Green sea slug makes chlorophyll like a plant

first_imgThe photosynthetic sea slug Elysia chlorotica appears like a dark green leaf as a result of retaining chloroplasts from its algal prey, Vaucheria litorea, in cells lining its digestive tract. Image credit: Mary S. Tyler/PNAS. (PhysOrg.com) — Scientists from the University of South Florida in Tampa have found a green sea slug is able to synthesize chlorophyll like a plant, which makes it the first animal known to be capable of the feat. Citation: Green sea slug makes chlorophyll like a plant (2010, January 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-01-green-sea-slug-chlorophyll.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2010 PhysOrg.comcenter_img Researcher Sidney K. Pierce said the super green sea slug, Elysia chlorotica, which lives in waters on the east coast of the USA and Canada, is known to steal genes and photosynthesizing organelles called chloroplasts from its favorite intertidal algae species, Vaucheria litorea, but it now seems it has developed an entire chemical pathway to manufacture the green pigment “chlorophyll a” itself.Chlorophyll is the pigment that captures energy from sunlight in photosynthesis. Pierce and his team used radioactive tracing techniques to determine the slugs were manufacturing the chlorophyll themselves and it did not originate in the algae they ate. A number of animals (such as corals) host microbes and algae and benefit from their photosynthesis, but in most of these associations the cells remain whole. In Elysia chlorotica, in contrast, the cells are broken down and chloroplasts are extracted and held inside the slug’s own cells, where they remain active for the slug’s lifetime of almost a year. Researchers have shown that once a young slug has eaten a meal of Vaucheria algae it never has to eat again as long as it has access to light and supplies of chlorophyll and other chemicals used in photosynthesis.In 2007 scientists, including Pierce and his team, found genes related to photosynthesis in the slugs, and these genes, apparently originally from the algae, were even found in unhatched slugs that had never eaten algae. In the latest research Pierce found more algal genes, and some of them were for enzymes required for the chemical process manufacturing chlorophyll. Pierce and his team studied slugs that had not eaten anything for at least five months and had stopped eliminating waste digestive products. They contained chloroplasts taken from the algae, but Pierce said that any other part of the algae should have long ago been digested. They gave the slug an amino acid labeled with radioactive carbon and found that the radioactive carbon turned up in the chlorophyll a molecule after the slugs had been sunbathing, but not if they had been in the dark.The findings were reported at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in Seattle, Washington on 7 January and will be published in the journal Symbiosis. Solar-powered sea-slugs live like plants, prof says Explore furtherlast_img read more

Google releases a doc scanning and editing app for Android

first_img Android users get malware with their apps This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — One of the best ways to edit your documents on your tablet PC has been to use a web-based service like Google Docs. Running Google Docs on an Android-based tablet lacks usability and has always been a mixed experience, depending on your Wi-Fi signal strength. Sometimes it worked well, and sometimes it did not. © 2010 PhysOrg.com The app is available in the Android App Marketplace. Just be aware that the app will not work with human handwriting, special fonts, or non-English languages. Though, this may change at some point in the future.center_img Of course, for the business user sometimes is not really good enough. When you need the numbers from the quarterly spreadsheet right now having access to those numbers will be a big problem. When you need to look over the document that you have to review, spotty access is no good to you. What you need is an app that can help you to get more consistent, quality access to your documents for editing and sharing on the web.Lucky for you, Google has released an app for just that purpose. On Wednesday, Google announced the launch of an official Google Docs app for Android. The app is able to convert photos of text into text documents for use in either Google Docs or in your web browser, so that you can edit the documents. This technology, which allows you to convert a photo of text into editable text is not only potentially useful for the office, but could be used for a variety of different pranks. Of course, how you choose to use it is of no concern to this reporter, but opportunities abound. Explore further Citation: Google releases a doc scanning and editing app for Android (2011, April 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-google-doc-scanning-app-android.htmllast_img read more

Cotton computing goes live at Cornell textiles lab

first_imgConductive cotton ties in to a simple circuit.
 Photo: Cornell University Citation: Cotton computing goes live at Cornell textiles lab (2011, December 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-cotton-cornell-textiles-lab.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Transistors are made from natural cotton fibers Explore further More information: Organic electronics on natural cotton fibres, Organic Electronics, Volume 12, Issue 12, December 2011, Pages 2033-2039.AbstractNanoscale modification of natural cotton fibres with conformal coatings of gold nanoparticles, deposition of thin layers of the conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxithiophene) (PEDOT) and a combination of these two processes were employed to increase conductivity of plain cotton yarns. This innovative approach was especially designed to fabricate two classes of devices: passive devices such as resistors obtained from electrically conductive cotton yarns, and two types of active devices, namely organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs) and organic field effect transistors (OFETs). The detailed electrical and mechanical analysis we performed on treated cotton yarns revealed that they can be used as conductors still maintaining a good flexibility. This study opens an avenue for real integration between organic electronics and traditional textile technology and materials. (PhysOrg.com) — Researchers from France, Italy and the United States are weaving cotton with transistors for a new look in computing. Based on news about a lab at Cornell University, wearable computing is getting a new twist. Transistors made from cotton fibers are being explored at the Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory at Cornell for use as clothing to collect, monitor and relay information. © 2011 PhysOrg.com Envisioned end uses could take form as clothes measuring pollutants, firefighters’ uniforms detecting dangerous chemicals, T-shirts displaying information, medical purposed garments monitoring heart rates and perspiration, as well as carpets in commercial environments measuring allergens or humidity.The group has come up with transistors made from cotton fibers. They use an approach that departs from the practice of attaching sensors or processors to fully formed garments. Instead, they are incorporating their information-retrieving devices directly into the fabric. The Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory focus is on merging textile science with the emerging area of nanoscale science. In their work to make the fibers conductive, the team coated each strand with gold nanoparticles and with an additional thin layer of PEDOT, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), a conductive polymer.The fibers proved to be about one thousand times as conductive as plain cotton, and had slightly stiffer but more elastic qualities than untreated fibers, said reports. The team demonstrated the cotton’s conductivity by making a simple circuit; they knotted one end to a battery and the other to a light emitting diode (LED).Overall, said Annalisa Bonfiglio, a professor in the department of electrical and electronic engineering, University of Cagliari, Italy, whose student Giorgio Mattana worked on the cotton at the Ithaca lab, treating the cotton with these various substances is not very complicated, comparable to dyeing materials.For the immediate future, she added, the most realistic application of their research may be for use as wearable sensors.Juan Hinestroza, director of the Textiles lab at Cornell, said “pretty decent computing power” can be the result if one considers how many fibers in a T-shirt, for example, and how many interconnections there are between the weft and warp of the fabric.His work has not gone unnoticed by those seeing potential in new ways to integrate electronics with traditional textiles. Hinestroza has received funding from federal and state agencies as well as industrial consortiums for his explorations in how to create multifunctional fibers using nanoscale phenomena.While wearable sensors is the most practical near-term application, the more distant future (or perhaps back to the future) might extend elsewhere. Earlier this year, Hinestroza said, “Perhaps one day we can even build computers out of cotton fibers in a similar way as khipus -a recording device based on knots and used by the Inca empire in Peru.”last_img read more

