Digital Marketing Agency, Epic Notion, Wins Awards for Excellent Web Design

Digital marketing and web design agency Epic Notion ended 2016 by winning multiple awards for web design in three national and international creative communications competitions. Epic Notion received recognition for their work during Q4 in the 11th Annual W³ Awards, 2016 International Davey Awards and Graphic Design USA’s Health + Wellness Design Awards.

“We strive to develop thoughtfully articulated campaigns and top notch creative work for all of our client’s brands. It’s an honor to have our work recognized on both a national and international scale,” said Mike Wall, vice president of Epic Notion.

Epic Notion competed against over 5,000 other entries in the W³ Awards and walked away winning statuettes in two categories for the Gurwin Jewish Web Design and Website User Experience. The focus of the W³ Awards is to honor and celebrate the stunning work produced by creative marketing professionals from small agencies to Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to the W³ Awards, Epic Notion also participated alongside almost four thousand other entries in the Davey Awards. The agency’s quality of design was recognized within this competition as well and a Silver was awarded for the Baxter Mill Archive Website Design. The Davey Awards’ mission is to recognize the creative ideas produced by the finest small agencies, firms and companies across the world.

Epic Notion also received an award for the Gurwin Jewish Web Design in Graphic Design USA’s Health + Wellness Design Awards. The 2016 awards showcased exceptional graphic communication designs that captured the essence of client brands within the health and wellness industry.

Epic Notion is a full-service web development and digital marketing agency located in Charlotte, N.C. Epic Notion undertakes each project with a specialized approach and offers a unique strategy for each of their clients. Every campaign designed and produced is customized to perfectly fit the needs of each client to produce real results.

[Source:-Pr Web]

23 examples of duotones and colour filters in web design

I’ve rounded up 23 examples of websites using duotones (or sometimes gradients, colour filters or a classy monotone / grayscale).

There are various reasons these effects abound, notably allowing informational websites to use authentic photography without distracting from navigational elements or important copywriting.

Duotones can establish a colour theme for an agency website, for example, and help to liven up what can sometimes be quite basic website designs.

Before you scan through these examples for inspiration, why not bookmark the rest of our web design trends for 2017, including reduced primary navigation, ditching the hamburger menu, and meaningful motion.

Chris Redshaw

Look at Chris Redshaw! What does he do? Presumably something with design and direction. Whatever he does, I’m convinced he does it well, given how beautiful he looks under this yellow filter.

chris redshaw

Evoluir

Evoluir’s website isn’t exactly to my taste, as it uses some tricksy scrolling and ‘floaty’ geometric shapes.

However, the duotone backgrounds used are certainly impactful, conveying plenty of humanity without being too busy.

evoluir

evoluir

evoluir

LPK

Showcasing agency work can lead to slightly messy web design, as different logos and creative clash, whether on the same page or on a slider.

LPK mitigates this effect by applying colour gradients, duotones and filters to its slider. I think it creates a high quality aesthetic with photography that might otherwise underwhelm.

lpk

lpk

lpk

Social Chain

Social Chain is a great example of an agency using simple duotone background images to give that ‘print’ feel to a basic hamburger and scroll website.

The website’s homepage goes further and uses duotone video of agency staff larking about, helping to paint the picture of a social agency that has fun.

social chain

Host

A simple grid of squares makes a very cool navigational aid, especially painted in apple red with alternate squares carrying colour-filtered photographs of each city.

host students

host students

Andover Fork Truck Services

Who doesn’t love a fork truck? And who doesn’t love a splash of mint green?

Andover Fork Truck Services livens up a perfectly serviceable black and white background image with some on-brand colouring.

andover trucks

Coup de Coeur

A pink and red duotone used on homepage and across artist images perfectly complements the Coup de Coeur brand (which I think means ‘crush’).

coup de coeur

coup de coeur

Internetum

An agency once again using a duotone to give an instant impression of mythic creativity.

internetum

Jargon Free Fridays

Duotone-tastic, these backgrounds give full force to the central message on the page.

jargon free fridays

jargon free fridays

Das Bevo

With its jaunty autoplay sound and animated sails, this website for a windmill events venue is not everyone’s cup of tea.

I loved it, and not just for the colour filter applied to both windmill and moustachioed fella.

