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Largest Spike in Hate Crimes Since 9/11, Says a Report

The number of hate crimes reported in the United States jumped by 17% last year, the largest increase since 2001 when the terrorist hijackings on 9/11 fueled a surge in attacks on Americans of Muslim and Arab ancestry.

A total of 7,175 hate crime incidents were reported to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016, said the UCR Program's annual Hate Crime Statistics report, Xinhua reported.

It's the third year in a row the FBI has reported an increase in hate crimes. The number of hate crimes in 2016 rose about five percent from 2015.

The 2017 incidents encompass 8,437 total offences, meaning some involved multiple criminal charges.

According to the report, the most common bias categories in single-bias incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry (59.6 percent), religion (20.6 percent), and sexual orientation (15.8 percent).

The victims represented a cross section of society, with African-Americans and Jews the most frequently targeted victims. Of 34…

"Public Health Programmes Failed to Address Anaemia among Girls, Women"

Government health and nutrition programs substantially reduce anaemia in children under five years of age and expectant mothers but fail to focus on girls and non-pregnant women, according to a study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Considerable progress was made in India between 2006 and 2016 in reducing anaemia in children under five years of age and pregnant women, showed the study titled “Trends and drivers of change in the prevalence of anaemia among 1 million women and children in India, 2006-2016,” published in BMJ Global Health journal. However, there was minimal progress in the anaemia status among teenage girls and women under 50.

However, Improved public health and nutrition programmes for children under five years of age, and higher education and wealth among expectant mothers substantially contributed to lowering anaemia among these two groups between 2006 and 2016, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said.

Anaemia reducti…

60% Indian Businesses Want to Use AI to Automate Tasks: Survey

While nearly 60 percent business leaders in India are planning to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate tasks to a large extent, 20 percent believe their workforce has the skills needed to work with advanced technologies such as AI, according to a survey by Accenture.

More than half of Indian business leaders recognise skills shortages as a critical hindrance to future growth, but few plan to increase their training investments over the next three years, according to the research titled "Future Workforce Study".

Four in five (80%) also recognize that their workforce is under-prepared to adopt advanced technologies.

"The commitment to using advanced technologies for growth needs to be supported by an equal commitment to transforming the organization for the future," said Managing Director at Accenture.
The study is based on a survey of 1,100 workers across skill levels in India and a survey of 100 senior executives in India.

The vast majority of workers expr…

Twitter Accounts Linked to FAKE News Still Thriving: Study

Twitter still remains a hotbed for accounts spreading fake news, suggests a new study that looked into how fake and conspiracy news flourished on the microblogging site both before and after the 2016 US presidential election.

More than 80 percent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation during the 2016 election are still active, said the study by the Knight Foundation.

These accounts continue to publish more than a million tweets in a typical day, the study said.

Using tools and mapping methods from Graphika, a social media intelligence firm, the researchers studied more than 10 million tweets from 700,000 Twitter accounts that linked to more than 600 fake and conspiracy news outlets. 

Twitter, along with other social media platforms including Facebook came under intense scrutiny of policymakers in the US for their failure to stop the spread of misinformation on their platforms during the 2016 election.

The microblogging site since then has stepped up its efforts to …

Women Perceive Edited Instagram Selfies as Less Authentic: Study

Women may perceive selfies on Instagram and other social media sites as less authentic if they know it has been edited, a new study suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Body Image, suggest that when women believed that selfies of thin and sexualised women had been edited, viewing these images had less negative impact on their mental health.

"Women see the edited photos as less authentic and it reduces the negative effect these images can have on them. They know that the online images might not reflect an offline reality," said lead author Megan Vendemia from The Ohio State University in the US.

According to the researcher, many studies have found that viewing thin and sexualised images of models or others can lead women to put more value on being slender themselves -- a line of thinking called thin ideal internalisation.

This internalisation can in turn lead to eating disorders or other psychological problems. But the findings suggested that women were less like…

2.2 bn Facebook Users Must Log Out, Re-login Across Devices, Says Experts

After Facebook admitted that hackers broke into nearly 50 million users' accounts by stealing their "access tokens" or digital keys, cyber experts on Saturday warned over 2.3 billion users to log out and log back into Facebook, or any of third-party apps that use Facebook login.