Chemically peculiar star HR8844 could be a hybrid object

first_img(Phys.org)—Astronomers from the Paris Observatory in Meudon, France and the Notre Dame University – Louaize in Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon, report that an A-type main-sequence star HR8844, could be a hybrid object between two classes of chemically peculiar stars. The discovery was detailed in a paper published Sept. 16 on arXiv.org. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2016 Phys.org Citation: Chemically peculiar star HR8844 could be a hybrid object (2016, September 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-chemically-peculiar-star-hr8844-hybrid.html Previous studies described HR8844 as a slowly rotating, fairly bright (V=5.89), superficially normal A0V star. However, the latest research conducted by Richard Monier of the Paris Observatory and his colleagues sheds new light on the real nature of this star.According to the paper, the model atmosphere and spectrum synthesis modeling of the spectrum of HR8844 reveals that most of the light elements are under-abundant, while the very heavy elements are overabundant. That means the star should be reclassified as a chemically peculiar star.”The derived abundance pattern of HR8844 strongly departs from the solar composition, which definitely shows that HR8844 is not a superficially normal early A star, but is actually another new chemically peculiar star,” the researchers wrote in the paper.Chemically peculiar stars, like HR8844, are main-sequence A and B stars with unusually strong or weak lines for certain elements. Besides their chemical composition, they have magnetic fields and experience very slow rotation with an average velocity of 29 km/s, which leads to extremely sharp-lined spectra.The new findings are based on data provided by the SOPHIE high-resolution echelle spectrograph installed on the 1.93m reflector telescope at the Haute-Provence Observatory in southeastern France. The team has analyzed the SOPHIE dataset and found that HR8844 has under-abundances of light elements like helium (He), carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and oxygen (O) and overabundances of the iron-peak elements and of the very heavy elements such as strontium (Sr), yttrium (Y), zirconium (Zr) and mercury (Hg).Taking into account a mild overabundance of manganese (Mn), the scientists concluded that HR8844 could be a hybrid object between the HgMn stars and the Am stars. HgMn stars are characterized by abnormal metal overabundances of Hg and Mn, together with under-abundances of light elements like He. When it comes to Am stars, their spectrum showcases strong absorption lines of metals such as Sr and Zr.Thus, according to the team, HR8844 resembles both a very hot Am star and a very cool HgMn star. Therefore, the star was reclassified as a hybrid object intermediate between these two classes. “Most of the light elements are under-abundant, whereas the very heavy elements are overabundant in HR8844. This interesting new chemically peculiar star could be a hybrid object between the HgMn stars and the Am stars,” the paper reads.However, in order to precisely determine the class of HR8844, the researchers plan further observations of the star that would complement the recent study.”We are currently planning more observations of HR8844 with SOPHIE in order to complement the abundances derived here and search for line variability. This will help us address the relationship of HR8844 to the two other hot Am stars, Sirius A and HD72660 and constrain the nature of this interesting new chemically peculiar star,” the team wrote.Lately, Monier’s team was successful in redefining the status of HD 30963 star. That research and the new study are part of a broader project aiming to reclassify main-sequence stars in the northern hemisphere. The derived elemental abundances for HR8844. Credit: Monier et al., 2016. HD 30963 is a chemically peculiar star, study finds Explore further More information: HR8844: A new hot Am star? arXiv:1609.04915 [astro-ph.SR] arxiv.org/abs/1609.04915AbstractUsing one archival high dispersion high quality spectrum of HR8844 (A0V) obtained with the echelle spectrograph SOPHIE at Observatoire de Haute Provence, we show that this star is not a superficially normal A0V star as hitherto thought. The model atmosphere and spectrum synthesis modeling of the spectrum of HR8844 reveals large departures of its abundances from the solar composition. We report here on our first determinations of the elemental abundances of 41 elements in the atmosphere of HR8844. Most of the light elements are underabundant whereas the very heavy elements are overabundant in HR8844.This interesting new chemically peculiar star could be a hybrid object between the HgMn stars and the Am stars.last_img read more

Data from GRAIL spacecraft suggest moon may have large lava tubes

first_img Journal information: Icarus (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Purdue University has found evidence from lunar-mapping spacecraft that the moon may have large lava tubes that could conceivably be used to house astronauts and supplies. In their paper published in the journal Icarus, the team describes their study of data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) twin spacecraft and outline the evidence for large lava tubes. Theoretical study suggests huge lava tubes could exist on moon © 2016 Phys.org Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Prior research here on Earth has shown that lava flowing across a surface can form a shell of sorts as it cools, and when the shell collapses, a hollowed-out underground space remains—geologists call them lava tubes. Examples have been found in Hawaii and Iceland. Now, the researchers at Purdue believe they have found evidence that such structures might exist just below the surface of the moon in some places as well.The evidence from GRAIL consists of very small variations in the moon’s gravitational pull, suggesting differences in density below the surface. There is also some evidence of skylights in photographs taken of the moon near the areas of the gravitational variations. Skylights are areas on the surface that occur when part of a lava tube collapses creating a window of sorts into the tube below. The team built a geology-based computer model using the data they had gathered from GRAIL and the photographs, along with other known information about lava tubes here on Earth and other features unique to the moon. The model then offered predictions regarding the possible existence of lava tubes below the surface of the moon and how big and stable they might be—the researchers reasoned that they could be much larger than those found on Earth due to less pressure from gravity.The model indicated that lava tubes were likely present and that they could be as wide as three miles across and still remain stable. Such a wide, long tube, the researchers note, might be an ideal form of shelter for future astronauts—they could live in the tubes along with all their gear free from the fear of being struck by space debris and the constant barrage of solar radiation. It would likely be easier to manage temperature control as well, making life less dangerous for future moon residents. More information: David M. Blair et al, The structural stability of lunar lava tubes, Icarus (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2016.10.008AbstractMounting evidence from the SELENE, LRO, and GRAIL spacecraft suggests the presence of vacant lava tubes under the surface of the Moon. GRAIL evidence, in particular, suggests that some may be more than a kilometer in width. Such large sublunarean structures would be of great benefit to future human exploration of the Moon, providing shelter from the harsh environment at the surface—but could empty lava tubes of this size be stable under lunar conditions? And what is the largest size at which they could remain structurally sound? We address these questions by creating elasto-plastic finite element models of lava tubes using the Abaqus modeling software and examining where there is local material failure in the tube’s roof. We assess the strength of the rock body using the Geological Strength Index method with values appropriate to the Moon, assign it a basaltic density derived from a modern re-analysis of lunar samples, and assume a 3:1 width-to-height ratio for the lava tube. Our results show that the stability of a lava tube depends on its width, its roof thickness, and whether the rock comprising the structure begins in a lithostatic or Poisson stress state. With a roof 2 m thick, lava tubes a kilometer or more in width can remain stable, supporting inferences from GRAIL observations. The theoretical maximum size of a lunar lava tube depends on a variety of factors, but given sufficient burial depth (500 m) and an initial lithostatic stress state, our results show that lava tubes up to 5 km wide may be able to remain structurally stable. Citation: Data from GRAIL spacecraft suggest moon may have large lava tubes (2016, December 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-12-grail-spacecraft-moon-large-lava.html Credit: CC0 Public Domainlast_img read more

