Thursday, May 23, 2019

Facebook Responds To US Regulators In Data Breach Probe

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg                                                                               JOSH EDELSON / AFP
Facebook acknowledged Tuesday it was facing multiple inquiries from US and British regulators about the major Cambridge Analytica user data scandal.
The leading social network offered no details but its admission confirmed reports of a widening investigation into the misuse of private data by Facebook and its partners.
“We are cooperating with officials in the US, UK and beyond,” a Facebook spokesman said in response to an AFP query.
“We’ve provided public testimony, answered questions, and pledged to continue our assistance as their work continues.”
The Washington Post reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission and FBI as well as the Justice Department are looking into the massive breach of users’ personal data and how the company handled it.
Facebook shares closed the shortened Nasdaq trading day down 2.35 percent to $192.73, heading into an Independence Day holiday with investors mulling what effect the investigations may have on the California-based internet giant.
Facebook has admitted that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by British consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked for US President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg apologized to the European Parliament in May and said the social media giant is taking steps to prevent such a breach from happening again.
Zuckerberg said at a hearing in Brussels that it became clear in the last two years that Facebook executives didn’t do enough to prevent the platform “from being used for harm.”
Zuckerberg was grilled about the breach in US Congress in April.
It remains unclear what if any penalties Facebook may face from the latest requests but the tech giant is legally bound to comply with a 2011 consent decree with the FTC on protecting private user data.
Any SEC inquiry could look at whether Facebook adequately disclosed key information to investors.
The post Facebook Responds To US Regulators In Data Breach Probe appeared first on Channels Television.

Tech: KSI and Logan Paul probably banked up to $11 million from their YouTube...

Media estimates suggest around 20,000 fans attended the boxing match between KSI and Logan Paul, and more than 770,000 paid to watch the live stream on YouTube. They will be able to double their money next February, when they plan a rematch in the US.
Business Insider has calculated that YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul made as much as $11 million from their boxing match on Saturday.
Media estimates suggest around 20,000 fans attended the match, and more than 770,000 paid to watch the live stream on YouTube.
The pair will have made even more cash from a uCast stream of the fight, as well as merchandise sales, and ad revenue from videos in the run-up to the fight.
They will be able to double their money next February, when they plan a rematch in the US.
The boxing match between YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul may have resulted in a draw, but the event was doubtless a win for their bank balances.
According to The Times, almost 20,000 fans attended the boxing match at Manchester Arena on Saturday night. And The Verge calculated that around 773,000 people watched the £7.50/$10 pay-per-view stream cumulatively on YouTube.
Business Insider estimates that this tots up to as much as £8.3 million, or $11 million, in revenue. Here’s how we got there:
With an average ticket price of £135, and rounding up the number of attendees to 20,000, we generously estimated that the live event pulled in £2.7 million ($3.5 million).
And if 773,000 people paid £7.50 or $10 each to watch the livestream on YouTube, that brought in £5.6 million, or $7.7 million.
That gives us a total figure of £8.3 million or a little over $11 million.
We should emphasise that this is pretty approximate. The average ticket price figure is skewed higher by the smaller number of £495 VIP tickets sold to die-hard fans.
And our total excludes revenue from ads against YouTube videos in the run-up to the fight, money from merchandise sales, and any revenue from the uCast stream, available to those who were unable to access YouTube. All of these will have brought in more cash.
It also doesn’t mean KSI and Logan Paul have necessarily walked away with $5.5 million each. Our calculations exclude any overheads for staging the event, including travel and staff costs.
The pair also lost out on substantial amounts of money. The Verge reported that more than 1 million viewers watched illegal, pirated streams on game streaming site Twitch. That’s a potential loss of £7.5 million or $10 million in streaming revenue alone.
It’s a substantial wad of cash for two internet celebrities who are not professional boxers, and is comparable to a professional boxing match. According to The Mirror, the 2017 fight in Wembley between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko generated £8 million in ticket sales.
KSI and Logan Paul will have the chance to double their money in February, when they fight again at an unconfirmed venue in the US.

Tech: How Deliveroo went from being the idea of a hungry banker to a...

