Month: April 2020

The ‘PuffPacket’ could help researchers learn when, how and why people vape

Vaping is a controversial habit: it certainly has its downsides, but anecdotally it’s a fantastic smoking cessation aid. The thing is, until behavioral scientists know a bit more about who does it, when, how much and other details, its use will continue to be something of a mystery. That’s where the PuffPacket comes in.

Designed by Cornell engineers, the PuffPacket is a small device that attaches to e-cigarettes (or vape pens, or whatever you call yours) and precisely measures their use, sharing that information with a smartphone app for the user, and potentially researchers, to review later.

Some vaping devices are already set up with something like this, to tell a user when the cartridge is running low or a certain limit has been reached. But generally when vaping habits are studied, they rely on self-report data, not proprietary apps.

“The lack of continuous and objective understanding of vaping behaviors led us to develop PuffPacket to enable proper measurement, monitoring, tracking and recording of e-cigarette use, as opposed to inferring it from location and activity data, or self-reports,” said PhD student Alexander Adams, who led the creation of the device, in a Cornell news release.

The device fits a number of e-cigarette types, fitting between the mouthpiece and the heating element. It sits idle until the user breathes in, which activates the e-cigarette’s circuits, and the PuffPacket’s as well. By paying attention to the voltage, it can tell how much liquid is being vaporized, as well as simpler measurements like the duration and timing of the inhalation.

An example using real data of how location and activity could be correlated with vaping

This data is sent to the smartphone app via Bluetooth, where it is cross-referenced with other information, like location, motion and other metadata. This may lead to identifiable patterns, like that someone vapes frequently when they walk in the morning but not the afternoon, or after coffee but not meals, or far more at the bar than at home — that sort of thing. Perhaps even (with the proper permissions) it could track use of certain apps — Instagram and vape? Post-game puff?

Some of these might be obvious, others not so much — but either way, it helps to have them backed up by real data rather than asking a person to estimate their own usage. They may not know, understand or wish to admit their own habits.

“Getting these correlations between time of day, place and activity is important for understanding addiction. Research has shown that if you can keep people away from the paths of their normal habits, it can disrupt them,” said Adams.

No one is expecting people to voluntarily stick these things on their vape pens and share their info, but the design — which is being released as open source — could be used by researchers performing more formal studies. You can read the paper describing PuffPacket here.

‘It’s the Mayo Clinic, not Daft Punk’: Seth Meyers teaches Mike Pence how masks work

'It's the Mayo Clinic, not Daft Punk': Seth Meyers teaches Mike Pence how masks work

“Trump’s like a high school student doing a book report who not only didn’t read the book, but even if he did you know it would go way over his head anyway,” said Late Night host Seth Meyers on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump is continuing to cop criticism for ignoring warnings about the coronavirus for months. Reports state Trump routinely neglects to read his daily intelligence briefings, and sometimes even shows disinterest in the oral summaries provided a few times per week.

“What do they have to do to keep this guy’s attention? Have his daily briefings delivered by pageant contestants?” said Meyers. “‘My name is Brianna, I’m from Battle Creek, Michigan, and a new virus spreading across the globe has a 3.4 percent mortality rate!‘” Read more…

More about Donald Trump, Seth Meyers, Late Night With Seth Meyers, Mike Pence, and Coronavirus

Meet EventBot, a new Android malware that steals banking passwords and two-factor codes

Security researchers are sounding the alarm over a newly discovered Android malware that targets banking apps and cryptocurrency wallets.

The malware, which researchers at security firm Cybereason recently discovered and called EventBot, masquerades as a legitimate Android app — like Adobe Flash or Microsoft Word for Android — which abuses Android’s in-built accessibility features to obtain deep access to the device’s operating system.

Once installed — either by an unsuspecting user or by a malicious person with access to a victim’s phone — the EventBot-infected fake app quietly siphons off passwords for more than 200 banking and cryptocurrency apps — including PayPal, Coinbase, CapitalOne and HSBC — and intercepts and two-factor authentication text message codes.

With a victim’s password and two-factor code, the hackers can break into bank accounts, apps and wallets, and steal a victim’s funds.

“The developer behind Eventbot has invested a lot of time and resources into creating the code, and the level of sophistication and capabilities is really high,” Assaf Dahan, head of threat research at Cybereason, told TechCrunch.

The malware quietly records every tap and key press, and can read notifications from other installed apps, giving the hackers a window into what’s happening on a victim’s device.

Over time, the malware siphons off banking and cryptocurrency app passwords back to the hackers’ server.

The researchers said that EventBot remains a work in progress. Over a period of several weeks since its discovery in March, the researchers saw the malware iteratively update every few days to include new malicious features. At one point the malware’s creators improved the encryption scheme it uses to communicate with the hackers’ server, and included a new feature that can grab a user’s device lock code, likely to allow the malware to grant itself higher privileges to the victim’s device like payments and system settings.

But while the researchers are stumped as to who is behind the campaign, their research suggests the malware is brand new.

“Thus far, we haven’t observed clear cases of copy-paste or code reuse from other malware and it seems to have been written from scratch,” said Dahan.

Android malware is not new, but it’s on the rise. Hackers and malware operators have increasingly targeted mobile users because many device owners have their banking apps, social media, and other sensitive services on their device. Google has improved Android security in recent years by screening apps in its app store and proactively blocking third-party apps to cut down on malware — with mixed results. Many malicious apps have evaded Google’s detection.