Astronomers measure detailed chemical abundances of 158 stars in a nearby dwarf

first_imgThis image shows the model of the tidally shredded Sagittarius dwarf galaxy wrapping around a 3-D representation of the Milky Way disk (flattened blue spiral). The yellow dot represents the position of the Sun. Credit: David R. Law/UCLA. (Phys.org)—An international team of astronomers has performed detailed measurements of the chemical composition of 158 red giant stars in the nearby Sagittarius dwarf galaxy. The study, presented in a paper published July 11 on arXiv.org, is so far the largest and most chemically extensive high-resolution survey of this galaxy. Citation: Astronomers measure detailed chemical abundances of 158 stars in a nearby dwarf galaxy (2017, July 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-07-astronomers-chemical-abundances-stars-nearby.html More information: APOGEE Chemical Abundances of the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy, arXiv:1707.03456 [astro-ph.GA] arxiv.org/abs/1707.03456AbstractThe Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) provides the opportunity to measure elemental abundances for C, N, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, K, Ca, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, and Ni in vast numbers of stars. We analyze the chemical abundance patterns of these elements for 158 red giant stars belonging to the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy (Sgr). This is the largest sample of Sgr stars with detailed chemical abundances and the first time C, N, P, K, V, Cr, Co, and Ni have been studied at high-resolution in this galaxy. We find that the Sgr stars with [Fe/H] ≳ -0.8 are deficient in all elemental abundance ratios (expressed as [X/Fe]) relative to the Milky Way, suggesting that Sgr stars observed today were formed from gas that was less enriched by Type II SNe than stars formed in the Milky Way. By examining the relative deficiencies of the hydrostatic (O, Na, Mg, and Al) and explosive (Si, P, K, and Mn) elements, our analysis supports the argument that previous generations of Sgr stars were formed with a top-light IMF, one lacking the most massive stars that would normally pollute the ISM with the hydrostatic elements. We use a simple chemical evolution model, flexCE to further backup our claim and conclude that recent stellar generations of Fornax and the LMC could also have formed according to a top-light IMF. Farthest stars in Milky Way might be ripped from another galaxy Discovered in 1994, Sagittarius is a nearby, massive, elliptical loop-shaped satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The dwarf is currently merging with our galaxy, resulting in massive tidal tails that can be found in the Galactic halo. Therefore, detailed studies of Sagittarius could clarify the formation of Milky Way’s halo. Due to its proximity (about 88,000 light years away), the stars in the core of this dwarf galaxy are excellent targets for high-resolution spectroscopy observations using ground-based telescopes.So a team of researchers led by Sten Hasselquist of the New Mexico State University recently conducted detailed spectroscopic observations of Sagittarius as part of the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment, or APOGEE. The main goal of this survey is to study over 100,000 red giant stars across the full range of the galactic bulge, bar, disk, and halo. APOGEE makes use of a high-resolution near-infrared spectrograph connected to the Sloan Foundation 2.5m Telescope at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico in order to penetrate the dust that obscures significant fractions of the disk and bulge of our galaxy.Hasselquist and colleagues has used APOGEE’s spectrograph to estimate chemical composition of a large group of stars in Sagittarius. They managed to measure chemical abundances for the 16 elements, namely carbon (C), nitrogen (N), oxygen (O), sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg), aluminium (Al), silicon (Si), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), vanadium (V), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni).”The Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment provides the opportunity to measure elemental abundances for C, N, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, K, Ca, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, and Ni in vast numbers of stars. We analyze the chemical abundance patterns of these elements for 158 red giant stars belonging to the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy (Sgr),” the researchers wrote in the paper.These measurements revealed that Sagittarius is deficient, at various levels, in all the studied chemical-abundance ratios relative to iron. This indicates that the most recent generation stars in the dwarf galaxy with metallicity higher than -0.8 formed from gas that was much less polluted with Type II supernovae than the gas that formed stars in the Milky Way’s disk and bulge.”We find that the Sgr stars with [Fe/H] > -0.8 are deficient in all elemental abundance ratios (expressed as [X/Fe]) relative to the Milky Way, suggesting that Sgr stars observed today were formed from gas that was less enriched by Type II SNe than stars formed in the Milky Way,” the paper reads.The team also also found that asymptotic giant branch stars are much larger contributors to the chemical enrichment of Sagittarius when compared to our Milky Way galaxy.”We find clear signs of AGB enrichment beginning at [Fe/H] ∼ -0.6 in [(C+N)/Fe], [Na/Fe], and [Al/Fe], and that the abundance patterns of these elements approach the MW trend in the most metal-rich Sgr stars,” the authors noted. © 2017 Phys.org Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Delhis tryst with mangoes

first_imgArvind Kejriwal appreciated the festival and complimented the efforts of Delhi Tourism, in keeping the tradition of organizing this unique event alive from the past 27 years, which offers a delectable display of mango varieties under one roof.The 27th Mango Festival showcased over 500 varieties of mangoes, which were on display at the event. The various types of mangoes on display included Langra, Chausa, Amrapali, Rataul, Hussainara, Ramkela, Kesar, Fazri, Mallika and other assorted varieties. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The exhibition at the festival also offered sale of processed mango items including products like pickles, jam, chutney, mango pulp, mango juice, jelly, aam papad, and aam panna.The Mango festival also featured an array of recreational events and activities associated with mango, like mango eating competition for women and men, mango quiz and mango slogan writing competition for children, magic show and cultural performances. Dilli Haat, Janakpuri saw a large number of visitors on the very first day of the festival. The display this year also showcases mangoes, which are as small as a grape and as big as a papaya.last_img read more

