How Marketing Can Help Develop an Effective Customer Onboarding Program

first_img customer engagementCustomer OnboardingCustomer Satisfactioncustomer successMarketingProspective Customers Previous ArticleIngram Micro Announces First Global Competition to Find the Next Revolutionary StartupsNext ArticleCRMNEXT Advances in the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation How Marketing Can Help Develop an Effective Customer Onboarding Program Sandi LinJuly 16, 2019, 6:00 pmJuly 12, 2019 An effective Customer Onboarding Program is critical for driving ongoing Customer Engagement, Satisfaction, and Value. Marketers in B2B companies are well-positioned to partner with their peers in Customer Success and Product in creating and developing their Customer Onboarding Programs.The Importance of Customer OnboardingCustomer Onboarding is a critical driver of ongoing Customer Success and Satisfaction. During this stage of the customer lifecycle, users are eager to get started with your product or service. This is your first opportunity to show each user how your product works, how it will benefit them, and why they should feel confident about their choice in going with your product.Onboarding refers to the training and educational activities that will enable your customers to effectively engage with your product over the long term. This includes both new customers just starting out with your technology, as well as existing users who may need training on new product features, integrations or refresher material they can refer back to as needed.While onboarding is typically understood as a point-in-time exercise for the first 30 to 90 days of a new account, truly impactful Customer Onboarding is an ongoing process that spans the entire lifecycle of each customer. The most successful training programs are partnerships between the Marketing, Customer Success, Sales, and Product Teams. Marketing is particularly well-positioned to strengthen the onboarding process because of its focus on content creation and developing resources that speak to a variety of audiences. Your Marketing Team already has valuable experience, whether it involves the creation of advanced resources for existing customers or introductory content for new users. In some cases, Marketing may even own the entirety of the Customer Onboarding experience. With this in mind, for all the recommendations that follow, Marketing could be the Owner/Driver or a core participant.Read more: 5 Steps to Onboarding Your New Customers to Make Them StayA strong Customer Onboarding Program is based on the specific needs of each user and must communicate why they should care about your product and how it will make their job easier. In the following sections, I will delve into the three core audiences Marketing should target and the types of resources to consider for each audiences’ unique needs.New Users in New Customer AccountsFirst impressions are lasting and it is important that new customers feel supported and quickly find value in your product. Similar to the partnership with Sales for prospects, once accounts sign-on, Marketing and Customer Success Teams should partner to create resources that accompany the various phases of the customer journey. These opportunities include:Live and/or recorded webinars that speak to common business challenges and how they can be addressed with your product;PDFs or written guides based on common support ticket questions that proactively address areas of concerns or confusion; andEmail campaigns that drive knowledge development by promoting related onboarding coursework and other relevant resources.Existing Users in Existing Customer AccountsParticularly when someone is onboarding at a new company or in a new role, it can be difficult to retain all of the information required to use your product effectively. And as your company releases product updates and new features, you will have to continue educating your users. For these users, marketers can partner with Product Teams to create concise, to-the-point resources that quickly get them to value. These opportunities include:30-second video walk-throughs that demonstrate how to use a particular feature;Learning paths made up of short, modular courses in which users can select the specific part of the training they want or need; andIn-product guidance that enables users to learn as they go, without leaving your product.Given the existing relationship your company has with this audience, marketing also has a great opportunity to create targeted, highly personalized communications and outreach content that connects users with the latest information about new features or product updates.New Users in Existing Customer AccountsWhile it’s easy to overlook these users as a group in need of specialized onboarding, your customers experience the same personnel changes as your company. Accordingly, the key to maintaining customers over the long term is to proactively prepare for changes like this.When new users join an account, Marketing and Customer Success Teams must work together to get these users up-and-running as quickly as possible with the information and skills necessary to excel in their specific role. That said, this group does not necessarily require net-new training content; it is likely you can modify or repurpose existing resources. Examples of resources for this group include:Short, how-to videos that walk through the fundamentals of using your product;Blog posts that outline best practices, tips and tricks, and additional resources at the users’ disposal; andKnowledge checks and quizzes that ensure users are successfully acquiring the right information.Bonus: Prospective CustomersMarketing can use training programs to create a direct source of lead generation with targeted resources and campaigns that speak to common business problems and the solutions offered by your company. A related approach that I’ve seen work well is one where marketers offer training content that helps professionals up-level their skills or gain accredited licensure hours.Training content can also help marketers shape the development of a new discipline or category. By getting the relevant professionals trained on their cutting edge technologies, marketers create a pool of evangelists that can drive the adoption of their cutting edge innovations.Some content formats and sources for you to consider are:One-pagers that outline your product’s key features and benefits in a quick, easily digestible format;Video walk-throughs that demonstrate how your product functions; andEmail campaigns that send relevant content to prospects based on their industry, size, and/or stage in the buyer’s journey.A successful onboarding program positions your company as one that is dedicated to the success of each individual interacting with your product. As the team primarily responsible for showcasing your company and your product’s capabilities, Marketing serves a critical role in helping develop onboarding content and campaigns that do just that. First impressions are lasting, and companies that understand the strategic impact of onboarding on customer success are positioning themselves best for long term growth.If you’re interested in learning more, you can download the full eBook: A New Segmentation Model for Customer OnboardingRead more: Four Ways To Measure The Always-On Consumerlast_img read more

