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With the development of science and technology, our devices – phones, tablets, cameras etc. – become more and more an integral part of our life. They are not just part of a lifestyle; they have become markers in our personality.

Imagine being on the move, and your phone battery drains out. Anyone who has witnessed such knows how demoralizing it feels being separated from your device. This has made having a reserve source of power a necessity. But with the amount and variety of power banks in the market, to look for power banks that fit you is a massive undertaking.

Here are a few pointers before you acquire a power bank.

1. Physical size

I feel this is one of the first things to look out for. I once had a power bank that was three times the size of my phone (an iPhone 5) and weighed just as much as it looked. The obvious problem I had was how to fit it in my pocket. So many times I had to leave the phone in my pocket and carry my power bank in my hand. It did not feel like the ideal way to manage my device.

That said, if you often move around with a purse, the size may be less of a concern for you, but you should also know that the physical size in most cases may not have anything to do with the capacity or strength of a power bank.

2. Number of charging ports

Obviously, the number of ports determine how many devices can charge at the same time. Basically, the more ports there are, the more devices it can charge simultaneously. Interestingly, this factor sometimes has an effect on the size. So if you want a power bank that fits seamlessly in your pocket, you may be looking for one with only one or two ports.

3. Voltage

When looking for a power bank, consider the voltage of utmost importance because, unlike other factors, this might pose a safety risk. The rule is quite straightforward: don’t buy a power bank with a voltage higher than your battery. So, for instance, a 5.5 V power bank for a 3.7 V battery may not be the best choice.

This is because if you charge your battery with a power bank that has higher voltage, it begins to swell and may even explode. Also, if you charge your battery with a power bank of lower voltage, it may never charge.

4. Capacity

The capacity measured in milliamp-hour, or “mAh,” is a key factor to knowing how much power it will use to charge your device and how often you will need to charge it.

Common capacity ratings are 2,000mAh to 15,000mAh, and in some cases as high as 40,000mAh. The higher the power, the more the times it can charge your device. While you look for power bank, you should consider how many devices you have and invariably the amount of capacity that might be required to fully charge your devices.

5. Price

This is almost always the factor that determines which of the other factors will be accommodated. With prices from $4 all the way up to $100, you are likely to find something within your budget. I will usually recommend one towards the upper end of your budget because cheaper may not always be better, and often what you pay for is what you get.

This, of course, is not an exhaustive list, but it is a very good starting point when looking for a power bank.

Afam Onyimadu

Afam is a writer with a passion for technology amongst many other fields. Aside from putting pen to paper, he is a passionate soccer lover, a dog breeder and enjoys playing the guitar and piano.

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What To Look For When Buying An E

Starting up in the e-commerce sector is a challenge because of market saturation, which is why many savvy business people opt to buy an already established e-commerce store

The exponential growth of the e-commerce sector cannot be argued with. The Office of National Statistics reported that the proportion of adults aged 65 and over who shop online trebled since 2023, rising 48% in 2023, a 32% increase on 2008. While the percentage among all adults who have bought goods or services online was 78% in 2023, and this is a figure set to grow further.

In less than a decade some of the largest e-commerce brands such as Amazon, eBay and Alibaba have grown to a colossal size and there is always scope for new brands to make their mark. Retail has changed for good due to the truly global nature of e-commerce. There are zero barriers or borders which gives e-commerce businesses plenty of opportunities, but also huge competition.

Starting up in the e-commerce sector is a challenge because of market saturation, which is why many savvy business people opt to buy an already established e-commerce store. Just make sure you are fully up to speed on all relevant e-commerce trends for this year, and beyond before taking this route.

Of course, there is a risk, as with all businesses, so you need to be 100% focused during the buying process and make the right decision when choosing your future business. There are many things you can do to improve sales to grow your e-commerce business but, first, here are five steps to buying the e-commerce store you want while mitigating risk and maximizing the chance of good returns.

