Month: February 2017

Update: The Future of HOME

Here’s a brief audio update on the immediate future of HOME: Stories From L.A. The TL;DR version is, I’m slowing down the production schedule to make the project more sustainable over the long term. Give a listen for a little more background on the hows and whys of it all. The show returns this spring for Season 5, and in the meantime, the archive is a great way to load up your podcatcher. (Oh, also: I’m looking for a social media/publicity ninja; if that’s you, drop me a line.)

HOME is a proud member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS

If you’re already a subscriber, many thanks. And if you have a minute to leave the show a short review at the iTunes Store it’d be much appreciated. 

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Feeling Overwhelmed? 14 Ways To Simplify Your Life

Life moves fast, doesn’t it? It often feels like you’re trying to keep two dozen plates spinning at the same time.

Heaven forbid one of those plates start to wobble. You know, when you have to flat out run to reach it in time before it topples to the floor, taking the next plate and the entire row with it.

Life can sometimes feel like you’re constantly babysitting those darn plates when all you really want to do is experience what’s beyond them. You don’t want to live your life fighting fires and preventing mini-catastrophes on a near daily basis.

How would your life change if you had less plates spinning? It would take the pressure off, right?

See, everything you’re doing right now in your life is a plate that you’re spinning. If you’re feeling burnt out, frustrated and overwhelmed it’s time to simplify, or to keep with our analogy, remove some plates.

Here are fourteen ways to simplify your life.

Assess your commitments

Aside from non-negotiable commitments like work, school, and medical appointments, can you confidently list all the other commitments that are adding to your overall stress?

If you feel like there isn’t enough time in the day and you’re overwhelmed with all those places you have to go and all those people you have to see, consider reducing how many activities you commit yourself to.

This could mean reducing how many clubs you attend, reducing any volunteering activities, and could even mean setting tighter boundaries with that high maintenance friend or co-worker. We all know one of these people and it can be all too easy to get into a situation where you find yourself at the receiving end of their constant demands.

Have a social media fast

How many social media platforms are you signed up to? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest? More? It can be overwhelming trying to keep up with all of them at the same time. You can find yourself scrolling through news feed after news feed and before you know it, a couple of hours have passed.

If you’re like a lot of other people, you have your phone close to you when you sleep and browsing social media is the last thing you do at night and the first thing you access when you wake up.

I challenge you to fast from social media for a full 24 hour period. You’ll be wondering what to do with yourself. This is a perfect opportunity to do something for yourself.

If you can’t stomach a 24-hour social media fast, consider putting your phone on the other side of your bedroom so you don’t feel tempted to stay awake scrolling.

List your three most important things

Write down three things that are most important to you in your life. Now use these to guide future decisions. If you’re engaging in activities and people that don’t support these three outcomes, it might be worth re-considering your commitment.

Schedule non-negotiable appointments

Do you keep your up and coming appointments in your head? That causes unnecessary stress. Keep things simple by pre-scheduling your annual medical appointments and other up and coming events on a calendar. You can use something physical like a diary or your phone. I use Google Calendar. It’s free and easy to use.

Just say no!

say no

This can be uncomfortable for some people but if you don’t get into the practice of saying no more often, people will continue to take chunks out of your time.

See Also: The Courage To Say No

Reduce media consumption

We are bombarded all day with the latest news, breaking news, shock-horror, and general negativity. It can feel extremely overwhelming to be at the receiving end of a seemingly never ending stream of doom and gloom. You can remedy this by reducing your intake of mainstream news either from the television, newspapers, radio, or the internet.

Purge toxic relationships

We all know people who are difficult to be around. People who are chaotic, negative and demanding on your energy supply. If you want to simplify your life, it’s best to distance yourself from these types of people by setting personal boundaries.

Often, this is ill received because these people take it as a criticism of character and feed off drama. It’s best to either distance yourself or let go completely.

Get rid of your ‘stuff’

Have you ever felt you just have too much ‘stuff’? That pile of books stood in the corner of your living room, those impulsive eBay buys, that pile of clothes that won’t fit inside your already fit-to-burst wardrobe? You might not realise it but clutter like this is ‘visually noisy’ and causes subconscious stress.

Make a list of items that you really don’t want or need and either sell them, bin them, or donate them. You’ll really appreciate your new, fresh environment.

De-clutter your digital space

How does it feel when you check your email and see 3,406 emails in your inbox? Whilst a lot of it is spam, you know there are conversations in there from 18 months ago that are no longer relevant.

You probably have apps on your phone or tablet device that you haven’t used in a long while as well. De-clutter your devices of unused apps, old messages and don’t be shy about deleting things if you aren’t sure. Ask yourself if you really want to keep something. If it’s not an ‘absolutely!’ straight away, it needs to go.

Scrutinize your finances

This is a great exercise to be leaner with your spending. Simply take your latest bank statement and skim through it to find any subscriptions or recurring payments. If you haven’t used the service in a while or don’t really want it any more, then cancel. Use the money for something meaningful.

Limit time spent communicating

If you’re like I used to be, you read emails as soon as they hit your phone. You stop whatever it is you’re doing and read them, right? That’s a massive productivity killer and leads to a feeling of frustration that can be overwhelming.

