CamSoda jumps into the world of paid life-streaming

Have you always wanted to show your messy room to hundreds of people? Want to get paid for the pleasure of streaming your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners? Feel a real need to share how long you can stare idly at your phone? CamSoda has a deal for you.

CamSoda is a streaming cam service featuring men and women in various states of undress and it is now offering a unique life-streaming program that lets you show everyone your business and nets you $200 a month and a free “custom” webcam. The service, LifeStream, is mostly NSFW so don’t click through right now.

While we could chalk this up to a publicity stunt by a publicity-savvy company, LifeStream does offer a compelling use case for live streaming. The “LifeStream” package has a fairly picky acceptance process and those chosen get a number of webcams to place around their house as well as a $200 stipend and CamSoda pays for their monthly Internet bill. In other words if you’re fairly certain your life is compelling enough to live stream then someone wants to pay you to do it.

CamSoda is careful to explain that they are looking for “non-sexual and sexual” candid live streams and that they are entering into an “arms race” with Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat. To be fair, I would argue that CamSoda hasn’t just entered the arms race but that they’ve detonated the Big One. While services like Facebook offer wan, bland and generally unwatchable live video – with the occasional newsmaking exception – CamSoda has weaponized the process and ensures that the live streamers, if they aren’t doing sexy things, will at least try to be interesting.

And it doesn’t just have to involve sexy times. One could imagine a house full of programmers in Palo Alto paying for their La Croix by live streaming their brodeo or a band live streaming their home/practice space. To paraphrase Warhol, in the future everyone will be famous until they’re sick of it.

 

Further, CamSoda is looking to add a little VR to your live stream. From their press release:

CamSoda is currently testing a virtual reality (VR) camera to bring a fully immersive experience to the masses. The company has plans to incorporate VR into LifeStream in the coming months. This will allow participants to share their experiences more intimately, enabling viewers to feel as though they are actually in the room with them.

Porn, once again, is leading the technical arms race. And they have the right idea.

I predict a time when companies will find that it’s getting harder and harder to get and monetize user-generated content. While Twitter and Facebook are sitting pretty now, future networks will encourage us to broadcast to ever-more-granulated audiences and celebrities will no longer lend their names to companies that refuse to pay them for the privilege. A general UGC blow-out like this, then, is what companies will have to end up doing eventually anyway.

Ultimately this about seeing people maybe having sex. However, as we march ever forward into the world of new media who knows – maybe video of you, your unmade bed, and your floppy golden retriever will be part of a live streaming sensation that eclipses Hollywood. It could happen.

20 Women Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World

It’s a great time to be a female entrepreneur. There are plenty of trailblazers making their mark on a variety of different industries. If you’re looking for some inspiration or any female entrepreneurs to look up to, take a look at the successful women entrepreneurs listed below and learn how they’re changing the world with their businesses.

Successful Women Entrepreneurs

Rebecca Minkoff

20 Successful Women Entrepreneurs - Rebecca Minkoff

The millennial fashion designer has built her own clothing and accessory empire by targeting young women and actually connecting with them on a personal level, mainly using social media and influencer marketing.

Alexa von Tobel

This entrepreneur actually dropped out of Harvard Business School before starting her business, LearnVest. Her goal with the business is to bring financial knowledge to the masses to help them make better decisions.

Weili Dai

Weili Dai is the co-founder of Marvell Technology Group, a company that makes semiconductors. The tech entrepreneur has won numerous awards and recognition for her ability to succeed in a male dominated industry.

Pamela Slim

Pamela Slim is an author, teacher and business expert. She provides coaching and consulting services to other entrepreneurs looking to boost their bottom line.

Leslie Blodgett

An accomplished entrepreneur, Leslie Blodgett has stood at the helm of multiple beauty brands, including Bare Escentuals and Shiseido.

Tory Burch

20 Successful Women Entrepreneurs - Tory Burch

This popular fashion designer has built a worldwide brand of shoes, handbags, clothing and more. She is also a philanthropist and has won several awards for her designs and business acumen.

Cher Wang

Cher Wang is the co-founder and chairperson of HTC. And her success is magnified by the fact that she does it all in the tech industry, a sector that has traditionally been dominated mainly by male entrepreneurs.

Angie Hicks

Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a website that helps connect consumers with local service providers. She started the business back in 1995 and has since grown it into one of the most recognizable sources for finding service providers.

