Saturday, April 21, 2018

Tech: We went inside Manhattan’s newest luxury marijuana dispensary on Fifth Avenue — and...

MedMen opened Manhattan’s newest medical marijuana dispensary on 4/20. We went inside.
MedMen, a cannabis retail company that operates a chain of slick, high-end marijuana dispensaries in California and Nevada (and now New York) has opened a new flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue — just in time for 420.
It’s a major bet on the future of marijuana legalization in New York. And contrary to what you might expect, being inside the store is a high-end retail experience.
Take a look inside:
MedMen’s flagship store, is situated on one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. It’s just down the street from Barneys.
The store looks more like a sleek Apple store than what you might expect from a dispensary.
The space is decorated to evoke a high-end experience, throwing the “stoner” stereotype out the window.
“We want the store to show our vision of the future for cannabis.” Daniel Yi, a senior vice president at MedMen, told Business Insider.
Customers can order from screens, which give detailed information about what each product contains. You can click on the individual products to see the breakdown of what they contain (like THC and CBD, the active ingredients in marijuana), and where they are sourced from.
The store is peppered with helpful signs to help customers navigate.
And friendly red-shirted employees are also around to lend a hand.
Because recreational marijuana is not yet legal in New York, MedMen’s Fifth Avenue store caters only to the medical market.
The store will sell only what’s allowed under New York’s restrictive laws. That means it will offer three main product lines to licensed medical marijuana users: Tinctures, gel caps, and vaporizer pens.
MedMen works with cultivators and producers to bring high quality products into its stores. These are drops, which contain varying concentrations of THC and CBD. You can mix them in with food, drinks, or place directly under your tongue for the desired effect.
And naturally, MedMen offers a whole range of vaporizer pens that the company claims can produce effects from “calming” to “invigorating.”
These LuxLyte vaporizer pens cost $86 in the New York Store. In MedMen’s downtown Los Angeles store, a disposable vaporizer pen containing an equivalent 500mg of marijuana extract costs as little as $35. The LuxLyte pens offered in MedMen’s New York store are geared toward the medical market and are more high-end than the average disposable vape.
The store also offers marijuana concentrates in gel-cap form, for patients that don’t want to inhale or don’t like the taste.
Though only registered medical marijuana patients can purchase products containing marijuana at the store, anyone can come in off the street and check out the space.
“That’s a huge thing for us, in terms of educating the general population and trying to take the stigma out,” Yi said.
Like any other venture-backed startup, they have tons of swag.
By pushing for marijuana legalization in New York, MedMen CEO Adam Bierman said, “we’re contributing to making the world a happier, healthier, and safer place,” at an event celebrating the store’s opening.
It’s a new vision for marijuana — miles away from Cheech and Chong.

Tech: DJ and producer Avicii has died at 28

Swedish DJ and producer Tim Bergling, known by his stage name Avicii, has died at the age of 28, his representatives told Variety.
Swedish DJ and producer Tim Bergling, known by his stage name Avicii, has died at the age of 28, his representatives told Variety.
Bergling retired from touring in 2016, citing a series of health concerns that included acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking, he told Billboard at the time.
He released a series of hit singles in the past decade, including the six-time platinum song “Wake Me Up,” featuring the singer Aloe Blacc, which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Swedish DJ and producer Tim Bergling, known by his stage name Avicii, has died at the age of 28, his representatives told Variety.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” his representatives said in a statement. “He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, April 20th. The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given.”
Bergling retired from touring in 2016, citing a series of health concerns that included acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking, he told Billboard at the time.
“To me it was something I had to do for my health,” he told the outlet of his decision to quit touring. “The scene was not for me. It was not the shows and not the music. It was always the other stuff surrounding it that never came naturally to me. All the other parts of being an artist. I’m more of an introverted person in general. It was always very hard for me. I took on board too much negative energy, I think.”
Bergling released a series of hit singles in the past decade, including the six-time platinum song “Wake Me Up,” featuring the singer Aloe Blacc, which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Tech: Why eating fat won’t always make you gain weight

