More on Technology
11 months ago
I've had these five apps on my phone for a long time.
Who survives spring cleaning?
Relax. Notion is off-limits. This topic is popular.
(I wrote about it 2 years ago, before everyone else did.) So).
These apps are probably new to you. I hope you find a new phone app after reading this.
ViewRanger is Google Maps for outdoor enthusiasts.
This app has been so important to me as a freedom-loving long-distance walker and hiker.
This app shows nearby trails and right-of-ways on top of an Open Street Map.
Helpful detail and data. Any route's distance,
You can download and follow tons of routes planned by app users.
This has helped me find new routes and places a fellow explorer has tried.
Free with non-intrusive ads. Years passed before I subscribed. Pro costs £2.23/month.
This app is for outdoor lovers.
New phones come with bloatware. These rushed apps are frustrating.
We must replace these apps. 2017 was Google's year.
Files is a file manager. It's quick, innovative, and clean. They've given people what they want.
It's easy to organize files, clear space, and clear cache.
I recommend Gallery by Google as a gallery app alternative. It's quick and easy.
App for trains, buses, and coaches.
I've used this app for years. It did the basics well when I first used it.
Since then, it's improved. It's constantly adding features to make traveling easier and less stressful.
Split-ticketing helps me save hundreds a year on train fares. This app is only available in the UK and Europe.
This service doesn't link to a third-party site. Their app handles everything.
Not all train and coach companies use this app. All the big names are there, though.
Here's more on the app.
Play Store has 478,000 games. Few can turn my phone into a console.
Call of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 8/9 are examples.
Asphalt's loot boxes and ads make it unplayable. Call of Duty opens with a few ads. Close them to play without hassle.
This game uses all your phone's features to provide a high-quality, seamless experience. If my internet connection is good, I never experience lag or glitches.
The gameplay is energizing and intense, just like on consoles. Sometimes I'm too involved. I've thrown my phone in anger. I'm totally absorbed.
Customizability is my favorite. Since phones have limited screen space, we should only have the buttons we need, placed conveniently.
Size, opacity, and position are modifiable. Adjust audio, graphics, and textures. It's customizable.
This game has been on my phone for three years. It began well and has gotten better. When I think the creators can't do more, they do.
If you play, read my tips for winning a Battle Royale.
As a photographer, I believe your best camera is on you. The phone.
2017 was a big year for this app. I've tried many photo-editing apps since then. This always wins.
The app is dull. I've never seen better photo editing on a phone.
Adjusting settings and sliders doesn't damage or compress photos. It's detailed.
This is important for phone photos, which are lower quality than professional ones.
Some tools are behind a £4.49/month paywall. Adobe must charge a subscription fee instead of selling licenses. (I'm still bitter about Creative Cloud's price)
Snapseed is my pick. Lightroom is where I do basic editing before moving to Snapseed. Snapseed review:
These apps are great. They cover basic and complex editing needs while traveling.
I hope you downloaded one of these. Share your favorite apps. These apps are scarce.
10 months ago
Four Shocking Dark Web Incidents that Should Make You Avoid It
Dark Web activity? Is it as horrible as they say?
We peruse our phones for hours. Internet has improved our worldview.
However, the world's harshest realities remain buried on the internet and unattainable by everyone.
Browsers cannot access the Dark Web. Browse it with high-security authentication and exclusive access. There are compelling reasons to avoid the dark web at all costs.
1. The Dark Web and I
Darius wrote My Dark Web Story on reddit two years ago. The user claimed to have shared his dark web experience. DaRealEddyYT wanted to surf the dark web after hearing several stories.
He curiously downloaded Tor Browser, which provides anonymity and security.
In the Dark Room, bound
As Darius logged in, a text popped up: “Want a surprise? Click on this link.”
The link opened to a room with a chair. Only one light source illuminated the room. The chair held a female tied.
As the screen read "Let the game begin," a man entered the room and was paid in bitcoins to torment the girl.
The man dragged and tortured the woman.
A danger to safety
Leaving so soon, Darius, disgusted Darius tried to leave the stream. The anonymous user then sent Darius his personal information, including his address, which frightened him because he didn't know Tor was insecure.
After deleting the app, his phone camera was compromised.
