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MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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The fastest growing science on the planet, brain plasticity will revolutionise how we live in the future.

It has the potential to cure learning and mental disorders, such as OCD, bipolar disorder, addiction, ADD, autism and some dementias. And its rapid results deliver benefits regardless of age.   But how can it improve the lives of ordinary people?

In an astounding new series REDESIGN MY BRAIN, Discovery Science puts brain training to test. The science of neuroplasticity has found that with specific training anyone can become smarter, increase their memory capacity and reverse mental aging.

Presented by Australian television personality Todd Sampson, REDESIGN MY BRAIN takes viewers on an inspirational journey to learn how neuroplasticity can radically improve a healthy brain.

Premiering October 19, RE-DESGIN MY BRAIN will air Monday to Friday at 10PM.

In a television first, the series follows Todd Sampson from Sydney to London, Germany to California in a three‐month scientifically endorsed brain‐training program. It is a life‐changing adventure to discover what the latest neuroscience has to offer.   Under the guidance of the world’s top scientists, Sampson spends 12 mind‐expanding weeks learning to train his brain to improve his cognition, his creativity and the connection between mind and body. He masters skills to improve his mental speed, attention, memory, creativity, innovation, lateral thinking, body intelligence, visualization and emotional intelligence.

In each episode, he trains with the world’s leading researchers, who push him to his limits and beyond. They include renowned American neuroscientist, Michael Merzenich, a pioneer of the brain‐plasticity revolution; James Kaufman, also from the US and a global leader in the world of creativity research; and top Australian sports scientist David Martin.   He learns the secrets of geniuses, who reveal how they have developed their own super brains.

Sampson is tested, scanned, prodded, pushed and probed then tested again. His brain performance is regularly “mapped and tested” to measure changes and the results are revealed using state‐of‐the‐art CGI graphics. Along the way he learns to juggle, overcomes a fear of confinement, learns to fly a helicopter using only his mind, discovers the power of visualization, creates an installation masterpiece and represents Australia in the brainiest competition on the planet – the World Memory Championships.   In its dramatic conclusion, Sampson must draw on all his new skills to survive a death‐defying feat. The outcome will blow viewers’ mind.

Monday, 12 October 2015 00:00

Networking: How I Became a “Hunter”

Someone recently asked me, “How can I become a stronger networker and turn relationships into business?” I thought about the question for a while before answering. What have I gained from the multitude of events and professional mixers I have attended through the years? It was not always easy for me to network, how did it become so natural?

The answer? Networking is work and a skill that takes practice. And it’s not unlike working out.

I had weak abs before I decided to focus on them. Now I can do 200 sit ups. It was hard at first, but I kept at it. Networking is no different. You have to keep working that muscle. Keep walking into that room full of people you don’t know, tamp down that anxiety. Start small. Make milestones. “I will meet five new people today.” Then 7, then 10.

The more you do something, the more natural it becomes.

The Wall Street Journal recently published a story, “Networking Isn’t Always Easy. But It Is Critical.” It had some great information on forging meaningful networks, and I have a few tips of my own that I think can help bring out the networker in you.

1. Generosity should be at the core of any approach.

I go into any networking situation thinking about how I can help the person sitting across from me, not how they can help me. This reframing aligns with my Southern upbringing and helps me form lasting bonds with people. Then, if I do have something to ask for down the line, it feels more natural.

A study by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Co. found that women have fewer ties to colleagues inside and outside of work than men. Getting more comfortable asking for help is the key, and being overly generous with your own time and resources is a great way to build the rapport that makes asking for favors easier when you need some help.

2. Make the time to network.

Just like other business people, I want to get home at a reasonable hour. So for me, breakfast is a productive time. I can meet with someone for 45 minutes before I get into the office and feel like I have achieved something substantive early on in the day. Find times that work best for you.

3. Look to build two different types of relationships:

The first type is with people you are interested in learning from. Reaching out to someone by complimenting their work and asking if they want to get together is easier than you think. Anytime I find myself in a relationship where I regularly leave that person feeling more learned… I want more. Knowledge sharing is addictive!