Cybereason said it has not yet seen EventBot on Android’s app store or in active use in malware campaigns, limiting the exposure to potential victims — for now.

But the researchers said users should avoid untrusted apps from third-party sites and stores, many of which don’t screen their apps for malware.

9 Frugal Tips for Families to Save Money

Family is an integral part of any person’s life. When we live with our families, it’s either we’re dependent on somebody or somebody is dependent on us. Many conflicts arise in a family due to improper finance management. When you have a family, you might often come across situations where you might feel there is never enough money to go around that saving is completely overlooked.

However, saving money helps in stabilizing your family’s financial life. It is putting aside money for more important goals. This requires discipline, which includes steering clear of whims and splurges. Thus, maintaining a frugal life can help you enjoy your life, only focusing on what’s more important for you and your loved ones. By knowing what and how to prioritize, it’s easier to set aside some extra money.

What is frugal living? For some people, it might seem like they are compromising the way they are living to save. But that’s not what it is. You can enjoy your life while practicing some frugal tips to help you achieve your money goals, too. Frugal living is nothing but being conscious with your money and how you spend it.

It suggests prioritizing the most important things and spending on them while keeping a track and reducing unnecessary, unimportant spending. Frugal life suggests balance. It doesn’t mean you’re cheap, it only means you know how to enjoy your family life while being secure with your savings.

There are many benefits to a frugal lifestyle which include fewer stress levels, more money to spend on things that are important to you and your family, and increased appreciation for living life in simplicity. Moreover, being frugal frees up more money for other activities like travel and other goals you have with your family.

Here are 9 tips for activities which can help you be more frugal in your everyday life, so you can enjoy the most of it with your family:

A treasure hunt

On a nice summer afternoon, when you’ve had your lunch and everyone is home, you can arrange a treasure hunt and invest time playing with the kids. Set up an exciting treasure hunt, think about some clues, build your maps and the gift prize for the winner. You can do it indoors, too, in case the weather is not permitting. It will not cost you anything, plus you will spend a crisp afternoon seeing your kids happy and you will get to spend precious time with your family.

Spend some time in your garden and practice gardening

When the spring is in the air, and your garden is coming back to its greenery, get your kids involved and get their help in clearing away all the dead leaves, the dirt and debris and raking up all the dead foliage outside. Plant new trees or flowers; create a bird feeder, or even a birds nest or bird-box for some lovely visitors to make themselves comfortable. This can teach your kids a lot about gardening and the beauty of nature. The feel of fresh air and the fun of watering the plants with a sprinkler or pipe will brighten their day in a way television or phone screens could never do.

Go for a walk

frugal tips

You might face some grumbles from your kids when you suggest walking; however, try to go for an evening stroll with your family. Walk to a nearby park, or lake or someplace nice and watch a sunset. Or discover a lovely spot nearby and take a picnic for the afternoon. As long as there is fun in the activity you do, kids protesting won’t be a problem. Spot different birds, spot flowers, go fishing, and enjoy the fresh air and beauty of everything around.

Head to the Library

Libraries are underrated in today’s world. But the real treasure lies in these libraries. The trove of books, the excitement of finding the book you are looking for, the silence and smell of old books make the air more exciting and can help you do a lot of productive reading. Spend an hour, sit in the library and read. The kids can choose the books they can take home and check out the activities going on. Check out ongoing or upcoming local events and make an effort to attend those. From puppet shows to local concerts and guests readings to writing classes for kids and adults, spend more time enjoying these local amenities.

Visit local museums and theater

The local places of interest have free admissions or discount rates on tickets once in a while. Thus, you can save money and entertain kids at the same time. Check out local museums and check for upcoming workshops or some shows in your local theater.

A movie afternoon

If you are stuck indoors on a rainy day, make the best out of it. A movie afternoon could be all that you need. It is a wonderful way to spend some time indoors with your family. Let your loved one pick up their favorite movie. Make popcorn and coffee or some snacks you love. Throw in a blanket on your couch and set up the atmosphere you can enjoy a movie in.

See Also: How to Access Your Favorite TV Show or Movie from Anywhere

Learn something new

frugal tips for family

Spend a day researching and gaining knowledge about the things you or your kids love. All you need to do is an internet connection and a printer, which is completely optional in case you need prints.

De-clutter

Spend some time tidying your rooms and helping your kids tidy their rooms. Try arranging your furniture differently and give your home a new outlook. Gather old toys, clothes, and books and donate it to needy.

Go to the park

Time spent at a local park is indeed enjoyable. It keeps your kids entertained by playing on swing sets, climbing frames, etc. Your kids will have fun and it is completely free, not to mention you get to spend wonderful time with your family.

The post 9 Frugal Tips for Families to Save Money appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

‘Crop dusting us with corona’: Seth Meyers tells joggers to keep their social distance

'Crop dusting us with corona': Seth Meyers tells joggers to keep their social distance

One of the few legitimate reasons for leaving your home amidst the coronavirus pandemic is to get some safely socially-distanced exercise. Unfortunately, as Late Night host Seth Meyers noted on Tuesday, some joggers are eschewing simple precautionary measures in favour of running up behind people and panting spittle like germ sprinklers.

“It’s like a horror movie, except Jason had the decency to wear a mask,” quipped Meyers.

