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The Next Web

SEO and Google Ads aren’t just web magic. Businesses need to know them. This training can make them all clear

TLDR: The Ultimate Google Ads and SEO Certification Bundle offer all web business owners insight into how to take control of their digital marketing fate. There’s a reason why Google’s parent company is the fifth richest company in the world. Because when you virtually control huge swathes of internet commerce, you’re bound to end up with some stunningly large coffers. Google accounts for 75 percent of all desktop search traffic and 95 percent of all mobile search traffic on the web. Search engine optimization (SEO) drives over 1,000 percent more traffic than organic social media. And over 80 percent of all customers say they use a search engine as part of their shopping process. Which means if you aren’t taking advantage of SEO and Google advertising to put your business front and center, you’re not taking digital marketing seriously. The training in The Ultimate Google Ads and SEO Certification Bundle ($49.99, over 90 percent off from TNW Deals) can set you on the right path. With nine courses featuring nearly 30 hours of instruction, new digital entrepreneurs and old hands alike will get the complete 4-1-1 on everything from how to land at the top of Google search rankings to how to ensure the most effective reach for their Google ads. The Complete SEO Course For Beginners 2020: Zero to Hero and Google Ads For Beginners 2020: Step-by-Step Process offer newcomers a comprehensive look at what users need to know to understand both SEO and the Google Ads network. With…Continue readingSEO and Google Ads aren’t just web magic. Businesses need to know them. This training can make them all clear

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The Next Web

Apple’s iOS 14 will give users more privacy protection — and publishers aren’t happy about it

iPhone users are about to receive access to Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 14. It will come with the usual array of shiny new features, but the real game-changer will be missing – at least until January. For the first time, iOS 14 is to require apps to get permission from users before collecting their data – giving users an opt-in to this compromise to their privacy. This caused a major backlash from companies that rely on this data to make money, most notably Facebook. So why did Apple decide to jeopardize the business models of major rivals and their advertisers, and will the postponement make any difference? The backlash The opt-in is not the only change in iOS 14 that gives users more privacy protection, but it has attracted the most attention. Privacy campaigners will applaud the move, but the reaction from the media business has been mixed. The likes of American online publishing trade body Digital Content Next thought it would potentially benefit members. But Facebook warned the opt-in could halve publishers’ revenues on its advertising platform, while some publishers are loudly concerned. The owner of UK news site Mail Online, DMG Media, threatened to delete its app from the App Store. Whether publishers win or lose very much depends on their business model and customer base. Publishers’ model of selling their product to consumers and selling space to advertisers has been badly damaged by the internet. All the free content online drove down physical sales, which…Continue readingApple’s iOS 14 will give users more privacy protection — and publishers aren’t happy about it

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The Verge

Many states aren’t reporting rapid COVID-19 test results

Over 20 states aren’t including results from a type of rapid COVID-19 test in their overall case numbers, according to a survey by Kaiser Health News (KHN). The federal government is sending millions of these types of tests all around the country in an effort to keep up with the pandemic. If states don’t release the results from those tests through their public health departments, it creates a blind spot in the overall data. The tests, called antigen tests, work by detecting a small protein on the surface of the coronavirus. They tend work much faster than the tests that look for the virus itself, called PCR tests, although they can be less accurate. According to the KHN survey, 21 states and the District of Columbia don’t report all of their antigen test results. Fifteen states and DC don’t count positive antigen test results as confirmed cases, and nearly half of the 48 states that responded to the survey said that their antigen test results are probably underreported. At the start of the pandemic, the majority of testing done in the United States was PCR testing. Then, the Food and Drug Administration started authorizing antigen tests in May, and over the past few months, others have started to enter the market. Still, it took until August for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to say that a patient with a positive antigen test should be considered a probable COVID-19 case, even without checking for symptoms. Even now, the agency’s…Continue readingMany states aren’t reporting rapid COVID-19 test results

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Mashable

FBI and police departments say wildfire conspiracy theories spreading on Facebook aren’t true

