TIME Food & Drink

These Colleges Are The Best Tippers and The Most Polite Customers

Getty Images

According to GrubHub

The food delivery website GrubHub has teamed up with Spoon University, a student-run food publication, to unwrap the mystery of college students’ takeout and delivery habits. Which colleges have the most late night orders? The best tippers and the most polite customers? Here are some highlights from the results, available on GrubHub’s blog.

Highest tip percentages:

  1. Virginia Tech
  2. University of Delaware
  3. University of Colorado
  4. Towson University
  5. University of Virginia

Highest percentage of orders with “please” or “thank you”:

  1. University of Pennsylvania
  2. Yale University
  3. University of the Sciences
  4. Loyola University of Chicago
  5. The College of New Jersey

Most late-night orders:

  1. Syracuse University
  2. Michigan State University
  3. University of Connecticut
  4. Ithaca College
  5. The Ohio State University

Most health-conscious:

  1. Georgetown University
  2. University of Notre Dame
  3. University of Tennessee
  4. Lafayette College
  5. Central Connecticut State University

Most vegetarian diners:

  1. Cornell University
  2. Yale University
  3. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  4. University of Chicago – Booth School of Business
  5. Columbia College

Most dessert orders:

  1. Regis University
  2. University of Texas
  3. University of Tennessee
  4. University of Illinois
  5. Virginia Commonwealth University

 

TIME Management

Steve Ballmer Steps Down From Microsoft Board

Steve Ballmer Steps Down From Microsoft Board
Owner of the Los Angeles Clippers Steve Ballmer looks on after being introduced for the first time during the Los Angeles Clippers Fan Festival at Staples Center on August 18, 2014. Jeff Gross—Getty Images

Ballmer said his new commitments, like owning the Clippers, make it "impractical" to continue serving on board

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Tuesday he has stepped down from the company’s board. Ballmer’s announcement came in a public letter addressed to the company’s current CEO, Satya Nadella.

Ballmer, who retired from the company’s helm in February but kept a seat on the board, cited the time commitments of his existing responsibilities—like owning the Los Angeles Clippers—as his primary reason for departure, which is effective immediately.

“In the six months since leaving, I have become very busy. I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time,” Ballmer wrote. “Given my confidence and the multitude of new commitments I am taking on now, I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off.”

Ballmer said he will remain Microsoft’s biggest individual shareholder, and encouraged his workplace of 34 years to move boldly “to monetization through enterprise subscriptions, hardware gross margins, and advertising revenues” while also continuing to manage Microsoft’s software business.

“I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can,” Ballmer added.

Nadella penned a public response to Ballmer’s letter, thanking Ballmer for his support and wishing him well.

“As you embark on your new journey, I am sure that you will bring the same boldness, passion and impact to your new endeavors that you brought to Microsoft, and we wish you incredible success. I also look forward to partnering with you as a shareholder,” Nadella wrote. “On behalf of all of Microsoft and the Board of Directors, thank you.”

TIME society

The Most Well-Rested and Sleep-Deprived Cities in the World

The Marunouchi district of Tokyo, Japan. Getty Images

Based on data crunched by Jawbone, a fitness tracker

The title of the world’s most well-rested city goes to Melbourne, Australia, whose residents log an average of 6 hours and 58 minutes of sleep per night, the Wall Street Journal recently reported, based on data obtained from Jawbone’s UP, an electronic wristband that tracks sleeping and movement patterns.

The city that sleeps the least, though, isn’t the city that never sleeps—it’s Tokyo, Japan, where residents get an average of 5 hours and 44 minutes of sleep. (New Yorkers sleep an average of 6 hours and 47 minutes per night, not too far behind Melbourne residents.)

Meanwhile, Brisbane, Australia takes two crowns: the city with the earliest average bedtime (10:57 p.m.) and the city with the earliest average wake-up time (6:29 a.m.). Residents of Moscow, Russia, wake up the latest with an average time of 8:08 a.m.

TIME Science

Here’s What a Jellyfish Sting Looks Like in Slow-Motion

Microscope shows a close-up of the tiny, venom-filled barbs penetrating your skin

+ READ ARTICLE

If you’re afraid of getting stung by a jellyfish, just wait until you know what’s actually happening.

