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Walt Disney World Employees Protest The Company’s New COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Requirements

Walt Disney World Employees Protest The Company’s New COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Requirements

Original Article By Josh Berger At BoundingIntoComics.com

Walt Disney World employees announced that they would join together to march in protest of the company’s recently announced COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which requires cast members to be fully vaccinated by October 22, 2021.

Revealing that many cast members have shown legitimate concern about what will happen once the new mandate goes into effect, event organiser Nick Caturano told Fox 35,, “We understand that COVID-19 is a very real health concern that we all have to take seriously, but many cast members have a legitimate basis for refusing vaccination.”

 “So many cast members felt alone and felt like they were the only ones who thought this was wrong,” Caturano continued. “I think we were made to feel that way on purpose. But we have connected now, and we are pushing back.”

According to the information provided via a press release, the march was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at 12151 S. Apopka Vineland Rd, where protestors were expected to “walk up and down Lake Buena Vista Boulevard through the middle of Disney World.”

The Orlando Sentinel’s Katie Rice shared a photo of the employees’ protest to Twitter.

She wrote, “Around 25 people are walking down Apopka-Vineland Road toward Disney to protest Disney’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for cast members. The protest was organized by a current cast member who said he distrusts the vaccine in its current form.”

Source: BoundingIntoComics.com

Another protest has reportedly been scheduled in Anaheim, California as well.

Last month, the company’s largest union of employees agreed to adopt a COVID-19 vaccination mandate that would require proof of vaccination for all cast members at the Florida theme park.

The agreement itself, shared by the Service Trades Council Union, stipulated that Disney World “will require all active Employees whose duties include working on-site to be fully vaccinated by October 22, 2021.”

According to the information revealed within the agreement, the union agreed to make this decision based on “recommendations of scientists, local, state and federal health officials and the Company’s own medical professionals that COVID-19 vaccines provide the best protection against severe COVID-19 infection.”

It is also worth mentioning that not all cast members at the Florida theme park would be required to show proof, since some of them could be exempted from this new near-draconian mandate for medical or religious reasons.

Employees who do not fall into the categories mentioned above would be let go by Walt Disney World, although they will still retain a positive rehire status until they “comply with the Company policy on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination.”

Market Wrap: Bitcoin Traders Take Profits Amid Regulatory Crackdowns

Market Wrap: Bitcoin Traders Take Profits Amid Regulatory Crackdowns

Original Article By Damanick Dantes And Tracy Wang At Coindesk.com

It’s been a quiet week in crypto markets as prices consolidate after last week’s sell-off. Returns have been mixed, especially among alternative cryptocurrencies, with Solana’s SOL token down about 19% over the past week due to network failures, compared with a 34% gain in Avalanche’s AVAX token that was driven by the network’s latest $230 million funding round.

Bitcoin was trading at about $47,000 at press time and is up 6% over the past week. Some analysts expect BTC to consolidate over the short term as the broader uptrend remains intact.

“The combination of fundamental metrics presented on-chain, bullish technical indicators and soft macro picture allows us to confirm our view of a bullish run through the remainder of the year,” FundStrat, a global advisory firm, wrote in a Wednesday report. “We are buyers of BTC and ETH into any near-term selling.”

Regulation, however, remains a headwind for cryptocurrencies. Last week, El Salvador’s Court of Accounts received a complaint from a human rights organization regarding the government’s handling of bitcoin purchases and crypto ATMs. Opposition to the country’s bitcoin law has been vocal with protests across the capital, reported CoinDesk’s Sebastian Sinclair.

And on Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Treasury Department is preparing a report on stablecoins and their potential risks to the financial system.

Latest Prices

  • Bitcoin (BTC), $47,516, +0.1%
  • Ether (ETH), $3,421, -4.0%
  • S&P 500: -0.9%
  • Gold: $1,752, -0.1%
  • 10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.378%

Market uncertainty

Similar to the spot market, the bitcoin options and futures market has also been relatively stable, albeit with some signs of caution.

“We’ve seen healthy spot buying demand in BTC, ETH and altcoins on the desk,” wrote crypto trading firm QCP Capital in a Telegram chat. “But we’ve also seen decent profit-taking in calls at current levels – mixed signals.”

A cautious stance among traders is apparent from the positive one-week and one-month bitcoin put-call skews, which measure the cost of puts – or bearish bets – relative to calls, which are bullish bets. The positive values imply that traders are seeking short-term downside protection, reports CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole.

QCP expects bitcoin to consolidate at around the $45,000-$50,000 range over the short term given mixed signals from the options market.

“At these levels we have turned slightly short spot as well in BTC and ETH against our long spot positions in the altcoins,” QCP wrote.

Coinbase trading volumes decline

Trading volume on the Coinbase exchange eased slightly last week but remains elevated compared with recent months. That trend largely reflects the recent price consolidation in large cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and ether, while smaller alternative cryptocurrencies captured greater interest among traders.

In a Friday newsletter to institutional clients, Coinbase noted rising volume and said that it expected an eventful fourth quarter. “BTC volumes have caught up to ETH volumes,” Coinbase wrote. “While retail interest in ADA remains high, we have seen a significant rise in ALGO volumes this past week as the L1 [Layer 1] narrative continues to play out.”

