4 Free Sites You Can Use To Create Your Perfect Website | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from the Random Passion Project.

A great way to advertise yourself or your business, especially nowadays, is with a website. A personal website shows potential employers or clients that you are technically informed and ICT-conscious.
Personal websites can be great outlets for your creativity, a fantastic way to get your message out there, and sometimes even the prefered way to do business.
Here are 4 free platforms where you can create your own websites:
1. Webnode

Webnode is a slick, modern and professional website maker and editor. They use stylish and responsive themes, and it features a very intuitive way to work through building your own website.
The website-creation platform offers a low-cost variant at $3,77 per month, which allows users to use a domain name you already own, as well as introducing a way to contact premium support.
The creator features interesting and professional templates but is limited in terms of blog and e-commerce support. Storage for free websites is also very limited at only 100MB included in the free plan.
Webnode would be perfect for beginners looking to create a personal website or CV.
2. Wix.com
Often advertised on YouTube, Wix.com features a wide variety of unique and ultra-customizable templates. There are barely any restrictions on the free plan in terms of themes and features.
For a custom domain, you will have to pay for a plan. The Combo plan is valued at $12,25 per month. Businesses may need to consider this as the free provided URL is often very long and difficult to read and use.
The exceedingly flexible editor and wide selection of themes. Wix offers an extensive app market and 500MB of free webspace. It has no web page limits and full SEO customization.
For a small, or personal business, Wix might be the option for you.
3. Weebly
Gadgets Africa calls Weebly “a very decent product, which offers great usability.” Weebly-created websites offer features like an App Center with additional features, and paid plans begin at $5,65 per month.
The themes are responsive and they even have 500MB of free webspace. It also has no page limits and the SEO settings can be edited for all pages.
Overall, a decent website-creator with no features that shine too brightly, and no downsides that are too evident. Consider Weebly if you feel its customization and themes are superior to the other options in this list.
4. Ucraft
Ucraft is the only one of the platforms in this list in which users can connect to existing domain names for free. However, it’s downsides include a limited number of themes and availability of basic elements in the free plan.
The creator is more complicated than any of the previous platforms, and it features very limited social media and e-commerce support.
If you believe that the domain-using features outweigh all the downsides, this platform is for you.
Edited by Luis MonzonFollow Luis Monzon on TwitterFollow Tempemail on Twitter

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Sony Introduces the New ZV-1 – A Camera Perfect for Vlogging | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Cinema 5D.

Sony Middle East & Africa has announced the new pocket-sized digital camera ZV-1 a lightweight, compact “all-in-one” style solution that will be available in South Africa in August 2020. Designed from the ground up for content creators and vloggers, the ZV-1 combines easy-to-use features with uncompromising imaging technology, making this the perfect tool for any content creator at all skill levels.

“Sony’s new ZV-1 was purpose-built to meet the needs and demands of today’s video creators,” says Murat Gebeceli, Head of Digital Imaging at Sony Middle East & Africa.  “We are always listening to our customers, and this camera is the result of direct feedback from our extended community. Featuring an innovative design plus many new technologies, settings and modes, it will allow creators to make content in ways they have never been able to before. The ZV-1 aims to let the subject shine in any environment. Every single feature is optimised for any type of creator’s daily vlogging.”
The ZV-1 is Sony’s first compact camera with a side-opening Vari-angle LCD screen, making it easier to compose your shots in selfie mode while connecting external audio accessories. To meet any video need, the ZV-1 contains advanced video features including 4K movie recording and in-body image stabilisation.

