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5 practical techniques to help get your message through…

Value: [rating=4]

Recommended link: Research from chúng tôi Blog

I remember reading a while ago in Tim O’Reilly’s book on Twitter marketing that most people most responses or tweets happen within 5 minutes of the original tweet – scary! Much worse than Email marketing where at least you have responses for hours rather than minutes.

I’m not sure companies using social networks realise this unless they’ve looked at specific social media marketing reporting tools like chúng tôi which give hourly reports. The reason is obvious, most people have so many sources they follow in their stream and if they don’t see the message while browsing their stream then it’s gone. Life is too short to browse your whole stream

To show how big this challenge is URL shortening service chúng tôi published some interesting research across different media. It’s useful too, since it shows the need for repetition of key messages through social media using the type of techniques at the end of the post.

Twitter = 2.8 hours

Facebook = 3.2 hours

Direct sources (Email or IM) it’s 3.4 hours

Take care with the last one, email marketing actually does better than this – I still think it’s half-life is more than 24 hours typically. I don’t know whether anyone has any data to support that?

Here’s an example from a single tweet which shows the typical pattern:

How does Email response over time vary?

It used to be that Email had a long response over several days with half the response within 24 hours or so. But I hadn’t seen any recent data, so thanks to Mark Brownlow for flagging this more recent recent data on Email campaign response through time from Mailer Mailer. The answer on half-life for Email is 6 hours, that’s 50% of opens within 6 hours. So its seems that email gives much more sustained reach than social which shows the value in my recommendation 5 below!

Marketing implications and actions of the short half-life

So what to do about this phenomenon to make communications more effective? Here are some ideas.

Repeat communications. Sure, you don’t want to repeat every message, but if you share content that resonates or is a key message it worth re-sharing, say AM and PM and on different days.

Put a different spin on your original message Of course, you can simply repeat, but express it differently may engage others who didn’t find the original interesting. Maybe ask a question encouraging a response.

Reshare other people’s messages It’s good to engage with others and not just broadcast, so maybe add the link in your reply to others.

Share content on different networks at different times If you use a service or apps to share your message across all networks simultaneously, there’s less chance of your message getting through than at different times when other people may see your message in their stream.

Use email marketing to share your good stuff Email marketing has a longer half-life and likely reaches a different audience, so make sure your email marketing is up-to-speed.

You can go too far and share too much, but I think others (us included) don’t repeat social shares sufficiently. Do you have other ideas to counter this issue?

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Boo! The Scary Reality Of Employee Ghosting

Have you ever experienced the job-hunting nightmare of submitting an employment application, getting called for an interview that seems to go well and then never hearing from the employer again? If you answered yes, you’re in good company. A recent Greenhouse survey shows more than 75% of job seekers have been ghosted after an interview.

While businesses have committed their fair share of ghosting job applicants, the tables are now turning, with the potential employees themselves pulling off the disappearing act. In 2023, Indeed found that 28% of job seekers have ghosted an employer, up from only 18% in 2023. With a hot labor market favoring workers, applicants are being more selective when it comes to their employment, with many of them ghosting current and potential employers in the process.

What is employee ghosting?

Urban Dictionary defines ghosting as “the shutdown/ceasing of communication with someone without notice.” Although the term typically refers to cutting off communication in a personal or romantic relationship, the concept has wormed its way into the business realm. Ghosting an employer happens when a job seeker or employee suddenly cuts off communication with the organization without any explanation or warning. They simply stop engaging with their company and go MIA.

In the recruitment process, ghosting commonly takes place after initial digital communication or a phone screening, during or after a series of job interviews, and even sometimes after the candidate receives or accepts a job offer. Just because a candidate signs your offer letter doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. A Visier survey found that a rising number of employees are ghosting companies during the late stages of hiring and onboarding, with 31% of people admitting they would even ghost an employer after their first day on the job. Poof – talent vanished.

Why are job seekers and employees ghosting employers?

So, we know some job seekers and employees are pulling fast ones on employers nowadays, but the question is why. It largely comes down to leverage and opportunity, but let’s dive a little deeper. Visier uncovered the top five reasons why job seekers and new employees ghost their potential or current employers.

The salary is too low (according to 29% of survey respondents).

They received another job offer that was more attractive (28%).

The job description was inaccurate (27%).

The company has a poor reputation or negative online reviews (26%).

They disliked the perceived company culture (22%).