Unmetric Accelerates TimetoInsight with Outlier Detection for Branded Social Content

first_img branded content analysisLux NarayanMarketing Technology NewsNewsUnmetric Previous ArticleApollo 11 Landing: See it in TIME’s New Immersive AR VR AppNext ArticleWill On-Demand AI Solutions Design Cloud for Data Scientists New Feature Boosts Social Signal-To-Noise Ratio by Isolating Content That Receives Unusually High Engagement and Curates Posts in a Single Visual FeedUnmetric, an enterprise solution for branded content analysis and discovery, announced new outlier detection capabilities that enable digital marketers to easily identify and mine insights from social content that generates significantly higher than average audience interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Outlier detection allows brands to quickly find the insight “needles” in their social data “haystack,” as well as dissect individual posts to understand key engagement drivers.“Marketers today are data-rich but insight poor—and social media plays a significant part in the ongoing data deluge,” said Lux Narayan, CEO of Unmetric. “Unmetric’s mission has always been to help brands cut through the noise in the battle for mindshare and get straight to the insights that matter most about their competitors’ content. The outliers feature refines this further by taking that universe of social posts from competing brands and spotlighting the most attention-worthy content in its own visual feed that’s easy to follow and react to.”Marketing Technology News: Tapad and AdsWizz Partner to Enable Digital Identity Resolution Across Audio Ad CampaignsUnmetric Analyze already features a visual stream of content from a portfolio of brand competitors that marketers select to keep close tabs on. The outliers feature eliminates the need to manually sort or monitor content based on engagement by automatically detecting variances in publishing cadence or surges in audience interactions that fall outside of the norm in terms of standalone metrics (likes, comments, shares, retweets) or proportion of metrics to each other. Unmetric identifies outliers using a proprietary algorithm based on a brand’s content published over the past 12 weeks.Key Outliers InsightsPost or Tweet Storm: Flags a brand posting multiple times to Facebook or Instagram or tweeting in a short period of time.Post or Tweet Surprise: Flags a brand publishing content on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter after a significant amount of time of silence.Engagement Surge: Flags content that receives a massive increase in likes, comments, shares or retweets compared to all posts the brand published in the past 12 weeks.Engagement Proportion: Flags content that receives a disproportionate number of any engagement metric (likes, comments, shares, retweets) compared to any other engagement metric (e.g. a post got 17 times more shares than likes).Marketing Technology News: Bpm’online named a Leader in 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Force AutomationKey Outliers BenefitsBoost Competitive Content Intelligence: Quickly identify and mine competitive intelligence on outlier content that may normally get missed in a larger content feed.Accelerate Content & Campaign Ideation: Derive creative inspiration for future content and campaigns based on strategies and tactics that drive massive audience interaction.Identify Trends: Uncover visual or topical trends per industry vertical that are garnering significant engagement compared to normal.Detect Possible Issues Early: Unearth and investigate a possible unfolding social media crisis through outliers such as a comment surge.Marketing Technology News: Vonage Awarded 2019 CRM Excellence Award Unmetric Accelerates Time-to-Insight with ‘Outlier’ Detection for Branded Social Content MTS Staff Writer5 days agoJuly 18, 2019 last_img read more

After Sridevi I have Even More Reason to Make Mr India 2

first_img Though Shekhar had earlier said that there could be no Mr India 2 without Sridevi, Boney says her passing away has given him all the more the reason to make the sequel. “While Sri was considered a glamorous star earlier, the audience’s perception of her changed after Mr India — then on, she was seen as a powerful actress. Anil too became more legitimate a performer with the film. After Sri, I have even more reason to make the film now,” he said.Follow @News18Movies for more. There has been a lot of talk lately about the sequel to Mr India, the beloved 1987 blockbuster starring Anil Kapoor and Sridevi, which was directed by Shekhar Kapur and produced by Boney Kapoor.Shekhar and Anil had met recently and the filmmaker hinted at them discussing a probable second part of the iconic film. Though neither of them confirmed anything, Shekar tweeted an image of them together and wrote alongside, “Discussing the look for the next Mr India 2, or another movie together? You tell them @AnilKapoor!” Discusssing the look for the next Mr India 2, or another movie together? You tell them @AnilKapoor !— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) May 17, 2019 After much speculation, Boney has now confirmed that a sequel is indeed in works. Talking to Mid-Day about it, he said, “The idea is to create a reboot first, and then, make a franchise of it. It needs to be made more contemporary. We have a basic structure in mind. We haven’t decided on a timeline yet, but intend to make it soon.”center_img Anil Kapoorboney Kapoormr indiaMr India 2 First Published: May 30, 2019, 1:01 PM ISTlast_img read more

Heres Why Shah Rukh Khan Has Not Signed Any Film After Zeros

first_imgIt’s been six months since the release of his last film Zero, but Shah Rukh Khan is yet to take on any new project.Though speculations have been rife that the 53-year-old superstar had signed Rakesh Sharma’s biopic, and would also be seen in Don 3 and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s biopic on Sahir Ludhianvi, he recently rubbished all such reports at a media interaction, saying, “I have no film with me right now. I am not working on any film.” “Usually what happens is when your one film is coming to an end, you begin work on your next film and I get involved within 3-4 months. But this time I am just not feeling like…My heart doesn’t allow me to.. I just felt that I should rather take time out, watch films, listen to stories and read more books. Even my kids are in their college stage…my daughter is going to college and my son is about to finish his studies. So I just want to spend more time with my family,” he added.Starring Shah Rukh, Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif, Zero revolved around the adventures of a vertically-challenged man. Directed by Aanand L Rai, it bombed at the box office. Notably, Zero was Shah Rukh’s second consecutive big-budget box office failure after Imtiaz Ali’s Jab Harry Met Sejal, which also starred Anushka opposite him. Follow @News18Movies for more. Shah Rukh KhanShah Rukh Khan filmsShah Rukh Khan interviewshah rukh khan zero First Published: June 22, 2019, 5:43 PM ISTlast_img read more

