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of the Dark Reader extension recently found copycat
If you have the infected extension, you’re going to see This extension contains malware message.
If you want to get up to speed with the latest and greatest, check out our dedicated Browser Extensions section.
The security of your computer and digital privacy should be your top priorities. Head over to our Security & Privacy Hub for everything you need to know about that.
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readers this month.
If you’re more than a vampire and you avoid even the excessive light coming from your computer screen, you’re probably using a dark theme.
The Dark Reader extension is a pretty popular dark theme extension for your browser. However, extensions can sometimes be more than you bargained for.How can I avoid malware extensions?
The latest period was all about keeping yourself safe from a pouring onslaught of malware attacks.
In this rush storm, the developer of Dark Reader recently found out that copycat extensions made their appearance on the Microsoft Store and Mozilla AMO.
He took the matter seriously and analyzed the extensions that proved to be infected with malware.
The wrongdoers included malicious code that was hidden inside a png file. According to his own blog post:
A malicious code was hidden and encoded in a *.png file. In 5 days it downloaded and executed another code, that was collecting data from web pages using fake forms, and later sent this data to a remote server.
Of course, he solved the problem by contacting Microsoft who took down the extensions from its Extensions Store.
If you have the new Edge browser and you installed the extension prior to this fix, you should see it flagged when you try to open the list of installed extensions in the Microsoft browser.
You’re going to see a warning saying that This extension contains malware.How can I stay away from potentially harmful extensions?
The developer also includes a list of things you should do to stay safe from malware extensions.
Using extensions made by Trusted Companies or using recommended Extensions for Firefox are among his top recommendations.
Other solutions to stay safe also include using open-source extensions or paid ones.
Of course, if you want to make sure that your personal data remains untouched, you can always check the extension’s name manually, read the reviews for each of them, and always protect your accounts.
However, to add another layer of security to your PC you can always count on anti-malware tools. Check out this handy list to find the best ones on the market right now.
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Adding to its roster of healthcare offerings, the direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe announced yesterday that it can provide customers with a score that predicts their risk of type 2 diabetes. Currently, the tests doctors use to screen for this condition are based on lifestyle factors and family history—it’s unclear how much of an improvement this test could be.
People develop type 2 diabetes when their bodies stop producing and using insulin, the hormone that helps control blood sugar levels, properly. Things like poor diet, lack of physical activity, and obesity can put people at risk of getting this condition—but genetics play a role, as well. People with a family history of type 2 diabetes are more likely to have it than those without: Over a lifetime, someone with one diabetic parent has a 40 percent risk of developing the condition, and two parents with the condition increase that risk to 70 percent.
There aren’t individual genes that, on their own, significantly raise someone’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But there are dozens of genes that seem to be involved in the process. 23andMe says that their evaluation uses over 1,000 genes to calculate a person’s genetic risk for type 2 diabetes.
If someone opts into receiving their score, 23andMe will create a report that tells them if they are at an “increased likelihood” or “typical likelihood” of developing type 2 diabetes. If a person is at an “increased likelihood”, the genetics company says that means their genetics put them at a higher risk than being overweight would.
In the diabetes report delivered to customers, 23andMe will include information about lifestyle changes that can lower the risk for type 2 diabetes. In a press release, the company noted that they have a partnership with Lark Health, an artificial intelligence coaching platform that can guide users through, among other things, diabetes prevention programs—for $19.99 a month.
According to 23andMe’s white paper on their diabetes risk score, the company used data from people with European ancestry, who make up their largest dataset, to develop and test their risk assessment. The test, the report says, is able to most effectively predict risk in people of European ancestry. It’s least effective in African Americans.
23andMe also offers disease risk assessments for conditions like Alzheimer’s and Celiac disease. It’s important to note, though, that while the company can give out the information, they don’t actually help people manage or deal with the impact of receiving it—they provide educational information, and paid access to an artificial intelligence service, but they’re not doctors.
Normally, type 2 diabetes risk is identified by physicians, who use screening tests that ask about risk factors, like high blood pressure, physical activity, and family history. Right now, it’s not clear if a genetic test can do a better—or even an equivalent—job identifying at-risk patients, because they’ve never been compared.
