Category Archives for Blogging

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know – Business 2 Community (blog)

Business 2 Community (blog)

How to Turbocharge Your Blog Post Production: What You Need to Know
Business 2 Community (blog)
Every startup has heard that they need to update their website in order to stay relevant to Google and the little bots that crawl around on the interwebs. But how many of them actually start blogging? Very few, unless forced! Don't ask me how I know–I

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Olympic Volunteers Are Overworked, Underfed And Quitting

How would you go about hosting a two-week-long dinner party for 50,000 people, in which each guest is expected to earn their meal?

This is not a rhetorical question. It’s similar to the struggle Olympic officials are facing in Rio de Janeiro, where upwards of 50,000 volunteers need to be coordinated and fed from time to time, in exchange for what can be a thankless, otherwise-unpaid job.

Lately, they’ve been coming up short, and in return, many volunteers have stopped volunteering. At some venues, Rio spokesman Mario Andrada acknowledged, only 20 percent of the expected volunteers have actually shown up.

(Overall, however, Rio officials told the Associated Press the volunteer attendance rate is just over 70 percent).

Luis Moreira is one such volunteer who decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Last week, he helped direct spectators at the Copacabana volleyball venue. This week, he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, he quit.

“Many volunteers had to quit because they had to work two weeks in a row, schedules were messed up, lots of people quit because of the food: they were told to work eight, nine hours and were only provided with a little snack,” he said.

David Gray/Reuters
An unidentified Rio Olympics volunteer looks on at the aquatics center last week.

“I don’t think the organizing committee had enough consideration for people’s lives and welfare,” he added. “It was as though the organizing committee was doing us a favor. The committee uses the volunteers to make money, uses us for free labor.”

The International Olympic Committee acknowledges the games would be all but impossible were it not for the significant unpaid volunteer effort. Yet the standards for volunteerism are far from evenly applied.

While tens of thousands of volunteers hustle at the ground level, IOC executives technically also considered “volunteers” aren’t exactly roughing it. The IOC’s “unpaid” president, Thomas Bach, is unsalaried, but still manages a $250,000 yearly allowance, according to the AP.

Each of the 14 members of the IOC board, also technically “unpaid,” will be allotted upwards of $20,000 for their contributions for three weeks over the games, in addition to the free lodging, food and prime seats at events the board members already have access to. 

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Is VR a leap back in time for the games industry?

When we look back through the annals of time, there, etched in the history books will be 2016: The year of VR. And what a year its been. Weve already seen the Samsung VR launch to great applause, but with the imminent release of the PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift devices, the VR sector is about to shift into overdrive.

But VR is not exactly new. The concept of VR has been talked about for decades, but according to Moores Law, which predicts that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years, it means that the technology is just reaching a level where it can fulfill the VR vision.

However, the VR bandwagon first started rolling in 2014, when Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion. More recently, Microsoft and Sony touted new VR-enabled hardware and there was suddenly the heady mixture of visionary financial success, a global distribution framework and a market thats been waiting all of its life for this to happen. The perfect storm?

Well, Facebook, Microsoft and Sony certainly think so, and will undoubtedly have plans for how to make money out of VR. The analysts also agree, with Deloitte Global predicting that VR will have its first billion-dollar year in 2016, with about $700 million in hardware sales and the remainder from content. The majority of this is expected to come from video games, but while the hardware guys can clearly see a future, will the games themselves actually be a leap back to the past when it comes to the player experience?

Back to the future

To answer that, lets travel back to the good old days, when, to make money from video games you just had to get two things right marketing and distribution. No one knew how much value was derived by the player, because they offered a closed environment, so any notion of player retention or behavioral analysis was strictly for the birds, angry or otherwise.

Although this wasnt always great for the players, it was a model with which investors and industry execs became comfortable. That was until the mobile games revolution, driven by the free-to-play (F2P) model, completely turned the industry on its head and democratized the entire player/publisher/developer relationship.

With supply vastly outstripping demand, players suddenly found themselves with the power of choice, able to ditch a game the second they became bored or frustrated. This forced publishers and developers to take player engagement and retention seriously for the first time; something which didnt come naturally.