Going viral now is a video by the YouTube channel SmarterEveryDay that shows scientists at James Cook University in Australia using a high-speed camera to capture microscopic footage of the stinging process — in which small barbs on the jellyfishes’ tentacles called nematocysts thrust out as the victim brushes by. In other words, when you get stung by a jellyfish, you’re basically getting stabbed by hundreds of venom-filled, hypodermic needles.

Even better? It all happens within 11 milliseconds.

MORE: Can We Learn to Love The Jellyfish?

TIME Social Media

Twitter Refutes Report That 23 Million Active Users Are Bots

Twitter Says 23 Million of Its Users Are Not Actually Bots
A user scrolls through a Twitter feed. Bloomberg via Getty Images

Clarification follows misinterpretations of its SEC filing, which disclosed how many users are on third party apps

Twitter is defending itself after reports this morning suggested that the company admitted up to 8.5%, or 23 million, of its active users are automated bots.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Twitter said that “up to approximately 8.5% of all active users used third party applications that may have automatically contacted our servers for regular updates without any discernible additional user-initiated action.” Some observers interpreted that line to mean that 8.5% of Twitter’s active users were so-called “bot” accounts, which post autonomously based on scripts.

However, a Twitter spokesperson told TIME Tuesday that the third party applications mentioned in the SEC filing are not necessarily posting on users’ behalves. Rather, that statistic measures the usage of third party apps that users authorize to automatically compile their social media feeds into one spot, like Samsung’s Social Hub. The spokesperson added that while it’s difficult to know accurately if these apps can also auto-post content, the statistic’s focus was on only apps that aggregate Twitter content automatically “with no user action involved,” as the SEC filing said.

Still more confusion was caused by another portion of the SEC filing, in which Twitter corrected its Q2 earnings report to say that 11% of its active users “solely used third-party applications to access Twitter,” a broader definition including apps that can only auto-pull as well as ones without auto-pull functions. The corrected figure was down 3% from the 14% figure Twitter originally reported in its Q2 2014 earnings report. Twitter made the change Monday after it discovered the number “included certain users who accessed Twitter through owned and operated applications,” like the well-known TweetDeck.

Some observers took the 14%-to-11% correction to mean that 3% of Twitter’s users access the social network through Twitter-owned apps other than its primary offerings — the company’s usually mum about how many people are using those apps. But Twitter shot down that calculation as well, saying Tuesday the adjustment was made to correct a computational error, not to fix how the figure was computed: it’s therefore incorrect to deduce that this 3% indicates the percentage of users who access Twitter through Twitter owned and operated apps, Twitter said.

We can glean something from the 11% figure, though, as the roughly 8.5% of users on third party apps that can only auto-pull is contained in that figure, Twitter said. That means the remaining chunk—as little as 2.5%—indicates the percentage of users using third party apps that don’t have the capacity to auto-pull, Twitter said.

So what does that mean? The users in this 2.5% group are using third party apps that may have the capacity to automatically post content in an authentic, non-spamming manner—friendly “bots,” if you will—such as the Earthquake Robot feed, which automatically tweets news about earthquakes.

Indeed, the kind of Twitter account many people associate with the term “bot”—false or spam accounts—are not counted as active users, and are thus entirely independent from the aforementioned groups, Twitter said. These false or spam accounts make up less than 5% of Twitter’s monthly active users, according to the SEC filing.

 

 

TIME Security

The Government Is Trying To Explain Bitcoin to Normal People

US Government Issues Bitcoin Warning
A customer purchases bitcoins from the BMEX bitcoin exchange's Robocoin-branded ATM in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, June 18, 2014. Bloomberg via Getty Images

Stepping into the Bitcoin market is like "stepping into the Wild West"

An independent government agency issued an exhaustive warning Monday about the risks of virtual currencies like bitcoin in an attempt to explain cryptocurrencies to the uninitiated.

The 6-page walkthrough from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau outlined several of bitcoin’s potential dangers, including vulnerability to hackers, limited security, excessive costs and scams. It also announced a system that accepts virtual currency complaints. Though virtual currencies have become increasingly integrated into society, with states, companies, political organizations and even schools approving their use, the Internal Revenue Service has not granted it legal tender status in any U.S. jurisdiction.

“Virtual currencies are not backed by any government or central bank, and at this point consumers are stepping into the Wild West when they engage in the market,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in the statement.

