Game of Thrones Fans Noticed Jon Snow Has a Powerful Ally He Hasn’t Used Yet

Game of Thrones has made a point this season to—among the dragon battles and sex scenes—include some long, boring scenes between Cersei and Tycho Nestoris of the Iron Bank. I know, I know, it’s not much fun to watch Cersei discuss her credit score while an army of undead is marching South, but the Iron Bank has a huge role to play in all this. Many fans believe that money could be Cersei’s ultimate downfall once the Iron Bank sees a better business opportunity in Daenerys than Cersei.

But the bank could also be another potential ally in the north, with a vested interest in Jon Snow’s cause as well. As one Reddit user explains:

I believe Jon should also be prioritizing proving to the Iron Bank that the Wights exists. I’ve thought for a while about how the White Walkers only seem to plague Westeros, while the rest of the ASOIAF World is so enormous and would remain seemingly unscathed by Westeros’ complete and utter fall in the coming Winter. Shouldn’t there be some army or ally in the Eastern Lands that would have a vested interest in ensuring the entire continent of Westeros wasn’t turned into an army of the dead? Seems to make sense that the Iron Bank would be exactly those people. They have a major interest in ensuring the Westeros economy stays intact and continues to funnel gold into their banks across The Narrow Sea. Upon learning of the coming threat to a major interest of theirs, wouldn’t the Iron Bank be motivated to provide sell-sword armies and resources to help man The Wall and defeat the White Walkers?

This is assuming Jon Snow is able to pull off his dumbest plan yet and secretly kidnap a single wight from the White Walker army. But, should the Iron Bank be convinced of the White Walker threat, their best investment would be in the salvation of the human race. That’s a pretty sound business model. The White Walkers probably aren’t going to pay taxes! Plus, since Cersei has mistakenly already paid back the Lannister debts in full, the Iron Bank has no more use for her—especially if she’s going to burn down all of King’s Landing to keep her crown.

img_9184

The only problem? Another would-be king has tried to sway the Iron Bank to his side before, as the Redditor points out:

Davos and Stannis weren’t successful with the Iron Bank the last time around, but this situation seems different enough and with an enormous plus side, that it should have prompted Davos to have at least thought of and suggested the idea of recruiting them to the North’s cause!

That’s true. Davos and Stannis couldn’t get the bank on their side. But Jon Snow has a far more lucrative business opportunity for the bankers. Humans will make more money alive than dead! And money right now would be a huge help for Jon. He needs to manufacture a bunch of dragonglass weapons, and the only way to do that is with some expensive industry. He also needs to ensure the support of the Northern and Southern lords, and that’s a whole lot easier with the bank on his side. Maybe this will come into play as part of the super Game of Thrones theory. Sure, a bank swooping in to save the day isn’t necessarily an exciting twist, but George R.R. Martin has gone through incredible lengths to create a functioning fantasy world, which includes its own important economy. Our guess? We haven’t seen the last of the Iron Bank.

Source:

http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/news/a57084/jon-snow-iron-bank-game-of-thrones-season-7-theory/

Advertisements

Netflix’s ‘Marvel’s The Defenders’ Poised for Binge-Viewing

There are no standard “ratings” for Netflix. But “Marvel’s The Defenders,” the streamer’s newest original series in the street-hero franchise, could be one of its biggest hits ever, independent research indicates.

The four preceding Marvel series leading up to “Defenders” — “Daredevil” season 2, “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist” — were among the top five most-viewed recently released Netflix originals in the first 30 days after their premieres, according to data from marketing-analytics firm Jumpshot, provided exclusively to Variety. Teen-suicide drama “13 Reasons Why” took the No. spot.

It seems safe to predict that “The Defenders,” as the culminating mashup with each of the four characters uniting against a common enemy, will turn in similar binge-heavy viewership as well. Netflix released all eight episodes of the limited series at 12:01 a.m. PT Friday. The show stars Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Finn Jones (Iron Fist).

