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Killexams : Salesforce Salesforce thinking - BingNews Search results Killexams : Salesforce Salesforce thinking - BingNews Killexams : Thinking Outside The Box: The Fight For Providing Excellent Customer Service

Founder and CEO of Remote Team Solutions. International entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of success in different industries.

It is no secret that customer service and customer support are equally critical with respect to enhancing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty and thus increasing profitability. Due to the creation of business process outsourcing (BPO), customer service systems have been outsourced via offshore call centers. In the past, many companies did not consider customer service/support to be a core department and, instead of keeping their departments in-house, they outsourced them to help reduce costs and thus settled for high employee-turnover rates and reduced quality of service. Today, it doesn't have to be one or the other; fortunately, there are other solutions. Due to all the new technologies that offer a wide array of tools and software for remote work, companies can now get the best of both worlds, maintaining high-quality customer service by keeping control while reducing costs.

In some contexts, outsourcing customer service or having virtual call centers is an effective option. This is especially true for small companies or startups that do not have the budget to provide 24/7 customer service; it is also true when the call volume is insufficient to justify hiring full-time employees. In these cases, BPO is an effective alternative to conventional services. Alternatively, medium- and large-sized companies with high call volumes should not implement BPO. After all, the quality of customer support directly influences sales. For example, only improving customer retention by 5% can increase company profits by more than 25%, according to Bain and Company. In addition, Salesforce Research suggests that 78% of consumers will keep doing business with a company even after a mistake is made in so far as the customer service they receive is excellent, and 92% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience.

There is nothing wrong with reducing costs, but if we look closer at the importance of customer service and customer support, we realize they should be treated as a strategic department. Thus a company will find much more value in implementing a balanced solution where it can generate savings but still match its customer service standards. With all the new tools available for remote work, it is possible to manage an in-house customer service department while generating many of the savings obtained via BPO, which is achieved by building a remote team in a nearshore location. There are many methods of achieving this; for instance, companies can create their own entity in any country and ensure BPO with their own supporting departments (e.g., information technology and human resources) or by using a nearshore staffing agency, the latter of which is more accessible and convenient.

To be successful, a customer service department and its employees must fully adopt the company's culture and develop solid loyalty and a sense of belonging to the company. Employees must be recognized, empowered, and held accountable; the company should invest heavily in their training and continuous improvement. To provide the best service possible, the customer service department must know its target audience and the services it offers; it must also be able to raise any issue directly with its managers when necessary. Indeed, this can be a challenge if the process is outsourced to a third party, which could result in delivering the wrong message to the customer along the lines of a company that cares more about reducing costs than customer satisfaction.

When building a customer service department in a nearshore location it should be treated as part of the company, as an extension of its team. If domestic overheads are unwanted, a nearshore staffing firm can be used to manage this.

It is essential to analyze the current customer service and support situation. If the volume of inbound calls is insufficient to justify an internal customer service department, the best alternative is a BPO. However, if the volume of inbound calls requires a customer service or call center department, it is essential to maintain control of these; it is also vital to ensure that it is aligned with company culture, that the team feels part of the company, and that their work is valued. Remember, when offering excellent customer service, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases. In comparison, due to a poor customer service experience, 65% of customers will change brands and 78% will back out of a purchase. Take Amazon, for example, which has excelled due to its excellent people-centric customer service.

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?

Fri, 14 Oct 2022 00:30:00 -0500 Pedro Barboglio en text/html
Killexams : Is Your Boss’s Outdated Thinking Ruining Your Career?

I’ve been studying and teaching about the psychology of work for over 40 years, and while times have very much changed, unfortunately, many supervisors have not. They remain stuck in the old “command and control” way of thinking. If your career advancement is tied to a boss who still holds to this outdated mode of thinking, you may very well find yourself stuck in a dead-end job, and may want to consider some alternatives.

Here are some clues that an old-school boss may be holding you, and your career, down.

“You Need to Pay Your Dues.” Historically, the main path to promotion was putting in time: Work long enough, and you earned a promotion. If your boss (or organization) holds to the belief that only people who have a certain amount of tenure in a position deserve promotion, you may want to consider your alternatives. Promotions should be based on an employee's abilities, performance, and potential to advance, not just time served. Cutting-edge organizations and bosses tie raises and promotions to performance and potential, not the years one has been in their current position.

