Listen X The NBA is, well, a little weird. Case in point: a three-team trade announced on Thursday between Oklahoma City, Atlanta, and Philadelphia — while not yet even officially approved — will supposedly mean Carmelo Anthony’s headed to the Houston Rockets. But how?Houston Matters finds out from Jeff Balke, who writes for Houstonia Magazine and Houston Press. He updates us on the Astros’ second-half start and all the latest local sports stories. 00:00 /08:06 Sue Ogrocki/AP PhotoOklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony is guarded by Rockets’ guard James Harden during a preseason game on Oct. 3, 2017. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share
BALURGHAT: A group of miscreants allegedly led by some BJP activists attacked the house of Trinamool MLA of Itahar in North Dinajpur, Amal Acharjee, on Tuesday night.The goons had allegedly pelted stones and hurled bombs targeting the house. Acharjee is also the Trinamool Congress district president of North Dinajpur. Acharjee has filed an official complaint with the police on Wednesday. According to a police source, the BJP had conducted a victory rally after forming the Panchayat board in Itahar, while miscreants led by party activists targetted Acharjee’s house. Notably, the BJP had bagged 13 seats and formed the board of Itahar Gram Panchayat on Tuesday. Trinamool had won in 12 seats. “Itahar is a peaceful area. The BJP after capturing the Gram Panchayat started terrorising Trinamool voters, leaders and workers. We will not tolerate this. Trinamool is against any such activity. I have urged the police for strict legal action against those who were behind the crime,” Acharjee said.
Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global July 24, 2017 4 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. At the dawn of the Internet, could anyone have expected trolling and cyberbullying — and that a future POTUS would engage with the nation 140 characters at the time? It can be difficult to anticipate the downsides of revolutionary new technologies.Among the potential drawbacks of autonomous vehicles — including massive job losses among commercial drivers and possibly even more traffic from robo-taxis — is what’s known as the “trolley problem.” This refers to ethical decisions a self-driving car will have to make when confronted with no-win situations, such as whether to run over an individual who darts into its path on a narrow crowded city street or swerve to either side and plow into pedestrians on the sidewalk.Even though California Polytechnic State University philosophy professor Patrick Lin has been conducting real-world tests on this dilemma in conjunction with the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford, he acknowledges that “something feels dishonest about the moral panic over self-driving cars” and the trolley problem since the scenario is so far-fetched. But as Lin points out, unlike other technologies, the testing of autonomous vehicle on public road could have an immediate negative impact on society.It gets complicatedLin contends that while technology developers typically beta-test new products and features with few restrictions and laws, “it gets complicated when their software interacts directly with the larger physical world” — in this case when controlling a multi-ton machine in public. Lin contends that in the case of autonomous vehicle testing on public roads, “the products don’t just directly affect users alone, as is the case with most other gadgets and services.”As an example, Lin points to the crowd-sourced navigation app Waze. It’s “giving rise to complaints about ‘flocking’ behavior: swarms of cars sent by its algorithms through quiet neighborhoods not designed for heavy traffic,” he says.This “could increase risk to children playing on these streets, lower property values if road noise is louder and create other externalities. This means navigation apps are making risk-decisions that users might be unaware of but arguably should be.”Self-driving cars similarly “will need to autonomously select their routes … and there’s often not just one correct way to go,” Lin adds. But he believes that the larger problem is determining who will be held accountable for the negative impact on traffic or public safety that navigation apps such as Waze cause — and by extension self-driving cars testing on public roads.”It’s a tragedy of the commons: No one is in the driver seat on how navigation algorithms should be harmonized with society,” he says. “So if there is a negative impact on traffic or public safety, it’s hard to pin down responsibility for these effects.”The question of who will be responsible in a self-driving car crash — the automaker, software developer, sensor or map maker — is one of the issues holding back the technology’s widespread adoption, although solutions are being developed. Given that self-driving car tests are already being conducted on public roads, Lin believes what he calls “human-subject research” should perhaps obtain prior clearance by an ethics board.Cities have begun responding by designating roads as “no thru traffic” zones accessible only to residents and requiring Waze to designate them as off-limits to passing motorists. Some angry and enterprising residents are even going rogue and hacking nav apps like Waze with phantom wrecks, to divert traffic away from their neighborhoods.Lin stresses that his purpose isn’t to create “an argument against technology, but only to seriously reflect on its growing power and implications, as test-cases move through the courts of law and public opinion” — and as more self-driving cars take to public roads. This story originally appeared on PCMag Register Now »
