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You’re Communicating So Much I Can’t Hear You

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Online communication platforms and social networks have completely lost sight of user experience in their rush to include All.The.Features. 

And community builders are compounding the challenge by using too many platforms to communicate.

Too Many Features, Too Much Noise

The big social networks have been copying each other for a while now, but the mass adoption of the “story” format was the beginning of the end. It established a horrifying precedent in which every single social network had to have feature parity. And now audio spaces are getting the same copy/paste treatment.

This is a mistake.

The user experience becomes muddled and confusing, like walking through a Las Vegas casino surrounded by bells and whirring machines. Which slot machine should I choose?

Never mind, I now have a headache, so I’m going outside for some fresh air.

As much as Big Tech would like us to lose track of what day it is and keep gambling, we are starting to yearn for peace and quiet.

That’s one reason single-focus apps (like Dispo and Minutiae) are starting to pop up. They actually feel like a relief.

“constraints — even when artificially imposed — can be much more satisfying than information overload” FT.com

Feature fatigue is not a new phenomenon. This HBR article from 2008, Defeating Feature Fatigue, shows the study data behind our aversion to overly complex products and advocates “designing products that do one thing very well.” 

We still haven’t learned the lesson of feature simplicity.

The proliferation of Shiny Objects

With each new platform, app, or communication medium, creators/entrepreneurs and community builders are tempted to add to their portfolio.

But what am I, as a consumer, supposed to do when you come at me with this barrage of information? (this is a real example of a community I participate in).

  • Email newsletter (public and premium) 
  • Discord community
  • Live audio chat
  • Live video
  • Multiple live text chat channels for different purposes
  • DMs
  • YouTube channel with comments (both recorded and live-streamed, with chat)
  • Podcast (public and premium)
  • Social accounts everywhere, maybe a Facebook Group just for good measure
  • Audio content on Racket, Twitter Spaces, and/or Clubhouse

Perhaps they’re also thinking about adding creator coins in Rally or BitClout, which have their own spaces to communicate

I like you, I really really like you, but I also have a job and a family. 

Keeping up with the conversation across your galaxy of venues is making me dizzy. It’s like social media whack a mole.

But I’m just trying to ‘be where you are,’ Rosemary!

Stop it.

  • I can’t find you because you’re everywhere, all at once, and you don’t even have a website that links all of these outlets together.
  • Not all platforms have notifications, so I don’t know when there’s new content. Some of them have insane notifications, which I have to disable (Clubhouse).
  • I hate/love a specific type of content (like I hate audio).
  • I want to be “in the know” and feel left out when you refer to a conversation that took place just yesterday in a different channel.
  • It’s more stressful for you to cover all types of media and monitor all of those outlets.
  • It’s more stressful for members to learn all the tools and features and stay on top of things.

How Do We “Marie Kondo” our Communication?

The great decluttering has to happen on two levels. 

First, when you’re building your slice of the community economy, choose your platform(s) sparingly. 

Second, once you’ve chosen those platform(s), be thoughtful with your use of features within them. Think about how your members will get the most value with the least amount of mental load. 

  • Start very, very small. Very small. Choose a single platform first. Maybe it’s a newsletter; maybe it’s a single forum.
  • Be consistent and predictable with your communication cadences.
  • You don’t need all the features. It’s easier to start with 1-2 and then add as needed. 
  • Match the venue to your mission and your members’ mission. Is video crucial to the mission? Do you need asynchronous conversations? How does audio fit into your accessibility goals?

Let’s apply Marie Kondo’s KonMari system to decluttering our communications.

Commit yourself to tidy up. Recognize that your members, followers, the audience are exhausted and overwhelmed. Perhaps you’re a bit burned out too.

Imagine your ideal lifestyle. What are you trying to achieve with your community and the conversations within it? What are your members trying to achieve?

Discard anything that has outlived its purpose first. That Medium blog you set up months ago but forgot about? Time to delete. The extra Slack channel that nobody is using? Shut it down.

Tidy by category, not location. Look at your Google Analytics and figure out which channels or sources are actually contributing to your goals, then make the tough decisions. Don’t just go to one of your platforms and start deleting. Back up and gain insight into what categories of content are really resonating with your audience.

Follow the right order. In KonMari, it’s clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous, sentimental items. In our decluttering, those might be replaced by Story videos, audio, long-form content/blog posts, short-form status updates. 

Ask yourself if it sparks joy. We’ve mostly discussed how decluttering your communications will benefit your members, but it will also lighten your own mental burden. Scheduling, producing, and tracking will become much simpler once you’ve let go of the things that don’t spark joy for you or your audience.