Meeting the Needs of Today’s Content Creators
The ZV-1 offers a simple solution to easily switch between two levels of background bokeh while recording. Using the new Bokeh Switch function, rapidly adjust the optical aperture between more and less background defocusing blur without losing focus on the subject. Located on top of the camera, this Bokeh button is easily accessible and makes selfie-shooting operation a breeze.
Focus on the Subject You Want
The ZV-1 makes it easier than ever to shoot product reviews and similar video content. Gone are the days of placing a hand behind an object to prompt the camera to bring it into focus thanks to a new Product Showcase Setting, which allows for quick and smooth focus transitions between the subject’s face and the object placed in front of the lens.
Building on the leading-edge technology developed for Alpha and RX series cameras, this new compact camera includes advanced autofocus (AF) allowing it to lock on and track subjects with high accuracy and speed while recording. For maintaining focus on the intended subject or subjects in busy environments, Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking for video allow the ZV-1 to seamlessly switch focus between multiple subjects while controlling the AF speed and tracking sensitivity.
Prioritise Your Face
Extreme changes in lighting, like walking outside on a sunny day and suddenly move from a bright location into the shade, are no problem for the ZV-1 thanks to the new Face Priority autoexposure (AE) function. It detects and prioritises the subject’s face and adjusts the exposure to ensure the face is depicted at an ideal brightness in any environment.  This AE technology also suppresses an abrupt change in exposure if the subject quickly turns away from the frame to eliminate unexpected blown-out or extremely dark shots.
Natural Colour
The ZV-1 features advanced colour science re-engineered to optimise skin tones. To enhance emphasis on the subject’s face – especially when shooting in selfie mode – the ZV-1 creates a smooth and natural complexion, while also maintaining sharp images of the mouth and eyes in both videos and stills.
Crystal Clear Audio
High-quality content requires clear, excellent audio quality, and the ZV-1 is well-equipped to produce just that with reliable and versatile audio options. The ZV-1’s onboard mic features Sony’s latest Directional 3-capsule Mic which was designed for forward-directional audio capture, allowing for clear capture of the subject’s voice while minimising background noise. For added flexibility, the ZV-1 also features a standard 3.5mm mic jack (3.5mm) and Multi-Interface Shoe (MI shoe) making it easy to connect a wide range of external microphones. The ZV-1 is also supplied with a windscreen accessory that fits on the MI shoe to minimise wind interference.
Design and Functionality Optimised for Vlogging
The ZV-1 was designed with content creators in mind. Comfortably operate the ZV-1 with one hand thanks to the easy-to-hold comfortable grip and a large movie REC button located on the top of the camera for quick access to video recording, as well as a recording lamp on the front of the camera that indicates if the camera is actively recording.
The ZV-1 also includes advances in image stabilisation, ensuring steady video even when shooting hand-held while walking. When recording in HD (Active mode), optical and electronic stabilisation methods are combined to reduce shaking up to 11 times that of standard SteadyShot. When shooting 4K video using Optical SteadyShot (Active mode), there is an improvement in the stabilisation effect of up to 8 times that of standard SteadyShot. The ZV-1 is also compatible with the GP-VPT2BT Shooting Grip with Wireless Remote Commander, offering additional stability and comfort combined with cable-free connectivity.
New Vlogger Accessories Kit
Sony will also be introducing a Vlogger bundle Kit, which includes a GP-VPT2BT Shooting Grip with Wireless Remote Commander and 64GB Ultra High-Speed Media Card.  The grip is compatible with a variety of Sony cameras.
Pair this kit with an external microphone (sold separately), such as Sony’s Stereo Microphone (ECM-XYST1M), for a convenient and seamless vlogger setup.
Edited by Luis MonzonFollow Luis Monzon on TwitterFollow Tempemail on Twitter

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TikTok is the perfect medium for the splintered attention spans of lockdown | Sophie Haigney | Opinion- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

TikTok is the perfect medium for the splintered attention spans of lockdown | Sophie Haigney | Opinion- Tempemail – Blog – Tempemail.co

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Someone, somewhere, makes a sandwich, gracefully pressing her fork into the edges of crustless white bread. Someone else jumps in the air and somehow manages to remove his hoodie with his foot, landing on his feet and looking shocked. A golden retriever appears to be dancing on their hind legs. A son opens a box that his deceased father left him for his 18th birthday. Families assemble in formation and do dances made famous by other people on the internet. Ant and Dec throw progressively larger things at each others’ heads underneath the caption: “Day 37 of lockdown”.

@mad_movement
The Git Up ##thegitup ##viral ##fyp ##foryourpage ##PlayWithLife ##issavibe ##foryou
♬ The Git Up – Blanco Brown

“>On TikTok, the performed human experience comes to us in short bursts. The platform is made for quick-cut videos, usually 15- to 60-seconds long, often accompanied by short clips of frenetic music and visual effects. The format is simple: users post videos of themselves dancing and singing and trying to be funny and exercising and just talking to the world. It’s charming and cringeworthy and has a directness that is unlike the flattened experience of social media we’ve become used to. When TikTok was first becoming popular in 2018, writers proclaimed a return to the good-fun internet of yore. Then reporting revealed some uncomfortable claims about political censorship and the intentional suppression of posts by people deemed ugly, poor or disabled. TikTok says it has updated its procedures but still, we had to admit: this doesn’t sound like the good-fun internet. But it continues to grow and grow: at the start of this year it was the most downloaded non-gaming app, surpassing WhatsApp and Facebook. In 2019, the company said that 60% of active users in the US are between the ages of 16 and 24.
TikTok is the medium of global lockdowns. It is perfect for a splintered attention span that is suddenly plunged into a boredom so extreme that nothing in particular will satiate it. I can’t even watch TV any more, people are saying. But 15 seconds of a koala sleeping followed by 15 seconds of a teenager dancing with his grandmother feels doable. Throughout lockdown, headlines have been describing TikTok as a perfect distraction from lockdown conditions, but I don’t think that’s quite right. It doesn’t distract so much as reflect the conditions back to us. TikToks are often compelling precisely because they capture the experience of isolation – the creative ingenuity that can come of it; the drive to entertain ourselves and others; the desire for a tenuous connection to a generalised world.
A lot of the videos, especially those made by young people, are inflected with what I can only think of as a powerful yearning, for an audience, of course, but also for a way to pass the time. They play dress-up, invent dances, imitate movie characters, and dye half their hair blond or purple (#lockdownlewks). Watching TikToks while I was bored one day, I had the thought that many of them are fundamentally artefacts of boredom, tedium-made material. You might wonder who has the time to make them, as you while away hours watching teens who haven’t seen their friends in months playing multiple parts in skits about their lives.
TikTok doesn’t feel like a rabbit hole. Instagram is one endless boring scroll through advertisements and ex-friends’ anniversary posts, and Twitter is a vortex you could tumble down for hours, into jokes and arguments and jokes about the arguments. TikTok, where the dominant feed is not your friends but a “For You” feed curated algorithmically, is more like a deluge. Everything is disconnected, everything is divorced from context, everything is fragmented and vaguely miraculous, everything is so fast that it doesn’t feel like it’s stealing your time. Everything is even more ephemeral than usual: the archive is so difficult to search that it can be hard to locate TikToks you might have seen just yesterday. There isn’t even the artificially generated nostalgia of resurfaced content on Facebook. It is a kind of eternal present.

