As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

The Future Is in the Stars

This morning, Leonard Nimoy passed away, taking with him a brilliant, sensitive soul and a character that has for half a century been one of the most popular and enduring reflections of our humanity.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that ISIS had started to make good on their threat to destroy as many of humanity’s most remarkable achievements as they can. Hammers were taken to Akkadian and Assyrian art and artifacts. Rare and priceless manuscripts were burned. And, of course, the slaughter of living, breathing humans continues, virtually unabated.

I would certainly never draw comparison in terms of tragedy, of course, and do not for one moment think that’s what I mean to do. I am aware that Mister Nimoy wasn’t singlehandedly keeping the world safe for democracy by day and pulling orphans out of burning buildings by night. But it is difficult to think of him without seeing the proud face of an optimistic future, one in which exactly this sort of evil has been overcome.

Rather, I draw one of possibility verses doom. Given Nimoy’s association with an unabashedly optimistic vision of the future and his own work to celebrate the beauty of human diversity, I find it difficult to dismiss the contrast between gentle artist and violent regime, steward and denier of the past, champion of optimism and cheerleader of the apocalypse. Creator and destroyer. Everything good and everything evil.

In the end, this is the difference that will decide whether we, as a species, thrive or die. And which fate we deserve.

When people try to figure out how likely we are to make contact with an extraterrestrial civilization — the premise that brought Nimoy into our collective consciousness — they usually use some form or modification of the Drake equation. They calculate our number of potential alien pen pals by taking into account a number of factors: the probable number of planets that could support life, the fraction of those in which life might evolve to become industrialized, the number that come to use detectable telecommunication systems… But by far the most distressing part of the equation is the length of time that passes between a civilization developing something like radio and doing something so stupid that they wipe themselves out. Depending on that number, the estimate can change from tens of millions of alien civilizations to zero. Zero.

And boy, are we eager to do something stupid. ISIS is, of course, a destructive force almost without parallel. An aberration, many would argue. But there are near-infinite ways to march toward doomsday, and many of them are not particularly exceptional human behaviors.

We know that certain gases trap heat. So we pump them into our atmosphere by the ton. Then, when it warms up, we say, “Hey, we don’t know what’s causing that! Could be anything!” Governments around the globe spend a little over one and a half trillion dollars a year on making sure that we’re all always ready to kill each other. And that doesn’t account for all the weapons they already have, or the ones in the hands of militants, terrorists, private citizens who are pretty sure they might one day need an AR-15, or the ones that law enforcement agencies acquire to protect themselves from the citizens. We can still destroy cities at the touch of a button. The poverty and prejudice that must surely be robbing us of enormous potential still linger. We’ve even decided that it’s time to bring back incredibly infectious and potentially deadly diseases, because hey, there might also be drawbacks to vaccines. I hate to be a pessimist in praise of optimism, and on many of these fronts the world is actually getting much better, not worse. But if anything is going to wipe humanity out anytime soon, there’s still a very good chance that it will be our own stupidity.

Imagine a future in which we have indeed wiped ourselves out. Humanity never left our home world. Our future is no more. And, unless other civilizations are in the right place at the right time, capable of deciphering what we are, and had the foresight to build some really enormous antennas, so is our past. No one will ever experience Shakespeare or Li Bai, Picasso or Bellini, Billie Holiday or Maria Callas, Buster Keaton or Marilyn Monroe, The Bicycle Thieves or Cria Cuervos ever again. I will be the first to admit that most of us really have no business asking to live forever, but Audrey Hepburn? Caravaggio? And yes, even Leonard Nimoy? They deserve better.

It isn’t all about our own actions, of course. Even if by some completely implausible miracle humanity decided to lay down its arms and hug everything out, the planet we live on still comes with an expiration date. Certain global disasters cannot be prevented. The sun, for example, is becoming more luminous. In the long run — if something else doesn’t beat it — this will lead to the extinction of plant life on Earth and, with it, animal life as well. That date is counted in millions, not billions, of years.

The good news is that this need not mean the end of humans — or dogs or cats or parakeets or Venus fly traps, either. You see, another factor in some versions of the Drake equation is colonization. Life might only develop on select worlds, but what if that life went on to tame others? The odds of their survival, and their accessibility, increase with each settlement.

So let’s imagine another future. Here, humans live on countless planets orbiting countless stars. Our sun has long ago died, but humanity still survives. As does its past, in a way, even if they have forgotten their various Renoirs and Freuds.

