a faux pas. Social media lights up overnight thanks to irritated customer reviews. Your competitor’s best employees denounce their employer openly. Suddenly, brand sentiment has swung away from the competition, giving your company an open door. The faster you know—such as when you open your laptop at 7:00 a.m.—the faster you can respond. Or, you might want not to get into the fray immediately. Regardless, you won’t be blindsided.

4. Sourcing new employees and contractors.

You’re in a period of growth. Before you use traditional routes to find staffers or freelancers, think about using data-rich programs to help. Your goal is to find the right talent to put in your seats, and data mining can assist you. 

In fact, professional recruiters routinely lean on software to do everything from sort through applications to reduce unconscious hiring bias. Even if you’re only planning to bring on people occasionally, or seasonally, using data can lead to better decisions. In the past, many hiring managers went with their first impressions. We now know that impressions can be flawed and based on things other than fact.

Consider this: Your gut instinct might be to hire Candidate M instead of Candidate Q. Everything tells you Candidate M is the right fit. Still, you crunch numbers and analyze indicators of past performance excellence in similar jobs. Unexpectedly, you find out that Candidate Q possesses more of the skills related to success in the position. At that point, you may want to reevaluate your original reaction to go with Candidate M. 

5. Mitigating business risks.

Does your business have risks? Absolutely. Running any operation includes taking and accepting risks. Nevertheless, you don’t have to assume that all risks are unavoidable. Recovering data can help you develop and run models to determine procedural or operational risk.

As an example, big data could show exactly when you’re most apt to have lowered cybersecurity. This foreknowledge allows you to put plans in place to mitigate digital security threats. Big data could also run online simulations to lay out what would happen in the event of a major breach.

It’s not feasible to protect your business against every potential criminal attack on your systems. Yet it’s up to you to close all predictable loopholes. By running data-rich risk analyses periodically with your IT team, you can better position your brand. Plus, your feedback may drive protocols to minimize fallout after a cybersecurity threat or breach.

There’s little doubt that you have tons of data at your fingertips. In the coming months, strive to use it more thoughtfully and comprehensively. Making just a few changes based on your evaluations could have a positive impact on CX, employee engagement, and profitability.

Written by Callum Jackson



Source: TG Daily – 5 Areas of Business Where You Could Use More Analytics

6 Processes Your Business Can Automate for 2021

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Technology is here to stay. However, that doesn’t mean it’s going to appear in your business without any effort. If you want to keep up with the technological times, you have to be proactive. 

There are many simple ways that you can integrate tech into an existing business. Tech and automation have always been helpful for reducing menial tasks and freeing up manpower for other activities. In the post-coronavirus, remote-first era, though, it can be extra helpful to have automation on your side.

Here are a few of the best ways that you can automate your business in 2021.

1. Signatures

Often it’s the small things that causes the biggest headaches. When the world went remote in 2020, businesses shifted to online operations overnight. Over time, small in-person activities began to pop up that required an online solution. One of these was signatures.

Unless you’re ready to equip every remote employee with a fax machine, signatures are a business item that is ripe for automation. There are already electronic signature software options available. These don’t just make it easy to sign an electronic signature, either. Some automate the entire signing process. 

From requesting a signature to signing and maintaining digital copies, e-signatures are a great automation move for the upcoming year.

2. Website Analytics

Analytics aren’t just important. They’re the future. In most cases, the more data you can gather and process, the better off you’ll be. This is even truer for e-commerce activity. Running an e-commerce website requires landing pages, shopping carts, and payment options.

Throughout this process, it’s wise to harvest as much customer information as you can. In the past, the best way to do this was with surveys and phone calls. Now, you can install a program like Google Analytics to do the work for you. 

Analytics programs track visitors to your site. They also can monitor things like conversions and dwell time. By automating your analytics process, you can arm your business with an arsenal of powerful information. You can use this to make important decisions in the future.

3. Emails

In spite of its age, email remains a mainstay of the business world. It’s used for internal business operations on a daily, often hourly, basis. It also is a key factor in many marketing strategies. There are many different ways that you can automate email, such as:

  • Sign ups: Embed a signup form on your homepage. If you have a free piece of downloadable content, offer it in exchange for customer emails, too. This is a great way to automatically generate leads.
  • Email funnels: Email funnels are powerful selling tools. They consist of a series of consecutive, prewritten emails sent at specific times. For instance, when someone signs up for your email list, they can automatically slide into an email funnel. This can send them an email a day for a few days showing them more information about your company.
  • Abandoned cart emails: Abandon cart emails are on the other side of the sales process. These are sent when a customer leaves unpurchased items in their cart. If they leave them too long, you can have an automated email sent to remind them of their pending purchase.

There are many ways to automate email. In fact, prioritizing the automation of your email is more important than most things on this list. Why? Because the average office employee spends a whopping average of two-and-a-half hours a day managing emails.

4. Office Supplies

It doesn’t matter if your team is working remotely or in a physical office. You likely need office supplies from time to time. However, hunting down good prices for small office supply purchases can be time consuming.

You can save both time and money by joining a Group Purchasing Organization. This is an organization that does the dirty work when it comes to getting discounts and buying in bulk. GPOs represent multiple smaller businesses, which enables them to find the best prices and haggle over contracts for you.