“Spare the Rod.” If your boss is punitive — always on the lookout for employees doing something wrong, and then “bringing the hammer down” — it’s a sign that their old-school thinking is not only making your life miserable, but just not working. The purpose of punishment is to stop undesirable behavior, but it doesn’t encourage better performance or greater productivity. A better way is for a boss to turn the focus from this punitive management style toward encouraging and rewarding desirable, productive work behavior. While punishment has its limited place (e.g., stopping employees from goofing off or taking risky actions around dangerous machinery), positive reinforcement — encouraging and rewarding desirable behavior — is always a better supervisory strategy. Is your boss overly punitive? Time to consider your employment alternatives.

“Money Is the Only Important Motivator.” Sure, money is a powerful motivator, but if it’s the only way your boss rewards people, it’s a sign of “old school” thinking. A good boss thinks about the many ways an employee can be recognized and rewarded, beyond dollars and cents. And the fact is that being flexible, such as by allowing employees with child- or elder-care responsibilities to arrange their work schedules so they can do their jobs and still provide homecare, may be a better motivator than a raise. Old-school bosses may not realize that rewarding people isn’t just about the money (although that is important). Tying good performance to career advancement, and thinking about rewards more broadly (e.g., time off, flexible work schedules, challenging assignments, recognition, etc.) are valid ways to motivate people – and are especially important when the possibility of monetary rewards is limited.

“The Best Person for This Job Is X.” Holding firmly to outdated and erroneous stereotypes and biases is a telling sign that you’ve got a bad boss. I remember talking to one old-school boss who told me, "When it comes to jobs requiring detail, I always hire Asian Americans, because they pay attention to detail.” Not only was this biased and racist, but it suggested this boss didn’t have the motivation (or ability) to know how to identify and hire capable workers, let alone know how to manage them.

“It's My Way or the Highway.” A very capable employee once told me that his boss was always critical of his work, not because of its quality (which was consistently good), but because his boss didn’t like the way he approached the job, nor the procedures he used. His boss would constantly bring the employee into his office to show him “the right way" to do the task. That employee eventually quit, not because he couldn’t do the job, but because he got tired of his supervisor’s constant criticism. A good boss allows capable workers the autonomy to be creative and take personal control of their work.


Riggio, R.E. & Johnson, S.K. (2022). Introduction to Industrial/Organizational Psychology (8th ed.). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

Sat, 15 Oct 2022 16:31:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : The importance of dialectical thinking

Today, “thinking” has become a necessary skill in the job market. But it has been split into creative thinking, critical thinking, design thinking, analytical thinking, logical thinking, strategic thinking, and holistic thinking. These are then further pigeonholed into higher-order thinking skills (HOTs) and lower-order thinking skills (LOTs). Not to forget Edward de Bono’s classification of lateral thinking and vertical thinking. All of which only intensifies one’s confusion instead of providing clarification.

While “thinking” is a highly desired skill, it eludes many because it is highly demanding until one is habituated. Then there is the inundation by print and social media and the fact that thinkers are often misunderstood and condemned.

Vital two

To engage learners in the cognitive process, we need to consider models and texts. Of the former, two have proven to be impactful: Hegelian dialectical thinking and Bono’s Six Thinking Hats. Dialectical thinking, although traced back to the Socratic method, is attributed to Hegel, the 19th century German philosopher who advocated seeking true meaning in two apparently contradictory positions. Instead of extremes such as “right” or “wrong”, he postulated moving away from “either-or” to “both-and”. In other words, right is not totally correct, and wrong is not totally wrong. An interesting metaphor illustrative of this model is “having an elephant in the room with two blindfolded people on its opposite ends”.

Bono’s Six Thinking Hats ideally comprises a group of six, each wearing a different hat. But it can also involve one individual wearing six hats one after another. Each hat has a colour that symbolises a different kind of thinking: white for facts, red for emotions, black for negatives, yellow for positives, green for new ideas and blue for summarising and decision-making. This helps learners tackle an issue from multiple perspectives and overcome the usual mono-dimensional thinking.

The problem confronting teachers is integrating this skill into prescribed textbooks, which may often be unyielding. This then compels them to browse through a high volume of texts available online in a variety of formats but how many are willing to do this?


