TL;DR: A two-year subscription to TunnelBear VPN is on sale for £3.38 per month, saving you 58% on list price.
We like to imagine that TunnelBear VPN is run by lots of hardworking bears, all doing everything they can to ensure your online security and data privacy. It’s probably not the case, but they do feature heavily on TunnelBear’s site and interface, so that’s something.
TunnelBear is one of the most popular VPN providers, and that’s probably partly down to the cute bears that pop up everywhere. It’s also due to the range of advanced security features offered by the service, including easy-to-use apps, strong encryption, and fast connection speeds. Read more…
SpaceX on Saturday launched two NASA astronauts aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft, and the accomplishment is a tremendous one for both the company and the U.S. space agency. At a fundamental level, it means that the U.S. will have continued access to the International Space Station, without having to rely on continuing to buy tickets aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to do so. But it also means the beginning of a new era for the commercial space industry – one in which private companies and individual buying tickets for passenger trips to space is a consistent and active reality.
With this mission, SpaceX will complete the final step required by NASA to human-rate its Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon spacecraft, which means that it can begin operationally transporting people from Earth essentially as soon as this mission concludes (Crew Dragon still has to rendezvous with the space station tomorrow, and make its way back to Earth with astronauts on board in a few weeks). Already, SpaceX has signed an agreement with Space Adventures, a private space tourism booking company that has previously worked with Roscosmos on sending private astronauts to orbit.
SpaceX wants to start sending up paying tourists on orbital flights (without any ISS stops) starting as early as next year aboard Crew Dragon. The capsule actually supports up to seven passengers per flight, though only four seats will ever be used for official NASA crew delivery missions for the space station. SpaceX hasn’t released pricing on private trips aboard the aircraft, but you can bet they’ll be expensive since a Falcon 9 launch (without a human rated capsule) costs around $60 million, and so even dividing that by seven works out to a high price of entry.
So this isn’t the beginning of the era of accessible private spaceflight, but SpaceX is the first private company to actually put people into space, despite a lot of talk and preparatory work by competitors like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin. And just like in the private launch business, crossing the gulf between having a private company that talks about doing something, and a company that actually does it, will absolutely transform the space industry all over again.
SpaceX is gearing up to launch tourists as early as next year, as mentioned, and while those tourists will have to be deep-pocketed, as eight everything that SpaceX does, the goal is to continue to find ways to make more aspects of the launch system reusable and reduce costs of launch in order to bring prices down.
Even without driving down costs, SpaceX will have a market, however niche, and one that hasn’t yet really had any inventory to satisfy demand. Space Adventures has flown a few individuals by buying tickets on Soyuz launches, but that hasn’t really been a consistent or sustainable source of commercial human spaceflight, and SpaceX’s system will likely have active support and participation from NASA.
That’s an entirely new revenue stream for SpaceX to add to its commercial cargo launches, along with its eventual launch of commercial internet service via Starlink. It’s hard to say yet what kind of impact that will actually have on their bottom line, but it could be big enough to have an impact – especially if they can figure out creative ways to defray costs over successive years, since each cut will likely considerably expand their small addressable audience.
SpaceX’s impact on the launch business was to effectively create a market for small satellites and more affordable orbital payloads that simply didn’t make any economic sense with larger existing launch craft, most of which were bankrolled almost entirely by and for defence and NASA use. Similarly, it’s hard to predict what the space tourism market will look like in five years, now that a company is actually offering it and flying a human-rated private spacecraft that can make it happen.
Private spacefarers won’t all be tourists – in fact, it could make a lot more financial sense for the majority of passengers to and from orbit to be private scientists and researchers. Basically, imagine a NASA astronaut, but working for a private company rather than a publicly-funded agency.
Astronauts are essentially multidisciplinary scientists, and the bulk of their job is conducing experiments on the ISS. NASA is very eager to expand commercial use of the ISS, and also to eventually replace the aging space station with a private one of which they’re just one of multiple customers. Already, the ISS hosts commercial experiments and cargo, but if companies and institutions can now also send their own researchers as well, that may change considerably how much interest their is in doing work on orbit, especially in areas like biotech where the advantages of low gravity can produce results not possible on Earth.
Cost is a gain a significant limiting factor here, since the price per seat will be – no pun intended – astronomical. But for big pharma and other large companies who already spend a considerable amount on R&D it might actually be within reach. Especially in industries like additive manufacturing, where orbit is an area of immense interest, private space-based labs with actual rotating staff might not be that farfetched an idea.
Marketing & Entertainment
Commercial human spaceflight might actually be a great opportunity to make actual commercials – brands trying to outdo each other by shooting the first promo in space definitely seems like a likely outcome for a Superbowl spot. It’s probably not anyone’s priority just now, given the ongoing global pandemic, but companies have already discussed the potential of marketing partnerships as a key driver of real revenue, including lunar lander startup ispace, which has signed a number of brand partners to fund the build and flight of its hardware.
Single person rides to orbit are definitely within budget for the most extreme marketing efforts out there, and especially early on, there should be plenty of return on that investment just because of how audacious and unique the move is. The novelty will likely wear off, but access to space will remain rarified enough for the forseeable future that it could still be part of more than a few marketing campaigns.
As for entertainment, we’ve already seen the first evidence of interest there – Tom Cruise is working on a project to be filmed at least in part in space, apparently on board the International Space Station. SpaceX is said to be involved in those talks, and it would make a lot of sense for the company to consider a Crew Dragon flight with film crew and actors on board for both shooting, and for transportation to ‘on location’ shoots on the ISS.
