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Prepare your MacBook for Trade In

The first couple things you need to do before looking into the various trade in options for your MacBook is back it up and factory reset it. Macs don’t have built in iCloud backups, so you’re going to have to figure out an alternative. The easiest and cheapest option is to create a Time Machine backup which can then be restored when setting up your new computer. There are plenty of other options, too.

Finally, you need to work your way through the factory reset process, and you can check out Michael’s article on How to factory reset your MacBook Pro before selling or giving it away to do so.

Our favorite partner is Decluttr — the company behind our trade-in portal. In many if not all cases, Decluttr has the best balance of generous trade in values, seamless experience, and customer service you’ll find on the web.

The experience using our trade-in site is probably familiar to you. Simply head to the site, choose the device, and get your quote. From there, Decluttr will ship you a box with a pre-paid shipping label and some instructions, and you can just pop your device in the mail. From there, assuming everything checks out, you should receive your money shortly after they receive your device.

Decluttr is a great destination for trading in your iPhone, and they tend to offer some of the best trade in values on the market. Decluttr has great reviews on Trustpilot, and we’ve work with them as a partner in the past — so they’re definitely one of the sites we would use ourselves.

Other Great MacBook Trade in Sites Trade in your MacBook, Air, or Pro at Apple Trade In

As you’re likely already aware, one compelling option for offloading your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro is to simply send it to Apple directly through their Trade In program. With Apple Trade In, you’ll get credit in the form of an Apple Store gift card to put toward any future Apple purchase — iPad, iPhone, whatever you want. You can get started on Apple’s website by choosing MacBook and entering your serial number (head to  → About This Mac).

Apple Trade In isn’t the most generous trade-in option when it comes to trading in your MacBook Pro, but it is very easy and dealing with Apple comes with a peace of mind you won’t find elsewhere — you can be absolutely sure that the price you’re quoted for your old MacBook (which, honestly, won’t be much) is going to be yours — unless you send in something other what you said you would.

Trade In also isn’t limited to just taking old MacBooks. Apple will take your iPhone or smartphone from a variety of OEMs, MacBook, iPad, and even iMac. They’ll also recycle anything that they won’t buy. Head over to Apple Trade In to get started.

Trade in your MacBook at MyPhones Unlimited

MyPhones Unlimited is our MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro trade in spot of choice — as mentioned, we’ve partnered with them for our own 9to5Mac trade-in portal. At MyPhones Unlimited, you’ll find an excellent combination of trade in values, seamless experience, and customer service.

Decluttr is a great destination for trading in your iPhone, and they tend to offer some of the best trade in values on the market. Decluttr has great reviews on Trustpilot, and we’ve work with them as a partner in the past — so they’re definitely one of the sites we would use ourselves.

Trade in your MacBook at Gazelle

MacBook, Air, or Pro owners also have the option of trading in their old laptop through Gazelle. In my experience, their trade in values are a bit lower than the rest of the options on this page, but they’re a popular and reliable destination nonetheless. The process of trading in your MacBook with Gazelle works about the same as the rest of the other device trade-in sites.

Trade in your MacBook at Best Buy Even more sites: Trademore, Igotoffer, Itsworthmore, BuyBackWorld

Gazelle, MyPhones, and Apple Trade In aren’t the only destinations for trading in your MacBook. Some sites, if you’re willing to give them a chance, might even offer more. Be aware, though, that depending on the site you might run into issues not actually get those extra dollars. Some sites have rough Trustpilot ratings with reported issues with receiving payments for devices, for example.

That said, these sites aren’t all bad — many of them have enough positive reviews and reputation that it’s pretty unlikely you’ll get straight up scammed. Check out Trademore, Igotoffer, Itsworthmore, and BuyBackWorld if you want to dig around to find an alternative destination to trade in your MacBook Pro.

Best Online Marketplaces to trade in/sell your MacBook Swappa

When it comes to selling your MacBook, Air, or Pro yourself, Swappa is one of the best sites on the web with a quickly growing community. The things that make Swappa stand out from the crowd is that it’s a marketplace dedicated to selling consumer electronics like the MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad, Android phones, and more. they also have pretty low flat fees and they’re transparent throughout the process.

If you’re serious about getting the max value out of your MacBook while also resting on the comforts of a proven and well-moderated community of buyers, Swappa is the place to be. All transactions go through PayPal and come with the protections that provides, and the Swappa team has done a great job of making sure first-time sellers feel confident and secure fishing for a good buyer for their lightly-used goods.

eBay

eBay is undoubtedly the most popular place to sell used anything on the web, and it should come as no surprise that a fair volume of MacBooks are swapped there indeed. It might not be the easiest or most secure of destinations to sell your MacBook Pro, but it does have the largest pool of potential buyers. And unlike Swappa, you can hold auctions to potentially juice that MacBook, Air, or Pro for every dime it’s worth.

