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No matter what business you’re in, if you work as a sales person or marketing professional, or if you’re a small business owner or business executive, if you are interested in marketing, technology, or music and pop culture, you should read the blog of Bob Lefsetz, a music industry analyst with strong opinions about where the music business is going, and what it means for the way we live. The music industry is one of America’s glamour industries – lots of kids grow up wanting to be rock stars or pop singers. But the reality of the music industry is that it’s a business just like everything else, and the music industry has been severely disrupted by recent changes in technology and consumer tastes.

People often think that the music business is a creative, cutting-edge industry, but in many ways, the music business has gotten caught flat-footed by some of the huge technological changes that have affected the way people spend money on music. According to Bob Lefsetz, rather than being a leading industry that used to inspire dreams and make people want to learn to play the guitar, today’s music industry is in many ways struggling to keep up with the pace of change throughout the broader culture.

Even if you’re in an “unglamorous” business where you’ll never win a Grammy or hang out with celebrities, there are still some surprising lessons about marketing, technology and America’s evolving consumer culture that any sales or marketing professional can learn from looking at today’s music industry.

Here are a few of Bob Lefsetz’s key points about marketing lessons from the music industry:

Today, technology is the new rock n’ roll.

Music used to be the premier pinnacle of American culture. The Baby Boomers believed that music had the power to change the world – that music could help end war and create universal peace and love. Music was the soundtrack to the rebellious, tumultuous 1960s – from the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show to Jim Morrison and the Doors, to Jimi Hendrix and his transcendent talent. But something has changed – music is no longer the industry where people try to change the world. Today, technology is cool in the way that music used to be. Kids used to want to grow up to be rock stars like Mick Jagger; now they want to grow up to be entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs. This doesn’t mean that music no longer has a place in the popular imagination – it’s just that music doesn’t mean what it used to mean; it’s not the driver of the culture that it used to be. Instead, technology has become the new rock n’ roll. America in 2024 venerates entrepreneurs and innovation in the way that we used to worship musicians. The lesson here: it’s cool to be a tech company. It’s cool to be innovative. Tech companies and startups are using the same type of language that iconic musicians used to use to talk about their work “changing the world.” Try to make your brand more innovative and creative – what are you doing to change the world? Don’t be afraid to be ambitious and connect your marketing messages with lofty goals. It’s important for your customers to have an emotional connection with your brand – ideally, your brand should have “fans” who love your products the same way music fans love their favorite bands. Does that sound like too much of a stretch? Just look at Apple – they’ve gone from being an “underground” cult “band” to being the “biggest band in the world” – they even hosted U2 at a recent press conference.

The old business model doesn’t work anymore.

The music industry is a highly visible example of what happens when technology disrupts a big business model. Record labels used to make money by selling actual physical “records,” printed on vinyl. Then they transitioned to cassette tapes and CDs. All of these physical copies of music recordings were very profitable for record labels to sell – as described in this New York Times article from 1995, record labels used to get huge profit margins on CD sales; they could print a CD for 15 cents and sell it for $16.98. Bands used to go on tour to support sales of their new album – the tour was a loss leader for the huge profits to be made from selling physical copies of the music.

But with the rise of digital technology, MP3s and now music streaming services like Spotify, all of that is over now. People don’t want to buy CDs anymore; people want to stream music online, often for free, or for a low monthly subscription fee – even downloadable single tracks like iTunes are behind the times. The music industry has seen its cash cow – album sales – plummet, and they still haven’t figured out what to do next. Digital music sales recently surpassed CD sales for the first time – but lots of record labels are still stuck in the past, making albums that no one wants to buy.

The lesson? Every industry is vulnerable to seeing its business model disrupted by technological changes. You have to adapt. Find new ways of making money even if technology or consumer preferences change and undermine your old business model. For example, the old idea of touring to support an album is totally reversed in the new world of the music industry: today’s musicians make a lot more money by touring than they make from selling CDs.

Be transparent.

Lots of people in the music industry – musicians, record label execs, agents, etc. – have complained that there is no money to be made in music anymore, but that’s not true. Bob Lefsetz continually hits home the point that there is still opportunity out there for musicians who are ready to do things differently – even if you’re not going to be a big radio star or MTV icon like previous generations did, the great thing about today’s digital tools and social media is that it makes it possible for musicians to connect – radically connect – with their audiences. Lefsetz argues that musicians need to open up to their audience – share the behind-the-scenes footage from rehearsals on YouTube or Facebook, put out a new song every week (instead of waiting 3 years to release one big album that is an irrelevant format in today’s world of online streaming), respond to fans’ questions online – show the love to the people who love you most. By building your audience, you will get people who want to come see you perform live, people who will support your career financially, people who will tell their friends about what you do. It’s the same way in other industries – whether you’re a musician or a marketer, today’s marketing landscape is all about radical transparency and constant relationship-building with the people who matter most to your business. Nurture your “fan base.” Be open and honest and real. People will keep buying from you if they feel like they know you and they believe in what you stand for.

