Jeff Bezos reveals that Amazon has over 100 million Prime subscribers

Amazon has over 100 million Prime subscribers | PintFeed

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has revealed in his annual shareholders letter today that his company has over 100 million Prime members, marking the first time in the 13-year history of Amazon offering its Prime membership that the company has ever revealed its number of subscribers.

Analysts have speculated for years as the scope of Amazon’s premium service, which Amazon has kept secret for years. According to Bezos, Amazon Prime also saw its best year ever in 2017, with the company shipping over five billion products with Prime and signing up more new members than in any previous year.


Amazon charges $99 for Prime membership, which includes a slew of perks for the online retailer, including free two-day shipping, access to Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service, exclusive deals, and more.

Original Article : theverge.com
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Google Cloud releases Dialogflow Enterprise Edition for building chat apps

Google Cloud Platform-Dialogflow Enterprise Edition | PintFeed

Building conversational interfaces is a hot new area for developers. Chatbots can be a way to reduce friction in websites and apps and to give customers quick answers to commonly asked questions in a conversational framework. Today, Google  announced it was making Dialogflow Enterprise Edition generally available. It had previously been in beta.

This technology came to them via the API.AI acquisition in 2016. Google wisely decided to change the name of the tool along the way, giving it a moniker that more closely matched what it actually does. The company reports that hundreds of thousands of developers are using the tool already to build conversational interfaces.

This isn’t just an all-Google tool, though. It works across voice interface platforms, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Facebook Messenger, giving developers a tool to develop their chat apps once and use them across several devices without having to change the underlying code in a significant way.


What’s more, with today’s release the company is providing increased functionality and making it easier to transition to the enterprise edition at the same time.

“Starting today, you can combine batch operations that would have required multiple API calls into a single API call, reducing lines of code and shortening development time. Dialogflow  API V2 is also now the default for all new agents, integrating with Google Cloud Speech-to-Text, enabling agent management via API, supporting gRPC, and providing an easy transition to Enterprise Edition with no code migration,” Dan Aharon, Google’s product manager for Cloud AI, wrote in a company blog post announcing the tool.

The company showed off a few new customers using Dialogflow to build chat interfaces for their customers, including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Domino’s and Ticketmaster.

The new tool, which is available today, supports more than 30 languages and as a generally available enterprise product comes with a support package and service level agreement (SLA).

Original Article : techcrunch.com
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Debunking SEO Myths: Three Erroneous SEO Beliefs that Some People Still Believe

Debunking SEO Myths | PintFeed

“Good SEO work only gets better over time. It is only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change.” –Jill Whalen

Search engine optimization or SEO for brevity has been a tried and proven avenue for increasing the traffic of a particular website. In this regard, business owners would have better traction on their audience, can leverage their scope of reach and resultantly have higher conversion rates. However, while SEO might have proven itself to be one of the most indispensable marketing strategies and for driving traffic, quite a lot of people are still skeptical about the, alleged results it supposedly brings.

Individuals who specialize in SEO and people involved in digital marketing services in the Philippines or elsewhere are already aware of the benefits of optimizing your website, but what about the skeptics? Well, it is not so much that they do not genuinely believe SEO guarantees results, but more on the fact that they believe erroneous myths about it that can cause them to be a bit more hesitant in using the strategy. Unfortunately, some of the myths they do believe are akin to fantasies with a fraction of them believing SEO to be an urban legend that is not quite so far from a Ponzi scheme. Beliefs such as these have probably been a consequence of years upon years of misinformation, but this article is here to help remedy that.

Debunking SEO Myths | PintFeed


In any case, here are some of the most ludicrous and erroneous beliefs about SEO…finally debunked:

1.  SEO is a scam


As incredible as this might seem, some people actually subscribe that SEO is a scam—no matter how unbelievable and absurd that might seem. If you consistently invested your endeavors in refining your SEO strategies and approach it as a marketing strategy, no successful results would either be unusual or unattainable. Regrettably, quite a lot of business owners have been promised SEO services by unethical marketing vendors only to turn up with nothing. What business owners need to do is be a little discerning when it comes to who they are dealing business with. Remember, if it promises to deliver results at such a low price, then that is not SEO, and it most certainly is a scam.