British food delivery startup Deliveroo is worth at least $2 billion and has revolutionised the takeaway market. Media reports suggest Uber has held early talks about buying Deliveroo, marking the potential exit of one of the UK’s fastest growing and most successful startups to date.
Food delivery startup Deliveroo is one of the UK’s hottest and most valuable startups, worth around $2 billion.
It was started by a former banking analyst who hated the lack of options when he had to eat at his desk.
Media reports suggest Uber is in early talks to buy Deliveroo.
On face value, anyone could have come up with the concept. An app which brings you food whenever and wherever you want it? It’s the kind of thing any irate worker eating a squashed sandwich at their desk could dream up.
Will Shu, the American cofounder and CEO of Deliveroo, knows this. He told the “i” newspaper in 2017 that the idea was “not complicated… anyone can have it.”
But it was Shu and his cofounder Greg Orlowski who turned the desk dream into a reality in 2013, thanks to a ruthless focus on making food delivery as seamless as possible.
The Deliveroo app offers takeaway food from thousands of restaurants, many of which never offered delivery services before the startup came along. The eventual goal isn’t just to make takeaway easier, but to kill off home cooking for most people altogether.
The startup has revolutionised food delivery, racked up a $2 billion valuation, and is now reportedly in talks to sell to Uber for billions of dollars.
The road hasn’t been easy, and Shu and co. have had to contend with thorny issues such as workers’ rights for the thousands of freelance drivers who deliver food and don’t have access to benefits.
As rumours of an exit swirl, be that an acquisition or IPO, we look back at Deliveroo’s story of success.
2001: Deliveroo founder Will Shu is a banking analyst in New York for Morgan Stanley, working long hours and eating $25 takeout with colleagues while pulling late shifts.
2004: Shu moves to Morgan Stanley’s offices in Canary Wharf, London, where his takeout budget evaporates. He spends miserable evenings buying food from the local supermarket chain, Tesco. “It just became really depressing,” he said, according to
You can read Shu’s account of Deliveroo’s early days here.
Late 2006: Shu is working at a hedge fund and his hours are more reasonable. Takeaway marketplaces like Just Eat are taking off, but Shu finds them lacking. “It was not a great customer experience,” he said.
Late 2007: Convinced he could do better, Shu contacts an old schoolfriend of his, developer Greg Orlowski. The pair try to come up with the first iteration of Deliveroo, but the concept just doesn’t work. Part of the reason is that this was the very early days of smartphones, and apps had yet to take off.
June 2010: Shu goes back to the US and to school, taking an MBA at Wharton. “It was a way for me to drink for two years and hang out… But it did give me time to think,” he said.
August 2012: Apple is about to release the iPhone 5 and the App Store has been going for four years. Rival smartphones are taking off. It’s time to return to the concept of a marketplace that could deliver any food you want, wherever you want.
February 2013: Shu and Orlowski team up again to build Deliveroo from Shu’s Chelsea flat. They know this will involve a big fleet of couriers to drop off the food, and that they would need to communicate through an app. But they struggle to win support.
February 2013: According to Shu, sceptics told him that English people didn’t want good food delivered.
Mid-2013: Will Shu works as Deliveroo’s first “rider,” picking up food from restaurants and delivering it to customers just to see how the experience works. His friends reportedly prank him by ordering food, just to see the former analyst working as a delivery boy.
Mid-2013: According to a Forbes profile, Shu once delivered a pizza to his former boss, who thought he had fallen on hard times. Shu said it was “fine” and scooted off without an explanation.
According to Forbes, Shu would drive his scooter around for six hours a day to better understand delivery logistics.
June 2014: After starting out with just three restaurants, Deliveroo raises its first $2.75 million funding round from Index and Hoxton Ventures. The money is going to be vital for the company’s expansion.
Late 2014: Deliveroo launches in its first UK city outside of London, Brighton.
January 2015: Deliveroo raises again and kicks off its international expansion. By April, it has launched in Paris and Berlin. The service does surprisingly well in Paris, a famously foodie city.
You can read Business Insider’s interview with Will Shu on Paris here.
Late 2015: After only two years in operation, Deliveroo is almost a unicorn and worth more than $600 million. It would take more than a year for the startup to reach the coveted $1 billion valuation, though.
December 2015: The backlash begins. Deliveroo has hundreds of cyclists peddling around dropping off people’s takeaway food — except these riders are not directly employed by the company. The startup is drawn into the emerging gig economy debate.
A damning Guardian article by Stefan Stern criticised Deliveroo’s low wages and job security.
February 2016: Deliveroo cofounder Greg Orlowski quietly leaves the company. He goes on to cofound Peanut with Michelle Kennedy, a meeting app for mums.
May 2016: Deliveroo starts talking about an ambitious plan to help restaurants process more takeout orders. It puts shipping containers in car parks and turns them into mini-kitchens dedicated to preparing Deliveroo orders.
Read Deliveroo’s explanation of its shipping container RooBoxes here.