Is eating fat worse for you than eating carbs? Let’s break down the science. Everyone’s concerned about what to eat, and many are turning to low-fat diets as a way to curb their weight. It makes sense, right? It’s literally in the name, low fat. It will make you less fat! WRONG. You could actually gain weight by avoiding fat in favor of some sugary carb options. Here’s the important role fat plays in your diet. The following is a transcript of the video.
Maybe you’ve been pouring skim milk on your cereal and spritzing non-fat dressing on your salad for years. But it turns out, eating fat won’t make you fat.
In fact, research shows that low-fat diets don’t seem to aid in weight loss or in reducing risk of disease compared to higher fat diets. And all those refined carbs you’ve been eating to replace that fat might be the real issue. To understand how fat can be healthy, it’s first helpful to understand what’s going on with carbs in your body. When you eat a simple carbohydrate, like a slice of bread, enzymes in your saliva immediately start breaking that food down into sugar.
That surge of sugar triggers a hormone called insulin, which tells your body to store available energy in the bloodstream in fat tissue and other forms. And the later surge-crash makes you feel hungry, encouraging you to eat more. But fats are another story. Fat isn’t processed the same way as carbs. It can’t be broken down with saliva, or fully digested by stomach acid. Instead, your small intestines, with the aid of bile secreted by your liver, break it down. This happens much later in the digestive process, so fat digestion is much slower.
The different fats interact with your hormones in complex ways that, unlike carbs, don’t cause a massive spike in insulin. And good fats are really important for your body to function properly. Monounsaturated fats can be found in olive oil and avocados. This good fat helps reduce inflammation and levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol in the blood. Polyunsaturated fats in foods like sunflower seeds, walnuts, and fish also have significant health benefits.
Fish oil, for example, consists of one type of polyunsaturated fat called omega-3 fatty acids — which have been found to decrease blood pressure, increase HDL or “good” cholesterol, and may also protect against heart disease. But saturated fats found in red meat and dairy are a different story. An extensive study found that replacing a small percentage of calories coming from saturated fats with calories from unsaturated fats reduced risk of death, heart disease, and a number of neurodegenerative diseases.
At the same time, studies show full fat dairy is healthier than reduced fat dairy. One recent study found that drinking full-fat dairy was associated with lower risk of diabetes. So while unsaturated fats are better, saturated fats aren’t entirely useless. Not only are unsaturated fats essential for your body, avoiding them in the name of weight loss isn’t actually a helpful way to shed unwanted pounds.
A study by the Women’s Health Initiative assigned women to low-fat diets for eight years. They found the participants didn’t seem to gain protection against breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or cardiovascular disease. And their weights were generally the same as those of women following their usual diets. And in the carb vs fat debate, an extensive 2017 study found no association between dietary fat and heart disease. In fact, the researchers found that high-carb diets were linked to a higher risk of death.
So, if studies show that fat doesn’t make us fat or increase our risk of heart disease… and carbs make us hungry and are linked to a higher risk of death, should we all just ditch carbs altogether? Probably not. Recent research seems to advocate a balanced diet that includes a combination of healthy fats and complex carbs. Researchers found that diets high in fiber and low in refined grains, meat, and sugars resulted in less weight gain. So what should you eat? The good news is that you can find healthy fats and complex carbs in a variety of tasty foods.
You can find unsaturated fats in fish, olives, nuts, and seeds, and still have a place on your plate for so-called “good carbs.” Although you should probably avoid eating lots of refined carbs like white bread and rice. Foods like sweet potatoes, raw apples, and legumes are a different story., though. These foods don’t cause the same sudden peaks in blood sugar. And like healthy fats, they contribute to a balanced diet to keep your body running.

Tech: Netflix has rejected showing its movies at some willing theaters, and Hollywood insiders...