The current Russia-Ukraine war is an apt context to apply dialectical thinking. While Russian president Vladimir Putin defends the war as an attempt to retrieve lost land and Russian pride; Ukraine and the west blame it on his autocratic behaviour and warmongering. Where does the truth lie? Achieving a dialectical balance is vital. The Six Thinking Hats would bring into focus aspects such as facts on both sides (white); the emotional turmoil of civilians and soldiers (red); sufferings of both nations and the world at large (black); positives if any for the two countries and globally (yellow); probable solutions to the problem (green); a standpoint based on critical engagement with the ideas put forth (blue).

We live in a tumultuous world of issues at local, national, regional and global levels. Tapping into them will be effortless, but narrowing them down to thought-provoking material for the classroom will be a challenge. Will our teachers think out of the box?

The writer is National Secretary, English Language Teachers’ Association of India (ELTAI), and a former professor of English at Anna University.

Sat, 15 Oct 2022 01:54:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : ‘Visual Thinking’ Review: Do You See What I’m Saying?

Tue, 11 Oct 2022 10:21:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : The Reporter Who Knows What Jerome Powell Is Thinking

“Fed whisperer” Nick Timiraos. Photo: Greg Kahn

When financial reporters enter the headquarters of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System at the intersection of 20th and C Streets in Washington, D.C., they first remove their shoes. As they proceed through a sequence of two metal detectors, they must leave their phones and any other “smart” devices behind; even a 1980s Casio watch, with its built-in calculator, has been considered too smart, owing to the fact that “there’s a chip in there,” one reporter was told.

They continue into what’s known as the “lockup,” a secure black box of a room where their special, designated computers — without Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities and which they had previously mailed to an address for inspection — are waiting for them. “The Fed is the most ironclad institution in D.C.; it’s absolutely insane,” says one reporter on the Fed beat. “No other agency requires that — not even the Pentagon.”

It is a ritual undertaken eight times a year when the 12-member Federal Open Market Committee meets to decide and announce any changes to the nation’s core interest rate — in essence, the price of borrowing money anywhere in the economy. At 1:30 p.m. on September 21, half an hour before the latest announcement, the reporters get the news first: This time, the Fed has elected to raise interest rates by three-quarters of a point, a large move by historical standards and the third supersize increase in a row. Reporters receive a copy of the central bank’s statement explaining the decision and go to work writing their stories in Microsoft Word. Then, at 2 p.m., like clockwork, the internet switch flips on again and reporters file their articles before shuffling into the briefing room to grill Fed chair Jerome Powell, whose thinking about the proper level for interest rates — with inflation hovering at a decades-high 8.5 percent — is without exaggeration one of the biggest factors affecting the world’s economy. Even at the level of individual Americans, the practical effects of Powell’s decisions loom large — everything from the value of your 401(k) to your mortgage rate (or rent) to your chances of ending up jobless are directly related to the Fed’s actions.

But with all those elaborate security protocols to keep the outside world in suspense about its plans, there is one journalist inside the windowless room who has developed a reputation for knowing what the Fed is going to do before everyone else does. On Wall Street and in Washington, Nick Timiraos, chief economics correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, is playfully referred to as the “Fed whisperer” or even “Chairman Timiraos” for his latest prescience about the central bank’s next move. The Fed regularly reshuffles its press-conference seating chart, but Timiraos is always placed front row and center, face-to-face with Powell. “The general air inside the press room is definitely that Nick is the big character in the press corps,” says another journalist who has covered the Fed. “It’s almost like he broke the seal.”

Fed chair Jerome Powell speaking to reporters on Sept. 21, following the decision to raise interest rates by three-quarters of a point. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

During the pandemic, the Fed — the inspiration for the “money printer go brrr” meme — effectively propped up financial markets and the economy as a whole by gobbling up trillions in bonds. Now, faced with the repercussions of that easy-money policy — namely, soaring inflation — Powell and company are mired in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t conundrum, in which the best way to avoid a devastating price spiral is to cause a (hopefully minor) recession. That has made the Fed and its hell-bent commitment to hiking rates a popular target of criticism. Voices from across Wall Street to Elizabeth Warren to the United Nations have railed against Powell’s aggressive rate-hiking strategy, generally arguing that it harms working-class Americans and does unnecessary damage to the economy. (The U.N. maintains that it is hurting poorer countries.) All of which means that Timiraos’s beat is more high-profile than ever — as is his reputation for being ahead of the curve.