The solution is to check your emails twice a day. Once in the morning and one in the afternoon. That’s it. If you really can’t wait that long, you can check them at lunch time.

Start walking in nature

I don’t know of a better way to de-stress than a good walk in nature, phone on silent, and technology unplugged. It’s a great way to be mindful as you hear the sounds of nature like the brushing of the leaves and the chatter of the birds. You’ll feel calmer, lighter and re-charged.

Start a meditation practice

practice meditation

Setting aside just 10 minutes every day, either in the morning or in the evening, is a wonderful way to bring calm and clarity into your life. If you plan on implementing a social media fast, this is a perfect time to start.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation

Ask yourself this question

“Is this going to simplify my life or make it more overwhelming?”

Asking yourself this question can guide you in the right direction when you find yourself faced with a set of decisions. Follow your gut feeling on this, too, It’s rarely wrong!

Feeling overwhelmed is downright miserable.

It sucks when you have more going on that you can handle.

You don’t want a life like this. You want to feel in control so you can make progress and feel fulfilled.

My challenge to you: Choose one of the tips above and implement it today. Then tomorrow pick another one. See how different you feel after a week of taking consistent action toward simplifying your life.

Let’s see how many spinning plates you can remove from your hectic life!

Starting from today!

I know you can do it.

You’ve got this!

 

The post Feeling Overwhelmed? 14 Ways To Simplify Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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6 Ways to Recognise a Really Bad Manager

Managers come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Unfortunately, not everyone has had the benefit of obtaining the necessary training to lead a team. Many bosses just do it because, well, they have to. When interacting with staff, it’s often their personalities that can dictate how they deal with their team.

Do you recognise any of these unhappy management traits?

The People Pleaser

Cast your mind back to Michael Scott from The Office and you will instantly recognise the type. People Pleasers have a deep insecurity and an ingrained desire to be liked by everyone they work with. Uncomfortable of exerting authority, they tend to avoid conflict and unpopular decisions preferring to be everybody’s friend.

As a result of their vague, noncommittal and ultimately ineffectual leadership style, no one really knows where they stand, who is held accountable, or if any progress is actually being made. The danger with this type of management is that the strongest personalities in the team will simply take over and make decisions instead without being held in check.

The Micromanager

The Micromanager is a perfectionist and control freak who wants to be involved in everything. No detail is too small, no activity too mundane, and no decision too minor for him/her to step away. The need to micromanage stems from a firm conviction that the manager is the only person who can do the job properly.

This distrust displayed towards anyone else’s skills and decision-making abilities makes the Micromanager a hard worker, but one who finds it hard to delegate. Often, these are people who have been promoted within the organisation, rising from functional/technical roles to managerial positions where a little more overview is required – and they’re struggling to stand back from the day-to-day detail.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

The Seagull Manager

seagull manager

You’ve no doubt heard the analogy: he flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and flies off. The opposite management style of a Micromanager, the Seagull Manager pays takes no interest whatsoever in the daily running of the project. He’ll be there at the beginning with a vague brief, but then is unavailable for long periods until he drops in at short notice and criticises everything and everyone for doing it all wrong.

Communication skills are not the Seagull Manager’s forte; This manager expects other team members to interpret his unclear directions correctly (perhaps using mind reading skills?) and are flabbergasted and highly critical when this approach doesn’t achieve the desired results. Projects tend to succeed in spite of the manager, usually involving superhuman efforts and oodles of goodwill by the team.

The Screaming Toddler

screaming toddler

This is the boss who throws a tantrum at the slightest problem. If anything goes wrong at all, however trivial, it’s a complete disaster. From forgetting to put sugar in his coffee to losing a major client, it’s always the end of the world. Shouting has become a habit.

Somehow, this type of manager lacks the ability to differentiate between what’s a small deal or a big deal. What’s worse, the verbal explosion will always be aimed at someone in the team, possibly even the entire team; the perceived ineptitude is never the boss’ fault.

Fear is the overriding emotion here. The team has to operate on the basis of second guessing their boss’ mood and make sure every detail is 150% correct to avoid a full-volume verbal dressing down.

The Best Friend

When you spend every working day with the same people, it’s hard not to develop a bond with them. But what if the line between professional and personal friendship is crossed? The Best Friend manager knows no boundaries, and will offload personal problems without hesitation, expecting individual staff members to manage his emotional state of mind.

This is incredibly draining on team members. When the boss’ bad day becomes your bad day, and their private troubles become your troubles, you take on the extra role of sounding board or and counsellor, which certainly won’t have been in your job description.

The Mushroom Manager

Another appropriate image: keep them in the dark and feed them manure. Another control freak, the Mushroom Manager will divulge information on a ‘need to know’ basis only. Project or company goals are hazy, budgets are kept under lock and key, and top down sharing of information is restricted.

Whether out of a desire to further their own careers or because their mantra ‘knowledge is power’ leads them to see anyone in the team as a potential threat, when a mushroom manager is in charge, communication channels between employees and manager are deliberately kept to a minimum. There may be a chosen ‘manager’s pet’ employee who is given access to insider information along with the best jobs, but the rest of the team is effectively ignored.

