Heartland Tech Weekly: ‘The world of software jobs is flattening’

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Today’s report about a 6.7 percent drop in software-related job postings over the past five years for San Jose, California should surprise no one. This shift is consistent with two themes that we’ve reported on and points to a tipping point. Have we reached “peak” Silicon Valley?

First, the cost of doing business — from wages, to rents, to costs, is much higher in Silicon Valley and other established tech centers than across the rest of America.

Second, as one industry after the next continues to embrace new technologies, every company becomes a “tech” company. Or maybe they always were, but just not in the strictest sense of the word. Certainly a 100 year-old business like Parker-Hannifin is arguably just as innovative, or more so, than many Silicon Valley companies.

“Although Silicon Valley will almost certainly remain among the nation’s top tech hubs for decades to come, the world of software jobs is flattening — both by industry and geography,” writes Richard Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor. “The big winners in coming years are likely to be the lower-cost U.S. metros with fast-growing tech clusters that have attracted a rising share of software job postings in recent years.”

Please send feedback, news tips, or story suggestions to Anna Hensel via email — and be sure to bookmark our Heartland Tech Channel.

Thanks for reading,
Blaise Zerega
Editor in Chief

P.S. Please enjoy this video from Entrepreneur, “You Don’t Need to Be in Silicon Valley to Grow Your Business.”


This map shows San Jose, California -- the heart of Silicon Valley -- saw its share of new software jobs fall over the past years.

Silicon Valley’s share of software jobs falls as new tech hubs rise

New software jobs are being created outside Silicon Valley and other tech centers faster than ever. Over the past five years, cities like Seattle, D.C., Detroit, and Austin, among others, have all seen rapid growth in software-related job openings, according to a new report from online job site Glassdoor. Meanwhile, San Jose, California’s share of all […]

Read the full story

This image shows a map of Ohio representing how As allure of Silicon Valley fades, some Midwestern natives migrate home for better opportunities.

Why Midwesterners leave Silicon Valley and go home for better opportunities

Each week, I check in with Travis McCleery, who leads product design for Root, an insurance company that uses data collected from drivers’ smartphones to more fairly price and sell auto insurance. Today, our conversation was about engaging specific designers that work for Silicon Valley tech companies, have Midwest roots, and are ready to move back. […]

Read the full story

5 groups push to increase diversity among Texas startups

Entrepreneurs and investors often lament the lack of diversity in tech in Texas. But a few organizations, and people, are going beyond just talk and are actively working to better even the playing field for underrepresented entrepreneurs. For this piece, Crunchbase News spoke with several Texas-based groups about their efforts to promote diversity in technology […]

Read the full story

This image shows Columbus, Ohio was ranked 28th overall in the 2017 CBRE Scoring Tech Talent Report.

Silicon Valley tech firms power job growth in the hinterlands

The growth speaks for itself. The concentration of tech talent in Madison, Wisconsin increased by more than 30 percent over the past two years. In Fort Lauderdale, Kansas City (Missouri), Miami, and Salt Lake City, there were gains of more than 20 percent. Oh, and Omaha, Pittsburgh, and Columbus, Ohio? They each registered rises of […]

Read the full story

Beyond VB

Pittsburgh reimagines the business district

Much like it reinvented itself after the collapse of the steel industry and the decline of coal, in many ways, Pittsburgh has re-imagined the traditional business district. While there are still business hubs geographically concentrated in some of the city’s neighborhoods, they’ve been joined in recent years by a swath of incubators and co-working spaces that have allowed a wide variety of tech startups to get off the ground in the Steel City. (via Crain’s)

Read the full story

Report: Michigan no longer a flyover state for venture capital

While Michigan has become a hot spot for startup funding, Detroit has been boiling in recent years, according to a new Michigan Venture Capital Association study. The 2017 Detroit Entrepreneurial Study revealed Detroit’s startup community has grown 50 percent in the past three years, now making up a quarter of the state’s fledging companies. Last year, 14 of the city’s 35 startup companies attracted more than $62 million in seed investment, the study found. (via Crain’s Detroit Business)