The extra attention on Timiraos started a little more than a year ago, when he correctly reported (nearly two months in advance) that the Fed would begin winding down its pandemic stimulus in November. But the buzz began in earnest on the eve of the Fed’s mid-June meeting. Timiraos wrote an article suggesting the Fed was “Likely to Consider 0.75-Percentage-Point Rate Rise” when the consensus bet among investors around the world was for just a half-point hike. At the time, the Fed had been in a blackout period, in which its officials do not speak with reporters, for over a week. But Timiraos was right: The Fed subsequently hiked rates three-quarters of a point. “I independently confirmed that it was essentially a leak to him,” says the journalist who covered the Fed. “And that wouldn’t go to anybody else.” Since then, Timiraos has accurately called each of the Fed’s next moves, writing in July that the Fed was “preparing to lift” rates — at a moment many observers were expecting a pause — and, in September, that it was “on a path to raise” them once again by three-quarters of a point, swaying Wall Street odds-makers in that direction. On September 21, of course, three quarters of a point was exactly what Powell delivered.

Timiraos, who has worked at WSJ since graduating from Georgetown and covered the Fed for the past five years, has become a kind of economic indicator in his own right — his stories and Twitter feed are a must-read for Fed watchers the world over. “Right now, hundreds of interns and first-year analysts have one job on Wall Street, constantly refreshing a @NickTimiraos search on looking for an update,” Jim Bianco, a well-known macroeconomic analyst and president of Bianco Research, tweeted during the quiet period ahead of the Fed’s September meeting. “@NickTimiraos better have his phone charged, as he should be getting a ‘Blue Horseshoe likes (75 or 100)’ call any moment now.” (It’s a reference from the movie Wall Street — the nickname is code for Gordon Gekko.) Bianco sees it as everyone just doing their jobs though. “It’s not Timiraos but the seat he occupies,” explains Bianco, referring to WSJ’s towering stature in U.S. financial media. “And in fairness to the Fed, it’s a way to get information out that everybody has equal access to. No one, from a retail investor to a powerful investment banker, has any more advantage when an unexpected leak pops up in The Wall Street Journal.” (Officially, leaks at the Fed are considered rare and scandalous; in 2017, a leak of confidential information to a financial analyst led to the resignation of a prominent Fed official as well as a criminal investigation.)

The 38-year-old Fed whisperer is clean-shaven with freckled cheeks flushed from the summer sun below a ruffle of brown hair; John Krasinski would be a lock to play Timiraos in a movie. He was up-front before our meeting that he could not discuss his sources while acknowledging, “And I know that’s a lot of the focus people might have.” When we get coffee the afternoon before September’s Fed announcement, he refuses to even discuss the lockup logistics: “We’re not supposed to talk about how the sausage gets made.”

In March, Timiraos published a book, Trillion Dollar Triage: How Jay Powell and the Fed Battled a President and a Pandemic — and Prevented Economic Disaster, that focuses on Powell’s unprecedented response to the pandemic. Timiraos remembers the night of March 18, 2020, when the Fed put out an emergency lending program after he’d already gone to bed. “And I got a phone call saying, ‘Check your email,’” he recalls, declining to say whom it was from. (Warren Buffett hailed the book at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting as “a marvelous account.”) The volume includes extensive detail of Powell’s personal and family history, though Timiraos declined to acknowledge Powell’s participation in his reporting: “I don’t really want to get into what people say to me,” he says.

Regardless of whether Timiraos has backstage access, his track record is so perfect that the most highly respected investors take his reporting as gospel. “He, at times, becomes the chosen messenger for the Fed when the FOMC wants to get word out to the markets,” says Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. Adds Mohamed El-Erian, former CEO of bond giant PIMCO and widely considered something of a market oracle himself, “His signaling of what the Fed is thinking and likely to do has proven to be extremely insightful.”

Both Timiraos and his editor, Nell Henderson, were reluctant to embrace the spotlight this article threatened to shine on him. “Nick is an oracle today, but he’s been preceded by other oracles both at the Journal and elsewhere,” says Henderson.

Indeed, Timiraos comes from a tradition of Fed whisperers — or at least suspected ones. Alan Greenspan once devoted a significant portion of a 1993 FOMC meeting to discussing the source of leaks to WSJ’s then-Fed reporter David Wessel, according to the official minutes. “I used to joke that the most important thing to know about Alan Greenspan was that most of his girlfriends were reporters,” says Wessel, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He once gave his colleague on WSJ’s Fed beat, Greg Ip, a silver tray as a gag gift — a reference to the common assumption that Ip’s scoops were delivered that way. Wessel paints a picture of what takes place behind the scenes as Fed officials ahead of blackout periods take meetings with reporters, who in turn read between the lines. “If you’re good at covering the thing, you kind of know how they think, and you have some sense of where they’re going, you can have your hypothesis either confirmed or denied,” he says. “I think what people sometimes mistake is they think the only way you know what the Fed is going to do is if someone tells you. And maybe that happens sometimes. I’m not saying it doesn’t.”

