How does plastic turn into fashion?

At a time where plastic bottles are being a threat to our oceans and environment, innovation has taken another step as plastic is now being used to manufacture garments. 

With many taking the step towards a more sustainable future, brands such as Adidas, Nike, Gucci, H&M and Timberland have been steering towards to idea and eventually paving the way for smaller brands to follow suit.

So how in fact does plastic gets utilised and given purpose again in the fashion industry? Here’s a less complicating step by step list on how the plastic waste we produce gets given another chance at life.

1) Collection

– The plastic water bottles are compiled from various locations such as waste centres and transported to a proper recycling facility

– Only 16% of plastic bottles in Malaysia are collected for recycling purposes, a study found.

– Malaysia’s plastic bottles recycling rate is lower than the average among the six Asean countries studied.

2) Separation

– A conveyer at the recycling station separates green and clear plastic bottles

– The caps are then removed to be discarded

– Only PET (polyethene terephthalate) plastic made bottles are used 

3) Cleaned

– The bottles are washed, sterilized, dried and chopped up into small flakes

– The flakes are then compressed into bales

4) Heated

– The dried plastic is then heated until it forms a sticky, pliable substance

5) Transformation

– The heated plastic is then put through a machine to be turned into threads 

– It is then stretched and pulled before being moulded into a spool.

6) Colour

– The PET based yarn is then submerged in different coloured dyes

7) Threads into cloth

– The now dyed yarns are then fed into a knitting machine

– The machine turns the threads into bolts of knitted cloth

8) Released as clothing material

– Manufacturers then purchase the bolts of cloth and proceed to use it to make clothing

While we may never completely get rid of plastic waste, we could definitely do our part in reducing the amount of plastic waste we generate in our lives.

What other ways do you use to reduce plastic waste? Feel free to share in the comment section below!

6 tips for an ideal drive-in cinema experience

Vehicles are parked at the first drive-in movie theatre for people to enjoy movies while keeping social distancing amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bangkok, Thailand, July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

While we are already more than halfway through the calendar year, 2020 may be remembered for a lot of things.

Face masks becoming a daily accessory, an extensive period of working from home, and to top it all off, a global health pandemic that has shaken life itself to the core.

At a time where our reality is in desperate need of positivity, M-Junction, the providers of experiences such as Dinner In The Sky Malaysia, released the news of the first ever drive-in cinema opening right here in the heart of the nation.

The now operating drive-in cinema would be a relatively new experience for most go-ers as Malaysians aren’t used to watching movies from the “comfort” of their own vehicle.

To help prepare for the occasion, here are a few tips to help you prepare for an unforgettable experience at Malaysia’s first ever drive-in cinema.

1) Bring your own radio and speaker

Using your car radio as an audio source and leaving your vehicle engine idling for at least an hour and a half may not be a pleasant thing to do as nothing is worse than a dead car battery when you have plans for after the movie with a date or friends; on top of that, it hurts the environment and did we mention that the carbon monoxide produced from engine emission is extremely dangerous? Easily purchase a bluetooth speaker or portable radio (depending on the cinema’s choice of external audio) to ensure not having to stress out your car engine throughout the movie experience.


2) Use mosquito repellent

Bugs are annoying and mosquitoes can be the most annoying out of all of them. Trying to enjoy a movie with a mosquito buzzing around your ear or leaving bite marks around your body can be highly irritating. So, prepare some mosquito repellent or mosquito patches to avoid the unnecessary scratching.

3) Prepare small snacks and water

Bringing your own small snacks and water prior would definitely help with the worry of ripping a hole in your wallet. However, try to be mindful and refrain from bringing in a whole pizza or a three course meal; cinemas and drive-in cinemas get some of their profit through concession sales and you can always purchase some of them at the convenience of the cinema itself if you didn’t prepare any.

4) Wear comfy clothes

Thinking about donning that new hoodie or jacket you bought last week? You might want to think twice before doing so. Having to sit in your car from the start of the movie until the end would not be enjoyable without the comfiest clothes, consider ditching that trousers for a comfortable pair of shorts and that heavy layered jacket for a simple t-shirt, since you’ll be in your vehicle for most of the time anyway.

5) Bring a portable fan 

Weather in Malaysia can be highly unpredictable. You’d never know when you would be stuck in the midst of a heatwave or in your car with all the windows up during a heavy rain. A portable fan would help make your time in the car much more bearable as sweating in a stuffy car while trying to enjoy a movie isn’t ideally what one would call the “perfect” drive through cinema experience.

6) Be mindful of others

Photo by Robert F Bukaty/AP/Shutterstock (6120021d) Movie-goers watch How to Train Your Dragon 2, the first movie of a double feature at the Saco Drive-In in Saco, Maine, USA

We get it, you want a great experience, but so do other people. Turn off your engine as sound from the exhaust can be highly distracting, also remember to turn off your vehicle’s daytime running lights as everyone is trying to watch the same screen and a glare of light at the corner of your eyes can be really annoying. All in all, if you’ll be annoyed by it, it’s likely that others would be too; don’t be a pain in the rear and remember that everyone is in it for a good time, just like you are.

Kuala Lumpur’s first drive-in cinema brought to you by TwoSpicy Entertainment Live and MD Events Asia is located at:
Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTiC)
109, Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur

To find out more about their rules and regulations or to book your place, visit the M-junction website before tickets are sold out.

