15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

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Over the years there were certain rules of thumb that one thought one had to abide by in terms of creating one’s perfect home. But fashion and decor, like the times, too must change to stay current. In many cases what’s old is most definitely new again, unless you’re talking about the rules of decorating. There are two trains of thought here – rules are meant to be broken, or there really are no rules when it comes to decorating anymore…

small rooms dark 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

1. Small rooms must be white, or a pale neutral color

It was once thought that white or pale spaces would brighten up and make a small room seem larger than it is. And while this is in part true, the size and scale of a room have less to do with wall color and more to do with furniture scale and placement. And sometimes one wants to keep a small room feeling small, creating a space that feels warm, inviting, cozy and intimate. There is nothing wrong with a small room that is welcoming and comfortable. The addition of color to walls, in bedding, or in accessories will greatly warm up your small space.

myths small rooms large furniture 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

2. Small rooms must have “small” furniture

This is perhaps the silliest of all the myths. Small furniture in your small space will make your home feel more like a dollhouse than a home. A small bedroom may not necessarily have the space for a king-sized bed, but if you can place a queen sized bed in it, do so. Instead of filling the room with several pieces of small furniture, one or two larger pieces will make the room appear bigger. Where space is limited think in terms of style and function. An armoire will make a statement and will serve as better storage than a dresser. An old steam trunk at the foot of a bed adds both storage and an elegant, classic look.

myths follow the rules 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

3. You must follow all the “rules”

And we say that rules are meant to be broken! When decorating your home, you need to best represent your personal taste and style – That really should be the number one rule! What is it that you like? What are your favorite colors? Styles? Hobbies? What is your favorite type of artwork? Are you a modern gal or do you prefer the classics? Are you inspired by Asian influences? Are you a DIYer? Your home should be a reflection of your own tastes and passions, not those of someone else!

myths small rooms dark paint 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

4. Dark rooms have a tendency to make your space look smaller

Dark rooms can add warmth, texture and dimension to your room. They can add a sense of sophistication, glamour and drama. Dark walls can be a wonderful canvas to work with. A piece of art, when hung on a dark wall, can make a much more powerful statement. It’s less the color of your walls that make your space seem smaller, than the placement and scale of the furniture within the dark walls. Keep furniture proportional to the room – if incorporating larger scaled furniture, use fewer pieces. Keep the room open to create and keep a perpetual flow. Rooms tend to seem smaller when they are cramped and crowded.

myths dark ceiling 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

5. Dark ceilings have a tendency to make your room look shorter/smaller

As with the above statement, this is not accurate. Colorful ceilings add texture, dimension and drama. They can add a sense of sophistication or whimsy. In a smaller space you may want your walls or furniture in lighter shades than your ceiling, if you opt for a dark shade. But otherwise a painted ceiling should not make your room feel smaller. If you are worried about your space feeling small or not bright enough, you can always add decorative mirrors to reflect and create additional sources of light.

myth mixing colors and patterns 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

6. Don’t mix patterns and prints!

And we say, why not? There’s no better way to add color, texture and to infuse your own personality than by adding various patterns together. Yes, stripes, checks, florals, plaids can all live together harmoniously! In order to do this successfully, however, you will need to stick to your chosen color pallet. Whether you’re working with blues and greys, pinks and greens or black and white, you absolutely can mix fabrics and patterns.

myth creating several focal points 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

7. Stick to one focal point

Why? We are not one dimensional and neither are the rooms in which we live. Each living space has four walls, why must only one wall be your focal point? Is your bay window any more or less important than your fireplace? What about your great grandmother’s Picasso that you’ve just inherited? The windows, the fireplace and the grand work of art are all worthy of their own attention. By giving each wall a focal point you’re not only adding texture, and dimension to your room, you’re infusing your own sense of style and personality.

myths sticking to one decorating style 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

