Tenor hits 12B searches in its GIF keyboard every month

 David McIntosh’s startup Tenor builds a GIF keyboard — but he actually hopes you’ll spend as little time searching on it as possible. Instead, Tenor’s aim has been to collapse the amount of time it takes you to find a GIF you like and send it to a friend. Read More
Microsoft Office 2010
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Amazon may have just accidentally dropped a clue about where it might put HQ2 (AMZN)

Arlington, Virginia

  • An article on a local news site in Arlington, Virginia, blew up overnight.
  • The views mostly came from what appears to be an internal Amazon.com page.
  • Arlington, Virginia, would be part of Northern Virginia’s bid for its second headquarters project and is part of the DC metro area, which is considered a frontrunner for HQ2.

Amazon may have just tipped its hand again.

Consider Arlington, Virginia. The city is just a stone’s throw away from Washington, DC, and is considered a part of its larger metropolitan area. A local news site called ARLnow.com recently saw an unusual spike in attention to one of its articles from December 2017. The article was titled “County Wins Top Environmental Award from U.S. Green Building Council,” and goes on to explain how Arlington County was the first in the country to be selected for an environmental award.

That story recently saw a traffic spike of about 6,000 pageviews, nearly all being referred from what the site is identifying as an internal Amazon.com page. ARLnow.com speculates that the page is linked closely with Amazon’s search for its second headquarters location and indicates that Arlington is being seriously considered as the spot for HQ2. 

Amazon did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment on the traffic spike. 

We’ve gotten more than a few hints that Amazon is seriously considering selecting somewhere in the DC area. Arlington would be part of the Northern Virginia bid, one of three DC areas that’s up for consideration. The other two are Montgomery County, Maryland, and DC proper.

Amazon has recently ramped up its lobbying efforts in DC. That’s not to mention the fact that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos already has an enormous house there, fit for holding parties and receptions of all kind. He splits his time between running Amazon and The Washington Post, The New York Times said in a recent profile.

Amazon has said that it plans to bring 50,000 jobs and a total of $5 billion invested into the chosen local economy over 10 years.

SEE ALSO: Amazon is quietly coming after dollar stores — and it’s a brilliant move

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NOW WATCH: What it’s really like inside Amazon’s new no-line grocery store.

Microsoft Office 2010
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New data shows Netflix's number of movies has gone down by thousands of titles since 2010 — but its TV catalog size has soared

netflix bright

  • Netflix has focused significantly more on television than movies in recent years.
  • New data from third-party Netflix search engine Flixable shows that the amount of TV on Netflix has nearly tripled since 2010.
  • The number of movies, meanwhile, has gone down by thousands of titles.

 

If you thought Netflix’s movie selection had been lacking lately, you’re right. The streaming service’s amount of movies has dipped by over 2,000 titles since 2010, while its number of TV shows has nearly tripled. 

Third-party Netflix search engine Flixable compiled data that shows a dramatic shift in Netflix’s priorities in recent years.

In 2010, Netflix had 530 TV shows compared to 6,755 movies. Now, in 2018, the amount of TV shows has nearly tripled to 1,569, and the amount of movies offered has decreased to 4,010.

Below is a chart from Flixable detailing the changes:

netflix

It’s no secret that Netflix has focused more on TV shows and less on movies in recent years, but now we have a visual representation of just how significant that focus has become. 

In 2016, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that “no matter [how good the movie catalog was], we end up with a third of our watching being movies.” He explained that if viewers were passionate about a movie, they would have already seen it in theaters by the time it ended up on Netflix. It was hard to create an event.

To counter this, Netflix has begun to release is own “original” movies, and will release 80 in 2018. But that’s an expensive proposition, and will naturally lead to a smaller catalog size.

But it could work to make Netflix more valuable for its users. 

Sarandos called the Will Smith movie “Bright” a big test for Netflix. Could Netflix have its own blockbuster? It seems so. Even though it got shredded by critics, when the film was finally available to stream in December, 11 million people viewed it in its first three days.

