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Everything posted by NelsonG

  1. Seoul-based education technology startup Mathpresso announced today that it has raised $14.5 million in Series B funding. The company’s flagship app is Qanda, which provides students with math and science help and tutoring. Participants in the round include Legend Capital, InterVest, NP Investments and Mirae Asset Venture Investment. This brings Mathpresso’s total funding so far to $21.2 million. Its previous round of funding was a $5.3 million Series A announced at the end of last year. Mathpresso says Qanda (the name stands for “Q and A”) is currently used by a third of students in South Korea. The app launched in markets including Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore last year and now has users in more than 50 countries. Qanda uses AI-based optical character recognition to scan math problems. Students take a photo of a problem and upload it to get instructions for how to solve it from the app or tutors. In a statement, Legend Capital managing director Joon Sung Park said, “As an early investor of China’s leading mobile education companies such as Zuoyebang and Onion Math, Legend Capital has witnessed robust growth of China’s mobile education market. We strongly believe that Mathpresso has the technological and operation capabilities to expand overseas and grasp new opportunities emerging from the digitization of education, such as offering personalized learning for each student.” View the full article
  2. GoFundMe has made its name primarily as a platform for individuals to create fundraisers for personal causes — a service that has seen hundreds of campaigns go viral through social media to raise collectively well over $5 billion in funding to date. Now, the startup is taking the next step in its ambition to build what CEO Rob Solomon calls the “giving layer of the internet”. GoFundMe is launching a new free-to-use fundraising platform for nonprofits of all sizes called GoFundMe Charity; and for the first time, it has created a button that can be integrated into any site to donate money wherever people want to do so. Both will roll out in November, but the charity platform already counts nonprofits like the American Cancer Society and the Boston Marathon among its customers. To be clear, providing services to non-profits is not totally new territory for GoFundMe. The company acquired CrowdRise, which focused specifically on non-profits, in 2017 and gradually started to integrate some of the functionality and branding into the bigger platform a year later. And since last year it has offered a service for teams and groups (including nonprofit groups) to come together to raise for the same cause. With this latest launch, teams fundraising remains, but GoFundMe will be sunsetting CrowdRise the brand and transitioning the platform’s nonprofit customers (which include high profile events like the Boston Marathon) to GoFundMe Charity. The giving layer of the internet The news comes at an interesting time for GoFundMe. While its individual causes-based campaigns continue to be created and disseminated across social platforms, it is facing competition of two kinds: that of the platforms themselves (specifically, Facebook, which is using its billions of users to grow its own causes-donations platform rapidly: in September it passed the $2 billion mark in fundraising for causes); and that of user ennui, where people have been facing up to kind of fatigue when it comes to too many individuals asking for money, and sometimes not for the most worthy of causes. Ramping up its business for nonprofits, on the other hand, catapults GoFundMe into a much bigger, older and (potentially?) more resilient sector of the charitable donations market. In the US alone, some $427 billion was donated to nonprofits in 2018, according to Giving USA. That’s up on an estimated $410 billion in nonprofit donations in in 2017. Currently, only around a quarter of donations are made through digital platforms, with the remainder through more traditional channels such as events, door-to-door appeals and direct-mail campaigns. As digitally native consumers become targets for nonprofits, GoFundMe sees an opportunity in taking the tools and services it originally built for individuals, and tailoring them to these groups. “Charities have the same challenges as individuals in reaching constituents,” said Solomon in an interview. “We’re talking about whole generations of people who will not donate to charities the same way that older generations did. Charity has been disrupted by the internet and those older methods won’t work anymore.” Solomon said that GoFundMe is not commenting on whether it expects more nonprofits to pay fees or run the option for tipping among its users, nor would he say if GoFundMe has projected how much it might make from one or the other option. The new business model GoFundMe is introducing with charities presents a much wider range of services for non-profits aimed at making GoFundMe a more useful and flexible platform. Charity groups will now have the option either to pay fees to use the service (donor-covered fees), or use it for free by offering the tipping feature that GoFundMe uses on its consumer-focused site. This is a departure compared to the the platforms that power many nonprofit sites and events, which typically charge for their services. GoFundMe says it will specify what the the donor-covered fees will be public closer to the launch date. Then, moving away from the familiar, basic layout that GoFundMe offers for individual causes today, nonprofits will also be given more design freedom: They will have the option to customise their pages; and nonprofits can run GoFundMe campaigns on their own sites (not yet apps) by placing a customised button for people to donate — similar to how Facebook disseminated its “Like” buttons, or PayPal and other payment services created “buy” buttons. They will also be provided with analytics on how their campaigns are performing, and CRM integrations to link up GoFundMe campaigns with wider marketing efforts. And