16 Ways Online Retailers Are Tricking You During Quarantine

Emilee Geist

When COVID-19 lockdowns started in March and brick-and-mortar stores became mostly off-limits, consumers flocked to shop online, driving a monumental growth spurt in online spending.  According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales grew more than 30% between the first and second quarters of 2020; in the second quarter of 2020, Americans spent $211.5 billion online. Though panic buying and other consumer trends — like spending more time on social media — were largely responsible for the surge in online spending, e-retailers were quick to pull out tricks — or dark patterns — to lure shoppers into spending more.

“A dark pattern is a design practice that is intentionally created to mislead a user or have them do something that they wouldn’t normally do,” said Tyler Andersen, senior product designer at ConsumerTrack.

While many of these dark patterns — like cross-selling and targeted ads — are not

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Oconto school district going virtual due to COVID-19 | WFRV Local 5

Emilee Geist

OCONTO, Wis. (WFRV) – The Oconto Unified School District joins the many other Northeast Wisconsin school districts transitioning to virtual learning as the state continues to see an increase in positive COVID-19 cases.

In a letter shared with families, Superintendent Emily Miller says she has met with Oconto County health leaders, local superintendents, and the Board of Education to review current health data for the school district and county.

She says the district has heard concerns from teachers, staff, parents, and the community about the surge in cases in the community and school district as well as the lack of substitute teachers.

“Based on these discussions and our monitoring of local and national trends in COVID-19 cases, we will be moving to a full virtual learning model for all students starting on Friday, October 2. We will continue to monitor health data in our area,

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The best tablets for small businesses in 2020

Emilee Geist

A tablet can become a powerful tool for your small business. A tablet’s large screen is ideal for demos, graphs, and images, while the portable design often makes it more convenient than a laptop. If you’re often on the go and need a large screen to share information with employees or clients, a tablet could be the ideal choice for you.

Before investing in a tablet, it is a good idea to look at what features it offers and whether those features are necessary for your business.  The best tablets for small businesses should enhance connectivity and portability, deliver the kind of performance you need, and remain affordable.

How to choose a tablet

When you start shopping for a tablet for yourself and your team, don’t be mesmerized by all the flashy products that are available. You’ll be happier with your purchase, and it will serve you better if you

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Online learning during COVID-19: 8 ways universities can improve equity and access

Emilee Geist

This summer, universities around the world planned for an unprecedented back-to-school in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In most universities, centres of teaching and learning are responsible for supporting faculty members’ teaching for more effective student learning and a high quality of education.

Our collaborative research group, based at Université Laval, Concordia University, Florida State University, University of Southern California and San Francisco State University, sought to better understand how universities planned to make sure all students would have access to online learning and be able to participate as courses moved online. Our team met remotely with staff from 19 centres in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Lebanon.

We analyzed publicly shared resources from 78 centres in 23 countries about about how instructors could transform online learning during COVID-19. We also compiled publicly available resources from these centres about ways to address educational equity in

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Online Brand Building: Michel Bernard’s Guide to Standing Out Online

Emilee Geist

Whether it’s an established company or a small business, it pays to have a recognizable and preferably well-loved brand. A recent study found that 59% of consumers preferred to buy brands they were familiar with or liked. Brand familiarity is the holy grail of marketing and the ultimate goal of advertising in all its forms.

Digital marketing expert, Michel Bernard, has spent years improving and enhancing his skills in the world of digital marketing. He uses his significant experience and skills in advertising to bring creative solutions to marketing problems. With extensive experience in the marketing and advertising industry, he provides top quality marketing solutions for individuals and business owners based around the Gatineau, Outaouais, region of Quebec. From research to harnessing the power of advertising and social media, building a brand online can be a lot of work, but it’s also a valuable asset for any business large or

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Modern home offers unique design, space

Emilee Geist

Sarah Colburn, Special to the Times
Published 8:58 a.m. CT Oct. 1, 2020



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This modern-styled farmhouse welcomes family and friends with its architecturally arched entry and adjacent screened porch.

