Dude, You’re Getting Another Shot: Dell Debuts First Ad as Private Company

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Dell will release its first ad campaign as a private company Tuesday night, and it’s a far cry from the “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!” days.

The campaign, themed “Beginnings,” plays up Dell’s role as a purveyor of tech solutions that help new companies. The initial 60-second spot, which will air during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest on ABC, cites Skype, Shazam and Dropbox, among others, as startups that used Dell products

“At Dell, we’re honored to be part of some of the world’s great stories,” a narrator says amid visuals of spartan offices of presumed startups. “Stories that began much in the same way ours did, in a little dorm room, number 2713.” That room, of course, is where Michael Dell started his company at the University of Texas in 1984 Read more…

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XOLO Q3000 goes official with 5.7″ display and 4000mAh battery

The Indian manufacturer of mobile devices XOLO sent 2013 off by launching a new model. The company took the wraps off the XOLO Q3000 – a dual-SIM Android 4.2 Jelly Bean phablet with massive 5.7″ FullHD IPS display.

XOLO Q3000 press photos (click to enlarge)

The XOLO Q3000 is powered by MTK 6589 Turbo SoC with 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and PowerVR SGX544 GPU. The device features 2GB of…

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Why Paul Graham’s ‘Sexist’ Analysis Of Women In Tech Is Absolutely Right

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Paul Graham is the co-founder of Y-Combinator, one of the most prolific generators of funding for startups in Silicon Valley.

But if you read the tech press this week, you could be forgiven for thinking that he’s also a sexist jerk who doesn’t care that the tech world — coders in particular — is dominated by men.

He has been crucified in The Wire (“Paul Graham Proves Sexism in Tech Is Still a Problem“), Valleywag (“Y Combinator cofounder Paul Graham is the clearest picture of Silicon Valley’s unacknowledged sexism to ever find its way in print”), Forbes (“Why Is It So Hard For Paul Graham To Imagine Getting 13-Year-Old Girls Interested In Computers?”), and of course by Sam Biddle.

The bizarre thing about all this, however, is that what he actually said — you can read transcripts here and here — is completely reasonable. There are fewer women in tech. To fix the problem, we need to get girls into computers and coding early. It will probably mean changing middle school. It is not good enough to just hope that women who discover computer science at college in their 20s will be able to compete with obsessive male geeks who have been coding since they were 10 years old.

Yet somehow, Graham’s comments have been turned completely on their head. Here is what he actually said. I’ve emphasized the most allegedly controversial bits:

If someone was going to be really good at programming they would have found it on their own. Then if you go look at the bios of successful founders this is invariably the case, they were all hacking on computers at age 13. What that means is the problem is 10 years upstream of us. If we really wanted to fix this problem, what we would have to do is not encourage women to start startups now.



It’s already too late. What we should be doing is somehow changing the middle school computer science curriculum or something like that. God knows what you would do to get 13 year old girls interested in computers. I would have to stop and think about that.

… No, the problem is these women are not by the time get to 23…Like Mark Zuckerberg starts programming, starts messing about with computers when he’s like 10 or whatever. By the time he’s starting Facebook he’s a hacker, and so he looks at the world through hacker eyes. That’s what causes him to start Facebook. We can’t make these women look at the world through hacker eyes and start Facebook because they haven’t been hacking for the past 10 years.

Note that the first statement is only controversial  — it implies women don’t want to find programming on their own — if you ignore the context: Fixing this will require 10 years of effort. We have to start with kids when they’re 13.

Is anyone really against the idea that if you want to fix sexism in tech it would be a good idea to start with kids when they’re 13 rather than trying to reverse-engineer liberal arts grads into coders?

The second statement, “God knows what you would do to get 13 year old girls interested in computers,” is only controversial if you deliberately misread it. Why should a middle-aged man know what 13-year-old girls are into? It would be kind of weird if he did know. Besides, it is literally not his job to be an expert on 13-year-old girls. He’s just a funder. He’s at the end of the pipeline, not the beginning, where the 13-year-olds need to be.