Many wonder why Netflix just doesn’t show their movies in more theaters that want to show them.
Netflix briefly considered acquiring Landmark Theatres, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The move would have allowed the streaming giant to get their prestige titles better award seasons consideration.
However, numerous sources told Business Insider that Netflix has the opportunity to screen its movies at more theaters but has declined some offers.
It seems that, for at least a fleeting moment, Netflix was interested in buying movie theaters that would play its movies on the big screen.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the streaming giant “explored” the idea of acquiring Landmark Theatres, the 53-theater chain with locations in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, and San Francisco (among others).
Netflix eventually decided the price was too high, according to the paper (a source familiar with the situation confirmed to Business Insider that Netflix is not buying Landmark). But the news has puzzled many in the movie theater community because for years Netflix has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with exhibitors, especially arthouses.
On one hand, Netflix paints itself as the ultimate Hollywood disrupter — releasing movies simultaneously across the world on its streaming service, from blockbusters to award-season bait. However, on the other hand, Netflix craves prestige from Hollywood and wants its movies to be recognized with multiple Oscar nominations, just like how its TV shows are received by the Emmys.
But the big problem is movie theaters still hold some strong cards. Specifically, no movie can receive Oscar consideration unless it plays exclusively in movie theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a specific time. Because Netflix rarely gives its moves theatrical releases, and when it does they are “day-and-date” (playing in theaters when the movies are already streaming), the major movie chains refuse to show them.
This hasn’t stopped Netflix from getting acclaimed documentaries recognized (Netflix’s documentary “Icarus” recently won the best documentary Oscar), but when it comes to its narrative titles they are all but ignored. The acclaimed “Mudbound” received four nominations at this year’s Oscars, but none were for any of the major categories.
So Netflix considering buying its own movie theaters to show its titles makes sense.
“They are looking for awards to boost subscription revenue and buying a theater chain would potentially allow them greater access to awards through key theatrical runs in target markets,” a source who works in exhibition told Business Insider.
However, some in the business are wondering why they just don’t play on more arthouse screens.
“Wouldn’t it be infinitely cheaper to just exhibit their movies like everyone else?” asked one source.
Despite the major multiplexes like AMC and Cinemark blocking Netflix movies because it does day-and-date, independent theaters want them.
Multiple sources in the arthouse community told Business Insider that Netflix has refused theaters that have asked to show its movies. Alamo Drafthouse, which has screened Netflix titles in the past, asked to screen “Mudbound” and Netflix declined, according to numerous sources.
“Netflix has specifically chosen not to make its films available,” a source said.
And there’s another reason why Netflix may have decided owning theaters wasn’t worth it: They would have finally have had to reveal to the public how their titles perform.
“Netflix movies do not report their grosses through comScore, which would likely have to end if they owned a theater company,” one industry source said. “It would look very bad for Netflix movies to underperform against traditional releases in their own theaters.”
Netflix declined to comment for this story.

Tech: Silicon Valley’s favorite veggie burger is about to hit a wave of controversy...

