The True Definition of Luck: aka “The Frank Wilson Theory”

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keith krach

What Matters Most is Luck. Not!

During my battle-tested career, I have always heard, “Krach, you are just so lucky.” I look down at the ground and shrug my shoulders and say, “Yah, I guess I’m just lucky” or, “I was just at right place, right time.”

I am certainly blessed. Born into a loving family, growing up in the heartland of this great country in a simpler time and humble manner. I learned to appreciate the value of hard work and I grew up with an earnest desire to make a difference in the world.  I’ve spent a lot of time in my life thinking about the concept of luck and what that word really means. Is it flipping a coin at a fork in the road or being dealt the right card at the right moment? Whether you choose to believe it’s karma or a blessing, there are divine moments that protect and shape us. But most of the time, I believe that we make our own luck.  Luck is self-propelling and a magic that we can generate and magnify. I believe the definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity. The harder you work, the luckier you get.  I call it the Frank Wilson Theory.

When Frank Wilson joined our basketball team in 7th grade, I thought he was the luckiest guy I had ever met. He immediately emerged as the star of our squad, scoring on average a sparkling 18 points a game. I was baffled though. He could barely jump, let alone dribble, and his jump shot was extremely ugly (sorry, Frank). He was a lefty and he would awkwardly short-arm the ball toward the hoop. I just couldn’t understand how this guy could score so many points. I figured he was just lucky.

Then one day, the father of one of our teammates brought a 16-millimeter video camera to shoot one of our games. We played well and won the game, thanks to another game-winning shot from Frank. The next day at practice, the coach invited us all to watch the tape of the game. While everyone else followed the action of the game, I kept my eyes focused on Frank the entire time. As the tape played, it hit me like lightning. What Frank could do better than all of us was what he did when he didn’t have the ball. The act of getting in the right position at the right time was what mattered most. He would use his smallish frame to duck around picks and slide into open positions just under the hoop and in the corners where, when someone passed the ball, he could hit his little duck-shot with perfect accuracy.

I began to see Frank in a new light. I also began to watch him at practice. While the rest of the team was lobbing up half-court trick shots and goofing around, there was Frank running drills, by himself. What I realized, it wasn’t that Frank wasn’t lucky when it came to playing basketball—he was prepared. When the opportunity presented itself, Frank was right there, ready to make his own “luck.” That was how Frank taught me a profound lesson:

What matters most in life is what you do when nobody is looking.

Thanks to Frank, I now have a deep conviction of the importance of preparation and constantly sharpening the saw. One of the most tangible examples I can share relates to how I approach public speaking. Whether it’s for a commencement address or a quick TV appearance that will generate a mere sound bite, I will spend hours preparing for a delivery that will take just a few minutes. There have been times when my team has witnessed me spend an entire 90-minute car ride getting ready for a short 3-minute after-dinner speech. I prepare for any question that could come my way. People might applaud me for my great improvisational speaking skills without realizing how much work actually went into making it look casual and spontaneous. So if it looks like I put my foot in my mouth, there is a chance that I meant to put it there.

Similarly, anytime I go to a conference or attend an event, I take the time to memorize the LinkedIn profile of the attendees. There is no better way to meaningfully connect than jumping to the heart of finding something in common with people you “just happened” to meet. I’m fairly confident that if Dale Carnegie were still around to write an update to his classic book How To Win Friends And Influence People, he would have certainly included a chapter on memorizing not just names, but LinkedIn profiles as well (you’re welcome, LinkedIn.)

As Thomas Edison so aptly put it: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” So, Frank, if you are reading this, I’m sorry I ever thought you were lucky. Your example taught me one of the greatest lessons in life—what matters most is what you do when nobody is looking—and that is a wisdom that I have shared with many.  So Frank, wherever you are in this world, I thank you. And I wish you all the luck in the world, knowing full well you don’t need it.

The post The True Definition of Luck: aka “The Frank Wilson Theory” appeared first on ReadWrite.


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TrueDepth camera in iPhone X used to capture facial animations for ‘The Walking Dead: Our World’

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Next Games’ upcoming ARKit title "The Walking Dead: Our World" will reportedly use rotoscoped facial animations, captured inexpensively using the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera.
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Nordstrom is not ‘the everything store’ — it wants to win with high-quality brands

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Nordstrom co-president Erik Nordstrom

In other words, Nordstrom doesn’t want to be Amazon.

