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Art criticism in the era of social media
While there is no accounting for taste, it is perhaps possible to explain and understand taste. In her project “Aesthetic Practice and the Critical Faculty”, the philosopher Iris Laner explores what aesthetic education means at school and for our everyday lives. This much is undisputed: being trained in how to deal with images can facilitate a more profound understanding of art and, ultimately, of the world and its emotions. At school, there are mainly two ways of dealing with art: either one actively produces artwork, or one studies the history of art. But art education can be so much more, says Iris Laner, professor of fine arts and art education at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and this view is corroborated by history. In antiquity, aesthetic education was still considered the foundation for understanding the world: exploring specifically the fictional world of myths and art necessarily had to come before looking for truth in the real world. Many also considered the strong emotional power of the arts to be dangerous – this is why Plato was an advocate of strict censorship. - Better use of social media Instead of restricting access to media, Laner would prefer exploring the potential of a responsible and critical approach to the power of images. She is convinced that visual education can achieve more than just passing on a lofty love of art: “Comprehensive aesthetic education can help us to better find our way in the world.” Learning to perceive, classify and understand your own sensory impressions enables you to explain better to yourself and others why something affects you, and what defines your own approach to images. This is not an insignificant skill given the flood of images in today’s world, especially since we are talking about subjective perception. Unlike thematic debates, there is no right or wrong fact-based answer as to whether an image is beautiful, moving or impressive. Everyone can come to their own conclusions, but they can also learn to understand diverging opinions. - We won’t have anything “museum-like” in our home In the FWF-funded project “Aesthetic Practice and the Critical Faculty: Examining the Educational Conditions of Aesthetic Experience” principal investigator Laner is exploring how 14-year-olds from different educational backgrounds analyse and discuss images, how they deal with aesthetic artefacts, and how they form opinions about them. The students were asked for instance to discuss their impressions of three different portraits in focus group interviews. It turned out that they liked to use familiar stock phrases but also words that they themselves coined in order to express complex concepts. “Museumisch”, a self-coined term meaning “like in a museum”, was often used to explain why they would not really like to hang a certain picture in their home: “The youngsters used this term in a rather denigrating way – it often meant they wouldn’t want to explore something any further, thinking ‘it belongs in a museum, not in my world, and therefore I am not interested’,” notes Laner in explaining the preliminary results of the basic research project, which is set to run until the end of the year. - Language shapes prevailing opinion The language used by the young people was subject to certain trends. Once a term came up, it was usually taken up and used by the group. The discussion often focused for a long time on a topic that was introduced at the beginning – whether the person portrayed was female or male, for instance – and the conversation then continued along these lines. Verbal utterances guided the group’s attention and assessments, but it is not always easy to translate an impression or feeling into words. Language was therefore not the only way for the students to reveal their opinions. Laner observed that body language was often a better indicator of whether someone disagreed with the prevailing opinion. She and her team recorded such moments in observation protocols. For example the instance when a girl turned away from the group and then muttered to herself that not everyone thought that the “gangster” on the portrait was so very cool. - Using the results in the classroom “It is easier for students to express divergent opinions in a non-verbal way. That happens on a different level and thus also disrupts habitual response patterns,” notes Laner. Hence, teachers could start to promote different forms of expression in the classroom: allowing technical language, everyday language, but also images and gestures, and establish all of these as equal in order to react to the impressions images make on the students. In a follow-up project, Laner intends to investigate how this could work in practice. It is not only about honing critical faculties, but also about the willingness to be inspired to think and feel: “If art has anything to contribute, it is the ability to open up spaces for thinking and feeling, and these spaces should be available to all children and adults,” says Laner. At the moment, many young people still feel that there is quite a distance between art and everyday culture. - The person Iris Laner studied philosophy and art education at the University of Vienna and completed her doctorate on “Image and Time” at the University of Basel. She completed research visits at the University of St. Gallen, the KU Leuven, the University of Tübingen and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Since 2019, she has been a professor of art education at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. The project “Aesthetic Practice and the Critical Faculty” (2017–2022) is receiving roughly EUR 229,000 in funding from the Austrian Science Fund FWF.
