Israeli Defense Force Responds To Criticism Of Games On Its War Blog

first_imgThis is the meat of the IDF’s explanation:“In no way is ‘IDF Ranks’ meant to gamify Operation Pillar of Defense or any military actions during the operation. We embarked on the operation for serious reasons – Israeli civilians have been the target of rocket fire for over a decade – and we continue to see it with the utmost seriousness.”I take that response very seriously. But I’m genuinely surprised that the decision to turn IDF Ranks back on did not strike anyone as unserious. As I’ve tried repeatedly to make clear, I thought the initial social media campaign was quite seriously executed. It was well done. It captivated the media and steered the conversation. Then the game knocked it off the rails. “The IDF blog itself was launched in 2009 and is not a ‘war blog,’ but rather a site meant to encourage transparency and provide breaking news regarding events in the area,” the IDF says.Surely that was the original intent, but that changed on Thursday when it became a live blog for an ongoing attack. And again, just to be clear to critics, I did not find that practice inherently problematic. I found it interesting and mostly successful.“During Operation Pillar of Defense we provide our readers with news updates and operational information regarding IDF actions. In other times, though, the blog has hosted varying content, from reports about routine activities to more lighthearted personal stories. It is this content that ‘IDF Ranks’ was meant to promote.”Yes, I’m sure it was, but the IDF turned the game off at the outset of Operation Pillar of Defense, and then it turned the game back on. When asked why this happened, the IDF offered this explanation:“Over the past two days the blog has experienced technical difficulties due to high traffic, and ‘IDF Ranks’ was temporarily taken down to make necessary adjustments to our systems.”I was on top of the live-blog story very early, and I never saw a trace of any game components until 36 hours or so after the campaign began. It’s plausible that the IDF took it down for traffic reasons at a very low level of traffic, but, if I may editorialize just a little, I’m suspicious of the answer.I followed up to ask why the game was turned back on and got this response.“We turned it on because it is an integral part of the blog and has been for four months. After the site was briefly down because of the spike in traffic, we isolated it as a potential factor and, once we rectified the technical difficulties, brought it back up again.”If you say so. Whether this is the entire explanation or not, we can certainly conclude that running a fun game on a live blog about serious military action wasn’t troubling to the decision-makers at the IDF. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos jon mitchell Related Posts The Israeli Defense Force spokespeople behind the IDF Blog, the @IDFSpokesperson Twitter feed, and the rest of the Operation Pillar of Defense social media campaign were quick and forthcoming in response to my inquiries about the light-hearted game that took over the gravely serious blog yesterday. I included some of the IDF comments in yesterday’s story but I want to look more closely at the rest of their messages.The IDF spokesperson who responded to me explained that “[t]he game ‘IDF Ranks’ was conceived and launched four months ago … as part of our efforts to create a interactive community to encourage social interaction generated by the IDF social networks online.” Basically, it gives you badges and ranks for actively using and sharing the stuff on the blog. Not very fun, but not a big deal.center_img A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#War Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

Your Criticism Should Be Aimed at the Lazy

first_imgIt’s popular to rail against the social media figures that suggest that you should hustle and grind. Some find the idea of people working too much, too hard, and for too long to be bad advice, suggesting life is more than constant work. You will be warned to put your relationships before work, an idea with which I mostly agree, but not if your laziness prevents you from taking care of the people who make up those relationships.The criticism about people hustling and grinding applies to a small percentage of the overall population, with very few of them working themselves to death, or even to the point of burnout. The better criticism and unsolicited advice would be better directed towards those who are lazy, doing too little, with too little energy, and who avoid work.Unwilling to WorkWhen you are born, other people take care of you, making you a dependent. As you grow up, those people have to help make you independent—and you must become a self-sustaining, productive human being, as defined by whatever you believe those words mean. Choosing to be lazy is to violate the laws of nature.Nature requires you to expend effort to provide for your needs, like food, water, shelter, transportation, a Netflix membership, and excellent internet bandwidth. Nature doesn’t care whether you believe you should have to provide for yourself or not, and reality doesn’t mind hurting your feelings, nor does it care whether or not you suffer.If you like, you can choose to be unwilling to work (and it is a choice). You can choose to be idle, becoming less, doing less, having less, and contributing less. However, that is not what you were made for; you were made to exert effort, to create something useful to other people, to work.You might also put comfort, distraction, and entertainment before work, allowing it to crowd out what you should be doing, as well as taking your mind off the fact that you are procrastinating. What prevents laziness is your ability to will yourself to work, or self-discipline, or what I call “me management,” as those who cannot manage themselves end up with difficulties that multiply over time.If there is criticism to be directed at individuals about work, that critique should be for those who do too little—not that those whom some may believe do too much. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Yuvraj Singh’s surprise comeback to T20 squad