He also stated that he left his residence and returned to find it unlocked and a letter saying, Thought we wouldn't find you? Reddit never updated the story.
The story may have been a fake, but a much scarier true story about the dark side of the internet exists.
2. The Silk Road Market
The dark web is restricted for a reason. The dark web has everything illicit imaginable. It's awful central.
The dark web has everything, from organ sales to drug trafficking to money laundering to human trafficking. Illegal drugs, pirated software, credit card, bank, and personal information can be found in seconds.
The dark web has reserved websites like Google. The Silk Road Website, which operated from 2011 to 2013, was a leading digital black market.
The FBI grew obsessed with site founder and processor Ross William Ulbricht.
The site became a criminal organization as money laundering and black enterprises increased. Bitcoin was utilized for credit card payment.
The FBI was close to arresting the site's administrator. Ross was detained after the agency closed Silk Road in 2013.
Two years later, in 2015, he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms and forty years. He appealed in 2016 but was denied, thus he is currently serving time.
The hefty sentence was for more than running a black marketing site. He was also convicted of murder-for-hire, earning about $730,000 in a short time.
3. Person-buying auctions
Bidding on individuals is another weird internet activity. After a Milan photo shoot, 20-year-old British model Chloe Ayling was kidnapped.
An ad agency in Milan made a bogus offer to shoot with the mother of a two-year-old boy. Four men gave her anesthetic and put her in a duffel bag when she arrived.
She was held captive for several days, and her images and $300,000 price were posted on the dark web. Black Death Trafficking Group kidnapped her to sell her for sex.
She was told two black death foot warriors abducted her. The captors released her when they found she was a mother because mothers were less desirable to sex slave buyers.
In July 2018, Lukasz Pawel Herba was arrested and sentenced to 16 years and nine months in prison. Being a young mother saved Chloe from creepy bidding.
However, it exceeds expectations of how many more would be in such danger daily without their knowledge.
4. Organ sales
Many are unaware of dark web organ sales. Patients who cannot acquire organs often turn to dark web brokers.
Brokers handle all transactions between donors and customers.
Bitcoins are used for dark web transactions, and the Tor server permits personal data on the web.
The WHO reports approximately 10,000 unlawful organ transplants annually. The black web sells kidneys, hearts, even eyes.
To protect our lives and privacy, we should manage our curiosity and never look up dangerous stuff.
While it's fascinating and appealing to know what's going on in the world we don't know about, it's best to prioritize our well-being because one never knows how bad it might get.
Jano le Roux
1 year ago
Apple Quietly Introduces A Revolutionary Savings Account That Kills Banks
Would you abandon your bank for Apple?
Banks are struggling.
not as a result of inflation
not due to the economic downturn.
not due to the conflict in Ukraine.
But because they’re underestimating Apple.
Slowly but surely, Apple is looking more like a bank.
An easy new savings account like Apple
Apple has a new savings account.
Apple says Apple Card users may set up and manage savings straight in Wallet.
No more charges
Colorfully high yields
With no minimum balance
No minimal down payments
Most consumer-facing banks will have to match Apple's offer or suffer disruption.
Users may set it up from their iPhones without traveling to a bank or filling out paperwork.
It’s built into the iPhone in your pocket.
So now more waiting for slow approval processes.
Once the savings account is set up, Apple will automatically transfer all future Daily Cash into it. Users may also add these cash to an Apple Cash card in their Apple Wallet app and adjust where Daily Cash is paid at any time.
Apple Pay and Apple Wallet VP Jennifer Bailey:
Savings enables Apple Card users to grow their Daily Cash rewards over time, while also saving for the future.
Bailey says Savings adds value to Apple Card's Daily Cash benefit and offers another easy-to-use tool to help people lead healthier financial lives.
Transfer money from a linked bank account or Apple Cash to a Savings account. Users can withdraw monies to a connected bank account or Apple Cash card without costs.
Once set up, Apple Card customers can track their earnings via Wallet's Savings dashboard. This dashboard shows their account balance and interest.
This product targets younger people as the easiest way to start a savings account on the iPhone.
Why would a Gen Z account holder travel to the bank if their iPhone could be their bank?
Using this concept, Apple will transform the way we think about banking by 2030.
Two other nightmares keep bankers awake at night
Apple revealed two new features in early 2022 that banks and payment gateways hated.
