Universal Orlando News — Week of April 20, 2019

first_img The cuddly Blast-Ended Skrewt Share This!Prepare for a battle in Universal’s latest Halloween Horror Nights house and catch a glimpse of some Magical Creatures in this week’s Universal Orlando news roundup. Devil’s Snare Fluffy, the three headed guard dog Centaurs in the Mist Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is opening in under two months and Universal is previewing some of those creatures. Along the ride path guests will expect to come face to face with a massive three-headed Fluffy moving figure, dozens of mischievous Cornish Pixies, the thorny Devil’s Snare, protective Centaurs, or fiery Blast-Ended Skrewts.Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opens at Islands of Adventure on June 13, 2019.Weekly Crowd Levels Detailed crowd level information can be found here.Weather Report Operating Hours & Early Park AdmissionCityWalk is open until 2:00 a.m. daily, with free self parking starting after 6:00 p.m.AdmissionAdmission prices have increased yet again at Universal Orlando. Single day tickets have increased $1 – $6 per ticket in price depending on time of visit. Two-day, two-park hopper tickets have increased $10 per ticket.Two-day, two-park tickets are $284.99 per adult and $274.99 per child (plus tax).Volcano Bay tickets are at Anytime pricing at $80 per adult and $75 per child (plus tax).Showtimes and RefurbishmentsUniversal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration ShowtimesApril 20: 9:15 p.m.April 21 – 23: 9:00 p.m.April 24: No ShowApril 25: 9:00 p.m.April 26: No ShowUniversal’s Superstar ParadeApril 20: 7:00 p.m.April 21 – 25: 5:00 p.m.April 26: 2:00 p.m.The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts CastleApril 20 – April 25: Ongoing from dusk till park closeApril 26: No ShowComplete showtimes are available on Universal Orlando’s website.RefurbishmentsUniversal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration: April 29 – May 8Hogwarts Express: May 7Royal Pacific Resort Lobby Enhancements: March 1 – October 31 (phased)Upcoming EventsThe Psychedelic Furs are playing this week at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Velvet Sessions. Regular tickets cost $39 plus tax and include valet parking, specialty cocktails, finger foods, and the concert. $1 of each ticket purchased will go to the Hard Rock Heals Foundation. Tickets can be purchased online.See you next week, and make sure to leave a question below for the Mail Bag! Cornish Pixies Nightingales: Blood PitOur first “original” house of Halloween Horror Nights has been announced and we are seeing a return of the fan favorite original monsters: the Nightingales. These evil creatures pop up throughout human history during times of war, famine, and drought to devour their victims. This time they are in Ancient Rome where the worst drought in centuries continues. To satiate the gods the Emperor has demanded that gladiators fight non-stop until the rains return. In this maze you will be caught between gladiators and nightingales as they fight and feast.Halloween Horror Nights returns September 6 – November 2, 2019. You can now buy a flex night plus one night free ticket, which lets you attend two nights for the price of one, or a vacation package.The Magical Creatures of Hagrid’s New Coasterlast_img read more