@kindakyle
anyone else feel this too ? love this app but it’s destroyed my attention span 🥵 ##fyp ##chooseone
♬ original sound – whatthed0ugh

“>There is a lot of silliness on TikTok. There is also plenty of darkness, often cut with humour. In one video I can’t stop watching, someone with the handle @kindakyle is dancing robotically, accompanied by a rainbow strobe effect. Overlaid text reads: “when tik tok has made your attention span so poor that you cant watch youtube videos or netflix anymore bc you arent getting the instant gratification that you can get from this app and you also cant study for more than 5 mins and lose interest in conversations extremely quickly and now you basically have the mental capacity of a hamster and cant focus on one thing to save your life !! zoo wee mama !!”

This has become a sort of meme: young people imagining and acting out what their TikTok use might be doing to their brains, and then performing it on the app itself. The young people making these videos are funny and self-aware and creative and sad. It’s hard to watch and it’s also hard to stop watching. The videos repeat and repeat.
• Sophie Haigney writes about technology and culture

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Attack COVID-19 With GODIG-2020. The Perfect Time To Embrace Digital Payments!- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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By Ashwin Shenoy, VP Sales – CEMEA, PayMate
As you start reading this piece, you are probably thinking ‘what’s a payment article doing at a time when the whole world is grappling with the COVID-19 scare?’. We all are in a state of lockdown, exercising social distancing and restraint, and governments all over are doing the best they can to beat the situation at hand. And like always, we, the human race will come out on top. But what after?
A pandemic like COVID-19 shakes the entire economy of any country, right from general businesses, stock markets, tourism and related industries, and batters the day to day lives of civilians. Most cities are in a state of lockdown, forcing people inside their homes, and converting buzzing cities into ghost towns. And when this happens, with the mass hysteria, you have a situation where everyone fears the worst, stock piling essentials, groceries and yes, running out of cash.
But an important question to ponder is : do we really need cash? In November 2016, when the Indian government announced the momentous ‘demonetisation’ of all INR 500 and INR 1,000 currency notes, the not-so-preferred digital payments infrastructure: Mobile wallets, PoS (debit & credit cards), UPI transactions went through the roof. The entire country learnt to live and get on with their lives without cash. And unlike the current situation, there was no dearth of such digital payment solutions. Paytm alone went from 125 million subscribers before demonetization to over 185 million after (a staggering growth of 48% in 3 months), eventually snowballing to 280 million a year later. The problem of essentials never existed, and it was a win-win situation for everyone.
The demonetization period was a classic case of acclimatization, users quickly shifted loyalties and all believers of India being a ‘çash’ economy were wronged. Its about human psychology, if something works like a charm without costs and too much effort, it will be adopted without the blink of an eye. But wasn’t it also a classic case of ‘problem of plenty’? While Aadhar catapulted the launch & seamless operations of most of the FinTech’s in this space, they all realized that there was a share in this enormous pie for everyone, provided there was simplicity and enough incentives on offer. And though we consider it as convenience for consumers, we have to keep in mind the convenience at acceptance as well. Paytm, Freecharge, PhonePe and the likes did a marvellous job of tapping businesses and providing friendly solutions that would go on to make them the backbone in this digital revolution. 
So what changes for us now? COVID-19 presents a peculiar situation in terms of managing payment instruments. True, post demonetization, the digital acceptance plateaued and cash was back in the game, but the fantastic infrastructure is still there. Formites (objects or materials which are likely to carry infection) are a major cause of spread of the virus, and cash/cheques cannot be ruled out. These instruments are handled by dozens, right from initiating the payment till the instrument is finally realized. In South Korea, a single person was responsible for infecting 5000+, do we really need the risk of formites, that too with an instrument like cash, that changes hands more than 500 times in a 2 year period? 
For businesses, the situation is even more grave as payments predominantly have been in the form of cheques, largely because of psychology and recourse. Logistically, these instruments are still hand delivered or collected, and deposited in banks on a daily basis, a practice that will serve as a catalyst in the radical spread of this disease. Despite robust platforms and channels available to these businesses to use cards & electronic payments, they still rely on such archaic instruments.  Imagine a situation where a business issues around 100 cheques a day, and all we need is the individual writing these cheques to be infected. A single infected case infecting 2 more will lead to, hold your breaths, 16384 active cases in a matter of 2 weeks! Scary isn’t it? 
A lot of effort has to be put in to get everyone up this curve, and I personally think the following steps, if followed to the T, will help us greatly in embracing digital payments and ruling out cash & cheques as go-to instruments:

Education: Consumers should be aware that paying digitally is no different than paying by cash. The outcome remains the same. Plus, India is a land of great incentives and cashbacks. So, we need to make the most of it.
Security: Most of the times, we discount digital models on grounds of being ‘too risky’. We need to understand risks associated with cash as well. There is absolutely no recourse if cash is lost, stolen or turns out bad (torn, or worst counterfeit). We have lived that tale. All FinTech’s should keep assaying their systems for potential threats, risks and be transparent with their customers. The Government, RBI & schemes such as NPCI, Visa & MasterCard have done a wonderful job in relaying this message and comfort to everyone in the country. 
Engagement: Making digital payments fun and engaging is a critical element in the success of the model. Cash has the eternal advantage of touch, feel and anonymity. How does a wallet or UPI go one up? Google Pay hinged its strategy on incentivising through gamification. Brilliant idea. Consumers got hooked on to the app for the ‘fun’ portion and cashbacks more than just using it for making payments. As of August 2019, GPay had 60% of the UPI market share, beating the likes of Paytm and PhonePe.
Convenience: The payment application or channel should be convenient to adopt, use and yes, keep using. The human brain is remarkable, it can store years and years of data & perform complex tasks, but when it comes to having patience in an application journey, it snaps if troubled too much. That’s where GPay again hit home run. It performed most of the tasks itself in a simple manner, asking the user for little. Who doesn’t like it when the rewards and outcome is disproportionate to the efforts? GPay exploited this to the maximum, making it extremely convenient for the users and creating that stickiness. 
Availability: while we speak about users adopting digital payments, and lay emphasis about security, engagement, convenience, it’s would be a disaster if the acceptance infrastructure is poor & unavailable. The question then to ask is:  I can pay by an app or UPI, but whom do I pay to? I personally have come across merchants in upmarket areas who still accept only cash. While that may be your DNA, but gone are the days when you don’t stand the risk of losing out on business or disappearing into oblivion because of this. Consumers carry multiple mobile payment applications with them today, and it’s fatal to not be accepting even one. The Government has taken measures to ensure mandating acceptance at merchant outlets, but to carry the baton of this mandate and make it happen is on us. 

The current situation of lockdown, curfew and complete isolation has in a way stamped this mandate, and with authority. Cash has lost its significance, to the point of becoming useless. People can’t get out, can’t withdraw money, forget writing cheques. Countries like South Korea said it was taking all banknotes out of circulation for two weeks – and burning some to reduce the spread of the virus, according to Reuters. Accepting and paying digitally is the new order, and we need to stick to it, we need to make it a norm, our culture. It has tremendous advantages and the potential to function in well-oiled fashion if we all come together. India is leading the digital payment curve globally by a distance and its only time before we move to complete acceptance. 
GODIG-2020 is the new mantra, and we surely have found the cure to fight cash/cheque payments in the COVID-19 era!

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

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We live in stressful times, a perfect moment to try to turn off and tune out | Opinion- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Mindlessness v mindfulness
I tried to watch Apocalypse Now three times last week. I’ve never seen it and apocalypse does feel very now so why not use all this time – so much time! – to get through all the films and books I promised myself if life allowed? Except life is very much allowing it and my brain is very much not.
The zapping of our concentration and attention spans may seem anecdotal, but there is substantial neuroscience to explain it. Living through a pandemic plugged with sadness, fear and uncertainty is a mind soup designed to tip us off balance. Rationally, I know this. Studies have shown time and again that the impact of stress on the brain robs it of its ability to process information, retain it and focus. Be it big-picture worries or everyday life adjustments, stress accumulates.
My attention span is shot at the best of times. Getting frustrated because I can’t find comfort in fiction is wildly wasted energy and yet it didn’t stop me from spending a whole day taking all my books off the shelves and re-ordering them, hoping I’d trick myself into reading again. (I edited them into “themes”. Honestly, how did I resist?)
Katie Ann McLaughlin, a clinical psychologist and Harvard professor, smiled when I told her about my unrelaxing methods to try to relax. The only way to regain focus, she said, is to actually relax: breathing exercises and mindfulness are mentioned as scientifically proved ways to buffer stress. Doing good for others also ranks high.
“We have a limited capacity system; we don’t have enormous bandwidth to cope with all the channels competing for attentional resources,” she told me. “Stress saps you. An increase in stress can age your working memory by a decade.” Terrifying, but not necessarily permanent. McLaughlin described what plenty of us are going through as ego depletion – ego in the psychological, not everyday sense – where the resources needed for willpower and self-control to concentrate on anything but, say, all nine seasons of the US version of The Office, are severely limited. Her key tips to mitigate it? Download a mindfulness app, commit to breathing exercises and give others emotional support.
Fasting and feasting alone

