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Reddit is in a full scale meltdown, after firing /u/chooter (Victoria) from her position as Head of Talent. Victoria was one of the main figures for Reddit working on AMA threads, being able to verify independently identities and make sure no payment was made between Reddit and the celebrity/popular figure for additional coverage.

The move made /r/iAmA, /r/AskReddit and over 200 other subreddits close in protest of the decision. Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, claimed the move was made to add a new Reddit verification team, although iAmA claims this is not a neutral party and will use their own verification system for AMA requests from now on.

This was already bad enough, coinciding with the growing appeals for Reddit admins to work with moderators of forums more heavily and be more transparent, but a new post was released revealing CEO Ellen Pao firing a worker who was covering from cancer.

The ex-Reddit employee, going under the name Dacvak, claims that Reddit allowed him time off work for over three years, after being diagnosed with leukemia and following up with cancer treatment. It was not until Yishan Wong, the ex-CEO of Reddit, left the company that Dacvak had issues continuing his job.

He expressed a desire to return as Community Manager in San Francisco in January 2015, but before he could return to the company, Pao fired him. She claimed that Dacvak was too ill to return to Reddit, despite Dacvak pleading with Pao that he was fit and ready to return, even getting his doctor to forward results.

It is another dark slap on Pao’s growing record, following the defeat against Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm, over sexual discrimination charges. Many on Reddit have expressed deep mistrust with Pao, going as far as to start a petition to remove her from Reddit.

The petition has reached 22,000 signatures, with 35,000 set as the first goal. This is one of the largest outbursts of anger from a community against a CEO, and considering Reddit does rely on its users quite a lot, it means a decision may have to be made in the next few weeks.

Several ex-admins claim Pao has changed the culture in Reddit from a start-up to corporate, with changes in management from engineers to business focused personeel. These changes in management are looking at short term gains, by generating cash flow for Reddit be a profitable business, although that goes against all the fundamentals of Reddit.

Like any social business, Reddit requires the trust and love of users to continue to return and actively invest in the site. It may need a full clean of house to regain this trust, with plenty of users claiming this is the end for Reddit—slowly going down the Digg route of failure.

Via: OutOfTheLoop


Facebook is talking behind the scenes with quite a few music labels, but nobody knows the exact reason. Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment are all talking to Facebook, but the deals have not been disclosed.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Cargo Ship Explodes Mid Flight


The Falcon 9 rocket responsible for resupplying the International Space Station exploded mid flight earlier today, three minutes after launch. It is the third resupply mission to the ISS that has failed this year.

Overpressure in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank was the cause of the explosion, according to SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk. NASA and SpaceX will conduct an investigation to find out why exactly the overpressure occurred.

It is disappointing for SpaceX, who were planning to recover part of the Falcon 9 rocket on a drone platform in the ocean. The recovery mission is part of SpaceX’s own project to recycle parts of the rocket, instead of spending millions building new rockets for every mission. Musk believes this is the key to a sustainable space industry, one that will get us to Mars.

Mars seems like a distant future though, given the high rate of cargo mission failures. The ISS should be fine for the next few months, with food and water supplies until September. The Falcon 9 rocket was stocked with 5,000 pounds of supplies, including food, science experiments and Microsoft HoloLens devices for astronauts to communicate with NASA scientists on Earth.

The investment into privatising cargo missions is not going too well for NASA, perhaps putting too much value on the space industry and safety standards. That said, SpaceX has shown it is consistent, with this being the only failure out of 18 successful launches.

NASA will continue to work with private space companies for cargo missions, potentially opening the floor for other mid to high level missions in the near future. SpaceX has already been cleared for mid level missions, which include launching satellites.


French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira said it would be possible that National Security Agency contractor and leaker Edward Snowden, and WikiLeaks founder and activist Julian Assange could both seek asylum in France.

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Taylor Swift Turns Apple Back From The Dark Side


In an open letter addressed to Apple, superstar singer Taylor Swift threw a few punches at Apple Music’s policy to not pay artists for any songs listened by free trial users.

This means for the first three months of Apple Music’s existence, artists would not receive a single penny for their contribution.

It does seem like a rather stingy way of doing business. Thankfully, Apple’s head of services Eddy Cue was on the ball, responding to Swift’s open letter within a few hours revealing a reversal in the decision to not pay artists for free trial period listens.

Cue said that Apple will support all artists regardless of trial or payment period. It seems like a win-win for both sides, Swift and musicians receive more money; Apple gains PR for being the good sport and listening.

However, there is a worry that Apple’s reversal is only half-baked. In a report released later in the week, we found out that Apple is not disclosing the price per listen for music under the free trial, meaning artists will be paid less if a load of free listeners are tuning in.

Apple also said the music streaming platform will start sending more money to artists, as soon as it grabs more paying customers. Evidently, Apple is not planning to pay the same amount, but it still remains to be seen what the split in pay per listen will be.

It could be a similar payment difference to Spotify, but instead of customers paying with ads, Apple is paying with its own money. That would mean the 100 million it is trying to pull in over the three month period wouldn’t become too costly for the £120 billion the company is hiding away in its treasure chest.

One of the issues with Apple’s business model is instead of making money, they’re going to be spending a lot. Beats 1, the radio station, will undoubtedly need support and hundreds of artists are being tapped to work on Connect, the music social network.

Alongside paying for licensing, Apple is going to be forking out a ton of money to keep Apple Music alive. In two or three years this might be a worthwhile investment, but that all depends on if users stay subscribed after the three month period.


For those wanting to test a Hyperloop pod, Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX is offering a one-mile track outside its HQ in Hawthorne, California. The new initiative is the first public move by SpaceX to forward the Hyperloop, which Musk revealed in 2014 as a new type of transport using low-air tubes to carry passengers at high speeds.

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is planning to launch a Netflix-rival with HBO-style programming, named Tmall Box Office.

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Tesla Motors Third Step: The Model 3


Elon Musk claimed Tesla Motors had three challenges: high-end, low quantity; mi-range, medium quantity; low-end, high quantity. It is currently still in the first stage, but plans to launch the Model X later this year will bring it into the second stage.

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