August 2016: Deliveroo gets closer to unicorn status with a new tranche of $285 million in funding. It is now firmly one of the buzziest and best-capitalised British tech startups around, and well-loved by its users.
September 2016: The startup rebrands, abandoning its cute, cartoony kangaroo logo in favour of a geometric, abstract design. Some people think the new design looks a little like a rude two-fingered gesture.
September 2016: Mike Hudack, a former director of product management at Facebook, joins Deliveroo as its new chief technology officer.
November 2016: The gig economy problem blows up for Deliveroo. A small new union called IWGB, targeted at gig economy workers, demands new employment status recognition from Deliveroo.
Up until now, all of Deliveroo’s riders have been independent contractors, meaning they are not entitled to standard benefits. But union members want paid holiday and minimum wage, expensive benefits that could lose Deliveroo lots of cash.
January 2017: Deliveroo hires Thea Rogers, a former political advisor to ex-British Chancellor George Osborne, as political scrutiny of its business model grows.
January 2017: Law firm Leigh Day, which has a history of success against gig economy firms, announces it might take legal action against Deliveroo over driver rights.
The employment status of these riders continues to be an issue. Deliveroo classes them as “self-employed,” but Leigh Day suggests that restrictions placed on them by Deliveroo could mean they should be entitled to further rights like a minimum wage and holiday pay.
April 2017: Deliveroo unveils Deliveroo Editions, pop-up kitchens for established restaurants that help them deal with takeaway requests.
The company said at the time each “Editions” location — which mostly comprises car parks and other unglamorous areas — would include six or seven portable kitchens. Read about the ambitious Deliveroo Editions plan here.
July 2017: Deliveroo moves into a shiny new London headquarters, with an on-site gym, roof top and “centre court” meeting space.
You can take a tour of Deliveroo’s swanky offices here.
July 2017: Sky News reports rumours that Japanese giant SoftBank is interested in investing in Deliveroo. A deal never materialises, possibly because the conglomerate went on to invest in a rival, Uber.
September 2017: Deliveroo board member Martin Mignot causes a ruckus when he describes the startup’s ultimate goal: to kill off home cooking. The firm ultimately wants to make takeaway an easier, cheaper option than prepping food at home.
You can read about Deliveroo’s 2016 financials here, and the Martin Mignot’s analysis of Deliveroo’s future here.
September 2017: Deliveroo’s valuation is pegged at $2 billion after it raises $385 million from investors including US fund giants Fidelity and T Rowe Price. This cements Deliveroo’s status as one of the most valuable startups in the UK.
October 2017: Deliveroo begins to draw unfavourable comparisons with Uber, thanks to its tendency to bend the rules. The Guardian reports that the startup didn’t ask council permission to create its pop-up kitchens, and that local neighbours are complaining about the noise.
October 2017: Deliveroo warns that if it is forced to recognise its riders as employees, it might not be able to grow.
Deliveroo’s UK MD Dan Warne told politicians that it needs to be able to attract riders who work on a flexible basis, otherwise costs would go up.
November 2017: Will Shu tells Business Insider that going public would be “somewhat logical” for Deliveroo. At some point, his investors are going to want to see a return on their money.
You can read Will Shu on taking Deliveroo public and launching in America here.
November 2017: Deliveroo wins a victory in its legal fight against the union IWGB. A tribunal rules that the startup doesn’t need to regard its drivers as workers. Shu tells Business Insider there is lots of misunderstanding about workers’ rights among politicians and journalists.
You can read that interview with Will Shu here.
March 2018: Deliveroo lays out a radical plan to cut its margins, in a presentation obtained by the Eater blog. According to the report, the company eventually wants to provide its own food to cut costs.
The startup also reportedly wants to automate delivery even more to cut its margins.
May-August 2018: Deliveroo focuses on the welfare of its riders, providing accident cover, first aid training, and medical insurance globally.
May 2018: Deliveroo announces that it will plough £5 million ($6.5 million) into finding celebrity chefs to partner with to create new experimental concepts.
Some money will also go towards Deliveroo’s existing restaurant partners.
June 2018: Deliveroo, now operating in 12 countries around the world, says it will up its UK expansion to take on Shu’s original bete noire Just Eat. The plan is to add 5,000 more restaurants to the Deliveroo app, and let outlets use their own delivery drivers.
You can read about Deliveroo’s summer expansion plans in The Telegraph.
September 2018: Despite the rapid expansion, Deliveroo still hasn’t launched in the US at this point.
September 2018: After months of chatter, media reports suggest Uber is in early talks to buy Deliveroo. The price tag would need to be above Deliveroo’s previous valuation of $2 billion, and would merge two major players in food delivery.
What’s next: A merger between the world’s most valuable private company, Uber, and Deliveroo, could finally take the British company into the US. It would be the biggest exit for a UK tech firm to date, although it’s feasible the firm could stay independent and eventually go public.