Month After His Portfolio Was Changed Navjot Singh Sidhu Yet to Assume

first_img congressMinistry of Power and Renewable EnergyNavjot Singh Sidhu First Published: July 11, 2019, 12:33 PM IST It’s been over a month since Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s portfolio was changed from the Local Bodies’ to the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy. However, he is yet to assume charge of his new department.Sidhu’s absence from the all-important ministry comes at a time when electricity demand in the state has touched an all-time high and there has been a fresh plantation of water-dependent paddy. The maximum demand during 2019-20 was 13,633 MW as compared to last year’s demand of 12, 638 MW. Due to the delayed monsoon, the demand for power consumption in the agriculture sector this year has also seen a significant increase.The situation even forced Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh to take the reins of the ministry and convene a meeting of the electricity department officials to review the power situation in the state.The disgruntled leader, who sees the change of portfolio as a demotion, was last seen beside Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi on June 10 after which he has gone incommunicado. Some reports suggest he is at the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir as locals had spotted him offering prayers at the shrine a few days back.Capt. Amarinder Singh has so far refrained from speaking on the issue, however, clamour for Sidhu’s ouster is getting louder with several other cabinet ministers asking him to make a decision fast. Senior cabinet colleague Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said, “Only he knows why he is not assuming charge of the department. The delay has been too long. The ministry is losing its grace. Make a decision. This way or that way. Either join the ministry or leave it gracefully.”Gurpreet Singh Kangar, who held the charge of the power ministry prior to Sidhu, also echoed the same views. “I would like to tell him that this department is a very good one. It needs a good person to head it. If chief minister Capt. Amarinder Singh has handed him such a big responsibility then he should soon assume charge or tell the CM that he doesn’t want to work,” said Kangar.The bitter relationship between the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleague has been out in the open for quite some time now. Just before he was stripped of his ministry, Sidhu had addressed a press conference in New Delhi and said he cannot be taken for granted. Capt. Amarinder Singh had cited “inept” handling of local bodies department by Sidhu, which led to the party’s poor performance in urban areas, as the reason behind taking away the role.Navjot Singh Sidhu had even refrained from campaigning in Punjab, barring a couple of rallies, and had made a “friendly-match” jibe against the chief minister, hinting at a collusion between Capt. Amarinder Singh and the Badals.The rift became even more evident when reacting to Sidhu’s mannerisms, Capt. Amarinder Singh had said, “Perhaps he is ambitious and wants to be chief minister.”last_img read more

Flyboard Air soars over Paris during Frances national day celebrations

first_img Editors’ Recommendations The best Top Gear episodes of all time How pioneering pilot Jackie Cochran helped and hurt the Women in Space Program The best free flight simulators The Pentagon wants to build an itsy-bitsy outpost in space Bill Nye the Science Guy talks “solar sailing” and the new space race Inventor Franky Zapata pulled some moves on his jet-powered flyboard on Sunday, dazzling crowds attending France’s Bastille Day celebrations.Offering a glimpse of how the nation’s military might one day utilize the remarkable technology, the Frenchman toted a rifle as he piloted his Flyboard Air over the Champs-Elysee in Paris.News footage (above) showed French president Emmanuel Macron nodding approvingly at the stunt, though with the country’s Alpha Jets roaring in fast and low to perform a flypast, Zapata was careful to watch his altitude.The Flyboard Air first took to the skies in 2016 and was so impressive that some early observers believed that videos showing the device in action were fake. But this thing is definitely for real.Powered by two turbine engines, the machine can reach speeds of up to 87 mph (140 km/h) and stay in the air for up to 10 minutes at a time. The Flyboard Air has so far climbed to a height of 150 meters, though it’s capable of flying much higher. The rider uses a handheld throttle to control the machine, while a head-up display offers data on engine status, fuel levels, altitude, and speed. The machine’s versatility and ability to fly in poor weather, and also at night, has caught the attention of the military in both France and the U.S., and no doubt others as well.Speaking on French radio about how the nation might one day use the flyboard for its military, Florence Parly, France’s armed forces minister, said that the device “can allow tests for different kinds of uses, for example as a flying logistical platform or, indeed, as an assault platform.”Zapata revealed several years ago that he’s also been talking to the U.S. Army about how it might incorporate the technology into its operations, though the classified nature of such discussions means it’s not clear how much progress, if any, has been made on that front.Besides military uses, Zapata’s website also describes how the Flyboard Air could be used by first responders when a location is difficult to reach by more conventional means, and also for infrastructure inspection and, of course, entertainment.last_img read more