Ether pulls back relative to bitcoin

Ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was trading at around $3,400 at press time and is down about 3% over the past 24 hours, compared with bitcoin’s flat performance over the same period.

ETH is still outperforming BTC over the past week, although the pace of its relative upside is starting to slow. The ETH/BTC ratio declined from the 0.08 resistance level during last week’s crypto sell-off and is approaching initial support near 0.07.

Altcoin roundup

  • Ripple has plans to build a market-making platform for XRP: The global payments company is looking to build a crypto market-making platform and is actively recruiting 10 staff across three cities, reported CoinDesk’s Will Canny. Last December, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ripple with raising more than $1.3 billion in XRP sales in allegedly unregistered securities offerings. Ripple’s XRP token was previously the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
  • Stablecoin Tether denies holding Evergrande’s commercial paper in its reserve for USDT: Tether Ltd., the company behind the world’s largest stablecoin, has pushed back against lingering speculation that its dollar-pegged currency USDT is backed by commercial paper issued by the now cash-strapped Chinese property giant Evergrande Group, reported CoinDesk’s Omar Godbole. “Tether does not hold any commercial paper or other debt or securities issued by Evergrande and has never done so,” Tether external spokesperson Alex Welch said in an email on Wednesday.
  • Crypto custodian Copper says it now supports OXY and MAPS tokens, citing growing investor demand for DeFi: OXY and MAPS are the native tokens of the Oxygen and Maps.me ecosystems, which are built on Solana’s Serum decentralized exchange (DEX). The company says custody of OXY and MAPS on its Copper platform will support investments in the two decentralized finance (DeFi) projects from institutional investors.
Facebook Has Reportedly Allowed Millions Of VIP Users To Violate Its Content Rules Without Being Punished

Facebook Has Reportedly Allowed Millions Of VIP Users To Violate Its Content Rules Without Being Punished

Original Article By Daniel Payne At NotTheBee.com

Facebook has become known in recent years for the ruthless enforcement of its internal content rules, to the point that posting anything on the site can sometimes feel like opening your mouth in Stalinist Russia—you never know if you’re going to become an Unperson by saying the wrong thing.

But the social media company has apparently allowed millions of users to skirt around those rules without being punished:

In private, the company has built a system that has exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules, according to company documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The program, known as “cross check” or “XCheck,” was initially intended as a quality-control measure for actions taken against high-profile accounts, including celebrities, politicians and journalists. Today, it shields millions of VIP users from the company’s normal enforcement process, the documents show. Some users are “whitelisted”—rendered immune from enforcement actions—while others are allowed to post rule-violating material pending Facebook employee reviews that often never come.

Interesting: A relentlessly overbearing system of rules and regulations that doles out loads of punishment to ordinary, powerful people while allowing a favored elite to write their own rules and game the system indefinitely. It really does sound like Stalinist Russia!

This Is How You Get Better Sleep and Improve Your Health

This Is How You Get Better Sleep and Improve Your Health

This YouTube video by Tom Bilyeu lists tips for getting better sleep at night. Sleep is an undervalued component of health, and effects one’s life and career. It regulates our hormones and metabolism. Bilyeu has compiled clips of interviews for this comprehensive guide.

  1. Get more sunlight: Spend 30 minutes outside in the morning.
  2. Set aside 90 minutes without technology before bed.
  3. Exercise 5 minutes in the morning.
  4. Make sleep a priority.
  5. Avoid eating 3 hours before bed.
  6. Reduce stress; try daily meditation, don’t eat for 45 minutes after waking up
  7. Reduce blue light, try LED therapy
  8. Consider cannabis
Solid Affiliate Review: An Easy-to-Use WooCommerce Affiliate Plugin

Solid Affiliate Review: An Easy-to-Use WooCommerce Affiliate Plugin

Original Article By Colin Newcomer At WPMayor.com

Want to create an affiliate program for your WooCommerce store?

Launching your own affiliate program is a great way to grow your store because you’ll have an army of loyal promoters out there sharing your products. But if you go with an established affiliate network like ShareASale or CJ, you’re going to be paying high setup fees and ongoing commissions to a middleman (above and beyond what you pay to your actual affiliates).

With Solid Affiliate, you can create your own self-hosted WooCommerce affiliate program powered by WordPress. You’ll have full control over your data and how your affiliate program functions. You also won’t have to pay an extra commission to a middle-man network.

In our Solid Affiliate review, we’ll give you a hands-on look at how this native WordPress plugin can help you create an affiliate program for your WooCommerce store.

Solid Affiliate Review: A Look at the Features

Solid Affiliate is a native WordPress plugin that’s 100% focused on creating an affiliate program for WooCommerce stores.

The advantage of this singular focus is that every feature and interface choice in Solid Affiliate is focused on WooCommerce, which creates a stronger integration and gives you more flexibility.

It also offers out-of-the-box integration, so the setup process is super simple. It’s ready to start tracking sales pretty much as soon as you activate it.