SEE ALSO: The official numbers are in, and ‘Black Panther’ soared past the latest ‘Star Wars’ for a historic $242 million opening weekend

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NOW WATCH: You can connect all 9 Best Picture Oscar nominees with actors they have in common — here’s how

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The life and rise of billionaire investor Peter Thiel, Trump’s biggest Silicon Valley supporter — who might be moving to Los Angeles

Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel, one of Silicon Valley’s most successful and controversial venture capitalists, is reportedly leaving the Bay Area.

The outspoken libertarian will reportedly relocate his home, personal funds, and his foundation to Los Angeles, according to The Wall Street Journal, and he’s taking his 50-person staff with him.

Why Los Angeles? It isn’t totally clear. 

As a famously private person, Thiel has yet to confirm the move, or the rumors that he might also be resigning from the board at Facebook. Still, it’s worth taking this time to look at Thiel’s rise to fame in the tech capital of the world — a saga that includes his effort to stop aging and death, his controversial thoughts about college, and his war with the media:

SEE ALSO: The incredible rise of Box CEO Aaron Levie, who stared down the naysayers to prove them wrong

Peter Thiel was born in Germany. He moved to the Bay Area when he was in fifth grade.

His family first moved to the US when he was a year old, but they moved around the world a few more times before settling in Foster City, south of San Francisco.

He attended Stanford where he studied philosophy, got his JD law degree, and served as the first editor-in-chief at The Stanford Review.

He also met many of the people that would become key players at PayPal (later known as the PayPal mafia) including include Keith Rabois, David Sacks, and Reid Hoffman. 

Thiel also became a world-ranked chess player at a young age. He was reportedly once one of the highest ranked under-21 players in the US.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Snapchat adds GIF stickers via Giphy, plus new Friends and Discover screen tabs

 Snapchat is bringing one of the best recent features of Instagram Stories to its own app, with the ability to add GIF stickers from Giphy to your posts. This is a notable reversal of the typical pattern we’ve seen of Instagram cloning Snapchat features, but it’s a good one for users since GIF stickers for Stories are basically the greatest thing ever invented on social media. The… Read More

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Say goodbye to Android Pay and hello to Google Pay

 As we reported last month, Google is uniting all of its different payment tools under the Google Pay brand. On Android, however, the Android Pay app stuck with its existing brand. That’s changing today, though, with the launch of Google Pay for Android. With this, Google is rolling out an update to Android Pay and introducing some new functionality that the company hopes will make… Read More

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You can connect all 9 Best Picture Oscar nominees with actors they have in common — here's how

If you’ve watched any of the 2018 Oscar nominees for Best Picture, you probably noticed something strange. A lot of the actors cross over into one of the other films. We decided to take a deeper dive into the connections and see if we could connect all 9 films together six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon-style.  Here’s what we found. Following is a transcript of the video.

Chris Snyder: If you’ve seen any of the Best Picture nominees for 2018, you might have noticed something unusual.

A lot of the actors cross over into some of the other films.

Some of them are obvious, and some of them are a little more obscure. So this got us thinking … how deep does this go?

There are 9 nominees for Best Picture in 2018.

We connected each Best Picture nominee with the actors they have in common. Here’s how we did it.

Warning: Some spoilers if you haven’t seen these movies yet.

Let’s start with the obvious ones.

Timothée Chalamet appears in “Lady Bird” as Saoirse Ronan’s love interest Kyle. He also stars in “Call Me By Your Name” as Elio.

In “Call Me By Your Name” Michael Stuhlbarg plays Elio’s father. Stuhlbarg is also in two other Best Picture nominees. He plays Dr. Robert Hoffstetler in “The Shape of Water.” And he is New York Times editor Abe Rosenthal in “The Post.”

Through those two alone we have four of the films covered. Now let’s take another look at “Lady Bird.” Lady Bird’s father Larry is played by Tracy Letts, who also plays Fritz Beebe in “The Post.”

Lady Bird’s other love interest Danny is played by Lucas Hedges. Hedges also stars in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” as Mildred’s son Robbie.

Kathryn Newton plays Mildred’s dead daughter Angela.

She also happens to be in “Lady Bird,” playing the minor role of Darlene.

Also in “Three Billboards” is Caleb Landry Jones, who plays Red Welby. He’s the guy who Mildred pays to put up the billboards. He might look familiar, because he’s also in “Get Out.” Where he plays Rose’s violent brother Jeremy.

Also in “Get Out” is Bradley Whitford. He appears in “The Post” as the fictional character Arthur Parsons.

Alright, so now we have 6 of the films on the board. That just leaves”Dunkirk,””Darkest Hour,” and “Phantom Thread.”   

Here’s where things got a bit tricky.

An actor named Davey Jones plays a soldier in both “Dunkirk” and “Darkest Hour.” and ” Yeah, it’s a smaller role, but it’s still a connection.

Two other actors also have minor roles in both “Dunkirk” and “Darkest Hour.” Also in “Darkest Hour” is an actor named Cris Harris, who plays a Downing Street KB. Cris Harris happens to also play a musician in “Phantom Thread.”

So now we’ve connected these 3 movies together, but we’re still missing a connection to the first 6. This is where things got even trickier.

We combed through IMDB searching for any actor that might be the missing link. Just when we thought it wasn’t possible, we found her: Tracey Ruggiero.

Tracey Ruggiero: Whenever you’re on sets like that, you definitely have a feeling that it’s going to be something big.

Snyder: Tracey is a stunt performer who had roles in both “Dunkirk” and “The Post.” Yes, there were stunts in “The Post.”

Ruggiero: So in “The Post” there was a protest scene. I was like running behind the car. I know that Meryl was in the car, and she was looking out the back as Tim Hanks was walking down the street, and so I knew like I was running through that scene a bunch.

In “Dunkirk,” I played a nurse in the big boat scene, and actually like stunt nurse is what she was called because I was a stunt performer. Literally, you felt like you were drowning. It really felt like the boat was getting bombed. 

It’s quite an honor to just have been, just to even work a day on any of those movies. A movie that Steven Spielberg directs or Christopher Nolan directs.

Snyder: So there you go — all 9 films connected, Six-Degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon style, minus Kevin Bacon.

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Uber is slowly quitting developing markets in Asia — here's why India is probably next

Uber India

  • Uber is slowly curtailing its operations in Asia.
  • It has reportedly agreed to sell its Southeast Asia business to local rival Grab in exchange for a stake in the business.
  • Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said operating in developing markets was a drag on profitability.
  • India is probably next on Uber’s quit list — it’s losing out to its biggest rival Ola, and the two share a major investor.

Uber is slowly backing out of developing markets in Asia. 

It has already merged its Chinese business with Didi Chuxing, a ride-sharing giant which has funded several of Uber’s competitors. 

A Friday report from CNBC suggested Uber would pursue a similar deal for its Southeast Asia business, selling off its operations to local giant Grab in exchange for a stake. Uber hasn’t confirmed that deal.

Just one day before the rumours around Uber’s Southeast Asia business surfaced, Uber’s new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi spoke publicly about how expanding to emerging markets costs a huge amount of money.

He said:

“Where we are now as of Q4 is the developed markets, the contribution from the developed markets, essentially pays for the overhead of the business, alright … [The] amount that we are investing in developing markets, that’s a significant negative but that is an optional investment for us.”

In other words, Uber isn’t currently profitable as a business because it’s spending so much money trying to establish itself in places like India.

It’s worth noting that Khosrowshahi went on to say: “By the way, we think it should be on, it’s going to be on for a while, right?”

But given the firm has given up China and the entire region of Southeast Asia to the competition, what’s next?

Local rival Ola is clearly winning in India

Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal

Uber’s main competition in India is a local rival called Ola, founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati.

When I visited India to see my family in October 2017, I saw firsthand how ridesharing had taken over the country.

This is no mean feat given that driving in India is a daily dance with death.