It goes without saying that eBay is a pretty good place to get a fair price for your device, but it also comes with a few downsides. It’s going to take way more work to list, watch, and monitor an eBay listing than it will to just send in your device through a trade-in site, and you’re also putting yourself at slightly higher risk of ending up with an undesirable buyer. eBay’s fees are also higher than many other sites. Check out eBay.

More trade in guides on 9to5Mac: Latest trade in deals below… Special deals and trade-in coupon codes for 9to5Mac readers

For a limited time, get 10% extra through Decluttr (max $30) w/ code 9TO5MAC (valid til 12/31/21)

How much is your MacBook Pro worth? How much is your MacBook Air worth? How much is your MacBook (12-inch) worth?

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How To Use Chatgpt For Python: The Ultimate Guide

To use Chat GPT for Python, you can install the OpenAI API client and create an API key. Once you have the API key, you can integrate ChatGPT directly into your applications using environment variables or ChatGPT’s messaging prompt to ask for help writing and fixing your code.

In this article, we will explore the steps required to work with ChatGPT in Python. Furthermore, we will also go over specific command prompts that are helpful when using ChatGPT’s messaging prompt.

Let’s get into it!

To begin, you will need to install Python on your system so that you can write and execute Python scripts seamlessly.

Next, add ChatGPT’s API to your Python applications. It’s as simple as importing any other Python library into your project.

To integrate Chat GPT and generate text, you must create an API key and install OpenAI’s client.

Let’s look at how you can create an API key for interacting with ChatGPT in Python.

To use ChatGPT with Python, you need to create and obtain an API key from OpenAI. Follow these steps:

Sign up or log in to your account on the OpenAI website.

5. Now, you can copy and use your newly generated secret key in your applications.

And you’re set! Now that you have your API key, you’re reading to install the OpenAI API client, which is what we’ll cover in the next section.

With your API in hand, you’re now ready to install the OpenAI API client. You will use this client to interact with the ChatGPT API.

Install the client using pip, the Python package manager, in your environment:

pip install openai

After installing the client, you need to import it to your current project by using the command given below:

import openai openai.api_key = "your_api_key_here"

Replace “your_api_key_here” with your actual openai API as shown in the image below.

And that’s it! You can now access ChatGPT and create Python apps that harness its NLP powers.

In the next section, we’ll take a look at an example of the API key in action with Python. Let’s jump into it and get our hands dirty!

The most common application of Chat GPT within Python is to create a chatbot, so let’s explore how you can create a chatbot within your Python environment using the ChatGPT API.

By harnessing the power of Chat GPT, you can build chatbots that can provide helpful assistance and engage users in dynamic conversations too.

You’ll also be able to generate text outputs tailored to users’ needs, all within the versatile Python programming language.

To create a chatbot using ChatGPT API with Python, first define a function that interacts with the Chat GPT API. For this example, we’ll be using the GPT-3.5-turbo model.

The following is a simple function to send messages to the ChatGPT API and receive a response:

import openai def chat_with_chatgpt(prompt, model="gpt-3.5-turbo"): response = openai.Completion.create( engine=model, prompt=prompt, max_tokens=100, n=1, stop=None, temperature=0.5, ) message = response.choices[0].text.strip() return message

The above Python script imports the OpenAI library and defines a function chat_with_chatgpt that takes a user prompt and uses the OpenAI API to generate a response using the specified ChatGPT models. The function returns the generated response as a text message.

Now, you can call the chat_with_chatgpt function with user input, and the following command will return the generated response:

user_prompt = "Write a summary of the benefits of exercise." chatbot_response = chat_with_chatgpt(user_prompt) print(chatbot_response)

With this setup, you have now integrated Chat GPT into your Python application, enabling you to create a wide range of generated text-based interactions using the ChatGPT model.

You can also adjust the parameters to your liking depending on your project requirements. For more information on API parameters, please refer to the developer documentation.

So that’s one example of using ChatGPT’s API in Python code. The goal was to get you started on using ChatGPT in Python, which you can further scale depending on the project at hand.

In the next section, we will look at using ChatGPT’s messaging prompt for writing Python code.

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I mean, who doesn’t want to save time when writing code?

In this section, we will look at four examples that will give you an understanding of using ChatGPT to write complex code and boost your productivity when developing applications or working with data in Python.

With ChatGPT, you can write the most complex algorithms in Python that would previously take hours to write.

All you have to do is ask ChatGPT through its command prompt or command line prompt to write you a particular algorithm, and voila, it will write the code for you in no time.