‘Ramadan is best done communally’: an iftar in Long Beach, New Jersey. Photograph: Amr Alfiky/Reuters
It’s an irony not lost on me that Ramadan, done properly, advocates all of McLaughlin’s advice. We’re three fasts into the month and I have zero excuse not to keep every single one this year. I don’t have to be anywhere but home. At the moment, it feels like the most isolating experience to endure in isolation. Ramadan is best done communally, surrounded by family, attending and hosting iftars – the meal to break the fast – together. This whole period is supposed to be meditative, about slowing down, being kinder and reconnecting to some sense of peace.
Arguably, lockdown conditions are ideal. No distractions, no office to be in, no fun to be missing out on. I haven’t got to the point where it becomes easier and legitimately feels good. That comes, godspeed, maybe next week? For now, I’m content to just enjoy all the corny memes, the aunty Whatsapp forwards and the sweet energy of #RamadanTogether online.
Showering with Ansel

Ansel Elgort: cleaning up for charity. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock
Because celebrities are desperate for attention and civilians are bored out of their brains, the “thirst trap” – posting an unapologetically hot photo of oneself on social media – seems to have peaked. In a charitable twist, actor Ansel Elgort raised more than $200,000 for a Brooklyn Covid-19 fundraiser with a shot of him in the shower. Pose nude, do good, mission completed.
•Nosheen Iqbal is an Observer columnist

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Malicious forces creating ‘perfect storm’ of coronavirus disinformation | World news- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The coronavirus crisis has sparked a “perfect storm” of global online disinformation, cyber-espionage and disruption, involving up to a dozen states but most prominently Russia and China, experts have warned.
In the midst of a pandemic that has killed tens of thousands of people, analysts have witnessed a sharp rise in deliberate misinformation campaigns on social media, which have occurred in parallel with attempts to hack international organisations at the forefront of the coronavirus response.
Senior executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter are scheduled to appear before British MPs next Thursday to answer questions about the spread of coronavirus disinformation.
A report published by the EU on Friday accused Russia and China of targeting European citizens including Britons during the pandemic, and provided a range of examples.

Echoing other experts, the bloc’s foreign affairs wing, the European external action service, said there had been a “proliferation” during the month of April.
“Despite their potentially grave impact on public health, official and state-backed sources from various governments, including Russia and – to a lesser extent – China, have continued to widely target conspiracy narratives and disinformation both at public audiences in the EU and the wider neighbourhood,” the report sad.
In the last week alone reports have emerged of hacking attacks on the World Health Organization and the US Tempemail Institutes of Health. The WHO has reported a fivefold increase in cyber-attacks on both itself and on the public.
While some of the activity has been criminal, or linked to “dark PR” firms who work with governments and the far right, other attempts to sow discord have been laid at the door of governments – including disruptive messaging to US mobile phones that has been blamed by US officials on China.
In that incident, according to the New York Times, millions of mobile phone and social media accounts were bombarded with fake messages in March, including one saying the Trump administration was about to deploy troops to enforce a lockdown.
While Russia and China have been the focus of scrutiny for some of the attacks, others have originated in the US and mirror misinformation and untruths propagated by Donald Trump and some of his most prominent supporters in the US media.

The EU report examined material published in nine languages and found that even fact checkers were being fooled by false or highly misleading content that was reaching millions of people on social media.
EU officials cited the fact that a third of UK citizens believe that vodka can be used as hand sanitiser as an example of the effectiveness of the disinformation. Conspiracy theories about 5G telecommunication masts facilitating the spread of Covid-19 were also being boosted by actors seeking to promote false narratives, the report said.
“In the period covered by this report, it was confirmed that pro-Kremlin sources and Russian state media continue running a coordinated campaign with the twofold aim of undermining the EU and its crisis response, and to sow confusion about the origins and health implications of Covid-19/coronavirus”, the report said.
The WHO and its director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, have been among the main targets for digital attacks since the outbreak began.
The attacks have included racial abuse and the publication of cartoons of Tedros, an Ethiopian microbiologist and diplomat, as a dog on a lead being held by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.
Earlier this month, Tedros said he had been subjected to racism and death threats and said many of the attacks had originated in Taiwan, which has complained of being excluded from critical WHO deliberations.

