EA and Activision Blizzard CEOs featured in ‘The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs’ report

EA and Activision Blizzard CEOs featured in 'The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs' report

The chief executive officers of two major video game companies have found their way onto As You Sow’s 2019 report on “The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs”, a report that uses pay data to call out pay disparities in publicly traded American companies.

Both Electronic Arts’ Andrew Wilson and Activision Blizzard’s Bobby Kotick have earned spots on this year’s list along with the likes of Walt Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, and 96 other high-earning execs. This all comes just a week after Activision Blizzard announced that it would lay off an estimated 800 employees following the close of a record year.

As You Sow takes more than a CEO’s yearly earnings into account when ranking its list, something detailed in full in the full report. In short, the organization looks at factors like total shareholder return and votes against CEO pay packages to calculate the chief execs earning in excess. The methods for calculating that exact excess can be found in Appendix C in the full report as well.

Following that methodology, the group clocked Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick as number 45 on that ranked list of the most overpaid CEOs. By As You Sow’s data, Kotick is paid $28,698,375 (an excess of $12,835,277 by the organization’s estimates). The ratio of Kotick’s pay compared to median worker pay at Activision Blizzard is 301:1.

The median pay ratio for S&P 500 companies is 142.1, while the median pay ratio for the 100 members of As You Sow’s list is 300:1.

Electronic Arts’ Andrew Wilson, meanwhile, is ranked a bit lower on the list as number 98. His yearly take is $35,728,764 (an estimated excess of $19,673,861 as determined by the report), a paycheck that was supported by 97 percent of shareholders’ votes. Though median pay ratio wasn’t used as a metric for ranking those high-earning CEOs, the difference between Wilson’s own pay and that of the median Electronic Arts employer is greater than Kotick’s. As You Sow records that ratio as 371:1.

The gap between median worker pay and CEO pay has ballooned in just the past several decades, as explained in the following quote captured by Axios.

“If you look at the pay of top CEOs relative to workers, that ratio in the 1950s was 20 to 1, was about 30 to 1 by the late ’70s, and by the mid-1990s it was 120 to 1,” said Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary for President Bill Clinton, during a recent call with Axios and other reporters. ”When I was working in the White House that was a cause of real concern. That ratio seemed appalling to most people. Now it’s 300 to 1.”

[“source=gamasutra”]

The NBA All-Star Draft Featured Two Good Jokes And One Good Trade

LeBron James finally had a trade that he orchestrated go his way on Thursday. Unfortunately, that trade came in the context of a meaningless exhibition game.

Inside the NBA hosted the league’s first televised All-Star Draft, which featured the two captains, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, bantering with the show’s crew while selecting their teammates for the February 17 showcase. The jokes were about as dad-like as you’d expect, with Ernie Johnson being the main host James and Antetokounmpo spoke to during their picks. Giannis, to his credit, did manage to make one of the two good jokes that came from the show

But the most surprising moment of this event came after the teams had been selected, when LeBron decided to put his GM hat on and propose a trade to the opposing captain.

LeBron: “Well since it’s that time of the year, Ernie, and I have a feeling that Giannis would love to see Russ [Westbrook] and [Joel] Embiid be teammates—because we know how much they get along—I’m proposing a Russell Westbrook for Ben Simmons trade.”

For context, Giannis had previously mentioned how he wanted to bring the two feuding sides of Embiid and Westbrook together through the magic of the All-Star Game, because he’s “all about love” and “a lover not a fighter.” LeBron apparently figured he could bring Simmons, who James had wanted but missed out on, to his team while bringing some minor chaos to the event. Unsurprisingly, Embiid reacted on Twitter.

The cherry on top of the whole event was Charles Barkley interjecting after Giannis agreed to the trade that the Greek Freak should consider trading his whole bench for Anthony Davis—which was the second good joke of the show.