In fact, if very deep space, faster-than-light travel is indeed possible and ever becomes a practical reality, the past might become more alive than ever. Future humans could actually see Earth’s past unfold, just as we look 13 billion years into the past with telescopes today. Humans might literally watch the Earth form. Even if this kind of travel currently looks unlikely, certainly it must be worthy of our efforts.

All of this takes an enormous amount of work, of course. We need a means of travel that makes sense. We need to be sure our bodies can adapt to different suns, different soils, different levels of gravity. We need a means of communication that is practical over great distances. So many daunting undertakings, and we’ve barely taken a first step.

Is it really so much to ask? A real investment in human survival? NASA believes that the cost of a first trip to Mars would be around $100 billion — a scary number, but only about 6.5 percent of what humans spend annually on speeding ourselves toward destruction. Mars One is trying to do it with a pittance of around $6 billion in money it hasn’t raised yet, including revenue from corporate sponsorships and a proposed reality television program. As much as I wish for them to succeed, it seems at this point like a pipe dream. And Mars is barely a stepping stone toward the kind of travel that humanity is surely capable of. We have to start taking the future of our race, and every other species on this planet, seriously.

If humanity wants to continue, it has to shoot for the stars. The future, if we have one, is indeed a Star Trek, my friends. But it is also people like Leonard Nimoy — artists, optimists, dreamers and thinkers. The people who will one day really take us to the stars.

30 Original Jokes About #TheDress

1. Good one.

We see purple and black, if you were wondering.

— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) February 27, 2015

2. Nice.

The dress is red and black.

— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) February 27, 2015

3. Hah!

Pretty sure the dress is purple and gold… #justsaying

— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) February 27, 2015

4. Oh, you.

#TheDress looks silver and blue to us.

— Coors Light (@CoorsLight) February 27, 2015

5. Zing!

There is no debating the color of this! pic.twitter.com/TihAau2GRn

— LIRR (@LIRR) February 27, 2015

6. Classic.

Doesn’t matter if it’s blue/black or white/gold, they still taste delicious. #thedress pic.twitter.com/Oq8srrAKnd

— Dunkin’ Donuts (@DunkinDonuts) February 27, 2015

7. Got ‘em!

idk what color that dress is but pancakes are definitely gold and butter is definitely white

— IHOP (@IHOP) February 27, 2015

8. Ka-boom!

It’s black. End of discussion. #ElevationEdition #TheDress pic.twitter.com/LbY2S5iN59

— GMC (@ThisIsGMC) February 27, 2015

9. Ka-blam!

Whether you’re #TeamWhiteandGold or #TeamBlueandBlack — everyone is on #TeamBreadsticks. #TheDress pic.twitter.com/P04bjXgzED

— Olive Garden (@olivegarden) February 27, 2015

10. Ka-wow!

So do you think this is #whiteandgold too? pic.twitter.com/C829igRjVq

— Xbox (@Xbox) February 27, 2015

11. Ka-huh?

Don’t let people guess what color your teeth are…#TheDress #WhatColorIsThisDress #3DWhite pic.twitter.com/RuRJTwGTc6

— 3DWhite (@3DWhite) February 27, 2015

12. There we go!

We see #blueandyellow…of course. Bring out #TheDress

— Hellmann’s (@Hellmanns) February 27, 2015

13. There it is!

The only colors I see are #Yellow and #Black #TheDress

— Waffle House (@WaffleHouse) February 27, 2015

14. Yes.

No matter what color you see, there’s no denying our Ram trucks look great. #TheDress pic.twitter.com/1HSwZpp3XX

— RamTrucks (@RamTrucks) February 27, 2015

15. Yes!

Let’s settle this once and for all, it’s blue and white. #Effortless #TheDress pic.twitter.com/EndigfjSVB

— AT&T (@ATT) February 27, 2015

16. YES!

I have no idea what you guys are talking about. It looks Rainbow to me. #TheDress

— Skittles (@Skittles) February 27, 2015

17. YES!!!

Does #TheDress debate really matter? #teamgold pic.twitter.com/Qhq9lYW4Fq

— Yuengling Brewery (@Yuengling_Beer) February 27, 2015

18. Love it.

Clearly it’s copper and black. #TheDress

— Duracell (@Duracell) February 27, 2015

19. Hah, yes!

Proud to be black & white, or is it white & black? #TheDress

Drinkaware.ie pic.twitter.com/Turyk9zYfc

— Guinness Ireland (@GuinnessIreland) February 27, 2015

20. Good one, guys.

Definitely Red and White! #HaveAbreak #TheDress #breakfromthedress #TeamRedAndWhite pic.twitter.com/BFVVMRGn5m