At times, it can be an awkward situation for an accomplished journalist to be seen merely as conduit for leaks; less flattering depictions describe Timiraos as a “Fed mouthpiece.” As we sit outside La Colombe around the corner from his office on Connecticut Avenue, Timiraos mostly keeps his arms folded across his chest. But when I read a couple of analysts’ tweets about him, he gets a sheepish half-grin on his face. (“Do they say that?” he asks when I reference the “oracle.”) “I cannot control what people are going to say,” he says. “If people think that they’re getting good analysis, then that’s great.” Over and over he repeats, “I want to let the work speak for itself.”

On Fed meeting days, Timiraos says, his routine is actually quite pedestrian. He drops his 5-year-old twins off at school before heading to WSJ’s nondescript Washington bureau, then Ubers or takes the bus to the Martin Building, where the Fed currently holds its press conferences. “I don’t find it boring at all. I mean, I love it. But I recognize that they put out a statement every six to eight weeks that’s basically the same,” he says. “The first thing I do when I get the statement is go look at which words changed,” explaining that he runs a compare-and-contrast function in Microsoft Word and focuses on what shows up in red. On the way back, he usually picks up a sandwich or salad from Pret.

In researching his book, Timiraos read all of the Fed meeting minutes going back to World War II. “I’m kind of a history nerd,” he says. But he adds that he by no means sees himself as a reliable economic forecaster. “I don’t feel like most of the time I have a great read on what’s happening,” he says. Case in point: He’d been coveting a house in the D.C. suburbs at the beginning of the pandemic but decided to wait it out. “I looked at it and said, ‘Oh my God. We’re going to be back in foreclosure city here,’” he says. (Residential real estate went on a historic run instead.) “So not great financial insight on my part. I should have bought a house two years ago.” He won’t opine on whether we are headed for a recession. “I don’t think that’s my job. If you get into trying to form opinions about things, you probably shouldn’t be a news reporter,” he says.

Lately, he has been talking to his barber about the economy. “I like to ask him how business is doing,” Timiraos says. “Barbers are good: They kind of have their finger on the pulse of things — if people were getting more haircuts or not. My barber, who works downtown, wants to know if I’m in the office again, because his customers are not coming back to the office.”

Timiraos, who covered the 2008 election, is keeping an eye on how the Fed’s actions, and the economy’s response, could have electoral consequences. “I saw a tweet thread from the head of a labor union today kind of preemptively criticizing the Fed for raising interest rates. And that’s interesting to me, because there was a political dimension to this,” he says. “What if, a year from now, we’re dealing with a much higher unemployment rate but still high inflation? What does that look like politically?”

To write about what the Fed is going to do means that being wrong would be very obvious; unlike, say, a scoop about White House plans (where even spending-bill amounts fluctuate), Timiraos’s reporting on interest rate hikes has a very exact number attached. He has never been wrong, according to Henderson. But Timiraos rejects the suggestion that being in this specific prediction game could be stressful. “I don’t feel high pressure,” he says. “I’m not a war reporter.” (He says he’s focused on reporting facts: “It’s not like I’m trying to predict what’s going to happen.”) He does worry, though, that readers might interpret his writing as being the voice of the Fed, even when he’s just analyzing. “I think sometimes there’s a danger that people will think you’re saying something that you’re not,” he says.

When it comes to covering the Fed announcements themselves, though, the job is “actually easy,” says Timiraos. “The story will write itself. It’s like covering the playoff game: You know something interesting is going to happen, and you just have to show up.”

Thu, 13 Oct 2022 16:51:00 -0500 Jen Wieczner en-us text/html
Killexams : Could Positive Thinking Do More Harm Than Good?

Chasing happiness can be like chasing an elusive ghost and some say they know how to obtain it through positive thinking.

Norman Vincent Peale popularized positive thinking with his best-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking, published in 1952. Some would say the book’s ideas have underpinned the self-help movement and are now embedded in our culture.