Let’s ask ChatGPT to write code for finding the longest common subsequence of two strings. The Longest Common Subsequence (LCS) algorithm is useful for identifying similarities between sequences.

It is commonly applied in bioinformatics for comparing DNA, RNA, or protein sequences, and in text processing for detecting similarities, measuring the edit distance between strings, or implementing diff tools.

You can copy the code to your Python project and change it according to your specific needs.

Writing code for scraping websites can be daunting; however, with ChatGPT, you can minimize the time it takes to write code for web scraping.

The example below demonstrates how you can extract all headings from a webpage using the BeautifulSoup library:

When implementing the above code in your Python project, you just need to change the URL to the website you are scrapping. You can further scale the above code by asking ChatGPT to modify the code in case you are scrapping something other than the website headings.

You can use ChatGPT to write code for data analysis tasks as well. In the following Python program, we used ChatGPT to import, filter and find the mean from a dataset.

Once the code is written, copy it to your Python project and make changes according to your needs.

Furthermore, you can create the most complex machine learning models with ChatGPT, such as Decision Trees and Logistic Regressions, and use them in your Python code.

With ChatGPT, you can write code for creating web applications using Python. The example below demonstrates how you can create a very basic web app that returns ‘Hello, World!’ as the response:

This example provides an easy-to-understand starting point for beginners learning web development or working with Flask.

It showcases how to define a route and its corresponding function, which can be further built upon and extended to create more complex web applications with multiple routes and functionalities.

All the examples provided demonstrate the power and versatility of ChatGPT in generating Python code snippets for various tasks. By utilizing ChatGPT, developers can quickly receive assistance in creating solutions for complex problems or even simple functions.

These examples not only showcase the potential of ChatGPT for enhancing productivity but also highlight its ability to act as an educational tool for learning different aspects of Python programming.

From our experience, most of the time, it is. But, and this is a big but, nothing beats solid learning and real-world experience to cross-check things.

This could change and it most probably will, but for now, we suggest always double-checking what you do and using ChatGPT to enhance what you do, not replace learning!

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Throughout this article, we have explored the benefits of using ChatGPT for Python development, from integrating it directly into applications to leveraging its messaging prompt for code assistance.

By using ChatGPT, you can improve productivity, create complex algorithms, and access a solid educational tool for assisting in learning various aspects of Python programming.

Importantly, you must strike a balance between relying on ChatGPT and learning alongside it. This ensures that you not only receive assistance from ChatGPT but also develop a deeper understanding of the underlying concepts and programming principles. We don’t want our brains turning to mush, we need them, and they need us!

Hopefully, the examples in this article have given you a good starting point of how our new friend ChatGPT can write better code in record time.

The Ultimate Android Tethering Guide

Tethering: It’s one of the most convenient features your smartphone has, yet carriers insist on restricting it.

Tethering most often refers to using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot. In other words, it lets you connect to the Internet on your laptop, tablet, or Wi-Fi enabled device, using your phone’s data connection. Tethering is very useful if you happen to be in an area that has no free Wi-Fi and you need to do your computing on a device other than your phone.

[Related: How to tether your iPhone]

Carriers don’t really want you to use this oh-so-convenient option, because users who tether are more likely to use a lot of data. After all, it’s much easier to use data when you’re browsing on a laptop or a tablet, than when you’re limited to your smartphone’s tiny screen. You might argue that, since most mobile plans feature limited data anyway, it shouldn’t matter how you happen to use that data. But some carriers disagree, and will typically charge an extra $20 to $50 per month for tethering plans.

Tethering on your carrier

Verizon

You may or may not have heard the news: Verizon recently announced that, thanks to an FCC investigation, it will stop blocking its Android users from downloading and using third-party tethering apps. This means that Verizon’s Android users on usage-based plans can avoid the $20 tethering fee by using a third-party app instead of their phone’s built-in tethering option (called Mobile Broadband Connect).

This doesn’t mean that all tethering on Verizon is free, though?it’s not. Here’s the breakdown:

If you have a new Verizon “Share Everything” plan, you can use your phone’s built-in mobile hotspot feature or a third-party tethering app free of charge? but you’re limited to the data in your Share Everything data pool. Overage rates for shared data plans are $15 per gigabyte.

If you have an old usage-based data plan, you can now use a third-party tethering app free of charge. You can also use your phone’s mobile hotspot feature for an additional $20 per month (per device), which also gets you an additional 2GB of data.

If you have an old unlimited plan, you are technically required to pay $20 per month for tethering? whether you’re using a third-party app or your phone’s mobile hotspot feature. However, Verizon has no way of knowing if you’re using a third-party app to tether.

