Alive Day – October 25, 2020 | Peter Mehit

I had a heart attack on October 25, 2020, which coincidentally, was my 23rd wedding anniversary.  No, I don’t think the two are related.

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NASA awards Blue Origin, Nanoracks, Northrop Grumman over $400M in contracts to avoid space station gap | TechCrunch

Just two days after officially (and quietly) confirming that it intends to replace the International Space Station with a commercial station by 2030, NASA has awarded over $400 million in agreements to three companies to further develop private station plans.

The three companies, which received the awards under the agency’s Commercial low Earth orbit (LEO) Destinations program, are: Nanoracks for $160 million Blue Origin for $130 million Northrop Grumman for $125.6 million

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Symfonisk Table Lamp Speaker | Cool Business Ideas

The collaboration that saw flat-pack furniture firm Ikea and wireless audio experts Sonos light up the Salone del Mobile in 2019 has returned with the second generation of the speaker-packing Symfonisk table lamp.

“Since launching the first Symfonisk table lamp speaker, we learned a lot about how and where they are being used,” said Ikea’s Stjepan Begic. “For example, a lot of people use the lamp speaker on a nightstand, which led us to create a new, slightly smaller lamp base. We’re now also offering customers more design choices, making the lamp speaker a better fit for their individual homes. By integrating a speaker into a table lamp, we can save space, decrease clutter, and create atmosphere with both light and sound.” The partnership is promising an improved sonic experience from the new model, thanks to a “completely new acoustic architecture” that sees a custom waveguide being employed for improved dispersion.

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Self-Discipline: The Secret Ingredient | Entrepreneur

The development of self-discipline is like exercising a muscle that develops the more you use it.

No one achieves mastery of a skill, competence in a profession, or knowledge of a subject without hours and hours of effort, frustration and setbacks. Natural gifts — intelligence, size, strength and quick reflexes — are a bonus, but rarely sufficient to achieve the highest level of success.

Here are some levels of mastery that few manage to reach:

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Overworked? |

It’s well-known that entrepreneurs must dedicate a lot of their time to getting their businesses off the ground in order to be successful. It’s not uncommon to hear of a business owner working 60 or more hours a week in pursuit of that success. However, this amount of work can have a major negative impact on one’s mental and physical health.

Tips to Cut Down Working Hours

To address the issue, busy professionals need to find a way to work smarter and gradually reduce the number of hours spent running their businesses. That’s why we asked 12 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:

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5 Things to Look For When Hiring a Marketing Agency | Entrepreneur

Marketing helps create your brand image, promote your service, reach potential customers, engage existing clients, boost sales and propel growth.

With tens of thousands of companies offering these services worldwide, deciding on the best agency to hire is no easy task.

To help you make the best decision, let’s begin with the right questions…

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Malicious Google Play Apps Stole User Banking Info | WIRED

RESEARCHERS SAID THEY’VE discovered a batch of apps that were downloaded from Google Play more than 300,000 times before the apps were revealed to be banking trojans that surreptitiously siphoned user passwords and two-factor-authentication codes, logged keystrokes, and took screenshots.

The apps—posing as QR scanners, PDF scanners, and cryptocurrency wallets—belonged to four separate Android malware families that were distributed over four months. They used several tricks to sidestep restrictions Google has devised in an attempt to rein in the unending distribution of fraudulent apps in its official marketplace. Those limitations include restricting the use of accessibility services for sight-impaired users to prevent the automatic installation of apps without user consent.

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Crops grow better in Mars soil when given good bacteria, study finds | New Atlas

Uber Eats deliveries to Mars are going to be expensive, so the first colonists of the Red Planet will need to figure out how to grow their own food locally. A new study has shown that dosing plants with symbiotic bacteria can drastically improve their growth in barren Mars-like soil.

Extremely dry and dusty, the rocky dirt that gives the Red Planet its characteristic tinge is terrible for farming. The regolith, as it’s known, lacks the usual organic matter from plants and animals that provide nutrients for crops, meaning attempts to grow things in this dirt alone have left scientists hungry.

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I tested the Margaritaville frozen drink maker, and it’s as ridiculous as you think | Mashable

Nobody — and I’m talking absolutely no one — needs a Margaritaville-branded frozen drink maker that automatically rotates between three pitchers, blasting frozen concoctions out in record time. Not even Jimmy Buffett himself needs that.

But damn if it isn’t fun and absolutely preposterous all at once. I might even buy one if it didn’t cost — wait for it — more than $500.

Frankly this thing is built for exactly who you’d expect it to be built for: a boomer-aged Parrot Head with money and lots of parties to host. And that’s OK. Not every product is for everyone.

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Japan: Ikea is offering a tiny apartment in Tokyo for less than $1 per month | CNN

Swedish retailer Ikea is becoming a landlord in Japan with a tiny apartment it will rent out in Tokyo.

The 10-square-meter (107-square-foot) apartment is located in the Shinjuku district and will cost just 99 yen ($0.86) per month to rent, according to details released by Ikea this week.

Only one unit is available, and it is fully furnished with Ikea furniture and accessories. The company is accepting applications from potential tenants, who must be over 20 years old, until December 3.

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Are zebras white with black stripes or black with white stripes? | Live Science

Zebras are iconic for their distinctive coats, but have you ever wondered whether zebras are white with black stripes or black with white stripes?

The stunning black-and-white coloration of the zebra’s hide stands out in stark contrast with the dry, brown-and-green, treeless grasslands and savannah woodlands of their home territories of East and southern Africa, according to the African Wildlife Foundation.

These stripes are unique to each individual. There are three zebra species living today — the plains zebra (Equus quagga), the mountain zebra (E. zebra) and the Grevy’s zebra (E. grevyi) — and each of those species has a different striping pattern, too. For some, the darker portions of their hide are black, whereas others have browner coloring, and some have stripes only on their bodies but not on their legs. An extinct subspecies of the plains zebra called a quagga (E. quagga quagga) had minimal striping on its head, mane and neck, according to The Quagga Project.

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