Posts tagged with "digital"

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Facebook Enters Stage of World Politics

By Dr. Nick Oberheiden, Esq.

When political and military leaders from around the world convene this week for the annual Munich Security Conference, one attendee does not seem to quite fit the convention’s profile: Mark Zuckerberg. The CEO of Facebook will sit next to over 40 heads of state, intelligence officers, and military commanders at the world’s preeminent international security conference.

Zuckerberg’s visit marks a dramatic shift in world politics. Governments and law enforcement agencies have discovered the enormous utility of platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to connect people, places, and events. China and Russia have expanded their definition of national security to include virtually any data set: from military drone footage to online tracing to consumer behavior. Zuckerberg does not wear a military uniform, nor is he an elected or appointed official, but Facebook plays a pivotal role on this intensifying cyberspace battlefield.

With over 2 billion Facebook users, Facebook controls an unimaginable amount of digital data such as user contact information, physical whereabouts, cell-site locations, email addresses, IP addresses of websites visited, and records of interpersonal communications. Zuckerberg is the king of information. Facebook has transformed into a hybrid platform where commercial businesses and political activists spread messages, inform (and misinform) to influence politics, the economy, and society. The few publicly available numbers confirm this heightened political dimension of Facebook. Year over year, Facebook reports an increase of FBI National Security Letter (NSL) requests pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 2709 (Section 201 of the Electronics Communications Privacy Act of 1986).

In this war of information, the United States is at a crossroads. While some lawmakers support consumer activists who attack Facebook for its criticized handling of privacy rights, too many American politicians still overlook the strategic value Facebook plays in what Zuckerberg himself called an “ongoing arms race” with Russia and China in his 2018 congressional testimony. Others hesitate to introduce legislation that could be seen as infringing on the First Amendment rights of speech and association – which apply to corporations as well as natural persons.

When governmental agencies begin to depend on commercial businesses for information, it’s time to rethink national security in this country. For example, how should U.S. companies respond when a foreign country that is considered an enemy of the United States requests sensitive economic information from such a private company? Revised legislation may be needed to capture the geopolitical threats of our time. Congress may need to step in to define how much intel U.S. companies may share with foreign governments and whether the dissemination of certain national security data to non-NATO partner countries may be penalized. Checkpoint Charlie does not exist anymore. Today’s files are carried digitally, no longer by spies with a suitcase. The need for prevention and deterrence, however, remains. Traitors and defectors tempted to cash out by offering critical data are the spies of our time.

Zuckerberg knows that he is holding the oil of the 21st century: sensitive information. Coincidence or not, Zuckerberg’s journey takes him from Munich to Europe’s capital Brussels to negotiate Facebook’s tax and antitrust deal with European lawmakers, many of whom will fawn over him at the Munich Conference. Zuckerberg will enter these negotiations from a position of strength.

Dr. Nick Oberheiden is the founder of federal litigation and trial law firm Oberheiden P.C., which is largely comprised of former Justice Department attorneys.

Not Me App

Women of color experience harassment at greater rates than other women –studies show that 25% of all black women are harassed. Blacks also reported a 60% higher rate of discrimination compared to whites.
 
Ninety percent of employees who are the victims of harassment never file a formal complaint, now with the #NotMe App, safety is literally in everyone’s hands.
 
#NotMe is a free mobile misconduct solution that supports anyone who needs help. The open platform empowers anyone to safely report misconduct they’ve witnessed or experienced, in real time, right on their mobile device in as little as 3 minutes. Reporting can also be anonymous, eliminating fear of retaliation in the workplace.

6 ways AI can help reduce business spend

There’s a lot that can go wrong in the typical organization’s spend audit process. Manually auditing vendor invoices and employee expense reports is time-consuming and frustrating. Most companies resign themselves to conducting partial audits, which might catch a few discrepancies, but leaves your company at risk for errors, waste, and fraud. 

