cowboy me, 2.0: jose nazario beauty and the street

Four short links: 1 September 2013

bar tabs, bashar al assad, full tilt, david and goliath story

The Decline And Fall Of Flowtab, A Startup Story | TechCrunch -- At this early stage in its corporate life, with only a few bars on its platform, and a user base in the hundreds, Flowtab spent and invested scarce resources into something that would eventually yield it nothing. Flowtab wasnt attracting many users on its own in the bars it was installed in, so it wanted to bring more to its locations, and do it in a very public fashion. After the abortive bar bashes wound down, Hill went to the beach, wearing his Flowtab shirt, and sat down for an hour by himself. In Hills words, it was a long and drawn out process that was very involved. The show wanted drama, and in the end not only did Flowtab not land a deal, but their pitch session didnt make it onto TV, depriving the group of any free advertising they might have hoped for. Well, following the riotous bar crawl, they werent exactly enthused with the Flowtab product. Somewhat progressive, and perhaps interesting for a company so traditional, DexOne had what Flowtab did not: capital and manpower. Back in San Francisco, the Flowtab team was experimenting with new ways to grab bars, and hopefully, paying customers. Flowtab, in a bid to reach more bars, hired a call center in the Philippines to call potential bars in San Francisco. Despite the fact that people were not organically flocking to the app in bars, DexOne wanted to press ahead and get Flowtab into even more locations. Flowtab recruited Lyft drivers to hand out free drink coupons to riders heading to bars that it was installed in. Still, for three months Flowtab was picking up new users at a decent pace, a rare moment of encouraging growth for the company. The company set a small goal: By March 1, they wanted to have at least 50 active users, who were using Flowtab several times per month. most folks just didnt go back to the same bar every week, so a new user might enjoy Flowtab, but not use the service again for months until they were back in the bar they signed up in. Order volume could spike over 60 orders in a day if Flowtab had a presence at a bar. So, instead of charging users to pay an extra fee to use its service, Flowtab flipped around and decided to sell advertising to alcohol companies inside of its application. However, after meeting with six small and large liquor and beer companies, it became clear that Flowtab simply did not have the scale needed to land a deal large enough to matter. Coaster , a local competitor, in the words of Flowtab, began losing bars.

9 questions about Syria you were too embarrassed to ask -- If you found the above sentence kind of confusing, or arent exactly sure why Syria is fighting a civil war, or even where Syria is located, then this is the article for you. Why are people in Syria killing each other? Volunteers from other countries joined the rebels, either because they wanted freedom and democracy for Syria or, more likely, because they are jihadists who hate Syrias secular government. That would explain why so much of the killing in Syria has developed along sectarian lines. Russia sends lots of weapons to Syria that make it easier for Assad to keep killing civilians and will make it much harder if the outside world ever wants to intervene. (3) Russia also hates the idea of international intervention against countries like Syria because it sees this as Cold War-style Western imperialism and ultimately a threat to Russia; It perceives Israel and the United States as existential threats and uses Syria to protect itself, shipping arms through Syria to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah and the Gaza-based militant group Hamas. Shipping arms to rebels, even if it helps them topple Assad, would ultimately empower jihadists and worsen rebel in-fighting, probably leading to lots of chaos and possibly a second civil war (the United States made this mistake during Afghanistans early 1990s civil war, which helped the Taliban take power in 1996). They would be meant to punish Assad for (allegedly) using chemical weapons and to deter him, or any future military leader in any future war, from using them again. But theres a good case to be made that this is a rare opportunity, at least in theory, for the United States to make the war a little bit less terrible and to make future wars less terrible. This norm is frail enough that Syria could drastically weaken it if we ignore Assads use of them, but its also strong enough that its worth protecting. -- With the release of Ember 1.0, we're glad to also release the first beta of Ember Data 1.0. Ember.js itself now has good support for modules, through Ember App Kit's drop-in resolver, but Ember Data's reliance on global lookups (through App.Post.find, etc.) made Ember Data hard to use with modules.

Uber drivers file class-action suit over tips - SFGate -- Uber says its taxi service adds a 20 percent tip for drivers, while its black-car service doesn't discuss tips at all. Uber's message to passengers is that no additional tip is needed beyond the fare - and the company explicitly prohibits drivers from taking cash tips directly from passengers. Last month, two Uber drivers filed a class-action lawsuit in San Francisco on behalf of all the company's drivers, charging that the tip-sharing arrangement cheats them out of money.

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