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It’s all about an extra mile one is willing to walk!
Winning a data science competition require 2 things: Persistence and Willingness to try new things. There comes a moment of challenge in every competition when participants feel that nothing seems to work their way and its time to give up. That’s when a person stands up and says, “Why don’t I try one more time, but this time in a different way?” That’s when champions are born.
Competitions organized at Data Hack are meant to challenge your skills & knowledge and give you a chance to learn more and become a better analyst / data scientist.
On a similar note, we organized Date Your Data Competition from 26th Feb’ 16 to 28th Feb ’16. This competition enticed more than ~ 2100 participants around the world. Unlike other dates (romantic ones), this date turned out to be dramatic. No signs of love were shown. Only fierce attempts to slice and dice the data with highest level of granularity.
The emerged winners (top 3) mainly used R and XGBoost to rule the leaderboard. Here’s a complete solution (approach & codes) used by winners in this competition. You’ll shortly see how feature engineering turned out to be a game changer in this competition.
For R users, these solutions are highly helpful and can be used as a practice material.
Note: A special thanks to the winners of this competition for their immense co-operation and time.The DYD competition
This competition surpassed our previous high of number of submissions. It recorded more than 3100 submissions. Also, we got our first female data scientist winner in this competition.
This competition involved a supervised machine learning problem. Participants were required to predict the chances of a student’s profile to be of high relevance to employers. In simple words, the participants were required to predict whether a student will be shortlisted or not. The data set used was provided by Internshala, India’s No. 1 platform for internships.
You can read the complete problem statement here: Link. The data set is available for download here. Please note that the data set is available for your practice purpose and will be accessible until 20th March 2023.Evaluation Metric
The winners were judged on the basis of ROC score. ROC curve is a plot between sensitivity and (1-specificity). To know more, visit here. AUC score close to 1 is always desirable.
After a live feedback session with participants held at slack, it was inferred that this competition was challenging and participants were keen to acknowledge what they missed!Winners of DYD Competition
A common factor which played a crucial role in their victory is their prolonged reverence for feature engineering and data exploration. Boosting (XGBoost, GBM) imparted their models necessary accuracy. Ensemble modeling played a cameo in further enhancing their model’s accuracy.
Since most of the coding has been done in R, this can be a great resource to practice for R users.Rank 3 – Sonny Laskar (Used ensemble of 2 XGBoost models in R )
Sonny Laskar, currently works as a Manager – Strategy at Microland Limited. He says:
Like everyone, I started with taking a close look at data. I call it as ‘data discovery‘ stage. Since there were 4 files, the chances of oversight were high. So, I realized that data has spelling mistakes. Later, I discovered some of the variables like internship profile, internship skills had good number of repetitive observations. It was evident that such observations row will dominate the prediction process.
This impelled me to do one hot encoding of such variables and added them as separate features. Later, I label encoded the binary features (0,1). In fact, majority of my time went in encoding features.
But, this wasn’t enough. I got a terrible score until here. Then, I created additional features with mean, percentages to supply more information to my model. It worked.
I used caret package. I built 2 XGBoost models with different seed values and nrounds. Due to lack of time, I didn’t do much experiment with machine learning. I then simply, ensembled my 2 XGBoost models.
I think I could have achieved higher score, had I not removed duplicate rows from student experience. I’m sure that lead to loss of information, but it was a race against time too. My final score was 0.700698.
Link to CodeRank 2 – Prarthana Bhat (Used ensemble of 50 XGBoost models in R)
Prarthana Bhat, currently works as a Data Scientist at Flutura Decision Science and Analytics. She’s the first female participant on Data Hack to secure a rank in Top 3.
When I looked at the data, I discerned that feature engineering will turn out to be a game changer. Hence, right from the beginning I kept my focus on discovering new features.
Of course, I started with the basic hygienic steps of data cleaning. There was a lot of mix and match possible in this data set. Since the data was large, I used parallel computing in R for faster computation and also not to run out of patience. R has awesome libraries such as doParallel, doSNOW, foreach to do this job!
I think the features I created were able to add significant information to the model. That’s the key to predictive modeling. One should always attempt to extract as much as information (uncorrelated) from available data.
