The Flash will debut in June 2022
We’re living in some polarizing times, both online and IRL. I genuinely feel like there’s just one thing we can all agree on: we don’t know who and what to trust. In this era of fake news and of huge companies that act in unethical and even illegal ways, it’s understandable that people want — and demand — more from the companies they buy from. It’s why consumers want brands to be more transparent. And I’m seeing many brands that are certainly responding to that — more and more businesses over the world use transparency marketing to some degree. But how… This story continues at The Next Web
With its depictions of period sex, stealthing, sexual assault and the mental health fallout, I May Destroy You explored tough subjects in ways that felt unfathomable for TV only a few short months ago.But as well as dark and sobering, the BBC series proved to be enjoyably stylistic – it is hard to think of any other drama centred around sexual assault that had language this poetic and scenery this beautiful.That balance is testament to its creator, writer, director, producer and lead actor Michaela Coel, who crafted a piece of groundbreaking television that resonated with so many. As a result, other writers and commissioners will have been inspired to tell bold and brave new stories, using I May Destroy You’s formula as a springboard for their ideas. Nadia Fall, the theatre director who gave Coel an early break in National Theatre show Home, reflects on why the show felt so pertinent.“I May Destroy You moved my family, my friends, people who don’t give a shit about art,” she says. “They’re teachers, supermarket check out people, my mum: people who aren’t in the arts were also moved by it. So it’s not pretentious. I’m sounding like an insane fangirl, but I am…Fall continues: “Moon cups, periods... as women we don’t even talk about [the issues brought up in the show]. That’s how deep it goes.”Ita O’Brien, intimacy coordinator on I May Destroy You, following her work on shows including Sex Education, was tasked with honouring Coel’s brave writing on screen. She worked to ensure each taboo-smashing scene felt as literal as it did in Coel’s script.Take the assault scene featuring Paapa Essiedu’s character Kwame, where he is abused by a man during a hook-up that began consensually. O’Brien and Coel were keen to make the scene as realistic as possible to how the situation might play out in real life.With gay male sex, says O’Brien, historically it is shot from behind, but in the show the two man are face-to-face. “To see that connection as opposed to the disconnect from behind, and then making sure we’ve got that position right... As a woman I went to have legs turned out, and they said, ‘uh uhh, legs parallel.’“Getting the detail right… It takes time to penetrate, it takes time to withdraw, for me it’s when you get that detail.”Coel and her team had complete creative control over the I May Destroy You shoot, having turned down a $1m contract with Netflix that may have encroached more on her autonomy. Coel chose to go with the BBC because commissioner Piers Wenger allowed her to tell her story, based on her own experiences, in the exact way she requested, without trying to cram her idea into a more conventional format. “When she first pitched the series as 12 half-hours, it was the first time we had committed to that particular shape to a series,” says Wenger. “I had a moment of wondering how Michaela was going to sustain the story across 12 separate sittings. But as it turns out she was absolutely right – and that new shape proved to be the perfect vessel to carry the scale of her ideas.”Alexia Skinitis, drama editor at Radio Times, believes I May Destroy You has the boldest female narrative ever seen on BBC One and hopes the show’s realistic depictions of sexual assault and menstruation will inspire a new generation of female writers to find their own voice as Coel did.“What made I May Destroy You truly unique and special is that it felt completely authentic and true to Michaela’s voice and vision – unadulterated, unashamed and brilliant,” she says. “To believe in the importance of their experiences and the value of sharing them.”And the more people that write from diverse perspectives, the more authentic and representative of different life experiences our TV landscape will be as a whole – but audiences have their part to play, too.“By watching and expressing our enjoyment of series like I May Destroy You, audiences can also influence channels to provide more varied dramas, not just the usual period, crime or bestselling novel adaptation hits they rely on,” urges Skinitis.When you see something that moves you and rocks your world, of course, a whole generation is going to try and be inspired by it, and some will try and copycat itNadia Fall, director who worked with Coel on Home at the National TheatreIn an effort to create more truly representative drama, writers may attempt to copy the style of I May Destroy You, believes Nadia Fall. These spin-offs may be clunky or they may be great, but she calls imitation “the highest form of flattery”.“That’s what art has always done,” she says. “When you see something that moves you and rocks your world, of course, a whole generation is going to try and be inspired by it, and some will try and copycat it. That’s just how it is in every art form, and that’s alright. “There will be some good things that ricochet from this, there might be some terrible pastiches that never quite get it right but that’s just flattery, that’s great.”So what might new boundary-pushing shows look like? Skinitis from Radio Times reminds us that even though there will be inevitable copying there’s always room for more fresh and innovative perspectives.“Just when you think you’ve seen everything on screen, there’s always something that comes along and feels taboo,” she says. “There will always be something new that will shock and surprise viewers - but the whole point is that we don’t know what that is yet!”The important thing is that groundbreaking scenes – such as the one where a blood clot is discharged during sex – give new writers the confidence to pen scripts about other topics we haven’t seen on TV before. This type of brave new writing speaks to communities of people, or certain experiences, that many of us are living through in silence, and through the power of art, we can start to break down these stigmas in real life too.READ MORE:
‘A True Artist': How The Unstoppable Michaela Coel Became The Most Exciting Talent In TV
7 Women On Their Most Memorable Orgasm: 'An Absolute Mind-Bending Sensation'
Opinion: I May Destroy You Captures The Devastating Way The Justice System Fails Victims Of Sexual Assault
The new map design (right) does a better job at distinguishing between Iceland’s ice caps and greenery. | Image: Google
Google Maps is being redesigned to make it easier to distinguish between natural features in the environment, whether they’re mountainous ice caps, deserts, beaches, or dense forests. Google says the new maps will be available in the 220 countries and territories currently supported by Google Maps, “from the biggest metropolitan areas to small, rural towns.” Google says that street maps are also getting more detailed in select cities.