Heme — the magic spark that gives the Impossible Burger its meaty essence and even allows it to “bleed” like a beef burger — is under fire.
A handful of recent stories cite potential red flags about the safety of the Impossible Burger, a vegetarian patty made by Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods, which has backing from Bill Gates.
At the heart of the issue appears to be the company’s use of both genetically modified ingredients and a special nutrient called heme.
Business Insider dug into the scientific research on the ingredients. Studies suggest there is no cause for concern.
Today’s veggie burgers can be described with a handful of delicious-sounding adjectives, but “meaty” isn’t one of them.
At least it wasn’t — until Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods began creating a meat-free burger designed to reduce waste that tastes disturbingly close to the real thing. The meat-like flavor can largely be attributed to an ingredient called heme — the magic spark that even allows the Impossible Burger to “bleed” like a real burger does.
But that magic spark may be poised to ignite a fire.
In a handful of articles posted recently in places like Bloomberg, Inc., and the Huffington Post, people raised two main concerns over the heme in Impossible Foods’ burger: First, it is made using genetic engineering, meaning the burger is technically produced with GMOs. Second, some have stated that there could be a link between heme and cancer.
Business Insider spoke with a variety of scientists who hail from distinct backgrounds and research institutions. They say there’s no need for concern with regards to either ingredient, citing evidence like a large 2013 review on GMOs which found the ingredients safe to eat. In addition, they’ve pointed out that the research currently being used as evidence of the link between heme and cancer actually found a connection between red meat and the disease, not heme alone.
But the US Food and Drug Administration seems to be singing to a different tune. So far, the agency has said the ingredient is too “new” to give it a stamp of approval, a caveat that some suggest could block future innovations in the food tech space.
Here’s what you need to know.
Heme, the essential nutrient you’ve never heard of
Heme is an essential nutrient in many proteins. It’s also in just about every living thing on Earth. In our bodies, heme can be found tucked inside of a molecule in our blood called hemoglobin. Heme helps ferry oxygen throughout the body, carries iron, and colors our blood red. For most of us, the majority of the heme we consume comes from animals.
But soy roots also contain heme — and that’s where Impossible Foods gets theirs.
Still, soy roots only produce a tiny amount of heme, which initially presented Impossible Foods with a problem: They’d need to harvest roughly an acre’s worth of soy plants just to get a kilogram of heme.
Yeast saves the day, but at a cost
Instead of doing that, Impossible Foods founder and CEO Pat Brown figured out the company could trick yeast into making heme for them by tweaking its DNA.
The idea of genetically engineering yeast to make other ingredients is not new or rare. Insulin, the compound that diabetics’ life depends on to regulate blood sugar levels, is manufactured using GM yeast.
Drugs, beer, and perfume can all be made using yeast as tiny manufacturing powerhouses.
Because they are made with genetically modified yeast, all of these products are also technically GMOs, which have become increasingly unpopular in recent years despite scientists’ repeated assertions that they are safe.
Organizations like the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the European Commission have publicly said genetically modified foods are safe to eat. A large 2013 study on GMOs found no “significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops.”
Several experts say the “GMO” label does a disservice to the millions of products — some of them life-saving — made with genetically modified ingredients. The process of genetic modification is a breeding method, much like other recent advances in agriculture.
“What are we labeling here, DNA?” Alison Van Eenennaam, a professor of animal genomics at the University of California at Davis, recently told Business Insider. “There’s DNA in everything, so good luck with that.”
Heme and the ‘C’ word
The Impossible Burger isn’t suddenly controversial just because of GMOs.
Some journalists have also been discussing a potential link between heme and cancer. According to scientists, however, no such link exists.
In an article published in Food and Wine magazine on Thursday, the author wrote that “excessive” heme consumption had been linked to colon and prostate cancer, citing a 2012 blog post in the New York Times.
That assertion appears to be based on the plethora of studies linking red meat — where most Americans get the majority of the heme they ingest — and colorectal cancer. (According to the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Health Organization, there is a strong link between red meat, especially processed meat, and cancer. The type of cancer with the strongest link is colorectal cancer, a type of the disease that begins in the colon or rectum.)
But no such link appears to exist for heme alone and cancer — potentially because the amount of heme you’d have to consume to reach “excessive” levels would be prohibitively high.
“Considering how much heme we are eating in red meat, I do not see any health issues arising” from putting it in a vegetarian burger, Nicolai Lehnert, a professor of chemistry and biophysics at the University of Michigan, told Business Insider.
Robert Kranz, a professor of biology at Washington State University in St. Louis who’s studied heme extensively, said people should not be worried about consuming heme — regardless of where it comes from — because it is an essential nutrient found in animals, plants, and bacteria.
“Heme has therefore been consumed by humans and other animals for a long time with no issues,” Kranz told Business Insider.
Studies that have attempted to isolate heme and study its link to cancer separate from red meat have also come up empty-handed, either finding no link or finding a negative one.
In a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that involved a sample of nearly 90,000 men and women, researchers found no tie between heme iron intake and colorectal cancer.
“Our results … suggest that zinc and heme iron intakes are not associated with colorectal cancer,” the researchers wrote.
Iqbal Hamza, a professor of cell biology and genetics at the University of Maryland who runs a lab dedicated to the study of heme and is working on a heme-based supplement for iron-deficient people in developing countries, similarly concluded that the ingredient was perfectly safe for human consumption.
“I would have no qualms about getting heme from the Impossible Foods burger and I would have no qualms about getting heme from a plant based source,” Hamza told Business Insider.
A 2011 study published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control also examined a large group of people in an attempt to suss out links between heme and cancer. They found none. In fact, they found a slightly negative relationship between the two things, meaning that people who consumed more heme were actually less likely to develop cancer.
The team behind Impossible Foods agrees.
“It’s not a lack of evidence [linking heme to cancer]. There’s evidence. And the evidence is for safety,” David Lipman, Impossible Foods chief science officer, told Business Insider.

Tech: Anyone can now create Alexa skills in a matter of minutes (AMZN)

