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NelsonG

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NelsonG last won the day on December 29 2012

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About NelsonG

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    He's got a BIG EGO....
  • Birthday 01/15/1985

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    Good music!
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  1. Tandem Bank, the U.K. challenger bank, is launching a new savings account powered by its “Autosavings” feature designed to make it easier to save. Paying 0.5 percent interest, the Tandem Autosavings account is effectively a flexible savings bank account built on top of Tandem’s existing bank account aggregation app and the various credit cards it offers. Based on a number of rules, it will automatically put money aside based on your spending habits and what its algorithm deems you can afford. The first rule, known as “Round Ups,” will move the change from small purchases to your Tandem Autosavings account, enabling you to round-up to the next pound across spending on all of your connected bank accounts. The second rule, dubbed “Safe To Save,” claims to use machine learning to calculate how much you can save based on the income and outgoings of your connected accounts. Within the Tandem app you can set your saving level using a slider from minimum to maximum savings, which aims to save between 5 and 15 percent of your income. Outside of these rules, you can also choose to top up your Tandem Autosavings account at anytime. Money moved across to your Tandem Autosavings account is pulled via the debit card you have added to the app and transactions are processed by Stripe, as we previously reported. “We spend a huge amount of time speaking with our users, understanding the challenges they face with their money, and what we can do to help,” Tandem’s Matt Ford tells me. “A consistent theme which arose for many of our users was the need to save. People either felt like they were unable to save at all (as they battle through to the end of the month), or were trying to save, but spending got in the way and they were unable to reach their goals fast enough”. Ford says that Autosavings aims to solve these problems by drawing on “behavioural economics principles”. The idea is that by helping customers save small amounts each time they spend, Tandem is initiating a savings behaviour for customers who may have previously felt unable to save. “Similarly, for those who need an extra boost, we have a rule called ‘safe to save’ which, based on a forecast of upcoming spending and bills, helps sweep any spare cash automatically aside into an interest-bearing Tandem savings account… We’re planning to roll out additional rules over time to find new ways to help customers kickstart and accelerate their savings behaviour”. Perhaps crucially, Ford says that Tandem doesn’t “sweep” money immediately. Instead, savings are first added to a “virtual pot” that builds throughout the week, before moving across into your Tandem account. “With a quick swipe, customers can remove any savings items added to the pot before it leaves their current account, and they get a push notification before the money movement occurs so they can ensure that they are comfortable with the saving amount,” he explains. “Also, for people who have aggregated their current account and have the safe to save rule activated, we’re continually monitoring on a day-to-day basis how much a customer can afford to save based on their sending and account balance”. Meanwhile, Tandem has picked up pace over the last 18 months. Most recently the company launched a credit card for people who find it hard to quality for one. It followed the launch of a competitive fixed savings product, pitting it against a whole host of incumbent and challenger banks, and the original Tandem credit card offering cash-back and low FX rates. All of Tandem’s products are managed via the Tandem mobile app, which also acts as a Personal Finance Manager (PFM), including letting you aggregate your non-Tandem bank account data from other bank accounts or credit cards you might have. Like a plethora of fintechs, Tandem’s broader strategy is to become your financial control centre and connect you to and offer various financial services. These are either products of its own or through partnerships with other fintech startups and more established providers. View the full article
  2. Anyone running an enterprise business is worshipping at the feet of Amazon Web Services. But in the midst of all the hubbub surrounding AWS, what about other options? Microsoft’s platform Azure flies under the radar when it comes to fast and reliable cloud computing services, but pound for pound it easily keeps up with its more widely touted competitors. As with other cloud computing platforms, Azure enables users to store and process their data on remotely accessible servers maintained by a third party (in other words, the "cloud"). Cloud adoption has accelerated over the past few years, as companies increasingly outsource the expensive task of maintaining in-house IT infrastructure — and Azure continues to quietly gobble up market share with an unparalleled 154 percent yearly growth rate. In fact, Microsoft itself estimates that 95 percent of all Fortune 500 companies are already utilizing Azure as a cloud computing solution, including Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler AG and online fashion retailer ASOS. Read more... More about Microsoft, Cloud Computing, Aws, Mashable Shopping, and Shopping StackcommerceView the full article
