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Cleveland offered $120 million in freebies lure Amazon to the city

May 11, 2018 Alex 0

A Cleveland.com article detailed the lengths the small midwestern city would go to lure Amazon’s in 50,000-person HQ2. In a document obtained by reporter Mark Naymik, we learn that Cleveland was ready to give over $120 million in free services to Amazon including considerably reduced fares on Cleveland-area trains and buses.

The document, available here, focuses on the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA)’s ideas regarding the key component in many of Amazon’s decisions – transportation.

Ohio has a budding but often tendentious connection to public transport. Cities like Columbus have no light rail while Cincinnati just installed a rudimentary system. Cleveland, for its part, has a solid if underused system already in place.

That the city would offer discounts is not surprising. Cities were falling over themselves to gain what many would consider – including Amazon itself – a costly incursion on the city chosen. However, given the perceived importance of having Amazon..

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Facebooks reportedly plans to launch its own cryptocurrency

May 11, 2018 Alex 0

Facebook is reportedly planning to launch its own cryptocurrency, according to a report from Cheddar’s Alex Heath.

Currently, there isn’t too much detail, but the company is said to be specifically focused on using cryptocurrency specifically for facilitating payments on the platform, something that could be a pretty dramatic shift given Facebook’s huge user base and existing marketplace section of the site for buying and selling goods. The company is also said to be investigating other ways to leverage the tokenized digital currency and its underlying blockchain technology across its platform, too.

The cryptocurrency efforts are said to be led by David Marcus, who earlier this week was reported to be leading a new blockchain division…

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MapleStory gets an extra life with a mobile game and 3D sequel

May 11, 2018 Alex 0

Logging onto MapleStory back in 2004 was like entering a different world, one filled with magic, community, and ridiculously cute child-like avatars. Today there are dozens of games that offer a similar, and often better, experience. But in the early 2000s, the free-to-play, casual multiplayerMapleStory was singular, attracting fan videos, art, and later on YouTubers. By 2009, MapleStory had reached an incredible 92 million players. A notable 36 percent of those players were under the age of 18, and many of them likely grew out of the game over time.

While millions still play the game, its audience is a fraction of what it once was. Today, a cult following of 14 million players remains, and Nexon, MapleStory’s parent company, has failed…

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Vergecast: Google I/O and Microsoft Build rundown

May 11, 2018 Alex 0

So much happened this week in the world of The Verge. Both Google and Microsoft hosted their annual developer conferences and announced a whole bunch of stuff, so Nilay, Paul, Natt, and Dieter gather to break it down and give you the highlights.

And this wouldn’t be an episode of The Vergecast without the segment Paul does every week, “Kick flip the kickstand script.” It’s a big one, so listen to the whole episode to get everything you need for this massive week in tech news.

01:28 – 10 Biggest announcements from Google I/O

03:45 – The selfishness of Google Duplex

21:09 – Android P

26:41 – At I/O Google showed its willingness to change and shape our lives

34:33 – JBL’s Android-powered soundbar does a lot of things right

38:43 – V…

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Why Snapchat’s re-redesign will fail and how to fix it

May 11, 2018 Alex 0

Snap screwed it all up jumbling messages and Stories, banishing creators to Discover, and wrecking auto-advance. Prideful of his gut instincts, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel refused to listen to the awful user reviews and declining usage. Now a study shows a 73% drop in user sentiment towards Snapchat, the app’s user count shrank in March, and its share price is way down.

Yet the re-redesign Snapchat is finally rolling out today in response won’t fix the problems. The company still fails to understand that people want a predictable app that’s convenient to lay back and watch, and social media stars are more similar to you and me than they are to news outlets producing mobile magazine-style Discover content.

There’s a much better path for Snapchat, but it will require an ego adjustment and a bigger reversal of the changes — philosophy be damned.

Here’s what Snapchat was, is becoming, and should be.

The Old Snapchat
Snapchat’s best design was in September 2016. It lacked sensible Stories sor..

