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Graduate certificate programs can be cheaper, faster alternatives to grad school - here's how they compare to master's degrees and what you should consider before signing up for one If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

edX Micromaster and coursera MasterTrack 4x3

edX Micromaster; Coursera; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

  • A graduate certificate can offer similar career and skill-boosting benefits as grad school.
  • edX MicroMasters or Coursera MasterTracks can help you earn cheaper credits for a master's degree.
  • Below are answers to FAQs about grad certificates, including cost, time commitment, and more.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

While graduate degrees can provide chances to pivot to new careers, they also can take a few years to complete and charge high tuition, depending on the school and program. That's why many people consider more affordable, flexible alternatives such as graduate certificates.

Here's everything you need to know about graduate certificates, how they compare to master's degrees, and some of the most popular graduate degree programs:

What is a graduate certificate?

While not the same as a master's degree, a graduate certificate can be taken fully online, at your own pace, and for anywhere from $1,000-$5000 total. Depending on the intended profession, it can help you learn new skills to transition into a different field - with official certification to show employers on LinkedIn or your resume - and some options even have built-in portfolio assignments so you can exit the course with new samples of your work.

On some occasions, such as with edX MicroMasters and Coursera MasterTracks, graduate certificates can double as college credits towards a related master's degree, since you technically completed graduate coursework. However, certificate credits are not automatically accepted by all schools - it varies on the university and program.

MicroMasters (small)

MasterTrack (small)

On top of graduate certificates offered by universities, companies and non-profits sometimes offer professional certificate programs, which can also be added to resumes or LinkedIn profiles. Google and Udacity, for instance, offer programs designed to teach you in-demand tech skills such as data analysis, project management, and programming.

Google Data Analytic Professional Certificate (small) Digital Marketing Nanodegree (small) What's the difference between a graduate certificate and a graduate degree?

Unlike finishing a full master's degree program, grad certificate program students take a few master's courses around a subject - like Sustainability and Development or Data Science - and receive a certificate of completion upon passing the program.

Because certificates involve taking fewer classes (and don't usually have an admissions process), they're not considered the same as having a master's degree or Ph.D. However, they can help you stand out to prospective employers, especially if you're looking to transition into a different field and want to demonstrate that you learned the required skills.

How much do certificate programs cost?

Graduate certificate programs can cost anywhere from $1,000-$5,000, depending on the school, program, and length. The price of a graduate certificate can be a fraction of the cost of traditional college degrees (including online ones).

How long do certificate programs typically take?

Graduate certificate programs widely vary in length. Some, like MIT's Supply Chain Management MicroMasters, can take a little over a year. Others, like the University of Minnesota's UX Design MasterTrack, take a few months to complete.

How do I apply to a graduate certificate program?

Most certificate programs, such as the ones offered through edX's MicroMasters, don't require a formal application process. If the course requires any prerequisite knowledge, that information will usually be in the course description.

That being said, graduate certificate programs, such as Coursera's MasterTracks, can cap off after a certain number of applicants, so it's good to bookmark the enrollment date and sign up as soon as you can.

Can I pick some of the classes in the certificate program?

Usually, no. Coursera and edX's graduate certificate offerings pick the classes for you and you have to pass all of them to get the certification.

There are exceptions, though. Harvard's Extension School, for instance, lets you choose a few electives as part of your certificate.

How does grading work?

While graduate degree programs operate via GPAs, graduate certificates are often Pass/Fail. Coursera, for example, gives you a percentage grade on each assignment and then a final combined score.

Depending on the program and size of your class, your written feedback on assignments might also be shorter and more brief than it would be in a graduate degree program.

What if I want to get a master's degree after finishing a certificate program?

Specific programs in the edX MicroMasters and Coursera MasterTrack series have different guidelines regarding college credits. Some might only accept the certificate classes as college credits if you pursue a degree in the same school and program you completed the certificate in; others provide a list of schools that will take the credits.

One upside to completing a certificate before continuing a degree in the same field is that the certificate credits are typically cheaper and can save you some money down the line.

Can I get financial aid for a certificate program?

It depends. Coursera MasterTracks don't currently offer financial assistance. And while edX lets you apply for financial aid for most of its programs, for MicroMasters, you'll have to audit each course first and apply for financial aid every time.

Is a graduate certificate worth it?

If you're looking to save time and money, graduate and professional certificates can be a great alternative to graduate degrees, especially if you're just looking to pick up some new skills, such as accounting or coding. Online certificate programs can also offer some flexibility in terms of scheduling and can help you decide if you want to pursue a full degree later. Here's a review of one Insider employee's positive experience taking a free University of Michigan Coursera MasterTrack course, which led her to apply to grad school.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Julia Pugachevsky)]

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Hadrian is building the factories of the future for rocket ships and advanced manufacturing If the eight person team behind the new startup Hadrian has their way, they’ll have transformed the manufacturing industry within the next decade.

At least, that’s the goal for the new San Francisco-based startup, founded only last year, which has set its sights on building out a new model for advanced manufacturing to enable the satellite, space ship, and advanced energy technology companies to build the future they envision better and faster.

“ We view our job as to provide the world’s most efficient space and defense component factory,” said Hadrian founder, Chris Power.