Bitcoin risks, the CFPB said, include hackers who steal users’ private keys—the password to your digital wallet—using viruses and other malware. Unlike banks or credit unions, in which deposits are protected by federal agencies in case of failure, bitcoin isn’t insured by any government agency. If you lose your bitcoin stash, then “you are own your own,” the CFPB warns, and “there is no other party to help you.” Some digital wallet companies promise reimbursements for fraudulent transactions, but if there’s a widespread fraud event, it would probably be hard for most of these firms to come through on that promise. So what’s a bitcoin user to do?

“Read your agreement with your wallet provider carefully,” the report states. “Really, read your agreement with your wallet provider carefully.”

The report also tries to clarify bitcoin ATMs, which the CFPB points out don’t actually spew out bitcoin. Rather, the ATMs allow you to insert cash to be transferred into bitcoin to be moved into your digital wallet. The ATMs’ transaction fees may run as high as 7% and exchange fees $50 more than what you’d get elsewhere — and perhaps even more given bitcoin’s high volatility, the warning said.

The CFPB additionally warned customers of scams enticing users to invest bitcoin on the promise of high interest rates and no risk. In actuality, their bitcoin may be funneled into something else entirely, like someone’s food, shopping and gambling habits. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission previously warned of these so-called Ponzi schemes involving virtual currencies, and noted that such “fraudsters are not beyond the reach of the SEC just because they use bitcoin or another virtual currency.” And while the SEC’s authority provides some comfort, there’s generally few safeguards for average folks who step into the so-called Wild West without their guns and bugles.

Moral of the story? Using bitcoin may have its benefits, but don’t let it be your fool’s gold. Because “if it’s too good to be true,” the report said, “it just may be.”

 

TIME Internet

These States Have the Fastest Internet

Virginia tops the list, and Alaska comes in last

Virginia tops the list of the states with the fastest Internet, with an average Internet speed of 13.7 megabits per second (Mbps), according to Akamai’s “State of the Internet” report for the first quarter of 2014.

Massachusetts and Delaware tied for second at 13.1 Mbps, followed by Rhode Island and the District of Columbia at 12.9 and 12.8 Mbps, respectively. New York placed in 14th, and California in 20st. Alaska came in last place at 7 Mbps—not too far behind Montana, Kentucky and Arkansas, all of which posted average speeds of 7.3 Mbps. In general, the East Coast has historically promised the fastest Internet speeds, according to Akamai.

Additionally, all states saw an increase in their average connection speeds except—surprisingly—for Virginia, which dropped 4.3% from its speed in the fourth quarter of 2013.

“[Increases in Internet speed] are important because as we start to do more online, there are going to be more devices online competing for a fixed amount of bandwidth,” David Belson, author of the report, told TIME. “Over the last five years or so, we’ve moved from being basically shackled to our TVs to being able to watch things like Netflix or Hulu or YouTube.”

And are these average speeds fast enough to stream such content? In fact, the lowest average speeds are still more than the 5 Mbps speed Netflix recommends for HD streaming, or the 3 Mbps recommended for Hulu HD, and much higher than the 1-2 Mbps necessary for casual Internet surfing.

TIME stocks

A Company That Makes an Ebola Drug Just Saw Its Stock Surge

Tekmira Stock Soars
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation's headquarters in Burnaby, British Columbia Aug. 5, 2014. Ben Nelms—Reuters

Share price was up by 45% after the FDA removed "potential roadblock"

Shares of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals shot up by 45% to $20.70 Friday afternoon and closed at $23 after the Canadian firm announced the FDA approved limited use of its Ebola drug.

The drug company’s shares had soared 18% in pre-market trading to $16.84 after Tekmira announced Thursday the FDA had verbally confirmed that it modified the full clinical hold on the drug TKM-Ebola to a partial clinical hold. The switch could allow potential use of the drug on Ebola-infected patients for what the World Health Organization has said is a global public health emergency.

“We are pleased that the FDA has considered the risk-reward of TKM-Ebola for infected patients. We have been closely watching the Ebola virus outbreak and its consequences, and we are willing to assist with any responsible use of TKM-Ebola,” Tekmira CEO and President Dr. Mark Murray said. “The foresight shown by the FDA removes one potential roadblock to doing so.”

Tekmira is one of several publicly-held companies investors are betting on as fears of Ebola rattle the world. Shares of BioCryst were up Friday by 12%, Sarepta by 5%, and NanoViricides by 6%.