nonprofits running events where individuals are fundraising — for example, around charity runs — will be able to do this under the bigger GoFundMe umbrella, including enlisting and organising individual fundraisers, or selling tickets to charity events. GoFundMe will also be leveraging its own traction in the fundraising market to grow this business. The idea is twofold here: The first aim will be to bring to nonprofit groups the kind of storytelling and social media virality that has done so well on GoFundMe already. The second aim will be to bring the mountain to Mohamed, so to speak: the platform currently has more than 50 million users, and like other funding platforms, GoFundMe has made a business out of recirculating those donors: once you give to one cause, your details are in the system and that makes it easier to donate elsewhere on the same platform. Now the non-profits will also have access to that pool of users that has been proven to be willing to step up financially. Up to now, the tipping model has been working for the company, although we don’t know how revenues from it compare to those when it charged platform fees. Solomon noted that the company is profitable and has been able to grow its business on the back of the tipping model it now uses for its individual campaigns (it dropped its platform fee in 2017 and then acquired YouCaring, a competitor that built a profitable business on tipping alone). GoFundMe has never disclosed much on the financial front: it has only ever had one round of funding, of an undisclosed amount, from a group of investors that included Accel, Greylock, TCV, Iconic, Meritech and Stripes. We’d heard that at one point PayPal had wanted to acquire the company for about $1 billion, but that never developed, and GoFundMe has continued to grow. Solomon said that those investors will eventually want “a liquidity event,” whether that comes in the form of an IPO, or private equity investment, or an M&A move, but that won’t be for a while. “We’re not focused on that at all, and don’t expect to see anything for another year or two,” he said. View the full article
  3. For many years the allure of Silicon Valley was contingent on the ability to move here. Its ecosystem didn’t work remotely. “We see a very strong indication that where you’re located does matter… come to Silicon Valley,” intoned Joe Kraus of Google Ventures at the first Disrupt conference I ever intended, speaking for essentially all VCs, including Y Combinator. Easy enough if you’re American. Much, much trickier if you need a visa to get there. Is it still true that the Valley doesn’t work remotely? Or is there another path for startups from faraway countries these days? Last week I sat down with Alexis Ohanian in his ancestral homeland of Armenia to discuss this. Every nation seems to have its own set of incubators and seed investors these days. Armenia is no exception: I met Ohanian at the launch event for Aybuben Ventures, a VC fund “for Armenia and The Armenians.” (As I wrote last week, the Armenian diaspora is a big deal.) But what happens next, when you need to raise a serious Series A, but your local market realistically isn’t big enough to support your company? Even five years ago you would have had a lot of trouble tapping into the Valley. Since then, though, things have changed. The price of Bay Area talent — and real estate — has led to the rise of “mullet startups,” as coined by Andreessen Horowitz’s Andrew Chen. Such comapnies have their headquarters in the Bay to take advantage of the Valley, but their tech teams somewhere cheaper and more spacious. “Business up front, party out back.” Ohanian’s point is that there’s no reason the mullet model can’t work backwards: launch a company with a strong tech team in some remote location, then, when you hit the inflection point, open a Bay Area office, move the executive team there, and turn yourself into a mullet startup. (Aided by the fact that if coming as a company, your visa options widen to include e.g. the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa.) Call it the “reverse mullet,” exemplified by e.g. PicsArt. This model is especially viable for nations which have deep engineering / tech talent, so that the “party out back” tech team becomes an ongoing competitive advantage. (This is part of why Ohanian keeps hammering home the importance of learning to code during his visits to Armenia, something which is probably easier in a nation which already features compulsory chess education.) All of which sounds great in theory — — but it’s not like we see a herd of unicorns with reverse mullets out there … yet. If we do, though, that will be an exceptionally interesting new growth model, with significant ramifications — a way for Silicon Valley to essentially metastasize to the rest of the world. This in turn will, ironically, reify its primacy as the center of the global tech industry, the sun around which all the faraway planets orbit, after so many prophecies of decentralization. Count the reverse mullet unicorns in three years, and if there are more than a mere few, we’ll know the answer. View the full article
  4. Unlike the Uncanny Pride Lands of this year's "photorealistic" The Lion King remake, the live-action Lady And The Tramp features real animals, and objectively the best animals. It's also got Janelle Monáe's updated version of "He's A Tramp" (she's playing sultry pound dog Peg). The latest trailer features a snippet of the song, as well as our first look at the updated spaghetti scene. And while the dogs are definitely real, their mouths have been CGI'd to match the dialogue — and to make Lady (Tessa Thompson) and Tramp (a very gravelly Justin Theroux) exchange flirty smiles as they nudge meatballs or tumble into compromising positions. We'll let you decide how weirded out you are by that when it comes to Disney+ (joining every other movie ever made, apparently) on Nov. 12. Read more... More about Live Action, Disney, Lady And The Tramp, Entertainment, and Movies Tv ShowsView the full article