Amazon is known as “The Everything Store.”

Nordstrom, Amazon’s Seattle neighbor, is not. It doesn’t sell commodities. It sells big brands to fashion-conscious consumers. And that’s how it says it’ll win.

“[Amazon has] been very helpful in forcing us to get sharper on who we are and where we can win,” said Erik Nordstrom, co-president of the retail company, from the stage at Recode’s Code Commerce event in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. “We’re not a price promotional retailer. … The products we participate in, they’re not commodities, and brands matter. There’s a lot of retail that’s gone to commodities, and the brand value’s been taken out of it.”

Nordstrom says that he still thinks of his retail stores — and his digital services like Trunk Club — as places where people discover new products and new brands they didn’t even know existed. That’s not Amazon’s forte; most people go to Amazon because they know exactly what they’re looking for.

“Being that place of discovery — which means curation, means personalization, means having a differentiated product offer, things that you cannot find everywhere — those things are very much in contrast to the sweet spot of what Amazon’s model is,” he added.

So would Nordstrom like to join Amazon? The company is often mentioned as a possible Amazon acquisition target, and Nordstrom wouldn’t need to go very far — he can see Amazon’s construction cranes from his window.

“I’m not going there,” he chuckled.

Nordstrom shared the stage with Don Kingsborough, the CEO of OneMarket, a Nordstrom partner. OneMarket, a spinoff of Westfield, which owns a bunch of major malls, is hoping to change the way brick-and-mortar retailers use data.

Kingsborough’s plan? Encouraging retailers to share data insights about customers so that there’s a more central repository of information on brick-and-mortar shoppers.

“It’s a difficult concept for retailers to embrace at first,” he admitted. “A retailer’s data is very valuable, but it’s usually just in that retailer. But the consumer shops at lots of other retailers.”

“So the idea is you don’t share any one individual retailer’s information with anyone else,” he continued, “[but] you essentially aggregate that … so they get to understand the customer more holistically, as if they were shopping on a digital platform that had tens of thousands of retailers on it.”

Also discussed Tuesday, albeit briefly: Nordstrom’s recently failed attempt to bring his company private. News broke earlier on Tuesday that a possible deal fell through after the parties involved couldn’t agree on a price.

“The mission stays the same,” Nordstrom said.

Recode – All

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‘The Room: Old Sins’ developer explains delay in Android release

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The Room: Old Sins released on iOS back in January. The preceding three entries in the acclaimed creepy puzzler series are all available on Android, but Old Sins, so far, is nowhere to be found. Developer Fireproof Games says the Android version is coming, but it might take a while.

In a blog post, Fireproof says Old Sins is technically up and running on Android, but that “having the game running on a couple of devices in the office, and having something that we can release on Google Play are very different things.” Bugs small and major discovered after the game’s initial iOS release and the wide variety of Android devices are the main culprits in the delay, the post says: Fireproof’s last game, The Room Three, is available on nearly 14,000 different devices, and each individual device can present its own difficulties.

Read More

‘The Room: Old Sins’ developer explains delay in Android release was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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SwitchArcade Roundup: ‘Clustertruck’, ‘Hex Gambit’, ‘The Long Reach’, and More

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Welcome to the March 15th SwitchArcade Roundup, where we are covering the latest Switch news and releases! A busy day with nine releases, yet it’s tough not to look over the shoulder and see iOS players starting to enjoy Fortnite. It plays surprisingly well even on older mobile hardware, so a Switch version seems absolutely imminent, right? With controllers and Nintendo’s openness toward cross-platform play, it sure feels like this game is coming soon, it absolutely has to be. Battle royale needs a home on the Switch, and why not have it be the most popular battle royale game going right now? Oh well, until then we’ll have to entertain ourselves with this massive other cavalcade of games.


Hex Gambit new trailer, comes to Switch later this year

One Man Left has a new hex grid strategy game in the works called Hex Gambit. It’s in the works right now for Steam and Switch, and it will hit Early Access on Switch in April. To commemorate the occasion, One Man Left has a new trailer. Check out all the bop-based transportation you’ll do in this one! Matches are designed to take 15 minutes tops, and there’s both 1v1 and 2v2 play in a system that features both asynchronous and real-time play, with a natural transition when players drop out. Looks like another potential winner from One Man Left, and here’s hoping that we see the Tilt to Live games on Switch someday. Or perhaps a second life for Outwitters?