Luckily, there’s a solution: Artificial intelligence. In our new ebook, Artificial Intelligence in Spend Auditing For Dummies, we cover how AI can improve your audit processes. Below are six ways AI can help reduce business spend. 

1. Audit 100% of spend

At most organizations, the idea of humans manually reviewing every invoice and expense report is laughable. There are too many reports, too few people, and too many other responsibilities pulling at auditors’ time. Luckily, one of AI’s many superpowers is its ability to comb through documents and evaluate risk factors near-instantly. When an invoice comes in, AI systems can immediately check if its terms match those in the contract. Similarly, when an expense report is submitted, AI can look to see if it contains violations (e.g., duplicate receipts or out-of-policy spending); it’ll flag the reports with a problem for further investigation by your team and initiate an (immediate!) reimbursement for low-risk reports. Ultimately, a comprehensive audit process means a significant reduction in leakage, plus a faster process. 

2. Sniff out T&E misuse

In most companies, travel and entertainment (T&E) is the second largest controllable business expense after salaries and benefits. It’s also particularly hard to manage, given that there are so many small expenses continuously rolling in from many different sources. In our data, we’ve found that a whopping 10% of T&E expenses are either fraudulent or a mistake. We’ve heard of employees expensing everything from tattoos, to dog kennels, to strip clubs, to jewelry, and more. Other common violations include claiming personal trips as business-related, upgrading tickets to first class, expensing weekend meals with friends, and more. AI can help you track down these problems, ensure the incorrect expenses aren’t paid out, and give you the information you need to address any large-scale issues.

3. Double-check that invoices match the contract terms

Many organizations have procurement teams whose whole job it is to negotiate favorable contract terms with vendors. But too often that effort is squandered once the contract is signed, as AP teams may not have the bandwidth to check that the invoice matches the agreed-upon terms. AI can do this automatically with every invoice received, instantly checking to make sure early payment, loyalty, and/or quantity discounts are applied. 

4.Don’t let fraud slide

Unfortunately, invoice and expense report fraud is common and can have a not-so-small impact on your company’s bottom line. Shell companies might bill for services that were never provided, or send fraudulent invoices that are part of a larger phishing scam. Employees might submit the same dinner receipt as a colleague, knowing that they’ll likely both be reimbursed, causing you to be foot the bill for their dinner twice. With AI, you can check every invoice for risk factors and flag anything fishy for auditor review. 

5. Catch double payments

Invoices often get held up — maybe an approver is out of office or the invoice failed a three-way match. In the meantime, the vendor follows up and someone else intervenes to pay the invoice out manually without noting it in the system. Afterward, the system clears the hold and the invoice is paid yet again. This double payment happens more than you might expect and often no one catches it (after all, who is going to complain about receiving extra money?). AI helps prevent this problem by keeping track of all spend and always checking for duplicates. 

6. Audit before you pay

Once a payment is out in the world, it can be difficult if not impossible to get it back — even if you later prove that the charge was erroneous or fraudulent. Even if you are able to recover it, doing so takes up valuable time and there’s a significant disadvantage to not having the cash on hand for your business. AI makes it possible to audit all spend before you pay, rendering this problem moot. 

Want to save money with AI? Download our new ebook, Artificial Intelligence in Spend Auditing For Dummies, to learn more about how artificial intelligence can help you team. 

This article was originally published on the AppZen Blog

Josephine McCann is a Product Marketing Manager at AppZen, where she loves crafting content and telling interesting stories.

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New Year Resolutions for Your Small Business 

It’s that time of year again. The start of a new quarter and a new fiscal year for most companies. There is no time like now to sit down and assess what went right in 2019 and how you can improve in 2020.

Here are some common New Year’s resolutions that business owners like you can make in the coming year.

Operations

As 2020 gets underway, you should also take a closer look at your operations. Efficiency is a cost saver. Something as simple as entering receipts may be better left to your accountant or a bookkeeper. Similarly, look at what you could delegate to workers with less responsibilities. For example, you might want to leave responding to social media for your receptionist while you focus on money-making activities.