  5. Japan's nationwide high-speed train system, known as the Shinkansen, felt the brunt of the deadly cyclone Typhoon Hagibis after flooding, relentless rain, and mudslides. The railways run by the Japan Railway Company were battered by torrential downpours, as the storm led to 50 deaths and knocked out power to thousands the over the past few days. Japanese news outlet NHK reported train service shutdowns throughout the weekend. A travel blog from Japan Rail Pass posted warnings about the storm: "Super Typhoon Hagibis forces Japan to cancel hundreds of flights and trains." A Shinkansen train made it across the Tamagawa river after Typhoon Hagibis in Kawasaki on Sunday. Image: WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images The flooded train depot in Nagano kept the bullet trains from moving. Image: JIJI PRESS/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images Read more... More about Japan, Extreme Weather, Typhoon, Bullet Train, and TechView the full article
  6. Ultra Music Festival is now officially the world’s largest festival brand with the addition of its newest destination, Abu Dhabi, and return to India. Before returning to Miami next year, Ultra will circle the Indian Ocean, with stops in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Abu Dhabi, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Melbourne and Sydney. In total, the festival will now be featured across 29 countries and 46 cities, with Ultra Worldwide making its Middle East debut in Abu Dhabi on March 5-6, 2020. Details regarding tickets and lineup will be released soon. Following Abu Dhabi, the worldwide tour will continue with the return of Road To Ultra India: Hyderabad & New Delhi on March 7-8, 2020. Ultra first touched down in India with two successful shows in New Delhi and Mumbai in March 2017, hosting The Chainsmokers for their first ever performance in the country, and now it returns with presumably the same caliber of talent in tow. If you were wondering, the previous largest festival brand might surprise you — WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance), co-founded by former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel. You can find information about all of Ultra’s destinations around the world here. Photo via Rukes.com This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Ultra Becomes World’s Largest Festival Brand With Addition Of Brand New Destination View the full article
  7. EDC Las Vegas sold out in record time this year — GA, GA+, and VIP — but there are still plenty of chances to get your tickets. The best chance of securing your ticket closer to the festival is by joining the EDC LV 2020 waitlist. Since EDC sold out so quickly this year thanks to the layaway plans, many people were able to secure their tickets for a pittance of what they’ll be paying at the end. It stands to reason that many of these people won’t finish making payments on their tickets, and that’s where the waitlist comes in. The waitlist is here to let us know you are interested in attending an event after the tickets have sold out. In the event tickets become available, they will be issued to people on the waitlist on a first come first served basis. In the case that a Headliner can no longer attend or has not made their payments on time, a ticket will become available. You can find more information and join the waitlist yourself here. Photo by Marc Van Der Aa for Insomniac Events This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: EDC Las Vegas Is Sold Out, But Just Opened A Wait List for Cancelled Tickets View the full article
  8. Elected officials are worried about Facebook's proposed Libra cryptocurrency, and Brian Armstrong thinks that's downright un-American. The Coinbase CEO expressed his frustration with senators Brian Schatz and Sherrod Brown on Sunday, writing that letters of caution penned by the two and sent to Stripe, Visa, and Mastercard went a step too far. Specifically, the senators warned the companies — at that point Libra backers — that Facebook had failed to satisfactorily demonstrate how it will prevent the cryptocurrency from being used to, among other things, facilitate terrorist financing. "You should be concerned," read the letters in part, "that any weaknesses in Facebook's risk management systems will become weaknesses in your systems that you may not be able to effectively mitigate." Read more... More about Facebook, Coinbase, Libra, Stripe, and Tech View the full article
  9. Bird, the $2.5 billion electric scooter business, is losing its chief legal and policy officer. David Estrada, who was hired last year from Kitty Hawk, is joining another mobility company, SoftBank-backed Nuro. A spokesperson for Bird tells TechCrunch Estrada is leaving the Santa Monica-based company to be closer to his family. Nuro, for its part, is based in Mountain View, CA. Bird’s former chief legal officer, David Estrada. Estrada, who previously oversaw public policy at the electric aircraft company Kitty Hawk as its chief legal officer, has been responsible for Bird’s compliance and government relations efforts as the company scaled to over 100 global cities. Prior to joining Kitty Hawk, Estrada spent nearly two years as Lyft’s vice president of government relations and worked as the legal director for Google X, partnering with states on legislation around autonomous vehicles, Google Glass and drone delivery. Nuro, founded in June 2016, has emerged as a key player in the rapidly-expanding autonomous delivery sector. The company has attracted a whopping $1.03 billion in venture capital funding to date, according to Pitchbook. SoftBank funneled an astounding $940 million into the business earlier this year at an undisclosed valuation. In addition to SoftBank, Nuro is backed by Greylock and the Chinese venture capital firm Gaorong Capital. The company has been developing a self-driving stack and combining it with a custom unmanned vehicle designed for last-mile delivery of local goods and services. It began piloting grocery delivery in 2018 in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale. Bird has overcome a number of unique hurdles with many more afoot, including pushback from local governments who were aggravated by the sudden appearance of hundreds of scooters. At Nuro, Estrada will have the opportunity to focus on the future of unmanned delivery, another sector faced with regulatory challenges and political barriers. View the full article