I’ll give you a hands-on look at all the features, but here’s a quick overview of what you get with Solid Affiliate:

  • Automatic tracking – Solid Affiliate starts tracking commissions right away.
  • Flexible commission rates – set one default rate for your store and then manually adjust for specific products, product categories, or affiliates as needed.
  • Affiliate coupons – link a regular WooCommerce coupon to an affiliate.
  • Payout tool – automatically pay out via PayPal or export a CSV for manual payouts.
  • Frontend affiliate dashboard – give your affiliates a user-friendly frontend dashboard to manage everything.
  • Reports – view detailed reports to analyze how effective your affiliate program is. You can also dig into affiliates, referrals, commissions, and more.
  • WooCommerce Subscriptions support – if you’re using WooCommerce Subscriptions for recurring payments, you can set up recurring commission rates.
  • Mailchimp integration – automatically sync affiliates to a Mailchimp list so that you can send them emails.

Those are just the high-level features – keep reading for a look at everything it has to offer.

How to Set Up Solid Affiliate

The Solid Affiliate setup process is pretty simple and entirely non-technical. In terms of basic tracking, it’s pretty much plug-and-play.

Of course, you’ll need to do a little configuration when it comes to things like commission rates and behavior, but you can easily set all of that up via a well-designed interface.

Setup Wizard

When you first activate Solid Affiliate, it includes a setup wizard that appears when you go to the new Solid Affiliate tab in your dashboard. There’s not much to do here, but you can configure your outgoing emails and have Solid Affiliate create a page for your frontend affiliate portal:

Settings – General

Once you complete the setup wizard, you’ll want to go to Solid Affiliate → Settings to configure how your affiliate program functions.

In the General tab, you can configure how your commissions work including:

  • The default commission rate (flat-rate or percentage).
  • Whether to exclude shipping and/or tax from commission calculations.
  • Whether to offer commissions on all sales or only on sales from new customers.
  • How long the tracking cookie should last.
  • The currency for payouts.

In situations where multiple affiliates refer a customer, Solid Affiliate currently only works on the “credit last affiliate” model. However, they’re working on adding more attribution strategies, such as crediting the first affiliate to refer a customer.

Settings – Affiliate Portal & Registration

The Affiliate Portal & Registration tab lets you control:

  • The frontend interface for affiliates.
  • What fields to include on the registration form.
  • Whether to require admin approval for new affiliates.

The “Affiliate Notes” field on the registration form adds a “How will you promote us?” box. But it still would be nice to have some added control over the registration form, maybe via integrations with popular form plugins (which is how some other WordPress affiliate plugins handle things).

Right now, there’s no way to add custom fields to your registration forms, which is something some affiliate programs might want. For example, you can’t collect an affiliate’s physical address, which might be an issue if you’re in the USA and you need their location for 1099 forms.

Settings – Integration

The Integrations tab lets you set up two integrations:

  • PayPal for easy payouts (more on this later).
  • Mailchimp to automatically sync affiliate contacts to a Mailchimp list.

Settings – Emails

The Emails tab lets you customize the emails that are sent to affiliates and affiliate managers. There are four emails and you can customize them using the Classic editor and merge tags.

Here are the emails to affiliate managers:

  1. New affiliate registration
  2. New referral

And here are the emails to affiliates:

  1. Affiliate application approved
  2. New referral

Settings – Misc

The Misc tab holds some miscellaneous settings, such as whether to automatically reject unpaid referrals if the order is refunded:

Settings – Recurring Referrals

If you’re using WooCommerce Subscriptions, the Recurring Referrals tab lets you choose whether to pay commissions on every subscription payment or just the first one. 

You can also set a custom rate. For example, you could give $50 flat for the first payment and 5% commission for all recurring payments:

Setting Up Custom Commission Rates

In addition to the default referral rate that you configured in the settings, Solid Affiliate also lets you manually override that rate for specific…

  • affiliates
  • products
  • product categories.

You can set these rates up when you edit an individual affiliate, product, or product category.

For example, when you edit a product category, you’ll get new fields to control the commission for products in that category:

or individual products, you also get an option to make them ineligible for commissions, which is nice if you don’t want to pay commissions on certain products:

Assigning Coupons to Affiliates

As another option to credit affiliates, you can also give affiliates their own coupons. Whenever a shopper uses the coupon, Solid Affiliate will automatically credit that affiliate with the sale.

To set up affiliate coupons, Solid Affiliate integrates into the native WooCommerce coupon system:

And that’s it! You’ve fully set up your affiliate program.

Next, let’s look at what the management features are like…

How to Manage Your Affiliate Program

Once you set up your affiliate program, Solid Affiliate also includes lots of tools to view reports, manage affiliates, pay your affiliates, and more.

You’ll find these under the main Solid Affiliate menu in your WordPress dashboard. Let’s go through them…

Dashboard

The Dashboard tab gives you a high-level overview of what’s going on with your affiliate program. You can see recent revenue, referrals, affiliate registrations, and top affiliates.

It also shows you notifications, which helps you keep track of key actions. For example, when it’s time to make a new payout, you’ll get a notification to remind you:

Affiliate Management

The Affiliates tab helps you manage all of your individual affiliates. It also gives you a quick look at their performance and paid/unpaid commissions:

If you click into an individual affiliate, you’ll be able to approve them (for new registrants), set custom commission rates, and more.

One feature that I think could be useful here is the ability to bulk export affiliate data as a CSV. This could be helpful for reporting, compliance, and integrating with other email marketing tools beyond Mailchimp.

Referral Management

The Referrals tab lets you track individual referrals to your store. That is, you can see each individual order that was referred by an affiliate. You can also open the corresponding order in the WooCommerce interface:

One nice touch is that you can quickly see exactly how the commission was calculated for each referral. For example, was it the default rate or did it have some custom rates:

If you’ve set up a lot of custom rates, being able to quickly calculate where each commission came from can be helpful.