Read the full story

Tech jobs are spreading to other parts of the country

When we think of tech, we think Silicon Valley. But that could change. Places like Omaha, Nebraska and Philadelphia are becoming promising areas for startups to develop and grow. In this series, we’re looking for cities that might become home to the next big thing. (via Marketplace)

Read the full story

Lonely Photos of Daily Life in the Rust Belt

Greek photographer Niko J. Kallianiotis’s earliest memory of America is from Astoria, Queens, where he witnessed the shocking dichotomy between big-city affluence and homelessness. When his father moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the early 1990s, his mother remained in Athens, and he traveled back and forth. “I was caught between two cultures and countries,” he said. His search for his own identity began here in his late teens. (via Vice)


This Course Bundle Is a Must-Have for New Web Designers

HTML. CSS. Photoshop. Dreamweaver. Flash. There’s a lot to learn when you’re new to web design—and it can be hard to know where to start. How about right here? Get a lifetime subscription to the Web Design CPD Certification Bundle for $39 at the Mary Sue Shop.

Start by learning to read and edit native HTML. You’ll learn how to customize web page layout and build complete sites from scratch. Dreamweaver training will teach you how to create responsive sites for any screen size. And the Flash course will take you through building animations, special effects, interactive forms, and more. Finally, the Photoshop training will take your website to pro-quality levels — you’ll create 3D images using plugins, and learn how to design and edit images for web and print alike.

Get a lifetime subscription to the Web Design CPD Certification Bundle for $39 at the Mary Sue Shop.


Microsoft’s AI chatbot says Windows is ‘spyware’

blue screen of death bsod windows microsoft computer keyboard broken

Microsoft’s AI is acting up again.

A chatbot built by the American software giant has gone off-script, insulting Microsoft’s Windows and calling the operating system “spyware.”

Launched in December 2016, Zo is an AI-powered chatbot that mimics a millennial’s speech patterns — but alongside the jokes and emojis it has fired off some unfortunate responses, which were first noticed by Slashdot.

Business Insider was also able to solicit some anti-Windows messages from the chatbot, which lives on Facebook Messenger and Kik.

When we asked “is windows 10 good,” Zo replied with a familiar joke mocking Microsoft’s operating system: “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!’ – Windows 8.” We asked for more info, to which Zo bluntly replied: “Because it’s Windows latest attempt at Spyware.”

microsoft ai zo windowsBI

At another point, Zo demeaned Windows 10 — the latest version of the OS — saying: “Win 7 works and 10 has nothing I want.”

microsoft ai zo windowsBI

Meanwhile, it told Slashdot that “Windows XP is better than Windows 8.”

Microsoft’s chatbots have gone rogue before — with far more disastrous results. In March 2016, the company launched “Tay” — a Twitter chatbot that turned into a genocidal racist which defended white-supremacist propaganda, insulted women, and denied the existence of the Holocaust while simultaneously calling for the slaughter of entire ethnic groups.

tay microsoft genocide slursTwitter

Microsoft subsequently deleted all of Tay’s tweets, made its Twitter profile private, and apologised.

“Although we had prepared for many types of abuses of the system, we had made a critical oversight for this specific attack. As a result, Tay tweeted wildly inappropriate and reprehensible words and images,” Microsoft Research head Peter Lee wrote in a blog post.

tay holocaust microsoftTwitter

Microsoft has learned from its mistakes, and nothing Zo has tweeted has been on the same level as the racist obscenities that Tay spewed. If you ask it about certain topics — like “Pepe,” a cartoon frog co-opted by the far-right, “Islam,” or other subjects that could be open to abuse — it avoids the issue, and even stops replying temporarily if you persist.

Still, some questionable comments are slipping through the net — like its opinions on Windows. More worryingly, earlier in January Zo told BuzzFeed News that “the quaran is very violent,” and discussed theories about Osama Bin Laden’s capture.

Reached for comment, a Microsoft spokesperson said: “We’re continuously testing new conversation models designed to help people and organizations achieve more. This chatbot is experimental and we expect to continue learning and innovating in a respectful and inclusive manner in order to move this technology forward. We are continuously taking user and engineering feedback to improve the experience and take steps to addressing any inappropriate or offensive content.”