Cruise probably isn’t the only one to consider the impact of a space-based motion picture project, and you can bet at least one reality show producer somewhere is already pitching ‘The Bachelor’ in space. Again, it’s not going to be within budget for every new sci-fi project that spins up, but it’s within blockbuster budget range, and that’s another market that grew by 100% just by virtue of the fact that it didn’t exist as a possibility before today.
It’s hard to fully appreciate what kind of impact this will have, because SpaceX has literally taken something that previously wasn’t possible, and made it available – at costs that, while high, aren’t so high as to be absurd. As with every other such expansion, it will likely create new and innovative opportunities that haven’t even been conceived, especially once the economics and availability of flights, etc. are clarified. GPS, another great space-based innovation, formed the bedrock of an industry that changed just about every aspect of human life – private commercial spaceflight could do the same.
No need to overthink dinner when the sun is shining and school is out! Get your week started with meatballs and fried catfish, then finish things off with cauliflower gnocchi, pork chops, and BBQ pizza!
TL;DR: A two-year subscription to PureVPN is on sale for £2.33 per month, saving you 74% on list price.
The list of features offered by VPN providers is long and growing, but some are more important than others. Sure, server location and connection speed is important, but these things don’t impact your privacy and security.
If online security is your priority, you should be looking out for things like a kill switch. This terminates your internet connection if the VPN disconnects, so that your identity isn’t exposed. It’s a vital second layer of protection, and it’s something every VPN service should provide. Read more…
Acorns, which helps millions of people invest their spare change in the stock market, has laid off between 50 to 70 people, TechCrunch has learned from multiple sources.
The Irvine, Calif.-based company would not confirm the total number of people laid off, but did confirm that there were cuts at the company as a result of broader business changes.
The news emerged days after the fintech company closed its Portland office earlier this week, one of four offices the company maintained. While Acorns offered Portland employees an opportunity to relocate to its Irvine headquarters, some roles were terminated as part of the relocation, the company said.
Employees laid off largely were members of Acorns’ support team. And the internal cuts are related to an external partnership with TaskUs, which out-sources customer care and support needs for other businesses. Acorns will bring on roughly 80 new TaskUs support roles in the next year, which the company said would grow its support team, just not its internal staff.
The internal Acorns support team will handle high-touch customer care situations via phone, while external roles will handle email support.
Beyond support roles, Acorns cut some people from various teams across the company.
Acorns has found unprecedented growth as the coronavirus brings new users into its world of investing and saving money. The company recently hit a milestone of 7 million sign-ups, continuing the trend that trading apps are benefiting from a down market.
At the same time, Acorns also launched a debit card that depends on users spending in order to make sense as a business product. Payment processing is a risky space to play in right now because consumer spending has nosedived due to shelter in place orders. It could be a weak spot for the company at the moment. Earlier today, Brex laid off 62 staff members, just one week after raising $150 million in venture capital money.
So, why does a company like Acorns, that is facing immense growth, need to do layoffs? Even if you’re winning right now, the pandemic and potential of an extended recession is forcing businesses to reevaluate the way they’re spending money. In Acorns’ case, it will have more headcount next year than it does right now. But dig a little deeper, and its choice to outsource roles and shut down an office means that growing right now can come at the cost of slimming down.
Investors in Acorns include PayPal, DST Global, Rakuten, Greycroft and Bain Capital.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Twin Cities convulsed with chaos for a third straight night of violent unrest Thursday in the wake of the Memorial Day death of George Floyd as he was being restrained on the neck by a Minneapolis police officer.
Late Thursday and early Friday, rioters invaded and set fire to Minneapolis police’s Third Precinct headquarters and for a second overnight, torched and looted many other buildings in the Lake Street corridor, many of them housing small businesses with minority owners.
The unrest got the attention of President Donald Trump, who tweeted he “can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis.”
Trump added that he had talked to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz “and told him that the military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
About 1:30 a.m. Friday, Mayor Jacob Frey, who previously had held news conferences to denounce Floyd’s death and call for the arrest of the officers involved, held one to address the chaos of the past three days.
“Earlier this evening, after receiving real-time information from (Police Chief Medaria) Arradondo and after having numerous phone calls with him involving the situation at the Third Precinct, it became clear that there were imminent threats to both officers and the public,” Frey said. “I made the decision to evacuate the Third Precinct. The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life, of our officers or the public. Brick and mortar is not as important as life.”
Though acknowledging protesters’ “pain and anger,” he said, “What we have seen over the past several hours and past couple of nights is unacceptable. These are banks that people rely on to get cash, grocery stores that people rely on to get food. They are essential to our community.”
Frey said it became clear by Wednesday that Minneapolis police needed help, and that help came from the State Patrol and the National Guard callup. He reiterated his support for calls made by Arradondo and the Minneapolis Fire Department on responses to the violence and fires.
Frey repeated his passionate calls for help from the community: “We need to make sure that people are looking out for our city right now.”
Asked about Trump’s tweets, which also criticized him, Frey said, “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your fingers at somebody else at a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis.”
Some of the 500 National Guard troops deployed earlier in the day by Walz to assist police and the State Patrol — the first deployment for a civil disturbance in 34 years — went to the Third Precinct to try to make it safe for firefighters, but just after midnight, little firefighting was able to take place, with rioters remaining in the area, throwing projectiles and according to one witness, shooting bullets into the building.
The city of Minneapolis tweeted a warning to stay away from the area around Hiawatha Avenue and Lake Street: “We’re hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building. If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes.
In the space of a few minutes late Thursday, priority 1 calls related to the unrest poured in to Minneapolis police: A gunshot victim walked into HCMC. Squads were dispatched to break up fights between looters and business owners near N. 42nd and Lyndale avenues.
About 2 a.m. Friday, police scanner traffic indicated that protesters were headed toward the Fourth Precinct headquarters, in north Minneapolis. Armed vehicles bearing Guard troops were also reportedly arriving in downtown Minneapolis.
