Founded in 2017, the B-L-K app encompasses more than a community for singles seeking a prospective date or companionship. The niche platform has the largest subscription of Black Men & Women and is known as affiliates of the Match.com portfolio. 360 Magazine’s Armon Hayes met with the B-L-K app Head of Marketing Jonathan Kirkland via zoom to discuss what the ‘new wave’ app is all about, its impact and what’s to come.
About six years ago Kirkland began in the digital space with apps like Grindr and Bumble. He shares the experience applying to a Brand-partnership job at Grindr as a joke, which lead to a self-discovery journey that allowed him to discover how he thrives through niche communities while identifying their needs. Subsequently evolving the online dating functionality and perspective, Kirkland goes on to say, “It’s all about making connections, where those connections are is up to you and who you match with.”
When embarking on the new B-L-K app, founders knew that they wanted to keep the Black community at the forefront of the platform. “The Black experience is a unique one, especially in America and [this] transcends into the dating app space,” said Kirkland. Exploding during lockdown at the height of the pandemic, he is committed to growing the platform with the aid of the audience he serves. The app allows for an understanding that connections aren’t merely one-to-one, but a one to many. Diligent in shifting the narrative that Black women are less desirable, the B-L-K app provides the forum to communicate byway fostering understanding.
With 3 million downloads and counting, the cultural app is creating a space for a wide scale of individuals to connect and, most importantly, build friendships. B-L-K remains true to their core demographic by creating dialogue, while also educating through user connections on matters surrounding racial injustices.
Brought to the forefront on the app as well as our lives, B-L-K particularly highlights the global misfortunes of 2020 at the hands of law enforcement to Breonna Taylor & George Floyd, just to name a few. Such criteria are typically not discussed or even introduced on dating platforms, let alone the first encounter with someone new. Furthermore, getting to know someone online can be awkward as it is. Kirkland emphasizes the initiative of the app, stating, “It’s a space where blackness can be celebrated; find more qualified matches and start dating faster.”
When a developer leaves a mistake in application code, it can create a security vulnerability that criminals may exploit.
According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, 63% of Android applications had known security vulnerabilities in Q1 2021, with an average of 39 vulnerabilities per app.
Gaming apps had the most vulnerabilities out of all Android app categories. A whopping
96% of top free games apps were found to contain vulnerable components. Additionally, 94% of top-grossing games apps and 80% of top paid games apps also had vulnerabilities.
Despite the fact that financial apps require some of the most personally sensitive data, vulnerabilities were also discovered in 88% of banking apps, 84% of budgeting apps, and 80% of payment apps.
Education apps have the most high-level vulnerabilities
Not all vulnerabilities are equal. While some may just be minor issues that do not pose any active threat to the user, other vulnerabilities can cause serious repercussions. Let’s delve deeper into the different types of Android security vulnerabilities registered since 2018.
Education apps had the highest number of exploitable Android vulnerabilities with possible fixes as of the first quarter of 2021— 43%. Meanwhile, apps in the top games category had the biggest number of exploitable Android vulnerabilities with no available fixes — 6%.
Overall, 44% of the Android app vulnerabilities were classified as high-risk, meaning they represented a tangible threat.
Ruth Cizynski, the cybersecurity researcher and writer at Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on the situation:
“Given that the Google Play store applications have been downloaded millions of times, it is safe to say they pose significant security risks to Android users. ”
It’s award show season, and just because many are still social distancing it does not mean you can’t have a viewing party with friends and family! The show can still go on with Houseparty.
Houseparty is a synchronous face-to-face social network that enables group video communication through mobile and desktop applications. A user opens the app, and their friends get a push notification that they are “in the house” and ready to chat. The app allows users to come online and be present and see who their friends are talking to and join their conversations. On average, users spend 60 minutes per day in the app chatting with friends.
Get dressed up, pour yourself a drink, open the Houseparty app, and get your friends “in the house” to watch this year’s award shows – and make sure to check out the Trivia categories dedicated to movies! Click on the dice icon on the top right to play all the games available on Houseparty Heads Up! Tap a game and you’ll then be asked to add friends to play with you. Wait for them to connect, then it’s game on!