8. Stick to one style

This is like telling someone to stick to one sport or one hobby… or one passion. We are multifaceted and therefore why shouldn’t our homes be the same. What if you’re a world traveler? What if you’ve collected artifacts from Greece, China, Japan and France? To say to you to stick to one style would be to tell you to choose your favorite collected piece, which you may very well have, but there’s no reason that your Japanese sculpture cannot co-exist beautifully next to your antique, classical French table. Or perhaps one lives in a modern style home yet has an extensive antiques collection. Blending, merging or infusing various styles gives your home a layered feel and is perhaps the best way to incorporate your sense of style and self.

myth focal point must be couch 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

9. The most important piece of furniture is your couch

Unless it’s not! Maybe the most important piece of furniture in your home is your dining room table, a bookshelf, an old curio… or maybe it is your couch. But really this depends on your home and your lifestyle. A home boasting a young and highly active family will pay less attention to a couch than it might another piece of furniture. In this case, the couch might be more for function than fashion. The most important piece of furniture is the one you designate as being such. Some may argue and say that the dining room table or the bed is the most important piece of furniture. Now, because the couch is usually a focal point in your room, you will want to get something that is esthetically pleasing, but if it’s going to be in a room often utilized by young children, you won’t want this to be your big purchase. Save it for when the children have grown!

myths painting vintage furniture 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

10. Don’t paint vintage furniture?

Why not? Recycling, or upcycling is becoming more and more popular. It’s environmentally friendly and what better way to breathe new life into something old.  Repainting vintage furniture is the perfect way to add a modern touch to a piece of yesterday.

myth matching table and chairs 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

11. Dining room tables and chairs must match

In so much that fabrics and furniture must match… nonsense! You can absolutely incorporate different styles and textures to your dining room chairs. Do, however, stick to a common color – keep woods light or dark. Or if you do blend the two, and have blended styles consider adding seat cushions that are a unified color or fabric. The goal is to create texture without causing dizziness! By that same token, there’s nothing wrong with using different, coordinating fabrics on the cushions of matching chairs.

myths childrens art framed 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

12. Children’s art belongs on the fridge!

If you have children in your home I say bring out their art work. Create a studio or gallery wall showcasing your petite artiste! There’s no better way to add color, wonder and whimsy to your walls then with a framed piece of art by your child or children. Sometimes the most simple of paintings can add so much to your room.

myth white furniture 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

13. White spaces are uninviting

White space is what you make of it. White spaces can seem drab, empty and devoid of personality, yet they can be wonderfully tranquil. As we’ve noted above, texture and personality are key to creating a lush space. There are many shades of white, so when opting for a white room be sure to use several shades to add depth and warmth to your space. Ivory colored walls, linen couches topped with off white throws and pillows can evoke a sense of calm and tranquility. White doesn’t have to feel sterile and cold.

myths area rugs 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

14. Limit your use of area rugs

Don’t! Area rugs are a wonderful means of adding color and texture to your floors. Layering them can add a sense of warmth to your room. They can soften hardwood floors and add depth and texture to wall to wall carpeting. Area rugs can tie pieces of furniture and living areas together wonderfully. As with any other fabric, as long as you stay within your color theme, you can layer patterns and textures to form a unified and cohesive, yet complex look.

myth rooms need a splash of color 15 Top Decorating Myths Debunked!

15. Every room needs a pop of color

You may want to add some color to every room, but it certainly doesn’t mean that this must be done. By using one color in varying shades and tones, take grey for example, enough variety, texture and contrast is creating so that the need to add color is no longer. If you were to stick with just one tone, then you would be best adding some color to create a sense of depth and texture otherwise your space could feel too flat and one dimensional.

Go ahead, break the rules -we defy you to!

So #Long #Orkut, #Old #Friend!

Dear Orkut,

Once, you were the greatest thing on the internet.

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You helped us find long-lost friends. You helped us find love.

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There were so many witty people around.

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Our street cred improved each time we got a ‘testi’.

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But then, things got creepy.

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And spammy.

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And creepier.

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And spammier.