  3. The news has been pretty divisive recently (to put it mildly). But no matter what you believe, what you stand for, what you fight for, there’s one thing on which we can all agree: it’s great to just shut everyone out sometimes and listen to some music. Or an audiobook. Or a nice, relaxing murder mystery podcast — anything that isn’t other people. It’s in that spirit that we put together a collection of special deals on noise-canceling headphones that we think will make this world more tolerable. Plus, if you enter code MADNESS15 at checkout, you'll get an extra 15% off. It’s the least we can do. Read more... More about Headphones, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Stackcommerce, Tech, and Consumer TechView the full article
  4. Google is widely expected to be handed a third antitrust fine in Europe this week, with reports suggesting the European Commission’s decision in its long-running investigation of AdSense could land later today. Right on cue the search giant has PRed another Android product tweak — which it bills as “supporting choice and competition in Europe”. In the coming months Google says it will start prompting users of existing and new Android devices in Europe to ask which browser and search apps they would like to use. This follows licensing changes for Android in Europe which Google announced last fall, following the Commission’s $5BN antitrust fine for anti-competitive behavior related to how it operates the dominant smartphone OS. tl;dr competition regulation can shift policy and product. Albeit, the devil will be in the detail of Google’s self-imposed ‘remedy’ for Android browser and search apps. Which means how exactly the user is prompted will be key — given tech giants are well-versed in the manipulative arts of dark pattern design, enabling them to create ‘consent’ flows that deliver their desired outcome. A ‘choice’ designed in such a way — based on wording, button/text size and color, timing of prompt and so on — to promote Google’s preferred browser and search app choice by subtly encouraging Android users to stick with its default apps may not actually end up being much of a ‘choice’. According to Reuters the prompt will surface to Android users via the Play Store. (Though the version of Google’s blog post we read did not include that detail.) Using the Play Store for the prompt would require an Android device to have Google’s app store pre-loaded — and licensing tweaks made to the OS in Europe last year were supposedly intended to enable OEMs to choose to unbundle Google apps from Android forks. Ergo making only the Play Store the route for enabling choice would be rather contradictory. (As well as spotlighting Google’s continued grip on Android.) Add to that Google has the advantage of massive brand dominance here, thanks to its kingpin position in search, browsers and smartphone platforms. So again the consumer decision is weighted in its favor. Or, to put it another way: ‘This is Google; it can afford to offer a ‘choice’.’ In its blog post getting out ahead of the Commission’s looming AdSense ruling, Google’s SVP of global affairs, Kent Walker, writes that the company has been “listening carefully to the feedback we’re getting” vis-a-vis competition. Though the search giant is actually appealing both antitrust decisions. (The other being a $2.7BN fine it got slapped with two years ago for promoting its own shopping comparison service and demoting rivals’.) “After the Commission’s July 2018 decision, we changed the licensing model for the Google apps we build for use on Android phones, creating new, separate licenses for Google Play, the Google Chrome browser, and for Google Search,” Walker continues. “In doing so, we maintained the freedom for phone makers to install any alternative app alongside a Google app.” Other opinions are available on those changes too. Such as French pro-privacy Google search rival Qwant, which last year told us how those licensing changes still make it essentially impossible for smartphone makers to profit off of devices that don’t bake in Google apps by default. (More recently Qwant’s founder condensed the situation to “it’s a joke“.) Qwant and another European startup Jolla, which leads development of an Android alternative smartphone platform called Sailfish — and is also a competition complainant against Google in Europe — want regulators to step in and do more. The Commission has said it is closely monitoring changes made by Google to determine whether or not the company has complied with its orders to stop anti-competitive behavior. So the jury is still out on whether any of its tweaks sum to compliance. (Google says so but that’s as you’d expect — and certainly doesn’t mean the Commission will agree.) In its Android decision last summer the Commission judged that Google’s practices harmed competition and “further innovation” in the wider mobile space, i.e. beyond Internet search — because it prevented other mobile browsers from competing effectively with its pre-installed Chrome browser. So browser choice is a key component here. And ‘effective competition’ is the bar Google’s homebrew ‘remedies’ will have to meet. Still, the company will be hoping its latest Android tweaks steer off further Commission antitrust action. Or at least generate more fuzz and fuel for its long-game legal appeal. Current EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has flagged for years that the division is also fielding complaints about other Google products, including travel search, image search and maps. So Google could face fresh antitrust investigations in future, even as the last of the first batch is about to wrap up. The FT reports that Android users in the European economic area last week started seeing links to rival websites appearing above Google’s answer box for searches for products, jobs or businesses — with