Dr. Pimple Popper Just Popped A Monster Inflamed Cyst In The Ultimate Popaholic Challenge Youtube Video – Women’s Health

The wait is finally over Popaholics, you've made it to a whole new year and to the finale video of the Ultimate Popaholic Challenge. The popping videos have gotten truly wild, and dermatologist Sandra Lee, MD, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, has saved the best for last. For level 10 of the Ultimate Popaholic Challenge, she tackles an abscess waterfall cyst in the new Youtube video.

Dr. Pimple Popper congratulated her fans in the caption: "If you guessed it would be an abscess cyst or more specifically a waterfall cyst you were right! Congrats to everyone that made it this far, no pop can hold you back! Now lets enjoy this waterfall of a cyst"

ICYMI: Dr. Pimple Popper launched the Ultimate Popaholic Challenge last week with blackhead pops and a seriously huge dilated pore of winer. Dr. Pimple Popper also shared all the details of the Ultimate Popaholic Challenge: "I'll be uploading some of the best and most extreme POPS we've ever had. Everyday, the videos get a little more intense, how far will you be able to go??? Do YOU have what it takes to be the ULTIMATE POPAHOLIC? Tune in Daily to find out."

Dr. Pimple Popper tackles the inflamed cyst in a whopping 50-minute Youtube video. Get comfortable and grab your snacks, folks. The doc adds commentary as she works. She writes: "There are small pustules overlying this cyst, as it is coming to a head."

She starts by numbing the area and slicing into the top of the cyst with a scalpel. Dr. Pimple Popper barely grazes the surface, and already the waterfall starts flowing. The cyst does not stop gushing. "It wants to come out," Dr. Pimple Popper says. They have a bowl set up under the cyst to catch everything streaming out. The monster cyst surprises the doc, too. She says, "Where is this coming from?"

The dermatologist has at least one food metaphor on the mind. "It looks like cafe au lait with peppermint," Dr. Pimple Popper explained. "It's always surprising to see how much comes out. It sprayed on my shoe before."

Dr. Pimple Popper's fans are loving the final pop. One Popaholic wrote: "I guess Dr lee didnt listen to TLC and decided to chase that waterfall." Another fan shared, "One of the best pops of all time! I love cyst drainage!"

Congrats to all the Popaholics who made it through the Ultimate Popaholic Challenge.

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Dr. Pimple Popper Just Popped A Monster Inflamed Cyst In The Ultimate Popaholic Challenge Youtube Video - Women's Health

Four Ways To Prepare Yourself For Real Estate Investing Success In 2020 – Forbes

As we wound down 2019 with low interest rates and rising rental demand, it was clear to see that it had been a great year for investors. Considering this is the season of New Years resolutions, the following are four ways investors can up their competitive game and prepare themselves for even greater real estate investing success in 2020.

1. Ditch the paperwork and go digital.

The digital revolution has improved our lives in so many different ways, from social media to online shopping and vacation planning to bill paying and even buying and managing real estate investments. Ditching the paperwork and going digital was a game-changer in my real estate investing business, and it can be in yours too. Heading into 2020, set up the processes and systems so you can go almost entirely digital. The advantages of storing and organizing real estate documents online include:

Reducing physical storage space.

Bank-encryption security to minimize the risk of document theft or loss.

Preserve historic documents such as year-end financial statements for tax purposes.

Efficient retrieval and information sharing with business partners, CPAs or attorneys 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

Save money and be friendlier to the environment.

I dont know how many times Ive been on-site at one of my properties, chatting with a property manager or vendor, at a bank or talking with a member of my team when I needed to reference a document. Going digital makes it as simple as taking out your smartphone and having the answers at your fingertips.

2. Get your asset protection strategy in order.

Real estate investors who think its easier to ask for forgiveness than permission may be in for a rude awakening when they start getting into legal gray areas.Successful investors know that following rules and regulations shouldnt be viewed as an obstacle. People who have been there, done that know that it is important to protect yourself, your assets and investors from a worst-case scenario.

Real estate investors should protect themselves by:

Obtaining full coverage insurance for your property. Property damage and theft, fire and construction insurance, liability insurance that covers claims from tenants and their guests and loss of income with business interruption insurance coverage. Its also critical that your tenants have renters insurance and can provide proof of coverage. At the end of each year, I like to review current insurance coverage to ensure that its still adequate perhaps there have been changes to a building over the years. There may also be ways to reduce your costs if some coverage is no longer needed.

Reviewing what asset protection is right for you. LLCs help protect the members of the company from the liabilities and business debts, but they also have drawbacks. Understand whether this type of asset protection is right for you and consider others. If you dont choose the LLC route, you may want to explore umbrella insurance or use a combination thereof.

3. Prepare today for tax success tomorrow.

Lets face it: in addition to generating income, one of the main reasons we invest in real estate is for tax benefits. As youre digitizing your business, take the opportunity to get all your tax documents ready and organized for filing, whether on your own or with your accountant. Its never too early to begin preparing for tax season.

Smooth your tax information-gathering process by:

Tracking your income and expenses throughout the year using digital tools

Uploading and storing documents and receipts whenever you receive them

Talking with your accountant about how you can take advantage of other tax strategies like pass-through deductions and casualty losses

Keep in mind the various tax advantages that may be available to you as a real estate investor, such as:

Depreciation, a non-cash expense that allows you to reduce taxable net income

20% pass-through deduction of qualified business income helps maximize deductions for qualifying taxpayers

Deductions from a large list of business expenses allowed by the IRS for rental property income

The 1031 tax-deferred exchange, which can be leveraged to sell one property and buy another without paying capital gains

Taxes can be complex, but they dont have to be complicated if you are prepared.

4. Always learn.

Real estate education is a building block to success as an investor. We learn, we take action, we make mistakes and we adjust accordingly.

Some of my favorite resources for learning to invest in real estate in 2020 include:

Books on real estate written by experienced investors. TheStreet published a helpful summary of the best investing books from 2019.

Online seminars through blogs, videos and podcasts that are free and on-demand. One of my favorite podcasts is Bigger Pockets, and there are various others to choose from and add to your list.

Newsletters are a great way to stay abreast of the latest real estate news.

In-person training sessions led by a motivating and experienced instructor.

Mentors who can provide one-on-one advice and help you avoid mistakes that even experienced real estate investors can make.

Investment clubs, apartment associations and meetups in your local market for networking and finding off-market deals.

For real estate success in 2020 and beyond, the key steps investors should take are to go digital, get your legal house in order, prepare now for tax time and always seek out education opportunities. These will be the hallmarks of real estate investing success in 2020.

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Four Ways To Prepare Yourself For Real Estate Investing Success In 2020 - Forbes

Behind the scenes in the Getty photo archives with ‘Unseen’ – Los Angeles Times

The photo album has been worn soft by the press of countless fingers, its water-stained cover turned the color of spilled coffee. Labeled London Boys Home, 1857, the album contains careful portraits of young men accompanied by neat handwritten script detailing biographies worthy of a Charles Dickens novel.

Fourteen-year-old William Ford is shown stiffly sitting in a suit twice his size. His slicked-back hair and high forehead tower above a small, pinched face with a long nose and sorrowful stare. The reader is told that Ford was admitted to the school on June 2, 1855. His parents are dead; his brother is a railway porter who is now out of work.

The school arranged for William to travel to Canada for employment, but his conduct on board the ship was not commendable and he gambled some of his clothes away during the voyage. The last entry in his biography, dated March 18, 1858, notes that our wee hero is in Toronto selling muffins.

The rare handmade book was rediscovered in the Getty Museums main photo storage vault by senior curator of photographs Jim Ganz, who was searching for gems to include in the new exhibit Unseen: 35 Years of Collecting Photographs, which runs at the Getty Center through March 8.

Created to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the founding of the museums department of photographs, Unseen features images from the collection that have never before been exhibited at the museum.

The Getty museums new exhibit Unseen is something of curatorial mixtape.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Work by prestigious names like Nan Goldin, Weegee, William Eggleston, Laura Aguilar and Anthony Hernandez share wall space with unknown talent, as is the case with the remarkable salt prints featured in the London boys home album or a grisly series of forensic crime photos made by the police in Paris in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Ganz, who collaborated on the project with the other six curators in his department, calls the result a curatorial mixtape and notes that objects that have no literal relationship to one another are found next to objects that present the opportunity for making unexpected connections and revelations.

He takes pains to stress that the photos in the show are not the greatest hits of the images not yet seen in the museum, but rather a loving assemblage of images that mean one thing or another to the curators who pieced them together.

This is a collection of 148,000 objects, Ganz says during a tour of the storage vault. So you do the math and realize that most of it hasnt been shown.

Like the journey of 19th century portraits of orphans in England to a storage vault in a Los Angeles museum, the much shorter journey of a photo from that vault to museum gallery wall involves intricate interventions that are not be obvious to the casual observer.

Most of the objects in the collection live in one of five vaults, which collectively provide 4,400 shelves and 10,000 square feet of hanging space. Prints are kept safe in archival quality mats and folders inside slender, black solander boxes rigid containers that protect prints from fluctuations in humidity and temperature, as well as from excessive light. Books and albums are stored in heavy metal cases with glass fronts. Some labels are written by hand, others are typed.

The main vault pairs the look of a library with the chilly, no-frills ambiance of a walk-in cooler. The room is kept at 68 degrees to protect the prints. The vault for color photographs is kept at 40 degrees to slow the inevitable changes with the dyes. Before color materials can be moved in or out, they must spend 24 hours in a transition room with the thermostat set to 55 to prevent condensation from forming on the surface of the work.

Its essential that photographs are housed with high quality materials and that the storage environment is climate controlled for long-term preservation, explains associate conservator of photographs Sarah Freeman, who is part of the team that evaluates each of these factors to ensure they are optimal. Acid-free folders, mats and frame packages are key because they provide protection from handling and the environment. Cool, dry conditions are ideal, and proper air filtration is necessary.

Freeman and her fellow conservators, who work in the lab next-door to the main vault, are also responsible for determining whether or not an object needs treatment. The many options include repairing tears, stabilizing emulsion and the edges of prints, as well as structural work on bindings and book covers. The lab is clean, white and brightly lighted a quiet place where science is obviously happening.

Conservators also must carefully assess an objects light sensitivity. Prints made in early days of photography were often created using experimental techniques and unstable chemicals, so exposing them to too much light could cause them to yellow or fade.

Unseen features a series of cyanotypes made in the mid-1800s by English botanist and photographer Anna Atkins and her friend Anne Dixon. These showcase a technique that uses iron salts to produce blue-colored prints. The results resemble paintings.

The delicate works of art were determined to be so light sensitive that each Monday when the museum is closed a page of the book containing the prints is turned so as not to expose one particular cyanotype to more light than it can handle.

Every object in the Gettys collection of photography has a back story that is often difficult to suss out. This is where the museums collection manager and curatorial assistants get their chance to shine. This group is in the process of cataloging and uploading the entire collection online.

When collection manager Miriam Katz began working at the museum eight years ago, she says that only about 3% of the collection was online.

Miriam Katz, collections manager and lead cataloger at the Getty, measures a print.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Now, as fast as they catalog an image, were uploading it, she says, adding that there are still more than 36,000 objects to go, a process that will likely take another five years.

Cataloging an image is a fascinating combination of scholarly research, hard science and imaginative speculation. Before an image is uploaded, the curatorial assistants have recorded as much information as possible about who took it, when, where and why. Historical background that adds meaning to the image is limned, as are identifying characteristics of the print and entries about who owned an image over the years, and where it may have been exhibited.

To my mind this is the most essential curatorial work there is, Ganz says, because if you dont know what you have, you dont have anything.

The curatorial assistants work at long, polished wood tables in the museums study room, which is open to the public. A print or album is laid on soft, white cloth. The staffers use a loop to magnify the image, a tape measure to record its dimensions and a pocket microscope to help identify the process used to create the image.

Megan Catalano catalogs photos at the Getty Museum.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Then theres the historical research work, which often can yield thrilling results, as was the case with the mysterious London Boys Home portraits. When the book fell into the hands of curatorial assistant Megan Catalano, very little was known about it, including the name of the school and where it was located.

She did some digital sleuthing and finally found another handmade copy of the book in the London Metropolitan Archives. This copy identified the school as being in Walton-on-Thames, which is a borough of Surrey about 15 miles outside of London. Catalano now had a place to start, and she began digging through old newspaper records and other historical materials to figure out the name of the school (Hurst Refuge) and the name of the headmaster (James Edmond Harries), who she thinks is likely the person who kept the book.

It took a very long time, but it was incredibly satisfying, Catalano says.

The book, which the museum has relabeled Walton-on-Thames Boys Home Case Book, arrived at the Getty in 1984 as part of curator and art collector Sam Wagstaffs collection. Catalano says Wagstaff acquired it a Sothebys auction in 1975.

Catalano hopes that someday someone will try to find the boys descendants, and that her research might help with the hunt. Most of the boys were sent to Canada for work, she says, and a few were sent to Australia or Africa.

One or two entered the Royal Navy, so there may be more information about their fates in other government records or archives in other parts of the world, she added. The reports of the boys mostly stop a few years after they arrive in Canada, some having found steady work, others bouncing around. Sadly, one or two didnt survive the journey or died shortly after arriving in Canada.

Each image on the wall in Unseen has its own story. Visitors need only pull back the curtain on the process of telling it.


When: Tuesdays-Sundays, through March 8

Admission: Free

Info: (310) 440-7300, getty.edu

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Behind the scenes in the Getty photo archives with 'Unseen' - Los Angeles Times

CES 2020 tips and tricks: Your guide to techs biggest trade show – VentureBeat

I attended the Consumer Electronics Show back in the 1990s when then-Microsoft CEO Bill Gates gave the opening keynote speeches every year. Las Vegas has changed a lot since then, but some of my advice about the show goes back that far.

Like the importance of wearing comfy shoes. I learned that lesson after some blisters during a CES years ago. Some of this is not rocket science. But there are new people attending the show every year, so I feel obligated to share my accumulated experience. (I take no responsibility for bad advice). I also have new tips, like pointing you to the CES app. (And heres tips from Tim Bajarin, who has attended the show for 50 years).

CES 2020 is expected to draw 170,000 techies, down some from 175,212 last year as the group that puts on CES, the Consumer Technology Association, continues to pare back on non-professional attendees. CES 2020 will have about 4,500 exhibitors across 2.9 million square feet of space, about the same number of exhibitors and slightly more space than last year, according to my interview with Karen Chupka, executive vice president of the CTA. The show will have 1,200 startups in its Eureka Park section, up from 1,100 the year before.

You will facebag restrictions and entrance searches at all of the big venues, and you can bet those restrictions will be enforced now that the CTA announced Ivanka Trump, advisor to the White House and the daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, will hold a fireside chat with CTA CEO Gary Shapiro (Tuesday at 2 p.m. Pacific).

Above: Sign at CES 2019.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

You can expect long lines, but you may be able to cut one of them short by picking up your CES badge at the airport. You CES badge will now have your photo, and you need a government-issued ID to pick it up.

Regular attendees can only carry two small laptop-sized bags into the show. Clear bags will get you through the line faster. Rolling bags of any size are prohibited including luggage, carry-ons, rolling laptop and computer bags, and luggage carts.

Media professionals are granted an exception to this rule, as long as they submit to a search and have the bag tagged for approval. This allows me to carry my trademark back-saving backpack roller (which my coworkers have dubbed my secret weapon in years past) into the event. Thankfully, Im taking an HP laptop and a Dynabook laptop that are considerably lighter than in years past.

The show has consistently had highly visible law enforcement officers and K9 (dog) units at the entrances to the venues and on the exhibit floor. This means you will run into unexpected delays when youre going into venues. Youll just have to travel lighter when walking the show floors. If you do have heavier bags, you can check them at the Las Vegas Convention Center Central Plaza, next to the main registration tent, the Sands Level 1 Lobby, and the Venetian Ballroom Foyer.

Above: The crowd at CES 2013.

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar

The 53rd annual show opens on Sunday, January 5 for the thousands of press attendees. The press events continue all day on January 6. But Samsung will skip its press event this year, as Hyun-Suk Kim, CEO of the consumer electronics division at Samsung, will give a keynote speech on Monday evening. And Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang will also skip his traditional Sunday evening press event.

For the press, Monday is a kind of baptism by fire, thanks to press events starting at 8 a.m. with LG and ending with Sonys 5 p.m. press event. The opening keynote follows, and then the press moves on to the Digital Experience (Pepcom) party at the Mirage. This is the day when I need the laptop with the longest battery life. VentureBeat writers Jeremy Horwitz and Kyle Wiggers will join me, and some of my colleagues will be comfortably watching livestreams from home.

But Tuesday and Wednesday are when the real crowds show up, and youll notice it in restaurants, transportation lines, convention halls, casino floors, and at the airport. Thankfully, the Las Vegas weather forecast predicts dry air and no rain during CES week. I remember in 2018 we had torrential rains and blackouts.

This is probably one of the busiest times of the show for attendees, and its when the taxis, ride-sharing cars, and others will be clogging the paths to the main venues, the Venetian Hotel/Sands Expo and the Las Vegas Convention Center.

If youre leaving the convention center around 6 p.m., you can catch a bus to most of the major hotels. But thats also the busiest traffic time.

Above: The lower level of the sprawling South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center #CES2014

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

The 2.9 million square feet of exhibition space will open at 10 a.m. Tuesday, January 7. The venues are divided into Tech East (Las Vegas Convention Center and its surroundings), Tech West (Sands/Venetian), and Tech South (Aria, Vdara, and Park MGM).

If youre really ambitious, you could be walking 30,000 steps a day, about 3 to 6 times as much as usual. For me, exhaustion sets in around 20,000 steps. If you can cut some unnecessary walking from your day, that would be wise to do.

You can start by getting to know the locations.The LVCC Central Hall is where a lot of the big companies are, such as Samsung, Sony, Canon, Sharp, Nikon, IBM, Panasonic, LG, Bosch, Intel, and Delta.

You can walk across a connector from the Central Hall to the South Hall, where there are a mix of big booths, small booths, and meeting rooms (which are way in the back).

The South Hall itself is confusing, as it has two levels. South Halls 1 and 2 are on the ground level, with booth numbers ranging from 2000 to 22999 and 25000 to 27999 on the ground level. South Halls 3 and 4 (30000-32999, 35000-37999) are on the upper level, and both are easily reached via the South Hall connector.

If you want to see transportation tech, automobiles, and a flying car, check out the North Hall.

Above: A Bosch/Daimler self-driving car.