The winners are likely to be those who prioritize measurement and adaptation of the player experience.

They soon found that making money in F2P was a granite-tough business. In F2P, its common for 50 percent of players to leave a game after their first session, and less than 1 percent ever spend money, while the cost of paid new user acquisition has reached $4. However, while the revenue figures in the games industry continue to grow, according to Newzoo, at CAGR 6.6 percent over 2015-19 and the share of mobile will rise in that time from 33 percent to 44 percent, which monetization models will prevail and drive the long-term growth of VR, remains to be seen.

Which model will work in VR?

The F2P sector was created by smartphones and the instant anywhere capability to play games. This instant accessibility drives the session volumes that enable F2P to work on the wafer-thin margins that characterize the model.

Google Daydream has explicitly stated they will have global payments and distribution infrastructure in place to support in-app purchases within the VR environment from launch, but most industry commentators see the initial driving force for developers achieving ROI coming from a premium model that requires payment upfront.

Then there are ads which on mobile are all about volume and interaction, which is why native ads are dying on the vine in F2P. Interstitials and rewarded video ads work well, as they fill the screen real estate to fully engage the attention and, in the case of rewarded ads, can be welcomed by players as an enhancement to the gameplay. In VR, this is likely to be different, with concerns over the number of sessions and session lengths that can be played on VR because of motion sickness. This brings product placement-styled native ads back into the picture.

So, unless an unknown means of monetization springs up, VR is going to have to mainly monetize on the same basis as premium games, starting the cycle over again premium to democratization when the technology adapts to everyday life.

Fertile ground for innovation

For investors, its probably going to be the transformation of proven titles that have already made the console-to-mobile jump which are likely to provide the safe way forward. But even these are going to find the jump from a 2D screen to an explorable 360environment heavy on development resource and a giant leap in terms of playability.

Static experiences, puzzle games, driving simulators and space/flight combat games, where the player is situated in some sort of cockpit as a form of natural grounding, are by far the best experiences Ive seen so far. But I think the flow of proven titles to VR will be slow, which will leave a gap for the industrys innovators to fill. As a result, we may see an indie renaissance and some much-needed innovation and dynamism in the sector, as we saw when PC and video games came to life in the 1980s and 1990s, possibly with more lightweight games that can monetize effectively by combining VR volumes on F2P margins, but without the user acquisition competition thats around on mobile.

The premium model will undoubtedly be the way forward for most, but the lessons learned from F2P about player retention will pervade. This means that in the short term, the winners are likely to be those who prioritize measurement and adaptation of the player experience, while the world gets used to having this technology in their everyday lives.

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How to get paid to travel the world – Skyscanner – Skyscanner News (blog)

How to get paid to travel the world – Skyscanner
Skyscanner News (blog)
Ask any average joe with a suitcase what his dream job would be, and no doubt he would tell you that if he could get paid to do anything, it would be to travel the …

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Five Intriguing 2017 NFL Combine Invites For Cowboys To Consider Drafting – Blogging The Boys (blog)

Blogging The Boys (blog)

Five Intriguing 2017 NFL Combine Invites For Cowboys To Consider Drafting
Blogging The Boys (blog)
With the Combine coming up, here are five guys that should be interesting to watch. by Michael Sisemore@MrSisemore Mar 1, 2017, 4:00pm CST. tweet · share · pin · Rec. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. If you aren't already aware, the 2017 NFL …

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‘Below Deck’ Collaborative Recap: We Should Totally Just Stab Carolina!

Another week of , another day of me furiously typing up this recap while at work.

We leave off just where most episodes leave off: with a shitfaced Trevor acting belligerent. Nothing new here.

Trevor: I’ve done nothing to deserve this.

Or maybe you’ve done everything to deserve this. Food for thought.

Someone yelled Cabs are here! like were in the Jersey shore.

Nico: Why dont you fucking lick my nuts, man

Good insult.

Trevor, if theres one group you never insult, its people whove died in the military. I think the British people have more respect for America than you.Is calling Kelley a marine an insult? Because he is, in fact, a marine. One who risked his life so you can be an entitled white guy on a yacht, so show some respect, Trev.