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You contributed such awful additions to the internet lexicon as ‘frandship’ and ‘testi’.

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 Then began the mass exodus. You were past your time.

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You were becoming the aged grandparent nobody visits.

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And then, you were no more.

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So long, and rest in peace.

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What’s your favourite Orkut story? Did you make friends there? Did you find love? Did you find a long-lost classmate? Do you have embarrassing photos of yourself hiding in your Orkut account? Share your experience with us in the comments.

Source: YAHOO! | Y!RAL

#Facebook shift steps up #privacy for new users

Facebook today unveiled a change to its privacy policy aimed at limiting the data shared by new users who may be unfamiliar with the huge social network.

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The shift means that new users posting on Facebook will share data only with friends, not the general public, unless they change privacy settings.

The tweak is the latest effort by Facebook to respond to concerns about privacy, following criticism over its data mining practices for marketing purposes.

“While some people want to post to everyone, others have told us that they are more comfortable sharing with a smaller group, like just their friends,” Facebook said in a blog post.

“We recognise that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share just with friends, compared with the reverse. So, going forward, when new people join Facebook, the default audience of their first post will be set to friends. Previously, for most people, it was set to public.”

Facebook added that first-time users will see a reminder to choose an audience for their first post, and if they don’t make a choice, it will be set to friends.

The social network allows its users to change the audience for a post at any time, including of past posts.

Facebook said it will also soon roll out “a new and expanded privacy checkup tool, which will take people through a few steps to review things like who they’re posting to, which apps they use, and the privacy of key pieces of information on their profile.”

The company said it made the changes in response to feedback from users “that they are sometimes worried about sharing something by accident, or sharing with the wrong audience.”

Facebook, which has grown to more than a billion members worldwide, has been dogged by privacy issues for years, as well as by lawsuits claiming it fails to ensure personal data is safeguarded from marketers and third-party apps.

The group agreed with a US government agency to submit to external audits of how well it guards users’ data.

#Facebook, #Twitter, #Google change face of Indian #elections

The three American social media giants, Facebook, Twitter and Google, have emerged as major players in the ongoing general elections in India, with political parties and candidates competing with each other in breaking the news, spreading their message through these outlets in addition to those via the traditional media.

M_Id_469744_Social_MediaWhile the impact of these social media on the elections could be known only after May 16 when the results are declared or could be a matter of another academic research, all the three major players have seen substantial increase in their India traffic and usage.

For instance, Facebook has now 100 million users in India, its largest outside the US, while that of Twitter has more than doubled since January this year.

After the 7th round of polling, there were 49 million Indian elections-related conversations on Twitter, more than double the 20 million Indian elections-related conversations on Twitter for all of 2013.

In 2009, Shashi Tharoor was the only Indian politician to have a Twitter account and had 6,000 followers. Five years later there is hardly any major political leader who does not have an account on Twitter.

Tharoor is now the second most popular politician on Twitter with 2.16 million followers, after Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate with 3.89 million followers.

Modi now also has nearly 14 million fans of Facebook. Barack Obama is the only other politician to have more Facebook fans than Modi.

With political parties, leaders and candidates putting their advertisement on social media to reach out to their voters, all the three major players are reported to have made substantial addition to their revenue.

Though none of the companies are willing to discuss the advertisement revenue this election cycle, all of them have put in several months of tireless efforts and diverted substantial amount of their resources in the elections, many of them working thousands of miles away from India.

Facebook started working on the Indian elections towards the end of last year, says Katie Harbath, manager for policy at Facebook, adding that the company started doing a series of things beginning March this year when the elections were announced.

This includes launch of election tracker so that people can see in real time. Candidates are now using Facebook and Twitter for breaking news.

“We are really seeing the entire country discuss the issues (related to elections), Harbarth said in a recent interview.

“Facebook is really the key place of the conversation that is happening,” she said.

