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A survey reported over the weekend said that Apple lags behind Amazon and Google in having the most positive impact on society.

The original report was rather light on detail – it seems the survey didn’t ask people the reasons for their choices. That’s problematic because I suspect most people answered from their own selfish viewpoint rather than from a societal perspective …

It can be tough to separate the two, as I reflected in trying to answer the same question for myself.

Amazon

Let’s start with Amazon, which took the number one slot in the poll, with 20% of Americans viewing it as having the greatest positive impact.

If I were to look at this from a purely selfish perspective, then yes, Amazon is a pretty big help in my life. I hate shopping, so do almost all of it online. Aside from our grocery deliveries, almost everything I buy comes from Amazon.

I’m also a big fan of Kindle Unlimited – though it’s not without its flaws, it allows me to read a lot of books for significantly less than I would otherwise be spending.

So yes, personally, I’d say Amazon is a positive part of my life. But on society? Maybe not so much. The company creates jobs, but not great ones. Amazon Marketplace creates an opportunity for small businesses to expand their reach – but at the same time every order through Amazon is one fewer one for local stores. It does generate tax revenues, though the company initially did its best to minimize same. It’s certainly a mixed bag so far as societal benefits are concerned.

Google

The same is true of second-placed Google.

The search engine is, of course, great. Most techies have, I suspect, played around with others – and almost all of us come back to Google.

Gmail is the default email account. If someone asks me which email service to use, I always tell them they have to have a very good reason to use anything else. It’s fast, reliable and has unrivalled spam-trapping.

Google Apps are also a huge benefit. Where Microsoft Office was once the default choice for individuals as well as businesses, I’m increasingly seeing people using Google Apps instead.

I also use a whole bunch of Google mobile apps and services, like Google Photos as a second cloud repository for my iPhone shots, and Google Maps, which I still prefer to Apple Maps. Google or Google Authenticator apps are a convenient form of two-factor authentication. And so on.

Google has also been great for education. Chromebooks with Google Apps are an affordable way for schools to roll out computers to lots of students.

And there are the moonshots. Many of these are all about societal good, like Project Loon, geared to bringing Internet access to people who don’t currently have it.

Most of the things for which Facebook is currently taking flack are things that Google invented, has done for years and still does today. Now, you can take the view that this is the price of a free service, and personally I’m pretty pragmatic about it. But for a company whose motto was once ‘Do no evil,’ it has certainly entered some grey areas.

Apple

Apple is perhaps the trickiest one of all to assess in terms of benefit to society.

Again, viewed from my own selfish perspective, I’m extremely grateful that the company exists. I have my complaints, of course. Overcrowded stores, iTunes, App Store search, App Store management, software bugs, tax avoidance, packaging … I could (and indeed have) go on, but you get the idea. I’m certainly no fanboy convinced that Apple can do no wrong.

But I love (most) Apple designs. I love (most aspects of) Apple’s approach to user interfaces. I love the way that Apple devices (mostly) work together seamlessly. Given the amount of time I spend using gadgets, it makes quite a big difference to my life that they are (mostly) a pleasure to look at and to use. And that’s a benefit millions of people get to enjoy.

Things get tricker when it comes to societal benefits. Apple’s stand on the environment, for example, can be viewed as a big plus. If we weren’t buying Apple devices, we’d be buying something else, so I’d say it’s a benefit to society as a whole that one of the biggest companies in the world tries to be environmentally responsible in its production and operations. And the fact that Apple products tend to last for a long time, and be supported by updates for a long time, is an environmental plus.

At the same time, however, Apple actively encourages people to change products as often as possible. Annual iPhone updates and the iPhone Upgrade Program are of course geared to persuading customers to buy new products at least every other year. And Apple has become much more fashion-focused of late, with new cases, Watch bands and so on that encourage frequent purchase cycles – which is an environmental negative.

Apple has a Supplier Responsibility Program that is certainly among the best in the business. It goes further than most big companies when it comes to laying down the rules by which its suppliers must abide, and conducting monitoring and auditing to ensure compliance.

But I think it’s also fair to say that, if it wanted to, it could do more. More surprise inspections, fewer scheduled ones, for example. And it could put more of its own monitoring and welfare staff in factories full-time.

I think Apple generally looks after its customers well. Free technical support in Apple Stores. A strong stance on customer privacy. Offering software updates for typically five years or more. Often showing generosity to customers who are just outside their warranty period, and offering a subsidized replacement option for customers who do have to pay.

