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I40-420 Certified Function Point Specialist basics |

I40-420 basics - Certified Function Point Specialist Updated: 2023 I40-420 Brain Dumps with Real Questions. Read and pass
Exam Code: I40-420 Certified Function Point Specialist basics November 2023 by team

I40-420 Certified Function Point Specialist

Exam: I40-420 Certified Function Point Specialist

Exam Details:
- Number of Questions: The exam consists of multiple-choice and scenario-based questions.
- Time: Candidates are typically given a specified amount of time to complete the exam.

Course Outline:
The I40-420 certification focuses on the function point analysis methodology, which is used to measure the size and complexity of software projects. The course provides candidates with knowledge and skills related to function point analysis principles and practices. The course outline includes the following topics:

1. Introduction to Function Point Analysis
- Overview of function point analysis
- Purpose and benefits of function point analysis
- Role of the function point specialist

2. Function Point Counting Practices
- Function point counting rules and guidelines
- Counting software components (e.g., inputs, outputs, inquiries)
- Handling complexities and variations in function point counting

3. Function Point Analysis Techniques
- Estimating effort and cost based on function points
- Using function points for project planning and resource allocation
- Function point analysis in agile and iterative development environments

4. Function Point Analysis Tools
- Overview of function point analysis software tools
- Using automated tools for function point counting and analysis
- Interpreting and presenting function point analysis results

Exam Objectives:
The I40-420 exam aims to assess candidates' knowledge and understanding of function point analysis principles and practices. The exam objectives include:

1. Understanding the fundamentals of function point analysis and its role in measuring software size and complexity.
2. Applying function point counting rules and guidelines to accurately determine function point counts for software projects.
3. Utilizing function points for effort estimation, project planning, and resource allocation in software development.
4. Demonstrating proficiency in using function point analysis techniques in various development methodologies, including agile and iterative approaches.
5. Familiarity with function point analysis tools and their application for efficient and accurate function point counting and analysis.

Exam Syllabus:
The exam syllabus covers the following topics:

- Introduction to Function Point Analysis
- Function Point Counting Practices
- Function Point Analysis Techniques
- Function Point Analysis Tools

Candidates are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of these courses and demonstrate their ability to apply function point analysis principles in software measurement and estimation. The exam assesses their knowledge, critical thinking skills, and ability to apply function point analysis techniques in real-world scenarios.
Certified Function Point Specialist
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Certified Function Point Specialist
Question: 241
- From the CIS main menu, the CIS user selects the Transfer Employee Data option.
- The Transfer Employee Data option creates a transaction file of CIS Employee logical
file records that have a status flag equal to Add or Change. Each record in the
transaction file contains employee badge number, first name, last name, phone number,
facility, supervisor badge number, organization, job code, and status flag.
- The CIS transaction file is written to the Financial System (FS) server's temporary file
work area. This data transfer is a user requirement for both applications.
- From the FS main menu, the FS user selects the Load Employee Data option.
- The Load Employee Data option accesses the CIS transaction file from the FS server's
temporary file work area. The Load Employee Data option processes the input records
according to the status flag, initiating different processing logic for Add and Change.
The Load Employee Data option loads all attributes from each record to the FS, except
the status flag.
- As part of the same elementary process, when an employee is being Added or
Changed to the FS Employee logical file it also saves the employee's pay grade code,
retrieved from the Payroll System.
- Both applications have a requirement to access a version of the Employee logical file.
Determine the complexity for the functions listed. Select the complexity for each
Question: 242
For the TAX application the user required the migration of existing taxpayer information
(name, tax identification number, location name) to
the TAX application. A conversion
file with taxpayer data was created and imported into the Taxpayer logical file in the
TAX application. The source of the data was the Account Holder logical file. The user
required the ability to Add, Change and Delete the taxpayer information in the Taxpayer
logical file. The user required the ability to View the taxpayer information prior to
changing or deleting information. From the Names of Possible Functions listed identify
the base functional components for the TAX application baseline. Select N/A if a Name
of Possible Functions does not apply. Identify the functions used:
Question: 243 115
Several functions are outlined within the following scenario for the Accounts Receivable
- From the main menu, the user selects the receive payment option.
- The receive payment option opens a screen which allows the user to add or change
payment information on the Payment Information logical file after performing an
inquiry on payments received for the customer. The receive payment option updates the
Customer Master logical file to store a current outstanding balance due. If there was no
existing outstanding balance, the current balance is added to the Customer Master
logical file.
- From the main menu, the user selects the balance review option.
- The balance review option accesses the Customer Master logical file and allows the
user to create a summary report with customer balance totals.
- The balance review summary option accesses the Customer Master and Currency
created that contains a comprehensive list of all past
Translation logical files. A report is
balance changes in both company standard currency and customer local currency.
From the Names of Possible Functions listed identify the transactional functions for the
Accounts Receivable application. Select N/A if a Name of Possible Function does not
apply. Identify the functions used:
Question: 244
- The Organization consists of three levels of organizational hierarchy. There are one or
more Groups to a Department and one or more Departments to a Division. When a
Division is deleted all associated Departments and Groups are also deleted. Organization
data (including all three parts) is maintained by the Payroll application.
- All the remaining tables are maintained by the HR application.
- All the remaining data is maintained by the HR application.
- The HR application stores information on the employee in the Employee logical file.
Employee dependent information about the spouse and children of the employee are
stored on the Employee Dependent table.
- Health insurance plan, dental insurance plan, life insurance, and accident insurance
data is stored in the Benefits logical file.
- Pay rate, bonus percentage, vacation accrual rate, vacation balance, and pension
accrual rate are stored on the Compensation logical file.
- Training classes attended and scheduled are stored in the Training logical file.
- The health insurance table contains the code and description for all Health Insurance
plans offered to the employees for health coverage.
- The dental insurance table contains the code and description for all Dental Insurance
plans offered to the employee for dental coverage From the Names of Possible
Functions listed identify the data functions for the HR application. Select N/A if a Name
of Possible Function does not apply. Identify the data functions used:
Question: 245
A baseline count is to be conducted for the Payment Information Application (PIA).
Client Credit History logical file is made available to the teller while processing a
customer's wire payment. The Client Credit History logical file is retrieved from the
Credit Master Application (CMA). PIA also receives an end-of-day import file of wire
payments from the Foreign Banking (FB) application. PIA maintains all customer wire
payments in the Wire Payment logical file. During the processing of the wire payments,
the currency is converted from the customer's local currency to PIA's currency using the
FB application Currency logical file. The teller must review the client credit history, and
then update the Credit Limit logical file in the PIA before processing the wire payment.
Tellers maintain the Customer Account logical file using the maintain customer account
function within PIA. From the Names of Possible Functions listed identify the data
functions for the PIA. Select N/A if a Name of Possible Function does not apply.
Identify the data functions used:
Question: 246
The Stock Purchasing (SP) and Point of Sale (POS) applications have the following
- The POS application maintains details of customer purchases in the Item Purchases
logical file.
- The SP application is used to place orders with suppliers based on daily inventory
levels. 120
- The SP application is used to maintain supplier information. The supplier Information
logical file contains descriptions of items the supplier stocks and supplier contact
- The Inventory logical file is maintained by the SP application through a daily batch
process which references the Item Purchases logical file.
- When the batch process is complete, the SP application displays a list of items that are
below 20% of normal inventory levels. The user selects items to be ordered and
specifies the supplier. The SP application then generates a purchase order for each
supplier. The purchase orders are sent electronically to each supplier and stored in the
Order logical file.
- From the Names of Possible Functions listed identify the data function both the SP
and POS applications. Select N/A if a Name of Possible Function does not apply.
Identify the functions used:
Question: 247
The Robot Automation Program (RAP) is an application which allows factory
create and edit the weld placement programs for various robots on the
technicians to
assembly line. Both transactions maintain the Weld Specification and Robot logical
The use may select and view reboot details:
The user may print individual welding program details:
From the Names of Possible Functions listed identify the transactional functions for the
RAP application. Select N/A if a Name of Possible Functions does not apply. Identify
the functions used:
Answer: 124
Question: 248
The Procurement application user requires the ability to control how and when reports
are printed. The following list shows the specific user requirements for generating
- Display a list of reports that are available to be printed.
- The user selects a report to be printed. If report control information exists for the
requested report, the report control is
displayed from the Report Control logical file.
- If report control information has not been specified for the requested report, the user
may add the following report controls:
- If report control information exists for the requested report, the user may update or
delete the report controls.
From the Names of Possible Functions listed identify the transactional functions for the
Procurement application. Select N/A if a Name of Possible Function does not apply.
Identify the functions used:
Question: 249
The Account Reconciliation Application (ARA) is used by banking operations to match
credit (in) and debit (out) transactions within client accounts. Both credit and debit
transactions are received from several other applications and stored as the Client
Reconciliation logical file. ARA is capable of automatically matching transactions based
on the Business Parameters logical file which is maintained by users in the ARA. Access
permissions in the User Access logical file are maintained by users in the ARA, and
contain online user account permissions and approval levels. The users can maintain
their own report forms in the Reporting logical file. All reports use the Currency logical
file, which is maintained by an external application, to convert the local payment
currency to Euros. From the Names of Possible Functions listed identify the data
functions for the ARA. Select N/A if a Name of Possible Function does not apply.
Identify the functions used:
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IFPUG Specialist basics - BingNews Search results IFPUG Specialist basics - BingNews Payday 3 Skills Overview Guide