Across the Mississippi River in St. Paul, looting, fire and vandals had damaged about 170 buildings by night’s end, police said.
One man was spotted smashing a boulder into an ATM at Big Top Liquors on W. University Avenue. And around 1:35 p.m., about a block from Minnesota United’s Allianz Field, Deryck Miller of St. Paul witnessed a shooting.
“A gentleman pulled out a gun and started shooting in this direction, and a person got out of that black car and ran away,” said Miller, who was helping a friend who owns an automotive shop in the Midway neighborhood. “It’s just been crazy out here.”
Miller estimated that 90% of nearby businesses had been looted. By evening, a nearby NAPA Auto Parts store had been set on fire. Metro Transit suspended all bus and light-rail service through the weekend. Target ordered 24 area stores to close until further notice.
The worst-struck parts of the Twin Cities had the feel of a cat-and-mouse game. When a police vehicle pulled up to a strip mall in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood, where a large crowd had smashed windows of a Verizon store, a Noodles & Co. and a Vitamin Shoppe, the crowd immediately scattered, only to re-emerge elsewhere.
Police formed a barricade in front of a Target there. But no officers were at the T.J. Maxx store a block away, so looters smashed the door down and fled with shoes and clothing piled on shopping carts.
Calls for patience unheeded
Earlier Thursday, county and federal prosecutors expressed disgust at Floyd’s killing while pleading for the public’s patience as they conduct an investigation and mull whether to charge Derek Chauvin, the police officer whose knee was pressed to Floyd’s neck as he died, or the other three officers present.
The Hennepin County medical examiner mirrored that call for patience, saying an autopsy to determine a cause and manner for Floyd’s death cannot be rushed — even as protesters demanded that Chauvin swiftly be charged with murder.
“I will not rush justice,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. “We have to do this right. We have to prove this in a court of law. … Please: Give me and give the United States attorney the time to do this right, and we will bring you justice — I promise.”
All day, Thursday felt like a continued push and pull between city and state authorities pleading for calm and protesters fed up with the systemic racism they believe Floyd’s killing represents.
There were also glimmers of hope Thursday. Scores of community members showed up in the Lake Street Target parking lot for a massive cleanup. Forces of restoration took over the spot where rioters had encamped hours before. National civil rights leaders appeared at protests: Jesse Jackson sported a sign saying, “Cowards kill the unarmed,” while Al Sharpton met with local leaders and protesters. Artists painted a mural of Floyd’s smiling face outside the Cup Foods grocery store on Chicago Avenue where he was killed.
At a late-morning news conference, Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins strode up to a podium, removed her face mask and sang part of “Amazing Grace,” echoing former President Barack Obama singing the hymn after the 2015 church shooting in Charleston, S.C.
“We feel,” she said, referring to the black community in Minneapolis and nationwide, “as if there was a knee on all of our collective necks — a knee that says, ‘Black life does not matter to the institutions that dictate what happens in this culture and society.’ … Until we name this virus, this disease that has infected America for the past 400 years, we will never, ever resolve this issue.”
911 call transcript released
On Thursday, officials released the transcript of the 911 calls linked to Floyd’s death. A 911 operator received the call at 8:01 p.m. Monday from a clerk at Cup Foods about a man, later suspected to be Floyd, who had bought cigarettes with fake money.
The caller reported that the man was outside in his car and “is awfully drunk, and he’s not in control of himself.”
After obtaining a physical description of the man and a vehicle associated with him, the operator said, “All right, I’ve got help on the way. If that vehicle or that person leaves before we get there, just give us a call back, otherwise we’ll have squads out there shortly, OK?”
“No problem,” the caller replied.
Police arrived and detained a handcuffed Floyd on the pavement as he begged to be allowed to breathe. Medics arrived and took Floyd to HCMC. He was unresponsive and lacking a pulse when he arrived.
(Staff writers Reid Forgrave, Liz Navratil, Liz Sawyer, Ryan Faircloth, Miguel Otárola, Chao Xiong, Paul Walsh, Rochelle Olson, Ryan Faircloth, Matt McKinney, Andy Mannix and Briana Bierschbach contributed to this report.)
©2020 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Ready to bake but out of yeast? No worries, we have you covered! Peruse this selection of sweet and savory, no-yeast bread and biscuit recipes. You’ll find banana bread, beer bread, and soda bread. When you’re done with those start on the biscuits and cornbread!
There’s a good reason why Squarespace is an incredibly popular web building and hosting service: it allows people to build beautiful websites relatively easily and affordably, thanks largely to its drag-and-drop page builders and templates.
While Squarespace might offer less flexibility for experienced coders than other website builders like WordPress, it is user friendly, even if you have zero coding experience. That’s largely because it offers around 100 different and customisable templates. These templates act as “rough draft” designs for you to build the website you want, determining how your site looks and how it works. Read more…
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Magic Leap talked a big game, and few were more responsible for fostering a cult of hype and excitement around its vision of the future than the company’s founder and CEO Rony Abovitz. Today, the CEO announced that the company has indeed secured a new bout of funding, but that the company will be attempting to mount a major turnaround without him at the helm.
According to a memo sent to staff, first obtained by Business Insider, Abovitz will continue on with the company through a transition period but that the company has been “actively recruiting candidates” to replace him.
“We have closed significant new funding and have very positive momentum towards closing key strategic enterprise partnerships,” the staff memo reads. “As the Board and I planned the changes we made and what Magic Leap needs for this next focused phase, it became clear to us that a change in my role was a natural next step. I discussed this with the Board and we have agreed that now is the time to bring in a new CEO who can help us to commercialize our focused plan for spatial computing in enterprise.”
