Buying a console for a single game

I bought a Nintendo Switch mostly because I wanted to play Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I don’t regret that decision: I already had 165 hours of fun with Zelda, and there is still some DLC content I haven’t done; I can even imagine playing it again with a different approach. And I have already a small library of games for the Switch that I might enjoy as well. However, as a general approach, buying a console because you want to play one specific game on it has its limitations. And this week I’m pondering these limitations due to the release of Monster Hunter: World.

Monster Hunter: World looks like a game I would like to play. In many aspects it is quite similar to Zelda, being an action-adventure open world game. However this week it comes out only on the Playstation 4 and the XBox One, neither of which I own. A release on the PC is only foreseen in “late 2018”, with not even a date fixed.
The most likely scenario is that I will just wait. And if I wait until late 2018, I might also wait until 2019+ for some Steam sale. There are a bunch of reasons why I don’t really consider buying a PS4 or XBox One to play Monster Hunter: World or any game: First of all I simply don’t have the room for several consoles in my den / man cave; I have an enclosed TV cabinet, which already holds the TV, the Switch, a BlueRay player, the cable box, and a Chromecast. All of which pretty much fills the enclosed space *and* the available HDMI connections on the TV. Second I already think that console games are rather expensive on their own, so adding the price tag of a console to one or few games makes them feel excessively expensive, even if I could afford that excess. And third both the PS4 and the XBox One are closer to the end of their cycle than to the beginning. Next year or so the PS5 and “XBox Two” or whatever it will be called will come out. If I haven’t felt the need to buy one of the current consoles in the last 5 years, now might be a bit too late. Especially when I know that Monster Hunter: World will be eventually released on the PC (and will look better there). Anyway, I already got far too many games and far too little time to play them all.

So, yeah, buying *one* console for a single game I am okay with. But I balk at repeating that for a second or third console, because that feels like a slippery slope into a bottomless money hole for me.

What is Ethereum? — a short guide

What is Ethereum EthereumPrice

You may be asking yourself, “What is Ethereum?” Well, Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian programmer born in Russia, invented Ethereum in 2015 by. It’s a cryptocurrency much like Bitcoin that allows you to make payments online. It’s decentralized, offers low transaction fees, and runs on a publicly disclosed blockchain that records each transaction.

Read: What is a blockchain? – Gary Explains

Ethereum’s currency is called Ether and is currently the second largest in the world in market cap, behind Bitcoin. There are reportedly around two million wallets that hold it, up from 1.6 million in May — showing the growing popularity of Ether.

How is it different from Bitcoin? Bitcoin aims to become a globally adopted currency that could improve or even replace conventional money. Ethereum, on the other hand, is more than a cryptocurrency. It’s also a ledger technology used to build decentralized applications (dapps) with smart contracts.

What are smart contracts?

Wikimedia

Smart contracts are programs that automatically execute exactly as they are set up by their creators. Their purpose is to offer more security by removing the middlemen that we would otherwise have to use. Confused? Let’s take a look at a simple example.

Let’s say you want to ship a large gift to your friend and hire a trucker to do the job. For the trucker to know you’ll pay him, and for you to be sure the delivery will be made, you both sign an agreement for shared peace of mind. This takes time and can be expensive, as you need someone who will draw up the paperwork for you, and so forth.

This process can be simplified with a smart contract. You make the payment the day the package is picked up, and the smart contract will automatically transfer the money to the trucker as soon as your friend confirms the delivery has been made.

How is Ether created and where can I get it?

CoinSpectator

Like Bitcoins, Ethers are created through a process called mining. This requires expensive and specialized computers that have to perform complicated calculations. Mining is mainly done by large companies that are compensated for their work with newly minted Ethers.

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Unfortunately, you won’t make any money by mining with your personal PC, even if it’s a high-end model. So how can you get your hands on Ethers? You can earn them by providing goods and services to people who can pay you with the digital currency. The second option is to buy them from a marketplace like Coinbase with your credit card.

The Ethers you own are stored in a wallet secured with a private key. You can keep it in the cloud or offline, with the latter being a much safer option. The important thing is that you don’t lose the private key. If that happens, you won’t be able to access your money.

How much does it cost and what determines the price?

