Taylor Swift takes a stand against online fan wars over female artists

first_imgThis isn’t a plea from Swift to her fans specifically (she is known for her extremely close and mutually supportive relationship with her fanbase), but to all fans of female artists generally to celebrate and support women succeeding in the genre, rather than relentlessly dragging one another and creating drama where there is none.You Need To Calm Down is here to serve as your official reminder that pop queendom, like so many other things in life, is not a zero-sum game. By all means worship and support your fave, but don’t forget: They ALL got crowns, don’t step on their gowns. The 2018 year in tech, movies and Taylor Swift (CNET… null Share your voice Global superstar Taylor Swift has deftly been showing haters the door since around 2010 when she released Mean, an iconic banjo-powered critique of her detractors. In her latest song, You Need to Calm Down (the video went up Monday morning), she’s turned her attention to highlighting the hate being thrown around the internet between fans of female pop artists.It’s nothing new to see brilliant women being compared as though they’re inadvertent players in some kind of anti-feminist Top Trumps game. But frequenters of Stan Twitter, where the most ardent music fans hang out, can sometimes take things to a whole new level.”Enjoy your problematic fave,” is a popular refrain. “Sis can’t even sing,” an average retort. Then there are the “retweet for Ariana Grande, like for Beyoncé,” popularity contests and their many variants. And just like that, appreciation for female musicians and their vast bodies of work is reduced to an arbitrary, inexact and petty form of one-upmanship.These examples are on the vanilla end of the spectrum, but hint at the specific brand of aggression between fans that perpetuates the myth that there’s only so much room at the top for women and a fight to the death is required to decide the winner. But as Swift, one of pop’s true superstars, points out in You Need To Calm Down, this kind of thinking is just a myth.Most people’s biggest takeaway from Swift’s song (released Friday) is the overt stand she takes against homophobia. But she’s also inserted another important lesson into the lyrics that shouldn’t be overlooked, and that’s to stop pitting successful female artists against one another online.”And we see you over there on the internet/Comparing all the girls who are killing it/But we figured you out/We all know now we all got crowns/You need to calm down,” she chants in the bridge. There are no losers when women succeed, Swift seems to suggest. Except perhaps those who are getting caught up in dragging each other’s faves online.In the music video, Swift takes this message one step further. On a stage decorated with a “Pop Queen Pageant” banner stands a lineup of the world’s biggest female pop artists (represented by drag artists): Nicki Minaj, Adele, Cardi B, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Adele, Lady Gaga and of course Taylor Swift herself. RuPaul in his role as judge proceeds onto the stage with a crown on a velvet cushion, but rather than presenting to one star or another, he instead flings it into the air with glee. Taylor Swift/YouTube The video ends with former adversaries Perry and Swift (the actual pop stars, not their doppelgangers) — dressed as a burger and fries respectively — hugging it out with peace-at-last energy. This is more than a public reconciliation — it’s two role models setting an example for the rest of us. It also reiterates that while fans might be out there trying to pit females stars against one another, most of them are actually pretty good friends, rendering stan wars pointless and unnecessary. Taylor Swift 0 0:39 Music Online Now playing: Watch this: Tagslast_img read more