— KITKAT (@KITKAT) February 27, 2015

21. Amiright?

We see it as blue and yellow, but we may be a tiny bit biased. #TheDress pic.twitter.com/JGs4XuyiZ8

— Cirque du Soleil (@Cirque) February 27, 2015

22. LOL!

You’re not the only ones @Cirque! We see blue & yellow too #TheDress pic.twitter.com/jOcsQrOCUN

— IKEA USA (@IKEAUSA) February 27, 2015

23. Here we go!

You all have it all wrong. It’s red & red. #TheDress

— Fireball Whisky (@FireballWhisky) February 27, 2015

24. Now that’s comedy.

Obviously, the dress is blue and gold. #Rams

— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) February 27, 2015

25. #True.

Nice try #blueandblack / #whiteandgold dress

The only colors that matter are #pewterandred pic.twitter.com/XdWEwWtCGP

— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@TBBuccaneers) February 27, 2015

26. Hahahahaha.

Black and Blue. pic.twitter.com/umwmVWILDL

— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) February 27, 2015

27. Ohhhhhh, yes.

Seems pretty obvious what color it is…
#TheDress pic.twitter.com/1V5vIFCCFL

— Syracuse Athletics (@Cuse) February 27, 2015

28. It’s funny because it’s true!

All we see are #RedandBlack. #TheDress pic.twitter.com/qAMC33QVgd

— GoAztecs.com (@GoAztecs) February 27, 2015

29. Dying.

The dress is none of these colors so we move on pic.twitter.com/wJ3MLEsxck

— Duke Basketball (@dukeblueplanet) February 27, 2015

30. I can’t even!

You people are all crazy. All I’m seeing is blue and white.

— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) February 27, 2015

VIDEO: The chair that assembles itself

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are examining the possibilities of self-assembly.

Q — Next Generation Bio-Data Device

Cupertino’s Apple Watch Event is around the corner – highly anticipated on March 9th, 2015. Apple enthusiasts are getting into their start blocks. The start of the Apple Watch will only be the beginning of a new area of technology devices helping us to understand our biological functioning in a new and easy way.

And I hear many of us asking “What will be next?”

Let me be Orwell’s bio-screen-outlook and let’s turn the clock to 2018.

How will we be using technology in three years for self bio-screening and to identify our individual peak performance levels?

I was asked recently what I anticipate in the near future. I am pretty sure that March 9th is the start into a new mind-and-body understanding.

Here is my prediction:

For now … let’s call this new device Q and it’s Next Generations Bio-Data Device.

It may look like the new Apple Watch or one of the ‘Activity Tracker’ systems for your wrist, nicely designed and in-style for a day-to-day use.

Q for your Office

The Q is designed for your office performance and productivity. It transforms your corporate floor into a powerhouse of creativity, decreases sickness days and helps to increase employee’s morale, happiness and engagement levels. Q allows each individual to function on an individual level. Some employees may show up for their 8-to-5 jobs at 4:30am at night where their productivity and creativity level is at maximum peak. They may only need 3 hours of work to get the job done and come home at 8am satisfied and fulfilled with their quality of work. The rest of the day is off to spend some hours in nature or in the gym, playing with the kids or listening to their favourite music when others without their Q are sitting on their office chairs waiting for the next break. Q allows for the highest level of creativity, shuts the nagging voice between our ears off and allows our intuition to create and solve challenges. It helps the corporate level to function much faster and with more resilience against the typical stressors. Q creates a winning culture for your organization, connects and puts your people first.

Q for your Home & Family

Q is helping you to self-direct your energy. It helps you to leave stress out of your family environment. When you are in the green zone (coherency level is high) come home, when you are in the ‘red’ you better take a detour and pick up your favourite coffee from Starbucks and calm down before you come home.

Q will monitor the kids stress factor at school, if they had a balanced diet, enough sleep and enough time for physical activity and mental relaxation.

Q and your Eating Habits

Q assembles the best nutrients for you and your family according to your needs. It may tell you to eat more fat so that your brain can function on a higher level. Fat? Yep!

It will tell you when your blood sugar is too high or low and when you have achieved your ketogenic state for optimal body performance.

And by the way, you don’t have to enrol in a fat-loss/diet program anymore. You can connect with your nutrition coach via text message any time during the day through your LifeStyle app for $9.95 in case you have a question ‘what to eat’ in the restaurant and ‘what to cut’ at a lunch buffet. Your coach can track your bio-levels at any time (wireless of course) and can contact you when you hit the red danger zone and you are at risk for a heart attack. Of course, there is a mute button on your Q.