The announcement comes after the augmented reality startup announced substantial layoffs earlier this month and announced that it would be pivoting from developing consumer products to fully focusing on its enterprise business. It was reported earlier this month that Magic Leap had locked down an additional $350 million in funding which would help the startup avoid further layoffs.
The startup has raised billions of venture capital funding under Abovitz’s tenure, but the startup has also undergone plenty of hurdles as they attempted to outdo Apple, Microsoft and Facebook in the race to create a mainstream AR device. Abovitz always seemed to have a consumer focus for his company, so it’s unsurprising that the company’s board would look elsewhere as the company shifts focus to enterprise.
Weight loss, better sleep, strong bones – these are just some of the health benefits of running. But when it comes to such exercise, the clothes you wear can also impact its quality. Workout clothes are not made the same way so they can make or break your performance. For this reason, investing in a pair of high-quality compression tights is an excellent upgrade to your present running gear.
Compression tights are usually made of nylon and spandex and are designed to snugly hug your body and legs. These unique features offer several benefits for running. Here are some benefits that should convince you to add compression pants to your running arsenal.
Facilitate Muscle Recovery
As in any sport or physical activity, it is important for you to recover quickly from your workout. Sore and aching muscles can interfere with your daily life. If your recovery rate takes too long, you may not be able to perform at optimal levels and make progress on your next run.
Aside from taking time to do warm-up stretches before starting your exercise, you can improve your muscle recovery by wearing compression leggings.
A study conducted by William Kramer, professor of kinesiology in the Neag School of Education, compared one group of women who wore compression garment for five days with another group, which did not wear any compression garment. The group wearing compression clothing was found to have better recovery of muscle strength and power. Furthermore, there was significantly less-perceived muscle soreness in the first group compared to the group not wearing compression garments.
Shield from the Elements
Serious runners don’t let something like the weather stop them from going for a run. For this reason, it is important to invest in good-quality running gear that will give you protection from all kinds of things, from inclement weather to insects.
Compression tights have an added feature of giving your legs an extra layer of protection. Scorching heat, cold winds, and thorny bushes can make your run uncomfortable and even dangerous. Wearing compression leggings gives you full coverage from these elements.
If it is particularly cold, make sure to wear compression tights that are designed for cold climates and with long underwear underneath them. Include other winter running gear, like a winter beanie and gloves to protect your head and hands from the cold.
Have you ever run while wearing ill-fitting workout pants or leggings in a fabric that is uncomfortably tight and thick? If you have, then you know how much it can interfere with your movement and general performance. You’ll suffer soreness and even chafing during and after the exercise.
Compression tights are designed to glide on your legs and body like a second skin. This design increases circulation in your legs, so it makes running easier and more comfortable. In addition to providing comfort, compression tights can improve your stamina and speed because it decreases energy expenditure. You focus more on your performance and progress and avoid getting distracted by pain caused by poor circulation.
Do note that some compression tights are made specifically for medical purposes. Take for example those that provide support to pregnant women or to people whose jobs involve standing for hours. These garments may help prevent disorders caused by poor circulation, like varicose veins.
Different runners have different needs. For these various runs, you’ll need specific running gear to improve your performance. Whether you are into long marathons, short sprints, or recovery runs, there are compression pants that will meet your requirements and help you be at your best.
Some compression leggings are designed specifically for muscle support. This is important for long runs and for runners who are prone to aching and sore muscles. Compression pants with muscle support are also a smart choice if you are doing a recovery run.
There are also compression tights that feature more knee support if you have problematic knees. If you live in an area with particularly cold winters, go for thermal-compression pants, which are designed to keep you warm.
On the other hand, if you live in a humid and rainy location, you can pick compression pants that are lightweight and moisture-wicking, so they dry fast and don’t make you feel dehydrated and too hot while on the move.
Speed is one of the things you want to improve on when you run, and wearing compression tights can help you constantly break your old record. You may have an ideal weather in mind when you run. Maybe you love running when it is only slightly sunny with no strong winds or rain, but you know you can’t control the weather. You still need to hit the pavement even when it’s cold and windy or even when it’s raining.
Compression tights can help you run faster even in these conditions because they are designed to glide smoothly and snugly on your legs. As a result, there’s less drag compared to wearing pants in a thicker and heavier fabric. Compression pants are also contoured so they reduce wind resistance and will not hamper your stride and movements.
The post 5 Compelling Reasons To Use Compression Garments For Running appeared first on Dumb Little Man.
Dishcraft Robotics has a simple pitch to corporate kitchens and restaurants that could potentially save tons of single use plastic, non-compostable takeout containers, dishware and cutlery from ending up landfills.
Use its cleaning service that will drop off all the clean, reusable dishware and cutlery a restaurant or corporate kitchen could possibly need in the morning and pick up all the dirty dishes, cups and silverware that the foodservice location uses throughout the day.
“In this model we take care of the collection and cleaning of dishes,” said Linda Pouliot, the company’s founder and chief executive officer.
That’s the offer. Behind the scenes the company will use its compliment of robots that can clean up 10,000 pieces of dishware or cutlery to quickly and efficiently clean up the mess.
The restaurants, Pouliot says, have more inventory than they could possibly need — even as Dishcraft only runs one drop-off and pick up service throughout the day at corporate offices.
The company has just announced a $20 million round of funding that will expand its service beyond the corporate kitchen and into communities that are worried about the waste produced by the explosion in takeout that’s occurred as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.
A green business model is at the heart of Dishcraft’s new pitch. The company launched in June of last year with a massive dishwashing robot that it was debating selling to kitchens around the country. Now it’s settled on a services approach that makes its robotic-powered dishwashers an easier sell to businesses. “We saw that cloud kitchens took off… we’re the same. We’re cloud dishwashing,” said Pouliot.