Some people who are infected with the coronavirus only display mild symptoms, or even no symptoms at all. They’re still contagious though, meaning joggers could be spreading the disease without even realising. The risk may be relatively small but it isn’t non-existent, and it’s still extremely disconcerting to come in close contact with a gasping stranger in the current climate. Read more…

More about Seth Meyers, Late Night With Seth Meyers, Jogging, Coronavirus, and Covid 19

Samsung expects COVID-19 to hurt smartphone and TV sales, but increase demand for memory

In its first-quarter earnings report today, Samsung said it expects the COVID-19 pandemic to continue impacting its business for the rest of the year, cutting into sales for smartphones and TVs, but increasing demand for PCs, servers and memory chips as people continue to work or study from home.

Samsung’s results for the first-quarter of 2020 was in line with the guidance it released earlier this month. Operating profit was 6.45 trillion Korean won (about $5.3 billion). Revenue fell about 7.6% from the previous quarter to 55.33 trillion won, due to a seasonal drop in demand for displays and consumer electronics, and the impact of the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 3 million confirmed cases around the world and more than 217,000 deaths, and resulted in shelter-in-place orders in countries around the world and a global recession.

Samsung said that because the pandemic’s impact through the second half of 2020 remains uncertain, it plans to make flexible investments and adjust its product mix to adapt. Because it expects competition among manufacturers to increase as they try to recover from a weak first half, Samsung said it will continue to launch premium products like a new foldable and Note devices, and expand 5G to more mass-market smartphones.

Samsung’s display panel business saw a decline in earnings during the first quarter due to weak seasonality and lower sales in China during COVID-19 shutdowns, and it expects demand to continue being impacted by the pandemic and postponement of major sporting events like the Summer Olympics.

On the other hand, Samsung expects to see solid performance in its memory business as remote work, online education, online shopping and streaming entertainment services continue putting more demands on cloud providers and data centers. As a result, Samsung will speed up its transition to 1Z-nm DRAM and 6th-generation V-NAND flash memory.

Samsung also said it plans to offset store and plant closures around the world through flexible supply networks, improving its online sales capabilities, and tailoring promotions and logistics for different market.

Start Your Coin Collection With These Rare Coins

Rare coins can add beauty and value to any collection. It is a piece of history that any man or woman hold in their hand. It could belong to an ancient era and certain empires such as the Romanian world or maybe it’s a silver dollar that pioneered in the wild east. Coin collectors are bailiffs of these treasures of the world, which can also be turned into an investment.

Any collector chooses the coins based on the artistic beauty of the design, their popularity in the market, and their potential to increase in value over time. You can find an assortment of coins when beginning with the collection; however, as you advance your collection, more coins will become a part of your collection.

Here are some coins which you can add to your collection.

Lincoln Cent

rare coins to collect lincoln cent 1909
Via usacoinbook.com

The United States, in 1909, changed the design of the one-cent coin removing the Indian head to a design that commemorates the hundredth anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln. The coin was a success among the people. Some numismatists argue that the Lincoln cent is one of the most popular U.S. coins. Many beginners start by collecting Lincoln cents.

Ancient Coins

Many numismatists are passionate about collecting ancient coins for sale, mostly the ones belonging to the ancient Romans and Greeks, as well as those from the medieval times and empires. This was when the currency began. They are mostly unique and can become a challenge to find. Not only are they extremely rare, but they can be a solid investment as well.

Peace Dollar

rare coins to collect peace dollar
Via wikipedia.org

Anthony DeFrancisci designed the peace silver dollar in 1921. The idea was to commemorate the peace after the Great War. The design emblematic of liberty on the obverse of the coin and the American eagle on the reverse was the peace symbolized on the coin. It is rare as the peace of the world did not last for a long time.

Double die Lincoln cent

Another coin that is popular for its rarity among the Lincoln coins collector. Although it is considered as an error coin, it is rare and is highly valued among collectors. The tale of the error began with the mints that received two impressions that were slightly offset from each other. Mint workers discovered the error when 20,000 or more coins were minted and mixed with the other coins.

Three-Legged Buffalo

rare coins to collect three legged buffalo
Via coinweek.com

Another error coin that became extremely popular among collectors is the three-legged buffalo coin. Given the time and cost to produce the coin dies, many dies were polished and grounded to extend their life for minting, which removed the details of the front leg of the buffalo on the reverse of the coin. The coin in the past didn’t receive the popularity like the double die Lincoln coin, but today only the collectors with deep enough pockets can afford them.

The Washington Quarter

Intended for the commemoration of the 200th birth anniversary of George Washington, it was adopted in the year 1932 and is still used in recent times.

See Also: The True Value of The 11 Coins From Around The World

The post Start Your Coin Collection With These Rare Coins appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Everyone can pull off thigh-high boots thanks to the sexy legs meme

Everyone can pull off thigh-high boots thanks to the sexy legs meme

A sexy pair of legs in thigh-high leather boots has gone viral on Twitter, though not only because they are incredibly sexy. Users are exploiting the way Twitter displays uploaded images to match the enviable pins with unlikely pop culture icons, creating a confusingly attractive meme.

The glorious gams belong to Lisa from K-pop group Blackpink, who wore the black boots and booty shorts in a solo dance performance to QUIN and 6LACK’s “Mushroom Black.” Twitter’s K-pop fans began adorning their favorite singers with Lisa’s statuesque limbs shortly after the video’s April 20 premiere.