These may be the underlying reasons for quitting, but why are job seekers and employees disappearing into thin air instead of giving employers the courtesy of a breakup email? There are a few possible explanations for employee ghosting and the silent treatment, such as job seekers being uncomfortable telling the employer they changed their mind. Others may just not know what to do in such a predicament, and still more may place the blame on the company if they can’t get ahold of human resources. This trend also seems to be rising as younger generations become a more substantial part of the working world – you can draw your own conclusion there. [Read related article: Managing Tips for a Multigenerational Workforce: From Baby Boomers to Gen Z ]

How can you avoid being ghosted by job seekers and employees?  

Recruiting and onboarding a new employee is expensive. One bad hire can cost your business 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings or more. To make sure you don’t get ghosted, spend your time and efforts on recruiting the right people and providing enticing opportunities to make them stay. Here are seven ways to do that.

1. Maintain a positive business reputation.

Your brand and company reputation play an important role in the success of your organization. Customers, clients, employees and job seekers all pay attention to what other people say about you, so you need to do your best to ensure it’s all good things. As job seekers work their way through your recruitment process, they are bound to read some online reviews about the business. Build a positive online reputation, respond to online reviews and commit to remedying any of your organization’s shortcomings. People want to work for good companies that do good things.


If your brand needs some improvement, follow these strategies to strengthen your company’s reputation.


Give each applicant a clear outline of your hiring process with anticipated time frames. This will keep them informed so they know what to expect from you as your talks continue.

6. Build personal connections ASAP.

People tend to gravitate toward people and organizations with which they feel a shared personal connection. If you’re excited about a candidate or new employee, make it known. Try to build an authentic relationship with them as early on as possible. People are more likely to stick around if they feel wanted, connected and included. Some ways you can build connections with new hires are by creating a welcoming committee, assigning peer mentors and implementing an effective onboarding process.

7. Don’t ghost candidates.

Ghosting has been an unfortunate part of the recruitment experience for a long time, but it used to be that employers were the primary culprits. Now that you know how awful it is to be on the other end, that’s all the more reason to stop engaging in ghosting yourself. We know it can be tough to respond to every candidate throughout the recruitment process, but it’s always a good idea to reply, even if it’s simply to say, “We’re pursuing other applicants.” This helps stop the cycle of ghosting, and it’s a good way to earn goodwill and a positive reputation for communication. If you can’t engage with everyone personally, there are plenty of applicant tracking systems and other HR technology solutions that can help automate the process. [See our picks for the best HR software.]

What should you do when an employee ghosts you? 

Ghosting is rude and it hurts. It’s hard not to take it personally when someone seems interested in you and then suddenly disappears, but perhaps it’s for the best. If a candidate ghosts you, they’re displaying traits you probably don’t want in a team member anyway. Cut ties and move on. Continue with your recruitment process so you can find the best employees for your organization.

If you notice that a significant number of potential and new employees are leaving you high and dry, it may be time to reassess your recruitment strategy and company culture. The tips above can be used to enhance your organization’s appeal and employee retention.

Ubuntu: Where Did The Love Go?

When Ubuntu first appeared, the free and open source software (FOSS) community was delighted. Suddenly, here was a distribution with the definite goal of usability, headed by a former space tourist who not only understood computer programming but had the money to throw at problems.

The only objections were that Ubuntu was ripping off Debian, the source of most of its packages. For everyone else, Ubuntu and its parent company Canonical seemed everything FOSS had been waiting for.

Now, in 2011, that honeymoon is long past. Although Ubuntu remains the dominant distro, criticisms of its relationship with the rest of FOSS seem to be coming every other month.

What happened? Ubuntu supporters sometimes dismiss the change as jealousy of Ubuntu’s success.

But, although that may be an element, the change in attitude is probably due chiefly to the gap between the expectations created by Ubuntu and Canonical in their early days and their increasing tendency to focus on commercial concerns.

Instead of being the model corporate member of the community that it first appeared, today Ubuntu/ Canonical increasingly seems concerned with its own interests rather than those of FOSS as a whole. No doubt there are sound business reasons for the change, but many interpret it as proof of hypocrisy. Added to the suspicion towards the corporate world that lingers in many parts of the FOSS community, the change looks damning, especially when it is so clearly documented in Canonical’s corporate history.

A Brief History of Canonical and Ubuntu

After Ubuntu’s first release in October 2004, Ubuntu/Canonical seemed in many ways a model FOSS entity. Nor was there much reason to doubt that initial sincerity. Shuttleworth, in particular, who was then the main speaker for both Ubuntu and Canonical, made considerable efforts to express support for other aspects of FOSS.

For example, Shuttleworth emphasized that “we all win, when Red Hat has a win.” He made a special point of attending DebConf, Debian’s annual conference, and of insisting that “Every Debian developer is also an Ubuntu developer” at a time when relations between Debian and Ubuntu were strained.