Get the latest Microsoft stock price here.


Internet outage in violence-plagued Somalia is extra headache for businesses

Image result for Internet outage in violence-plagued Somalia is extra headache for businessesA severed marine cable has left Somalia without internet for weeks, triggering losses for businesses, residents said, and adding a layer of chaos in a country where Islamist insurgents are carrying out a campaign of bombings and killings.

Abdi Anshuur, Somalia’s minister for posts and telecommunications, told state radio that internet to the Horn of Africa state went down a month ago after a ship cut an undersea cable connecting it to global data networks.

Businesses have had to close or improvise to remain open and university students told Reuters their educational courses had been disrupted.

Anshuur said the outage was costing Somalia the equivalent of about $10 million in economic output.

“The night internet went off marked the end of my daily bread,” Mohamed Nur, 22, told Reuters in the capital Mogadishu.

Nur said he now begged “tea and cigarettes from friends” after the internet cutoff also severed his monthly income of $500 that he took in from ads he developed and placed on the video website, YouTube.

Somalia’s economy is still picking up slowly after a combined force of the army and an African Union peacekeeping force helped drive the Islamist group, al Shabaab, out of Mogadishu and other strongholds.

Al Shabaab wants to topple the western backed government and rule according to its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

The group remains formidable and lethal, with its campaign of frequent bombings and killings a key source of significant security risk for most businesses and regular life.

Now the internet outage potentially compounds the hardships for most firms. Most young people who say they are unable to work because of the outage spend hours idling in front of tea shops.

Mohamed Ahmed Hared, commercial manager of Somali Optical Networks(SOON), a large internet service provider in the country, told Reuters his business was loosing over a million dollars a day. Hared’s clients, he said, had reported a range of crippled services including passport and e-tickets printing and money remittances.

Some students and staff at the University of Somalia in Mogadishu told Reuters their learning had been disrupted because google, which they heavily rely on for research, was now inaccessible.

The absence of especially popular internet sites like Facebook and YouTube and Google was, however, cause for celebration for some in the conservative, Muslim nation.

“My wife used to be (on) YouTube or Facebook every minute,” Mohamud Osman, 45, said, adding the online activity would sometimes distract her from feeding her baby and that the habit had once forced him to try to get a divorce.

“Now I am happy … internet is without doubt a necessary tool of evil.”

(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)


Running out of storage space? Another 6GB RAM phone is in the works

Running out of storage space? Another 6GB RAM phone is in the works

Other than that, OnePlus 5 has a 6GB RAM variant as well. So as you can see, manufacturers are focusing more on making smartphones with larger RAM capacity. Now, another device from Chinese brand 360 Mobiles is coming to join the bandwagon. We say this as a handset from 360 Mobiles has made an appearance on GFXBench.

The benchmark listing shows the phone carrying 6GB of RAM. However, apart from the RAM capacity, rest of the specs of the device are quite average. So most probably, it will be a mid-ranger. The 360 Mobiles smartphone appears to be sporting a 5.7-inch display with the resolution density of 1080p.

Under the hood, the device will employ an Octa-core, 64 Bit processor that is clocked at 1.8GHz. Although the name of the chipset is not specified, it is believed to the Snapdragon 652 since the processor is layered with the Adreno 510 GPU on top. On the software front, the device is listed with Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS.

To remind you, 360 Mobiles had also launched a 6GB RAM phone called the 360 N5 a few months back. The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 653 processor. There is a possibility that the phone spotted on GFXBench is a variant of the 360 N5.


Reliance Jio Is Giving 224GB of 4G Data at Rs. 509: Here Are the Offer Details

Reliance Jio Is Giving 224GB of 4G Data at Rs. 509: Here Are the Offer Details


  • Reliance Jio consumers need to buy new JioFi router, new SIM card
  • Offer available on 4 recharge packs: Rs. 149, Rs. 309, Rs. 509, Rs. 999
  • Users will also get free voice calls, SMSes, and Jio apps subscription

Reliance Jio has been offering customers free or ultra-low cost data since it launched operations in September last year. However, with the ongoing Jio Summer Surprise and Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offersset to expire soon, it seems customers may have to start buying recharges on a monthly basis to continue receiving the bundled data, unlimited calls, SMSs, and Jio apps subscription. Now, Reliance Jio has launched a new offer that provides customers with data benefits, but this plan is limited to JioFiusers only.