AT&T

AT&T was not part of the FCC investigation that forced Verizon to allow third-party tethering apps on Android phones, so AT&T still charges for all tethering. Unlike Verizon, AT&T never blocked third-party tethering apps from its phones?rather, it monitors its users’ data habits, and sends them text messages and emails telling them that if they do not stop tethering for free they will be automatically signed up for an AT&T tethering plan.

Here’s how much it costs to tether on AT&T:

If you have a new AT&T Mobile Share plan, you can use your phone’s built-in tethering app, as well as a third-party tethering app, for free?but it will sap data from your shared data pool. Overage rates for shared data plans are $15 for each gigabyte of data you go over.

If you have an older, usage-based data plan, you can use your phone’s built-in tethering app, as well as third-party tethering apps, for an additional $20 a month per line, which will also give you an extra 2GB of data.

If you have a grandfathered-in unlimited data plan, tethering is not an option?you’ll have to upgrade to a (limited) tethered plan, or AT&T will upgrade you automatically if it suspects you’re tethering.

Sprint

Sprint is the only carrier that still has unlimited phone data plans. However, Sprint does not allow you to tether on your unlimited data plan. Instead, you’re required to purchase a tethering option, which gives you a couple of gigabytes for tethering (though your phone will still have unlimited data).

Here are your options (or lack thereof) on Sprint:

If you have an unlimited data plan (and you do, because Sprint requires all smartphones to be on an unlimited data plan), tethering will cost you $19.99 a month for 2GB of data and $49.99 a month for 6GB of data. This means you’ll be able to use 2GB or 6GB of tethering data, but you’ll still have unlimited data as long as you’re just using your phone.

If you have a usage-based data plan on your Sprint tablet, you can purchase the same options (2GB for $19.99 per month or 6GB for $49.99 per month) for tethering. In this case, tethering data is also separate?it does not come out of your bucket of usage-based data.

If you go over your 2GB or 6GB limit, you’ll be charged an additional $0.05 per MB?which equals a whopping $51.20 per additional GB.

Some people may have the old tethering option of 5GB for $29.99 per month, and they will be allowed to keep this until they change plans

T-Mobile

T-Mobile will be introducing a new unlimited data plan in September. However, this unlimited plan will not support tethering. Instead, customers who want to tether their phones will have to use one of T-Mobile’s existing value or classic plans.

Here’s the breakdown of T-Mobile’s tethering costs:

If you have a usage-based 2GB data plan, you can add tethering to your plan for $14.99 a month. This gets you an additional 2GB of data.

If you have a usage-based 5GB or 10GB plan, tethering is available at no additional cost. Tethering takes data from your existing data pool of 5GB or 10GB.

If you have an unlimited data plan, you’re not allowed to tether. T-Mobile does not allow the use of third-party tethering apps on its network.

Third-party tethering apps for Android

There are two ways to tether on your Android phone?you can use your phone’s built-in hotspot feature, which may or may not incur charges from your carrier. Or you can use a third-party tethering app.

While most carriers (AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) do not technically allow the use of third-party tethering apps, many third-party tethering apps are still available and will work on phones on those networks. Whether you use a third-party app for tethering is at your discretion, since networks will often charge you if they discover you’re using tethering data and not paying for it.

Remember, if you do choose to use a third-party app for tethering, it’s a good idea to be conservative about how much data you use. If you only tether your laptop to your phone’s data connection to check email on the fly, your carrier probably won’t notice. But if you’re constantly streaming Netflix videos on your tablet using your phone’s data connection, your carrier will probably get suspicious?especially if you have an unlimited data plan.

Numerous third-party tethering apps are available today, including apps for rooted and nonrooted phones. Here are a few of the better options:

Tethering apps for nonrooted phones

PdaNet: PdaNet is a free download on Google Play, but this only gets you a 14-day trial. After 14 days, the app will block access to secure websites (websites that require a login) unless you purchase the full edition for $15.95. PdaNet allows you to tether your phone’s data connection to your laptop using a USB cable or Bluetooth dial-up networking, or to turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot (though the Wi-Fi hotspot mode does not work on all phones).

EasyTether: EasyTether is a USB tethering app, which means it lets you share your phone’s data connection with your laptop via a USB cable. It also lets you tether your game console (PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, or Xbox) using PC Internet Connection Sharing (you need to go through a computer first to tether your console). EasyTether has two versions: a free Lite version and a paid $9.99 version. The Lite version blocks secure websites, instant messengers, and game console tethering. The app supports Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. As of this article’s writing, EasyTether was still blocked on Verizon devices.