MySpace security hijack How your old account can haunt you

first_imgMySpace accounts can be hijacked with only three pieces of easy-to-attain information. Once the attacker has the URL for the account they want to break into, they need only head to the Account Recovery page. While this would normally be a place where some sort of human user would verify information – or at least an email would be necessary – this situation requires nothing of the sort. It’s incredibly easy to break into any MySpace account right this minute. Story TimelineMySpace set to relaunch in late 2012Myspace shows off incoming redesign in new videoJustin Timberlake shows off new Myspace designNew MySpace goes public with Justin Timberlake lureMySpace accused of using music without permissionT-Mobile CEO Legere subtly compares BlackBerry to MySpace OF NOTE: Neither I nor SlashGear recommend anyone use this information to gain access to a MySpace account that they did not create. The information in this article is being presented so that users – former users of MySpace – can, as quick as possible, delete their old account or accounts. ICYMI: MySpace set to relaunch in late 2012!The information required to gain access to an account of any person’s choosing was as follows:1. Full Name used to sign up for MySpace.2. Username – that’s in the URL.3. Birth Date.That’s it – the email section of the form didn’t actually do anything, regardless of the tiny star next to the space on the form. This form has been up for a while – basically forever, in Internet years. This vulnerability was discovered this week by one Leigh-Anne Galloway, Cyber Security Resilience Lead at Positive Technologies. As of publish time for this article, it would appear that MySpace has replaced the original Account Recovery Tool with a slightly more secure form. This new form sends an email to a real human being.This is not the first time MySpace has been less than careful with account information. You need only look back to the year 2016 to see the last time MySpace lost your password. While the vast number of MySpace users that ever used the service are no longer active, thousands – if not millions – contain information that could be useful to a malicious 3rd-party. TO DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT – assuming you can gain access at this point – you’ll want to log in, first. Then head to Account Settings, Delete Account, Delete Account (the button), then confirm the Delete Account through an email. If you no longer have access to the email in question, change this email to your most recent email through the same Account Settings page. Easy as pie, say goodbye to the past which continues to haunt us all.last_img read more

Mythbusting the Samsung Galaxy X

first_imgOur title here is based on several elements in the codename itself. The codename SM-G888N0 – and the first bit we can gather from this is the N0, which always refers to the market in which the device is intended to launch, in this case South Korea. That’s the place a Samsung device launches – alone – if it’s planned for a limited release.Remember the Galaxy Round – a device with a curved display. That came out well before the Galaxy Note Edge, the first Samsung device with a display that cascaded over its side. Now Samsung calls that an “Infinity Display” on Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 (or so the rumors say). The Galaxy Round was only launched in South Korea at first – and it didn’t make it too far out the country after that.SEE ALSO: Samsung’s folding phone said to be one of 5x 2017 flagshipsThe other part of the name SM-G888N0 is the SM-G, generally connected to Samsung Galaxy-brand devices. Another device with “88” in the title (of its code) is the Galaxy Xcover 3. Another was SM-G880, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Sport – the international edition of the Galaxy S7 Active whose code was SM-G891A. Samsung Galaxy S6 Active had the code SM-G890A, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 came with code SM-G900. Samsung Galaxy Alpha has code SM-G850Y, and Galaxy S5 Mini was SM-G800. So it’s not as if these codes make any actual sense to the untrained eye. If we are indeed assuming that this is the Samsung Galaxy X, foldable smartphone, we can look to this tip for more information. There, sources suggest that Samsung will MAYBE release a limited number of Galaxy X phones for purchase. And that’d connect quite handily to the methods Samsung used with he first curved display phone they released, as mentioned above.The Bluetooth listing says that this device will get Bluetooth 4.2. Not shooting for Bluetooth 5.0 – the newest Bluetooth – says to us that this isn’t meant to be a device that competes at a top-level spot. It’s not aiming to run with the wolves like Galaxy S8 or Galaxy Note 8. The folks at SamMobile have tracked this back to the Wi-Fi certification and have suggested – more than once – that it’s the Samsung Galaxy X. They mean the Foldable Smartphone which Samsung has not yet confirmed to be real, only filed for trademark in name. For now we’re sticking with the “X” representing the unknown. Story TimelineFolding display Samsung Galaxy X said one of 5 2017 flagshipsGalaxy X’s rumored foldable display appears before official releaseGalaxy Xcover 4 rugged phone leaks with Exynos 7570 chipsetGalaxy Xcover 4 offers up rugged design in AprilSamsung ‘Galaxy X’ dual-screen foldable smartphone prototype tipped in testing This week a mystery device in Samsung’s smartphone collection received Bluetooth certification. This is the latest in a pair of certifications the device has received publicly – the other a Wi-Fi certification four months ago. This device’s code-name was connected to the Samsung Galaxy X by a number of blogs this week – all evidence seeming to be pointing toward a couple of sources. We’ve dug down to Samsung’s past, and the most likely situation based on precedent.last_img read more

Google Home can now finally set and manage reminders

first_imgWhile it’s definitely cool to be able to ask Google Assistant to tell you the weather today, turn off the lights, or start streaming your music, normal day to day life doesn’t always involve those actions. Sometimes we also need to get down and dirty with productivity, in which case Google Home was more of a let down until this update came along. Now you can set, delete, or know your reminders, either from the Google Home app or, perhaps more conveniently, directly on Google Home itself. The feature fortunately works with multiple users so you won’t have to worry about reminders getting mixed up.Now you can easily create a time-based reminder using the format “Remind me to [title] [date] [time].” Or if you want something that will recur every so often, say “Remind me to [action] [frequency] [time].” You can then later ask your Google Home what your reminders are for tomorrow or for all of them. You can even “search” for reminders, in which case it will tell you when you’re supposed to do the action. And, of course, you can delete any and all reminders if you so wish. Turning off the ability to set and manage reminders, however, has to be done on the mobile app.There are some caveats to this wonderful new feature, however. For one, you can only create time-based reminders for now. Location-based ones aren’t supported yet. For another, it’s only available for users in US, UK, Australia, and Canada and only in English. The update has just started rolling out so it might take a while before it reaches you.SOURCE: Google Smart speakers that house smart assistants have become quite the tech fad, allowing you to control your digital life with voice alone. Well, almost. If you are using a Google Home, you’d be painfully aware of how you can’t actually do one of the most important task of living a digital lifestyle: setting reminders. Well now you can! Or rather as soon as you receive this update to Google Home that finally lets you set and manage your reminders without even touching your phone.last_img read more