Runner3 Switch release date and physical release revealed.

Choice Provisions’ latest Runner game, initially part of the Bit.Trip series, has a release date: May 22nd. Their auto-running platformer starring Commander Video will feature new abilities, new alternate-path levels, and plenty more quick-reflex challenges to tackle. The physical release will include an instruction manual (a rarity these days with physical releases!), a light-up PVC character strip, and a 3″ CD with a sampling of the game’s music.

Fangamer has a vertical grip for the Switch in the works.

When I wrote about Danmaku Unlimited 3 the other day, I lamented that there wasn’t a great way to play handheld games in portrait mode, perfect for shoot ’em ups and other arcade titles that support rotating the screen. It appears this void in the Switch’s accessory lineup might be filled, with Fangamer partnering with game journalist Jeremy Parish for this grip project. If this covers the vent, then it might prove to be problematic, as that is quite necessary to keep the system’s innards from melting. That would be bad, but I’m pretty sure this has been taken into consideration.

New Releases

Sparkle 3: Genesis

Forever entertainment’s Sparkle series of games comes to the Switch. You control a strange, sea-creature-esque organism, and make your way through 12 surreal levels in a dreamlike atmosphere, controlling and evolving your creature the way you want by consuming elements throughout the digital ocean. Sparkle 3 Genesis feels like the perfect kind of title to rejuvenate itself with a new audience on the Switch, or even just with a group of players that maybe missed it the first time around.


tinyBuild’s latest Switch port has you trying to drive trucks through chaotic tracks. The floor is lava, the trucks go fast, and eventually lasers get involved. Thankfully, you’ll have a grappling hook, a truck cannon, and time control abilities to help you through this trucky situation. This is the kind of game that will give your screen recording function a workout, as you will constantly find new and ever more hilarious ways to watch your trucks crash and explode through the game.

WorldNeverland – Elnea Kingdom

This is the paid Switch port of the free-to-play iOS/Android game of the same name. You immigrate to a faraway kingdom, and enjoy a new life, possibly finding love and forming a party of heroes to fight monsters. You know, the typical immigrant experience. There are still a few cosmetic in-app purchases for this one, but otherwise, this is essentially what happens if a free-to-play game gets converted into a paid one. This likely is more for Asian markets than western ones, but perhaps there’s an appeal here for people who might have avoided a free-to-play, online only title on mobile like this, that would love it on their Switch.

Bingo for Nintendo Switch

Exactly what it says on the tin. Play in four different types of Bingo with up to four people at once. Hey, this might not be for the gaming enthusiasts who pick up a bunch of the retro shoot ’em ups, but the Switch is for everyone. There’s surely an audience for a simple party game like this, and it only costs $ 4.99, and looks like it has some decent production values to it.

Enchanting Mahjong Match

Another simple title, albeit one for those looking for ladies named after Chinese constellations. If you want to unlock these artworks, you’ll have to play through 140 levels of increasingly difficult Mahjong. puzzles. Probably not for the grandparents, unless they’re really cool.

Aero Fighters 3

HAMSTER announced the other day that they were working on bringing other Video System titles to modern consoles, and the Neo Geo title Aero Fighters 3 is now out on the eShop. This shoot ’em up gets a little weird, as enemies vary from standard military hardware to giant sea creatures. Oh, and the playable characters include two animals. There are branching paths and multiple endings for the intrepid player to discover. An intriguing choice for the discerning shoot ’em up fan.

The Long Reach

This pixel-art thriller makes its debut on the Switch. The Ukrainian developer Painted Black Games puts players into modern-day New Hampshire, as the protagonist Calvin explores a strange facility and discovers what’s happening just around the corner from where he lives. Or, don’t: players don’t have to discover everything happening in this game, and features plenty of deception and trickery to screw with players. Sounds like an interesting experience if you’re up for a game that claims inspiration from The Cave and Lone Survivor.

Keep an eye out every weekday for more SwitchArcade Roundups! We want to hear your feedback on Nintendo Switch coverage on TouchArcade. Comment below or tweet us with your thoughts!


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‘The Blockheads’ 1.7 Update Adds Expert Mode and New Features – Check Out the Full Patch Notes

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Majic Jungle’s The Blockheads [Free] is still kicking five years after release, and update 1.7, out now, is a dramatic new update. The biggest feature? Pets! You can now tame creatures, including sharks and dodos, and breed unicorns that fly through the sky with rainbow sparkles. Seriously. Dodos can even lay special eggs that help provide special resources.