Have any ideas for an ideal first time drive-in cinema experience? Feel free to share in the comment section below!

Why Sugu Pavithra’s YouTube videos are all deleted

Sugu Pavithra’s updated YouTube channel as of July 27th.

The famed husband and wife cooking duo, Sugu Pavithra, who have been viral since the movement control order (MCO) period has had all their YouTube videos deleted.

Referencing personal factors in an interview with Bernama, M.Sugu, 29, the husband of S. Pavithra, 28, said that he was the one who deleted all the videos after the series of events that unfolded in the past few days.

A spokesperson for the couple has since took to social media to release the following statement regarding the deletion of the videos:

Hi, the couple (Sugu and Pavithra) would like to take some time off and focus on their personal life and hence, they would not be proceeding with any brand engagement for few weeks now.”

The silver play button is gifted by YouTube to channels with more than 100,000 subscribers.

The channel boasts a following of 800,000 subscribers and were well on their way to clinching the Gold Play button by, a YouTube creator award given to every channel with 1,000,000 subscribers, but that may not happen anytime soon as the channel has now been emptied out.

Before this, it had featured up to 100 videos of cooking instructions and demonstrations; other than that, it also gave viewers a glimpse into the wholesome lifestyle of the Ipoh couple.

Ever since news of Pavithra having bruises on her lips, left cheek and right arm was widely shared around on social media, netizens had called foul play.

It was later revealed that life behind the camera hasn’t been as wholesome as the front of the camera. The YouTube sensation’s bruises and scars came from being allegedly slap in the face several times until she bled and also hit by a sickle by her husband.

Apparently Sugu resented against Pavithra for not crediting him during her Ipoh City Icon award event.

“The argument continued the next day where the man wanted to go to the hospital to find the wife’s sister. The man who was under the influence of alcohol had called up the wife’s sister to meet her but to no avail. This led the man hitting his wife,” an insider told Hype.my.

Pavithra has been called an inspiration by many Malaysians, she uses a cup as a phone holder to record her videos and also have been widely recognized as having a humble approach. News of her being on the receiving end of physical abuse did not sit well with many of her viewers as many had then urge Pavithra to leave Sugu.

Sugu being taken to court.

Sugu was arrested on the 22nd of July following the allegations.

He was also charged at the Sessions Court with unlawful possession of a sickle at the Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun’s parking compound on July 21 and also with hitting his wife.

Pavithra said that among all the complications, she’d had chosen to forgive her husband and to put this whole episode behind them.

The couple had to undergo a rollercoaster of events under the eyes of national media earlier due to their fame; from receiving praises by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and celebrity chef Redzuawan Ismail, known as Chef Wan, to the unearthing of the presence of Pavithra on the receiving end of abuse.

Although, their famed YouTube success has drastically increased their household income, with earnings up to 8,700 ringgit (US$2,000) a month, life seemed good when compared with Sugu’s previous monthly income of about 1,000 ringgit as a plantation worker.

The couple had plans to open a restaurant next year, those plans are now unsure as their means of income from YouTube has been forfeited. 

“But that is okay, because I have hands, feet, to look for a job. Even before this, I earned money by working,” Sugu said.

On the bright side, the channel would not be staying without content for long as Sugu said that he expects their latest video to be uploaded on YouTube once discussions with various parties are finalised.

After posting bail for him, Pavithra said they wanted to live normally and just want to focus on their YouTube channel.

Apple Glass: The Next Big Thing

Apple Glass: The Next Big Thing. Apple's take on wearable ...

Whether you like it or not, Apple is gearing up to release its first-ever AR smart glasses. Apple Glass, Apple’s elusive AR lenses project is all set to debut soon. The AR and VR industry has matured over the past few years. With Apple stepping in with a pair of Apple Glasses could be a gamechanger.

Apple has been exploring VR and AR technologies for more than 10 years now. The company has established a secret research division comprising of hundreds of employees in designing Apple’s next big thing. It was even rumoured that organizations like NASA and Microsoft are involved in developing these smart glasses.

Based on rumours, Apple has chosen to call its AR smart glasses as Apple Glass. That name would be an unusual choice given the similarity to the name of Google Glass.

Here’s everything you need to know about Apple Glass.


Design

Image for post
Early design prototype of the Apple Glass. Photo: Max Weinbach

The glasses are said to look similar to regular glasses, with both lenses to feature displays that can be interacted with using gestures. Recent leaks based on the prototypes suggest that the material used would be plastic. But in the release variant, Apple might use metal. The glasses might also come with a plastic stand with wireless chargers.

Apple glass at least the first edition of it could more or less work like Apple Watch Series 0. Apple Glass could be marketed as an iPhone accessory similar to what Apple did with Watch Series 0. Apple Glass will primarily take a display role offloading computing, networking, and positioning to the iPhone. This will allow Apple to reduce the weight and size of the glasses.

There is a rumour that Apple is working on a limited-edition “Steve Jobs Heritage” version of the smart glasses that are designed to look like the round, frameless glasses that Steve Jobs used to wear, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has called this rumour “complete fiction.”


Hardware

As of now, there have been little to no leaks about the specs and hardware of the smartglasses. According to a few rumours, Apple glass will feature 8K display for each eye.