Adam Sharp, Head of Government and Nonprofits at Twitter, who has been involved in participating in elections in various countries of the world, said Twitter is a powerful way to return to retail politics. He conceded that elections have helped Twitter expand in India.

While the majority of the users of social media are concentrated in urban areas, the elections have also helped them expand their reach to the rural areas too.

Before the elections, the use of social media was generally restricted to the national political parties, but as the general elections gained momentum, even regional parties joined the social media bandwagon.

In a recent interview, Raheel Khursheed, head of news, Politics and Government, Twitter India, said the electoral landscape of social media has changed forever in India.

“Twitter has now become an integral part of Indian elections,” Khursheed said.

The sheer size is a major challenge for them, concedes Harbarth.

“It is just exciting to see, how much social media is being used in the election,” she said.

In addition to the volume and size, Twitter officials said the nine-phased elections are another major challenge.

“Twitter gives you a front row seat to the Lok Sabha #Election2014 in India and is the #1 place to go to stay informed about the latest elections developments.”

“This election is turning out to be the country’s first Twitter election; candidates, journalists and citizens have been using the Twitter platform extensively to discover elections content, converse with others in real time, and express their views,” Adams said.

On the other hand, Google provided platforms to politicians to reach out to their supporters through hangouts.

Google also created a Google Elections Hub for elections-related news and information created to help 800 million Indian voters stay informed and updated about the elections. The site also includes features such as elections related News Videos, Search Trends, G+ Hangout Series, and an interactive Pledge to Vote campaign.

“We want to make sure Indian voters have quick access to information to help them make informed decisions on election day. This is part of our commitment to bring essential information to Indians as they head to the polls in this historic election,” Rajan Anandan, VP, India Country Manager, told in an email interview.

“Google created its first elections tools seven years ago when our engineers noticed a huge increase in search traffic around the election period in the United States,” Samantha Smith from Google said.

“Today over 20 countries including Malaysia, Thailand, and now, India, have elections pages that aid voters during election periods.

“Google aims to encourage people to be more participative and engage with candidates. It also allows voters to have a deeper understanding of politics and governance through engagement with the candidates,” Smith added.

Several American media outlets have described the 16th general elections as the first social media elections.

“Social media has become the new election battleground for India’s nationwide parliamentary elections,” a CNN news report said.

Both officials from these social media outlets and experts are unable to predict this time the influence it would have on the election results. However, the Internet and Mobile Association of India estimates that a well-executed social media campaign can swing 3 -4 per cent of votes.

In 2009, the popular vote of the BJP was 78 million and that of the Congress was 119 million. In 2014, the total numbers of Indians on these social media outlets are matching these figures.

How to get more ‘#likes’ on #Facebook #photos

Disappointed at less number of ‘likes’ on your selfie or a photo from your latest vacation on Facebook or Twitter? Now, there is a formula that can win more ‘likes’ online.
An Indian-American student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, has devised a formula that tells how the contents of a photograph may predict its popularity online.

Computer student Aditya Khosla and his team scanned through 2.3 million Flickr photos to see which got the most views.

They then looked for correlations between the colour, composition and subject of an image and that picture’s likelihood of missing ‘likes’.

They found that “brassieres”, “revolvers”, “miniskirts”, “bikinis” and “cups” have a strong positive impact on a photo’s popularity.

“Some people have 10 friends, some have a thousand. Despite all these differences, it is interesting to see that the content of the image itself can be used to predict how popular an image is going to be,” Khosla was quoted as saying in a Huffington Post report.

While underwear and dinnerware get more ‘likes’, objects like laptops, golf carts and space heaters had no takers.

Khosla suggested while posting a photo on social media, junk greenish and blue-gray hues as these colours “tend to be less popular”.

The researchers’ algorithm suggests colours like aqua, bright red, navy and chartreuse. “Open scenes with little activity tend to be unpopular,” he said.

The new findings can help create software that would let users edit their photos to make them more appealing, the report added.