Image Credit: Daimler

The CTAs Chupka told me that the health and wellness marketplace (a collection of related booths) will increase by 25% in exhibitors and 15% in square footage. The smart city marketplace is also up about 25% in exhibitors and 70% in square footage, for a total of 50,000 square feet.

The transportation sections will grow as the march toward autonomous vehicles continues. Pegasus will have a booth that shows what a flying car may look like. The augmented reality, virtual reality, and gaming marketplace will be up about 30% in exhibitors and 15% in square footage.

But some marketplaces have already hit their peak, as drones will be flat and 3D printing will be smaller.

Based on the pitches Im getting, I think well see a lot of tech related to artificial intelligence, 5G cellular networks, health-focused wearables, energy-saving devices, the internet of things (IoT), sleep care, elder care, mental care, smart cars, and robots. For the first time, sex tech vendors will be allowed on the show floor, with companies such as Lora DiCarlo and Lioness exhibiting.

I still view CES as a bellwether for the tech economy, as no other event spans the entire tech world like it does. Companies want to create a buzz at CES, which is designed to signal products coming in the next year. I find the show a useful way to stay up to speed on the latest technology.

Apple doesnt attend the show, but just about every other tech giant does. Its where the tech industry will be next week, though its not so much of a game event these days, despite the weakness of E3. If youre curious, heres my best of show thoughts from CES 2019.

Above: Intels CES 2018 keynote had some amazing visuals on a giant screen. This image is a visualization of a trove of data.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Many of these tips are recycled from past years, but Ive gone through and renewed them with my latest info. As I mentioned, its hard to get around at CES. You should keep appointments to a half hour, but note that it takes time to walk between venues. You may encounter delays because other people are behind schedule. And you may even have trouble finding people at large booths. So its good to pad your schedule to account for possible delays and isolate the really important appointments.

The CES badges now have photos on them, streamlining identification and making it harder for people to share badges.

On your crowded flights, try to travel light. For Southwest, I always check in ahead of boarding, setting an alarm for exactly 24 hours before my flight. Check your baggage if you dont have to get anywhere quickly. Be prepared for long cab lines and rental car check-in lines. (Services like Uber and Lyft were very useful the past couple of years at CES, particularly as parking is not plentiful enough and the big casinos/hotels now charge $10 per visit at their self-parking garages). I no longer rent a car.

I recommend sleep. If the parties are what you care about, heres a party list and another one. Many of the soirees are invite-only.

Remember to swap phone numbers with the people you are meeting so you can coordinate, particularly as someone is usually held up by the crowds. Incorporate driving and eating times into your calendar, or use a calendar that does that automatically for you (Im still looking for one).

Smartphone reception is better than it used to be, but its still probably prone to interference. Text message is usuallya decent way to communicate with coworkers. We always seek out the Wi-Fi havens in the press rooms or wherever we can find them.

But carry a MiFi or activate a personal hotspot if you can; even hotel internet connections are likely to be stressed to the limit during the show. If youre responsible for uploading video, thank you for clogging the network for the rest of us. By CES 2021, I hopefully wont have to complain about this, as 5G networks should theoretically enable faster connection speeds on cellular data. Theyre barely present in 2020.

If you collect a lot of swag, you can send it home via shipping services instead of carting it on the plane. You should print a map of the exhibit floor or rip one out of the show guide. You should also print your tickets, schedule, and RSVPs for events or make them easily accessible on your phone. (If someone steals your primary bag, you should have backups in a second bag).

You need battery backup for your laptop or smartphone, hand sanitizer, a good camera, ibuprofen, and vitamins. Im trying out an HP Elitebook and a Dynabook laptop this year. Bring a backup for everything, even if you have to leave it in your hotel room this year.

Above: Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg Mi-Fi discusses 5G at the 2019 CES.

Image Credit: Jeremy Horwitz/VentureBeat

Pack enough business cards. If youre exhibiting, wear your company brand on your shirt. Try very hard to avoid losing your phone. I wear a jacket with zippered pockets so I can put my phone and wallet inside.

Make some time to walk the show floor. If the cab line has you frustrated, dont think about walking to a nearby hotel. Chances are the cab line there is also bad, and the hotels are so huge that a mirage effect makes them look deceptively close. If you have a rental car, try not to get stuck in a traffic jam in a 10-story parking garage. And always mark down where you parked your car on your phone map or paper.

Uber and Lyft cars work well, especially at places where you cant be confused with a bunch of other people hailing ride-sharing vehicles. But last year I found that the pickup at the LVCC (near the Renaissance Hotel) was a traffic logjam.

Schedule your appointments in locations that are near each other, and check exhibitor locations on this map. Arrive early for keynotes because the lines are long.

Drink lots of water. Get some sleep you really dont have to party every night. Dont miss your flight on the way out. Pack up a bunch of snacks early on to avoid getting stuck in breakfast or lunch lines. Take a good camera because what happens in Vegas gets shared on the internet.

Above: Carsten Breitfeld, CEO of Byton, shows off the cars 48-inch screen.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

And heres how we expect the news to unfold this week:

Lots of embargoed news will break Sunday through Thursday as tech companies try to catch some early buzz. The Consumer Technology Association analysts will open press-only sessions with sales stats and trend forecasts for 2019.

The event officially kicks off in the afternoon, with press sessions led by CTA analysts at 1 p.m. at the Mandalay Bay hotel. P&G will hold a press event at 2 p.m., and Byton will hold a press event at 3 p.m.

Then I will hit a press-only CES Unveiled reception (5 p.m. in Mandalay Bay), where scores of companies that have won innovation awards will show off their wares. Youll start seeing posts about cool stuff at that party on Sunday evening, particularly from all the tech journalists who are chained to tables at the party.

Above: Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, at CES 2019 keynote.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Media Dayat CES has now morphed into a day and a half. It starts around 1 p.m. on Sunday and then runs from 8 a.m. to the early evening on Monday.

LG kicks off the Monday press events at 8 a.m. AMD will take Samsungs place at 2 p.m. Intel will have an event at 4 p.m., and Sony will start at 5 p.m. You should search for CES press event livestreams, particularly if you cant get in.

Most of the press events are at the Mandalay Bay, although Sony has its event at the Las Vegas Convention Center. These events are closed to non-press attendees, but well be writing posts about a lot of them.

As noted, Samsung will kick off the keynotes at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at the Palazzo ballroom of the Venetian Hotel, and Daimler chair Ola Kllenius will speak at 8:30 p.m. at Park MGMs Park Theater. Ill close out my evening at the Pepcom Digital Experience party, a private event at the Mirage Hotel.

Dont be surprised if people start querying you about what youve seen. When I meet people at a CES party, the most common question I get is What did you see today? Its a bit annoying, as theyre usually fishing for a story or gadget that they should see and pass on to their friends. But I dont really mind because it causes me to sharpen my thinking about what Ive witnessed during the day.

Above: Ivanka Trump

Image Credit: AP/Shutterstock

Chupka and Gary Shapiro, CEO of the CTA, will kick off the Tuesday keynote at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time in the Venetians Palazzo Ballroom. They will be followed by Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, in a keynote talk at the same location.

At 2 p.m., Ivanka Trump will do her fireside chat with Shapiro in the Palazzo Ballroom in the Venetian. They will talk about how the administration is advocating for employer-led strategies that invest in reskilling workers, create apprenticeships, and develop K-12 STEM education programs.

At 4 p.m., MediaLink chair Michael E. Kassan, Unilever CEO Alan Jope, and Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff will host a panel at the Park Theater at the Park MGM, Level 1.

At 10 a.m., the show floor formally opens at the big venues. The 11 locations are the Las Vegas Convention Center and World Trade Center, the Sands Expo, the Venetian, Aria, Park MGM, Vdara, the Palazzo Suites, Wynn Las Vegas, Encore at Wynn, the Westgate Las Vegas, and the Renaissance Las Vegas.

Above: Google Assistant space at CES 2019

Image Credit: Khari Johnson / VentureBeat

Well catch more product unveilings at the invite-only Showstoppers Party in the evening at the Wynn Hotel.

Some advice for walking the show floor: The Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) is cavernous. It stretches from the North Hall, where a lot of the car makers and speaker manufacturers gather, to the vast Central Hall and the multilevel South Hall. Its a couple of miles from one end to the other, so try to space out your appointments. You should really take the time to map out where youre going to walk and how long it will take to get there.

Its not easy to get from the LVCC to the Sands Expo during the rush period, but the CTA provides shuttle buses for that purpose. Parking is really scarce, as theyve gotten rid of one of the main parking lots.

As I mentioned before, when the exhibit floor closes at 6 p.m., theres a mad rush for the taxi line, the shuttle buses to major hotels, the parking garages, and the monorail. Try to avoid getting stuck in gigantic traffic jams out on the Las Vegas Strip and anywhere else near the main convention center. It might be worth waiting out the rush at a coffeehouse or hotel bar. Ride-sharing lines are also long at the designated pickup points.

Above: Quibi CEO Meg Whitman.

Image Credit: HPE

Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg will give a keynote speech about their entertainment startup, Quibi, at 9:30 a.m. (Park MGM, Level 1, Park Theater). U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao will also speak at 11:30 a.m. (LVCC, North Hall, N257). And NBCUniversal will host an entertainment panel at 4 p.m. (Park MGM, Level 1, Park Theater).

I will moderate a session on how brands are engaging with esports and gaming at 1 p.m. at Aria, Level 3, Ironwood Ballroom.

The show floor opens at 9 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. Its still pretty crowded on this day, particularly around departure time.

Above: Dean Takahashi looks at a spider on his hand.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Im walking the show floors on this day and doing some interviews. Im also moderating a session at 1 p.m. at the Venetian on mixed reality at the Kids & Family Tech Summit event (Venetian Level 4 Lando room 4302). I highly recommend that you hit just one major venue in a day, like the Sands or the Las Vegas Convention Center, and avoid going off-site at all costs.

If you hate crowds, this may be the day to show up. The VentureBeat crew will be gone by this point well be home contemplating our picks for the top CES trends, the best products and services, and awesome images from the show. But the show floor will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. After that, its probably a good idea to take the weekend and perhaps a vacation day to recover.

Thats the whole show. As for me, I wish Bill Gates would return and give a keynote speech. I think hes more interesting now that he is retired.

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CES 2020 tips and tricks: Your guide to techs biggest trade show - VentureBeat

How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real – The New Yorker

Suppose youve been asked to write a science-fiction story. You might start by contemplating the future. You could research anticipated developments in science, technology, and society and ask how they will play out. Telepresence, mind-uploading, an aging population: an elderly couple live far from their daughter and grandchildren; one day, the pair knock on her door as robots. Theyve uploaded their minds to a cloud-based data bank and can now visit telepresently, forever. A philosophical question arises: What is a family when it never ends? A story flowers where prospective trends meet.

This method is quite common in science fiction. Its not the one employed by William Gibson, the writer who, for four decades, has imagined the near future more convincingly than anyone else. Gibson doesnt have a name for his method; he knows only that it isnt about prediction. It proceeds, instead, from a deep engagement with the present. When Gibson was starting to write, in the late nineteen-seventies, he watched kids playing games in video arcades and noticed how they ducked and twisted, as though they were on the other side of the screen. The Sony Walkman had just been introduced, so he bought one; he lived in Vancouver, and when he explored the city at night, listening to Joy Division, he felt as though the music were being transmitted directly into his brain, where it could merge with his perceptions of skyscrapers and slums. His wife, Deborah, was a graduate student in linguistics who taught E.S.L. He listened to her young Japanese students talk about Vancouver as though it were a backwater; Tokyo must really be something, he thought. He remembered a weeping ambulance driver in a bar, saying, She flatlined. On a legal pad, Gibson tried inventing words to describe the space behind the screen; he crossed out infospace and dataspace before coming up with cyberspace. He didnt know what it might be, but it sounded cool, like something a person might explore even though it was dangerous.

Gibson first used the word cyberspace in 1981, in a short story called Burning Chrome. He worked out the idea more fully in his first novel, Neuromancer, published in 1984, when he was thirty-six. Set in the mid-twenty-first century, Neuromancer follows a heist that unfolds partly in physical space and partly in the matrixan online realm. The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games, the novel explains, in early graphics programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks. By jacking in to the matrix, a console cowboy can use his deck to enter a new world:

Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation.... A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.

Gibson was far from the first sci-fi writer to explore computers and their consequences; a movement, soon to be known as cyberpunk, was already under way. But Neuromancer changed science fiction by imagining a computer-saturated world that felt materially and aesthetically real. Gibsons hardboiled prose was fanatically attentive to design and texture. A hackers loft contains a Braun coffeemaker, an Ono-Sendai cyberspace deck, and the abstract white forms of the foam packing units, with crumpled plastic film and hundreds of tiny foam beads. A spaceship is walled in imitation ebony veneer and floored with gray tilesa Mercedes crossed with a rich mans private spa. Gibsons future seemed already to have aged: the counterfeit young are marked by a certain telltale corrugation at the knuckles, something the surgeons were unable to erase. The science-fiction writer SamuelR. Delany marvelled at the novels wonderful, almost hypnotic, surface hardness. Describing a hacker about to deploy a virus, Gibson invented his own language, toughened with use: He slotted some ice, connected the construct, and jacked in.

Most science fiction takes place in a world in which the future has definitively arrived; the locomotive filmed by the Lumire brothers has finally burst through the screen. But in Neuromancer there was only a continuous arrivalan ongoing, alarming present. Things arent different. Things are things, an A.I. reports, after achieving a new level of consciousness. You cant let the little pricks generation-gap you, one protagonist tells another, after an unnerving encounter with a teen-ager. In its uncertain sense of temporalityare we living in the future, or not?Neuromancer was science fiction for the modern age. The novels influence has increased with time, establishing Gibson as an authority on the world to come.

The ten novels that Gibson has written since have slid steadily closer to the present. In the nineties, he wrote a trilogy set in the two-thousands. The novels he published in 2003, 2007, and 2010 were set in the year before their publication. (Only the inevitable delays of the publishing process prevented them from taking place in the years when they were written.) Many works of literary fiction claim to be set in the present day. In fact, they take place in the recent past, conjuring a world that feels real because its familiar, and therefore out of date. Gibsons strategy of extreme presentness reflects his belief that the current moment is itself science-fictional. The future is already here, he has said. Its just not very evenly distributed.

The further Gibson developed his present-tense sci-fi, the more mysterious and resonant his novels became. They seemed to reveal a world within the world: the real present. The approach was risky; it put him at the mercy of events. In 2001, Gibson rushed to incorporate the September 11th attacks into his half-completed eighth novel, Pattern Recognition, a story about globalization, filmmaking, Internet forums, brand strategy, and informational deluge. Terrorism turned out to fit neatly within this framework; Pattern Recognition is often described as the first post-9/11 novel. The risks could pay off.

Two years ago, in December of 2017, I e-mailed Gibson to ask if hed consent to being profiled, since his new novel was to be published that spring. He replied, explaining that the election of Donald Trump had forced him to delay the book. Ive had to get an extension, he wrote. Extrapolating from current events, he had already written into his novel a nuclear crisis involving Syria, Russia, NATO, and Turkey:

But then Trump started fucking with N Korea, here, so how scary can my scenario be? He keeps topping me, but I think I can handle it in rewrite. And if theres a nuclear war, at least I wont have to turn in the manuscript!...

Crazy times,


In March, 2018, I e-mailed Gibson again, but he had delayed the book a second time. Cambridge Analytica now requires a huge rethink, major revisions, he wrote. This is very comical in a way, but still a huge problem.

Earlier this year, we finally met, in Vancouver, to talk about the novel, Agency, which comes out next month. Gibson is now seventy-one. Bald and skinny, six feet five but for a slight stoop, he dresses almost exclusively in a mixture of futuristic techwear and mid-twentieth-century American clothing painstakingly reproduced by companies in Japan. It was late on a gray afternoon; we sat at the bar of a cozy bistrowarm wood, zinc bar, brass fixtureswhile Gibson, in his slow, quiet, wowed-out, distantly Southern drawl, described the work of keeping up with the present.

With each set of three books, Ive commenced with a sort of deep reading of the fuckedness quotient of the day, he explained. I then have to adjust my fiction in relation to how fucked and how far out the present actually is. He squinted through his glasses at the ceiling. It isnt an intellectual process, and its not prescientits about what I can bring myself to believe.

Agency is a sequel to Gibsons previous novel, The Peripheral, from 2014, which is currently being adapted into a television show for Amazon, executive-produced by the creators of Westworld. In writing The Peripheral, hed been able to bring himself to believe in the reality of an ongoing slow-motion apocalypse called the jackpot. A character describes the jackpot as multicausalmore a climate than an event. The world eases into it gradually, as all the bad things we worry aboutrising oceans, crop failures, drug-resistant diseases, resource wars, and so onhappen, here and there, to varying degrees, over the better part of the twenty-first century, adding up to androgenic, systemic, multiplex, seriously bad shit that eventually kills eighty per cent of the human race. Its a Gibsonian apocalypse: the end of the world is already here; its just not very evenly distributed. One character reacts to the jackpot equivocally: Either depressing and scared the fuck out of me or sort of how Id always figured things are?

I had real trouble coming to that, Gibson said. I couldnt really think about it. I just had to get to the point where I could write it really quickly. Afterward, I looked at it and was just... It was the first time Id admitted it to myself.

After The Peripheral, he wasnt expecting to have to revise the worlds F.Q. Then I saw Trump coming down that escalator to announce his candidacy, he said. All of my scenario modules went beep-beep-beepsuper-fucked, super-fucked, like that. I told myself, Nah, it cant happen. But then, when Britain voted yes on the Brexit referendum, I thought, Holy shitif that could happen in the U.K., the U.S. could elect Trump. Then it happened, and I was basically paralyzed in the composition of the book. I wouldnt call it writers blockthats, like, a naturally occurring thing. This was something else.

Gibson has a bemused, gentle, curious vibe. He is not a dystopian writer; he aims to see change in a flat, even light. Every so oftenand I bet a lot of people do this but dont mention itI have an experience unique in my life, of going, This is so badcould this possibly be real? he said, laughing. Because it really looks very dire. If we were merely looking at the possible collapse of democracy in the United States of Americathats pretty fucked. But if were looking at the collapse of democracy in the United States of America within the context of our failure to do anything that means shit about global warming over the next decade... I dont know. Perched, eagle-like, on his barstool, he swept his hand across the bar. Im, like, off the edge of the table.