The trend has since spread to include all manner of pop-culture figures, remixing famous scenes to add some strong seductive energy. It turns out there isn’t much Lisa’s legs can’t improve. Read more…

More about Twitter, Memes, Legs, Kpop, and Blackpink

NEA-backed Personal Genome Diagnostics receives FDA clearance for its cancer diagnostic

Personal Genome Diagnostics, the venture-backed developer of a novel diagnostic kit for genomic profiling of different cancers in lab settings, has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its PGDx elio tissue complete test.

The test’s approval is another step forward for precision therapies that rely on an understanding of the unique genomic profile of an individual patient’s tumor, according to the company.

The test detects single nucleotide variants and the small insertions and deletions known as indels. Single nucleotide variants, indels, and identifying characteristics like the tumor mutation burden can be used by physicians to determine how rapidly a disease like cancer to progress and can provide essential targets for precision therapies to individual tumors.

The information doctors collect from these tests can also be used to help oncologists identify patients for clinical trials.

The new diagnostics test cover 35 different tumor types.

“There has not, until this point, been one standardized test for all kinds of cancer that any lab across the country can perform,” said Dr. Pranil Chandra, Chief Medical Officer of Genomic and Clinical Pathology Services, PathGroup, an early collaborator for PGDx elio tissue complete, in a statement. “With this clearance, labs across the country will for the first time have an option for a regulated, standardized test that examines a broad view of cancer pathways and genomic signatures across advanced cancers.”

To date, Personal Genome Diagnostics has raised over $99 million, according to Crunchbase. The company’s investors include New Enterprise Associates, Bristol Myers Squibb, Inova Strategic Investments, Co-win Healthcare Fund, Helsinn Investment Fund, Windham Venture Partners, Maryland Venture Fund

“We are proud to have led the first institutional round for PGDx,” said Dr. Justin Klein, in a statement when the company raised a $75 million round back in 2018. “Rapid advances in immuno-oncology, targeted agents, and combination cancer therapies are heightening the importance of tumor genome testing that enables treatments to be targeted to those patients most likely to benefit.”

 

10 Quick Link Building Tactics For Beginners

Link building, according to a lot of digital marketers, is a very old and very traditional digital marketing method. However, just because it’s all that antiquated doesn’t mean it’s useless. In fact, we may consider link building as one of the most timeless yet most effective digital marketing strategies out there.

Link Building: A Quick Rundown

With great link building, your brand may be able to reach any kind of audience and any kind of industry. That’s regardless of your chosen marketing channel, marketing method, or even timeline. That sounds awesome, right? If people and other members of your industry link back to you naturally, the likelier it is for your content to rank. In fact, 62 percent of top 10 Google results in most searches are actually more than three years old!

This is also the reason why it’s very effective despite the impression that it’s traditional. For a beginner marketer, link building seems really intimidating. However, it can actually become one of the most fun in most creative digital marketing strategies you can apply to your campaigns. Here are some quick tips:

Tap into broken links and transform them into your own

Broken links happen when websites have backlinks that end up in error or 404 pages, rendering the link in that particular piece or page generally useless. This can make that particular piece or page unattractive for search engines, and may even result in lower rankings. You can leverage on these broken pages by messaging website owners and suggesting they put your own link in that broken link instead. This not only redirects all traffic to you, but you instantly get linked to a potentially high-ranking page. Remember, though, when you offer links, make sure they’re related to the piece.

Find broken links to your own pages and fix them

linkbuilding for beginners

If broken links can be catastrophic to both guest sites and the competitors that put them, it can put you in a disadvantage as well. Broken links can lose you relevant viewership numbers, and they may end up becoming lost conversions and customers. To avoid this, make it a habit to actively find broken links to your site — be it unlinked anchor texts, misspelled names, and wrong links — and to message the webmasters to send the right ones. SEO tools can easily help you find those broken links and restore them. This ensures your link building efforts haven’t been put in vain.

Add a guest posting feature to your blog

A great way to attract increased viewership and better partnerships would be opening your blog for guest posts. You’d be surprised with how many high-ranking websites may want to connect with your site. This not only lets you have a share of their readership, you also get high-quality content for free. If you want, you can negotiate with these blogs to exchange links, where you post their blog in exchange for your link being posted in theirs. This can be a great way to build a network and establish yourself in the industry, both to search engines and your audience.

See Also: How Guest Blogging Can Boost Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

Choose your network and connections properly

Aside from opening your website for guest posting, it can also help a great deal if you make posts that other websites can feature. However, while guest posting in itself can be an effective link building method, you need to choose your connections properly. Make sure you post on blogs related to your industry so that search engines can properly associate your content with your keyword. Websites who fail to do this get on the bad side of search engines, as search engines might feel these websites are just spamming keywords for the numbers.

Find resource links and form your own spin to its contents

Most of the major websites in any niche likely rely on resource websites for information on their most popular content. Articles pertaining to trends, statistics, and new discoveries most likely have sources in the form of research, studies, statistical findings, and even testimonies from these resource sites. However, did you know you can use the same resource links to make your own cornerstone content?

One of the best ways to create appealing content is to find the main source of information in your niche, and tackle its data with your own angle. This would instantly make you and your content more unique. In fact, if you take advantage of the fact that long-form (3,000+ words) content can get 77.2 percent more backlinks compared to short-form content, your cornerstone content can be the reason for your rising ranking.