Mandela and Gandhi on the Hill

first_imgThe exhibition details the experiences that shaped his development by means of photographs, quotes, artefacts and audio material. Gandhi’s transformation is symbolised in the changes in his attire – from a besuited lawyer to rough prison garb to a simple cotton tunic on his departure for India in 1914. Gandhi exhibition Spend an hour at the Nelson Mandela exhibition in the Old Fort, and come away with a small peep into the icon’s soul. Having this exhibition at the Old Fort on Constitution Hill, Johannesburg is significant. Mandela spent two weeks in the Awaiting Trial Block on the hill, now demolished, in December 1956, before being transferred to Pretoria, for the remainder of the lengthy Treason Trial. Two permanent exhibitions at Constitution Hill focus on the lives of two of the greatest souls in the world – Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi – both of whom called Johannesburg home. And in August 1962, he spent a few weeks in the Old Fort hospital. He wasn’t ill, but he was kept there because of his status, and possibly because it was believed that he could more easily escape from No 4 jail on the hill, where all black male prisoners were kept. As soon as the visitors left, the long trousers were exchanged for short ones, and the men were given hammers again, to sit and crush rocks mindlessly. Mandela is quoted on the walls of the exhibition as saying: “The spirit of Gandhi may well be a key to human survival in the 21st century.” The hospital and letters But Mandela dispelled all speculation about a possible escape. “To reach it one had to pass through two impregnable walls, each with armed guards; and once inside, four massive gates had to be unlocked before one even reached the area where I was kept,” he writes. “There was speculation in the press that the movement was going to attempt to rescue me, and the authorities were doing their utmost to prevent it.” “While the hospital was indeed comfortable – I was able to sleep in a proper bed, something I had never done before in prison – the real reason for his [Colonel Minnaar] generosity was that the hospital was the safest place to keep me,” recounts Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom. A stack of wooden boxes is a small sample of the 76 boxes that were used to hold the 76 000 pieces of correspondence between Mandela and the prison authorities. He frequently wrote letters on behalf of his fellow inmates protesting against the petty regulations of disallowing books to study, or complained about the quality of the food. One letter of complaint runs to 25 pages. Some of the letters were written in Afrikaans, an effort to appeal to the prison bosses whose mother tongue was Afrikaans. Constitution Hill has another permanent exhibition visitors can take in. The exhibition, entitled “Gandhi: prisoner of conscience”, opened in October 2006, off the courtyard of No 4 prison, in the former visitors’ centre. Pictures of Mandela’s cell on Robben Island are displayed, showing a neat and orderly space, with bookshelves, a desk and a bed. The famous National Geographic photograph of the naked, smiling Andamanese woman is on display at the exhibition. It had been framed for him by his fellow inmates, in particular Mac Maharaj, using carefully cut pieces of cardboard as a makeshift frame. On his release, National Geographic sent Mandela a copy of the original photograph. In October 1962, he was sentenced to five years on Robben Island for inciting workers to strike, and for leaving the country without a passport. He had been on the run for 17 months as the Black Pimpernel, and had been arrested earlier in 1962 near Howick in KwaZulu-Natal. In 1964, he was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island in the Rivonia Trial. He was released in February 1990.center_img At first Mandela is not visible – he was apparently hiding behind a bush – but then the camera zooms in on him. He stands impassively, his lips tight and unsmiling, staring ahead, bursting with anger. The room in the Old Fort that was used as the hospital is about the size of two small garages alongside one another. It has tall ceilings – almost four metres high – and a row of covered windows along its southern wall. Its wooden floor is well worn; its grey, patchy walls have not been painted for many years. 26 February 2009 Two videos run constantly. The first one, filmed in April 1977, some 13 years into Mandela’s life sentence on Robben Island, records an official visit in which the prison authorities invited the foreign press to visit the island, to see for themselves the conditions under which the prisoners were being held. It records several prisoners with spades, clearing weeds from a gravel path. Two videos Gandhi said of his experiences in South Africa: “Truly speaking, it was after I went to South Africa that I became what I am now. My love for South Africa and my concern for her problems are no less than for India.” Two great 20th century fighters for the rights of the oppressed – a good reason to visit Constitution Hill. The exhibition focuses on the years he spent in Johannesburg, from 1902 until 1914, when he left South Africa at the age of 46. During this time, he was transformed from a shy lawyer into an extraordinary leader of international stature. Gandhi formulated and refined his Satyagraha or passive resistance philosophy while living and working in Joburg. The other video, from December 2003, shows Mandela arriving at the newly built Constitutional Court, built below the Old Fort, and being welcomed by the then chief justice of the court, Arthur Chaskalson. He is asked to sign a copy of the Bill of Rights, and is told about the signing of the three words, “Freedom, dignity and equality”, by the judges in concrete above the court door. He is given a gift of a brick from the demolished Awaiting Trial Block, where he spent time. Large folio books meticulously record every letter written by and sent to Mandela. One of his letters, dated October 1989, just a few months before he was released, is displayed. It is written to his grandchild, and he signed it: “A million kisses and tons and tons of love, Grandpa.” In a postscript he says he should have used “Darling” in the salutation instead of “Dear”, saying he only thought of this when he was signing off the letter. Mandela is wearing long khaki trousers and a shirt, with a small hat on his head. The issue of long versus short trousers was a cause of conflict between prisoners and prison authorities. Mature men like Mandela and others were at first given short trousers to wear, in an effort to humiliate them. Mandela fought this ruling vehemently and eventually won. Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Marikana inquiry to be ‘fearless, fair’