Donald Trump blames WHO for dire situation in the US, threatens to pull funding – video
Tedros noted that Taiwan’s foreign ministry had not disassociated itself from the attacks, an observation Taipei rejected as “slander”. The attacks appear to have gathered momentum since Trump began blaming the WHO for the slow US response to the pandemic.
First Draft, a nonprofit coalition investigating internet disinformation, carried out an analysis of 15,000 tweets in the week beginning 14 April which used the hashtags #tedrosresign and #tedrosliedpeopledied.
About a sixth of a sample of 1,200 accounts contained the tag #maga, associated with Trump supporters. “Around 10% of accounts using hashtags attacking the director general were created in the last six months, the majority of those in 2020,” First Draft said.
Ron Deibert, the director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, which studies digital threats to civil society, told the Guardian that while the rise in malign online activities reflected often different behaviours and interests, together they amount to a “perfect storm” of disinformation.
“It’s hard to quantify how widespread it is but there is a threat analyst group I know of tracking 12 nation states and other organisations, both public and private, [who] are reporting a sharp increase.
Deibert cautioned that such campaigns have been seen before, even in the pre-internet era, around for instance well-documented attempts by Russia to spread disinformation blaming the US for Aids. But a combination of global connectivity and anxiety has amplified the intensity of the disinformation war over Covid-19.

“This is a global event that touches everyone directly,” Deibert said. “The heightened level of anxiety means citizens are dependent on getting access to health information, often working at home. That anxiety means people are more likely click on something malicious.
“We’ve been tracking it closely and you can see several different strands connected in various ways. There are different aims and different technologies. But what you can say is they all work in a communications ecosystem which, by design, has created an environment almost irresistible to malicious actors trying to manipulate, confuse and spread disinformation. Everyone is trying to further their strategic aims.”

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How millions use YouTube tutorials to perfect their trade | World news – Blog – 10 minute

Holding an Allen key in a grease-stained hand, João Cruz looks every bit the professional bike mechanic. Wind back five years, however, and this 39-year-old former journalist barely knew how to fix a brake cable.
“To be a good mechanic, you need tools and knowledge; I had the tools, but I needed to get the knowledge,” said Cruz, owner of Velurb, a small bike rental business in the Portuguese city of Porto.
In response, he spent the best part of a year trawling YouTube for tutorials on bicycle maintenance. Even today, he still regularly logs onto the video-sharing website for “tips and tricks” when faced with knotty technical problems.
Cruz is not alone. Around the world, a growing cadre of entrepreneurs are turning to video tutorials posted on YouTube to help them learn their chosen trade.
Another example is Holly Winter, a copywriter-turned-professional-dressmaker from Farnborough in Hampshire. The self-taught designer and seamstress treats YouTube much like a personal instructor, using it to train up in everything from boning corsets to fixing her sewing machine.
“Whenever I encounter something that I haven’t done before or if I need to brush up on some skills, then there is always a YouTube tutorial for it,” she says.

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As well as the sheer breadth of topics covered on the platform, the fact the information is free and readily available keeps her coming back. The appeal becomes especially clear when compared with the time and expense of traditional, in-person training options, she adds.
“It’s only me working the job, so if I have to spend a day or more on a course, then there’s no one else making wedding dresses. I mean, my brides aren’t going to put their weddings on hold for me.”