Shelia Lirio Marcelo

This female entrepreneur founded an innovative online startup to help people find child care, pet sitters and house sitters. Care.com is now one of the top sources for finding child care providers online.

Cynthia Ndubuisi

Cynthia Ndubuisi is the entrepreneur behind EverGlow, a company that makes biodegradable dish soap that’s derived from plants. She created the product because of some challenges faced by people in her native country of Nigeria. And she used the help of a mentor to build it into a recognizable brand.

Arianna Huffington

20 Successful Women Entrepreneurs - Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington founded the Huffington Post, one of the most notable news publications online. Since then, AOL acquired the publication. But Huffington remains involved in business endeavors and has another startup in the works called Thrive Global.

Erica Nicole

This entrepreneur is the founder and CEO of YFS Magazine. The news site focuses on providing informative content to young self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs.

Rashmi Sinha

This female entrepreneur created an online presentation tool that’s popular with a lot of small businesses — SlideShare. She’s been named as one of the most powerful female entrepreneurs in the world.

Sara Blakely

The founder of SPANX dealt with plenty of failure in the professional world before starting the wildly successful shapewear business. Now, it’s a globally recognized brand. And Blakely’s net worth has been estimated at about $1 billion.

Yang Lan

This entrepreneur is the founder of Sun Media, a Chinese media group. Her empire includes TV, newspapers, magazines and more. And she’s been named as one of the most powerful entrepreneurs in China.

Sophia Amoruso

Although her original entrepreneurial venture, Nasty Gal, folded earlier this year, Amoruso remains involved in the business world. She has a successful book, Netflix show and other projects in the works.

Debbi Fields

Debbi Fields is the female entrepreneur behind Mrs. Fields cookies. She started the business with just a small personal investment and built it into a large, nationwide brand.

Gisele Bundchen

Though Gisele Bundchen might be more well known for her modeling career, she is also an accomplished entrepreneur. Her skin care business, Sejaa Skincare, brings in millions each year.

Corri McFadden

If you think ecommerce reselling is just a hobby, think again. Corri McFadden has built a very successful business based on that concept. Her business is called eDrop-Off. And she and her team collect gently used luxury goods and resell them on eBay.

Mei Pak

Though she actually has a degree in mathematics, Mei Pak decided to go the entrepreneurial route instead and started Tiny Hands, a company that sells unique and handmade jewelry pieces.

 

Twitter Users Experiencing Issues in Several Parts of the World

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Issues are being faced in several parts of the world
  • The service is not let users post tweets
  • Issues are affecting websites and apps alike

Twitter appears to be down. Several users, including Gadgets 360 staff, are facing issues posting tweets on the social network. The issue is affecting the Web interface, mobile website, TweetDeck, as well as the Android and iOS apps. Third party apps like TweetBot also appear to be affected.

When trying to post a tweet on the website or apps, Twitter users are greeted with various messages, ranging from “Internet server error” to “Sorry! We did something wrong” and “Tweet not sent. We’re sorry, we weren’t able to send your Tweet. Would you like to retry or save this Tweet in drafts?”

Those trying various tabs of the Web interface also report being greeted by an error message, as seen above – “Something is technically wrong. Thanks for noticing—we’re going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon.”

Twitter Users Experiencing Issues in Several Parts of the World

Crowdsourcing-based downtime tracking website Down Detector reports a major spike in reported problems at around 10:30am IST, and its live outage map at the time of writing this article showed error reports from several parts of the world, including the US, India, Europe, and Japan.

70 percent of the issues being reported are being faced by Twitter website users, while 21 percent are report issues via the Android app, and 8 percent are reporting issues via the iPad app, Down Detector indicates.

The micro-blogging service going down follows recent outages by Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp. The wide use of these services ensures that when they go down, there is much outrage and frustration voiced by users. Are you facing issues with Twitter? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Why Most Battery Life Tests Are a Useless Indicator of Real World Usage

HIGHLIGHTS
Recently, Consumer Reports’ MacBook Pro tests were in the news
Lab tests almost never can be correlated to real world usage
Standardised tests are only useful for rough comparisons
Apple’s new MacBook Pros received a fair amount of criticism for making life difficult for professionals by removing useful features like an SD card slot or prioritising thinness over increased performance. The criticism was reinforced when the new 2016 MacBook Pro was marked down by Consumer Reports for exhibiting sporadic battery life in its tests. Consumer Reports is an 80 year old independent, non-profit organisation that tests everything from electronics, cars, health products, kitchenware, and a lot more, and its results are taken pretty seriously.

