Articles by Admin

Entertainment

Bille Lourd posts a touching tribute on Carrie Fisher’s birthday

TwitterFacebook

Saturday marks Carrie Fisher’s first birthday since her death last December. The Star Wars star would have turned 61 on Oct. 21. 

It’s a sad day, but Fisher’s family, friends, and fans are making the milestone a little less bittersweet with tributes to the actor and author. 

“You can be sure that Billie and I will have a moment in reflection on Carrie’s day,” Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher, told E! News about his plans with Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd. 

Lourd posted a touching tribute to her mom on Instagram.  Read more…

More about Star Wars, Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher, Todd Fisher, and Entertainment

Business

We asked cryptocurrency experts to respond to Jamie Dimon’s bitcoin bashings — here’s what they said

Jamie DimonChip Somodevilla / Getty Images

  • Jamie Dimon has been a vocal critic of bitcoin since its earliest days, but his most recent comments have ignited a conversation about digital currencies on Wall Street.
  • Two of the bankers’ main arguments against the cryptocurrency are that it is in a bubble, and it will ultimately be “crushed” by governments. 
  • We spoke with experts in the cryptocurrency space to examine those two critiques.
  • They said bitcoin’s underpinning blockchain technology can’t be easily jeopardized by governments and future use-cases justify its current value.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon sparked a conversation about bitcoin among top Wall Streeters. 

Since he called the digital currency “a fraud” in September, a slew of top Wall Streeters from BlackRock’s Larry Fink to Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman, have weighed in on bitcoin, which is up more than 400% year-to-date.

Dimon said during JPMorgan’s earnings call Thursday he would stop talking about bitcoin. His vow of silence, however, ended prematurely. The very next day Dimon bashed bitcoin at a conference in Washington, D.C. He concluded his remarks by saying he was done talking about bitcoin.

Whether Dimon can keep his word remains to be seen, but what is certain is that his critiques of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will continue to drive conversation in both crypto- and Wall Street-circles.

‘Worse than tulip bulbs’

BubbleReuters/Mike BlakeWall Street is full of folks who think the over $160 billion cryptocurrency market is in a bubble. Dimon said it is “worse than the tulip bulbs,” alluding to the speculative bubble of newly arrived tulips in 17th century Europe.

In fact, the notion that some folks are just betting on the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is not even contested among bitcoin’s most fundamental followers.

Crypto-evangelists, however, would argue that such investors are in the minority, whereas the majority of cryptocurrency investors are betting on the underpinning technology of their coins and tokens, rather than just looking for a quick profit. 

“There is certainly some speculation,” Ryan Taylor, a former McKinsey analyst and CEO of Dash, a top cryptocurrency. “But it’s being driven by the belief that future use-cases will come to fruition.”

Crypto-skeptics often rebuke the argument for future use-cases, which range from toll systems to peer-to-peer energy exchange networks, by saying they are too far off to warrant current valuations.

“The real world benefits are said to take years to materialize, even among evangelists,” wrote UBS, the Switzerland-based bank in a recent note. The bank says at the end of the day people are just looking to sell at a higher price. 

Bitcoin enthusiasts respond by pointing to the utility of cryptocurrency’s network, which sees more than 200,000 transactions per day, as evidence of its inherent value. Here’s Stan Miroshnik, CEO and managing director, Element Group:

“The bitcoin economy is supported by all the goods and services you can buy with bitcoin, as well as the infrastructure investments made by thousands of people to support the distributed bitcoin network. All of this has fundamental value. I can pay in bitcoin faster, cheaper and more secure than with PayPal, this is a fundamental value.” 

PayPal did not respond for comment at the time of publication.

According to PayPal’s website, a bank transfer made through their platform takes approximately one business day. A bitcoin transaction typically takes under 30 minutes, although that number frequently fluctuates. 

‘Governments are going to crush it one day’

Dimon doubled down on his position that governments would be a main impediment to the future growth of bitcoin and the overall cryptocurrency market on Friday, saying sovereigns will ultimately crush it once it becomes too big of a threat to their authority. Here’s Dimon (emphasis added):

The other thing I’ve always [said] about bitcoin, governments — and this is not a technological statement — governments are going to crush it one day. Governments like to know where the money is, who has it and what you’re doing with it, in case you haven’t noticed. Right?

China’s recent interventions into both currency- and crypto-markets best illustrates Dimon’s point. The country’s regulators in September deemed initial coin offerings, a red-hot cryptocurrency-based fundraising method, illegal. And currently there is a wide-spread crackdown on bitcoin trading underway in the country. China notably has also implemented restrictions on cross-border payments between its yuan and foreign currencies to keep renminbi from exiting the country.

China is an extreme case, but numerous countries, from the US to South Korea, have ramped up efforts to impose restrictions on the wild west of cryptocurrencies. This isn’t worrying most cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

Capture.PNGMarkets InsiderSamson Mow, the CSO of Blockstream, a bitcoin software company based in San Francisco, told Business Insider that governments may dislike crypto, but the degree to which they can impact the digital currency is limited. 