The music industry might not be the center of the public imagination like it used to be – today, tech entrepreneurs are in many ways becoming the new “rock stars” – but there are still some valuable lessons to learn from watching the music industry sort out its challenges in the wake of some massive technological disruptions. Even though people increasingly prefer to listen to music online rather than buying albums at the record store, there is still a huge demand for authenticity, honesty and connection with our favorite musicians and artists. Create that sense of connection with your marketing – build your fan base and get them to love you – and you can be a “rock star” in your own world.

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What Can Educators Learn From The Gaming Industry?

Once seen as a form of entertainment or a way to pass the time, games are now becoming prevalent in every industry — particularly in education. Everyone is catching on to the fact that games are engaging. Games are addictive. Educational. Motivational. Games are powerful tools for change and learning.

But what gives games these qualities? And what can educators learn from the gaming industry that they can apply to teaching?

Free to Learn, Free to Play

Games present users with a mechanic — that is, a set outline of rules and dynamics that guide gameplay — and as players invest more time in the mechanic, they get a stronger understanding for how it works and an increased proficiency at applying the mechanic.

Take Braid or Portal. Players are briefly told how the main mechanic works, and are then left to discover how to solve the puzzles using the mechanic. As they progress, the puzzles become harder and require more knowledge of the mechanic and its applications. Think of it like an understanding of Pythagoras’ theorem — students must first grasp the basics and then use their knowledge to explore and solve new and increasingly complex problems.

However, it could easily be argued that gamers are much more motivated to solve a puzzle in Portal than students are to use Pythagoras’ theorem to solve a problem in a test.

Why?

Because students in schools are absorbing and applying knowledge to pass a test. In a game, players are doing so because they want to explore and progress voluntarily. Players have intrinsic motivation in games — a desire to finish the story, beat their friends, or achieve high scores — and in doing so, they are willing to think laterally about how to solve problems.

Games allow for play and experimentation. Humans love to solve problems and create. Shouldn’t this go for education as well? We just need to stop thinking of education as teaching a set of information that needs to be regurgitated, and start thinking of it as a way to approach and understand the world.

Failure is Most Certainly an Option – and It’s Encouraged

When players don’t defeat a boss in-game, they don’t fail at the entire game. They’re not embarrassed, and it doesn’t affect their self-esteem. Rather, they can try again. And again. And again. They can experiment. They can get creative with their tactics.

Games give us a problem to overcome. If we don’t overcome it at first, we try again. And as we re-attempt it, we identify gaps in our knowledge or begin to understand the system a little better so that we can start to develop “strategies” and eventually overcome the challenge.

Adding to this, games give extremely clear feedback. When you go in the wrong direction, the game will tell you so. If you aren’t equipped with the correct weapon to defeat the boss, you won’t defeat the boss (if you play The Legend of Zelda, you know this all too well).

However, if a student fails the SATs or a pop quiz, they are never presented with the opportunity to attempt the same problem again — at least, not in a way that isn’t met with the feeling that they failed drastically. Instead, a traditional learning environment tells its “players” that they only get one shot, one opportunity. And sometimes, students don’t even know why they failed.

But what if educators allowed students to keep trying a problem over and over again until they succeeded? Rather than parrot back information or cram knowledge for the be-all-and-end-all test, students would develop a stronger understanding of the information they are given, and they’d have the opportunity to learn and develop their understanding at a deeper level – without becoming paralyzed by fear of failure along the way.

Games Allow for a Level of Abstraction

Games are sometimes explicit in their learning objectives but, more often than not, learning becomes a byproduct of a game.

Let’s go back to the example of Pythagoras’ theorem. At first, to the unknowing learner, it can seem intimidating, complex, and off-putting. However, traditional education systems don’t allow for much abstraction. Students must learn that a2 + b2 = c2. They pretty much have no choice.

However, games aren’t so limited. They incorporate metaphors, imagery, and ideas to help communicate concepts. Games allow players to learn on a subtextual level. They allow for secondary learning outcomes. They are well known for abstracting complex issues down to basic and easily digestible problems that users can interact with and begin to understand.