1. Due diligence

Do your homework. Is there market demand for the business you’re looking at? Is there space for it to grow and your store to flourish? Competition is so high in this industry that you cannot afford to get it wrong so you need to do some in-depth analysis of competitors as well as your potential purchase.

Look at e-commerce businesses that have found their own niche market or niche product – this is where success is found as demand will be steady and competition much lower.  In addition, there are likely to be plenty of new innovations.

Check out potential investments technically. Look at the site from a completely unbiased and analytical viewpoint. How does the site rank? Check out its statistics using Alexa and SimilarWeb, but also go more in-depth and look at their Google Analytics as closely as possible.

Examine their traffic to see if there are any patterns and trends. This will allow you to assess whether there is scope for you to improve and build on their current position. Where there’s scope for growth, it is worth looking further into the business.

Do not forget to look closely for any supply chain issues, as this is key to the success of any e-commerce business. Look into existing business relationships, costs and lengths of contracts already in place. Anything that doesn’t seem legitimate or quite add up should be analyzed in closer detail.

Be sure to look under the hood of the website to see what is powering it, whether Shopify, Wix, WooCommerce, Weebly or one of the many others. There are also various e-commerce guides to help you get your head around the confusing ins and outs of e-commerce stores, such as this review of the ever-popular Shopify that includes pros and cons.

2. Post-purchase costs

The costs of your new e-commerce business do not stop with the sale price and you need to seriously consider the post-purchase cost of your new investment. The overall value of the transaction incorporates many other factors including branding, website maintenance, digital asset costs, supply chain, marketing investment and more.

Dependent on the current setup of your potential investment, you may only need to make small tweaks. But in other instances, you may want to fully overhaul the look and feel of the business, so this is something you have to factor in.

3. Digital intelligence

Is your potential new business a success online? Again, you must research the current outlook for your investment in terms of digital presence, as this will have a big impact.

How successful is their content strategy? Are they active across social media? What networks currently seem to work for them and where are they missing out? Again, you should be looking for successes but also places where you can grow and develop the business. Don’t forget to also examine at their conversion rates – are they converting traffic on their site into customers?

Most marketplaces where you can buy e-commerce stores provide verified traffic data and even revenues, giving you a clear picture of the store’s current position. Dig into their SEO and website analytics as you may be pleasantly surprised. If their SEO is poor then you have a big opportunity to improve things; if their SEO is working well then you’ll have more time to focus on growing the business in other ways.

You should also make sure to test the customer service of the store in its current state. Ring them, email them and use any additional messenger services and social media channels they may use for customer service. Customer service is a big indication of how well a business treats its customers and how well (or not) it trains and helps its staff. It’s also a big part when it comes to building customer trust.

Look where there may have been problems in the past and see if any negative feedback has been handled well. You don’t want to invest in a business that is already viewed in an extremely negative light.

Similarly, look at what they do well, how is their content creation? Do they engage well with their audience? These are things you can pick up and continue with. But, lastly and perhaps most importantly, look at how their checkout performs – what percentage of checkout processes end with an abandoned cart?  Find out why.

4. The legal stuff

Legal compliance is not the most interesting element of any purchase, but it is completely essential. You need to make sure you have the full legal rights to run the new business and are in the position to do so.

This includes ensuring you obtain the intellectual property necessary to continue operating the business after purchase. It is very easy to fall foul of intellectual property law over issues you may not even have considered.

Does the individual you’re buying from own the copyright to all imagery on the site? What trademarks are in place and can you purchase them legally? Be sure to ask every question necessary to get the full legal picture before agreeing to any purchase.

5. The financials

You will also need to check through any existing contracts the store has with external agencies, such as marketing companies and SEO agencies, and see if you are obliged to keep them on or there are break-out clauses or other provisions you can make use of.

You need to do the same when it comes to the company revenue and ensure everything adds up properly and there is nothing untoward before you get involved with the business.