the rival links appearing above paid results links to Google’s own services. The newspaper points out that tweak is similar to a change promoted by Google in 2013, when it was trying to resolve EU antitrust concerns under the prior commissioner, Joaquín Almunia. However rivals at the time complained the tweak was insufficient. The Commission subsequently agreed — and under Vestager’s tenure went on to hit Google with antitrust fines. Walker doesn’t mention these any of additional antitrust complaints swirling around Google’s business in Europe, choosing to focus on highlighting changes it’s made in response to the two extant Commission antitrust rulings. “After the Commission’s July 2018 decision, we changed the licensing model for the Google apps we build for use on Android phones, creating new, separate licenses for Google Play, the Google Chrome browser, and for Google Search. In doing so, we maintained the freedom for phone makers to install any alternative app alongside a Google app,” he writes. Nor does he make mention of a recent change Google quietly made to the lists of default search engine choices in its Chrome browser — which expanded the “choice” he claims the company offers by surfacing more rivals. (The biggest beneficiary of that tweak is privacy search rival DuckDuckGo, which suddenly got added to the Chrome search engine lists in around 60 markets. Qwant also got added as a default choice in France.) Talking about Android specifically Walker instead takes a subtle indirect swipe at iOS maker Apple — which now finds itself the target of competition complaints in Europe, via music streaming rival Spotify, and is potentially facing a Commission probe of its own (albeit, iOS’ marketshare in Europe is tiny vs Android). So top deflecting Google. “On Android phones, you’ve always been able to install any search engine or browser you want, irrespective of what came pre-installed on the phone when you bought it. In fact, a typical Android phone user will usually install around 50 additional apps on their phone,” Walker writes, drawing attention to the fact that Apple does not offer iOS users as much of a literal choice as Google does. “Now we’ll also do more to ensure that Android phone owners know about the wide choice of browsers and search engines available to download to their phones,” he adds, saying: “This will involve asking users of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and search apps they would like to use.” We’ve reached out to Commission for comment, and to Google with questions about the design of its incoming browser and search app prompts in Europe and will update this report with any response. View the full article
  5. Opera had a couple of tumultuous years behind it, but it looks like the Norwegian browser maker (now in the hands of a Chinese consortium) is finding its stride again and refocusing its efforts on its flagship mobile and desktop browsers. Before the sale, Opera offered a useful stand-alone and built-in VPN service. Somehow, the built-in VPN stopped working after the acquisition. My understanding is that this had something to do with the company being split into multiple parts, with the VPN service ending up on the wrong side of that divide. Today, it’s officially bringing this service back as part of its Android app. The promise of the new Opera VPN in Opera for Android 51 is that it will give you more control over your privacy and improve your online security, especially on unsecured public WiFi networks. Opera says it uses 256-bit encryption and doesn’t keep a log or retain any activity data. Since Opera now has Chinese owners, though, not everybody is going to feel comfortable using this service, though. When I asked the Opera team about this earlier this year at MWC in Barcelona, the company stressed that it is still based in Norway and operates under that country’s privacy laws. The message being that it may be owned by a Chinese consortium but that it’s still very much a Norwegian company. If you do feel comfortable using the VPN, though, then getting started is pretty easy (I’ve been testing in the beta version of Opera for Android for a while). Simply head to the setting menu, flip the switch, and you are good to go. “Young people are being very concerned about their online privacy as they increasingly live their lives online, said Wallman. “We want to make VPN adoption easy and user-friendly, especially for those who want to feel more secure on the Web but are not aware on how to do it. This is a free solution for them that works.” What’s important to note here is that the point of the VPN is to protect your privacy, not to give you a way to route around geo-restrictions (though you can do that, too). That means you can’t choose a specific country as an endpoint, only ‘America,’ ‘Asia,’ and ‘Europe.’ View the full article
  6. Welcome Pickups, an Athens-based startup offering a range of “in-destination” travel services from the point of pickup onwards, has raised €3.3 million in Series A funding. The backing comes from VentureFriends, MarketOne, Howzat, Jabbar, and Openfund. Also participating is Alejandro Artacho, who founded Spotahome, and John Tsioris, founder of Instashop. Launched in Greece in 2015, Welcome Pickups believes it has spotted an opportunity that moves local travel services beyond a “commoditized transfer service” to a more holistic in-destination travel experience. The idea is that from the moment you arrive at a new destination and until departure, Welcome Pickups will be able to accommodate all of your travel needs, spanning transfers, travel products, things to do, and travel information. “The travel experience after the flight and hotel booking step is broken,” says Welcome Pickups co-founder and CEO