[“source=deadspin”]

 

The best from the science journals: Story of sleep and sea stars

Here are some of the most interesting research to have appeared in top science journals last week

Rock-a-bye baby

Published in Current Biology

Have trouble sleeping? Buy a rocking bed. Two studies published last week have found out that continuous rocking helps in falling asleep faster and sleeping more soundly. In the first study, 18 adults underwent a sleep monitoring programme in a lab and the researchers noted that the group that slept on a gentle rocking bed had more non-REM deep sleep. The second study carried on mice was able to point out that the rocking promoted sleep through a rhythmic stimulation of the vestibular system(the region in the inner ear that maintains balance).

Expanding jelly tablet

Credit: MIT

Credit: MIT

Credit: MITPublished in Nature Communications

Similar to the growing water jelly balls you have at home, MIT engineers have designed a soft tablet that can grow in your stomach and stay there for about a month. But why? The researchers say that this hydrogel device can be used to closely study the digestive system. It can even help monitor medication-taking patterns, track cancers or ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract

 

King-sized in Kuiper

Published in Nature Astronomy

The Kuiper Belt, the doughnut-shaped ring of icy objects beyond Neptune, has always fascinated astronomers. Believed to be leftovers of the early Solar System, objects floating in this belt help to understand the formation and evolution of our Solar System. Now astronomers have discovered a Kuiper belt object with a radius of about 1.3 km, the largest discovered so far. They hope to decipher more about the growth phase of objects and planets in the outer Solar System.

‘GO dough’ graphene

Credit: Northwestern University

Credit: Northwestern University

 

Credit: Northwestern UniversityPublished in Nature Communications

What happens when scientists awaken the child in them? They create play dough with a twist. A group of researchers from Northwestern University, USA has turned graphene oxide(GO) into a soft dough that can be shaped into 3D structures. The GO dough makes storage and transport of graphene oxide easier. It also has enhanced the mechanical properties of graphene and can be used to make electrocatalysts.

See you, sea stars

The sea star: A side-by-side comparison of two photographs taken near Croker Island in British Columbia. At left, thousands of sunflower sea stars swarm Croker Rock on Oct. 9, 2013. At right, the same site, three weeks later, with the sea stars vanished.

The sea star: A side-by-side comparison of two photographs taken near Croker Island in British Columbia. At left, thousands of sunflower sea stars swarm Croker Rock on Oct. 9, 2013. At right, the same site, three weeks later, with the sea stars vanished.   | Photo Credit: UC Davis

Published in Science Advances

After affecting corals and crustaceans, warming oceans have now led to a massive decline in sea star population. Researchers have pointed out that infectious viral disease and increasing sea surface temperatures are the

main reasons. Divers noted that between 2013 and 2017, the population collapsed and they were unable to find the sea stars in areas where they once reported an abundance of the species.

 

 

[“source=thehindu”]

10 Marvel planners and journals to make you feel like an organized superhero

These inspiring and stylish Marvel planners and journals will help you stay inspired and work towards your goals and resolutions for 2019.

While it might be almost February, it’s still a good time to make resolutions and goals for the years. It’s also a perfect opportunity to evaluate the resolutions you made a month ago and see what you need to do to continue on with your plans for a successful 2019. One way to make keeping resolutions more exciting is to get organized and buy a journal and planner that will inspire you.

Simple things like having a notebook you love can help you keep track of your goals more efficiently. We’ve collected 10 Marvel-themed planners and journals that any MCU fan will love. You’ll be inspired by your favorite heroes to keep working hard when you use them!

Marvel: Spider-Man Hardcover Ruled Journal

We all know that “with great power, comes great responsibility,” and this planner will remind you of your own strength and power each day. You’re going to love being able to schedule out your days and be reminded of how Peter Parker was just a normal guy in Queens who became a hero. Maybe you can do your part to make your own hometown better, too!

Price: $17.06

Marvel Logo Journal

Sometimes the best way to get inspired to do great things is to be reminded of all of your favorite heroes. This journal is bold in black and red colors and features images of many Marvel characters. You’ll be able to write out your goals, thoughts, or whatever else you need to stay organized in this journal.