Initially, the company is building factories to make the parts that go on rocket ships, according to Power, but the business has implications for any company that needs bespoke components to make their equipment.

“Let me tell you how bad it is at the moment and what’s going to happen over the next 20 years. Right now everyone in space and defense, [including] SpaceX and Lockheed Martin, outsources their parts and manufacturing to small factories across the country. They’re super expensive, they’re unreliable and they’re completely invisible to the customers,” said Power. “This causes big problems with space and defense manufacturers in the design phase, because the lead time is so long and the iteration time is super long. Imagine running software and being able to iterate on your product once every 20 days? If you can imagine a Gantt chart of how to build a rocket, about 60% of that is buffer time… A lot of the delays in launches and stuff like that happen because parts got delivered three months ago. It’d be like running a McDonalds and realizing that your fries and burger providers could not tell you when the food would arrive.”

It’s hard to overstate the strategic importance of the parts suppliers to the operations of aerospace, defense, and advanced machining companies. As no less an authority on manufacturing than Elon Musk noted in a tweet, “The factory is the product.” It’s also hard to overstate the geopolitical importance of re-establishing the U.S. as a center of manufacturing excellence, according to Hadrian’s investors Lux Capital, Founders Fund, and Construct Capital. Which is one reason why they’re investing $9.5 million into the very early stage business.

“America made massive strategic mistakes in the early 90s which have left our national manufacturing ecosystem completely dilapidated,” said Founders Fund principal Delian Asparouhov. “The only way to get out of this disaster is to re-invent the most basic input into our aerospace and defense supply chains, machining metal parts quickly and with high tolerance. Right now, America’s most innovative company, SpaceX, relies on a network of near-retired machinists to produce space-worthy metal parts, and no one in technology is. focused on solving this.”


The factory is the product

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 11, 2021

Power got to understand the problem at his previous company, Ento, which sold workforce management software to blue collar customers. It was there he realized the issue of. the aging workforce and the need for manufacturers to upgrade almost every aspect of their own technology stack. “I realized that the right way to bring technology to the industrial space is not to sell software to these companies, it’s to build an industrial business from scratch with software.”

Initially, Hadrian is focusing all of its efforts on the space industry, where the component manufacturing problem is especially acute, but the manufacturing capabilities the company is building out have broad relevance across any industry that requires highly engineered components.

“The demand for manufacturing from both the large SpaceX and Blue Origin all the way to this growing long tail of companies from Anduril to Relativity to Varda,” said Lux Capital co-founder Josh Wolfe. “Most of these guys are using mom and pop machine shops… [and] those shops are horribly inefficient. They’re not consistent, and they’re not reliable. Between the software automation, the hardware, you can cut down on inefficiency every step of the process… I like to think of value creation as waste reduction… so mundane things like quoting, scheduling, bidding, and planning all the way to the programming of the manufacturing… every one of those things takes hours to tens of hours to days and weeks, so if you can do that in minutes, it’s just a no-brainer. [Hadrian] will be the cutting edge choice for all of the new and explicitly dedicated and focused aerospace and defense companies.”

Power envisions a network of manufacturing facilities that can initially cover roughly 65% of all space and defense components, and will eventually take that number up to 95% of components. Already several of the biggest launch vehicle and satellite manufacturers are in talks with the company to produce hundreds of units for them, Power said. Some of those companies just happen to be in the Construct, Lux, and Founders Fund portfolio.

And the company’s founder sees this as a new way to revitalize American manufacturing jobs as well. “Manufacturing jobs in space and defense can easily be as high paying as a software engineering job at Google,” he said. In an ideal world, Hadrian would like to offer an onramp to high paying manufacturing careers in the 21st century in the same way that automakers provided good union jobs in the twentieth.

“We haven’t built any of this. If you look at the sheer number of people that we need to train and hire on our new technology and new systems, that people problem and that training problem is part of growing our business.”

A render of Axiom’s future commercial space station design.

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 12:41:09 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs TC Aerospace America Blue Origin Co-founder Construct Capital Elon Musk Entrepreneurship Factory Food Founders Fund Google Josh Wolfe Lockheed Martin Lux Capital Manufacturing Mcdonalds San Francisco Software Automation SpaceX Startup company United States
MDC Partners Taps S4 Capital’s Rebecca Routs to Lead Senior Client Relationships ]]> Thu, 15 Apr 2021 12:24:05 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Leadership & Talent Media Agencies Google Earth's new Timelapse feature shows 40 years of climate change in just seconds ]]> Thu, 15 Apr 2021 11:57:39 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Thursday's Best Deals: Surface Laptop 3, AirPods Pro, LG 27" UltraGear Monitor, Mass Effect 2, Bella Air Fryer, Tacklife Portable Power Station, Happy Dance CBD, and More

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Sales scheduling platform Chili Piper raises $33M Series B funding led by Tiger Global Chili Piper, which has a sophisticated SaaS appointment scheduling platform for sales teams, has raised a $33 million B round led by Tiger Global. Existing investors Base10 Partners and Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI-focused VC) also participated. This brings the company’s total financing to $54 million. The company will use the capital raised to accelerate product development. The previous $18M A round was led by Base10 and Google’s Gradient Ventures 9 months ago.