The analysis from Jumpshot shows the relative number of U.S. Netflix viewers who watched at least one episode of each series. The data is presented as a index, benchmarked against the most-viewed Netflix original in the comparison, “Daredevil” season 2. For example, “13 Reasons Why,” the second most-viewed premier in the first 30 days, garnering 48% of the viewers that “Daredevil 2” received.

Of the series studied, “13 Reasons Why” was the only Netflix original that showed any growth in week-over-week viewership in the first month of release, with an 18% increase from week one to week two. That reflects strong word-of-mouth buzz for the controversial show.

“Stranger Things” was the seventh most-viewed Netflix original premiere in its first 30 days, but it had the lowest week-over-week decline in viewership, per the Jumpshot data. It’s not a surprise that shows see a viewing drop-off after the first week, given Netflix’s binge-friendly release strategy.

Source:

Netflix’s ‘Marvel’s The Defenders’ Poised for Binge-Viewing Pop, Data Indicates

HOW TO SHARE BOOKS ON A KINDLE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

One of the best things about Amazon‘s iconic ebook reader is its ever-growing library. At last count, the Kindle Store boasted more than 6 million books, magazines, and newspapers. But you needn’t keep them all to yourself — Amazon makes it easy to share books on a Kindle with friends, family, and your closest acquaintances. It’s like the digital equivalent of lending out a hardcover, minus the coffee stains and musty binding. If there’s a con to Kindle’s book-sharing tools, however, it’s that they can be a little tricky to get the hang of. To help clear up some of the confusion, we’ve put together a guide outlining how to share books on a Kindle with other people.

If you’ve got a family of avid readers, good news: Amazon makes it pretty easy to share books with every member of your family. Family Library lets up to two adults and four children share all or some of their Kindle books, apps, and audiobooks with one another. Members can read the same book at the same time without interrupting one another’s progress, too, regardless of whether they’re using a Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Oasis, or an outdated Kindle Fire. Plus, they can borrow books for as long as they’d like.

Sharing titles can be a bit of a process, though. Before you can begin sharing Kindle books with family, you need to grant other family members access to your Family Library. Here’s how to do it:

  • Head to the Manage Your Content and Devices section of your Amazon account.
  • Under the Settings tab, in the Households and Family Library section, click the Invite an Adult/Invite a Child button.
  • Have the other adult/child enter their Amazon email and password (if they have one), or create a new account.
  • Click Yes to allow both your account and the other adult’s/child’s account to share payment methods.
  • Choose which books you’d like to share with the other adult/child, and have the other adult/child choose which books they’d like to share with you.
  • Click Finish.

Now that you’ve added adults and kids to your Family Library and shared your previous purchases, you’re ready to begin lending new Kindle books. Here’s how:

  • Head to the Manage Your Content and Devices section of your Amazon account.
  • Select the Show Family Library link from the Your Content tab.
  • Select the book(s) you’d like to share with a family member, and then click Add to Library.
  • Choose a family member, and then click OK.

 

Once you’ve received a book from another family member, it’s pretty easy to get it on the device of your choice. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Head to the Manage Your Content and Devices section of your Amazon account.
  • Choose the books you’d like to send to your device or app, and click Deliver.
  • Select where the books should be sent from the pop-up menu, and then click Deliver once more.

Source:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/how-to-share-books-on-a-kindle/

Johnny Cash Always Fought Hatred. His Family Just Disavowed a Charlottesville Nazi.

In 1964, right after the mainstream success of “Ring of Fire,” Johnny Cash risked his career to release Bitter Tears, an album advocating for the rights of Native Americans. This wasn’t something that country singers did in the mid-’60s. Backlash from the racist music industry at the time was swift. His record, and its single—”The Ballad of Ira Hayes” about the Pima Indian who helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima—was being boycotted by radio station managers.

 

But, Cash kept fighting. He took out a full-page ad in Billboard saying: “D.J.s–station managers–owners, etc., where are your guts? ‘Ira Hayes’ is strong medicine. So is Rochester, Harlem, Birmingham and Vietnam.” Cash won that battle. His song wasn’t silenced by racists; instead it’s become one of the most beloved American social anthems of all time, recorded and re-recorded by artists through the last five decades.