Google says it used satellite imagery as the basis for its redesigned maps and that this has had a “new color-mapping algorithmic technique” applied to it. The end result does a much better job of showing off the differences between natural features, such as between snowy peaks and dense forests or green...
Jack Dorsey said that Twitter was already working on "decentralizing" its workforce before the coronavirus outbreak hit.
Dorsey said the company has been working on the issue for "a year, if not two years" during an appearance on "The Boardroom: Out of Office" podcast this week.
"No one wants to move to San Francisco anymore, no one can afford to live in San Francisco anymore," Dorsey said.
Twitter was one of the first tech companies to close down its offices in March, and Dorsey has since announced that employees can work from home forever if they'd like.
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When the coronavirus began spreading in Northern California, Twitter was one of the first tech companies to close down its offices and tell employees they can work from home forever.
But CEO Jack Dorsey said the plan to "decentralize" the company's offices has been in the works for a while.
During an appearance on "The Boardroom: Out of Office" podcast this week, host Rich Kleiman — cofounder of Thirty Five Ventures and manager of NBA superstar Kevin Durant — interviewed Dorsey about a range of topics, including what motivates him and how to avoid burnout while running two major corporations.
Kleiman and Dorsey discussed the future of the office and what a tech company should look like in the internet age. Dorsey said Twitter has been working "for a year, if not two years" around decentralizing the way employees work.
"The reason why is like, every entrepreneur I talk to that's doing something internet-related today, they're starting their companies not having an office, not having a headquarters, not having a requirement that everyone has to be in San Francisco," Dorsey said. "No one wants to move to San Francisco anymore, no one can afford to live in San Francisco anymore, so they're hiring people all over the country, all over the world."
Dorsey said that having a distributed workforce was "the whole promise of the internet" to begin with.
"It makes location irrelevant but yet here we are, an internet company, that's completely centralizing in San Francisco," Dorsey said. "We're not living up to the ideals of what the internet inspired us to be and what it can show."
Dorsey said the company wanted to make a change to the way its employees work as quickly as possible, so Twitter "took any reason to" institute a flexible policy — in this case, the coronavirus.
Dorsey also seemed to criticize the government's response to the virus, saying that Twitter felt like it had to take on the responsibility of protecting its employees and the communities it works in.
"There's two bodies that can affect individual lives in a significant way and that is our governments and the place we work. And we took on that responsibility and just made sure that we were doing our part if our government wasn't going to," he said.
None of the major San Francisco Bay Area companies have sent employees back to work yet, with most saying employees can work from home until the end of the year. In Facebook's case, for example, CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently told employees that eventually as many as half of the company's employees would most likely work from home.
But if employees stay at home forever, many of them say they won't stay in the Bay Area. A recent survey from job-search database Hired found that more than 40% of Bay Area-based tech workers say they'd move to a less expensive city if they were asked to permanently work from home.