It’s main competitor is Calendly, started 21/2 years previously, which recently achieved a $3Bn valuation.

How Atlanta’s Calendly turned a scheduling nightmare into a $3B startup

Launched in 2016, Chili Piper’s software for B2B revenue teams is designed to convert leads into attended meetings. Sales teams can also use it to book demos, increase inbound conversion rates, eliminate manual lead routing, and streamline critical processes around meetings. It’s used by Intuit, Twilio, Forrester, Spotify, and Gong.

Chili Piper has a number of different tools for businesses to schedule and calendar accountments, but its key USP is in its use by ‘inbound SDR Sales Development Representatives (SDR)’, who are responsible for qualifying inbound sales leads. It’s particularly useful in scheduling calls when customers hit websites ask for a salesperson to call them back.

Nicolas Vandenberghe, CEO, and co-founder of Chili Piper said: “When we started we sold the house and decided to grow the company ourselves. So all the way until 2019 we bootstrapped. Tiger gave us a valuation that we expected to get at the end of this year, which will help us accelerate things much faster, so we couldn’t refuse it.”

Alina Vandenberghe, CPO, and Co-founder said: “We’re proud to have so many customers scheduling meetings and optimizing their calendars with Chili Piper’s Instant Booker.”

The husband-and-wife founded company has was fully remote from day one, with 93 employees in 81 cities and 21 countries, long before the pandemic hit.

John Curtius, Partner at Tiger Global said: “When we met Nicolas and Alina, we were fired up by their product vision and focus on customer happiness.”

TJ Nahigian, Managing Partner at Base10 Partners, added: “We originally invested in Chili Piper because we knew customers needed ways to add fire to how they connected with inbound leads. We’ve been absolutely blown away with the progress over the past year, 2020 has been a step-change for this company as business went remote.”

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 11:10:23 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Europe TC Artificial Intelligence Base10 Partners Co-founder Food And Drink Forrester Gradient Ventures Intuit Lead Generation Managing Partner Marketing Sales Spotify Tiger Global Twilio
Substack announces a $1M initiative to fund local journalists While the seemingly unending debate around Substack has focused on well-known writers with a national profile, the newsletter platform just announced that it will be supporting local (presumably non-famous) journalists through a new program.

The startup described Substack Local as a $1 million initiative that will fund independent writers creating local news publications. Similar to the Substack Pro program, the company will offer cash advances of up to $100,000, as well as mentorship and “subsidized access” to health insurance and design services. In exchange, Substack will take 85% of subscription revenue for a year (its cut goes back to the standard 10% after that).

Applications are due by April 29, with participants selected by a panel of judges with their own Substack publications — Zeynep Tufekci of Insight, Anne Helen Petersen of Culture Study, Dick Tofel of Second Rough Draft and Rachel Larimore, managing editor of The Dispatch.

Substack said that through this initiative, it’s also partnering with New Zealand-based Stuff to launch two new publications covering under-served regions in the country.

Substack confirms $65M raise, promises to ‘rapidly’ expand its financial backing of newly independent writers

A Substack skeptic might suggest that programs like this are an easy way to drum up positive publicity. (Facebook and Google have also announced programs to support local news.) In Substack’s case, this comes after the platform has been criticized for bankrolling transphobic writers with big advances — just a few days ago, the company revealed that it has recently signed lucrative contracts with transgender writers including Daniel Lavery.

Regardless of motivation, the need for more local journalism is real, with news deserts created by the shutdowns and struggles of many local newspapers. If there’s going to be any hope, it seems more likely to come from new, digitally-focused publications and independent journalists.

“This is not a grants program, nor is it inspired by philanthropic intent,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Our goal is to foster an effective business model for independent local news that provides ample room for growth.”

Substack faces backlash over the writers it supports with big advances

]]> Thu, 15 Apr 2021 11:00:15 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Media Startups Substack Tech Industry Group Funded by Amazon, Facebook and Google Says It Supports a Corporate Tax Hike

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New Google Earth feature shows chilling effect of climate change ]]> Thu, 15 Apr 2021 10:28:46 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Bang & Olufsen's Book-Shaped Bookshelf Speaker Will Disappear Into a Shelf Full of Books

It’s hard to believe that anyone spending $900+ on a 10-inch tall, ultra-slim wireless speaker is not going to want everyone visiting their home to see their $900+ speaker, but that didn’t deter Bang & Olufsen from designing its new Beosound Emerge to look like a handsome tome that can disappear into a shelf full of…


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Cruise's head of artificial intelligence wants the autonomous-car startup to be defined by its AI innovation

Cruise AV A Cruise AV in the Bay Area.


For autonomous vehicle startup Cruise, the future isn't just about artificial intelligence. It's about machine learning, and that's why Cruise is teaching its electric vehicles to drive themselves in San Francisco - one of the most complicated urban environments for self-driving cars to operate in.

"Learning how to drive in San Francisco is amazing for AI," said Hussein Mehanna, the company's head of AI, noting that the dense and unpredictable streets are ultimately an advantage. "The more interesting the data, the more the machine can learn."