But the company’s focus on the premium end of the market means that these benefits are offered to a relatively select slice of the global population. It could, if it wanted to, reduce margins to make its products more affordable to more people, but it – in general – chooses not to do so. (Though the iPhone SE and $329 iPad have made iOS devices more accessible of late.)

So, as I say, a tricky one to assess. The bottom-line is that all of the companies in the list do some good and so some harm. It’s impossible for any of us, I think, to have an entirely objective view when we depend so heavily on those companies personally.

If I didn’t find Amazon such a convenient way to shop, would I be tougher on its employment record? If I didn’t use so many Google products, would I be more critical of its data collection practices? If I didn’t like Apple products so much, would I be more critical of the planetary resources it consumes to drive our desire for ever more gadgets?

Ask a bunch of random people to assess a company’s benefit to society and I think it will be heavily influenced by its benefit to their own lives.

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No Company Is Perfect, But Did Apple Stop Trying To Be?

About a week ago, Apple did something not entirely unprecedented yet rare enough to make big waves across the tech world. Without warning and seemingly off-the-cuff, they backtracked on the AirPod release date, postponing indefinitely a product they had massively built up themselves in September.

It is by no means the first time Apple is somewhat behind schedule in rolling out a product (take the Mac Pro, the iMac Retina 27”, or watchOS 2 in 2024), but it is for the first time pertaining to the product accounting for Apple’s biggest following and largest share of revenue: the iPhone.

While this might help explain the sheer scope of reactions to the announcement this time around, one cannot help but wonder if an increasingly unfavourable public perception of Apple’s standards also plays into the response. To be clear: in a world where billion dollar companies ship spontaneously combusting devices it’s a hiccup that must not be dramatised. With that said, Apple have once again given ammunition to critics who like to point at an expanding trail of imperfections. Could Apple be slacking off?

In view of the (badly communicated) AirPod situation, it’s a question Apple must be willing to stomach without taking offence. Regardless of their response, which without a shadow of a doubt would be a resounding rebuttal, it is astounding to observe how Apple needlessly set themselves up for failure in this instance.

Notwithstanding the fact that it looks at least a little unwise to release the first flagship iPhone embracing wireless audio and its designated wireless AirPods months apart, the pathos (#courage) and determination put on display when a late October arrival was promised to the public really seemed to jinx it from the off.

Does setting yourself a deadline for an obviously unfinished product mean slacking off? Of course not – if anything it means the opposite. But what do we find on the other end of the scale? Imprudence for one, possibly paired with overzealousness, two nouns we were not used to associate with the Cupertino-based company until recently.

Taking a step back from the self-inflicted AirPod situation, it is not too much of a challenge to recount other incidents where Apple appeared to throw their ‘it’s not done until it ships’ mantra under the bus.

People are quick to pick at the first generation Apple Watch in this context, however I would not call that a very strong case. It has become quite evident in the software department though and Apple’s sudden willingness to roll out beta functions on devices running final version software: iCloud Photo Library in iOS 8, Apple Music Beta on Android, chúng tôi the new Portrait camera mode on iOS10 just to give you a few examples.

For us users, some of these introductions definitely hit the ground running, while others did not. What matters is that Apple clearly started feeling the heat of the market and at some point made the decision to provide quicker access to certain innovations, even if it comes at the cost of a conceivably unpolished product. This is a conscious decision driven by eagerness if you are the glass-half-full kind of person, haste if it’s glass-half-empty for you. In that sense the motivations described above are pretty similar to the AirPod scenario.

In other words, is Apple guilty of sacrificing their vehemence and focus on the little things for the prospect of for example competing in the high-margin car business? Did Apple really believe they could nab a piece of the upscale jewellery market with their original $17,000 Apple Watch Edition?

This seems uncoordinated at best and while it is well within the company’s rights to experiment, throwing ideas at a wall and seeing what sticks is a method kind of running counter to the ideals of the company that used to think different.

The AirPod example is also reminiscent of the 2013 Mac Pro mishap, when early customers were promised shipping by December but eventually Apple had to back paddle on that too. Disgruntled customers aside, this went down on the back of the now famous ‘can’t innovate my ass’ line by Phil Schiller, a sentence that accurately sums up the gist of the previous paragraphs: almost inexplicably (considering their financial prowess), Apple can act like they are on the back-foot, as though they have to prove that they are still on top of their game.

Not only on top actually, but also blazingly fast at it. Unfortunately, a cocktail of the two is bound to have them run into recurring trouble and upset customers along the way. Just like with the AirPods.