A patent granted to Apple has further fuelled the rumour that Apple Glass won’t need any prescription lenses, Apple glass will automatically adjust for people with poor eyesight.

Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple analyst predicts that Apple Glass won’t have any kind of processor. He states that the first-gen Apple glasses will be heavily dependent on the iPhone, with the AR glasses essentially only providing the display.

It could feature a LiDAR scanner similar to iPad Pro 2020 variant. It is used to determine distance by measuring how long it takes light to reach an object and reflect. It’s an efficient way to get a much more accurate 3D representation of the scene in front of the camera, which is useful in computational photography and especially in augmented reality. Which eliminates the need for cameras in the smart glasses.


Software

According to Bloomberg, Apple glasses will run on some version of OS based on iOS. Probably they will name it the glass OS to maintain similarity among their operating systems.

Apple Glass will bring information from your phone to your face. With Apple’s integration, the glasses will be able to synchronize with a wearer’s iPhone to display things such as texts, emails and maps over the user’s field of vision.

The iPhone has Springboard, the set of icons that act as your home screen. Apple’s glasses have “Starboard.” No interface elements have leaked or even been described, but it is assumed that Apple will adapt its iconography and UI for an AR interface.

ARkit 4

Image for post
ARKit 4 platform released by Apple for Augmented reality. Photo: Apple

ARKit 4 helps in creating a new way to access the detailed depth information gathered by the LiDAR Scanner. Location Anchoring leverages the higher resolution data in Apple Maps to place AR experiences at a specific point in the world in Apple Glass. This feature will allow more immersive AR experiences and give the application a better understanding of the environment for object placement and occlusion.


Release date & Pricing

Though there were rumours that Apple could debut it’s AR glasses alongside iPhone 12 as “One More Thing.” As the 2020 lineup is completely stacked Apple might reconsider releasing it. Rumours predict that Apple might unveil Apple glass in 2021 and then release it for the masses in 2022.

According to Jon Prosser, a tech analyst Apple glass are priced at $499 without prescription lenses. The price of the Apple glass is quite low in comparison to Microsoft’s AR headsets priced at $3500. Apple Glass price is low because most of the computing, networking, and positioning are offloaded to the iPhone.


From Google Glass and Snapchat spectacles to Microsoft Holo lens and Facebook’s upcoming AR glasses, many have tried and are trying to make this technology work. But so far there hasn’t been any mainstream success. With Apple Glass, Apple may very well change that.

Apple has always been great at making complex innovation more user-friendly and simpler. Apple Glass could very well be the Next Big Thing for Apple. What do you guys think about all this? Are you excited? Let me know in the comments section.

By Abhinav Chandoli

In Just 6 Months, ‘Fever Cameras’ Have Become a Full-Fledged Industry

Fighting coronavirus: Can thermal-imaging cameras help beat COVID ...

October 2016, a Shenzen-based video surveillance company called Sunell set up an experiment: It installed thermal cameras and facial recognition in the entrances of six schools in northern Beijing.

Students who entered would have their faces recorded for facial recognition, and their temperatures taken by thermal imaging. While initial accuracy wasn’t up to par, the company refined its technology over the next year. And then it started to expand its services.

درباره دوربین مداربسته سانل بیشتر بدانید SUNELL - UNELL

Sunell added more schools (and prisons) to its roster of clients, eventually snagging a contract for all schools in the Anning District of Lanzhou City in 2018. To date, the company claims it has detected the temperatures of 6.86 million students.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has proven to be a huge opportunity for Sunell. The company has publicized 20 new installations of its fever detection technology in Chinese schools since March. And Sunell has now started to resell its technology to at least 19 other companies, according to a list compiled by video surveillance trade outlet IPVM.

To date, the company claims it has detected the temperatures of 6.86 million students.

As much of the world adapts to a new normal after the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, and the United States still struggles to rein in rampant cases, the thermal imaging industry is pitching itself as a crucial part of reopening efforts.

There are now 170 companies selling fever detection technology meant to detect people potentially suffering from the coronavirus, up from fewer than 30 companies selling similar technology before the pandemic, according to the IPVM list.

Many of these companies are reselling thermal cameras from larger firms and adding their own fever-detecting software or algorithms, or simply packaging cameras and computers as a ready-to-operate screening station. The biggest manufacturers are Sunell, FLIR, Dahua, Hikvision, TVT, and YCX — all Chinese except for FLIR, an a U.S.-based company. In addition to their own direct sales, these six companies resell through 47 other companies that have newly started selling fever cameras with core technology.

Signs point to the long-term adoption of the technology, as companies invest in fever-detecting infrastructure: FLIR CEO James Cannon told investors in May that the company had booked $100 million in coronavirus-related sales in the first quarter alone, and the company was set to install fever cameras in GM factories. It’s also set to beat analyst expectations for its second financial quarter, according to preliminary figures FLIR released this week.

However, Chinese surveillance giants Hikvision and Dahua will rely on growth outside of the U.S., as they have both been put on federal blacklists for human rights abuses.

FLIR CEO James Cannon told investors in May that the company had booked $100 million in coronavirus-related sales in the first quarter alone.