Tekmira’s shares had risen by as much as 40% last week after Ebola outbreaks across West Africa, roughly a month after the FDA had placed the full clinical hold on the TKM-Ebola Phase I trial. Those initial gains were reversed after Mapp Biopharmaceuticals’ ZMapp Ebola drug was used to treat two American workers who had contracted Ebola in Africa and were flown to Emory University Hospital.

In March, Tekmira’s shares achieved an all-time high of over $34 when the FDA granted the drug a Fast Track designation, intended expedite the drug’s development, according to Tekmira.

TIME China

China Cracks Down on Public Figures’ Online Political Posts

CHINA-IT-TELECOMMUNICATION-TENCENT
This photo illustration taken on March 12, 2014 shows the logo of Chinese instant messaging platform called WeChat on a mobile device which has taken the country by storm in just three years. PETER PARKS—AFP/Getty Images

Only official news organizations can now post political news on WeChat

Chinese actors, pop stars and other popular figures with public accounts on one of the country’s most popular social media platforms will no longer be allowed to post or share political news, according to restrictions issued Thursday by China’s State Council Information Office (SCIO).

Under China’s first rules that target instant messaging services, holders of public WeChat accounts, similar to verified pages on Facebook, must also sign an agreement to abide by “the socialist system” and “national interests,” among other principles paramount to what Beijing officials have called “a clean cyberspace,” according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency. These users will additionally be required to use their real name, confirmed by a background check.

Only approved news organizations and other authorized websites can post or share political news on the social media platform, owned by Tencent Holdings, officials said. Chinese officials added that organizations like People’s Daily, CCTV, Xinhua News—all run by the Chinese government—have been allowed to disseminate news to promote authenticity and accuracy.

Tencent said Thursday that it has deleted about 400 of WeChat’s 5.8 million public accounts and 3,000 articles found to be “spreading rumors,” but it was unclear if the shutdowns were related to the new policies, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The latest effort to limit public discourse and dissent, the WeChat crackdown follows those on Weibo—China’s answer to Twitter—when the Chinese government announced in May it would strip content linked to “infiltration from hostile forces at home and abroad.” Largely meant to discourage political rumors and discussion, the Weibo restrictions pushed millions of users to turn to WeChat, which, at the time, had been known as a freer, safer space for debate.

Some Chinese citizens have praised the efforts for being timely, though their opinions appear to be in the minority, and were promulgated through state-controlled media platforms.

“Users with ulterior motives will be deterred by the laws and regulations,” according to a column that originally appeared in Xinhua. “Good rain knows when it’s spring.”

Still, other Chinese citizens, particularly those with public accounts, took to media outlets not owned by the Chinese government to express concern. Wang Guanxiong, owner of a public WeChat account that posts about current affairs, told the South China Morning Post that “the rules are aimed at supporting government-backed media companies, while discouraging individual publishers, some of whom have gained much social influence.”

China has recently restricted other social media applications like Line and KakaoTalk.

 

 

 

TIME Transportation

Volkswagen Expands Recall Over Ignition Switch Problems

Volkswagen Recalls 18,500 Minivans
The 2009 Volkswagen Routan is introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., during a media preview on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008. Bloomberg via Getty Images

Adding to nearly 700,000 other recalled Chrysler minivans also affected by faulty ignition switches

Volkswagen recalled about 18,500 U.S.-sold 2009 Routan minivans Friday due to ignition switches that can be knocked into accessory mode during bumpy driving conditions, thus shutting off the engine.

The announcement doubles the total number recalls of the Chrysler-made minivan, whose 2010 model was recalled in 2011 for similar issues, bringing the total to over 30,000 affected vehicles. A Volkswagen spokesperson said the problem has not been linked to any accidents, injuries or deaths, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, the German auto manufacturer is advising drivers to remove items from their key rings, while Chrysler is encouraging drivers to ensure there is enough room between their knees and the ignition.

Chrysler had filed documents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in late June stating that the 2009 Routan minivan, like the nearly 700,000 other minivans Chrysler recalled earlier that month, was also affected by ignition switches that could unexpectedly flip off. The faulty switch may cause stalled cars and the loss of airbag, steering and braking functions.

In total, Chrysler has recalled about 1.7 million vehicles for ignition issues since 2011.

Problems with ignition switches shot into the national spotlight after General Motors recalled 2.6 million cars with defective ignition switches, linked to 13 deaths. GM has recalled roughly 15 million additional vehicles for similar issues this year alone.

The recall is expected to begin later this month.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45,251 other followers