Coke’s New “Taste the Feeling” Brand Campaign Doesn’t Lose Bad Feelings

The director of the Coca-Cola France company Imad Benmoussa speaks during the presentation of a new advertising campaign on January 19, 2016 in Paris. Photo credit: PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images) Coke launched its new “Taste The Feeling” campaign last week, which is its first global campaign across all Coke brands including Coca-Cola, […]

How Can You Avoid Value Traps In This Market?

When the stock market turns bad, like it has been recently, investors find it extremely difficult to remain positive. As a result, people tend to be more cynical during bad times than they would normally be during better times. When this happens, it becomes all too easy to paint every […]

Only 4 Of Your Facebook Friends Really Matter, New Study Finds

Having lots of friends online doesn’t mean you’ll have more people to pick you up when you’re down. Research published last week in The Royal Society Open Science journal shows that we tend to keep our friend groups small — on the internet and in real life.

Study author and Oxford psychologist Robin Dunbar analyzed a survey of 3,375 Facebook users in the United Kingdom. He found that, despite having about 150 Facebook friends on average, the participants would only turn to about four of those friends in an “emotional crisis.” They relied on about 14 for “sympathy.”

People tend to have similar numbers of close friends in real life, according to Dunbar’s previous research on social networks. So, even though social media sites like Facebook expand our online networks, they don’t actually swell the ranks of our true friends.

That’s because maintaining meaningful friendships, online and off, requires lots of time and mental effort.

“Creating friendships is very expensive in terms of time: to keep a friendship you have to invest a lot of time in the person, otherwise the friendship will inexorably decline in quality,” Robin Dunbar wrote to The Huffington Post in an email on Monday.  

Nothing about social media changes that basic fact. 

Here’s Dunbar in a 2012 TED Talk explaining why social networks won’t win you more friends:

This doesn’t mean technology could never allow us to overcome the constraints that keep social groups relatively intimate, Dunbar says. Technology that does a better job approximating face-to-face interactions might have a shot at growing real-life friend networks. 

New technology “will likely need to involve vision and touch because both are central to how we interact with each other (and make a big difference in how satisfying we find an interaction),” Dunbar told HuffPost.

Nor do Dunbar’s findings mean that large online networks lack value. Online social networks allow people to collect information from a large and diverse group of contacts, University of Michigan professor Nicole Ellison, who has researched Facebook networks, told HuffPost.

“Broadcasting a request for information via a status update is a great strategy for getting a quick answer from a diverse network,” Ellison said in an email.

Dunbar concludes that using social media might make it easier to keep friendships alive, but he reckons it’s not enough to prevent friendships from withering and networks from shrinking over time. 

Without face-to-face contact, friendships are bound to fade.

Time currently spent on Facebook keeping dying friendships on life support could be spent developing new, more meaningful friendships. And making new friends, Dunbar concludes, is probably a better use of one’s time. 

When you need that shoulder to cry on, you need a real shoulder — a virtual shoulder simply doesn’t do the job.”

If you don’t work at it, a Facebook friend will inevitably become “an acquaintance you once knew,” Dunbar wrote. 

So real.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



BMO forms Fortified Trust and prepares to enter the world of secured real estate credit lines

A process has been set in motion by which another Canadian bank will issue Real Estate Secured Line of Credit Backed Notes.

The Bank of Montreal has formed Fortified Trust, a special purpose entity. That entity (which apparently has nothing to do with alcohol) will purchase “undivided co-ownership interests in a revolving pool of receivables generated in certain real estate secured line of credit accounts” from the bank and fund that purchase via the sale of asset-backed securities to institutional and retail investors.

For BMO the issuer represents an alternative source of low-cost financing. It also means that BMO can redeploy the capital elsewhere.

BMO will join TD Bank, which has had a similar funding vehicle for more than 15 years. TD Bank set up Gensis Trust in 2000 and in its initial offering raised $1 billion via the sale of PowerLine Credit Receivables. During the next eight years it returned three times raising $3.32 billion. After that issuance dried up and in September 2011, the rating agency DBRS discontinued the ratings “as the Notes have been fully repaid.”