New Survey Elevates Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) as the Force Multiplier for Digital Experiences
Sumo Logic (NASDAQ: SUMO), the SaaS analytics platform to enable reliable and secure cloud-native applications, today unveiled the results of the Global SRE Pulse 2022, a survey of insights from the global IT community, which highlights the growing adoption of SRE as a central operating model to deliver digital services and applications. The survey was conducted by DevOps Institute to establish a baseline on the current state of SRE in practice. “With the explosion of digital services, SRE has rapidly evolved to become an essential collaboration center across development and operations teams to deliver digital experiences,” said Bruno Kurtic, Founding VP of Product & Strategy, Sumo Logic. “The Global SRE Pulse demonstrates that in this modern age, the SRE model adds even greater value to application performance management and observability programs. SREs have emerged as a specialized group poised to seize on the next opportunity and drive growth.” - SRE: Are We There Yet? Daily life is filled with the use of digital experiences powered by digital services. Over the course of the pandemic, enterprises have shifted to deliver even more services for health, video communications and financial livelihood as virtual and hybrid work models have taken shape. All of this drives digital transformation and the accelerated pace shows no signs of slowing down. To keep pace with this needed transformation, organizations have turned to SRE to anchor enhanced digital experiences. It is no surprise that respondents to the Global SRE Pulse cite that the adoption of SRE is in full swing, with a resounding 62% of respondents reporting that their organizations employ SRE processes today. When asked how their enterprises are leveraging SRE: 19% are applying SRE throughout the IT organization; 55% are using SRE within specific teams, products or services; 23% are currently piloting SRE; and Two percent of respondents selected “other” and only one percent of organizations tried to apply SRE, but it didn’t work. “The adoption of SRE is also helping to create new experiences so that digital transformation can take place even faster. This research has proven it - SRE has become an essential engineering function and it should be considered a standard for any business to succeed in the digital age,” said Eveline Oehrlich, Chief Research Officer, DevOps Institute. SRE benefits digital transformation - Harnessing the Power of SRE: Adoption and Tools According to the Global SRE Pulse, organizations adopt SRE for a variety of reasons. Reliability and security are top of mind, including the need to reduce the risk of service failure and unplanned downtime (68%), improve the ability to compete with improved reliable services and offerings (65%), and ensure satisfaction with business team partners because the frequency and severity of incidents are reduced (59%). While SRE adoption is strong and growing, the challenge still lies in applying automation tools and techniques across domains and data silos. Respondents state that they are currently implementing the following top automation tools within the SRE team: ITSM/ticketing systems (30%), observability (29%), monitoring and performance management (29%), configuration management (29%), release management (27%), and security tools (26%). Observability solutions offer SRE teams the visibility needed to garner necessary insights into complex architecture and software stacks. Today, SRE teams are currently or continuously using the classic approach to monitoring: application performance monitoring (79%), availability, uptime and performance monitoring (86%), and synthetic transaction monitoring (60%). Respondents to the Global SRE Pulse also state they are currently implementing other types of monitoring, including web performance (25%), real user monitoring (24%), security (24%) and business activity monitoring (23%). “As application modernization continues to accelerate, SREs are under more pressure to release faster,” continued Kurtic. “This requires organizations to manage services across performance, security and reliability metrics. As SRE takes hold, we expect to see the additional removal of various silos for faster remediation and collaboration.”
Lambda256 Closes Digital Collectibles “Voltron” Licensing Deal with NBCUniversal
Lambda256, the blockchain affiliate of Upbit operator Dunamu that operates its blockchain ‘Luniverse,’ announced today that it will collaborate with Universal Games and Digital Platforms to develop offerings for its digital collectibles content production business, featuring the Voltron: Defender of the Universe series. Voltron is the American name of a popular animated character that was best known as ‘King Lion’ in Korea and as ‘Beast King GoLion’ in Japan. The action hero, which has five lion robots combine to transform into a large human-shaped figure to protect the universe from evil was very popular among children during the 1980s and 1990s, and remains an iconic super robot animation among the generation that has since grown up to become adults. ‘Cyphrly’ is a global NFT marketplace by Lambda256, based on its blockchain platform Luniverse. It plans to launch later this year, capturing a more global audience. Its new business consists of not only the NFT marketplace but capabilities of production through an in-house creative NFT planning and production studio. The Voltron project is anticipated to be among the first hybrid projects, showcasing various physical figurines and high-end 3D digital collectibles produced by Cyphrly’s in-house studio. The upcoming drop will consist of Voltron’s five lion robots (Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Black) as well as fusion Voltron figures. The Voltron: Defender of the Universe project will start with a domestic drop; future roadmaps will be published on the Cyphrly website. Evan Park, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lambda 256, said, “We will continue to showcase NFTs with innovation, artistry, and creativity by securing properties like Voltron: Defender of the Universe. We plan to create a global NFT ecosystem together through Cyphrly Studio's differentiated NFT production technology."
The new website of ARTEMIS real-time location system is officially launched
Avalue Technology Inc. (TAIEX: 3479-TW), a global industrial PC solution provider and an associate member of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance, Avalue has launched a new website of RENITY ARTEMIS, a real-time location system. To provide better convenience for visitors, the website interface has been redesigned, and the domain name "rtls.avalue.com.tw" has also been officially launched. The brand new ARTEMIS website is presented in a clean and concise style, allowing users to quickly find the services they need. Compared with the old website, it provides richer information, such as hardware and software information, and practical application cases, and adds 4 industry categories: manufacturing, healthcare, warehousing, and construction. , in each industry category page, users can clearly understand how ARTEMIS has a huge impact on the industry, such as helping manufacturers locate valuable assets, track and record personnel movements in healthcare facilities to optimize operational processes, enabling warehousing operators to complete the entry and exit of goods several times faster, and provides a safer working environment for construction workers. The free online space measurement tool "ARTEMIS Layout Evaluation Tool" on the new website can know how many anchors are needed in the field after uploading the map file, which is convenient for users to make further planning. With instructions in Chinese and English, you can get started quickly when you use it for the first time. The new website showcases the achievements of Avalue Technology in the real-time location system for many years. The rich function introduction and detailed information allow visitors to understand how ARTEMIS can help enterprises to fight their way in the highly competitive Industry 4.0 era. At the same time, Avalue will also continue to enrich the content of the web page and continuously provide the latest information to visitors. Visit www.avalue.com.tw for more information on Avalue products, or contact email@example.com to talk to our sales team.