Take advantage of putting your links in social media content

doing linkbuilding

Did you know that 3.8 billion people are actually active in social media? This is 75 percent of existing people using the internet (4.5 billion as of 2020) right now! As such, it is very likely for you to find an online forum or community of your nation on a social media platform. You can take advantage of the situation by joining these forums and communities, and posting relevant content such as posts, images, videos, and even infographics that contain links to relevant pages you want to link back to. If you choose the right content and post in the right community, you will likely get a lot of traction and even new audiences.

Make your content optimized for mobile

Before you release any form of content — be it blogs, posts, multimedia or ads — it’s important to make sure they’re optimized for mobile first. This means they have to be viewable from a mobile device without any hassle. You should also make sure your links are easily recognized in the middle of the piece, as they’re more helpful compared to sidebars and footers. Doing this can earn you huge plus points from search engines, as they like content that is visible across different kinds of media platforms. This also makes sure all audiences across all devices can check out your content without any worries.

Reuse old data to create new and improved content

If you have a page with interesting content but isn’t ranking, you don’t necessarily have to discard it. Rather, you can actually take data and relevant information from that content and repurpose it into something more updated and more appealing to other content platforms. For instance, an old blog post you think has potential can be repurposed into an infographic or social media post.

The trick here is to find old and struggling content that you think might be relevant to your viewers today. Using new content can boost your old data, as you can link back to that old piece of content. Likewise, if other content creators find your new content interesting, the likelier it is for them to give you backlinks as well. The trick here is to post new content in platforms that can naturally and organically earn you links.

Add links to your content organically

What a lot of brands don’t realize is that they sometimes force their keywords into their content. As a result, they create content that seems “scammy” or off-topic. Unfortunately, they may have included the keyword in their website, but doing it in a forceful way also spells trouble for their SEO. This is why link building services often focus less on aiming for high search engine scores and instead focus on making contextual pieces.

This means adding links to pieces as needed, and only when they provide value to the piece. As such, when writing blogs and making posts, add links that point users to statistics, facts relevant to the niche, and informative pieces that can help enrich user experience. If you want your link building strategies to work, your content must have their keywords and links naturally placed there.

Never buy a backlink from websites

While it can be tempting to just pay websites to post your content, websites that do ask for payment in return for backlinks most likely have low search engine scores in the first place. This not only makes them unreliable, but being associated with them may lower your own ranking and even affect the way search engines perceive your website. if you’re talking to a website that asks you to pay for your guest post, you should probably look for another website to submit your content to.

Link Building: A Timeless Way to Build Connections

With the above points taken into consideration, it’s important to understand that link building remains timeless because its methods can be applied to almost any up and coming trend. Despite the rise of tools such as chatbots, virtual reality, and AI, all of these concepts have to rely on link building if they want to become effective digital marketing tools. At the end of the day, these tools still have to rely on keywords and concepts in order to link brands with their audiences. And with the tips above, knowing how to tap into these tools can give you an edge and help you build better links.

If you have other quick tips you want to share to fellow marketers, feel free to share them below. And if you want to discuss some point we’ve raised in the article, feel free to start a discussion in the comments.

Author Bio:
John Gonzales loves two things the most in the world – technology and pizza. As a writer by trade, he spends a lot of time writing about food, travel, and the latest in tech developments. John is your guy when it comes to writing pieces on gadgets and consoles, games, health and medicine, and even marketing. As a techie himself, John wants to make sure his pieces aren’t just informative, but also very personal and tailored to reader needs.

The post 10 Quick Link Building Tactics For Beginners appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Vietnamese online pharmaceutical marketplace BuyMed raises $2.5 million

BuyMed, a Vietnamese startup that wants to fix Southeast Asia’s complex pharmaceutical distribution networks, announced today it has raised $2.5 million in pre-Series A funding. Investors include Sequoia Capital India’s Surge early-stage accelerator program, and Genesia Ventures. Returning investor Cocoon Capital also participated.

Founded in 2018, BuyMed operates Thuocsi.vn, a pharmaceutical distribution platform in Vietnam. Over the past 12 months, the company says it has tripled its annual revenue, and now plans to add new product lines, including cosmetics, medical devices, supplements and medical services, with the goal of becoming a “one-stop marketplace” for supplies needed by healthcare providers in Southeast Asia.

BuyMed verifies suppliers on its platform, improving safety and reducing the risk of medications making its way into the grey market (or unofficial distribution channels). The startup currently has 700 verified suppliers, distributors and manufacturers on its platform, who serve over 7,000 healthcare providers.

In a press statement, Genesia Ventures general partner Takahiro Suzuki, said, “There is still a tremendous opportunity for growth and improvement in Vietnam’s pharmaceutical supply chain and we believe that BuyMed’s founders have the experience, execution and operational management necessary to tackle this problem.”

BuyMed Co-founder and CEO Peter Nguyen formerly served as a consultant for companies like Eli Lilly, Roche and Siemens, helping them create more efficient operations and supply chains.

Nguyen told TechCrunch that there are no major multi-brand distributors in Vietnam, so most pharmaceutical manufacturers and brands need to set up their own networks. This means the process of getting medications and other pharmaceutical supplies to healthcare providers is highly-fragmented.

There are roughly 200 domestic manufacturers in Vietnam, in addition to imported brands, and their products are handled by over 3,000 distributors. While about 2% of pharmacies in Vietnam are part of a franchise or chain, the vast majority are independent. This means distributors need to serve over 40,000 independent pharmacies and about 5,000 independent clinics.