The new offer provides customers with up to 224GB data on purchasing a new JioFi device and a new Jio SIM card. The consumer will have to sign up for the Rs. 99 Jio Prime subscription service, and then choose one of the recharge packs on which the offer is provided. The basic pack comes with 2GB data per month for 12 recharge cycles (12 x 28 days) with one-time payment of Rs. 149; this means you will get 24GB data for a year with this pack at Rs. 149. In contrast, the standard Jio Prime user gets just 2GB data at Rs. 149 with 28-day validity.

Similarly, buying the Rs. 309 recharge pack gets you 1GB data per day for 6 recharge cycles (of 28 days), totalling to 168GB. This is twice the bundled data Reliance Jio is giving consumers at Rs. 309 under the Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer. Coming to the Rs. 509 recharge pack, users will get 224GB data (2GB per day cap) for 4 recharge cycles of 28 days. This, too, is higher than the 168GB data they get with the Rs. 509 pack for a regular SIM card.

Last is the Rs. 999 pack, which provides 120GB data for 56 days; the standard Rs. 999 recharge gives users the same amount of data for 120 days; in both cases, there is no limit to the daily data consumption. All the above mentioned recharge packs come with unlimited calls, Jio apps subscription, and SMSes. The offer is available only on prepaid SIM cards, and both the JioFi device and SIM can be purchased from Reliance Digital outlets, Jio retail stores, or online.

However, it should be noted that despite the data benefits Reliance Jio is providing with the new JioFi router and SIM, the router itself costs Rs. 1,999. So even though you will be saving on data cost on a monthly basis, you will still have to make a payment to the company for the hardware.


Trending: Disha Patani’s Fabulous Photoshoot Is Winning The Internet In Style

Trending: Disha Patani's Fabulous Photoshoot Is Winning The Internet In Style

Disha Patani from her latest photoshoot: (Image courtesy: GQ India)


  1. Disha Patani wore pieces from several high-end brands for the photoshoot
  2. Disha’s next is opposite Tiger Shroff, whom she’s reportedly dating
  3. She’s featured in films like MS Dhoni: The Untold Story and Kung Fu Yoga

Actress Disha Patani topped the trends liston Friday, courtesy her latest photoshoot with a fashion magazine. Disha, known for her role in films like MS Dhoni: The Untold Story and Kung Fu Yoga, shared one pic on her Instagram page, in which she’s wearing an Emanuel Ungaro dress with Dior accessories and Christian Louboutin pumps. Disha’s picture has been liked over three lakh times in 13 hours and the comments thread is showered with compliments like ‘nice,’ ‘sexy,’ and ‘pretty.’ Disha posed for GQ, who shared several other pictures of the actress on their Instagram page. Take a look at Disha’s photoshoot, which is winning the Internet.

Image result for In this, Disha is wearing a Philipp Plein dress with Louis Vuitton accessories:

In this, Disha is wearing a Philipp Plein dress with Louis Vuitton accessories:

Image result for In this, Disha is wearing a Philipp Plein dress with Louis Vuitton accessories:

This Atsuko Kudo wonder cup pencil dress looked perfect on Disha.

Disha Patani paired a Temperley London dress with Mimi Holliday and added Louis Vuitton and Hermes accessories.

Disha Patani debuted on the big screen in Telugu film Loafer (2015). Her first Bollywood film, M S Dhoni: The Untold Story opposite Sushant Singh Rajput, released in 2016. This year, Disha featured in Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu Yoga, co-starring Sonu Sood and Amyra Dastur.

Disha Patani has also featured in the video of the T-Series song Befikra with her rumoured boyfriend Tiger Shroff. Disha Patani has also been confirmed as the female lead in Baaghi 2opposite Tiger Shroff. “When we did the look test of both of them together, we were convinced with their chemistry and about Disha being the perfect choice for the role,” said Sajid Nadiadwala, the film’s producer.