Elsevier expands MedReprints service to Global Customers
Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, announced today the global expansion of their new MedReprints service. The expansion, which extends the growing digital and print-on-demand service to customers globally, is in direct response to an increasing need from Elsevier clients, especially pharmaceutical and healthcare companies and their agencies. The announcement follows a successful pilot program targeting those industries. MedReprints will now supply printed and electronic copies of the latest research to health and pharma companies across all major markets. MedReprints accelerates and streamlines the reprint and ePrint order process by providing an automated online portal for corporate medical and marketing departments to order reprints of both Elsevier and non-Elsevier published content. Customers around the world can now quickly order and access credible and quality peer-reviewed research to use in their educational and promotional materials to distribute to their targeted healthcare networks. Elsevier’s offering affirms its position as a market leader amongst reprint and ePrint providers with enhanced platform features that include: 24/7 access to instant quotes and orders Access to easy ordering and rapid delivery of all reprints and e-reprints In-app communications and email alerts on customer delivery status ScienceDirect and SCOPUS integration for article retrieval Efficient access to reliable reprint services has been found to benefit the medical and research community. More than 80% of physicians read medical articles in reprint format, whilst 90% of physicians say reprints are useful for their practice and viewed as a reliable source of quality, creditable peer reviewed research. Customer experience is at the core of Elsevier’s MedReprints service which is supported by a round-the-clock, customer service team that can be contacted directly through the online portal. https://www.medreprints.com/get_in_touch Darren Webster, Managing Director at Elsevier, said: “The launch of Elsevier’s MedReprints service will ensure the continued sharing of quality research to make meaningful innovation happen faster and go further. It will offer our global customers a seamless, more efficient service to get research shared amongst their audiences to help scientists make discoveries, researchers develop new medicines and healthcare professionals improve patient care.”. More information about Elsevier’s MedReprints can be found https://www.medreprints.com/ , as well as frequently asked questions https://www.medreprints.com/faqs about the service.
Bat Boy Found in West Virginia Cave 30 Years Ago; Americans Push to Make June 23rd a National Bat Boy Holiday
Weekly World News (WWN) celebrates the 30th anniversary of its ground-breaking June 23, 1992 cover story “Bat Child Found In Cave.” WWN introduced the half-human, half-bat child to readers around the world, and its ongoing coverage has fostered a growing national movement to make June 23 an official National Bat Boy holiday! Weekly World News is celebrating the anniversary with a special tribute on its website. https://weeklyworldnews.com/mutants/183465/bat-boy-30th-anniversary/ It all started in Pendleton County, West Virginia where Dr. Ron Dillon discovered this unique “creature,” who would become known as Bat boy, living in a cave in the Allegheny Mountains. Explorers captured Bat Boy, who was living almost two miles underground. Weekly World News' Bat Boy reporting went “viral,” spreading faster than any news story could in the days before the Internet and social media – it was a peaceful time. Scientists and reporters quickly learned that Bat Boy is a very skittish and elusive creature who is frequently on the run, often disappearing for extended periods of time. Bat Boy has been known to be quite tricky and unpredictable. He even managed to steal a vehicle and drive it at high speed, leading to a multi-state run with law enforcement in pursuit. When explorers discovered Bat Boy in Hellhole Cave, they estimated his age at around 10 years old. But further research has identified a genetic deformity that has locked Bat Boy in the very same age for the last 30 years. It seems Bat Boy will never age, however his intelligence and global interests continue to grow. Bat Boy has long demonstrated a keen interest in political and social issues which have thrust him into the limelight, as he has befriended and advised a range of U.S. Presidents and candidates for national office. Bat Boy’s political interests even led to an unsuccessful 2020 run for the U.S. Presidency. Close advisors admit that cryptid prejudices along with the candidate’s communications challenges and non-traditional demeanor posed major obstacles in the campaign. Dr. Ron Dillon, one of the foremost experts on Bat Boy, describes him as a “human-bat hybrid creature. His father was likely a bat or a creature heavily dominated by bat genomes, his mother, Susan Boy, was a human being. We have since traced Susan’s ancestry to passengers on the Mayflower.” Bat Boy's life has been nothing short of a whirlwind and even spawned an off-Broadway musical. Weekly World News does its best to keep readers up to date on his comings and goings. In the years since his discovery, Bat Boy has met Travis Scott, Elvis, Nelson Mandela, Frank Sinatra, every living U.S. President. He is adored by most celebrities – though given his reclusive nature, very few have been lucky enough to meet him. In anticipation of his run for president, Bat Boy abandoned his pagan ways and converted to Judaism and then to every other religion, seeking to play a unifying role for all people under his “Right Wing AND Left Wing” platform. He’s also had a busy and sometimes stormy romantic life, dating Farrah Fawcett, Jennifer Lopez, Jean Kirkpatrick, Cher, Kim Kardashian and more recently, Taylor Swift, but never really settling down. Bat Boy has no known offspring. Bat Boy has become a reluctant cultural icon and national treasure, who savors hiding in plain sight. He has been a subject in numerous TV shows and films such as The Simpsons, American Dad, The Boys, 12 Monkeys and many others. When Bat Boy isn't evading the paparazzi, law enforcement or government scientists, he apparently enjoys supporting his fans via surprise appearances in pop culture outlets. Recently, Bat Boy was knighted by the Queen Elizabeth and blessed by Pope Francis, and there are growing rumors about another presidential run in 2024 under his healing and unifying right-wing plus left-wing message. Leaders of the Bat Boy holiday movement urge all supporters to contact their elected representatives to voice support for a National Holiday to honor Bat Boy and his achievements and to demonstrate support for cryptids of all shapes and sizes. Supporters also encourage of Bat Boy themed apparel, some of which is coincidently available in the WWN online store! There are rumors that Bat Boy will be biking with President Biden today, but with Bat Boy, one never really knows.