2.  Google will figure it out


No, Google will not. Quite a lot of website owners or developers have developed the tactic of stuffing their content with as many URLs as possible and throwing it at Google’s crawlers in the hopes that the mysterious algorithm of the latter will deliver these same pages to valuable users. Similarly, even websites with only a handful of pages would expect the search engines to do all the work. Unfortunately, Google is smart but not magic. Remember, search engines strive to emulate behavior when it comes to evaluating content. Much like a human would not wish to sort through a million of near-duplicate pages, search engines would disregard those as well. Moreover, search engines have incorporated human generated signals into their algorithm when it comes to crawling the pages as well as ranking results.


3.  We tried SEO once


Kudos for tying but to really attain results, you need to steer all your efforts towards refining your technique. Unfortunately, most website owners would balk or even give up at the slightest sign of a struggle in organic search traffic. Take note, to get results you need to put the necessary work in. With this in consideration, it is essential to main your SEO efforts because links rot, search engine algorithms evolve, you need to publish new pages and relevant content, and moreover, the competition is most likely moving ahead of you. You might have tried it once, but once is not enough. Keep trying and keep moving ahead. Refine your technique, develop new strategies and soon you will see that SEO would work for you as well. 


This Guest Post was written by: Alice Molina

About the author:
Alice is a Filipino blogger and a digital marketing enthusiast. She has a great passion in writing various content topics especially about web design, digital marketing, SEO and social media. She also loves to travel and explore new things.




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People who stay up late risk dying younger: Study

Risk of Dying | PintFeed

PARIS: People who stay up late and have to drag themselves out of bed are likelier to die younger than those who rise and set with the sun, researchers said Thursday.

A survey of more than 430,000 people in Britain found that night owls had a 10 per cent higher risk of dying in the 6.5-year study period than "larks".

"This is a public health issue that can no longer be ignored," said study co-author Malcolm van Schantz of the University of Surrey - and argued that "night types" should be allowed to start and finish work later in the day.

"Night owls trying to live in a morning-lark world may (suffer) health consequences," said fellow author Kristen Knutson of the Northwestern University in Chicago.

The duo gathered information on nearly half-a-million people aged 38-73 from a public database.

The participants had defined themselves as either "definitely a morning person" (27 per cent), "more a morning person than evening person" (35 per cent), "more an evening than a morning person" (28 per cent), or "definitely an evening person" (9 per cent).

They also listed their weight, smoking habits, and socioeconomic status.
Deaths in the group - just over 10,500 in total - were documented for six-and-a-half years.

The night owl group, the team found, had a 10 per cent higher risk of dying than those in the extreme early-morning group.

People in the late-night group were more likely to suffer from psychological disorders, diabetes, and stomach and breathing troubles, and slept fewer hours per night.

They were also more likely to smoke, drink alcohol and coffee, and use illegal drugs.

The higher risk may be because "people who are up late have an internal biological clock that doesn't match their external environment", Knutson said.

"It could be psychological stress, eating at the wrong time for the body, not exercising enough, not sleeping enough, being awake at night by yourself, maybe drug or alcohol use."

The research duo urged special treatment for night owls.

"If you can recognise these (types) are, in part, genetically determined and not just a character flaw, jobs and work hours could have more flexibility for owls," Knutson said.

"They shouldn't be forced to get up for an 8am shift."

Original Article : channelnewsasia.com
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HQ Trivia now lets you play with (and compete against) friends

HQ Trivia Social Media Network | PintFeed

HQ Trivia is a sensation. The app-based game show sees people try to answer twelve questions – some easy, some fiendishly difficult – in the hope of winning cash. Since its launch, it’s gone from strength to strength, launching a UK version, bringing on new guest hosts, and clinching sponsorship deals with global brands like Nike.

Now, it’s introducing a new feature that lets you play with (and compete against) friends and family.

The feature – called “Friends on HQ” – lets you see friends who are playing, and track their progress in the game. So, if you stumble after question three, your mates will know.


You can also see stats about your friends’ performance, including how many games they’ve played, how many they’ve beaten, and their total cash winnings.

The feature was unveiled to UK users last night, and is gradually rolling out to players of the US game. HQ Trivia says that this will ultimately be the basis of another social element, due to be released next week – although it’s keeping mum about what that could be.

Original Article : thenextweb.com
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Facebook will alert you if Cambridge Analytica grabbed your data

Cambridge Analytica - Facebook Social Media Network | PintFeed

Facebook says it will notify 87 million users of its service that they affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw the data analytics firm snap up their personal information through the social network to influence voters.

