The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that one in four people experience mental illness at some point in their life. For Black people around the world those stats are even more staggering. Research indicates that Black/African Americans are 20% more likely to suffer from psychological distress compared to their white counterparts. Within the Black community, mental health conversations and discussing experiences with conditions like anxiety and depression is still taboo, especially for Black men. The media often depicts Black men as aggressive and violent with few representations of them being vulnerable. These perceptions of how Black men should behave likely play a role in why the mental health stigma persists within the Black community. Black men are expected to be stoic and strong 24/7, which can lead to increased feelings of anger, resentment and isolation. Public figures like Charlamagne Tha God, who wrote a book on his experiences with anxiety, are outspoken advocates for Black mental wellbeing and are starting to open up more conversations about Black mental health. Eric “Kleankut” Dixon is a celebrity barber and mental health advocate who uses his barbershop as an outlet for Black men within the community. Eric sat down to discuss why he started his barbershop, his experiences contracting a rare condition, and the transformative power of therapy.
Janice Gassam: Could you share with the Forbes readers a little bit about you, your background and what made you decide to open up your own barbershop?
Eric “Kleankut” Dixon: Well, I was born and raised in Maryland—P.G. County, Maryland, by way of [Washington] D.C. I grew up here and…I’ve always been an artist…and then eventually I became a barber. Unfortunately, I got into barbering because of an infection I got from an inexperienced barber. It affected my scalp really bad. It caused dissecting cellulitis, it’s a rare germ from uncleaned tools…it was a bad experience so I learned to cut my own hair…which led to me becoming really good at it…it became a passion over time. I love working for myself and I love the art form of cutting hair…the best part of it is to be able to have the ability to make people feel good…and look good.
Gassam: How do you feel your barbershop creates a safe space for Black men to feel comfortable communicating?
Dixon: For someone to come to a barber and allow the barber to cut them, there’s a trust factor that you’re already building with your barber. Then, once you build that trust…it’s a place where men go where they can actually be free and take out their stress…whether it’s from a job, home, family…being able to go somewhere and really unwind…learn from others and even be the one to give knowledge to other people.
Gassam: The life of an entrepreneur is very stressful, so what are some forms of self-care that you utilize and what are some self-care practices that Black men should be taking advantage of more?
Dixon: Well…I go to a therapy myself. Just…to keep me focused. It’s always good to unpack. Some things you can’t just talk about with anybody. A therapist is able to dig deep into discovering who you are…so you can be better mentally…I definitely go to my therapist. Honestly, my job can be hard on the body a little bit. I go and I get great massages. I love it! It takes all the tension out of you…also for me, I’m an artist. I like to draw; I like to paint…I love music. I have different playlists for different moods. It relaxes me. I’m starting to read a lot more books as well.
Gassam: How do you use your platform to serve within your community?
Dixon: Now that I’ve realized that I can be a part of helping someone, what I’m doing currently is I am in class to become a Certified Advocate. So, I can be able to assist properly…I know a few therapists that are in the area…having conversations with therapists to have a better understanding of how I can help…being able to connect with other therapists so I can actually have an idea of where I can send Black men who are seeking help…I want to get the information on cost and how to seek the right therapist. Me being that person where, me being transparent about myself and being able to guide someone in the right direction.
Gassam: What are some resources you would recommend for someone reading this interview who wants to speak with a therapist but who has never had one before?
Dixon: I’m having a conversation and trying to figure out how can we help and make therapy more accessible and more affordable as well…there’s Therapy for Black Men…there’s [also] therapy via the web where you can talk to a Black therapist in other states. I know a few folks who do therapy sessions over the computer…what I want to do is get a group of therapists who are interested in creating something that is more accessible and affordable for people…when it comes to searching for a therapist, sometimes certain therapists…you’re not going to feel comfortable with…it’s important to feel like you can be comfortable…that’s the key. Being able to vibe well with that therapist. If you don’t, then it’s okay…that’s one of the main things you have to have with your therapist—being able to get a good vibe and be comfortable.