Facebook has reset the access tokens of almost 50 million accounts it knew were affected. It has also taken the precautionary step of resetting access tokens for another 40 million accounts that have been subject to "View As" look-up in the last year.

"For now, logging out and back in is all that is necessary. The truly concerned should use this as a reminder and an opportunity to review all of their security and privacy settings on Facebook and all other social media platforms," Chester Wisniewski, Principal Research Scientist with global cyber security major Sophos, told.

According to Dr Gary McGraw, Vice President of Security Technology, Synopsys (Software Integrity Group)…

"Indian Smartphone Users Consuming average 1GB Data a Day"

Smartphone users in India are consuming an average 1GB data per day -- from an average 4GB a month not long ago -- and spending more than 90 minutes on online activities daily across the entry-level, mid and premium segments, a Nielsen India report said.

India has emerged among the most preferred smartphone markets in the world owing to affordable handset prices and low-cost data penetration, triggering a huge replacement demand among the customers across segments, the "Nielsen Smartphone 2018" report added.

"The advent of high-speed 4G Internet, less-expensive mobile handsets and a correction in call data charges have encouraged the speedy adoption of smartphones in India," said Abhijit Matkar, Director-Technology IPG - Nielsen India.

To meet the demand of the mass market, new Chinese and Indian handset makers have launched affordable handsets which are under Rs 5,000.

"This sudden influx of affordable smartphones created a whole segment of new consumers who …

Migration from Kerala Declined 11% in 5 Years: Study

Factors like the declining population in the 19-25 age-group and stagnant wages in the Gulf countries could be responsible for migration from Kerala declining 11 per cent between 2013 and 2018, a new study says.

"Of the 2.1 million emigrants (from Kerala in the Gulf and elsewhere), 15.8 per cent are females. However, there is a reduction of 3 lakhs migrants, which is one-tenth of the number of migrants in 2013. In 2018, we reached a stage where migrants figures shown a negative growth of 11.6 per cent," S. Irudayarajan, who led the Kerala Migration Survey (KMS) 2018 told.

The survery is the eighth in a series of studies on migration undertaken by the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) since 1998. CDS is an internationally renowned, self-governing institution known for its cutting edge research in applied economics and topics germane to socio-economic development. It was established in 1971 by the late Professor K.N. Raj, considered the archistect of India's First Five-…

'Cyber Security, Data Privacy Biggest Concerns for Indian Businesses'

Most business leaders in India regard data privacy and cybersecurity concerns as the biggest barrier to their digital transformation, a new report 'Digital Transformation Index' from Dell Technologies said.

According to the research, 93 per cent of Indian businesses are facing major impediments to digital transformation today.

Almost half of Indian business leaders believe they will struggle to meet changing customer demands within five years, according to the report tilted "Digital Transformation Index" (DT Index).

Offering insights into the areas where Indian businesses are considering investment to drive their digital transformation, the research showed that regulation or legislative changes and lack of the right in-house skill sets and expertise are the other top concerns for Indian businesses.

The research also indicates that businesses are taking steps to overcome their barriers, along with the threat of being outmanuevered from more nimble, innovative players…

'Social-media commerce accounts for 79% of online selling in India'

Sales through social media platforms account for over 79 per cent of the total online selling of goods and services in India, a report said.

Growing digitisation and increasing internet penetration in India have reportedly encouraged commerce to move online, it said.

"Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are used most by merchants in India, than anywhere across Asia (excluding China)," said the report named "Beyond Networking: Social Commerce as a Driver of Digital Payments".

Across the Asian markets surveyed, India leads with 84 per cent of merchants using mobile-enabled payment methods, according to the survey.

The survey found that about 52 per cent of the total consumer demand on social media commerce comprises cosmetics and beauty products.



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Email Distractions Prevent Bosses From Being Good Leaders !

