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  • The Galaxy S21 Ultra Is the Cheapest We’ve Ever Seen It
    by Julian Chokkattu on September 17, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    It’s still pricey even with this deal, but this Samsung has almost everything you could want in an Android phone right now.

  • Amazon says it’s permanently banned 600 Chinese brands for review fraud
    by Sean Hollister on September 17, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Illustration by Alex Castro / The VergeRemember when gadget vendors Aukey, Mpow, RavPower, Vava, TaoTronics and Choetech started mysteriously disappearing from Amazon’s online storefront, and it turned out Amazon had intentionally yanked them while vaguely gesturing to the sanctity of its user reviews? Turns out they were just the tip of the iceberg. Amazon has now permanently banned over 600 Chinese brands across 3,000 different seller accounts, the company confirms to The Verge. Amazon says that’s the grand tally after five months of its global crackdown, and it’s no longer being shy about why: a spokesperson tells us these 600 brands were banned for knowingly, repeatedly and significantly violating Amazon’s policies, especially the ones around review abuse. The South... Continue reading…

  • 8 new HomeKit features arriving with Apple’s September 20th software updates
    by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy on September 17, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    Image: AppleWith new iPhones come new features. And starting next week, Apple HomeKit users will get plenty courtesy of iOS 15, HomePod 15, tvOS 15, and watchOS 8 software updates. Apple has confirmed that these will all be available on the same day, September 20th. So, if you’ve been excited about unlimited HomeKit Secure Video cameras, the HomePod Mini as a speaker for your Apple TV 4K, or the chance to see your doorbell on your Apple Watch, you’re in luck. Here’s a look at all the new HomeKit and HomeKit-related features that will be dropping on Monday. Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge A new software update will let you pair a single or pair of HomePod Minis to your Apple TV 4K.Control your Apple TV with Siri on... Continue reading…

  • Niantic is shutting down its AR Catan game after a year of early access
    by Ian Carlos Campbell on September 17, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Image: NianticPokémon Go developer Niantic is shutting down its augmented reality game Catan: World Explorers, the company announced on Friday (via Protocol). An AR adaptation of the popular board game Catan announced in 2019, World Explorers was the company’s latest attempt to recreate the magic of Pokémon Go, but soon it’s all coming to an end. After a year of early access, the game will not be playable after November 18th and Niantic says later today it “will be taking the game down from the App Store and removing real-money purchases from the Shop.” For the players that stick around, the company says it will increase in-game bonuses for the remaining weeks the game is live. Surely something other than Pokémon can catch on It’s not entirely clear... Continue reading…