If you’ve played the heck out of The Blockheads and want a fresh new start, there’s a new expert mode to play. This has a redesigned tech tree that gives players a different but apparent progression through the game, with some other tweaks to make the game more difficult. This mode is available in cooperative play, and you’ll need the help!

New customization options are available after you craft a mirror, and there’s new faces, colors, and hairstyles available. Trade portals got a bit of a nerf, with a greater difference between the buy and sell price for items, and you can only buy items you have already discovered. Custom rules worlds can play with the old rules if the want. Also, job listings are now available at trade portals, so you can send your other Blockheads off-world to complete tasks for you.

Check out the full patch notes for all the changes:

– Added mob taming, by feeding a given mob the correct food/item
– Added dodo breeding, resource eggs , egg extractor
– Added donkey breeding, rainbow cake.
– Added mirror to customize blockhead appearance
– Added new blockhead skins
– You can now rename blockheads
– Added gates
– Added cages
– Added wheat, flour, yeast, dough, bread, flatbread
– Added tomatoes
– Added pizza oven and pizza
– Added yaks, yak horns, razors, yak shavings, milk, mozzarella
– Added plaster block and luminous plaster block
– Added gem blocks, craftable at a press
– Adds D-pad for direct control of blockheads, and as an alternative to tilt control for boats/handcars/donkeys etc.
– Added job listings at trade portals
– Added new custom rules for teleportation, meditation, pole item degrading/respawning, blockhead death drops, trade portal buy/sell tax, and whether you need to discover items before you can buy them at trade portals
– There is now wind, which affects clouds, rain, and some particles, blows fruit off trees, and lowers blockhead happiness due to exposure
– New HD clouds
– The time required to craft is now shown both before and during crafting
– You can now change the area covered by ownership signs
– Added /clear command to clear the chat
– Expert mode added, see below

– New font
– New look buttons
– Baby dodos!
– Pole items now slowly degenerate over time like other clothing, and respawn at the poles 40 days after removal. This is configurable in custom rules.
– The time crystal item has been mostly removed, should be impossible to do anything useful with any that remain
– Coffee cherries now give a 10 second extra speed bonus- All food now gives a small energy boost
– Energy now goes down a little faster to compensate
– Foods now replenish half as much food and health
– Sleep now also replenishes health slowly
– Plant harvesting has been changed so you always harvest the entire plant no matter which part of it you tap. (excludes vines and kelp)
– Plants no longer give a correct tool bonus when harvested by digging the block below with a spade
– Plant item drop counts have changed
– Sunflowers now emit light
– Time crystal and gold ore and gold blocks now have a larger light radius, which matches the gem block light radius.
– Boat moved to woodwork bench
– String moved to weave workbench
– After a rewarded video is watched, you need to wait 10 minutes before another will become available
– Fur is now a little harder to come by from drop bears
– Game Center multiplayer is no longer supported
– ‘Share a link’ crystal reward has been removed
– All tools and weapons now lose durability 4x faster per strike if they are used as a weapon
– The way animals spawn, feed and breed has totally changed, with longer lifetimes and different spawn rates
– Trees above 3 blocks tall will now always give at least one fruit per season
– Dodo feather drop on death is now 50% chance instead of 1 + 50%.
– Fruit now falls off the trees at the end of the fruiting season, and stays on the ground for one day.
– Tool decay custom rules are now 2x and 1/2x, not 4x and 1/4x
– Water is no longer removed when capturing a fish or shark in a bucket
– Dodos and donkeys now eat food lying around on the ground
– When a mob or kelp is frozen in ice, it will no longer die, but will be preserved in its current state until it thaws and comes to life again
– Drops from plants no longer make a sound unless they are being harvested by a blockhead
– New sword sound
– HD textures are now free, and are the default
– Trade portals now have a far greater tax between buying and selling, 0.5x the base price when selling, 2x the base price when buying. This is configurable in custom rules.
– Trade portals now require that you have picked up each item before you are able to buy/sell it in each world, however all items < 1.7 are unlocked in worlds you have already played in with 1.6. This is also configurable in custom rules.
– Happiness no longer influences craft speed
– Renamed ‘vanilla’ or ‘normal’ to ‘survival’ when used in text as a comparison to custom rules
– Diamonds and diamond colored things now are a whiter color
– Gems now emit a longer reaching light
– Donkeys now suffer fall damage, can die from high falls
– Scorpions now have babies even if there is a back wall
– All mobs except cave trolls now take damage from high temperatures
– New UI for selecting sun color
– If you tap while riding something, you now see a button to ‘STOP RIDING’ instead of immediately jumping off
– If the custom rules setting for world modification is set to disallowed or admin only, ownership signs can now be used to allow certain players to modify restricted areas
– If you don’t have permission to remove/modify a sign, you now can’t mine/modify the block behind it
– Chat notifications are suppressed if the UI to mute another player is visible