As wildfires devastate the West Coast, the FBI and local officials in California, Oregon, and Washington are also fighting the spread of something else: rampant misinformation. Conspiracy theories about the wildfires are quickly spreading on Facebook. While they vary, most revolve around the idea that antifa, or anti-fascists, are responsible for the fires. A screenshot of one of the many wildfire conspiracy theories being spread online. Image: Screenshot: facebook WARNING: Multiple sources in Emergency Response have confirmed that the fires along the West Coast are caused by dozens of arsonists. These fires are allegedly linked to Antifa and the Riots. Read this warning ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/x1HVVsAIJy — Katie Daviscourt🇺🇸 (@KatieDaviscourt) September 10, 2020 The most popular conspiracy theories claim that law enforcement arrested antifa members for starting wildfires. Or sometimes they’re a “first-hand account” from a friend of a friend who saw antifa starting a fire. There is no proof of any of this occurring, a fact asserted by several police departments and the FBI. Reports that extremists are setting wildfires in Oregon are untrue. Help us stop the spread of misinformation by only sharing information from trusted, official sources. pic.twitter.com/ENc4c3kjep — FBI Portland (@FBIPortland) September 11, 2020 Many of these wildfires were started by seemingly innocuous events or natural causes. For example, one of the fires in California was started by an explosive device used at a gender reveal party. A wildfire in Oregon has been traced to falling trees taking down power lines. Add in severe drought and heatwaves…Continue readingFBI and police departments say wildfire conspiracy theories spreading on Facebook aren’t true

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The Next Web

No, Uber and Lyft aren’t shutting down in California just yet

Just as the Uber and Lyft “blackout” was about to begin in California, the ride-hailing companies have been handed a reprieve by an appeals court. Last night, the ride-hailing companies were going to suspend their services in response to a recent court ruling that required them to recognize their drivers as employees, The New York Times reports. Despite the injunction, the reprieve allows the companies to continue operating until yet another decision is made, later this year. Further hearings will be held in October. [Read: Google admits its Android Auto assistant is a little, umm, slow] There seems to be general routine in this case: a court tells Uber and Lyft to classify drivers as employees, they appeal, they continue operating as normal, the case escalates, they appeal, they continue working as usual. The latest injunction appeared to be the most effective, but with the recent remission it seems business as usual — again — for the ride-hailing companies, for now. However, this time, the companies have been asked to provide details on how they plan to employ their drivers should they lose their appeal. These plans must be submitted by early September. “These companies may have bought themselves a little more time, but the price is that they have to demonstrate — under oath — that they have an implementation plan that complies with the law,” said John Cote, a spokesman for the San Francisco city attorney. On the whole, it looks like Uber and Lyft have indeed bought…Continue readingNo, Uber and Lyft aren’t shutting down in California just yet

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TechCrunch

Why e-commerce startups aren’t raising more funding during this historic boom – TechCrunch

After yesterday’s look into the somewhat lackluster pace of investment into e-commerce-focused startups this year, a few VCs sent in notes that added useful context. So this morning let’s discuss why the pace of e-commerce startup fundraising has been so milquetoast in 2020. The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday. To frame the oddity of e-commerce startups not raising a flood of cash during what are historic boom times, we noted Walmart’s staggering online sales growth in Q2, which TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez broke out into a separate piece. Today, for a soupçon more, Target reported its Q2 earnings. Its results are similar to Walmart’s own, if even more extreme. The American retailer reported that its “store comparable” sales were up 10.9% in the quarter, which was rather good. But Target also reported that its “digital comparable sales grew 195 percent,” which is staggering. And Target’s revenue mix moved from 7.3% digital in its year-ago quarter to 17.2% in its most recent. Damn. If you’ve been around the internet lately, you can’t help but trip over more data detailing this extraordinary moment in e-commerce history — there are years of change happening in just a quarter’s time. For a taste, former Andreessen denizen Benedict Evans has some great data on U.S. and UK e-commerce growth, and here’s yet another great chart to chew on. It goes on and on. So the e-commerce boom is real,…Continue readingWhy e-commerce startups aren’t raising more funding during this historic boom – TechCrunch

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Mashable

Easy cocktail recipes for people who aren’t ready to go to bars just yet

It feels like a lifetime ago that we were sipping a lukewarm pint in a sweaty pub on a week night. While pubs, bars, and restaurants are starting to reopen in many places, not everyone feels comfortable venturing out just yet.  Just because you don’t feel ready to paint the town red, it doesn’t mean to have to forego your love of a good stiff cocktail after a long, hard week. If you spent lockdown working on your culinary and mixology skills to pass the time, then this collection of cocktail recipes is right up your street.  None of these cocktails is particularly complicated. You won’t catch me whisking any egg whites or extracting any obscure fruit juices for something that’ll take me about seven whole minutes to drink. But if you’re in need of a good spritz to lift the spirits, a piña colada to carry you away, or just a good old fashioned Negroni, we’ve got you covered.  Negroni  Image: Getty Images/Cultura RF This Quarantini cocktail recipe collection would be incomplete without a Negroni. The Negroni was invented in 1919 in Florence, Italy, by Count Camillo Negroni who wanted to make his favourite cocktail, the Americano, a little bit stronger by using gin instead of soda water. 101 years later, thanks to the international treasure that is Stanley Tucci, the Negroni has been firmly cemented as the unofficial cocktail of 2020. Sadly this article doesn’t boast an engaging tutorial from The Devil Wears Prada star, but this very…Continue readingEasy cocktail recipes for people who aren’t ready to go to bars just yet