Photographs of Gibson have tended to find him in dark rooms, surrounded by wires and gizmosa seer in his cyber cave. In fact, he has spent his writing life in a series of increasingly pretty houses on the arboreal streets of suburban Vancouver. The rambling, sunlit home where he and Deborah live now, in the citys Shaughnessy neighborhood, dates from the early twentieth century; its many windows open onto radiant greenery. His quarter million Twitter followers are accustomed to photographs of Biggles, the couples extraordinarily large cat, lounging in the library, where Gibson does most of his writing. A photograph on the living-room mantelpiece shows the Gibsons son, Graeme, in aviators and a military jacket; nearby, a drawing of their daughter, Claire, hangs on the wall. Wandering around the first floor, I could find only one futuristic object: a small glass-and-aluminum cylinder, lit from within by warm L.E.D.s. This abstract oil lamp turned out to be a wireless speaker, given to Gibson by Jun Rekimoto, Sonys version of Jony Ive.

Gibson had a distinctly American upbringing. Born in 1948, he told me that his earliest memories are of a farmhouse in Tennessee. The family lived there while his construction-manager father, William Ford Gibson, Jr.Gibson is William Ford Gibson IIIhelped to oversee the building of workers housing at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Later, they occupied the red-brick model house of a Levittown-style suburban development in North Carolina. And then we moved to a place near Virginia Beach, and while we lived there my father died, Gibson said. On a business trip, from a choking incident, pre-Heimlich maneuver. Like, if someone had known to squeeze him the right way, he might have survived. He paused. I think I was seven.

Gibson and his mother, Otey, retreated to Wytheville, Virginia, the small Appalachian town where his parents had grown up, settling in a house that had been in his mothers family for generations. Before, I was watching TV in a suburb, Gibson said. I could see out the window that it was the modern world. And then I went to this place which, from many angles, looked like the early nineteen-hundreds. In Wytheville, people reminisced about the days before recorded music; men plowed fields with mules. The mid-twentieth century leaked in, like light through the blinds. Im convinced that it was this experience of feeling abruptly exiled, to what seemed like the past, that began my relationship with science fiction, Gibson has written.

Fatherless and quiet, Gibson was often alone. One day, he crawled through the window of an abandoned house and found a calendar from the Second World War. Each month had a picture of a different fighter planea sleek machine, yellowed by time. Meanwhile, from the wire rack at the Greyhound bus station, he bought science-fiction novels by H.G. Wells, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, and others. He noticed that their stories also supposed the existence of historiesreal ones that were being reconsidered (the myths of empire and the American West), or prospective ones that seemed unlikely to come true (world government, the brotherhood of man). In Wytheville, people owned books like The Lost Cause, an encyclopedic account of the Civil War, published in 1866, which depicted slavery as benign. I became someone who disassembles the past in which I find myself, in order to orient myself, or perhaps in order to relieve anxiety, Gibson told me.

His mother was literary and progressive; she helped establish a library in Wytheville. But she grew worried as Gibson developed what hes called a Lovecraftian personaintroverted, hyper-bookish. With his consent, she enrolled him in an all-boys boarding school in Arizona. Gibson, extracted grub-like and blinking from his bedroom, arrived when he was fifteen, got a girlfriend, and read the Beats. In the fall of his sophomore year, when he was seventeen, his mother died.

Probably a stroke, he said. Im not sure. She fell down dead walking somewherein those days, if an older person died, no one did an autopsy. On the flight home, Gibson struggled to think about what had happened. As a child, after his fathers death, he had fearedirrationally, he thoughtthat his mother might die, too. Now she had. Years later, he would come to see himself as doubly traumatized. In the moment, he took refuge in an odd thought: at least shed be spared the discomfort of watching him try to become an artist.

His mothers estate provided him with a vanishingly small stipend. Instead of finishing high school, he took a bus to Toronto; he slept outdoors for a night and then found a job at a head shop, where he could sleep on the floor. Gibson is reluctant to talk much about those yearsI wasnt a tightly wrapped package at that time, he has saidbut a 1967 CBC documentary features him, introduced as Bill, a real hippie, strolling through the citys version of Haight-Ashbury. (He was paid five hundred dollars to serve as a quasi-anthropological tour guide: The hippie society centers largely around this curious word love, he explains in the program.) In his early twenties, in Washington, D.C., he earned his high-school diploma. He kept the Vietnam draft board apprised of his whereabouts but was never called up. Instead, he perused the ruins of the sixties, reading Pynchon and Borges, going to punk shows. Back in Toronto, he enrolled in art school and met Deborah, a former fashion model; they moved to Vancouver, her home town. For a while, he made ends meet as a vintage picker, buying undervalued objectsantique toys, Art Deco lamps, chrome ashtraysfrom thrift shops and reselling them to dealers. Writing of the future in his third novel, Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988), he might have been describing this period: The world hadnt ever had so many moving parts or so few labels.

Some speculative writers are architects: they build orderly worlds. But Gibson has a collagists mind. He has depicted himself as burrowing from surface to previously unconnected surface. His language connects contemporary jargon, with its tactical-technological inflections, to modern states of anxiety and desire. (His chapter titles include Death Cookie, Ordinary Sad-Ass Humanness, Tango Hotel Soldier Shit.) The novels register the virtual worlds micro-expressionsthe way, when were still half asleep, the first Web site of the day opens as familiar as a friends living roomand attend to the built environments we take for granted, made from Styrofoam, cardboard, glass, silicon, wood, paper, leather, stone, rubber, and plastic, each subtype of material possessing its own distinctive look, feel, smell, weight, and history. In Pattern Recognition, an American marvels at the collage that is England:

Mirror-world. The plugs on appliances are huge, triple-pronged, for a species of current that only powers electric chairs, in America. Cars are reversed, left to right, inside; telephone handsets have a different weight, a different balance.

The difference, she thinks, has to do with Britains past as an industrial nation: They made all their own stuff.... All their bits and pieces were different. Only an outsider would notice the meaning in the bits.

In his late twenties, Gibson earned an English degree at the University of British Columbia. He took a class taught by the feminist sci-fi pioneer Susan Wood; she suggested that, instead of writing an analytical paper, he might turn in a story of his own. (At her urging, he sold the story, Fragments of a Hologram Rose, to a small magazine.) He began writing science fiction in earnest only when Graeme was on the way, and it seemed to him that his career had to start, or else. Deborah was in grad school, so he took care of the baby, writing Neuromancer while Graeme napped. He learned to work iteratively. He still rereads his manuscripts from the beginning each dayan increasing burden, as each book goes onstripping away whats superfluous and squirrelling new ideas into the gaps. (Having shown a technology used properly in one scene, he might show someone misusing it in another.) His plots are Tetris-like, their components snapping together at the last possible moment until the space of the novel is filled.

Often, at the center of the story, theres a Gibson-like figurean orphaned collagist of actual or digital bits. In Count Zero, the sequel to Neuromancer, an out-of-work curator is hired to track down an anonymous artist who is creating a series of boxes in the style of Joseph Cornell. She discovers that the artist is an artificially intelligent computer built by an unimaginably rich family. The familys multinational mega-corporation has collapsed, and its space-based villa has fallen into disrepair. The A.I. has chopped the house into parts, and constructs the boxes by pulling fragmentsa yellowing kid glove; rectangular segments of perf board; an ornate silver spoon, sawn precisely in half, from end to endout of the floating cloud that the familys life has become.

The romance of the abandoned child, of the orphan on the edge of everything, can give Gibsons novels a sad sweetness. But his collages contain ugly materials, too. In his library, Gibson unfolded himself from his chair, retrieving a copy of The Lost Cause, which he had salvaged from Wytheville.

In our house, there were these objects that no one ever said anything to me about, he said. I just found them myself, and reverse-engineered what they meant. These were being sold from the very beginning of Reconstruction, and within themactually, theres another one.... He bent low, and picked up a smaller volume, blowing dust from its binding.

This is the most evil object in the house, he said. Its just, like, unspeakable! He handed it to me. The book was The Old Plantation: How We Lived in Great House and Cabin Before the War, by James Battle Avirett.

Check out the inscription, he said. It was dedicated to the old planter and his wifethe only real slaves on the old plantation.

Gibson settled on a hard-backed chair, adjusting the cuffs of his perfectly reproduced mid-century chambray workshirt. Its just the foulest revisionist text, he said. It was given to my grandmother when, I think, she was sixteen years old, signed by the author. She took me aside, on one or two ritual occasions, to try to indoctrinate me into the crucial, central significance of the War of the Northern Invasion. He grimaced. This is why the South is still so fucked upbecause this stuff never quit. It never quit! Its the formation... He trailed off.

Of our past? I asked.

Of our present, he corrected me.

Gibson was in the process of sorting through his basement archive, which he planned to donate to U.B.C. Biggles accompanied us down the stairs; beneath a set of head-height windows, an old desk and table were covered with neatly piled manuscripts, some typewritten, others dot-matrix. Gibson wanted to show me the manual typewriter on which hed composed Neuromancer: a 1927 Hermes 2000 that had belonged to Deborahs stepgrandfather. While he rummaged, I inspected the screenplay for Alien 3, which he had written in the late eighties, during a contract-screenwriting phase. (In the end, an entirely different story was used.) A paperweight on top of it turned out to be a clawa memento from the film. Biggles meowed, twining around my legs.

Cant find it! Gibson said from behind a pinball machine based on the 1995 film Johnny Mnemonic, starring Keanu Reeves. (The movie had been adapted from his 1981 short story of the same name, about a courier who carries stolen corporate data on a chip in his head.) Ill have to text Claire.

Near a rack of compact disksDrive-By Truckers; Lucinda Williams; Dock Boggs; multiple bootlegs of live performances by the goth band Sisters of Mercya legal pad was covered in interlinked bubbles charting the plot of Gibsons 1996 novel, Idoru. (A song called Idoru is featured on the forthcoming album by the future-pop musician Grimes.) One bubble read, McGuffin in bag. An orange notebook, filled with intricate time lines for The Peripheral, was decorated with a sticker bearing the logo of the niche techwear brand Outliera black swan.

Ah, Gibson said tenderly. He leaned over to open a green wooden cabinet, containing dozens of mementos: a marmoset skull, a smooth rock, a teacup from Japan. Gingerly, from behind the skull, he removed a small metal ray gun. This gun, he said. I had one of thesethe Hubley Atomic Disintegratoras a kid. Its a cap gun absolutely redolent of sci-fi romanticism! Hed lost his own, and, in middle age, obtained this one on eBay.

And these guys were very common, he went on, taking down a small plastic spaceman: red, wearing an elaborately earmuffed helmet with an antenna on top. These spacemen were dime-store toys at a timewhich I can actually remember!when cheap plastics were still weirdly novel. Like Gore-Tex or something. Youd ask, What is it made of? He looked wistful, then thoughtful. Ive decided that one of the most significant things I ever saw in my life was the arrival of completely ubiquitous injection-molded plastics. I was certainly aware of them as the onset of something new. They cost practically nothing. But no one had any idea what a disaster we were all witnessing. Now the oceans are full of it. He handed the spaceman to me. I hefted it, weightless, in my palman antique bit of misread future.

Gibson finished Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive, the sequels to Neuromancer, in the late eighties. In the nineties, he achieved maximum fame for a sci-fi writer. It was a time when virtual reality promised to make cyberspace, as hed described it in Neuromancer, real, and he and Deborah were invited to lavish V.R. conferences around the world. He collaborated with sculptors, dance troupes, and performance artists, and co-wrote, with Bruce Sterling, The Difference Engine, a novel that popularized the steampunk aesthetic. Movies borrowed liberally from his fiction. In 1999, four years after Johnny Mnemonic, The Matrix, also starring Reeves, remixed Neuromancer to superior effect.

Droll, chilled out, and scarily articulate, Gibson talked about the future on television. (It doesnt matter how fast your modem is if youre being shelled by ethnic separatists, he told the BBC.) He appeared on the cover of Wired, did some corporate consulting, and met David Bowie and Debbie Harry. For a time, U2, which had based its album Zooropa in part on Gibsons work, planned to scroll the entirety of Neuromancer on a screen above the stage during its Zoo TV tour. The plan never came to fruition, but Gibson got to know the band; the Edge showed him how to telnet. During this period, Gibson was often credited with having predicted the Internet. He pointed out that his noir vision of online life had little in common with the early Web. Still, he had captured a feelinga sense of post-everything information-driven transformationthat, by the nineties, seemed to be everywhere.

As the Internet became more accessible, Gibson discovered that he wasnt terribly interested in spending time online himself. He was fascinated, though, by the people who did. They seemed to grow hungrier for the Web the more of it they consumed. It wasnt just the Internet; his friends seemed to be paying more attention to media in general. When new television shows premired, they actually cared. One of them showed him an episode of Cops, the pioneering reality series in which camera crews sprinted alongside police officers as they apprehended suspects. Policing, as performance, could be monetized. He could feel the worlds F.Q. drifting upward.

Instead of fantasizing about virtual worlds, Gibson inspected the real one. Storefronts in some Vancouver neighborhoods were strangely emptythe drawback before the tsunami of global capital, as though the city itself anticipated the future. Have you been to Vancouvers downtown east side? he asked me. Its one of the poorest per-capita postal codes in the entire country, and it is absolutely brutalwell, brutal, Canadian style. Addiction, prostitution, street crime... There were, he thought, more interstitial spacesplaces that had fallen through widening civic and economic cracks. In Los Angeles, a friend drove him down a desolate street to an abandoned-looking buildingDennis Hoppers house, she said, with art worth millions hidden behind its walls. Gibson thought he detected an uptick in the number of private security guards. He registered the increased presence of bike messengersa new punk-athlete precariatand began reading their zines.

If Gibsons eighties novels imagined a fluid, hallucinatory datasphere, his nineties novelsVirtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrows Partiestake place in a world that is itself fluid and hallucinatory. They are set in California and Tokyo in the two-thousands. The Big One has rendered San Franciscos Bay Bridge unusable, and the government of Northern Californiathe state has split in twocant afford to fix it. Squatters, homeless after a pre-earthquake housing crisis, have used high- and low-tech materialstarps, plywood, aircraft cableto turn its decks and towers into a cool suspended shantytown. Media saturation has cloaked even the recent past in a haze; TV news programs practice counter-investigative journalism, reporting on the newsrooms to which they are ideologically opposed. Culture is globalized and high-def. Virtual celebrities are replacing real ones, and patrons in a bar called Cognitive Dissidents dance to the evangelical Islamic band Chrome Koran. Fashion is retrofitted: Chevette, a bike messenger, wears a vintage horsehide motorcycle jacket with bar codes affixed to its lapels. A womans scalp tattoo combines Celtic crosses with cartoon lightning bolts. A teen-ager puts his feet up, revealing little red lights around the edges of his sneakers... spelling out the lyrics to some song.

Futurists he knew had begun talking about the Singularitythe moment when humanity is transformed completely by technology. Gibson didnt buy it; he aimed to represent a half-assed Singularitya world transforming dramatically but haphazardly. It doesnt feel to me that its in our nature to do anything perfectly, he said. He wrote improvisationally, without knowing how his novels would end. (In All Tomorrows Parties, an assassin who bears a striking physical resemblance to Gibson is guided in his actions by the Tao.) His fiction was an artifact, he told an interviewer, akin to tombstone rubbingsthe tombstone, in this case, being our present. The trilogy culminates, obscurely, with the introduction of consumer nanotechnology through a chain of convenience stores. No one knows what to make of it; an atmosphere of WTF prevails. At one of these stores, a kid buys this Jap candy thats like a little drug lab: You mix these different parts, it fizzes, gets hot, cools. You do this extrusion-molding thing and watch it harden. It tastes just O.K., but its fun. Meanwhile, in a room on the Bay Bridgeat the top of the east tower, above the fogChevette reads old issues of National Geographic and marvels at the size of the old countries, long since broken up.

When Gibson published his first short story in Omni, in 1981, the writer Robert Sheckley took him to lunch and gave him two pieces of advice: never sign a multi-book contract and dont buy an old house. Gibson ignored the latter suggestion; on my second morning in Vancouver, a rainstorm descended, and he texted to say that he needed to check his attic for leaks, inviting my assistance. (I have a fear of doing it alone, he texted, lest the ladder fall over.)

Its coming down hard, Gibson said, when I arrived. Luckily, Ive got the perfect jacket for you. In writing Virtual Light and its sequels, hed learned to harness his obsessions, among them garments and their semiotic histories.

In the hall, he relieved me of my misjudged chore coat, and handed me a recent reproduction of Eddie Bauers 1936 Skyliner down jacket: a forerunner of the down-filled B-9 flight suit, worn by aviators during the Second World War. Boxy and beige, its diamond-quilted nylon was rigid enough to stand up on its own. When I put it on, it made me about four inches wider. Gibson shrugged into a darkly futuristic tech-ninja shell by Acronym, the Berlin-based atelier, constructed from some liquidly matte material.

You have to dress for the job, he said.

We ventured into the verdant back yard, retrieving an eight-foot ladder from the garage. Carefully, we carried the ladder through the house and up a winding, skylit central staircase. Gibsons height allowed him to casually open the attic door. I watched his rose-colored Chucks disappear into the hole. When I ascended, I found him lit by a small window, balancing gracefully on the joists, carrying a bucket heavy with water.

Thank you very much, he said, handing it to me.

As it happened, a closet in a room off the hallway contained Gibsons Acronym collection. (He is friends with the co-founder and designer of Acronym, Errolson Hugh, and was briefly involved, as a consultant, in the creation of Arcteryx Veilance, a futuristic, or perhaps merely presentist, outerwear line that Hugh helped design.) As a longtime Acronym lurkerI dont own any, but would like toI was curious to see the jackets, which enable excessive, even fantastic levels of functionality. This is something Errolson calls the escape zip, Gibson said, indicating an unusual zipper along the jackets shoulder, and demonstrating how it could be used to enact an instantaneous, overhanded dejacketing. Another coat, long and indefinably gray-green, was seductively sinisterthe most cyberpunk object Id seen in Gibsons home. This is this weird membrane that Gore-Tex makes, he said, rubbing the fabricleather-like on one side, synthetic on the otherbetween his fingers. Errolson gave it to me when they hadnt named it yet. I was trying to come up with a name....

This is what I imagine the scary hit man wearing, in All Tomorrows Parties, I said.

Oh, the scary hit man, yeah! Gibson said. Im delighted to have this jacket, but its hard to wear it. Its almost too effective. It absorbs too much light. He enjoys wearing the future, but fears full cosplay.

Satisfied, Gibson returned the jacket to the closet. Biggles watched from the landing as we carried the ladder and the bucket down the stairs. Techno-fabric and a leaky roof: the real future.

