We interviewed the founders and CEOs of 20 of the fastest growing startups in Europe.We asked them about their companies, their companies’ culture, and their lives, trying to understand how these three factors played a role in the achievement of such impressive growth.Contestants square off on video-games like Dota 2, CS: GO, and Rocket League.The platform caters to any level of players, from amateur participants to professional heavyweights.FaceIt is one of the fastest-growing UK startups but the founder and CEO is the Italian Niccolo Maisto.“If you want to have a glimpse of the future, look at gaming.
Financial services provider Mastercard is seeking to perform some social good this year after announcing that it will seek to spur its customers into a Year of Action.Start Something Priceless aims to engineer a social movement tackling issues such as bias and cultural stigmas in society by way of a series of individual campaigns such as the backstory behind a group of musicians who have battled against the odds to earn success at the Grammys.In doing so Mastercard aims to inspire customers to pursue their own pledges to their own individual passions to bring about real change.Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard, said: “Start Something Priceless is a call to action at a time when people expect actions, not just ads, from brands.This is a time when people truly believe in their own power to fuel change, and whether big or small, an action has the ability to make the world a better place.That movement is what we aim to unleash this year.
Only tits in this drama were the two kids in troubleVideo Australian politicians are claiming a world first after a drone saved two teenagers from drowning in heavy surf.At 11.30am on Thursday, passersby alerted lifeguards that two people were in trouble in the sea off Lennox Head beach in New South Wales.The lifesavers just so happened to be in the middle of a training course on how to use drones to drop floatation devices on swimmers in trouble – and so got little real-world schooling.Here's a video of the lifeguard-piloted drone swoop over to the stranded youngsters and dropping an expanding doodad for them to cling onto, thus preventing them from going under and meeting their makers:The camera-equipped drone, a Westpac Little Ripper, was purchased as part of a AU$430,000 ($345,000, £248,000) splurge on mini-copters by the NSW's answer to Baywatch.
Internet activists just got some unexpected good news from an unexpected source.Last summer the Federal Communications Commission floated the possibility of lowering its threshold for connections to be considered broadband.The FCC announced Thursday that it will continue to define home broadband as connections that are 25 megabits per second (mbps).Consumer groups and advocates for rural communities had worried that changing the definition of broadband would enable the government to minimize the so-called digital divide, between communities with speedy internet access and those without.Had the FCC decided to count slower connections as broadband, or accepted mobile connections as adequate, it would have effectively shifted many areas now considered underserved by broadband providers to be considered as adequately served.That could translate into less funding for broadband projects in communities stuck with slow connections.
Forex head alleged to have manipulated market in 'front-running' schemeThe former head of foreign currency exchanges at Barclays New York has been charged in the US with devising and executing a "scheme to defraud HP of money and property", according to an indictment entered yesterday.Robert Bogucki is accused of six counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy, after Feds alleged he used his knowledge of HP's financial affairs to benefit himself, his co-conspirators and the bank in 2011.The indictment claims he was assisted by two unnamed individuals, the most important identified only as CC-1, a UK citizen who was a senior foreign exchange trader in the London branch of Barclays.In August 2011, HP was preparing to buy UK-based Autonomy, and bought £6bn of "cable options", agreements to make dollar-pound exchanges at a fixed rate at a certain time, from Barclays in order to make the transaction.Soon after, HP changed its mind about using the options to acquire the company, and contacted Barclays about selling them back in several chunks.
Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is reportedly hooked on "2048."Paul Sakluma/AP; Avery Hartmans/Business InsiderTravis Kalanick's latest obsession is the puzzle game "2048."A new piece out Thursday from Bloomberg details Kalanick's final few months as Uber CEO and what he's been up to after being pushed out of the company — and that includes a new addiction to the popular smartphone game.Kalanick's last few months at Uber were contentious, Bloomberg reports, and before his tenure was over, tragedy struck: Kalanick's mother was killed in a boating accident, and his father was seriously injured.According to Bloomberg, Kalanick is using his newfound downtime to set up a family office, spend time with his father — and play plenty of "2048."
Immigration policy in the US has grown increasingly contentious, seemingly pitting different communities and ideologies against each other.Only a specific minority—white conservatives—generally feels otherwise.And the effect isn't limited to policy, as it influenced whether citizens felt welcome in the place that they lived.The research, performed by a collaboration of US-based researchers, focused on New Mexico and Arizona.Arizona has state policies that encourage police to check the immigration status of people they encounter; controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio ended up in trouble with the court system in part due to how aggressively he pursued this program.New Mexico, by contrast, will provide state IDs and tuition benefits to immigrants regardless of their documentation status.