Cameras aren’t just being installed for stationary checkpoints. Robotics company Cobalt has outfitted its roving office robots with FLIR temperature sensors, and is pitching its tech as a complete “return to work” solution. Rather than having a person with a thermal scanner, a Cobalt robot autonomously does the test, according to a video on Cobalt’s website. The robots can allegedly tell if employees are wearing masks, and will remind workers to wear PPE if masks are not detected.

Another company, Invixium, makes a facial recognition kiosk that has been upgraded to determine a person’s temperature. It shows off a web platform that allows a company to monitor their entire staff’s temperatures, as well as breaking out statistics by date and age of employees.

Fever cameras all typically work in a similar way. A thermal camera captures an image of a person’s face, and then software analyzes the perceived temperature of that person’s skin. Based on how warm a person’s skin is, the software tries to guess their internal temperature. Skin temperature is typically closest to a person’s true body temperature in the area around their eyes and tear ducts, FLIR told OneZero in a previous interview.

In tests performed by IPVM, in optimal conditions, these fever cameras can be accurate to 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

Real-world conditions are not always ideal. In one test, a temperature sensor kiosk made by ZKTeco was accurate when the sensor was 18 inches from a person’s face, but was inaccurate by nearly two degrees when the person stood a little farther away at 32 inches from the sensor.

Some manufacturers like Hikvision and Sunell scan a person’s forehead instead, claiming that tests are similarly accurate and people who wear glasses don’t have to take them off. However, hair covering a person’s forehead was found to obscure these temperature scans, and higher temperatures elsewhere on the face were ignored by Hikvision and Sunell’s cameras, according to IPVM testing. Hair, hats, helmets, or applying a cold or warm compress to the head can all alter the effectiveness of the tests.

These nuances are now being passed along to the dozens of companies that rely on Hikvision and Sunell’s technology, and the final clients that they sell to, creating a global game of telephone for the crucial caveats that make each system actually effective.

The biggest caveat to fever detection is that people with the coronavirus don’t always exhibit a fever. Studies suggest that 20% to 40% of cases can be asymptomatic, meaning those capable of spreading the disease wouldn’t have elevated body temperatures to detect.

Companies like Sunell are undeterred.

“We believe that we will definitely win this battle and return to more normal times in the nearest future,” the company wrote.

By Dave Gershgorn

4 of Trump’s Most Ridiculous Reelection Promises

Trump wants all the power, but no responsibility for coronavirus ...

President Donald Trump’s stump speech has not changed a lot since he first launched his presidential bid in 2015; since then his racist bread-and-butter campaign promises have pretty much remained the same. The Southern border wall? “It’s being built and Mexico will pay for it!” (That’s debatable, and also Mexico is definitely not paying for it.) But as the 2020 election gets nearer amid a catastrophic pandemic, the president has remixed his stump speech and included new, strange ways to justify why he should be reelected come November.

For example, Trump has taken a special interest in household appliances, promising to make your lightbulbs and dishwashers great again. (It’s a natural evolution for the president, given his complicated relationship with science.) How would it work? We’re not really sure! Guess you need to reelect him to find out.

As a matter of public service, GEN reviewed transcripts of Trump’s 2020 rallies going back all the way to June 2019, when he officially launched his reelection campaign. Ahead, four of the most bonkers campaign promises he has made so far.

Better showers for everyone!

Trump turned a White House event meant to spotlight his record deregulations into a campaign event in mid-July. In his speech, he promised to get rid of a fierce opponent who’s making life hard for Americans: showerheads with low water pressure. “I don’t know about you — but my hair has to be perfect,” he said.

He made a similar promise at a rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in January. “You go into a shower, and I have this beautiful head of hair, I need a lot of water. I need water. You go into the shower, right? You turn on the water, drip, drip, drip. I called the guy, ‘Something wrong with this?’ ‘No, sir. It’s just the restrictor,’” he said.“So you’re in there five times longer than you’re supposed to be. You use probably more water and it’s a very unpleasant experience, right? So we’re getting rid of the restrictors. You’re going to have full shower flow. Full sink.”

You have the right to not look orange

It’s been reported that Trump’s curious skin color is achieved through the use of Switzerland’s Bronx Colors-brand face makeup, but the president blames modern lightbulbs for the tint. At a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, the night he was impeached, Trump railed against them.

“We’re even bringing back the old lightbulb. You heard about that, right? The old lightbulb, which is better. I say, ‘Why do I always look so orange?’ You know why? Because of the new light, they’re terrible,” he said. “You look terrible. They cost you many, many times more, like four or five times more. And you know they’re considered hazardous waste.”

A few days later, his administration announced it was blocking a rule that would allow for older incandescent bulbs to be phased out for the sake of the planet and instead require people to use energy-efficient lightbulbs.

In July, he explained why he fought for the rule change. “[Older incandescent bulbs] look better, they make you look so much better,” he said at a White House event. “That’s important to all of us.”

Unsure how dishwashers work, but he’ll make them great again

Trump has taken issue with how dishwashers currently work, saying they don’t use enough water to clean dishes. (By the way he described them, it does not sound like he has ever loaded a dishwasher.) The president then promised to “approve” new dishwashers that will allow your dishes to be “beautiful.” It remains unclear how he would pull this off.

