You’re Still Modeling Growth Incorrectly

Featured Image -- 2287
Standard

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

[tc_contributor_byline slug=”noah-kagan”]

When I first got the job running marketing at Mint, founder and CEO Aaron Patzer told me that we had to get Mint to 100,000 users within six months of launching.

The number itself didn’t intimidate me: Before Mint, I had been Facebook employee No. 30. I’d witnessed crazy, exponential user growth first-hand. The difference was that at Mint, we were pre-product and certainly pre-repeatable-growth-engine. That meant we had to invent something from scratch.

I won’t lie, I was nervous. I started by drawing up a marketing plan.

The result: After 12 months, Mint had more than 1,000,000 users.  We made it a whole extra comma above our target.

In the startup world, where growth is as essential to life as oxygen, falling short of your growth goals means your company dies.

Given the life-or-death importance of achieving growth, it’s ironic that growth teams, marketers and founders…

View original 932 more words

Spying goes Mainstream: Windows 10 Spies on Everything You Do

Standard

Originally posted on Engineering Evil:

Monday, 03 August 2015

We can see the lines forming of people rushing to buy Windows 10.

Included in Microsoft’s new 12,000-word service agreement, which goes into effect August 1, is the following excerpt from the privacy policy:

“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to.”

And while Microsoft does allow Windows 10 users to opt out of all of the features that might be considered invasions of privacy, users are opted in by default. Rock, Paper, Shotgun explains the opt-out process step by step.

Windows 10 will sync settings and data by default with its servers. That includes browser history, favorites and currently open web pages, as well as saved app, website and mobile hotspot passwords and Wi-Fi…

View original 191 more words

[VIDEO] George Gilder: Net Neutrality Is a ‘Ludicrous’ Idea That Will Shrink the Economy

Standard

Originally posted on pundit from another planet:

“Everything on [the Internet] is changing minute by minute,” says George Gilder, “and the idea of establishing a level playing field, as if all bandwidth is homogeneous, is just ludicrous.”

View original

Backdoor Gov’t Encryption: Is it about Criminals or about you?

Standard

Originally posted on Hammerhead Combat Systems:

ctybera

by

Mr. A (HCS’ Resident Cyber-Gandalf)

A lot of citizens would immediately think they should so that the government could better catch criminals and terrorist. After all, wouldn’t all of us want terrorist stopped and criminals caught? Of course we would. Does backdoor encryption access accomplish this, or is there something else at work?

Here’s the thing:

Smart terrorist and smart organized criminal groups will avoid potentially compromised systems. That means proposals like this oneHERE are utterly stupid, and only about surveillance on you the innocent citizen.

So what is being proposed? This, essentially, is packaged as a ‘fair balance’ between privacy and government access to data. With a a biometric backdoor, the government could only access your data with a warrant that required you to use your biometric entry to access the data and decrypt it.

Sounds fair right?

Problem #1:  Biometrics are not the gold standard in access…

View original 328 more words

Operator Assisted Conferencing

Standard

Originally posted on Conference Shopper:

In a world where more and more is automated, some people have been left longing for the touch of personal customer service. Many companies have moved away from giving personal attention, but this does not mean that its market has gone away by any means. This is the market that Operator Assisted Conferencing would appeal to most directly.

Manage your most demanding audio and video conferences with Operator Assisted Conferencing systemOperator Assisted Conferencing is a great way to step into the world of video and audio conferencing without stepping right into the heart of this massive and complex world all on your own. Companies that offer this conferencing service give the customer access to all of the benefits of conferencing while offering a personal operator who is there to ensure that the conference runs as smooth as possible. One great feature that many companies offer with these particular types of conferences is a pre-conference green room meeting. This is a time…

View original 370 more words

Gaming Startup Code Kingdoms Exits Beta On A Quest To Get Kids Coding

Featured Image -- 2253
Standard

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Changes to the computing curriculum in England, which arrived last September requiring schools to teach bona fide programming skills to kids as young as five, are shaking out into increased opportunities for edtech startups in the U.K.

Making learning to code accessible, fun and engaging is the jumping off point of London-based startup Code Kingdoms, which has today launched out of beta, after trialling its game for the past year with around 25,000 kids and 700 schools.

Its educational JavaScript teaching software targets the six- to 13-year-old age-range, and can be played either as a web app via the Code Kingdoms’ site, or as an iOS app.