Estate Intel is helping the commercial property industry in Africa make data-driven decisions

Estate Intel is a Nigerian-based startup that provides data on commercial properties across Africa, to enable market participants make data-driven decisions.

Tech: Econet is shutting down Kwese TV as we know it, proving just how...

Kwesé is streamlining its services to focus on Kwesé Free Sports (KFS), its free-to-air service, Kwesé iflix, a mobile video-on-demand platform, and Kwesé Play.  Kwesé streamlines its services to focus on Kwesé Free Sports (KFS), its free-to-air service, Kwesé iflix, a mobile video-on-demand platform, and Kwesé Play, a video streaming serviceEconet says Kwesé subscribers who have already paid their subscriptions for the month of November, or in advance, will receive a full refundThe new strategy also includes the establishment of Kwesé Studios, where it will develop its own original programming.The pay-TV market in Africa is an extremely tough nut to crack as Econet has found out with its satellite offering, Kwesé TV. The service, as we know it, shut down on November 1, 2018, after 18 long months.In a statement, Econet Media said it is reviewing its business strategy and service offerings “to maintain its position as a leader in broadcasting innovation in Africa” and align with “the changes in the global digital and satellite broadcasting sector, and growth in access to mobile and fixed broadband” in Africa.Kwesé is streamlining its services to focus on Kwesé Free Sports (KFS), its free-to-air service, Kwesé iflix, a mobile video-on-demand platform, and Kwesé Play, a video streaming service that includes NBA, Bloomberg, YouTube, and TED channels.This new strategy will “see the reduction of third-party channels available on the bouquet, as well as the removal of Kwesé branded sports (excluding KFS) and general entertainment channels.” Kwesé’s new bouquet will have only free-to-air, religious, and free news channels, available to viewers for a minimal fee, as it will now waive monthly subscription fees. Essentially, Kwesé is removing most of the content that it does not originally own or that it has to pay for.Econet says Kwesé subscribers who have already paid their subscriptions for the month of November, or in advance, will receive a full refund.The new strategy also includes the establishment of Kwesé Studios, where it will develop its own original programming with help from “African producers, scriptwriters, actors and directors.”Nigeria’s pay-TV wars Kwesé’s satellite TV business, launched in May 2017, is present in 11 markets, including Nigeria, which has seen its share of pay-TV companies falling by the wayside. In 2007, there was HiTV, a company that set out to combat DStv in Nigeria and provide a viable alternative. It went as far as snatching the viewing rights to the English Premier League, one the of the major attractions for DStv subscribers. However, for a myriad of reasons, some of which include financing and the difficulty of the market, HiTV soon went out of business.In 2017, Nigerians were teased with another DStv competitor, TSTV, but that has since sputtered like a faulty engine.One of the strongest competitors for DStv’s parent company, Multichoice, in Nigeria has been StarTimes, a Chinese satellite TV company targeting the low-end market. The rise of StarTimes has forced Multichoice to double down on GOtv, which targets the same market class that the Chinese company does.In the high-end market, Multichoice is battling Netflix. Netflix entered South Africa in 2016 and has since grown to over 400,000 subscribers. In March 2018 when it released its financial result for the year, we found out Multichoice had lost 41,000 Premium subscribers, something its CEO blames on Netflix. Shutting down Kwesé TV is a smart move The bone pay-TV companies have to pick, however, is not with themselves or with Netflix, it is with the evolving nature of the market. As more people get on the Internet, more of them want to stay there. The market has become digital first, people want to get their content from YouTube and Netflix and Twitter and on their smartphones. Shutting down Kwese is a smart move and it shows Econet realises its battle should be elsewhere. It is keeping Kwesé iflix and Kwesé Play. Smart.It’s 2018 and Multichoice has not figured out (or perhaps it has and is in denial) that people are now less enthusiastic about buying bulky satellite dishes and decoders that require them to invite engineers and technicians into their homes when they can simply stream content on their laptops and smartphones.It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of Kwesé’ with this new strategy and what the coming months hold for the pay-TV market in Africa. One thing is certain though, and it is that the Internet will be the ultimate winner here.

Tech: HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ is better without TJ Miller — and the show weaves...

‘Silicon Valley’ season five premiered on HBO Sunday, it’s thriving without TJ Miller’s Erlich Bachman, who left the show after season four.
“Silicon Valley” season five premiered on HBO Sunday, and it proved it’s thriving without TJ Miller’s Erlich Bachman, who left the show after season four.
Without Bachman, other characters get more screen time.
The show is better without him, and weaves his exit into the story in an unexpected way.
Warning: Mild spoilers for the “Silicon Valley” season premiere.
TJ Miller’s abrupt exit from “Silicon Valley” last year might be the best thing to ever happen to the show.
In the season five premiere of “Silicon Valley,” which aired Sunday night on HBO, Pied Piper CEO Richard Hendricks takes the gang (now just Jared, Gilfoyle, and Dinesh) to their brand new offices at a co-working space. Initially impressed with Richard’s choice for their new digs — an open floor plan, a fireplace, “an intuitive kitchen layout” (according to Jared), large windows, and modern light fixtures — the guys are disappointed when Richard shows them where their office will actually be. Unlike most of the co-working space, their office is a sad, windowless room with fluorescent lights, and outlets on the floor that are basically magnets for stubbing your toes.
“Silicon Valley” is at its best when the show throws its characters into impossible situations. The show doesn’t let its characters succeed, and if they do, it’s not for long. And while sometimes this makes the show frustrating, it’s what makes it great, too. Disgusted with the idea of working in such terrible conditions, the guys convince Richard that this money-saving space is an awful idea. This actually turns out to be easier than expected considering how stubborn Richard is, especially about Pied Piper’s finances.
Just as easily as Pied Piper gets an acceptable new office space, the show adjusts to life without Erlich Bachman, one of its main characters who isn’t on the show anymore.
Since TJ Miller’s exit was announced after the season four finale in May, everyone has been asking the same question about the show’s future: What is the show like without TJ Miller’s Erlich Bachman?
Better than it has been in years, it turns out.
Without Bachman’s bitter spirit, it’s a little more upbeat. The jokes and storylines are a bit more clever, since the writers aren’t relying on Bachman to say (or do) something stupid. Miller’s absence also leaves more room for the side characters we’ve come to love over the years, from Jared to Jian Yang to Dinesh to Gilfoyle. With less time to waste having Bachman spit out insults, the other characters have more to say and do. Jared has quickly become the best character on the show, and one of the best characters on TV, and season five has given him way more to do so far.
After the season four finale aired last year, Miller announced he was leaving the show and that he would never return, not even for a quick cameo. The last time we see Bachman, Hooli CEO Gavin Belson leaves him behind at an opium den in the Tibetan mountains.
The season five premiere addresses Bachman’s absence in a surprising but fitting (and not desperate) way, which is a huge credit to the writers. Instead of just a one-liner explaining what the heck happened to Bachman, they’ve made his disappearance an arc that will probably take up the entire season. According to Dinesh, no one has heard from Bachman in months, though he still owns 10% of Pied Piper and the incubator. But Jian Yang plans to change that by faking Bachman’s death so he can get Bachman’s shares in Pied Piper, and so he can officially take over the incubator.
While Bachman was a great character that helped define the series, his schtick got a bit tired. Bachman served his purpose, and his exit has improved the show and can potentially increase its longevity.
Now we just have to wait and see if Jian Yang can actually convince people that Bachman is dead. He’s already off to a good start.