Venue websites can often seem a little anaemic, failing to give a sense of fun – none such accusation here.

das bevo

das bevo

Daniel Marshall Architects

I love this website. DMA’s projects scroll by in elegant grayscale, with a mouse rollover revealing them in vivid colours.

Forgive me for not making a GIF, just click through and have a play yourself. A wonderful way to use an elegant restrained pallette whilst livening up browsing.

dma

dma

Adison Partners

Another slider given some pep with a blue-purple filter.

adison partners

adison partners

Transmeet

No colour here, but an interesting example of a video background in low-fi black and white.

Though video backgrounds are a divisive element of homepage design, in this case the company is a video production company, and therefore this compromise makes a lot of sense.

A quicker loadtime and less intrusive movement come from this stripped back video style. Clickthrough to view.

transmeet

Chunk

This Dutch agency uses neon colour gradients, giving the bold black header copy maximum punch.

chunk

chunk

One Republic

I think this is some kind of band that the kids like. And why wouldn’t they, given the band’s website and its use of colour filters and gradients?

one republic

Winter Capital

Winter Capital is another professional website that confers status with the use of black and white background images, this time using a subtle split-screen filter.

winter capital

Adaptable

Adaptive uses a dark blue filter on its header, with white text and white button sharply picked out.

adaptable

Semu Design

Grey sophistication.

semu design

Lipman Burgon

A simple black and white image gives Lipman Burgon & Partners’ website a veneer of gravitas.

lipman

Motome

Another very subtle and simple way of jazzing up a page with one primary use and search field. The image doesn’t have to be all-singing, all-dancing to make a difference.

motome

Owen O’Donell

Owen’s site has one big call to action and a hamburger menu. The chunky text says it all, ‘developer’, and the black and white background lends some personality.

owenod

Chinatown London

The last of our black and white examples. A big header like this sets the tone before the user delves into detail, further down the scrolling homepage or in the header menu.

chinatown london

inherQuests

Pink for the win.

[Source:-Ecosultancy]

What to Do When a Social Media Star Collapses

Vine illustration

Vine came into the world with a roar, but left with a whimper that equated to some rearranging of its business strategy and a newish, but much more limited application. What has been described as the “death” of the platform raises some important questions for those in the public sector. Namely, what do you do when a social network withers and dies?
While you’d struggle to find a government agency that has relied on Vine as a mission-critical social asset, the idea that the social channels we are all so comfortable with could one day close their doors leaves more questions than answers. Depending on your state and particularly your agency’s policy, the untimely expiration of a social channel may not be enough of an excuse not to have your organization’s online correspondence disappear completely.
“Government agencies really should have a social media exit strategy and, of course, that needs to include archival of content if they haven’t been thinking of it along the way,” Government Social Media Founder Kristy Dalton said. “As they are hearing that a social network is shutting down, they need to make every effort to archive what they had on there.”
As she sees it, archiving counts as anything from screenshotting engagements and content to having it catalogued by a third-party company.
As the formal Dear John note for Vine read Jan. 17, the company isn’t ditching all of the data and starting over completely. Users’ catalog of 6.5-second videos will remain available with the download of a newly configured camera app that will allow posts directly to parent company platform Twitter, or will allow videos to be saved to the mobile device they were filmed on.
“In the case of Vine, we are talking about looping videos, and for most government agencies, I think it was more of a ‘nice to have’ as opposed to a critical way to get messages out,” said Dalton, who is also a Government Technology contributor.
This is a significant departure from the early days of shoot and share on the Vine platform.
Regardless of how Vine, a subsidiary of Twitter, has handled its gradual fade into obscurity, Dalton warned that not all platforms are likely to follow suit when it comes to turning off the lights. The need for consistent and well established processes for content retention must be adhered to — especially in government.
Dalton also recommended, “doing a sweep of their platform, including their website, just to make sure there are no references to important content on the platform that has been shut down and, of course, to determine which platform can take its place if they determine it’s necessary.”
Despite Vine’s soft closure and reformation into a new Twitter tool, Dalton said many in the social media management space are concerned about the ever-circulating rumors of Twitter’s failing financial health. Though President-elect Donald Trump’s prolific use of the platform during the 2016 election, and to present, seem to have dampened the media focus on the company’s future, Dalton said the people in her circles are concerned about its future.
Unlike Facebook, the platform’s algorithms do not re-sort content for optimized viewing. This makes Twitter a go-to social network for crisis management and direct, in-the-moment engagement.
When it comes to social media for government, Dalton said the best bet is to retain your data and always have an escape plan.
[Source:-GT]

4 places your church can invest money in social media

In the previous post, I wrote about 3 reasons why your church should invest in its social media ministry. Today I’m going to talk about 4 ways you can invest money in your social media ministry.