Wifi Hotspot & USB Tether Pro: Wifi Hotspot & USB Tether is primarily for turning your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot (complete with password), but it also allows you to tether your phone’s data connection to your computer via USB. This is yet another app with a free version (so you can see if it works on your phone) and a paid version that costs $14.99. The Lite version gives you a two-day, five-minutes-per-day trial.

The Reverse Tether app

Reverse tethering lets you tether your computer’s Internet connection to your phone so that your phone connects to the Web using your laptop?s connection. This is a much less common scenario, since it’s rare that you’ll find yourself in a place where your computer has an Internet connection but your phone does not. If you do find yourself in this situation, however, you can use the Reverse Tether app to share your computer’s Internet connection with your phone.

Reverse Tether is a $4.99 download in the Android Market, and requires a rooted Android device. To tether your computer’s Internet connection to your phone, all you need to do is download the app, make sure your device’s drivers are installed on your computer, and connect your computer to your phone using a USB cable.

Since Reverse Tether does not work with all Android devices, you can also download a trial version

for free to see if it works. The trial version lets you connect only during certain times, but it never expires.

Linking to your laptop

Tethering doesn’t apply only to your phone’s (or computer’s) data connection. The AirDroid app lets you wirelessly manage your phone from a browser window on your laptop. This can be useful if you’re at your computer anyway, but you want to be able to do things like listen to music that’s stored at your computer, write text messages, and organize your phone’s contacts.

From the AirDroid main screen, you can manage files, organize call logs, check and write text messages, look at photos, watch videos, play music, organize contacts, and install apps. Your device does not need to be rooted for AirDrive to run, but if it is rooted you’ll have access to a couple more features, such as seeing your device’s screen in real-time and taking screenshots.

The Ultimate Guide To Cyber Threat Intelligence (Cti) In 2023

Data is the most valuable asset of most modern organizations. Organizations are rapidly deploying new technologies and devices that increase vulnerability points that malicious attackers may target. Organizations need to protect their data assets at a time when their attack surface is rapidly growing. Cyber threat intelligence helps businesses identify malicious activity before it happens and speeds up decision-making processes to respond to such threats.

What is Cyber Threat Intelligence?

Threat intelligence or cyber threat intelligence is the data collection and analysis to gain information about existing and emerging threats to a business. Cyber threat intelligence helps organizations avoid unexpected threats. Since cyber threat intelligence information makes unknown threats visible to organizations, businesses can improve their cybersecurity mechanism and mitigate the risk of cyberattacks.

Wikipedia defines the term as follows:

Cyber threat intelligence is information about threats and threat actors that helps mitigate harmful events in cyberspace. Cyber threat intelligence sources include open source intelligence, social media intelligence, human Intelligence, technical intelligence or intelligence from the deep and dark web.

Why is it important now?

As the amount of data generated by businesses increases and as it becomes easier to act on data, the potential risk of a data breach increases. Hackers can easily monetize captured data by sale or ransomware. The number of data breaches is increasing each year (Compared to midyear of 2023, the number of reported breaches was up 54% in 2023) and average cost of a data breach is expected to surpass $150 million in 2023.

Besides these market researches, ESG’s survey highlights the fact that sustaining cybersecurity is more difficult than two years ago due to the following reasons:

cyber threats are getting more sophisticated

number of threats and types of threats are increasing

organizations face a shortage of sufficient skilled professionals

With cyber threat intelligence, organizations gain a deeper understanding of threats and respond to the concerns of the business more effectively.

See our article on cybersecurity stats to explore the numbers in detail.

What are the intelligence sources?

These are some of the  common sources that can be used in threat intelligence as identified by Bank of England:

Human intelligence: Enterprises can work with cybersecurity companies to identify threats. Furthermore, companies with global scale and billions in revenues can afford to gather information from sources such as national intelligence agencies.

Open source intelligence: Publicly available sources such as the media, internet, public government data, publications, financial and industrial assessments.

What are the types of Cyber Threat Intelligence? Tactical threat intelligence

Tactical threat intelligence identifies how the organization might be attacked. It helps inform improvements to existing security processes while speeding up incident response. Security teams must identify:

the potential attackers and their motivations,

vulnerable points that attackers may target,

potential actions that organizations may take depending on the threat intelligence

Though tactical threat intelligence is the easiest type of threat intelligence and is mostly automated by organizations, indicators of compromise (IOC) such as malicious IP addresses, URLs, file hashes and domain names get outdated quickly.  The short lifespan of IOCs may cause false positive during the analysis that’s why it can not be a long term security plan of an organization.

Reports that are generated by tactical threat intelligence are geared towards technical audiences such as infrastructure architects, administrators and security staff. These personnel use the reports to make improvements in the security system.