Now go spark some joy.

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Source: https://hackernoon.com/youre-communicating-so-much-i-cant-hear-you-2r1036ai?source=rss

CNBC

Hydrogen planes, electric propulsion and new regulations: Aviation is changing 

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A commercial plane takes off after sunset from Geneva Airport, Switzerland.

FABRICE COFFRINI | AFP | Getty Images

From the Wright brothers’ historic flight in 1903 to the development of supersonic aircraft, the history of aviation has been driven by technology and ambition.

Now, as the 21st century progresses, the sector continues to show its appetite for innovation and radical design.

Last September, for instance, a hydrogen fuel-cell plane capable of carrying passengers took to the skies over England for its maiden flight.

The same month also saw Airbus release details of three hydrogen-fueled concept planes, with the European aerospace giant claiming they could enter service by the year 2035.

More recently, United Airlines announced it had signed a commercial agreement to purchase aircraft from a firm called Boom Supersonic.

In a statement, United said the Overture aircraft — which is yet to be built — was set to be “optimized to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel.”

All of the above are linked by a focus on technologies designed to reduce aviation’s environmental footprint. This represents a major task, even if the number of flights last year slumped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the International Energy Agency, carbon dioxide emissions from aviation “have risen rapidly over the past two decades,” hitting almost 1 gigatonne in 2019. This, it notes, equates to “about 2.8% of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion.”

Elsewhere, the World Wildlife Fund describes aviation as “one of the fastest-growing sources of the greenhouse gas emissions driving global climate change.” It adds that air travel is “currently the most carbon intensive activity an individual can make.”

A variety of solutions

Iain Gray is director of aerospace at the U.K.’s Cranfield University. In a phone interview with CNBC, he described zero carbon as “the top priority” for the industry and sought to emphasize the importance of developing a range of solutions to tackle the challenge.

“The really big technology driver is around the propulsion system,” he explained, “but that doesn’t take away from the importance of new technologies around … new lightweight materials, enhanced carbon composite materials, and the systems itself.”

Read more about clean energy from CNBC Pro

Expanding on his point, Gray provided an example of why the innovations on planes flying above our heads should not be viewed in isolation. 

“There’s a lot of effort goes into reducing the weight on an aeroplane for it only to spend half an hour circling an airport,” he said.

“So the whole interaction of air traffic management with the aircraft itself is a … very important development and new technologies on airspace management are emerging all the time.”

The power of propulsion

Alongside the development of hydrogen fuel-cell planes there’s also been a lot of discussion around electric propulsion in recent years, with firms such as Volocopter and Lilium developing eVTOL, or electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft.

The key with technologies such as these is the types of journeys to which they can be applied.

“If you look at hydrogen fuel cells and you look at batteries, that really is very much aimed at the smaller aircraft, that’s the sub 1,000 kilometer range,” Cranfield’s Iain Gray said.

“You have to do that in a zero carbon way, there’s no question,” he added. “Is that going to make a big difference to the overall CO2 contributions that aviation makes? No.”

“We need to focus on the longer range flights, flights greater than 1,000 kilometers, flights greater than 3,000 kilometers in particular.”

Fueling change

This focus on long-haul trips will be important in the years ahead, even though they make up a small proportion of flights.  

According to a sustainability briefing from Eurocontrol published earlier this year, “some 6% of flights from European airports were long-haul” in 2020, measuring over 4,000 kilometers (around 2,485 miles) in length.

The intergovernmental organization went on to state that “more than half of European aviation’s CO2 emissions were from this tiny proportion of the overall number of flights.”

This viewpoint was echoed by Jo Dardenne, aviation manager at Transport & Environment, a campaign group headquartered in Brussels.

“We shouldn’t forget that the biggest chunk of aviation emissions are linked to long haul flights because you fly longer, you fly higher,” she told CNBC.

“So all in all you’re producing more CO2 … those long haul flights can only be decarbonized by replacing the kerosene that they’re using.”

It’s on these longer journeys that sustainable aviation fuel could have a significant role to play in the future.

Although the European Union Aviation Safety Agency says there’s “not a single internationally agreed definition” of sustainable aviation fuel, the overarching idea is that it can be used to reduce an aircraft’s emissions.

For its part, Airbus describes SAF as being “made from renewable raw material.” It adds that the most common feedstocks are based on crops or used cooking oil and animal fat.

“Currently, the big challenges of sustainable aviation fuel are producing it in the right volumes that are required, and at the right cost point,” Cranfield’s Gray said.

