Day: May 7, 2018

‘Westworld’ went to imperialist India this week and we didn’t really need it

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Westworld Season 2, episode 3 didn’t begin in any place we’ve seen. The episode opened on what appeared to be colonial India, which we immediately realize is another Delos park: The Raj.

It’s certainly a twist in what fans expected of Season 2 – namely a clamoring for Shogun World – and an interesting choice, to say the least.

The purpose of introducing The Raj – which we may not ever see again – is twofold: First, to see that hosts in other parks are revolting, just as they are in Westworld, and to learn where that monstrously large Bengal tiger came from in episode 1. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Television, India, Hbo, and Westworld

Oculus Research is now the ‘Facebook Reality Lab’

Oculus Research is getting a new name. As the AR/VR-focused research group grows more instrumental to the future of Facebook at large, the group will now be called Facebook Reality Lab. The announcement was made by Oculus Chief Scientist Michael Abrash in a post on his personal Facebook page.

It’s just a name change, but the announcement marks a further entrenching of AR/VR initiatives once confined to Oculus inside the Facebook org.

Oculus Research doesn’t just work on new types of VR hardware, a lot of the group’s research also touches on foundational AR/VR software and environment tracking tech. With Facebook’s AR Camera Effects tech now integrated across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, perhaps this name change signifies that the technologies being developed are no longer just falling into Oculus’s purview and Facebook wants to make that more clear.

In addition to the Camera team, it’s clear from announcements at F8 that Facebook is also tapping a lot of new research to strengthen its work on avatars inside its Spaces virtual reality app.

Oculus has been growing closer to Facebook organizationally since a leadership shakeup in late 2016 saw then-CEO Brendan Iribe step down to lead a PC-focused VR division with Hugo Barra later being hired as VP of VR at Facebook inside Zuckerberg’s inner circle. Ads exec Andrew Bosworth became the VP of AR/VR in August and is now leading the company’s consumer hardware efforts being worked at inside the Building 8 group.

“This new name (Facebook Reality Labs) is reflective of the new role our research and development group plays not only at Oculus, but also across Facebook’s AR/VR organization, which includes Building 8, Camera, and Social VR,” an Oculus spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Why You Need A Daily Morning Routine Even If You’re Not A Morning Person

I can almost hear you thinking: “Just one more snooze” as you shuffle around your bed early in the morning.

You’re either giving yourself just enough time to get ready for work or rushing to get one bite to eat before heading out. This is the sad reality most people face.

You hear about morning routines on the web and in Podcasts. You hear about morning routine practically everywhere yet you’re convinced they don’t apply to you.

Afterall, you’re not a morning person. You’ve always stayed up late and sipped on coffee like water throughout the day.

The problem with your current routine is that you’re bound to fail eventually. Worse yet, you may wake up one day and realize that you’ve been living someone else’s dreams and not your own.

Starting each morning without a plan is a recipe for accomplishing “random” tasks throughout your day. In other words, nada!

It wasn’t that long ago when I, too, fumbled each morning and after discovering the impact my mornings had to my entire day, I quickly adopted a daily morning routine.

It boils down to this: if you want to make every day successful, you’ll need a morning routine.

Let me walk you through on why this is the case.

Start your mornings with the intention

So, what’s the hype around your mornings?

Simply put: 0 distractions

Most dream about going back to school or starting a business. Most dream about finally having the courage to change careers.

The result?

Most people lose hope with achieving their dreams. Some struggle squeezing time for their dreams and very few accomplish them.

The answer?

Carve out uninterrupted time each morning. Use this time to plan out the most important tasks that you’d like to accomplish by the end of your day.

Let’s say you’re planning to go to grad school one day. Start breaking this goal down into actionable steps with concrete deadlines.

For example, if a prerequisite is taking the GMAT test, then spend 1 to 2 hours each morning studying.

Repeat this for 5 to 7 days a week and you’ll be carving out 10 to 14 hours for your most important tasks.

The best part is that your mornings are only a small portion of your day. Once you begin making progress towards your goals, you’ll become motivated to carve out additional time throughout your day.

Start waking up with intention and reap the benefits of your uninterrupted mornings.

Create a morning routine that sticks

morning routine

Accomplishing goals is great but goals alone won’t create a fulfilled life.