“Until genetic screening has been shown to improve the detection of patients with diabetes above and beyond the standard of care, physicians aren’t going to be looking to order tests whereby there’s a cost without knowing that there’s going to be a benefit,” Tom Donner, director of the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Diabetes Center, told Stat News.
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If you’re a woodworker, you already know the value of a good table saw. These ubiquitous power tools can work through a wide range of material, from wood to sheet metal, making angled cuts, bevels, rip cuts, and cross-cuts. They’re fast, and much more accurate than hand saws and mitre saws. That’s why you’ll find at least one at every professional woodshop and job site.
Table saws, as their name suggests, are often built into large tables that cost thousands of dollars and weight hundreds of pounds. But they’re also available in smaller, less expensive models designed to be brought out when needed and then stored away when through—perfect for contractors, repairmen, and DIY enthusiasts working at home.
When choosing a table saw, think carefully about the types of projects you’ll be tackling. Are you a contractor or serious DIYer? Are you a professional woodworker? Or is this something you only need occasionally, or for smaller hobby projects? This will help determine the type of table saw that’s right for you.
Large, industrial saws, called cabinet table saws, are installed in woodshops, schools, and other permanent locations, and are designed for heavy-duty work. They have permanent power sources—often 220 volts—and extendable table surfaces, and they can cut through most material. They also cost quite a bit, and of course require a lot more space.
Contractor table saws are smaller and portable, perfect for storing in a tool shed or garage. It’s easy to put them in the back of a truck or SUV for transportation to a job site. They provide a lot of power, meaning you don’t need to waste time travelling back and forth between the job and your shop.
Bench table saws are the smallest of the bunch, and are meant to be bolted to a table or workbench, or attached to a stand. They provide less power and have smaller rip capacity, but they also cost a lot less and are good choices for hobbyists with smaller projects.
Horsepower (HP) translates to cutting power. Expect 0.75 to 1.5 HP from smaller bench saws, making them excellent for making things like small shelves, or cutting material up to ⅝-inches thick. Contractor saws feature two- to four-HP motors, and large cabinet saws typically have motors that run five HP or more. The more powerful the motor, the easier it is to cut through strong material and harder woods. The machine can also run longer and faster without overheating.
Tablesaws typically carry 10-inch blades, though blades can be as large as 12 inches, and smaller models often have blades that are 8.5 inches. Because the blades are adjustable, you can make very shallow or deep cuts, depending on the size of the blade.
Rip capacity describes the maximum width of the material that fits between the saw blade and the table saw’s adjustable guide, known as a fence. Generally, this starts at around 18 inches and runs up to 60 inches on professional cabinet models. Make sure your table saw can accommodate the width of the material you plan on cutting, whether it’s the back of a bookcase, the side of a treehouse, or the top of a table.
Table saws feature two different types of motors: universal and induction. On a universal motor, the power source is linked directly to the blade, providing a lot of power. However, they can be noisy. Induction motors connect to a belt that transfers power to the blade. It’s quiet and still powerful, but the downside is that the belt requires periodic tightening, and that’s something you’ll need to stay on top of to get the best performance out of your saw.
Every now and then, an idea or concept takes the productivity nerds of the internet by storm.
We get so obsessed that it breaks through to the mainstream, and you can’t seem to go anywhere online without seeing people talk about it.
It doesn’t happen often; the last time I remember it happening was with bullet journaling in the early 2010s.
But right now, it’s happening again.
Personal knowledge management is taking over the internet.
And even if you don’t get hearts in your eyes over productivity systems like me, this one’s something any digital marketer will want to pay attention to.
So here’s what you need to know.What is Personal Knowledge Management?
Personal knowledge management is the concept of creating a process or system for collecting and storing information for future use, particularly for writing or content creation.
Digital hoarding doesn’t help you use the information you’re collecting; it makes it harder.
Personal knowledge management (PKM), on the other hand, involves creating systems, adding your own context, and making information easy to surface when you need to reference it.
While traditionally more popular in academic writing, it’s recently started gaining popularity in online writing as well.
Some of the established PKM systems popular with online creators and marketers include Zettelkasten, Building a Second Brain, and Linking Your Thinking.