As I’ve mentioned previously, one of the questions that I get asked most frequently is what tech companies in the Heartland should the average person be watching.But the question also makes me concerned that some people think of the middle of America as one large, monolithic swath of land.I bring this up because as VentureBeat is putting together its lineup for our inaugural BLUEPRINT conference, I’ve been heartened to see how many companies are finding success in a diverse mix of cities — from Reno, where our event will be held, to Missoula, Montana to Madison, Wisconsin.Ultimately, finding success as a Heartland company comes down to leveraging the unique strengths of your city.One of our guest writers, Alida Miranda-Wolff, also spoke this week with female executives in the Midwest, who found that — while the region still has a long way to go to achieve gender parity in tech — at least one female founder found that being a women in tech in the Midwest was an advantage because “certain norms and formulas for what a tech startup should look like are less defined and entrenched [here].”So, while I think “what Heartland tech companies should I be watching?” is a valid question, I think that a good follow-up question — and one that will help you really understand what makes a company worth watching — is “how are these companies leveraging the strengths of their respective cities?”As always, please send news tips or feedback to me via email, and be sure to bookmark our Heartland Tech Channel.
Ford unveiled a new special-edition Mustang to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the the film "Bullitt."The original "Bullitt" Mustang was also on hand for the reveal in Detroit.The Bullitt 'Stang edges the current Mustang GT for performance.The most famous car chase in cinematic history involved Steve McQueen in a 1968 Mustang, dark green, and some hit men in a Dodge Charger.Even if you haven't seen the '68 film, "Bullitt," you might be able to guess who came out on top.Ford celebrated the 50th anniversary of the film by pulling the cover off a limited edition "Bullitt" Mustang at the Detroit auto show.
One in six Americans now own a smart speaker, according to new research out this week from NPR and Edison Research – a figure that’s up 128 percent from January, 2017.Amazon’s Echo speakers are still in the lead, the report says, as 11 percent now own an Amazon Alexa device compared with 4 percent who own a Google Home product.The holiday shopping season also seemed to have played a role in the increased adoption of smart devices in the U.S., with 7 percent of Americans reporting they acquired at least one smart speaker between Black Friday and the end of December, and 4 percent saying they acquired their first smart speaker during the holidays.Both Amazon and Google used the holiday shopping season to their advantage in terms of acquiring market share for their respective devices by slashing prices to encourage more impulse buys, and by heavily promoting the items across their storefronts.In fact, analysts believe that both Amazon and Google likely lost a few dollars per unit during the holiday season, where they were discounting their smaller form factor devices to $29 for the Amazon Echo Dot and $50 for the Google Home Mini, for example.The new report also delved into how consumers are using their devices, which have a range of functions including things like being able to stream music, control their TV and other smart home devices, and more.
Earlier this morning, Nintendo held a shorter-than-usual Direct Mini broadcast that announced a bunch of games for the Nintendo Switch.We’ve already covered some of the Direct’s big reveals – such as incoming DLC for Super Mario Odyssey and the announcement of two more Wii U ports for the Switch – but there was so much more aside from those.When you think about it, it’s pretty impressive that Nintendo managed to pack so many announcements into a mere 14 minute presentation.If you missed the Direct Mini this morning, you can watch the entire thing in with video embedded below.The Direct started off with the reveal that The World Ends With You, a DS video game that was released 10 years ago, is getting ported to the Switch as The World Ends With You – Final Remix.It’ll be joined later this year by ports of Dark Souls and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana.
Tickets please, the next crypto train is about to depart.Japan-based messaging app Line is said to be the latest public company to consider a move into the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, according to a Bloomberg report.Unlike some of the more obscure and head-scratching moves, which include China’s forgotten social network and an iced tea company, there would be some merit to Line adopting a token.The company already offers a mobile payment service — Line Pay — and one of its staple features is a virtual currency that is used in its social games and to buy content on its platform, including its vast array of (very communicative) stickers.Bloomberg reported that Line is in discussions with a number of potential partners, including bitcoin exchange Upbit, over possible tie-ins around Line Pay and other products.The goal, the report claimed, is to make its products stickier with users.
The fifth generation of the Xiaomi Redmi series has been having a good time in the market even though they are not flagship devices.Last year, we saw the launch of Xiaomi Redmi 5A, Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus and now, we are waiting for the arrival of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.Its entry is long overdue because the last of the fourth generation Redmi series – Redmi Note 4X has been on the market for almost a year.Xiaomi is currently hosting a theme contest on its Chinese MIUI forum, and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 appeared in the contest with a 699 Yuan (about $107) price tag.From the renderings so far, this smartphone comes with a 5.99-inch full-screen HD+ display with very thin bezels on all four sides and an aspect ratio of 18:9.Previous reports have it that the Redmi Note 5 will be powered by a Snapdragon 632 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM.