The company has a collection system that works in a 25 mile radius and uses biodiesel to power its fleet of trucks that pickup and deliver the clean dishes, according to Pouliot.
The founder of an automated floor cleaning robotic service, Neato Robotics, Pouliot has a long history of applying high tech solutions to real world problems.
Along with co-founder Paul Birkmeyer, the company’s chief technology officer and a former employee of SRI International, Pouliot founded Dishcraft in 2015. The two discussed the opportunity for a robotics business cleaning dishes over lunch at a restaurant. The restaurant’s dishwasher had called out sick for the day and the head chef came over to spend a few minutes with the two entrepreneurs discussing the pains of the dishwashing business, Pouliot recalled.
The company’s technology involves the integration of sensors, computer vision, machine learning, UV lighting, and innovative mechanics to autonomously sort, scrub, inspect, and rack dishware, the company said. Plates are cleaned and inspected multiple times using sensors that can spot miniscule particles invisible to the human eye, the company said.
Current customers include Affirm and foodservice company Guckenheimer, and the company said it would announce others soon.
Image credit: Dishcraft Robotics
After an early investment from Lemnos Labs, the company moved from the garage where it had been prototyping its robotic designs and moved into Lemnos’ offices.
Pouliot is a 15 year robotics industry veteran, and after Neato Robotics knew that the cleaning industry represented a special niche for robotics that not many other companies were pursuing.
Dishcraft currently works out of a cleaning facility in San Carlos, Calif. and will use some of the capital it raised to expand the facility as it builds out its to-go solution for cleaning reusable containers. “Communities and cities are interested in more sustainable solutions,” said Pouliot, and that interest is driving demand for Dishcraft.
“For example… Alameda, Calif. has 300 restaurants and 100 have signed up for a zero waste initiative,” Pouliot said, which is creating interest at the city government level for Dishcraft’s services.
“With a cafeteria we have a collection system and every day we pick up the dishwares,” she said. “With cities there will be a specified drop off point and a system that will take all the wares back to our centralized hub and clean them and inspect them and deliver clean wares the following day.”
The new $20 million will be used to expand the number of hubs. Funding for the new round was led by new investor Grit Ventures. Returning investors First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures, Fuel Capital, and Lemnos also participated in the round, according to the company. As a result of the funding, Marc Randolph, co-founder and former CEO of Netflix, and Kelly Coyne, founder and partner at Grit Ventures, will join Dishcraft’s board of directors.
So far, Dishcraft has raised $46 million in venture funding.
“Even pre-COVID, Dishcraft was on track to be a significant force of disruption in the world of food services,” said Kelly Coyne, founder and partner at Grit Ventures, in a statement. “In recent years, robotics has introduced major operational improvements in traditional industry. In particular, firms like Dishcraft that leverage RaaS (robotics-as-a-service) have been able to rapidly gain traction and sell effortlessly into long-stagnant industries.”
President Donald Trump will reveal an executive order designed to “regulate” social media on Thursday, after Twitter applied its fact-check label to two Trump tweets containing false claims about mail-in ballots.
The executive tantrum, and a Fox News appearance by senior White House advisor Kellyanne Conway where she goaded viewers to harass Twitter’s head of site integrity Yoel Roth, spurred a stern response from Twitter cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey.
“Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me,” Dorsey tweeted. “Please leave our employees out of this. We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally.” Read more…
Are virtual events the future of events? Much of our lives has moved online, and going to a big event just doesn’t seem appealing anymore. Work travel is always difficult and it’s becoming more difficult. This means that all the huge events like continuing education seminars and conferences are going to be in trouble if they don’t adapt. Virtual conferences can be just as engaging, if not more engaging, than in-person conferences. So why isn’t everyone doing virtual conferences?
Big Conferences Can Be A Waste Of Time
Going to a big conference can be fun and exciting, but how much value are you really getting from it? Oftentimes, huge conferences and events draw exhibitors and vendors from many different related fields. While you may be there to learn about specific developments in your own field, you often have to sift through about 90% content and exhibits that are not relevant to you.
This leads to a lack of engagement in the events overall because people scan the booths or scan the lectures, don’t see much of anything that really applies to them, and then go to a museum instead after attending maybe one lecture. Not that it’s bad to take in the local sights when you are at a conference, but if you can’t get people to engage in the conference at all, what’s the point?
Large conferences can be a boon to many businesses. These types of events add $1 trillion in spending to the economy each year, including airfare, space rental, hotel stays, dining, transportation, and more. But with big economic impacts come big economic losses when things go wrong. Some people derive a great deal of value from such conferences, but there’s probably a better way to get engagement and more bang for your buck.
Going Virtual Isn’t What You Think
Virtual events have been around for a long time, but no one has really noticed until recently. They are more than just Zoom meetings with a thousand tiny heads, too. Virtual meetings and conferences can have all of the major parts of an in-person conference but can be done in a way that participants engage with each other online.
With virtual conferences, attendees can fill out a profile that will be used to match them with the content that is most relevant to them, as well as to the people who would be most valuable to their networks. Attendees can experience lectures, panels, and group discussions virtually, and do so without having to leave their homes and offices.
What’s more, 80% of those who attend virtual meetings and conferences say they are just as engaged, if not more engaged, than they have been in in-person meetings and conferences. While there are some things lost when you don’t attend in person, you can still derive a great deal of value from a virtual event with lots of benefits to boot.
Benefits Of Virtual Events
Think about how much it costs to go to a big summit or conference for work. There’s the price of the tickets, which can often be in the thousands of dollars. Then there’s the cost of travel, including airfare and ground transportation, which can also be more than a thousand dollars. Then you have lodging and meals, entertainment, and more. It can cost thousands of dollars to go to an in-person conference that might not even be totally relevant to your business.