See Also: Four ways of effective Management: How to achieve Extraordinary results from Ordinary people

If you are ever in a management position, don’t forget this list of bad managers and avoid these same pitfalls.

The post 6 Ways to Recognise a Really Bad Manager appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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What Can Employers Do For Employee Appreciation Day?

Your company is full of assets, I know. But there is one asset in particular that puts the soul into your business and without it you would be overrun and, almost certainly destined to fail. That asset is, of course, your employees!

Showing your employees your appreciation for their hard work and emphasizing how important they are to your company is vitally important for employee morale. After-all, by increasing their self-worth, you’re also increasing job satisfaction and motivation.

One great way to show your employees how much they mean to your business is by celebrating Employee Appreciation Day this 3rd March.

Although it’s not considered an official day in the US, there are plenty of employers who do follow it and make it an “official” day for their company. If you struggle to engage with your employees on a regular basis because of busy schedules, then use this day, along with other employers and business owners around the world, to show your employees how valued they are.

Celebrating the day is easy too, so you needn’t worry about it causing too much fuss or taking people away from their work.

Here are some simple and fun ideas for you to give back to your employees, wherever you are in the world.

Early Finish

Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated on the first Friday of March every year. This is the perfect day to let your employees finish up a little earlier. You can, for instance, let a 9-5 worker go around 1pm so they get a half day off and an extended weekend. Although you might “lose” half a day of working time, you’ll certainly gain productivity elsewhere, as this UK study shows.

Office Lunch

office lunch

By far one of the simplest ways to show appreciation to your employees is by providing lunch over an extended period. It’s not very often an entire company will be able to enjoy their lunch time together, so for a couple of hours, just turn off all phones and let everyone enjoy a lunchtime together.

An office lunch is also perfect if it’s too late to make preparations for an elaborate gathering. You can simply call your local restaurants and get delicious food delivered.

After Work Drinks

after work drinks

Often, your employees won’t be very happy if they don’t get a chance to unwind. Arranging an after-work drink is an easy and effective way to allow your employees to get some free, relaxing time to unwind and socialize with fellow workers.

Put together a kitty so every employee can get a drink or two on the business and allow everyone to have some fun while feeling appreciated. Come Monday, they’ll be feeling motivated and ready to go.

Team Building Activity Day

Perhaps one of the most effective ways to boost team morale is through a team building activity day. Not only will this feel like a fun holiday for your staff, but it also builds essential skills for your employees such as team work, making it a win-win situation for your company.

You might want to research your employee’s interests first though, as although you might enjoy extreme water sports, not everyone else will. There are, however, hundreds of choices when it comes to activity days with everything from paintballing to escape rooms. Each one has its own merits and all are perfect for showing-off your employee appreciation.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

 

The post What Can Employers Do For Employee Appreciation Day? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Factors to Consider When Selecting the Appropriate Financing Option

Startup capital is hard to come by. Even with your savings, you will soon realize that you need a capital boost and that is when you will have to choose between the two common means of funding — debt and equity financing.

What are these two funding options?

Essentially, what these two options ask is whether you (1) need to take a loan for capital or (2) get an investor willing to invest in your company. Either option has significant business consequences, hence the thorough considerations.

Under debt financing, you will borrow money from a lender at an interest and you will be expected to repay the money after an agreed duration. On the other hand, equity financing is where you trade the ownership of your company for investment funds. Often, equity investors include venture capitalists and angel investors.

As a result of the disparity associated with these business financing options, you cannot get funds from either source blindly.

Before signing any agreements, keep in mind the following factors:

Amount needed

How much capital does your business need? The amount of capital required by your business will always determine the means of raising the money. It doesn’t make sense to look for a venture capitalist when your business needs only a small financial injection. Therefore, when in need of a small amount in capital, debt financing is the best alternative.

Venture capitalists and other investors make big investments and it is a financially sound decision to look for them when in need of a big sum of money.

Urgency

loan urgency

Loans are viable funding solutions when in urgent need of funds. Although there are associated costs, the urgency of the need supersedes the associated transactional fees making debt financing a great approach. Some of the easily available and affordable debt financing options include SBA loans or borrowing from peer-to-peer lenders online.

In the meantime, all forms of equity financing require time. You have to find the investors, pitch your business to the investors, prepare financial projections, draw up legal documents, and convince the investors to invest in your company. Equity financing is therefore the best alternative when looking for funds to use in growing the business later on.

Other needs besides money

Are you looking for something other than a financial boost? Do you have big expansion plans? Do you foresee rapid growth in business and are in need of a big boost? You need equity financing.

Equity lenders often look at a business’s potential for growth and how they can make greater returns for their investments. If you foresee this and are looking for financing to get you there, then you need to start your search for equity lenders. You will need to prepare a comprehensive business plan, detailed financial projections, and reports of the business history. These are essential for venture capitalists or angel investors but unnecessary in debt financing.

For equity financing, you also need to have a strong management team, a strong marketing acumen, and passion for your business. These will help in convincing the investors and also require a lot of time.

Although venture capitalists own a stake in your company, they will offer excellent and professional advice and guidance to your business meaning that you will avoid unnecessary pitfalls and mistakes. Equity investors are highly experienced and they will be the best mentors for your business.