But regardless of what popular framework you use (or whether you use one at all), there are a few steps you’ll want to make sure your personal knowledge management system includes:
Capturing information and ideas as you find them.
Processing them to add your own context.
Incubating the ideas until you need them.
Using them to create new things.
Let’s take a look at each one in detail.Step 1. Capture Ideas and Information
The first step of personal knowledge management is to make a habit of saving any information or ideas you think are useful or inspiring as you come across them.
In the language of David Allen’s Getting Things Done method for planning and managing tasks, this is called developing a “capture habit.”
The ultimate capture goal is to have a way to easily save these things, no matter where you come across them. Don’t worry about adding detail. You can organize and filter them later.
For example, my own “capture” inboxes include:
A notebook that sits beside me when I’m working.
An iOS note I can access from my iPhone’s home screen and add to via Siri.
A similar note on my laptop.
Into these inboxes goes anything I think I might want to reference in my work. I add things manually as I come across them, and also have automations from IFTTT and Zapier sending things there.
In the past week, I’ve captured:
Articles I want to link to in my own as a reference (like this one).
Marketing campaign ideas based on conversations with customers.
A messaging and branding idea based on a recent competitive analysis.
Current requirements for Facebook ad copy length and image dimensions.
Screenshots of website and graphic design I like.
By making things easy to capture, you can keep it without taking you away from whatever you’re doing at the time.
However, without the rest of the process, it’s just digital hoarding.
This is where the other steps, like processing, comes in.Step 2. Process and Add Your Own Context
Processing is when you go through your inboxes and deal with everything you’ve saved recently, adding enough context that Future-You will be able to find it and use it when you need it.
Depending on how much information you capture, you’ll probably want to do this weekly or biweekly.
As you process pieces of information, you can:
Delete anything you don’t find useful or relevant anymore.
Add notes to your future self to create context (why you saved something, what you like about it, which parts you want to use later and for what, etc.).
Add metadata like tags to make searching and filtering your PKM system easier.
Then, you’ll move the information from your inbox to wherever it should be stored more long-term.
For example, the items from my inbox notes will be moved to separate folders for reference articles, future project ideas, voice of customer data, inspiration, and my Facebook ad strategy.
This way, each piece of information is wherever I need it to be — where I’m going to use it.
Or when I’m planning my content calendar, the list of all saved campaign ideas will be there in my content dashboard for me to choose from.Step 3: Incubate Your Ideas
Once you have things organized, you’ll want to let them sit there. Leave them be.
When you’re actively engaging with an idea, like organizing it in your PKM system, you’re making new connections for your brain.
Your brain then needs time to passively process those connections and draw conclusions from them.
If you’ve ever had an “aha!” moment while doing something completely unrelated to your work, that was the incubation effect at work.
For information that you saved “just because,” or because it inspired you, you can let it sit until you need it — until you’re working on the relevant project or writing the relevant piece of content.
For things you’re actively working on, it can be harder to find that buffer time, but it’s still possible.
Even switching over to another task or taking your lunch break will help your brain with background processing related to the one currently at hand.Step 4: Create New Things
Finally, it’s time to use the knowledge and information you’ve collected.
The reason PKM is so great for anyone whose job requires writing or creation is that it makes it possible to never start from scratch.
And the blank page is one of the most overwhelming parts of creating anything.
Having a knowledge management system gives you a way to store and organize ideas and references as building blocks.
Then any time you need to start a project, you just select and combine the relevant building blocks into a finished piece.
For example, writing a blog post might mean assembling a combination of personal thoughts, expert quotes and statistics, and examples you’ve saved to your PKM already.
Planning an ad campaign means pulling the relevant competitor information, graphics you like, and creative requirements you already have to easily put together a project brief.
Essentially, when you have a PKM system you regularly save things to and maintain, the research and brainstorming parts of any project will take a fraction of the time.Start Building
The sooner you start building a personal knowledge management system, the sooner you’ll start saving time and effort on almost any creative task.
We’re consuming more content and information constantly, so you want to start your PKM system soon.
I hope you now have what you need to get started!
