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Twitter: Where Characters Count!

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By Jason Garcia

“What’s in a tweet? That which we call a tweet by any other length would read as brief.” – 21st Century Shakespeare

Or would it?

Up until now, 140 characters, which includes letters, spaces, special characters, mentions, emojis, and hashtags, has been the law of the land in the Twitterverse.

But what can you actually fit in 140 characters?

Well, Twitter users can write love notes, state political views, share polls, conversations, tell jokes, or even write the world’s shortest novel. While there’s a lot that can go into 140 characters, it can still feel limiting to some.

There are obvious workarounds for users to go beyond the 140 characters such as spreading the text over multiple tweets, abbreviating or substituting words with emojis.

According to Twitter, language limitations are affecting how much is being communicated per tweet. The language you tweet with dictates how many words can fit in 140 characters. For instance, in Japanese you can say about double the words you can in English with the same number of characters.

As a result, Twitter is testing out an idea to double the size of tweets from 140  to 280 characters in some languages including English, French and Spanish.

But is there really a need?

Twitter has been able to maintain a successful communications platform with its current standard of 140 characters.

To me, the composition of a tweet is similar to a haiku or a sonnet. The boundaries of the medium create a beauty for content to live on. After all, it’s not just about publishing the tweet–people have to read them too. For the reader, 140 characters is easy to read and move on to the next tweet. We live in a world where people want to consume more content and that includes social posts. 140 characters can be seen as the perfect balance for both the writer and the reader.

Supporters of the character expansion say yes because they will no longer need to fumble around adjusting their tweet to fit the character constraints while getting the original message across.

Twitter purists, however, believe 140 characters are sufficient and more characters would kill the essence of Twitter.

As a social media professional, I see both sides to the argument. It can be helpful to businesses because you can get more content out per tweet, but at the same time, it can also be a negative because there will be more noise to compete with.

Wherever you stand on the issue, just remember a good tweet isn’t just about its characters, it’s also about the content.

So tweet responsibly, my friends!

Women in STEM: Girl Scouts adds 23 new STEM Badges

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By Miranda Carter

One small step for Girl Scouts, one huge leap for women in technology.

The Girl Scouts of America is dedicated to helping young girls excel in life and this summer they took that dedication to a new level.

Proving its commitment to building girls of courage and leadership, the Girl Scouts has introduced 23 new badges in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math, and the outdoors. This marks the organization’s largest programming rollout in almost a decade, focusing on building girls’ skills and interests in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age.

“Design a Robot” badge:

“Programing Robots” badge:

The newest badges include honors in activities such as “Design a Robot” and “Programming Robots” that require the Scouts to create and design simple machines to plan and build like an engineer.

“Race Car Design Challenge” badge:

“Fling Flyer Design Challenge” badge:

Other hands-on and age-appropriate STEM badges include the “Race Car Design Challenge” where Scouts learn how their race car and track design affect speed, and the “Fling Flyer Design Challenge” which teaches Scouts about the forces that affect flight.

With 1.8 million girls, The Girl Scouts is providing a platform for young women from the ages of K-12 to embrace their interests in STEM. According to its website, Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM (60 percent versus 35 percent) and outdoor activities (76 percent versus 43 percent).

As STEM skills become more and more important, the Girl Scouts organization is giving its members a head start on developing those skills that stand to help them excel in both their academic and life goals.

You go, girls!

Crime-Fighting Robot Invades Squawk Box

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Knightscope and the K5 crime-fighting robot were in the national spotlight today appearing as guests on the popular CNBC morning show Squawk Box.

The K5 roamed the studio as Knightscope Chairman and CEO William (Bill) Santana Li talked about the benefits of the autonomous security robot and how it aims to protect people and property.