first_img2 October 2012 The Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana tragedy owed it to the people of South Africa to do its work as expeditiously as possible without fear or favour, Commission chairperson and retired judge Ian Farlam said at the start of the inquiry in Rustenburg on Monday. “Our country weeps at this tragedy, and we owe it to our country and those concerned that we do our work as expeditious as possible,” Farlam said.Four months to report The inquiry, which is set to begin its formal hearings on Wednesday, has been given four months to furnish South Africans with details of what led to the deaths of 45 people at Marikana near Rustenburg in the country’s North West province in what started as a wage strike by Lonmin platinum mine workers. On 16 August, police shot and killed 34 miners who had engaged on wild-cat strikes in Marikana. Days before that, 10 people, including two police officers, died during clashes between rival unions. The commission, appointed by President Jacob Zuma to probe the death of 45 people, including 34 striking miners, in Marikana, North West province in August, began its work at the Rustenburg Civic Centre by reading the names of each of the deceased. Legal representatives introduced A minute’s silence was then observed. This was followed by the introduction of the evidence leaders and legal representatives appearing for the different parties. These include advocates Mbuyiseli Madlanga and Charles Wesley. Veteran lawyer George Bizo will be appearing on behalf of what he called “the Constitution” of South Africa, and was being instructed by the Legal Resource Centre. Advocate Dali Mpofu is appearing for the 270 miners who were arrested as well as those injured during the confrontation with the police, while Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza is representing the 20 families of the deceased. Appearing on behalf of the police and the Mineral Resources Department are advocates I Semenya and Sipho Matebula respectively.Commission shown Marikana scene Later on Monday, the commission re-lived the tragedy as it combed the scene of the August 16 shooting, with crime scene experts from the South African Police Service leading Farlam, his commissioners and a sea of journalists to different spots where bodies had been found. At least 16 bodies were found lying between five and seven metres from each other near cattle kraals about 100 metres from the Marikana informal settlement. This is also the place where a number of R5 rifles, shotguns and pistol cartridges were found, said Warrant Officer Patrick Thamae. The majority of bodies were found on a nearby koppie, metres from the informal settlements. Photographers shouted at each other as they battled to get the best shot of Farlam and his team manoeuvring through the small spaces in between the stones. The yellow markings on the stones with letters A to J were an indication of 10 miners who died there. The markings on the stones, as pointed out by the crime scene experts, could point to evidence that some died while trying to hide in between the rocks in the koppies. There were also several white markings, which according to police were marks of bullet strikes. Expected to be a tough inquiry Witnesses were allowed to point out scenes that they thought were relevant to the inquiry. The loco inspection was expected to continue on Tuesday, with other suggested places to visit including the Lonmin mine and the informal settlements where some miners lived. Farlam was cautious not to allow journalists to ask questions that might jeopardise the investigation make insinuations regarding what might have taken place in Marikana. That was the job of the commission, he signaled. The commission has divided its investigation into four themes, with the first theme covering the period leading to 9 August and after 16 August. It will also probe the employer, in this case Lonmin, and whether the company’s attitude and policies did not contribute to the tragedy. Another investigation will focus on the actions of the different trade unions, while another investigation will focus on the conduct of certain government departments including the police, the Mineral Resources and Labour Departments. It is expected to be a tough inquiry, with some suggesting that the four months given may not be enough to unearth all the facts surrounding the massacre. But Farlam on Monday stressed the importance of speed as the commissioners carried out their work, saying the country was awaiting its findings. Earlier in the day, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza asked Farlam to delay the start of the hearings for two weeks to allow grieving relatives, mostly from the Eastern Cape and Lesotho, to attend the proceedings. Ntsebeza also claimed that his team was not ready as there was still outstanding documentation critical to his preparation for the inquiry. After a short adjournment, Farlam rejected the request to postpone the inquiry. It also emerged that the Department of Social Development was in the process of assisting affected parties and family members to attend the hearings. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Updated: More than 2000 flights canceled as Hurricane Florence arrives