Q and your Mental Zone

Q will tell you how and when to get in-the-Zone for optimal mental performance, in case you have to focus for a test, your exam or at work. When your stress level is up and your brain is inhibited, stress hormones are all floating around in your body it is time to re-calibrate and synchronize your Autonomic Nervous System for maximum performance and health benefits. Q reminds you to do your breathing exercises (as part of your meditation program). You will be able to get back to the green zone in about 2 minutes and can function in a more uplifting and more energetic level.

Q for Fire Fighters, Police and Soldiers

Fire fighters, police officers and our soldiers use their Q to self-monitor and to signalize them to remove themselves from the first response squad when their stress level is too high and can cause a physical and or mental defect. Colleagues that are currently in a ‘neutral’ state will get a signal and respond to the call. Only the most alert and best functioning first responders will make the right decisions, from what lives may depend on. High stress personnel can train their resiliency levels and can prevent long term disability.

Q for Everybody

Q will feedback to you how much sleep you got and if it was sufficient. Q evaluates your bio-data and warns us if we are in crisis and if our body has been exposed to a toxic environment, tells you if you had sufficient sunlight for your vitamin D levels and enough water intakes. The bio-data is monitored by your monitoring Q headquarters in your country, region, or city. Professionals are there to help you when needed. You have your family physician around your wrist, when you are on a trip, on a cruise ship or on a hiking tour in the Himalaya Mountains.

Q in Sport

Athletes will be informed about their genetic disposition and able to push their limits while self-controlling their data. No overuse, no burn-out. Effectiveness instead, individualized training and recovery.

Q bio-screens your body and mind to prevent injuries, helps to recover from a concussion, your last marathon or Pro-game and refreshes your mental and physical game. Q tells the athlete when and what to use to refuel the athlete’s cell batteries and the neural connections for physical and mental coordination.

If our bodies work more in sync and less in crisis mode we can expect a decrease in sickness days, drug prescription and overall chronic diseases, diabetes, obesity and heart diseases. We will finally control and minimize our economic losses, health expenses, and can start optimising medical and mental care with preventative measures.

Q will make us more responsible for our own performance, health and well-being. It is our onStar System and can GPS you through day-to-day challenges and reacts in case of an emergency like the RoadAssistance program that comes with your new car purchase.

Houston we have a problem – Help is on its way! Thanks to Q.

Q is Free … it may have a retail value of $199 but it will safe the economy a three figure billion dollar amount, our health system another three figure billion dollar amount … makes almost a trillion per year. And don’t forget that Q helps people to feel more ‘neutral’ and less reactive which will decrease domestic violence and the risk of war.

When can I get my Q watch? Houston – Do we have to wait till 2018? Cupertino may have the solution.

Visit www.dirkstroda.com and on facebook The Quantum Athlete Club

Uber Security Breach Affected Up To 50,000 Drivers

(Recasts with company statement)
By Dan Levine
Feb 27 (Reuters) – A security breach at car service Uber may have disclosed the names and driver’s license numbers of about 50,000 drivers across multiple states, the company said in a statement on Friday.
The data breach involved current and former Uber drivers, and the company has notified attorneys general in states where those drivers live, including California.
“To date, we have not received any reports of actual misuse of any information as a result of this incident,” the company said. However, Uber advised drivers to monitor their credit reports for fraudulent transactions.
The company has raised more than $4 billion from prominent venture capital firms such as Benchmark and Google Ventures, valuing Uber at $40 billion and making it the most valuable startup in the United States.
Uber also filed a lawsuit in a federal court in San Francisco on Friday against the unnamed individual who accessed the company’s files. Such litigation can be used to help uncover who committed the breach.
Uber said the breach occurred in May 2014 and was discovered in September. The company said it changed database access protocols and began an investigation. (Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Apps in pockets, bums on seats

Keeping cinema affordable after Orange Wednesday’s demise

Best Teen Tweets Of The Week! (2/27/15)

Every week, we round up the best 140-character quips and insights from our esteemed blogging team — and other equally awesome teen tweeters. Scroll down to read the latest batch and share your own suggestions by following @HuffPostTeen!

I honestly didn’t even mean to order fries it just came out of my mouth at the drive thru they were an accident

— ally (@allyybradfieldd) February 23, 2015

I like the weather but my hair doesn’t.