Nguyen added that fragmentation is similar in many other Southeast Asian markets, giving BuyMed an opportunity to expand across the region.

Thuocsi.vn’s usage has grown over the last 60 days, as more Vietnamese pharmacies source from online channels. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BuyMed has expanded its platform so more of its partners can sell online, and added safety measures like frequent warehouse and office sanitization and a no-contact drop-off and cash collection system.

Australia’s new coronavirus tracking app was downloaded a million times in just 5 hours

Australia's new coronavirus tracking app was downloaded a million times in just 5 hours

The Australian government’s new coronavirus contact tracing app was downloaded one million times within five hours of launch, meaning approximately one out of every 25 Australians is using it. It’s a notable uptake considering some Australians had expressed concerns about privacy issues.

Released on Sunday, COVIDSafe uses Bluetooth to connect with other phones within 1.5 metres (4.9 feet) which also have the app installed. If they are in contact for over 15 minutes, the app records data such as the date, time, contact distance and duration, and the other user’s encrypted identification code. This information is stored on the user’s phone for 21 days, after which it is automatically deleted. Read more…

More about Australia, Tracking, Phone Tracking, Coronavirus, and Covid 19

Send something special to your special someone

Send something special to your special someone

TL;DR: Save 10% on everything from Getting Personal using the code GIFT10.


We can’t all be physically close to loved ones at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show them that you care. 

You could take this opportunity to send something special to your special someone. You could play it safe and get them something generic, like chocolates or flowers, or you could seriously impress and find a personalised gift on Getting Personal.

This popular site offers gifts, cards, and unique ideas you won’t find elsewhere. You can personalise your gift with over 5,000 exclusive ideas and designs to consider. There really is something for everyone.  Read more…

More about Gifts, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Uk, Uk Deals, and Lifestyle

Startups Weekly: Investors are keeping terms friendly — instead they say ‘no’ more often

[Editor’s note: Want to get this free weekly recap of TechCrunch news that startups can use by emailSubscribe here.] 

Multiple liquidation preferences, full-ratchet anti-dilution clauses and pay-to-play provisions are some of the words that still haunt startup founders who survived downturns in decades past. So far in this downturn, though, investors seem to be sparing the brutal terms that tend to surface when the money has all the leverage.

Why? It’s easier to let a company fail by saying no to funding* than it is to hold them along with terms that can’t possibly inspire the common stockholders — or so one can read between the lines from investors, founders and tech lawyers that Connie Loizos talked to for TechCrunch this week.

Overall, investors seem to fear hurting their long-term reputations and missing out on the next great company, same as it has been in the startup world for many years. Again, at least so far.

As lawyer Mike Sullivan, a partner and head of the corporate group in Orrick’s San Francisco office, notes, there simply aren’t enough deals being closed right now to draw any sweeping conclusions. “I haven’t seen investors try to take advantage of companies as a result of the crisis,” says Sullivan,” but I don’t have a lot of data points. I think it’s still too early to tell whether we’ll see the terms that we saw in the nuclear winter of 2001 and 2002,” after the dot-com boom ended.

Your mileage may vary, of course. One New York attorney said that the harshest terms recently were coming from growth-stage firms on the East Coast, who had always been more focused on the numbers anyway.

*Speaking of saying no, a new report out by tech law firm Fenwick & West details a sharp decline in Silicon Valley funding in March that we all knew was happening. More analysis by Alex Wilhelm over on Extra Crunch.

Aileen Lee

Early-stage focus could favor smaller investors now

Many venture firms that started out small a decade or two ago became later-stage as their portfolios grew along with booming markets. Now they have a lot of later-stage work to do. The result is that founders may have more success with raising from dedicated early-stage investors than with multi-stage founds. Here’s more on the dynamic, as described by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures to Jordan Crook in our first (and very popular, thanks for attending everyone) live video call in a series that we’re calling Extra Crunch Live:

But I think the multi-stage firms that, say, have an early-stage fund and a growth fund, they’re in a different zone. Oftentimes, they have many portfolio companies that have really high burn rates and they have a lot of money, so they’ve got a different level of triage going on with those portfolio companies. Also, in some cases, because the market’s been so hot for the past 10 years, they’ve had a shopping list of companies that they wish they had been able to invest in, and maybe those companies may take an extra $50 million or $100 million dollars right now. So, a lot of the multi-stage firms are going to focus on getting a little more money into Stripe or Airbnb or the companies that they wish they had exposure to.

She goes on to note that many investors are now ready to start investing generally, and she’s now spending 50% of her time talking to new companies (versus almost all portfolio work just a couple of weeks ago).

The boom in spontaneous social apps

Clubhouse has been getting the most attention in some tech circles lately, but it’s part of a much larger trend that Josh Constine has been tracking for TechCrunch. The ‘spontaneous’ apps that make it easy to talk to everyone else now in quarantine could also break down existing barriers in how we communicate long into the future. Here’s how he defines the concept:

What quarantine has revealed is that when you separate everyone, spontaneity is a big thing you miss. In your office, that could be having a random watercooler chat with a co-worker or commenting aloud about something funny you found on the internet. At a party, it could be wandering up to chat with group of people because you know one of them or overhear something interesting. That’s lacking while we’re stuck home since we’ve stigmatized randomly phoning a friend, differing to asynchronous text despite its lack of urgency.