Just like many other millennials running startup businesses, you may find yourself ridden with student loans and other debts. Besides providing help with the business, equity lenders will guide you on how to get control over the many debts. The most effective and the commonly advocated debt management strategy is debt consolidation.

The option of debt consolidation gives control over repayments by reducing the number of loans payable monthly and also the amount payable monthly at the end of the debt repayment period. With the lower interest rate charged on the debt consolidation loan, you will be at a better position to manage your debts and expenses. Besides personal loans, debt consolidation is an effective debt financing alternative for student loans, outstanding creditor bills, and credit card debt.

Sharing your company

If you are looking for a big investment from venture capitalists, then you should come to terms with the fact that you will have to share your company with an investor. If sharing ownership and the profits of the company doesn’t auger well with you, then, debt financing will be your option. You should note that a loan may not be enough to get you the necessary funding.

When in need of expertise and the guidance of an equity investor alongside funding, then, you will have to clearly highlight that fact and ask for funding to be repaid.

Besides getting bank loans and asking for mere funding from investors, you can take advantage of platforms offering crowdfunding. You should also consider talking to your friends and family, or get loans from non-governmental institutions, microfinance organizations or even getting the affordable government loans. There also are accelerators for startups that one can benefit from.

Interests and fees

interests and fees

When taking the debt financing option, you have to keep in mind the interest rate charged and the associated transaction fees. The rate charged is determined by your credit score. With possible high debts from business and personal loans, as well as your student loans, you may be considered a risky borrower. In this case, your loan application could be declined or approved at a high interest rate.

While considering debt financing, look at the repayment terms. Be smart, get the lender’s amortization schedule, and determine if the loan will be expensive or affordable at the end of the repayment period.

In conclusion, your choice will depend on your personal interests, the urgency of funding, the cost of funding, and future implications on the growth of the company. Finding the appropriate financing option has lasting effects in how your business runs after financing. In some cases, a business may even need both funding options for success.

See Also: 5 Ways Business Investment Loans Can Help Your Start-Up

The post Factors to Consider When Selecting the Appropriate Financing Option appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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I want this credit card-sized dumbphone more than I want the Galaxy S8

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Somebody hold me because my obsession with credit card-sized gadgets is getting just a little out of control.

Days after discovering the Kado Wallet phone charger, I’ve now found a phone — a rather good-looking dumbphone if you ask me — at Mobile World Congress 2017 that’s equally as small and slim.

The credit card-sized phone is called the Talkase T3 and it’s the latest version of the mini GSM phone that was successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2014.

In the age of big, high resolution do-it-all smartphones, there’s absolutely no reason I should be excited about a dumbphone with a teeny, tiny 0.96-inch (diagonal) OLED display, but since dumbphones are apparently back in style, and Samsung’s Galaxy S8 won’t be announced for another month, I can’t help but be in love. Read more…

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I moved a robotic hand using (basically) my mind

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In the nether regions of the “NEXTech” area of Fira Gran Via, the enormous venue in Barcelona where Mobile World Congress is taking place, I’ve learned that graphene is important. 

Among the several startups and research projects that heavily rely on the use of graphene, a carbon allotrope that’s thin, durable and conducts electricity well, the most interesting was Italian Institute of Technology’s initiative Rehab Technologies, which showed me how graphene could be used to improve the life of people with disabilities. 

They showed me a robotic hand prototype which I controlled remotely by contracting and relaxing the muscles on my hand. All it took is two graphene-based electrodes strapped to my arm, which conduct the neurological signals sent from my brain to my muscles.  Read more…

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Singapore's Ministry of Defence suffers its first successful cyberattack

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A cyberattack on the Defence Ministry of Singapore’s internet system (I-net) has resulted in the personal data of 850 employees and conscripted military personnel being stolen.

The stolen data includes national identity (NRIC) numbers, telephone numbers and dates of birth.

No classified military data was stolen in the breach of the I-net system, the government said, as reported by Channel NewsAsia.

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) added that the purpose of the hack may have been “to gain access to official secrets.”

The attack, which originated online, “appeared to be targeted and carefully planned,” Mindef deputy secretary David Koh said. Read more…

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Xiaomi just announced its own processor

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Moving beyond smartphones, laptops, and accessories, Chinese technology giant Xiaomi made a foray into the processor business, joining companies such as Apple and Samsung that use self-designed processors in their smartphones. 

On Tuesday, Xiaomi announced the much-anticipated Surge S1, the first SoC (system-on-chip) it has built with Beijing Pinecone Electronics, a company it owns. 

The Surge S1 is a mid-range SoC, which Xiaomi is positioning as a competitor to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625, and MediaTek’s P20 and P10. In a slideshow with benchmark data of all the aforementioned chips, Xiaomi claimed that its processor topped performance.  Read more…

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A black bear tried to reach into a hatchback and people are in shock

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You probably can’t bear to look at this.

Visitors to a Beijing drive-by wildlife park narrowly escaped the claws of black bears after they swarmed a white hatchback on Feb. 26th. The car was driving through Badaling Wildlife World — where two women were mauled by a tiger in July last year — when the incident happened, according to an eyewitness report.

