Day: February 4, 2017

Drain the swamp

Green Swamp If you’re an average American, your pension fund is likely backing venture capital funds — and subsidizing our massages, dinners and Uber rides. Pension funds are a huge source of capital for VCs, fueling the system that creates minor improvements for the elites while doing little for middle-class America. It’s time to put the money of working class Americans into vehicles… Read More

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12 KPIs you must know before pitching your startup

Colorful data graphs on glowing panel of computer screens It is critically important for the founders of a company to intimately understand the company’s key performance indicators (KPIs). Founders cannot hope to grow a company in any meaningful way without an almost obsessive focus on its KPIs. Let’s review some of the KPIs that are important for founders to understand and for which they should have a strategy, or set of strategies,… Read More

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Gillmor Gang: Blind Sighted

Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Michael Arrington, Dan Farber, Doc Searls, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor.
Recorded live Friday, February 3, 2017. Celebrity CEOs, does the Startup Valley have a path for big ideas, the Social Media Administration, and the politics of 5G.
@stevegillmor, @arrington, @dsearls, @dbfarber, @kteare
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor Read More

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Elon Musk says he put travel ban on the agenda as he defends continued Trump council participation

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03:  SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk (L) talks with White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon at the beginning of a policy forum with U.S. President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room at the White House February 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. Leaders from the automotive and manufacturing industries, the financial and retail services and other powerful global businesses were invited to the meeting with Trump, his advisors and family.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Elon Musk only noted very briefly that there had been “progress” on the matter of the immigration order made during his meeting with Donald Trump’s economics advisory council on Friday, but on Saturday the Tesla CEO shared a bit more about what happened at the event. Musk said that he specifically requested inclusion of discussion of the travel ban at the closed meeting, as… Read More

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How to Freeze Soup, Beans, and Broth

How To Freeze Soup, Beans, and Broth

I am a freezer hoarder. I can admit that here, right?

My freezer is jammed to the gills — and not only with normal things like frozen fruit and chicken sausage, but also with the random bits of food that one tends to collect as a professional food writer and recipe tester. (Witness: several cups of unused rugelach filling, enough frozen whipped cream to last for months, and more Thanksgiving turkey than you need to know about.)

This is all to say that I have learned a trick or two regarding Freezer Tetris and how to maximize space.

Since I had a few batches of pressure cooker beans in urgent need of freezing, I thought I’d share my favorite way to freeze soup, beans in their cooking liquid, and broth to both save space and make my weeknight meal prep a little easier.

Continue reading “How to Freeze Soup, Beans, and Broth” »

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Last minute Valentine's gifts that spread some much-needed love

Between lingering cold weather, overpriced Valentine’s gifts, and the general state of the country, February is shaping up to be a rough one. That’s why we’re sharing four affordable and last-minute gift ideas that will show someone some love when they need it most.

#4 Teleflora Fresh Flower Delivery

Teleflora is a really cool company that works with local florists to deliver fresh bouquets around the country. Each bouquet comes in a vase, and can be ordered up until the day prior. You probably want to get a head-start on your Valentine’s Day order, but you’ll still save $20 rather than deal with the usual V-Day inflation.

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Price: $20, 50% Off Retail

BUY NOW 

#3 Blue Apron: 3 Meals for 2 People

Do you have a reservation for Valentine’s dinner? If you don’t already, you probably won’t get one. Order Blue Apron’s gourmet meal prep kits and you’ll be able to throw together a restaurant-quality meal at home. Light a few candles and you’ve got a pretty romantic night on your hands.

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Price: $27, 54% Off Retail

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#2 Exhale Spa: 60-Minute Fusion Massage

You can book a massage at one of Exhale’s luxury spas for 26% off with this deal. When you throw in the perks of hitting the sauna and spa relaxation rooms, this package makes a really amazing gift. Plus, we could all use a little break from the Trumpocalypse.

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Price: $99, 26% Off Retail

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#1 Winc Wine Delivery: 4 Bottles

Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to break away from your usual two buck Chuck. Winc includes tasting notes and pairing options with each delivery of bottles, which perfectly lays the groundwork for a romantic evening of wine tasting.

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Price:$26, 52% Off Retail 

BUY NOW

 

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An ambitious young photographer captured the chaos and beauty of Greyhound buses in 1943

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A Greyhound bus from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh.

Image: Library of Congress

In 1942, Esther Bubley, a fresh graduate of the photography program at the Minneapolis School of Art, landed a job as a darkroom assistant at the Office of War Information (OWI) in Washington, D.C.

The OWI had recently absorbed the famed photographic unit of the Farm Security Administration and shifted the photographers’ assignments from rural poverty to various facets of the war effort, including aircraft factories and broader aspects of American infrastructure such as railroads.

Bubley’s talents were quickly recognized by the photographers and program director Roy Stryker, who transferred her out of the darkroom and into the field. Read more…

More about World War Ii, Transportation, Bus, History, and Retronaut

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My nerdy solar powered backpack

Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.

Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester.  Simple maybe, but I didn’t think of it.  Way to go Solgaard.

The battery brick is called the Solarbank and the backside acts as a nifty speaker that wirelessly plays tunes from my phone.

And as long as there’s direct sunlight, I can have non-stop music playback with absolutely no battery drain. I believe it’d be the perfect “trapped on a desert island device”.  In fact, if Tom Hanks had one in the movie Castaway (and a brand new smartphone), he wouldn’t have needed that goofy volley ball at all.

And I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking my desert island concept is flawed because the sun would eventually set and its magical recharging rays will disappear. Well I can’t argue with you on that – but just imagine a life where you weren’t trapped on a desert island and followed my easy to execute 2 step plan.