We cannot survive without Jazz FONTE

first_imgThe Japan Foundation presented FONTE for a jazz performance on Saturday at FICCI Auditorium in the national Capital. The independent administrative institution aims at promoting a greater awareness and appreciation of Japanese arts and cultures with a better understanding of culture, art and music through such functions. The event was conceptualised by Misako Futsuki, Director of Japan Foundation. FONTE is a Japanese music group who was joined by performers including Indian musicians Gaurav Mazumdar and Mohit Lal and Japanese musician Kiichiro Komobuchi. An audience of around 850 music lovers enjoyed the evening’s jazz performance to the fullest, as the six performing artists enthralled them.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’FONTE has three members, Masami Nakagawa, Kazuhiko Obata and Gennoshin Yasui since their inception. The Japanese Foundation has invited Komobuchi for bass as a special guest. FONTE had come together when Yasui was in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Nakagawa visited him. During this visit, they had a chance to perform with Filo Machado (VoG) there and after coming back to Japan, they wanted to have the great performance again together with the guitar player, Obata. That is how the group got together and started performing. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhen asked what Jazz meant to them, they said that Jazz is same as daily meal for them and that it is a global language (to communicate with people from all over the world). “We cannot survive without Jazz,” was the first-class reply. One of the group members, Yasui was based in Brazil, that is how Brazilian music caught their attention and dedication. FONTE aims to elaborate Brazilian music freely and playfully. To answer how they feel about Indian classical music, they said that, it is very different and Indian classical music has a very unique and long tradition, totally dissimilar from other musical genres.  “Somehow it sounds very amorous or charming to us”, said the musicians. FONTE is hoping to have many chances to play around the world in the near future. The group was formed in 2004 and they released their first album, a live recording, titled ‘FONTE Live at Corcovado’. They spent a lot of time to record their second album, ‘Conforto’, whose theme was comfort, and was released in 2010, while recording of their third album, ‘ENERGIA’, started after the Great East Japan Earthquake.last_img read more

Mamata calls for return to ballots

first_imgKolkata: Giving a clarion call to bring back transparency in the voting process, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee proposed to hold elections in the Panchayats and civic bodies using ballot papers, replacing the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).She was addressing the largest rally till date to commemorate Martyrs’ Day, at Esplanade on Sunday afternoon. Police had gunned down 13 Youth Congress supporters who took part in a rally demanding “No ID card no vote” on July 21, 1993. Trinamool has been observing the day as Martyrs’ Day since the inception of the party on January 1, 1998. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”We will request the Election Commission to conduct elections in Panchayats, municipalities and corporations in ballot papers,” she said, adding: “BJP’s victory in 2019 Lok Sabha poll is a mystery and not history. USA and all the European countries have discarded EVMs and so our demand is justified. We will show the path.” It may be recalled that in the rallies before the general elections, Banerjee had repeatedly been vocal about the manipulation of EVMs. Many Opposition parties had echoed her voice but none had actually carried out any movement regarding the same. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateReferring to the cut money issue, she said: “BJP has misinterpreted what I had told my party men on the issue.” Coming down heavily on the saffron party, she raised the slogan ‘Return black money’ and instructed Trinamool workers to launch movements up to the block level, urging BJP to return black money. “I have evidence that BJP leaders had taken money for providing Ujala connections. Go back to your areas and launch movement urging BJP leaders to return the money which they had taken,” Banerjee said. She said Trinamool will organise rallies throughout the state, demanding that BJP should disclose the foreign funds which it had received before the general elections. “Indira Jaisingh’s residence was raided for receiving foreign funds worth Rs 90 lakh. But BJP has made law in such a way that it will not have to disclose the amount of foreign money it has received. Is it justified?” Banerjee questioned and added: “We have not received Rs 15 lakh in our accounts. We want BJP to return the black money it has received from different sources.” Referring to the deterioration of law and order situation in Bhatpara, she said: “This is the result of voting for BJP. There had not been any problem in Bhatpara in the past eight years. BJP is creating trouble everywhere. CPI(M)’s hoodlums who have joined BJP are now creating trouble in Khejuri and Keshpur.” Speaking about the “double standard” of BJP, the Trinamool supremo said: “In Uttar Pradesh Piyanka Gandhi and the Trinamool delegation led by Derek O’ Brien were not allowed to meet the family of the dalits who got killed a few days ago. In Assam, the Trinamool delegation which had gone to meet those whose names had been dropped from the NRC list, were not allowed to go out of the airport. However, a BJP delegation came from Delhi and met people in Bhatpara, flouting the prohibitory order under Section 144 CrPC.” Banerjee alleged that BJP is involved in horse trading in Bengal as well. “I was talking to one of our MLAS from North Bengal and he told me that BJP had proposed to give him Rs 2 crore and a petrol pump,” she said, adding: “People will shun them who will join BJP after taking money.” Cheering up the party workers assembled at the rally, she said: “There is nothing to worry. We have increased our vote percentage. Work seriously in your locality and build contacts with local people. Have faith in Trinamool and face any situation courageously and do not run away in case any trouble crops up.” “BJP will try out all means to scare us and harass us. But under no circumstance will we bow down to the party that has vitiated society,” she added. Meanwhile, she urged CPI(M) and Congress “not to take up self-destructive methods” and launch movement against BJP. “You do not have to support us. Put up a serious fight against the BJP,” she stated. Banerjee also announced the programmes which the party will undertake in the next few months.last_img read more

Why Men Started Shaving Their Beards for Health Reasons

first_imgThe threat of tuberculosis is still strong in many people’s minds. “TB” has affected humanity throughout its history, and it wasn’t until the start of the 20th century that doctors understood how the disease was spread. As described on the website of PBS, “Victims suffered from hacking, bloody coughs, debilitating pain in their lungs, and fatigue.” The affliction cast a shadow over millions. At the start of the 19th century a reported one in seven were dying from it.Public health campaigns in the 1920s tried to halt the spread of TB.Germ theory first entered public debate during the late 1800s, via figures such as chemist Louis Pasteur. Physician Robert Koch’s “tubercule baccilum” pushed Mankind further toward enlightenment, though it took some years to catch on.When the idea of bacteria and contagion was finally established, it replaced old notions of the condition being hereditary.Robert Koch discovered the tuberculosis bacillus.The presence of germs ushered in greater hygiene, and a concerted effort in countries like America to promote a new standard of healthy living. So while TB was a terrible thing, it also had an effect on modern society for the better.One small but significant impact on the male population was the removal of beards. Facial hair has all manner of importance to a man’s psyche, from religious conviction to simply wanting to look rugged.An iconic photograph of a bearded Abraham Lincoln showing his head and shoulders.However, tuberculosis cared not for these beliefs and conventions, playing havoc with furry chins in the Land of the Free. The clean-shaven look became essential, yet prior to that, the beard was seen as a protector from disease rather than its incubator.The Museum of Healthcare site writes that, in 1881, “Dr. Tom Robinson, an English physician… encourages men to grow facial hair to help prevent illness. According to Robinson, who drew on medical literature dating back to the Renaissance… medical conditions such as loose and sore teeth, nasal catarrh… and facial neuralgia… could all be prevented.”Before Germ Theory was widely accepted, people thought that a beard could protect it’s wearer from harmful particles in the air.While it seems ridiculous now, before Pasteur and Koch’s research was announced, a beard possessed qualities that positioned it as a kind of health shield for the face.The piece goes on to say, “soldiers with facial hair were less likely to be admitted to hospital with respiratory ailments such as bronchitis because it was believed that the hair could sift out harmful particles in the air.”Civil war soldiers with beards.By the beginnings of the 20th century, that baby was being thrown out the window, along with the infected bathwater. In North America the “contamination of milk supplies in New York became an international headline when it was argued that facial hair could harbor farmyard dirt or tuberculosis, which could then end up in the milk.”A rule was put in place whereby “only clean-shaven men would be allowed to milk cows and deliver their product to distribution centers.” From there the sight of a beard became unwholesome, and not only that but a danger to human life.Roland Richer (VSer) shaving Grandpa Abe Mast, 96 years old.Within decades the government’s message of fresh air and germ awareness, combined with antibiotics development, had taken the fight to TB and won.Intriguingly, this plague led to the expansion of American culture, as people wanting to escape TB set up home along the railroad. Their endeavors saw the construction of cities, together with an embracing of the outdoors life as a bedrock of public health.As PBS summarizes, “The acceptance of tuberculosis as a contagion had a huge impact on American society, not only in medicine and public health policy, but also in recreation, city planning, and even popular fashion.”Read another story from us: Men in Russia used to be Taxed for Growing a BeardThe beard emerged from the devastation and has recurred as a fashionable adornment over the decades. But arguably its reputation was damaged forever after its run in with tuberculosis.If Mankind has become less whiskery as a result, then surely that is a small price to pay.last_img read more