Was Gibson afraid of what the future held? Like anyone, he lived in the present, awaiting tomorrow. By the end of the nineties, hed taken up Pilates and given up smoking. Claire lived nearby; so did Graeme, who has autism, and a savant-like ability to play hundreds of musical instruments. Gibson and Deborah had helped him build a secure life. (Gibson drops by every day, and often shares Graemes birding photographs on Twitter.)

He had reason to be concerned about a rising F.Q. But he managed to keep that concern contained within his writing life. Bills always been able to shut the door in his head, Jack Womack, one of Gibsons oldest friends, said. Womack is also a Southernerhes from Lexington, Kentuckyand a science-fiction writer. For decades, Gibson has sent his drafts to Womack, whos based in New York, every few daysat first by fax, and in later years by e-mail. Ive always perceived him as someone who takes everything in before making a decision, Womack continued. Not paranoid, not suspicious. Just a good poker player. Writing near-future science fiction, Womack said, requires detachment. Its like living during the Cold War with knowledge of the bomb.

And yet Gibson seemed, at the turn of the century, to be growing dissatisfied with being detached. When All Tomorrows Parties was finished, I felt a little let down, he said. Not with how the book had turned out, but there was something about the experience.... It was beginning to seem as though I was doing something that belonged to a previous era. He wondered if science fiction, as a genre, might be yellowing with age. He was certainly aging: at fifty, hed begun cognitive-behavioral therapy, hoping to process the unconfronted experiences of his childhood. Meanwhile, he said, things were different. The world outside the window was beginning to look considerably stranger to me than the ones I was imagining for my fictional futures.

Unsure how to proceed, Gibson bided his time. He flew back and forth to London, working on a screenplay for Neuromancer, which had been optioned for a film. He spent time on eBaythe first Web site that felt to him like a real place, perhaps because it was full of other people and their junk. Through eBay, he discovered an online watch forum, and, through the forum, he developed some expertise in military watches. He learned of a warehouse in Egypt from which it was possible to procure extinct Omega components; he sourced, for the forum membership, a particular kind of watch strap, the G10, which had originally been manufactured in the nineteen-seventies and had since become obscure. (A version of it, known as the NATO strap, is now wildly popular in menswear circles.) Gibson noticed that people with access to unlimited information could develop illusions of omniscience. He got into a few political debates on the forum. He felt the F.Q. creeping upward.

The advent of the online world, he thought, was changing the physical one. In the past, going online had felt like visiting somewhere else. Now being online was the default: it was our Here, while those awkward no service zones of disconnectivity had become our There. Checking his Vancouver bank balance from an A.T.M. in Los Angeles struck him suddenly as spooky. It didnt matter where you were in the landscape; you were in the same place in the datascape. It was as though cyberspace were turning inside out, or evertingconsuming the world that had once surrounded it.

In Japan, he had learned the word otaku, used to describe people with obsessive, laserlike interests. The Web, he saw, allowed everyone everywhere to develop the same otaku obsessionswith television, coffee, sneakers, guns. The mere possibility of such knowledge lay like a scrim over the world. A physical object was also a search term: an espresso wasnt just an espresso; it was also Web pages about crema, fair trade, roasting techniques, varieties of beans. Things were texts; reality had been augmented. Brand strategists revised the knowledge around objects to make them more desirable, and companies, places, Presidents, wars, and people could be advantageously rebranded, as though the world itself could be reprogrammed. It seemed to Gibson that this constant reprogramming, which had become a major driver of economic life, was imbuing the present with a feelingsomething like fatigue, or jet lag, or loss.

The suddenness with which the worlds code could be rewritten astonished him. I was down in my basement office, on a watch site that I spent a lot of time on, Gibson recalled. Someone on the East Coast posted, Plane hit World Trade Center. I Googled itthere was nothing. I went to get some coffee. And when I came back there was a second post under the first: Second plane hit. It wasnt an accident. The attack rewrote our expectations. It made life instantly scarier. It also seemed to adjust the temporality of the world. From then on, events would move faster. There would be no screenonly a locomotive.

Pattern Recognition and its sequels, Spook Country (2007) and Zero History (2010), are set in a world that meets virtually every criteria of being science fiction, and that happens to be our world, Gibson has said. We have no future, one character concludes. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Such fully imagined cultural futures were possible only when now was of some greater duration:

For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents have insufficient now to stand on. We have no futures because our present is too volatile.... We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moments scenarios. Pattern recognition.

In a hyperconnected world, patterns can repeat in different idioms. The same ripples flow across Asia and Europe, art and technology, war and television. Even terror-hunting and cool-hunting are related. In Zero History, fashion strategists tracking a reclusive designer of otaku denim stumble into a parallel world of clandestine arms deals. Secrets are the very root of cool, one character explains, and so todays coolness flows from our modern secrets: rendition, black ops, Gitmo, Prism. Theres a reason musicians dress like soldiers. Art has become tactical. Culture and counterterror are mirror worlds.

Bill worried about Pattern Recognition, Womack told me. Gibson didnt know how people would react to his sci-fi of the present. The novels protagonist, Cayce Pollard, isnt a hacker but a brand strategist whos been hired by a viral-marketing think tank for a commercial research project. She doesnt zoom through glowing datascapes; instead, having suffered from too much exposure to the reactor cores of fashion, she practices a kind of semiotic hygiene, dressing only in CPUs, or Cayce Pollard Unitsclothes, either black, white, or gray, that could have been worn, to a general lack of comment, during any year between 1945 and 2000. She treasures in particular a black MA-1 bomber jacket made by Buzz Ricksons, a Japanese company that meticulously reproduces American military clothing of the mid-twentieth century. (All other bomber jacketsthey are ubiquitous on city streets around the worldare remixes of the original.) The MA-1 is to Pattern Recognition what the cyberspace deck is to Neuromancer: it helps Cayce tunnel through the world, remaining a design-free zone, a one-woman school of anti whose very austerity periodically threatens to spawn its own cult. Precisely because its a near-historical artifactfucking real, not fashionthe jackets code cant be rewritten. Its the source code.

Gibson neednt have worried about the novel; it spawned its own cult. Buzz Ricksons is a real company, based in Tokyo. (It takes its name from a character played by Steve McQueen, who, in Japan, is a mens fashion icon of special stature.) The companys policy of military-historical accuracy prohibits it from making inauthentic garments; actual MA-1 flight jackets, produced for about twenty years, starting in the late nineteen-fifties, were sage green. And yet, after Pattern Recognition was published, customers began e-mailing Ricksons in the hope of buying a black version. Making an exception, the company collaborated with Gibson on a black MA-1 that became, in some circles, instantly iconic. Made of a carefully re-created mid-century nylon, it is simultaneously antique and futuristic. There is now a range of Buzz Ricksons x William Gibson military outerwear. Meanwhile, a decade after Pattern Recognition, K-HOLE, a marketing think tank modelled on the one in the novel, popularized Cayces fashion philosophy in the form of normcore, a trendforecasted, then realbased on the idea of secretive, informed, intentional blankness. Normcore influenced design more broadly, shaping the aesthetics of companies like Everlane and Uniqlo. The boundary between fiction and reality turned out to be even blurrier than Gibson had thought. He had rewritten the code himself.

In earlier decades, Gibson had been lauded for imagining futuristic developments that seemed strangely plausible: a fractal knife with more edge than meets the eye; a micro-bachelor apartment built into a retrofitted parking garage in Santa Monica. Now the polarity has reversed itself. Today, on Twitter, Gibsons followers share bits of the present that seem plausibly science-fictional. Protesters in Chile use laser pointers to bring down police drones. A stalker tracks a Japanese pop star to her apartment by extracting its reflected image from a photograph of her pupil. (Everyday life can be Gibsonian, too: a woman entering the subway in a tweed blazer and camo parachute pants; kids learning dances from Fortnite.) In Agency, a customer in an otaku coffee shop watches the silent news on someone elses laptop. If it wasnt the hurricane hitting Houston, she thinks, the earthquake in Mexico, the other hurricane wrecking Puerto Rico, or the worst wildfires in California history, it was Qamishli. The novel has yet to be published, but readers with advance copies have pointed out that the fighting in Qamishli, a city on the border between Turkey and Syria, is now real.

Inspired by Cayce Pollard, Emily Segal, one of the founders of K-HOLE, runs her own alternative branding and trend-forecasting consultancy, Nemesis, in Berlin. Its easy, she said, to fall into the trap of thinking that novel things must be entirely new. Gibson, by contrast, is often looking for something elsefor things that arent especially new, but suddenly stand out as special. A changing world might reveal itself not in the never-before-seen, but in the re-seen. Once you get put in a position where people and corporations think you can predict the future, you see how much of a bullshit enterprise that is, she went on. But intuition is real, and texts and art works take on lives of their own, and sometimes it feels like technology does, too. It can seem like youre seeing the future. Really, youre just participating in history.

In Vancouver, I met a friend for dinner. We found each other in Gastown, the citys stylish old quarter, and walked east, in search of a restaurant she wanted to try. The walk seemed to go on and on. I scrutinized the street numbers and consulted my phone, where my blue dot drifted through the grid. Id forgotten what Gibson had said about brutality, Canadian style, until someone pushed a shopping cart past me. We were there: across from the restaurant, a tent city huddled in the dusk.

Not long afterward, Gibson came to New York. We had coffee at a counter in Chelsea Market, near the logoed elevators leading to YouTubes offices. Then we entered Artechouse, a high-tech exhibition space, to check out Machine Hallucination, a video installation by Refik Anadol, a Turkish artist. The installation was designed to conjure a sleek, data-saturated metropolis: computer-generated images pulsed and swam over the walls and floor of a large subterranean room, as though every surface were a screen. Instead of talkingit was impossible to converse over the synthesized soundtrackpeople posted videos from their phones. In a sage-green MA-1 with black sleevesan ahistorical, experimental makeand a wool baseball cap, Gibson leaned against a pillar, illuminated by vivid, geometric images evocative of the decades-old cyberspace of Neuromancer. Eventually, the images shifted: colorful layers of hand-size pixels suggested a Pointillist cyberspace for the neural-network age. Gibson smiled sympathetically: it was hard to invent visual metaphors for the digital world.

Leaving Machine Hallucination meant crossing a floor of radiant C.G.I. We shuffled vertiginously to one door, then another, then another, before finding the real exit and escaping to a lobby.

Jesus Christ, Gibson said, blinking. Those cyberspace cowboys, they deal with that shit every day!

Chelsea Markets retro brands surrounded usa cheesemonger, a hot-sauce emporiumeach with its own distinctive design language. Neon, chrome, veneer; historical typography, the New York of the past. It was as if, having emerged from one William Gibson novel, we had entered another.

Which way do we go? Gibson asked.

I think this way, I said, indicating a purveyor of Australian meat pies.

Make a wrong turn down here and youll be in the headquarters of YouTube, Gibson mused. Youll never get out. Never! You think Facebook is bad? Those YouTube motherfuckersthey will really fuck you up.

We took a cab to dinner at Lucky Strike, a French bistro in SoHo that Gibson enjoys. In the back seat, sitting next to him, I thought of the surprising tenderness in his recent novels: in Agency, a man works from home while taking care of his baby, as Gibson once did. (Unlike Gibson, he uses a telepresence headset.) It used to be, Gibson had told me, that a defensive membrane divided his life from his work. He could consider the future as a professional, without picturing his own life, his kids lives. I never wanted to be the guy thinking about Mad Max world, he said. I had some sort of defense in place.... Its denial, some kind of denial. But denial can be a lifesaving thing, in certain lives, in certain times. How on earth did you get through that? Some reliable part of you just says, Its not happening. The membrane, he went on, which I very, very much miss, actually held until the morning after Trumps election. And I woke up and it was gone, whatever it was. It was just gone, and its never come back.

At dinner, Jack Womack joined us. The restaurant was loud and dimly lit, its tables and chairs artfully cheap, the specials written on mirrors in white pen. Attractive drinkers, dressed in black, raised coupe glasses. At our corner table, conversation turned to the jackpot.

What I find most unsettling, Gibson said, is that the few times that Ive tried to imagine what the mood is going to be, I cant. Even if we have total, magical good luck, and Brexit and Trump and the rest turn out as well as they possibly can, the climate will still be happening. And as its intensity and steadiness are demonstrated, and further demonstratedI try to imagine the mood, and my mind freezes up. Its a really grim feeling. He paused. Ive been trying to come to terms with it, personally. And Ive started to think that maybe I wont be able to.

Womack nodded. My daughters sixteen and a half, he said. Sixty years from now, shell be in her mid-seventies. I have absolutely no idea what the physical world will be like then. What the changes will be.

Its totally new, Gibson said. A genuinely new thing. He looked away from us, into the room. Another song came on the sound system. Incandescent light gilded the mirrors. A young woman in round glasses leaned back in her chair. I felt, suddenly, that we were all living in the past.

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How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real - The New Yorker

PewDiePie Quits Twitter After Confirming YouTube Hiatus – We Got This Covered

Having dedicated a major part of his life to creating and uploading videos on YouTube over the last decade, it appears as if PewDiePie has finally decided to throw in the towel, so to speak.

The internet star, who owns YouTubes most-subscribed independent channel, confirmed in a video titled YouTubes New Update Has A BIG FLAW that hell be taking a step back from his work commitments in the New Year. I think now is a great time as any to announce: I have a special announcement to make, he said, adding, I am taking a break from YouTube next year. I wanted to say it in advance because I made up my mind.

In reassuring fans that the timeout wont be permanent, PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, inferred that his reasons for the limited-time departure come largely as a result of fatigue stemming from uploading new videos almost every day for 10 years on the trot.

The news comes not long after YouTube outlined changes to its anti-harassment policy, which has come under heavy fire for making life incredibly difficult for genuine content creators. Kjellberg has been a vocal critic of both the aforementioned proposals and YouTubes business practices numerous times in the past and we wouldnt be surprised if recent events have contributed to his momentary departure.

As for when the stars legion of followers can expect a return to normality, Kjellberg hasnt specified an exact date and, whats more, appears to have committed to a total detox of social media. In the days since his initial shock announcement, the YouTubers Twitter profile has been scrubbed clean and abandoned, its profile bio simply reading I dont use Twitter, this account is just to prevent fake accounts.

In light of the total blackout, then, it appears fans will simply have no choice but to wait until the New Year arrives to learn when PewDiePie plans to make his return. Watch this space.

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PewDiePie Quits Twitter After Confirming YouTube Hiatus - We Got This Covered

Everipedia Gives Back to Children by Partnering with GIVE Nation – GlobeNewswire

BOSTON, Dec. 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Everipedia, the worlds largest blockchain-based encyclopedia, and GIVE Nation, a childrens gamified wallet focused on teaching sustainable financial literacy program and altruism, announced a co-education sharing partnership!

GIVE Nation will be the first outside organization to build a custom front-end that interacts with the IQ Network. This is a major milestone for both organizations and is a perfect synergy for Everipedias mission to be the knowledge layer of not only blockchain but of web 3.0.

In this collaboration, GIVE Nation will be powering its content from a selection of Everipedia pages that are deemed age-appropriate for their audience. Furthermore, GIVE Nation will be uploading their lessons to Everipedia. The goal for this partnership is to provide a reliable platform for GIVE Nation to pursue its mission of educating children.

Everipedia currently boasts millions of monthly visitors from all over the globe who are curious about the world around them and counts Brave browser as one of their partners. GIVE Nation is providing a suite of financial literacy programs to children and encourages philanthropy through a number of activities. GIVE Nation has partnered with organizations and governments around the world to fulfill its mission.

We are looking forward to building a new ecosystem with Everipedia. This will be an essential piece of GIVE Nation's media infrastructure, empowering millions of children around the world" states Arnaud Saint-Paul, the CEO of GIVE Nation.

Everipedia Director of Partnerships and Exchanges David Liebowitz adds that We see GIVE Nation being the first of many partners that utilize our platform to foster learning for people of all ages worldwide. We are excited to be working on this together and look forward to making a substantial impact.

About Everipedia InternationalOriginally started in 2015 as a more modern and inclusive alternative to Wikipedia, Everipedia is now building the worlds first peer-to-peer encyclopedia on the blockchain, incentivizing content creators by making them stakeholders in the knowledge base themselves. With millions of monthly unique users and millions of wiki articles, everipedia.org has already surpassed English Wikipedia as the worlds largest English encyclopedia by content. Find out more at everipedia.org and follow Everipedia on Facebook and Twitter.

About GIVE NationBy focusing on community driven education and including philanthropic actions; GIVE Nation helps 518 year olds with sustainable financial literacy while positively impacting their community through the power of altruism and partnered charities. GIVE offers unique education and opportunities for children, while providing a reward system for good behavior & charitable acts. GIVE Nation's incubator retains features for our children within a safe ecosystem that's been scientifically proven to not only generate business opportunities, but more importantly; GIVE Nation's platform offers features for our children within a safe ecosystem to improve our planet and foster entrepreneurship, imagination, and altruism. GIVE's mission encourages an altruistic culture in young minds by improving the planet through promoting transparent acts of kindness. Future generations achieve happiness and sustainable financial well-being through a real-world education using digital currencies, blockchain and A.I. technology, while supporting charities. GIVE Nation is a world for kids by kids.

All trademarks and product names are the property of their respective companies. Our discussion may include predictions, estimates or other information that might be considered forward-looking. While these forward-looking statements represent our current judgment on what the future holds, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect our opinions only as of the date of this presentation. Please keep in mind that we are not obligating ourselves to revise or publicly release the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events.

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Everipedia Gives Back to Children by Partnering with GIVE Nation - GlobeNewswire

Heavy freight: Why drop-in pitches can’t be moved interstate – Sydney Morning Herald


Given each trip is about eight kilometres, you can imagine why relocating them some 3400 kilometres across the Nullarbor has not been considered.

"The time it was on the road, the amount of drying that would happen if it was exposed, you would actually need a week or two to settle it back down to play on it," Optus Stadium curator Brett Sipthorpe said.

"It's not like you could take one to each venue and keep it going. I don't think it's a feasible option, no."

Cricket Australia insists the punishment Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper Emily Smith received for innocently uploading her team's batting order onto social media won't be revoked. Smith was banned for 12 months, with nine months suspended, covering the WBBL, WNCL and even grade seasons.


Australian Cricketers Association president Shane Watson will meet with CA chairman Earl Eddings next week to discuss how the case was handled but nothing is likely to change despite the ACA arguing CA has the power to change its own rules. What is clear is that all parties could have done things better. Smith, for one, should have had legal support in her initial hearing, and been encouraged to launch an appeal.