The second type is more in line with prospecting and has to do with meeting people who you would like to do business with directly. This kind of relationship takes some time to get comfortable with, as the asks tend to be a bit more aggressive. I find industry meetings are a great place to establish common ground and reach out to set up coffee or a meal. Once you’ve set the meeting up its critically important to do your homework. Ask yourself, “How can I help them solve a problem?” At the meeting, fearlessly listen while they speak and provide specific ways you can add value to their business.

4. Utilize your current network to build your future one.

The longer you have been in business the more people you tend to know who can help you build your network. You just have to ask—and offer to do the same in return for them. This reciprocity is the foundation of building a powerful network. When you find your existing network isn’t growing, make an introduction between two like-minded people that have aligned business, personal or philanthropic interests. This process of receiving through giving inevitability leads to a more robust network.

In my mind I have consciously re-framed networking into something similar to what “hunting” once was—a skill necessary for survival. I find I meet really interesting people, share my knowledge generously and receive it in return. The more people I interact with the more knowledgeable I become, and thus have more to offer. The hunting season is always open in the business world and I hope this makes it a bit easier for you to join in.


Written by Barri Rafferty, CEO of North America for Ketchum

Source: Ketchum

Monday, 12 October 2015 00:00

The Ad Blocking Warfare Intensifies

Damian Blackden provides further insight into the latest ad blocking developments as part of the Change Briefing series.

What’s Changed?

All in this industry take ad blocking and its implications seriously. And although many readers may be fatigued by its continual presence in the headlines there are good reasons for its high profile, as significant developments continue to surface.

To date most consumer installed ad blockers have focused on improving the user experience, arguing that if they’re implemented they will increase browsing speed and reduce telco data charges.

However in reality, and even when using VPNs, they have only been able to block ads when deployed in-browser. This has meant that in-app ads (which represent the vast majority of mobile ad consumption time) and native ads have been relatively untouched.

Now, a new breed of ad blocker has launched in the US App Store called Been Choice. It claims to be able to block all kinds of ads: in-app and in-browser, and native promoted content, as well as display and video.

Whilst the app explains that it offers its users increased privacy, it also offers users a very different alternative – a reward scheme for the app to be allowed to collect data for a minimum of 30 days in return for payment of $20 per month.

Been Choice is therefore targeting two very different types of user:

1. Those who use current ad blockers to increase their privacy, but who’d like something that’s further reaching.

2. Those who are happy to let a third party collect and share their data with others. Who the others are is currently unclear.

Our experience has been that many ad blockers do not work as well as they claim. Limited testing of Been Choice on iPhones has so far revealed:

Many in-app ads are blocked eg in WSJ, but by no means all in all apps.

Ads in Apple News are blocked. This is significant as there has been previous speculation that Apple has allowed blockers as they reduce competition to its own iAds.

Some apps are badly disrupted eg Facebook. It’s not known whether Facebook is turning off access to its content on devices that use Been Choice, but it seems unlikely that they could move so quickly.

Other sites load without ads but the content isn’t accessible beyond the initial headlines.

Twitter, You Tube and LinkedIn ads for example don’t seem to be affected, whilst some sites do load faster than usual.

The above means that Been Choice is probably disrupting the user experience rather than enhancing it, despite some of the latency reductions.

It would therefore appear that the Been Choice blocker isn’t bullet proof vs what it claims to be able to deliver to the user. However it’s early days and this is version v1.10.

What The Change Means

Advertisers only pay for ads that are served. They are not billed for blocked ad space. This means that blocking is an immediate problem for publishers.

It’s a definite issue for advertisers and agencies if it affects their ability to reach valuable audiences at scale, cost efficiently. Any technology that materially affects inventory supply will affect the market price, so in reality this is very much an industry challenge.

Given the intense pressure ad blockers are placing on publishers, and how pervasive Been Choice’s capabilities could become, this may well be the trigger for publishers to install their own technology that cuts access to their content if the user is implementing an ad blocker, and then only providing access to their sites if a person pays, or disables their blocker.

Blocking ads in-app is a dangerous game as it encroaches on Apple’s (currently relatively minor) ad revenue business. That coupled with the disruptive effects of Been Choice’s technology on the user experience may see it kicked out of the App Store or forced to adjust its capabilities.