first_imgPhoto: NASA Hurricane Florence has already been a major contributor to more than 2000 flight cancellations across the US as it delivers pounding rain and strong winds to the mid-Atlantic states.The downgraded category 1 hurricane started pummeling the Carolinas Thursday (US time), leaving hundreds of thousands without power amid warnings of dangerous storm surges and flooding.It made landfall Friday morning near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and was moving slowly westward.Storm surges of 10ft above normal levels had been reported by 11pm Eastern Time Thursday and remained a worry in some areas Friday.The biggest concern, however, was flooding triggered by heavy rainfall of up to 40 inches (10cms) in some areas.Doppler radar indicated winds near 70mph (110kmh) Friday with higher gusts and the storm had been further downgraded to tropical storm.“Gradual weakening is expected tonight,” the US National Hurricane Center said in its 5pm Friday update. “Significant weakening is forecast over the weekend and into early next week while Florence moves farther inland.”US airlines began the arduous process of canceling flights before the hurricane, initially feared to reach the US as a monster category 4 storm, arrived.SEE More pictures of Florence from space.Initial expectations were that it could affect flights into Charleston International. Officials at the South Carolina airport closed Charleston to all air traffic Wednesday evening, September 12. Closures were also announced for Fayetteville, Jacksonville and Wilmington.Florence also triggered cancellations at a far busier North Carolina airport: Charlotte-Douglas International (CLT).According to CLT, the North Carolina airfield is the sixth busiest airport in the world offering more than 160 nonstop destinations around the globe.CLT oversees more than 700 departures and landings each day and is served by seven domestic carriers and three foreign flag carriers.The airport is also American Airlines’ second largest hub and the second largest airport on the East Coast. What happens at Charlotte has a ripple effect throughout AA’s system.American said on Thursday it had canceled 820  flights from September 12  to September 16.The US Federal Aviation Administration late Wednesday issued advice to travelers warning of cancelations and delays in the direct path of the storm as well as in its aftermath.“Once Hurricane Florence makes ground fall, airports may be listed as “open” but flooding on local roadways may limit access to airports for passengers, as well as the employees who work for the airlines or at the airport,” it said.“As a result, every aspect of your trip to the airport, including parking, checking in, getting through security and boarding may take longer than usual.“As always, check with airlines about the status of your flight before you leave for the airport.” Major carriers provide flight status updates on their website.”Just how long the disruption will be is up to the extent of the havoc Florence sews in her devasting journey along the United States’ Middle Atlantic coastline.Here are websites for major US airlines:Southwest AirlinesDelta AirlinesUnited AirlinesAmerican AirlinesJetBlueAlaskaSpiritFrontierAllegiantlast_img read more

Google’s New iPhone App Shows That Search Is Still King

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… The start screen is now the same as on the iPad app. It is the classic Google search box reimagined for the touchscreen. It’s just a plain, off-white background, the iconic Google name (and even a mobile-friendly version of the day’s Google Doodle), and three other buttons: “Apps,” “Voice” and “Goggles.” Voice search lets you speak your query aloud, and it’s impressively accurate. Goggles lets you search visually using the camera. It recognizes text and objects, and it’s learning more over time.The “Apps” section is a launcher for all the various Google Web apps, which is probably why this app is so good. Google’s other native iOS apps, like Gmail, Translate and especially Voice are weird, hobbled versions of what Google’s Web apps can do in the browser. Google+ was, too, until its recent redesign, which is pretty but still slow and lacking features. The main Google app for iOS has always been fast, pretty and rock-solid. You get the impression that Google wants users to do all their Googling inside it. For most people, “Googling” means searching, and Google for iOS is almost a better search experience than the desktop. The iPhone now has the benefit of the full-bleed, high-resolution image search and the tappable, swipe-able panels for additional, rich information, which we’ve had in the iPad version since its update in November.Google clearly wants this app to be nothing less than the primary way iPhone users look for anything. It’s much faster to get a result from this app than from opening Safari and tapping the search box. As long as you’re loading Google pages, it just feels impossibly fast. That’s because Google is constantly preloading things in the background. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Tags:#Google#web jon mitchell “I think touch screens are going to really proliferate. I think you’re going to have a lot of touch surfaces in a lot of places, and it’s going to be interesting to see how people interact with multiple modes of info.”– Google Search lead designer Jon WileyBut the best is yet to come to this app. Last week, Google launched the Knowledge Graph, a new layer of information on top of search that pulls together information about the thing you’re searching for right on the page, instead of just listing Web results for it. It already works on the mobile Web version, so if you search in mobile Safari, you’ll see facts and background information there for certain searches.Google’s Johanna Wright told ReadWriteWeb that those features are coming to the native search apps as well. The Google iOS app is becoming the fastest, best-organized gateway to everything Google does on mobile. Everything except Google+, that is. Despite a shiny redesign this month, Google’s “social layer” still doesn’t get as much attention as search, which is Google’s crown jewel. Google updated its search app for iPhone today with a complete redesign that makes it more like the iPad version. This was already Google’s best iOS experience by far, and now it’s faster, more attractive, and consistent across devices. This month, it looks like search is back in the driver’s seat at Google.last_img read more