Price: $19.99

Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Journal

It’s hard to believe that the MCU has been around for 10 years. This journal will remind you of how much good can come over time if you work hard and plan ahead. You’ll be reminded to think of your long-term goals when you use this journal to work on your resolutions. You can also use this sleek Iron Man pen when you do so to be further reminded of how one moment can bring to pass something extraordinary.

Price: $14.95

Moleskine Captain America Notebook

Captain America is a very inspiring and dedicated man. When you use this sturdy notebook, you’ll be reminded to work hard and try your best. You don’t want to let Cap down after all! This Moleskine notebook is the perfect place to keep track of fitness goals or career plans and be inspired by a picture of Captain America each time you do so.

Price: $24.95

Captain Marvel School Planner

Journals and notebooks can be perfect for a variety of purposes, but sometimes it’s best to have a more structured planner to help you design your days. This Captain Marvel school planner is marketed for kids, but it’s perfect for fans of any age. You’ll be inspired to go “higher, further, faster” when you use this planner to organize your life. Plus, you’ll love that it comes with stickers!

Price: $14.99

Groot Premium Journal

This Groot journal is adorable and sweet, and you’ll smile each time that you look at it. You can use this journal to write down any thoughts that inspire you or anything that makes you feel creative. You can also use it to doodle or work on art. Space is really the limit here! You are Groot!

Price: $17.43

Avengers: Infinity War Logo Journal

While Infinity War might have been rather traumatic, this journal with the Avengers logo is sleek and simple. You’ll be reminded of how powerful you can be if you team up with others around you to work towards a good end.

Price: $18.95

Black Panther School Planner

Black Panther is a film full of many inspiring people. T’Challa is a wise, gentle king, and his sister Shuri is a genius. You’ll be motivated to follow your dreams when you use this fun, colorful planner to work on your resolutions. You’re going to love using this planner to organize your life!

Price: $13.49

Grid Superheroes Hard Cover Journal

This notebook features images of the Avengers in their original comic book forms. The cover is colorful and attention-grabbing. If you leave it next to your bed, it will be easy to jot down your goals for the day. You’ll be cheered on by the images of your favorite superheroes fighting crime.

Price: $12.95

Deadpool Journal

Deadpool is a rather unconventional hero, so this notebook will remind you that you can do great things even if you’re a little different than the norm. This journal is ideal for writing down hilarious thoughts alongside your daily tasks and goals. Deadpool would be proud of you!

Price: $12.99

 

[“source=culturess”]

New technology should dramatically reduce cellphone scam and robocalls

Image result for New technology should dramatically reduce cellphone scam and robocalls

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) There’s new hope in this new year that fewer scam or robo-calls will bother people thanks to new technology and blocking efforts by service providers who are being pushed by the FCC to make changes.

In March, Verizon says it’ll be providing its customers with a free app that will help filter out scam and robo-calls.

It will join T-Mobile and AT&T who also offer various forms of free filters aimed at reducing the annoying calls.

Robo-calls from telemarketers and scam calls are inundating mobile phones.

Many of the scam calls originate from overseas using technology that clones or spoofs legit numbers to make it look like the call is coming from someone you know.

It’s getting worse, according to a company that offers data solutions to mobile carriers.

First Orion says it’s anticipating in 2019 at least half of all calls made to cell phones will be fraudulent.

“What we tell people is if you don’t recognize the phone number, don’t answer it,” says Gavin Macomber who is a Senior vice president of First Orion.

He says when you answer a call and start engaging with someone — like pressing a number to connect to an agent, “as soon as you do that, you’ll start receiving a lot more scam calls.”

But there is technology being brought on line that may start eliminating scam or robo-calls right from the source of that call.

Last week T-Mobile began offering “Caller Verified” service.

It’s using a new technology nicknamed STIR and SHAKEN which the FCC wants all carriers to adopt.

STIR stands for Secure Telephony Identity Revisited and SHAKEN is an acronym for Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs.

It’s sort of like a digital fingerprint for phone calls.