Mehanna hopes that learning will not only revolutionize autonomous driving, but also plant Cruise at the forefront of the next big thing: AI-based companies.

Taking machine learning to a new level

General Motors bought Cruise back in 2016 for around $1 billion, and through subsequent investment rounds, it's grown to a nearly $30 billion valuation. The company's goals are spectacularly ambitious, with CEO Dan Ammann effectively calling for the end of personal-car ownership and spurring Cruise to go after a multi-trillion-dollar future global ride-hailing opportunity.

In order to get there, Cruise needs game-changing hardware and software - a quest overseen by Kyle Vogt, its cofounder and chief technology officer - and high-profile partners, including ones it already has like GM and Honda. But Cruise also needs artificial intelligence and machine learning at a level that, frankly, nobody has seen before.

Hussein Mehanna Headshot Hussein Mehanna.


As powerful as 21st-century AI sounds, Mehanna said it's only recently that its full capabilities have been unleashed. Advancements in robotics and machine learning have made that possible.

"I always had a fascination with AI," Mehanna, whose career path to Cruise included stints at Facebook and Google, told Insider in an interview. But where are all the robots we might have expected to see by now?

Mehanna said the kind of AI we see in demonstrations - dancing humanoids robots on YouTube, for example - doesn't scale.

"They're scripted to handle a certain number of use cases," he said.

cruise self driving car san francisco people walking A Cruise vehicle in San Francisco in May 2019.

Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images

Enter machine learning, which he said has the critical power to generalize.

This is, to put it mildly, huge. At Cruise, Mehnna's team is tackling a whole new way of undertaking computer science, led by those autonomous EVs cruising through San Francisco.

If it all comes together and Cruise is able to successfully commercialize its service, then Mehanna said that the company could notch an unprecedented achievement: becoming what he termed the first "AI-native company."

Dreaming of robots that can do much, much more

"It's a new concept, and we're inventing it," he said. The analogy that leaped to mind for him was being able to handle HTML coding for the internet of the late 1990s.

"If you knew HTML, you were a rocket scientist," he said. The skillset led to internet-native companies such as Google. That history is now staged to repeat with Cruise.

"In five to 10 years, AI natives will be the status quo," he said.

The endgame of this process should be what he called a "general-purpose robot," able to learn as humans now learn. It could drive a car, fly a plane, or attend to more mundane tasks.

"My dream," he said, "is to get my laundry folded by a robot."

Walmart Cruise self driving car

Courtesy of Walmart

Talking to Mehanna, one gets that sense that we're just at the beginning of something radical in changing how the world operates. Cruise has already made huge leaps in teaching a car to drive itself, once the stuff of science-fiction movies. But for Mehanna, those apparent leaps are but small steps toward robotic applications and machine learning remaking numerous aspects of everyday life - aspects that we take for granted or have long assumed would always have to involve natural, rather than artificial intelligence.

In the short term, however, he's simply contemplating machine learning as a prerequisite to Cruise accomplishing what it set out to do five years ago.

"At Cruise, you can't have a company without AI," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Matthew DeBord)]

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Horseshoe Theory, Now on the Blockchain

Republicans whining about how social media moderators are violating their inalienable right to lucrative follower counts have found an ally in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.


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Detroit’s native son, billionaire Dan Gilbert, makes the case for his town Dan Gilbert loves his hometown of Detroit. He loves it so much that the billionaire founder of what would eventually become the mortgage lender Quicken Loans has poured at least $2.5 billion into rehabilitating buildings in the heart of the city.

He has also invested in many companies that are now tenants in those buildings, along with the restaurants and retailers that have made the scene far livelier than before Gilbert began his campaign to reestablish Detroit as one of the most important cities in the country.

We had a chance to talk recently with Gilbert, a father of five whose other notable interests include the highly valued e-commerce marketplace StockX, which he cofounded in 2015, and the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team, which he acquired — along with their arena in downtown Cleveland — for a reported $375 million in 2005.

He shared why Detroit should be top of mind for founders from across the U.S. We also talked a bit about sports and why he chose a traditional IPO path for Rocket Companies, the parent company of Quicken that he took public in August of last year. Excerpts from that conversation follow.

TC: As a native Clevelander and longtime Cavs fan, I’m curious about your connection to Cleveland.

D: When the Cavs came up for sale in 2005 or 2004, the banker who was selling them called us up because our group had made an attempt at the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, and they thought we may want to buy the team. And the seller at the time [businessman Gordan Gund] wanted a very simple, non-complex process with one buyer. So they called us up, and we decided to do it.

TC: Well, you got us back in the game, so to speak, so thank you. In the meantime, you’ve obviously been very focused on Detroit, where you grew up and went to college. What’s the case for Detroit over other Midwestern cities?

DG: First of all, one of the metrics that companies use when they decide on a city is how many people they can reach within a five-hour drive, because they figure that talent within that five-hour circumference is willing to drive in or at least explore that city. And there are 60 million people within five hours of Detroit, including in Chicago, Toronto, all of Michigan, all of Ohio, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh — I could go on and on.

The same is true of universities. There are something like 30 major universities within a five-hour drive, including the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Wayne State, Carnegie Mellon, and Ohio State, and those are just the bigger schools. There are also a bunch of great schools in Canada that specialize in software development. Collectively, that’s a huge advantage when it comes to tapping into possible talent.