Why You Can’t Escape Social Media Marketing Any More

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair brian proffitt Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#enterprise#marketing#social networks Related Posts center_img As the business of social media continues to grow, social media tools – and the marketers who use them – are expanding their reach into nearly every social media network they can find. Thursday, HootSuite, one of the better-known social media management tools, added four additional social media networks to its library of social media channels.If you’re using HootSuite, you now have access to post to photo-sharing app Instagram, presentation-focused SlideShare, document-focused edocr, and engagement app Zuum.Social Media Arms RaceThe addition of the new networks gives HootSuite more ammunition in its ongoing battle with similar platforms like TweetDeck and Seesmic. But for Mark Holder, HootSuite’s director of integration programs, it’s not about some sort of arms race for social media channels, which he calls “apps.”“I wouldn’t say that it’s about who has the most apps,” Holder told me. “Of course you need to have the core important apps in there — Twitter, Facebook and the like – but for us, it’s about helping our users better engage with social media for their business.”Social Media Marketing Is Big BusinessSocial media marketing is no longer a trivial business. HootSuite has a reported 4+ million users who monitor and contribute to multiple social media services. Inbound marketing, which is the business-friendly term for using social media as a marketing tool, has become a standard element of almost all business marketing plans.Inbound marketing is no small potatoes, either. Some experts recommend that every business should allot some $115,000 to $200,000 annually just to social media management. With all of that money floating around, it’s little wonder that software vendors are fighting to dominate this market.One Network Still MissingThis business focus might be a reason why there’s one particularly noticeable absence from the HootSuite collection of apps: Google Plus. Although HootSuite has been integrated with Google Plus Pages since last November, users still don’t have the capability to manage general Google Plus accounts from HootSuite.It’s a line of thought that Holder doesn’t agree with, insisting that Google Plus is on the HootSuite map.“We’re currently working with their teams to intregrate Google Plus,” Holder said. “We just can’t provide a certain date.”Where Will the Marketers Head Next?If anything, the decision to include Google Plus Pages before standard Google Plus accounts makes sense, since it is businesses and power social media mavens who typically use Pages within Google’s social platform. It confirms that HootSuite’s focus, and indeed the focus of many social media software firms, is right where the money is.If that’s the case, then look out for more marketing efforts on Instagram, SlideShare and the rest of the apps in HootSuite’s collection. If HootSuite is reading the social media tea leaves right, those services are where the inbound marketers are heading next. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

[Infographic] The 1,000-Year Evolution of Speech and Voice Recognition

first_imgRelated Posts Infographic courtesy of Wavelink, which does voice recognition in the warehouse picking industry. The company was recently acquired by LANDesk. Tags:#voice#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… fredric paul Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market From the Brazen Head to Apple’s Siri, voice and speech recognition has come a long way. Check out the significant developments along the way.  Perhaps the most important advancement was 1978’s Speak & Spell from Texas Instruments, which made the concept fun and familiar for millions of children – some of whom might have gone on to create modern voice applications.The only downside – those dreadful voice-controlled phone systems big corporations rely on to avoid paying humans to answer your calls. While they may work fine most of the time, if you do have a problem it always seems to result in an endless loop that requires you to hang up and start over.last_img read more