Cube Chain Test-Net Goes Online: A Prelude to Enhanced On-Chain User Experience
Cube Chain, a new modular permissionless blockchain with multi-chain architecture, today announced the official launch of its test-net. Cube Chain is specially designed to unlock the full potential of GameFi, Metaverses, and DeFi. Touted as the next-generation, high-performance network, it boasts features such as low-cost transactions, EVM and Cosmos ecosystem compatibility, and innovative BFT protocol. With the growth of GameFi, DeFi, and NFT, transaction volumes on chains have increased exponentially, and early public chains have been unable to meet the needs of users. For example, Ethereum takes about 10 minutes to complete a transaction during peak periods and gas fees can reach several hundreds of dollars. To meet the needs of the industry, Cube Chain takes the high-performance Layer 1 blockchain as the base and fundamentally solves the problem of blockchain expansion, providing users with a fast and low cost trading platform. Core features of Cube Chain include: (1) Modular layered architecture with built-in and self-developed Collaborative Rollup to ensure transaction security. (2) "Chaos" Consensus: a brand new pipelined-optimized BFT consensus that comes with high throughput, decentralization, security, and fast transaction confirmation. (3) Multi-Chain: a decentralized cross-chain communication protocol named “Time Crossing”, which supports cross-chain DeFi contract calls and is compatible with Cosmos IBC protocol supporting a seamless migration of applications within the ecosystems. To improve the performance of the chain and offer a better user experience, Cube will hold a test-net incentive activity online from May 25 to June 25. During this period, developers can participate in the DAPP deployment competition and receive gas fee rewards. In addition, hackathons will also be held during this period, with grants disbursed to winning teams. It also gives an opportunity for all participants to become the first guests of Cube's global roadshow and live broadcasts. Users can participate in the Cube DAO organization through the decentralized identity system and experience the test-net. In addition, all participants have the opportunity to share a prize pool of 2000 exclusive NFTs and obtain rights and interests such as whitelist, token priority purchase, priority investment dividends, and other rewards. Cube Chain will actively participate in the Web3.0 development and construction of decentralized cross-chain protocols, focusing on innovation for Web3.0 infrastructure with the aim to become an integral part of the future Metaverse. For more information about Cube, please visit: https://www.cube.network/
Revolutionize Remote Working with New Automated Lecture Capture Solution – CaptureCast
NewTek, the leader in IP-based video technology and part of the Vizrt Group, announces today the latest in its innovative portfolio, CaptureCast; a ground-breaking multi-input recording and live streaming technology to drive active participation, engagement, and experience for remote working, training, onboarding, and more. The IP-based lecture capture and micro broadcasting system will connect colleagues from boardroom to boardroom, home office to home office, and corporate headquarters to employees all throughout the globe. Easy to implement and fully autonomous, CaptureCast doesn’t require a dedicated operator leaving users more time, effort, and energy to focus on collaborative communication. - Connect, globally CaptureCast is the first solution on the market to harness the power of NDI® by connecting camera apps on mobile, software screen capture, and thousands of compatible devices like PTZ cameras. Using NDI, CaptureCast also incorporates direct connection with video communication applications including Microsoft® Teams, Zoom, among others. The innovative automation inside CaptureCast records any live devices such as cameras, mics, tablets, document cameras, and nearly any digital device offering HD video out, enabling remote participants to interact with video content more dynamically. With CaptureCast, workplaces can also deliver high quality, impactful videos to streamline onboarding new employees, increase quality of training for current employees and more as the technology automatically records live video and files for on-demand access. Pre-recorded content can be reviewed on replay, or content can be accessed in real-time offering more flexibility to recording sessions and reaching global audiences more easily. - Stream, seamlessly Furthermore, CaptureCast takes any live capture and instantaneously replicates it across any streaming platforms to empower remote participants to switch between viewpoints, cameras, or screens to completely personalize, and take control of their video viewing experience. CaptureCast automates the entire record-stream-enrichment process. It moves between different set-ups for any given class, to a pre-programmed schedule or timetable, and intelligently maps the captured content to common learning or content management systems – all without any input from HR or IT staff. Each set-up can be customized to any style of lecture, speaker, or for totally exceptional and out-of-the-box hybrid working experiences. “Video is embedded in every area of society and in today’s world anyone can get on camera and connect to an audience. Micro-broadcasting has become a need for corporations to meet the growing need of servicing distance workers, and outfitting rooms for flex/hybrid instructions to deliver an enhanced experience to drive engagement and productivity for the workplace of the future,” states Barbara Spicek, President, and GM, NewTek. For more information on NewTek’s CaptureCast, visit: www.newtek.com
Zoom Whiteboard, the Collaboration Canvas for Hybrid Teams, Now Available
Today, Zoom Video Communications, Inc. announced the general availability of Zoom Whiteboard, a modern digital canvas that provides a unified solution for collaboration and creation within the Zoom platform. Users can interact with the Zoom Whiteboard similar to an in-person experience, creating more visually engaging and efficient collaboration. With the global workforce embracing hybrid work environments across industries, there is an increased need for solutions that seamlessly foster ideation and teamwork among co-located and distributed colleagues. Zoom Whiteboard further broadens the capabilities of the Zoom platform for today’s hybrid workforce, including unified communications, Zoom Developer Platform, Zoom Events, Zoom Contact Center, and Zoom IQ for Sales. “Collaboration tools are in high demand, and Zoom Whiteboard is sure to be a staple in the modern workforce,” said Dan Root, Senior Analyst of Visual Collaboration, Wainhouse Research. “Zoom brings over a decade’s worth of experience in exceptional video communications to this new solution, which businesses need to keep