However, even in the first years there were signs of isolationism. Ubuntu/

Canonical insisted on using the proprietaryLaunchpad for development rather than existing free tools. Launchpad components did not begin to be released under free licenses until 2007, and the entire code was only released under the Affero GNU General Public License in 2009.

Similarly, in November 2006, Shuttleworth himself created controversy when he invited openSUSE developers to join Ubuntu. Although Shuttleworth later claimed that the offer was a response to Microsoft and Novell’s cooperative agreements (Novell being openSUSE’s corporate sponsor), it was widely condemned as an effort at corporate raiding unprecedented in the FOSS world, and Shuttleworth apologized a few days later.

However, the real turning point in Ubuntu/ Canonical policy appears to have been Shuttleworth’s failure to convince other FOSS projects to coordinate their release cycles.

Shuttleworth first made the case in December 2006 that “it would be nice at the beginning of an Ubuntu release cycle to have a really confident picture of which projects will produce stable releases during those few months when we can incorporate new upstream versions. It would be even better if, during the release cycle, we knew immediately if there was a *change* in what was going to be released.”

The FOSS response, though, showed a distinct lack of interest. Many, including KDE’s Aaron Seigo, saw the suggestion as squeezing projects into a uniformity that might not fit their needs.

Meet Robbox, The Robot That Schleps A Half

French Special Forces former operative General Luc Beaussant has first-hand experience soldiering under the weight of these incredibly heavy packs. Now retired from the military, he’s the managing director of a small company, Sera Ingénierie, that recently won the robotics prize for its Robbox mule at the biennial SOFINS (Special Operations Forces Innovation Network Seminar) held near Bordeaux, in western France. 

The idea behind Robbox was to lighten the load for special forces, but “it had to be a solution, not an extra thing for them to worry about,” Beaussant says. So the technology needed to be kept simple. “Lessons learned with the two prototypes designed over the past seven years show that if the technology is too complex, then the reliability is compromised.” 

The Robbox vehicle looks like a 1,500 lb 4×4 wheeled jeep without a roof. It’s about 5 ft wide, 11 ft long, and can carry 1,100 lbs of mission modules. These modules can be integrated on the roughly 8 ft by 4 ft platform and in the approximately 5 ft x 4 ft x 2 ft space underneath the platform between the wheels. Its task is to carry cargo in different forms. The flat platform can also be equipped with a stretcher to rapidly evacuate a wounded soldier, making it similar in concept to this robot the US Marines have been testing.

[Related: This robotic stretcher could transport wounded Marines off future battlefields]

But Robbox only needs to use its own engines once the mission is underway. To reach the mission hotspot, “Robbox has the unique capacity amongst its competitors of being towable, just like a trailer, at up to 50 mph, all day if necessary, then automatically unhook so that nobody needs to risk getting out of the towing vehicle,” Beaussant explains. Robbox can also be transported inside aircraft or large helicopters or be air-lifted by the medium-sized NH90 helicopter used by 10 European nations, New Zealand, Oman, and Qatar.

So when it has reached the hotspot, its fuel capacity is totally dedicated to the mission “and given its payload capacity it can also carry extra fuel tanks if necessary,” Beaussant adds.

The robotic mule can either be piloted from a distance or follow waypoints. It is also being taught to follow a road or a person. 

[Related: The Air Force’s new guard dogs are robots]

Romain Le Berre, sales director at Nexter Robotics, the company developing the command and control systems for Robbox (and others), tells Popular Science that the robot has some image-recognition abilities, thanks to machine learning. “For the moment it can recognize the difference between an adult and a child but not between a man and a woman or a person carrying a gun and a person carrying a spade, but that will come in time,” he says. (The idea here is that Robbox will be able to electronically report back to its operator that “there is a man on my route and he is carrying a gun.” The operator will then decide what to do with that information, not Robbox.) Le Berre explains that it could follow the edge of a road, for example, “but if the road has been damaged by a shell, that might confuse it.”

In addition to the minimum of six cameras Robbox needs to “see,” it also has LiDAR that emits pulsed light waves around the vehicle. These pulses bounce off surrounding objects and return to the sensor and by measuring the time it takes for each pulse to return, the sensor calculates the distance to the object. This is repeated millions of times per second to create a real-time 3D image of the environment around the vehicle.