Students can really benefit from using games in the classroom, because sometimes abstraction through metaphors, re-enactments, and narrative can do the trick — and do it well.

How have you used games in your classroom? Please share stories and strategies.

What Ai Governance Can Learn From Crypto’s Decentralization Ethos?

Know why there is a need for more transparency and accountability of artificial intelligence and AI governance

The development, application, and capabilities of AI-based systems are evolving rapidly, leaving largely unanswered a broad range of important short and long-term questions related to the social impact, governance, and ethical implementations of these technologies and practices. In this article, we will discuss what AI governance can learn from Crypto’s Decentralization Ethos and why there is a need for governance.

Many sectors of society rapidly adopt digital technologies and big data, resulting in the quiet and often seamless integration of AI, autonomous systems, and algorithmic decision-making into billions of human lives. AI and algorithmic systems already guide a vast array of decisions in both private and public sectors. For example, private global platforms, such as Google and Facebook, use AI-based filtering algorithms to control access to information. AI can use this data for manipulation, biases, social discrimination, and property rights.

Humans are unable to understand, explain or predict AI’s inner workings. This is a cause for rising concern in situations where AI is trusted to make important decisions that affect our lives. This calls for more transparency and accountability of Artificial Intelligence and the need for AI governance. 

Lessons from Crypto’s Decentralization Ethos

The titans of U.S. tech have rapidly gone from being labeled by their critics as self-serving techno-utopianists to being the most vocal propagators of a techno-dystopian narrative.

This week, a letter signed by more than 350 people, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and former Google scientist Geoffrey Hinton (sometimes called the “Godfather of AI”) delivered a single, declarative sentence: “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

According to Coindeck, two months ago, an earlier open letter signed by Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk along with 31,800 others, called for a six-month pause in AI development to allow society to determine its risks to humanity. In an op-ed for TIME that same week, Eliezer Yudkowsky, considered the founder of the field of artificial general intelligence (AGI), said he refused to sign that letter because it didn’t go far enough. Instead, he called for a militarily-enforced shutdown of AI development labs lest a sentient digital being arises that kills every one of us.

Why AI Governance is Important?

Job Threats– Automation has been eating away at manufacturing jobs for decades. AI has accelerated this process dramatically and propagated it to other domains previously imagined to remain indefinitely in the monopoly of human intelligence. From driving trucks to writing news and performing recruitment tasks, AI algorithms are threatening middle-class jobs like never before. They might set their eyes on other areas as well, such as replacing doctors, lawyers, writers, painters, etc. 

Responsibility- Who’s to blame when software or hardware malfunctions? Before AI, it was relatively easy to determine whether an incident was the result of the actions of a user, developer, or manufacturer. But in the era of AI-driven technologies, the lines are blurred. This can become an issue when AI algorithms start making critical decisions such as when a self-driving car has to choose between the life of a passenger and a pedestrian. Other conceivable scenarios where determining culpability and accountability will become difficult, such as when an AI-driven drug infusion system or robotic surgery machine harms a patient. 

Technological Arms Race-Innovations in weaponized artificial intelligence have already taken many forms. The technology is used in the complex metrics that allow cruise missiles and drones to find targets hundreds of miles away, as well as the systems deployed to detect and counter them. Algorithms that are good at searching holiday photos can be repurposed to scour spy satellite imagery, for example, while the control software needed for an autonomous minivan is much like that required for a driverless tank.

According to experts, the technology could be used to better pinpoint bombing targets. This may lead to any autonomous weapons systems, the kind of robotic killing machines. To what extent can AI systems be designed and operated to reflect human values such as fairness, accountability, and transparency and avoid inequalities and biases? As AI-based systems are now involved in making decisions for instance, in the case of autonomous weapons. How much human control is necessary or required? Who bears responsibility for the AI-based outputs?

To ensure transparency, accountability, and explainability for the AI ecosystem, our governments, civil society, the private sector, and academia must be at the table to discuss governance mechanisms that minimize the risks and possible downsides of AI and autonomous systems while harnessing the full potential of this technology. The process of designing a governance ecosystem for AI, autonomous systems, and algorithms is certainly complex but not impossible.

Access Google Music From Rhythmbox

We all know that Google doesn’t like to support the Linux platform. While the search giant uses Linux on many of its services (such as Android and Chromebook), there is never a proper Linux desktop client for its services. This is true for Picasa, Google Drive and Google Music. While you can access Google Music from your Linux desktop with Nuvola player, it is basically a wrapper for the web interface and it doesn’t come with many of the features found in most music players. For Rhythmbox fans and users, here is a way for you to access Google Music in Rhythmbox.

