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Let's talk about Ello, the New Social Network

Description :

Hello there my friends, hope you're gearing up for the holiday season. We want to thank you for your ongoing engagement and support around The *Official AndreasCY*. You showed us your symbolic interest and loyalty in the technology and community. Thanks for everything!

So, what is this 'Ello' everyone's talking about? 

It's a new social network, being called the “anti-Facebook”, that was birthed by a small group of designers and artists. The draw of Ello is its promise to remain ad free and not sell users data to third parties.

Let's talk about Ello, the New Social Network

Nearly every popular social network is run by ad revenue 

There are many people whose only job is to record your every move online. These are data miners and ad salesmen. Creepy huh? Your information is being auctioned off to the highest bidder. Not only that, but they are reading your posts and keeping tabs on your social connections. All of this is made possible by the service being offered to the user for “free”. Seth Levine, one of Ello’s backers, is so serious about keeping users data private and the network ad free, that if they can’t do things that way they simply “won’t build a business”.

Despite the recent cynicism from the press and naysayers, founder and CEO Paul Budnitz is not budging on his promise to keep the platform ad free. Also the company has filed as a Public Benefit Cooperation, which legally binds them from showing ads, selling user data to a third party, or selling the company to someone that plans on doing so. The long term business plan that his company has put in place, is said to be lucrative as well as principled.

What started out as a private network, has now become public

The social network launched on Aug. 7 with only 90 users and its growth reached viral status shortly after its launch. Once people caught wind of Ello, they wanted in; so a public version was created. Within a week they had grown to where they thought they would be in 6 months (they had reached a steady 40,000 to 50,000 requests an hour). At one point they had to put sign-ups on hold, just to make sure that the site was up to the task of taking on so many users at once. Not to mention this is an invite only network. One can only assume that the everyday user is enticed by the idea of a truly ad free network, that doesn’t sell your information to third parties. 

This growth is partially attributed to Facebook’s recent crackdown on fake names. Ello allows fake names. With no shortage of users or investors, the company seems to be becoming a fierce competitor, in the social network arena. In its most recent round of investing the company has generated $5.5 million in Venture Capitalist’s revenue. Budnitz’s inbox has a new VC everyday that wants to invest in Ello. So the recent claims about Ello not making enough money seems pretty laughable. 

Also with the recent acquisition of $5.5 million in funds, the company plans on being profitable very soon. Ello plans on making its revenue for expansion directly from its users. It is free to join but later Ello plans on releasing some Premium features that can be accessed for a small price. Actually many apps on the market offer free versions of their app and additional features, for a small fee.

Do you Ello?

Right now this is an invite only site. If you can’t wait for an invite then you can go to their homepage and request one. The ones who get in are allotted a certain amount of invitations, usually about 5 to 10. The goal is not to sign up everybody in the world, or even to be a competitor of Facebook, but simply to build a nice community.

So far the social network has chosen to go with a very simple design and color scheme. When users log on, they see a black and white scroll down layout. This is where the user can post status updates, pictures, links and comment on other users’ posts. Their contacts are divided into 2 columns, Friends and Noise and the user can switch between the different “feeds” with the click of a button. 

Conclusion 

Since Ello is just in its early stages, what it is going to grow into, is anybody’s guess. Only time will tell if this is truly a niche market or just a trend. Similar platforms have seen major growth, only to be abandoned in droves, months or years later; remember MySpace? In any case if you’re not into having your every little move tracked, Ello is a perfect alternative. While the popularity may only be short-lived, Ello’s promise to uphold its credo, shall not be.


What are your experiences so far? Post them below. 

*by andreascy*

Furious 7: The Fast Boys Are Back With An Epic Trailer

Description :

Hello guys. How are you? If you have been around for the last decade or so then you’ll probably remember a little film called The Fast and The Furious. Here we are 13 years later and the franchise is still going strong! 

Furious 7 has been one of this year’s most anticipated films. The fans are interested to see what new direction the producers are going to take the film, after suffering the loss of one of its main characters; Brian O’ Conner, played by Paul Walker.

Furious 7: The Fast Boys are back with an Epic Trailer

Walker was killed in a high-speed car crash in November of 2013 and the producers, finished filming and wrapped up, despite his death. Walker’s brothers were enlisted to help with key scenes in the movie. One can’t help but think of the recent tragedy involving Heath Ledgers passing, during the production of The Dark Night. The cast and crew for Furious 7 has been together for so long and the Vin Diesel, one of the producers, often referred to the crew as "family". Paul, Tyrese and Vin were all very close; both on and off screen.