My sexy juices flow just fine – title of my new sex tape

Sierra gets more and more basic by the day, next shell be drinking a gluten-free PSL, just you watch.

Apparently being a belligerent drunk is one step away from being a murderer, if youre Kate.

Ben: I think Trevor deserves another chance.

OF COURSE YOU DO, BEN. You’re always the cheerleader for the shitty yachty.

Trevor must be having the worst hangover of his life rn, especially since Captain Lee greets him so cheerfully.

Wait Trevor was a hair model? I had no idea – drink

Trevor still looks cross-eyed af. I kiiiinda feel bad for making fun of someone whose parents are clearly siblings. But not that bad.

Finish your drink for Trevor being fired. Honestly, Im a little disappointed. Now the only person I can talk shit about will be Ben. Hopefully someone will step up and be a terrible person.

Ben is still spiking his hair like its 1999. He must own stock in a hair gel company because I can’t think of another reason to rock that hairstyle. Even Ryan Cabrera doesn’t spike his hair like that anymore!

Trevor: IDK who could come in and replace me. Its gonna be tough.

You got that rightitll be hard to find as big an asshole as you, T Money. Damn Im sad I didnt think of this nickname earlier. Oh well.

Nico: Trevor didn’t say anything to me when he left. IDK if thats because he was embarrassed or because hes a dick.

Do you really have to ask that question?

Nico and Emily bonding on a swing set like some fucking preteens. What about Melissa? Thats her name, right?

Captain Lee, going over the preferences sheet: One of the charter guests likes absolutely nothing.

Always keeping it real. Wait this lady really measures the pH of her food? Fucking kill me now. Just when you think the guests can’t get any worse. FYI: Her name is Carolina but I will be referring to her as variations of “this fucking bitch right here.”

Wait hold the phone, there is a thing called a 12 course menu? Why have I not experienced this phenomenon before? Oh wait, its because I’m poor and can barely afford a 3 course meal at Applebees. Like OK Ill allow Ben to get pissed about this one. I couldnt even come up with 12 courses.

I thought last weeks people were bad with their love of turkey bacon, but this weeks people are truly the spawn of Satan. No meat, gluten, wheat, dairy, like what is there left to eat??? I would say cardboard but I think cardboard has gluten in it.

Take a drink because we have to be reminded that Kate has a girlfriend now. We fucking get it. Also, Kate, usually if a place has bad wifi, you leave the roomnot change positions from standing on the floor to sitting on the counter.

Sierra: I wanna make money and return to the industry of juice.

The industry of juice? I’d like you to get the organ of brain.

I bet that when Sierra says she used to do catering that she was a cocktail waitress at a wedding one time. No fucking way this bitch has ever been within 10 feet of an oven.

Aaaand Im right. Sierra cant even juice some fucking oranges.

These guests all roll up in Hawaiian shirts so expect some casual sexual harassment and overall creepiness.

I say this every week, but I hate when they pretend we give a shit about the boat leaving and entering the dock. We don’t.

Mr. Chow, Gene the Russian, Guy who wants to kill you with his eyeballs – solid cast of characters weve got here.

Did this guy really scream lets get naked in front of his daughter? Abort mission. Also drink because I was right.

Token American guy being American af, not knowing other countries flags.

Were making more money right now than most people make in a year – kill yourselves.

So the lady who hates gluten also hates spicy food, so Im honestly wondering how this bitch is still breathing.

Guest: Emily, if something should happen to my wife

3 grand is like sewer money – those must be some fancy sewers. Also, “sewer money” is not a real expression. Try again, asshats.

The sight of Kelley eating sheds some light on why this man hasnt gotten laid in 5 months. Close your mouth, ya nasty.

Ben: I hope Sierras culinary skills are better than her juicing skills.

When has that EVER been a thing? That’s like saying “well she doesn’t know how to walk so I’m hoping she’s a really fast runner.” Letting Sierra prepare food sounds like a really great way to get salmonella.

Is Nico really trying to drain this hottub with a fucking Sham-Wow?

Sierra: Theres so much stuff to bring out *brings out 1 thing*

Riddle me this, if dinner is at 8:30 and its a 12 course meal, when will dinner end? The modern day SAT question.