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The Verge

YouTube is ending its community captions feature and deaf creators aren’t happy about it

YouTube plans to discontinue its community captions feature, which allowed viewers to add subtitles to videos, because it was “rarely used and had problems with spam/abuse,” the company announced. It says it’s removing the captions and will “focus on other creator tools.” The feature will be removed as of September 28th. “You can still use your own captions, automatic captions and third-party tools and services,” YouTube said in an update on its help page. But deaf and hard-of-hearing creators say removing the community captions feature will stifle accessibility, and they want to see the company try to fix the issues with volunteer-created captions, rather than doing away with them entirely. Deaf YouTuber Rikki Poynter said on her channel in May that community captions were an “accessibility tool that not only allowed deaf and hard of hearing people to watch videos with captions, but allowed creators that could not afford to financially invest in captions.” She tweeted Thursday that she was disappointed with YouTube’s decision: I told them for a full freakin’ hour why we need community contribution. Not just for deaf people so more channels will have captions, but for disabled creators who can’t manually do them or have the income to pay for them: which is most of us. They do not care about us. — Rikki Poynter ‍♀️ (@rikkipoynter) July 31, 2020 YouTuber JT, whose channel has more than 550,000 subscribers, highlighted the downside of the community captions feature last year, showing how viewers were adding abusive comments…Continue readingYouTube is ending its community captions feature and deaf creators aren’t happy about it

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Wired

AI Is All the Rage. So Why Aren’t More Businesses Using It?

The Census report found AI to be less widespread than some earlier estimates. The consulting firm McKinsey, for instance, reported in November 2018 that 30 percent of surveyed executives said their firms were piloting some form of AI. Another study, by PwC at the end of 2018, found that 20 percent of executives surveyed planned to roll out AI in 2019. One reason for the difference is that those surveys were focused on big companies which are more likely to adopt new technology. Fortune 500 firms have the money to invest in expertise and resources, and often have more data to feed to AI algorithms. Keep Reading For a lot of smaller companies, AI isn’t part of the picture—not yet, at least. “Big companies are adopting,” says Brynjolfsson, “but most companies in America—Joe’s pizzeria, the dry cleaner, the little manufacturing company—they are just not there yet.” Another reason for the discrepancy is that those who responded to the Census survey might not realize that their company is using some form of AI. Companies could use software that relies on some form of machine learning for tasks such as managing employees or customers without advertising the fact. Even if AI isn’t yet widespread, the fact that it is more common at larger companies is important, because those companies tend to drive an even greater proportion of economic activity than their size suggests, notes Pascual Restrepo, an assistant professor at Boston University who researches technology and the economy. He adds that job…Continue readingAI Is All the Rage. So Why Aren’t More Businesses Using It?

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TechCrunch

Why aren’t Rackspace and BigCommerce worth more? – TechCrunch

Unpacking their initial IPO prices in light of today’s market conditions This week has brought with it two tasty pieces of IPO news — Rackspace’s return to the public markets and BigCommerce’s debut will be far more interesting now that we know what a first-draft valuation for each looks like. But amidst the numbers is a question worth answering: Why aren’t cloud-focused Rackspace and e-commerce-powering BigCommerce worth more? Using a basic share count and the top end of their initial ranges, Rackspace is targeting a roughly $4.8 billion valuation, and BigCommerce a $1.3 billion price tag. Given that Rackspace had $652.7 million in Q1 2020 revenue and BigCommerce reaped $33.2 million in the same period, we have a puzzle on our hands. Let me explain. At its IPO price, Rackspace is worth around 2x its current revenue run rate. For a company we associate with the cloud, that feels cheap at first glance. BigCommerce is targeting a valuation of around a little under 10x its current annual run rate, which feels light compared to its competitor Shopify’s current price/sales ratio of of 66.4x (per YCharts data). We did some maths to hammer away at what’s going on in each case. The mystery boils down to somewhat mundane margin and growth considerations. Let’s dive into the data, figure out what’s going on and ask ourselves if these companies aren’t heading for a second, higher IPO price range before they formally price and begin trading. Margins and growth Let’s unpack Rackspace’s IPO pricing…Continue readingWhy aren’t Rackspace and BigCommerce worth more? – TechCrunch