To learn more about Erik “Kleankut” Dixon, click here.
This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.
Along with WhatsApp, other firms being targeted in these scams include PayPal, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix.
If you are concerned about these types of online attacks then the UK’s National Cyber Security Center has some good advice for consumers.
Here’s their top tips for avoiding phishing scams online.
• Many phishing scams originate overseas and often the spelling, grammar and punctuation are poor. Others will try and create official-looking emails by including logos and graphics. Is the design (and quality) what would you’d expect from a large organisation?
• Is it addressed to you by name, or does it refer to ‘valued customer’, or ‘friend’, or ‘colleague’? This can be a sign that the sender does not actually know you, and that it is part of a phishing scam.
Expired cert blamed on Microsoft Teams outage; rancor over Iowa caucus app; and an artist with 99 smartphones causes traffic mayhem in Berlin
This week didn’t get off to the smoothest of starts for Microsoft Teams users, as widespread reports surfaced on Monday that the collaboration software had ground to a halt.
From around 8:30 ET on February 3, users around the world were unable to log into Microsoft’s Slack-like group messaging service, leaving them with nothing else to do but post impromptu memes on Twitter.
At around 10:00 ET, Microsoft said it had discovered that the problem was due to an expired digital certificate.
The Teams service was restored later that day, although with a reported 20 million daily users being locked out of their accounts, the episode no doubt left the chat app’s devs more than a little red-faced.
In the US, social media feeds have been clogged with news of ‘The App That Broke the Iowa Caucus’.
Tech outlets were quick to jump onto reports that the results from Monday’s Democratic caucus in the midwestern state had been delayed because of problems with the smartphone app that was being used to report votes.
The confusion delayed the announcement of the winner in the first round for presidential hopefuls. Unsurprisingly, the fracas attracted no small amount of controversy, with many directing their ire towards the app developers.
Speaking to CNET, Irfan Asrar of cybersecurity company Blue Hexagon, said: “What we believe is, this is an oversight, and an example of the app being rushed into production.”
Offering their own take on the situation (and framing their article with a pointed reminder that “trust and transparency are core to the US elections”), Motherboard published the full .apk file of the app that malfunctioned and sent the caucus into a tailspin.
From unreliable apps to shady social media accounts, Twitter said it has suspended a large network of “fake accounts” that were being used to exploit its API in order to match usernames to phone numbers.
According to TechCrunch, a bug in the microblogging platform opened the door for an attacker to submit “millions of phone numbers” through an official API, which returned any associated user account.
The news comes as Indian website The Print reported allegations that “nearly 18,000 Twitter accounts” were spreading fake news on behalf of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Approached for comment, both the BJP and the Congress [a rival Indian party] denied the allegation that they supported accounts propagating misinformation,” the report reads.
And finally this week, an artist has shown how Google Maps could be abused to cause potential chaos on the roads, after he wheeled 99 smartphones in a wagon around Berlin in order to create a fake traffic jam.
In his ‘Google Maps Hacks’ performance piece, Simon Weckert demonstrated how it was possible to turn a ‘green street’ to ‘red’ on the popular online mapping service – showing how one small step for a man could have a giant impact on other road users, who would be directed into taking alternative routes from an actually clear road.
A video posted to Weckert’s YouTube account offers a real-time demonstration of what The Daily Swig is dubbing a ‘Distributed Denial-of-(Road) Surface’ attack. *bows*
Exams are pretty important in professional IT. You can have all the practical knowledge in the world, but technical recruiters want to see certificates.
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Over the next few years, the areas of greatest demand in IT will be networking, cloud computing, and cybersecurity. This bundle covers all three topics, with over 100 hours of training.
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The bundle also helps you pass three Cisco CCNA exams. If you plan to work with networks at any time, these certifications will serve you well.
The final course works towards CompTIA Security+, which covers all the fundamentals of cybersecurity. Many companies now expect IT professionals to have this certification to prove they are security-conscious. Each course comes with lifetime access, so you can study at your own pace.