How Cybersleuths Took Down Spam King Grum

first_imgRelated Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… dan rowinski 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Tags:#security#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Governments, researchers and private companies are working overtime to root out spam from the Internet. Today brings good news: Grum, a botnet responsible for 18% of all spam, is no more. Here’s how a team of crack cybersleuths took down the world’s third-largest spammer.The search-and-destroy stories that surface when a spam botnet is taken down are some of the juiciest to be found in any medium. Botnet takedowns have all the elements of a great plot: a global villain, exotic locales, despicable offenses, dedicated heroes who strive for the good of humanity, and a mystery that takes many steps to uncover. It is “Dick Tracy” meets “Hackers.”Grum was a devious mist of a network with no obvious central structure. The face of a botnet like Grum is a distributed sub-network of command-and-control (CnC) servers. These machines direct an army of zombie underlings, ordinary personal computers that have been infected with malware that takes orders from CnC to churn out spam. Grum marshaled at least 120,000 spam-spewing zombies, according to Spamhaus. The actual number of zombies in the network could have been a lot more.Grum has been in existence for at least four years, an impressive lifespan for a botnet, according to Atif Mushtaq, senior staff scientist at security company FireEye. Mushtaq, along with Carel van Straten and Thomas Morrison from Spamhaus and Alex Kuzmin from CERT-GIB, tracked down the botnet. An anonymous security researcher who goes by the name Nova7 also helped track down the spammers. Their mission was to discover the CnC servers and systematically take them offline. By tracking IP addresses, FireEye and other researchers were able to track Grum to a central CnC location in the Netherlands. The team sent abuse notifications to the Dutch authorities telling them to cut off access to the servers through its Internet Service Provider (ISP). Authorities in the Netherlands acted fairly quickly and Grum’s primary hub was taken down.But Grum was not so easily stopped. Like Hercules battling the Lernaean Hydra, the team cut off one head only to watch two grow in its place. Its Dutch head having been decapitated, the botnet moved its resources to secondary servers in Panama and Ukraine. These servers were more difficult to deal with because ISPs in those countries often look the other way, making them notorious safe havens for botnets. “Shutting down any servers there has never been easy,” Mushtaq said.The sleuths applied pressure until the ISP hosting Grum in Panama shut off access to the botnet. It was a big success for the research team, but the battle was not yet over. “After seeing the Panamanian server had been shut down, the bot herders moved quickly and started pointing the rest of the CnCs to new secondary servers in Ukraine,” Mushtaq wrote. “I was thinking that all we needed was to take down one Russian server, but right in front of my eyes, the bot herders started pointing their botnet to new destinations. I must say, for a moment, I was stunned. The bot herders replaced the two Dutch servers with six new servers located in Ukraine.”Mushtaq passed this information to the other researchers who then pressured their contacts in Ukraine and Russia to take down these servers. By 11:00 a.m. PST on July 18th, the servers had been taken offline and the battle to destroy Grum was won.The Battle Against BotnetsFor a long while, the primary agents against botnets were governments. These entities could use their power to force ISPs to sever access to CnCs that control the zombie armies. But governments are often not well equipped to do so. Moreover, they act slowly and do not always prioritize campaigns against botnets.That has changed. In the last several years, the fighting of botnets has become a private-sector effort, with researchers such as those at FireEye leading the charge. Microsoft has also entered the fray. In July 2011, Microsoft offered $250,000 for information leading to the capture and conviction of the individuals responsible for Rustock. This makes sense: Microsoft’s Windows operating system is the most installed computer software in the world. Malicious hackers who launch botnet malware have historically focused on Windows for this reason. It behooves Microsoft to be as proactive as possible in helping track down the people responsible.“Traditionally, government entities monitored and pursued these entities,” said Kapil Raina of cloud security company Zscaler, “but now we are starting to see a dramatic shift in the private-sector community directly getting involved to protect end users. In the short term, this will be very beneficial for consumers, but longer-term implications of legal policy and enforcement have yet to be sorted out.”With the destruction of Grum, the globe will see an immediate drop in spam. How long that lasts will depend on how diligently the private security community presses its offensive against botnets.last_img read more