Virtual conferences are significantly less costly than in-person conferences. The ticket prices are cheaper, but it’s also more affordable for the organizers to put together, so they can often spend more on talent like keynote speakers. Events can be more focused on one area of a field rather than being a catch-all to draw the biggest crowd.
On top of all these benefits, virtual conferences can legitimately claim a much smaller carbon footprint than large in-person gatherings because most people don’t have to travel to attend.
Are Virtual Conferences Here To Stay?
Now that we have easy access to all of the technology we need to make these virtual conferences a reality, more people are going to be choosing the ease and relevance of virtual events over the hassle of travel and the costs associated with in-person events. Learn more about the shift toward virtual events!
Ola Electric, the EV business that spun out of the ride-hailing giant Ola last year, has acquired an Amsterdam-based electric scooter startup as the Indian firm looks to locally produce and launch its own line of two wheelers as soon as this year.
The Indian firm said Wednesday it had acquired Etergo, a Dutch firm that has built a scooter that uses swappable, high energy battery that delivers a range of up to 240 km (149 miles).
Ola did not reveal the terms of the deal, but Etergo was valued at around $90 million in its previous financing round, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The six-year-old startup had raised €20.3 million from the market before its acquisition today, according to Crunchbase.
Etergo’s electric-powered two wheeler
The Indian firm, which gained the unicorn status last year when it raised $300 million, said it plans to launch its electric two wheeler in India next year, though TechCrunch understands that the company is internally hoping to reach the milestone by end of this year.
“This acquisition will further bolster Ola Electric’s strong engineering and design capabilities with the Etergo team’s extensive vehicle development experience with leading automotive companies like Tesla, General Motors, Ferrari, Jaguar, and BMW. Etergo’s team will continue to be based out of Amsterdam as they join Ola Electric,” it said in a statement.
More to follow…
Like a lot of us right now, I was frazzled and bored and fed up with TV the night I clicked on Zenimation, a series of shorts that launched on Disney+ over the long Memorial Day weekend. My mind was open; it was also skeptical. There was no original animation to be found in the series; this was simply snack-sized chunks of Disney animation from across the years, arranged thematically into 10 episodes of around five minutes each. How could that not come across like a greatest hits compilation at best, and a 50-minute trailer at worst?
Yet once I’d blasted through the first three episodes, simply titled “Water,” “Cityscapes,” and “Discovery,” I found a level of peace and calm I haven’t felt since the coronavirus pandemic began. And that’s coming from someone who has been meditating more than normal since quarantine began, even running a global meditation contest over Zoom. Read more…
In today’s world, having a website is essential for the success of your business. It used to be all about brick and mortar stores, but now it’s all about being present online and having a website your audience can visit whenever they want. It’s not as simple as it sounds, though. You have to focus on quality and SEO in order to attract more potential customers and increase your conversion rates. After all, Google has to choose how to rank websites somehow, which is why SEO is crucial.
Find the right keywords
Finding the right keywords is the first step to success when creating a website that will crush SEO. Keywords help your website show up higher on the first page of Google when your audience types in something related to what you’re offering. The point is to think like your consumer. If you were looking for the kind of services your company offers, what would you google?
From here, you can use the help of advanced keyword software that will help you see how strong or weak certain keywords are. This will help you determine which ones would be the most effective to use on your website. The more general the keywords are, the harder it will be to rank high on Google.
At the same time, you don’t want to go with anything too specific, because it is not likely people will be googling that specific phrase daily. It’s best to find a middle ground because that is more likely to be something your audience is googling naturally.
You can also choose PPC to help your website rank higher. Even though you should reach the SEO stars with organic traffic, there’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a boost. With paid advertising, you will have to bid on certain keywords relevant for your business so that you can use them to show up in the top Google results. The more you invest in PPC, the higher the return investment is likely to be. However, make sure you really know what you’re doing and that the risk will pay off. You don’t want to lose your money.
Maintain one voice
If you want to speak to your audience, you will need to maintain a uniform voice through your whole campaign, including your website. This means that you will need to figure out what kind of message you are sending to your audience. Are you a company with family values? Do you take on social responsibility? Or will your services and products just make your audience’s lives more fun?
Once you figure out what you want to say, use all available channels – including your website – to say it. This sends a message to people and to Google that you are a serious company who knows how things work. Being a professional in any field is likely to attract more website visitors and guarantees better ranking results. Make sure that high-quality content and services are offered along with your message and professionalism to increase your conversion rates and sales faster.
Trust a professional
Building, running, and maintaining a website takes up an enormous amount of time. For a beginner, things seem even more intimidating and complex because they’ve never done this before. If you want a peace of mind and more time to do other things in your business, turn to a professional who knows what they’re doing. In fact, this is a trend in many first-world countries like Australia, whose excellent tactics have made them world leaders in many fields.
What most small to mid-size companies in Australia do is hire the best SEO agency in Sydney. This way, they don’t have to worry about anything regarding the digital marketing campaign. All they have to do is tell the agency what their goals and target group are.
Then, it’s up to the experienced professional to give them the SEO results they require. Because the agency has done this many times before, they’ll have no problems delivering the promised results. Meanwhile, the owner of the company – you – gets to manage and stay on top of all other areas of business. Use this time to really master your manufacturing process and prepare for more sales than ever before.
Use UX design
When it comes to SEO friendly websites, you have to keep in mind what the audience wants to see and how they’ll interact with your website. You may know what the website is all about and how to use it, but not everyone is so tech-savvy. Good SEO also means using UX practices. In other words, it means putting the experience of the user as your top priority.