Detroit has had so many decades of bad PR that it’s hard to get over that image without seeing it for yourself, but once you spend two hours here, you get it. You feel the energy. You feel the passion. You see the young people.

TC: Do you think Detroit is better suited for companies of a certain size? Things are changing quickly but there’s a learning curve in some cities regarding the specific needs of startups. I talked with Drive Capital in Columbus recently, and they said they’d had to do a lot to educate landlords. Of course, you’re among the biggest landlords in Detroit. 

DG: That’s a really great insight from Drive. At this point, Detroit is home to both [big and small companies]. We first moved around 1,400 people from the suburbs into downtown Detroit in the summer of 2010 and we now have more than 20,000 people at this tech company, which Quicken Loans clearly is. And [that kind of hub] allows you to create an ecosystem of people and ideas that interest VCs, so that’s become one part of it.

We control a couple million square feet of real estate ourselves, but then we have another four or five million square feet that we’re building or that’s already bought, so we can accommodate startups and be flexible around their growth. But on top of that, we have three locations in downtown Detroit that companies like Pinterest and Snap have used; you’ve got existing big tech companies with locations here like Amazon, which has an engineering office with more than 500 people downtown, and Google, which has a 50,000-square foot office, and Microsoft, which has 50,000 square feet in the same building I’m in. So it’s not just the startup scene.

TC: Are there enough venture dollars in Detroit to support what you’re trying to build? The Drive team also talked about missing opportunities because they don’t have the bandwidth to fund everything they are seeing. They need backup. Do you?

DG: Certain VCs have discovered us. Ron Conway of SV Angel, for example, fell in love with Detroit a couple of years ago and he has exposed us to everybody in his network. He has invested in a lot of our deals here. And there are others. Google Ventures and Battery Ventures came in early. DST Global, General Atlantic, GGV Capital, Altimeter, Whale Rock Capital, Tiger Global have put money into startups here.

It’s kind of a new thing for us. Quicken Loans just went public after 35 years, and we never really raised much VC money because we never had to because of our cash flow. So it’s a little bit of a new thing for us with StockX; we never really had a startup blow up that suddenly. But every brick in the wall helps.

StockX raises $275M Series E, valuing the retailer at $2.8B

TC: Speaking of StockX, its tagline is the “stock market of things.” Might one of those things be non-fungible tokens at some point? A lot of people are suddenly buying and selling digital items.

DG: Like NBA Top Shot? We love that model. We have some similar models that we’re working on right now. We’re in research and development on some things that are very close to it. I have four teenagers out of five kids at home, and I can tell you that’s definitely the hot thing right now.

TC: What is the next step for StockX? Is it an IPO?

DG: I think the next step for StockX will probably be an IPO. It’s just a matter of when. Probably sometime in 2022. I’m not saying anything official here; I’m just saying there’s a good chance it will.

TC: Do you have strong feelings about traditional IPOs versus other ways that companies are going public? You took Quicken public through a traditional IPO. Another Detroit-based mortgage company, United Wholesale Mortgage, more recently took the SPAC route instead.

Could giant SPACs be next?

DG: I think [a StockX offering] would probably be traditional only because, to be honest with you, I don’t know much about the complications and all the details of trying to do it a different way. We had success with Quicken Loans, so that’s what we’re coming off of.

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 09:30:29 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs TC City Spotlight Dan Gilbert Detroit Detroit City Spotlight Stockx
Google Earth's new Timelapse feature shows chilling effect of climate change ]]> Thu, 15 Apr 2021 09:01:04 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Earth Adds Time Lapse Video to Depict Climate Change Thu, 15 Apr 2021 09:00:39 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Earth time-lapse feature winds clock back 37 years Thu, 15 Apr 2021 09:00:18 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google says Google Earth is getting its biggest update since 2017 Google Earth now features a timelapse mode that brings together 24 million satellite photos from the last 37 years. And… that’s it. Google says it’s the biggest update to Google Earth — a product you’ve likely forgotten even existed — since its redesign in 2017.

To be fair, Google Earth hasn’t gotten any major new features updates since then. So by default, I guess this qualifies as the biggest update to Earth in a while. It’s worth noting, though, that Google Earth timelapses launched a few years already, but on a dedicated site and only in 2D. Now it’s in 3D. Exciting stuff — for five minutes (or really depressing, if you look at the Earth’s glaciers and rain forests).

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Google Earth time-lapses show a changing planet Thu, 15 Apr 2021 09:00:03 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs 7 Pixel camera tricks you probably forget to use Thu, 15 Apr 2021 09:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Earth Timelapse Now Shows You Our Planet’s Slow Deterioration Thu, 15 Apr 2021 09:00:00 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Google Earth's New 3D Time-Lapse Feature Shows How Humans Are Affecting the Planet

Google Earth is already a powerful tool for observing our planet, but today it’s getting a major upgrade with the introduction of a new 3D time-lapse feature.


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Goldman Sachs is going through a big transformation under CEO David Solomon Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.

Getty Images

Goldman Sachs is going through some massive changes under CEO David Solomon.