What matters at the end of the day is not necessarily if you believe Apple is overambitious or complacent. What matters more is that it has been a while since Apple released an absolute prestige product which exceeded everyone’s expectations. The new MacBook with Touch Bar could be a good start, but it is early days. What matters the most is for Apple to keep its word on the dates no one but themselves decide to put out to the public.

If I sound a little salty on this topic, it could be because I am – and that’s Apple’s biggest failure. The importance of strong customer relations is part and parcel of the marketing 101 and Apple need to do a better job at adhering to it by not messing with the customers’ expectations.

If you have something in the pipeline but do not want to be quoted on a release date, guess what – that’s fine too. However do refrain from imposing an unreasonable timeframe onto your project and if you just cannot resist, at least do not communicate it with the public.

This is not stick for refraining from putting out an unfinished product, it’s merely a note on intelligent customer communication. In that regard the Apple of late is slacking off, but the good news it’s nothing they cannot recover from.

Binance Vs Coinbase: Which Is The Most Preferred Crypto Exchange?

Binance vs Coinbase are the two front-running trading platforms that are often in competition with each other

The world is undergoing a complete financial transformation recently. Many investors are choosing

Binance vs Coinbase: Exploring the General Differences Binance

Binance was launched in 2023 and in a very short period of time, it has emerged as one of the most adopted crypto exchanges in the world. Numbers suggest that Binance records the most daily activity of any crypto exchange and provides a plethora of features. However, only crypto investors outside the United States can use the general chúng tôi platform as the US federal government has imposed regulations to limit the features. One of the biggest setbacks that Binance faced in 2023 was the regulatory compliance put forth by the US government. Unlike many other crypto platforms that only provide services for top cryptocurrencies, Binance gives space for over 500 digital tokens, starting from the most popular to the least and emerging once. However, on the downside, Binance US is only able to offer roughly 50 cryptocurrencies for trading. Since Binance provides many crypto services, they list them all together. For example, a new cryptocurrency will be listed along with bitcoin and dogecoin. Therefore, it makes it extremely difficult for investors to sort out the market performance of certain digital tokens that could even be a scam. As mentioned above, Binance offers an extraordinary set of toolkits for investors. It provides custom API keys and custom-charting for investors. Besides, investors can pull in-depth data available on the Binance platform to perform analysis. They can individually sort which cryptocurrency is doing well in the market through their own analysis. Binance also offers transactions at a very lower price. The crypto exchange charges a 0.10% fee on most trades. These fees are significantly less compared to what Coinbase charges.  

Coinbase

Launched in 2012, Coinbase is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges functioning today. Unlike Binance, Coinbase is very popular among US investors for its user-friendly web and mobile app services. It is also a publicly traded company, providing investors the facility to own cryptocurrency stocks. Unlike Binance, Coinbase only offers around 50 different currencies for trading, including big names like bitcoin, ethereum, dogecoin, and XRP. Crypto enthusiasts say that the minimum digital token offering which Coinbase provides is both its biggest strength and weakness. Although the crypto exchange platform attracts all mainstream investors by leveraging top cryptocurrency services, the remaining less popular digital tokens are left out in agony. However, since the services are less, Coinbase is able to focus more on investors and vet them based on their needs. Coinbase is mainly designed for the retail market. It is completely user-friendly. Crypto investors can see the trading options, pricing, volume, and other relevant data as per their needs. However, contrasting Binance on fees,

Binance vs Coinbase Wallet

Both Binance and Coinbase offer wallet services on their platform. Their main focus is on a standard web wallet where users can store their digital tokens on making a purchase. Since they are easy to use, the crypto wallets are very convenient and user-friendly. However, when it comes to security, Binance vs Coinbase leverages top-notch packages. It has exclusive security features including two-factor authentication, IP whitelisting, device whitelisting, internal security team, cold storage for bulk client funds, etc.  

So, Which Should be Your First Choice?

Is The 5800X Good For Streaming?

Is the 5800X good for streaming?

Is the 5800X good for streaming? We aim to answer that question today.

The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X is the mid-range option from AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series based on the Zen 3 architecture. Released in November 2023, the Ryzen 5000 series brought a huge architectural change that catapulted AMD to the top of the gaming charts.

AMD really struck hard with the Zen 3 architecture as a whole. They prioritized gaming performance over general productivity performance for the first time in Ryzen’s lifetime, and it really worked. Thanks to the overall improvements in latency and single-threaded performance, the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs took a lead over the competition’s top offerings for the first time.