A Weibo user called JenniferSalvatore — who’s surname is Wang according to the South China Morning Post — wrote an account of the brief, minute long ordeal, and posted a series of videos that went viral. Read more…

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SoundCloud revamps its subscription service with cheaper $4.99 option

soundcloud-money SoundCloud has rebooted its paid membership plan with a new budget option less than a year after it was first launched. The Swedish company today revealed a cheaper tier of $4.99 per month, down from the initial $9.99 subscription that it rolled out last March, in a bid to make its plans more appealing to users. The company isn’t abandoning that higher pricing, though, and it will… Read More

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Xiaomi’s new Mi5c is the first phone to be powered by its custom chipset

mi5c_5 Xiaomi may be skipping Mobile World Congress, the year’s biggest phone show, but it is still making news this week after it unveiled its first processor and the first phone it is powering. The device is the Mi5c, an updated model of its 5.15-inch Mi5 that it launched at Mobile World Congress last year. The Mi5c is powered by the Surge S1, Xiaomi’s first SoC chipset and its bid… Read More

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See the Sistine Chapel like never before in this detailed new photo project

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It’s all in the details.

The Sistine Chapel can now be viewed from a whole new perspective, thanks to a digital photo project that has captured every minute detail of the building.

270,000 photographs were taken during the five-year project, capturing everything from Michaelangelo’s frescoes to the building’s mosaic floor.

Image: Getty Images

Photographers used a 10-metre-high portable scaffold and special telescopic lens in order to capture the images (which are not pictured). The photos are now stored in a Vatican server holding 30 terabytes of information.  Read more…

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ISRO will now look for new bodies of water in India's Silicon Valley

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently set a world record by launching 104 satellites at one go, but their next venture will be discovering new lakes in India’s Silicon Valley, according to reports.  

SEE ALSO: Lake catches fire in India’s Silicon Valley yet again

Bangalore is said to have had over 1,000 lakes once upon a time. But environmental pollution and urban development has reduced that number by half. Only 478 lakes remain currently, according to state records. 

But there could be more. And the state wants to ascertain that, with the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) bringing ISRO on board for the project. Read more…

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A year after Jasper acquisition Cisco expands the platform

cisco Just over a year ago Cisco bought Jasper Technologies for $1.4 billion, and with that transaction, created the company’s IoT cloud business. This week, Cisco is making a series of announcements at Mobile World Congress related to expanding the platform. When a startup like Jasper gets acquired by a big company like Cisco, the standard line of reasoning goes something like this:… Read More

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Samsung’s de facto leader indicted on bribery charges

shutterstock samsung The de facto head of Samsung, Jay Y. Lee, is facing the potential of years behind bars after South Korean prosecutors said today that they intend to indite him on bribery charges, the Wall Street Journal reported. Lee was arrested earlier this month on bribery, embezzlement, and perjury charges related to giving $37 million to an advisor of President Park Geun-hye in exchange for… Read More

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Walmart’s app will now let Pharmacy and Money Services customers skip the line

walmart-pay-2 Walmart is today rolling out an updated app that will allow those visiting the store’s Pharmacy or Money Services desk to skip having to wait in line, the company says. After entering their personal information in the app, customers can order prescription refills or fill out other necessary paperwork from their phone. When they arrive at the store, they will then get in a… Read More

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Love Pocket? Mozilla just bought the app to fix its mobile problem.

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Mozilla is trying to get back into mobile. 

The company acquired Read It Later, the developer of bookmarking app Pocket, in what Mozilla called its “first strategic acquisition.” 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but both companies said Pocket would continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Mozilla, which makes the Firefox web browser.  

For Mozilla, the acquisition could help give the company something of a fresh start in mobile. Mozilla killed what was left of its Firefox OS earlier this year. Launched in 2013, the ill-fated operating system failed to gain traction despite the release of the company’s budget phonesRead more…

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Love Pocket? Mozilla just bought the app to fix its mobile problem.

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Mozilla is trying to get back into mobile. 

The company acquired Read It Later, the developer of bookmarking app Pocket, in what Mozilla called its “first strategic acquisition.” 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but both companies said Pocket would continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of Mozilla, which makes the Firefox web browser.  

For Mozilla, the acquisition could help give the company something of a fresh start in mobile. Mozilla killed what was left of its Firefox OS earlier this year. Launched in 2013, the ill-fated operating system failed to gain traction despite the release of the company’s budget phonesRead more…

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Rogue None: Why the Force isn't with Star Wars at the Oscars

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As Yoda might put it: awards make not one great. 

That’s about the only consolation for the Rogue One crew in the wake of the 2017 Academy Awards. The movie was nominated in two categories, visual effects and sound mixing. It lost in both — continuing a 33-year streak in which no Star Wars movie has won a single Oscar. 

If you’re a farm boy just in from Tatooine, you might look at the list of winners and conclude that Suicide Squad was a greater success than Rogue One — a billion-dollar international box office hit that has garnered more critical acclaim than almost any other in the Star Wars franchise.  Read more…

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Rogue None: Why the Force isn't with Star Wars at the Oscars

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As Yoda might put it: awards make not one great. 

That’s about the only consolation for the Rogue One crew in the wake of the 2017 Academy Awards. The movie was nominated in two categories, visual effects and sound mixing. It lost in both — continuing a 33-year streak in which no Star Wars movie has won a single Oscar. 