Featured Image: Andrew Krasovitckii/Shutterstock
Learn How to Boost Your Marketing Return on Investment Performance by Tracking Competitor Prices and Assortments
Ecommerce businesses face very strong competition due to the fact that SMEs have entered into the online world almost as quickly as the biggest companies, such as Amazon or Alibaba, resulting in the existence of millions of e-commerce companies.
This great competition is not just focused on who sells something, but also on the earliest stages of the buying process, like getting customer attention when they are just looking for information prior to buying. Ecommerce competition is one of the best examples of Porter’s framework, since online buying decisions depend on many factors that are hard to control.
In this article, we will explain how pricing affects ecommerce competition and show how to become more competitive by getting smarter about it, in order to boost the ROI your marketing efforts, so you can attract and keep your customers.Offering Attractive Prices Is Mandatory for Businesses of All Sizes
Any good marketer knows that the key to success is to be able to put himself in the shoes of the public. This is why marketing is so closely related to data analysis. Ideally, a good marketer will merge the information from data with his own experience to understand what the customers are thinking when they are about to buy. And there is one thing in which almost all marketers and customers agree: price matters! And here are the facts to prove it:
Approximately 25% of e-commerce website traffic comes from comparison shopping tools,
90% of online shoppers compare deals on the Internet,
6 out of 10 people state that pricing is the top factor in purchasing decisions.
Competitive prices will result in more traffic to your website. If people are researching deals and best prices, and you are offering the best ones, your business will appear at the top of the searches that customers are doing during their research.
While being the most competitive one, you don’t have to force your profit margins. There are smart and applicable ways of both being competitive and increasing your margins.
Does it sound like magic?
Now, let’s go through a real case.
Below, you see two online sellers selling the same juicer. The first retailer, which is offering the best deal, offering the juicer at £400,00. Its closest competitor in the juicer market selling the same product at £509,00. In that scenario, the first online shopper can raise the price just below its competitor by setting it at around £475,00. This decision will bring fattened margins (£75 more out of every juicer sold) that raise up the balance sheet and still let the product be the most competitive in the market. And the best part is coming… As you hold the competitiveness in the market, your conversion rates won’t decrease.Set Your Prices Dynamically in a Smart Way
At its core, dynamic pricing is a flexible pricing strategy for e-commerce retailers who are competing in a fierce competition in terms of price. With the ability of dynamic pricing, online businesses are able to continuously adjust product prices, sometimes in a matter of minutes, in response to price fluctuations in the competitors and the market.
For example, Amazon is surely the first e-commerce retailer that comes into our mind when we think of price dynamism worldwide. The e-commerce giant changes %16 of product prices in full assortment on a daily basis. Besides of that, we can clearly say that other big players are also adapting dynamic pricing to their strategy as their daily price changes of some of them reach at 24% – 30%. You can see the price dynamism analysis of Amazon vs. European Marketplaces from the image at below.
A proper and sustainable way to boost the performance of your dynamic pricing is setting the optimal prices based on specific pricing rules set by the retailer. Price intelligence tools can generate smart prices according to your costs, margins and your competitors’ prices. After gathering your smart price for every single of product or category, you are able to take the initial steps to adapt your pricing strategy to dynamic pricing and reprice your prices continuously. As a result, you can better compete with e-commerce giants like Amazon. Also in that way, you set your prices in a smart way instead of just guessing.
To effectively work with the turnover of products, retailers need to use different scenarios (algorithms, rules) for repricing. This is the main focus of this idea.
So let’s go through a real example. Think about a scenario that, you aim the most competitive in the market but not go below of your costs.
You can multiply these types of scenarios and set appropriate rules according to your strategies.Make Your Marketing Strategies Cohesive With Your Pricing Competitiveness
Check which products of yours already have a good competitive pricing in the market.
Do 1 and 2 have the same answer? They should.
Therefore, by just focusing your promotions on your most competitive products, you will improve your ROI without compromising on any margin cuts.Product Assortment Is Also Important
Information is the key in e-commerce for both sellers and buyers, but not all buyers look for the same thing. While some buyers have a clear product in mind, others compare different brands before buying.
This is why assortment planning is also very important for e-commerce success. Ideally, you would know what the most popular products are and offer them at great prices to attract visitors. But it is not just to offer them a proper price, but also the availability. It is important that they never find your business without stock. You may have the best price in the market, but if you don’t have stock you will lose the sale.