A few years ago churches (and businesses) saw social media as a free ride. A “blast’er past her” marketing tool. (You know, “blast” out your announcements to anyone who will listen.) I’ve talked before about the dangers of using social media like a bullhorn.

But my point here is that if you want to have real impact, you need to be willing to invest in at least a little bit of money into your social media ministry. And if you’re not sure where to start, here’s a few suggestions.

1. Training

In life if you want to be good at something you need some training. Social media is no different. In fact, social media is at the point where I’d suggest without investing in at least a little training, you’ll always be wasting a pile of time and energy and have very little return on your investment.

You can do a lot of research on Google and YouTube. But the best type of training is when you invest a little bit of money. Decide, for example, what you want to focus on and take a course.

Here are a few good places to start:

For Twitter: Check out Kim Garst’s stuff.

For Facebook: Check out Amy Porterfield (Facebook Marketing 101).

For your website: Check out Michael Hyatt (Platform University).

To learn from church social media practitioners: Check out Gospel Sneeze Academy.

2. Staffing

Most pastors are too busy to head up the church’s social media ministry. Big church’s typically hire social media people while medium and smaller churches typically rely on volunteers.

But as every non-profit knows, its not easy to get a high level of commitment from volunteers. If you want to have real impact in the digital space, you might want to consider bringing someone on as a part-time social media “innovations leader” or “communications director.”

Side note: giving them a fun cool title will up their commitment, even if they’re just volunteers, because it makes their responsibility official.

On that note, your social media ministry should be official. If you have someone overseeing your social media ministry, their name should be listed on the website, church bulletin and anywhere else that other church leaders are listed.

3. Tools

While the main social media sites are generally free to use, engineers, developers, innovators and dreams create pretty awesome tools that will supercharge your social media ministry, and usually for a good low price.

Here are some examples:

Buffer (paid version): Buffer has a free version that allows you to schedule up to 10 posts per social media platform, and you can view your analytics too. But with their paid account you can schedule posts in advance, and way more than just ten. This will save you oodles of time!

Legend: A great app that will allow you to include animated text overtop of your image. If your ministry uses Instagram, this is an awesome app to invest in. It’ll cost you less than $3.

Over: Is another great app that will allow you to put text and art over your images. Upping your image game is so import because today we are a visually stimulated society like never before! This awesome app costs less than $5.

CoSchedule: If you have a team or are really looking to up your social media game, then CoSchedule is the tool for you. If you have a robust social media presence or want one, CoSchedule is a powerful Social Media marketing calendar and publishing tool. It starts at $15 a month.

TheChurchApp: Mobile is all the rage today. People now spend more time accessing the internet from their smartphone than from a desktop computer. With TheChurchApp you can have an app created to meet your church’s specific ministry needs.

4. Advertising

If you’re like me then you probably don’t like the idea of advertising very much. But we need to change our thinking and the way we do it. Effective advertising in our world must be more “entertainment” and less “in-your-face.”

A lot of people ask how they can have a greater organic impact (meaning, how can they reach more people without paying money). The truth is on many social media websites, especially Facebook, if you want to have a more effective organic impact, you need to include a strategy for paid advertising.

Think of it this way: you’ve started a bonfire and even throw some kindle to get it going. But the flames just aren’t that big and it’s taking so long to pick up. You can create huge flames quickly and allow the fire to catch on with more of the wood by adding a little bit of fuel. That fuel is paid advertising. If you want to give your Facebook ministry a head start, you should devote some money to advertising.

It’s difficult to put a dollar amount on just how much you should spend on Facebook advertising because every need is different. But $25 a week would be a solid start.

So there are four places that you can invest your money on social media.

