Your smart home device could be a threat to our elections

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Data from IoT devices—someone entering a building, driving, using a sink or coffee machine—could make all of us more susceptible to highly targeted spear-phishing attacks. The app failure that led to a chaotic 2020 Iowa caucus was a reminder of how vulnerable the democratic process is to technological problems—even without any malicious outside intervention. Far more sophisticated foreign hacking continues to try to disrupt democracy, as a rare joint federal agency warning advised prior to Super Tuesday. Russia’s attempt to interfere in the 2016 election has already revealed how this could happen: social media disinformation, email hacking, and probing of voter registration systems. Read Full Story

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How susceptible are you to COVID-19? These simple hacks could help fight it

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Being in isolation can actually make your body more susceptible to getting ill. These interventions can help. Quarantining is the best way to avoid getting and spreading COVID-19. But quarantine life comes with its own costs. We’re cooped up, stressed out, and juggling a mashup of work and home life that we’ve never known. And as Sheldon Cohen, professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, warns, these side effects of quarantine life could, ironically, make us more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 when we venture outside as a result. Read Full Story

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The secret to mixing marketing with politics

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30-second summary: The concept of marketing and politics has always tended to reflect separation of church and state: a clear distinction, with some minor evidence of co-mingling. But as social issues and politics become more polarizing, it’s harder for brands to ignore. One report found that nearly 2/3 of consumers around the globe will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue. More and more evidence suggests that consumers want brands to take a stand on issues that are important to them. There are many ways to tackle political subjects without getting political. The key is to identify a pain point and laser focus on solutions. Strongly align your brand as the solution provider. Demonstrate that you’re thinking about the problem from all different angles and perspectives, without bias. Done right, the returns on tackling a political issue in a marketing campaign …

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Meet the dedicated senior citizens behind the only volunteer-run post office in the U.S.

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The chairman of the only volunteer-run post office in America tells us how the coronavirus and mail delays are challenging the 2020 election. Last month, in the midst of an apparent postal service crisis , pop diva Cher tweeted to her 3.8 million Twitter followers: “Can ppl volunteer at post office!?” followed by the more emphatic: “NO, IM NO KIDDING…COULD I VOLUNTEER AT MY POST OFFICE!?” An hour later, she reported that she’d called to ask two post offices in Malibu—”Hi This is Cher Do U Accept volunteers”—to which they told her: “no.” Read Full Story

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How the media is preparing for an election night that could go on for weeks

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We may not know who the next president is for a long time after Election Day. What’s the best way to communicate to viewers as results trickle in and states aren’t called—and the president starts claiming fraud? Everyone has their own election night ritual. It may be tuning into MSNBC to see Steve Kornacki compute electoral math and navigate complex interactive screens, or watching CNN’s array of pundits yell at each other from across the studio. It may be watching anxiously as virtual maps fill up in blue and red, or constantly refreshing The New York Times home page to see the fateful needle sway back and forth. Some may plan election parties with themed food from swing states. Wiser folks may deliberately sleep through it and ignore the media frenzy altogether. Read Full Story

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