Ridesharing somewhere like the major city of Kolkata is a very different experience from trying to summon an Uber in London or San Francisco. You’re generally waiting around a long time for the car to turn up. Heavy traffic, illogical road systems, and Indian sensibilities about timekeeping all mean you won’t be going anywhere in a rush.

I found that home player Ola was dominant in Kolkata. None of my relatives there ever used Uber.

What little nationwide data there is suggests Ola is winning.

Ola said this month it handles about a billion rides annually across India. Uber has only ratcheted up 500 million rides in the four years it’s been in India, according to a company blog from August.

And according to Quartz, citing December data from data consultancy Kalagato, Ola has higher smartphone reach in India than Uber. Business Insider has asked Kalagato for more up-to-date data.

“Uber had a good start in India,” said Kathik Hosanagar, a professor at Wharton University and specialist in the digital economy. “They managed to grab significant market share from Ola  — Ola and Uber [had] roughly 50% market share each last summer. They customised their product to meet needs in India, ranging from features added to enhance passenger safety to accepting cash payments.

“That said, they are also realizing that Ola is a nimble competitor. Ola has been experimenting constantly with things like the ability to hail Autorickshaws.”

With Uber’s many problems with regulators around the world, and its board-level politics, it’s unlikely that India has been “front and centre,” he added.

“As Uber’s new leadership tries to trim down some fat and focus on its key markets in US and Europe, I suspect that it will exit some markets.”

Uber’s newest investor also backed Ola

Japanese telecoms giant Softbank owns a 15% chunk of Uber, as of January. It is now the firm’s biggest shareholder.

But it has also bought substantial shares in some of Uber’s biggest competitors around the world, including Ola. Along with Tencent, Softbank funnelled $2 billion (£1.4 billion) into Ola in 2017.

It’s possible Softbank could encourage the firms to duke it out in India and see who wins, but there are signs it wants Uber to focus on profitability. 

Board director Rajeev Misra said Uber would be more profitable faster if it focused on US, Europe, Australia, and Latin America. Asia is noticeably missing from that list.

As Hosanagar put it: “The primary determinant of how things play out in the long-term in India will be Softbank, which is a key investor in both companies.

“Softbank may well determine whether the two companies eventually merge or if Uber will leave India to Ola like it left China to Didi. In the long-term, it seems unlikely that Ola and Uber will continue to be locked in an intense battle for marketshare when they have a major investor in common.”

SEE ALSO: This graph tells you everything you need to know about Facebook’s problem with falling use

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NOW WATCH: Why North Korea sent hundreds of cheerleaders to the Olympics

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The iced tea company that pivoted to blockchain is spinning off its beverage business as it once again risks being delisted (LBCC)

Long Blockchain stock price long island iced tea

  • Long Blockchain, formerly known as Long Island Iced Tea, received a second de-listing warning from Nasdaq for failing to maintain a market cap of $35 million.
  • The company on Tuesday announced a new CEO and plans to spin off its original iced tea business.
  • According to the company’s balance sheets, it has no income or assets related to blockchain or cryptocurrency.

Long Blockchain, the iced tea company that saved itself from being kicked of the Nasdaq stock exchange by pivoting to blockchain, has a new CEO, as it once again faces a risk of being delisted.

On Tuesday, the company announced that Shamyl Malik, who previously ran the firm’s blockchain efforts, will take over as CEO. It also announced plans to spin off its original beverage business into a separate company.

Malik previously worked in electronic FX trading in London for Morgan Stanley as well as Citigroup, before joining Long Blockchain’s board in January. He will receive a salary of $250,000 per year, the company said.

Last week, the company told shareholders it will appeal a second delisting notice from exchange operator Nasdaq for failing to keep its market value above $35 million. A hearing is set for Wednesday. Shares were down 5% in trading Tuesday at a price of $3.06 a share, giving the company a market cap of $27.98 million. The stock needs to stay above $3.42 a share to maintain a $35 million market cap. 

“It was always our intention to spin off our beverage business following our shift to Blockchain technology and we believe that it is currently the appropriate time to take such action,” outgoing CEO Phillip Thomas said in a statement.