The news comes ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s appointment to testify before Congress this week, over the company’s role in enabling Cambridge Analytica to gather data and profile users.

It’s worth noting that the 87 million figure may not be entirely accurate: according to Zuckerberg, Facebook came up with it by calculating the maximum number of friends that users could have had while the personality quiz app that Cambridge Analytica had built was being actively used to collect data. But Facebook says it doesn’t have logs dating back to that time, so it can’t be sure exactly how many people were affected.

What’s more, whistleblower Christopher Wylie, who worked at Cambridge Analytica and exposed the data collection exercise, told NBC that the number of affected users could be higher than that, and that the data might be stored in Russia, as data scientist Aleksander Kogan, who worked on the quiz app in collaboration with the company, traveled there frequently from the UK during that time.

Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica said in a statement that it had data on only 30 million Facebook users.

Facebook has been going through arguably one of the roughest periods in its history, having been rocked by revelations of privacy scandals and other questionable moves in the past several weeks. Since February, its valuation has dropped by roughly $100 billion, down to $456 billion today. It’ll be interesting to see if it can recover from this, and what its users will demand in return for their trust in the company over the next several months.

Original Article : thenextweb.com
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Eating pasta can help you lose weight, analysis finds

Eating pasta - Weight Lose | PintFeed

An analysis from researchers in Toronto suggests pasta might not be as bad as many think when it comes to weight loss.

The meta-analysis of previous randomized controlled trials examined the effect of pasta when consumed alone as well as when incorporated into a diet featuring foods low on the glycemic index, which determines how quickly your body digests and turns that food into glucose.

Lower glycemic index foods, considered "good carbs," take longer to digest and don't impact blood sugar as much as foods higher on the index.

Researchers identified 30 trials involving 2,500 people who ate pasta instead of other carbohydrates as part of a low-glycemic index diet. The study found participants, who ate an average of one-and-a-half cups of cooked pasta a week, lost weight.

"In weighing the evidence, we can now say with some confidence that pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight outcomes when it is consumed as part of a healthy dietary pattern," lead author John Sievenpiper, a clinician scientist with St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, said in a statement.

Researchers said more studies are need to figure out whether pasta can be included in other popular meal plans such as the Mediterranean diet.


Original Article : usatoday.com
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Alibaba is preparing to invest in Grab

Alibaba is preparing to invest in Grab | PintFeed

Fresh from announcing a deal to buy out Uber in Southeast Asia, Grab looks set to gain further firepower with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba preparing to invest in the ride-hailing firm.

Alibaba  is in the early stages of making an investment in Grab, two sources with knowledge of discussions told TechCrunch. Isn’t yet clear what size that might be or at what valuation for Grab,  which was last valued by investors at $6 billion.

In addition, the timing is unclear due to current anti-trust investigations into the Grab-Uber  deal. The Competition Commission of Singapore has said there are grounds to believe the merger may violate the law, while other countries are looking into its implications. But still, there is intent from both sides and key investor SoftBank to make the deal.

Grab declined to comment for this story. An Alibaba spokesperson said the company “doesn’t confirm on market rumors.”

Alibaba and Grab first held talks over an investment last summer but a deal never materialized after the Chinese firm became pre-occupied chasing an investment in Tokopedia, the Indonesia-based e-commerce unicorn. That deal was prioritized because Alibaba’s arch-rival Tencent was in advanced talks over an investment that could give it a foothold in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy and the world’s fourth most populous country.

Alibaba leaned heavily on its long-time ally SoftBank  — an early backer of Tokopedia and Grab — to get the Tokopedia deal ahead of Tencent. That’s despite Tokopedia’s own founders’ preference for Tencent  due to Alibaba’s ownership of Lazada, an e-commerce rival to Tokopedia. SoftBank, however, forced the deal through.

“It was literally SoftBank against every other investor,” a separate source with knowledge of negotiations told TechCrunch.

Ultimately, Alibaba was successful and it led a $1.1 billion investment in Tokopedia in August which did not include Tencent.

TechCrunch understands that one condition SoftBank attached to the Tokopedia deal was that Alibaba would invest in Grab when the time was right. SoftBank is widely seen to have been the deal-maker in the recent Grab-Uber consolidation and now, with that transaction agreed, Alibaba’s investment will follow.