Payouts

Solid Affiliate includes two menus related to payouts:

  • Payouts – this lets you see all of the completed payouts.
  • Pay Affiliates – this houses the tool that you can use to pay affiliates. Once you pay them with this tool, that payout will appear in the Payouts tab.

The pay affiliates tool is well-designed and easy to use. 

You have two options for paying affiliates:

  • You can use the PayPal bulk payout integration to automatically pay affiliates via PayPal.
  • You can generate a CSV file to manually pay affiliates via any method.

When you create a payout, you’ll also be able to filter the specific referrals that you want to pay via three options:

  • All unpaid referrals that have passed the refund grace period that you set in the plugin’s settings.
  • All unpaid referrals.
  • Unpaid referrals from a custom time range – anywhere from “Today” to “In the last year”. Or, you can enter a custom date range – e.g. between April 1 and April 13.

Then, you’ll get a preview of the referrals that match your criteria.

For a CSV export, you can also choose to mark referrals as paid or only export the CSV without marking them as paid.

Visit Tracking

The Visits tab lets you track individual referral visits to your site, whether or not they resulted in a sale. You can also see the referring URL, if applicable:

Creatives

The Creatives tab lets you add new creatives for your affiliates to use. They’ll be able to access these creatives in their frontend dashboards (more on this later):

Reports

The Reports tab gives you a detailed look at all aspects of your affiliate program. I think this is one of the strong points of Solid Affiliate as the reporting data is quite detailed.

The Overview tab gives you a detailed breakdown of all parts of your affiliate program and then you can use the other tabs to dig into affiliates, referrals, payouts, and visits:

As I mentioned in the affiliates section, I think it would be useful if there were an option to export some/all of this data as a CSV, as well.

Commission Rate Overview

The Commission Rates tab is a useful area that basically gives you a high-level view of all the different commission rates on your store.

You can see your basic settings and commission rates, but then you can also see any manual overrides that you’ve created for specific…

  • affiliates
  • products
  • product categories.

You can also see all of your affiliate coupons.

If you have one static commission rate for all products and affiliates, this probably won’t be that useful. But if you set up custom commission rates for certain products or affiliates, being able to see all of those rates in one spot is a nice feature.

How the Frontend Experience Works for Affiliates

Finally, let’s take a quick look at what the frontend experience is like for your affiliates.

If an anonymous visitor tries to access the affiliate portal page, they’ll be prompted to register or log in:

Once they’ve registered, they’ll get a well-designed dashboard to view/manage:

  • Referrals
  • Visits
  • Payouts
  • Coupons
  • Creatives
  • Affiliate links (including a tool to generate affiliate links to specific products)
  • Basic settings, like their payment email.

Solid Affiliate Pricing

At the time that we’re writing our Solid Affiliate review, the pricing terms are incredibly generous.

You’ll pay just $99 for lifetime usage on unlimited sites. What’s more, you also get lifetime updates and support.

This is a limited-time deal, though. The “real” price will be $199 per year.

So – if you’re interested, I think it definitely makes sense to make your purchase sooner rather than later as the lifetime deal offers a lot of value.

You get a 60-day money-back guarantee so you’re not risking anything.

Final Thoughts on Solid Affiliate

Overall, I found Solid Affiliate to be very easy to use. The setup process is dead simple and all the functionality worked properly in my testing, including accurate commission tracking.

The dashboard is well-designed and also includes detailed reporting along with useful features like being able to quickly see all your commission rates and how the commission was calculated for each order.

There are a few features that I think it would be nice to add, such as being able to fully customize the registration form (maybe by integrating with a form plugin) and having more bulk CSV export options. But it’s a young plugin so it has time to add those features going forward.

At $99 for lifetime usage/updates/support on unlimited sites, Solid Affiliate is significantly more affordable than much of the competition. If the developer has changed the price for new customers to $199/year by the time you’re reading this review, that’s still quite competitive vs what you’d pay for similar features from other plugins.

So, if you want to add an affiliate program to your WooCommerce store, definitely give Solid Affiliate a look.

The Great Resignation Is Here, and It’s Real

The Great Resignation Is Here, and It’s Real

Original Article By Phillip Kane At Inc.com

The Great Resignation, a term first coined in 2019 by Texas A&M’s Anthony Klotz to predict a mass, voluntary exodus from the workforce, is here, and it’s quite real.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, during the months of April, May, and June 2021, a total of 11.5 million workers quit their jobs. Recent studies indicate that it’s likely not over. A survey of over 30,000 workers conducted by Microsoft found that 41 percent are considering quitting; that number jumps to 54 percent when Gen-Z is considered alone. Gallup found that 48 percent of employees are actively searching for new opportunities. And Persio reported that 38 percent of those they surveyed planned to make a change in the next six months.

These are alarming figures. The cost of any turnover is expensive. For any organization to lose even a third of its workforce would be downright devastating. The impact on small and medium enterprises, where finding departments of one is not unusual, will be especially severe. As with any potential crisis, addressing the situation is best achieved once one understands what is causing it.