Operational Threat Intelligence

Though some of these capabilities overlap with tactical intelligence capabilities, tactical intelligence is more automated while human analysis is needed for effective operational intelligence.

Operational intelligence is mostly used in cybersecurity disciplines such as vulnerability management, incident response and threat monitoring.

Strategic Threat Intelligence

Strategic threat intelligence provides a wider outlook of the organization’s threat landscape. It identifies potential attackers by analyzing the organization in light of global dynamics. For example, major US companies are prepared against cyber attacks by countries that are in conflict with the US in various fields.

Strategic intelligence requires machines to process large volumes of data and analysis of a human who has expertise in both sociopolitical and business concepts. Output mostly comes in the form of reports to inform executives and other decision-makers in the enterprise. Therefore the context of reports contains less technical information compare to tactical and operational intelligence.

Sources used in strategic intelligence are generally open sources including:

policy documents of nation-states,

local and national media,

industry- and subject-specific publications,

whitepapers and research reports of security vendors.

How does AI affect cyber threat intelligence?

AI eases the job of the security team by fastening the task of data processing, image below shows how time-saving AI is for cyber threat intelligence processes.

AI has an active role in the threat intelligence process as well. Since threat intelligence depends on data analysis, NLP technology is heavily used in collecting unstructured data and data processing. Threat intelligence adopts NLP and machine learning to interpret text from various unstructured documents across different languages.

Cyber threat intelligence is an application of predictive analysis that  focuses on security. We’ve already written how AI is shaping analytics, feel free to check it out if you want to learn AI capabilities in analytics.

What are the benefits of cyber threat intelligence?

Usage of cyber threat intelligence tools improve organizations’ security in different aspects:

SANS Institute conducted a survey and asked executives the main barrier to implement an effective cyber threat intelligence. The results can be seen below. Lack of technical skills of employees/executives and the difficulty of using security tools are the common pitfalls that inhibit implementing cyber threat intelligence effectively.

Source: SANS Institute

What are the leading companies?

Check our data-driven hub of cybersecurity solutions to explore the different vendors and their offerings.

If you want to improve the security capabilities of your organization but don’t know where to start, we’ve written a few articles about information security solutions. Feel free to check them out:

If you still have questions about cyber threat intelligence, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Source:

CrowdStrike

Recorded Future

eSecurity Planet

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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The Ultimate Guide Into Digital Shelf Analytics In 2023

If you are a small Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company that relies on online sales, partnering with a large online retailer, such as Amazon, eBay, or AliExpress, to showcase your products would give you higher chances of visibility. And as you grow, you’d need to partner with more regional-specific retailers to infiltrate their domestic market (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Top retail websites measured by online traffic, Statista

The problem arises when your partnerships, product range, and factors of interest to monitor, expand to the point where it is almost impossible to manually keep tracking them.

In this article, we will explore the concept of digital shelf analytics (DSA) as a solution to this issue which works by streamlining the collection and visualization of all data you would need to analyze the performance of your products on all platforms’ digital shelves. But before we do that, let’s familiarize ourselves with some basics.

What is a digital shelf?

As a CPG manufacturer, you may pay a commission to a retail shop to have your products displayed on their aisle shelves.

The electronic version of that phenomenon is the digital shelf, the scenario in which you pay an online retailer or an e-commerce platform owner to have your product displayed on their website.

What is digital shelf analytics (DSA)?

You put items on retailers’ shelves to attract the consumer’s attention. Capturing that attention is a factor of:

Tagging each item with the most recent price tag,

Making sure that the price you’ve tagged is competitive,

Making sure that the packaging is alluring and the graphics on it are aesthetically pleasing,

Strategically shelf-positioning the products (i.e. if you’re marketing to kids, you would want to place them lower so they would reach it),

And focusing on displaying your most popular and best-selling items.

Shelf analytics is the process of continuously monitoring these components and acting on the insights you’ve gained.

Digital shelf analytics covers all of these things and more, with the exception that you can’t physically go along the aisles to observe if these variables are optimized. As a result, you’d require assistance.

How to analyze the digital shelf?

Figure 2: Every 60 seconds sees an additional $1.6M in online expenditure, Statista

In order to accomplish such data collection, businesses can leverage web scrapers which are tools that target specific websites, extract relevant data, and send it to the users in the designated format.

Sponsored:

Bright Data’s Data Collector has the ability to scrape publicly available data from the web to inform businesses how each of their products is doing. For instance, a partner of Bright Data uses their Data Collector to collect and present public data on 1.5 million products everyday from retailers for actionable insights. Using data collector, businesses can collect all relevant information, such as:

How many goods they sell on various platforms,

Whether their products have caused any harm,

Whether competitors are giving discounts on similar products.