Cut Costs

Likewise, look at other ways to reduce your costs. This could involve paying down debt, an overstaffing correction, choosing a different supplier, offering your customers a discount when they pick up their orders instead of choosing free delivery or transferring certain actions to other people. Pay attention to how long each task takes and how much you are paying your staff to complete those actions. You may find that it is actually cheaper to outsource certain activities.

Marketing

Thanks to technology, the way companies market their products and services is changing. Even if your business is largely local, having a strong social media presence will help you capture and keep the attention of your customers. You may even attract new business. Look at what worked about your social media strategy in 2019 and what didn’t, as well as popular trends, such as shopping via Instagram.

Customer Service

If providing top-notch customer service has not been at the forefront of your business strategy, 2020 is the year to change that. Modern consumers expect to receive support 24 hours a day. They expect access to someone who can help at all times. Chatbots can help you provide answers or escalate issues when the office is closed, but don’t leave those tools to your website alone. Social media chatbots are just as necessary.

Focus on Retention

According to the Harvard Business Review, it costs as much as 25 times as much to attract a new customer as it does to wow existing clients into coming back. In fact, simply improving your rate of customer retention by 5 percent could increase your profitability by up to 95 percent. Start by tracking your customer churn rate so you can see how well you are doing, but remember that figure has a lag time of six to eight months.

Security

New year, new security issues. Take the time to make sure that your company, its computer systems, its customer information and its data systems are protected. Best practices are a good start. Back up your data regularly and change passwords frequently. You might also want to use data encryption, install security software or install a firewall — but these are really just scratching the surface. Adding a digital IP business security solution with features like 4K Ultra HD Resolution, Color Night Vision, PTZ dome cameras and vandal-proof cameras will help you keep eyes on your company and your property so you can prevent theft.

Small Business Resolutions for 2020

Make 2020 your company’s most successful year yet. Take the time to look at your operations and identify ways to cut costs. You may be able to increase your margins by reducing your expenses. Take a look at your marketing efforts as well. Make sure that you reach your customers where they are. Customer service and retention are important, too. Finally, take time to prevent security issues with best practices, the right software and security camera solutions. Your business will thank you.

Liam Payne, 360 MAGAZINE, Republic Records

Liam Payne – LP1

Today, Liam Payne has released his highly anticipated debut album LP1, listen HERE.
 
Available now in CD, vinyl and digital formats, the record features all of Liam’s global smash hit singles, as well as new original unheard material.
 
Hit singles featured on the album include Liam’s debut “Strip That Down” featuring Quavo, which has sold a huge 11.5 million copies worldwide and has been streamed over 1.8 billion times, and most recent singles “Stack It Up” featuring A Boogie wit da Hoodie and “All I Want (For Christmas)” – his first ever solo festive track. The video for new single “Live Forever” will be released later today.
 
Other previous singles included are “Bedroom Floor”, “Get Low”, “Familiar” with J Balvin, which reached over 110 million streams on Spotify alone, and “For You”, his duet with Rita Ora which was featured on the Fifty Shades Freed official soundtrack.
 
Recorded in a variety of locations across the globe including London, New York and LA, the album has Liam’s signature urban pop sound throughout plus some more stripped back tracks. The record sees him collaborating with a host of A-list producers and writers including Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder, Zedd, Jonas Blue, Steve Mac, Joe London, and The Monsters and the Strangerz.
 
Platinum-selling Liam has sold more than 18 million singles in just two years as a solo artist since One Direction. He has been streamed a total of 3.7 billion times.