“Shamyl has shown great initiative and leadership since joining the team, and his appointment as CEO and our planned spin-off will allow the Company to execute on a clear, focused Blockchain strategy.”

The blockchain pivot in December provided an easy boost for Long Blockchain. The announcement spurred a near tripling of its share price overnight — but its financial documents paint a very different story.

According to its most recently filed balance sheet from November, Long Blockchain owns no blockchain assets. However, it has announced plans to merge with a New Zealand firm called Stater Blockchain Limited, a “technology company focused on developing and deploying globally scalable blockchain technology solutions in the financial market,” according to its website.

If the buyout is approved, Stater Blockchain would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Long Blockchain. This means Long Blockchain would finally have tangible blockchain assets, including Stater’s in-house currency futures brokerage.

In January, Long Blockchain said it planned to buy 1,000 cryptocurrency mining machines, before quietly cancelling those plans less than a month later

The company’s fourth quarter balance sheet — required of all public companies within 45 days of the quarter’s end — is now one week overdue. 

Neither Long Blockchain not Stater Blockchain responded to requests for comment.

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NOW WATCH: Microsoft President Brad Smith says the US shouldn’t get ‘too isolationist’

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The Danish inventor accused of the horrific murder of a Swedish journalist on his submarine allegedly texted his girlfriend a description of the crime

Kim Wall Peter Madsen submarine Nautilus UC3

  • Inventor Peter Madsen is accused of killing and dismembering Kim Wall, a journalist who was writing about him.
  • Wall was last seen alive in August, on a submarine Madsen had built himself.
  • A new account of her death includes texts Madsen allegedly sent detailing a “murder plan” with similarities to how Wall died.

The Danish inventor suspected of the horrific murder and mutilation of Swedish journalist Kim Wall allegedly sent his girlfriend a description of the killing a few days before it happened.

Peter Madsen, who is on trial for Wall’s murder, detailed a violent fantasy of cutting up a woman on board his home-made submarine, the UC3-Nautilus, according to a report by WIRED.

Days later, he invited Wall onto his submarine, in response to a request she made to meet him so she could write an article about him.

kim wall peter madsen

The two set sail together on August 10 last year for what was meant to be a brief trip, but only Madsen returned alive. Wall was found dismembered days later.

According to Danish prosecutors, Madsen killed Wall on board the submarine then cut her body into pieces and threw them into the sea. The submarine then sank, but Madsen escaped.

The article by WIRED author May Jeong was published last week, and goes into an unprecedented amount of detail about the circumstances surrounding Wall’s death, including interviews with those close to Madsen.

One was described by Jeong as “a friend and recent sexual partner of Madsen’s,” and described texts she had been sent which echo the situation in which Wall found herself.

The woman recounts an exchange where she jokingly asked Madsen to threaten her as a way to motivate her to finish a work project. Here’s how WIRED reported it:

“The conversation began as a casual sexual exchange but quickly escalated. She read the texts to me, translating into English as she went.

“‘He says he has a murder plan ready in the submarine, and I tell him I am not afraid, you have to be more threatening. He talks about the tools he wants to use, and I say, ‘Oh it’s not threatening.’

“The scenario darkened to inviting a friend to the submarine, where they would suddenly change the mood and begin cutting her up.

“At the time, the woman didn’t give the exchange much thought; it was not something she took seriously. After a lull in the back and forth, she responded by sending him a video of horses. The moment passed. The police now have the texts.”

Madsen is due to go on trial again at the beginning of March in Copenhagen.

Nautilus UC3 Peter Madsen Kim Wall

As Business Insider reported in January, prosecutors published a full indictment against Madsen which gave further details about the alleged murder.

It said Madsen’s actions were pre-planned, and tortured Wall with a variety of tools including a saw, knife, screwdrivers, and body restraints before killing her. He is also accused of sexually abusing her.

Click here for Business Insider’s full coverage of Kim Wall’s disappearance and Madsen’s trial.

SEE ALSO: A submarine inventor tortured Swedish journalist Kim Wall with a saw and screwdrivers before she died, prosecutors say

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