Tap to Pay with Apple
Late Apple Pay
They startled the industry.
Tap To Pay converts iPhones into mobile POS card readers. Apple Pay Later is pushing the BNPL business in a consumer-friendly direction, hopefully ending dodgy lending practices.
Tap to Pay with Apple
Millions of US merchants, from tiny shops to huge establishments, will be able to accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets with a tap.
No hardware or payment terminal is needed.
Stripe has previously launched this feature.
Tap to Pay on iPhone will provide companies with a secure, private, and quick option to take contactless payments and unleash new checkout experiences, said Bailey.
Apple's solution is ingenious. Brilliant!
Bailey says that payment platforms, app developers, and payment networks are making it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes to accept contactless payments and thrive.
I admire that Apple is offering this up to third-party services instead of closing off other functionalities.
Slow POS terminals, farewell.
Late Apple Pay
Pay Apple later.
Apple Pay Later enables US consumers split Apple Pay purchases into four equal payments over six weeks with no interest or fees.
The Apple ecosystem integration makes this BNPL scheme unique. Nonstick. No dumb forms.
Just double-tap the button.
Apple Pay Later was designed with users' financial well-being in mind. Apple makes it easy to use, track, and pay back Apple Pay Later from Wallet.
Apple Pay Later can be signed up in Wallet or when using Apple Pay. Apple Pay Later can be used online or in an app that takes Apple Pay and leverages the Mastercard network.
Apple Pay Order Tracking helps consumers access detailed receipts and order tracking in Wallet for Apple Pay purchases at participating stores.
Bad BNPL suppliers, goodbye.
Most bankers will be caught in Apple's eye playing mini golf in high-rise offices.
The big problem:
Banks still think about features and big numbers just like other smartphone makers did not too long ago.
Apple thinks about effortlessness, seamlessness, and frictionlessness that just work through integrated hardware and software.
Let me know what you think Apple’s next power moves in the banking industry could be.
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1 year ago
Memes Help This YouTube Channel Earn Over $12k Per Month
Take a look at a YouTube channel making anything up to over $12k a month from making very simple videos.
And the best part? Its replicable by anyone. Basic videos can be generated for free without design abilities.
Join me as I deconstruct the channel to estimate how much they make, how they do it, and how you can too.
What Do They Do Exactly?
Happy Land posts memes with a simple caption they wrote. So, it's new. The videos are a slideshow of meme photos with stock music.
The site posts 12 times a day.
8-10-minute videos show 10 second images. Thus, each video needs 48-60 memes.
Memes are video titles (e.g. times a boyfriend was hilarious, back to school fails, funny restaurant signs).
Some stats about the channel:
Founded on October 30, 2020
873 videos were added.
67,244,196 views of the video
What Value Are They Adding?
Everyone can find free memes online. This channel collects similar memes into a single video so you don't have to scroll or click for more. It’s right there, you just keep watching and more will come.
By theming it, the audience is prepared for the video's content.
If you want hilarious animal memes or restaurant signs, choose the video and you'll get up to 60 memes without having to look for them. Genius!
How much money do they make?
According to www.socialblade.com, the channel earns $800-12.8k (image shown in my home currency of GBP).
That's a crazy estimate, but it highlights the unbelievable potential of a channel that presents memes.
This channel thrives on quantity, thus putting out videos is necessary to keep the flow continuing and capture its audience's attention.
How Are the Videos Made?
Straightforward. Memes are added to a presentation without editing (so you could make this in PowerPoint or Keynote).
Each slide should include a unique image and caption. Set 10 seconds per slide.
Add music and post the video.
Finding enough memes for the material and theming is difficult, but if you enjoy memes, this is a fun job.
This case study should have shown you that you don't need expensive software or design expertise to make entertaining videos. Why not try fresh, easy-to-do ideas and see where they lead?
11 months ago
I met a man who in just 18 months scaled his startup to $100 million.
A fascinating business conversation.
This week at Web Summit, I had mentor hour.
Mentor hour connects startups with experienced entrepreneurs.
The YC-selected founder who mentored me had grown his company to $100 million in 18 months.
I had 45 minutes to question him.
I've compiled this.
Founder's name is Zack.
After working in private equity, Zack opted to acquire an MBA.