How to Use Right Inbox to Supercharge Your Gmail

first_imgRelated Posts We spend a lot of time on email. A lot. Managers, professionals, and other high-skill workers spend, on average 28% of their working week managing their inbox. But there will always be more corporate innovation.For argument’s sake, let’s say it was possible to get all your emails out the way in one batch at the start of a week. Assuming you work a 40-hour week, from 9-5, it’d take you from first thing on Monday until just before noon on Tuesday to finish.That’s an obscene amount of resources being directed towards a single task. Wouldn’t it be good if there was some way to streamline your email communications? That’s where Right Inbox (website and app) for Gmail comes in.Why Use an Email System?Right Inbox saves you time on repetitive tasks and helps you to send better emails, in less time consistently.Once you install the Right Inbox app – a process that takes about 30 seconds – you’ll immediately see two new rows of time-saving, productivity-improving tools when you start writing a message:Using the app called the “Right Inbox App.”At the top of the message window, right below the subject line, you’ll find a variety of features designed to soup up your conversational skills. Switch signatures, insert a templated message, set up an email sequence, or add a GIF at the click of a button.Below are all your scheduling options, plus features that allow you to sync with your preferred CRM platform, add private notes to your messages, and set up reminders.What Features Does It Offer?Gmail is the world’s most popular free email service. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. And here are some email tactics to get you clicks.1.    Time zone support for scheduling emailsWhether you’re an email marketer, a freelancer, or working in business development, there’s a good chance you’ll be speaking to clients, prospects, and service providers across numerous different states, territories, and even countries.That can cause a real headache when it comes to email scheduling. You might want an email to arrive in a prospect’s inbox at 9:30 am on Tuesday, but your 9:30 am isn’t the same as theirs.Typically, the only way to resolve this is by Googling time differences and doing a little mental arithmetic. But many scheduling systems are moving in this direction. If not, think, ‘they’re three hours ahead, so my 9:30 am is their 12:30 pm.”schedulingJust search for your contact’s timezone, and it’ll do the hard work for you.2.    Save your most effective emailsAnyone who works in sales and marketing knows that some emails work better than others.Maybe it was the subject line or the snappy intro. Perhaps it was the eye-catching statistic you included in the body copy. Either way, if it was useful, chances are you’ll want to use it again.Right Inbox lets you save your favorite templates and access them instantly:You can set different templates for different types of messages.After all, not every email you send will be going to the same sort of person, nor will they all be about the same subject.3.    Set up email sequences to automatically chase non-respondersSick of manually keeping track of who has and hasn’t responded to your latest marketing communication or sales pitch? Wish you didn’t have to chase up every single person who didn’t reply?Those subsequent messages will be sent without any further action on your part – unless you receive a reply to the original message, in which case the follow-ups are automatically canceled.Use this feature in tandem with templates to easily search for and add your best follow-ups to your email sequence.4.    Sync key email threads with your CRM toolAdding relevant email threads and information to your CRM system of choice doesn’t have to be time-consuming or frustrating.Just click the sync button at the bottom of the message window to copy your most important threads to the CRM platform of your choice.Add relevant email threads to your CRM system.Right Inbox works with all the most common CRM tools, plus every other CRM system that supports smart BCC email sync.Alternatively, you can set emails to sync automatically and only check the checkbox when you don’t want a thread to be synced.5.    Schedule recurring emails to auto-sendYou want to dedicate your time to the emails that require real thought and expertise, not simple reminders that need to be sent at the same time every week or month. You should set-up easily recurring emails.Whether you need to remind freelancers to send their invoices, chase up colleagues about meeting agendas, or prompt yourself to stick to a new habit — set simple emails to run on autopilot. Now you can add genuine value elsewhere.Set simple emails to run on autopilot. What Does It Cost?Install whatever app you are going to be using. Many apps are free of charge, but with monthly caps.Alternatively, if you prefer a life with no limits, take out a monthly subscription – or sign up for a year to receive a 25% discount. Teams enjoy a discount of $1 per user versus the standard price for individuals.Find a way to make your email more comfortable to take care of at the level demanded by today’s consumers. Give it a try if you’re ready to supercharge the way you use Gmail. David Campbell A Review of Instagram Marketing by Matthew Lucas CEOs in Troubled Waters (with Myriam Joire from… Uber vs Lyft: Battling for Supremacy 4 Ways You Can Make Your Workplace an Engine of…last_img read more