For modeling, I used XGBoost algorithm. I decided to test for its optimal potential on this data. Then, I did parameter tuning. I decided to stick with only 3 parameters namely eta, colsample_bytree, subsample. In fact, I’d suggest R users to pay attention to these parameters the most for parameter tuning.
Not to make it a repetitive process, I wrote some functions to do this job. This was time consuming. But, in the end, turned out to be worthy enough. My final score stood at 0.709808.
Link to CodeRank 1 – Santanu Dutta ( Used GBM in Python and Data Cleaning in R )
Santanu Dutta, currently works as a Senior Associate in ACME. He is an experienced analytics professional specializing in BFSI and marketing. He’s a self learned data scientist.
I had always been curious to know more about the science of data and how it can derive benefits in our daily lives. Since then I have been training myself to build good and stable predictive models by participating in hackathons.
In this competition, the biggest challenge was shortage of time as the data set was quite huge and dirty. Lots of data cleaning was supposed to be done before processing it to build models. An early cursory look on date variables, gave hint that pre-processing is going to be the real game changer.
I have specialized myself in R. But, in last few hackathons, I noticed that Python is quickly gearing up and is becoming the first love of hackathon winners. So, this time I promised myself to walk an extra mile. I used both R and Python to solve this problem (faster). I used R for data wrangling and Python for model building.
Python was a real challenge for me. Because, in the last few months I’ve badly struggled in implementing XGBoost on my windows machine. So, I selected the next best alternative i.e. GBM. In addition, I had built few variations of Random Forest, Boosting , Matrix Factorization models as well and relied on local CV to select the parameters and model.
It’s been a great privilege competing with leading data scientists across the globe. Learning while competing steepens the learning curve. My public lb score was 0.63 and ranking 17 and private lb score resulted in 0.72 which got me the first position.
Link to CodeKey Takeaways from this Competition
In this competition, participants got the chance to work on real life data. Real life data comes in all shapes and dimensions. Hence, it becomes essential to develop business understanding in order to work better with data sets. In DYD, participants worked deeply with data exploration, data engineering and feature engineering techniques. Below are the key takeaways one can take home from this article:
Data Cleaning & Engineering: This data set had all sorts of variables (continuous, categorical, high cardinal) divided in 4 csv files. Some observation had spelling mistakes and others were repeated multiple times. The challenge was to combine them, clean them and prepare them for analysis. The winner did it and got incredible scores. You must learn this skill.
Feature Engineering: In this competition, participants were prudent enough to understand the game changing influence of this concept. The number of features created in this competition varied from 10-15 to 300-400 features. Your motive should be to derive new features in order to supply for unique information to the algorithm.
Boosting & Ensemble: Choice of ML algorithm totally depends on participants. But, the magnificent power bestowed by boosting algorithm (XGBoost & GBM) outperforms the need to use any other ML algorithm. The cameo played by ensemble in the end helps further in improving prediction accuracy. You must learn boosting and ensemble to perform better in competition. You can start here.End Notes
If you have thoroughly followed this article, you would have noticed that feature engineering and boosting are awfully important in winning competitions. So, the next time you would participate in a competition, make sure you don’t miss out creating new features and render some boost. In fact, the process is simple: Clean the data, create new features, build the model, keep the best features, build the model again (boost) and done. If you have still been indecisive about, whether to learn R or Python, you can start with R from scratch.
In this article, I’ve shared the winning approach of top 3 winners of DYD Competition. These winners took home amazon vouchers worth INR 55k ( $800 ). For your practice, the data set is available for download until 20th March 2023. Make sure you make the most out of this opportunity.You want to apply your analytical skills and test your potential? Then participate in our Hackathons and compete with Top Data Scientists from all over the world.
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Need a new approach to demand generation? Are you looking for a different way of going to market?
On August 24, I moderated a sponsored Search Engine Journal webinar presented by Garrett Mehrguth, President and CEO at Directive.
Mehrguth shared insight on how marketers can use customer generation to deliver better results.
Here’s a recap of the webinar presentation.Customer Generation: What It Is & How It Differs From Demand Gen
By simply creating MQLs as the starting point instead of the endpoint, you completely change the way you go about your start.