The ACA and CA agree Smith's actions were not linked to corruption but the punishment has angered many, including Isa Guha, the former England cricketer and now Fox Cricket commentator who said "common sense" should have prevailed.

Guha suggested it had been a case of "targetting someone who might not necessarily fight back".

"I personally didn't think the punishment fit the crime," she said. "But it's a situation that I am glad people are talking about now because that didn't happen a few years ago when a few girls got done for gambling where again it was a tricky circumstance, just the way it was handled, the way the girls were kind of ostracised from the cricket community they weren't able to set foot in the nets, turn up to games, which I just thought was horrendous.

'Bigger issues': Isa Guha has gone to bat for Emily Smith.Credit:Getty

"This has become their life. Cricket is now a viable option for women, so I was gutted to hear she was going to be out for the whole year but it looks like the ACA are providing some good support. The way I see it, Cricket Australia is using it as a deterrent. For me, there are much larger issues going on in match-fixing and gambling, just in world cricket."

The planets were aligned for Mitchell Starc's bid for a hat-trick. He had a pink ball, under lights and the jinx, broadcaster and writer Adam Collins, was nowhere to be seen at Optus Stadium.

Collins, who estimates he has attended 116 Tests and never witnessed a hat-trick, has left the Test circuit for the summer. Alas, for Starc that was not enough to seal the deal, though he does not seem to mind. "It's definitely not a goal that I have to tick off. If it happens, it happens," Starc said.

Kim Hughes has never been afraid to speak his mind, and the former Australian captain has made it clear what he thinks about the possibility of Steve Smith returning to the top role.

Tim Paine remains a series-by-series proposition, and Smith appears his logical successor, despite having served a ban for bringing the game into disrepute in South Africa last year.

"As far as Smith is concerned, he should never captain Australia again," Hughes said at the Lord's Taverners Breakfast during the week.

"Our national side is the most important [team] sport. I hope that he can concentrate on being the best player in the world and then let other people do the other things.

"It would be a mistake [for Smith to captain] even in two or three years' time."

Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald

Jon Pierik is cricket writer for The Age. He also covers AFL and has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.

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Heavy freight: Why drop-in pitches can't be moved interstate - Sydney Morning Herald

Jigs and fixtures by Xometry – 3DPMN

Jigs and fixtures are often made with custom parts from Xometry. Both of these devices help engineers and manufacturers to make better products.

A jig is a device that helps support, hold and locate a workpiece by guiding the tools that are needed to execute a manufacturing operation. Well-made jigs can have a major impact on the repeatability and accuracy of a manufacturing process. Jigs are used in uni-dimensional processes like drilling, tapping and reaming. Jigs also can have installed components, like bushings, which can come into contact with the cutting tool. An example is a drill bushing, which keeps drills in the right position and at the right angle to perform their work. 3D printing jigs is common practice due to the process ability to create conformal shapes and off-angle features without expensive tooling and setups.

Unlike jigs, which help to guide tools, fixtures help to hold workpieces in position so that they can be machined accurately. Examples include blocks of raw materials fixed inside machines and vices or clamps that hold workpieces in place. Most manufacturing facilities use fixtures to enable automation to increase production speed. For example, Xometry builds automotive fixtures for BMW that are used for aligning a vehicles front end during assembly. This helps BMW to manufacture their vehicles more efficiently and reduce operational error though repeatable work holding and installation solutions. BMW uses 3D printing services, urethane casting and CNC machining services to produce custom fixture assemblies.

Jigs and fixtures are both used to increase the productive time of mass production processes. But there are key differences between the two. Jigs always help guide a tool, while fixtures hold and locate the work, but do not guide tools. Fixtures are usually heavier and are bolted directly to the machine table, while jigs are usually lighter and are not affixed directly to the table. Jigs are also generally more complex to design and more expensive to produce than fixtures.

Both jigs and fixtures can be made with CNC Machining or 3D Printing, though it is more common to see 3D printed jigs since they are lighter. 3D printing can be a great choice with parts with complex geometries since they can often be expensive or challenging to machine. 3D printed jigs can be significantly cheaper than machined ones, so its worth getting a quote in 3D printing as part of your process.

Designing a fixture or jig begins with the application in mind as well as the quantities needed. There are three main processes used when making jigs or fixtures.

1. CNC machining is great for producing low to medium complexity shapes that require high stiffness, extreme environments and precision tolerances. Delrin (Acetal), Garolite, PTFE and PEEK are the most common polymers used for machining jigs and fixtures. In metal, typically Aluminum 6061-T6 is the most common, which can be enhanced by finishes like metal plating, color anodizing and chemical conversion coatings. CNC milling is the best approach for quality check fixtures, due to its ability to achieve precision tolerances and surface finishes.

2. Additive manufacturing or 3D printing can produce low to very high complexity shapes with ease. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is heavily used in making fixtures because of a build area up to three feet and the ability to make lightweight parts using sparse infill. Handheld jigs, such as surgical drill guides, may utilize processes like Carbon DLS or Stereolithography due to a good combination of precision and durable parts. PolyJet 3D printing is useful for laser marking fixtures because of its ability to produce soft-touch, non-marking holders using multi-material 3D printing, similar to a rubber overmold.

3. Urethane casting combines the design freedom of 3D printing with high-wear, urethane-based materials. Urethane casting can produce low volume production parts that can be color-matched, hit a specific durometer and are non-marring for holding finished products and ornamental pieces. Cast urethane parts are often flexible or rubber-like but can also be highly stiff depending on the material used.

Each jig or fixture is custom, and specifically designed for its application. There is no right way to make or combine parts together but there are best practices that will help guide your thought process. The tips below aid in design best practices for fixtures and jigs.

1. Make a mockup if you do not have the part yet. 3D printing is by far the best means to get a rapid prototype of a part to be fixtured. Even before the design process, a physical model to reference can be a powerful tool to inspire a design approach. 3D printed parts can also be robust enough to trail fixture or jig setups, including drilling, part marking and running automated inspection like CMM.

2. Limit your touchpoints in the design to those which critically support the object as well as indicate or index its orientation. This will reduce the complexity of the jig or fixture and save headaches when the digital design meets realitywhere minor deviations may occur from manufacturing.

3. Give clearances to corners and bends when designing conformal jigs and fixtures. Many manufacturing processes may have small radii in sharp internal corners. Instead of risking an interfering fit, it is best to design generous pockets or clearances around those features. For fixturing bent tubing or sheet metal components, it is best to design for the maximum condition of the curve or avoid touchpoints in that area altogether. This is due to deviations from the CAD which can often occur in the bent or formed locations.

4. Split up large parts to reduce manufacturing costs and increase the flexibility in the design. For example, you can build a 30 fixture, but it may be 2-3X less expensive to build smaller components only where the touchpoints are requiredespecially if the fixture will be mounted to a threaded plate.

5. Make the parts lightweight by using ultralight or sparse infills with FDM, or by designing features like pockets, ribs and holes to reduce the material used. This is particularly useful for jigs, where it is very common they will be handheld. Lighter parts will reduce fatigue over time and can be easier to store between uses.

6. Mix materials and processes to get a specific function out of the jig or fixture. It is not uncommon to see 3D printed components cover the highly custom contours of a jig or fixture while other features are generated using precision milling or other processes. Each process has its strengths and trade-offs, and with manufacturing as a service models (MaaS) like Xometry there are very few restrictions to what process and materials can be used.

7. Use COTS frequently to reduce costs on standardized components like handles and clamps. COTS stands for commercial off the shelf and is a catch-all term for anything you can buy without needing to custom design it (screws, pins, handles, rails, etc.). COTS components are almost always cheaper than custom manufactured pieces, often by orders of magnitude in costs. The custom components machined, cast or additively manufactured should be specific to the application need. Adding threaded inserts or tapped holes to the custom components prepares them for custom COTS integrations.

8. Prepare for benchtop adjustments by incorporating adjustable features. For example, metal shims between screw-mounted components are extremely common to compensate for tolerance deviations in assemblies. Using slots for table top-mounted fixtures allows minor adjustments to be made without heavy rework. Spring-powered pogo pins, whether custom or off-the-shelf, are also useful for giving firm mounting while allowing for small deviations between parts.

With online machine shops and online 3D printing services available today, it has never been easier to produce single and low volume custom jig and fixtures. Xometry has the benefit of providing the most common services and materials used for producing custom guides and work holding solutions with short lead times and low costs. Xometry can even build custom assemblies on-demand as it does for BMWs automotive line. Getting started is easy by uploading the 3D models for the jig or fixture to Xometrys Instant Quoting Engine.

This article was published in collaboration with Xometry.

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Jigs and fixtures by Xometry - 3DPMN

Amazfit GTR is the Best First Smartwatch for Watch lovers – International Business Times

Amazfit GTR is a smartwatch that doesn't look like a smartwatch (Jeff Li/IBTimes)

Being a watch enthusiast, I find myself struggling to appreciate smartwatches as timepieces.

They feel much more like extensions to my phone that straps to my wrist, and I think the main reason for that is not because they can't tell time as well as traditional watches. In fact smartwatches are connected to phones which gets it's time from an atomic clock through GPS, which means when in sync, its accuracy is unbeatable by any traditional watches.

The main mental block that prevents me of thinking of smartwatches as timepieces pertains mainly to its craftsmanship, its aesthetics, and the fact that they need to be charged too often when compared to traditional watches.

After using the Amazfit GTR for the last few weeks, I'd have to say that my mental block is crumbling down over time. This is a Smartwatch that has been beautifully crafted out of premium material, and balances its functionality with its aesthetics, plus having a large user base who are watch lovers and having the ability to be customized; it is a package that cannot be equaled by any other smartwatches on the market right now.

Polished Stainless Steel case with a Ceramic bezel: What else do you need? (Jeff Li/IBTimes)

Premium build

There are not many smartwatches on the market that I would call premium build, and I certainly did not expect this from the GTR mainly due to its price point. However taking it out of the box, the first thing I noticed is that it handled exactly like a traditional watch. Its weight, cold and polished metal body and dimensions felt oddly familiar. At first touch, I immediately thought Huami has struck some kind of perfect balance in the build to make this Smartwatch not feel like a Smartwatch at all. I bet if someone gave me a blind test, I would not be able to pick it out by feel next to other traditional watches.

On closer inspection, the stainless steel case did not disappoint. Its curves and finish are precise and exudes strength and class. They did not skimp out on the two buttons either which are both clicky and felt as premium as the case.

Curiosity did strike me when it came to the bezel though, as it is a ring of matt finish with hourly markings but also has a polished chamfer. After inquiring the Huami team, they confirmed that the bezel is actually made of ceramic (Specifically microcrystalline zirconium ceramics according to the website, like the ceramic edition of the iWatch). This I thought was very promising, because the Gorilla glass surface recesses below the ceramic bezel and would be strong enough to be its protection from scratches.

Leather outer, rubber inner - my perfect combo (Jeff Li/IBTimes)

Going to the back of the watch, the back of both the watch and the leather strap is synthetic, which for me, I was completely ecstatic. One of the biggest challenges I face with watch wearing is sweat corrosion and unpleasant smells. Name a trick online, and I've tried it all on my leather straps, and nothing have worked. Not only is the leather strap of the GTR rubberized, it is also ribbed, allowing for extra air flow. In the weeks of testing this watch, I have not experienced any odor issues. I'm also a fan of the synthetic back of the watch for similar reasons. I have started to like synthetic backs since trying out the Suunto Traverse, and the back on the GTR is just as inert and sweat resistant - exactly how I like it.

Amazfit itself has plenty of good looking watch faces, but there's even more (Jeff Li/IBTimes)

Watch loving community generated watch faces

This is arguably the best thing about Amazfit watches, and the GTR in particular; the watch enthusiasts behind it. The Amazfit somehow got all the planets aligned, where it:

Because of not one, not two, but all three of these things combined, what you get is a Smartwatch that can load beautifully made watch faces made by watch lovers, of which a considerable library is already available.

When I realized this, I immediately found an app to customize the watch face and started trying out them out. I felt like a giddy teenager who just discovered Windows Vista sidebar and widgets for the first time! Compared with any other smartwatches that I know of, the Amazfit GTR has the most extensive and high quality custom watch faces that I have seen, thanks to the community of watch lovers behind it.

(Caution: Do use unofficial watch faces at your own risk. Like any computer device, uploading unregulated, user generated software always come with an unavoidable risk and may cause damage to your device if there are malwares. If you want to play safe, the Amazfit app itself has plenty of well-built watch faces to choose from)

You only need to see this once a month (Jeff Li/IBTimes)

24 Days Battery life

Not sure if this was a tongue in cheek statement, but instead of a 24 hour battery life - which is quite typical for smartwatches, the GTR has a 24 day battery life. When put into daily use, this makes a day and night difference. After its first full charge, enduring all my watch face uploading, synchronizing, and all the screen-on time for gawking at new watch faces - I haven't needed to charge the watch, not even once.

Magnetic 'puck' for charging (Jeff Li/IBTimes)

When you do need to charge it, the GTR charging system is easy enough that you might as well charge it every night. With a magnetic puck, it attaches itself (Like the good'o Magsafe chargers on the Macbooks) and the way it goes.

Who is the Amazfit GTR for?

What sets this smartwatch apart is not its software, and Huaimi knows it. They made a conscious decision to put a considerable effort into getting the hardware just right, and after using it for a few weeks, I'd say it paid off big time. From the premium build, to the long battery, to the possibilities of loading on sophisticated watch faces, the Amazfit GTR has become in my mind the first compelling Smartwatch that belong in my timepiece collection.

David is a tech enthusiast/writer who is often on the move and is on a mission to explore ways to make his overhaul flights more enjoyable. This is a contribution to an ongoing IBTimes review series on gadgets for Business Travellers.

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Amazfit GTR is the Best First Smartwatch for Watch lovers - International Business Times

Do We Have Minds of Our Own? – The New Yorker

In order to do science, weve had to dismiss the mind. This was, in any case, the bargain that was made in the seventeenth century, when Descartes and Galileo deemed consciousness a subjective phenomenon unfit for empirical study. If the world was to be reducible to physical causation, then all mental experiencesintention, agency, purpose, meaningmust be secondary qualities, inexplicable within the framework of materialism. And so the world was divided in two: mind and matter. This dualistic solution helped to pave the way for the Enlightenment and the technological and scientific advances of the coming centuries. But an uneasiness has always hovered over the bargain, a suspicion that the problem was less solved than shelved. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Leibniz struggled to accept that perception could be explained through mechanical causeshe proposed that if there were a machine that could produce thought and feeling, and if it were large enough that a person could walk inside of it, as he could walk inside a mill, the observer would find nothing but inert gears and levers. He would find only pieces working upon one another, but never would he find anything to explain Perception, he wrote.

Today we tend to regard the mind not as a mill but as a computer, but, otherwise, the problem exists in much the same way that Leibniz formulated it three hundred years ago. In 1995, David Chalmers, a shaggy-haired Australian philosopher who has been called a rock star of the field, famously dubbed consciousness the hard problem, as a way of distinguishing it from comparatively easy problems, such as how the brain integrates information, focusses attention, and stores memories. Neuroscientists have made significant progress on the easier problems, using fMRIs and other devices. Engineers, meanwhile, have created impressive simulations of the brain in artificial neural networksthough the abilities of these machines have only made the difference between intelligence and consciousness more stark. Artificial intelligence can now beat us in chess and Go; it can predict the onset of cancer as well as human oncologists and recognize financial fraud more accurately than professional auditors. But, if intelligence and reason can be performed without subjective awareness, then what is responsible for consciousness? Answering this question, Chalmers argued, was not simply a matter of locating a process in the brain that is responsible for producing consciousness or correlated with it. Such a discovery still would fail to explain why such correlations exist or why they lead to one kind of experience rather than anotheror to nothing at all.

One line of reductionist thinking insists that the hard problem is not really so hardor that it is, perhaps, simply unnecessary. In his new book, Rethinking Consciousness: A Scientific Theory of Subjective Experience, the neuroscientist and psychologist Michael Graziano writes that consciousness is simply a mental illusion, a simplified interface that humans evolved as a survival strategy in order to model the processes of the brain. He calls this the attention schema. According to Grazianos theory, the attention schema is an attribute of the brain that allows us to monitor mental activitytracking where our focus is directed and helping us predict where it might be drawn in the futuremuch the way that other mental models oversee, for instance, the position of our arms and legs in space. Because the attention schema streamlines the complex noise of calculations and electrochemical signals of our brains into a caricature of mental activity, we falsely believe that our minds are amorphous and nonphysical. The body schema can delude a woman who has lost an arm into thinking that its still there, and Graziano argues that the mind is like a phantom limb: One is the ghost in the body and the other is the ghost in the head.

I suspect that most people would find this proposition alarming. On the other hand, many of us already, on some level, distrust the reality of our own minds. The recent vogue for mindfulness implies that we are passive observers of an essentially mechanistic existencethat consciousness can only be summoned fleetingly, through great effort. Plagued by a midday funk, we are often quicker to attribute it to bad gut flora or having consumed gluten than to the theatre of beliefs and ideas.

And what, really, are the alternatives for someone who wants to explain consciousness in strictly physical terms? Another option, perhaps the only other option, is to conclude that mind is one with the material worldthat everything, in other words, is conscious. This may sound like New Age bunk, but a version of this concept, called integrated information theory, or I.I.T., is widely considered one of the fields most promising theories in recent years. One of its pioneers, the neuroscientist Christof Koch, has a new book, The Feeling of Life Itself: Why Consciousness Is Widespread but Cant Be Computed, in which he argues that consciousness is not unique to humans but exists throughout the animal kingdom and the insect world, and even at the microphysical level. Koch, an outspoken vegetarian, has long argued that animals share consciousness with humans; this new book extends consciousness further down the chain of being. Central to I.I.T. is the notion that consciousness is not an either/or state but a continuumsome systems, in other words, are more conscious than others. Koch proposes that all sorts of things we have long thought of as inert might have a tiny glow of experience, including honeybees, jellyfish, and cerebral organoids grown from stem cells. Even atoms and quarks may be forms of enminded matter.

Another term for this is panpsychismthe belief that consciousness is ubiquitous in nature. In the final chapters of the book, Koch commits himself to this philosophy, claiming his place among a lineage of thinkersincluding Leibniz, William James, and Alfred North Whiteheadwho similarly believed that matter and soul were one substance. This solution avoids the ungainliness of dualism: panpsychism, Koch argues, elegantly eliminates the need to explain how the mental emerges out of the physical and vice versa. Both coexist. One might feel that aesthetic considerations, such as elegance, do not necessarily make for good science; more concerning, perhaps, is the fact that Koch, at times, appears motivated by something even more elementala longing to renchant the world. In the books last chapter, he confesses to finding spiritual sustenance in the possibility that humans are not the lone form of consciousness in an otherwise dead cosmos. I now know that I live in a universe in which the inner light of experience is far, far more widespread than assumed within standard Western canon, he writes. Koch admits that when he speaks publicly on these ideas, he often gets youve-got-to-be-kidding-stares.