The issues driving the Great Resignation, while multiple are mostly variations on a theme. According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 74 percent of those surveyed indicated that the time spent at home — either during shut-downs or working remotely — during the pandemic had caused them to rethink their current work situation. A great many — over half in several surveys — cite stress and burnout in their current position as a reason for looking elsewhere. Others point to dissatisfaction, and even fear, caused by knee-jerk cost-cutting actions by their current employer in response to Covid-19-related business slowdowns as a reason for bolting, with many finding fundamental unfairness in holds on promotions, frozen merit increases, and indiscriminate layoffs which impacted poor performers and stars equally, particularly as they watched executive leadership refuse to participate in the pain.

Still others made evaluations, both with heart and head, around the true economics of a two-income household, determining that the benefits no longer outweighed the costs. Some finally took the leap and started a dream business. Many have simply had it with being undervalued and unheard by toxic, narcissistic managers. Finally, fully a third stated concerns with their personal safety in having to return to an on-site position while the pandemic still rages. So, with all of this going on, what can a typical small enterprise do to stem the tide — particularly as larger, better-funded corporate competitors compete for the same, smaller talent pool?

In a word, care. The Great Resignation caught so many employers flat-footed because it ran contrary to everything traditional management thought they knew about labor markets. See, since forever, the conventional wisdom held that in downturns, the employer could get away with almost anything; employees needed work and so would be grateful merely to have a job — frills and niceties were 100 percent unnecessary. But the common thread that runs through virtually every motivation for the Great Resignation departures we are seeing is a decision to no longer accept the unacceptable.

Whether due to a fear for personal safety, a lack of fair treatment, having to deal with a horrible boss, or an inequitable work-life balance, those fleeing what might be viewed as perfectly good jobs are simply choosing to put themselves first for a change. Employers who beat them to the punch by taking steps to create environments where associates feel safe, valued, and more empowered to make their own scheduling choices stand a great chance of keeping these employees. And when I say environment, I’m not talking about bean bags and ping-pong tables.

A July 2021 Fast Company piece declared “The Era of Wacky Office Perks is Dead.” Associates are smart enough to recognize that toys and mini-fridges full of energy drinks are not a substitute for leaders who truly care about them and who work to make their lives better. Workers want transparency. They want to be trusted. They want employers who recognize that managing in a Zoom economy is different, and that their leaders need different skills and training. They want bosses who stop being skeptical whether they are actually working when they are at home. They want to be respected by leaders who get that remote work is not an invitation for micromanagement.

More importantly, workers simply want to be recognized; in fact, according to bonusly.com, 63 percent of those in a recent survey who said they are regularly recognized also said they are very unlikely to look for a new job. Workers want organizations that understand that hybrid work requires management to communicate more, not less. They want their boards and HR departments to finally awaken to the fact that narcissism is a malignancy and that bullies have no business managing other human beings.

They also want to work for companies they can be proud of, that are involved in their communities and that take a stand for things that they believe matter. They want to work for companies that cut bad costs discriminately, not for machete-wielding SG&A slashers who cut everything in sight. They want to work for companies that believe the best time to invest in training and education is when business slows down. And they want a say — in decision making AND in their own scheduling. But don’t simply take my word for it, ask them.

The smartest business leaders today are taking the time to ask their associates regularly and formally what is and is not going well as they navigate this strange new world. They are doing so apart from normal engagement measurement efforts (which I recently wrote about here). Best-in-class leaders are not just asking for, but are taking action on, associate feedback. These employers are finding pain points for associates and getting them out of their way. Most associates are reasonable. Few expected that their leaders would have all the answers as this pandemic struck then dragged on. What they simply want, at a minimum though, is that their leaders take the time to honestly communicate about what is happening and to ask them for their input. Companies that take these simple steps and those listed above stand a far greater chance of keeping valued associates as the Great Resignation drags on. And that’s not the only silver lining.

As much as the Great Resignation has created significant disruption for many organizations, smart businesses should alternately view it as a tremendous opportunity. The market is being flooded right now with people looking for something better, people who have had enough of organizations that do not care. For smaller enterprises that take the time and energy to not only talk about being better but to actually prove that they are a better, more caring place to work, there is a great pool of talent waiting to beat a path to their door.

It’s all about caring.

It’s a simple choice. One that some 11.5 million people and counting are begging for more companies to make.

Falsely Accused? Here’s How to Respond. Most People Do the Opposite, Harvard Study Finds

Falsely Accused? Here’s How to Respond. Most People Do the Opposite, Harvard Study Finds

Original Article By Minda Zetlin At Inc.com

People who are falsely accused tend to get angry–which makes others believe that they are indeed guilty. Those are the highly frustrating results of a new study from researchers at Harvard. If you’re an employer, you need to watch out for your own instincts, which could lead you to assume an innocent person has done something wrong. And, importantly, you should use this information to temper your own reactions if you’re ever falsely accused yourself.

In a study titled “Anger Damns the Innocent,” researchers from Harvard Business School and the University of Toronto conducted six studies to determine how people react to being falsely accused, and how those reactions affect others’ perceptions of their guilt or innocence. In one experiment, they randomly assigned 230 subjects to either an easy or difficult editing task and told them they’d be paid a $2 bonus for doing it correctly. The easy task, which most participants got right, was to capitalize the first and last letters of every paragraph in the text. The difficult task, which most got wrong, was to find and remove every adverb in the text. After they were done, all participants got the same message, ostensibly from a research assistant saying their answer was believed to be wrong, indicating that they hadn’t been paying proper attention and therefore the $2 bonus might be withheld.