Players in Payday 3 have a vast library of skills to invest in and Strengthen their abilities during Heist Mission. Depending on your playstyle, you can choose the skill to perform the best in every situation. You can become even more destructible if you select the right weapon for each situation on top of the skills.

Whether you want to increase your skills as a lockpicker or become a hacker, Payday 3 has covered you with its big skill trees.

The Skills in Payday are very diverse and have a total category of 17 with 105 sub-skills in each one. It would be best to research each skill tree to unlock its sub-skills.

To unlock these skills, you need to have points in your Payday 3. After choosing which skill you want to unlock, head to the skills menu and unlock it using “1 Point”. Once the skill is unlocked, you must unlock the nodes, known as the sub-skills, using “1 Point” once again.

After that, you can unlock each subskills starting from the lowest in the node. For that, you will require “1 Point” for every sub-skill. The Payday 3 “Master Node, “the highest skill in each node, will automatically be unlocked once you have unlocked all the previous sub-skills in the particular skills.

You can also invest in the “Ace” skill in the first skill node to gain a competitive advantage over other players. Unlocking this skill is not required to unlock additional skills in the nodes, so it’s up to you.



You can invest in Medic Skill of Payday 3 to become a medic during the heist mission for tasks such as “Reviving Downed Teammates.” You will get access to the “Medic Bags and First Aid Kits” or that. The Master Note of Medic Skill is “Field Surgery.”

Medic BASIC: “You revive teammates 20% faster, and Medic Bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.”

Medic ACED: “When you start reviving a teammate, you are in GRIT. As long as you have GRIT, you take 40% less damage when reviving a teammate.”

Steady Hands: “Interacting with Medic Bags heals you for an additional 20% of your max health.”

Extra Charge: “The Medic Bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.”

Combat Medic: “If you have GRIT, successfully reviving your teammate will deliver you and that teammate damage immunity for 5 seconds.”

Code Blue: “Whenever a teammate is downed or disabled, you gain or refer sh RUSH. As long as you have RUSH, you pick teammates up 30% faster.”

Triage: “Interacting with a Medic Bag or First Aid Kit will consume active EDGE, GRIT, and RUSH and heal you for 5% each. You interact 50% faster with Medic Bags and First Aid Kits.”

Field Surgery: “Interacting with any Medic Bag will restore an additional 10% of your max health and restore 1 “down.”

Ammo Specialist

Ammo Specialist is a skill tree in Payday 3 that will make you an expert in Ammunition Drops during the heist missions. Also, the quality of the bags carrying ammo will Strengthen for this skill. The Master Note of Ammo Specialist is “Top Up.”

Ammo Specialist BASIC: “Your reserve ammo capacity is increased by 20%, and the Ammo bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.”

Ammo Specialist ACED: “Whenever you pick up ammo, if your current weapon’s magazine is full, you gain EDGE if you don’t have it.”

Scrounger: “As long as you have EDGE, ammo drops have a 10% chance of replenishing one of your throwables.”

Fully Loaded: “Ammo bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.”

Plate Up: “As long as you have GRIT, ammo drops will instantly regenerate your current armor chunk.”

High Grain: “After interacting with an ammo bag, you get 20% more damage for 10 seconds. This bonus does not stack with itself.”

Mag Throw: “As long as you have RUSH, any ammo drops you pick up are also given to crew members within 10 meters. This won’t trigger the Mag Throw skill of other players.”

Top Up: “Interacting with any ammo bag will restore an additional 20% ammo and fully restock your throwables.”


Mower is your skill tree if you want to increase your damage output of the ammunition. Using this skill, you can kill more enemies than ever due to its roved consistency. The Master Note of Mower is “Sprint Loaded”.

Mower BASIC: “Every 35 bullets you shoot, gain EDGE.”

Mower ACED: “Whenever you reload a weapon with an empty magazine, refresh EDGE.”

Recoil Handling: “As long as you have EDGE, your recoil is reduced.”

Suppressive Fire: “As long as you have EDGE, every shot from your weapon can inflict a heavy stagger.”

Ammo Funnel: “As long as you have EDGE, the ammo you pick up is directly added to your equipped weapon’s magazine. If your magazine is complete, it’s added to your reserves instead.

Replenish: “As long as you have EDGE, you automatically pick up ammo dropped by enemies you have killed.”

Sprint Loaded: “You can reload while sprinting.”


Infiltrator is a skill tree in Payday 3 that will increase your skills as a lockpicker. You can then trespass on any public property and lose it whenever you like. As a bonus, your knife-throwing skill can also be increased. The Master Note of Infiltrator is “Frugal Thrower.”

Infiltrator BASIC: “Whenever you successfully pick a lock or kill an enemy with a throwing knife, gain or refresh RUSH.”

Infiltrator ACED: “Whenever a guard begins to detect you, gain RUSH.”

Quick Fingers: “As long as you have RUSH, a successful lockpick jiggle will immediately pick the lock.”

Retriever: “Your throwing knives won’t break on impact with the environment.”

Bagger: “As long as you have RUSH, you bag loot 50% faster.”

Blade Bouncer: “Your throwing knives will ricochet off the environment up to two times. The throwing knife will do extra damage for each bounce.”

Frugal Thrower: “Throwables you use have a 20% chance to be replenished after they are destroyed.”


Tank skills will help you strengthen your offense and the defense during the heist missions. You will get access to the upgraded armor, preventing you from getting damaged. Also, you will get an Improved ammunition bag, so you never get out of ammo. The Master Note of Tank skill is “Disengage.”

Tank BASIC: “Increase the regeneration speed of your armor chunks by 20%. Your armor bag has 2 additional charges.”

Tank ACED: “Whenever one of your armor chunks breaks, gain or refresh GRIT.”

Hardy: “As long as you have at least one armor chunk, any flashbang, stagger, and stun effect duration you suffer is lowered by 50%.”

Extra Plates: “Your armor bag has 2 additional charges.”