It is an irony of materialist theories that such efforts to sidestep ghostly or supernatural accounts of the mind often veer into surreal, metaphysical territory. Graziano, in a similarly transcendent passage in his book, proposes that the attention-schema theory allows for the possibility of uploading ones mind to a computer and living, digitally, forever; in the future, brain scans will digitally simulate the individual patterns and synapses of a persons brain, which Graziano believes will amount to subjective awareness. Like Koch, Graziano, when entertaining such seemingly fanciful ideas, shifts into a mode that oddly mixes lyricism and technical rigor. The mind is a trillion-stranded sculpture made of information, constantly changing and beautifully complicated, he writes. But nothing in it is so mysterious that it cant in principle be copied to a different information-processing device, like a file copied from one computer to another.

The strangeness of all this does not mean that such speculations are invalid, or that they undermine the theories themselves. While reading Koch and Graziano, I recalled that the philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel, in 2013, coined the term crazyism to describe the postulate that any theory of consciousness, even if correct, will inevitably strike us as completely insane.

If the current science of consciousness frequently strikes us as counterintuitive, if not outright crazy, its because even the most promising theories often fail to account for how we actually experience our interior lives. The result, Tim Parks writes in his new book, Out of My Head: On the Trail of Consciousness, is that we regularly find ourselves signing up to explanations of reality that seem a million miles from our experience. In 2015, Parks, a British novelist and essayist, participated in a project funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation which put writers in conversation with scientists. The initiative led Parks to meet with a number of neuroscientists and observe their research on consciousness. Parks finds that most of the reigning theories upend his intuitive understanding of his own mind. Truth, these experts tell him, lies not in our fallible senses but in the bewildering decrees of science. Our minds, after all, are unreliable gauges of the objective world.

Parks takes a different approach: mental experience lies at the core of Out of My Head, not only as subject but as method. For Parks, our subjective understanding of our minds is trustworthy, at least to a degree; he admonishes the reader to weigh every scientific theory against their knowledge of what its really like being alive. Throughout his account of his travels, he dramatizes his inner life: he notices how time seems to slow down at certain moments and accelerate at others, and how the world disappears entirely when he practices meditation; he describes his fears about his girlfriends health and his doubts about whether he can write the book that we are reading.

Most of the neuroscientists whom Parks meets believe that consciousness can be reduced to neuronal activity, but Parks begins to doubt this consensus view. As a novelist, attentive to the nuances of language, he notices that these theories rely a great deal on metaphor: the literature of consciousness often refers to the brain as a computer, chemical activity as information, and neuronal firing as computation. Parks finds it puzzling that our brains are made up of thingscomputersthat we ourselves only recently invented. He asks one neuroscientist how electrical impulses amount to information, and she insists that this is just figurative language, understood as such by everyone in the field. But Parks is unconvinced: these metaphors entail certain theoretical assumptionsthat, for instance, consciousness is produced by, or is dependent upon, the brain, like software running on hardware. How are these metaphors coloring the parameters of the debate, and what other hypotheses do they prevent us from considering?

Parkss skepticism stems in part from his friendship with an Italian neuroscientist named Riccardo Manzotti, with whom he has been having, as he puts it, one of the most intense and extended conversations of my life. Manzotti, who has become famous for appearing in panels and lecture halls with his favorite prop, an apple, counts himself among the externalists, a group of thinkers that includes David Chalmers and the English philosopher and neuroscientist Andy Clark. The externalists believe that consciousness does not exist solely in the brain or in the nervous system but depends, to various degrees, on objects outside the bodysuch as an apple. According to Manzottis version of externalism, spread-mind theory, which Parks is rather taken with, consciousness resides in the interaction between the body of the perceiver and what that perceiver is perceiving: when we look at an apple, we do not merely experience a representation of the apple inside our mind; we are, in some sense, identical with the apple. As Parks puts it, Simply, the world is what you see. That is conscious experience. Like Kochs panpsychism, spread-mind theory attempts to recuperate the centrality of consciousness within the restrictions of materialism. Manzotti contends that we got off to a bad start, scientifically, back in the seventeenth century, when all mental phenomena were relegated to the subjective realm. This introduced the false dichotomy of subject and object and imagined humans as the sole perceiving agents in a universe of inert matter.

Manzottis brand of externalism is still a minority position in the world of consciousness studies. But there is a faction of contemporary thinkers who go even furtherwho argue that, if we wish to truly understand the mind, materialism must be discarded altogether. The philosopher Thomas Nagel has proposed that the mind is not an inexplicable accident of evolution but a basic aspect of nature. Such theories are bolstered, in part, by quantum physics, which has shown that perception does in some cases appear to have real causal power. Particles have no properties independent of how you measure themin other words, they require a conscious observer. The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman believes that these experimental observations prove that consciousness is fundamental to reality. In his recent book The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes, he argues that we must restart science on an entirely different footing, beginning with the brute fact that our minds exist, and determining, from there, what we can recover from evolutionary theory, quantum physics, and the rest. Theories such as Hoffmans amount to a return of idealismthe notion that physical reality cannot be strictly separated from the minda philosophy that has been out of fashion since the rise of analytic philosophy, in the early twentieth century. But if idealism keeps resurfacing in Western thought, it may be because we find Descartes and Galileos original dismissal of the mind deeply unsatisfying. Consciousness, after all, is the sole apparatus that connects us to the external worldthe only way we know anything about what we have agreed to call reality.

A few years before Parks embarked on his neuro-philosophical tour, he and his wife divorced, and many of his friends insisted that he was having a midlife crisis. This led him to doubt the reality of his own intuitions. It seems to me that these various life events might have predisposed me to be interested in a theory of consciousness and perception that tends to give credit to the senses, or rather to experience, he writes.

By the end of the book, its difficult to see how spread mind offers a more intuitive understanding of reality than other theories do. In fact, Parks himself frequently struggles to accept the implications of Manzottis ideas, particularly the notion that there is no objective world uncolored by consciousness. But perhaps the virtue of a book like Parkss is that it raises a meta-question that often goes unacknowledged in these debates: What leads us, as conscious agents, to prefer certain theories over others? Just as Parks was drawn to spread mind for personal reasons, he invites us to consider the human motivations that undergird consensus views. Does the mind-as-computer metaphor appeal to us because it allows for the possibility of mind-uploading, fulfilling an ancient, religious desire for transcendence and eternal life? Is the turn toward panpsychism a kind of neo-Romanticism born of our yearning to renchant the world that materialism has rendered mute? If nothing else, these new and sometimes baffling theories of consciousness suggest that science, so long as it is performed by human subjects, will bear the fingerprints of our needs, our longings, and our hopesfalse or otherwise.


Do We Have Minds of Our Own? - The New Yorker

What Are The Best Anonymous Bitcoin Casinos? – Coin Clarity

Do you find crypto casinos that require KYC uploads to be a pain? Read this article to discover some casinos to check out that allow players to remain anonymous while still offering a quality, dependable gambling experience as well.

If you are any kind of a crypto gambler, you are probably aware of the concept of Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) practices that are often imposed on players at bitcoin casinos. Uploading personally-identifying documents to a crypto casino can be a cumbersome and unwelcome process for a number of reasons:

Identity theft is by far the most profitable form of online scam, and although it is already a rampant problem, it continues to increase with each passing year. Therefore, it is not totally unreasonable to want to avoid bitcoin casinos that make KYC checks mandatory for their players.

Every licensed crypto casino is bound by the conditions of their license to perform KYC procedures on their customers; however, many have taken the route of only enforcing KYC when players deposit or request withdrawals above a certain threshold. Some casinos suggest you upload KYC documents as soon as you register, while others only ask for it on what is seemingly a random basis. In worst case scenarios, there are some casinos that will suddenly spring KYC documentation requests on customers only when they do not want to pay out a certain user, whether it is because it was a large winning or for other reasons.

All of these factors can be avoided by choosing to play at a casino that will not ask you for your personal information. These casinos value the anonymity of their members and usually have KYC as an entirely optional feature if it even exists at all. There are of course risks involved with playing at such casinos, as they themselves are often run anonymously, and as such, they dont really answer to anybody in terms of regulation. They rely on reputation alone.

The anonymous-friendly casinos we list below have all been in operation for years. They have slowly gained the trust of their users, who keep returning to them time and again, comfortable with the fact that they known how to run a good business. At the end of the day, having a license and publicly-known owners isnt going to be enough to insure that a casino isnt going to scam its customers the only thing that actually matters is having a proven track record of delivering a fair gameplay experience in a competent and trustworthy manner. We now present to you a few KYC-free bitcoin casinos and gambling sites that have just that, offering our confidence in their operations as well.

Types of games: slots, card games, table games, live dealer

Year founded: 2014

Coins accepted: BTC, LTC, DOGE, BCH, USDT

BitcoinPenguin has been in operation for a number of years, and while they do have a handful of outstanding user complaints against them, they have even more positive reviews by loyal users. They are an anonymous casino and as such do not request any specific information from their users. However, if a player is suspected of using multiple accounts (which is forbidden), BitcoinPenguin may ask them for identifying documentation before issuing a withdrawal. That being said, they have a lot of top quality games that arent available at any other anonymous casino, and are probably the biggest crypto casino that doesnt currently ask for personally-identifying documentation.

Click here to get started playing at BitcoinPenguin now.

Types of games: dice, Blackjack, BitAce, slots, sportsbook

Year founded: 2014

Coins accepted: BTC, LTC, DOGE, ETH, CSNO, EOS

BitDice has been in operation for over 5 years, and for the longest time they concentrated on offering only one thing: a good, clean provably fair dice game with a 1% house edge. They have since expanded somewhat, most recently incorporating a (limited) sportsbook into their operation. While they claim they have the right to impose KYC, we cannot find any instances of them ever actually springing requests for identification upon their customers an exception being when they ask players to prove that they are above the age of 18. BitDice ran an ICO to raise investment funds last year which was quite successful, distributing their in-house Ethereum token (CSNO) to participants. They have a solid reputation for a KYC-free casino and are highly recommended, so long as you dont mind their limited selection of games.

Click here to get started playing at BitDice now.

Types of games: dice

Year founded: 2013

Coins accepted: BTC

Bustabit is a unique dice-type game where players bet how long a multiplier will continue to accumulate (starting at zero, going up to an indefinite amount). For example, if a player bets on 2, they will receive 2x their initial bet. Though simple in its concept, the game is highly addictive and attracts thousands of players on a daily basis. The chat box gives the game a social aspect which renders it unlike most other casinos, and the chance to win a return of potentially thousands-fold makes it one of the most exciting games to watch. Bustabit has a house edge of 1%, whereby occasionally the number will bust at 1.0, forcing a loss on all bettors. As it employs a provably fair design, it is considered to be one of the most honest of all bitcoin gambling sites, and is open to players from all around the world. Users also have the chance to invest in profits accumulated by Bustabit if they want to get in on the house winnings.

Click here to get started playing at Bustabit now.

Types of games: dice, slot (singular), Blackjack, Roulette, Video Poker, plinko, Minesweeper, lottery

Year founded: 2014


Crypto-Games.net is another long-standing crypto casino operation which has made a name for itself by concentrating on 3 things: simplicity, fairness, and anonymity. For over 5 years it has also accepted more different crypto deposit options than most other casinos, most recently adding Stratis (STRAT) to their list. Crypto-Games also employs a provably fair betting system which makes it easy to verify the fairness of dice rolls (as well as some of the other games in its limited selection) and has a reputation for being an honest, no-hassle casino that always honors the deposits and withdrawals of its customers.

Click here to get started playing at Crypto-Games.net now.

Types of games: sportsbook, dice, Texas HoldEm, Blackjack, slot (singular)

Year founded: 2012

Coins accepted: BTC

One of the oldest bitcoin casinos still around (and the oldest sportsbook), Nitrogensports recently increased their offerings to include a provably fair dice game, Blackjack, and a single slots game. They are well-known for being an incredibly honest, well-run operation that is definitely worthy of your patronage. In addition to having a complete sportsbook with dozens of different sporting events on which to wager, they are also one of the only bitcoin casinos to offer Texas HoldEm against other players. Having 7 years of experience under their belt means they know a thing or two about treating their customers to a good gambling experience, and theres hardly a better operation that allows players to gamble anonymously out there.

Click here to get started playing at Nitrogensports now.

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What Are The Best Anonymous Bitcoin Casinos? - Coin Clarity

The ‘artificial’ eye of the artist – The Drum

Computers are more powerful than ever. We are simulating complicated functions of the human mind and collecting and curating their output. Thousands of iterations created in minutes, novelty and ambiguity imbued into work whose core components are not directly from the human mind. Instead we are constructing and abstracting and handing over the keys of creativity to a fabrication of our mental facilities.

Sounds dystopian. But does the emergence of AI mean the end of creativity or a whole new pallet to play with?

All hail the Prometheans

Theres a new kid on the block whose process and output is intertwined with surprise, novelty, ambiguity, complexity and eccentricity. You wouldnt be wrong for mistaking it for magic, instead its the product of AI, and media creators are clambering over themselves to wield this new fire from the blue-chip Gods. Below are some Promethean heroes who are paving the way in creativity, leveraging this new tool to take their visions to new artistic heights.

Control. Shift. Face.

One content creator playing with the proverbial fire is someone who goes by the pseudonym Ctrl + Shift + Face. He is using Deep Fake - an AI GAN (generative adversarial network) that allows one to transpose one persons face onto another seamlessly, to create mind bending videos. His YouTube channel is getting attention from around the world for his incredible video editing work that superimposes other people's faces onto well-known celebrities. This deep-fake artist has done bizarre, but entirely believable, mashups of Sylvester Stallone in Terminator 2, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in Fight Club.

You might not believe your own eyes when you see Bill Hader do an almost perfect impression of Tom Cruise.

Apeiron art

Mario Klingemann is another pioneer, who works with code, AI and data. A German artist and Google Arts and Culture resident, he created one of the first pieces of AI artwork to be sold at auction.

Memories of Passersby creates a never-ending stream of unique and uncanny portraits. Utilising a GAN model and thousands of 17th to 19th century portraits as a base data set, it creates portraits in real time, never repeating and never tiring, yet contains no database of created works. The work consists of two screens, each using AI to generate a portrait every few seconds. Every image is unique and morphs seamlessly into its successor.

Senses and sensibilities

The Chinese App Zao is another formalisation of this computer vision software, allowing people to replace the main characters in films with themselves. The app works like this: by uploading one of your selfies to the app, it can place your face on top of celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, making it seem like you starred in the Titanic. The app essentially lets anyone create a deepfake, or a fake video that seems incredibly real.

Meanwhile, fraudsters have utilised the same principle to manipulate sound. It was recently reported that a voice-generating AI software was used to impersonate the boss of a German parent company that owns a UK-based energy firm. They then tricked the latters chief executive into urgently wiring said funds to a Hungarian supplier in an hour a first of its kind AI-based voice fraud, that cost the company $243,000.

Are you scared yet?

We as humans are the creators and wielders of all tools which are allowing us to manipulate the fabric of our own digital reality. With A.I. at our fingertips, it might be said that we are leaving the age of Homo Sapien and entering the age of Homo Deus.

Theres no denying there is creativity on show here, but is this the future we want? Well, whether you like it or not, its the future weve got. Weve opened the Pandoras box, reality will never be the same again and its down to us as stewards of technology to ensure that what we create is constructive, not destructive.

Miles Tincknell, developer at Halo.

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The 'artificial' eye of the artist - The Drum

Heres What to See, Watch, and Stream This Thanksgiving – Vulture

The Irishman, Heartstrings, and Knives Out Photo: From left: Courtesy of Netflix, Courtesy of Netflix, Courtesy of Lionsgate

There are two categories of Thanksgiving programming from which one can choose this holiday weekend. (Call it the white meat vs. dark meat dilemma of seasonal watching, or imagine them as dueling football teams if you so choose.) The first is comprised of shows and movies you can watch with your family: unlikely to offend, appealing to all ages, so cozy they blend right into the overstuffedness of the day. The other is comprised of shows and movies you can watch whilst escaping your family, whether that means its streamable on a contraband iPad during an extended bathroom break or in a different state entirely, after youve piled the Friendsgiving plates in the sink. Below, a heavy helping of both. You decide which is which. (Just maybe dont let the kids watch Rachel Getting Married.) Happy bingeing, in every sense of the word!

Knives OutThis one requires some effort, like actually getting into a car and going to a theater and feeling rotten for the people who have to work there on a holiday. But youll be rewarded with knits galore and rich, woodsy, family-murder-catharsis vibes. The money? Old. The England? New. The Knives? Most certainly OUT.

Marriage StoryWould you like some utter devastation with your mashed potatoes? Just the gravys fine? Oh, okay. If you change your mind, see Noah Baumbachs divorce film Marriage Story as it was intended: in a theater full of sniffling strangers. We also recommend sitting the family down to watch the most powerful eight minutes on Youtube to prepare for Adam Drivers performance.

Frozen 2Into the Unknown has major Just Around the Riverbend vibes. This is praise! This is a good thing! Lost in the Woods sounds like a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend track without the jokes! This is fine! You know youre going to have to see Frozen 2 if you have a tiny human in your life, so why not just give in and check it out?

A Beautiful Day in the NeighborhoodEvery time I see the promotional still of Tom Hanks in character (the one that absolutely every article about this movie uses), I think its a biopic about the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush. You see an airborne shoe and your brain only has so many points of reference. Anyway, this is not that. Its not even a biopic, in the traditional sense. Its about a journalist played by Matthew Rhys profiling Mister Rogers. This would be a very nice thing to see with parents.

Ford v FerrariThe vroom-vroom movie where the cars go fast, starring Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Tracy Letts, Noah Jupe, a bunch of cars, and one (1) human woman. Settle your sensitive tum after you feast by going to the theater, buying a Coca Cola, and watching this with your old man. Did I mention the cars go real fast?

Queen & SlimFrom fast cars to fast cars with higher stakes, make a double feature of it and go see Queen & Slim, the feature-film debut from Formation music-video director Melina Matsoukas, written by Lena Waithe. The Thanksgiving tie-in here? The filmmakers respectively directed and wrote the Thanksgiving episode of Master of None.