This home melds the eras in a blend of mill-work accents and rich wood detailing. Just inside the foyer, the great room touts wood-beamed ceilings and floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows overlooking the natural 2.25-acre landscape.

Wood floors and details like board and batten and shiplap create a warm and clean design in the space. A wooden mantle sits atop the shiplap fireplace and creates an ambiance and airiness in the room.

The gourmet kitchen is complete with open glass shelving, high-end appliances and a large

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Tech tips to cool off your hot laptop and help keep scammers at bay.

Emilee Geist


Setting up two-factor authentication for your devices is a good way to keep hackers at bay. (Photo: hanieriani, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A woman called her company’s tech support desk, and the technician asked for her password. She replied, “Snow White Cinderella Snoopy Dopey Pinocchio Harry Potter Ariel 5.” The technician said, “That’s a great long password.” The woman replied, “Thank you! I was told my password needs to have seven characters and one number.”

Jokes aside, you should never give anyone your password. As hacking methods get more sophisticated, there are new rules for creating hard-to-crack passwords. Tap or click here to make sure your passwords are up to snuff.

It’s also essential to set up two-factor authentication (2FA) on your accounts. If someone tries to hack your account, he won’t have access to the one-time code sent to your phone or email. Here is a step-by-step guide to setting

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Winter comes early in David Flaugher’s exhibition at And Now gallery

Emilee Geist

Artist David Flaugher works out of a studio in Hamtramck, Mich., in the Detroit metro area.
Artist David Flaugher works out of a studio in Hamtramck, Mich., in the Detroit metro area.(Clare Brennan)

David Flaugher, a versatile artist who’s just as comfortable with painting as he is with creating installation and assemblage art, has recently opened a solo exhibition at And Now gallery in the Dallas Design District. His work has been seen on an international level in a long list of venues since he earned his MFA degree in 2013 from New York University.

In the five pieces that make up this exhibition, three paintings of snowmen and two free-standing sculptures assembled with found objects (all executed in 2020), visitors can easily walk into the themes and ideas that Flaugher has grappled with in his work for several years. Notable among them is the tension between the beauty and pathos found, and revealed through, the precarity and ephemerality of existence that comes about through

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Invest in yourself with a huge online learning bundle for $99

Emilee Geist

Products featured here are selected by our partners at StackCommerce.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

This bundle includes over 6,000 lessons business, programming, and more.
This bundle includes over 6,000 lessons business, programming, and more.

Image: pexels

TL;DR: Be a jack of all trades with the Complete eLearning Lifetime Membership bundle for $99, a 99% savings as of Oct. 1. 

Want to dive into online learning, but not sure where to start? This bundle will save you from choosing at all: For a limited time, you can get access to hundreds of courses on business, personal development, programming, IT, and more for $99.

Dive into becoming a true jack of all trades with the Complete eLearning Lifetime Membership Bundle.

Here’s what’s covered in the bundle:

Game Design

Led by instructors with decades of industry experience, this 200-hour eLearning program helps you master game development

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Design Cycle Intelligence Is Key In Our Increasingly Digital, Self-Service World

Emilee Geist

Steve Flagg is the CEO and founder of Supplyframe.

Semiconductor and electronic component suppliers help power the devices and networks that keep us all connected. Their technology is the foundation on which digital transformation is built. Yet, if you look at the way these suppliers operate, many of them are digital laggards.

Many electronic component suppliers and distributors continue to take an old-school approach to marketing and sales. They rely on relationships with engineers at client companies and focus on customers who have spent the most with them in the past. Many of the insights into the customer’s design cycle are garnered through one-to-one conversations between sales and customer engineers.

In today’s increasingly digital and self-service world, where many buyers make decisions using online resources and Covid-19 has more people working from home, this no longer works and doesn’t allow for scale.

Understand That Behaviors Have Changed


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