Armor Up: “Interacting with any armor bag will restore an additional chunk.”

Last Man Standing: “If damage would normally down you, you can consume available GRIT to stay on your feet and become immune to damage for 10 seconds. After this effect has been applied, you can’t gain GRIT until you heal using a Medic Bag or First Aid Kit or until you’re downed.”

Disengage: “Once per heist, you can free yourself from a Cloaker or Zapper, after which you can’t be disabled by them again for 5 seconds.”


You should invest in Sharpshooter skills to be a better sniper in Payday 3. Not only will the sniping skill be improved, but your AI will also be improved. If you hit any enemy, it will deal more damage, even if he is wearing armor. The Master Note of Sharpshooter skill is “Speed Aim.”

Sharpshooter BASIC: “Stand still for 1.5 seconds while aiming down sights or scopes and gain EDGE.”

Sharpshooter ACED: “Performing a headshot while aiming down sight will refresh your EDGE.”

Collateral Control: “If you destroy a Special enemy’s weak point, like the Zapper’s battery or the Nader’s belt, the explosion will only affect enemies.”

Long Shot: “As long as you have EDGE and are aiming down sights, distance penalties do not apply to headshot multipliers.”

Precision Shot: “When aiming down a scope, your shot will consume any EDGE you have. When this happens, your shot will do extra damage based on your scope magnification.”

Cutting Shot: “As long as you have EDGE, your armor penetration is increased.”

Speed Aim: “Increase your ADS and scope speed.”

Escapist Skill Tree in Payday 3

There will be many scenarios in a heist mission when you must rely on your foot to escape the crime scene. For this, you should invest in Escapist skills, allowing you to run faster than ever with improved mobility. The Master Note of Escapist skill is “Sprint Loaded”.

Escapist BASIC: “Whenever you sprint for at least 3 seconds, gain RUSH.”

Escapist ACED: “If you have RUSH available and slide, it’s consumed, and you gain or refresh EDGE.”

Balanced: “As long as you have RUSH and an enemy or effect would stagger you, instead consume RUSH and ignore the stagger.”

Move & Cover: “If you have EDGE available and vault or mantle, it’s consumed, and you gain or refresh GRIT.”

Slide Tackle: “If you have GRIT and slide into one or more non-Special enemies, you consume GRIT and stagger those enemies.”

Battering Ram: “As long as you have EDGE, GRIT, or RUSH, you can sprint through locked doors to breach them. Only effective on doors with locks that can be picked or shot.”

Swift: “Your base sprinting speed when masked on is increased by 10%.”


In hostile situations, using weapons will worsen the situation, which is where throwable comes into play. To Strengthen your skill in throwab es, you should invest in Demolitionist skills. It also has a high success rate of getting rid of enemies. This is because this skill will make sure the throwable explodes upon hitting the target. The Master Note of Demolitionist is “Extra Munitions”

Demolitionist BASIC: “Explosions caused by your shots or throwables have their area of effect increased by 20%.”

Demolition ACED: “Whenever you cause an explosion, gain or refresh RUSH.”

Cooker: “Whenever you hold a throwable for at least 1.5 seconds before throwing it, gain GRIT.”

Shell Shock: “Non-special enemies damaged by your explosions get a permanent penalty of 10% to accuracy. This effect can only be applied once.”

Blowback: “As long as you have RUSH, non-special enemies damaged by your explosions lose all armor.”

Blast Shield: “Available GRIT is consumed to negate any damage you would normally receive from explosions caused by you.”

Overcooked: “Any throwable or weapon you use that has an explosive component will no longer run on a timer but will immediately explode on impact with the environment or an NPC.”

Extra Munitions: “Your throwable capacity is increased by 2.”


Enforcer is a skill in Payday 3 that will Strengthen your “Close Quarter Combat” abilities. You will often find yourself in these situations when doing heist missions. The Master Note of Enforcer is “Shock and Ave.”

Enforcer BASIC: “Whenever you kill 2 enemies within 4 seconds that are within 5 meters of you, you gain GRIT.”

Enforcer ACED: “Whenever you kill 1 enemy within 5 meters range, if you have GRIT, gain EDGE.”

Quick Reload: “As long as you have both GRIT and EDGE, you have increased reload speed.”

Face to Face: “As long as you have both EDGE and GRIT, you deal 10% extra damage to targets within 5 meters of you.”

Solid: “As long as you have both EDGE and GRIT, you’re immune to stagger effects.”

Combat Reload: “Whenever you reload a weapon while the magazine still has ammo, refresh EDGE and GRIT.”

Shock & Awe: “Killing an enemy within 8 meters of you has a chance to stagger all non-Special enemies within 5 meters of you.”


Manipulator is your skill if you want to excel in every situation involving hostages. This skill will Strengthen your ability to take hostage and their compliance. The Master Note of Manipulator is “Master Trader.”

Manipulator BASIC: “You tie up and trade hostages 50% faster.”

Manipulator ACED: “Whenever you trade a hostage, they count as one additional hostage.”

Overbearing: “Your shout range for intimidating civilians has increased by 20%. Civilians stay down 50% longer after being shouted down.”

Silver Tongue: “Trading Employees, Guards, or Law Enforcement counts as trading an additional hostage.”

Negotiator: “Trading hostages for First Aid now yields 1 additional First Aid pack.”

Menacing: “You can shout at guards, SWAT, or Heavy SWAT within 5 meters of you to force them to surrender. If you’re aiming at them, they will go down on their knees and drop their weapon. Any damage dealt to them or taking your aim off of them interrupts this process. Once fully surrendered, the SWAT obeys all the rules of a citizen, including any penalties for killing them. You can’t have more than one SWAT as a hostage at any time.”

Stockholm Syndrome: “When you’re downed, you can shout at a tied-down or cowering hostage within range to try and reach you and revive you.”

Master Trader: “Every hostage you trade between assault waves reduces the next player’s time in custody by 20 seconds; the minimum time spent in custody is capped at 10 seconds. This time reduction resets after any player has been taken into custody.”

Engineer skill tree in Payday 3

Engineer is a skill tree that lets you perform better in the heist mission by deploying sentry humanoid robots. These are intelligent robots capable of shooting enemies and dodging all incoming fire. The Master Note of the Engineer is “Targeted Fire.”

Engineer BA IC: “Unlocking this skill gives you access to the Sentry Turret equipment. This turret can be equipped in the equipment slot of your loadout. The turret will shoot any non-mechanical enemies it sees until the enemies are dead or no longer within sight.

As it shoots, it will build up heat until it reaches maximum heat. Once the sentry is at full heat, it will stop functioning. The owner of the turret can pick up the turret at any point to reset the heat to 0 and redeploy it. Equipping this skill increases the max heat build-up of your turret by 20%.”

Engineer ACED: “Increase the max heat build-up of your sentry turret by another 20%.”

AP Turret: “Increase armor penetration of sentry turrets you deploy by 1.”

Cooling System: “Reduce heat build-up from damage, electrical explosions, or hack attempts by 30% for all turrets.”

Detonation: “Whenever your turret overheats, it will cause an explosion that damages NPCs in an area.”

Spin Cycle: “Your sentry turret can now rotate 360 degrees to acquire its targets.”

Dual Sentries: “You can now deploy a second sentry turret, but all your turrets build heat 50% faster while shooting.”

Targeted Fire: “Your turrets will switch targets to whichever enemy you mark manually if it’s within line of sight. If you mark multiple enemies, it will prioritize the last one you marked.”


Gunslinger is the skill that will increase your Revolver and Sho gun managing skills. You will also get Hip Firing a bonus with this skill. The Master Note of Gunslinger is “Quick Draw.”

