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Substack is adding theming options to change the look of newsletters

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Today, Substack februarykastrenakes theverge introduces a long-awaited new feature: the capacity to modify the appearance of newsletters. Writers can now pick a different font for the title and body of posts as well as their background and accent colours. There are only a few customization options, but they should help Substack newsletters differentiate themselves from one another because they are now all essentially identical aside from profile photographs and link colours.

Themes is the name of the feature, and Substack claims it intends to keep giving writers additional possibilities. It’s supposed to be accessible as of right now.

Even if themes are entertaining, two other features that Substack plans to roll out “soon” may be much more useful to writers. Substack imagines lists of “founding members” or “lapsed readers,” but writers will be able to establish their own sub-lists of subscribers and just send out specific emails to them. A “multipub” facility is also being added, which will enable authors to combine different newsletters and podcasts they run under a single publication. This technology is now used by The Dispatch to bundle a dozen different titles, but it will soon be made available to everyone. Substack anticipates that the new options will be live in February.

Today at Substack On, a one-day online conference for Substack writers, the features were revealed. Since its founding in 2017, Substack has grown in popularity as a platform for journalists who want to establish paid subscription magazines. High-profile figures including Anne Helen Petersen, Glenn Greenwald, and Matthew Yglesias have been drawn to it.

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Paymentus to Acquire Payveris in $152.2 Million Deal

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A legally binding agreement has been struck by Paymentus, a provider cloudbased paymentus payveris crowdfundinsider cloud-based bill payment technology, to acquire Payveris, which also offers cloud-based bill payment services. $152.2 million is the purchase price, with roughly 56 percent being paid in cash and 44 percent being paid in Paymentus Class A common stock.

With real-time capabilities, improved electronic bill presentation, and more payment alternatives for banks, credit unions, and financial institutions of all sizes, the combination is anticipated to increase the addressable market opportunity for Paymentus’ current offerings.

The president and CEO of Paymentus, Dushyant Sharma, said, “We started our connection with Payveris as a multifaceted partnership and it immediately became evident that their technology and team are best-in-class and would be immensely additive to our platform and goal. “This purchase helps us give additional value to our billers, strategic partners, and financial institutions while also accelerating our potential to disrupt the old bill pay paradigm. We are eager for the Payveris team to join Paymentus’ rapidly expanding team.

Once the agreements are fulfilled, Paymentus will provide Payveris‘ bank and credit union clients access to the Instant Payment Network as well as its omni-channel bill presentation and payment platform to Payveris clients who service loans in order to modernize their loan payment operations. The Paymentus platform can be made available to business and commercial clients of Payveris’ bank and credit union clients so that they can present and pay bills.

The acquisition should benefit Payment us clients since their consumers will soon be able to view bills and make real-time payments at the more than 265 banks and credit unions that Payveris supports. By enabling better control, quicker payments, and greater transparency when paying bills and moving money from any account to any end point, the combination of Paymentus and Payveris will simplify money management for consumers.

“Paymentus is the ideal place for Payveris to live. A real-time payment network connecting customer accounts at their financial institutions and their billers is created when the companies’ highly complementary technologies are joined, according to Ron Bergamesca, CEO of Payveris. “This network will serve as the cornerstone for providing financial institutions with quick innovation in digital payments.”

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AI set to replace humans in cybersecurity by 2030, says Trend Micro survey

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According to Trend Micro, in 2021 hackers will use home networks as a crucial launching pad to infiltrate corporate IT and Internet of Things (IoT) networks.
What kind of risks do IT leaders anticipate will be the most ubiquitous in the future and what will the profession’s future look like?

Over two-fifths (41%) of IT leaders predict that AI will replace their role by 2030, according to recent data from Dallas Texas-based cloud security company Trend Micro.

It predicts that remote and cloud-based systems would be ruthlessly attacked in 2021 in its predictions report, Turning the Tide.