Mehrguth says it has improved Directive’s own product quality, transformed their company, and allowed them to grow exponentially.Demand Generation vs. Customer Generation
There are areas where typical demand generation campaigns do not deliver. Focusing on customer generation can change all of that.
Here are five ways demand generation and customer generation differ.
Third-party data for targeting.
First-party data for targeting.
Product-led approach for go-to-market.
Customer-led approach for go-to-market.
ROI is the goal. No tracking required.
LTV:CAC ratio is the goal. Tracking required.
Indicator of marketing success: MQL.
Indicator of marketing success: SQL.
“Don’t stand out, we are B2B.”
“Create emotional experiences, we are B2C.”Customer Generation: The Process
At a high level, the customer generation process works this way.
First, map out your total addressable market (TAM), identify your best customers, and then enrich those accounts with first-party data along with search data.
Break the accounts into customer segments (or tiers) and identify the service lines they’re interested in.
Determine your financial model. How much can you pay to get each customer segment for each product?
Hone in on your value proposition. What would get someone from apathy to action? What jobs do they need to get done that you could position yourselves to be discoverable for?
How do we use emotion personalization and iteration to keep improving?
Ultimately, customer generation aligns your entire brand to a new philosophy:
“Who” you market to and “why” you exist for them matters more than “how” (a.k.a., your tactics).
This results in more personalized customer journeys across all touchpoints from acquisition to retention.The Five Principles of Customer Generation
Customer generation can be treated as a methodology. Let’s unpack the specifics of each principle and how you can directly apply that to your marketing.Principle 1: First-Party Data Unlocks Growth
You need to map your total addressable market (TAM), build account lists, and aggressively scale spend without using an account-based marketing (ABM) provider.
Choose Your Data Provider First
While ZoomInfo is still leading in the B2B contact data space, there are other players that are great at certain things, such as:
Clearbit (technologies that the companies use).
Crunchbase (funding data).
You should choose one (or more) of these providers depending on what triggers you think are most indicative of the data that makes an account a great fit for your product or service.
Use Employee Size, Technology, Funding, Etc.
Build lists based on headcount, technology, and funding rather than revenue data.
Do not use revenue data for privately held companies as it’s mostly inaccurate.
Headcount is a far better understanding of the size of an organization. You can also scrape it from LinkedIn with a high level of accuracy compared to privately held companies’ revenue numbers.
The technology companies use, on the other hand, will help you identify the maturity of an organization and whether they are a fit for your business.
Meanwhile, funding data informs you whether these prospects can afford your product or service.
Unsure which indicator to focus on? Take your current client list and upload that data to one of these data providers.
You can then enrich your client list with your point of contact to see what title they have and what their experience level is.
This exercise will help you understand your niche and customer personas. Who exactly is the perfect fit for your product or service?
Mehrguth’s team at Directive also built their own database called Pulse to give them unique data insights. This helps them assign a score that’s more indicative if a person is an excellent fit for their business or not.
It’s essential to manually verify your TAM because you can’t trust third-party data providers 100%.
Check every single solitary account to see if they fit your ideal customer profile (ICP). Cleaning this data is the only way to make sure you aren’t wasting a dime.
Integrate to Salesforce
When you integrate your first-party data and your TAM into Salesforce, you can change that.
Distribute With a Customer Data Platform (CDP) Like Segment
After getting everything integrated into Salesforce, set it up on Segment and you can start distributing all your data in real-time to all your channels.
Articulating the success of your campaigns according to market share penetration will allow you to become exponentially more aligned with your executive team.
Leveling up your reporting this way will ultimately get you more buy-in, budget, and support for your efforts.Principle 2: Customer Led Over Product Led
Your product is not for the masses. A customer-led approach gives you the power to impact business KPIs such as:
Average contract value.
Trial conversion rate.
Customer acquisition cost.
By focusing on your most valuable customers, you truly are in control.
Most B2B SaaS companies start with what they’re selling, instead of focusing on who they’re selling to. We need to fix that.
Instead of structuring around the products you offer, consider structuring around your customer segments and customer needs.
This change in how you write your copy, position your value propositions, and articulate your value to your ICP is the difference between a poor conversion rate and a great conversion rate.