The Wall Street bank has taken big steps involving transparency and inclusion to change up its culture. After its first-ever investor day in early 2020, the firm is looking to execute on targets including multi-year cost-cutting plans. And it's making big pushes into wealth management and consumer banking.

Solomon, who took the reins as CEO in 2018, has also looked to reduce the number of partners overall at the firm to make the status more elite and exclusive. In 2018, there were 484 partners. But as of the newest partner additions, Goldman's total partners amounted to fewer than 440.

Goldman Sachs reported first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, April 14, and turned in blowout performance on trading and dealmaking. Stephen Scherr, Goldman Sachs' chief financial officer, said on the earnings call that the firm is increasingly leaning into cloud technology.

"Our new builds are largely, perhaps not exclusively, but largely cloud-based," he said.

"We're riveted and focused on doing that so as to eliminate legacy technology," Scherr added.

Here's a rundown of the latest news at Goldman, including the latest hires and exits, deep dives on its Marcus consumer bank, and how Goldman investment banking analysts are reacting after a year of rapid-fire deal while WFH.

The lastest news on Goldman's Marcus

Marcus Goldman Sachs Marcus offers savings and credit products online and through its app.


Goldman Sachs has built its consumer-banking arm into a $1 billion business over the past five years.

But it's seen a wave of recent departures including the exits of top Marcus bosses Omer Ismail and David Stark. And JPMorgan has poached the head of product at Marcus to join the bank's digital and product leadership team for consumer and community banking.

Insiders explained how Goldman Sachs' hard-charging culture had contributed to exhaustion and high turnover within Marcus, and a Goldman spokesperson told us that the firm is eyeing beefing up the ranks by hiring some 200 to 300 new engineers.

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Who are the top leaders at Goldman?

Goldman Sachs org chart 2x1

Cindy Ord/Getty; Paul Morigi/Getty; Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty; Jemal Countess/Getty; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

Goldman in September shuffled its setup, creating a new standalone consumer division that includes its Marcus lending unit as well as its wealth-management and private-banking businesses.

Strategy chief Stephanie Cohen and Tucker York, the head of the private-wealth business, were tapped to colead the new consumer and wealth management division and the changes went into effect on Jan. 1.

The new setup matches the way Goldman reports financial results, a change the firm made in 2019 to better align with how Solomon wanted investors to think about the firm. Goldman now has four divisions: consumer and wealth management, asset management, investment banking, and global markets.

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Goldman's junior bankers are feeling the heat

wall street burnout young talent junior analyst 2x1

Samantha Lee/Insider

A grueling year of increased demands while working from home has some Goldman Sachs junior talent reaching a breaking point.

In March, a presentation created by 13 analysts within the firm's investment bank grabbed headlines. Meanwhile, the bank is prepping its latest cohort of young bankers for a return to in-person work.

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Goldman's dealmakers

When Goldman announced its latest class of partners, one group was particularly well-represented on the list. Seven of the 19 investment bankers elevated to partner status came from the bank's powerhouse technology, media, and telecommunications group.

The group has also seen some shakeups in recent months. Goldman Sachs veteran Gregg Lemkau, co-head of the firm's investment banking division since 2017 and a member of Goldman's management committee, left at the end of 2020. Instacart has tapped Nick Giovanni, Goldman Sachs' head of the global technology, media and telecom group, to be its CFO. And in September, Goldman Sachs named new leadership in its M&A group.

Goldman has also been riding the SPAC boom, which went into overdrive in the first quarter. It ranked No. 2 among banks in terms of SPAC IPOs year-to-date by mid-March.

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[Author: (Business Insider)]

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 07:21:35 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Finance Goldman Sachs Banking Marquee Subscriber Collection 1MDB Tech Careers Fintech Marcus by Goldman Sachs Investing
Google proposes Logica data language for building more manageable SQL code Structured Query Language (SQL) at scale can lead to unstructured, unmaintainable database code - at least as far as Google is concerned - so boffins affiliated with the biz have devised an open source logical programming language to make SQL more amenable to maintenance.…

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 06:25:09 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs
YIKES! Hackers flood the web with 100,000 pages offering malicious PDFs [Author: (Ravie Lakshmanan)]

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 05:38:32 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs
Cado Security locks in $10M for its cloud-native digital forensics platform As computing systems become increasingly bigger and more complex, forensics have become an increasingly important part of how organizations can better secure them. As the recent Solar Winds breach has shown, it’s not always just a matter of being able to identify data loss, or prevent hackers from coming in in the first place. In cases where a network has already been breached, running a thorough investigation is often the only way to identify what happened, if a breach is still active, and whether a malicious hacker can strike again.

As a sign of this growing priority, a startup called Cado Security, which has built forensics technology native to the cloud to run those investigations, is announcing $10 million in funding to expand its business.

Cado’s tools today are used directly by organizations, but also security companies like Redacted — a somewhat under-the-radar security startup in San Francisco co-founded by Facebook’s former chief security officer Max Kelly and John Hering, the co-founder of Lookout. It uses Cado to carry out the forensics part of its work.

The funding for London-based Cado is being led by Blossom Capital, with existing investors Ten Eleven Ventures also participating, among others. As another signal of demand, this Series A is coming only six months after Cado raised its seed round.