If you want to be a better boss, check your emails less often. Distractions from email can impact managers, their productivity and their role as leaders, suggests a study.

The findings showed that while employees spend more than 90 minutes every day -- or seven-and-a-half hours every week -- recovering from email interruptions, managers' distractions have far-reaching implications.

"Like most tools, email is useful but it can become disruptive and even damaging if used excessively or inappropriately," said Russell Johnson, Professor at the Michigan State University in the US.

"When managers are the ones trying to recover from email interruptions, they fail to meet their goals, they neglect manager-responsibilities and their subordinates don't have the leadership behaviour they need to thrive," he added.

For the study, the team collected surveys from a group of managers twice a day for two weeks.
On days when managers reported high email demands, they repor…

'Digital Trust in India NOT as High as Businesses Think'

Business leaders in India areoverestimating consumer trust in their organisations as well as their ability to handle and protect consumer data, a new report on digital trust from software major CA Technologies suggests.

Digital trust refers to the confidence that consumers place in an organisation to collect, store and use digital information.

There is a gap of 12 points between consumer digital trust and the perception of that by business decision makers and cybersecurity professionals, according to the report tilted "Global State of Digital Trust Survey and Index 2018".

"When it comes to digital trust, there is a wide gap between perception of business leaders and reality," S Manglore, Managing Director, India, CA Technologies, said.

Revealing the India-specific results of the report said that 86 per cent of the consumers have moderate to high digital trust towards the organisations they interact and transact with.

This translates to 67-points on the Digital Trus…

"Internet Freedom Remained Stable in 2017 After a Decline in 2016"

Key Developments: 
JUNE 2016–MAY 2017

Internet access and speeds improved (see Availability and Ease of Access: Key Indicators).

Local authorities ordered temporary telecommunication service shutdowns in at least 37 separate reported incidents (see Restrictions on Connectivity).

Officials ordered service providers in the Kashmir valley to block 22 social media sites for a month, including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp (see Blocking and Filtering).

Over 20 people were detained for online comments about religion or political issues ranging from a water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to a demonetization policy intended to combat corruption; a Kashmiri was held for several weeks in Chhattisgarh for sharing an “anti-India” cartoon (see Prosecutions and Detentions for Online Activities).

The Supreme Court recognized privacy as a fundamental right in a landmark ruling in August 2017 (see Surveillance, Privacy and Anonymity).

Internet freedom remained stable in 2017 after a decline in 2…

Will social media replace traditional media as democracy's fourth pillar?

By Saket Suman

The increasing polarization among media in India -- and perhaps across the world -- has led to an unprecedented trust deficit in everyday news. What was once regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy today finds itself under the scrutiny of citizens as tainted news published with self-securing motives are an everyday occurrence in our times.

The times we live in are extremely challenging for the media. How media outlets have been hand-in-glove with political leaders and parties is no secret today. A journalist now commands far less respect in society than was the case even a decade ago. All of this, along with a host of other compelling factors, have together led to a massive down-slide in the media's place in a liberal democracy. There is the suspicious eye of the audience, who, even while reading or watching what the media reports, refuses to believe. Media is no longer, for most audiences, the honest purveyor of news -- difficult to digest but apparently true.

Th…

Rural Youth Prefer Not To Be Farmers: Survey

Youth in rural India are often forced to work in their family farms, but they prefer going to cities, joining the army or becoming engineers, teachers or nurses, found a survey.

A large number of rural youth in the 14-18 year age group, about 42%, were working irrespective of their school enrolment status and among these, 79% were employed in the agriculture sector, showed the Annual Status of Education Report (Aser) 2017 released by the non-profit Pratham.

This means about a third of the over 30,000 rural youth from 28 states who were surveyed worked in the agriculture sector, mostly in their family farms (72% of those who were working).

However, the survey also showed that just 1.2% aspired to be a farmer. While 18% of the boys wanted to join the army or the police, 12% wanted to be engineers. Young girls preferred teaching (25%) or working as a doctor or a nurse (18%). About 13% of the boys and 9% of the girls surveyed also said that ‘any government job’ is preferable.


The survey r…