The Herd Hierarchy through NFL Week 8

first_imgNew England Patriots – Patriots cruise into their bye week at 7-1, and head and shoulders above the rest of the NFL. Tom Brady is playing out of his skull. He has 12 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, while completing over 70% of his passes and averaging 300 yards passing per game. Colin thinks the Patriots wide receivers are underrated, and Gronk and Martellus Bennett form the most lethal tight end combination in the NFL. The Patriots are clearly the best team in the NFL through Week 8. Every Tuesday, with all the NFL games in the book, it’s time for The Herd Hierarchy, Colin’s power rankings of his Top 10 NFL teams.This week, the Vikings are falling fast, and if they can’t resolve their offensive line issues, they may be on their way out. The Falcons are moving up after outlasting the Packers with another impressive offensive performance, and Derek Carr is willing the Raiders to continued Hierarchy love.Here’s the Herd Hierarchy through 8 weeks of the 2016 NFL season.10. Minnesota Vikings – How fast the mighty have fallen. Just two weeks ago, the Vikings were undefeated, and atop the hierarchy. They got smoked by the Bears last night, and are missing their 2 starting tackles, which has been exposed in their losses. The Viking defense is still among the best in the NFL. They’re 1st in turnover differential (+11), scoring defense (14.9 ppg), and are tied for 1st in takeaways (16). Colin still loves the overall roster talent, but they need to solve their o-line issues.Shot 10 – #Eagles nearly ‘trap’ Bradford here. Fool him into thinking he has man; actually is Cover 2. Ball thrown out further is a Pick 6 pic.twitter.com/qM2EcdvX4u— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) October 24, 2016 8. Washington Redskins – Washington has been making it rain for Colin all year in the Blazin’ 5, so he’s partial.  The Kirk Cousins led Washington offense leads the NFL with 186 first downs, and only has 8 three-and-outs on the year. They also rank 2nd in yards per play, and have the 3rd most plays of 10+ yards in the NFL (122). Colin is a believer in Washington becoming a huge factor in the eventual NFC playoff picture.Welcome back to the end zone, Jordan Reed. #HTTR #DCtoUK #WASvsCIN https://t.co/WLECg8c8w5— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) October 30, 2016 A record-breaking celebration.Check out our Snapchat story for more videos from yesterday’s win.?: patriots pic.twitter.com/oPNpdO1CL7— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 31, 2016 5. Kansas City Chiefs – Colin loves him some Andy Reid, and right now, he has the Chiefs playing well. Kansas City is 5-2, and riding a 3-game win streak, during which they’re holding opponents to 15 points per game. Their 15-2 record since Week 7 of last year is the best in the NFL. They’ve managed to win games despite injuries, which is a testament to superior coaching. Colin likes the dull, but effective Chiefs. 9. Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles have been a pleasant surprise, despite dropping a tough one against Dallas on Sunday night. They lead the NFL in time of possession, and their +62 scoring differential is 2nd best in the league. The Philly defense has played well. They rank in the Top 5 in points allowed per game (16.7). They’ve experienced some recent growing pains, but all the arrows are trending up in the long term for the Eagles.Shot 10 – 4th Quarter: Another complement to Bubble, this time a double pass from Huff to Matthews. Falls incomplete #Eagles pic.twitter.com/xn8nxyNZph— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) October 31, 2016 4. Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons offense is a juggernaut, and ranks 1st in the NFL in points, yards per play, yards per game, and plays of 20+ yards. Their 31st ranked scoring is a cause for concern, but if they can get a home game in the dome in the playoffs, they’ll be tough to beat. Colin like the weapons and balanced offensive attack. Matt Ryan has played at a high level.NFL Week 8 Film Review: #RiseUp QB Matt Ryan example of QB Touch/Deep Accuracy for TD: pic.twitter.com/Yikz0PoLV1— The Scouting Academy (@TheScoutAcademy) November 1, 20163. Seattle Seahawks – Colin isn’t ready to sell the Seahawks, even after a loss in New Orleans. Russell Wilson is more hurt than Pete Carroll is letting on, and doesn’t have a passing touchdown in his last 3 games. But, they’re reaching a soft spot in their schedule which should allow them to gain some momentum. The Seattle defense is still elite, ranking 2nd in scoring defense and 3rd in sacks. Don’t write off the Seahawks if Wilson can get right, physically.#Area29 + ? = Touchdown#SEAvsNO https://t.co/PLD78H6izY— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 30, 20162. Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys are 6-1, and Dak Prescott just beat the rival Eagles, even though he played his worst game as a pro. The Cowboys are squeezing the life out of their opponents with the best offensive line and rushing attack in the NFL. They rank 2nd in time of possession, and 4th in yards per play. The recent injuries in the secondary are cause for concern, but Colin loves Dallas.Shot 1 – Team run D was very strong vs Dallas. Great job here by Beau Allen, Connor Barwin and Nigel Bradham front-side vs Stretch play pic.twitter.com/sIlTe2fPQQ— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) November 1, 2016 7. Denver Broncos – Rookie quarterback Trevor Siemian is as remarkable a story as Dak Prescott. When comparing their numbers, it’s hard to tell the difference. Siemian is also doing it with a worse offensive line and running game to lean on. Denver is still the top defense in the NFL, ranking 1st in sacks, pass defense, and opponents yards per play, and 2nd in the league with 16 takeaways. They do have offensive limitations, but the defense will keep most games close, giving them a chance to win..@BradRoby_1 picked on Philip Rivers on Sunday. https://t.co/f3nI98eYNo— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) November 1, 20166. Oakland Raiders – Oakland’s 31st ranked overall defense is a complete mess, but Derek Carr has bailed them out of games all year. He’s Colin’s MVP so far this year.  Five of Oakland’s six wins have come by 7 points or less, with Carr’s crucial throws being the difference in the final score. In last week’s overtime win at Tampa, Carr set a Raider franchise record with 513 passing yards, including the game winning touchdown pass. He doesn’t think the Raiders will contend for a title this year, but the organization is definitely on the right track, and a fun watch.513 yds➡️ Franchise record40/59 passes➡️ 0 INTAnddd 4 TDs.@derekcarrqb’s Week 8 Highlights? https://t.co/wZxfRGUIDX— NFL (@NFL) October 31, 2016 Check out the video..@ColinCowherd‘s NFL Power Rankings #HerdHierarchy pic.twitter.com/cKzgtQ2b8I— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) November 1, 2016last_img read more