Gunslinger BASIC: “Whenever you switch your weapon, you gain EDGE. ADSing will end any EDGE you have active.”

Gunslinger ACED: “Performing headshots with your weapon in hip-fire will refresh any EDGE you have.”

From the Hip: “As long as you have EDGE, your hipfire spread is decreased.”

Heavy Hipfire: “As long as you have EDGE, hipfire shots will cause heavy stagger.”

Finisher: “If you have EDGE, the last shot of your magazine will consume it to deal 200% more damage.”

Quick Draw: “Increase your weapon swap speed.”


A mode in Payday 3 called Casing Mode will let you inspect the heist place as a civilian before anything happens. Investing in Grifter skills will allow you to be a professional in Casing Mode. The Master Note of Grifter is “Slippery”.

Grifter BASIC: “As long as you are masked off, if you are within 1 meter of a civilian or employee, gain RUSH.”

Grifter ACED: “When you mask on, any civilians and employees within 10 meters that can see you will become intimidated.”

Walk the Walk: “As long as you’re unmasked and have RUSH, cameras can’t detect you are trespassing in private areas.”

Social Engineering: “As long as you’re unmasked and have RUSH, employees will ignore you are performing illegal actions.”

Open Mic: “You answer radios 50% faster.”

Slippery: “After getting cuffed by a guard, you can break free by lockpicking the cuffs.”

Hacker skill tree in Payd y 3

As the name indicates, Hacker is the skill that allows you to be a better hacker in Payday 3. You can then be able to be run a stealthy operation without the consequence of getting caught. The Master Note of Hacker is “Signal Catch.”

Hacker BASIC: “You can hack cameras to access the area’s CCTV system. This functions as though you had accessed the heist’s security room. You gain one Runtime.”

Hacker ACED: “You can overload a device with an active Runtime. This will cause an electrical explosion that will stun anyone within range and destroy the device. You gain one additional Runtime.”

Secu e Loop: “You can use one Runtime to make the security camera you’re controlling Loop its footage. Cameras looping their foot e cannot detect you or anything unusual. If the camera is destroyed, you regain your Runtime use. If you apply a new Runtime at max Runtimes, your oldest active one is removed.”

Appliance Breach: “You can activate lures from a distance, as long as you have a clear line of sight.”

Routed Ping: “You can spend a Ru time to make the hacked camera automatically mark any guards or law enforcement within its range. Targets stay marked for 5 seconds after leaving the camera’s view and do not count towards your maximum number of marked targets.”

Glitch Protocol: “You can hack a guard’s radio to cause a disturbance, stopping and distracting them, pausing any action they are doing. You must have a line of sight to the guard to hack them. The guard is distracted for 5 seconds, after which they will return to their previous action.”

Signal Catch: “You can answer radios remotely if you have a line of sight to the guard’s body.”


Tactician is one skill that Payday 3 offers, allowing players to “Stun” and “Stagger” enemies during the heist missions. The Master Note of Tactician is “Scramble”.

Tactician BASIC: “Whenever you stun or stagger an enemy, gain EDGE.”

Tactician ACED: “It will increase your flashbang and smoke grenade area of effect by 20%.”

Crowd Control: “Civilians affected by your flashbang will cower for a duration that is twice as long as if you had shouted them down. Civilians affected by your smoke grenade will stop moving unless you order them to follow you.”

Coup de Grâce: “If you have EDGE, you will deal 5% more damage when you shoot a staggered or stunned enemy.”

Discombobulate: “Enemies affected by our flashbangs suffer a 40% damage debuff for the stun duration and 5 seconds after it wears off. Enemies affected by your smoke grenade suffer a 40% damage debuff while in the smoke, and it lasts 5 seconds after they have escaped the smoke.”

Expose: “Shots fired at enemies affected by your flashbang will ignore armor for as long as they are stunned.”

Scramble: “Any stun effects you apply last 20% longer.”

Strategist Skill tree in Payday 3

With Strategist skills, you can make plans and strategies with a 100% success rate. This skill will also Strengthen your ability to handle unforeseen situations in Payday 3. The Master Note of Strategist is “Marked for Death.”

Strategist B SIC: “You can mark 1 additional target. Your marks last 20% longer.”

Strategist ACED: “You can mark 1 additional target. Your marks last 20% longer.”

Combat Marking: “As long as you have EDGE, you deal an extra 10% damage against any marked target.”

Threat Assessment: “As long as you have GRIT, you take 10% less damage from any marked target.”

Misdirect: “As long as you have RUSH, any marked Cloaker or Zapper that tries to disable you will suffer a heavy stagger instead.”

Marked for Death: “Whenever you are downed or disabled by an enemy, that enemy and up to 5 enemies within 5 meters of you are marked.”

CQC Specialist

Investing in Payday 3 CQC certified is your best choice if you want to take down enemies without them ever knowing. Not only the stealth, but you will also get “Human Shield Effectiveness” using this skill. The Master Note of the CQC Specialist is “Cover-Up”.

CQC Specialist BASIC: “Whenever you perform a takedown, gain or refresh RUSH.”

CQC Specialist ACED: “Whenever you grab a human shield, gain or refresh GRIT.”

Soft Assets: “When you shove away a SWAT you’re using as a human shield, gain extra ammo. You move 5% faster while holding a human shield.”

Groundskeeper: “You per orm takedowns 20% faster.”

Pin Puller: “If you have GRIT and have a SWAT you held as a human shield, GRIT is consumed. And then one SWAT’s smoke grenade is triggered when they land. You move 5% faster while holding a human shield.”

Savage Takedown: “Whenever you perform a takedown, any civilian within 5 meters will immediately become intimidated.”

Pressure Points: “Corpses you’ve left after performing a takedown need to be examined in detail before civilians and guards realize they are dead.”

Cover-Up: “Taking down a guard will immediately also answer the radio.”

Sun, 24 Sep 2023 19:23:00 -0500 en-US text/html
527 Basics
Search for a 527 organization:
Find Your Representatives

The term "527" refers to political organizations as identified in their tax filings with the Internal Revenue Service. The number "527" refers to the section of the tax code that governs such entities. These groups are typically parties, candidates, committees or associations organized for the purpose of influencing an issue, policy, appointment or election, be it federal, state or local.

Such organizations can raise unlimited funds from individuals, corporations or labor unions, but they must register with the IRS and disclose their contributions and expenditures.

To be exempt from federal income tax, all such political organizations must electronically file notice of section 527 status (Form 8871) with the IRS with the exception of

  • Committees required to file with the FEC
  • State or local candidate or party committees
  • An organization that anticipates annual gross receipts of less than $25,000
  • NOTE: All political committees that register and file reports with the Federal Election Commission are 527 organizations, but not all 527s are federally registered political committees. For more information on 527 organizations, please visit the IRS web site.

Wed, 12 Jun 2019 04:27:00 -0500 en text/html
Dark Money Basics

What is Dark Money?

“Dark money” refers to spending meant to influence political outcomes where the source of the money is not disclosed. Here’s how dark money makes its way into elections:

  • Politically active nonprofits such as 501(c)(4)s are generally under no legal obligation to disclose their donors even if they spend to influence elections. When they choose not to reveal their sources of funding, they are considered dark money groups.
  • Opaque nonprofits and shell companies may deliver unlimited amounts of money to super PACs. While super PACs are legally required to disclose their donors, some of these groups are effectively dark money outlets when the bulk of their funding cannot be traced back to the original donor.

Dark money groups have spent roughly $1 billion — mainly on television and online ads and mailers — to influence elections in the decade since the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court ruling that gave rise to politically active nonprofits.

Citizens who are barraged with political messages paid for with money from undisclosed sources may not be able to consider the credibility and possible motives of the wealthy corporate or individual funders behind those messages.