Step 1) Create an autonomous vehicle that moves fast enough around the Earth so that you’re always under direct sunlight. Below is a handy illustration that explains how to gain maximum charging time with a LIFEPACK backpack.

As you can see, it all depends upon your starting latitude and your ability to stay within it as you travel. At the equator, you’d need to travel west at approximately 1650km/h to counteract the rotation speed of the Earth. As you travel towards the poles, the needed speed decreases dramatically.

Step 2) Create an algorithm that auto-coordinates your musical playlist with the regions you travel over. Flying over Poland? Why not rock out to a 30 second snippet of The Pennsylvania Polka? Tooting along over Russia? The theme song to Tetris is pretty darned relaxing.

But if you intend to forego my Rube-Goldbergian plan, you could simply charge your Solarbank once a week by plugging it into a wall outlet while you sleep.  The pack can store up to 6 phone charges and has 2 USB ports that allow for romantic charging sessions for you and your nerdy mate.

The bag has 5 secret zipper compartments for your nerdy odds and ends and there’s even a built in combination lock that will keep your computer safe from…traveling computer thieves I guess.

Look, this is the most well thought out, high-tech backpack I’ve ever seen and since the solar pack has already bailed me out of a professional jam I’m going to give the weird combination lock thing a pass.

Check out LIFEPACK. If you’re nerdy like me or stranded on a desert island, you’ll love it.

FYI – Getting Wilson’s image on your LIFEPACK will be entirely up to you. 

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Mobile recharging station operators in India sell tens of thousands of women's phone numbers to stalkers

Tens of thousands of women in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have complained to police about harassing phone calls from creepy men who bought their phone numbers from the operators of mobile phone recharging stations; they say the operators sneakily captured their phone numbers and sold them off to the stalkers.
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7 meaningful ways to celebrate Black History Month

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While black excellence deserves to be celebrated every day, Black History Month offers a dedicated time to pay attention to the power and resilience of the black community. 

February’s celebration is a reminder to seek out stories and histories that often go overlooked — but it also serves as a call to recognize the various black leaders in our own lives.

Even though it’s the shortest month of the year, there’s a lot you can do to show your appreciation for the community in just 28 days. Here are a few ways you can honor black lives and culture this Black History Month. Read more…

More about Identities, Race, Social Good, Black History Month, and Us World

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7 things 'Pokémon Go' badly needs in 2017

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LONDON — I feel like I should make one thing clear up front: I love Pokémon Go.

Since I first downloaded the game last July, I don’t think a day’s gone by without me opening up the app. That might sound sad to some people — probably the same people who gleefully comment “dead” every single time Niantic tweet — but that doesn’t really bother me.

I still enjoy playing the game, and anyone who’s been on thriving Reddit communities like The Silph Road (or read how much money Niantic apparently made in 2016) will know that it’s a long way from dead.  Read more…

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Crunch Report | Tech’s Rough Day on Wall Street

Travis Kalanick quits the Trump advisory board, Domino’s updates its Facebook Messenger bot in time for the Super Bowl, GoPro and Amazon have a rough day on Wall Street and Medium plans to monetize. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Federal judge puts nationwide block on President Trump’s travel ban

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order surrounded by small business leaders in the Oval Office of the White House January 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump said he will "dramatically" reduce regulations overall with this executive action as it requires that for every new federal regulation implemented, two must be rescinded. (Photo by Andrew Harrer - Pool/Getty Images) President Trump’s executive order banning travelers from seven countries could be over just one chaotic week after its hasty introduction. That’s because a federal judge from Seattle has obtained a restraining order which looks set to overrule the order with nationwide effect. The ruling came after U.S. states Washington and Minnesota filed legal action against the order on… Read More

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'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' boss explains that literal cliffhanger in the Season 2 finale

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Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Season 2 finale of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, titled “Can Josh Take a Leap of Faith?”

There are a lot of twists and turns in the final episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2.

But showrunners Rachel Bloom (who also stars as Rebecca Bunch) and Aline Brosh McKenna always knew exactly what line to end with:

“Josh Chan must be destroyed.”

That’s right, after two seasons of obsessing over Josh Chan — aka the reason she moved to West Covina, California — Rebecca Bunch has had a change of heart. Why? Josh Chan left her at the altar for … God? (He’s going to become a priest.) Read more…

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A forgotten 1986 novel predicted a terrible Trump-like president

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An erratic president causes unprecedented chaos in his first two weeks in office. He lashes out at Australia, threatens to invade Mexico, imposes an anti-terrorism travel ban that makes terrorism more likely, and shoots off angry missives at the New York Times when he should be coordinating a military raid from the situation room. 

That’s all Donald Trump. What, did you think I was going to tell you behavior this bad was predicted in a 1986 satirical novel? 

Yes, there are plenty of Trumpian echoes in the book in question — Christopher Buckley’s forgotten bestseller, appropriately named The White House Mess. But for the most part, what it shows us is how far below regular satire this presidency has sunk.  Read more…

More about Trump, Books, Entertainment, and Mashreads

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Patton Oswalt shares the cause of wife Michelle McNamara's death

Comedian, actor, and nerd, Patton Oswalt shared his grief with the world last year when his wife Michelle McNamara died. Patton revealed on Friday that the medical causes of her resulted from a combination of prescription medications and a heart problem that had not been diagosed. Los Angeles coroner officials informed him earlier today.

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Kill them with candor

Three businessmen meeting in a conference room. After failing to secure another round of funding and shutting down my startup, Katch, I’ve been thinking about candor. While failure isn’t a unique story in our industry, talking about it is. Of course, I don’t advocate dwelling on one’s failures as a key to success, but paradoxically I found the quickest path to moving forward from my startup’s demise was to… Read More

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