But... the show must go on right? Fans were treated to a trailer that can only be summed up in one word: EPIC. If the film promises to be as action packed as the preview, then get ready for a visual feast. The movie is set to hit theaters April 2015 and has already generated a huge buzz.

The Plot:

In this film, the team ends up in Tokyo after learning of their friend Han’s death. They meet Sean Boswell who was also friends with Han. Teaming up with Boswell and some extra allies, they set out to find the person responsible for murdering Han. Enter Ian Shaw, played by Jason Statham.

Furious 7: The Fast Boys are back with an Epic Trailer

Jason Statham (the older brother of Owen Shaw, the bad guy from Fast 6) joins the Furious 7 entourage as, the new villain that the cast faces off against. As you may have guessed Shaw is hunting the crew down to avenge the death of his younger brother. Statham is a seasoned action movie star and should be able to hold his own when it comes to the action sequences.

Another addition to the cast is Kurt Russell. He is seen for a brief moment in the preview and has a somewhat ominous air about him. From the 3 seconds he’s in the preview, one can already tell that his character is hard to get a bead on. Russell has even said that his character is staged to be suspicious. He can be seen, kind of, mentoring Dominc Toretto in the preview, so the film may play out the misplaced trust notion. This is just speculation, no spoilers. 

Furious 7: The Fast Boys are back with an Epic Trailer

With the passing of Paul Walker, one of the most asked questions by the fans is; what is going to be the fate of Brian O’ Conner? It turns out that O’ Conner will get fitting send off. 

Writer Chris Morgan and director James Wan are reworking the script and using previously shot footage of Walker, to give him a suiting farewell. This will still allow the franchise to continue and, if they want to risk it, they can maybe bring O’ Conner back for a cameo or still involve him with the story in some way. There has even been talk of bringing Paul’s brother Cody on, as a new addition to the crew. In the meantime Walker’s other brother Caleb will be filling in for Paul’s scenes.

Furious 7: The Fast Boys are back with an Epic Trailer

The whole process is a really fine line to tread. On the one hand there is a movie that needs to be finished, but in a way that leaves the fans satisfied. On the other hand, no one wants to disrespect the memory of Paul Walker. Giving him a “send off into the sunset” seems like a win-win for everyone.

Furious 7 kicks off with action and story right out of the gate. Two members of the crew are now dead and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) is injured. Fans can only assume that the story is building up to O’ Conner’s farewell. Dark, would be going a bit too far to describe the tone of this movie, perhaps pensive is a bit better. The fans will get a sense that the family Dominic has worked hard to put together, isn’t as ‘bulletproof’ as they used to be.


Despite the passing of Paul Walker being a huge tragedy, the film looks as though it will not disappoint and be a fitting final role. I'm looking forward to this, for sure. Can't wait!


The community is the lifeblood of this website. If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it via a social site or leaving a comment below. 

*by andreascy*


5 Keys To Launching A Startup

Description :

Launching a new business can be both exciting and intimidating. It’s exciting because it is introducing something new into the world. At the same time, it’s intimidating because there are numerous unknown factors to consider, complex concepts to learn, and dreams to validate.

5 Keys To Launching A Startup

One way to get to a good start when it comes to launching your own business is to find out if it’s a good idea, create a plan, build a team, use good technology, and model best practices.

1. Find out if it’s a good idea

A business idea worth pursing has to be validated. There has to be a market for the product or service. Customers should either want or need it. The vision has to align with the opportunity. Besides validating the idea, you should also research the scope of the idea. Can the idea be improved, scaled up, or adapted to different markets?

2. Create a business plan

Your business plan is a formalized decision-making process about mission and values, business structure and revenues. These plans will serve as a blueprint to raise money and shape policies. When setting up the proposed budget, it’s a good idea to assume zero profits in the first year of operations. This does not mean that there will be no profits; it just means that should things not go according to plan, there will be enough money available to pay the rent, keep the lights on, and retain employees.

3. Build a core team 

Despite the prevailing myth about the self-made man or woman, all businesses are actually a team effort. You should build a core team early to design the business’s philosophy. It’s essential to build this team built around shared values, aspirations, and ideals because a team that lacks a unified perspective faces the risk of falling apart due to dissension. A cohesive team will work together to evolve the groundbreaking decisions necessary to launch and grow a new business.