Implications Of The Change For Advertisers

Much will depend on the consumer response. The poor experience may put many off in reality. And even if Been Choice fixes its delivery there may only be a limited number of users who are prepared to give their data away in return for rewards. Certainly many ‘pay to browse’ products failed 15 years ago. However we don’t know how this development will play out yet.

What we do know is that for every action there is usually a reaction. If Been Choice, and those that will no doubt follow it, can make the technology work well we could see publishers implement anti-blocking, subscription or micro payment approaches.

Meanwhile these developments will accelerate innovation regarding the invention of new mobile marketing techniques, many of which will be more creative than the current crop.

There could also be a requirement to proactively move advertising budgets to apps and platforms that can continue to provide targeted audiences at scale. This would undoubtedly affect the shape of some media schedules but it’s too early to examine relative value as there is still significant supply online in most instances.

In the meantime we continue to suggest the five good practice actions recently outlined by Jonathan Adams.

However we take these developments very seriously, and are mindful that there are already 200m users who use ad blocking technology globally, and will act as required to ensure that our clients’ marcomms programs reach and influence consumers in order to deliver the appropriate ROI.


Written by Damian Blackden Chief Strategy Office at Maxus Global

Source: Maxus Global

An electoral survey conducted by CNN IBN/IBN7-Axis in Bihar gives a clear edge to the RJD-JDU-led “Mahagathbandhan”, riding home the assembly elections with 137 seats (+/-8 seats) and a 46 per cent vote share.

The BJP-led NDA+ is expected to win 95 seats (+/- 8 seats), garnering a 38% per cent vote share.

The NDA’s main constituent, the BJP, is individually expected to win 82 seats with an error margin of 5 seats. The LJP of Ram Bilas Paswan is expected to get only two seats and vote share of 4 per cent. Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM is expected to fare better winning eight seats with a vote share equal to LJPs. The RLSP of Upendra Kushwaha may win three seats as well.

The JDU led by incumbent chief minister Nitish Kumar is expected to win 69 seats with an error margin of 5 seats. Laloo Prasad Yadav’s RJD may win 48 seats with an error margin of 2 seats. The Congress, on the other hand, is set to win 20 seats, according to the survey, with an error margin of one seat. In 2010, it won just 4 seats.

Here is the break-up of seats projected by the survey:

Here is the break-up of the votes projected by the survey

And here are the details of the vote share, divided along three age categories, according to the survey:

The survey, conducted between September 3 and October 4, involved over 24,000 respondents, making it arguably the biggest survey of its kind in Bihar. The survey covered all the 38 districts of the state and all the 243 constituencies.

It was conducted in a rural-heavy format, 87% going to rural demographics and 13% urban. Fifty per cent of the chosen respondents were in the 18-35 age group, 32% in the 36-50 age group and the remaining 18% falling in the 50+ age group.

The caste-wise break-up of the respondents was more or less along their representation in the state’s population. OBCs and other classes formed a third of the respondents, the Yadavs at 14%, Muslims 17%, Kurmi-Koeris. The SC/STs comprised 18% of the respondents while 11% of the respondents were from the upper castes.

In a paradox of sorts, a critical finding of the survey is that despite projection of a clear electoral edge, 33% of the Yadavs and 28% of Muslims seem to be deserting RJD and JDU in favour of NDA or others. At the same time, the Grand Alliance (JDU+) is likely to get more votes from the youth (18-35 age group) than the NDA alliance.

Vote Share Based on Caste Groups:

The survey reveals that Nitish Kumar is the most preferred CM candidate with 43% vote from the respondents, with the BJP’s Sushil Modi coming second with 33% vote.

Just over 40% feel Nitish Kumar will benefit electorally because of the alliance with Lalu Prasad. Thirty-nine per cent, however, disagree.

Over half of the respondents, 52% to be exact, say the entry of Owaisi’s MIM into the Bihar electoral fray will not have any impact.

Owaisi’s Party (AIMIM) entry into Bihar Poll:

Development will be the main election issue, with 38% respondents saying they will vote on the issue of development. Other issues uppermost in the respondents’ minds are inflation and “Bijli-Paani-Sadak”, ranking second with 13% each.

