iOS Apps Can Now Be Twice As Big


Times, they are a-changin’. Storage is getting cheaper, bandwidth is less tightly restricted and, as such, the apps we use are getting bigger.

For the first time since the launch of the App Store, Apple has increased the maximum size allowed for apps and games distributed through its App Store.

Since 2008, apps were capped at 2GB. Any bigger than that, and the iTunes Connect developer tool would reject it right off the bat.

As of today, that’s been bumped up to 4GB.

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Can Standup Comedy Make You a Better Public Speaker? An Inc. Investigation

After eight minutes of watching Matt Ellsworth’s standup routine, I knew what we were in for.

Before Ellsworth stepped down from the stage to rejoin us at our table, his comedy coach, David Nihill, turned to me and smiled. “We have a lot of work to do,” he said.

Let me back up. Nihill had sworn that he’d used open-mic nights like these to become a better public speaker within weeks.

Doing standup comedy to overhaul your presentation skills is not a terribly new idea. But Nihill so believes in the idea that he’s built a company, FunnyBizz, around training businesspeople to be more entertaining.

Getting better at presenting in front of groups is one thing. But how much can comedy training–and a crash course in standup–help you become a truly entertaining speaker? I was putting Ellsworth to the test.

The guinea dumb

I first met Matt Ellsworth at a coffee shop in downtown San Francisco.

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Armed With A Push-Bike And $25 Million, Europe Beckons For Premium Take-Out Service Deliveroo

“I was actually the first delivery driver, I still do deliveries for 4 hours a week,” Deliveroo CEO and co-founder William Shu tells me during a call. “I don’t do it on the scooter anymore, I do it on the bicycle. It’s actually really good exercise so I don’t mind.”

I can’t help wondering if this will soon change. His London-based startup, which offers food delivery from premium restaurants that don’t traditionally offer a take-out service, has just closed a $25 million Series B round led by Accel Partners. However, despite my suggesting otherwise, Shu insists that remaining so hands-on isn’t a PR gimmick, but enables him to gain a much better understanding of Deliveroo’s business.

Specifically, the problem that Shu and his co-founder and childhood friend Greg Orlowski have set out to solve is that a lot of take-out food, not least in the UK, is of poor quality, and yet most premium or higher-end restaurants don’t deliver.

To tackle the latter, Deliveroo has built its own online ordering and logistics platform, including recruiting a fleet of drivers and cyclists who, along with London, now service restaurants and customers in the UK cities of Brighton, and Manchester, with Oxford launching next week.

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7 Silicon Valley CEOs weigh in on Microsoft and the HoloLens


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seems bent on making his company more relevant. 

Microsoft gave the public a compelling glimpse of the future when it trotted out the HoloLens, an augmented-reality headset along with the Windows Holographic platform, at its Windows 10 launch event on Wednesday.

But the event made headlines for other reasons, too. As part of its vision of having “universal apps,” Microsoft unveiled versions of Office and Outlook now coded to run similarly across different devices. It’s also bringing Cortana, the voice-controlled digital assistant, to the desktop via Windows 10. And Microsoft is finally on the road to replacing its heavily criticized Internet Explorer for a slick, new web browser codenamed Project Spartan.

With Microsoft’s latest announcements, CEO Satya Nadella seems bent on making his company hip and relevant again. But has he pulled it off? For a perspective from Silicon Valley, Mashable asked seven CEOs to weigh in, in their own words.

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Twitter’s password-killing tool is now available on the web

Twitter rolled out the web version of Digits, the company’s tool to help kill the password, to developers Wednesday.

Digits is one element of Twitter Fabric, the new suite of tools for developers the social network rolled out last year during its Flight Developer Conference. Digits replaces passwords with mobile phone numbers with the goal of making it easier to sign up for new apps.

The thinking is that reducing friction at signup will make it easier for developers to keep users on their service as some users are put off when they need to make a new account and password for each service. During Flight, Twitter said this would be particularly useful in emerging markets where many users with smartphones don’t have access to a PC.

“Passwords or other extra steps in the login process may reduce your website’s conversion rate,” Twitter explains on its blog.

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Pillow Raises $2.65 Million To Take The Friction Out Of Airbnb Rentals

Airbnb has grown quickly over the last several years, but there are still parts of its marketplace that are difficult to navigate.

Due to the nature of peer-to-peer rentals, guests never really know what to expect before stepping into a space that they’re renting. Meanwhile hosts have to worry about stuff like key handoff, cleaning, and the like, and many aren’t sure how they should price their listings.

A startup called Pillow (formerly Airenvy) thinks that it can help hosts address common issues, while also standardizing the experience for guests. To do so, the company has raised $2.65 million in funding to expand.

Currently available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Napa, Pillow seeks to reduce the friction that comes in hosting and in renting out a space on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway. On the host side, the company does a lot of the hard work related to things like cleaning, changing sheets, key handoff, and other ‘concierge’-type services that hosts might not be around to do.

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7 Productivity Lessons From the Big Bads of Buffy

Whether or not you’ve watched the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, you probably have a sense of the premise: A superpowered Sarah Michelle Gellar battles vampires to save the world (a lot). And if you have watched it, you already know that it contains at least one metaphor for every single moment you might encounter in life.

Feeling powerless at work? Watch how Buffy handles losing her superstrength in “Helpless” (Season 3). Frustrated by how draining your day job is, when you have vampires to slay–or a side business to start? Buffy knows just how you feel, per “Doublemeat Palace” (Season 6). Wishing the people around you were better communicators? You’ll relate to the challenges our heroes faced in “Hush” (Season 4).

My colleague Leigh has written about some of the valuable lessons from the Slayer herself. But it’s not just the powers of good that have useful things to teach; the “Big Bads” are some of the most alarmingly productive characters ever on television. After all, you don’t get to be a leader of demons without some serious entrepreneurial chops.

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