A New App for Reporting CustomerService Issues

first_img 2 min read March 7, 2012 This story appears in the March 2012 issue of . Subscribe » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » Unless there’s a serious problem, most people don’t pay attention to those “How am I driving?” stickers on the backs of commercial vehicles. But for Joe Beninato, a veteran of multiple Silicon Valley startups, the stickers got him thinking: Why was there not a similar reporting system for the slew of service employees–waiters, store clerks, flight attendants–consumers deal with every day? Could there be a way for him to quickly let companies know how their employees are performing?In early 2010 the Los Altos, Calif., resident began working on Tello, a mobile platform and app that allows users to report on customer service–and only that (as opposed to such services as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google’s Place Pages, which can get cluttered with reviewer comments on everything from pricing to décor). Soon after Beninato set up shop, he attracted $1 million in seed funding from a team of 10 early-stage angel investors.Since then, the iPhone and mobile web app has grown to “thousands of users and thousands of businesses,” Beninato says, driven largely by word-of-mouth. In February, the company launched Tello for Business, which immediately notifies business owners or managers when customer service reviews are posted, so they can get a jump on damage control if necessary.Beninato, who hopes consumers will check Tello before making a purchase, is enjoying his front-row look into the world of employee-customer interaction. Surprisingly, he says, “80 percent of the ratings are positive,” adding, “We were expecting predominantly complaints, but it’s been the exact opposite of that. People are trying to thank someone for doing a good job for them.” last_img read more

Belly App Converts Damn Paper Punchcards to Digital

first_imgNovember 12, 2012 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global While customers now routinely “check in” to favorite shops and restaurants using various social media, many small businesses still rely on old-fashioned punchcards as their primary loyalty program. One rewards startup, Belly, is trying to change that.  Belly works one-on-one with small and medium businesses to create digital loyalty programs and to design customer rewards that are more unique than the typical “buy 10, get one free” deal. Customers can use Belly either on a physical card — intended to replace every other reward card in their wallet — or on a mobile app. We talked to 30-year-old founder Logan LaHive by email to learn what makes Belly stand out. What follows is an edited version of our exchange.Entrepreneur: How did Belly come about?LaHive: Belly arose as most disruptive businesses do: out of the desire to solve a problem. We saw large companies building marketing programs and technology to reward and incentivize their customers, but there were no tools effectively solving this problem for small [and] medium businesses. We set out to level the playing field.Our goal is to take the traditionally offline experience of shopping in a small business, and bring it into the digital era. To help businesses foster better relationships with their customers via a custom and unique digital loyalty program — a program that enables data, analytics, communication tools and social advocacy. We set out [to] help customers of these businesses consolidate all those damn paper punchcards into one place, and get rewarded at all their favorite businesses.Related: A Buzzworthy Startup Rethinks the Political ProcessEntrepreneur: What makes Belly valuable to customers and businesses?LaHive: Belly is a digital loyalty program built with a deep understanding and respect for small businesses and their customers. Loyalty to a small business is not about a coupon. It’s not $2 off on your bank statement. It has nothing to do with how you pay. Loyalty to a small business is wanting to go where someone knows your name….where you love the culture, personality and product that they sell.That’s the key for Belly — we enable businesses to have a custom and unique loyalty program, while being part of our universal network. We provide everything they need, including the iPad, physical loyalty cards, marketing materials, data and communication tools. By having a physical loyalty card, every customer that comes through the door can sign up, and with the mobile, users can discover locations, view rewards and get offers straight to their phones. [It’s the] best of both worlds.Entrepreneur: How challenging has it been to build Belly?LaHive: A wise mentor once told me that a fast-growing startup is like trying to assemble an airplane mid-flight. Truer words have never been spoken. It was a process of iteration to build Belly — one filled with months spent entirely in stores talking to small-business owners and their customers, understanding their needs, then building that product for them.Related: The Man Who’s Turning Cities Into Trivia GamesEntrepreneur: What are your finances like?LaHive: We raised just shy of $16 million in our first year of operation, from phenomenal investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Lightbank and Silicon Valley Bank. While this level of investment from top-tier investors is a nice endorsement of our position as the leader in the digital loyalty space, we are acutely aware this money is intended to support scaling our business quickly, adding new markets and investing in the continual innovation of our product.Entrepreneur: What are your plans for growth?LaHive: We are expanding our universal loyalty platform to new markets, growing our merchant, user and engagement numbers at astonishing rates, and rolling out new products to improve the Belly experience. But beyond just achieving ubiquity as a loyalty solution, we view Belly as the means for businesses to create relevant, lasting and data-driven digital relationships with their customers. And our position — a customer-facing tablet at point of sale — very much enables us to execute on those plans. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 4 min read Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

Government Shuts Down Small Brewerys Beer Drones

first_img If you’ve ever been out ice fishing on a cold winter’s day in Minnesota, you know that swinging by a convenience store to pick up beer is, well, not so convenient. Lakemaid, a small Wisconsin-based brewery found a solution for that: a remote controlled drone that could touch down with a twelve-pack. That is, until the government stepped in.Less than a week after Lakemaid posted a YouTube video showing the beer delivery drone in action, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) forced the company to pull the unmanned drones from the air. According to FAA rules, drones cannot be employed for commercial purposes, no matter what brew the ice fishers are craving.Drones’ commercial usage has recently garnered press with companies such as Amazon working on delivery systems with a sci-fi feel. With companies actually employing drones as a means of delivery, the FAA has fallen behind the curve of innovation, and has been forced to start revising their rules for the airspace.Related: Revolutionizing the Film Industry With Remote-Controlled DronesFans of Lakemaid, however, are more concerned with their beer’s safe delivery than the FAA’s uneasiness surrounding commercial drones. Backlash from the FAA’s decision has ignited a firestorm of discussion on social media as well as broad mainstream coverage of the issue.Supporters of Lakemaid have even been inspired to begin a petition on Whitehouse.gov. “The FAA has recently revoked authorization for a struggling small business to deliver its product via Unmanned Aerial Vehicle,” the petition reads. “The FAA has no standing to restrict the delivery of products by small businesses and choke economic growth.”Related: Attack Drones, a Smelly Smartphone App and a Smart Paper Airplane-Jet This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 2 min read February 5, 2014center_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