The big question is if people will stay spontaneous once thing normalize and we all can go back to our old routines. Given the long-term trends toward remote work and more private, personalized communication, I agree with Josh that we’re looking at a real part of the future.

Oh also, want to hear about Clubhouse more, still? Don’t miss Equity Monday this past week.

Image Credits: Paper Boat Creative / Getty Images

What fintech investors see in the pandemic

In our latest set of weekly investor surveys for Extra Crunch, we checked in with top fintech investors about how they are dealing with the pandemic, and separately, what trends they are focusing on long-term. Here’s Matt Harris of Bain Capital Ventures on what it takes for a fintech startup to survive (and succeed) now:

The survival of fintech startups through 2020 is less about stage and more about the two dimensions I mentioned earlier — vulnerability in terms of cash balance, burn, and durability of revenue, and direct impact of COVID-19 on their topline. Regardless of stage, startups will face both operational and fundraising challenges. Many of the companies that survive will do so out of sheer luck of their business model or fundraising timing, while others will have to actively change the way they operate in today’s world. In general, we’ve seen the most strength in B2B focused companies with recurring revenue models, particularly those focused on helping businesses automate and move analog processes online.

Around TechCrunch

Extra Crunch Live: Join Mark Cuban for a Q&A on April 30 at 11am ET/8am PT

Extra Crunch Live: Navigating the pandemic with an equitable lens

Throw us your best 60-second pitch on May 13 at Pitchers and Pitches

Introducing the Digital Startup Alley Package for Disrupt SF

Across the Week

TechCrunch

Y Combinator officially shifts its next accelerator class to fully remote format
The pandemic will force sports to reimagine the fan experience
How to make sense of the coronavirus chaos
What is contact tracing?
Can employers mandate COVID-19 testing?

Extra Crunch

An IPO? In this economy?
Dear Sophie: How can we support our immigrant colleagues during layoffs?
The changing face of employment law during a global pandemic
6 investment trends that could emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic
Will China’s coronavirus-related trends shape the future for American VCs?

#EquityPod

From Alex:

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we had a choice of all sorts of news, but as we cut the show together as a group Danny pushed all the funding rounds up. So, when Alex and Natasha jumped into the show we had a bunch of good news to cover. We’re avoiding COVID-19 news, but the pandemic is just a part of the broader stories we want to tell. For the foreseeable future, coronavirus will be always be part of our interviews. But the conversation can’t start and stop there.

So what was on the docket? Three things: Accelerator news for the early-stage founders, funding rounds, of course, and some layoff news that was worth mentioning as it might trickle down beyond the unfortunate hosts. 

Listen here!

To All Those Who Love Nature And The Ones Who Don’t

I think it is pretty amazing how nature alone can teach us so many things and can make us realise the real beauty and meaning of life. For some, it may be boring and for some it is the answer they have been longing for.

Whether it is an old tree or a clear blue sky, a mountain top or a dark hidden cave, a clear blue ocean or a blooming flower, each one of these show what life really is.

The sky will show all its colors over the course of the day. It always begins with the cool bluish hue of the morning, its shades somewhat transitioning to red orange with the arrival of sunrise, and finally welcoming the coolness of the afternoon with its blazing golden colors. The sky’s beauty is then further highlighted with its pinkish glow as sunset approaches and basks us in its splendor.

That’s exactly how human emotions are — totally different from one another. All we need to do is express each one of them. And we must not forget about the somber vibe of the night, too! If we expect a bright morning, then we must also anticipate for the coming of the dark, deep blue, night sky. If we are open to happiness then why shun bad times? Everything has its time in our life, nothing is forever and we must understand that.

nature teach us

Diving deep into the beauty of nature, a tree is the best companion you can ever have! Who says a person is alone? Nature is something that never ever leaves you. It’s always there, keeping its ears attentive for all that you have been piling up inside. Its arms are wide open to give you a warm bear hug, leaving a smile on your face.

Sitting under a tree, listening to the rustling of leaves, observing the new and young ones, which are soft to touch and, at the same time looking at the old ones that have fallen beside you, closing your eyes for a few minutes and just letting the cool breeze touch you, is the best feeling you can feel!

Speak your heart out because a tree is never going to judge you. It will tell you something and listen to your somethings. It will teach you how to stand tall in spite of the heavy rain even though it knows that, at some point, the rain will do some damage; but it never stops trying to stay strong! It teaches you to be fearless, to believe in the power of perseverance, and to accept the changes happening around you.

Take out some time from your busy life, and just experience it for once. I am not saying do it daily! But trust me it’s going to be much better than the amazing party happening in the city. It’s going to be worth it! No therapy, counselling sessions, and exercises can work in maintaining your mental and physical stability until the time you give nature a chance to do  its part.

what nature teach us

For those who adore the beach, looking at the sea and releasing all your tensions right there and then actually gives you a feeling of lightness. Those sunburns have their own fun; tasting the salt from your face when you’re in the sea and trying to open your eyes when looking towards the sun are the small things which we often forget to try.

That is exactly what is called living the moment! Going on a vacation abroad just to be close to nature, but ending up clicking thousands of selfies is not living the moment and is an unfortunate waste of time. No one is telling you to stop taking pictures. In fact, photos are the best way to capture beautiful memories.

Snapping photos to have something to remember your experience by is one thing, being oblivious to the beauty around you because you’re too busy clicking and applying filters is another. And to be close to nature doesn’t mean that you need to plan a vacation in the Himalayas! It can be a park near your home, or any place where you can walk through the lane of emotions while you try to figure out life will do.