Alex Trimis. “[The] in-destination vertical is a multi-billion dollar opportunity that remains fragmented and offline. Welcome, starting from transportation, will become its leader while assisting players in the other two segments to offer a better and more complete service”. Trimis says the startup turns airport transfer into a travel experience by using this first step as a gateway to cover all other in-destination needs. To achieve this, Welcome Pickups claims to be creating the most robust and complete in-destination travel data-set in existence. “Apart from the traveler’s problems, we are also sorting out a number of partner problems,” adds Trimis. This includes helping hotels and other short stay providers personalise their guest experience and optimise operations through the use of Welcome Pickups’ data. More broadly, the draw is that by “safeguarding” the travel experience at destination, return bookings and recommendations are a lot more likely to happen. To that end, Welcome Pickups says that in 2018 the company serviced over 400,000 travellers in 32 destinations. It estimates that it will welcome over 1 million travellers in 2019, and says it now employs a team of 60 people, mainly in Athens and Barcelona. Meanwhile, the Greek startup will use the new funding to expand its product offerings, strengthen the core team and increase the Welcome Pickups destination network. This will include adding more travel industry partners, such as cruise lines and airlines, and also enhance customer experience with a traveller app. View the full article
  7. In the aftermath of the Christchurch terror attack, a reimagined version of a famous New Zealand symbol has garnered plenty of online attention. Australian cartoonist Pat Campbell, who works for newspaper The Canberra Times, drew an illustration of the silver fern showing Muslims in different stages of prayer for the publication. SEE ALSO: New Zealand bikers perform Haka dance in honor of Christchurch victims Campbell first drew the image on Saturday morning, which instead of fern fronds, depicted 49 figures to represent the people who died in the attack. On Tuesday he added another figure to the illustration, to mark the death toll rising to 50. Read more... More about Art, New Zealand, Muslim, Christchurch, and Culture View the full article
  8. Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the Chinese answer to Spotify that Tencent spun out and floated on the New York Stock Exchange in December, reported a net loss of 876 million yuan ($127 million) in its first set of quarterly results since going public. The loss, which TME forecasted in its prospectus filed ahead of the IPO, is mainly due to a one-off 1.52 billion yuan ($221 million) share-based charge related to equity issuance to label partners Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. In a similar move back in August, Warner Music sold all its shares in Spotify, the Swedish music streaming startup that has swapped shares with Tencent. Sony also cashed in half of its Spotify shares in July. Barring the share-based charge, TME’s non-IFRS net profit attributable to equity holders was 916 million yuan ($133 million) for the fourth quarter. Revenue from the period grew 50 percent year-over-year to 5.4 billion yuan ($785 million). According to a note in TME’s IPO prospectus, Warner and Sony had acquired its shares for an aggregate cash consideration of approximately $200 million to deepen “strategic cooperation.” In return, the two investors divided 68 million total shares in TME between them. The deal is telling of TME’s ongoing licensing spree in recent years. The group claims to own the largest music library in China with 20 million licensed tracks from over 200 domestic music label partners such as China Record Group and international allies including Sony, Warner and Universal Music Group. These content tie-ups give the Chinese firm a significant lead over its local rivals NetEase Music and Alibaba’s music app Xiami. As of February, TME owns China’s top four music apps by user number, according to app ranking data collected by iResearch. TME isn’t the only music app busy teaming up with music label giants. Beijing-based TikTok, which doesn’t compete directly with TME but is making waves around the world with its music video app, has nailed licensing deals with Warner, Universal and other major labels to secure music and sound bites for its video creators. TME’s differentiated model has made it a more lucrative business compared to many of its peers. The group, which runs a suite of music streaming, karaoke and live streaming apps, generated 71 percent of its fourth-quarter revenue from “internet services” such as virtual gifts that users reward influencers on its karaoke and live streaming apps. About 28 percent of TME’s quarterly revenue came from more conventional forms of monetization for music streaming businesses, including user subscriptions, sales of digital albums and sub-licensing to third-party music platforms. While TME has focused mainly on the China market, Reuters reported citing sources last month that it was mulling acquisition bids for Universal, with which TME has an existing licensing deal. A partial acquisition can potentially strengthen the partner’s collaboration, said the sources. Meanwhile, once nailed, owning stakes in Universal could also boost TME’s sub-licensing income in western countries. View the full article