– Expert Mode:

Adjustable with custom rules:
– Teleportation requires diamond portal
– Tools are used up at half the rate, as long as they are not used in an attack
– Hunger rate doubled
– Doubles damage received when harmed in any way
– All items dropped when you die
– Cannot meditate

Not adjustable with custom rules:
– Totally new progression through workbenches with new crafting recipes for most items
– Cannot get a workbench using time crystals, it must be crafted at a portal
– Trade portal crafting requires diamond portal
– In order to use any workbench/crafting block other than the spawn portal, you must be the one who placed it
– Number of time crystal blocks has been doubled
– Ore bonus with correct tool reduced from 3x to 2x
– Plant drops are lower, and more related to current tool and whether it’s currently flowering. It’s possible to get no seed drop.
– Trees and branches don’t drop anything extra when they fall as the result of another block being removed, the only drops come from the single block which was chopped
– Dead trees don’t leave any drops
– Less leather & fur drops from dropbears and donkeys
– Less fruit grows on trees
– Fewer treasure chests, and only in caves, not under beaches
– Energy given by coffee and other food items halved
– Low happiness gives a greater penalty to mine speed
– Pole items have reduced effects
– Health increase while sleeping is half that of normal mode

The Blockheads update 1.7 is out now.


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Yuri Suzuki mimics ‘The Sound of the Waves’ with surf data

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Yuri Suzuki was hunched over a MacBook Air with a "Fuck Brexit" sticker on the lid. He opened Magicseaweed, an ocean-monitoring website for surfers, and searched for a few spots along Spain's northern coast. "It's quite amazing to see the super-preci…
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Elon Musk is poaching ‘The Onion’ staff for a comedy project

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The one certainty about Elon Musk is that no two startups will be closely related: he has been responsible for city guides, online payments, electric cars, spacecraft, open AI and transportation tunnels. And that trend isn't about to stop any time so…
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Competitive Choose Your Own Adventure Game ‘The Wolf’s Bite’ Heading to iOS April 12th

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Back in July of last year, developer Three Little Devs unveiled their upcoming project called The Wolf’s Bite, and it looked very interesting. The Wolf’s Bite is something of a mashup between competitive board game, choose your own adventure, and business management sim. As you might have guessed based on the developer’s name, The Wolf’s Bite is inspired by classic fairy tales like The Three Little Pigs and The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, and your goal is to create a thriving business as the Pigs while simultaneously sabotaging the efforts of your competition, namely the Big Bad Wolf and his titular restaurant The Wolf’s Bite. It’ll feature both local multiplayer and single-player against an AI. Here’s the trailer for the desktop version which launched on Steam back in August of last year.

The game uses randomly generated story bits with over 500 different paths that each player could potentially take, and there are more than 20 different endings you can achieve based on the choices you do or don’t make. It sounds like a really neat spin on several different types of genres that have worked great on mobile over the years. While originally planned for release last fall just after the Steam launch, The Wolf’s Bite for iOS has taken a bit longer than expected, but it finally does have a release date of April 12th. The price will be just $ 1.99 compared to the $ 7.99 price on Steam, and the ability to use the App Store’s pre-order system should show up a couple of weeks or so before the launch date. If you enjoy board games, choose your own adventures, or lighthearted fairy tales then keep an eye out for The Wolf’s Bite on mobile next month and check out the forum thread for some discussion.


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First ‘Hearthstone’ expansion of 2018 delves into ‘The Witchwood’

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Weeks after laying out this year's plan for Hearthstone, Blizzard has announced the first expansion of 2018: The Witchwood. Once it lands, the Year of the Raven will begin — and all of 2016's cards will be retired from the main Standard format. The…
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