For years, customer relationship management software was exclusive to enterprise companies that could afford it, but increasingly, we’re seeing CRM software gain in popularity among the small business crowd.When Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) surveyed nearly 1,500 American small business owners in October 2018, it discovered that more — 23 percent, to be exact — are using CRMs than the year prior. And that’s good news. CRMs make a business more organized and improve its customer service, giving it a shot of credibility and professionalism.Related: How CRMs Can Spark (or Continue) Fast GrowthAs a centralized database, a CRM will store your contact information in one place, track your referrals, remind you of follow-ups and equip you to capitalize on growth opportunities early in your company’s life. The challenge, though, is investing in the right CRM.Walk before you run.Today, both large companies and small businesses use CRM software to enable sales success — but that doesn’t mean they use the same CRM software.Generally speaking, enterprise CRMs must be packed with features and add-ons, such as automation and customization, to handle the complicated workflows and processes of a multifaceted organization. Considering the power and complexity of the software, enterprise CRM setup often requires a consultant or programmer.While small business CRMs also track sales and manage the company’s workflow, they’re much simpler to use. They typically lack the features and add-ons of an enterprise solution — and that’s perfectly fine. Small businesses simply don’t have the same need for feature-rich software.As an entrepreneur, it’s tempting to think ahead and splurge on a fancy enterprise CRM that can scale with your company. But enterprise software that’s too robust and expensive could harm, not help, your small business. When companies buy software that’s too complicated for them to navigate, they simply won’t use it. And when they don’t use the software, they cannot enjoy its potential benefits.Related: 4 Reasons Why Companies are Choosing CRM Over Traditional Marketing toolsDebating an upgrade.When it comes to selecting a CRM that fits your needs, it’s not as simple as knowing your business size and selecting between option A and option B. You’d hate to buy a new system, only to let it sit in the corner because it’s too difficult to use.You might need those fancy add-ons later, but for now, the goal is to invest in a system that will work for the business you have now and grow with your company. I’d recommend hitting the following milestones before you start thinking about an upgrade.1. Your current system can’t handle your needs.The lines between “want” and “need” can get blurry in the business world, especially with all the different capabilities offered by a CRM. Do you really need machine learning capabilities in your CRM, or are you simply getting caught up in a trend?For some companies, added complexity can actually hurt their CRM setup. Jerome Collomb — head of marketing at MyFeelBack, a customer feedback processing software — made the mistake of thinking more was more when it came to CRMs. As a result, the company adopted a CRM that was far too complicated and confusing, ultimately wasting more time and money than it was worth. Collomb and his staff simply didn’t possess the technical know-how to get a complex CRM up and running in a way that benefited his company — and he’s not alone. According to Salesforce, 72 percent of CRM users say they prefer usability when it comes to CRMs.Do you really need a new feature or piece of functionality, or is there another less complicated workaround? If you decide you do need a new feature, consider whether your current CRM can meet that need. For example, is it possible to reconfigure your CRM or buy an extra add-on? If there are, in fact, no viable workarounds and your current CRM can’t meet your needs, then it’s time to start looking elsewhere.Related: 4 CRM Hacks Every Entrepreneur Should Be Using2. You can afford the new system.In the same Keap survey, 13 percent of small business owners indicated that they plan on increasing their CRM spending in 2019. As you evaluate your CRM needs, it’s critical to keep budget in mind. While that sounds simple, the cost of a CRM involves more than the software itself.Maybe the base price of the CRM is $30 per user, per month, and on the surface, that sounds like a great fit for your budget. But you also have to factor in costs associated with implementation, training and integrations. The initial costs may fit your designated “CRM budget,” but the additional ones you didn’t think about could send you over the edge.That’s why affordability is one of the most important milestones to reach. Complex enterprise systems often have equally as complicated (and expensive) pricing schemes. If you can financially handle the total cost of owning a CRM (and not just the software itself), the investment will likely pay off.3. Your entire team is on board.Perhaps the most significant signal that you’re ready for a CRM change is when your team is, too. To be frank, your CRM won’t work properly if you don’t have buy-in from your whole team. Team members will be nervous about a big switch — that’s perfectly normal. But if they don’t see the benefit of your newly proposed system, you might need to step back and reassess the “why” behind your decision.Look at the situation from their perspective. Consider, for instance, that according to HubSpot, only 22 percent of salespeople know what “CRM” means. Even with tech training, will they be able to take full advantage of the software’s offerings? If the answer is “no,” it doesn’t matter how robust your CRM is — it can’t help you. Similarly, if you don’t have an IT team or a staff of consultants waiting in the wings, you may want to keep your CRM simple.All businesses can benefit from CRMs, but you must buy the system that your business needs today — not five years from now. So evaluate your business through the lens of these three milestones before you consider upgrading to an advanced piece of software, and you’ll ensure that you’re not getting ahead of yourself. 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. March 29, 2019 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now »