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Chrome plugin appeals to your inner passive aggressive socially anxious self

(TECH NEWS) If you’re too passive aggressive to tell Felicia from accounting to gtfo out of your office, use this Chrome plugin to make your phone ring. Oops, gotta take this call, bye Felicia!

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nope browser plugin

There’s a button for everything

Summon a car or a smoothie with a touch, buy anything from shampoo to diamonds with a click, and restock your laundry detergent from the comfort of your laundry room with a literal button you can stick on your wall. All the while, Staples’ robotic “That was easy” slogan will ring incessantly in your ears.

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We’ve solved a lot of annoying problems with buttons, but many nuisances continue to roam free, unbuttoned. For instance, no matter how easy it is to order detergent, we still have to do the darn laundry, instead of our clothes just taking responsibility for themselves and doing their own washing up.

The problems we’ve yet to solve are as multifarious as they are nefarious. We have to deal not only with annoying chores, but also with annoying people. These people have infiltrated our entire lives, from restaurants, to parties, and even our workplaces. No matter how well-meaning Janice from Accounting is, she doesn’t give af that you have work to do – she will tell you all about her niece’s recital or her dachshund’s toy preferences (he’ll take a squeaky chew toy over a tug-of-war toy any day, FYI).

Now a button for annoying coworkers

Next time Janice from Accounting heads your way, wouldn’t it be nice if you could push a button and make her turn around? A new Chrome plugin called NOPE is making your passive aggressive dreams a reality.

Here’s what you have to do. First, install the plugin and set it up with your phone number proactively. A small green icon with the letter “N” will appear in your browser. Then, when Janice from Accounting tries to launch into the saga of her gluten intolerance, discreetly click the icon and apologize profusely as your phone begins to ring.

You’re getting a call from New York – sorry Janice, another time! But there will be no other time.

Because with this button, you are now the master of your desk, ruler of your productivity, and all-around winner, now and forever.

Until, you know, Janice notices that you get a phone call literally every time she sees you. Or she reads this article. Or evolves a mutation in which she sheds the human decency that allows for private phone calls and is able to talk over whatever fake phone conversation you make up, and you eventually realize it’s easier to just let her talk without having to improv a phone call twice a day.

Seriously, if you need this plugin to be productive at work, you need to work on your communication skills. Give it to Janice straight, and get back to work already.

nope

#NOPE

Staff Writer, Natalie Bradford earned her B.A. in English from Cornell University and spends a lot of time convincing herself not to bake MORE brownies. She enjoys cats, cocktails, and good films - preferably together. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.

Tech News

Facebook starts handing out merit badges like we’re Girl Scouts

(TECH NEWS) Facebook offers merit badges to users, and it’s pretty neat, but we’re also rolling our eyes.

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According to some Facebook Group administrators, Facebook has today rolled out merit badges. So far in the wild, we’ve spotted “Conversation Starter” which praises the admin (or user) for starting engaging posts that got the conversation going.

We have asked numerous users if they’ve seen these badges, and so far it appears that only one badge has been rolled out, potentially with more on the way. Upon logging into the group where you have earned a badge, you’ll see a notification at the top of the feed informing you of your new badge (get out your vest, it’s time to start collecting them all)!

The merit badge that you’ve earned shows up in your profile when other group members (where you’ve earned the merit badge) click on your face:

Currently, when an Admin posts in the group, it still only has their Admin badge next to their name, not the “Conversation Starter” or other badges lined up next to it, but if a regular group member has posted something engaging, the badge appears next to their name (it may be a one-badge-limit so far, maybe hold off on buying a Girl Scout vest for your badge collection):

Lastly, users apparently do have control over the display of whichever neato merit badges we eventually earn or collect:

There is no word on what the ultimate plan is or what merit badges will be awarded, and it appears to be limited to Facebook Groups at the present.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and will update the story as we learn more. For now, if you want a badge, you can at least get a “Conversation Starter” badge in Facebook Groups, so go get ’em – we’ll soon know which other badges we can earn slash collect slash compete for slash game.

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Tech News

Slack video messaging tool for the ultra lazy (or productive) person

(TECHNOLOGY) Courtesy of a company called Standuply, Slack’s notable lack of video-messaging options is finally addressed.

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slack video updates

Slack — the popular chat and workflow app — is still going strong despite its numerous technical shortcomings, one of which is its notable lack of native video or audio chat. If you’re an avid Slack user, you might be interested in Standuply’s solution to this missing feature: video and audio messaging.

While it isn’t quite the Skype-esque experience for which one might hope when booting up Slack, Standuply’s video messages add-on gives you the ability to record and send a video or audio recording to any Slack channel. This makes things like multitasking a breeze; unless you’re a god among mortals, your talking speed is significantly faster than your typing, making video- or audio-messaging a viable productivity move.

The way you’ll record and send the video or audio message is a bit convoluted: using a web browser and a private Slack link, you can record up to five minutes of content, after which point the content is uploaded to YouTube as a private item. You can then use the item’s link to send the video or audio clip to your Skype channel.

While this is a fairly roundabout way of introducing video chat into Slack, the end result is still a visual conversation which is conducive to long-term use.

Sending video and audio messages may feel like an exercise in futility (why use a third-party tool when one could just type?) but the amount of time and energy you can save while simultaneously responding to feedback or beginning your next task adds up.

Similarly, having a video that your team can circle back to instead of requiring them to scroll through until they find your text post on a given topic is better for long-term productivity.

And, if all else falls short, it’s nice to see your remote team’s faces and hear their voices every once in a while—if for no other reason than to reassure yourself that they aren’t figments of your overly caffeinated imagination.

At the time of this writing, the video chat portion of the Slack bot is free; however, subsequent pricing tiers include advanced aspects such as integration with existing services, analytics, and unlimited respondents.

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Tech News

This phishing simulator tests your company’s (lack of) readiness

(TECHNOLOGY) Phishero is a tool which tests your organization’s resistance to phishing attacks. Pro tip: Most companies aren’t ready.

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phishing simulator

In the wake of any round of cyberattacks, many organizations question whether they’re prepared to defend themselves against things like hacking or other forms of information theft. In reality, the bulk of workplace data thievery comes from a classic trick: phishing.

Phishing is a catch-all phrase for a specific type of information theft which involves emailing. Typically, a phishing email will include a request for sensitive data, such as a password, a copy of a W-4, or an account’s details (e.g., security questions); the email itself will often appear to come from someone within the organization.

Similar approaches include emailing a link which acts as a login page for a familiar site (e.g., Facebook) but actually stores your account information when you sign in.

Luckily, there’s a way for you to test your business’ phishing readiness.

Phishero, a tool designed to test employee resistance to phishing attacks, is a simple solution for any business looking to find any weak links in their cybersecurity.

The tool itself is designed to do four main things: identify potential targets, find a way to design a convincing phishing scheme, implement the phishing attack, and analyze the results.

Once Phishero has a list of your employees, it is able to create an email based on the same web design used for your company’s internal communications. This email is then sent to your selected recipient pool, from which point you’ll be able to monitor who opens the email.

Once you’ve concluded the test, you can use Phishero’s built-in analytics to give you an at-a-glance overview of your organization’s security.

The test results also include specific information such as which employees gave information, what information was given, and pain points in your current cybersecurity setup.

Phishing attacks are incredibly common, and employees – especially those who may not be as generationally skeptical of emails – are the only things standing between your company and catastrophic losses if they occur in your business. While training your employees on proper email protocol out of the gate is a must, Phishero provides an easy way to see how effective your policies actually are.

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