For most of those who’d done the easy task, this was a false accusation, whereas it was basically true for those who’d had to do the hard task. Those who were falsely accused reported feeling angrier, and to claim they were being unfairly assessed. I think even without a study, most of us would recognize this as a normal human reaction–when we are accused of something we didn’t do, we get really peeved. I still remember the hissy fit I pitched in my veterinarian’s office when I was accused of–and billed for–being a no-show at an appointment I had actually rescheduled.

But here’s the problem. While getting ticked off is a normal human reaction to a false accusation, it will make others believe you are guilty. The researchers tested this across four studies. In the first three, participants watched clips from a television show called Judge Faith, or read a description of a courtroom proceeding, or an account of a man accused of cheating on his girlfriend, or a man accused of stealing from his employer. In each case, they got to see or read about the accused person’s reaction. Every time, participants judged those who reacted angrily as being guiltier than those who reacted with calm. The only people who seemed guiltier to these subjects were those who pleaded the fifth in court and refused to say anything at all.

Even the pros get it wrong

Then they performed a similar experiment on 136 professionals whose jobs ought to give them some insight into guilt and innocence–law enforcement professionals, fraud investigators, lawyers, and similar professions. Even they thought those who reacted with anger–and those who refused to answer questions at all–were likely to be guilty. They thought those who reacted calmly were most likely to be innocent.

It’s a sad state of affairs when even trained professionals think reacting calmly to an accusation makes you innocent and reacting angrily makes you guilty, when the opposite is likely to be true. But what can you do about it?

For starters, when you ask an employee–or anyone else–if they’ve done something wrong and they respond with anger, don’t assume that they did it. “We find that such anger is an invalid cue of guilt and is instead a valid cue of innocence,” the researchers write. Most people–even professionals whose jobs require them to parse the guilty from the innocent–use emotional cues to determine whether someone is guilty. More often than not, following these emotional cues will lead you to the wrong conclusion. This tallies with existing literature, which suggests that most people are really bad at knowing whether someone is lying or telling the truth.

There’s a small audience of Inc.com readers who receive a daily text from me with a self-care or motivational micro-challenge or idea. Often they text me back and we wind up in an ongoing conversation. (Interested in joining? You can learn more here.) Some of them have told me about times when they were accused of something they didn’t do, and how hard it is to stay calm when that happens.

So next time you accuse someone of doing something wrong and they blow their stack, give that person the benefit of the doubt. And if you’re falsely accused yourself, whatever else you do, try not to react with anger. It will just make people think you’re guilty.

Former The Mary Sue Writer And Social Justice Activist Sam Maggs Working On Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Remake

Former The Mary Sue Writer And Social Justice Activist Sam Maggs Working On Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic Remake

Original Article By John F. Trent At Bounding Into Comics.com

Former The Mary Sue writer and social justice activist Sam Maggs announced that she is and has been working on the newly announced Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic Remake.

Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic Remake was announced at the PlayStation Showcase 2021 where game’s Lead Producer Ryan Treadwell made it abundantly clear the game is a “complete remake.”

He explained, “This is a complete remake of this beloved Star Wars story. For Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake, we are rebuilding from the ground up  while maintaining that integrity and story from the original.”

Treadwell would add, “You know the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a true classic and one of our favorite Star Wars story ever. We want to honor that original story and make it as impactful for players today.”

“In terms of the visuals we have the opportunity to present this story with a much higher level of fidelity than was possible in the past while making sure that we are being authentic to what players loved about that original game,” Treadwell further elaborated.

In an interview with StarWars.com, Treadwell also reiterated, “Our big goals on this are to bring the story to a modern audience and have it be just as impactful today as it was for players when it originally launched.”

Lucasfilm Games’ Executive Producer Orion Kellogg also told StarWars.com, “We’ve been working really, really closely with Aspyr for a long time now to deconstruct what made KOTOR so great and bring that back to new audiences, because we want this game to be an incredible RPG.”

Kellogg went on to hint that they will be changing character designs, dialogue, and more, “We want this game to be just as beloved as it was before. Some of my favorite meetings to have in my week right now are to get into the nitty gritty with Aspyr and talk about, ‘Why did we make that choice in the original game and how does that play today? How do we expand that choice and make it even more meaningful and impactful?’ We think about, literally, every word of dialogue and [other choices] down to the clothes that the character is wearing.”

He then reiterated they are deconstructing the game, “We trust Aspyr, we trust the team that’s working on it, and we’re doing the work ourselves to dig in, deconstruct, and reconnect to why people love it because we don’t want to mess with that. We love it, too, and so we want to do it right. We hope everybody feels we’ve done this game a service when all is said and done.”

As for Sam Maggs, she announced her involvement in the game on Twitter sharing a video of her updating her Twitter profile with Knights of the Old Republic.

She tweeted, “IT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING:”

In a subsequent tweet she added, “Could not be more honored and excited to be part of an INCREDIBLE team at Aspyr Media to remake one of my all-time favorite games!!”

While Maggs is now claiming that Knights of the Old Republic is one of her all-time favorite games, she previously claimed otherwise similar to Kevin Smith’s claims about He-Man.

Back in 2019, she tweeted that her favorite Star Wars game was Star Wars: Yoda Stories.