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Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Thank God for the weekend! It’s been, what, ten days since the last one? But it’s finally here! So, what’s happened in blockchain world this week? A whole bunch: Peter Schiff’s tweets are memorialized, Nimbus gets $650,000 to build on Ethereum, and Binance cures coronavirus… or […]
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Samsung Electronics just released fourth-quarter earnings that told much the same story as the rest of 2019. Revenue was more or less flat year-on-year — up 1 percent to 59.9 trillion won ($50.7 billion) — while operating profit slid 34 percent to 7.1 trillion won ($6 billion).
The primary reason for the decline remains the fall in prices of memory chips, Samsung’s biggest profit driver in recent years. The display panel business also saw profits fall year-on-year due to weak demand. The mobile division, on the other hand, did better than a year ago, with Samsung calling out “solid” flagship sales and the profitability of phones like the Galaxy A series.
Samsung is hoping that the wider adoption of 5G in 2020 will improve its numbers more or less across the board. The 5G upgrade cycle is likely to help the mobile division, of course, but Samsung notes it should be able to increase memory sales to handset manufacturers and data center companies. The company also plans to develop integrated 5G chips for mass-market smartphones, and expects demand for its OLED displays and high-resolution phone camera sensors to increase.
Samsung cautions, however, that the “actual pace of 5G expansion … remains to be seen,” which probably isn’t the last time we’ll hear that in a tech company’s forecasts this year. How that shakes out in practice is going to have a major effect on Samsung in particular over the next year, since so many areas of its business are involved directly or indirectly.
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Today is Data Privacy Day. As we say every year, Data Privacy Day is more than just a 24-hour period when you try to keep safe online. It’s a day to think about changes you can make in your digital life that will keep you safer […]
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Top Gear Sunday, BBC2, 8pm The intrepid trio of Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness have got their feet behind the wheel of the long-running motoring show. After a couple of dodgy runs following the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, Top Gear is no longer stuttering like a clapped-out old banger, but purring like a brand new sports car. The 28th series will once again feature a mix of test drives and out-of-this-world adventures, beginning with a road trip in a trio of affordable second-hand convertibles. Also: Harris’s views on the new Ariel Atom and the sight of daredevil Flintoff bungee-jumping off a dam in an old Rover.
Win the Wilderness: Alaska Sunday, BBC2, 9pm Six couples are challenged to prove their survival skills in Alaska’s harsh wilderness, with the most successful pair winning a remarkable home miles from the nearest road, which was built from scratch by its original owners. In the first episode, they receive a crash course in what to do when encountering a bear before being sent into the woods to gather material and build shelters. They must then fell trees, make a fire and brave the freezing waters of Lost Lake.
Keeler, Profumo, Ward and Me Sunday, BBC2, 11pm
If you watched BBC1’s The Trial of Christine Keeler, switch over immediately after the final episode ends for this documentary, which offers a personal insight into the 1963 scandal that brought down Harold Macmillan’s government. Journalist Tom Mangold reported on the story while working as a reporter on Fleet Street, and describes the atmosphere around the country at the time. There’s also a chance to hear secret audio recordings made by the producers of the 1989 film Scandal, in which both Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies discuss their weekends at Cliveden and their claims that they were pressured into giving evidence against their friend, society osteopath Stephen Ward.
Stockholm Requiem Sunday, Channel 4, 11pm
Channel 4 premieres the first episode of this Swedish psychological crime drama (original title: Sthlm Rekviem), based on Kristina Ohlsson’s bestselling novels, with the entire 10-part series available online on All 4. After a tragic accident, unconventional criminologist Fredrika Bergman (Liv Mjönes) joins a special investigations team in Stockholm and is assigned to work with the leader of the unit, Alex Recht. He is resistant to Bergman’s intellectual presence but they needs her help in tracing the main suspect in the case of an abduction of a little girl: her apparently abusive father.