The timing may be ideal for Grab. While it has plenty of money in the bank from past investments, Indonesian rival Go-Jek is preparing to expand into regional markets so the firm will need to brace itself for a new wave of competition.

Despite the background, this is far from Alibaba being strong-armed into an investment, a deal with Grab makes plenty of sense for the firm.


It has been actively seeking investment deals in Southeast Asia’s top internet companies for some time, and Grab clearly fits the bill. In particular, Grab’s focus on payments and its recently-announced financial services play is aligned with Alibaba and its fintech arm Ant Financial’s goals, too.

Last year, Ant Financial went on an investment spree which included multiple investments deals across Southeast Asia and the failed acquisition of MoneyGram. Involvement in Grab Pay, which is shaping up to be a major payment player across the region, would massively boost Alibaba and Ant’s objective.

Finally, there’s the good old competition factor. With Tencent an investor in Grab rival Go-Jek, Alibaba has motivation enough to back a horse in Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing space.

As I wrote last year, the two Chinese internet giants have been carving up Southeast Asia’s most promising startups in search of investments that give them a good position as the region’s internet economy grows.

A report co-authored by Google last year forecast that Southeast Asia’s internet economy will grow to $200 billion in 2025 from $50 billion in 2017. Right now, it is Chinese companies, not those from the U.S., that are seizing the opportunity.

Original Article : techcrunch.com
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Facebook Scans the Photos and Links You Send on Messenger

Facebook Scans the Photos and Links | PintFeed

Facebook Inc. scans the links and images that people send each other on Facebook Messenger, and reads chats when they’re flagged to moderators, making sure the content abides by the company’s rules. If it doesn’t, it gets blocked or taken down.

The company confirmed the practice after an interview published earlier this week with Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg raised questions about Messenger’s practices and privacy. Zuckerberg told Vox’s Ezra Klein a story about receiving a phone call related to ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Facebook had detected people trying to send sensational messages through the Messenger app, he said.

“In that case, our systems detect what’s going on,” Zuckerberg said. “We stop those messages from going through.”

Some people reacted with concern on Twitter: Was Facebook reading messages more generally? Facebook has been under scrutiny in recent weeks over how it handles users’ private data and the revelation struck a nerve. Messenger doesn’t use the data from the scanned messages for advertising, the company said, but the policy may extend beyond what Messenger users expect.

The company told Bloomberg that while Messenger conversations are private, Facebook scans them and uses the same tools to prevent abuse there that it does on the social network more generally. All content must abide by the same "community standards." People can report posts or messages for violating those standards, which would prompt a review by the company’s “community operations” team. Automated tools can also do the work.

“For example, on Messenger, when you send a photo, our automated systems scan it using photo matching technology to detect known child exploitation imagery or when you send a link, we scan it for malware or viruses,” a Facebook Messenger spokeswoman said in a statement. “Facebook designed these automated tools so we can rapidly stop abusive behavior on our platform.”


Messenger used to be part of Facebook’s main service, before it was spun off into a separate application in 2014. Facebook’s other major chat app, WhatsApp, encrypts both ends of its users’ communications, so that not even WhatsApp can see it -- a fact that’s made it more secure for users, and more difficult for lawmakers wanting information in investigations. Messenger also has an encrypted option, but users have to turn it on.

The company updated its data policy and proposed new terms of service on Wednesday to clarify that Messenger and Instagram use the same rules as Facebook. “We better explain how we combat abuse and investigate suspicious activity, including by analyzing the content people share,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook is on the defensive after revelations that private information from about 50 million users wound up in the hands of political ad-data firm Cambridge Analytica without their consent. Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before the House next week and is holding a conference call on Wednesday afternoon to discuss changes to Facebook privacy policies. (Follow the call on the TOPLive blog.)

The company is working to make its privacy policies clearer, but still ends up with gaps between what it says users have agreed to, and what users think they actually agreed to.
The Messenger scanning systems “are very similar to those that other internet companies use today,” the company said.

Original Article : bloomberg.com
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Spotify opens at $165.90, valuing company at almost $30 billion

Spotify | PintFeed

Spotify  opened on the New York Stock Exchange at $165.90, giving the company a market value of $29.5 billion.

The first trade didn’t happen until 12:45pm Eastern. This is halfway through the trading day, and a record for the latest opening time for a public debut.

Shortly after the open, shares fell to a little above $160.