Tech: A remarkable penguin ‘supercolony’ of over 1.5 million birds has been discovered off...

Adélie penguins have been declining on the Antarctic Peninsula. But on the Danger Islands off the coast of Antarctica, researchers found a new ‘supercolony.’
Adélie penguin populations have been declining on the Antarctic Peninsula.
But researchers examining satellite photos of the nearby Danger Islands spotted what appeared to large amounts of bird guano, so they decided to mount an expedition to the hard-to-reach islands.
There, they discovered a new penguin “supercolony” with more than 1.5 million of the birds.
As much as we think we know about our own world, there’s still plenty to be discovered.
It’s not surprising when we discover new bacteria or deep ocean creatures — though finding fish so deep we didn’t know they could survive the pressure is always a shock. But there are still fascinating discoveries to be made above the sea surface as well.
Often, it just takes a closer look an area that hadn’t been thoroughly examined.
That’s how Stony Brook University ecologist Heather Lynch, NASA scientist Matthew Schwaller, and several other researchers made a remarkable discovery when they spotted what appeared to be guano stains in satellite images of the aptly named Danger Islands off the coast of Antarctica in 2014.
They mounted an expedition to the islands in December of 2015. There, they found a “supercolony” of more than 1.5 million Adélie penguins.
They recently described the colony in a study published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports. Take a look.
Adélie Penguins feed on krill, fish, and squid, diving as deep as 575 feet into Antarctic waters.
As far as biologists have been able to tell, the total number of Adélie Penguins, which are some of the most common penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula, have been on the decline.
But satellite images revealed that penguins seemed likely to be on the Danger Islands, which are extremely remote and surrounded by sea ice, even in summer.
The researchers spotted hundreds of thousands of the birds upon arriving at the islands.
They used a quadcopter drone to survey the island from above, taking photos they could stitch together to better measure the population using neural network software to count the animals.
“Not only do the Danger Islands hold the largest population of Adélie penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula, they also appear to have not suffered the population declines found along the western side of Antarctic Peninsula that are associated with recent climate change,” said Michael Polito, a guest researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute from Louisiana State University and one of the study authors, in a news release.
Source: Stony Brook University
The discovery will provide evidence for proposed Marine Protected Areas and help researchers better manage the Antarctic krill fishery.

Tech: We tasted the first lab-grown sausage made without killing animals. It was smoky,...

A Silicon Valley startup called New Age Meats offered us a taste of the world’s first pork sausage made in a lab without killing any animals. Here’s how the cultured meat cooked, smelled, and tasted.
Silicon Valley clean meat startup New Age Meats made history on Monday by letting journalists taste the first cultured pork sausage made in a lab.
New Age Meats’ sausage is the first cell-based meat to be made using both fat and muscle cells, which could prove key to nailing the flavor of traditional meat.
Here’s what the farm-free sausage was like.
On a Monday night at a brewery in San Francisco’s hipster Mission District, the co-founders of a startup called New Age Meats helped cook up samples of pork sausage made entirely out of cells grown from a live pig named Jessie.
As scientists-turned-entrepreneurs Brian Spears and Andra Necula watched, the sausage they’d spent the past two months making at a nearby lab began to sizzle. Slowly, its sides turned brown and, as the aroma of breakfast meat filled the room, samples were doled out to taste.
New Age Meats aims to make meat from animal cells without killing any actual animals. They are one of roughly half a dozen nascent companies aiming to create an alternative to factory farming. In so doing, they hope to reduce waste, improve health, and eliminate animal suffering.
New Age Meats’ sausage was the first in history to be made with fat and muscle cells — an important combination that could prove key for nailing the taste of “cell-based” or “cultured” (meaning simply: not from slaughter) meat. Here’s what it was like.
Around 5 PM on Monday evening, a group of journalists and potential investors gathered at Standard Deviant Brewery for a taste of the first pork sausage made in a lab from the cells of a live pig.
After filling up on vegan appetizers and snacks, New Age Meats co-founder Brian Spears told us what to expect. He also shared a photo of Jessie, whose cells — taken from a small biopsy on her side — went into the meat we’d be eating.
Spears and co-founder Andra Necula teamed up with Matt Murphy, a butcher and sausage chef, to get their recipe just right. Because the sausage casing they used was vegan, it was extra delicate — meaning Murphy had to be careful to avoid too much blistering, which could cause the links to break apart in the pan.
After about five minutes of cooking, the sausage was done. As the room filled with the aroma of breakfast meat, Murphy nudged the links onto a serving plate.
Necula and Murphy sliced the sausage into bite-sized pieces. In addition to pork fat and muscle from Jessie, the links contained spices like sage, ginger, and white pepper as well as vegetable stock and soy protein.
When I got my hands on my sample of sausage, I was ecstatic. This was the first meat made from a lab instead of on a factory farm that I’d ever tasted. After spearing it with my toothpick, I went in for a bite.
The flavor was smoky and savory. The texture was distinctly sausage-like. It tasted like meat. Then again, it is meat.
As we ate, Spears explained that all the material for the meat came from a single biopsy from Jessie. Spears and Necula coaxed the tiny cell sample into developing billions of fat and muscle cells in the lab, giving rise to the key ingredients in the sausage.
A chemical engineer by training, Spears said he chose to host the tasting at a brewery because these types of facilities — with their sleek silver brewer’s vats — are the same kind of places where the meat of the future will be produced.
Until that day arrives, New Age Meats faces several obstacles in turning its prototype sausages into a product that could be sold in restaurants. Cost is the first.
Getting to a price consumers would be willing to pay at a restaurant is still at least five to 10 years away, according to several CEOs of the leading cultured meat companies.
Another issue is texture. Making a sausage, patty, fish cake, or any other product that combines several ingredients with ground meat is nowhere near as difficult as mimicking the intricate texture and flavor of a steak or a chicken breast. “Wagyu beef” — with its complex marbling and texture — “would be the holy grail,” said Spears.
Necula said she and Spears planned to continue working on products in the sausage realm, but they’re exploring options that include products made with beef and crab too. “We think we’ll be ready to go to market in a couple years,” Spears said.