5. Customer Service

Another great way to automate your business activities is to use a contact center as a service (CCaaS). This is a form of customer service software that organizes and streamlines your customer interactions. 

Good CCaaS software can bring all of your customer contact points together into a single location. Everything from online chats to phone calls and emails are funneled to a single piece of software. From there, communications are automatically directed to the customer representative that can serve them best. 

In addition, using a CCaaS means you won’t have to worry about bothersome updates or time-consuming IT concerns. The third party software is kept up to date for you.

6. Payroll

It’s estimated that automating payroll reduces up to 80% of the costs associated with the activity. This is thanks to the fact that automation reduces human error. In addition, it can save you time spent dealing with forms, calculations, deposits, and so on. 

Automating payroll also means you don’t have to worry about legal repercussions from tardy or incorrect payroll interactions. In other words, computerized software can send error-less paychecks with impeccable timing. You can also look into global payroll solutions if you plan to expand your team internationally. Choosing the right software now will save you time in the long run. 

If you opt to automate your payroll, you can do so in multiple ways. For instance, you can purchase a stand-alone software and continue to conduct the activity in-house. You can also use a cloud-based third party software online. This is often helpful, as it stays up to date and has live help available.

As 2021 moves on, it’s wise to take steps to ensure that your business does, as well. The last thing you want to do is have your tech fall behind as you’re trying to recover from 2020. So review the above list. Then consider areas where your business is lacking automation. Are you avoiding it for a reason? Or have you simply not had time to address the issue? 

If it’s the latter, take steps today to start finding a solution. Research your options. Once you’ve selected an automation software that you like, start considering what additional steps must take place. Do you need to train staff? Is there a recurring cost that must fit into the budget?

However you go about it, take the time to automate your business today. You’ll be thankful for it tomorrow.



Source: TG Daily – 6 Processes Your Business Can Automate for 2021

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Work with Influencers

instagram eye logo reflection social media

Influencer marketing has reached new heights! Most of the top brands today use influencers to tell their stories in a compelling way far outweighing the performance of their traditional marketing ads, including TV, radio, and even Google. Why? Influencers often have millions of subscribers – think Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, a gaming influencer with a whopping 105 million YouTube subscribers, or one of the top influencer marketing agency James Charles with 18 million-plus followers on Instagram. Influencers also have an uncanny emotional connection to their audience having built followers on both their ability to be incredibly entertaining and maintain a degree of vulnerability.

Despite the fact that influencers have proven as a great marketing asset for brand growth, many companies continue to make major mistakes when it comes to influencer partnerships. By choosing the wrong influencers, failing to establish appropriate terms of collaboration, mispricing posts, and failing to consider outside help (i.e. social media agency), brands may fall short of realizing positive influencer marketing ROI.

Below, we highlight the biggest mistakes to avoid when trying to work with influencers:

1. Choosing the wrong terms:

There are many ways to work with influencers and oftentimes, brands tend to select the wrong type of collaboration terms. They choose to go the sponsored route when gifting may have been a more appropriate route considering the size of the company and the marketing budget. The sponsored route includes an offer to purchase an ad space from the influencer. On the other hand, gifting involves a review where the influencers are able to receive products they like in exchange for posting and tagging the brand. 

2. Picking the wrong influencers: 

The quantity of followers or subscribers is not always the best measure of the quality of influencer audience. Companies often choose influencers with large following instead of focusing on those who may be a better fit when it comes to targeting demographic. Influencers with a niche following may be a lot more desirable as they allow brands to address their specific audience. Those influencers often focus on one industry and excel in attracting particular types of viewers. 

3. Choosing the wrong posting time:

Positing times can significantly impact the impressions of the post. For example, for many influencers, their audience is the most active in the mornings or in afternoons. Posting between the time of 7AM to 9PM and after 5PM may sometimes double the amount of impressions an influencer receives on a given post. By providing specific time for posting as well as asking influencers when their audience is most active, we can ensure that the post receives the maximum amount of exposure. 

4. Lack of product photo clarity:

Some influencers tend to take photos with products often having low visibility. For example, the product can be too far away, or the focus may be on other branded items on the post. When this occurs, the messaging can become conflicting; the audience may focus on the wrong product and start asking the influencer questions about other items. In order to maximize exposure and provide clarity, brands should instruct influencers to stay away from branded clothing and/or other logos that may distract from the messaging. 

5. Missing Instastories:

Some brands don’t always offer call-to-action links when working with influencers. This is especially problematic when we want to measure conversion and influencer ROI. “Instastory swipe-ups” are an excellent way to provide a link to a landing page where the company can measure directly the response of the campaign, i.e. the interest of the influencer audience in the product. Failing to include swipe-ups as a part of the influencer campaign may signal a missed opportunity for brands to effectively measure the success and the ROI of a specific sponsored post. 

Depending on the size of the brand and the type of product, the general rule is that smaller brands and newer brands should opt for gifting or other types of non-sponsored collaborations. They should work with influencers with a smaller size of followers who are less demanding when it comes to collaboration terms and avoid those who only provide sponsored reviews. By working with niche influencers, brands are able to advertise directly to their target demographic and achieve a positive ROI.  

Written by Barbara McGee



Source: TG Daily – Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Work with Influencers