Crypto-News

Now that we have figured out the answer to the “What is Ethereum?” question, how much do Ethers really cost? Ethers were cheap when introduced back in 2015 — you could get one for less than a dollar. Their price has risen over the years and currently stands at around $430 each (exact value can be found in widget below). The sharp increase means Ethers can be a great investment, same as Bitcoins and many other cryptocurrencies. For example, if you bought $1,000 worth of Ethers in 2015 when they were worth $0.50 a piece, you would have $860,000 today.

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that investing in cryptocurrencies can be risky.

Before you get too excited, sell your house, and buy as many Ethers as you can get, let me remind you that investing in cryptocurrencies can be risky. Sure, a lot of them have increased in value in recent years, but that doesn’t mean this trend will continue. Cryptocurrencies are volatile, meaning their price can go up and down significantly in a single day. This makes them less stable than standard currencies like the dollar and euro.

How exactly do we determine their value? Like Bitcoins, gold, oranges, and every other item available on the market, supply and demand determine the price of Ethers.

The Merkle


Ethereum can be hard to understand at times. The same goes for Bitcoins and the rest of the cryptocurrencies available. But the fact is that they’re here to stay and might become a more important part of our daily lives in the future.

Many experts believe Ethereum has a lot of potential and could overtake Bitcoin as the largest cryptocurrency somewhere down the line. This is all speculation, though well within the realm of possibility. But like with stocks, gold, and other investments, no one can be 100 percent sure in which direction the price will move.

Hopefully we have given you an answer to the “What is Ethereum?” question. What are your thoughts on Ethereum and cryptocurrencies in general? Let us know in the comments.

Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms on iOS

When an alpha test comes with specific instructions not to share screen shots and videos, I read the absence of specific instructions on other forms of communication as them being allowed. So I think I can reveal that since yesterday I am in an alpha test of Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms for mobile devices, which in my case specifically is on an iPad.

I got into that alpha via a link that appeared while I was playing the game on my PC. That is a pretty safe way to select your alpha testers, as existing players will be able to concentrate on bugs or differences to the PC version. Up to now I only found one minor issue, and when I reported it I got a non-automated mail back within minutes. Nice! I’m not a huge fan of the “stress test” type of beta tests where the input of the testers isn’t even wanted.

The good news is that the game on the iPad runs as smoothly as on the PC, and appears to be a straight port of the current PC version. The bad news is that the game on the iPad thus has exactly the same rules as the PC version. And those rules push people to let the game run 24/7, because you farm much more gold online than offline. That helped Codename Entertainment get their game in the “top 100 most played Steam games” category, which is somewhat misleading because you can’t compare an idle game left running with a game that only does something when you are at the controls. And while letting your PC run 24/7 is still feasible (I just turn the screen off), it is a lot more difficult to do that on a tablet. You need to connect the tablet to a charger, for one thing. And while on the PC the game runs perfectly in the background while you do something else in the foreground, the mobile version only works when it is the foreground, thus prohibiting other use for your tablet.

I would be okay if the “auto progress ON” function only worked when online. But I think that while not progressing, the game should gather gold online and offline at a comparable rate. Apparently there is a change coming in some future patch, but I do think the game needs that change to be viable on a mobile platform.

The GOP Tax Bill Rammed Through Congress on Tuesday Paves the Way to Defund and Dismantle Federal Government

Financial experts call it unworkable—and that’s what many Republicans want.

As the GOP tax bill raced through both chambers of Congress Tuesday, hurtling like a runaway train toward President Trump’s desk, Americans should see this GOP effort for what it is in the sweep of history—the Republican dismantling of federal government.

The tax bill’s specifics, with almost all of the benefits going to the very rich, confirm that the GOP’s lock on federal power is as bad as many predicted before the 2016 election. But the tax bill is also Republicans’ opening move to defund government—apart from national security, the military, infrastructure, and corporate welfare.

“The United States Senate should be doing more than providing 83 percent of the benefits in a tax bill to the top 1 percent,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, said during the Senate debate Tuesday. “We cannot go home unless we address the very serious crises facing the working families and the middle class of this country.”