If you’re a farm boy just in from Tatooine, you might look at the list of winners and conclude that Suicide Squad was a greater success than Rogue One — a billion-dollar international box office hit that has garnered more critical acclaim than almost any other in the Star Wars franchise.  Read more…

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The cast of 'Moonlight' front new Calvin Klein underwear campaign

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There’s no stopping the cast of Moonlight.

Fresh from the utter sh*tstorm that was the Oscars, Academy Award-winning Mahershala Ali and his fellow co-stars Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes are fronting a captivating underwear campaign for Calvin Klein.

Shot by Willy Vanderperre, the campaign is a series of black and white photographs which are a mix of fashion shots and close-up portraits of the actors. 

A post shared by Calvin Klein (@calvinklein) on

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The cast of 'Moonlight' front new Calvin Klein underwear campaign

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There’s no stopping the cast of Moonlight.

Fresh from the utter sh*tstorm that was the Oscars, Academy Award-winning Mahershala Ali and his fellow co-stars Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes are fronting a captivating underwear campaign for Calvin Klein.

Shot by Willy Vanderperre, the campaign is a series of black and white photographs which are a mix of fashion shots and close-up portraits of the actors. 

A post shared by Calvin Klein (@calvinklein) on

More about Mahershala Ali, Calvin Klein, Fashion, Entertainment, and Film

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PebblePost raises $15M to combine online data and old-school mail

Mailbox PebblePost is betting that there’s a big marketing opportunity in printed postcards and catalogs.
The startup is announcing that it has raised $15 million in Series B funding. The round was led by RRE Ventures, with participation from Greycroft Partners and Tribeca Ventures. RRE’s Jim Robinson is joining the PebblePost board of directors.
PebblePost describes its offering as… Read More

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You might want to rethink what you're 'liking' on Facebook now

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Facebook’s reactions just turned one and the company is finally revealing how its revamped like button impacts your News Feed.

It turns out the company weighs reactions — love, haha, wow, sad and angry — over “likes” in determining what content to surface in your News Feed. 

“Over the past year we’ve found that if people leave a Reaction on a post, it is an even stronger signal that they’d want to see that type of post than if they left a Like on the post,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “So we are updating News Feed to weigh reactions a little more than Likes when taking into account how relevant the story is to each person.” Read more…

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You might want to rethink what you're 'liking' on Facebook now

TwitterFacebook

Facebook’s reactions just turned one and the company is finally revealing how its revamped like button impacts your News Feed.

It turns out the company weighs reactions — love, haha, wow, sad and angry — over “likes” in determining what content to surface in your News Feed. 

“Over the past year we’ve found that if people leave a Reaction on a post, it is an even stronger signal that they’d want to see that type of post than if they left a Like on the post,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “So we are updating News Feed to weigh reactions a little more than Likes when taking into account how relevant the story is to each person.” Read more…

More about Facebook Reactions, News Feed, Facebook, Apps And Software, and Tech

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What the type of steak you eat says about you

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Ask yourself honestly: Can you really love someone who doesn’t cook steak at the same temperature as you?

After The IJR published a bombshell story this weekend alleging that the President Trump had ordered well-done steak again — again! — the hundreds of dorks who actually care about this stuff erupted in outrage on Twitter. 

Traditional liberal outlets condemned the president for degrading the sacred meat, while conservative personalities like Paul Joseph Watson slammed dissenters as “idiot hipsters.” The way you cook your meat, both sides seemingly genuinely argued, has everything to do with the way you see the world. Read more…

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Skype is killing off its WiFi service March 31 to focus on ‘core’ features

hotspot_promo_desktop Skype, the Microsoft-owned service that helped pioneer and popularize the rise of voice and video calls over the internet, is killing off one of the features that it added in later years to try to make the service more ubiquitous, especially among roaming users: on March 31, the company is killing off its WiFi service, which let users buy Wi-Fi access in paid public hotspots. Read More

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Yahoo offers new details on breaches to Senate committee

SUNNYVALE, CA - MAY 23:  A sign is posted in front of the Yahoo! headquarters on May 23, 2014 in Sunnyvale, California.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Since Yahoo disclosed two mega-breaches late last year, its executives have met almost daily with CEO Marissa Mayer for working sessions focused on improving the company’s cybersecurity posture. Employees have also received weekly security presentations from Yahoo CISO Bob Lord at the company’s all-hands meetings. The new working sessions and briefings are part of an internal effort… Read More

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Dubset raises $4M to legalize remixes for Spotify and Apple Music

dubset Record labels refuse to allow streaming of remixes and hour-long DJ sets unless copyright owners get paid for every little sample. Dubset just raised $4 million to handle that legal mess so Spotify and Apple Music can offer the type of music that used to live illegally on SoundCloud. Read More

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Law professors file ethics complaint against Kellyanne Conway, seek sanction

A group of law professors have sent a letter to the Office of Disciplinary Council at the D.C. Court of Appeals calling for sanctions against White House counselor Kellyanne Conway. “It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to [e]ngage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation,” the letter states.