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One of net neutrality’s biggest enemies ‘retires’ from AT&T amid Michael Cohen scandal

May 11, 2018 Alex 0

AT&T has decided to join the growing coalition of people who regret paying President Trump’s lawyer. In a message to AT&T employees today, first obtained by CNN, AT&T President Randall Stephenson said “our company has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these last few days and our reputation has been damaged. There is no other way to say it — AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake.” Regardless, Stephenson insists that “everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate.”

But while Stephenson says he takes “full responsibility” for the mistake, it actually seems like AT&T’s top lobbyist Bob Quinn is taking the hit. Stephenson also announced in his message that Quinn “will be…

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Lenovo has some new IdeaPads for every budget

May 11, 2018 Alex 0

Lenovo’s IdeaPad laptops aren’t going to win any awards for stunning design or ultra-powerful hardware, but if you’re looking for a relatively cheap option for a Windows PC, they’re good choices that probably won’t break the bank.

Lenovo has three new models in the IdeaPad lineup launching later this month: the IdeaPad 330, the IdeaPad 330S, and the IdeaPad 530S, all of which come in a variety of screen sizes and configurations.

The IdeaPad 330 is the cheapest model, starting at $249.99 for the base 15-inch model. Of course, price will depend on tons of factors here, like screen size (14-inch, 15-inch, or 17-inch), internal specifications (from the, shall we say, underpowered Intel Celeron Dual Core N4000 to Intel’s latest 8th-gen Core…

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ConsenSys, Enigma, Monaco, EximChain and Benetech join TechCrunch’s blockchain event

May 11, 2018 Alex 0

Let’s talk events… TechCrunch events: we’re confirming five more names for our upcoming blockchain show on July 6.

Joe Lubin, a co-founder of Ethereum and the founder of ConsenSys, Enigma CEO and co-founder Hicham Oudghiri, Monaco CEO and co-founder Kris Marszalek, EximChain CEO and co-founder Hope Liu, and Jim Fruchterman, CEO and founder of Benetech, will all join us for the show — the first TechCrunch event dedicated to the topic of blockchain.

TC Sessions: Blockchain takes place in Zug, the Swiss Canton located just outside of Zurich, which has come to be known as ‘Crypto Valley.’

Zug isn’t just a regulatory haven where startups come to file paperwork and leave, it’s becoming a destination that blockchain startups are moving into to take advantage of the growing community and a forward-thinking, fast-moving regulatory approach.

Beyond these fives names announced today, the event will also feature the following speakers:

Vitalik Buterin, creator of Ethereum
Changpeng Zhao, CEO ..

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This three-axis tourbillon movement is a 3D printed marvel

May 11, 2018 Alex 0

The three-axis tourbillon is one of the most complex watch complications in the world. Originally based on a design by watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, this type of tourbillon – literally “whirlwind” – rotates the balance wheel of a watch in order to ensure that gravity doesn’t adversely affect any part of the watch. It’s a clever, complex, and essentially useless complication in an era of atomic clocks and nano materials but darn if it isn’t cool-looking.

Based on this original, simpler model, this new three-axis tourbillon is available for download here. It consists of 70 potentially fiddly parts and runs using a basic motor.

As you can see, the main component is the balance wheel which flips back and forth to drive the watch. The balance wheel is contained inside a sort of spike-shaped cage that rotates on multiple axes. The balance wheel controls the speed of the spin and often these devices are used as second hands on more complex – and more expensive – tourbillon watches. Tour..

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What do we even mean when we say ‘Android’?

May 11, 2018 Alex 0

The thing that’s given me greatest amusement at this year’s Google I/O has been the number of iPhone users raising an eyebrow at Google’s new focus on digital well-being and openly declaring that Android has leapfrogged iOS. As an avid Android acolyte, my reflexive response has been to say that Android has already been ahead of iOS in a number of important respects like its first-party apps, cloud services, and digital assistant. But then that got me thinking: which Android? Is it the Android on your 2016 Samsung Galaxy A7, or the Android on the latest Huawei P20 Pro, or the Android on Google’s own Pixel devices? These are all different flavors of supposedly the same thing, but I’m not so sure.

I’m starting to believe we need a more…

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