Sanders cited a long list of ignored crises—including some intentionally created by President Trump and the red-run Congress—that show the GOP is bent on destroying social safety nets. That unfinished business includes legalizing 800,000 Dreamers, or young people raised here who are the sons and daughters of non-citizens; funding community health centers that serve 27 million people; funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program serving 9 million children; real disaster relief for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; fixing a multi-employer pension fund that has 1.5 million retirees at risk of losing 60 percent of their anticipated income; reforming student loan debt for 40 million people; addressing a nationwide opioid epidemic; filling 30,000 vacancies in the Veterans Administration; and funding the Social Security Administration (in 2016, 10,000 people with disabilities died while awaiting review of their benefit applications).  

“And on and on it goes,” Sanders said, without citing specifics from the tax bill, such as how its cost, triggering past legislation controlling spending, will cut Medicare’s budget by 4 percent. (Congress still has to pass a 2018 federal budget, which envisions cuts to social welfare programs, science and the environment.)

The thread that ties together this willful neglect is simple. Republicans want to devolve government back to the local level. That’s been the political right’s rallying cry ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt created Social Security in the 1930s and Lyndon B. Johnson created the Great Society’s health safety nets in the 1960s.  

The tax bill gives the GOP a way to do this. Most everybody knows the bill’s fiscal benefits accrue to the already rich. But the tax bill has also been called unworkable by academics specializing in tax law.

On Tuesday, before the House passed it, business reporters noted the bill was moving so fast that the IRS would not be able to implement it when it goes into effect. For example, employers won’t know how much to withhold from January payrolls. That “puts the onus on workers to make adjustments later in the year if too much or too little of their money is being withheld,” Patricia Cohen wrote in the New York Times. 

The New Yorker’s John Cassady noted the bill is likely to bring in less revenue than projected, because it will launch an avalanche of new loopholes to exploit.

“What isn’t yet fully appreciated is how porous and potentially unstable the rest of the tax code will be after the bill is passed,” he wrote. “With a corporate rate of just 20 percent, and a big new break for proprietors of unincorporated businesses and certain types of partnerships, the new code will contain enormous incentives for tax-driven restructurings, creative accounting, and outright fraud. Every tax adviser and scammer in the country will be looking for ways to reclassify regular salary income.”

Cassady noted these contortions are destined to undercut federal revenues, which many Republicans welcome as an avenue to shrinking the federal government.

“The shortfall in tax revenues could be enormous. Perhaps that is what Republicans want to happen,” Cassady said. “Undoubtedly, there are some in the Party who would like to see the tax base decimated, the I.R.S. crippled, and the federal government forced to slash spending on domestic programs, particularly entitlement programs. But, for anybody who believes in a properly functioning government, a rational, clearly defined tax system is essential. The Republican reform doesn’t meet that standard.”

But today’s Republican leadership doesn’t want a functioning government outside the security state, military and infrastructure that buoys corporate America.

It’s hard to know what they are thinking as one looks ahead to the 2018 elections. If the GOP doesn’t want to talk about character—which seems to be the ascendant issue, as seen by Roy Moore’s loss in Alabama and the widespread backlash against male predatory sexual behavior, driven by suburban women who are voting in droves this year—then all the Republicans can point to is their tax bill. While the GOP’s opponents will emphasize intentionally widening inequality, don’t be surprised if Republicans recast their only major legislative achievement in 2017 as a victory against the phantom enemy they love to hate: big government.

Unfortunately, as Sanders pointed out on the Senate floor Tuesday, millions of Americans are getting hurt and are going to be hurt by this needless legislation and similar moves that are sure to follow.  

 

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These Are Trump’s 7 ‘Forbidden Words’

Codifying Trumpian Newspeak, the administration has banned the CDC from using seven words, including “transgender,” “diversity” and “fetus.”

Leaving a meeting of top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday, a CDC analyst in attendance who spoke anonymously to reporters described being briefed on a Trump administration dictum of “forbidden words” that the public health agency was told not to use in any official capacity in documents.

Both the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune reported on having spoken to the analyst who was briefed on the list of “forbidden words.” According to the Post, the forbidden list included the words “diversity,” “entitlement,” “evidence-based,” “fetus,” “science-based,” “transgender,” and “vulnerable.”

The Post reported that Alison Kelly, a CDC official who led the meeting, didn’t explain why these words were being banned, only that they were. Yet it’s easy to speculate about motive, given how politically loaded these terms are. Indeed, scanning the list, it looks like the administration is attempting to atrophy the CDC’s ability to wield the English language in order to promote a conservative agenda.