SSA and LASC will be holding a joint meeting on 14-17 May 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Miami in Miami, Florida.The meeting attracts more than 1000 scientists, engineers and policymakers for two days of presentations and posters that cover the latest seismological research from around the globe, with a special focus this year on Latin American and Caribbean seismological research.The meeting's topics are presented in 53 special sections, now available for review on the SSA meeting website.Abstracts for individual papers presented at the meeting will be available at the Seismology 2018 website by 31 March 2018.Working journalists can register to attend the 2018 Annual Meeting at no charge, and will have full access to the technical presentations, poster sessions and public events such as the Joyner Lecture and Lightning talks.Journalists can request complimentary registration, and reserve a hard copy of the meeting's program book, by contacting the SSA press office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-602-300-9600.
Pornhub, one of the world's most popular adult websites, has revealed that the top three search terms of last year by its randy users were "Lesbian", "Hentai" and "Milf".And in a year when women were successfully exposing sexual harassment in myriad industries, it appears that the MeToo movement may have even impacted on traffic, the site said.Statistics published Tuesday (9 January) in its annual review – looking back at trends from the past 12 months – noted that 'porn for women' was a dominant term.In fact, it was the top trending search overall throughout the year, spiking by over 1400%."2017 seems to have been the year where women have come forward to express their desires more openly," commented Dr. Laurie Betito, a sex therapist and director of Pornhub's Sexual Wellness Centre.Betito continued: "From the 'me too' movement to prominent females the likes of Hillary Clinton and Nikki Haley on the world stage, women are feeling more empowered and they have found their voice.
Now, if you're just sitting down to write an effective sales letter, you're probably wondering what some of the best copywriting tips might be for getting the point across and clinching the sale.But, you do need to follow some copywriting tips that will help you convince the prospect to buy whatever it is that you're offering.If you can do that, especially in the beginning, you'll be far ahead of the proverbial curve.But, to really do that, I had to go back to my roots.Keeping it simple means that the core concepts that you get across have to be delivered with clarity.Use adjective-rich sensory copy that invokes sights and sounds and smells even.
Facebook’s two billion users can now add three million more songs to their posts without infringing on copyright.On Monday, January 8, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Facebook announced a deal that allows musicians to earn royalties from music shared on the social network.The agreement means users can freely share songs from the label, and is the second deal of its kind in a span of less than a month.The agreement, which Sony/ATV says is multi-territory and multi-year, allows for legal video uploads containing those songs.The agreement applies to Facebook as well as the Facebook-owned Instagram and Oculus.Along with sharing videos containing music from the record label, the agreement, Sony ATV says, allows Facebook users to “personalize their music experience with songs from the catalog.”
Ewan McGregor raised eyebrows during Sunday (7 January) night’s Golden Globes, as he thanked both his estranged wife and new girlfriend in the same acceptance speech.The actor won the Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film prize for ‘Fargo’ at the LA ceremony, which was held at the Beverly Hilton.Taking to the stage, he thanked his soon-to-be ex-wife Eve Mavrakis, and well as current girlfriend Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who he stars alongside in ‘Fargo’.“I want to take a moment to just say thank you to Eve, who always stood by me for 22 years, and my four children Clara, Esther, Jamyan and Anouk,” he said.As he thanked his co-stars, he called Mary out for a special mention, saying: “And I’ve always loved being an actor and I love hanging out with actors and I got amazing actors to work with on this.“There wouldn’t have been Emmit Stussy without David Thewlis and Michael Stuhlbarg and Carrie Coon and there wouldn’t have been a Ray without Mary Elizabeth Winstead.”
Filling your smart home with sensors capable of collecting environmental data makes plenty of sense, and the Myteepi Woody, a sensor-packed gadget from French startup Ingenious Things wants the job.Formed from wood and shaped like the triangular lean-to implied by the name, the Woody offers all-in-one monitoring for temperature, humidity and motion, and it'll keep an ear out for the sound of alarms, too.Its makers at Ingenious Things tell us it'll launch in Europe and the United States following a Kickstarter campaign in the coming months.At retail, it'll sell for €199, with US pricing yet to be finalized (that European price tag comes out to about $240 or £175, converted roughly).Ingenious Things hangs much of the Woody's appeal on the fact that it'll keep working even if your Wi-Fi goes out.That's because Myteepi devices communicate using the SigFox low-power radio network, which sends alerts to your phone via the Myteepi app or via text message no matter where you are.
If it seems like every time you fire up Netflix there’s a new TV series being released, there’s a good reason for that.It’s a respectable increase from 2016’s 455.For context, other yearly figures listed in the article include 288 shows in 2012 and 187 in 2003.Many of these new shows were exclusive series of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.Netflix, in particular, made up a massive chunk of 2017’s original programming, with 117 unique series on its platform in 2017 alone, marking a massive increase from 24 in 2013, which was its first year airing exclusive shows.Hulu and Amazon Prime also had an appreciable number of original TV shows debut this year, including The Handmaid’s Tale, the best show of 2017, which is exclusive to Hulu.