  10. It’s that time of year again. Yes, that time. One of the most controversial award ceremonies in music is coming up… the DJ Mag Top 100. Every year we try to take an educated guess at who will be in the Top 10 of the Top 100 list, and this year is no different. Official results are announcing this week on the 19th, but in the meantime enjoy our speculation at who will come out on top given the past year of music and touring. For reference, here is the DJ Mag Top 100 for 2018. This year, I’m predicting the biggest change of all: a dethroning of Martin Garrix from the coveted #1 spot. The primary reason I am nearly certain this will happen is the new interview that Garrix just conducted questioning the validity of the entire list. The major DJs involved in this program are undoubtedly made aware of their ranking at least a week in advance of the award show, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Martijn came out with his most strongly opined interview halfway-condemning the Top 100 so soon before it is being announced. In his stead, I suspect Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike will reclaim their #1 spot. I believe this to be the case as Tomorrowland has done a stellar job at encouraging its attendees to vote for their biggest artist management clients, and with this being the first year of Tomorrowland Winter, it’s no doubt they accrued more votes than before. Also, Martin Garrix has had a less stellar year in comparison to years past. Not to say he hasn’t released some quality new music – my personal favorite being his collab with Macklemore and Fall Out Boy, “Summer Days.” DVLM, on the other hand, have launched their own eSports organization, appeared in the new Mortal Kombat game, collaborated with Paris Hilton and even gotten into acting. Not to mention, they actually campaign for votes unlike the young Dutchman Martin Garrix. Aside from the #1 change, I foresee David Guetta moving to #3 as he continues to make waves despite the impressive length of his DJ career. He was just crowned #1 on the 1001tracklists Top 101 Producers, as well, so there’s precedent. I think Armin van Buuren will stay at #4, as he has presented himself as the absolute definition of consistency. From there, I believe Don Diablo will continue to rise among the ranks and reach #5 as he has simply redefined the game when it comes to embracing his brand and marketing it to the masses. Tiësto will no doubt find himself in the Top 10, but I can see him falling a spot to #6 to some of the artists putting in more work this year as he has been recently preoccupied with his wedding. I expect Marshmello to gain a few spots, even though a large amount of his audience probably doesn’t care about DJ Mag. I have him at #7 for this reason, but it would be unsurprising if he landed as high as #3. Below them, I have Steve Aoki at #8, as he remains one of the hardest touring DJs in the world. The Chainsmokers at #9, as they continue to tour world arenas and release radio hit after radio hit. And, last but not least, I have placed Skrillex at #10 for making his return to the EDM arena this year and working on multiple international collabs where fans are more likely to be casting DJ Mag votes. These are all simply my guesses, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on who should be in the Top 10 this year. Will Illenium make a meteoric rise to the Top 10? I’d love to see it – but don’t get your hopes up. 1) Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike 2) Martin Garrix 3) David Guetta 4) Armin van Buuren 5) Don Diablo 6) Tiësto 7) Marshmello 8) Steve Aoki 9) The Chainsmokers 10) Skrillex Photo via Rukes.com This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: DJ Mag Top 100 Predictions – 2019 View the full article
  11. We are at the height of spooky season, and dark forces are out. Sleep recorder apps are typically used to catch sleep talking, track snoring, and record any sounds you aren't aware of while you're unconscious. Despite a restful night, users have found hints of conversation with unknown voices, picked up by the app. Twitter user @fin_costick recorded something far more unsettling overnight: a symphony of gas. He tweeted a screen recording of the various farts his app picked up. Although it isn't as exciting as some paranormal activity, Twitter users thought his video was hilarious. That house is 'settling' a lot pic.twitter.com/8pyRahEJSm — Filthy Piece of Toerag (@AndrewLegon) October 14, 2019 Read more... More about Viral Videos, Sleep, Culture, and Web CultureView the full article
  12. When it comes to technology, deadmau5 is always striving to be ahead of the curve. Between his incredible home studio and gaming set ups and his own Cube v3 stage design, there’s no denying he has the heart of a nerd. Now, he’s looking toward his next ambitious desire: turning a Tesla Semi into a mobile studio for his 2021 tour. Right now, it’s really nothing more than a pipe dream, as the Tesla Semi was supposed to be released in 2019 but has been delayed to focus on bringing the Model Y to market. But, on the other hand, that also means more time for R&D on the truck. Writes Electrek, “Last year, CEO Elon Musk said that they found opportunities to extend that range during testing, and he said that the Tesla Semi production version will have closer to 600 miles of range.” Check out the tweet below — hopefully deadmau5 gets his wish and we see this baby rolling up to venues in 2021! This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Deadmau5 Wants To Turn Tesla’s Semitruck Into A Mobile Studio On Tour View the full article