The provenance of feedstocks used for SAF is also important, he explained. “If what you’re doing … to produce sustainable aviation fuel is transporting fuel right across the world using feedstocks from the other side of the planet, then is it really sustainable?”

“The big effort at the moment is looking at how you can produce sustainable aviation fuels in a …  green way.” This could be fuel from waste or local resources, Gray added.

One type of fuel generating interest is e-kerosene, which also goes by the name of synthetic kerosene. According to a briefing from T&E published in February, e-kerosene is produced by combining carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

“What’s great about it is that it can be dropped into these jets without any modification of the engine and of the technology of the plane,” Dardenne said.  

“It’s a carbon neutral fuel, it’s something that can be easily dropped in,” she added. “The only problem is that it’s very expensive.”

Driving cost down will indeed be key in the years ahead, but organizations like T&E are keen to emphasize the potential environmental benefits of using it.

If the CO2 is “captured from the atmosphere” and hydrogen produced using renewables, T&E says “the combustion of e-kerosene will, apart from some residual emissions, be close to CO2 neutral.”

The future

While technology may be developing, the world also needs to come up with rules and regulations focused on the environmental footprint of air travel. 

Examples of these efforts include the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation and the European Union including carbon dioxide emissions from aviation in its emissions trading system since the year 2012.

In her interview with CNBC, T&E’s Dardenne stressed the importance of “proper regulation.”

She said: “If you price emissions and pollution effectively, then mandate the use of clean technologies, you send the right signals to investors, private and public, to invest in them.” 

“The clearer the regulatory framework the more certainty you can provide to the market that these technologies will have a future,” she added.

“And that will actually bring added value, financial added value, as well as environmental added value.”

Looking at the bigger picture, she went on to state that “proper regulation” would come via effective carbon pricing and fuel mandates, describing the latter as an obligation to use clean fuels. These were, she argued, “the cornerstone of effective aviation decarbonization strategy.”

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/15/hydrogen-planes-electric-propulsion-aviation-is-changing-.html

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Artificial Intelligence

Australian ID verification startup OCR Labs raises $15M Series A to expand into UK/Turkey/Europe

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With the gig economy came the need for ID verification, thus startups like OnFido (raised $188.8 million) appeared, alongside several others. But this sector is by no means ‘done’ yet.

Now, OCR Labs, which emerged from Australia, has announced a €12.5M / $15 million Series A funding round led by Turkish investors Oyak Group, to expand its services and team to the UK, Turkey and Europe. Halkin Ventures invested in its seed round. The startup specializes in digital ID verification, customer onboarding, identity fraud, and regulatory compliance.

OCR Labs, founded in 2018 by Daniel Aiello and Matthew Adams, says its technology uses “five proprietary technologies in one solution, including identity document optical character recognition (OCR), document fraud assessment, liveness detection, video fraud assessment, and face matching”. This supports AML and KYC regulations.

Daniel Aiello, Co-Founder, and CPO of OCR Labs, commented, “The need for digital verification is growing exponentially. This past year we’ve seen more demand from new sectors as they try to navigate the pandemic and an inability to operate in person…No one wants to spend hours trying to prove who they are, whether it’s for a job or for a bank account, and we also want to know we’re protected against identity theft and fraud. Digital ID verification has a key role to play, but this year we’ve also seen the limitations if hybrid models are used. People are a barrier and a risk, but fully automated technology can have a huge impact on many industries and privacy. OCR Labs is built to be secure, frictionless and fast, and capable of recognizing ID documents the world over.”

OCR Labs is used by recruitment business REED in the UK. Russ Cohn, an early member of the Google UK leadership team, has been appointed OCR’s General Manager of International Operations, based out of London.

Cohn commented: “The technology that Matt and Dan have created is completely automated, so it doesn’t rely on any humans behind the scenes. That’s very key at the moment. We’ve seen how COVID has impacted having that hybrid solution, so automation increases the speed and delivery of the technology to our users… A lot of competitors outsource and use different vendors to put together a solution.”

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/15/australian-id-verification-startup-ocr-labs-raises-15m-series-a-to-expand-into-uk-turkey-europe/

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CNBC

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a hydrogen-powered vehicle and plans to test it out this year

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A Land Rover Defender sits on display on the opening day of the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, on September 10, 2019.

Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Jaguar Land Rover said Tuesday it was working on the prototype of a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, with testing of the concept slated to start later this year.

The vehicle will be based on the new version of the company’s Land Rover Defender, and is part of JLR’s broader attempt to meet a target of zero tailpipe emissions by the year 2036. Testing of the vehicle will focus on areas such as fuel consumption and off-road capabilities.