To do this, you will have to put yourself in your user’s shoes. Make sure the website has fast loading speeds to avoid dissatisfaction and impatience. If your website doesn’t load completely in the first few seconds, the visitor will bounce and Google will rank you lower.
As well as that, make sure it’s easy to navigate. Don’t overstuff it with text and put everything on the main page. This will just make it confusing and most people will simply leave.
One of the most important rules to remember is to optimize your website for mobile phones. Most people today use their phones instead of their computers for browsing. This means that your pictures, videos, and text will need to load nicely on the small screen. In fact, mobile optimization is a very important ranking factor, so you can’t neglect it under any circumstances.
See Also: UI/UX Design for Users with Dyslexia
As you can see, developing an SEO and user-friendly website doesn’t have to be impossible. There will be a lot of planning involved, but if you stick to it, your efforts will surely be rewarded. Interacting with your audience will be easier than ever and you’ll surely manage to reach all of your goals. We’re confident your website will be amazing and that your audience will be eating out of your hands soon enough.
The post How To Design An SEO Friendly Website That Ranks Well appeared first on Dumb Little Man.
“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” said Parasite director Bong Joon-ho when accepting the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. This isn’t just true of films, though. It also applies to highly bingeable K-dramas.
There’s a rich, wide world of captivating stories told in languages other than English, which many people are only just beginning to explore. South Korean dramas in particular have gained increasing global popularity over the past decade, even before Parasite threw Korean stories into the spotlight. Read more…
Meituan’s shares hit a record high on Tuesday, bringing its valuation to over $100 billion.
The Hong Kong-listed giant, which focuses on food delivery with smaller segments in travel and transportation, is the third Chinese firm to reach the landmark valuation. Tencent and Alibaba respectively topped the number back in 2013 and 2014.
Tencent-backed Meituan saw shares rally to HK$138 ($17.8) on Tuesday after it earmarked a smaller-than-projected decrease in revenue during Q1 and a net loss of 1.58 billion yuan ($220 million) after three consecutive profitable quarters.
While nationwide lockdowns might have increased the need for food delivery, Chinese consumers have been tightening their belt amid a worsening economy triggered by COVID-19. Overall food delivery transactions slid as a result. Meituan also had to pay incentives to delivery riders who work during the pandemic and subsidies to merchants to keep their heads above the water.
There’s one silver lining: While Meituan’s daily average number of transactions dropped by 18.2% to 15.1 million, the average value per order jumped by 14.4% as delivered meals, which were conventionally seen as a habit for office workers, became normalized among families that stayed at home. In the first quarter, a large number of premium restaurants joined Meituan’s food delivery services, and they could continue to attract bigger ticket purchases in the post-pandemic era.
All in all, though, Meituan executives warned of the uncertainties brought by COVID-19. “Moving on to the remaining of 2020, we expect that factors including the ongoing pandemic precautions, consumers’ insufficient confidence in offline consumption activities and the risk of merchants’ closure would continue to have a potential impact on our business performance.”
Are you not able to study at home due to a lot of distractions around?
Are you not able to focus just because of those uncomfortable sofas or less leg space? Or you are turned off by a cluttered study desk?
Well, you are not alone. Most students are troubled by the settings or environment at home as soon as they open their books.
Your focus does matter to make your study efficient. If you are bothered by those cluttered desks, frequent distractions, and noises, you cannot study well. To be able to concentrate on your studies is crucial especially before your important tests.
And studying well at home is even important if you have opted for online courses.
But that doesn’t mean all these troubles are obvious. Luckily, you can create a great study spot in your home. All you need to do is bring some changes.
Create a Quiet and Distraction Free Study Spot
First of all, choose a place away from distractions like traffic and noise. It is not easy to study in a room filled with all kinds of potential interruptions.
One study room might not be suitable for everyone due to different preferences. Some might like the room with light background music. Some might want it to be completely calm. Some might look for a small space like a cubicle. Whatever you want, make sure the space is free from distractions.
But not everyone has the luxury of a study room or an extra room at home.
So, you can study in your bedroom. You can also opt to create a space in the attic, basement or garage.
Make it Comfortable
It is challenging to study for extended hours at a time at an uncomfortable space. That’s why you need to find a comfortable place to avoid getting any back, wrist or other physical discomforts while you study. In fact, small discomforts can lead to critical health problems.
Choose a desk that comes up to between the ribcage and the waist when you sit at it and a chair that can be adjusted to the height of the desk. The chair should allow you to have your feet on the floor and not make you stoop your shoulders over your books or laptop.
If you are not comfortable with a desk or table, you can choose a comfy couch instead. Lap desk can also be useful.
The screen contrast should be comfortable to look at. A small desk lamp can be used to light your study area while a larger lamp or overhead light can be used for the rest of the space. Keep it well ventilated.
Keep it Well Organized
Imagine this scenario…
A cluttered study desk with the scattered mess of paper, books, pens, and other supplies around. To make it worse, there is also a huge pile of cups and snack wrappers. Would you like to study in such a space?
Most people certainly wouldn’t. It’s simple: A clean and well-organized space encourages you to study.
To achieve this, you can install some small shelves to store your books and other supplies. You can also keep your pens, pencils, and markers in the jar.
Clean your room at least once a week to maintain the neatness of your space.
Remove All Distractions
Even a clean and well-organized study room won’t help you as long as there are distractions around.
Will you be able to focus on your studies with your phone constantly ringing? Or, there might be a PlayStation in the room that tempts you to take a break from studying.
According to one study, clutter can affect your concentration.
Place your smartphone far away from you so that you can’t be distracted by constant notifications and calls. There should be no TV and gaming consoles in the room. Ask people to give you privacy to study for some hours.