The segment included a deeper dive into some of the current and future capabilities of the security robot including its ability to see, feel, hear and smell, the ability to detect concealed weapons as well as weapons of mass destruction, and how artificial intelligence is being implemented for future features. Bill also announced the upcoming K-7, a 4-wheel autonomous security robot that can traverse more difficult terrain than the K3 and K5 models. Bill stated that there are no plans to build a weaponized security robot.

The economics of Knightscope’s security robots was discussed. Bill detailed the company’s machine-as-a-service business model and that the robots cost just $7 an hour to operate. Bill reiterated that the low cost isn’t aimed to eliminate human security guard jobs, but instead enhance overall security for a business.

Knightscope’s growth as a company was also profiled. To date Knightscope has 24 clients in 22 cities across five states and three time zones. Knightscope’s unique investment model, a mini-IPO, was also examined. Bill talked about the benefits of public funding saying “this is an opportunity for us to build a brand, seek clients, and seek investment all at the same time very efficiently.”

Finally, there was a short discussion on where robotics in society is headed. Bill painted an optimistic future predicting there will be more change in the next ten years than the past 100 combined. He predicts a “revolution” with robots having a “massive, massive positive impact on society.”

To watch the entire CNBC Squawk Box segment with Knightscope, click here.

 

 

 

On the Road with Knightscope

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They look lovable enough, but Knightscope’s security robots are serious about crime. The K3 and K5 have been deployed across California and have played key roles in preventing crime and taking criminals off the street.

They’ve been so successful, that the company is now expanding operations and rolling out these crime-fighting robots nationwide. The company is in the midst of an “Investor Roadshow” giving people the opportunity to invest in the future of security:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhmkIIbPSXk

This week, the roadshow finds itself on the Las Vegas Strip, where Co-Founder and CEO William Santana Li will present to an exclusive gathering of private investors. The demo and Q&A (April 20) will offer an in-depth look at the company and its goal to cut America’s trillion-dollar crime problem in half.

Next week, Knightscope will travel to the bright lights of New York City for private demonstrations of its crime-fighting technology for potential investors, new clients and the media at NASDAQ (April 25) and in Times Square (April 26).

It’s a busy and exciting time for Knightscope. The company has signed contracts for nearly two dozen machines in fifteen cities, in five states across three time zones and recently launched a “mini IPO” as the company continues to build momentum. Keep an eye out because the Knightscope Investor Roadshow could soon be coming to a city near you.

To learn more about Knightscope investment opportunities, click here.

Silicon Valley Women of Influence

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By Rachelle Avila

As women continue to trail-blaze and shatter glass ceilings here in Silicon Valley, the Silicon Valley Business Journal has announced its 2017 “Women of Influence Awards.”

The annual awards spotlight the 100 most influential women in Silicon Valley from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, and we are proud to announce two of our clients are among the recipients:

Dr. May Wang is the co-founder and chief technology officer at Zingbox, a leading Internet of Things security company. May has deep ties to Silicon Valley: prior to ZingBox she spent 14 years at Cisco’s CTO office where she served as principal architect and head of Asia Pac Research. Her contributions include developing security algorithms currently used in Cisco switches and leading the Internet of Things innovation. An advisor, an investor and a venture capitalist, May is a graduate from Stanford University where she received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and is also the author of the book “Women Executives in Silicon Valley.”

Mercedes Soria is VP of software engineering at Knightscope, makers of the K3 and K5 crime-fighting security robots. Mercedes is a technology professional with over 15 years of experience in systems development, life cycle management, project leadership, software architecture, and web applications development at companies including Carbon Motors Corporation, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and Gibson Musical Instruments. She is a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and currently serves as Executive Advisor to TechWomen, an initiative from the State Department that brings women tech entrepreneurs from the Middle East, Asia and Africa to the US for mentoring and coaching in tech business skills.

In addition to being honored at the Women of Influence awards ceremony on May 18, 2017, both women will be profiled in a Silicon Valley Business Journal special report. We congratulate May and Mercedes on this achievement and are excited to be working alongside them as they continue to innovate and deliver a brighter future for tomorrow.