Surrounded by entrepreneurs at a prominent school, he decided to become one himself.
Unsure how to proceed, he bet on two horses.
On one side, he received an offer from folks who needed help running their startup owing to lack of time. On the other hand, he had an idea for a SaaS to start himself.
He just needed to validate it.
Since Zack's proposal helped companies, he contacted university entrepreneurs for comments.
He contacted university founders.
Once he knew he'd correctly identified the problem and that people were willing to pay to address it, he started developing.
He earned $100k in a university entrepreneurship competition.
His plan was evident by then.
The other startup's founders saw his potential and granted him $400k to launch his own SaaS.
He started looking for a tech co-founder because he lacked IT skills.
He interviewed dozens and picked the finest.
As he didn't want to wait for his program to be ready, he contacted hundreds of potential clients and got 15 letters of intent promising they'd join up when it was available.
YC accepted him by then.
He had enough positive signals to raise.
He didn't say how many VCs he called, but he indicated 50 were interested.
He jammed meetings into two weeks to generate pressure and encourage them to invest.
Seed raise: $11 million.
His objective was to contact as many entrepreneurs as possible to promote his product.
He first contacted startups by scraping CrunchBase data.
Once he had more money, he started targeting companies with ZoomInfo.
His VC urged him not to hire salespeople until he closed 50 clients himself.
He closed 100 and hired a CRO through a headhunter.
Three persons started the business.
He primarily works in sales.
Coding the product was done by his co-founder.
Another person performing operational duties.
He regretted recruiting the third co-founder, who was ineffective (could have hired an employee instead).
He wanted his company to be big, so he hired two young marketing people from a competing company.
After validating several marketing channels, he chose PR.
$100 Million and under
He developed a sales team and now employs 30 individuals.
He raised a $100 million Series A.
Additionally, he stated
He’s been rejected a lot. Like, a lot.
Two great books to read: Steve Jobs by Isaacson, and Why Startups Fail by Tom Eisenmann.
The best skill to learn for non-tech founders is “telling stories”, which means sales. A founder’s main job is to convince: co-founders, employees, investors, and customers. Learn code, or learn sales.
I often read about these stories but hardly take them seriously.
Zack was amazing.
Three things about him stand out:
His vision. He possessed a certain amount of fire.
His vitality. The man had a lot of enthusiasm and spoke quickly and decisively. He takes no chances and pushes the envelope in all he does.
He didn't do all this in 18 months.
He couldn't launch his company without private equity experience.
These accounts disregard entrepreneurs' original knowledge.
Hormozi will tell you how he founded Gym Launch, but he won't tell you how he had a gym first, how he worked at uni to pay for his gym, or how he went to the gym and learnt about fitness, which gave him the idea to open his own.
Nobody knows nothing. If you scale quickly, it's probable because you gained information early.
Lincoln said, "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I'll spend four sharpening the axe."
Sharper axes cut trees faster.
Dung Claire Tran
1 year ago
Is the future of brand marketing with virtual influencers?
Digital influences that mimic humans are rising.
Lil Miquela has 3M Instagram followers, 3.6M TikTok followers, and 30K Twitter followers. She's been on the covers of Prada, Dior, and Calvin Klein magazines. Miquela released Not Mine in 2017 and launched Hard Feelings at Lollapazoolas this year. This isn't surprising, given the rise of influencer marketing.
This may be unexpected. Miquela's fake. Brud, a Los Angeles startup, produced her in 2016.
Lil Miquela is one of many rising virtual influencers in the new era of social media marketing. She acts like a real person and performs the same tasks as sports stars and models.
The emergence of online influencers
Before 2018, computer-generated characters were rare. Since the virtual human industry boomed, they've appeared in marketing efforts worldwide.
In 2020, the WHO partnered up with Atlanta-based virtual influencer Knox Frost (@knoxfrost) to gather contributions for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Lu do Magalu (@magazineluiza) has been the virtual spokeswoman for Magalu since 2009, using social media to promote reviews, product recommendations, unboxing videos, and brand updates. Magalu's 10-year profit was $552M.
In 2020, PUMA partnered with Southeast Asia's first virtual model, Maya (@mayaaa.gram). She joined Singaporean actor Tosh Zhang in the PUMA campaign. Local virtual influencer Ava Lee-Graham (@avagram.ai) partnered with retail firm BHG to promote their in-house labels.