— susy chávez (@susych17) February 24, 2015

My head hurts and immediately I think to Greys Anatomy and see which cases had this same symptom so I can diagnose myself

— Annabelle Johnson (@its_annabelleee) February 24, 2015

Winter storm 2015 before and after. pic.twitter.com/Dr1TUeMZ0Z

— b. (@briefrankk) February 26, 2015

Eating tacos you wish you were me

— Piper Curda (@pipercurda) February 24, 2015

Don’t you hate it when you comfortable in bed and then YOUR MOM CALLS YOU AND RUINS EVERYTHING

— Lance (@law0125) February 25, 2015

Just tried to fry an egg. There were flames involved. Won’t be doing that again, then…

— Amber (Book Blogger) (@MileLongBookS) February 27, 2015

trying to clean my desktop so that people behind me in lectures dont see the abundance of kitten photos on my laptop

— kelsey *✲゚*。⋆ (@maydaykels) February 22, 2015

A Little Girl Just Asked Me If I Was Willow Smith I Humbly Said Yes And Took A Selfie.

— Jaden Smith (@officialjaden) February 25, 2015

That awkward moment when you’ve already said “what?” three times and still have no idea what the person said

— Trudy Banks (@thainnill) February 27, 2015

“Is that a prison?”-me

“No. It’s a middle school.”-my mom

“Is there even a difference?”-me

— Abigail Breslin (@yoabbaabba) February 24, 2015

beauty comes in all shapes and sizes ♡ pic.twitter.com/xv1SeFb3pB

— Danny Edge⚓️✖️ (@epDannyEdge) February 23, 2015

I dropped my phone one too many times and now it’s trippin, it’s like typing what ever it wants…I’ve been typing this since last night

— Zendaya (@Zendaya) February 27, 2015

Annoyed cos Kylie Jenner is 17 and buying herself a $2.7 million house and I’m 18 and can barely afford chipotle

— Allison L. (@allisonkateee) February 24, 2015

Follow HuffPost Teen on Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pheed |

The FCC Did NOT Make The Internet A Public Utility

Today the Federal Communications Commission voted 3–2 to approve of Title II-backed net neutrality regulations.

The One Sided Relationship of Microsoft with Google

Before Twitter was taken over by llamas and dresses of different colors, there was a flutter of a different type.  It started with Google’s purchase of SoftCard, a mobile payment solution, and the subsequent dropping of Windows Phone support just two days after the acquisition.  The result means that Microsoft and Windows Phone have no mobile payment app or system available in the short term (rumor has it that Microsoft is coming out with something with Windows 10 for Phones) so we loyal users will need to continue to whip out the plastic to make a purchase and not our

The post The One Sided Relationship of Microsoft with Google appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

The Funniest Auotcorrect Fails February 2015 Had To Offer

Another month, another batch of autocorrect victims.

We all make the occasional texting slip-up, but most of the time, these mistakes stay between the texter and the textee. Thankfully for us, Damn You Autocorrect compiles the greatest fails of each month for our enjoyment. This month’s victims learned NEVER to eat laxatives before going to McDonald’s, “ho” makes some excellent soup, and birthday haikus are seriously underrated. Check them out, and remember, always think before you text!

Warning, some NSFW language.

Hands On: AG Drive (iOS)

Fittingly enough for a racing game, let’s get this out front: AG Drive ($4) is a Wipeout clone. That isn’t a strike against it – the developer admits it, the Wipeout series has plenty of fans, and many worthy titles have followed the same template. But a game can hew close to that template or build a unique identity, and execution, ultimately, is everything.

Want To Look Smarter? Stop Sending Emails And Speak Like A Human

Think you’re saving time and looking pretty smart dashing off endless emails to your boss?

Do yourself a big favor, stop typing and talk to her instead.

A new study from researchers at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business finds that when you speak out loud, you’re viewed as more intelligent. That’s compared with someone reading a message you’ve written. (So call me and I’ll read this article out loud to you.)

“If you want to be seen as thoughtful and intelligent and someone who has something going on between their ears, it’s important quite literally to be heard,” Booth professor Nick Epley told The Huffington Post.

For this study, to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, Epley and PhD candidate Juliana Schroeder had participants write out job pitches to prospective employers. Some pitches were read by the employers. Others were spoken out loud by the candidates. When the pitches were heard out loud, recruiters viewed the candidates as more thoughtful, rational and intelligent. The written pitches were not as well-received.

Though emailing and group-chatting at work can certainly feel more productive, you lose some of the benefits of spoken communication, as the research shows. With the spoken word, you can convey meaning through tone. If it’s an in-person conversation, your body also gives off contextual cues. Text is more of a “blank slate,” Epley says. Ever get an email from someone you despise or fear? It’s hard to truly gauge its meaning.