Galaxy S9 might finally fix Samsungs biggest 2017 blunder

first_imgThe rear fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S9 felt, and was rumored to be, almost like an afterthought, forced by the unavailability of in-display fingerprint sensors. On the Galaxy Note 8, which had enough time to brew, it almost felt like an insult, with Samsung stubbornly insisting that everything’s fine and dandy just the way things are.Not everyone sees the off-center location of the fingerprint scanner, where your finger might miss or even smudge the camera, as Samsung’s smartest move. Some don’t mind, sometimes relying on back covers to help guide their finger. Both sides, however, will probably agree that it’s not an optimal location either way.Leaked CAD renders of the Galaxy S9, which may publicly debut as early as January 2018, suggests that Samsung may have finally admitted its error. The fingerprint scanner is now dead center, horizontally, of course. Curiously, even the cameras are as well. Samsung will allegedly use a vertically arranged dual camera setup, which should at least give it a more symmetrical appearance.Nothing else changes in the design, save for one mysterious detail which may simply be a rendering error. The face of the Galaxy S9 shows the same curved edge Infinity Display, but with even less bezels top and bottom. The diagram suggests that the top row of sensors, including the front camera, will actually be under the display, hinting that Samsung may have accomplished something Apple was initially expected to do with the iPhone X.VIA: Weibo 2017 has so far been great for Samsung. It’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 flagships are doing swell. Google has somewhat taken its place in having this year’s most criticized smartphone. And Apple has helped make its case for $1,000 devices. But as great, or even just good, as the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 are, they both suffer from one annoying misfeature: the placement of the fingerprint sensor on the back. If this super early 3D schematics are to be believed, however, Samsung might have finally decided to fix it for next year’s Galaxy S9.last_img read more

US Customs phone laptop border searches increased substantially in 2017

first_imgBack in August 2009, the US Customs and Border Patrol released a Directive over its border searches of electronic devices. Today the CBP released a new Directive that supersedes the one it released in 2009, explaining that the new one “enhances transparency, accountability and oversight of electronic device border searches” it performs. The CBP also said that it performed 30,200 electronic device searches at the border in 2017. Electronic device border searches have long been a controversial issue, one that has at times resulted in things like a NASA employee being forced to expose highly sensitive government data. Many travelers have reported being forced to turn over device unlock codes, having their laptop and phone data copied, and more.In a statement, CBP Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner John Wagner said:In this digital age, border searches of electronic devices are essential to enforcing the law at the U.S. border and to protecting the American people. CBP is committed to preserving the civil rights and civil liberties of those we encounter, including the small number of travelers whose devices are searched, which is why the updated Directive includes provisions above and beyond prevailing constitutional and legal requirements. CBP’s authority for the border search of electronic devices is and will continue to be exercised judiciously, responsibly, and consistent with the public trust. Despite the controversy, the CBP says that it only searches a very small percentage of devices compared to the number of travelers passing through every year (0.007% last year, for example). The agency claims that with these searches, it was able to find export controls violations, evidence of terrorist activity, child porn, “intellectual property rights violations,” and more.Data released by the CBP reveals that despite the lower number, at least compared to the number of travelers going in and out, the agency searched a significantly larger number of electronic devices at the border last year than in 2016. The chart above shows a monthly breakdown of search numbers; every single month had a greater number of device searches versus the same months in fiscal 2016.You can read the full new directive here.SOURCE: CBPlast_img read more

ZTE Axon 9 Pro official teaser unsurprisingly features a notch

first_imgIn fact, it would probably be somewhat accurate to say that the ZTE Axon 9 Pro is looking pretty similar to the iPhone X. Not only did it adopt the notch, it even relocated its dual cameras to the upper left corner of the phone’s back. Compare that with a previous, and admittedly unofficial, version and you can understand where we’re coming from.Then again, almost everyone has a screen cutout these days. And vertically oriented dual cameras in corners. While its compatriots OPPO and Vivo are trying to distance themselves from the design trend totally associated with Apple, ZTE seems to want to play it safe. Given its recent ordeal, you probably can’t blame it.AdChoices广告The question, however, is whether the Axon 9 Pro will actually generate the profits that ZTE now desperately needs. It has to recoup the fine it paid the US government after all. The ZTE Axon 7 from 2016 was almost like a one-hit wonder, receiving a warm welcome for its high-end specs and cheap price.Will ZTE be able to make lightning strike twice? We’ll have to wait for the whole package to land on August 30 in China. Whether it will sell the Axon 9 Pro in the US, however, is a totally different consideration now, given recent events. ZTE narrowly escaped death and while it is barred from doing business with the US government, it can at least still do business elsewhere. Which means it’s full speed ahead with its upcoming smartphones. Trying to make up for lost time, ZTE has posted on Chinese microblog site Weibo teasers for the soon to be announced ZTE Axon 9 Pro. And to no one’s surprise, it’s not suddenly sporting a notch when it didn’t back in February.last_img read more

