Bitcoin’s ‘bubble’ is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before


There are still some question marks about whether bitcoin is in a bubble. But the speed of its price growth is already nearly unmatched.

The cryptocurrency has surged 162% in very volatile trading this year amid continued demand. But as the chart below illustrates, bitcoin’s longer-term rally by as much as 1,000% was swifter than homebuilder stocks in the lead up to the housing crash. 

Jeffrey Kleintop, the chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab, said that "the 10-year buildup is important to how embedded the bubble becomes and how much impact the bursting has on the economy and markets."

In other words, this is simply unprecedented. But arguably, a bitcoin crash probably won’t have the same ripple effect on the economy as some other assets would. 

Billionaire Marc Cuban is among those who have said bitcoin prices are in a bubble. "When everyone is bragging about how easy they are making $=bubble," he tweeted

Ethereum, another cryptocurrency, is up by more than 3,000% this year


SEE ALSO: Millennials are flocking towards some of the most speculative ways to invest

DON’T MISS: PRESENTING: The most important charts in the world from the brightest minds on Wall Street

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How to Improve Your Marketing ROI With Google AdWords [Infographic]


Your marketing mix probably consists of a variety of channels: print, email, social, maybe even television and radio. With varying returns on investment across all those methods, a savvy marketer is always looking at which channels bring down costs and increase revenues.

Google AdWords can be a great way to achieve those ROI goals, and this infographic by digital marketing agency SMBclix explains the details.

With an average cost per thousand impressions (CPM) of $1.44, Google AdWords came in lower than other marketing channels, including social media ($2.50), newspaper ($16.00), and direct mail ($57.00), according to data cited in the infographic.

The top three paid ad spots get 41% of clicks on a Google search results page, the infographic says, and Google’s display campaigns reach 80% of global Internet users.

To see how Google AdWords might help your ROI, check out the infographic. Just tap or click to see a larger version.

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

from Marketing Profs – Concepts, Strategies, Articles and Commentarie

The remote island where Tinder has a sneaky new use


Tinder in a big city often feels like a bottomless pit of unfamiliar faces, making it prime swiping territory for singles. But what happens when the majority of profiles you see are familiar faces? 

In the Shetland Islands, which has a population of around 23,000, people who aren’t in the market for a date join Tinder just to be nosy and see what everyone else is doing. 

In the Shetland Islands — an archipelago 300 miles to the north of Scotland — swiping on Tinder feels much like scrolling through your Facebook feed. You’ll see familiar face upon familiar face, be they friends, family members, colleagues, ex-partners, and neighbours. 

Marjolein Robertson — who’s lived on her family’s croft in Shetland her whole life — says that Tinder is pretty popular on the islands, but she’s fairly certain no one’s using it right.

An aerial view of the Shetland islands, Scotland, United Kingdom.

An aerial view of the Shetland islands, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Image: Getty Images/DeAgostini

Many Shetlanders — even those in committed relationships — join Tinder just to be nosy and find out who’s looking for love. Much like your curtain-twitching neighbours snooping on you as you return home from a date. 

“Like most other Shetlanders, I got Tinder to see who else is on Tinder,” says Robertson. “I don’t think we’re using it right.” 

“They’re not there to swing, they’re there to see who else is there.”

She says that Tinder in Shetland “makes no sense” because you’re likely to know half the people — sometimes more — you swipe through. She says if you decide to swipe right on someone you know, it’ll be perceived as “pretty serious” from the get-go. “Because you probably already know them really well and are going to their sister’s wedding that weekend,” she adds. 

“Many folks in relationships, even married, are all on Tinder. I’m talking both halves of the couple,” says Robertson. “They’re not there to swing, they’re there to see who else is there. It’s just a lot of people hanging around looking at other people.”

Simon, a Shetlander on Tinder who prefers to just use his first name, also says that being on Tinder in Shetland doesn’t necessarily mean you’re looking for a date. “In London, if a friend says ‘I saw your BF on Tinder’ it means he’s cheating,” Simon said over a Tinder chat.

A view of the Shetland Islands, outlined in red.