#Facebook launches #newswire for #journalists

Facebook said that it has created a newswire tool tailored to journalists, part of a broader effort to be the go-to place for conversation for its 1 billion users.

Called FB Newswire, it is designed to help journalists share and embed newsworthy Facebook content that is made public by its members such as photos, status updates and videos.

Facebook is teaming up with News Corp’s Storyful, the media tool that verifies and manages copyright of news and video on social media platforms like Twitter.

“News is finding a bigger audience on Facebook than ever before, and journalists and media organizations have become an integral part of Facebook,” wrote Andy Mitchell, director of news and global media partnership at Facebook, in a blog post announcing FB Newswire.

Social media platforms have become a gold mine for journalists. Facebook, Twitter, Google’s YouTube and others are rich in source material, as many people around the world use them to communicate, including during periods of upheaval.

Acknowledging that many journalists use Twitter to uncover material, Facebook is also providing a Twitter feed, @FBNewswire.

“We work closely with our news partners and as we look at the opportunities clearly Facebook was being used as a place to gather news,” Mitchell said in an interview with Reuters.

Facebook’s newsfeed, where people post stories, status updates and photos, is an integral part of the company’s revenue growth and it injects paid marketing messages straight into the news stream.

On Wednesday, Facebook reported a 72% increase in revenue to $2.5 billion during the first quarter because of a surge in advertising.

Prevented from using Facebook, Maharashtra girl ends life

Facebook Addiction

Facebook Addiction

Parbhani, (Maharashtra), Oct 24 (IANS) A teenaged college girl committed suicide after her parents restricted her use of her mobile phone and social networking sites like Facebook, police said Thursday.

The incident occurred late Wednesday night after 17-year-oldAishwarya S. Dahiwal had an argument with her parents over using Facebook on her computer.

According to investigating officer G. H. Lemgude of Nanalpeth police station in Parbhani, around 500 km east of Mumbai, Aishwarya’s parents had objected several times to her using social networking sites and chatting long over the mobile phone.

“Like all parents, their intentions were only to ensure that the girl did not go astray. They advised her to concentrate on her technical studies and stay away from long mobile chats and social networking sites,” Lemgude told IANS.

After the argument Wednesday night, Aishwarya went to her room, penned a suicide note and hanged herself.

In the note, Aishwarya reportedly wrote that she had been constantly prevented from using Facebook by her parents.

“Is Facebook so bad? I cannot stay in a home with such restrictions as I can’t live without Facebook,” her suicide note said.

The Dahiwal family, comprising jeweller Sunil Dahiwal, his wife and two sons are in a state of shock.

Facebook removes ‘Search by Name’ opt out setting

Facebook users can no longer remain invisible in search results.

Facebook removes 'Search by Name' opt out setting

Facebook removes ‘Search by Name’ opt out setting

Facebook has further relaxed its privacy policies and users can no longer opt out of appearing in search results.

Facebook, so far, was letting users opt out of being searched by name but now it has removed that option. The company said that only a small percentage of Facebook members were using it. Now any member on Facebook can search for anyone without any restrictions.

The feature was intended to prevent users from showing up in searches conducted by non-friends. However, Facebook states that it lead to a lot of confusion while using Graph search which lets you search for friends, check everyone’s status updates and shows profile pictures to everybody in a group.

Facebook has stated, “The setting was created when Facebook was a simple directory of profiles and it was very limited. For example, it didn’t prevent people from navigating to your Timeline by clicking your name in a story in News Feed, or from a mutual friend’s Timeline. Today, people can also search Facebook using Graph Search (for example, “People who live in Seattle,”) making it even more important to control the privacy of the things you share rather than how people get to your Timeline.”

Facebook said that this search setting won’t disappear for those still using it until those users get a notification and click a button reading, “Okay, I understand.” Those notifications will be going out in coming weeks, the company said.

The social networking site adds that users can still maintain their privacy through the privacy settings page, “to quickly control who can find posts you shared in the past, visit the privacy settings page. With one click, you can limit the audience of posts you’ve shared in the past.”