  13. Harley-Davidson has halted production and delivery of its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire, after discovering what the Milwaukee-based manufacturer described as a non-standard condition. Harley-Davidson told TechCrunch it is not recalling LiveWire motorcycles already on the road. Reuters was the first to report that Harley-Davidson had stopped production and deliveries. “We recently discovered a non-standard condition during a final quality check; stopped production and deliveries; and began additional testing and analysis, which is progressing well,” HD said in a statement. “We are in close contact with our LiveWire dealers and customers and have assured them they can continue to ride LiveWire motorcycles. As usual, we’re keeping high quality as our top priority.” Harley-Davidson has not said when production and sale could resume, nor did it provide more information on the non-standard condition. The production stoppage threatens to derail Harley-Davidson’s bet on electrification. The $29,799, 105 horsepower electric motorcycle was to be the first of a future line-up of EVs from Harley-Davidson spanning motorcycles, bicycles and scooters. The LiveWire went into production in 2019 after years of hints and even a concept electric motorcycle roadshow. Delivery to dealers began September 27. The LiveWire and subsequent EV products are meant to complement, not replace, Harley-Davidson’s premium internal-combustion cruiser motorcycles. New motorcycle sales in the U.S., particularly to customers aged under 40, have been in the doldrums since the recession. Harley-Davidson’s revenues have dropped over the last decade. Harley-Davidson’s shift to electric motorcycles is a bid to hold down its loyal gas-motorcycle following, while creating products to appeal to millennials and the on-demand mobility market. This puts the iconic American company in a position to hedge competition from a crop of e-moto startups — such as Zero — and jump out front as the EV leader among established motorcycle companies. Now that strategy could be hampered by this production halt. View the full article
  14. Perry and the co-creators of “Dark Horse” are asking for a new ruling or a new trial in the legal battle over Flame’s “Joyful Noise” View the full article
  15. Well, that fizzled out rather suddenly. Harley-Davidson's first ever all-electric motorcycles were supposed to start shipping in August, but only made it to a few dealers earlier this month. Now, production is suspended indefinitely as of Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal. Deliveries also were paused, all because of a charging equipment issue. The WSJ said the motorcycle company was testing charging and advised customers and dealers to use only professional chargers at dealerships, avoiding home outlets to add juice to their battery-powered vehicles. SEE ALSO: Harley-Davidson just made its first electric motorcycle available for pre-order Read more... More about Electric Vehicles, Harley Davidson, Livewire, Tech, and Transportation View the full article
  16. Over three years ago, Hippie Sabotage created chaos on stage at What The Festival when their actions forced security to come on stage and shut them down. Instead of complying, they retaliated against security and created a huge fight on stage which then rippled throughout the EDM community and garnered them a lot of hate. They also got into it personally with Ekali, back when Periscope was still a thing. It seems that, even after three years, the EDM community has still not forgiven Hippie Sabotage for their actions. The lineup for Okeechobee 2020 was announced today, with HS taking a prominent spot on Sunday’s lineup, and that has driven a group of Twitter users angry over the booking. Photo via Virisa Young for Insomniac Events This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: EDM Fans Are Pissed Okeechobee Booked Hippie Sabotage & They’re Blocking Everyone On Twitter View the full article
  17. The influential slowcore band’s new self-titled LP is out in December View the full article
  18. Attempting to signal its popularity despite high-profile defections from Visa, Stripe and more, the Facebook-led cryptocurrency Libra Association announced that 1,500 organizations have expressed interest in joining the Libra project — 180 of those meet eligibility requirements to become members, which could replace the seven companies that dropped out of the Association this month, including Kayak owner Bookings Holdings today. This new crop of potential recruits could help the Libra Association reach its 100-member goal ahead of a scheduled 2020 launch that looks likely to be delayed by intense regulator pushback. The announcement came out of the first official meeting of the Libra Association today in Geneva, Switzerland. The group appointed its board of directors: Facebook’s head of its cryptocurrency Calibra team David Marcus, Andreessen Horowitz’s Katie Haun, Xapo’s Wences Casares, Kiva Microfunds’ Matthew Davie and PayU’s Patrick Ellis. Marcus’ inclusion should be no surprise, given he’s been the public face of Libra, even though his former company PayPal pulled out of the Association. Marcus writes that he’s “honored to have been voted in.” Another former PayPal’er, Bertrand Perez, was formally named the Libra Association’s COO and interim managing director after unofficially holding these titles. The former senior director of payments engineering at PayPal is now also the chairperson of Libra’s five-member board and full-membership council. “We have no vocation to play the pirates,” he told news outlet Revyuh last month, noting “if, for example, the European Central Bank still refuses us the right to operate in Europe, we will not do it, we do not intend to play the pirates, we respect the legislation.” Libra’s head of communications and policy Dante Disparte, formerly of Risk Cooperative, and head of business development Kurt Hemecker, formerly of Zong, had their roles confirmed too. The remaining Libra Association members listed below signed the Libra charter. They’ve agreed that members can leave for any reason, and with some restrictions transfer their membership plus $10 million in Libra Investment Tokens stake to another eligible organization. Payments: PayU (Naspers’ fintech arm) Technology and marketplaces: Facebook/Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, Spotify AB, Uber Technologies, Inc. Telecommunications: Iliad, Vodafone Group Blockchain: Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Inc., Xapo Holdings Limited Venture Capital: Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures Nonprofit and multilateral organizations, and academic institutions: Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking No Longer Members: Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe, Booking Holdings, eBay, Mercado Pago The Libra Association members The Libra Association did not announce any changes in strategy or other plans that could help the organization assuage regulators’ fears. One path suggested by Libra Association member Andreessen Horowitz’s partner Chris Dixon was to move to Libra being denominated in U.S. dollars rather than being pegged to a basket of international currencies. That might quiet concerns about Libra potentially competing directly with the U.S. dollar. This leaves the reveal of the 180 potential members as the biggest news from the meeting. A Libra Association spokesperson writes: Since the Libra project was announced on June 18th, 2019, it has generated excitement around the world. the Libra Association confirmed that over 1,500 entities have indicated interest in joining the Libra project effort, and approximately 180 entities have met the preliminary membership criteria shared at Libra.org.” Those requirements include businesses hitting two of three thresholds of a $1 billion USD market value or $500 million in customer balances, reaching 20 million people a year or being recognized as a top 100 industry leader. There are other criteria for cryptocurrencies businesses, nonprofits and universities. The Libra Association chairperson, COO and interim managing director Bertrand Perez However, we don’t have information on when the interest of those 1,500 potential partners was tallied. The withdrawal of Mastercard, PayPal and more, comments from regulators intent on blocking the currency and Marcus’ tense questioning on Capitol Hill could have since scared off some would-be allies. Marcus and Perez face an uphill battle to get Libra to market. Not only do they have to prove it’s safeguarded against fraud, money laundering and hurting sovereign currencies, they also must tangle with the toxic brand Facebook has developed over the years. Legislators who feel like the social network is too big are seizing on their second chance to constrain it with Libra. Libra Association's first meeting announcements from Josh Constine View the full article
  19. A full week of live music in Pharrell’s hometown of Virginia Beach View the full article
  20. The second Monday in October, long referred to as “Columbus Day" in recognition of the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus, has increasingly come to be recognized as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” in cities and states across the U.S. In an effort to better acknowledge the atrocities committed by Columbus and his crew against Indigenous communities in the Americas, Indigenous advocates have called for the day to instead recognize and celebrate the diverse cultures and traditions of Indigenous people. The effort has been a long one; the designation of Indigenous Peoples' Day was first proposed at a United Nations conference in 1977. Read more... More about Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Rights, Indigenous Peoples Day, Social Good, and ActivismView the full article
  21. Ask anyone in the space business and they’ll tell you that orbital debris is a serious problem that will only get worse, but dealing with it is as much an opportunity as it is a problem. Leo Labs is building a global network of radar arrays that can track smaller debris than we can today, and with better precision — and the first of its new installations is about to start operations in New Zealand. There are some 12,000 known debris objects in low Earth orbit, many of which are tracked by the U.S. Air Force and partners. But they only track debris down to 10 centimeters across — meaning in reality there may be hundreds of thousands of objects up there, just as potentially destructive to a satellite but totally unknown. “Everyone’s flying blind and no one’s really talking about it,” said Leo Labs CEO Dan Ceperley. But his company hopes to change that with a set of advanced radars dedicated to the purpose, for which the company raised $13 million last year. “We’re extremely excited to show this New Zealand radar, because it’s the first instance of our next generation technology. We launched the company on the strength of this radar,” Ceperley said. The installation uses what’s called a phased array radar, very different from the traditional big dishes one generally thinks of. The beam is electronically steered, letting it change targets in milliseconds or sweep the sky faster than any physically controlled dish could. The phased array radar has no moving parts, the beam is steered from many identical small antennas electronically. Not only that, but it can detect and track objects down to 2 centimeters across. They’re small, yes, but moving at thousands of miles per hour. Something the size of an M&M still hits hard enough to take out a satellite at that speed. The ability to see objects of that size in orbit could increase the number tracked to a quarter of a million, Ceperley estimated. And with other radars able to track about a thousand objects per hour, they couldn’t possibly do the job even if they could draw a bead on them. “A lot of these new satellites maneuver pretty frequently — so you want to be able to track them closely,” he said. “But if you have one radar, you can measure its orbit at one point, maybe every day or two, and of course on the far side of the Earth your coverage isn’t any good. With our radar network you’ll be able to check 10 times a day.” The increasingly common phenomenon of shared-ride launches with dozens of satellites on board presents a new opportunity. Ground-based radars just aren’t designed to track 40 or 50 new