It doesn’t appear like their career chances will improve, according to study that was assembled from 500 interviews with IT directors, managers, CIOs, and CTOs.

In the next ten years, only 9% of respondents were certain that AI would not replace their employment. In fact, almost a third (32%) of respondents said that technology would soon be able to fully automate all aspects of cybersecurity, necessitating little to no human involvement.

By 2025, 19% of respondents predict that attackers will frequently use AI to bolster their arsenal.

By 2030, according to over a quarter (24%) of IT leaders surveyed, access to data will be linked to biometric or DNA information, making unauthorized access impossible.

The following outcomes were also expected by respondents to occur by 2025 in the short term. They forecast that when remote work becomes the norm, the majority of organisations would drastically reduce their investment in real estate (22%).

Network and security infrastructure will have undergone a complete nationwide 5G transformation (21%), and security will be self-managing and automated utilising AI (15%).

Attackers will frequently, however, use AI to bolster their armament (19%).

Bharat Mistry is Trend Micro’s Technical Director. “We must have a realistic outlook on the future. Although AI is a helpful tool for aiding in threat defence, its worth can only be realised in conjunction with human experience.”

Cybercriminals will continue to carry out their attacks with the goal of making the most money possible. To keep one step ahead of crooks, businesses and security teams need to be adaptable and watchful.

So how can businesses lessen the hazards they already face? To safeguard cloud workloads, emails, endpoints, networks, and servers, Trend Micro advises businesses to step up their best practize security and patch management programmes and supplement threat detection with round-the-clock security knowledge.

Additionally, it advises against the use of personal devices while maintaining rigorous access controls for both corporate networks and the home office, including zero trust, and user education and training to extend corporate security best practises to the home.

Although tech executives predict that automation will eliminate many jobs within a decade, they shouldn’t worry about this for a while.

IT will change to fit new working practises, and businesses will advance to employ automation to address the difficulties brought on by a lack of skilled labour.

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FarmVille Once Took Over Facebook. Now Everything Is FarmVille.

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On New Year’s Eve, FarmVille the game, which was popular a decade ago, was discontinued. But its influence extends beyond games, for better or worse.

At its height, the game had 32 million daily active users and approximately 85 million total players. This was in the beginning of 2009, when Facebook was just beginning its efforts to eat up a. It contributed to the evolution of Facebook from a site you went to check on text-based updates from friends and family into a time-sucking destination in and of itself.

Then-CEO of Zynga and current chairman of its board of directors Mark Pincus said, “We viewed of it as this new layer in your social, not just a method to bring games to people.” “I reasoned that I should give them something to do together off of these social networks like Facebook.”

That was partly accomplished by trapping players in loops that were challenging to escape. Some players would set alarms so they wouldn’t forget to check in every day because failing to do so would cause your crops to wither and die. For assistance, you could pay real money or message your Facebook friends, which annoyed non-players who were constantly bombarded with messages and updates in their news feeds.

FarmVille became a pacemaker for the online economy of the 2010s, according to game designer and professor Ian Bogost at Georgia Tech.

That wasn’t meant as praise, though.

According to Mr. Bogost, the game pushed players to enlist their friends as resources for both themselves and the service they were utilising. According to him, it gamified attention and promoted interaction loops in a way that has since been copied by everything from QAnon to Instagram.

He remarked, “The internet itself is this bazaar of obsessive worlds where the purpose is to pull you back to do the thing it offers, to catch your attention and serve advertising against it or else derive value from that activity.”

FarmVille was the first game to gain widespread popularity, despite other games having used many of the same strategies (Zynga’s biggest hit at the time was Mafia Wars). Mr. Pincus claimed that he routinely dined with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and that in early 2009, he was informed that games will soon be able to publish to a user’s news feed. According to him, Mark Zuckerberg advised Zynga to saturate the market with new games, and Facebook will filter them out based on how well they performed.