BMW tipped in deal with Intel and Mobileye for autonomous car tech

first_imgThe information comes from Bloomberg, which reports speaking to “people familiar with the matter.” Though details on tomorrow’s rumored announcement are scarce, Mobileye’s co-founder and chairman Amnon Shashua seemingly confirmed the news in a brief statement to Bloomberg, saying only that the announcement “[will be] a turning point for the automotive industry.”Intel, of course, is the biggest chipmaker out there and it has made no bones about its efforts to enmesh itself in the automotive industry. Mobileye, meanwhile, offers software, cameras and other necessary items for autonomous vehicles, and it counts both Tesla and General Motors among its auto partners. Reuters elaborates on this with its own source, saying tomorrow’s announcement will feature BMW CEO Harald Kruger, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, and Mobileye’s Chairman Amnon Shashua. No information about the terms or the extent of the deal has been stated at this time, though we’ll no doubt know more tomorrow once the announcement is made.SOURCE: Bloomberg Story Timeline2016 BMW M2 Review: The ‘M’ Stands For ‘Fun’LAPD picks BMW i3 for its 100-EV fleetBMW i battery storage system uses old BMW i3 batteries to power homes BMW has teamed up with Intel and Mobileye, according to sources, as part of an autonomous vehicles project. The companies will help the auto maker develop technologies for self-driving cars, at least according to the sources; some type of announcement for the initiative will reportedly be made tomorrow, with executives from each company talking about the project.last_img read more

2017 Kia Sorento in 7 passenger SUV showdown with Toyota Honda and

first_imgKiller Features: The 2017 Mazda CX-9 was completely redesigned for the previous model year, and it stepped up significantly when it comes to interior refinement. Offering perhaps the nicest and most comfortable cabin in the Mazda showroom, the CX-9 is exceptionally well-appointed, especially in Signature trim which trumps even the Pilot when it comes to high end feel.Better Than The Kia Sorento? In addition to its outstanding interior, the CX-9 features a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is paired with standard 7-passenger seating. With 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque on tap, not only does it add two extra riders compared to the Kia, but it’s also somewhat quicker than the Sorento’s four-banger when passing at highway speeds.Worse Than The Kia Sorento? That final row of accommodations is fairly tight, but more of an issue is the lack of an entry-level engine to go with the single-drivetrain turbo configuration offered by the CX-9. Kia provides more choices at a wider range of price points compared to Mazda when it comes to its large SUV. Value has always been a key part of the Kia proposition, but over the course of the past five years it’s been joined on the list by style, technology, and power. The Kia Sorento is an excellent example of the sea change that’s taken place at the brand, as the handsome crossover manages to avoid the semi-anonymous design cues that are typical for large, multi-passenger rides. Inside there’s a similarly-engaging esthetic that keeps things simple, clean, and somewhat more upscale than one would expect, regardless of which price point you choose.You’ll want to pay attention to the mechanical details of the Kia Sorento when it comes time to put your money down, because while there are three engines available you can’t mix and match them with every configuration of the SUV. Specifically, the most recent addition to the order sheet – the Sorento’s 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder – is only available with two-row, five-passenger editions of the vehicle. That’s right – if you want to haul anyone in the way, way back of the Kia, you’re going to have to settle for the entry-level, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, or splurge for the top-tier 3.3-liter V6. The 2017 Kia Sorento is a strong 7 passenger crossover contender for anyone looking to step up into a 3 row SUV. Hovering between mid-size and full-size, the recently-redesigned Kia Sorento manages to deliver much of the same comfort, equipment, and practicality that more established brands like Toyota and Honda have to offer, while at the same time undercutting the competition on price.center_img The base motor is perfectly serviceable, and it’s not like the V6 doesn’t add an extra 50 horsepower over the 240 ponies available from the turbo unit. The two are nearly matched for torque, however (252 lb-ft from the V6 vs. 260 from the four-cylinder), and the sweet low-end grunt from the 2.0-liter mill helps it feel just as quick as the six-cylinder model. In our experience it seems like the biggest difference between the V6 and the turbo – in all-wheel drive trim – is how much more fuel the bigger motor consumes around town.The 2017 Kia Sorento is the real deal, but it’s up against an entrenched cadre of 7 passenger SUVs that have proved to be quite popular with the family crowd. Check out our comparison that sees the big crossover face off against three of the most popular high capacity haulers currently on the market.2017 Toyota HighlanderKiller Features: The Toyota Highlander benefits from a host of updates for the current model year, including an improved V6 engine and a long-overdue eight-speed automatic transmission to go with it. Where space-craving shoppers are likely to fixate, however, is on the one extra seat that’s offered by the Highlander, which features eight passenger spots in total when ordered with the second-row bench. This makes the Toyota more like a minivan in terms of practicality, and adds a practical dimension some families will appreciate.Better Than The Kia Sorento? Combine that extra passenger with the 83.7 cubic feet of total cargo space (10 on top of the Sorento), and you’ve got a compelling argument to make that the Highlander is a more logical choice if hauling is your primary concern.Worse Than The Kia Sorento? For all its interior wonders, the Highlander isn’t much of a looker. We’re not saying that the Toyota is unattractive, but it was clearly a case of function over form when the automaker’s designers penned the conservative and straight-forward lines of the large SUV. The Highlander also lacks a turbocharged four-cylinder lump in the middle of its line-up, which means you have to choose between a passable four-cylinder and a solid, but relatively thirsty 270 horsepower V6.2017 Honda PilotKiller Features: If you’re willing to pay the price, Honda is happy to outfit the Pilot with a long list of features, luxuries, and other gear intended to entice you away from going with a genuine luxury brand. Many, but not all of those items can be had at a lower price inside the Sorento, however.Better Than The Kia Sorento? Like the Highlander, the Honda Pilot can seat up to eight passengers, which gives it a leg up on the Sorento. It also offers that 10 additional cubes of cargo room, albeit in a somewhat narrower package than either the Highlander or the Sorento. Worse Than The Kia Sorento? Hope you were looking for a V6 engine, because that’s the only option offered by the Pilot (albeit in a modern, 280 horsepower, 3.5-liter design with an available nine-speed automatic). The bigger bugaboo with the Honda SUV has to do with its LaneWatch system, a somewhat unusual camera that replaces traditional blind spot warning with an image shown on the center LCD display – and only from the right side of the vehicle. It takes some getting used to, and leaves the driver’s side essentially unprotected.2017 Mazda CX-9last_img read more