“I’m also approving new dishwashers that give you more water so you can actually wash and rinse your dishes without having to do it 10 times or five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. Anybody have a new dishwasher? I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry for that. It’s worthless. They give you so little water. Do you ever see it? Air comes out? So little water,” he said at the December rally in Milwaukee.

He went on: “So what happens? You end up using it 10 times, and the plates, then you take them out and doing the old fashioned way, right? But what do you do? You’re spending 10 times for the electricity, right? So I’m putting the water back. Most places have so much water, they don’t know what the hell to do with it. A lot of people don’t realize that. So dishwashers now, you’re going to have just as much as you’ve ever had, and you’re going to use now one shot. Your dishes are going to be beautiful.”

Do you share a hatred for windmills?

Just like Don Quixote attacked windmills because he thought them to be giants, Trump has gone after windmills because he doesn’t really understand how they work. His hatred for this type of technology dates back to the years he spent battling the construction of windmills near his Scotland golf course. The Trump Organization lost a multiyear lawsuit and ended paying the Scottish government $290,000. “You want to see a lot of birds that are dead? Go under a windmill sometime,” he said at a campaign event in Tulsa, Oklahoma in June.

As part of his reelection pitch, Trump has argued that windmills would be widespread if he had not defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. “They’d be knocking out those birds left and right,” he said at a rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in December. Those windmills. Wah, wah, wah.”

He then engaged in some role-playing, making fun of both windmills and climate change. “‘Darling, I want to watch television tonight and there’s no damn wind. What do I do? I want to watch the election results. Darling, there’s no wind,” he said. “The damn wind just isn’t blowing like it used to because of global warming, I think. I think it’s global warming. Global warming. No more wind, no more life. The ocean is going to rise 1/8 of an inch within the next 250 years. We’re going to be wiped out!’”

That’s not at all how wind energy works.

How 5 Startups Failed After Raising More Than 500 Million USD

Business concept; stressed boss and executive team searching ...

Your startup can still fail after hundreds of millions in funding. This may be a scary thought. But it is an important fact to reflect on to stop you from getting lost in the hype surrounding both you and your business.

Everyone is looking for the next big thing. Who wouldn’t want to jump on Amazon in 2000 and experience the ride of exponential growth? The adrenaline rush of billions can blind both investors and founders. But like they say, the faster they climb the harder the potential fall.

Studying how some startups made their millions or in some case billions is a good habit. Yet to avoid future headaches don’t underestimate the power of doing the opposite and taking the time to learn how others failed.

The graveyard of failed startups is overflowing. and you can learn from their mistakes. Below are five of the biggest that crashed and burned despite raising 500M US dollars or more.


#5 Better Place — $675M (RM 2.87B)

Better Place | Crunchbase

The founder Shai Agassi had a bold ambition to dominate the electric charging market. Short battery life had been the biggest obstacle that slowed down the mass adoption of electric cars. Increasing capacity seemed many years away. Agassi’s bright idea was to make it easy to swap dead batteries with fresh ones in under 3 minutes.

Ambition can be seriously attractive. But it can also be a massive weakness. They wanted their battery swapping stations to match the number of gas stations. Can you imagine the cost of this? It seems neither could Better Place. The upfront costs ran wild even in the relatively small test markets of Israel and Denmark. The revenue side was even worse as only one car, the Renault Fluence, was fitted with a removable battery. When stations were set up there weren’t enough drivers to keep them afloat.

The strategy could have been smart in the long with more support. Yet Tesla and other rivals invested in reducing charge times and increasing capacity. This rendered Better Place’s investment in infrastructure obsolete during testing.

The lesson:

When the network costs are high, you must be certain a better alternative model is many years away. As Peter Thiel says “It’s much better to be the last mover.”


#4 Jawbone — $929M (RM3.96B)

File:Jawbone logo.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

In 2019, the global wearables market was worth $32bn. In 2011, it seemed certain Jawbone would be a major market player. It had been around for a decade and with a solid history of innovation. The fitness wearable became tied to their future though. They said all the right things and focused on sleek fashionable trackers.

Yet Apple and Fitbit won the race and Jawbone has collapsed. The problems started early as their big launch the ‘Up’ had a fundamental flaw. It was a fitness tracker that short-circuited when the wearer sweated! This led to a massive product recall. They launched more products but the defects soaked up their income. They needed to raise more money to deal with this. They achieved it but the terms meant things got “really, really complicated” according to Hosain Rahman, the former CEO.

Jawbone became too good at raising money and not skilled enough at creating products. Their focus on style over substance lost to the innovative products of their competitors. They only had 2.8% of the market share in 2016.

The lesson:

Don’t focus so much on being stylish that you forget what your customers want.

#3 Arrivo — $1bn (RM4.26B)

Image for post
Example of Hyperloop concept from WikiCommons

When an idea sounds too good to be true, sometimes it is. Arrivo was designing an above ground hyperloop transportation. Yes, you read that right. If you’ve ever seen Futurama, you’ll know exactly what they were aiming for. Imagine people’s cars being blasted alongside highways at hundreds of miles an hour.

Arrivo’s problem was one of engineering. They never got a test track built nor did they prove the concept. Why did they even get funding? The answer lays in Brogan BamBrogan who was chief engineer at SpaceX. His remarkable resume meant people were willing to believe in his vision. They may have had the ability to create the hyperloop but it needed so much money to test and political buy-in. For a company of 30 people, it just ran out of resources.