San Francisco is the priciest US city for homebuyers, and only 18% of households are able to afford to purchase a median-priced home in the region. And while San Francisco's median income is $112,376, anyone interested in buying a home in the city would need to make a salary of at least $172,153 to be able to afford the mortgage. Cost of living has become so high that even tech workers are struggling to afford it: a recent survey from workplace chat app Blind found that 70% of tech workers said they can't afford to buy a house in the Bay Area. SEE ALSO: Silicon Valley's open offices are probably over, thanks to the coronavirus — but they were always bad for employees anyway
Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: The rise and fall of Donald Trump's $365 million airline
German software giant SAP launched a handful of activities to keep employees connected amid the coronavirus crisis, including a wine tasting session and a Tinder-like app for connecting colleagues for virtual lunches, Bloomberg reported.
The company noticed that many of its single employees missed the in-person interactions of the office: "We realized we needed to address their loneliness and isolation, but do it in an open and positive way," an exec told Bloomberg.
The company has 100,000 employees across 180 countries and one of the biggest, unexpected challenges of the shift to remote work was finding ways to keep them connected, former co-CEO Jennifer Morgan told Business Insider in April.
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German software giant SAP created a slew of employee-bonding activities as the coronavirus crisis has kept most of its employees home since March, according to Bloomberg, including an in-house app where employees can swipe left or right on each, a format popularized by the dating app Tinder. If employees match, they can coordinate a virtual lunch over video call.
That custom-built app and SAP's other initiatives came to be after its human resource team noticed that many of its single employees were missing the social interactions they'd typically have at the office, according to diversity and inclusion officer Nina Strassner.
"We realized we needed to address their loneliness and isolation, but do it in an open and positive way," she told Bloomberg reporter Benedikt Kammel.
In shifting its employees scattered across 180 countries to remote work, one of the biggest, unexpected challenges was actually helping workers who lived alone feel safe and connected, former co-CEO Jennifer Morgan told Business Insider in April.
"Because I have a family — as many people around me do — I didn't realize that, with 100,000 people, there's a lot of people who are alone," she said.
So, the staff created a variety of activities its employees could enjoy from home, including film screenings, video game competitions, and wine tastings where bottles were delivered for free and sommeliers guided participants, according to Bloomberg. Around 1,700 workers also attended a virtual barbecue led by expert butchers.
While those experiences are focused on SAP's German workers, different regions are employing their own new initiatives to keep company morale alive during isolation, too. In North America, the company is hosting a "Tour de SAP" Peloton competition, spokesperson Lesa Beber told Business Insider. And in the San Francisco Bay Area, the company has reworked its annual summer paint night and escape room tradition by coordinating small groups that can meet and do the activity together.
"We take every opportunity to listen to our employees ," Beber told Business Insider via email, "And ensure we are doing everything we can to ensure they are comfortable and feeling empowered."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is currently out of commission after a thick support cable fell onto its main reflector dish.
It looks like Xbox Series X is going to be launching without its biggest franchise in tow. Today, Microsoft and 343 Industries announced that Halo Infinite has been delayed. Originally slated to be a launch title for the Xbox Series X (and release on the Xbox One simultaneously, for that matter), Halo Infinite now won’t be launching until sometime in … Continue reading
Student leaders have urged the UK government to scrap moderated A-level grades in England after Scotland’s embarrassing U-turn.The National Union of Students (NUS) has called for UK education secretary Gavin Williamson to take “decisive action” after Nicola Sturgeon announced 124,564 computer-generated results north of the border would be binned and replaced by teacher assessments.Students will find out whether they have met the requirements for higher education in the rest of the UK on Thursday.Scotland’s education secretary John Swinney announced on Tuesday that exam results downgraded by a controversial moderation process would revert to the grades that had been assigned by students’ own teachers.He also confirmed marks that had been moderated upwards would not change.There had been outrage that students from poorer backgrounds in Scotland were hit hardest by downgrading.Exam boards in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have moderated the grades submitted by schools and colleges to ensure this year’s results are not significantly higher than previous years.Larissa Kennedy, president of the NUS, said: “The Scottish government have taken decisive action to respond to this situation, which must now be reflected across the UK.“Students have worked incredibly hard throughout their education, and their efforts should be recognised. Now should be a time to celebrate their achievements rather than place a limit on their potential.”She added: “In these unprecedented circumstances the UK government should follow the lead of Scotland by scrapping moderated grades. This temporary measure must be taken to avoid a situation in which thousands of students do not receive the grades they deserve because of where they live.” Meanwhile, academics have warned that getting predictions right is a “near-impossible task” and have urged decision makers to back an admissions system based solely upon actual grades in future.A paper from the UCL Institute of Education says university applications should be delayed until students have received their A-level results to help remove potential inequalities.Researchers said they could only predict a quarter of pupils’ best three A-levels correctly – even after removing any opportunity for bias.High-achieving students in non-selective state schools are also more likely to be under-predicted at A-level compared to their grammar and private school peers, the study suggests.Academics – from UCL Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities and Oxford Brookes Business School – studied data from 238,898 pupils’ GCSE performance to see whether they could accurately predict their subsequent A-level results.Among high achievers, the researchers found 23% of comprehensive school pupils were under-predicted by two or more grades compared to just 11% of grammar and private school pupils.Co-author professor Lindsey Macmillan said: “This research raises the question of why we use predicted grades at such a crucial part of our education system.“This isn’t teachers’ fault – it’s a near-impossible task. Most worryingly there are implications for equity, as pupils in comprehensives are harder to predict.”Related...
