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August 24 2015

Simplify those payments

For anyone who doesn’t think simple payments are revolutionary, these are two photos of two different cashiers in Romania. As you might expect, there are lots of financial services providers, each with their own POS machine.

(Thanks Gabi for the second photo)

August 23 2015

August 19 2015

The lightweight apps on WeChat are called “official accounts”. Approved by WeChat after a brief application process, there are well over 10 million of these official accounts on the platform — ranging from celebrities, banks, media outlets, and fashion brands to hospitals, drug stores, car manufacturers, internet startups, personal blogs, and more. It’s important to emphasize that these official accounts are nothing like verified accounts on U.S. social networks, where being “official” is mainly a badge of authenticity or identity verification. On WeChat, official accounts are approved to access exclusive APIs for payments, location, direct messages, voice messages, user IDs, and more. (Not every official account uses these APIs, but there are still millions of them that indeed are app-like.)
When One App Rules Them All: The Case of WeChat and Mobile in China | Andreessen Horowitz (via tomwhitwell)
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August 12 2015

Computers, and especially the internet, are a primary means of subsistence for many. This understandably increases public anxiety at the bogeyman figure of the criminal ‘hacker’, the dastardly villain who breaches computer security to steal and cause havoc. Never mind that in ‘true’ hacker culture – as found in hackerspaces, maker-labs and open-source communities around the world – the mechanical act of breaking into a computer is just one manifestation of the drive to explore beyond established boundaries. In the hands of a sensationalist media, the ethos of hacking is conflated with the act of cracking computer security. Anyone who does that, regardless of the underlying ethos, is a ‘hacker’. Thus a single manifestation of a single element of the original spirit gets passed off as the whole.
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August 09 2015

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August 06 2015

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People using phones, today in London.

August 04 2015

“The most successful relationships are the ones with a really low negativity threshold,” writes Fry. “In those relationships, couples allow each other to complain, and work together to constantly repair the tiny issues between them. In such a case, couples don’t bottle up their feelings, and little things don’t end up being blown completely out of proportion.”

Happy couples, then, tend to have more positive interactions than negative ones, and thus are more likely to give each other the benefit of a doubt. When there is an issue, they’re more likely to bring it up quickly, fix it, and move on.

“Mathematics leaves us with a positive message for our relationships,” Fry says, “reinforcing the age-old wisdom that you really shouldn’t let the sun go down on your anger.”

A mathematical formula reveals the secret to lasting relationships
ADHD adults can tell you they are working really hard to get mentally organized—expending tons of energy on it—yet are frustrated that they get consistent feedback from important people (teachers when younger, parents, spouses, friends) that they aren’t working hard enough. This confuses hard work with results—and the two are sometimes strikingly disconnected for those with ADHD. One person I know described what it feels like to have ADHD as “having the Library of Congress in your head, but with no card catalogue.”
— Are people with ADHD lazy?

August 03 2015

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July 23 2015

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July 21 2015

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