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This Facebook recruiting initiative turned a psychology major into a sought-after product manager (FB)

The Facebook Rotational Product Manager (RPM) program takes people from primarily nontechnical backgrounds and turns them into product managers.  Jasmine Xu recently went through the program and is now a product manager on Facebook's Marketplace team with a promising career ahead of her — despite not having any technical background. The RPM is one of several ways Facebook is trying to expand its pool of potential employees. 

When Jasmine Xu graduated from Dartmouth in 2016, she never thought she'd have a career in tech.

She had double-majored in psychology and geography, not computer science, after all. While she had interned at a pair of Silicon Valley tech companies, including the cloud storage provider Box, and had enjoyed the work, she figured she'd have a tough time getting a full-time job in the industry without a technical background.


SpaceX's biggest rival has a 'genius' plan to cut its rocket launch costs more than 70%

SpaceX turned heads around the world on February 6 with the first-ever launch of Falcon Heavy.

The 230-foot-tall rocket's three boosters helped push Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster into space, peeled off after running low on fuel, and then careened toward Earth.

Two of the 16-story boosters rocketed to


The Echo Spot is the only Amazon device with a tiny, round screen — and that's both the best and worst thing about using it (AMZN)

Amazon's Echo Spot is in an unusual position in the Echo family. 

It has a screen, but not one big enough for serious video-watching.

It's small, but not as small as the Echo Dot.

It can play music, but it doesn't sound as good as the Echo or Echo Show. 

So, what is it for?

After several weeks of testing the Spot, I'm still not really sure. At launch, the Echo Spot's primary purpose seemed to be acting as a smart alarm clock for your bedside table or nightstand. It can certainly do that, but it also seems a bit overqualified for the position. 

The Echo Spot has Alexa.

It can make video calls.

It can play music videos.

It can make visual lists and reminders.

It can play music.


The top 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe villains, ranked from worst to best

The biggest problem with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is its villains.

"Black Panther" has been praised for having one of the best villains in the universe (and in movie history). Loki, who fluctuates loyalty so often it's hard to keep up, is another great example. 

But many of the other villains aren't exactly compelling. There's not much there in terms of the motives, goals, and overall, a lot of them don't feel like a genuine threat to our heroes. But that doesn't mean that all of these MCU villains are bad: they're just forgettable, even in some of the best movies to date including "Iron Man 3," "Ant-Man," and "Captain America: Civil War."

Still, there are a few gems in there, and we took a look at the top 20 to give you a sense of which were the best.


Magic Leap is reportedly in talks to raise $400 million from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund

Augmented reality startup Magic Leap is reportedly in talks to raise up to $400 million (£286 million) from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, The Financial Times reported on Friday.

The newspaper reported that the deal is set to be announced in the coming weeks, and is an extension of the company's October round of funding.

The investment would bring the total amount raised by Magic Leap to $2.3 billion (£1.6 billion), even though it's yet to release a product.

In December, Magic Leap announced the design and name of its first product: The Magic Leap One Creator Edition. The augmented reality company's first product uses a pair of smart glasses and a belt-mounted computer.


A Ghostbusters smartphone game similar to 'Pokémon Go' is coming out this year

"Ghostbusters World," a location-based smartphone game with augmented reality elements similar to "Pokémon Go," was announced for iOS and Android phones. Besides a 30-second teaser trailer, there aren't many details available yet — but we know it's coming in 2018.

 

A Ghostbusters-themed smartphone game was just announced for 2018. 

"Ghostbusters World" will apparently be a location-based smartphone game with augmented-reality elements similar to "Pokémon Go," the mobile phenomenon that took the world by storm in 2016. "Ghostbusters World" will let players hunt and collect "specters, poltergeists, full-roaming vapors, and more," according to a post on the game's official Facebook account.  

The specific release date has yet to be announced. 

Here's the official teaser trailer:


The director of Netflix's latest blockbuster movie, 'Mute,' breaks down 4 memorable scenes in the sci-fi thriller

Duncan Jones has wowed us his whole career with movies like “Moon,” “Source Code,” and “Warcraft,” but his latest is his most ambitious work yet — which might explain why it took over a decade to get made.

“Mute” is a futuristic who-done-it set in Berlin starring Alexander Skarsgård as a mute bartender named Leo. In the film, Leo must navigate the shady underworld of the city, filled with unique characters like two ex-pats Cactus (Paul Rudd) and Duck (Justin Theroux), to track down his missing girlfriend. 

With the backing of Netflix (which released the movie on Friday), this movie that is part “Blade Runner,” part David Fincher fever dream, has been let out to the masses.

And if you’ve seen it, you probably want more insight on what you’ve experienced. 


The best photos taken of planet Earth last year will transform the way you see the world

The natural world is a stunning place.

Every year, the best landscape photography shows off Earth's beauty. The following photos are some of the winners from the 2017 International Landscape Photographer of the Year contest.

They highlight powerful mountains, scenes of isolation, worlds of color and light, and the abstract loveliness found in landscapes all over the world. Winning photos were shot in the wilds of Patagonia, the mountains of Iceland, and in the desert-surrounded lakes of Brazil.

They show the world in ways that will make you want to get up, pack a bag, and go exploring.

Cristiano Xavier of Brazil won the aerial photography award with this stunner from the Lençóis Maranhenses in northeastern Brazil. Brazilian photographer Marcio Cabral won the long-exposure award for this galaxy-revealing shot from Veadeiros National Park in Brazil. Huibo...

The rise of Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, who is taking his $10 billion company public years after Steve Jobs said he would destroy it

Drew Houston is on top of the world.

On Friday, his company, Dropbox, filed its S-1, making it Y Combinator's first startup to ever file for an IPO.

The file sharing service that began as a two-person team in 2007 is now a sprawling enterprise with more than a thousand employees and a stock ticker symbol that's soon to be listed on the NASDAQ. The cloud storage giant now provides services to more than 500 million people and generates a billion dollars in annual revenue. 

But things weren't always easy for Houston or his company. He struggled with his initial entrepreneurial venture and faced several obstacles getting Dropbox off the ground. Dropbox has taken 10 years of growth to get to the point it's at now. 

But Houston hung in there. Despite multiple opportunities to sell his company in its early stages — including a bid from Steve Jobs in 2009 — he held on.


Crypto mania is creating a 10x sales boost for compliance businesses: 'No company wants to deal with North Korean drug traffickers'

The crypto boom is leading to a surge in business for compliance companies that help businesses verify customer identities and make sure their funds are legitimate. Onfido, which automates ID checks, saw a 10x increase in crypto-related business in the fourth quarter of last year.

LONDON — The recent boom in cryptocurrencies isn't just creating wealth for companies issuing their own digital tokens or investors speculating on them — compliance guys are doing well too.

"The start of Q4 to end Q4 [there was] a 10x increase in checks for crypto clients," Eamon Jubbawy, the cofounder and COO of document verification business Onfido, told Business Insider.