Summing up

Buying a successful e-commerce store isn’t always possible but you can buy one which is well-positioned to grow and develop. With global sales revenues estimated to have reached $2.8 trillion, according to Statista, there may never be a better time to get involved in e-commerce.

What Might A Killerbot Arms Race Look Like?

When they appear on the horizon, the robots coming to kill you won’t necessarily look like warplanes. That’s limited, human-centric thinking, says Stuart Russell, a computer scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, and it only applies to today’s unmanned weapons. Predator and Reaper drones were built with remote pilots and traditional flight mechanics in mind, and armed with the typical weapons of air war–powerful missiles, as useful for destroying buildings and vehicles as personnel. Tomorrow’s nimbler, self-piloted armed bots won’t simply be updated tools for old-fashioned air strikes. They’ll be vectors for slaughter.

More likely, the lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) to come will show up in a cloud of thousands or more. Each robot will be small, cheap, and lightly armed, packing the bare minimum to end a single life at a time. Predicting the exact nature of these weapons is as macabre as it is speculative, but to illustrate how we should adjust our thinking on the subject of deploying autonomous robots on the battlefield, Russell offers two hypotheticals. “It would perhaps be able to fire miniature projectiles, just powerful enough to shoot someone through their eyeball,” he says. “It would be pretty easy to do that from 30 or 40 meters away. Or it could put a shaped charge directly on a person’s cranium. One gram of explosives is enough to blow a hole in sheet metal. That would probably be more than enough.”

Russell’s prediction is one of focused, efficient lethality. But to anthropomorphize this assault cloud, imagining it as a swarm of tiny, flying snipers or grenadiers, is another mistake. Russell estimates that, with enough iteration and innovation, the systems developed in a LAWS arms race could eventually be as cheap as $10 apiece. They would be closer to a plague of guided munitions than an automated fighting force, leaving a locust-like trail of inert, disposable components alongside their victims. Unleashing such a weapon on a city, with orders to kill anyone holding a weapon-like object, or simply every male within a given age group, would be too cheap, and too effective to resist. “No matter where this sort of arms race ends up, it becomes clear that humans don’t stand a chance.”

“Lethal autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms.”

The debate over autonomous weapons has typically centered on who, or what, is making the decision to kill. Human Rights Watch and other opponents of the technology have often warned that the benefits of allowing robots to choose their own targets—such as when distance or terrain interrupts communication links between operators and drones—make the fielding of such systems inevitable. Military personnel, meanwhile, insist that there’s no will for these machines, and that commanders will always want a human “in the loop,” giving the final order to attack a given target. But the defense industry is nonetheless moving towards this capability. The marketing language used by defense contractor BAE Systems to describe its in-development Taranis stealth drone includes the phrase, “full autonomy.”

And in his Nature article, Russell cites two DARPA projects whose aim is to significantly increase drone autonomy. The Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) project is developing methods for small unmanned systems to navigate themselves through cluttered environments, and the Collaborative Operations in Denied Environments (CODE) program is explicit about its interest in autonomous combat. “Just as wolves hunt in coordinated packs with minimal communication, multiple CODE-enabled unmanned aircraft would collaborate to find, track, identify and engage targets, all under the command of a single human mission supervisor,” said DARPA program manager Jean-Charles Lede in an agency press release earlier this year.

Despite the mention of a human supervisor, engaging targets is part of CODE, a program intended to deal with situations where unmanned vehicles may be forced to act autonomously. “They tend to put in a couple of fig leaf phrases, here and there, related to the man in the loop,” says Russell. “but I think they are interested. And I think without a ban, there will be an arms race, and they will be used.” In fact, he believes that LAWS have already been deployed. Israel’s Harop drone is designed to loiter over an area, searching for enemy radar sites. If it detects a given source of radiation, the system automatically crashes into it, detonating its warhead. “That seems to me to cross the line,” says Russell. “What it’s doing is possibly indiscriminate. And you could imagine Palestinians putting a radar system in a crowded school, to trick the Israelis into committing a war crime.”