first_imgFlamboyant left-hander Yuvraj Singh, who has recovered from cancer, made a surprise comeback on Wednesday to India’s 30-member preliminary squad for the Twenty20 World Cup beginning in Sri Lanka September 18.The Man of the Series of the ODI World Cup in India was diagnosed with a rare germ cell cancer and underwent chemotherapy treatment at the Cancer Research Institute in Boston.Since then Yuvraj has made giant strides towards regaining full fitness by training at Bangalore’s National Cricket Academy.”I think a guy who has won the World Cup for us deserves to come back,” chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth had stated.Out of favour off-spinner Harbhajan Singh too makes a comeback to the side. Another surprise pick was medium-pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji, who last played an international match in 2009 against Sri Lanka.Balaji, who has not played any T20 for the national squad, was rewarded for his consistent performance for the Kolkata Knight Riders in fifth edition of the Indian Premier League.Mandeep Singh, former captain of the India under-19 team too received a call-up for his good showing for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Naman Ojha and Ambati Rayudu too have been included owing to their good performance this season in the IPL. Regulars like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli are all in the squad.Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, R. Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Mandeep Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Naman Ojha, Dinesh Karthik, Praveen Kumar, Lakshmipathy Balajiadvertisementlast_img read more

LaMetrics flashy LED light panels are now available for preorder

first_img Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected Enlarge ImageLametric’s new color-changing LED wall panels are now available for preorder, and expected to ship by the end of this year. LaMetric Nanoleaf proved that there’s room for cloud-connected, color-changing LED lights on the walls of today’s smart homes, and it wasn’t long before Lifx followed suit with color-changing Lifx tiles of its own. Today, player three enters the game, with the mosaic-like LaMetric Sky now available for preorder.16-like-counter-lametric-skyEnlarge ImageArrange the LaMetric Sky panels into a rectangle, and you’ll be able to use them to display notifications and social media counts. LaMetric Early-bird pricing ranges from $172 for a four-panel starter kit (25% off of the expected retail price of $229) to $576 for a starter kit with the maximum allowable 16 panels (that’s 30% off of the expected retail price of $823).First spotted this past January at CES, the triangular Sky light panels are the second smart home offering from LaMetric, a 6-year-old startup based out of Ukraine. With 32 triangular zones of light on each panel, the things are capable of displaying intricate designs and animations. Arrange your panels into a rectangular shape, and you’ll also be able to automate them to display pixel-based icons and text notifications from social media or other third-party services — the same approach taken by the company’s first gadget, the LaMetric Time.  7 Photos LaMetric’s pixelated LED wall panels shine at CES 2019 The pixel aesthetic lets the panels display a custom code during setup, too. You’ll scan that visual code with your phone’s camera to pair them with the LaMetric app. From there, you can sync them up with Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant to turn them on and off, adjust the brightness or trigger your favorite scenes using voice commands. 14-sunset-integration-with-time-lametric-skyLaMetric’s panels are a follow-up to the LaMetric Time (the desktop doodad beneath the computer monitor there). Arrange your panels into a rectangle, and you’ll be able to display the same custom text and icons as that device. LaMetric LaMetric’s panels are touch-sensitive, too — tap one once to change to the next effect, or tap it twice to turn the panel off.The segmented design also helps set LaMetric’s panels apart from Nanoleaf’s and Lifx’s. Nanoleaf’s panels, including a hexagon-shaped version due out later this year, can each only put out one color at a time — a sharp contrast with the 32 individual zones of light that you get with LaMetric.Meanwhile, you can use the Lifx app to fingerpaint on the 64 zones of light on each Lifx Tile, but the zones aren’t sectioned off from each other like LaMetric’s. As a result, the colors bleed together like tie-dye, which is less than ideal for displaying icons and formatted text. CNET Smart Home See All Post a comment Tags LaMetric also tells us that it’s updated the design since CES to allow users to connect panels side to side, corner to corner or corner to side via the cables hidden in the back. Lifx offers similar versatility, but the execution was a bit clumsy when we tested Lifx’s Tiles out.We’ll see if LaMetric manages a little better when the Sky panels arrive at the end of this year. Expect a full review from the walls of the CNET Smart Home when that time comes. Google Assistant Alexa Siri Apple HomeKit IFTTT Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house Aug 30 • iRobot Roomba S9 Plus vs. Neato Botvac D7 Connected 0 Smart Home Share your voice 1:38 reading • LaMetric’s flashy LED light panels are now available for preorder • Get a look at LaMetric’s gorgeous, color-changing wall lights Now playing: Watch this: CNET Smart Homelast_img read more