Kotak Mahindra Bank unveils digital banking initiative 811

first_imgUday Kotak, Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank poses for a picture at the company’s corporate office in Mumbai January 15, 2015.Reuters fileKotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak) on Wednesday announced the launch of ‘811’, India’s unique full-service digital banking ecosystem on mobile that will drive the bank’s organic growth agenda. It has been designed around the idea of simplicity and ease of use. 811 offers a zero balance savings account with zero charges for all digital transactions, where customers can earn up to 6% p.a. on their savings account balances. With 811, Kotak Mahindra Bank will accelerate and deliver on its organic growth strategy.811 offers a completely digital and paperless account opening experience across nearly 700 locations in India. It can be opened anywhere, anytime, within 5 minutes, using Kotak’s mobile banking app – the top rated banking app in India. Kotak is the first bank in India to integrate the newly introduced Aadhaar-based OTP authentication process for account opening on mobile. Only Aadhaar and PAN numbers are required to open and operate 811.Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Kotak Mahindra Bank, said, “An investment of Rs 1,00,000 made in Kotak Group in November 1985, is worth around Rs 1,400 crore today – a compounded growth rate of 40% over the past 32 years. We have always believed in value creation for our stakeholders. In pursuit of this, we have implemented multiple strategies – both organic and inorganic – thereby establishing our presence across the entire gamut of financial services.””The merger of erstwhile ING Vysya Bank with Kotak Mahindra Bank, effective April 1, 2015, doubled our geographic spread, taking us to India’s Kona Kona. Now, with 811, we embark on a bold organic growth journey. We aim to double our customer base in 18 months. 8/11 changed India. 811 aims to take our Prime Minister’s vision forward”, said Kotak.With 811, anyone can now download Kotak Mahindra Bank on their mobile. It offers access to over 100 features on mobile including completing financial transactions, managing investments, fund transfer, and is an ideal lifestyle app for e-commerce on Flipkart, PVR, Goibibo, etc.811 is fully integrated with Bharat QR Code, India’s new digital payment system, developed by the Government of India.The app is also Unified Payment Interface (UPI) enabled, for instantly sending and receiving money. Further, 811 customers will enjoy all digital transactions at zero cost, and get a free virtual debit card.Currently, 811 is available on Google Play Store, and it will soon be available on Apple’s App Store.last_img read more

Venezuela blames US sanctions for blocking debt financing oil sales

first_imgReutersVenezuela accused US-led sanctions has led to negative impacts on debt refinancing, food and medicinal imports, lost billions of dollars in oil assets as the country continues to suffer from one of its biggest economic crisis. The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro claimed that the country is ‘the victim of a US plot to topple him, eradicate socialism and hand the world’s largest oil reserves to multinationals,’ reported Reuters.According to a study by Brookings Institution, it shows that the sanctions have inflicted “very serious harm to human life.” Arguing that the impact on human lives is illegal under international laws, the study said, “We find that the sanctions have inflicted, and increasingly inflict, very serious harm to human life and health, including an estimated more than 40,000 deaths from 2017–2018.”However, Vice Foreign Minister William Castillo has denied all claims of the humanitarian crisis in the country including state and human rights violence expressed by the United Nations human rights Chief Michelle Bachelet.The US has played a major role in the Venezuelan crisis. US President Donald Trump called Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro an ‘illegitimate dictator’ and supports opposition leader Juan Guaido as its rightful interim ruler. It has imposed sanctions on the oil sector as well as Maduro’s allies, reported Reuters.”Today the United States has confiscated some $30 billion in (state oil company) PDVSA assets while 40 banks are holding onto some $5.4 billion, preventing Venezuela from purchasing food and medication,” Castillo told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, reported the global news agency.Citing data such as the country’s oil export income which had plummeted from $40 billion per year to $5 billion, Castillo said, “Venezuela can’t refinance its debt and oil tankers and businesses are being punished.”last_img read more

Help Ive Been Kidnapped by My Apple Watch

first_imgApril 30, 2015 Regular readers will recall that my first date with the Apple Watch did not go smoothly. I was wearing it wrong. The apps were sluggish. The first time I tried to message a friend it crashed.One week later, I still don’t love it. But I am having feelings. Mostly after small victories.I felt something when I figured out how to tune Twitter so that I wasn’t bombarded with notifications.I felt something when, six days later, I managed to add someone to my friends screen.I felt something when I began to get comfortable with the interface vocabulary — the vertical swipes, the horizontal swipes, the force touch, the digital crown.“Do not expect to strap on Apple Watch for the first time and feel entirely at home,” says Daring Fireball’s John Gruber in Watch, Apple Watch, an essay that makes a useful distinction between needing a wireless computer on your wrist and wanting one.This is a device that demands exploration. It needs to be mastered. It needs to be fine-tuned to fit your digital lifestyle.And when it does, when Apple’s “most personal” device starts to feel at home, you can’t help bonding with it.I’m reminded of the way people who mastered a complex piece of pre-WYSIWYG software — the typists who memorized WordPerfect’s obscure keystroke combinations, for example — clung to it until their cold dead fingers had to be pried off the keyboard.I’ve searched for a term to describe this phenomenon, and I think I’ve found it: Stockholm syndrome. Here’s how Wikipedia, borrowing from an FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, defines it.Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychologicalphenomenon in which hostages expressempathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.Mistaking a lack of abuse for an act of kindness. That’s me and my Apple Watch, one week later. This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 2 min read Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more