Fortnite Mode lets you cast your party into Fortnite so you can bring your friends with you while you play. You opt into this feature by linking your Houseparty and Epic Games accounts on the Houseparty app.
Houseparty is a great resource for people right now and that they don’t need to miss out on gathering this award season. Houseparty is secure. There have been no data breaches and no exposure to customer data or third-party accounts. You can read their full statement on data safety to learn more.
Vitalik Buterin, the 26-year-old Russian-Canadian and inventor of Ethereum, has amassed both wealth and fame as one of the most influential figures in the world of cryptocurrency.
A blockchain is a series of transactions that is based off of the other. A record of cryptocurrency transactions takes form, made up of code. This allows for decentralized governance and more secure transactions, because a third, intermediary party is not involved in the transaction. The transfer went from point A to point B (with many microscopic jumps in between). Thus, no data mined. This is what the blockchain platform, Ethereum, is made out of.
This disrupts the way we think about the internet, and the idea was coined by a 19-year-old.
Buterin co-founded Bitcoin Magazine in 2011, which he wrote for until 2014. A noted fan of Bitcoin, Buterin set out to improve the cryptocurrency. According to Nathanial Popper of the New York Times, “the most basic aim of Ethereum was to make it possible to program binding agreements into the blockchain—the smart contract concept. Two people, for instance, could program a bet on a sports game directly into the Ethereum blockchain.” Once an official winner is declared, the money would automatically be allocated to the winner.
In 2013, Buterin published a white paper advocating for what was just his idea at the time, the blockchain platform known as Ethereum. Venture capitalist Peter Thirl then granted him a $100,000 fellowship, which allowed him to drop out of the University of Waterloo in Toronto, and devote his time completely to his idea, which is now worth more than $43 billion.
It is obvious that Ethereum and Buterin have a bright future ahead of them—and blockchain technology, even more so.
According to Matthew Braga of Canadian Business, “major financial institutions are already showing interest in blockchains.” If companies were to commit to Ethereum, they would become much more democratic. Executives would no longer call the shots, but rather, pieces of secure, man-made code would behave transparently in accordance with the consumer’s wishes.
And they have. In 2017, Popper reported that approximately 30 companies would form the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Now, the EEA functions with a global developer community of more than 3,000 contributors. Their mission is, according to the EEA, is to “enable organizations to adopt and use Ethereum technology in their day-to-day business operations.”
Nipping at Bitcoin’s heals, Ethereum holds immense promise.
Duolingo’s Spanish and French courses teach the equivalent of four university semesters of language classes in less than half the time, according to a study released today that compares reading and listening proficiency levels of French and Spanish learners. Consumers can sign up for free at Duolingo.com.
Among the study’s findings:
After completing all beginner-level content in Duolingo’s Spanish and French courses, learners on average reached intermediate levels of proficiency in reading in both French and Spanish.
These learners also approached or acquired “Novice High” proficiency level in Spanish and French listening.
College students took four semesters of classes to achieve similar levels of proficiency.
The median number of hours for Duolingo learners to complete the beginner materials was ~112 hours. By comparison, four semesters of university classes require ~240 hours, based on 4 hours of class time a week and 15 weeks per semester, not including hours spent outside of class.
“Our #1 focus at Duolingo is improving how well we teach,” said Bozena Pajak, head of learning science at Duolingo. “After three years of investing into improving our largest courses by aligning them with the CEFR, adding new content and new features like Stories & Tips, we’re proud to be able to share the results of our new efficacy research. The research demonstrates that Duolingo can be an effective tool for learning a language. The broader implications of this research are that online learning is not only convenient, but can also deliver high-quality education that is comparable with classroom instruction.”
Language skill was measured using the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency tests, a widely used assessment tool.
Designed and developed by Melbourne app development company, Wave Digital, together with creator of The Happy Habit, Fleur Chambers, this beautifully crafted app guides users to find and savour moments of happiness every day.
Fleur Chambers is an internationally recognised meditation teacher and the voice, creative mind and heart behind The Happy Habit. Her vision – to create a more intimate space for her guided meditations. With an existing following of more than 600,000 people across 30 countries, Fleur’s goal was to create a bespoke iPhone and Android app that made it easier to be mindful every day.
The Happy Habit app supports users to create a daily meditation habit. Features include the ability to select micro meditations, which are no longer than 4 minutes in length, and to set daily reminders. The app also provides access to hundreds of guided meditations designed to help users either create, grow or explore. Users can choose to listen to meditations with music or without.
What is truly unique about The Happy Habit app, however, is its distinctive visual identity. This was achieved by designing a unique logo and colour palette, supported with idiosyncratic illustrations to breathe personality into a digital product. The result – an exquisite, organic and approachable visual design with a user experience that is intuitive enough to easily guide users on their practice.
Available on iOS and Android devices for free, and with over 750 downloads and almost 3,000 meditations played in its first 30 days, The Happy Habit app is quickly making happy the new normal.
For almost a century now, Scrabble remained to be one of the most popular word games in existence. It’s not only a fun way to spend time with friends and family, but it’s also an effective way to strengthen your vocabulary, spelling, and grammar for whatever language you play it in, if not English. This is especially true if you take the time to learn new words while you play, rather than just playing the words and moving on. Even beginners who typically rely on outside word unscrambling tools like Unscrambled Words for them can learn from playing Scrabble because there’s always a chance to look up one word and discover five or ten more based on the definition, synonyms, and antonyms. Considering the puzzle features, it also boosts your mental performance, as well as your mood and happiness levels. However, these benefits are more pronounced if you’re actually great on the board and win some if not most of the games you play.
But even for a pro, it’s not unusual to go through a series of winless encounters from time to time. Especially if you’re trying to learn Scrabble or are used to winning or scoring high marks in competitions, this can be overly intimidating. If this sounds anything like you, this article is definitely written for you.
To help you out, here are 7 tips to learn and get better scores at Scrabble:
1. Use word unscrambler tools
One thing about Scrabble is that it looks virtually easy from an overall view. However, things get tougher when you’re in gameplay and find yourself with letter tiles that seem virtually impossible to come up with a word from, based on what’s already on the board. But if you’re tired of passing on rounds, there’s a way out of this frustration. According to the guys from Unscramblex, this helpful tool can help you unscramble letters and create words from tiles you’d never thought would be possible. A word unscrambler could be just the tool you need to improve your scores in games like Scrabble and Words with Friends. Moreover, it makes the game more fun for you as you shine over your opponents while helping you to learn new words.
2. Learn and stick to the rules
Just like any other game, Scrabble has a set of rules that players should abide by. Depending on whom you’re playing with, false moves and the lack of sticking to the guidelines can get you losing points. Everyone who’s ever mastered the game had to abide by the Scrabble rules and they’ll tell you for free, there’s no shortcut to it. It’s also part of the rules that one of the players should be the scorekeeper, tallying points for each player as they make their moves/turns throughout the game.
3. Stay keen
As will be discussed below, to score the highest points in Scrabble, you have to keep your eyes wide open on the board. You should also know when it’s your turn to play and when to replace tiles while keeping an eye on how your points are tallied.
4. Utilize the double/triple letter scores boxes
When playing Scrabble, it’s always important to approach every turn strategically. Remember, each tile/letter has a specific number of points attached to it, but this will also depend on the square you place it on the board. Some boxes on the board can earn you twice or three times the scores of that particular letter, so be keen when creating words and placing your tiles on the board.
5. Target the double word and triple word scores
Conversely, some squares on the Scrabble board also have the power to double or triple the total points scored from a word. Throughout the game, keep an eye on these squares as they can easily transform your status from losing to winning at any point in the game.
6. Fifty bonus points
A Scrabble tile rack normally holds 7 tiles maximum at any one time. If you get a chance to use the 7 tiles in one go, you’re entitled to a 50-points bonus, which is normally referred to as a Bingo. However, you’ll obviously need to have 7 tiles on your rack to pull this off. As you continue to play, you’ll discover that pulling this move off is one of the most satisfying turns in Scrabble. It’s also when you get to earn the most points, especially if your word lands on bonus squares such as double/triple letter or double/triple word score squares.
7. Be smart
In addition to gauging your word-power, Scrabble also gauges your mental sharpness and ability to play with words. As far as being smart goes, some tips you can use to score maximum points in Scrabble include:
•Score big with shorter words
•Release high-value tiles first
•Use prefixes and suffixes to your advantage
•Be strategic with your S
•Use Benjamins wisely
•Adopt defensive playing tactics
•Know when to pass for a better score
•Peruse the Scrabble dictionary regularly
Scrabble is exciting in every way. It provides friends and family members with an opportunity to bond while improving their grammar, spelling, and vocabulary, not forgetting the mental and emotional health benefits the game provides. With the above few tips, you can get better scores in your scrabble games, turning it into a regular enjoyment activity that you can’t seem to get enough of.
Mobile phones and tablets have taken over almost all internet navigation, prompting more and more people to use the small-screened devices for all their internet requirements. Gambling is no different, as customers are turning more frequently to mobile gambling. Online casino operators have long since recognized the immense potential that mobile gambling poses and have responded by releasing hundreds of mobile casino apps. There are plenty of advantages to be enjoyed and in this article, we shall go over some of the most relevant.
Play anytime and from anywhere
Since our smartphones tend to be with us all the time, gambling online no longer has any restriction. Regardless if you are at your dentist’s, on the bus, or on a coffee break, you can just open the casino app, choose a game and play for real money.
Make the best of online promotions
Just because you are playing from your phone does not mean you have to give up enjoying any juicy promotion the casino might be running. The best operators always make sure to have the best offers available for all players regardless of where they are playing from. Some might even release bonuses for app users specifically as a way to encourage more players to download the app.
Play hundreds of games from your mobile
These days, game developers produce their games in HTML5, which allows them to be accessed from both desktop and mobile, without any download time. This allows players to enjoy hundreds of slot games, table games and even join a Live Casino table.
Learn new games privately
An online casino often makes it their business to provide their players with the rules of the game, sometimes even including strategy articles, as well as tips and tricks to win. This is a major advantage, as a physical casino does not in any way offer this kind of information and might even be a little embarrassing if you have to ask for help. Online you can learn anything, privately and without any judgment.
Everyone can join
Everyone can download a casino app and join the fun, whether you are an amateur or a seasoned player, a high-roller, or someone on a budget. Modern casinos present their customers with a wide spectrum of betting options, making it possible for players from all walks of life to join in without any difficulty.
Be wary of the cons
While the advantages of using a casino app are many, there are some cons that we should be aware of. One thing that sticks out, in particular, is the increased possibility of developing a gambling addiction. Vulnerable players can access their casino any time from anywhere making it hard to resist the pull when you are struggling to moderate your gaming time. Something else, that players often find irritating, is the small screen of their devices. While most games work without a hitch, they still need to be adapted to a smaller viewing option and that might mean that certain details and words might be hard to read.
As we have established earlier on in this article, many online casinos have released a mobile app, to allow their players to access the casino from their smartphones with very limitations of place and time. There are plenty of advantages to using a mobile casino app and for those who are ready to start exploring the possibilities, we recommend starting from the best online casinos in the UK.
“It is with pleasure that today we introduce to the world an Application named Whispers; an innovative, digital House of Rolls-Royce, conceived and deployed over two years ago. Whispers is completely unique. It is a digital gateway to a fascinating world beyond, where the exceptional and the extraordinary come together and are tailored to meet the demands and tastes of our eclectic and highly valued community of clients. Whispers offers transformative experiences, rare and desirable products, whimsical treasures and exclusive Rolls-Royce previews that are curated by Rolls-Royce and delivered directly to the fingertips of our global community.” Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
Rolls-Royce patrons are a unique subset of society – entrepreneurs, visionaries, heads of state, royalty, founders and the brightest stars of the entertainment industry. These clients are global denizens, connoisseurs, patrons of the arts, philanthropists, collectors of fine and exquisite items; individuals untethered by common constraints such as time and money.
These individuals have complete confidence in Rolls-Royce’s ability to delight and inspire them. However, due to their highly mobile international lifestyles, they have been seeking a means to have more regular personal involvement with the marque – more experiences, more access, and more immersion in the luxury world open to Rolls-Royce as the world’s leading luxury brand.
Of course, these individuals have existing access to concierge services, personal shoppers and consultants to support various aspects of their lives, but they wanted something different from Rolls-Royce – something above and beyond.
This rarefied group of individuals wanted Rolls-Royce to facilitate a coming together of the extraordinary people who make up the marque’s worldwide client fraternity. Like-minded individuals, they sought to unlock the inimitable treasures that abound within the global Rolls-Royce community and wanted to share their interests, their tastes, their products and collections and their thinking amongst each other.
This is Whispers. A digital House of Rolls-Royce, Whispers acts as an entrepôt to a world that Rolls-Royce intimately and uniquely understands – a digital gateway to a curated world of luxury.
Over two years ago, under a cloak of secrecy, Whispers was launched to a select group of globally distributed clients. A test-phase followed and after garnering a positive response, Rolls-Royce continued to evolve and adapt Whispers in close collaboration with its users. Today, Whispers is fully deployed in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, with large numbers of Rolls-Royce clients already enjoying the benefits of belonging to this exclusive group of exceptional achievers.
Membership is limited to owners of a new Rolls-Royce motor car. Whispers is indeed, the most exclusive members’ club in the world.
A Global Community of Like-minded Individuals
Through Whispers, Rolls-Royce offers, to the delight of its clients, access to an amazing and sometimes whimsical collection of luxury offerings, transformative experiences, exclusive Rolls-Royce previews, inspiring articles and thought pieces, undiscovered destinations and perhaps most importantly, the ability to securely contact and privately commune with some of the world’s greatest minds.
Whispers offers patrons the opportunity to liaise securely with fellow Rolls-Royce patrons, the Chief Executive and members of the Board of Rolls-Royce, to share ideas and networks, business opportunities and social contacts that fortify and inspire those who change the world.
An Inspiring and Sometimes Whimsical Collection of Luxury Offerings
An ever-changing collection of beguiling products has been curated to surprise, delight and intrigue. Members can create their very own bespoke experiences or products. They are invited to work with experts to design and build their own personal racetrack, or commission a personalised Monopoly set incorporating one’s own properties and assets. Need entertaining? – book a private performance by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Commission a beautiful portrait of your favourite pet or design your very own minaudiere.
From truffles to caviar or crafting your own Cognac, patrons can peruse and purchase a diverse and eclectic selection of luxurious products and curiosities – all on the Whispers platform, in the comfort of their own home.
Whispers provides Rolls-Royce clients access to transformative, inspiring and entertaining experiences. From backstage-access at the Grammys, front-row seats at Fashion Week, walking the red carpet at the Academy Awards, VIP previews of Art Basel, to meeting artists at Coachella, players at Wimbledon or athletes at the Olympics, Whispers unlocks a world of exclusive access.
Worldwide luxury travel experiences are offered. An expedition to Antarctica or an African Safari can be facilitated at the touch of a button. And, of course, Whispers members are invited to join Rolls-Royce at exclusive, hosted experiences, for example, an Art Weekend visiting the private collection of one of the world’s most prestigious collectors, or a weekend at the sumptuous Villa D’Este Concours D’Elegance. Members may receive an invitation to an intimate dinner on the production line at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, or even a private, curated tour of luxury goods manufacturers in the capitals of global luxury. Additionally, members of the Whispers community receive exclusive world-previews of new Rolls-Royce products and offerings before they become public knowledge.
As global denizens and owners of a Rolls-Royce, the marque’s patrons are accustomed to effortless luxury travel. Now, drawing on Rolls-Royce’s global presence and unique immersion in the world of luxury travel, clients receive recommendations, via Whispers, of new or little-known but highly recommended hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs around the world – many of which are endorsed by fellow-members who have come across them on their own world travels. Assistance is available to plan itineraries and ensure the very best seat or suite is secured.
Inspiring Greatness through Evocative Thought Pieces
Whispers collates inspirational ideas and creative thinking gleaned by Rolls-Royce’s own Luxury Intelligence Unit from around the globe. Inspiring thought pieces are tailored according to the patron’s personal choices and interests. Philanthropic endeavour, sporting achievements, artistic excellence and cultural idiosyncrasies feature in editorial content designed to enlighten and inspire the reader.
Whispers is an exclusive, digital home for Rolls-Royce clients around the world. Constantly adapting and refreshing to always ensure that its content remains current, relevant and in-line with the client’s interests, Whispers draws together many of the world’s most affluent and interesting people. Private, curated, inspiring and lovely, Whispers is truly the most exclusive Members Club in the world.
By now we should all be familiar with the pace of technology, one of the last great frontiers for the entrepreneur. Even though it doesn’t occur to us in the moment, new innovations continue to shape our world from year to year.
Compare the year 2020 to the turn of the century. In the first two decades of the 21st century, we’ve gotten used to social media, 3D printing, blockchains, eBooks, CRISPR gene editing, online streaming video and the wide-scale adoption of mobile phones. Likewise, we started the new millennium not knowing the names of Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, Uber, AirBnB or Twitter.
What do the coming years bring? Our best economic and technological forecasters have picked a few rising stars in tech innovation who just might sculpt the next horizon in industry.
We’ve all heard of marketing companies collecting data on mobile users to use as research on user behavior, but StartApp simply has more data than anybody else. Tapping a billion active mobile users every month across 350K apps, StartApp anonymously logs this user data and then packages it for sale to companies to help them make better decisions about development, user interface design, and marketing. Having grown from $200K to $37 million in revenue, StartApp is poised to be the Amazon of customer service information.
While we were all anticipating the advent of driverless cars, still a hazy future promise, it occurred to our AI scientists that the experience of driving just isn’t documented enough to teach it to a robot. Nauto is one company helping to fix that, by building an autonomous driving data platform. Using cameras both exterior and interior, Nauto systems track both the road conditions and obstacles and the driver’s reactions, showing us what we respond to and how fast. It’s also aimed at reducing driver distraction and fatigue. With over $1 million in investor funding raised so far, the company aims first to enable better driver-assistance technology, before aiming at removing the need for a driver completely.
Evisort is simple to explain: It’s “Google for contracts.” Except, rather than just automating text search, it’s an expert system trained for the legal profession, allowing it to parse out key dates, names, provisions, limitations, dollar amounts and legal clauses. This turns out to be a huge part of the day for anybody working in the legal profession, where the average lawyer might handle dozens of contracts numbering 30 pages or more per week. Human contract review is costly, time-consuming, and prone to errors, so an automated AI for contract management is something every legal worker wants. Evisort has raised over $5 million in investor funding and been praised in both Forbes and Harvard Law Review.
The hospitality industry has been late to the party of industries changed by technology, but its turn has come. CloudBeds is a smart business management software for hotels, with an end-to-end platform that handles the unique challenges of property management and booking together with business management. The result is that hotels run better and make more money. Hotels, being a future-proof industry that online commerce can’t replace, are going to be around for a long time, and CloudBeds raising $20 million in investor funding shows that they’re going to be offering something every hotel wants.
The most senior member on this list, SnapChat has been in business for most of the 2010s, but it’s the social network platform with the brightest future. Just as Facebook took the crown from MySpace, everyone’s been counting the days until Facebook finds itself left behind by the next generation of web users. But which social network will it be? With a user base approaching 210 million people across 22 languages, SnapChat is a social network geared for the mobile platform and more favored by younger generations.
Much of the technology in recent years is driven by the advent of large data and deep learning methods in artificial intelligence. There are many more industries that can be innovated to the same degree that the above list has been – aspiring entrepreneurs take note!
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