YouTube kids: how unboxing, gaming and toy reviews took over – video
The obvious upside of learning a trade face-to-face is the ability to asks questions in the moment. But what happens once the course is over? The advantage of YouTube, Winter counters, is the ability to post questions and receive responses long after the tutorial has been delivered and uploaded.
Chinelo Awa shares this sentiment. Owner of Good Cake Day, a bespoke London-based cake decorating venture, she has found most YouTube experts to be “surprisingly responsive”. Her go-to YouTubers include Matt Adlard (AKA the Topless Baker), Joshua John Russell and Lindsey Ann, all of whom clock up tens of thousands of views for their instructional videos.
“If you put a question in the comments, then they usually come back to you … but if you go on a day-course and have follow-up questions, you might not be able to ask the teachers,” says Awa, who works part-time as a paralegal.
Of course, not everything on YouTube is quality information – and not all its contributors are diligent at responding. Nor does the video-sharing platform offer the immediacy of interaction that some social media platforms do. Compared to Instagram’s “live” service, for example, which Awa uses to take real-time classes with professional bakers like Yolanda Gampp, YouTube can feel a little static.
That said, Awa still rates it as a safe space to perfect her trade: “If someone has thousands of followers on YouTube, it’s easy to think that your questions can be stupid, but my experience is that people are happy to help.”
Tai Alegbe agrees. Learning a completely new skillset can feel intimidating, says the co-founder of Contingent, a financial technology start-up. So, the ability to kick off at the beginning and advance at his own pace takes the initial sting out of the learning process.
In his case, the challenge at hand was to get up to speed with basic coding. His initial fears were eased after seeing that most of the coders on YouTube weren’t tech geniuses, but “normal people”. As he notes: “Going online and understanding that these experts are just like you really helps”.
YouTube, which is owned by Google, likes to promote its service as a practical tool for learning and not just a repository of teen vlogs and funny cat videos. According to the company’s own statistics, nine in 10 users worldwide perceive its platform as a “place to learn”. To drum home the point, it now boasts a dedicated “learning” channel for education-oriented uploads.
“YouTube opens us a world of learning that may not be otherwise accessible, whether it is supplemental education, professional and everyday skills or even how-to tutorials and life hacks”, says Katie Kurtz, the company’s head of learning partnerships.
Independent research appears to give credence to the claim. Research by the Pew Research Centre found that “how-to” videos are what bring 51% of all US-based YouTube users to the site.
Likewise, in New Zealand, 57% of millennials on YouTube see the site as a place to “access knowledge and learn new careers skills”. In Australia, meanwhile, a similar proportion (54%) prefer to watch YouTube if they have a question rather than read a user manual or talk to someone on the phone.
Charles Lomu in western Sydney fits that bill. A former high-school dropout, he describes how he used YouTube to commercialise his “side hustle” in barbering: “I was doing haircuts until the early morning, but I never looked at it as a profession because I’d never been to barber school. And then I turned to YouTube.”
Today, Lomu, who now runs his own barber shop, is using his skills to teach barbering to disengaged students at the local high school. Predictably, he has loaded up a series of online videos about the course.
For young people who have grown up using YouTube to help with their homework or teach themselves how to play the guitar, turning to it to learn a trade marks a natural step. Such was the case for Andy Smith, a 31-year-old economics graduate, who recently founded Reco, an e-commerce service for plastic-free products.
Realising he would have to teach himself some rudimentary programming, his immediate instinct was to search online for video tutorials. Learning a trade via YouTube isn’t without its flaws, Smith says. First, there’s the issue of quality control.
Secondly, the task-specific nature of many instruction videos can lead to a piecemeal or patchy understanding. Smith’s programming skills, for example, are still by no means “in depth”. That said, he feels he knows enough now to give clear instructions to any future contractors.
“Has YouTube made me into a Jack of all trades?” he ponders. “Perhaps. If anything, in fact, it’s probably made me into a Jack of too many trades.”
This article is part of a series on possible solutions to some of the world’s most stubborn problems. What else should we cover? Tempemail us at [email protected]

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Japan’s Super Nintendo World looks like the perfect theme park for gamers – Blog – 10 minute

Something to look forward to: Ever wished you could be in a real-life video game? This summer, Universal Studios Japan will be offering the closest we may ever get to that fantasy when it opens Super Nintendo World park. Now, new details about the attraction have been released, along with a promo music video from Galantis with Charlie XCX.
The park, which launches ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games, looks as if it’ll be a paradise for Nintendo fans. Along with a real-world Mario Kart experience and the ability to travel around on Yoshi’s back, Bloomberg reports that it’ll feature wearable, Nintendo-themed wrist bands called “Power Up Bands.” These work alongside a smartphone app, offering “interactive experiences” such as collecting digital coins, battling bosses, and competing with others.

Bloomberg reporter Kurumi Mori, who was at the Super Nintendo World press event, tweeted images revealing more of the mobile app. It includes an overhead map of the park that looks like something straight out of a Nintendo title, and visitors can create profiles and unlock achievements.

“A life-size, living video game” — Thierry Coup shows us the new app used to enjoy Super Nintendo World with a wrist band, touting an interactive experience #Nintendo pic.twitter.com/n468l5elnO
— Kurumi Mori (@rumireports) 14 January 2020

Thierry Coup, the chief creative officer of Universal Creative, said that Super Nintendo World would expand beyond Universal Japan to the US sites of Hollywood, California, and Orlando, Florida. No word yet on exactly when it’ll reach America, though.
It might not be as much fun as the theme park, but last year saw another, albeit unofficial, real-world Mario Kart contest take place: Mushroom Rally USA. Heats were held in Miami, Los Angeles, Denver, and Houston, and participants picked a Mario Kart character costume to wear on the day.

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Adidas smashes stereotype of perfect athletic body with all-inclusive collection- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Adidas is out to smash stereotypes of the perfect fitness body type, by designing an inclusive sizing range for women all different shapes, lumps and bumps.
Inviting all women to see themselves as an athlete, each piece of the performance and streetwear collection is created to inspire the inner athlete in all women, however they choose to play. It includes style-focused activewear alongside lifestyle looks from high-performance tights to statement tracksuits.
Featuring a number of pieces available in inclusive sizing, the Ultimate Bra is available in A-G cups and the Believe This 2.0 goes from sizes 2XS to 4X.
To showcase the versatile collection Adidas has delivered ‘Reimagine Sports’ – a campaign that features Adidas Women’s athletes who are leading the way in celebration of sport for all its forms.
The campaign was created by Iris and features body-positive yoga expert, wellness entrepreneur and author, Jessamyn Stanley; world champion skier, Mikaela Shiffrin; yoga and meditation teacher, mother and author, Mae Yoshikawa; world champion, Paralympic medalist and motivational speaker, Denise Schindler; entrepreneur, writer, self-love advocate and versatile athlete, Chinae Alexander; social entrepreneur, activist, author, student and dancer, Nadya Okamoto; and psychologist, body positive activist and marathon runner, Jada Sezer.
On the launch of the all-women collection, Aimee Arana, general manager of global Training at Adidas said: “Women today are redefining what sport means to them, from dance, skiing, aerial yoga to skateboarding, women are doing it all. Movement is sport and it is about getting out and enjoying what sport can do for your body and mind. This collection was made for them. We are inviting women to get out there and play their way.”