And the last statement is simply a restatement of the foregoing — this is something that will take 10 years to fix.

You can only conclude that Graham is an vicious patriarch if you ignore the most crucial quote in the interview:

“What we should be doing is somehow changing the middle school computer science curriculum.”

Is anybody really against fixing middle school so that girls get a better shot at learning to code?

The proof here is that none of Graham’s critics quote the line about middle school to condemn him.

They all ignore that.

Convenient.

SEE ALSO: You’ve Got To Watch This Video On Sexism That Sheryl Sandberg Shared On Facebook

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10 Reasons to Stay Home on New Year’s Eve

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At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old Grinch, we’ll admit it: New Year’s Eve is the worst.

Dec. 31 is the one night of the year when expectations are preposterously high, and realities are inevitably disappointing. With all that pressure, it’s a miracle anyone manages to have a good time.

This year, trade the party dress for sweats and grab the Snuggie. Here are 10 reasons to kiss 2013 goodbye from the couch.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

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Report: 2013 Had the Most Internet IPOs Since 2000

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By sheer numbers, 2013 was the biggest year for Internet IPOs since the height of the dot-com era in 2000, though the amount raised was far less, according to one researcher.

Birinyi Associates reports that 26 Internet and social media companies went public in 2013, raising a total of $5.39 billion. If you invested in all 26, you would have enjoyed a 77.84% return on your investment. That compares to about a 40% ROI for Nasdaq

Largely thanks to Facebook, the aggregate figure for Internet IPOs in 2012 was higher: $18.3 billion. However, just 17 such offerings existed that year. While you would have to trace back 13 years to find a comparable year for number of Internet IPOs this year, the dot-com era produced a much larger crop. In 2000, 89 companies went public, raising $9.58 billion. In 1999, that number was more than twice as high — 188 — which only raised $15.86 billion, still less than what was raised last year Read more…

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5 Sites that Make Entertainment More Affordable

In recent years, the cost of entertainment has gotten a little ridiculous across the spectrum‒there’s more to do to entertain yourself, but finding the money to do so isn’t guaranteed. The thing is, humans need entertainment and, recognizing that, a number of sites aim to give experiences and inventory at prices nearly anyone can afford.

The next time you decide to skip the new computer or TV, miss your favorite artist in concert, or ditch all your cable channels, think about making the switch to these companies.

Best Buy for Electronics

Best Buy has certainly emerged as a go-to spot for electronics, although it’s been in competition with another big name in entertainment, Amazon. Owing to a successful run before that, however, and a fast-improving business model, the techie haven is back in the running. Focusing on the convenience of Internet sales, several policies keep online business booming.

Not long ago, common practice saw consumers looking for the best computers, TVs, cell phones, and other gadgets at Best Buy, then going elsewhere to buy them for less money. A price matching policy now handles that nicely. Combined with the Geek Squad, which has earned an excellent reputation for troubleshooting and service, Best Buy is now the place where people look for their laptops, tablets, and MP3 players.

Amazon for Everything

Amazon makes entertainment more affordable in a number of ways. Some financial experts insist that Amazon’s business model is a failure, or at least unsustainable, but if customer satisfaction serves as proof, that’s not true. The company re-invests much of the money it makes, always looking for ways to make its services faster, cheaper, and even more convenient. Recent talk of drones both emphasizes and proves that point.

Besides, the fact remains that Amazon has affordable items. It’s the place to comparison shop, as Best Buy can likely attest. Widespread categories make it possible to find nearly anything, from flat screen TVs to books and designer clothing. Prices are often cut, deals abound, and of course, Amazon offers the option to buy new or used items from third-party sellers. Independent sellers are also welcome at Amazon, which creates even more versatility in the stock.