A view of the Shetland Islands, outlined in red.

“But here, it can mean anything. It’s such a small community that cheating is harder. We all know each other, all recognise each other’s cars,” Simon adds. 

He said that it can be “kind of boring” in Shetland, so Tinder is a good way to see if there are any new additions to the community. 

“When people are new to the island, Tinder becomes one giant swipe party.”

“With so few people, Tinder is an amazing way to quickly find out who is new to the island.” In fact, Simon says that if he doesn’t know someone who’s popped up on his Tinder, then they must be new to the island. 

And, when people are new to the island, Tinder becomes one giant swipe party. “There was a brief period when there was a large construction going on in Shetland and there was an influx of about 2,000 workers on the plant. Maybe more. Tinder exploded. Many new men,” says Robertson. 

An Atlantic puffin in Hermaness National Nature Reserve, Unst, Shetland Islands.

An Atlantic puffin in Hermaness National Nature Reserve, Unst, Shetland Islands.

Adam, who’s only ever matched with seven people on Tinder, says that the community on Shetland can be nosy when it comes to other people’s affairs. He says they’re probably on Tinder “just to get something to talk about.”

Robertson says that dating online in Shetland is “weird” given that you already know everyone. But, broadening one’s search perimeters isn’t really an option, as travelling to Scotland is costly and time-consuming. “Madness. 28 hours return trip on a boat or £200+ pound on a flight. That’s immediately grounds for a proposal,” says Robertson. 

Matt Holmes, a friend of Robertson, met his girlfriend on Tinder three months ago. But, it wasn’t exactly easy. He says he knew most of the people on Tinder, either personally or through mutual friends. But, once he’d established that they weren’t interested in him romantically, it was strange seeing them around the island. 

The Shetland Islands are best known for Shetland Ponies, which originate from the archipelago.

The Shetland Islands are best known for Shetland Ponies, which originate from the archipelago.

He says that because of the close-knit community in Shetland, it would be impossible to use Tinder for casual sex. “I think with the way news travels around here then if you used Tinder for a few hookups people would start talking or something,” says Holmes.

Singletons frustrated with the limited pool of new faces should take heart: meeting a partner on Tinder DOES happen. (Rarely.) 

Shetland swipers are hitting up Tinder for sexy and non-sexy reasons. It’s prime territory for nosy neighbours to snoop on singles. But, much like a social network, Tinder is useful in signalling new additions to the community. When swiping right doesn’t lead to a hookup or date, it may bring a new friend instead. 

from Mashable!

New algorithm lets you make anything in origami


They say if you fold 1,000 origami cranes out of individual sheets of paper your deepest wishes will be granted. I tried it once – I was a lonely college kid – and I ended up with pink eye. However, a new paper out of MIT describes a way to possibly make 1,000 origami cranes out of one piece of paper, a unique feat that is now a possibility thanks to a new origami algorithm.

Computer science has long struggled with computational origami. In 2008 Tomohiro Tachi first piece of software that can create folding patterns, usually out of long strips of paper. The new algorithm, however, uses a simpler, large sheet of paper and is more “watertight,” meaning it has more folds and fewer joints.

“The new algorithm is supposed to give you much better, more practical foldings,” said one of the researchers, Erik Demaine. “We don’t know how to quantify that mathematically, exactly, other than it seems to work much better in practice. But we do have one mathematical property that nicely distinguishes the two methods. The new method keeps the boundary of the original piece of paper on the boundary of the surface you’re trying to make. We call this watertightness.”

The algorithm, which will be added to the folding software to improve the system, means you can fold nearly anything – including the 1,000 simple cranes – with a big enough piece of paper.