[Source:-Chirstian Week]

How Social Media Went From Exciting To Ingrained In Our Lives

When social media first started to emerge in the mid-2000s as a popular way to connect online, marketers and consumers split into two camps. One camp boldly proclaimed that social media was the wave of the future. The other denounced social media as a fad (something people still occasionally insist today, more than 10 years later).

It’s clear that social media has had and continues to have a substantial impact on our daily lives—and it’s hard to imagine sites like Facebook ever going away, with more than 1 billion people currently using the platform. But when you look at the broad context of social media, and some of the recent developments shaping the industry, you have to wonder—are we heading to a post-social media world?

Coming and Going

For starters, let’s take a look at the rates of emergence and decay of social media platforms. In the early days of social media, and even as recently as a few years ago, new platforms would spring up constantly, looking for a piece of the social pie, and they’d die off just as quickly when their user bases wouldn’t grow to sustainable levels.

These days, that rate has substantially slowed, and people are gravitating only to a handful of apps—Facebook earns the attention of 79 percent of adults, with a cluster of other apps (WhatsApp, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter among them) hovering close to the 30 percent mark.

This slowdown means a couple of things that could indicate progress toward a post-social future:

  • Normalization of social media. With social platforms becoming more stable, less novel, and more intuitive, users aren’t focusing on social media as separate from their daily lives. They’re becoming more integrated, and over time may cease to be considered distinct entities.
  • Centralization of platforms. It’s also worth noting that single platforms are rising above the fold, giving them power to dictate the future of social media development in the same way that Google dictated the development of search for years. As this trend increases, social media platforms will likely start heading in newer, bolder directions that leave our old conceptions of “social media” in the dust.

Live Streams and Constant Interaction

When social media first started to emerge in the mid-2000s as a popular way to connect online, marketers and consumers split into two camps. One camp boldly proclaimed that social media was the wave of the future. The other denounced social media as a fad (something people still occasionally insist today, more than 10 years later).

It’s clear that social media has had and continues to have a substantial impact on our daily lives—and it’s hard to imagine sites like Facebook ever going away, with more than 1 billion people currently using the platform. But when you look at the broad context of social media, and some of the recent developments shaping the industry, you have to wonder—are we heading to a post-social media world?

Coming and Going

For starters, let’s take a look at the rates of emergence and decay of social media platforms. In the early days of social media, and even as recently as a few years ago, new platforms would spring up constantly, looking for a piece of the social pie, and they’d die off just as quickly when their user bases wouldn’t grow to sustainable levels.

These days, that rate has substantially slowed, and people are gravitating only to a handful of apps—Facebook earns the attention of 79 percent of adults, with a cluster of other apps (WhatsApp, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter among them) hovering close to the 30 percent mark.

This slowdown means a couple of things that could indicate progress toward a post-social future:

  • Normalization of social media. With social platforms becoming more stable, less novel, and more intuitive, users aren’t focusing on social media as separate from their daily lives. They’re becoming more integrated, and over time may cease to be considered distinct entities.
  • Centralization of platforms. It’s also worth noting that single platforms are rising above the fold, giving them power to dictate the future of social media development in the same way that Google dictated the development of search for years. As this trend increases, social media platforms will likely start heading in newer, bolder directions that leave our old conceptions of “social media” in the dust.

Live Streams and Constant Interaction

The fact that most social apps cater to mobile users is another indication of this trend; mobile users are more likely to share things as they happen, rather than waiting to post about them at a later time. Social media apps run in the background, and users interact with each other on a constant basis. Already, social apps are becoming more like instant messaging platforms than a distinct entity on their own.

Wearable Tech and New Interfaces

As technology evolves, we’ll likely see new worlds of socialization emerge. Wearable technology and smart home systems like Google Home are encouraging users to decrease their reliance on screens and traditional interfaces. For technology like smartwatches, screens are too small or unnoticeable to present easy engagement. For smart home systems, hands-free communication and functionality is essential. That doesn’t leave any room for the world of social media as we’re used to it—a place to browse through the posts and photos of your friends and family and interact accordingly.

Augmented and virtual reality will make this trend escalate even faster, and given Facebook’s interest in the technology already, most social media platforms are clamoring to get to that next level. With integrated AR and VR, you can talk to people as if they’re in the same room as you, and you can even experience what they’re experiencing vicariously, complete with a full sensory experience and no need for the platforms of old.