The digital music company isn’t selling its shares on the stock market, meaning the company isn’t raising any money today. Instead, the event known as a “direct listing,” is a collection of transactions from existing shareholders (like employees and investors) selling shares directly to stock market investors. It took a while for the market makers to sort this out.

Spotify is basically trying to recreate the secondary market activity that happened before it went public.  The company says that in 2018, shares traded on the private markets between $90 and $132.50. Since Spotify didn’t do an IPO, it set a “reference price” of $132 per share, which would have given the company a valuation of $23.5 billion.

Unlike a traditional IPO where employees don’t sell shares for months, known as a “lock-up,” Spotify insiders are already allowed to sell.

If few people opt to sell, it will drive share prices up, because of limited supply. If a lot of insiders sell, the reverse could happen, if investor demand doesn’t meet it. This may lead to increased volatility in the first few days or weeks of trading.

In the long-run, Spotify’s performance in the stock market will largely depend on its business performance and outlook.


Some investors are concerned that Spotify will run the course of competitor Pandora, which has struggled as a public company, partly due to hefty artist fees. Others argue that Spotify could be viewed as a Netflix, which has been successful in entertainment licensing agreements.

It’s certainly a big and growing business. The company says it is present in 61 countries and its platform includes 159 million monthly active users and 71 million premium subscribers.

Spotify had 4.09 billion Euros in revenue last year (or close to $5 billion), compared to 2.95 billion Euros (about $3.6 billion) the year before. 2015 saw 1.94 billion Euros in revenue (about $2.38 billion).

Losses for last year were 1.2 billion Euros ($1.47 billion), which compares to 539 million Euros ($661 million) the year before.

Spotify previously raised about $2.7 billion in both debt and equity financing. Tencent, Tiger Global, Sony Music and Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) are amongst its largest shareholders.

CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek has voting power that represents 23.8% of the company. Yet some of this voting power is on behalf of shares owned by Tiger, TME Hong Kong and Image Frame. Ek owns closer to 9% of the business.

Martin Lorentzon, who co-founded Spotify, owns 12.4%.

We talked about all this on TechCrunch’s “Equity” podcast.

Original Article : techcrunch.com
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OnePlus is teaming up with Marvel Studios over an Avengers-themed OnePlus 6

Avengers-themed OnePlus 6 - OnePlus 6 2018 | PintFeed

OnePlus is partnering with Marvel Studios to release an Avengers-themed OnePlus 6. 

OnePlus got a lot of Star Wars fans excited last year when it rolled out a limited edition variant of the OnePlus 5T with Star Wars branding, and it looks like the company is set to do a similar collaboration with a Hollywood franchise with the OnePlus 6. According to a video posted on OnePlus India's Facebook page, the company is teaming up with Marvel Studios to roll out an Avengers-themed variant of its upcoming flagship.

The teaser intercuts between the OnePlus and Avengers logos, and reveals the release date of the upcoming Avengers movie. Based on the text of the post, it looks like this was a test video that was erroneously published on Facebook. Nevertheless, it gives us a good idea as to what OnePlus is planning for its upcoming phone. The original video has been taken down, so here's a mirror:




With Avengers: Infinity War set to hit theaters on April 27, it's possible we'll see the OnePlus 6 make its debut at around the same time. I love what OnePlus managed to do with the Star Wars variant of the 5T, and I'm excited to see what's in store with the Avengers-themed model. At this point, it's unclear whether the device will be limited to the Indian market, like the Star Wars-themed variant, or whether it will see a global release. We should know more in the coming weeks.

As for the device itself, we know that the OnePlus 6 will have a notch (albeit one smaller than the iPhone X), and it may feature various finishes for the back (including a wood option). The phone will be powered by the Snapdragon 845, and is likely to offer an option with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

What do you guys want to see from an Avengers-themed OnePlus 6?

Original Article : androidcentral.com
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Facebook has suspended the account of the whistleblower who exposed Cambridge Analytica – TechCrunch

Facebook has suspended the account of the whistleblower | PintFeed

Tech hath no fury like a multi-billion dollar social media giant scorned.

In the latest turn of the developing scandal around how Facebook’s user data wound up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica — for use in the in development in psychographic profiles that may or may not have played a part in the election victory of Donald Trump — the company has taken the unusual step of suspending the account of the whistleblower who helped expose the issues.