But what if the state of unremitting happiness is not natural? According to my book, You Are Not Meant To Be Happy, So Stop Trying, our genetic makeup instead discourages contentment since it lowers our guard against possible threats to our survival. We need negative, as well as positive emotions, to make it through life successfully.

Past research, as well as our own life experiences, can help us understand that an attitude of optimism and positive thinking isn’t the best psychological strategy available. Instead, a flexibly optimistic outlook is a better alternative and a more pragmatic option. Like most things in life, positivity can be good in moderation.

The Psychology Behind Positive Thinking

Prior to 1998, psychology and psychological medicine disproportionally focused on how to cure the negative ailments of the mind. But prominent psychologist M.E.P. Seligman, shifted this focus with the advent of positive psychology. Instead of treating mental illness, positive psychology would promote mental health, focusing on how to help people thrive.

With positive psychology and the latest growth of the optimism in society, advocated by professionals and those in social media, positive thinking has converted into an influential social phenomenon.

Most consider optimism as a good thing since it is a positive concept. Some studies have shown that optimism may be associated with better life outcomes, although the causal relationship in this association is difficult to prove. It could be possible that optimism may in many cases be the consequence of good life outcomes, and not the other way around.

Positive thinking is where humans think they can Boost their lives irrespective of their external circumstances, by promoting an optimistic attitude and an internal “locus of control” (feeling in control of one’s life).

But by insisting that happiness is the responsibility of the individual, positive thinking can ignore the crucial social aspects of our wellbeing. It also can deny that none of us are ever in full control of our lives.

Some can argue that a therapeutic approach or philosophy that claims to offer a universal answer to pessimism indirectly blames the individual for their suffering. If a positive state of mind is always achievable, then any psychological pain must be the result of the individual’s inherent inadequacies. But sadness is not a failure; it is a natural and necessary emotion, which has an adaptive function when we are going through a significant loss or life challenge.

The Benefits of Negative Emotions

The version of positivity found in social media encourages us to believe in ourselves and persevere in the face of unfavorable odds. But this could instead damage our mental health in the long run.

Positive thinking can generate complacency. Research has found that positive fantasies that idealize the future are inversely related to achievement. The possible explanation for this phenomenon is that fantasizing a positive outcome in each endeavor may drain from us the energy we would need to achieve that goal. The positive fantasy makes us feel good and feeling good is what matters at the end of the day, so we don’t bother investing effort into the objective itself.

But sadness in times of adversity can carry an evolutionary advantage. Defensive pessimism can use low expectations to an advantage by anticipating failure, which is more tolerable than the pain of an unexpected failure.

This suggests that there are psychological advantages to accepting the darker side of life. Without this acceptance, the clash between constant optimism and the realities of our existence may come with a heavy psychological price.

Wed, 05 Oct 2022 04:57:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : China accuses US of 'Cold War thinking' in security strategy

BEIJING -- The Chinese government on Thursday accused Washington of “Cold War thinking” and appealed for efforts to repair strained relations after President Joe Biden released a national security strategy that calls for “out-competing China” and blocking its efforts to reshape global affairs.

The foreign ministry also accused Washington of trade protectionism after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the United States would reinforce its global supply chains to guard against “geopolitical coercion” by China, Russia and other governments.

Biden’s document Wednesday accused China of trying to “erode U.S. alliances” and “create more permissive conditions for its own authoritarian model.” It called for “out-competing China” in political alliances and “global governance” as well as business, technology and military affairs.

U.S.-Chinese relations are at their lowest level in decades, strained by disputes over technology, security, Taiwan and human rights.

“Cold War thinking and zero-sum games, sensationalizing geopolitical conflicts and great power competition are unpopular and unconstructive,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning. She called on Washington to “meet China halfway and promote China-U.S. relations back to a healthy and stable track.”

The White House document calls for the United States to “maintain a competitive edge” over China, which has antagonized Japan, India and other neighbors with an increasingly assertive foreign policy and growing military.

China's multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative to build ports, railways and other infrastructure across Asia and Africa has fed concern in Washington, Moscow and other capitals that Beijing is trying to build its strategic influence and undermine theirs.

China, with the second-largest global economy and military, is the “only competitor with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to do it,” the document says.

Mao, speaking at a regular news briefing, said China was a “defender of the world order” and rejected “sensationalizing geopolitical conflicts and great power competition.”

Mao criticized the “weaponization of economic and trade issues” after Yellen said Wednesday the United States was trying to reduce reliance on China and other Asian suppliers of semiconductors, electric vehicle batteries, solar panels and other technology.