information flowing in a secure and easily-managed fashion.” “Not only are we supporting customers as they adapt to this new phase of work, but we’re anticipating what comes next, and building platform solutions, like Zoom Whiteboard, to address it,” said Oded Gal, Chief Product Officer of Zoom. “Zoom Whiteboard is arming teams with the power of continuous communication in an easy-to-use solution that provides a virtual space to collaborate before, during, and after a meeting.” [Whiteboard Anytime, From Anywhere] Hybrid work presents challenges for working collaboratively as remote workers can’t see a physical whiteboard in the office and risk being left out. It can also be challenging to transport ideas and information across a broad audience. Zoom Whiteboard is a visual collaboration tool designed to facilitate asynchronous and real-time collaboration, serving as a virtual space for teams to capture ideas and work together with freedom and flexibility. A web-based solution, users can effortlessly collaborate across a variety of devices – web browser, tablet, desktop, or Zoom Rooms for Touch. Tightly integrated with Zoom Meetings and Zoom Rooms for Touch devices like the DTEN D7 and Neat Board, with support for Zoom Chat coming soon, Zoom Whiteboard extends productivity well beyond the boundaries of a single meeting. Complement your Zoom Rooms with a dedicated Companion Whiteboard, like the new DTEN ONboard, the first purpose-built interactive touch display for advanced whiteboarding coming soon. [Features Designed for Collaboration] Zoom Whiteboard comes with a host of easy-to-use features including: Dashboard and easy sharing: Create new, manage existing, and share access to whiteboards. Zoom Whiteboard can be shared internally or externally with anyone that has a Zoom account, with the option to export and save. Notes and comments: Use sticky notes to highlight important ideas. Shapes and Connectors: Shapes are easily created, and connectors can be used to instantly attach those shapes. Extendable Canvas: Create up to 12 pages with seamless navigation; users can easily add images. To learn more about Zoom Whiteboard, please visit the Whiteboard page and read our blog.
Zoom Announces Platform Innovations to Elevate the Total Customer Experience
At its second Work Transformation Summit, a virtual gathering of business leaders that offers actionable insights for navigating the transformation and future of work, Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) unveiled its latest innovations in the Zoom platform to help businesses improve customer and employee experiences for the new ‘work anywhere’ workforce. Announced today, Zoom IQ for Sales, a conversation intelligence solution for sales professionals, as well as new Zoom Events and Webinar functionalities such as backstage and Webinar session branding, are putting engagement at the center of the experience and transforming the way we work, connect, and collaborate. “Every interaction counts in a video-first world – whether it’s a call with a customer service agent, a video meeting with the sales team, or a hybrid event with customers and prospects. World-class customer engagement is where competitive differentiation happens,” said Oded Gal, Chief Product Officer at Zoom. “Following our recent launch of Zoom Contact Center, Zoom IQ for Sales, and our latest Zoom Events innovations mark further steps in Zoom’s journey to establish new heights for customer experiences and flexible collaboration across the workforce.” “These new innovations are yet another example of Zoom’s ability to bring new solutions to life quickly and seamlessly, based on the needs of its customers,” said Dave Michels, Founder and Principal Analyst at TalkingPointz. “With the introduction of Zoom Events, Zoom Contact Center, and now Zoom IQ for Sales, the Zoom platform is poised to make an impact on reimagining the customer experience, by expanding it to include the entire customer journey from marketing to sales to ongoing support – the total customer experience.” - Zoom IQ for Sales: Zoom’s First Step In Conversation Intelligence Optimized efficiency: Zoom IQ for Sales increases seller productivity with automation for next steps and risk assessments, and quick search functionality. Integrated: Tightly integrated with Salesforce®, leading calendars, and Zoom Meetings, Zoom IQ for Sales consolidates workstreams and provides an aggregated view into conversations and opportunities. Easy-to-use: Zoom’s intuitive web interface makes it easy for admins to onboard users and manage their integrations and quick for users to view insights and recordings. Scalable: On-demand scalability – businesses can easily add users as needed. Zoom IQ for Sales is now available as an add-on for Zoom Meetings customers with support for Zoom Phone coming soon. Zoom IQ for Sales is the first iteration of Zoom’s conversation intelligence technology under the Zoom IQ umbrella, with potential future use cases by product, industry, and use case. To learn more about Zoom IQ for Sales, please visit the Zoom IQ for Sales page and read our blog. - Zoom Events & Webinar Enhancements: Improving the Presenter Experience Virtual and hybrid events are crucial to a brand’s marketing strategy, allowing them to connect with customers and prospects on their terms. One of the most requested features for Zoom Events, the all-in-one platform that allows brands to create virtual and hybrid experiences, has been a gathering place for speakers before, during, and after a session. To meet this need, Zoom is launching backstage, a new feature that allows panelists, speakers, and production crews to stay behind the scenes while viewing the live webinar feed, chatting with each other, answering attendees’ questions, and practicing their presentations. Zoom announced two more Zoom Webinar innovations, designed for anyone who wants to present information to a large online audience attending from anywhere in the world on any device: Webinar reactions: Webinar attendees can use reactions. The stream of submitted reactions is displayed in the bottom-right corner of the main webinar window, visible to the host, panelists, and attendees. Webinar session branding: Hosts can customize the appearance of the in-webinar experience by adding a wallpaper behind the video tiles, setting a common virtual background for all panelists, and providing name tags for each panelist. Webinar reactions and session branding are available now, and Zoom Events backstage will be generally available in late April 2022. The Zoom Events’ session experience is also available now on Zoom Rooms, allowing hosts and attendees to join events from Zoom Rooms appliances. To learn more about the latest Zoom Events, please visit the Zoom Events page and read our blog. For more information on Zoom’s innovations, or to watch any of the sessions from industry leaders taking place today, please visit our Work Transformation Summit page.