Infographic: See how Dark Money flows between nonprofits

Types of Election Spending

Political jargon can get confusing. What you need to know about spending to influence elections is that there are two main types.

Hard money: traditional political spending

With this kind of spending, donors must be disclosed, contribution limits apply and organizations are allowed to coordinate their efforts to help elect a candidate. This is not dark money. These groups include candidate committees, political parties and traditional Political Action Committees (PAC).

Soft money: outside political spending

Outside spending — sometimes referred to as independent or non-coordinated spending — refers to political spending made by organizations and individuals other than the candidate campaigns themselves. All outside groups that aren't political parties — except for a few traditional PACs that make independent expenditures — are allowed to accept unlimited sums of money from individuals, corporations or unions. With these donations, groups may engage in a number of direct political activities, including buying advertising that advocates for or against a candidate, going door to door, or running phone banks. However, these organizations are not allowed to coordinate their spending with political candidates or parties. While some outside groups — like super PACs — are required to disclose their donors, others are not. These nondisclosing organizations are referred to as dark money groups.

As the chart below illustrates, dark money groups are growing in size, scope and share of election spending with each election cycle.

Graph: Outside Spending by Nondisclosing Groups, Excluding Party Committees

Based on data released daily by the FEC. Last updated on October 24, 2023.

Types of Dark Money Spending

Whenever money is spent in a political election with the purpose of influencing the decision of a voter and the source of the money is not disclosed, it is dark money. Common types of organizations that can spend in elections while shielding the sources of their money are outlined in greater detail below.

Political Nonprofits

Nonprofit, tax-exempt groups organized under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code may engage in varying amounts of political activity. Because they are not technically political organizations, they are generally not required to disclose their donors to the public. These groups, like super PACs, cannot coordinate spending with political parties or candidates, and therefore are allowed to raise unlimited sums of money from individuals, organizations and corporations.

Types of 501(c) Organizations

There are a number of types of 501(c) organizations with different structures, uses and capabilities. None of these organizations are required to publicly disclose the identity of their donors or sources of money though some disclose funding sources voluntarily.

  • 501(c)(3) groups: These organizations operate for religious, charitable, scientific or educational purposes. These groups are not supposed to engage in any political activities, though some voter registration activities are permitted. Donations to these organizations are tax-deductible.

    Groups you may know: NAACP, Center for American Progress, Heritage Foundation, OpenSecrets

  • 501(c)(4) groups: Often referred to as "social welfare" organizations, these nonprofits are the most common kind of dark money group. They may engage in political activities, as long as these activities do not become their primary purpose. The IRS has never defined what "primary" means, or how a percentage should be calculated, so the current de facto rule is 49.9 percent of overall expenditures, a limit that some groups have found easy to circumvent. Donations to these groups are not tax-deductible.

    Groups you may know: National Rifle Association, Planned Parenthood, Majority Forward, One Nation

  • 501(c)(5) groups: These are labor and agricultural groups and may engage in political activities, as long as they adhere to the same general limits as 501(c)(4) organizations. They are generally funded by dues from union employees. Donations to these groups are not tax-deductible.

    Groups you may know: Service Employees International Union (SEIU), American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

  • 501(c)(6) organizations: These are business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards and trade associations, which may engage in political activity as long as they adhere to the same general limits as 501(c)(4) organizations. Donations to these groups are not tax-deductible.

    Groups you may know: US Chamber of Commerce, American Bankers Association, National Association of Realtors

Graph: 501(c) Spending by Type

Based on data released daily by the FEC. Last updated on October 24, 2023.

Super PACs

Technically known as independent expenditure committees, super PACs may raise and spend an unlimited amount of money and accept contributions from companies, nonprofits, unions and individuals. Since super PACs cannot deliver money directly to candidates, they are exempt from the limits on fundraising and spending that regular PACs must abide by.

Despite the sometimes inaccurate portrayal of them in the media, super PACs must identify all of their donors to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and thereby to the public. They must do so on a monthly or semiannual basis in non-federal election years and monthly in the year of an election. In that sense, super PACs are quite transparent, except when the donor is a shell corporation or a nonprofit that doesn't disclose its donors.

So-called pop-up super PACs formed shortly before an election may game disclosure deadlines, enabling them to spend unlimited sums influencing races without disclosing their funding sources until after voters go to the polls.

While super PACs are not allowed to coordinate any of their independent expenditures with a candidate's campaign, many single-candidate super PACs are run by individuals who are personally close to a candidate or formerly associated with a campaign.

Hybrid PACs (Carey Committees)

A hybrid PAC has the ability to operate both as a traditional PAC, contributing funds to a candidate's committee, and as a super PAC that makes independent expenditures. To do so, these committees must have a separate bank account for each purpose. The committee may collect unlimited contributions from almost any source for its independent expenditure account, but may not use those funds for its traditional PAC contributions.

LLCs and Shell Companies

Limited Liability Companies (LLC) perform a number of necessary business functions. However, their unique structure may easily be abused or used in order to hide less than above-board activity. In politics, LLCs are sometimes established to help disguise the identity of a donor or source of money spent on behalf of a political candidate.

LLCs are governed by state law, but generally, minimal information is necessary to file the required articles of incorporation. In states such as Delaware, New Mexico, Nevada and Wyoming, LLCs may be incorporated without even disclosing the names of members or managers.

This lack of accountability and transparency have helped disguise the source of millions of dollars in political spending. Shell companies make major contributions to super PACs each election cycle, leaving voters in the dark while the recipient often knows the donor's true identity.

Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the OpenSecrets. For permission to reprint for commercial uses, such as textbooks, contact OpenSecrets:

Sun, 09 Apr 2023 08:01:00 -0500 en text/html
Understanding Fainting: The Basics

Fainting, also called syncope (pronounced SIN-ko-pee), is a sudden, brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by decreased blood flow to the brain.

Many different conditions can cause fainting. These include heart problems such as irregular heartbeats,  low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), anemia (a deficiency in healthy oxygen-carrying cells), and problems with how the nervous system regulates blood pressure. Some types of fainting seem to run in families.

While fainting may happen because of a particular medical condition, sometimes it may occur in an otherwise healthy person. Fainting is a particular problem for the elderly, who may suffer serious injuries from falls when they faint. Most episodes are very brief. In most cases, the individual who has fainted regains complete consciousness within just a few minutes.

Fainting is a common problem, accounting for 3% of emergency room visits and 6% of hospital admissions. A person may feel faint and lightheaded (presyncope) or lose consciousness (syncope).

Fainting may have a variety of causes. A simple episode, also called a vasovagal attack or neurally mediated syncope, is the most common type of fainting spell. It is most common in children and young adults. A vasovagal attack happens because blood pressure drops, reducing circulation to the brain and causing loss of consciousness. Typically an attack occurs while standing and is frequently preceded by a sensation of warmth, nausea, lightheadedness, and visual "grayout." If the syncope is prolonged, it can trigger something called a convulsive syncope which is similar to a seizure.

You may have a simple fainting spell due to anxiety, fear, pain, intense emotional stress, hunger, or use of alcohol or drugs. Most people who have a simple fainting spell have no underlying heart or neurological (nerve or brain) problem.

Some people have a problem with the way their body regulates their blood pressure, particularly when they move too quickly from a lying or sitting position to a standing position. This condition is called postural hypotension and may be severe enough to cause fainting. This type of fainting is more common in the elderly, people who recently had a lengthy illness that kept them in bed, and people who have poor muscle tone.