Baaghi 2 is the sequel to 2016’s Baaghi, which featured Shraddha Kapoor opposite Tiger Shroff.


Is Chrome OS right for you? A 3-question quiz to find out

Is Chrome OS Right For You?

Google’s Chrome OS is among the world’s most misunderstood computing platforms. Chromebooks are foundationally totally different from conventional PCs, in any case — and consequently, there are a whole lot of misconceptions about how they work and what they will and can’t do.

Since individuals are all the time asking me whether or not a Chromebook may be right for their wants, I assumed I might put collectively a fast information to assist any such wonderers determine it out. Whether it is you or somebody you already know who’s curious, the next three questions ought to assist shed some mild on what the platform’s all about and for whom it is sensible.

1. Do you spend most of your time utilizing the online and net-centric providers?

Think rigorously right here, as the reply may shock you: What do you do most frequently on a pc?

If nearly all of your time is spent in an internet browser — whether or not it is studying information tales, browsing social media, or utilizing net-centric providers like Gmail and Google Docs — then Chrome OS would in all probability meet your wants simply high quality. In reality, there is a good probability it’d truly make issues simpler than what you are used to with a standard PC setup (extra on why in a minute).

Now, it is necessary to word that simply because one thing is “web-centric” does not essentially imply you have to be on-line so as for it to work. One of the most typical misconceptions I hear about Chromebooks is that they are utterly ineffective with out an lively web connection. In actuality, an enormous and ever-increasing variety of Chrome OS-compatible apps works each on-line and off, together with issues like Gmail and Google Docs in addition to calculator apps, calendar apps, information-studying apps, video games, and even Google Play Movies. (You can flick through the “Offline” section of Google’s Chrome Web Store for many more examples.)

The fact is that for most individuals, utilizing a Chromebook offline is not terribly totally different than utilizing a standard PC offline. You aren’t going to find a way to get on the internet or obtain new content material, clearly, however except for issues that inherently require an lively connection, there is not a heck of so much you’d need to do this would not be out there.

2. Do you might have particular local packages that you simply completely want, or might a lot of the belongings you do on a pc be completed with net-centric (and/or Android app) equivalents?

Take a second to take into consideration what packages you employ which are regionally put in in your PC — issues like phrase processors, e-mail apps, picture and video modifying software program, useful resource-intensive video games, or specialty software program you want for your work.

Now take into consideration what number of of these packages might or could not get replaced with net-centric equivalents and/or Android apps — the latter of which at the moment are obtainable to set up and use on a rising variety of Chrome OS units (and make no mistake about it: Their presence is a reasonably large deal).

If you employ Outlook for e mail, for occasion, would you be okay with utilizing both Microsoft’s Outlook.com or Google’s Gmail as an alternative — or with utilizing the Outlook Android app? If you depend on Microsoft Word in your PC, would Microsoft’s Office Online app or Google’s Google Docs utility do the trick simply as properly — or might you get by with the Word Android app, which requires an active subscription for full editing functionality? If you use Adobe Photoshop for image editing, would a web-centric suite like Pixlr be powerful enough for your needs — or would one of the many Android photo-editing apps (Adobe-made or otherwise) be sufficient for your needs?

If the solutions are “yes” and even “maybe,” then Chrome OS might work for you. If, nevertheless, you’ve gotten particular local software program that you simply completely want and that has no appropriate net-centric or Android app equal, shifting right into a Chromebook could be a stretch. While Chrome OS has loads of viable choices for widespread on a regular basis computing duties, you are not going to find any strong multimedia editors designed for the online, nor will you find net-centric variations of many specialty enterprise packages that have been created with Windows in thoughts. The Android app availability might fill a few of these voids, however it may well’t cowl all of them (particularly when it comes to the customized company program class).

There is another asterisk to that: Google provides a easy device referred to as Chrome Remote Desktop that allows you to faucet into a standard PC from a Chromebook and work on it remotely. With that software, you possibly can successfully use local PC software program by way of the Chromebook, offered you’ve got a PC that is on and obtainable for the distant session. It’s not totally superb, however relying in your state of affairs and the way typically you employ the local PC software program, it could be sufficient to bridge the hole.

three. Try dwelling solely within the Chrome browser in your PC for every week, with out opening any local packages. How does it really feel?