Here’s a sample worksheet you can use to enter your ICP’s “Jobs to be Done” (JTBD), needs, voice, challenges/pain points, etc. You can then map them to your products or solutions.
The most successful B2B SaaS companies are customer-led.
Case in point? Workable, a recruiting software and hiring platform.
Their core site is organized around customer segments and need states.
They have thousands of HR resources for their customers.
Workable drives 35 million visits per year and dominates their keywords.
Customer-led is the backbone of Directive’s strategy as an agency.
It is applied in the early stages of the project phase and influences all strategy and execution.
Principle 3: Financial Modeling Is a Need to Have
Scale without financial modeling is a pipe dream.
Marketers, in general, are not great at financial modeling. As such, we struggle to connect our efforts to revenue and get the respect, authority and budget we deserve as marketers.
Using the LTV:CAC financial model can help change that and improve your ability to be a valuable partner to the executive team and to the business’s vision.
Gather Your Numbers
You need to know your business’s financials, including Lifetime Customer Value (LTV) and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) metrics, in order to compare the value of a customer compared to the cost of acquiring them.
Customer generation is not all about any customer. It’s about finding your most profitable customer.
Make sure to put those numbers into a sheet and review your actual historical performance.
Track Your Channels
Gathering and tracking your numbers allow you to create benchmarks and inform channel strategy and tactics.
Tracking lets you know better where you should be spending more money, where you should be spending less, and what you need to do to hit your goals.
Leverage First-Touch Attribution
Many mid-market and publicly traded companies don’t have the maturity to pull off multi-touch attribution. They are still struggling across the board with marketing ops and attribution.
So for this type of model what we’re trying to look at is where should we spend another dollar to get another customer?
Oftentimes, it’s hard to fund indirect or complementary channels. We want to fund channels that have that first-touch attribution.
Use this LTV:CAC Tool
Directive’s free LTV-CAC tool can help you with your campaign planning.
Use it to level up your financial modeling, articulate value, increase your budget, and be more valuable to the organization.Principle 4: SQLs Beat MQLs Every Time
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Google has intent but poor firmographics.
It’s really hard to monetize Google Ads when you’re in a niche or when you have a high average order value because the majority of the customers who search that query don’t fit.
And when you specify your query there are not enough people searching for you to take make it a substantial revenue channel.
Conversely, paid social allows you to target audiences with firmographics but they have no intent.
After years of dealing with this dilemma, Garrett and his team discovered a solution – monetizing paid social with a great offer.
They found an incentive so good that they were able to create intent from social. Gift cards are what worked for them.
Monetizing comes down to improving your sales organization and also improving your value proposition.
A few more tips:
Buy Sendoso for gift sending.
Choose a tool like Calendly or Chili Piper so you are driving appointments not form fills.
Train sales development reps and account executives on how to have gift card/incentivized intro calls. Use the BANT script:
Budget: What is their spending ability? Do they meet our minimums?
Authority: Are they the decision-maker? If not, who is the true decision-maker?
What immediate need or urgent problems are there?
What are their pain points within each of our product lines?
What gaps did we find in our initial research prior to the call?
Timeline: In what timeframe will they need a solution?Principle 5: There’s No Such Thing as B2B
Where direct-to-consumer marketing (D2C) marketing is all about building a brand and creating an emotional connection, business-to-business (B2B) marketers seem to be simply optimizing for safeness.
Your customers are people, not corporations. They hate boring marketing as much as you do.
It’s time to change the expectation of what B2B marketing is.
Marketing is emotional. Ask yourself: How can I motivate my potential customers from apathy to action?
We sell to individuals in corporations and we need to create an emotional connection with them.
And video creates a strong bridge from a gift to your value proposition. (Here’s an example from Directive.)
People make emotional decisions, not scientific ones, and operate accordingly.
When we put all these together, you have a differentiated go-to-market strategy that will drive impressive returns.Key Takeaways
The biggest problem in demand generation today is that it could be 50% inaccurate before you launch your campaign. Customer generation fixes that.
Monetizing comes down to improving your sales organization and value proposition. Why do you exist and who do you exist for.
