Brave man dives onto 1,000 mousetraps so we can see it in slow motion

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The Slow Mo Guys threw themselves into potential bodily harm with their newest video, where they explored what 1,000 mousetraps going off would look like in slow motion.

To do this, Gavin and Daniel first had to set up the mousetraps, a task much harder than it sounds (it took four hours). Once that was done, Daniel then dove right into the middle of the mousetrap-covered trampoline.

The slow mo results look epic and very painful. Read more…

More about Watercooler, Conversations, Slow Mo Guys, Slow Motion, and Mousetrap

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Social Media Use by Generation [Infographic]

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There will be 2.67 billion social media users worldwide by 2018, according to estimated cited in an infographic by Personal Money Service.

If more than one-third of the world is on social media, how can you make sure the right message gets to the right people?

The infographic suggests one way is to know your audience by generation. For example, it cites a statistic that Generation Z prefers to see real people rather than celebrities in their advertisements, and that 68% of Generation X makes buying decisions based on reviews.

The infographic also provides an overview of some of the major social media channels; it notes, for example, that 79% of all Twitter accounts are outside the US, and 65% of leading brands have an Instagram account.

To see more about how different generations use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, check out the infographic:












Laura Forer is the manager of MarketingProfs: Made to Order, Original Content Services, which helps clients generate leads, drive site traffic, and build their brands through useful, well-designed content.

LinkedIn: Laura Forer

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Twitter comedian Mike Huckabee burns CNN with 100% flawless joke

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Twitter comedian Mike Huckabee burns CNN with 100% flawless joke

Image: mashable composite; getty images, twitter

Mike Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas and current Twitter comedian, is back with another pitch-perfect burn — this one aimed at CNN in the aftermath of President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey.

No one is safe from Huckabee’s famous spoofs, goofs, and gags. The bigwigs at CNN are surely reeling from this one.

Before we get to the joke, let’s set the stage. President Trump fired FBI director James Comey on Tuesday, in the midst of a criminal investigation by the FBI into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

Here’s where Huckabee comes in, pulling no punches, not afraid to offend or ruffle some feathers.

After more than two hours, Huckabee’s immaculate quip is still on Twitter. And why wouldn’t it be? There is nothing wrong with it. It is one of the best jokes that has ever been written.

A perfect joke. Perhaps the perfect joke. Nothing to see here — nothing to talk about at all. CNN is now the Cardiac Care Network, because their ppl are having heart attacks. CNN = Cardiac Care Network. Let that sink in. That is now fact throughout this land. 

CNN is ruined.

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Twitter comedian Mike Huckabee burns CNN with 100% flawless joke

Standard

Twitter comedian Mike Huckabee burns CNN with 100% flawless joke

Image: mashable composite; getty images, twitter

Mike Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas and current Twitter comedian, is back with another pitch-perfect burn — this one aimed at CNN in the aftermath of President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey.

No one is safe from Huckabee’s famous spoofs, goofs, and gags. The bigwigs at CNN are surely reeling from this one.

Before we get to the joke, let’s set the stage. President Trump fired FBI director James Comey on Tuesday, in the midst of a criminal investigation by the FBI into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

Here’s where Huckabee comes in, pulling no punches, not afraid to offend or ruffle some feathers.

After more than two hours, Huckabee’s immaculate quip is still on Twitter. And why wouldn’t it be? There is nothing wrong with it. It is one of the best jokes that has ever been written.

A perfect joke. Perhaps the perfect joke. Nothing to see here — nothing to talk about at all. CNN is now the Cardiac Care Network, because their ppl are having heart attacks. CNN = Cardiac Care Network. Let that sink in. That is now fact throughout this land. 

CNN is ruined.

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Opera’s desktop browser now features quick access to Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram

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Opera has been working on a complete redesign of its desktop browser for a few months. Codenamed “Reborn”, the browser is now available as a stable release. All Opera users are going to receive the update automatically in the coming days.

The most visible new feature is quick access to messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Messenger. You can open a popup with your conversation lists and start chatting from your browser using the new sidebar.

These shortcuts are always visible on the Speed Dial homepage. And if you choose to pin the new sidebar, the shortcuts will stay available while you browse the web.

Many people still don’t know that you can use these messaging apps in your browser. So Opera is going to make these web interfaces more visible. I think many users are going to find it useful.