80 gold bars seized at Dhaka airport

first_imgGold bars recovered from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Thursday. Photo: Customs houseCustoms officials recovered 80 gold bars weighing 9.28-kg from a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport early Thursday.A team of customs officials raided the flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, BG-087, after it had landed at the airport from Kualalampur around 4:30 am, said customs inspector Ataul Islam.The team, led by deputy commissioner (customs) Fahmida Mehzabin found the gold bars worth Tk 46.80 million wrapped in black scotch tape under a seat, he added.No one was arrested in this connection, reports UNB.last_img read more

House Passes School Gun Violence Bill One Month After Florida School Shooting

first_img Share AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteSpeaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined from left by, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., meets with reporters following a GOP strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Rep. Rutherford, a former sheriff of Duval County, Fla., introduced a bill, the “STOP School Violence Act of 2018,” that would attempt to curb school violence by providing more training for school officials and local law enforcement to respond to mental health crises. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)The House overwhelmingly approved a bill to improve school safety Wednesday, the first gun-related action by Congress since the shooting that left 17 dead at a Florida high school.The bill authorizes $500 million over 10 years for grants to improve training and coordination between schools and local law enforcement and help identify signs of potential violence before they occur.Lawmakers approved the bill, 407-10. It now goes to the Senate, where a similar measure is being considered.House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the bill “provides a multi-layered approach” to identify threats so authorities can stop violence before it occurs.“Tragic violence has no place in our schools. Every American believes that,’” Ryan said. “This legislation will actually take concrete action to prevent that.”The vote came as the FBI announced it is doubling the number of supervisors assigned to review tips received from the public about possible threats of mass shootings or other violence.Deputy FBI Director David Bowdich told a Senate committee that the agency “could have and should have done more” to investigate information it received prior to the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.The FBI received at least two credible tips that the suspect in the Florida school shooting had a “desire to kill” and access to guns and could be plotting an attack, but agents failed to investigate.“While we will never know if any such investigative activity would have prevented this tragedy, we clearly should have done more,” Bowdich told the Senate Judiciary Committee.The Senate panel was considering a similar proposal to improve school safety, but a hearing Wednesday focused on law enforcement failures in Florida. Besides the FBI lapses, Broward County, Florida Sheriff Scott Israel has said his office received more than 20 calls about accused gunman Nikolas Cruz in the past few yearsSen. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the committee, noted that Israel declined an invitation to testify Wednesday, as did Michael Carroll, secretary of Florida’s Department of Children and Families.“By thumbing their noses at Congress, Sheriff Israel and Secretary Carroll have let the American people down and also the citizens of Florida they serve,” said Grassley, R-Iowa.Some Democratic lawmakers sought to expand the focus to include gun control. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said more and more families are being victimized by mass shootings since a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons she authored expired in 2004.“This Congress cannot continue to do nothing, because nothing means more lives are lost, including the youngest and the most vulnerable among us,” said Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary panel. “High school students are literally begging us to take action to get these guns off the streets and out of our schools.”As Feinstein spoke, hundreds of students were rallying outside the Capitol to urge stricter gun control laws. The rally was part of a nationwide school walkout to protest gun violence following the Florida attack. A larger rally is planned March 24.Chloe Appel, 15, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, held a sign that said, “Fix this before I text my mom from under a desk.” The high school student said she’s hopeful that Congress will enact gun control laws.“After today and after the next protest Congress will see how many people feel strongly about this so they will have to make a change,” she said.Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told the students that young people again are leading the nation, as they did during the civil rights and anti-war movements.“All across the country people are sick and tired of gun violence, and the time is now for all of us together to stand up to the NRA and pass common-sense gun legislation,” Sanders said.The FBI has acknowledged it mishandled separate tips related to Cruz, last September and again in January.“When we make mistakes, we will not hide them,” Bowdich said, vowing to work with Congress to correct mistakes and prevent similar tragedies.Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the FBI gets about 4,100 tips a day at its nationwide call centers with a staff of about 160 to handle them. More people should be dedicated to that task, Durbin said.President Donald Trump supports the school safety measure, one of two bills included in a modest White House plan released over the weekend to combat school shootings. The other bill would strengthen, but not expand, the federal background check system for gun purchases.The background checks bill has stalled in the Senate amid objections from some Republicans and concern by Democrats that it is insufficient. Without strong advocacy from the White House, an ambitious gun package appeared unlikely to even get off the ground, given most Republicans’ opposition to any new restrictions on gun rights.Ryan Petty, whose daughter, Alaina, was killed in the Parkland shooting, told senators that, “Nikolas Cruz and the deadly danger he posed were the worst-kept secrets in Parkland.”Petty, his voice shaking with emotion, called on lawmakers to follow the lead of Florida, which just passed legislation that raises the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21; extends a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases to include long guns; and bans bump stocks, which allow guns to mimic fully automatic fire.“Build on common ground,” Petty said.last_img read more