To wit: The word “fetus” is a more dehumanizing means of referring to a fertilized egg; banning it aligns with a conservative agenda of humanizing unborn fetuses to sway public opinion against abortion rights access.

And regarding the appearance of “transgender” on the list, the Trump administration has been outright hostile to trans people and on issues of transgender rights. In July, Trump announced that he intended to ban transgender people from joining the military “in any capacity.”  “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow [t]ransgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming [v]ictory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” Trump wrote on Twitter at the time.

Many experts pointed out Trump’s purported rationale for the trans ban was specious at best; the RAND corporation, a policy think-tank, studied the issue of transgender persons in the military and found that “allowing transgender personnel to serve openly” had “little or no impact on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness, or readiness.” Likewise, Trump greatly exaggerated the medical cost to the military posed by transgender personnel. As Salon’s Amanda Marcotte wrote at the time:

The excuse that Trump used when he first announced [the transgender military ban] on Twitter, and the excuse he will almost certainly continue to use, is that medical care for trans people, such as hormone therapy or gender confirmation surgery, is too expensive. Not only is this another lie — it was widely reported that the military spends five times as much on Viagra as it expects to spend on gender confirmation treatments — but this excuse is in itself a form of bigotry, a way to demonize transgender people by stigmatizing the health care they need.

The appearance of the word “transgender” on the list of banned CDC words greatly suggests erasure is the administration’s intent. While the CDC is currently involved in research studies involving trans people — including studying HIV transmission diagnoses among transgender persons — an inability to name one’s object of study would undoubtedly make research more difficult.

Equally sinister is the inclusion of the verb phrases “evidence-based” and “science-based.” Just as the Trump administration has sown doubt in public opinion of journalists — by constantly questioning their trustworthiness and whether reported “facts” are true — his cadre has done the same with science and scientists, continuing a tradition passed down from the Bush administration. As the Post reported:

Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.

Whereas “science-based” implies a systematized form of reasoning and rationality based on measuring, hypothesizing and experimentation, “community standards and wishes” is a more wishy-washy phrase. Whose community and whose standards? There is a large degree of unmeasurable uncertainty introduced by swapping out these two phrases. You could justify virtually any political decision by chalking it up to “community standards and wishes.”

The Trump administration’s foray into linguistic decrees is not a new phenomenon among the American Right. One recent comparable instance of state-decreed censorship: John Ashcroft, a Christian fundamentalist and the first attorney general under George W. Bush, insisted on covering the breasts of a marble statue of the “Spirit of Justice” that stood in the main Justice building. This act of modesty reportedly cost $8,000 of taxpayer money.

 

 

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I’m shocked, SHOCKED, that racism is going on here!

When viewed from over here in Europe, American politics sometimes appear a bit weird. Last week it was weirder than usual. President Trump flip-flopped on his condemnation of white supremacists and racists, and there was a huge outcry about how he finally failed to take a strong verbal stand against racism. That left me very much confused! I had been under the impression that as a candidate Trump had run on a platform of pretty open racism and hate of foreigners, especially Mexicans and Muslims. I had been under the impression that a large part of the American electorate, somewhere between 30% and 50%, believed that foreigners were to be blamed for many American problems, and that an anti-foreigner “America first” policy would improve things. In short, I thought that once you stripped off the veneer of political correctness, the policies of xenophobia and racism were pretty much American mainstream. So how come everybody is so outraged if a president says what we all know that he is thinking?

What is so weird about political correctness is that people are okay with *actions* that directly target a specific race or religion, like building a wall towards Mexico, or a Muslim travel ban. But *speech* which contains racial or religious or gender discrimination is unacceptable? I can’t help but wonder whether it wouldn’t be a lot saner to do it the other way around: Have an open discussion about the fears and prejudices people have towards other races, religions, genders, or sexual orientations, but refrain from actually persecuting people for having a different race, religion, or sexual orientation. There is strong scientific evidence that a certain degree of xenophobia is something hard-wired into the parts of our brains from an earlier evolutionary period, and overcoming xenophobia means teaching the newer parts of the brain to override those outdated instincts. Prohibiting people from talking about those instinctive feelings isn’t really helpful in that respect, because it doesn’t make those feelings go away.

Facebook uses facial recognition to let you know when your face shows up in a picture

Facebook already uses facial recognition to some extent. Starting today, however, the social media juggernaut will expand on how it uses the technology by notifying you when someone uploads pictures with you in them, even if you weren’t tagged in them.