Even though the agricultural game genre wasn’t particularly popular at the time, Mr. Pincus thought it would appeal to a wide demographic, especially to adults and women who hadn’t previously spent hundreds of dollars on a machine like the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Nintendo Wii. It would be a foreshadowing of the explosive growth of the mobile gaming business, as casual players shifted away from PC as cellphones became more prevalent.

FarmVille never received much love from the gaming community, despite its popularity. At the 2010 Game Developers Conference, a Zynga executive was jeered as he presented an award. Mr. Pincus claimed he had difficulty hiring developers because they believed their peers would disapprove of them for working on the game.

Despite how hard it was to resist, Time magazine selected FarmVille as one of “The 50 Worst Inventions” in 2010, referring to it as “barely a game.”

For many, the game’s appearance in people’s news feeds will be more memorable than the game itself. The issues were well known to Facebook.

Facebook limited the amount of updates and notifications that games may post to news feeds after learning from non-players that the game was spammy. According to Vivek Sharma, a Facebook vice president and head of gaming, the company now wants to send fewer alerts only when they have a greater chance of having an impact.

He said that FarmVille was largely responsible for the emergence of social gaming and claimed that Facebook had learned some crucial lessons from the “saga” over excessive notifications.

In order for those applications to be self-sustaining and healthy, he said, “I think people started to find out some fundamental behavioral things that needed to be changed.” And a big part of that, in my opinion, is the notion that humans do, in fact, have a limit, and that limit shifts through time.

There is little doubt that the notifications were effective, even if some people found them annoying. Zynga’s Scott Koenigsberg, a director of product, pointed out that gamers had opted in to send the requests.

At some point or another, “everyone received a ‘lonely cow’ notification, but those were all being shared by their friends who were playing the game,” he said.

One person who experienced this was Mia Consalvo, a professor of game studies and design at Concordia University in Canada.

“Oh, 12 of my pals need help,” she said, when she logged into Facebook, she said.

She argued that the game didn’t foster meaningful or long-lasting interactions, casting doubt on how social it actually was.

“The game itself isn’t encouraging you to have a dialogue with your pals or to spend time together inside the game space,” she claimed. Really, it’s only a matter of pressing a button.

However, individuals who frequented the location daily claimed that having something to talk about had helped them stay in touch with their friends and acquaintances.

A 42-year-old radio producer from Toronto named Maurie Sherman claimed that he had played with the receptionist and that he frequently visited her desk to discuss it. He remarked, “She would tell me about the pink cow she got.

He took pleasure in it as a diversion, a digital stress reliever, and a calming hobby that would allow his mind to wander. He claimed that over the years, he had invested more than $1,000 – actual money — in order to enhance his farm or save time.

And he admitted that he was entirely to blame for sending the notifications, but they were always successful in getting him the assistance he needed.

People who were sick of hearing that you needed help with their cows “would mute you or unfriend you,” he claimed.

Jaime Tracy, 59, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, claimed she was “one of those obnoxious individuals” who frequently asked for assistance until her friends and family advised her to stop.

She played the game for more than five years since she adored it and considered it a sort of meditation. She said that she had “nothing else to do” now that her kids were adults and living away from home.

You might just stop thinking about things and plant some carrots, she suggested.

Online games were not yet the giant they would become, but they did take up as much of the internet as possible.

Then, in June, FarmVille appeared. You would still receive a lot of nags and prods from your friends asking for assistance if you weren’t one of the tens of millions of individuals maintaining a cartoon plot of land on Facebook every day and accumulating an endless supply of cutesy souvenirs. Users of Facebook were either drawn into an obsession by the game or were constantly reminded that they were missing out on one.

There were still people playing the Flash-based Zynga game that was built for Facebook on Thursday, but its sequels that can be played through mobile apps will continue to exist. (The game’s software, Flash, shut down at the conclusion of the calendar year.)

However, the original FarmVille continues to influence modern internet users through the habits it instilled in them and the growth-hacking strategies it developed, which are now ingrained in almost every website, service, and app vying for your attention.

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