Amazon also claimed a corner of the entertainment market with Prime, a paid-for membership service. Among other things, it offers free shipping and access to the retailer’s version of streaming media.

ScoreBig for Tickets

Tickets to concerts, plays, movies, and sporting events are expensive, and they’re getting more expensive every year.  Good seats to a great show can run you more than the cost of a flat screen TV and a few months of cable. And then there are the fees, which make tickets even more expensive.  But ScoreBig.com has created a way to make great seats to great events more affordable for everyone.

Most live events have lots of unsold tickets because of their high prices and extra fees. Even events that most people think are sold out (playoff games, popular concerts) secretly have hundreds or thousands of unsold seats.  ScoreBig gets them from ticket suppliers months in advance and lets fans make an offer on the tickets for less than box office price.  When the offer is right, ScoreBig gets the tickets to its customers instantly.  Ticket suppliers are happy because they get to sell tickets that wouldn’t have otherwise sold, (a half a loaf is better than nothing, after all) without having to advertise that their tickets are for sale at a discount. ScoreBig makes money by charging the suppliers rather than its own customers, so there are never any extra fees for the consumer.  It’s a cool way to get to the game or show without paying through the nose, and know that you’ve got the “inside deal” on a great way to save.

Netflix for Movies and TV

Netflix has pleased customers since its start, although it’s gone through ups and downs since then. Thanks to its robust instant streaming service, however, it’s been back on the rise. Giving birth to a trend of binge-watching streamed TV shows, Netflix is actually replacing cable and premium TV options for a lot of people. Rather than paying huge amounts for monthly services, people are more than happy to pay less than $8 monthly to see their favorite shows and movies instantly.

Netflix pays for content licenses, partnering with certain production companies, channels, and distributors. For instance, subscribers can now find Disney movies and certain premium cable series. It also produces its own shows now and pleased people around the world by bringing back Arrested Development. The result is that viewers can watch entire seasons of their favorite shows all at once, view new series, and see new and classic movies—and they can do it without spending too much money each month.

Groupon for Daily Deals

Groupon launched Daily Deal madness when it premiered. Its business model takes heat from some financial gurus, but it’s a basic idea that works for many consumers. Retailers, businesses, and companies simply approach Groupon with a specific number of offers, discounted from their usual prices. People get vouchers for all sorts of deals and events that they couldn’t otherwise afford or justify. While Groupon gets its cut, the savings go to the consumer. The company started out rather small, but as more companies turned to Groupon, the potential deals became more versatile.

Another aspect subscribers love is the ability to tailor their Groupon experience. When they sign up, they can choose deals based on their location, their hobbies, and their interests. On any given day, they’re emailed deals for restaurants, plays, salons, retailers, and vacations. There’s something for any type of budget, so subscribers get to do things they wouldn’t normally.

One reason for its popularity is its wide range of deals. It seems to fulfill every niche in addition to meeting almost every price point. In the areas where it’s offered, Groupon is also beneficial to the local economy. While big name brands offer deals through the site daily, local businesses can also pair with the site for fair rates, which can help them gain a new foothold in their communities.

In the current economic climate, it pays to offer consumers a chance to entertain themselves without breaking their budgets or making them feel guilty for the expense. When the prices are within reach, repeat business is practically a guarantee.

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North Dakota Town Evacuated After Nearby Oil Train Explodes

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Around two thirds of the residents of a North Dakota town were evacuated late Monday after a train carrying grain smashed into another carrying crude oil, causing an explosion and flames that sent black smoke billowing toward residents, according to Reuters.

No injuries have been reported, and the 2,400 people of Casselton may be cleared to return home as soon as the wind shifts smoke clouds away from their homes. A member of the National Transportation Safety Board did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Firefighters were able to save about half of the train’s 104 cars, but the Los Angeles Times reports that, after those were detached, they had to let the rest burn. The fire was too hot to approach, and the risk of explosion was deemed too great. Read more…

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