According to Facebook’s blog post, the idea behind Photo Review is to give you more control over your online identity by giving you more privacy settings to work with. For the time being, those settings are the only means to tinker with facial recognition, with folks being asked to grant Facebook permission to use facial recognition across the service.

This would allow Facebook to implement more features that use facial recognition, such as account recovery, though that remains to be seen. Facebook also says there will be an easier on-off switch if you find facial recognition to be more trouble than it’s worth.

As for Photo Review itself, it is powered by the same AI technology that suggest friends you might want to tag in your pictures. The good news here is that you do not have to be friends with someone for Photo Review to kick in — so long as you have friends in common, you will be notified.

When you are notified, you then have the choice to add your tag to the photo, leave yourself untagged, or report the photo as inappropriate.

However, you will only be notified of an untagged picture of yourself if you are part of the image’s intended “audience.” More specifically, the poster must set the image’s audience to “everyone” for you to be notified. The only exception to this is if the image was set as a profile picture, which is useful if you want to identify fake accounts.

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Apart from that, Photo Review could also be used to take a trip back in time. Talking to The Verge, Facebook head of privacy Rob Sherman says Photo Review nudges you about photos you might have forgotten about. From there, you basically climb down the social media rabbit hole, looking at older pictures and friends you previously didn’t engage with as much.

Facebook says Photo Review is rolling out to most regions, though folks in Canada and the EU will not get to use it due to data laws that restrict the use of facial recognition.

How Data Science Has Changed Everyday Life for the Better

data science


Data science is the study of where information comes from, what it represents and how it can be turned into a valuable resource in the creation of business and IT strategies. Mining large amounts of structured and unstructured data to identify patterns can help an organization rein in costs, increase efficiencies, recognize new market opportunities and increase the organization’s competitive advantage. Some companies are hiring data scientists to help them turn raw data into information.
Data scientists must possess a combination of analytic, machine learning, data mining and statistical skills as well as experience with algorithms and coding.

Application of Data Science

Here’s how Data Science comes to our rescue in our everyday routine.

Recommender Systems

recommendation systems


Who can forget the suggestions about similar products on Amazon? They not only help you find relevant products from billions of products available with them, but also adds a lot to the user experience. The recommendations are made based on previous search results for a user.

Internet Search

internet search

Search engines make use of data science algorithms to provide the best search result for searched query in fraction of seconds. Considering the fact that, Google processes more than 20 petabytes of data everyday. Had there been no data science, Google wouldn’t have been the ‘Google’ we know today.

Healthcare

Today fitness trackers and apps already help people lead a life that is more active, eat healthier and control their weight – and this is only the beginning. Already such devices monitor heart rate, sleep patterns and other vital signs that can be interpreted to serve other healthcare purposes and provide a diagnosis. The best cure is prevention, and with big data science, everyone will be able to keep their health in check.

Logistics

Logistic companies like DHL, FedEx, UPS, Kuhne+Nagel have used data science to improve their operational efficiency. Using data science, these companies have discovered the best routes to ship, the best suited time to deliver, the best mode of transport to choose thus leading to cost efficiency, and many more to mention. Further more, the data that these companies generate using the GPS installed, provides them a lots of possibilities to explore using data science.
Airlines schedule flights, predict delays based on precise weather forecasts and estimate the number of seats they are going to need for each direction based on seasonal fluctuations, competitors’ actions, latest social trends or political events. There are also mechanisms that allow them to decide on the class of planes they will need to purchase in the future.

Image Recognition

Today face recognition is not that big a deal. It offers you to tag your friends on social media photos; it enables goofy masks in Snapchat, Instagram and webcam programs. Lots of fun and nothing substantially useful. However, this can be a powerful tool of law enforcement in the future. Already this feature is making its way into security systems – in flagship models of modern smartphone, you may choose face recognition to unlock your device. In future, it can be used to identify suspects and find missing persons.