Amazon included over 20 templates across four categories — Fun & Games, At Home, Storyteller, and Learning & Knowledge — with plans to add more. This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence Apps and Platforms Briefing subscribers hours before appearing on Business Insider. To be the first to know, please click here.
Amazon on Thursday unveiled “Alexa Skill Blueprints,” code-free templates that any Alexa owner, regardless of experience level, can use to create customized Alexa skills in a matter of minutes.
Amazon included over 20 templates across four categories — Fun & Games, At Home, Storyteller, and Learning & Knowledge — with plans to add more.
Each category comes with pre-filled content that can be customized or used as-is. Once a skill is published, it becomes instantly available to all Alexa-enabled devices associated with the creator’s Amazon account, as opposed to being stored in the Alexa Skills Store.
Amazon’s been striving to add personalization methods to the Alexa experience, and Alexa Skill Blueprints plays into this effort. Amazon in November 2017 introduced the ability for Alexa to respond to custom phrases as well as be programmed to carry out multiple actions from one input. In the same month, the company also rolled out the Your Voice by Amazon feature, which makes it possible to create up to 10 distinguished voice profiles, enabling Alexa to personalize its responses for everyone in the home.
The rollout of Alexa Blueprints could serve as a major advantage in securing Amazon’s long-term success in the voice assistant space.
It expands Alexa’s abilities, allowing for a more personalized experience. The introduction of Alexa Skills Blueprints marks a departure from the company’s prior strategy, in which only third-party developers had access to the tools to create Alexa skills. And by not solely relying on third parties to create skills, Alexa could become more appealing to consumers than ever before.
It could spur Alexa skill adoption. One of the main issues with Alexa is the lack of adoption of skills — while Alexa has access to more than 30,000 skills, about 53% of consumers use only one to three of them, while 14% of consumers haven’t even enabled one, according to Dashbot. But with the option to create Alexa skills, consumers will be more involved in the Alexa ecosystem, potentially motivating them to seek out more third-party skills.
It gives Amazon a leg up over its rivals. Amazon’s competitors, such as Google, Apple, and Samsung, currently don’t offer this level of customization to their customers. Allowing anyone to create custom voice apps will ultimately make Alexa a stronger competitor in the voice assistant landscape.
Bolstering Alexa’s capabilities could help Amazon sustain its early lead in the smart speaker market. Amazon commanded a 72% share of the total US installed base of smart speakers in 2017. By enabling the average person to create customized Alexa skills, interactions with Alexa-enabled devices like the company’s Echo smart speakers should grow as Alexa becomes more useful to consumers.
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has written a detailed report on voice apps that explores the two major viable voice app stores. It identifies the three big issues voice apps are facing — discoverability, monetization, and retention — and presents possible short-term solutions ahead of industry-wide fixes.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
The market for smart speakers and voice platforms is expanding rapidly. The installed base of smart speakers and the volume of voice apps that can be accessed on them each saw significant gains in 2017. But the new format and the emerging voice ecosystems that are making their way into smart speaker-equipped homes is so far failing to align with consumer needs.
Voice app development is a virtuous cycle with several broken components. The addressable consumer market is expanding, which is prompting more brands and developers to developer voice apps, but the ability to monetize and iterate those voice apps is limited, which could inhibit voice app growth.
Monetization is only one broken component of the voice app ecosystem. Discoverability and user retention are equally problematic for voice app development.
While the two major voice app ecosystems — Amazon’s and Google’s — have some Band-Aid solutions and workarounds, their options for improving monetization, discoverability, and retention for voice apps are currently limited.
There are some strategies that developers and brands can employ in the near term ahead of more robust tools and solutions.
In full, the report:
Sizes the current voice app ecosystem.
Outlines the most pressing problems in voice app development and evolution in the space by examining the three most damning shortcoming: monetization, discoverability, and retention.
Discusses the solutions being offered up by today’s biggest voice platforms.
Presents workaround solutions and alternative approaches that could catalyze development and evolution ahead of wider industry-wide fixes from the platforms.
Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:
Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider 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
Purchase & download the full report from our research store.

Tech: Google wants to completely replace texting

Google is spearheading an initiative to replace traditional “SMS” texting with a new standard called “RCS.” It will bring iMessage-like features to Android.
Google is leading a group that’s supporting a new universal standard for text messaging.
The current standard, “SMS,” is limited in many ways — Apple’s iMessage solved those limitations, and now Google is playing catch-up with Android.
The new standard is named “RCS,” or “Rich Communication Services.” It will be deployed in Google’s own Messages app on Android — the default Android text messaging app.
Other major Android phone makers like Samsung, Huawei, and HTC are signed on as well.
Google is making a huge change to the way Android handles text messages, and it’s a direct attempt to stay competitive with Apple’s iMessage dominance.
Google’s Messages app — the standard text messaging app on Android — will become “Chat,” according to The Verge. With that change comes the ability to send prettier photos, longer messages, and lots of other “rich” interactivity. As it is now, Android uses standard SMS text messaging, which is limited to a certain number of characters, and multimedia (photos/video) is highly compressed (it looks bad).
With Google Chat, Android text messaging will become much more like Apple’s beloved iMessage.
All these new features in Android text messaging are due to the adoption of “RCS,” or Rich Communications Services, which is a new standard for text messaging. In short, the RCS standard operates on data networks (like Apple’s iMessage) instead of phone networks (like traditional “SMS” text messaging).
Moreover, Google has a bunch of major phone makers signed on to RCS — from Samsung to LG to Huawei and HTC.
If someone on a Pixel sends a message to a Samsung Galaxy S9, for instance, they can share “RCS” messages — theoretically, anyway, as Samsung is one of the companies that’s signed on. And if you try sending a message and the other person’s phone doesn’t support RCS? They’ll receive it as a standard SMS message (similarly to iMessages showing up for Android users as SMS messages).
For now, Apple isn’t signed on to support RCS messaging: No, the iPhone will not support these messages. At least not for now.
The changes to Android text messaging are coming in the next year, according to The Verge.