Want to learn more about Customer Generation from one of Directive’s experts? Head over to their website to book an intro call.[Slides] Customer Generation: Delivering on the Promise Demand Gen Forgot About
Customer Generation: Delivering on the Promise Demand Gen Forgot About from Search Engine JournalJoin Us For Our Next Webinar! KPIs, Metrics & Benchmarks That Matter For SEO Success In 2023
Reserve my Seat
All screenshots taken by author, August 2023
To keep your business growing, you need to always be adding to your client portfolio. In order to keep landing new clients, you have to be able to sell them on your business and what you can do for them. One way to do so is by preparing a business proposal. Business proposals not only allow you to include the details of the project, your proposed solution and prices, but also give you the leeway to sell the benefits of your solution and your company. The business proposal is your opportunity to shine and, hopefully, acquire a new client in the process.What is a business proposal?
A business proposal is a multipage document detailing how your business can solve a problem or fill a need for a customer. Business proposals can be unsolicited or solicited.
Unsolicited: With an unsolicited business proposal, you create the proposal on your own based on your understanding of the client’s need and send it to the client to capture their attention and win their business. Unsolicited proposals are generally less specific because the prospective client has not told you anything about its needs.
Solicited: With a solicited proposal, the customer identifies its own need or challenge and then asks companies like yours to submit proposals with solutions and costs. This is called a request for proposal, or RFP. There is a deadline by which the proposals are due so the client can compare them to each other, and there may be specific specifications that the solutions need to conform to. Sometimes, companies whose proposals are attractive to the client are called in and asked to make a presentation on their solution so that the client can ask questions. After reviewing all of the proposals, the client will make its choice.
Business proposals should demonstrate your company’s understanding of the client’s problem or need, your expertise and experience in addressing this type of need, your proposed solution and recommendations, your unique selling points, how much you are charging, and what the terms and conditions will be if the client chooses your company for the project.
Business proposals can be printed on paper, in the form of a presentation using software such as PowerPoint (sent electronically or printed), or via proposal software that allows clients to accept the proposal electronically.
Did You Know?
The ideal length for a proposal, on average, is six pages. This gives you enough space to adequately cover the essentials but is short enough to keep the client’s attention.When do you need a business proposal?
Business proposals are not appropriate and necessary for all types of businesses, but in some industries, they are a crucial way to get new clients. They are almost exclusively used in business-to-business (B2B) sales. The reasons for this are twofold. First, to justify a business proposal, the size of the project must be fairly significant, at least $1,000. Second, the project or challenge must have some level of complexity where it needs a custom solution, not something ready-made.
These are some industries that typically require business proposals:
Coaching (business or personal life coaching)Before you start writing your proposal
Writing a business proposal involves a lot of initial legwork. Once you become aware that a potential client is looking for proposals in your business niche, you will want to develop a sound, clear and precise business proposal. To do so, there are many pre-planning activities you will want to conduct.1. Do your research.
If you don’t know much about the potential client, you need to study. Go to the website and read everything. Get names of decision-makers, an idea of its business model, how long it’s been in business, its goals and its financial picture.2. Arrange a meeting with management.
You may not get in to see the CEO, but you should make an appointment with the highest-level manager possible. During this meeting, you want the client to clarify goals and needs, so be a good listener and take notes! You also want to get clear budget parameters so you have a financial framework for your proposal. While the focus of this meeting must be on the client, try to tout yourself a bit. Talk about your successes with similar organizations/industries.3. Develop your solutions.
Once you understand the client’s goals and needs, you are prepared to brainstorm and develop the most effective and cost-effective ways to serve them. For example, if you are in the property management business and have become aware that a large apartment complex owner is looking for a new outside property management firm, you meet with that owner or their rep. You ask about their issues and problems and what made them unhappy with the previous management. These will be critical points in your solution proposal. [Related article: Your Guide to Creating a Small Business Marketing Plan]What to include in the proposal
Writing a business proposal can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. If you don’t know how to write a proposal, you need to be a quick learner. There are templates and samples online that you can study, or you can visit a fellow entrepreneur who has experience and ask for their help. Generally, though, your sections will be as follows.
Introduction: This should summarize the client’s needs, what your company provides and your top selling points.
Description of the client’s current situation: This is a way to describe the need you are trying to solve for. This shows the potential client that you understand what their needs are.