In a fantastic profile in The Guardian, Wylie revealed himself to be the architect of the technology that Cambridge Analytica used to develop targeted advertising strategies that arguably helped sway the U.S. presidential election.

A self-described gay, Canadian vegan, Wylie eventually became — as he told The Guardian — the developer of “Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare mindfuck tool.”

The goal, as The Guardian reported, was to combine social media’s reach with big data analytical tools to create psychographic profiles that could then be manipulated in what Bannon and Cambridge Analytica investor Robert Mercer allegedly referred to as a military-style psychological operations campaign — targeting U.S. voters.


In a series of Tweets late Saturday, Wylie’s former employer, Cambridge Analytica, took issue with Wylie’s characterization of events (and much of the reporting around the stories from The Times and The Guardian). 

Meanwhile, Cadwalldr noted on Twitter earlier today she’d received a phone call from the aggrieved whistleblower.

Twitter | PintFeed


Facebook has since weighed in with a statement of its own, telling media outlets:

“Mr. Wylie has refused to cooperate with us until we lift the suspension on his account. Given he said he ‘exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles,’ we cannot do this at this time.

“We are in the process of conducting a comprehensive internal and external review as we work to determine the accuracy of the claims that the Facebook data in question still exists. That is where our focus lies as we remain committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information.”

Original Article : blogmag.in
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Physicist Stephen Hawking Has Died at the Age of 76

Stephen Hawking- RIP 1942-2018 | PintFeed

Renowned British theoretical physicist and Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking has “died peacefully at his home in Cambridge” at the age of 76, according to a spokesperson for the Hawking family.

In a statement released to several media outlets, Professor Hawking’s children Lucy, Robert, and Tim requested “time and privacy to mourn.”

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” they wrote. “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”

Physicist Stephen Hawking | PintFeed


Hawking, one of the most significant and best-known scientists of his time, began experiencing the symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, a degenerative motor neuron condition, at the age of 21. Doctors initially gave him only two years to live.

His disease eventually led to his near-total paralysis and confinement to a wheelchair, as well as the use of a synthetic speech device. This, however, did not dim his growing fame, and arguably enhanced his reputation as a survivor who refused to be limited by circumstance.


As noted in a 2016 BBC profile, Hawking’s biggest contributions to physics were bringing “together several different but equally fundamental fields of physical theory: gravitation, cosmology, quantum theory, thermodynamics and information theory.” In 1970, he collaborated with UK physicist Roger Penrose on a paper proposing that a full understanding of general relativity indicates that the universe began as a singularity, and later published work that offered some partial solutions to the apparent incompatibility between general relativity and quantum theory.

In 1974, he formulated the first theoretical explanation of Hawking radiation, which proposes black holes can radiate energy and thus slowly dissipate—or in the case of primordial mini-black holes, violently explode. He later published work on the Big Bang, which took him to best-seller status in the book A Brief History of Time.

Over the course of his career, the Washington Post noted, Hawking rose to the position of Lucasian professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge once held by none other than Isaac Newton.

In his later years, Hawking was sometimes a controversial figure, issuing a number of dire predictions about energy consumption, robots, extraterrestrials, nuclear bombs, and climate change.

Original Article : gizmodo.com
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How to make a clean break with the clingiest social networks

Social Media Accounts | PintFeed

SOCIAL NETWORKS WALK a fine line between being a useful tool and a crippling addiction. Whether you want your free time back, or don’t like your information scattered about on the internet, you may be considering deactivating some accounts. Wanting to delete your account is one thing, but actually being able to hit the delete button is another story. Social media outlets make money off of you and your information, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they don’t want to let you go. Because of this, the biggest networks have made it overly complicated to delete your account. But if you are set on getting rid of them, here’s what you’ll have to do.

Facebook


You’ve had your Facebook account for about a decade, and in that time you’ve posted a little too much personal information. Maybe you’re just sick of all the baby pictures and slightly offensive status updates your friends are sharing. You’ve had enough.

If you’ve ever deactivated your account you may have noticed that everything goes back to normal the next time you log in, as if nothing has happened. That’s because deactivating your Facebook account is not the same as deleting it. When you deactivate your account, you are just hiding your information from searches and your Facebook friends. Although nothing is visible on the site, your account information remains intact on Facebook’s servers, eagerly awaiting your return.