Tech: 19 Netflix original shows that both critics and audiences agree are amazing

Here are the Netflix series that won over both critics and audiences, including its acclaimed new original “The End of the F***ing World” and “Stranger Things.” TV viewers and TV critics aren’t often on the same page. But where the interests of the two overlap, you’re sure to find some quality shows.
Recent Netflix original series “The End of the F***ing World” is one such program.
Acclaimed by both critics and fans, the British dark comedy recently won an enthusiastic endorsement from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who called it the “most engaging addictive original” in a long time.
To figure out which other Netflix original series were beloved by both groups, we turned to the reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes to see which Netflix original shows scored at least an 85% “Fresh” rating with critics and audiences.
Excluding docu-series, talk shows, and kids shows, we ranked these series by averaging their critic and audience scores on the site, and we used critic scores to break any ties.
Here are 19 Netflix original shows that both critics and audiences love:
19. “Castlevania” — 87%
Critic score: 85% Audience score: 89% Average score: 87% Netflix description: “A vampire hunter fights to save a besieged city from an army of otherworldly beasts controlled by Dracula himself. Inspired by the classic video games.”
18. “W/ Bob and David” — 87%
Critic score: 88% Audience score: 86% Average score: 87% Netflix description: “After being dishonorably discharged from the Navy Seals, ‘Bob and David’ are back serving our country the way they do best — making sketch comedy.”
17. “Anne with an E” — 88%
Critic score: 87% Audience score: 89% Average score: 88% Netflix description: “A plucky orphan whose passions run deep finds an unlikely home with a spinster and her soft-spoken bachelor brother. Based on ‘Anne of Green Gables.’”
16. “Orange Is The New Black” — 89%
Critic score: 91% Audience score: 87% Average score: 89% Netflix description: “A privileged New Yorker ends up in a women’s prison when a past crime catches up with her in this Emmy-winning series from the creator of ‘Weeds.’”
15. “Daredevil” — 90.5%
Critic score: 86% Audience score: 95% Average score: 90.5% Netflix description: “Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the Super Hero Daredevil in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City.”
14. “Narcos” — 91%
Critic score: 87% Audience score: 95% Average score: 91% Netflix description: “The true story of Colombia’s infamously violent and powerful drug cartels fuels this gritty gangster drama series.”
13. “GLOW” — 91%
Critic score: 94% Audience score: 88% Average score: 91% Netflix description: “In 1980s LA, a crew of misfits reinvent themselves as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. A comedy by the team behind ‘Orange Is the New Black.’”
12. “BoJack Horseman” — 91.5%
Critic score: 89% Audience score: 94% Average score: 91.5% Netflix description: “He’s a half-horse, half-man, has-been TV star who drinks a bit too much. He’s really got a lot going on right now.”
11. “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” — 91.5%
Critic score: 97% Audience score: 86% Average score: 91.5% Netflix description: “What’s a Midwest girl to do after she’s spent the last 15 years trapped underground? Move to New York City, of course.”
10. “The Crown” — 92%
Critic score: 91% Audience score: 93% Average score: 92% Netflix description: “This drama follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.”
9. “Love” — 92%
Critic score: 92% Audience score: 92% Average score: 92% Netflix description: “Rebellious Mickey and good-natured Gus navigate the thrills and agonies of modern relationships in this bold comedy co-created by Judd Apatow.”
8. “Jessica Jones” — 93.5%
Critic score: 92% Audience score: 95% Average score: 93.5% Netflix description: “Haunted by a traumatic past, Jessica Jones uses her gifts as a private eye to find her tormentor before he can harm anyone else in Hell’s Kitchen.”
7. “Stranger Things” — 94%
Critic score: 94% Audience score: 94% Average score: 94% Netflix description: “When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one strange little girl.”
6. “American Vandal” — 94%
Critic score: 97% Audience score: 91% Average score: 94% Netflix description: “A high school is rocked by an act of vandalism, but the top suspect pleads innocence and finds an ally in a filmmaker. A satirical true crime mystery.”
5. “Mindhunter” — 95%
Critic score: 96% Audience score: 94% Average score: 95% Netflix description: “In the late 1970s two FBI agents expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder and getting uneasily close to all-too-real monsters.”
4. “Alias Grace” — 95%
Critic score: 99% Audience score: 91% Average score: 95% Netflix description: “In 19th-century Canada, a psychiatrist weighs whether a murderess should be pardoned due to insanity. Based on Margaret Atwood’s award-winning novel.”
3. “Master of None” — 95%
Critic score: 100% Audience score: 90% Average score: 95% Netflix description: “Dating, career, finding a great taco — it’s all hard. But becoming a mature adult is a whole other degree of difficulty.”
2. “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return” — 96%
Critic score: 100% Audience score: 92% Average score: 96% Netflix description: “The cult hit returns! Captured by mad scientists, new host Jonah survives a blitz of cheesy B movies by riffing on them with his funny robot pals.”
1. “The End of the F***ing World” — 97%
Critic score: 100% Audience score: 94% Average score: 97% Description: “A budding teen psychopath and a rebel hungry for adventure embark on a star-crossed road trip in this darkly comic series based on a graphic novel.