In other work he’s done, Epley found that sarcasm and sincerity are really hard to distinguish over email, and people don’t seem to realize it. That leads to a lot of miscommunication.

Of course, talking can also be a lot more productive than typing. What often takes several emails to communicate — like trying to schedule a lunch or a meeting over Gmail — can be quickly handled with conversation.

Epley explains that talking to each other is the closest humans get to truly connecting with each other’s minds. “It’s how you demonstrate that you are a thinking, feeling human being as opposed to something lesser,” he says.

Even talking to strangers can make you feel more connected and happier, even strangers on the subway, according to other research Epley’s done.

“Engaging someone in conversation humanizes you,” says Epley.

The message about our mediums of choice seems all the more critical these days, when we email or group chat with coworkers who are sitting a few feet away or ignore our ringing phones in favor of a quick text.

Taking his research to heart, Epley doesn’t have a smartphone, doesn’t text and definitely abhors Twitter.

He does do email though, he says. “I’m not some sort of freakish person.”

Lost in the Crowd: Surviving Kickstarter's Emotional Rollercoaster

Crowdfunding is everywhere. Movie stars and directors are doing it for their films. Tech wizards are using it to introduce new inventions. Even a portable cooler brought in more than $13 million in 30 days. In the past few months, I’ve contributed to campaigns for a chocolate-infused peanut butter, a photographer’s journey to Antarctica and a graffiti bridge in Pensacola, Florida.

Supporting a crowdfunding campaign is easy, and fun. Running one? Well, that’s a different story.

I’m halfway into my first Kickstarter campaign for my latest book, and it’s kind of kicking my ass, but in that worthwhile, good-for-you-in-the-long-run, Mr. Miyagi-to-the-Karate Kid kind of way. I know many people who’ve run Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, and before I launched mine, I read a lot of articles and blogs with tips on how to be a successful crowdfunder.

All of them talked about the unexpected time commitment once they launched, and the logistical needs associated with preparing, promoting and updating their campaigns. Aside from Amanda Palmer, the crowdfunding queen and first musician to raise more than a million dollars on Kickstarter, few of them spoke of the emotional impact or life lessons learned along the way. And, I can assure you, there are many.

If you’re thinking about launching a crowdfunding campaign, if you’re willing to experience a whole new level of vulnerability, and if you’re prepared to give it your time and energy, I recommend you do it. You’ll learn a lot more about yourself than you’d expect, and, if you’re open to it, there’s a good chance you’ll walk away a stronger, wiser and more resilient human being.

The logistical components of being a successful crowdfunder are well-documented. Here are a few tips to help with the emotional ones.

Ask Without Expectation

In her TED talk, The Art of Asking, Ms. Palmer put it best when she said, “You can’t ask authentically and gracefully without truly being able to accept ‘No’ for an answer. Because if you’re not truly willing to accept ‘No’ for an answer, you’re not really asking, you’re demanding — you’re begging.”

Asking for support is no easy task, and it’s made all the harder when we’re too attached to the outcome of our ask. When we ask without expectation — in all areas of life, crowdfunding and beyond — we give people the freedom to answer, yes or no, without pressure or demand.

You’ll invest a lot of emotional energy into your campaign, and it will be difficult to remove expectation from the equation. That’s where good friends come in handy. Run your communications by people you trust to be honest with you. Does your email seem demanding? Does your Facebook timeline post feel like begging? Test them on people before sending them out, until your energy, and your asks, feel more authentic.

Prepare for Ebbs and Flows

Though a card game featuring exploding kittens just raised nearly $9 million in its thirty-day run, the multi-million dollar crowdfunding success is the exception, not the rule. Don’t expect people to be pledging to yours around the clock. Like life, your campaign will likely have its highs and lows. Prepare for both. Breathe through both.

I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit these past two weeks with my Kickstarter page up, waiting, hoping for a new pledge to come in. It’s like a drug, each new backer a jolt of adrenaline. But your campaign will probably be 30 days or more. That’s 720 hours, minimum — a long time to be tripping. Take care of yourself while it’s going on. Eat well, meditate, take walks, dance your ass off, do whatever it is you do to stay grounded.

Let yourself be excited and passionate, of course, but remain centered within it all. That grounded energy will come through in the way you manage the campaign, in the tone of your promotion and updates, and, ultimately, how you handle yourself when it’s over. You want your committed and prospective supporters to feel your confidence, not your angst.

