September 26, 2018

Office of profit case: EC rejects AAP plea to call Delhi government officials as witnesses

Delhi/India/Politics by

Earlier, the Commission had rejected a similar plea by the 20 AAP lawmakers to cross-examine the petitioner in the office of profit case Prashant Patel.

Salesforce wants to end customer service frustration with Customer 360

How many times have you called into a company, answered a bunch of preliminary questions about the purpose of your call, then found that those answers didn’t make their way to the CSR who ultimately took your call.

This usually is because System A can’t talk to System B and it’s frustrating for the caller, who is already angry about having to repeat the same information again. Salesforce wants to help bring an end to that problem with their new Customer 360 product announced today at Dreamforce, the company’s customer conference taking place this week in San Francisco.

What’s interesting about Customer 360 from a product development perspective is that Salesforce took the technology from the $6.5 billion Mulesoft acquisition, and didn’t just turn that into a product, it also used the same technology internally to pull the various pieces together into a more unified view of the Salesforce product family. This should in theory allow the customer service representative talking to you on the phone to get the total picture of your interactions with the company, thereby reducing that need to repeat yourself because the information wasn’t passed on.

Screenshot: Salesforce

The idea here is to bring all of the different products — sales, service, community, commerce and marketing — into a single unified view of the customer. And they allow you to do this with actually writing any code, according to the company.

Adding a data source to Customer 360 Gif: Salesforce

This allows anyone who interacts with the customer to see the whole picture, a process that has eluded many companies and upset many customers. The customer record in Salesforce CRM is only part of the story, as is the marketing pitches and the ecommerce records. It all comes together to tell a story about that customer, but if the data is often trapped in silos, nobody can see that. That’s what Customer 360 is supposed to solve.

While Bret Taylor, Salesforce’s president and chief product officer says there were ways to make this happen before in Salesforce, they have never offered a product that does so in such a direct way. He says that the big brands like Apple, Amazon and Google have changed expectations in terms of how we presume to be treated when we connect with a brand. Customer 360 is focused on helping companies achieve that expectation level.

“Now, when people don’t get that experience, where the company that you’re interacting with doesn’t know who you are, it’s gone from a pleasant experience to an expectation, and that’s what we hear time and time again from our customers. And that’s why we’re so focused on integration, that single view of the customer is the ultimate value proposition of these experiences,” Taylor explained.

This product is aimed at the Salesforce admins who have been responsible in the past for configuring and customizing Salesforce products for the unique needs of each department or overall organization. They can configure the Customer 360 to pull data from Salesforce and other products too.

Customer 360 is being piloted in North America right now and should GA some time next year.

News Source = techcrunch.com

Twitter says it will now ask everyone for feedback about its policy changes, starting today

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Twitter says it’s going to change the way it creates rules regarding the use of its service to also now include community feedback. Previously, the company followed its own policy development process, including taking input from its Trust and Safety Council and various experts. Now, it says it’s going to try something new: it’s going to ask its users.

According to announcement published this morning, Twitter says it will ask everyone for feedback on a new policy before it becomes a part of Twitter’s official Rules.

It’s kicking off this change by asking for feedback on its new policy around dehumanizing language on Twitter, it says.

Over the past three months, Twitter has been working to create a policy that addresses language that “makes someone feel less than human” – something that can have real-world repercussions, including “normalizing serious violence,” the company explains.

To some extent, dehumanizing language is covered under Twitter’s existing hateful conduct policy, which addresses hate speech that includes the promotion of violence, or direct attacks or threats against people based on factors like their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.

However, there are still ways to be abusive on Twitter outside of those guidelines, and dehumanizing language is one of them.

The new policy is meant to expand the hateful conduct policy to also prohibit language that dehumanizes others based on ” their membership in an identifiable group, even when the material does not include a direct target,” says Twitter.

The company isn’t soliciting user feedback over email or Twitter, however.

Instead, it has launched a survey.

Available until October 9 at 6:00 AM PT, the survey asks only a few questions after presenting the new policy’s language for you to read through.

For example, it asks users to rate the clarity of the policy itself on a scale of one to five. It then gives you 280 characters max – just like on Twitter – to suggest how the policy could be improved. Similarly, you have 280 characters to offer examples of speech that contribute to a healthy conversation, but may violate this policy – Twitter’s attempt at finding any loopholes or exceptions.

And it gives you another 280 characters to offer additional feedback or thoughts.

You also have to provide your age, gender, (optionally) your username, and say if you’re willing to receive an email follow-up if Twitter has more questions about your responses.

Twitter doesn’t say how much community feedback will guide its decision-making, though. It simply says that after the feedback, it will then continue with its regular process, which passes the policy through a cross-functional working group, including members of its policy development, user research, engineering, and enforcement teams.

The idea to involve the community in policy-making is a notable change, and one that could make people feel more involved with the definition of the rules, and therefore – perhaps! – more likely to respect them.

But Twitter’s issues around abuse and hate speech on its network don’t really stem from poor policies – its policies actually spell things out fairly well, in many cases, about what should be allowed and what should not.

Twitter’s problems tend to stem from lax enforcement. The company has far too often declined to penalize or ban users whose content is clearly hateful in its nature, in an effort to remain an open platform for “all voices” – including those with extreme ideologies. Case in point: it was effectively the last of the large social platforms to ban the abusive content posted by Alex Jones and his website Infowars.