But even if LAWS were to function perfectly, and could somehow cut through the fog of war to avoid large-scale friendly fire incidents, or full-blown, automated atrocities, they may share an important similarity with nukes. There’s no viable defense against the overwhelming destructive force of a nuclear attack. Russell argues that, once autonomous weapons have matured, they will be just as unstoppable, resurrecting the tenuous doomsday geopolitics of the Cold War’s nuclear standoff. If nations don’t start the complex process of defining and banning these systems, and preventing an escalation before it begins, he fears it’s only a matter of time before the clouds roll towards one city or another. “I imagine that people will come up with countermeasures,” says Russell. “Some kind of electromagnetic weapon, or they might send up their own cloud of counter-drones.” But if his analysis is right, and a LAWS arms races peaks at swarms that number in the millions targeting large populations, would anything be effective against what amounts to an autonomous weapon of mass destruction?

Russell laughs, a little too knowingly. “I feel like we don’t want to find out.”

What Does Financial Compatibility Look Like In A Relationship?

Financial compatibility is the measure of how well your income and spending habits match. Being financially compatible can help you avoid long-term financial trouble that prevents you and your partner from reaching your financial goals.

If you’re wondering whether you and your significant other are financially compatible, here are a few benchmarks to use.

You’re both getting rid of debt

Also read: Best ecommerce platform in 2023

You have the same financial goals

A financially-sound couple works towards achieving the same goals for their relationship. If you think buying a house should be the top priority while your partner thinks it’s better to spend money traveling more, you’re going to have a difficult time keeping your finances in check.

You’re supportive of each other’s income streams

There will be times in your relationship where one partner is carrying a heavier load when paying the bills than the other. In a good relationship, the scale will tip to either side at least once but will maintain some balance overall.

If you’re not willing or able to handle the additional burden of financially carrying the relationship temporarily, you could begin to feel like you’re taken for granted and build resentment.

Consequently, partners may start demanding the one earning less make some changes to their job situation to create more financial stability for the family, but this puts more stress on the lower earner.

If you’re both in stable careers, you may never face this issue. But suppose you’re in a relationship with someone with more dynamic finances, such as an entrepreneur or freelancer.

Also read: Top 10 Business Intelligence Tools of 2023

You talk about finances openly and often

Couples that hide their finances from one another will end up facing some harsh realities eventually. Don’t let the stigma of shame around money stop you from communicating with your partner about the family’s financial situation.

The relationships that last are built on trust, understanding, and a lack of judgment, so don’t be afraid to talk about your finances, both individual and shared, often.

You’ll begin to realize the undue stress you’ve put on yourself by keeping your money situation a secret and, instead, be able to ensure there are never feelings of resentment or betrayal.

You’re both willing to take on the same amount of risk

Also read: Blocked On Snapchat: Figure Out What-To-Do, The Fixes, and FAQs

The bottom line

In conclusion, when it comes to finances, a couple with the same goal-oriented mindset will have a much easier time paying off their debt, avoiding too much spending, and saving for the future.

If you and your partner have different financial goals, it’s time to start talking about your views on money and how they can be better aligned.

What Autism Can Look Like

While more information than ever is available about autism, there are still prevalent stereotypes: The “Rain Man” stereotype of the severely impacted person with savant skills, and the less severely impacted “Bill Gates” stereotype, a scientifically or mathematically brilliant person with limited social skills.

Autism expert Dr. Stephen Shore, who is on the autism spectrum himself, says, “Once you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” In other words, the elements that make up autism can be and are differently combined in every person on the spectrum. Here’s a great video that demonstrates what this means:

video

Other communication avenues are usually still available to him. He is still able to make gestures, nod, and shake his head. He can still write and draw. So to help give him time, the easiest thing for us is to simply wait the few seconds it takes for his speech center to kick back in. One method we use is the eight-second rule:

When my son experiences strong emotions, good or bad, the speech center of his brain stops working for a short time while it processes the emotion. If someone asks him a question during this moment, he will be unable to answer verbally. This can be a common occurrence in people on the autism spectrum. It doesn’t mean that they’re not paying attention or are being defiant, disrespectful, or uncooperative. For my son, it simply means that his brain needs more time to process a response.