Sera Ingénierie is currently working on the final details of the third version of Robbox which Beaussant hopes will be ready by June 2023 for Eurosatory, the major European land and air-land show in Paris. And he also hopes to be able to submit it in answer to an expected call for tender by the French Army for route-clearing robots. But meanwhile the second version will be evaluated in September by the French Army’s equipment test center, the STAT (Section Technique de l’Armée de Terre), for use as a perimeter guard to do rounds instead of a human with a dog.

The Best Mac Finder Preferences You Should Know About

One of the staples of the macOS environment, Finder is an ever-present part of everything Mac. The Mac version of Windows Explorer, Finder is where you “find” all of your documents, media, folders, files, etc. Its smiling blue/gray icon is always on your Dock or at the top of the screen on your menu bar. While Finder seems pretty straightforward after a few uses, there are likely some preferences you may not know about. Each of these preferences can take your Finder experience to the next level.

Adjust Default Finder Search

You can choose to search your whole Mac, use a previous search scope or just search the current folder. It’s a quick but incredibly helpful tweak when you need to find a file quickly.

Change the Default Folder Rename Multiple Files

Another small but incredibly useful Finder preference is the ability to rename multiple files at once.

The far-left drop-down allows you to Replace Text, Add Text or Format the names of all of the selected files.

In the middle, you can write your own title which can be anything you want.

The far-right drop-down allows you to add the new text before or after the existing file name.

Customize the Toolbar Merge Open Finder Windows

We have all enjoyed having too many open Finder windows. The more windows that are open on a Mac, especially on a smaller screen, can be a real headache.

Fullscreen Quick Look

Another one of those handy tricks you mayhave never known about is seeing Quick Look in fullscreen. It can be incredibly handy. As you are searching through multiple files, videos, photos, or documents, Quick Look is a fast and easy way to preview a file. Instead of opening up a default application like Word, PowerPoint, Pages, or Photos, Quick Look enables you to see nearly any file type at a quick glance.

What if you want to see Quick Look in fullscreen? All you need to do is press the Option key at the same time as the Space bar to activate Quick Look. You can also hold the Option key down if you have placed the Quick Look icon in your Finder toolbar.

Now that you have mastered your Finder, you should look into customizing the files, folder and hard drive icons in Finder or uncovering the hidden customization options in macOS. Taking a few extra minutes to learn these customization tips can go a long way in helping your day-to-day macOS experience.

David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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When Did Security Pros Forget The User?

When did we forget about the users? At some point, it seems to me that the security community simply forgot about the users. I want to know why.

Many people believe—perhaps with good reason—security is simply an inhibiting function, preventing our users from doing what they feel they need to. They say they want to do something; we tell them no.

Sure, we security folk know that’s an unfair generalization, and the reality isn’t all that bad, but at the very least it’s a common perception of what the IT security department does. We tell them no.

But that’s not the way it should be. We can do better. Let’s take a moment to learn something from software developers. They often make use of a simple process called use cases. We stand to learn something useful from the use case process.

First, let’s consider an example of failure to consider use cases, although this failure has nothing to do with computers. While traveling on business last week in London, I experienced a men’s room washbasin with two water spigots: a hot and a cold one. No big deal, right? Well, the two spigots dispensed their water separately, about 6 inches apart from each other. So, how does one wash his hands with warm—not hot—water?

Do you rapidly move your hands from the hot to the cold, in hopes that the average will somehow be to your liking? Do they expect us to fill the sink with some hot and some cold, and then wash our hands in the resulting pool of warm water? That must be what they intended, but what ends up happening is that you either wash with scalding hot, or with ice cold. Crazy, and all because no one considered the use case when “designing” the washbasin.

A more user-focused way of designing the wash basin would have been to consider how a user would want to wash his hands—under a single warm water flow—and design a single spigot accordingly. Pretty straight forward stuff, right?

So where’s the security lesson?

I’ve had two recent experiences that made me sit up and take notice of how the designers clearly “got” the use case and made a secure and user-friendly experience. The first was with my Apple iPod Touch, and the second was with my Apple Airport Extreme.

When I configured my Touch, it automatically looked at my email server settings and replicated them on the Touch. Not a huge accomplishment, you say?

But, much to my shock and awe, the Touch grabbed these configuration oddities and set things up exactly as I wanted them, without having to do a thing as the user. Voila – my Touch email client was configured as securely as the email client on my Mac is.

First try. Amazing.

Next came the Airport Extreme. I was replacing an older Wi-Fi router that was clearly on its last legs. (It kept dropping connections and losing some of its configuration settings randomly, but was kind of sort of functional otherwise. Clearly on its death bed.) In the configuration wizard for the Airport, I was asked if I was replacing an existing router with the new one. I’d never seen that question before, and I went ahead and selected “yes.”

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