“Cryptocurrencies by design cannot be “closed down” because first, they are decentralized, and second, they’re just information,” Mow said. “To even try to close them down, you’d have to shut down the internet, and even then it would only be a minor hindrance.”

The bitcoin markets seem to agree with Mow. Since China banned ICOs, for instance, bitcoin has rallied more than $1,000.

Josh Olszwicz, a bitcoin trader, told Business Insider the markets have ignored the news out of China because it is not something that impacts its underlying blockchain technology

“If it doesn’t affect the protocol, then it’s not a real problem,” he told Business Insider.”The bitcoin cash shakeup was much more worrisome from my perspective, but even then the core bitcoin protocol remained unaffected.”

If a country were to completely ban bitcoin, the network would still be there for people to use. And it wouldn’t be too difficult for people to get away with using bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, because the network is anonymous and transactions and trades are hard to trace.  

NOW WATCH: TOP STRATEGIST: Bitcoin will soar to $25,000 in 5 years

Business

Elon Musk’s Boring Company gets permission to dig a 10-mile tunnel in Maryland

TwitterFacebook

The hyperloop is moving ahead. 

Elon Musk got permission from Maryland officials for his Boring Company to build a 10-mile tunnel in the state, the Baltimore Sun reported. The tunnel would be the first part of Musk’s envisioned hyperloop to transport people underground between New York and Washington, D.C. 

“This thing is real. It’s exciting to see,” Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn told the Sun. “The word ‘transformational’ may be overused, but this is a technology that leapfrogs any technology that is out there today. And it’s going to be here.”

The 10.3-mile tunnel will be situated beneath the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Even though the tunnel is part of Musk’s futuristic vision, this first step only required the usual utility permits—just like any electric company getting state permission to dig underground.  Read more…

More about Tech, Maryland, Hyperloop, Boring Company, and Tunnels

Business

The woman who took down Uber gives her first interview since speaking up

TwitterFacebook

Eight months ago, engineer Susan Fowler published a blog post describing a culture of sexism and sexual harassment throughout Uber. 

Her words set off a firestorm at Uber that led to the ouster of founder Travis Kalanick as CEO, predated widespread allegations of sexual harassment against venture capitalists in Silicon Valley this summer, and even seems to draw a trail through this month’s Harvey Weinstein news

Throughout it all, Fowler has remained quiet in public, save for some light commentary on Twitter. The former Uber engineer, who now edits a technical publication for the payments company Stripe, gave her first interview since hitting publish on Feb. 19 to Maureen Dowd at the New York TimesRead more…

More about Uber, Sexual Harassment, Silicon Valley, Sexual Assault, and Susan Fowler

Business

What can a 24-megapixel selfie camera do for you? We reviewed the Vivo 7+ to find out

TwitterFacebook

My wife recently decided to print out a hundred or so of the best photographs we’ve taken with our smartphones over the years. Looking at them, I’ve noticed something interesting: More than half of them were selfies.

It’s hardly surprising. Rear cameras are great for taking photos of sunsets, but for those family moments you really want to remember, a selfie makes more sense. So why are rear cameras on phones vastly better than the selfie cameras?

China’s Vivo, a top five smartphone manufacturer but not very well known outside of its home market, reverses this situation completely with its Vivo 7+ phone. This smartphone has a 16-megapixel shooter on the back, and a vastly better, 24-megapixel camera on the front.  Read more…

More about Selfies, Vivo, Selfie Camera, Vivo7, and Tech

Entertainment

On Kissing Retail Therapy Goodbye and Giving Self-Care a Shot

Here at Preen, we’re fully aware that adult life doesn’t always go as smoothly (and look as beautiful) as curated Instagram feeds. We all face challenges amidst all the good things. Meet Mikka Wee, a former food editor-turned-working gal in Singapore, who’s about to share all the ups and downs that come with adulting. Welcome to […]

The post On Kissing Retail Therapy Goodbye and Giving Self-Care a Shot appeared first on Preen.

Business

Here’s how Amazon’s and Apple’s new smart speakers stack up with consumers (AMZN, AAPL)

tech adoption likely buyersBI Intelligence

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Smart speakers — Amazon’s Echo, for example — are the latest device category poised to take a chunk of our increasingly digital lives. These devices are made primarily for the home and execute a user’s voice commands via an integrated digital assistant. These digital assistants can play music, answer questions, and control other devices within a user’s home, among other things. 

The central question for this new product category is not when they will take off, but which devices will rise to the top. To answer this question, BI Intelligence surveyed our leading-edge consumer panel, gathering exclusive data on Amazon’s recently released Echo Show and Echo Look, as well as Apple’s HomePod. 

In a new Smart Speaker report, BI Intelligence analyzes the market potential of the Echo Look, Echo Show, and HomePod. Using exclusive survey data, we evaluate each device’s potential for adoption based on four criteria: awareness, excitement, usefulness, and purchase intent. And we draw some inferences from our data about the direction the smart speaker market could take from here.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Amazon’s new Echo Show is the big winner — it has mass-market appeal and looks like it will take off. The combination of usefulness and excitement will drive consumers to buy the Echo Show. The Echo Look, though, seems like it will struggle to attract that same level of interest.
  • Apple’s HomePod looks likely to find a place in the smart speaker market but won’t dominate its space like the iPhone or iPad did.
  • The smart speaker market will evolve rapidly in the next few years, with more devices featuring screens, a variety of more focused products emerging, and eventually, the voice assistant moving beyond the smart speaker.