Rhythmbox is the default music player for Ubuntu and it allows you to use plugins to extend its functionality. The rhythmbox-gmusic plugin adds the Google Music feature to Rhythmbox, allowing you to play your cloud music in the desktop music player.

To install, simply open a terminal and type:

sudo

add-apt-repository ppa:nvbn-rm

/

ppa

sudo

apt-get update

sudo

apt-get install

rhythmbox-gmusic python-dateutil python-requests python-validictory

Update: Add these additional commands for it to work:

sudo

apt-get install

python-pip

Activate the Google Play Music plugin. You will now see a Google Music section in the left pane.

To access your Google Music library and playlist, you have to first login and authenticate with your Google account. Once you have done that, your music and playlist will show up in the list. You can then select any song to get it playing.

Limitation of Google Music plugin

At the moment, the plugin is pretty limited in functionality. There is no context menu and you can’t create any playlist, be it for your local machine or for Google Music. The closest thing you can do is to drag the song(s) to the Play Queue. Also, your music and playlist are “read only”. That means, while you can listen to your songs, you can’t make changes to them and have them sync back to the cloud.

In conclusion, if you just want to listen to your music in Rhythmbox, this plugin will allow you to do so. You will have to create playlists in the (Google Music) web interface before you can play them in Rhythmbox.

Do you think this is a useful plugin? Or you rather use Nuvola Player or directly play from the web interface?

Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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Technology’s Impact On The Healthcare Industry

Instead of being treated at psychiatric hospitals equipped with the latest technology and qualified psychiatrists in the 21st century, mental illness has been deemed a crime that could be punished by placing people in “insane asylums”. This was often what led to them going insane. These conditions were thought to be treatable by vomiting and bleeding in the 1600s as a way to “purge” them.

1. Digitalization of Medical Records

No more filling out pages of Times New Roman font paperwork listing every one of your pre-existing conditions.

The introduction of electronic health records in the 20th century has made it possible to keep track of previous diagnoses, injuries, prescriptions, as well as all details from hospital stays. This is especially useful for patients who are unconscious and need to be admitted to the hospital. It drastically reduces the chance of making a mistake in their treatment.

It’s difficult to find a doctor’s office or healthcare provider that doesn’t use an EHR. This is because it’s an integral part of patient care. The sharing of medical records, as with all digitization processes, has made it easier to access, made patient data extremely secure, and relieved a lot of work from secretaries and assistants.

2. Improved Doctor-Patient Communication

Before the internet, patients could only get in touch with their physicians or doctors by phone or by visiting them. Portal technology has ten-fold strengthened those communication links. Patients can access their medical records and test results whenever they are ready. They can also book appointments from anywhere.

Telemedicine has been a rising star in the healthcare industry, despite hospitals having restricted access to patients for the past two years because of COVID-19 concerns. Although the practice has been around for some time, it was only used for very special occasions. For example, people living in remote areas who couldn’t access a hospital in their city could communicate with top doctors by calling instead.

3. The Internet in All Its Completeness

It is quite amazing to see how many people use the internet to find information about healthcare before going to a doctor. It’s a good moment to remind you that constant stomach pains do not necessarily indicate you have intestinal cancer. A doctor’s appointment is the best alternative.

4. Wearable technology and mobile health (mHealth)

Wearable technology and mobile health (mHealth) are two examples of how technology is transforming the healthcare industry.

Wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, can monitor health indicators like heart rate, blood pressure, and physical activity, providing valuable data to healthcare providers. Similarly, mHealth apps can provide patients with personalized healthcare information and resources, such as medication reminders and health tracking tools.

By making healthcare more convenient and accessible, wearable technology and mHealth can empower individuals to take control of their health and well-being.

The DoFasting app is a great example, as this personalized virtual fasting assistant can provide tailored feedback and encouragement, as well as assist people in tracking their fasting progress. This tool makes it simple for individuals to reach their weight loss goals and enhance their overall health.

Ultimately, wearable technology and mHealth are contributing to a shift towards a more patient-centric and preventive healthcare model, which has the potential to improve health and reduce healthcare costs.

Conclusion

We have moved on from the days when we had to have lobotomies in order to rewire brain circuits and alleviate suffering. The healthcare industry has made great strides in recent years, so curing incurable diseases will not be an impossible task.

What Are The Signs Of Cpu Failure & What Can You Do?

What are the Signs of CPU Failure & What Can You Do? Here’s what a CPU on it’s deathbed looks like

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Man-made hardware such as CPUs are great but after some time, they will deteriorate and their performance will decline significantly.