4. Use good technology

Technology is no longer something to add to a business. It is more like one of the foundations of business. Like office walls and furniture, technology is essential to the infrastructure of a business. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MegaPath, a company that builds Ethernet-based networks, summed up the intrinsic value of technology in a business when he said, “In today’s competitive environment, businesses require solutions that help them improve the way they do business, while reducing costs,”.

5. Model best practices

While your initial research may have validated that your idea is a feasible one, you will get a head start if you model the best practices of those in the same or similar fields. This will give you a template to work from as you develop your business. There is no point wasting time and money reinventing the wheel. Instead, use the knowledge and wisdom gained from others who have gone before you. This borrowed model will help to shape and reshape your own business model. A model is not about imitating what other businesses are doing but about observing what works and what does not work. Additionally, a model need not be derived entirely from a single business. It could be a compilation of different businesses. 

Summary

By finding out if your inspired vision is a good idea, creating a plan, building a core team, using good technology, and modeling the best practices of other businesses, you are taking practical steps to develop a firm foundation for the success of your business.

*by andreascy*

10 Gadgets to Help You Catch More Fish

Description :

Fishing has changed dramatically over the past decade with the increasing popularity of smartphones and other technology. Even those who have strongly resisted the change are giving into the pressure to adapt. Once there is a smartphone in your pocket, it's difficult to keep refusing time-saving, fish-catching options. 

10 Gadgets to Help You Catch More Fish

Here are 10 tech tools that will make your outing both safer and more successful without ruining the great outdoors.

Find Where to Go

Fishing Hot Spots Maps: It's an old tool in a new format. You no longer have to track down paper maps for the water you want to fish but rather this company provides digital maps for both freshwater and saltwater. You can even get maps that work with older units and handheld devices.

The Fishidy Mobile App: This app provides maps as well as a community for sharing tips and up-to-date reports. You can track your fishing successes on a map using GPS in addition to identifying water depths, underwater contours and fishery data.

Learn How to Get There

Broadband RADAR: This tool boasts that it is the most significant radar breakthrough since 1940. It has much lower power requirements and crystal clear images, which helps for limited visibility situations or tight maneuvering. Plus, it does not require a license.

SIMRAD: This tool is very similar to Broadband RADAR. It also has clear imagery, low power consumption and low emissions. Whether you combine navigation with your fishfinder or separate the two, broadband technology is taking hold quickly.

Locate the Fish

Lowrance HDS-5x Gen2: There are plenty of fishfinder models to choose from, but the new Gen2 model uses a broadband sounder, supports wireless signals and uses Spotlight Scan Sonar, making it a top-notch gadget.

Raymarine Dragonfly: For CHIRP (Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse) lovers, Raymarine Dragonfly is the tool for you. This new unit delivers incredibly clear images and includes Navionics charts on microSD in addition to a temperature sensor and 50-channel GPS.

Play it Safe

Iridium Satellite PhoneWhether speaking with family or getting out an emergency call to the Coast Guard, you can always contact land and other satellite-equipped vessels when you pack a satellite phone. They also claim that their call quality is three times better than their competitor's.

C-pod Security: The C-pod sends current status information about location, heading, intrusion, battery voltage and other vital statistics to your phone or computer. Remote on/off capability allows you to be in control of C-pod sensors from the helm.

Stay in the Game

XPand: If you are you taking a green seafarer along on the next voyage, consider the Xpand anti-motion sickness glasses to keep queasiness at bay. Pills and patches often cause drowsiness and confusion, but the sunglasses use electro-optical systems to reduce motion sickness in a noninvasive way. They are powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion polymer cell.

Gomadic Solar Charger: Stay prepared with a solar charger to keep any of these gadgets charged and ready to use. It can charge multiple devices simultaneously, and does it just as quickly as a wall outlet would.

Prices in each category can vary widely, so be sure to do your homework. Many times you can cut back on features to make a tool better fit the budget. Yesterday's top-dollar fishfinder or navigation aid, for instance, can often be found at rock bottom prices as others switch to broadband units. So, get ready, be prepared and fish on!

SEE ALSO: Science Nation - Electric Fish Charges up Research on Animal Behavior

Join the discussion by posting a comment below or tweeting #OFFICIALANDREASCY. Let me know what you think.

*by andreascy*