According to New York Daily News:

The letter cites several examples of Conway’s alleged misconduct, including the White House counselor’s infamous inaccurate claim that a “Bowling Green Massacre” occurred (there is no such thing), her use of “alternative facts” to back up other inaccurate statements put out by the White House, and endorsing Ivanka Trump-brand fashion products.

The disciplinary complaint, which was signed by 15 law professors, including Susan Brooks of Drexel University, Lawrence Fox of Yale Law School, and Michael Tigar of American University and Duke University, ends with this:

“If Ms. Conway were not a lawyer and was “only” engaging in politics, there would be few limits on her conduct outside of the political process itself. She could say and do what she wished and still call herself a politician. But she is a lawyer. And her conduct, clearly intentionally violative of the rules that regulate her professional status, cries out for sanctioning by the DC Bar.”

Photo: by Gage Skidmore

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Saudi King brings 506 tons of luggage on 9-day trip

There’s carry-on and checked baggage, but what do you call luggage that weighs 506 tons, including two Mercedes limousines and two elevators? It’s just a nine-day trip to Indonesia, but Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz isn’t leaving any of his creature comforts behind.

According to the Washington Post:

The Saudi royal is expected to bring 459 metric tonnes (506 U.S. tons) of cargo with him on his trip — including two Mercedes-Benz s600 limousines and two electric elevators… The Jakarta Post reports that the Saudi group will total about 1,500 people, including 10 ministers, 25 princes and at least 100 security personnel.

But apparently this isn’t excessive, relatively speaking.

While the Saudi king’s colossal cargo hold may seem large, it is not necessarily out of scale with other world leaders. When President Barack Obama visited sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, he was accompanied by 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines, and hundreds of U.S. Secret Service agents tasked with helping secure locations in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

It’ll be the first time in 46 years that the King has traveled to Indonesia, and with that kind of packing checklist, it’s a wonder he travels at all.

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The Body Orifice Security Scanner is why the rectally smuggled phone is called “Beat the BOSS”

When I saw that the cell phone designed for rectal smuggling was called “Beat the Boss,” I assumed “The Boss” was a synonym for “The Man,” but it turns out it’s a reference to a specific product: Xeku’s Body Orifice Security Scanner (BOSS), a “hygienic cavity search” chair that scans prisoners for rectal contraband.
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5 Ways Business Investment Loans Can Help Your Start-Up

As a business owner, you know your business inside out and are the best judge of its potential. While naysayers will always warn you against taking a business investment loan, it is sometimes nevertheless necessary in order to help your business achieve growth.

Listed below are 5 ways in which a business investment loan can help to expand your start-up.

Finance New Technology or Equipment

new technology investment

As in any business, productivity levels depend on the current level of technology being used. Chances are that when you were first establishing your business, you weren’t able to get the latest or most efficient tech.

Now may be the time to get a small business development loan to get up to date on current technology for your start-up. This may just fuel your business and help it gear up for the next level.

Re-Energize the Face of your Business

Most customers subconsciously judge a business by the office or retail space that it operates from or the kind of branding and advertising it does. Once the start-up is established, it is time to entice new customers with an appealing in-store display, a well-lit interior, easy to identify signage, and other features.

A small business development loan is a great way to fund this renovation or even get ahead in your branding endeavours. A new office, a new logo and allied stationary, or a revamped store may help to attract new talent and new customers since as it shows that your start-up is confident about its growth.

See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost Brand Awareness

Fund the Next Product Development

Have your initial services and products been well accepted by your target audience? It is now time to innovate and add to your existing offerings or develop new products for which you see potential.

Any kind of new development requires capital. With all your capital used up in setting up your start-up, a small business development loan can be just the push your business needs to expand and add more value to its offerings.

Strengthen your Working Capital

Organising and maintaining inventory is one of the largest business expenses. With a working capital business loan, you can make your start-up more agile. Free capital previously invested in inventory can be focused on the growth of the business.

Help with Getting the Right Talent and Retaining Them Too

right people

Every business needs the right people to keep it functioning smoothly and efficiently. As your business grows, it will need more people to keep pace with the increase in demand. Also, the start-up will demand more experienced talent to help the business plough through to the next phase of growth.

Human resources aren’t just tools, but people who need to be respected, nurtured and well compensated for their hard work and talent. A small business development loan will help to ensure that their salary payments are made on time irrespective of revenue income. And this will ensure that your business stays profitable in the future.

See Also: How to Save Your Startup by Hiring the Right People

While these are typical uses of a business loan, lenders understand that every business is unique and capital needs diverse. With this in mind, lenders provides business loans designed to cater to every business need on low interest rates and various other advantages.

 

The post 5 Ways Business Investment Loans Can Help Your Start-Up appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Ways Business Investment Loans Can Help Your Start-Up

As a business owner, you know your business inside out and are the best judge of its potential. While naysayers will always warn you against taking a business investment loan, it is sometimes nevertheless necessary in order to help your business achieve growth.

Listed below are 5 ways in which a business investment loan can help to expand your start-up.

Finance New Technology or Equipment

new technology investment

As in any business, productivity levels depend on the current level of technology being used. Chances are that when you were first establishing your business, you weren’t able to get the latest or most efficient tech.

Now may be the time to get a small business development loan to get up to date on current technology for your start-up. This may just fuel your business and help it gear up for the next level.