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WENGIE × EILL

POP STAR WENGIE RETURNS WITH A VIBRANT REMAKE OF “TALK TALK” AND DRIVES FANS WILD WITH HER REVAMPED MUSIC VIDEO

Teams up with J-pop artist eill
Just when you thought you couldn’t love a song any more, YouTube sensation turned music artist Wengie revives her K-pop bop “Talk Talk” featuring J-pop artist eill with a colorful music video. The new and improved single will make fans dance like nobody’s watching between the vivacious beats and vibrant background in the music video. This version of the music video is completely new and reshot fully on location in Japan featuring a lively aesthetic that sparks a mystical take between the two artists.
 

eill has an increasing influence in the J-pop world collaborating on the song “721” with Korean hip-hop artists Rheehab and Ocean. Rolling Stone Japan magazine picked eill as “the top 20 artists to pay attention to internationally and domestically”.  She released her debut album “SPOTLIGHT” last month to rave reviews and her music has been on a rotation at more than 30 different radio stations across Japan since the release. The recent music video was also featured and played on “POWER PUSH” by Space Shower TV and “Recommend”  by M-ON! With outstanding feedback, the hit reached number 1 for two weeks in a row on the All Japan Radio On-Air chart. eill also participated as a composer/lyricist in a popular Korean girl’s group EXID’s 2nd single with Taku Takahashi (m-flo).
 

David Amber, the songwriter and producer for global superstars like TWICE, SF9 and NCT, who originally wrote “Talk Talk” makes a cameo in the new music video showcasing his guitar skills.
 

Wengie: “I loved J-pop music when I was younger so to be able to collaborate with such a talented Japanese artist named eill was such an experience she really added a unique twist to ‘Talk Talk’ that I was surprised with and loved! She’s so cute and fun, just really down to earth and having David be part of the music video was really the icing on the cake.”
 

eill: “Working with Wengie felt so surreal. She is so wholehearted and does everything with passion. There are not enough people like her in the world. She is a great artist and really loves her fans.”
 

Creating a channel back in 2010, Wengie has amassed a loyal YouTube following of over 19 million subscribers across her channels, over 25 million combined followers among all social channels and over 2.1 billion views total on YouTube. Since then, she has released seven singles and music videos, each of which have seen huge success and she will continue releasing new music this summer.
 
ABOUT WENGIE

As one of the most influential YouTube stars and personalities, Wengie’s unique ability to deliver vibrant, informative, and highly-relatable content (including her wildly popular life “hacks” series) to a global audience—with signature quirk and humor—keeps her zealous ‘Wengiecorns’ wanting more. This unparalleled closeness and trust with her fans has cemented Wengie’s power as a leading content collaborator for both high-profile and emerging brands. Wengie has leveraged her prominence on YouTube to tackle other creative realms—she recorded her first music album in China in 2017 and is the voice of the fourth “Powerpuff Girl” on the Cartoon Network. With Wengie’s single ‘Oh I Do’, hitting #5 on the Honggebang charts in China, her music career continues to blossom with each music release skyrocketing to the top of international music charts. She has accumulated over 26 million views on YouTube with her first three releases of “Oh I Do,” “Cake,” and “Déjà vu,” which continues to grow daily. Following those, Wengie dropped her holiday anthem “Ugly Christmas Sweater” song, which hit the #1 spot on YouTube’s trending list and garnered nearly two million views in its first day, and 8.8 million to date. Wengie’s first collaboration “Mr. Nice Guy” features Filipino star musician Iñigo Pascual, which reached #1 on the OPM Top 10 Chart in the Philippines! Wengie’s single “Empire” featuring k-pop superstar Minnie of (G)I-DLE debuted at number 22 on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales Chart week of November 2, 2019. Wengie’s music channel “Wengie Music” has over 75 million total views (as of December 2019). For the majority of her life, she has had multicultural musical taste, listening to mainly J-pop, C-pop, and K-pop. Wengie’s main goal in music is to create fun music that is “East meets West” / K-Pop-fused-with-American-pop, which is essentially all the things she loves. Her musical influences include BLACKPINK, TWICE, ITZY, HyunA, Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift. Wengie is managed by RARE Global, music by Asian Agent, and her agency is UTA.