Zoom Announces New Education Features, Enhancing Hybrid Learning Experience for Educators and Students
Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) today announced, at the CoSN2022 national conference, new features for education in response to requests from teachers and administrators. These features span Zoom’s Chat and Meetings offerings and are designed to support teachers who need to engage and manage students joining class remotely or submitting homework assignments. Virtual Background & Blur for Chromebooks Chromebooks are a popular choice for students and teachers. Virtual background and blur are now available for Zoom for Chrome Progressive Web Application (PWA) users. Zoom developed this capability after requests from various education customers, including Clayton County Public Schools, one of the 100 largest school districts in the United States, serving more than 52,000 students in Georgia. “Virtual background and blur for Chromebooks are extremely beneficial to our students and teachers. Many students were reluctant to turn their cameras on before this feature enhancement,” said Rod Smith, Chief Technology Officer, Clayton County Public Schools. Breakout Rooms Enhancements Breakout Rooms, a popular education feature, also received enhancements in this latest release. Program Audio allows meeting hosts to share content with audio to Breakout Rooms, adding the ability to share videos with audio. With the LTI Pro integration enhancement, educators can populate Breakout Rooms from the course roster. This can be used to assign Breakout Rooms in advance, then automatically sort students into Breakout Rooms. Additional Features for Chat and Waiting Room Other new features include sending audio and video messages into Zoom Chat, and the ability to rename participants in the Waiting Room. Asynchronous video allows users the time to consider their responses and then record as needed to provide thoughtfully crafted responses. Users can click “video” at the bottom of the chat client and record up to a 3-minute video message that goes directly into the out-of-meeting chat channel. This is useful for situations such as students submitting brief video assignments. Renaming participants before they join the meeting can be useful for attendance taking where students may be using shared devices, for creating an anonymous student group, or for affirming gender identity. Anywhere Polls Anywhere Polls will allow polling content to live in a central repository that can be accessed from any meeting on an account, instead of being associated with a particular meeting. This will make it easier for instructors to reuse polls and will also be beneficial for grading. This feature will be available soon. “We’re looking forward to the Anywhere Polls feature,” said John J. “Ski” Sygielski, Ed.D., President and CEO of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College. “The polling enhancements will make it simpler for large groups of students to provide feedback across the College. It will be easier than ever for instructors to replicate content for each course.” “Delivering happiness to our customers is the core of what we do at Zoom,” said Johann Zimmern, Global Education Strategy Lead, Zoom. “We work closely with our global K-12 and higher education customers, taking their requests into account and involving them in feature development. As a direct result of this, Zoom developed these exciting new features for education.”
AccuWeather Network Special April Programming Focuses on Safety, Climate Change
AccuWeather Network presents its special Spring 2022 programming, kicking off April 6th, 2022 with #SafePlaceSelfie Day where AccuWeather broadcasters share their personal tips on "knowing your safe place at home or at work" when severe weather happens. Later in the month, AccuWeather Network has planned the following week-long content specials covering a range of topics from severe weather preparedness to the impacts of climate change. Additional titles include: (1) Get Ready for Spring! Severe Weather Awareness, an AccuReady Week Special “Get Ready for Spring’” through April 10th on AccuWeather Network and accuweather.com features tips on how prepare homes for spring inside and out from cleaning your gutters to checking your HVAC systems and what to do after spring storms or tornadoes and how to keep safe. (2) Our Changing World The AccuWeather Network series running April 18th – 24th "Our Changing World" looks at the far-reaching, often destructive, impact of climate change, exploring threats to coastal communities and water issues. (3) Celebrating Earth Day Nearly 1 billion people celebrate Earth Day! All week, April 18th – 24th AccuWeather Network and accuweather.com covers Earth Day celebrations across the US and around the world, a look at the history of Earth Day and what it means to efforts to preserve our natural world. AccuWeather Network is available 24/7 on DIRECTV, DIRECTV Stream, AT&T TV, Fios, Frontier, Spectrum,Fubotv, Philo or you can stream AccuWeather NOW on IMDB TV, Roku, XUMO, Plex, STIRR, LG and any supported devices.
Omnichannel Engagement Is Becoming a Centerpiece of Customer Experience Strategy for Many Organizations, According to Dash Research
Although brands have been transforming their customer experience (CX) models over the last several years, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many organizations’ plans for deploying omnichannel engagement strategies, according to a new report from Dash Research. An omnichannel strategy is a cross-channel strategy that gives a seamless and integrated experience to users across multiple channels. Unlike multichannel strategies, where each channel is managed individually, omnichannel engagement strategies streamline all customer touchpoints under a single platform, with a consistent and continuous experience for the user. “To enable omnichannel engagement, companies must remove data silos and capture and analyze customer interactions at scale,” says principal analyst Keith Kirkpatrick. “With these insights, organizations can uncover pain points, concerns, or challenges, and take action to improve omnichannel CX and drive increased customer retention and loyalty.” Kirkpatrick adds that there are five key market drivers for the growth of omnichannel engagement strategies: Poor levels of customer support A growing shift to digital interactions Changing demographics of customers The COVID-19 impact on sales, service, and support CX as a competitive differentiator Like any technology or approach, however, there are technical and operational barriers to complete market adoption. Dash Research’s analysis indicates that the most notable barriers to adopting and incorporating an omnichannel engagement strategy within the enterprise are: Technical challenges with implementing disparate software and workflow processes A lack of an agreed-upon and supported omnichannel vision Training and personnel issues Privacy issues Dash Research’s report, “Omnichannel Customer Engagement”, examines the market issues, drivers, and barriers for the use of platforms, software applications, and services that enable the deployment of omnichannel engagement strategies for CX. Several case studies illustrating the various ways omnichannel engagement is being used by end users are included in the report, along with best practices, software selection criteria, and recommendations for deploying omnichannel engagement strategies. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.