WATCH Kids React to Old Computers With Wonder and Confusion

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 2 min read Enroll Now for Free May 27, 2014center_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Kids are easily the most tech savvy among us — “digital natives” in the truest sense of the admittedly tired phrase — which is why seeing them confronted with old tech is bound to produce some entertaining results.YouTubers Benny and Rafi Fine, known as The Fine Brothers, showed the cast of their “Kids React” series a 70s-era Apple computer to varying responses – many were confused, particularly about the size and the lack of a mouse, but others were delighted. “It looks cool, I like pressing buttons,” said Krischelle, 9.The computer required several steps to turn on (as well as hitting the reset button to have it be of any use) and the lack of features turned out to be a bit rage-inducing. “Apps, games, websites. Everything.  But this thing right here, has nothing!” said Brooke-Monae, 8.Related: Kids See a Walkman for Maybe the First Time EverUpon the reveal that it wasn’t equipped for the internet — a request for Google returned an answer of “syntax error,” for Kacey, 9 — Dylan, 12, astutely pointed out, “Pretty sure Timothy Berners-Lee didn’t create it yet.” Jayka, 11, asked “How do you look up homework?” When offered the library as a solution, she exclaimed “who wants to do that?”But a computer game, that great equalizer, came to the rescue — but in the form of a floppy disk. The graphics weren’t too advanced, but Sydney, 6, thought it was an improvement on some of the games in the current Apple app store. “At least it’s better Flappy Bird!”Check out the entire video below.last_img read more

With Eye on Small Businesses Google Gets Into the Domain Registration Game

first_img 2 min read June 24, 2014 Listen Now Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Look out, GoDaddy. Google is building a domain registration service aimed at helping small businesses develop or imprve their web presence.Google Domains is still in a beta invite-only phase, but once it officially launches, businesses will be able to find and buy the domain they desire including ones with popular suffixes like “.com,” “.org” and new ones that will become available in the near future.Google Domain sites will be hosted on Google’s own DNS servers – which the company says guarantees a quick response time — and users will be able to buy and sell their domains without being charged extra for private registration. They’ll also be able to create up to 100 email addresses and 100 customized subdomains. Related: Google Unveils New Tool for Businesses to Manage Their Online PresenceThe company says users who purchase or transfer a domain to Google Domains can create their websites through one of their partnering website builders — Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly and Wix.Through Domains, the tech giant is taking aim at GoDaddy, which filed for an initial public offering earlier this month, and other domain-name registration companies.Related: Google Just Bought a Satellite Company for $500 MillionThe move also extends Google’s push to serve small businesses. About 55 percent of small businesses still don’t have their own website, which hurts their growth and job growth, according to a study cited by Google.Earlier this month, Google released its My Business dashboard to help small businesses manage their web presence more easily across Google’s products from a centralized dashboard.Related: Google-Owned Nest Buys Dropcam, a Home-Monitoring Startup, for $555 Million Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger.last_img read more

EBay Is the Single Most Influential Company of the Modern Era

first_imgOctober 30, 2018 5 min read Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Tech is absolutely triumphant in our world. Today, seven of the top 10 companies by market cap are technology companies. Two of these have become the first trillion-dollar companies. And investors talk of the fearsome FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) who between them seem to have sewn up entire markets ranging from ecommerce to video to advertising. But, there is one once high-flying tech company that seldom gets mentioned anymore: eBay. From a historical perspective, eBay is perhaps the single most influential company to lay the groundwork for the modern era, so its comparative obscurity is unfortunate.Related: EBay Accuses Amazon of Trying to Steal SellersDon’t believe me? Think of what eBay has wrought.EBay taught us all to trust strangers online. You can go back and read business articles from the ’90s where people wonder whether anyone will even trust their credit cards to reputable companies online, much less some schmo halfway across the country. EBay helped make ecommerce palatable and friendly, and it taught us that yes, in fact, you can successfully do business with people you’ve never met.EBay taught us to trust strangers via its vaunted reputation system. This was largely dreamed up by Pierre Omidyar, et. al., because they didn’t want the hassle of adjudicating disputes between their members. Better to let the members do it themselves. Quite by accident, they taught us all that large groups of strangers could self-organize and self-police and, more or less, function as a self-sustaining community of users.Related: Why It’s Nearly Impossible To Stop This Amazon and eBay SchemeToday we live in a world where open source projects and things like Wikipedia are self-correcting organisms that get things more or less right. But, it’s hard to imagine how radical a notion it was in the mid-1990s that any sort of order could be brought to the faceless din of the internet. Of course, now we live in a world dominated by the model of the five-star review. Where would things like Yelp or TripAdvisor be without this paradigm? Or Uber, or AirBnB or the entire gig economy?EBay is today only about a third the size of its former subsidiary, PayPal, but noting that only does a disservice to the way eBay made PayPal and thus the very concept of modern digital payments mainstream. It’s hard to imagine modern fintech highfliers like Square, Stripe and others would be where they are today without the path blazed by eBay and PayPal. And though the blockchain is an entirely different beast, without the popularizing of post-cash economies that eBay/PayPal did the grunt work for, whither Bitcoin?There’s a famous story that early on in eBay’s development, big newspaper chains came to kick the tires, looking at a potential acquisition. (Whatever the conventional wisdom, publishers weren’t dumb; they could see the threat to their classifieds cash cow.) But, the potential acquirers famously balked because “eBay didn’t own anything.” They were thinking of things like warehouses, or trucks or supply chains of course, but also something even more ephemeral. EBay didn’t do anything. Only its users did. Sure, eBay was a marketplace, a platform … but all of the value created was created by the users themselves. EBay had no claim on anything they did.Related: Check Out the First Job Listing Jeff Bezos Posted for Amazon 24 Years AgoOver the last 20 years, this has become more common. Any social network has built its business on the activity of its users, on the serendipitous coagulation of all those people posting all that content. Most social networks have only been able to monetize this in aid of selling ads against our activities, so perhaps eBay’s platform for actual economic commerce seems somehow more noble in comparison. But, eBay was the first to show that it was the users (in eBay’s parlance that has been copied by so many others, the community) that were so valuable. In fact, more valuable than any other tangible asset. Network effects can be more valuable than gold.As I’ve said, eBay’s prominence in the tech industry has waned. The latest quarterly numbers are no longer anticipated with bated breath by analysts even as much as with an upstart like Snap. And as stipulated, perhaps PayPal turned out to be a “better” business than an online auction business ever could have been. And yet, maybe that’s to eBay’s lasting benefit. Unlike other tech companies that are forced to continuously reinvent themselves to stave off disruptors coming up from behind, and, of course, to deliver better numbers quarter after quarter, what if eBay is actually the tech company that has matured (and aged) the best? Out of the limelight, it is free to do the thing it was born to do, and the thing that it has never been surpassed at: being the best, auction-based marketplace that has even been devised. Listen Nowlast_img read more

