Explore further Citation: Dark matter could provide heat for starless planets (2011, April 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-dark-starless-planets.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com Dark matter: Physicists may have found piece of the puzzle While no one knows exactly what dark matter is, it is believed to make up about 83 percent of the universe. The most accepted theory is this dark matter is made up of what are called WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles.These WIMPs interact with regular matter by a weak nuclear force and gravity, but they are also antiparticles. When two WIMPs come together, they work to annihilate each other and cause a burst of energy.Hooper and Steffen suggest that should this dark matter be trapped within a planet’s gravity, the bursts of energy could produce enough to warm the planet. When it comes to Earth, the energy that could be produced is low, but in areas of space where there are high densities of black matter; Hooper and Steffen believe there is the possibility of finding planets that could be warmed in this way.Within the innermost regions of the Milky Way, density of dark matter is estimated to be hundreds or thousands of times that in our solar system, and it is in these areas that Hooper and Steffen believe finding a planet heated by dark matter would be most plausible.Traditional planets, heated by stars like our sun, are dependent on the life of that star. This theory would make these dark matter planets have a large advantage over those tied to a star, as the dark matter could provide heat for trillions of years.Hooper and Steffen admit that they currently do not see a way of detecting any of these possible dark matter planets in the near future, but that in theory, it is possible. More information: Dark Matter And The Habitability of Planets, Dan Hooper, Jason H. Steffen, arXiv:1103.5086v1 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1103.5086 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — In a recent paper posted at arXiv.org and submitted to Astrophysical Journal, Dan Hooper and Jason Steffen, physicists at Fermilab in Illinois, present the theory that cold and dark planets, not heated by a star, could be heated by dark matter. In theory, this dark matter could produce habitable planets outside of what is known as a habitable zone.
Explore further More information: www.joulies.com/ The Dave’s as they’re called, won’t let on what exactly is inside the beans, but they claim its safe enough to ingest. They refer to it as a “non-toxic phase change material.” The outer cover is all stainless steel, which they say is the same grade as that used for cutlery, which they point out, has a very long safety record as a means for both the drinking of hot beverages and for stirring them. Citation: Engineers introduce ‘beans’ to cool and then maintain hot beverage temps (2011, May 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-beans-cool-hot-beverage-temps.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Genes involved in coffee quality have been identified Coffee Joulies cool your coffee to a drinkable temperature in under 90 seconds. A natural question might be to ask if the beans might work for cold beverages as well, as a replacement for ice cubes, but that question has not been addressed thus far. At this point it would seem unlikely as there is no indication that the special ingredient inside the beans would absorb and hold any more of a chill than freezing anything else and dumping it in your cup. At any rate, to use Coffee Joulies, once on the market that is, coffee drinkers would place a few of them in a cup, pour in their hot beverage of choice, wait a moment for the beans to cool, then commence to drinking. Afterwards, the beans could be washed the same way as other stainless steel utensils, though they likely would only need a little rinsing. No word yet on whether the phase-change material inside the beans degrade over time, and if so, how long it might take. (PhysOrg.com) — Buddies and mechanical engineers, Dave Petrillo and Dave Jackson, have, thanks to Kickstart.com, begun a business selling the Coffee Joulie (clearly a play on the word for joule, a unit of energy, and jewel, the stuff you wear as bling), a stainless steel bean they’ve invented that will first cool a hot drink, then maintain it at a consistent 140°F (60° Celsius) temperature for up to five hours if the container is kept closed. Generally used with more than one “bean” at a time, Coffee Joulies have a special secret ingredient inside of them that works first as a heat sink; absorbing heat from the hot coffee or other beverage that surrounds them, until reaching 140F°, at which point the secret ingredient melts causing it to reverse course and to then start working as a heat source as the absorbed heat is radiated back into the beverage as the secret ingredient slowly solidifies once again.
Citation: Researchers modify harmless bacteria to kill harmful bacteria (2011, August 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-harmless-bacteria.html Explore further P.aeruginosa is a common microbe that is responsible for difficult to treat infections in people, particularly those with comprised immune systems. It generally colonizes the gastrointestinal tract or the respiratory system and is believed to be responsible for up to ten percent of all hospital acquired infections. The general approach to treating it is massive amounts of antibiotics which don’t always work and also tend to kill off good bacteria in the process.To get around this problem Poh and Chang modified the DNA of E. coli in such a way as to allow it to be able to detect LasR, a molecule used by P.aeruginosa bacteria to communicate with one another. When the LasR is detected, the E. coli begins producing a toxin called pyocin until it’s full, at which point it explodes releasing the pyocin which kills P.aeruginosa by eating holes in its exterior, allowing its innards to pour out.This approach is the first time that bacteria have been used to kill other bacteria and is a step up in the ongoing battle against infectious diseases. It’s one that is of critical importance due to the dearth of new anti-bacterial drugs; only two new ones have come on the market in the last ten years and the old ones are becoming increasingly ineffective as new strains of bacteria have evolved that are resistant to them.The research team says that in the lab, the modified E. coli were able to kill up to 99% of the P.aeruginosa when they were in standalone mode. Perhaps more importantly, they were also able to kill off nearly 90% of them when they were banded together in large communities called biofilms, which are notoriously difficult to treat with conventional methods.The one major obstacle to using such engineered E. coli as a stealth agent, at least at this stage, is its inability to actually hunt for its victim, rather than sit by passively waiting for the right bacterium to pass by before exploding itself. The hope is that other bacteria with sensing abilities could be used instead of E. coli; ones that could actually track down the specific target, perhaps allowing for a kill rate of 100%.The next step in the testing of the new treatment will be introducing the modified E. coli into mice to see if it will work as well in a live animal, and also of course, to see what side effects might occur. (PhysOrg.com) — Researchers in Singapore have modified the DNA of one type of bacterium, Escherichia coli, to first sense the presence of another bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and then to explode, releasing a special kind of toxin that will kill it. Chueh Loo Poh and Matthew Wook Chang of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, describe their research in Molecular Systems Biology. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2011 PhysOrg.com No hiding place for infecting bacteria More information: Engineering microbes to sense and eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a human pathogen, Molecular Systems Biology 7 Article number: 521 doi:10.1038/msb.2011.55AbstractSynthetic biology aims to systematically design and construct novel biological systems that address energy, environment, and health issues. Herein, we describe the development of a synthetic genetic system, which comprises quorum sensing, killing, and lysing devices, that enables Escherichia coli to sense and kill a pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain through the production and release of pyocin. The sensing, killing, and lysing devices were characterized to elucidate their detection, antimicrobial and pyocin release functionalities, which subsequently aided in the construction of the final system and the verification of its designed behavior. We demonstrated that our engineered E. coli sensed and killed planktonic P. aeruginosa, evidenced by 99% reduction in the viable cells. Moreover, we showed that our engineered E. coli inhibited the formation of P. aeruginosa biofilm by close to 90%, leading to much sparser and thinner biofilm matrices. These results suggest that E. coli carrying our synthetic genetic system may provide a novel synthetic biology-driven antimicrobial strategy that could potentially be applied to fighting P. aeruginosa and other infectious pathogens.