However, sometimes distractions strike you in waves. The temptation to watch TV and check your phone suddenly can be hard to resist. However, those urges are short-lived if you can resist them from the get-go. Here’s how to deal with those waves—close your eyes, take a deep breath for two seconds, and exhale it for also two seconds. If the urge still hits you, repeat it until you overcome it.
Make Your Study Space Look Nice
Not only should your study room be comfortable, but it should also be nice. Simply put, you need to create a space that you feel good being in. This will boost your motivation to study.
There are many ways to make your study space pleasant.
- Candles and essential oil diffusers can scent up your space. Aesthetic lighting can create a great ambience in the room.
- Many types of music can improve your focus, such as Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart.
- Light plain shades are soothing, or you can add wallpaper to the study room for better ambiance.
However, don’t go overboard with decoration as it might lead to clutter and distractions.
Set a Schedule for Study
Frankly speaking, you need to create a strict study schedule to study efficiently. A study schedule lets you concentrate, as well as helps you determine how much longer you need to study. However, the schedule should be realistic and make sure you can stick to it.
However, studying for long hours can be exhausting and stressful. Therefore, make sure to take breaks. For example, you can study for 25 minutes, then go for a 5-10 minute break, then resume again for 25 minutes. You come back to study with a refreshed mind after taking breaks.
Your study space plays an important role in your efficiency. It is not easy to study in a room that has a lot of distractions and is not comfortable as well. Therefore, you need to create some dedicated study spot where you can do some serious work. Having the ultimate focus can help you understand things better. This is especially true for online courses that require you to be more dedicated and focused. Overall, the benefits of getting your study space neat and organized are worth it.
What do you think? Let us know your thoughts.
The productivity app has attracted waves of startups and tech workers around the world — including those in China — to adopt its all-in-one platform that blends notes, wikis, to-dos, and team collaboration. The four-year-old San Francisco-based app is widely seen as a serious rival to Evernote, which started out in 2004.
Notion said it is “monitoring the situation and will continue to post updates,” but the timing of the ban noticeably coincides with China’s annual parliament meeting, which began last week after a two-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Internet regulation and censorship normally toughen around key political meetings in the country.
Notion could not be immediately reached for comment.
For Notion and other apps that have entered the public eye in China but remained beyond the arm of local laws, a looming crackdown is almost certain. The country’s cybersecurity watchdog could find Notion’s free flow of note-sharing problematic. Some users have even conveniently turned the tool’s friendly desktop version into personal websites. If Notion were to keep its China presence, it would have to bow to the same set of regulations that rule all content creation platforms in China.
Its predecessor Evernote, for example, established a Chinese joint venture in 2018 and released a local edition under the brand Yinxiang Biji, which comes with compromised features and stores user data within China.
Rivalry in work collaboration
Just before its ban in China, Notion surged on May 21 to become the most-downloaded productivity app in the domestic Android stores, according to third-party data from App Annie. The sudden rise appears to be linked to its Chinese copycat Hanzhou (寒舟), which stirred up controversy within the developer community over its striking resemblance to Notion.
In an apologetic post published on May 22, Xu Haihao, the brain behind Hanzhou and a former employee of ByteDance-backed document collaboration app Shimo, admitted to “developing the project based on Notion.”
“We are wrong from the beginning,” wrote Xu. “But I intended to offend nobody. My intention was to learn from [Notion’s] technology.” As a resolution, the developer said he would suspend Hanzou’s development and user registration.
Some of the largest tech firms in China are gunning for the workplace productivity industry, which received a recent boost during the coronavirus crisis. Alibaba’s Dingtalk claimed last August that more than 10 million enterprises and over 200 million individual users had registered on its platform. By comparison, Tencent’s WeChat Work said it had logged more than 2.5 million enterprises and some 60 million active users by December.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has once again displayed her poise amidst unexpected trials, smoothly continuing a television interview after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake.
Ardern was speaking to The AM Show host Ryan Bridge via video call on Monday morning when the New Zealand Parliament Buildings in Wellington, AKA “the Beehive,” were hit by “quite a decent shake.” Occurring at 7:53 a.m., the earthquake was centred near the town of Levin, approximately 50 miles north of Wellington. It was also felt 260 miles away in Aukland.
“We’re just having a bit of an earthquake here, Ryan,” Ardern smiled as the building visibly shook around her. She quickly indicated she was alright to continue once the tremors passed. “We’re fine, Ryan. I’m not under any hanging lights, I look like I’m in a structurally sound place.” Read more…
A renowned iPhone hacking team has released a new “jailbreak” tool that unlocks every iPhone, even the most recent models running the latest iOS 13.5.
For as long as Apple has kept up its “walled garden” approach to iPhones by only allowing apps and customizations that it approves, hackers have tried to break free from what they call the “jail,” hence the name “jailbreak.” Hackers do this by finding a previously undisclosed vulnerability in iOS that break through some of the many restrictions that Apple puts in place to prevent access to the underlying software. Apple says it does this for security. But jailbreakers say breaking through those restrictions allows them to customize their iPhones more than they would otherwise, in a way that most Android users are already accustomed to.
Details of the vulnerability that the hackers used to build the jailbreak aren’t known, but it’s not expected to last forever. Just as jailbreakers work to find a way in, Apple works fast to patch the flaws and close the jailbreak.
Security experts typically advise iPhone users against jailbreaking, because breaking out of the “walled garden” vastly increases the surface area for new vulnerabilities to exist and to be found.
The jailbreak comes at a time where the shine is wearing off of Apple’s typically strong security image. Last week, Zerodium, a broker for exploits, said it would no longer buy certain iPhone vulnerabilities because there were too many of them. Motherboard reported this week that hackers got their hands on a pre-release version of the upcoming iOS 14 release several months ago.