The Good LiarIve seen this trailer so many times before so many movies and still have no idea what its about on account of the generic title but I do know it stars Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen, and that has to count for something. Go take a beloved grandparent or aunt. Itll be a real treat.

Jojo RabbitIts cute and I liked it, why is everyone yelling at me!! You know your loved ones better than I do, and their mileage may vary with Taika Waititis Hitler-youth comedy. So you can determine whether or not to take them. I personally think seeing the little bespectacled kid is worth the price of admission.

Dark WatersFar from Heaven probably qualifies as Todd Hayness Thanksgiving movie, seeing as it looks like a harvest Pinterest mood board sprung to life. But this holiday season hes brought us a true story about an attorney going up against DuPont, which I think is where Ken Cosgrove worked by the end of Mad Men. Or was it Dow Chemical? Either way, its evil and its poisonous and Mark Ruffalo is gonna put a stop to it!

HarrietCynthia Erivo plays Harriet Tubman in this movie about the leader of the Underground Railroad movement, alongside Leslie Odom Jr. and Janelle Monae. If your family members like historical epics told on epic scales, this is a safe bet.

The Irishman (Netflix)Gratitude is one thing, but forgiveness? Thats a whole other roast beast. Thankfully, Netflix is uploading Martin Scorceses ruminative The Irishman in time for an inter-generational Thanksgiving viewing with your grandpa, your dad, and your very quiet, reproachful niece Peggy that stares at yall condemningly through a doorway. Its also such a good food movie that this one list of all the food in it forgot, like, at least five iconic foods.

Big Night (Rent on Amazon Prime)Is there a better food movie out there (excluding those about rat-chefs who control humans like puppets by pulling their hair)? You could make a case for Tampopo, but the highly erotic egg and oyster scenes make it less than ideal for watching with the fam. So in comes Big Night, a movie about brotherhood, passion, stuffing your face with lovingly prepared carbs, and an excitable Ian Holm walking around with a little moustache. The power of Allison Janney, Minnie Driver and Isabella Rossellini in one movie is undeniable.

First Reformed (Amazon Prime)Be thankful for literally the Planet Earth because it wont be around for much longer! Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner of bread dipped in whiskey! (And then enjoy your Irishman dessert of bread dipped in grape juice.)

The Family Stone (Hulu)This is the first appearance of Sarah Jessica Parker on this list, but it will not be the last. The Family Stone is traumatic, tonally bizarre, and often a downer, but its strange alchemy is just-different-enough from the Ephron/Meyers/Curtis holiday stand-bys to be more interesting than you remembered.

Rachel Getting Married (Netflix)Every family gathering should have a timed dishwasher-loading contest.

The VVitch (Netflix)I refuse to consult the style guide and I will never not spell it with those Satanic double-Vs. Thomasins dread tale is the only pilgrim movie youll ever need.

Chicken Run (Hulu)As the great Robert Pattinson once said when asked about his favorite chick flick, Chicken Run is the only thing coming into my head. Maybe its horribly wrong to watch this after carving into the turducken, but I like to think its a way to honor the fallen fowl for its service. For more stop motion in autumnal palettes, follow it up with Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold (rent on Amazon)You already made your family watch Paddington 2 last year, and Paddington the year before that. If youre starved for another charming story about a young naf who moves from deepest Peru to the big city to spread kindness and teach manners this is also that!

Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix)For all the expectedly raunchy humor, this Eddie Murphy biopic comedy about Rudy Ray Moore is ultimately a sweet story about the thrill of getting your voice out there. Its earnest approach to the maaaaaagic of moooooovies is very winning and probably a good watch with the grandparents.

The Big Chill (Crackle)Yuppie scum but yuppie scum with a gorgeous soundtrack, cozy sweatshirts, and so, so many 80s dream daddies. It captures the best of friendsgiving vibes, just hanging out in leggings on various couches. Its a chilly Michigonian Everybody Wants Some, if Everybody Wants Some grew up and got a mortgage.

Lady Bird (Kanopy, Amazon)Well, Happy Thanksgiving. We missed you, Lady Bird.

Dolly Partons Heartstrings (Netflix)Bless Dolly for single-handedly saving the wretched wasteland of a genre that is streaming anthology series by doing something cute with it and weaving together a series of original stories each based on a different Dolly song. Genius. I havent seen it yet because I told my mom Id save it for Thanksgiving when we can watch it together. Pinky swear youll do the same.

National Dog Show (Thursday, November 28, NBC)A.K.A. the only sporting event that matters on Thanksgiving. Football who? Never heard of her. Immediately after the parade, 2,000 good boys and girls will compete to be the best pup in the land, based the judgment on an old man in a tuxedo fingerin his gums. Always fun to turn it on and see how your dog reacts to the screen. This year, Azawakh hounds will be competing for the first time. Picture a Saluki without the blowout.

Glee, Thanksgiving (Netflix)The Sarah Jessica Parker performance of Lets Have a Kiki will haunt me until my dying day. Lea Michele mashes it up with Turkey Lurkey Time from Promises, Promises to make it more holiday-appropriate, and the end result will ignite your fight-or-flight response. See if you can spot baby Shangela.

Over the Garden Wall (Hulu)An honest-to-goodness underrated gem of the decade in TV, and one that uses every woodsy Thanksgiving motif: brown leaves and settlers and log cabins, crackling fireplaces and turkeys and pumpkins. Its like if Ichabod and Mr. Toad were made by Ghibli instead of Disney. Plus, its only ten 11-minute episodes.

Billy on the Street (Netflix)Billy Eichners deconstructed talk show is now on Netflix in all its shouting, exasperated glory, and its a fun, easy binge. Sure, youve seen the For a Dollar games and segments where celebrities run around Flatiron, but the more high-concept bits are stellar as well. The alternate Macys Day parade featuring a Carol balloon is a classic, as is the Wicked tailgate.

Happy Endings (Hulu)The gonna tell my kids this was ___ meme is asinine and stupid and sucks, but the one about Happy Endings was good and correct. Demonstrate some goddamn integrity and eschew the Friends Thanksgiving agenda in favor of its superior successor. Nothing captures the gluttonous spirit of Thanksgiving like watching Alex eat ribs.

Gilmore Girls Marathon (Wednesday Nov 27, UPtv)Scott Patterson (Luke) hosts a 24-hour marathon of the most Thanksgivingy show of all time. Considering the new season of Mrs. Maisel wont be out until after Thanksgiving this year, its a perfect way to get your Amy Sherman-Palladino fix. And as always, Lane deserved better.

Documentary Now, Juan Loves Rice and Chicken (Netflix)This season-one episode of Documentary Now has the Dewey Cox problem of being leagues better than what its parodying. Fred Armisen is at his best when hes playing wide-eyed, humble neurotics who you feel sorry for, and watching Juan overcome his chicken-phobia to cook out of his fathers shadow is more moving than it has any right to be.

A Self-Guided Frasier Dinner Party Marathon (Netflix)If youre hosting Thanksgiving this year, just know that no matter how stressful it gets, youre pulling off a better soiree than Niles and Frasier ever could. Take comfort in their panic in dinner-party episodes like To Kill a Talking Bird, The Life of the Party, Daphne Does Dinner, The Seal Who Came to Dinner, Taps at the Montana, Dinner Party, Halloween, and The Innkeeper, to name a few of many.

Bobs Burgers (Hulu)So many Thanksgiving episodes, so many Emmy-worthy vocal stylings from John Roberts.

Real Housewives of New Jersey Marathon (Wednesday November 27, Bravo)If youre lucky enough to get Wednesday off, make the least of it (in a good way!) with an all-day-long Real Housewives of New Jersey marathon. Teresa flipping the table is a Thanksgiving mood if ever weve seen one.

Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Gang Squashes their Beefs (Hulu)A little Thanksgiving bounce-around between this holiday episode, the Suburbs one (with Macs famous mac and cheese), the 2-part holiday special, and the Jersey Shore one (rum ham!) will help you give thanks your family isnt McPoyle-level bad. The less we say about the Pilgrim-themed The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell, the better.

Twin Peaks: The Return and David Lynch Cooking Quinoa (Hulu and Youtube)Theres still a month left in this decade to watch the single best piece of audiovisual media that came out of it so get on that and give thanks that David Lynch was given the resources to make this. Then rewatch the original if you want actual autumnal-sweater, log-cabin, save the pine weasel vibes. Watch Fire Walk with Me if you want festive Thanksgiving turkey talk and a side of trauma. Watch this 20-minute video of David Lynch cooking quinoa if you need a last-minute dietary-restriction-friendly side dish for Thanksgiving dinner. Gobble gobble!

Succession (HBO)Season two had so many pivotal meals: the stinky Summer Palace, Tern Haven, the yacht betrayal-meal, the Dundee dinner feat. DJ Squiggle, and of course, Boar on the Floor. Relive the memories with a weekend binge.

Bon Appetits Making Perfect (Youtube)Its a comfort to know that even professional, Youtube-famous chefs mess up, and mess up a lot. Binge every episode of their Making Perfect Thanksgiving miniseries as they fumble their turkey brines, undercook their sprouts, overcook their sprouts, fight about sumac, and (spoiler alert) lose a state fair pie-baking competition. The final episode, where they all come together for an August Thanksgiving dinner at Claires parents house, is the Avengers: Endgame of the BA stan community.

Original post:

Heres What to See, Watch, and Stream This Thanksgiving - Vulture

Guide To Beautiful Gifts From Craftsmen, Artists, And US Entrepreneurs – The Federalist

Ive slowly been refining my gift buying philosophy. Weve done big Christmasses, little Christmasses, piles of cheap plastic from China, handcrafted gifts, big-ticket items and small. As I think about what to give the people I love, both for Christmas and at other times such as birthdays, I find myself wanting to be more intentional, and give fewer, better things rather than more cheap things.

Things like that can be really hard to come up with. And sometimes the kid just wants cheap plastic from China, and you can get it for a ridiculous steal on Black Friday or on sale in July, and its fine. But where possible, and when I can manage, Im trying to up the quality and reduce the consumerism. Other goals include sending fewer dollars to corporations that use them to attack my faith and freedom, and fewer to enrich countries whose leaders run gulags.

Here are a few such favorite items Ive found from artists, small businesses, craftsmen (and craftswomen), and the like. Theyre arranged in no particular order. While I have personal relationships with one or two of the entrepreneurs mentioned, they have no idea I planned to mention them here and we have no financial relationship besides me buying their stuff at retail because I like it.

Feel welcome to ping me on Twitter if you also have recommendations in this vein. Im always looking for ideas.

Ad Crucem is a boutique Christian art company, and their selection of especially paintings include some striking original items. But I have to say my favorite of their offerings are the christmons. Christmons are basically decorations that involve historic symbols of Christ, hence the name.

Below is a nativity christmon perfect for a Christmas tree, but others in the collection would also make beautiful wedding, baptism, ordination, confirmation, Easter, or birthday gifts. They are of the right size and price to be included with a card in a small padded envelope.

The symbols are clear, strong, and beautiful. Just check out the strength of this Agnus Dei image:

Did I mention theyre on a 20 percent sale if you buy one of the collections starting at five pieces for $31? Plus free shipping on all orders to the continental USA. That just got me to buy a few more. Theyre perfect for stashing away for gifts throughout the year. I dont know how long this sale lasts but Id imagine its going through this Thanksgiving week.

I also adore this fleur-de-lis cheese plate but havent bought it yet because, well, if I bought everything I like wed be broke. Go make your wife, mom, or sister happy, though, and get it for her. Its $14, you cant beat that!

One gift I gave last year to a K-12 school was a set of these reproductions of master artists on canvas in beautiful frames. The Leonardo da Vinci I bought had some fading in the print but that is because the current original looks the same (da Vinci notoriously used experimental paints that have not always held up well through the centuries). I was very pleased with what came in the mail.

Id thought before of just uploading a high-quality JPEG of a classic work during one of those JCPenney or Michaels canvas art sales, but that would have taken time, and I got these with three clicks plus beautiful frames instead of me hating my life resizing and cropping for two hours on my computer. The frames alone are worth the $145-$185 price tags.

But if youre a budget shopper who doesnt mind resizing on your screen for an hour, try that route. The canvas prints sales are also good this week from just about all the places that sell them.

This. This, my friends, is an original bust of Flannery OConnor. Every single reader friend of yours wants one. If theyre not Flannery fans, Mud House Art and Literature has got them covered, too. Theyve got Homer, Jane Austin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Bach, Dante, and more, in busts, half busts, bookends, magnets, even Christmas ornaments.

Prices range from $21 for a refrigerator magnet to $299 for a full bust. Get 10 percent off with the code memoria when you check out.

Mud House Art and Literature is two fellas working down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They also publish books.

We bought this for a friends wedding last year: A U.S.-made Stargazer cast iron skillet. Stargazers have a forever warranty and are designed to not burn your hand and to pour sanely. They come in two sizes: 10.5-inch for $95 seasoned/$85 unseasoned; and 12-inch at $130 seasoned/$120 unseasoned.

I of course cant resist sharing the Etsy shop of my friend and watercolors teacher. Her selections change based on what shes working on. She started her original painting of Mary and Christ below next to me and another friend as we all slapped paint in a local rose garden.

You can get a 1620 canvas print of it for $49. Imagine it as a focal point of a family altar or prayer corner, or as the centerpiece of your mantel decorations this Christmas. You can also get Christmas cards from Red Letter Design with the same images, plus several more, in sets of 40 or 15.

Other friends who run a boutique Christian press, Emmanuel Press, produce Christmas cards Ive used now for years, and they update their selections each year with new commissions from working artists or designs that newly incorporate classic sacred art. The quality and richness they present is impossible to find in a mass-produced card.

Here are a few of my favorites. A small wood reproduction of the Russian holy family triptych, which is famous throughout Orthodox Christendom, is mounted on our familys playroom wall.

Religious art lifts my thoughts heavenward throughout my day, and the Lord knows I need that. So Ive been trying to slowly add more of it to our home. I hit the jackpot this summer by finding the booth of this mother who works in watercolors. Samanthas handle is Pleasantly Crafted. I own the piece below (and need its reminder multiple times a day) and bought several of the striking framed solo gratia calligraphy prints in the rich gold and purple for myself and as gifts.

Her prices are modest and her work beautiful. I believe she also does custom work, so contact her for calligraphy and more (details on her Etsy and Facebook). A lot of her things (she has a huge number of designs) are not on her Etsy shop right now, so if you see something you like in her Instagram feed, ask her about it! And here is her fresh Christmas card design for this season, also available to frame:

If you are interested in sacred art, and supporting working artists even as a small-time patron, page through the Catholic Artists Directory.

I found that through Theology of Home, a cottage enterprise by a trio of lovely Catholic ladies, several of whom have written excellent material for The Federalist. Check out their custom-scented candles. I like the idea of the smell of victory.

Even though I am not a Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox believer, all Christians share in the artistic tradition they continue to preserve, which is undeniably beautiful and worth supporting. Its millennia better than the Precious Moments and Thomas Kinkaide-ware of the typical evangelical mall. An Orthodox priest gave me my first icon and I cant wait to add more. Theyre not hard to find, in any price range, and would be a lovely gift for any believer who has good taste.

These two small publishers reprint beautiful old childrens books: The Good and the Beautiful and Living Book Press. Both also offer low prices, so you can afford to buy a boatload (which I just did for my kids for Christmas I get them books for every occasion).

The former reprints the books with very appealing covers and sometimes illustrations, which is absolutely effective at getting kids interested. They definitely judge books by the cover. Sometimes I will dress up an old book with a new cover just to snooker them.

Living Book Press tends to print the books with their original illustrations, another nice touch. I basically buy every new book they put out as soon as they get a new one off the press the prices range from $6 to $12 usually so its a very cheap habit. And it keeps my kids in books, which is the important thing. Way cheaper and better than supplying a video game habit. Use coupon code nostress (without the quote marks) UNTIL Friday for 10 percent off.

Here are a few recommended titles to start you off, excluding obvious classics you should be aware of like Kidnapped and Heidi. Fifty Famous Stories Retold, by James Baldwin. We spent the summer reading through that book before bed together, a story or two at a time. The King of the Golden River, by John Ruskin. This is impossible to find for $6 anywhere else. This Country of Ours, by Henrietta Marshall. This is a truly wonderful older childrens history of the United States. I read it for my own edification. Its best fit for middle school and up, unless youre reading aloud to younger children.

The Story Book of Science, by Jean Fabre. This book uses a frame narrative of a grandfather telling stories to his grandchildren. Some people like that and some people find it artificial. Depends on you and your child. If it works for you, this is an excellent book and aptly titled. The Story of the Illiad, by Alfred Church. This is a child-level retelling of the classic. Church does excellent retellings of Greek myths and his books are often very hard to find in good condition at a decent price.

Then from The Good and the Beautiful theres a bevy of history and historical fiction, at all reading levels and subjects of interest: Abraham Lincoln, by Wilbur Fisk Gordy, a 1917 biography; Boy of the Pyramids: A Mystery of Ancient Egypt, by Ruth Fosdick Jones; Men of Iron, by Howard Pyle; The Adventures of Philippe: A Story of Old Quebec, by Gwendolyn Bowers; Prudence Crandall, by Elizabeth Yates; and The Journey of Ching Lai, by Eleanor Frances Lattimore.

The only complaint I have about both presses is that Id like to buy hardcover editions of their reprints. I know those cost more but they also hold up much better to little kids hands. I might be able to keep them for the grandkids that way. If you care about that, like me, you might invest in some softcover contact paper like libraries use to keep your softcovers lasting longer. You can get a roll at Demco.

Note: It requires VERY careful hands to apply that stuff without totally mangling the book. Maybe try it on a few garbage books you got at the thrift store to get the hang of it. But it does help preserve your books.

If you havent heard about Saddleback Leather and drooled over their stuff ever since, head on over there and try to keep your greed in check by planning to give their goods to other people. Basically anything they offer is the right gift for any man in your life. They have some things for women, too, but really, this is a man store. All handmade in the United States and with a 100-year warranty.

When we were poor early in our marriage, I pinched and hid freelancing money from my husband for months to buy him this one, which he can hand down to whatever lucky son sucks up enough to get it. If youre not looking to drop $719, their wallets are a great anyman gift and much more affordable.

This mother of two embroiders primarily baby slings but also other lovely items that would make beautiful gifts. Heres her Etsy shop. Dont you wish you could do that? Wow.

This Etsy link sent by a friend is to handmade unisex beanies in a rainbow of colors. You could almost get this gift for anyone, and its only $20.