Data science and Python

Why Python is usful for Data Science? Python is a powerful, flexible, open source language that is easy to learn, easy to use, and has powerful libraries for data manipulation and analysis. Its simple syntax is very accessible to programming novices, and will look familiar to anyone with experience in Matlab, C/C++, Java, or Visual Basic. Python has a unique combination of being both a capable general-purpose programming language as well as being easy to use for analytical and quantitative computing.
python and data science
Python is easy for analysts to learn and use, but powerful enough to tackle even the most difficult problems in virtually any domain. It integrates well with existing IT infrastructure, and is very platform independent. Among modern languages, its agility and the productivity of Python-based solutions is legendary. Companies of all sizes and in all areas — from the biggest investment banks to the smallest social/mobile web app startups — are using Python to run their business and manage their data.

Because of growing importance and scope of data science, many are opting for business analytics and data science certification courses. Data Science is changing the world, and if you are passionate about this fascinating discipline, then this is the time to enroll yourself in a data science course.

Want to learn Python Programming? 

Ultimate Guide on Gmail Advanced Search



One of the main reason why most of us love Gmail is because of its generous offering in terms of storage space.Google accounts now use a shared pool of storage. Every account gets 15 GB of free space, which is shared across your Gmail, Google Drive, and Google+ Photos.There’s really no need to delete your emails and still maintaining a far distance from blowing it up.

Not deleting emails leads us to next potential problem – messy and unsorted inbox. Gmail’s a Google product, so of course it has powerful search features. But some of Gmail’s search features are hidden and don’t appear in the Search Options pane.

The simple “Search Mail” function right beside Gmail logo actually does more than we imagined. In this post, we’ll introduce you the useful Gmail search operators as well as examples on how you can search for almost any type of mails easily via the search text field.

Operators

Here’s a list of Gmail operators you can take advantage of when you search via the search box in your Gmail. Examples of usage is also provided.
“” (quotes):

Format: “keyword”
Example: “Amazon.in order”(Return only emails with the exact quoted keyword(s).)

subject:
Format: subject:keyword
Example: subject:Practice Coding(Return emails with keyword(s) in titles.)



from:
Format: from:
Example: from:Pinterest(Return emails received from a specific user, but not the email address.)



Format: from:
Example: from:[email protected](Return emails received from a specific email address.)

to:
Format: to:
Example: to:Rocky Jagtiani(Return emails sent to a specific user, but not the email address.)

Format: to:
Example: to:[email protected](Return emails sent to a specific email address.)

in:
Format: in:
Example: in:trash(Return emails stored in a specific location. If you are looking for emails that you have no clue where it is, use in:anywhere.)



is:
Format: is:
Example: is:unread(Return emails with a specific status. E.g, Starred, unread, read emails or even Gtalk chat logs.)




cc: & bcc:
Format: cc: or cc:
Example: cc:Rocky Jagtiani or cc:[email protected](Return emails carbon copied to a user or specific email address.)

Format: bcc: or cc:
Example: bcc:Rocky Jagtiani or cc:[email protected](Return emails blind carbon copied to a user or specific email address.)

Before: & after:
Format: before:
Example: before:2016/01/01(Return emails before a specific date.)





Format: after: before:
Example: after:2015/01/01 before:2016/02/01(Return emails after in range of or after specific date.)

label:
Format: “keyword”
Example: “meeting agenda”(Return only emails with the exact quoted keyword(s).)

Format: label:
Example: label:Comments(Return emails with a specific label.)

filename:
Format: filename:
Example: filename:presentation.pdf(Return emails with the exact filename attached.)

Format: filename:
Example: filename:pdf(Return emails that have the same file type attached.)

has:attachment
Format: has:attachment
Example:has:attachment(A more general search for emails with attachments. Return emails with attachments, regardless of file type and format.)



Combining Operators

Here are some operators that allows you to yeild more specific and accurate results.

“-“

Format: operator : value -operator:value
Example: has:attachment -filename:zip(Return emails with attachments, filtering away those with .zip attachments.)

“OR”

Format: operator:value OR operator:value
Example: from:[email protected] OR from:[email protected](Return emails received from either user(s).)

“AND”

Format: operator:value AND operator:value
Example: from:[email protected] AND has:attachment(Return only emails received from a specific email that has an attachment.)

Saving a Filter

Create a filter to automatically perform actions when a message matches a specific search.

To create a filter, click the down arrow again, then click the “Create filter with this search” option.

 You can manage your filters from the Filters pane on Gmail’s settings page.

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How E-commerce Sites can Increase Sales with Pinterest?