  • Gabby Petito's disappearance shouldn't be an internet true crime thriller
    on September 17, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    The internet adores a juicy true crime story, but the voyeuristic online frenzy to find Gabby Petito is in poor taste. Petito, a 22-year-old New Yorker who loved "art, yoga, and veggies," per her Instagram bio, is the subject of a missing person case gripping the country. Between her public social media posts, which were consistent until her disappearance a few weeks ago, and the true crime-obsessed zeitgeist, her story is unfolding as a thriller in real time. Petito deserves better than to be turned into a spectacle. As of Friday, the tag #gabbypetito has 77 million views on TikTok, and #findgabbypetito has 16.6 million. The tag #gabbypetitoupdate has 7.3 million. The subreddit r/GabbyPetito was created on Sept. 13, and already has 33,200 members. She's the subject of multiple threads in r/True Crime, which has 611,000 members, and in r/TrueCrimeDiscussion, which has 284,000 members. And people are creating aesthetic Instagram accounts dedicated to posting updates about her case, like the account @gabby.petito, which gained 10,100 followers in just 24 hours. Although most engaged in the online discussion say they're so involved out of concern for Petito, some of the posts verge on distastefully opportunistic. On Jul. 2, she and her 23-year-old fiancé Brian Laundrie embarked on cross-country adventure in a converted Ford Transit van. The couple documented their journey on Instagram, TikTok, and the YouTube channel Nomadic Statik. Their content mirrored that of popular travel vloggers known as "van lifers," who embody a bohemian lifestyle rejecting the glitz of more conventional influencers in favor of living in crunchy converted camper vans. Rather than post about glamorous outfits and elaborate brunches, van life is portrayed a minimalist way of life that allows people to unplug from their desk jobs and explore the great outdoors. On social media, Petito and Laundrie seemed like a happy young couple who couldn't be bothered by inconveniences like bad weather. SEE ALSO: Untangling true crime: Inside the ethics of Hollywood's greatest guilty pleasure View this post on Instagram "Rain sounds like a negative thing when camping, but after coming back from a strenuous hike in the sun with no shade for miles, it's nice to lay listening to the cold rain hit your tent and fight @bizarre_design_ for the blanket," Petito captioned a Jul. 22 Instagram photo, posted from Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. In another photo, taken at Canyonlands National Park, also in Utah, Petito mused about the joys of hiking barefoot, a habit of Laundrie's. "Surprisingly enough, the rocks here were cold!" she wrote. "So not only did it feel good because it was 100 degrees with no shade, but it was tranquil. We always love surpassing people on our hikes, hearing them say things like, 'Woah, he's barefoot.' @bizarre_design_ inspires me everyday on living a more natural lifestyle!"Petito was last seen on Aug. 24 leaving a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. She FaceTimed her family on Aug. 25, from Grand Teton National Park, in Wyoming, and posted her last Instagram photo in front of a wall painted with monarch butterflies. On Aug. 30, her mother received a text from her that said "No service in Yellowstone," but she isn't sure if the text was actually from her daughter. On Sept. 1, Laundrie and the van arrived at his home in Florida. Petito, however, did not. Her family reported her missing on Sept. 11.Laundrie, who won't speak to investigators, still hasn't made a public statement regarding his fiancée's disappearance. His reluctance to cooperate with law enforcement, and his refusal to communicate with Petito's family, is further fueling discussions on true crime enthusiast circles online. "This is understandably an extremely difficult time for both the Petito family and the Laundrie family," Laundrie's attorneys said in a statement Tuesday. "On behalf of the Laundrie family it is our hope that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is re-united with her family." View this post on Instagram The person who runs the Instagram @gabby.petito said they're a 20-year-old student who wished to remain anonymous, and although the account is easily confused with Petito's, they said they didn't intend to mislead. They said the visually appealing, whimsical style of the text posts they share weren't meant to be insensitive or disrespectful, but to be eye-catching and easily shared in an effort to raise awareness of Petito's disappearance. There's a stark dissonance between the pastel colors and alarming text detailing the case. One post includes a witness statement from a domestic incident between Laundrie and Petito before her disappearance — in sweet cream colored font superimposed on a baby blue background, the post reads, "Petito was 'crying uncontrollably' in the passenger seat.""In just a little over 48 hours, our page has reached nearly two million impressions," the creator behind @gabby.petito said in an Instagram DM. "Truth be told, the style of the posts are not what really matters. What matters is if we people are learning, understanding, and spreading awareness on Gabby."Even if online efforts to share information about this case are done with good intentions, the sheer amount of content made about Petito smacks of opportunism. With so many questions about Petito's whereabouts before her disappearance, her relationship with Laundrie, and Laundrie's refusal to speak publicy, the case is ripe for a stirring documentary. The excitement surrounding Petito's disappearance may be out of genuine concern for the young woman, but it can be insensitive. Twitter user @afroelven posted, "I already know producers and streaming services are salivating at the prospect of making + distributing the documentary first." Tweet may have been deleted As idyllic as their life appeared online, bodycam footage released by Utah police — recorded during a physical altercation just weeks before Gabby went missing — indicates otherwise. Petito slapped Laundrie during an argument, according to the police report, but neither wanted to press charges when they were questioned. Officers described the altercation as an emotional and mental "break" and noted in the report that Petito suffers from "serious anxiety."The bodycam footage, part of which is embedded below and some readers may find disturbing, was fodder for distasteful online speculation about the nature of the couple's relationship. The feminist subreddit r/TwoXChromosomes discussed how Petito told police that Laundrie locked her out of the van, and had hit him in an effort to take back her phone and keys. On TikTok and Instagram, discussion participants speculated about Laundrie's involvement, Petito's mental health, and spread unconfirmed reports of spotting a "mentally unstable" young woman who might be her at a truck stop. Tweet may have been deleted Todd Shipley, president of the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) and retired senior detective sergeant in the Reno Police Department, co-authored the book Investigating Internet Crimes: An Introduction to Solving Crimes in Cyberspace. He's wary of true crime enthusiasts and told Mashable that amateur sleuths can inundate small law enforcement agencies with irrelevant information. Local agencies usually have only a few detectives on staff and, while tips about social media posts might be helpful for officers looking into certain cases, receiving hundreds of tips about the same post can drown out helpful leads. "Sometimes people can point [law enforcement] to where the evidence is...The problem is that when they get 1,000 people doing that." "Sometimes people can point them to where the evidence is, because law enforcement may not find that immediately," Shipley said, noting how Petito's last Instagram post helped establish a timeline leading up to her disappearance. "The problem is that when they get 1,000 people doing that, then a lot of stuff gets lost in the pools...It's the noise that causes law enforcement to use resources ineffectively."The true-crime-obsessed are re-cappers, not investigators. Their podcasts, extensive YouTube videos, and wildly popular TikToks have followings because these creators are great storytellers. Their work involves a significant amount of labor, from researching, fact-checking, recording content, and editing, but they themselves rarely have the resources or necessary skills for investigating a missing person case. The proliferation of true crime content blurs the lines between law enforcement detectives, investigative reporters, and online storytellers. Certain creators built dedicated audiences by posting theories about true crime cold cases — YouTube is rife with videos positing explanations for unsolved mysteries. The cases featured in those videos happened years ago. The families involved had time to grieve and process their pain, and detectives may have concluded their investigations. Petito's case is still unraveling.Art Bowker, an investigator at an independent police accountability agency in the Cleveland Department of Public Safety, co-wrote the book with Shipley. As a cybersecurity expert and former HTCIA president, Bowker is especially fed up with true crime creators who make wild speculations without evidence. "I don't think they should be discussing it...when they don't have access to the evidence themselves." "I don't think they should be discussing it, to be frank, when they don't have access to the evidence themselves," Bowker told Mashable, adding that these creators don't interview witnesses or inspect evidence like actual detectives do. "Professional media is supposed to have standards about what they'll do and what they won't, and these YouTubers don't have those. They haven't developed those ethics, and that's a shame." A few true crime enthusiasts are trying to distance themselves from the more speculative creators. Sondra Holbrook, who has 127,400 followers on her TikTok account crimewithsondra, has been posting updates about Petito's case since Thursday. Her viewers keep pressing her to share theories instead of already public information, but Holbrook says she is careful to only share what authorities have publicly discussed. @crimewithsondra Statement from Gabby Petito’s mother ##pressconference ##whereisgabbypetito ##gabbypetito ##missing ##utah ##brianlaundrie ##unsolved ##update ##fyp ♬ original sound - Sondra "Some forget this is someone's reality and spreading wild claims does nothing but hurt the investigation. It's not just entertainment," Holbrook said in an Instagram DM. "As hard as it is, I think we need to keep speculations to ourselves and if you think you truly know something, report it to the correct authorities before posting on social media."She added that although Petito's family may appreciate the support, "speculations truly are just speculations," and unreliable rumors "cloud the real information."Whether creators post content more responsibly like Holbrook, or post wild speculations and unconfirmed rumors like many other creators do, the willingness to jump on "covering" Petito's case can be opportunistic in its own right.Though the case is captivating — especially since van life is portrayed as such an escapist fantasy for young people — Petito and her loved ones deserve better than for their story to be consumed like a grisly thriller. She's a real person who is more than her aspirational social media presence, not the subject of a podcast or docu-series. The fascination with mysteries like this one is understandable, but when the obsession involves an evolving case, it hinders investigations and deprives families of compassion. Gabby Petito, and her unfiltered life offline, are more than just a true crime hook. Even the most concerned viewers should be mindful of that before posting about her.