There are actually two versions of Code Kingdoms: one that’s free for schools to use, which strips out the gameplay element entirely so it becomes purely a simplified educational tool for teaching JavaScript; and another version that kids can play at home in their spare time which is first and foremost a game…

View original 893 more words

FacePay?

Featured Image -- 2244
Standard

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

What if buying something was as easy as Liking it? You’d probably buy a lot more, and buy it through whoever made it so damn simple. Becoming that conduit for payments means more than racking up transaction fees. For the portal to purchase influences not just how you buy, but what.

Today, purchases are fragmented, and so too is that influence. We buy online and offline. Cash, Credit, PayPal, and now Apple Pay. In turn, influence splinters into ads run on television, print, digital, billboards, and other channels. Whether we want something already or not, the ads are supposed make us more intent on actually spending our money.

But there’s a disconnect. A gap between the intent and the purchase. A hole in the funnel where conversions leak out. There’s friction.

And Facebook hates friction almost as much as it loves connection. Eliminating unnecessary steps is almost gospel at Facebook…

View original 898 more words

CloudSolar Helps Renewable Energy Fans Who Can’t Install Their Own Solar Panels

Featured Image -- 2241
Standard

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Solar panels are becoming increasing affordable, but many people still face barriers to harnessing the power of the sun for their own homes. For example, they might live in an apartment or in a house where the roof is angled or structured improperly for solar panel installation.

A new Boston-based startup called CloudSolar is offering an intriguing solution. Founded by a team including two electrical engineering Ph.D. candidates and currently raising funds on Indiegogo, CloudSolar lets people buy a solar panel, or a share in one, on a farm that is expected to be completed by 2016 (erecting the solar panels will only take a couple of months, but the company also has to deal with utility and land permits, which will take longer).

Once the farm is up and operating, electricity generated by the solar panels will be sold to local utilities. Solar panel owners are promised 80 percent of…

View original 724 more words

Government Requests For Facebook Data Decrease In U.S. And UK, But Rise In India

Featured Image -- 2237
Standard

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Facebook’s latest report on government requests shows a decrease in requests from many Western countries in the second half of 2014, but that’s offset by increases from India, Turkey and Russia.

The total number of requests from governments received by the world’s largest social network rose from 34,946 in the first half of the year, to 35,051 between July and December 2014.

Facebook is the de facto social media in most of the world, so it’s no surprise that the site is one of the first places that authorities turn to when they seek information about individuals. Facebook disclosed that it saw 14,274 requests from the U.S. government for information about users, 79 percent of those requests saw Facebook provide data. That figure represents a slight reduction on 15,433 requests in the first half of 2014.

India was the second highest government on Facebook’s list, with 5,473 requests made during the final six months of last year…

View original 363 more words

Battle For The Net~~STOP the Communist Takeover of our Internet!!

Standard

If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do?

Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.

Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?

On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.

If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/96020972118/be-a-part-of-the-great-internet-slowdown

Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net September 10th!

via Battle For The Net.

Study Highlights Potential Tax Burden Of Net Neutrality

Featured Image -- 2212
Standard

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

The Progressive Policy Institute released a study today claiming that President Obama’s net neutrality plan would result in billions of dollars in taxes levied onto the consumer from both Federal and local governments.

The study rests on the idea that if broadband were reclassified as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act, the service “become[s] subject to both federal and state fees that apply to those services.” You can leaf through how the numbers are summed here, but the gist is that various fees and taxes would come into play if Title II were implemented, costing the consumer each month.

The total, yearly cost to consumers could reach $15 billion according to the institute.

Is the critique fair? As TechCrunch has noted in the past, the president’s proposal was light on policy details, so it is not clear if the White House has plans on how to deal with…

View original 226 more words

Employment Nightmare for Legal Americans!! Affirmative Action is Discrimination

Standard

EMPLOYMENT NIGHTMARE

Of course, they would never admit it, for fear of being sued. But…don’t kid yourself…there is “age discrimination” and there is “race discrimination”…but not how you think. With affirmative action…all races EXCEPT for whites receive preferential treatment. Blacks, Spanish, and all other races are hired first.

Illegals and Foreigners are hired because the companies want a tax write off for hiring them. Affirmative Action should be ILLEGAL! It rewards the companies for NOT hiring Legal Americans.

Affirmative Action makes you hire people for their Color instead of their Character…and that is just IGNORANT…that is how our government ended up with such ignorant employees…that cannot be fired…even if they are lousy at their jobs!