Pinterest is basically a platform for users to visually share and discover exciting new interests by posting, or “pinning”, as it’s popularly called, videos or images to their own boards or that of others.

If you’re looking to drive more traffic and sales to your e-commerce site, Pinterest is one of the social networks you must add to your marketing arsenal.

People like to pin products on Pinterest and plan purchases. If used properly, your e-commerce site should be able to generate a high revenue with Pinterest.

Let’s see some of the best ways to harness the full potential of this social media platform:

1. Pick Your Pins Carefully

Quality over quantity – that’s one rule every business owner is aware of. And if you’re planning to boost your e-commerce sales using Pinterest, this rule applies even more to you.
Of course, volume is important but only to keep things consistent. Pin all your new items, engage users regularly, and keep things fresh. But, as Pinterest is an entirely visual medium, you need to be aware of which images attract the attention of the users the most.
There are two kinds of people you will come across on Pinterest, those who are ready to purchase from you right away and those who need some time.
You need to pin content that both these sets of audience will want to interact with.
As per the Yotpo guide to sell on Pinterest, brand images without faces receive 23% more sales than those with faces. So, your knowledge of product photography is definitely going to pay off here.
Other things that add to the effectiveness of yours pins include:
  • Color plays a key role, with a rich color scheme paying off more dividends than a single color pin. People also seem to prefer red images to blue ones.
  • Always consult analytics, like Pinterest business tools. This will help you figure out what works best for your target audience.
  • Your product pictures should have a minimum width of 600 pixels, with the ideal size being 736 pixels wide. Images that are taller will get Repinned more often.

2.Enable rich pins:

When you enable rich pins on your e-commerce website, some extra information like the real-time price and description of the product will appear on the pin. This can increase traffic and sales. So ensure you enable rich pins on your website.
You can also try using buyable pins. This will display the price of the product on Pinterest. People will also be able to directly buy the product on Pinterest like in this pin.

3. Create a Pinterest-Friendly Ambience on Your Website

Simplify the process of pinning images and articles from your business site. You can do so by adding a button to your website so that the process becomes faster. Because the higher the number of pins you get, the greater will be the exposure to your business.
It would be even better if you have another person pinning your product or web page as it raises your credibility factor even more than if it were you endorsing them by yourself.

4. Concentrate your efforts on promoting your brand lifestyle

Pinterest deals with more than just the sale of products; you can use the platform to influence your customer base and make them see how your brand integrates with their world.
Instead of creating boards consisting of your own products, it is a good idea to establish boards around brand values and lifestyle themes. A themed board should not be limited to your own goods; try to include other pins as well.
You need to understand that your buyers are coming to Pinterest for information and inspiration, rather than just buying stuff. Achieve the first objective, and the second one will follow on its own. And nothing works better in this regard than staying true to your brand.
If your company manufactures a unique sort of product, integrate your original pins with related pins. Basically, you will be weaving a story for your customers, with the moral being that your products are unique and something they need in their lives.

5. Use popular trends to your advantage

Being unique is good, but sometimes you just need to go with the flow. In the case of Pinterest, this means following the popular trends.
For example, seasonal content carries as much weight online as it does in traditional shops. Any pin that corresponds to major seasons, holidays, and events is bound to draw a crowd. All you need to do is understand your audience, and stay true to their interests.

6. Host contests to increase engagement

Raising engagement is always easier when you host a contest on Pinterest. However, you need to study the advertising guidelines for the platform carefully and never engage in spammy actions or any sort of content that is frowned upon.

7. Never underestimate the power of influencers:

Work with bloggers and influencers on Pinterest to improve the popularity of your products on the platform. When a Guest Pinner creates a board on your account, it draws a huge crowd. However, make sure you work with Pinterest users who cater to the same client as your business.

8. Draw the attention of the community

Bigger is better – at least when it comes the crowd size you involve to help raise engagement levels.
Make sure anybody can participate in the process. Ask customers to share pictures of themselves with your items. This is a great way to find accessible images of your photos worn by actual people.

9. Learn when to draw the line

Never pin too much on the same day. It’s understandable that you want your boards to be completely developed, but bombarding your customers with a barrage of pins is not the solution. After all, who wants to scroll through large numbers of your pins showcasing what is basically the same product in a different color.
Follow the points given above to create a professional level Pinterest strategy that excels at generating traffic, driving engagement, and above all, boosting your online sales.

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