Don’t Take It Personally

Whatever your campaign is about, it’s undoubtedly very personal to you. What you’ve created likely represents a deep passion, and you’ll want to share it with as many people as possible. If people don’t respond the way you had hoped, it’s hard not to take it personally. In the same way each new pledge feels like validation, each hour that passes without a pledge can feel like rejection. This is all ego talking, in both directions. It’s not real.

Consider the times you’ve chosen to support some things in your life, but not others. We’re likely to support what speaks to our hearts, if we’re in a place to do so. You can’t expect everyone to be as excited about your passions as you are, even close friends and family, and that’s okay.

Like with dating and job interviews and so many areas of life, we can’t always be the thing someone else is looking for. That’s more a reflection of them, of what they need; it’s not a rejection of you. Have faith that your campaign, if you give it your all, will ignite the right hearts.

Trust in the Outcome

I still have two weeks left in my Kickstarter campaign, and while I’m extremely optimistic about reaching the goal, not yet knowing the final outcome has had me wavering some between confidence and insecurity. Overall though, I trust in the process, and in the outcome.

When we approach our goals with determination and commitment, and when we do everything we feel we can do to make them happen, we have no choice but to trust in the outcome of things. More important than the success or failure of your campaign is the quality of effort you put forth and the wisdom you take with you moving forward.

Give your campaign everything you’ve got. Stay as passionate and committed as you can, run your campaign as smartly and strategically as you are able, and then allow it to become whatever it becomes. Whatever that is — massively funded, dramatically unfunded or anything in between –will be the right thing for you, the perfect next step for your journey, and just the teacher you needed, if you’re willing to see it that way.

So get out there, launch your crowdfunding campaign and give heart to your passion. It won’t just teach you how to be a better business person, but a better person in general. And that alone makes the adventure worth it.

If We Are What We Eat, Then We Are Becoming Coffee Cups


After you’ve swilled down that last gulp of coffee, make sure you’ve saved room to start munching the cup.

That’s what KFC wants us to do, apparently having decided that they can increase their profits along with our waistlines by inducing us to eat things we wouldn’t normally ingest.

As if we are not already devouring (way more than) enough calories, the marketing division at Yum! Brands — the weirdly-named and-punctuated multinational conglomerate that owns KFC — has decided that the world would be a better place if we ate our packaging after we’re done with it.

“The new cup addresses several of the trends bedeviling the food business today, including consumer concerns about the environmental impact of packaging, as well as their desire for simplicity,” according to The New York Times.

The folks at Yum! have probably discovered, as the cigarette industry did in the last century, that tapping into our oral fixations is a lucrative enterprise.

I like the idea of eliminating some packaging waste, but as Barry Commoner reminds us in his Four Laws of Ecology (#2), “Everything must go somewhere.” Do the math . . . or, rather, the biology. And the physics, too: matter cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system. Still, poop is better than trash (maybe?).

Yum!’s innovation just doesn’t seem all that yummy. It transgresses Michael Pollan’s maxim — “Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” — a mantra that is probably the most intuitively sensible guideline amid the ever-changing flurry of messaging about our diets.

On the same day we learned about edible coffee cups, another story, “Food Waste Is Becoming Serious Economic and Environmental Issue,” revealed that it costs $1.5 billion just to dispose of all the food Americans throw away. The actual value of that food itself — the one-third of all food produced that is never consumed — is a stunning $162 billion.

When we’re throwing out such an obscene amount of food (which is, presumably, actual food: broccoli, juice, cheese, and the like) do we really need to be eating coffee cups? I’d say we have enough things to eat already that we don’t need to be inventing new stuff. The average supermarket carries over 40,000 items.

The edible coffee cup may be a sensory novelty, which reminds me of another invention from the 1970s that’s still going strong today, edible underpants.

Taffy thongs are harmless enough, and may even have the benefit of spicing up people’s sex lives. But it seems to me that there’s a line we shouldn’t cross (though in all likelihood we crossed it long ago) about what we eat and what we don’t.

Pica is a psychological disorder that involves eating things we’re not supposed to eat. (“Pica” is the Latin word for magpie, a bird known for eating indiscriminately.) While it’s normal for young children to put things in their mouth as a way of exploring objects and exploring their own sense of taste, it’s not normal to eat your sofa. Adele Edwards, a pica sufferer from Florida, has eaten seven.

A TLC cable show, “My Strange Addiction,” features people who eat cigarette ashes, chalk, glass, toilet paper. Some sufferers of this disorder eat their own hair, stones, car keys, silverware.

French epicure Michel Lotito earned himself a bizarre fame by eating bicycles, shopping carts, and televisions. He called himself Monsieur Mangetout (“Mister Eats-All”). You can watch him eating a car, as his interviewer observes, “you’re a nutter, you are.” Limiting his metal intake to one kilogram per day, it took him two years to eat a Cessna 150 airplane.

