Archive for the ‘Paid’ Category

New techniques

Dating pinpoints volcanoes that killed half of species, split continents.

New techniques for dating rocks have helped narrow the time frame of a chain of massive volcanic eruptions that wiped out half of the world’s species 200 million years ago, a study said Thursday.

The result is the most precise date yet — 201,564,000 years ago — for the event, which is known as the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event, said the study, published in the journal Science. The event was the fourth mass extinction in the history of our planet.

The eruptions “had to be a hell of an event,” said coauthor Dennis Kent, an expert on paleomagnetism at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
They may offer a historic parallel to the human-caused climate change happening today, by showing how sharp increases in carbon dioxide can outpace vulnerable species’ ability to adapt, researchers said.

The new analysis narrows the estimated date from its previous range of up to 3 million years to just 20,000 years at most — a blink of an eye in geological terms.

The eruptions caused an already hot Earth to become even more stifling, killing off plants and animals and making way for the age of the dinosaurs — before they, too, were eventually obliterated some 65 million years ago, possibly by another volcanic event combined with a devastating meteor strike.

Optimize

A perfect example are the integrated displays. PearsonLloyd had wanted to connect these in a center band to optimize their complexity of articulation. And while this didn’t affect roominess, the band blocked a view into the next row, cutting down on perceived space. So they abandoned the idea. The precise shape of the head/shoulder compartment was honed to accept users of multiple broadness. The lower lumbar adjustments were given massage functions (which sounds like a godsend for anyone who’s gone numb during a long flight). And even the seat textile is wholly custom, bringing in flecks of yellow to warm the otherwise silver sheen. I asked Pearson why many of these pretty obvious improvements hadn’t been made before, why if V-shaped seating is so efficient, it wasn’t simply implemented in the first place? “Simply because design and engineering knowledge evolves,” he responded. “People never arrive immediately at the optimum solution.” Which makes you wonder, with a few more great ideas, how wonderful could Lufthansa’s next new business class be?

Paid

James Hong’s Pivot From Rating To Dating: The HotOrNot Story.A superficial site about rating hotties went viral and became a paid dating service worth millions. Here’s how Hong transformed HotOrNot.

Two Heinekens into a lazy afternoon in October 2000, James Hong, a 27-year-old dotcom refugee from Mountain View, CA, was listening to his roommate, Jim Young, a Berkeley graduate student in electrical engineering, wax on about a woman he had spotted at a party the previous weekend. Young, also 27, insisted she was a “perfect 10.” Hong didn’t believe him. His roommate had a thing for “goth” while Hong’s own tastes were more Abercrombie & Fitch.
What the world needed, they agreed, was a metric to reliably rate someone’s looks.

So they built Am I Hot or Not?, a site that let users rank from 1 to 10 the relative hotness of someone in a photo. Almost immediately it became a viral sensation. At first, the two generated revenue through advertising, but during the dotcom bust they pivoted, transitioning into a matchmaking site with subscriptions. In April 2001, they instituted a $6 per month fee to join “Meet Me,” figuring it was cheap enough to qualify as an impulse buy. In its first month it generated $25,000 in revenue and by year’s end it brought in $600,000.

Seven and a half years after launch, they sold HotorNot for a reported $20 million, and now the site–at least as it was–no longer exists. But here’s how it looked back in 2001, and an interview with Hong which proves that the right pivot can score you a date.