“What was known before was either ‘cheating’ — winding the polyhedron with a thin strip — or not guaranteed to succeed,” said math professor Joseph O’Rourke. “Their new algorithm is guaranteed to produce a folding, and it is the opposite of cheating in that every facet of the polyhedron is covered by a ‘seamless’ facet of the paper, and the boundary of the paper maps to the boundary of the polyhedral manifold — their ‘watertight’ property. Finally, the extra structural ‘flash’ needed to achieve their folding can all be hidden on the inside and so is invisible.”

from TechCrunch

This Electric Airplane Has a 600-Mile Range


This Electric Airplane Has a 600-Mile Range

The “Alice” aircraft from Eviation is a nine-passenger electric-powered plane with a range of up to 600 miles on a single charge. Designed from the ground-up for efficiency & constructed with composites, Alice weighs roughly 300 times less than a normal plane of the same size. One main rear propeller and 2 smaller wingtip props drive the plane, and it’s powered by a 980 kWh Li-Ion battery.


A Well-balanced Work Chair



That trend of sitting on exercise balls at work sure seems to have fizzled. Perhaps it’s because it made offices look like jungle gyms! Now you can get the same core-building benefits in a more compact, handsome package thanks to Muista.

The design allows for interchangeable saddle and bench seating positions, balance exercise, muscle stimulation – important factors that can boost creativity and health at work. Composed of a single piece of bent plywood and topped with a cozy pad in customizable colors, it’s as sturdy as it is comfy. As an added bonus, an integrated soft rope connects the lower supports and is a perfect place to prop your feet and perfect your balance!

Designer: Aurimas Lazinskas & Saulius Sestavickas










from Yanko Design

Xiaomi is bringing cinema tech to a living room projector


When it comes to home theater setups, high-quality projectors have traditionally been the pricier way to enjoy your movies. Now, however, Chinese tech company Xiaomi is hoping to change that with its new cinema-quality Mi Laser Projector. Priced at a reasonable 9999RMb (around $1470), Xiaomi’s latest offering boasts a 150inch display and custom laser tech straight out of movie theaters.

The Mi Laser Projector utilizes ALPD 3.0 laser light source tech developed by Appotronics, the company behind the laser tech in 90 percent of China’s movie theaters. Yet, Xiaomi doesn’t end its cross-company projector collaboration there, as it also features its own custom digital light processing (or DLP) solution created by Texas Instruments.

In a bid to make the Mi Laser Projector a fully integrated home theater setup, Xiamoi has also included a built in a speaker system and integrated the interface from its recent TV streaming box – Mi TV.

While laser projectors aren’t new, Xiaomi’s proposition of bringing the same tech used in cinemas to the home at such a cheap price is definitely tantalizing. Lasers offer the benefit of increased energy efficiency, longer life, faster startup times, better brightness and a wider color gamut.

With its RRP undercutting a lot of the competition, if it can live up to its lofty promises, Xiaomi’s latest could certainly turn a few heads. Pre-orders for the Mi Laser Projector go live on July 4th at Xiaomi Mall, and on the company’s MIJIA app.

from Engadget

Scientists Push Back Against Controversial Paper Claiming a Limit To Human Lifespans

Jeanne Calment in 1995 Image: AP

Humans don’t like dying, they don’t like the idea of dying, and most have made not dying an important part of their life. Lots of folks are interested in making us not die for longer, so it was a real bummer last year when a team of researchers said that the maximum human lifespan has plateaued at around 115 years of age. Some folks might live to be older, but those oldies are outliers.

When the scientists behind this idea published their research in Nature last October, it sparked a whole lot of press coverage. It also brought debate, accusations that the study was flawed, and questions as to whether it was based on enough data. Today, the journal Nature is publishing five rebuttals from researchers who have problems with the original study—who think that a harder look at the data is warranted, and that the authors’ original conclusions might be incorrect.

One researcher who reviewed the first Nature paper thinks the controversy misses the point. “The authors of the rebuttals quibble about how to deal with the mathematics of small numbers at extreme old age,” S. Jay Olshansky from the School of Public Health University of Illinois at Chicago wrote in an email to Gizmodo. One of the points they fail to realize, he thought, was “if only they would look up long enough from their mathematical formulas attempting to model trends in small numbers, they would realize that… death always occurs, and it does so in a consistent fashion in humans because there is a limit to the duration of life.”


Essentially, last year, researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York collected the ages of the single oldest people to die in a given year in the United States, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom, based on information in the International Database on Longevity. When they crunched all the data, it appeared to them that the maximum reported age of death increased until the 1990s, and has plateaued since then, averaging out at 115. They did other analyses looking at the second through fifth oldest ages at death, and added data from other sources. The paper’s authors concluded we may be hovering around the limit to human longevity.