Captain Lee: Ive seen horses with shorter manes than this guy has on his back

I was gonna include a screenshot but Im not gonna do that to you guys. Who let this fucking obese bear out of his cave?

Ben: Nobody appreciates how hard my job is.

Ben acts like he’s Picasso of the plate. Fucking chill. Do you want a medal?

Im honestly surprised Sierra knew what to spray the muffin tins with since Ben didn’t spell it out for her and hold her hand through it.

Nico and Kelley both like Emily and both acknowledge that Sierra is definitely too hot to be sane. Respect. See that, ladies? Personality matters.

Take a shot every time Ben calls someone baby. JK wed all be dead. Ben needs to stop being a creepy uncle.

Sierra: Im pretty thick-skinned but I need to have positivity around me.

So what youre saying is youre not thick-skinned at all.

LOL the bitch who cant eat anything is complaining that she doesnt like caviar. YOU DONT LIKE ANYTHING so dont expect the chefs or anyone on Earth to take you seriously.

Bitch lady: I dont wanna stare when they get all 12 courses and all I get is a salad. *eats shellfish*

. Please kill yourself. Please. She is worse than your friend who insists shes gluten free and then orders a beer.

And now theyre complaining that theyll be dining until midnight because they wanted a 12-course tasting menu. Honestly like I hope these guests read this recap. YOU ARE GARBAGE HUMANS, ALL OF YOU.

Ben: Take the tuna away from me. I dont wanna look at it ever again.

Ben is the bratty niece of yours who doesnt get the pony she wants for Christmas.

Oh and now this bitch wont eat RAW fish. This show is too much. It should not make me want to commit murder. But honestly I think it would be justifiable homicide. The world truly would be better off without this woman.

Judge:So you stabbed a woman you didn’t even know in cold blood, what do you have to say for yourself?

Me:Well for starters, she claimed she doesn’t eat anything with gluten, dairy, meat, spices, or acid

Judge:Say no more. Case dismissed.

DID CAROLINA REALLY JUST SAY Ok I’ll try it I’m not picky?!?!?! somebody roll the fucking tapes for this woman. She’s not even living on another planet; she’s like in a different galaxy. In a completely different universe. In an alternate dimension.

Honestly I cant watch anymore. Sgt. Olivia Betchson is gonna have to bow out of this recap and let Lisa Vanderbetch and Detective Amarbro take over.

Its been five months people!!! -drink again. Did I get more drunk from this episode of or the debate? Hard to tell.

This interaction between Nico and Kelley trying to hit on Emily is so awkward, its v. cringe worthy

Sierra is crying because Ben didn’t give her a hug at the end of the dinner? Go make yourself a juice. That always makes me feel better.

I turn into a freak machine, oh Nico you were so cool before that line.

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Trump's never-ending campaign, McCain's no maverick, and why liberals should own guns: roundup of US academic … – USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)

USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)

Trump's never-ending campaign, McCain's no maverick, and why liberals should own guns: roundup of US academic …
USAPP American Politics and Policy (blog)
On Monday, Lawyers, Guns & Money says that the “deep state” idea that has been doing the rounds recently – the concept that institutions are acting as a check on Donald Trump – is a harmful one, because it ignores the idea that divisions between civil

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Live-Blogging #3 – TPM (blog)

Live-Blogging #3
TPM (blog)
10:00 PM: I will only say this moment is a very jarring contrast between the agony of the wife of a fallen soldier and the fairly transparent and clearly political purpose of this passage of the speech, which is that questioning whether this raid was a

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The future is a decentralized internet

Blockchain technology is quickly expanding beyond bitcoin. While many proponents of bitcoin see the blockchain as no more than competition for existing payment methods or gold, I believe blockchain technology is the harbinger of things the world has never before seen.

In a world with many blockchains and hundreds of tradable tokens built on top of them, entire industries are automated through software, venture capital and stock markets are circumvented, entrepreneurship is streamlined and networks gain sovereignty through their own digital currency. This is the next phase of the internet.