As many as 45% of the respondents felt that the Nitish government had performed as per expectations, another 17% saying it exceeded their expectations. A sizeable chunk of 38% said the performance was less than their expectations.

Nitish Government’s performance:

Nearly 40% of those surveyed said women’s empowerment was the biggest achievement of the Nitish government, followed by other parameters including general development (19%), decrease in crime (18%), good governance (15%) and better education facilities (10%).

With reference to areas of failure of the Nitish government, 45% said there was no control over corruption during his rule. For 27% of the respondents, reduced job opportunities represented a clear failure of the state government.Thirteen per cent said the government ignored farmers’ woes in the state while 15% said caste politics had increased during the Nitish rule.

Forty per cent of the respondents said their vote will depend on the quality and quantity of work done by state government. In this connection, the survey points out that Nitish Kumar’s development model got a thumbs up from 52% of the respondents. In contrast, the development model of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre got 48% support.

Development model:

Interestingly, the survey finds that Chirag Paswan, LJP leader Ram Bilas Paswan’s son,  leads the ranks of Bihar’s most popular young leaders. He garnered the support of 33% of the respondents surveyed. Laloo Prasad’s son Tejaswi Yadav, came second with 22% approvals. His sister Misa Yadav found support from five per cent of the respondents.

Most popular Young Leader in Bihar:

Survey Fact File

How many respondents – 24,576

How many districts covered – All 38

How many ACs covered – All 243

When was survey done – Between September 23 to October 4, 2015

How many surveyors involved – 65


Rural 87% & Urban 13%

Caste wise distribution of respondents

Yadavs – 14%

Muslims – 17%

Kurmi/Koeri – 7%

OBC/Others – 33%

SC/ST – 18%

Upper Castes – 11%

Age Groups

18 – 35 – 50%

36 – 50 – 32%

50 & above – 18

Vijender Singh is on the verge of creating a historic landmark in his boxing career as he makes his debut in professional boxing at the Manchester Area. Associating themselves with this momentous fight, Sony SIX (a part of Multi Screen Media Network), India’s premier sports entertainment channel, has bagged the exclusive broadcasting rights to this highly anticipated sporting event. The fight headlined as ‘World War III’ will be telecast on Saturday, October 10, live and exclusive on Sony SIX at 10:20 PM (IST).

India's first Olympic and World Championships-medallist, Vijender Singh, will take on England’s Sonny Whiting, who is three-bouts old and has a 2-1 overall record so far in the middleweight division. The fight which features in the prime time viewing belt for Indian audiences will feature 4 rounds of 3 minutes each.

Ahead of his fight, the 29-year-old Vijender has set up base in Manchester to train under renowned coach Lee Beard and has been training alongside stable mates Jack Catterall, Adrian Gonzalez and Jimmy Kelly. Vijender has made essential changes to adapt his game against the 27-year old English boxer, who already has one knockout win to his credit so far.

Sony SIX’s association with boxing was highlighted with the broadcast of the ‘Fight of the Century’ featuring Mayweather against Pacquiao in May 2015. Following that, the channel focused on bringing premium & marquee combat sports content to Indian viewers including showcasing the high profile fight of  Floyd Mayweather Jr Vs Andre Berto in September this year. This will be the channel’s third initiative in bringing one of the most headlined boxing fights live to Indian viewers in 2015.


Prasana Krishnan, Business Head, Sony SIX and KIX:

“We are proud to showcase the fight that marks Vijender Singh’s foray into the professional boxing circuit. Vijender Singh is a National icon and an Olympian who has made India proud with his accomplishments. We are pleased to play our role as broadcasters of his pro debut fight to his fans.”

Vijender Singh, Boxer:

“I am really happy that my professional debut fight in Manchester will be telecast live on Sony SIX in India. Now all my friends, fans and coaches in India, who have been asking me about the telecast of the fight can watch me live in action . I am confident that with the reach of Sony SIX, everyone in India will be able to watch my pro debut at Manchester Arena.”

Live Telecast (IST)

Saturday, October 10, 2015 - Event begins at 9:30 PM with the Main Fight at 10:20 PM  on Sony SIX


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