The following can cause fainting, too:

Diseases of the autonomic nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary vital functions, such as the beating of your heart, the degree to which your blood vessels are constricted, and breathing. Autonomic nervous system problems include acute or subacute dysautonomia, chronic post-ganglionic autonomic insufficiency, and chronic pre-ganglionic autonomic insufficiency. If you have one of these disorders, you are likely to have other symptoms, such as erectile dysfunction (inability to have or maintain an erection), loss of bladder and bowel control, loss of the normal reflexes of your pupils, or decreased sweating, tearing, and salivation.

Conditions that interfere with the parts of the nervous system that regulate blood pressure and heart rate. These conditions include diabetes, alcoholism, malnutrition, and amyloidosis (in which waxy protein builds up in the tissues and organs). If you take certain high blood pressure drugs, which act on your blood vessels, you may be more likely to faint. If you are dehydrated, which may affect the amount of blood in your body and, thus, your blood pressure, you may be more likely to faint.

Heart or blood vessel problems that interfere with blood flow to the brain. These may include heart block (a problem with the electrical impulses that control your heart muscle), problems with the sinus node (a specialized area of your heart that helps it beat), heart arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm), a blood clot in the lungs, an abnormally narrowed aortic heart valve, or certain other problems with the structure of your heart.

Conditions that may cause unusual patterns of stimulation to particular nerves. These include micturition syncope (fainting during or after urination), glossopharyngeal neuralgia (fainting due to inflammation and pain in a particular nerve to the mouth); cough syncope (fainting after intense coughing), and stretch syncope (fainting that occurs when stretching the neck and arms).

Hyperventilation. If you become intensely anxious or panicked and breathe too quickly, you may feel faint from hyperventilation (taking in too much oxygen and getting rid of too much carbon dioxide too quickly).

Vagus nerve stimulation or irritation. This is also called vasovagal syncope. When your vagus nerve gets stimulated, your heart rate and blood pressure can lower, leading to fainting. This can happen when going to the bathroom, having blood taken, receiving a shot, or experiencing extreme emotions.

Some people use the terms blackout and fainting interchangeably, but they are different things. A blackout is a loss of memory. Fainting, also called passing out, is a loss of consciousness. Both of these can have several different causes.

Intoxication. One of the main causes of temporary memory loss is intoxication, often with alcohol. According to one survey, over half of undergraduate college students have blacked out from drinking at least once in their lives.

When your blood alcohol level reaches 0.15%, you are likely to black out. This is nearly double the legal limit for driving in most states.

A blackout from intoxication is due to a brain malfunction. Your brain stops saving the things you do as memories. You may act normally and do things like socialize, eat, drive, and drink. But your brain is impaired and does not record your memories during this time.

Some people are more prone to blacking out than others. Blacking out is not always a sign that you abuse alcohol, but it can be.

Some people who drink heavily can also experience a brownout. This is when you remember some of the events of the time you were drinking. Sometimes, the events can come back to you with a cue that sparks your memory.

‌Head injury. Even mild head injuries can lead to a concussion. This can cause you to have memory issues and confusion. Most of the time, if you have a concussion, you can't remember the events that led to the injury.‌

Epilepsy. Seizures can also cause memory problems. Sometimes, directly after a seizure, you can enter a state of post-ictal confusion. This means you may be confused and not remember what happened directly before the seizure or what you did after the seizure happened. Generally, your memory of those events will come back within 5-30 minutes, once the post-ictal state is over.


If you faint a lot, you should visit your doctor to make sure it is not from an underlying health condition. You should also visit your doctor if you faint and have a history of heart disease.

Fainting while exercising is not common and may be a cause for concern. Additionally, if you fall and hit your head, causing you to lose consciousness, you should always get evaluated by a doctor to rule out a head injury.

Frequent blackouts may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. It can also be a sign that you have an alcohol use disorder. Drinking to the point of blacking out frequently can lead to other problems, like issues with long-term memory. It can also make you more likely to injure yourself accidentally while intoxicated. If you would like to stop drinking, there are resources that can help.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a 24-hour hotline you can call whenever you need support with mental health or substance use disorders. The number is 800-662-HELP (4357). If you use a TTY device, you can call 800-487-4889.

Mon, 23 Oct 2023 11:59:00 -0500 en text/html
How REIGs Work and if They're Right for You

If you're new to real estate investing, don't have a lot of time or money to invest, or would like to invest in larger projects but aren't an accredited investor, a real estate investment group, or REIG, may be the ideal solution for you. A REIG can be an easy way to invest in physical real estate, receiving competitive returns without many of the demands traditional investing requires. But a REIG is not for everyone, and you must carefully consider your goals and resources before committing to joining a group. Learn how REIGs work and whether they're right for you.

A person stands over a city with a magnifying glass.

Image source: Getty Images

What is a REIG?

A REIG is a group of private investors who invest primarily in real estate by pooling money, knowledge, and/or time to acquire properties that generate income. The investment strategy used by the REIG will vary by group. They may use any number of typical real estate investing strategies like fixing and flipping, rehabbing and renting, buying commercial real estate, or holding or creating mortgage notes for a property.

Each REIG is structured differently and may or may not have membership fees. Some require very little active participation, with a board or lead person making all the decisions and taking care of the ongoing management. Other groups may operate as more of a partnership, where all members have responsibilities and a say in how the properties are managed.

One common thread among all REIGs is that money is grouped together from multiple members and investors and used to purchase and invest in real estate, providing a return, such as a profit split or interest payment, to the participating investors.

How REIGs work

Investing with a REIG is different from investing individually because money is pooled between investors, allowing you to receive shares or interest in a property or several properties without tying up as much cash or having to obtain your own financing. Additionally, the responsibility of the management of the property or investment portfolio is shared among the group.

There could be a lead organizer who helps manage the asset, but in many ways, the sole responsibility of acquiring, managing, and disposing of the property is handled by the group, not an individual.

A REIG is not a real estate investment trust (REIT) or crowdfunding real estate venture, although superficially, they may appear similar. They both invest the majority of pooled funds in real estate or real estate debt, earn income primarily from real estate, and distribute most of the income back to the parties involved.

However, a REIT distinguishes itself from a REIG in that it's a taxable corporation operated by a board of directors and structured as a large organization with strict qualifications and regulations to follow. For example, a REIT must have a minimum of 100 investors by the end of their first year as a REIT and have no more than 50% of the company owned by five or fewer investors. A REIG has no restrictions on size, and there are no guidelines as to majority owners, minimum distributions, or other thresholds.

What are the pros and cons of a REIG?

A REIG is a way for you to have your investment funds backed by physical real estate while you leverage the collective buying power and experience of the group. Since one or more members of the group manage the property, you personally have more time to work on other tasks, jobs, or investments. This can offer some peace of mind when it comes to risk and security, but only if the REIG is of good standing. Joining a REIG is a private agreement not regulated by any government agency, so there's always the risk of improper management or dubious motives.

Unfortunately, REIGs can be a part of a real estate investment scheme in which the leader of the REIG is partaking in fraudulent real estate investments or developments. So it's extremely important for any investor considering participating in a REIG to do their due diligence on the group, the investments held within the group, the structure and legal contract of the REIG and its members, and the person who manages and oversees the group's activities. Pulling a background check, confirming assets held by the group in public records, and speaking with current and past group members are all ways to do due diligence.


  • Don't need as much cash to hold physical real estate; you can invest in larger real estate deals.
  • There's no personal experience or knowledge needed in most cases -- you can benefit from the experience of others in the group.
  • There's minimal time input because tasks are either shared between members or the investment is managed for you.
  • You're investing in physical assets in a diverse range of property types.
  • It's an opportunity to learn the investment strategy to gain personal knowledge and experience.