Scottish Government U-Turns Over Students' Grades After Outcry
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Government Under Pressure To Avoid Exam Results 'Disaster' That Hurts Poorest
Sony uses its expertise in cameras, screens, and design on the desirable and unusual, but rather niche, Xperia 1 II.
Eat out to BSOD?* Bork!Bork!Bork! A return to form for burger-botherers McDonald's with a summertime BSOD in today's entry in The Register's diary of distressed digital signage.…
The Nreal Light mixed reality glasses are shipping in Korea alongside Samsung’s newly announced Galaxy Note 20. LG Uplus will sell the glasses as a standalone device for 699,000KRW (around $586), and it’s bundling them with the Galaxy Note 20 or LG Velvet and a 5G data plan for 349,500KRW (around $295). Preorders open on August 11th, and the headsets will be available in stores on August 21st.
The Nreal Light (also referred to as “U+ Real Glass”) is a light sunglasses-style headset that tethers to a separate computing device — in this case, the Galaxy Note 20. It uses spatial tracking and projected images to overlay apps onto the real world, and Nreal pitches it as a more spacious alternative to a smartphone when you’re watching videos,...
Companies such as Amazon and Shopify have seen huge tailwinds to their e-commerce businesses during COVID-19.
Not so much for Google.
One top Wall Street analyst says it's something Google "needs to address" in the coming months. "I don't know if they have to acquire or develop their way back," he said.
A recent internal reshuffle along with some changes to the selling process could help Google in its efforts to claw back in shopping, but it won't be easy.
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While companies such as Amazon, Shopify, and even Facebook have seen huge tailwinds to their e-commerce businesses during the pandemic, Google continues to lag behind.
That much was made apparent when the company announced its Q2 earnings last week, revealing an 8% drop in search advertising revenue year on year – and a historic revenue decline overall.
Now, Google and analysts have a renewed focus on shopping, but they want to know: can Google catch up?
"There's clearly this spike in e-commerce activity – that's what's behind the rise of Amazon, eBay and Shopify – and at some level you wonder is Google less relevant to overall e-commerce than it used to be?" RBC analyst Mark Mahaney told Business Insider.
"I think it's something they need to address," he added.
Amazon has seen a monumental boost to online shopping during the pandemic,doubling profits to $5.2 billion in the second quarter and exceeding Wall Street expectation by a whopping 600%. Meanwhile, Shopify reported a revenue jump of 97% from a year earlier.
"When we have this pandemic-induced spike in online retail, Amazon full participates, Shopify fully participates, and then Google doesn't," said Mahaney. "So it kind of highlights that they're less relevant in e-commerce, I guess that's the clear evidence. That's something to really mull."
Google has made several recent notable changes in shopping, which analysts believe could pay off in the coming months. For example, at the end of June, it announced it would make it free for retailers to sell products in search results.
Shortly before that, the company shuffled Prabhakar Raghavan – previously SVP of ads, commerce and payments – to the top of a huge internal structure where he'll also oversee search and geo, which could help Google in its efforts to push shopping.
In fact, on an investors call last week Google CEO Sundar Pichai said there would be a "long-term focused effort on shopping with the new leadership team," alluding to the benefits of the reorg in the coming months.
But it will be a tough battle ahead, particularly going into the holiday months where Amazon will only reap more of the rewards.
"I don't know if they have to acquire or develop their way back. And it may be that they just can't," said Mahaney. "They'll always be relevant, they'll just be at the margins slightly less relevant, and they have enough properties that that's ok. That could be the answer."
He added: "If you wanted to sell on the internet, you once had to pay Google and it drove a lot of traffic your way. It's less obvious now that you have to pay Google to grow."SEE ALSO: Google's deal for Fitbit faces an EU probe — and regulators who watched the company break a major promise after buying DoubleClick in 2008
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As the White House zeroes in on a single app, some experts say more pressing issues are going by the wayside.