Tragically, 54 years later, we’re still fighting that same fight.

Last weekend, that racism reared its ugly head again as a group of Nazis caused chaos in Charlottesville, with a pathetic rally that resulted in the death of one counter-protester. Among the many horrifying images spread on TV and the Internet was video of a white supremacist wearing a Johnny Cash t-shirt. Someone notified the Cash family, who were sickened by the association, as his daughter Rosanne Cash wrote on Facebook.

“He would be horrified at even a casual use of his name or image for an idea or a cause founded in persecution and hatred. The white supremacists and neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville are poison in our society, and an insult to every American hero who wore a uniform to fight the Nazis in WWII,” Rosanne Cash wrote. “Several men in the extended Cash family were among those who served with honor. Our dad told each of us, over and over throughout our lives, ‘Children, you can choose love or hate. I choose love.'”

The men who marched in Charlottesville are outsiders in any community that embraces the ideals that Johnny Cash stood for. Cash would have fought them as he fought the racists who boycotted his music.

“To any who claim supremacy over other human beings, to any who believe in racial or religious hierarchy: we are not you,” Rosanne Cash wrote. “Our father, as a person, icon, or symbol, is not you. We ask that the Cash name be kept far away from destructive and hateful ideology.”

It’s bizarre to see Neo Nazis and White Supremacists embrace cultural idols like Johnny Cash. Earlier this year, Richard Spencer’s favorite band, Depeche Mode, completely disavowed everything the white supremacist leader stood for. This shows an extension of their ignorance and twisted views of the world that they don’t realize artists like Johnny Cash or Depeche Mode fought for equality. That’s what it is: ignorance. These men have no sense that their ideals are not wanted in our art, our culture, or our country. Leave Johnny Cash out of it.

Source:

http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/music/news/a57066/johnny-cash-charlottesville-nazi-shirt/

Facebook will soon purge video clickbait from the News Feed

Facebook has announced two new updates that will limit video clickbait posts from appearing in the News Feed. The posts being targeted are those that have fake video play buttons embedded into an image, and videos of a static image.

Facebook’s algorithm actively promotes videos, especially longer ones. Spammers have exploited this to trick users into clicking links to low-quality websites and those with malicious ads. Users started noticing static images disguised as videos a little while ago where some pages were gaming Facebook’s algorithm by just uploading static memes as 10-second videos.

“Publishers that rely on these intentionally deceptive practices should expect the distribution of those clickbait stories to markedly decrease,” Facebook engineers Baraa Hamodi, Zahir Bokhari, and Yun Zhang, wrote in a blog post. “Most Pages won’t see significant changes to their distribution in News Feed.”

The demotion of video clickbait posts will roll out over the next few weeks. In May, the company rolled out more tweaks to the News Feed to limit clickbait posts.

Facebook has been taking a more aggressive approach to moderating content on its platform since the US election, after the social networking site was criticized for not doing enough to combat fake news proliferating on its platform.

Source:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/17/16160638/facebook-targeting-video-clickbait-spam

How To Start a Blog

So below, I’m going to outline exactly what you need to do to get started and set up your own personal blog. Before we dive in though, I really want to talk about WHY you should build a blog.

Note: If you already have a solid idea of the whys, then skip this and go right ahead with the guide.

  1. Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news. There are literally millions of blogs online (don’t worry, you can make yours stand out and get noticed!).
  2. It’s a great way to express yourself and also a fantastic way to share information with others.
  3. You become a better person and a better writer.
  4. The best reason? You can make money doing it!

I bet you already knew all of that, but it’s nice to be reminded.

One very last thing before we get started:

The Steps Covered In This Blogging Guide

It’s nowhere near as difficult as setting up a website from scratch (there’s very little technical ability needed here). In fact, there’s no coding required by you. Good news, huh?