The task of securing data on digital networks has grown increasingly complex over the years: not only are there more devices, more data and a wider range of configurations and uses around it, but malicious hackers have become increasingly sophisticated in their approaches to needling inside networks and doing their dirty work.

The move to the cloud has also been a major factor. While it has helped a wave of organizations expand and run much bigger computing processes are part of their business operations, it has also increased the so-called attack surface and made investigations much more complicated, not least because a lot of organizations run elastic processes, scaling their capacity up and down: this means when something is scaled down, logs of previous activity essentially disappear.

Cado’s Response product — which works proactively on a network and all of its activity after it’s installed — is built to work across cloud, on-premise and hybrid environments. Currently it’s available for AWS EC2 deployments and Docker, Kubernetes, OpenShift and AWS Fargate container systems, and the plan is to expand to Azure very soon. (Google Cloud Platform is less of a priority at the moment, CEO James Campbell said, since it rarely comes up with current and potential customers.)

Campbell co-founded Cado with Christopher Doman (the CTO) last April, with the concept for the company coming out of their respective experiences working on security services together at PwC, and respectively for government organizations (Campbell in Australia) and AlienVault (the security firm acquired by AT&T). In all of those, one persistent issue the two continued to encounter was the issue with adequate forensics data, essential for tracking the most complex breaches.

A lot of legacy forensics tools, in particular those tackling the trove of data in the cloud, was based on “processing data with open source and pulling together analysis in spreadsheets,” Campbell said. “There is a need to modernize this space for the cloud era.”

In a typical breach, it can take up to a month to run a thorough investigation to figure out what is going on, since, as Doman describes it, forensics looks at “every part of the disk, the files in a binary system. You just can’t find what you need without going to that level, those logs. We would look at the whole thing.”

However, that posed a major problem. “Having a month with a hacker running around before you can do something about it is just not acceptable,” Campbell added. The result, typically, is that other forensics tools investigate only about 5% of an organization’s data.

The solution — for which Cado has filed patents, the pair said — has essentially involved building big data tools that can automate and speed up the very labor intensive process of looking through activity logs to figure out what looks unusual and to find patterns within all the ones and zeros.

“That gives security teams more room to focus on what the hacker is getting up to, the remediation aspect,” Campbell explained.

Arguably, if there were better, faster tracking and investigation technology in place, something like Solar Winds could have been better mitigated.

The plan for the company is to bring in more integrations to cover more kinds of systems, and go beyond deployments that you’d generally classify as “infrastructure as a service.”

“Over the past year, enterprises have compressed their cloud adoption timelines while protecting the applications that enable their remote workforces,” said Imran Ghory, partner at Blossom Capital, in a statement. “Yet as high-profile breaches like SolarWinds illustrate, the complexity of cloud environments makes rapid investigation and response extremely difficult since security analysts typically are not trained as cloud experts. Cado Security solves for this with an elegant solution that automates time-consuming tasks like capturing forensically sound cloud data so security teams can move faster and more efficiently. The opportunity to help Cado Security scale rapidly is a terrific one for Blossom Capital.”

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 05:22:37 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Enterprise Europe Funding Security Cado Security Cloud Security Cybersecurity Digital Forensics Forensics
The Google Nest Hub 2nd generation is now official in Spain with new features that will make you sleep better This is an automated machine translation of an article published by Business Insider in a different language. Machine translations can generate errors or inaccuracies; we will continue the work to improve these translations. You can find the original version here.

The Google Nest Hub 2nd generation has been presented in Spain by Google, and with it comes a new way to use and interact with smart home screens, and this is due to the integration of Motion Sense technology, with which the company is able to interpret the gestures you make in your hand in front of your screen.

In this case, Google has decided to give special prominence to sleep with this device, since it is a more important aspect than it seems, and that has a great impact on your body, and the American company wants to help you sleep properly.

Like its predecessor, this is one of the most interesting devices that Google has in its catalog for the home, and with which virtually any user can get along very well due to its simplicity.

Google Nest Hub 2nd generation, a smart screen for the home that cares about your rest

This device presented by Google consists of a 7-inch screen at a resolution of 1024x600 pixels, somewhat below HD resolution since, after all, it is not a screen on which to watch movies and consume multimedia, but is there to provide touch controls and offer complementary information.

As is logical, it is a device that has Google Assistant integrated to be able to solve queries and execute the commands dictated by the user, and to be able to provide answers, it has a speaker with the same technology as the Nest Audio, but with 50% more bass compared to the previous version, which will offer a better audio experience.

One of the device's star functions is sleep measurement thanks to Motion Sense, which with its low-power Soli technology is able to analyze how you sleep - as long as the screen is close to the bed so that the sensors can detect you - based on your breathing and your movements while you sleep.

Every morning, the Nest Hub will display a personalized sleep summary - which you can view at any time - that will tell you some tips on how to sleep better based on your nightly activity, although anything related to monitoring is optional, to preserve your privacy. "Motion Sense technology only detects motion, not specific faces or bodies, and coughing and snoring audio data is only processed on the device, not sent to Google's servers," Google clarifies.