In full, the report:

  • Showcases exclusive survey data on initial consumer reactions to the Echo Look, Echo Show, and HomePod.
  • Highlights the aims and strategies of major players in the smart speaker market.
  • Provides analysis on the direction this nascent market will take and the opportunity for companies considering a move into the space.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

Tech

Redesigning the TechCrunch app

 Over the last two years we have been working hard to improve the experience of TechCrunch products for our readers. Our tiny-but-mighty product team launched the brand new TechCrunch mobile app earlier this month and we couldn’t be more excited. It has been completely redesigned with the goal of giving you easy access to the news you care about most, no matter where you are. Read More

Fashion

Manila Fashion Festival Beyond: Yvonne Quisumbing

Yvonne Quisumbing’s Manila Fashion Festival collection featured both menswear and womenswear. She focused on creating pieces that are classics, but with details like subtle pleats, shimmer and shine, and a few geometrical patterns—all of which are true to her design aesthetic, classic with a touch of whimsy. Click on the slideshow to see the collection!  […]

The post Manila Fashion Festival Beyond: Yvonne Quisumbing appeared first on Preen.

Travel

Bologna city guide: what to see plus the best bars, restaurants and hotels

The opening of a foodie theme park will further elevate Bologna’s reputation as Italy’s culinary capital but the city has plenty more to offer, including superb art, music and medieval architecture

Europe’s oldest university town (it was founded in 1088) has been a haven for intellectuals and creative types since luminaries such as Dante and Petrarch passed through in the 14th century. Cultural capitals can ossify with time, but the constant influx of young blood into Bologna has kept the city alive. In the evenings, cafes flood with Bolognesi, from high-society ladies to stylishly scruffy undergraduates arguing politics and sipping Aperol spritzes.

Piazza Verdi attracts musicians and dreadlocked punks, while bars under the arches of Piazza Santo Stefano are a lovely spot for a sundowner. At weekends the central Via Ugo Bassi and Via Rizzoli, along with perpendicular Via dell’Indipendenza, are pedestrianised and fill with shoppers and street performers. At nightfall, crowds from the student bars along Via Zamboni and the more upscale options on Via del Pratello spill into the streets.

Continue reading…

Business

Why You Should Never Borrow from Unauthorized Lenders

Unauthorized moneylenders are always looking for people who are in a crunch for cash. It seems they are even on Whatsapp pretending to be licensed moneylenders, ready to give you a loan when you need it to pay your bills. Given that they can charge exorbitant interest rates and abuse the borrowers into repaying their funds, it’s no surprise they are so eager to find their next victims. However, it is when you are the most desperate for money that you should exercise the most caution. Taking a loan from an unauthorized moneylender can be a deal with the devil that can ruin your life in many different ways. Here, we discuss a few pieces of evidence on why unauthorized lenders are still real threats to consumers in Singapore, and what alternatives they can use when they really need cash quickly. Yes, unlicensed moneylenders will still harass you The Singaporean government and its police force have done an amazing job reducing the activities of UMLs in recent years. After hitting its peak in 2009, UML related harassment cases have dropped by 80% to 3,375 per year in 2016, thanks to the law enforcement’s heavy crackdown. However, the recent arrests of loan sharks in Bedok

The post Why You Should Never Borrow from Unauthorized Lenders appeared first on The New Savvy.

Business

MasterCard will finally stop forcing people to sign receipts

TwitterFacebook

“Can I get you to sign on the bottom?” “Your signature, please?” “Sign here.”

Those prompts that you’ve heard forever after shopping, eating out, and spending money are coming to an end.

MasterCard is doing away with signatures on purchases starting in April.

It’s the end of an era. The future signature-less payment process stemmed from company research showing that customers wanted to speed up time at the register.

Requiring a signature had become antiquated with so many other security features such as chips, biometrics, and digital payment platforms. Some new MasterCard credit cards have a fingerprint sensor embedded in the card. When paying, cardholders just touch the sensor while holding the card as they dip it into the terminal.  Read more…

More about Cybersecurity, Nostalgia, Mastercard, Biometrics, and Credit Cards

Architecture

Hillary Clinton tried to use a very relatable trick to skip Trump’s inauguration, but alas, it didn’t work

TwitterFacebook

Hey, it’s October and here we are, still talking about President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Hillary Clinton was on The Graham Norton Show on Friday to promote the release of her book What Happened when the two got talking about Trump’s inauguration in January, which she attended alongside other former presidents and their spouses. 

Obviously, Clinton, who won the popular vote by 3 million but lost the election due to the Electoral College, didn’t really feel like going to Trump’s inauguration. So she tried to get out of it the same way anyone tries to get out of a social gathering they don’t want to attend. Read more…

More about Politics, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Culture, and Politics