How to Start a Blog in 5 Steps:

There’s five main steps you need to do in order to start a blog. If you follow this guide exactly, you’ll have your own blog set up in 30 minutes or less.

  1. Choose your preferred blog platform
  2. Choose web hosting for your blog
  3. Setting up a blog on your own domain
  4. Design your blog
  5. Useful resources for blogging

So, we made it. Phew. Better late than never! So, without further ado, let’s jump into step 1.

Step 1 – Choose your preferred blogging platform

Choosing where you want to build blog is pretty much the first thing you have to do. I’m going to take a leap and assume you’ve heard of WordPress, and this is the platform I advocate. It’s massive.

It’s by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world, with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways to design and layout your blog.

There are more than 82 million active users of WordPress = a lot, basically.

There are other alternatives however, and they are listed below:

  • Blogger – Definitely the next best thing to WordPress.
  • Tumblr – Half social network, half blog. Interesting, and very simple to use.

Even though WordPress is bigger (and probably better) than those two, here are my reasons why you should still go with WordPress:

  1. Super easy set-up and is free to use
  2. Tons of free themes and layouts (I’m not kidding, there’s gazillions).
  3. There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck (you won’t, but it’s nice to have it there if you need it).
  4. Your blog will be insanely fast and it’ll also look Functionality and form – perfect!
  5. People can interact with you easily. Your content can be shared, commented on, and so on.

Here’s an article about different blogging platforms (including WordPress), give it a read:

How to Choose a Blogging Platform – (updated for 2017)

Now, Step 2 (see, we’re moving fast now!)

Step 2 – Self-hosting or a free alternative?

Whoa, slow down there! This is the biggest decision you’ll have to make before we go any further. You need to decide whether to pay for your blog or grab a free one.

WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger all offer free blogs for anyone. Awesome, right? It’s perfect for those of us who aren’t super serious about blogging. But it does have downsides:

1) You won’t be able to get your OWN domain name

On a free blog, your blog’s web address (your URL) will be butt-ugly. Like, really ugly. In short, create a free blog with any other the above free blog services and it’ll look like this:

  • yourblog.wordpress.com
  • yourblog.blogspot.com
  • yourblog.tumblr.com

I know, ugly right?

2) Limits and more limits

There are some limits to free blogs. You can’t fully monetize it, and you don’t have the possibility to upload all those videos and images you want to show everyone – it’s all limited. Worse still, you won’t even have access to the free themes offered by WordPress.

3) You DON’T OWN your blog

It might sound silly at first, but you don’t actually own your blog. It’s hosted on someone else’s web property and they can delete it if they want so. They have done so in the past, and keep doing it in the future. Which means all your hard work on your blog, all those countless hours of writing blog posts might be vanished within seconds. Sad…

On the other hand, with a self-hosted blog on your own domain name – you are the REAL owner of your blog. You’ll be able to name your blog whatever you want, for example “YourName.com” or “YourAwesomeBlog.com. You can end it with .com, .co.uk, .net, .org, or virtually any other web suffix. Add to that unlimited bandwidth for videos, images and content plus the free themes and you have a winning combo.

So how much is hosting and a domain name? Not as much as you’re thinking, fortunately. It usually works out to about $5 to $10 per month, depending on your hosting provider which is less than a couple of coffees.

If you still have questions, here’s some further information for you to look at:

  • Should I Choose a Hosted or Non-hosted Blogging Platform?

Step 3 – Start a blog on your own domain (if you chose self-hosting and a custom domain)

wordpress blogging platform

I’m going to push ahead based on the premise you’ve chosen WordPress, and if you haven’t, you should. Seriously, it’s the best.

If you’re still a little confused by what a self-hosted blog is, allow me to explain and how you can go about setting one up for yourself.

You’ll need to come up with a domain name you like and also choose a hosting company that can host your blog.