Robots That Make the World a Smarter and Safer Place

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National Robotics Week is upon us!

The 8th annual event will be held April 8-16,2017 with four main goals:

  • Celebrate the US as a leader in robotics technology development
  • Educate the public about how robotics technology impacts society, both now and in the future
  • Advocate for increased funding for robotics technology research and development
  • Inspire students of all ages to pursue careers in robotics and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math-related fields

Here at LMGPR, we are privileged to work alongside two robotics companies that are making the world a smarter and safer place:

UBTECH

UBTECH is introducing robotics and coding to the next generation of scientists, engineers and roboticists. The company’s Jimu Robot line is an interactive robotic building block system that lets kids 8-14 Build, Program and Share their robot creations. Jimu Robots were designed to enrich children’s lives and meet the needs of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum, ultimately bridging the gap between learning and pure fun. 

UBTECH has already teamed up with select schools in California to present a STEM-based curriculum that features hands-on robot building and programming workshops taught by Jimu masters. This program enhances STEM enthusiasm and interest, while instilling 21st century work skills. Watch this video to see the program in action.

Knightscope

Knightscope security robots combine hardware, software and human factors, providing a commanding–but friendly–physical security presence. These fully automated, autonomous data machines operate 24/7 and are outfitted with cutting-edge technology designed to protect people and property. Already deployed in California at malls, corporate campuses and data centers, and expanding across the country, Knightscope crime-fighting robots are living up to their name by helping take criminals off the streets including:

  • Assisting law enforcement in issuing an arrest warrant for a sexual predator
  • Assisting a security officer in apprehending a thief in a retail environment
  • Assisting a corporation in tracking down a vandal
  • Assisting a real estate owner in stopping a fraudulent insurance claim
  • Assisting a healthcare organization in deterring vehicle break-ins 

Robots continue to transform the world around us. We’re excited about National Robotics Week and look forward to great things from UBTECH and Knightscope in 2017.

UBTECH and LMGPR: A CES Success Story

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ubtech-robotics-lynx

It’s not easy to stand out in the crowd at CES.

As the world’s largest innovation event, there are thousands of companies from all over the globe shouting “Hey, look at me!”

Competition is fierce and it takes months of planning to pull off a successful event.

When UBTECH came to LMGPR to help with this process, we saw something special. UBTECH’s line of humanoid robots was second-to-none and its featured robot “Lynx,” the first UBTECH robot with Amazon Alexa, was a home run.

But again, with thousands of other companies also debuting innovative products at the same time, a lot of work would have to be done to secure the media’s interest.

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At LMGPR, we began our media outreach months in advance of CES with targeted traditional and social media campaigns. Teasing the unveiling of what was sure to be the “it” robot at CES, momentum began to build. By the time CES arrived, the buzz was real and so were the results.

With LMGPR’s tactical and targeted outreach combined with UBTECH’s innovation, the company and its line of robots received global coverage from some of the most respected media outlets in the world including the Associated Press, BBC, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, CNET, and The New York Times. UBTECH was ultimately featured in more than 200 media outlets with more than 500 million impressions. UBTECH also made significant gains in its social media following growing its Facebook and Twitter followings by 50 percent and its Instagram following by 300 percent.

Lynx Award

In addition to the media coverage, UBTECH received several CES-related awards and recognition including a CES 2017 Innovation Award, an IHS Markit Innovation Award, and a Tom’s Guide CES 2017 Award.

CES was a smashing success for UBTECH and sets the bar for a banner year. We at LMGPR look forward to a continued partnership with UBTECH and helping propel them to new heights in 2017.

If you are a company looking to stand out in the crowd, contact LMGPR for a free consultation today.

Inspiration on Two Wheels

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You might not think a bike ride can change the world, but when you read “A Bicycle Built for Two Billion,” you might just change your mind.

“A Bicycle Built for Two Billion” is the story of Jamie Bianchini, a serial entrepreneur who set off on a global bike ride “in search of love, compassion, and connection.”