Tech: Here’s what 420 means — and how it became a holiday for marijuana...

420 started with five marijuana-smoking friends in California in 1970s, with a little help from the Grateful Dead.
420 is something of a holiday for marijuana consumers.
The number has expanded to encompass all things that those in the marijuana community hold dear.
And it all started as an inside joke among a group of Northern California high school students in the early 1970s.
April 20, or 4/20, is a significant day for the marijuana-consuming community.
4:20 p.m. is considered an optimal time to light up for smokers, and spaces where you can smoke marijuana are often labeled “420 friendly.”
The term was even added to the Oxford English Dictionary, used to refer to the “act of smoking marijuana.”
Suffice to say, the number 420 holds a special place in marijuana smokers’ hearts.
But where did this all come from? How did 420 become an international phenomenon?
The story begins in California in the early 1970s when a group of high school students — known as “The Waldos” for a wall they would all hang out on after school — received some excellent news.
Two of “The Waldos,” Steve Capper and Dave Reddix, stopped by “The Criminals” podcast earlier this month to tell the story of how an inside joke among a couple of San Rafael high school students went worldwide.
“I was sittin’ on our hangout spot — the wall — at San Rafael High School,” Capper told host Phoebe Judge. Capper says a friend told him that his brother, a Coast Guard officer, was growing marijuana.
The friend said that his brother was afraid of getting caught by his commanding officer, so he abandoned the stash in the forest by the Point Reyes Coast Guard Station. Capper’s friend drew him a map, which he brought to the rest of The Waldos.
“We were teenage boys, and that was free weed,” Reddix remembers. “Are you kidding?”
Reddix says the boys decided to meet by a statue of Louis Pasteur on their high school campus at 4:20 p.m. to start searching for the marijuana.
“We fired up a doobie, got high, and we hopped in Steve’s ’66 Impala, and we smoked all the way out there,” Reddix said.
“It looked like a scene from a Cheech and Chong movie, we’d get the whole car clouded up,” Capper said. “We were talking and grooving.”
The Waldos would meet up at 4:20 p.m. every day to continue the search, though they admit — more than forty years later — that they never found the mythical stash.
The 4:20 p.m. meet-up time stuck, however, and became the group’s slang term for smoking marijuana.
“We’d remind each other in the hallways that we were going to meet at Louis at 4:20,” Capper said. And “420 Louis” quickly became just “420.”
“It was kind of a knowing smile, when we’d say that to each other,” Reddix said. As their group of friends got larger, more people within their social circle adopted the term for their own marijuana-smoking activities.
Years later, they’d see “420” carved into park benches and spray-painted on bridges, Capper said.
But it wasn’t until Reddix’s brother introduced the term to his friend Phil Lesh, who happened to be the bass player of the Grateful Dead, that the term really took off.
“What started out as a little private code, secret joke, turned into a worldwide phenomenon,” Reddix said.
Lesh confirmed as much to The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim in 2009. Lesh said he was friends with Dave Reddix’s brother Patrick, and said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if “The Waldos” created the term.
Capper and Reddix say they have actual physical proof that “The Waldos” coined the term.
“We keep the evidence locked in a vault in San Francisco,” Capper said. “This is historical stuff.”
The evidence, according to “The Criminals” host Phoebe Judge, is a clipping from a San Rafael High School newspaper from 1974. One of “The Waldos,” when asked a question about his best advice for the graduating class, simply responded “420.”
And now, in 2018, it’s not only a holiday for smokers, but a massive marketing opportunity for legal marijuana brands like MedMen and Eaze.

Truecaller now has over 100 million daily active users globally

Swedish call filtering service Truecaller announced in a blog post that it has more than 100-million active daily users
Read more on Techpoint.

Tech: The dazzling Lyrid meteor shower peaks this weekend — here’s how to see...