  • Domain: The domain is basically the URL of your website. Examples: google.com (Google.com is the domain), Facebook.com (Facebook.com is the domain). See? Simple!
  • Hosting: Hosting is basically the company that puts your website up on the internet so everyone else can see it. Everything will be saved on there. Think of it as a computer hard-drive on the internet where your blog will be saved.

Personally, I use iPage (for my blog domain and hosting), and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it. It’s probably one of the cheapest (less than $2.50 per month) hosting providers out there. A domain name will cost around $10-15 a year, but with iPage they throw that in for free :). Big smiles for that! They’re the providers I use for all of my blogs, including the one you’re reading right now.

If for any reason you don’t want to go with iPage, feel free to choose your own hosting company. Most, if not all of them, should have a “one-click” WordPress install solution on their admin panel.

That button will automatically install WordPress on your blog. Did I say it was simple or what?

All you need to do is sign up with iPage (or your chosen provider), choose your hosting plan and a domain name and look for the one-click WordPress install button on the admin panel.

WordPress essentials aren’t often needed, but I’d recommend whois privacy (that will keep all your personal details private) and definitely automated backups (this’ll save your website just in case anything fails or disappears, so you won’t lose any or very little of your blog).

Once WordPress is installed on your website, all you have to do to start blogging is go to your WP-Admin page usually http://www.yourblognamehere.com/wp-admin and start writing by adding a new post.

At the start, the layout looks confusing, but it gets very understandable quickly. Don’t worry!

Step 4 – Designing your WordPress blog

Now, the fun bit.

Let’s make your blog look exactly how you want it to. To choose a new theme, you can either head to Appearance > Themes and install a free WordPress theme or you can head to a premium theme website like ThemeForest.net and buy a theme for around $40.

I usually choose something that looks professional and pretty easy to customise. WordPress also has this awesome feature that allows you to change themes with just a few clicks. So if you start getting tired of your current blog template, you can just switch to another one without losing any precious content or images.

Step 5 – Useful Resources For Beginner Bloggers

Bloggers come to blogging arena with varying degrees of online and social media experience, but we’ve all made more than a few newbie mistakes – there’s always room for more learning and improvement, whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been blogging for years.

These articles may help you avoid some of the growing pains when it comes to your first blog – enjoy!:

Source:

https://www.bloggingbasics101.com/how-do-i-start-a-blog/

Common Food Additive Promotes Colon Cancer in Mice

A popular food additive used in everything from dill pickles to ice cream is now linked to colon cancer, thanks to the way it impacts the gut.

 

Emulsifiers are added to most processed foods to improve food texture and extend shelf life. But it also throws off healthy levels of intestinal bacteria, triggering chronic, low-level inflammation that promotes colorectal cancer, according to a new study.

To be clear, scientists identified the potential cancer-promoting effects in an animal study. But the way I see it, it’s best to steer clear of these ingredients since various other studies suggest they impact the gut in unhealthy ways.

The finding comes on the heels of another gut breakthrough where researchers discovered fungus may trigger Crohn’s disease. Clearly, the microbiome greatly influences our disease risk. That’s why I make gut health the centerpiece of my practice and my personal health regimen.

Let’s take a closer look at this important new study, including ways to avoid this harmful class of processed food additives.


 

Hippocrates is famous for declaring that food is medicine. But his quote came long before the creation of lab-derived ingredients and processed foods. Here, we have just another example of how ingredients we often overlook can spell disaster for our health. In the recent food additive and colon cancer study, researchers at Georgia State University’s Institute for Biomedical Sciences found that mice that regularly consumed dietary emulsifiers experienced exacerbated tumor development. The results appeared in the journal Cancer Research

 

For this study, researchers focused on two of the most commonly used emulsifiers called polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose. They fed mice doses comparable to the cumulative amounts people would eat daily in processed foods. While the following findings need to be replicated in humans, I’m not taking any chances and will continue to avoid these “detergent-like” ingredients.