As for the new user interface, I’ve been using it for a few weeks and it looks great on Windows 10. On macOS, I’m not so sure about the changes. With sharp angles and solid colors, it doesn’t feel like a native app.

The icons and Speed Dial designs are also new. And there’s a new dark mode if you like black toolbars.

Opera now has the same look on all platforms. It feels a bit more like Chrome to be honest. After a few days, you get used to it and it’s still the same browser under the fresh coat of paint.




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Put your smartphone away, you’re missing the entire history of you

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No, you’re not that important or busy. Put your smartphone away and pay more attention to the world around you.

Better yet, leave your smartphone over there, where you can’t get to it for a few hours. 

Now breathe deep and try not to panic. The world (probably) isn’t going to end while you’re deprived of your mobile pacifier. That’s what a lot of us are thinking, but we’re too heads down in our smartphones to tell each other that. 

The Handmaid’s Tale, The Hunger Games, the Divergent series, somehow none of these dystopian sci-fi parables have prepared us for a techno-centric world in which the shuffling, oblivious zombies are us. In 2016, a report in the Wall Street Journal cited stats from the Consumer Product Safety Commission indicating that emergency room visits by distracted pedestrians using mobile phones were up 124 percent from 2014. The same report claimed that such accidents have increased 10-fold from 2006. Let there be no doubt, although we’re increasingly aware of our distracted driving problems, we also have a serious distracted walking problem. 

I noticed it myself when I returned to the U.S. and stepped through the doors of Mashable for the first time at our former 23rd street office in 2013. I was waiting for the elevator and when it arrived, a crowd of people emerged, all walking out while looking down at their smartphone screens. I was almost knocked over because not a single person looked up from their smartphone as they walked out of the lobby. 

Our new habit of texting and reading smartphones while walking has us strolling into traffic and literally walking off piers. 

It’s this same fairly new habit of texting and reading smartphones while walking that has people casually strolling into traffic at intersections, walking off piers (yes, really), and making a simple walk down the sidewalk in major cities a human obstacle course. And if you don’t successfully navigate this maze of screen-obsessed walkers — the tacit message being, “Get outta my way, you SEE me texting” — you risk everything from being pummeled by an angry pedestrian to earning a $50 ticket in some cities if you happen to be the offending smartphone drone. 

Some rare locations have resorted to establishing special texting zones for the those who refuse to stop texting while walking, and some schools are testing app-specific connectivity bans to reduce student usage while on campus. But the vast majority of the smartphone-using world continues to amble forward, smartphone in hand, pretending as if this is all just a normal part of evolving with our tech culture. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s another, far simpler answer to all this: stop pretending you’re not addicted and begin to wean yourself off the mobile pacifier. 

When you’re waiting for a friend, riding in an elevator with strangers, or sitting at a lunch table waiting for your date to return from the restroom, no, you don’t have to check your damn smartphone. Have. Some. Chill. 

I’m guilty of all the aforementioned crimes against digital etiquette and I’ve been trying to do better. To that end, I’ve recently started using an iOS app called Moment. The app does one simple thing, it tracks the amount of time you spend on your smartphone (including how many times you pick it up). This might sound like a superfluous use of your app screen space, but it turns out it’s an incredibly powerful tool. 

I had no idea, bit by bit, furtive glance by glance, just how long I spend staring at my smartphone screen every day. In short order, I found that on a busy Monday, I spend over four hours looking at my smartphone screen in one way or another, and on my strictest I-will-try-hard-not-to-look-at-my-smartphone days I still spend at least an hour looking at my tiny screen (in additional to my laptop screen). Adding all that time up, that means over the course of a year I’ll spend roughly 15 days staring into that tiny piece of glass.

Sure, during that time I’m texting friends, reading news, and finding out what’s happening around the world. But it’s all being sent through a small glass panel. While these minutes and hours melt away I’m not hearing the voices of my friends, looking into the faces of real people around me, or touching, holding, and engaging the non-digital things around me. 

So far, I’ve only seen one dystopian vision that comes close to shoving a mirror in front of us and forcing us to face our current tech culture reality: Black Mirror and its “The Entire History of You” episode. In it, people with eye-mounted cameras constantly record and playback events from the distant and recent past, so much so that it becomes common to sit silently in the same room without saying a word to each other as everyone quietly reviews footage from the eye cameras. (Sound familiar?) It’s science fiction, but it looks a lot like what I’m seeing in our culture today. We’re not that bad yet, but we’re getting there, fast. 