Tech: The amount of ether frozen in digital wallets is worth $162 million —...

Parity Technology says the total amount frozen is much less than feared. It’s considering a so-called hard fork in the Ethereum blockchain to unlock wallets.
Last week, a mistake by a novice hacker led to customers of Parity being unable to access the ether they had stored in their digital wallets.
Initially, some researchers estimated that as much as $280 million worth of ether could be locked up.

Tech: Nigerian lending startup has introduced a fixed investment account that offers a 15.5%...

PayVest comes with an annual interest rate of up to 15.5% and single investments can range from N50,000 to N10 million A Nigerian loan lending startup, Paylater, has launched a new fixed interest investment account, PayVest.PayVest offers an annual rate of 15.5% on returns.The fintech company said the PayVest feature offers a diverse portfolio of short and long term investment plans.A Nigerian loan lending startup, Paylater, has launched a new fixed interest investment account, PayVest, offering an annual rate of 15.5% on returns.While fintechs are disrupting the financial system in Nigeria, PayVest at the moment serves as the most investment option plan offering 15.5% annual interest with Nigerian startup, PiggyBank, offering a 12.41% interest per annum.In a blog post, the fintech company said the PayVest feature offers a diverse portfolio of short and long term investment plans. From 3- month investment to a 12-month investment plan.“Over the last 2 years, our app’s features have helped customers support families, grow businesses, and pay for services, whenever required.“While these are all great for the ‘here and now’ situations, we recognize that, sometimes, you also need to plan well into the future and better control your financial flows by putting away money.” How does PayVest work? PayVest comes with an annual interest rate of up to 15.5% and single investments can range from N50,000 to N10 million. There are about 5 other investment options in the Paylater app.Paylater said the there is no incurable fee for setting up an account as well as no hidden charges and investors can monitor their account for transparency.Investors can also request for a withdrawal at any time with no restriction on maturing date. Paylater, however, do not state if the termination before maturity date will attract a fine or not unlike PiggyBank that attracts a certain fee upon termination of an investment.On securityPaylater said PayVest investments are protected and managed by One Finance and Investments Limited, which is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.Paylater, co-founded by Chijioke and Ngozi Dozie, the fintech company, surpassed N4 billion loan transactions in June 2018. Within the last two years in operations, the startup has been among growing fintech startups in the Nigerian ecosystem.Also from Business Insider Sub-Sahara Africa:Here are the details of Stears’ first ever fintech Summit in LagosHere’s a picture of what the African tech startup space will look like in 10 yearsNigeria signs 3-year oil deal with Schlumberger and will earn $5.60 billion in taxes and royaltyHere is why P&G is shutting down its $300 million Agbara production factoryHere is why Unilever Nigeria is selling its Blue Band brandLondon City’s Mayor, Charles Bowman was in Lagos to discuss possible collaborations in fintech, here are the highlightsNigeria’s online savings platform secures $1.1 million seed funding to develop its products and expand massivelyThese 6 banks invested N155.