imimobile and SMARTY Partner to Bring End-to-End Personalised Communication to Its Growing Customer Base
imimobile, the global cloud communications software and solutions provider (part of Webex by Cisco), has announced that SMARTY, a UK SIM-only mobile network, has deployed imiconnect and imicampaign to support its growing subscriber base and drive a more seamless customer experience across its marketing journeys and digital channels. With imimobile’s communications platform as a service (CPaaS) solution – imiconnect - at its core, SMARTY can now better support seamless customer engagement across its customer onboarding programme as well as throughout its in-life and retention campaigns which required greater need for effective, cross-channel, personalised communications. This has allowed SMARTY to replace disparate services and vendors, consolidating these channels and services to minimise costs, maximise operational efficiencies and improve campaign response rates. Replacing the manual processes of previous solutions with imimobile’s multi-channel CPaaS technology has provided SMARTY with better automation through one central platform to manage all its customer interactions. Its teams now have real-time insight into the communications customers are receiving and how they are interacting and responding to these, which in turn offers the ability to add further levels of automation and intelligence throughout the customer journey to improve the overall experience. “As we continue to grow our customer base, it was becoming apparent that we needed to change the way in which we interact with customers,” said Sayed Hajamaideen, Head of Marketing & Propositions at SMARTY. “Our ethos is simple, honest mobile and we found that imimobile aligned very strongly to this with its easy, straightforward, and intelligent technology. SMARTY is in an extremely competitive industry, and we are an ambitious company – we were looking for a highly personalised, automated customer experience solution that would keep pace with the speed at which we are moving. imimobile has helped overhaul our entire approach to customer communications through its CPaaS platform and multi-channel capabilities to ensure a frictionless experience for our growing customer base.” imiconnect sits at the heart of SMARTY’s customer communications, from welcome and onboarding to loyalty and retention campaigns. It directly integrates with SMARTY’s existing systems, including its CRM platform, which allows SMARTY to automate communications with customers at key moments to, for example, ‘refer a friend’ or ‘leave a review’. This integration also provides a complete view of the customer and helps SMARTY’s teams to craft appropriate communications specific to their journeys. The platform also syncs with SMARTY’s Trust Pilot reviews programme, using rich communication services (RCS) to make it even easier and more convenient for customers to leave reviews, with SMARTY now reaching a 70% 5-star rating. This end-to-end journey orchestration allows for more interactive conversations that better relate to each individual customer and their needs at that time. “We know that customer experience is becoming a board-level discussion, as more and more business leaders understand its increasing impact on the bottom line,” said Jay Patel, VP & GM, Webex CPaaS. “SMARTY is at the forefront of this curve, seeing the critical importance for implementing a CPaaS solution to manage its customer communications. They needed a better solution to support their customer base, one that could help evolve marketing-led journeys to an end-to-end customer experience. The imiconnect platform acts as a central hub, delivering automation, personalisation, innovation, and a multi-channel approach to support how SMARTY is able to engage their customer base at each and every stage of their journey. Using this approach to reaching out across the most appropriate channel, SMARTY has unsurprisingly seen up to a 500% uplift in campaign engagement compared to the traditional single channel approach.” With automation, personalisation, and the ability to innovate with agility at its core, imimobile enables seamless 'two-way' communications for SMARTY’s customers, giving customers the ability to respond directly in the same channel where they have received the messages from SMARTY’s team. This joined up communication across all channels has made it extremely easy and efficient for SMARTY to continually communicate with its customers in a place and time that suits them best so that they can be kept up to date with new products and services, while also be able to make informed decisions on tariffs and packages. For more information on imiconnect, please visit imimobile.com/products/imiconnect
Survey reveals investors predict Africa's internet economy is set to boom
Professional investors are forecasting strong growth in the value of Africa’s internet economy with mobile phones central to the expansion, new global research* for blockchain-based mobile network operator World Mobile shows. The study with professional investors responsible for around $700 billion assets under management by independent research company PureProfile found one in four (25%) expect the value of Africa’s internet economy to more than double over the next three years from the current estimated $115 billion. ** More than half (51%) expect it to be worth more than $200 billion by 2025. Increased use of mobile phones will be central to the growth which will be further enhanced by improved affordability, the study with investors in the US, Germany, the UK, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Nigeria, and Switzerland found. Around 71% of investors expect affordability of mobile phones in Africa to improve over the next three years – currently it is estimated they account for around 6.8% of monthly incomes on average ***– while nearly all professional investors (97%) believe the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated demand for mobiles. World Mobile is launching its unique hybrid mobile network supported by low altitude platform balloons in Zanzibar which it plans to roll-out throughout the continent. It is already in discussions with government officials in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as other territories underserviced by traditional mobile operators. Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile said: “Professional investors see the opportunities for the African internet economy and are clearly expecting mobile phones to play a central role in driving it forward over the next three years. “Affordability is central to the increasing adoption of mobile phones but none of it is achievable without connectivity. We want to help create a world where everyone can access affordable connectivity, a world where economic freedom is a truth and a world where people are able to jump on the opportunities that internet creates.” Professional investors questioned believe healthcare is the sector which will see the most benefit from increased connectivity. Around 53% highlighted the opportunities for healthcare ahead of e-commerce on 42% and media and entertainment on 40%. Education was chosen by 33% of professional investors questioned alongside finance which was selected by 34%. World Mobile’s balloons will be the first to officially launch in Africa for commercial use, providing a more cost-effective way to provide digital connection to people and is the first step in its mission to help bring nearly four billion people online before 2030 in line with the UN and World Bank’s SDGs. The World Mobile approach is more sustainable, in environmental, social and governance terms. Environmental impacts are mitigated using solar-powered nodes, second-life batteries, and energy-efficient technology. World Mobile creates a positive societal impact through the application its circular economy model – a “sharing economy” where locals share in the ownership and rewards of the network. Governance is maintained by the secure underlying blockchain technology, which means that user data privacy is guaranteed and not commercially applied as it is by other mobile operators. ### * Independent research company PureProfile interviewed 100 professional investors across wealth management, asset management, institutional investment, pension funds, banking, private equity and financial services in Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Nigeria, Switzerland, the UK, and the US during January 2022 using an online methodology ** Africa's booming internet economy needs more software developers — Quartz Africa (qz.com) *** Mobile-Internet-Connectivity-SSA-Factsheet.pdf (gsma.com)
SINGAPORE COURT ORDERS LARGEST BLOCK OF ILLEGAL STREAMING SITES IN SINGAPORE
The Asia Video Industry Association’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) commends the Singapore High Court for granting an Order to block 30 illegal streaming sites and almost 150 associated domains responsible for the distribution of considerable quantities of illegally streamed content in Singapore. The Order was obtained by CAP members, BBC Studios, Discovery Communications, LaLiga, the Premier League and TVB International against illegal streaming sites that were offering access to some of the most sought-after content including premium sports, drama and entertainment. The Order covered the greatest number of sites and domains yet sought by CAP members. Under the Order Internet Service Providers must disable access to these illegal sites and their associated domains. The Order is part of CAP’s ongoing campaign in Singapore and around the region against illegal streaming sites. “Illegal streaming sites are simply illegal,” said CAP’s General Manager, Matthew Cheetham. “Piracy is not a victimless crime and hurts not only content providers but also consumers who can be exposed to viruses and malware when accessing illegal sites, including malware that can access a user’s sensitive data such as banking details”. The Order comes shortly after the release of a new study commissioned by CAP, “Time to Compromise”. The study showed that a typical user visiting illegal streaming sites could be infected by ransomware, several trojan horses, and other Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) within 42 seconds on a Windows machine, and 78 seconds for an Android device. The results support the hypothesis that there is a nexus between illegal streaming sites and malware infections, where site operators generate significant revenue from allowing malicious ads to be placed on their sites. Malware authors can in turn gain access to consumer PCs and mobile devices, and all of the data held in storage, including access to banking login details and other sensitive logins. A study on the online content viewing behaviour in Singapore, commissioned by CAP and conducted by YouGov shows that blocking sites is effective with the percentage of Singaporean consumers accessing illegal streaming sites and using Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs) dropping in recent years. “Enforcement is key but so is consumer education,” said Cheetham. “This Order carries a dual purpose in not only blocking access to illegal content but also informing consumers that the sites are illegal.”
Redbox Adds AccuWeather NOW Live Streaming Service to its Lineup
AccuWeather NOW, the new video streaming product from AccuWeather, the proven leader in weather forecast accuracy, announced it has joined Redbox’s growing roster of over 100 free streaming TV channels, meeting an increasing demand for streaming weather and climate news and content. Redbox customers can now access AccuWeather’s forecasts as well as 24/7, continuous daily programming, dedicated to all things weather, including extreme and natural events, global forecasts, climate and weather-related news impacting our changing world and long-and short-form documentaries through the streaming platform, accessible and free to watch and stream from any device. Redbox’s streaming app offers access to stream over 100 Free Ad Supported TV (FAST) channels, in addition to its catalog of thousands of movies and TV titles On Demand. The AccuWeather NOW streaming service on Redbox’s channel lineup features dramatic weather video; stories illuminating the potential impact of forecasted weather on sports, health, travel and other everyday activities; engaging social weather content from popular platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and others; as well as long-form storytelling of major weather events and environmental wonders around the world. “We are delighted to bring AccuWeather NOW to Redbox’s growing user base and footprint, delivering high-quality streaming content as audiences’ appetites grow for weather and climate news, that is free and easy to find,” said Sarah Katt, General Manager of the AccuWeather Network, which streams AccuWeather NOW. “AccuWeather’s streaming channel delivers great content and stories beyond a traditional forecast,” said Chris Yates, General Manager of Redbox On Demand. “Having AccuWeather NOW available 24 hours a day to our customers, especially during severe weather, is a fantastic addition to our Free Live TV service.” AccuWeather NOW steaming service complements AccuWeather’s existing suite of platforms, including its award-winning 24/7 national AccuWeather Network, which already reaches 36 million households with another 1.5 billion people globally accessing AccuWeather forecasts via digital devices, such as desktop and apps, as well as radio, television and newspapers and digital out of home.