objects in the sky all scooting off in different directions from the same spot. You might wait a week or more to be be able to ground-truth your satellite’s telemetry. Leo’s quick-acquisition, high-precision arrays are designed with this in mind, meaning trajectories and orbits can be verified in hours instead of days. That can be the difference between saving and losing a multimillion-dollar investment. The biggest player in this market is the U.S. Air Force, which has been the main tracking provider for years. But it relies on a hodgepodge of Cold War and newer tech, and because it’s military it’s limited in the type of information it can provide. Powerful radars are out there, but they’re often restricted by government contracts and cost hundreds of millions or more. And there are no good tracking stations in the Southern hemisphere. Leo Labs aims to pick up where the competition leaves off. “We’re happy to announce that construction is complete on the New Zealand radar and we’re getting data out of it,” Ceperley said. This first array will soon (after some testing but before the end o the year) join another in Texas and soon others around the world in producing data for Leo Labs’ SaaS platform — yes, it’s orbital debris tracking as a service, with a web portal and everything. “All that intel goes into the second part of the company, a bunch of software in the cloud where the data gets analyzed,” Ceperley said. “We look for risky situations like satellites starting to tumble, potential collisions, etc. We send out alerts through a RESTful API, we have a dashboard with 3D visualizations, tables and maps, all that stuff. In the past there were no SaaS services for tracking satellites in flight. Governments can spend a decade and a billion dollars building a radar, but these new space companies can’t — so we thought that was a huge opportunity for us.” You can see a visualization of what it all looks like here — obviously it’s not to scale, but space is getting crowded, isn’t it? Already they have plenty of supporters and subscribers: Planet, Digital Globe, Black Sky and the Air Force Research Lab are all sold. Swarm Technologies, whose satellites are so small that existing radar solutions barely cut it, was a natural customer. In fact Swarm founder Sara Spangelo just recently emphasized the importance of tracking space debris in a panel I moderated at Disrupt SF. The company was spun out of SRI in 2016, its founding team experienced in building radars and doing debris tracking, and apparently just in time. The orbital economy is heating up and the infrastructure to support it is starting to creak. View the full article
  22. I had long hair for most of my life, but then decided to chop it off to the middle of my neck in the summer of 2018 and have been rocking a bob ever since. Styling my new short ‘do came with a bit of a learning curve because, as anyone who’s gone from long to short knows, curling short hair is a completely different beast. My favorite hair wand wasn’t giving me the same results anymore, and I needed to find the best curling iron for my short hair. How is curling short hair different from curling long hair? When you have less length to work with, you might have to switch up your preferred hair tool. Depending on how short your hair is, you can’t use some of the more innovative tools, like the self-rotating Beachwaver or Chi Spin N Curl. Read more... More about Fashion, Beauty, Mashable Shopping, Consumer Tech, and Curling Iron IMAGE: Amazon BEST FOR SALON-QUALITY CURLS Hot Tools Professional Marcel iron/wand A cult favorite among professionals, this iron creates beachy waves and full curls. Size: 0.375, 0.5, 0.625, 0.75, 1, or 1.5 inch Heat range: 280 to 430 degrees Barrel material: 24 karat gold $49.99 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST TRADITIONAL CURLING IRON BaBylissPro spring curling iron Used at the proper heat setting, this iron will give you healthy looking curls. Size: 0.75, 1, 1.25, or 1.5 inch Heat range: Up to 450 degrees Barrel material: Nano titanium $49.95 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST FOR CREATING DIFFERENT STYLES InfinitiPro two-in-one styler Curl, wave, and straighten your hair with this one tool. Size: 1 inch Heat range: 320 to 400 degrees Barrel material: Ceramic coated interior, stainless steel exterior $43 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST FOR CURL VARIETY NuMe Octowand Create tons of styles with eight interchangeable barrels of varying sizes and shapes. Size: 13, 19, 25, and 32 millimeters (in varying shapes) Heat range: Up to 450 degrees Barrel material: Tourmaline infused ceramic $114.49 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST BUDGET-FRIENDLY OPTION InfinitiPro nano tourmaline ceramic curling iron The InfinitiPro covers all the basics and is affordable. Size: 0.75, 1, 1.25, or 1.5 inch Heat range: 310 to 400 degrees Barrel material: Tourmaline ceramic $24.99 from Amazon IMAGE: Nordstrom BEST FOR PROTECTING HAIR FROM HEAT DAMAGE Dyson Airwrap The Dyson Airwrap takes the place of multiple hair tools — but its hefty price tag reflects that. Size: 1.2 or 1.6 inch Heat range: Up to 302 degrees $549 from Nordstrom IMAGE: Amazon BEST COMBINATION OF QUALITY AND VERSATILITY T3 Whirl Trio Three interchangeable wands give you options to create different curls. Size: 0.75 to 1.25 tapered, 1, or 1.5 inch Heat range: Up to 410 degrees Barrel material: Tourmaline ceramic $300 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST FOR REDUCING FRIZZ Drybar 3-Day Bender The 3-Day Bender will leave your hair frizz-free and shiny. Size: 1 inch Heat range: Up to 440 degrees Barrel material: Ceramic $145 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST FOR OPTIMIZED HEAT ghd Curve Iron Curl With optimized heat settings, this iron gives you consistent curls that last. Size: 1 or 1.25 inch Heat range: 365 degrees Barrel material: Ceramic $199 from Amazon IMAGE: Amazon BEST FOR YOUR BASIC NEEDS Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Express Gold Curl This iron doesn't have tons of bells and whistles, but it's a great option for everyday use. Size: 1 inch Heat range: 280 to 430 degrees Barrel material: Gold plated $60 from Amazon View the full article