The annual Lyrid meteor shower is one of the oldest meteor showers ever recored in human history. Here’s how to watch.
The Lyrid meteor shower peaks this weekend.
Head out before dawn on Sunday, April 22 to get your best glimpse.
It’s one of the oldest recorded meteor showers in human history.
The dazzling Lyrid meteor shower is starting this week.
The annual shower, which happens between April 16 and 25 each year, occurs when the Earth passes through the tail of a comet.
While meteor showers are difficult to accurately predict, you’ll probably get your best glimpse of it in the early morning hours of April 22 (if you’re in the northern hemisphere), when the waxing moon is least likely to interfere. That’s when the meteor shower is supposed to “peak,” with around 10-20 meteors per hour showing, according to EarthSky.
Head outside before dawn on Sunday for the best view. The waxing moon should set before the meteors appear, making for perfect viewing — though meteor showers are notoriously fickle. You’ll want to go to an area with the least amount of light pollution and tall structures to obstruct your view.
You might be able to catch some meteors on the mornings of April 21 and 22 as well, as the waxing moon will keep the skies dark enough just before dawn to see some meteors light up the sky.
Meteor showers can be viewed with the naked eye, and in fact, a telescope or binoculars may cause you to miss the shower as the meteors can appear all over the sky.
The Lyrids are debris from the comet Thatcher, named after A.E. Thatcher, an astronomer who identified the comet the last time it approached Earth in 1861. The comet, which takes 415 years to orbit the sun, isn’t expected back until 2276, according to EarthSky.
The Lyrid meteor shower is one of the oldest known meteor showers. Chinese astronomers compared the Lyrids to a “rainfall of stars” in the year 687 B.C.

Tech: Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are better with female superheroes — and 5 other...

Rotten Tomatoes provided Business Insider with some interesting statistics about the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe celebrates its 10-year anniversary in a few weeks. “Iron Man,” which started this whole thing, came out on May 2, 2008.
And the MCU will reach its biggest height (so far) with “Avengers: Infinity War,” which comes out April 27.
To honor the anniversary and in anticipation of the “Infinity War” release, reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes provided Business Insider with some statistics about the MCU films.
There are a few interesting takeaways, including that MCU movies have a similar score from critcs and from audiences. Citics and audeinces rarely agree, but they can agree on the MCU. Rotten Tomatoes also discovered that MCU movies with female superheroes tend to have a higher score.
Here’s some fascinating facts about the MCU, according to Rotten Tomatoes:
The average critic scores and audience scores for the entire MCU are almost identical — just 0.5% apart.
That’s interesting, considering the consistent gap between what audeinces like and what critics like.
“Iron Man” has the highest critic score and audience score combined average: 92.5%.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is the most loved brand in the MCU, according to the average audience scores for their movies, which is 90%.
“Captain America” is on the best roll: Critic scores have improved for each successive movie.
“Captain America: The First Avenger” has a score of 79%, “Winter Soldier” has a score of 89%, and “Civil War” is at 91%.
Critics and audiences prefer MCU films that are over two hours.
Apparently the longer the MCU movie, the higher its score.
MCU movies featuring human villains have a higher critic score average.
The MCU has a villain problem. Even the most powerful supervillains from the comic books many times translate to be boring and forgettable on screen. Human villains have been in “Civil War,” “Ant-Man,” “Winter Soldier,” and the “Iron Man” trilogy.
MCU movies featuring female superheroes have higher critic scores and audience scores than the MCU movies that don’t.
The MCU is behind on movies starring women, but there’s proof that they should continue female-led movies beyond next year’s “Captain Marvel” and the standalone Black Widow movie, which is reportedly in the works. MCU movies with female superheroes include the “Captain America” and “Avengers” movies which have Black Widow and Scarlet Witch, “Thor: Ragnarok” which has Valkyrie, and “Guardians of the Galacy” which have Gamora, Nebula, and Mantis.
MCU movies featuring at least five superheroes have a higher critic score average than the standalone movies.
While most movies with way too many characters don’t work, the Marvel characters feed off each other really well in the MCU films, which likely makes the ones where they come together better.

Social Media Roundup: The legend of the Mace Runner

This week on social media; National Assembly mace was stolen in broad daylight, ractions to President Buhari comments at the Commonwealth Business Forum and more stories
Read more on Techpoint.

Tech: You don’t need to use suncream above SPF 30 — but there’s another...