What the Post-Social Media World Looks Like

Any social media interface you can imagine will be long gone. There might be buttons or menus that allow you to do things like call up a specific contact or stream a projection of your current line of sight, but online social interaction won’t exist the way we know it today.

Instead, social media companies will be focused on advanced forms of messaging and broadcasting, which will transcend our current limitations by a factor we can’t yet imagine. I imagine most interactions like “comments” and “likes” will disappear too, in favor or real-time feedback, and decades down the road, all this technology may become so minimalistic and so integrated that it doesn’t exist as an external device.

A Timeline?

This projected reality of social media is exciting, and may sound a bit too sci-fi for your taste. That’s fine; I encourage you not to make any bold business or marketing decisions based around this far-off projection of what’s to come.

In reality, social media will likely evolve gradually, with no major revolutions over the next few years. But don’t write off these developments too far—if I had to nail down a date, I’d argue that we’ll start seeing a full transition away from traditional platforms within a decade.

[Source:-Forbes]

Mexico student injures four before shooting himself at a school

A yellow police line cordons off access to the Colegio Americano del Noreste after a student opened fire at the American school, according to the state"s security spokesman, in Monterrey, Mexico

A student at an American school in the north-eastern Mexican city of Monterrey has died after opening fire on classmates before fatally shooting himself, officials say.

The 15-year-old, who injured a teacher and three other students in the attack, was said to have been suffering from depression.

The nationalities of those shot at the Colegio Americano del Noreste were not clear.

School shootings are rare in Mexico.

Reports said the injured were in a serious condition.

Nuevo Leon state Governor Jaime Rodriguez named the teenager as Federico Guevara and said that his motive was being investigated, Reuters news agency reports.

Map of Monterrey in Mexico

Aldo Fasci, a security spokesman of Nuevo Leon state, called the incident unprecedented. He said the motive was under investigation.

A video showed the gunman shooting the 24-year-old teacher and the students, two aged 14 and one 15, the spokesman said. He then shot himself.

“[This] is result of a situation that is happening everywhere. The children have access to the internet. This has happened in other countries,” he said.

Mr Fasci said it was not clear how the student got the gun into the private bilingual school, which includes pre-school, elementary and high school classes.

He added that Mexico once had a system in place to check student bags but it ended after parents complained.

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto posted a message on the social media site Twitter, saying that his thoughts were with the local community and the families affected.

“As a father and as president, what happened this morning at a school in Monterrey hurts me very much,” he wrote.

[Source:-BBC]

Netflix’s gamble pays off as subscriptions soar

Netflix logo

Hundreds of movies disappeared from Netflix over 2016, the result of the streaming service’s decision to end several key content deals with top studios and distributors.

It was a brave move – particularly given that its main rivals, such as Hulu, jumped at the chance to take on some of those titles Netflix decided it no longer wanted.

The reason for the cull? Original content.

Netflix was being bold – its aspirations were no longer to be your on-demand DVD collection, but instead the place where you discovered and consumed new and exclusive shows.

So rather than pay money out to studios for the right to show existing content, it instead ploughed its cash into shows such as Stranger Things, The Crown, Luke Cage and the remake of Gilmore Girls.

In 2016, those “Netflix Originals” – already a term you could argue has become synonymous with quality – came thick and fast.

The firm said it produced 600 hours of original programming last year – and intends to raise that to about 1,000 hours in 2017. Its budget to achieve that is $6bn (£4.9bn) – a billion more than last year.

BBC threat

On Wednesday we learned the company has been rewarded handsomely for putting its eggs in the original content basket. After hours trading on Wednesday saw the company’s stock rise by as much as 9% on the news it had added 7.05 million new subscribers in the last three months of 2016.

That’s far greater than the 5.2 million they had anticipated, and left them ending the year with 93.8 million subscribers in total – and an expectation of breaking the symbolic 100 million mark by the end of March.

The kids of Stranger Things become overnight superstars - and helped earn Netflix millionsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionThe kids of Stranger Things become overnight superstars – and helped earn Netflix millions

In all, 2016 saw Netflix take in $8.83bn (£7.1bn) in revenue – with a profit of $186.7m (£151.6m).

All looking good, then – but there’s still work to do.