© 2018 Phys.org A small team of researchers with the Crop Research Institute and Palacký University, both in the Czech Republic, has rediscovered a plant first (and last) recorded over a century and a half ago. In their paper published in the journal Phytotaxa describing their find, Michal Sochor, Zuzana Egertova, Michal Hrones and Martin Dancak describe the plant, a mycoheterotroph called Thismia neptunis. An orchid that never blooms More information: MICHAL SOCHOR et al. Rediscovery of Thismia neptunis (Thismiaceae) after 151 years, Phytotaxa (2018). DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.340.1.5 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. T. neptunis was first discovered back in 1866 by botanist Odoardo Beccari. He drew pictures of it in his notebook. The plant was not seen by other researchers until the team from the Czech Republic came across it last year, and took what are believed to be the only pictures of it ever captured.The plant, the team reports, is small, with a flower just 9 centimeters across. It grows in wet dirt along a river in a rainforest in Matang Massif, Borneo. It is also a member of the mycoheterotrophic family, which means it is not capable of photosynthesis, but instead survives as a parasite. It has no leaves, but its flower is unique, shaped like a bulb with three antennae-looking appendages that stick straight up into the air. The bulb itself is described as pale-colored with red stripes and an opening on top. The bulb is suspended on a whitish smooth stem. The plant’s features are similar to others in the genus Thismia, which collectively have been given the unofficial name of fairy lanterns. The team reports that they found dead flies inside one of the plants, suggesting a means for pollination. They noted also that Beccari did a remarkably good job of capturing what the plant looks like in his drawings.Prior research on other mycoheterotrophs has shown that they are tropical plants with more structure underground than above—the flower is, of course, used as a means of reproduction. They survive by absorbing fluids from underground fungi and typically only bloom for a few weeks at a time over the course of a year. They do not always bloom, though, which suggests the find by the Czech team was quite lucky.Beccarri, the researchers note, also discovered two other plant species in the area—they are hoping to rediscover those as well. Explore further Thismia neptunis: flowering plants (A, B), bud (C), detail of flower (D), section of floral tube and outer view of connective tube (E), detail of inner perianth lobe. Credit: Phytotaxa (2018). DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.340.1.5 Citation: Tropical plant rediscovered after 150 years (2018, March 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-tropical-rediscovered-years.html
I didn’t mind the white lies, but I also felt like something of an impostor. Nothing in my post mentioned my Botox injections, my regular use of Retin-A and vitamin C serum. Nor did it note the major life transitions I’d navigated in the past decade: the deaths of my parents, a divorce, the passing of my cocker spaniel, my sister’s cancer diagnosis. Somewhat reluctantly, I gave in and posted my then-and-now photos with the caption: “Okay, okay.” The feedback was fast and fine. “Hunky then, and more so NOW!” “U haven’t aged at all.” “You are positively ageless, not to mention ultra handsome.” “You wear glasses now. That’s the only difference I can see.” It was fun to watch, especially considering how good many of my friends looked. I posted on their feeds. “Ageless!” “Gorgeous X2.” And, “Which is which?” The whole exercise seemed harmless, if a bit self-involved, despite some concerns about privacy. But as the photos and comments continued to pour in, the challenge soon became a barometer of our views about aging, of how we define beauty, even of what it means to live a purposeful life. Earlier this month out of nowhere came the “How Hard Did Aging Hit You Challenge” that flooded Instagram and Facebook. The game, better known as the “10-Year Challenge,” couldn’t have been easier: Simply post two photos side by side — an early profile photo from 2009 next to a recent one — as proof positive of how you’ve aged. Or, in many cases, miraculously not aged. Kevin LaBar, associate director at Duke University’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, said that two opposing forces might be at play in motivating someone to join the challenge. One he called “age defying.” Positive call outs would appeal to a person’s “pure vanity, with a superficial, narcissistic, ageist bent.” The other he called “celebrating aging,” or embracing an older self, wrinkles be damned. For those people, comments like “older and wiser” might resonate most. Read the whole story: The New York Times
How well do you know about India’s Nobel Laureates? If you don’t, the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week 2014 is here, especially for you. The Embassy of Sweden commemorates the Indian Nobel Laureates at the Nobel Memorial Wall at the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station, in the capital, from 26 October to 03 November.The Nobel Wall is the Embassy’s initiative to spread awareness and knowledge about all the Nobel Laureates from India whilst paying a tribute to their contribution to ‘those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’While last year the Wall celebrated the 100-year anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize in Literature, this year is special with the addition of India’s second Peace Prize Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi. The wall will showcase Nobel Laureates Rabindranath Tagore, CV Raman, HarGobind Khurana, Mother Teresa, Subramanyan Chandrashekhar, Amartya Sen, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and the recent laureate Kailash Satyarthi.When: 26 October – 3 November Where : Rajiv Chowk Metro Station
Flagging revival of tourism which was hit hard by 2013 flash floods as his top priority, Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday said a number of initiatives have been taken by the state government to give the message of a safe Uttarakhand to the outside world so that the tourism industry in the state could be put back on track.”Tourism is the mainstay of our economy. Our efforts are directed towards its revival. Giving the message of a safe Uttarakhand to the outside world is necessary for this. Hence we are focusing as of now on the Char Dham and Mansarovar pilgrimages. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJI”Once we succeed in achieving our priorities, we will shift our attention to the redressal of?the problems of employees, ” Rawat said addressing the sixth session of technical and field employees association of Uttarakhand Jal Sansthan here.Noting that employees can contribute significantly towards putting tourism and the state’s economy back on track, Rawat asked them to prepare an atmosphere conducive to the state’s rise on the growth trajectory over the next six months.He said the state has not been able to benefit from a number of central schemes due to its incapacity for increased spending.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Bharatiya Mahila Bank Limited has organised Hastkala Utsav from March 7 to 15 at Dilli Haat, Janakpuri, in the Capital. Addressing the gathering at the inaugural function Usha Ananthasubramanian, Chariman and Managing Director Bharatiya Mahila Bank Limited said that the objective of the Utsav is to provide a unique platform to women artisans both individuals as well as Self Help Groups (SHGs) to display their talents. The Bank is happy in being part of bringing out the talents of women, she added. The Hastkala Utsav, an exhibition-cum-sale of handicrafts and handloom artifacts, created by women artisans was inaugurated by Lalitha Kumaramangalam, Chairperson National Commission for Women, on March 7.S.M. Swathi, Executive Director, Bharatiya Mahila Bank Limited, said that the Utsav, being organised in collaboration with Consortium of Women Entrepreneurs of India (C.W.E.I) will have about 50 stalls and will help in encouraging Indian Handicrafts. Groups from across the country will be participating in the Utsav.
AB de Villiers hit a rapid 64 to lift South Africa to a competitive total of 283 for seven in the series-deciding third and final one-day international against New Zealand on Kingsmead on Wednesday.The South African captain was the only batsman who made batting look easy against a steady New Zealand bowling attack on a pitch which offered the New Zealand bowlers good bounce and some sideways movement.De Villiers hurried to a half-century off 38 balls before being bowled by Doug Bracewell after a 48-ball innings which included eight fours and a six. Also Read – A league of his own!When De Villiers was on 19 he reached 8000 runs in one- day internationals in his 182nd innings – the fastest to the milestone. The previous record was held by Sourav Ganguly of India, who took 200 innings.After a poor batting performance in the second match in Potchefstroom, where they were bowled out for 204, South Africa fulfilled their objective of making a solid start as Morne van Wyk (58) and Hashim Amla (44) put on 89 for the first wicket.But the scoring rate was languishing until De Villiers and David Miller (36) put on 86 off 65 balls for the fourth wicket. Left-arm opening bowler Ben Wheeler took three wickets but conceded 71 runs, while medium-pacer Grant Elliott bowled ten overs in an unbroken spell and took two for 41.
The Embassy of Hungary and the Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre in association with the Sree Arts commemorated the Day of Hungarian Culture with a bouquet of events on January 30. It touched the fields of art, music and dance and literature. In the presence of dignitaries and eminent artists, ‘Dreams of the mind’ presented by two contemporary Hungarian artists Csilla Babinszky and Zsuzsa Moizer commenced. The chief guests for the evening included Mr Gyula Petho, Ambassador of Hungary, Dr Alka Pande, Curator and Art Consultant, Visual Arts Gallery and Dr Alka Raghuvanshi, eminent artist, curator and critic with Mr Sandeep Marwah, Mr Vijendra Sharma and Mr Jitendra Padam Jain as the Guests of Honour and Mr Qazi Raghib as the special guest. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe two Hungarian contemporary artists Csilla Babinszky and Zsuzsa Moizer applied traditional themes and forms through a unique personal discourse by using a contemporary approach and spirit. Babinszky’s large-scale, mixed technique paper series “Strange Angels” explores the female being in the universal context, inspired by and at the same time questioning the beauty and its major appearance. These collage-like drawings use several instruments like gold gouache and silver graphite, aquarelle, colored pencils, acrylic. She says, “Art for me is connection. Staying connected with the genuine question’s conceptual and visual outcome.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMoizer’s intimate human figures and zoomorphic creatures are exploring the human existence, fragility and evanescence within the natural environment and social context. The new series of water colour paintings are realistic forms of nature towards lyrical compositions, which refers to a subjective landscape instead of a real world. The best approach to her characteristically tender images is probably through the topics of women’s search for identity, and gender roles.
Are your nails brittle, discoloured, growing slowly, weak or easily breakable? Use different mixtures like olive oil and lemon juice or soak your hands in some beer, suggest experts.Olive oil and lemon juice mixture: Apply the mixture of a teaspoon of olive oil and a few drops of lemon juice to your nails and massage it thoroughly, let it soak in, then slip soft manicure gloves on and let the mixture work its magic overnight.Sea salt treatment: Mix together two teaspoons of fine sea salt with two drops each of lemon juice or oil, myrrh oil and wheat germ oil. Put this mixture in Luke warm water and soak you hands for 10-15 minutes. Repeat it twice a week. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBeer therapy: Take a half cup of beer, mix it with warm quarter of a cup of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Now, soak your hands in the mixture for 10 minutes until the nutrients get soaked in.Egg yolks and milk: Moisture is boon to nails. Massage the mixture of egg yolk and milk onto your nails that helps you to retain moisture overnight.Vaseline: In addition to curing various skin problems this petroleum jelly is also useful for curing brittle nails. Simply smear Vaseline once a day onto your nails for healthy nails. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveHerbal mask: Mix a teaspoon each of chamomile and peppermint tea in a cup of boiled water and allow it to soak for an hour or half, and remove the herbs away. Then add a few drops of olive oil and two teaspoons of wheat floor. Stir it well, apply it to your nails and keep it on for half an hour.Avoid nail polish remover: Nail polish remover consists of chemicals, enemy of skin, it not only damages your skin but also make your nails brittle. Instead of using nail polish remover go for cheap perfumes or natural nail polish remover.
Kolkata: A tweet made by BJP’s Asansol Lok Sabha candidate Babul Supriyo is now under the scanner of the Election Commission where he is seen recording the party’s theme song and checking the audio after recording.”With immense pleasure, I want to give you all a sneak-peek of the BJP campaign song recording. Giving my voice to Amit Chakraborty’s lyrics was such a delightful experience. I hope you love what we created,” Supriyo tweeted, uploading a portion of the video. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseAfter being served a showcause notice by the EC in this regard, the singer-turned-politician had replied that he himself didn’t bring the song in the fore but it was the media that had done so. The EC had showcaused him after it seemed that he had promoted the song without media certification, on the electronic media and social media platforms. “Babul Supriyo has sent a reply and it is still under consideration of the Commission,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Bengal Sanjoy Basu said. Supriyo had reportedly not taken the nod of the commission before releasing the song. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA senior EC official said that Asansol Mayor Jiten Tewari’s reply to his showcause notice is also being examined by the commission. The EC had showcaused Tewari for allegedly promising contracts to the councillors if they could provide lead for Trinamool Congress candidate Moon Moon Sen’s victory from the Asansol seat. Meanwhile, the Bengal CEO’s office on Friday assured facilities of ramps, drinking water, medical kit, proper lighting arrangement, help desks, proper signage, toilets etc. for facilitating differently-able voters. Basu further informed that strict vigil of the EC, coupled with help from the state administration, has led to the seizure of 98 guns, 295 rounds of ammunition, 61 bombs, 2,087 litres of illicit liquor, 356 litres of country spirit and cash worth Rs 70,31,595.
Kolkata: United Group, an export house operating from Falta Special Economic Zone in Bengal, is setting up a new factory for the production of electric bicycles with an investment of Rs 25 crore. The company plans to roll out e-bicycles in the next three to four months from this new unit. The catalogue for the entire range of the e cycles was inaugurated by Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh on Tuesday.”Environment friendly bikes and cycles are the need of the hour with vehicular pollution posing a serious health hazard in a city like Kolkata. The e-bicycles are being produced using advanced technology to ensure that they have good longevity,” Ghosh said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe e-bicycles which will be powered by advanced lithium ion battery and high-tech motors will be greatly beneficial for those interested in adventure sports with cycles. “Adventure sports with bicycles are very popular in Europe and is evoking great interest among the young generations in the country and Bengal too,” said MD of United Group Subir Ghosh. People from the urban areas are the prime target for these e-bicycles whose price will be in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 3,000. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe company has set a target of producing such e-cycles worth Rs 50 crore in the first year since its inception. United Group that already has its manufacturing unit at Falta exports bicycles mainly to Europeon countries such as Poland, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Spain , Holland, Slovenia to name a few and also in Indian markets. The company has recently completed the tender of Delhi Police for MTB bicycles custom built to their colour choice, specification and logo. The first lot of 700 will be used as a green pollution free endeavour of Delhi Police.
Patna: Union Minister Giriraj Singh’s “reluctance” to contest Lok Sabha polls from Begusarai was comparable to a kid refusal to attend school in the event of failing to complete his homework, the CPI candidate from the seat Kanhaiya Kumar has said.”Watched the news on TV and learnt that the BJP minister known for sending off people to Pakistan on free of cost tours is not ready to come to Begusarai for contesting the polls”, Kumar said in a Facebook post late Monday night wherein he did not mention Singh by name. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfA firebrand BJP leader, Giriraj Singh had caused a stir ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls when he said “those opposed to Narendra Modi should go to Pakistan.” He has continued with similar outbursts since then, the latest instance being his threat that those not coming out in support of the Prime Ministers Patna rally on March 3 would be deemed “anti-national” even though he himself ended up remaining absent on account of ill-health. “I have a nephew who, similarly, refuses to go to school whenever he fails to do his homework. But even he never thinks of sending the teacher to Pakistan. Neither does he hate anybody nor he wants to get anybody expelled Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsivefrom the school”, Kanhaiya Kumar added sarcastically in the post. “This is the real India, vastly different from the shrill debates one watches on news channels”, the former JNU students union president, who first came into limelight upon being booked for sedition in connection with alleged raising of anti-national slogans at a function held inside the varsity premises. Kumars remarks came in the backdrop of Singh expressing unhappiness over his Nawada seat going to ally LJP this time. On Monday, he camped in New Delhi where he is believed to have tried to apprise the BJPs top leadership of his sentiments.
Mickey Rooney had one heck of a crazy life. Hot and cold affairs with numerous big name women. Yes. Problems with booze. Absolutely. Gambling debts up the wazoo. That too. Reckless, driving-your-publicist-batty behavior. Oh yeah, big time. When it comes to fast-living, hard-partying cred, today’s celebrities can’t hold a candle to the outta-control behavior of one of Old Hollywood’s all-time bad boys: Mickey Rooney. Ironic, really. For a lot of us, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of that red-headed, snaggletooth, bundle of energy is wholesome Andy Hardy — the character Rooney played in no less than sixteen films, from 1937 to 1946. But the actor was nothing like his Gee Whiz! and Aw Golly, Dad! on-screen alter ego.Studio publicity portrait of Mickey RooneyUpon Rooney’s death in 2014, Vanity Fair dubbed him “the original Hollywood train wreck”. That was not hyperbole. Rooney struggled with drug and alcohol addictions.AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsHe was a compulsive gambler, who once lost over $50,000 at the Riviera Casino in Las Vegas (much to the dismay of the mobsters who owned the establishment) and who had to file for bankruptcy (twice). And then there were the women. Lots…and lots…of women.Born Joe Yule Jr. in Brooklyn, New York, to a show-biz family, Rooney first appeared on stage at just 17-months-old, as part of his parents’ vaudeville act.Mickey Rooney with Judy Garland in ‘Love Finds Andy Hardy’ (1938)His talents included singing, dancing, acting, playing drums, and playing the piano. He got his big break playing the mischievous sprite Puck in 1935’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but really rose to stardom in 1937 in the Andy Hardy films, playing a small-town boy who took beauties like Lana Turner and Esther Williams for a spin in his Roadster.Mickey Rooney & Diana Lewis in the film Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940)The diminutive actor (standing 5’2”) may not have been much in the looks department. In his 1991 memoir, Life Is Too Short, Rooney admitted as much, writing, “I was a gnomish prodigy — half-human, half-goblin, man-child, child-man.” But the guy had…something. Rooney, the highest-paid actor and biggest male box-office draw in the world for three consecutive years — 1939, 1940 and 1941 — was catnip for some of Hollywood’s most beautiful women. “He went through the ladies like a hot knife through fudge,” said Ava Gardner.Ava GardnerShe would know: The legendary beauty was Rooney’s first (of eight) wives. Rooney once said that he tried to make up for being short “by dating tall, beautiful women”.Short ones too: Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland were supposedly three of his many high profile affairs. Of Turner Rooney would say: “You may wonder what she saw in me. I don’t know. I do know that on the dancefloor I could make her breathless.”Lana Turner by Paul Hesse, cover image of Photoplay, October 1946Commenting on his many marriages, he once joked: “There’s a Mickey Rooney’s Former Wives Marching Band.” Leading the way was Gardner, a 19-year-old starlet, whom the actor pursued relentlessly. She would relent and regret it almost instantly.The two got hitched in 1942, and just a month after their honeymoon, Rooney hooked up with another woman — in the couple’s bed, no less. (At the time, Gardner was laid up in the hospital, recovering from an inflamed appendix.)Rooney entertains American troops in Germany, April 1945His cheating would continue, and at one point a contrite Rooney bought his wife a huge diamond to make amends. But a week later, deep in hock to some unamused bookies, Rooney asked Gardner to give the rock back to pay off his debts. Rooney’s gambling addiction and his frequent visits to Hollywood brothels — one of which Milton Berle, of all people, introduced him to — put the kibosh on their marriage.Rooney knew he was safe. Studio execs knew all about his peccadillos and worked overtime trying to keep the movie-going public from learning the truth.In 1943, when Gardner had had enough and tossed him out of their home (apparently, Rooney had been showing off his little black book of mistresses to buddies — with Gardner in the room!), she received an unwelcome visit from Eddie Mannix, employed by MGM’s top brass to keep their stars’ private lives out of the tabloids.Rooney and Red Skelton on The Red Skelton Show in 1962He explained to Gardner that if she went public with her husband’s antics, she could kiss any chance of Hollywood stardom good-bye. In exchange for her staying mum, the studio gave her career a big boost.Marriage number two, in 1944, was to Betty Jane Baker, a backing singer for Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. The couple had two sons, and were divorced in 1949.According to The Life and Times Of Mickey Rooney by Richard A. Lertzman and William J. Birnes, who interviewed the actor shortly before his death, Baker walked into Rooney’s dressing room and found her husband in a compromising position with Elizabeth Taylor, then 14 and a fellow MGM star.Mickey Rooney speaks at the Pentagon in 2000 during a ceremony honoring the USOActress Martha Vickers, whom Rooney married in 1949, was unlucky number three. The couple, who had one son, divorced in 1952. By the age of 35, he was on his fourth marriage: American actress Elaine Devry. They were married in 1952; six years later, Devry, citing his gambling and infidelity, filed for divorce. Carolyn Mitchell, whom he married in 1958, came next.The two had three daughters and a son. Mitchell would be murdered in 1966 by a former lover. On the rebound, a distraught Rooney married Mitchell’s close friend Marge Lane.Martha VickersThe marriage lasted exactly 100 days. A secretary, Carolyn Hockett, became wife seven in 1969. They adopted one son and had one daughter, but were divorced six years later. He married his eighth (and last) wife, singer Jan Chamberlin, in 1978.Over the years, Rooney was flip about his many marital failures. “Always get married in the morning,” he once said. “That way if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t wasted the whole day.”Rooney and his wife Jan at a military concert in Beverly Hills, California in 2000As for Rooney’s on-screen life, well, that was more successful. His career would last 80-plus-years, though it had its ups and downs. In 1944, after parting with Gardner, Rooney enlisted in the Army. After completing a two-year stint, he resumed his career, only to discover that the landscape had changed: Rooney was no longer in demand.There were, however, a few high points — most notably in the early 60s, with roles in 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, playing Audrey Hepburn’s angry Japanese neighbor, and a year later, Requiem for A Heavyweight. His last notable performance would be in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Black Stallion 1979.Mickey Rooney in 1986, aged 66. Photo by Allan Warren CC BY-SA 3.0Around the same time, Rooney would star on Broadway opposite another former MGM great, hoofer Ann Miller, in the musical Sugar Babies. There would be appearances here and there, mostly on the small screen. Shortly before his death in 2014, at 93, Rooney would become embroiled in conflict, accusing family members of mistreating him.Read another story from us: The Centennial Couple – Kirk Douglas is 102 and his Wife Anne Just Turned 100!The millions he had earned over the years had vanished and Rooney died owing medical bills and back taxes. A sad end, to be sure, though looking back on his tumultuous life, Rooney remained unrepentant. “I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done,” he would say. “I only wish I could have done more.”
Advertisement In the NBA, when it comes to rebuilding, if you’re not close to winning a title most teams burn it all down and start over. The Pacers and the Celtics are largely in the same position of the Eastern Conference pecking order. Both teams made the playoffs in the East. Both were bounced out of the playoffs in the first round. The Pacers won 45 games and the Celtics won 48 games. Neither are close to matching up with the Cavs.Heading into last night’s draft, the public perception of the teams was that the Celtics were on the verge of contending in the East if they could add a proven All-Star. The Pacers were seen as mired in the no man’s land cycle of barely making the Playoffs and losing early, or missing them altogether.In less than a week, that perception has been flipped directly on its head. Celtics GM Danny Ainge foolishly pinned his hopes on a weak draft. He saw his meticulous plan to accumulate three first round draft picks (3, 16, 23) and leverage them for a veteran star blow up in his face. Jimmy Butler’s name had been thrown around as a player the Celtics were targeting.It turns out Ainge’s collection of draft picks was about as valuable as a collection of Beenie Babies. The Celtics had the misfortune of having the third pick in a two man draft. They couldn’t find any takers for the #3 pick, and couldn’t move up to one of the top two spots to take Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram. Ainge had to eat the pick. Pacers GM Larry Bird wasn’t burned by the subpar draft. He had the foresight to make pre-draft trades for point guard Jeff Teague and forward Thaddeus Young. The moves vault the Pacers from the middle of the pack to the top of a weak Eastern Conference, and all he gave up for the haul was George Hill and a the 20th overall pick.Today in The Herd, Colin said that Bird’s shrewd acquisitions have turned the Pacers from afterthoughts into the second best team in the East. Nobody saw it coming.“The reason Larry Bird had a great night, because Larry Bird knew this is a weak draft. And the Indiana Pacers are now the second best team in the East. Why? Because they got Jeff Teague. Unlike Boston and Philadelphia, Indiana didn’t want to bottom out. They wanted to win games, reward their fans, and remain viable.”The Pacers now have a core group of Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Paul George, Thaddeus Young and an emerging Myles Turner. The Celtics were forced to use the third pick, and took Cal swingman Jaylen Brown. Even if he turns out to be a decent player, he won’t do much to help the Celtics contend next year.The NFL absolute truth that accumulating draft picks is always the best way to rebuild a team doesn’t equally apply to the NBA. Just ask Danny Ainge, he’s still looking to trade the third pick.
Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Amy C. Cosper leans forward in her chair, a mischievous smile creeping across her face. “Can we add more blood?” she asks, her eyes locked on the projector screen on the back wall of the makeshift conference room.The screen frames an early prototype of Bosshole, a mobile game conceived by members of the Entrepreneur staff and built by software design startup Rage Digital. Bosshole–a corporate satire pitched somewhere between the movie Office Space and the classic Nintendo title Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, complete with cubicle zombies and other workplace horrors–is Cosper’s baby: Entrepreneur’s editor in chief formulated the concept, sold the idea to her boss, assembled the creative team and hired Rage to shepherd it to digital life. This powwow, taking place in Rage’s Boulder, Colo., office on a near-perfect afternoon in August 2012, affords Cosper her first opportunity to view Bosshole up close. “Seeing the animation is the greatest thing ever,” she swoons. “This is amazing. It’s beyond all of my expectations.”Cosper conceived Bosshole to expand the Entrepreneur brand into a new digital media realm and to explore the inner workings of mobile application development, a booming business segment expected to generate worldwide revenue of $25 billion this year. The article you’re reading was envisioned initially as a how-to for aspiring mobile software moguls, a step-by-step guide to designing, monetizing and marketing the next Angry Birds or Temple Run.That was wishful thinking. In the months following that August confab, Bosshole grew far bigger and more complex than expected. Originally slated to go on sale at Apple’s App Store in late 2012, the game instead suffered technical setbacks, blew past internal deadlines and did not go live until February of this year. Both overstuffed and underfed, tricked out with complex multiplayer interactions but coming up short on fundamental gameplay principles and mechanics, it remains a work in progress–down but nowhere near out.Forget establishing a blueprint for mobile game development. The making of Bosshole is instead a master class in the headaches and occasional bouts of hopelessness that face virtually every entrepreneur striving to bring a passion project to market.”There was so much enthusiasm when we started. It was just a really cool thing to be a part of,” Cosper recalls a few weeks after Bosshole’s commercial launch, close to a full calendar year after the project’s inception. “But we lost control, and each time there were more bugs to fix and more beta tests to run, the joy was drained out. But we still brought a game to market. We accomplished a lot.”The term “Bosshole” first appeared in Entrepreneur in 2010, “a mashup of the words ‘boss’ and ‘asshole,’ used to describe an employer who makes life hell on earth.”Not coincidentally, the evil boss archetype is a gaming staple dating back to the mid-1970s, a decade before multinational brands like Nintendo and Sega took control of the video game sector, building console titles that sold for $50 to $60. The 2007 introduction of Apple’s iPhone and the rollout of its App Store changed all that, handing third-party developers the keys to application programming tools and giving them a direct-to-consumer digital distribution channel. Virtually overnight, it became possible for unheralded, unproven garage startups to develop and sell mobile games for a fraction of the console cost or even offer them as free downloads, subsidized by revenue from mobile advertising. In the fourth quarter of last year, consumer spending on games optimized for devices running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems eclipsed spending on handheld titles published for the Sony PSP and Nintendo 3DS platforms.The mobile gaming opportunity was simply too potent–too quintessentially entrepreneurial–to pass up, Cosper decided last year. “We have to do this,” she explained. “We’re a media company. This is a new media idea, and we should be playing in this sandbox. All companies have to innovate. This is a way for us to innovate.”Bosshole beat out several other proposed concepts. “Bosshole just fits so well with what we do every day,” Cosper said. “It resonates across all aspects of our brand.”But she also harbored misgivings. Specifically, she questioned the ethics of leveraging that brand, as well as Entrepreneur’s subscriber reach and marketing muscle, to bring attention to a product so far outside the magazine’s wheelhouse. “By essence of writing about it, we’re promoting it. It’s a Catch-22,” she said. “Where is the benefit to our readers? I think the value lies in discussing our experience. We want to help. That’s the goal. And that means we have to be completely honest and authentic about everything we do.”After Entrepreneur Media president Ryan Shea signed off on the project, Cosper began marshaling the troops to spitball ideas via conference call, recruiting me, executive editor Carolyn Horwitz (whose main contribution–rejected–was the concept of a “phantom turd” in the office bathroom that must be flushed before moving on to the next level), associate editor Michelle Juergen and staff writer Jennifer Wang.”The goal of this game is to ascend various levels of ineptitude, humorous obstacles at an organization. Each level of the game represents a layer of bureaucracy and the ascending floors of an organization,” read an early Cosper synopsis. “The ultimate goal here is to become your own bosshole, off the current boss and be in charge.”The plan was for Bosshole to hit the App Store in September 2012, with my corresponding article running in Entrepreneur the same month. For a nanosecond we considered developing the game in-house, but the DIY approach was abandoned given our nonexistent coding skills. However, outsourcing the project proved far more expensive than the $15,000 Shea allocated originally; in all, Entrepreneur would spend about $131,000 to make Bosshole a reality.There will be blood: The team holds an early-stage meeting about game mechanics.”I met with a developer in Boulder yesterday–Rage Digital–to talk about our game app project,” Cosper, a resident of nearby Fort Collins, Colo., wrote in a late April 2012 e-mail. “After several failed and unsettling meetings with developers, I feel pretty good about these guys.” Rage Digital got its start building mobile apps for clients such as Pepsi, Hyundai, HTC and Red Robin, as well as its own TextUs.Biz text-powered business apps–Messages, iPad Receptionist and Waitlist. Bosshole signaled Rage’s entrance into mobile gaming, a segment the firm was itching to tackle. In fact, the team took on the project knowing they would lose money, convinced that the creative possibilities and attendant media exposure would make up the difference.”Games can be very risky and very time-consuming, and they can also be very difficult to distribute in terms of marketing,” Rage president and CEO Ted Guggenheim says now. “What Entrepreneur brought to the table is enough money to where we could afford to take a loss but still have the opportunity to do a top-notch game. They also gave us complete creative license. They didn’t say, ‘Here’s the game, here’s what it has to do.’ They said, ‘Here’s a 10-word idea–can you make a game of it?’ That was huge.”Guggenheim is a music industry veteran who transitioned to the technology space in 2001, becoming a partner at CelebrityAccess.com, an online resource for concert industry professionals. He and creative director Andrew Kimmell launched Rage Digital in 2008, setting up shop in an eyeball-shape stucco building, originally commissioned by an ophthalmologist and designed by modernist architect Charles Haertling. Ed Hahn, a lifelong gaming enthusiast with a background designing e-learning software, joined Rage in early 2011 to spearhead the company’s game development efforts.”For me [Bosshole] is a dream come true,” Hahn told me. “It’s the first project that has allowed me to flex my game design muscles–to take all I’ve learned, and all my years and years of experience playing games and thinking about games, and figure out what’s going to be a good, fun game mechanic wrapped around [Entrepreneur’s] concept. I want to shoot for longevity. I want to have a game that people will come back and play a lot, because that’s how you make money on it.”Stop, drop and roll: Game developer Ed Hahn shows a character’s stages of movement.Hahn fleshed out the Entrepreneur team’s ideas, producing an exhaustive 33-page document that outlined all aspects of Bosshole in precise detail. “The player selects his or her character and begins as a new hire in the lowest ranks of Jabberwocky Industries, the global leader in innovative (and questionable) technology. The player must work their way up the corporate ladder by performing tasks for the bosshole of each department,” Hahn wrote. “As the player ascends to higher ranks in the company, it is revealed that Jabberwocky Industries is disturbingly unethical. This fuels the character’s determination to one day take over the company and clean up Jabberwocky.”The document went on to describe the obstacles that impede the player’s progress, as well as bells and whistles such as multiple gameplay modes that allow players to take over each others’ companies; unlockable content like weapon upgrades and special powers; Facebook and Twitter interactions; and integration with Apple’s Game Center social gaming network. It was a wildly ambitious proposal under any circumstances, let alone for a small startup building its first mobile game on an aggressive schedule and limited budget. And there was no margin for error: Beginning in late autumn, Entrepreneur would run Bosshole teaser advertisements in its pages, promising readers a holiday-season App Store debut.”I don’t know what to expect,” Guggenheim confessed. “But I have to take Ed’s word that we have enough time and that he has the skills.”Confidence was high when we convened for an August strategy session in Rage’s offices. Cosper arrived from Fort Collins on her motorcycle; Entrepreneur director of business development Charles Muselli and vice president of marketing Lisa Murray hopped an early-morning flight from the magazine’s Irvine, Calif., headquarters; and I flew in from Chicago.Geek squad: (from left) Ted Guggenheim, Jason Ankeny, Amy C. Cosper and Ed Hahn.The beta version the Rage team screened for us looked even more dynamic than we had hoped. Hahn had hired Los Angeles-based graphic designer and storyboard artist Eddy Mayer to create characters and office environments; in addition to male and female player avatars, there were the bossholes, plus over-the-top secondary characters like the office drone, the gossiper and the regrettable workplace fling.”Big heads, small bodies–that’s the look we’re going for,” Mayer explained. “Because of the small screen size, it’s important to simplify the characters. You can’t go too crazy with detail, because you lose so much of the line work when you shrink it all down.”Oohing and aahing over the prototype gave way to talk about the business model. Bosshole was built for Apple’s iOS platform. Instead of marketing it as a premium download, Entrepreneur decided to offer it for free, monetizing the game via in-app purchases–specifically, “reputation points” offered to enhance and accelerate the gameplay experience, beginning at 5,000 points for 99 cents.So-called freemium titles available gratis and supported by in-app goods like virtual currencies, additional levels and power-ups have emerged as the de facto mobile gaming monetization model: As of March 2013, in-app sales generated 76 percent of total iPhone app revenue in the U.S. and at least 90 percent in some Asian markets, mobile analytics firm Distimo reports.But developing any application for iOS–let alone one called Bosshole–presents challenges. For starters, App Store gatekeepers are notoriously persnickety about which apps they approve, and anything they deem too edgy or risqué can be problematic. Muselli, who spent weeks studying the App Store ecosystem, warned that Apple’s seal of approval was no sure thing and underlined the importance of allowing extra time at the end of the project calendar to accommodate changes necessary to conform to the store’s developer rule book. It was also critical, Muselli added, that Bosshole be available in time for the 2012 holiday season, when millions of consumers would unwrap new smartphones and tablets and begin populating those gifts with apps.There was also the question of visibility. As of this writing, the App Store offers more than 850,000 iOS apps and games, with roughly 1,000 more submitted each day. Precious few break out and go viral; most iOS success stories are vaulted to prominence by earning a spot in the coveted New and Noteworthy homepage spotlight, curated by Apple editors. But Apple is a cipher wrapped in an enigma and smothered in secret sauce, and no one knows what criteria its editors apply to New and Noteworthy selections.There was hope that the novelty of an established business magazine designing a game would appeal to Apple’s own marketing sensibilities and help score a New and Noteworthy slot. But Entrepreneur also decided to take matters into its own hands: The more content published online, the greater the consumer anticipation, or so the thinking went.Alongside the print ads, the team rolled out a Bosshole website, highlighted by a “Which character are you?” quiz written by Esquire editor (and Entrepreneur contributor) Ross McCammon, as well as an @Bosshole Twitter account. I committed to writing a blog, documenting the app’s ongoing evolution and the intricacies of the mobile gaming business.The meeting stretched more than three hours, followed by a celebratory drink. “What a great meeting, great energy and, perhaps, the funnest project of all time,” Cosper wrote a few days later in a thank-you e-mail to the Rage staff. “In the name of Bossholes everywhere, we salute you.”Then it all went sideways.It’s impossible to identify exactly how and when Bosshole flew off the rails. In September 2012, five weeks after the Boulder meetup, Hahn told me the single-player story was about 70 percent complete. “We’re still on schedule,” Hahn assured me. “There are a lot of late nights and lots of coffee.”But he had made erroneous assumptions about the multiplayer experience, believing it would be largely similar to coding the single-player version. Bosshole began to slip hopelessly behind.”The multiplayer version is a lot more taxing than I originally anticipated,” Hahn admitted in October during a tension-filled conference call. “The volume of code is so enormous. Every tweak or change takes more time to add than it did at the beginning of the project.”Muselli chalked up the delays to Rage’s inexperience. “They’ve done many other apps, but with Bosshole they started doing a lot of things they hadn’t done before,” he told me. “Perhaps allowing only three months of game development was too aggressive.”By early December Bosshole encompassed more than 2.5 million lines of code. The holidays came and went, and the game remained vaporware. The schedule was revised time and again. (“Ed’s infected uvula took away three dev days from our timeline,” Guggenheim explained in one e-mail.) Rage Digital was losing money with each passing day, and by the time February came around, Hahn was forced to abandon some of his more grandiose ambitions in the interest of putting the game to bed. “The idea was that we would do this at a loss, but no one anticipated just how much money we would have to eat,” he says now.When Bosshole finally went live in the App Store on Feb. 23, there was no fanfare, no excitement–no anything, really. Contrary to our initial concerns, Apple approved the submission in about seven hours. Not much else fell in line with our expectations, either.”The final product is pretty close to where I wanted it to be, but the gameplay doesn’t work very well, and the graphics could use an overhaul,” Hahn acknowledged. “But I am proud of what it is. It’s quirky, tongue-in-cheek and fun. We accomplished a lot in a short time.”By the end of May only 5,207 gamers had downloaded Bosshole, but work on the title is not finished–not by a long shot. Hahn continues to update and improve the software, with a focus on implementing the social features envisioned in his original game document.Hahn is not retooling Bosshole from Rage Digital headquarters, however.He left the firm in the spring to launch his own gaming startup, Singularity Interactive.”Ed figured out after all these horrible 18-hour days that he wanted to be in the gaming business more than ever, so he went on to start his own company,” Guggenheim says. “I realized that I don’t want to be in the gaming space at all.For Andrew and myself, working on Bosshole has solidified the fact that we are a design and development company that is best suited to working with brands. None of us knew how challenging [Bosshole] would be. But we came out of it with something to be proud of.”With one chapter of the Bosshole odyssey ending and another just beginning, I ask Cosper the obvious question: Knowing everything she knows now, would she do it all over again?Cosper lets me in on a secret: She’s already mulling a second Entrepreneur-themed game. “There are potential ideas in all the things we cover,” she says. “The magazine is one big, giant gaming opportunity. There’s so much more we can do.” Game TheoriesEntrepreneur asked some mobile game experts to play Bosshole and tell us what they liked, what they didn’t like and how it could be improved. Here’s what they had to say.I think the name and idea are cool. I also like the framework of the game … [but] the feel of the game is off. It feels a bit clunky, and it’s hard to get in a rhythm when playing. It feels hard to gauge when to jump or hit a zombie, and when I get hit, it feels like I’m stuck in mud rather than just slightly penalized.Many people get lost in the clever idea of their game and completely ignore the feel. The feel in addition to the presentation is the most important [part] of development. –Dave Castelnuovo, CEO of Bolt Creative (developer of Pocket God)I found the game to be frustrating due to the way the player controls the character, and also the responsiveness of the controls/gameplay in general. I would look at the core gameplay mechanics (run speed, melee attack, jumping and sliding) and make sure that those core components were as finely tuned as possible. If the game doesn’t do those core mechanics well, then users won’t be compelled to play past the first level.”–Billy Delli-Gatti, senior producer at mobile game development platform provider CocoaChinaThe office theme is a good choice as it can carry itself on its own (see the success of other apps like Kick the Boss, Office Jerk, Paper Toss). However, mixing it with other popular zombie-themed games could be a challenge. While overlap/fusion apps (Zombie Farm, Plants vs. Zombies) have had some success, they are quite rare. It might be a better use of time and resources to focus on building strictly around the office theme, as it’ll also bring better appeal to the targeted demographic. –William Siu, chief product officer at Storm8 (developer of Bubble Mania) Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 15+ min read This story appears in the August 2013 issue of . Subscribe » August 27, 2013 Register Now »
Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. August 14, 2014 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 5 min read Register Now » Beer: an unlikely antidote to sluggish Wi-Fi. (We bet you didn’t see that coming.)If you’re tempted to tip one back when you’re on the bum end of an infuriatingly slow signal, you may be onto something. When you’re finished, you might be able to turn that empty beer can into a Wi-Fi extending DIY parabolic (alcoholic?) antenna. Now that’s desperation.Can you relate? If you’re sick of cruddy Wi-Fi — or, worse, dreaded dead zones — luckily there are plenty of other hacks and tools you can try.Here are five easy ways to boost your Wi-Fi router’s range and speed at home or at the office: 1. Put your Wi-Fi router in its (proper) place. The right place, not under the kitchen sink. For the strongest possible wireless connection, position your Wi-Fi router on a flat surface off the floor, closest to the center of your home, if possible. Somewhere up high and out in the open is best, away from thick, dense brick, stone, metal or concrete walls that could hamper the signal. Even some wallpapers hinder Wi-Fi radio waves (and some are even designed to).Be sure to station your router so that signals will go straight through walls, as opposed to at an angle. Wi-Fi signals significantly weaken when they hit walls at angles, according to Verizon. If you’re in a multi-floor home or office, place your router on the top floor for maximum coverage.Related: How to Create a Super Strong Password (Infographic)You’ll also want to situate your router at least 10 feet away from certain devices and objects that could interfere with your Wi-Fi signal, like refrigerators, baby monitors, microwaves, cordless phones, garage door openers, speakers, halogen lamps and mirrors.2. Switch the channel. TVs aren’t the only gadgets that have channels you can change. To reduce interference from neighboring Wi-Fi networks, switch the channel on yours (according to the instructions on your specific router model) to channel 1, 6 or 11. These are the best and most common channels for wireless networking, according to Best Buy. If you switch and your signal is still no bueno, try another channel (2 through 10) until you find one that maintains a strong connection. Related: Protect Yourself: Turn On This Security Feature in Your Mobile Banking App3. Buy a high-gain Wi-Fi antenna. Most Wi-Fi routers come with an antenna or two, but sometimes they’re not strong enough to send signals to hard-to-reach areas and distant corners. Adding a high-gain or “booster” antenna to your router can fix the problem, instantly extending and strengthening your router’s range. Plus, they give you coverage over large areas, often throughout entire homes, offices, warehouses and outdoor spaces.A decent variety of high-gain antennas are available at most electronics stores, online and off. Consider buying a reliable, widely-used one, like the Cisco-Linksys High Gain Antenna Kit or Hawking Technology Hi-Gain 6dB Omni-Directional Wireless Antenna. Both retail for around $15.Related: John McAfee: You Should Care That Your Privacy Is DisappearingDon’t worry, you don’t have to be a techie-type to install a high gain antenna. Simply unscrew your router’s existing antenna and screw on the new one. No cables. No drivers. No fuss.Remember that beer-can hack? When done right, I hear it can work nearly as effectively as a high-gain antenna and it’s a lot cheaper. I’m just saying. If you’re up for trying it, check out this step-by-step DIY instructional video. Soda and coffee cans reportedly work just as well. Good luck! (If you do try the beer trick, drop a comment below and let me know how you fared. I plan on rigging one up this weekend.)4. Buy a plug-in extender. High-gain antennas broadcast your Wi-Fi signal and Wi-Fi extenders, also called repeaters, rebroadcast them with improved range and speed. Buh-bye, Wi-Fi dead zones. They can be used at the same time as high-gain antennas. PC World contributing editor Lincoln Spector finds extenders more effective than their high-gain cousins, but notes that they’re generally more expensive than them. He’s right. A decent electrical outlet plug-in Wi-Fi extender, like the NETGEAR N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender, will put you back $70. On Networks offers an equally effective extender for just $40.Full disclosure: This article was written in the cloud thanks to a Wi-Fi legup from the above mentioned On Networks extender plugged into my kitchen wall. I plug it in near wherever I work around the house and, when they’re lucky and when I’m off-the-clock, wherever my kids zone out on their tablets and smartphones.The process of finding my extender’s sweet spot is a little hit-or-miss. I often have to move it a bit to find the best location and I occasionally have to tilt the antennas on it. Also, I only use one extender, but you could use more than one, if needed.Related: 5 Gadgets to Make Your Home a ‘Smarter’ Place5. Be a bad sharer. Stop sharing your Wi-Fi network’s name with your neighbors. How? By turning off its Service Set Identifier (SSID) broadcasting option. Doing so blocks people (strangers!) in your vicinity from seeing your network — and mooching off it and slowing it down. More importantly, it reduces your risk of getting hacked. Speaking of security, if you haven’t already, take a moment to password protect your Wi-Fi network.Tell us: What are some tips and tricks for speeding up your Wi-Fi that have worked for you? Related: Crowdsource Your Way to Free Wi-Fi Everywhere
Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 3 min read Mainstream adoption of 3-D printing may be closer than expected.Recent research from Gartner claims that 3-D printing is still at least five years away from mainstream consumer adoption, which “will be outpaced by business and medical applications that have more compelling use cases in the short term.”Related: Why This Entrepreneur Launched in Record Time, But Kept Her Company a Secret Until BlastoffThe truth is that we are already starting to see businesses, both large and small, take advantage of 3-D printers to create customized designs or follow blueprints. The real appeal lies in speedy prototyping and increased accessibility.Speedy prototyping3-D printing allows businesses to really bring their ideas to life in a convenient and immediate fashion — makers can go directly from design to manufacturing. Additional benefits of 3-D printers in business are lower prototype and production costs and more creative and customized packaging options.With the technology rapidly improving to include more features while also becoming more affordable, 3-D printers are becoming increasingly accessible for mainstream adoption. For entrepreneurs and small-business owners, it is also starting to define modern manufacturing and how businesses will run in the future.According to a recent study conducted by my company, Robox, consumers would be three times more likely to invent and prototype new products or technologies if they had a 3-D printer at home. The reality is that entrepreneurs and small startups can now create a legitimate business from their homes with a 3-D printer.Take it from 27-year-old Curtis Ingleton, who founded and currently runs a 3-D printing production and service house out of his house.Related: This Sector Will Drive the 3-D Printing Boom”We have four people in our company and we can do what some well-established Chinese manufacturers can do,” he said.That’s impressive, and paves the way for other young startups and small businesses to accomplish the same.AccessibilityWith major retailers such as Staples, Home Depot and UPS rolling out 3-D printing services in select stores, the technology is becoming much more accessible for both small-business owners as well as the average consumer.Bloomberg states that “Though the devices aren’t likely to create a major new source of revenue [for Home Depot], the chain is betting that they’ll appeal to forward-thinking contractors and do-it-yourselfers.”Entrepreneurs and DIY enthusiasts are all obvious fits for a 3-D printer given its ability to customize or invent any item on the spot. Even Martha Stewart made a public appearance at this year’s International CES back in January to peruse the 30 booths for 3-D printers in search of one to use for her business and everyday DIY activities.Overall, with more people exposed to 3-D printing and the idea of it being easily accessible in the office or home, there’s a huge amount of potential to see more entrepreneurs and small-business owners designing and developing truly unique and effective new items that better the lives of everyday consumers.3-D printing has the potential to significantly shift traditional business models, as entrepreneurs can now also become manufacturers, eliminating the need for warehousing and multiple distributions of products and parts.The key to blending business and 3-D printing technology together in harmony relies on how accessible, adaptable and customizable the devices are. From there, mainstream adoption will come in no time.Related: UPS Makes 3-D Printers Available in Nearly 100 Stores Nationwide Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global October 22, 2014 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.
Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. March 21, 2016 This story appears in the April 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » 15+ min read Tyler Menzel watches television or movies or cable news, and he no longer sees what regular people see. He filters for the magical few seconds — a woman’s uncontrolled smirk, a man’s harrumph, a candidate’s shrug, the briefest of experiences that are, all at once, visually comical and expressive and entirely relatable. He’s trained himself to do this by being editorial director at Giphy, the fifth employee the company hired three years ago. His team used to be one person: him. Now it’s six people. By the end of this year, it’ll be 16. And like him, they will all have an eye for the overlooked. An eye for the moment. And they will transform that moment into a gif.For the uninitiated: You’ve seen a gif before. It’s a looping image used across the internet — the thing that isn’t quite a video, that has no play button and no sound, that repeats until you look away. It’s lingua franca on social media. It’s on the New York Times homepage. It is silly and rudimentary and yet widely beloved, emailed and texted alongside emojis and emoticons. The gif’s inventor, Steve Wilhite, insists it is pronounced “jif,” like the peanut butter, but don’t you dare say it that way. The internet at large uses a hard g, like “gift.” Case closed.The Giphy team Giphy has a big idea: It wants to be the brand that owns the gif — that becomes synonymous not simply with a particular product or service but with the digital thing itself. Crazy? Maybe. It’s certainly an enormous branding challenge. But YouTube managed to own “internet video,” and Google owns “internet search.” Giphy already has a robust, searchable database filled with millions of gifs that it adds to daily, and has created tools so anyone can easily create clips and add to the collection. It has drawn in nearly $79 million in investments, and gets 500 million monthly page views on its websites and billions of views of its gifs. The company reportedly turned down a big acquisition offer from Facebook. So, maybe not so crazy.But none of this is possible without the moment.Tyler Menzel, Editorial DirectorHere are the lengths that Giphy goes to in order to capture that moment. The company has begun live-giffing (or is that giphing?) events — converting memorable seconds from live TV into instantly shareable gifs. This year’s Golden Globes was an all-hands-on-deck situation. Giphy sent two staffers to L.A. to work inside Entertainment Tonight’s production booth, while four others were perched at their office computers — three in Giphy’s Manhattan headquarters, and one in Laguna Beach. They were hunting. Waiting. Anytime they spotted a moment that the internet might enjoy, they spliced it, tweeted it and uploaded it to the site. Things were going fine. There were some OK moments, but nothing stood out. And then while Lady Gaga was walking to the stage to accept an award, looking very self-serious, she bumped into Leonardo DiCaprio. The actor looked up. He was startled, and then, for a split second, his eyes bugged and — wait, what was that? Indignation? Condescension? It happened so fast. “And it was such a small moment. It was such a small moment. But as it was happening, I saw it and was like, That’s not only a gif, that is the gif of the night,” Menzel says. Super Bowl winners have spoken with less enthusiasm than how he relays this story. “As I was cutting it, I couldn’t even explain the moment. I was telling the team, ‘I can’t explain what I have, but I have something great. Wait until you see this. This is going to be good.’” Within seconds, he’d created the gif. The internet hurtled forward. The five-second loop was viewed 50 million times and became the most talked-about moment of the night. Days later, DiCaprio told Vanity Fair that he’d seen the gif, had laughed at it, but remained perplexed by the whole situation. “I guess I’m of a different generation now,” he said. “I have no idea where this stuff comes from or how it’s even captured.”He’ll learn soon. Giphy’s moment has only begun.Let us pause for this important consideration: What the hell is going on here? Why are gifs so desired? So pleasurable? How is it possible for gifs — for the very concept of gifs — to be a business opportunity? It’s not as if anyone will pay to see a gif, at least not any more than they’ll pay to see a JPEG or a PDF or any other standard file format. And that’s all “gif” is, to be clear: It is a type of file. Entrepreneur.gif — there’s the name of a file that might show us all scrambling to make this magazine by deadline, then scrambling to make this magazine by deadline, then scrambling…and so on, endlessly looping. “Gif” stands for “graphics interchange format.” Snooze-fest.Giphy’s top guys — CEO Alex Chung and COO Adam Leibsohn — are eager to indulge these questions. We’re inside their office, a typical startup space with long tables of computers, glass-walled conference rooms and two dogs running around. “Ludwig Wittgenstein was a philosopher who had this language theory: Words are really, really good at literal things but really clumsy at abstract things,” says Leibsohn. (Non-spoiler alert: Both he and Chung were philosophy majors.) And Wittgenstein felt that this limited people’s ability to communicate. But what were we going to do, make another limited language? No.Today, roughly 60 years after ol’ Ludwig fell fatally ill (doctor: “You’re going to die within days”; patient: “Good!” — that’s the tale, anyway), the world has, in fact, developed totally new ways to communicate. “And you realize the trick to getting out of the problem he proposes is not language; it’s visual,” Leibsohn says. Selfies. Gifs. Memes. This is how digital natives express themselves. “So when you start to pull content from culture, you can use the content to express yourself, and it opens up the variety and the nuance of any of those bigger thoughts. ‘I love you’ can be cute, funny, sarcastic, mean, tongue-in-cheek, romantic, passionate — you can’t get that in just saying, ‘I love you,’ but if you can find the right gif in the right moment, you have something immediately understandable.”Jess Gilliam, Studio Creative DirectorIn 2012, Chung and a friend, Jace Cooke, were at brunch geeking out over this kind of stuff and realized there was no good way to actually find gifs. Google didn’t have a search function for them. So Chung, who had worked at many startups and MTV, spent a few months building a tool that scoured the web for the files. He called it Gifgle (like, you know, gif-Google). “Then I thought, This is dumb. We’re going to get sued,” he says. So he changed it to Giphy. In January 2013, he emailed a prototype to a few friends, and gif-like, it looped — friends emailing friends emailing friends. Four hours later, funding offers were coming in.So Chung and Cooke — who are cofounders, though Cooke would eventually leave to pursue a different startup — thought bigger. Giphy could be far more than simply a search engine. But to do that, it would need to act very deliberately, growing in just the right way and in just the right order.Julie Logan, Director of Brand StrategyFirst up: Giphy needed to reach its ready-made audience. Tons of people were already googling for gifs, but they needed to be trained to head to giphy.com instead. So the startup spent the year mostly on search-engine optimization, making sure it was the top result for all gif-related searches. It also reached out to artists who created gifs and invited them to post their stuff on the site. When brands started asking Giphy for help creating gif-driven ad campaigns — Subway was the first — the company connected them with artists on the site and took no cut of the deal. Giphy didn’t need the cash; what it needed was goodwill and community. It still does this today with its Giphy Studios arm, recently with Converse, McDonald’s and Selena Gomez.(Google seemed to take notice: A few months after Giphy launched, the search giant introduced its own gif search function.)But of course, the gifs that go nuts online aren’t usually made by quirky artists; they’re larger cultural moments. So by Giphy’s second year, it had begun trying to sign licensing deals with major content producers — studios, TV networks and so on. “They’re like, ‘What? Gif rights? We don’t even understand,’” Chung says. Giphy needed to prove that this was worth a studio’s time, so it built a way for other popular services to use Giphy’s trove of gifs. You can see that work in action today on Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Tinder, Twitter, and 600-plus other services, all of which offer some way for its users to use Giphy’s database. “So we’re doing billions and billions of requests a month. Once studios saw the numbers, and that one of their gifs could do 100 or 200 million views, they were like, ‘Oh, this is a thing.’”Other times, Giphy would serve more as a problem solver. The L.A. Galaxy, a pro soccer team, had been tweeting out gifs for a while by the time Giphy called up, but still had plenty of needs. “We’d never thought strategically about these things,” says Chris Thomas, the team’s director of digital media and marketing, “but we were getting really good engagement and spending a lot of time on it.” Giphy created a page on giphy.com for the Galaxy’s gifs (as it does for every partner) and provided gif-making tools, creative strategies and a big social promotion. The Galaxy is now a total convert: It even recently hired someone away from another team, specifically because the woman is so good at making gifs.Giphy makes its partnerships official with no-cash arrangements, which it now has with tons of