Most students with autism will exhibit behaviors that don’t look like autism stereotypes and, instead, might look like misbehavior. But they are still autism behaviors. Below are kinds of behaviors which our son experienced in his classrooms and how we worked with his teachers to manage them.

My son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum in first grade. He’s now in sixth grade, and we have worked with his school over the years to support him and his teachers in understanding what autism can look like in him.

video

As each child’s response may be different, the best thing a teacher can do is talk with the child’s special education teacher and speech therapist to know how to best respond when this occurs.

Repetitive Body Movements

A very common hallmark of autism is “stimming,” a repetitive body movement like kicking a leg or twirling one’s hair. (Stimming can also be found in children without autism—here’s more information on different kinds of stimming.)

A child might use stimming for different reasons. Some children, like my son, use it as a calming strategy, often in response to sensory overload—bright lights, lots of movement, lots of sound, strange or intense smells, students brushing up against him in line.

Other children will stim as a means of increasing stimulus. This can be seen during quiet times in the classroom when a child is expected to sit still and listen. In this case the stim is used to stimulate the nervous system.

Stimming doesn’t mean that a student is bored or doesn’t want to be there. It isn’t an attention-getting device or a way to disrupt the lesson. His nervous system is driving the behavior—it’s not voluntary and is not always something he can control.

My son’s special education teacher used the phrase “unexpected behavior” as a code to help him to remember to manage his stims. When his stim might disturb students, our son’s IEP allowed that he could leave the classroom and go to a quiet space until he was ready to return.

One thing a teacher should never do is draw negative attention to a stim or try to publicly pressure or shame a student into stopping. This can increase anxiety and make the stimming worse. Trying to stop the stim outright can result in traumatic meltdowns.

Task Avoidance

Sometimes my son refuses to do classwork. Ninety-five percent of the time it’s not because he’s being defiant or intransigent, or “simply doesn’t want to do it”—it is because something else is going on. Understanding the underlying source of the behavior can be tricky and is often the cause of frustration for both teacher and student.  

Once my son suddenly refused to read an assigned book in class. After doing some digging, we discovered that the action in the story—the death of a parent and the subsequent resorting to thievery by the young protagonist—upset him so much that he was unable to focus on the reading. Our solution was to have the teacher give us summaries of upcoming reading to prepare him for story twists and emotional issues so that he would not be surprised and and would be better prepared for the emotional intensity.

Another time he completely stopped paying attention in his social studies class. After several weeks of struggling to get him to go to the class, we sat him down and talked about how he felt about going to the new classroom. By that time, he had processed and was able to describe what was bothering him. He told us that the classroom “smelled like stinky feet.” He was unable to focus with this overwhelming sensory input. We were able to work out a solution for him to stay in his home classroom for social studies.

Keys for Understanding Children With Autism

The takeaways from these examples can be applied with all children on the autism spectrum:

What Does Elon Musk’s Twitter Look Like For Digital Marketers?

Elon Musk became Twitter’s biggest shareholder on April 4 after acquiring a 9.1% stake in the company. An SEC filing shows he will serve as a Class II director until the company’s 2024 annual shareholder’s meeting.

This appointment, which is not a top-tier position on the board, also limits his stake to 14.9% or less of common stock during his tenure and for 90 days afterward.

The question now is this: What might the influence of Elon Musk mean for Twitter, and for the digital marketing landscape as a whole?

What Changes With Musk Invested & Involved With Twitter?

Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO last year, welcomed Musk to the board of directors, stating he believes Musk and current CEO Parag Agrawal “will be an incredible team.”