  • Success depends on the group's knowledge; it's not guaranteed.
  • You are investing with people, not a business, so you may find untrustworthy groups.
  • They may charge a membership fee, which can reduce your return.
  • Could be difficult to pull your money out, depending on your agreement terms.
  • Disagreements and confrontations between investment goals, management styles, responsibilities, or outcomes are possible.

How can you find REIGs to invest in?

An online search may seem like the easiest way to find a REIG, but the top search results are often for-profit companies looking to charge membership fees in exchange for using their name when forming your own group, not an genuine REIG you want to invest in. If you're looking to form your own REIG, networking sites like Meetup, LinkedIn, or even Craigslist can help you find and connect with investors looking for the same thing.

Another wonderful, proven resource is the National Real Estate Investors Association (REIA), a not-for-profit organization with local groups across the country. It holds monthly meetings, provides educational resources, and offers networking events for your specific area. Not all REIA branches will have REIGs, but they will deliver you a starting point from which to either network and start one of your own or find existing groups looking for additional members.

If you're not concerned about the group being local and are searching for a larger, more established REIG, crowdfunding may be the better option for you.

More investing topics

Best practices for joining a REIG

It's ideal to find a REIG with members with similar goals and personalities as yourself. Here are some questions to ask:

  1. Do your investment goals align? Are they looking for quick returns to increase capital or long-term wealth by holding real estate for the long term?
  2. Are projections reflective or realistic outcomes? How has past performance aligned with original expectations?
  3. Does their risk tolerance align with yours?
  4. If your goals and approaches don't align with the majority of the group, you'll likely find this experience to be stressful or downright disagreeable.

It's also important to note that the group may not allow you to pull out funds easily, depending on your agreement. If you think you might need to access or pull out your funds at some point, make sure there's an established process for doing so that works for you. Also, if the group is structured so each member has certain responsibilities, make sure your other commitments allow for this time. You don't want to put yourself in a position where you can't uphold your end.

The bottom line

The structure and terms you agree to are essential to understand before joining. It also goes without saying to make sure you thoroughly research the REIG and its members to the best of your ability. You're joining a group that will have access to your money and will be able to dictate or control, to a certain extent, how your funds are used. They could be downright shady characters looking for unsuspecting investors. However, if you do your research and find a group that works for you, it could be a worthwhile venture.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Thu, 09 Nov 2023 00:07:00 -0600 Liz Brumer-Smith en text/html
5 NBA teams that need a 3-point specialist No result found, try new keyword!The team used their 2023 No. 13 pick on 3-point specialist Gradey Dick, which could help them compensate for their shooting struggles. However, Dick is still unproven, so the Raptors could still ... Fri, 15 Sep 2023 00:18:00 -0500 en-us text/html ICT for Education Specialist No result found, try new keyword!With experience working as an ICT for Education, Data Management Specialist, GIS Specialist, Technical Consultant, Systems Analyst, and Application Developer. • With In-depth knowledge in data ... Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:45:00 -0600 text/html Specialist group formed to boost wildlife conservation
Wildlife and Tourism Permanent Secretary Silvia Museiya arrives at the Amboseli National Park where she launched an Ecosystem landscaping project funded by WWF-Kenya. [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

The government has launched a specialist group to compile information on wildlife and conservation actions for policy formulations.

Wildlife Permanent Secretary Silvia Museiya launched the Kenya Species Specialist Group, a group that will bring together different species groups across the country, during the ongoing Scientific Wildlife Conference in Naivasha.

The group will now be reporting the national conservation data and information on different species to the International Union of Conservation and Nature, a global union bringing together governments and civil society organizations.

“The Specialist group is composed of members from the Kenya Wildlife Service, Wildlife Research and Training Institute, National Museums of Kenya, and Nature Kenya, among other partners,” Museiya said.

The group will be tasked to conduct national Red List assessments for priority wildlife and other important species and contribute to the development and implementation of existing species conservation action plans.

“The Group will also be tasked to complete global Red List assessments for endemic freshwater fish, invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, plants and selected marine species that are not yet on the IUCN Red List,” Biodiversity Engagement Facilitation officer for IUCN in Kenya said.

As part of Kenya’s efforts to achieve the UN 30 by 30 goal, the group is expected to utilize the biodiversity data to inform the expansion of protected areas.

“Despite many years of conservation, we continue to lose our biodiversity. There is a disconnect, and something is not right. The problem lies in the policies we are formulating that seem not to incorporate the research data,” PS Museiya said.

Museiya pointed out that the ministry is currently looking at reviewing wildlife policy reforms and will heavily rely on science and data to make decisions and fill the gaps.

“We need integrated conservation policy. It does not make sense that the government is putting a lot of effort into conservation, yet it is not bearing much,” she added.

She revealed that despite numerous resources and great effort being put into conservation, Kenya's wildlife declined by around 68 per cent in under 40 years.

With the country's biodiversity at stake, she said part of the government’s efforts to understand the loss of species is the formation of a task force on natural resources.

“We have laws and policies, but implementation seems to be the problem. The mandates between the sectors mandated to take care of these resources are conflicting and that is where cracks are emerging. To quickly fix this, a task force on conservation of natural resources will be formed in a move to collect views on how resource sectors will work together through an ecosystem approach,” she added.

“We will have an integrated approach to conserve resources. The problem is governance structure, but the science is right. We need science to speak to law formulations,” she added.

As part of the approaches to fast track and seal the existing gaps between research and wildlife policy formulation, Wildlife Research Training Institute director Patrick Omondi said the institute is currently developing a database that will put together information on diverse information, including information on corridors, and wildlife distribution among other information.

“The government has put a seed capital to bring all scientific research under one database. With the database, scientists can analyze research and produce briefs for national parks, reserves and community conservancies. It will contain research on diverse courses and would bring on board data stored for over 50 years,” Dr Omondi said.

He added: “As the government develop policy for conservation, we are coming up with a framework to fast track that process. We have a lot on population numbers, habitat quality, and remote sensing. By the end of the year, we can tell the status of wildlife conservation and what is going on.”

The web-based system, he added, is expected to be up and running by the system by this year.

WRTI Board Chair David Nkedianye said it is part of the solutions to sealing the glaring gaps and making use of research involving scientists and legislators to break down the scientific reports.

“We want to synthesize the information to get solutions sooner. Conservation should be useful to communities,” Dr Nkedianye said.

Wed, 27 Sep 2023 22:57:00 -0500 en text/html
Twitter begins CHARGING new users to access basic features - here's what you need to know
  • New users in New Zealand and the Philippines will pay an annual subscription
  • In addition to paying $1 per year users will need to verify their phone number 

X (formerly Twitter) will begin charging some new users $1/year (£0.82/year) to access basic features such as writing, liking, retweeting, and replying to posts.

All new unverified users in New Zealand and the Philippines will be required to sign up for the paid subscription service, and will need to verify their account with a phone number.

Existing members in the region will not be affected and X says users will still be able to create a free 'read-only' account.

In a post yesterday, X's support account confirmed that the site would be testing a new programme called 'Not A Bot', aimed at reducing the number of automated spam bots on the platform. 

X insists that this change is 'not a profit driver' adding: 'So far, subscription options have proven to be the main solution that works at scale.' 

X's support account announced that new users in New Zealand and the Philippines will be required to pay a $1/year annual subscription to access basic features of the app

At the same time, X published the 'Not-A-Bot' terms and conditions that lay out the details of the new service. 

This explains: 'The Program is a recurring subscription service from X that provides your account with write-level functionality on the X platform, such as the ability to post content, like posts, reply, repost, quote, and bookmark other accounts' posts'.

Users of the platform are not impressed by Musk's new plan and many say that the price of $1/year is too high.

'Nope. Not worth a dollar to watch this dumpster fire', wrote one disgruntled X user.