Consuming emulsifiers drastically changed the species composition of the gut microbiota in a manner that made it more pro-inflammatory, creating a niche favoring cancer induction and development, researchers pointed out. Alterations in bacterial species resulted in bacteria expressing more flagellin and lipopolysaccharide, which activate pro-inflammatory gene expression by the immune system.

Source:

https://draxe.com/food-additive-colon-cancer/

Indonesian Travel Startup Valued at $2 Billion After Expedia Deal

Traveloka Holding Ltd. raised $400 million in a funding round led by Expedia Inc. that conferred a $2 billion valuation on Indonesia’s largest online travel startup, a person familiar with the matter said.

The person asked not to be identified discussing private information. Expedia said it was contributing $350 million to Traveloka’s financing round, a major investment into a five-year-old startup backed by China’s JD.com Inc., Sequoia Capital, East Ventures and Hillhouse Capital. That brought the total amount the company has raised in the last two rounds in the past year to $500 million, Expedia said. Traveloka representatives weren’t immediately available for comment. The Information first reported on its valuation.

Jakarta-based Traveloka is capitalizing on Southeast Asia’s online boom. The region of more than 600 million is home to an online travel market predicted to quadruple to $90 billion by 2025, according to a report by Google and Temasek Holdings Pte.

“Traveloka is the clear online travel leader in Indonesia, and is expanding aggressively throughout Southeast Asia,” Expedia Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said in its statement.

Source:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-28/traveloka-is-said-to-be-valued-at-2-billion-after-expedia-deal

 

Alexa Can Now Read Audiobooks to Your Pets So They Feel Less Lonely

On April Fools’ Day this year, Amazon spoofed itself with an introduction to PetLexa, an animal-friendly version of its Alexa voice assistant. Now, it’s actually releasing something real—audiobooks for animals.

Today, Audible announced a new brand of books with Cesar Millan, a longtime dog behaviorist and Emmy-nominated host of the TV series Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan. The series, Audible for Dogs, aims to help make dogs “calmer and happier,” with titles such as “A Dog’s Purpose,” “Soldier Dogs” and “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”

According to Audible, the series was inspired by a 2015 academic study, which found dogs that listen to audiobooks were more likely to have lower stress when left alone than those that listened to music. When Audible teamed up with Milan’s Dog Psychology Center to study 100 dogs over four weeks, playing Audible content through Echo devices for the dogs, 76 percent of dog owners reported their pets were calmer and more relaxed after listening to the audiobooks. (Dogs reportedly responded better to books read by narrators that were the same gender as their primary owner.)

“Dogs are social animals, so they need to engage with someone, and the purpose of Audible for Dogs is to make dogs feel there is someone with them,” Millan said in a statement. “The person performing the audiobook is actually keeping your dog calm and taking the dog to a resting state, acting as an extension of you.”

It could be yet another good use for the millions of Amazon Alexa-powered Echo devices now in households around the U.S, as marketers and media companies continue developing ways to incorporate voice-activated content.

However, while dogs might appreciate the AI-powered entertainment, the series might be more comforting for humans that feel the emotional weight of leaving their four-legged friends all alone. In a new testimonial video released today by Audible, Millan talks with a woman about how the books have helped her dog, Buddy, when she’s away.

Source:

http://www.adweek.com/digital/alexa-can-now-read-audiobooks-to-your-pets-so-they-feel-less-lonely/

Google adds allergy forecast info to mobile search results

One antihistamine or two? Google is making sure hay fever sufferers can answer that question in double quick time, thanks to the new addition of pollen measurements in search results. Plug an allergy- or pollen-related query into your Android smartphone and search results will now include a simple breakdown of current and predicted pollen levels. The new type of rich card result is populated by data from The Weather Channel, and as always, you can get more detailed info by tapping on the card itself.

Search within the Google app and you’ll also be prompted to turn on notifications. Your phone will hit you with a reminder if the pollen count is creeping particularly high in your area so you can dash to the nearest store and grab a pocket-pack of tissues before you start streaming from every facial orifice.

Source:

https://www.engadget.com/2017/08/16/google-allergy-mobile-search/

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: