The Tie Bar Taps Michael Alter As New CEO

The Tie Bar, a men’s accessory business that’s exclusively known for its neckties and bowties, has hired a new CEO. Michael D. Alter, who used to be the President and CEO of SurePayroll for 14 years, has been chosen to replace Anand Shah, who left the business in March.

The new 46-year-old CEO reflects upon Tie Bar’s recent success, stating that it grew in revenue from 10 million in 2012 to 16 million in 2013. He has high hopes for continued growth as he takes the reigns of the new position.

Alter’s expected success is due in part to his belief in the business’s foundation and loyalty. He became a customer just over a year ago, but he feels the company is right up his alley. “Greg did a wonderful job building a business around a brand and a mission that guys shouldn’t have to pay a lot for a great tie. So many guys talk about having to wear ‘the uniform,’ a suit and blazer. The way you can differentiate yourself is with a tie or cufflinks or socks,” Alter said in an interview with Shia Kapos from Chicago Business.

With a MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University, Alter has the brains to run a successful business. The tie industry has shown no signs of slowing down in recent years, and given Alter’s experience with online advertising and e-commerce, The Tie Bar’s future is looking bright.

Tie Bar products can be found online starting at only 15 dollars.

 

 

These Billionaires Could Buy Your City If they Choose To…

We all know billionaires have a lot of money. Bill Gates is listed as the world’s wealthiest man with $78.4 billion. Warren Buffett has $65.5 billion. And when the Walton family combines their net worth, it equates to an estimated $111.5 billion. And while these numbers are very impressive, few can truly imagine what having that much money really means. The following is a great way to visualize a billionaire’s fortune.

The Walton family has so much money that if they wanted to they could by every single residence within the city limits of Seattle. You read that right, they could buy all 241,450 homes in Washington’s largest city. The estimation does not include suburbs and surrounding neighborhoods, so Bill Gates’s home would still be safe in near by Medina.

And speaking of Bill Gates, the world’s wealthiest man could purchase every home in the city of Boston by himself! That means Gates would be the sole proprietor of 114, 212 residences. Plenty of room for the Microsoft founder to spread out. Infact, he has so much money that he’d still have a billion dollars left over. This according to a report by Redfin Research Center.

Investment tycoon Warren Buffett could use his $56.5 billion to purchase every abode in Charlotte, North Carolina. That equates to 280,214 private residences for the aging billionaire to retire too.

Imagine having the ability to buy an entire city. We’ve tried and we still can’t. While wealthy people are known for having real estate all around the world, there are very few who could claim to afford an entire metropolis. Meanwhile there are millions of people who can not even afford to own one home. Though these hypothetical purchases are fun to imagine, there is no better analogy to compare the difference in the wealth gap of the rich and poor in this country. The following is the  summary of the top 13 billionaires and what they could afford if they could:

Billionaires Map

  1. Walton Family ($154.8 billion)—Seattle (241,450 homes)
  2. Koch Brothers ($86 billion)—Atlanta (286,629 homes)
  3. Bill Gates ($77.5 billion)—Boston (114,212 homes)
  4. Warren Buffett ($63.5 billion)—Charlotte, N.C. (280,214 homes)
  5. Michael Bloomberg ($31.8 billion)—Anaheim, Calif. (69,167 homes)
  6. Larry Page ($30.8 billion)—Boca Raton, Fla. (99,964 homes)
  7. Jeff Bezos ($30.5 billion)—Napa, Calif. (57,923 homes)
  8. Mark Zuckerberg ($27.7 billion)—St. Paul, Minn. (139,124 homes)
  9. Steve Balmer ($20.4 billion)—Littleton, Colo. (64,516 homes)
  10. Phil Knight ($18.3 billion)—Falls Church, Va. (37,838 homes)
  11. Paul Allen ($15.9 billion)—Durham, N.C. (92,290 homes)
  12. Rupert Murdoch ($13.6 billion)—Peoria, Ariz. (60,894 homes)
  13. Elon Musk ($8.8 billion)—Centreville, Va. (23,789 homes)

Source: Redfin

The full list of billionaires and their respective buying powers can be found here.

CIA on Twitter

CIA on Twitter! It’s official- everyone has twitter and facebook, even the Central Intelligence Agency now. They already had a whopping 105 thousand followers within their first two hours of joining on Fri., Jun. 6. Additionally, their first tweet was retweeted over 85 thousand times during this span. Upon joining Facebook, their page received over 73 hundred likes by the end of the day.

The CIA already has Flickr and Youtube accounts. Evidently, they are receiving a PR push from the American intelligence community (IC). Especially following the Edward Snowden fiasco in which disclosures concerning the National Security Agency’s surveillance were released abundantly.

The CIA is falling a little bit behind other government agencies, however.The National Security Agency joined Twitter back in 2009, while the FBI joined in 2008.

The CIA’s first tweet said, “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.” Clever and humorous or insensitive?

Director of Amnesty International USA Security and Human Rights Program, Zeke Johnson, commented on the CIA’s social media involvement, saying, “The CIA’s first Tweet would be funny if it weren’t for the agency’s use of torture and extrajudicial executions.” He then added, “They should put as least as much effort into following the law as they do into social media. The full truth about the CIA torture and drone strikes should be made public immediately and those responsible for crimes held accountable.”

John Brennan, CIA director said in a public release Sat., Jun. 7, “By expanding to these platforms, CIA will be able to more directly engage with the public and provide information on CIA’s mission, history, and other developments. We have important insights to share, and we want to make sure that unclassified information about the Agency is more accessible to the American public that we serve, consistent with our national security mission.”

The CIA declared that they would post, “the latest news, statements, and career information from CIA,” via social media. They said that they would also post, “artifacts and other information from the CIA’s Museum – the best museum most people never get to see.”The CIA will also post updates and important information from their “World Facebook”. This page will be a good source of information concerning unclassified histories and current topics.

In response to the CIA’s twitter account, one twitter user has remarked, “@CIA how does it feel to be followed for once?”

 

CIA Twitter Account-BIZNOB

 

Photo: Twitter

 

Mayweather Ranked Top Earning Athlete Of 2014

Whether you agree with it or not, we all know that professional athletes make boatloads of money. If you’re lucky enough to be considered an elite performer than your contract can range upwards of $100 million. Basketball, football, baseball, hockey, take your pick because all of these sports can turn a poor man into a rich one. It appears though that no mainstream sport is capable of delivery a humungous payday quite like boxing.

Floyd Mayweather has been making at least $25 million a bout for the last nine fights dating back to 2007. Since the superstar boxer’s debut in 1996 after the Olympics, Mayweather has used his fists to make almost $400 million. Now consider that $105 million of that total has come in the last 12 months from a total of two fights that lasted a combined 72 minutes. Or $1.45 million for every minute he spent in the ring this year.

It has as made Mayweather sports greatest earner this year by far. Forbes has actually listed him as the cash king of sports for the second time within the last three years. His fight against Canelo brought in $150 million in Pay-Per-View sales and was marketed as “The One.” Mayweather took home $41.5 million for the fight with over 2 million viewers purchasing access to watch the world’s most exciting boxer. He also brought in $32 million for his bout in May against Maidana.

mayweather-articleLarge
Photo: Isaac Brekken/AP

Though Mayweather reigns as the supreme earner of sports, he is not the only athlete to break off a giant piece of the cash pie. Cristiano Ronaldo has earned upwards of $80 million thanks to well negotiated contracts as well as endorsement deals with Emirates, Nike, Samsung Electronics and Toyota Motor that earn the soccer star $28 million annually. Lebron James ranks third on Forbes list with $72.3 million and has well known deals with Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola , Upper Deck and owns a small piece of equity in Beats which was recently purchased by Apple.

It is quite wild that someone could be paid so much for putting a ball through a hoop or punching a man in the face repeatedly. Yet here we are. A society that values entertainment over education, and is willing to put its money where its mouth is. It’s not a new notion. Grievances have been aired for decades about athletic salaries. No one expects real change though. It just one more thing to talk about as we gather around our television sets for the next big event.

Forbes complete list of top earning athletes can be found here.

 

 

Money Mayweather regains his spot as the world’s highest-paid athlete. Photo: Forbes 

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Losses Primary Election

In what has come as a shock to many, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated by David Brat in the primaries for the congressional election in Virginia’s 7th district. Brat, backed by the Tea Party, had been critical of Cantor for not being conservative enough. The economics professor accused Cantor of supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants, and for being soft on immigration in general. What’s even more surprising is that Bart was able to win with just a mere $200,000 in financing for his campaign. Keep that in mind when his opponent spent $5.4 million on his own.

Republicans will take a big blow with Cantor’s removal from office. Many expected the majority leader to succeed John A. Boehner as the Speaker of the House. During his concession speech Cantor did not offer reasoning for his loss, but only apologized to the supporters who he had disappointed.

Meanwhile Brat exclaimed he believed that voters were finally tired of the partisan infighting. Brat told Fox News, “The American people want to pay attention to serious ideas again. Our founding was built by people who were political philosophers, and we need to get back to that, away from this kind of cheap political rhetoric of right and left.” Still this is only the primaries. Brat still has to focus on defeating Democrat Jack Trammell this fall, though their district is heavily Republican.

Republicans were so confident in Cantor’s win that they were not just watching for a win, but by how big of a gap it would be by. Cantor is currently serving his seventh term, and was assured as all but a lock for reelection. In the past he has won his primary election by as much as 79%. Now Republicans are concerned that his removal will have major implications for the future of immigration reform.

Cantor has also been criticized of largely ignoring his home district. Despite having a home and kids attending school in the region, Cantor has spent little time with the people he represents. Instead, Cantor has spent a large percentage of his time traveling across the country campaigning and raising funds for other Republican candidates. Many of those who put Cantor in office have felt forgotten, had seem destined to take Boehner’s seat as Speaker.

Democrats have been celebrating since the news has spread. The New York Times quoted Representative Louise M. Slaughter of New York, the senior Democrat on the House Rules Committee, as saying, “I never thought I’d see the day that Eric Cantor would be losing his primary.” Once the hype settles though, it will be time to get back to work. And it looks like big changes are most likely coming.

 

 

 

 

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and his wife, Diana, leave the stage after his concession speech in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Cantor lost in the GOP primary to tea party candidate Dave Brat. Steve Helber/AP Photo

NCAA Reaches Settlement Over Video Game Profits

The NCAA has come to a settlement in regards to Electronic Arts using players’ likenesses without paying them. This is big news, because the NCAA has been adamant about not playing athletes while they attend college.

The NCAA conceded it would pay current and former Division I Men’s basketball players and Bowl Subdivision football players $20M. The O’ Bannon Trial, named after former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, featured testimony from O’Bannon and Stanford sports economist Roger Noll, who claims that athletes are entitled to half the revenue produced from television contracts.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken will decide whether to force the NCAA to share its profits from television networks with student-athletes whose likenesses they use for commercial purposes.

Noll stated that the NCAA rules over the marketplace of college sports because it governs who can participate in big business and forbids players from getting paid. He claimed that these are the characteristic actions of a cartel based on findings by NCAA expert Daniel Rubinfeld.

NCAA lead outside attorney Glenn Pomerantz defended the NCAA’s position, asking O’Bannon about the benefits of attending UCLA, to which he replied, “I was an athlete masquerading as a student. I was there strictly to play basketball.”

Additionally, Electronic Arts came to a settlement of $40M that could pay 100,000 former and current student athletes anywhere between $48 and $951 for use of their likenesses in NCAA-branded video games dating back to 2003.

The position that student athletes deserve compensation for the use of their likenesses is strong. Since the results from this case can be considered successful, it wouldn’t be a surprise that the NCAA may be forced to surrender a percentage of their television profits to student athletes in near future.

 

 

Photo: Ed O’Bannon /  Credit: Isaac Brekken/AP

Brittany Brown’s “Dark Girls”

Illustrator Brittany Brown has created a collection of illustrations titled “Dark Girls”. These beautiful pieces aim at challenging the rigid conventions of the beauty and fashion world. Her series opens up a perspective on the urgency for more diversity in the beauty product realm. Brown is a young illustrator, 24, who works in Brooklyn. This collection has been met with tremendous acclaim.

Brown describes that her inspiration came from noticing a lack of diversity among popular beauty images, specifically face charts, used by beauty brands. The illustrator describes her motivation for challenging these norms, saying, “Representation matters so much; things seen in popular culture and the media we consume shape who we are and what we aspire to be.”

Brown’s pieces use pencil, ink, and watercolor materials. The illustrations are specifically concerned with darker skinned women, even though her actions make a much larger statement.

Each image shows a stunning illustration of a woman with makeup with a list of particular product suggestions for attaining the look below it.

On Brown’s blog page she writes, “My medicine cabinet is filled to the brim with beauty products despite the fact that I only wear two makeup looks; winged liner with a strong lip and a strong brow with a strong lip. Groundbreaking, really. I’ve been thinking a lot about representation in the fashion industry and how that relates to my experience as a black girl. The industry is still very behind in terms of diversity. Representation matters.” Certainly, no group should feel excluded from beauty experimentation because guidelines for them don’t exist.

Brown’s piece serves as a necessary reminder that all types of beauty must be embraced in popular culture in order to promote confidence in every woman. The media has such a profound impact on the social aspects of society that such movements are necessary.

Brown discussed why this project is of great importance to her, stating, “The fact that people are recreating my illustrations in their everyday lives is really amazing. If my work helps someone with their confidence and self-esteem, that’s what I care about. I want this series to move people.”

 

 

Photo: Brittany Holloway Brown

Computer Successfully Pretends To Be Human

In an experiment by the Royal Society in London, a super computer has passed the “Turing Test” for the first time by tricking investigators into thinking it was a 13-year-old human boy during a text conversation.

The “Turing Test” was made in 1950 by a computer science expert and Second World War codebreaker, Alan Turing, who said that if a machine wasn’t distinguishable from a human, then it must be capable of thinking. The test says that 30% of human participants must be fooled in a five-minute conversation in order to pass the test.

Five machines were tested to see if they could fool people into believing they were humans in a text-based interaction. “Eugene Goostman,” a computer program that simulates a 13-year-old boy was the first machine to convince 33% of participants that it was a human being. No other machine or computer had ever passed the test before.

The passing program was made in Saint Petersburg, Russia by software development engineers Vladimir Veselov, who currently lives in the U.S., and Ukrainian Eugene Demchenko who lives in Russia. Veselov says: “It’s a remarkable achievement for us and we hope it boosts interest in artificial intelligence and chatbots.”

Professor Kevin Warwick from the University of Reading asserts that a computer with such artificial intelligence has “implications for society” and will be a “wake-up call to cybercrime.”

Many are frightened about the possibility that computers and machines can be smarter than humans. Does the passing of the Turing Test mean our lives will turn into a frightening science fiction movie full of killer robots bent on taking over the world?

 

Uber’s $18.2 Billion Valuation Likely To Position CEO Travis Kalanick Into The Billionaire Dollar Club

Travis Kalanick, CEO and cofounder of the San Francisco based car service app ‘Uber,’ raised $1.2 billion from BlackRock, Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Menlo Ventures, and Summit Partners to amass a valuation of $18.2 billion according to Forbes. This number makes Kalanick the newest tech billionaire and puts the company in the lead for Internet startup companies.

With a valuation of $18.2 billion, the Uber founder would only need to own about 5.5% of Uber’s shares to be worth $1 billion—or to be a billionaire. Yet, according to Forbes, odds are, Kalanick is worth about double that. According to their calculations, common shares, or stocks held by founders and angel investors, account for 38% of Uber’s total shares, or 109 million common shares out of 289 million total shares. Yet because Kalanick reportedly shared with the Wall Street Journal that he never sold a single share, he is expected to own at least 10% of the total shares, putting his net worth at about $2 billion.

The company that started out in San Francisico in June 2010 as a small, easy, and reliable car service operated via an iPhone app has exploded, expanding to 128 cities and 40 countries, raising its valuation higher than rental car companies like Hertz Global Holdings and Avis Budget, and making a billionaire out of its CEO.

 

 

Photo: Courtesy Photo

UPDATE: Walmart Truck Driver That Hit Morgan’s Limo Hadn’t Slept in 24 Hrs

After a horrific six-vehicle accident this past Saturday, June 7, which placed comedian, Tracy Morgan, in intensive care, injured several others, and killed fellow comedian and friend to Morgan, James McNair, reports reveal more about the truck driver who was at the root of the accident.

According to police reports, the accident was caused by a truck driver for Walmart who was dozing off to sleep and failed to see the slowing traffic. The driver, identified as Kevin Roper, 36, of Georgia, was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. He was released on $50,000 bail on Saturday night.

According to a report by Gothamist, the criminal complaint now has new details about the truck driver’s condition at the time of the accident – he hadn’t slept for a day. The Star Ledger reports that the National Transportation Safety Board investigated the crash. Spokesman, Keith Holloway, said a team of investigators was sent to the scene of the fatal crash to assess what had happened.

Holloway states: “If we can take that information and can use it to prevent accidents like this from happening, that will help us achieve our goal.”

Walmart’s President, Bill Simon, released a statement on the matter: “This is a tragedy and we are profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved… Safety is our absolute highest priority, but that is no comfort whatsoever to the families and friends who are suffering today. We offer them our deepest condolences. We can’t change what happened, but we will do what’s right for the family of the victim and the survivors in the days and weeks ahead.”

The former SNL and 30 Rock comedian is said to have broken his leg, femur, nose, and several ribs, and required extensive surgery. The star remains in critical condition and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few weeks to recover.

 

Fisher Named Knicks Head Coach

 

It’s now official: after months of wading through his options, Knick President, Phil Jackson, makes, some would say, his second biggest move since he took his position, the first being his decision to fire former Knicks coach, Mike Woodson. Derek Fisher is the new Knicks coach! He signed a five-year, $25M contract, which matches the deal Steve Kerr landed in California.

Jackson pursued Steve Kerr for the coaching role, his former Bulls point guard who played a complimentary, but crucial role in winning three championships. With no prior coaching experience, Kerr was perceived as a possible “clean slate” for Jackson to implement his successful ideology and philosophy in an effort to make the Knicks a winning franchise. Kerr ended up accepting a five-year, $25M deal with the Golden State Warriors.

Fisher made it clear that he had no coaching experience and that there are no guarantees in the world of sports. Likewise, Fisher sounds prepared to lose Carmelo Anthony, since he may or may not resign with the New York Knicks at the end of his contract.

Experts are split as to whether the Knicks are better with or without Anthony, but even so, it’s clear that Fisher and Jackson are here to turn the Knickerbockers into a winning team for the long term. Fisher expressed his confidence in the current roster as well. “I have to be prepared to coach the players we have,” he said in a press conference. “ I’m not down on this roster, as some of you in the room are.”

Derek Fisher won all five of his championships as a Laker while Jackson was their coach.

 

 

 

 

Photos: Courtesy MSG

 

Paris Bridge Collapses Under Weight of Love

Apparently love can be crippling, as seen with the collapse of the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris. The bridge is a tourist attraction where lovers from across the world come to attach a lock with their initials to its railing then throw the key into the Seine river below, symbolizing their everlasting love. Yet this past Sunday, June 8, part of the railing on the footbridge collapsed under the weight of the locks—and love.

The phenomenon that has inspired over 700,000 couples to fasten metal locks onto the bridge has stirred up controversy in Paris. For some time now, many have protested the unsightly defacing of bridges with locks, and have even created a campaign called “No Love Locks.”

“I know it seems romantic, a lock signifying your everlasting love fastened forever to a bridge in the City of Light – and sure, a few years ago it was quite a novel and charming idea. But now, dear tourists, much like the Real Housewives series, it’s just too much of a good thing. The delicate Pont des Arts has become a freakish glut of indistinguishable metal lumps, and worse, is now in mortal danger,” insists Lisa Anselmo, creator of the “No Love Locks” campaign.

The city’s new mayor, Anne Hidalgo, has been reluctant to take action towards removing the locks due to the fact that it is a widespread tourist attraction, yet this could change after the incident. While the bridge reopened on Sunday night, many are relentless about stopping this tradition.

Bruno Julliard, an official in charge of cultural affairs in Paris, told the Agence France-Presse that the incident “reinforces our conviction that there is a real necessity to find an alternative.”

What do you think will happen? Will tourists stop locking their love up on the bridge, or will it continue to be a symbol of everlasting affection for years to come?

 

 

Thousands of padlocks clipped by lovers are seen on the fence of the Pont des Arts over the River Seine.
Credit: 
Charles Platiau/Reuters

Disney Will Add Princess Leia Toy to New Line

Despite Disney’s report just three weeks ago that it had, “no plans for Leia products at the Disney store”, Disney now claims that these toys are underway. Following the initial announcement, Disney had received a fair amount of criticism for its decision, compelling them to launch these toys as of this past Wed., Jun.4.

A new line of Star Wars action figures had launched at the end of May on the Star Wars blog. It included Darth Vader, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker, but not Princess Leia. Complaints mostly came from parents and bloggers who were dissatisfied by the lack of products for girls. The criticisms included a backlash of tweets with the tag “#WeWantLeia”. Through Twitter, parents pointed out that there are barely any Star Wars themed gear for girls meanwhile Jedi products are abundant.

According to the Daily Dot, a student at King’s College London, Natalie Wreyford, had first noticed this misstep. Subsequently, many feminist and entertainment blogs picked up on this story.

Disney spokesperson Margita Thompson told TIME, “The current assortment of Star Wars products at the Disney Store launched earlier this year, and is just the beginning of what is to come.” Adding, “we’re excited to be rolling out new products in the coming months, including Princess Leia, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars galaxy.” She also pointed out the availability of Princess Leia themed toys, costumes, and other products available through Amazon.

Much to fans dismay, Disney recently announced that there would only be one new female actress featured in the initial casting for “Episode VII”, which will be created under J.J. Abrams direction. Nevertheless, Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie have been added to the cast since this announcement. Such changes prove how effective protesting via social media can be.

 

 

 

 

Photo:  From left: Anthony Daniels as C-3PO and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars

Credit: MARY EVANS/EVERETT

 

Russian Chatterbox Passes Turing Test

In the 1950s, programmers began speculating about the idea of intelligent computers. Inventor Alan Turing declared that the first major milestone of this effort would come when there is no clear distinction between a conversation with a computer and with a human. Turing wrote, “I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.”

Turing’s Al litmus test requires that at least 30% of humans be fooled into thinking that the robot is human. On Sun., Jun. 6, at the Royal Society in London, a computer program managed to convince 33% of a judge panel that it was 13 year old Ukrainian boy. In this competition, each of the programs was required to participate in a series of five minute, text based conversations. This was the first time that a computer has passed this test in history.

The program is called “Eugene Goostman” and it is open for public experiment online. However, because of the immense traffic it has recently caused, the site may not be accessible for a few days. Eugene’s makers described the process of making this program, saying, “You don’t write a program, you write a novel. You think up a life for your character from scratch – starting with childhood – endowing him with opinions, thoughts, fears, quirks.”

This momentous achievement has raised many, heavy questions that people have been asking for years. Principally, the question of what qualifies as “intelligence.” The programmers of Eugene Goostman managed to make the program’s intellectual abilities resemble that of a real human. One of the programmers mentioned, “Our main idea was that he can claim that he knows anything, but his age also makes it perfectly reasonable that he doesn’t know everything. We spent a lot of time developing a character with a believable personality.”

Nevertheless, it is difficult to say whether making the chatterbox a young boy is a breakthrough or a cop out. The issue of the turing test’s foundation then arises. It seems like a rather outdated and ineffective means of determining the presence of true intelligence in a computer.

This is why there is a new standard for the modern turing tests. Inventor Hugh Loebner outlined these rules in 1990. According to Loebner’s standards, the conversation must last a duration of 25 minutes with four separate judges. In this instance, the computer must fool at least half of the judges.

Another test, the most difficult version of the turing, was constructed by Mitch Kapor, Lotus founder, and Ray Kurzweil, futurologist. In their spin on this test, the robot must have two hour long discussions with three judges and ultimately convince ⅔ that it is human. Additionally, it must be ranked as being “more human” than at least two of the human competitors. Kapor bet that no robot could pass this test before 2029 and the scientists have laid $20 thousand on the bet.

Either way, the most important quality of the product is how useful it will be. It must be acknowledged that Eugene Goostman is not a super-computer, it is not even a computer, but rather a chatter-box. The main significance here is not necessarily of artificial intelligence, but rather the growing difficulty in distinguishing chatterboxes from humans.

 

Cupcake ATM “Sprinkles” Around The Nation

Ever taken money from the ATM? Using this Cupcake “ATM” should be fairly just as easy. A 24-hour running cupcake “ATM” has made its way to major cities such as LA, Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas. The machine was initially revealed in March of 2012 at “Sprinkles” bakery in Beverly Hills. Since its debut, the ATMs have been popping up everywhere, gaining worldwide media attention.

The Sprinkles’ product allows cupcake enthusiasts to buy gourmet cupcakes anytime they desire by merely pushing a button on a candy-pink machine. The machine is an extension of the bakery chain.

The cupcake ATM has the ability to dispense a variety of 20 different types of cupcakes which all come in brown and pink boxes. The user can make his or her selection by touching the screen. After choosing a cupcake, the customer watches on the screen as a robotic arm grabs that cupcake flavor. A moment later, the rotating door opens up with the boxed cupcake. Each cupcake costs $4.25.

Cupcake ATM creator Charles Nelson, 44, ensures the high quality of these treats. Apparently, the machine can hold up to 760 cupcakes at one time and is stocked about 2-3 times a day to ensure customers that their cupcakes are as fresh as they are out of the bakery.

Initially, the available flavors were Cuban coffee, cinnamon sugar, banana dark, and red velvet. Nonetheless, Sprinkles has expanded the options and makes the daily specials of the bakery available through the machine as well.

Nelson discussed how the idea of this machine came to him six years ago when his wife was pregnant and craving a cupcake. He said, “It was the middle of the night, and my wife really wanted a cupcake. I own a cupcake shop and couldn’t even get a cupcake!”

In addition to their current locations, the ATMs will soon be available in Georgetown, Washington D.C., Glendale, California, Palo Alto, California, and Scottsdale, Arizona.  New York’s first Cupcake ATM by the Sprinkles cupcake store is at 780 Lexington Ave.

 

Photo: Tamara Beckwith/NY POST

Apple Announces Release Date For iPhone 6

All the technology gurus are in for a treat, as Apple has set the release date of the iPhone 6 for Sept. 19. There has been a lot of talk regarding the new craze and all the advancement it entails. Sources say Apple has been in close competition with Android, but it expects the slower sales in 2014 to be counteracted by the projected sales from the new iPhone.

So what does this new device have that’s different from what the iPhone has previously released? Well for one, the front retina display will be the largest for an Apple product thus far. “The screen will take up relatively more area on the front of the phone, and will have a smaller hardware border around the screen than on previous iPhones,” according to BGR. The only issue, however, is that the screen is predicted to be roughly 1334 x 750 pixels, which is unfortunately much lower than competing smartphone brands. That’s not to say the iPhone is a scam, but Apple will really need to push the new features in order to stay on top.

With the iPhone 5 already nine months old, the public has been hearing and starting rumors about what Apple has up its sleeve for the next go-round. Luckily, some of the chatter doesn’t seem to be all false, and the new iPhone is expected to offer wireless payment as predicted. It has not yet been released as to the carrier with whom Apple will work for this service. There has been a bit of concern regarding Apple’s ability to follow through after withdrawing this luxury last minute from the iPhone 5, but there seems to be more confidence with the new release.

In addition, the device is anticipated to have a better battery life, roughly a 50 -70 percent improvement. CP Tech reported that Apple filed a patent for wireless charging, so this may be a groundbreaking upgrade as well. All the rumors have not yet been confirmed, but there is no doubt customers will be pleasantly surprised and satisfied when Sept. 19 rolls around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Apple

 

Miss Nevada -Nia Sanchez, Crowned Miss USA

Miss Nevada, Nia Sanchez, 24, has won the title of Miss USA this past Sunday, Jun. 8. The competition marked the 63rd telecast of the 3-hour annual beauty pageant. The pageant was broadcast live on NBC from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was co-hosted by Giuliana Rancic of “E!News” and Thomas Roberts of “Way Too Early.” The contestants were judged on the classic three categories: swimsuit, evening gown, and interview.

miss-usa-nevada-nia-sanchez
Miss Nevada -Nia Sanchez, Crowned Miss USA – Photo: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe Organization

The contestants came from all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. They entered the stage on flashy float as Marc Broussard sang New Orleans hits. As confetti fell in the background, the beauties introduced themselves, holding Mardi Gras masks in their hands.

Sanchez addressed the issue of sexual assault on college campuses during her question and answer session in her red, fishtail gown. She promoted awareness on the issue so that women will learn the proper means of protecting themselves. The Las-Vegas stunner also expressed that some colleges may understate these issues in order to maintain a good reputation.

Sanchez described how being a 4th degree black belt in Taekwondo taught her that, “you need to be confident and able to defend yourself…that’s something we need to start to implement for a lot of women.” Sanchez learned this at a young age, telling reporters about how she lived with her mother in a women’s shelter for some time. This is why when Sanchez was 8 years old she took up Taekwondo. More recently, she has volunteered at women’s shelter to teach them how to defend themselves and instruct children about “stranger danger”. The first runner up was Audra Mari, 20, from North Dakota.

The other finalists came from Georgia, Louisiana, Iowa, and Florida. Mari spoke about her struggles with bullying in high school and how she overcame them by competing in ice hockey. The runner-up wore a green gown and discussed the importance of education in her final interview.

Sanchez expressed her pride in bringing the title of Miss USA back to Nevada. She described the experience as “a dream come true”. Miss USA 2013, Erin Brady of Connecticut, handed off her crown to Sanchez. Sanchez will compete in the international Miss Universe competition representing the U.S. later this year.

Looking Back AT The Triple Crown Crashed Dream – Almost Doesn’t Count!

It had been 36 years since there had been a triple crown winner, and it looks like we’re going to have to keep on waiting. California Chrome, winner of both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, failed to win the Belmont this past saturday. A crowd of about 100,000 people gathered at Belmont park. They had all hoped that they would be witnesses history that hadn’t been made in more than a quarter of a century. They were all sadly disappointed.

In pure distance figures, Chrome lost by less than two lengths from the winner. But what those who tuned in Saturday evening saw was a dead heat run for fourth. That’s how fast this sport moves. Blink and you miss it. But Tonalist didn’t, because Tonalist was the horse that stole the Triple Crown out from California Chrome’s hooves. But Chrome is not alone. He is the 12th horse to face these exact same circumstances since the last great champion seized all three races.

Steve Coburn, who owns a minority stake in the horse, lambasted the owners of some of the other horses who chose to withhold them from the Derby and the Preakness. Thereby giving the horses an unfair advantage against a tired horse who has already run two races. But Coburn is just being a bad sport. Though he had more invested in the race than those just observing, there were very few people on Saturday who didn’t want to see Chrome finish first. The owners who chose to rest their horses for the first two races were well within the rights. Steve was acting like a toddler.

Chrome had been running beautifully up until the Belmont. Despite having less than a stellar pedigree, the horse did not appear tired from the 12 races it ran in 13 months prior to Saturday’s race. But after breaking out to the no. 2 spot early on Chrome’s rider, Victor Espinoza, said he could feel that horse was not running the way he had in the first two legs of the crown. A mile and a half is a long distance to travel at a full gallop, California Chrome got tired. It’s just that simple.

 

 

 

Photo: ESPN

Lil’ Kim Gives Birth to Baby Girl, Royal Reign

Female rapper Lil’ Kim, 39, is now the proud mother of a baby girl. According to ET reports Lil’ Kim gave birth to her daughter on Mon., Jun. 9, at 9:58 a.m. at Hackensack University Medical Center in NJ. The baby’s name is “Royal Reign”. She is Lil’ Kim’s first child. Royal Reign is 6 pounds, 5 ounces, measuring 19.5 inches long.

The announcement of Lil’ Kim’s pregnancy occurred back in Feb. She revealed her pregnancy during her performance at MAC Cosmetics and The Blonds Fashion Week after-party in NYC. Reportedly, Royal Reign’s father is New York rapper Mr. Papers. Even though this hasn’t been officially confirmed, Mr. Papers has been open about plans to marry Lil’ Kim. He has also revealed that their relationship has been going on for almost two and a half years now.

The rap Queen’s baby shower was held in early May. The glamorous event was held at the Broad Street Ballroom in NYC and hosted by David Tutera. Lil’ Kim wore and embellished cream dress to the royalty themed event. Many celebrities were in attendance, even reality star Tiffany “New York” Pollard showed up. Lil’ Kim told In Touch, “At the beginning of the party, I was announced as The Queen with two trumpeters and even wore a crown!”

 

Lil’ Kim Gives Birth to Baby Girl, Royal Reign
Lil’ Kim Gives Birth to Baby Girl, Royal Reign

 

Wisconsin Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban Invalid, Citing Violation of U.S Constitution

This Friday the proposed ban on same sex marriage in Wisconsin has been ruled invalid.

According to CNN, US District Judge Barbara Crabb denied the ban on same-sex marriage, due to the fact that she believes the ban is in direct violation with the U.S Constitution.

US District Judge Barbara Crabb via Twitter

“I conclude that the Wisconsin laws prohibiting marriage between same-sex couples interfere with plaintiffs’ right to marry, in violation of the due process clause, and discriminate against the plaintiffs on a basis of sexual orientation, in violation of the Constitution’s equal protection clause,” Judge Barbara Crabb wrote.

All federal judges in Wisconsin have reached the same conclusion that current Wisconsin law restricting marriage to one man and one woman can not stand. There is no date yet of when the change will take effect. State officials have asked the judge to put her ruling on hold temporarily, making sure the ruling would not go into effect right away. In defense of their decision, many of the judges have referred to the United States v. Windsor ruling, and that the ban was in violation to the fourteenth amendment.

It is believed that the US Supreme Court will have a final ruling in the fate of same sex marriage during their next term. Currently, same-sex marriage, in America, is only legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia. This includes: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Wisconsin Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban Invalid, Citing Violation of U.S Constitution
The United States’ Supreme Court will possibly make a final ruling in the fate of same sex marriage during their next term. Credit: PhotoSpin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Wikipedia