Shaky Grounds, Clean Towns and Mastodons 🦖

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Shakes To Save Your Neighborhood

What would you do if you knew an earthquake was coming? If you had enough time to gather your children or parents and run out of the house to a safer place? 

In San Jose last week, 95,000 people got an alert on their smartphones warning them about a 5.1-magnitude earthquake, around 20 seconds before it hit.

The earthquake heads-up was given by an app, called MyShake, developed by scientists at UC Berkeley’s Seismology Lab.  

And sure, 20 seconds is not a huge window to bring yourself to safety, but it’s a decent start to saving lives. The startup hopes to get to a point where is gives people a warning soon enough to prepare their neighbourhood.

How does it work? 

The algorithm is direct. 

  • The app uses sensors in your phone to detect movement and then filters it through a neural network to determine if it matches the model for an earthquake. 
  • It then gives a ShakeAlert for earthquakes higher than 4.5 magnitude. 

How is this different from other smartphone emergency systems? 

The startup claims that MyShake’s algorithm is really good. While other emergency systems might mistake a roller coaster for a car crash, MyShake doesn’t make such motion generalisations. It can figure out which motion specifically fits the earthquake model. 

So far, MyShake only functions in California, Oregon, and Washington, but it’s already been downloaded 1.6 million times in these regions. The startup is working at taking the app global, especially in countries that don’t have access to traditional and expensive equipment used to detect quakes.

Cleaning Profits in 2022

For the ambitious entrepreneurs looking to start their own, there’s one industry that seems to be going places. 

The contract cleaning services industry. 

Take Spritz, for example. The startup acts as a marketplace connecting cleaners with vacation rental hosts and is currently employing a large number of housewives and stay-at-home mothers to run a nationwide cleaning service. 

The pandemic greatly shifted how people view hygiene and cleanliness, especially in high-traffic areas such as restaurants and offices. As a result, cleaning services, especially commercial cleaners, are expected to be the most profitable business this year. 

Some Stats: 

  • The industry is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 6% from 2020 to 2026.
  • Startup costs for a cleaning business are under $2000. 
  • Small businesses in this space make between $70k and $100k per year, with profit margins falling between 10% and 28%.
  • Women make up nearly 90% of residential cleaners in the United States. 

How to Find Mastermind Groups Near You
Mastermind groups are brimming with young and aspirational businesses, solopreneurs, freelancers or side-hustlers looking for and sharing insights to get their small services or businesses running

Cost of the "Musky" Odour

We’re sure you’re already saturated hearing about Musk and Twitter. So we won’t bore you with more details here. Just add our two cents to the current round of discussions. 

The new owner of Twitter wants to charge users $20 per month for a verified blue check.

Reasons: authenticate all humans and remove bots while getting users to pay for ‘real name membership’.

While fairly-intentioned, the monetisation plan is primed to blow up (and not in a good way). 

Here’s three reason why. 

  • Common people will lose interest. In a recent poll, when asked how much people would pay to be verified, about 81% of more than a million respondents said that they would not pay.
  • Blue checks on social platforms have a certain value. They imply that the account belongs to a reliable person who is unlikely to act as a carrier of unverified information. The fact that acquiring a blue check is not easy, also adds to its value.
    But with the new system, anyone with the means can pay for the blue check. It’s quite possible that bad actors trying to spread fake news would be more incentivized to pay $20. Political agents funded by hefty campaign budgets can sway public opinions. The next US Prez may not need bots to come to power.
  • The payment system will turn Twitter into an echo chamber of those that can afford it. Corporations like Netflix and Amazon are likely more willing than a local nonprofit newsroom to drop $20 a month per account. 

Speaking of People Losing Interest in Twitter...   

There are signs of a small but growing Twitter exodus underway.

Mastodon, a decentralized social network gained more than 70,000 new sign-ups on Friday, the day after the Musk Twitter takeover completed. And this weekend, the official Mastodon mobile app saw a record number of downloads as more people fleeing Twitter began to seek out a new online home.

Mastodon is not a new platform. The free and open source microblogging service startup debuted in March 2016. 

On Friday, #mastodon began trending and many people were tweeting #TwitterMigration. Germany is Mastodon’s largest market with 37% of installs, followed by the U.S. with 19% and Japan with 7%.

Shorts ⏳
Happy Halloween - To start you off, here are the world’s most haunted travel destinations

Medically Misinformed? - In an effort to curb misinformation, YouTube will allow licensed health care pros to be labeled as reliable.

Money For Middlemen - Virgin airlines launched a “Middle Seat Lottery” that will give away more than $230,000 in prizes to travelers who select or are assigned to a middle seat.

Don't Feel So High - A California cannabis company is being sued by consumers for not making them "high enough". So much for legalising marijuana.

Changing Beauty History - For the first time in its 80-year history, the Miss Universe pageant will be owned by a woman. A Thai tycoon and transgender activist, paid $20 million to buy the organization.   

Richer Than Royalty - UK PM Rishi Sunak and his wife have a combined wealth of $730 million - more than double the individual wealth of Prince Charles. 

Stash Recommends: Tools to Explore
👍 BetterA comprehensive franchise management system that helps franchisees manage their sales, clients, and royalty computations.

📑 One IdentityA great tool to manage data groups, user directories, accounts and privilege access in fewer and less time-consuming steps.

🪝 FranConnectA cloud-based software that helps companies manage operations, communication, and projects of multiple branches and outlets.

🍊 Naranga: A tool for national and multi-national business to automate processes and offer the same level of consistency across branches.

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