Despite the launch of the Ryzen 7000 series CPUs, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X is still one of the fastest gaming processors on the market at the time of writing.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

Speed

3.8GHz/ 4.7GHz

8/16

Socket

AM4

TDP

105W

Ryzen 7 5800X Specs

The Ryzen 7 5800X puts up some fairly decent numbers on the spec sheet.

Ryzen 7 5800X

Cores: 8

Base clock: 3.8GHz

Boost clock: 4.7GHz

Cache 32MB

TDP: 105W

What makes the Ryzen 7 5800X such a well-rounded CPU is the balance of core count and clock speed. Usually, we find that Ryzen CPUs generally have slower cores as you increase their number in a particular CPU, but that’s not the case with the 5800X. The cores can boost up to 4.7 GHz if they have an adequate thermal and power budget, which is a very high clock speed for a Zen 3 CPU.

Is the Ryzen 7 5800X good for streaming?

Traditional streaming is still heavily reliant on CPU horsepower, even though GPU encoding is becoming more and more powerful in recent times. The Ryzen 7 5800X is an interesting choice when it comes to streaming using conventional CPU encoders like h.264.

It struggles a bit when you crank up the stream settings to the maximum, but that is an unrealistic use case in real life. Moreover, the performance loss due to streaming on the same system is also usually within a reasonable margin.

You can think of the Ryzen 7 5800X as an all-rounder when it comes to gaming and streaming. Sure, it is not the most powerful at either of those tasks, but it can definitely get the job done better than most other CPUs out there. The streaming performance can be labeled as a solid B+ in most scenarios.

X570 vs. B550 Motherboards

ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero

Intended Build

AMD – High-end

Form Factor

ATX

Overclocking Support

Yes

Socket

AM4

Chipset

X570

Although the Ryzen 7 5800X is officially supported on X570, B550, X470, B450, and A520 chipsets, it makes sense to pair this CPU with either an X570 or B550 motherboard. This is due to the fact that the Ryzen 7 5800X supports PCIe 4.0 functionality, and that protocol is only supported on X570 and B550 motherboards.

The X570 platform is the flagship chipset for the AMD Ryzen series. It offers full PCIe 4.0 functionality, more USB ports, better general connectivity, and motherboards with better power delivery systems. However, X570 motherboards are rather expensive, and many of them use active cooling on the chipset which can be a nuisance.

B550 motherboards are value-oriented options that strike a balance between price and performance. You only get PCIe 4.0 functionality in one M.2 slot, and the overall connectivity is also not as great as X570 motherboards. However, B550 motherboards are quite affordable and they also support overclocking, which is a nice touch.

Both choices have their strengths and weaknesses, so you can choose either an X570 or B550 motherboard for your Ryzen 7 5800X, depending on your budget. 

Final Word

Streaming is becoming more and more important in the modern gaming scene, and the average gamer now has all the tools they need to start streaming. Thankfully, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X is an excellent option for streaming on a mid-range price budget. It is not the best and brightest at this particular task, but it certainly punches above its weight when it comes to value for money.

Emeritus Brings Tech Upskilling To Global Fortune 500 Company

blog / Learner Stories Emeritus Brings Tech and AI Upskilling to Global Fortune 500 Company

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In the case study below, we explore how Emeritus Enterprise worked with a client to solve a problem through our learning solutions.

The Client

A multinational Fortune 500 company with a workforce of more than 100,000 employees. 

The Problem

Throughout its long history, the client has constantly evolved its products and updated how it provides value to customers. In recent years, the organization has undertaken a digital transformation in part by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) across its various lines of business.

Broadly speaking, PwC data found that 52% of companies accelerated their AI adoption plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And this will continue into the future.

The client deploys AI and ML in a variety of ways. Whether in customer service, marketing, finance, manufacturing, or research and development, AI technologies have the potential to positively impact customers, employees, stakeholders, and shareholders.

Client leaders identified that managers would be crucial to an organizational culture shift that prioritized digital transformation. Those leaders needed to be able to grasp the technical aspects of AI well enough to communicate effectively with technical teams and colleagues.

After consulting with stakeholders, it was clear that the following problem statements existed:

How can we help teams navigate digital transformation and applications of AI/ML?

How can AI accelerate consumer insights or category growth?

What AI experiments should we run?

How can we avoid any detrimental uses of AI that may impact customers, employees, stakeholders, etc.?

The Solution

This client piloted a course with the University of California at Berkeley and Emeritus, enrolling a few employees to test the curriculum. The course, Artificial Intelligence: Business Strategies and Applications, was an eight-week, cohort-based online learning journey. Learners  interacted with professionals based around the world as well as with Berkeley faculty and practicing subject matter experts. 