In that same thread she would also tweet, “‘isn’t kotor your favorite-‘ no”

As for her social justice activism, she takes particular interest in “the patriarchy.”

In 2014, she wrote, “Fighting the patriarchy makes me hungry, so I’m going to sit in the kitchen while my male partner cooks dinner.”

When Barnes & Noble posted a fan question, “If you were an action figure, what would be your awesome accessory?” Maggs responded, “A hammer for smashing the patriarchy. It would have bows.”

In 2017 she tweeted, “IT’S FREEZING BUT HATING THE PATRIARCHY KEEPS ME WARM #YEG #WOMENSMARCH”

Also in 2017 she tweeted, “today my trainer said ‘wow you’re strong for not having lifted very long’ and in my head I thought THANKS, IT’S FROM FIGHTING THE PATRIARCHY.”

In 2018 , she wrote, “Some of the worst professional experiences I’ve had involved white women with internalized misogyny doing the work of the patriarchy. I understand it but it doesn’t make it any less painful.”

On top of that she also has routinely attacked critics of Disney’s reboot of Star Wars.

In 2015, she tweeted, “LMAOOOO ARE BROS REALLY MAD THAT REY IS A MARY SUE LMAOO LMAOO.”

In another tweet she added, “If you want to hate Rey, at least be honest about it: you hate that she’s a Mary Sue because she’s a WOMAN. It’s cool. Just be real about it.”

In another tweet she wrote, “snotty angry baby boy: ‘Rey hardly needed any training at all -‘ me, strong in the force: ‘do you not remember that anakin was auto-born Strongest Jedi because of an arbitrary and intensely stupid high microorganism count or’”

But maybe Maggs’ biggest claim to fame is her local TV interview where she criticizes gamers who modified Grand Theft Auto V.

Bearish Pennant Breakdown Confirmed? 5 Things To Watch In Bitcoin This Week

Bearish Pennant Breakdown Confirmed? 5 Things To Watch In Bitcoin This Week

Original Article By William Suberg At Cointelegraph.com

BTC spot price action looks gloomy on Monday, but as traders, analysts and more note, there are practically no reasons to be bearish on Bitcoin.

Bitcoin (BTC) starts a new week in a precarious place — below $45,000 and below some key moving averages. What’s next?

Almost a week after a cascade of leveraged position unwinding forced the market to $42,800, Bitcoin has erased most of its subsequent recovery.

The weekend produced little by way of a paradigm shift, and now, downside volatility is firmly in place. With BTC/USD down 13% in a week, Cointelegraph takes a look at five things that may help traders to anticipate what the next move could be.

Stocks due for rebound

Stocks are expected to perform better this week after selling pressure added to Bitcoin’s woes in the first half of September.

With a red week behind them, expectations are that equities will now rally, continuing a trend which had characterized markets since the Coronavirus crash in March 2020.

“Expecting equities to bounce this week and provide some relief for Bitcoin,” Charles Edwards, CEO of investment manager Capriole, forecast.

Bitcoin’s overall relationship with macro trends has been increasingly called into question over the past year. Nonetheless, shocks to the system continue to influence BTC price action, as evidenced by the Federal Reserve Jackson Hole virtual summit earlier in September.

“The world still sees Bitcoin as a risk on asset,” Edwards added in comments alongside a comparative chart.

“Almost every Bitcoin correction in 2021 has correlated with a S&P500 correction of -2% or more.”

On the flipside, strong stocks may serve to keep the strength of the U.S. dollar in check, something which also gives Bitcoin more room to breathe.

The U.S. dollar currency index (DXY) saw a brisk move towards 93 last week before halting to consolidate its gains, a process which continues.

Spot price sags further below bullish metrics

Macro moves could be the deal breaker when it comes to this week’s BTC price trajectory, forecasts argue.

After ranging over the weekend, Sunday saw last-minute volatility which ended in BTC/USD slipping below $45,000.

With spot traders hedging their bets on more downside, there has arguably never been a bigger disparity between on-chain metrics, adoption phenomena, and price.

“Stablecoin liquidity increasing, bitcoin on exchanges hit a 3-year low, normies awaken,” Moskovski Capital CEO Lex Moskovski summarized.

“If macro doesn’t sh*t the bed, the next leg up is programmed.”

Moskovski later added that macro markets had indeed begun the week in the green and that stablecoins, not used as shorting collateral, made a clear bullish argument.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Stablecoins are at all time high and not used as a collateral for shorts.<br><br>Legacy finance opened green.<br><br>What is your thesis for selling, soldier? <a href="https://t.co/J2PMtsRVWn">pic.twitter.com/J2PMtsRVWn</a></p>&mdash; Lex Moskovski (@mskvsk) <a href="https://twitter.com/mskvsk/status/1437301856250875906?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 13, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

As Cointelegraph reported, current estimates eye $43,000 and $38,000 as potential price floors, with a rebound from such levels still possible despite being well below important moving averages.

September has been a historically poor-performing month for Bitcoin, and as such, price predictions favor the “real” upside to recommence from October onwards.

“Remember more often than not bitcoin has a red month in September and a big price move in Q4,” popular Twitter account Lark Davis told followers Monday.

“BTC can still hit 100k by end of year.”

Nonetheless, veteran trader Peter Brandt is sounding the alarm — at least for the time being.