And…that is exactly how we got the Disgraceful, Illegal, Marxist, Muslim Usurper that we have in our W.H.!! It ENRAGES me to hear that the University of Texas will continue to be allowed to use Affirmative Action!! So, the less qualified people with lower grades will be admitted JUST because of their “race”…and that is WRONG!

Arguments against Affirmative Action

The arguments against affirmative action begin with the idea that this practice is reverse discrimination – that it violates equal protection under the law, and that discriminating against the majority is just as bad as discriminating against the minority. Those against it argue that colleges are violating the principle of merit by engaging in affirmative action. Students aren’t always accepted on the basis of who is best qualified for the spot or position. They wonder if it s fair to accept students who are not up to the regular standards of the institution.

They argue that affirmative action benefits students who have not suffered from discrimination, burdening those who have not partaken in discrimination themselves. An institution also does not adjust the size and kind of compensation towards those who have suffered discrimination based on each individual. Many attacks against affirmative action are by unhappy students who had the grades and qualities of a student who should have been accepted but was blocked out by a minority member with lower grades.
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~eandersn/biblio.htm#Con

Affirmative Action = Unequal protection

In a 2007 opinion Justice Roberts wrote: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Thomas Sowell, an economist, points out that black education levels began rising, and poverty levels falling, as blacks started to move out of the South in the 1940s and 1950s. And even if Mr Bowen and Mr Bok are correct, and affirmative action did greatly benefit blacks in the first couple of generations after segregation, it does not follow that it should remain in place today, when most blacks at university are from middle- or upper-class families and many are recent immigrants never touched by pre-1960s discrimination. 

During oral arguments Sonia Sotomayor, a justice who has acknowledged that she benefited from affirmative action in her early career, said that the UT-Austin’s programme “sounds awfully like a quota to me”.

Such diversity programmes tend to benefit black and Hispanic applicants; unfortunately, they tend to penalize both whites and Asians.

source: The Economist, August 27, 2013

I think that the companies should be PENALIZED for hiring Illegals and Foreigners instead of Legal Americans who are out of work because of the Terrorist Usurper in our W.H. and all of his “job killing” policies and regulations. It serves to make me hate him even more!

You are really screwed if you are female, over fifty, and white! No one will convince me that it does not make a difference.  It does! It should not sway the decision to admit someone in college or in the hiring process. 

Family Computer Crimes

Standard

Originally posted on Sally's Special Services:

  • CONQUERING RETIREMENT
  • September 7, 2012, 4:29 p.m. ET

Family Computer Crimes

  • By ELLEN E. SCHULTZ

Columnist's name

Is your teenager or grandchild putting your financial security at risk online?

image

While it can be handy to have a tech-savvy younger person in the house, it also can make your financial and personal information less secure. The best and latest antivirus software won’t help much if someone is downloading virus-laden computer games and fake iPad apps for “Fruit Ninja.”

Kids often know the technology better, but they aren’t necessarily more careful when they use it, experts say.

Privacy concerns also can be an issue. A 14-year-old might think nothing of posting on Facebook that his whole family is in Yosemite (hello, local burglars), or that his unemployed uncle was arrested for drunken driving (hello, potential employers). He also might be less concerned about identity theft or whether a crime syndicate…

View original 625 more words

When Exposing A Crime Is Treated As Committing A Crime, You Are Ruled By CRIMINALS!

Standard

Whistleblowers are Heroes too

Amen to that! The Crooks are in charge of our Congress and W.H.!! The Whistleblowers should be rewarded for being brave enough to come forward with the truth about the corruption that exists. Most people are too afraid to come forward because they know what is at risk, and what the corrupt are capable of doing to them to shut them up. 

Yahoo Prevails in Secretive Surveillance Court Battle

Standard

Originally posted on pundit from another planet:

Shutterstock

The public is getting a broader glimpse at the still-secretive world of government data collection

Yahoo said Thursday it won release of 1,500 pages of documents filed in a secretive surveillance court. It said the documents stem from an unsuccessful lawsuit it brought in 2008 challenging the government’s right to demand user information.Yahoo Headquarters

“At one point, the U.S. Government threatened the imposition of $250,000 in fines per day if we refused to comply.”

— Ron Bell, Yahoo’s lawyer

The company won a victory last year when portions of previously-closed documents were ordered public. As it noted Thursday, disclosures from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are “extremely rare.”

The documents are a public relations victory for Yahoo: They show it resisting orders to comply with the surveillance programs.