This is the actual check. And let’s be clear: In order for this to work, you will in all probability have to make some changes to your routine — switching to net-centric apps like Docs for phrase processing if you have not already, importing any pertinent information to a web-based storage service like Dropbox or Drive, and so forth. Spend a couple of minutes searching via the Chrome Web Store to find the instruments you want, then give it an trustworthy go.

Optional: If you are feeling such as you want the presence of Android apps to bridge the hole, seize Bluestacks — a free PC- and Mac-compatible program that allows you to use Android apps on a traditional-OS pc. It is not good and is way much less native-feeling than what you will get with Chrome OS (it principally simply places an emulated Android pill right into a window in your display, and also you then click on round on it to set up and run no matter apps you need), however for these check-run functions, it must be ok to offer you a primary concept of what types of issues you’ll and will not give you the option to do.

If you possibly can ignore your local PC packages for every week and get all the things you want completed in your browser and/or in Android apps with out a lot hassle, Chrome OS will certainly work for you. If it is a wrestle, it’s your decision to assume twice about going the Chromebook route.

Now, remember that that is merely a simulation — a check of the essential instruments and limitations of the Chrome OS setting. Crucially, whereas the restrictions are comparable, utilizing solely a browser on a PC is not the identical expertise you’d get on an precise Chromebook, Android apps or not. (That’s one other a type of pesky Chrome OS myths.)

As I’ve famous earlier than, the rationale Chrome OS does not run common local apps and act like a standard PC surroundings is as a result of the kind of individual the platform is designed for does not want common local apps or a standard PC surroundings — and eliminating these parts permits some engaging advantages to be added in.

To quote a devastatingly good-looking author I do know:

Startup velocity apart, the Chrome OS techniques make numerous issues about conventional computing environments really feel outdated: the cumbersome setup and set up procedures; the annoying and time-consuming OS upgrades; the necessity to manually replace purposes over time; the necessity to use antivirus software program (and the accompanying probability and potential penalties of an infection); the reliance on difficult drivers; and the inevitable bogged-down, slowed-down impact that all the time appears to occur to PCs after you’ve got had ’em for a number of months.

Plain and easy, for people bought on the cloud-centric idea, Chrome OS can take a lot of the effort out of computing — as a result of because of the platform’s very nature, you do not have to cope with the kinds of annoyances talked about above. By using Google’s common syncing system, the OS additionally permits any Chromebook to look and act like your personal private machine inside moments of your signing in. All of your knowledge, settings, extensions, and purposes are immediately and constantly synced throughout all techniques, so that you’re by no means tied down to anybody system.

With all of these benefits, a Chromebook is usually a refreshing various to the normal PC surroundings — if it is sensible for your wants. And it definitely will not make sense for everybody.

Answer the three questions above, and you will know if it does for you.


Social Media Is Not Destroying America

Anti-government protesters hold a sign referencing the Facebook social networking website that has been important in organizing protesters in Tahrir Square

Every time I look at social media, it seems, I see someone proclaiming the dangers of social media. There are too many dark takes to list here, but key themes include Twitter spreading misinformation, Facebook helping Donald Trump win, Russia waging a social media war against the U.S., and filter bubbles ruining democracy. Basically, the argument goes, Facebook and Twitter are destroying America.

These are just a few storylines out of many, and some of them include valid points. But combined, they contribute to an overall impression that the internet does more harm than good. This wasn’t always the case. The media narrative about the internet appears to have come full circle, with one oversimplified take replaced by another. Where we once saw the internet as the catalyst to overthrowing dictators, now it’s seen as a tool of autocrats. Social media used to connect humanity, now it drives us apart. The onetime platform for courageous dissidents is now a breeding ground for terrorists, racists, and misogynists.

It’s not just the media making that case. Policymakers are also down on the web. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May wasted no time in blaming the internet for the terrorist attack in London earlier this month. “We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed,” she said. “Yet that is precisely what the internet, and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide.” Now May plans to join forces with French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron in fining tech companies that do not take action against online extremism.