What followed, naturally, was loud press coverage. The study’s principal investigator Jan Vijg told me that he didn’t mean for it to sound like there was an absolute limit to human longevity, but rather that we’d reached a limit that advancements in his own field, the genetics of aging, or medicine might eventually surpass. “I can never rule out that we’ll see this ceiling broken,” he told Gizmodo. “Maybe we can be successful in generating new drugs that work against diseases. Work against the aging process overall deserves way more publicity.”

Others didn’t see it that way. All of the popular press “allows people to say that Uncle Jack can’t live past 115. That was the impression everybody got. There’s a limit to how much you can say you didn’t mean to give the impression that” there’s a hard age limit, one of the rebuttals authors, Nick Brown from the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands told Gizmodo. “It seemed to me that the people didn’t try hard to correct that impression.”

So Brown’s team, as well as four other teams, re-analyzed the Nature paper and found lots of problems. Brown’s own analysis found that the existence of the plateau at 115 years depends on the age and death date of the oldest person ever, France’s Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to be 122. Others mentioned the increase in the number of people living past 100 will make it more likely to see more folks live past 115, or even 122. Still others found problems with the statistics and methods used to analyze such small sample sizes or argued that we don’t have enough data to be sure. One paper noted that breaking the data up into individual years that people died in is arbitrary, since years are an arbitrary division of time. Maybe the presence of a 25-year plateau is itself a statistical fluctuation.


On top of all that, an investigation from Dutch journalist Hester van Santen found that the acceptance of the original paper into the journal Nature itself was fishy. It was rejected, but the editors later changed their mind and accepted it with revisions. The paper, van Santen reports, barged into a battle between demographers over the same question, whether there was a limit to the human lifespan. She commented that given Olshansky’s professional career, he might not have been able to make an independent assessment as someone on one side of the debate. And she interviewed demographers who felt the analysis was done incorrectly by folks not familiar with the field, who then received coaching to improve a paper with a flawed analysis but a sexy title.

None of this means that Vijg’s team’s conclusions were wrong, just that people didn’t agree with their methods. One of the authors of one of the rebuttals, Jim Vaupel, director of Germany’s Max Planck Institut für Demografische Forschung, eviscerated Vijg in van Santen’s article (he said that “They just shoveled the data into their computer like you’d shovel food into a cow.”). He’s the one on the other side of the demographer debate from Olshansky. But despite his criticisms, Vaupel himself put his name on a paper that analyzed the data on the lifespan of centenarians, those living past 100, in Sweden and Denmark using a different statistical method and came to the exact same conclusion. “It also appears that the maximum life span, measured as the age of the oldest person to die, is currently not increasing,” he wrote in the article published last month in the Journal of Internal Medicine. He declined Gizmodo’s request for comment.


So, here’s the thing—scientists often argue about the best way to do science. But you’re going to die. On top of that, the average human lifespan is much less than 100 years old, and these 115-year-old people are still statistical outliers, looking at the general population. It’s hard to get any information about humanity as a whole by looking at this small sample of extremes. And Vijg’s team didn’t offer a reason for what might cause a hard or soft age limit—this is all just a numbers game.

With all of that in mind and the argument behind us, I suppose we should just end with what the October round of coverage probably missed. There are problems with peer review, and lots of ways to look at data. But on the other side, while you will, statistically, not be one of the oldest people ever, people really want to figure out ways to break through whatever limit there might be on the oldest people. And in Vijg’s opinion, “the real important thing is we need to put more money into drugs and interventions that really work against aging—no longer [just] against individual diseases.”


That we can probably agree with.

[Nature, 1,2,3,4,5]

from Gizmodo

Scientists figured out a simple habit that makes people eat less when they’re stressed


It has happened to all of us — you get home from an exhausting day of work and eat all the junk food you see around: pizza, beer and chips. Why does the body crave for that, instead of a salad? Here is the simple solution to keep stress eating away. 

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