Source: Slate

YouTube moves away from anonymous comments, towards Google+

YouTube commenters will have to mandatorily sign in using their Google+ IDs helping Google clean up YouTube comments and gain user information for marketing purposes.

YouTube moves away from anonymous comments, towards Google+

YouTube moves away from anonymous comments, towards Google+

In a move that should have surprised absolutely no one, Google has announced that YouTube comments will start being powered by Google+ from this week onwards. This means that in order to comment on a YouTube video, you will have to own a Google+ account. However, this does not mean that you cannot comment anonymously, since you can still do so provided you make a Google+ account under a pseudonym. One of the main reasons for moving to Google+ is YouTube’s long desire to put faces to names when it comes to commenters, in order to reduce the amount of spam and vicious comments that plague YouTube comments and also to provide video creators a recognizable audience to reach out to.

The shift to Google+ comments isn’t just to cull offensive comments but also, to organize the thousands of comments that can be found on popular videos. Before this update, comments were arranged chronologically, with the most recent comment showing up first, right under the highest rated ones. This is not really helpful to anyone except for perhaps the commenter himself and may be to the person he is addressing. Under the new Google+ system, comments will be arranged as per the people who are in your circles, the video’s creators and what Google calls “popular personalities”. Also, comments will be threaded so that all replies can be collapsed into the main comment itself, which will vastly reduce the clutter in the comments section and will also make it easier to follow conversations. Video creators and commenters can also allow their comments on a YouTube video shared on Google+, to show up in the comments on the main YouTube site.


The new YouTube commenting system with Google+ identities & threaded replies

There could be a backlash against the new commenting system though. Google is obviously not establishing this system entirely out of the goodness of its heart but also to breathe some life into Google+, a social networking site that has resolutely failed to achieve any sort of user traction when compared to social networking behemoths like Facebook or Twitter. By appearing to force users of one its more popular services to sign up for its underwhelming service is not a move that will be seen in a positive light. Also, one of the big proponents of removing (or at least reducing) the anonymity of YouTube commenters, have been brands who want to know who their audience is. As a result, by making users reveal their identities through their Google+ profiles, Google will have a vast database of potential consumers that will be invaluable to brands.

At the end of the day, there’s no denying the fact that YouTube comments needed to be cleaned up and the commenting system required streamlining. Whether the new Google+ system was the right way to go about it, is an answer that will only be answered in the future.

Source: YouTube Official Blog via The Verge

 

Yahoo will start releasing transparency reports, too

Yahoo will start releasing transparency reports, too

Yahoo will start releasing transparency reports, too

Transparency reporting is getting trendy, guys. Yahoo announced today that it will release a transparency report for data requests from governments around the world — and we’re glad it is.

The company adds itself to the growing list of tech companies in Silicon Valley who want to share with users just who wants their data. Yahoo specifically says that it will include information about how it “processed the government data requests” it received during a period start January 1, 2013, ending June 30, 2013. It will also include how many accounts were affected by the data request.

Today’s report shows that the United States made 12,444 requests during this range. Yahoo gave over data in 11,402 of those data requests, denying 241 of the requests. It looks like the United States submitted the most data requests.

This is in keeping with companies such as Google and Twitter who release this kind of information regularly. Facebook also says that it will begin this process and recently released its first transparency report.

Google and others, however, are hitting back harder on the government for what kind of information can be printed in these reports. The government currently doesn’t allow companies to include how many data requests it receives under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. National security-oriented data requests are highly protected, though some national security letter data can be printed.

Yahoo has also sued the government for more of these rights, as the company explained in its announcement today.

This type of reporting has become even more important since former NSA-contractor Edward Snowden released information about a government surveillance program called PRISM. Citizens of the U.S. have been calling for more transparency around what kind of data the government is collecting about them, prompting the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to release transparency reports on behalf of the U.S. government.

Yahoo promises that it will continue to publish transparency reports every six months.