Re-Energize the Face of your Business

Most customers subconsciously judge a business by the office or retail space that it operates from or the kind of branding and advertising it does. Once the start-up is established, it is time to entice new customers with an appealing in-store display, a well-lit interior, easy to identify signage, and other features.

A small business development loan is a great way to fund this renovation or even get ahead in your branding endeavours. A new office, a new logo and allied stationary, or a revamped store may help to attract new talent and new customers since as it shows that your start-up is confident about its growth.

See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost Brand Awareness

Fund the Next Product Development

Have your initial services and products been well accepted by your target audience? It is now time to innovate and add to your existing offerings or develop new products for which you see potential.

Any kind of new development requires capital. With all your capital used up in setting up your start-up, a small business development loan can be just the push your business needs to expand and add more value to its offerings.

Strengthen your Working Capital

Organising and maintaining inventory is one of the largest business expenses. With a working capital business loan, you can make your start-up more agile. Free capital previously invested in inventory can be focused on the growth of the business.

Help with Getting the Right Talent and Retaining Them Too

right people

Every business needs the right people to keep it functioning smoothly and efficiently. As your business grows, it will need more people to keep pace with the increase in demand. Also, the start-up will demand more experienced talent to help the business plough through to the next phase of growth.

Human resources aren’t just tools, but people who need to be respected, nurtured and well compensated for their hard work and talent. A small business development loan will help to ensure that their salary payments are made on time irrespective of revenue income. And this will ensure that your business stays profitable in the future.

See Also: How to Save Your Startup by Hiring the Right People

While these are typical uses of a business loan, lenders understand that every business is unique and capital needs diverse. With this in mind, lenders provides business loans designed to cater to every business need on low interest rates and various other advantages.

 

The post 5 Ways Business Investment Loans Can Help Your Start-Up appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

5 Ways Business Investment Loans Can Help Your Start-Up

As a business owner, you know your business inside out and are the best judge of its potential. While naysayers will always warn you against taking a business investment loan, it is sometimes nevertheless necessary in order to help your business achieve growth.

Listed below are 5 ways in which a business investment loan can help to expand your start-up.

Finance New Technology or Equipment

new technology investment

As in any business, productivity levels depend on the current level of technology being used. Chances are that when you were first establishing your business, you weren’t able to get the latest or most efficient tech.

Now may be the time to get a small business development loan to get up to date on current technology for your start-up. This may just fuel your business and help it gear up for the next level.

Re-Energize the Face of your Business

Most customers subconsciously judge a business by the office or retail space that it operates from or the kind of branding and advertising it does. Once the start-up is established, it is time to entice new customers with an appealing in-store display, a well-lit interior, easy to identify signage, and other features.

A small business development loan is a great way to fund this renovation or even get ahead in your branding endeavours. A new office, a new logo and allied stationary, or a revamped store may help to attract new talent and new customers since as it shows that your start-up is confident about its growth.

See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost Brand Awareness

Fund the Next Product Development

Have your initial services and products been well accepted by your target audience? It is now time to innovate and add to your existing offerings or develop new products for which you see potential.

Any kind of new development requires capital. With all your capital used up in setting up your start-up, a small business development loan can be just the push your business needs to expand and add more value to its offerings.

Strengthen your Working Capital

Organising and maintaining inventory is one of the largest business expenses. With a working capital business loan, you can make your start-up more agile. Free capital previously invested in inventory can be focused on the growth of the business.

Help with Getting the Right Talent and Retaining Them Too

right people

Every business needs the right people to keep it functioning smoothly and efficiently. As your business grows, it will need more people to keep pace with the increase in demand. Also, the start-up will demand more experienced talent to help the business plough through to the next phase of growth.

Human resources aren’t just tools, but people who need to be respected, nurtured and well compensated for their hard work and talent. A small business development loan will help to ensure that their salary payments are made on time irrespective of revenue income. And this will ensure that your business stays profitable in the future.

See Also: How to Save Your Startup by Hiring the Right People

While these are typical uses of a business loan, lenders understand that every business is unique and capital needs diverse. With this in mind, lenders provides business loans designed to cater to every business need on low interest rates and various other advantages.

 

The post 5 Ways Business Investment Loans Can Help Your Start-Up appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

My husband is British, and therefore incredibly picky about Indian food. He bemoans the lack of restaurants that serve “proper curries” in our neighborhood.

This is why, on our annual trek back to UK to visit his family over the holidays, we’ve started the tradition of going to an Indian restaurant on New Year’s Eve. We skip the champagne, the sparkles, and the countdown in favor of eating our fill of spicy curry.

In an effort to ensure that we’re not deprived of Indian food the rest of the year, I am learning how to cook more Indian dishes at home. I’m starting off with the quintessential British Indian dish: chicken tikka masala.

Continue reading “Chicken Tikka Masala” »

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The mystery of the Tully Monster continues

In 1958 in an Illinois creek bed, an amateur fossil collector named Francis Tully discovered the fossilized remains of a bizarre creature that resembled a mollusk, insect, and worm yet was none of those things. Since then, thousands of 300 million-year-old fossilized “Tully Monsters” have turned up and the creature was officially named as the Illinois state fossil.

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