I’m really happy Elon is joining the Twitter board! He cares deeply about our world and Twitter’s role in it.

— jack⚡️ (@jack) April 5, 2023

Musk has already expressed new ideas for the platform, including adding an edit feature, which the company has been working on since last year, and calling crypto bots the “single most annoying problem” on the platform.

As the largest shareholder in the company, Musk will have a large role in determining the direction the company takes.

But as just one member of the 12-person board, he will have no responsibility for day-to-day operations or decisions.

This means while he has an outsized voice in the company’s future, he cannot unilaterally implement functionality changes or reverse policy decisions.

“This takes Musk full circle, from the founder of chúng tôi (which later became PayPal) back to the world of app communications – and maybe even payments. Twitter’s collection of patents is strong, with everything from tweeting to patents on semi-conductors,” says Loren Baker, founder of Search Engine Journal and Foundation Digital.

Twitter’s patent portfolio is over 1,400 innovations strong, the bulk of which are the result of acquisitions (just 280 applications were filed by Twitter itself).

“It’s unclear exactly where Musk fits in here but as with his solar and space endeavors, most of his projects and acquisitions become closely tied to Tesla,” Baker noted, adding that one obvious connection is with Twitter in the Tesla screens.

“But with trust in Google and Meta fading, I would not be surprised to see Musk go in more of a news and trends discovery direction at Twitter,” Baker said.

“Plus, every social media engine needs a face. Musk is a perfect replacement for Dorsey who has doubled down on fintec.”

Musk Has History with Twitter

Prior to acquiring shares in the company, Musk was known to use Twitter to gather and influence public opinion on the site.

On March 25, he polled his more than 80 million followers if they believed Twitter rigorously adhered to the principles of free speech.

When more than 70% replied no, he hinted that he was considering starting a new social media platform.

Criticisms of Twitter’s commitment to free speech were exacerbated by the platform’s January 8, 2023 banning of former President Donald Trump for repeated violations of company rules.

Additionally, Musk has expressed dissatisfaction with the way Twitter cracked down on his finance-related tweets, particularly his November 6, 2023 tweets in which he asked followers whether he should sell a portion of his Tesla stock.

The SEC has claimed it has legal authority to subpoena the Tesla CEO over these tweets and that his move to throw out a 2023 court agreement that his tweets be pre-approved is invalid.

“We could see some pretty fundamental changes in how Twitter works as a result of Musk’s deeper involvement,” says Miranda Miller, Sr. Managing Editor at Search Engine Journal.

“A few weeks ago, Musk tweeted at Jack Dorsey that Twitter’s algorithm should be open source, then followed it up with a poll that gathered over 1.1 million votes,” she notes.

— jack⚡️ (@jack) March 25, 2023

“Elon has also been a vocal critic of what he perceives as Twitter’s inaction on crypto scams and hindrance of free speech.

“On the other hand, he’s an innovator and proven successful in the online payments space. This could be good news for Twitter’s social commerce plans. It’s a place where they’ve historically struggled and we’re seeing in their launch of the Shop module that it’s a renewed area of focus,” she explains.

Twitter Shares Surge Following Announcement

Following the announcement, shares of Twitter, Inc. on the New York Stock Exchange soared by as much as 27%, from $39.30 to a high of $53.84.

It was the company’s biggest market gain since the company’s initial public offering in 2013. At the time of this writing, they were trading at $50.51.

Musk revealed his purchase on Monday, April 4, but a filing shows he began acquiring stock on January 31. His initial filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission was a 13G form, which suggests a passive investment.

However, on Tuesday, April 5, he filed a form 13D, which is more commonly used by activist investors.

Whether the initial spike in stock prices is a sign of overall public approval or not remains to be seen.

One thing is certain – Elon Musk has big plans for Twitter.

How much influence he has, which changes are implemented, and how this impacts digital marketing via the platform remain to be seen.

Featured image: Shutterstock/jtstockimage

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