Another added: 'This will drive down interactions and the user base as a whole, most people will simply not pay but will still view ads'. 

Other X users complained that Musk's attempts to fight back against bots have been unsuccessful and were wary of any attempt to use a paywall to verify human users. 

Musk has previously said that making X a paid service would be the only way to reduce the number of bots that currently plague the platform 

Several users took to X (formerly Twitter) to vent their frustrations at the new subscription plan 

'Funny how every solution for Twitter he ever comes up with is to implement a pay wall', wrote one commenter.

'Remember when Elon was like "we're gonna get rid of spam bots"', another said, adding: 'lmao it's a billion times worse than it ever was pre-elon'.

While the trial currently only affects some new users, since purchasing Twitter Elon Musk has said he would like to make the site a completely paid service in the future.

In an interview with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk suggested that all Twitter members should pay a small fee. 

Musk said: 'I'd say the single most important reason we're moving towards having a small monthly payment for use of the X system is that it's the only way I can think of to combat vast armies of bots.'

Following Musk's $44 billion (£36.13 billion) takeover, he introduced the paid-for premium feature 'Twitter Blue' which charges members $8 (£9.60) per month, or $11 (£11) if they sign up via iOS or Android, to access extra features.

Recently X introduced a feature allowing posters to lock responses only Checked accounts paying for a Twitter Blue subscription.

At the time Musk said: 'This should help a lot with spam bots', however many users pointed out that bots were often verified. 

Twitter Blue subscribers also have the option to make longer posts, the ability to 'undo' or edit posts, and receive increased visibility on the platform. 

Timeline of Elon Musk's eventful time at Twitter so far 

October 27: Musk is officially made the new owner of Twitter, and tweets 'the bird is freed'.

November 1: Musk confirms plans to change the system of 'Blue Tick' verification on Twitter, for a reduced subscription fee of $8 a month.

November 4: Musk lays off half of Twitter's workforce as an alleged cost-cutting measure, claiming he had 'no choice'. 

November 9: Musk launches the 'Twitter Blue' subscription service which verifies accounts for a monthly fee.

November 11: The Twitter Blue service is paused due to accounts purchasing verification and using it to impersonate brands and public figures.

November 12: Musk fires 80 per cent of Twitter contractors without warning.

November 15: Musk fires employees that posted negatively about him on the business messaging app Slack. The lawsuit between Musk and Twitter is dismissed.

November 16:  Twitter staff are told they need to sign a pledge to be able to stay on in their roles where they would be 'working long hours at high intensity' or receive three months of severance pay, resulting in a mass exodus.

November 18: A news-ticker was projected onto Twitter HQ in San Francisco dubbing Musk as a 'space Karen', 'mediocre manchild' and 'bankruptcy baby'.

November 23: A Twitter user reported that 5.4 million phone numbers and email addresses leaked on the dark web, before his account was suspended. 

November 26: Financial Times revealed that 50 of the platform's top 100 advertisers have paused their ads.

November 29:  Platformer reported that Twitter is in the process of reinstating around 62,000 banned accounts that each have more than 10,000 followers.

December 12: Twitter Blue is re-launched with new Blue Tick reviewing process.

January 11: Twitter starts automatically redirecting users to the 'For You' tab - its algorithmic feed of tweets - every time they open the app. 

February 8: Twitter expands the character limit to 4,000 for Twitter Blue subscribers in the US. Shortly after, the site encounters technical difficulties.

February 12: Musk orders staff to revamp Twitter's tweet promotion algorithm after his Super Bowl tweet didn't get enough impressions.  

February 15: Twitter announces it will remove SMS two-factor authentication (2FA) from the free version of Twitter - a decision a security expert labelled 'absurd' that will lead to 'so many accounts hacked'.

February 25: Twitter reveals a fresh round of layoffs that brought its workforce down to under 2,000 - a sharp fall from the 7,500 employed when the billionaire first took over in October.

March 28: Musk announces it will stop people from voting in Twitter polls or having their tweets appear in the For You tab if they do not pay for Twitter Blue. 

April 11: Musk gives an interview with the BBC at Twitter's San Francisco HQ where he says he's been sleeping on the floor of the company's offices. Musk also accused the interviewer of lying because he couldn't back up accusations about hate speech on the platform. 

June 21: Musk says he is 'up for a cage match' fight with rival tech CEO Mark Zuckerberg.  

July 1: Musk announces limits on how many tweets users can see per day - 600 for people who aren't signed up for Twitter Blue, and 6,000 for Twitter Blue subscribers. 

July 23: Twitter is officially rebranded to, with the classic blue bird logo replaced with an X

August  18: Musk announces that 'block' will be deleted as a feature except for within direct messaging

August 31: Musk reveals that audio and video calls will soon be introduced on the platform 

Tue, 17 Oct 2023 22:33:00 -0500 text/html
Gen Z Is Apparently Baffled by Basic Technology

Members of Gen Z are entering the workforce with certain types of technological know-how, from navigating the depths of the internet and using apps to editing photos on their smartphones.

But when it comes to using a scanner or printer — or even a file system on a computer — things become a lot more challenging to a generation that has spent much of their lives online, The Guardian reports, a counterintuitive result of workplaces still relying on technologies that were around long before they were born.

"There is a myth that kids were born into an information age, and that this all comes intuitively to them," Sarah Dexter, an associate professor of education at the University of Virginia, told the newspaper. "But that is not realistic. How would they know how to scan something if they’ve never been taught how to do it?"

For instance, 25-year-old New Yorker Garrett Bemiller admitted to The Guardian that he was stumped by a photocopy machine at his office.

"It kept coming out as a blank page, and took me a couple times to realize that I had to place the paper upside-down in the machine for it to work," he said.

Educators have already found that the latest generation of students is struggling with wrapping their minds around the concept of file folders and directories. Even astrophysics students had a hard time with the concept, as The Verge reported back in 2021.

After all, why dig around for a while when you can just use your computer's search functions? A quick Google search can easily get you to the answer you are looking for in a fraction of a second.

It's become such a commonplace discussion these days that tech company HP went as far as to deliver the phenomenon a name: "tech shame."

HP found that young people are ten times more likely to feel "tech shame" as compared to older colleagues, according to a November survey, the result of a basic misjudgment.

"The assumption is that because Gen Z and even millennials spend a considerable amount of time on technology that they are technology savvy," Debbie Irish, HP's head of UK and Ireland human resources, told WorkLife last year. "This is a huge misconception. Sadly, neither watching TikTok videos nor playing Minecraft fulfills the technology brief."

There's plenty of evidence that Gen Zers don't feel adequately prepared for office life. Last year, a LaSalle Network survey found accurate graduates simply didn't possess the technical skills to successfully enter the workforce.

Then there's social media, which has set a high bar for accessibility.

"It takes five seconds to learn how to use TikTok," content creator Max Simon, who makes TikTok videos about corporate life, told The Guardian. "You don’t need an instruction book, like you would with a printer."

"Content is so easy to access now that when you throw someone a simple curveball they’ll swing and they miss," he added, "and that’s why Gen Z can’t schedule a meeting."

But for tech-savvy Gen Zers, the situation is quite different. They're still far more adaptable than their older colleagues and will frequently be tapped for help themselves.

That kind of trial and error and Google-assisted problem-solving has long gone over the heads of the older generations, which will only deepen the divide.

Besides, why are we still using scanners and printers in the year 2023? Perhaps employers should finally get with the times and say goodbye to that ancient tech.

READ MORE: ‘Scanners are complicated’: why Gen Z faces workplace ‘tech shame’ [The Guardian]

More on Gen Z: Gen Z Kids Apparently Don't Understand How File Systems Don't Work

Fri, 03 Mar 2023 03:56:00 -0600 text/html

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