Solution: State your solution, including the goals, objectives and methodologies for meeting the client’s needs and remedying the current situation.
Timeline: This is where you say how quickly you can get started once the client accepts your proposal, when each of the steps you are proposing will take place and the date when the project should be complete.
Proof: Do not be afraid to praise yourself. What are the benefits of choosing your company? Point out your successes with similar projects and provide references.
Pricing: This is where you detail how much the project with the currently described scope will cost. Critically important, the costs must be carefully and clearly broken down so that each facet of your solution methodology has a specific cost. This way, if the client has to cut back on something, they can make informed decisions.
Guarantee and terms and conditions: If you are offering a guarantee or warranty, this is the place to include it. You should also include terms and conditions, such as how much will be charged if the scope of the project changes and how often the client will be billed. You should also outline how approvals and disputes will be handled. To write this section, you may want to consult with a lawyer.
Next steps: At the end of the proposal, include a call to action. How can the client say yes to this proposal? Most proposals include a signature page that allows the client to accept the bid, while some proposal software allows clients to not only accept the proposal electronically, but also pay for it online. In addition, say what will happen next. For example, you might say that you will set up a meeting with the point person at the client company to get more specific information on their needs, or the next step may be for your team to create a proposed design for discussion.
To establish your credibility, include testimonials, examples of similar projects and client references, and awards and press your company has received.How to write the proposal
If you are not a good writer, get someone who is. You never know who will be reading your proposal, so make sure there are no grammatical, punctuation or spelling errors. And above all, keep it simple. Write it in a conversational tone. No one wants to struggle through long and complex sentences with academic-level vocabulary. As an extra check, have someone else read it over to catch mistakes and points that need clarification before you send it to the client.
You may also want to get input from your marketing and sales team. They specialize in communicating with prospects and know their pain points and priorities. So they can help you emphasize the right things and get your message across in a way that will be effective.Design
In addition to the content of your proposal, the way it looks makes a difference. An attractive graphic on the cover page can catch the eye of the client, and high-quality images, charts and layout make your proposal easier to read and more compelling. A well-designed proposal also tells the client that your business is professional and that you took your interaction with them seriously. You can use a business proposal template or software, or you can engage the services of a graphic designer to make your proposal look its best.
Did You Know?
Proposals with an attractive cover page tend to convert 45% better than those without one, according to Better Proposals.How to write different types of business proposal letters Business proposal solicitation letter
A business proposal solicitation letter sets the stage for an unsolicited business proposal and is a formal and much more dignified cold call or cold email. You are trying to drum up business by introducing yourself to potential clients who may or may not have heard of you before. The letter should, of course, be business formal and impeccable in grammar and style. Here are some pointers:
Find out who the decision-maker is before you write the letter. It should be addressed to that individual.
Your opening paragraph should catch their attention quickly. The potential to lower their costs will usually do the trick, so tell them that you can save them money and/or make their operations more cost-efficient.
The next paragraph should provide more detail about your product or service and describe how it saves money or is more efficient.
The third paragraph should speak to your qualifications. How long have you been doing this? Name past and current clients who have experienced cost savings and greater efficiency with your help. Be certain that you have permission to use their names, as they may be contacted.
The closing paragraph should be short and give some call to action. Either ask them to call you or tell them you will call in a few days for an appointment.Business proposal cover letter
Once you have written the business proposal, it is time to send it to the client. Even when the client is expecting to receive it, you should still include a cover letter as an introduction. If the client has issued an RFP or specifically asked you for a proposal, refer to this and express thanks for the opportunity. Let the client know that you have the ability, expertise, experience and creativity to successfully solve their problem. Throw in a few examples, such as how many years you’ve been in business, similar problems you have solved for other companies in the industry and how long clients tend to use your services.
Finally, tell them that the proposal is enclosed or attached, and encourage them to reach out to you if they have any questions.
Chad Brooks contributed to the writing and research in this article.
China is winning the 5G war and the US is getting desperate
Still fearing Huawei is a pipeline for US secrets to be eavesdropped by the Chinese government, the Pentagon is pushing for open-source 5G software to give networks a more trusted alternative. The US Department of Defense has long alleged that Huawei represents compromised security, and has made several attempts to prevent carriers and other American companies from using its networking hardware.