The ride begins in San Francisco and over the course of eight years, Jamie brings his “Peace Pedalers” mission to 81 countries around the world.

Riding a tandem bike, Jamie pedals on the front seat while inviting total strangers to join the journey on the back seat.

Along the ride, Jamie meets hundreds of people and gets to know them on a personal level. Many of these rides spawn new friendships and the conversations result in the launch of a dozen grassroots projects designed to give back to communities globally.

Jamie’s epic journey has its fair share of ups and downs. Not everyone he meets is “good,” but Jamie’s ability to continue to trust and have faith in his fellow man proves a guiding light throughout his journey. There’s love, loss, triumph, failure, injury, sickness, goodwill, and plenty of adventure to keep readers glued to the book.

“A Bicycle Built for Two Billion” ends where it began in San Francisco, but you close the book knowing that Jamie’s story is far from over. He returns from his experience a changed man and ready to write the next chapter of his life.

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Jamie’s adventure has also inspired his latest endeavor, LuDela, the world’s first real-flame smart candle you can control with a smartphone. In an effort to bring “better light and better lives” around the world, LuDela will donate a rechargeable solar light or a book to a community in need with each sale of a smart candle or candle refill pack.

It’s all part of Jamie’s ongoing quest to spread positivity and make a difference in the lives of people across the globe.

To get your copy of “A Bicycle Built for Two Billion,” visit the official website here.

Bastille’s ‘KeySniffer’ Discovery Makes Global Headlines

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key_sniffer_logo_final

Bastille is making news once again.

The company has just unveiled “KeySniffer,” a new vulnerability in millions of low-cost wireless keyboards. KeySniffer allows hackers to eavesdrop and capture every keystroke a victim types in 100 percent clear text from as far as 250 feet away. 

To see how a KeySniffer attack is executed, watch this video:

When conducting a KeySniffer attack, hackers can expose and access credit card and bank account information, answers to security questions, network access passwords, company secrets, and other private and sensitive data.

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Affected manufactures include Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Kensington, Insignia, Radio Shack, Anker, General Electric, and EagleTec. Most, if not all, existing keyboards impacted by KeySniffer cannot be upgraded and will need to be replaced. For a complete list of affected devices and to see if your wireless keyboard is at risk, visit www.KeySniffer.net.

The KeySniffer announcement has been publicized in media outlets around the globe including Forbes, BBC, The Washington Post, Wired, Dark Reading, CNET, Threatpost, SC Magazine, Network World, and dozens of other top-tier publications.

KeySniffer is the latest breakthrough discovery for Bastille, who earlier this year unveiled MouseJack, a vulnerability in wireless mice. The company continues to search for these types of vulnerabilities as part of its mission to completely secure the Enterprise by identifying airborne threats and allowing for a preemptive response.

Bastille: One Cool Startup!

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CoolCompany

We are proud to announce that Bastille has made CRN’s list of “The 10 Coolest Security Startups of 2016 (So Far).”

The list looks at startups that “have gained significant traction and recognition for their technology that looks to solve security challenges around orchestration, threat detection, the Internet of Things, risk scoring and network security.”

Bastille was recognized not just for being “the first cybersecurity company to detect and mitigate threats from the Internet of Things in the enterprise,” but for several key company wins including being named a finalist in the RSA Conference’s Innovation Sandbox competition, a Gartner 2016 “Cool Vendor,” and completing a successful round of venture capital funding.

Bastille also received worldwide attention and acclaim in February when it unveiled “MouseJack,” a vulnerability in wireless mice and keyboards that potentially puts billions of PC’s and millions of networks at risk of being breached.

As the Internet of Things continues to integrate itself into our daily lives, the potential threats associated with IoT increase as well. Bastille remains dedicated to stopping these IoT threats and the company’s inclusion in CRN’s Cool Startup list is validation of their ongoing efforts.