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By disconnecting from Facebook, Vermont’s Retreat Farm hopes to inspire others | Technology | Seven days



By disconnecting from Facebook, Vermont's Retreat Farm hopes to inspire others |  Technology |  Seven days

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Lindsay Fahey and Buzz Schmidt at Retreat Farm - DAVID SHAW

  • David Shaw
  • Lindsay Fahey and Buzz Schmidt at Retreat Farm

When the little Retreat Farm nonprofit announced last month it would stop posting updates to Facebook and Instagram, the news sparking some soul-searching among its Vermont colleagues.

The organization, a community and education center on a 650-acre farm in Brattleboro, said Facebook’s damaging effect on community conversations and public events runs counter to its own values. Facebook and its Instagram subsidiary use algorithms that raise the profile of negative comments and posts, a practice widely seen as deepening the political polarization that has led to social conflict.

“Facebook’s abuse of power is so damaging and eroding to people, communities and our democracy that without government action it is up to private institutions like Retreat Farm to seek new (and old) ways of communication that prioritize personal connection and relationships,” the Retreat said. Farm in her announcement.

Facebook — which recently changed its name to Meta amid a flurry of bad publicity — has been widely accused of heightening the tensions and misinformation that led to the January 6 US Capitol riot; Congress and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are now investigating the company’s role. And in October, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, testified before Congress that the company was deliberately hiding research showing that using its products made teens feel worse about themselves. Attorneys generals of 10 states, including Vermont’s TJ Donovan, said last week they would investigate these allegations.

Facebook has also been sharply criticized — and investigated — for mishandling user privacy and allowing Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

“Thanks to the testimony of whistleblowers, we know that Facebook has deliberately and systematically amped up some of the worst content on its platform — facilitating hate speech, extreme rhetoric and more, especially in vulnerable parts of the world,” the Retreat Farm said of the information Haugen shared with Congress.

The organization’s announcement has prompted other nonprofits to speak out about their own views, said Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup, executive director of Vermont Humanities.

“I’ve seen that statement be forwarded to many places,” Kaufman Ilstrup said.

While many nonprofits and for-profit companies in Vermont publish values ​​that conflict with Facebook’s, it’s hard for them to get away from the company’s platforms, which have nearly 3 billion users. Facebook’s ads and its algorithms, which target users based on past preferences, make it an efficient and affordable way to spread the word.

“Social media is our largest and strongest marketing tool,” said Brittany Powell, director of marketing at the Chill Foundation, a nonprofit youth development organization founded by Jake Burton Carpenter and Donna Carpenter of Burton Snowboards. It’s not that Chill wants to support Facebook — it doesn’t, for the same reasons the Retreat Farm is stepping back, Powell said. But she believes that social media, even without buying ads, is the best way to reach donors and potential participants.

“It’s really cost-effective,” she said. “We won’t get rid of it anytime soon.”

Vital communities, a nonprofit created to connect the upper Connecticut River Valley region, is reluctantly buying ads on Facebook, according to Rob Schultz, the group’s director of development. Vital Communities owns local email lists that approximately 30,000 people use to discuss public events and to buy, sell, and barter. Some people advertise their small businesses there. But nothing matches Facebook’s reach, Schultz said.

“We’re constantly wondering how long we’re going to stay in the Facebook market — and if we didn’t, how we’re going to engage the community as a whole,” he said.

Civil rights groups launched a Facebook ad boycott in June 2020, urging businesses to stop buying ads for at least a month. Over 1,000 — including Ben & Jerry’s – connected, according to the New York Times, although about 80 percent of boycotts eventually went back to buying Facebook ads. Patagonia, a global outdoor equipment company, said on Oct. 28 that it is still not buying ads on Facebook because the platform “spread[s] hate speech and misinformation about climate change and our democracy.”

Alternatives to Facebook and Instagram have blossomed in recent years. One of the most established is Mighty Networks, a platform that charges subscriptions and offers users a smaller and more targeted audience.

Burlington-based business consultant Flip Brown shuns Facebook and pays nearly $1,000 a year to be part of Mighty Networks.

“Their strategy is to create a real and authentic experience, not just growth for the sake of growth,” he said.

The Retreat Farm has an overall budget of less than $1 million and less than 5,000 Facebook followers, so its decision won’t affect the tech giant. But it’s critical to the nonprofit’s mission to nurture authentic relationships, President Buzz Schmidt said. And he wants it to serve as a source of inspiration.

“This is just the beginning of days for this sort of thing,” Schmidt said. He expects that future disruptions in communications will also affect privacy and cause disputes in the future. But that’s not inevitable, he said.

“Maybe we don’t have to live by the conventional wisdom that society is on this immutable path to technological dystopia,” he said. “We think there are still opportunities for organizations like ours to take back-channel actions to undermine that trajectory.”

The Retreat Farm isn’t completely deleting its Facebook page; instead, it will connect people who land there with the farm in other ways, said Lindsay Fahey, director of impact and community for the nonprofit.