At the end of 2011, TD Bank returned with Genesis Trust 11. However it took about two years before that issuer completed its first asset backed transaction: a $1 billion funding. Since then it has done two other offerings raising $1.75 billion.

The Bank of Nova Scotia has also been active in this market. In 1999 it set up Hollis Receivables Term Trust, which completed a number of transactions, but a decade later it had bowed out of the business. Like TD it returned this time with Hollis Receivables Term Trust 11, and has completed four transactions with $1.95 billion of outstanding receivables. Unlike BMO and TD, Hollis issues unsecured receivables-backed notes.

GFL set for US$ high-yield market

While BMO is about to make its own history, a Toronto based “diversified environmental services company providing a comprehensive line up of solid waste, soil remediation, and liquid waste services,” is embarking on a well-trodden path.

GFL Environmental — which this month announced a definitive agreement to acquire Vancouver-based M&R Environmental Ltd. and which last October bought TransForce’s solid waste division for $800 million — is about to visit the US-dollar high yield market.

GFL is seeking US$250 million of five-year money. Monday S&P’s Rating Services issued a B rating on the of offering of senior unsecured notes. It also gave GFL a B rating for its long-term credit with a stable outlook. The reason: GFL “generate stable cash flow from its businesses, of which a larger portion is contracted, and will not experience any operating challenges that will reduce margins.

GFL, which is also receiving a $468 million equity infusion, and which Macquarie Infrastructure Partners 111 (which invested $393 million) owns 30 per cent of it, has been to the U.S. market before. According to Bloomberg it raised US$250 million of five-year debt at a 7.875 per cent coupon in 2015. In 2013 it raised $300 million in the domestic high yield market at a 7.50 per cent coupon of which $53 million has been repaid.

Because of regulatory changes in 2015, restrictions have been placed on which firms can participate in the high-yield market. Those rules mean only those underwriters registered in both countries can participate. Some U.S. firms declined to register in Canada under those new rules, meaning they can’t underwrite Canadian issuers in the U.S.

Credit Suisse, Barclays and BMO Capital Markets are underwriters on the issue. (CS and BMO were underwriters on its previous US$ high-yield financing.

bcritchey@nationalpost.com

Microsoft to Bring Windows Phone Keyboard to iOS With Unique One-Handed Mode

Microsoft is working on bringing its Word Flow Windows Phone keyboard to iOS devices and new images shared by The Verge offer a look at some of the included features, such as a one-handed mode for larger phones like the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus.

To enable one-handed typing, the keyboard has an arc-like design with letters radiating out from the iPhone’s display to be reached with just a thumb. The keyboard can be used this way on either the left or right side of the device, so it works for both right-handed and left-handed users. Microsoft’s own devices have a one-handed mode, but it shrinks the letters down to one side rather than rearranging the keys.

wordflowkeyboardonehanded

Microsoft’s upcoming iOS keyboard also has a standard view like any other third-party keyboard, and it’s said to be similar in design to the Word Flow keyboard used on Windows 10 Mobile devices. The Word Flow keyboard, first introduced with Windows Phone 8.1, is seen as a defining feature of the mobile Windows experience.

It features swipe-based typing like the third-party Swype keyboard on iOS, and it also features a built-in word prediction engine, automatic word corrections and shortcuts, multi-language support, emoji recommendations when typing, and more.

wordflowkeyboardios

News of Microsoft’s work on a third-party iOS keyboard first surfaced earlier this month after Microsoft began sending out beta invites to select people for testing purposes. It is not known when the keyboard might be ready to launch to the public, but The Verge says it will be available “in the coming months.”

Third-party keyboards have not yet been widely adopted on iOS devices due to ongoing issues with slowness, crashing, and other bugs, so it remains to be seen if Microsoft’s one-handed mode will win over iOS users.

Tag: Microsoft

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