To prevent surprise, you need to look out for CPU failure symptoms so that you can arrange for a replacement before it’s too late.

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Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

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The CPU is often likened to the human brain in terms of the work it does on your PC. As such, it’s a very important component that should be kept healthy at all times. While good maintenance will extend the lifespan of your CPU, you cannot escape from the inevitable wear and tear. 

At some point, your CPU will show failure symptoms, especially if you get high CPU usage messages from time to time. In this article, we let you in on some of the symptoms to look out for so that you can be prepared.

How do I know if my CPU is failing?

CPU failure is a very serious situation. It can be caused by many factors, but the most common is overheating.

If you have a dead CPU, there are many things that can go wrong in your computer system –  from slow performance to total system failure. If you suspect that your CPU is on the brink of collapsing, try the following steps to help determine whether or not it’s time for a new one:

What happens when the CPU fails?

CPU failures are usually caused by overheating, dust and corrosion. Overheating is the most common cause of CPU failure. The CPU is designed to operate within certain temperature limits. When the temperature reaches a certain point, it causes the CPU to fail. 

The first thing that happens when the CPU fails is that it crashes. While you can take steps to lower high CPU temperatures, sometimes, your CPU is beyond help. Your PC will make a short series of sounds and then shut down. It’s a pretty dramatic way to go, but it happens fast.

Most modern computers are designed to be tolerant of crashes. They can be restarted, and they will continue running without missing a beat. But there’s a limit to how much they can tolerate before they start breaking down.

If it happens often enough, your operating system may have been scrambled by whatever happened. Some signs such as apps freezing, random shutdowns, slow boot time, and a generally deteriorated performance indicate that you may need a new CPU.

What are the signs of a dead CPU? 1. High CPU temperature

A high CPU temperature is not always due to overheating problems but could also be caused by other issues such as bad cooling or defective fans. When the CPU heats up too much, it will have an impact on system performance and cause errors.

The first sign of a dead CPU is high CPU temperature. You can install CPU monitoring software to ensure the temperatures don’t go beyond the recommended limit and keep your PC healthy.

2. It won’t boot up

If the computer continues to boot, but then shuts down again, this could be a CPU failure symptom. For laptops, even when fully charged, it may be slow in booting.

Expert tip:

3. Random shutdowns

When a computer’s CPU is dying, it can cause various problems with the system. This can include random shutdowns caused by overheating. Random PC shutdowns can be very annoying because they often occur at inopportune times.

You may be working on a project and need your computer to stay online but it just shuts down. If you’re experiencing this problem, your CPU might just be on its death bed and you need to start thinking of getting a new one.

4. Abnormal behavior from the CPU fan 

When you notice your CPU fan isn’t spinning as fast as it used to, it’s a good sign that your CPU is dead. If your CPU fan slows down, then the heat generated by your CPU can’t escape through the heat sink and dissipate. 

This can eventually lead to severe overheating and damage to the motherboard or other components. If the fan doesn’t spin at all, it may have burned out, or it could be something more serious like a faulty power supply. Always check your fan speed to ensure it is at optimum levels.

5. Inability to use several applications simultaneously

When you open multiple applications or programs at once, your CPU may overload with all the data. This often causes the system to slow down and eventually crash. If this happens frequently, it could be an indication that something is wrong with your CPU or motherboard.

You’ll find that you can’t play games or use several applications at once without experiencing lag time or slow-down issues. 

This is because your computer will not be able to handle its full potential when using multiple applications simultaneously. It will usually freeze up when using certain applications and eventually shut down.

Can I fix a CPU failure?

CPU failure is a common issue with computers and laptops, especially if you use the computer for long hours. When a CPU fails, it can be hard to tell if it’s actually broken or if the problem is somewhere else. 

If you want to salvage whatever little life is remaining from your CPU, proceed to do the following:

Clean your CPU – You can use a vacuum cleaner to blow out dust from inside the CPU.

Disable overclocking – If you have a CPU that is overheating, then it might be time to disable overclocking. Overclocking can cause your CPU to overheat, or it could also damage your processor.

Replace your CPU fan – If your PC is overheating, then you need to replace its fan or get a CPU cooler. You should also check whether there are any cracks in the fan casing. These can cause the fan to stop working completely.

Upgrade your CPU –  A healthy computer is one that has all its components working together properly and in order. If your CPU has reached its end of life, you need to get a new CPU.

Also, CPU cleaners can help you with the efficient resource management of your CPU so that it isn’t overworked. Hopefully, you now know what signs indicate CPU failure and take the necessary steps to ensure you keep yours for as long as possible.

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