“We plan to keep a permanent, pinned post there so people don’t think we’ve gone out of business,” Fahey said. “But we’re not going to update it and we’re not going to respond to comments.”

The organization will rely more on its mailing list; traditional “old” media such as newspapers, radio and television; and local listservs such as Front Porch Forum. It sent its announcement to an email list of 6,000 supporters and received 100 responses, 98 of which were positive, Fahey said. A few nonprofit and business leaders told her they hope to learn from the Retreat Farm experience.

“We were blown away by the number of people who took the time to let us know they were behind this decision,” Fahey said. As a result of the announcement, the farm added 200 people to its mailing list.

Kaufman Ilstrup thinks Vermont Humanities would struggle without Facebook. The non-profit group buys ads on the platform.

“It’s relatively affordable to advertise our events,” he said. “And at the same time, we all have very deep doubts about the way the Facebook algorithm and the Instagram algorithms distort information. It’s a conversation we need to have as an organization.”



Ollie Robinson inspired by Flintoff’s Ashes tourists, but with a different result




Ollie Robinson inspired by Flintoff's Ashes tourists, but with a different result
Ollie Robinson is inspired by memories of watching the Ashes from the stands (Nigel French/PA) (PA Wire)

Ollie Robinson is inspired by memories of watching the Ashes from the stands (Nigel French/PA) (PA Wire)

Ollie Robinson caught the Ashes bug after Andrew Flintoff’s England team around Australia as a teenager, but is convinced that he can deliver a different result this time.

Robinson, who is inked to take the field in the series opener in Brisbane on Wednesday, took an extended Christmas break from his private school Canterbury to travel Down Under for the 2006-07 game.

A 5-0 whitewash may not have been the score he hoped for, but the journey proved a formative experience for young Robinson, who was particularly drawn to Flintoff’s combative style.

Andrew Flintoff was an inspiration to the teenage Robinson (Gareth Copley/PA) (PA Archive)

Andrew Flintoff was an inspiration to the teenage Robinson (Gareth Copley/PA) (PA Archive)

Fifteen years later, he will be the man in the middle at The Gabba and is optimistic about the prospects of getting the urn back.

“I haven’t been here to play before, but I saw the test match here when I was 13,” he said.

“That was quite special and I was lucky to be here. There were moments in that series that I remember, I think ‘Freddie’ got 80 one day (in Sydney) and I remember thinking he was just taking it to the Aussies.

“Growing up, that’s what I wanted to do and how I wanted to play my cricket. It’s really inspiring to see that as a youngster and now hopefully try to emulate how Flintoff and other players did. I feel like we’re definitely the underdogs, but we can take the urn home.”

Though a five-cap rookie, Robinson has already proved his quality with 28 wickets at an average of 19.60 and also showed in a highly charged run against India this summer that he is no shrinking fiddle on the international stage.

He was happy to exchange a few words with Virat Kohli’s men and it looks like he won’t back down in the coming weeks either.

“I don’t think, as a person, I could keep my head down if I tried,” he explained.

“They are just home fans here too, so we have to be prepared for them to come at us hard and the challenge will be tough.

“I’m definitely going to try and get under their skin and kind of upset them, basically batters and bowlers. If I can get them out of their rhythm we’ll be winning, so it’s something you’ll definitely see and hopefully we’ll come out on top.”

I’m definitely going to try to get under their skin and shake them up a bit. The Aussie chat is pretty atrocious.

Asked about the attention he expected in return, he was no longer conciliatory.

“The Aussie chat is pretty awful if I’m honest,” he added.

Both teams have had little meaningful training, with continued rain in Queensland reducing the warm-up schedule to a few chaotic sessions rather than the scheduled multi-day matches.

But while England have had a typically busy year of test cricket at home and abroad, Australia have not put on their Baggy Greens since their defeat at home to India in January. With their multi-format players also arriving at the last possible moment due to their win at the recent T20 World Cup, Robinson believes England have their noses up for when it comes to preparedness.

“Obviously it wasn’t ideal preparation, it was tough, but as a group we feel like we made it with what we were given,” he said.

“We feel in a good place and we have an edge over the Aussies, which is the most important. They were at the World Cup (final) and in quarantine so they are probably a few weeks behind us. We feel we have a good job in us since we’ve been here and hopefully that will give us an edge in the first test. ”

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West Bengal State Lottery Dear BANGASREE ICHAMATIA




lottery sambad, west bengal lottery

West Bengal Lottery Sambad ‘Dear Bangasree Ichamati’ is a popular weekly lottery held on Sundays. The cost of a one-way ticket is ₹6. The first prize is ₹50 lakhs. The consolation prize is ₹1,000 awarded to multiple valid ticket holders. The second prize is ₹9,000. The third prize is ₹500 for multiple winners, while the 4th prize of ₹250 will be awarded to several eligible winners. The 5th prize of ₹120 is given to many lottery holders with matching serial numbers. The lottery results will be announced at 4 p.m.