To explore the web scraping marketplace, check our data-driven list of web scrapers.

What are the use cases of digital shelf analytics?

There are aspects that you must continually check to operate an efficient e-commerce campaign, just as there are factors that you must constantly watch while exhibiting your goods on physical shelves.

You’ll get useful information from digital shelf analytics on:

Sales breakdown

Sales data is one of the types of information you can get from a web scraper. The following are some of the purposes for which the data can be broken down:

Seeing the amount of sales for each product,

Seeing on which retail website your products were sold the most,

Seeing which of your items are over/underperforming,

Seeing to which markets and to what demographics you appealed to the most (that is if the users have consented to giving this personal data away).

Recommendation: The information you get at this point can help you direct your marketing effort. For example, you can eliminate underperforming goods from your product line to focus all of your resources on those that are performing well. Or if only one age cohort is buying from you, you can try to figure out why the others aren’t.

Customer reviews

Because people cannot physically inspect a product online, they rely on the user experience of others.

A survey done by Local Bright showed that 87% of online shoppers read customer reviews, with only 48% of them going through with a purchase from a seller with less than a four-star rating.

Recommendation: Gathering customer reviews from all platforms are one of DSA’s features. This will allow you to immediately address the negative ones and improve on the positive ones. As a result, your brand’s reputation will be preserved. Besides, 30% of all customer reviews might be fake. You can report those as well.

Competitors’ prices

Recommendation: Especially if you are operating in a dynamic market, you stand to lose/gain customers with marginal price differences. That is why it’s crucial to always be aware of how different your price is from your competitors’. DSA will keep you updated with price fluctuations in your market, enabling you to undertake a dynamic pricing strategy.

Ranking and visibility

SEO is a major factor in how visible your products are on the web and in search engines. Research done by HubSpot showed that 75% of users never go past the first page of results. Favorable online reviews, for instance, are one of the factors that will push your ranking higher. Other variables include:

Product data: How accurate is your product’s data in terms of price, weight, dimension, year of purchase, etc.

Product description: How accurately does your description match the product’s functionality?

Photo: Have you included high resolution and good quality pictures with your product’s ad?

Producer’s profile: Have you attached your company’s profile to the listing, so people can access it?

(See Figure 3 for a demo of how the web scraper provides you with this data)

Figure 3: The web scraper crawling the web to continuously provide you with real-time data, Source: Bright Data

Recommendation: DSA will constantly provide you with these details in your product’s listing so you can ensure that they are consistent across the board, that there is no missing information, and that you have provided the customer with all the information they might to factor in before choosing between you and the competitors.

For more on e-commerce technology

If you are interested in learning more about e-commerce, we have an archive of articles:

In addition, we have data-driven lists of vendors for:

e-commerce personalization,

And e-commerce marketing solutions, both of which you can leverage to better learn your market and to target it more accurately.

Lastly, we have a transparent list of analytics platform vendors.

Go through them and we will help you choose the best one tailored to your needs.

He primarily writes about RPA and process automation, MSPs, Ordinal Inscriptions, IoT, and to jazz it up a bit, sometimes FinTech.

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The Ultimate Guide To Hitting A Home Run

If ever there were a sport to completely nerd out about, it’s baseball. Geeks across America have been crunching data for years on what makes certain players or teams so great.

But most people don’t care whether one team has a slightly elevated chance of winning the wild card this year because their DH’s slugging percentage is off the charts. They just want to see some home runs. We dug into the gritty details to figure out exactly how to hit one. You can even try it out for yourself.

Use a composite bat

Wooden bats make a beautiful cracking sound as they hit a ball, but if you’re going for a home run (and you’re not a major league player), you should pick a composite bat. In order to get the ball to go farther, you have to make it come off the bat faster, and a key way to do that is to make the bat-ball collision as energy-efficient as possible.

A baseball already loses about half its energy deforming as it hits a wooden bat. If you watch in super slo-mo, you can actually see it squish to essentially half its width, then bounce back. That’s because wooden bats are solid, forcing the ball to do all the compressing in the relationship. But composite (as well as metal) bats are hollow. When the ball impacts them, they squish down a bit and then—and this is key—they bounce back out, returning some of that energy from the compression back into the ball. This is called the trampoline effect, and it’s the main reason that non-wooden bats outperform their tree-based compatriots by so much.

Oh, and get one that’s end-loaded

Whether you pick a light or heavy bat doesn’t end up having much of an impact on the batted ball speed (more on that later). Confusingly, the stat that really matters isn’t written on any baseball bat in any store in America. What you really want to know is the moment of inertia, which is essentially where the balance point of the bat is. Two bats with exactly the same total ounces can have very different moments of inertia and will feel different when you swing them. An end-loaded bat is harder to swing, whereas balancing the weight towards the handle makes even a heavy bat feel lighter, and thus you can swing it faster and control it more easily.