In an announcement, the company — which is owned by Tata Motors — described fuel cell electric vehicles as being “complimentary to battery electric vehicles … on the journey to net zero vehicle emissions.”

“Hydrogen-powered FCEVs provide high energy density and rapid refuelling, and minimal loss of range in low temperatures, making the technology ideal for larger, longer-range vehicles, or those operated in hot or cold environments,” the company added.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

As governments attempt to reduce emissions and boost urban air quality, the vehicles people use do look set to change. 

The U.K., for instance, plans to stop the sale of new diesel and gasoline vehicles from 2030. From the year 2035, all new cars and vans will need to have zero tailpipe emissions.

Companies such as JLR are, slowly but surely, attempting to adapt to this new reality. Earlier this year, the firm announced its Jaguar brand would go all-electric from the year 2025. The business also said its Land Rover segment would roll out six “pure electric variants” over the next five years.

Hydrogen’s ‘role to play’

Described by the International Energy Agency as a “versatile energy carrier,” hydrogen has a diverse range of applications and can be deployed in sectors such as industry and transport.

Examples of its use in the transportation sector include hydrogen buses in cities such as London and Aberdeen, while hydrogen fuel cell airplanes have also taken flight in recent years.

Just last week, plans to build a sea-going ferry powered using hydrogen fuel cells advanced after it was announced that a commercial contract for the development of a concept design had been awarded.

“We know hydrogen has a role to play in the future powertrain mix across the whole transport industry, and alongside battery electric vehicles,” Ralph Clague, head of hydrogen and fuel cells for Jaguar Land Rover, said in a statement.

Clague went on to add that it offered “another zero tailpipe emission solution for the specific capabilities and requirements” of JLR’s vehicle line-up.

Jaguar Land Rover is not the only automotive company to look at hydrogen-powered vehicles. Other manufacturers that have dipped into the hydrogen fuel cell market include Toyota and Honda, while smaller firms such as Riversimple are also working on hydrogen powered cars.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/15/jaguar-land-rover-is-developing-a-hydrogen-powered-vehicle.html

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CNBC

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a hydrogen-powered vehicle and plans to test it out this year

Published

on

A Land Rover Defender sits on display on the opening day of the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, on September 10, 2019.

Krisztian Bocsi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Jaguar Land Rover said Tuesday it was working on the prototype of a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, with testing of the concept slated to start later this year.

The vehicle will be based on the new version of the company’s Land Rover Defender, and is part of JLR’s broader attempt to meet a target of zero tailpipe emissions by the year 2036. Testing of the vehicle will focus on areas such as fuel consumption and off-road capabilities.

In an announcement, the company — which is owned by Tata Motors — described fuel cell electric vehicles as being “complimentary to battery electric vehicles … on the journey to net zero vehicle emissions.”

“Hydrogen-powered FCEVs provide high energy density and rapid refuelling, and minimal loss of range in low temperatures, making the technology ideal for larger, longer-range vehicles, or those operated in hot or cold environments,” the company added.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

As governments attempt to reduce emissions and boost urban air quality, the vehicles people use do look set to change. 

The U.K., for instance, plans to stop the sale of new diesel and gasoline vehicles from 2030. From the year 2035, all new cars and vans will need to have zero tailpipe emissions.

Companies such as JLR are, slowly but surely, attempting to adapt to this new reality. Earlier this year, the firm announced its Jaguar brand would go all-electric from the year 2025. The business also said its Land Rover segment would roll out six “pure electric variants” over the next five years.

Hydrogen’s ‘role to play’

Described by the International Energy Agency as a “versatile energy carrier,” hydrogen has a diverse range of applications and can be deployed in sectors such as industry and transport.

Examples of its use in the transportation sector include hydrogen buses in cities such as London and Aberdeen, while hydrogen fuel cell airplanes have also taken flight in recent years.

Just last week, plans to build a sea-going ferry powered using hydrogen fuel cells advanced after it was announced that a commercial contract for the development of a concept design had been awarded.

“We know hydrogen has a role to play in the future powertrain mix across the whole transport industry, and alongside battery electric vehicles,” Ralph Clague, head of hydrogen and fuel cells for Jaguar Land Rover, said in a statement.

Clague went on to add that it offered “another zero tailpipe emission solution for the specific capabilities and requirements” of JLR’s vehicle line-up.

Jaguar Land Rover is not the only automotive company to look at hydrogen-powered vehicles. Other manufacturers that have dipped into the hydrogen fuel cell market include Toyota and Honda, while smaller firms such as Riversimple are also working on hydrogen powered cars.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/15/jaguar-land-rover-is-developing-a-hydrogen-powered-vehicle.html

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