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix underlined, as it is obliged to do, the potential risks to its success going forward – chiefly globalisation and competition.

While international expansion has been rapid, with the majority of the new sign-ups are coming from outside of the US, it will require a lot of expenditure for Netflix to dominate with original content in the 189 other countries it serves.

It has put some of its budget into non-English language shows, such as “3%”, a Portuguese sci-fi series. Intriguingly, Netflix noted that many English viewers opted to watch the dubbed version, providing an unexpected added audience.

Still, when local TV players kick into action and give up so-called linear TV – episodes once a week, and so on – in favour of Netflix’s model there’s a chance the company’s head start could be clawed back.

The company notes that the BBC became the first “major linear network” to push into a “binge-first” strategy, and it expects American network HBO to follow suit pretty soon.

Neutrality

The company also took a somewhat unusual political step in its earnings, drawing attention to the ongoing debate over so-called net neutrality.

Net neutrality is the concept that all data traffic on the internet is treated equally – and that internet service providers (ISPs) cannot, for example, charge extra for data-heavy services like video streaming.

The cost could be passed on to either companies like Netflix or the consumer – but is currently not allowed. However, there are concerns the incoming Trump administration may abolish the current laws that ensure net neutrality.

Netflix said any weakening of net neutrality laws would not affect its business in any significant way, but stressed, as many advocates have done, that it would hinder competition across the board.

“Strong net neutrality is important to support innovation and smaller firms,” the company wrote.

“No one wants ISPs to decide what new and potentially disruptive services can operate over their networks, or to favour one service over another. We hope the new US administration and Congress will recognise that keeping the network neutral drives job growth and innovation.”

Sporting chance

Finally, Netflix reiterated its reluctance to get into the business of broadcasting live sport – something the company argued was the last real incentive for someone to have a traditional cable or satellite subscription.

My hunch there is that it’s biding its time.

Netflix boss Reid HastingsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionNetflix boss Reid Hastings said his company was not interested in going after sports rights

Right now, sports rights – even for just one market – cost astronomical amounts of cash.

But if big cable firms continue to be weakened by the likes of Netflix, their spending power will decrease. At which point the new players could see the prospect of getting a far better deal than if they were to go after it today.

What Netflix has made clear is that it’s no longer content with signing up content to show only in select markets, it’s instead focusing on deals that can be shown in every country.

How much would global rights to the Premier League be worth, I wonder?

[Source:-BBC]

Donald Trump presidency: How the world has already changed

Donald Trump walks into an elevator at Trump Tower

Shortly after Donald Trump’s shock win in the US election, the BBC considered the ways the world could change.

Long-standing US domestic and foreign policies, such as a commitment to free trade and membership of Nato, all face an overhaul.

But events have moved fast. Here’s how Mr Trump’s incoming presidency has already changed the world.


Obama lays down roadblocks

The final days of the Obama administration might have been very different, with the outgoing president handing over safe in the knowledge that his signature policies will be protected by another Democrat.

Instead, his administration has gone on the defensive, scrambling to protect his legacy, laying down what Mr Trump has called “roadblocks”.

There have been sanctions against Russians, a ban on offshore energy drilling, a refusal to veto a UN call to end Israeli settlements and a last-minute rush of deals with Cuba.

All of these conflict with pronouncements made by Mr Trump, and could at the very least make life more difficult for the president-elect.

What marks does Obama’s presidency deserve?


Fake news fight-back

The campaign was dogged by baseless stories shared on social media, from a claim that actor Denzel Washington had endorsed Mr Trump (he didn’t) to the notorious “pizzagate” conspiracy.

After criticism from users, arguably the key gatekeeper, Facebook, announced measures to tackle the problem of fake news.

A pizza restaurant in Washington DCImage copyrightAP

Image captionThe fake “pizzagate” story had real consequences when a man fired shots in the restaurant at the centre of the conspiracy

The higher-than-high stakes election did more than anything to highlight the problem, and America was not the only country affected. In Italy, for instance, there were concerns fake news had influenced last month’s constitutional referendum.

Social media giants face a tricky 2017, trying to balance the freedom enjoyed by their users with a new, unfamiliar role as arbiter-in-chief, perhaps assuming an even bigger role in our lives.