The course covered a range of topics to help the organization’s leaders learn how to organize and manage successful AI application projects.

After pilot groups gave excellent reviews, the client decided to scale up deployment. In November 2023, a cohort of about 40 managers started the public course with learners from various other companies. But the client also partnered with Emeritus’ Enterprise team to supplement the eight-week course with two private additional sessions for its employees. These sessions provided a forum to discuss the application of AI within the client’s industry segment and specific AI projects that employees could implement within the organization. 

Led by an industry expert, the private sessions helped strengthen relationships among employees that will create ongoing learning communities. This development opportunity benefitted both the employees and employer, enhancing individual growth while building a strong, skilled, and committed workforce that benefits the future growth of the company.

Based on the success of the first cohort, a second cohort of about 40 learners was enrolled in the same AI course with Berkeley in March 2023. Three supplemental private office hours were also added. During the second cohort, leaders engaged in intimate conversations about the application of AI in their current roles and began designing capstone projects that would directly apply to their business unit.

The Results

The feedback from employees so far has been positive. In fact, the client’s research and development teams are moving forward with several of the projects that employees completed in the course. 

Learners shared that they appreciated learning the fundamentals of AI and feel confident in applying AI practices to help the larger organization in ways they had not previously thought about. The learners also said they valued the ease of self-paced independent learning and appreciated the ways complex concepts were explained with a clear structure in bite-sized pieces. 

The course included a capstone project that learners worked on individually and then received feedback on from the course leaders. 

Partner with Emeritus Enterprise

Are you ready to explore how Emeritus Enterprise solutions can help your company meet and exceed its goals? Reach out to discuss our customized online employee training programs.

Why Does Your Company Need To Use Analytics For Higher Organizational Success?

Understanding the importance of workforce analytics powering Business Growth.

Imagine, you are head of a department in your company. It is obvious that the department has other members too of various talents and capabilities. So how would you assign them job roles and responsibilities that match with their talents and abilities? How do you identify the problem areas, monitor employee performance, handle operations, find out the best performing individuals and overachievers? What methods would you use to connect with your peers? What are the steps you shall take to ensure employee retention and job satisfaction? How would you know if the deadlines are met? What are the brand objectives? How can the company show that it cares for its employees, especially during COVID-19 pandemic times? How will you deal and manage all these things? The good news is that analytics can be now be used to manage people. This fits perfectly with companies that consider their employees as their best resource even when they are equipped with state-of-the-art technologies. Workforce analytics can help leaders and authorities to make informed data-based decisions at a quicker pace than relying on mere intuitions. If the pandemic has highlighted anything, it is how important are employees’ healthcare both physically and mentally, along with an emphasis on their safety and engagement. This has proved an opportunity for the HR managers to showcase that they are concerned about the well-being of the employees and take measures to ensure continuity of business activities. This is important for the companies, too, as a healthy employee who can communicate effectively with his peers, subordinates, and superiors can contribute to business success in the long run. Surprisingly, people believe that workforce analytics can be performed only if the data amassed is perfect. Also, many organizations focus on data instead of the problem source in business. Leaders must realize that the data they require has a higher likelihood to be present already. They must prioritize identifying the problem points and brand objectives before hiring an expert, i.e., data analyst and data scientist , to deal with the issues or design a model that does. For this, leaders need to connect with the strategy teams too. Apart from that, they can conduct surveys (large organization) or group meetings (small scale organizations) periodically to discover the potential areas of improvement. Besides, they can use dashboards to visualize the data insights and monitor data quality regularly. It is also equally vital to note the participation rates as it could signal overload if participation decreases. The aforementioned things are needed to maintain engagement by understanding employee needs and satisfaction levels, even in the COVID-19 lockdown periods. Workforce analytics will also help in determining and fixing compensation rates for employees who are over-performing but have not yet been acknowledged. It can be used to establish performance benchmarks for the employees, and track the same to measure their future potential so that support can be provided. In case, training and skill gaps are found, training sessions can be organized. At the same time, high-performing employees can be mapped as per the requirements and performance specifications of other roles in order to facilitate succession planning. Analytics can further help to scan for future organizational needs so that recruitment will satisfy talent requirements. In addition, it is also resourceful in locating areas where efficiency can be improved with automation, which can boost employee satisfaction too. In gist, workforce analytics goes a long way as an instrumental tool that can lead a company to better organizational success, stakeholder and employee management, and retention with the ability to empower a leader to make an informed decision that benefits everyone.

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