The Windermere Children Monday, BBC2, 9pm
As the literary and cinematic worlds grapple with a glut of Holocaust-based fiction, is there room for a drama, based on a true story, about a group of children who survived the concentration camps and are brought to England’s Lake District in 1945 to try to rebuild their shattered lives? They’re helped in this slow, painful process by child psychologist (Thomas Kretschmann) and a team of counsellors who include an art therapist (Romola Garai). We’re not expecting any Beatrix Potter-style happy endings by Lake Windermere, but we may just see some glimpses of lost innocence. Followed at 10.30pm on BBC4 by The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words.
Holocaust Memorial Day Monday, BBC2, 7pm Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, more than 150 survivors attend a commemoration to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Through music, poetry and powerful personal testimony, all those who were persecuted by the Nazis, as well as those who were victims of later genocides are remembered. Among those taking part are cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason accompanied by his brother Braimah, actors Simon Russell Beale and Warwick Davis, and the Fourth Choir. Huw Edwards presents.
Bring Back the Bush: Where Did Our Pubic Hair Go? Monday, Channel 4, 10pm There have been a lot of new trends in personal grooming over the past few decades, but there’s one very big (and very personal) one that doesn’t get talked about much, at least not on TV. In this documentary, Chidera Eggerue finds out why so many women are removing their pubic hair. As she discovers, you only have to go back a few decades to find a time when this wasn’t seen as necessary, so what caused the change in our attitudes to our bikini lines – and is it time for the bush to make a comeback? To find out, Eggerue challenges herself and her peers to grow theirs back as part of an exhibition where they will reveal their bodies to the world in their natural, naked state.
Shortscreen: Heartbreak Monday, RTÉ2, 11.35pm Dave Tynan’s Ifta-winning short from 2017, only seven minutes long, is a spoken word film originally commissioned by theatre company ThisisPopBaby. Heartbreak is written and performed by Emmet Kirwan, who narrates the story of a schoolgirl, Youngone (Jordanne Jones), from teenage pregnancy to raising a son as a single mother.
Great Asian Railway Journeys Monday, BBC2, 6.30pm Michael Portillo sets off on the first leg of a new quest as he travels around southeast Asia, guided by his 1913 Bradshaw’s Handbook on a 2,500-mile railway adventure across six countries. Beginning in Hong Kong, the former Conservative politician investigates how Britain won the island and Kowloon from China after two 19th-century wars over the trade in opium, before boarding the island’s most famous funicular to the Peak, and straddling a bamboo pole to learn the traditional Cantonese art of noodle-making.
Ár gClub Tuesday, TG4, 8pm
In the first programme of the series we join Naomh Anna ladies football manager Tony Lee as he prepares his newly promoted team for a season in the Galway Intermediate championship. In Rathnure, Wexford, all five O’Connor family sisters are involved with the club; but Claire has to decide if she will return to the playing fields after the birth of her second child. In Belfast, newly formed Laochra Loch Lao, which played their first game in the Antrim league in 2018, has big ambitions both on and off the field.
Winterwatch Tuesday/Wednesday/Thurday/Friday, BBC2, 8pm Time for a final walk in the winter wonderland that is the Dell of Abernathy in the Cairngorms; Springwatch will move to a new home later in the year. Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke pack their thermal underwear, down-filled coats and hardiest walking boots in preparation for sub-zero temperatures. Perhaps they’ll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Britain’s only herd of reindeer, which have been residents in the park since 1952. Other creatures popping up include badgers, squirrels and pine martins, whose habits will be viewed via secret cameras. There are also various challenges and pre-filmed reports, with extra content available via the Winterwatch website.
Belsen: Our Story Tuesday, BBC2, 9pm Documentary about the concentration camp in northern Germany, featuring personal accounts from the few remaining survivors and archive footage shot by the British forces that liberated them. Bergen-Belsen was used to hold prisoners evacuated from camps that had fallen to the Allied advance, leading its population to increase to nearly 60,000 by the winter of 1944. Thousands died at the camp from starvation and disease, their bodies left unburied. The British and Canadian forces who discovered the camp were left with no choice but to burn it to the ground.