“There is a name for this chart pattern. Anybody want to take a guess what it’s called?” he tweeted alongside the daily chart showing what appears to be a breakdown of a bearish pennant construction.

“Dancing with 2017”

It’s not all doom and gloom — when it comes to this halving cycle, Bitcoin this year is still “dancing with 2017” in terms of price gains.

That’s according to data from trading platform Decentrader, which this week signals that BTC/USD in 2021 is still on track for the year after a block subsidy halving.

“Dancing with 2017 at the moment,” Decentrader analyst Filbfilb said in comments over the weekend.

The chart shows the extent to which May’s miner rout upended progress. Formerly between 2013 and 2017 gains, Bitcoin then dropped to forge a new lower paradigm in May, a trend which ultimately continues.

As Cointelegraph reported, a “double top” phenomenon remains analysts’ bet for how Bitcoin will round out 2021 — just like in 2013 and 2017 — with a price dip in between correlating to May’s trip to $29,000.

New all-time high for monthly illiquid supply

A feature which has set last week’s price dip environment apart from previous ones is investor behavior — everyone kept buying.

Unlike the panic during episodes such as March 2020, last week saw excess supply dumped onto the market by speculators eagerly bought up by strong hands.

According to statistician Willy Woo, every class of Bitcoin investors has either added to their positions or stayed neutral through the recent turbulence.

“Whales added recently. Minnows continue to stack. 10-1000 BTC holders mainly flat,” he revealed Sunday alongside data from on-chain analytics firm Glassnode.

“Reserves held publicly reducing (mainly exchanges and ETFs reducing while corporates adding).”

If Bitcoin’s supply is more in demand than ever, similar data reinforces the point. As analyst William Clemente noted, last week had little no impact on hodler patterns.

“93% of Bitcoin’s supply hasn’t moved in at least a month. This is an all-time high. Just another metric showing how bullish supply dynamics are,” he commented, citing Glassnode data.

Where once was greed now comes fear…

It’s all change for investor sentiment gauge, the Crypto Fear & Greed Index, which this week is posting some curious data about market emotions.

The dip to $42,800 slashed its readings from “extreme greed” to “fear,” a sentiment zone which lingered all the way until Sunday.

As the weekend ended, however, the Index added some fresh “greed” to the mix — despite price action actually falling further.

At the time of writing Monday, Fear & Greed stood at 44/100 — still in “fear” territory — while BTC/USD traded below $45,000.

Funding rates across exchanges, being slightly positive, nonetheless do not discount the possibility of a “short squeeze” boosting price performance.

Cardano Launches Smart Contracts After Successful Hard Fork

Cardano Launches Smart Contracts After Successful Hard Fork

Original Article By Samuel Haig At Cointelegraph.com

Cardano has completed its Alonzo hard fork to introduce Plutus-powered smart contract scripts.

On Aug. 12, Cardano tweeted that the upgrade had been completed successfully at epoch 290, facilitating the creation and execution of smart contracts on the public blockchain for the first time.

Despite celebrating the milestone, Cardano notes that it is still “early days for the project,” asserting that now is when “the mission truly begins” in a blog post published on the same day:

Cardano has announced the completion of its Alonzo hard fork, ushering in its long-awaited smart contract functionality.

“This is where the mission truly begins as we – the whole community – start delivering on the vision we have all been working towards for so long. Building a decentralized system that extends economic identity and opportunity to everyone, everywhere.”

The Alonzo fork enables smart contracts to be written for Cardano using Plutus scripts, which the team describes as “a purpose-built smart contract development language and execution platform using the functional programming language Haskell.”
However, the team has encouraged its community to maintain sensible expectations for Alonzo, stating:

“There are high expectations resting on this upgrade. Some unreasonably so. Cardano watchers may be expecting a sophisticated ecosystem of consumer-ready DApps available immediately after the upgrade. Expectations need to be managed here.”

Cardano is a public blockchain that was founded by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson and developed by his research firm IOHK. 

While Cardano pledged to rival Ethereum’s dominance in hosting decentralized finance (DeFi) and Web3 applications, the project has garnered criticism for failing to deliver smart contract functionality until now despite launchin in September 2017.

Dominic Williams, founder of rival platform Internet Computer, slammed Cardano for the amount of time taken for the protocol to launch smart contracts, stating: “It amazes me that this chain had been in the market for 2 years, and is only just adding support for smart contracts, and people are happy with this progress.”

Cardano also copped flak in early September after the first DApp to launch on its test net encountered issues relating to failed concurrent transaction processing.

Outspoken Ethereum maximalist, Anthony Sassano, tweeted: “Seriously 6 years of “peer-reviewed” research and a $90bil+ market cap later and the first dapp on Cardano can’t even do concurrent transaction processing (aka the very thing you need for DeFi).”

Cardano has since sought to address the criticism, asserting that DApps built on the protocol “are not limited to one transaction per block.”

Despite its detractors, the hype for Candano’s upgrades recently drove its native token ADA into record highs, with ADA rallying 192% from a local low of $1.06 in late July to tag $3.10 on Sept. 3 according to CoinGecko. ADA is also up more than 1,600% since the start of 2021.

However, ADA has since dipped and spent the past week oscillating between roughly $2.30 and $2.80, suggesting many speculators may have bought the rumor and sold the news.