  9. Tim Armstrong will leave Verizon Communications with an awards and benefits package worth more than $60 million. The Wall Street Journal calculated the total amount based on a securities filing from last Monday by combining Armstrong’s compensation in 2018, severance and a special incentive package he was given by Verizon when it acquired AOL in 2015. Armstrong was head of Oath (now called Verizon Media), which took a write down of $4.5 billion last year and laid off seven percent of its workforce as it struggled to compete with other digital media companies. Oath, the company’s digital media unit, was created in 2017 by merging AOL and Yahoo, two companies acquired by Verizon Communications. (Disclosure: TechCrunch was part of AOL, then Oath and now Verizon Media). Verizon Communications announced Oath’s $4.5 billion after-tax write down at the end of last year. It said the sum, which basically cancelled out the benefits of the merger, was due to increased competition in digital advertising and other market pressures last year had resulted in lower-than-expected 2018 results and that it expected those issues to continue. The business unit also announced in late January that it would lay off seven percent of its workforce, or about 800 employees. After months of rumors, Verizon Communications announced that Armstrong would be succeeded as CEO of Oath by Guru Gowrappan last September. Armstrong formally left the company at the end of 2018. TechCrunch has contacted Verizon for comment. View the full article
  10. French startup Doctolib has raised a new round of funding of $170 million (€150 million). The round is led by General Atlantic, with existing investors Accel, Eurazeo, Kernel and Bpifrance also participating. Some German healthcare entrepreneurs are also joining the round — the company isn’t detailing the names of those investors. But Doctolib is detailing an important metric — its valuation. Based on this new round, Doctolib now has a post-money valuation of $1.13 billion (€1 billion). There’s a new unicorn in town. Doctolib first started with a scheduling service for health practitioners. For €109 per month ($124), you can replace your calendar with Doctolib and let the startup take care of your week. Patients can book an appointment on Doctolib’s website and everything stays in sync between your own calendar and your public calendar. More recently, Doctolib expanded to new countries and new types of practitioners. The company is now live in Germany and now also works with hospitals. Some hospitals have completely switched their scheduling system to Doctolib. Doctolib essentially became the leading cloud service for healthcare scheduling. There are currently 75,000 practitioners and 1,400 healthcare facilities using Doctolib. The company works with 750 people and has offices in 40 different cities — it sounds like you need to have a local team in order to convince doctors in a specific area. And now, the startup wants to expand to new services. In January, the company launched its telemedicine service. Existing Doctolib customers can now flip a switch and start accepting remote appointments. This is a natural extension of Doctolib’s booking service. In addition to finding the right doctor and booking an appointment, you can now have a video consultation with a healthcare professional and get a digital prescription in your account. Doctolib has focused on a limited feature set for years. But the company now has a shot at becoming a sort of Salesforce for the healthcare industry — a software-as-a-service company with a range of services to help practitioners switch from traditional software suites to browser-based applications. For instance, Doctolib could expand beyond patient-to-doctor relationships and facilitate doctor-to-doctor collaboration as well. With today’s funding round, the company will double the size of the team within the next three years across the board. In addition to sales people, the company will also double the size of the technology, product and design teams in order to launch new products. And finally, Doctolib will also expand to new countries. View the full article
  11. All your Fox are belong to us. At the strike of 12:02 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Disney officially completed its takeover of 21st Century Fox. SEE ALSO: Disney announces opening dates for 'Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge' attraction The mammoth $71 billion acquisition includes Fox's film and television units, plus its 60 percent stake in streaming giant Hulu, among interests in other businesses. As the acquisition kicked in, Marvel star Ryan Reynolds celebrated the Disney-Fox merger on Twitter. "Feels like the first day of 'Pool," he wrote, with an image of his onscreen counterpart Deadpool sitting in a Disney-labelled school bus. Read more... More about Entertainment, Disney, Deadpool, Fox, and The SimpsonsView the full article
  12. NelsonG

    Hotties 2.0

    Yovanna Ventura:
  13. NelsonG

    Hotties 2.0

    Jo (Johana) Gomez:
  14. The now famous teen who cracked an egg on the head of an Australian politician certainly has some high profile fans. Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons paid tribute to the 17-year-old kid known as "egg boy," by writing the teen's name on his yellow shoes before the game against the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday. SEE ALSO: Teen eggs politician. Now he’s being offered free tickets to concerts for life. The team's mental performance coach, Paddy Steinfort, posted the image of Simmons' sneakers in his Instagram story. That's a pretty awesome shout out. Ben Simmons giving a shout out to Egg Boy on court for the 76ers tonight (via @pjsteinfort) pic.twitter.com/zPJMEZ7zwn — Tom Steinfort (@tomsteinfort) March 19, 2019 Read more... More about Sports, Australia, Nba, Basketball, and New ZealandView the full article
  15. Her upcoming record is “a concept album about the anthropomorphic Goddess of climate Change” View the full article
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