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iFixit gives Fairphone 3 a perfect 10 for repairability – gpgmail


Here’s something the hermetically sealed iPhone can’t do: Score a perfect 10 for repairability.

Smartphone startup and social enterprise Fairphone’s latest repairable-by-design smartphone has done just that, getting 10/10 in an iFixit Teardown vs scores of just 6/10 for recent iPhone models.

The Fairphone 3, which was released in Europe last week with an RRP of €450, gets thumbs up across the board in iFixit’s hardware Teardown. It found all the internal modules to be easily accessible and replaceable — with only basic tools required to get at them (Fairphone includes a teeny screwdriver in the box). iFixit also lauds visual cues that help with disassembly and reassembly, and notes that repair guides and spare parts are available on Fairphone’s website.

iFixit’s sole quibble is that while most of the components inside the Fairphone 3’s modules are individually replaceable “some” are soldered on. A tiny blip that doesn’t detract from the 10/10 repairability score

Safe to say, such a score is the smartphone exception. The industry continues to encourage buyers to replace an entire device, via yearly upgrade, instead of enabling them to carry out minor repairs themselves — so they can extend the lifespan of their device and thereby shrink environmental impact.

Dutch startup Fairphone was set up to respond to the abject lack of sustainability in the electronics industry. The tiny company has been pioneering modularity for repairability for several years now, flying in the face of smartphone giants that are still routinely pumping out sealed tablets of metal and glass which often don’t even let buyers get at the battery to replace it themselves.

To wit: An iFixit Teardown of the Google Pixel rates battery replacement as “difficult” with a full 20 steps and between 1-2 hours required. (Whereas the Fairphone 3 battery can be accessed in seconds, by putting a fingernail under the plastic back plate to pop it off and lifting the battery out.)

The Fairphone 3 goes much further than offering a removable backplate for getting at the battery, though. The entire device has been designed so that its components are accessible and repairable.

So it’s not surprising to see it score a perfect 10 (the startup’s first modular device, Fairphone 2, was also scored 10/10 by iFixit). But it is strong, continued external validation for the Fairphone’s designed-for-repairability claim.

It’s an odd situation in many respects. In years past replacement batteries were the norm for smartphones, before the cult of slimming touchscreen slabs arrived to glue phone innards together. Largely a consequence of hardware business models geared towards profiting from pushing for clockwork yearly upgrades cycle — and slimmer hardware is one way to get buyers coveting your next device.

But it’s getting harder and harder to flog the same old hardware horse because smartphones have got so similarly powerful and capable there’s precious little room for substantial annual enhancements.

Hence iPhone maker Apple’s increasing focus on services. A shift that’s sadly not been accompanied by a rethink of Cupertino’s baked in hostility towards hardware repairability. (It still prefers, for example, to encourage iPhone owners to trade in their device for a full upgrade.)

At Apple’s 2019 new product announcement event yesterday — where the company took the wraps off another clutch of user-sealed smartphones (aka: iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro) — there was even a new financing offer to encourage iPhone users to trade in their old models and grab the new ones. ‘Look, we’re making it more affordable to upgrade!’ was the message.

Meanwhile, the only attention paid to sustainability — during some 1.5 hours of keynotes — was a slide which passed briefly behind marketing chief Phil Schiller towards the end of his turn on stage puffing up the iPhone updates, encouraging him to pause for thought.

“iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 are made to be designed free from these harmful materials and of course to reduce their impact on the environment,” he said in front of a list of some toxic materials that are definitely not in the iPhones.

Stuck at the bottom of this list were a couple of detail-free claims that the iPhones are produced via a “low-carbon process” and are “highly recyclable”. (The latter presumably a reference to how Apple handles full device trade-ins. But as anyone who knows about sustainability will tell you, sustained use is far preferable to premature recycling…)

“This is so important to us. That’s why I bring it up every time. I want to keep pushing the boundaries of this,” Schiller added, before pressing the clicker to move on to the next piece of marketing fodder. Blink and you’d have missed it.

If Apple truly wants to push the boundaries on sustainability — and not just pay glossy lip-service to reducing environmental impact for marketing purposes while simultaneously encouraging annual upgrades — it has a very long way to go indeed.

As for repairability, the latest and greatest iPhones clearly won’t hold a candle to the Fairphone.


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