“Yahoo has not complied with the directives because of concerns that the directives require Yahoo to assist in conducting warrantless surveillance that is likely…

View original 171 more words

If The Economy Is Recovering, Why Is The Labor Force Participation Rate At A 36 Year Low?

Standard

Originally posted on wchildblog:

Source: The Economic Collapse Blog, by Michael Snyder

Should we be concerned that the percentage of Americans that are either working or looking for work is the lowest that it has been in 36 years?  In August, an all-time record high 92,269,000 Americans 16 years of age and older did not “participate in the labor force”.  And when you throw in the people that are considered to be “in the labor force” but are not currently employed, that pushes the total of working age Americans that do not have jobs to well over 100 million.  Yes, it may be hard to believe, but there are more than 100 million working age Americans that are not employed right now.  Needless to say, this is not a sign of a healthy economy, and it is a huge reason why dependence on the government has soared to absolutely unprecedented levels.  When…

View original 222 more words

Microsoft Continues Its Campaign Against A US Warrant Demanding Overseas Data

Featured Image -- 2112
Standard

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

A search warrant commanding Microsoft to turn over certain customer email data that is currently stored overseas was unfrozen late this week. The company declined to comply.

In a statement, Microsoft said that it “will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal.” This protest act by Microsoft, arguing that domestic warrants should not be able to command access to data stored abroad, has picked up support from other technology companies.

Profits are at risk. Modern technology companies vend cloud-based services to a global user base — if any one country can use domestic warrants to command access to the data of all companies that are headquartered within its borders, regardless of where the information in question is physically stored, no company can protect the data of users who hail from other countries from its own government. That would harm the company’s ability to sell services to those…

View original 176 more words

Making Redirects Permanent

Standard

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

On WordPress.com, you start with a standard WordPress.com domain name for your blog which looks something like this – example.wordpress.com. You then have the option of upgrading to a custom mapped domain such as example.com.

The good news is by setting example.com as your primary domain, all your visitors who try to access your old example.wordpress.com links automatically get redirected to the new domain.

But what about search engines and other services that access the old example.wordpress.com links ? Up until now, WordPress.com would send those services a 302 redirect which would tell them that a link had a new temporary home, and to go index that new link, but to not forget about the original one.

Today we have changed 302 redirects to 301 redirects. A 301 redirect tells search engines the new link has moved permanently, and they can discard the old links.

Why does…

View original 97 more words

Female Entrepreneurs Want To Inspire Young Girls With Miss Possible

Featured Image -- 2081
Standard

Sally's Special Services:

I think it is an excellent idea! Growing up in the sixties, girls had very few choices for careers. We were expected to be mothers, teachers, or nurses. We were never encouraged to be interested in or to apply ourselves to math or science.  We were told that girls were not good in math and science.  And…we positively were never encouraged to be doctors or lawyers or entrepreneurs. Today, little girls need to know that they can be whatever they want to be. 

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Looking around their engineering classes at the University of Illinois, Supriya Hobbs and Janna Eaves noticed something was missing — other girls.

And so like good engineers, they set out to solve that problem. The recent graduate and college senior invented Miss Possible, a doll and accompanying app aiming to spark an interest in math and science among young girls.

The Miss Possible dolls are based on real women who have been trailblazers in the fields of math and science. The first Miss Possible will be Marie Curie, the famed chemist and physicist who remains the only person to win the Nobel Prize in multiple science fields. In the app that will accompany the Miss Possible doll, girls can learn about the famous woman’s story, do hands-on activities with materials found around the house or play in-app games.

Miss Possible: Dolls to Inspire Girls Across Generations from Supriya Hobbs

View original 487 more words

FBI, CIA Use Backdoor Searches To Warrentlessly Spy On Americans’ Communications

Standard

Originally posted on wchildblog:

from the but-of-course dept

The other shoe just dropped when it comes to how the federal government illegally spies on Americans. Last summer, the details of the NSA’s “backdoor searches” were revealed. This involved big collections of content and metadata (so, no, not “just metadata” as meaningless as that phrase is) that were collected under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). This is part of the program that the infamous PRISM effort operates under, and which allows the NSA to collect all sorts of content, including communications to, from or about a “target” — where a “target” can be incredibly loosely defined (i.e., it can include groups or machines or just about anything). The “backdoor searches” were a special loophole added in 2011 allowing the NSA to make use of “US person names and identifiers as query terms.” In…

View original 432 more words