President Xi Jinping's government is spending heavily to reduce its need for U.S. and other Western technology by developing its own creators of processor chips, artificial intelligence, aerospace and other know-how. Beijing is pressing Chinese companies to reduce reliance on global supply chains by using domestic vendors whenever possible, even if that increases costs.

“We know the cost of Russia’s weaponization of trade as a tool of geopolitical coercion, and we must mitigate similar vulnerabilities to countries like China,” Yellen said in Washington.

The United States should “abandon unilateralism and protectionism," Mao said, and work with “the international community to maintain the security and smooth flow of the industrial and supply chain."

Sat, 15 Oct 2022 17:23:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : What Are Audi's Designers Thinking?

With the shift away from internal-combustion engines to electrification and the march toward automated and autonomous vehicles, we're in the most transformative moment in automotive history.

Audi is one of the earliest adopters of new technology, and as engineering evolves, so does design. Rather than creating radically different designs for its initial e-tron EV offerings, Audi opts for more traditional styling that creates a bridge between the past and future, but that's only the first step.

We sat down with Oliver Hoffmann, Audi's chief development officer, and head of design Marc Lichte in Audi's Malibu, California, Design Loft to hear their thoughts on Audi's next steps.

As Lichte points out, having design studios in both California and Beijing allows designers to draw inspiration from Audi's most important markets. There are different sensibilities related to each, but appearances must still remain unmistakably Audi. As he describes it, "A Coke bottle is recognizable anywhere in the world, but the tastes vary slightly depending on the region."

With the advent of EV architecture's "skateboard" chassis, designers have newfound freedom with fewer of the constraints found with internal-combustion drivelines. That's not to say battles between designers and engineers are a thing of the past. Hoffman quips that there are still discussions on millimeter scales, usually in regard to vehicle height.

Design technology is also evolving. Upon entering the Malibu Design Loft, there's no scent of clay or markers. Everything is now digital and incorporates 3D VR modeling for a more seamless and efficient workflow that spans continents. As a result, Audi has been creating concepts at a rapid pace.

Audi christened the Design Loft last year with a rollout of the Skysphere variable-wheelbase concept. The "sphere" nomenclature refers to the interior space, which receives priority over exterior styling at first. China responded with the Urbansphere minivan-esque vehicle, which gives us a glimpse of how automated driving will affect interiors since the driver will be freed from driving duties.

audi activesphere concept – this is the name of the fourth model in the family of concept cars that audi has been introducing since august 2021 not only do they all have electric drives, but they’re also designed to be capable of automated driving this technical layout gives rise to entirely new designs, especially of the interiors and the offerings for those on board to use their time productively or just relax audi’s sphere concept cars collectively showcase the vision of the premium mobility of tomorrow the audi activesphere concept, which is set to debut at the beginning of 2023, will offer maximum variability for an active lifestyle – both on and off road the brand will show off the three members of the sphere family that have already been introduced – the audi skyphere, grandsphere and urbansphere concepts – for the first time together during monterey car week in california in august 2022

Audi’s Activesphere concept is coming in early 2023.


Next up is the forthcoming Activesphere concept, which Lichte says will integrate automated driving and represent the next big step in Audi's design direction. He hints that even the definition of an SUV will evolve as vehicles will have reduced ride heights to maximize aerodynamic efficiencies.

His enthusiasm for this next concept is palpable, and we're admittedly excited to see how Audi adapts and evolves to this changing landscape. One thing is certain: the future will look very different.

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Killexams : Just Thinking: Dressy casual is stressful contradiction cannot provide a good user experience to your browser. To use this site and continue to benefit from our journalism and site features, please upgrade to the latest version of Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari.

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Killexams : What Is EmRata Thinking About?

Author, actress and model Emily Ratajkowski has teamed up with Sony Music Entertainment to launch “High Low with EmRata”. The podcast will explore whatever is on Ratajkowski’s mind from politics, philosophy and feminism to sex, pop culture and Tik Tok.

“I am thrilled to partner with Sony Music for my first podcast and give listeners intimate access to my candid thoughts and perspective on whatever is happening in our world,” said Ratajkowski. “I am interested in examining pop culture and happenings that may seem frivolous in a way that raises big questions. My hope is that the series will be a place where listeners can come to participate in thoughtful discourse while also having fun.”

The first episode premieres November 1.

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 05:08:00 -0500 en-US text/html
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