Virgin Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Arrivo’s competitors, have significantly more resources. Smaller competitors have the explicit backing of governments.

The lesson:

If you have an idea to change the world you need to have the resources and political backing to do it.


#2 Solyndra — $1.29bn (RM 5.5B)

File:Solyndra logo.svg - Wikipedia

Few industries could have more potential upside than clean technology. The world has opened its eyes to the dangers of non-renewable energy and searches for replacements to an industry worth 3.8% of the world economy. Solyndra seemed like a great bet with its innovative solar panels. Supposedly, their cylindrical panels were best at converting energy.

Some believe their reputation was built on a web of lies. They are under investigation from the US government for using fake records to win a $535 million subsidy. What broke the company had nothing to do with this though. Silicon prices crashed and reduced the cost of building solar panels. Now Solyndra could be undercut because their resource needs were different and they weren’t so lucky.

Now the solar panel market is dominated by low-cost Chinese manufacturers. Solyndra’s technology wasn’t good enough to justify the high valuation in the long term.

The lesson:

Don’t lie to the government as it is only a matter of time before you’re found out. If Solyndra had maintained transparency, they may have been able to increase their costs slower and pivot their product if needed.

#1 LeSports — $1.7bn (RM 7.24B)

LeSports seeks to allay market fears with third round of funding ...

And finally the largest failure on this list, the Hong Kong-based startup LeSports who planned to stream sport across China. Jia Yueting, the CEO, was able to raise money rapidly through connections from his existing businesses.

Their business model relied on winning exclusive rights to the biggest events. They succeeded at some level with Formula 1, English Premier League, and the NBA. Yet they had nothing to make them stand out except these rights. It didn’t take long for people to realize they didn’t have innovative technologies or game-changing distribution strategy.

LeSports had a classic case of the winner’s curse. They won these contracts by paying way more than their rivals were willing to fork out. Revenue from the rights was a small fraction of their costs. The Asian Football Confederation took aways LeSports rights when they failed to keep up payments and they never recovered.

The lesson:

Don’t spend more on something than your rivals if you have no other competitive advantage!


Recap

We’ve looked at 5 massive startup failures. If you’re looking at getting funding now, you must know the money doesn’t guarantee success. Don’t get complacent and focus on your fundamentals. It’s easy to get lost in all the hype or the excitement of raising money.

Focus on how much profits you can realistically generate instead of how much money you can potentially raise.

By Amardeep Parmar

Should you be sleeping naked?

Ever since the dawn of civilization, human beings have worn some sort of clothing. They wear clothes when going out, staying home, working, and while basically doing everything. But sometimes some people prefer to stay naked while sleeping. And while a lot of people find it weird, there are numerous benefits in sleeping without any clothes on. Still skeptical about it? Well, we have listed down some of the benefits of sleeping naked and once you get to know them, more people are likely to join in on the bandwagon of sleeping naked.

5. Sleep better

Caricature, Painting, Fantasy, Creativity

It’s a very simple scientific explanation, in order to fall asleep, your body need to cool down. In other words, a cooler temperature is needed to let your body know that it is time to sleep. When you are wearing clothes, your body remains warmer and add a blanket or comforter with it, you remain even hotter. This hinders your body from falling asleep and makes you more restless in bed. So if you sleep naked, you can sleep better and with much ease.

4. Let the body breathe

Tired Spongebob meme is for people who are exhausted - Insider

Every part of our body is built with active cells. They need air to breathe and to work properly. When you are going to bed with clothes on, your body does not get enough air even though there is zero activity from the rest of the body. This is even more applicable for women who go to bed wearing their undergarments. While going to bed with underwear, you are giving bacteria and yeast to grow in and around your body. So sleeping naked will not let these breed and your body can breathe more freely. And that can be only beneficial for your health.

3. Stress-free with partners

Bed, Sleeping, Couple, Covered, Cover, White, Two

We all know that cuddling and sleeping next to your partner in bed is the best way to reduce your stress levels. However, if you try doing so while naked, then you will feel even better. Why? Well, imagine the simple concept of skin on skin contact with your partner without engaging in sexual activity. You feel the body of your partner and that can help you calm your mind and feel more secure and relaxed. It is also known for lowering your blood pressure and overall make you happier.

2. Become closer to your partners

Couple, Making Out, Young, People, Woman, Man


According to a survey done to over 1000 married British couple, it was revealed that couples that slept together naked were much happier compared to the ones who slept with clothes on. Based on the point mentioned above it is no surprise that the naked partners were more satisfied in their relationship as they had developed more bond sleeping together with no barriers between them, not even that of fabric.

1. Weight loss

weight-loss


Now this might be quite a weird point to make but sleeping naked does have slight links to weight loss. If you have a poor night’s sleep then you are going to be stressed out more often and as a result indulge yourself into junk food. While sleeping, your growth hormones are going to increase and the stress hormone control will reduce. As mentioned earlier, sleeping naked helps you to sleep better. And when you sleep better, your stress levels will be normal and you won’t be gaining weight just by over worrying about certain things.

The Spy Who Inspired the James Bond Movies

James Bond' dies in Moscow: How a British agent tried to overthrow ...