  23. The most popular web browser in the world, Google Chrome is already highly secure and the best choice for those worried about their privacy and safety online. One of the great things about the browser is you can easily customize it and add extensions to personalize your experience. One such option is to add a VPN extension so that you're further protected from threats as well as the potential risks of your ISP spying on what you're doing online. SEE ALSO: Best VPNs for Windows 10 VPN extensions work a little differently from full VPN clients as they simply route browser traffic through a proxy server rather than encrypt data like a true VPN connection. That's still useful if you want to view content as if you were overseas however, as well as check out different content on Netflix and so forth. Read more... More about Tech, Apps, Cybersecurity, Chrome, and Vpn IMAGE: Mashable BEST VPN OVERALL ExpressVPN Consistently great for all VPN needs, ExpressVPN also offers a great Chrome extension for added convenience. Price: Between $8.32 a month and $12.95 per month depending on length of plan Features: Fast performance, no logs kept, 160 VPN server locations in 94 countries IMAGE: Mashable BEST FREE VPN FOR CHROME CyberGhost CyberGhost offers a free Chrome extension to get you started, along with a bevy of additional features. Price: Between $2.75 per month and $12.99 per month depending on subscription plan Features: Free extension, simple to use, 4800+ servers across, 61 countries, up to 7 devices can connect at once IMAGE: Mashable BEST FOR SPEED Hotspot Shield Regarded as one of the fastest VPN extensions out there, Hotspot Shield is great when speed is everything. Price: Free to $12.99 per month depending on the subscription plan chosen Features: Free extension, regular updates, fast performance, simple to use IMAGE: Mashable BEST VPN FOR LIMITED INFORMATION GATHERING TunnelBear TunnelBear offers a free extension and all you need to give it is your email address. It's perfect for occasional use. Price: Free to $9.99 per month depending on subscription plan chosen Features: Free extension, very easy to use, no need to sign up, simple upgrade path IMAGE: Mashable BEST FOR EXTRA FEATURES Surfshark With plenty of extra features, Surfshark isn't just a smart VPN Chrome extension but an all-around good option. Price: Between $1.99 per month and $11.95 per month depending on length of subscription plan. Features: Hundreds of servers, unlimited connections, adblocking technology, multihop feature IMAGE: Mashable BEST VPN FOR STREAMING ON CHROME Windscribe Windscribe plays well with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, making it easy to browse other content. Price: Between $4.08 per month and $9 per month depending on length of the plan Features: Works well with streaming services, unlimited devices, fast speeds, minimalist extension View the full article
  24. If you received a suspicious Facebook message from your dead granny looking to tell you about a great new financial opportunity, you’d report the fraudulent account to Facebook, wouldn’t you? That’s exactly what many Facebook users said they did right before the company seemingly penalized them for doing so. The hashtag #FacebookLockout is currently gaining steam on Twitter among users who are finding themselves locked out of their Facebook account for reporting scammers and imposter accounts on the platform. 2/ The #FacebookLockout affects #facebook, @FBBusiness, @Instagram Ads, and 3rd party Facebook Authentication. All manner of login pages are automatically redirected to single verification page with a photo upload requirement. — Cory Comer (@corywcomer) October 14, 2019 Read more... More about Facebook, Social Media, Fraud, Scam, and Tech View the full article
  25. Seeing into the souls and minds of artists is easier now than ever thanks to social media and an increasingly positive outlook on sharing feelings on those platforms. With stigmatization against getting “real” ever on the wane, it has allowed artists like Madeon, below, to be entirely open and share his tribulations. According to Madeon, after debuting his show at Lollapalooza earlier this year, he was “more spent and depressed than I expected. I couldn’t feel anything at all.” He took a break and focused on getting better. “I felt like I had your permission,” he wrote. “I think I have an audience with the patience and empathy to afford me the time to be healthy.” But all’s well that ends well, Madeon is feeling better now and has declared “victory!” over his demons. Better yet, a new song from the album, “Be Fine,” will be out next Wednesday and he has delivered his full album. Read his full letter to fans below. I have to tell you something – Today I delivered Good Faith. It’s a beautiful day. Let me tell you why it took a while. After the relief of debuting the show at Lolla I was more spent and depressed than I expected. I couldn’t feel anything at all. It felt wrong finishing and releasing music celebrating joy when I couldn’t feel that joy at all anymore. So I decided to take time and put everything on hold for a bit. I felt like I had your permission. I think I have an audience with the patience and empathy to afford me the time to be healthy. That’s the the intimate theme of this work to me : making sense of joy, making sense of darkness. Along the way, over more than three years, Good Faith has been the horizon, the reason I would fight over and over again to get healthy. I want this album, this tour and all that will come after it to paint for you the picture that’s been vividly in my mind all this time. Now it’s going to stop being mine alone and start being ours. I feel relief and I feel purposeful. Victory ! Loveyou PS : « Be Fine » is the next song from the album and it’s out Wednesday. This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Madeon Announces New Song & Finished Album View the full article
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