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CalendarApril 1, 2016

Snapchat's Valuation Reaches $1 Trillion

Snapchat's Valuation Reaches $1 TrillionAs the economy stabilized during the first quarter of 2016, the values of tech startups have risen to new heights. None is more prominent than Snapchat, which has only been around since 2011. The company was valued at $3 billion in 2014 and $16 billion in 2015. In the first three months of 2016, the company's valuation has skyrocketed to $1 trillion.

Snapchat is now worth more than all the FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) — combined.

While accelerating user growth would appear to be the reason for Snapchat's lofty value, analysts credit the valuation to the app's incredibly intuitive user interface. "Of all the apps available on the market, Snapchat has the best interface," said Jeff Jeffries from First US Capital, one of the firms confirming Snapchat's thirteen digit valuation. "There simply isn't a more intuitive app available."

Perhaps it the way Snapchat predicted how people would naturally associate light blue boxes with text, red boxes with photos, and purple boxes with videos. Or maybe it is the way the app allows users to continually swipe left or right and eventually end up on the screen they want. It could also be the fact that the only way to access the app's main options is to tap the ghost icon on the top of the camera screen, then click the settings icon in the upper-right corner.

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CalendarMarch 14, 2016

Pi Day 2016 - Don't Forget to Round Up!

Pi Day 2016 - Don't Forget to Round Up!Last year's International Pi Day was a big deal. After all, the first five digits of pi (3.1415) were perfectly represented by the date 3/14/15.

But there was a rounding error.

The first six digits of pi are 3.14159, which means when estimated to the fourth decimal place, pi is actually 3.1416. Last year's celebrations may have been premature. Pi is more accurately represented by today's date (3/14/16) than by any other date in the last century.

So if you want to celebrate International Pi Day with the highest precision possible, today is the day. Go eat some pie and tell your friends to round up!

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CalendarFebruary 25, 2016

Facebook Replaces Like Button with Reactions

Facebook Replaces Like Button with ReactionsWe are now in the post-like era.

Yesterday, Facebook changed its ubiquitous Like button to an array of different emotions represented by icons. The new selectable smileys, which look similar to emojis, are called "reactions."

The Like button isn't completely gone, but it is no longer the de facto response to a post or comment on Facebook. Instead of only being able to like something on Facebook, you can now select one of several reactions, including Like, Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Angry, and Sad.

I guess this makes sense for those times when someone publishes a sad note about a friend or family member. "Liking" the post doesn't really make sense. A sad reaction is more fitting. When someone vents about a frustrating event, an angry emoticon seems more apt than a thumbs up.

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CalendarJanuary 21, 2016

2016 Audi S5 Review

After testing out a Tesla, Maserati, Lexus, and Audi, I decided on the Audi S5. I've now driven the S5 for a few months, so I can give the car a comprehensive review. I'll start with the design and performance, followed by an in-depth review of the car's technology. I'll finish with a few notes about dealer options, which I advise any new car buyer to read.

Design

Audi S5 Side View

The Audi S5 is one of the coolest-looking cars on the road. While tastes vary and styling is subjective, it seems everyone I talk likes the look of the S5. Somehow, the designers at Audi were able to weave multiple dichotomies into an amazing design. It is sporty, yet understated; aggressive, but not overbearing. It is rugged and beautiful at the same time.

The character of the S5 is manifested in the black optic package, which blacks out the chrome trim and adds dark titanium rims. While the S5 is a good-looking car with its stock features, the blackened trim transforms it into a supermodel. The dark accents also highlight the sexy LED daytime running lights, which in my opinion are the best designed LEDs of any car currently on the market.

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CalendarDecember 5, 2015

Tesla vs Maserati vs Lexus vs Audi

My last two cars were Acuras (a 1989 Legend and 2003 CL Type-S) and they were both great. However, over the last decade I and many others watched Acura slip into a download spiral of uninspired design and mediocre performance. As loyal as I was to the Acura brand, it was time for a change. So I test drove four different cars:

  1. Tesla Model S 70D
  2. Maserati Ghibli S Q4
  3. Lexus RC 350 F Sport
  4. Audi S5

Having no personal experience with the four car manufacturers I tested, I found myself pleasantly open-minded to each one. My requirements were simple — I wanted a car that 1) looks good, 2) feels comfortable, 3) has the latest technology, and 4) is fun to drive. Here are the results.

Appearance

Some people buy automobiles that are practical. They don't care too much about appearance as long as the vehicle "gets them from point A to point B." Others of us are a bit more picky. I've always appreciated well-designed cars and I wasn't going to settle for a mediocre design in my next car. In my opinion, each of the cars I test drove had an attractive look.

Tesla Model S

Black Telsa Model S - Side View

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