But here’s the key: “If swung at same speed, the bat with the larger moment of inertia will hit balls faster.” That’s according to Dan Russell, a professor of acoustics at Penn State who studies vibrations in baseball bats. “Moment of inertia matters way more than the weight, but no manufacturer lists moment of inertia, and I have no idea why. I’ve been asking that for 20 years.”

To figure out the moment of inertia on a bat, you can try to balance it on one finger. The closer you have to balance it to the wide end of the bat, the higher the MOI and the faster you’ll be able to hit the ball (assuming you’re strong enough to swing it at the same speed).

Pick a park that’s hot, humid, and at high altitude (bonus if the wind’s at your back)

Since your goal is to hit the ball as far as possible, you want the air to help you out as much as it can. Dense air produces more friction with the ball, slowing it down, so diffuse air is best. The air is already less dense at high altitudes because there’s less atmosphere above the ballpark to compress the gases all around you. Heat will also help, since the molecules will spread apart, and humidity will mean light water molecules will displace heavier atoms, further aiding your ball’s trajectory.

All these changes probably only give you a few feet more, but that can be the difference between a pop fly and a homer. For even more help, having even a five mile per hour breeze blowing the ball toward the outfield can tack on another 18 to 20 feet.

Get a ball with low-profile seams

Yes, that’s right, even the seams matter. Baseballs are held together by stitching, and having flat seams will make the ball travel farther because there’s less drag as it flies. Just by lowering the seam height a fraction of a millimeter, you can get another 10 to 15 feet out of the ball. Shell out the extra bucks for the Official MLB balls—they have the lowest seam profile available.

This unnecessarily artsy photo of a baseball at least shows you the seams up close Pixabay

Swing as fast as possible (or: swing a heavier bat)

As we’ve been saying, the most important thing about your swing is simply how fast it is. The faster you swing the bat, the faster you make the ball go, and the farther it travels. Alan Nathan, a professor emeritus of physics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says for every one mile per hour you add to the ball’s exit velocity, you get another five feet.

In theory, if you could swing every bat at equal speed, you’d want to get as heavy a bat as possible. You’re trying to reverse the ball’s momentum—it’s coming at you, and you want to change its direction. Momentum is just mass times velocity, so at a given speed you want a heavier bat to increase its momentum, thereby changing the ball’s momentum as well. Heavier bat; more efficient swing.

There’s just one problem. “At some point, you simply can’t swing a bat fast enough to make up for the increased weight,” explains Nathan. “You lose more in bat speed than you gain in having a more efficient swing.”

Your ability to control the bat is also reduced with a heavier bat, but let’s assume that you’re only hitting fastballs thrown straight over the plate for simplicity’s sake.

For most standard players, the weight is really just about preference—the trade-offs of having a light versus hefty bat cancel each other out. You go heavy, you swing slower. Go light, and your swing speeds up. Assuming you don’t care so much about maneuverability, though, your ideal bat is the heaviest one you can swing real fast.

Hit the ball right on the sweet spot

Since you’re aiming for the most efficient bat-ball collision possible, aim to hit with the bat’s sweet spot. All bats vibrate when something hits them—that’s why you feel a sting in your hands when you’re batting—but those vibrations represent lost energy that could have gone into increasing the ball’s speed.

The sweet spot is a complicated idea, and it’s not even really a single spot: there’s sort of a sweet zone about two inches wide on every bat where there are no vibrations produced. This has to do with the way waves (vibrations are a kind of wave) travel through solid objects. Suffice to say that all solid objects, including tennis rackets and hockey sticks, have these nodes where they won’t vibrate at all if struck. Everywhere else, they vibrate. On the ultra high-speed cameras inside major league parks, you can actually see these vibrations (Nathan’s page has a bunch of them)

You can find the sweet spot on a wooden bat by holding it by the knob and tapping it with a baseball all along its length. If you’re hitting hard enough, you should feel vibrations most of the time, but about two-thirds of the way to the end there will be a small area where it will feel more solid, and the bat won’t vibrate at all. That’s the sweet spot.

Angle the ball between 25 and 30 degrees

So, once you’ve picked the right ball and the right bat and the right stadium, and you’ve swung as hard as you possibly can, all you have to do is nail the angle. Nathan says the optimum launch angle is between 25 and 30 degrees (above parallel with the ground). That’s the right balance between having the maximum distance traveled and still having enough lift for the ball to exit the park.

And voila! You’ve hit a home run. Next up: the majors.

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