In Japan, Imma (@imma.gram) is the face of Nike, PUMA, Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo SpA, and Valentino. Imma's bubblegum pink bob and ultra-fine fashion landed her on the cover of Grazia magazine.
Lotte Home Shopping created Lucy (@here.me.lucy) in September 2020. She made her TV debut as a Christmas show host in 2021. Since then, she has 100K Instagram followers and 13K TikTok followers.
Liu Yiexi gained 3 million fans in five days on Douyin, China's TikTok, in 2021. Her two-minute video went viral overnight. She's posted 6 videos and has 830 million Douyin followers.
China's virtual human industry was worth $487 million in 2020, up 70% year over year, and is expected to reach $875.9 million in 2021.
Investors worldwide are interested. Immas creator Aww Inc. raised $1 million from Coral Capital in September 2020, according to Bloomberg. Superplastic Inc., the Vermont-based startup behind influencers Janky and Guggimon, raised $16 million by 2020. Craft Ventures, SV Angels, and Scooter Braun invested. Crunchbase shows the company has raised $47 million.
The industries they represent, including Augmented and Virtual reality, were worth $14.84 billion in 2020 and are projected to reach $454.73 billion by 2030, a CAGR of 40.7%, according to PR Newswire.
Advantages for brands
Forbes suggests brands embrace computer-generated influencers. Examples:
Unlimited creative opportunities: Because brands can personalize everything—from a person's look and activities to the style of their content—virtual influencers may be suited to a brand's needs and personalities.
100% brand control: Brand managers now have more influence over virtual influencers, so they no longer have to give up and rely on content creators to include brands into their storytelling and style. Virtual influencers can constantly produce social media content to promote a brand's identity and ideals because they are completely scandal-free.
Long-term cost savings: Because virtual influencers are made of pixels, they may be reused endlessly and never lose their beauty. Additionally, they can move anywhere around the world and even into space to fit a brand notion. They are also always available. Additionally, the expense of creating their content will not rise in step with their expanding fan base.
Introduction to the metaverse: Statista reports that 75% of American consumers between the ages of 18 and 25 follow at least one virtual influencer. As a result, marketers that support virtual celebrities may now interact with younger audiences that are more tech-savvy and accustomed to the digital world. Virtual influencers can be included into any digital space, including the metaverse, as they are entirely computer-generated 3D personas. Virtual influencers can provide brands with a smooth transition into this new digital universe to increase brand trust and develop emotional ties, in addition to the young generations' rapid adoption of the metaverse.
Better engagement than in-person influencers: A Hype Auditor study found that online influencers have roughly three times the engagement of their conventional counterparts. Virtual influencers should be used to boost brand engagement even though the data might not accurately reflect the entire sector.
Concerns about influencers created by computers
Virtual influencers could encourage excessive beauty standards in South Korea, which has a $10.7 billion plastic surgery industry.
A classic Korean beauty has a small face, huge eyes, and pale, immaculate skin. Virtual influencers like Lucy have these traits. According to Lee Eun-hee, a professor at Inha University's Department of Consumer Science, this could make national beauty standards more unrealistic, increasing demand for plastic surgery or cosmetic items.
Other parts of the world raise issues regarding selling items to consumers who don't recognize the models aren't human and the potential of cultural appropriation when generating influencers of other ethnicities, called digital blackface by some.
Meta, Facebook and Instagram's parent corporation, acknowledges this risk.
“Like any disruptive technology, synthetic media has the potential for both good and harm. Issues of representation, cultural appropriation and expressive liberty are already a growing concern,” the company stated in a blog post. “To help brands navigate the ethical quandaries of this emerging medium and avoid potential hazards, (Meta) is working with partners to develop an ethical framework to guide the use of (virtual influencers).”
Despite theoretical controversies, the industry will likely survive. Companies think virtual influencers are the next frontier in the digital world, which includes the metaverse, virtual reality, and digital currency.
Virtual influencers may garner millions of followers online and help marketers reach youthful audiences. According to a YouGov survey, the real impact of computer-generated influencers is yet unknown because people prefer genuine connections. Virtual characters can supplement brand marketing methods. When brands are metaverse-ready, the author predicts virtual influencer endorsement will continue to expand.