Beyond that, the device features WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0, as well as 3 long-range microphones with a switch to disable them for as long as you want, useful if you're not going to use the voice commands available on this device.

I tested the Google Nest Wifi, a 3-in-one router: despite its price, I can no longer live without it.

This second generation of the Google Nest Hub will be available in Spain from May 4 at a price of 99.99 euros.

Read the original article on Business Insider

[Author: (Jacinto Araque)]

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 05:22:09 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs International Licensed Content BI International auto-translation Spanish Jeevan Ravindran
Philippines ‘buy now, pay later’ startup Plentina raises $2.2M seed round

Plentina co-founders Kevin Gabayan and Earl Valencia

E-wallets are rapidly gaining popularity in the Philippines, overtaking credit cards, which have a penetration rate of under 10%. Fintech startup Plentina is leveraging that trend with buy now, pay later (BNPL) installment loans that can be used and repaid through e-wallets.

The company announced today it has closed a $2.2 million seed round, co-led by former Tableau executive and ClearGraph chief executive officer Andrew Vigneault, Unpopular Ventures and DV Collective. Other participants included JG Digital Equity Ventures (JGDEV), Amino Capital, Canaan Partners Scout Fund and Ignite Impact Fund.

Its last funding was $750,000 pre-seed round raised last year from investors including Techstars, Emergent Ventures and the 500 Startups Vietnam Fund. Plentina also participated in the Techstars Western Union and Stanford’s StartX accelerator programs.

Plentina launched in the Philippines in October 2020 and has been downloaded more than 30,000 times. Its merchant partners include 7-Eleven Philippines and Smart Communications, a telecom provider with more than 70 million prepaid subscribers.   The company will use its seed round to onboard more merchant partners in the Philippines before expanding in Southeast Asia and other regions.

As BNPL startups raise, a look at Klarna, Affirm and Afterpay earnings

Plentina uses machine learning models to gauge the creditworthiness of loan applicants, drawing on founders Kevin Gabayan and Earl Valencia’s data science backgrounds. Gabayan was data science lead at Bump Technologies and then spent five years working at Google after it acquired the startup. Valencia’s experience includes serving as managing director of digital transformation at Charles Schwab.

“We’re making BNPL work in emerging markets where few have credit scores and merchants can’t easily integrate technology,” Valencia, Plentina’s chief business officer, told TechCrunch. In addition to alternative credit scoring, the startup also focuses on making installment payment work with merchants’ legacy workflows, he said.

So for, Plentina has generated 10 million credit scores from alternative data sources, including mobile data obtained with user permission and retail loyalty programs, and will continue to develop its models as its merchant partnerships and customer base grows. Customers who build good credit scores with Plentina can increase their credit limits and unlock more offers.

Making sense of Klarna

Loans have a flat 5% service fee, with no interest. 7-Eleven and Smart Communications both offer 14 day loans, and Plentina will introduce more dynamic loan terms in the future, Valencia said. Loans can be used to purchase goods at all of 7-Eleven’s 3000 stores in the Philippines and prepaid mobile airtime with Smart Communications.

Other installment loan services in the Philippines include BillEase, Tendopay and Cashalo. Valencia said Plentina “aim[s] to be a customer’s financial service partner throughout their lifetime. We’re starting by offering closed-loop store credit for essentials purchases for consumers to easily establish their financial identity. As a customer’s financial wellness matures, we can graduate them into additional financial services.”

In a press statement about his investment, Vigneault said, “I’ve worked with many early stage fintech companies over the years. However, I’ve come across few founders who are as impressive as Kevin and Earl and have been able to achieve such levels of success with customers, channel partners, and product at such an early stage.”

Will Carbon and Shahry usher in a wave of buy now, pay later services in Africa?

]]> Thu, 15 Apr 2021 04:12:04 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Fundings & Exits Startups TC Asia Bnpl Buy Now Pay Later Financial Services Fintech Philippines Plentina Southeast Asia Chrome 90 Defaults to HTTPS, Adds AV1 Codec for Optimized Video Conferencing some other notable changes.

By default, Chrome will now redirect all websites to use the more secure HTTPS protocol. Encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS), HTTPS secures communication over networks by authenticating the website and protecting the privacy of data in transit. has supported HTTPS for some time now.
In addition, Chrome 90 adopts the AV1 codec for optimized video conferencing with WebRTC. The new codec should improve compression efficiency and reduce bandwidth consumption while improving video quality, and improve connectivity on low bandwidth connections. Screen sharing is also said to be more efficient when compared to the VP9 codec.
Elsewhere, users can now hide the Reading List without delving into Chrome's flags. To do so, right-click the Bookmark Bar and deselect the new Show Reading List option at the bottom.
Meanwhile, for developers, Chrome 90 introduces support for CSS overflow, which should help prevent scrolling within a CSS box. Google has also renamed the Feature Policy API to Permission Policy, which lets users adjust the behavior of certain APIs and web features in the browser.
In the previous version of the browser, Chrome 89 introduced Google's live caption transcription feature, which uses machine learning to create a real-time transcription for videos or audio played through the browser.
Google Chrome for Mac is a free download available directly from Google's servers. Google Chrome for iOS is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link] Tag: Chrome
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