YouTube is Now Offering Content Creators Business Loans

YouTube is a phenomenon which has revolutionized people’s viewing habits and provided a legitimate rival to broadcast Television. The service has progressed at a rapid rate and helped forge the careers of internet celebrities like PewDiePie. Initially, the website was created as a networking tool to bring communities together and share hobbies. Although, my viewpoint is a little idealistic. Google’s acquisition of YouTube contained a long-term plan to make the service profitable. Currently, this isn’t the case but it’s certainly turned into a professional organization where serious money can be made from content creators.

Youtube has decided to enter a business relationship with Lending Club to provide the funds to make a professional YouTube channel or take it to the next level. The announcement reads:

“We’ve partnered with Lending Club to provide YouTube Creators a limited finance offer you can put toward building your channel:

  • Personal & business loans
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Funds in your bank account quickly

YouTube exclusive perks:

  • Rebate for any origination fees: YouTube will pay back the origination fee, which will be rebated to you by Lending Club.

  • Qualify for a 5% loan rebate: If you increase either your channel’s average upload frequency or watch time, in the 12 months after you take out your loan, you’ll get a 5% rebate on the original total loan amount. Find out more.

This is a terrible move on Google’s part and I’m not convinced a cash injection will help YouTube channels to become successful. Additionally, the revenue streams from smaller channels are tiny, so the length of repayment could be extremely long. I feel a lot of people will just ignore this measure, and proceed without relying on loans. However, it’s concerning because people in desperate situations could take out a loan they cannot pay back. As a result, certain vulnerable individuals might end up in hardship, or being sued by the loan company.

If you want to read more information about this loan scheme, please visit here.

Do you think Google are wrong to partner with a loan company?

Briton Starts Crowdfunding to Raise €1.6 Billion for Greece

As Greece makes history by missing their IMF payment, one man is setting out to fix it himself and with the help of others like him. While we all have our own ideas in how to best help Greece, one common man has gone out and done something. Taking matters into his own hands, Thom Feeney, a London shopkeeper, has started an IndieGoGo campaign to help raise €1.6 Billion for the beleaguered country.

With 6 days to go, the campaign has already raised €573,722 which is quite a lot of money for crowdfunding. However, that is still a long ways away from the stated, not yet reaching 1% of the target (that would be about €1.6 million). In his decision to start the fundraiser, Feeney noted that it was time for the people to solve the problem and all the governments dithering over it was boring. Rewards range from €3 for a poster of Greek PM Alex Tsipras, €5 for a Greek Salad and all the way up to an island for €1.6 billion though that reward has now been removed.

Right now the campaign is so popular that the IndieGoGo page that it has become inaccessible for most of the time. Given the current population of the EU, if every person is able to give around €3, the campaign will meet its goal. Counting generous donors outside the EU, it gets even easier. Even with an extra €1.6 billion though, Greece would still fall short of its debt obligations. It will be interesting to see what happens with the campaign and how the Greek government will respond in the run-up to the critical July 5th referendum.

Sony Bought OnLive, Ending the Service April 30th

OnLive just announced that they are shutting down after being bought by Sony. In case you have forgotten about OnLive it was a company that offered a cloud-based streaming gaming.

This is the second time that OnLive has been bought, the first time was to by a venture capital firm in 2012 for the sum of $4.8 million, after having accrued $30-$40 million of debt. Sony also bought game-streaming service Gaiki in July 2012, and that tech was used for PlayStation Now. Sony does not plan to continue the service in its current form, the service goes offline April 30th. After the closure the player data will be wiped and any Steam games that were bought through the service will remain on the Steam accounts of the customers.

Source: Engadget

British Government Want to Build a ‘Super Database’ To Help Run the Country

Even with all its power, the UK government has admitted that it’s at a point where simple tasks, such as sharing information or data between two different departments, has become a burden. This is mostly due to the fact that there are a wide range of databases controlled by each government department.

However, the cabinet’s data sharing policy team came up with a plan back in April that would have all departments link all of their databases. This means that local authorities, emergency services, schools and even government departments would merge their databases into a single ‘super database’.

The resulting database then said to be able to handle huge amounts of data and provide more accurate information. Other benefits that might follow are said to include a saving of up to £37 billion in error, dump and fraud.

Another beneficial outcome from all of this is the government’s ability to understand a person’s life and help him with their money problems. For example, if an individual is in debt to various departments, the payment can then be structured and manageable on a low-income.

To be noted is that the policy is still just a proposal and the government is now looking for the people’s opinion in order to find out if they support the plan or not.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Engadget

Secret Artificial Intelligence Project has been In The Works for 30 Years

Cycorp look like any other research company, striving to create newer technologies in order to sell them to other companies and make life easier for people. However, the company has revealed that they were working on a piece of advanced artificial intelligence for 30 years, keeping it a secret up until now.

They have stated that the secrecy was kept by working on their own. This means no outside investments, no debts and no news about the project of course. The information which revealed the project in question has apparently been released by Cycorp, having the project near the stage where it could be ‘applicable enough’.

People’s desire for a Star Trek-like computer, namely an artificially intelligent system that could receive instructions in plain, spoken language, without the need of millions and millions of hard-coded instructions, has been on the list of ‘to-do’ things for many companies.

However, the method of user interface in question has been stated countless times to be extremely hard to achieve. Despite the latter, Cycorp aims to do this by ‘codify general human knowledge and common sense’, having computers then make use of it. They apparently have been attempting to figure out the pieces of data humans rely on daily, the knowledge required to understand the world, and represent that in a formal manner so that machines can use to reason.

Cycorp has apparently been building this ‘brain out of software’ from scratch since 1984. The product’s name is called Cyc and it is allegedly not ‘programmed’ in the conventional sense, but more like ‘taught’. Building a computer software is more of a procedure-like approach, using flowcharts for example as guidelines and specifications on what the actual piece of software is to perform. Cycorp describes Cyc to be built more like educating a child, having to teach it things.

For example, Cyc is able to see “the white space rather than the black space in what everyone reads and writes to each other.” This gives Cyc the ability to comprehend and reason with things deemed achievable only by humans. Also, given that Cyc has a vast knowledge of everything, it could soon be installed as a normal operating system on almost everything, including robots.

The company has stated that Cyc is currently being used to teach math for sixth graders. While the program understands the math, it listens to what students have to say and performs diagnostics on their confusion. With this, it is then able to figure out what behaviour it can carry out that would be most useful in aiding them understand things.

Though teaching math is nothing special, it is just an example of what Cyc is able to do, having to emphasise its radical technique in approaching a problem and solving it based on individual and unique analytical resolutions.

Thank you Business Insider for providing us with this information