G-SHOCK, 360 MAGAZINE

G-Shock Announces New Models

CASIO G-SHOCK RELEASES ICONIC G-SHOCK TIMEPIECES WITH STAINLESS STEEL BEZEL

Casio G-SHOCK announces the release to their G-Shock 5600 series, the watch that has been revolutionizing personal timekeeping since 1983, with GM-5600 and GM-5600B models. Arriving with an iconic square-faced digital display design with stainless steel bezel achieved through cutting-edge technology, the GM-5600 and GM-5600B features a fine metal texture that represents a legacy of timeless toughness and durability. The watch comes packed with an EL backlight, flash alert and multi-alarm, perfect to keep the wearer on “one’s toes” for any occasion. The GM-5600 and GM-5600B features several of G-SHOCK’s most premium features, including Triple G Resist Technology and Two-Way Time Sync and offer the comfortable fit of a lightweight watch, thanks to the use of resin, which is used for the case and band, giving the watch a look of elegance .

The watch also boasts G-SHOCK technology such as:

  *   200M water resistance and shock resistance

  *   Shock Resistant

  *   EL Blacklight

  *   Flash Alert

  *   1/100” Sec. Stopwatch (24Hr)

  *   Digital Display

  *   Multi Alarm

  *   Countdown Timer (24H4)

  *   12/24 Hr Formats

The GM-5600 and GM-5600B will retail for $200 and be available for purchase beginning in August at select high-end jewelers and online.

US Businesses Allowing Remote Working

The rise of cloud computing and teleconferencing represent both the biggest opportunity for growth as well as the most significant organizational challenge to companies around the world, according to new research from Condeco’s new research paper, The Modern Workplace 2019: People, places & technology, involving 750 corporate leaders. The full report can be downloaded here. Among the countries in the survey, remote working is particularly prevalent in Australia (45 per cent) with the US tied for being the country with the second most amount of companies allowing remote work (43 percent) and least widespread is Germany (35 per cent). However, US businesses were least likely to offer flextime (49 percent), while those in Singapore were most likely (66 percent). In addition, 43 percent of US business forecast that they will allow more remote working in the next year while only 9 percent have indicated that they will offer less remote working, a clear indicator that remote working is a major trend in America. 54 percent of US companies have said that they offer remote working to increase employee retention, which showcases employees increasing demands to work from home.

While recognizing digital transformation as crucial to their future success, 60 percent of those who participated express concern over the speed with which new technologies are reshaping their businesses. They are increasingly preoccupied with issues related to cloud computing, the internet of things, and big data.These technology challenges are contributing significantly to the changing nature of the corporate environment, the report finds. Cloud computing in particular has made it possible for increasing numbers of employees to work remotely and flexibly meaning that the central company workspace is rapidly becoming an administrative hub, rather than a traditional central focus where everyone gathers during set hours. The demands of regulation and compliance are also adding to the burden felt by businesses as they face the future. Condeco’s report is based on an in-depth survey of business leaders in six countries, including the United States, backed by qualitative interviews. Respondents overall say the biggest challenges facing their organizations in the next 12 months are digital transformation (37 percent) and the adoption of new technology (35 percent).

Across all countries surveyed, access to talent supply (26 per cent) and regulation and compliance (24 per cent) are considered greater organizational challenges than business uncertainty (22 per cent). Welcome to the flexible working revolution. Almost half of global businesses surveyed (41 percent) say they already offer some degree of remote working, while three-fifths (60 percent) provide flextime opportunities, allowing employees to choose when to start and end their workday. “The research clearly shows that businesses are in the process of transforming their workplaces digitally, which enables them to transform the way that they are used physically,” said Paul Statham, CEO of Condeco.”Today’s technology allows for space to be used more flexibly and for employees to work remotely. This benefits businesses by maximizing office space, reducing costs and by keeping employees engaged and productive.”