Tesla Sentry Mode keeps an eye out for thieves

first_imgJust like with smart homes, the more you deck out your car with more smart features, the more valuable and more expensive it becomes. The more valuable it becomes, the more attractive it also becomes for those who might want to take a piece or even the whole thing. As Tesla’s electric cars become more common and more easily identifiable, the more they become tempting targets as well. That’s why Tesla is now introducing a new Sentry Mode security feature that will watch for and alert you of attempted or successful break-ins. Presuming you remember to turn it on first, that is. It almost sounds like your Tesla will deploy a drone sentry to keep guard, but the car doesn’t really need a separate entity to do that. When Sentry Mode is enabled, it will go into a Standby state where it employs its external cameras, the same ones it uses for assisted driving modes, to play lookout. When a “minimal” threat is detected, it goes into an “Alert” state and displays a message on the touchscreen that says the cameras are recording. For evidence, of course.If that isn’t enough to deter a clueless criminal and a severe threat, like breaking a window, is detected, the car goes into full-on “Alarm” state. Here, the car alarm is activated, the touchscreen brightness is increased, and music is played at max volume. Of course, it also alerts the owner on their Tesla mobile app.While Sentry Mode sounds very useful, it does come with some caveats. It can record an incident for later viewing but only if you insert a USB drive into the car before enabling Sentry Mode. The most important consideration, however, is that you have to enable Sentry Mode (from Controls > Safety & Security settings) each and every time they want to use the feature.Tesla Sentry Mode is rolling out now in the US to Model 3 cars. Model S and Model X vehicles will follow as long as they were built after August 2017. Hopefully, Tesla will find a way to automate Sentry Mode’s activation unless the feature becomes practically useless because of human forgetfulness.last_img read more

Distortionfree wideangle shots might soon be a reality

first_imgWide-angle lenses are becoming more and more popular on smartphones these days. They’re great for taking photos of sweeping landscapes, allowing you to take in as much of the scene as you can. But wide-angle lenses come with a cost that is made all apparent when people are part of the scene.The lens often distorts objects and faces that are at the sides and corners, making them look squished and stretched. There are various methods to correct these ranging from manual editing to automated procedures. The latter often corrects faces but then distorts the rest of the photo instead.Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory or CSAIL have developed an algorithm that prevents that from happening. Instead of applying the stereographic projection only to faces while using perspective projection to the background.AdChoices广告What makes the research algorithm quite ideal is that it’s fully automatic and interactive. In other words, it’s the type of software fix you can use on smartphones to immediately correct distorted wide-angle photos. When it comes to mobile photography, Google proved two important things. First, megapixel count isn’t the end all and be all of quality. The second is that software can sometimes achieve what sometimes requires additional or more advanced software. Since then, it has become en vogue among smartphone makers to use AI, machine learning, and algorithms to produce certain effects using smartphone cameras. Now a group of MIT Researchers has come up with an algorithm to fix yet another common complaint about smartphone cameras: distorted wide-angle photos.last_img read more

Windows 10 Preview expands phone mirroring passwordless login

first_imgLast May, Microsoft introduced the Phone Screen feature that basically mirrored an Android phone on a Windows 10 computer. It’s not a novel concept and there are various utilities for that purpose already. Microsoft’s spiel is that you don’t need anything else to make that happen, just a Windows 10 PC, an Android phone, and apps to connect the two.As a “built-in” feature, however, that means users will have to use compatible machines to get that feature. As for Insider Preview Build 18936, Microsoft has expanded that list to include the Surface Laptop, Surface Laptop 2, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 5, Surface Pro 6, Surface Book, and Surface Book 2. Other OEMs might still be a hit or miss.The build also introduced expanded passwordless logins for Microsoft account, just in time for Apple to roll out its Sign In with Apple feature. Using Windows Hello Face or Fingerprint recognition or even just a PIN, users can log into their Microsoft accounts without entering their convoluted or easy to remember passwords.AdChoices广告Don’t expect these new features to land immediately though. Microsoft is planning to roll them out for Windows 10 20H1, meaning in the first half of 2020. And that’s mostly because 19H2 later this year will be a smaller, less disruptive update focused on polish rather than big features. Microsoft may have thrown in the towel as far as its own mobile platform goes but it is making up for lost time by connecting Windows 10 more intimately with smartphones. That comes via the Your Phone app which is getting more features at every turn. The latest is the Phone Screen Mirroring function that Microsoft is now rolling out to more Surface devices in the latest Insider Preview for the next version of Windows 10.last_img read more