major players in TV, movies and sports. The deal goes like this: We’ll make gifs out of your content and help distribute them across the internet, and both of us benefit. That’s how, say, Giphy was invited to work with the Golden Globes — and to show the world DiCaprio’s side-eye. Thomas says he might be skeptical of a deal like that from another company, but Giphy won him over with its enthusiasm and expertise. “One of their main goals seems to be to do cool stuff, and that’s what I want to do,” he says. “So there’s an immediate level of trust.”Ralph Bishop, Director of DesignJulie Logan used to text gifs to her friends, which they loved. But they’d never text gifs back. “I got mad and was finally like, ‘Why aren’t you doing this?’” she says. “And they’d say, ‘You’re the gif queen! We can’t compete!’” Lame excuse, but not without merit: This was 2014, and you couldn’t insert a gif into a text without going through a series of burdensome steps. So she built an app called Nutmeg, which offered a curated set of easily textable gifs. Then Giphy bought Nutmeg in March 2015 and made Logan its director of brand strategy. “It was an easy transition because Giphy was the same as Nutmeg — just a much bigger, more comprehensive go at it,” she says.Both companies operated on the same basic observation: There were lots of ways people wanted to use gifs but just couldn’t. As the jargon masters would say, gifs contained pain points. Finding gifs was hard. Sharing them was harder. And making them yourself? Damn near impossible. So once Giphy had built its traffic and its community, it moved on to the next phase of its grand brand-building adventure: It began releasing tools to ease all the pain.These things have been rolling out for the past year or so. There’s a web tool that easily turns video — from your cellphone, YouTube and more — into gifs. Giphy’s first app, released last March, is a mobile search engine that makes sharing easy. Its second app, Giphy Cam, is like a video camera that records only in gif, and layers on dozens of goofy animations (like, say, snapping lobster claws or a cascade of dollar bills). All these services are free; Giphy says it’s currently focused on user growth. Revenue will come later, presumably through ads. “We follow basically everything Google did in the ’90s,” Chung says, “and we just do it with gifs, which have higher CPMs” — digitalspeak for the price of a thousand views of an ad—“so we’ll do the same thing. If they’re making billions of dollars, I’m sure we can make 1 percent of that.”But here’s Giphy’s secret: All this technology was made with a dual purpose. Often the company had to create technology to use internally, like a way to turn videos into gifs. Once the product was refined, Giphy released a consumer version. “A lot of us have backgrounds at other tech companies, where maybe before building something, we’re going to justify it first,” says Nam Nguyen, director of platform products. “But here, it comes from our genuine interest in having these things available to us. The first step of our thinking is, I just want that. Here’s the reason why: I just want it.” And if Giphy’s employees want something, there’s a good chance its users do, too.The company has many ways to riff on this mentality. Consider what happens with one of Giphy’s partners, the popular messaging tool Slack. If you type “/giphy” and some words into Slack — “congratulations,” for example — a related gif will pop up in your chatroom. But Giphy’s employees use Slack all day and are always joking about other tricks they should put into the product. If one seems funny enough, a developer might spend a few hours making it. There’s no mission statement. No project manager to run it by. The person just does it. As a result, Slack is stuffed with silly Giphy Easter eggs. With the right keywords, users can create a gif that zooms in on a friend’s face — try it: “/giphy #enhance” and then the url of a photo — or layers on a caption, or displays the temperature in any zip code atop a weather-related image of, say, a dog on a sled. Nam Nguyen, Director of Platform Products“So when we come out with these crazy ideas,” Nguyen says, “we like to think about the components that make this exist, and think, How can that go further?” The weather gag is a good example. To make it work, a developer first had to tap into data from another source (in this case, weather.com), then create a system that matches up the data with an appropriate gif, then pastes the two together and serves it to the user — all within seconds. That’s not just a silly trick; that’s a new platform with all sorts of applications. What if Giphy struck a deal with ESPN, and sports fans on Twitter or Facebook could instantly create gifs showing the score of a game along with a gif highlight that just happened? Now it’s technically possible, all thanks to a lark.But these are all small tools. When Giphy’s executives talk about building things they need, there is one core, until-now secret product that fits the description above all else. “We have this thing called — uh, we can talk about it,” says Chung, the CEO, as if he’s giving himself permission, as Leibsohn shifts a little on the couch next to him. “Yeah. We can talk about it. We have this other thing called Giphy DVR.”Giphy had created a problem for itself. It positioned itself as the central place for gifs, and partnered with the creators of the greatest giffable content, but how can a little startup possibly keep up that level of production? Giphy DVR is its answer: a software system that takes in a limitless amount of video — live broadcasts, entire movies, it doesn’t matter — and instantly spits out, as Chung describes it, “every possible gif.” Its algorithms splice in tons of ways. The system detects when a scene begins, when a person begins a motion, when closed-captioning starts and more. It also splices at various seconds-long intervals. An hour-long television show could be spun out into maybe 10,000 possible gifs — most of them useless, of course, but that’s what an editor is for. A human simply grabs the greatest gif, the Lady Gaga moment of every live event, and shares it with the world. Soon Giphy plans on giving this technology to its partners. If CNN or NBC or whoever wants to produce its own gifs, Giphy DVR will splice their content into 24 hours’ worth of them. “We’re basically going to tap into every live feed there is,” Chung says. “Imagine all the moments just there for you, and you pick the ones you want. We have that tech right now.” And one day, Chung says, once its partners are comfortable with the technology, Giphy might create a version for consumers as well. Because that’s what it always does.David Rosenberg, Director of Business DevelopmentAbout a year ago news came out that Facebook tried to buy Giphy. No terms were made public. Very little was said on it. But Facebook is a big spender — it bought Instagram for $1 billion and Whatsapp for $19 billion — so it’s fair to guess that the offer was at least interesting. Why turn it down?“Yeah, no comment,” says Chung.Pause. And then he can’t resist.“I mean, one comment we’ll say is, once you own the format and we have the scale that we do, it’s obvious that someone’s going to want to be a part of this, right?”Leibsohn comments next: “I’d also say if you follow our logic, and our trajectory, we are the main player in this space, and it’s going to be essential to what happens in culture moving forward. So, we’re going to be a pretty big force to reckon with.”There’s no way to guarantee their trajectory, of course, but their logic is easier to forecast. That earlier question about Giphy — how do you become the brand that owns something as random as the gif? That’s no longer their big question. Giphy envisions itself as more than just a place for gifs. That’s why it’s obsessed with the moment that gifs capture — because the moment is bigger than the gif. The moment is emotion. “You never search ‘happy’ on Google,” Chung says. But you can on Giphy. So what is Giphy, to him? It’s the beginning of a different kind of search engine, one based on experience instead of information. “You don’t get too many opportunities to compete with Google,” he says. “We competed and we beat them at the gif search. And you’ve seen the office — it’s pretty small. There’s not too many of us. So imagine if we had thousands of people.”Leibsohn is convinced that the world is ready to think this way—that rather than gifs capturing the world, the world caters itself to the gif. Look at Drake, creating a music video intended to be spliced. Look at Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi hearings, dismissively brushing her shoulder in an instantly giffable way. “Come on, that’s not just happenstance,” Leibsohn says. “She’s being coached to be visual on purpose. You’re going to see everyone start to think about how they can be translated and remixed and repurposed again and again.”Is that true? I put it to Stacy London, host of TLC’s Love, Lust, or Run, whose contemptuous eye rolls and shocked jaw drops are regularly giffed. Does she operate her face with the internet in mind? Well, not exactly. “I’ve always kind of done them,” she says. She knows the looks are popular with TV viewers, so everything else is gravy. Still, she does love her gifs. “One of my best friends likes to respond to my texts only with my eye-roll and side-eye gifs,” she says, “which I think is hysterical.”It’s all the same to Giphy, really: Regardless of why she does it, she makes moments. That’s what counts. Join our live video chat with the Giphy team on March 22 at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET. Submit your questions on the event page or tweet them with #GiphyChat.