How to Spring Clean Your Website With Content Auditing

first_imgMay 9, 2019 5 min read Hooray! It’s that time of year! Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, sunshine is streaming; and hordes of people are taking the opportunity to clear out their cluttered closets and drawers, reorganize their stuff and give their homes a deep clean.Related: How to Make Your Small Business Website Really, Really EffectiveBut, did you know that your website needs a spring cleaning, too?Of course, you can’t physically dust off your website content to make it look shiny and new. But, nonetheless, you do need to give your website content the proverbial spring cleaning it deserves — with a content audit.Conducting a content audit can provide you actionable insights into what type of content is performing the best with your audience, improve your content’s return on investment (ROI) and improve your content-marketing strategy for the future. Plus, cleaning and organizing is good for you. According to a study reported by Psychology Today, people with clean houses are healthier than those with messy one. The same could be said for people with clean websites.So, to give your website a refresh, follow these steps outlining how to “spring clean” your website, using content auditing.Set clear goals.Before diving into your content audit, first set clear goals. Setting goals for your content audit will help you better determine which content is working well, what needs improving and updating and what needs to be retired. By keeping the goals of your content audit in mind, you’ll find it easier to get the big picture on your goals overall. For instance, in terms of your content audit, do you want to:Improve your SEO results?Increase audience engagement?Improve conversion rates?Depending on your goals, you can consider different criteria for each page or post. For instance, to improve SEO results, you’ll look over and optimize internal linking. To increase audience engagement, you’ll determine what topics your audience is most interested in. And, to improve conversion rates, you’ll identify the most efficient content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.Related: How to Create a Site Structure That Will Enhance SEOCreate a content inventory.Next, you’ll want to create an inventory of all your content. So, compile a list of all your URLs and put them in a spreadsheet. If your site is small, you can easily do this manually.But, if you have a ton of content on your website, this task might be more time-consuming, so consider delegating it to another employee in your company, or hire a freelancer to complete the task or use a crawling tool like Screaming Frog, which is free to use for up to 500 URLs. In the spreadsheet you create, list all the URLS in columns along with other details such as:Title of the contentType of content (blog post, landing page, product description)Date of publication or last modificationAuthor (if you have multiple authors on your site)Stage of the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision)Number of wordsMetadata (title, description)Metrics such as number of page visits, time spent on page, conversion rate, backlinks, shares, ranking for the main keywords, and so on.Then consult your analytics tool to discover all of the key metrics you need to know. As you build this list of your content inventory, you’ll be able to easily identify which content is underperforming.Assess your content and take action.Once you’ve taken inventory of all your content in an organized spreadsheet, it’s time to assess your content and take action. In this step, you’ll identify what content is performing well for you, what you need to change/update, what you can merge and what you can get rid of.Again, go back to the goals you set for your content audit. If your main goal is to improve conversions, you’ll mainly want to focus on metrics such as conversion rate and time spent on the page as well as what stage of the buyer’s journey your content is for.For instance, when filling out your spreadsheet you may notice that you have lots of content for the decision stage of the buyer’s journey and not enough for the consideration or awareness stages. You can then go ahead and start planning more content to guide users through each stage of the buyer’s journey or edit your existing content as needed.To make the process of assessing your content easier, create another column in your inventory spreadsheet to grade your content. You can use A,B,C,D grading or give your content a score from 1 to 5. If the content is performing well across all metrics, you can give it a top score. Other content that’s not performing as well can then be updated and tweaked to meet your goals.Related: 27 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your WebsiteOver to you”Spring cleaning” has never been more enjoyable, right? By cleaning your website using content auditing, you can enjoy increased organic traffic, a rise in audience engagement and a big boost in conversions. Marie Kondo’s got nothing on you and your spring cleaning skills! Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »last_img read more

Killer Deal 250 Off Every Google Pixel Slate

first_imgCurrently, Amazon has the Google Pixel Slate w/ Core i5 (128GB) on sale for $749. This laptop/tablet hybrid costs $999 direct from Google, so that’s $250 off. It’s the lowest price we’ve seen for this configuration and one of the best 2-in-1 deals of the year. (Best Buy offers the same price).  Even better, Amazon is taking $250 off all configurations of the Pixel Slate. The Pixel Slate sports an anodized aluminum chassis and Midnight Blue finish. Not only is it strong and durable, it looks great in any classroom or a boardroom. At 1.6 pounds and 0.3 inches thick, the Pixel Slate is lighter than the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (1.7 pounds, 0.3 inches) and the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 (1.8 pounds, 0.3 inches). Compared to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2018) (1.4 pounds, 0.2 inches), it’s also heavier and chunkier.  The Google Pixel Slate features a 12.3-inch 3000 x 2000 touch LCD, 1.3GHz Core i5-8200Y dual-core CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. It can be paired with an optional keyboard and stylus pen (sold separately) to maximize your productivity. Google Pixel Slate w/ Core m3 (64GB): was $799 now $549 @ AmazonGoogle Pixel Slate w/ Core i5 (128GB): was $999 now $749 @ AmazonGoogle Pixel Slate w/ Core i7 (256GB): was $1,599 now $1,349 @ Amazon We watched a remastered version of the 1977 film Suspiria. The Google Pixel Slate’s 12.3-inch screen offers such great color and detail that we noticed excellent reproduction of the shining gold that adorns the dance academy’s facade. We also saw a ton of crisp details in the Slate’s 3000 x 2000-pixel panel.  We’re not sure how long this sale will last, so make sure to get Google’s 2-in-1 while you can.  The Google Pixel Slate lasted 9 hours and 51 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (web browsing at 150 nits), which is above the 8:13 category average. It outlasted the Surface Pro 6 (9:20), but fell short of the iPad Pro (13:14) and the Galaxy Book 2 (10:41).center_img In our Google Pixel Slate review (we reviewed the Core i5 model), we liked its sharp, vibrant screen, great audio and long battery life. Google Pixel Slate ReviewBest Laptop Deals August is peak season for back-to-school deals and if you’re shopping for a hybrid, Amazon is taking a few Benjamins off one of the best 2-in-1 tablets  around. Performance-wise, the Pixel Slate’s hardware configuration offers ample speed for everyday tasks. We experienced no lag while playing a 1080p YouTube video with 12 Chrome tabs open, while Twitter, 1Password, and Discord apps ran in the background.    by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GameIf You Have a Computer, This Strategy Game Is a Must-HaveVikings: Free Online GameUndoKelley Blue Book5 Mid-engine Corvettes That Weren’tKelley Blue BookUndoCNN International for ANAWhy Tennis Pundits Are Tipping This WomanCNN International for ANAUndoMayo ClinicManaging psoriatic arthritis painMayo ClinicUndoVerizon WirelessThis new phone will blow your mind.Verizon WirelessUndoTODAYCeline Dion Discusses Her Recent Weight Loss: ‘Everything’s Fine’TODAYUndoAdvertisementlast_img read more