To date, bitcoin companies have received more than $1 billion in venture funding the entire industry was built on the shoulders of VCs. Yet Ethereum, a blockchain protocol that allows arbitrarily complex financial transactions to be encoded by anyone and executed in a provably accurate manner by a distributed network, has seen a de minimis amount of VC investment. Rather, open participation crowdsales run through financial contracts built on Ethereum have raised more than $250 million from backers all around the world.

So why is less VC money flowing into Ethereum? Perhaps it is more risky, and perhaps investments in failed bitcoin companies has lowered interest. Perhaps. But importantly, entrepreneurs now have an alternate route for funding their projects. We are seeing entrepreneurs issuing their own blockchain-based tokens to raise money for their networks, sidestepping the traditional, exclusive world of venture capital altogether. The importance of this cannot be overstated in this new world there are no companies, just protocols.

Using this new model, entrepreneurs create blockchain-based tokens that represent ownership in the network they are building, and also act as fuel for their network. For an investor, there are not shares of a company available, only the blockchain-based token. As the blockchain space expands, disproportionate returns will go to holders of the actual tokens, not traditional venture investors betting on a shares of a company. These tokens are application specific they are not meant to be general-purpose units of value like bitcoin. For example, tokens built on Ethereum like REP and GNT power a decentralized prediction market and a peer-to-peer market for renting computation, respectively.

Imagine being able to actually make money when you contribute on social media.

These application-specific tokens, or app-tokens, are built on top of existing general-purpose blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. For the first time, open-source project creators can directly monetize their open-source network. Historically, successful open-source projects like the torrent protocol or the Tor network were not directly monetized at the protocol level. Now, the founder of a decentralized file storage network can issue blockchain-based tokens that represent ownership in the network.

However, these tokens are not like stock certificates, which represent ownership but have no real use. App-tokens are actually used in the network to participate. In the file-storage market example, they are used to prove file ownership and buy and sell storage space. The founder of the network keeps roughly 10 percent of the tokens for themselves and their founding team, and if their network becomes popular, the demand for tokens rises, and because the supply of the token is fixed, the price increases. This means that founders can monetize their networks directly by simply holding their tokens and making the network useful. If they need liquidity to continue funding the project, they can simply sell the tokens on the open market.

In addition to rewarding founders, these app-tokens allow participants in networks to actually own a piece of the network. This network equity ownership is unprecedented. Consider how many networks the modern western internet user is a part of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, eBay, Etsy, Tumblr the list goes on. In each of these cases, the networks value is created by the users, but the value each individual user generates goes to the owners of the network. In this new blockchain-based model, that value is actually given back to the users of the network, proportional to their contribution.

What this means is that what ultimately disrupts many of the major web services created in the last decade could be peer-to-peer protocols, not companies. This would be similar to the effect that the torrent protocol had on media companies, but on a much larger scale. The result would be twitter the protocol without Twitter the company, facebook without Facebook, uber without Uber.

And as an investor, for the first time, it is possible to buy a portion of these networks, which will power the future infrastructure of the internet. Investing directly in TCP/IP (packets), SMTP (email), HTTPS (encryption) or another low-level internet protocol in the early 1990s would be extremely valuable today.

If this sounds complicated, its because it is. To be sure, the blockchain space is still mostly in a phase of experimentation, but the first breakout apps will be explosive because they financially incentivize users to participate in the network. Imagine being able to actually make money when you contribute on social media.

Bitcoins market share has slowly dropped over the last several years, and while I believe that bitcoin will continue to grow, rapid growth in other parts of the blockchain ecosystem is imminent.

The entire market capitalization of blockchain-based assets is $13 billion today, a rounding error when compared to the current value of the systems which blockchain technology could potentially unseat. When decentralized blockchain protocols start displacing the centralized web services that dominate the current internet, well start to see real internet-based sovereignty. The future internet will be decentralized.

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LIVE BLOG: Takeaways from Oscars night 2017 – Colorado Springs Gazette (blog)

Colorado Springs Gazette (blog)

LIVE BLOG: Takeaways from Oscars night 2017
Colorado Springs Gazette (blog)
Gotta make my money back from my best actor pick. Going with Emma Stone. Doubling down. My bookie is on speed dial so I'm golden. 9:53 – Three hours of fluff, then three straight awards in a row with meaning. Seriously?!? 9:51 – And its Casey Affleck.

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