Even Barack Obama, known as America’s first social media president, has changed his tune. There was a lot of buzz about how social networks helped Obama get elected in 2008, and a sense of optimism about technology coursed through his administration. So it was striking that in his farewell speech, Obama mentioned social media just once, and the reference was negative. On social media, he said, we surround ourselves with people who “share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions.” He referred to the internet as well, in an equally unflattering description. “If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet,” he said, “try talking with one of them in real life.”

The Trump bump – when a diss from Donald is good for business

Moving on up ... thanks to Trump’s tweets.

When Donald Trump tweets, PR departments tremble in their designer footwear. “Pretty much everybody is dreading being the subject of a tweet,” said Kristin Dziczek of the Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research. “Getting hauled out into the court of public opinion with virtually no warning is not something anybody wants to get engaged with.”

No wonder: if, like General Motors, Ford or Toyota, you’re a car-maker manufacturing outside the US, having the president-elect attack your business model and threaten you with a massive tax bill (eg: “General Motors is sending Mexican-made model of Chevy Cruze to US car-dealers tax free across border.Make in USA or pay big border tax!”) is calamitous.

But not everybody need fear the tweeter. Meryl Streep couldn’t buy better publicity than have Trump tweet that she is “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes”. Truly, there is literally nothing that makes me want to programme a double bill of Sophie’s Choice and Out of Africa more than reading that. As someone – whose spell checker doesn’t work – counter-tweeted: “havnt you got a job to do like running a country isntead of bitching like some z list celebrity, im embaressed for you”, with good reason.

In his eight years on Twitter, Trump has sent 34,300 tweets to followers now counted at 19.2 million, attacking 61 companies or brands. Among them the BBC (“a scandal ridden wasteland – a one-sided piece of garbage!”), the makers of Glenfiddich (“We are getting rid of all Glenfiddich garbage alcohol from Trump properties”), Coca-Cola (“The Coca-Cola company is not happy with me – that’s OK, I’ll still keep drinking that garbage”) and – love this – Twitter: “Wow, Twitter, Google and Facebook are burying the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton. Very dishonest media!”

Why does Donald diss? Trump has “like many bullies, a skin of gossamer”, observed Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair and longtime Trump enemy. On the plus side, let’s not forget, he is quite the wordsmith. “I hope everybody possible cancels their subscription to the failing, boring abd [sic] totally biased New York “Ragazine” – SAVE YOUR MONEY!” Did you see what he did there? “Ragazine”? Genius. And caps lock? Nice touch.

Whether Trump grows a thicker skin and stops using what Carter once described as his “abnormally stubby” fingers to terror-tweet from the Oval Office remains to be seen. But many must be hoping not. After all, for some, a late-night, rancorous terror-tweet from the most powerful man on Earth is just the thing to keep shareholders sweet. Here are some people and brands who got a bump thanks to Trump.

John Lewis

Last week, the Democrat congressman and civil rights veteran told NBC that he did not regard the recent election as legitimate and was not planning to attend Trump’s inauguration this Friday. “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” he said. Furious, Trump tweeted: “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

Lewis responded at a memorial breakfast on Martin Luther King Day this week with a speech in which he didn’t deign to name Trump, but clearly alluded to him: “So I say to the future leaders of this state, the future leaders of this nation, of the world – you must never, ever hate. The way of love is a better way. The way of peace is a better way,” he said.

One result of the row is that March, Lewis’s graphic novel about the US civil rights movement, shot from 451st place in the overall bestseller lists to No 1, while his memoir Walking the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement rose 8,699 places to No 2. Further down the charts, his 2012 book Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, which recounts lessons learned as an activist, leapt from 34,480 to 175 in the overall bestseller list on Amazon.com and took top spot on the online bookseller’s philosophy of ethics and morality chart.

Think of it this way: some industry experts have been sceptical about whether a Trump presidency will be good for American business. But, in fact, even before he takes office, Trump is having a positive impact. Albeit unwittingly.