You should look at the star rating.
Sunscreen with a high SPF rating is the best protection for your skin from harmful UV rays.
But there’s another rating you should be looking at too.
It’s called the star rating, and you should buy a suncream with a rating of at least 4.
It’s really hot. That means the roof terraces, beer gardens, and parks are all rammed full of people soaking up the rays.
But it also means bad tan lines and sunburn — especially among those people who “refuse to wear sunscreen in the UK.”
Sunscreen is the best protection you have against the harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun. UVA radiation affects elastin in the skin, so prolonged exposure causes wrinkles and brown pigmentation, as well as skin cancer. It penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB rays, which cause sunburn and also types of skin cancer.
A sunscreen with high SPF (which stands for sun protection factor) will block the rays by absorbing them and giving the energy back out as infrared.
A common belief is that the higher the SPF, the better the protection. While this is true, you don’t actually have to wear anything above SPF 30, as Twitter user Jonathan Hume pointed out.
According to the British Association of Dermatologists, SPFs are rated on a scale of 2-50+ based on the level of protection they offer. But SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, and SPF 50 blocks 98%, so the increase in protection above 30 is pretty minimal.
“We recommend a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 as a satisfactory form of sun protection in addition to protective shade and clothing,” the BAD says on its website.
There’s also another rating you should look at for protecting your skin. It’s called the star rating, and it’s a measure of how much UVA is blocked.
The scale goes from 0 to 5, with 3-star cream blocking about 60% of the amount of UVA as UVB rays. Basically, you want a suncream that is at least 4-star.
“Be aware that if you choose a low SPF it may still have a high level of stars, not because it is providing lots of UVA protection, but because the ratio between the UVA and UVB protection is about the same,” the BAD says. “That’s why it’s important to choose a high SPF as well as a high UVA protection.

Tech: 10 things in tech you need to know today (FB, AMZN)

Facebook lobbying spend hits record high and a machine that destroys iPhones.
Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
1. Facebook doubled its European lobbying spend to $3 million. The firm faced multiple crises last year, including the spread of fake news, terrorist content, and election interference.
2. Facebook has quietly moved 1.5 billion users out of reach of sweeping new privacy laws. It implies that Facebook is striving to reduce its exposure to GDPR.
3. Leaked video shows Theranos employees playing the video game they created where you shoot at the reporter who exposed the startup’s problems. The firm once valued at $9 billion is in trouble — and some staff blame a Wall Street Journal journalist.
4. A prominent tech investor says arrogance in Silicon Valley has reached fever pitch. He’s constantly embarrassed by what people say.
5. Apple has a new iPhone-destroying robot called Daisy. It can disassemble 200 iPhones an hour.
6. Apple might have a new iPhone SE in the works. The company raised hopes of a next-generation iPhone SE with a regulatory filing in Russia.
7. Jeff Bezos explains why he will never be satisfied with Amazon’s success. He loves that customers are “divinely discontent.”
8. YouTube ran ads from hundreds of brands on extremist channels. CNN found ads from companies including Adidas, Amazon, and Facebook on channels promoting white nationalists, Nazis, paedophilia, conspiracy theories, and North Korean propaganda.
9. The International Monetary Fund chief has warned that US tech giants wield too much power. “Too much market power in the hands of the few is not helpful to the economy or to the wellbeing of individuals,” Christine Lagarde said.
10. Amazon buys exclusive UK rights to the US Open. Amazon’s five-year deal is worth $40 million, according to The Guardian.
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Tech: Barbie apparently has a surname — and people are beyond shocked

Ken has one too.
The Barbie Twitter account has revealed that the doll’s last name is Roberts.
She was apparently named Barbara Millicent Roberts when she was invented in 1959.
However, like many famous people, she became known only by one name.
Ken’s full name is apparently Ken Carson.
If you grew up playing with Barbie, chances are you assumed she didn’t have a surname. After all, she’s got by just fine with only one name since 1959.
However, fans were shocked when the brand recently announced that she does have one after all.
In honour of National Siblings Day on April 10, the Barbie account tweeted: “Happy #SiblingsDay, from the Roberts sisters!” alongside a photo of Barbie and her sisters.
Hundreds of users have commented and the post, which has been liked over 10,000 times.
A number of fans expressed their shock at the idea that Barbie had a surname.
However, according to the Evening Standard, this isn’t the first time the name has been revaled.
Barbie creator Ruth Handler christened the doll Barbara Millicent Roberts after her own daughter of the same name, so it’s always been there.
However, she quickly became known simply as “Barbie” — in keeping with other famous people like Madonna, Adele or Prince.
Despite her surname fading from common knowledge, there is even more backstory.
In 1960 a series of Random House novels revealed Barbie’s parents’ names were George and Michael Roberts. The family came from the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin, where Barbie attended Willows High School.
Ken has a surname, too
Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken, also reportedly has a surname.
The doll, introduced two years after Barbie, is apparently named Ken Carson.