Poll Vast Majority of Americans Want Government Intervention On High Drug Prices

first_img Specialty drug costs jumped 30 percent last year to $587 million for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, one of the nation’s largest health care purchasers. Though they amount to less than 1 percent of all prescriptions, specialty drugs accounted for more than a quarter of the state agency’s $2.1 billion in total pharmacy costs. Those overall drug costs have climbed 40 percent since 2010. (Terhune, 9/28) Stat: Most Americans Believe Prescription Drug Prices Are Unreasonable An overwhelming majority of Americans favor government action to restrain prescription drug prices, according to a poll released Thursday. Eighty-two percent of those polled said they want Medicare to negotiate prices with the companies, which Congress does not allow. Seventy-eight percent favored limiting the amount companies can charge for high-cost drugs, such as those that fight cancer or hepatitis, according to the poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. And more than two-thirds want to let Americans buy drugs imported from Canada. Support is strong no matter the political party. (Rau, 9/29) Kaiser Health News: Poll Finds Majority Of Americans Want Restraints On Drug Prices Lawmakers are venting outrage over high prescription drug costs, but if Congress is looking for culprits, it might want to look in the mirror. Republican- and Democratic-controlled Congresses, and presidents of both parties, may have set the stage for the startling prices that have consumers on edge. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/29) The Associated Press: Did Landmark Laws From Congress Enable High Drug Prices? Roughly 8 in 10 Americans believe that prices for prescription drugs are unreasonable and support various ideas to lower costs, such as allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug makers and enforcing price caps on high-priced medicines for certain illnesses such as cancer, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Silverman, 9/29) Politico: POLITICO-Harvard Poll: Americans Blame Drug Companies For Rising Health Costs Americans have identified the No. 1 culprit for rising health costs: drug companies. A POLITICO-Harvard poll released Friday finds that Democrats and Republicans alike hold the pharmaceutical industry responsible for rising costs more than any other health care sector, though that sentiment is stronger among Democrats. (Kenen, 9/28) Poll: Vast Majority of Americans Want Government Intervention On High Drug Prices More than eight in 10 Americans favor allowing the federal government to negotiate with drugmakers to get lower prices on medications for people on Medicare, among other regulations. A separate poll finds that the public holds the pharmaceutical industry responsible for rising drug prices, but some critics say Congress should shoulder some blame. In California, specialty drug costs are on the rise. And Martin Shkreli is ready to make someone’s dream come true — Martin Shkreli seems like he’s embracing a stone, cold fact: A lot of people want to hit him in the face. The so-called “Pharma Bro” said on Twitter Tuesday night that he is raffling off an opportunity for someone to get one free shot at him. It’s an effort to raise money for a deceased friend’s son, he said. (Holm, 9/28) Los Angeles Times: With Drug Prices Spiking, Americans Want More Government Action, New Poll Finds California Healthline: Specialty Drug Costs Soar 30% For California Pension Fund More than three in four Americans believe that prescription drug prices are unreasonable, a new poll shows. And large majorities — including Democrats and Republicans — favor aggressive government steps to make pharmaceuticals more affordable for consumers, according to the survey by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. (Levey, 9/29) The Wall Street Journal: Martin Shkreli Wants You To Slap The Smirk Off His Face (For A Price) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Verma Slams Popular Progressive Rallying Cry Saying Medicare For All Would Become

first_img Thirty-three of the 57 Democrats who won primaries in swing districts this year expressed support some form of Medicare for all, according to data from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Nearly two-thirds of that group use the term in their campaign materials and just over a quarter are running in districts that President Donald Trump won. Verma said the focus of Medicare should be on seniors and disabled individuals, and she is concerned that moving millions more people into the program will cause the program to unravel as its finite funds would dry up. Earlier this year, the White House estimated that the Medicare trust fund will be insolvent by 2026, three years earlier than prior estimates. (Dickson, 7/25) In a massive outpatient payment rule, the CMS on Wednesday proposed expanding its site neutral payment policy to clinic visits, a move that could save the agency hundreds of millions of dollars. Clinic visits, or checkups, are the most common service billed under the outpatient pay rule. The CMS often pays more for the same type of clinic visit in the hospital outpatient setting than in the physician office setting. (Dickson, 7/25) In other news from CMS — The debate over single payer in California has played a central role in the state’s gubernatorial election. Expanding health care to all residents is a key campaign goal for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the leading candidate. A single payer bill passed the Senate last year but has remained stalled in the Assembly. (Colliver and Cancryn, 7/25) The Associated Press: Trump’s Top Medicare Official Slams ‘Medicare For All’ Modern Healthcare: CMS Proposes Slashing Clinic Visit Payments As Part Of Site-Neutral Policy  The Hill: Top Trump Health Official Slams ‘Medicare For All’  The Trump administration’s Medicare chief on Wednesday slammed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ call for a national health plan, saying “Medicare for All” would undermine care for seniors and become “Medicare for None.” The broadside from Medicare and Medicaid administrator Seema Verma came in a San Francisco speech that coincides with a focus on health care in contentious midterm congressional elections. (7/25) Stepping into the land of the Trump resistance, Seema Verma flatly rejected California’s pursuit of single-payer health care as unworkable and dismissed the Affordable Care Act as too flawed to ever succeed. Speaking Wednesday at the Commonwealth Club here, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said she supports granting states flexibility on health care but indicated she would not give California the leeway it would need to spend federal money on a single-payer system. (Terhune, 7/26) Politico Pro: Verma: ‘Medicare For All’ Would Mean ‘Medicare For None’ Verma Slams Popular Progressive Rallying Cry Saying ‘Medicare For All’ Would Become ‘Medicare For None’ CMS Administrator Seema Verma said a “Medicare-For-All” system would divert attention away from seniors, and warned that people would be giving up complete control of their care to the government. Verma gave the speech in California, where the issue is a hot-button topic in the gubernatorial election. “Ideas like ‘Medicare for all’ would only serve to hurt and divert focus from seniors,” Verma said.Verma said the focus of Medicare should be on seniors and disabled individuals and that expanding the program to cover younger, healthier people will drain the program of funding and deprive seniors of the coverage they need. “By choosing a socialized system, you are giving the government complete control over the decisions pertaining to your care or whether you receive care at all. It would be the furthest thing from patient-centric care,” Verma said. (Weixel, 7/25) California Healthline: Top Trump Health Official Takes Swipes At ACA, Single-Payer In Enemy Territory Modern Healthcare: Verma Will Reject Any Single-Payer State Waivers This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more