Instead of using your morning routine solely to accomplish goals, incorporate other meaningful factors. In the book “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod, Hal covers 6 different components or Life Savers.

the miracle morning

The 6 components are:

  • Silence: Sitting in silence or meditating. (1 –5 mins)
  • Affirmation: Reading positive affirmations out loud (i.e. today’s going to be a great day). (1 –5 mins)
  • Visualization: Visualizing your goals or looking at a physical vision board. (1 –5 mins)
  • Exercise: Doing home workouts or going to the gym. (1 –60 mins)
  • Read: Reading blogs or books relevant to your goals. (1 –5 mins)
  • Scribble: Writing down your most key goals to accomplish by the end of the day. (1 –5 mins)

Start using Hal’s Life Savers in your morning and eventually add your own components to truly make this routine yours.

Start living a purposeful life

living a purposeful life

Imagine this:

You’re no longer snoozing your alarm and you wake up each morning excited.

You’re excited not because you’re going on vacation or anywhere special. You are feeling pumped because you’ll be making progress towards your most important goals. You’re healthier than ever, smarter than ever, and more present than ever.

It wasn’t too long ago when you considered yourself a night owl. Now, you can’t believe your life has changed for the better.

Sounds good?

The truth is you can transform your life for the better. You now understand why morning routines are a powerful way to start your day.

The only person stopping you from living a fulfilled life is you. I challenge you to adopt Hal Elrod’s morning routine and discover how your life transforms.

Are you going to keep wishing for better days or take the initiative to make each day a successful one?

The post Why You Need A Daily Morning Routine Even If You’re Not A Morning Person appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Congratulations, John Oliver, on the koala chlamydia ward named after you

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So a few weeks ago, Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver hit the headlines for buying a whole bunch of Russell Crowe memorabilia.

The auction of stuff included, of all things, the backs of seats sat on by famous people like Denzel Washington and Crowe, a vest from Les Misérables, and a jockstrap worn by Crowe in Cinderella Man.

Crowe amassed more than $3 million in sales at the auction, which you’d assume would go straight to his coffers. 

But not so fast: The actor ended up donating that money to a koala chlamydia ward at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, after promising on Twitter that Oliver’s “random act of kindness is going to be honoured in a cool way.” Read more…

More about Entertainment, Tv, Australia, Animals, and John Oliver

Southeast Asia e-commerce startup iPrice raises $4M led by chat app Line’s VC arm

iPrice, a service that aggregates Southeast Asia’s e-commerce websites in a single destination, has pulled in new funding led by messaging app Line’s VC arm, Line Ventures.

The round is officially undisclosed, but TechCrunch understands from a source close to negotiations that it is worth around $4 million. Existing iPrice backers Cento Ventures (formerly known as Digital Media Partners) and Venturra Capital also took part in this round.

iPrice, which has its HQ in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, previously raised a $4 million Series A in late 2016. Today’s investment takes the startup to $9.7 million raised overall.

The company was started in 2015 in response to the growing number of e-commerce companies in Southeast Asia, and in particular the increasing number of vertical-specific options. Even though there are some giants, such as Alibaba’s Lazada, the region has a number of smaller players that can struggle for visibility. iPrice was initially a coupon site, before pivoting into an aggregation model which essentially acts as a destination for shoppers to then go on and purchase items from e-commerce retailers.

In a way, it is much like flight booking sites — such as Skyscanner — which ask a customer where they want to go before scouring the web for the best travel deals. iPrice does this for e-commerce in Southeast Asia. It hopes that simplifying things through a single destination portal can make it the go-to online buying site for the region, which now has over 330 million internet users — more than the population of the U.S. — according to a recent report co-authored by Google.

iPrice on the web, although its mobile app and mobile browser version are more used

Today, iPrice claims to offer over 500 million SKUs across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. The company said that over 50 million people visited its site since December 2016, and this year alone it is aiming to grow to 150 million visitors.

The company said electronics has been a particular driver while, outside of working with e-commerce firms to drive business, it has developed a B2B business with media groups and brands, including Mediacorp in Singapore and Samsung in Indonesia, who pay to tailor its service. Last year, it developed an insightful report on the state of e-commerce in Southeast Asia.

The deal makes sense for Line Ventures because of the unique vantage point that iPrice occupies, while it also ties into parent company Line’s desire to go beyond being a messaging app and build out a mobile ecosystem. That’s seen it develop services such as food delivery, ride-hailing, payments and e-commerce, although it has struggled in the latter category. A relationship with iPrice might give it greater insight for future e-commerce ventures in Southeast Asia.