Huawei has long maintained that it is independent from the Chinese security services, and that its products do not offer backdoor access or any other sort of compromised data. With the rollout of 5G networks, however, that insistence hasn’t been enough to assuage Pentagon suspicions.
Now, the US DoD is pushing for an alternative. The agency has apparently been pushing US firms to develop open radio access networks, which would use open-source technologies rather than proprietary systems. As such, customers – like ISPs and carriers – could effectively mix and match hardware, rather than being limited to a single provider.
While the motivation is mistrust of Huawei – one of the key 5G infrastructure vendors – the Pentagon is pitching a different reason to companies, the FT reports. US officials are apparently considering various ways to encourage open-source alternatives, such as promising tax breaks, and warning that those who don’t buy into the idea risk being left behind as the market gathers pace.
As Porter sees it, companies looking to develop closed 5G systems run the risk of replicating the mistake made by Kodak in the early days of digital photography. The company has become a cautionary tale in business, having effectively invented digital cameras but then dragging its heals in the new segment in the hope of sustaining its dominance in film photography. As a result, rivals took the lead and left Kodak to dwindle in profits and, eventually, in relevance altogether.
“The beauty of our country is that we allow that marketplace to decide the winners,” Porter argues. “The market will decide. If someone is dragging their feet, that’s up to them to decide, but then the market will decide from there who wins.”
Adding to the problem is that there’s no American company which makes an end-to-end solution for 5G. That has even led to suggestions within the US DoD that it could fund European alternatives to Huawei, such as Ericsson and Nokia. That way they could fill in gaps in US tech, such as in radio towers.
Huawei has found itself under renewed attack in the US, in some ways as much a casualty of President Trump’s trade war with China as it is of security service distrust. Earlier in 2023, it found itself on the trade block list, and in theory no longer able to ink deals with US companies such as Google. That has left it to produce Android phones without key Google apps and services.
Earlier this year, the US DoD warned that 5G was a war that America was on track to lose, specifically calling out the opportunities that the country risks ceding to China if new policies are not instituted. Penned by the Defense Innovation Board at the DoD, it called out elements like the US’ use of mmWave as potentially creating a gulf between 5G in America and abroad. Without the US to guide 5G’s development, the authors conclude, foreign companies like Huawei will take the lead in hardware deployment, and impaired security will be an inevitability.
“DoD should assume that all network infrastructure will ultimately become vulnerable to cyber-attack from both an encryption and resiliency standpoint,” the report warns.
Every single day, scores of innocent people are trapped by scam artists into Online Tech Support Scams and forced to shell out hundreds of dollars for non-existent computer problems. The tool or medium they use to initiate communications with a potential victim is usually the computer or a telephone. They claim to be computer techs associated with genuine software providing companies like Microsoft or others and persuade you to perform a series of complex tasks, just to convince you that your computer is infected.
For instance, they may make use of the Event Viewer. The Event Viewer is a tool that collects and keeps a record of all of the log files from your computer. It is traditionally used by system administrators to diagnose certain errors. Most events that are displayed are harmless notifications, but the scam artists exploit these events as possible viruses on your PC. They may use a Remote Access software to ask for access to your computer. Never give it!Avoid Online Tech Support Scams
Monitor your computer for unusual behavior. If you notice there is a departure from the standard behavior of the computer, check it for any malware presence for the following,
New and unexpected toolbars
Displaying of repeated error messages
Inability to shut down or restart
Tech Support Scammers can also do the following:
Play audio message
Display cooked up error messages
Disable Task manager
Continuously display pop-up windows.
If the above test is positive, remove the malware:
Set your security software, internet browser, and operating system to download and install updates automatically.
Change any passwords that you’ve handed out. If you use these passwords for other accounts, change those accounts, too. Also, if you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card provider and request him to reverse the charges.
Put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, and then report illegal sales calls.
If your computer is covered under a warranty period that offers free tech support, contact the manufacturer.
Read here about the most common Online and Email scams & frauds.Report a technical support scam
If you wish, you can report a technical support scam to Microsoft by visiting this one.