Users also regularly complain that they have been subject to tweets that violate Twitter guidelines and rules, but no action is taken.

It’s interesting, at times, to consider how differently Twitter could have evolved if community moderation – similar to the moderation on Reddit or even the moderation that takes place on open source Twitter clone Mastodon – had been a part of Twitter’s service from day one. Or how things would look if marginalized groups and those who are often victims of harassment and hate speech had been involved directly with building the platform in the early days. Would Twitter be a different place?

But that’s not where we are.

The new dehumanization policy Twitter is asking about is below:

Twitter’s Dehumanization Policy

You may not dehumanize anyone based on membership in an identifiable group, as this speech can lead to offline harm.


Dehumanization: Language that treats others as less than human. Dehumanization can occur when others are denied of human qualities (animalistic dehumanization) or when others are denied of human nature (mechanistic dehumanization). Examples can include comparing groups to animals and viruses (animalistic), or reducing groups to their genitalia (mechanistic).

Identifiable group: Any group of people that can be distinguished by their shared characteristics such as their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, serious disease, occupation, political beliefs, location, or social practices.

News Source = techcrunch.com

Snapchat’s users are surprisingly old and it’s telling them to vote

Snapchat is a college favorite more than high school phenomenon. Only 20 percent of Snapchat’s US users are under 18, down from 22 percent in 2016 as some of its early adopters have now aged up and headed to college. Appealing to older users was a big motive for its otherwise-disastrous redesign that do a better job of labeling navigation buttons to stop confusing adults.

Now Snapchat is fully embracing the responsibility of getting the vote out to its core of 18 to 24 year olds which sadly saw low voter turnout of just 17.1% in the 2014 midterms. As part of Voter Registration Day today, it’s partnering with non-profit TurboVote to put links to register across its app in both English and Spanish.

Today, all 18+ US users will see a TurboVote link to register in the profile portion of their Snapchat app. That spot is a little buried compared to the camera and messages/Stories tabs, so Team Snapchat is also sending them all a video message full of people noting common activities like “opening your locker” that take longer than voting which lets them swipe up to register.

Meanwhile, publishers including Washington Post, NowThis, Mic, Vice, Refinery29, Mitu, Cheddar, and Good Luck America will put swipe-up-to-register options in their relevant election coverage. Snapchat’s own news team of curators will be compiling Our Stories about election issues and voting, and like last year, Snapchat will offer themed creative tools including an “I’m Registered To Vote” filter. They all offer the swipe-up registration option that can be completed inside Snapchat’s app.

With 100 million monthly and 80 million daily users in the US and Canada, Snap has the potential to get more of the youngest voters to the polls. A Harvard University’s Institute of Politics Youth Poll is optimistic, finding that 37% of Americans under 30 say they’ll ‘definitely be voting’ versus 23% who said so in 2014. This demographic sees “corruption” as a defining characteristic of the US government and could seek to further disrupt the political establishment.

TurboVote has become the defacto partner in this industry-wide initiative, as it also powers registration signups through Facebook and Instagram. While those competitors put a bigger notice atop their apps, they’re then mostly running ads to promote voter registration wheras Snapchat is integrating the initiative organically across its product.


After a year of tech companies trying to defend against foreign interference in elections, they all seem comfortable getting involved in voter registration drives. The question is whether these will become talking points at some future congressional hearing about how they skewed elections by driving voting disproportionately amongst younger citizens. Getting more people involved in democracy clearly seems positive on its face, but politicians looking for issues to drum up with have made a whipping boy out of the social networks.

News Source = techcrunch.com

Chef launches deeper integration with Microsoft Azure

DevOps automation service Chef today announced a number of new integrations with Microsoft Azure. The news, which was announced at Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida, focuses on helping enterprises bring their legacy applications to Azure and ranges from the public preview of Chef Automate Managed Service for Azure to the integration of Chef’s InSpec compliance product with Microsoft’s cloud platform.

With Chef Automate as a managed service on Azure, which provides ops teams with a single tool for managing and monitoring their compliance and infrastructure configurations, developers can now easily deploy and manage Chef Automate and the Chef Server from the Azure Portal. It’s a fully managed service and the company promises that businesses can get started with using it in as little as thirty minutes (though I’d take those numbers with a grain of salt).

When those configurations need to change, Chef users on Azure can also now use the Chef Workstation with Azure Cloud Shell, Azure’s command line interface. Workstation is one of Chef’s newest products and focuses on making ad-hoc configuration changes, no matter whether the node is managed by Chef or not.

And to remain in compliance, Chef is also launching an integration of its InSpec security and compliance tools with Azure. InSpec works hand in hand with Microsoft’s new Azure Policy Guest Configuration (who comes up with these names?) and allows users to automatically audit all of their applications on Azure.

“Chef gives companies the tools they need to confidently migrate to Microsoft Azure so users don’t just move their problems when migrating to the cloud, but have an understanding of the state of their assets before the migration occurs,” said Corey Scobie, the senior vice president of products and engineering at Chef, in today’s announcement. “Being able to detect and correct configuration and security issues to ensure success after migrations gives our customers the power to migrate at the right pace for their organization.”

more Microsoft Ignite 2018 coverage

News Source = techcrunch.com

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