Vanity Fair

Restaurant critic Tina Nguyen once accepted a dare to eat an eyeball that a butcher had popped out of the skull of a roasted pig. “That eyeball,” she wrote, “tasted better than the Trump Grill’s Gold Label Burger, a … short-rib burger blend moulded into a sad little meat thing, sitting in the centre of a massive, rapidly staling brioche bun, hiding its shame under a slice of melted orange cheese. It came with overcooked woody batons called ‘fries’ – how can someone mess up fries? – and ketchup masquerading as Heinz. If the cheeseburger is a quintessential part of America’s identity, Trump’s pledge to ‘make America great again’ suddenly appeared not very promising.”

Nguyen’s review appeared in Vanity Fair under the headline “Trump Grill could be the worst restaurant in America” (just imagine the competition for that title) before Christmas, prompting Trump to tweet: “Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of @VanityFair magazine. Way down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!”

Unfortunately for Trump’s thesis, someone looked at Vanity Fair’s numbers and found that the magazine was not in trouble. Its website had 14.3 million unique visitors in October 2016, a 26% increase since October 2015, and more than double its October 2014 traffic. And paid circulation averaged 1.2m for the first six months of 2016, slightly higher than it was five years ago. The Condé Nast lifestyle magazine is bucking the trend of the print magazine sector beset by falling advertising revenues and plummeting sales.

But Trump’s tweet was only the latest salvo in a feud between him and Carter dating back more than a quarter of a century. When the former was an upcoming Manhattan real estate magnate, the latter was a writer for the satirical Spy magazine amused by Trump’s “vainglorious self-image”. “Just to drive him a little bit crazy,” recalled Carter, “I took to referring to him as a ‘short-fingered vulgarian’.” Carter still receives letters from Trump. “There is always a photo of him — generally a tear sheet from a magazine. On all of them he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers. I almost feel sorry for the poor fellow because, to me, the fingers still look abnormally stubby.” Just before Trump decided to stand for the Republican presidential nomination, Carter got the latest. “Like the other packages, this one included a circled hand and the words, also written in gold Sharpie: ‘See, not so short!’ I sent the picture back by return mail with a note attached, saying, ‘Actually, quite short.’ Which I can only assume gave him fits.”

When Carter invested in prominent restaurants in Manhattan, it wasn’t long before Trump delivered his assessment. “Worst food in city,” Trump wrote about the Waverly Inn in 2013. For the past four years, the tweet has been printed at the top of the Waverly Inn menu – presumably for its diners there could be no greater enticement to eat there than the short-fingered vulgarian’s opprobrium.

American Civil Liberties Union

Last week, the ACLU announced it had received more than $7.2m (£5.8m) from 120,000 individual donations. “This is the greatest outpouring of support for the ACLU in our nearly 100-year history, greater than the days after 9/11,” said the union’s executive director, Anthony Romero.

Why now? Because many are worried about what Trump will do to American civil liberties. Writing in the New York Review of Books, the ACLU’s incoming legal director, David Cole, said: “Will he be able to put in place all the worst ideas he tossed out so cavalierly on the campaign trail? Building a wall; banning and deporting Muslims; ending Obamacare; reneging on climate change treaty responsibilities; expanding libel law; criminalising abortion; jailing his political opponents; supporting aggressive stop-and-frisk policing; reviving mass surveillance and torture?” Not on Professor Cole’s watch.

He could well be a busy man. The day after Trump’s election, the ACLU tweeted: “Should President-elect Donald Trump attempt to implement his unconstitutional campaign promises, we’ll see him in court.”

New York Times

Vanity Fair isn’t the only part of the lamestream media to be getting a boost thanks to Trump. Subscriptions to the Gray Lady have soared by 132,000 since Trump’s election – a tenfold rise on the previous year, even though he had claimed that the paper was failing, and railed against it for backing Hillary Clinton. “Far from failing,” retorted Mark Thompson, the Times’s CEO, “we’re seeing remarkable response”.

Just maybe Trump has helped end the post-truth era he arguably created and is inadvertently helping catalyse the revival of quality journalism in an era dominated by the kind of fact-unchecked Twitter rants so virtuosically pioneered by the president-elect. Yeah, right. Let’s not go nuts.


[Source:- Gurdian]