Farage: The Man Who Made Brexit Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm
With Brexit looming, here is a profile of the man many people believe is responsible for the UK leaving the EU. Nigel Farage is one of Britain’s most divisive politicians, but this documentary, which was filmed over the course of five months, initially finds him riding high after his Brexit Party’s historic success in last May’s European elections. However, as Britain heads into December’s general election, the poll ratings start to plummet. The documentary asks whether the election is a sign that while the UK voted for Brexit, they don’t necessarily want Farage. Or with a new government that appears to support much of what he stands for, can he claim a bigger victory?
Tabú: Ailléirgí Wednesday, TG4, 9.30pm An in-depth look at the alarming increase in allergies in Ireland. This informative programme blends observational documentary with scientific factual content to give the audience a comprehensive view of the impact allergies are having on Irish society.
Laughter in the Eyre – Vodafone Comedy Carnival Galway Thursday, RTE 2, 10.30pm
A sort of Other Voices of the comedy world, this one-off special is a showcase of the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, held every October in the City of Tribes. Last year the clever producers thought ahead and sent a camera crew into carnival to capture all the comedy action. Now the rest of the country gets to see what all the chuckling was about last autumn in the west of Ireland. An array of laugh-merchants will lay out their wares for the audience’s delight, and if the show’s punning title is anything to go by, there’s a serious danger we might die laughing on our couches. One of the comedians is Andrew Maxwell, but if you saw him looking glum on I’m a Celebrity . . . just before Christmas, don’t be put off. When he’s not being force-fed bugs and bullied by his campmates, he really can be quite funny. Other guffaw-inducing guests include Reginald D Hunter, Terry Alderton, Jo Caulfield and Seann Walsh.
Deep Water Thursday, RTÉ One, 11.50pm
This twisty six-part drama, which originally ran on UTV last August, is set against the backdrop of England’s Lake District and based on the novels by Paula Daly. Deep Water follows the sometimes messy lives of three women as they navigate the choppy waters of family, friendships and finance. Anna Friel plays Lisa, a disorganised mum whose efforts to juggle family life with running her own business often result in chaos. Roz (Sinead Keenan) is a physiotherapist trying to repay crippling debts. And wealthy Kate (Rosalind Eleazar) appears to have the perfect life, the perfect husband and the perfect kids – but is it all just for show?
Save Money: Lose Weight Thursday, UTV, 11.45pm Sian Williams and Dr Ranj Singh takes two fresh diets (the Eat What You Like and Lose Weight for Life cookbook, and Noom, an app that is trending worldwide) and put them through their paces in a 28-day value-for-money road test. The programme also looks at the latest new diet products and finds out which are fleeting fancies and which are future foods worth splashing out on. Williams tests a new super grain, pea milk and a vegetable sheeter, while Singh investigates technology and gadgets designed to boost willpower when it comes to dieting. These include a state-of-the-art headset to fight food cravings and a low-tech fridge piggy gadget that actually oinks when you open the fridge.
The Late Tackle Thursday, Virgin One, 10pm Muireann O’Connell and last year’s Love Island winner, Greg O’Shea, host this new entertainment show focusing on the Guinness Six Nations Championship. Celebrity guests including past and present rugby players, while comedians and actors chat about rugby and life in front of a live audience.
Leaving the EU: BBC News Special Friday, BBC1, 10pm It’s a day some people were hoping would never come and others were getting impatient waiting for. But if all goes to plan, today Britain will leave the EU after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal was backed by MPs in the wake of the general election. However, not everything is cut and dried, as Britain is now due to enter an 11-month transition period. Huw Edwards hosts a special edition of BBC News covering this momentous day and asking what Britain’s new relationship with the EU will look like.
The Last Leg: Countdown to Brexit Friday, Channel 4, 10pm For a more comical — and opinionated — take on the big Brexit day, The Last Leg team of Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker are conducting their own countdown. They’re joined by writer and director Armando Iannucci, who knows a thing or two about satire via his influential news spoof The Day Today and the savage sitcom The Thick of It. So, if Iannucci was devising a Brexit satire, what angle would he take?