November 5, 1925, a man named Sidney Reilly was executed by the secret police of the Soviet Union. But it was not an execution like any other. Reilly was the greatest spy of his time. He had behind him an activity of over two decades, tens, maybe even hundreds of successfully completed missions (for several beneficiaries!) and personal history so tangled that historians have not been able to decipher it until today.

Who is this Mystery Man?

Information about his origins has never been confirmed, but some biographers claim that Sidney Reilly was born in Rosenblum, March 1874 in Odessa, a city in the Russian Empire, into the family of a Jewish doctor. He studied chemistry in Vienna in 1890–1893 before moving to South America, Brazil, where he worked.

In Brazil, he came in contact with a group of British explorers, whom he got out of a mess in the Amazon jungle. They invited the young man to go with them back to the UK, where he came into contact with the secret service community because of his talents and the fact that he spoke several languages.

The man became Sidney George Reilly in 1899 when he obtained British citizenship following his marriage to a young widow, heiress to a significant fortune (it seems that Reilly was also involved in the death of the young woman’s first husband).

Spying on his own kind

His first missions were to his native Russia in 1899, where he was sent by British services to gather information on oil deposits in the Caucasus. Upon returning to the country with valuable information, Reilly received a permanent position in the British Navy’s intelligence services. He also spied during the Boer War, then in the Middle East (also on the fields, of great interest to the British), and in 1904 he spied for the English and Japanese during the Russo-Japanese War.

Image for post
During the Russian Civil War, Reilly served as the eyes and ears of British intelligence while attached to General Anton Denikin’s White Russian Army.

In 1909, Reilly was sent to Germany to obtain information on the military development of the Reich, tasked with collecting data on German arms factories. Reilly was also extremely active during the First World War, when he successfully performed dozens of missions, infiltrating behind enemy lines.

The inspiration for James Bond

Reilly was described by his relatives as having a great flair, self-control that saved him in many situations, extraordinary courage, and a special inventiveness. He was also a master of disguise and a very good actor, which allowed him to enter many circles over the years. He also had great confidence in himself and his powers, accepting even the most dangerous missions.

Image for post
Different actors playing the role of James Bond

However, his loyalty was not to a country, but only to himself and his bank account, which is why his superiors never fully trusted him. After all, a spy who is more interested in money is an easy target to seduce. Reilly was no exception, as he apparently spied for countries in different countries.

Reilly also had an extraordinary passion for luxury and women. It was said of him that the number of his mistresses was at least equal to that of his passports.

Towards the end of the war, Reilly was sent back to Russia, tasked with finding a way to overthrow the Bolshevik regime. In this regard, he plotted to assassinate Lenin. He managed to get in touch with two bodyguards of the Bolshevik leader, whom he bribed, but he did not manage to carry out his plan.

Vladimir Lenin | Biography, Facts, & Ideology | Britannica
Vladimir Lenin

When Lenin was shot by Fanny Kaplan and Russian secret police began investigations, they also discovered the two men bribed by Reilly. He was therefore exposed and convicted, but in his absence, as the spy managed to flee the country in time. However, he insisted on returning to Russia to continue his mission and was finally captured in February 1925.

Image for post
Sidney Reiley corpse in 1925

Arrested and imprisoned in Lubianka, Reilly allegedly tried, according to Soviet reports, to save his life by offering to divulge British and American secrets. The tactic did not work, and Reilly was executed — by direct order of Stalin — on November 5, 1925.

By Andrei Tapalaga

What I Gave My Kid Instead of a Smartphone

Smart Ways to Stop Addiction of Smartphones in Kids - ZistBoon

A year ago, I spent months undercover on the popular video-making app, Musical.ly. (It’s since been renamed. Nice try, but we see you hiding your lame-app self behind TikTok.) My commitment to using the app as an engrossed child, and not a mildly interested adult, led me on a distressing journey into a social network where kids as young as eight sexually objectify themselves. I found hundreds of self-harm videos that showed suicide options — bathtubs filling, images of blades, a child’s voice saying she didn’t want to live anymore. It only got worse from there.

Nearly every kid in my daughter’s fifth grade class was using Musical.ly to film themselves or each other. Parents insisted the app was harmless fun. (And it can be — initially.) I was prepared for my findings to be met with silence. No one will ever read this, I said to my husband as I published the resulting articleit’s way too long. Parents don’t have time to dive into this sewage. I went to bed that night acutely aware that I’d spent the last few months pushing a Sisyphean boulder up a mountain only to, probably, discover it sitting at the bottom again come morning.

Wow. Was I ever wrong. Not only did parents dive into the sewage with me, they continue to sort through it even now, bringing to light things I missed a year ago. The article has now been read and shared by over a million people across the globe. The lesson I learned? Don’t do nothing just because you can’t do everything.

Since publication, the question I’m most often asked is: Did you buckle under pressure and give your daughter a smartphone for middle school, or did you strap some old soup cans to her body and tell her to shake wildly if she needs to reach you? The answer: I bought her a Gizmo Gadget watch. And it’s been great! I call her, she calls me. I can text and send reminders from my smartphone to her watch, for which I pay a monthly fee of $5. She can text back limited characters. She can also leave me voice messages, which she sometimes does in whisper-screams from school: “You packed me apples again! Everyone else gets Doritos. This needs to STOP!”