Tech: Facebook apologizes to right-wing group PragerU after being accused of censoring its videos

Facebook apologized to a right-wing non-profit group after it blocked some of its videos, making them invisible to its followers. PragerU seems unconvinced, claiming the removal was an act of deliberate censorship.
Facebook apologized to a right-wing non-profit group after it blocked some of its videos, making them invisible to its followers.
Facebook said the removal of the videos was a mistake, and they have been restored.
PragerU seems unconvinced, claiming the removal was an act of deliberate censorship.
Facebook has apologized to American conservative non-profit group PragerU after it blocked some of its videos.
PragerU (Prager University) was founded by talk host Dennis Prager in 2009, and publishes five-minute videos containing short lectures on topics such as economics and constitutional law. It currently has more than three million followers on Facebook.
In a press release published on its website on Friday, PragerU said its last nine posts had been made invisible, something which PragerU executive Craig Strazzeri said should “deeply concern every single American.”
Facebook apologized to PragerU. A spokeswoman told Business Insider: “The videos in question were mistakenly removed. While we continue to research what caused this error, we have restored the content because it does not break our Community Standards and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
PragerU was not convinced by Facebook’s apology. It called its actions “deliberate censorship of conservative ideas.”
PragerU has previously accused Google of left-wing bias for censoring its videos on YouTube, and even brought a court case against the tech giant. However, the judge dismissed the case as Google and Youtube do not qualify as “state-actors.

Tech: Bugs survive the winter through a trick straight out of science fiction

The mysterious winter hideaways of bugs, explained by scientists.
Bugs don’t just do a disappearing act in the winter: some can tolerate extremely harsh, cold conditions.
One of their most common winter survival strategies, called diapause, allows mosquitoes and black ants to slow down their metabolism when it gets cold – temporarily freezing their development.
Some caterpillars burrow under leaves and become frozen icicles, thawing out in the spring.
Those who aren’t winter warriors hunker down and rely on their fellow bugs (or humans) for seasonal warmth, or fly to warmer spots.
It’s not like bugs can just turn on the heater, zip up a fluffy parka, or tuck in to a warm cup of cocoa to stay warm in the winter.
The truth is that bugs have many different ways to make it through the winter alive.
Some simply fly to warmer spots. Others burrow into logs, hiding away in insulated nooks with hundreds of their friends to wait for warmer days.

Tech: A robot can build this $300,000 home in four months

Branch Technology will soon 3D-print the prototype of a home designed by the architecture firm WATG Urban in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Constructing a home by hand can be both expensive and time-consuming, especially when the home features a custom design. Some homebuilders have chosen to automate part of the construction process instead.
A new architectural startup called Branch Technology uses 3D-printing robots that can construct parts for homes.
The company will build a prototype of its first home, designed by architecture firm WATG, this year in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Branch’s machines will print the walls, roof, and floor of the 1,0000-square-foot model over the span of a few months, and then a construction crew will assemble the components on-site.
The cost of the prototype (somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000) will be higher than what Branch eventually hopes to offer to customers. The project’s larger goal is to push the boundaries of 3D printing in construction.
Take a look at the home, called Curve Appeal, below.
Branch Technology will complete its prototype of a home using 3D printers in late fall at Chattanooga State Community College, the director of sales, David Fuehrer, told Business Insider.
In 2016, Chicago-based WATG won Branch’s Freeform Home Design Challenge, a competition to imagine the future of 3D-printed home construction.
Curve Appeal will span 1,000 square feet, and will feature a bedroom, bathroom, and living room.
From start to finish, the construction process will take three to four months.
To build it, Branch’s system will first turn WATG’s design into code that the 3D printers can read.
Unlike traditional 3D printers that build layer-by-layer, Branch’s machines will create lattices, which they will then fill with thousands of pounds of liquid foam and concrete that hardens.
Inside Branch’s 40,000-square-foot facility, four bots will create the panels that will eventually be fastened together.
Fuehrer said Branch’s method will make homes that are three to four times stronger than typical wood construction.
The construction process will also produce less waste than traditional homebuilding, because the machines will print only the necessary parts, he said.
The home’s parts will then be shipped on-site, and in under three weeks, a construction crew will assemble the structure. Lastly, the team will add finishing touches, like plumbing and appliances.
Branch estimates that the prototype will cost $300 to $400 per square foot to build, but plans to get that price down before it starts selling homes.
According to Fuehrer, this figure is still lower than what it would cost to fabricate the same home by hand, which he estimates would cost anywhere from $800 to $1,400 per square foot because it would require skilled laborers.
Once complete, Branch will gift the home to the college, which will use it for classes.
The company believes that 3D printing represents the future of housing construction, because the process is extremely efficient.
Fuehrer added that 3D printers could be especially useful for building extraterrestrial colonies. In 2017, NASA awarded Branch Technology $85,930 to develop methods for constructing habitats on Mars.
On Earth, the team eventually plans to start selling custom homes and commercial buildings, but it does not have an exact timeline yet.
“We want to push the envelope of what’s possible with 3D printing,” Fuehrer said.

Tech: The amount of money flowing through Venmo has surged — at least before...

Customers sent $9 billion through PayPal’s mobile person-to-person payment service in the third quarter. That’s up six times since the first quarter of 2015. Venmo has become so popular, its name has become a verb in the same way “Google” has. People use the the PayPal-owned mobile person-to-person payment service to pay rent, split bar tabs, and hold fundraisers. It’s become a must-have app for millennials, and as we can see in this chart from Statista, the amount of money sent through it has soared since 2015.
But Venmo’s time in the sun might soon come to an end. On Monday, Apple finally launched Apple Pay Cash, its own person-to-person payment system. Apple Pay Cash allows people with Apple devices to send cash to each other via Apple’s Messages app.
Unlike Venmo and other payment apps, Apple Pay Cash doesn’t work on Android devices.