Even in the slightly unhinged world of internet influencers, Devon Lévesque is one of the most intense—hands down. Recently the 28-year-old fitness pro bear-crawled 26.2 miles around New York City to raise awareness of veterans’ mental health. To the delight of his nearly 500,000 Instagram fans, on October 30 Lévesque, who can hit 12 miles per hour on all fours, crawled across the Brooklyn Bridge, then shot through the East Village and up to Harlem before finishing strong at Central Park’s Overlook Rock. And he did it all decked out in gear from British fitness startup Gymshark. Never heard of it? Spend more time on TikTok.
In the crowded and well-capitalized sportswear market, Gymshark has become a $1.4 billion–plus (valuation) brand by paying 80 ripped fitness influencers like Lévesque anywhere from $6,000 to more than $100,000 per year by Forbes estimate to live—and sell—the Gymshark lifestyle on social media. Founder Ben Francis, 28, has one rule for his athletes: Do you, but do it in Gymshark. “Young people only want to buy community-led brands that align with their values,” Francis says. “We are a community that also happens to sell things.”
Salesforce has agreed to buy workplace messaging app Slack for $27.7bn (£20bn) in what would be one of the biggest tech mergers in recent years.
Marc Benioff, boss of the business software giant, called the deal a “match made in heaven”.
He has been pushing to expand the company’s software offerings and fend off rivals such as Microsoft.
The acquisition comes as the pandemic has increased the focus on remote work and tools, like Slack, which enable it.
Tech analyst Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities called it a “now or never” purchase for Mr Benioff.
“If Salesforce wants to expand beyond its core gold mine of sales and marketing departments … this was the moment and thus represents a major shot across the bow against Microsoft,” he wrote in a note to investors after the deal was announced.
Smartphones, laptops and gaming consoles remain at the top of holiday wish lists, but this year we at CNN Business are reflecting on the tech, services and apps that truly made a big impact on our everyday lives. Here’s what impressed our editors, reporters and producers the most — and in many ways, helped us survive the rollercoaster that has been 2020.
“Canadians want a tax system that is fair, where everyone pays their fair share, so the government has the resources it needs to invest in people and keep our economy strong. ” Why is it “fair” (or not) to tax Netflix subscriptions?
Hotels say that it is very fair to tax AirBnB. Why is this?
“AlphaFold is based on a concept called deep learning. In this process, the structure of a folded protein is represented as a spatial graph. The program then “learns” using information on the 3-D shapes of known proteins held in a worldwide database.” What other tasks could use a “deep learning” technique to look at 3D-shapes?
What sort of business or consulting service could you build off this technology?
The first piece of advice is “be sceptical…if there are an unusually high number of reviews compared to others in that category ” What sort of algorithm or program could Amazon (and others) use to detect this so you don’t have to?
“Brands you don’t know. If you don’t recognise the brand, check to see if it has its own legitimate-looking website, with clear contact details.” How might you game this advice if you were unscrupulous?
“If you have decided to purchase a smart doorbell, make sure it is from a well-known, trusted brand. When you set it up change the default password to something long, and if possible enable two-factor authentication in the set-up,” she added. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is when a secondary step is introduced to the log-in process, such as a code sent as an email or text.” Do you have 2FA set up for your banking and credit card accounts? If not, why not?
How could you help a company or business make themselves more secure online?
” For years, the Liberal government has talked about the influence the FAANGs — Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google — have on the Canadian economy and citizens. ” What sort of influence are we talking about here?
2. “When France imposed a ….tax [on tech giant’s overseas advertising revenues] , Trump threatened to levy $2.4 billion (U.S.) in tariffs on French goods — including champagne and cheese. French President Emmanuel Macron eventually agreed to delay the tax plans.” ” A promised tax on tech giants’ advertising revenues and profits from Canadian user data has yet to materialize, but is still on the plate. ” Why shouldn’t the Canadian government be able to tax an American companies advertising revenues that are generated in Canada?
State-sponsored actors are “very likely” trying to shore up their cyber capabilities to attack Canada’s critical infrastructure — such as the electricity supply — to intimidate or to prepare for future online assaults, a new intelligence assessment warns.
“As physical infrastructure and processes continue to be connected to the internet, cyber threat activity has followed, leading to increasing risk to the functioning of machinery and the safety of Canadians,” says a new national cyber threat assessment drafted by the Communications Security Establishment.
“We judge that state-sponsored actors are very likely attempting to develop the additional cyber capabilities required to disrupt the supply of electricity in Canada.”
now more retailers are using AI (artificial intelligence) – software systems that can learn for themselves – to try to automatically predict and encourage our very specific preferences and purchases like never before.
Retail consultant Daniel Burke, of Blick Rothenberg, calls this “the holy grail… to build up a profile of customers and suggest a product before they realise it is what they wanted”.
So the next time you dash into your local shop to buy certain snacks and a particular wine on a Friday night, perhaps you can blame AI, and a computer that has learned all about you, for the decision.
Is it ethical to install an app and then have it use AI to try and sell things to you?
“We need to ask how equitable and ethical the data collection is. So, for example, are middle-class white women being offered money off fresh vegetables, but it is not being offered to someone who could really benefit from it?” What sort of work would need to be done to make sure that AI was not racial biased based on the data it analyzes?