Staffing News

  • Staffing Employment Edges Down in Second Quarter
    by Nick Montgomery on September 16, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    Strays From Seasonal Growth Trend The gap between quarter-to-quarter sales growth and a contraction in staffing employment is more than six percentage points—significantly higher than the average of two percentage points since ASA began tracking quarterly metrics in 1992. Notable differences between changes in staffing sales and employment typically occur during times of economic uncertainty.... The post Staffing Employment Edges Down in Second Quarter appeared first on American Staffing Association.

  • Podcast Producer and Fashion Entrepreneur Named National Staffing Employee of the Year
    by Nick Montgomery on September 13, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    The World Employment Confederation Outlines Policy Recommendations to Reduce Disparity Between Global Supply and Demand, Leading to Better Functioning Labor Markets The post Podcast Producer and Fashion Entrepreneur Named National Staffing Employee of the Year appeared first on American Staffing Association.

  • Staffing GC Launches to Provide Outsourced General Counsel Exclusively to Staffing Firms
    by Nick Montgomery on September 8, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    The post Staffing GC Launches to Provide Outsourced General Counsel Exclusively to Staffing Firms appeared first on American Staffing Association.

  • ASA Files Lawsuit Challenging Nevada Ban on Construction Staffing
    by Nick Montgomery on September 7, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    Sorry, the content you’ve selected is for members only. Maybe it’s time to join! Or if you’re already a member, please log in. Join today to get access to all of ASA’s legal information and resources for members. The ASA legal team works hard to keep members informed about the laws and regulations that impact their... The post ASA Files Lawsuit Challenging Nevada Ban on Construction Staffing appeared first on American Staffing Association.

  • BLS Employment Situation August 2021
    by Nick Montgomery on September 3, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    The post BLS Employment Situation August 2021 appeared first on American Staffing Association.