Federalist writer R.H. says of this papercraft duo, I just took profile snaps of each of my five children and they sent me digital files. I love them made a framed gallery for myself, but also since I own the digitals I plan on making little ornaments too. Basically every mother ever wants one of these of her kids.

This crafters personalized family embroidery schedule is full through the rest of the year, she says on Instagram, but these stitched family portraits would also be perfect for an anniversary, birthday, or family reunion gift.

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Guide To Beautiful Gifts From Craftsmen, Artists, And US Entrepreneurs - The Federalist

Friends reunion special with cast ‘in the works at HBO Max’ – Metro.co.uk

The cast of Friends in talks for a reunion (Picture: NBC)

A Friends reboot is officially back on the table with cast members Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry.

According to reports, the creators and stars of the hit comedy are in talks to reunite on HBO Max.

Yep, Christmas has well and truly come early!

Talks are currently underway for an unscripted reunion special, an insider told The Hollywood Reporter however, lets not all get carried away just yet.

The publication also made it clear that a deal is far from done and agreements with cast and creatives still need to be hammered out.

After breaking the internet by uploading a picture of herself and her co-stars back together, Jennifer got us all excited again when she told Ellen DeGeneres that the crew is working on something.

While it seemed to be a joke at first and Jennifer completely ruled out a full reboot, she later admitted that on the shows 25th anniversary, there might be something in the making.

Jennifer said: We would love for there to be something, but we dont know what that something is. So were just trying.

Were working on something, she then teased.

However, in September, Friends co-creator and executive producer Marta Kauffman ruled out any chance of a reunion or reboot entirely.

We will not be doing a reunion show, we will not be doing a reboot, Kauffman said.

The show was about that time in life when friends are your family. On the subject of a reboot, Kauffman added: Its not going to beat what we did.

Looks like she might have changed her mind though

Metro.co.uk has contacted Warner Bros and HBO for comment.

Friends is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.

If you've got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page - we'd love to hear from you.

MORE: Jennifer Aniston dubs Friends the gift of a lifetime in epic Peoples Choice Awards Icon acceptance speech

MORE: Jennifer Aniston shares ultimate Friends throwback to wish stylist happy birthday

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Friends reunion special with cast 'in the works at HBO Max' - Metro.co.uk

What can I do if I hate my job? Here are 5 things – Ladders

I hate my job! Have you ever said that?

Chances are if youve held any position for any length of time at all, youve uttered the wordsI hate my job.It seems like a prevailing attitude these days.

Let me contrast hating your job from pursuingearly retirementorfinancial freedom because you want to have more control over your time and your life. Though some have said they hate their jobs, most want to take more control of their lives and put together a plan to get there sooner rather than later.

Im talking about those of us who say I hate my job but feel like they cant do anything about it.

There are a lot of reasons for being unhappy with our jobs. Heres a shortlist too many meetings, bad bosses, not enough vacation time, long hours, not appreciated, too much stress, not fulfilling, or not what matches my education.

Can I be honest with you? As the saying goes, these are first world problems. Sometimes I think we forget how good we have it. Ill spare you the soapbox about how good we have it in this country relative to the rest of the world. And Im certainly not suggesting that anyone should stay in a job thats causing them stress that leads to health problems.

Heres the thing that bothers me. I think we have lost perspective on work. That scares me a bit. If everyone hated their jobs and decided to quit, where would that leave the economy? It would be a mess. Thankfully, not everyone quits their jobs.

But should they? What should we do if we find ourselves in an unbearable job situation? Should we tell our boss to shove it? Stick it out?

Thats what I want to talk about in this post.

Polls and studies tell us that the vast majority of people hate their jobs. A couple of years ago, in 2017, Gallup conducted a survey on workplace happiness. In reality, it was about workplace unhappiness. The title of the study,The Worlds Broken Workplace, says it all. The results show that a staggering 85% of the workers of the world say they hate their jobs. Im not making this up. Its not that they dont like their jobs. They say they hate them.

The reason they cite the most? They hate their boss. Heres a quote from the article:

According to Gallups World Poll, many people in the world hate their job and especially their bossEmployees everywhere dont necessarily hate the company or organization they work for as much as they do their boss. Employees

Wow! And there is more:

Only 15% of the worlds one billion full-time workers are engaged at work. It is significantly better in the U.S., at around 30% engaged, but this still means that roughly 70% of American workers arent engaged. It would change the world if we did better.

Whichever study you choose to use, the evidence is clear. People are unhappy with their jobs!

I hesitate to put this first. But I understand the reality. Many of you cant see your way out of ever being happy with your current job situation. So, lets look at some ways you can find another job.

First, get thatkiller resume ready. The resume should be your best first impression. Spend time getting that together. Consult an expert if you think that will help. Have others look it over and make suggestions. Dont skimp on this step. Most get passed over. Yours needs to stand out. Make sure it does.

If youre in a job that pays $100k or more, Ladders is your best option. You can post your resume there, get into networking groups, and so much more. Even if youre not looking for a $100k plus job, its a great site to get educated on the process.

Indeed.comis another excellent place to look. Their site is much more broad-based. YOu can enter keywords into a search box describing the kinds of jobs you want. Uploading your resume is a simple process. They have profiles of numerous companies you can research. You can search by salary range, income, location, and many more.

LinkedInis another great job search site. Go to theJobs taband search for the jobs you want. Here, you can leverage your connections, get introductions, and much more.

These three would be my top choices to start the job search.

With that out of the way, I would suggest this not be your first step. Ill tell you why when I cover the next few things to do.

Im probably stepping into some dangerous territory here with this one. But if we dont do some self-reflection when things arent going our way, we are more prone to bad decisions.

Have you noticed it? The blame game is alive and well. It seems like most of us dont want to take responsibility for our actions. Thats especially true when it comes to our mistakes. Its much easier to find fault in someone else. In reality, the responsibility may not be with anyones mistake. It may have everything to do withour mindset.

Carol Dweck, who wrote a great book on the topic of mindset,Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, says the following:

Im probably stepping into some dangerous territory here with this one. But if we dont do some self-reflection when things arent going our way, we are more prone to bad decisions.

Have you noticed it? The blame game is alive and well. It seems like most of us dont want to take responsibility for our actions. Thats especially true when it comes to our mistakes. Its much easier to find fault in someone else. In reality, the responsibility may not be with anyones mistake. It may have everything to do withour mindset.

Carol Dweck, who wrote a great book on the topic of mindset,Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, says the following:

In one world, effort is a bad thing.It, like failure, means youre not smart or talented.If you were, you wouldnt need effort.In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented.

Your Mindset

The latter description is the growth mindset. The former is a fixed mindset. If you have a fixed mindset in life, you will likely be miserable in your job. Heres how I described it in anarticle on the subject of mindset:

People with a fixed mindset believe their essential qualities,like talents and intelligence, are fixed traits.Rather than spending their time developing them, they spend time documenting their ability or knowledge.They believe their talent and intelligence are the keys to their success.Hard work has no bearing on it.Dr. Dweck says for those with a fixed mindset,its not enough just to succeed.You have to be flawless.Its the belief that says if youve got it, youve got it.If you dont, you dont.

Its a dangerous perfectionist mindset. Do you look at yourself as being flawless? If so, how do you think that impacts those around you at work? Be willing to examine yourself critically to look at your role in your unhappiness at work. People with a growth mindset are always looking for ways to learn and grow.

As yourself some of the following questions.

If youre one who says I hate my job, take a look at what it is you hate about it. Is it the area of the company? Do you hate your boss? Is the work boring? If you could do something else with the company, what would it be?

If, after self-reflection, you feel youve done everything you can, its time to talk to your boss. Before you do, though, get yourself in the right frame of mind. If you go in with an attitude, or with an accusing tone, it wont go well for you. If youre angry and cant get rid of that anger, dont have the conversation until youve settled down. Often, the root of the problems at the workplace comes down to communication.

Im not saying your boss isnt a jerk. He or she very well be a jerk. What I am saying is that it doesnt mean they arent willing to change. Think about what you want to say before setting up the meeting. Write down your thoughts. Talk to your spouse, partner, significant other, or a good friend. Vet it out with someone you trust. Be careful when you do that to look critically at both sides of the issue. There are always two sides to every story. As you contemplate the conversation, try to get a feel for your bosss side of the story. Look at things from their perspective.

Dont turn assumptions based on your feelings into facts. Facts are just that facts. Just because you think you know why someone does something, that doesnt make it a fact. Its an opinion. Look at the other possibilities outside of what you think.

Everyone is fighting a battle. Someone who is a jerk is likely an unhappy person. They have baggage you dont know about. You have baggage they dont know about. Understanding that aspect of the human condition is helpful when preparing to have tough conversations.

Lets say that, after answering the previous questions, you find there may be another place in the company thats a better fit. Do you have the skills or education to move into that position? If not, what would it take to get those skills?

Once you have the answer to that question, put together a plan to get that education. Most companies nowadays offer assistance to advance your knowledge. Most want to help those who wish to further their careers with their company. Pursue that education and make yourself a better employee.If it turns out that the job you want and the skills you need to get it is outside of your current company, put together a plan to get those skills or that education.

According to thePew Research studyreferenced earlier, people in management are much more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. They are salaried employees with excellent benefits as part of the job. People in retail, manual operations have fewer benefits and lower job satisfaction. The survey shows that 59% of people earning $75,000 or more in salary say they are very satisfied with their current job.

Get the additional skills, degree, or certification you need to move into the higher-paying jobs. Work on your income by working on your education and skills.

Finding other sources of income may sound far-fetched if youre miserable in your current job and working long, stressful hours. For a refresher, go back to #2 and check on your mindset. Were going to assume you want to get better and improve your position.Finding financial independencebrings options to your life. Having multiple sources of income is one of the best paths to get there.

Sides hustles for busy peopleare possible. There are numerous ways to make money that dont take a lot of time. Not sure where to start? I get it. If youre one of those people, who say I hate my job and you feel stuck, thinking about side hustles can be difficult. If that describes you, please dont give up hope. Whether youre an introvert, extrovert, or a combination of both (yes, thats possible), there are numerous ways toearn side income.

The most successful people who retire comfortably have more than one source of income. It may be frominvestments in real estate,dividend-paying stocks, businesses, or a simple part-time job. You would be surprised how little money and time it takes to get started in some of these side hustles or investments.

Dont think its impossible because you dont have the time or skills. You have plenty of both. Focusing on a plan to create additional income is a marathon, not a spring. It wont get you out of the job you hate tomorrow.

However, it might make it easier to put up with or feel better about it if you know you have a plan to move away.

I am keenly aware that anyone reading this whos in the I hate my job mindset, might find this oversimplified. Id go so far as to say it might even piss you off. I mean, no one wants to hear about the changes and steps they need to take to improve a difficult job situation. Its much easier to put the onus on another person. Perhaps you put it on the company, the culture, or all of these things.

Heres what I know. There is one and only one thing we can control in these kinds of situations. No, it isnt our boss. Nor is it the companys management (though they may be horrible). It isnt the work environment. It isnt any of those things. You know where Im going with this. The one thing we can control is us. We cant control our circumstances, only how we react and respond to them.

Its our choice. We can stay stuck in the mindset of trying to force change on others. Or we can take matters into our own hands and change the one thing we can control.

Make no mistake. Its easier said than done. I realize that. We will have a much better chance for success when the focus of the change and examination is on ourselves, rather than the one we think is the reason for our misery.

There is a lot more that we could say about this kind of situation. I like to keep things simple. The five items listed here are, at the very least, a starting point to help get you unstuck.

This article first appeared on The Money Mix.

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What can I do if I hate my job? Here are 5 things - Ladders

"Hide the Pain Harold" describes what it is like to become a famous meme – Boing Boing

If you have a pulse, you've seen memes starring "Hide the Pain Harold," an older man sitting at a desk, one hand holding a coffee cup, the other on a laptop keyboard. He is smiling, but his eyes tell a different story, one filled with regret, self-doubt, fear, and sadness. The man behind the meme is Andrs Arat (74), a former electrical engineer, who says he is actually a happy person. He wrote an essay for The Guardian about what it is like to become accidentally famous. Wisely, Arat took control of the meme by starting a Facebook fan page and uploading videos and stories to it.

That started everything going. People noticed that I had taken ownership of the meme and got in contact to offer me work. I was given a role in a television commercial for a Hungarian car dealer. In one of the adverts, I travelled to Germany to buy a used car and it broke down halfway home; if I had bought the same car through their company, the brand claimed, it wouldnt have happened. The fee for that commercial changed my wifes mind about the meme.

Now my life has changed dramatically. People ask me to talk about my story, to demonstrate the power of memes. A football website flew me to England to make a video about Manchester City; I got to tour the ground and watch them play a Champions League game. The German mail-order giant Otto flew me out to make commercials for them. The Hungarian hard rock band Cloud 9+ have a song called Hide The Pain, with me in the video. Im the face of Totum, the British discount card run by the National Union of Students they got me to wear a bucket hat. Ive even given a TED talk.

As much as some of us fear the loss of our jobs to robots, theres one job were pretty sure they are welcome to: vacuuming. Theres nothing quite like kicking back and watching a robot vacuum do one of the most time-consuming tasks on the household chore list. And there are few bots that do []

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Just about everybody from small-time app developers to big database administrators loves Linux. But just because its open-source doesnt mean its secrets are open to everybody. For that, you need a comprehensive training program like the Complete Linux System Administrator Bundle. If youre chasing any kind of career in coding, this is the online regimen []

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"Hide the Pain Harold" describes what it is like to become a famous meme - Boing Boing

Is the International Marketplace Network the best way to expand? – Tamebay

Last week, Real, CDiscount, EPrice and EMAG announced that their one account to rule them all model is now ready for users. Whilst it hasnt been a secret that they were planning to work together, they have pressed the magic button which allows online sellers to connect all their accounts through the International Marketplace Network.

Today, Jesse Wragg, Managing Director at eCommeleon takes a look at the pros and cons of the International Marketplace Network. On the one hand if you already sell on either Real, CDiscount, EPrice or EMAG it enables you to easily list on the other three marketplaces extending your reach, but equally its unlikely to be as effective as translating and localising your listings for each marketplace on an individual basis.

If you want to really do justice in each country youll want to tweak your feed for each marketplace. (eCommeleon enables you to upload your product data and it can then help you map, convert and optimise it for each of these channels and validate it with each channels rules and requirements).

My interpretation of the IMN is that its the cross-channel equivalent of Amazons build international listings tool. That is, sign up in one locale/channel, press the right button and pow; youre listing and selling across multiple marketplaces in multiple countries.

In theory, it sounds great. The practice remains to be seen, particularly as Amazon has plenty of issues between its own marketplaces (attributes getting confused, EANs not working properly etc.), so it will be interesting to see how this cross-platform technology works when having to deal with very different systems.

In general, the IMN seems to be a bit of a no-brainer, as long as you dont mind exporting the CSV with your orders and uploading it into your system. What they dont say is how this can be managed alternatively. For example, Real & Cdiscount both integrate well with Linnworks for order management, ePrice & Cdiscount with ChannelAdvisor. Does that mean that you could now view your orders from Real in ChannelAdvisor via the Cdiscount connection? If so, thats something to write home about. If not, sellers using a system such as this will just need to make sure that theyve got a decent buffer on their inventory in order to avoid over-selling.

Machine translation. Its getting better, theres no arguments about that. But when you look at the trouble Amazon has with converting listings internationally via the build international listings tool, its easy to see that machines cant yet be trusted to automate the process of converting data from one marketplace to another; even marketplaces under the same hat. Whilst its nice to see that Real, Cdiscount, EMAG & ePrice are working together to take on Amazon, sellers should still remember that these are still different beasts unto themselves and whilst the technical integration is now alive and well, were working with multiple channels which each have their own requirements.

Lets imagine that Cdiscount allows you to use 250 characters on titles in your category, but Real only allows 200. Sure, the system can machine translate from French to German, but what will your German title look like on Real after its been machine translated and had 50 characters sliced off the end?

If youve got an account with any of the four International Marketplace Network partner marktplaces, youre now able to sell on any of the rest, quickly, simply and at the click of a button Its a quick and easy way to expand your international reach and ideal if you want to test the waters on a new marketplace in a new country.

But, if you are serious about listing on all four channels channel you might as well do it properly. Just as you tailor your feed for each international Amazon or eBay marketplace why wouldnt you spend the time to do the same for Real, CDiscount, EPrice and EMAG?

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Is the International Marketplace Network the best way to expand? - Tamebay

Look Ahead: Curio Aggregates News Stories Before Converting the Articles Into Audio Files – Editor And Publisher Magazine

News consumers have a variety of apps at their disposal to help aggregate their news and deliver it in their preferred way. But for those who prefer to listen to their news, whether its at home or on their daily commute, theres Curio.

Curio is an app that converts news articles into audio files from a range of publications, including the Washington Post, Economist, Financial Times, Guardian, Bloomberg, and more. The app is always uploading and converting new articles, while Curio curates and personalizes news to the users interests and even functions offline. The app has three different plans for users to choose from: annual premium ($59.99), monthly premium ($7.99) or free, which allows users to listen to 10 free tracks.

The app was created in 2017 by CEO Govind Balakrishnan and COO Srikant Chakravarti as a way to help (news consumers) understand the world better and feel more connected with it and with (their) peers. Earlier this year, the app became available in the U.S.

Balakrishnan explained that content is handpicked daily by the editorial team and then narrated by professionals. Curio works with more than 40 professional narrators, including the likes of Andi Arndt, a two-time Audie Award winner, and Ronnie Butler, an actor and award-winning audiobook narrator.

In the app, users will find a For You tab, which becomes a personalized newsfeed, a discover tab where they can browse by category or publisher, and a library tab where users can check out their bookmarked and downloaded articles as well as their queue.

We want to offer different perspectives and great ideas that often get buried under the daily news agenda, Balakrishnan said. Thats why curation is an essential element for us.

Its also what Balakrishnan believes sets Curio apart from other similar tools out there. We focus on timeless stories and ideas that have and will continue to have an impact in the world for the foreseeable future, he said.

Balakrishnan added that he felt the information space has become more crowded, causing news consumers to feel more overwhelmed. Curating the best content can help provide an understanding of what is happening and therefore deliver peace of mind, he explained. Curio also helps publications reach new audiences for stories they have worked hard to produce, and it can increase engagement and create a new stream of revenue for news publishers as well.

For more information, visit curio.io.

Editors Note: This article has been updated with the correct annual premium pricing.


Look Ahead: Curio Aggregates News Stories Before Converting the Articles Into Audio Files - Editor And Publisher Magazine