Here’s how STIR AND SHAKEN technology work:

  • When a person makes a call, the caller’s service provider checks the source of the call and the number with an authentication service to make sure it’s legit.
  • It then sends the call to your service provider using a special authentication code.
  • Before the call is passed on to you, your service provider does a double check by sending the authentication code to another verification service.
  • That verification service checks the number against a database called a certificate repository.

 If it all checks out, and isn’t a robo-call or a cloned number, the call is then passed to your phone.

This all happens in a matter of seconds because it’s all done electronically.

The STIR and SHAKEN technology will work best when all carriers adopt it.

Otherwise, a scam or robo-call from a non-participating carrier can still get through to your phone even if your provider is using that tech.

Right now, only calls to and from T-Mobile phones are screened with this technology.

Other carriers have said they’ll get on board with STIR and SHAKEN soon  — and the FCC is pushing them to do it as quickly as possible.

[“source=cbs17”]

Augmented reality and acid attack: Using technology for social change

Priya's Mirror,Exhibition,Triveni Kala SangamArt and technology can be an effective tool for social change and sensitisation. This one-of-its-kind exhibition in the Capital demonstrates the same. Priya’s Mirror, the ongoing exhibition, uses augmented reality for the cause of acid attack survivors.

The exhibition is about India’s first female superhero Priya Shakti, who is a rape survivor, and was named by UN Women as a gender equality champion. She is now helping a group of acid attack survivors to find their strength and conquer their fears – similar to how she overcame her fears after surviving a brutal rape — highlights the works at the exhibition. One needs to download a free mobile app and scan the comic book images at the exhibition, using the phone camera. And, that’s all you need to interact with the 2D images.

“Art is not just for visual aesthetical enjoyment but is an important tool to enable conversations and lead the way forward. Our epics are full of stories of women who were violated and the violators had to differ karmic lessons whether it was Indra Dev (violated Ahalya) or Ravan (collated Ramba and many other women). But these stories perhaps have no resonance in modern world. Hence we need contemporary stories in contemporary mediums to explain not just how heinous the crimes against women are but also women have the power to overcome the suffering through their own inner strength and that society has a responsibility to support these women,” says Mukta Ahluwalia, the curator of the exhibition.

Priya’s Mirror has been created by filmmaker Paromita Vohra, and documentary filmmaker Ram Devineni, actor Shubhra Prakash and one of the comic book creators Dan Goldman. “Priya is the main character of our comic book series and is India’s first female superhero who is a rape survivor. The reason why she is in this chapter, “Priya’s Mirror” is because we observed that acid attack survivors and rape survivors face the same cultural stigmas, prejudices and fears. So, this was an opportunity to make correlations between them through Priya,” says Devineni who has designed the augmented reality experience.

To come up with the series, the team has worked closely with the acid attack survivors in India, Colombia and USA and interviewed them. “Listening to the interviews was very important, because while we look at acid attack victims and think of the horror of their crime, visually evident in scars, when we listen we hear the person they are: mischievous, sweet, hopeful, intelligent. We learn to see them again as the people they are, not only the way we are schooled to see their appearance. This was a very crucial holistic way of looking at the women as multi-faceted people,” says filmmaker Paromita Vohra.

Good to have ties with China, Russia, Japan and India: Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump on Monday said it’s good to have relationship with countries like Russia, China, Japan and India as he expressed hope to reach a trade deal with Beijing.

Trump, addressing reporters at the White House before leaving for Louisiana for a farmers event, said the US is doing very well with China, which is having a hard time with its economy because of the tariffs he has imposed on the import of their items.

“I have a great relationship with President Xi Jinping because it’s good to have relationships with Russia, China, Japan and India and I have relationships with almost everybody. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said.

“I think that we are going to be able to do a deal with China. We are, I can tell you, we are getting things that, before I became president, you would’ve had no chance at getting. They would have laughed at your president’s face,” he said.