Apps are amazing. They’re part of why you’re here — to learn about the best and newest mobile apps. But while you’re here, let us also remind you that it’s ok to unplug and take a moment, figuratively and literally (if you’re on Android, the Quality Time app is a good option), to look away from the black mirror in your pocket and look up. There’s a lot you’re missing. 

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Bitcoin Miner Canaan Raises $43 Million for Blockchain, AI Push

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China-based Canaan Creative, maker of the Avalon bitcoin mining chip series, has raised 300m yuan (roughly $43m) as part of a bid to diversify its business.

Valuing the firm at ¥3bn (approximately $430m), the Series A round saw the participation of Jin Jiang International Group, Baopu Asset Management and Tunlan Investment.

The investment is the largest-ever announced by a bitcoin mining business, though one that’s in line with moves from Canaan’s competitors. One of the largest makers of ASIC chips specialized for mining, the firm’s diversification follows competitor Bitfury’s transition into software services and pursuits centered on enterprise blockchain offerings.

For Canaan, however, the funding will serve as a means to facilitate the exploration of computing chips for use in artificial intelligence (AI) applications, and potentially, into hardware solutions for alternative cryptocurrencies that require different chips to optimize the mining process.

Spokesperson Steven Mosher told CoinDesk:

“We are also looking at other currencies and other places where we can apply that capital. We can apply it to big data, we can apply it in AI or in IoT.”

According to Mosher, the company believes AI will provide the most fertile ground for the Canaan’s expansion, and he projected that the returns could be “as good as” the company’s earnings from mining chip sales. Further, he suggested that given the interest in intersections between the two industries there could be “synergy down the road”.

Mosher also hinted at other products aimed at alternative cryptocurrencies.

“We have new products in the pipeline both on the proof-of-work side of things, and also around the whole blockchain ecosystem,” he said.

Such diversification is not uncommon these days, as many mining pools, for example, offer software that enables mining computers to coordinate in the race to secure various blockchains and compete for their rewards.

However, it’s notable that the shift comes during a time when the alternative cryptocurrency markets have emerged as one of the more active areas of ecosystem growth.

So far in 2017, the combined value of all public cryptocurrencies, bitcoin included, has swelled 180%, rising to $51bn from roughly $18bn at the start of the year, according to data provider Coinmarketcap. If that sounds high, however, the market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies excluding bitcoin has seen even more robust growth.

The value of these assets, including popular alternatives like litecoin and ether has risen to $22bn, up from just over $2bn at the end of 2016.

‘No pivot’

Mosher, however, stopped short of characterizing the strategy as one that means the company is diversifying away from bitcoin. In part, Mosher said this is because there is a natural upward bound on how much mining firms can make in the bitcoin ecosystem alone.

As an example, he cited the fact that mining chip producers have to strike a tricky balance between hardware sales and deploying those chips themselves in data centers for the purposes of securing the bitcoin blockchain.

“If you create more hashing power, you’re competing against the other side of your business,” he explained. “You’re making money from your customers, but you’re hurting [your] mining operation [by raising bitcoin’s difficulty calculations].”

Canaan, for its part, only makes chips and doesn’t use them in mining data centers, as do competitors Bitfury and Bitmain.

Mosher said he expects more bitcoin miners to follow this path due to the fact that the business is lucrative enough to fund other efforts. (A study by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, for instance, projected that more than $2bn has been earned from mining since the network began running in 2008).

“We’re all making money on the main chain and the question is, what are we doing with that money?” Mosher said. “Blockchain has been so good, such a great opportunity, and it throws off a good amount of cash, it’s about staying strong and robust.”

Future IPO?

The funding also follows a time of transition for the company, which was nearly acquired by electrical equipment maker Shandong Luyitong Intelligent Electric in 2016 in what would have been the industry’s largest-ever acquisition if completed.

At the time, Shandong Luyitong was said to have offered ¥3.06bn to acquire 100% ownership of the firm in a move that would have made the combined entity a publicly traded company. The sale was ultimately blocked in September of that year by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange due to “uncertainties”, though not ones that reportedly stemmed from its bitcoin activities.

In statements, Mosher still described the Series A as a “pre-IPO” round, though he stopped short of providing any further details.

If pursued, Canaan would be one of the first bitcoin startups to IPO in the traditional market, a strategy that was also put forward by Bitfury CEO Valery Vavilov in 2014.

Image courtesy of Canaan

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