Box Office Friday, Virgin Two, 8.30pm Lisa Cannon returns for another series of the movie-show. In advance of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, Cannon speaks to festival director Gráinne Humphreys about the very best of world cinema and film talent in Dublin.
All Walks of Life Friday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
As they wander part of St Kevin’s Way in the Wicklow Mountains, actor Amy Huberman talks to Mary McAleese about the importance of her mixed Catholic-Jewish roots and how she tries to balance her multiple careers with her more private roles as the wife of Irish sporting legend Brian O’Driscoll and the mother of two small children. Huberman is the proud daughter of a Jewish immigrant who came to Ireland in the 1960s to work as a designer. A few years ago, she and her father visited the Auschwitz concentration camp together. She reveals to McAleese what that experience meant to her and her thoughts on being Jewish.
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Here’s some goodish news: the Snake ransomware seems to have made the news last week on account of its name rather than its prevalence. Because, well, SNAKE! Like most ransomware, Snake doesn’t touch your operating system files and programs, so your computer will still boot up, […]
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CES kicks off as Las Vegas tackles cyber-attack; British electronics retailer slapped with ICO fine; and nominations open for the top 10 web hacking techniques of 2019
CES 2020 opened its doors in Las Vegas this week, with tech enthusiasts from around the world getting a first look at hundreds of thousands of new gadgets and gizmos from more than 4,000 exhibiting companies.
With four conference sessions being dedicated to security and privacy this year, it’s good to see that infosec was not completely overshadowed by the invisible keyboards, next-gen wheelchairs, and other products of the (not too distant) future.
However, dominating Twitter this week was the organizers’ decision to bring in Ivanka Trump as CES keynote speaker.
Trump took to the stage to discuss the importance of government and industry collaboration for jobs creation, along with employer-led strategies to reskill workers.
Many, however, questioned the organizers’ choice of keynote speaker.
“Ivanka is not a woman in tech,” tweeted Brianna Wu, a software engineer who is running for Congress in Massachusetts.
“She’s not a CEO. She has no background. It’s a lazy attempt to emulate diversity, but like all emulation it’s not quite the real thing.”
Outside of the exhibition hall, Las Vegas officials said the city narrowly avoided a security incident on January 7.
Municipal officials confirmed that systems were attacked early on Tuesday morning, forcing government IT staff to take down a number of online services, including its public website.
A full-blown crisis was apparently averted thanks to swift action from those tasked with protecting Sin City’s digital infrastructure.
Elsewhere, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a bulletin warning of a potential escalation of malicious cyber activity following the recent killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani.
Speaking to The Daily Swig this week, Suzanne Spaulding, advisor at Nozomi Networks and former DHS employee said the risk of retaliatory action by Iran is particularly high, given “that the ‘red lines’ are not clearly defined in cyberspace”.
Check out our coverage for more on the Iranian cyber threat.
Over in the UK, electronics retailer DSG Retail has been fined £500,000 ($655,000) after its point of sale system was compromised.
An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that an attacker installed malware on nearly 5,400 checkout tills in Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores between July 2017 and April 2018.
As previously reported by The Daily Swig, the breach impacted at least 14 million people and resulted in the payment card details of 5.6 million consumers being compromised.
“DSG breached the Data Protection Act 1998 by having poor security arrangements and failing to take adequate steps to protect personal data,” the ICO said.
“This included vulnerabilities such as inadequate software patching, absence of a local firewall, and lack of network segregation and routine security testing.”
Although £500,000 would be enough to make even the world’s biggest organizations sit up and pay attention, some noted that if the breach had taken place just one month later, DSG could have faced a far heftier, GDPR-induced fine.
And finally, nominations are open for the top 10 web hacking techniques of 2019.
Hosted annually by PortSwigger, this community-led initiative aims to seek out and honor the best hacking techniques of the past 12 months.
Caching exploits topped the 2018 web security hit list, and while it remains to be seen who will lead the pack this year, nominations in 2019 include developments in server-side request forgery, request smuggling, mutation cross-site scripting, and many other areas of research.