The US and China have been locked in an escalating trade spat since early 2018, raising import tariffs on more than US $300 billion of each other’s goods US officials were in Beijing last week for talks to resolve the trade dispute. Trump and Chinese leader Xi agreed on December 1 to a three-month truce in the escalating spat.

The next round of negotiations would be held in Washington between January 30 and 31 Both sides have set March 1 as the deadline to defuse trade tensions.

“We’re doing very well with our economy. We are at records. Our unemployment numbers just hit a record, another record. We’re doing extremely well as a country. We’re doing better than any country right now anywhere in the world. China wants to negotiate,” Trump said.

[“source-“hindustantimes”]

Eight Great Apps and Software Services That Launched In 2018

Eight Great Apps and Software Services That Launched In 2018

2018 was rather special and interesting, from a software point of view. While tech giants continued to deliver futuristic, mind-bending and impressive software and services, they also realised their own software was chewing away our brains, making us all sloppy. We took a good look around to see which software and services were introduced this year that are likely to shape the way we use most of our tech products.

Here are our top picks for the best software and services we saw in 2018.

1. Google Duplex
Google likes to show off cool stuff at its I/O developer conferences each year. Duplex, however, was way above anything we’d seen. It just blew everyone’s mind away. Built as a feature inside Google Assistant, Duplex can place phone calls for you to make reservations for you and more. All this in a human-like tone that could be hard for someone on the other line to make out if it’s an actual human being or a robot.

google main duplex

The search giant even demonstrated the feature in front of the crowd and it didn’t sound anything like a robot as Duplex added a little “hmmm” and “umm” into the conversation. The uses cases are endless and it looked like this could completely change the way we use our smartphones.

However, once everyone picked up their jaws from the floor, there was a growing concern amongst many that Duplex calls may be amazing, but a little too creepy. Google has assured that Duplex will properly notify that a call is being made from a robot when it’s working.

The feature has started rolling out to Google Pixel owners in the US.

2. WebAuthn
Let’s be honest, passwords aren’t everyone’s favourite method of authentication even though we continue to live our daily lives with one. Back in April this year, two major standards bodies FIDO and W3C revealed that they were going to kill the good old password with WebAuthn.

WebAuthn is simply a new protocol that eliminates the use of a password. The most popular browser makers like Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla have agreed to integrate WebAuthn within their browsers. Users will be able to use a physical security key (USB) or a mobile device instead of a password. This could make things a lot easier for Internet users all across.

3. Screen Time on iOS and Digital Wellbeing on Android
As technology is making our lives simpler and easier, it’s also slowly vacuuming us all into a world we can’t escape from. This year, the makers of the two most popular mobile operating systems decided to change things a little.

we;; wellbeing

Both Apple and Google announced new features built right inside the OS to help users measure how much time they were spending on their mobile devices.

Apple introduced Screen Time on iOS 12 and Google added Digital Wellbeing on Android 9.0 Pie. Both services may have different interfaces but share a common goal. The idea is to get you to use your phone less so you don’t spend hours staring at it when you could be doing something else, something more productive.

Later in the year, both Facebook and Instagram apps introduced their own version of these features.

4. Siri Shortcuts
With iOS 12, Apple also introduced a new way to make the most out of Siri. Siri Shortcuts lets users group together a bunch of iOS-based actions and easily trigger them using voice commands. A large chunk of iOS apps also added support for Siri Shortcuts.

siri short short

Although the idea sounds simple, it has become a popular way to get things done on an iOS device. From something as simple as having a text message sent when something else happens, to asking Siri about the status of your online food order, it can do pretty much anything you want.

The feature makes Siri more useful and powerful.

5. Otter
Otter is a mobile app that can automatically transcribe your voice recordings. The app is quite different from similar apps we’ve seen in the past. It is specifically meant for long-form conversations and can accurately convert voice to text without any issues.

Otter is perfect for meetings, interviews, and other events where more than one person is talking. The app can capture the audio, transcribe the content, and turn it into an archive that can be easily searched. The app is available on both iOS and Android. There’s a Web interface available as well.

[“source-ndtv”]