On the other hand, it would be great if you could be aware of the times when your competitors are out of stock, because this would be an opportunity to raise your conversion rates, margins or both.
In this situation, another option you may consider is to raise your prices so as to get higher margins for each conversion, since the users will not find the products in the other companies and yours will be the chosen one.
Also, by monitoring competitors’ assortments, you can learn about the new products, brands or categories becoming popular and then start to add those into your e-commerce supply.
By comparing your assortment with competitors’ e-commerce businesses, you will learn a lot about the market that will allow you to be in stock with the highest demand products and position your business as a shop that never disappoints its users.Businesses of All Sizes Can Use Automated Price Tracking Intelligence And Assortment Monitoring
The Internet has created the most competitive market in the history of commerce, with businesses all around the world offering their products, and customers easily getting all the information they need from search engines. Keep in mind that information is not the enemy, but the solution. Technology has also developed tools for people trying to sell.
Traditionally, companies gathered data with human workers and a great amount of paper. But now we are talking about global data, meaning e-commerce businesses need to track information worldwide. Luckily, information is publicly available online, and the only problem is the time it would take a human to collect it. Imagine how many workers you would need working full-time to be aware of your competitors’ pricing and product assortment for each reference in your business. Even if you limit your tracking to your 200 best-selling products, and your competitors to 15 businesses, you would need to check the price in 3000 pages, and then you would need to find out if they have stock!
But this can be done automatically. Prisync has solid expertise in delivering competitive pricing and assortment intelligence and offers a service for the full automation of this data gathering process for e-commerce companies of all sizes with different pricing plans for every need, so all sizes of companies can afford this intelligence and boost their marketing investment ROI as explained in this article.
Researchers from MIT have built a neural network that estimates the pose and movement of people who are behind a wall
The neural network creates a digital stick figure which shows where the person is and what pose he/she is in
It also identifies people accurately; out of 100, it managed to correctly identify 83 of themIntroduction
X-ray vision has long been limited to science fiction movies and books. We are used to seeing characters break through walls and buildings with just a gaze but could you ever have imagined that turning into reality?
A group of researchers from MIT’s Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence Lab have found a breakthrough to bring this new reality to life. Their project, called RF-Pose, uses deep learning to see through walls and estimate the posture and movement of people.
The AI uses a neural network to train itself and make the required estimations. The neural network has been developed in such a way that it can sense and analyze radio signals which come from a person’s body. Then, it creates a digital stick figure (as you can see in the image above) which shows where the person is, and what pose he/she is in (standing, sitting, moving around).
Most neural networks require tons of data to be trained properly (supervised learning methods). his was a significant challenge as labeled training data in this study was hard to find. So the researchers had to develop and collect their own data, which they did through wireless devices and a camera. They put together a database of thousands of images which had people doing things like walking, running, standing, sitting, doing a random activity, among other things.
The next step involved extracting stick figures from the camera images which were shown to the neural network, along with the radio signal that corresponded to them. After the training process, the neural network was capable enough to estimate the pose and movement without requiring explicit use of the camera.
But the uses of this technology don’t end there. It can even identify people in a line-up with very decent accuracy. When the researchers tested the system on 100 individuals, it was able to identify 83 out of them correctly. The team will present their research paper (link below) at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in Utah later this month.
I have listed a couple of resources below which provide an in depth understanding of this AI:
Watch the below video to get a sense of how the AI works in real time:Our take on this
I can imagine this technology being extremely helpful in the healthcare industry. As the researchers mentioned, it can monitor diseases related to motor functions, allow elderly people to live with a bit more freedom since they can be monitor for falls and injuries. It can also be used in video games (what is it about deep learning and video games?) to estimate movement, and also in search and rescue operations to identify specific people.
I have been covering computer vision a lot lately under AVBytes and continue to be amazed at the amount of progress we have made in this field. This field is ripe for data scientists since there is so much research going on. I encourage you to read up on this technology and think of ways how you can implement such a thing if given the chance.Subscribe to AVBytes here to get regular data science, machine learning and AI updates in your inbox!
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