The end of meeting-room culture? When employees do go into the office, it is most often for meetings with colleagues and customers. Yet the researchers discovered that finding, booking and using meeting rooms is a consistent point of organizational tension, even as more people are working remotely. Fewer than a quarter of those surveyed (23 percent) say that their employees have access to meeting rooms whenever they need them; however, the US leads the world with 31 percent, compared to just 9 percent in Singapore. Only a third of respondents (31 percent) currently use specialist meeting-room scheduling software to help make efficient use of their available space. Some of those surveyed believed that there was an opportunity to use artificial intelligence to book and use meeting rooms more effectively.

“AI can release individuals from routine, repetitive tasks at work and free them up for more value-adding and enriching activities. That’s why it is likely to play an important role in meeting room booking software,” said Peter Otto, Chief Product Officer at Condeco. Businesses are only just beginning to realize the extent to which the need for co-workers to meet in person is a thing of the past, as new conferencing systems enable teams to maintain real-time collaboration and conversation across vast distances and multiple time zones.“Ultimately new technology will enable businesses to allocate their resources and time more effectively,” said Otto.“There is also a role it can play in gathering data, but companies need to be aware of the ethical and privacy aspects of using it in this way and be prepared to be fully transparent in communicating what they are doing to their employees.”

US leaders prepare for the future While a fifth of business leaders worldwide (22 per cent) said that uncertainty was a concern for them, less than one fifth of American business leaders (16 percent) echoed this. The most-common concern for US respondents is technology adoption (45 percent) and talent supply (30 percent), suggesting that businesses are expecting these to be major issues over the next year. Only 11 percent of US business cited access to capital as their top organizational concern.

Wlabs smart oven, food network, kim sing theatre, 360 MAGAZINE, vaughn Lowery, katie lee

WLabs Smart Oven w/ Katie Lee

By Krishan Narsinghani × Vaughn Lowery

As of late, 360 MAGAZINE paid a visit to the newly imagined Kim Sing Theatre (once the 1926 Vaudeville), which houses an event space, gallery, courtyard as well as hotel.

At this venue, we joined Food Network star, Katie Lee, for the WLabs’ smart oven first look and tasting. Try cooking with an appliance that manages it all for you. Literally, the smart oven can tell what’s inside and let you know when it’s done using a new camera and sensor detector technologies. Witnessing Katie Lee fit a whole chicken inside this 13.5” H x 19.5” W x 21” with a magnetic thermometer (conveniently sticks on the side of the unit) was a shock, more so, that she was alerted by the app on her phone it was ready. Not to mention, the counter space you’ll save in a small galley kitchen within an urbane habitat. De-hydrate limes for handcrafted cocktails, roast asparagus or reheat/bake a 12″ pizza. The personal assistant makes your life in kitchen that much easier. So, take a long shower or a soothing bath with no worries.

In short, the innovative WLabs Smart Oven is ideal for a budding executive who resides in a metropolis and is always in transit swinging from city to urban center while on various assignments. Or, for empty nesters who like to entertain intimate yet memorable parties where this appliance will surely be the center attention.

Merely 2,000 of these bad boys are available for pre-order here.

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Austin Eldred

With over 230,000 Spotify streams on his single, ‘Are You Down,’ the people of Los Angeles keep buzzing around a fresh urban vibe named Austin Eldred.

The Orange County native is a show-stopping recording artist paving a name in the music world. Eldred has officially been releasing music for two years with hits featuring the noteworthy likes of Eric Bellinger and Problem. Eldred draws inspiration from his eclectic childhood upbringing in Southern California where he infuses R&B and Hip-Hop into a unique sound. His upcoming debut album, “1997” (executively produced by Ned Cameron) is soon to release and will showcase new sides of the performer. With ten new hand-written tracks, Eldred looks to put a permanent imprint on the industry.