Business winners and losers

World stock markets have enjoyed a strong run since Mr Trump’s election, thanks, analysts say, to investors’ belief he will boost infrastructure and cut taxes when in office.

Mr Trump promised to be the “greatest jobs president that God ever created” and has taken credit for a slew of company announcements.

A tweet reads: Image copyright@REALDONALDTRUMP

But while the Donald may giveth, the Donald can also taketh away.

Companies, whole sectors even, have seen share prices rattled by Mr Trump, with some traders reportedly adapting their algorithms to respond instantly to his tweets.

Pharmaceutical firms, for instance, were hit during a press conference when Mr Trump said they were “getting away with murder”.

Trump on Twitter: A history of the man and his medium


China takes the lead?

Some of Mr Trump’s angriest rhetoric has been directed at China. Beijing was infuriated by a phone call he took from Taiwan’s leader, in defiance of the “One China” policy.

But while Mr Trump seems to be squaring up to China, could China see a Trump presidency as an opportunity?

Xi Jinping became the first Chinese president to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he defended globalisation, a pointed rebuke to Mr Trump’s attacks on free trade.

China's President Xi Jinping seated at the Davos conferenceImage copyrightAP

Image captionMr Xi told Davos delegates there was “no point” in blaming globalisation for the world’s problems

China has been stepping up its economic leadership, pushing an expanded free trade area in the Asia-Pacific region.

And it could position itself as a leader on climate change, too, with the country’s Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin saying it was no Chinese hoax, and that a change in US policy would not affect Beijing’s commitment to the issue.


Diversity on the up

Hillary Clinton may have missed her chance to become the first female US president, but could a Trump presidency spur other women to shatter that ultimate glass ceiling?

Several groups dedicated to getting more women into politics have seen a surge in new members and donations.

The election was “the kick in the pants that I needed”, as one woman now hoping to run for office put it.

And while the US has a disproportionately low number of women in politics, this already seems to be changing with the largest number yet elected to Congress in 2017.


Critics change tune

Mr Trump had no shortage of detractors during the election, be they foreign powers, business leaders or members of his own party.

But it didn’t take long for them to come around. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, who all but disowned Mr Trump in the campaign, pledged on election night to work “hand-in-hand” with the next US leader.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson once declared Donald Trump “unfit” to hold the presidency, before calling for an end to the “whinge-o-rama” over his win.

Tech leaders, many of whom had railed against Mr Trump, ended up meeting him at Trump Tower.

Perhaps refusing to work with the new president simply is not an option.

But are his new fans meeting him on common ground, or has Mr Trump dragged the US – and the rest of the world – to uncharted territory?

The election was “the kick in the pants that I needed”, as one woman now hoping to run for office put it.

And while the US has a disproportionately low number of women in politics, this already seems to be changing with the largest number yet elected to Congress in 2017.


Critics change tune

Mr Trump had no shortage of detractors during the election, be they foreign powers, business leaders or members of his own party.

But it didn’t take long for them to come around. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, who all but disowned Mr Trump in the campaign, pledged on election night to work “hand-in-hand” with the next US leader.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson once declared Donald Trump “unfit” to hold the presidency, before calling for an end to the “whinge-o-rama” over his win.

Tech leaders, many of whom had railed against Mr Trump, ended up meeting him at Trump Tower.

Perhaps refusing to work with the new president simply is not an option.

But are his new fans meeting him on common ground, or has Mr Trump dragged the US – and the rest of the world – to uncharted territory?

[Source:-BBC]

Tehran fire: Many feared dead as high-rise collapses

Rescue workers gather in front of the collapsed Plasco building in Tehran, Iran (19 January 2017)

Many firefighters are feared dead after a landmark high-rise building in Iran’s capital, Tehran, caught fire and collapsed, state media report.

Two hundred had battled the blaze in the 17-storey Plasco building for several hours before it fell to the ground in a matter of seconds.

More than 200 people were also reportedly injured in the incident.

Completed in 1962, the building was once Tehran’s tallest and contained a shopping centre and clothing workshops.

The fire reportedly began around 08:00 (04:30 GMT) on Thursday, at a time when many of the shopkeepers were not inside.

Initial photos showed flames and smoke pouring out of the top floors.