Thank you
Ridhi Panwar

The post To All Those Who Love Nature And The Ones Who Don’t appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

This is the only VPN that heavily features bears

This is the only VPN that heavily features bears

TL;DR: A two-year subscription to TunnelBear VPN is on sale for £3.38 per month, saving you 58% on list price.


VPNs help you to browse, stream, and work securely by protecting your online traffic with an encrypted tunnel. That might sound a little complicated, but it’s really not.

It simply means that all your data and personal information is safeguarded, so nobody can see what you’re doing or where you’ve been. These services are becoming more and more popular as remote working has become a necessity.

There are plenty of top providers to consider, but TunnelBear stands out from the crowd for two reasons. For starters, it’s one of the few services to offer a genuinely free service. You are limited to 500MB of secure browsing with a free plan, but this should be more than enough to properly give the service a try. Secondly, TunnelBear is the only VPN to heavily feature bears all over its site and interface, which is key. Read more…

More about Cybersecurity, Streaming, Working From Home, Shopping Uk, and Uk Deals

Gillmor Gang: Zoom Normal

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Tuesday, April 21, 2020. Brent Leary joins the Gang as we blend streaming, Zoomcasting and sheltering from the storm.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

Liner Notes

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

Igloo raises $8.2M to bring insurance to more people in Southeast Asia

Singapore-based Igloo, formerly known as Axinan, has raised $8.2 million as the insurance-tech startup looks to broaden its foothold in half a dozen Southeast Asian markets and Australia.

InVent, a corporate venture capital arm of telecommunications firm Intouch Holdings, led Igloo’s extended Series A round, the startup told TechCrunch. Existing investors Openspace Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in Southeast Asia, and Linear Capital, a Shanghai-based early-stage venture capital firm focusing on tech-driven startups, participated in this round, which makes four-year-old Igloo’s to-date raise to $16 million. It raised about $1 million in its Seed financing round.

Igloo — founded by Wei Zhu, who previously served as Chief Technology Officer at Grab — works with e-commerce and travel firms such as Lazada, RedDoorz, and Shopee in Southeast Asia to offer their customers insurance products that provide protection on electronics, and coverage on accidents and travel.

The startup, which also operates in Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, said more than 15 million users have benefitted from its insurance products to date, and in the last one year it has processed more than 50 million transactions.

Igloo, which rebranded from Axinan this month, said insurance products are proving especially useful to — and popular among — people during the coronavirus outbreak.

Raunak Mehta, Chief Commercial Officer at Igloo, told TechCrunch that the startup has seen a surge in transactions and customer acquisitions in the last 45 days. “While some travel related business have seen a dip, the larger e-commerce business continues to see a surge,” he added.

“With COVID-19 impacting every facet of personal life and business, digitisation can help the world adjust to the new normal. This is especially apparent in insurance, where we can tap on digital channels for distribution and also for creating awareness,” said Zhu.

“We see that digital insurance is on the rise in Southeast Asia, and we believe that Igloo, with our digital-first approach and expansion of our product portfolio into personal health, accident and other related products can help fill those gaps and address consumers’ needs for personal well-being,” he added.

He said the digital insurance penetration remains low in Southeast Asia, and Igloo sees massive opportunity in the space. According to one estimate (PDF), Southeast Asia’s digital insurance market is currently valued at $2 billion and is expected to grow to $8 billion by 2025.

The startup, which competes with a handful of startups including Singapore Life and Saphron, will use the fresh capital to expand its business development and engineering teams and broaden its presence in the half-dozen markets. It is already engaging with telecom operators, banks, non-banking financial firms, and travel agencies, it said.

Coronavirus PSA meets the Ghanaian pallbearer meme in very 2020 horror sketch

Coronavirus PSA meets the Ghanaian pallbearer meme in very 2020 horror sketch

Do not challenge the death. Stay at home.

A viral video from Malaysia is using the Ghanaian pallbearer meme to deliver an important coronavirus public health announcement — as well as a hilarious horror film.

Created by ad agency 75insanity, “How To Summon The Death” follows an unfortunate man (played by in-house actor HauYen Tan) who is relentlessly dogged by the ominous EDM strains of Tony Igy’s “Astronomia.” The song is a reference to the popular video meme of Ghanaian pallbearers dancing while carrying a casket, which is frequently used to imply imminent death.

Though the funky funeral footage originally came from 2017 AP and BBC stories, the lively pallbearers only rose to meme status this year. It’s a very on-brand meme considering the year 2020 has been. Read more…

More about Memes, Ghana, Funerals, Coronavirus, and Covid 19

Take the stress out of working from home

Take the stress out of working from home

TL;DR: An 18-month subscription to ZenMate VPN is on sale for £1.99 per month, saving you 79% on list price.


Working from home can be stressful. It doesn’t matter how many cushions, blankets, and other assorted soft things you have around you. It’s still stressful.

There are services you can invest in that can make the whole working from home thing a little more bearable. The first is a VPN, as these services protect your data and sensitive information, with apps for all your devices.

Your security is one less thing to worry about with a VPN, and ZenMate VPN is one of the cheapest services on offer. So you don’t need to worry about spiraling costs either. An 18-month plan is currently on sale for just £1.99 per month, saving you 79% on list price. Read more…

More about Cybersecurity, Mashable Shopping, Working From Home, Shopping Uk, and Uk Deals