That’s why this rating was shocking for both Apple as well as many Mac users all around the world, as MacBooks in the past generally have not exhibited a huge discrepancy between Apple’s claims and real-world testing. It was the first time that Consumer Reports did not recommend an Apple MacBook Pro.

Why Most Battery Life Tests Are a Useless Indicator of Real World Usage

The Cupertino hardware maker was quick to work with the organisation to figure out if there are any issues with the way the laptops were tested. It was finally revealed that a bug caused improper battery life figures. Apple released a fix, alongside Consumer Reports revealing refreshed test results, finally earning the publication’s recommendation.

But if you see the the updated results, Consumer Reports said that the 13-inch MacBook Pro with TouchBar runs an average of 15.75 hours, the 13-inch MacBook Pro without TouchBar for 18.75 hours, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro for 17.25 hours. These figures are far beyond the 10 hour ‘wireless browsing’ battery life given by Apple on its official website, for all these models. So what is going on here?

The answer lies in Consumer Reports’ standardised process for checking battery life on all laptops it tests. Here’s a quote from its blog post:

Here’s how our battery test works: We download a series of 10 web pages repeatedly, starting with the battery fully charged, and ending when the laptop shuts down. The web pages are stored on a server in our lab and transmitted over a dedicated WiFi network. We conduct our battery tests using the browser that is native to the computer’s operating system—Safari, in the case of the MacBook Pro laptops.
In comparison, this is the fineprint mentioned at the bottom of Apple’s specifications page of the new MacBook Pros:

“The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom, or 75%.”

This sheds some light on why Consumer Reports may have got such vastly high readings – for one, in its blog post, Consumer Reports says that the display brightness is kept at 100 nits. Considering the new MacBook Pros have a maximum screen brightness of 500 nits, that means the brightness would’ve roughly been set to 20 percent, much lower than the 75 percent brightness Apple used for its tests.

 

Next, the discrepancy could also be due to the sites that were chosen to be loaded, as different sites will consume battery in a varying degree. Lastly, in Consumer Reports’ test, the pages were being served by a local server nearby. Since Apple’s testing methodologies are more vaguely defined, it’s likely that its tests are actually fetching those pages from the Internet, not a local server, which could have a little more impact on battery.

But either of these figures aren’t close to what people are experiencing in the real world. Why is that? That’s because in the real world, your mileage may will always vary.

Consumer Reports’ figures aren’t trying to determine what the typical customer will experience in terms of battery life – it’s trying to create a fair test that can help compare battery life across a wide range of laptops from different manufacturers. At Gadgets 360, we do something similar in our reviews – the only difference is that our reviews also include a lot of real world testing, and details about how we used the devices and why.

Lab tests are there to make it fairer to compare figures of different devices. But once you’re actually using the device, the real figures can be hugely different from what a lab test produces, and the rating process as well as consumers need to take this into account.

Here’s one example – battery life figures can vary wildly depending on which browser you use. For example, from personal and anecdotal experience, it is known that Chrome on macOS is not as well-optimised as Safari. As in, you can visibly notice the difference in battery life when using either browsers on a Mac. The same behaviour is exhibited when a Surface Book is tested with Microsoft’s Edge browser, instead of Chrome.

In the real world, people have their own preferences about which Web browsers they prefer. Maybe Mac owners want to use Chrome because they want their browsing history to be synced with Chrome on their smartphone. Maybe they’re compelled to use Chrome because certain extensions aren’t available on Safari. Maybe they want to use Safari instead of Chrome because of features like the Reader mode. Or maybe a Windows 10 user prefers using Microsoft Edge because of the annotation feature. Or maybe they use Firefox.

In the real world, people are probably using more than one browser, more than 25 browser tabs, and a lot more apps that are running background processes, than any simulated test. No wonder real-world usage of any computing device isn’t at par with the lab test figures. Some companies like Apple choose to create simulations that are closer to the real world, while others like LG use a 10-year old battery testing app to claim that their laptop runs for a whopping 23 hours. But none of these figures are going to give you a clear idea of how long it’s going to last for you. Because all of that depends upon what you’re going to do with the computer.