If you are of the view that someone may have accessed your personal or financial information intentionally, visit the FTC’s identity theft website to file a complaint. You can minimize your risk of further damage and repair any problems already in place. Just file a complaint with the FTC at chúng tôi or IC3.gov.
The agencies, following the complaints from consumers, can detect patterns of fraud and abuse. Their Complaint Assistant then could readily offer assistance. To use the Complaint Assistant follow these steps. Choose a complaint category. If you do not find a suitable match, select “Other”. Answer a few questions related to your complaint and narrate the exploiting episode in your own words.What if you allowed remote access to your computer
If you allowed access to your computer, your system could have been completely compromised. There could be malware or even a keylogger planted. I suggest you immediately back up your data and keep it on an external drive. I would also suggest that change the passwords of all your online accounts using ANOTHER PC right away. Having done this, the safest thing for you to be 100% sure, would be to reformat your Hard Drive and fresh install Windows.
Remember, Microsoft will never contact you on its own to repair or clean up your Windows computer. If they do, you can be sure that it’s a scam. Stay safe from such “Microsoft Scams“. If you do need to, then this link will offer you several legitimate ways to contact Microsoft Support.
Speaking of scams, some of these links are sure to interest you. Do have a look at some of them:
A cryptocurrency is an alternative type of currency to more conventional methods of payment. Since Bitcoin (BTC) came out, there have been a lot of other cryptocurrencies (called “altcoins”), and smart contracts, decentralized applications (dApps), and decentralized finance (DeFi) have also become more popular over time. While there are benefits to every cryptocurrency, we are giving you three that have caught investors’ attention due to their potential:What Is Stellar (XLM)?
Stellar is an open-source, blockchain-based distributed ledger that aims to make it easier for people all over the world to make financial transactions. Stellar’s goal is to make it easy and cheap for people all over the world to send and receive money so that more people can use financial services. The Stellar Development Foundation is responsible for developing the Stellar network. The units of currency used on the Stellar network are simply referred to as lumens, or by their full name, Stellar Lumens. Stellar Lumens are represented by the symbol XLM. Although Stellar offers a wide variety of services similar to those that you’d expect from a traditional bank, there are a few significant differences between Stellar and traditional financial institutions. Using a traditional bank is much more expensive and takes longer to process transactions than using cryptocurrency. The network’s transaction fees are infinitesimally small, at only one 600,000th of a cent. Payments can be processed in 2–5 seconds and converting between currencies is simple.Shiba Inu (SHIB) The Dogecoin Killer
Shiba Inu Coin is a cryptocurrency that is also referred to as SHIB. The Shiba Inu Dog is the inspiration for the Doge Meme Coin, which is a cryptocurrency based on the meme. “Dogecoin Killer” is another name for the Shiba Inu coin. Initially, it was recognized as a distinct alternative to the popular Dogecoin cryptocurrency. Shiba Inu is built on the Ethereum blockchain, whereas Dogecoin is built on the Bitcoin blockchain. This is the primary distinction between the two cryptocurrencies. Comparatively, Dogecoin is limited in its capabilities because it is incompatible with decentralized applications, while Shiba Inu has no such restrictions.
The Shiba Inu ecosystem also facilitates a number of different projects, such as an incubator for NFT artwork and a decentralized exchange called Shibaswap. At the start, there was a total of one quadrillion SHIB in circulation. This cryptocurrency was made to be easily accessible.Big Eyes Coin (BIG) New Meme Coin Ready to Explode
The Big Eyes Coin, sometimes known as BIG, is a community-based DeFi token as well as a cryptocurrency. This cryptocurrency isn’t only about making money for its investors; it’s also about protecting marine life, restocking fisheries, and cleaning up the ocean.
The native coin, BIG, is used to fuel the B ig Eyes (BIG) platform, which is a centralized blockchain. Users can anticipate a community whose power lies in its cohesion; the bigger the community and the more active individuals participate, the more powerful “Big Eyes” (BIG) will become. Tokens, NFTs, and other awards are given out to community members, and they are given priority access to all the latest information because the community is prioritized above all else. Big Eyes Coin (BIG) non-fiat token (NFT) programs are scheduled to take place at various times throughout the year.To learn more about this new crypto token, see the links below:
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