On Sunday the lottery “Dear Bangasree Ichamati” takes place. The highest prize won in the Sambad Sunday lottery is ₹50 lakhs. The second prize is 9000. The third prize is ₹500 and the fourth prize is 250. The fifth prize is 120, and there is also a consolation prize of ₹1000. The results of West Bengal State Lottery Sambad “Dear Bangasree Ichamati” are announced every Sunday at 4 p.m. The West Bengal Lottery systems have their official website where they announce the results. West Bengal Sambad Lotteries latest result for November 14, 2021, will be updated at 4pm on the official website which is

Best Bangasree Ichamati Lottery Sambad Results | 5th of December

The state lottery of West Bengal has 7 weekly matches in the afternoon. These games are listed below-

West Bengal State Lottery: “Dear Bangalakshmi Teesta” – It will be conducted on Monday afternoon and the results will be announced at 4pm. The first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

West Bengal State Lottery: “Dear Bangalakshmi Torsha” – It will be conducted on Tuesday afternoon and the results will be announced at 4pm. The first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

West Bengal State Lottery: “Dear Bangalakshmi Raidak” – It will be conducted on Wednesday afternoon and the results will be announced at 4pm. The first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

West Bengal State Lottery: “Dear Bangabhumi Bhagirathi” – It will be conducted on Thursday afternoon and the results will be announced at 4pm. The first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

West Bengal State Lottery: “Dear Bangabhumi Ajay” – It will be conducted on Friday afternoon and the results will be announced at 4pm. The first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

West Bengal State Lottery: “Dear Bangasree Damodar” – It will be conducted on Saturday afternoon and the results will be announced at 4pm. The first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

West Bengal State Lottery: “Dear Bangasree Ichamati” – It will be conducted on Sunday afternoon and the results will be announced at 4pm. The first prize is ₹50 Lakh.

Lottery Sambad Results: Important Things to Remember

If your ticket is equal to the winning number, you must be present at the West Bengal Gazette office to claim the prize. The number and lottery are only valid for 30 days from the date of declaration of the West Bengal state lottery day declaration. The number and ticket are checked for authenticity. After the complete process, one can take home the winning amount. The lottery and processing office is located in the State Lottery Department of West Bengal. After verification, the amount will be received net of taxes.

Image: Unsplash


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Facebook’s ‘meta-existential’ hub for survival – TechCrunch




Facebook beschuldigd van het blijven controleren van tieners voor advertentietargeting - TechCrunch

Facebook is fighting for its life, but it won’t be regulatory pressure that will kill it. Zuckerberg relies heavily on “metaverse” as a lifeboat to rescue a dwindling user base. He has long known that Facebook’s future is rooted in owning a large hardware platform.

Facebook’s brand pivot to “Meta” last week is the third round of a multi-billion dollar game of balance roulette. Let’s see if consumers adopt and realize it – all of Meta/Facebook is at stake.

As an investor in VR and AR since 2016, I find it cautiously encouraging to hear all the talk about “metaverse” on trending business channels today. Could this really be the time for VR?

The world’s most valuable companies own the metal on which their software applications run: Apple and Microsoft have had their fingers in the hardware pie for years, and even Google was able to build a robust OS business with Android. Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014 showed more than Zuck’s hand, though it would be another seven years before the pivot actually took place.

In the years immediately following the Oculus acquisition, there was a wave of investment in VR across the industry. Hardware platforms from Google, Microsoft, Sony, HTC, Steam and others were announced with much fanfare, although these investments were largely scrapped or rolled back a few years later, leaving a lack of VR hardware platform options.

This is when Facebook struck. It increased its investment in the Oculus/Reality Labs platform, innovated to create high-performance mobile VR hardware devices, started seeding capital for game developers, and eagerly acquired the most compelling games on their platform. Taking an ecosystem approach to developers through acquisition is a long-term investment to solve the cold-start content problem that all these VR platforms had to deal with.

Zuckerberg started gaming because it is the earliest category of consumer excitement and high engagement growth, increasing consumer comfort in a headset. Zuck then moves VR/AR into the enterprise to drive hands-on, 3D collaboration from remote teams to a dispersed workforce that is ready for the pandemic.

Lucky or good, he is known as a farsighted strategist. He has shown excellent strategy in response to market movements and timing, not all of which he had under his control.

The “metaverse” already exists in Fortnite and Roblox. Zuck bets we want fully immersive experiences through head-worn computers and be able to power an older user base.

If Facebook’s acquisition history is any guide, Zuckerberg’s strategy will succeed, even though Facebook’s most successful acquisitions, including WhatsApp and Instagram, were already proven social successes at the time of their acquisition. Going all in on the “metaverse” is creating a new platform and paradigm that has been adopted woefully slowly despite multiple hype cycles over 30 years of excitement.

Given the balance sheet, this will probably work – but today it’s still a masterful move of strategy and opportunity that exist in a vacuum.

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