Don’t do nothing just because you can’t do everything.

I’m not sure how long she’ll have the watch, but it’s been the perfect device for our needs since she started school last fall. I’ve been looking at the Light Phone II — a “dumb” 4G phone that seems too good to be true. It’s beautifully designed, non-addictive, and smart in its own Zen way. It’s not available yet, but when it is, I’ll take two: one for my daughter and one for me! It’s high time I break up with my soul-sucking smartphone.

That question is one of dozens I’ve received about raising kids who abstain from social media. (I don’t like the word abstain, it sounds like asbestos. Let’s say opt out.) After talking and emailing with hundreds of parents over the past year, I’ve compiled the most common questions — and my answers — below.

By opting out, does your daughter feel cut off from her friends?

No. She has her own iPad and texts from there. And no, she can’t secretly download social media apps because the iPad is technically mine, controlled by my thumbprint. When she wants an app, she walks her iPad over to me and says, “Can I get this?” and then I use my thumbprint to get it for her. Or not. Safari is not enabled on the iPad; instead, she FaceTimes, texts, and plays loads of games. The best part is that it doesn’t fit in her back pocket, so it’s not with her everywhere she goes. It stays home, like a heavy Zenith TV from the old days. Sometimes we even set a bowl of fruit on top of it as decor.

How do I tell a 12-year-old to opt out in a world where even eight-year-olds have Instagram accounts?

Instagram accounts receive clusters of “follow requests” from porn bots. There’s isn’t much you can do to prevent that — even if your child’s account is private — but here’s what you can do: tell your kid to forget she ever read that offer to “text and [email protected]*! ugly girls here,” then try not to think about the profile image that will forever live in her list of “blocked accounts.” Or — and I know this is going to sound crazy but stay with me here — just say no to Instagram? (If you need more convincing, read this. It’s by a child psychiatrist.)

Does your middle-school daughter beg you for a smartphone?

Yes. She also begs for a new puppy, but I’m fairly certain her life isn’t ruined because we only have one dog. When the begging starts, I remind my daughter that some parents won’t allow slime-making in the house. I’m the mom who buys slime-making material in bulk. I let her friends come over and destroy my house with slime. I try to say yes more than no when it comes to most age-appropriate (albeit annoying) interests a preteen might have — yes, even those that come in app form. For example, I say yes to creativity iPad apps, even if they cost a few dollars. There are some very cool drawing apps out there. I drew this weird guy with my finger using a free app called Paper by FiftyThree:

Since you’re not dropping hundreds on a smartphone with monthly data fees, consider spending $20 on a drawing stylus. My daughter sketched the drawing below using a stylus on a $10 app called Procreate, which I said yes to because I’m the BEST MOM EVER (according to her, after I greenlit the purchase). You can even “splurge” on one of those pen holder thingies for the iPad if your kid is the kind that loses stuff.

And if your kid does lose the stylus, no need to pull a Heath Ledger Joker Face. He didn’t lose a $700 smartphone. I feel bad for kids who carry around that kind of responsibility. Children used to want ponies, but we didn’t burden them with the responsibility of caring for one: “Timmy, this pony is your responsibility. If you lose it or it dies, my wrath will destroy you psychologically. Do you understand?” Timmy gulps, nods.

Another way to compensate for being the meanest mom in the world is to give your kid an “art desk.”I bought ours at IKEA for 50 bucks. It’s big and plain and looks like a table. (Important note: We live in a small house. Seriously. Our house is super small. The desk is like an extended member of the family.) I keep it stocked with unusual art supplies, which continue to be more affordable than a smartphone. When my daughter’s friends come over, they gravitate toward the desk. Everything is right there, within reach.

Why an art desk? Kids are often bored, aimless, and lost in a fog of their own misery. An art desk is the clink clank clink of a distant carnival tune. It draws them out of the fog and into a candy land of gel pens, mod podge, acrylics, watercolor markers, and coloring books full of farting cats. Preteens are “all in” when it comes to adorably flatulent Kawaii kitties. Art is something to do. Isn’t that what social media is, too? You don’t have to be good at either to pass the time, but I’m fairly confident working with messy, raw materials to create something beats chasing rainbows in the shallows of social media.

Shouldn’t I prepare my children for the real world? Wouldn’t it be better if they learned how to be safe on Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media apps now?

Do you let your 10-year-old drive the car around town so she’s prepared to drive the highways when she’s 16? We don’t have to prepare our 10-year-old for being 13 or 16 or 27. We can just let her be 10.

Kids don’t belong to parents. Their childhood is on loan to us. It’s our job to raise the kid part the best we can, and then they’re supposed to take it from there. It’s an extraordinary responsibility, isn’t it? To be entrusted with another person’s handful of childhood years. We want to raise our kids to be self-directed, strong, independent thinkers. Social media prompts them to over-examinethe lives of their friends, enemies, celebrities, YouTubers, and an endless parade of strangers and porn bots. The result of this constant “examining” can leave a child feeling empty, or worse: not pretty or funny or talented or well-liked enough. Social media isn’t a game kids play, it’s an online identity they cultivate.

If you haven’t yet handed over the social media keys to your kids, stay strong. We got this, parents. We can do this.

Article by Anastasia Basil