Smoke pours from the Plasco building in Tehran, Iran, shortly before it collapses (19 January 2017)Image copyrightEPA

Image captionFirefighters had battled the blaze for several hours before the collapse

Ten fire stations responded to the blaze and state television reported that dozens of firefighters were inside the building when the north wall collapsed, swiftly bringing down the whole structure.

“It was like a horror movie,” a local grocery shop owner, who was forced to evacuate the area by police, told the Reuters news agency. “The building collapsed in front of me.”

Emergency Medical Services chief Pir-Hossein Kolivand told the official Irna news agency that many firefighters were feared dead but did not give an exact figure.

The state-run English Press TV channel cited an official as saying that between 50 to 100 people were believed to have been trapped under the rubble.

A wounded fireman is carried from the collapsed Plasco building in Tehran, Iran (19 January 2017)Image copyrightAFP

Image captionRescue workers managed to pull some wounded firefighters out of the rubble

Earlier, fire department spokesman Jalal Maleki said the building had lacked fire extinguishers.

“We had repeatedly warned the building managers about the lack of safety of the building,” he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

“Even in the stairwells, a lot of clothing is stored and this is against safety standards. The managers didn’t pay attention to the warnings,” he added.

The Tasnim news agency reported that the building “had caught fire in the past”.

Police have cordoned off Jomhoori avenue, which passes by the building, as well as the nearby British and Turkish embassies, according to local media.

[Source:-BBC]

French Investigators Believe Exploding iPhone 6s and iPad mini 4 Brought Down EgyptAir Flight, Killing 66

French Investigators Believe Exploding iPhone 6s and iPad mini 4 Brought Down EgyptAir Flight Killing 66

Shortly after it was learned that EgyptAir flight MS804 had mysteriously crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on May 19th of last year, the first, and perhaps most obvious, consensus among investigators, was that one of the world’s leading terrorist networks — presumably, ISIS — was responsible for initiating an explosive device of some sort while aboard the jetliner, which, at the time of its downing, was en route to Cairo, Egypt from the Charles de Gaulle International airport in Paris, France.

Investigators had arrived at the conclusion that terrorists were more than likely to blame for the crash that killed all 66 people on board — primarily, but not entirely, because several of the bodies that were pulled from the wreckage were evidently laced with trace amounts of an explosive compound. However, while the current narrative of the world might lend credence to the original theory of terrorist involvement, a group of French investigators have reportedly come to an alternate conclusion of what actually happened on that fateful, Thursday afternoon — one involving Apple’s iPhone 6s, and perhaps an iPad mini 4, believe it or not.

According to a report published last week in the French newspaper, La Parisien, which cites a number of unnamed sources familiar with the matter, investigators claim to have uncovered data from one of the plane’s ‘black box’ recorders, which inconspicuously revealed that a fire had broken out near, or even inside, the plane’s cockpit, ultimately leading to its demise. However, citing a video showing surveillance footage from the plane’s origin airport, the investigators are now questioning whether an iPhone 6s, or an iPad mini 4 — both of which were owned by the co-pilot, and were apparently placed on top of the cockpit’s instrument panel before takeoff — may have instead caught fire and led to the crash. The underlying theory, as improbable as it may sound, is that an extended period of exposure to harsh sunlight may have caused either one, or both, of the devices to overheat, leading to a fire that sparked as the result of a process known as “thermal runaway.”

While the likelihood of all that happening in the way that it’s suggested is slim-to-none — as is the proof that such a series of unfortunate events even unfolded in the first place, other air safety experts, including David Learmount, have cast doubt on the theory in its entirety. Learmount, in particular, believes that the fire (which most accept to have originated in one of the front-cabin bathrooms) was way too quick and fierce — and, as such, an iPhone or iPad having exploded in the cockpit wouldn’t even have been able to engulf it in flames so quickly. He also added the following in an exclusive interview with Fortune:

“Pilots don’t leave objects on the dashboard because they know they will end up in their lap when they take off or on the floor and they’ll get airborne in turbulence and could jam the controls.” 

Apple, for its part, has issued a brief statement on the matter, as well:

“We haven’t been contacted by GTA or any authority investigating this tragic event. We have not seen the report but we understand there is no evidence to link this event to Apple products. If investigators have questions for us, we would of course assist in any way we can. We rigorously test our products to ensure they meet or exceed international safety standards.”

[Source:-i Drop News]