Trigger warning: researching pica will take you into some strange and unpleasant corners of the internet, exposing you to things you can’t un-see and websites you probably don’t want cached in your browsing history.

The future promises to deluge us with many more foods that Michael Pollan’s grandmother wouldn’t recognize. At the vanguard of efforts to create ridiculous digitally-designed products, 3-D printers filled with hummus or chocolate or marzipan pastes extrude previously unimaginable edible artifacts. A Cornell lab has made miniature space shuttles out of ground scallops and cheese: brave new world.

Cultural anthropologists remind us that any society is keenly identified with its food — what and how people eat, and where, and why. More likely than not this ship has already sailed, but in case there’s still time for us to repent: let’s try not to go down in history as the people whose appetites were so peculiarly deranged that they ate their coffee cups.

Randy Malamud is Regents’ Professor of English and chair of the department at Georgia State University.

Net Neutrality Nonprofit Wins Reddit's Top Charity Vote

Proponents of net neutrality are marking Thursday’s historic ruling by doing what they do best –- further protecting the rights of Internet users.

In layman’s terms, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) stunning decision means that broadband is considered a public utility (like electricity or telephone service) and Internet service providers can’t charge content producers a premium to give users more reliable access to that content. (For example: a CNN video would stream at the same pace as a no-name blogger’s eye-witness clip.)

A number of advocacy groups played instrumental roles in thwarting major cable companies and Republicans on Capitol Hill, including community news and networking site Reddit.

The same day as the victory, Reddit announced it would donate $82,765.95 to the Electric Frontier Foundation (EFF), a group that defends civil liberties in the digital world.

Together with technologists, activists, and attorneys, EFF works to defend free speech online and fight illegal surveillance, in addition to its other advocacy work.

Reddit is donating 10 percent of its 2014 revenue to a number of noteworthy organizations whose missions fall in line with that of the Reddit community. It named its recipients after 80,000 users cast their votes for U.S.-based nonprofits they deemed worthy of getting the funds.

The group also donated the same amount of money to nine other groups, including Planned Parenthood and Doctors Without Borders USA.

It comes as little surprise that Reddit users were keen on supporting EFF, considering the site’s commitment to protecting an open Internet.

Reddit’s work was so critical in the FCC ruling, in fact, that President Obama personally thanked the site for its persistent efforts.

“This would not have happened without the activism and engagement of millions of Americans like you. And that was a direct result of communities like Reddit,” Obama wrote in a letter. “So to all the Redditors who participated in this movement, I have a simple message: ‘Thank you.’”

The movement started eight months ago when Redditor TheArmedGamer urged users to flood the FCC with comments related to its proposed anti-net neutrality rules.

That set off a whirlwind, leading to a record-breaking 3 million comments, according to The Washington Post, and more than 15,000 phone calls to FCC representatives, according to Reddit.

“A year ago, they said it’d be futile,” Reddit wrote in a statement. “Today, we defeated opponents of net neutrality who have spent tens of millions of dollars every year lobbying government.”

Find out more about the Electronic Frontier Foundation and how you can get involved here.

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College Snapchat Accounts Raise Legal Concerns

You take a selfie of your night and send it to your best friends with the expectation that it will disappear in a matter of seconds.

Since social-messaging platform Snapchat rolled out their Stories feature, campus-specific conversations are going far beyond simple self portraits.

Here's What It Was Like Inside Jabba The Hutt

Jabba the Hutt fans, have we got a geekout for you.

“Filmumentary” maker Jamie Benning interviewed Jabba puppeteer Toby Philpott over Skype about his work inside the gelatinous villain of “Return of the Jedi.” Then Benning combined Philpott’s words with behind-the-scenes footage to make the mini-documentary “Slimy Piece Of Worm-Ridden Filth: Life Inside Jabba The Hutt.”

Getting the slug-like bad guy to move and express himself was no easy task in early 1980s animatronics, sometimes requiring multiple men inside the massive puppet, as the video recalls.

But whenever Jabba filled the screen, the effort clearly was worth it.

10 Spock Quotes That Took Us Where No One Has Gone Before

Without Spock, there would be no “Star Trek.” The Starship Enterprise’s part-Vulcan officer always captivated audiences with his wit and logic while knowing exactly how to keep Captain Kirk in check.

On Friday, Leonard Nimoy, the actor who made Spock famous, died at the age of 83. Now, looking back on his career</a

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