Even so, deactivating your account is still a complex process. Go into your settings and click General. At the bottom, you'll find Manage your Account. From there, click on "Deactivate your account" and type in your password. Before you're completely off the hook, Facebook shows you photos of all the "friends" you'll miss ("Callie will miss you", "Phoebe will miss you", "Ben will miss you") followed by a survey asking you to detail your reasons for leaving. Get through that, click Deactivate, and you're good to go.

Now, to permanently delete your account, you'll need to learn where the delete option resides. The easiest way to find it is by clicking the "Quick Help" icon in the top-right corner, then the "Search" icon. When you see the search field, type “delete account.” You'll see a list of search results. Click on "How do I permanently delete my account?" and Facebook will give you the obscure instructions to “log into your account and let us know.” In this case, “let us know” is code for “delete my account,” so click on that link. From here, the final steps are clear: Enter your password and solve the security captcha, and your request to permanently delete your account is underway.

Yes, you read that right—it's just a request. Facebook delays the deletion process for a few days after you submit your request, and will cancel your request if you log into your account during that time period. You know, just in case you change your mind. It's crucial that you don't visit Facebook during this waiting period. Delete the app from your phone.




If you want to delete your account but don't want to lose all your account information, download all your crucial data first. The information you can download includes everything from the photos and statuses you post, to the ads you’ve clicked and the IP addresses you’ve used. The list of what’s included is extensive, but you can view it in its entirety here. Also, due to the nature of this data, you’ll want to keep it in a safe place.

To download your account, go into Settings> General Account Settings > Download a copy of your Facebook dataand then click “Start My Archive.” When your download is ready, Facebook will send you an email with a link to download. For added security, this link will expire after a few days, so download it quickly.

Instagram


Even though it’s such a mobile-first service, Instagram doesn’t let you delete your account through the app. Instead, you’ll have to log into your Instagram account via the web in order to delete it.

Like Facebook, navigating through Instagram’s settings will only give you the option to temporarily disable your account. Disabling your account will hide your profile, photos, likes and comments from the platform. Find the disable option by clicking the person icon in the top right corner and selecting Edit Profile. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see the option to temporarily disable your account.

If you want to get rid of it for good, you’ll have to enter “https://instagram.com/accounts/remove/request/permanent/” into your browser's address bar. Once you’re on that page, enter in your password and click “Permanently delete my account.”

In the past, Instagram users have reported that they are prompted to enter in their phone number when deleting their account. Luckily, it seems like this is no longer necessary.

Twitter


It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain a well-curated Twitter account, but the good news is that deleting your account doesn’t require as much work.

Before you delete your Twitter account, you may want to download your archive. This will include all your tweets in a chronological order, which is great if you want to relive your first tweet, or see all those unanswered tweets you sent to celebrities. To download your archive, click your profile icon, go to Settings, then click on “Request your archive.” It’ll take some time for Twitter to get your archive ready, but when it is, you’ll be sent an email with a download link that will give you a .zip file.

Once you have your downloaded copy, you can proceed with deleting your account. Log in to your Twitter, go into your account settings, then scroll to the bottom and click “Deactivate my account.” After that, you’ll be prompted to enter your password, and once you do so your account will be deactivated.

Keep in mind that your data isn’t actually deleted for another 30 days. This window gives you the opportunity to revive your account if you choose. Once the 30 day period is up, Twitter will begin deleting your account. According to the company's Privacy Policy, this could take a few weeks.

Snapchat


Maybe you’re sick of seeing who’s besties with who according to the app’s Friend Emoji guide. Maybe you’re one of many Snapchat users converting to Instagram, despite Snapchat’s radically different function. In any case, if you decide to delete your Snapchat account, here’s how.

Open the app and click on your profile icon in the top left corner. From there, go to Settings in the top-right corner. Go down to Support, which is found under More Information, and you’ll be lead to a search engine. Enter “Delete my account” and you'll see the instructions as a search result. It’s pretty straightforward from there. Like Twitter, Snapchat allows you 30 days to reactivate your account before it’s deleted forever.

The Rest


While there are a lot of social media sites out there, few are as sticky as the ones mentioned above. If you are looking to delete any of your numerous accounts, the best places to start are in your user settings, or on the company’s support/FAQ page. From there you’ll be able to find the necessary path to deleting your account. Shortcuts for these web forms can be found here for LinkedInGoogle+, and Pinterest.

Original Article : wired.com
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